Monthly Archive: July 2019

Disabled people have described how the terrifying

first_imgDisabled people have described how the “terrifying” and “abusive” benefit assessments delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have seriously damaged their health, and how its failings will affect how they vote in next month’s general election.The discussion on the social media platform Twitter was the first major event organised by the new user-led campaign #CripTheVoteUK, which hopes to enable disabled people to become a major political force in the UK, and help decide the election.One contributor to the discussion, Hazel Fairs (@Hazel_Fairs), said the benefits assessment process had been “hell”, and added: “It made me suicidal. It’s like having an insulting abusive controlling ex with the power to starve and evict you.”Another, @hufflewoof, said the process of assessing sick and disabled people for their eligibility for benefits was “an abusive process, built on mistrust”.She added: “I have several MH issues anyway but my interactions with the DWP have exacerbated them significantly. It’s been awful.”Payton Quinn (@PaytonQuinn) said the benefits assessment process had been “difficult and exhausting”.She tweeted: “Our PIP assessor lied on the report and they have ignored our complaints, rejected our appeal.”Jen Byrd (@jenjenbyrd) tweeted: “Assessor had sweet, caring face on while writing inaccuracies and (purposeful?) misrepresentations.“Assessor had no understanding of my illness(es), medical terminology or even, having read his report, morals.”Juliette Gazzard (@juliettegazzard) said her dealings with DWP “drove me to a suicide attempt, panic state I have never recovered from. Live in constant fear of contact with DWP.”One contributor to the discussion, @victoriaclutton, spoke of how dealing with DWP was “terrifying, frustrating, dehumanising and outright surreal”.Jonathan Hume (@IamMrJ), who has previously told Disability News Service how an assessor working for government contractor Maximus asked him what was stopping him taking his own life, was another who described how his interactions with DWP had affected his mental health.He tweeted: “I used to be confident. I didn’t used to panic at a knock on the door or unexpected post.”Social worker Brooke Winters (@brookewinters33) said she was supporting #cripthevoteuk because she can see that austerity “isn’t working”, harms disabled people, and does not save money.She added: “As a disabled person I don’t have the support I need or adequate health care under the current government.”Another contributor, @zagbah, tweeted: “I have a MH issue and I want to #CripTheVoteUK because I don’t want to spend another five years having to prove I ‘deserve’ disability benefits.“I feel really angry with the DWP. Because of them, all the progress I was making is in ruins. I have to start over, AGAIN.“My agoraphobia is worse. I can’t take the rubbish downstairs now. I can’t even step into the communal hallway.“Dealing with the DWP is like being forced to play a neverending, live action version of #snakesandladders.”Journalist and presenter Mik Scarlet, tweeting at @MikScarlet, said: “I’m stunned at how scared I am every time I have a brown envelope in the post ever since my #PIP reassessment started. Nightmare.”Activist Alice Kirby was another to discuss the impact on her mental health of continual communication with DWP, tweeting: “I hate contacting them, I hate them contacting me.“Constantly receiving letters, sometimes every other day, feels like harassment.”And Recovery In The Bin, the user-led mental health group, tweeted: “We in @RITB_ want to #cripthevoteUK b/c we are suffering individually and collectively by ongoing fear, harassment, sanctions, destitution.”#CripTheVoteUK plans to share material about political parties’ disability policies through the election campaign, to “generate discussion about the issues affecting disabled people, including children”.Although the campaign is non-partisan and does not promote any particular party, it will still be critical of policies that have harmed disabled people and those that could do so in the future.It will also stress that the Conservative UK government has been condemned by both the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) for the abuse of disabled people’s rights.Last November, a damning CRPD report found the UK government’s social security reforms had led to “grave or systematic violations” of the UN disability convention.And only last month, EHRC concluded that disabled people’s rights had regressed in at least nine areas since the coalition government assumed power in 2010, and that disabled people were still being treated as “second-class citizens”.Eleanor Lisney, disability activist and co-founder of #CriptheVoteUK, said: “Disabled people should make sure they tell the politicians that, for 13 million in the voting age, we make a substantial number.“We need to vote in order to get a chance to survive the future onslaught on our human rights.”Another #CripTheVoteUK campaigner, Dennis Queen, said: “At this point in time, disabled people are quite literally voting for our lives.“We need all voters to know this is an emergency for thousands of disabled people and help us fight back.”A second #CripTheVoteUK Twitter discussion, on Brexit, disability and intersectionality, will be held on Sunday (7 May), from 7-8pm, and will be hosted by Professor Anna Lawson, head of the Centre for Disability Studies and the new Disability Law Hub at the University of Leeds.last_img read more

ENGLAND coach Steve McNamara has kept faith with s

first_imgENGLAND coach Steve McNamara has kept faith with same 17 that defeated France 32-18 in last week’s international for England’s 2011 Gillette Four Nations opener against Wales at Leigh Sports Village on Saturday, kick off 2.30pm.England:1. Sam Tomkins; 2. Ryan Hall, 3: Jack Reed, 4. Kirk Yeaman, 5. Tom Briscoe; 6. Kevin Sinfield, 7. Rangi Chase; 8. James Graham, 9. James Roby, 10. Jamie Peacock, 11. Gareth Ellis, 12. Ben Westwood, 13. Chris Heighington.Subs: 14. Gareth Widdop, 15. Adrian Morley, 16. Jamie Jones-Buchanan, 17. Jon Wilkin.Wales from:Andrew Gay, Ian Webster, Danny Jones, Peter Lupton, Andy Bracek, Craig Kopzcak, Gil Dudson, Ross Divorty, Geraint Davies, Chris Beasley, Lee Williams, Lloyd White, Matt Seamark, Christiaan Roets, Tyson Frizell, Rhys Williams, Jordan James, Lee Briers, Elliot Kear, Ben Flower, Mark Lennon, Neil Budworth, Ian Watson, Aled James.On Friday Australia take on New Zealand at the Halliwell Jones Stadium (8pm).The VB Kangaroos squad:Billy Slater, Akuila Uate, Willie Tonga, Chris Lawrence, Darius Boyd, Darren Lockyer, Johnathan Thurston, Paul Gallen, Cameron Smith, Matt Scott, Luke Lewis, Sam Thaiday, Anthony Watmough, Cooper Cronk, Keith Galloway, David Shillington, Tony Willoans, Beau Scott, Greg Inglis, Corey Parker.New Zealand:Kevin Locke, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Lewis Brown, Gerard Beale, Jason Nightingale, Benji Marshall, Kieran Foran, Ben Matulino, Issac Luke, Sam Mckendry, Sika Manu, Simon Mannering, Jeremy Smith, Thomas Leuluai, Fuifui Moimoi, Alex Glenn, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Kevin Proctor.Tickets for the 2011 Gillette Four Nations can be purchased by calling 0844 856 1113 or by visiting read more

Two wanted after crash causes power outage in Wrightsville Beach

first_imgCrash in Wrightsville Beach causes massive power outage on June 23, 2018. (Photo: South Beach Grill) WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Police are looking for two people who they say ran away after they crashed into a power pole, causing a massive power outage at Wrightsville Beach this weekend.The accident happened on Waynick Boulevard Saturday afternoon.- Advertisement – Wrightsville Beach Police Department tell WWAY a Chevrolet Tahoe struck a pole.Police say both the driver and passenger ran from the SUV.The accident knocked out power to many homes and businesses. Power was restored early Sunday morning.Related Article: All charges dropped in Pender County deputy-involved shootingPolice have not released the driver or passenger’s names, but WWAY was told warrants have been issued for their arrest.last_img read more

Investigators raid gaming businesses in Whiteville

first_imgWHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — More than 150 gaming machines and thousands of dollars in cash were seized by investigators after executing simultaneous search warrants at two game parlors in Whiteville.According to the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, the establishments were both located on Highway 701 North in Whiteville and were open during the raid.- Advertisement – Columbus County Sheriff’s Office seized more than 65 gaming machines and approximately $18,000 in cash from Jewel Café located next to the Holiday Motel on James B White Highway North in Whiteville.At the 701 Business Center, located next to Dollar General on James B White Highway North, investigators seized over $27,000 in cash and more than 95 gaming machines.According to a news release, undercover agents entered the gaming establishments on several occasions and played the available games during the investigation. Afterwards, they were given cash payouts for their winnings.Related Article: U.S. Marshals arrest fugitive in Whiteville who escaped police custodyThis investigation is ongoing and charges may be forthcoming.last_img read more

Silvio Schembri files report with Police following fake news

first_img SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Parliamentary Secretary for Financial services Silvio Schembri lodged a formal report with the Police Cybercrime Unit after the propagation of an unauthorised advert which has been described by the government as “fake news”.The said advert/article was posted on an electronic site called Major News and sponsored on Facebook. It claims that the MP recommends an enterprise called Bitcoin Revolution.center_img Schembri is strongly denying the claimed endorsement. The case has also been reported to Facebook so that action could also be taken from their end.Just a few months ago, Maltese-Italian actor Davide Tucci published a vlog on his Facebook page highlighting the fact that his name and image have been used without his consent by an enterprise known as The Bitcoin revolution.At the beginning of this year, has also reported that the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) is investigating an advertising campaign from a crypto currency company circulating on Facebook.MFSA issues crypto-scam warningWhatsApplast_img read more

Some Financial Intelligence units facing communication problems – EC

first_imgThere are serious coordination and communication problems within a number of EU member states’ Financial Intelligence Units (FIU), a European Commission report to the Parliament and Council says.The publication entitled, ‘Towards better implementation of the EU’s anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism framework,’ identifies that there are a number of FIU across the European Union, which are not engaging properly in their duties to investigate suspicious financing, engage relevant bodies or to share information between themselves.Although the document does not name the member states in question, it states instead that, ‘some Financial Intelligence Units fail to engage in a meaningful dialogue with obliged entities by giving quality feedback on suspicious transaction reports. The lack of templates for reporting also hampers the quality of the reports by obliged entities. Several Financial Intelligence Units do not fully comply with their obligation to exchange information with other Financial Intelligence Units.’This briefing report is a reaction to the Commission’s Article 65(2) of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive. Its aim is to look at the framework for FIU to operate along as well as to cooperate and coordinate with foreign countries and entities.Within the reaction, it is also highlighted that technical issues and a lack of uniformity of information exchange led to serious problems for FIU to be effective.‘The recurrent technical difficulties in the functioning of the seem to have been an important factor and make it more cumbersome for Financial Intelligence Units to share information. The assessment also showed that the lack of regulation of exchanges of information between Member States’ Financial Intelligence Units and Financial Intelligence Units of third countries led to a non-harmonised approach to such exchanges. The compliance of such exchanges with the Union’s data protection framework also needs to be ensured.’Read more:Government and Opposition react to a report yet to be publishedFinancial disclosure requests increased by 116% in 2018 – FIAU reportMFSA published its Anti-Money Laundering/Countering Financing of Terrorism Supervisory StrategyExclusive: ‘Malta must do more against money laundering’ – JourováOnly intervene after risks ariseAlongside the report into the effectiveness of some Financial Intelligence Units, the report also warns about speed of supervisors within credit institutions to raise the alert about risks.In an assessment of 10 case studies on credit institution’s effectiveness identifying money laundering and terrorism financing between the period of 2012 and 2018, they state that some alerts only came about after risks had already materialised. Their yardstick of success was thus based on supervisors being to pre-emptively take action.‘In some cases, supervisors were effective in pre-emptively identifying shortcomings in credit institutions and requiring remedial action, but in a number of other cases, supervisors only intervened after significant risks had materialised or in the face of repeated compliance and governance failures. The timeliness and effectiveness of subsequent supervisory measures imposed on credit institutions varied greatly. Group supervision from an anti-money laundering and countering of financing terrorism perspective was largely deficient. Regulatory and supervisory fragmentation impinged on the effectiveness of cooperation among various actors concerned.’These are just two of the cases raised in the publication referring to the measures to combat the risks of money laundering and terrorism financing, as well as efforts to improve the legislative framework.The full document can be viewed here: WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

Apple iPhone 6C Rumors Resurface With A New Release Date

first_imgThe rumors regarding the release of a reasonably priced, relatively budget iPhone 6c have been surfacing around the web this entire year. Image Credit: OneMoretThing Advertisement The release date for iPhone 6c has been rumored to fall somewhere during 2016. This latest bit of information has been handed out by Kevin Wang, an IHS analyst. This rumor might just be a rumor in its literal sense. The reason for this is that Kevin Wang initially claimed that iPhone 6c will be out by the end of this year so his word cannot be taken as the final verdict.Apple played the same game with the release of iPad Pro. The rumors about a larger iPad were going around the web for years. Apple fans had been holding out in the hopes of a release for so long that they had eventually stopped believing in it. Eventually Apple did announce the release of iPad Pro this year.The rumors regarding the release of a reasonably priced, relatively budget iPhone 6c have been surfacing around the web this entire year. The rumors took a halt when Apple did not mention an iPhone 6c in their press event that covered the launch of iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. Fans took it as a negative sign. If Apple were to actually launch another phone this year or the next year, they should have talked about it during their press event. But new evidence has surfaced that has given rise to more rumors regarding the release of an iPhone 6c.[related-posts]In that case, many observers think that Apple will do the same thing with the release of iPhone 6c. Maybe they feel that any mention of iPhone 6c at this point will affect the sales of their 6s and 6s Plus versions. People might wait for a medium range version if they knew that Apple was going to release one shortly. – Advertisement – However, all this speculation will either end in good news or a bad news for Apple fans. It is a wait and watch situation until 2016.[Tech News Today]last_img read more

Adobe Updates Flash Amid Exploit Fears

first_imgAdobe recommends users update their product installations to the latest version. Image Credit: Blorge Advertisement US software maker Adobe on Monday released security updates for its Flash video player amid ongoing concerns about security holes that could let hackers in.Adobe said it was aware of a report of “limited, targeted attacks” against unprotected versions of the software.“These updates address critical vulnerabilities that could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system,” the company said in a statement.“Adobe recommends users update their product installations to the latest version.” – Advertisement – But some websites and services have been abandoning Adobe for security reasons.Facebook this month said it was switching software for its embedded videos while adding that “we are continuing to work together with Adobe to deliver a reliable and secure Flash experience for games on our platform.”Apple notably dropped the use of Flash in its iPhones several years ago, and earlier this year Amazon said it had stopped accepting advertising in Flash format.Google also blocked Flash ads from its Web browsers this year by converting the content to a different format known as HTML5.[related-posts]The moves come amid concerns that hackers could insert malicious software into video ads, a technique known as “malvertising.”Security blogger Brian Krebs said that Internet users should at least update their Flash programs or “better yet, get rid of Flash altogether, or at least disable it until and unless you need it.”[Gadgets 360]last_img read more


first_img£100 CASH IF:DAVY RUSSELL WINS ON MIDNIGHT TOURTo celebrate the launch of our brand new betting site we are giving all NEW CUSTOMERS £100 IN CASH if our brand ambassador DAVY RUSSELL wins on MIDNIGHT TOUR in the 3.50 at Punchestown on Saturday.You simply need to open an account and place a bet of at least £10 online at between 5pm on Friday 27 April and 3.50pm on Saturday 28 April. The bet must be on a selection at even money (or bigger) in any event displayed on the web site.TERMS AND CONDITIONS(1) This promotion is for new account holders only. To qualify you must open a new account at anytime from 5pm on Friday 27 April to 3.50pm (GMT) on Saturday 28 April.(2) In addition you must place at least one bet online before 3.50pm (GMT) on Saurday 28 April. The bet must be for a stake of £10 (or more) on any selection at even money (or bigger), in any event displayed on the web site.(3) The bonus promotional offer is based around Davy Russell winning the 3.50pm at Punchestown on Midnight Tour. In the event of Midnight Tour winning with another jockey onboard, or Davy Russell winning on another horse, this promotion will still be valid. If neither Davy Russell or Midnight Tour make the start then the offer is void.(4) If, for any reason, the race does not take place or is declared void for betting purposes this offer will also be voided.(5) The bonus, if successful, will be paid as £100 cash (not free bet) within 48 hours of the race, direct to your online account.(6) Usual Star Sports Betting Rules and Terms and Conditions apply, these can be viewed at This promotion can only be used once per person and per account. Only one bonus can be awarded per person, household, shared computer or shared IP address.(8) Star Sports reserve the right to withdraw or refuse this promotion at any point.(9) If you have any further questions about this promotion you can contact our customer service team read more


first_imgInterview: RASMUS SOJMARK and ANDREW McCARRON Rasmus Sojmark and Andrew McCarron of SBC (Sports Betting Community) provide B2B news to the industry and host industry leading seminars and conferences across the globe. In this three-part interview they talk about their business, the sports betting industry, the health of the bookmaking, winners and losers, responsible betting, the future and more. Meeting Rasmus and Andy.RASMUS SOJMARK and ANDREW McCARRON (part 1 of 3)Rasmus Sojmark and Andy McCarron of SBC (Sports Betting Community) talk about the origins of SBC which is a news, media and events company that works with industry leaders to develop the betting and gaming industry.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>RASMUS SOJMARK and ANDREW McCARRON (part 2 of 3)Rasmus and Andy of SBC, Sports Betting Community continue their conversation, in part 2 of 3 they discuss any stigma attached to betting, the other side of the coin, betting to enhance enjoyment of sport, embracing the ‘game’, the anti-gambling lobby and the emergence of e-sports as a major new betting and viewing platform.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>RASMUS SOJMARK and ANDREW McCARRON (part 3 of 3)In the third and final part of their interview Rasmus Sojmark and Andy McCarron of SBC Gaming (Sports Betting Community) talk Fixed Odds Betting Terminals and if that restricted business can migrate on-line, discuss advertising alternatives, who are going to be winners and losers in ‘the game’, the future for independent bookmakers and the business in general.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>last_img read more

Rice U helps Houston lock up CO2 in Ike waste

first_imgShareCONTACT: Jade BoydPHONE: 713-348-6778E-MAIL: jadeboyd@rice.eduRice U. helps Houston lock up CO2 in Ike wasteStudy: Turning hurricane waste into “green” biochar could earn profitHurricane Ike left more than 5.6 million cubic yards of fallen trees, broken branches and dead greenery in Houston, and Mayor Bill White today awarded a $10,000 cash prize to a team of Rice University students, faculty and staff who found a way for the city to simultaneously get rid of the debris, reduce greenhouse gases and turn a potential profit. White recognized Rice’s team today at City Hall along with two other top finishers in the city’s “Recycle Ike” contest, which encouraged local residents to come up with creative and environmentally friendly ways to get rid of tons of Ike wood debris. Rice’s team, which took first place in the contest, suggested the city convert the wood into biomass charcoal, or “biochar,” using a process that also creates energy. The conversion would take place in a special recycling chamber that operates at high temperatures. When wood decomposes in mulch or compost, all of its carbon returns to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas. By converting Ike debris into biochar that is then used for soil amendment, the city will trap about half of the carbon in the debris. “If all 5.6 million cubic yards of Ike debris are turned into biochar, it will lock up more than 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide,” said Rice undergraduate Jeremy Caves, a senior majoring in Earth science. “That’s the equivalent of taking about 240,000 cars off of Houston’s roads for an entire year.” Rice’s researchers say the most critical step in the biomass energy production is the last step — adding the biochar to soil as a fertilizer. “That’s when this becomes a ‘carbon negative’ proposition,” said Bill Hockaday, a postdoctoral researcher in Earth science. “In effect, the charcoal in the soil acts like a sponge, soaking up organic matter, water and nutrients. Plants grow faster in the amended soil, drawing down more carbon from the atmosphere to create a positive feedback loop. It’s a win-win for the environment.” Carrie Masiello, assistant professor of Earth science, said a number of studies have found that carbon is still trapped in the soil in biochar that Native Americans in the Amazon added to their gardens more than 500 years ago. Rice’s team also found sound economic and policy reasons for Houston to go with biochar. “If the U.S. adopts a carbon cap and trade scheme under the Obama administration, then biochar production would be especially profitable for the city,” said Kyriacos Zygourakis, Rice’s A.J. Hartsook Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. “If U.S. carbon prices reflected those in Europe today, the city would generate more than $100 per ton of debris converted to biochar.” Moreover, the city generates about 90,000 metric tons of “green” waste each year. These trees, branches, grass clippings and other organic wastes could be converted into biochar using the same equipment purchased to recycle the Ike debris, creating a sustained revenue stream for the city. Biomass, like the Ike debris, is converted into energy and biochar at high temperatures — at least 750 degrees Fahrenheit — in a chamber containing very little oxygen. The technique is called slow pyrolysis, and Rice’s team plans to use a portion of their prize money to build a pyrolysis pilot reactor at Rice for further research. “The city of Houston has already taken major steps to reduce its carbon footprint,” said team member Richard Johnson, Rice’s director of sustainability. “By adopting biochar to handle Hurricane Ike debris and future green waste, the city would become a recognized leader in the fight against global warming by actively removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.”  AddThislast_img read more

Rice University expert available to discuss US intelligence units embedded in Mexico

first_imgAddThis ShareCONTACT: Franz BrotzenPHONE: 713-348-6775E-MAIL: Rice University expert available to discuss US intelligence units embedded in MexicoHOUSTON – (Feb. 24, 2010) – The Washington Post published a report today ( on plans to embed U.S. intelligence personnel, likely from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI, in Mexican law enforcement units in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas.With President Felipe Calderon’s incredibly bloody war on Mexico’s drug cartels entering its fourth year, the move indicates that any and every possible option to curb the bloodletting, which claimed more than 2,600 lives in Juarez alone last year, is being considered and adopted. As U.S. “border czar” Alan Bersin indicated at the Puentes Consortium, a leadership forum held last month at Rice University, the door is open for big moves for both countries to work together on the border.For the Puentes (“bridges” in Spanish) Consortium, researchers from Mexican and U.S. universities worked together on policy papers in which they assessed the problem and offered unorthodox, “out-of-the-box” solutions for the security issue on the border. In one of them, Rice Baker Institute fellow Chris Bronk and Monterrey Institute of Technology Dean Bernardo Gonzalez-Arechiga advocated for the creation of binational intel units of the sort mentioned in the Washington Post piece.To read the complete paper, visit speak with Bronk, contact Franz Brotzen at 713-348-6775 or last_img read more

Odd reaction creates a stir in the lab

first_img University chemists who discovered that chemicals used in Billups-Birch reductions of carbon nanotubes react with the white PTFE stir bars, turning them black. They recommend using glass stir bars, like the one in the middle, for such reductions. (Credit: Photo by Brandon Martin/Rice University)Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,962 undergraduates and 3,027 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Rice University chemists discovered that stir bars covered in PTFE, also known as Teflon, react with chemicals in an unexpected way during the modification of nanotubes through Billups-Birch reduction. The bars that start out (and usually stay) white turn black in the solution and alter the results. (Credit: Photo by Brandon Martin/Rice University) Return to article. Long Description Rice University chemists who discovered that chemicals used in Billups-Birch reductions of carbon nanotubes react with the white PTFE stir bars, turning them black. They recommend using glass stir bars, like the one in the middle, for such reductions. (Credit: Photo by Brandon Martin/Rice University) Rice University chemists discovered that stir bars covered in PTFE, also known as Teflon, react with chemicals in an unexpected way during the modification of nanotubes through Billups-Birch reduction. The bars that start out (and usually stay) white turn black in the solution and alter the results. (Credit: Photo by Brandon Martin/Rice University) pristine stir bar made of ferromagnetic metal with a PTFE, or Teflon, coating. Rice University chemists discovered the inert bars, which are commonly used to mix chemicals, cause unwanted results during Billups-Birch reactions with carbon and other nanotubes. (Credit: Photo by Brandon Martin/Rice University) A pristine stir bar made of ferromagnetic metal with a PTFE, or Teflon, coating. Rice University chemists discovered the inert bars, which are commonly used to mix chemicals, cause unwanted results during Billups-Birch reactions with carbon and other nanotubes. (Credit: Photo by Brandon Martin/Rice University) FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis Return to article. Long DescriptionA pristine stir bar made of ferromagnetic metal with a PTFE, or Teflon, coating. Rice University chemists discovered the inert bars, which are commonly used to mix chemicals, cause unwanted results during Billups-Birch reactions with carbon and other nanotubes. Photo by Brandon Martin“That was odd, too,” he said. “Maybe everybody else knows – but just in case we decided to explore the problem. That’s why we decided to write a paper.”The researchers suspect the unexpected reaction with Teflon is creating radicals that reduce the efficiency of the reaction and that can attack the boron-nitride or carbon nanotubes. In the meantime, their quick solution to the problem is perhaps the simplest.“Now we use glass-coated stir bars,” Martí said. “Glass is completely inert. That gives us reproducibility and good functionalization.”Rice graduate student Carlos de los Reyes is lead author of the paper. Co-authors are Rice graduate student Ashleigh Smith McWilliams, research assistant Kendahl Walz-Mitra, undergraduate students Katharyn Hernandez and Selin Ergülin, and Matteo Pasquali, the A.J. Hartsook Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and a professor of materials science and nanoengineering and of chemistry. Martí is an associate professor of chemistry, of bioengineering and of materials science and nanoengineering.The National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Welch Foundation supported the research.-30-Read the abstract at Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related materials:New nano building block takes a bow:í Research Group: http://martigroup.rice.eduDepartment of Chemistry: http://chemistry.rice.eduWiess School of Natural Sciences: https://naturalsciences.rice.eduVideo:center_img A pristine stir bar made of ferromagnetic metal with a PTFE, or Teflon, coating. Rice University chemists discovered the inert bars, which are commonly used to mix chemicals, cause unwanted results during Billups-Birch reactions with carbon and other nanotubes. (Credit: Photo by Brandon Martin/Rice University) Return to article. Long DescriptionRice University chemists discovered that stir bars covered in PTFE, also known as Teflon, react with chemicals in an unexpected way during the modification of nanotubes through Billups-Birch reduction. The bars that start out (and usually stay) white turn black in the solution and alter the results. Photo by Brandon MartinWhen they used it to modify nanotubes of boron-nitride, the researchers were surprised to see their tubes turn gray, while the PTFE stir bars turned black. Standard thermogravimetric analysis, usually adequate to see evidence of functionalization, didn’t see anything wrong – but the researchers did.“Aside from that, we couldn’t get consistent results,” Martí said. “Sometimes we would get very high functionalization – or apparent functionalization – and sometimes we wouldn’t. That was really strange.”They found the lithium in the ammonia-based solvent used in the Billups-Birch reaction was reacting with the white PTFE from the bars, turning them black.“Because carbon nanotubes are black, it would be easy to believe that nanotubes were depositing on the bars throughout the reaction,” Martí said. “But that’s not what happens. We found that in Billups-Birch conditions, the PTFE reacts.“Teflon doesn’t generally react with anything,” he said. “That’s why it’s used in stir bars, and in cookware. That’s why it’s also easy to overlook what we saw happening in the lab.”Martí said search of the literature turned up nothing about avoiding PTFE in Billups-Birch. University chemists discovered that stir bars covered in PTFE, also known as Teflon, react with chemicals in an unexpected way during the modification of nanotubes through Billups-Birch reduction. The bars that start out (and usually stay) white turn black in the solution and alter the results. (Credit: Photo by Brandon Martin/Rice University) Return to article. Long Description ShareNEWS RELEASEEditor’s note: Links to high-resolution images for download appear at the end of this release.David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduOdd reaction creates a stir in the labRice University researchers find using certain stir bars can create laboratory errorsHOUSTON – (March 29, 2019) – The stirrers that mix cream into your coffee probably don’t make much difference to the drink. But in a chemistry lab, it turns out using the wrong stirrer can skew the science.Rice University scientists have determined that stir bars made of PTFE, more commonly known as Teflon, can introduce errors into a standard lab reaction used to manipulate the properties of carbon or boron-nitride nanotubes.Stir bars are pellet-like rods of ferromagnetic metal covered in PTFE that sit in the bottom of a beaker and are turned by a rotating magnetic field. They allow a solution to be mixed in a closed flask without manual stirring.The Rice lab of Angel Martí published a paper in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Omega outlining what happens when PTFE stir bars are used to functionalize nanotubes through Billups-Birch reduction, a long-used reaction developed in part by Rice Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Edward Billups that frees electrons to bind with other atoms.Reduction is often used to make nanotubes more amenable to functionalization, the process of customizing them for applications by adding molecules like proteins. That can be as simple as dispersing nanotubes in a chemical bath laden with the molecules you want to add. Billups-Birch is one such method, a one-step process used to functionalize nanotubes with a variety of molecules, according to the researchers. produced by Brandon Martin/Rice UniversityImages for download: Return to article. Long Descriptionlast_img read more

Stanford Study Finds Correlation Between Polarizing Products and Consumers

first_img Last Updated Jun 29, 2017 by Jonathan PfefferFacebookTwitterLinkedinemail RelatedStanford GSB Study Finds Attitudes Can Predict ResultsThe Stanford Graduate School of Business recently revealed new research that explores the conflict between how you feel, how you want to feel and how your desire to close the gap between the two are more predictive of the outcome. Stanford marketing professor and consumer behavior researcher S. Christian Wheeler,…July 27, 2017In “Featured Region”Stanford Study Explores Privacy Paradox Among Online ConsumersIf you think people are a bit apprehensive when giving away personal information, think again. The Stanford Graduate School of Business recently explored new research that finds people are more than willing to give up that potentially sensitive personal information when there’s an incentive on the table. Stanford Institute for…August 10, 2017In “Featured Region”Stanford GSB Debunks Myth of Consumer Choice OverloadStanford’s Graduate School of Business recently discussed a new study by Sebastian S. Kresge marketing professor Itamar Simonson and Chinese University of Hong Kong associate professor Leilei Gao that may debunk the myth of “choice overload” when it comes to picking a product amidst a veritable ocean of options. Psychologist Barry Schwartz…November 17, 2016In “Featured Region” About the AuthorJonathan PfefferJonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as contributing writer at MetroMBA and contributing editor at Clear Admit, he is co-founder and lead producer of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.View more posts by Jonathan Pfeffer regions: San Franciscocenter_img Stanford Study Finds Correlation Between Polarizing Products and Consumers Stanford Graduate School of Business recently revealed a new study that explores how online product ratings influence consumer behavior.Marketing professors S. Christian Wheeler and Baba Shiv, along with Ph.D. graduate Bella Rozenkrants, published findings in the Journal of Consumer Research that seeks to demonstrate how “the impact of ratings depends on what you are buying and why.” The study finds that products that tend to polarize consumers—“those with more five-star and one-star reviews than the ones with a single peak in the middle”—are the ones that consumers, particularly those who are insecure, are more likely to see as a way to “express their taste and personality.”Shiv says, “We found people with self-expression needs preferred polarizing products, even though they had a greater number of negative ratings.”Wheeler attempts an explanation by comparing two drivers: one who needs a car simply to get around versus another who wants to say something about him/herself. “A Honda Civic is cheap, reliable, very utilitarian, but a Honda Civic doesn’t say much about the driver the way a Prius or Hummer might.”There are parallels between this type of consumer behavior and seemingly esoteric tastes in art, food and culture. Wheeler notes, “You probably feel like you learn more about a person who likes avant-garde classical music and stinky cheese than if they say they like cheddar cheese, pop music and blockbuster films.”Shiv says their research can be valuable to retailers who cater to specific demographics, like adolescents. “Since style choices are an important way teenagers express themselves, an online retailer catering to that demographic might benefit by building ratings distributions into its online experience, rather than just showing an average rating.”Shiv muses, “Maybe the next step for us to examine [whether] people are seeing what others are saying and deciding if they agree or disagree with that person.”last_img read more

Arizonas Joe Arpaio Charged With Contempt of Court in RacialProfiling Case

first_img  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks at a news conference at the Sheriff’s headquarters in Phoenix on Dec. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) US Share Show Discussioncenter_img Share this article The longtime sheriff of metropolitan Phoenix has been charged with criminal contempt-of-court for ignoring a judge’s order in a racial-profiling case, leaving the 84-year-old lawman in a tough spot two weeks before Election Day as he seeks a seventh term.The U.S. Department of Justice promised two weeks ago that it would prosecute Sheriff Joe Arpaio, but the misdemeanor count wasn’t officially filed against him until Tuesday, when U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton signed it.Arpaio could face up to six months in jail if convicted. A misdemeanor conviction would not bar Arpaio from serving as sheriff.Democratic challenger Paul Penzone said Arpaio, through his acts of political defiance, has no one to blame but himself for the charge. “It’s another example of the sheriff putting his own personal objectives ahead of the best interest of the community at our expense,” Penzone said.Arpaio lawyer Mel McDonald said the sheriff will contest the charge. “We believe that when the final chapter is written, he will be vindicated,” McDonald said.McDonald said Arpaio will not be arrested and no mugshot will be taken. He will plead not guilty in a court filing. The criminal charges stem from the profiling case that Arpaio lost three years ago that morphed into a contempt case after the sheriff was accused of defying a 2011 court order to stop his signature immigration patrols.Arpaio has acknowledged violating U.S. District Judge Murray Snow’s order but insists his disobedience was not intentional.Snow disagreed, concluding Arpaio knowingly continued the patrols because he believed his immigration enforcement efforts would help his 2012 re-election campaign.Arpaio ran a TV political ad last week saying the Obama administration’s Justice Department planned to prosecute him because of its opposition to his immigration enforcement efforts.In the past, Arpaio has walked away from criminal investigations without facing charges and still has managed to get re-elected.He faced a federal investigation four years ago on allegations that he retaliated against two local officials and a judge at odds with him by accusing them of corruption.His office also was investigated for misspending more than $100 million in jail funds, including on those failed investigations into rival officials and his traffic patrols targeting immigrants who are in the country illegally.Neither investigation led to prosecution of the sheriff or his employees.County taxpayers have spent $48 million so far to defend Arpaio and his office in the profiling case. The cost is expected to reach $72 million by next summer.The contempt violation led the judge to order the creation of a taxpayer-funded system for compensating Latinos who were illegally detained when Arpaio ignored the order.Maricopa County officials have set aside $1 million for funding the system.A Dec. 6 trial has been scheduled in Arpaio’s criminal contempt case. Arizona’s Joe Arpaio Charged With Contempt of Court in Racial-Profiling Case By The Associated Press October 26, 2016 Updated: October 26, 2016last_img read more

Obama Critical of FBI Director We dont operate on innuendo

first_imgPresident Barack Obama points to members of the audience while speaking at Capital University Field House in Columbus, Ohio, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. Obama is kicking off a week of campaigning for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with a stop in battleground Ohio. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) 2016 race Share this article Share  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   center_img President Barack Obama criticized FBI director James Comey on Tuesday for sending a letter to Congress about the reopening of an investigation into new emails linked to the Hillary Clinton email server case.“We don’t operate on incomplete information,” Obama told NowThis News, broadcast on Wednesday. “We don’t operate on leaks. We operate based on concrete decisions that are made.”Obama didn’t mention Comey by name, but it was clear that he was referring to him.Related CoverageFBI Files of Vince Foster Suicide Investigation Go Viral“When this was investigated thoroughly the last time, the conclusion of the FBI, the conclusion of the Justice Department, the conclusion of repeated congressional investigations was that she had made some mistakes but that there wasn’t anything there that was prosecutable,” Obama said. His remarks on Tuesday were the first to Comey and the FBI’s recent moves. The remarks, however, contravened what White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Monday, saying that he wouldn’t criticize Comey’s decision. Earnest also noted that the White House doesn’t have an official position on Comey.Obama also gave a strong endorsement of Clinton. Related CoverageLatest: Obama Says Clinton Email Issue Is ‘Blown Up’Obama Says Army Corps Examining Dakota Oil Pipeline Route“Obviously it’s become a political controversy. You know, the fact of the matter is that Hillary Clinton, having been in the arena for 30 years, oftentimes gets knocked around, and people say crazy stuff about her, and when she makes a mistake, an honest mistake, it gets blown up as if it’s some crazy thing,” Obama said. “So I understand why if you’re voting for the first time, or even the second time, all that noise coming at you, you think, there’s something I need to be concerned about.”Comey was ripped by former attorney generals Alberto Gonzales, Eric Holder, and Michael Mukasey over the move.On Monday, the FBI also tweeted documents pertaining to its investigation of Bill Clinton’s last-minute pardon of Marc Rich, the husband of a prominent Democratic donor, 15 years ago.Related CoverageWikiLeaks: Peter Kadzik Sent Email to John Podesta Telling Him, ‘Heads Up’ Show Discussion Obama Critical of FBI Director: ‘We don’t operate on innuendo’ By Jack Phillips November 2, 2016 Updated: November 2, 2016last_img read more

Reports Donald Trump Called Son of Slain Texas Officer

first_imgSan Antonio Police Department personnel investigate the scene after Det. Benjamin Marconi was fatally shot in San Antonio on Nov. 20, 2016. (Edward A. Ornelas/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Reports: Donald Trump Called Son of Slain Texas Officer By Epoch Newsroom November 23, 2016 Updated: November 23, 2016 The family of a San Antonio, Texas, police officer who was shot and killed said President-elect Donald Trump contacted them Monday to offer his condolences.The son of killed officer Detective Benjamin Marconi wrote on Facebook that he “just got off the phone with the future president Trump, he sends his condolences to our family.” The Facebook post—which was made by Annie Patterson Campos, a crime scene investigator for the San Antonio Police Department—was later removed, according to News4SA.Marconi was gunned down Sunday as he was writing a ticket inside his car—outside a police station located downtown. After a 30-hour manhunt, Otis Tyrone McKane, 31, was arrested.He told reporters that he “lashed out at somebody who didn’t deserve it” and did so because of an ongoing custody battle for his son. “I’ve been through several custody battles, and I was upset at the situation I was in, and I lashed out at someone who didn’t deserve it,” McKane said, reported.Neither Trump nor his team has confirmed that he called Marconi’s son.In a statement, Marconi’s family asked for privacy.“At this time, the Marconi family would like to give thanks from the bottom of our hearts for the outpouring of support, prayers and love we have received. At this time, we would appreciate privacy to mourn the loss of a wonderful father, brother, grandfather, friend and last, but not least, a peace officer,” said the family in a statement. Sharecenter_img Share this article Show Discussion US last_img read more

Florence Henderson The Brady Bunch Mom Dies

first_img LOS ANGELES—Florence Henderson, who went from Broadway star to become one of America’s most beloved television moms in “The Brady Bunch,” has died, her manager and her publicist said. She was 82. US Henderson died Thursday night at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, after being hospitalized the day before, said her publicist, David Brokaw. Henderson had suffered heart failure, her manager Kayla Pressman said in a statement.Family and friends had surrounded Henderson’s hospital bedside, Pressman said.On the surface, “The Brady Bunch” with Henderson as its ever-cheerful matriarch Carol Brady, resembled just another TV sitcom about a family living in suburban America and getting into a different wacky situation each week.But well after it ended its initial run, in 1974, the show resonated with audiences, and it returned to television in various forms again and again, including “The Brady Bunch Hour” in 1977, “The Brady Brides” in 1981 and “The Bradys” in 1990. It was also seen endlessly in reruns.“It represents what people always wanted: a loving family. It’s such a gentle, innocent, sweet show, and I guess it proved there’s always an audience for that,” Henderson said in 1999.Premiering in 1969, it also was among the first shows to introduce to television the blended family. As its theme song reminded viewers each week, Henderson’s Carol was a single mother raising three daughters when she met her TV husband, Robert Reed’s Mike Brady, a single father who was raising three boys.The eight of them became “The Brady Bunch,” with a quirky housekeeper, played by Ann B. Davis, thrown into the mix.Actress Farrah Fawcett-Majors, right, joins her husband Lee Majors in a television appearance together in the sit-com "The Brady Bunch." At left are actors Geri Reischl, Robert Reed and Florence Henderson, in this file photo. (AP Photo/George Brich, File) Actress Farrah Fawcett-Majors, right, joins her husband Lee Majors in a television appearance together in the sit-com “The Brady Bunch.” At left are actors Geri Reischl, Robert Reed and Florence Henderson, in this file photo. (AP Photo/George Brich, File)Mourners flooded social media with memories of Henderson.Both her Brady co-star Maureen McCormick and “Dancing With the Stars” host Tom Bergeron posted their thoughts on Twitter, according to City News Service. Her last public appearance was at the Monday, Nov. 21 “Dancing With The Stars” taping where she was in the audience to support McCormick, who competed this season.The blonde, ever-smiling Henderson was already a Broadway star when the show began, having originated the title role in the musical “Fanny.” But after “The Brady Bunch,” she would always be known to fans as Carol Brady.“We had to have security guards with us. Fans were hanging on our doors. We couldn’t go out by ourselves. We were like the Beatles!” she said of the attention the show brought the cast.Like the Beatles, there was even a Saturday morning cartoon version called “Brady Kids,” although Henderson was not in that show.She and Reed did return, however, for “The Brady Bunch Hour, “The Brady Brides” and “The Bradys.” So did most of the original cast.She was also back again in 1995 when a new cast was assembled for “The Brady Bunch Movie,” a playful spoof of the original show. This time she was Grandma Brady opposite Shelly Long’s Carol. Numerous memoirs also kept interest in the show alive, as cast members revealed they were more than just siblings off camera. Barry Williams, who played eldest son Greg Brady, would confess to having a crush on his TV stepmom. Henderson, in her own book, denied having any relationship with Williams, but did acknowledge a fling with former New York City mayor John Lindsay.Henderson was a 19-year-old drama student in New York when she landed a one-line role in the play “Wish You Were Here.”Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II were so impressed they made her the female lead in a 1952 road tour of “Oklahoma!” When the show returned to Broadway for a revival in 1954, she continued in the role and won rave reviews.“She is the real thing,” wrote Walter Kerr of the New York Herald Tribune.To broaden her career, Henderson took acting, dancing, singing and guitar lessons, even studying French and Italian.Composer Richard Rodgers, left, poses at opening night with stars, Florence Henderson, center, and Giorgio Tozzi, of the New York revival of "South Pacific," in this file photo. (AP Photo/John Lindsay, File) Composer Richard Rodgers, left, poses at opening night with stars, Florence Henderson, center, and Giorgio Tozzi, of the New York revival of “South Pacific,” in this file photo. (AP Photo/John Lindsay, File)She went on to play Maria in a road production of “The Sound of Music,” was Nellie Forbush in a revival of “South Pacific” and was back on Broadway with Jose Ferrer in “The Girl Who Came to Supper” in 1963.She made her movie debut in 1970 in “Song of Norway,” based on the 1944 operetta with music by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg.Her career nearly came to an end in 1965 when she suddenly lost her hearing while appearing in “The King and I” in Los Angeles, and was diagnosed with a condition linked to heredity.“Corrective surgery in both ears restored my hearing,” she said in 2007.As her TV career blossomed with “The Brady Bunch,” Henderson also began to make frequent TV guest appearances. She was the first woman to host “The Tonight Show” for the vacationing Johnny Carson.For eight years she also commuted to Nashville to conduct a cooking and talk series, “Country Kitchen,” on The Nashville Network. The show resulted in a book, “Florence Henderson’s Short Cut Cooking.”After “The Brady Bunch” ended its first run, Henderson alternated her appearances in revivals of the show with guest appearances on other programs, including “Hart to Hart,” ”Fantasy Island” and “The Love Boat.”In later years she also made guest appearances on such shows as “Roseanne, “Ally McBeal” and “The King of Queens.”The Los Angeles Times reports that she also became a commercial spokeswoman and co-produced “Country Kitchen,” a Nashville Network series.Florence Agnes Henderson was born Feb. 14, 1934, in the small town of Dale in southern Indiana. She was the 10th child of a tobacco sharecropper of Irish descent.In grade school, she joined the choir at a Catholic church in Rockport, Ind.After high school she moved to New York, where she enrolled in a two-year program at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, her studies financed by a theatrical couple who had been impressed by her singing when they saw her perform in high school.She dropped out of the program after one year, however, to take the role in “Wish You Were There.”Henderson married theater executive Ira Bernstein and the couple had four children before the union ended in divorce after 29 years.Her second husband, John Kappas, died in 2002.Pressman said she is survived by her children; Barbara, Joseph, Robert and Lizzie, their respective spouses, and five grandchildren. Actress Florence Henderson spoke during the Alzheimer’s Association, Orange County’s 9th annual Visionary Women Luncheon at Rancho Las Lomas in Silverado, in May 2015 (Nick Agro/The Orange County Register/SCNG via AP) Florence Henderson, ‘The Brady Bunch’ Mom, Dies By The Associated Press November 25, 2016 Updated: November 25, 2016 Share  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Show Discussion Share this articlelast_img read more

Letter Eric Trump Raised 163 Million for Childrens Hospital

first_img  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Show Discussion Share this article US Letter: Eric Trump Raised $16.3 Million for Children’s Hospital By Jack Phillips January 8, 2017 Updated: January 8, 2017center_img Share Eric Trump visits the ‘Elvis Duran Z100 Morning Show’ at Z100 Studio on August 28, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images) A hospital has confirmed that Eric Trump helped raise $16.3 million for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital of Tennessee over the past 10 years or so, according to a letter from a hospital official.Trump is preparing to remove his name from the charity to avoid a conflict of interest.He said that he raised as much as $15 million for the hospital.There were questions about Trump’s foundation raising as much as he had claimed after tax records showed a smaller amount. But the letter, obtained by the New York Times on Friday, said he actually raised $16.3 million.“I am amazed by the many ways that you have personally embraced our cause and cared for our children and families,” Richard C. Shadyac Jr., head of the hospital’s fund-raising organization, wrote in the letter to Trump, according to the Times. Related CoverageElectoral College Makes It Official: Trump Wins PresidencyHe added: “As you are aware, we are expanding our lifesaving work and are working to push cure rates even higher in this country and around the world, while improving the lives of survivors by developing and advancing treatments that reduce side effects. We are only able to do this because of the support provided by donors and supporters like you.”As the Washington Post reported, President-elect Donald Trump’s son announced on Dec. 22 his foundation would be stopping its fundraising activities due to potential issues involving donations and access to his family. last_img read more

Trump Administration May Add Muslim Brotherhood to Terror List

first_imgJordanian supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood set fire to a mock Israeli tank during a protest to celebrate the ‘Gaza victory’ in the war against Israel, in the capital Amman on Aug. 8, 2014. (KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/Getty Images) The Trump administration may place the Muslim Brotherhood on the foreign terrorist watch list, subjecting it to sanctions, due to the organization’s promotion of Islamic governance and its ties to terrorism.White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a Feb. 8 briefing that he would not “get ahead of any announcements that we may or may not have coming in the near future,” but added that President Donald Trump “made very clear during the campaign that the first step is understanding, knowing, and proclaiming who the enemy is. And he’s going to do whatever it takes.”Reuters cited an unnamed Trump insider saying the effort was led by former national security adviser Michael Flynn to have the Muslim Brotherhood designated a terrorist organization by the State Department and Treasury Department. Flynn resigned from his post on Feb. 13 over controversies surrounding calls he had with Russia’s ambassador to the United States during the transition, which he did not fully disclose.Even without Flynn, however, there are pushes from other parts of the government to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) reintroduced a bill on Jan. 9 to designate the organization a terrorist group (which Cruz previously introduced in November 2015).A press release from Cruz’s office states the objectives of the Muslim Brotherhood can be seen in the memorandum On the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America (published in 1991).The memorandum states, according to the release: “The process of settlement is a Civilization-Jihad process. … The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers.” Congressman Diaz-Balart said in the release, “This bill would impose tough sanctions on a hateful group that has spread violence and spawned extremist movements throughout the Middle East.”Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood top figure, Mohamed el-Beltagy flashes the four finger symbol known as "Rabaa" from behind the defendant's cage as the judge reads out the verdict sentencing him and more than 100 other defendants  at the police academy in Cairo on May 16, 2015. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images) Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed el-Beltagy behind the defendant’s cage as the judge reads out the verdict sentencing him and more than 100 other defendants at the police academy in Cairo on May 16, 2015. (Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in the Egyptian town of Ismailia in 1928. According to a report from the Investigative Project on Terrorism, it is now active in more than 70 countries and seeks to use democratic processes to establish Sunni Islamic governance ruled by sharia (Islamic law).The problem with this system, according to Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, is that it creates governments that often merge the identity of Islam with that of the state. “The government then becomes God, and the people get their rights from the government.”While Jasser said he opposes the objectives of the Muslim Brotherhood, he also believes that using a blanket designation to label it as a terrorist organization may not have the best results.“If you’re talking about the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, I would support this,” he said, noting that its motto ends with “Jihad is our way. Death for the sake of Allah is our wish.”“I think it’s a no brainer,” Jasser said.In many other countries, however, the Muslim Brotherhood has no involvement in terrorism. A sweeping designation, he said, would cause many of the branches to just use different names, while a country-by-country look at each organization’s ideology and operations would do more to show there is a line in activities that shouldn’t be crossed.Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood burn the American flag in a protest against the Egyptian military in Cairo on Jan. 22, 2014. (AHMED GAMEL/AFP/Getty Images) Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood burn the American flag in a protest against the Egyptian military in Cairo on Jan. 22, 2014. (Ahmed Gamel/AFP/Getty Images)According to Jere Van Dyk, an author and journalist who studies terrorism and who was previously taken prisoner by the Taliban—an experience he documented in his 2011 book “Captive”—the Muslim Brotherhood still has widespread support in many parts of the world, and designating it a terrorist organization could have a negative effect.He said Osama bin Laden’s professor was an important member of the Muslim Brotherhood and was “responsible in many ways for instilling in him this fervent for Islam,” but also noted the organization officially renounced violence a few years ago, and works more on the side of education.Van Dyk also noted that Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current leader of al-Qaeda, formed his terrorist organization “because the Muslim Brotherhood was, in his eyes and [those of] others in his ilk, a stodgy old establishment that was interested in democracy.”For many people in the Muslim world, Van Dyk said, the Muslim Brotherhood is treated as more of a fraternal organization, and it is already losing its draw among younger generations.By contrast, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, co-founder and associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said that designating it a terrorist organization would be “an appropriate move.” He noted that many terrorists and terrorist organizations, such as Hamas, have grown out of the Muslim Brotherhood.“It’s not only an ideology, but an ideology that has spawned terrorist attacks,” Cooper said, noting that the worldview of the Muslim Brotherhood and what these views have spawned “needs to be addressed.”“This is not to indict all religious Muslims, or to say that people who hold their religion dear are to be held out of bounds or put on terror watch,” he said. “But when you look at the progeny of this group and the ideology of the people who founded it, it’s pretty much open and shut. They should be on that list.”He said designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization would undermine its ideology, and he noted, “Maybe it’s now time to expose not only the foot soldiers of terrorism, but also those who feed it.” Follow Joshua on Twitter: @JoshJPhilipp Share this article Trump Administration May Add Muslim Brotherhood to Terror List Move would be part of larger overall program to address the threat of radical Islamic terrorismBy Joshua Philipp, The Epoch Times February 16, 2017 Updated: February 17, 2017 Show Discussioncenter_img US Share  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   last_img read more