17/05/2017 — Rallies in Athens & Bogotá against austerity; Chelsea Manning released.

Worldwide (cybercrime): A 2nd massive WannaCry-like computer virus was found by the cyber security firm Proofpoint. It is thought to have begun either in late April or early May, but it had avoided being detected until recently, said Proofpoint researchers. Computers infected by this second virus do not have their functions altered — they manufacture digital currency instead.

Central African Republic (war): Fighting has erupted yesterday between different armed groups in Bria town, in the Eastern prefecture of Hautte Kotto. So far, some 24 people have been wounded and the fighting has displaced 3000 people; Red Cross workers have found 115 bodies in the diamond-mining town of Bangassou after several days of militia attacks.

United Nations

Yesterday during the sixth round of UN-backed Syrian negotiations in Geneva talks mediator Staffan de Mistura proposed to create a “consultative” committee of civil society activists and technocrats tasked with setting a roadmap to a new constitution.

European Union

In the academic year 2017/18, funds will ensure delivery of teacher stipends to over 11,000 teachers and education officials in opposition-held provinces of Idlib, Aleppo, Dera’a and Rural Damascus, and therefore access to education for up to 450,000 students across up to 2,000 schools. Psycho-social activities to help students, teachers and their communities to cope with trauma, as well as youth engagement, will reach up to 50,000 students and their communities.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

NATO chiefs of defense meet in Brussels for the 177th Military Committee meeting to discuss the security environment in Afghanistan and the way forward for the Resolute Support Mission in that country. Army Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan and Resolute Support, has recommended the NATO nations increase the number of troops they deploy to Afghanistan. He has said the situation in the nation is at risk of becoming a stalemate. There are currently around 13,000 troops in Afghanistan with more than 9,000 being American.


Chelsea Manning (Wikimedia Commons)

US: According to a memo ex-FBI Director James Comey wrote in February, he was asked by President Donald Trump to end the investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn. If this information is verifyed, Trump might be accused of obstructing justice, and impeachment may follow. Further Readings: Trump Impeachment Talk Grows From Conspiracy Theory To Mainstream (NPR); How easy is it for Donald Trump to be impeached? (BBC); Chelsea Manning is released today.

Venezuela: Venezuelan constitutional lawyer Hermann Escarra has confirmed that any changes made to the country’s Magna Carta by the anational constituent assembly will have to be approved by referendum.

Colombia: 35,000 Colombians rallied yesterday in Bogota to demand better wages, including hundreds of thousands of teachers, who were demanding negotiations with the government for improved working conditions.

Mexico: Members of the media took to the streets in cities across Mexico on yesterday to protest the killings of a prominent journalist Javier Valdez and media company employee Jonathan Rodriguez.

Puerto Rico: The US territory plans to close 179 schools due to crippling debt of more than $70 bn.

“How Did Puerto Rico Go Bankrupt? “— Bloomberg

South Korea: President Moon Jae-in’s administration will seek to reopen an inter-Korean hotline that was closed by North Korea last February after Moon’s predecessor, Park Geun-hye, closed an inter-Korean joint industrial complex.

Syria: Syria writes to the UN condemning the US strikes on civilians in Raqqah, Dayr al-Zawr that left 31 dead while US denies responsibility for the attack.

Afghanistan: Four assailants attacked the office of Radio Television Afghanistan in Jalalabad, killing at least two people and injuring up to sixteen. A Taliban spokesman denied the militant group was behind the attack.

Israel: Placed dozens of Palestinian prisoners who have been on a hunger strike for a month under additional medical supervision.

France: President Emmanuel Macron unveils new cabinet; Urges investigation into Syrian regime incineration of prisoners.

Greece: Thousands of Greeks march today through central Athens in an angry protest against continued austerity measures being demanded by international lenders in exchange for disbursing bailout funds.

Austria: Parliament have approved a new bill which bans garments that fully cover the face of women.


My Family’s Slave

Late Alex Tizon in The Atlantic recounts how he and his 3 siblings were raised by a Lola, his family’s slave — “Why do you stay? we asked. “Who will cook?” she said, which I took to mean, Who would do everything? Who would take care of us? Of Mom? Another time she said, “Where will I go?” This struck me as closer to a real answer. She had no contacts in America, and no facility for getting around.”

Why FBI Can’t Tell All on Trump, Russia

Russ Baker, C. Collins & Jonathan Z. Larsen in Who What Why argues that the FBI can’t let the public know about detail of the investigation because doing so would jeopardize a long-running, ultra-sensitive operation targeting mobsters tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin — and to Trump.

The Real Roots of the Worldwide Ransomware Outbreak: Militarism and Greed

Sam Biddle in The Intercept argues that both Windows and the NSA helped create WannaCry by building a bad operating system and trying to exploit it, respectively.

Building a Yazidi Genocide Case

Ignacio M. Delgado Culebras in Muftah explains what happened to the Yazidis and claims it should account for a genocide — “During August 2014, Daesh, which regards Yazidis as infidels, killed roughly 5,000 Yazidis, enslaved 7,000 girls and women, forcibly displaced thousands of others, and destroyed dozens of shrines and temples. In a June 2016 report, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria described the crimes committed against the Yazidis in Iraq and Syria as an ongoing genocide.”

Old is an investigative documentary from Kate Blewett and Brian Woods (Eyes of a Child, Slavery and The Dying Rooms) that shows that being old and forgotten are tragic, undeniable realities for many people in Blair’s Britain.

“Old” — Real Stories

The “gold town” of Paracale sees its residents risking their lives every day as they dive down into murky, water-filled mine shafts in search of precious ore. RTD travelled to Paracale to discover the poverty, child labor and constant danger the prospectors face.

“Gold mining in the Philippines, a dirty business” — RT Documentaries

7yo girl’s tongue removed from Disney mug with hacksaw.

ISIS Twitter was hacked and filled with gay porn.

Unexpected Nazi-era legacy: Fish tumors.

Vancouver bans whales and dolphins at aquarium.

Rommate Wanted” was made by a team of third year Character Animation and CG Arts students at The Animation Workshop in Viborg, Denmark.

“Roommate Wanted — Dead or Alive” — The Animation Workshop.

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