Researchers find genetic cause for Alzheimer’s, possible method to reverse it

 

 
By Allen Cone  |  April 11, 2018 at 4:46 PM
 
 
 
 
 
 
Researchers say they have discovered a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, and that in lab experiments with induced pluripotent stem cells found a way to neutralize its effects. Photo by geralt/Pixabay
 
 

April 11 (UPI) — Scientists at an independent biomedical research institution have reported a monumental breakthrough: The cause of the primary genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, and a possible cure for the disease.

Researchers at Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco identified the primary genetic risk factor for the disease, a gene called apoE4. They were able to create a harmless apoE3-like version by inserting a class of compounds into it.

Their findings were published this week in the journal Nature Medicine.

An estimated 5.4 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, the leading cause of dementia and the fifth leading cause of death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently there is no cure or prevention for the irreversible, progressive brain condition, which usually develops in people after age 60.

Lead author Dr. Yadong Huang, a senior investigator and director of the Center for Translational Advancement at Gladstone, told UPI he is working with an undisclosed startup pharmaceutical company in the San Francisco Bay area to “further develop the apoE4 structure corrector approach and move toward clinic trials.”

“My lab and my collaborators are working hard to move our discovery toward clinical trials as quickly as we can,” he told UPI.

Huang said apoE4 can be targeted directly for Alzheimer’s disease drug development, but that there is no defined timetable for clinical trials.

“It is difficult to estimate when a drug could be on the market given the complexity of drug development,” Huang said. “We are likely several years away from a drug being on the market, but with concerted effort, we are working to accelerate the timeline as much as possible.

Huang said he has been working with Dr. Robert W. Mahley at the Gladstone Institutes for over 20 years on apoE and Alzheimer’s disease, especially on developing apoE4 structure correctors.

“Drug development for Alzheimer’s disease has been largely a disappointment over the past 10 years,” Huang said in a press release. “Many drugs work beautifully in a mouse model, but so far they’ve all failed in clinical trials. One concern within the field has been how poorly these mouse models really mimic human disease.”

Huang used human cells to model the disease and test new drugs.

But he told UPI that “animal models continue to be very important to test possible drug toxicity and to test the efficacy of a new drug in vivo.”

For the first time, they examined the effect of apoE4 on the human brain by creating neurons from skin cells donated by Alzheimer’s patients with two copies of the apoE4 gene, as well as from healthy individuals who also have two copies of the apoE3 gene.

Researchers said one copy of the apoE4 gene more than doubles a person’s likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease, and two copies increases the risk by 12-fold.

In human neurons, the apoE4 protein not functioning properly is broken down into disease-causing fragments in the cells. The process leads to issues often observed with Alzheimer’s disease, including the accumulation of the protein tau and of amyloid peptides.

Although apoE4 does not change the production of amyloid beta in mouse neurons, it increases amyloid beta production in humans.

“There’s an important species difference in the effect of apoE4 on amyloid beta,” said Dr. Chengzhong Wang, a former research scientist at Gladstone. “Increased amyloid beta production is not seen in mouse neurons and could potentially explain some of the discrepancies between mice and humans regarding drug efficacy. This will be very important information for future drug development.”

Researchers examined brain cells that did not produce either form of the apoE protein. But if they added apoE4, the cells had pathologies related to Alzheimer’s disease. So, apoE4, and not the absence of apoE3, develops the disease.

By treating human apoE4 neurons with a structure corrector, it eliminated the signs of Alzheimer’s disease, restored normal function to the cells and improved cell survival.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A Few Interesting Indoor House Plants

Even those without a green thumb can appreciate the beauty of houseplants – if you’re one of those people, this post is for you! We’ve compiled information on 32 low-maintenance plants ranging from tiny succulents all the way to small trees, something for every skill level. This outdoorsy touch is a great way to boost mood, add color to your interior, and build up gardening skill. Many people even enjoy keeping houseplants to purify the air, but it’s important to consider some important caveats to that NASA study everyone keeps mentioning about – with that in mind, this list focuses on attractive aesthetics and easy maintenance only. Enjoy the search!

Hidden Secret Service Menu in Tata Sky and Airtel Digital TV DTH Set Top Box

 

 

We love finding hidden secret service menus and codes for electronic gadgets such as mobile phones, TVs, etc. We have shared service codes for Google Android mobile phones, Samsung Wave Bada OS mobile phones, Chinese mobile phones and Samsung and LG TVs in past and now its turn of DTH set top box.

There are many DTH (Direct To Home) service providers in India such as Tata Sky, Dish TV, Airtel Digital TV (ADTV), Reliance Big TV, Sun Direct, Videocon D2H and DD Direct+. Among all these companies, Tata Sky is the most popular DTH service provider in India.

Tata Sky provides normal SD channels along with a few HD channels to its customers. It also provides DVR service which allows you to record and pause the live television programs.

Tats Sky uses Sky brand of British Sky Broadcasting so Sky DTH users and Tata Sky DTH users enjoy almost the same set top boxes provided by the companies.

Now the question comes why are we telling you all these things? It’s because today in this article, we are going to share a hidden secret service menu and secret service code for Tata Skyand Airtel Digital TV set top box.

DISCLAIMER: This information is intended for experienced users. Please do not try any of following methods if you are not familiar with set top boxes. We’ll not be responsible for the use or misuse of this information, including loss of data or hardware damage. So use it at your own risk.

The secret service menu present in Tata Sky and Airtel Digital TV DTH set top box can be used to setup the LNB, signal type, format the hard disk, master reset and much more.

And the secret service code can be used to reinstall or upgrade the set top box firmware or software.

1. Hidden Secret Service Menu in Tata Sky and Airtel Digital TV DTH Set Top Box

All Tata Sky and Airtel Digital TV set top boxes come with this hidden menu to be used by engineers to fix the set top box in case you face problems while accessing TV channels, etc.

To access this secret menu, you can follow these simple steps:

1. Switch on set top box and press “Organiser” (or Settings button in new remotes) button on your Tata Sky remote. Airtel Digital TV users press “Menu -> My Settings“.

2. Now select “System Settings” menu in Tata Sky. Airtel Digital TV users select “System Setup” option.

3. Now the tricky part comes. Press “0” and “1” buttons and then press “Select” button on your Tata Sky remote.

Airtel Digital TV users press following 5 buttons in sequence: Red, <, Green, > and Yellow button.

So basically for Tata Sky users the combination is: Organiser/Settings -> System Settings -> 0+1 -> Select

For Airtel Digital TV users the combination is: Menu -> My Settings -> System Setup -> Red+<+Green+>+Yellow button

4. That’s it. It’ll bring the hidden service menu “Installer Setup” on your screen which shows following options:

  • Format Disk
  • LNB Setup / Satellite Settings
  • RF Outlets
  • Manual Tuning
  • Remote TV
  • Modem Setup
  • Master Reset

Tata Sky SD Set Top Box Service Menu:

Hidden_Secret_Service_Menu_Tata_Sky_DTH_Set_Top_Box.png

Tata Sky HD Set Top Box Service Menu:

Hidden_Secret_Service_Menu_Tata_Sky_HD_STB.png

Be very careful while accessing these options. You can format the hard disk using the “Format Disk” option. You can select LNB type, frequency and other parameters using “LNB Setup” option. “RF Outlets” option can be used to customize channel number for UHF/VHF output.

Manual Tuning” option is given to customize signal type but it’ll require expertise and knowledge of dish antennas, etc.

You can restore your Tata Sky set top box to factory default settings using “Master Reset” option. Keep in mind it’ll remove your favorites channels and saved preferences. But it’ll not delete your recorded TV programs.

Master Reset” option can be used if you are having problems with your set top box such as not receiving enough signals, poor picture or sound quality, etc.

NOTE: This method will work for all Tata Sky and Airtel Digital TV set top boxes whether its normal SD box, HD box or HD+ box. This method should also work for Sky set top boxes, not checked.

2. Hidden Secret Service Code for Tata Sky and Airtel DTH Set Top Box

If you notice that your set top box is not providing picture or sound of a particular channel or you face other kind of annoying problems with your Tata Sky or Airtel DTH set top box, you can try a secret way to reinstall or upgrade your set top box firmware (or software).

Most of the times the firmware is automatically updated by Tata Sky and Airtel via its satellite but you can manually try to reinstall or update the firmware using following steps:

1. Start your set top box from mains and wait for the “Please Wait Initializing…” message on screen.

2. As soon as you see the message, quickly press “Back” button 2 times and then press 2 4 6 5buttons on your remote.

If the above method doesn’t work, you can try to press “Back” button 4 times and then press 2 4 8 5 buttons on your remote.

OR press “Back” button 2 times and then press 2 4 8 5 buttons on your remote.

NOTE for Airtel DTH users: You might need to press Exit button instead of Back button.

3. If you press the buttons on time, you’ll be greeted by the “DVB SSU+ LOADER” screen and your set top box will start downloading and installing the latest firmware.

Reinstall_Upgrade_Tata_Sky_DTH_Set_Top_Box_Firmware.png

4. Do not try to switch off the set top box during the process, it might damage your box. The software installation might take a few minutes to complete.

NOTE 1: This method will work for all Tata Sky and Airtel Digital TV set top box whether its normal SD box, HD box or HD+ box. It should also work for Sky set top boxes, not checked. This method also works on MSO/cable operator’s Set Top Box such as DEN, etc.

NOTE 2: If you have the new Tata Sky HD+ Transfer set top box, above mentioned steps will not work for you. To overcome this problem, you’ll need to first put the remote into “Learning Mode” by pressing Back and number 2 buttons simultaneously for a few seconds. Then restart STB and follow the above instructions. Or you can use an old remote of any previous HD STB to manually update firmware of Transfer STB.

3. One More Hidden Secret Service Code for Tata Sky and Airtel DTH Set Top Box

This secret code will allow you to modify advanced set top box parameters such as frequency, modulation type, etc at boot time. It might become useful if you can’t access STB menu options.

1. First of all you need to follow the same Steps 1 and 2 as mentioned above in Method 2.

2. After pressing the mentioned buttons on your remote, if you immediately press “Info” button on your remote, it’ll open a hidden secret “Advanced Setup-up” menu which allows you to edit lots of advanced options of your set top box such as modulation system, frequency, symbol rate, FEC, polarization, etc.

Tata_Sky_Secret_STB_Service_Menu.png

Indoor Plants

Beautiful Indoor House Plants That Are Also Easy To Maintain

 

Even those without a green thumb can appreciate the beauty of houseplants – if you’re one of those people, this post is for you! We’ve compiled information on 32 low-maintenance plants ranging from tiny succulents all the way to small trees, something for every skill level. This outdoorsy touch is a great way to boost mood, add color to your interior, and build up gardening skill. Many people even enjoy keeping houseplants to purify the air, but it’s important to consider some important caveats to that NASA study everyone keeps mentioning about – with that in mind, this list focuses on attractive aesthetics and easy maintenance only. Enjoy the search!

NIH study links cell phone radiation to cancer in male rats

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Next Story

This is the ultimate Super Bowl smart home setup

New studies from the National Institutes of Health — specifically the National Toxicology Program — find that cell phone radiation is potentially linked with certain forms of cancer, but they’re far from conclusive. The results are complex and the studies have yet to be peer-reviewed, but some of the findings are clearly important enough to warrant public discussion.

An early, partial version of this study teasing these effects appeared in 2016 (in fact, I wrote about it), but these are the full (draft) reports complete with data.

Both papers note that “studies published to date have not demonstrated consistently increased incidences of tumors at any site associate with exposure to cell phone RFR [radio frequency radiation] in rats or mice.” But the researchers felt that “based on the designs of the existing studies, it is difficult to definitively conclude that these negative results clearly indicate that cell phone RFR is not carcinogenic.”

In other words, no one has taken it far enough, or simulated the radio-immersion environment in which we now live, enough to draw conclusions on the cancer front. So this study takes things up a notch, with longer and stronger exposures.

The studies exposed mice and rats to both 900 MHz and 1900 Mhz wavelength radio waves (each frequency being its own experiment) for about 9 hours per day, at various strengths ranging from 1 to 10 watts per kilogram. For comparison, the general limit the FCC imposes for exposure is 0.08 W/kg; the absolute maximum allowed, for the extremities of people with occupational exposures, is 20 W/kg for no longer than 6 minutes. So they were really blasting these mice.

“The levels and duration of exposure to RFR were much greater than what people experience with even the highest level of cell phone use, and exposed the rodents’ whole bodies. So, these findings should not be directly extrapolated to human cell phone usage,” explained NTP senior scientist John Bucher in a news release accompanying the papers. “We note, however, that the tumors we saw in these studies are similar to tumors previously reported in some studies of frequent cell phone users.”

The rodents were examined for various health effects after various durations, from 28 days to 2 years.

Before I state the conclusions, a note on terminology. “Equivocal evidence” is just above “no evidence” on the official scale, meaning “showing a marginal increase of neoplasms that may be test agent related.” In other words, something statistically significant but ultimately still somewhat mysterious. “Some evidence” is above that, meaning a more measurable response, followed by the also self-explanatory “clear evidence.”

At 900 MHz:

 

Some evidence linking RFR with malignant schwannoma in the hearts of male rats, no evidence for same in female rats. Equivocal evidence linking exposure to malignant brain glioma in females. Other tumors of various types in both sexes “may have been related to cell phone RFR exposure,” meaning the link is unclear or numbers aren’t conclusive. Less serious “nonneoplastic lesions” were more frequent in exposed males and females.

At 1900 MHz:

Equivocal evidence of carcinogenicity in lung, liver and other organ tissues in both male and female mice.

Although I would hesitate to draw any major conclusions from these studies, it seems demonstrated that there is some link here, though the level of radiation was orders of magnitude beyond what a person would ever experience in day to day life. As the researchers point out, however, relatively short-term studies like this one do little to illuminate the potential for harm in long-term exposure, such as babies who have never notbeen bathed in RF radiation.

An interesting side note is that the radiation-exposed rodents of both types lived significantly longer than their control peers: 28 percent of the original control group survived the full 2 years, while about twice that amount (48-68 percent) survived in the exposed group.

Two explanations are proffered for this strange result: either the radiation somehow suppressed the “chronic progressive nephropathy” that these mice tend to suffer from as they age, or possibly reduced feed intake related to the radiation might have done it. Either way, no one is suggesting that the radiation is somehow salutary to the rodents’ constitutions.

The reports and data run to hundreds of pages, so this is only a quick look by a non-expert. You can look over the full reports and supplemental materials here, but as this is a major study you can also expect replication, analysis and criticism from all quarters soon, including a scheduled external expert review organized by the NTP in March.

FEATURED IMAGE: PEOPLEIMAGES/GETTY IMAGES

NIH study links cell phone radiation to cancer in male rats

Posted  by 

 
Next Story

This is the ultimate Super Bowl smart home setup

New studies from the National Institutes of Health — specifically the National Toxicology Program — find that cell phone radiation is potentially linked with certain forms of cancer, but they’re far from conclusive. The results are complex and the studies have yet to be peer-reviewed, but some of the findings are clearly important enough to warrant public discussion.

An early, partial version of this study teasing these effects appeared in 2016 (in fact, I wrote about it), but these are the full (draft) reports complete with data.

Both papers note that “studies published to date have not demonstrated consistently increased incidences of tumors at any site associate with exposure to cell phone RFR [radio frequency radiation] in rats or mice.” But the researchers felt that “based on the designs of the existing studies, it is difficult to definitively conclude that these negative results clearly indicate that cell phone RFR is not carcinogenic.”

In other words, no one has taken it far enough, or simulated the radio-immersion environment in which we now live, enough to draw conclusions on the cancer front. So this study takes things up a notch, with longer and stronger exposures.

The studies exposed mice and rats to both 900 MHz and 1900 Mhz wavelength radio waves (each frequency being its own experiment) for about 9 hours per day, at various strengths ranging from 1 to 10 watts per kilogram. For comparison, the general limit the FCC imposes for exposure is 0.08 W/kg; the absolute maximum allowed, for the extremities of people with occupational exposures, is 20 W/kg for no longer than 6 minutes. So they were really blasting these mice.

“The levels and duration of exposure to RFR were much greater than what people experience with even the highest level of cell phone use, and exposed the rodents’ whole bodies. So, these findings should not be directly extrapolated to human cell phone usage,” explained NTP senior scientist John Bucher in a news release accompanying the papers. “We note, however, that the tumors we saw in these studies are similar to tumors previously reported in some studies of frequent cell phone users.”

The rodents were examined for various health effects after various durations, from 28 days to 2 years.

Before I state the conclusions, a note on terminology. “Equivocal evidence” is just above “no evidence” on the official scale, meaning “showing a marginal increase of neoplasms that may be test agent related.” In other words, something statistically significant but ultimately still somewhat mysterious. “Some evidence” is above that, meaning a more measurable response, followed by the also self-explanatory “clear evidence.”

At 900 MHz:

 

Some evidence linking RFR with malignant schwannoma in the hearts of male rats, no evidence for same in female rats. Equivocal evidence linking exposure to malignant brain glioma in females. Other tumors of various types in both sexes “may have been related to cell phone RFR exposure,” meaning the link is unclear or numbers aren’t conclusive. Less serious “nonneoplastic lesions” were more frequent in exposed males and females.

At 1900 MHz:

Equivocal evidence of carcinogenicity in lung, liver and other organ tissues in both male and female mice.

Although I would hesitate to draw any major conclusions from these studies, it seems demonstrated that there is some link here, though the level of radiation was orders of magnitude beyond what a person would ever experience in day to day life. As the researchers point out, however, relatively short-term studies like this one do little to illuminate the potential for harm in long-term exposure, such as babies who have never notbeen bathed in RF radiation.

An interesting side note is that the radiation-exposed rodents of both types lived significantly longer than their control peers: 28 percent of the original control group survived the full 2 years, while about twice that amount (48-68 percent) survived in the exposed group.

Two explanations are proffered for this strange result: either the radiation somehow suppressed the “chronic progressive nephropathy” that these mice tend to suffer from as they age, or possibly reduced feed intake related to the radiation might have done it. Either way, no one is suggesting that the radiation is somehow salutary to the rodents’ constitutions.

The reports and data run to hundreds of pages, so this is only a quick look by a non-expert. You can look over the full reports and supplemental materials here, but as this is a major study you can also expect replication, analysis and criticism from all quarters soon, including a scheduled external expert review organized by the NTP in March.

FEATURED IMAGE: PEOPLEIMAGES/GETTY IMAGES

Israel Honors Jewish Terrorists Who Attacked America

 

Israel Honors Jewish Terrorists Who Attacked America

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Far left: Golda Meir meeting with the man who planned the Lavon Affair: Pinhas Lavon. Next, the photo that appeared in Haaretz with the caption “President Katzav presented three surviving members of the ‘Lavon affair’ with certificates of appreciation at a Jerusalem ceremony Wednesday.”

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Israel honors Jewish terrorists who attacked America
– Israeli President calls them “heroes”

By David Duke

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How does America deal with a country that commits terrorism against us and then honors the terrorists?

Answer: We give it billions of dollars every year as well as our most advanced military technology.

The Israeli President, Moshe Katzav, in recent formal ceremonies honored the Israeli agents who made terrorist attacks against American sites in Egypt hoping to provoke an American war with Egypt.

In ceremonies reported by the major Israeli daily newspaper, Haaretz, Israeli President Moshe Katsav stated the following at a ceremony honoring the Jewish terrorists who attacked American facilities:

“Although it is still a sensitive situation, we decided now to express our respect for these heroes,” President Moshe Katzav said after presenting the three surviving members of the bomber ring with certificates of appreciation at a Jerusalem ceremony.

In the Lavon Affair, named for the Israeli Defense Minister at the time, Pinhas Lavon, the Israeli government launched a false flag, terrorist operation against American sites in Egypt hoping to provoke American bombing, retaliation and war against that nation. The Israeli terrorists targeted American sites such as American Cinemas and American libraries around Cairo. Only the premature detonation of one of the Jewish terrorist’s bombs led to the exposure and halt of the plot before the extensive loss of life and property.

If this terrorist operation would have been successful, not only would it have cost many American lives, it would have launched an American war against an innocent nation which in turn would have caused the death of many thousands of innocent American and Egyptian lives as well as untold billions of dollars.

Israel’s terrorist plot against the United States in the Lavon Affair was one greatest acts of treachery that any nation has ever committed against an ongoing ally. There have certainly been many times in history where a nation attacked a supposed ally, but I know of no cases where an “ally” attacked another and then the attacked nation remained an ally and continued to support the attacking nation financially and militarily! For that to occur there has to be an incredible level of subversion in the attacked nation. And shockingly, this was only the first Israeli act of treachery against the nation that stood by Israel more than any other: America. There have repeated acts of Israeli terrorism and treachery against the United States of America.

In 1967, Israel attacked the USS Liberty with both fighter jets and torpedo boats in a surprise terrorist attack that killed 34 Americans and wounded 173. Both the U.S. Secretary of State at the time, Dean Rusk, and the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Thomas Moorer, both have stated that it was a pre-meditated attack against the United States. (see “Attack on the Liberty” at http://www.davidduke.com)

In the Jonathan Pollard case, an Israeli spy devastated America’s Eastern European Intelligence Network, and Israel honors Pollard today as a hero and lobbies for his release from American prison. (see “The Pollard Case” at http://www.davidduke.com)

And very recently, important figures in the Israeli lobby AIPAC, arguably the most powerful lobby in Washington, D.C., are under investigation by the FBI for spying against the United States. The fact that the President of the United States and most of the members of Congress have close ties to this lobby for a foreign nation, a lobby which is now in the middle of spy scandal should obviously be a huge story in America’s press, but it is suppressed in the Jewish dominated American media.

Israel knew that the U.S. Government would certainly respond to terrorist attacks against it (supposedly by Egypt) — with bombing and war against that nation. Terrorist acts of war were committed against America and traditionally nations respond to such in kind.

But, once America discovered that it was Israel who committed such terrorist acts of war, why was there no military retaliation against the offending nation?

In fact, American money and even military equipment continued to Israel unabated. Such shows the high level of Israeli subversion and dare I say it, treason, in the United States Government. It also clearly reveals the Jewish supremacy in the press that has whitewashed and kept this treachery from the knowledge of 99 percent of American people. In fact, 99 percent of Americans will never hear of the Lavon Affair nor will they know anything about the recent Israeli government official ceremony that honored the Israelis who committed these terrorist acts against America.

For years Israel denied knowledge of the event, just as Israel denied the murderous attack on the USS Liberty, denied their involvement with the damaging spying of Jonathan Pollard, and denied the overwhelming evidence that indicates Israeli prior-knowledge of the 911 attack. (See my article, “How Israel Caused the 911 Attacks” at http://www.davidduke.com) The Israeli defense minister, Pinhas Lavon had to resign after the bungled terrorist attacks in Egypt, and the excuse was given that it was a “rogue operation.” Yet, obviously, launching terrorist attacks against United States installations in Egypt that included American cinemas and libraries, would have certainly had to have been approved by the Israeli Prime Minister at the time, Golda Meir.

But now, the Israel government is having formal, public ceremonies honoring the Jewish terrorists that attacked American facilities! Now that’s enormous Chutzpah when one considers Israel
is receiving billions of American tax dollars every year, the lion’s share of America’s entire foreign aid budget, and the fact that America is the only major nation that defends Israeli crimes against the Palestinians in the U.N. Yet, it shows just how firmly Israel has the government and media of America in its grip that they can get away with honoring terrorists who have attacked America!

How can America still support a nation that formally honors those Jews who clearly committed terrorism against the United States?

Any President, Congressman or Senator that who supports sending Israel American tax dollars after the clear record of unrepentant Israeli terrorism and treachery against the United States, is equivalent to any American who sent money to the Japan after the attack at Pearl Harbor!

It is important to note that no Arab or Muslim government, including that of Saddam Hussein, has ever launched a terrorist attack against America. No Arab or Muslim government has ever had even a single, highly placed spy do damage to the United States. No Arab or Muslim nation has corrupted our political process with massive bribery, threats and coercion of thousands of U.S. politicians.

In truth, the Iraq War is just another form of a false flag operation like the Lavon Affair.

It was spawned by Israeli loyalists in the United States, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and coterie of Jewish supremacists (including the man in charge of the evidence of Iraqi misdeeds in the CIA , Stuart Cohen, who was behind much of the false intelligence) that led America into a war against Iraq, a nation that had never harmed and posed absolutely no threat at all to America.

This treasonous war was never a war for America, but only a war for Israel. It has so far led to the death of almost 1600 Americans, grievous injuries of up to 20,000 of our men and women, expenditures of a national treasure of over 300 billion dollars, damage to American business around the world, trillions of dollars in higher costs for oil and gas, and has only increased hatred against America and increased support for Al Qaeda and other anti-American terrorists.

And again, for what is all this the blood and treasure lost?

For Israel, that’s what, a nation that honors terrorists who bombed American facilities!

My God in Heaven, when will real Americans wake up to this treachery and treason!

Here are some excerpts from the article in Haaretz and the article on the terrrorist attack in Wikpedia

Israel honors Egyptian spies 50 years after fiasco Wed., March 30, 2005 Adar 2 19, 5765

By Reuters

After half a century of reticence and recrimination, Israel on Wednesday honored nine Egyptian Jews recruited as agents-provocateur in what became one of the worst intelligence bungles in the country’s history. Israel was at war with Egypt when it hatched a plan in 1954 to ruin its rapprochement with the United States and Britain by firebombing sites frequented by foreigners in Cairo and Alexandria.

But Israeli hoped the attacks, which caused no casualties, would be blamed on local insurgents collapsed when the young Zionist bombers were caught and confessed at public trials. Two were hanged. The rest served jail terms and emigrated to Israel.

Embarrassed before the West, the fledgling Jewish state long denied involvement. It kept mum even after its 1979 peace deal with Egypt, fearing memories of the debacle could sour ties.

“Although it is still a sensitive situation, we decided now to express our respect for these heroes,” President Moshe Katzav said after presenting the three surviving members of the bomber ring with certificates of appreciation at a Jerusalem ceremony.

What went wrong in the “Lavon Affair” — after Pinhas Lavon, Israel’s defense minister when the plot came to light — remains a matter of debate in a country more used to tales of espionage coups…

The situation recurred in 1985, when U.S. Navy analyst Jonathan Pollard was sentenced to life imprisonment in the United States for passing military secrets to Israel’s scientific liaison office…

“As with Pollard, this (Lavon Affair) was a rogue operation,” said David Kimche, a former Mossad deputy chief. “We knew never to go down that road again…

Meanwhile, the agents locked up in Egypt were ignored, excluded from several prisoner exchanges with Israel after the wars of 1956 and 1967. Now that they have been officially recognised in Israel, the former agents are campaigning for a full account of their operation to be included in the high-school syllabus.

“This is a great day for all of us, those who were hanged and those who died,” said Marcelle Ninio, the only female member of the cell. “We are happy we’ve got our honour back.

And here is the Wikipedia article on this terroristic attack:

Lavon Affair
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
(Redirected from Lavon affair)

The aim of the 1954 Israeli Mossad project, codenamed Operation Suzannah was to bomb United States installations in Egypt, such as the United States Information Service offices, and blame Arabs, hoping it would harm Egyptian-American ties. It became known as the Lavon Affair or the Unfortunate Affair (Hebrew: העסק הביש pronounce: haesek habish), after the Israeli defense minister Pinchas Lavon who was forced to resign because of the incident.

Israeli Mossad agents from “Unit 131″ 1 planted bombs in several buildings, including a United States diplomatic facility, and intentionally left behind evidence implicating Arabs as the culprits. The conspiracy was intended to disrupt U.S. relations with Egypt but one of the bombs detonated prematurely and the Egyptian police swiftly found one of the terrorists. This arrest quickly led to the capture of eleven of the thirteen members of the spy ring. Some of the spies were Israeli, while others were Egyptian Jews recruited by Mossad. Two of the conspirators were sentenced to death and executed. Six others were sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

Lavon claimed that he had no knowledge of the conspiracy and he attempted to scapegoat and fire his deputy, Shimon Peres. The Prime Minister of Israel, Moshe Sharett, appointed a board of inquiry consisting of Israeli Supreme Court Justice Isaac Olshan and the first chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, Ya’akov Dori. The board failed to uncover who had ordered the conspiracy yet Lavon resigned in disgrace from his position as minister of defense and David Ben-Gurion resumed the post under Sharett. Lavon became head of the Histadrut.

Six years later, a district court found the intelligence operations chief guilty of perjury and forgery during testimony presented to the Olshan-Dori board of inquiry. Lavon demanded that Ben-Gurion clear his name but Ben-Gurion refused. The controversy broke out into open Knesset debates, fatally wounding the ruling Mapai Party. Eventually the Mapai Central Committee voted to expel Lavon from his position in the Histadrut.

The legacy of the Lavon Affair was especially unpleasant for Egyptian Jews and for Jews living in other Arab countries. They faced suspicion as a potential Fifth column and even persecution (including having their banks accounts frozen). While the Lavon affair may have acted as one catalyst for emigration to Israel, it could add little to the overall persecution of Jews which started roughly at 1948, and which reached a peak in the wake of the 1956 Suez War, when the Egyptian government expelled almost 25,000 Egyptian Jews and confiscated their property, and sent approximately 1,000 more Jews to prisons and detention camps. The Lavon Affair also generated deep suspicion of Israeli intelligence practices and encouraged speculation and conspiracy theories that terrorist attacks against Arab and American targets could be the result of Israeli false flag intelligence operations or agent provocateurs working on behalf of Israeli
intelligence, a belief that is still popular (especially in Arab countries).

Israel Honors Jewish Terrorists Who Attacked America

 

Israel Honors Jewish Terrorists Who Attacked America

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Far left: Golda Meir meeting with the man who planned the Lavon Affair: Pinhas Lavon. Next, the photo that appeared in Haaretz with the caption “President Katzav presented three surviving members of the ‘Lavon affair’ with certificates of appreciation at a Jerusalem ceremony Wednesday.”

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Israel honors Jewish terrorists who attacked America
– Israeli President calls them “heroes”

By David Duke

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How does America deal with a country that commits terrorism against us and then honors the terrorists?

Answer: We give it billions of dollars every year as well as our most advanced military technology.

The Israeli President, Moshe Katzav, in recent formal ceremonies honored the Israeli agents who made terrorist attacks against American sites in Egypt hoping to provoke an American war with Egypt.

In ceremonies reported by the major Israeli daily newspaper, Haaretz, Israeli President Moshe Katsav stated the following at a ceremony honoring the Jewish terrorists who attacked American facilities:

“Although it is still a sensitive situation, we decided now to express our respect for these heroes,” President Moshe Katzav said after presenting the three surviving members of the bomber ring with certificates of appreciation at a Jerusalem ceremony.

In the Lavon Affair, named for the Israeli Defense Minister at the time, Pinhas Lavon, the Israeli government launched a false flag, terrorist operation against American sites in Egypt hoping to provoke American bombing, retaliation and war against that nation. The Israeli terrorists targeted American sites such as American Cinemas and American libraries around Cairo. Only the premature detonation of one of the Jewish terrorist’s bombs led to the exposure and halt of the plot before the extensive loss of life and property.

If this terrorist operation would have been successful, not only would it have cost many American lives, it would have launched an American war against an innocent nation which in turn would have caused the death of many thousands of innocent American and Egyptian lives as well as untold billions of dollars.

Israel’s terrorist plot against the United States in the Lavon Affair was one greatest acts of treachery that any nation has ever committed against an ongoing ally. There have certainly been many times in history where a nation attacked a supposed ally, but I know of no cases where an “ally” attacked another and then the attacked nation remained an ally and continued to support the attacking nation financially and militarily! For that to occur there has to be an incredible level of subversion in the attacked nation. And shockingly, this was only the first Israeli act of treachery against the nation that stood by Israel more than any other: America. There have repeated acts of Israeli terrorism and treachery against the United States of America.

In 1967, Israel attacked the USS Liberty with both fighter jets and torpedo boats in a surprise terrorist attack that killed 34 Americans and wounded 173. Both the U.S. Secretary of State at the time, Dean Rusk, and the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Thomas Moorer, both have stated that it was a pre-meditated attack against the United States. (see “Attack on the Liberty” at http://www.davidduke.com)

In the Jonathan Pollard case, an Israeli spy devastated America’s Eastern European Intelligence Network, and Israel honors Pollard today as a hero and lobbies for his release from American prison. (see “The Pollard Case” at http://www.davidduke.com)

And very recently, important figures in the Israeli lobby AIPAC, arguably the most powerful lobby in Washington, D.C., are under investigation by the FBI for spying against the United States. The fact that the President of the United States and most of the members of Congress have close ties to this lobby for a foreign nation, a lobby which is now in the middle of spy scandal should obviously be a huge story in America’s press, but it is suppressed in the Jewish dominated American media.

Israel knew that the U.S. Government would certainly respond to terrorist attacks against it (supposedly by Egypt) — with bombing and war against that nation. Terrorist acts of war were committed against America and traditionally nations respond to such in kind.

But, once America discovered that it was Israel who committed such terrorist acts of war, why was there no military retaliation against the offending nation?

In fact, American money and even military equipment continued to Israel unabated. Such shows the high level of Israeli subversion and dare I say it, treason, in the United States Government. It also clearly reveals the Jewish supremacy in the press that has whitewashed and kept this treachery from the knowledge of 99 percent of American people. In fact, 99 percent of Americans will never hear of the Lavon Affair nor will they know anything about the recent Israeli government official ceremony that honored the Israelis who committed these terrorist acts against America.

For years Israel denied knowledge of the event, just as Israel denied the murderous attack on the USS Liberty, denied their involvement with the damaging spying of Jonathan Pollard, and denied the overwhelming evidence that indicates Israeli prior-knowledge of the 911 attack. (See my article, “How Israel Caused the 911 Attacks” at http://www.davidduke.com) The Israeli defense minister, Pinhas Lavon had to resign after the bungled terrorist attacks in Egypt, and the excuse was given that it was a “rogue operation.” Yet, obviously, launching terrorist attacks against United States installations in Egypt that included American cinemas and libraries, would have certainly had to have been approved by the Israeli Prime Minister at the time, Golda Meir.

But now, the Israel government is having formal, public ceremonies honoring the Jewish terrorists that attacked American facilities! Now that’s enormous Chutzpah when one considers Israel
is receiving billions of American tax dollars every year, the lion’s share of America’s entire foreign aid budget, and the fact that America is the only major nation that defends Israeli crimes against the Palestinians in the U.N. Yet, it shows just how firmly Israel has the government and media of America in its grip that they can get away with honoring terrorists who have attacked America!

How can America still support a nation that formally honors those Jews who clearly committed terrorism against the United States?

Any President, Congressman or Senator that who supports sending Israel American tax dollars after the clear record of unrepentant Israeli terrorism and treachery against the United States, is equivalent to any American who sent money to the Japan after the attack at Pearl Harbor!

It is important to note that no Arab or Muslim government, including that of Saddam Hussein, has ever launched a terrorist attack against America. No Arab or Muslim government has ever had even a single, highly placed spy do damage to the United States. No Arab or Muslim nation has corrupted our political process with massive bribery, threats and coercion of thousands of U.S. politicians.

In truth, the Iraq War is just another form of a false flag operation like the Lavon Affair.

It was spawned by Israeli loyalists in the United States, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and coterie of Jewish supremacists (including the man in charge of the evidence of Iraqi misdeeds in the CIA , Stuart Cohen, who was behind much of the false intelligence) that led America into a war against Iraq, a nation that had never harmed and posed absolutely no threat at all to America.

This treasonous war was never a war for America, but only a war for Israel. It has so far led to the death of almost 1600 Americans, grievous injuries of up to 20,000 of our men and women, expenditures of a national treasure of over 300 billion dollars, damage to American business around the world, trillions of dollars in higher costs for oil and gas, and has only increased hatred against America and increased support for Al Qaeda and other anti-American terrorists.

And again, for what is all this the blood and treasure lost?

For Israel, that’s what, a nation that honors terrorists who bombed American facilities!

My God in Heaven, when will real Americans wake up to this treachery and treason!

Here are some excerpts from the article in Haaretz and the article on the terrrorist attack in Wikpedia

Israel honors Egyptian spies 50 years after fiasco Wed., March 30, 2005 Adar 2 19, 5765

By Reuters

After half a century of reticence and recrimination, Israel on Wednesday honored nine Egyptian Jews recruited as agents-provocateur in what became one of the worst intelligence bungles in the country’s history. Israel was at war with Egypt when it hatched a plan in 1954 to ruin its rapprochement with the United States and Britain by firebombing sites frequented by foreigners in Cairo and Alexandria.

But Israeli hoped the attacks, which caused no casualties, would be blamed on local insurgents collapsed when the young Zionist bombers were caught and confessed at public trials. Two were hanged. The rest served jail terms and emigrated to Israel.

Embarrassed before the West, the fledgling Jewish state long denied involvement. It kept mum even after its 1979 peace deal with Egypt, fearing memories of the debacle could sour ties.

“Although it is still a sensitive situation, we decided now to express our respect for these heroes,” President Moshe Katzav said after presenting the three surviving members of the bomber ring with certificates of appreciation at a Jerusalem ceremony.

What went wrong in the “Lavon Affair” — after Pinhas Lavon, Israel’s defense minister when the plot came to light — remains a matter of debate in a country more used to tales of espionage coups…

The situation recurred in 1985, when U.S. Navy analyst Jonathan Pollard was sentenced to life imprisonment in the United States for passing military secrets to Israel’s scientific liaison office…

“As with Pollard, this (Lavon Affair) was a rogue operation,” said David Kimche, a former Mossad deputy chief. “We knew never to go down that road again…

Meanwhile, the agents locked up in Egypt were ignored, excluded from several prisoner exchanges with Israel after the wars of 1956 and 1967. Now that they have been officially recognised in Israel, the former agents are campaigning for a full account of their operation to be included in the high-school syllabus.

“This is a great day for all of us, those who were hanged and those who died,” said Marcelle Ninio, the only female member of the cell. “We are happy we’ve got our honour back.

And here is the Wikipedia article on this terroristic attack:

Lavon Affair
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
(Redirected from Lavon affair)

The aim of the 1954 Israeli Mossad project, codenamed Operation Suzannah was to bomb United States installations in Egypt, such as the United States Information Service offices, and blame Arabs, hoping it would harm Egyptian-American ties. It became known as the Lavon Affair or the Unfortunate Affair (Hebrew: העסק הביש pronounce: haesek habish), after the Israeli defense minister Pinchas Lavon who was forced to resign because of the incident.

Israeli Mossad agents from “Unit 131″ 1 planted bombs in several buildings, including a United States diplomatic facility, and intentionally left behind evidence implicating Arabs as the culprits. The conspiracy was intended to disrupt U.S. relations with Egypt but one of the bombs detonated prematurely and the Egyptian police swiftly found one of the terrorists. This arrest quickly led to the capture of eleven of the thirteen members of the spy ring. Some of the spies were Israeli, while others were Egyptian Jews recruited by Mossad. Two of the conspirators were sentenced to death and executed. Six others were sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

Lavon claimed that he had no knowledge of the conspiracy and he attempted to scapegoat and fire his deputy, Shimon Peres. The Prime Minister of Israel, Moshe Sharett, appointed a board of inquiry consisting of Israeli Supreme Court Justice Isaac Olshan and the first chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, Ya’akov Dori. The board failed to uncover who had ordered the conspiracy yet Lavon resigned in disgrace from his position as minister of defense and David Ben-Gurion resumed the post under Sharett. Lavon became head of the Histadrut.

Six years later, a district court found the intelligence operations chief guilty of perjury and forgery during testimony presented to the Olshan-Dori board of inquiry. Lavon demanded that Ben-Gurion clear his name but Ben-Gurion refused. The controversy broke out into open Knesset debates, fatally wounding the ruling Mapai Party. Eventually the Mapai Central Committee voted to expel Lavon from his position in the Histadrut.

The legacy of the Lavon Affair was especially unpleasant for Egyptian Jews and for Jews living in other Arab countries. They faced suspicion as a potential Fifth column and even persecution (including having their banks accounts frozen). While the Lavon affair may have acted as one catalyst for emigration to Israel, it could add little to the overall persecution of Jews which started roughly at 1948, and which reached a peak in the wake of the 1956 Suez War, when the Egyptian government expelled almost 25,000 Egyptian Jews and confiscated their property, and sent approximately 1,000 more Jews to prisons and detention camps. The Lavon Affair also generated deep suspicion of Israeli intelligence practices and encouraged speculation and conspiracy theories that terrorist attacks against Arab and American targets could be the result of Israeli false flag intelligence operations or agent provocateurs working on behalf of Israeli
intelligence, a belief that is still popular (especially in Arab countries).

Rape of Rohingya women by Myanmar’s armed forces is sweeping and methodical

Rape of Rohingya women by Myanmar’s armed forces is sweeping and methodical

T, 33, mother of two, says she was raped by members of Myanmar’s armed forces in mid-August.   | Photo Credit: AP

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Sexual assault survivors aged 13 to 35 years describe horrific experiences, even as the government dismisses their claims as “fake.”

 

The soldiers arrived, as they often did, long after sunset.

It was June, and the newlyweds were asleep in their home, surrounded by fields of wheat they farmed in western Myanmar. Without any warning, seven soldiers burst into the house and charged into the bedroom.

The woman, a Rohingya Muslim who agreed to be identified by her first initial, F, knew enough to be terrified. She knew the military had been attacking Rohingya villages, as part of what the United Nations has called ethnic cleansing in the mostly Buddhist nation. She heard just days before that soldiers had killed her parents, and that her brother was missing.

This time, F says, the soldiers had come for her. The men bound her husband with rope. They ripped the scarf from her head and tied it around his mouth.

They yanked off her jewelry and tore off her clothes. They threw her to the floor. And then the first soldier began to rape her.

She struggled against him, but four men held her down and beat her with sticks. She stared in panic at her husband, who stared back helplessly. He finally wriggled the gag out of his mouth and screamed.

And then she watched as a soldier fire a bullet into the chest of the man she had married only one month before. Another soldier slit his throat.

It would be two months before she realized her misery was far from over. She was pregnant.

The rape of Rohingya women by Myanmar security forces has been sweeping and methodical, The Associated Press found in interviews with 29 women and girls who fled to neighbouring Bangladesh. These sexual assault survivors from several refugee camps were interviewed separately and extensively. They ranged in age from 13 to 35, came from a wide swath of villages in Myanmar’s Rakhine state and described assaults between October 2016 and mid-September.

 

M, 30, mother of four, was raped by members of Myanmar’s armed forces in late August.   | Photo Credit: AP

Foreign journalists are banned from the Rohingya region of Rakhine, making it nearly impossible to independently verify each woman’s report. Yet there was a sickening sameness to their stories, with distinct patterns in their accounts, their assailants’ uniforms and the details of the rapes themselves.

Also Read

Such a strange silence: India’s stand on the Rohingya crisis

 

The testimonies bolster the U.N.’s contention that Myanmar’s armed forces are systematically employing rape as a “calculated tool of terror” aimed at exterminating the Rohingya people. The Myanmar armed forces did not respond to multiple requests from The AP for comment, but an internal military investigation last month concluded that none of the assaults ever took place.

And when journalists asked about rape allegations during a government-organised trip to Rakhine in September, Rakhine’s Minister for Border Affairs Phone Tint replied, “These women were claiming they were raped, but look at their appearances do you think they are that attractive to be raped?”

Doctors and aid workers, however, say that they are stunned at the sheer volume of rapes, and suspect only a fraction of women have come forward. Medecins Sans Frontieres doctors have treated 113 sexual violence survivors since August, a third of them under 18. The youngest was 9.

 

Similarity in attacks

The U.N. has called the Rohingya the most persecuted minority on earth, with Myanmar denying them citizenship and basic rights. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees now live in sweltering tents in Bangladesh, where the stifling air smells of excrement from a lack of latrines and of smoke from wood fires to cook what little food there is.

 

H, 30, mother of six; three children killed, was raped in late August.   | Photo Credit: AP

The women and girls in this story gave The AP their names but agreed to be publicly identified only by their first initial, citing fears they or their families would be killed by Myanmar’s military.

Also Read

Myanmar: human rights under the junta?

 

Each described attacks that involved groups of men from Myanmar’s security forces, often coupled with other forms of extreme violence. Every woman except one said the assailants wore military-style uniforms, generally dark green or camouflage. The lone woman who described her attackers as wearing plain clothes said her neighbours recognised them from the local military outpost.

Many women said the uniforms bore various patches featuring stars or, in a couple cases, arrows. Such patches represent the different units of Myanmar’s army.

The most common attack described went much like F’s. In several other cases, women said, security forces surrounded a village, separated men from women, then took the women to a second location to gang rape them.

The women spoke of seeing their children slaughtered in front of them, their husbands beaten and shot. They spoke of burying their loved ones in the darkness and leaving the bodies of their babies behind. They spoke of the searing pain of rapes that felt as if they would never end, and of days-long journeys on foot to Bangladesh while still bleeding and hobbled.

They spoke and they spoke, the words erupting from many of them in frantic, tortured bursts.

N, who says she survived a rape but lost her husband, her country and her peace, speaks because there is little else she can do and because she hopes that somebody will listen.

“I have nothing left,” she says. “All I have left are my words.”

 

N, 17, was raped in late August.   | Photo Credit: AP

Two months after the men came quietly in the night for F, they came boldly in the daytime for K.

It was late August, she says, just days after Rohingya insurgents had attacked several Myanmar police posts in northern Rakhine. Security forces responded with swift ferocity that human rights groups say left hundreds dead and scores of Rohingya villages burned to the ground.

Also Read

On Rohingya crisis: Suu Kyi in denial

 

Inside their house, K and her family were settling down to breakfast. They had only just swallowed their first mouthfuls of rice when the screams of other villagers rang out- The military was coming.

But K was nearly 9 months pregnant, with swollen feet and two terrified toddlers whose tiny legs could never outpace the soldiers’ strides. She had no place to hide, no time to think.

The door banged open. And the men charged in.

There were four of them, she thinks, maybe five, all in camouflage uniforms. Her young son and daughter began to wail and then, mercifully, scampered out the front door.

There was no mercy for her. The men grabbed her and threw her on the bed. They yanked off her earrings, nose ring and necklace. They found the money she had hidden in her blouse from the recent sale of her family’s cow. They ripped off her clothes, and tied down her hands and legs with rope. When she resisted, they choked her.

And then, she says, they began to rape her. She was too terrified to move. One man held a knife to her eyeball, one more a gun to her chest. Another forced himself inside her.

When the first man finished, they switched places and the torture began again. And when the second man finished, a third man raped her.

In the midst of her agony, she thought of nothing but the baby inside her womb, just weeks away from emerging into a world that would not want him, because he was a Rohingya.

Also Read

Chauvinist winds over India

 

She began to bleed. She blacked out.

As she awoke, her great aunt was there, tearfully untying her. The elder woman bathed her, clothed her and gave her a hot compress for her aching thighs.

When K’s husband returned home, he was furious- not just at the men who had raped her, but at her. Why, he demanded, had she not run away?

She was pregnant and in no condition to run, she shot back. Still, he blamed her for the assault and threatened to abandon her, because, he told her, a “non-Muslim” had raped her.

Fearful the men would return, she and her family fled to her father’s house in the hills above the village. When they saw soldiers setting fire to the houses below, they knew they had to leave for Bangladesh.

K was too crippled by pain to walk. Her husband and brother placed her inside a sling they fashioned out of a blanket and a stick, and carried her for days.

Inside her cocoon, she wept for the baby she feared was dead.

 

S, 25, mother of two, who says she was raped by members of Myanmar’s armed forces.   | Photo Credit: AP

A few days after the men burst into K’s house, 10 soldiers arrived at R’s. She was just 13 years old, but R had already learned to fear the military men.

Yet R’s family had nowhere else to go. And so they stayed in the village. R busied herself by learning Arabic, doting on her chicken and its hatchlings and caring for her two younger brothers.

And then one day in late August, R says, the soldiers barged into her house. They snatched up her little brothers, tied them to a tree outside and began to beat them. R tried to run out the front door, but the men caught her.

R fought back against the men, but they dragged her out of the house. The skin tore away from her knees as her legs scraped along the ground.

Also Read

Dancing with Suu Kyi

 

The men tethered her arms to two trees. They ripped off her earrings and bracelets, stripped off her clothes. R screamed at them to stop. They spit at her.

And then the first man began to rape her. She froze. She was a virgin. The pain was excruciating.

The attack lasted for hours. She remembers all ten men forcing themselves on her before she passed out. One of her older brothers later found her on the ground, bleeding.

R’s two little brothers were missing, but their mother had no time to search for them. She knew she had to get her daughter over the border and to a doctor quickly to get medicine in time to prevent a pregnancy.

R was barely conscious. So her two older brothers carried her across the hills and fields toward Bangladesh. R’s mother hurried alongside them, terrified for her daughter, terrified that time was running out.

 

Very few victims saw doctors

That R’s family sought treatment for her at all is an anomaly. Despite still suffering pain, bleeding and infections months after the attacks, only a handful of the women interviewed by The AP had seen a doctor. The others had no idea free services were available, or were too ashamed to tell a doctor they were raped.

 

F, 27, mother of one, who says she was raped by members of Myanmar’s armed forces in late August, is photographed in her tent in Gundum refugee camp in Bangladesh.   | Photo Credit: AP

In a health center overflowing with women and wailing babies, Dr. Misbah Uddin Ahmed, a government health officer, sits at his desk looking weary. He pulls out a stack of patient histories for those treated at his clinics and begins to flick through them, reading the case summaries out loud:

“September 5, a patient 7 months pregnant says three soldiers burst into her home 11 days ago and raped her. Also September 5, a patient says she was asleep at home when the military broke in 20 days ago and three soldiers raped her. September 10, a patient says the military came to her house one month ago and beat her husband before two soldiers raped her.”

Also Read

In Vivekananda’s country?

 

Dr. Ahmed says the women who manage to overcome their fear and make it to his clinics are usually the ones in the deepest trouble. So many others, he adds, are suffering in silence.

Though the scale of these attacks is new, the use of sexual violence by Myanmar’s security forces is not. Before she became Myanmar’s civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi herself condemned the military’s abuses. “Rape is rife. It is used as a weapon by armed forces to intimidate the ethnic nationalities and to divide our country,” she said in a 2011 videotaped statement to the Nobel Women’s Initiative.

And yet Ms. Suu Kyi’s government has not only failed to condemn the recent accounts of rape, it has dismissed the accounts as lies. In December 2016, the government issued a press release disputing Rohingya women’s reports of sexual assaults, accompanied by an image that said “Fake Rape.”

Dr. Ahmed seems bewildered that anyone would ever doubt these women. Look at what I have just shown you, he says, gesturing toward his stack of files chronicling one atrocity after another.

 

A, 35, mother of four, was raped in late August.   | Photo Credit: AP

Gynaecologist Arjina Akhter has witnessed the results of those atrocities. Since August, so many women began showing up at her two clinics, she stopped asking them to fill out patient history forms so she could treat them faster. Among other women, she estimates between 20 to 30 rape survivors visited her clinics in September and October.

She ticks off the injuries — Two women with lacerations to their cervixes they said were caused by guns shoved inside their bodies. One woman with horrific tearing she said was caused by a nail driven into her vagina. Several women with severe vaginal bleeding.

More recently, she says, women who were raped months ago have been coming to her in a panic, asking for abortions. She has to explain to them that they are too far along, but reassures them that officials will take the babies if they cannot care for them.

Still, for some Rohingya women, giving up the babies they never asked for was not an option. Which is how it was for F.

 

R, 13, who says she was raped by members of Myanmar’s armed forces, adjusts her headscarf while photographed in her family’s tent.   | Photo Credit: AP

More than three months had passed since the men burst into F’s home, and her despair had only deepened.

Neighbors had taken her in and cared for her. But her house was gone, her husband was dead. And the timing of the attack left little doubt that the baby growing inside her belonged to one of the men who had caused all her grief.

Also Read

Rohingya: Bangladesh’s burden to bear

 

She could only pray that things would not get worse. And then, one night in mid-September, they did.

F was asleep along with the neighbors a couple and their 5-year-old son when the men broke down the door, jolting everyone awake.

There were five of them this time, she remembers. They quickly grabbed the boy and slashed his throat, and killed the man.

Then they turned to the man’s wife, and to F. And her nightmare began again.

They stripped off the women’s clothes. Two of the men noticed the swell of F’s stomach and grabbed it, squeezing hard.

They threw the women to the floor. F’s friend fought back, and the men beat her with their guns so viciously the skin on her thighs began to peel away.

But the fight had gone out of F. She felt her body go soft, felt the blood run between her legs as the first man forced himself on her, and then the second. Next to her, three men were savaging her friend.

When it was finally over and the men had gone, the two women lay immobile on the floor.

They lay there for days, so crippled by pain and catatonic from the trauma that they could not even lift themselves to use the toilet. F could smell the blood around them. As the house baked under the punishing sun, the stench from the decaying bodies of her friend’s husband and son finally overwhelmed her.

She would not die here. And neither would her baby.

She reached out for her friend’s hand and clasped it. Then F hauled herself to her feet, pulling her friend up with her. Hand in hand, the women stumbled to the next village. They spent five days recovering there and then, alongside a group of other villagers, began the 10-day journey to Bangladesh.

The monsoon season had begun, but there was nowhere to shelter. So F kept walking through the downpours. She was starving, and her battered body ached with each step. Generous strangers offered her sips of their water, and one man gave her a few sweet rolls.

One day, she came across a 9-year-old boy lying along the side of a road, wounded and alone. He had lost his parents, he told her, and the soldiers had tortured him. She took him with her.

Together, the two made it to the shores of the Naf River and boarded a boat to Bangladesh.

Which is where they live now, in a tiny bamboo shelter between two filthy latrines. And it is here that F prays her baby will be a boy because this world is no place for a girl.

 

K, 30, mother of six who’s 3-year-old daughter was killed, who says she was raped by members of Myanmar’s armed forces in late August, carries her baby born two months premature.   | Photo Credit: AP

Dreams of homeland seem far away

For now, the women are left to wonder how long they will live in the bleak limbo of Bangladesh, and if they will ever return to their homeland.

R, the teen, is not pregnant. Her mother sold all her jewelry and got her to the hospital in time. But R can’t stop thinking about her little brothers, and her sleep is plagued by nightmares.

Since the rape, she has struggled to eat, and her once-curvy frame has shrunk. Before the rape, she says softly, she was pretty.

K, who feared the baby inside her had died, gave birth to a boy on the floor of her tent in a dizzying rush of relief. She had kept her son alive through it all.

But her trauma persists. The thrum of a helicopter hovering over the camp sends her into a panic and she recites the Muslim prayer for the moments before death. She is convinced the aircraft is Myanmar’s military, coming to kill them all.

When told she is strong, she looks up with tears in her eyes.

“How can you say that?” she asks. “My husband says he is ashamed of me. How am I strong?”

F, whose body is starting to ache under the strain of her pregnancy, finds her mind often drifts toward how she will care for the child in the future. She believes God has kept them both alive for a reason.

“Everybody has died,” she says. “I don’t have anyone to care for me. If I give this baby away, what will I have left? There will be nothing to live for.”

THE TROUBLE WITH INTEL’S MANAGEMENT ENGINE

Something is rotten in the state of Intel. Over the last decade or so, Intel has dedicated enormous efforts to the security of their microcontrollers. For Intel, this is the only logical thing to do; you really, really want to know if the firmware running on a device is the firmware you want to run on a device. Anything else, and the device is wide open to balaclava-wearing hackers.

Intel’s first efforts toward cryptographically signed firmware began in the early 2000s with embedded security subsystems using Trusted Platform Modules (TPM). These small crypto chips, along with the BIOS, form the root of trust for modern computers. If the TPM is secure, the rest of the computer can be secure, or so the theory goes.

The TPM model has been shown to be vulnerable to attack, though. Intel’s solution was to add another layer of security: the (Intel) Management Engine (ME). Extremely little is known about the ME, except for some of its capabilities. The ME has complete access to all of a computer’s memory, its network connections, and every peripheral connected to a computer. It runs when the computer is hibernating, and can intercept TCP/IP traffic. Own the ME and you own the computer.

There are no known vulnerabilities in the ME to exploit right now: we’re all locked out of the ME. But that is security through obscurity. Once the ME falls, everything with an Intel chip will fall. It is, by far, the scariest security threat today, and it’s one that’s made even worse by our own ignorance of how the ME works.

 

The Beginning of Intel’s Management Engine

In her talk at last month’s CCC, [Joanna Rutkowska] talked about the chain of trust found in the modern x86 computer. Trust is a necessary evil for security, and [Joanna] contrasts it with the normal meaning of the word, for which she uses “trustworthy”. If you can see the source code for your application, you can verify that it’s trustworthy. But since the application runs on top of the operating system, you have to trust the OS. Even if the OS is verified and trustworthy, it still has to trust the BIOS and firmware. As you keep digging down like this, verifying each layer, you eventually get to some part of the system that you can’t verify and just have to trust, and this root of trust is the role that the ME is trying to play.

 

trustedstick
[Joanna Rutkowska]’s plan for a ‘trusted stick’, offloading the root of trust to a small USB device

This root of trust on the modern computer is, quite simply, untrustworthy. Instead of a proper BIOS that can trace its origins to the first x86 computers, computers today have UEFI and Secure Boot, a measure designed to only allow signed software to run on the device. Secure Boot can be disabled from the manufacturer, and security isn’t secure if it’s optional, and even less so if there are exploits for specific implementations of UEFI.

 

[Joanna]’s plan for truly trustworthy computing is a simple USB thumb drive. Instead of holding data, this thumb drive contains security keys. The idea behind this ‘trusted stick’ is that the root of trust can be built from this stick, and these keys are something that you own and control and can presumably keep secret. Everything else above that is verifiable, and thus doesn’t need to be trusted. It’s an interesting idea, but right now it’s just an idea. And it stands in contrast to the current situation where Intel somehow bakes the trust into the chip for you.

What the Management Engine Is

The best description of what the Management Engine is and does doesn’t come from Intel. Instead, we rely on [Igor Skochinsky] and a talk he gave at REcon 2014. This is currently the best information we have about the ME.

The Intel ME has a few specific functions, and although most of these could be seen as the best tool you could give the IT guy in charge of deploying thousands of workstations in a corporate environment, there are some tools that would be very interesting avenues for an exploit. These functions include Active Managment Technology, with the ability for remote administration, provisioning, and repair, as well as functioning as a KVM. The System Defense function is the lowest-level firewall available on an Intel machine. IDE Redirection and Serial-Over-LAN allows a computer to boot over a remote drive or fix an infected OS, and the Identity Protection has an embedded one-time password for two-factor authentication. There are also functions for an ‘anti-theft’ function that disables a PC if it fails to check in to a server at some predetermined interval or if a ‘poison pill’ was delivered through the network. This anti-theft function can kill a computer, or notify the disk encryption to erase a drive’s encryption keys.

These are all extremely powerful features that would be very interesting to anyone who wants or needs to completely own a computer, and their sheer breadth makes the attack surface fairly large. Finding an exploit for the Intel ME will be difficult, though. While most of the firmware for the ME also resides in the Flash chip used by the BIOS, the firmware isn’t readily readable; some common functions are in an on-chip ROM and cannot be found by simply dumping the data from the Flash chip.

This means that if you’re trying to figure out the ME, a lot of the code is seemingly missing. Adding to the problem, a lot of the code itself is compressed with either LZMA or Huffman encoding. There are multiple versions of the Intel ME, as well, all using completely different instruction sets: ARC, ARCompact, and SPARC V8. In short, it’s a reverse-engineer’s worst nightmare.

The Future of ME

This guy wants information on the Intel ME. Also, hackaday has an istockphoto account.
This guy wants information on the Intel ME. Also, Hackaday has an istockphoto account.

With a trusted processor connected directly to the memory, network, and BIOS of a computer, the ME could be like a rootkit on steroids in the wrong hands. Thus, an exploit for the ME is what all the balaclava-wearing hackers want, but so far it seems that they’ve all come up empty.

The best efforts that we know of again come from [Igor Skochinsky]. After finding a few confidential Intel documents a company left on an FTP server, he was able to take a look at some of the code for the ME that isn’t in the on-chip ROM and isn’t compressed by an unknown algorithm. It uses the JEFF file format, a standard from the defunct J Consortium that is basically un-Googlable. (You can blame Jeff for that.) To break the Management Engine, though, this code will have to be reverse engineered, and figuring out the custom compression scheme that’s used in the firmware remains an unsolved problem.

But unsolved doesn’t mean that people aren’t working on it. There are efforts to break the ME’s Huffman algorithm. Of course, deciphering the code we have would lead to another road block: there is still the code on the inaccessible on-chip ROM. Nothing short of industrial espionage or decapping the chip and looking at the silicon will allow anyone to read the ROM code. While researchers do have some idea what this code does by inferring the functions, there is no way to read and audit it. So the ME remains a black box for now.

There are many researchers trying to unlock the secrets of Intel’s Management Engine, and for good reason: it’s a microcontroller that has direct access to everything in a computer. Every computer with an Intel chip made in the last few years has one, and if you’re looking for the perfect vector for an attack, you won’t find anything better than the ME. It is the scariest thing in your computer, and this fear is compounded by our ignorance: no one knows what the ME can actually do. And without being able to audit the code running on the ME, no one knows exactly what will happen when it is broken open.

The first person to find an exploit for Intel’s Management Engine will become one of the greatest security researchers of the decade. Until that happens, we’re all left in the dark, wondering what that exploit will be.

POST NAVIGATION

 

5 STEPS TO OPTIMIZE YOUR WORDPRESS WEBSITE

5 STEPS TO OPTIMIZE YOUR WORDPRESS WEBSITE FOR PERFORMANCE

 

Google has stated that its goal is to provide users with a great user experience and fast loading websites make that happen through increased user satisfaction. And with all the hard work you put into creating a stellar design for your website, it would be a shame if visitors bounced off before it even fully loaded.

The goal is to have your site load in less than two seconds.

While that may seem next to impossible for all of you with sites that load in fifteen to twenty seconds (and that on a good day, too), there are a few different things you can do to effectively decrease page loading times. With this in mind, in this post, we’ll walk you through a five-step process to help you optimize your WordPress website for performance.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO OPTIMIZE YOUR WORDPRESS WEBSITE FOR PERFORMANCE?

Back in 2010, Google announced that it takes site speed into account in its ranking algorithms. On top of this, slower loading websites have higher bounce rates and lower conversion rates. Improving your site’s page loading times can help you retain visitors.

In addition to this, web crawlers will index a fast-loading website with optimized images faster than a slower website that has tons of large image files. Improving your site’s crawl speed can potentially increase its visibility in search engine results.

It’s pretty easy to see that speed has a huge impact on the user experience your site delivers. The good news is that there’s a host of tools out there that you can use to measure and analyze your site’s performance and take necessary steps to speed it up.

HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR WORDPRESS WEBSITE FOR PERFORMANCE (IN 5 EASY STEPS)

In this section, we’ll step through some of the different ways you can optimize your site for performance and recommend some useful tools and plugins along the way. As always, you should take a complete backup of your WordPress website before you begin.

STEP 1: ANALYZE YOUR SITE’S SPEED

Analyzing your site’s current page load times is the first step on the path to performance optimization. There a number of free tools out there that can help you measure your site’s load times and see how it holds up under multiple user loads.

To get started, head over to Pingdom (or GTmetrix) to begin analyzing your site’s speed. Enter your site’s URL in the URL field and select a testing location from the drop-down menu. Once you’ve done that, click the Start Test button to begin the page speed test.

Once the test is complete, you’ll be able to see the test results’ summary by scrolling down the page. It should look something like this:

We recommend Pingdom to test page speeds because, on top of giving you a brief summary of your site’s important speed metrics, it also gives you invaluable performance insights along with suggestions on how to improve your site’s overall performance.

STEP 2: USE A REPUTABLE CACHING SOLUTION

As a website owner you must have noticed that some of the largest files hosted on your website rarely ever change. These could be CSS files or high-resolution images that you use on your landing page. Caching is one way to speed up your site dramatically.

From a technical standpoint, once you enable a caching solution on your website, it’ll automatically store some of your site’s files (the largest ones that hardly ever change) on the visitor’s browser. So, when the visitor accesses your site again, the files that were cached will be loaded from their browser thus reducing the page load times.

The WordPress Plugin Directory has a handful of free, reputable caching solutions for you to choose from such as WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache. However, if you’re looking for a premium offering then you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better caching solution than WP Rocket.

STEP 3: OPTIMIZE AND COMPRESS YOUR IMAGES

Images are everywhere. They’re great for adding value to your written content and help draw in the reader’s attention not to mention dozens of other benefits. The only downside to using images is that they take up a lot of space on your server and slow down page load times.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to optimize and compress image files before uploading them to the WordPress Media Library. If you have an image intensive site (for instance, a photography portfolio) then it’s best to install a plugin solution (such as Imagify Image Optimizer) that’ll automatically optimize and compress your images when you upload them. And for those of you who publish images occasionally and would rather not install a plugin, you can opt for the Imagify online application instead.

STEP 4: ENABLE GZIP COMPRESSION

When a visitor enters your site’s URL in their browser’s address bar, a request is made to transfer data between your site’s server and the visitor’s browser. gZIP compression enables you to decrease the size of that data by up to 70% of its original size. And when the packet of data reaches the visitor, their browser will decompress the page and display it.

An easy way to enable gZIP compression on your WordPress website is through the Optionspage. Here’s how:

Login to your WordPress website’s admin panel and navigate to http://www.yoursite.com/wp-admin/options.php. From the All Settings screen, scroll down till you see the can_compress_scripts field.

Change the value from 0 to 1 in order to enable gZIP compression on your site. Remember to hit the Save Changes button at the bottom of the screen when you’re done.

Alternatively, you can also enable gZIP compression by adding the following lines of code to your site’s .htaccess file:

## CODE TO ENABLE GZIP COMPRESSION ##
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript
## CODE TO ENABLE GZIP COMPRESSION ##

STEP 5: MEASURE THE IMPACT PLUGINS HAVE

As a WordPress website owner, you probably have a few plugins installed on your site. But if those plugins don’t comply with the coding standards then they could cause security issues or be slowing down your site.

It’s important to measure and analyze your active plugins to make sure they aren’t running any processes that cause high CPU usage. The P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) by GoDaddy.com shows you how much impact each individual plugin has on your site’s page load times.

Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin, navigate to Tools > P3 Plugin Profiler from your site’s admin panel and click the Start Scan button. After it’s done scanning, it’ll give you a concise breakdown of the results like this:

If any active plugins on your site are causing bottlenecks then you’ll need to find alternative solutions for them or contact their developers and report your issue.

CONCLUSION

Site speed is a huge ranking signal in Google’s search algorithm and if you want your site to show up near the top of its search results, you’re going to have to optimize it for performance. As an added bonus, you’ll also be delivering a great user experience.

A professional writer, digital, and brand designer, Rafay’s work is published across a number of high-authority sites and magazines. He has provided services to numerous brands across the globe and is the go-to solution provider to many reputable private and government organizations. He is also the co-founder of BloggInc. When he isn’t overloaded with work, you can find him tending the farm with his wife, furniture hunting, and being awesome at in-door badminton. More articles by Rafay Ansari

Islamic Art becomes a Game

Engare review: The geometry of Islamic art becomes a treasure of a game

Delightful math-art puzzle game for adults and children alike.

Enlarge / Welcome to Engare.

Your first-blush impression of new video game Engare, perhaps more than any other arty “indie” game in recent memory, will likely boil down to what you think about video games in general.

If you’re looking for something to blow the industry’s tropes out of the water, then Engareshould skyrocket to the top of any list you’re making. It’s a clever, deceptively simple, and beautiful rumination on geometry and Islamic art-making traditions. Try attaching a generic, smoldering white-man box cover onto that concept.

If you’re a well-versed “gamer,” on the other hand, Engare may not strike you so intensely at first. At its core, it’s a spirograph art game with a series of relatively simple puzzles, and it comes with a freeform art toy that unlocks its puzzles’ tools to make whatever patterns you please. The puzzles and the art tools, separately, are straightforward.

But combined, Engare‘s complete package really is a wonderful interactive math… thing. Call it a game, a tool, a toy, or a widget. Whatever semantics you choose, there’s a story in Engare‘s fantastical geometric shapes, and the way you click through its progression is powerful and unique.

Circles, lines, and pulleys

The game, made almost entirely by 23-year-old Iranian developer Mahdi Bahrami, starts with a 2D scene of a circle repeatedly traveling along a line. Above this, an instructional card shows a curved-diagonal line. Drop a dot on the moving circle, the game says, and it will generate a bold line, like ink on a page. As the ball (and thus, your dot) rolls, the inked line unfurls; if you put the dot on a different part of the circle, then your inked line may have more curve or angle to it, based on the total motion of the moving, rotating circle. Your object is to recreate this exact curved-diagonal line. If your first ink-drop doesn’t do the trick, try again.

Each puzzle presents an increasingly complex array of moving and rotating shapes, lines, and dots. You have to watch the repeating patterns and rotations in a particular puzzle to understand where to drop an ink dot and draw the demanded line. At first, you’ll have to recreate simple turns, curves, and zig-zags. By the end, you’ll be making insane curlicues and rug-like super-patterns.

The whole reason I’m even writing this game up is because I went into Engare‘s opening and saw little more than simple puzzles. Maybe it’s The Witness‘s fault, but I see lines, circles, and patterns in my natural world all of the time. I’m obsessed with the math inherent in all of the organic and man-made designs that surround me at a moment’s notice. (I’m weird like that.) This game, at first, did little more than reinforce that view of the world.

But even this jaded math wiz-kid couldn’t help but drop his jaw, loose his tongue, and bulge his eyes at the first time Engare cracked open its math-rich heart. One early puzzle (shown above) ended with its seemingly simple pattern repeating over and over and over and over. Unlike other puzzles, this pattern kept drawing itself, even after I’d fulfilled a simple line-and-turn pattern. And with each pass of the drawing pattern, driven by a spinning, central circle, Engare drew and filled a new, bright color.

This is what the game’s creator is trying to shout, I thought. This is his unique, cultural perspective. This looks like the Persian rugs he saw his grandmother weave as a child.

That’s a cheat for me to think of, I admit, as I’d seen Bahrami present an early version of Engare at GDC’s annual Experimental Games Workshop in 2014. It was his second game about Persian rugs, turns out, and he talked about his own family stories when presenting the concept. But Engare, as a finished game, picks and chooses its cultural content. It’s not necessarily subtle, thanks to the game’s use of Islamic architectural design, Arabic alphabet, and regionally appropriate soundtrack that sounds like it was made by Austin Wintory (but is actually from an upstart musician named Mim Rasouli). But the game doesn’t further stress its cultural ties with a discrete story or specific instructions. You solve puzzles to create beautiful, geometric shapes, and, in the process, you’ll very likely connect the results to gorgeous rug patterns and building designs that you’ve seen elsewhere in the world.

A new generation’s SimCity?

<em>Engare</em>'s pattern-generation tool.
Enlarge / Engare‘s pattern-generation tool.

After completing enough puzzles, Engare unlocks its pattern-generation toolset, and the results are quite simple. Place dots or drag lines, and amazing patterns emerge. The further you get in the game, the more complex these pattern-generation tools get. On their own, they simply make pretty things appear when you push their sliders forward and back.

But in Engare‘s case, every massive, crisscrossing slew of curves and lines and patterns has already been proven out by the puzzles you’ve solved. Your reward for doing well in Engare isn’t unlocking more pattern-generation options; it’s the ability to understand the incredible combination of rotations and line patterns that went into each one and how they’re all geometrically solvable thanks to their adherence to X and Y axes.

Official Engare gameplay trailer.

By the time you get to Engare‘s final puzzles, you’ll run into truly brutal head-scratchers. These require that you manually manipulate a puzzle’s spinning, moving parts until you find the right series of angles, especially once you have to deal with separate parts of a pulley system. Only once you get this right can you drop your ink dot and solve the puzzle in question. These final puzzles require a level of spatial and geometric recognition unlike anything I’ve ever seen in a video game. They’re breathtaking—and may very well look less like interesting puzzles and more like maddening math homework, should this game not be your cup of tea.

That’s really the loudest warning I might offer: any grown-up who has ever shuddered at the thought of returning to geometry class should run, not walk, away from Engare. Additionally, the game has launched with some optimization issues, including weird bugs on weaker processors (particularly when trying to track a mouse cursor) and obnoxious mouse control for tracking and placing ink dots on the game’s later, harder, and faster-moving pattern wheels. And be ready for a game that runs out of puzzles very quickly. (On the one hand, it’s good for a game to bow out before its gimmick gets old, but this is a rare example of a game whose puzzle design’s upper limit is the infinity of math. An expansion pack could totally happen here.)

 

But I’m so delighted that the years of wait for Engare, after teases at events like GDC, turned out to feel absolutely magical and unique in the gaming realm. I want to install this game on the hard drive of every self-proclaimed nerd—and every elementary and middle school’s computer labs. I want this wild geometrical-shape spirograph experiment to be an edu-tainment rite of passage, just like SimCity and Carmen Sandiego were for me. And maybe above all else, I want the Western world to look in awe at the culturally unique stuff that gaming can create when it’s put in the hands of more diverse creators.

 

The good:

  • A geometry-driven puzzle game that generates beautiful, colorful patterns when you succeed. That’s my jam.
  • Scales incredibly well for older and younger players alike.
  • Tasteful inclusion of cultural influences without walloping players over the head about them.
  • Lovely musical score that matches the game’s aesthetics.

The bad:

  • This could be longer without wearing out its welcome.
  • Pattern-generation tool feels a little too disconnected from the puzzles that it’s borne from.
  • If you don’t want a game to feel like math homework, this isn’t for you.

The ugly:

  • Technical hiccups at launch.

Verdict: Buy two copies; donate the second one to a school computer lab.

This article has been updated to correct the name of the game’s composer.

 

What Mahatma Gandhi Said to Those Who Wanted Beef Banned in India

What Mahatma Gandhi Said to Those Who Wanted Beef Banned in India

“How can I force anyone not to slaughter cows unless he is himself so disposed? It is not as if there were only Hindus in the Indian Union. There are Muslims, Parsis, Christians and other religious groups here.”

Gandhi and Malaviya with a cow. Credit: ICAR

Gandhi and Malaviya with a cow. Credit: ICAR

This is an excerpt from Gandhi’s prayer discourse of July 25, 1947, from the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Volume 88, as published online by the Gandhi Heritage Portal.

The Wire first published this article on October 2, 2015, in the light of the shocking incident in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, where a Muslim family was attacked by a murderous mob and Mohammed Akhlaq lynched on the suspicion that they had some beef in their home.

We are republishing it again because of its relevance to current developments.


Rajendra Babu tells me that he has received some 50,000 postcards, between 25,000 and 30,000 letters and many thousands of telegrams demanding a ban on cow-slaughter. I spoke to you about this before. Why this flood of telegrams and letters? They have had no effect.

I have another telegram which says that a friend has started a fast for this cause. In India no law can be made to ban cow-slaughter. I do not doubt that Hindus are forbidden the slaughter of cows. I have been long pledged to serve the cow but how can my religion also be the religion of the rest of the Indians? It will mean coercion against those Indians who are not Hindus.

We have been shouting from the house-tops that there will be no coercion in the matter of religion. We have been reciting verses from the Koran at the prayer. But if anyone were to force me to recite these verses I would not like it. How can I force anyone not to slaughter cows unless he is himself so disposed? It is not as if there were only Hindus in the Indian Union. There are Muslims, Parsis, Christians and other religious groups here.

The assumption of the Hindus that India now has become the land of the Hindus is erroneous. India belongs to all who live here. If we stop cow slaughter by law here and the very reverse happens in Pakistan, what will be the result? Supposing they say Hindus would not be allowed to visit temples because it was against Shariat to worship idols? I see God even in a stone but how do I harm others by this belief? If therefore I am stopped from visiting temples I would still visit them. I shall therefore suggest that these telegrams and letters should cease. It is not proper to waste money on them.

I have been long pledged to serve the cow but how can my religion also be the religion of the rest of the Indians? It will mean coercion against those Indians who are not Hindus.

Besides some prosperous Hindus themselves encourage cow-slaughter. True, they do not do it with their own hands. But who sends all the cows to Australia and other countries where they are slaughtered and whence shoes manufactured from cow hide are sent back to India? I know an orthodox Vaishnava Hindu. He used to feed his children on beef soup. On my asking him why he did that he said there was no sin in consuming beef as medicine.

We really do not stop to think what true religion is and merely go about shouting that cow-slaughter should be banned by law. In villages Hindus make bullocks carry huge burdens which almost crush the animals. Is it not cow-slaughter, albeit slowly carried out? I shall therefore suggest that the matter should not be pressed in the Constituent Assembly…

I have been asked, ‘Since in view of the atrocities being perpetuated by Muslims it is difficult to decide which of the Muslims are to be trusted, what should be our attitude towards the Muslims in the Indian Union? What should the non-Muslims in Pakistan do?

I have already answered this question. I again repeat that all the religions of India today are being put to the test. It has to be seen how the various religious groups such as the Sikhs, the Hindus, the Muslims and the Christians conduct themselves and how they carry on the affairs of India. Pakistan may be said to belong to Muslims but the Indian Union belongs to all. If you shake off cowardice and become brave you will not have to consider how you are to behave towards the Muslims. But today there is cowardice in us. For this I have already accepted the blame.

In villages Hindus make bullocks carry huge burdens which almost crush the animals. Is it not cow-slaughter, albeit slowly carried out?

I am still wondering how my 30 years’ teaching has been so ineffective. Why did I assume, to begin with, that non-violence could be a weapon of cowards? Even now if we can really become brave and love the Muslims, the Muslims will have to stop and think what they could gain by practising treachery against us. They will return love for love. Can we keep the crores of Muslims in the Indian Union as slaves? He who makes slaves of others himself becomes a slave. If we answer sword with sword, the lathi with lathi and kick with kick, we cannot expect that things will be different in Pakistan. We shall then lose our freedom as easily as we have gained it…

[Translated from Hindi]

Prarthana Pravachan –I, pp 277-280

Note: The question of banning cow slaughter was debated in the Constituent Assembly and a consensus emerged that there should be no national statute banning the consumption of beef. The goal was instead included in the (non-binding) Directive Principles of State Policy.

London attack: Muslim raises $37,000 for victims

London attack: Muslim raises over $30,000 for victims

After witnessing the car-and-knife attack from his office window, Muddassar Ahmed launched a crowdfunding campaign.

 
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A crowdfunding campaign by a British Muslim who witnessed an attack in London that killed four people has almost reached a target of $37,000, which will be donated to the victims’ families.

By the time of publishing, more than 1,000 people had donated $33,500 towards the fund.

On Wednesday, Muddassar Ahmed was barricaded in a nearby office building in Westminster at the time of the car-and-knife attack, which also wounded dozens.

“I was there and I was shocked,” he told Al Jazeera. “Because I saw what happened, I felt that had to do something for the victims … I wanted to raise money quickly so I launched the campaign late that night.”

“It was primarily to help families of the victims … it was something that could be done to offer support and empathise with the families.”

Ahmed then called his friends to help with fundraising.

Two British Muslim MPs – Naz Shah and Yasmin Qureshi – have since voiced their support for the Muslims United for London initiative.

‘Being proactive is part of the solution’

On the crowdfunding page, Ahmed wrote that he was shocked to witness “the injuries and loss of life outside my window”.

“I reflected on what it means to be a born-and-bred Londoner and found myself proud of how security and medical services responded,” he said.

The suspect behind the attack, who was killed after he stabbed a policeman to death, was named as 52-year-old Khalid Masood. Reports said he was a Muslim convert.

Some 40 people were injured in the attack, 29 of whom were being treated in hospital, according to police. Seven were still in critical condition.

“Rather than just condemning the attacks, being proactive and actually doing something is part of the solution,” said Ahmed.

While acknowledging that the campaign might help to show Muslims in a positive light, that was not his “primary goal”.

READ MORE: Seeking solace in wake of the Westminster attack

Some of Britain’s Muslim community leaders remain concerned about a possible backlash in the aftermath of the attack.

Following similar violence across Europe in recent years, Muslims have suffered collective punishment as some equate Islam with “terrorism”.

In London, police have advised several mosques to increase security.

“We’re in a very difficult position, the Muslim community,” Mohammed Kozbar, chairman of the Finsbury Park mosque, told Al Jazeera.

“We hope that there’s no reaction from some far-right extremists who may use this incident to spread fear and hate and racism among our society.”

READ MORE: On Facebook Live, emojis and distortion

Meanwhile, religious leaders from different faiths have gathered near the site of the attack to call for unity.

“To Christians, to Anglicans, who sense a great emotion of anger, that is appropriate when the innocent are killed,” said Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury. “It is not appropriate to be angry at a whole category of people, but simply at one person.”

Woman in hijab abused on social media

Following Wednesday’s attack, a photograph picturing a Muslim woman walking at the scene went viral, with many questioning her willingness to aid the wounded.

Thousands of people on Twitter shared the image, which drew a barrage of racistmessages.

The Muslim woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, later released a statement through Tell MAMA, a UK-based organisation that keeps track of Islamophobic attacks.

“My thoughts at that moment were one of sadness, fear, and concern,” the woman said. “What the image does not show is that I had talked to other witnesses to try and find out what was happening, to see if I could be of any help, even though enough people were at the scene tending to the victims.”

She added that she was “devastated” by the attack, and at the shock of finding her picture plastered all over social media “by those who could not look beyond my attire, who draw conclusions based on hate and xenophobia”.

Additional reporting by Zineb Abdessadok, Neave Barker, Barnaby Phillips.

 

Source: Al Jazeera News

Westminster Attack United Kingdom Europe

Cheap plastic film cools whatever it touches up to 10°C

 

Large-scale film cools objects on which it sits.

Y. Zhai et al., Science 355, 6325 (9 February 2017)

Cheap plastic film cools whatever it touches up to 10°C

If heat is not your thing, rejoice: A thin plastic sheet may soon provide some relief from the intense summer sun. The film, made from transparent plastic embedded with tiny glass spheres, absorbs almost no visible light, yet pulls in heat from any surface it touches. Already, the new material, when combined with a mirrorlike silver film, has been shown to cool whatever it sits on by as much as 10°C. And because it can be made cheaply at high volumes, it could be used to passively cool buildings and electronics such as solar cells, which work more efficiently at lower temperatures.

During the day most materials—concrete, asphalt, metals, and even people—absorb visible and near-infrared (IR) light from the sun. That added energy excites molecules, which warm up and, over time, emit the energy back out as photons with longer wavelengths, typically in the midrange of the infrared spectrum. That helps the materials cool back down, particularly at night when they are no longer absorbing visible light but are still radiating IR photons.

In recent years, researchers have tried to goose this “passive cooling” effect by making materials that absorb as little visible light as possible yet continue to emit mid-IR light. In 2014, for example, researchers led by Shanhui Fan, an electrical engineer at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, created a sandwichlike film of silicon dioxide (glass) and hafnium dioxide that reflected almost all the light that hit it while strongly emitting mid-IR light, a combination that allowed it to cool surfaces by as much as 5°C. Still, Fan and his colleagues had to use clean room technology to make their films, a costly process that doesn’t work well on a large scale.

Glass spheres in a plastic film strongly emit infrared light, cooling objects below.

Y. Zhai et al., Science 355, 6325 (9 February 2017)

When Xiaobo Yin, a materials scientist at the University of Colorado in Boulder, saw Fan’s paper, he noticed the material worked in part by encouraging infrared photons to bounce back and forth between the layers of the film in a manner that made it a stronger IR emitter. Yin wondered whether there was a simpler way to do this. From previous work, Yin knew that spherical objects can act like tiny resonance chambers—much as the sound box of a guitar encourages sound waves of a particular frequency to bounce back and forth inside. He and his colleagues calculated that glass beads about 8 micrometers in diameter—little bigger than a red blood cell—would make powerful IR resonators and thus strong IR emitters.

 

So they bought a batch of glass powder from a commercial supplier and mixed it with the starting material for a transparent plastic called polymethylpentene. They then formed their material into 300-millimeter-wide sheets and backed them with a thin mirrorlike coating of silver. When laid across objects in the midday sun, the bottom layer of silver reflected almost all the visible light that hit it: The film absorbed only about 4% of incoming photons. At the same time, the film sucked heat out of whatever surface it was sitting on and radiated that energy at a mid-IR frequency of 10 micrometers. Because few air molecules absorb IR at that frequency, the radiation drifts into empty space without warming the air or the surrounding materials, causing the objects below to cool by as much as 10°C. Just as important, Yin notes that the new film can be made in a roll-to-roll setup for a cost of only $0.25 to $0.50 per square meter.

“This is very nice work demonstrating a pathway toward large-scale applications of the concept of radiative cooling,” says Fan, who did not work on the current project. Yin says that he and his colleagues are already working on one such application, chilling water that could then be used to cool buildings and other large structures. That could be particularly useful in electricity-generating power plants, where cooling water even a few degrees can increase energy production efficiency by a percentage point or two, a “big gain,” Yin says. And without the silver backing, he adds, the plastic film could also increase the power generation from solar cells, which operate more efficiently at lower temperatures.