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A Culture of Kindness

http://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/12/23/a-culture-of-kindness/

Will “protected cultural zones” save heritage sites in Syria?

Originally posted on Gates of Nineveh: An Experiment in Blogging Assyriology:

Earlier this month UNESCO held a major conference in Paris on cultural heritage destruction in Iraq and Syria. Headlining remarks by UNESCO director Irina Bokova emphasized that there is “no purely military solution” to the conflict and that bringing about peace will involve promoting ideological change. “To fight fanaticism, we also need to reinforce education, a defence against hatred, and protect heritage, which helps forge collective identity.”

To accomplish these ends, four ideas seem to have received prominent discussion:

1) Again emphasize the need to implement the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Properties in the Event of Armed Conflict, which has been raised by UNESCO before. The trouble is, there is pretty much zero motivation for any of the major actors on the ground in Syria to observe its stipulations.

2) Collect evidence for possible prosecution of people who intentionally destroy heritage sites as war…

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Editors’ Picks of the Year: Notable Reads on WordPress.com

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Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

Our editors dove into the archives to resurface top posts published on WordPress.com this year, from personal essays to comics, and photography to fiction. Here’s a glimpse of what you published — and what the community especially loved — in 2014.

“Ever Wished That Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Would Return to the Comics Page? Well, He Just Did,” Stephan Pastis, Pearls Before Swine

“Bill Watterson is the Bigfoot of cartooning,” writes comic artist Stephan Pastis of the legendary Calvin and Hobbes creator. This summer, Pastis collaborated — in secret — with Watterson. Their awesome idea: Watterson would silently step in and draw Pastis’ comic strip, Pearls Before Swine, for a few days, pretending to be a second grader. Pastis recounts the experience, offering a rare glimpse of Bigfoot.

Pearls Before Swine; Stephan Pastis; June 4, 2014.Pearls Before Swine; Stephan Pastis; June 4, 2014.

“No Apology,” Mehreen Kasana

I will apologize for ISIS when every…

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Hollywood Cowardice: George Clooney Explains Why Sony Stood Alone In North Korean Cyberterror Attack

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Originally posted on Deadline:

EXCLUSIVE: As it begins to dawn on everyone in Hollywood the reality that Sony Pictures was the victim of a cyberterrorist act perpetrated by a hostile foreign nation on American soil, questions will be asked about how and why it happened, ending with Sony cancelling the theatrical release of the satirical comedy The Interview because of its depiction of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. One of those issues will be this: Why didn’t anybody speak out while Sony Pictures chiefs Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton were embarrassed by emails served up by the media, bolstering the credibility of hackers for when they attached as a cover letter to Lynton’s emails a threat to blow up theaters if The Interview was released?

George Clooney has the answer. The most powerful people in Hollywood were so fearful to place themselves in the cross hairs of hackers that they all refused to…

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Originally posted on To Inform is to Influence:

Reblogging from InfoAge Strategy.  The author is a certified expert in this area.


Coping with Russia’s Penetration of Ukraine’s Security Service

In a 30 December 2014 article in Mashable[i], Christopher Miller described how Ukraine’s intelligence organization, the SBU, was thoroughly penetrated by Russia during the Yanukovich (and previous) years – and how the SBU is now struggling mightily with the consequences of that penetration. This blog post examines what that penetration has meant, and continues to mean, for the government of Ukraine as it struggles to cope with ongoing Russian government subversion and armed aggression in the Donbas region. It also offers some recommendations for how the SBU can recover over time.

Sluzhba Bespeky Ukrayiny (SBU)

Formed in September 1990 in what was then the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (part of the Soviet Union), the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) was the direct…

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Did the Torture Report Just Open the U.S. Up to ICC Prosecution?

Originally posted on Justice in Conflict:

Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo Bay (Photo: AP) Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo Bay (Photo: AP)

Does the recent ‘torture report’ on CIA ‘enhanced interrogation methods’ leave US citizens vulnerable to prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC)? That was the question I was asked to answer in my latest article for the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage, originally posted here.

Dec. 9 saw the much anticipated release of the U.S. Senate’s “torture report,” outlining in harrowing and tragic detail the CIA’s program of “enhanced interrogation techniques” in its “global war on terror.” On Dec. 2, the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court also released a report in which it made clear that it was inching closer to opening an official investigation into crimes in Afghanistan – including U.S. interrogation techniques. These developments could very well expose U.S. officials to formal investigation – and potentially prosecution – by the ICC. But is the court truly prepared to…

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“An estimated 1 in 68 children has an autism spectrum disorder, the CDC says, a 30% increase over its 2012 estimate.” — CNN www.cnn.com

Originally posted on Stop Fraud:

“An estimated 1 in 68 children has an autism spectrum disorder, the CDC says, a 30% increase over its 2012 estimate.” — CNN http://www.cnn.com

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Ebola, A Nurse’s Perspective

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Originally posted on dtolar:

So a few months ago the country was enthralled with the idea of a few patients, infected with the Ebola virus, coming to the United States. Up until this point, we had been safe from Ebola due to the fact that bats can’t fly over the Atlantic. Some people were completely indifferent, while others had seen Outbreak one too many times. Most were a healthy mix, somewhere in between, but what bothered me the most was both the lack of education and the poor information that was spreading more virulently than the virus could ever hope to.

First, I want to stress that I am a nurse, not a virologist, and hopefully throughout my post you will see that I am not pretending to be one. I have a Bachelor’s in Nursing and am currently a graduate student. I have worked extensively with Infectious Disease Specialists. I have been exposed…

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The Ebola Crisis and Medical Intelligence

Originally posted on The XX Committee:

There’s now no denying that West Africa’s Ebola outbreak has become a global crisis. After months of downplaying the threat, Western governments are facing the painful fact that the situation is deteriorating fast. It’s now plain to see that the world is at the precipice of something genuinely awful, with official predictions of more than a million new infections by the new year. Given that the death rate among those infected with Ebola is roughly fifty percent — and a good deal higher in underdeveloped regions like West Africa — serious concern is warranted.

Now that a Liberian visitor has brought Ebola to American shores, the assurances of officials that the situation is “under control” are being viewed skeptically by many. Our self-reporting system for preventing diseases entering the United States has failed, and investigators are reaching out to a hundred or more travelers who might have been exposed to…

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Not Your Mothers Nigerian Scam: The New Face of Terrorism and it’s assault on America

Originally posted on Behind the Yellow Tape:

We all heard the stories, gotten the emails and nodded our heads at the seemingly odd amount of overseas missionaries, dignitaries, and even Princes having a great deal of political turmoil and desperately needs YOU  to help them move their money out of the country before the “bad guys” get to it. Of course you are not expected to do all this altruistically. No, in fact there is great reward for those willing to offer their bank account information and some up front cash to help safely get the money to you and give to the owner, minus your seven digit cut.There was a time that all one had to fear was the loss of money and or pride from falling for such a scam and having to explain to friends and family why you are suddenly broke.

It wasn’t until recently that I once again found myself face to face…

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