The Apocalypticon ~ Migration, the US, data, the Earth, 1000th condor


Migrant image turns heads — A picture of an armed Mexican National Guard soldier impeding a crying migrant mother and her child from getting to the United States is spreading on social media and making headlines in Mexico. Mexico has beefed up border security after pressure and financial threats from Trump.
As many as 150 refugees are believed dead after their wooden boat that had been bound for Europe capsized off Libya’s coast. According to the United Nations, it’s the worst loss of life this year in Mediterranean.
US Marines arrested for ‘human smuggling’ — The Navy has apprehended 18 Marines and one sailor over their alleged involvement in human smuggling, drug offences and other crimes, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service said. [NCIS!]

US economic growth fell to a 2.1% annual rate in the second quarter — down from 3.1% in the first three months of 2019, and despite Trump’s pledge of 3%.
US drug company execs arrested for flood of opioids — Federal officials have indicted two former executives at the pharmaceutical wholesaler Miami-Luken for allegedly distributing millions of opioid pills illegally in rural Appalachia. Two pharmacists have also been charged, according to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio. [But hey, the profits!]
US beaches full of bacteria —A new report has found that more than half of the beaches in coastal states, the Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico saw at least one day in 2018 where their water wasn’t safe for swimming. Why? Bacteria levels are higher than the level the Environmental Protection Agency deems acceptable.
Louisiana cops fired for suggesting Representative Ocasio-Cortez should be assassinated — Two police officers in Gretna, Louisiana in the USA have been fired over a Facebook post that suggested Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should be killed. One of the officers published the content and another police officer liked it. [Justice! But also very scary since what they were reacting to was fake information anyway.]
Wonderful man Bill Gates, who is really, really rich but who funds Third world toilets, has been profiting from prisons — According to Bloomberg, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, which manages the charity’s endowment assets, just added about 200,000 shares to Serco Group Plc, which operates private prisons and detention centres across the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. This reportedly brought the shares to 3.74 million, which amounts to about $9 million.
Gates’ former company, Microsoft, will pay out $37 million in a settlement to resolve charges its staff bribed government officials in Hungary.

Big Data — YouTube is ‘getting serious’ about hate speech, but its service is still riddled with it: more than six weeks later, however, it remains disturbingly easy to find channels associated with hate groups on the platform.
US employers tracking their workers in detail — To be an employee of a large company in the US now often means becoming a workforce data generator – from the first email sent from bed in the morning to the Wi-Fi hotspot used during lunch to the new business contact added before going home. Employers are parsing those interactions to learn who is influential, which teams are most productive and who is a flight risk.
Hackers have managed to steal data from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) — The attackers managed to steal about 7.5 terabytes of data from a major FSB contractor, thus exposing the secret projects the agency was working on to de-anonymise Tor browsing, scrape data from social media, and to cut off Russia’s internet from the rest of the world. [Coz Russia, you know, sucks.]
Apple contractors listen to Siri conversations — A small number of recordings are passed on to contractors working for Apple, tasked with determining if the Siri activation was accidental or on purpose, if it was a query within the range of Siri’s capabilities, and whether Siri acted properly.
Groundswell of resentment in Russia — As Russian President Vladimir Putin approaches his 20th year in power, anger over bread-and-butter issues is sparking protests across the country. Even in sleepy Pereslavl-Zalessky, population 40,000, locals no longer hide their frustration with the powers that be.

Earth — Who stops killer asteroids from striking Earth? No one, really, but a few scientists are ‘looking at it‘.
Australian minister wants sacred trees ripped out to save two minutes drive — Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley has consented to the destruction of trees sacred to the Djab Wurrung people, who are the traditional owners of the land.
Europe is burning — A heat wave, the second in roughly a month, is taking over the continent, and it’s already breaking records. Again. And these are some of the world’s oldest temperature records.
US communities aren’t ready for climate change — Mayors from small and midsize towns along the Mississippi River are calling for more federal support to upgrade infrastructure and help move residents out of harm’s way.

England gets its Trump : like Trump, Johnson is a larger-than-life populist who has made controlling immigration and restoring his nation’s standing in the world key issues in recent years. (Unlike Trump, he is given to speaking in Latin, making ancient historical allusions and has written a biography of Winston Churchill). [So wait, we’re supposed to be happy England has a Trump with a private school education and some Latin?]

Good news — There aint much. But in the 1980s, fewer than two dozen Californian condors were left in the world. Conservationists rounded up the remaining condors and began breeding them in captivity: the 1000th chick has just hatched. Yay.