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Currencies: Dollar rises after Fed comments signal rate increase sooner versus later
Tue, 21 Feb 2017 16:11:17 +0000

The dollar gained against its rival currencies Tuesday, as comments from a Federal Reserve official drove up U.S. Treasury yields and with them, demand for the U.S. currency.

Market Extra: Investors bidding adieu to French stocks as Le Pen gains in polls
Tue, 21 Feb 2017 16:09:07 +0000

Expect investors to continue ditching French equities if the prospects for Marine Le Pen becoming the country’s next president keep strengthening, analysts say.

The Wall Street Journal: Brazil mining company Vale announces plan for single class of stock
Tue, 21 Feb 2017 16:05:49 +0000

Brazilian mining giant Vale SA announced a plan Monday to create a single class of stock without a controlling shareholder, likely reducing the potential for government interference in what management characterized as a watershed for the company.

Encore: Congress threatens state auto-IRA initiatives
Tue, 21 Feb 2017 16:01:09 +0000

Help ensure states can help their workers save for retirement.

Futures Movers: U.S. oil on track for highest close in 20 months
Tue, 21 Feb 2017 15:56:43 +0000

Crude-oil futures on Tuesday are on pace to hit the highest settlement in about 20 months as investors bid prices up on the heels of growing bullishness about compliance to a global pact to curb crude output.

The Ratings Game: Apple’s stock hits record high after Morgan Stanley boosts price target
Tue, 21 Feb 2017 15:53:03 +0000

Apple’s stock reached an all-time intraday high Tuesday after Morgan Stanley raised its price target and earnings estimates on the smartphone giant, citing optimism for sales in China.

Darrell Delamaide's Political Capital: McMaster isn’t the visionary U.S. foreign policy needs
Tue, 21 Feb 2017 15:48:46 +0000

By picking yet another general as his national security adviser, Donald Trump may have missed a much-needed opportunity to bring coherence to U.S. foreign policy, writes Darrell Delamaide.

Market Extra: OPEC chief Barkindo plays down threat from rise in U.S. oil output
Tue, 21 Feb 2017 15:45:08 +0000

Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo welcomes rising U.S. oil production, rebuffing speculation in the market that a ramp-up in shale output is sabotaging the cartel’s closely watched agreement to cut production.

Economic Report: Here’s some good news — there was a big surge in bank-card defaults
Tue, 21 Feb 2017 15:32:38 +0000

Americans missed more bank card payments in January, an unlikely sign of a stronger economy.

Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks hit new records, with banks again the big gainers
Tue, 21 Feb 2017 15:16:49 +0000

U.S. stocks rise with major indexes adding to their string of records as bank stocks in particular continue their recent advance.

Le Pen refuses headscarf, nixes talks with Lebanon cleric
Tue, 21 Feb 2017 14:17:16 +0000

Le Pen refuses headscarf, nixes talks with Lebanon clericBEIRUT (AP) — France's far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen refused to don a headscarf for a meeting with Lebanon's top Sunni Muslim cleric on Tuesday and walked away from the scheduled appointment after a brief squabble at the entrance.

U.S.-Mexico border shooting case at Supreme Court today
Tue, 21 Feb 2017 12:00:18 +0000

U.S.-Mexico border shooting case at Supreme Court todayThe Supreme Court hears arguments on Tuesday in a dispute over a Mexican family’s ability to sue a U.S. Border Patrol officer who killed their son in a cross-border incident. Both governments filed briefs in the case, on opposite sides of the dispute.

Samsung Gear VR To Come With Own Controller
Tue, 21 Feb 2017 04:23:38 +0000

Samsung Gear VR To Come With Own ControllerThe Samsung Gear VR 2 and the new controller are expected to be announced alongside the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus.

Woman Rescues Cop By Jumping on Attacker's Back: 'This Is a True Hero Right Here'
Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:35:00 +0000

Woman Rescues Cop By Jumping on Attacker's Back: 'This Is a True Hero Right Here'Vickie Williams-Tillman jumped on the back of a man beating a cop, authorities.

‘Not My President’s Day’ protests break out across the U.S.
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 23:42:22 +0000

‘Not My President’s Day’ protests break out across the U.S.On President’s Day, thousands of people in cities around the country turned out in protest of President Trump at rallies dubbed "Not My President's Day." The protesters took to the streets to declare their opposition to President Trump’s policies.

Ski resort razed by the Taliban lifts Pakistan's domestic tourism
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 23:25:19 +0000

Ski resort razed by the Taliban lifts Pakistan's domestic tourismBy Drazen Jorgic MALAM JABBA, Pakistan (Reuters) - Atop the piste of Malam Jabba in Pakistan's once dangerous Swat Valley skiers schuss downhill, a new Chinese-built chairlift ferries tourists to the peak, and a luxury hotel is under construction to replace one torched by the Taliban. The Taliban declared skiing "un-Islamic" during their 2007-2009 reign of terror over Swat, but improved security in recent years has allowed ski tourism to re-emerge on Malam Jabba, a hill station in the Hindu Kush mountain range. Locals tout Swat as "the Switzerland of Pakistan", with an international ski tournament held there in January.

Kelly heads to Mexico, Guatemala
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 23:06:03 +0000

Kelly heads to Mexico, GuatemalaUS Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly leaves for Guatemala and Mexico on Wednesday to discuss border security and trade with the countries' presidents and other top officials. Kelly is well acquainted with the region, having served as head of US Southern Command under former president Barack Obama until he took up his latest post in January after being tapped by President Donald Trump. The Department of Homeland Security said that during his first stop, in Guatemala, Kelly would meet with President Jimmy Morales, as well as the ministers of government and foreign affairs.

Cop Helps Girl, 10, With Math Homework After She Messaged Police Department on Facebook
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 21:59:00 +0000

Cop Helps Girl, 10, With Math Homework After She Messaged Police Department on Facebook"I'm having trouble with my homework. Could you help me?" 10-year-old Lena wrote in a Facebook message to the Marion, Ohio Police Department.

Vatican and Rome Jewish community to host landmark menorah exhibition
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 21:32:40 +0000

Vatican and Rome Jewish community to host landmark menorah exhibitionBy Philip Pullella ROME (Reuters) - The Vatican and Rome's Jewish museum will jointly host an unprecedented exhibition on the menorah, the ancient symbol of Judaism, and try to put to rest legends on the fate of one candelabra missing for 15 centuries. The May 15-July 23 exhibition, which Vatican and Jewish officials presented on Monday, will be held simultaneously in St. Peter's Square and in the Rome synagogue complex.

Here’s how badly the Galaxy Note 7 destroyed Samsung’s reputation in the US
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 20:28:47 +0000

Here’s how badly the Galaxy Note 7 destroyed Samsung’s reputation in the US

It goes without saying that the spontaneous combustion of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 was a big deal, but rarely do we get an opportunity to see the impact of tech gaffes on public sentiment quantified. A new Harris Poll ranking the "reputation quotient" of the 100 most recognizable brands in the United States provides just that, and the picture isn't good one for Samsung. In fact, it's pretty dire.

In last year's reputation ratings, Samsung landed in the seventh position out of 100 companies, beaten only by Amazon, Apple, and Google on the tech side of things. Fast forward to today, and Samsung has found itself barely squeezing into the top half of the chart with the number 49 spot on the rankings.

As big of a drop in the charts as it has taken, it's interesting to note that Samsung's actual reputation rating only actually dropped from 80.44 to 75.17. Harris considers a rating of 80+ to be "Excellent," and groups ratings of 75 to 79 into the "Very Good" category. Additionally, both Apple and Google took hits in their ratings as well, though not nearly as drastic — Apple fell from 83.03 to 82.07 and Google dipped from 82.97 to 82.00.

The study is conducted via interviews with US adults, each of which are asked to rate companies that they are familiar with. According to the methodology of the research, each company received a rating from approximately 300 respondents. The timing of the study wasn't particularly favorable to Samsung, having been conducted from late November to mid December of 2016, which was precisely when Samsung was in the midst devising a way to remotely kill off the Note 7s that were still in the hands of owners.

2017 Mercedes-Maybach S550 4MATIC
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 20:15:00 +0000

2017 Mercedes-Maybach S550 4MATICA perfectly restrained chauffeur-mobile.

Syrian army pounds rebels in pre-talks shelling
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 20:11:50 +0000

Syrian army pounds rebels in pre-talks shellingSyrian government forces Monday escalated their bombing campaign around Damascus, raining shells down on rebel territory and sending out a "bloody message" just days before renewed peace talks in Geneva. Representatives from the opposition and of President Bashar al-Assad's regime are to head to Switzerland on Thursday for another attempt to end their country's brutal six-year war. "The toll in regime air strikes on (northern rebel district of Damascus) Barzeh has increased to seven people, including a woman and child," the Observatory said, adding that 12 more had been wounded.

France's far right denounces 'media stunt' over fake jobs probe
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 20:01:16 +0000

France's far right denounces 'media stunt' over fake jobs probeBy Gérard Bon PARIS (Reuters) - France's far-right National Front accused authorities of staging a media stunt on Monday to influence the presidential election after police searched its headquarters in an investigation into "fake jobs". The searches came after French government bond yields rose sharply on news of a poll showing leader Marine Le Pen gaining ground on her main election rivals, independent Emmanuel Macron and conservative former prime minister Francois Fillon. Le Pen denied on Friday allegations by OLAF, the European Union anti-fraud agency, that she gave parliamentary assistants fake jobs paid for out of EU funds.

Breitbart Could Fire Yiannopoulos Over Pedophilia Comments
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 19:54:22 +0000

Breitbart Could Fire Yiannopoulos Over Pedophilia CommentsThe conservative writer and editor was already disinvited from speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Shocker! World’s first self-driving car race ends in a crash
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 19:40:03 +0000

Shocker! World’s first self-driving car race ends in a crash

The world's first race on a professional track involving self-driving cars ended, not surprisingly, with a crash. As part of the Roborace competition held in Buenos Aires over the weekend, one of the two self-driving Devbot vehicles involved in the race slammed into a wall after miscalculating a particularly sharp turn.

While the Devbot vehicles weren't going all out, they weren't exactly driving at a leisurely pace either. At their best, both cars were driving in excess of 100 MPH, with one reaching a top speed of 115 MPH at one point.

In addition to racing around the track at high speeds, it's worth noting that each car can communicate with the other as to prevent them from crashing into each other. Unfortunately, the racetrack wall proved to be an insurmountable foe.

As for the software malfunction that caused the crash, Roborace's Justin Cooke explained what happened in an interview with the BBC:

One of the cars was trying to perform a manoeuvre, and it went really full-throttle and took the corner quite sharply and caught the edge of the barrier.

It's actually fantastic for us because the more we see these moments the more we are able to learn and understand what was the thinking behind the computer and its data.

Indeed, for as far along as self-driving software and hardware has progressed, it's clear that there's still a lot of work to be done before self-driving cars can replace human drivers completely across all driving environments.

While the DevBot vehicles are designed such that they "can be driven by a human or a computer", the versions used in the race over the weekend did not have any humans inside. Photos of the crash can be seen here.


Tribes lay remains of Kennewick Man to rest
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 19:32:31 +0000

Tribes lay remains of Kennewick Man to restKENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) — The ancient bones of the Kennewick Man have been returned to the ground.

Police expand search for suspect in 2 Indiana girls' deaths
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 18:50:25 +0000

Police expand search for suspect in 2 Indiana girls' deathsDELPHI, Ind. (AP) — Authorities said Monday they are expanding the search for a suspect in the killings of two girls who were found dead near a northern Indiana trail last week.

Trump's defense chief: 'We're not in Iraq to seize anybody's oil'
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 18:20:12 +0000

Trump's defense chief: 'We're not in Iraq to seize anybody's oil'By Phil Stewart BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The U.S. military is "not in Iraq to seize anybody's oil", Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said, distancing himself from remarks by President Donald Trump, as he held talks with Iraqi leaders on Monday. Mattis was the highest-ranking Trump administration official to visit Iraq since Trump irked Iraqis with a temporary ban on travel to the United States and for saying America should have seized Iraq's oil after toppling Saddam Hussein in 2003. Trump told CIA staff in January: "We should have kept the oil.

Duck boats face increasing calls for improvements, bans
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 18:20:07 +0000

Duck boats face increasing calls for improvements, bansBOSTON (AP) — With their festive, party-like ambiance and ability to travel on land and in water, duck boats have long been tourist attractions for sightseers around the U.S. But a string of deadly accidents has left the industry reeling, forced safety improvements and led some advocates to call for a total ban on the vehicles.

EU welcomes Pence assurance of Trump's support
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 16:45:05 +0000

EU welcomes Pence assurance of Trump's supportBy Roberta Rampton and Alastair Macdonald BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence assured the European Union in Brussels on Monday that the Trump administration will develop their cooperation in trade and security and backs the EU as a partner in its own right. A month after Donald Trump caused alarm by renewing his endorsement of Brexit and suggesting others may follow Britain out of the EU, Pence told reporters that he had come to "the home of the European Union" with a message from the president.

Atlanta, other cities eye test tracks for self-driving cars
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 16:27:58 +0000

Atlanta, other cities eye test tracks for self-driving carsATLANTA (AP) — Self-driving vehicles could begin tooling down a bustling Atlanta street full of cars, buses, bicyclists and college students, as the city vies with other communities nationwide to test the emerging technology.

Nigeria urges AU to intervene over 'SAfrica killings'
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 16:27:41 +0000

Nigeria urges AU to intervene over 'SAfrica killings'Nigeria on Monday urged the African Union to step in to stop what it said were "xenophobic attacks" on its citizens and other Africans in South Africa. "This is unacceptable to the people and government of Nigeria," a senior presidential aide on foreign affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said in an emailed statement. There was no independent verification of the claimed number of deaths, which may have been the result of wider criminal activities rather than anti-immigrant sentiment.

Turkey puts 47 on trial for 'coup plot to kill Erdogan'
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 16:02:07 +0000

Turkey puts 47 on trial for 'coup plot to kill Erdogan'One of the nearly 50 suspects in an alleged plot to assassinate Turkey's president admitted involvement in the botched July 15 putsch bid as the mass trial opened Monday. Forty-four suspects, mainly soldiers, are under arrest over the alleged plot to kill Recep Tayyip Erdogan, while three others still on the run are being tried in absentia at the court in the southern city of Mugla. Onlookers heckled the accused as they stepped out of the buses that took them from prison, shouting "we want the death penalty!" and "Allahu Akbar" ("God is Greatest").

Sweden Has Most Foreign Born Citizens In Europe
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 15:27:03 +0000

Sweden Has Most Foreign Born Citizens In EuropeThe scrutiny of President Donald Trump's recent comments about Sweden continued Monday.

This new iPhone 8 feature might end up blowing our minds
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 14:33:11 +0000

This new iPhone 8 feature might end up blowing our minds

Amid rumors that the iPhone 8 will incorporate advanced facial recognition features, the Hebrew-language website Calcalist (via Times of Israel) is reporting that Apple recently acquired Realface, an up-and-coming Israeli startup with impressive real-time facial recognition software.

Lending credence to rumors that the iPhone 8 may forgo the use of Touch ID in favor of facial recognition, Realface's software is said to be sophisticated enough such that it can reliably be used as a foundation for mobile-based biometric authentication.

As is often the case when Apple acquires a company, Realface's web presence has already been wiped from the web. Still, thanks to the magic of Google, we were able to poke around and dig up some intriguing nuggets of information about the company's promising technology.

Realface boasts that it's AI software rests upon deep learning methods and is so reliable and quick that the end-result is an absolutely seamless user experience.

"Our technology provides our customers and end-users with the highest level of authentication and security available on all platforms," says Realface. "We have proprietary IP in the field of frictionless face recognition and effective learnings from facial features." Incidentally, Realface's technology is also capable of filtering out photos of faces and advanced sculptures designed to trick the software into thinking that a device's camera is honed in on an actual human face.

Further, Realface claims that its software can recognize faces with a 99.67% success rate, an impressive figure that is even higher than the average 97.5% success rate exhibited by humans. To this point, a profile on Realface from last year relays that the company's technology is so advanced that it can even distinguish between identical twins with alarming and impressive accuracy.

Below is a quick and dirty demo of the software in action.


What's particularly interesting is that Realface's technology is not only capable of discerning individual faces, but can also analyze specific facial expressions as a means to determine a user's mood. If this sounds somewhat familiar, Apple last year acquired Emotient, a company with similar AI technology of its own.

Now as for what Apple is planning to do with its growing portfolio of AI-based facial recognition software, well, that's the million dollar question. While initial speculation centered on Apple rolling out augmented reality features, perhaps similar to what the beloved MSQRD app does, more recent rumblings suggest that Apple wants to position facial recognition as a means to identify users and securely authorize sensitive transactions. Again, there are even reports that facial recognition might ultimately serve as a replacement for Touch ID.

While this seems far-fetched, Ming Chi-Kuo -- an analyst with the best track record regarding Apple rumors -- seems to think otherwise. In a recently issued research note, Kuo claims that the iPhone 8's rumored edgeless design cannot, for whatever reason, coexist peacefully with Touch ID. Consequently, Kuo relays that Apple wants to eventually replace Touch ID with a facial recognition solution.

When it comes to Apple, the old adage that when there's smoke, there's fire is generally true. That being the case, it stands to reason that facial recognition will be a huge and incredibly exciting component of the iPhone 8 user experience.

Elderly woman finds £5 note worth £50,000, donates the money to young people
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 13:05:43 +0000

Elderly woman finds £5 note worth £50,000, donates the money to young peopleFinding out that the fiver in your wallet is worth thousands of pounds is a dream-come-true for some — but not everyone. A Northern Irish woman who discovered a rare £5 note worth £50,000 ($62,317) has given the note to charity because she says she has no use for the money.  SEE ALSO: Some lucky duck got a £5 note 'worth £50,000' in a Christmas card The note is one of just four ultra-rare notes worth £50,000 in circulation in the UK. The note — which is engraved with a special Jane Austen inscription — is the third one to be snapped up, leaving just one left. The woman who discovered the note contacted the gallery founded by Graham Short — the artist who engraved the notes — stating her wish to donate the note to charity. "£5 note enclosed, I don't need it at my time of life. Please use it to help young people," reads the letter sent to the gallery by the donor, who prefers to remain anonymous.  Image: graham short "The lady who found the note has surprised us all by sending it to the gallery and asking that it be used to help young people," reads a blog post on Short's website.  According to the post, the proceeds from the note will be donated to children's charity Children in Need.   "Currently contacting outlets connected to Children in Need to try and give this to a good cause so we honour the request of the lucky woman who originally discovered the note," the post continues. BONUS: This keychain can take away that annoying jingle your keys make

Philippine minister stands by call to shut mines as review begins
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:54:18 +0000

Philippine minister stands by call to shut mines as review beginsBy Manolo Serapio Jr MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines' environment minister said on Monday she stands by her decision to shut more than half the country's operating mines and bar mining in watershed zones as an inter-agency panel began a review of her actions. Members of the government's Mining Industry Coordinating Council will scrutinize the affected mines to ensure due process was followed and consider the impact on jobs and the economy after an outcry by the mining industry in the world's top nickel ore supplier. The council cannot overturn her orders, but its findings could feed into a decision by President Rodrigo Duterte, who has said he will review the planned closures after initially throwing his support behind his environment minister.

Philippines: Vietnamese ship attacked; 1 dead, 6 abducted
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:53:45 +0000

Philippines: Vietnamese ship attacked; 1 dead, 6 abductedMANILA, Philippines (AP) — Gunmen attacked a Vietnamese cargo ship off the Philippines' southern tip, killing a Vietnamese crewman and abducting six others including the vessel's captain, the Philippine coast guard and the ship's owner said Monday.

Don’t Look Now, But There’s Another Greek Debt Crisis Brewing
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:00:47 +0000

Don’t Look Now, But There’s Another Greek Debt Crisis BrewingTalks over Athens’ debt burden threaten to spill into European election season.

Scuffles at Thai temple as police hunt for monk
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:25:27 +0000

Scuffles at Thai temple as police hunt for monkBy Cod Satrusayang and Aukkaraporn Niyomyat BANGKOK (Reuters) - Monks and police scuffled on Monday at a Buddhist temple in Thailand where security forces are trying to arrest an influential former abbot on money-laundering charges. The standoff at the scandal-hit Dhammakaya Temple represents one of the biggest challenges to the authority of Thailand's junta since it took power in 2014. Police said they would try to avoid violence while threatening arrest for followers of the sprawling temple who have defied orders to leave and instead flocked there, hampering the search for 72-year-old Phra Dhammachayo.

Ex-cop says Duterte paid him, others to kill crime suspects
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 09:51:06 +0000

Ex-cop says Duterte paid him, others to kill crime suspectsMANILA, Philippines (AP) — A retired Philippine police officer said Monday that President Rodrigo Duterte, when he was a mayor, ordered and paid him and other members of a so-called liquidation squad to kill criminals and opponents, including a kidnapping suspect, his family and a critical radio commentator.

SpaceX celebrates successful launch from historic NASA launch pad in Florida
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 09:35:43 +0000

SpaceX celebrates successful launch from historic NASA launch pad in FloridaThe private company's newest rocket was sent with supplies to the International Space Station.

Debt-saddled Mongolia agrees $5.5 bn IMF bailout
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 06:07:15 +0000

Debt-saddled Mongolia agrees $5.5 bn IMF bailoutMongolia has reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund on a $5.5 billion bailout package, officials announced, as the debt-wracked country tries to stabilise its economy. The landlocked north Asian nation has been hit hard by a more than 50 percent fall over the past five years in the price of copper, its main export. Billions of dollars' worth of natural resources lie buried beneath Mongolia's sprawling steppes, but development has been delayed for years and slowing growth in its biggest customer China has hobbled the economy.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 05:01:00 +0000

2017 Hyundai Ioniq HybridHyundai's eco warrior stares down the reigning champion.

On frozen fields, North Korean farmers prep for battle ahead
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 01:38:14 +0000

On frozen fields, North Korean farmers prep for battle aheadPYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Plug your noses and ready your "Juche fertilizer." It's time to prep the frozen fields in North Korea.

Explosive blog post details ‘abhorrent’ sexism at Uber
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 00:46:57 +0000

Explosive blog post details ‘abhorrent’ sexism at Uber

In a blog post published Sunday, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler Riggetti details her experiences working for the company. Sadly, given she's a female engineer working at a thrusting, big-name Silicon Valley startup, the experiences are exactly what you'd expect.

In the post, Riggetti details numerous instances of overt sexist behaviour. She reportedly sent evidence, including email and chat logs to HR, but ran into a brick wall multiple times. In the end, she says that her attempts to quietly report sexist behaviour were turned against her:

I forwarded this absurd chain of emails to HR, and they requested to meet with me shortly after. I don't know what I expected after all of my earlier encounters with them, but this one was more ridiculous than I could have ever imagined. The HR rep began the meeting by asking me if I had noticed that *I* was the common theme in all of the reports I had been making, and that if I had ever considered that I might be the problem. I pointed out that everything I had reported came with extensive documentation and I clearly wasn't the instigator (or even a main character) in the majority of them - she countered by saying that there was absolutely no record in HR of any of the incidents I was claiming I had reported (which, of course, was a lie, and I reminded her I had email and chat records to prove it was a lie). She then asked me if women engineers at Uber were friends and talked a lot, and then asked me how often we communicated, what we talked about, what email addresses we used to communicate, which chat rooms we frequented, etc. -  an absurd and insulting request that I refused to comply with. When I pointed out how few women were in SRE, she recounted with a story about how sometimes certain people of certain genders and ethnic backgrounds were better suited for some jobs than others, so I shouldn't be surprised by the gender ratios in engineering. Our meeting ended with her berating me about keeping email records of things, and told me it was unprofessional to report things via email to HR.

Beyond the reports to HR, Riggetti also details a company overrun with internal politics and management problems:

In the background, there was a game-of-thrones political war raging within the ranks of upper management in the infrastructure engineering organization. It seemed like every manager was fighting their peers and attempting to undermine their direct supervisor so that they could have their direct supervisor's job. No attempts were made by these managers to hide what they were doing: they boasted about it in meetings, told their direct reports about it, and the like.

Shortly after the blog post was published, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick issued a statement promising a (secret, internal) investigation into the matter, and reaffirmed Uber's committment to a equitable workplace where everyone isn't trying to stab each other in the back:

"I have just read Susan Fowler's blog. What she describes is abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in. It's the first time this has come to my attention so I have instructed Liane Hornsey our new Chief Human Resources Officer to conduct an urgent investigation into these allegations. We seek to make Uber a just workplace and there can be absolutely no place for this kind of behavior at Uber -- and anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired."

This isn't the first time that Uber has run into human resources problems within its internal teams and management. In 2014, an Uber exec famously suggested digging up dirt on journalists to discredit them. That statement came in response to a journalist who had accused Uber of sexism once again.

More recently, #DeleteUber trended on Twitter after Uber removed surge pricing at JFK airport during a taxi strike -- a strike that was in protest of President Trump's Muslim travel ban. The same hashtag is trending again tonight following Riggetti's blog post.

Global arms trade highest since Cold War: study
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 23:11:14 +0000

Global arms trade highest since Cold War: studyWorldwide arms trade has risen to its highest level since the Cold War in the last five years, driven by a demand from the Middle East and Asia, a study said Monday. Between 2012-2016, arms imports in terms of volume by countries in Asia and Oceania accounted for 43 percent of global imports, a 7.7 rise compared to the previous 2007-2011 period, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). "Transfer of major weapons in 2012-16 reached their highest volume for any five-year period since the end of" the Cold War, the independent institute said in a statement.

‘Impeach President Bannon’ street art protest takes aim at Trump’s controversial chief strategist
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 21:54:58 +0000

‘Impeach President Bannon’ street art protest takes aim at Trump’s controversial chief strategistA sign protesting “President Bannon” is seen in San Francisco. “Impeach President Bannon” posters were spotted in Washington, New York City and several other major cities on Sunday, part of a Presidents’ Day weekend demonstration against President Trump’s controversial White House chief strategist and senior adviser, Steve Bannon. “No one voted for Steve Bannon,” the California-based organizers of the protest wrote in an email to Yahoo News.

Maybe A Salary Would Get First Lady To The White House
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 21:29:44 +0000

Maybe A Salary Would Get First Lady To The White HouseMelania Trump isn't the first first lady to be reluctant to take on White House duties.

Hitler's phone sells for more than $240,000
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 21:26:56 +0000

Hitler's phone sells for more than $240,000Adolf Hitler's personal telephone, which the Fuehrer used to dictate many of his deadly World War II commands, sold at auction on Sunday for $243,000, the US house selling it announced. Originally a black Bakelite phone, later painted crimson and engraved with Hitler's name, the relic was found in the Nazi leader's Berlin bunker in 1945 following the regime's defeat. The auction house Alexander Historical Auctions, which did not reveal the winning bidder's identity, had estimated its worth between $200,000 and $300,000.

Police Build Kitty Condo for Stray Cat That Has Been Visiting Department For Years
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 20:57:00 +0000

Police Build Kitty Condo for Stray Cat That Has Been Visiting Department For YearsOne officer spent several nights working on the condo.

Trump administration drafts plan to raise asylum bar, speed deportations
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 20:00:47 +0000

Trump administration drafts plan to raise asylum bar, speed deportationsBy Julia Edwards Ainsley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Department of Homeland Security has prepared new guidance for immigration agents aimed at speeding up deportations by denying asylum claims earlier in the process. The new guidelines, contained in a draft memo dated February 17 but not yet sent to field offices, directs agents to only pass applicants who have a good chance of ultimately getting asylum, but does not give specific criteria for establishing credible fear of persecution if sent home. The guidance instructs asylum officers to "elicit all relevant information" in determining whether an applicant has "credible fear" of persecution if returned home, the first obstacle faced by migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border requesting asylum.

‘I am a Muslim too’ rally in Times Square
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 19:34:26 +0000

‘I am a Muslim too’ rally in Times SquareRussell Simmons and Rabbi Marc Schneier hosted a large demonstration in Times Square on Sunday in response to Trump’s executive order barring travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries.

UAE signs $1.2 bn in deals as arms fair opens
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 19:31:41 +0000

UAE signs $1.2 bn in deals as arms fair opensAbu Dhabi (AFP) - The four-day International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) kicked off Sunday in Abu Dhabi with the United Arab Emirates announcing 21 deals worth more than $1.2 billion.

Father and Son Killed In Head-On Collision With One Another
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 18:37:00 +0000

Father and Son Killed In Head-On Collision With One AnotherPolice said alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Ecuador in key vote for Latin American left
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 18:06:11 +0000

Ecuador in key vote for Latin American leftEcuador voted Sunday in general elections that could see a pillar of the Latin American left swing to the right -- and potentially deprive WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of his place of refuge in London. President Rafael Correa, who is not running, expressed confidence that his party's candidate, Lenin Moreno, would win in the first round. The polls clearly say the contrary," he said after casting his ballot at an elementary school in Quito.

Police: Man in photos now 'main suspect' in 2 girls' deaths
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 17:58:18 +0000

Police: Man in photos now 'main suspect' in 2 girls' deathsDELPHI, Ind. (AP) — A man photographed walking along a northern Indiana trail system around the time two teenage girls later found slain were dropped off by a relative is now considered "the main suspect" in their killings, State Police said Sunday.

Hunters charged in Texas shooting had blamed immigrants
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 16:05:43 +0000

Hunters charged in Texas shooting had blamed immigrantsPRESIDIO, Texas (AP) — Two hunters accused in a shooting on a remote Texas ranch near the Mexican border had told authorities that they were attacked by immigrants who had entered the country illegally.


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