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The Obamas Just Revealed Their Summer 2019 Playlist, And It Doesn't Disappoint

Barack and Michelle Obama apparently love “Old Town Road,” Lil Nas X’s record-breaking hit featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, as much as anyone else.

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5年前 Facebook 2013 Q3 财报:营收 20.2 亿美元,净利 4.25 亿美元 爱范儿·观察

facebook_2_cropped_w1024

Facebook 刚发布了 2013 第三季度财报,财报显示:Facebook 上季度共营收 20.2 亿美元,同比增长 60%;净利润为 4.25 亿美元,去年同期则亏损了 5900 万美元。

GAAP 摊薄后的运营利润为 7.36 亿美元,同比增长 95%。息税折旧摊销前的运营利润为 9.87 亿美元,同比增长 88%。

所有业务中,来自广告业务的营收达到 18 亿美元,占总营收的 66%,其中移动广告营收约占广告营收的 49%。支付及其他业务的营收为 2.18 亿美元,同比增长 24%。

用户活跃数也迎来增长。第三季度,Facebook 的月活跃用户数(MAU)为 11.9 亿,同比增长 18%,其中移动端的平均月活跃用户为 8.74 亿;日活跃用户达到 7.28 亿,同比增长 25%,移动端的平均日活跃用户为 5.07 亿。

20.2 亿美元的季度营收超出市场预期,此前分析师们普遍预测 Facebook 第三季度的每股收益为 0.19 美元,总营收为 19 亿美元。财报上,Facebook 创始人和 CEO 马克·扎克伯格(Mark Zuckerberg)在称赞公司的优异表现之余,仍不忘表示“连接世界”才是 Facebook 的终极目标:

“我们在上季度取得的卓越成绩表明,我们已经为公司即将进入的下个阶段做好准备。我们将努力使未来的 50 亿用户保持在线,同时连接到知识经济中。”

题图来自 Exact Target

#欢迎关注爱范儿认证微信公众号:AppSolution(微信号:appsolution),发现新酷精华应用。



爱范儿 · Beats of Bits | 原文链接 · 查看评论 · 新浪微博 · 微信订阅 · 加入爱范社区!


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5年前 【钛晨报】什么,英特尔也做代工了?代工ARM芯片,赚钱才是硬道理 钛媒体

ARM芯片

【钛媒编辑综合】移动战略并无太大起色,英特尔决定为竞争对手ARM代工生产移动芯片。

在近日举行的ARM开发大会上,英特尔公司合伙伙伴Altera宣布,从明年开始,英特尔将为该公司代工生产ARM 64位芯片。

英特尔首席执行官布赖恩·科兹安尼克最近在评价苹果64位A7芯片时曾表示:“与之相比,英特尔在制造工艺方面更有优势"。为Altera代工生产ARM芯片只是个开始。未来,英特尔将要跟半导体代工生产企业展开竞争,这其中包括高通、英伟达。

市场研究公司Insight64首席分析师布鲁克伍德表示:“最强劲、最先进的ARM 64位芯片,加上英特尔的一流的芯片生产线,这一组合无人能敌。”布鲁克伍德表示,只要价格能谈得拢,英特尔未来还会代工生产苹果A7处理器,高通骁龙芯片,或是英伟达Tegra芯片。

众所周知,英特尔一直没有放弃被ARM联盟占据的移动设备芯片市场。英特尔同时在生产自己的x86芯片,试图通过与摩托罗拉和联想等厂商的合作扩大自己在这一市场的份额,但是一直未见太大起色。看起来,英特尔现在决定将战略什么的放一放,先利用自己的生产线优势把钱赚起来。

与此同时,英特尔似乎在为自己旗下的付费电视部门Intel Media寻找买家,它找到的是Verizon。AllThingsD周三援引知情人士的消息称,英特尔计划将旗下付费电视业务部门Intel Media转让给Verizon。

该知情人士称,两家公司正在为此而展开谈判,但目前仍处在谈判的初级阶段,还不清楚英特尔将出售Intel Media全部股份,还是将保留一部分股份。

2011年1月,英特尔聘请BBC前视频业务高管埃里克·胡格思领导Intel Media部门。胡格思组建了一支300多人的研发团队,但到目前为止,英特尔并未与任何电视网络达成节目合作协议。

但截至上个月,英特尔仍在寻找战略合作伙伴,试图拯救Intel Media。而Verizon已经运营着付费电视服务,涵盖美国13个州。而且,Verizon曾表示,计划进一步拓展该服务。

 

钛媒摘声:

台湾高科技跟我一样生病了。

——李开复

现在很多公司都在谈论大数据,其实我认为真正拥有大数据或者有能力分析大数据的公司就这么几家,新浪肯定是其中一家。

——新浪联席总裁兼首席技术官许良杰

 

更多关注:

【互联网】

大众点评推2.0开发者平台

在发布1.0开放平台9个月后,今日大众点评发布了2.0开发者平台。同时,该公司宣布了其预定平台的战略,公司未来将发力在线预定O2O,由预定事业部主要负责。而新发布的开发平台也已着力于团购、餐厅在线预订、电子优惠券等交易内容的开放。

百度理财产品“百发”首日年化收益率仅为4.7%

在百度理财首款产品“百发”产生收益的第一天,与华夏基金合作的理财产品年化收益率并未达到此前宣传所说8%,仅为4.7%。30日晚间首批购买“百发”的投资者,可以首次查询收益。网易科技计算,当日年化收益率为4.7%,与同类产品余额宝以及传统基金收益率持平。但百度方面表示,百付宝的百宝箱可能会给用户带来更多收益。

【财报】

苏宁云商前三季度净利润6.25亿 下降73%

苏宁云商于30日晚间发布2013年第三季度报告。2013年1-9月,公司实现营业收入801.43亿元,同比增长10.65%;归属于上市公司股东的净利润6.25亿元,同比下降73.41%,基本每股收益0.08元。

Sprint Q3净利润3.8亿美元 未达到分析师预期

Sprint今天发布了2013年第三季度财报。财报表明,由于后付费用户数量的下降以及关闭Nextel网络的拖累,Sprint第三季度营收未达到业界分析师预期。

Sprint营收同比下滑0.9%,为86.8亿美元,不及分析师预计的87.8亿美元。运营亏损为3.98亿美元,经调整的EBITDA(扣除利息、所得税、折旧、摊销之前的利润)为13.4亿美元。净利润为3.83亿美元,去年同期净亏损7.67亿美元。

预计2013年全年经调整的EBITDA将达到51亿美元至53亿美元之间。

【其它】

迅雷将发布“雷鸟”手机 整合迅雷会员服务

10月30日消息,迅雷将在11月初发布“雷鸟”手机,据了解,雷鸟手机是由深圳市百分之百数码科技定制生产,采用百度云ROM。

腾讯科技获得的雷鸟手机图片突出了“迅雷会员”的字样。迅雷推出手机,可能将着重整合自己的云加速等相关技术和服务。在传统的PC下载业务遭遇发展瓶颈后,迅雷正在加速商业模式转型。

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5年前 NSA Denies Spying On The Vatican


(Updates with NSA denial, adds Washington dateline)

WASHINGTON/VATICAN CITY, Oct 30 (Reuters) - The National Security Agency, responsible for U.S. electronic eavesdropping, said on Wednesday that it does not target the Vatican and called an Italian media report that it had done so "not true."

Panorama magazine said on Wednesday that the NSA had eavesdropped on Vatican phone calls, possibly including when former Pope Benedict's successor was under discussion.

"The National Security Agency does not target the Vatican. Assertions that NSA has targeted the Vatican, published in Italy's Panorama magazine, are not true," NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines said in a statement.

According to Panorama, which did not cite a source for its information, the NSA had monitored 46 million phone calls in Italy from Dec. 10, 2012, to Jan. 8, 2013, including conversations in and out of the Vatican.

In a press release before full publication on Thursday, Panorama said, "NSA had tapped the Pope."

The Holy See said it had no knowledge of any such activity. Asked to comment on the report, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said: "We are not aware of anything on this issue and in any case we have no concerns about it."

Media reports based on revelations from Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who has been granted asylum in Russia, have said the agency had spied on French citizens over the same period in December and January.

Last week, the German government appeared to confirm that Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone had also been monitored by American spies. The issue has also caused Washington problems with Brazil and China.

Panorama said the recorded Vatican phone calls were catalogued by the NSA in four categories - leadership intentions, threats to the financial system, foreign policy objectives and human rights.

Benedict resigned on Feb. 28 this year and his successor, Pope Francis, was elected on March 13.

"It is feared" that calls were listened to up until the start of the conclave that elected Francis, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, Panorama said.

The magazine said there was also a suspicion that the Rome residence where some cardinals lived before the conclave, including the future pope, was monitored. (Reporting by Steve Scherer and Warren Strobel; Editing by Philip Pullella, Angus MacSwan and Cynthia Osterman)

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5年前 Envoys To Angela Merkel Meet With White House To Defuse Tensions From Spying Allegations



By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON, Oct 30 (Reuters) - American and German officials sought to overcome tension between their governments on Wednesday following reports that the U.S. National Security Agency monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone.

A meeting between White House national security adviser Susan Rice and her German counterpart came a week after an infuriated Merkel complained to President Barack Obama about accusations that the United States had for years been eavesdropping on her.

Obama, in response to the diplomatic outcry that grew out of the reports, is considering a ban on U.S. eavesdropping on leaders of allied nations, senior administration officials say.

German's national security adviser, Christoph Heusgen, and the German chancellery intelligence coordinator, Guenter Heiss, sat down with Rice and Obama's homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco, at the White House.

U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and NSA Deputy Director Chris Inglis also participated.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the meeting was "part of our efforts to resolve some of the tension that has arisen out of some reports about surveillance activities reportedly being conducted by the U.S."

Obama is under pressure to reassure allies about the scope and scale of American intelligence gathering. The White House has promised that U.S. officials are not and will not in the future eavesdrop on Merkel's communications.

Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said the meeting was an attempt to intensify and strengthen cooperation between U.S. and German intelligence services.

"Today's discussions were an opportunity to hear from one another and jointly determine how the dialogue can best proceed in order to provide the necessary assurance and strengthen our cooperation," she said.

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5年前 Envoys To Angela Merkel Meet With White House To Diffuse Tensions From Spying Allegations



By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON, Oct 30 (Reuters) - American and German officials sought to overcome tension between their governments on Wednesday following reports that the U.S. National Security Agency monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone.

A meeting between White House national security adviser Susan Rice and her German counterpart came a week after an infuriated Merkel complained to President Barack Obama about accusations that the United States had for years been eavesdropping on her.

Obama, in response to the diplomatic outcry that grew out of the reports, is considering a ban on U.S. eavesdropping on leaders of allied nations, senior administration officials say.

German's national security adviser, Christoph Heusgen, and the German chancellery intelligence coordinator, Guenter Heiss, sat down with Rice and Obama's homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco, at the White House.

U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and NSA Deputy Director Chris Inglis also participated.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the meeting was "part of our efforts to resolve some of the tension that has arisen out of some reports about surveillance activities reportedly being conducted by the U.S."

Obama is under pressure to reassure allies about the scope and scale of American intelligence gathering. The White House has promised that U.S. officials are not and will not in the future eavesdrop on Merkel's communications.

Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said the meeting was an attempt to intensify and strengthen cooperation between U.S. and German intelligence services.

"Today's discussions were an opportunity to hear from one another and jointly determine how the dialogue can best proceed in order to provide the necessary assurance and strengthen our cooperation," she said.

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5年前 Exporting Liberal Democracy, Market Capitalism, and Rule of Law

U.S. foreign policy emphasizes the spread of liberal democracy, market capitalism, and the rule of law. A legitimate debate can be had about the wisdom of making these the basis of foreign policy. And a legitimate debate can be had about whether to pursue these policy objectives by example, encouragement and assistance, coercion with economic sticks and carrots, or by compellence through military force. Which policy objectives are chosen and how they are pursued projects an image on the world stage. U.S. intentions matter little; its actions are interpreted by foreign governments and publics according to local narratives. Those interpretations establish the US "power over opinion." When power over opinion is weakened, exporting market capitalism, liberal democracy, and the rule of law become more difficult and more costly. In the extreme, enemies are created. Finding the sweet spot -- providing national security without destroying the thing it hopes to protect -- is the challenge.

One of the earliest international relations scholars, Edward Carr, was the first to define the instruments of national power. "Political power in the international sphere may be divided, for purpose of discussion, into three categories: (a) military power, (b) economic power, (c) power over opinion. ... But power is an indivisible whole; one instrument cannot exist for long in the absence of the other." A three-legged stool metaphor comes to mind; the legs must be strong and balanced.*

Pre-WWII, the New Deal and the U.S. "Arsenal of Democracy" set the country on a new course. A vastly transformed technology sector brought higher paying jobs. The GI Bill induced millions to attend college and created a rapid expansion in home construction and ownership. The middle class grew larger and stronger. During the Cold War, the "thriving economy and high standard of living" of U.S. capitalism compared to conditions of Soviet communism contributed greatly to U.S. power over opinion around the world. During the 1960s, the benefits of liberal democracy were expanded to increasing portions of the population through the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts. Power over opinion was strong, and exporting liberal democracy and market capitalism were relatively easy.

At the end of WWII, the U.S. economy was the largest in the world while others lay in rubble. Since then Europe and Japan rebuilt, and the economies of South Korea, Taiwan, the Asian Tigers, India, and Brazil grew to represent an ever larger portion of the global economy. As other economies grew, the expanding U.S. economy represented a smaller and smaller portion of the global economy. Today, the economy of the European Union exceeds the U.S. with China close behind. Japan and India have reached rough parity in a second tier along with some EU member states. The U.S. economy went from the undisputed world leader to being one of several world leaders. U.S. behavior on the world stage has yet to reflect the new reality.

A nation's security ultimately rests on its economy and social fabric, and at the end of the Cold War, major powers -- friend and foe -- reduced military expenditures and shifted the freed resources to economic and domestic policy pursuits; less so the United States.** The 12 years of Reagan-Bush deficit spending on weapon systems left the U.S. with a modern industrial-age military and transformed the U.S. from leading creditor to leading debtor nation. Failing to step back from the permanent war footing of the Cold War, today's U.S. military spending accounts for about 43 percent of the world total, almost half, outspending the next dozen or so countries, including the combined expenditures of the EU, China, and Russia. The net result is a globally dominant military and a debt to match.

The performance of the U.S. market economy during the Great Recession did little to impress the developing world. In China, the mixed command/market economy performed better and has shown advantages in other developing countries. The more socialistic Scandinavian countries fared quite well. The current ideological divide in American politics denies the U.S. resort to the measures best suited to economic recovery. Just as the Soviet's centrally planned economy was "relegated to the dustbin of history," some developing countries have proclaimed capitalism approaching its end as well. Whether they are right or wrong, U.S. power over opinion weakened, and exporting market capitalism became harder.

Today, progressives -- those who wish to move beyond the status quo -- appear to be checked. Conservatives -- those with a status quo bias who urge caution and incremental steps forward -- appear silenced. Regressives -- those who believe that progress has gone too far and should be rolled back -- appear to have gained the upper hand. Some see "liberal democracy in retreat." Expanding the benefits of liberal democracy to include more and more segments of society set an enviable example abroad. Today's treatment of a president that isn't white enough for some, voter suppression, increasing income disparity between middle and upper classes, images of the 99 percent ruled by the 1 percent, lagging modern industrialized states in health care delivery, mass shootings, world-leading incarceration rates, and inability to govern, all weaken U.S. power over opinion and make exporting liberal democracy harder.

Following WWII, the U.S. led in establishing a postwar order through treaties establishing international law. More recently, the U.S. has operated outside of international law and in opposition to the UN. War in Iraq in opposition to international sentiment expanded the divide between the U.S. and traditional allies in Europe and Japan. It has exempted itself from international law that it initiated, including the International Criminal Court, the Kyoto Protocol on the environment, and bypassing the Geneva Convention by creating the new "enemy combatant" category. Establishing the Guantanamo prison and events at Abu Ghraib damage the U.S. image as do extra-judicial killing and extraordinary rendition, but less so than invasion, forced regime change, and occupation. Electronic data collection on domestic and foreign audiences, including allies, further damages the U.S. image. U.S. power over opinion is weakened, and exporting the rule of law has become harder.

The instruments of national power have undergone significant change since the end of WWII and the Cold War. The economic instrument has seen an absolute increase but a significant decline relative to the global economy. The military instrument has undergone an absolute reduction post Cold War but in relative terms remains the overwhelmingly dominant military. The power over opinion, the forgotten instrument, has been in a downward spiral following the invasion of Iraq, the Great Recession, and the current governmental dysfunction. With two instruments of power weakened, the U.S. relies more heavily on the military instrument, quite often with further damage to the economy and the appeal of the image we have to sell. The result is that market capitalism, liberal democracy, and the rule of law are more difficult and more costly pursuits.

Aristotle and Socrates made an important distinction in the exercise of power. "Leadership or hegemonia is exercised over equals and allies in the interest of those over whom that power is exercised, and domination or despotia is exercised over enemies [or] unequals, ..., in the interest of those who exercise power." To a great extent, regardless of intentions, the U.S. power over opinion depends on whether it appears to others that it is exercising leadership or domination.*** Weakened power over opinion raises the cost and lowers the probability of achieving everything the U.S. attempts in foreign policy. Getting our own house in order, setting an enviable example, best serves domestic and foreign policy objectives.****

* Edward Hallett Carr, The Twenty-Years' Crisis 1919-1939: Introduction to the Study of International Relations, New York" HarperCollins, 1964. Originally published in 1939.

** Leslie Gelb, "GDP Now Matters More than Force: A US Foreign Policy for the Age of Economic Power," Foreign Affairs 86, no. 6 (November/December 2010): 35-43.

*** Zbignew Brzezinski, The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership, New York: Basic Books, 2004.

**** Richard Haass, Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America's House in Order, New York: Basic Books, 2013.

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5年前 Disneyland Paris Accident Leaves 5-Year-Old Boy Critically Injured

Doctors at a hospital in France worked quickly to save a 5-year-old boy Wednesday after he was seriously injured in an accident at Disneyland Paris.

Police said the incident occurred around 4:50 p.m. while the young boy was riding the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction with his father, according to local news reports. The child reportedly tumbled off one of the boats and became wedged between components of the ride. He was in critical condition when he was transported to a nearby hospital, according to police.

As Le Parisien reports, the child stood up when the boat stalled toward the end of the ride -- a time he should have remained seated. When the ride began moving again, the boy likely lost his balance and fell.

According to French news channel BFM TV, authorities in Seine-et-Marne confirmed the sequence of events, adding that the child was stuck between the dock and a boat. Emergency services at the park responded first, but, due to the boy's condition, he was transported to a children's hospital in Paris.

Disneyland Paris opted to temporarily close the attraction, officials told the Agence France-Presse.

As Le Huffington Post notes, several accidents have occurred at this particular Disneyland location in the past few years. Earlier this year, a bolt snapped off a steam engine ride at the park, causing a wagon to break off from the rest of the train. Four people were treated for minor injuries.

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5年前 U.S. Treasury Lashes Out At Germany, Says Export Dependence Hurts Global Economy



By Jason Lange

WASHINGTON, Oct 30 (Reuters) - The United States reprimanded Germany on Wednesday, saying its exporting prowess was hampering economic stability in Europe and hurting the global economy.

The Obama administration has long called for countries with trade surpluses, such as Germany and China, to do more to spur domestic demand.

But in a semiannual report to Congress on international economic policies, the criticism of Germany stood out for its stark language and prominent placement.

"Germany's anemic pace of domestic demand growth and dependence on exports have hampered" efforts to make the euro zone economy more stable, the Treasury said in the report.

"The net result has been a deflationary bias for the euro area, as well as for the world economy."

Deflation is a persistent drop in wages and prices that can create a self-feeding cycle of economic weakness.

The criticism comes at tricky juncture in relations between Washington and Berlin. German envoys met the White House national security adviser in Washington on Wednesday following reports the United States monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone.

For years, the semi-annual report has been an occasion for the U.S. government to publicly criticize China's foreign exchange practices, but this time Germany appeared to eclipse the Asian nation in terms of prominence.

The Treasury noted, for example, that Germany's net exports of goods, services and capital exceeded those of China in 2012. The policy recommendations for Germany also topped the list of actions Washington feels are necessary to make the global economy more stable.

Economists say stronger domestic demand in Germany would suck in more goods from countries on the southern rim of the euro zone, which continue to suffer from an economic crisis.

As has been customary for over a decade, the Treasury stopped short of formally labeling China a currency manipulator.

It retained its description of the yuan currency as "significantly undervalued," a perennial complaint among U.S. politicians and companies because a weak yuan makes Chinese exports cheaper in the United States at the expense of American manufacturers.

However, the Treasury also noted that the recent appreciation of the yuan was "good for the U.S. economy" and called on China to allow the currency to rise more quickly.

The Treasury also said it was closely following Japanese economic policies to determine whether they are geared toward boosting domestic demand.

An aggressive monetary stimulus program by Japan's central bank has put downward pressure on the yen this year, making Japanese exports more competitive abroad. The U.S. administration notes that Japan had joined other nations in pledging not to target a lower exchange rate.

"It is important that these commitments be maintained," the Treasury said.

Similarly, the Obama administration said it was important for South Korea to refrain from a targeted exchange rate, saying intervention by Seoul in currency markets should only be carried out under "exceptional circumstances."

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5年前 Folk Saint Maximon Celebrated By Mayan Followers In Guatemalan Highlands (PHOTOS)

SAN ANDRES XECUL, Guatemala -- SAN ANDRES XECUL, Guatemala (AP) — The Mayan followers of the folk saint Maximon believe he likes to smoke and drink and have plenty of available cash.

He's revered in several towns in Guatemala's highlands. Every year in those towns, the saint's effigy is put in a different house or business. Its location isn't revealed until the morning of Oct. 28, when the faithful head to the shrine and hold a big party with plenty of alcohol and fireworks. People in San Andres Xecul celebrated Maximon this week by presenting him with bottles of Coca-Cola, beer and whiskey, cigars and cash, seeking solutions to their problems.

Unlike other Roman Catholic saints in Latin America, Maximon is seen by his followers as being able to grant both good and evil requests — from helping to yield better crops to finding love to recovering from an illness to taking revenge on an enemy.

"If I have faith in Maximon, he will help me at any moment" said Juan Carlos Toc, a 45-year-old Quiche Mayan waiting his turn to make his offering.

Some of the faithful traveled long distances to give thanks for favors granted or just to pay respect to the mischievous-looking saint, whose origins are a mystery but who represents a mixture of Christian and pre-Hispanic rituals.

A mix of wise man, healer and avenger, Maximon carries a cane, wears a mustache and always has a lit cigar or cigarette in his mouth.

At times, his effigy is dressed more like a bandit than a saint, wearing aviator sunglasses, a bandanna and a fedora. Other times, he has a business suit and a cowboy hat adorned with red and green feathers.

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5年前 Humans Of New York Project Magically Crowdfunds Ethiopian Boy's Adoption

What began as a photographic census of New York City is turning into a means for spreading kindness across the globe.

Proof of that is the latest story from photographer Brandon Stanton's Humans of New York (HONY) project. Thanks to Stanton, Facebook, and the generosity of strangers, a little boy in Ethiopia may be getting adopted.

On Tuesday, Stanton posted a photograph of a cameraman named Duane. According to a HONY Facebook post, Duane and his wife had been unable to conceive, and had recently decided to adopt a 7-year-old Ethiopian girl named Chaltu who'd been blinded in one eye.

When Stanton asked if he could share Duane's story on HONY, the cameraman shyly made one request.

"Would there be any possibility that you could help us raise the adoption fees to get her a brother?" Stanton says Duane asked. "We've already found him, but aren't financially ready yet."




Stanton immediately took to Facebook and set up an online fundraiser called "Let's Bring Richard Home." He set the goal at $26,000.

Then, the most incredible thing happened. In about an hour, the goal was met and exceeded.




By Wednesday afternoon, they had raised more than $77,000. Stanton wrote on the fundraising page that all additional money raised will go towards Chaltu and Richard's education.

If your heart's not already swelling with love, read the note that Duane's wife, Kristen, sent to Stanton:

Richard is receiving some schooling and he is most likely at a 1st or 2nd grade level currently. He has not been in a car, on a plane, he has never seen a park, been on an elevator, escalator, in a pool or down a slide. We are currently trying to save so that we can afford all of his processing fees. At night when I go to bed, all I think about is that he's 7000 miles away... I think about him lying in his bed (most likely shared with 1 or 2 others). He does not know that he has a mommy and daddy trying to bring him home. I pray each night that he will somehow know that we are coming.


Remarkably, this isn't the first time HONY has rallied strangers to change someone's life. In August, after meeting a little boy who desperately wanted to be a cowboy, Stanton raised enough money to both send the child on a 'Wild Wild West Adventure,' and make a hefty donation to a therapeutic riding center.

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5年前 Earth-Like Exoplanet Kepler-78b Has Rocky Core, Temperatures Too Hot For Life

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Scientists have found a planet way out in the cosmos that's close in size and content to Earth — an astronomical first.

But hold off on the travel plans. This rocky world is so close to its sun that it's at least 2,000 degrees hotter than here, almost certainly too hot for life. Astrophysicists reported Wednesday in the journal Nature that the exoplanet Kepler-78b appears to be made of rock and iron just like Earth. They measured the planet's mass to determine its density and content. It's actually a little bigger than Earth and nearly double its mass, or weight.

Kepler-78b is located in the Cygnus constellation hundreds of light-years away. Incredibly, it orbits its sun every 8½ hours, a mystery to astronomers who doubt it could have formed or moved that close to a star. They agree the planet will be sucked up by the sun in a few billion years, so its time remaining, astronomically speaking, is short.

More than 1,000 exoplanets — worlds outside our solar system — have been confirmed so far.

NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, used to discover Kepler-78b, has identified 3,500 more potential candidates. The telescope lost its precise pointing ability earlier this year, and NASA has given up trying to fix it.

Scientific teams in the United States and Switzerland used ground observatories to measure Kepler-78b.

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Online:

Kepler: http://kepler.nasa.gov/

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5年前 Egypt's Dark Tunnel -- Events since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi have been ominous for democracy and for Egypt.

The Egyptian people face a very difficult choice. They must choose a path that does not lead toward greater violence, further economic decline, dictatorship, or even civil war. Egypt must somehow avoid the fate of Syria (a civil war with over 100,000 civilian casualties), Iraq (a confessional conflict that produces over 10,000 deaths a year), and Libya (an anemic government and rampant lawlessness). Egypt is the heartbeat of the Arab world, and the path it chooses will have a profound influence on all Arabs.

Unfortunately, Egypt's current path may take the country into a dark tunnel with unknown and dire consequences.

On July 3, 2013, the Egyptian military agreed with the demands of nearly 20 million Egyptians who had demonstrated for the ouster of the elected president of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. At the time, I refused to call the military intervention a coup, since the military was responding to the overwhelming desire of the Egyptian people. I, too, hoped that the military rule would be temporary and followed by a more secular constitution along with free and fair elections.

The current status indicates otherwise. The events since the ouster of Morsi have been ominous for democracy and Egypt.

Cracking Down on the Brotherhood

The leader of the military coup, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has led a fevered charge against the Muslim Brotherhood. The continuous, fervent pro-Morsi demonstrations by the Muslim Brotherhood have been met with reactions ranging from arrests to slaughter of demonstrators. There have been larger and equally fervent pro-el-Sisi demonstrations, with frequent clashes between the two groups. Car bombs against government officials and the military are also on the rise. Government supporters accuse the Muslim Brotherhood of terrorism while the Muslim Brotherhood accuses the government of killing innocent people and terrorizing the opposition.

Violence is on the increase. So far over 1,000 protesters from the Brotherhood's "anti-coup" alliance have been killed. During Egypt's celebration honoring its military, 51 people were killed and 200 were injured. Chaos rules in the Sinai, where the killing of Egyptian security forces is routine. For the first time, a group of jihadists called Bayt al-Magdis openly claimed responsibility for a car bombing in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia.

Despite the difficulties the Egyptian military is facing, millions of Egyptians are comparing the popular el-Sissi to their famous leader Gamal Abdel Nasser. A draft movement has formed to urge him to run for president.

Fear of the military is gripping many political leaders. For example, Ayman Nour is in exile in Lebanon; Mohamed Elbaradei is in his Vienna home; and the offices of the April 6 Movement, the leaders of the earlier effort that toppled Mubarak, were shut down and some of its leaders arrested. The military is no longer just targeting the Muslim Brotherhood. It has turned its sights on secular and liberal leaders too.

Challenges Abound

Egyptians are facing serious economic challenges, with the official unemployment figure at 13.3 percent. At the same time, there are signs of determination among young Egyptians. At present, there are 9,000 startups in Egypt struggling to form stronger companies and solicit funding for their entrepreneurial ventures. Outside investors have shown a keen interest, and the Egyptian stock market is on the rise.

Freedom of the press is diminishing. The Egyptian government shut down three major Islamic television stations along with the not-so-neutral Egyptian offices of Al Jazeera. Many journalists have been arrested and at least six have been killed. Opponents of the military are experiencing considerable fear and intimidation.

The Obama administration, to its credit, is resisting private and public pressure from Saudi officials to support Egypt's military government regardless of the latter's actions against its opponents. The U.S. government, finally, has taken the modest step of curbing military aid to Egypt in recognition of the non-democratic state of affairs in the country while still trying to maintain a good relationship with the leaders of the largest Arab country. The Obama administration can also channel direct aid for improving health and education to the people of Egypt through Egyptian organizations. Egypt needs an increase, not a decrease, in non-military aid to buttress economic development.

Europe is attempting to mediate the conflict in Egypt too. Catherine Ashton, the European Union foreign policy chief, twice visited Egypt in an attempt to ameliorate the clampdown, reduce casualties, and maintain good relations. The United States and Europe recognize the importance of a stable Egypt for the future of the Middle East.

The best hope for Egypt is for both sides of the conflict to form a transitional national unity government and hold free and fair elections. The national unity government must stop all arbitrary arrests and the use of lethal force against its opponents. The Egyptian military should revert back to its original policy of never shooting at civilians. This is the only way for Egypt to avoid the dark tunnel that beckons.

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5年前 Bahrain Royals Lead Team In IronMan, Despite Torture Allegations

Two Bahraini princes, Nasser and Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa are currently training in Florida for the upcoming Ironman competition, which takes place on Saturday. Bahraini human rights organizations have accused both men of serious human rights offenses. Rachel Burke Peterson, Director of Communications at Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain, joined HuffPost Live’s Ahmed Shihab-Eldin to discuss whether or not the US government and the Ironman competition should take action in order to address the alleged human rights violations.

Following the advent of the Arab Spring in Tunisia, pro-democracy protests erupted across Bahrain in the winter of 2011. The ruling regime responded with an immediate crackdown, deploying a strong security force.

The Bahrain Forum for Human Rights reports that both Nasser and Khalid Khalifa were responsible for the torture of several pro-democracy protesters. Further, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights has reported that "Following [Nasser Khalifa’s] directives more than 150 professional athletes, coaches and referees were subjected to arbitrary arrests, night raids, detention, abuse and torture by electric cables and other means.”

Peterson said that the Ironman organization should address these reports and hold the Khalifa brothers accountable for any human rights abuses.

“Our main concern is that to allow them to participate in the Ironman competition… it sets a precedent,” she said, “that…those that commit human rights abuses are no longer going to be held to standards that we would consider to be international.”

While Peterson expressed frustration with the lack of reportage on this story, she feels that overall the US government is increasingly willing to censure Bahrain for human rights crimes.

“We are seeing a turn in the US narrative towards Bahrain and our hope is that [this turn] will [continue to] strengthen,” she said, “and that the United States’ government as well as other leaders throughout the world can encourage the government of Bahrain to stop its human rights violations, to end the culture of impunity, and to listen to their citizens’ demands.”

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5年前 Is South Africa Losing the Battle?

We are the biggest economy in Africa and a third of sub-Saharan GDP. Africa's average global governance index improved almost 8 times more than the country we freed under the leadership of Mandela, according to the Mo Ibrahim index. And that, even though our national budget has quadrupled to R1.1 trillion over the last 12 years. We have squandered our political and social capital. We are the not the case of exceptionalism we once were. Nor are we the model of good governance.

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation defines governance as the "basket" of the political, social and economic public goods and services that any citizen living in this century has the right to expect from his or her state, and that any state has the responsibility to deliver to its citizens. The Index scores African countries on their progress in four categories: Human development, Participation and Human Rights, Sustainable economic opportunity, and Safety and the Rule of Law.

94 percent of Africans living on the continent are living in a country where global governance has improved. But at the same time of better human development and improved economic opportunities, security and rule of law have deteriorated at the continental level in 32 out of 52 countries. "If this deterioration is not turned around, it could signal an era where, despite fewer regional conflicts, we will see an increase in domestic social unrest across Africa," warns Mo Ibrahim.

For South Africa it is an acid test of our governance. We should rank number 1 on this Index, not number 5. But growing youth unemployment, the crises in health and education and the rising tide of corruption especially at local level impacts on delivery of the public goods. Add to this the rampant inequality and poverty and shocking events like the Marikana massacre, the violent service delivery protests every day and you have a toxic Molotov.

Mo Ibrahim specified that, the Index presents a mixture of overall progress but also of increased complexity," as it showed vast differences between countries and highlighted the challenges faced by governments in sustaining that progress."

At a more granular level, the 2013 Index shows many social indicators, related to Workers' rights, Freedom of expression and Human rights are declining.

We see a breakdown of legitimacy of leaders at a local level. Communities believe that violence is the only language that will get leaders to listen and solve legitimate grievances. And we should not be surprised that social cohesion, participation and the rule of law is now under threat as demonstrated in the Index.

Another continental trend shows that half our population in Africa is under 19. By 2035 our potential workforce will be bigger than China's or India'. By 2050 we will represent a quarter of the world`s population. That is a demographic dividend if we use this data to plan and allocate resources to creating viable pathways for our youth out of the poverty and joblessness they face today.

As Hadeel Ibrahim says, "These young people of Africa are our developmental army, the people who are going to transform the futures of our countries. We need improve their rights to skills, technology and build the 21st narrative on job creation, livelihoods and entrepreneurship or social instability and conflict will increase."

Former Irish President Mary Robinson, a Board member added, "The focus of the MDGs [millennium development goals] is perhaps showing through. The weakness of those goals is they didn't address rule of law and human rights. As we focus now on sustainable development goals, we need to bring in factors that address these issues. Health and education are important, but it's worrying that the very issues not improving are the ones that bring social cohesion and peace. There are real challenges there."

The Index also shows that the gap between the best and worst performing countries is increasing. The Foundation hopes that countries and regions can learn from each other. The good news is that post conflict countries like Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Angola, Burundi and Liberia show the biggest improvements in governance since 2000, while Madagascar, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Somalia and Libya have deteriorated the most over that period.

Lastly the Mo Ibrahim Prize has not been awarded this year. In seven years the prize has been given three times to African Heads of State who have left office. Former South African president Nelson Mandela is an honorary laureate even though he had left office before the prize was inaugurated. The prize, the richest in the world, is $5 million once of and then a yearly award of $200 000 for the remainder of the person's life. "We hope that those who aspire to the prize will live up to the standards of our 3 Laureates: former President Chissano of Mozambique, President Festus Mogae of Botswana and President Pires of the Cape Verde" said the Prize Committee Chair Salim Ahmed Salim.

Does this mean that Africa has failed the leadership test?

The answer is simply no. But relinquishing office after electoral defeat is surely the bare minimum we should expect from our leaders; it's hardly a mark of excellence. The Prize is awarded to exceptional leadership while in office, not just to the mere act of stepping down voluntarily. I seriously doubt that if this prize existed in Europe or North America it would have been given to any head of state in the last seven years.

But there is a way forward for our leaders. "The Index is the most accurate picture of what is going on in Africa, based on data, not personal views or political bias," said Ibrahim. "This is reality, a mirror put in front of Africa. This is not a time for African pessimism or optimism. These things are fashionable. This is the time to be realistic and stick to facts. We're calling for Afro-realism."

Former President of Botswana Ketumile Masire said, "The public should use this as a tool to check the performance of their governments. We need governments to use these data as something to help them to assess themselves and how the situation can be improved."

The Index provides a clear roadmap to the success and competitiveness of African countries in improving governance and with it the desired reward of the Mo Ibrahim Prize. But we aim to raise the bar even higher next year as we focus on future trends relating to inequality, social and economic inclusion, poverty and quality of public services at a more granular level.

The people of Africa deserve the restoration of human dignity. The index is our measurement of that commitment to justice.

Disclaimer: Jay Naidoo sits on the Board of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation

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5年前 财富箴言——今日发声:塞尔斯

对大多数人来说,工作不仅仅是一种必需,它还是人们生活的焦点,是他们的个性和创造性的源泉。

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5年前 Spices Have Double Salmonella Risk Compared With Other Imported Foods: FDA

WASHINGTON -- WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration says that almost 7 percent of imported spices over a three-year period were contaminated with salmonella.

In a report released Wednesday, the FDA says testing of imported spices between 2007 and 2010 showed that spices were twice as likely as other inspected foods to be contaminated with the pathogen. More than 80 different types of salmonella were detected. The agency decided to study the issue as several spice-related outbreaks have caused illnesses around the globe. In 2009 and 2010, black pepper and red pepper from India, Vietnam and China used in salami caused hundreds of illnesses. The FDA says there have been 14 known outbreaks around the world since 1973, causing almost 2,000 illnesses, many of which were in children.

The FDA says that during the three year period, 749 shipments of spice were refused entry into the United States because of salmonella contamination while 238 other shipments were denied because of the presence of what the FDA calls "filth" — insects, excrement, hair or other materials.

The agency said that some of the spices that were found contaminated at the border were later cooked or treated to eliminate possible pathogens, so much of the salmonella was likely gone by the time the spices were eaten. The agency also noted that the amount of spice generally eaten at a meal is small, meaning people have less of a chance of getting sick from a contaminated spice than a contaminated fruit or vegetable, for example.

Still, the agency has targeted spices because their route to a diner's plate is so circuitous and the potential for contamination comes at many different points. Most all of the spices eaten in the United States are imported, and most come from small farms in a variety of countries that all have different levels of food safety oversight.

The report says spices are produced by a wide variety of agricultural practices, including "on very small farms where farm animals are used to plow, crops are harvested by hand, and spices are dried in open air." All of these practices have potential for animal, bird or human contamination. Off the farm, spices from the small farms are often combined, sold to exchanges or packing companies, or stored for years, increasing the chances that they are temporarily in unclean circumstances.

The study looked at spices imported from several countries, with many of the shipments coming from India, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam.

Michael Taylor, FDA's deputy commissioner for foods, says the agency is "not recommending that consumers stay away from spices," though the chances of someone getting sick can be reduced by adding spices to food before it is cooked.

Taylor says that new food safety rules that aim to make imported and domestic food safer on farms and in processing facilities should help reduce spice contamination. Those rules include regulations that will require food importers to better understand where the food they bring into the country has been.

According to the study, much of the knowledge and technology to reduce contamination exist but are often not used. It surmised that problems arose because of generally unhygienic conditions, including the failure to limit animal and insect access to food and not taking steps like irradiation to kill any potential pathogens.

The report said that better training across the spice supply chain would be one way to reduce illnesses.

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Follow Mary Clare Jalonick on Twitter: http://twitter.com/mcjalonick

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5年前 Credible Sri Lankan War Crimes Investigation on the Horizon

At the United Nations General Assembly's (UNGA) 68th session in late September, a major stipulation was laid out by UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, Navi Pillay, in reference to the shocking slaughtering of tens of thousands of Sri Lankan Tamil civilians in the spring of 2009.

Given strong evidence that Tamil civilians were killed primarily by government forces -- many in schools, hospitals and government-declared safe zones -- the High Commissioner called upon Sri Lanka to "use the time between now (September 2013) and March 2014 to engage in a credible national process with tangible results, including the successful prosecution of individual perpetrators, in the absence of which [the High Commissioner] believes the international community will have a duty to establish its own inquiry."

Such a strong statement that includes a concrete deadline has been sorely needed, because Sri Lanka has already received more than enough time to address the war crimes allegations through its own internal processes. In May 2009, soon after the fighting ceased, the Government of Sri Lanka and the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, issued a joint statement underlining the importance of an accountability process. But after a full year, the government had failed to keep this commitment. In the face of this inaction, the Secretary-General appointed a Panel of Experts to examine Sri Lanka's compliance. The Panel concluded the following year there was "credible evidence" that the Government of Sri Lanka (as well as its opponent during the armed conflict, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE) had committed breaches of international humanitarian and human rights laws "some of which would amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity."

Now, more than two years after the Panel's report, the High Commissioner visited Sri Lanka for a week this past August and found, unsurprisingly, that nothing had changed. The Sri Lankan government has held no one accountable for the mass atrocities committed over four years ago. This, of course, only stands to reason since the current regime -- headed by President Mahinda Rajapaka and his brothers -- is among the accused for committing the 2009 atrocities.

Would anyone credibly ask Syrian President Assad to investigate his own army's use of chemical weapons? Of course not.

As the last four years have shown, repeated pronouncements by U.S. and numerous other officials recommending that Sri Lanka take proper action have done nothing to bring even the slightest measure of justice for the horrific crimes of 2009. Furthermore, the government continues to harass and kill journalists, allow Christian and Muslim religious communities to be attacked with impunity, confiscate land owned by Tamils, and maintain a massive military presence in Tamil areas, particularly in Sri Lanka's Northern Province. That, in turn, gives rise to sexual assaults, disappearances, and other crimes.

The High Commissioner's latest statement offers, at long last, much more than another request for action that is sure to fall on deaf ears. If the Sri Lankan government fails to act within the next six months, she says, the international community must do what the Sri Lankan government has not and establish an international accountability mechanism for the atrocities that occurred over four years ago.

Such a step would not only help to slow, or even reverse, Sri Lanka's descent into authoritarianism, but more importantly, it would vindicate the basic human rights principles that the international community purports to hold in the highest regard. The Secretary General's Panel of Experts observed that "the conduct of war represented a grave assault on the entire regime of international law designed to protect individual dignity during both war and peace." The international community cannot credibly condemn the mass killings in Syria, the Congo, and elsewhere while it continues to turn a blind eye to Sri Lanka's own atrocities of 2009. The High Commissioner's statement, and in particular, her fixed timeline, represent an important step in the right direction. Now the international community must prepare to follow through and show the world that its commitment to accountability for massive human rights violations is more than empty rhetoric.

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5年前 The Role of 'Deceptive DNA' in the US-Iran Talks

On October 23, an Iranian hardliner newspaper, Kayhan, which has done everything possible to undermine President Rouhani's efforts in seeking rapprochement with Washington in its numerous articles and op-eds, asked the Iranian government to boycott any talks with Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman present, accentuating conservatives' and the Supreme Leader's narrative that the United States is "untrustworthy."

Earlier this month, Ms. Sherman, speaking before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to urge Congress to postpone new sanctions on Iran, said "deception is a part of [Iran's] DNA." She made this comment just as Iran was in the midst of negotiations between Iran and 5+1 countries over Iran's nuclear program, with both sides trying to overcome decades of mistrust and suspicion and move in a new direction to resolve mutual concerns.

Kayhan
's reaction to Ms. Sherman's comment shows how even the smallest remark made in Washington can play an outsized role in the ongoing negotiations and give weight to those who will do anything in their power to undermine the positive momentum of new talks between Iran and the 5+1 countries.

In a Voice of America interview on October 25, reporter Siamak Dehghanpour asked Ms. Sherman to clarify what she meant by "deception is a part of the DNA." Ms. Sherman responded, "I think that really speaks to history. Historically, Iranians believe we have been deceptive, and I think it referred specifically to what our history of mistrust has been, and as the president said we must work to a place, and I think President Rouhani wants to work to the same place, where there is mutual trust, mutual respect. It will take a long time for us to get there." Reasoning around her comment, she didn't offer any explanation as to how such words could help to build trust.

Instead of retracting her comment or distancing herself from it, she simply said it was a "misunderstanding" and tried to justify the comment in a historical perspective. "There has been a misunderstanding about some testimony that I gave on Oct. 3 ... and in that, I chose some words in response to a member of the Senate that I think caused some concern, among the Iranian people and even I heard from some Iranian-Americans, and I think that those words spoke to some deep mistrust that President Obama discussed, and that we have to really get over that mistrust. I think these nuclear negotiations will help us to do so," she said.

Regardless of the context in which she made her comment, and considering the complicated political dynamics in Tehran, it's quite reasonable to speculate that this comment might undermine the trust critical to success in the negotiations. The remark was also, for millions of Iranians, deeply offensive. For these reasons, it might be a good idea for President Obama to publicly distance his administration from the comment -- and especially the way it's being perceived -- and publicly disavow all such sentiments.

During the meeting of the Committee, where members have been pushing to adopt more stringent sanctions on Iran, Ms. Sherman asked them to delay new sanctions until the results of the negotiations were clear. And yet she undercut both her own argument to Congress and the administration's tenuous trust-building with Iran with one thoughtless comment.

To be sure, there have been times over the last few decades that Iranians have created a perception that they negotiate for the sake of negotiations, or even to buy time to expand their nuclear activities. But Tehran has sent multiple signals that they are now prepared to negotiate seriously. Moreover, the need by all sides to avoid a further deterioration in the dispute, which both the U.S. and the Iranian administrations seem to concur is in no one's interest, suggests that now is the time for confidence building, not destroying.

When an official involved in the negotiations calls Iran deceptive, and, moreover, carelessly makes this reference to the whole of Iran -- at least that's how it's being portrayed in the Iranian media -- that does not build confidence. It is the height of irresponsibility, especially given the fact that the Obama administration is keenly aware that there are hardliners on both sides eager to seize upon any opportunity to derail the talks. In Iran, this is the kind of comment the obstructionists need to argue that the U.S. is not serious about the talks. It strengthens their ability to pressure the Iranian government not to compromise with the U.S.

The October meetings in Geneva, according to all parties, were positive and constructive, and laid the foundation for progress on the nuclear issue in the coming months. Many observers that I spoke to who were present in Geneva said that the Iranians seemed serious in tone and language, as well as in the specificity of the proposals they laid out. Indeed, Iran's request to keep the negotiations confidential shows that Tehran wants to remove the opportunity for sabotage from those parties that stand to benefit from the irresolution of the ongoing crisis.

I've spoken to a number of Iranian officials who explicitly told me that Iran is serious in resolving this decade-long crisis and sees no reason to continue the status quo. Officials have come to the understanding that it is in Iran's national interest to put an end to the previous Iranian administration's policies towards the West. I see no reason, as somebody who has criticized the Iranian government many times over the last several years, to find such comments deceitful or dishonest.

At the same time, people close to Rouhani's inner circle have told me that they are fearful that the voices in the U.S. who call for ever-increasing pressure on Iran will undermine the Rouhani administration's ability to move forward with complicated, technical, time-consuming negotiations. They fear that hardliners in Tehran will use such voices to interrupt the negotiations and paint any compromise offered by Rouhani's administration as surrender to the West.

Ms. Sherman's comment, and comments like it, can easily play a destructive role in Iran's domestic politics, even if she was misquoted or didn't mean it in the way it's being perceived. Many Iranian officials have been trying to have a more sophisticated understanding of U.S. domestic politics, separating administration policy from Congressional statements, and recognizing that they can move forward on negotiations with the U.S. administration despite more hardline Congressional views.

Additionally, the effect on broader, long-term U.S.-Iranian relations should be clear: The Iranian population is the most pro-U.S. population in the Middle East; it is hardly in America's interest to alienate this population through pointless and seemingly derogatory remarks. For Iranians, culturally, words carry a lot of weight. When the Bush administration labeled Iran as a founding member of the "axis of evil" in 2003, even though it was a policy line for the U.S. and was meant to target the Iranian government and not its people, still it was received as an insult to all Iranians. If U.S. administration officials are seeking to curry favor with Congressional hardliners, surely there are better ways to assuage their concerns than to make flippant and seemingly insulting comments.

Beyond retracting her remark, the Obama administration and its officials should exercise far greater caution in the statements they make. In the delicate atmosphere surrounding talks between these two adversaries, there is no place for these kinds of unnecessarily provocative and counter-productive public remarks.

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5年前 Janice Wilson, an American Social Entrepreneur: Making a Difference by Manufacturing Hair in Cambodia

Cambodia is booming in many ways: the people are full of energy and work hard; the cities are bustling; and positivity abounds. As I've tried to bear witness to here (here, here, and here), the Cambodian people have suffered greatly--from the French Occupation, the Civil War, the American bombings; from the Vietnamese invasions; and the brutal genocide at the hands of the Khmer Rouge.

But, during my recent visit there with the U.S. State Department, I learned that the Cambodians are at peace with this history. And more so, the warm Cambodian population may have found their moment as the economy grows eager for greatness.

I was in the country on the lookout for social entrepreneurs, so I was floored when I met Janice Wilson. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and Columbia University's Law School, Janice is a 40 year-old woman with a lot to brag about.


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The Arjuni Team.


She found her way to Cambodia through an unlikely path -- after initially dropping out of law school to pursue her dance career with Wynton Marsalis, she eventually returned to and graduated from Columbia after a 6-year hiatus. She came to Cambodia in the late 2008 to provide legal assistance during the condominium boom their economy experienced. During that time she began to notice the prevalence of women who had been involved in and abused by the sex trafficking market. Janice wanted to help, but she also wanted to start her own business and to make something of her own.


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A flash event held in Atlanta, Georgia.


Determined to get involved in building better lives for women out of the trade, she soon found a way to start a business. Something she always wanted to do, make something, and help women at the same time. Her idea was simple: hair.


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Janice cutting one woman's hair.


In the early days, Janice traveled to villages around the Cambodian countryside to meet with women interested in getting involved. When a woman wanted to sell her hair, Janice would cut it in exchange for an amount equal to four months of salary. Now her company has several collection teams to travel the countryside and they have performed this life-changing exchange with over 7,000 women! In the past three years, the business has quadrupled.


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Sorting the world's purest hair.


Cambodian hair has a global reputation for its quality, and Janice's company is the leading manufacturer. Her company, Arjuni (www.arjuni.com), is now housed in a factory, where they fabricate, clean, and package the hair before shipping it and selling it all over the world. Because of the company's success, Janice has been able to hire 42 women, many of whom have emerged from traumatic circumstances related to sex trafficking and domestic violence. Together, they are working through to come out ahead.

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5年前 Syrian Army Tank Video: Camera Captures Terrifying Reality In Line Of Fire

God forbid anyone should ever experience the firing of an army tank shell in real life. But this video, captured by a Syrian rebel's camera, gives a rare glimpse into the reality of being in a tank's line of fire.

The footage reportedly comes from Damascus' Jobar district, according to The Daily Caller, though it remains unclear whether any casualties resulted from the blast. The shell just missed the camera, leaving the following footage in tact.



Syria's ongoing civil war began in 2011, with opposition groups calling for the resignation of President Bashar Assad. Some reports claim the death toll has reached as high as 120,000 people, with 2 million more displaced over the course of the uprising. The Syrian Army has been accused of using a litany of powerful weapons to quell rebel forces, including cluster bombs, scud missiles and chemical weapons.

Thus far, international peace talks remain inconclusive, with Assad firmly entrenched in power and opposition groups refusing to negotiate without the president's resignation.

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