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World News

Social Credit System: Facial Recognition Cameras Monitor Chinese Students’ Behavior in Class

Infowars – university in China has installed facial recognition cameras in classrooms that monitor students’ behavior such as nodding off or playing with their cellphones.

China Pharmaceutical University in Nanjing, East China’s Jiangsu Province, is piloting the system in two classrooms and eventually plans to install it in every classroom.

“The system can access every student’s personal information and monitor their behavior in class such as nodding off and playing with their mobile phones,” reports Global Times.

The cameras can also record truancy, whether students are listening or not, how often they look up and down, and whether they leave early.

Students complain the system is an invasion of their privacy, but school officials insist the cameras are necessary to encourage discipline.

Dubai to curb pace of construction projects as prices fall

AP – Dubai’s ruler issued a directive on Monday that would curb the pace of new real estate construction projects as property prices fall and the sheer scale of developments threatens to outstrip demand.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum ordered the creation of a committee to study the needs of the real estate market, evaluate all future projects and control the pace of projects, a statement by Dubai’s Media Office said.

The move comes amid a slowdown in Dubai’s economy and a slump in real estate prices.

Xinhua warns ‘end is coming’ for Hong Kong protesters

Aian Review – China issued a stern warning to Hong Kong protesters as well as the West on Sunday, reiterating that it will not tolerate any attempt to undermine Chinese sovereignty over the city.

“The end is coming for those attempting to disrupt Hong Kong and antagonize China,” stated a commentary piece published by the state’s Xinhua News Agency.

The strongly worded message was directed at “the rioters and their behind-the-scene supporters” — which can be taken as an accusation of Western meddling. It said that “their attempt to ‘kidnap Hong Kong’ and press the central authorities is just a delusion,” adding, “No concession should be expected concerning such principle issues.”

The warning came as thousands of people blocked roads and public transport links to Hong Kong’s airport. The demonstrations, which started in response to a proposed bill that would have allowed extradition to the mainland, have morphed into a broader rejection of Beijing’s growing control over the semiautonomous city.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

U.S. Unleashes Military to Fight Fake News, Disinformation

Bloomberg – Fake news and social media posts are such a threat to U.S. security that the Defense Department is launching a project to repel “large-scale, automated disinformation attacks,” as the top Republican in Congress blocks efforts to protect the integrity of elections.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants custom software that can unearth fakes hidden among more than 500,000 stories, photos, video and audio clips. If successful, the system after four years of trials may expand to detect malicious intent and prevent viral fake news from polarizing society.

“A decade ago, today’s state-of-the-art would have registered as sci-fi — that’s how fast the improvements have come,” said Andrew Grotto at the Center for International Security at Stanford University. “There is no reason to think the pace of innovation will slow any time soon.”

U.S. officials have been working on plans to prevent outside hackers from flooding social channels with false information ahead of the 2020 election. The drive has been hindered by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal to consider election-security legislation. Critics have labeled him #MoscowMitch, saying he left the U.S. vulnerable to meddling by Russia, prompting his retort of “modern-day McCarthyism.”

Man kills eight schoolchildren in China on first day of class

CNN – Eight young children were killed in a school attack in the central Chinese province of Hubei on Monday. It was their first day of class.

The attack took place at the Chaoyangpo Elementary School in Hubei’s Enshi City. According to a statement from the local government, a 40-year-old man surnamed Yu attacked students at the school at 8 a.m. local time, when students would have been arriving for class.

He is in police custody.

WATCH: What millennials are saying about the new American value system: ‘It’s really difficult to be a proud American’

Fox – Americans used to be taught to value hard work, family, religion and patriotism, but in the new age of social media and hyperawareness, young Americans are placing their values in other areas of life.

The Wall Street Journal and NBC News recently conducted a survey rating the values among young people throughout the country. When comparing the answers of young people 21 years ago to young people today, they found that back then patriotism, religion, hard work and family were among the top values — today, the only remaining constant is hard work.

Dana Loesch calls for ‘real bipartisan discussions’ to tackle mass shooting prevention

Fox -Nationally syndicated radio host and former spokeswoman of the National Rifle Association (NRA) Dana Loesch called for “bipartisan solutions” to mass shootings following the “horrific” shooting in Odessa, Texas.

Loesch told “Fox & Friends” on Monday that “We have to figure out ways — have real, bipartisan discussions to figure out what’s going on here. We always keep looking at treating the symptoms, but what is the root of the problem?”

Loesch went on to praise the first responders to the mass shooting in Texas.

The random shooting rampage in Odessa and Midland this past Saturday killed seven people. Police said only that the gunman was a white man in his mid-30s.

Kansas University faculty wants Chick-fil-A banned from campus for fears of ‘safety,’ ‘mental well being

Fox – A few Kansas University faculty members are not fans of allowing Chick-fil-A to be served on campus because they believe the chain violates “safety and inclusion”.

The faculty council, filled with “extreme frustration,” wants America’s favorite restaurant removed from campus for being a “bastion of bigotry” after KU administrators relocated a Chick-fil-A from a basement to “prime real estate” on campus to the Memorial Union. But worse yet, to the council, is the “Chick-fil-A Coin Toss” at the start of the Jayhawks’ football home games.

Dueling protests break out at “Straight Pride Parade” in Boston

CBS

Boston’s first-ever “Straight Pride Parade” kicked off in Boston on Saturday to dueling reactions. Dozens of police officers populated the parade route to try to keep the peace as counter-protestors rallied at City Hall.

The parade began at Copley Square and ends Saturday afternoon at City Hall, where there are speakers expected. Police officers are behind City Hall Plaza in riot gear, CBS Boston reported.

Organizers were given a four-hour permit starting at noon. Police said they expected more counter-protesters than actual parade-goers to join the conclusion of the parade at City Hall.

Ted Cruz, Alyssa Milano trade barbs on Bible, ‘God-given’ gun rights

Fox – Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, took actress and liberal activist Alyssa Milano to task over her faith-based question about the Bible and the Second Amendment.

On Sunday, Milano responded to Republican Texas state Rep. Matt Schaefer’s tweet that he was “NOT going to use the evil acts of a handful of people to diminish the God-given rights of my fellow Texans. Period. None of these so-called gun-control solutions will work to stop a person with evil intent” following a shooting rampage in Odessa that killed seven and injured at least 22.

Sanders previews plan to cancel all past-due medical debt

The Hill – White House hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Saturday previewed his upcoming plan to cancel all past-due medical debt.

Sanders, who will unveil the plan in full next month, has made the country’s health care costs a focal point of his progressive policy proposals.

Sanders’s plan would cancel $81 billion in existing past-due medical debt, repeal parts of the 2005 bankruptcy reform bill and ensure that unpaid medical bills do not impact one’s credit score. Sanders has hit the 2005 bill for eliminating “fundamental consumer protections,” accusing it of making it difficult for Americans to pay back medical debt by imposing stringent means tests.

Major U.S. City Bans Christian Agencies from Helping Kids

Infowars -The policy bars faith-based foster-care agencies from helping needy children, points out a brief from 44 members of Congress asking the court to review a lawsuit against the city brought by Catholic Social Services.

“Religiously motivated providers and parents have played a critical role in filling this need for centuries from coast to coast, and to drive them out ignores the critical need and the grave harm to children that would be caused by their loss,” the lawmakers told the court.

In another brief, officials from 10 states argued that working “with a diverse coalition of child-placing agencies provides better services to children in foster care and the potential parents eager to care for them.”

As WND reported, the city ordered Catholic Social Services to change its religious doctrine if it wanted to continue placing foster children as it had for a century.

Economy & Business

28 Signs Of Economic Doom As The Pivotal Month Of September Begins

Michael Snyder – Since the end of the last recession, the outlook for the U.S. economy has never been as dire as it is right now.  Everywhere you look, economic red flags are popping up, and the mainstream media is suddenly full of stories about “the coming recession”.  After several years of relative economic stability, things appear to be changing dramatically for the U.S. economy and the global economy as a whole.  Over and over again, we are seeing things happen that we have not witnessed since the last recession, and many analysts expect our troubles to accelerate as we head into the final months of 2019.

We should certainly hope that things will soon turn around, but at this point that does not appear likely.  The following are 28 signs of economic doom as the pivotal month of September begins…

Top Investor: Big Tech Using Smart Speakers For Surveillance

Infowars – A leading tech investor has warned that companies such as Amazon and Google are using smart speakers for surveillance purposes.

In an interview with Yahoo News, John Borthwick,of Betaworks said that the information recorded by the devices and relayed back to the host companies cannot be described any other way.

“I would say that there’s two or three layers sort of problematic layers with these new smart speakers, smart earphones that are in market now,” Borthwick noted.

“And so the first is, from a consumer standpoint, user standpoint, is that these, these devices are being used for what’s — it’s hard to call it anything but surveillance,” Borthwick added.

American Airlines passengers’ shock as traveller takes miniature HORSE onto flight

The Sun – AMERICAN Airlines passengers were left stunned after noticing a miniature HORSE had joined their flight.

Evan Nowak said he noticed the animal, which had been brought onboard by a fellow traveller, while flying on an a service from Chicago to Omaha.

He posted the footage to Twitter, which showed the horse calmly sitting near the front of the plane in an aisle seat.

He added: “At this time we would like to begin boarding with any active duty military, families travelling with children under the age of 3, and horses…”

Here’s a list of recession signals that are flashing red

CNBC- Whether or not the U.S. is going into a recession is on the minds of Americans everywhere.

Google searches show recession fears have spiked dramatically since the end of July, when the Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis.

Data is coming at investors from every angle with so-called recession indicators flashing signs of an economic slowdown brought on by slower growth abroad and the U.S.-China trade war. A slowing global economy is pressuring central banks abroad to lower borrowing rates at unprecedented levels and a tit-for-tat tariff war between Washington and Beijing is weighing on business sentiment.

Assessing these indicators is not easy, and many economists, money managers and analysts disagree about how healthy or unhealthy the U.S. economy really is and whether its long expansion can continueHere are some major recession indicators that are flashing red.

Energy & Environment

Sharks, tornadoes and taxes: Cape Cod’s had a tough summer

AP – Between great white sharks, freak tornadoes and new taxes on vacation rentals, Cape Cod businesses have had a challenging summer.

Lodging and beach visit numbers are down on the famous vacation destination, one year after the region dealt with two shark attacks, including the state’s first fatal attack in more than 80 years. Beaches have been closed to swimming for shark sightings so frequently that some news outlets have taken to keeping a running tally (At least 90 times, by one count).

Officials, who took modest steps to prepare for increased shark activity ahead of this season, are sighing in relief that there hasn’t yet been a repeat of last year’s attacks. But this summer also threw a curveball in the form of three rare tornadoes that touched down July 23.

Science & Technology

Governments Shut Down the Internet to Stifle Critics. Citizens Pay the Price.

ENM News – e waited one day, then another. On the third day he broke cover, hoping that a wave of arrests had come to an end.

He was seized at home by soldiers 12 hours later.

“If I had been connected,” Mr. Masaraure said, “maybe I would have got information that it wasn’t safe to be out there.”

Internet shutdowns have become one of the defining tools of government repression in the 21st century — not just in Zimbabwe, but in a growing number of countries, mainly in Asia and Africa, that are seeking to quash dissent.

The shutdowns do more than stunt the democratic process. They can batter whole economies and individual businesses, as well as drastically disrupt the daily life of ordinary citizens, turning the search for mobile service into a game of cat and mouse with the police and driving people across borders just to send emails for work.

The Indian government employs the practice more frequently than any other, most recently in Kashmir, but it is not alone: In 2018, there were at least 196 shutdowns in 25 countries, up from 75 in 24 countries in 2016, according to research by Access Now, an independent watchdog group that campaigns for internet rights. In the first half of this year alone, there were 114 shutdowns in 23 countries.

Coming Soon to a Battlefield: Robots That Can Kill

The Atlantic – allops Island—a remote, marshy spit of land along the eastern shore of Virginia, near a famed national refuge for horses—is mostly known as a launch site for government and private rockets. But it also makes for a perfect, quiet spot to test a revolutionary weapons technology.

If a fishing vessel had steamed past the area last October, the crew might have glimpsed half a dozen or so 35-foot-long inflatable boats darting through the shallows, and thought little of it. But if crew members had looked closer, they would have seen that no one was aboard: The engine throttle levers were shifting up and down as if controlled by ghosts. The boats were using high-tech gear to sense their surroundings, communicate with one another, and automatically position themselves so, in theory, .50-caliber machine guns that can be strapped to their bows could fire a steady stream of bullets to protect troops landing on a beach.

The secretive effort—part of a Marine Corps program called Sea Mob—was meant to demonstrate that vessels equipped with cutting-edge technology could soon undertake lethal assaults without a direct human hand at the helm. It was successful: Sources familiar with the test described it as a major milestone in the development of a new wave of artificially intelligent weapons systems soon to make their way to the battlefield.

Lethal, largely autonomous weaponry isn’t entirely new: A handful of such systems have been deployed for decades, though only in limited, defensive roles, such as shooting down missiles hurtling toward ships. But with the development of AI-infused systems, the military is now on the verge of fielding machines capable of going on the offensive, picking out targets and taking lethal action without direct human input.

So far, U.S. military officials haven’t given machines full control, and they say there are no firm plans to do so. Many officers—schooled for years in the importance of controlling the battlefield—remain deeply skeptical about handing such authority to a robot. Critics, both inside and outside of the military, worry about not being able to predict or understand decisions made by artificially intelligent machines, about computer instructions that are badly written or hacked, and about machines somehow straying outside the parameters created by their inventors. Some also argue that allowing weapons to decide to kill violates the ethical and legal norms governing the use of force on the battlefield since the horrors of World War II.

Health

The Closer You Live To Nature The Happier You’ll Be, Study Finds

Study find – LONDON — If you’re on the lookout for a new apartment or home in a big city, try and find a place near a park or nature reserve. According to a new study, living within walking distance to an urban green space is associated with improved feelings of happiness, self-worth, and overall life satisfaction.

Researchers from The University of Warwick, Newcastle University, and The University of Sheffield have put together the first study ever to investigate and demonstrate the connection between natural, green areas and mental wellbeing on an individual level. Interestingly, they discovered that living close to nature and greenery is more relevant to mental health than income level, employment, and overall health. The study’s authors are hopeful that their findings will be considered by city planners and other policy makers in the future when considering the creation of additional green spaces in cities and other urban areas.

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