Facebook’s email dump in the UK

❝ As expected, the UK Parliament has released a set of internal Facebook emails that were seized as part of its investigation into the company’s data-privacy practices. The 250-page document, which includes conversations between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other high-level executives, is a window into the social media giant’s ruthless thinking from 2012 to 2015 — a period of time when it was growing (and collecting user data) at an unstoppable rate…

❝ If Facebook was hoping to close the year without any more controversies, these internal documents certainly won’t help. They’re yet another example of the company’s old, ambitious motto to “move fast and break things,” one that it’s desperately trying to get away from.

Some of the folks I respect the most – like Om Malik – have wholly nuked their Facebook presence. The only reason I retain a site there is to maintain minimal contact with old friends and family back in New England and round about this tired planet. Frankly, I’m the worst in the world at actually staying in touch. I never get round to answering “how are you doin'” inquiries from folks I still love as comrades fighting bigotry and war. Hopefully, they remember I was always craptastic at that.

Seventy-two bodies found at Mexican ranch

Mexican marines found 72 dead bodies at a remote ranch near the U.S. border, the Mexican navy said on Wednesday, the biggest single discovery of its kind in Mexico’s increasingly bloody drug war.

The marines came across the bodies of 58 men and 14 women on Tuesday at the ranch outside a town near the Gulf of Mexico in Tamaulipas state, some 90 miles from the Texas border, after a firefight with drug hitmen in which three gunmen and a marine died, a spokesman for the navy said.

One suspected trafficker was arrested, the navy said, and several escaped in SUVs.

The bodies were dumped about the ranch and were not buried. We are still investigating how long they had been there,” the spokesman said. He declined to give more details.

Marines guarding a nearby checkpoint reached the ranch after a wounded man approached them and asked for help. The soldiers came under fire as they neared the ranch, the navy said in a statement.

After the firefight, marines seized assault rifles, bullets, uniforms and vehicles from the ranch — including one with forged army license plates…

Tamaulipas has become one of Mexico’s bloodiest drug flashpoints since the start of the year as rivals from the Gulf cartel and a spinoff group, the Zetas, fight over smuggling routes into the United States…

The Zetas were members of Mexico’s elite special forces trained to fight drug cartels, but they switched sides in the 1990s and became one of the country’s most feared gangs led by Heriberto Lazcano, known as “The Executioner.”

Of course, the Zetas are one of the most dangerous groups of criminals in Mexico. Like the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan, they were trained to a large extent by the United States.

Great job of qualifying recruits, guys.

Israel rules Gaza – people scavenge rubbish dumps for food

Impoverished Palestinians on the Gaza Strip are being forced to scavenge for food on rubbish dumps to survive as Israel’s economic blockade risks causing irreversible damage, according to international observers.

Figures released last week by the UN Relief and Works Agency reveal that the economic blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza…has had a devastating impact on the local population. Large numbers of Palestinians are unable to afford the high prices of food being smuggled through the Hamas-controlled tunnels to the Strip from Egypt and last week were confronted with the suspension of UN food and cash distribution as a result of the siege.

The figures collected by the UN agency show that 51.8% – an “unprecedentedly high” number of Gaza’s 1.5 million population – are now living below the poverty line. The agency announced last week that it had been forced to stop distributing food rations to the 750,000 people in need and had also suspended cash distributions to 94,000 of the most disadvantaged who were unable to afford the high prices being asked for smuggled food.

“Things have been getting worse and worse,” said Chris Gunness of the agency yesterday. “It is the first time we have been seeing people picking through the rubbish like this looking for things to eat. Things are particularly bad in Gaza City where the population is most dense.

“This is not a humanitarian crisis,” he said. “This is a political crisis of choice with dire humanitarian consequences.”

The Israeli government trades on the Holocaust a half-century ago to justify their own variety of fascist rule. Americans who joined in late to the anti-Nazi struggle are the easiest to troll. Our successive governments offer a bipartisan cave-in to the abuse of one nation by another.

American hospitals flush tons of drugs down the drain

U.S. hospitals and long-term-care facilities annually flush millions of pounds of unused pharmaceuticals down the drain, pumping contaminants into America’s drinking water, according to an ongoing Associated Press investigation…

One thing is clear: The massive amount of pharmaceuticals being flushed by the health-services industry is aggravating an emerging problem — the common presence of minute concentrations of pharmaceuticals in U.S. drinking-water supplies, affecting at least 46 million Americans…

The Environmental Protection Agency told assembled water experts last year that it believes nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities use sewer systems to dispose of most of their unused drugs. A water utility surveyed 45 long-term-care facilities in 2006 and calculated that two-thirds of their unused drugs were scrapped this way, according to the National Association of Clean Water Agencies…

The EPA is considering whether to impose the first national standard for how much drug waste may be released into waterways by the medical-services industry, but Ben Grumbles, the EPA’s top water administrator, says a decision won’t be made until next year, at the earliest.

It certainly won’t be made until after Bush leaves office.
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