When Facebook told me this morning that it would ban Alex Jones and Infowars from its platform, my initial reaction was one of deja vu. Haven’t we been through this before? Indeed, it was nine months ago that Facebook first acted to remove Jones’ public page, after previously suspending him. But banning a Jones page and removing Jones’ network are different things. And despite Facebook’s move — along with many other tech platforms — to remove his influence, Jones continued to thrive. It was only in February when Facebook found another 22 pages related to him and his businesses. And while his diminished reach has certainly limited his ability to attract new followers and profit from vile conspiracy theories, he has continued to have a home even in places where he was supposed to be unwelcome. That’s what makes today’s move by Facebook an important escalation of the effort to scrub Jones from social networks. The company has officially … [Read more...] about Far-right extremists keep evading social media bans
Poem high flight
NEWARK, N.J. — Senator Cory Booker was educated at Stanford, Oxford and Yale, but he likes to say he got his real education at Brick Towers, the dilapidated and dangerous housing project in inner-city Newark where he spent eight years as a tenant—not by necessity, but by choice. Living in a 16th-floor apartment that often lacked heat, hot water and elevator service, among poor neighbors trapped on the slum side of the American Dream, this celebrated black prodigy from a comfortable white suburb took an extended tutorial in urban adversity. He got a firsthand introduction to the policy issues that drove his agenda as a city councilor, mayor and New Jersey senator, and will now drive his newly announced presidential campaign. Brick Towers is gone now, but on a chilly gray morning in January, Booker was back at the intersection it loomed over for decades, riffing on the difference between thinking about policy and experiencing it up close. He noted that his former neighbor … [Read more...] about Is Cory Booker for Real?
ALTHOUGH, in the words of the carol we are still ‘in bleak midwinter', the days after Christmas begin to show their stretch, whispering to us that the world is turning as it should, propelling us to the promise of another spring. The lengthening days encourage further those green stems already peeping through soil from sunken bulbs. Heartened by these small signs of new beginnings and a desire to leave the indulgences of recent days behind, I went for a bracing walking around the local rural roads. Always hoping to see something of interest, the numerous bright flashes of red, rising from a hedgerow alerted me to the presence of flocking redwings, and fieldfares, winter thrushes which arrive here, like the Eastern kings, driven by cold north eastern winds from Scandinavia to seek the milder conditions and softer pastures of the Irish countryside. Nineteenth Century English poet John Clare wrote of them as the birds ‘That come and go on winter's chilling wind'. Arriving here … [Read more...] about Take On Nature: Redwing and fieldfare, winter thrushes that help turn the year
Thirty years ago last Friday, on the darkest day of the year, 31,000 feet above one of the most remote parts of Europe, America suffered its first major terror attack. Ten years ago last Friday, then FBI Director Robert Mueller bundled himself in his tan trench coat against the cold December air in Washington, his scarf wrapped tightly around his neck. Sitting on a small stage at Arlington National Cemetery, he scanned the faces arrayed before him—the victims he’d come to know over years, relatives and friends of husbands and wives who would never grow old, college students who would never graduate, business travelers and flight attendants who would never come home. Burned into Mueller’s memory were the small items those victims had left behind, items that he’d seen on the shelves of a small wooden warehouse, outside Lockerbie, Scotland, a visit he would never forget: A teenager’s single white sneaker, an unworn Syracuse University sweatshirt, the wrapped … [Read more...] about Pan Am Flight 103: Robert Mueller’s 30-Year Search for Justice
Follow live updates of Santa NORAD tracker here 47 brilliant family party games for Christmas and New Year's Eve Learn how to make a great Christmas Eve box in no time at all The most wonderful time of year has arrived. During the holiday season, millions of children count down the days of December and go to sleep on Christmas Eve, eagerly awaiting the delivery of their gifts from the beloved Santa Claus. We've now followed Father Christmas' epic 2018 journey delivering gifts across the globe using the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and Google's Santa trackers. Santa's journey across the globe - in numbers Santa and is trusty reindeer travel an estimated 510,000,000 km on Christmas Eve - approximately 1,800 miles per second. He must visit 390,000 homes per minute - or 6,424 per second. From sherry, mulled wine and beer, to mince pies, gingerbread men and fruit cake, Santa consumes a total of … [Read more...] about NORAD Santa Tracker 2018: Santa Claus’s Christmas Eve journey to deliver gifts