US Secretary of State/Ex-CIA director Mike Pompeo: We lied, we cheated, we stole’



https://youtu.be/DPt-zXn05ac

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: “I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. We had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.”

Pompeo said this at an event at Texas A&M University on April 15, 2019. Here is the official State Department transcript:https://www.state.gov/secretary/remar…. https://thegrayzone.com

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‘Glory of American experiment’: What did Pompeo mean by that?

Mike Pompeo is loved by the Koch brothers, big oil, Islamophobes, people against  marriage equality, and of course, Donald J. Trump. Narrated by Judy Gold. » Subscribe to NowThis: http://go.nowth.is/News_Subscribe
With business ties to foreign governments, connections to the defense and oil industries, nonchalance towards torture, and hatreds of entire cultures, it’s no surprise Mike   Pompeo’s run as Trump’s CIA Director was short lived – but his time in the White House continues on as U.S. Secretary of State and head of all U.S. diplomatic relations.

Pompeo: ‘I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole’

 ‘I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. It’s – it was like – we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment’ – Pompeo

Mike Pompeo says, “Lying, cheating and stealing reminds you of the glory of the American experiment”

Pictured above: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, telling it like it is: lying, cheating and stealing are the glory of the American experiment. It’s what the capitalist West does best. He was adored by the audience like a success guru.
Source article with all the images and hyperlinks: https://chinarising.puntopress.com/20…
Mike Pompeo says, “Lying, cheating and stealing reminds you of the …

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e-cig & vape devices targeting teens


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Some of the latest e-cig and vape devices are cheap, as small as your thumb and can even be worn as a watch. Tobacco control experts say awareness among parents and teachers are crucial in keeping this new addiction out of schools. 

LET’S be clear – e-cigs and vape (ECV) are electronic drug delivery devices that can be used with the likes of meth and marijuana, warns Universiti Malaya Centre of Addiction Sciences (UMCAS) chief coordinator and the varsity’s Nicotine Addiction Research & Collaboration Group (NARCC) coordinator, Assoc Prof Dr Amer Siddiq Amer Nordin.

The smoking cessation specialist says there’s a chance that students using ECV will be exposed to other drugs.

“And it’s likely they’ll face the same problems – like poor grades – as students who smoke.”

Dr Amer Siddiq was commenting on findings published in the July edition of the Journal of Criminal Justice.

‘It’s all the rage! Exploring the nuances in the link between vaping and adolescent delinquency’ suggests that there may be something “criminogenic about vaping among adolescents”. But the strength of the relationship between vaping and delinquency depends on what is being vaped, with marijuana vaping being most heavily correlated with delinquency.

Dr Nur Amani@Natasha Ahmad Tajuddin, the lead of the NARCC smoking prevention programme in schools, says when the use of ECV is related to crimes like theft, violence, fighting, bullying, and running away from home, more effort is needed to curb the habit.

“Parents must realise that ECV has negative health, mental, economic and academic impact on youths.”

Young at risk.

Four years ago, ECV use among students was less than 3% because the devices were too pricey for most teenagers, Assoc Prof Dr Anne Yee notes..

According to the Tobacco and E-cigarette Survey among Malaysian Adolescents 2016 (Tecma), a whopping 36.9% of students start on the devices between the ages of 14 and 15, and now, we’re seeing a spike in teenage use..

Easily passed-off as a smart watch, thumb drive or pen, the eye-catching devices look like the latest fashion accessories, says the addiction psychiatry expert and UMCAS member..

“Sellers are going all out to push the product to teens by making it cheaper and more accessible..

“Many even give it free to attract young customers. Drug pushers use the same tactic to get people hooked so that they keep coming back.”.

These days, huge, eye-catching banners adorn night markets with traders openly displaying their wares. Clearly, the colourful e-liquid bottles with fancy names were designed for kids, teenagers and women, she says. These are groups that may never smoke yet we’re turning them into ECV users..

“If sellers are targeting adult smokers who want to quit, they wouldn’t need gimmicks. Why make such fancy designs?”.

Dr Nur Amani says a recent study reported that 22% of children aged between 11 and 15 in England, use ECV compared to 18% who start smoking..

“This is because ECV ads are appealing. Here we have celebrities promoting ECV on social media to entice kids.”.

Dr Amer Siddiq says more needs to be done to prevent a new generation of nicotine addicts from emerging..

“ECV isn’t safe. The devices could burn and the e-liquids could be adulterated.”.

While studies have shown that children and adolescents see ECV as cool, pleasurable and fun to use, Dr Nur Amani says there’s a pattern of kids from lower socio-economic income groups being targeted by unscrupulous sellers..

Getting the girls.

National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Harry Tan says teachers nationwide are noticing a rise in ECV use among girls..

“This is scary because with cigarettes, it was mostly just the boys. But these devices are popular among both boys and girls.”.

Dr Yee is worried because nicotine is being touted as a way to lose weight. It’s like what drug pushers tell women about meth..

As it is, more young girls are experimenting with e-cigs as compared to cigarettes..

Cute cartoon packaging and fruity flavours are aimed at female non-smokers.

Society still has a negative perception of women who smoke. But with ECV, the message is that even ‘‘good girls’’ use it because it’s fashionable and can help you lose weight, adds Dr Yee.

In December last year, The Star highlighted how ECV and e-liquids were promoted as weight management aids.

“Even e-liquids that claim to be nicotine-free contain the drug. And you’ll never know for sure how much nicotine is inside. It could be equal to 20 cigarettes.

“A nicotine high lasts for less than two hours before the craving starts. So getting youngsters hooked on ECV is a business tactic, ” explains Dr Yee.

If your kids are turning to cigarettes, ECV or drugs, it could be because they’re bored or have no one to turn to, she says, adding that children who feel a sense of belonging in the family don’t need these harmful distractions.


Easily addicted

Dr Yee says teenagers are much more susceptible to addiction compared to adults. Some even start to have nicotine cravings after just one try.

“The teenage brain has yet to mature. That’s why adolescents are more impulsive, emotional and susceptible to advertisements aimed at influencing their behaviour.”

Parents whose children are already smoking aren’t helping by getting them an ECV. While it’s better than a tobacco cigarette, ECV is harmful for non-smokers.

When inhaled, tiny chemical particles in the e-liquids can enter the bloodstream and cause long-term harm.

Those between the ages of 10 and 18, adds Dr Nur Amani, are especially vulnerable to addiction.

The medical doctor says e-liquids contain toxic materials like lead, arsenic, manganese and chromium. Exposure to even small amounts can worsen symptoms of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

ECV use among varsity students is also worrying, says Dr Amer Siddiq, who was among the researches behind The use of e-cigarettes among university students in Malaysia journal paper published in December.

The study, funded by the Education Ministry, involved 1, 302 students in six Malaysian varsities.

“Over 40% of students smoke and use ECV. This means that ECV has not helped them quit smoking, ” he says, adding that some users even experienced adverse effects like dizziness, coughs and headaches.

Anti-vape campaign

The Education Ministry recently announced that it would intensify awareness campaigns after claims of ECV being freely distributed among students, and photos of youths vaping, went viral.

Calling on parents and society to stop students from bringing the devices to schools, the ministry’s director-general Datuk Dr Amin Senin notes that ECV has become the norm these days – becoming more sophisticated and difficult to distinguish from other electronic gadgets.

Welcoming the ministry’s move, Dr Nur Amani feels it’s important to get tobacco cessation experts onboard to work with teachers.

More awareness campaigns need to be conducted by health scientists, educationists, politicians and non-governmental organisations, to show that ECV use is not “normal behaviour”.

Group activities, instead of talks, work better to impart knowledge. And, it’s more sustainable.

“The children themselves can then act as ‘peer experts’. The impact is greater when the message is shared by those of the same age group.”

Campaigns can be effective if we target parents and teachers, says Dr Yee.

With children and adolescents, the more you say no, the more they will want to try it, she says, adding that parents shouldn’t over-react if they find their child smoking, using ECV or taking drugs.

“It’s not the end of the world. Be an ally to your children instead of acting like the police.”

She suggests talking to children about the dangers out there instead of sweeping things under the carpet.

“Make them realise that sellers only want to make money by getting youths hooked on an addictive habit whether it’s nicotine or drugs.”

The Health and Education Ministries are already working together on the Kotak (Kesihatan Oral Tanpa Asap Rokok) programme to highlight the harms of cigarettes and its related products, says Dr Amer Siddiq.

But with the introduction of newer ECV models, there’s a need to raise awareness among the adults

Citing some pod-and-USB-like devices as examples, he says these have very high nicotine content but most parents and teachers don’t know about them.

Recently, children were mimicking vaping because of what they see on social media, Dr Amer Siddiq says in reference to the crackdown on Ghost Smoke – a candy consumed by sucking on a straw to produce a vapour-like effect.

“The Kotak programme must be enhanced to cover ECV and its dangers especially the impact on young developing brains.”

NUTP’s Tan says most teachers are in a cocoon when it comes to ECV.

“We need to expose teachers to this new threat so that they know what to look out for.

“And teachers must be given more authority. Since we cannot cane and are vulnerable to lawsuits, we want legislation that compels parents of problematic students to come to school and be responsible for their kids’ behaviour.”

UM, says Dr Nur Amani, has been conducting educational and advocacy programmes in schools through its No-Cotine Club and Community and Sustainability Centre (UMCARES).

Trained students go to colleges and schools to carry out activities that de-normalise smoking and vaping, she says.

“Soon we’ll be approaching 80 partner schools to tell our children that EVC is not just ‘evaporated water’.

“The effects are harmful and it’s haram for Muslims. Hopefully when they go home, they’ll share the message with their parents.”

Smoking and IR 4.0

ECV will be among the hot topics at the upcoming KL Nicotine Addiction International Conference (KLNAC) 2020, says its organising chairman Dr Amer Siddiq.

As the country moves towards realising the National Strategic Plan to make Malaysia smoke-free by 2045, it’s crucial to look at all forms of technology that can prevent the uptake of cigarettes, he says.

“We’ve decided on the theme ‘Mission IR 4.0: Redesign Tobacco Control’ because of the emergence of various disruptive technologies that can either assist quitting, prevent youths from starting the habit, or attract people to smoking.

“ECV was initially touted as a way to help smokers quit but we’ve seen how Juul has ended up enticing youths to take it up instead.”

UM, he says, is already using data and technology in its tobacco control efforts.

The varsity’s dental group is working on an app for school children to prevent initiation to smoking.

And, Dr Yee is collecting data to match smokers with cessation apps that are right for them.

“We’ve thousands of smoking cessation apps yet the success rate is only 25%. Each app caters to specific personalities so we’re trying to match smokers with apps that cater to their preferences. This will ensure a higher success rate.”

By CHRISTINA CHIN – Source link

Teens the target for vape products


Cause for concern: Subbarow showing the smart watch vape gadget at the CAP office in Jalan Masjid Negeri, Penang.

GEORGE TOWN: Vape products in all shapes and sizes have been flooding the market, including those targeting schoolchildren.

Besides vape pens and chocolates, the latest is the vape smart watch.

The gadget, which has a strap and detachable watch, is being sold openly in shops for RM132 each.

“These watches can cost less than RM130 and some students are using pooled money to buy and share them.

“They also pay RM50 for a 30ml bottle of liquid nicotine, ” said Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) education officer N.V. Subbarow.

He said recently, teachers in two schools in the state seized vape gadgets from students, showing a disturbing trend of students vaping.

“They look like regular smart watches and teachers may not easily identify them. The liquid is poured into the detachable watch face unit, and the vaping device is shared among the students.

“One can easily lay their hands on the China-made product as they seem to be used by schoolchildren. This could lead to serious health issues.

“The government may have banned cigarettes in schools or public places, but the law still allows e-cigarettes. Sadly, many unscrupulous traders are promoting these products as gifts, ” he said in an interview.

Subbarow also claimed that a preschool teacher confiscated a “cigarette pad” from a five-year-old recently.

“When you roll each page torn off from the small note pad, it looks like a cigarette. This seems to be a plaything among the children.

“There is like a pattern now where smoking is being promoted at an early age, which would have disastrous effects on a growing child. There are no laws stopping profiteering from these gadgets, ” he said.

Subbarow added that students often got away with vaping, compared to smoking cigarettes because they come in many flavours and are water-based, without emanating much smoke or smell.

“The fruity flavours of apple, orange or strawberry cause the vapers to have fresh breath, making it difficult for teachers and parents to know if their children are vaping, ” he said.

When met, two 16-year-olds from a school in Jelutong, who were vaping near the CAP office at Jalan Masjid Negeri, said they bought an e-cigarette for RM100 and liquid nicotine for RM50 and that they smoked outside the school.

One of them said he had borrowed money from another friend and it was nothing new as many peers in his school have e-cigarettes.He said they would also meet after school for vaping sessions.

Subbarow cautioned that thousands have died from lung infections and other diseases due to smoking, which is higher than those who were killed in accidents.

“Our checks in about eight schools showed that the situation is critical. Prompt action must be taken to address the issue, including amending the laws to ban vaping in public places.

“The anti-vape campaign started five years ago when vaping was a hot issue but it soon fizzled out as the Health Ministry did not follow through, ” he said.

“It’s time for drastic action or we’ll lose an entire generation, who will end up becoming vaping addicts.”

By R. SEKARANSource link
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Who is messing with Hong Kong?


A rioter waves a US national flag in Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong on August 11. Photo: AFP

What went wrong with Hong Kong’s education? Is it one root-cause of the current hostility how these young people are being educated?

How can the HK government bring back law and order?



Hong Kong Legal Exchange Foundation to ask UN to probe U.S. involvement in riots

Foreign forces have been trying to influence HK for years to infiltrate mainland

Some foreign forces have had a hand in what is happening in Hong Kong. The list includes the US Democratic politician Nancy Pelosi, Senate MajorityLeader Mitch McConnell and Republican senator Marco Rubio as well as staff from the Consulate General of the US in Hong Kong and think tanks from the US.

They either neglect what is happening in Hong Kong, make groundless accusations about the Chinese government or send the wrong signals to radical protesters. They also invited people involved in what is happening in Hong Kong to visit the US and funded the so-called democratic and political movement.

Analysts said that long before Hong Kong returned to China, the US made it a point to contain China in a soft way by promoting the West’s ideology. And now the US is openly interfering in China’s domestic affairs.

In 1998, US president Bill Clinton paid a visit to Hong Kong and praised the city for its trade and globalization, and noted that the US thinks Hong Kong is not only important to China, but also to Asia, the US and the whole world.

But now, some Americans are using Hong Kong as a card to contain China.

In the book Hong Kong and the Cold War: Anglo-American Relations 1949-1957, the author Chi-kwan Mark wrote that after 1949, the British Empire in Hong Kong was more vulnerable. “Concerned about possible Chinese retaliation, the British insisted and the Americans accepted that Hong Kong’s role should be as discreet and non-confrontational in nature as possible.”

“Top decision-makers in Washington evaluated Hong Kong’s significance not in its own right, but in the context of the Anglo-American relationship: Hong Kong was seen primarily as a bargaining chip to obtain British support for US policy elsewhere in Asia.”

During the Cold War, the Truman Administration ramped up efforts in ideological propaganda and infiltration of China and undertook a series of moves in Hong Kong through the US Information Agency there.

The main mission for the agency in Hong Kong was to create an anti-China atmosphere through broadcasts, movies, media and book publishing, cultivating support for the US and capitalism.

In 1957, the US National Security Council made US policy on Hong Kong, which explained its goal of conducting ideological and infiltration work on the Chinese mainland through Hong Kong. The document was signed by the then US president.

An officer at the US Consulate General reportedly met with major “Hong Kong Independence” activists in early August. The officer was later identified as Julie Eadeh, political unit chief of the consulate general.

Eadeh was involved in plotting subversive actions under the name of human rights and democracy while she was stationed in the Middle East as a diplomat, said Ta Kung Pao.

Eadeh’s former superior, Kurt Tong, former Consul General of the US to Hong Kong and Macao, frequently warned Hong Kong not to promote the extradition bill through the media.

Tong once said in an interview with the media that the legal systems of mainland and Hong Kong are different, so it is a natural reaction for Hong Kong people to pay attention to the amendment of the bill, according to Ta Kung Pao. His remarks were criticized by some media as “open political interference.”

Chan Yong, a Hong Kong deputy to the National People’s Congress was quoted by Ta Kung Pao as saying that Tong’s remarks showed “gangster logic.” The US has started color revolutions in many places in the world. Tong is only a diplomat who is not elected by the Hong Kong people and has no qualification to discuss what is happening in Hong Kong, Chan said.

Tang Fei, a member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong & Macao Studies, told the Global Times that the US has been openly interfering in Hong Kong affairs since 2010 when Stephen Markley Young was the US Consul General in Hong Kong.

Tang said that almost all the US consul generals in Hong Kong had been appointed to work in Taiwan. During Young’s stay in Hong Kong, the “Arab Spring” took place and his remarks on the anti-government protests and armed rebellions that spread across North Africa and the Middle East in the early 2010s were criticized as intentionally stirring up political movements movements in Hong Kong.

NGO involvement

With Hong Kong’s chaotic situation, some think tanks and NGOs that are closely connected with the White House are also interfering.

Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, on July 9 hosted a forum named “Protests, Crackdowns, and the Future of Hong Kong: A Conversation with Jimmy Lai Chee-Ying.”

Schanzer has frequent interactions with John Bolton, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. However, Schanzer does not study Chinese affairs, but is an expert on Middle East issues.

NBC reported that during the event, Lai emphasized America’s “moral force,” saying, “We need to know that America is behind us.”

The Center for Strategic and International Studies of the US invited Kurt Tong to give a speech. Tong suggested Washington should conduct more active communication with Hong Kong, instead of seeing the region as a minor issue.

The website of US think tank Jamestown Foundation on July 16 published a report related to Hong Kong by Russell Hsiao, Executive Director of the “Global Taiwan Institute.” Hsiao has maintained a close relationship with the Democratic Progressive Party, which promotes Taiwan secession.

In US academia, there are not many scholars who have been following Hong Kong issues. Most people who study Hong Kong are those with experience of living in the region, such as Richard Bush III, the director of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies (CNAPS) of the Brookings Institution.

According to a Chinese language BBC report in July, Bush said the Hong Kong radicals have set a very high goal and their strategy is becoming more aggressive, which is almost certain to draw a reaction from the police.

“US Government, NGOs Fuel and Fund Hong Kong Anti-Extradition Protests,” read an article published on the Global Research website in Canada.

“Maintaining Hong Kong’s distance from China has been important to the US for decades. One former CIA agent even admitted that “Hong Kong was our listening post,” the article read, stating that the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a CIA soft-power cutout, has been funding groups in Hong Kong since 1994.

NED has two branches out of its main four, the Solidarity Center (SC) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), which are closely connected with the groups in Hong Kong. Louisa Greve, vice president of programs for Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, said that NED’s funding for Hong Kong groups has been “consistent,” according to the article.

In 2014, Greve even admitted in public that “activists know the risks of working with NED partners” in Hong Kong, but do it anyway.

When searching “Hong Kong” on the NED website, the Global Times reporter found 14 related items, including $1.95 million in funding for the region. In May, the foundation invited some “pro-secession” activists for a seminar, after which the violence in Hong Kong streets became increasingly severe, echoing the voice of anti-China politicians and NGOs in Washington.

Similar tricks to ‘Color Revolution

The US has always kept a close economic and social relationship with Hong Kong. American companies generally praise the business environment in Hong Kong, including its judicial system, free flow of information, low tax rate and local infrastructure. More than 1,300 US firms operate in Hong Kong, including 726 regional operations and there are approximately 85,000 American residents in Hong Kong, according to a report released by the US Department of State in July 2018.

In addition, “The US trade surplus with Hong Kong is the single largest with a US trading partner, with a surplus in 2017 of $32.6 billion,” said the report. Main Hong Kong imports from the US are American aircraft and spacecraft, electronic machines, pearls, gold, diamonds, artwork, meat, fruit and nuts.

However, the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong has been playing a dishonorable role. In March, the chamber expressed views in newspapers belonging to the opposition camp in Hong Kong, saying it sent a strongly-worded position paper to the Security Bureau under the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

In the past, the chamber submitted such advice directly to the HKSAR, but this time, it made a show of “politicizing the commerce chamber” – deliberately revealing the advice through opposition media in order to stir up society.
Anson Chan Fang On-sang and several other opposition leaders visited the US to meet with US Vice President Mike Pence, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and US House speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has frequently made irresponsible remarks and even “gave orders” to the HKSAR Chief Executive.

Some opinions in Hong Kong said pro-democracy leaders receive a high standard of hospitality from the US, which shows how much attention the US pays to Hong Kong, but amid the tense situation of the China-US trade friction, such behavior “gets Hong Kong and the opposition camp involved in the wrestling between China and the US,” which is very unwise.

The main influence of the US on Hong Kong is reflected in the high-end financial industry, as the big investment banks are mainly from the US, Tang told the Global Times.

Tang noted the cost for the US to play the “Hong Kong card” to start a strategic competition with China is not high. Even though the surplus of US enterprises in Hong Kong reaches $40 billion each year, which balances out the deficit with China, the US can control its enterprises and investment banks in Hong Kong through “long-arm jurisdiction.” It can threaten to cancel Hong Kong’s position as an “independent customs area” using the excuse of the “extradition bill crisis.”

This situation puts Hong Kong in a dilemma: even if Hong Kong compromises, the city will not gain goodwill from the opposition camp backed by the US; if Hong Kong shows a tough position, the US may weaken Hong Kong’s position as a global financial center.

During the Cold War, the US made Hong Kong a “shop window” to showcase Western values of democracy, thus implementing a type of “soft containment.” The infiltration by the US, to some extent, has impacted Hong Kong society and its people. For instance, some Hongkongers are prejudiced against the Chinese government, which proves that the US infiltration has made the values of some intellectuals and youths in Hong Kong more Westernized.

The political, economic, social and cultural system have basically remained unchanged since China resumed exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997, so the values of some Hongkongers are still close to the UK and US, said Chan Chi-Ho, vice executive chairman of the Hong Kong CPPCC Youth Association. During the “anti-extradition bill” protests, some people frequently came to meet US politicians and took the initiative to ask foreign forces to intervene, Chan said. For example, they published joint signatures on the White House website and connected with US diplomatic personnel in Hong Kong.

Chan said many Hongkongers know that the reason for the protests is support from foreign forces. The locals do not agree with waving UK and US national flags in public places because it completely betrays the national interest and the Chinese people’s feelings. After all, very few people want Hong Kong to become a colony again.

Meanwhile, it is notable that the action of waving foreign flags drew strong disgust from people who love China and Hong Kong. Many local people were angered by this traitorous action.

The situation in Hong Kong can now be described as “UK retreating but US advancing,” which was reflected in the Occupy Central Movement in 2014, according to Li Xiaobing, an expert on Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, from Nankai University in Tianjin. The movement made Hong Kong a strategic strongpoint supported by foreign political forces, as well as a wedge that deeply affects China.

Li noted the operations, tricks and methods taken by the US during the “anti-extradition bill” protests are similar to color revolutions in other places. Everything from the image building and power allocation to propaganda and political objectives are very similar. The duration and mobility of the recent protests all surpassed that of the 2014 movement in terms of level and width.

Li predicts that the US will not give up playing the Hong Kong card easily. At the same time, Beijing will enhance its countermeasures. As a result, the overall situation in Hong Kong will be controlled, he said. – Source link 

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How to outsmart smartphone scammers ?


You carry your smartphone everywhere. But the way you use it could leave you vulnerable to specific forms of identity theft, including robocall scams and hackers looking to hijack your phone number. — AP

Your smartphone is your confidante, your hand-held connection to the world – and one of your biggest vulnerabilities.

Scammers can take advantage of day-to-day tasks that seem innocuous, like checking a bank balance or charging a phone at a public USB port, to exploit personal information for their profit.

To keep that data safe, start by understanding the threats you face. Your phone has three main areas of vulnerability: its hardware, its software and your phone number. Each carries a risk, and there are steps you can take to mitigate them. Hardware vulnerability

A four-digit passcode alone isn’t enough to secure your phone’s hardware from intruders.

One weakness comes from the charging port. Think twice before plugging into a public USB jack for a quick charge at a cafe or airport.

“Any time you’re using a mobile port, you can be vulnerable to viruses or malware if you’re sharing it with other people who are plugging in their devices,” says Lisa Schifferle, ID theft programme manager at the US Federal Trade Commission.

Using a public charging port at an airport is like “finding a toothbrush on the side of the road and deciding to stick it in your mouth”, Caleb Barlow, vice president of X-Force Threat Intelligence at IBM Security, recently told Forbes .

Hackers can modify these ports to install malevolent software, aka malware, on your phone. Once installed, it can transfer your phone’s data to hackers. The hacked USB ports can also directly suck up your phone’s information. To avoid the risk, use your USB cord with your own charging block that can plug into a standard electrical outlet, or use an external battery pack.

For daily security, go beyond the four-digit passcode if possible, says Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at the cybersecurity company McAfee. “Passcodes aren’t as effective as biometrics, like fingerprint readers or facial recognition software, because people can do shoulder surfing to see your passcode and get into your phone” if they steal it.

Software and network risks

Scammers can target your personal information using unsecured wireless networks and software vulnerabilities.

Network risks: Be wary of public WiFi networks.

“We advise against using public WiFi, but if you’re going to use it, avoid logging in to sensitive accounts,” says Allen Spence, director of product leadership at IDShield, an identity theft protection company.

To protect yourself from inadvertently using insecure WiFi networks, adjust your phone settings to avoid auto-connecting to WiFi.

Software: Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in phone software. Schifferle of the FTC suggests consumers routinely check for and download software updates for their phones, because updates often include security patches.

Phone number vulnerabilities

There are two common ways that scammers target your phone number: robocall scams and phone number theft.

Robocalls: US consumers fielded nearly 48 billion robocalls in 2018, according to an estimate from robocall blocking service YouMail. That was a 57% increase from 2017.

A common scam comes from supposed representatives of the US Social Security Administration requesting you give your personal information or your benefits will be cut. If you get a call from a number you don’t recognise, don’t answer. That’s the best way to ensure you don’t get caught up in a phone scam. And know that government agencies won’t call you out of the blue seeking your personal information.

“You should never give personal info or money unless you have initiated the call,” Schifferle says. If you answer a call and realise it may be a scammer, hang up, she advises.

If you suspect your personal information was stolen by scammers, file a report with the FTC at identitytheft.gov .

Phone number theft: Scammers are stealing phone numbers, which can leave you vulnerable to other forms of identity theft.

The scam is clever: A malevolent actor calls your cellphone carrier pretending to be you, and after confirming some key information such as your mother’s maiden name, transfers your phone number to their device. You may not find out this has happened until you go to make a call and find that your SIM card has been deactivated.

Because phone numbers are often used as security keys, hackers may be able to get into many other accounts once they have access to your phone account. Make it harder to penetrate by avoiding common security questions, Davis says. “When you set up your security questions and answers, make sure you’re using really challenging questions that are going to be hard to figure out.” – NerdWallet/AP – Source link 

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NerdWallet: Do you need identity theft protection services? http://bit.ly/nerdwallet-compares-identity-theft-protection-services
Forbes: Why you should never use airport USB charging stations http://bit.ly/forbes-airport-usb-stations
FTC: Report identity theft https://www.identitytheft.gov/
Sean Pyles Of Nerdwallet, The Associated Press

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Singapore growth forecast down to 1%


Unknown future: As Singapore further cut its growth forecast, New Zealand, India and Thailand also cut their interest rates signalling concerns on growth outlook. — AFP

SINGAPORE: Singapore slashed its full-year economic growth forecast as global conditions were seen worsening and data confirmed the slowest growth rate in a decade amid mounting fears of recession in the city-state.

The government cut its forecast range for gross domestic product in Singapore – often seen as a bellwether for global growth because international trade dwarfs its domestic economy – to zero to 1% from its previous 1.5%-2.5% projection.

Singapore’s downgrade adds to concerns globally about the effect of increasing protectionism on exports and production.

The deterioration in the global outlook has pushed central banks to cut interest rates and consider unconventional stimulus to shield their economies.

“GDP growth in many of Singapore’s key final demand markets in the second half of 2019 is expected to slow from, or remain similar to, that recorded in the first half, ” the trade ministry said in a statement to the media yesterday.

The ministry flagged a host of growing economic risks including Hong Kong’s political situation, the Japan-Korea trade dispute, the Sino-US tariff war, slowing growth in China and Brexit.

Final second quarter GDP data yesterday showed a 3.3% on-quarter contraction on a seasonally-adjusted annualised basis. That was slightly smaller than the 3.4% decline seen in the government’s advance estimate but deeper than a 2.9% fall predicted in a Reuters poll and a sharp contrast to the robust 3.8% first quarter expansion, which was driven by brisk construction activity.

Yesterday’s data also confirmed annual GDP expanded 0.1% in April-June from a year earlier, its slowest rate in a decade, and lower than poll expectations of 0.2% and the first quarter’s 1.1%.

Singapore’s benchmark stock index fell 1.2% to a two-month low in early trade, underperforming other bourses in the region.

Singapore has been hit hard by the Sino-US trade war, which has disrupted world supply chains in a blow to business investment and corporate profits.

Also yesterday, Singapore cut its full-year forecast for non-oil domestic exports to a 9% contraction from an 8% fall previously.

That comes after a 26.9% drop in electronics exports in the second quarter year-on-year.

“With trade tensions between the US-China unlikely to abate anytime soon, we expect exports and trade-related services to push the economy into technical recession in Q3, ” said Sian Fenner, lead Asia economist at Oxford Economics.

New Zealand, India and Thailand all cut interest rates last week, signalling major concerns about the outlook for economic growth. Last month, the US Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time since 2008.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in an annual speech last week that the government stood ready to stimulate the economy.

“It feels like the storm is coming if you look at the whole macro economic fundamentals softening, ” said Selena Ling, head of treasury and strategy at OCBC Bank.

“All the downside risks are piling up on one side, ” Ling added, pointing to the myriad of global risks flagged in the trade ministry statement. — Reuters

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American anti-China Hawks ignited the trade war, are Trump’s advisors

Peter Navarro, a hawk that ‘lacks intellect and common sense’ is Trump’s trade adviser or political agitator?


A profile photo of Peter Navarro Photo: IC

○ Navarro used the idea of the seven sins to criticize China, which showed his narrow and distorted mind

○ Navarro has been called the US President Donald Trump’s “spirit animal” as Donald Trump Jr. called him “a fierce warrior” for his father’s America First trade agenda

○ Politicians like Navarro have ruined the efforts made in the China-US trade talks and US society will pay for this, analysts said

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Sunday said that China must end the “seven deadly sins,” a remark that was criticized by Chinese experts as “absurd and full of hostility” and that Navarro’s dominance of economic issues in the White House is a source of sadness in current China-US trade ties.

Navarro, 69, is a White House trade adviser and ardent supporter of the trade war. Several days earlier, Trump escalated his tariff war with China and Navarro was the only person at the announcement who supported it.

Navarro used the Christian concept of the seven deadly sins to criticize China, which showed his narrow and distorted mind. His willful moves to stir up hatred between countries are the real sin, analysts said.

He has written three books discrediting China and produced documentaries portraying Beijing as a threat. He ingratiates himself with those in the White House in order to get promoted. He has a “big mouth” and was told to shut up after saying the Canadian Prime Minister deserves “a special place in hell.” He has written a number of books, but has always been an unrecognized “non-mainstream economist.”

Navarro’s distinguishing feature among White House staff and senior officials is likely not that he is more of a “hawk” than others, but that he lacks intellect and common sense. He is highly compatible with his leader in his use of irrational methods, a Chinese scholar told the Global Times.

A US cargo ship (back) is seen at the Yangshan Deep-Water Port, an automated cargo wharf, in Shanghai on April 9, 2018. Photo: VCG

Out of favor

“Imagine the United States simultaneously engaged in trade wars with China, India, Pakistan, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Ukraine, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Brazil and Turkey,” said a report by the Axios news website in August 2018.

Axios has obtained a copy of a draft executive order Navarro put together in the fall of 2017 that would have imposed tariffs on every product imported from every country doing significant business with North Korea, according to Axios.

“Its death is thanks to — well, just about everyone. Officials at Commerce, State, Treasury, and the Office of the United States Trade Representative all considered the proposal totally unworkable,” Axios reported.

As long as he’s in the administration, there will be a persistent, noisy, enthusiastic voice for these kinds of tariffs, according to Axios.

In fact, Navarro was out of favor in the White House when he proposed the tariffs. The American website Vox Media recalled that in the fall of 2017, John Kelly, then White House chief of staff, began controlling advisers’ access to Trump by having Gary Cohen, director of the White House national economic council, restrain Navarro.

What did Navarro do? In order to get more direct contact with Trump, he often lurked in the West Wing of the White House at night and on weekends.

Navarro was named director of the newly established White House national trade council after President Trump’s election in 2016, and he remained director after it was transformed into the White House office of trade and manufacturing policy in April 2017. However, Navarro’s first year in the White House was difficult because Trump’s economic team was run by “globalists.”

An American with ties to Trump’s business team told the Global Times that Navarro did not have his own team in the first few months in the White House and had to attend meetings alone. Not only was he excluded from many high-level strategy meetings, he was also required to copy all work emails to Cohen.

However, two personnel changes in early 2018 gave Navarro an opportunity. In February, Rob Porter, a top political aide and White House staff secretary who was a key supporter of free trade, resigned over domestic violence allegations. In March 2018, Cohen resigned after Trump insisted on tariffs on steel and aluminum products.

Navarro was eager for the vacant position and went all out for it in private, but publicly pulled his punches and said he wasn’t competing for it, Politico reported.

Navarro eventually failed, but rose in stature. According to one American trade expert, Trump wanted protectionism, but almost everyone in the room disagreed.

Lü Xiang, an American issues expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Science, told the Global Times that Navarro’s role in the process of economic policymaking in White House was elevated after Cohen’s resignation. It is said that his annual salary was raised from second class to first class from March 2018, lower only than that of the President and vice president, which shows the appreciation with which he has been received.

In May 2018, the China-US high-level trade consultation was held in Washington.

A reporter at Bloomberg said the White House had not scheduled Navarro for the talks because of his inappropriate and unprofessional behavior. But Navarro criticized Steven Mnuchin, secretary of the US Treasury, in the media for giving too much ground in the talks. A few days later, Trump repudiated the negotiations and imposed taxes on $50 billion worth of Chinese products.

Given Navarro’s influence, Time magazine published an article in August 2018 saying that he does not have as much power as Mnuchin or the same responsibilities as trade representative Robert Lighthizer, but that his role should not be underestimated. If Stephen Miller, a controversial White House senior adviser, is the infamous player behind immigration, Navarro is the core leader of a series of much-criticized economic policies.

Unpopular loser

In published photos, Navarro looks somber, with a high forehead and gray hair.

He has a lot more to show for himself, with his Harvard degree, his doctorate and so on, but it is his paranoia that is his most memorable feature. In fact, Navarro originally wanted to be a politician, not an adviser, but he had a problem: people don’t like him.

Navarro was originally registered as a Republican, but ran unsuccessfully for office four times as a Democrat in the 1990s. He was once close to Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

When he ran for congress in 1996, then-president Bill Clinton opposed him. His defeat was devastating: his wife divorced him and he fell deeply into debt.

Until 2008, he was a supporter of Democratic politicians, especially Hillary Clinton. But in the election of 2016, Navarro became an adviser to Trump. Trump is said to have suffered without the help of economists, and his son-in-law Jared Kushner asked Navarro to join after searching Navarro’s book on Amazon.

Born into a working-class family, Navarro grew up with his mother and was a hard-working graduate of two prestigious universities, Tufts and Harvard. However, his experience can be described as changeable and ill-fated.

Lü argues that his life experience has led to Navarro’s perennial unhappiness, and that he will spare no effort to translate his absurd claims into concrete policies once he is promoted by a leader who approves of him.

Although he is valued by his leader, Navarro was not liked by his colleagues. According to some American media, Navarro has a tough personality, and can be unaccommodating and unpopular. Navarro is as rude as ever when Trump cannot hear, scolding and belittling those who disagree with him.

‘Spirit animal’

Navarro was called “President Trump’s spirit animal” by Axios news website, as many scholars and experts in economy poured scorn upon his ideas on trade.

“Peter is a fierce warrior for my father’s America First trade agenda, and while it may upset some members of the failed bipartisan establishment of the Washington Swamp, he understands that we can’t allow China to continue taking advantage of American workers and hollowing out our industrial base,” Donald Trump Jr. said in a statement to The Washington Post. “His only agenda is my father’s agenda and the White House is lucky to have him.”

Some media pointed out that Navarro is the president’s intimate friend only when they talk about tariffs.

Experts said that Navarro was away from the spotlight for a while but then came back with a madder attitude.

Navarro appeared on Fox news on June 13, criticizing China in many fields, including intellectual protection and currency.

Many of Navarro’s propositions on trade and economy are condemned as unreasonable. Many mainstream economists think he has created a new school of economics dubbed the “stupid school.” His theories usually go against the principles of economics and he has made basic mistakes. In his articles, he has confused tariffs with added-value tax, Lü said.

“While purportedly an economist by training, Navarro’s economics is misguided, inaccurate and politicized,” Stephen Roach, a faculty member at Yale University, and former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, wrote in an editorial for the Global Times in July 2018.

It is normal that China and the US have differences, as they have their own interests. Instead of offering constructive advice to deal with these differences, Navarro has acted more like a political agitator. China and the US have gone through 12 rounds of trade talks and are trying to find ways to reach a consensus. The actions of some politicians, including Navarro, remind us that certain politicians’ tricks have ruined the good momentum of the trade talks again and again, Chinese experts noted that the US society will eventually pay for these politicians’ wrong deeds.

By Liang Yan, Qing Mu and Fan Lingzhi, Wang Huicong contributed to the reporting Source link 

Headless Hawk

Peter Navarro Photo: IC

Peter Navarro: trade adviser or political agitator?

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Sunday accused China of committing the “seven deadly sins.” He said China must “stop stealing our intellectual property, stop forcing technology transfers, stop hacking our computers, stop dumping into our markets and putting our companies out of business, stop state-owned enterprises from heavy subsidies, stop the fentanyl, stop the currency manipulation” before the trade war comes to an end.

The “seven deadly sins” refer to the seven original vices in Catholic teachings. Such a metaphor reflects Navarro’s narrow-mindedness and psychological distortion. He wantonly hyped hatred between major powers, which is a real sin.

Navarro’s seven accusations against China are all clichés. The accusations are long-term China-US disputes and different definitions of the disputes. But of all remarks made by US officials on such differences, Navarro’s summary was the most vicious. It was not only ridiculous, but also full of hostility. His words have exposed the fact that his virtues can’t compare with his position. It is the woe of China-US economic and trade relations that such a person is hijacking the White House’s economic discourse power.

US media reported that Navarro is a key figure who has helped bring about the US decision to impose additional tariffs on Chinese products. He is a major spoiler contributing to the US breach of promises.

China has led its 1.4 billion people to prosperity and development. The country has not been involved in any war in more than 10 years, and has played a positive role in the UN’s climate action. As a trading power, China has made every deal with the US by mutual consent.

It is normal for China and the US to have different standpoints toward their disputes. Trade is mutually beneficial and China cannot force the US to have hundreds of billions of trade with it. This is common sense. By no means can Chinese people understand why the US could define China-US trade disputes in so many weird ways. The US side stubbornly insists on its values about interests, which are not suitable in current globalized world.

The two countries can improve trade balance by adjusting many practices. The Chinese side is willing to take into consideration some of the US’ concerns.

But wielding a tariff stick is unacceptable to China. Navarro said China-US trade won’t end unless China satisfies all the conditions. He speaks as if it’s only China’s one-side wish to end the trade war. Isn’t it boring to still threaten China so shallowly after one and a half years of trade war?

The fact is if the US side has no sincerity to reach a fair deal, China is prepared to fight the trade war to the end. China is being forced to do so, but it can do it well under pressure until the other side is discouraged.

It seems Navarro didn’t offer the president a technical solution to solving China-US differences. He behaves more like a political agitator. The two sides have gone through 12 rounds of trade talks through which negotiating teams work hard to find common ground.

But Navarro reminds us that some people’s political calculations keep impacting on the US negotiating position. American society will eventually pay for these people’s politics.

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Daim: Malaysia far from being able to compete globally | The Edge …

Let us not be under any illusions * We are still far from being out of the woods * We are far from being ready for the changes happening around us * We are far from being a united people * We are far from being able to compete at global level * We are far from being able to embrace differences and changes * underpinning all this unpreparedness is education * education key to preparing youth for future * education ministry has failed to prioritise right issues * hindered  progress of reforms within the national education policy


Malaysia far from developed country with unified citizens ready to face industrial challenges of futures said Tun Daim Zainuddin.

Malaysia still playing catch up with 4th IR other countries gearing for 5th IR
Let us not be under any illusions
We are still far from being out of the woods
We are far from being ready for the changes happening around us.
We are far from being a united people

We are far from being able to compete at global level

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is still far from reaching the status of a developed country with a unified citizen that is ready to face the industrial challenges of the future, said Council of Eminent Persons chairman Tun Daim Zainuddin.

Daim said Malaysia is still playing catch up with the fourth industrial revolution when other countries are already gearing for the supposed fifth industrial revolution.

“Let us not be under any illusions. We are still far from being out of the woods. We are far from being ready for the changes happening around us.

“We are far from being a united people. We are far from being able to compete at the global level. We are far from being able to embrace differences and changes.

“And underpinning all of this unpreparedness is education,” he said at the launch of the International Conference on Emerging Issues in Public Policy at Universiti Malaya’s Institute of Public Policy and Management.

The former finance minister pointed out that education is the key to preparing the youth for the future. However, he said the education ministry has failed to prioritise the right issues to tackle, which has hindered the progress of reforms within the national education policy.

“We are still arguing over whether we should teach Maths and Science in English, when the rest of the world has embarked on advanced curriculums that focus on Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4) so as to make their youth more competitive and relevant in a world that is going to be dominated by artificial intelligence and robotics,” he said.

“To participate in IR4, we must go through a knowledge-based economy and here Malaysia has failed because the government, through the ministry of education, has not got its priorities right. The education ministry must not fail our nation.

“While we are still mired in the political rhetoric of languages, others around us have moved beyond English or Mandarin or Bahasa Malaysia into the language of programming and coding. When will we realise just how far behind we are and lacking?” Daim added.

In facing the rise of technology in industrialisation, Daim said the government should implement policies that create an environment where people are allowed to maximise their potential and pursue creative pursuits that are complemented by technology, not replaced by it.

The reality is, he said, technology will have the most impact on future employment as robots replace humans in menial tasks. But where one window closes, another opens, he added.

“Fields such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Robotics, Supply Chain Logistics, and Smart Manufacturing need skilled workers and indeed, the World Economic Forum has estimated that 133 million jobs will emerge as technology advances,” he said.

At the same time, Daim stressed that education is not just for skills development, but it is also for the soul. He said the values, that are instilled in the youth at home and at the school level, will greatly impact on the type of adults they evolve into.

“We must empower them with the ability to think critically, logically, wisely and to make their own informed decisions, no matter the situation. We must raise a new generation of leaders and great thinkers, not of sheep and cowards,” he said.

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