Several Countries Reject Venezuela’s Election To Rewrite Constitution – Emma Bowman July 30, 201711:21 PM ET


Members of Argentina’s Venezuelan community protest against the election for a constituent assembly on Sunday, in Buenos Aires, as Venezuela holds the controversial vote. | Alejandro Pagni/AFP/Getty Images

Months of opposition to President Nicolas Maduro’s plan to strengthen his party’s power has resulted in more fatal clashes on the day of the election.

Citing Venezuela’s chief prosecutor’s office, the Associated Press reports 10 people were killed in Sunday’s unrest.

“Seven police officers were wounded when an explosion went off as they drove past piles of trash that had been used to blockade a street in an opposition stronghold in eastern Caracas,” the AP says.

At least two of the dead were teenagers, reports NPR’s Philip Reeves.

The vote is to create the National Constituent Assembly, composed of new delegates who will rewrite Venezuela’s Constitution. As NPR has reported, that rewrite would have the power to dissolve the National Assembly, an opposition-heavy body of lawmakers.

Multiple media reports and social media said polling places were near empty in the Caracas, the Venezuelan capital.

Opposition parties, who boycotted the vote, see the move as a step towards dictatorship, NPR’s Reeves says. So does much of Venezuela’s public, who’ve long expressed no appetite for the new assembly.

Two weeks before Sunday’s official vote, opposition activists held a symbolic referendum: 98 percent of voters rejected Maduro’s call to rewrite the 18-year-old constitution.

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2017 is so far the second-hottest year on record thanks to global warming – Dana Nuccitelli Monday 31 July 2017 06.00 EDT


View of the cracked riverbed scorched by heat waves at the Nanchang section of the Ganjiang river in Nanchang city, east China’s Jiangxi province.
View of the cracked riverbed scorched by heat waves at the Nanchang section of the Ganjiang river in Nanchang city, east China’s Jiangxi province. Photograph: Imaginechina/REX/Shutterstock

With the first six months of 2017 in the books, average global surface temperatures so far this year are 0.94°C above the 1950–1980 average, according to NASA. That makes 2017 the second-hottest first six calendar months on record, behind only 2016.

That’s remarkable because 2017 hasn’t had the warming influence of an El Niño event. El Niños bring warm ocean water to the surface, temporarily causing average global surface temperatures to rise. 2016 – including the first six months of the year – was influenced by one of the strongest El Niño events on record.

Reality has debunked the ‘warming stopped’ myth

For a long time one of the favorite climate denier myths involved claiming that we hadn’t seen any global surface warming since 1998. That myth has fallen by the wayside since 2014, 2015, and 2016 each broke the global surface temperature records previously set in 2010 and 2005 (which were also both hotter than 1998). Yet the myth persisted for years because 1998 was anomalously hot due to the monster El Niño event that year, which meant that global temperatures weren’t much hotter than 1998 until 2014 to today.

Now the first six months of 2017 have been 0.3°C hotter than 1998, despite the former having no El Niño warming influence and the latter being amplified by a monster El Niño. In 1998, there was also more solar energy reaching Earth than there has been in 2017.

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The Congressional Apprentice – By Jeff Bergner July 31, 2017


Within 100 days of his inauguration as U.S. president, Donald Trump had concluded that the U.S. legislative process is “a very tough system.” He is hardly the first occupant of the Oval Office to arrive at that judgment. Every new president finds interaction with Congress more difficult than expected. But what is challenging for any president was bound to be even more so for Trump—especially given the political climate in the United States today.

Trump ascended to the highest office in the land with no previous political experience, few settled policy views, and a combative style that had created enemies in quarters not usual for political leaders. With transactional instincts honed by decades in the business world, Trump has an approach that is characterized by speed and finality—hardly the hallmarks of the U.S. Congress. Instead of one place or person for a president to work with, there are two houses and two political parties, several dozen committees, various informal voting blocs, and a range of quasi-congressional bodies such as the Congressional Budget Office. A deal struck with one group must wend its way through the rest of the legislative process. It might change significantly in the process, as in the case of current Republican health-care legislation, which took several forms in the House of Representatives, a brand new form in the Senate, and a yet-to-be-determined form if there is ever a House-Senate conference. Or it might die altogether, as in the case of the 2013 immigration-reform legislation, which passed in the Senate but died in the House.

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Game of Thrones season 7, episode 3: 7 winners and 6 losers from “The Queen’s Justice” – Vox


Winners: Cersei Lannister and foreshadowing. Losers: A lot of other characters.

“The Queen’s Justice,” the third episode of Game of Thronesseventh season, so thoroughly makes the argument that the final two combatants in the battle for the Iron Throne will be Cersei Lannister and the Night King that I might be a little disappointed when Daenerys inevitably rallies.

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Source: Game of Thrones season 7, episode 3: 7 winners and 6 losers from “The Queen’s Justice” – Vox

Hackers accidentally create network busting malware – Joe Uchill 07/30/17 11:11 PM EDT


Hackers accidentally create network busting malware

© Greg Nash

LAS VEGAS – Newly detailed malware can knock networks offline with devastating efficiency, although the effected networks might not be the ones intended by the malware’s creators.

The malware was presented by the security firm Arbor Networks on Sunday at the cybersecurity conference DEF CON. It appears to be designed to use internet-connected devices from one network to attack another. In practice, it would likely only knock out the network the devices were attached to off the internet.

But Steinthor Bjarnason, the Arbor Networks researcher who presented the discovery, noted that can be a destructive attack in its own right.

“It’s like inventing the wheel. You cannot control what other people are going to do with the wheel after you invent it,” he told The Hill.

The malware is a variant of the Mirai botnet. Mirai infected internet-connected security cameras and coordinated them to repeatedly access the same server at the same time. The traffic would overwhelm the targeted server with requests and knock it offline. That type of attack is known as a distributed denial of service (DDoS).

Mirai was only able to infect devices that circumvented network security measures such as routers and firewalls to allow users to access them through the internet. Bjarnason cited research showing that only around one in 20 devices were not protected by firewalls or routers.

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Carrier Layoffs & Bricklaying Robots: VICE News Tonight Full Episode (HBO) – Published on Jul 28, 2017


This is the July 19, 2017, FULL EPISODE of VICE News Tonight on HBO. During the White House’s self-proclaimed ‘Made in America’ week, a Carrier factory in Indiana lays off more than 600 employees. A look at George Soros’s funding of district attorney races. Plus, we go on a night trip with New York City’s flower flasher.