Oh, and I forgot to mention the voice communication systems problem. That one didn't affect me directly but I did get a memo about it.
It's just an unfortunate incident.
British Telecom has had an issue (which has happened a number of times) which led to a minor timing glitch in one of their systems. When this happens, the data reliability on the FARICE line to Iceland drops and you start getting corrupted flight messages. Shanwick was alerted to the problem and both sides consulted and decided that the best solution in the interrim would be something that had been done previously, disconnecting FARICE and thus forcing all connections through the backup line, DANICE, which appeared to be operating normally.
Unfortunately, the problem was even worse on DANICE. What appeared to be normal operation was only normal up to the data logger. Once it actually got to the flight tracking software, the messages were being refused, and corrupted messages being sent in the other direction. So while BT was working on getting their system fixed, flight control managers were being forced to basically manually dig up ATC messages and copy-paste them off to the air traffic controllers (as much was handled through voice as possible as well).
But it got even worse. A totally unrelated communications network, Datalink, decided to misbehave during all of this, which may or may not have been due to the Shanwick problems. On the Iceland side, the general solution is to force a switchover to the backup system. Which was done... except a critical component on the backup system immediately crashed. Repeated attempts to switch and ultimately switch back caused even more problems for the air traffic controllers.
Eventually the fixed FARICE line was brought back up, Datalink back online (with the switchover-crash problem postponed to be investigated during a low-traffic timeperiod)
It's terrible that there were so many delays, but these are extremely complicated systems with a challenging task, built up over decades with tons of computer components, protocols, lines, routers, radar systems, transmitters, and on and on, scattered all over the world. On a weekend. Everyone was scrambling and doing their damndest to fix it as soon as possible. It should also be noted that it was never a safety issue - even in the absolute worst case, air traffic control could go all the way back to the old paper-and-pencil method. What the systems give is, primarily, speed, and thus when there's big problems, there's delays.
And that was my weekend, how was yours?
It is only through hindsight that we can say that a desire to ferret out communist subversives was "irrational". At this time during the cold war, considering that there actually WERE subversives and attempts to subvert the USA's government, a desire and hunting for such subversives was a very understandable and reasonable concern. Protecting itself and it's integrity is a proper role for government and there were valid concerns.
What made McCarthyism bad not the hunt for subversives per se, it was tossing out the constitution in the hunt for subversives.
1) Straus-Khan was not prosecuted, but nor was his accuser
2) In what world is does one case falling apart in the US invalidate every rape case everywhere in the world?
3) The Straus-Khan case was in a very preliminary stage - he was only arrested because he was considered an immediate flight risk. In the Assange case, there have been *five different courts of law in two different countries* which have considered the case, including two supreme courts. There is a standing court finding of probable cause against Assange after a review of all of the evidence collected on a months long investigation (including testimony from Assange's attorneys).
4) The simple reality is, famous people do rape. And their fans invariably smear the victims and portray it as a giant conspiracy against them. Every bloody time.
It should also be added that *lots* of people rape, period. Roughly 10% of young men have raped at least once, and about 3% of young men are serial rapists. What, you thought that a quarter of women getting raped at least once in their lifespan was the work of just a couple bad apples?
And it should be added that Julian "Women's Brains Can't Do Math" Assange has a *long* history of this sort of stuff.
"concern surrounds the Swedish detention facility, where Mr Assange would be held incommunicado upon arrival. Similar treatment can be seen in the case of Gottfrid Svartholm, founder of The Pirate Bay, who was held in solitary confinement for months without being officially charged."
From the ruling of Stockholm's Tingsrätt: “Åklagaren får inte tillstånd att meddela beslut om restriktioner.” ("The prosecutor is not allowed to impose restrictions."). The prosecutor is legally *banned* from imposing restrictions on Assange while in custody. So this is a complete red herring excuse, and they know it. The prosecutor has elaborated in more detail, that he will have no restrictions on ability to mingle, use the phone, use the computer, etc.
see "Assange is willing to return to Sweden but prosecutors can also question him in the UK." [nicholasmead.com]
See my previous comment.
or dropping them as looks increasingly likely [firedoglake.com]
Assange and his followers have been making this claim since day one - yet one of the list of, well, essentially everything that Assange has said about his case and Manning's that's turned out to be flatly wrong (Manning will be convicted of aiding the enemy, it's all a show trial, they'll lock Manning up for life and throw away the key, there's a secret indictment against me, I'm going to win 15% of the Australian vote, become a senator, and then they'll have to drop the case.... etc). The line about Ny being forced out is also a lie that could have been debunked with a simple phone call. As is the no DNA line.
The reality is that the case is in a holding pattern. There's literally nothing being done with it, and nor will anything be done until he's in custody. The entire case against him has been built and they have an appeal-upheld probable cause finding against him by a full court hearing in which all evidence was reviewed and Assange's own attorney testified. There's literally nothing more they need except Assange.
PS as to the alleged victims you're fakely so concerned about, NEITHER OF THEM say they were raped.
There are two women in question here - AA and SW. AA did *not* say she was raped. She has on multiple occasions denied being raped. She *has* said she was the victim of sex crimes. Guess what? There are no rape charges concerning AA. The charges concerning AA are 1x unlawful sexual coersion and 2x molestation. The only rape charge concerns SW.
SW has *never* denied being raped, and *has* said she was raped. She told the police:
Friday 20 August 2010 I, inspector Linda Wassgren was temporarily on duty in the reception at Klara Närpo, normally I am on duty outside at the
same station. At around 14:00 same day two women came into the station and talk and get some advice on two earlier events and they were a little insecure on how to proceed. The crime rape was mentioned.
She told AA:
Then he told me that Julian hade been accused of raping that young woman, [SW]. And that [DB] had spoken with [AA], and that [SW] had spoken with [DB]. And that [AA] was furious about what [SW] had told her — that for one reason or another, she believed what [SW] had said and that they were going to meet.
She told her ex boyfriend:
[SB] related that he had a relationship with [SW] for two and a half years. They had lived together during the last year of the relationship. Seth related that it was very important for [SW] that they use a condom, partly to prevent infection but also to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
[SB] said the issue of infection was crucial for [SW] and that, before they had sex the first time, they had both got tested for disease and shown each other the results. They did not have sex without a condom on a single occasion during their two and a half years together. That was completely unthinkable for [SW]. [SB] said that such was their agreement. He said that, as far as he knew, [SW] had never had sex with anyone without using a condom.
[SB] related that he learned about what had happened when [SW] sent an SMS message to him, asking if she could telephone him. He was somewhat baffled, because they had not been in contact with each other for several months. When [SW] called, she immediately asked what [SB] thought of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. He answered that WikiLeaks seemed positive.
Then [SW] said that she had been raped by Julian Assange, in that he had initiated unprotected sex with her while she lay sleeping. [SW] said that she had asked Assange if he was wearing anything and that Assange had replied, “Yes, you.”
The interviewer asked [SB] how [SW] had reacted to that. [SB] said that [SW] had related that she was shocked and did not know what to do. [SB] said that, given [SW]’s definite views on the use of condoms during sex, he could imagine that she was very shocked and afraid. He knows how important it is to [SW] that a condom is used when she has sex.
[SW] has told [SB] that she could not understand how a representative for WikiLeaks, which does so much good, could be so lacking in respect for another human being.
I could keep going if you' like.
Moreover, they have withdrawn their complaints when the prosecutor told them to sign a declaration of an accusation of rape.
First off, you're distorting the distortion of the distortion. The "statement" only concerns SW. It wasn't a "statement of rape"; it was concerning a police report representing that her words were accurately represented in the report (which isn't even a legal requirement in Sweden). Third, it wasn't even about signing. But, most critically, here's what it actually says:
In the course of the interview, [SW] and I were informed that Julian Assange had been arrested in absentia. After that, [SW] had difficulty concentrating, as a result of which I made the judgement that it was best to terminate the interview. But [SW] did mention that Assange was angry at her. There was not enough time to obtain any further information about why he was angry at her or how this was expressed. Nor did we have time to discuss what had happened afterwards. The interview was neither read back to [SW] nor read by her for approval; but [SW] was informed that she could do so at a later date.
Is that what you call "refusal to sign"? It says nothing of the sort. First off, the standard - which is not even required - is "read and approved". Secondly, the *officer* decided to terminate the interview. SW never objected to any content. Third, it would be quite difficult to "sign" a report which hadn't even been typed up yet.
Oh, well, I'm sure that SW didn't want to cooperate further, right? Like it's not like she'd hire an attorney to push the case forward for her, or that she then consented to a forensic medical report, or anything like that, right? Oh wait, yes she did:
[SW] gives her consent to the acquisition of a forensic medical report.
[SW] wishes to be represented by an attorney whom she will name at a later time.
The women had a legal defender, and his name is Claes Borgström. He is the man who got the case re-opened (more on that later) and who has relentlessly pushed forward the case ever since. Or are we to assume that the women don't know what their own representative is doing? Poor damsels!
Nah, sorry. What the heck am I doing here? Clearly you already know without a trial that the two women are lying sluts and Assange is innocent because People We Like never rape. They're too important after all, and any accusations are just an attempt to take them down - the women don't deserve their day, they deserve a massive smear campaign against them for being lying sluts! Just like what happened with those poor innocent football players in Steubenville!
Nobody has ever or will ever in the history of Sweden been "charged" for anything, for the simple reason that the Swedish judicial system doesn't use English terms. This may sound semantics, but it's actually the key point. There are two terms of relevance in the swedish system: "anklagad" and "åtalad". Look them up in a handful of Swedish dictionaries (there's dozens out there); you'll find that both can be translated "accused, charged, or indicted".
In a legal process, being anklagad comes first. The prosecutor raises this stage and must have grounds for probable cause. At this point warrants can be issued for the person's arrest. The person also has the right to appeal being anklagad and have a full court hearing reviewing the evidence (and even to appeal that court ruling).
The only thing that being anklagad doesn't do is lead to a trial. This is what being åtalad does. In fact, once åtalad, you *must* be tried within a fixed period of time. As a standard, there is a questioning immediately before being åtalad.
So while people can play word games, probably the most analagous terms would be "charged" for anklagad and "indicted" for åtalad.
Assange has been anklagad but not åtalad. Nor can he be åtalad, because he refuses to hand himself over and he cannot be tried in absentia. So to use "he hasn't been charged!" as a defense of him is simply deceptive.
And, FYI, here's the sworn-in-court written statement of the Swedish prosecutor:
Subject to any matters said by him, which undermine my present view that he should be indicted, an indictment will be launched with the court thereafter. It can therefore be seen that Assange is sought for the purpose of conducting criminal proceedings and that he is not sought merely to assist with our enquiries.
Don't be surprised that Assange pulls stuff like this, the guy is a BS artist about almost everything in his life. Check out the 10 different stories he's told about why his hair is white, for example. My favorite is that it's due to gamma radiation from a nuclear reactor he built as a child.
Trumped up charges? Why thank you, Amazing Kreshkin, for your amazing psychic judicial insights! Never mind that of the three investigating officers, two (Gehlen, Wassgren) wanted him charged for 2x counts of rape, 1x unlawful sexual coersion, and 2x molestation, while the third (Krans) felt it should be 1x, 1x, 2x; that the initial prosecutor (Finne) started investigating for 2x, 1x, 2x, then changed the investigation to 0x, 1x, 2x; that an appeal to a judicial review board by the women's legal rep (Claes Borgström) ruled her in error and restored the investigation for 2x, 1x, 2x
No no - who cares what everyone who's actually involved in the case has to say, we've got TWiTfan here to tell us what's what! You put those uppity women in their place, how DARE they get a day in court. Don't they know that Assange is just Too Important to deem to stand trial for trivial things like prying a girl's legs open to force sex and F*ing a sleeping girl to work around her refusal to consent to his preferred form of sex? Pish, don't they know that Assange is just the Awesomest Aweome that ever did Awesome? Lie back and take it, girls, it's for the greater good!
Oh, by the way, TWiTfan, I've found some great property listings in Steubenville if you're interested.
"Even though it's really no different to people talking to the person next to them,"
Yes, it is different. On a phone conversation, you can only hear one side of the conversation. Our minds tend to try to fill in the blanks and attempt to make sense of the conversation, which does not occur when you can hear both sides of a conversation.
So yes, phone conversations ARE more annoying than "in person" conversations.
Why are you confusing the magnitude of the speed with how common the speed is? High speed doesn't become slow speed just because most people regularly drive at high speed.
I wish people would stop using this analogy because it's completely wrong. The truth is the analogy is more like chevy coming out with a new model Corvette and offered their customers a free upgrade, but sadly the new model doesn't have cigarette lighter. Had Sony just named the Post Other OS PlayStation the PS4 they would not be dealing with this issue. It goes like this.
Sony Releases a new console, Lets call this new console the PS3.5. It was nearly identical to the PS3 accept that it could play new games and did not have Other OS support. Yes it made the PS3 a short lived console and at first people would be very upset. Sony, realizing that it was a short console cycle, decided to allow PS3 owners to upgrade to the PS3.5 for free. Yes that's right, the first console maker ever to release a completely 100% backward compatible, in regards to game play, console with a free upgrade from the prior version. Sure, to upgrade you would lose the Other OS capability, but it's free and optional.
So had Sony really just screwed it's customers by discontinuing the PS3 and then offering a free upgrade (with no new hardware necessary) they would have been seen as being leaders in the console market and pro consumer. Simply because they chose not to change the name of the console every one is seeing it as if they were taking something away.
I'm a huge fan of boycotting, and support anyone that is doing so, but make sure you are boycotting for the right reason.
Oleophobic phone screens also object to these false "phobias"... it's not like they have a fear of oil.
Speaking of oil... oil molecules object to being called "hydrophobic"... it's not like they're actually scared of water.
Or maybe you don't understand language very well. I suppose you could go to Merriam-Webster's website and search for "-phobia" and read the fascinating ways this suffix is used in the English language, but that's probably too much trouble.
My google search on the issue came up with Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Bangladesh. Two of which seem to be African, the latter South Asian I guess.
I'm sure you can come up with better data.
Besides infant mortality, there's probably unreported miscarriage.
When I was a kid I did Unicef collection every Haloween. We got an orange cardboard coin box at school, and collected donations to it along with our trick-or-treat. Unicef used these funds to build water wells for people in Africa who had only access to contaminated surface water.
A decade or two later, we found that many of these wells accessed aquifers that were contaminated by arsenic. And that thus we kids had funded the wholesale poisoning of people in Africa, and that a lot of them had arsenic-induced cancers that were killing them.
OK, we would not make that mistake again, and today we have access to better water testing. But it caused me to lose my faith that we really do know how to help poor people in the third world, no matter how well-intentioned we are.
And we had better not go around curing disease withoput also promoting birth control. Despite what the churches say, and the local dislikes and prejudices. Or we'll just be condemning more people to starve.