Current Affairs

Daily News Agenda: Monday

Talk (118)

Eric Converse

Eric Converse

"I'd love to see an article written ab..."
Gareth Lewis

Gareth Lewis

"Great! Thanks. This is where I heard ..."
Ed Upright

Ed Upright

"Hi Gareth, this sounds interesting. C..."
Gareth Lewis

Gareth Lewis

"I'd like to see a story about the bil..."

Every morning at 10 a.m. GMT, editors, and journalists at WikiTribune meet to discuss the stories of the day and plan how to cover them best. We need your help and insight.

Please tell us what stories you feel are important, might want to cover or deserve more in-depth investigation ahead of the meeting. We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Monday – April 23 – NEWS AGENDA

This is a standing item that will be cleared and restarted at the end of each day.  Please add entries as bullet points – keep them short and concise.
If a document is locked for editing, post in TALK and editor will add in before news meeting.

Today’s briefing leads with Comey memos detail Trump reservations and ‘Jihadist’ linked to 9/11 captured. What else should we be covering?

There’s emerging stories coming on Basque militant group ETA saying “We really are sorry” and the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shootings. And we’re updating our plastics in the ocean project.

We’ve published some great stories this week, here’s a small selection:

What else should we look at? What do you feel may be missing?

Feel free to EDIT this or discuss it in TALK.

History for projects "Daily News Agenda: Monday"

Select two items to compare revisions

23 April 2018

12:10:28, 23 Apr 2018 . .‎ Fiona Apps (Updated → Updating day)

20 April 2018

11:49:10, 20 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → )
11:28:35, 20 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → updated date)

19 April 2018

11:10:33, 19 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → formatting)
11:08:21, 19 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → updated)
10:50:05, 19 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → changed date)
09:02:54, 19 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ferdinand Quist (Updated → fixed typo in 3rd sentence from the bottom)

18 April 2018

11:14:03, 18 Apr 2018 . .‎ Burhan Wazir (Updated → updated)
11:03:33, 18 Apr 2018 . .‎ Burhan Wazir (Updated → updated)
11:02:19, 18 Apr 2018 . .‎ Burhan Wazir (Updated → updated)
11:01:26, 18 Apr 2018 . .‎ Burhan Wazir (Updated → updated)

17 April 2018

15:35:33, 17 Apr 2018 . .‎ Peter Bale (Updated → Updated)
15:31:56, 17 Apr 2018 . .‎ Peter Bale (Updated → Updated)
11:17:50, 17 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → added formatting)
11:15:48, 17 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → updated for Tuesday)
10:28:09, 17 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → changed date)

16 April 2018

12:32:50, 16 Apr 2018 . .‎ Burhan Wazir (Updated → updated)
10:53:03, 16 Apr 2018 . .‎ Burhan Wazir (Updated → updated)

13 April 2018

11:04:12, 13 Apr 2018 . .‎ Burhan Wazir (Updated → updated)

12 April 2018

11:57:33, 12 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → added briefing link)
10:46:10, 12 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → format)
10:45:56, 12 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → updated)
10:25:14, 12 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → changed date)

11 April 2018

10:51:04, 11 Apr 2018 . .‎ Burhan Wazir (Updated → updated)

10 April 2018

11:01:33, 10 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → updated)
10:35:26, 10 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → updated date)

09 April 2018

14:15:26, 09 Apr 2018 . .‎ Burhan Wazir (Updated → updated)
14:13:44, 09 Apr 2018 . .‎ Burhan Wazir (Updated → updated)
11:19:41, 09 Apr 2018 . .‎ Burhan Wazir (Updated → edited)
11:17:04, 09 Apr 2018 . .‎ Burhan Wazir (Updated → updated)

06 April 2018

11:33:24, 06 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → publishing)
10:34:02, 06 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → date)
10:28:04, 06 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → changed date)

05 April 2018

11:16:01, 05 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → tweak)
11:14:51, 05 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → )

04 April 2018

11:28:50, 04 Apr 2018 . .‎ Burhan Wazir (Updated → updated)
11:00:46, 04 Apr 2018 . .‎ Burhan Wazir (Updated → updated)
10:52:52, 04 Apr 2018 . .‎ Burhan Wazir (Updated → )

03 April 2018

13:38:06, 03 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → added briefing link)
13:37:29, 03 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → added briefing link)
11:00:23, 03 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → updated)
10:33:13, 03 Apr 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → updated day)

29 March 2018

11:10:27, 29 Mar 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → updating for Thursday)
10:35:35, 29 Mar 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → updated briefing)

28 March 2018

12:36:14, 28 Mar 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → tweak)
11:03:12, 28 Mar 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → )
10:31:54, 28 Mar 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → changed date)

27 March 2018

10:37:07, 27 Mar 2018 . .‎ Peter Bale (Updated → Updating)
10:35:35, 27 Mar 2018 . .‎ Peter Bale (Updated → Publishing PGB)

26 March 2018

11:38:53, 26 Mar 2018 . .‎ Ed Upright (Updated → underlining)

Talk for Project "Daily News Agenda: Monday"

Talk about this Project

  1. I’d love to see an article written about cellphone data plan prices worldwide and how much they vary. We travel often and see these discrepancies first hand. US has some of the highest prices whereas places like Italy some of the lowest. What accounts for this difference? What is behind the pricing differences? Is it merely a lack of competition? Do people in the US realize they are getting such a bad deal?

  2. I’d like to see a story about the bill passed in Iowa that forces stores to offer eggs that are caged rather than cage free.

    1. Hi Gareth, this sounds interesting. Charles Turner is going to have a read about and a dig into it so please do send us further details or angles you found interesting.

      Thanks.

      1. Great! Thanks. This is where I heard about it. https://theintercept.com/2018/03/02/consumers-are-revolting-against-animal-cruelty-so-the-poultry-industry-is-lobbying-for-laws-to-force-stores-to-sell-their-eggs/

        I was unable to find out what the reasonable defense of passing this bill was, but I would hope it wasn’t purely just to allow the farms that have worse conditions to be able to stay in business. The silver lining seemed to be that the demand for more humanely raised animals is growing.

  3. I have an industry you could add to the Brexit aftermath. My brother in law is in Patents. He was telling me about all the work done for the last 20 years has been taken away with a few ticks in a box. He said this has also opened a few doors with ability to become a one stop shop for Britain to Europe but everyone else is in the same boat I’m sure that Brussels Patent industry is working hard to be the one that managers Patents from Europe to Britain. I thought your fine Journalists would like to have a look at Patent Industry and i hope the people find it as interesting as i did.

    1. Thanks Clint, that does sound an interesting and unreported issue. We’ll have a look into it. Are there any particular angles/people/places that you found intriguing?

      1. Firstly just how wide spread the impact is in that industry most of us don’t know a lot about Patents and how they protect businesses. Secondly how proactive industry needs to be to keep there client base they have while trying to stop a company that has all patents already across Europe from rewriting them. I suppose there are two prong’s to this as well a Companies prospective that has patents and the Company that does all the legal stuff to create the patent. Take the wiki page “A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state or intergovernmental organization” for an example Britain is now a different sovereign state and Europe is not bound by the same rules that they had with Britain before Brexit. There will be legislation to protect companies but the patent industry will have to do some quick work to reassure the companies that they patents are safe.

  4. I’d like to see an expose on the Drug War and what factors are keeping it going much to the detriment of Americans with addictive disease… I’m a retired college professor who trained potential addictions counselors in the profession. I’m also a certified addictions counselor(Retired). And I would be glad to render assistance to the journalists investigating this phenomenon.

    It’s my belief that many people who are waging this narrative blaming drugs for addiction and consequently waging war on the drugs maybe covering up or at least in denial about the exploitation of addiction for their own profit.

    If all drugs were made legal, and subject to a free market, then individuals who Develop an addictive relationship to the drug would have access to treatment – stigma free. And individuals who are able to use the drug recreationally would be free to pursue happiness in their own individual way(you know, like the Constitution says)

    1. Frank, this would make a great WikiProject with your expertise. May I ask you to create one in the WikiProject area? https://www.wikitribune.com/all-projects/

      1. Done. I just posted the topic and a tickler.

        1. Hey Frank. Awesome idea, thanks for starting the project. We’ve just published a long read on Uruguay’s ongoing efforts to regulate its cannabis industry – the first country in the world to do so. Would love to see what you think: https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2018/02/28/drugs/uruguay-leads-world-in-cannabis-regulation-but-us-law-intrudes/44675/

  5. Citizen contact, influence on with representatives in gov. For example, local congressional offices. Easy to locate? Anyone there, do we know when our rep will be there or at least home vs dc? does our rep. Pay attention to our message what is best way to be heard? We could have a lot of peop!e involved as we have many congressional members to report on. For exampls, my district in il, 2 offices listed. One is a p.o. BOx. One is an address mapquest can’t find. In a city that I’ve not heard of. During the health care brouhaha he didn’t hold open meeting. I subscribe to his newsletter but have never seen any mention in it of his visits here. His website restricts commentary to only those who live in his district. I have written many times but get stock replies thanking me for my support of issue that has nothing to do with what I have written about and may actually be total other side. He like many, wants my vote but pays only attention to big money. Like tax bill. does citizen input even count with these guys? Would love to see collective effort in this. Perhaps develop list of questions ask for constituents to respond, not reporters.

  6. With regards to the stock market, I’m curious about the Federal Reserve’s influence. Janet Yellen gives an interview just before stepping down where she didn’t want to say stock prices were “too high” but did say they were “high”. Fed activity can have a direct impact on stock prices, so this could be read as taking personal responsibility for not raising rates faster.

    I also read that the Fed has been selling Treasuries. This takes money out of the economy driving down both stock and bond prices and can take a serious toll on both the economy and the national debt.

    And I’m curious about the similarities between market conditions now and the 1987 crash, which also saw falling bond prices coupled with falling stock prices.

    1. Thanks for this Gabriel, we’re thinking of ways of covering the stock falls, so will add your suggestions into the discussion. Please send more as you come up with them.

      1. Apparently the Fed announced plans to reduce their balance sheets in the second half of last year despite concerns about this triggering a resession.

        http://www.businessinsider.com/fed-balance-sheet-reduction-unlikely-to-go-smoothly-2017-11
        https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/02/fed-balance-sheet-reduction-almost-always-ends-in-recession.html

        The quoted Fed President’s arguments that selling bonds won’t affect the market because it is decoupled from rate changes is just nonsense. The Federal Reserve purchases Treasury bonds as a means of injecting money into the economy. Selling them removes money and increases bond supply and driving down the price people pay the government for debt. Normally, increasing the bond supply causes the stock market to go up because sellers are switching to shares. But the Federal Reserve takes the money from bond sales and … that one’s actually kind of confusing because they really can just call up the Treasury and have them print as much money as they want. So it is unclear why they need the money they make from the sale of bonds.

        What we are seeing is a not otherwise well explained contraction in the financial markets after the Fed began pursuing actions which theory and history both suggest will cause a contraction in the financial markets. Their behavior may well be driving the recent sell-off and it’s something worth considering. (Since their justification is a bunch of theoretical hand waving, at the very least the situation should be watched fairly closely.)

  7. Due to the current Geo-political situation of #Pakistan, it is really important that a world-renowned news agency like Tribune plays a vital role in publishing non-biased Editorials on the following subjects:

    Governance, What is being done right!
    Which Political Party in Pakistan is working in the best interest of the Nation
    Biased media outlets who are mocking the sacred institution of Journalism

    A general subject to elevate the performance of a Government and keep them on their toes, Introduction of Block Chain within the Government to initiate online voting for Candidates and every quarter vote on key issues that dictate the policy-making of a country, a city or a province…

    Policy makers and Senate & Parliament members need to realize that they are answerable for their performance and one cannot review them after 5 years in the general elections. This move not only assures that a citizen is actively involved to ensure a competent person is on board and that his requirements or needs are being met which he/she desires the most with respect to his community, province or country as in whole.

    1. Interesting. If you have any suggestions on how to source straight journalism out of Pakistan we’d love to hear it.

      1. Thank you so much for your prompt reply, I would say we need to target the journalism department of every institution within our country. Setup a project and allow volunteers who are seeking a platform to write /seek experience within the field to throw ideas write on the approved topics and learn from the best at Tribune. Need of the hour is to create awareness and channel real news onto a serious platform like “Wiki Tribune”

        I can offer to set up an Ambassador program throughout the universities in Lahore via my Network and help jump-start an awareness campaign amongst students/teachers and writers and allow them to gather on this platform to source straight journalism. We can do workshops and have someone from Wiki Tribune joins us over Skype to talk with the participants etc.

  8. Would a real journalist make a statement like the below? The fake news systems today “take in” what the far left “community” want to see them write/publish. Applying “new ideas” to truth/news is the blight of journalism today.

    WikiTRIBUNE:
    “Every day, twice a day, the staff journalists at WikiTribune review the stories of the day, and take in what our community wants to see us write. We’re always listening, and always looking for new ideas! “

    Hutchinson

    1. Interesting. How about we say we are listening to our audience? I see no evidence yet that the community that exists on this site is far left. If anything, I’d suggest a libertarian perspective is more frequent.

    2. Hi Hutchinson. The newsletter is written/curated by me, the community manager, and I am decidedly not a journalist. Having said that, asking for new ideas and listening to the community is the very essence of what WikiTribune is here for. Our community is not uniformly made of people on the far left, (in fact, most of us aren’t at all,) and our professional editors also ensure that we maintain our goal of neutrality in reporting.

      If you’d like to see our staff or community contributors cover a story you don’t think is getting enough attention, cutting through bias and perhaps overlooked or ignored by other news providers, we want to hear about it. There’s nothing new about, say, covering gerrymandering in the US – https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2018/01/23/politics/u-s-state-court-rules-against-political-gerrymandering/43259/ – but if we’re bias? Then you, me, anyone can make it better. That’s an opportunity that just doesn’t exist on most other news platforms.

      Or overlooked stories like this one written by a community contributor – https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2018/01/22/politics/kazakhstan-confronts-the-intersection-of-religious-belief-and-extremism/40558/ – I don’t see many outlets covering Kazakhstan’s upcoming legislation regarding religious freedoms. Our community contributors are doing just that. And if there are issues with it? Well, see above.

      So please, we’d love to hear your ideas. Not so we can create yet another echo chamber for any particular persuasion. We want them so we can create a new system in which neutrality and the facts are what drives the news.

      (As I said though, that definitely wasn’t written by a journalist so I’m going to have to concede that point)

  9. I am still hoping we can get some in-depth analysis of Brazil’s Lula conviction and electoral campaign. I think this has a massive impact in the future of Latin America, a region Wikitribune has been mostly silent (although we also have important news out of Chile – World Bank Fraud, Free tuition) that have been generally ignored in the platform.

  10. Is anyone watching the money in our government coffers? With no ambassadors, and few employees in the state department, there’s a lot of money for salaries sitting in budgets across the government. This is disconcerting considering how adept many advisors to this administration are at creating shell companies. Are there procedures in place to keep our tax dollars from disappearing? Paul Manfort got businessman Viktor Yanukovych elected and Ukraine’s coffers were emptied. Should we feel confident that it could never happen here?

  11. I’d like to see an article about intensive animal farming (factory farming) and the impacts, government regulation, and growing resistance by consumers and businesses. The ethical animal welfare issues combined with health issues and climate change issues make it relevant to most people. I’m more interested in the state of everything in the US, but maybe it could be a more global perspective.

  12. I would like to know the real story behind the arrest of hundreds of Royals in Saudi Arabia. It feels like kidnap for ransom

    1. Maybe do a story about the other times a world leader has risen to power, jailed the wealthy, and taken their money. What happened as a result? Did things improve for regular people? How did it affect international diplomacy?

      1. Thanks Kathy, we’ll have a think and look into it.

  13. I’d love to read on WT about Poland, and it’s deteriorating democracy. About judicial system being more and more undermined and about the ruling party “fixes” to the electoral law.

    1. Here’s what we have done on Poland so far but it you’re right, it’s a fascinating set of problems: https://www.wikitribune.com/?s=Poland

    2. I would like to second this request. As an expatriate I watch the news from afar wondering what state I will find Poland in when I go back. There are a lot of variables to explore here: makeup of the country’s demographics; the question of separation of church and state, or lack thereof; how it all ties back to free exchange of ideas and tolerance in the general public; how the participation in the European growth might have created resentment among those who are haven’t benefited from it. This might in some way shed light on why the public is willing to sacrifice pieces of their hard fought democracy for what appears to be “quick fixes” to some urgent problem. Who frames the parameters of that problem and why?

      I realize the breadth of these topics might be too wide, so maybe they just inform some of the conclusions to Pawel’s idea.

  14. Why women voted for Roy Moore in Alabama?
    I googled the question and found some possible answers on this article.
    https://www.teenvogue.com/story/why-white-women-voted-for-roy-moore-in-the-alabama-senate-race
    It would be interesting ask Moore’s voters themselves about it.

  15. When people watch TV news or read it online, how do they judge its validity or relative importance? I’m convinced that most of us lack sufficient fundamental knowledge of the most important subjects to put news about them into perspective. Among other negative results, lack of such knowledge makes it easier for viewers/readers to label news as fake or simply not know what to make of it. I hope Wikitribune will consider an evaluation of the major news sources–TV and online–by asking how adequately they are providing info/discussions on essential topics. Please bear with me and read the kind of questions that need discussion on just four subjects, for example.
    The economy. Why the record-breaking inequality in personal income? Jobs: how they are they affected by automation, globalization, education? The pros and cons of workers’ unions. Why recessions are inevitable; the ability of various classes of individuals to prepare for them. Why tens of millions of Americans live in poverty, and what can be done about it. Whether social security should be retained as is, or improved, or reduced. The principles by which Congress prioritizes the spending of taxpayer money. The new tax code.
    Healthcare. Why is our healthcare system so expensive? Why is it nevertheless not as good or accessible as in some other countries? Why is it not universal? Who and what is responsible for the current crisis in opiate overuse and heroin? Mental health: nearly 40% of adults with “severe” mental illness received no treatment in the previous year, according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Among adults with any mental illness, 60% were untreated. This shameful situation begs for close examination by the media.
    International trade. What is “globalization” and how does it affect our workforce, our economy? Most of us knew little about the recently trashed Trans Pacific Partnership or the consequences of adopting or abandoning it. During the election campaign we learned that Hillary Clinton, who had supported TPP, had decided it was bad for the U.S. That should have triggered at least one program delving in the main terms of the agreement. Then there’s NAFTA and trade with China. The public needs to know much, much more about international trade.
    Climate change. To people and governments around the world, our president’s claim that climate change is a hoax seemed not just unbelievable but deeply troubling. The fact that his shocking statements did not result in an ongoing nationwide protest evidences the inadequate attention given this subject by the media, notably the TV networks. It is crucial that news sources help put to rest once and for all the notion that humans bear no responsibility for global warming.

    Donald C. Boone

    1. Hey Donald – as to the news sources – you might like to visit this community-led project laying out important details about news organisations https://www.wikitribune.com/project/news-sources/

      1. An excellent if highly challenging project! II’m not aware that it’s ever been tried before. Over time, hopefully, it will reassure “fake news” skeptics that certain news sources deseve a high level of trust. It might even spur sources that don’t get a high rating to clean up their act. But obviously the ratings must be updated on a regular basis (yearly?), so this is a major, long-term commitment.

        1. Yes! It’s been great to see people get really stuck into it. Especially Eduard Castellano who gets a lot of credit for being the driving force.

    2. Great points! I would love to see a real examination of whether, due to automation, increased productivity, and fundamental shifts in the foundations of our economy we are simply permanently unable to provide adequate employment to a portion of the U.S. population. Too often discussions of wealth inequality and wage stagnation skirt the central question of whether our economy and the size of our population are simply out of sync – most likely because, if that is true, the only real solution to inequality is a true program of wealth redistribution.

      1. Interesting, our economic system of a race to the bottom through accelerated productivity and efficiency also seems to entrench top down trickle down capitalist models. These models don’t seem to foster worker producer benefits previously gained from labor struggle history in the USA. Instead of the union entity, a worker-owned stockholder business model is a way to produce goods and services with members taking on responsibility and leadership for an economic entities survival. Administration design in these types of models is important where an organizational structure of members must be established, similar to a WikiTribune model of inclusiveness. That is member voting and study when issues arise even on a weekly basis. Constant in-house education and assessment of production by members could be a cornerstone of economic flexibility and survival. This avoids the union entity bringing that function in-house, almost sounds democratic. Tackling other issues mentioned in Mr. Boone’s noteworthy list might seem more reachable by chipping away at top-down single decision maker economic models.

  16. I’d love to see a comprehensive review of self-driving car technology – what companies are working on it, where they are at in development, what companies are already using it, and how regulatory bodies are responding. All of this put in the context of the larger implications of the technology for our society would be great!

    1. We are aiming to do that “comprehensively” in the New Year. Thanks.

  17. What caught my attention today as I scanned Wiki headlines (Trump response, Alabama Senate candidates, S. CA wildfires,…).

    I reviewed the 12 Dec 2017 GPF Watch List:

    “China: A leaked document from a Chinese telecom firm says that Beijing is setting up refugee camps across the North Korean border.”
    “Taiwan: China is ramping up military patrols in Taiwanese airspace. Over the past weekend, a Chinese diplomat said China would invade Taiwan if a U.S. warship visited the island…”
    “Russia: Russia is pressuring India to join China’s One Belt, One Road initiative.”

    https://geopoliticalfutures.com/watch-list-dec-12-2017/

    If the difference is not obvious…

    1. This is definitely the place to help hammer out where WikiTribune is overlooking subjects – and don’t forget there’s always the option to create your own stories!

    2. I think this is a good point Jeff; however, with WT only in the infancy phase, it’s going to rely on us to help build it’s news. If you are recommending those stories to be looked into, why not put it in the Agenda?

      Being Canadian, there are certainly topics that I would love to see put into WT; however, I always post stories that I believe WT could provide great insight into. I’m excited to see where this is going to go and I’ve always been interested in journalism and now I feel like I’m part of the team!

  18. Did WT change the format of the Daily News Agenda? I liked the previous format where we had the options to put in an article that needed a little more digging vs an article that “should” be covered.

    1. I didn’t do it deliberately. You’re welcome to make those suggestions. That Facebook one you suggested today is definitely worth developing.

  19. Please consider covering recent Saakashvili detainment and freeing on Dec 5, 2017,

  20. There was a discussion on the WT feedback page about selecting news stories based on magnitude of impact as well as impact on individuals that can take action based on the stories as well as other suggestions. It seems very difficult to compare impacts of events, but I had thought it could be useful to have more transparency into how the relevance of articles is analyzed. Some factors could be reviewing other popular news sources and piggybacking off them, others could be looking at trends in social media, Wikipedia can probably help in some way. As the briefing stories already do this to some degree, maybe they could incorporate any of these factors that are used to decide what’s most important

    1. I’ll be publishing our criteria shortly but it is judgment at the end of the day. Right now, I could say our criteria are: complexity, international impact, multiple points of view, relevance, can we do it.

  21. I think you should do a story on Big Data and how it is used in journalism.

    1. I love big data and I think that would be an interesting piece!

      I’m going to edit the project and add that into it!

  22. Hello! For Monday the 27th of November, here are a couple stories I think may be of interest.

    > Net Neutrality!

    I’d love to see a breakdown of both sides of the argument. It’s been said that maintaining net neutrality has hindered investment in network infrastructure. Is this particularly true? What’s the evidence for it? The argument goes that repealing net neutrality rules will give firms the freedom to better cater to the differing needs of nascent technology, to offer improved services for critical information such as the data about automated cars as opposed to Netflix streaming. Again, what evidence is there to support this idea? Can Reddit be right, is the repealing of net neutrality simply a money grab?

    > Venezuelan Debt
    As far as I’m aware, there are four main types of debt Venezuela is burdened with. Forty odd billion pounds in bonds issued by the government and the state oil company. Defaulting on these debts would probably remove the only way the Venezuelan government could make any money (oil!). Loans from other socialist countries, Chine and Russia, totalling a jaw dropping one hundred and forty billion US dollars according to the BBC. This debt is interesting too as neither country would particularly gain from forcing Venezuela to default. Would Russia prefer to enjoy more political power in South America? Is there some socialist camaraderie going on? Would China prefer to have access to Venezuelan oil cheaply due to the debt than bring the oil reserves under direct control?
    Finally, debt is owed to US based developmental organisations. Taking on all this debt, the FT mentions that some three hundred billion US dollars was stolen from Venezuela. My most burning question is then, where is this cash and may I have some?!

    1. We have two substantial pieces on net neutrality coming this week, including an interview with Tim Berners-Lee.

      1. I’d love to see some more Net Neutrality discourse. We recently covered this on a podcast and it’s ripe for discussion and engagement. People often try to boil it down to simply Government intrustion and/or Free Market Absolutism but it’s very deep.

        I also think any discussion of NN should include at least a mention of the Cyberspace Manifesto: https://www.eff.org/cyberspace-independence

  23. Not sure if you want story ideas on the main page itself (I can edit it, but looks like it hasn’t been updated in a while). I’m also just curious about the process itself – there’s a temptation to suggest a kind of ‘voting’ system for potential stories, only cause that sounds cool from a techie standpoint, but not sure if that’s really the best way to decide what goes in a “newspaper”.

    If I were pitching stories today though, I’d really suggest that the Uber hack gets some attention. It’s extremely topical in London at the moment…

    1. Jeff,

      I have also noticed that it’s not being updated as it is stated in the Agenda. I have added stories to the list in order for further discussion/development; however, I’m never sure if they are seen or reviewed as the next day I come back & the Agenda is still from the previous day.

      I unfortunately have no idea how to properly write an article; which is why I usually post them to the daily agenda. The one that is showing there now are actually stories that I have recommended .

      I’d love to see if someone from WT could comment on the process that they are trying to develop with the Agenda.

    2. Jeff,

      I have also noticed that it’s not being updated as it is stated in the Agenda. I have added stories to the list in order for further discussion/development; however, I’m never sure if they are seen or reviewed as the next day I come back & the Agenda is still from the previous day.

      I’d love to see if someone from WT could comment on the process that they are trying to develop with the Agenda.

  24. Is the intention for this to be updated every day, or am I looking in the wrong place for today’s agenda?

    1. The intention is to have this updated every day, and then reviewed by the staff journalists. Stories are being created based on what our community would like to read about so I would encourage you to let the staff journalists know!

  25. This is more of a general type of story I’d like to see on Wikitribune… I think stories that are more prone to have bias or sensationalism in other papers and stories that are more controversial topics with divided opinions are where the strengths of Wikitribune will really come into play. Writing about politics in a way where both sides are explained in a neutral way and that actually have unbiased analysis is something is very difficult but seems to be very important. I feel like papers may believe that if they fairly explain the other side then they’ll justify the ideas of people they disagree with or convince people to believe the “worse” side is better. In reality, I think most people just recognize the author is trying to convince them one way or the other and don’t trust it as a real analysis.

    1. In fact, I believe that refusing to ‘give a platform’ to the ‘wrong’ ideas actually undermines any attempt to credibly persuade people. What happens is that you tell people ‘well they’re just being foolish’ – but then people inevitably speak. They learn that they didn’t get the full story from the news, and that makes them more receptive – not less – to the narratives presented by the marginalized group. I absolutely agree that journalists must present rigorous, fact-based information that clearly explains why people feel how they do, on both sides of any divisive issue.

  26. Looks like Chip Makers are going to have a heated battle soon – Broadcom looks at taking over Qualcomm – possible hostile takeover.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-qualcomm-m-a-broadcom/broadcom-bids-103-billion-for-qualcomm-open-to-going-hostile-idUSKBN1D61EO?il=0

  27. * Shooting in church in Texas
    * News items related to shooting
    * history and analysis of church shootings

    1. Would be great to see a more general article about gun control in the US (or the world) and write it in a way that represents both sides and references other countries and such. Analyzing typical arguments made by pro and anti gun law advocates. Writing an article that is perceived as unbiased by both parties would be a great accomplishment

  28. Hello World! Here’s a few stories that may be of interest:

    WHAT WE SHOULD DO A STORY ON:

    • Apple’s launch of the iPhone X

    o The tenth anniversary of the iPhone, perhaps a reflection on the economic or social influence of Apple over the last decade?
    o Perhaps even a piece on the future of Apple or on the state of the OEM marketplace in general? (Apple are poised to leap frog Samsung to reclaim the title of ‘World’s Most Profitable Company’ and they’re trying to support the creation of OLED screen manufacturers to reduce dependence on Samsung, the largest supplier.)

    • UK Cabinet shaken by sexual assault allegations

    o Claims of sexual assault from Parliamentary aides, journalists, and even fellow MPs have shaken the Government.
    o Labour party activists claim to have a spreadsheet of 40 Conservative MP’s who have been accused of sexual misconduct (the allegations on the spreadsheet are unverified according to a story on The Guardian)
    o The Government does not have a majority of seats in the Commons (318/650) but have a deal with the Northern Irish DUP. They have 10 seat, so Conservative Party can commend a slim majority of 328.
    o It will be interesting to see if the number of seats falls, perhaps even below the 256 required by a party to form a Government.

    WHAT SOUNDS LIKE A STORY BUT NEEDS FURTHER DIGGING AND DISCUSSION

    • Drones and the future of transport

    o Uber foresee of ‘On Demand Urban Air Transport’, where a ‘50-mile drone taxi flight from the São Paulo suburb of Campinas to the city centre will cost the equivalent of $24.’ (Uber Report Here: https://www.uber.com/elevate.pdf)
    o The Ehang 184, a drone made in China, has begun tests in Dubai, flying up to 10 miles per trip.
    o What are the implications of drone transport?
     Who are the people that will use them? Will they eventually replace public and private transport or work complimentary to them?
     What will be the legislation around them? Will anyone be able to ride them (irrespective of Visa status, employment status, health status?)
     When (if at all) will governments move to regulate them?
     Where would the best places for drone transport be, will ‘highway’ routes be established or will it be a bit more wild west?
     Why will drone transport become popular?
     How do key figures in the industry see drone transportation working?

    • Asteroid Mining

     Former President Barack Obama legalised asteroid mining for private firms.
     The miniscule European country of Luxembourg has the world’s most favourable legislative framework for asteroid mining. A whole host of firms have flocked to take advantage.

    WATCHERS (keep an eye on to see if it develops to merit a fuller story)

    • 2018 will be declared ‘The African Anti-Corruption Year’ by the African Union, a pan African organisation of 55 members to facilitate development for ‘A peaceful, prosperous and integrated Africa’. Anti-corruption campaigns are often painted by incumbent politicians as witch-hunting campaigns designed by opposition politicians. The focus of anti-corruption campaigns should therefore be focussed on creating independent bodies, carefully designed to be transparent and accountable without being susceptible to political pressures.

    • The Football Association, as part of the ‘Gameplan for Growth’ have recently announced their intention to restructure the tiers of Women’s Football in the UK. The move, heralded as a ‘landmark moment for women’s football’ is part of the three-pronged plan by the FA to double participation, double fanbase and achieve consistent success on the world stage.

    1. On the Uber story, I think it’s just PR by Uber right now. Not that it shouldn’t be covered, but I think it’s the second time they mention drones.

      The launch of the new iPhone should definitely be covered. Really like how you put it. The iPhone definitely changed how we interact with the world. I would argue that East Asia (China, Korea, Japan) are more integrated with the smartphone world, they just have everything so tightly connected. I still can’t use my smartphone as my bus/metro pass in São Paulo.

  29. North Korea nuclear tunnel COLLAPSES ‘killing at least 200 people’ amid fears of a massive radioactive leak
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4806082/north-korea-nuclear-base-collapses-killing-200-radioactive-leak-fears-latest-updates/
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/31/collapse-north-korea-nuclear-test-site-leaves-200-dead/

    I looked for a state that’s taken the opioid epidemic seriously. I found Vermont.
    Vermont declared an emergency over the opioid crisis — and actually did something about it.

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/30/16339672/opioid-epidemic-vermont-hub-spoke

    Gas companies spend €104m lobbying to ensure Europe remains ‘locked in’ to fossil fuels for decades, report finds
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/gas-industry-spending-millions-lobbying-to-ensure-europe-is-locked-in-to-fossil-fuels-for-decades-a8028056.html

    The Web Began Dying in 2014, Here’s How
    https://staltz.com/the-web-began-dying-in-2014-heres-how.html

    The Little Black Box That Took Over Piracy
    The Kodi box pitch is hard to resist. A little black plastic square, in look not much different from a Roku or Apple TV, and similar in function as well. This streamer, though, offers something those others never will: Free access to practically any show or movie you can dream of. No rental fees. No subscriptions. Just type in the name of a blockbuster, and start watching a high-definition stream in seconds.
    https://www.wired.com/story/kodi-box-piracy/

    Do You Live in One of the Most Sexually Diseased States?
    https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/do-you-live-in-one-of-the-most-sexually-diseased-states/

    Want to work in Hollywood? Here’s the kind of nondisclosure agreements you have to sign first
    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hollywood-nondisclosure-20171026-story.html

    Hollywood actors speak of ‘rampant’ problem of male abusers targeting men
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/31/hollywood-male-abusers-boys-gay-men-kevin-spacey

    Lampposts are covered in airbags to stop ‘smartphone zombies’ bumping into them as they walk around staring at their screens in Salzburg
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5035191/Airbags-lampposts-protect-Salzburg-phone-users.html
    MEANWHILE… ~.5 of the world away in Hawaii:
    Honolulu targets ‘smartphone zombies’ with crosswalk ban
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hawaii-texting-ban/honolulu-targets-smartphone-zombies-with-crosswalk-ban-idUSKBN1AD2LS

    An ancient city has been discovered in the middle of the ocean
    https://www.indy100.com/article/ancient-city-pacific-ocean-micronesia-nan-madol-atlantis-video-science-channel-mystery-legend-8027081

    The Long, Strange History of People Filing Flying Saucer Patents
    https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/flying-saucer-patents-alexander-weygers

  30. Bitcoin is making banks nervous. Here’s why
    Technology blogs and financial news networks are buzzing about blockchain, a cryptographic, distributed trust technology. The key innovation is how it reduces the need for central third-party institutions to serve as central authorities of trust — banks, courts, large corporations, stock markets and even governments, for example.

    https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/10/bitcoin-is-making-banks-nervous-heres-why

    Government Standing In Way of Internet for Rural US
    https://www.newsmax.com/DanPerkins/internet-white-spaces-microsoft-rural/2017/10/17/id/820296/

    Three quarters of honey worldwide contain pesticides, study finds
    https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2017/10/09/Three-quarters-of-honey-worldwide-contain-pesticides-study-finds
    https://www.sciencenews.org/article/much-worlds-honey-now-contains-pesticides-harm-bees
    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/358/6359/109

    There Are Three Kinds of Consciousness, And Computers Have Mastered One
    Consciousness is a slippery concept to pin down, but a small group of neuroscientists just made a solid attempt at doing just that.

    http://www.sciencealert.com/artificial-intelligence-three-types-of-consciousness

    California surfer makes board using 10,000 cigarette butts
    http://westhawaiitoday.com/news/nation-world-news/odd-news-1

    France Is Running Out of Butter for Its Croissants
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-30/french-butter-melts-away-from-shelves-as-global-demand-soars

    1. @Geoff, among the items you pointed out, IMHO at least 2 of them are not worthy of any attention in WT,
      – surfer makes surfboard out of cigarette butts,
      – France running out of butter for its croissants.
      My remark is based on several considerations:
      – byeond the euphoria of beta, pilot and full launch, WT like any other news media will be in competition with all the others, many of whom have good professionals, loyal readers, and an established reputation;
      – like Wikipedia, WT’s appeal will come from its reliability as a source, the relevance of its content, and consistent style;
      – irrelevance is sufficiently catered to elsewhere, and occupies terabytes every day.
      Thanks for doing all this work identifying possible material! 😉

    2. Thanks, Geoff. A few stories related to bitcoin coming down the pipeline. Feel free to jump in and contribute + suggest edits!

      1. your most welcome Cassandra… yours truly just tried his first WT “edit” adding a single white line between the DAILY BRIEFING/CURRENT AFFAIRS — that/they “appeared” peachy-keen in the EDIT window, BUT when UPDATE was hit , well, what actuality APPEARED now has like 5 or 6 blank/white lines… 🙁 UGH!

        so, left a comment to this effect in the TALK over there asking for some help/elucidation/education in this regard to this WordPress n00b/novice, Pretty Please…? 😀

        1. Ah thanks! And don’t worry too much about formatting — we can always jump in and clean that up. If there are stories // background // material you want to get involved in, dive in!

  31. Warnings of ‘GLOBAL OUTBREAK’ of Black Death as PLAGUE continues to spread
    HEALTH experts are warning there is “something different” about a new Black Death outbreak spreading across the world.
    Published 30th October 2017

    https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/656128/Plague-outbreak-global-black-death-Madagascar-Africa-WHO-South-Kenya-Ethiopia-Seychelles

    Carbon Pollution Touched 800,000 Year Record in 2016, WMO Says
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-30/carbon-pollution-touched-800-000-year-record-in-2016-wmo-says

    Tree-Planting Drones Are Helping Replant Our Forests by Seeding 100,000 Plants a Day
    If you thought drones were just for taking pictures, think again. One UK-based startup company is hoping to kickstart efforts against deforestation by leveraging drone technology. BioCarbon Engineering, whose CEO Lauren Fletcher spent 20 years as a NASA engineer, is pledging to plant one billion trees using industrial technology.
    http://mymodernmet.com/biocarbon-engineering-drone-reforestation/

    Chinese Scientists Develop Saltwater Rice That Could Feed Over 200 Million People
    In a stunning agricultural breakthrough, Chinese researchers stated that they have developed a system for growing rice in saltwater. It’s a revolutionary breakthrough that could help feed over 200 million people and also boost China’s rice production by 20 percent.
    http://mymodernmet.com/saltwater-rice-agriculture-breakthrough/

    Transparent solar technology represents ‘wave of the future’
    See-through solar materials that can be applied to windows represent a massive source of untapped energy and could harvest as much power as bigger, bulkier rooftop solar units, scientists report today in Nature Energy.

    https://phys.org/news/2017-10-transparent-solar-technology-future.html

    The Future of Truth and Misinformation Online
    Experts are evenly split on whether the coming decade will see a reduction in false and misleading narratives online. Those forecasting improvement place their hopes in technological fixes and in societal solutions. Others think the dark side of human nature is aided more than stifled by technology.

    http://www.pewinternet.org/2017/10/19/the-future-of-truth-and-misinformation-online/

    Facebook Stumbles With Early Effort to Stamp Out Fake News
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-30/facebook-stumbles-with-early-effort-to-stamp-out-fake-news
    Who Will Rein In Facebook? Challengers Are Lining Up
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/who-will-rein-in-facebook-challengers-are-lining-up-1509278405
    Forget Washington. Facebook’s Problems Abroad Are Far More Disturbing.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/29/business/facebook-misinformation-abroad.html

    1. Thanks Geoff! WT producer George has taken the lead on a story about plague — feel free to contribute! https://www.wikitribune.com/?post_type=stories&p=14035&preview=true

  32. Your spam is getting dangerous

    Fake news is here to stay, study says
    [this speaks volumes vis-a-vis the prescience to/for the mission/vision of WikiTribune!]

    Exclusive: Former West Point professor’s letter exposes corruption, cheating and failing standards [Full letter]

    9.7 Million-Year-Old Teeth Found in Germany Belong to Hominin Only Known To Have Existed in Africa 4 Million Years Later
    Archaeologists have made a discovery so sensational that they have waited 1 year to announce it as they had to be sure they had the dating correct. Could this finding be another nail in the coffin for the out-of-Africa theory of human origins?

  33. Piece in works on Madagascar plague [should rest of world be worried // whatyou need to know, explainer type] — keen for contributions: https://www.wikitribune.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=14159&action=edit

  34. Catholic Hospital Group Grants Euthanasia to Mentally Ill, Defying Vatican
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/catholic-hospital-group-grants-euthanasia-to-mentally-ill-defying-vatican-1509096600

    Saudi Arabia grants citizenship to a ROBOT as critics say it now has more rights than women
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/saudi-arabia-grants-citizenship-robot-11419297

    Plastics Without Borders
    If no action is taken to curb pollution, there will be more plastic than fish (by weight) in the ocean by 2050.
    https://www.hakaimagazine.com/infographic/plastics-without-borders

    Vietnamese farmer discovers a spectacular world: Sơn Đoòng cave estimated 5M years old is the world’s largest cave
    https://www.sott.net/article/363659-Vietnamese-farmer-discovers-a-spectacular-world-Son-Doong-cave-estimated-5M-years-old-is-the-worlds-largest-cave
    [the pictures in this article — of the cave are beyond spectacular/jaw dropping!!!]

  35. Trump delays release of some JFK assassination documents, bowing to national security concerns
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trump-expected-to-release-remaining-jfk-assassination-documents-thursday/2017/10/25/52c8f71a-b9b7-11e7-a908-a3470754bbb9_story.html

    Shocking photo shows Caribbean Sea being ‘choked to death by human waste’
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/26/shocking-photo-shows-caribbean-sea-choked-death-human-waste/

    Saudi Arabia becomes first country to grant citizenship to a robot
    http://www.arabnews.com/node/1183166/saudi-arabia

    The Best New Restaurants In America 2017
    Right now, we just want to break bread with good friends. We don’t want gimmicks or concepts. And we don’t want to be rushed. What we want is to be transported. And yes, of course we want another great bottle of wine. Because we want to toast the return of real restaurants.
    http://www.esquire.com/food-drink/restaurants/a12775917/best-new-restaurants-in-america-2017/

    1. George, what are you proposing we do with these links? Are these stories you want to do another version of? Is this something you think should go in the briefing?

      1. “George” … hmmm — WHOZAT¿¿¿ 😀

        yours truly would humble propose, er, suggest that either — at WikiTribunes Discretion (of course :D) — they essentially be taken as possible ‘leads’ for stories to do another version of –OR– they simply just go into The Briefing.

        yours truly has been diligently trying to heed/answer your ‘call’ to/for “… We need your help and insight. Please tell us what stories you feel are important, might want to cover or deserve more in-depth investigation ahead of the meeting. We look forward to receiving your contributions.”

        1. Apologies! I mean Geoff. Oops. Thanks for sharing the links + all good to know!

  36. Morning meeting discussion: Definitely keen to start a story on plague/Madagascar. Should we talk to epidemiologist about mapping it? Is a story about how Madagascar’s animal population // reserves more interesting? Thoughts?

  37. Thanks Jeromey — will bring this to the news meeting.

  38. Thanks Diego — am adding this to the news agenda. Is this something you would be interested in contributing to?

  39. Black death warning in NINE countries – including Brit holiday hotspots – amid fears PLAGUE could spread on flights from Madagascar

    The deadly plague outbreak has struck Madagascar’s major cities sparking fears it has yet to ‘peak’ and could spread into the surrounding region.
    EXCLUSIVE
    By Corey Charlton
    25th October 2017, 5:53 pm

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4765804/black-death-warning-in-nine-countries-including-brit-holiday-hotspots-amid-fears-plague-could-spread-on-flights-from-madagascar/

    1. Warnings of ‘GLOBAL OUTBREAK’ of Black Death as PLAGUE continues to spread
      HEALTH experts are warning there is “something different” about a new Black Death outbreak spreading across the world.

      Published 30th October 2017
      https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/656128/Plague-outbreak-global-black-death-Madagascar-Africa-WHO-South-Kenya-Ethiopia-Seychelles

    2. Thanks for all these links, Geoff. Are you proposing a separate // WikiTribune story? Or do you think this should be included in daily briefing?

      1. would like to leave The Weighty Decision of separate // WikiTribune story –VS- included in daily briefing up to y’all.

        a thought/comment vis-a-vis The Daily Briefing: once it’s “published” that should be it for that day — i.e. no more items should be added to it — since once it’s “read”, then the “thinking” here is, it’s been seen… (ERGO, and it would be tedious to have to re-check that “Story” time and again (and having to wade though and view the same items you’ve already seen) in order to “fish out” any new items.

        this line of “thinking” could then perhaps engender, say, rather than a “daily briefing”, but a “morning briefing”, an “afternoon briefing” and finally an “evening briefing”… again, each of these would be “Static” once “published” and any subsequent items would be withheld and published in the next briefing.

        of course, one of the benefits of a Wiki is that as that Next Briefing is developed, y’all (and, well, anyone) could be adding items to it, right? 😀

        1. Thanks. The Daily briefing does stand / remain for that day.

  40. Kaspersky: We uploaded US documents but quickly deleted them
    By RAPHAEL SATTER, AP CYBERSECURITY WRITER
    Oct 25 2017

    Sometime in 2014, a group of analysts walked into the office of Eugene Kaspersky, the ebullient founder of Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, to deliver some sobering news.

    Kaspersky’s anti-virus software had automatically scraped powerful digital surveillance tools off a computer in the United States and the analysts were worried: The data’s headers clearly identified the files as classified.

    “They immediately came to my office,” Kaspersky recalled, “and they told me that they have a problem.”

    He said there was no hesitation about what to do with the cache.

    “It must be deleted,” Kaspersky says he told them.

    The incident, recounted by Kaspersky during a brief telephone interview on Tuesday and supplemented by a timeline and other information provided by company officials, could not immediately be corroborated. But it’s the first public acknowledgement of a story that has been building for the past three weeks — that Kaspersky’s popular anti-virus program uploaded powerful digital espionage tools belonging to the National Security Agency from a computer in the United States and sent them to servers in Moscow.

    The account provides new perspective on the U.S. government’s recent move to blacklist Kaspersky from federal computer networks, even if it still leaves important questions unanswered.

    To hear Kaspersky tell it, the incident was an accident borne of carelessness.

    Analysts at his company were already on the trail of the Equation Group — a powerful group of hackers later exposed as an arm of the NSA — when a computer in the United States was flagged for further investigation. The machine’s owner, identified in media reports as an NSA worker, had run anti-virus scans on their home computer after it was infected by a pirated copy of Microsoft Office, according to a Kaspersky timeline released Wednesday.

    The scan didn’t just treat the infection. It also triggered an alert for Equation Group files the worker had left in a compressed archive which was then spirited to Moscow for analysis.

    Kaspersky’s story at least partially matches accounts published in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. All three publications recently reported that someone at the NSA’s elite hacking unit lost control of some of the agency’s powerful surveillance tools after they brought their work home with them, leaving what should have been closely guarded code on a personal computer running Kaspersky’s anti-virus software.

    But information security experts puzzling over the hints dropped by anonymous government officials are still wondering at whether Kaspersky is suspected of deliberately hunting for confidential data or was merely doing its job by sniffing out suspicious files.

    Much of the ambiguity is down to the nature of modern anti-virus software, which routinely submits rogue files back to company servers for analysis. The software can easily be quietly tweaked to scoop up other files, too: perhaps classified documents belonging to a foreign rival’s government, for example.

    Concerns have been fanned by increasingly explicit warnings from U.S. government officials after tensions with Russia escalated in the wake of the 2016 presidential election.

    [snip]

  41. Subject: And there is this…

    ​WHILE ROME BURNS: SPAM (in Hawaii) IS PUT UNDER LOCK & KEY AND ELSEWHERE $1,000 BAGELS & $55 CUPS OF COFFEE ARE NOW ON THE OFFER:​

    Spam heists in Hawaii prompt retailers to put the wildly popular ‘mystery meat’ in locked cases
    http://m.sfgate.com/news/article/Spam-heists-in-Hawaii-prompt-retailers-to-put-the-12290064.php

    Last month in the Pearl City community on Oahu, Safeway customer Arlene Sua watched as a man suddenly grabbed eight cases of Spam and head for the door. She thought “‘OK, this isn’t real. No, he’s not going to take it, no, no,” she told KHON TV.

    But it was real. The man took off with the Spam and disappeared.

    Elsewhere on the Island at about the same time, three women loaded up shopping carts at a Long’s drugstore with 18 cases of – you guessed it – Spam. They made a rush for the exit. Fortunately, an alert customer, Kurt Fevella, saw the attempted heist in progress, stationed himself at the door on Spam patrol and stopped them in their tracks. They shoved the carts toward at him and took off, Fevella told KITV4.

    A shop at a downtown mall wasn’t so lucky. The Honolulu Police Department is now offering a $1000 reward for a man (and an apparent accomplice) who entered a store on Oct. 3, grabbed a case of Spam and punched a security guard who attempted to stop him.

    Police reported that the thief “fled in an unknown direction.”

    These Spam snatchers are not hungry people desperate for Spam, said Tina Yamaki, president of the Retail Merchants of Hawaii. They are most likely part of a Spam black market that’s taking off in a state where the demand for Spam knows no bounds…SNIP

    ​MEANWHILE/ELSEWHERE in The United States of America:

    $1,000 Bagel Is Back in New York City
    A spokeswoman for The Westin says ever since the $1,000 bagel made its first brief appearance in the fall of 2007, “requests for this over-the-top bagel have come in yearly without fail”
    https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/One-Thousand-Dollar-Bagel-New-York-City-451442003.html

    The Westin New York hotel in Times Square is offering the extravagant bagel for a limited time next month, 10 years after it was first introduced on the menu.

    The bagel, from New Yorker Bagels, will be dressed in Alba white truffle cream cheese, topped with goji berry-infused Riesling jelly and flaked with golden leaves.

    Pound for pound, the white truffle is the second most expensive food in the world, after caviar, according to a spokeswoman for the hotel. The delicacy is grown in the Alba region of Italy beneath certain oak trees, and trained dogs or pigs are necessary to locate them.

    Production of the truffles is extremely limited, and they’re in season from late autumn to winter. The spokeswoman says the Alba white truffles are the “star” of the bagel creation and the main contributor to the four-digit price tag.

    Tax and tip are included in the $1,000 bagel, which is available for order via 24-hour room service or at the hotel’s Foundry Bar during breakfast hours.

    A spokeswoman for The Westin says ever since the $1,000 bagel made its first brief appearance in the fall of 2007, “requests for this over-the-top bagel have come in yearly without fail.”

    “Considering how pricing has risen in the past decade (try buying an apartment for the same price as it was in 2007), this bagel at its introductory cost is nearly a deal,” says the hotel.​​..​​

    ​THEN, WASH The BAGEL DOWN WITH:​​

    Enjoy That Cup of Coffee! Your Total Comes to $55
    To justify eye-popping prices, high-end java spots use rare beans, fancy machines, elaborate preparations and heaps of hyperbole
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/enjoy-that-cup-of-coffee-your-total-comes-to-55-1508170379

    NEW YORK—In this hyper-caffeinated city, you don’t have to venture far to find an affordable cup of coffee, be it from a corner bodega or pushcart vendor.

    Then there is Eleven Madison Park, the Michelin-starred dining spot that just began offering a $24 cup of joe.​..

    … In Southern California, $55 is what it will cost to get a special cup at Klatch Coffee, which plans to roll out a particularly prized version next month, dubbed Esmeralda Geisha 601. The “601” refers to the price per pound that the coffee sold for at auction…SNIP​

  42. Leading Neuroscientist Explains How the Brain Hallucinates Reality

    In a recent Ted Talk, neuroscientist Anil Seth revealed irrefutable proof that conscious reality is not shaped by the world around us. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Our brain hallucinates our reality into being. It uses past experiences and sensory data to make a series of predictions about the outside world. Through this process, it generates the world.

    The world we experience comes as much, if not more, from the inside out as from the outside in. ~ Anil Seth, Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom

    ​[SNIP]​

    http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/10/23/leading-neuroscientist-explains-brain-hallucinates-reality/

  43. I am interested in a story that answers the following:
    “Are stock market highs being driven by anyone other than the top 1-2% of wealth holders in the US?”
    …and related…
    “How does the stock market gains over the last 9-12 months relate to the overall rate of growth (or lack thereof) in the economy for the 98%?”

  44. Hey there… WikiTribune reporter Linh has been thinking of an angle + looking into a story here. Grateful for any contributions: https://www.wikitribune.com/?post_type=stories&p=10946&preview=true#read

  45. Adequacy/delivery of Hurricane Maria recovery aid in Puerto Rico, including a discussion of this week’s House panel (reported in The Hill) that is discussing whether to wrestle authority away from the local government and giving jurisdiction instead to the unelected Fiscal Control Board to direct hurricane recovery efforts. A lot of reporting in WaPo/Weather Channel has pointed at “fishy” contract granting by the local government to a small Montana utility company called Whitefish. Reports are contradictory, but there appears to be some connection between Whitefish and the Trump administration. This is a murky area where solid journalism could make a timely and substantive impact.

  46. Robert Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe, is appointed as a goodwill ambassador for the World Health Organization (WHO). (source: BBC – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-41702662 )

  47. Theresa May to scrap Universal Credit helpline charges – but stands firm (for now) over roll-out of the Universal Credit benefit system itself (source: BBC) – from @vlad-bourceanu

    1. Thanks Fiona for moving my original post here! On the subject of the news story above, I thought that this, perhaps, made for good reading? http://www.redpepper.org.uk/universal-credit-isnt-about-saving-money-its-about-disciplining-unemployed-people/

      1. Vlad, I’m going to lead a piece on Universal Credit. I think it could be a great, concise and context-driven explainer, going through how it works, and how it is affecting individuals. What do you think? Do you think we need to interview anyone?

        1. Hi Lydia, that sounds great. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of anyone in particular that needs interviewing per se – though it would be a bonus if we could somehow gauge the views of someone directly affected by the policy, or (at the other end of the spectrum), an official of some independent think-tank involved with this policy – or even, if possible, an MP or someone like that?

          But that, to me, would be a bonus. What would matter more, in my view, would be to neutrally and impartially mention (and source, of course) the facts and let them speak for themselves – focusing, perhaps, on the human angle of this policy: i.e. people who have no other source of income and no savings having to wait for up to six weeks for their first Universal Credit payment – again, with no money whatsoever available to them in the meantime (bar, perhaps, some emergency government aid in the form of loans that they would later have to pay back out of their new UC benefit anyway?).

          I think the story would have immense potential if we focus on that. The rest is extra, for me … perhaps necessary, but not the main thing? Just my thoughts – please let me know what you think if needed. Thanks!

          1. Hi Vlad, great start. I agree that showing the facts and figures in a neutral way should be the focus. I also think a section on what the newspapers are saying could be advantageous and give greater context to readers from outside of the UK – what do you think?

            Will try to find someone who has been affected as an add-on, or possibly have quotes from them throughout, but that for me is also a bonus, or could even be its own interview-led/human interest piece as a follow-up.

            I will make a start on this now and aim to have it finished by the end of tomorrow. Let’s move our talk to the story’s Talk page? Link here: https://www.wikitribune.com/?post_type=stories&p=11372&preview=true

            1. Yes, I think the newspapers idea is a fantastic idea. Trouble is, most UK newspapers have been (as far as I’ve seen, at least) hugely partisan over the issue – on both sides of the argument. This is where WikiTribune could come in, I feel – it’s all crying out for some impartial, fair and accurate reporting, which won’t go overboard either way but will present things factually, such as they are and let the reader make up his/her own mind themselves. But yes – we could again show what the media thinks, so long as we do it in a balanced way? and yes, the “human interest” piece would indeed be an interesting bonus, I think.

              Happy to help in any way you’d like me to – and yes, will talk from now on on the story’s TALK page (replied here, this one time, for the sake of the topic’s coherence). Thank you!

      2. We’re going to try to find an angle to do from here. Would love your assistance, Vlad, once it’s firmed up!

        1. With pleasure – I will help in any way possible!

  48. I’m willing to write 2 essays: 1) ”Where is France headed? 6 months into the Macron presidency”; 2) ”The world stage today: trends and challenges”. I could do the first one within a week, the second one within 2 weeks.

    1. Thanks for these great contributions, Jean-Jacques. We’re going to pass on the second one but very interested in the first one. Think key would be to make it an analysis — with “expert” voices. Maybe aim for 1,000-1200 words. WikiTribune journalist Harry Ridgewell is keen to help out… Maybe he can put in calls to experts // analysts? Will leave it to you two to sort out. He’s [email protected]

      1. Thanks Cassandra. Will get in touch with Harry. About my second proposal, by ”pass on” do you mean ”submit the proposal to Peter”, or ”drop it”?

  49. Let me know if I can help with cryptocurrency stuff. I’m not a crypto expert, but I have a degree in computer science and know more than average. I also have some connections to investors and entrepreneurs in the space if that would help.

    1. Very cool. Any thoughts or observations or ideas on how to… hone in on something more specific? Any trends you’ve noticed, interesting developments in field, surprising new characters in the mix, unresolved questions you’ve got?

      1. I’m still learning about it myself, so I’m not sure. A week ago a cryptocurrency index fund launched: https://medium.com/bitwise-asset-management/making-it-easier-to-invest-in-cryptocurrency-8978c898723

        I am interested in learning more about this, maybe a bit down the road I’ll be more informed and can suggest trends or ideas.

        1. Gotcha. That’s a good place for us to start poking around. I’ll see if any of the reporters here have ideas. Sometimes the best stories come out of: “I want to know more about this” or unanswered questions you have about a news event, company, trend. Stay tuned and shout if anything comes to mind!

  50. Just saw that US hostage released in Pakistan… Wonder if there’s a story to do as an offshoot of that? ie ransoms or length of captivity or… psych effects of lengthy captivity or…. THOUGHTS?

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