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China Dictating US Airline Website Design and Award Charts - View from the Wing

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In January China flexed its muscles against Marriott at a time that the US President began making rumblings of a trade war. They shut down Marriott’s booking engines in the country. Marriott Marriott fired an hourly worker who rather innocuously ‘liked’ a tweet about Tibet and even removed a banned book from one of their hotels.

At the time I wrote that China would be cracking down on airlines, too. American’s website for instance lists Taiwan separately from China.

China specifically called out American Airlines and United Airlines speech. Delta was called out three months ago and apologized to China.

China told American Airlines and United that they had to refer to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau as part of China. They wouldn’t be allowed to treat or refer to these as separate countries. Here is China’s letter to United (in Chinese, .pdf).

They told United that Taiwan must be listed on its website as “‘Chinese Taiwan’ or ‘Taiwan: province/region of China’.” The Chinese government’s letter specified that “Taiwan must be included in any map of China on its website and United must use the same color on the website for mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.” China is even involving itself in United’s graphic design.

But if goes a step further than that! The Chinese government wants to ensure that award travel to Taiwan doesn’t get more expensive, insisting that “Taiwan destinations must not be classified as being in Southeast Asia but must be put in the same category as China” — notably United lists Hong Kong as Southeast Asia, while American lists all destinations at issue including China itself as “Asia 2.”

China is insisting everyone copy IHG hotels and specifically define Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan and part of China.

And they’re using their new ‘social scoring’ system to rate US companies.

If United doesn’t comply by May 25, the Chinese government will invoke “Civil Aviation Industry Credit Management Trial Measures” and “make a record of your company’s serious dishonesty and take disciplinary actions against your company…

That reference to “Civil Industry Credit Management” is citing a trial regulation on credit scoring in the aviation industry, and the letter claims United’s labeling of Taiwan is equal to “serious dishonesty” under that regulation…

According to a letter being released by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders,

This is Orwellian nonsense and part of a growing trend by the Chinese Communist Party to impose its political views on American citizens and private companies,” the statement reads. “China’s internal Internet repression is world-famous. China’s efforts to export its censorship and political correctness to Americans and the rest of the free world will be resisted.”

…“The United States strongly objects to China’s attempts to compel private firms to use specific language of a political nature in their publicly available content,” the White House statement says. “We call on China to stop threatening and coercing American carriers and citizens.”

From China’s perspective, they can regulate speech beyond their borders as a condition of allowing companies to do business. Where will this end? Could they tell airlines they’re only allowed to honor elite benefits for passengers whose speech about Taiwan or Tibet conforms to their standards?

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invinciblegod
17 days ago
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Obviously, any country can dictate terms for companies to do business there. The only limiting factor is whether it is worth it to the company. For instance, one of the terms for the US is to comply with Iran sanctions which ZTE has violated so now they can't do business properly with the US.
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Woman Who Lied to Police About 3 Black Men Raping and Kidnapping Her Faces Zero Years in Prison

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Breana Harmon Photo: Denison Police Department The beautiful, blond Texas Beckymonster who falsely told police that she was raped and kidnapped by three black…
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invinciblegod
85 days ago
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Thanks, now we have more fuel for not believing women when they are raped! Just point to this story! /sarcasm
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acdha
85 days ago
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Imagine if she’d done something truly heinous like getting stopped for a traffic violation while black
Washington, DC

Exclusive: Trump privately talks up executing all big drug dealers

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In Singapore, the death penalty is mandatory for drug trafficking offenses. And President Trump loves it. He’s been telling friends for months that the country’s policy to execute drug traffickers is the reason its drug consumption rates are so low.

"He says that a lot," said a source who's spoken to Trump at length about the subject. "He says, 'When I ask the prime minister of Singapore do they have a drug problem [the prime minister replies,] 'No. Death penalty'."


He often jokes about killing drug dealers... He’ll say, 'You know the Chinese and Filipinos don’t have a drug problem. They just kill them.'— A senior administration official to Axios
  • But the president doesn't just joke about it. According to five sources who've spoken with Trump about the subject, he often leaps into a passionate speech about how drug dealers are as bad as serial killers and should all get the death penalty.
  • Trump tells confidants a softer approach to drug reform — the kind where you show sympathy to the offenders and give them more lenient sentences — will never work.
  • He tells friends and associates the government has got to teach children that they'll die if they take drugs and they've got to make drug dealers fear for their lives.
  • Trump has said he would love to have a law to execute all drug dealers here in America, though he's privately admitted it would probably be impossible to get a law this harsh passed under the American system.
  • Kellyanne Conway, who leads the White House's anti-drug efforts, argues Trump's position is more nuanced, saying the president is talking about high-volume dealers who are killing thousands of people. The point he's making, she says, is that some states execute criminals for killing one person but a dealer who brings a tiny quantity of fentanyl into a community can cause mass death in just one weekend, often with impunity.

The substance: Trump may back legislation requiring a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for traffickers who deal as little as two grams of fentanyl. Currently, you have to deal forty grams to trigger the mandatory five-year sentence. (The DEA estimates that as little as two milligrams is enough to kill people.)

  • Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, and much of it is manufactured in Chinese labs. It can be lethal in extremely small doses. Of the 64,000 people who died of drug overdoses in 2016, more than 20,000 overdosed on synthetic opioids like fentanyl, according to the National Institute for Drug Abuse.

Between the lines: Conway told me this kind of policy would have widespread support. “There is an appetite among many law enforcement, health professionals and grieving families that we must toughen up our criminal and sentencing statutes to match the new reality of drugs like fentanyl, which are so lethal in such small doses,” she said.

  • "The president makes a distinction between those that are languishing in prison for low-level drug offenses and the kingpins hauling thousands of lethal doses of fentanyl into communities, that are responsible for many casualties in a single weekend."

What's next: Trump wants to get tough on drug traffickers and pharmaceutical companies. Stay tuned for policy announcements in the not-too-distant future.

  • Trump and some of his advisers are discussing whether they might adopt other aspects of Singapore's "zero tolerance" drug policies, like bringing more anti-drug education into schools.
  • Both Conway and the First Lady Melania Trump, who has taken a strong interest in the administration's anti-drug policies, support getting better drug education and prevention into schools.In Singapore, the death penalty is mandatory for drug trafficking offenses. And President Trump loves it. He’s been telling friends for months that the country’s policy to execute drug traffickers is the reason its drug consumption rates are so low.
  • "He says that a lot," said a source who's spoken to Trump at length about the subject. "He says, 'When I ask the prime minister of Singapore do they have a drug problem [the prime minister replies,] 'No. Death penalty'."

"​He often jokes about killing drug dealers... He’ll say, 'You know the Chinese and Filipinos don’t have a drug problem. They just kill them.'"— A senior administration official to Axios

  • But the president doesn't just joke about it. According to five sources who've spoken with Trump about the subject, he often leaps into a passionate speech about how drug dealers are as bad as serial killers and should all get the death penalty.
  • Trump tells confidants a softer approach to drug reform — the kind where you show sympathy to the offenders and give them more lenient sentences — will never work.
  • He tells friends and associates the government has got to teach children that they'll die if they take drugs and they've got to make drug dealers fear for their lives.
  • Trump has said he would love to have a law to execute all drug dealers here in America, though he's privately admitted it would probably be impossible to get a law this harsh passed under the American system.
  • Kellyanne Conway, who leads the White House's anti-drug efforts, argues Trump's position is more nuanced, saying he the president about high-volume dealers who are killing thousands of people. The point he's making, she says, is that some states execute criminals for killing one person but a dealer who brings a tiny quantity of fentanyl into a community can cause mass death in just one weekend, often with impunity.

The substance: Trump may back legislation requiring a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for traffickers who deal as little as two grams of fentanyl. Currently, you have to deal forty grams to trigger the mandatory five-year sentence. (The DEA estimates that as little as two milligrams is enough to kill people.)

  • Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, and much of it is manufactured in Chinese labs. It can be lethal in extremely small doses. Of the 64,000 people who died of drug overdoses in 2016, more than 20,000 overdosed on synthetic opioids like fentanyl, according to the National Institute for Drug Abuse.

Between the lines: Conway told me this kind of policy would have widespread support. “There is an appetite among many law enforcement, health professionals and grieving families that we must toughen up our criminal and sentencing statutes to match the new reality of drugs like fentanyl, which are so lethal in such small doses,” she said.

  • "The president makes a distinction between those that are languishing in prison for low-level drug offenses and the kingpins hauling thousands of lethal doses of fentanyl into communities, that are responsible for many casualties in a single weekend."

What's next: Trump wants to get tough on drug traffickers and pharmaceutical companies. Stay tuned for policy announcements in the not-too-distant future.

  • Trump and some of his advisers are discussing whether they might adopt other aspects of Singapore's "zero tolerance" drug policies, like bringing more anti-drug education into schools.
  • Both Conway and the First Lady Melania Trump, who has taken a strong interest in the administration's anti-drug policies, support getting better drug education and prevention into schools.


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invinciblegod
87 days ago
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I would support such a law if it was applied perfectly, but the past decades show that such a law would easily be abused.
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Google Home Max Smart Speaker Now Shipping

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Chris Chan and James Howarth, product managers for Google Home Max:

Google Home Max sounds pretty amazing right out of the box because it’s our first speaker with Smart Sound. Powered by Google’s artificial intelligence (AI), Smart Sound means Max can automatically adapt itself based on where it’s placed in the room. There’s no extra setup or testing required. Even if you move Max from one spot to another, it’ll continuously tune itself to the room, so your music will sound one step closer to the studio.

$399. Pretty much the same basic idea as Apple’s HomePod, but Google Home Max is shipping.

(Also, check out the domain name Google is using for their company blog now. Apple has a similar top-level domain, but I don’t think they’re using it yet.)

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invinciblegod
163 days ago
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Can't wait for the shootout between the two.
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Blame the US Retail Apocalypse on hedge funds and financialization, not Amazon and Walmart

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mostlysignssomeportents:

America is in the midst of a “retail apocalypse”: 6,800 chain stores are closing this year. It’s true that online retailers and winner-take-alls like Walmart have delivered the coup de grace that finished off these stores, but the conditions that made them weak enough to kill are driven by Wall Street, not Walmart.

The common factor shared by the disparate struggling and bankrupt retailers – Toys R Us, Claire’s, Nordstrom’s, Macy’s, Sears, Penney’s, Circuit City, Sports Authority, Payless, Radio Shack, etc – is that they are saddled with crushing, inescapable debt that they took on when they were acquired by hedge funds that loaded the debt on as a way of stripmining the companies; also, they increasingly rely on predatory store-cards that can be used as cover for more financialization, debt-loading, and extraction by investors who profit even (especially) when their investments go bust.

Indeed, many of these companies are profitable, and some even experienced sales growth, even as they are circling the drain, because any dollar that comes in goes straight to debt service.

What’s more, the structure of this debt is such that the payments these companies “owe” are about to balloon, guaranteeing the end of the line for them.

Amazon and Walmart may push these companies over the brink, but America’s financial engineers brought them to that brink.

https://boingboing.net/2017/11/23/it-gets-worse.html

Hedge funds and the vulture capitalists who run them are destroying America.

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invinciblegod
172 days ago
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More proof that bankers are just plain evil.
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Stunned reactions after Donald Trump goes berserk and begins tweeting the details of his crimes

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Donald Trump decided that today would be a good day to defend himself with regard to Michael Flynn’s plea deal in the Trump-Russia scandal. Suffice it to say that Trump didn’t run it past his attorneys first, and wasn’t thinking clearly at all, because by the time he was done tweeting, he’d begun unwittingly revealing the details of his Trump-Russia crime spree and attempted coverup. Stunned reactions came in from legal experts and political pundits across the board.

All along, Trump had publicly asserted that he forced Michael Flynn to resign because Flynn had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his phone calls with the Russian Ambassador. But when Trump snapped on Twitter this morning, he tweeted this instead: “I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!”

If Trump knew that Flynn had committed the crime of lying to the FBI when he asked then-FBI Director James Comey to let Flynn off the hook, then Trump committed obstruction of justice. So this means that Trump just publicly confessed on Twitter to a felony. MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell responded to Trump with “We now have a winner for most self destructive tweet in history! A confession to obstruction of justice. Trump urged Comey to let Flynn go knowing Flynn was guilty.”

Congressman Ted Lieu, also an Air Force JAG prosecutor, replied “THIS IS OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. POTUS now admits he KNEW Michael Flynn lied to the FBI. Yet Trump tried to influence or stop the FBI investigation on Flynn.” Matthew Miller, formerly of the Department of Justice, replied “Never tweet. Especially if you’re going to tweet an admission to a crime.”

The post Stunned reactions after Donald Trump goes berserk and begins tweeting the details of his crimes appeared first on Palmer Report.

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invinciblegod
172 days ago
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Maybe I'm misunderstanding something, but isn't it also possible he learned of the lying after Flynn plead guilty and fired him for that?
wmorrell
172 days ago
Flynn was fired months ago. He plead guilty two days ago. If he was fired for lying to Pence *and* the FBI, then Trump pressuring and then firing Comey is obstruction.
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