Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, lunar module pilot on Apollo 14, passed away Thursday in West Palm Beach, Fla., on the eve of the 45th anniversary of his lunar landing.
Mitchell joined Apollo 14 commander Alan Shephard, Jr., the first American in space, in the lunar module Antares, which touched down Feb. 5, 1971, in the Fra Mauro highlands. Shepard and Mitchell were assigned to traverse the lunar surface to deploy scientific instruments and perform a communications test on the surface, as well as photograph the lunar surface and any deep space phenomena. It was Mitchell’s only spaceflight.
Europe’s highest court is considering whether every hyperlink in a Web page should be checked for potentially linking to material that infringes copyright, before it can be used. Such a legal requirement would place an unreasonable burden on anyone who uses hyperlinks, thereby destroying the Web we know and love.
The current GS Media case examining hyperlinks builds on an earlier ruling by the European Union’s Court of Justice (CJEU) in 2014. In that case, known as Svensson, the court decided that netizens didn’t need a licence from the copyright holder to link to an article that had already been posted on the Internet, where previous permission had been granted by the copyright owner.
Although that was good news for the online world, it left open a related question: what would the situation be if the material that was linked to had not been posted with the copyright owner’s permission? Would it still be legal under EU law to link to that pirated copy? Those are the issues that the latest CJEU case seeks to resolve for the whole of the 28-member-state bloc, and its 500 million citizens.
The Disruptive Competition Project has a good summary of the facts of the GS Media saga: “The defendant is a popular Dutch blog that posted links to photos meant for publication in the Dutch version of Playboy magazine, but which were leaked on an Australian server. No one knows who posted the photos to the Australian server, but everyone agrees that the blog only posted links to them.” The details of how the case finally arrived at the CJEU are complicated, and explained well in a long post on the EU Law Radar blog.
The opioid epidemic began in the 1990s when doctors prescribed a tremendous amount of opioid painkillers to help treat pain — a serious problem, given that chronic pain alone afflicts about 100 million Americans.
But one reason doctors were so willing to prescribe these painkillers, despite the clear risks of addiction and overdose, is heavy marketing from the pharmaceutical industry.
Andrew Kolodny and other public health experts explained the history in the Annual Review of Public Health, detailing Purdue Pharma’s involvement after it put OxyContin on the market in the 1990s:
Between 1996 and 2002, Purdue Pharma funded more than 20,000 pain-related educational programs through direct sponsorship or financial grants and launched a multifaceted campaign to encourage long-term use of [opioid painkillers] for chronic non-cancer pain. As part of this campaign, Purdue provided financial support to the American Pain Society, the American Academy of Pain Medicine, the Federation of State Medical Boards, the Joint Commission, pain patient groups, and other organizations. In turn, these groups all advocated for more aggressive identification and treatment of pain, especially use of [opioid painkillers].
Often, these campaigns propagated highly misleading claims — including assertions that OxyContin and other new opioid painkillers were safer than other medications on the market.
The claims were so misleading, in fact, that Purdue Pharma eventually paid hundreds of millions of dollars in fines for them. The Associated Press reported in 2007:
“Films, football, beer, and above all, gambling filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult….” ― George Orwell, 1984
As Americans train their attention to Super Bowl 50, their way of life — and for nearly half a million people, their livelihoods — just got one step closer to being signed away. This Thursday, in Auckland, New Zealand, representatives of the twelve nations participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership gathered to sign the massive trade deal turned corporate coup, bringing an end to the obligatory 90-day period ostensibly set aside for debate, following the close of five years of negotiations in October.
Agreed to by the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, Mexico, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Chile, Peru, and Brunei, the TPP will regulate ‘trade’ among the twelve nations. The deal is estimated to account for 40 percent of the global GDP — yet even the congressmen and congresswomen who will cast the deciding votes for U.S. participation were not privy to negotiations as that occurred.
Infamous both for secrecy among the top U.S. officials and multinational corporate lawyers who designed its structure, the TPP has made headlines more often for the fact it hasn’t made headlines, than for the sovereignty-crushing rules tucked into its multi-thousand-paged text.
Among the contents, some of which had been revealed in pieces by WikiLeaks thanks to concerned whistleblowers, is the notorious Intellectual Property chapter. This chapter acts as a vice grip on copyright law as well as guidelines for so-called “corporate tribunals,” which will allow “injured” corporations to sue governments (even local governments) for predicted future losses. Internet service providers (ISPs) would be forced to cough up customers’ names over instances of copyright infringement for the purposes of prosecution.
Exciting news: WhoWhatWhy has obtained the complete list of 3,603 secret documents on the Kennedy assassination still being held by the US government. (Or, to be precise, what it admits to still holding.)
Now we can at least get a peek at what they have been hiding.
The list was obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request by FOIA specialist Michael Ravnitzky, who alerted us.
The complete list is below. You’ll note that some documents are briefly characterized by subject, while others are less clearly identified.
The government has promised to release as many documents as possible in October, 2017, the 25th anniversary of the JFK Records Act, in which Congress mandated that all efforts be made to release everything in Washington’s possession unless an overriding case can be made for withholding in the national interest.
Some — perhaps most — of these documents could be released at that time. Then again, they may be further withheld. The CIA in particular is likely to argue that some are just too sensitive to be made public.
A UN panel may have found that Julian Assange is subject to “arbitrary detention” and called for him to be allowed to walk free, but the WikiLeaks founder still remains exactly where he has been for the past 44 months – inside Ecuador’s London embassy and locked in a three-nation war of words.
Britain and Sweden immediately rejected the UN report, which found that Assange had been “arbitrarily detained” since his arrest in 2010 and during his lengthy stay in the embassy, where he sought asylum in June 2012. The British foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, described the findings as “ridiculous” and the Australian as a “fugitive from justice”.
However, the panel’s findings, leaked on Thursday and published in full on Friday morning, were a welcome victory for Assange, and a moment he intended to savour fully. At 4.01pm he emerged on to the balcony of the west London embassy to greet a crowd of several hundred supporters and journalists, pausing first, just briefly, to glance at the sky he has rarely seen for more than three years.