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Weather Forecast Friday, Oct 19

Friday, October 19th

Fair Weather again today. But perhaps some morning Status over the Plateau and Ajoie, up to about 1000 meters, dissipating by noon. Max Temps 18 on the plain, 21 in Valais. 0 at 3600 meters. Weak E winds in the mountains, light Bise on the Plateau.

Tomorrow Saturday and Sunday
Generally sunny. But morning Stratus on the Plateau up to between 800 and 1000 meters. High 17 to 21.

Monday and Tuesday
Sunny days, with morning Stratus. A bit cooler Highs 14 to 19 C.

Wednesday and Thursday…
Forecast uncertain. But perhaps some showers north of the Alps. Strong winds.

That’s the weather on Friday, October 19th, from RADIO 74 “The Answer”, LISTENER SPONSORED. Thank YOU, our most generous listeners, who regularly donate to keep station bills paid, and your favorite programs coming your way.  Donations can be made here at our website.


News About France Friday, Oct 19th

Khashoggi case: France pulls out of Saudi conference

By RFI Issued on 18-10-2018 Modified 18-10-2018 to 11:13

France announced it would not attend a major investment conference in Saudi Arabia next week, as the investigation continues into the missing journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said Thursday he was pulling out of a major investment conference in Saudi Arabia.

The minister echoed President Macron's remarks last week on Khashoggi's disappearance, calling it a "very serious" matter.

"The important thing now is that the full truth of this affair be known," said Le Maire.

Khashoggi, who was living in self-imposed exile in the United States where he contributed to the Washington Post, vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

He had been critical of certain Saudi Arabian policies.

Turkish officials claim he was killed and dismembered in the consulate by a hit squad which arrived from Riyadh -- claims denied by the Saudi government.

Le Maire's decision to pull out of the October 23-25 Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh -- dubbed the "Davos in the Desert" -- follows that of International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said he will decide on Thursday whether to attend.

Several Western business titans and media groups have already pulled out of the conference organized by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund.

Like other Western allies of the world's biggest oil exporter, France had embraced Saudi Arabia's powerful new de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as a reformer.

Macron hosted the 33-year-old prince for a private dinner at the Louvre museum when he visited Paris in April.

Saudi Arabia was the second-biggest purchaser of French weapons between 2008 and 2017, after India, signing deals for some 12 billion euros in French weaponry.


Over 60 world leaders to attend Paris WWI commemorations

By RFI Issued on 18-10-2018 Modified 18-10-2018 to 17:14

More than 60 world leaders, including US President Donald Trump and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, will travel to Paris next month for commemorations of the end of World War I a century ago.

On 10 November, a day before the commemorations in Paris -- the French President and German Chancellor Merkel will also attend a ceremony near Compiegne, northern France, where the armistice ending the war was signed on 11 November 1918, Macron's office said.

The main ceremony will take place at the Arc de Triomphe war monument in Paris at 11 a.m. on 11 November -- marking the time when guns finally fell silent after four years of trench warfare and general European slaughter.

Later in the day, guests will be invited to participate in a Peace Forum, to be opened by Merkel, an event which France wants to turn into an annual multilateral peace conference.

Earlier in November, Macron will spend a week touring the country's WWI battlefields, including Verdun, scene of the longest-lasting battle which left at least 700,000 dead on both sides.


France rejects Amnesty criticism of arms exports to Egypt

Text by FRANCE 24 Latest update : 2018-10-18

France’s government on Wednesday denied reports it had broken its own rules over arms exports by equipping Egypt with weapons used for the internal repression of civilians.

Responding to allegations by rights group Amnesty International, French Defense Minister Florence Parly told a Senate committee that French weapons were destined to Egypt’s military, and not the police.

“If Egypt uses hardware that was exported long ago […] against its own civilian population, that was not our objective,” Parly told the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee.

Her comments came a day after Amnesty International released a statement stating that analysis of open-source multimedia content shows, "Egyptian security forces firing on protesters from within French supplied armored vehicles."

The NGO added: “The evidence clearly shows French supplied Sherpas and MIDS vehicles being used during some of the bloodiest incidents of internal repression.”

France has overtaken the United States as Egypt’s leading weapons purveyor, according to French daily Le Monde, with more than 4 billion euros worth of armaments delivered between 2012 and 2017.

The sale of French arms to Saudi Arabia has faced similar scrutiny, with UN investigators accusing a Saudi-led military intervention in neighboring Yemen of killing thousands of civilians, torturing detainees, raping civilians and using child soldiers as young as eight.


Macron, Merkel on Brexit pub crawl

By RFI Issued on 18-10-2018 Modified 18-10-2018 to 18:32

What do Europe’s top leaders do after a hard day at the negotiating table?

After a formal Brexit dinner Wednesday, France's Emmanuel Macron, Germany's Angela Merkel, Belgium's Charles Michels and Luxemburg's Xavier Bettel slipped away to a Brussels pub for beer, chips and Brexit gossip.

Theresa May knew even before she got to Brussels that she wouldn't be invited to dinner with her European counterparts, who wanted to discuss her Brexit plan without her.

No reporters had been invited to the apparently spontaneous get-together, but a passing journalist snapped a mobile phone shot that quickly sped around Twitter.

The Luxembourg leader confirmed that the four pals had reviewed the political events of the day, but that they were also just happy to relax together and have a chat.

"And I paid, because of last Sunday's election, if you want to know everything," he added. Bettel's party performed well enough in the poll that he has renewed his governing coalition.


‘I’m the Republic!’ French leftist leader under fire for violent outburst

Text by FRANCE 24 Latest update : 2018-10-18

French prosecutors on Wednesday announced they were investigating leftist firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon after he shoved a prosecutor and an officer in a fit of rage over police raids on his home and party headquarters.

The leader of the France insoumise (France Unbowed) party has drawn a torrent of criticism over Tuesday's outburst, with ruling party members and several newspapers accusing him of placing himself above the law.

Mélenchon, a 67-year-old member of parliament, said he had "no regrets", adding that he was furious because of the way the searches were carried out – and not merely because they took place.

"They searched us as if we were a band of thieves," he told BFMTV channel, adding that as a person of "Mediterranean" origin – he was born in Morocco – he had a tendency to lose his temper and there was "no need to make a big deal of it".

The leftist firebrand, who was to be questioned by anti-graft investigators yesterday, was later criticised by a journalist union for appearing to mock the southern accent of a reporter who questioned him at France’s National Assembly.

‘I’m the Republic’

The first standoff occurred when officers arrived at Mélenchon's Paris apartment at dawn and began combing it for evidence in two investigations – one into the party's use of European Parliament funds, the other into the funding of Melenchon's 2017 presidential campaign.

Filming the scene and broadcasting it live on his Facebook account, the MP cast himself as the victim of a state plot to silence him.

"Tomorrow they'll find an excuse to throw me in the slammer like [former Brazilian president] Lula... It's not normal!", he said.

Things got more heated later at the party's headquarters, which was also searched by police.

Arriving at the office housed in an apartment building, Mélenchon and a group of party officials tried to force down the door.

"I’m the Republic! I'm the one who is a parliamentarian. Get out of the way and open up this door!" an apoplectic Mélenchon shouted at the policeman standing guard outside before proceeding to try ram the door open.

After gaining entry through another door, the former Socialist minister rounded on the prosecutor overseeing the operations inside, shouting: "I'm the leader of an opposition group. You should not be treating me in this way. I'm not a cigarette thief!"

In a video shown on the Quotidien news programme, Mélenchon is then seen shoving the prosecutor and a policeman, taunting the latter: "Go on, just try and touch me!"

The Paris prosecutor's office said it had launched an investigation for "threats and acts of intimidation against judicial authorities" and "violence against people carrying out public duties".

A France Unbowed official, Manuel Bompard, said the party had filed a counter-complaint for police violence causing the injury of four people. In one video, a policeman could be seen wrestling a party member to the floor.


Other French news in brief…

The Local This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it @thelocalfrance 18 October 2018

US ride hailing app Uber has set its sights offering a bike hire service just like the pioneering 10-year-old Velib system which went bust.

The service, introduced by Uber at a trade show on Thursday, will be called Jump and its bright red, electric bikes will be highly visible on the streets of the French capital.

Customers will be able to book a bike on the Uber app, beginning next year.

Road deaths shoot up in September

The number of people killed on French roads shot up by 8.8 percent in September.

After a sharp drop in August (-15.5 percent) and July (-5.5 percent), the news of the increase will no doubt come as a surprise to the government which is counting on dramatically decreasing road fatalities by reducing speed limits.

In September, 323 people were killed on France's roads - 26 more than were killed in the same month in 2017.

One possible reason, higher traffic due to continued pleasant weather.

Outbreak of Dengue fever in southern France

In the Alpes-Maritimes mosquito bites are blamed after four new cases of dengue fever were reported in the area.

All five cases occurred in the town of Saint-Laurent-du-Var in the French Riviera and the health agency, has described the situation as having a "limited risk of becoming an epidemic".

Nevertheless it has asked people living in the area to be cautious.

Symptoms of dengue fever typically begin three to fourteen days after infection and may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a skin rash.

126 towns affected by floods in south west declared in 'a state of natural disaster'

126 towns in the south western Aude department, the worst affected by the floods this week, have been declared to be in a state of 'natural disaster'.

The deadly floods killed at least 15 people and 75 were injured, according to reports in the French press.

Firefighters in Haute-Loire file unlimited strike notice

Firefighters in the south central department of Haute-Loire took the unusual step of filing an unlimited strike notice on Thursday morning, denouncing the unsustainable working conditions due to a lack of staff.


Paris apartments invaded by Asian stink bugs
The Local This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it @thelocalfrance 18 October 2018

Asian stink bugs are taking over Paris apartments
as sightings of the critters increase across the country.

The bugs, known as a punaises diaboliques in French, might hail from Asia.

And with winter approaching and the weather cooling down, the stink bugs are on the hunt for a warm place to stay and have begun invading French homes, including in cities, and especially in the capital.

The stink bug, known also as “halyomorpha halys”, originally comes from Asian countries including China, Japan, the Korean peninsula, and Taiwan.

The odor from the stink bug, which it emits through holes in its abdomen, has been characterized as a "pungent odor that smells like coriander" and it is a defense mechanism meant to prevent it from being eaten by birds and lizards.

Handling the bug, injuring it, or attempting to move it can also trigger it to release 'the stink'.


That’s News About France on Friday, October 19th. Reporting for RADIO 74 “The Answer”, I’m Ron Myers


US Social Media company, Twitter, now admits Russian meddling in the 2016 US Presidential Election may have done more damage to Donald Trump than to Hilary Clinton.

RT has more on the story…

AUDIO: Russian Meddling In US Pres Election - Hurt Trump more than Clinton


Texas Dems ask noncitizens to register to vote, send applications with citizenship box pre-checked

By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times - Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Texas Democratic Party asked non-citizens to register to vote, sending out applications to immigrants with the box citizenship already checked “Yes,” according to new complaints filed Thursday asking prosecutors to see what laws may have been broken.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation alerted district attorneys and the federal Justice Department to the pre-checked applications, and also included a signed affidavit from a man who said some of his relatives, who aren’t citizens, received the mailing.

“This is how the Texas Democratic Party is inviting foreign influence in an election in a federal election cycle,” said Logan Churchwell, spokesman for the PILF, a group that’s made its mark policing states’ voter registration practices.

The Texas secretary of state’s office said it, too, had gotten complaints both from immigrants and from relatives of dead people who said they got mailings asking them to register.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vowed to investigate.

“If true there will be serious consequences,” he said.


Trump threatens to send MILITARY to seal southern border if Mexico doesn't stop Central American immigrants

By David Martosko, U.S. Political Editor and Emily Goodin For Dailymail.com

US President Donald Trump threatened on Thursday to seal America's southern border with military force unless Mexico intervenes to stop the flow of illegal immigrants traveling to the U.S. from Central America.

The stern, tweeted warning came as a group of more than 4,000 travels north through Mexico in the hope of reaching the United States, despite having no visas or other legal papers to enter.

'I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught – and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!' Trump wrote.

The president renewed his complaint that the Guatemalan, Honduran and Salvadoran governments are doing nothing to stop a massive flow of people northward, 'INCLUDING MANY CRIMINALS'

Trump on Thursday also renewed Wednesday's threat to stop all payments to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, including humanitarian aid, if their governments 'allow their citizens, or others, to journey through their borders and up to the United States.'

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to fly to Mexico on Friday.

News emerged Wednesday that the number of illegal immigrant families crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has jumped 80 per cent since Trump ended his 'zero tolerance' policy in June, with U.S. Border Patrol agents arresting 16,658 family members in September. That's the highest one-month total on record.

The number of immigrant families crossing into the U.S. illegally has jumped 80 per cent since Trump ended his 'zero tolerance' policy

'We're getting hammered daily,' said one Border Patrol agent in South Texas told The Post.

The new numbers also come as a wave of immigrants is on the march from Central America.

Trump is said to be considering reinstating the controversial separation policy that was criticized by members of his own party and the first lady. He sees 'zero tolerance' as the one thing that worked.


Myanmar Christians Forced to Sign Vow to Curb their Faith and not Pray in Church

By Pastor Hal Mayer on Oct 18, 2018 06:00 am

The Christian Post:

Hundreds of minority Christians in Myanmar are being forced to sign papers vowing to limit their faith and not pray in churches, pastors have warned. A church leader identified as the Rev. Lazarus, general secretary of the Lahu Baptist Convention in Kyaing Tong, eastern Shan State, told UCA News on Wednesday that close to 100 Wa Christians were released by the United Wa State Army after they agreed to the orders.

Christians who signed the pledges are now mandated to only pray privately in their homes and not in churches. Lazarus added that 92 ethnic-Lahu Christians remain in captivity, but while dozens of churches have been shut down. He warned that the believers are faced with no choice but to sign the papers.

“Christians will face more restrictions and be closely monitored by the United Wa State Army, so the situation is worrisome,” he said.

The Rev. Thang Cin Lian, general secretary of the Myanmar Baptist Convention, said that meetings are being held discussing the faith of the 92 captive believers.

“We are praying for the Christians in the Wa Hills,” Lian said.

The UWSA, which grew out of the Communist Party of Burma, expelled five Catholic nuns and six lay teachers in September, and has been destroying what it claims are unauthorized churches in the region.

“We want stability and rule of law in our area, so extremists may be arrested. Such measures are necessary, as we are preparing to celebrate the 30th Peace Festival on April 17 next year and no extremism is allowed,” said U Nyi Rang, the militia’s spokesperson.

The April 2019 date in question refers to the 30th anniversary of the USWA cease-fire with the Myanmar government. The military group has accused Christians of causing instability in the area, Myanmar Times reported. It has been targeting churches built after 1992, arguing that they were built without permission.

Aaron Maung Maung Tun, director of the publication’s department of the Lahu Baptist Convention, said that the army is looking to use Christian schools that have been closed for its own purposes.

“I heard that the Lahu Bible school will be used as a Wa police station. We have sent a letter to the Wa but have received no reply,” Tun said.

The UWSA has been arresting Christians by claiming that religious leaders are violating laws which serve to prevent foreigners from serving in churches. It has also accused believers of forceful conversions. The Lahu Baptist Convention, based in the Eastern Shan state, has separately shared fears that the UWSA is forcing Christian students to serve in its army.

“The UWSA has also forcibly recruited 41 male and female students who were participating [in] Bible study classes in various churches,” Lazarus told Radio Free Asia earlier this month.

Prophetic Link

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24.



Tim Berners-Lee Reinventing the Web

Time Berners-Le reveals his plan to upend the World Wide Web

With an ambitious decentralized platform, the father of the web hopes its game on for corporate tech giants like Facebook and Google.


Fast Company - By Katrina Brooker -
Sept. 29, 2018

Last week, Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, asked me to come and see a project he has been working on almost as long as the web itself. It’s a crisp autumn day in Boston, where Berners-Lee works out of an office above a boxing gym. After politely offering me a cup of coffee, he leads us into a sparse conference room. At one end of a long table is a battered laptop covered with stickers. Here, on this computer, he is working on a plan to radically alter how all of us live and work on the web.

“The intent is world domination,” Berners-Lee says with a wry smile. The British-born scientist is known for his dry sense of humor. But in this case, he is not joking.

Berners-Lee is launching Inrupt, a startup that he has been building, in stealth mode, for the past nine months. Backed by Glasswing Ventures, its mission is to turbocharge a broader movement afoot, among developers around the world, to decentralize the web and take back power from the forces that have profited from centralizing it. In other words, it’s game on for Facebook, Google, Amazon.

For years now, Berners-Lee and other internet activists have been dreaming of a digital utopia where individuals control their own data, and the internet remains free and open. But for Berners-Lee, the time for dreaming is over.

“We have to do it now,” he says, displaying an intensity and urgency that is uncharacteristic for this soft-spoken academic. “It’s a historical moment.” Ever since revelations emerged that Facebook had allowed people’s data to be misused by political operatives, Berners-Lee has felt an imperative to get this digital idyll into the real world. In a post published last weekend, Berners-Lee explains that he is taking a sabbatical from MIT to work full time on Inrupt. The company will be the first major commercial venture built off of Solid, a decentralized web platform he and others at MIT have spent years building.

A Netscape for today’s internet

If all goes as planned, Inrupt will be to Solid what Netscape once was for many first-time users of the web: an easy way in. And like with Netscape, Berners-Lee hopes Inrupt will be just the first of many companies to emerge from Solid.

“I have been imagining this for a very long time,” says Berners-Lee. He opens up his laptop and starts tapping at his keyboard. Watching the inventor of the web work at his computer feels like what it might have been like to watch Beethoven compose a symphony: It’s riveting but hard to fully grasp. “We are in the Solid world now,” he says, his eyes lit up with excitement. He pushes the laptop toward me so I too can see.

On his screen, there is a simple-looking web page with tabs across the top: Tim’s to-do list, his calendar, chats, address book. He built this app–one of the first on Solid–for his personal use. It is simple, spare. In fact, it’s so plain that, at first glance, it’s hard to see its significance. But to Berners-Lee, this is where the revolution begins. The app, using Solid’s decentralized technology, allows Berners-Lee to access all of his data seamlessly–his calendar, his music library, videos, chat, research. It’s like a mashup of Google Drive, Microsoft Outlook, Slack, Spotify, and WhatsApp.

The difference here is that, on Solid, all the information is under his control. Every bit of data he creates or adds on Solid exists within a Solid pod–which is an acronym for personal online data store. These pods are what give Solid users control over their applications and information on the web. Anyone using the platform will get a Solid identity and Solid pod. This is how people, Berners-Lee says, will take back the power of the web from corporations.

For example, one idea Berners-Lee is currently working on is a way to create a decentralized version of Alexa, Amazon’s increasingly ubiquitous digital assistant. He calls it Charlie. Unlike with Alexa, on Charlie people would own all their data. That means they could trust Charlie with, for example, health records, children’s school events, or financial records. That is the kind of machine Berners-Lee hopes will spring up all over Solid to flip the power dynamics of the web from corporation to individuals.

A new revolution for developers?

Berners-Lee believes Solid will resonate with the global community of developers, hackers, and internet activists who bristle over corporate and government control of the web. “Developers have always had a certain amount of revolutionary spirit,” he observes. Circumventing government spies or corporate overlords may be the initial lure of Solid, but the bigger draw will be something even more appealing to hackers: freedom. In the centralized web, data is kept in silos–controlled by the companies that build them, like Facebook and Google. In the decentralized web, there are no silos.

Starting this week, developers around the world will be able to start building their own decentralized apps with tools through the Inrupt site. Berners-Lee will spend this fall crisscrossing the globe, giving tutorials and presentations to developers about Solid and Inrupt.

(There will be a Solid tutorial at our Fast Company Innovation Festival on October 23.)

“What’s great about having a startup versus a research group is things get done,” he says. These days, instead of heading into his lab at MIT, Berners-Lee comes to the Inrupt offices, which are currently based out of Janeiro Digital, a company he has contracted to help work on Inrupt. For now, the company consists of Berners-Lee; his partner John Bruce, who built Resilient, a security platform bought by IBM; a handful of on-staff developers contracted to work on the project; and a community of volunteer coders.

Later this fall, Berners-Lee plans to start looking for more venture funding and grow his team. The aim, for now, is not to make billions of dollars. The man who gave the web away for free has never been motivated by money. Still, his plans could impact billion-dollar business models that profit off of control over data. It’s not likely that the big powers of the web will give up control without a fight.

When asked about this, Berners-Lee says flatly: “We are not talking to Facebook and Google about whether or not to introduce a complete change where all their business models are completely upended overnight. We are not asking their permission.

Game on !


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