Does covering your webcam really prevent hackers from spying on you?

The answer centers on whether it’s safe to remove the tape. A few years ago, a bunch of women I know suddenly started putting tape over their webcams when they weren’t using them. Seemingly out of nowhere, stories were breaking about women being spied on by hackers through their webcams and then being blackmailed for…

via Does covering your webcam really prevent hackers from spying on you? (VIDEO) — – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth –

Myanmar: Pope Meets Buddhist Monks of the Sangha Council

For Healing, May Each Voice Be Heard

© L’Osservatore Romano

On November 29, 2017, the third day of his visit to Myanmar, Pope Francis met with the monks of the Sangha Maha Nayaka State Committee, before whom he appealed for the healing of the country’s wounds, without being resigned in face of the challenges or isolated, but ensuring “that each voice be heard.”

The Pope left the Archbishopric of Yangon, where he is residing, and went by car to the Kaba Aye Center, one of the most venerated Buddhist temples of South East Asia. The Minister for Religious Affairs and Culture, Thura U Aung Ko received him on his arrival at the Center. The Holy Father took off his shoes before entering the temple.

The meeting with the “Sangha” Supreme Council took place at 4:15 pm (19:45 Rome time), in a large hall of the complex. The monks of the State Committee of the Sangha Maha Nayaka represent the highest authority of the Buddhist clergy of the country, which is 88% Buddhist, <and was> created, designed and <is> entirely controlled by the Authorities, explained Eglises d’Asie, agency of the Foreign Missions of Paris. Founded in 1980 by the Military Junta then in power, the Central Committee is made up of 47 members representing the nine branches of Burmese Buddhism.

After the intervention of the President of the ‘Sangha” Committee, Bhaddanta Kumarabhivamsa, the Holy Father expressed his “esteem to all those in Myanmar that live according to the religious traditions of Buddhism.” “Through the teachings of Buddha and the zealous witness of such numerous monks and nuns, the people of this land were formed in the values of patience, of tolerance and of respect for life, as well as in a spirituality <that is> attentive to our natural environment and profoundly respectful of it.”

“Our meeting is an important occasion to renew and reinforce the bonds of friendship and respect between Buddhists and Catholics. It’s also an opportunity to affirm our engagement for peace, respect for human dignity and justice for every man and every woman,” stressed the Pontiff.

“Not only in Myanmar but also in the whole world, people are in need of this common witness on the part of religious leaders,” he continued. It’s about helping “Buddhists, Catholics and all people to fight for greater harmony in their communities.”

Buddha and Saint Francis

 “We must never be resigned” or “remain isolated from one another,” encouraged the Pope, appealing to “heal the wounds of conflicts that in the course of the years have divided people of different cultures, ethnic groups and religious convictions: to “surmount all forms of incomprehension, intolerance, prejudice and hatred.” Authentic justice and durable peace can only be attained when they are guaranteed to all,” he stressed.

To accomplish this, Francis quoted words of Buddha: “Eliminate anger with the absence of anger, overcome the evildoer with goodness, take down the avaricious with generosity, overcome the liar with the truth” (Dhammapada, XVII, 223). And those of Saint Francis of Assisi: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love, where there is injury pardon . . . where there is darkness light, and where there is sadness joy.”

“It is the particular responsibility of civil and religious leaders to ensure that each voice is heard so that the challenges and the needs of the moment can be clearly understood and addressed in a spirit of impartiality and reciprocal solidarity,” he concluded.

Dove of Peace

At the end of the meeting, during the traditional exchange of gifts, Pope Francis offered the sculpture of a “Dove of Peace,” white, in the aerodynamic forms augmented by the use of materials based on magnesium. The author wanted to highlight that the “wings” deployed lead to peace.

Considered in extra-biblical cultures as the particular symbol of divinities of love, the dove expresses for Christians God’s “merciful” love for humanity.” A symbol “dear to Pope Francis who, since the beginning of his pontificate has worked for the renewal of relations of peace among all the nations.” Two ribbons held in the dove’s beak highlight this wish.

The Holy Father then returned to the Archbishopric for the meeting with the Bishops. On the way he was to tour, in the pope-mobile, the Square of St. Mary’s Cathedral.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester


The Holy Father’s Remarks

It is a great joy for me to be with you.  I thank the Most Venerable Bhaddanta Dr. Kumarabhivamsa, Chairman of the State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee, for his words of welcome and for his efforts in organizing my visit here today.  In greeting all of you, I express my particular appreciation for the presence of His Excellency Thura Aung Ko, Minister for Religious Affairs and Culture.

Our meeting is an important occasion to renew and strengthen the bonds of friendship and respect between Buddhists and Catholics.  It is also an opportunity for us to affirm a commitment to peace, respect for human dignity and justice for every man and woman.  Not only in Myanmar, but also throughout the world, people need this common witness by religious leaders.  For when we speak with one voice in affirming the timeless values of justice, peace and the fundamental dignity of each human person, we offer a word of hope.  We help Buddhists, Catholics and all people to strive for greater harmony in their communities.

In every age, humanity experiences injustices, moments of conflict and inequality among peoples.  In our own day, these difficulties seem to be especially pronounced.  Even though society has made great progress technologically, and people throughout the world are increasingly aware of their common humanity and destiny, the wounds of conflict, poverty, and oppression persist, and create new divisions.  In the face of these challenges, we must never grow resigned.  For on the basis of our respective spiritual traditions, we know that there is a way forward, a way that leads to healing, mutual understanding, and respect.  A way based on compassion and loving-kindness.

I express my esteem for the all those in Myanmar who live in accord with the religious traditions of Buddhism.  Through the teachings of the Buddha, and the dedicated witness of so many monks and nuns, the people of this land have been formed in the values of patience, tolerance and respect for life, as well as a spirituality attentive to, and deeply respectful of, our natural environment.   As we know, these values are essential to the integral development of society, starting with its smallest but most essential unit, the family, and extending through the network of relationships that bring us together – relationships rooted in culture, ethnicity, and nationality, but ultimately in our common humanity.  In a true culture of encounter, these values can strengthen our communities and help to bring much-needed light to wider society.

The great challenge of our day is to help people be open to the transcendent.  To be able to look deep within and to know themselves in such a way as to see their interconnectedness with all people.  To realize that we cannot be isolated from one another.  If we are to be united, as is our purpose, we need to surmount all forms of misunderstanding, intolerance, prejudice, and hatred.  How can we do this?  The words of the Buddha offer each of us a guide: “Overcome the angry by non-anger; overcome the wicked by goodness; overcome the miser by generosity; overcome the liar by truth” (Dhammapada, XVII, 223).  Similar sentiments are voiced in a prayer attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.  Where there is hatred, let me sow love.  Where there is injury, let me bring pardon…  Where there is darkness, let me bring light, and where there is sadness, joy”.

May that wisdom continue to inspire every effort to foster patience and understanding, and to heal the wounds of conflict that through the years have divided people of different cultures, ethnicities and religious convictions.  Such efforts are never solely the purview of religious leaders, nor are they the competence of the state alone.  Rather, it is the whole of society, all those present within the community, who must share in the work of overcoming conflict and injustice.  Yet it is the particular responsibility of civil and religious leaders to ensure that every voice be heard, so that the challenges and needs of this moment may be clearly understood and confronted in a spirit of fairness and mutual solidarity.  I commend the ongoing work of the Panglong Peace Conference in this regard, and I pray that those guiding this effort may continue to promote greater participation by all who live in Myanmar.  This will surely assist the work of advancing peace, security and a prosperity inclusive of everyone.

Indeed, if these efforts are to bear lasting fruit, greater cooperation between religious leaders will be required.  In this, I want you to know that the Catholic Church is a willing partner.  Opportunities for religious leaders to encounter one another and to dialogue are proving to be a notable element in the promotion of justice and peace in Myanmar.  I am aware that in April of this year the Catholic Bishops’ Conference hosted a two-day peace meeting, at which leaders of the different religious communities took part, together with ambassadors and representatives of non-governmental agencies.  Such gatherings are essential if we are to deepen our understanding of one another and affirm our interconnectedness and common destiny.  Authentic justice and lasting peace can only be achieved when they are guaranteed for all.

Dear friends, may Buddhists and Catholics walk together along this path of healing, and work side by side for the good of everyone who lives in this land.  In the Christian Scriptures, the Apostle Paul challenges his hearers to rejoice with those who rejoice, while weeping with those who weep (cf. Rom 12:15), humbly bearing one another’s burdens (cf. Gal 6:2).  On behalf of my Catholic brothers and sisters, I express our readiness to continue walking with you and sowing seeds of peace and healing, compassion, and hope in this land.

Once more, I thank you for inviting me to be with you today.  Upon all of you, I invoke the divine blessings of joy and peace.

Myanmar: Huge Crowds at Pope’s First Public Mass

Kyaikkasan Ground

CTV Screenshot

A crowd estimated in the hundreds of thousands joined Pope Francis for his first public Mass in Myanmar, a majority Buddhist nation with a Catholic population of just 659,000.  The Mass was held early morning on November 29, 2017, at the Kyaikkasan Ground.

The event occurred on the second full day of the Pope’s apostolic journey to Myanmar.  The previous day included meetings with religious leaders, political and civic leaders,  Myanmar’s President Htin Kyaw, and Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

The Holy Father will be in Myanmar until November 30, then going to Bangladesh until December 2, 2017.

Reality scores a win over the perverse drive to discredit honest reporting

 James O’Keefe and Post reporter exchange: what really happened

After Project Veritas publishes highly edited account of Post reporter and James O’Keefe exchange, here’s what really happened.

 Media Columnist November 28 at 11:30 AM
In the right-wing campaign to discredit the truth, every day brings a new low.

I don’t mean Roy Moore’s campaign for U.S. Senate, though that certainly has been at the center, lately, of the broader crusade.

No, I mean the insidious drive — led, sadly, by President Trump — to undermine the reality-based press in America and in so doing to eat away at the underpinnings of our democracy: a shared basis in credible, verifiable facts.

Breitbart News, as that pro-Trump propaganda machine calls itself, was part of the campaign when it sent staffers (I won’t call them reporters) to Alabama for the express purpose of knocking down a Washington Post story. In it, multiple women agreed to use their real names and to be quoted about Moore’s alleged sexual misconduct or assault when they were girls. (Breitbart ended up confirming The Post’s story but crowed about its own non-findings anyway.)

Trump was part of the campaign when he called this week for a trophy to be given for “fake news,” disparaging CNN in particular. And again when he reportedly cast doubt on the validity of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape in which he bragged about grabbing women’s genitals. There is no question as to the tape’s authenticity.

But the new low came Monday as Project Veritas — could its name be any more Orwellian? — was exposed for itsclumsy effort to lure The Post into publishing a false storyabout a woman whose girlhood affair with Moore led to an abortion.

This would-be scam won the race to the bottom — so far — because, at its black heart, it mocked the bravery of women telling their own true, painful experiences. It tried to make a brazen lie the reason the women’s stories would be dismissed.

Happily, The Post’s reporting was rigorous. And luckily, the scheme had all the savvy of a bully who tries to steal your lunch with the principal watching.

“Beyond boneheaded,” was the characterization of Byron York, chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner, aptly noting that stupidity and maliciousness are a bad combination.

A win, then, for reality. But a troubling question arises: Who will be believed? Journalists and many thoughtful citizens may have been high-fiving Monday. And for good reason: The Post’s video of the encounter with the would-be source was like a master class in reporting as high-wire act.

But Project Veritas quickly turned this into a fundraising opportunity for itself, claiming victory and releasing a video that purported to show The Post’s bias against Trump. (It depicted a Post reporter explaining the difference between news-side reporting and editorial-page opinion, which has been openly critical of the administration.) Some, undoubtedly, believed Project Veritas’s take, cheered and opened their wallets.

Are we as a nation so deep into our social-media bubbles and echo chambers that many have lost track of what’s real and what’s fake?

It’s a deeply troubling problem but hardly a new one.

“If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer,” wrote the German-born political theorist Hannah Arendt many decades ago.

“And with such a people you can then do what you please.”

That frightening change is happening in America, and at a shocking pace. But there are encouraging signs, too.

One is that the reality-based press (the phrase I prefer to mainstream media) has been forced to be ever more transparent in how it operates. No more can we hide behind a paternalistic idea that “we know best” or “it’s news when we say it’s news.”

Far greater journalistic transparency is required now. And we’re seeing more of it.

When BuzzFeed made it clear, as it broke the news about Rep. John Conyers Jr.’s sexual-harassment settlement, that its information came from the far-right media figure Mike Cernovich, it protected itself and helped its readers. When The Post clearly laid out how it got its original Moore story — that reporters found and persuaded women to tell their stories — it makes its journalism more bulletproof.

Newspeople used to joke that readers should never be allowed to see how the sausage is made. Now we need to show that messy process as clearly as possible. Our very credibility depends on it.

Project Veritas prides itself on its ability to do just that — to go behind the carefully lit scenes of media and politics and to show what’s really happening.

But its perversion of that mission was on ugly display this week.

As a nation tries to keep hold of what’s real, despite a gaslighting president and his corrupt media helpers, we need more of what’s working: rigorous, careful journalism and radical transparency.

Emptiness—not minimalism—is the path to creativity, explains MUJI’s design philosopher — Quartz

For the past decade, MUJI’s preeminent art director Kenya Hara has been traveling the world to spread his philosophy of emptiness. At a time when we’re bombarded by the 24/7 news cycle, back-to-back appointments, and the ceaseless stream of beeps and vibrations from the phones in our pockets, Hara’s message on the virtue of utter…

via Emptiness—not minimalism—is the path to creativity, explains MUJI’s design philosopher — Quartz


 NOVEMBER 28, 2017 18:48

The Federal Bureau of Investigation began watching James Medina, who had converted to Islam after he began expressing antisemitic views and a wish to attack a synagogue.

Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, Florida. (photo credit: WWW.ATJC.ORG)

A Florida man with antisemitic views was sentenced by a US judge on Tuesday to 25 years in prison for trying to blow up a synagogue in the state last year during a Jewish holiday, court officials said.

James Medina, 41, will first be treated at a US prison medical facility for a brain cyst and mental illness before being moved into the general prison population, U. District Judge Robert Scola in Miami ruled.

Medina, who faced up to life in prison, had pleaded guilty in August 2017 to charges of an attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and an attempted religious hate crime, court documents showed.“This is a very, very serious offense,” Judge Scola was quoted as saying in court by the Miami Herald.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation began watching Medina, who had converted to Islam, after he began expressing antisemitic views and a wish to attack a synagogue. They launched an investigation in late March 2016, court documents showed.

Medina met with an FBI-affiliated confidential informant and explained his plan to attack a synagogue in Aventura, Florida, near Miami, the documents showed.

“Medina wanted to witness the explosion, hearing and feeling the blast from (a) nearby car,” the informant cited Medina as saying, according to the documents.

Asked why he wanted to do it, Medina said he wanted to kill Jews, adding: “It’s my call of duty.”

Medina was supplied with what he thought was an explosive device by federal law enforcement. The device was inert and posed no danger to the public, federal law enforcement said in court filings.

He was taken into custody as he approached the synagogue with the inert device and later admitted to his crimes, they said. No one was hurt.

North Korea’s highest missile test yet means they could hit Washington

By:  and     18 hours ago

WASHINGTON — After months of quiet, North Korea resumed testing of its ballistic missile program Tuesday, launching its highest missile to date, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday.

“North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile. It went higher, frankly, than any previous shot they’ve taken,” said Mattis, who was at the White House meeting with President Donald Trump. “It’s a research and development effort on their part to continue building ballistic missiles that can threaten everywhere in the world basically.”

The North said in a special televised announcement hours after the launch that it had successfully fired what it called the Hwasong-15, a new nuclear-capable ICBM that’s “significantly more” powerful than the North’s previously tested long-range weapon. Outside governments and analysts backed up the North’s claim to a jump in missile capability.

The missile was launched from Sain Ni, North Korea, and traveled about 1,000 km [or 621 miles] before splashing down in the Sea of Japan, within Japan’s Economic Exclusion Zone, said Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Rob Manning.

Mattis said the South Koreans launched missiles in response, but did not target North Korea.

“In response the South Koreans have fired some pinpoint missiles out into the water to make certain North Korea understands that they could be taken under fire by our ally,” Mattis said. “The bottom line is its a continued effort to build a ballistic missile threat that endangers world peace, regional peace and certainly the United States.”

Initial estimates for the launch put the ICBM’s apogee, or highest point, at 4,500 kilometers, or almost 2,800 miles, with a flight time of about 50 minutes. For comparison, the International Space Station sits about 250 miles above Earth.

Expert analysis of North Korea’s July 24 launch, which had a flight time of 45 minutes with an apogee of 3,700 kilometers, concluded that those numbers would have Los Angeles, Denver and Chicago well within range of the weapon, with Boston and New York City on the outskirts of the range.

If the initial numbers for Tuesday’s launch prove accurate, a wider range of U.S. cities could now be at risk.

David Wright, an analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists, wrote shortly after the missile test that the qualities of the missile mean North Korea can now hold the United States fully at risk of missile range.

“Such a missile would have more than enough range to reach Washington, D.C., and, in fact, any part of the continental United States,” Wright wrote.

That the launch was taking place was not a surprise, said U.S. Strategic Command spokesman Capt. Brook DeWalt. STRATCOM had observed indicators days before that suggested a launch was imminent, and command leadership watched the launch occur from STRATCOM’s operations center as it took place, DeWalt said.

DeWalt would not provide specifics on where the launch took place, including whether a mobile launcher was used, except to say the missile was not fired from a regular location.

North Korea’s display of ever-increasing capabilities comes as the Trump administration continues to look for ways to dissuade the regime from completing its nuclear weapons program.

“I will only tell you we will take care of it,” Trump told reporters in the same White House media availability where Mattis spoke. “We have Gen. Mattis in the room with us, and we’ve had a long discussion on it. It is a situation that we will handle.”

Wright said that “given the increase in range, it seems likely that it carried a very light mock warhead. If true, that means it would not be capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to this long distance, since such a warhead would be much heavier.”

Mira Rapp-Hooper, a regional expert currently serving as senior fellow at Paul Tsai China Center, says the test changes perception more than reality.

“The biggest substantive difference is that they’ll be able to claim they can hold all of [the continental United States] at risk,” she said. “Which was only a matter of time, but matters a great deal in both countries’ political narratives. Don’t get me wrong — it’s shaping up to be a technically impressive test, but for all intents and purposes, they’ve had us deterred for a nice long while.”

For Rapp-Hooper, the big question now is whether the Trump administration moves beyond the idea that a nuclear-capable ICBM from North Korea can be deterred. Much of the White House policy on North Korea revolves around the idea that such a window exists, and Pyongyang just “just slammed it for emphasis,” she said.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command on Tuesday determined the missile launch did not pose a threat to North America, our territories or our allies, Manning said.

“Our commitment to the defense of our allies, including the Republic of Korea and Japan, in the face of these threats, remains ironclad,” he said. “We remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies from any attack or provocation.”

The launch was North Korea’s first since mid-September.

Somali refugee who raped 2 U.S. women at knifepoint walks free

It’s been six years since Somali refugee Mohammed Ali Mohammed, then age 14, sexually assaulted two women at knifepoint on consecutive nights in Salt Lake City.Mohammed, now just one month from his 21st birthday, attacked one woman who was standing outside of her home on Aug. 14, 2011.The teen came up behind the woman, who was outside her house with a dog, and held a four-inch switchblade to her throat. He threatened to kill her if she made a sound, according to police reports, then he raped her behind the home.

Somali refugee Mohammed Ali Mohammed pleaded guilty in 2012 to rape, sexual assault and kidnapping but won’t serve a day in adult prison.On the following night, the teenager from Somalia broke into another woman’s home and beat her before demanding she go to an ATM and withdraw $400 for him.He would later tell investigators he wanted the money so he didn’t have to wear stained clothes on the first day of ninth grade.Fast-forward to Monday, Nov. 27, 2017.

After serving six years in juvenile detention center, Mohammed sat in court and admitted to doing “very, very horrible things” as a teenager.“I was a monster,” Mohammed said in 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City. “I didn’t know what I was thinking.

I was a very stupid kid.”But after six years in the Wasatch Youth Detention Center, Mohammed swears he is a different person than the boy who brutally attacked the two women in 2011, according to a report by the Salt Lake Tribune.

“There is nothing I could say or do that could restore what I did to them,” he said. “The only way I can show them I’ve changed is how I live my life.”Because he is about to age out of the juvenile system, Judge Vernice Trease had the option of sentencing Mohammed to a term in the Utah State Prison or let him walk free on probation. She chose the latter.Mohammed has been at the youth detention center since he pleaded guilty in 2012 to rape, sexual assault and kidnapping charges.According to the terms of his probation, he must check in weekly with the court and his probation officer. He is banned from having Internet access and must wear an ankle monitor.If he violates his probation, the judge said she “won’t bat an eye” in sending him to prison to serve consecutive sentences on the three crimes he pleaded guilty to in adult court.“I won’t let you down,” Mohammed told the judge at the end of the hearing.Female victims outraged at sentenceNeither the prosecutors nor Mohammed’s victims were happy with the judge’s sentence.One victim told the judge that she is “terrified” at the thought of Mohammed being out on the same streets where she lives, the Tribune reports.The woman, who was assaulted inside her home, asked for the strictest sentence the judge could impose, saying she has to live with flashbacks and fear every day.“He did adult crimes,” she told the judge while fighting back tears, “and should have an adult sentence to match what he did.”This is not the first Somali refugee to cause heartbreak and tragedy in Utah.

Somali refugee Abdi Mohamed, 17, was shot by police in Utah when he wouldn’t put down a metal weapon.In February 2016, 17-year-old Abdi Mohamed was reportedly in a coma after being shot three times by police following an incident in which Abdi was found beating another man, Fox 13 Now reported.

According to a press release from the Salt Lake City Police Department, officers witnessed two males with metal objects attacking a male victim around 8 p.m. in the area of 300 South Rio Grande Street.

The release states: “Officers confronted the two suspects and ordered them to drop the weapons. One of the males complied and dropped the weapon, the other [Abdi Mohamed] continued to advance on the victim and was shot by officers.”That shooting sparked protest rallies to break out in the city with protesters throwing rocks and bottles at police.

Mohamed had reportedly come to the U.S. 10 years prior from a United Nations refugee camp in Kenya.Most of the refugees in Utah are resettled there by Catholic Charities.Rohingya Muslim refugee rapes, kills Christian refugee girlIn 2008 in Salt Lake City, a Rohingya Muslim from Burma named Esar Met was convicted of raping and murdering a fellow refugee – a 7-year-old Christian girl from Burma – in the apartment complex where a resettlement agency working for the U.S. State Department had placed him.image:; style=”max-width:100%;” />




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