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  1. kalenjin shared this story from Feed: All Latest.

    Teaching deep learning algorithms to find surface-to-air missile sites and much more in satellite images.
  2. kalenjin shared this story from The Reformed Broker.

    2011. I’m in a brownstone converted into an office somewhere in Manhattan. There’s a random dog walking around. Everyone who works there is under thirty except for the woman who founded the “wealth management” firm. She is over 60, having spent her career as a financial advisor. I met her filming something at the Nasdaq for WSJ. “Come by my office, let’s talk shop,” she tells me....
  3. kalenjin shared this story from Quartz.

    Fiverr ICO Whitepaper

    It’s cheaper than ever to launch a tech startup, thanks to cloud computing, ubiquitous smartphones, and open-source codebases, or so the truism goes. Now add to that list the critical ingredient of any multi-million dollar initial coin offering, or ICO: the whitepaper.

    Since ICOs generally raise funding on the promise of some future technology, the whitepaper is the key pitch document to potential investors. Freelance workers on the task outsourcing platform Fiverr can now write an ICO whitepaper for $100 a pop, as wannabe ICO issuers chase the over $3.5 billion in funding that such offerings have raised this year already.

    A search for “ICO” on Fiverr shows 32 entries under the “research and summaries” category of services. These token offerings are the hot new way to raise funding. They are a hybrid between a traditional public stock offering and a crowdfunding campaign. ICOs promise to cut out professional early-stage investors like venture capitalists, allowing users to invest directly in projects in the early stages of their development. Here is a sampling of the advertised services on Fiverr and what they cost:

    Potential clients only need to supply some basic information to a Fiverr writer. These include things like number of words, the number of citations, and what industry the ICO might relate to. Customers appear to be satisfied. One review reads: “Well researched and expertly written. The graphical illustrations exceeded what I ordered. I am very happy with the outcome.” Another notes: “Took a difficult to write subject and made it work with the confines of the blockchain.” Others are more critical: “The paper was done on time. It was OK quality. Some grammatical and syntax errors. Overall the delivered product was serviceable.”

    It’s not clear how many ICO whitepapers have been written by Fiverr freelancers, but Quartz found one example. It’s for a project called Dowcoin, which is envisioned as a digital token that reflects the value of the top 30 cryptocurrencies at any one time. The idea is for Dowcoin to act like an index that “will bring stability to a volatile marketplace.” This is all explained in the whitepaper (pdf), which is around 3,700 words long. This should have cost $100 on Fiverr. Dowcoin intends to raise $120 million in its ICO. Dowcoin confirmed to Quartz that it used a Fiverr freelancer to write its whitepaper. The offering opened Nov. 10 and will end Dec. 10.

    Fiverr says it’s only natural for ICO whitepaper services to pop up on its platform, since 6,000 new services are advertised daily. “It makes sense that the continued interest and popularity of ICOs would be reflected on our marketplace,” it said in a statement to Quartz. It noted that it doesn’t endorse any particular token offerings or similar fundraising mechanisms. It didn’t have any other data specific to ICO whitepaper writing.


    Read next: The new cryptocurrency gold rush: digital tokens that raise millions in minutes



  4. kalenjin shared this story from AllAboutAlpha: Alternative Investing Trends and Analysis.

    By Nicolas Rabener, FactorResearch Factor Investing in the Wild West of Financial Markets Summary: Cryptocurrencies have reached a market capitalisation of > $150bn Backtesting quantitative strategies is difficult given a limited trading history & universe Short-term Momentum works very well, classic factor investing strategies less so INTRODUCTION The year 2017Read More
  5. kalenjin shared this story from naked capitalism.

    New York state court judge joins nationwide trend in concluding that use of StingRay surveillance device requires warrant.
  6. kalenjin shared this story from Quartz.

    An employee of puzzle maker Beverly holds a piece of the company's white micro 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle at the International Toy Show in Tokyo June 14, 2012. The four-day event will open to public on Saturday, showcasing a total of about 35,000 products by 144 toy manufacturers. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao (JAPAN - Tags: SOCIETY) - GM2E86E1IIS01

    There are two main approaches people take when they want to increase their productivity, and they’re both ineffective. One is to squeeze water out of a stone, using shortcuts, finding hacks, and reducing keystrokes. The other demands that you tap into Herculean stores of willpower, perhaps by waking up earlier or working in long, uninterrupted stretches.

    Both of those options are seemingly based on the idea of maximizing efficiency. But there’s another way to improve your workflow, with the creativity of a designer and the pragmatism of an engineer. And in doing so, you’ll catch a glimpse into some new skills to thrive in our digital economy.

    Welcome to the world of Recipes and Zaps.

    These supercharged versions of your favorite apps recognize that improved productivity requires more than a good to-do list. You’ll still want that to-do list, of course, but the workflow we need to organize usually also lives in our communication tools (email, Slack), note-taking apps (Evernote, Google Docs), and file storage (Dropbox). Sometimes it even spans multiple device types beyond the smartphone (think wearables or the connected home). Sooner or later, you’re going to need something that ties all of these apps together.

    Two web services, IFTTT and Zapier, act as the “plumbing” for the app ecosystem, allowing you to create Recipes (on IFTTT) and Zaps (on Zapier) that enable you to combine the functionality of multiple apps, for instance Gmail and Dropbox.

    IFTT and Zapier work by identifying certain actions in one app and extracting the relevant bits of information into a second app. An action might something active (i.e. “starring” a Slack message or posting a photo to Instagram) or passive (i.e. an RSS-feed indicating a new blog post or an email with a specific word in the subject line).

    Let’s use the example of starring a message in Gmail. Once the action is initiated, you know have a handful of variables to play with, including the sender’s address, subject line, body of the text, and attachments (if any). You can take any combination of these variables and insert them into your connected apps. So for example, you might create a to-do list item with the subject line, update a Google sheet with the sender and subject line as a separate columns, or save the attachment to a specific folder on Dropbox. Both IFTT and Zapier have simple user interfaces that make the process as easy as calling an Uber.

    The combinations you can create are virtually endless. I’ve set up my own system so that when I star a message, it creates a task on my Omnifocus to-do list; when I collaborate with a hired freelancer and add the article to Pocket, it creates a new Trello card; my Twitter @ mentions get collected in a Google Sheet, and when I leave the office, my wife automatically gets an email. I’ve also created a system to aggregate highlights in Instapaper into an Evernote note, and to add the Best New Tracks from my favorite music blog to a Spotify playlist.

    You may be looking at this list and wondering how much time is really being saved by all this automated organization. It’s meaningful, but is the tip of the iceberg on a much bigger trend at play. This kind of system represents a new set of skills that will impact workers ranging from the solopreneur to the Fortune 500 careerist.

    Now, anyone can create powerful, customized applications—a domain once reserved for computer programmers. It still requires a technical competence of sorts. After all, one must have a basic understanding of what these services can do, the ability to apply the right logic to solve problems, and most importantly, the creativity to understand how to put all this together in real-world applications. None of these skills are taught in school, yet they remain accessible to anyone with a smartphone.

    Even better, the tools are getting more powerful—and more accessible to the non-programmer. You can create chat bots using Google Sheets and DIY e-commerce sites using WordPress. You can even employ machine-learning to find your favorite dog photos. As the world continues to get digitized, you’ll be able to access voice inputs (Alexa), data from sensors (Nest), and images from drones, all without needing to write a single line of code.

    In programming parlance, the API (or Application Programming Interface) represents a simplified way to call a function (or a group of actions) in a modular and repeatable method. As APIs become more powerful, the benefits accrue to the coder, scaling their productivity—but now they are accruing even farther up the chain to non-coders. Ribbonfarm blogger Venkatesh Rao incisively calls out the implications for the future of work: “Today, you’re either above the API or below the API. You either tell robots what to do, or are told by robots what to do.”

    There’s still a long ways to go in our journey from productivity to computer vision. But the APIs at our disposal are undoubtedly more powerful and more accessible than ever before. Programmers already recognize this. For the rest of us mere mortals, it takes only a change in our thinking to see it, and benefit from it.



  7. kalenjin shared this story from TED Talks Daily (SD video).

    Niti Bhan studies business strategy for Africa's informal markets: the small shops and stands, skilled craftspeople and laborers who are the invisible engine that keeps the continent's economy running. It's tempting to think of these workers as tax-dodgers, even criminals -- but Bhan makes the case that this booming segment of the economy is legitimate and worthy of investment. "These are the fertile seeds of businesses and enterprises," Bhan says. "Can we start by recognizing these skills and occupations?"

    Download video: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~5/gkPITCUpVpY/NitiBhan_2017G.mp4
  8. kalenjin shared this story from Quartz.

    an artist's rendition of the first interstellar asteroid.

    In space currency, asteroids are a dime a dozen. Astronomers have found around 750,000 of the giant space rocks floating around our solar system.

    But when researchers using the the Pan-STARRS1 telescope in Hawaii first spotted the asteroid then called 1I/2017 U1 whizzing past Earth in September, they quickly realized there was something unique about this particular flying hunk of space junk. After trying to calculate its orbit based on projections derived for objects in our solar system, the researchers found that it wasn’t following any of them. That suggested it was actually from some deep corner of the universe instead. In fact, this turned out to be the first-ever documented interstellar asteroid to fly by Earth.

    Because the object was flying away from the sun back into deep space at a fast clip—a cool 64,000 kilometers per hour (40,000 mph)—they flagged astronomers over in Arizona and the European Space Agency in Germany to take a quick look and double-check their calculations and confirm that its orbit wasn’t following anything else in our solar system. Then took a more detailed look at the asteroid with the Very Large Telescope in the Atacama desert in Chile before it whizzed away entirely.

    Putting the pieces of these observation together, astronomers concluded that the asteroid is like nothing they’ve ever seen before. They published (paywall) their findings on Nov. 20 in a letter to the journal Nature.

    1I/2017 U1 seems to be made of either really dense rock or unreactive metal. It’s a strangely stretched-out, oblong shape, like a 400-meter (1300-foot) space cigar. It’s also pink, likely from years of getting bombarded with cosmic radiation as it wanders, untethered to a group of planets gravitationally chained to a star, throughout the universe.

    The researchers think this initial discovery means there are probably way more interstellar objects floating around our solar system than we thought before—upwards of 10,000, each of which can provide clues about how how solar systems, including our own, form planets, ABC reports. They think this asteroid, and presumably others like it, may have been formed as our own solar system gave birth to the planets beyond the asteroid belt (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune), by spitting out huge chunks of metal and other dense rock.

    Already, the International Astronomical Union has responded to the news with a new classification system for these intergalactic asteroids, and given 1I/2017 U1 a better name: ‘Oumuamua, Hawaiian for “messenger from afar arriving first.”



  9. kalenjin shared this story from Quartz.

    After a fifth woman accused Roy Moore of sexual misbehavior or assault, US senate majority leader and fellow Republican Mitch McConnell urged the Alabama senate nominee to withdraw, saying, “I believe the women.”

    His visible and vocal stance regarding Moore sharply contrasts with how supporters of Donald Trump have responded to at least 17 women who have accused him of various degrees of sexual harassment, voyeurism, and assault. Their claims against the US president span three decades. During his campaign, Trump vociferously denied each accusation, adding in one instance that the woman in question “would not have been my first choice.”

    Republican leaders spoke out against Trump in October 2016, when an Access Hollywoodtape emerged in which Trump can be heard bragging that he could “grab [women] by the pussy.” But they did not defend the women who came forward with assault allegations against Trump, nor did they suggest their claims were credible.

    As the calendar ticked forward to the presidential vote, GOP figures who had briefly distanced themselves from Trump got behind him again. His accusers’ stories faded to the background. The media moved on to other things. Trump was elected.

    Now that he has sided with Moore’s accusers, McConnell was asked on Nov. 15 if he believes the women who similarly accused Trump. He would not answer. “Look, we’re talking about the situation in Alabama,” he told reporters. “And I’d be happy to address that if there are any further questions.”

    MAGA.

    The post-Weinstein world

    Though just over a year has passed since the election, the claims against Moore have come to light into a very different world than those raised against Trump. Revelations about movie mogul Harvey Weinstein have prompted a torrent of new allegations, which cost powerful men in entertainment, media, and politics their jobs.

    Viral hashtag campaigns including #MeToo and #MeAt14 have given thousands of women on social media the opportunity to speak out against the sexual abuse, harassment, and assault they have experienced. Another one, #TrumpToo, has gained new currency.

    Now may be the time to look at public accusations against Trump again, to view them anew in a rapidly changing political and social climate. Trump has never been charged with a sexual-misconduct crime, and has adamantly denied each claim listed below. But the world’s approach to women who say they have been victimized by sexual misconduct is changing—and so are the consequences for men who are accused.

    Language also matters. Much of the coverage of the accusations waged against Trump last fall used wording like “groping,” “inappropriate touching,” or “fondling” to describe behavior that could constitute sexual assault. As Laura Bates, author of Everyday Sexism and Girl Up, wrote in the Guardian, using euphemistic language both downplays the severity of the offense being alleged and undercuts the distress felt by the women who came forward.

    Three women who have accused Trump of sexual assault or misconduct stand with attorney Gloria Allred at the Women’s March on Washington.

    Below are the stories of 17 women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct. Their allegations have been categorized according to how the US legal system might assess and investigate them.

    A note on terminology: The US Justice Department defines sexual assault as “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.” This includes forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape. According to the National Institute of Justice, sexual assault can also include voyeurism, exposure to exhibitionism, and undesired exposure to pornography.

    The 17 named accusers of Donald Trump

    1. Jessica Leeds (1980s)
    Sexual assault (nonconsensual touching)

    Jessica Leeds, now 75, told the New York Times (video) last year that Trump assaulted her when she was seated next to him on a flight to New York in the 1980s.

    After speaking with her for some time, she said, Trump lifted the armrest and began to touch her, grabbing her breasts and trying to put his hand up her skirt.

    She said she did not report the incident to airline staff or the authorities, because she saw that kind of unwanted behavior as commonplace. “We accepted it for years,” she told the Times. “We were taught it was our fault.”

    Last month, Leeds told the Washington Post she felt dismayed that Weinstein had been brought down by his accusers, yet Trump remained in office: “It is hard to reconcile that Harvey Weinstein could be brought down with this, and Trump just continues to be the Teflon Don.”

    2. Ivana Trump (1989)
    Sexual assault (nonconsensual intercourse)

    In a divorce deposition in 1990, Trump’s first wife, Ivana, described an event in 1989 in which Trump physically assaulted her and then forced himself on her. Details were made public in the 1993 Trump biography “Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump,” by Harry Hurt III, who obtained the sealed deposition and confirmed the account with two of her friends before publishing it.

    Per “Lost Tycoon,” Trump was angry with Ivana after he underwent a procedure to eliminate a bald spot by a plastic surgeon she had recommended. He allegedly pulled out some of his wife’s hair and then had sex with her in a way that left her feeling “violated.” In Hurt’s account, she spent the night locked in the bathroom, crying, only to emerge in the morning to have Trump ask her: “Does it hurt?”

    Trump has denied the allegations. A statement from Ivana was later added to the first page of “Lost Tycoon,” in which she softens her language, but stands by the substance of the allegation. “During a deposition given by me in connection with my matrimonial case, I stated that my husband had raped me,” the statement said. “[O]n one occasion during 1989, Mr. Trump and I had marital relations in which he behaved very differently toward me than he had during our marriage. As a woman, I felt violated, as the love and tenderness, which he normally exhibited towards me, was absent. I referred to this as a ‘rape,’ but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.”

    In 2015, Michael Cohen, then special counsel at the Trump Organization, now a lawyer and spokesman for the president, incorrectly told the Daily Beast that “you cannot rape your spouse.” (While there was once a “marital rape exemption” in New York, that ended in 1984.)

    Ivana also revised her original account of the incident in a 2015 statement to CNN:

    I have recently read some comments attributed to me from nearly 30 years ago at a time of very high tension during my divorce from Donald. The story is totally without merit. Donald and I are the best of friends and together have raised three children that we love and are very proud of. I have nothing but fondness for Donald and wish him the best of luck on his campaign. Incidentally, I think he would make an incredible president.

    In October, Ivana again spoke favorably of her ex-husband in an interview with CBS News, in which she said they remain in regular contact.

    3. Kristin Anderson (1990s)
    Sexual assault (nonconsensual touching)

    Photographer Kristin Anderson said she was sitting on a couch with friends at a crowded Manhattan nightclub in the early 1990s when she felt a hand go up her skirt and touch her vagina through her underwear.

    “I basically just pushed the hand away, turned and looked, got up off the couch, and we all moved,” she told CNN last year. She said she immediately recognized the perpetrator as Donald Trump.

    “He was so distinctive looking—with the hair and the eyebrows. I mean, nobody else has those eyebrows,” she told the Washington Post. She recalled gathering with her friends after the incident and deciding to take their evening elsewhere: “Okay, Donald is gross. We all know he’s gross. Let’s just move on.”

    4. Jill Harth (1992)
    Sexual assault (nonconsensual touching)
    Sexual harassment

    Jill Harth said she met Trump in 1992 when she was dating one of his business associates, George Houraney. In a 1997 lawsuit (later dropped), Harth said Trump made comments or advances that left her feeling uncomfortable, and ultimately assaulted her. “Trump repeatedly put his hands on plaintiff’s thighs and violated plaintiff’s ‘physical and mental integrity’ by attempting to touch plaintiff’s intimate private parts,” the complaint reads.

    The suit alleges a series of lewd comments and verbal harassment, which culminated in an incident around Jan. 24, 1993, when Harth attended a business meeting at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club and estate in Palm Beach, Florida. In Harth’s recounting, Trump kept her from leaving and “forcibly removed” her to a bedroom, where he subjected her to “unwanted sexual advances, which included touching of plaintiff’s private parts in an act constituting attempted ‘rape.'”

    Harth later dropped the complaint. In 1998, she began a months-long consensual relationship with Trump. When asked by Times columnist Nicolas Kristof why she would agree to date a man she had accused of attempted rape, she said she was in the midst of a divorce and was scared, “thinking, ‘what am I going to do now?”

    “When he called me and tried to work on me again, I was thinking maybe I should give this a try, maybe if he’s still working on me, I should give this rich guy a chance,” Harth told Kristof last October.

    Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks told Kristof that Trump “denies each and every statement made by Ms. Harth.” At the time, the campaign also released e-mails that they said discredited Harth’s account, including messages in which Harth asks for jobs doing Trump’s hair and makeup.

    Over the years, and in Kristof’s column, Harth has stood by her initial claim of harassment and assault. She spoke most recently with the Guardian about her experiences, saying Trump had pulled off “the biggest con possible” in winning the presidency.

    5. Cathy Heller (1997)
    Nonconsensual kissing

    Cathy Heller told the Guardian that in 1997 she was at a Mother’s Day brunch at Mar-a-Lago with her husband, three children, and in-laws when Trump was greeting members. When he arrived at their table, Heller said she reached out for a handshake but “he took my hand, and grabbed me, and went for the lips.” She said she leaned backward to avoid him, almost losing her balance, and again, he “grabbed me and went for my mouth and went for my lips,” she told the Guardian. “He kept me there for a little too long, and then he just walked away.”

    Speaking to the Washington Post after the Weinstein revelations were made public, Heller, now 64, said she wondered whether the fact that the movie producer’s accusers were famous is what held more weight for the general public. “When it’s a celebrity, it has more weight than just someone who he met at Mar-a-Lago or a beauty pageant contestant,” she said. “We’ll see about Trump. It’s never too late.”

    6. Temple Taggart McDowell (1997)
    Nonconsensual kissing

    Temple Taggart McDowell was the 21-year-old representative for Utah in the Miss USA pageant when she said Trump unexpectedly kissed her at a rehearsal.

    “He embraced me and gave me a kiss on the lips,” McDowell told NBC last year. Another time, he did the same thing when she was visiting Trump Tower at his invitation, doing so in front of two pageant chaperones and a receptionist, McDowell said. “I would never approach or greet anybody like that unless it was somebody that I had been dating,” she told NBC.

    7. Mariah Billado (1997)
    Voyeurism

    Miss Vermont Teen USA in the 1997 pageant, Mariah Billado told BuzzFeed News she was shocked when Trump walked in to the dressing room while contestants, some of whom were as young as 15, were getting ready.

    “I remember putting on my dress really quick because I was like, ‘Oh my God, there’s a man in here,’” she said, adding she remembered Trump saying something along the lines of: “Don’t worry, ladies, I’ve seen it all before.”

    “I was in shock,” Karena Virginia told reporters last year.

    8. Karena Virginia (1998)
    Sexual assault (nonconsensual touching)

    Yoga instructor Karena Virginia said that Trump groped her breast and made misogynistic comments during an encounter in Queens, New York when she was 27. She said at a press conference last year (video) that she was waiting for a car to take her home after a 1998 US Open tennis match when Trump walked up to her with a small group of men.

    “I was surprised when I overheard him talking to the other men about me,” making comments about her legs and appearance, Virginia said. “He then walked up to me and reached out his right arm and grabbed my right arm. Then his hand touched the right side of my breast,” she said. “I was in shock. I flinched. ‘Don’t you know who I am? Don’t you know who I am’—that’s what he said to me. I felt intimidated and I felt powerless.”

    Virginia said that she felt ashamed and blamed herself for the encounter for years.

    9. Bridget Sullivan (2000)
    Voyeurism

    Former Miss New Hampshire Bridget Sullivan told BuzzFeed News in the spring of 2016 that Trump would come into the dressing rooms backstage at the 2000 Miss USA pageant when contestants were naked, staring at them. “The time that he walked through the dressing rooms was really shocking. We were all naked,” she said.

    In October of last year, CNN unearthed audio of Trump on the Howard Stern radio show in 2005, in which Trump brags about the behavior described by Sullivan. In Trump’s words:

    “I’ll tell you the funniest is that before a show, I’ll go backstage and everyone’s getting dressed, and everything else, and you know, no men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it.

    You know, I’m inspecting because I want to make sure that everything is good. You know, the dresses. ‘Is everyone okay?’ You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ‘Is everybody okay?’ And you see these incredible-looking women, and so, I sort of get away with things like that.”

    In his element.

    10. Tasha Dixon (2001)
    Voyeurism

    Former Miss Arizona Tasha Dixon, 18 when she competed in the Miss USA pageant, also said Trump subjected her and others to voyeurism.

    “Our first introduction to him was when we were at the dress rehearsal and half naked, changing into our bikinis,” Dixon told local media. “He just came strolling right in. There was no second to put a robe on or any sort of clothing or anything. Some girls were topless. Other girls were naked.”

    She said the brazen behavior put the contestants in a deeply uncomfortable spot. In her words:

    The owner comes waltzing in when we were naked or half naked in a very physically vulnerable position, and then to have the pressure of the people that worked for him telling us to go fawn all over him, go walk up to him, talk to him, get his attention.

    11. Mindy McGillivray (2003)
    Sexual assault (Nonconsensual touching)

    On Jan. 24, 2003, Mindy McGillivray joined her friend, photographer Ken Davidoff, for an assignment at Mar-a-Lago, where a Ray Charles concert was taking place. According to McGillivray’s account in the Palm Beach Post, she was there to keep track of who Davidoff took pictures of.

    McGilligray, then 23, said she was backstage when she felt someone grab her from behind. “I think it’s Ken’s camera bag, that was my first instinct. I turn around and there’s Donald,” she told the Post last year. “He sort of looked away quickly. I quickly turned back, facing Ray Charles, and I’m stunned.”

    Not wanting to make a scene, she said she didn’t do anything. Asked by a reporter whether it could have been an accident, McGillivray said she was sure it was not: “This was a pretty good nudge. More of a grab. It was pretty close to the center of my butt. I was startled. I jumped.’’

    While Davidoff did not witness the alleged assault, he said he believed McGillivray and also spoke to the Post to corroborate her story.

    12. Rachel Crooks (2005)
    Nonconsensual kissing

    Rachel Crooks, one of the first women to come forward publicly against Trump last year, was a 22-year-old receptionist working at a real-estate company in Trump Tower when she ran into him outside an elevator in 2005.

    According to her account in the New York Times, they shook hands. Then Trump did not let go, kissing her cheeks, and then “directly on the mouth.” “It was so inappropriate, Crooks told the Times. “I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that.”

    13. Natasha Stoynoff (2005)
    Sexual assault (nonconsensual touching and kissing)

    In December, 2005, Natasha Stoynoff was a writer for People magazine, assigned to a story on the first anniversary of Melania and Donald Trump’s wedding. At Mar-a-Lago for a photo shoot and interview, Stoynoff said Trump brought her into a room with the guise of showing her around the estate, then shut the door and began kissing her. “I turned around and within seconds he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat,” she wrote in the magazine last year. “I was grateful when Trump’s longtime butler burst into the room a minute later, as I tried to unpin myself.”

    “My shock began to wear off and was replaced by anger. I kept thinking, Why didn’t I slug him? Why couldn’t I say anything?” she wrote.

    Six people came forward to say she had told them of the incident, including the publication’s east-coast news editor, Liz McNeil. “She was very upset and told me how he shoved her against a wall,” McNeil said. “The thing I remember most was how scared she was. I felt I had to protect her.”

    Trump’s campaign called Stoynoff’s account a “fictional story.” Charles Hardner, a lawyer for Melania Trump, wrote in a letter to Stoynoff after the People story published that some statements in Stoynoff’s account are “false and completely fictionalized,” and demanded a retraction.

    Jessica Drake speaks to reporters last year.

    14. Jessica Drake (2006)
    Nonconsensual kissing

    Adult-film actress Jessica Drake said she was at a golf tournament in Lake Tahoe at an event for Wicked Pictures in 2016 when she met Trump in the celebrity gift room.

    Speaking to reporters last year (video), she said Trump flirted with her and asked her for her phone number, which she gave him.

    Drake said that Trump then invited her up to his suite, and because she did not feel comfortable going alone, two other women joined her. “When we entered the room, he grabbed each of us tightly in a hug, and kissed each one of us without asking permission. He was wearing pajamas. A bodyguard was also present,” Drake said.

    Trump denied Drake’s story as “pure fiction,” while referencing her profession as an adult film actress seemingly to undercut her claim. In Trump’s words:

    One said, ‘he grabbed me on the arm.’ And she’s a porn star. You know, this one that came out recently, ‘he grabbed me and he grabbed me on the arm.’ Oh, I’m sure she’s never been grabbed before.

    15. Ninni Laaksonen (2006)
    Sexual assault (nonconsensual touching)

    A model who represented Finland in the Miss Universe competition, Ninni Laaksonen told the Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat in October that Trump had groped her before an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman in 2006.

    “Before the show we were photographed outside the building,” she told the paper, per a translation in the Telegraph. “Trump stood right next to me and suddenly he squeezed my butt. He really grabbed my butt. “I don’t think anybody saw it but I flinched and thought: ‘What is happening?’”

    Summer Zervos alleges Trump sexually assaulted her after she appeared on “The Apprentice.”

    16. Summer Zervos (2007)
    Sexual assault (nonconsensual touching and kissing)

    Summer Zervos said Trump subjected her to sexual harassment and assault when she tried to consult him as a mentor and potential employer after her appearance on “The Apprentice.”

    Speaking at a press conference last year (video), Zervos said she met Trump in 2007 in New York, when he unexpectedly kissed her on the lips as a greeting, an action that surprised and embarrassed her. Later that year in Los Angeles, she said, he asked to meet for dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel. When she arrived, she said that rather than being taken to a restaurant, she was led by a security guard to a bungalow with a bedroom.

    When she entered, she said he kissed her again. When she tried to make conversation instead, he asked her to sit down next to him, which she did. In her telling, Trump then “grabbed my shoulder and placed his hand on my breast.” She tried to stand up and get away, but he pulled her into a bedroom. She said she again tried to leave, and push him off, saying “Come on man, get real.” He said he repeated her words back to her, “Come on man, get real,” while thrusting his genitals on her. They ultimately had dinner in the room, and she said she left feeling violated and distraught. “I wondered if the sexual behavior was some kind of test or whether or not I had passed,” she said.

    Zervos said the Access Hollywood tape had motivated her to come forward with her story, saying she would like to tell Trump that “you do not have the right to treat women as sexual objects just because you are a star.”

    When Zervos initially went public with her claims last year, Trump released the following statement, denying the events took place:

    To be clear, I never met her at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately a decade ago. That is not who I am as a person, and it is not how I’ve conducted my life. In fact, Ms. Zervos continued to contact me for help, emailing my office on April 14 of this year asking that I visit her restaurant in California.

    In January, lawyer Gloria Allred filed a complaint on behalf of Zervos in New York, which alleges she was “ambushed by Mr. Trump on more than one occasion,” and that Trump had “suddenly, and without her consent, kissed her on her mouth repeatedly; he touched her breast; and he pressed his genitals up against her.”

    Last month, Trump addressed Zervos’ claims, this time calling the allegations “fake news.”

    “It’s just fake. It’s fake. It’s made-up stuff, and it’s disgraceful, what happens, but that happens in the—that happens in the world of politics,” he said.

    17. Cassandra Searles (2013)
    Sexual assault (nonconsensual touching)

    In a Facebook post last June, Cassandra Searles, who competed as Miss Washington in the 2013 Miss USA pageant, said Trump “treated us like cattle.”

    In the comments section on the post, other contestants she had tagged in the initial post shared their experiences, and in one comment Searles wrote, according to a report in Rolling Stone: “He probably doesn’t want me telling the story about that time he continually grabbed my ass and invited me to his hotel room.”

    Trump continues to deny the allegations

    Quartz reached out to the White House for comment on this story but did not receive a response. We will update this story if a statement is made available.

    At a press briefing on Oct. 22, Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders was asked again about the accusations made against the president during the course of the campaign.

    “Is the official White House position that all of these women are lying?”Jacqueline Alemany of CBS News asked.

    “Yeah,” Sanders responded. “We’ve been clear on that from the beginning and the president has spoken on it.”

















  10. kalenjin shared this story from Quartz.

    Steam rises at sunrise from the Lethabo Power Station, a coal-fired power station owned by state power utility ESKOM near Sasolburg

    This week, diplomats are gathered in Bonn, Germany to hammer out the latest details of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. While the minutiae of the negotiations are important, the real action isn’t at the UN. The climate pact is bottom up, which means it’s up to each country to meet the goals set forth in Paris.

    One of the simplest tools for making progress would be a tax on carbon. Few people like taxes in the abstract, but they help address a real, pressing problem. A carbon tax would bring the price of fossil fuels closer to its true cost to the climate and to public health.

    How big should the carbon tax be?

    Earlier this year, Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and former World Bank chief economist Nicholas Stern said that in order to rein in destructive carbon pollution, countries should implement a tax on carbon of $40 per ton by 2020 that would rise to as much as $100 per ton over the following decade.

    What would that mean for consumers?

    “$40 per ton translates into roughly 36¢ per gallon of gas, and the average American family would see this in terms of increased energy prices,” said Ted Halstead, head of the Climate Leadership Council (CLC), a coalition of conservative luminaries making the case for a revenue-neutral carbon tax. Halstead is in Bonn, Germany this week for the 2017 UN Climate Conference, where he is making his case for the plan.

    “If we started now, or in the next couple of years, with a carbon tax at $40 per ton, rising every year, you would meet the high end of America’s commitment under Paris,” Halstead said. By discouraging the consumption of coal, oil and natural gas, he estimates the tax would cut emissions by at least 28 percent by 2025, meeting the US pledge under the Paris Agreement, which President Trump plans to exit in 2020.

    “Any activity that includes that production of carbon — whether it’s heating your home, whether it’s taking an airplane, whether it’s driving your car — would go up in cost in direct relation to your carbon footprint,” Halstead said. “If you want to pay a lesser tax, you pollute less, or you carpool more, or you insulate your home more, or what have you.”

    It would be for hard the average American to zero out her carbon footprint overnight — not only because she relies on oil to fuel her car and natural gas or coal to power her home. Anything she buys — be it a gallon of milk or a new computer — is likely produced and shipped using fossil fuels. With a carbon tax, the cost of most consumer goods would rise. And, because lower earners spend a larger share of their wages on power, transport and food, their pocketbooks will take the biggest hit.

    What would the government do with the revenue?

    Supporters of the plan say increasing the cost of energy doesn’t have to hurt working families. Regressive taxes are only such if they’re designed that way. “Nobody likes paying extra money, even though they’re concerned about the climate,” Halstead said. “The way that we’re suggesting solving this at the Climate Leadership Council is to take all the money raised and return it directly to the American people in the form of equal monthly dividends.”

    Under the plan, the average family of four would pay more in month-to-month energy costs, but they would then see approximately $2000 a year in dividends. For wealthier Americans — who tend to drive more, fly more and buy more stuff — the dividends wouldn’t fully cover the increased cost of energy. But given their greater earnings, the difference would impact them less. Halstead says 70 percent of Americans would be better off.

    Americans would also see a growth of jobs in clean energy. A steadily rising tax on carbon would drive investment in wind and solar power, as well as electric vehicles, as businesses work to limit their tax liability.

    “What companies most want is regulatory certainty. They want to know what their pricing structure and regulatory landscape is going forward,” Halstead said. “Utilities, for example, they build plants with a 30- or 40-year time horizon, so if they know that the price of carbon is not only going up, it’s going to continue going up, they will make investments now that are based on less carbon.”

    There is a catch to CLC’s plan, however. It would also block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant—a detail intended to get businesses and conservative lawmakers on board. While most green groups have declined to support the measure, it has the support of a broad coalition of business leaders. “We went out of our way to create a plan that appeals to all sides of the political spectrum,” Halstead said.

    Is this politically viable?

    The CLC plan is backed by a who’s who of conservative luminaries, major corporations, as well as a small number of environmental groups. Its chief proponents include James Baker and George Shultz, secretaries of state under George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, respectively, as well as Henry Paulson, treasury secretary under George W. Bush. It also has the support of BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Stephen Hawking, Michael Bloomberg, Larry Summers, Conservation International and the Nature Conservancy.

    “It’s a free-market idea based on correcting a market failure,” Halstead said. Currently, polluters get to pollute for free. They don’t have to pay for the asthma, heart disease, cancer or climate disruption caused by burning fossil fuels. A tax on carbon would account for these costs. “It turns out that taxing carbon is an inherently conservative idea,” Halstead added.

    Despite its popularity among the chattering classes, the plan would be a tough sell to Congress right now. Climate denial is dogma in today’s Republican party, funded as it is by fossil fuel firms and wealthy donors — groups who have the most to lose under the plan. It’s little surprise that the conservatives who support the CLC plan are largely elder statesmen who will never again have to court the favor of conservative media or win the backing of oil tycoons.

    Even if Republicans were to suddenly come around on climate change, it’s not certain that the CLC plan could win in the court of public opinion. Economists like policies that make markets more efficient, which are often policies the average American would abhor. For example, many economists support eliminating the corporate income tax and raising the personal income tax. But try telling that to Joe Six-Pack. Only around one in four Americans wants to cut taxes for businesses.

    Most Americans do support a tax on carbon, but not like the one Halstead proposes. When asked how much they would be willing to pay to fight climate change, the average answer was around $177 dollars a year per household — far less than what the CLC plan calls for.

    When asked what to do with the revenue, however, very few said they wanted to see it returned to taxpayers. Most said they would want to invest the earnings in clean energy or infrastructure, or assist coal workers who will lose their jobs in the transition to clean energy.

    Source: Yale/George Mason University

    People wants policies that tell good stories. They want to punish polluters and use the money to fund industries like wind and solar. In this narrative, there are clear villains (fossil fuel companies) and heroes (solar and wind). A modest carbon tax would do little to discourage the use of fossil fuels, but huge investments in renewables could radically accelerate the shift to clean energy.

    What does this mean for climate policy in the United States?

    While the CLC plan is currently politically infeasible, it’s a sign that leading conservatives and major corporations — including a small number of fossil fuel companies — acknowledge that climate change is a serious problem and support policy to tackle the problem.

    “The majority of big companies want to lead on climate change, and they have fundamentally parted ways with the [Trump] administration on this issue,” Halstead said. When the president was weighing whether to leave the Paris Agreement, dozens of companies, including Bank of America, General Electric, Dow Chemical, Proctor and Gamble and Walt Disney pushed back.

    “In my whole career, I have never seen an example of greater unanimity among major corporations than all the companies that came out pushing the White House to stay in the Paris Agreement,” Halstead said. “This White House is not reflecting the business opinion or the popular opinion. Eventually, we’ll get to a point where those majority positions — business and public — will win the day.”

    More recently, blue-chip companies like Walmart, Target, Microsoft, Apple, Nestlé and Mars Inc. have joined a coalition of 2,500 cities, states and businesses determined to meet the goals laid out in the Paris Agreement. Representatives of multiple firms are in Bonn this week for the UN climate talks, eager to tout their achievements on clean energy.

    “I think that the business community has skin in this game,” said Lisa Manley, senior director of sustainability at Mars, speaking to an audience of US advocates, policymakers and business leaders. “We need to be part of these conversations.”

    Jeremy Deaton writes for Nexus Media, a syndicated newswire covering climate, energy, policy, art and culture. You can follow him @deaton_jeremy. Learn how to write for Quartz Ideas. We welcome your comments at ideas@qz.com.