Capitol, DC, riot, cybersecurity
The author writes, “The president’s speech on Wednesday inciting the mob that attacked Congress resulted in five deaths and a number of hospitalizations, the pillaging of the Capitol, and a major embarrassment for American democracy at home and abroad. After investigators survey the damage, we may discover that it also led to a cybersecurity breach.” Photo credit: Brett Davis / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Facial Recognition Company Says Viral ‘Antifa’ Story Is False ; Record Number of Journalists Imprisoned, 20 Killed in 2020 ; and More Picks 1/11

January 6, 2021: A Day That Will Live in Infamy (Dan)

From the Daily Hampshire Gazette: “What happened on Wednesday was not an intelligence failure. It was a total security and law enforcement failure. During civil rights marches and other protests in Washington, you see the police in riot gear and even the National Guard in full battle rattle come out. Not on Wednesday. The breakdown in protecting our nation’s capitol is baffling or, worse, leads to the question of whether there was complicity in the highest seats of our government. In short, where was Homeland Security? Where was the Pentagon in defending our Constitution?”

Facial Recognition Company Says That Viral Washington Times ‘Antifa’ Story Is False (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “On Wednesday, the Washington Times published a story that claimed XRVision ‘used its software to do facial recognition of protesters and matched two Philadelphia Antifa members to two men inside the Senate.’ … The story did not name the men or provide evidence that they were involved in antifa, a decentralized group of ‘anti-fascists’ who go to protests around the US and whom the right often uses as a bogeyman. An attorney representing XRVision … issued a statement to BuzzFeed News refuting the Washington Times story. The statement said XRVision’s software actually identified two members of neo-Nazi organizations and a QAnon supporter among the pro-Trump mob — not antifa members.”

Record Number of Journalists Imprisoned, 20 Killed in 2020 (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A record number of journalists were imprisoned because of their work on your behalf in 2020, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists’ annual census. Others were detained, physically attacked, injured or killed while doing their jobs. The grim details were released [in December], and the CPJ census showed that at least 274 journalists were imprisoned globally as of Dec. 1 as governments clamped down on news coverage of civil unrest and the coronavirus pandemic. All were working to find and deliver facts, to bring you the news from around the world.”

Only One COVID-19 Treatment Is Designed to Keep People Out of the Hospital. Many Overburdened Hospitals Are Not Offering It. (Russ)

The author writes, “Medical centers in the United States are balking at providing the only treatment for COVID-19 that aims to keep people out of the hospital, leaving hundreds of thousands of doses of the medication unused. Monoclonal antibodies — described as ‘unbelievable’ by President Trump, who received the treatment this fall — are designed for patients newly diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, who have a high risk of developing complications and becoming seriously ill. But for hospitals already strained by a surge of COVID-19 cases, the outpatient pharmaceutical treatment presents a major logistical challenge as exhausted staff scramble to care for patients and race to inoculate front-line workers with the first coronavirus vaccines.”

Thousands of Birds Starved to Death This Fall in the US South (Mili)

From Gizmodo: “This past autumn, people all across the U.S. southwest were finding an astounding number of dead birds littered along roads, on golf courses, and in their own driveways. Some estimated that hundreds of thousands of the creatures perished. Months later, new findings are shedding a little more light on why the spooky phenomenon may have taken place. Lab results on bird necropsies from the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center, released earlier this month, suggest that starvation was a cause of the mass die-off seen in August and September. 80% of the carcasses the researchers analyzed showed signs of starvation, including emaciation, severely shrunken muscles, blood leakage in intestinal tracts, and kidney failure.”

Newly Discovered Orchid Species Labelled the Ugliest in the World (Dana)

From New Scientist: “Orchids are usually seen as beautifully coloured flowers, but a newly discovered species from Madagascar is far from pretty. The plant, Gastrodia agnicellus, was discovered …  in the deep shade underneath leaves on the forest floor in Madagascar. This small, brown orchid spends most of its life underground and has no leaves, only surfacing to produce fruit and disperse its seeds. ‘I’m sure its mother thinks it’s very lovely,’ says Johan Hermans at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London, who discovered the species. Hermans says the name ‘agnicellus’ comes from the Latin word for ‘little lamb’ as it has a woolly, tuberous root. ‘With a bit of an imagination, you can almost see a lamb’s tongue in the flower.’”


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