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Facebook admits: governments exploited us to spread propaganda

Posted on April 28th, 2017 at 10:32 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Facebook has publicly acknowledged that its platform has been exploited by governments seeking to manipulate public opinion in other countries – including during the presidential elections in the US and France – and pledged to clamp down on such “information operations”.

“We have had to expand our security focus from traditional abusive behavior, such as account hacking, malware, spam and financial scams, to include more subtle and insidious forms of misuse, including attempts to manipulate civic discourse and deceive people,” said the company.


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  1. If wanted to make gullible people believe something false, I would write it on the restroom wall. Facebook is the restroom wall of the world. If its on the wall, it must be true.

Time Lapse Sky Shows Earth Rotating Instead of Stars

Posted on April 25th, 2017 at 23:15 by John Sinteur in category: News


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White Collar Crime Risk Zones

Posted on April 25th, 2017 at 19:02 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

White Collar Crime Risk Zones uses machine learning to predict where financial crimes are mostly likely to occur across the US. To learn about our methodology, read our white paper.


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Comments:

  1. Whenever I see a group of white guys in suits walking down the street, I involuntarily clutch my stock portfolio statements a little more tightly

  2. You have Stocks? Ooops, too late, they already got ya!

Posted on April 24th, 2017 at 22:29 by John Sinteur in category: News

 

[Quote:]

First held in 1846, the Rutland State Fair in Rutland, Vermont is one of the oldest state fairs in the United States.

With agricultural exhibitions, races, and rides, the fair drew massive crowds each year from around New England and New York, eventually being renamed the Vermont State Fair in 1972.

In 1941, Farm Security Administration photographer Jack Delano documented the festivities at the fair in Rutland, even springing to shoot a few rolls in color.


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Earth Between the Rings of Saturn

Posted on April 23rd, 2017 at 23:12 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

This view from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows planet Earth as a point of light between the icy rings of Saturn.

The spacecraft captured the view on April 12, 2017 at 10:41 p.m. PDT (1:41 a.m. EDT). Cassini was 870 million miles (1.4 billion kilometers) away from Earth when the image was taken. Although far too small to be visible in the image, the part of Earth facing toward Cassini at the time was the southern Atlantic Ocean.


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Comments:

  1. To quote Spock….fascinating!

We’re spying on you for your own protection, says NSA, FBI • Except we’re not, of course, because that would be illegal

Posted on April 23rd, 2017 at 17:39 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

A new factsheet by the NSA and FBI has laid bare ludicrous contradictions in how US intelligence agencies choose to interpret a law designed to prevent spying on American citizens, but which they use to achieve exactly that end.

  • While noting that the law specifically bans the gathering of information on US citizens, it then defends both the gathering and retention of information on US citizens.
  • While claiming that its procedures severely limit the amount of information that is gathered on individual US citizens, it claims to be unable to provide even an estimate as to how many US citizens’ records are in its database.
  • While noting it is illegal to specifically target US citizens using their personally identifiable information without a warrant, it then argues why it should be allowed to continue searching US citizens’ personally identifiable information without a warrant.
  • And while claiming that it does not use the law to undertake mass surveillance or bulk collection of information, it defends tapping the internet’s backbone and gathering information where the claimed target of surveillance is neither the sender nor the receiver of the information.

The document even claims that it is surveilling US citizens for their own protection while at the same time claiming that it is not doing so.

The obvious and painful contradictions within the 10-page document [PDF] are testament to the very reason why the factsheet had to be prepared in the first place: Congress is threatening not to renew the legislation due to the intelligence agencies’ willful misrepresentation of the law to perform the very activities it was designed to prevent.


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Lord of the Rims

Posted on April 23rd, 2017 at 11:33 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Comments:

  1. hmmm…

    One does not simply drive a four door.

    So many puns to make…

    Battle of the Five Cylinders
    The desolation of smog.
    The Two Trucks
    You shall not pass!

  2. That is awesome! I want a set!

  3. @Spaceman – wait for the blowout sale!

GOP rep tells mom: Your son’s service industry skills mean he doesn’t deserve health care

Posted on April 23rd, 2017 at 11:15 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

WOMAN: My son did not have health insurance for four years, until the ACA when Medicaid was accepted. He didn’t have health insurance because he’s in the service industry. And that industry pays minimum wage and they keep their employees below a certain number of hours so that they cannot — so that they don’t have to pay health insurance. So, many of the people that are on Medicaid are working, and they are the working poor.

Under Trumpcare, one of the major ways to make health insurance affordable is to bring back catastrophic insurance, which is basically no insurance at all. Given that, given that preventative health care is the number one way to keep people healthy in our society. Can you explain why my son and millions of others in his situation are not deserving of affordable, decent healthcare that has essential benefits so that he can stay healthy and continue working?

DAVIDSON: OK, I don’t know anything about your son, but as you described him, his skills are focused in an industry that doesn’t have the kind of options that you want him to have for health care. So, I don’t believe that these taxpayers here are entitled [sic] to give that to him. I believe he’s got the opportunity to go earn those health benefits.

Patient: Doctor, give me the news. Am I going to live?

Doctor: Well son, we have the medicine you need to save your life. However, since you flip burgers for a living, you don’t have the health insurance you need to afford it. So no, you’re going to die.

 

Supply Side Jesus leads his disciples past a group of service industry workers on his way to his vacation home. One his disciples speaks up. “Should we insure people in the service industry?”

“No Thomas, that would just make them lazy.” SS Jesus replied.

“Then shouldn’t you at least fund job training programs?” Another one pipes up. SS Jesus sighs. “No James, health care is a matter of personal responsibility. If people knew I was insuring people in the service sector, there would be no incentive to avoid working there.”


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Comments:

  1. I’m not sure catastrophic insurance is useless. The middle class might have enough income for doctors visit but not catastrophic events or high insurance premiums. The rise in concierge doctor plans might work well with catastrophic insurance but I haven’t been able to find any concierge doctor plans in my area so they may be a myth.

Angela Merkel reportedly had to explain the ‘fundamentals’ of EU trade to Trump 11 times

Posted on April 23rd, 2017 at 10:58 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

“Ten times Trump asked [German chancellor Angela Merkel] if he could negotiate a trade deal with Germany. Every time she replied, ‘You can’t do a trade deal with Germany, only the EU,’” the official said.

They continued: “On the eleventh refusal, Trump finally got the message, ‘Oh, we’ll do a deal with Europe then.’”

Merkel reportedly told her cabinet members that Trump had “very basic misunderstandings” on the “fundamentals” of the EU and trade.

The exchange occurred when Merkel met with Trump last month and reportedly convinced him to negotiate with the EU as a bloc after attempts by his administration to deal with individual countries were declined.

The conversation led Trump’s administration to realize that it was more vital to US interests to nail down a trade deal with the EU than one with the UK post-Brexit, a source close to the White House told the Times.

So the US basically has an administration full of idiots who don’t bother to take the time to educate themselves on the very basics of matters they are exclusively tasked with handling, which embarrasses the country as a whole. Great.


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March for Science

Posted on April 23rd, 2017 at 10:30 by John Sinteur in category: News

 

“You can have alternative music, alternative fashion, alternative ideas. You can’t have alternative facts. Putting the word ‘alternative’ before ‘medicine’ is like pointing at a dog and saying ‘that’s my alternative cat’. It’s still not a cat.”

– Josh Thomas


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Comments:

  1. My sign read TRUMP’S BRAIN: IS THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE EVIDENCE OF ABSENCE?

  2. This march would have been twice as big if the control group didn’t have to stay home

Disable hyperlink auditing beacon in Safari

Posted on April 22nd, 2017 at 19:59 by John Sinteur in category: News

 

[Quote;]

Essentially, hyperlink auditing (<a ping> attribute) is designed to notify an arbitrary website when you click on a link.

Why should I disable it?

Apart from the fact that its sole purpose is to notify trackers when you visit a link, Safari does not allow uBlock Origin to intercept these requests. In other words, your filter lists will not work against these requests.

How do I disable it?

As per a hidden WebKit setting, run these two lines in your terminal:

defaults write com.apple.Safari WebkitHyperlinkAuditingEnabled -bool false
defaults write com.apple.Safari com.apple.Safari.ContentPageGroupIdentifier.WebKit2HyperlinkAuditingEnabled -bool false

and restart Safari.


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The oldest temporary hack in the Linux kernel?

Posted on April 22nd, 2017 at 19:26 by John Sinteur in category: News

]Quote:]

A temporary fix for an Atari graphic card in arch/m68k/atari/config.c:

/* This is a temporary hack: If there is Falcon video
 * hardware, we assume that the ST-DMA serves SCSI instead of
 * ACSI. In the future, there should be a better method for
 * this...
 */
ATARIHW_SET(ST_SCSI);
printk("STDMA-SCSI ");

It appeared first in the 1.3.94 kernel version, released on April 22, 1996 (download).

So, how temporary are the temporary kludges in YOUR code?


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The Silence of the Lambs as a Romantic Comedy

Posted on April 21st, 2017 at 23:19 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Dortmund attack: man arrested on suspicion of share-dealing plot

Posted on April 21st, 2017 at 18:58 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

After the explosives attack on the Borussia Dortmund football team, police followed leads pointing to radical Islam, far-right hooligans and leftwing activists.

In the end, their investigations led them to an entirely new category of extremism: terror fuelled by financial greed.

On Friday, German police arrested a 28-year-old German-Russian national on suspicion of having carried out the explosives attack on Dortmund’s team bus in order to collapse the club’s share price so he could profit from stock market speculation.

Sergej W is also accused of having left behind several copies of a faked letter that tried to frame the attack as an act of Islamist terror.


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Conservatives hated an uppity negro golfing President

Posted on April 21st, 2017 at 0:27 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Imagine Michelle Obama demanded to live in a gold-plated penthouse in the middle of Manhattan, costs be damned, while President Obama lived in the White House alone. The outrage would be riot-level fierce. Now, conservatives no longer care.


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Comments:

  1. I don’t see much difference between the Democratic response to Trump and the Republican response to Obama, except the Democrats are more politically correct. Either way, the country loses.

  2. Pointing out hypocrisy is not the same as being hypocritical…

Smart TV hack embeds attack code into broadcast signal—no access required

Posted on April 20th, 2017 at 17:57 by John Sinteur in category: News

 

[Quote:]

A new attack that uses terrestrial radio signals to hack a wide range of Smart TVs raises an unsettling prospect—the ability of hackers to take complete control of a large number of sets at once without having physical access to any of them.

The proof-of-concept exploit uses a low-cost transmitter to embed malicious commands into a rogue TV signal. That signal is then broadcast to nearby devices. It worked against two fully updated TV models made by Samsung. By exploiting two known security flaws in the Web browsers running in the background, the attack was able to gain highly privileged root access to the TVs. By revising the attack to target similar browser bugs found in other sets, the technique would likely work on a much wider range of TVs.

“Once a hacker has control over the TV of an end user, he can harm the user in a variety of ways,” Rafael Scheel, the security consultant who publicly demonstrated the attack, told Ars. “Among many others, the TV could be used to attack further devices in the home network or to spy on the user with the TV’s camera and microphone.”

Scheel’s exploit relies on a transmitter that’s based on digital video broadcasting—terrestrial, a transmission standard that’s built into the vast majority of TVs. TVs that are connected to the Internet, are currently tuned to a DVB-T-based station, support the hybrid broadcast broadband TV standard, and contain at least one critical vulnerability that can be exploited without showing any outward signs anything is amiss.

 

Apparently I was right not connecting my “smart” TV to the internet..


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Comments:

  1. No John, you were smart, TV was dumb. The Internet of Broken Things.

Science in America

Posted on April 20th, 2017 at 8:50 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Steve Ballmer Serves Up a Fascinating Data Trove

Posted on April 18th, 2017 at 18:23 by John Sinteur in category: News

 

[Quote:]

Guess what Steven A. Ballmer has been up to for the last several years. (No, not just cheering for the basketball team he owns, the Los Angeles Clippers.) It’s a novel project, and he plans to take the wrapping off it Tuesday.

But first the back story, which is a valuable prelude to a description of the project itself.

When Mr. Ballmer retired as chief executive of Microsoft in 2014, he was only 57 and quickly realized “I don’t, quote, ‘have anything to do.’”

As he looked for a new endeavor — before he decided to buy the Clippers — his wife, Connie, encouraged him to help with some of her philanthropic efforts, an idea he initially rejected.

“But come on, doesn’t the government take care of the poor, the sick, the old?” Mr. Ballmer recalled telling her. After all, he pointed out, he happily paid a lot of taxes, and he figured that all that tax money should create a sufficient social safety net.

Her answer: “A, it won’t, because there are things government doesn’t get to, and B, you’re missing it.”

Mr. Ballmer replied, “No, I’m not.”

That conversation led Mr. Ballmer to pursue what may be one of the most ambitious private projects undertaken to answer a question that has long vexed the public and politicians alike. He sought to “figure out what the government really does with the money,” Mr. Ballmer said. “What really happens?”


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A Bar In Kerala Just Made A 250m-Long Maze Wall To Beat Supreme Court’s 500m Rule

Posted on April 18th, 2017 at 13:53 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Since April 1 a large number of the bars, pubs and liquor shops across India has gone out of business, thanks to a Supreme Court order that the outlets should be at least 500m away from state and national highways.

[..]

The Aishwarya Bar in North Paravoor, a Kochi suburb has built a 250m-long maze-like walkway to the entrance, theoretically making it more than 500m away from the highway.

“We have done nothing illegal. The plot behind the bar also belongs to the owner and we have constructed an extended way to reach the bar. Now it is 520 metres from the highway. We are set to approach the circle inspector of excise with the new route map to authorize the reopening of the bar,” said Shiju P, bar manager.


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On The Turing Completeness of PowerPoint

Posted on April 18th, 2017 at 11:10 by John Sinteur in category: News


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‘Alt-Right’ Sticks With Trump Despite ‘Jewish Coup’

Posted on April 17th, 2017 at 10:35 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

President Trump’s Thursday bombing of Afghanistan, just a week after an airstrike on Syria, is again challenging his “alt-right” and white nationalist fans.

Some of the far right-wingers see the moves as evidence of a full “Jewish coup” sweeping the White House — and are even portraying Trump himself as a sort of victim.

“All around him are these Jewish extremists like Kushner,” said David Duke, referring to Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law. Duke is a former Ku Klux Klan head and sort of elder statesman for white nationalists. “Trump might not even know half the things they do.”

 


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Comments:

  1. A Jewish man was riding on the subway reading an Arab newspaper.

    A friend of his, who happened to be riding in the same subway car, noticed this strange phenomenon.

    Very upset, he approached the newspaper reader: “Moshe, have you lost your mind? Why are you reading an Arab newspaper?”

    Moshe replied: “I used to read the Jewish newspaper, but what did I find? Jews being persecuted, Israel being attacked, Jews disappearing through assimilation and intermarriage, Jews living in poverty.

    So I switched to the Arab newspaper. Now what do I find? Jews own all the banks, Jews control the media, Jews are all rich and powerful, Jews rule the world. The news is much better!”

  2. Oh good, those antisemitic types hate to be left out; now that half of the halfwits firmly think the government is concealing the arrival of aliens and the other half think the moon landings were faked, they need to keep in the news.

    Apparently it’s all the fault of Ms. Clinton.

  3. Moon? Even NASA has forgotten about the Moon. Leave it alone (raised eyebrows).

  4. (watches eyebrows graduate)

  5. [cries at eyebrow’s wedding]

  6. You guys 🙂

    @will: I don’t think the Chinese have forgotten about the Moon. I remember the Moon…I just watched the movie, The Dish, which was quite nostalgic…

  7. Are you kidding me? It takes a Republican to protect American jobs (restriction on H1B visa’s to protect American workers)? Good GOD, the Democrats suck.

Second coming ends prematurely as Jesus killed in American airstrike | The Chaser

Posted on April 16th, 2017 at 22:42 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Syria, Sunday: The second coming has ended prematurely this week after Jesus Christ become the latest casualty of fighting in the Middle East. Witnesses on the ground are reporting that a man claiming to be the son of God was killed after his message of peace failed to deter an American carpet bombing campaign against Syrian anti-anti-pro-Assad supporters.

Jesus’s father, God, and close relative, the Holy Spirit, have both expressed grief at the death.


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I’ve Got Faith

Posted on April 16th, 2017 at 16:16 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Trump says he can’t be sued for violence at his rallies because he won the election

Posted on April 16th, 2017 at 11:45 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Last year, protesters from a campaign rally sued Donald Trump — claiming the future president urged his supporters to assault them.

Now Trump is the president, of course. And while the lawsuit grinds on, with more accusations added last week, he claims he won immunity along with the election.

“Mr. Trump is immune from suit because he is President of the United States,” his lawyers wrote Friday, rebutting a complaint filed by three protesters who claimed Trump incited a riot against them at a Louisville event in March 2016.

Somebody should tell the Donald that the “go fuck yourself I’m the king” defense has been unavailable since 1215 AD.


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Comments:

  1. Donald Dickhead doesn’t understand that no one here, including the President, is above the law.

  2. March until they all resign. We can do it. Everyone with a real brain wants him out.

Anova Ticks Off Customers By Requiring Accounts To Cook Food Using The App

Posted on April 15th, 2017 at 23:20 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Being able to control devices in your kitchen via your phone is convenient, at least that was the case for owners of the Anova Precision Cooker. But many of those consumers say a recent update to the sous vide cooker’s app requires them to create an account and share personal information with the company in order to use all of the features of the device.

And the wurst is yet to come


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FBI Arrests Hacker Who Hacked No One

Posted on April 15th, 2017 at 23:14 by John Sinteur in category: News

.

[Quote:]

Huddleston’s first thought was that somebody had crashed their car and needed to use his phone. But when he opened the door, he was met by about two dozen serious-looking men and women, some in bulletproof vests, holding handguns at the ready, one shouldering an assault rifle, another carrying a battering ram. He was accustomed to seeing uniformed sheriff’s deputies in his neighborhood—drugs, he assumed—but most of these cops wore suits. More suits than he’d ever seen in one place.

The visitors were from the FBI, and after a 90-minute search of his house, they left with his computers, only to return two months later with handcuffs. Now free on bond, Huddleston, 26, is scheduled to appear in a federal courtroom in Alexandria, Virginia on Friday for arraignment on federal charges of conspiracy and aiding and abetting computer intrusions.

Huddleston, though, isn’t a hacker. He’s the author of a remote administration tool, or RAT, called NanoCore that happens to be popular with hackers. NanoCore has been linked to intrusions in at least 10 countries, including an attack on Middle Eastern energy firms in 2015, and a massive phishing campaign last August in which the perpetrators posed as major oil and gas company. As Huddleston sees it, he’s a victim himself—hackers have been pirating his program for years and using it to commit crimes. But to the Justice Department, Huddleston is an accomplice to a spree of felonies.

Depending on whose view prevails, Huddleston could face prison time and lose his home, in a case that raises a novel question: when is a programmer criminally responsible for the actions of his users? “Everybody seems to acknowledge that this software product had a legitimate purpose,” says Travis Morrissey, a lawyer in Hot Springs who represented Huddleston at his bail hearing. “It’s like saying that if someone buys a handgun and uses it to rob a liquor store, that the handgun manufacturer is complicit.”


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They will kill me : Saudi woman fleeing to Australia forced back to kingdom

Posted on April 15th, 2017 at 11:54 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

“Lasloom’s whereabouts are currently unknown,”


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Comments:

  1. Seems to be a common problem in the ME. Makes you wonder why we consider the Saudis our friends.

  2. Will, what’s ME?

  3. Middle East.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Official Teaser

Posted on April 14th, 2017 at 23:32 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Asked about privacy changes, GOP rep says internet usage is optional

Posted on April 14th, 2017 at 22:02 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

I’ve been eager to hear how GOP lawmakers will respond to concerns about their policy, and American Bridge, a Democratic super PAC, posted a video yesterday of Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) answering a constituent’s question about this. The Wisconsin Republican said:
“You know, nobody’s got to use the internet…. I don’t think it’s my job to tell you that you cannot get advertising through your information being sold. My job, I think, is to tell you that you have the opportunity to do it and then you take it upon yourself to make the choice….”
The congressman’s press office added yesterday afternoon that Sensenbrenner made the case “that nobody has to use the internet. They have a choice.”

Oh. So if you have privacy concerns about ISPs selling your browsing history without your knowledge or consent, the solution isn’t Obama-era consumer safeguards. Evidently, Jim Sensenbrenner believes you should simply choose to stay offline.

I suppose in a literal sense, the Republican lawmaker is correct. Americans don’t have to access the internet. They also don’t have to use electricity or indoor plumbing. Modern amenities have become part of our lives, but those with concerns about the way in which these services are used can choose to go without.


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Comments:

  1. And I don’t ever have to support a GOP gov again. Ever. The American people should sue donald trump and his merry band of any GOP supports for every inch of their publiic and private lives available on the grounds of lost privacy, public and personal safety, and reduced national security too. It will be The Greatest lawsuit ever. Signed, Very Pissed Off Citizen.

Pharmaceutical giant ‘plotted to destroy cancer drugs to drive prices up 4000%’

Posted on April 14th, 2017 at 21:46 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Leaked internal emails appear to show employees at one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies calling for “celebration” over price hikes of cancer drugs, an investigation has revealed.

Staff at Aspen Pharmacare reportedly plotted to destroy stocks of life-saving medicines during a price dispute with the Spanish health service in 2014.

After purchasing five different cancer drugs from British firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the company tried to sell the medicines in Europe for up to 40 times their previous price, reported The Times.


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Comments:

  1. Blood Diamonds hits the Pharma scene. And they say it’s the pharmacy brokers. Hmh.


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