Mayor of Bulgaria?s Assenovgrad municipality taken into custody a week after chief architect arrested

In an operation by the Bulgarian Special Prosecutor?s Office and the State Agency for National Security, the mayor of Assenovgrad municipality Emil Karaivanov was taken into custody on May 25.

The reason for the arrest was not immediately announced. It came a week after Assenovgrad?s chief architect and a business person were taken into custody in connection with a pre-trial investigation into corruption.

It is alleged that chief architect Konstantin Atanassov, whose post is the equivalent to that of a town planner, demanded a bribe of 8000 leva (about 4080 euro) from a manager of a branch of a joint-stock company and received the sum from business person Mitko Zahariev in order to give consent to a conceptual investment project.

If found guilty, on charges of extortion and abuse of office, Atanassov could face imprisonment of three to 10 years, a fine of up to 20 000 leva and deprivation of the right to occupy a state or public office.

Prosecutors said that Zahariev would face a charge of bribery. The penalty, if found guilty, is imprisonment for up to six years and a fine of up to 5000 leva.

Reports from Assenovgrad said that three business people, including the owners of the Zapryanov construction company, Vakril and Georgi Zapryanov, father and son, had been taken in for questioning. Another business person in the town, Nikolai Hristov, also had been taken into custody.

On May 24, in an official statement, Assenovgrad mayor Karaivanov said that Atanassov was being sent on leave so as not to influence the course of the pre-trial proceedings in the bribery case.

Atanassov applied for leave after being released from 72-hour custody on bail of 5000 leva. Zahariev is also out on bail.

Karaivanov was elected mayor of Assenovgrad in October 2015 on a ticket backed by the Bulgarian Socialist Party, socialist splinter ABC and the Ekoglasnost party. He won a second-round victory, gaining 62.75 per cent against a rival from Boiko Borissov?s GERB.

/Panorama

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(Kurz notiert) Nach Tragödie: Joss Whedon übernimmt ?Justice League? von Zack Snyder

Kurz notiert:

?Justice League? soll im November in den Kinos anlaufen.

?Justice League? soll im November in den Kinos anlaufen.

Regisseur Zack Snyder gibt seine Rolle im Filmprojekt ?Justice League? auf, um den Tod seiner Tochter zu verarbeiten. Um den angepeilten Veröffentlichungstermin dennoch einhalten zu können, ist Joss Whedon in die Bresche gesprungen. Aktuell befindet sich der Kinofilm, der Superman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Cyborg und Flash vereint, in der Nachbearbeitung.

Zack Snyder wird die Arbeiten an ?Justice League? nicht weiter fortsetzen. Nachdem seine Tochter im März verstarb, will der Regisseur nun Zeit mit seiner Familie verbringen, wie Variety berichtet. Als Ersatz springt Joss Whedon ein, der zuletzt bei ?Avengers: Age of Ultron? Regie führte und das Drehbuch schrieb. Whedon soll ?Justice League? nun durch die Nachbearbeitung führen, den Schnitt überwachen und Regie bei eventuellen Re-Shoots, also nachträglich neu gedrehten Szenen, führen. Whedon war bisher ausschließlich im Marvel-Universum rund um Captain America und Iron Man unterwegs, DC Comics sind für den 52-Jährigen Neuland. Etwas Praxis mit den Charakteren könnte Whedon wirklich gut tun, ist er doch auch für die Regie eines neuen ?Batgirl?-Films im Gespräch.

Viele Superhelden, viele Stars

In ?Justice League? kommen bekannte und weniger bekannte Superhelden und -heldinnen aus den DC-Comics zusammen, um gemeinsam die Welt zu retten. Die Rolle des Batman wird erneut von Ben Affleck gespielt. An seiner Seite stehen Gal Gadot als Wonder Woman, Ezra Miller als Flash, Jason Momoa als Aquaman, Ray Fisher als Cyborg und Amber Heard als Mera. Die Veröffentlichung von ?Justice League? ist für den 16. November vorgesehen./nf

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News Redaktion am Dienstag, 23.05.2017 16:27 Uhr

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0:) hier eine Meinung dazu

Fire Sean Hannity

The Washington Post published a moving column on Tuesday that, for good reason, became one of the most widely read articles on the site. It was written by Mary and Joel Rich, who are public figures only insofar as they?re the parents of Seth Rich, the 27-year-old staffer at the Democratic National Committee who was shot dead late one night last year in Washington, D.C. Police, who haven?t solved the case, believe it was a botched robbery. But because of Rich?s place of employment, and some reckless (and retracted) suggestions by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, denizens of the right-wing fever swamps have concocted a conspiracy theory that Rich was murdered for supplying DNC emails to WikiLeaks. And they won?t let it go.

?Imagine that every single day, with every phone call,? the Riches wrote, ?you hope that it?s the police, calling to tell you that there has been a break in the case. Imagine you have no answers?that no one has been brought to justice and there are few clues leading to the killer or killers. Imagine that instead, every call that comes in is a reporter asking what you think of a series of lies or conspiracies about the death. That nightmare is what our family goes through every day.? There is no evidence ?that Seth?s murder had any connection to his job,? they added. ?Still, conservative news outlets and commentators continue, day after painful day, to peddle discredited conspiracy theories that Seth was killed after having provided WikiLeaks with emails from the DNC. Those theories, which some reporters have since retracted, are baseless, and they are unspeakably cruel.?

That article was published at 6:04 p.m. Fifteen minutes later, Fox News host Sean Hannity tweeted this to his 2.4 million followers:

This qualifies as ?unspeakably cruel,? but came as no surprise to Hannity observers. He has used his three powerful platforms?Twitter, an afternoon radio show, and his primetime Fox News gig?to spread the demonstrably false conspiracy theory about Rich?s death, causing unimaginable grief to the slain young man?s family and friends. Now is the moment of truth for his employer: Fox News must fire him.


I should make clear that I have no expectation that Fox News will fire Hannity, and I fear that calling for the network to do so could make a martyr of the vile host. Nevertheless, when it comes to journalism ethics, there are hints that Fox the network is capable of doing the right thing?especially if it?s in their best interest from public relations perspective.

Fox? website ran a story on May 16 that said there is ?tangible evidence? from Rich?s laptop ?that confirms he was talking to WikiLeaks prior to his murder.? The source of the story was Fox 5, the D.C. affiliate, which in turn was sourced to a private investigator who also happens to be a longtime Fox News contributor. Fox 5 has since appended a rather unapologetic editor?s note to the article, and on May 23 FoxNews.com took down its own article and issued an equally unapologetic statement saying the report was ?not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting.?

Some rightly argue that Fox News? retraction was too little, too late. ?They were airing it so steadily, and so stubbornly, that the retraction now will have extremely little effect,? The Atlantic?s Megan Garber wrote. ?The impression of Seth Rich as an agent of conspiracy, rather than a victim of violence, is out there, among the public. It will be there for his family and friends to see; it will be there forming and informing public opinion…. So what Fox has provided is a retraction of something that can no longer be taken back. The network waited too long. It didn?t care enough.?

But at least Fox News, however weakly, admitted wrong. Hannity has done no such thing. On his radio show on Tuesday, he said, ?All you in the liberal media, I am not Fox.com or FoxNews.com. I retracted nothing.? After being contacted by Rich?s family, Hannity did refrain from discussing the case on his show on Tuesday night. ?Out of respect for the family, I am not discussing this matter at this time,? Hannity told his TV audience. ?But to the extent of my ability I am not going to stop trying to find the truth.? Near the end of the show, he tweeted:

Despite the heart-rending pleas of Rich?s family, Hannity continues to create a conspiracy theory circus, one in which he is both the real victim and a martyr journalist, the only one brave enough to risk his job to tell the truth. Except that the truth is a pure fiction, one that exploits the sad death of a promising young man and which exists solely to distract from the investigation into Russian interference in last year?s presidential election.

One could argue that Hannity and Fox deserve each other. After all, the network has a long history of spreading conspiracy theories, dating back to its origins in the 1990s as an anti-Clinton outlet. Still, the struggling network is an a new phase after the forced departure and death of founder Roger Ailes, and it showed some sense in forcing out Bill O?Reilly last month after it was revealed he?d been repeatedly accused of sexual harassment. Retracting stories is not enough, nor is prohibiting Hannity from discussing Rich on his show. As long as Fox News employs him, it is responsible for his journalistic malpractice. The choice is clear: Fire Hannity, or be further tainted by yet another reprehensible host whose leash was unforgivably long.

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Bulgaria?s environment minister orders check of air quality in village of Trud, long scene of protests over stench from biomass plant

Bulgaria?s Minister of Environment and Water, Neno Dimov, has ordered an inspection of the quality of the ambient air in Trud, a village about 10km from the country?s second city Plovdiv, and the scene of several protests since last year against a foul stench for which residents blame a biomass processing plant.

Dimov has commissioned the Environmental Executive Agency to carry out the measurements. A mobile monitoring station from Plovdiv has been assigned to the task.

The sampling will take place over 14 days, according to the order issue on May 23. The monitoring station will be placed close to the biomass plant that the villagers are protesting against.

The results of the inspection will be announced after the measurements have been made, the Environment Ministry said.

The announcement by the Bulgarian Environment Ministry came as residents announced that there would be a further big protest on June 8.

Residents of Trud reject the findings of previous measurings, saying that the mobile measuring station was put in the wrong place.

Mimi Miteva, a resident of the village, told public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television on May 22 that the air pollution, which she insisted came from the biomass plant, was ?murderous for little children, for big ones and adults?.

Stanimir Tonchev has placed his own measuring instrument, which monitors the air quality. The results are different from those of the previous environmental measuring. He told BNT that a few days previously, there had been particle counts that were 200 times over the norm.

The village residents want the biogas plant closed or move. In a letter to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, they will insist that European environmental funds for Bulgaria be suspended.

The air quality controversy in Trud was the subject of a video by Bulgaria Now on May 3.

/Panorama

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Lenovo B im Praxis-Test: LTE-Smartphone bei Aldi

Niedriges Arbeitstempo, mäßige Kamera, kleiner Arbeitsspeicher. Das Lenovo B ist nur für Einsteiger zu empfehlen. Immerhin ist die Verarbeitung für den Preis gut, das Mobilfunktempo dank LTE hoch und der Speicher komfortabel per MicroSD-Karte (bis 32 GB) erweiterbar.

Pro

  • Solide Verarbeitung
  • Handlich
  • Speicherkarten als interner Speicher nutzbar
  • LTE

Kontra

  • Niedrige Display-Auflösung
  • Display blickwinkel-abhängig
  • Mäßige Kamera
  • Kleiner Arbeitsspeicher

Einschätzung der Redaktion

ausreichend

Nutzerwertung

Jetzt bewerten

Neben seinen Moto-Smartphones (wie dem Moto G5 Plus) aus Motorolas übernommener Handy-Sparte verkauft Lenovo in Deutschland günstige Smartphones unter eigener Marke. Das Lenovo B ist eines der günstigsten aus dem Arsenal der Chinesen ? und aktuell für 69 Euro im Angebot bei Aldi Nord (inklusive SIM-Karte mit 10 Euro Guthaben). Wer das Lenovo B zum ersten Mal sieht, fühlt sich zunächst ans iPhone 4 erinnert: Es ist mit seinem kleinen Display (4,5 Zoll gegenüber 4 Zoll beim iPhone) recht handlich. Wie das iPhone steckt es in einem kantigen Gehäuse mit dickem Display-Rahmen. Allerdings ist das komplett aus Kunststoff gefertigt, die Rückseite lässt sich abnehmen. Die Verarbeitung ist dennoch ordentlich, nichts wackelt oder quietscht. Aber überzeugt es auch technisch?

iPhone 7 vs. Lenovo B © COMPUTER BILD

Zwei handliche Smartphones: Links das iPhone 7 (4,7-Zoll-Display, rund 690 Euro), rechts das Lenovo B (4,5-Zoll-Display, rund 69 Euro).

Display im Praxis-Test

Schaltet man das Lenovo B an, leuchtet einen der farbenfrohe Hintergrund in verschiedenen Rottönen an. Die Farben wirken recht kräftig ? solange man den Bildschirm nicht kippt: Bei schrägem Blickwinkel werden sie schnell sehr blass. Im Sonnenlicht ist die Lesbarkeit nicht überragend, aber noch nutzbar. Die Display-Auflösung ist sehr gering (480×854 Pixel), was beim kleinen Display aber nicht so schlimm auffällt wie erwartet. So lassen sich Artikel mobiler Internetseiten etwa von computerbild.de durchaus noch gut lesen.

21 Bilder

Zur Bildergalerie

Arbeitet das Smartphone schnell genug?

Angesichts von nur 1 Gigabyte Arbeitsspeicher und 1 Gigahertz Taktung des Prozessors (Vierkern-CPU Mediatek MTK-6735m) sind die Erwartungen an das Tempo gering. Tatsächlich starten Apps träge, beim Scrollen durch Menüs oder Internetseiten hinkt das Lenovo B schon mal hinterher. Und wenn man etwa den Browser beendet, dauert es einen Moment, bis sich der Startbildschirm mit allen App-Symbolen wieder aufgebaut hat. In Benchmark-Tests liegt das Lenovo B in etwa auf dem Niveau eines Galaxy S2 und Galaxy J5. Dennoch gilt: Es lassen sich alle Grundfunktionen eines Smartphones nutzen: Surfen, Videos schauen, Mailen, Chatten, Fotos schießen. Ab Werk ist der Speicherplatz mit effektiv nutzbaren 3,75 Gigabyte (nominell 8 Gigabyte) viel zu klein. Gut aber: Wenn man eine Speicherkarte einlegt, fragt das Smartphone nach, ob man die Karte nicht als internen Speicher formatieren möchte. Dann lassen sich auch Apps auf der Speicherkarte ablegen, selbst bei vielen WhatsApp-Nachrichten. Damit hat das Lenovo B (ähnlich wie alle aktuellen Moto-Smartphones) einen Vorteil gegenüber vielen anderen Einsteiger-Smartphones, die sehr schnell an ihre Speichergrenzen stoßen. Dank LTE ist das Internettempo recht schnell, bei LTE-fähigen Tarifen sind so etwa im Telekom-Netz teils auch in ländlichen Regionen Internet-Verbindungen möglich.

Die Kamera im Test

Apropos Fotos: Hinten trägt das Lenovo B eine 5-Megapixel-Kamera samt Blitz-LED, vorn eine mit 2 Megapixeln. Die Fotoqualität reicht zur Beweissicherung, ist einen Hauch besser als beim gerade erschienenen Retro-Handy Nokia 3310. Für schöne Urlaubsfotos reicht es nicht, hier bieten erst teurere Kamera-Smartphones deutlich über 150 Euro bessere Ergebnisse, wie das ebenfalls von Lenovo verkaufte Moto G4. Die Selfie-Kamera macht passable Fotos, praktisch ist die Option zur automatischen Auslösung mit Zeitverzögerung per Geste (Fingerspreizen).

11 Handys

Zur Bildergalerie

Fazit und Kaufberatung: Lenovo B bei Aldi

Wie für den Preis von unter 70 Euro zu erwarten, bietet das Lenovo B keine wirklich gute Leistung. Dennoch reicht es für einen Einstieg in die Smartphone-Welt, etwa bei WhatsApp. Allerdings sollte man mit dem Handy auch gleich eine ausreichend schnelle Speicherkarte (mindestens Class 10/UFS1) kaufen und als internen Speicher ins Handy einbinden. Und wer Fotos via Handy schalten will, sollte lieber etwas mehr Geld ausgeben und zum größeren Moto G4 oder handlichen Sony Xperia XA greifen. Als Aktions-Angebot bietet Aldi Nord aktuell das Lenovo B für 69 Euro an. Ein Vergleich zeigt: Der Preis ist rund 10 Euro günstiger als bei den meisten Online-Händlern, aktuell (24. Mai 2017) bietet jedoch einer das Gerät bereits unter 60 Euro an.

Ab 52,36 EUR* bei Dieses Produkt bei

* Der günstigste Preis kann inzwischen höher sein.

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Testspiegel: Durchschnittsnote 3,25

Lenovo B Niedriges Arbeitstempo, mäßige Kamera, kleiner Arbeitsspeicher. Das Lenovo B ist nur für Einsteiger zu empfehlen. Immerhin ist die Verarbeitung für den Preis gut, das Mobilfunktempo dank LTE hoch und der Speicher komfortabel per MicroSD-Karte (bis 32 GB) erweiterbar. COMPUTER BILD-Testspiegel 2017-05-24

Lenovo B Lenovo Smartphones Niedriges Arbeitstempo, mäßige Kamera, kleiner Arbeitsspeicher. Das Lenovo B ist nur für Einsteiger zu empfehlen. Immerhin ist die Verarbeitung für den Preis gut, das Mobilfunktempo dank LTE hoch und der Speicher komfortabel per MicroSD-Karte (bis 32 GB) erweiterbar.

aus der Zeitung weiter lesen

MariaDB schnürt Datenbank-Paket TX 2.0

(Bild: MariaDB Corporation)

Die MariaDB Corporation, Anbieterin des gleichnamigen Open-Source-Datenbankverwaltungssystems, hat MariaDB TX 2.0 vorgestellt, ein Bündel aus Software und Dienstleistungen für Unternehmen.

MariaDB TX 2.0 umfasst die neuen Komponenten MariaDB Server 10.2 und MariaDB MaxScale 2.1, Datenbank-Konnektoren, Dienstleistungen und Verwaltungswerkzeuge. Laut Hersteller soll das Paket die Lücke zwischen “hochpreisigen proprietären Datenbanken und den erschwinglichen, modernen Architekturen der Open-Source-Datenbanken” schließen. Zu den neuen Features gehöre die Implementierung der Speicher-Engine MyRocks und eine vollständige Palette von JSON-Funktionen.

Laut der aus MySQL hervorgegangenen MariaDB Corporation soll MariaDB TX 2.0 Sicherheitsfunktionen enthalten, “die bisher nur in proprietären Angeboten verfügbar waren”: Die neu eingeführte Datenmaskierung von Abfrageergebnissen soll etwa vertrauliche Daten schützen. Neu ist auch eine frei wählbare Begrenzung von Ergebnismengen, die Denial-of-Service-Angriffe durch das Provozieren ausufernder Abfragen verhindern soll. (un)

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DataStax Managed Cloud nun allgemein verfügbar

Das Ende 2016 angekündigte Angebot bringt DataStax Enterprise zunächst auf Amazon Web Services und ist auf den hybriden Einsatz ausgelegt. Weitere Plattformen wie Microsoft Azure und Google Cloud Platform sind in Planung.

Im Dezember hatte DataStax mit DataScale ein Unternehmen zugekauft, das Cloud-Dienste für die Datenverarbeitung im Portfolio hat. Der wichtigste Grund für die Übernahme waren Pläne für die DataStax Managed Cloud, die nun verfügbar ist. Dabei handelt es sich um eine verwaltete Variante von DataStax Enterprise (DSE), die in der Public Cloud liegt und auf den hybriden Betrieb ausgelegt ist, also die Integration mit DSE-Installationen im Rechenzentrum.

Bei der Übernahme von DataScale erklärte Steve van den Berg, Regional Vice President Western Europe von DataStax, im Gespräch mit heise Developer, dass der Cloud-Dienst eine konsequente Fortführung der Unternehmensstrategie sei, das Enterprise-Portfolio zu stärken. Das kostenpflichtige DSE erweitert die quelloffene NoSQL-Datenbank Apache Cassandra um Enterprise Funktionen. DataStax gehört gleichzeitig weiterhin zu den wichtigsten Contributors der Open-Source-Basis.

Zum Start ist die DataStax Managed Cloud zunächst nur für Amazon Web Services (AWS) verfügbar. Die Ausweitung auf Microsoft Azure und die Google Cloud Platform (GCP) ist jedoch bereits geplant. Weitere Informationen lassen sich der offiziellen Ankündigung entnehmen. (rme)

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Trumpcare Is Russian Roulette for People with Pre-Existing Conditions

In their desperation to salvage the American Health Care Act, House Republicans adopted a provision that would allow states to waive Affordable Care Act rules prohibiting insurers from price-gouging sick people and selling plans that don?t cover basic benefits like hospitalization, doctors visits, and maternity care.

By addressing the objections of its most conservative members, they solved a political problem within the House GOP conference but created a new political problem with the broader public, which overwhelmingly believes insurance companies shouldn?t be allowed to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions.

House Republicans have tried to address this political problem, in turn, by lying about it outright. ?People will be better off, with pre-existing conditions, under our plan,? House Speaker Paul Ryan insisted last month. President Donald Trump said these protections would be ?guaranteed.?

Republicans knew this was untrue when they passed the bill, and we know they knew it was untrue, because they hustled it to a floor vote before the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office had a chance to publish an analysis of its impact on health insurance coverage.

That impact analysis arrived on Wednesday. On a top-line level, it finds the effects of the updated AHCA would be broadly similar to the original draft of the legislation?14 million would lose their insurance right away and, relative to the Obamacare baseline, 23 million fewer people would be insured after 10 years. But now the CBO notes that many of those uninsured would be sick people driven out of the markets by price discrimination.

Fully one-sixth of the population, CBO analysts conclude, live in states that would likely waive essential health benefits and pre-existing protection rules. In these states, they believe healthy people would voluntarily opt in to underwritten plans, which take into account a patient?s medical history, leaving the pooled-risk market filled with high-risk consumers, and thus unstable.

?Because many healthy individuals would be able to obtain plans with underwritten premiums as long as they remained healthy, CBO and JCT anticipate that less healthy people or those with preexisting medical conditions would opt for community-rated premiums and that those premiums would rise over time,? the report states. ?Eventually, CBO and JCT estimate, those premiums would be so high in some areas that the plans would have no enrollment. Such a market would be similar to the nongroup market before the enactment of the ACA, in which premiums were underwritten and plans often included high deductibles and limits on insurers? payments and people with high expected medical costs were often unable to obtain coverage.?

?[P]eople who are less healthy (including those with preexisting or newly acquired medical conditions) would ultimately be unable to purchase comprehensive nongroup health insurance at premiums comparable to those under current law, if they could purchase it at all,? the report adds. And those who do buy insurance will find that ?out-of-pocket spending on maternity care and mental health and substance abuse services could increase by thousands of dollars in a given year for the nongroup enrollees who would use those services.?

House Republicans? health care bill would gut pre-existing conditions protections for one-sixth of the population. And they just flatly lied about it.

For more information , click here . > See directly

The Decline of the Fox News Liberal Pundit

Fox News? firing of Bob Beckel last week was hardly a crushing loss for liberalism in the public discourse. As co-host of The Five from 2011 to 2015, and again this year, the Democratic commentator routinely disgraced the progressive cause. He once proudly declared, ?I?m an Islamophobe.? He repeatedly made misogynistic comments and dropped racial slurs on air. Just earlier this month, he complained that Democrats talk too much about being ?the party of labor, women, minorities, you know, LBGT, whatever,? when they should be focused on ?working people.? Fox says it terminated Beckel ?for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee,? but any network that valued progressive ideas would have permanently cut ties with him long ago.

Of course, Fox News has never valued such ideas. The network has a long tradition of bringing aboard liberals who are either poorly equipped for televised combat with conservatives, or are willing, as Beckel was, to validate right-wing narratives. While he?d toe the Democratic line on health care and push back on climate change denial, his anti-Muslim rantings and other offensive and antiquated views kept conservatives comfortable. ?That?s the challenge of being the Fox News liberal,? said Marc Lamont Hill, a progressive contributor to Fox in the early Obama years. ?You have to concede something you shouldn?t have to in terms of being seen as reasonable as a long-term presence there.? But as Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple told me, the Beckel model is the ultimate way to advance the Fox News agenda. ?For Fox News, you can?t ask for a better liberal than that,? he said.

And yet, the network used to feature better left-of-center voices. Though he was maligned as a milquetoast patsy, Alan Colmes?s run as the original Fox News liberal looks better in retrospect. Kirsten Powers, who left for CNN last year after more than a decade at Fox, held her own in any debate. ?She?s a ferocious advocate for her points of view,? Wemple said. ?I do think she was tremendously effective in rebutting Bill O?Reilly.? He called Hill, another frequent O?Reilly sparring partner, ?one of the great TV polemicists of all time.? Sally Kohn, a contributor from 2012-2013, brought a remarkably left-wing perspective that often went viral online. ?I felt like I was making a difference,? Kohn told me.

Today, Fox News is facing an existential crisis. Founder and CEO Roger Ailes was forced out amid allegations of serial sexual harassment, as was O?Reilly, Fox?s biggest star. (Ailes has since died.) Bill Shine, a Fox executive close to Ailes, was elbowed out, too. Megyn Kelly left for NBC News, Greta Van Susteren for MSNBC. The network that dominated cable-news ratings for years recently fell to third place, behind CNN and MSNBC. Amid this wreckage, Fox News must figure out how to carry on without the (white) men who built it, how to compete with increasingly prominent right-wing outlets like Breitbart and InfoWars, and how to position itself with regard to President Donald Trump.

One thing?s sure, though: liberalism has never been more poorly represented on the network. ?It?s virtually unwatchable,? Hill told me. The notion of a Fox News liberal, he added, is ?almost an oxymoron at this point.? This may seem like a lesser concern right now, given the aforementioned turmoil, but the decline of liberal opinion on Fox News and the network?s broader struggles go hand in hand.


It?s not often that Rush Limbaugh and Media Matters agree on something, but even these mortal enemies concur about the sorry state of Fox News within the political landscape.

?When Fox was ruling the roost, everybody wanted to go there, despite what these liberals say about Fox this and Fox that,? the conservative host said Tuesday on his show. ?You will know as well as I do that many liberal Democrats, guests and otherwise, showed up on Fox all the time despite the things they were saying about it. Why? ?Cause that?s where the eyeballs were. CNN and MSNBC, zero. I mean, they had asterisks. They had so few viewers it made no sense to go there. It made sense to go to Fox.? But the network?s ratings nosedive changes that calculus. ?With Fox no longer ruling the roost, these people will not have to pretend to take Fox seriously any longer,? he said. ?They will not have to acknowledge that Fox is credible as their reason for going on, and what?s gonna happen is they?re now gonna calculate, many of these people, that MSNBC and CNN are the best places to go to get face time.?

?I would say Fox News liberals these days are auditioning for a job at CNN,? Angelo Carusone, the president of Media Matters, told me. It?s ?a total breakdown of not just the Fox liberal but the Fox business model.?

The downside is that Fox viewers may have an increasingly warped understanding of what progressives believe. Sean Hannity invited contributor Dennis Kucinich on his show last week and promised that the former Democratic congressman from Ohio ?is making major news.? Kucinich unleashed an extraordinary rant, putting a veneer of bipartisanship to the notion that ?our country itself is under attack from within.? ?You have a politicization of the agencies,? he said, ?that is resulting in leaks from anonymous, unknown people, and the intention is to take down a president. This is very dangerous to America. It?s a threat to our republic. It constitutes a clear and present danger to our way of life.?

?You?re saying President Trump is under attack by the deep state intelligence community?? Hannity later asked.

?I believe that,? Kucinich replied.

Kucinich is among the most recognizable liberal regulars on Fox these days, and his frequently pro-Trump posture reflects the sad state of progressive representation of the network. Kucinich has heaped praise on Trump?s dystopian inaugural address, saying ?there might be some way we can bring this country together on the kind of principles he laid out.? He has volunteered that ?Donald Trump didn?t create these wars. Wars create refugees, and President Obama both in Syria and in Libya backed conflicts which created refugees.? He even agreed when Bill O?Reilly said to him, ?When you say you don?t want Americans abroad, you have more in common with Trump than you do Obama, because Trump doesn?t want to go into these countries.?

The quality of progressive discourse on Fox has never been comparable to liberal or even centrist media outlets, but Carusone says it?s fallen even further since the Obama era. In 2014, Columbia Journalism Review described ?an increasingly prominent group of news analysts at the conservative network?those on its left wing. Call them punching bags, foils, or the engines of honest debate, Fox?s flock of liberal commentators lay out the nation?s partisan battles in real time?on a network where coastal elites would argue that no dissenting voices exist.? The piece cited Kohn, Powers, and Tamara Holder. James Carville, Bill Clinton?s presidential campaign strategist and once the liberal half of Crossfire, had signed as a Fox News contributor. None of them work there anymore?and Holder settled with Fox for $2.5 million after allegations of sexual assault.

In their place, Carusone observes, are lesser-known ?Democratic strategists? or one-off guests. Tucker Carlson, recently given a primetime show, frequently invites liberal guests??to debate them or berate them,? Carusone said. Wemple, who has sparred with Carlson on TV and online, said the show ?exists in large part to ridicule or bloody liberals or critics of Donald Trump.? ?He?s basically ?slay the liberals, embarrass them, mistreat them,?? Wemple said.

There is some new liberal blood on the network, like Jessica Tarlov, in addition to longtime Fox personalities like Jehmu Greene and Juan Williams. But Tarlov is often brought on to play the Reasonable Liberal?the one who?s willing to agree with Sean Hannity and Tomi Lahren that Samantha Bee shouldn?t mock a man with cancer or NBC News? Trump tax returns ?scoop? was disappointing. It?s not that she doesn?t disagree or make her case; sometimes she even scores points. It?s just that, all too often, the die is cast with the framing of these segments?a two-on-one pile-on against Tarlov.

Williams, meanwhile, is another classic example of the Fox News liberal dynamic. ?Juan Williams is a moderate Republican to me, not an actual Democrat,? Hill said. (Indeed, Williams said late last year that he could see himself joining the GOP someday.) Fox might bring on Kucinich to trash Trump?s enemies, but, Hill said, ?when it?s time to bring him on to argue why we shouldn?t have intervened in Iraq, why we should denounce settlement expansion in the West Bank, and why we should have a public opinion in health care, it?s like, ?We don?t need him for that; let?s call Juan.??

Carusone attributes the lack of liberal opinion on Fox to its current woes. ?I think that?s why you haven?t seen a ton of new people added to that crop,? Carusone said. ?They?re in that weird limbo.? As Jack Shafer, Politico?s senior media writer, told me in an email, ?Right now, Fox is a little like a wounded animal, trying to recover from its recent wounds.? But he preached patience, saying Fox will bring aboard more liberals in due time. ?Fox needs a few liberals in its contributor heap for comic relief, to spar with,? he said. ?That it might not be as adventurous in its programming may be disappointing to the [Media Matters] people, but I suspect as the wreckage clears they might return to their old programming practices.?

Carusone doesn?t think Fox?s long-term strategy will mirror its old one, but he?s surprisingly hopeful about the network?s role in the broader media landscape. Since Fox is now having to compete with a growing far-right media pushing conspiracy theories, he said turning Fox into a channel focused on even-handed coverage would be ?the fastest way for them to shed themselves of all this baggage.? ?I don?t think Fox News can survive serving up leftover right-wing chicanery,? he said. ?At some point, there?s going to be demand again for just some damn news.? (This tension is already manifest at Fox; many in its news division are striving for serious coverage of the Trump administration, and news staffers were embarrassed by Hannity?s recent peddling of the Seth Rich conspiracy theory.)

But Limbaugh, of all people, has the most hopeful take for the left: that the dearth of liberals on Fox News could be good for American liberalism overall. On Tuesday, he warned his audience that if progressives shun the network, ?the extreme liberalism and anti-American leftism is going to get louder, it is going to become more common, it?s gonna be all over the place.? If that?s true?a big ?if??then we shouldn?t lament the decline of the Fox News liberal at all. We should, like a growing number of Americans, simply change the channel.

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IFTTT führt kostenloses Maker-Angebot ein

Neuerdings können private Entwickler und Maker eigene Applets auf dem Webdienst veröffentlichen. Damit erweitert die Plattform das im November für Partner eingeführte Angebot um eine kostenlose Variante.

Das Akronym des Automatisierungsdienstes IFTTT ist Programm: If This Then That ermöglicht die Verbindung eines Triggers (“If This”) zu einer Aktion (“Then That”). Der Basisdienst ist für private Anwender kostenlos. Im vergangen November hatte der Dienst das Angebot ausgebaut und Partnern ermöglicht, komplexere Applets zu bauen, die einen Trigger mit zahlreichen Aktionen verknüpft, also “If This Then That And That And That”. Das Erstellen solcher Applets für andere Nutzer kostet ab 200 US-Dollar monatlich.

Ab sofort können private Entwickler und Maker kostenlos eigene Applets erstellen und veröffentlichen. Nutzer müssen sich dazu bei IFTTT als Maker registrieren und bekommen darauf ihre eigene Profilseite, auf der sie ihre Applets anderen Nutzern zur Verfügung stellen. Die Maker-Applets können wie die kommerziellen mehrere Aktionen kombinieren und auf die anderen Services zugreifen, die auf IFTTT verfügbar sind.

Das Maker-Angebot erweitert die kostenpflichtigen.
Das Maker-Angebot erweitert die kostenpflichtigen. Vergrößern

Laut der offiziellen Ankündigung nutzen bereits über 200.000 Maker die IFTTT-Plattform individuell als Spiel- und Testfeld. Besonders im Smart-Home-Umfeld ist der Dienst beliebt. So bietet beispielsweise openHAB bereits seit 2015 eine Integration. Zu den Kunden und Zielplattformen des Webdienstes gehören Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Google, Philips Hue, Fitbit und BMW. (rme)

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