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The calls to the White House come at least once a week. “Murdoch here,” the blunt, accented voice on the other end of the line says.

For decades, Rupert Murdoch has used his media properties to establish a direct line to Australian and British leaders. But in the 44 years since he bought his first newspaper in the US, he has largely failed to cultivate close ties to an American president. Until now.

Murdoch and President Donald Trump – both forged in New York’s tabloid culture, one as the owner of The New York Post, the other as its perfect subject – have travelled in the same circles since the 1970s, but they did not become close until recently, when their interests began to align more than ever before.

Since Inauguration Day, Murdoch has talked regularly with Trump, often bypassing the White House chief of staff, General John F. Kelly, who screens incoming calls. Murdoch has felt comfortable enough to offer counsel that others may shy away from, such as urging the president to stop tweeting and advising him to improve his relationship with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Murdoch also has weekly conversations with Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner.

Before the news broke that Murdoch had agreed to sell vast parts of his 21st Century Fox to the Walt Disney Co. for US$52.4 billion ($67.8 billion), Trump called him to get his assurance that the Fox News Channel, the highly rated cable network and frequent bullhorn of the Trump agenda, would not be affected.

On December 14, the day the agreement was announced, Trump let the world know that he had made a congratulatory call to Murdoch. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, also passed along the president’s belief that the deal would be “a great thing” for jobs – a claim disputed by Wall Street analysts.

After decades of ups and downs, Trump now counts Murdoch as one of his closest confidants. The two titans made a show of their improved relationship in June 2016, when Murdoch visited Trump at the Trump International Golf Links Scotland before a group of reporters. They appeared together again at a black-tie dinner in May in honour of American and Australian veterans who fought side by side in World War II. Murdoch introduced the president as “my friend Donald J. Trump” before they engaged in a brief hug.

They are opposites in personal style, with Murdoch gruff and low-key, preferring schlubby newsrooms to Trump’s gilded towers and glitz. But they have much in common.

Both were born to wealth, but at a distance from the centres of power. Trump grew up in Jamaica, Queens, the son of a real estate developer content to earn his fortune in the boroughs outside Manhattan –  so close but so far from glittering Midtown, where the son would make his name and his home. Murdoch, the son of a journalist who became the owner of a newspaper chain, spent his childhood in Melbourne. Murdoch, 86, and Trump, 71, are also alike in that they were both sent to exclusive schools as boys before going on to outdo their fathers in the family businesses.

Although both men parlayed their inheritances into global power, they have stubbornly viewed themselves as outsiders at odds with the establishment. When Murdoch entered the British newspaper market in 1968, London society shunned him and his vulgar tabloids, The Sun and The News of the World, which he used to wound his enemies and advance his political interests. Trump withstood a similar wariness among the elite after he made himself a Manhattan player through his brazen deal making and hucksterism.

To make their way upward in New York, both men relied on a powerful friend, lawyer Roy M. Cohn, a ruthless fixer who made his name in the 1950s as the chief counsel to Joseph McCarthy, the Red-baiting senator, before representing some of the city’s most powerful figures, including the mobster John Gotti and the New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

Cohn connected Trump to Murdoch and the tabloid he bought in 1976, The New York Post. The upstart developer saw that he could benefit from the brash daily – especially its Page Six gossip column, which started a year after Murdoch became the paper’s owner.

“Trump was interested in specifically Rupert’s ownership of The Post, because Page Six is very important to his rising stature in New York City and branding efforts,” said Roger Stone, a Republican operative who has known both men for decades.

Trump seemed to revel in the tabloid’s saucy coverage of his personal life. In 1989 and 1990, The Post turned out a series of front pages on Trump’s split from his first wife, Ivana Trump, and his affair with Marla Maples. The stream of headlines in bold block letters culminated in a quote attributed to Maples: “Best Sex I’ve Ever Had.”

Trump’s enthusiastic response to the planned Disney-Fox megadeal may have been lost in the swirl of Washington news had it not been for his vehement opposition to another recent attempt at media consolidation – AT&T’s proposed US$85.4 billion ($110 billion) acquisition of Time Warner, the parent company of CNN, a frequent target of the president’s “fake news” complaints. While so far making no move on the Disney-Fox plan, the Justice Department has sued to block the AT&T-Time Warner deal on antitrust grounds in a rare instance of governmental interference in a merger of two companies that do not directly compete with each other.

Murdoch, whose ideology is more malleable than his critics realise, has long gained from his knack for placing himself close to power. In the 1980s, when he was cosy with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, his London tabloids took a pro-Tory stance. In 1997, his newspapers endorsed the Labor Party leader Tony Blair for prime minister.

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Lance Price, a former Blair spokesman, referred to Murdoch as “effectively a member of Blair’s Cabinet.” In turn, Murdoch faced little government scrutiny as he expanded his media empire to reach 40 percent of British newspaper readers and millions of television viewers through his stake in Sky, a pay TV service. But after a 2011 phone hacking scandal at the now-shuttered News of the World put a spotlight on his remarkable political influence, he found himself facing regulatory hurdles, and his $15 billion bid for a 61 percent stake of Sky came to nothing.

Even as Murdoch enjoyed an open invitation to 10 Downing Street, he found that his overtures to U.S. presidents mostly fell short. And before making their alliance, Murdoch and Trump had to put their old spats behind them.

Before the recent rapprochement, Murdoch privately called Trump “phony,” and accused him of exaggerating his net worth. For his part, Trump once threatened to sue Murdoch for libel after The Post reported that the storied Maidstone Club in East Hampton, New York, had denied him membership.

During much of the 2016 presidential campaign, Murdoch – who initially swooned over Jeb Bush – stood against Trump, declaring on Twitter that he was “embarrassing his friends” and “the whole country.” The Wall Street Journal, Murdoch’s crown jewel, ran an editorial calling the candidate a “catastrophe”.The Post led with the headline “Don Voyage” and declared, “Trump is toast”.

Trump shot back on Twitter: “Wow, I have always liked the @nypost but they have really lied when they covered me in Iowa.” He also went after the Journal: “Look how small the pages have become @WSJ,” he wrote. “Looks like a tabloid ??? saving money I assume!”

The Post ended up endorsing Trump, with reservations, in the New York primary, but refrained from endorsing either him or Hillary Clinton in the general election.

More recently, Murdoch expressed exasperation with Trump’s immigration policies. In response to the White House ban on travel of people from majority-Muslim nations, his company, 21st Century Fox, released a memo offering assistance to any employees hurt by the executive order and reminding them that “21CF is a global company, proudly headquartered in the U.S., founded by – and comprising at all levels of the business – immigrants.” In August, James Murdoch, the younger son of Murdoch and the chief executive of 21st Century Fox, condemned the president’s response to the riots in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The man partly responsible for the detente was another moneyed outsider who craved status and respect: Jared Kushner.

When Kushner bought The New York Observer in 2006, he wasted little time reaching out to Murdoch. “He wanted to be Murdoch,” said one person close to both men at the time. In early 2016, after a presidential debate during which Trump faced aggressive questioning from Megyn Kelly, then a Fox News anchor, the candidate sent Kushner to Murdoch on a media diplomacy mission.

Kushner’s wife, Ivanka Trump, is close friends with Murdoch’s third wife, Wendi Deng. Murdoch and Deng attended the Kushner-Trump wedding in 2009 at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, and the Murdoch daughters, Grace and Chloe, served as flower girls.

Before Murdoch and Deng divorced in 2013, Kushner and Ivanka Trump vacationed on Rosehearty, Murdoch’s 184-foot sailing yacht. In a further sign of the two families’ closeness, Ivanka Trump took on the job of Murdoch trustee responsible for overseeing the two girls’ $300 million fortune – a role she gave up a month before her father took office.

In June 2016, when Donald Trump appeared to be the inevitable Republican nominee, Murdoch made the visit to Trump International Golf Links Scotland. Completed in 2012 over the objections of nearby residents, the course lies 35 miles from the herring-fishing port of Rosehearty, the town left behind by the Murdoch clan when it emigrated to Australia in 1884.

Murdoch arrived with former model Jerry Hall, his fourth wife, whom he married in March. Under cloudy skies, the newlyweds toured the property in a golf cart large enough for four. Trump was at the wheel, with Hall seated beside him. Murdoch, wearing sunglasses, sat on a backward-facing rumble seat as they made their way to the Trump-refurbished Macleod House, a 15th-century mansion, where they had dinner.

Trump’s mended relationship with Murdoch has not gone unnoticed by Time Warner executives, who wonder why AT&T’s attempt to buy the company has run into regulatory trouble at a time when the president has smiled on the Disney-Fox deal.

“If you look at the facts of our case, even before you heard the administration’s endorsement of the Disney-Fox deal, it was hard to understand how the Justice Department could reach a decision to block our deal,” Jeffrey L. Bewkes, the chief executive of Time Warner, said.

A spokesman for the White House, Raj Shah, said that Trump hadn’t spoken to Attorney General Jeff Sessions about the AT&T-Time Warner deal and that “no White House official was authorised to speak with the Department of Justice on this matter.”

The way CNN’s parent company views it, Fox News has adopted a role similar to the one played by Murdoch’s British tabloids when they helped advance the agendas of British leaders. As Blair learned, however, even a special relationship with the media baron can sour quickly. He and Murdoch – once so close that Blair was the godfather to Grace Murdoch – are no longer on speaking terms.

During the British government’s 2012 inquiry into the mogul’s political influence, the former prime minister described what it was like when a story subject falls out of favor with a Murdoch-controlled tabloid.

“Once they’re against you, that’s it,” Blair said. “It’s full on, full frontal, day in, day out, basically a lifetime commitment.”

Henry Sapiecha

 

Lucy Ogden-Doyle was only 14 when she learnt she may develop fertility problems. It was distressing news for someone who went to see her GP about irregular periods.

Her doctor said she might have a hormonal condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and she should drop five kilograms – despite then being 52 kilograms and 172 centimetres tall – to “pre-empt” weight gain, a symptom.

“It was quite a dramatic thing to tell someone so young that they may be infertile and to lose weight, which would have made me underweight,” Ms Ogden-Doyle, now 24, said.

“Two years later I had tests and I do have PCOS but I’m not showing the symptoms like excess hair or extra weight so, while it has been a negative experience, right now I’m not letting it affect me.”

The arts student is among one in five women diagnosed with PCOS, a deeply stigmatising condition. The figure is based on eight separate studies across six countries including Australia and China.

PCOS, which occurs when a woman’s ovaries or adrenal glands produce more male hormones than normal, is the most commonly diagnosed endocrine disorder in reproductive aged women.

In an opinion article in the latest British Medical Journal, Australian researchers argue that an expanded definition had inadvertently led to overdiagnosis, and therefore too much treatment and even harm.

The widening of the definition (to include the sonographic presence of polycystic ovaries) in 2003 led to a dramatic increase in cases, from 5 to 21 per cent.

Lucy Ogden-Doyle has polycystic ovary syndrome. The definition of the term is problematic

Lead author Tessa Copp, a PhD student at Sydney University, said many women were being “given a lifelong disease label” in their teenage years when symptoms such as acne and irregular periods overlapped with signs of puberty.

She referred to three studies that found the prevalence of PCOS by age decreased rapidly after 25, suggesting the symptoms may be transitory for some women.

“A lot of my friends had it and were feeling quite dissatisfied because there’s no cure, nothing you can do, except to undergo treatments that focus on alleviating symptoms,” she said.

“Some cases are severe and they will benefit from the label, but women with milder symptoms may experience harm from the overdiagnosis and overtreatment.”

The authors said women diagnosed with PCOS had higher levels of depression, anxiety, poorer self-esteem, negative body image, disordered eating and decreased sexual satisfaction.

They said it was unclear whether these impacts were due to the condition, its symptoms, or from the psychological effect of being labelled a PCOS sufferer.

“It’s associated with infertility, hypertension and type 2 diabetes, so it labels women as abnormal but the consequences are not the same for everyone,” Ms Copp said.

The authors argue that, given the uncertainties, the risk of psychological harm and the impacts of applying a one-size-fits-all diagnostic criteria to a wide-ranging set of symptoms, it was important for doctors not to rush diagnosing women.

“We need better understanding and research to characterise the benefits and harms of diagnosis and treatment for women with both severe and milder symptoms,” Ms Copp said.

“Instead of diagnosing women in adolescence, note they’re at risk, follow up with them over time and use treatments that target the symptoms.”

Call to action

The article comes as influential health groups, including the Consumers Health Forum and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, launch a call to action to address overdiagnosis in general and “the problem of too much medicine”.

In an initial statement via a Wiser Healthcare collaboration, they said there was an urgent need to develop a national action plan.

“Expanding disease definitions and lowering diagnostic thresholds are recognised as one driver of the problem, and the processes for changing definitions require meaningful reform,” it said.

Dr Ray Moynihan, from Bond University and a Wiser Healthcare member, said the problem of too much medicine was driven by many factors, including the best of intentions.

“PCOS appears to be a strong example of the problem of expanding disease definitions or lowering diagnostic thresholds that are potentially labelling too many people,” he said.

PCOS is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, high blood pressure and poorer psychological wellbeing.

Wondering where the highest paid people in tech go to college? There’s a good chance it’s one of these 10 universities according to a new study.

Graduation Internet Training Education Learning Computer Diploma

A new study from job site Paysa has ranked colleges around the world based on the salaries of their graduates in tech fields.

That six of the 10 schools are located in the United States is unsurprising. What is surprising, however, is which schools make the cut and which don’t—and their geographic locale inside the country.

The study doesn’t take university size into account—only average salary of graduates. That may be a factor for why some of the top of the list aren’t the largest universities, but it doesn’t explain a stranger statistic: The top five are all in the greater Seattle area or just across the bridge in Vancouver.

SEE: 10 bucks to snag an interview for your dream job? AI wants to help new college grads (TechRepublic)

Geographical oddities aside, here are the top 10 colleges with the highest earning graduates in tech.

The top 10 highest paid alumni bodies

Graduation Internet Training Education Learning Computer Diploma

1. Seattle University

  • Location: Seattle, WA
  • Type: private
  • Average tech graduate salary: $265,869

2. Pacific Lutheran University

  • Location: Tacoma, WA
  • Type: private
  • Average tech graduate salary: $265,153

3. Simon Fraser University

  • Location: Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
  • Type: public
  • Average tech graduate salary: $263,574

4. City University of Seattle

  • Location: Seattle, WA
  • Type: private
  • Average tech graduate salary: $263,386

5. Central Washington University

  • Location: Ellensburg, WA
  • Type: public
  • Average tech graduate salary: $254,778

6. Tsinghua University

  • Location: Beijing, China
  • Type: public
  • Average tech graduate salary: $254,710

7. Harvard University

  • Location: Cambridge, MA
  • Type: private
  • Average tech graduate salary: $253,970

8. Lomonosov Moscow State University

  • Location: Moscow, Russia
  • Type: public
  • Average tech graduate salary: $252,874

9. University of Cambridge

  • Location: Cambridge, UK
  • Type: public
  • Average tech graduate salary: $252,645

10. University of Toronto

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Type: public
  • Average tech graduate salary: $252,639

SEE: The Ultimate Learn to Code 2017 Bundle (TechRepublic Academy)

To see the full study, including infographics on cost vs. value, college representation at large tech firms, and statistics on women in tech, read the full study available on Paysa’s website.

Henry Sapiecha

Is this the end for ‘Do Not Track’, the web-tracking privacy service?

The most shocking internet privacy laws.

Twitter was one of the first companies to support Do Not Track (DNT), the website privacy policy. Now, Twitter is abandoning DNT and its mission to protect people from being tracked as they wander over the web.

DNT seemed like a good idea. By setting DNT on in your web browser, websites that supported DNT could neither place nor read advertising cookies on your device. Well, that was the idea anyway.

Any web browser or application that supported DNT added a small snippet of code to its request for a web page: DNT=1. This meant websites and services that observed DNT shouldn’t track you on the internet.

This would protect your online privacy. You might think that meant “Don’t collect and store any information about me without my explicit permission.”

Wrong.

From day one in 2012, that isn’t how it worked. According to Sarah Downey, an attorney and privacy advocate, the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), which represent most online advertisers, have their own interpretation of Do Not Track: “They have said they will stop serving targeted ads but will still collect and store and monetize data.”

However, Twitter played fair by the spirit of DNT rather than the law. Unfortunately, they were one of the few companies that did. DAA, for example, publicly abandoned DNT in 2013. With the advertisers and privacy advocates unable to agree on basic principles, DNT increasingly offered users no privacy protection worth the name.

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Henry Sapiecha

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Henry Sapiecha

  • Bitcoin’s mysterious creator could be Australian Craig Steven Wright

Police and tax investigators have raided the Sydney home of a man that members of the Australian bitcoin community say might be the mastermind behind the controversial cryptocurrency, just hours after reports emerged in the United States suggesting that he may be its secretive creator.

However, Fairfax Media has been told the raid at the property of Craig Steven Wright relates to an “individual taxation matter” involving Mr Wright, rather than his apparent role in creating the encrypted currency.

The alleged creator of Bitcoin, Australian Craig Steven Wright.

Photo: soldierx.com

The Australian Federal Police attended Mr Wright’s home in Gordon, on Sydney’s north shore, on Wednesday afternoon to assist the Australian Taxation Office in carrying out a search.

In a report published on Wednesday morning, US tech publication Wired said it had uncovered enough evidence to suggest that bitcoin’s mysterious founder, who operated under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, was actually 44-year-old Mr Wright.

Wired acknowledged that its report was based on “unverified leaked documents” that it admitted “could be faked in whole or in part”.

Fairfax Media attempted to contact Mr Wright for comment but received no response. The Australian Federal Police referred matters to the ATO. The ATO declined to comment.

Mr Wright is listed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission as a director of Hotwire and another company, Panopticrypt, which are both registered at a residential address on Sydney’s North Shore. He has been a shareholder and director in a range of other enterprises, the ASIC database shows.

This Sydney property owned by Craig Steven Wright was searched by police on Wednesday.

He is also listed as chief executive on the website of a company called DeMorgan, which describes itself “a pre-IPO Australian listed company focused on alternative currency, next generation banking and reputational and educational products.” Calls to this company went straight to voicemail.

‘He was a bit weird’

At about 4.15pm, the real estate agent managing the Gordon home leased by Mr Wright entered the house after being told by a neighbour, who knew the owners, that it was being searched.

The AFP and tax investigators raid Craig Wright’s home in Gordon.

Photo: Nick Moir

Federal Police and the ATO officers were then later seen leaving the property, at 4.50pm. Asked why the federal police were at the house, they offered “no comment”.

Neighbours, who didn’t wish to named, said Mr Wright was an elusive man who had two children and a partner. He had an expensive taste in cars, they said, having seen him pull up to the house in a Toyota Land Cruiser, a Lexus, and a Jaguar.

Mr Wright, his partner, and children were not seen within the vicinity of the house.

Apart from owning a dog, which one neighbour described as “noisy”, he also owned hens, which could be seen out the back of his house.

“I thought he did something with insurance or was an entrepreneur or something,” said one neighbour, who described Wright as a “daggy dad” often seen exercising in his garage gym. “He was a bit weird.”

Another neighbour said Mr Wright apparently had three-phase, 450-volt power — normally used for industrial applications — installed at the home.

The same neighbour said he recently heard that Wright had packed up the house as he was apparently off to go live in London. None of the neighbours interviewed said that Wright had told them he was the creator of Bitcoin.

Plausible candidate

Chris Guzowski, founder of ABA Technologies and a regular on the Bitcoin conference circuit, said Wired had uncovered enough circumstantial evidence for Mr Wright to be a plausible candidate.

“It certainly makes sense,” said Mr Guzowski. “He’s definitely been in Bitcoin from the very start and has accumulated a really big stash of Bitcoin. He’s also been in this huge stoush with the ATO for a long time.”

Andrew Sommer, a partner at Clayton Utz and who testified at last year’s Senate Inquiry into digital currency, is reputedly Mr White’s lawyer.

But Mr Sommer said he couldn’t comment on any client when contacted by Fairfax.

Zhenya Tsvetnenko, founder of bitcoin remittancy company Digital BTC, has discussed business with Mr Wright previously and was struck by his understanding of Bitcoin and his long history with the protocol.

“It could definitely be him, I remember thinking this guy could be Satoshi at the time,” Mr Tsvetnenko said

“I asked him how many Bitcoin he had and he said enough to buy a pizza. Which is a joke because it’s well known in the Bitcoin community the first thing bought with the very first Bitcoin was a pizza.”

The Wired story was not the first time a media outlet has claimed to reveal the true identity of bitcoin’s founder.

Last year, US magazine Newsweek said it had found the mysterious person behind the cryptocurrency t. However the man it named, Dorien Nakamoto, unconditionally denied Newsweek’s claim, and subsequently sued the publication.

The Wired report cites archived blog posts from as far back as 2008, purportedly written by Mr Wright, which discuss aspects of the distributed ledger that is a key element of bitcoin, as well as leaked emails and a liquidation report by Australian corporate recovery firm McGrath Nicol involving one of Mr Wright’s companies.

McGrath Nicol confirmed the veracity of the liquidation report, which states that the company, called Hotwire Preemptive Intelligence, was backed by $30 million in capital that was “injected via bitcoins”.

Potential hoax

Wired acknowledged that the trail of evidence leading to Mr Wright could be part of an elaborate hoax.

Asher Tan of CoinJar, Australia’s largest bitcoin exchange, said he was skeptical of Wired‘s claim, pointing out the bitcoin community relies on mathematical proof.

Solid technical proof should be given more weight than speculation, he said.

“There are some methods of doing this,” Mr Tan said. These would include “moving bitcoin attributed to Satoshi’s personal stash or utilising his personal encryption key (PGP) to communicate.

“These aren’t foolproof methods of identifying him, but anyone who publicly stakes a claim to being Satoshi would be expected to demonstrate either of these methods.”

The New York Times, which conducted an inconclusive investigation of its own into the matter, has described Mr Nakamoto’s identity as “one of the great mysteries of the digital age”.

But many in the bitcoin community believe that the identity of the person (or people) behind Nakamoto is irrelevant, since the virtual currency is an open source and community driven technology. It sure is a fun story though.

Do you know Satoshi Nakamoto? Email our reporters.

Henry Sapiecha

APOSTLES of blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin, think of it as the internet of money

with implications stretching far beyond the cryptocurrency

BITCOIN IN WALLET IMAGE www.acbocallcentre.com

www.clublibido.com (8)

Henry Sapiecha

For billionaire Manoj Bhargava (like many other people), the world is a place full of problems. Between poverty, pollution, food growth, and access to water, the list seems to be ever growing. That’s why he’s recently pledged to spearhead a group aimed at giving away all their billions to turning things around for mankind.

Here’s how he plans to do it…

It seems like a promotional video, but the message behind it is so important.

Regardless of whether he’s naive or not, there’s no question his motives are pure. It’s certainly something society — and the world — needs. Stereotypes and politics aside, there are many wealthy people that truly help the needy…and we hope the number of those people increases.

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MORE HERE > www.h20-water.com   www.newcures.info   www.energy-options.info

Henry Sapiecha

 MEGA MANSIONS & YACHTS ARE A DAILY LIFESTYLE FOR A BILLIONAIRE

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Henry Sapiecha

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Henry Sapiecha

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