Joanna De Alba, an alleged narcotics trafficker who used Bitcoin to cover up her movements on the Dark Web, has been indicted for distribution of Methamphetamine and Heroin, according to the Department of Justice in New York.
De Alba was taken to federal court in Brooklyn this Thursday afternoon and was charged with “conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine” alongside the actual distribution of it on the dark web.
Speaking on the matter is United States Attorney Donoghue, who had said:
“As alleged, De Alba dispensed heroin and methamphetamine from the shadowy corners of the internet, believing that it provided anonymity to her and her customers. But thanks to the outstanding work by this Office’s prosecutors and DEA special agents, a bright light has been shined on her activities, and she will now be held to account for her charged criminal acts.”
De Alba had been detained on the United States-Mexico border this October while trying to enter the former. Under the online username “RaptureReloaded,” users purchased drugs from her on the Dark Web utilizing Bitcoin. From there, she offered additional shipping plans to help conceal the shipments from authorities. She was found via an undercover Drug and Enforcement Agency agent, who purchased heroin for $1,810.
All trading carries risk. Views expressed are those of the writers only. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The opinions expressed in this Site do not constitute investment advice and independent financial advice should be sought where appropriate. This website is free for you to use but we may receive commission from the companies we feature on this site.
Raphael Varane scored twice as Real Madrid beat Getafe 3-0 in their first La Liga match of 2020 on Saturday at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.
Los Blancos took the lead on 34 minutes after goalkeeper David Soria failed to punch Ferland Mendy’s cross clear, allowing Varane to head the ball into the empty net.
Getafe created plenty of chances to equalise in a feisty first half, and Real Madrid needed goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to save from Mauro Arambarri, Faycal Fajr and Leandro Cabrera before half-time.
Real Madrid doubled their lead on 53 minutes through Varane’s second of the game. The France international rose highest to head Toni Kroos’ free-kick past Soria.
Luka Modric wrapped up the win deep into stoppage time after a quick break. The Croatia international tapped into an empty net after being teed up by Federico Valverde.
Real Madrid were without captain Sergio Ramos due to suspension for Saturday’s match, which saw Varane partner Eder Militao in the centre of defence. Casemiro returned in midfield, and Gareth Bale and Isco started in attack alongside top scorer Karim Benzema.
The hosts made just one change to the team beaten by Villarreal in their final fixture of 2019, bringing in Angel Rodriguez in attack in place of Jorge Molina.
Getafe made life difficult for the visitors in a committed first-half showing. The first shot of the match came from 24 minutes when Arambarri forced Courtois into a flying save with a powerful effort from the edge of the penalty area:
Courtois begins the new decade just as he finished the last!
Cabrera thundered another effort just wide of Courtois’ post on the half-volley before Getafe were undone by a poor piece of goalkeeping that saw Real Madrid take the lead.
A cross in from deep by Mendy tempted Soria off his line, but Varane got to the ball ahead of the goalkeeper and saw his header trickle into the back of the net.
Real Madrid went close again when Benzema controlled a long ball forward from Dani Carvajal, rolled Djene Dakonam and unleashed a shot that was blocked at his near post by Soria.
Getafe ended the half well and were denied an equaliser by more good work from Courtois. The Belgium international parried a powerful snapshot from Fajr at his near post and then had to be at full stretch to deny a Cabrera header:
David Cartlidge @davidjaca
Courtois with a monster first half. Three massive saves. Been doing this for months though, easily some of the best form in his career.
The hosts started the second half strongly but conceded a second from a Kroos free-kick from just outside the penalty area.
The Germany international swung the ball into the box for Varane to power a firm header past Soria:
Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan
Varane  joins Ramos as Madrid’s second top scorer in La Liga this year – behind Benzema .
Varane then turned provider by carving out a chance for Bale. The centre-back sent a ball over the top for the Welshman to latch on to, but his attempted chip over the goalkeeper was caught by Soria.
Substitute Vinicius Junior ought to have added a third late on after being played through on goal. The Brazilian managed to clip the ball past Soria, but his effort flew into the side-netting.
Real Madrid managed to find a third in the sixth minute of stoppage time. A rapid counter-attack launched by Bale saw substitute Valverde sweep down the left and unselfishly cross for Modric to convert from close range:
Tom Allnutt @TomAllnuttAFP
Ridiculously good pass by Bale. First-time, on the spin. Valverde tees up Modric for 0-3. Flattering but impressive from Real Madrid.
The result ends a run of three consecutive draws for Real Madrid in La Liga and sees them move to the top of the table ahead of Barcelona’s clash with Espanyol on Saturday evening.
Real Madrid play Valencia in the semi-finals of the Supercopa de Espana on Thursday at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Getafe’s next fixture is against Badalona in the second round of the Copa del Rey next Saturday.
If you’re lucky, the process will be automatic; you might even get alerts on your phone every time a firmware update gets applied, which usually happens overnight. If you’re unlucky, you might have to download new firmware from the manufacturer’s site and point your router towards it. If so, it’s absolutely worth the extra effort.
Disable Remote Access, UPnP, and WPS
A lot of routers come with features designed to make remote access from outside your home easier, but unless you need admin-level access to your router from somewhere else, you can usually safely turn these features off from the router settings panel. Besides, most remote access apps work fine without them.
Another feature to look out for is Universal Plug and Play. Designed to make it easier for devices like games consoles and smart TVs to access the web without making you wade through a lot of configuration screens, UPnP can also be used by malware programs to get high-level access to your router’s security settings.
Keeping remote access and UPnP turned on won’t suddenly expose you to the worst of the internet, but if you want to be as safe as possible, turn them off. If it turns out that some of the apps and devices on your network rely on them, you can enable the features again without too much worry.
You should also think about disabling Wi-Fi Protected Setup. WPS has good intentions, letting you connect new devices with a button push or a PIN code, but that also makes it easier for unauthorized devices to gain access; a numerical PIN is easier to brute force than an alphanumerical password. Unless you specifically need it, disable it.
Use a Guest Network, If Available
If your router has the option of broadcasting a so-called guest network, take advantage of it. As the name suggests, it means you can grant your guests access to a Wi-Fi connection, without letting them get at the rest of your network—your Sonos speakers, the shared folders on your laptop, your printers, and so on.
It’s not like your friends and family are hackers in disguise, but letting them on your primary network means they might access a file that you’d rather they didn’t, or inadvertently change a setting somewhere that causes you problems. It also puts another speed bump in the way of someone who is secretly trying to get access to your network without your permission—even if they’re able to get on the guest network, they won’t be able to take control of your other devices, or your router.
Your router should have the option to hide the SSID of your main network—basically the name of the network that appears when your devices scan for Wi-Fi. If visitors can’t see this network then they can’t connect to it, but you’ll be able to add devices to it because you’ll know what it’s called. (And if you’re not sure, it’ll be listed in your router settings.)
Keep Security in Mind
Despite decades of relative neglect, most routers launched in the last couple of years come with excellent security built in. Manufacturers appreciate the importance of router security and reliability more than ever, so the products are much more user-friendly than they used to be. They now handle lot of the key security settings for you.
With that in mind, one of the highest risks to your router is that it’s compromised by a device that it thinks it can trust—in other words, something on your phone or laptop gets access to it and causes some mischief, perhaps by secretly opening an entry point to your router that can be accessed remotely.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu seeks immunity from prosecution
4 January 2020
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that he will officially request that the Knesset (parliament) grant him immunity from prosecution in the three corruption cases he faces, a move aimed at postponing criminal proceedings against him for months if not years.
Benjamin Netanyahu (photo: Office of the Israeli Prime Minister)
Speaking at a press conference January 1 in Jerusalem, he said, “There are people who, unlike me, did commit grave crimes, and they have life-long immunity. They are just on the right side of the media and the left wing.”
“The immunity law is meant to protect public representatives from being framed. The law is meant to ensure that public representatives can serve the people according to the will of the people, and not the will of some clerks,” he continued.
Netanyahu used language straight out of Orwell’s 1984 to justify his manoeuvre, despite having previously and very publicly denied that he would request immunity. At the press conference, he declared that “immunity from prosecution is not evading trial,” and is “a cornerstone of democracy.”
His move threatens to paralyse the Knesset’s work for months to come, block discussion during the upcoming election campaign of any issues—domestic or foreign—other than Netanyahu’s suitability for office, and shift politics even further to the right and into the arms of open fascists.
The crisis over Netanyahu can also serve as a dangerous accelerant in the growing war crisis provoked by the Trump administration’s criminal provocations against Iran. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman summoned military and security chiefs to Tel Aviv yesterday to discuss Israel’s response to Washington’s targeted assassination of Iranian Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani.
Israel Army Radio stressed concerns about a potential Iranian counterattack via Hezbollah in Lebanon or Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. Netanyahu cut short his trip to Greece, where he signed an agreement with Greece and Cyprus to develop a 1,900 kilometre undersea pipeline to carry gas from offshore deposits in the southeastern Mediterranean to continental Europe–a move that pits Israel against both Russia and Turkey.
That Netanyahu continues to govern in such a situation demonstrates that the Israeli state, like that of its main sponsor in Washington, is rapidly dispensing with any pretence of commitment to democracy, accountability or equal rights. It is preparing to carry out massive crimes against its citizens, Jews and Palestinians alike, even as it steps up preparations, without any mandate, for a military confrontation with Iran.
Israel goes to the polls on March 2 in an unprecedented third election in less than a year, after neither Netanyahu, head of the Likud Party, nor former chief of staff General Benny Gantz, leader of the opposition Blue and White Party, succeeded in forming a governing coalition that could command a majority in the 120-seat Knesset.
Netanyahu was indicted in November on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three cases that have been investigated for years. They relate to allegations that he offered or granted state favours worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Israel’s media barons in return for favourable coverage and handsome gifts.
Despite evidence, captured on video, presenting open and shut cases of bribery and corruption, Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing. Instead, he has sought to portray himself as the victim of a left-wing, pro-Arab plot by the media and judiciary to frame him and organise a coup.
Netanyahu’s announcement came after two favourable developments. The first was the High Court’s dismissal on Tuesday of a petition seeking to block him from forming another government should he win the election. The justices argued that it was irrelevant to discuss such a possibility ahead of the actual vote.
The second was his resounding victory in a leadership challenge from former interior minister Gideon Sa’ar in the Likud Party primaries.
Sa’ar offered no alternative perspective to Netanyahu. He has a long record of supporting the expansion of Israeli settlements and opposing any accommodation with the Palestinians. He repeatedly called on Netanyahu to implement his pledge to demolish the Bedouin hamlet of Khan al-Ahmar in the occupied West Bank, which is located near several settlement blocks. He accused Netanyahu of running scared in the face of a possible investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, whose chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, had said that the razing of the hamlet could be a war crime.
According to Israeli law, Netanyahu’s immunity request requires the approval of the Knesset’s House Committee and then the full Knesset. But because no House Committee was appointed after the first election in April, and none will be put in place until after the March election, this will delay the decision for months.
Avigdor Lieberman, the leader of the Israel Beiteinu party, which holds the votes that assure him the position of kingmaker, said he was opposed to Netanyahu getting immunity and would do everything he could to stop him. His votes, plus those of the opposition bloc, mean that Netanyahu cannot command a majority to secure immunity in the Knesset with its current political lineup.
As a result, Netanyahu’s election campaign will focus on attacking Israel’s judiciary while positioning himself as the victim of “deep state” forces that cannot defeat him at the polls. Beating the war drum against Iran will be seen by Netanyahu as the best means of obtaining the necessary 61 delegate majority.
A key part of his election strategy lies in brokering a merger of his far-right coalition partners—Jewish Home, National Union and the openly fascistic Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power)—to form a single list capable of passing the electoral threshold and bolster his position in the Knesset.
Otzma Yehudit ran alone in last September’s election and did not meet the vote threshold to enter the Knesset. Its most senior members are disciples of the late fascist and racist Rabbi Meir Kahane, whose Kach party submitted a bill to cancel the citizenship of non-Jews in 1985. Three years later, the party was disqualified from running in the elections and in 1994 the government declared it a terror organization.
Prior to last September’s election, Michael Ben Ari, Otzma Yehudit’s chairman, was disqualified because of his incitement, along with two others, of anti-Arab racism. Otzma Yehudit calls for the establishment of Jewish settlements in all parts of the West Bank, not just in Area C; the imposition of Israeli sovereignty over all West Bank territories; the implementation of Jewish law and “removing Israel’s enemies from our land.” Netanyahu’s foul manoeuvre elevates Otzma Yehudit chief Ben Gvir to the position of kingmaker. If elected, it gives him a seat in the cabinet.
This shift to the right is facilitated by the rottenness of Gantz’s Blue and White Party, which is made up of ex-generals and a former TV journalist, and its “leftist” allies—the Labor-Gesher Party and the Democratic Union, a merger between supporters of former chief of staff and prime minister Ehud Barak and the Peace Now-camp Meretz Party.
None of these forces have anything to offer the working class, which saw the poverty rate for children rise from 27.1 percent to 29.1 percent in 2018, making Israel one of two countries with the worst child poverty rate in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to Israel’s National Insurance Institute’s annual report published earlier this week.
The percentage of the population living in poverty (excluding eastern Jerusalem, where poverty among Palestinian Israelis is even more acute) rose from about 19.4 in 2017 to about 20.4 percent in 2018.
As well as showing an increase in the Gini inequality index, which is 10 percent higher than that of other developed countries, the report criticized the “weakness of the government’s policy in addressing poverty,” saying that its tools for addressing the problem are “too few and too hesitant.”
Contribute to the fight for socialism in 2020
2019 has been a year of mass social upheaval. We need you to help the WSWS and ICFI make 2020 the year of international socialist revival. We must expand our work and our influence in the international working class. If you agree, donate today. Thank you.