Documents Offer Insight Into Soviet View Of JFK Assassination

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American Lee Harvey Oswald and his Russian wife, Marina, pose on a bridge walk in Minsk during their stay in the Soviet Union. This is a 1964 handout photo from the Warren Commission.

AP

Was the Soviet Union involved in the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy?

Given Cold War tensions and the fact that shooter Lee Harvey Oswald had defected to the Soviet Union and lived there in the years leading up to the assassination, it’s a question that has long intrigued even the mildly conspiracy-minded.

Some 2,800 documents released by order of President Trump on Thursday provide some possible insights into how the assassination was viewed inside the Soviet Union.

That reaction appears to have been one of genuine surprise, as well as concern inside the Communist Party that the killing of Kennedy might be part of a larger right-wing coup to take over the U.S. government.

In a memo labeled “Top Secret” and dated Dec. 1, 1966 from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to Marvin Watson, a special assistant to President Lyndon Johnson, cites “[a] source who has furnished reliable information in the past and who was in Russia on the date of the assassination …”

The news, it says “was greeted by great shock and consternation and church bells were tolled in the memory of President Kennedy.”

The memo continues: “According to our source, officials of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union believed there was some well-organized conspiracy on the part of the “ultraright” in the United States to effect a ‘coup.’ They seemed convinced that the assassination was not the deed of one man but that it arose out of a carefully planned campaign in which several people played a part.”

The Soviets were fearful that the assassination would be used to play on “anticommunist sentiments” in the U.S. to “stop negotiations with the Soviet Union, attack Cuba and thereafter spread war.”

Oswald, a former U.S. Marine, went to the Soviet Union in 1959 and married there. Apparently disenchanted with Soviet life, he returned to U.S. soil less than two years later after apparently trying to commit suicide.

The FBI memo, citing the unnamed source, says “Soviet officials claimed that Lee Harvey Oswald had no connection whatsoever with the Soviet Union. They described him as a neurotic maniac who was disloyal to his own country and everything else.”

The same single source reported that the KGB, the Soviet intelligence agency, “issued instructions to all of its agents to immediately obtain all data available concerning” President Johnson. The memo said that in the months after Kennedy’s death, the KGB had come into “possession of data purporting to indicate that President Johnson was responsible for the assassination of the late President John F. Kennedy.”

In a different memo, this one from the CIA Director of Security to CIA Headquarters, originally classified “Secret” and dated March 11, 1964, refers to a George M. Lesnik, a former KGB agent who was in Moscow on the day of the Kennedy assassination.

After hearing the news, he “dashed to his office” to look at Oswald’s file. “When he found the file he reviewed it and found that Oswald had not been used or even approached for use by the Russian intelligence.” Lesnik claimed that he then called others in the KGB who said they were unaware that Oswald had been cultivated in any way before returning to the United States.

[“Source-npr”]

Station combines all your messy web apps into a single app

Meet Station, a startup that was created by startup studio eFounders. Station has been working on the only work app you need. It combines all the services you need into a single window and handles notifications and documents better than a normal browser.

If you don’t spend your life in Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Outlook, chances are you spend most of your days in a web browser, navigating between countless of tabs. When you are working with five different Google Spreadsheets, a couple of Trello dashboards and a handful of other services, it gets harder to find what you’re looking for.

With Station, you can find the document you’re looking for more easily. Station is a Mac and Windows app. You then need to add all your accounts one by one. Station supports dozens of services, but the most popular ones are Gmail, Google Drive, Slack and Trello.

“We have 300 app integrations. We have a good user base with 2,500 people who use Station at least 4 days per week,” co-founder and CTO Alexandre Lacheze told me.

Each service has its own icon in the bar on the left. You can switch from one service to another just like you’d switch from one account to another in Slack. This app metaphor works quite well for document-based apps, such as Google Drive. When you click on the icon, Station shows you your most recent documents and you don’t get lost between multiple tabs.

By centralizing everything in one app, Station adds a couple of nifty features. For instance, there’s a universal search bar that lets you search for content across all your apps. Think about it as a sort of Spotlight for web apps.

Notifications also get their own tab. You can scan recent emails, Trello notifications and Slack messages in the same interface. And there’s also a focus mode that lets you silence notifications for a 15 minutes or an hour.

“We noticed high retention rates among marketing and sales teams,” co-founder and CEO Julien Berthomier told me. “It works well for operational, support and marketing profiles. The usual marketing person is going to use more than 20 different apps.”

While Station is free for now, the startup is working on a paid offering for teams. Companies will be able to subscribe to Station to build pre-configured profiles. If a company recruits new marketing persons, the marketing team will be able to share a Station template so that new employees have everything they need from day one.

Station is also a good way to get insights about who is using what. For instance, if a company pays for a service but nobody is using it, chances are you can cancel your corporate subscription. Let’s see if this will be enough to make companies pay for Station.

[“Source-techcrunch”]

iPhone 8 Plus Allegedly Splits Open While Charging, Apple ‘Looking Into’ Reports

iPhone 8 Plus Allegedly Splits Open While Charging, Apple 'Looking Into' Reports

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Only two cases have been reported so far
  • iPhone 8 Plus battery being blamed
  • Apple is “looking into” the issue

Apple is said to be investigating two reported cases of iPhone 8 Plus ‘splitting open’ thanks to swollen batteries, which have been circulating on the social media. The news comes merely few days after the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus went for sale in several markets. Reports have emerged from Taiwan and Japan.

Apple has confirmed that it is “looking into” the two reports where the iPhone 8 Plus casing opened up, according to The Independent. For now, the Cupertino-based giant declined to further comment on the issue. It’s not certain what caused the problem, and it’s being thought to be a battery failure, which causes it to swell up.

A Taiwan-based report by ifeng, shared by The Next Web, last week claimed that a iPhone 8 Plus unit cracked open while charging, possibly due to a swollen battery.

ifeng claims that iPhone 8 Plus faulty battery was reported by a woman named Wu, who renewed her phone contract and bought 64GB Rose Gold iPhone 8 Plus. Wu noticed the swollen battery five days after purchase when the handset was plugged for charging. Notably, the faulty iPhone 8 Plus battery issue has been reported by Wu who was using the bundled charger and adaptor. The report adds Wu noticed the front panel bulging out just after three minutes of charge, and it finally came completely off from the device. The report claims that the iPhone 8 Plus unit was replaced and has been sent to Apple for investigation.

In another similar incident, a Japanese iPhone 8 Plus user noticed the screen eventually detaching from the chassis possibly due to swollen battery issue. The Japanese user shared images of the faulty unit on Twitter which attracted over 14,000 retweets.

For now, there are just two reports of isolated incidents, so it’s best to wait for the results of the company’s investigation into the issue before jumping to conclusions about the iPhone 8 Plus, and possible similarities with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which was recalled last year due a fire hazard related to the battery.

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[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Insights into atomic structure of next-generation superconductors

Insights into atomic structure of next-generation superconductors

Neutron diffraction at the Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering has clarified the absence of magnetic order and classified the superconductivity of a new next-generation of superconductors in a paper published in Europhysics Letters.

The iron-based nitride, ThFeAsN, which contains Th2N2 and FeAs2 layers, has been of considerable interest because unconventional superconductivity occurring at a temperature of 30 K. This material was of particular interest as the superconductivity was seen to arise without oxygen doping.

A large group of predominantly Chinese researchers, led by Prof Huiqian Luo from the Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics gathered diffraction measurements on the high intensity diffractometer WOMBAT, assisted by instrument scientists Dr Helen Maynard-Casely and Dr Guochu Deng based at the Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering. This enabled them to determine the crystal structure of the compound over a large temperature range.

In similar types of materials, the onset of a superconducting state is thought to be associated with magnetic ordering within the crystal structure. Earlier measurements had shown no magnetic ordering in the ThFeAsN material, and hence this neutron study was an opportunity to confirm this and search for other structural insights into the material’s properties.

The lack of magnetic order was confirmed because no difference was found between the data sets at 6 K and 40 K. All of the observed reflections could be could be identified as having arisen from the atomic structure from 6K up to 300K – no magnetic reflections were identified.

Diffraction patterns over the temperature range from 300 K to 6 K also indicated there was no structural phase transition from tetragonal to orthorhombic in the crystal lattice.

The investigators reported that the lattice parameters continuously increased with temperature due to thermal expansion and a weak distortion in the tetrahedron possibly took place at 160 K. Details from the structure point to this distortion coming from the FeAs2 layers.

The close relationship between local structure of the FeAs4 tetrahedron and the superconducting temperature, suggested TheFeAsN is in a nearly optimised superconducting state.

This is different to many other discovered superconducting materials, which require tweaks in their chemistry to produce the highest critical temperature.

The authors also surmised that the close distance of Fe-As would favour electron hopping, reducing electron correlations and orbital order, thereby providing a reasonable explanation for the absence of magnetic order, structural transition and resistivity anomaly.

Carrier density measurements indicated that ThFeAsN could already be doped by electrons, which are probably introduced by the N deficiency or O occupancy or the reduced valence of nitrogen. The self-doping effect could be responsible for the superconductivity and suppression of magnetic order.

 

[“Source-phys”]