The original headline of this article was: ‘The People Who Were Burned to Ashes on Ash Wednesday’
It was Shrove Tuesday, 1945 in the magnificent German art city of Dresden, which was packed with helpless Christian refugees fleeing the Red Army of the Stalinist USSR. Dresden’s native Lutheran and Catholic children, dressed in their festive Saxon folk costumes, were aboard a train taking them home after Mardi Gras parties at different points in the far-flung city.
Still merry from the night’s festivities, they cavorted on the train prior to Ash Wednesday, February 14, and the solemnities that would be observed even in wartime, in memory of the passion and death of Jesus. In the sky Allied fighter planes caught sight of the civilian train and opened fire on the children inside, whose blood was soon pouring out of the wreckage.
This carnage registers almost not at all in the American mind. The holocaust in Dresden, lasting two days and killing at least 100,000 people, like the atomic holocaust in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, usually merits not much more than a few sentences or a single paragraph in the back pages of metropolitan newspapers, unlike “Yom HaShoah (יום השואה) Holocaust Remembrance Day,” in April, which is observed with countless civic, educational and media events, hosannahs, apologies and genuflections, from the Vatican to the White House. The barely remembered German and Japanese victims of Allied war crimes were of the wrong race and religion.
In the spring of 1945, after prosecuting the bombing holocaust against every major German city, and with the end of the Second World War in sight in Europe, Winston Churchill began to consider his reputation in the post-war period, when the 500,000 German innocents he ordered incinerated could come back to haunt him and stain his prestige. On March 28, 1945 he issued a deceitful, back-stabbing memo blaming the mass incineration on his own Bomber Command and by insinuation, upon its commander Arthur Harris, whose force would be denied a post-war campaign medal, and Harris a peerage.
Harris and Bomber Command had been only following Winston Churchill’s explicit orders, yet Churchill attempted to shift responsibility onto the corps of airmen who had suffered among the highest casualties of any branch of the British military.
Churchill, like many others, endeavored to blame Germany for being the first to saturate civilians with terror-bombs —at Guernica in Spain on behalf of Franco’s forces, and in Rotterdam, during the war with Holland. In both cases Churchill stated that thousands had been killed. Even one death is regrettable of course, but less than 100 people were killed in Guernica according to historian David Irving, and less than a thousand in Rotterdam, when the Luftwafe accidentally struck a margarine factory and the flammable liquid burned houses nearby.
Churchill had said “thousands” died in Guernica, and that 30,000 perished in Rotterdam, which is more than what Deborah Lipstadt says died in the two-day inferno in Dresden (the absurdly low figure of 25,000 is now the officially fixed count to which the “news media” comform without deviation).
The Germans had pledged not to be the first to bomb civilian centers in Britain. Churchill had hoped they would carpet bomb London to give him the excuse to silence the large peace movement in England which was dogging him in 1940, at a time when the Germans had not dropped a single bomb on London, almost a year after Britain had declared war on Germany.
The British Prime Minister obtained his pretext toward the end of August, 1940, when a lone, wayward German bomber “lost its way flying up the Thames” river. It had orders to attack an oil refinery, but instead dropped its bombs on London’s East End. No one was killed thankfully, but Churchill was elated.
He had the excuse he needed to massively retaliate against Berlin, knowing Hitler would respond in kind, and that the British peace movement would vanish in the smoke and flames of the “Battle of Britain” and the “Blitz.” Churchill ordered a hundred bombers to attack Berlin. Royal Air Force (RAF) commanders warned him that the Luftwaffe would do the same to London.
At this juncture we pause to contemplate the bloody treason that was at the heart of Churchill’s soul: he wanted as many of his own English civilians in London to die as possible, so he could point to their deaths as the justification for a total war against Germany, and he succeeded in his objective.
Some of the victims of the Allied holocaust in Dresden
To this day the war crime the leaders of Britain and the United States perpetrated in Dresden is justified on the basis of the tired fable that “Germany did it first to Rotterdam and Guernica,” and “Look at the terror the Germans visited upon London.” Nothing that occurred in Guernica, Rotterdam, or for that matter London, begins to even approach the scale of the holocaust that the firebombs of the air forces of Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt inflicted on Dresden.
On September 4, 1940 Hitler gave a speech in which he stated that if the “mad drunkard” Churchill continued to attack Berlin, the Germans were not going to stand by and take it. It was Neanderthal thinking on the führer’s part: you club me over the head and I will club you. Hitler was almost always outfoxed by the clever machinations of the masonic treachery at the heart of Britain’s ruling class.
No matter what Churchill ordered, Hitler should have limited his air campaign to British military sites and munitions factories (the Luftwaffe never bothered to attack the factories that built Britain’s Lancaster bombers).
On September 6 the English people heard the ominous drone of a fleet of Luftwaffe bombers flying up the Thames. Some 3,000 Londoners subsequently died. Now Churchill had what he wanted. You won’t find these facts in the multi-volume history he wrote, or in the pages of the work of the conformist historians. To learn the truth one must read and study the revisionists, particularly the demonized David Irving, the preeminent military historian of World War II in the Atlantic theatre.
Irving’s nemesis, Deborah Lipstadt meanwhile, has taken it upon herself to deny the holocaust casualty figure of 100,000 for Dresden, but God help any one of us who would have the temerity to doubt the Six Million casualty figure of Holocaustianity, or even to apply the word “holocaust” to what happened in Dresden.
I challenge any reader to collect the legacy media’s descriptions of the bombing of Dresden from the 1990s onward and count how many term it a holocaust.
The extent to which we are imprisoned in an Orwellian dystopia of our own making is revealed when we consider the fact that it is regarded as highly insensitive or indeed “anti-Semitic” to violate the self-appointed Newspeak holocaust trademark appropriated by the Holy People, and apply it to the German cities that were incinerated, or to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even though those war crimes were genuine holocausts by dictionary definition: “Destruction or slaughter on a mass scale, especially caused by fire. Origin: Greek holokauston, from holos ‘whole’ and kaustos ‘burned.”
Even in the liturgy of Holocaustianity it is not decreed that most Judaic victims of the Nazis perished by fire. A half-million German civilians and three-quarters of a million Japanese civilians (including the victims of the fire-bombing of Toyko), were indeed burned to death, yet it is a thought crime to say so. Tell me we are not all cowards for allowing truth itself to be forbidden. We live in Talmudic times.
This writer is sometimes accused, as a researcher in the field of the Babylonian Talmud, of seeing the Talmud where it is not. It is not so much the Talmudic texts themselves that we observe in our society, but the results of their influence. The single most remarkable dimension of Talmudic halacha is its narcissistic exceptionalism, born of the self-worship it inculcates.
Prof. Lipstadt, who has made an career out of stigmatizing anyone who doubts any aspect of the “Holocaust” narrative, as a diabolic “Holocaust denier,” is free to deny, without negative consequences, the holocaust in Dresden, because of her exceptional status as one of the Holy People. She may do as she likes with history, in ways that the rest of us may not. For that reason alone we cannot respect the religion of Holocaustianity.
It is not history. It is a product of Talmudic megalomania. Few of us tolerate fanatical egoism from Catholics, Protestants or Muslims. The very idea raises our secular indignation and “Separation of Church (or Mosque) and State!” is our cry, in the face of it. But to shout “Separation of Synagogue and State!” in nations where Holocaustianity is the last truly believed state religion in the otherwise agnostic West, would be unthinkable for anyone who valued their reputation, employment, personal safety, or in Europe, freedom from incarceration.
Beyond the “Jew and gentile” entanglement is the fratricide: Churchill and his top military circle were not Judaic, yet they set afire the medieval cities of their German cousins, who only two generations before had comprised the royal blood within the House of the German-speaking Queen Victoria.
A thousand years of national and religious wars in Europe had not managed to wreak the destruction which Mr. Churchill and U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt directed against the cultural treasure houses of western civilization, in cities like Dresden. They tossed a match into Dresden as casually as a drooling meth addict would torch an apartment building for revenge on the landlord who had evicted him.
Yet “conservative Christian” American university professors and administrators in institutions of higher learning such as Michigan’s esteemed Hillsdale College, which is the recipient of millions of dollars in donations from “Conservatives” seeking to preserve western civilization, have hallowed Churchill into a paragon of decency, courage and western leadership. This view of this mass murdering vandal is such a defect of vision as to be fatal spiritually, culturally and politically on a national scale.
If the powers that be decided, for example, that Russia needed to be fire-bombed, given sufficient pretext our “Conservatives” would do it all over again in the name of “civilization.” The blood of the innocent in Moscow and St. Petersburg would signify no more to the Hillsdale College type of crusaders than the charred bodies of the civilians in the apocalyptic wreckage of Dresden.
American civilization in 2018 is not worthy of the name. We have the illusion of a civilization, which we cherish for our own aggrandizement and nostalgia. “Conservative” America has made common cause with the Talmudic mentality, as did Antonin Scalia, another of its plaster saints.
At the start of Lent 2018, seventy-three years after the Allies’ mass murder in Dresden, we inhabit the money changer’s house, where Christ on the Cross is sold not just for a buck, but for a bucket of Talmudic vindication.
Source: The Unz Review
New skeleton find could reveal more about Vesuvius eruption
The remains of a man presumed to be aged 40-45 were found under metres of volcanic rock roughly where Herculaneum’s shoreline used to be, before Vesuvius’ explosion in 79 AD pushed it back by 500 metres (1,640 feet).
He was lying down, facing inland, and probably saw death in the face as he was overwhelmed by the molten lava that buried his city, the head of the Herculaneum archaeological park, Francesco Sirano, told the ANSA news agency.
“He could have been a rescuer”, Sirano suggested.
As Vesuvius erupted, a naval fleet came to the rescue, led by the ancient Roman scholar and commander Pliny the Elder. He died on the shore, but it is believed that his officers managed to evacuate hundreds of survivors.
The skeleton might have otherwise belonged to “one of the fugitives” who was trying to get on one of the lifeboats, “perhaps the unlucky last one of a group that had managed to sail off,” Sirano suggested.
It was found covered by charred wood remains, including a beam from a building that may have smashed his skull, while his bones appear bright red, possibly blood markings left as the victim was engulfed in the volcanic discharge.
Archaeologists also found traces of tissue and metal objects — likely the remains of personal belongings he was fleeing with: maybe a bag, work tools, or even weapons or coins, the head of the archaeological park said.
Other human remains have been found in and around Herculaneum in the past decades — including a skull held in a Rome museum that some attribute to Pliny — but the latest discovery can be investigated with more modern techniques.
“Today we have the possibility of understanding more”, Sirano said.
Researchers believe that in Herculaneum temperatures rose up to 500 degrees — enough to vaporise soft tissues. In a phenomenon that is poorly understood, a rapid drop in temperature ensued, helping preserve what remained.
Although much smaller than Pompeii, its better-known neighbour outside the southern city of Naples, Herculaneum was a wealthier town with more exquisite architecture, much of which is still to be uncovered.
READ ALSO: Where are Italy’s active volcanoes?
Lou Reed: The Velvet Underground: an inside look at the band that gave a voice to the outsiders | USA
The importance of The Velvet Underground has been endlessly discussed. They are, with a nod to The Beatles, the modern rock group par excellence. Formed by Lou Reed and John Cale in New York in 1965, the band was immediately endorsed by Andy Warhol, with whom they would collaborate until 1967, although his influence would never leave them. The Velvet Underground were a sixties group that, during its five years of existence, failed to fit into their era for a single day. While others sung of love and good vibrations, they designed a revolutionary and perverse alternative for rock.
It was an alternative that remains valid to this day, half a century after the group was mortally wounded by the departure of Reed in August 1970. To corroborate this, Apple TV will premiere The Velvet Underground in October. Directed by Todd Haynes, the documentary is full of never-before-seen footage and interviews with people who were in the thick of it at the time, more than compensating for a dearth of movies about a band that can be described as legendary without fear of slipping into musical nepotism.
The documentary arrives in good company. At the end of September I’ll be your mirror: A tribute to The Velvet Underground & Nico was released, an album of cover versions of the group’s influential debut album when the line-up consisted of Reed, Cale, Sterling Morrison and Moe Tucker. A posthumous work by producer Hal Willner, who died of Covid-19 in 2020, it features contributions by Thurston Moore, Sharon van Etten, Iggy Pop, Kurt Vile, Courtney Barnett and Michael Stipe, among others.
Speaking about the original The Velvet Underground & Nico, released in 1967, Haynes said in an interview with Uncut magazine earlier this year that it is music that makes you think about how fragile identity is, and also about life. The journalist Susana Monteagudo concurs with Haynes. “The Velvet Underground were the first punk group in terms of transgression of codes and creative freedom,” says the author of books including Illustrated History of Rock and Amy Winehouse. Stranger than her. “As well as practicing the philosophy of do-it-yourself and rejecting the commercial course of the music industry, they subverted the establishment by making dissidence visible on every level, not just in artistic terms. They embraced the marginal and they were too nihilistic, cynical and sinister for the Flower Power era.”
The Velvet Underground did not belong to their time, but to the future. Cale wanted to fuse rock and roll with experimental music. Reed’s lyrics were open to the influence of writers like Burroughs, Delmore Schwartz and John Rechy. They were a loud and screeching band, but they also composed melodic songs. This contrast is most evident on The Velvet Underground & Nico, which contains some of the group’s most beautiful songs. I’ll be your mirror and Femme Fatale are sung by Nico (who also provides vocals on the chorus of Sunday morning, originally written for her but eventually sung by Reed), one of the most conflicting elements of the band.
For trans artist Roberta Marrero, Nico, the German model and singer who died in 1988, was an “icon of undisputable beauty, as well as being a pioneer who opened the door for other greats like Siouxsie.” In spite of her beauty, Nico did not fit the prevailing pop girl model of the time. Her singing style was far removed from traditional rock and openly reflected her Germanic and Gothic roots. Her inscrutable personality was married to a talent that after she left the Velvet Underground would manifest itself in unclassifiable works such as The marble index (1969), whose idiosyncrasy – tearing up the blueprint of pop music and exploring musical latitudes reserved for men – would inspire Kate Bush and Björk, as well as more contemporary artists such as Julia Holter, St Vincent and Anohni.
The Velvet Underground also broke with the heterosexual tradition of rock music. In Monteagudo’s view, in addition to creating a literary imagery “where there was room for homosexuals, trans women, prostitutes, junkies and outsiders in general,” they were also “a band not exclusively made up of males, and men who at the same time did not identify with a heteronormative masculinity, especially in the case of Lou Reed. They integrated and normalized diversity in their sphere because their way of life was linked to this concept. It was also the dawning of the ambiguous, the queer.” Marrero believes that “they brought non-normative sexualities to the forefront, such as sadism, more so than homosexuality. Although when I think about it, I’m waiting for my man could be talking about a gigolo and not a drug-dealer. In reality, it’s very ambiguous.”
This divorce from the prevailing canons also had a lot do with the presence of Maureen “Moe” Tucker. Her drum work with the band anticipated a trend that would not take hold until 1977, with the explosion of punk. From that point on, the female role in groups ceased to be principally pigeon-holed into certain instruments and roles. In Monteagudo’s opinion, Tucker is “a key element of this breaking of stereotypes and, as such, a figure to be held up by feminism. Her playing style, as unorthodox as it was influential, is one of those achievements that should be emphasized by the movement. Furthermore, her androgynous image and her discretion made her a counterpoint to Nico’s glamour.”
Revered by bands such as The Jesus and Mary Chain, who dedicated a song to her, and as Marrero asserts, a precursor to drummers such as Hannah Billie, formerly of Gossip, Tucker is, along with Cale, one of the survivors of the Velvet Underground’s original line-up. Due to her social media stance on Donald Trump and gun ownership, Tucker has also become the band’s least popular member.
Warhol’s influence was a determining factor behind The Velvet Underground developing such a peculiar personality. In the strictly musical sense, the band projected through their instruments some of the ideas on repetition, improvisation and saturation that the artist applied to his experimental movies. On the literary side, the people who frequented Warhol’s Factory left their mark on songs including That’s the story of my life (inspired by Billy Name, the Factory’s archivist) Femme fatale (inspired by the ‘it’ girl Edie Sedgwick) or the Reed-penned Candy says, which is about Candy Darling, an icon of the trans community.
“When Candy says was released in 1969 nothing changed,” says Marrero, “but I think it was a marvelous celebration of trans culture on the part of the group. It is one of my favorite songs. You have to read the lyrics in a historical context because all that stuff about being trans and hating your body is a discourse that is now quite outdated in our community.” Marrero also notes that, years later, Reed was in a relationship with a trans colleague, Rachel Humphries, the two sharing a “romantic relationship that was utterly silenced by the hetero-ciscentric music press.”
When he started his solo career Reed would again talk about Candy Darling and other trans actresses on Walk on the wild side, one of the hits on his acclaimed 1972 album Transformer, a record that finally delivered many of The Velvet Underground’s artistic ideas to a wider audience. By that time, David Bowie, Patti Smith, Suicide, Modern Lovers and New York Dolls we ready to do the group’s legacy justice.
A Treasure of Old Christian Paintings in a Russian Church in a Remote Forest
One of the editors of RI actually visited this church this summer, and we can assure you, it is REMOTE! Brumfield, in his understated way, doesn’t describe the condition of the road leading to this village, but it is barely passable at times. The number of remarkable architectural and other treasures hiding in the Russian hinterlands, especially in the north, is rather extraordinary.
This article is from a series by the invaluable William Brumfield, (Wikipedia), Professor of Slavic Studies at Tulane University, New Orleans, USA.
Brumfield is the world’s leading historian of Russian architecture. He makes frequent trips to Russia, often to her remote regions, and records the most unusual examples of surviving architecture with detailed, professional photography.
His most recent book is a real treasure, Architecture At The End Of The Earth, Photographing The Russian North (2015). (Amazon). This truly beautiful book was made possible by the support of a US philanthropist, and its true cost is 3 times its retail price, and we can’t recommend it highly enough. Here is our 2015 review of it.
Bravo to RBTH for making Brumfield’s work possible, and providing such a great platform for his beautiful photography. We recommend visiting the RBTH page, which has a slide show for each article with many more pictures than we can fit in here.
Don’t believe in miracles? Well, we can assure you, Brumfield’s work is undoubtedly just that. You can find a complete list of his articles on RI here.
The original headline for this article was: The Church at Korovye: Abandoned Treasure of Russian Art
The turbulence of the past century has left many abandoned architectural monuments in Russia’s regions — parish churches, former estate houses, log houses and churches in villages where no one lives. However modest, they all reflect the history of their area, and some of them are — or were — masterpieces of creativity.
One of these monuments is located in the tiny village of Korovye near the Viga River just off the road to Chukhloma. Although the village name is modestly derived from the word for “cow,” its church has the imposing and unusual dedication to the Convocation of the Mother of God. Within the abandoned church is one of the most unusual displays of religious art in all Russia. On the walls of the main structure, the artist in effect created a miniature Renaissance palazzo for the display of the sacred images.
The village of Korovye was originally known as Verkhniaia pustyn (“Upper wilderness”), a reference to one of the three monastic retreats founded in the Chukhloma area by St. Avraamy Gorodetsky. Dissolved in the middle of the 18th century, the small monastery’s two wooden churches — dedicated to the Convocation of the Virgin and to Elijah the Prophet — were converted to use as parish churches. In 1797, parishioners provided resources to rebuild the former as a large brick church that would serve a group of 34 villages (most of which no longer exist).
Attributed to the noted Kostroma architect Stepan A. Vorotilov (1741-1792), the design reveals a professional mastery unusual for a rural church. Whereas typical parish churches had a sprawling refectory with additional altars that pushed the main structure away from the bell tower, here all the components are tightly integrated.
The structure rests on a ground floor that contained secondary altars and was used for worship in the winter months. Above the ground floor rise the essential components of a parish church: the main worship space with two rows of windows and five cupolas, a rectangular apse for the primary altar at the east end and on the west, a compact refectory and magnificent bell tower over the main entrance.
This sophisticated, technically demanding design created a coherent visual tie between the primary components of the church: the bell tower and the core structure with five cupolas. The main interior space on the upper floor was dominated by an elegant neoclassical iconostasis.
The majestic character of this design was demonstrated when the Convocation Church was chosen for a visit by Emperor Alexander I and his wife Empress Elizabeth on their way back from a visit to the Urals territory in the fall of 1824. Indeed, during the first half of the 19th century, this church could claim to be the most imposing in the Chukhloma region, surpassing even those in Chukhloma itself.
A fire in the late 1890s damaged much of the interior and led to a major renovation that extended from 1903 to 1906. On the ground floor, a refectory (containing altars to Elijah the Prophet, St. Nicholas and St. Avraamy Gorodetsky) was expanded on the north and south sides. The expansion was artfully hidden by a grand staircase that curved upward from both sides to the main portal on the second level of the bell tower. This skillful renovation — and particularly the stairway — gave the church a still more imposing appearance as it soared above the two main streets of the village.
Yet the great miracle occurred on the interior, whose walls were repainted under the direction of a Moscow artist identified as Anufry A. Bakhvalov, a native of this area. Although the work of Anufry Bakhvalov is little known, the scope of imagination represented by these wall paintings is extraordinary, even daring. The artist did not simply depict the religious subjects in a Renaissance-based style typical of academic painting, he painted the subjects within imposing Renaissance frames situated between neoclassical columns with lavish composite capitals — and all of this in trompe l’oeil (on a flat, two-dimensional surface). At some points, Bakhvalov even painted the shadows cast by the illusory frames. The interior space had become a miniature Renaissance art gallery.
Surviving fragments of the paintings on the north and south walls include full-length figures of St. Vladimir, St. Catherine, St. Nicetas and St Macarius on the lower level between the windows. The upper level of the north and south walls is devoted primarily to a portrayal of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John with their symbols — another unusual artistic decision. (The Evangelists are often depicted on spandrels beneath the main dome, but spandrels are absent in this structure.) On the south wall are John (now effaced) with the eagle, and Mark with an endearingly vivid depiction of a guardian lion. On the north wall are Matthew, compelling in his concentration and assisted by an adoring angel; and Luke with the bull (both largely destroyed). The north wall also contains a depiction of Christ with Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus — one of the most moving episodes in the Gospel account of the life of Christ.
Equal to the Evangelists in their artistry are the three scenes above the arch in the west wall: the Miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes (Christ feeding the Multitudes) on the left side; Pentecost (Mary and the Apostles) in the center; and a vivid depiction of Balthazar’s Feast on the north side of the west wall. Throughout, there is evidence of the artist’s knowledge of Renaissance art, particularly in Balthazar’s Feast, which depicts armed horsemen storming through the gate of the burning city. On the east, the apse contained a depiction of the Last Supper, now almost effaced.
The ceiling vaults in their height represented a culmination of the visual program. Although much has been lost, fragments remain of the august display of the Synaxis (Gathering) of the Archangels, part of the larger concept of the Convocation of the Virgin. Crowned archangels and angels gather on the north and south flanks, while the east flank was devoted to the cartouche with the Crucifixion (destroyed). The west flank presumably had a depiction of the Mother of God enthroned.
Unfortunately, the Convocation Church’s glory days were soon eclipsed by the rise to power of an avowedly atheistic regime. Although it survived longer than many other churches, the Convocation Church was closed in 1937 during a renewed wave of terror against religion. Subsequently the icons were removed, and the ground level was used as a storehouse for various purposes. The cupolas were destroyed, and in the 1980s, the area of the church was apparently used as a detention center for juvenile delinquents.
Unprotected and exposed to the elements as well as vandalism, the artwork of the upper level began to collapse. Recently, the roof of the church was replaced and the arch in the upper west wall was reinforced with a firm wooden brace. The upper level has been swept of debris, but the interior is still exposed and under threat of further deterioration. The fate of the remains of this extraordinary artistic creation is still in question.
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