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No Agenda Episode 452

By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 12:14 PM.

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By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 12:15 PM.

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Bad Actors

NEW Video From Al Qaeda's #1 Urges HOLY WAR Against US & Israel For Video Mocking Muhammad

Jay Carney Defends VP Biden Statement "We Weren't Told" About Request For Extra Security In Libya

'I'm Generally Dumber' Than My Colleagues

Link to Article

Sat, 13 Oct 2012 14:04

State Dept Spokesman Dodges Benghazi Questions: 'I'm Generally Dumber' Than My Colleagues

As Benghazi blame nears Hillary, Clintons grow furious

Link to Article

Sat, 13 Oct 2012 05:32

With tensions between President Obama and the Clintons at a new high, former President Bill Clinton is moving fast to develop a contingency plan for how his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, should react if Obama attempts to tie the Benghazi fiasco around her neck, according to author Ed Klein.

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller, Klein said sources close to the Clintons tell him that Bill Clinton has assembled an informal legal team to discuss how the Secretary of State should deal with the issue of being blamed for not preventing the Benghazi terrorist attack last month.

White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters during a press conference Friday that responsibility for the consulate in Libya fell on the State Department, not the White House.

If blame for the security failures falls to Hillary Clinton, Klein said, it's possible that she would even consider resigning over the issue.

''Bill is working on a number of strategies about what Hillary ought to do. He's even gone so far as to play with various doomsday scenarios including up to the idea that Hillary would consider resigning over the issue if the Obama team tries to use her as a scapegoat,'' Klein told TheDC in an interview.

Klein '-- the best-selling author of the Amateur, a book on President Obama '-- elaborated on his reporting in an op-ed for The Daily Caller.

As of Friday afternoon, the White House, the State Department and the former president's office did not return requests from The Daily Caller for comment on Klein's reporting.

But as for the chance that Hillary Clinton would resign, Klein said in the interview: ''At this moment, it appears unlikely that she's going to do that. I mean that would be an extreme step for her to take.''

''Not only would it be hard to predict how it would play out as far as Hillary is concerned in the future, but it would certainly damage Obama's chances for re-election if she resigned,'' he said.

Klein said relations between the Clintons and President Obama have reached a new low, most recently with Obama ignoring Bill Clinton's offer to help him and Vice President Joe Biden prepare for the debates with the Republican ticket.

''He had very clear ideas on how they should do that,'' Klein told TheDC. ''He never once got a response. And it absolutely sent him into orbit. He was furious that he would be treated this way, especially after what he did, in his view, at the Democratic convention in giving that nomination speech for Obama.''

Added Klein: ''His fury turned to deep concern when the Benghazi business unfolded because he was deeply troubled by the appearance that the White House was going to throw Hillary under the bus, which in fact it appears it is doing.''

Klein said Bill Clinton's informal legal team is made up of people he's used in the past in legal situations. He asked them by phone to tell him how Hillary Clinton should handle this situation and what to do if she is subpoenaed to testify to the House Oversight Committee and provide them with memos regarding Benghazi.

The author said the situation is obviously complicated by Obama's re-election, but also the possibility that Hillary would run in 2016.

''If she is left with this stain on her reputation, it could seriously damage her chances for election,'' Klein told TheDC. ''And this is what is really bothering Bill more than anything.''Follow Alex on Twitter

U.S. intelligence set back when Libya base was abandoned

Link to Article

Sat, 13 Oct 2012 05:27

U.S. intelligence set back when Libya base was abandonedTop News

U.S. intelligence set back when Libya base was abandoned

Fri, Oct 12 19:51 PM EDT

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. intelligence efforts in Libya have suffered a significant setback due to the abandonment and exposure of a facility in Benghazi, Libya identified by a newspaper as a "CIA base" following a congressional hearing this week, according to U.S. government sources.

The intelligence post, located 1.2 miles from the U.S. mission that was targeted by militants in a September 11 attack, was evacuated of Americans after the assault that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Three other Americans died in the attacks on U.S.-occupied buildings, including two who were hit in a mortar blast at the secret compound.

The publication of satellite photos showing the site's location and layout have made it difficult, if not impossible, for intelligence agencies to reoccupy the site, according to government sources, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The post had been a base for, among other things, collecting information on the proliferation of weaponry looted from Libyan government arsenals, including surface-to-air missiles, the sources said. Its security features, including some fortifications, sensors and cameras, were more advanced than those at rented villa where Stevens died, they said.

The sources said intelligence agencies will find other ways to collect information in Libya in the aftermath of last year's toppling of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi.

"Benghazi played a critical role in the emergence of the new Libya and will continue to do so. It makes sense that we would return there to continue to build relationships," one U.S. official said.

Public discussion of the top-secret location began with a contentious Wednesday hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which was investigating whether security lapses put Americans at risk.

The State Department displayed a satellite photograph showing two locations - the rented villa that served as a special diplomatic mission and the compound that officials had cryptically described as an "annex" or "safe house" for diplomatic personnel.

Both compounds were attacked by militants believed to be tied to al Qaeda. After the diplomatic complex was overrun, U.S. and Libyan personnel rushed by car to the second site, where they fought off two more waves of assaults, officials said.

Charlene Lamb, a top official in the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, told lawmakers that the secret compound took "as many as three direct hits."

Two U.S. security officials, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, were killed there in what U.S. officials described as an unlucky mortar strike. As many as 37 people eventually escaped to Benghazi's airport.

When the satellite photo was displayed, a senior committee Republican, Representative Jason Chaffetz, complained that the discussion was drifting into "classified issues that deal with sources and methods," and the photo was removed from public display. No one at the hearing used the term "CIA base" to describe the facility.

'BONEHEADED QUESTIONING'

The next morning, Dana Milbank, a Washington Post columnist, wrote that the committee's "boneheaded questioning" of State Department witnesses left little doubt that the compound in the pictures was a "CIA base."

The Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank with ties to the Obama White House, followed up with a blog post accusing Republicans of revealing the "Location Of Secret CIA Base."

On Friday, Representative Dutch Ruppersberger, top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, accused Republicans of mishandling secret information.

Spokespeople for the State Department and White House had no comment. The CIA also had no comment.

Oversight committee spokesman Frederick Hill said committee Democrats made matters worse by asking questions about the satellite photos. "Even after Republicans objected, Democrats continued to ask questions that led State officials to put even more sensitive information about who worked there into the public realm," Hill said.

The dispute over who was responsible for identifying the base is the latest case in which intelligence agencies - particularly the CIA - have been dragged into a political fray over the Benghazi attack.

The Obama administration's handling of the Benghazi attacks has become fodder for criticism from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan ahead of the November 6 election.

Intelligence officials are not happy at being drawn into the political battle. Paul Pillar, one of the CIA's former most senior analysts, said the agency is sure to be dismayed at how its sensitive work has been dragged into the debate.

"They're trying to do the best they can with fragmentary and incomplete information. No doubt they are very unhappy that this issue is now being exploited for political purposes," Pillar said.

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Marilyn W. Thompson and Will Dunham)

U.S. intelligence set back when Libya base was abandonedTop News

U.S. intelligence set back when Libya base was abandoned

Fri, Oct 12 19:51 PM EDT

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. intelligence efforts in Libya have suffered a significant setback due to the abandonment and exposure of a facility in Benghazi, Libya identified by a newspaper as a "CIA base" following a congressional hearing this week, according to U.S. government sources.

The intelligence post, located 1.2 miles from the U.S. mission that was targeted by militants in a September 11 attack, was evacuated of Americans after the assault that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Three other Americans died in the attacks on U.S.-occupied buildings, including two who were hit in a mortar blast at the secret compound.

The publication of satellite photos showing the site's location and layout have made it difficult, if not impossible, for intelligence agencies to reoccupy the site, according to government sources, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The post had been a base for, among other things, collecting information on the proliferation of weaponry looted from Libyan government arsenals, including surface-to-air missiles, the sources said. Its security features, including some fortifications, sensors and cameras, were more advanced than those at rented villa where Stevens died, they said.

The sources said intelligence agencies will find other ways to collect information in Libya in the aftermath of last year's toppling of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi.

"Benghazi played a critical role in the emergence of the new Libya and will continue to do so. It makes sense that we would return there to continue to build relationships," one U.S. official said.

Public discussion of the top-secret location began with a contentious Wednesday hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which was investigating whether security lapses put Americans at risk.

The State Department displayed a satellite photograph showing two locations - the rented villa that served as a special diplomatic mission and the compound that officials had cryptically described as an "annex" or "safe house" for diplomatic personnel.

Both compounds were attacked by militants believed to be tied to al Qaeda. After the diplomatic complex was overrun, U.S. and Libyan personnel rushed by car to the second site, where they fought off two more waves of assaults, officials said.

Charlene Lamb, a top official in the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, told lawmakers that the secret compound took "as many as three direct hits."

Two U.S. security officials, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, were killed there in what U.S. officials described as an unlucky mortar strike. As many as 37 people eventually escaped to Benghazi's airport.

When the satellite photo was displayed, a senior committee Republican, Representative Jason Chaffetz, complained that the discussion was drifting into "classified issues that deal with sources and methods," and the photo was removed from public display. No one at the hearing used the term "CIA base" to describe the facility.

'BONEHEADED QUESTIONING'

The next morning, Dana Milbank, a Washington Post columnist, wrote that the committee's "boneheaded questioning" of State Department witnesses left little doubt that the compound in the pictures was a "CIA base."

The Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank with ties to the Obama White House, followed up with a blog post accusing Republicans of revealing the "Location Of Secret CIA Base."

On Friday, Representative Dutch Ruppersberger, top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, accused Republicans of mishandling secret information.

Spokespeople for the State Department and White House had no comment. The CIA also had no comment.

Oversight committee spokesman Frederick Hill said committee Democrats made matters worse by asking questions about the satellite photos. "Even after Republicans objected, Democrats continued to ask questions that led State officials to put even more sensitive information about who worked there into the public realm," Hill said.

The dispute over who was responsible for identifying the base is the latest case in which intelligence agencies - particularly the CIA - have been dragged into a political fray over the Benghazi attack.

The Obama administration's handling of the Benghazi attacks has become fodder for criticism from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan ahead of the November 6 election.

Intelligence officials are not happy at being drawn into the political battle. Paul Pillar, one of the CIA's former most senior analysts, said the agency is sure to be dismayed at how its sensitive work has been dragged into the debate.

"They're trying to do the best they can with fragmentary and incomplete information. No doubt they are very unhappy that this issue is now being exploited for political purposes," Pillar said.

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Marilyn W. Thompson and Will Dunham)

EUROLand

European Union Wins Nobel Peace Prize

NOT Everyone Is Happy About The EU Winning A Nobel Peace Prize

Iran to Create Islamic 'Nobel Prize'

Link to Article

Source: RIA Novosti

Sat, 13 Oct 2012 15:40

Iran, which only has one Nobel Prize laureate, announced the inception of a rival award intended solely for outstanding scientists of the Islamic world, the country's news agency Fars said on Saturday.

The Great Prophet World Prize will be bestowed biennially on ''the Muslim world scientists in three technological fields in which Iran has also make outstanding progress,'' said Iranian Vice President for Science and Technology Nasrin Soltankhah.

She did not identify the fields covered by the Great Prophet World Prize, but said it would help prepare Muslim scientists for tighter competition over global awards such as the Nobel Prize, identified in the report as ''the Noble prize.''

The Nobel Prize, established in 1901, currently has six categories. The only Iranian to win it so far has been human rights activist Shirin Ebadi, now living in London, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.

SP wil opheldering Amerikaanse toegang tot Nederlandse cloud

Link to Article

Source: ZapLog

Sun, 14 Oct 2012 12:39

De Socialistische Partij eist in kamervragen opheldering over het rapport waaruit blijkt dat de Amerikaanse overheid toegang heeft tot gegevens in de Nederlandse cloud.De kamerleden Sharon Gesthuizen en Harry van Bommel willen van de Ministers van Binnenlandse Zaken en Veiligheid en Justitie weten hoe ver die toegang gaat.

Zo maken zij zich zorgen over geheimen, handelsinformatie en gegevens over burgers die nu mogelijk ten onrechte in handen van de Amerikanen zouden zijn.

Ook vragen ze zich af of gegevens die burgers aan de overheid hebben verstrekt ook bij de opgevraagde informatie zit.

Wetgeving

Ook vragen de politici zich of...

Annotaties:

Persbericht Rapport IViR, op verzoek van SURF, biedt inzicht in rol Patriot Act bij gebruik cloud computing

Link to Article

Sun, 14 Oct 2012 12:42

Amerikaanse en Nederlandse wetgeving vragen om weldoordacht gebruik cloud computing

Utrecht 12 oktober 2012 - Het Instituut voor Informatierecht (IViR) heeft onafhankelijk onderzoek gedaan naar de toegang van overheden tot data die zich in de cloud bevinden. Het onderzoek is uitgevoerd op verzoek van SURF, de ICT samenwerkingsorganisatie voor hoger onderwijs en onderzoek.Belangrijkste aanleiding voor het onderzoek zijn veel gestelde vragen over de Amerikaanse Patriot Act1. Hoofdconclusie van het onderzoek is dat het voor hogeronderwijsinstellingen in Nederland zaak is zicht te krijgen en te houden op de condities waaronder justitie en veiligheidsdiensten toegang hebben tot data en de daarmee samenhangende risico's. Er moet daarbij verder worden gekeken dan de Patriot Act, die symbool staat voor meer wet- en regelgeving van de VS over overheidstoegang tot (cloud)data. Het volledige rapport, inclusief de managementsamenvatting, is hier te downloaden.

Amerikaanse jurisdictierappo

De huidige wetgeving in zowel de Verenigde Staten als in Nederland zorgt ervoor dat bevoegde instanties de mogelijkheid hebben om gegevens van kennisinstellingen op te vragen. Het maakt daarbij in principe niet uit of die gegevens in het eigen datacenter of in de cloud staan. Wanneer de gegevens in een cloud staan bij een leverancier die onder Amerikaanse jurisdictie valt, kunnen de gegevens direct vanuit de VS bij de betreffende onderneming/instelling opgevraagd worden. Is dat niet het geval dan kan een verzoek tot inzage worden gedaan via de Nederlandse justitie of veiligheidsdiensten. Het is juridisch gezien niet mogelijk om tegen te houden dat bepaalde data worden opgevraagd door de overheid als deze een relatie legt met staatsveiligheid of strafvordering.

Wilma Mossink, juridisch adviseur van SURF: ''Dat overheden toegang tot gegevens kunnen krijgen is niet nieuw. De overgang naar cloud computing roept wel vragen op over de veranderende context en de consequenties hiervan. Het is volgens het IViR te verwachten dat het opvragen van gegevens uit de cloud door overheden alleen maar zal toenemen gezien de hoeveelheid gegevens die daarin worden ondergebracht. Hoe vaak dat nu gebeurt, is moeilijk na te gaan. Het is daarom niet aan te geven hoe groot het risico daadwerkelijk is. Toch is het belangrijk dat instellingen zich bewust zijn van dit risico bij het onderbrengen van data in de cloud.

Joris van Hoboken, onderzoeker van het IViR voegt hieraan toe: ''De actuele kwestie rond de Patriot Act is nauwelijks grondig onderzocht. Hierdoor zijn in het maatschappelijke debat over cloud computing flink wat onjuistheden geslopen. Het maakt bijvoorbeeld in beginsel niet uit of cloudgegevens in de VS of ergens anders in de wereld zijn opgeslagen. Als een Nederlandse cloudaanbieder structureel zaken doet in de VS, dan geeft VS wet- en regelgeving al de mogelijkheid voor VS autoriteiten om gegevens op te vragen vanuit Nederland. Voor afnemers van clouddiensten zullen zulke relaties in de praktijk moeilijk te achterhalen zijn en door overnames in de sector kan de situatie opeens veranderen.''

Gegevensclassificatie voor de cloud

Op basis van dit onderzoek en eerder verschenen onderzoek naar het gebruik van de cloud en privacy, is SURF van mening dat per soort gegevens bekeken moet worden wat de risico's zijn. Op basis van een dergelijke classificatie kan worden vastgesteld waar public clouddiensten van marktpartijen ingezet kunnen worden. Om optimale rechtsbescherming te garanderen in geval van gegevens met een te hoog risico, kan het nodig zijn om bepaalde afgeschermde community clouddiensten speciaal voor het hoger onderwijs in te richten.

De hogeronderwijsinstellingen hebben binnen SURF gekozen voor een strategie waarin cloud computing een belangrijke rol speelt. Ze werken actief samen aan gemeenschappelijk beleid, onderzoekstrajecten en adoptieprojecten voor een weldoordacht gebruik van de cloud.

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Voetnoot 1 - Patriot Act

De Patriot Act uit 2001 is onderdeel van een complex geheel aan Amerikaanse wetgeving op het gebied van toegang tot gegevens voor justitie, politie en veiligheidsdiensten. Andere belangrijke wetgeving op dit gebied is de FISA uit 1978 en de FAA uit 2008. De Patriot Act is aangenomen in reactie op de aanslagen van 11 september 2001 in de Verenigde Staten.

ALL POLITICAL NAMES DELETED FROM THE LAGARDE LIST!

Link to Article

Source: VENITISM

Sat, 13 Oct 2012 05:47

Two former directors of the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE), John Kapeleris andJohn Diotis, are to face prosecutors next week. Financial prosecutors GregoryPeponis and Spyros Mouzakitis demand explanations from the two SDOE directors asto why no use was made of the contents of a file containing the depositors'names, acquired in 2010 by George Papaconstantiou from Lagarde.Papaconstantinou and Evangelos Venizelos of Pasok, who gave the list toauthorities only last month, are expected to be summoned over the coming days aspart of the investigation. The Finance Ministry earlier this week asked theFrench Finance Ministry to resend a copy of the file given to Papaconstantinou,because the original version has been tampered with over the years, as allpolitical names have been deleted from the list!

The impunity of the 300 MPs of the Grand Brothel of Democracy on Syntagma Squareis the most freakish thing on Earth. Even though Graecokleptocrats loot manybillion euros in bribes and churning, Graecokleptocrats cannot go to jail!Graecokleptocrats are protected by the parliamentary immunity, and nobody cantouch them, no matter what. Moreover, they have the nerve to jail dissidentbloggers. It's a long way from the 300 Spartans of Leonidas! Allons enfants dela Grece!

Michael Christoforakos, former president of the Greek subsidiary of Siemens,revealed some names of the 200 Graecokleptocrats, who shared two billion eurosin kickbacks, to the prosecutor of Munich, where he escaped from Greece. Healso deposited all names with two public notaries in Munich, in case he getsmurdered by agents of Graecokleptocrats. This way he stays alive! But theGreek government has not pressed charges against the 200 Graecokleptocrats,because they are protected by immunity and they are in power in Greece, membersand ex-members of the Greek government and parliament. You just cannot presscharges against yourself! Moreover, the Greek government does not even revealtheir names for the voters to know who they are voting for.

Christoforakos also revealed the names of twenty journalists who received manymillion euros in hush money to keep their mouth shut about the billion eurokickbacks to the 200 Graecokleptocrats. Needless to say, thoseGraecokleptocrats who did not receive kickbacks are also guilty, because theyall knew about the bribery of their colleagues and said nothing about it. Thesuitcases with the cash were whistling around them. There is no way they couldnot hear all that loud whistling! So, in reality we are talking about fourhundred guilty people! Since Greeks continue to vote for the same crooks againand again, they deserve what they get!

The largest bribes originate in the military industry. Military procurement is acorrupt business from top to bottom. The process is dominated by advocacy, withfew checks and balances. Most people in power love this system of doing businessand do not want it changed. War and preparation for war systematically corruptall parties to the state-private transactions by which the government obtainsthe bulk of its military products. There is a standard 10% bribe to kleptocratsfor military purchases.Participants in the military-industrial-kleptocrat complex (MIKC) are routinelyblamed for mismanagement, fraud, abuse, bribes, and waste. All of these unsavoryactions, however, are typically viewed as aberrations, malfeasances to becovered-up, while retaining the basic system of state-private cooperation in thetrade of military goods and services and the flow of bribes. These offenses arein reality expressions of a thoroughgoing, intrinsic rottenness in the entiresetup.

We all know what happens at Olympics, an international competition of steroids,not athletes. People feel well during the games, but feel miserable after thegames when they find out Olympics cost them ten times more than projected, andmost of it went to kickbacks of kleptocrats! The Athens Olympics cost wasprojected to two billion euros, but it finally cost Greek taxpayers thirtybillion euros, with all that extra money going not to the games, but to theprivate pockets of Graecokleptocrats.

In Greece, the most corrupt country of Fourth Reich, trains run completely emptyto nowhere! Many trains bought from Germany do not fit the rails, but they werebought just to generate bribes! In 2009, investigators of the MunichProsecution Department uncovered a corruption affair, in which MAN has givenhuge bribes to Greek politicians to get large orders for overpriced trolleys. Astreetcar named desire! These trolleys with huge markups are named bribes! ButGreek prosecutors have started investigating this scandal just in September of2012! Many Pasok politicians, such as Christos Verelis and MarilizaXenoyiannakopoulou, are now investigated by the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE).Partyfare is a new political disease. Partyfare allows political parties to robthe State Treasury and banks by a simple vote in the parliament! The cost ofGreek politics is the highest in Fourth Reich. Recently, a thirty-million-euroinjection was granted again by the Grand Brothel of Democracy on Syntagma Squareto its hookers! Political parties in Greece are the highest funded in Europe asa proportion of tax revenue, ten times more than in Germany. The Greek politicalparties receive fifteen euros per vote in State funding, the highest in Europe.

Switzerland arming in preparation for European meltdown? '-- RT

Link to Article

Sat, 13 Oct 2012 05:17

Members of Switzerland's Army Forces (Reuters / Thomas Hodel)

The Swiss Army is preparing contingency plans for violent unrest across Europe. A nation mostly famous for its banks, watches and chocolate fears it may face a massive influx of European refugees in the near future.

One of the world's richest nations openly expressed concerns over the possible outcome of Europe's continuing financial troubles, and is currently conducting army exercises against the possibility of riots along its borders.

In September, the Swiss military conducted exercises dubbed 'Stabilo Due,' with scenarios involving violent instability across the EU.

Switzerland has maintained an avowedly neutral stance for decades, and refused to join the eurozone when presented with the opportunity.

Bern's biggest fear is likely the disorganization of neighboring nations' armies that would follow general instability; the eurozone crisis and the severe austerity measures in the EU are forcing member-states to significantly slash their military budgets. If protest continues to spread across Europe, police and armed forces may find themselves ill-equipped to manage the unrest.

"I will not rule out that we will need the army in the coming years,'' Swiss Defense Minister Ueli Maurer said last Sunday.

The Swiss Defense Ministry has pressed ahead to modernize the country's army despite political opposition. With its multibillion-Franc military budget and an army of around 200,000 soldiers, the country also plans to purchase new 'Saab Gripen' jet fighters.

''Minister Maurer, accompanied by whispers from the top uniformed leadership in Switzerland, is trying to raise awareness that Europe's massive fiscal-cum-political crisis could get very unpleasant,'' John R. Schindler, a professor of national security affairs at the US Naval War College wrote in an article for the XX Committee website.

The Chief of the Swiss Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Andr(C) Blattmann, likewise revealed plans to deploy an additional four battalions of military police (1,600 soldiers) to protect strategic points across the country. Blattmann is expected to present the plan in December.

Professor Schindler predicts that, ''if the next Anders Brievik were to target Muslims, not fellow Europeans, things could get unimaginably ugly very quickly,'' which could trigger widespread Muslim uprisings in Europe.

Switzerland, however, stands in stark opposition to the multicultural policies and thinking now common in other European nations. In 2009, Switzerland passed a national referendum banning the construction of Islamic minarets .

And while the global economic crisis has forced several European nations to cut military expenditures, Switzerland has maintained relatively consistent levels of defense spending.

Cyber War$

City Of Burlington Has Entire Bank Account Emptied By Hackers

"Cyber Attacks Could Be As Destructive As The Terrorist Attacks On 9/11!" Sec Of Defense Panetta

CNN: Iranian Hackers Have Launched A CYBER WAR On American Targets According To The WSJ

Spreading Iranian cyber attacks hit Israeli military, US financial and Gulf oil targets

Link to Article

Source: DEBKAFile

Sat, 13 Oct 2012 15:50

A week ago, on Oct. 6, an unmanned Iranian aerial vehicle with stealth attributes breached Israeli air space. By eluding Israel's radar, the UAV exposed serious gaps in its air defenses. Thursday, Oct. 11, Hizballah's Hassan Nasrallah admitting the drone had come from Lebanon, promised it would not be the last. He seemed to be mocking Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his reliance on strong border fences to keep Israel safe.A week went by and Saturday, Oct. 13, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) website quoted its chief, Lt. Gen. Ali Jabari as stating that his naval and missile forces are on ''strategic deterrent readiness'' '' a novel term just invented by the Islamic Republic. He spoke Friday at an army base in Khorrasan, during a tour with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Iranian general hinted that the Iranian-Hizballah drone had been able to come close to Israel's nuclear reactor in Dimona.Both admissions that Iran and Hizballah were conducting military cyber warfare on Israel were tinged with contempt, arising from the certainty that Israel would not retaliate for the UAV's invasion any more than it had responded to the posting of thousands of Iranian elite Al Qods troops just across its Syrian and Lebanese borders.Shortly after Nasrallah spoke, the US Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan managed to break through VP Joe Biden's interruptions to reveal the stark fact that Iran already possesses enough fissile material to make five nuclear bombs. The cat was finally out of the bag after years in which American and Israeli leaders contrived to keep this secret dark by verbal acrobatics and blinding showers of impenetrable ''facts and figures.''It was no slip of the tongue: Mitt Romney's running mate was briefed by the team which is preparing the candidate himself for his second debate against President Barack Obama next Tuesday, Oct. 16.

debkafile's Washington sources disclose that the team is headed by the former US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, who is slated for the job of National Security Adviser if Romney wins the Nov. 6 election.Ryan's revelation implied that a Romney administration's Iran policy would take off from the point of its possession of sufficient fissile material for a nuclear arsenal.

Not that this guarantees US military action against Iran's nuclear program under a new president - or even backing for an Israeli strike - only that now we all know that it is not necessary to destroy the 20 or more Iranian nuclear sites to demolish its program, only to home in on the stockpile of fissile material which took Tehran 20 years to enrich and accumulate.The Iranians, realizing their secret was out, are certainly not hiding their precious fissile stockpile of approximately one ton at the Fordo nuclear enrichment plant which continues to turn out more enriched uranium. This stock encased in a lead container no bigger than a large kitchen table could be concealed anywhere in the vast 1.6 million-square-kilometer area of the Islamic Republic of Iran.So a fleet of bombers and array of bunker buster bombs have become dispensable for pre-empting Iran's nuclear bomb aspirations. All that is needed is one missile '' provided of course that the vital core stock can be located.Also on Thursday, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta unveiled his ''pre-9/11 moment'' speech which revealed that for two weeks, hackers had been hammering the websites of big American banks, the Saudi national oil company Aramco and Qatar's Rasgas.

In a strong comment, he said the US would strike back and consider a preemptive strike against cyber terrorism, without saying how or actually naming Iran.However in leaks to the American media, former U.S. government officials and cyber-security experts reported that the administration believes Iranian-based hackers were responsible for what Panetta warned could be the first ''cyber Pearl Harbor'' against America.The Wall Street Journal pointed to a team of 100 Iranian experts as the perpetrators of the cyber attacks on America and the Gulf oil states.Tehran appears to be sending a message that if US-led sanctions continue to cut down its oil exports and restrict its banking business, Gulf oil producers and American banks would pay the price.Panetta's words may therefore be read as Washington's final warning to Iran to desist from cyber warfare.

In the days leading up to his speech on cyber-terror, the defense secretary was tireless in cautioning against the menace of the Syrian civil war spreading to neighboring countries and evoking Bashar Assad's threat to bring out and use his chemical weapons.Before he turned to the cyber threat, the Syrian war had indeed tipped over into an escalating Turkish-Syrian showdown.Both these developments mean that the waves of Middle East violence are lapping ever farther afield. All the parties with an interest in stirring up trouble are keeping a weather eye on the Obama-Romney debate next Tuesday to see if the president recovers the momentum he lost to his Republican challenger in the first debate. Before or after the debate, each of them - Al Qaeda, Iran, Syria or Hizballah - is capable of taking direct action to show it is a player to be reckoned with. Such action may explicitly target an American interest or stir the pot by going for Israel, Turkey, Jordan, or a Gulf oil nation.It can no longer be denied that Tehran is already on a cyber offensive against them all. In the absence of any response, Iran may decide to push further against its targets.

Shamoon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Shamoon,[a] also known as Disttrack, is a modular computer virus discovered in 2012 that attacks computers running the Microsoft Windows "NT" line of operating systems (it is not known to function correctly on Windows 9x/ME). The virus is being used for cyber espionage in the energy sector.[1][2][3] Its discovery was announced on 16 August 2012 by Symantec,[2] Kaspersky Lab,[4] and Seculert.[5] Similarities have been highlighted by Kaspersky Lab and Seculert between Shamoon and the flame malware.[4][5]

The virus has been noted as unique for having differing behaviour from other malware cyber espionage attacks.[6] Shamoon is capable of spreading to other computers on the network, through exploitation of shared hard drives. Once a system is infected, the virus continues to compile a list of files from specific locations on the system, erase and then send information about these files back to the attacker. Finally, the virus will overwrite the master boot record of the system to prevent it from booting.[2]

The virus has hit companies within the oil and energy sectors.[1][3] A group named "Cutting Sword of Justice" claimed responsibility for an attack on 30,000 Saudi Aramco workstations, causing the company to spend a week restoring their services. The group later indicated that the Shamoon virus had been used in the attack.[7] Computer systems at RasGas were also knocked offline by an unidentified computer virus, with some security experts crediting Shamoon for the damage.[8]

CNBC: IRAN TARGETS THE US

The Clean IT project

x-arf

Link to Article

Sun, 14 Oct 2012 12:56

What is x-arf?x-arf is network abuse reporting 2.0 - it is an email format to report different types of abuse incidents which occur in your network.

Why x-arf?The main intention of x-arf is to extend the so far known Abuse Reporting Format which is defined in RFC 5965 and itself is caught in its strict limitation to reporting abuse with messaging services only. Unfortunately, there is no possibility to report - for example - ssh attacks or phishing websites with it.

In order to stop the increasing number of homegrown and self-invented reporting formats and offer an easy way to handle incoming complaints more effectively the x-arf format was designed.

The x-arf design itself can be described with the following features:

Flexibility for any desired future changesSupport for any desired types of reportsFollowing the general structure and logic of RFC 3462RFC compliantEasy to generateEasy to read (machine- as well as human-readable)Tools are available in almost every programming languageDynamically driven by the community, not staticOpen and freeTo reach these specifications, x-arf is designed as a container format. That means: the format only defines the basic nature of a container, but not the container itself. The containers can later be defined by the community and will be offered to everybody in a representation of schema files to understand the structure of the specific report.

Where to send abuse reports?RFC 6650 indicates where to transmit solicited and unsolicited network abuse reports:

Deciding where to send an unsolicited report will typically rely on heuristics. Abuse addresses in WHOIS [RFC3912] records of the IP address relaying the subject message and/or of the domain name found in the results of a PTR ("reverse lookup") query on that address are likely reasonable candidates, as is the abuse@domain role address (see [RFC2142]) of related domains

RIRs offer various options to identify the abuse@domain role address. The RIR websites offer information on how to query their whois databases to find the appropriate addresses. Furthermore, RIPE e.g. offers the Abuse Finder, and you might consider using the Abuse Contact DB.

AT&T Starts Six-Strikes Anti-Piracy Plan Next Month, Will Block Websites

Link to Article

Source: Dave Winer's linkblog feed

Sun, 14 Oct 2012 12:26

AT&T Starts Six-Strikes Anti-Piracy Plan Next Month, Will Block Websites | TorrentFreakThe place where breaking news, BitTorrent and copyright collideAT&T Starts Six-Strikes Anti-Piracy Plan Next Month, Will Block WebsitesA set of leaked internal AT&T training documents obtained by TorrentFreak reveal that the Internet provider will start sending out anti-piracy warning notices to its subscribers on November 28. Customers whose accounts are repeatedly flagged for alleged copyright infringements will have their access to frequently visited websites blocked, until they complete an online copyright course. It's expected that most other participating ISPs will start their versions of the anti-piracy plan on the same date.

Last year the MPAA and RIAA teamed up with five major Internet providers in the United States to launch the Center for Copyright Information (CCI).

The parties agreed on a system through which subscribers are warned that their copyright infringements are unacceptable. After several warnings ISPs may then take a variety of repressive measures to punish the alleged infringers.

Thus far the participating Internet providers have refused to comment to the press on any of the details including the launch date. But, leaked internal AT&T training documents obtained by TorrentFreak provide a unique insight into the controversial plan.

The documents inform AT&T staff about the upcoming changes, beginning with the following overview.

''In an effort to assist content owners with combating on-line piracy, AT&T will be sending alert e-mails to customers who are identified as having been downloading copyrighted content without authorization from the copyright owner.''

''The reports are made by the content owners and are of IP-addresses that are associated with copyright infringing activities. AT&T will not share any personally identifiable information about its customers with content owners until authorized by the customer or required to do so by law.''

The papers further reveal the launch date of the copyright alerts system as November 28. A source connected to the CCI previously confirmed to TorrentFreak that all providers were planning to start on the same date, which means that Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon are expected to have a simultaneous launch.

The training documents also give insight into the measures AT&T will take to punish those who receive a 5th and 6th alert.

When repeated infringers try to access certain websites they will be redirected to an educational page. To lift the blockade, AT&T will require these customers to complete an ''online education tutorial on copyright''.

The training does not give any information on what sites will be blocked temporarily, but it's mentioned that ''access to many of the most frequently visited websites is restricted''. What the copyright education tutorial entails remains a mystery.

AT&T personnel training

Under the agreement Internet providers were free to choose how to punish repeated infringers. The above confirms that AT&T decided to implement a targeted website blockade combined with a copyright course, as opposed to other repressive measures such as throttling the connection speeds of subscribers.

While there are worse punishments one can think of, AT&T worryingly notes that the alerts may eventually result in a lawsuit.

''After the fifth alert, the content owner may pursue legal action against the customer, and may seek a court order requiring AT&T to turn over personal information to assist the litigation,'' AT&T explains.

As we reported previously, under the copyright alert system Internet providers have to inform copyright holders about which IP-addresses are repeatedly flagged. The MPAA and RIAA can then use this information to ask the court for a subpoena, so they can obtain the personal details of the account holder.

While there's no concrete indication that repeated infringers will be taken to court, the clause would not have been included in the agreement if the copyright holders aren't considering it.

Meanwhile, TorrentFreak is getting reports from VPN and proxy providers who have seen a significant uptick in new subscribers from the US. Presumably, a large percentage of these new subscribers are signing in anticipation of the ''six strikes'' scheme.

Related PostsPrevious Post!!! There are some issues with comments being marked as SPAM.

It may take a while before they appear. we hope to fix this as soon as possible.

NewsBitsEven more news...

MostDiscussedBelow are TorrentFreak's most discussed articles of the past month. Join the discussion if you like.

CopyQuoteLeft Quote''The Pirate Bay has been one of the most important movements in Sweden for freedom of speech, working against corruption and censorship.

Peter SundeLeft QuotePopularArticlesA selection of some TorrentFreak's classics dug up from our archives.

Follow us online:Design by RyanDownie

Copy CC and Privacy

AT&T Starts Six-Strikes Anti-Piracy Plan Next Month, Will Block Websites | TorrentFreakThe place where breaking news, BitTorrent and copyright collideAT&T Starts Six-Strikes Anti-Piracy Plan Next Month, Will Block WebsitesA set of leaked internal AT&T training documents obtained by TorrentFreak reveal that the Internet provider will start sending out anti-piracy warning notices to its subscribers on November 28. Customers whose accounts are repeatedly flagged for alleged copyright infringements will have their access to frequently visited websites blocked, until they complete an online copyright course. It's expected that most other participating ISPs will start their versions of the anti-piracy plan on the same date.

Last year the MPAA and RIAA teamed up with five major Internet providers in the United States to launch the Center for Copyright Information (CCI).

The parties agreed on a system through which subscribers are warned that their copyright infringements are unacceptable. After several warnings ISPs may then take a variety of repressive measures to punish the alleged infringers.

Thus far the participating Internet providers have refused to comment to the press on any of the details including the launch date. But, leaked internal AT&T training documents obtained by TorrentFreak provide a unique insight into the controversial plan.

The documents inform AT&T staff about the upcoming changes, beginning with the following overview.

''In an effort to assist content owners with combating on-line piracy, AT&T will be sending alert e-mails to customers who are identified as having been downloading copyrighted content without authorization from the copyright owner.''

''The reports are made by the content owners and are of IP-addresses that are associated with copyright infringing activities. AT&T will not share any personally identifiable information about its customers with content owners until authorized by the customer or required to do so by law.''

The papers further reveal the launch date of the copyright alerts system as November 28. A source connected to the CCI previously confirmed to TorrentFreak that all providers were planning to start on the same date, which means that Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon are expected to have a simultaneous launch.

The training documents also give insight into the measures AT&T will take to punish those who receive a 5th and 6th alert.

When repeated infringers try to access certain websites they will be redirected to an educational page. To lift the blockade, AT&T will require these customers to complete an ''online education tutorial on copyright''.

The training does not give any information on what sites will be blocked temporarily, but it's mentioned that ''access to many of the most frequently visited websites is restricted''. What the copyright education tutorial entails remains a mystery.

AT&T personnel training

Under the agreement Internet providers were free to choose how to punish repeated infringers. The above confirms that AT&T decided to implement a targeted website blockade combined with a copyright course, as opposed to other repressive measures such as throttling the connection speeds of subscribers.

While there are worse punishments one can think of, AT&T worryingly notes that the alerts may eventually result in a lawsuit.

''After the fifth alert, the content owner may pursue legal action against the customer, and may seek a court order requiring AT&T to turn over personal information to assist the litigation,'' AT&T explains.

As we reported previously, under the copyright alert system Internet providers have to inform copyright holders about which IP-addresses are repeatedly flagged. The MPAA and RIAA can then use this information to ask the court for a subpoena, so they can obtain the personal details of the account holder.

While there's no concrete indication that repeated infringers will be taken to court, the clause would not have been included in the agreement if the copyright holders aren't considering it.

Meanwhile, TorrentFreak is getting reports from VPN and proxy providers who have seen a significant uptick in new subscribers from the US. Presumably, a large percentage of these new subscribers are signing in anticipation of the ''six strikes'' scheme.

Related PostsPrevious Post!!! There are some issues with comments being marked as SPAM.

It may take a while before they appear. we hope to fix this as soon as possible.

NewsBitsEven more news...

MostDiscussedBelow are TorrentFreak's most discussed articles of the past month. Join the discussion if you like.

CopyQuoteLeft Quote''The Pirate Bay has been one of the most important movements in Sweden for freedom of speech, working against corruption and censorship.

Peter SundeLeft QuotePopularArticlesA selection of some TorrentFreak's classics dug up from our archives.

Follow us online:Design by RyanDownie

Copy CC and Privacy

Iran Ready to Face Any Attack '' Supreme Leader

Link to Article

Source: RIA Novosti

Sat, 13 Oct 2012 05:43

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said that based on Islamic principles Iran has no aggressive intents but its armed forces are ready to protect the nation against ''the aggressive illusions of the enemies,'' Press TV reported.

Khamenei spoke on Friday at a military base in the city of Bojnourd in the North Khorasan province after Commander of Islamic Revolution's Guards Corps Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari presented a report on defensive capabilities of Iran's military force.

"What motivates the hegemonic powers to wage war is the sale of arms and cultivation of military industries that depend on capitalists,'' Press TV quoted Khamenei as saying.

''And the only factor that suppresses such war-waging impulse of power-seekers is the general readiness of the [Iranian] nation and defensive preparedness of the armed forces," Khamenei said.

The United States, Israel and some of their allies accuse Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Washington and Tel Aviv have not ruled out the possibility of striking Iran's nuclear facilities.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned on Wednesday that the use of force against Tehran would spell the end of the negotiating process on Iran's nuclear program.

Iran's envoy to Moscow Seyyed Mahmoud-Reza Sajjadi last Monday reaffirmed Tehran's readiness to hold constructive talks with the six major world powers (P5+1). He added, however, that a precondition was that the West should abandon its hostile position toward the Islamic Republic.

Scampaign

Thread: He called the President 'boy'

Lawrence O'Donnell Rewrites the Rules for Presidential Debates

Link to Article

Source: Crooks and Liars

Sun, 14 Oct 2012 03:18

In his Rewrite segment this Friday evening, Lawrence O'Donnell talked to his viewers about his suggestion for how to modify the rules for presidential debates, and I have to say, I couldn't agree with him more. As he rightfully stated, we're not electing a "memorizer in chief, we're electing a commander in chief.

As O'Donnell reminded us, there's not a politician out there who makes a decision without the help of their staff, or written notes and other material readily available to them at their request, so why should the debates be any different? Why not let candidates have access to whatever notes, props, and a staffer on hand to go get them whatever material they need if they request it?

GARY JOHNSON vs JILL STEIN The Other Presidential Debate

Shot Fired Into Obama Campaign Headquarters In Denver

BIDEN LIES

Big Labor

About Us - ForRespect

OUR Walmart Vision

We envision a future in which our company treats us, the Associates of Walmart, with respect and dignity. We envision a world where we succeed in our careers, our company succeeds in business, our customers receive great service and value, and Walmart and Associates share all of these goals.

OUR Walmart Mission

OUR Walmart works to ensure that every Associate, regardless of his or her title, age, race, or sex, is respected at Walmart. We join together to offer strength and support in addressing the challenges that arise in our stores and our company everyday.

Whois Info

Registrant Email:woneill@ufcw.org

Admin ID:CR83396119

Admin Name:Maria Keith

Admin Organization:Organization United for Respect at Walmart

Admin Street1:1775 K St NW

Admin Street2:

Admin Street3:

Admin City:Washington

Admin State/Province:District of Columbia

Admin Postal Code:20006

Admin Country:US

Admin Phone:+1.889573773

Admin Phone Ext.:

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) | a VOICE for working America

The United Food & Commercial Workers International Union

is America's neighborhood union--1.3 million members standing together to improve the lives & livelihoods of workers, families, & communities.

1775 k st nw district of columbia 20006 - Google Search

Contact UNIC Washington D.C. - United Nations Information Centres

unic.un.org ’Ć Fact SheetStreet address, 1775 K Street Suite 400. Washington, DC 20006 ... Mailing address, 1775 K Street, NW Suite 400. Washington, DC 20006 ...

Hour Eyes | Washington, DC, DC - K Street, NW - Eyeglasses ...

www.houreyes.com/loc/330The Hour Eyes K Street, NW store is located at 1775 K Street, NW, Washington, DC, DC 20006 and has been serving the surrounding community for several ...

1775 K St NW, Washington, DC 20006 Directions, Location and Map ...

www.mapquest.com/maps?...1775%20K%20St%20NW...DC...20006Our interactive map lets you view, print, or send to your phone directions to and from 1775 K St NW, Washington, DC 20006, and view the location as a satellite ...

About Us - UNIC

www.unicwash.org/About.aspxUnited Nations Washington DC ... As the United Nations' office in Washington, D.C., the UN Information Center serves as the focal point for UN news and information to advance ... Location: 1775 K Street, NW. We are ... Washington DC 20006 ...

UNHCR - Contact Us

www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/contact?iso=ATGStreet Address, 1775 K Street NW Suite 300. Washington, DC 20006. USA. Mailing Address, 1775 K Street NW Suite 300. Washington, DC 20006. USA ...

Internship Opportunities at USA for UNHCR - USA for UNHCR

www.unrefugees.org/.../k.../Internship_Opportunities_at_USA_for_U...This internship is located in Washington, DC. Relocation assistance is not provided. ... Intern Coordinator 1775 K Street, NW Suite 290. Washington, DC 20006 ...

Contact Us - USA for UNHCR

www.unrefugees.org/site/lookup.asp?c=nrKUIYOEIsE&b...We will reply to your request as soon as possible. USA for UNHCR 1775 K Street, N.W. Suite 290. Washington, DC 20006. Tel: (202) 296-1115; or (800) 770- ...

International Organization Contact Information

www.state.gov/p/io/empl/125507.htmwww.icsg.org. International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) 1629 K Street NW, Suite 702, Washington, DC 20006 tel: (202) 463-6660 fax: (202) 463-6950 ...

Yogen Fruz in Washington, 1775 K St Nw DC 20006 - Hours & More

www.forlocations.com/yogenfruz-Washington/DC/1775-k-st-nwYogen Fruz 1775 K St Nw Washington DC 20006 store details with phone number and map with driving directions.

Washington, D.C. : Locations : About Us : Hughes Hubbard & Reed

www.hugheshubbard.com/aboutus/.../LocationDetail.aspx?office...Washington, D.C.. 1775 I Street, N.W.. Washington, D.C. 20006-2401. United States of ... K Street NW becomes K Street NW/ US-29; Turn left onto 17th Street ...

Walmart Employees Threatening A Strike For Black Friday

Link to Article

Source: Crooks and Liars

Sun, 14 Oct 2012 03:35

Walmart launched a large-scale response this week to a series of unprecedented labor strikes, according to a confidential document obtained by The Huffington Post.

The seven-page internal memo, issued Oct. 8, is intended for salaried employees only, and contains instructions on how to respond to strikes by hourly workers that spread to 28 Walmart stores in 12 cities earlier this week. The strikes were the first by Walmart retail employees in the company's 50-year history.

The memo makes clear that Walmart, the world's largest private employer, views the labor protests as a serious attack, a message that runs contrary to the company's public comments that the strikes are mere "publicity stunts," as Walmart's vice president of communications David Tovar told The Huffington Post Tuesday.

"As you know,'' the memo opens, ''activists or union organizers have been trying for years to stop our Company's growth and to damage our relationship with our customers and members. One of the activists' or union organizers' tactics is to try to disrupt the business by urging our associates to participate in a walkout or other form of work stoppage.''

The majority of the memo is aimed at instructing managers not to violate workers' legal right to engage in concerted activity, or non-union labor organizing. Managers are directed not to ''discipline'' employees who engage in walkouts, sit-ins or sick-outs.

Legal experts said the confidential memo shows an unprecedented level of caution from a company that has taken harsh stances towards employee attempts to organize in the past.

''Walmart probably has in mind that the Obama NLRB [National Labor Relations Board] often sides with unions over management,'' said Lance Compa, a labor law professor at Cornell University's School of Industrial Relations in Ithaca, N.Y. ''So they're being extremely cautious.''

[...] The historic retail worker strikes began last Friday in Los Angeles, when 60-some people walked off work, and they quickly spread across the country. Earlier in September, workers at warehouses owned by Walmart in Illinois and California also went on strike.

Striking workers are demanding that Walmart end retaliatory practices against employees who attempt to organize by Nov. 23, Black Friday. If not, they will strike again on the biggest shopping day of the year, according to Colby Harris, a Walmart worker from Dallas, who participated in Tuesday's strike.

Syria

Human Rights Watch: Credible Evidence Syria Using Cluster Bombs On Civilian Populations

Syria air force using cluster bombs on rebel held areas, says HRW

Link to Article

Source: euronews

Sun, 14 Oct 2012 12:38

Syria's air force has repeatedly used cluster munitions to attack rebel-held areas, according to Human Rights Watch.

The weapons are controversial because, when they are released, they scatter dozens of smaller bomblets over a wide area.

Syrian activists have posted several videos showing bomb remnants which they claim have been dropped by regime helicopters.

Human Rights Watch has contacted residents in two towns to confirm the strikes.

Philippe Bolopion, the organisation's United Nations Director, called on the Syrian government to immediately stop using the weapons.

''The cluster munitions that you can see in the videos are RBK-250, which is a Soviet made cluster munition. It's obviously quite old. We are not sure how it ended up in Syria, but it is particularly dangerous because old munitions are less likely to detonate on impact and as a result, the duds that are left on the ground remain dangerous for civilians and kids, for weeks, months and sometimes years,'' said Bolopion.

Activists say cluster bomb remnants were found in several towns in Idlib province and around Homs, Aleppo and the capital Damascus.

More than 110 countries '' excluding the US '' have signed a 2008 convention banning their production and use.

More about:Arms industry, Bashar al-Assad, Bombardment, Civil War, Syria, Syrian armyCopyright (C) 2012 euronews

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Syria Moves Tanks And Troops To Turkish Border

Syria: New Evidence Military Dropped Cluster Bombs | Human Rights Watch

Bullying

Elite$

Bill Gates, Annan Urge Leniency for Inside Trader Gupta- Bloomberg

Link to Article

Sat, 13 Oct 2012 14:18

Bill Gates, Annan Urge Leniency for Inside Trader Gupta

By Patricia Hurtado and David GlovinOctober 13, 2012 12:01 AM EDT

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates and former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan asked a judge to show leniency in 11 days when he sentences ex- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) director Rajat Gupta for insider trading.

Gates and Annan were among more than 200 supporters seeking mercy for Gupta, citing his lifetime of good deeds. He will be sentenced on Oct. 24 for leaking stock tips to hedge-fund manager Raj Rajaratnam. The letters were made public yesterday by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan.

''I urge you to recognize Rajat for the good that he has done in this world, to give him the credit that he deserves for helping others, and to take into account his effort to improve the lives of millions of people,'' Annan said of Gupta's work to reform management of the UN.

''I wanted to add my voice to those of other friends and colleagues of Rajat Gupta who are writing to you in order to round out Rajat's profile,'' Gates said of Gupta's service as chairman of an organization fighting AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

Gupta is the most prominent of the 69 people convicted since a nationwide crackdown on insider trading began in August 2009. Besides his tenure at Goldman Sachs, he served as managing partner of McKinsey & Co. from 1994 to 2003 and on the boards of Procter & Gamble Co. (PG), the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Gupta, 63, was convicted in June of three counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy. While securities fraud carries a maximum prison term of 20 years, Gupta is likely to be sentenced to fewer years under federal guidelines.

After a four-week trial, a federal jury in Manhattan found Gupta guilty of leaking tips to Rajaratnam, 55, about New York- based Goldman Sachs, including information about a $5 billion investment by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/B) on Sept. 23, 2008, and a tip on a quarterly loss. Rajaratnam is serving 11 years in prison for trading on tips from Gupta and others.

Letter writers included Gupta's family and former associates in the worlds of academia, business and charity.

They included Kushal Pal Singh, the billionaire chairman of DLF Ltd., India's largest developer; Leonard Lauder, the chairman emeritus of Estee Lauder Cos. (EL); and Mukesh Ambani, India's richest man and the chairman of Mumbai-based Reliance Industries Ltd., the world's largest refining complex.

Singh credited of the Kolkata-born Gupta with bringing Microsoft's Gates to India and with helping DLF create an urban development initiative there. Because of the case, Gupta's charitable works in India have been at a ''standstill,'' he said.

''We as a society need more visionaries like Rajat Gupta,'' Singh wrote. ''Rajat Gupta is no threat to anyone inside or outside the prison fence.''

Other writers included Ajit Jain, Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s reinsurance chief; Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation; Amartya Sen, a Harvard University professor; and author Deepak Chopra.

Chopra called Gupta ''compassionate, caring, selfless and dedicated'' and cited his work helping found the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad.

''I think Rajat has tremendously contributed to humanity,'' Chopra said.

Jain, who testified at the trial as a defense witness, talked about his long friendship with Gupta and family. Jain said Gupta has already ''been disgraced personally and professionally.''

Jain said Gupta ''customarily chided me during our social meetings to become more active in philanthropic causes'' and said he never saw Gupta abuse ''his many positions of trust for personal gain.''

''On no occasion of our meetings did Rajat ever seek to inappropriately obtain or leverage information or opportunity by speaking with me, and I would have considered even a mild effort in that regard to be completely foreign to his character,'' Jain wrote.

Gupta's wife, Anita, wrote a heartfelt account of meeting her husband in 1968 at the Indian Institute of Technology, where she was the only girl in a class of 250 and he was ''a big man on campus.''

''I have never forgotten his kindness to the very shy, quiet, small-town girl who felt so out of place,'' she said.

She told the judge the case has been ''devastating'' for her family. ''Never in my wildest dreams'' did she imagine she would be ''separated from my husband in this way,'' she said in an apparent reference to prison.

She recounted how Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein ''loudly gave Rajat an ultimatum that he had to choose between Goldman and KKR,'' citing a 2008 offer he received to join KKR & Co. (KKR) as an adviser. Gupta, who joined Goldman Sachs's board in 2006, opted for KKR, then agreed to a request by Goldman Sachs that he return when the financial crisis hit, she said.

''I tried very hard to counsel Rajat against it because I felt he had been treated unfairly by Goldman Sachs,'' she wrote. ''He felt he owed Goldman Sachs his loyalty.''

Michael DuVally, a spokesman for Goldman Sachs, declined to comment on Anita Gupta's letter. Gupta left Goldman Sachs's board in 2010.

Jurors acquitted Gupta of charges that he leaked information that Cincinnati-based P&G's organic sales growth would fall below estimates and that he tipped Rajaratnam about Goldman Sachs's earnings in the first quarter of 2007.

The case is U.S. v. Gupta, 11-cr-00907, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporters on this story: Patricia Hurtado in Manhattan federal court at pathurtado@bloomberg.net; David Glovin in Manhattan federal court at dglovin@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

Wes Clark 7

Federal Register | Designation of Two (2) Entities Pursuant to Executive Order 13224 of September 23, 2001, ''Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Persons Who Commit, Threaten To Commit, or Support Terrorism''

Link to Article

Sun, 14 Oct 2012 05:04

The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (''OFAC'') is publishing the names of two (2) entities whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to Executive Order 13224 of September 23, 2001, ''Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Persons Who Commit, Threaten To Commit, or Support Terrorism.''

The designations by the Director of OFAC of the two (2) entities in this notice, pursuant to Executive Order 13224, are effective on October 4, 2012.

Assistant Director, Compliance Outreach & Implementation, Office of Foreign Assets Control, Department of the Treasury, Washington, DC 20220, tel.: 202/622-2490.

This document and additional information concerning OFAC are available from OFAC's Web site (www.treas.gov/ofac) or via facsimile through a 24-hour fax-on-demand service, tel.: 202/622-0077.

On September 23, 2001, the President issued Executive Order 13224 (the ''Order'') pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1701-1706, and the United Nations Participation Act of 1945, 22 U.S.C. 287c. In the Order, the President declared a national emergency to address grave acts of terrorism and threats of terrorism committed by foreign terrorists, including the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon. The Order imposes economic sanctions on persons who have committed, pose a significant risk of committing, or support acts of terrorism. The President identified in the Annex to the Order, as amended by Executive Order 13268 of July 2, 2002, 13 individuals and 16 entities as subject to the economic sanctions. The Order was further amended by Executive Order 13284 of January 23, 2003, to reflect the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.

Section 1 of the Order blocks, with certain exceptions, all property and interests in property that are in or hereafter come within the United States or the possession or control of United States persons, of: (1) Foreign persons listed in the Annex to the Order; (2) foreign persons determined by the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and the Attorney General, to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States; (3) persons determined by the Director of OFAC, in consultation with the Departments of State, Homeland Security and Justice, to be owned or controlled by, or to act for or on behalf of those persons listed in the Annex to the Order or those persons determined to be subject to subsection 1(b), 1(c), or 1(d)(i) of the Order; and (4) except as provided in section 5 of the Order and after such consultation, if any, with foreign authorities as the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and the Attorney General, deems appropriate in the exercise of his discretion, persons determined by the Director of OFAC, in consultation with the Departments of State, Homeland Security and Justice, to assist in, sponsor, or provide financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, such acts of terrorism or those persons listed in the Annex to the Order or determined to be subject to the Order or to be otherwise associated with those persons listed in the Annex to the Order or those persons determined to be subject to subsection 1(b), 1(c), or 1(d)(i) of the Order.

On October 4, 2012 the Director of OFAC, in consultation with the Departments of State, Homeland Security, Justice and other relevant agencies, designated, pursuant to one or more of the criteria set forth in subsections 1(b), 1(c) or 1(d) of the Order, two (2) entities whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to Executive Order 13224.

The listings for these entities on OFAC's list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons appear as follows:

1. WAQFIYA RI'AYA AL-USRA AL-FILISTINYA WA AL-LUBNANYA (a.k.a. AL WAQFIYA AL USRAH AL FILASTINIA; a.k.a. AL-WAQFIYA ASSOCIATION; a.k.a. AL-WAQFIYYAH FOR THE FAMILIES OF THE MARTYRS AND DETAINEES IN LEBANON; a.k.a. ENDOWMENT FOR CARE OF LEBANESE AND PALESTINIAN FAMILIES; a.k.a. LEBANESE AND PALESTINIAN FAMILIES ENTITLEMENT; a.k.a. PALESTINIAN AND LEBANESE FAMILIES WELFARE TRUST; a.k.a. THE ASSOCIATION FOR THE WELFARE OF PALESTINIAN AND LEBANESE FAMILIES; a.k.a. THE ASSOCIATION TO DEAL WITH PALESTINIAN AND LEBANESE PRISONERS; a.k.a. THE PALESTINIAN AND LEBANESE FAMILIES WELFARE ASSOCIATION; a.k.a. WAKFIA RAAIA ALASRA ALFALESTINIA WALLBANANIA; a.k.a. WAQFIYA RI'AYA AL-ISRA AL-LIBNANIYA WA AL-FALASTINIYA; a.k.a. WELFARE ASSOCIATION FOR PALESTINIAN AND LEBANESE FAMILIES; a.k.a. WELFARE OF THE PALESTINIAN AND LEBANESE FAMILY CARE; a.k.a. ''WAFRA''), P.O. Box 14-6028, Beirut, Lebanon; P.O. Box 13-7692, Beirut, Lebanon; Email Address Wakf_osra@hotmail.com; alt. Email Address Wakf_oara@yahoo.com; alt. Email Address Wrfl77@hotmail.com; alt. Email Address wafla@terra.net.lb; Registered Charity No. 1455/99; alt. Registered Charity No. 1155/99 [SDGT].

2. AL-QUDS INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION (a.k.a. AL QUDS INSTITUTE; a.k.a. AL QUDS INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTION; a.k.a. AL-QUDS FOUNDATION; a.k.a. INTERNATIONAL AL QUDS INSTITUTE; a.k.a. INTERNATIONAL JERUSALEM FOUNDATION; a.k.a. JERUSALEM INTERNATIONAL ESTABLISHMENT; a.k.a. JERUSALEM INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION; a.k.a. MU'ASSASAT AL-QUDS; a.k.a. THE INTERNATIONAL AL QUDS FOUNDATION; a.k.a. ''IJF''), Hamra Street, Saroulla Building, 11th Floor, Beirut P.O. Box Beirut-Hamra 113/5647, Lebanon; Web site www.alquds-online.org; Email Address institution@alquds-online.org; alt. Email Address alquds_institution@yahoo.com; alt. Email Address info@alquds-city.com[SDGT].

Dated: October 4, 2012.

Adam J. Szubin,

Director, Office of Foreign Assets Control.

[FR Doc. 2012-25292 Filed 10-12-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4810-AL-P

2TTH

Mauritania head 'flies to Paris'

Link to Article

Source: BBC News - Home

Sun, 14 Oct 2012 12:37

14 October 2012Last updated at07:54 ETMauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz is being flown to the French capital, Paris, after he was shot in what officials say was an accident.

He had surgery in the capital, Nouakchott, and will receive further medical treatment in France.

Before leaving, Mr Abdelaziz, 55, appeared on television from his hospital bed to say he was OK.

A military patrol is said to have mistakenly opened fire on the presidential convoy late on Saturday.

"I want to reassure the citizens of Mauritania that the operation I underwent yesterday [Saturday] evening was a success thanks to the efficiency of the medical team that carried it out," he said.

Earlier, Communications Minister Hamdi Ould Mahjoub said Mr Abdelaziz was injured in the arm and that his life was not in danger.

A medical source told AFP news agency that he had had a bullet removed.

Unconfirmed sources in Nouakchott said Mr Abdelaziz had been hit in the arm and/or the abdomen.

Assassination attempt?Initially, Mauritanian radio reported Mr Abdelaziz had escaped an assassination attempt.

Many Nouakchott inhabitants tend to believe the "shot by mistake" claims as they are used to seeing the president walk in the city, play sport and drive his car without guards, says BBC Arabic's Mohammad Taha.

Some local reports say the president was targeted by a militant group while travelling from Tweila, north of the capital, where he spends most weekends, our correspondent says.

He was travelling overnight to the capital as the week starts in Mauritania on Sunday.

President Abdelaziz came to power in a military coup in 2008 in the West African nation. He won presidential elections a year later held under an agreement with coup opponents.

He is seen by the West as a bulwark against Islamists in the region, particularly in neighbouring Mali.

Mauritania launched a joint military operation with Mali last year against the bases of Islamist militants in Mali before a rebellion in that country this year split it in two and hardline Islamists occupied the the country's vast northern region.

Concrete-encased body identified as former Florida reporter - CNN.com

Link to Article

Sat, 13 Oct 2012 05:20

By the CNN Wire Staff

updated 10:04 PM EDT, Fri October 12, 2012

Sean Dugas worked at the Pensacola News Journal from 2005-2010.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

Authorities use dental records to identify remains of Sean DugasDugas, a former crime reporter in Florida, went missing August 27Twin brothers have been charged with murder in his death(CNN) -- A body encased in concrete and buried in a Georgia backyard has been identified as that of a former Florida journalist who went missing in August.

The positive identification of 30-year-old Sean Dugas was made using dental records and facial bone CT scans, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Friday.

Dugas, a former crime reporter at the Pensacola News Journal, had been missing since August 27.

William and Christopher Cormier, twin 31-year-old brothers, are charged with murder in Dugas' death, according to police in Winder, Georgia, where the body was found. The brothers had earlier been charged with concealing a death in the case.

Winder police went to the home of the brothers' father on Monday, acting on information from Pensacola police, Winder Police Chief Dennis Dorsey said.

The father said his sons arrived from Florida three weeks ago, and the brothers told their father they had been caring for the missing man's dog but ended up killing the dog, Winder police said.

The dog was buried in the backyard of a home that the father is renting, Dorsey said.

In the yard, police unearthed a body in a plastic storage container that had been encased with concrete, Dorsey said.

Authorities believe the body was buried about three weeks ago, and the concrete may have been purchased at a Home Depot, Dorsey said.

When the two brothers arrived at their father's home during the police investigation, they were detained, Dorsey said.

The father hasn't been charged and is cooperating with investigators, Dorsey said.

Managing Editor Ginny Graybiel of the Pensacola News Journal said Dugas worked at the newspaper from 2005 to 2010.

"He started as a clerk and became a police reporter -- along the way he did a good bit of entertainment coverage," Graybiel said. "Sean was a very gentle, good-hearted soul. To be the victim of a crime like this is, of course, something we never could have imagined."

Dugas' girlfriend noticed he was missing August 27 when she went to pick him up at home for lunch that day, Pensacola Police Capt. David Alexander said in a statement.

When she returned to the home on September 7, she found it empty except for a television, Alexander said. A man who also lived at the house was gone, police said.

The girlfriend reported to police on September 13 that Dugas was missing, Alexander said.

CNN's Michael Martinez and Joe Sutton contributed to this report.

Agenda 21

Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released... and here is the chart to prove it

Link to Article

Sun, 14 Oct 2012 12:17

The figures reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012 there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperaturesThis means that the 'pause' in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996By David Rose

PUBLISHED: 16:42 EST, 13 October 2012 | UPDATED: 20:21 EST, 13 October 2012

The world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago, according to new data released last week.

The figures, which have triggered debate among climate scientists, reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures.

This means that the 'plateau' or 'pause' in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years.

global temperature changes

Research: The new figures mean that the 'pause' in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. This picture shows an iceberg melting in Eastern Greenland

The new data, compiled from more than 3,000 measuring points on land and sea, was issued quietly on the internet, without any media fanfare, and, until today, it has not been reported.

This stands in sharp contrast to the release of the previous figures six months ago, which went only to the end of 2010 '' a very warm year.

Ending the data then means it is possible to show a slight warming trend since 1997, but 2011 and the first eight months of 2012 were much cooler, and thus this trend is erased.

Some climate scientists, such as Professor Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, last week dismissed the significance of the plateau, saying that 15 or 16 years is too short a period from which to draw conclusions.

Others disagreed. Professor Judith Curry, who is the head of the climate science department at America's prestigious Georgia Tech university, told The Mail on Sunday that it was clear that the computer models used to predict future warming were 'deeply flawed'.

Even Prof Jones admitted that he and his colleagues did not understand the impact of 'natural variability' '' factors such as long-term ocean temperature cycles and changes in the output of the sun. However, he said he was still convinced that the current decade would end up significantly warmer than the previous two.

Disagreement: Professor Phil Jones, left, from the University of East Anglia, dismissed the significance of the plateau. Professor Judith Curry, right, from Georgia Tech university in America, disagreed, saying the computer models used to predict future warming were 'deeply flawed'

Warmer: Since 1880 the world has warmed by 0.75 degrees Celsius. This image shows floating icebergs in Greenland

The regular data collected on global temperature is called Hadcrut 4, as it is jointly issued by the Met Office's Hadley Centre and Prof Jones's Climatic Research Unit.

Since 1880, when worldwide industrialisation began to gather pace and reliable statistics were first collected on a global scale, the world has warmed by 0.75 degrees Celsius.

Some scientists have claimed that this rate of warming is set to increase hugely without drastic cuts to carbon-dioxide emissions, predicting a catastrophic increase of up to a further five degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

The new figures were released as the Government made clear that it would 'bend' its own carbon-dioxide rules and build new power stations to try to combat the threat of blackouts.

At last week's Conservative Party Conference, the new Energy Minister, John Hayes, promised that 'the high-flown theories of bourgeois Left-wing academics will not override the interests of ordinary people who need fuel for heat, light and transport '' energy policies, you might say, for the many, not the few' '' a pledge that has triggered fury from green activists, who fear reductions in the huge subsidies given to wind-turbine firms.

Here are three not-so trivial questions you probably won't find in your next pub quiz. First, how much warmer has the world become since a) 1880 and b) the beginning of 1997? And what has this got to do with your ever-increasing energy bill?

You may find the answers to the first two surprising. Since 1880, when reliable temperature records began to be kept across most of the globe, the world has warmed by about 0.75 degrees Celsius.

From the start of 1997 until August 2012, however, figures released last week show the answer is zero: the trend, derived from the aggregate data collected from more than 3,000 worldwide measuring points, has been flat.

Surprising: News that the world has got no warmer for the past 16 years will come as something of a shock. This picture shows drifting ice in Canada

Not that there has been any coverage in the media, which usually reports climate issues assiduously, since the figures were quietly release online with no accompanying press release '' unlike six months ago when they showed a slight warming trend.

The answer to the third question is perhaps the most familiar. Your bills are going up, at least in part, because of the array of 'green' subsidies being provided to the renewable energy industry, chiefly wind.

They will cost the average household about £100 this year. This is set to rise steadily higher '' yet it is being imposed for only one reason: the widespread conviction, which is shared by politicians of all stripes and drilled into children at primary schools, that, without drastic action to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, global warming is certain soon to accelerate, with truly catastrophic consequences by the end of the century '' when temperatures could be up to five degrees higher.

Hence the significance of those first two answers. Global industrialisation over the past 130 years has made relatively little difference.

And with the country committed by Act of Parliament to reducing CO2 by 80 per cent by 2050, a project that will cost hundreds of billions, the news that the world has got no warmer for the past 16 years comes as something of a shock.

It poses a fundamental challenge to the assumptions underlying every aspect of energy and climate change policy.

This 'plateau' in rising temperatures does not mean that global warming won't at some point resume.

Damage: Global warming has been caused in part by the CO2 emitted by fossil fuels. This image shows smoke billowing out of a power station

But according to increasing numbers of serious climate scientists, it does suggest that the computer models that have for years been predicting imminent doom, such as those used by the Met Office and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, are flawed, and that the climate is far more complex than the models assert.

'The new data confirms the existence of a pause in global warming,' Professor Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Science at America's Georgia Tech university, told me yesterday.

'Climate models are very complex, but they are imperfect and incomplete. Natural variability [the impact of factors such as long-term temperature cycles in the oceans and the output of the sun] has been shown over the past two decades to have a magnitude that dominates the greenhouse warming effect.

'It is becoming increasingly apparent that our attribution of warming since 1980 and future projections of climate change needs to consider natural internal variability as a factor of fundamental importance.'

Professor Phil Jones, director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, who found himself at the centre of the 'Climategate' scandal over leaked emails three years ago, would not normally be expected to agree with her. Yet on two important points, he did.

The data does suggest a plateau, he admitted, and without a major El Nino event '' the sudden, dramatic warming of the southern Pacific which takes place unpredictably and always has a huge effect on global weather '' 'it could go on for a while'.

Like Prof Curry, Prof Jones also admitted that the climate models were imperfect: 'We don't fully understand how to input things like changes in the oceans, and because we don't fully understand it you could say that natural variability is now working to suppress the warming. We don't know what natural variability is doing.'

Headache: The evidence is beginning to suggest that global warming may be happening much slower than the catastrophists have claimed - a conclusion with enormous policy implications for politicians at Westminster, pictured

Yet he insisted that 15 or 16 years is not a significant period: pauses of such length had always been expected, he said.

Yet in 2009, when the plateau was already becoming apparent and being discussed by scientists, he told a colleague in one of the Climategate emails: 'Bottom line: the ''no upward trend'' has to continue for a total of 15 years before we get worried.'

But although that point has now been passed, he said that he hadn't changed his mind about the models' gloomy predictions: 'I still think that the current decade which began in 2010 will be warmer by about 0.17 degrees than the previous one, which was warmer than the Nineties.'

Only if that did not happen would he seriously begin to wonder whether something more profound might be happening. In other words, though five years ago he seemed to be saying that 15 years without warming would make him 'worried', that period has now become 20 years.

Meanwhile, his Met Office colleagues were sticking to their guns. A spokesman said: 'Choosing a starting or end point on short-term scales can be very misleading. Climate change can only be detected from multi-decadal timescales due to the inherent variability in the climate system.'

He said that for the plateau to last any more than 15 years was 'unlikely'. Asked about a prediction that the Met Office made in 2009 '' that three of the ensuing five years would set a new world temperature record '' he made no comment. With no sign of a strong El Nino next year, the prospects of this happening are remote.

Why all this matters should be obvious. Every quarter, statistics on the economy's output and models of future performance have a huge impact on our lives. They trigger a range of policy responses from the Bank of England and the Treasury, and myriad decisions by private businesses.

Yet it has steadily become apparent since the 2008 crash that both the statistics and the modelling are extremely unreliable. To plan the future around them makes about as much sense as choosing a wedding date three months' hence on the basis of a long-term weather forecast.

Few people would be so foolish. But decisions of far deeper and more costly significance than those derived from output figures have been and are still being made on the basis of climate predictions, not of the next three months but of the coming century '' and this despite the fact that Phil Jones and his colleagues now admit they do not understand the role of 'natural variability'.

The most depressing feature of this debate is that anyone who questions the alarmist, doomsday scenario will automatically be labelled a climate change 'denier', and accused of jeopardising the future of humanity.

So let's be clear. Yes: global warming is real, and some of it at least has been caused by the CO2 emitted by fossil fuels. But the evidence is beginning to suggest that it may be happening much slower than the catastrophists have claimed '' a conclusion with enormous policy implications.

In California, a Grand Experiment to Rein in Climate Change

Link to Article

Source: Dave Winer's linkblog feed

Sun, 14 Oct 2012 12:24

LEGGETT, Calif. '-- Braced against a steep slope, Robert Hrubes cinched his measuring tape around the trunk of one tree after another, barking out diameters like an auctioneer announcing bids. ''Twelve point two!'' ''Fourteen point one!''

Mr. Hrubes's task, a far cry from forestry of the past, was to calculate how much carbon could be stored within the tanoak, madrone and redwood trees in that plot. Every year or so, other foresters will return to make sure the trees are still standing and doing their job.

Such audits will be crucial as California embarks on its grand experiment in reining in climate change. On Jan. 1, it will become the first state in the nation to charge industries across the economy for the greenhouse gases they emit. Under the system, known as ''cap and trade,'' the state will set an overall ceiling on those emissions and assign allowable emission amounts for individual polluters. A portion of these so-called allowances will be allocated to utilities, manufacturers and others; the remainder will be auctioned off.

Over time, the number of allowances issued by the state will be reduced, which should force a reduction in emissions.

To obtain the allowances needed to account for their emissions, companies can buy them at auction or on the carbon market. They can secure offset credits, as they are known, either by buying leftover allowances from emitters that have met their targets or by purchasing them from projects that remove carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, like the woods where Mr. Hrubes was working.

Dozens of verifiers from different fields, from chemists to accountants to foresters, will be the first line of defense in making sure the benefits are real.

Mr. Hrubes said his goal in any audit was to ensure that the forest's owner was ''being conservative whenever a judgment call has to be made'' in calculating greenhouse gas reductions.

The outsize goals of California's new law, known as A.B. 32, are to lower California's emissions to what they were in 1990 by 2020 '-- a reduction of roughly 30 percent '-- and, more broadly, to show that the system works and can be replicated.

The risks for California are enormous. Opponents and supporters alike worry that the program could hurt the state's fragile economy by driving out refineries, cement makers, glass factories and other businesses. Some are concerned that companies will find a way to outmaneuver the system, causing the state to fall short of its emission reduction targets.

''The worst possible thing to happen is if it fails,'' said Robert N. Stavins, a Harvard economist.

Just three years ago, California's plan was viewed as a trial run for a national carbon market that one day might tie into existing markets in Europe and elsewhere. President Obama's first budget proposal included a cap-and-trade program to cut national greenhouse gas emissions 14 percent by 2020; the House later passed an energy and climate bill that incorporated such a program.

But in 2010, political forces backed by the biggest emitters, oil and coal companies, blocked the plan in the Senate. In that year's midterm elections, conservative Republicans disavowed their party's role in creating similar programs; they continue to deride it as ''cap and tax.''

California air regulators are proud of their record in leading the nation to new auto emissions standards in the 1960s and efficiency standards for appliances in the 1970s. And so the pressure is on the state's Air Resources Board to get this right.

At first, only four means of carbon reduction will be approved for offset credits: timber management, the destruction of coolant gases, cuts in methane emissions from livestock waste and tree planting projects in urban areas. Already, developers of offset projects in more than 20 states are preparing to enter the new market, which for now accepts only credits generated in the United States. Some projects send coolant gases to be destroyed at an incinerator in Arkansas; others, tied to dairies in states like Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin, will capture methane from livestock waste.

Most of these projects already sell offset credits in other markets like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program covering utilities in the Northeast.

But offsets can be prone to misuse; some have generated significant private profits while producing questionable environmental benefits. The European Union's eight-year-old carbon trading market has been tarnished by fake credits and audits that failed to meet minimum standards. California's offsets have already been challenged in court by environmentalists who argue that offset developers will earn money for actions that they would have taken even if the program did not exist.

''If there is a loss of confidence because there is a sense that people have been cheating and the offsets are not real, that will be a problem,'' said Kevin Kennedy, an economist with the World Resources Institute in Washington.

That is why there is such a need for qualified verifiers. This summer, four foresters from around the country gathered in a Los Angeles suburb for a $2,900 test-preparation course to master the new system in advance of a required state test.

All had experience in verification in other carbon trading systems '-- so much so that they offered their instructors sharp critiques on the 111 pages of rules. One even challenged the algorithms central to the forest benefit calculations.

''If they don't get the equations right, there could be a real problem,'' said Terese Walters, a forester from Oregon. She is hoping that having California credentials will lead to lucrative opportunities. Ms. Walters and Caitlin Sellers, a forester from Florida in the class, both work for Environmental Services of Jacksonville, Fla., one of the country's largest environmental consulting firms. David Bubser, another student, is a Minnesota forester and a regional manager for the nonprofit Rainforest Alliance.

There are several basic requirements for a forest offset. Credits cannot be granted for preserving trees that were going to be left standing anyway. The change must be long-lasting: trees must be left intact for a century. And owners must hire accredited verifiers to audit their claims.

The offset marketplace is already beginning to hum as companies gear up for California's rollout.

Independent verifiers can make $800 to $1,200 a day, according to Mr. Bubser. Scientific Certification Systems, Mr. Hrubes's employer, which verified 4.2 million tons of carbon offsets around the world last year, added two foresters this summer, for a total of six.

Sacramento's municipal utility recently held a conference call with potential vendors of credits to offset some of the 1.2 million tons of carbon dioxide emitted annually from its gas-fired power plant '-- possibly by buying 200,000 credits annually.

Utility officials made it clear during the call that the more measurable and reliable the offset, the more valuable it would be. The administrators of California's program have set a floor price for allowances at $10 per metric ton of emissions during the first auction in November. Once the program gets going, the actual value of allowances will fluctuate as they are traded.

The Redwood Forest Foundation, created to promote sustainable forestry but also to keep timber jobs in Mendocino County, is considering selling offset credits. Its biggest asset is the 50,000-acre Usal Redwood Forest, where Mr. Hrubes was working, which the foundation acquired in 2007 with a $65 million bank loan. The foundation needs to pay down its debt. It reaped $19.5 million selling a conservation easement last year, but the idea of a new revenue source is alluring.

''When you need an economic return, one way is to maximize timber harvest,'' said Tom Tuchmann, the group's acting executive director. ''The other way is to look at nontraditional value streams.''

But making strategic decisions about how many trees to harvest and how many to use to lock up carbon is an uncertain business. Other carbon markets have generally not done well by investors, and some brokerages have closed their carbon desks.

''There are so many people who are disappointed,'' said Thaddeus Huetteman, the president of Power and Energy Analytic Resources of Atlanta. ''What they are really looking for is for California to show we can create a new market of significance in the world's ninth-largest economy.''

Movie PR

Group Takes Over Hollywood Boulevard, Police Issue Modified Tactical Alert

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Sun, 14 Oct 2012 05:56

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A group of skateboarders had taken over part of Hollywood Boulevard in central Hollywood Saturday night and were throwing bottles at police officers, authorities and witnesses said.

Aerial video showed many dozens of people in the street, and a phalanx of patrol cars on Hollywood Boulevard. Officers were seen running toward the group, which began to scatter.

A group of 400 skateboarders were in the street, and the Los Angeles Police Department had responded with a modified tactical alert, according to Sgt. Rudy Lopez.

Shopkeepers had been advised to close their businesses and lock their doors, according to an employee of Juicy Burger.

The incident began about 9 p.m. near Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street (map).

A man identifies himself as an ESPN skateboard rider on Twitter was at the scene and tweeted about the ongoing incident, saying the crowd was in Hollywood for the premiere of "Bake and Destroy" at the Vine Theater.

"People were cool but then around 830 people were hitting each other with beer cans, throwing cigs at pedestrians & starting fights," HaitianReggie tweeted.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!

Baker skateboards

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Sun, 14 Oct 2012 06:00

October 8th 2012

here in la be there!!!

starting oct 19 and 20th shops around the great us of a are gonna be showing the video. if you see your shop on here, holar at em!

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October 8th 2012

Click pic for biggie

Videos about to drop go get your tees!!!

Click pic for biggie

fuck yo couch. available in Black/White, White/Red, Grey/black

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September 27th 2012

IS you ready for november?! Figgy is! Get a subscription to Thrasher now!!!

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Bank$ters

"LARGE AMOUNT" Of Hundred Dollar Bills Stolen From The Federal Reserve! (Understatement of the Year)

Beta Testing QE 4 - "Large Amount " Of $100 Bills Stolen From Federal Reserve

Link to Article

Source: Zero Hedge

Sun, 14 Oct 2012 02:38

A month ago, just before the launch of QEternity, we caught a rare glimpse of what may be the beta test of one of the Fed's latest ploys in "unconventional monetary easing" when bank robbers decided to throw money out of their car in central LA during a police pursuit. Today, a month later, and 4 weeks after Bernanke's latest open-ended monetary easing, incorrectly reference virtually everywhere as QE3 (as Twist has had more flow impact on the market than QE 1 and 2 combined) has proven to be, at least so far, an absolute failure, we learn what perhaps may be an even more "effective" approach to juicing the monetary supply with quite literally brand new, freshly printed Benjamins (the Franklin varietal; the Bernanke will have one or more separator commas). From AP: "Federal authorities are warning merchants to be on the lookout for stolen $100 bills that aren't supposed to go into circulation until next year. The bills were stolen from an airplane that landed in Philadelphia from Dallas Thursday morning. The plane had been transporting money from the Federal Reserve facility in Dallas."

Of course, anyone who has seen airplanes carrying Fed cargo, knows that robbing the ultra secretive GLD warehouse in London of all of its tungsten gold is child's play by comparison. And yet this is just what officially happened. Not only that but the stolen shipment is of $100 bills that will be introduced into circulation next year, giving counterfeiters a solid head start on preparations to further assist the Fed in diluting the US currency in circulation which as per the H.6 continues to rise by about $3 billion per week, and $90 billion per year and rising fast, clocking in at a record $1.074 trillion at last check.

More from AP:

The theft was reported by a courier service transporting the C-notes when the shipment arrived Thursday afternoon at the Federal Reserve Building in East Rutherford, N.J. Officials then discovered some of the money was missing.

Investigators said these Benjamins are easy to spot. The new bills have sophisticated elements to thwart counterfeiters, like a disappearing Liberty Bell in an orange inkwell and a bright blue security ribbon.

The FBI said a "large amount'' of bills were stolen, but agents aren't giving specifics.

The $100 bills are not scheduled to be released into circulation until next year.

So while the good news from the above is that the Fed will not be adopting the EUR in its plot to completely destroy the US currency in order to inflate away Federal debt that is now rising at a pace of $2.33 for every new dollar in GDP, the bad news is that in order to qualify for what may be the harbinger of QEs to come, one needs to have a good tracker of cargo planes carrying currency cargo. Because apparently all one needs to take possession of said cargo going forward is to politely say "please."

h/t Nihilarian

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Hookers & Blow

Prostitute Patrons Can't Hide Their Faces Anymore

Link to Article

Sat, 13 Oct 2012 21:06

Gone are the days of the nameless, faceless "john." Men who buy sex are now likely to end up with their faces splashed across the Internet or the morning newspaper.

A Maine tourist town shaken up by authorities' promises to reveal the identities of dozens of clients of a fitness instructor accused of prostitution is just the latest place to enlist public shaming as a preventive measure.

Fresno, Calif., sponsors a website called "Operation Reveal" that features mug shots of suspected johns, while Oklahoma City has the vigilante-style "JohnTV." In Arlington, Texas, a highway billboard declares "This could be you" under the picture of four suspects.

Haiti

Quake-Hit Haiti Gains Little as Wyclef Jean Charity Spends Much - NYTimes.com

Link to Article

Fri, 12 Oct 2012 16:40

Richard Perry/The New York Times

The charity Y(C)le allotted $230,000 for the revitalization of this Port-au-Prince plaza in the Cit(C) Soleil slum, with no lasting results. More Photos >>

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti '-- In a new memoir, Wyclef Jean, the Haitian-born hip-hop celebrity, claims he endured a ''crucifixion'' after the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake when he faced questions about his charity's financial record and ability to handle what eventually amounted to $16 million in donations.

Portraying himself as persecuted like Jesus and Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. Jean, 40, writes with indignation about insinuations that he had used his charity, Y(C)le, for personal gain. He says he did not need to '-- ''I have a watch collection worth $500,000'''-- and that doubters will someday understand ''Y(C)le is Haiti's greatest asset and ally.''

But on his book tour for ''Purpose: An Immigrant's Story,'' Mr. Jean, who made an aborted bid for the presidency of Haiti after the earthquake, neglects to mention two key facts: a continuing New York attorney general's investigation has already found financial improprieties at Y(C)le, and the charity effectively went out of business last month, leaving a trail of debts, unfinished projects and broken promises.

''If I had depended on Y(C)le,'' said Diaoly Estim(C), whose orphanage features a wall painting of Mr. Jean and his wife, ''these kids would all be dead by now.''

Even as Y(C)le is besieged by angry creditors, an examination of the charity indicates that millions in donations for earthquake victims went to its own offices, salaries, consultants' fees and travel, to Mr. Jean's brother-in-law for projects never realized, to materials for temporary houses never built and to accountants dealing with its legal troubles.

On the ground in Haiti, little lasting trace of Y(C)le's presence can be discerned. The walled country estate leased for its headquarters, on which the charity lavished $600,000, is deserted. Y(C)le's street cleaning crews have been disbanded. The Y(C)le-branded tents and tarps have mostly disintegrated; one camp leader said they had not seen Y(C)le, which is based in New York, since Mr. Jean was disqualified as a presidential candidate because he lives in Saddle River, N.J., not Haiti.

This summer, the charity foundered.

At the end of August, Derek Q. Johnson, Y(C)le's chief executive, announced his resignation to supporters.

''As the foundation's sole remaining employee, my decision implies the closure of the organization as a whole,'' wrote Mr. Johnson, a former Time Warner executive who replaced Mr. Jean at Y(C)le's helm when the musician declared his candidacy in August 2010.

His resignation came after Mr. Jean declined to accept a settlement proposed by the attorney general covering the charity's pre-earthquake activities, and he hired Avi Schick, a lawyer who had been a member of Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman's transition team.

The settlement would have required Mr. Jean and the two other Y(C)le founders to pay $600,000 in restitution ''to remedy the waste of the foundation's assets.'' It also would have required Y(C)le to pay for a forensic audit of its post-disaster expenses, as it had done for its pre-earthquake finances, and to start ''winding down its affairs.''

On Thursday, Mr. Jean's spokeswoman said he and his lawyers ''are working assiduously to resolve any pending issues with respect to Y(C)le prior to its closing as Mr. Jean continues his tireless commitment to his beloved country.'' Neither the spokeswoman nor Hugh Locke, a Y(C)le co-founder, responded to specific questions.

Mr. Jean founded Y(C)le, a word he coined to mean ''cry for freedom,'' in 2004. Now 40, he had emigrated to the United States as a child, becoming an international star with his 1990s band, the Fugees. In his memoir, he says his journey from ''a hut with a dirt floor'' to ''a mansion in New Jersey with Grammys on the mantle'' motivated him to give back to his homeland.

But from the start Y(C)le was lax about accounting and tax filing, blurring the boundaries between its founders' personal and charitable enterprises.

The forensic audit examined $3 million of the charity's 2005 to 2009 expenses and found $256,580 in illegitimate benefits to Mr. Jean and other Y(C)le board and staff members as well as improper or potentially improper transactions. These included $24,000 for Mr. Jean's chauffeur services and $30,763 for a private jet that transported Lindsay Lohan from New Jersey to a benefit in Chicago that raised only $66,000.

Andr(C) Paultre contributed reporting.

Wyclef's Yele Charity Officially Shut-Down

Link to Article

Source: Jacky Jasper's Diary of a Hollywood Street King

Fri, 12 Oct 2012 16:39

by Jacky JasperGone till November?Wyclef Jean's ineffective and scandal-plagued charity Y(C)le quietly went belly up last month, after CEO Derek Johnson announced his resignation. Know why? Because, while Wyclef / Yele were eager to take donations, they refused to take responsibility.

''As the foundation's sole remaining employee, my decision implies the closure of the organization as a whole,'' he wrote. In its wake, the charity leaves ''a trail of debts, unfinished projects, and broken promises.

In Haiti, there's little sign it ever existed; its headquarters is abandoned, its tents and tarps have disintegrated, and its street cleaning crews have disbanded.

Johnson bailed after Wyclef turned down a settlement from New York's attorney general, which has been investigating the charity. The settlement, covering Y(C)le's pre-earthquake misdeeds, would have required the charity to submit to a forensic audit, and its founders to pay $600,000 to make up for charity funds they wasted.

Of course, pre-earthquake Y(C)le was tiny. Post-earthquake it grew, raising $9 million in 2010, of which half went to pay for its own offices, travel expenses, and fees. Money also went to questionable contracts'--including some to Jean's brother-in-law for projects that never materialized. For much more, including how the charity stiffed orphanages of vegetables. Read the full story here on the NY Times

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ACTA/TPP

Ministry of Truth

Secret CIA Bin Laden Training Facility'...or Stage? Just Wondering '' Alternative News and Opinions

Link to Article

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 11:22

by Zen Gardner

Here's something I just stumbled upon in the news.

Before you read the article below, just think. They've supposedly found a fugitive's hide out and assume they have enough time to reconstruct the whole thing and practice rather than just go in and get him? Nonsense. Whatta scam. He'd been dead for 10 years already anyway.

So while something did apparently transpire at a similar location in Pakistan, this way they can be sure they get certain camera shots for the cover story and it goes down according to plan. And as you'll see below, they erased the evidence of the so-called ''training'' location completely'....as well as the Navy SEALs that supposedly performed the fake operation who were conveniently shot down in a helicopter in Afghanistan.

Erase erase.

The whole operation was full of holes from the get go, but this makes a nice final nail in the coffin if you ask me.

One of the reasons U.S. Navy SEALs were able to so skillfully execute the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound last year was a CIA training facility in North Carolina that mirrored the architecture of bin Laden's actual compound in Pakistan. In 2011, during those crucial months that SEAL Team Six trained there, it was one of the most secretive facilities on U.S. soil. Now, for the first time, the facility has been revealed on Bing's satellite map service during a phase when it was under construction. Peekaboo!

That's an aerial shot of Harvey Point Defense Testing, a CIA training facility in North Carolina. It was taken on February 15, 2011. Look familiar? Here's a shot of Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, shortly after the May 2011 raid.

It's a fascinating discovery and it's all thanks to the eagle-eyed folks over at Cryptome.com, who identified the compound this morning after reading the book No Easy Day by former SEAL Team Six member Matt Bissonnette. In multiple passages in the book, Bissonnette mentions training for the raid in North Carolina. ''This training exercise down in North Carolina sounded like another bad mission. But I wouldn't know until Monday,'' Bissonnette writes in the book. From there, the folks over at Cryptome apparently pored over acres of satellite imagery of CIA facilities in North Carolina. Below is a view of the larger CIA center with the mock-up circled in red:

But here's where this gets really interesting. What happens when you view the same training facility at the same coordinates on Google Maps instead of Bing?

Poof! Vanished! It's gone:

Apparently, just like the real-life compound in Pakistan, the CIA's mock-up compound has also been destroyed. Anybody know why? (It's an open question.) The other thing we can divine from this is that Bing apparently has less up-to-date maps than Google. But in this case, that's quite a valuable feature! Source

aangirfan: 'Osama' Compound Fakery

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 11:17

'Training facility in the USA', identical to the 'bin Laden' compound.The alleged bin Laden shooting, on 1 May 2011, looks entirely fake.

Allegedly, in North Carolina, the CIA had a 'Bin Laden raid' training facility with the exact same layout as the Pakistan compound.

Satellite maps reportedly reveal a structure in the USA identical to bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Cryptome.org on 9 October 2012 published the satellite images.

Warning: this could be an attempt to hide the real truth.'Bin Laden' compound in Pakistan.

The pictures, from Cryptome.org, show 'the site' in North Carolina, near the CIA's Harvey Point Defense Testing Activity facility in Perquimans County.

On Google Maps, there is no trace of the building, which was allegedly demolished.

The bin Laden compound in Pakistan was demolished. The 'Osama bin Laden compound' in the Pakistan town of Abbottabad had a special design.

Reportedly, it is a design used by the US military.

Reportedly, the US military use this design for constructing secret and safe homes for top officers in dangerous zones.

(Did Dawood's construction firm build 'Osama's' Abbottabad home? / Did Dawood's construction firm build 'Osama's' Abbottabad home ...)From Google.

Who built the 'Osama compound' in Pakistan?

"Highly placed sources in Indian intelligence" reveal that the contract to build such homes in Pakistan has been given to Safari Construction."

Safari Construction is reportedly owned by Dawood Ibrahim.

(Did Dawood's construction firm build Osama's Abbottabad home?)

The 'Osama' compound in Pakistan. NOTE: no satellite dish.The copy of the 'Osama' house in Bagram, Afghanistan? Note the satellite dish.In April 2011, the US military reportedly made a full scale replica of the 'Obama compound'. (Full-Scale Replica.)

"They replicated the one-acre compound at Camp Alpha, a segregated section of Bagram Air Base." (the Atlantic)

Food

Verenigde Naties alarmeren: 'Globale voedselcrisis in 2013'

Link to Article

Source: VK: Home

Sun, 14 Oct 2012 12:43

Door: Redactie '' 14/10/12, 12:21 '' bron: DeMorgen.be

(C) ap. Uitgedroogde ma¯s in de Verenigde Staten.

De graanreserves in de wereld zijn zo laag dat extreme weersomstandigheden in de Verenigde Staten of andere voedselexporterende landen volgend jaar zouden leiden tot een hongercrisis op wereldschaal, zo waarschuwen de Verenigde Naties.

Door de dit jaar mislukte oogsten in de VS, Oekra¯ne en andere landen, zijn de graanreserves geslonken tot hun laagste niveau sinds 1974. De Verenigde Staten, die dit jaar hittegolven en droogte kenden, hebben nu een historisch lage reserve aan ma¯s van 6,5 procent van wat het volgend jaar verwacht te consumeren.

Meer consumeren dan produceren'We produceren minder dan we consumeren. Daardoor raken voorraden uitgeput. De aanvoer is enorm klein en over de hele wereld zijn de reserves bijzonder klein. Daardoor is er geen ruimte voor onverwachte omstandigheden volgend jaar', stelt Abdolreza Abbasian, economist bij de Voedsel- en Landbouworganisatie (FAO) van de Verenigde Naties.

Doordat de voedselconsumptie in zes van de afgelopen elf jaar groter was dan de productie, hebben landen hun reserve zien slinken van gemiddeld 107 dagen tien jaar geleden tot gemiddeld 74 dagen recent.

De prijzen van belangrijke gewassen als graan en ma¯s komen al in de buurt van het niveau waardoor in 2008 rellen uitbraken in 25 landen. Volgens nieuwe cijfers van de FAO zijn wereldwijd 870 miljoen mensen ondervoed en grijpt de voedselcrisis om zich heen in de Midden-Oosten en Afrika. De productie van graan zal dit jaar 5,2 procent kleiner zijn dan vorig jaar en ook de oogsten van de meeste andere gewassen, rijst uitgezonderd, dalen.

(C) ap.

Klimaat onbetrouwbaarEen van 's werelds belangrijkste milieu-experts en voorzitter van het Amerikaanse onderzoekscentrum Earth Lester Brown waarschuwt dat het wereldwijde voedselsysteem elk moment kan instorten, wat voor nog eens honderden miljoenen mensen ondervoeding zou betekenen en tot rellen zou leiden. Het klimaat is immers niet meer betrouwbaar en de vraag naar voedsel neemt zo snel toe dat een instorting onafwendbaar. Tenzij dringend wordt ingegrepen.

'Voedseltekorten hebben in het verleden al beschavingen ondermijnd. We zijn op dat pad. Elk land tracht zich veilig te stellen. De wereld leeft van jaar tot jaar', schrijft Brown in een nieuw boek.

Volgens Brown stort de voedselbevoorrading in door toedoen van speculanten die de hand leggen op miljoenen vierkante kilometers goedkope landbouwgrond, de verdubbeling van de internationale voedselprijzen op tien jaar tijd en de dramatische inkrimping van voedselreserves.

Dit jaar zal de wereld voor de zesde keer in elf jaar tijd meer consumeren dan we produceren, grotendeels door extreem weer in de VS en andere belangrijke voedselexporterende landen. Vorige week verklaarde Oxfam dat de prijs van sleutelgewassen zoals graan en rijst in de komende twintig jaar kan verdubbelen, wat rampzalig zou zijn voor de miljoenen mensen die een groot deel van hun inkomen aan voedsel besteden.

Van overvloed naar schaarste'We treden een tijdperk binnen van stijgende voedselprijzen en toenemende honger. Voedselvoorraden raken uitgeput en grond wordt het meestgezochte goed. We schuiven op van een tijdperk van overvloed naar een tijdperk van schaarste. De geopolitiek van het voedsel overschaduwt snel die van de olie', stelt Brown.

'De situatie is niet tijdelijk. We snijden een nieuw hoofdstuk aan. We zullen op steeds meer plaatsen voedselrellen zien. Gewapende conflicten vormen niet langer de grootste bedreiging voor onze toekomst, maar wel de klimaatverandering, de bevolkingsgroei, watertekorten en de stijgende voedselprijzen.'

Real News

VIDEO

Human Rights Watch: Credible Evidence Syria Using Cluster Bombs On Civilian Populations

City Of Burlington Has Entire Bank Account Emptied By Hackers

"LARGE AMOUNT" Of Hundred Dollar Bills Stolen From The Federal Reserve! (Understatement of the Year)

Syria Moves Tanks And Troops To Turkish Border

NEW Video From Al Qaeda's #1 Urges HOLY WAR Against US & Israel For Video Mocking Muhammad

Lawrence O'Donnell Rewrites the Rules for Presidential Debates

Link to Article

Source: Crooks and Liars

Sun, 14 Oct 2012 03:18

In his Rewrite segment this Friday evening, Lawrence O'Donnell talked to his viewers about his suggestion for how to modify the rules for presidential debates, and I have to say, I couldn't agree with him more. As he rightfully stated, we're not electing a "memorizer in chief, we're electing a commander in chief.

As O'Donnell reminded us, there's not a politician out there who makes a decision without the help of their staff, or written notes and other material readily available to them at their request, so why should the debates be any different? Why not let candidates have access to whatever notes, props, and a staffer on hand to go get them whatever material they need if they request it?

GARY JOHNSON vs JILL STEIN The Other Presidential Debate

Walmart Employees Threatening A Strike For Black Friday

Link to Article

Source: Crooks and Liars

Sun, 14 Oct 2012 03:35

Walmart launched a large-scale response this week to a series of unprecedented labor strikes, according to a confidential document obtained by The Huffington Post.

The seven-page internal memo, issued Oct. 8, is intended for salaried employees only, and contains instructions on how to respond to strikes by hourly workers that spread to 28 Walmart stores in 12 cities earlier this week. The strikes were the first by Walmart retail employees in the company's 50-year history.

The memo makes clear that Walmart, the world's largest private employer, views the labor protests as a serious attack, a message that runs contrary to the company's public comments that the strikes are mere "publicity stunts," as Walmart's vice president of communications David Tovar told The Huffington Post Tuesday.

"As you know,'' the memo opens, ''activists or union organizers have been trying for years to stop our Company's growth and to damage our relationship with our customers and members. One of the activists' or union organizers' tactics is to try to disrupt the business by urging our associates to participate in a walkout or other form of work stoppage.''

The majority of the memo is aimed at instructing managers not to violate workers' legal right to engage in concerted activity, or non-union labor organizing. Managers are directed not to ''discipline'' employees who engage in walkouts, sit-ins or sick-outs.

Legal experts said the confidential memo shows an unprecedented level of caution from a company that has taken harsh stances towards employee attempts to organize in the past.

''Walmart probably has in mind that the Obama NLRB [National Labor Relations Board] often sides with unions over management,'' said Lance Compa, a labor law professor at Cornell University's School of Industrial Relations in Ithaca, N.Y. ''So they're being extremely cautious.''

[...] The historic retail worker strikes began last Friday in Los Angeles, when 60-some people walked off work, and they quickly spread across the country. Earlier in September, workers at warehouses owned by Walmart in Illinois and California also went on strike.

Striking workers are demanding that Walmart end retaliatory practices against employees who attempt to organize by Nov. 23, Black Friday. If not, they will strike again on the biggest shopping day of the year, according to Colby Harris, a Walmart worker from Dallas, who participated in Tuesday's strike.

"Cyber Attacks Could Be As Destructive As The Terrorist Attacks On 9/11!" Sec Of Defense Panetta

Jay Carney Defends VP Biden Statement "We Weren't Told" About Request For Extra Security In Libya

Shot Fired Into Obama Campaign Headquarters In Denver

Man Finds Giant Eyeball While Walking On The Beach

CNBC: IRAN TARGETS THE US

European Union Wins Nobel Peace Prize

NOT Everyone Is Happy About The EU Winning A Nobel Peace Prize

'I'm Generally Dumber' Than My Colleagues

Link to Article

Sat, 13 Oct 2012 14:04

State Dept Spokesman Dodges Benghazi Questions: 'I'm Generally Dumber' Than My Colleagues

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