655: Network of Death

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 17m
September 25th, 2014
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Executive Producers: The Special Goodness

Associate Executive Producers: Todd McGreevy, Sir Herb Lamb of Saltcreek, Micky Keck

Cover Artist: Secret Agent Paul

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We are the Über of Public Radio
One day we'll talk about a topic you are an expert in, and that's when you'll become an active participant.
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Smith Mundt Act - A reminder that you are living in a Smith-Mudt Act repealed media landscape
NDAA and Overturning of Smith-Mundt Act
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA) allows for materials produced by the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to be released within U.S. borders and strikes down a long-time ban on the dissemination of such material in the country.[14][15][16]
Propaganda in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 15:00
Propaganda in the United States is propaganda spread by government and media entities within the United States. Propaganda is information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to influence opinions. Propaganda is not only in advertising; it is also in radio, newspaper, posters, books, and anything else that might be sent out to the widespread public.
Domestic[edit]World War I[edit]The first large-scale use of propaganda by the U.S. government came during World War I. The government enlisted the help of citizens and children to help promote war bonds and stamps to help stimulate the economy. To keep the prices of war supplies down, the U.S. government produced posters that encouraged people to reduce waste and grow their own vegetables in "victory gardens." The public skepticism that was generated by the heavy-handed tactics of the Committee on Public Information would lead the postwar government to officially abandon the use of propaganda.[1]
World War II[edit]During World War II the U.S. officially had no propaganda, but the Roosevelt government used means to circumvent this official line. One such propaganda tool was the publicly owned but government funded Writers' War Board (WWB). The activities of the WWB were so extensive that it has been called the "greatest propaganda machine in history".[1]Why We Fight is a famous series of US government propaganda films made to justify US involvement in World War II.
In 1944 (lasting until 1948) prominent US policy makers launched a domestic propaganda campaign aimed at convincing the U.S. public to agree to a harsh peace for the German people, for example by removing the common view of the German people and the Nazi party as separate entities.[2] The core in this campaign was the Writers' War Board which was closely associated with the Roosevelt administration.[2]
Another means was the United States Office of War Information that Roosevelt established in June 1942, whose mandate was to promote understanding of the war policies under the director Elmer Davies. It dealt with posters, press, movies, exhibitions, and produced often slanted material conforming to US wartime purposes. Other large and influential non-governmental organizations during the war and immediate post war period were the Society for the Prevention of World War III and the Council on Books in Wartime.
Cold War[edit]During the Cold War, the U.S. government produced vast amounts of propaganda against communism and the Soviet bloc. Much of this propaganda was directed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation under J. Edgar Hoover, who himself wrote the anti-communist tract Masters of Deceit. The FBI's COINTELPRO arm solicited journalists to produce fake news items discrediting communists and affiliated groups, such as H. Bruce Franklin and the Venceremos Organization.
War on Drugs[edit]The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, originally established by the National Narcotics Leadership Act of 1988,[3][4] but now conducted by the Office of National Drug Control Policy under the Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998,[5] is a domestic propaganda campaign designed to "influence the attitudes of the public and the news media with respect to drug abuse" and for "reducing and preventing drug abuse among young people in the United States".[6][7] The Media Campaign cooperates with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and other government and non-government organizations.[8]
Iraq War[edit]In early 2002, the U.S. Department of Defense launched an information operation, colloquially referred to as the Pentagon military analyst program.[9] The goal of the operation is "to spread the administrations's talking points on Iraq by briefing ... retired commanders for network and cable television appearances," where they have been presented as independent analysts.[10] On 22 May 2008, after this program was revealed in the New York Times, the House passed an amendment that would make permanent a domestic propaganda ban that until now has been enacted annually in the military authorization bill.[11]
The Shared values initiative was a public relations campaign that was intended to sell a "new" America to Muslims around the world by showing that American Muslims were living happily and freely, without persecution, in post-9/11 America.[12] Funded by the United States Department of State, the campaign created a public relations front group known as Council of American Muslims for Understanding (CAMU). The campaign was divided in phases; the first of which consisted of five mini-documentaries for television, radio, and print with shared values messages for key Muslim countries.[13]
NDAA and Overturning of Smith-Mundt Act[edit]The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA) allows for materials produced by the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to be released within U.S. borders and strikes down a long-time ban on the dissemination of such material in the country.[14][15][16]
Ad Council[edit]The Ad Council, an American non-profit organization that distributes public service announcements on behalf of various private and federal government agency sponsors, has been labeled as "little more than a domestic propaganda arm of the federal government" given the Ad Council's historically close collaboration with the President of the United States and the federal government.[17]
International[edit]Through several international broadcasting operations, the US disseminates American cultural information, official positions on international affairs, and daily summaries of international news. These operations fall under the International Broadcasting Bureau, the successor of the United States Information Agency, established in 1953. IBB's operations include Voice of America, Radio Liberty, Alhurra and other programs. They broadcast mainly to countries where the United States finds that information about international events is limited, either due to poor infrastructure or government censorship. The Smith-Mundt Act prohibits the Voice of America from disseminating information to US citizens that was produced specifically for a foreign audience.
During the Cold War the US ran covert propaganda campaigns in countries that appeared likely to become Soviet satellites, such as Italy, Afghanistan, and Chile.
Recently The Pentagon announced the creation of a new unit aimed at spreading propaganda about supposedly "inaccurate" stories being spread about the Iraq War. These "inaccuracies" have been blamed on the enemy trying to decrease support for the war. Donald Rumsfeld has been quoted as saying these stories are something that keeps him up at night.[18]
Psychological operations[edit]The US military defines psychological operations, or PSYOP, as:
planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence the emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.[19]
The Smith-Mundt Act, adopted in 1948, explicitly forbids information and psychological operations aimed at the US public.[20][21][22] Nevertheless, the current easy access to news and information from around the globe, makes it difficult to guarantee PSYOP programs do not reach the US public. Or, in the words of Army Col. James A. Treadwell, who commanded the U.S. military psyops unit in Iraq in 2003, in the Washington Post:
There's always going to be a certain amount of bleed-over with the global information environment.[23]
Agence France Presse reported on U.S. propaganda campaigns that:
The Pentagon acknowledged in a newly declassified document that the US public is increasingly exposed to propaganda disseminated overseas in psychological operations.[24]
Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved the document referred to, which is titled "Information Operations Roadmap." [22][24] The document acknowledges the Smith-Mundt Act, but fails to offer any way of limiting the effect PSYOP programs have on domestic audiences.[20][21][25]
Several incidents in 2003 were documented by Sam Gardiner, a retired Air Force colonel, which he saw as information-warfare campaigns that were intended for "foreign populations and the American public." Truth from These Podia,[26] as the treatise was called, reported that the way the Iraq war was fought resembled a political campaign, stressing the message instead of the truth.[22]
See also[edit]References[edit]^ abThomas Howell, The Writers' War Board: U.S. Domestic Propaganda in World War II, Historian, Volume 59 Issue 4, Pages 795 - 813^ abSteven Casey, (2005), The Campaign to sell a harsh peace for Germany to the American public, 1944 - 1948, [online]. London: LSE Research Online. [Available online at http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/archive/00000736] Originally published in History, 90 (297). pp. 62-92 (2005) Blackwell Publishing^National Narcotics Leadership Act of 1988 of the Anti''Drug Abuse Act of 1988, Pub.L. 100''690, 102 Stat. 4181, enacted November 18, 1988^Gamboa, Anthony H. (January 4, 2005), B-303495, Office of National Drug Control Policy '-- Video News Release, Government Accountability Office, footnote 6, page 3 ^Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998 (Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999), Pub.L. 105''277, 112 Stat. 268, enacted October 21, 1998^Gamboa, Anthony H. (January 4, 2005), B-303495, Office of National Drug Control Policy '-- Video News Release, Government Accountability Office, pp. 9''10 ^Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998 of the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999, Pub.L. 105''277, 112 Stat. 268, enacted October 21, 1998^Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 2006, Pub.L. 109''469, 120 Stat. 3501, enacted December 29, 2006, codified at 21 U.S.C. § 1708^Barstow, David (2008-04-20). "Message Machine: Behind Analysts, the Pentagon's Hidden Hand". New York Times. ^Sessions, David (2008-04-20). "Onward T.V. Soldiers: The New York Times exposes a multi-armed Pentagon message machine". Slate. ^Barstow, David (2008-05-24). "2 Inquiries Set on Pentagon Publicity Effort". New York Times. ^Rampton, Sheldon (October 17, 2007). "Shared Values Revisited". Center for Media and Democracy. ^"U.S. Reaches Out to Muslim World with Shared Values Initiative". America.gov. January 16, 2003.
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Dublin Beef Jerky - Meal on a stick
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Drone Knight Posters received
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Presidential Proclamation --- National Farm Safety and Health Week, 2014 | The White House
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 08:47
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 19, 2014
NATIONAL FARM SAFETY AND HEALTH WEEK, 2014
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION
Across our Nation, farmers and ranchers labor through difficult and often dangerous conditions to write their chapter in the narrative that sustains our Union. It is the story of hard work and ingenuity that built our country -- of a farmer who stretches the last moments of daylight to tend his crops and a rancher who gathers her herd and teaches her son the family trade. It is the story of America's agricultural sector, which powers progress in our rural communities and moves our Nation forward. As we recognize National Farm Safety and Health Week, we pay tribute to our agriculturists and renew our efforts to ensure their safety.
America depends on our farmers and ranchers to clothe our families, feed our people, and fuel our cars and trucks. And with their determined spirit and know-how, they have bolstered our economy with the strongest 5-year stretch of farm exports in our history. To support this vital industry and build on its record growth, this year I signed the Farm Bill, which lifts up small ranches and family farms by investing in farmers markets and organic agriculture. It also provides crop insurance, so that when disasters strike, our farmers do not lose everything they have worked to build.
While our farmers and ranchers are the best in the world, agriculture remains one of our country's most hazardous industries. Producers and their families are exposed to numerous safety and health dangers -- from vehicular fatalities and heat-related illnesses to injuries from falls and sicknesses from exposure to pesticides and chemicals. With preparation and proper training, these risks can be limited and lives can be saved. That is why my Administration continues to pursue innovative and comprehensive ways to lessen these hazards. We have invested in programs that improve youth farm safety, and last year, we announced plans to support the development of a national safety training curriculum for young agricultural workers.
This week, we salute all those who carry forward our Nation's proud tradition on sprawling ranches and cross-hatched fields. Let us recommit to raising awareness of the dangers they face and doing our part to protect their health and well-being. Together, we can ensure a safer future for this great American industry.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 21 through September 27, 2014, as
National Farm Safety and Health Week. I call upon the agencies, organizations, businesses, and extension services that serve America's agricultural workers to strengthen their commitment to promoting farm safety and health programs. I also urge Americans to honor our agricultural heritage and express appreciation to our farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers for their contributions to our Nation.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.
BARACK OBAMA
Letter from the President -- Designating Funds for Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 08:46
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 19, 2014
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
In accordance with section 114(c) of the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015 (CR), I hereby designate for Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism all funding (including the rescission of funds) and contributions from foreign governments so designated by the Congress in sections 114(a) and 149(g) of the CR, respectively, pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(A) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, as amended, as outlined in the enclosed list of accounts.
The details of this action are set forth in the enclosed memorandum from the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Sincerely,
BARACK OBAMA
Presidential Proclamation --- National Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Week, 2014
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 16:04
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 19, 2014
NATIONAL EMPLOYER SUPPORT OF THE GUARD AND RESERVE WEEK, 2014
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION
On the eve of our Nation's birth, a courageous people stood up to the tyranny of an empire and declared their independence. They proclaimed the values of equality and justice and fought a revolution to secure them. In 13 colonies, farmers and tradesmen laid their lives on the line, picked up arms, and answered their new country's call to defend freedom.
Throughout our history, patriotic Americans have always stepped up in our Nation's time of need. It is in this spirit that our National Guard and Reserve members carry forward a proud legacy of service and sacrifice. This week, we honor all those who stand ready to defend our way of life and the families, employers, and communities who support them.
More than 1 million citizen-Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen serve our country in the National Guard and Reserve. They live in our communities and work in our cities and towns. We know them as our teachers, coaches, and doctors -- but when a crisis strikes or the strength of our military is needed, they leave the comfort of their civilian lives to protect our Nation. Members of the Guard and Reserve have responded to disasters at home and have served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Our country is grateful to all our Guardsmen and Reservists and the employers who stand behind them and their families. By providing workplace flexibility and helping the advancement of their civilian careers, employers ease the burden on those who serve and their loved ones. And we appreciate all our country's businesses that go above and beyond in small and large ways to recognize our patriots. We know that when it comes to supporting our Nation's heroes, everybody can do something -- every business, every school, and every American.
The United States has a profound obligation to care for those who serve in our Armed Forces, and my Administration will keep providing unprecedented support to the members of our military. We have increased access to Federal education benefits for service members and their loved ones and worked to improve our veterans health care system. This year, in conjunction with First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden's Joining Forces initiative, we launched the Veterans Employment Center, an online tool that connects veterans, transitioning service members, and their families with employers who are seeking to leverage their skills and talents. It is the first Government-wide program to bring career resources and job opportunities together in one place. My Administration will keep engaging all sectors of society to give our military communities the support they have earned.
During National Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Week, we salute the heroes in our everyday lives. As a Nation, let us renew our commitment to serve the families who represent the best of America as well as they serve us.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 21 through September 27, 2014, as National Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Week. I call upon all Americans to join me in expressing our heartfelt thanks to the members of the National Guard and Reserve and their civilian employers. I also call on State and local officials, private organizations, and all military commanders, to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.
BARACK OBAMA
Presidential Proclamation --- National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week, 2014
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 16:03
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 19, 2014
NATIONAL HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES WEEK, 2014
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION
For generations, the promise of an education has been a beacon of hope for millions of Americans seeking a better life. At a time when it was deemed illegal for African Americans to learn to read or write, brave men and women took great risks to learn these skills in secret. And after the Civil War, determined individuals made extraordinary sacrifices to establish the institutions we know today as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). These schools waged a war against illiteracy and ignorance and offered a newly free people the opportunity to write their own chapter in the American story. This week, we honor their important legacy and renew our commitment to their spirit: that every person deserves a chance to succeed.
Over more than 150 years, HBCUs have provided students with the tools to meet the challenges of a changing world. These institutions are hubs of opportunity that lift up Americans and instill in their students a sense of who they are and what they can become. Their campuses are engines of economic growth and community service and proven ladders of intergenerational advancement. Across our country, their graduates strengthen our communities, lead our industries, and serve our Nation. And their successes inspire the next cohort of graduates and leaders.
HBCUs have forged pathways to help students overcome barriers to equal opportunity, but more work remains to ensure that a world-class education is within the reach of every person willing to work for it. That is why my Administration is fighting to make college more affordable with larger grants and low-interest loans. We are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in HBCUs, and because half of all students at these schools are the first in their family to attend college, we are supporting programs that help these first-generation scholars succeed. Our goal is to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020, and investing in these institutions and their students will play a vital part in meeting it.
Today, because of the work of bold leaders -- and of parents and grandparents who never dreamed of going to college themselves but who saved and sacrificed so their children could -- more young people have the chance to achieve their greatest potential and full measure of happiness. During National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week, we recognize the ways these schools have made our Nation more just and we continue our work to make higher education accessible to every child in America.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 21 through September 27, 2014, as National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week. I call upon educators, public officials, professional organizations, corporations, and all Americans to observe this week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that acknowledge the countless contributions these institutions and their alumni have made to our country.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.
BARACK OBAMA
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The Big Illusion
The mind is very good at filling in 'gaps' of a visual story
Like going from an interior shot to exterior, wihtout seeing anyone go out a door
Some black and wight video with cross hairs WTF?
Minimal location footage at best, great savings!
Stock marketing footage of all the cool gear we're using Jet Fighters, Tomohawks, etc
Just an exuse to decrease inventory
Caliphate!
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Afgahnistan election fraud
Afghanistan: Update. The head of the committee arranging for the swearing-in of the president-elect Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai announced that the ceremony is scheduled for 29 September. The Taliban announced that they rejected the election process, which it described as fake and shameful. They announced that they will continue the jihad.
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Imminent threat definition
But a Justice Department white paper released in February 2013 gives a more nuanced view.
"An 'imminent' threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future," the memo reads.
Obama For UN
Power and Kerry behind him, looking like they hope he doesn't fuck up his lines
Syria is now involving Russia in the Middle East rubblization
Wow, at work today I heard a woman asking another co-worker how to find pictures that she hides on Facebook. she said her son is in the military and she is trying to hide all of his military pictures because isis are targeting family of military people. She was going to take her flag down at her house and take the stickers off her car. She said they are in the united states and are trying to recruit people. I couldn't believe what she was saying and was actually doing all this stuff. The fear porn is working more than I even imagined.
ITM,
Chris Gromoll
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The French Beheading Video
stealth frames at 4:23 of foley
End of clip body shifts, big fuzz filter around the frame. Why? Shooting past the set perhaps?
Older videos have kicking off the crazies - no branding -
Could get real copy cats
Just like the stupid innoncence of muslims video
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Israeli Promoters Throw Gay Party, Complete with ISIS-Themed Beheading Ads | Mediaite
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 04:53
And there it is. An Israeli gay party promoter Went There and threw an ISIS-themed party in Tel Aviv last weekend, and to advertise it, used this image of some shirtless models re-enacting the beheadings of Western journalists.
Drek, a well-known gay party organizer according to YNet News, intended the party, called ''Drekistan at the Haoman,'' to be a ''satire'' of ISIS, ''our way of showing our contempt of them and their videos'':
The organizers wrote ''as the new Islamic State gains traction in the Middle East, we at Drek have decided to give in to Sharia law and cheer the stubborn Daesh,'' using the Arab acronym for the group, and invoking a veiled play on words '' ''stubborn'' in Hebrew can be written as ''hard necked'', a reference to the group's infamous executions.
Amiri Kalman, one of the Drek's founders, said in response: ''We are trying to react to current events. We have been doing it for a number of years. But we reject violence in any form and that includes the (execution) videos intended to scare the world.''
Drek removed the beheading photo after they were called out for bad taste, but retained the other one, which has another beautiful shirtless model waving a black flag evoking ISIS's flag, just because:
[h/t Daily Intelligencer][Image via YNet/Twitter]
''
>> Follow Tina Nguyen (@Tina_Nguyen) on Twitter
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Obama-The Campaign For U.N. Secretary-General Begins - Investors.com
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 01:41
Multilateralism: It is commonly observed that President Obama never started governing because he never stopped campaigning. He campaigned in his West Point speech all right '-- for United Nations secretary-general.
We've got a president who has unblushingly told us he's "a better speechwriter than my speechwriters," knows "more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors" and is "a better political director than my political director."
Not to mention that "like any politician at this level, I've got a healthy ego." Uh, no kidding.
An intellect that enormous must feel confined by merely leading the free world (or, more accurately, not leading). Such boundless cerebral prowess deserves a real challenge, such as running the whole world.
The president obviously agrees; his address to cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on Wednesday sounded much like the launch of a campaign for still-higher office: presiding over the hopelessly corrupt, tyrant-dominated United Nations.
After briefly giving lip service to the U.S. using "military force, unilaterally if necessary, when our core interests demand it," Obama quickly placed America under the U.N. umbrella. When faced with crises that "do not directly threaten us," he said, "we must mobilize allies and partners to take collective action."
Great wartime presidents never had to boast of U.S. power; they used it. But "those who think America is weak are wrong" was the theme of Obama's speech.
Those "who suggest that America is in decline, or has seen its global leadership slip away, are either misreading history or engaged in partisan politics," Obama claimed. "Think about it. Our military has no peer."
There's a similarity to Jimmy Carter's 1979 "malaise" speech, touting "the outward strength of America, a nation that is at peace tonight everywhere in the world, with unmatched economic power and military might." Six months later, Soviet tanks rolled into Afghanistan, and less than a year after that Ronald Reagan was called in to rebuild the Pentagon and a battered U.S. economy.
"I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being," Obama told the cadets, but he defined that as the willingness to affirm "international norms ... through our actions."
The Nobel Peace Prize Committee gave Obama its award on spec, less than nine months after his inauguration in 2009, to promote "multilateral diplomacy" and an "emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play."
Now the U.N., acting similarly, can make him "president of the world." Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's term expires in early 2017. If Obama were his successor, the U.S., even under a Republican administration, might not veto an ex-U.S. president in the Security Council.
Who would the U.N. like better as secretary-general than an American who wants the world's lone superpower placed firmly under the rules made by the U.N. General Assembly, the vast majority of whose members are undemocratic and pine for redistributed U.S. wealth?
A secretary-general who can get the U.S. to accept U.N. rule.
Letter from the President -- War Powers Resolution Regarding Syria
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 04:53
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 23, 2014
TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENTTO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVESAND THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE SENATE
September 23, 2014
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
As I have repeatedly reported to the Congress, U.S. Armed Forces continue to conduct operations in a variety of locations against al-Qa'ida and associated forces. In furtherance of these U.S. counterterrorism efforts, on September 22, 2014, at my direction, U.S. military forces began a series of strikes in Syria against elements of al-Qa'ida known as the Khorasan Group. These strikes are necessary to defend the United States and our partners and allies against the threat posed by these elements.
I have directed these actions, which are in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional and statutory authority as Commander in Chief (including the authority to carry out Public Law 107-40) and as Chief Executive, as well as my constitutional and statutory authority to conduct the foreign relations of the United States. I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148). I appreciate the support of the Congress in this action.
Sincerely,
BARACK OBAMA
Letter from the President -- War Powers Resolution Regarding Iraq
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 04:23
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 23, 2014
TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENTTO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVESAND THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE SENATE
September 23, 2014
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
In my reports of August 8 and 17 and September 1 and 8, 2014, I described a series of discrete military operations in Iraq to stop the advance on Erbil by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), support civilians trapped on Mount Sinjar, support operations by Iraqi forces to recapture the Mosul Dam, support an operation to deliver humanitarian assistance to civilians in the town of Amirli, Iraq, and conduct airstrikes in the vicinity of Haditha Dam.
As I noted in my address to the Nation on September 10, with a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultations with allies abroad and the Congress at home, I have ordered implementation of a new comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy to degrade, and ultimately defeat, ISIL. As part of this strategy, I have directed the deployment of 475 additional U.S. Armed Forces personnel to Iraq, and I have determined that it is necessary and appropriate to use the U.S. Armed Forces to conduct coordination with Iraqi forces and to provide training, communications support, intelligence support, and other support, to select elements of the Iraqi security forces, including Kurdish Peshmerga forces. I have also ordered the U.S. Armed Forces to conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes and other necessary actions against these terrorists in Iraq and Syria. These actions are being undertaken in coordination with and at the request of the Government of Iraq and in conjunction with coalition partners.
It is not possible to know the duration of these deployments and operations. I will continue to direct such additional measures as necessary to protect and secure U.S. citizens and our interests against the threat posed by ISIL.
I have directed these actions, which are in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional and statutory authority as Commander in Chief (including the authority to carry out Public Law 107-40 and Public Law 107-243) and as Chief Executive, as well as my constitutional and statutory authority to conduct the foreign relations of the United States.
I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148). I appreciate the support of the Congress in this action.
Sincerely,
BARACK OBAMA
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Fact Sheet on UNSC Resolution 2178 on Foreign Terrorist Fighters | IIP Digital
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 22:38
U.S. Mission to the United NationsOffice of Press and Public DiplomacyNew York, N.Y.September 24, 2014
FACT SHEET: UN Security Council Resolution 2178 on Foreign Terrorist Fighters
Today, President Obama is chairing a historic high-level summit of the UN Security Council focusing on the surge in Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs) worldwide. At this session, the Security Council will adopt a resolution creating a new policy and legal framework for international action in response to this threat.
Resolution 2178 requires countries to take certain steps to address the FTF threat, including to prevent suspected FTFs from entering or transiting their territories and to implement legislation to prosecute FTFs. It also calls on states to undertake various steps to improve international cooperation in this field, such as by sharing information on criminal investigations, interdictions and prosecutions. In this resolution, for the first time ever, the Council underscores that Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) is an essential element of an effective response to the FTF phenomenon. Resolution 2178 also focuses existing UN counterterrorism bodies on the FTF threat, providing a framework for long-term monitoring and assistance to countries in their efforts to address this threat.
Adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, this resolution:
1. Reaffirms that Member States must comply with their human rights obligations when fighting terrorism and notes that a failure to do so contributes to radicalization.
2. Defines the term Foreign Terrorist Fighter as "individuals who travel to a State other than their States of residence or nationality for the purpose of the perpetration, planning, or preparation of, or participation in, terrorist acts or the providing or receiving of terrorist training, including in connection with armed conflict."
3. Expresses particular concern about the FTFs who have joined the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Al-Nusrah Front, and other groups associated with Al-Qaida.
4. Expresses concern over the use of the internet to incite others to commit terrorist acts and underlines the need to prevent terrorists from exploiting technology to incite support for terrorist acts, while at the same time respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms.
5. Notes the work of other multilateral bodies, including INTERPOL and other UN agencies, and the recent adoption by the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) of recommended good practices to respond to the FTF threat.
6. Demands FTFs disarm and cease all terrorist acts and participation in armed conflict.
7. Calls upon countries to require their airlines to provide advance passenger information to detect the travel of UN-listed terrorists.
Obligations
8. Requires countries to prevent and suppress recruiting, organizing, transporting, and equipping of FTFs, and the financing of FTF travel and activities.
9. Requires countries to have laws that permit the prosecution of:
o Their nationals and others departing their territories who travel or attempt to travel for terrorism purposes;
o The wilful provision or collection of funds by their nationals or in their territories with the intent or knowledge that they will be used to finance travel of FTFs;
o The wilful organization or facilitation by their nationals or in their territories of such travel.
10. Requires countries to prevent the entry or transit of individuals believed to be traveling for terrorism-related purposes.
International Cooperation
11. Calls upon countries to improve international, regional, and sub-regional cooperation to prevent FTF travel, including through increased information-sharing.
12. Highlights the need for countries to comply with their existing obligations regarding cooperation in terrorism-related criminal investigations and proceedings with respect to investigations and proceedings involving FTFs.
13. Encourages INTERPOL to intensify its efforts to respond to the FTF threat.
14. Calls upon countries to help each other build capacity to address the FTF threat and welcomes bilateral assistance to do so.
Countering Violent Extremism in Order to Prevent Terrorism
15. Underscores that Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) is an essential element of responding to the FTF threat.
16. Calls upon States to enhance CVE efforts and take steps to decrease the risk of radicalization to terrorism in their societies, such as engaging relevant local communities, empowering concerned groups of civil society, and adopting tailored approaches to countering FTF recruitment.
UN Engagement
17. Directs UN counter-terrorism bodies to focus attention on the FTF threat, enabling the international community to assess compliance with this resolution and to target assistance to those countries that need help enforcing its provisions.
18. Requests a report from the UN within 180 days to assess comprehensively the FTF phenomenon and recommend actions to enhance the response to the threat.
FACT SHEET: Comprehensive U.S. Government Approach to Foreign Terrorist Fighters in Syria and the Broader Region | The White House
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 19:58
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 24, 2014
As the President has said, we take seriously the terrorist threat posed by fighters in Iraq, Syria, and the broader region, including foreign terrorist fighters. More than 15,000 foreign terrorist fighters from more than 80 countries have traveled to Syria to fight alongside terrorist groups including dozens of Americans from a variety of backgrounds. The White House is leading an interagency effort to address this threat. Our approach brings together homeland security, law enforcement, intelligence, diplomatic, military, capacity building, and information sharing efforts.
Broad Engagement with Foreign Partners
We employ a whole-of-government outreach effort with foreign partners to highlight the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters as well as their funding streams and to urge steps to interdict wherever possible. The countries involved in this effort are long-time counterterrorism partners, and together, we are committing significant resources to track and disrupt foreign terrorist fighter travel.
President Obama, exercising the United States' current position as the rotating President of the UN Security Council, will chair a meeting of the Council focused on foreign terrorist fighters on September 24. The President has been focused on this issue, and the convening of world leaders is another element of our comprehensive, whole-of-government response to this challenge. We expect that during that session a binding UN Security Council Resolution will be adopted to expand upon current obligations within international law and underscore the centrality of countering violent extremism efforts to respond to and suppress the foreign terrorist fighter threat.
Over the course of the last several months, Lisa Monaco, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and other senior administration officials have consulted with foreign partners and allies on this issue.
The Department of State in March appointed Ambassador Robert Bradtke as Senior Advisor for Partner Engagement on Syria Foreign Fighters. Since then, Ambassador Bradtke has led a comprehensive effort, including marshaling representatives from a number of U.S. departments and agencies, to encourage key European, North African, and Middle Eastern partners to prioritize the threat, address vulnerabilities, and adapt to prevent and interdict foreign terrorist fighters. Ambassador Bradtke is actively engaging partners through multilateral fora, including the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) and the International Institute for Justice and Rule of Law, which recently opened in Malta to serve as a hub for training judges and prosecutors on counterterrorism-related casework, beginning with a focus on foreign fighter facilitation.
Secretary of State John Kerry co-chaired the GCTF ministerial meeting on September 23. At the ministerial meeting, the GCTF adopted a framework of good practices that countries can use to counter the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters.
The Department of State also hosts the interagency Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC) to counter recruitment and radicalization online through counter-messaging, a tool State encourages partner countries to employ as well. CSCC is engaged in a sustained campaign against Syria and Iraq-based terrorists' online messaging to combat their ability to recruit foreign terrorist fighters.
Further, the U.S. Intelligence Community works closely with foreign partners to identify and assess both tactical developments as well as broader trends vis- -vis foreign terrorist fighters. The Intelligence Community's robust sharing of intelligence and analytic insights with foreign counterparts ensures that the proper authorities and senior officials are aware of relevant developments and are best placed to take steps to interdict foreign fighters and disrupt their support networks.
Drawing on Law Enforcement and Homeland Security Tools
Together, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are working closely with a group of European Justice and Home Affairs Ministers to address a wide range of measures focused on enhancing counter-radicalization, border security, aviation security, and information sharing.
DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson has made aviation security his priority, and DHS is engaging with foreign partners and industry to share and implement capabilities to detect potential threats. DHS has shared best practices, tools, and programs with foreign partners to help address the challenges posed by porous borders in detecting foreign fighter travel.
DHS, alongside DOJ, also continues to encourage foreign Ministries of Interior and Justice to adopt similar techniques and expand operational collaboration. Most recently, Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Deputy Attorney General James Cole have led multiple engagements with European Union member countries. We share the concern of our partners abroad over the hundreds of Europeans who have traveled to fight with terrorists in Syria.
The FBI's Terrorist Screening Center's information-sharing agreements with over 40 international partners provide a mechanism for identifying and sharing terrorist travel activity. DHS is also encouraging more countries to join the United States and more than 60 other countries in using travel information like Advance Passenger Information and Passenger Name Record data to identify both known and previously unknown foreign terrorist fighters.
DOJ is working with European and other foreign partners to exchange best practices on enacting criminal laws to address foreign terrorist fighters and developing investigative tools to bring effective prosecutions. U.S. law enforcement authorities also support INTERPOL's Fusion Cell, which focuses on information sharing on foreign terrorist fighters.
Maintaining Domestic Vigilance
At home, we have multiple efforts underway to develop a comprehensive framework to counter violent extremist recruitment, including programs with non-traditional partners, such as mental health, social service, and education providers.
Local communities are the front lines of defense and response, and are essential in addressing foreign terrorist fighter recruitment, especially as Syria-based groups focus on recruiting Westerners. Local law enforcement authorities and community members are often best able to identify individuals or groups exhibiting suspicious or dangerous behaviors and to intervene before they commit acts of violence or attempt to travel overseas to foreign conflict zones. DOJ, DHS, and NCTC work with local law enforcement to build on community-based activities to strengthen resilience in communities targeted by violent extremist recruitment and undermine narratives used by foreign fighter facilitators. For example, U.S. Attorney Offices have co-hosted Community Resilience Exercises in Durham, Seattle, and Houston; and the DHS Secretary is hosting an exercise in Columbus, Ohio, on September 24.
The FBI also works closely with DHS, the Intelligence Community, federal and state law enforcement agencies to share information and identify, investigate, and prosecute U.S. citizens with intentions to travel to foreign countries to support designated terrorist groups. For example, DHS has developed tools to aide its front-line personnel'--be they transportation security officers, customs or border patrol, or immigration officials--in identifying suspected violent extremists.
Background Conference Call on Airstrikes in Syria
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 18:39
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 23, 2014
Via Telephone
12:12 P.M. EDT
MS. HAYDEN: Hi, everyone. Thanks for joining us today. You've already heard this morning from the President and from the Pentagon, but we wanted to give you a chance to ask some more questions about the actions we took last night in Syria. So we have a group of senior administration officials to speak to you on background. There's no embargo on this call.
Again, this call is on background. And with that, I'll turn it over to our first senior administration official.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Thanks, everybody. I'll just give some brief opening comments and then turn it over to my colleague.
As you've heard, the President spoke earlier today about the actions that we took in Syria last night. This was consistent with the strategy that he outlined to the American people earlier this month when he made clear that we were going to have to take action on both the Iraqi and Syrian side of the border as part of our efforts to defeat the threat posed by the terrorist group ISIL.
It is very important to the President that just as we have built a broad coalition to support the Iraqi government and Iraqi security forces, that we have a broad coalition in place for these operations in Syria. And so we believe that this sends a very important message to the region and the world that we were joined by five Arab partners -- Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain and Qatar. And this makes perfectly clear that this is not simply a battle between the United States and ISIL; this is between the people of the region, the governments of the region, and the threat posed by this terrorist organization, which has overwhelmingly killed Muslims, and poses a threat not just the U.S. but to our Arab partners.
In terms of the sequencing, the President authorized this military action on Thursday, following his visit to CENTCOM on Wednesday. He was briefed by General Austin while he was on the ground at CENTCOM, as well as other members of his military advisors. And on Thursday, he authorized them to move forward with the strike plan that he had been briefed on, on Syria.
I think the other factor that drove the timing was putting the coalition together, and Secretary Kerry has done tireless work in traveling to the region to bring together a very strong show of support among our Arab allies and partners who flew with us last night in Syria and will continue to be part of this coalition going forward.
One scheduling note: Later today, as we recently put out, the President will have a chance to drop by a meeting that Secretary Kerry is convening with the representatives of these Arab partner countries here at the United Nations to discuss their efforts going forward.
The only other point I'd make is over the course of the next two days the President will focus very much on the coalition that is continuing to come together to confront the threat by ISIL. He'll be meeting tomorrow morning with Prime Minister Abadi of Iraq. Clearly, as we said repeatedly, our strategy did not rely solely on airstrikes but on support for forces on the ground, and that includes the Iraqi security forces and the Syria opposition. And so we'll have a chance to discuss with Prime Minister Abadi his efforts to build an inclusive government inside of Iraq and our effort to support him in that political process and in the work of the Iraqi security forces and Kurdish forces as they go on the offense against ISIL.
The President will certainly be able to speak on the margins with a range of our other allies and partners, including a number of European allies who are here who have committed to join us in this coalition effort.
The last point I'd make is we've been very clear that this is a broad-based coalition because it's a comprehensive strategy. So we will have some nations engaged in airstrikes and kinetic action with us. We will have some nations who are supporting the training and equipping of the Iraqi security forces and Syrian opposition forces. Other nations will cooperate with us on cutting off ISIL funding. And, importantly, nations will cooperate with us on stopping the flow of foreign fighters into and out of Iraq and Syria. And the President will chair a U.N. Security Council session tomorrow afternoon that is focused on the threat from foreign fighters.
So with that, I will hand it over to my colleague who can focus on the additional action we took last night, which was, in addition to striking ISIL targets, our actions against the Khorasan Group.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Thanks very much. Let me take a minute to just run through some information about the additional action that the President also spoke to a short while ago, and that is the action that the President ordered to disrupt imminent attack plotting against the U.S. and Western interests conducted by what is really a network of seasoned al Qaeda veterans. And you have heard them referred to as the Khorasan Group. These are al Qaeda veterans who have established a safe haven in Syria to develop and plan external attacks in addition to construct and test improvised explosive devises and to recruit Westerners for external operations.
Now, the intelligence that we have and that was the basis for the President's order for the additional actions that were taken last night indicated that these senior Syria-based al Qaeda operatives were nearing the execution phase for an attack in Europe or the homeland. And so the President ordered decisive action to protect our interests and to remove their capability to act.
We have, as a national security and counterterrorism and intelligence community, been working with our foreign partners for some time now, watching this group over the past few years since many of its members arrived in Syria, notably from Pakistan and Afghanistan. And as my colleague noted at the top, the President ordered this action based on information that we had that their plotting was reaching an advanced stage.
Now, you may have questions about the reference to the Khorasan Group. That is a term that sometimes has been used to refer to this network of al Nusra Front and al Qaeda core extremists, all of whom share a history of training operatives, facilitating fighters and the movement of money, and planning attacks against U.S. and Western targets. These are operatives who are quite seasoned; who are, in the view of the counterterrorism and national security community, very dangerous; who fought and lived together in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other areas in the Middle East -- Iraq, Iran, Yemen and other places. And they have for many years, they've developed expertise and experience conducting and planning attacks against innocent individuals.
And what we have seen as a community is this group move to Syria and bring their experience and their skillsets, and frankly, to exploit the conflict in Syria and the safe haven that that conflict has provided.
The group also, we believe, has actively recruited Westerners to serve as external operatives to then go back and blend into their home countries. And this was one of the reasons behind the additional aviation security measures we put in place worldwide a few months ago.
To be clear, this group of al Qaeda veterans, referenced as the Khorasan Group, their focus is not and has not been the Assad regime or helping the Syrian people. These are al Qaeda operatives taking advantage, as I said, of the conflict in Syria that has provided -- left a void and provided a safe haven for them to advance attacks against Western interests. And they've been doing so with the support of al Qaeda and the al Qaeda-affiliated al Nusra Front.
So again, the President ordered this action in order to disrupt their attack planning against the U.S. and against Western interests to include Europe.
So with that, I think we're ready for questions. Is that right?
Q Hi, thanks. The other day, DNI Clapper referred to the Khorasan Group as a potential threat. And I'm wondering if you can explain the disconnect between his statement and what you just said about the final phases of executing a plot. Also, can you shed any light on the connection between this group and AQAP or AQAP bomb-making expertise?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Sure, I'll go first, and then I'll turn it over to my colleague. The President's decision was based on the assessment of our intelligence community as it relates to the status of planning by the Khorasan Group. So our intelligence community has been monitoring this threat for many months. DNI Clapper, of course, has led that effort. And the basis of the President's decision to authorize direct military action to disrupt the operations of this group was a broad intelligence picture that pointed to the danger of the Khorasan Group undertaking external plotting against the United States or Europe and other Western targets.
So we were monitoring active plotting that posed an imminent threat to the United States and potentially our allies, and that served as a basis of the President's decision. And that was a united view of our intelligence community.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I agree with all of that, everything my colleague said. And I guess what I would just say -- in addition to the plotting that we have been watching and concerned about from this group, as always, we have and continue to be concerned about AQAP, which I think as you know, Ken, as somebody who watches this space, they have proven to be the most determined and persistent actor, particularly when it comes to aviation plots.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: And then, Ken, where I would draw the distinction, of course, and we would draw the distinction is, ISIL we have described as an organization that clearly poses a threat to Americans in the region, but we have not yet seen homeland plotting along the lines of the type of plotting that has emanated from al Qaeda and these particular operatives. But we see the potential for that threat to evolve, particularly given the foreign fighters.
Q Hi. Thanks very much for doing the call. On the airstrikes in Syria last night, there's been a lot of conversation as to whether the leaders of ISIS in Raqqa might have gotten a heads up just by the talks that have been going on in Washington about airstrikes on Syria. What do you make of that? Do you think that too much advance notice was perhaps telegraphed to those leaders, giving them an opportunity to evade these strikes? Do you know whether or not any of those leaders were hit?
And as for Khorasan, this is an organization that's going to be new to a lot of Americans out there. You talked about AQAP. You're really monitoring a lot of different terror groups all at the same time. Do you have the resources to do that?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Sure. Let me say a couple of things, and then my colleagues may want to add to it.
On this question, Jim, we're not concerned about that at all. The fact of the matter is, the President was very clear we're going to take action against ISIL in both Iraq and Syria. We've been taking action against ISIL for several weeks now in Iraq and continue to hit targets there.
The fact of the matter is, first of all, ISIL is a terrorist organization that also seeks to hold territory. And because they seek to hold territory, they have both targets as it relates to fighters, but they also have targets as it relates to their infrastructure and their ability to sustain themselves and their ability to, again, hold and govern territory. And those are not the types of targets that can be easily avoided.
So the fact of the matter is the nature of this terrorist group makes it difficult for them to go to ground in ways that are similar to terrorist organizations that do not seek to govern space, but rather seek to hide and plot out of sight.
That said, I'd also note that the United States has been at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates for a long time, in addition to ISIL. And the fact that al Qaeda or AQAP or al Shabaab knows that we're after them has not in any way prevented us from being able to take out their leadership and to find targets to hit. So we're not necessarily in this for an element of surprise. We're in this for a sustained campaign to degrade and ultimately defeat this organization. So it's for that reason we're not at all concerned with the notion that they understand that we're coming after them. Frankly, we're going to be doing it for some time now.
On the second point, the only quick point I'd make is that the Khorasan Group really grows out of al Qaeda. Again, these are operatives who had experience in Afghanistan and Pakistan, so in some cases this is essentially the same cast of characters that we've had our eye on for many years. These are known operatives to us rather than a new group appearing out of whole cloth. This is more like, again, a group of people that we are concerned about seeking to exploit the safe haven in Syria to plot against us. And that's why we took the action we did.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I think I would just say, Jim, you're right in in terms of the variety of threats that we're seeing from AQAP to ISIL, the Khorasan Group and groups in North Africa. But I would also point out in all of those places, we are working with our partners to address those threats. And the President has been clear about that strategy going back to what he said at West Point and before.
So I think the strategy he's laid out in terms of building partner capacity, working with partners to take the fight to these groups when they are regionally and locally focused and before they can be -- direct their hateful ideology to the United States is the strategy that I think you're seeing play out right now and last night with respect to ISIL with five Arab partners.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: The only thing I would add on the issue of surprise. Look, we're still assessing the results of our strikes last night, but every indication we have so far is that we were very effective. We and our partners were very effective at hitting the relevant targets, and hitting them with quite some effect. So whether they were surprised or not, I'd leave that to them. But we know we hit what we were aiming at.
And look, they're adaptive enemy, but we're also an adaptive foe ourselves. And so we've watched them react to the pressure we put them on in Iraq, and we will continue to watch them as we continue to put pressure on them throughout the region.
Q Hi, thank you. I wanted to ask about the whole question of authorization and where you stand now on the various bills in the House and the Senate; calls for eliminating the two existing authorizations and/or combining them into a single one. What you would like to see that say. When you would like to see it considered in Congress.
More specifically on last night, can you talk a bit about the authorization for that? I know you said that some of this is under the '01 al Qaeda authorization. I'm not quite sure I've heard a good explanation of how those two things correlate. And you just sent out a War Powers notification to Congress on the Khorasan strikes. It would seem to me that that is the one group that actually would come over the '01 authorization. So why would you send a War Powers authorization on that and not on the Syria strikes?
And finally -- and then I'll shut up -- the President has spoken many times about the new strategy, including a near-certainty that strikes would not hit civilians, and also that it required an imminent threat to the homeland. You said that there is no imminent threat to the homeland from ISIL.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: So I think I'll turn to -- we have our NSC legal advisor on the phone here who can give you the best answer on that.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: So just starting with the question of the authorizations, I think that -- we believe the President had the authority under the 2001 AUMF to conduct the military operations against both ISIL and the Khorasan Group. The Khorasan Group, because they are part of -- they're al Qaeda veterans, they're also associated with al Nusra Front in Syria, we believe that they are very clearly within the ambit of the AUMF, which applies to al Qaeda, the Taliban and associated forces. And so they would be subject to the 2001 AUMF.
ISIL is also, we believe, subject to the 2001 AUMF. And I think to understand why that's so, you have to understand a little bit about the history of ISIL. They were, beginning in 2003, known and affiliated directly with Osama bin Laden; they were known as al Qaeda in Iraq for a number of years. And we, the United States and coalition partners, used force against al Qaeda in Iraq for a number of years. They were at war with the U.S. And it was only recently that they split with al Qaeda, but they remain at war and in conflict with the United States.
And given the history of this group going back many years, given the fact that we have been in conflict with them for many years and that hasn't changed, we don't believe that Congress would have intended to remove the President's authority to use force against this group simply because the group had a disagreement with al Qaeda leadership. And so based on that history, based on their longtime connections to al Qaeda, and based on the fact that they continue to be in conflict with the United States and U.S. partners and allies, we believe that the 2001 AUMF would still apply to ISIL.
The filing of the War Powers Reports today -- we actually filed two War Powers Reports earlier today; one to notify Congress on operations against ISIL, and the second on the Khorasan Group. I think we've -- in both cases, it follows a pattern this administration has followed in keeping the Congress notified at appropriate intervals of our operations against ISIL. You've seen a number of War Powers reports filed over the past two to three months. That's also true with al Qaeda, where we periodically update Congress on operations against al Qaeda. And I think the judgment here was that these were both significant enough operations that we believed that further War Powers notification was merited.
Q You touched on earlier whether you've been successful or not in reaching your targets. Do we know if the strikes have killed senior leader al-Fadhli, who's with that al Qaeda-linked group?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: We don't have confirmation on that leadership target.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I'll defer to my colleague, but I think the Department of Defense is still conducting and reviewing the results of the activity. But as my colleague said, we've got every reason to believe that the work of the Department of Defense and our allies was quite effective last night.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I have nothing to add. Both of you are correct -- we're still assessing the results and are not in a position to confirm right now.
Q I guess I just want to follow up on this issue of the Khorasan strike. The question I guess is, would we have gone after them had it not been for ISIL? In other words, if this is a happy serendipity that we can hit two for the price of one, in effect. Or would we have done it without what the President announced two weeks ago in response to the direct threat from ISIS?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I'll just say, Peter, we have been watching this threat from the Khorasan Group for some time. And we had contemplated the need for direct military action, if necessary, to disrupt their plotting. So this is something that has very much been on our radar for several months. And it was an action that we were contemplating taking separate and apart from the growing threat from ISIL.
Now, clearly, the fact of the United States launching a military action in Syria provided an opportunity to take that action. But for us, it was rooted in also the development of the intelligence related to the threat posed by the Khorasan Group.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I would just emphasize the second point. As I think I said at the top, Peter, we've been very focused on this group and their exploitation of the save haven in Syria, and the fact that that conflict there has drawn elements to use it as a space for plotting. And we took -- the President ordered the action after we had developed intelligence when we determined that their plotting had reached an advanced stage.
Q So we might have done this basically -- even if ISIS were not a big factor for us and we were not trying to go after them specifically, we might have been doing this anyway?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yes, I think it's clear -- the President has been crystal clear that we will take action against terrorists that pose a threat to the United States, and the Khorasan Group fits into that category.
Q Obviously, this is a major moment in this fight to go into Syria, but some analysts have described it as a critical moment. Would you and can you talk about how you think this coalition that participated last night impacts what the President does over the next three days?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I'd say a couple of things. I mean, first of all, this is a critical moment because the United States is acting on the strategy that the President announced, which was to not be constrained by borders in targeting ISIL. I think it's very important to keep in mind that we're effectively fighting this campaign against an organization that operates irrespective of borders. So we have to look at it that way. And if we have to take action in Syria, we have to take action in Iraq, we do that, and we're seeking to strengthen partners on both side of that border so that we're squeezing the space where they operate.
And so this was a milestone yesterday, but this is part of a broader campaign that has involved the U.S. taking military action in Iraq for some time now, and that will clearly go forward.
I think as it relates to the United Nations -- a few points. First of all, the President will have a number of meetings that are focused specifically on the efforts against ISIL. Later today, he'll have a chance to meet with our Arab coalition partners to discuss our efforts.
Then, tomorrow morning, he will meet with Prime Minister Abadi of Iraq. And clearly, the Iraqi side of the border is an area where we have a significant amount of activity, both in terms of our support for Iraq. And Dr. Abadi has put forward an inclusive political program that we believe provides the basis for Iraq's communities coming together. He's also, again, committed to having Iraqi security forces be the force on the ground. So when we get this question about boots on the ground, the Iraqis and the Peshmerga are going on the offensive, and so we want to discuss those efforts.
We also, importantly, have to discuss with the Iraqi Prime Minister and other leaders how to coordinate our assistance -- because there are actually a lot of countries coming forward who want to do something. Some countries want to take strikes. Some countries want to focus on training and equipping of Iraqi security forces. Some countries are providing humanitarian assistance in northern Iraq. So in addition to racking up the number of coalition partners, we need to make sure that we have a coordinated strategy as it relates to how that assistance goes into Iraq and how we're working together essentially as a team. And so that will be a subject of conversation with Dr. Abadi.
Then, the President chairs the UN Security Council session on foreign fighters. And clearly, as it relates to the threat beyond Iraq and Syria's borders, this is the critical issue. We need to have a common set of measures that we are taking as an international community to stop the flow of these fighters into Iraq and Syria and then out of Iraq and Syria. We need cooperation between intelligence and law enforcement. We need to be able to find and apprehend those individuals who have been radicalized and are seeking to join this fight or leaving this theater of war. That will be a focus at the U.N. Security Council session.
And then the President's speech tomorrow I think is an opportunity for him to address this issue. I think you'll see him step back and address the broader context for the international community. We have a number of challenges right now. This is certainly front and center and will be a significant part of his speech in terms of mobilizing the international community against the threat from ISIL.
But you also have the United States mobilizing the world against Russia's violation of Ukrainian sovereignty, mobilizing the world against this outbreak of Ebola. And so I think you'll see from the President a vision of U.S. leadership that cuts across a number of challenges but also focuses very expressly on what nations need to do to come together to take the fight to ISIL and to uphold peace and security generally.
I don't know if anybody else wanted to get in there.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Let me jump in because I think I can give a little more context on sort of this building effort. This builds on what my colleague was saying. This has been a building process for weeks now, so ever since the President announced that he was going to do it -- we were going to do strikes in Iraq, he asked Secretary Kerry and certainly other people in the administration to continue to build this effort internationally. So before he gave the speech that he gave about two weeks ago now, he asked him to go out -- Secretary Kerry called the Saudis. He asked them to host this meeting in Jeddah, which had GCC countries and then additional countries from the region, because there was an agreement across the administration that we need to not just, of course, go at it alone, but have support from the region. They needed to be in the lead. He asked them for him to do that.
He went and helped lead that meeting. At that meeting, what was surprising to us -- obviously we did dozens of calls leading up to it -- was that the questions from the countries in the region was not whether they could be involved, but how. They were very forward-leaning, many of them, about their engagement. We built from there. Secretary Kerry had a meeting with King Abdullah later that night. So this is now a week and a half ago. And during that meeting he committed Saudi Arabia to obviously be involved in the coalition and also take military action, including airstrikes, should that be needed.
So the point is this coalition has been building, including the military component, for several days now, and it was certainly in place long before today.
Just two other pieces of kind of coalition-building color for all of you. With Jordan, Secretary Kerry had a meeting with King Abdullah right after he went to Iraq at the beginning of this diplomacy push about a week and a half ago. He then had a follow-up stop to visit with him before he left for NATO -- I'm sorry, before he left for UNGA last Friday to lock in Jordan to their participation and work on this effort. And finally, on the UAE, he's had countless meetings and late-night dinners with Abdullah Bin Zayed about their involvement.
So this has been something that has been building over the course of weeks, building on the efforts that we did in Iraq. But certainly lining up these countries is something that we've had in place, building on the President's announcement for several days now, and obviously we wanted to work in coordination to implement it as we did last night.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I would just say real quickly here is we've been getting a lot of questions, obviously, for the last couple weeks about which nations will join you, who will do strikes. We were aware that there were countries that were prepared to take military action with us. At the same time, we had to do a couple things. One, we wanted to get the broadest coalition possible out of the gate; and by any measure, we think having five Arab partners flying with us over Syria more than meets that objective.
Secondly, CENTCOM is extraordinarily capable at pulling in together partners and essentially constructing a means for all of them to participate in a unified plan. And so it's quite remarkable that, again, only a short number of weeks after the President's speech not only were these countries able to make those commitments, but CENTCOM was then able to turn their political interests in participating into an actual plan that was carried out last night and will be carried out going forward. This is a testament to some of the capabilities that have been developed at CENTCOM over the years as they've run complex operations.
Q Two quick questions. Number one, we heard [senior administration official] and others say the strikes have been very effective. Can you tell us anything about what actually was hit in layman terms, in concrete terms, what damage was done? Were fuel depots hit? Can you tell us about any command-and-control targets that were hit or whatnot? And secondly, what has been the response from Russia to all this? What has their -- have you mentioned all this to them? Have you heard from them?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, I can take the first question. We talked about this a little in our operational briefing earlier today. We did go after command-and-control facilities and infrastructure, as well as training, berthing, are resupply capabilities of ISIL inside Syria. And frankly, the same can be said for some of the Khorasan targets as well.
We are still assessing. So again, all the indications we have at this point are that these strikes have been very effective. And we showed some video today; we also showed some before-and-after photos of some buildings that we hit. One of them was a finance center. Another was a headquarters building for ISIL near Raqqa. So, again, every indication that we have is that we've been very effective.
But we continue to assess what we call battle damage assessment. The BDA process takes some time. And we're going to take the time to do it right and make sure that we know exactly what we damaged and, frankly, what we didn't. Ninety-five percent of the munitions that we dropped were precision-guided munitions. And that includes the Tomahawk missiles, which are very precise. Which goes a lot for the reason why we haven't seen any claims of collateral damage or civilian casualties thus far, but it also I think gives us a measure of confidence that, again, these strikes were very effective.
So we're still processing it. We're still analyzing it. Every indication we have is that we were very effective. And the idea was that to go after this group -- as my colleague pointed out earlier, this is not -- these are murderers, but they are not just murderers. They do want to grab ground. They want to hold territory. They want infrastructure. They want revenue streams. And so they do need and do use hard targets and facilities. And it was those principal targets that we went after inside Syria.
And I'll defer to my colleagues on the Russia part.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Look, as it relates to the Russians, we've been very upfront with them about the fact that we intended to take action in Syria. The President obviously communicated that to the world. We've had the opportunity to make our intentions clear in diplomatic channels -- again, not in any way coordinating or notifying with specificity our actions, but the fact that we intended to take this action.
Again, you've seen their public comments on this. I'd make the broader point, which is that for over two years now we have said to the Russians that their support for the Assad regime was going to bring about a growth of extremism inside of Syria; that Assad has no legitimacy to lead the country; that his brutality was creating safe havens for extremists and was increasingly becoming a magnet for foreign fighters.
And this is precisely why -- again, even as we were taking action against ISIL -- we continue to believe that lasting stability in Syria has to come through a political transition in which Bashar al-Assad leaves power, and there is an inclusive governing authority that is formed in that country. Because ultimately, so long as you have a dictator who is brutalizing his people, you're going to have a much more difficult time reaching the political accommodation inside the country that is necessary for stability. So that's why we continue to train and equip the Syrian opposition as a counterweight to ISIL, but also, frankly, as a counterweight to Assad. And the Russians, this is a conversation we've been having with them for some time now.
And again, we've encouraged them to support efforts like the Geneva process that were aimed at fostering an inclusive transition and will ultimately, as the President reiterated in his speech to the nation, continue to do that.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: And this is an ongoing conversation, obviously. Secretary Kerry spoke with Foreign Minister Lavrov last weekend about CW use, but also about this issue, and he'll have a bilateral meeting with him tomorrow. I'm sure they'll cover a range of topics, but this will certainly be one of them.
Q Hi. Could you address the situation following the number of weeks of strikes in Iraq? You said that ISIL has been pushed back from various areas around the Mosul Dam and Erbil. But have you any figures or whatever showing how the footprint of ISIL in Iraq has been diminished by these strikes? And is there any evidence that their position in the cities has been eroded? Or is that something that's going to have to wait for the Iraqi troops to sort of get their act together?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, first of all, the context in which the President took the initial strikes in Iraq was you had ISIL on the advance threatening Erbil very rapidly, posing a potential threat to Baghdad. The first objective was to stop that momentum. And we were able to stop ISIL in its tracks and essentially create a perimeter around Erbil and, if needed, around Baghdad. And you'll recall that for some weeks the airstrikes were focused principally on those missions of the humanitarian support for certain crises, but also protecting those two cities. We did not expand the mission set beyond that in terms of the air campaign until after the President's speech to the nation.
However, we were able to do a couple things. One was, by stopping the advance of ISIL, we were able to give space for the Peshmerga to regroup, the Iraqi security forces to regroup, for our assessment teams and advisers on the ground to determine what the needs were of those forces, and to ramp up our training and equipping. So we took advantage essentially of the halt in ISIL momentum to reinforce and rearm the Iraqi security forces.
We were also able to help them in going on the offense in some tactical areas, notably retaking the Mosul Dam, the largest dam in Iraq, which is a critical piece of infrastructure.
Going forward now, we've extended the mission set to rolling back ISIL. And so our efforts in the coming weeks and months will be focused on providing that air support while the Iraqi security forces on the ground go on offense.
So in all, we've stopped their momentum. They've suffered some tactical losses. We've been able to reinforce and rearm Iraqi security forces and essentially set the conditions to steadily shrink the space where ISIL operates over time.
And as they are now worried more about their own security, given our airstrikes, they're also less able to pose a threat to some of the populations in Iraq. But of course, they still very much have territory that they hold, and that's what we're focused on.
Q Many Arab leaders have discussed or talked about their concern that Qatar and Turkey are still not really on board, although I know Qatar did take part in some military operations. Turkey is still noticeably out. And there's a fear that they could start kind of criticizing the Arab nations that are participating and try to kind of stir up unrest against the governments that are cooperating.
Can you tell us where Turkey and Qatar stand right now? And is there still a concern that they're basically playing both sides or aren't fully on board?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Sure. First broad comment I'd make is that ISIL, more than anything we've seen in recent years, has been a unifying force in the region. If there's one thing that a very disparate group of nations can agree on, it's that they reject ISIL. And so we don't see any nations in the region who believe that ISIL is worth supporting. And, in fact, we see all the nations in the region agreeing that this is a threat that needs to be dealt with.
Specifically, Qatar is fully a part of this coalition. The fact that they were flying missions with us last night I think demonstrates that. They're committed to staying in this going forward. And we've worked with them to try to make sure that insofar as people are providing assistance and funding to opposition groups in Syria, that we are working together in channeling that assistance to the same, legitimate opposition. And we believe that Qatar is going to work with us in that effort. So we're confident that they are a part of this coalition.
Turkey is still determining what its posture is going to be. Clearly, they were concerned for some time about the hostages that were being held. Now that's resolved, and I think there will be ongoing discussions with Turkey about what they can do. At a minimum, we certainly want their full cooperation in efforts to crack down on a flow of foreign fighters into and out of Syria and Iraq. Turkey has been a transit point for some of those foreign fighters, so we've had discussions with them on that issue.
I don't know if you want to add anything to the Turkey discussion.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No, I think you hit it.
MS. HAYDEN: Okay, thanks, everyone, for joining us. Again, this call is on background with our speakers as senior administration officials. Thanks so much.
END
12:57 P.M. EDT
Obama's Novel Lawyering to Bomb Syria
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 05:13
Exclusive: The U.S. government likes international law when it serves Washington's purposes, but not when it constrains U.S. desires to use military force. Then, the rules are bent, ignored or subjected to novel lawyering, as President Obama is doing with airstrikes into Syria, reports Robert Parry.
By Robert Parry
The Obama administration has devised an extraordinary legal justification for carrying out bombing attacks inside Syria: that the United States and its Persian Gulf allies have the right to defend Iraq against the Islamic State because the Syrian government is unable to stop the cross-border terror group.
''The Syrian regime has shown that it cannot and will not confront these safe havens effectively itself,'' said the U.S. letter delivered by Ambassador Samantha Power to United Nations officials. ''Accordingly, the United States has initiated necessary and proportionate military actions in Syria in order to eliminate the ongoing ISIL [Islamic State] threat to Iraq, including by protecting Iraqi citizens from further attacks and by enabling Iraqi forces to regain control of Iraq's borders.''
President Barack Obama talks with Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, a leading ''liberal interventionist,'' following a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Sept. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Yet, beyond the danger to world order if such an expansive theory is embraced by the international community (does anyone remember how World War One got started?), there is the hypocrisy of the U.S. government and many of those same Gulf allies arming, training and funding Syrian rebels for the purpose of preventing the Syrian military from controlling its territory and then citing that lack of control as the rationale to ignore Syria's sovereignty.
In other words, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and other enemies of Syria covertly backed the rebels inside Syria and watched as many of them '' including thousands of the U.S.-preferred ''moderates'' '' took their newly acquired military skills to al-Qaeda affiliates and other terrorist organizations. Then, the U.S. and its allies have the audacity to point to the existence of those terror groups inside Syria as a rationale for flying bombing raids into Syria.
Another alarming part of the U.S. legal theory is that among this new ''coalition of the willing'' '' the U.S., Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Jordan '' only Jordan shares a border with Syria. So, this novel principle would mean that distant countries have the right to destabilize a country from afar and then claim the destabilization justifies mounting military attacks inside that country.
Such a theory '' if accepted as a new standard of behavior '' could wreak havoc on international order which is based on the principle of national sovereignty. The U.S. theory also stands in marked contrast to Washington's pious embrace of strict readings of international law when denouncing Russia just this summer for trying to protect ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine from brutal assaults by the U.S.-backed coup regime in Kiev.
In Ukraine, the Obama administration rejected any and all mitigating circumstances, such as the overthrow of an elected president and the coup regime's use of artillery, airstrikes and even neo-Nazi militias to suppress eastern Ukraine's ethnic Russian population. In the Ukraine case, the Obama administration insisted that national sovereignty was inviolable despite the fact that the Feb. 22 coup had violated Ukraine's constitutional order and had produced a human rights disaster.
An entirely different set of rules were applied to Syria, where President Barack Obama decided that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ''must go'' and where Obama authorized the CIA to provide arms, training and money for supposedly ''moderate'' rebels. Other U.S. ''allies,'' such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, supported some of the more extreme anti-Assad groups.
Israel's right-wing Likud government also was eager for ''regime change'' in Syria as were America's influential neoconservatives who saw Assad's overthrow as a continuation of their strategy of removing Middle East leaders regarded as hostile to Israel. Saddam Hussein's Iraq was the first on the list with Syria and Iran to follow. In those cases, the application of international law was entirely optional.
Before President George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq in 2003, the U.S. government came up with another convenient argument, claiming the war was an act of American self-defense because otherwise Hussein might give his ''weapons of mass destruction'' to al-Qaeda for use against U.S. targets. As it turned out, Hussein had no WMDs and was a bitter enemy of al-Qaeda, which didn't exist in Iraq until after the U.S. invasion.
The overthrow and subsequent execution of Hussein turned Iraq into a cauldron of bloody chaos, pitting Shiites against Sunnis and creating a fertile environment for a group of brutal Sunni extremists who took the name ''al-Qaeda in Iraq.''
Getting Assad
But Official Washington is slow to learn lessons. In 2011, the Obama administration's ''liberal interventionists'' threw their weight behind a Sunni-led uprising to oust Assad, who runs a harsh but largely secular government with key support from Alawites, Shiites, Christians and other minorities who feared Sunni extremism.
As with Iraq, Syria's sectarian violence drew in many Sunni extremists, including jihadists associated with al-Qaeda, particularly the Nusra Front but also ''al-Qaeda in Iraq'' which rebranded itself the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or simply the Islamic State. Eventually, al-Qaeda leaders rejected the Islamic State because it had become a rival of the Nusra Front and because its brutality was too graphic even for al-Qaeda.
Despite the growing radicalism of Syrian rebels, Official Washington's influential neocons and the ''liberal interventionists'' continued the drumbeat for ousting Assad, a position also shared by Israeli leaders who went so far as to indicate they would prefer Damascus to fall to al-Qaeda extremists rather than have Iranian ally Assad retain control. [See Consortiumnews.com's ''Israel Sides with Syrian Jihadists.'']
Whenever there was a chance to push Obama into ordering a U.S. military assault on Assad's government, ''the Assad-must-go crowd'' pressed the argument. For instance, a still-mysterious Sarin gas attack outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013, was immediately blamed on Assad's forces. The neocons and the ''liberal interventionists'' demanded an air war to punish the Syrian government '' and possibly open the way for a rebel victory.
This pressure on Obama mounted despite strong doubts within the U.S. intelligence community that Assad's forces were responsible. Some evidence pointed to rebel extremists trying to create a provocation to bring the U.S. military into the war on their side.
Partly because of those doubts, President Obama backed away from a military strike at the last minute and accepted a compromise arranged by Russian President Vladimir Putin to get Assad to surrender his entire chemical weapons arsenal. Since then, additional evidence has emerged raising doubts about the government's complicity and pointing more toward the rebels. [See Consortiumnews.com's ''The Collapsing Syria-Sarin Case.'']
Nevertheless, much of the mainstream U.S. news media, including the foreign-page editors of the New York Times who have increasingly fallen under the spell of neocon ideology, have taken to citing the Syrian government's guilt for the Sarin gas attack as flat fact, rather than a point in serious dispute. It seems no journalism standards need apply when demonized figures, such as Assad or Putin, are facing accusations.
Israel's Shift
Yet, with al-Qaeda-connected terrorists controlling part of the Israeli border along the Golan Heights, the Israeli government began to reverse its position on demanding Assad's removal. As the Israeli investigative Web site, Debka Files, reported on Sept. 9, citing military and intelligence sources:
''The Israeli government has radically changed tack on Syria, reversing a policy and military strategy that were long geared to opposing Syrian President Bashar Assad '... This reversal has come about in the light of the growing preponderance of radical Islamists in the Syrian rebel force fighting Assad's army in the Quneitra area since June. Al Qaeda's Syrian Nusra front '... is estimated to account by now for 40-50 percent '' or roughly, 4,000-5,000 Islamists '' of the rebel force deployed just across Israel's Golan border. '...
''Nusra Front jihadis fighting alongside insurgents on the various Syrian battlefronts made a practice of surreptitiously infiltrating their non-Islamist brothers-at-arms, a process which the latter's foreign allies, the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan, either ignored or were unaware of. These tactics began to pay off in the past month, when large numbers of moderate rebels suddenly knocked on the Nusra Front's door and asked to join.''
I have confirmed this Israeli shift with my own sourcing. But it's unclear whether Israel's change of heart will cause any second thoughts among U.S. neocons who typically conform their policy recommendations to Israeli interests. However, on the Syrian case, the neocons and their ''liberal interventionists'' friends might be too dug in on ousting Assad to adjust.
Indeed, all of Official Washington seems incapable of admitting that its wishful thinking about Syrian ''moderates'' may have caused another major strategic error in the Mideast. The unrealistic ''group think'' about ''moderates'' contributed to a power vacuum in Syria that has pulled in some of the most vicious Islamic extremists on earth and turned parts of Syria into a new base of operation for international terrorism.
For his part, President Obama recognized the folly of training Syrian ''moderates'' '' just last month he dismissed the notion as a ''fantasy'' that was ''never in the cards'' as a workable strategy '' but he nevertheless resurrected it last week as a key part of his new Syrian initiative. He won solid congressional majorities in support of spending some $500 million on the training scheme.
The most charitable view of Obama's strange flip-flop is that he feared being accused of aiding Assad if the U.S. bombing campaign against the Islamic State indirectly strengthened Assad's hold on Damascus. So, Obama tacked on what he knew to be a useless appendage, a tough-sounding plan to ''ramp up'' the ''moderate'' rebel forces.
Similarly, Obama's harsh rhetoric about refusing to coordinate the airstrikes with the Syrian government may be more a concession to the sensibilities of the neocons and the ''liberal interventionists'' than a reality.
I was told last week that U.S. intelligence had used Russian government go-betweens to clear the airstrikes with the Syrian government which gave quiet permission for the bombing campaign in parts of Syria. I was further told on Monday that U.S. military officials and their Syrian counterparts have met face-to-face to ensure that the U.S.-led airstrikes would encounter no Syrian air defenses.
That tacit approval from the Syrian government could be a sound legal basis for the airstrikes, much like other governments such as Yemen and Pakistan have tolerated or even encouraged U.S. air attacks on domestic enemies associated with al-Qaeda and other militant groups.
Yet, Obama may find it politically impossible to state the truth '' that a ''realist'' approach to foreign affairs sometimes requires working with disreputable governments. So, instead of simply saying that Syria has no objection to these bombing raids, Obama has invented a dangerous new legal theory to justify the violation of a country's sovereignty.
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry's trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America's Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.
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WTF-FACEBOOK-Board | National Endowment for Democracy
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 06:36
DirectorsSenior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
GlobalNet Partners, N.A. LLC
Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC)
American Action Network,American Action Forum
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI)
The Brookings Institution
Managing Director, The Lindsey Group and Strategic Advisor, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
CSIS, Khalilzad Associates
Davidson, Dawson & Clark, LLP
Vice President, Global Public Policy, Facebook
Council on Foreign Relations
Progressive Policy Institute
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Council on Foreign Relations
President, George W. Bush Presidential Center
Executive Director, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security
Ethics and Public Policy Center
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Peterson Institute for International Economics
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Expert: US Using Raptor Fighters in Anti-IS Strikes Represents Marketing Opportunity | Analysis & Opinion | RIA Novosti
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 22:01
MOSCOW, September 24 (RIA Novosti), Daria Chernyshova - The use of fifth generation US stealth F-22 Raptor fighters against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization in Syria is Washington's attempt to appease critics of the costly stealth plane, military aviation blogger and author of ''The Aviationist'' David Cenciotti told RIA Novosti Wednesday.
''The US has invested a lot in the F-22 Raptor and the US Air Force has worked so much in the last few years to turn the troubled, expensive interceptor into a real multi-role platform that could be eventually used in a real operation,'' Cenciotti said outlining several reasons for the use F-22 against the IS.
He stressed that some stealth jets have been deployed to Al Dhafra for years, ''so they were already pre-positioned in theater and ready for action.''
''Conflicts have always been a marketing opportunity to 'advertise' and/or test old and new weapons systems; in this case it was also the chance to appease those who criticized the costly stealth plane and the fact it was never used in combat (until yesterday),'' David Cenciotti explained.
On Tuesday, the Pentagon confirmed the use of a fifth-generation fighter F-22 and high-precision Tomahawk subsonic cruise missiles against IS militants. The F-22 Raptor is the world's only fifth-generation fighter in service as Russia's T-50 and China's J-20 are still being tested.
''The airstrikes are taking place well inside an airspace still guarded by Syrian air defense radars and surface to air missile batteries, where Syrian planes usually operate,'' Cenciotti said.
''F-22s were useful because of their ability to enter, probably undetected, an anti-access target area, gather details about the enemy systems with its extremely advanced onboard sensors, escort other unstealthy planes and, last but not least, attack their own targets with 1,000-pound GBU-32 JDAMs. In recent exercises, F-22s flew dual missions that they will probably fly over Syria as well: HVAAE (High Value Air Asset Escort) and air-to-surface, providing the capability to perform an immediate restrike on the same target (or one nearby), if needed,'' the expert concluded.
US President Barack Obama said Wednesday that there can be no negotiations with a brand of evil such as the Islamic State, only the language of force.
''ISIL must be degraded and ultimately destroyed," Obama said in an address to the UN General Assembly. ''Innocent children have been gunned down, religious minorities starved to death, innocent human beings beheaded. No grievance justifies these actions.''
So he pledged to support Iraqis and Syrians ''fighting to reclaim their communities,'' and to use America's military might ''in a campaign of air strikes to roll back ISIL.''
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Timberland Renova' Professional Mary Jane Black Polished Smooth - 6pm.com
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 20:55
Timberland Renova' Professional Mary Jane Black Polished Smooth - 6pm.comSKU: #7814401Product InformationPut a little hop in your step as you carry out your morning rounds in the supreme comfort of the Timberland PRO® Renova' Professional Mary Jane. Mary jane style for added style. Fine, full-grain leather upper. Anatomically shaped toe box is roomier and allows the forefoot to spread, minimizing fatigue. 3M® Scotchgard' protector supplies stain resistance. Microsuede linings offer a great step-in feel. Outlast® Adaptive Comfort® technology helps regulate in-shoe temperature and keep feet drier. Innovative Anti-Fatigue technology absorbs impacting shock, while offering optimal energy return for all-day, standing comfort. Bi-Fit® tri-density footbed delivers exceptional cushioning, stability and support. Heel-to-toe rocker sole minimizes forefoot pressure. SafeGrip' slip-resistant outsole provides optimal wet/dry traction. Built on a women's-specific last for enhanced comfort. Measurements: Heel Height: 1 1'2 in Weight: 15 ozProduct measurements were taken using size 8, width B - Medium. Please note that measurements may vary by size.
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Jeanine Pirro - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 06:10
Jeanine Ferris Pirro (born June 2, 1951) is a former prosecutor, judge, and elected official from the state of New York, who is currently a legal analyst and television personality. Pirro is the host of Fox News Channel's political commentary television show Justice with Judge Jeanine which premiered in January 2011. She is also a contributor on other Fox News shows and NBC's Today. She previously hosted a television court program, Judge Jeanine Pirro, later known simply as Judge Pirro.
A Republican from Westchester County, Pirro served as a county court judge before serving as the elected District Attorney of Westchester County for 12 years. As a district attorney she gained considerable visibility, especially in cases regarding domestic abuse and crimes against the elderly. She was the first female judge on the Westchester County Court bench. Pirro was the Republican nominee for New York State Attorney General in 2006, losing to Democrat Andrew Cuomo (a fellow Albany Law alumnus). She previously sought the nominations of her party for the offices of New York State Lieutenant Governor and United States Senator and withdrew her name in each case.
Biography[edit]Early life[edit]Pirro was born in Elmira, New York, to Nasser "Leo" and Esther Ferris. Her father was a mobile-home salesman; her mother a department-storemodel. She is a Catholic of Lebanese descent.[1]
She graduated from Notre Dame High School in three years rather than the usual four.[2] She then graduated with a B.A. magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University at Buffalo. She received her J.D. degree at Albany Law School in 1975.
Marriage[edit]Jeanine Ferris married Albert Pirro in 1975. They had a son and daughter together. In 2000, Pirro's husband was convicted of federal tax evasion and conspiracy, which was seen to possibly hurt her legal and political career prospects.[3] In the midst of her 2006 State Attorney General campaign, Pirro revealed that she was the subject of a federal investigation into whether she illegally taped her husband's conversations in order to catch him committing adultery.[4] The couple announced they were separating in November 2007 and finalized their divorce in 2013.[5][6]
Legal career[edit]Westchester County positions[edit]In 1978, Pirro became an assistant district attorney in Westchester County. In 1989, she became a judge on the Westchester County Court, the first female to hold such a position.
In 1993, Pirro was elected district attorney of Westchester County, again the first female to hold that position.[7] She was re-elected in 1997 and 2001. Prosecuting murder, rape, domestic violence, and other cases, Pirro achieved considerable fame and media visibility, appearing on television programs such as Larry King Live and Nightline. People magazine named her as one of its 50 Most Beautiful People in 1997.[8]
On May 23, 2005 Pirro announced that she would not seek re-election as Westchester Country District Attorney.[9]
Political career[edit]In 1986, GOP gubernatorial candidate Andrew P. O'Rourke selected Pirro to be his running mate in the campaign.[10] However, 2 days later, Pirro withdrew without giving a reason and was quickly replaced by Michael Kavanagh.[11]
In 1997, she was appointed by then-Governor George Pataki to chair the New York State Commission on Domestic Violence Fatalities, whose report and recommendations resulted in legislation passing that enhanced protections of, and safeguards for, the victims of domestic abuse.[12]
2006 U.S. Senate campaign[edit]On August 10, 2005 in New York City, Pirro announced that she would seek the Republican nomination to challenge first-term incumbent SenatorHillary Rodham Clinton, a Democrat, in the 2006 election for U.S. Senator from New York. Other Republicans who announced campaigns for the nomination were John Spencer, a former mayor of Yonkers, William Brenner, an attorney in Sullivan County, and attorney Edward Cox, the son-in-law of former President Richard Nixon. In a widely-publicised moment when she was declaring her candidacy, Pirro misplaced a page of her speech and went silent for 32 seconds, something that is widely considered to have damaged her campaign before it even started.[13]
During an appearance at the Crime Victims Resource Center, Pirro described herself this way: "I am red on fiscal policy. I am conservative and I support the Bush tax cut." She added, however: "I have broad blue stripes when it comes to social issues... I am a woman who is a moderate in New York."[14] Republican Governor George Pataki's endorsement of Pirro caused Cox to withdraw from the race,[15] leaving Pirro as the likely nominee. Donors to Pirro's political campaign included designer Tommy Hilfiger (also a native of Elmira) and Donald Trump, as well as contractors and real estate executives who had done business with her husband.[16]
On December 21, 2005, after continuing pressure from party chiefs, a lagging fundraising effort, and polls showing she would be defeated by Clinton (a Quinnipiac University poll found Pirro would lose to Clinton 62 percent to 30 percent), Jeanine Pirro dropped out of the Senate race just two months after she started her campaign. "I have decided that my law enforcement background better qualifies me for a race for New York State attorney general than a race for the United States Senate," she said in a statement.[17] Spencer was eventually chosen as the Republican Party's nominee for the U.S. Senate.[18]
2006 State Attorney General campaign[edit]On May 31, 2006, Pirro, unopposed for the GOP nomination, became the party's official candidate for Attorney General by acclamation at the GOP convention.[19] She also held the nominations of the New York Conservative and Independence Parties. However, in the general election, Pirro lost to the Democratic nominee, former ClintonHousing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo 58%-39%.[20]
TV/media career[edit]She was a regular contributor to The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet. She is currently contributing to Today, Fox NY Good Day New York, is a Fox News legal 'analyst' appearing on various shows, and has guest hosted shows such as Larry King Live, The Joy Behar Show and Geraldo at Large. She is a frequent guest on Fox's late-night satire show Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld.[21] In 2003, Pirro released the nonfiction book To Punish and Protect, describing life inside the criminal justice system. In 2012, with the assistance of author Pete Earley, Pirro wrote the novel Sly Fox based on her own experiences as a 25-year-old assistant district attorney in Westchester.[21]
Judge Jeanine Pirro on The CW[edit]On May 5, 2008, The CW announced that Pirro would host a weekday television show to be named Judge Jeanine Pirro, part of the network's CW Daytime lineup and that featured two episodes airing daily. The show was distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television and was by default carried by all CW affiliates.[22]
Judge Jeanine Pirro was cleared for a second season beginning in fall 2009. Unlike its first season, the second season launching fall 2009 was not exclusive to CW affiliates.[23] In May 2010, the show received its first Emmy nomination, and in 2011, received the daytime Emmy Award. In September 2011, Judge Jeanine Pirro was cancelled due to low ratings.
Justice with Judge Jeanine on Fox News Channel[edit]Pirro is the host of Fox News Channel's reality legal showJustice with Judge Jeanine which premiered in January 2011. It airs on weekends and focuses on the big legal stories of the week.[24]
References[edit]^Healy, Patrick D. (August 9, 2005). "High-Profile Prosecutor to Run Against Clinton". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. ^"Pirro's second act". Archived from the original on November 2, 2005. ^Foderaro, Lisa W. (July 27, 2000). "Pirro Faces Questions About Future as Prosecutor". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 14, 2013. Retrieved May 7, 2013. ^Hicks, Jonathan P. (October 3, 2006). "Pirro Smiles for Cameras, Seeking to Repair Her Image". The New York Times. Retrieved May 7, 2013. ^Kathleen Lucadamo; Celeste Katz (Novembetr 18, 2007). "It's splitsville for Jeanine and Al Pirro". Daily News (New York). Archived from the original on November 4, 2013. ^Finn, Robin (December 6, 2009). "Leniency for the Judge's Animals". The New York Times. Retrieved May 7, 2013. ^"Jeanine Pirro, Westchester County District Attorney". Library.law.columbia.edu. Archived from the original on December 11, 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2011. ^Gray, Kevin (May 10, 1999). "Pirro Mania". New York Metro. Archived from the original on August 26, 2012. Retrieved January 5, 2011. ^"Jeanine Pirro will not seek re-election as county DA". Archived from the original on May 25, 2005. ^Lynn, Frank (May 27, 1986). "A Prosecutor Is Picked To Run With O'rourke". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. ^Lynn, Frank (May 29, 1986). "Surprise G.O.P. Candidate Leaves Race". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. ^"Judge Jeanine Pirro". Fox News Insider. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. ^"Media Tip: How to Recover From a Brain Freeze". Political Wire. December 31, 2012. Archived from the original on January 22, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2012. ^"| democratandchronicle.com". Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved January 5, 2011. [dead link]^Raymond Hernandez; Michael Cooper (October 15, 2005). "Pirro's Path to Republican Nomination Is Clearer, but Obstacles Remain". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 17, 2013. ^Greg B. Smith (May 9, 2005). "'MY OWN WOMAN' Pirro defends her record in an explosive interview W'CHESTER DA SHOUTS: 'I'M NOT HERE TO TALK ABOUT MY HUSBAND!'". Daily News (New York). Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. ^[1][dead link]^"Spencer Wins Senate Nod, Pirro Accepts AG Spot At GOP Convention". NY1. May 31, 2006. Archived from the original on May 7, 2014. Retrieved December 23, 2010. ^"Regional & NY State News on". Newsday.com. Retrieved January 5, 2011. [dead link]^[2]^ abSherryl Connelly (July 23, 2012). "TV judge Jeanine Pirro publishes her first novel, 'Sly Fox,' using some of her own history as inspiration". Daily News (New York). Archived from the original on April 23, 2014. ^"Former DA Pirro gets TV show". Associated Press (Daily News). May 5, 2008. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. Retrieved July 3, 2014. ^Paige Albiniak (February 9, 2009). "'Pirro' Preps for Fall Launch". Broadcasting & Cable. Archived from the original on September 25, 2012. Retrieved January 5, 2011. ^Alex Weprin (December 21, 2010). "Jeanine Pirro To Host Weekend Show for Fox News". Archived from the original on June 17, 2013. Sources and further reading[edit]External links[edit]PersondataNamePirro, JeanineAlternative namesShort descriptionAmerican judgeDate of birthJune 2, 1951Place of birthDate of deathPlace of death
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Aanslag op stations dreigt | Binnenland | Telegraaf.nl
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 07:51
Exclusieve artikelen van de Telegraaf redactie
do 25 sep 2014, 05:30| 89 reacties|
lees voordoor Bart OlmerAMSTERDAM - Nederland is een belangrijk doelwit geworden voor jihadisten. Radicale moslimstrijders menen dat het legitiem is geworden om Nederlandse burgers aan te vallen, nu Nederlandse F-16's bombardementsvluchten gaan uitvoeren tegen ISIS-barbaren.
Inlichtingenbronnen waarschuwen dat Nederland voor jihadi's op gelijke hoogte komt met landen als Frankrijk, Duitsland, Engeland en Belgi.
Ex-MIVD'er Paul Mulder zegt in een exclusief vraaggesprek met De Telegraaf serieus aanslagen te verwachten op zogeheten 'soft targets' in Nederland, zoals trein- en metrostations, vergelijkbaar met de bloedige aanslagen in Madrid en Londen.
PaspoortDe Nederlandse jihadist Muhajiri Shm, die direct na luchtaanvallen op stellingen van strijders in Aleppo dreigementen uitte tegen Nederland, kwam gistermiddag met een huiveringwekkende belofte: 'žNu dus ook Nederlandse F-16's'... Nederlands volk, jullie overheid heeft zojuist een doelwit van jullie gemaakt'', aldus de jihadist, tegen wie het Openbaar Ministerie een strafrechtelijk onderzoek is gestart.
Grote vrees bestaat er voor het lot van gegijzelde westerlingen in handen van moslimstrijdgroepen. De Filipijnse terreurbeweging Abu Sayyaf dreigt twee Duitse gijzelaars te vermoorden als Duitsland zich niet terugtrekt uit de coalitie tegen ISIS. De Franse gijzelaar Herv(C) Gourdel werd gisteren onthoofd door de Algerijnse terreurgroep Jund al-Khilafah, nadat de Franse president Fran§ois Hollande niet had gereageerd op eisen te stoppen met luchtaanvallen op terreurgroep ISIS. Beelden van de onthoofding werden gistermiddag verspreid.
(C) 1996-2014 TMG Landelijke Media B.V., Amsterdam.Alle rechten voorbehouden.e-mail: redactie-i@telegraaf.nlGebruiksvoorwaarden | Privacy | Cookies | Cookie-voorkeuren
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Tomahawk enhancements showcased in back-to-back flight tests - Sep 9, 2014
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 00:50
TUCSON, Ariz., Sept. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Navy and Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) completed successful back-to-back Tomahawk cruise missile flight tests that validated recent software improvements. The upgrades improve weapon system performance.
In the first test, the nuclear submarine USS Hampton (SSN 767) fired a Tomahawk Block IV from the sub's vertical capsule launch system. The missile flew a pre-planned mission until a strike controller located at a maritime command center directed the Tomahawk to a new target. The missile successfully demonstrated enhanced flex retargeting before striking the updated target at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake weapons range.
In the second test, the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) launched a Tomahawk Block IV. The Tomahawk flew a series of pre-planned high altitude maneuvers demonstrating improved performance in this flight regime. The missile completed a pre-planned vertical dive impacting a target on San Nicolas Island off the Southern California coast.
"These flight tests demonstrate how Raytheon and the U.S. Navy are working together to enhance this already sophisticated weapon," said Mike Jarrett, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president. "By constantly improving Tomahawk, we are helping to ensure that U.S. and allied warfighters have this critical capability far into the future."
About Tomahawk The U.S. Navy has conducted more than 70 successful Tomahawk Block IV flight tests since 2006. The cruise missile has been employed in combat more than 2000 times since it was introduced. Tomahawk is the key weapon used by U.S. and British forces in defeating integrated air defense systems and striking heavily defended high value targets in support of national policy.
About Raytheon Raytheon Company, with 2013 sales of $24 billion and 63,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 92 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as cyber security and a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter @Raytheon.
Media ContactJohn B. Patterson+1.520.794.4559rmspr@raytheon.com
SOURCE Raytheon Company
Germany's Jenoptik Defense & Civil Systems division signs cooperation agreement with Raytheon - Sep 22, 2014
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 00:48
FREISING, Germany, Sept. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) and Germany's Lechmotoren, a company of the Jenoptik Group, signed a Letter of Intent to cooperate in mutually beneficial business opportunities related to Germany's air defense architecture, as well as significant exports to global markets.
The companies will examine opportunities in current international projects with Jenoptik state-of-the-art equipment. Jenoptik presented a prototype of their next generation technologies such as the new Jenoptik Patriot Hybrid Power Supply to Raytheon and Bavarian members of parliament, which initiated discussions about the significant fuel and maintenance cost reductions it would result in.
"We are very proud that this long-term partnership with Raytheon assures the ongoing success in serving international markets out of our Bavarian site," says Stefan Stenzel, executive vice president and head of Jenoptik Defense & Civil Systems division.
"Jenoptik is a reputable company and we look forward to establishing a long-term relationship with them on future opportunities related to the TVLS program, Global Patriot and beyond," said Doug Patrick, director of Integrated Air and Missile Defense Supply Chain, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems.
With over 100 years of history and more than 800 employees in its German subsidiaries, joint ventures and cooperative programs, Raytheon is a firmly committed member of the German aerospace and defense industry. Examples include:
Raytheon Anschutz GmbH: A world technology leader for both blue-water vessels and ships for inland waterways, both naval and commercial.Raytheon Deutschland GmbH: Located in Freising, it provides airborne electronic warfare and sensor systems and airborne radars for the air forces of Germany and Italy.Raytheon Professional Services GmbH: Located in Russelsheim, it provides the highest standards in training for both commercial and military customers across the European continent.About Jenoptik As an integrated optoelectronics group, Jenoptik divides its activities into five divisions: Lasers & Material Processing, Optical Systems, Industrial Metrology, Traffic Solutions and Defense & Civil Systems. Its customers around the world mainly include companies in the semiconductor equipment manufacturing industry, automotive and automotive supplier industries, medical technology, security and defense technology as well as the aviation industry. In addition to several major sites in Germany Jenoptik is represented in about 80 countries worldwide and has major production sites abroad in the USA, France and Switzerland as well as shareholdings in Singapore, India, China, Korea, Japan, Australia and the Netherlands. JENOPTIK AG is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and included in the TecDax index. Jenoptik has approx. 3,430 employees and in 2013 generated sales of about 600 million euros.
About Raytheon Raytheon Company, with 2013 sales of $24 billion and 63,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 92 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as cyber security and a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter @Raytheon.
SOURCE Raytheon Company
Raytheon Company: Tomahawk Cruise Missile
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 00:45
Today's Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile can circle for hours, shift course instantly on command and beam a picture of its target to controllers halfway around the world before striking with pinpoint accuracy.
Tomahawk can be launched from a ship or submarine and can fly into heavily defended airspace more than 1,000 miles away to conduct precise strikes on high-value targets with minimal collateral damage. Launching the weapon from such a long distance helps to keep sailors out of harm's way.
Play VideoUSS Arleigh Burke launches Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles to combat ISIL.
The Tomahawk is a highly accurate, GPS enabled precision weapon that has been used over 2,000 times in combat, and flight tested more than 500 times.
During the NATO-led effort against the regime of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, Tomahawk played an instrumental role in the operation. One submarine fired more than 90 missiles at a variety of targets, and the USS Barry fired the 2,000th Tomahawk in combat.
As the battlespace and the needs of the warfighter evolve, Raytheon is doing what it has always done: supporting the warfighter with the world's most advanced cruise missile '' Tomahawk.
Tomahawk cruise missiles have flown more than 2,000 combat missions.The latest variant (Tomahawk Block IV) includes a two-way satellite data-link that enables the missile to be retargeted in flight to preprogrammed, alternate targets. In 2013, Raytheon delivered the 3000th Tomahawk Block IV missile to the U.S. Navy. The Block IV design was initiated as both a cost savings and a capability improvement effort.
Raytheon and the U.S. Navy are now enhancing this already sophisticated weapon. Planned upgrades to the Tomahawk Block IV include: upgraded communications, a more powerful warhead, and a new seeker designed to hit moving targets at sea or on land in darkness and all kinds of weather.
Modernizing Tomahawk is quick and affordable way to provide warfighters with the capability they need to stay ahead of the threat.
Learn more about Raytheon's Precision Weapons.
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Tomahawk (missile) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 00:42
TomahawkA BGM-109 Tomahawk
TypeLong-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missilePlace of originUnited StatesService historyIn service1983''presentUsed byUnited States NavyRoyal NavyProduction historyManufacturerGeneral Dynamics (initially)Raytheon/McDonnell DouglasUnit costUS$1.59m(FY2014)[1] (Block IV)SpecificationsWeight2,900 lb (1,300 kg), 3,500 lb (1,600 kg) with boosterLengthWithout booster: 18 ft 3 in (5.56 m)
With booster: 20 ft 6 in (6.25 m)Diameter20.4 in (0.52 m)WarheadNuclear: W80 warhead (retired)Conventional: 1,000 pounds (450 kg) High explosive or Submunitions dispenser with BLU-97/B Combined Effects Bomb or PBXNDetonationmechanism
FMU-148 since TLAM Block III, others for special applicationsEngineWilliams InternationalF107-WR-402turbofanusing TH-dimer fueland a solid-fuel rocket boosterWingspan8 ft 9 in (2.67 m)Operationalrange
Block II TLAM-A '' 1,350 nmi (1,550 mi; 2,500 km) Block III TLAM-C, Block IV TLAM-E '' 900 nmi (1,000 mi; 1,700 km)
Block III TLAM-D '' 700 nmi (810 mi; 1,300 km)SpeedSubsonic; about 550 mph (890 km/h)Guidancesystem
GPS, INS, TERCOM, DSMACLaunchplatform
Vertical Launch System (VLS) and horizontal submarine torpedo tubes (known as TTL (torpedo tube launch))The Tomahawk (UK// or US//) is a long-range, all-weather, subsoniccruise missile. The missile was named after the Native American axe. Introduced by McDonnell Douglas in the 1970s, it was initially designed as a medium to long-range, low-altitude missile that could be launched from a surface platform. It has been improved several times, and due to corporate divestitures and acquisitions, is now made by Raytheon. Some Tomahawks were also manufactured by General Dynamics (now Boeing Defense, Space & Security).[2][3]
Description[edit]The Tomahawk missile family consists of a number of subsonic, jet engine-powered missiles designed to attack a variety of surface targets. Although a number of launch platforms have been deployed or envisaged, only sea (both surface ship and submarine) launched variants are currently in service. Tomahawk has a modular design, allowing a wide variety of warhead, guidance, and range capabilities.
Variants[edit]There have been several variants of the BGM-109 Tomahawk employing various types of warheads.
AGM-109H/L Medium Range Air to Surface Missile (MRASM) '' a shorter range, turbojet powered ASM with bomblet munitions; never entered service, cost US$569,000 (1999).[4]BGM-109A Tomahawk Land Attack Missile '' Nuclear (TLAM-A) with a W80 nuclear warhead. Retired from service sometime between 2010 and 2013.[5]BGM-109C Tomahawk Land Attack Missile '' Conventional (TLAM-C) with a unitary warhead. This was initially a modified Bullpup warhead.BGM-109D Tomahawk Land Attack Missile '' Dispenser (TLAM-D) with submunitions.BGM-109G Ground Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM) '' with a W84 nuclear warhead; withdrawn from service in 1987.RGM/UGM-109B Tomahawk Anti Ship Missile (TASM) '' radar guided anti-shipping variant; withdrawn from service in the 1990s.RGM/UGM-109E Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM Block IV) '' improved version of the TLAM-C.Ground Launch Cruise Missiles (GLCM) and their truck-like launch vehicles were employed at bases in Europe; it was withdrawn from service to comply with the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Many of the anti-ship versions were converted into TLAMs at the end of the Cold War. The Block III TLAMs that entered service in 1993 can fly farther and use Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers to strike more precisely. Block III TLAM-Cs retain the DSMAC II navigation system, allowing GPS only missions, which allow for rapid mission planning, with some reduced accuracy, DSMAC only missions, which take longer to plan but terminal accuracy is somewhat better, and GPS aided missions which combine both DSMAC II and GPS navigation which provides the greatest accuracy. Block IV TLAMs are completely redesigned with an improved turbofan engine. The F107-402 engine provided the new BLK III with a throttle control, allowing in-flight speed changes. This engine also provided better fuel economy. The Block IV TLAMs have enhanced deep-strike capabilities and are equipped with a real-time targeting system for striking fleeting targets. Additionally, the BLOCK IV missiles have the capabilities to be re-targeted inflight, and the ability to transmit, via satcom, an image immediately prior to impact to assist in determining if the missile was attacking the target and the likely damage from the attack.
Upgrades[edit]A major improvement to the Tomahawk is network-centric warfare-capabilities, using data from multiple sensors (aircraft, UAVs, satellites, foot soldiers, tanks, ships) to find its target. It will also be able to send data from its sensors to these platforms. It will be a part of the networked force being implemented by the Pentagon.
The "Tactical Tomahawk" takes advantage of a loitering feature in the missile's flight path and allows commanders to redirect the missile to an alternative target, if required. It can be reprogrammed in-flight to attack predesignated targets with GPS coordinates stored in its memory or to any other GPS coordinates. Also, the missile can send data about its status back to the commander. It entered service with the US Navy in late 2004. The Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System (TTWCS) added the capability for limited mission planning on board the firing unit (FRU).
In 2012, the USN studied applying Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) technology into the Tactical Tomahawk.[6]
In February 2014, the U.S. Navy began working on a bunker-busting warhead for the Tomahawk. Called the Joint Multi-Effects Warhead System (JMEWS), it would weigh 3,500 lb (1,600 kg) and be compatible with existing Block IV missiles.[7]
In 2014, Raytheon began testing Block IV improvements to attack sea and moving land targets.[8] The new seeker will passively pick up the electromagnetic radar signature of a target and follow it, and actively send out a signal to bounce off potential targets before impact to discriminate its legitimacy before impact.[7] Mounting the multi-mode sensor on the missile's nose would remove fuel space, but company officials believe the Navy would be willing to give up space for the sensor's new technologies.[9] In April 2014, Raytheon performed a captive flight test of the company-funded passive seeker containing a multi-function processor that enables the missile to track and strike moving land and sea targets by receiving electronic radio frequency signals from tactical targets.[10]
A supersonic version of the Tomahawk is under consideration for development with a ramjet to increase its speed to Mach 3. A limiting factor to this is the dimensions of shipboard launch tubes. Instead of modifying every ship able to carry cruise missiles, the ramjet-powered Tomahawk would still have to fit within a 21-inch diameter and 20-foot long tube.[9]
Raytheon is planning to offer to perform the upgrades as the older block IVs are brought back to the factory for recertification around 2018.[11]
Launch systems[edit]Each missile is stored and launched from a pressurized canister[12] that protects it during transportation and storage and acts as a launch tube. These canisters were racked in Armored Box Launchers (ABL), which were installed on the re-activated Iowa class battleships USS Iowa, USS New Jersey, USS Missouri, and USS Wisconsin. The ABLs were also installed on eight Spruance class destroyers, the four Virginia class cruisers, and the USS Long Beach. These canisters are also in Vertical Launch Systems (VLS) in other surface ships, Capsule Launch Systems (CLS) in the later Los Angeles class submarines, and in submarines' torpedo tubes. All ABL equipped ships have been decommissioned.
For submarine-launched missiles (called UGM-109s), after being ejected by gas pressure (vertically via the VLS) or by water impulse (horizontally via the torpedo tube), the missile exits the water and a solid-fuel booster is ignited for the first few seconds of airborne flight until transition to cruise.
After achieving flight, the missile's wings are unfolded for lift, the airscoop is exposed and the turbofan engine is employed for cruise flight. Over water, the Tomahawk uses inertial guidance or GPS to follow a preset course; once over land, the missile's guidance system is aided by Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM). Terminal guidance is provided by the Digital Scene Matching Area Correlation (DSMAC) system or GPS, producing a claimed accuracy of about 10 meters.
The Tomahawk Weapon System consists of the missile, Theater Mission Planning Center (TMPC)/Afloat Planning System, and either the Tomahawk Weapon Control System (on surface ships) or Combat Control System (for submarines).
Several versions of control systems have been used, including:
v2 TWCS '' Tomahawk Weapon Control System (1983), also known as "green screens," was based on an old tank computing system.v3 ATWCS '' Advanced Tomahawk Weapon Control System (1994), first Commercial Off the Shelf, uses HP-UX.v4 TTWCS '' Tactical Tomahawk Weapon Control System, (2003).v5 TTWCS '' Next Generation Tactical Tomahawk Weapon Control System. (2006)Navigation and other details[edit]The TLAM-D contains 166 sub-munitions in 24 canisters; 22 canisters of seven each, and two canisters of six each to conform to the dimensions of the airframe. The sub-munitions are the same type of Combined Effects Munition bomblet used in large quantities by the U.S. Air Force with the CBU-87 Combined Effects Munition. The sub-munitions canisters are dispensed two at a time, one per side. The missile can perform up to five separate target segments which enables it to attack multiple targets. However, in order to achieve a sufficient density of coverage typically all 24 canisters are dispensed sequentially from back to front.
TERCOM '' Terrain Contour Matching. A digital representation of an area of terrain is mapped based on digital terrain elevation data or stereo imagery. This map is then inserted into a TLAM mission which is then loaded on to the missile. When the missile is in flight it compares the stored map data with radar altimeter data collected as the missile overflies the map. Based on comparison results the missile's inertial navigation system is updated and the missile corrects its course. TERCOM was based on, and was a significant improvement on, "Fingerprint," a technology developed in 1964 for the SLAM.[13]
On July 26, 2014 it was announced that 196 additional Block IV missiles had been purchased.[14]
DSMAC '' Digital Scene Matching Area Correlation. A digitized image of an area is mapped and then inserted into a TLAM mission. During the flight the missile will verify that the images that it has stored correlates with the image it sees below itself. Based on comparison results the missile's inertial navigation system is updated and the missile corrects its course.
Total program cost: $US 11,210,000,000[15]Operators[edit]United States Navy[edit]In the 1991 Gulf War, 288 Tomahawks were launched. The first salvo was fired by the cruiser USS San Jacinto on January 17, 1991. The attack submarines USS Pittsburgh and USS Louisville followed.On 26 June 1993, 23 Tomahawks were fired at the Iraqi Intelligence Service's command and control center.On 10 September 1995, the USS Normandy launched 13 Tomahawk missiles from the central Adriatic Sea against a key air defense radio relay tower in Bosnian Serb territory during Operation Deliberate Force.On 3 September 1996, 44 cruise missiles between UGM-109 and B-52 launched AGM-86s, were fired at air defence targets in Southern Iraq.On 20 August 1998, around 75 Tomahawk missiles were fired simultaneously to two separate target areas in Afghanistan and Sudan in retaliation to the bombings of American embassies by Al-Qaeda.On 16 December 1998, Tomahawk missiles were fired at key Iraqi targets in during Operation Desert Fox.In spring 1999, 218 Tomahawk missiles were fired by US ships and a British submarine during Operation Allied Force against key targets in Serbia and Montenegro.In October 2001, approximately 50 Tomahawk missiles struck targets in Afghanistan in the opening hours of Operation Enduring Freedom.During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, more than 725 tomahawk missiles were fired at key Iraqi targets.[16]On 17 December 2009, two Tomahawk missiles were fired at targets in Yemen.[17] One of the targets was hit by a TLAM-D missile. The target was described as an 'alleged al-Qa'ida training camp' in al-Ma'jalah in al-Mahfad a region of the Abyan governorate of Yemen. Amnesty International reported that 55 people were killed in the attack, including 41 civilians (21 children, 14 women, and six men). The US and Yemen governments refused to confirm or deny involvement, but diplomatic cables released as part of Cablegate later confirmed the missile was fired by a US Navy ship.[18]On 19 March 2011, 124 Tomahawk missiles[19]were fired by U.S. and British forces (112 US, 12 British)[20] against at least 20 Libyan targets around Tripoli and Misrata.[21] As of 22 March 2011, 159 UGM-109 were fired by US and UK ships against Libyan targets.[22]On 23 September 2014, 47 Tomahawk missiles were fired by the United States from the USS Arleigh Burke and USS Philippine Sea (CG-58), which were operating from international waters in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, against ISIL targets in Syria in the vicinity of Ar-Raqqah, Deir ez-Zor, Al-Hasakah and Al-Bukamal,[23] and against Khorasan group targets in Syria west of Aleppo.[24]The United States Navy has a stockpile of around 3,500 Tomahawk cruise missiles of all variants, with a combined worth of approximately US $2.6 billion.Tomahawk production for the United States Navy is scheduled to end in Fiscal Year 2015,[25] with a replacement entering service a decade later.[26]Royal Navy[edit]In 1995 the US agreed to sell 65 Tomahawks to the UK for torpedo-launch from her nuclear submarines. The first missiles were acquired and test-fired in November 1998; all Royal Navy fleet submarines are now Tomahawk capable, including the new Astute-class.[27][28][29][30] The Kosovo War in 1999 saw the Swiftsure-class HMS Splendid become the first British submarine to fire the Tomahawk in combat. It has been reported that seventeen of the twenty Tomahawks fired by the British during that conflict hit their targets accurately;[citation needed] the UK subsequently bought 20 more Block III to replenish stocks.[31] The Royal Navy has since fired Tomahawks during the 2000s Afghanistan War, in Operation Telic as the British contribution to the 2003 Iraq War, and during Operation Ellamy in Libya in 2011.
In April 2004, the UK and US governments reached an agreement for the British to buy 64 of the new generation of Tomahawk missile'--the Block IV or TacTom missile.[32] It entered service with the Royal Navy on 27 March 2008, three months ahead of schedule.[33] In July 2014 the US approved the sale to the UK of a further 65 submarine-launched Block IV's at a cost of US$140m including spares and support;[34] as of 2011[update] the Block III missiles were on Britain's books at £1.1m and the Block IV at £0.87m including VAT.[35]
The SYLVER vertical launch system on the new Type 45 destroyer is claimed by its manufacturers to have the capability to fire the Tomahawk, although the A50 launcher carried by Type 45 is too short for the weapon (the longer A70 silo would be required). Nevertheless, Type 45 has been designed with weight and space margin for a strike-length Mk41 or Sylver A70 silo to be retrofitted, allowing Type 45 to use TLAM Block IV if required, and the new Type 26 frigates will have strike-length VLS tubes. SYLVER user France is developing MdCN, a version of the Storm Shadow/Scalp cruise missile that has a shorter range but a higher speed than Tomahawk and can be launched from the SYLVER system.
United States Air Force[edit]The USAF is a former operator of the nuclear-armed version of the Tomahawk, the BGM-109G Gryphon.
Other users[edit]The Netherlands (2005) and Spain (2002 and 2005) were interested in acquiring the Tomahawk system, but the orders were later cancelled in 2007 and 2009 respectively.[36][37]
In 2009 the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States stated that Japan would be concerned if the TLAM-N were retired, but the government of Japan has denied that it had expressed any such view.[38]
It is believed that the SLCM version of the Popeye was developed by Israel after the US Clinton administration refused an Israeli request in 2000 to purchase Tomahawk SLCM's because of international MTCR proliferation rules.[39]
Replacement[edit]The U.S. Navy is seeking a next-generation cruise missile to replace the Tomahawk called the next-generation land attack weapon. The missile is to have increased lethality and survivability over the current Tomahawk missile. Options include improving the Tomahawk weapon or selecting a new weapon. The Navy plans to compete a surface-launched version of the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile, a version of the air-launched missile in development to defeat enemy air defenses using sensors and autonomous flight. A future version of the LRASM may include several vendors, but Lockheed Martin has been the principal developer and is investing funds to develop and test an LRASM that can be launched from vertical launch systems on Navy ships.[40]
The Navy believes its inventory of 4,000 Tomahawk cruise missiles are sufficient for future scenarios, so production is planned to end after 2016 with Tomahawk stocks to hold until the next-generation land-attack weapon is developed. Raytheon is against this action, claiming that Tomahawk production takes over 100 suppliers in 24 states, and that restarting production if needed when the line has been shut down could take two years and increase missile costs. With assessment of its replacement just beginning, it could take up to a decade to be fielded, during which time the Tomahawk stocks may potentially be depleted. Raytheon has offered an alternative plan of combining missile upgrades, including the multi-effects warhead and new target seeker, with the missile recertification program, required to keep them updated and serviced every 15 years. The company argues that combining the upgrades and recertification work on an accelerated schedule would help keep a "warm production capability" to continue production and save money for modernization.[41]
See also[edit]References[edit]^"United States Department Of Defense Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Request Program Acquisition Cost By Weapon System" (pdf). Office Of The Under Secretary Of Defense (Comptroller)/ Chief Financial Officer. March 2014. p. 65. ^"McDonnell Douglas: History '-- New Markets," Boeing history website.^"Raytheon Tomahawk Cruise Missile," Raytheon Tomahawk Evolution Handout.^The US Navy - Fact File^"US Navy Instruction Confirms Retirement of Nuclear Tomahawk Cruise Missile."^"Viability Study associated with Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile."^ abNavy Wants Its Tomahawks to Bust More Bunkers - Defensetech.org, 14 February 2014^"Swim, Rocket, Fly and Hunt: Navy's Morphing Missile Gets New Abilities."^ abFacing End of Tomahawk Production, Raytheon Plays Industrial Base Card - Nationaldefensemagazine.org, 2 April 2014^Tactical Tomahawk Cruise Missile Tested with New Guidance System - Deagel.com, 28 April 2014^MEHTA, AARON (16 July 2014). "Raytheon Targeting Tomahawk of the Future". www.defensenews.com (Gannett Government Media). Retrieved 18 July 2014. ^GAO (October 1997). Test and evaluation impact of DOD. DIANE Publishing. ISBN 978-1428979291. Retrieved 2013-08-30. ^"SLAM Supersonic Low-Altitude Missile". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved January 25, 2014. ^http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/07/26/the-us-military-just-doubled-its-purchases-of-toma.aspx^FAS - BGM-109 Tomahawk^BGM-109 Tomahawk - Smart Weapons^Cruise Missiles Strike Yemen - ABC News. Abcnews.go.com (2009-12-18). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.^"Landmine monitor, US 2011 report". ^"Live blog: allied airstrikes continue against Gadhafi forces". CNN. 2011-03-20. ^http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8400079/Libya-Navy-running-short-of-Tomahawk-missiles.html^"U.S. launches first missiles against Gadhafi forces". CNN. 2011-03-19. ^"U.S. aviators rescued; Gadhafi remains defiant". CNN. 11 May 2011. ^"Sept. 23: U.S. Military, Partner Nations Conduct Airstrikes Against ISIL in Syria". http://www.centcom.mil/en. 23 Sept 2014. Retrieved 23 Sept 2014. ^"Al-Qaeda Khorasan cell in Syria attack 'was imminent'". http://www.bbc.com/news/. 23 Sept 2014. Retrieved 23 Sept 2014. ^"Obama to kill Navy's Tomahawk, Hellfire missile programs in budget decimation newsurl=http://p.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/25/obama-kill-navys-tomahawk-hellfire-missile-program/". ^McGrath, Bryan (March 25, 2014). "This is What Assumption of Additional Risk Looks Like". www.informationdissemination.net. Retrieved 27 March 2014. ^"Astute Class Submarines". BAE Systems Maritime '' Submarines. BAE Systems. Retrieved 12 November 2013. ^"New Royal Navy Submarine Fires First Tomahawk Missiles Across North American Skies". Royal Navy/MOD. Retrieved 12 November 2013. ^"Awesome Astute "surpassed every expectation" on her toughest test yet". Royal Navy/MOD. Retrieved 12 November 2013. ^"Astute on show in the world's biggest naval base". Royal Navy/MOD. Retrieved 12 November 2013. ^http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199899/cmhansrd/vo991102/text/91102w07.htm#91102w07.htm_sbhd3^http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmhansrd/vo040421/wmstext/40421m01.htm^Royal Navy - World-Class Missile Achieves In-Service Date^"United Kingdom - Tomahawk Block IV Torpedo Launched Land-Attack Missiles". Defense Security Cooperation Agency. 1 July 2014. ^"Daily Hansard - Written Answers to Questions". UK Parliament. 17 May 2011. ^No Tomahawks for defence, jets up for sale - New Europe^[1][dead link]^Japanese Government Rejects TLAM/N Claim^[2][dead link]^Navy Seeks Next Generation Tomahawk - DoDBuzz.com, 27 March 2014^Proposed halt of Tomahawk missile buys raises concerns at Raytheon - Azstarnet.com, 13 April 2014External links[edit]
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Islamic State / ISIS / ISIL: what do you call a terrorist group?
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 23:32
Americans prefer 'ISIS' and British people do not know, but few in either country think the media should use a name just because the organisation wants itWhat to call the militant group that has taken control of large parts of Syria and Iraq has long been a tricky question. Early on, it was most common to call it the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), but the group later announced they were re-branding as simply Islamic State (IS), a name many news organisations have since adopted. The Obama administration, however, has continued to refer to them as ISIL '' the acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant '' while the French government recently announced they were dropping Islamic State in favour of Daesh, a name the militants themselves reportedly hate. In the United Kingdom, major news organisations now use ISIS or Islamic State, though a spokesman for the Prime Minister recently used ISIL.
YouGov asked people in Britain and the United States to pick the ''best'' name for news organisations to use from a list of eight possibilities, and the findings show the issue is far from settled.
There is especially little agreement among British people: Islamic State is the favorite, but even so, only 20% want news organisations to use that term. 16% pick ISIS, 10% pick the Un-Islamic State '' a name recommended by a group of British imams seeking to disassociate the group from Islam '' and 26% don't know which of the eight options provided is best.
Americans are in more agreement: half think the media should call the group ISIS. Only 6% want ISIL, the Barack Obama's preferred term, to be used, the same number as want IS or Islamic State used.
Hardly anyone in either country recommends Daesh.
News organisations now mix up the acronyms and full wording of the names. The New York Times and The Guardian, for instance, both use a form of ISIS as shorthand, but begin articles by referring to the group as the Islamic State.
When it comes to the criteria news organisations should use when deciding what to call a terrorist group, only about a third of Americans or British people think the group's own preference should be accepted without scrutiny.
Greater numbers in both countries opt for ''the most accurate description'' even if it is not the name the group uses to refer to themselves, and another 13% of British people and 7% of Americans recommend using a ''deliberately offensive'' term.
Full US poll results can be found here and GB results can be found here.
Image: PA
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Today is the First Time Obama Has Said the Word 'Khorasan' in Public - ABC News
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 05:42
J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo
ANALYSIS:
Today is the first time President Obama has uttered the word "Khorasan" in public.
Indeed, we can find no example of any White House official ever mentioning this al Qaeda cell by name in public. The group has never even been mentioned in any of the White House background briefings on the terrorist threat emanating from Syria (and there have been several such briefings).
It's quite extraordinary to see military action against a group the White House has never talked about.
New ISIS Recording Urges Muslims to Kill Civilians in US-Led Coalition Countries
Airstrikes 'Successful' Against ISIS Targets in Syria, US Military Says
President Obama Says Airstrikes Against ISIS Targets in Syria 'Not America's Fight Alone'
There is one official outside the White House who did talk about Khorasan, briefly, last week. James Clapper had this to say Thursday at an intelligence conference in Washington: "In terms of threat to the homeland, Khorasan may pose as much of a danger as the Islamic State."
Clapper, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, may have revealed more than the administration wanted to reveal. The White House was trying to keep this quiet to avoid tipping the group off that it might be targeted. On the same day Clapper mentioned Khorasan, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was directly asked about the group at a White House press briefing and declined to comment. Here's the exchange:
QUESTION: OK. I wanted to ask you about '... a threat that I'm curious if the president has been briefed on, and to what degree he is knowledgeable about it. It's a group that is related to al Qaeda called Khorasan. And we have reported that in dozens of airports, U.S.-bound passengers are undergoing enhanced screening. Security agents are looking for hidden explosives, uncharged laptops and phones are banned from flights because this particular group is trying to create an even more sophisticated way to smuggle explosives on planes. And this could be a more immediate threat than what is currently dominating a tremendous amount of policy and headlines, meaning ISIL or ISIS. Can you tell us anything about what the president knows about this, the degree to which his counterterrorism officials are on this?
EARNEST: You're asking me about an intelligence issue, obviously, so there is - I'm limited in what I can say. But what I can tell you is that our intelligence professionals have long spoken about the host of terror threats that are emanating from Syria. You've also heard me discuss quite a bit about the challenges posed by foreign terrorist fighters. And next week you will hear directly from the president when he chairs a U.N. Security Council session on this very topic.
At the same time, I'm not in a position to provide granular detail from here about specific threats or potential cells that may be operating and seeking to carry out attacks against American interests. Frankly, doing so would be counterproductive to our whole-of-government approach to countering this challenge.
Let me just add to that by saying, generally, that the Obama administration and our law enforcement and national security professionals remain vigilant about threats that are emanating from Syria and other places around the globe. And this requires the constant evaluation of our security posture. It often will require the tweaking of our security posture to change certain elements in a way that would strengthen our defenses in one area.
And sometimes these changes to our homeland security posture are pretty evident to the traveling public, and sometimes they aren't. But we remain vigilant about the threats that continue to emanate from al Qaeda and their affiliates all around the globe.
US admits there is a much scarier terrorist group than ISIS '-- RT USA
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 05:37
Published time: September 21, 2014 12:23Edited time: September 23, 2014 09:37Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri (AFP Photo / SITE)
New intelligence has emerged warning Washington that its upcoming confrontation with the Islamic State may leave it blind to a more sinister and direct threat from a much lesser known terrorist group that has arisen from the ashes of the Syrian war.
Very little information is being released at the moment by anyone within American intelligence circles, but the group calling itself Khorasan is said by officials to have concrete plans for striking targets in the United States and Europe as a chosen modus operandi '' more so than the Islamic State (IS), formerly known as ISIS.
The first ever mention of the group occurred on Thursday at an intelligence gathering in Washington DC, when National Intelligence Director James Clapper admitted that ''in terms of threat to the homeland, Khorasan may pose as much of a danger as the Islamic State.''
According to the New York Times, some US officials have gone as far as saying that, while the Islamic State is undoubtedly more prominent in its show of force in the Middle East, it is Khorasan who's intent on oversees campaigns in a way Al Qaeda usually is.
In this sense, the US air strike campaign and the coming actions by the anti-IS coalition might just be what coaxes the IS into larger-scale attacks on American and European soil '' what Khorasan is essentially all about.
This brings up another issue seen in the current Western stance on terrorism: it is so focused on the terror spread by the IS that it's beginning to forget that the destruction and mayhem of civil war across the Middle East is spawning a number of hard-to-track terrorist factions with distinct missions.
''What you have is a growing body of extremists from around the world who are coming in and taking advantage of the ungoverned areas and creating informal ad hoc groups that are not directly aligned with ISIS or Nusra,'' a senior law enforcement official told the NY Times on condition of anonymity.
The CIA and the White House declined to give comment.
According to government sources, the Al-Qaeda offshoot group is led by a former senior operative '' 33-year-old Muhsin al-Fadhli, reportedly so close to Bin Laden's inner circle he was one of the few who knew of the 9/11 Twin Tower attacks in advance.
He had reportedly fled to Iran during the US-led invasion of Afghanistan. Al Qaeda's story goes hazy after the campaign: many operatives are said to have traveled to Pakistan, Syria, Iran and other countries, forming splinter groups.
In 2012, al-Fadhli was identified by the State Department as leading the Iranian branch of Al-Qaeda, controlling ''the movement of funds and operatives'' in the region and working closely with wealthy ''jihadist donors'' in his native Kuwait to raise money for the Syrian terrorist resistance.
Although the first public mention of the group was only this Thursday, American intelligence is said to have been tracking it for over a decade. Former President George W. Bush once mentioned the name of its leader in 2005 in connection with a French oil tanker bombing in 2002 off the coast of Yemen.
Khorasan itself is shrouded in mystery. Little is known publicly apart from its being composed of former Al-Qaeda operatives from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. The group is said to favor concealed explosives as a terror method.
Like many other groups taking up the power vacuum in war-torn Syria, Khorasan has on occasion shifted its alliances.
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri at one point ordered the former ISIS to fight only in Iraq, but cut all ties with it when it disobeyed and branched out. The result was that the Nusra Front became Al-Qaeda's official branch in Syria. It's said that Khorasan is to Al Nusra Front what the latter was to Al-Qaeda.
When The Daily Signal spoke to James Phillips, a Middle East expert at The Heritage Foundation, he outlined some American intelligence views on the group: they see their mission in ''[recruiting] European and American Muslim militants who have traveled to Syria to fight alongside Islamist extremist groups that form part of the rebel coalition fighting Syria's Assad regime.''
''The Khorasan group hopes to train and deploy these recruits, who hold American and European passports, for attacks against Western targets,'' he said.
He believes Khorasan to be Al-Qaeda's new arm in attacking America, its ''far enemy.'' While they are Al Nusra's allies in Syria, their role is believed to be to carry out terrorist attacks outside the country.
The group reportedly uses the services of a very prominent Al-Qaeda bomb maker, Ibrahim al-Asiri, whose devices previously ended up on three US-bound planes. He is known to be a true pioneer of hard-to-detect bombs.
Phillips believes that the next step is taking those bombs and pairing them with US-born and other foreign jihadists returning home.
In this respect, Phillips views the Khorasan threat to the US to be much more direct compared to the Islamic State's more regional ambitions. And since President Obama's upcoming anti-IS strategy reportedly does not include Al Nusra, this potentially frees Khorasan's hands.
What sets Al Nusra apart from the many other groups is that it's now the only faction with active branches throughout Syria.
Syria analyst with the Institute for the Study of War, Jennifer Cafarella, told the NY Times ''there is definitely a threat that, if not conducted as a component of a properly tailored strategy within Syria, the American strikes would allow the Nusra Front to fill a vacuum in eastern Syria.''
Because of al-Zawahiri's current weakened position in terrorist cricles, both Al Nusra and Khorasan by extension are less prominent than the IS. But these things have a way of changing unpredictably, and because the plans of these more traditional terrorist groups in Syria aren't yet clear, a danger arises.
The volatile conflict zone that is Syria, with its lax borders and an increasing number of distinct, armed Islamist groups, the US may be surprised by how difficult it soon may be to pinpoint the origin of the next threat.
Khorasan (Islamist group): Revision history - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 05:34
Khorasan (Islamist group): Revision history - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaFor any version listed below, click on its date to view it.For more help, see Help:Page history and Help:Edit summary.(cur) = difference from current version,(prev) = difference from preceding version, m = minor edit, '†' = section edit, '† = automatic edit summary(
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Khorasan (Islamist group) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 05:32
Khorasan is a historical term for the Afghanistan-Pakistan-Iran region.[3] The name of the group was likely created by intelligence agencies.[3] "Khorasan" is from the Middle Persiankhwar (meaning "sun") and āsān (or ayan literally meaning "to come" or "coming" or "about to come"), hence meaning "land where the sun rises."[4][dead link]. The hadiths report that Muhammad said that the advent of the Mahdi would be signaled by "Black Standards" proceeding from Khorasan.[5][6]
2014 American interventionEditReferencesEdit^"Syria's hard cell: Rise of Khorasan group alarms U.S.". The Pueblo Chieftain. 14 September 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2014. ^ ab"US admits there is a much scarier terrorist group than ISIS". RT. 21 September 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2014. ^ ab"What Is the ''Khorasan Group'' and Why Is the U.S. Bombing It in Syria?". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2014. ^Humbach, Helmut, and Djelani Davari, "Nām(C) Xorāsān", Johannes Gutenberg-Universit¤t Mainz; Persian translation by Djelani Davari, published in Iranian Languages Studies Website^David Cook (2002). Studies in Muslim Apocalyptic. Darwin Press. p. 153. from the Fitan of Nu`aym and the Ahwal of Safarini. Also Cook, 125 and 206. Note that this particular tradition is ambiguous about whether the Mahdi himself would choose the black banner. Other traditions will be less circumspect (see below).^"Hadiths about Army of Mahdi, the Black Flags, and East Khorasan". On the authority of Thawban, the Messenger of Allah (upon whom be blessings and peace) said: The Prophet Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wa Sallam said: "Before your treasure, three will kill each other -- all of them are sons of a different caliph but none will be the recipient. Then the Black Banners will appear from the East and they will kill you in a way that has never before been done by a nation." Thawban, a companion said: 'Then he said something that I do not remember by heart' then continued to say that the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, said: "If you see him give him your allegiance, even if you have to crawl over ice, because surely he is the Caliph of Allah, the Mahdi. If you see the black (meaning war) flags coming from Khurasan, join that army, even if you have to crawl over ice, for this is the army of the Caliph, the Mahdi and no one can stop that army until it reaches Jerusalem." Ibne Majah Page 300, Also in Ahmad's Musnad, al-Haakim's Mustadrak and, Al Busiri, Ahmad Nuaym, Ad-Daylami, Hasan, ibn Sufyaan, and Abu Nuaym^Herridge, Catherine (23 September 2014). "US strikes target Al Qaeda veterans in Syria plotting 'imminent attack'". Fox News. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
Suddenly Khorasan: New US Enemy Came Out of Nowhere -- News from Antiwar.com
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 05:30
It was no surprise when the Obama Administration began attacking ISIS targets in Syria last night. What was surprising was that the US also attacked a group known as Khorasan, then hyped what a huge, ''imminent'' threat they supposedly are.
Bizarrely, the history of the Khorasan faction is virtually non-existent, and officials weren't even mentioning the group until last week. Estimated at 50 fighters, the group is suddenly a huge pretext for military intervention, even though today's attack reportedly killed 30 of them.
Rep. Peter King (R '' NY) claimed to be familiar with the group, saying the administration had been telling members of Congress about Khorasan for ''several months,'' and that even the name of the group was supposed to be ''top secret.''
Others claimed the group had, apart from its name, been known to exist for over a year now. That something al-Qaeda linked was known to exist in Aleppo was hardly news, but was it really what is being presented as Khorasan now?
It seems unlikely. The group's putative leader Muhsin al-Fadhli was being claimed by the State Department to be the leader of ''al-Qaeda in Iran'' as recently as May, which doesn't exactly point to him being active in some super dangerous group in Syria for a solid year.
Indeed, the whole al-Qaeda in Iran conceit from the US has been extremely dubious and primarily thrown out there when things in Afghanistan (or before that Iraq) weren't going well and they needed a scapegoat. The Khorasan name seems better fitted to this putative faction, since Khorasan is a region of eastern Iran.
The Khorasan plots appear to be lifted straight out of 2009-2010, accusing the new group of scientifically dubious bomb plots involving explosive clothing that were lifted straight out of the allegations against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) back then, when the US was looking for a pretext to launch a drone war there. The other allegations seem to be a rehash of 2013 claims about al-Qaeda inventing a magic liquid that can turn clothes into undetectable bombs, a scare story that was created, and died almost immediately over lack of evidence.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: BREAKING New York-New Jersey Announce Massive Increase in Joint Surveillance
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 23:05
Never let a crisis go to waste, always expand the government intrusions into the public's everyday life, when you have the opportunity.
That seems to be the operating motto of Governors Cuomo and Christie.Taking advantage of the ISIS "crisis," the two have announced that they have"adopted protocols under which New York and New Jersey will immediately begin coordinating intelligence-gathering and information-sharing to defend our residents and bi-state transit infrastructures against acts of terrorism."
"The New York City area has always been a top target for terrorists wishing to spread hatred and fear, and we would be in a state of denial to say that what is going on internationally has not raised that danger,'' Governor Cuomo said. ''That is why New York and New Jersey are increasing our level of partnership and cooperation '' because public safety is paramount and joining together is the best way to defend against any possible dangers. Our residents should rest assured that we are doing everything necessary to keep the region safe.'' ''Global events this week bring the threat into acutely sharp focus,'' said Governor Christie. ''We know that our people and assets remain a target in the minds of depraved individuals around the globe, even in the homeland, and we are gravely committed to protecting and defending ourselves against the threat.'' A Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Governors comes nine days after they held a top-level security meeting in New York with national, state and local law enforcement and security heads.Among the fun things that New Yorkers amd New Jerseyites can look forward to, according to a joint statement, are:Over the next 100 days, a surge in law enforcement and military personnel will join forces within the metropolitan area to engage in counterterrorism operations by increasing visibility, inspections and surveillance on and at trains and train stations, airports, landmarks, and bridges and tunnels. Additionally, New York and New Jersey will participate in a joint emergency exercise in the coming months and continue to evaluate methods for increased intelligence and emergency coordination.Two-hour bag checks for PATH, increase in bag and train checks. Numbers of bag checks will be recorded.Extended on- and off-train checks PATH. Numbers will be recorded.Emergency Service Unit directed patrols, visible with heavy weapons, mornings and afternoons daily.JFK ESU truck, directed patrols.K-9 directed patrols, visible mornings and afternoons daily.PAPD to maintain heavy weapon visibility; curb side, interior, exterior and ramp side at El Al at JFK and EWR.Vehicle Inspection truck checks, at various crossings, visible during am and pm rush hour.CIB to deploy two additional counter surveillance detectives, mornings and evenings daily; specific to PATH, PABT, WTC, and crossings.Added additional patrol car for LGA, high visibility checks, days and afternoons.PABT add two high visibility posts mornings and afternoons.Counter Terrorism Unit at PATH to conduct surges at various stations.Increased mobilization drills at PA facilities in both States working with NYSP, NJSP and Federal and local partners---The National Guard's Joint Task Force '' Empire Shield will surge up to two times its current strength, totaling up to 500 military personnel. The Task Force will closely and visibly work alongside the NYC Police Department Counter-Terrorism unit, AMTRAK Police, and various other city and state law enforcement agencies.The New York State Police will assign dozens of State Troopers to train platforms and on the trains themselves, which has only been done sporadically in the past and never at this level. Additionally, in conjunction with the MTA Police Department, State Troopers will police the Port Washington, Hempstead, Long Beach, West Hempstead, Babylon, Montauk, Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma, Far Rockaway and City Terminal Zone branches of the Long Island Rail Road and the Hudson and Harlem Line of the Metro-North Railroad.The MTA will increase uniformed officer presence by 30-50 percent at high volume stations, increase its random bag checks, increase perimeter checks and curbside sweeps at stations and terminals, and monitor security video of high-profile locations throughout Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, New York City Transit, Bridges and Tunnels, and Lower Manhattan Security Initiative command centers.The New Jersey Transit Police will increase uniformed law enforcement visibility at train, bus and light rail stations, and increase K9 deployments, random baggage inspection and train order maintenance sweeps.The agreement also calls for New York and New Jersey to expand the operation safe guard program and commit more resources toward educating the public about ''See Something Say Something.''Study history my friends, a turnkey police state is being created. One quirky development and this police state turns on all of us.-RW
(ht Jaison De Montalegre)
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PRIMING THE PUMP-Islamists in Philippines threaten to kill German hostages | World news | The Guardian
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 22:50
Islamists in the Philippines have threatened to kill two German hostages unless Germany pays a ransom and withdraws its support for the US fight against Isis in Syria and northern Iraq.
In a message circulated via Twitter, the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group announced it would kill one of the hostages unless its demands were met within 15 days, according to US company Site Intelligence Group, which tracks communications from radical Islamist groups.
The message calls on Germany to ''stop supporting America in its killing of our Muslim brothers in Iraq and Syria, especially the mujahideen of the Islamic State''.
The German pair, 71-year-old Stefan O and 55-year-old Henrike D, were reported missing in April, after their yacht was found empty in the Palawan province in the western Philippines.
In August, photographs showing the couple in front of a German flag and surrounded by masked fighters were released by Abu Sayyaf. The militant group originally demanded a ransom of 250m pesos (£3.4m) to release the hostages.
Filipino police say they suspect the couple are being held hostage near the militants' base on Jolo island in the Sulu province in the southern Philippines.
The German government on Wednesday confirmed it was aware of the new threats and that it had set up an emergency taskforce within the foreign office which was ''continuing its efforts to achieve a release''.
It said its foreign policy towards Isis would not be influenced by the incident. ''Threats are not an appropriate way of influencing Germany's policy towards Syria and northern Iraq,'' a spokesperson said.
Founded in the early 1990s, the small but active Abu Sayyaf group has been listed as a terrorist organisation since 1997. It rose to prominence after the kidnapping of a group of 21 foreigners in the dive resort of Sipadan in May 2000.
Khair Mundos, a leading figure in the militant group, was arrested in June this year. The group has previously had ties to al-Qaida, though security experts say it now operates autonomously. In June, Abu Sayyaf's leader, Isnilon Hapilon, announced his group's support for Isis in a video circulated on the internet.
Germany is currently not directly involved in the military offensive against Isis in northern Iraq, but has pledged logistical support and called for a ''political strategy'' against the militant group.
Foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier recently ruled out Germany participating in US-led air strikes in Iraq.
However, Germany has confirmed that it will provide logistical support for military operations in northern Iraq, including sending a squad of 40 paratroopers to train Kurdish fighters in the use of machine guns.
A shipment of arms '' including 4,000 G3 rifles, 4,000 P1 pistols, 20 Milan anti-tank guns, 120 anti-tank rockets and 20 MG3 machine guns '' was scheduled to fly out from Leipzig to Iraq on Wednesday.
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U.S. bombed terrorist group with plans for 'major attacks' against Western targets | TheBlaze.com
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 16:10
The Defense Department said one focus of the Monday night airstrikes against in Syria and Iraq was a terrorist group called Khorasan, which was developing plans to launch attacks against Western targets, which may have included attacks against the United States.
But Joint Chiefs of Staff Director Bill Mayville told reporters Tuesday that it's not clear how well U.S. airstrikes disrupted Khorasan, which he described as a group affiliated with Al-Qaeda.
Lt. Gen. William C. Mayville Jr., Joint Staff Director of Operations Director of Operations, speaks about airstrikes in Syria during a briefing at the Pentagon September 23, 2014 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI
''Intelligence reports indicated that the Khorasan group was in the final stages of plans to execute major attacks against western targets, and potentially the U.S. homeland,'' he said.
In the last few days, officials have said Khorasan could pose as much danger to the United States as the Islamic State, which was also hit by U.S. missiles late Monday night.
To disrupt Khorasan's plans, the U.S. launched a wave of airstrikes against the group on Monday at about 8:30 p.m. eastern standard time. That strike consisted of more than 40 tomahawk missiles from U.S. ships.
''The majority of the tomahawk strikes were against Khorasan group compounds and manufacturing workshops and training camps,'' he said.
Mayville declined to say what Khorasan might have been planning, and said the Defense Department is still assessing how much damage the U.S. missiles did to the group.
''It would be premature comment on the effects,'' he said. ''We need to do a little bit more study.''
The second wave of airstrikes was led by F-22s, F-15s, F-16s, B-1 bombers and drones that focused on hitting Islamic State headquarters, training camps, barracks and combat vehicles. The Defense Department tweeted out a picture of a before and after shot of a building hit by an F-22.
''They launched from bases in the region around 9 p.m. eastern standard time against targets in Northern Syria,'' Mayville said.
At around midnight, F-18s and F-16s hit more Islamic State targets in eastern Syria, including training camps and vehicles.
''Last night's strikes are the beginning of a credible and sustainable persistent campaign to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL,'' he said.
While Mayville was hesitant to gauge how successful the Monday sorties were, Rear Admiral John Kirby called it ''very successful.''
''Our initial indication is that these strikes were very successful,'' Kirby said. ''While it's not our policy to discuss future operations, I can tell you that last night's strikes were only the beginning.''
Mayville stressed again that there are no plans to insert ground troops into the Middle East, and said plans are continue airstrikes for several years.
''I would think of it in terms of years, yes,'' he said.
Greater Khorasan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 16:03
Khorasan, also written as Khurasan (Middle Persian: Khwarāsān, Persian: خراØ"ان بزرگ or خراØ"ان Ú(C)هن'Ž listen (help·info)), is a historicalregion[1] lying in the northeast of Persia (in Iran) that has been mentioned in various sources in the past. "In pre-Islamic and early Islamic times, the term "Khurassan" frequently had a much wider denotation, covering also parts of Central Asia and Afghanistan; early Islamic usage often regarded everywhere east of western Persia, sc. Djibal or what was subsequently termed 'Irak 'Adjami, as being included in a vast and ill-defined region of Khurasan, which might even extend to the Indus Valley and Sind."[2] Before Islamization of the region, the inhabitants of Khorasan had mostly practiced Zoroastrianism, but there were also followers of Buddhism and other religions.
Khorasan in its proper sense comprised principally the cities of Balkh, Herat, and Taloqan (now in Afghanistan), Mashhad, Nishapur, and Sabzevar (now in northeastern Iran), Merv and Nisa (now in southern Turkmenistan), and Samarqand and Bukhara (now in Uzbekistan). Some believe that at certain times Khorasan covered a wider area, which included parts of Transoxiana, Soghdiana, Sistan, and extended to the boundaries of the Indian subcontinent.[1] When the Arabs first arrived to the area south of the Hindu Kush to defeat the Zunbils, they recognized it as al-Hind (Sind), owing to the prevalence of Buddhists and Hindus (non-Zoroastrians) due to its cultural connection with Greater India. Sources from the 14th to the 16th century report that south of the Hindu Kush (Zamindawar, Baluchistan and Kabulistan) formed a frontier between Khorasan and Hindustan.[3][4]
In the Islamic period, Persian Iraq and Khorasan were the two important territories. The boundary between these two was the region surrounding the cities of Gurgan and Damghan. In particular, the Ghaznavids, Seljuqs and Timurids divided their empires into Iraqi and Khorasani regions. The adjective Greater is added these days to distinguish the historical region from the Khorasan province of Iran, which roughly encompasses the western half of the historical Khorasan.[5]
The name "Khorasan" is derived from Middle Persiankhwar (meaning "sun") and āsān (or ayan literally meaning "to come" or "coming" or "about to come"), hence meaning "land where the sun rises"[6] the same etymology also having been suggested for Khwarezm. The Persian word Khāvar-zamÄn (Persian: خاÙر زمین'Ž), meaning "the eastern land", has also been used as an equivalent term.[7]
Geographical distributionEditFirst established as a political entity by the Sassanids in the 3rd century AD,[8] the borders of the region have varied considerably during its 1600-year history. Initially the Khorasan province of Sassanid empire included the cities of Nishapur, Herat, Merv, Faryab, Taloqan, Balkh, Bukhara, Badghis, Abiward, Gharjistan, Tus or Susia, Sarakhs and Gurgan.[8]
It acquired its greatest extent under the Caliphs, for whom "Khorasan" was the name of one of the three political zones under their dominion (the other two being Eraq-e Arab "Arabic Iraq" and Eraq-e Ajam "Non-Arabic Iraq or Persian Iraq").[2] Under the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates, Khorasan was divided into four major sections or quarters (rub'²), each section based on a single major city: Nishapur, Merv, Herat and Balkh.[7]
In the Middle Ages, the term was loosely applied in Persia to all its territories that lay east and north east of Dasht-e Kavir and therefore were subjected to change as the size of empire changed. According to Ghulam Mohammad Ghobar, Afghanistan's current territories formed the major portion of Khorasan,[9][10] as two of the four main capitals of Khorasan (Balkh, Merv, Nishapur and Herat) are now located in Afghanistan. Ghobar uses the terms "Proper Khorasan" and "Improper Khorasan" in his book to distinguish between the usage of Khorasan in its strict sense and its usage in a loose sense.[9] According to him, Proper Khorasan contained regions lying between Balkh in the east, Merv in the north, Sistan in the south, Nishapur in the west and Herat, known as the Pearl of Khorasan, in the center. Improper Khorasan's boundaries extended to Kabulistan and Hazarajat in the east, Sistan and Baluchistan in the south, Transoxiana and Khwarezm in the north, and Damghan and Gorgan in the west. It is mentioned in the Memoirs of Babur that:
"The people of Hindustān call every country beyond their own Khorasān, in the same manner as the Arabs term all except Arabia, Ajem. On the road between Hindustān and Khorasān, there are two great marts: the one Kābul, the other Kandahār. Caravans, from Ferghāna, TÅrkestān, Samarkand, Balkh, Bokhāra, Hissār, and Badakhshān, all resort to Kābul; while those from Khorasān repair to Kandahār. This country lies between Hindustān and Khorasān."[4]
History of Iran, History of Afghanistan
Before the region fell to Alexander the Great in 330 BC, it was part of the Achaemenid Empire and prior to that it was occupied by the Medes. Following Alexander's brief occupation, the successor state of the Seleucid Empire controlled the area until 305 BCE when they gave south of the Hindu Kush to the Indian Maurya Empire as part of an alliance treaty.
"Alexander took these away from the Aryans and established settlements of his own, but Seleucus Nicator gave them to Sandrocottus (Chandragupta), upon terms of intermarriage and of receiving in exchange 500 elephants."[11]
The land that became known as Khorasan in geography of Eratosthenes was recognized as Ariana at that time, which made up Greater Iran or the land where Zoroastrianism was the dominant religion. The southeastern region of Ariana fell to the Kushan Empire in the 1st century AD. The Kushan rulers built a capital in modern-day Afghanistan at Bagram and are believed to have built the famous Buddhas of Bamiyan. Numerous Buddhist temples and buried cities have been found in Afghanistan.[12][13] However, the region of Ariana (or Khorasan) remained predominantly Zoroastrian but there were also Manichaeists, sun worshippers, Christians, Pagans, Shamanists, Buddhists, Jews and others. One of the three great fire-temples of the Sassanids "Azar-burzin Mehr" is situated near Sabzevar in Iran. The boundary of the region began changing until the Kushans and Sassanids merged to form the Kushano-Sassanian civilization.[citation needed]
During the Sassanid era, Persia was divided into four quarters, Khvarvaran in the west, Bakhtar in the north, Arachosia in the south and Khorasan in the east, next to Sind or Hind. Khorasan in the east saw some conflict with the Hephthalites who became the new rulers in the area but the borders remained stable. Being the eastern parts of the Sassanids and further away from Arabia, Khorasan quarter was conquered after the remaining Persia. The last Sassanid king of Persia, Yazdgerd III, moved the throne to Khorasan following the Arab invasion in the western parts of the empire. After the assassination of the king, Khorasan was conquered by Arab Muslim troops in 647 AD. Like other provinces of Persia it became one of the provinces of Umayyad dynasty.[citation needed]
The first movement against the Arab invasions was led by Abu Muslim Khorasani between 747 and 750. He helped the Abbasids come to power but was later killed by Al-Mansur, an Abbasid Caliph. The first independent kingdom from Arab rule was established in Khorasan by Tahir Phoshanji in 821, but it seems that it was more a matter of political and territorial gain. Tahir had helped the Caliph subdue other nationalistic movements in other parts of Persia such as Maziar's movement in Tabaristan.[citation needed]
Other major independent dynasties who ruled over Khorasan were the Saffarids from Zaranj (861''1003), Samanids from Bukhara (875''999), Ghaznavids from Ghazni (963''1167), Seljuqs (1037''1194), Khwarezmids (1077''1231), Ghurids (1149''1212), and Timurids (1370''1506). It should be noted that some of these dynasties were not Persian by ethnicity. The periods of the Ghaznavids of Ghazni and Timurids of Herat are considered as some of the most brilliant eras of Khorasan's history. During these periods, there was a great cultural awakening. Many famous Persian poets, scientists and scholars lived in this period. Numerous valuable works in Persian literature were written. Nishapur, Herat, Ghazni and Merv were the centers of all these cultural developments.[citation needed]
From the 16th century to the early 18th century, Khorasan was ruled by the ShiaSafavid dynasty while the region to the east by the SunniKhanate of Bukhara and the southeast by the Sunni Mughul Empire.[14] It was conquered in 1717, along with the rest of Persia, by the GhilzaiAfghans from Kandahar and became part of the Hotaki dynasty.[15][16] Following the assassination of Nader ShahAfshar in 1747, Khorasan was annexed with the Durrani Empire or modern-day Afghanistan.[17]
Cultural importanceEditKhorasan has had a great cultural importance among other regions in Greater Iran. The literary New Persian language developed in Khorasan and Transoxiana and gradually supplanted the Parthian language.[18] The New Persian literature arose and flourished in Khorasan and Transoxiana[19] where the early Iranian dynasties such as Tahirids, Samanids and Ghaznavids were based.The early Persian poets such as Rudaki, Shahid Balkhi, Abu al-Abbas Marwazi, Abu Hafas Sughdi, and others were from Khorasan. Moreover, Ferdowsi, the author of Shahnameh, the national epic of Greater Iran was also from Khorasan.[citation needed]
Until the devastating Mongol invasion of the thirteenth century, Khorasan remained the cultural capital of Persia.[20] It has produced scientists such as Avicenna, Al-Farabi, Al-Biruni, Omar Khayym, Al-Khwarizmi, Abu Ma'shar al-Balkhi (known as Albumasar or Albuxar in the west), Alfraganus, Abu Wafa, Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, Sharaf al-DÄn al-ṬÅsÄ, and many others who are widely well known for their significant contributions in various domains such as mathematics, astronomy, medicine, physics, geography, and geology.[citation needed]
In Islamic theology, jurisprudence and philosophy, and in Hadith collection, many of the greatest Islamic scholars came from Khorasan, namely Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Abu Hanifa, Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, Abu Dawood, Al-Tirmidhi, Al-Nasa'i, Al-Ghazali, Al-Juwayni, Abu Mansur Maturidi, Fakhruddin al-Razi, and others. Shaykh Tusi, a Shi'a scholar and Al-Zamakhshari, the famous Mutazilite scholar, also lived in Khorasan.[citation needed]
In Ali Soufan's book "The Black Banners", he explains the title by noting that quotes from various Hadiths regarding "Black Banners" of a "new army" taking over Khorasan have some kind of prophetic significance with many modern adherents of Jihadism. He notes that it is "not a coincidence" that Osama bin Laden made al-Qaeda's flag black. On the other hand, Afghanistan's national flag was black originally and even today it is one-third black, and with the help of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) is fighting against al-Qaeda. What is more interesting is that after Afghanistan, other Muslim nations with black in their flags began fighting against their rulers. This includes Iraq in 2003 against Saddam Hussain, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) against Pervaz Musharraf, and the latest Arab Spring in which a number of Arab rulers were deposed. Soufan also notes that there is debate about whether the prophet Mohammed actually spoke some of the quoted Hadiths (such as one attributed to Abu Hurairah). He also notes that Sheikh Salman al-Ouda has said the Black Banner hadiths are not able to be authenticated.[21]
DemographicsEditReferencesEdit^ ab"Khorasan". Encyclop...dia Britannica Online. Retrieved 2010-10-21. "historical region and realm comprising a vast territory now lying in northeastern Iran, southern Turkmenistan, and northern Afghanistan. The historical region extended, along the north, from the Amu Darya (Oxus River) westward to the Caspian Sea and, along the south, from the fringes of the central Iranian deserts eastward to the mountains of central Afghanistan. Arab geographers even spoke of its extending to the boundaries of India." ^ ab"Khurasan", The Encyclopaedia of Islam, page 55.. Brill. Retrieved 2010-10-22. ^Travels in Asia and Africa, 1325''1354 (reprint, illustrated ed.). Routledge. 2004. p. 416. ISBN 9780415344739. Retrieved 2010-09-10. ^ abZahir ud-Din Mohammad Babur (1921). "Events Of The Year 910 (p.4)". Memoirs of Babur. Translated by John Leyden, Esq., M.D. and William Erskine, Esq. Packard Humanities Institute. Retrieved 2010-08-22. ^Dabeersiaghi, Commentary on Safarnma-e Nsir Khusraw, 6th Ed. Tehran, Zavvr: 1375 (Solar Hijri Calendar) 235''236^Humbach, Helmut, and Djelani Davari, "Nām(C) Xorāsān", Johannes Gutenberg-Universit¤t Mainz; Persian translation by Djelani Davari, published in Iranian Languages Studies Website^ abDehKhoda, "Lughat Nameh DehKhoda", Online version^ abThe Encyclopedia of Islam, Brill 1979, Vol.5, page 56: "In Sasanid times, Khurasan was one of the four great provincial satrapies, and was governed from Marw by Ispahbadh.^ abGhubar, Mir Ghulam Mohammad (1937). Khorasan, Kabul Printing House. Kabul, Afghanistan.^Tajikistan Development Gateway from The Development Gateway Foundation '' History of Afghanistan LINK^Nancy Hatch Dupree / Aḥmad Ê>>AlÄ Kuhzād (1972). "An Historical Guide to Kabul '' The Name". American International School of Kabul. Archived from the original on 30 August 2010. Retrieved September 18, 2010. ^"42 Buddhist relics discovered in Logar". Maqsood Azizi. Pajhwok Afghan News. August 18, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-23. ^"Buddhist remains found in Afghanistan". Press TV. August 17, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-16. ^Romano, Amy (2003). A Historical Atlas of Afghanistan. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 28. ISBN 9780823938636. Retrieved 2010-10-17. ^"Last Afghan empire". Louis Dupree, Nancy Hatch Dupree and others. Encyclop...dia Britannica. Retrieved 2010-09-24. ^Axworthy, Michael (2006). The Sword of Persia: Nader Shah, from Tribal Warrior to Conquering Tyrant. London: I.B. Tauris. p. 50. ISBN 1-85043-706-8. Retrieved 2010-09-27. ^Friedrich Engels (1857). "Afghanistan". Andy Blunden. The New American Cyclopaedia, Vol. I. Retrieved 2010-08-25. ^Lazard, G., "Dari", Encyclopaedia Iranica^Frye, R.N., "Dari", The Encyclopaedia of Islam, CD edition^Lorentz, J. Historical Dictionary of Iran. 1995 ISBN 0-8108-2994-0AFGJANISTAN^The Black Banners, Ali Soufan, 2011, W. W. Norton & Company^"Khorasan i. Ethnic Groups,"' Pierre Oberling, Encyclopaedia Iranica
OpenOil
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 16:02
Johnny West on July 23, 2014 · Leave a Comment The decision to try and map BP's global network was based on the fact that the company makes many public filings. We didn't really appreciate quite how many until we had finished. In the UK jurisdiction alone, the BP network we constructed shows 182 affiliate companies. Of these, the 26 which were second tier companies more >>
Amrit Naresh on June 12, 2014 · Leave a Comment Sixty years after Shell and BP first struck oil in the Niger Delta, multinational companies still produce more petroleum than local Nigerian companies do. But the long, fitful process of indigenizing the industry '' a national priority since the 1970s '' has finally, unmistakably, taken hold. In Port Harcourt, the steamy Delta oil hub, I saw more >>
Amrit Naresh on June 3, 2014 · Leave a Comment The other night on a flight from Port Harcourt to Lagos, I saw what a gas flare looks like from the sky. Against a black backdrop, I counted flares by the dozens '' giant, violent looking plumes of burning gas illuminating the night sky. I was struck by the darkness between the flares: I saw more >>
US air strikes in Syria, just the beginning - World Socialist Web Site
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 07:46
By Peter Symonds24 September 2014Following yesterday's massive air attacks inside Syria, the Pentagon made clear that the operations were just the start of a protracted war. Lieutenant General William Mayville, director of operations for the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the media the strikes were ''the beginning of a credible and sustainable, persistent campaign'' against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militias. Asked about the length of the campaign, he said: ''I think it would be in terms of years.''
The scope and extent of the air strikes underline that fact that Syria, rather than Iraq, has been the primary target all along. A senior American military official told the New York Times that the US and its allies ''dropped as many bombs in one night as the United States had during all its previous operations against Islamic State in Iraq.'' The cruise missiles and bombs rained down on Syria were not directed simply against ISIS, but also against Al Qaeda affiliates'--Jabhat al-Nusra, and the hitherto unpublicised ''terrorist'' organisation, Khorasan.
While Mayville disclaimed any knowledge of civilian casualties, the first reports from inside Syria indicate substantial death and destruction. The Los Angeles Times cited a video from the north-western province of Idlib showing residents picking through the rubble of bombed houses with a voice over of an anti-government activist, declaring ''mass destruction of the civilian homes [as] a result of the strikes of the Western alliance.'' The article explained that one of five US missiles in the area had hit a residential neighbourhood in the village of Kafar Daryan, killing up to two dozen civilians, including children.
Yesterday's assault consisted of three waves of strikes. The first was a volley of cruise missiles directed against targets around Syria's largest city, Aleppo. The second involved US fighter jets and drones, along with war planes from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Jordan, attacking ISIS compounds and vehicles in northern Syria. The third round, which also included Arab countries, targeted ISIS positions in eastern Syria.
The fact that the first set of missiles was not directed against ISIS, but against Khorasan targets near Aleppo, is particularly significant. In justifying the attacks, US officials claimed that the small, obscure group of ''seasoned Al Qaeda veterans'' was in the ''advanced stages of some type of terrorist attack against a European or US-based target.''
Pentagon spokesperson Rear Admiral John Kirby provided no evidence that a terrorist attack had been imminent. Unnamed counter-intelligence officials provided the media with lurid details about the group's experiments with ''next-generation undetectable bombs'' to be smuggled onto international flights, including explosive devices inside toothpaste tubes and clothing dipped in liquid explosives.
This new terrorist scare serves to further intensify the climate of fear and suspicion being cultivated by the media and political establishment in the US and its allies as a means of blunting opposition to new US-led war in the Middle East. It lays the basis for further police-state measures and the suppression of dissent.
At the same time, the Obama administration seized on the ''imminent threat'' to the United States to bolster its threadbare justifications for a war of aggression in flagrant breach of international law. In a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, added the Khorasan ''terrorist threat'' to the absurd claim that the attacks on Syria were legitimate because they were undertaken on the request of the US puppet regime in Baghdad.
The attacks around Aleppo appear to be out of all proportion to any danger posed by Khorasan, which, according to US officials speaking to ABC News, consisted of ''about 50 or so hardened fighters.'' Most of the 47 Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from US Navy vessels in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf were directed at targets around Aleppo.
The real purpose of this assault was revealed in a Wall Street Journal article, which pointed out that the strikes were coordinated in advance with pro-Western Free Syrian Army (FSA) militias in Aleppo. Syrian opposition spokesman Oubai Shahbandar told the newspaper that the CIA recently provided the FSA with fresh military supplies, ''including American-made, heat-seeking anti-tank weapons known as TOWs, arms and communications equipment.''
The Wall Street Journal claimed that the US attacks were not directed against Syrian army positions, but rather were aimed at reinforcing the FSA against its various Islamist rivals, including ISIS. However, the intervention of US war planes in this hotly-contested area signifies Washington's direct involvement in Syria's protracted civil war. The primary US target is not ISIS, but the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Any threat or incident, real or concocted, involving the Syrian military can be turned by Washington into the pretext for the postponed air war on the regime that was planned last year and called off at the last minute.
Confronted with the threat of war, the Syrian government is attempting to manoeuvre by offering to collaborate with the US in its attacks on ISIS'--an offer that Washington has flatly rejected. Instead of condemning yesterday's devastating air assault on Syrian territory as illegal, the regime boasted that it had been given advance notice of the attacks. As deputy US national security adviser Benjamin Rhodes told the media, the only US notification was a menacing warning ''not to pose a threat to our aircraft.''
The Assad regime's main backers'--Iran and Russia'--issued cautious and conditional criticisms of the US air strikes. In comments to NBC News, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani complained that the attacks were launched without UN authorisation or the permission of the Assad government, but did not condemn them outright. The Russian foreign ministry made similar comments. Both governments are seeking to avoid a confrontation with the US, even though they are well aware that the US war in Syria is aimed against their strategic interests in the Middle East.
The Pentagon declared that yesterday's attacks were not a repetition of the ''shock and awe'' bombardment that began the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. But there is no doubt that the raw display of US military might, including the use of some the latest and most sophisticated weapons systems, was aimed at intimidating and threatening. The US military used the opportunity to test out its F-22 Raptor stealth fighters and the latest versions of the Tomahawk missiles, sending an unmistakeable warning to US rivals in the Middle East and beyond.
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Besluit van het kabinet over strijd tegen IS nabij
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 07:16
24/09/14, 07:59 '' bron: ANP
(C) epa.
Bronnen in Den Haag verwachten dat het kabinet vrijdag de Tweede Kamer over de Nederlandse bijdrage aan de coalitie tegen Islamitische Staat kan informeren. De komende dagen moet bij de VN wel een vorm van mandaat voor de actie worden vastgesteld, meldt De Telegraaf.
Een VN-mandaat is een belangrijke eis voor regeringspartij PvdA. Het liefst ziet de partij een mandaat van de VN-Veiligheidsraad, maar bronnen binnen de partij geven aan dat een andere vorm van volkenrechtelijke instemming in de marge van de Algemene Vergadering ook kan.
Het is nog onduidelijk of de Nederlandse F16's nodig zijn of wat er na eventuele bombardementen verder moet gebeuren met de straaljagers.
Syria air strikes: America's attacks on Isis may help Bashar al-Assad keep his regime alive - Voices - The Independent
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 07:14
In his Damascus home, the Syrian leader can reflect that the most powerful nation on earth '' which only last year wished to bomb him into oblivion '' is now trying to bomb his most ferocious enemies into the very same oblivion. Sunni Saudis whose ''charity'' donations have funded the equally Sunni ''Islamic State'' now find their government supposedly helping the US to destroy it. As Shia Iran and its Hezbollah prot(C)g(C)s battle the Sunni executioners and throat-slashers on the ground, US bombs and missiles rain down to destroy the enemies in front of them.
Not since Churchill found himself an ally of Nazi Germany's erstwhile friend Stalin in 1941 can a president have found a fearsome antagonist transformed so swiftly into a brother-in-arms. But '' and it's a very big ''but'' '' the Baathist Syrian regime is not so stupid as to take the word ''friend'' at face value. Neither should we. Obama is the last person with whom Assad would want to associate himself '' as Vladimir Putin doesn't need to remind him '' and the Syrian regime will be watching with the deepest concern as America's promiscuous use of air power spreads inexorably to include more and more targets outside its original stated aim.
Quite apart from the civilian casualties in Idlib province, America's targeting of the al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra suggests that the Pentagon has more than Isis in its sights. How soon, for example, before a missile explodes in a Syrian regime weapons depot '' by ''mistake'', of course '' or other government facilities? Since the US has decided to fund and train the so-called ''moderate opposition'' to fight Isis and the Syrian regime, why should it not bomb both sets of enemies? And how will Syrians who support whatever is left of these ''moderates'' react to the American bombs in Idlib which killed their fellow civilians rather than Assad's forces '' bombs, indeed, which appear to have been just as lethal as the munitions dropped on them by Assad's aircraft?
Read more: Obama undergoes Damascene conversionThe attacks: A blow to Isis '' but boots on ground may still be neededUK: Parliament could be recalled as Cameron hints at involvementComment: 'Peace President' had to take stronger action against IsisEditorial: Syria's new frontAs for the Gulf Arabs, not one has so far shown evidence that it has physically bombed any targets in Syria. Only Jordan has claimed to have attacked Isis; the rest of King Abdullah's allies in the Arab ''coalition of the willing'' '' how quickly we have forgotten that this was George W Bush's expression for those nations which supported his 2003 Iraq invasion '' appear to have limited their co-operation to providing airstrips, refuelling planes and perhaps patrolling the peaceful waters of the Gulf. In his hearings on Capitol Hill last week, the Secretary of State John Kerry was given an impatient grilling from Congressmen over just how many Arab aircraft would be dropping ordnance on Isis. Kerry fluffed his answers.
The Gulf Arabs, after all, have been here before. They remember clearly the exaggerated claims of military success in the air '' of smart bombs that did not slaughter civilians, of cruise missiles that destroyed bunkers and training camps and ''command and control centres'' in 1991 and 2003. It all proved to be a very dodgy war menu. Yet now the Americans are re-cooking these old snacks for the Isis conflict.
Were these Islamist ''warriors'' really sitting around '' drinking tea, perhaps '' at ''training camps'' so that the Americans could kill them? Does Isis boast anything like a ''command and control centre'' '' a bunker of computers and blinking target indicators '' rather than just a clutch of mobile phones? Yet a ''command-and-control centre'', no less, was said to have been destroyed.
And, as so often amid the excitement of yet another conflict escalation, the ''experts'' and decrepit ex-ambassadors on our screens need to leaf through a history book or two before explaining ''our'' actions. The ''Islamic State'' was created out of al-Qaeda in Iraq, which absorbed the anti-American resistance to American occupation, which in turn followed the illegal 2003 Anglo-American invasion of Iraq. If Messrs Bush and Blair had not embarked on their Iraqi adventure, does anyone think the US would be helping Assad to destroy his enemies today?
''Irony'' doesn't measure up to the words of the Middle-East's ''peace envoy'' who this week transformed himself into a war envoy by holding out the prospect of more Western troops in the Muslim world. Is the Syrian regime supposed to laugh or cry?
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Russian Food Imports Ban to Hurt 9.5 Mln European Farmers
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 22:00
MOSCOW, September 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's restrictions on food imports from the European Union can potentially hurt some 9.5 million European farmers, according to the estimates voiced Wednesday by the European Parliament.
"The overall restrictions currently applied by Russia could jeopardize 5 billion euro worth of trade and affect the incomes of 9.5 million EU farmers. The value of banned fisheries products amounts to almost 144 million euro," the European Parliament said in a press release.
The total population of the 28-state bloc is estimated at approximately 500 million.
The economic repercussions of Russia's import restrictions targeting EU farm produce, raw materials and food from the EU will be debated by the International Trade Committee with the trade specialists from the EU Commission on Wednesday after 16.00.
Following the reunification of Crimea with Russia, the West introduced several rounds of economic sanctions against Russia, notably targeting its oil, banking and defense sectors. Moscow responded with the adoption of a one-year ban on the import of certain food products made in the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia and Norway.
Thousands protest in Moscow over Russia's involvement in Ukraine | World news | The Guardian
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 07:44
Mscow protesters carry a banner reading 'Hands off Ukraine' . Photograph: Yuri Kochetkov/EPA
Thousands of people gathered in central Moscow on Sundayto protest against their country's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine at an All-Russian March for Peace, the first large anti-Kremlin rally since the conflict started in April.
The march for an "end to the Russian regime's irresponsible, aggressive policy" in Ukraine drew 5,000 protesters, according to the interior ministry. But official estimates of opposition march numbers have been notably low in the past, and the volunteer group White Counter, which was tallying participants as they passed through police metal detectors at the beginning of the march, said put the number at 26,000 people.
Although some far-left groups, such as Autonomous Action '' whose members carried a banner reading "No to war between peoples! No to peace between classes!" '' participated in the march, the main contingent of the protest was similar to the movement that shook Moscow in 2011-2013. Other banners read "Hands off of Ukraine!" and "Freedom to the 6 May prisoners", a reference to those jailed on charges of inciting riots after an anti-Putin rally in Bolotnaya Square on 6 May 2012 that degenerated into clashes between police and protesters.
Others carried pictures of Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine. In recent weeks, Russian independent media have reported on the growing number of soldiers who have gone missing after being deployed to eastern Ukraine, and secretive funerals have been held for some servicemen in places like the provincial city of Pskov.
Sunday's march was organised by longstanding opposition parties including Yabloko, Solidarity and Parnas, as well as newcomers like the Party of Progress organised by popular anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny, who is currently under house arrest as part of what many see as a politically motivated criminal case.
The protesters represented a variety of political views, but most were united in their opposition to what they see as a Kremlin policy to escalate the conflict in eastern Ukraine by sending arms and soldiers across the border.
"My last name may be the same as Putin's, but I'm against him," said Oksana Putina. "We can wake up the Russian people, so that we won't see any more Russian troops in Ukraine '... Let Putin take out his troops, and Ukraine will deal with its own problems."
Vadim Kryuchkov and Varvara Daryevskaya, who were holding Russian and Ukrainian flags, said they didn't believe the protest would change the Kremlin's course but felt it was their duty to express their opposition. Kryuchkov said he was originally from a town near Luhansk and supported the greater local autonomy for the region, but was against Russia sending troops and arms to eastern Ukraine. "We want Ukraine to see that there are people in Russia who don't support the war," Kryuchkov said. "Russia is directly participating in this war."
"In fact, Russia started it," Daryevskaya said.
A few thousand protesters also assembled in St Petersburg, while peace marches in other cities drew far fewer people. According to the human rights organisation OVD Info, a peace march organiser in Yekaterinburg was briefly detained by police but later returned to the protest.
The Moscow march was tailed by a few hundred pro-Kremlin protesters holding the flags of the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics declared by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine. At least one minor scuffle broke out but lines of riot police for the most part kept the two camps apart.
"The whole reason for this crisis is that Russia has refused to recognise Ukraine's European choice," said Higher School of Economics professor Nina Belyayeva, who was holding a sign reading, "Ukraine's European choice = an example for Russia". She was soon confronted by several pro-Kremlin protesters, who argued that the protests in Kiev this winter that toppled former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich's regime had been organised by the United States.
Police did confiscate signs from some protesters, including one reading, "Putler kaput!" When asked about the seizure, a police officer would only say that the signs "didn't correspond to the topic of the protest".
"It strongly affects the police officers' nerves when it's something related to Putin," said organiser Ilya Mishenko.
Is de crisis in Oekra¯ne te wijten aan westerse stommiteiten?
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 06:33
Evgeniya, Kiev, feb. 2014. Wat zou je willen dat er gebeurt? 'Ik wil dat Oekra¯ne voorwaarts gaat en dat er orde komt.' Wat denk je dat er gaat gebeuren? 'Op dit moment is Oekra¯ne op weg naar grote hervormingen.' Foto: Emeric Lhuisset
Een stevige bries stak vorige maand op na publicatie van mijn interview met Marcel van Herpen. In dat stuk stelde de Ruslandkenner dat het bewind in Moskou een steeds sterker ultranationalistisch karakter krijgt en dat de tersluikse Russische oorlogsvoering in Oekra¯ne past in het patroon van Poetins imperialisme.
Wat een eenzijdig verhaal, kreeg ik te horen. Want niet alleen Rusland, ook het Westen draagt een grote verantwoordelijkheid voor de crisis in Oekra¯ne. Hebben wij de Russische beer niet tot het uiterste getergd door de belofte te schenden dat voormalige Oostbloklanden geen NAVO-lid zouden worden? Is het associatieverdrag dat we met Oekra¯ne hebben gesloten niet een nieuwe, gevaarlijke poging het land in onze invloedssfeer te trekken?
In een poging te achterhalen of ik me had laten meeslepen door iemand die hoogstens de halve waarheid vertelde, ben ik te rade gegaan bij verschillende experts. Ik heb onderzocht hoe verstandig de westerse strategie de afgelopen jaren is geweest en wat het Westen - de VS, NAVO of EU? - te verwijten valt.
Kwam het verlangen naar democratie van de Oekra¯ners of de Amerikanen?Op het terras van het Duivendrechtse caf(C) Lotgenoten ontmoet ik Karel van Wolferen. Naar zijn in De Groene Amsterdammer gepubliceerde stuk 'Het Atlantische geloof' hadden verschillende lezers verwezen.
Daarin betoogde de oud-medewerker van NRC Handelsblad en emeritus hoogleraar dat 'de staatsgreep en burgeroorlog in Oekra¯ne voor rekening komen van neoconservatieven en een paar R2P-('Responsibility to Protect' )-fanaten van het State Department en het Witte Huis.'
'We moeten het over de VS hebben,' opent Van Wolferen het gesprek. 'De Europeanen zijn vazallen geworden. Ze doen wat Amerika wil. Punt.'
'Er waren heel serieuze lieden die vonden: dat moet veranderen. Er was wel degelijk een democratische impuls. Maar die beweging is gekaapt'
'Het waren,' stelt de emeritus, door de Amerikanen gefinancierde non-gouvernementele organisaties (ngo's) die in de aanloop naar de omwenteling in Oekra¯ne 'bezig zijn geweest zogenaamde democratiseringspleidooien te houden.'
Ik vraag hem waarom hij pleidooien voor democratie in zijn stuk 'politieke destabilisatiepogingen' noemt. 'Ken je de National Endowment for Democracy?' is het antwoord. 'Dat is een product van de Koude Oorlog. Toen die voorbij was, bleef die instelling bestaan. Net als de NAVO, die eigenlijk geen bestaansgrond meer heeft.'
De National Endowment geldt als een exponent van het neoconservatisme, de stroming die de Amerikaanse waarden en vorm van democratie over de hele wereld wil verspreiden, desnoods met militaire macht. En in Oekra¯ne was een waslijst van door de Endowment bekostigde ngo's actief, stelt Van Wolferen. 'Hadden die ngo's op welke manier dan ook enig besef van de strategische situatie daar?' vraagt hij retorisch.
Van Wolferen wil wel erkennen dat er onder de Oekra¯ners zelf een democratisch verlangen heerste en dat dit niet alleen is aangewakkerd door deze ngo's. 'Er was aardig wat onmin onder de bevolking, die een behoorlijk corrupt regime over zich had,' zegt hij. 'Er waren heel serieuze lieden die vonden: dat moet veranderen. Er was wel degelijk een democratische impuls. Maar die beweging is gekaapt.'
Door wie? 'Er was een door de EU bemiddelde oplossing waarbij de president met iets minder bevoegdheden kon blijven zitten,' recapituleert Van Wolferen de geschiedenis. 'Dan zou er via verkiezingen uitgemaakt worden wat er zou gebeuren. De vraag was: neem je het aanbod van Rusland aan, bestaande uit een lening, plus vermindering van 30 procent van de kosten van het gas? Of neem je het aanbod van de Europese Unie aan?
De EU had het associatieverdrag te bieden, met als centraal onderdeel een vrijhandelsruimte. Dat verdrag was gekoppeld aan een lening van het Internationaal Monetair Fonds (IMF). 'Dat zit daar als incasseringsbureau voor banken,' zegt Van Wolferen. 'De voorwaarden hebben altijd te maken met bezuinigen en privatiseren enzovoort.'
Artiom Kovalenko. Kiev, februari 2014. En zijn antwoorden op de vragen: Wat zou je willen dat er nu gebeurt? Wat denk je dat er gaat gebeuren? Foto: Emeric LhuissetWas er een staatsgreep?Op 21 februari lag er dus een overeenkomst dat de zittende president zou aanblijven tot vervroegde verkiezingen. Maar de inkt was nog niet droog, of er vond in de ogen van Van Wolferen een staatsgreep plaats. Het akkoord werd naar zijn overtuiging door scherpschutters op het Maidanplein aan flarden geschoten. 'Ze schoten zowel protesteerders als politie neer. Wie is op dat plein de schuldige geweest voor dat bloedbad waardoor die staatsgreep mogelijk werd? We weten het niet. Maar die snipers hebben wel iets bereikt.'
Van Wolferen wijst op een telefoongesprek waarin de Estse minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Urmas Paet de Hoge Vertegenwoordiger voor het Buitenland van de Europese Unie op de hoogte stelt van geruchten dat de demonstranten zelf achter de scherpschutters zaten en niet mensen die het toenmalige bewind verdedigden. 'Maar barones Ashton was absoluut niet ge¯nteresseerd,' zegt Van Wolferen.
In werkelijkheid zei Ashton toch iets anders: 'I do think we do want to investigate. I didn't pick that up, that's interesting. Gosh.' Alleen bleek even later Paets belangrijkste bron te ontkennen dat ze had gezegd dat de demonstranten achter de scherpschutters zaten.
Dat doet in de ogen van Van Wolferen niets af aan het feit dat de snipers 'een staatsgreep' hebben mogelijk gemaakt. Hoezo gebruikt hij dat woord? 'De zittende president vlucht. Er komt iemand anders die bepaalt wie er zitting gaat nemen in de regering en het parlement heeft verder geen flikker te vertellen.'
Een heel andere versie van de geschiedenis geeft historicus Marc Jansen. Van zijn hand verscheen dit jaar een veelgeprezen geschiedenis van Oekra¯ne, Grensland. In zijn boek schrijft Jansen dat het akkoord bij de demonstranten op Maidan geen genade kon vinden. Ze eisten dat Janoekovitsj opstapte. De ene na de andere parlementarir koos de zijde van de oppositie. Janoekovitsj zag zijn steun verbrokkelen en vluchtte. Unaniem besloot de volksvertegenwoordiging hem af te zetten.
Op zijn werkkamer zegt Jansen in reactie op de stelling van Van Wolferen dat het om een staatsgreep ging: 'Dat is het Russische standpunt, dat heeft hij kant-en-klaar overgenomen. Hij zat onlangs trouwens bij Russia Today, een zuivere propagandazender van de Russische staat, te hakken op onze be¯nvloeding door de propaganda. Dat was wel komisch.'
Olga Shevchyshyn. Kiev, februari 2014. En haar antwoorden op de vragen: Wat zou je willen dat er nu gebeurt? Wat denk je dat er gaat gebeuren? Foto: Emeric LhuissetIs er beloofd dat de NAVO niet oostwaarts zou oprukken?De oerbron van het geopolitieke strijdgewoel waar Oekra¯ne nu slachtoffer van is, is naar overtuiging van Van Wolferen in ieder geval het oprukken van de NAVO richting het oosten. Hij claimt dat dit in flagrante tegenspraak is met de belofte die president Gorbatsjov is gedaan dat dit juist niet zou gebeuren.
Alleen blijkt uit Kremlinarchieven dat een dergelijke toezegging er nooit is geweest, stelt de Russische historicus Pavel Stroilov in The Spectator. Sterker nog: Gorbatsjov sprak uit dat landen z(C)lf de keuze hadden hun eigen bestemming te kiezen en opperde zelfs de mogelijkheid dat Rusland op termijn lid van de NAVO zou worden.
Maar er bestaat toch een notitie uit 1990 waarin de toenmalige Amerikaanse minister van Buitenlandse Zaken James Baker optekende dat de NAVO 'geen inch oostwaarts zou opschuiven'? Dat bewijst toch het gelijk van Van Wolferen? Die formulering was in de context van de hereniging van Duitsland. De overeenkomst was dat de NAVO-troepen in West-Duitsland niet zouden verkassen naar Oost-Duitsland.
In juridische zin is de toezegging misschien niet gedaan, maar naar zijn overtuiging is er alle reden voor de Russen om het verraad te vinden dat de NAVO is uitgebreid
De toezegging dat de NAVO geen Oostbloklanden zou opslokken is terdege gedaan, houdt Van Wolferen vol. 'Je moet je huiswerk doen.' Hij adviseert me te lezen wat Jack Matlock erover heeft geschreven, die in die tijd de Amerikaanse ambassadeur in Moskou was.
Onlangs publiceerde Matlock een stuk met als titel: 'Was there a promise?' Maar zijn antwoord op die vraag luidt juist 'nee.' Matlock stelt precies hetzelfde als Stroilov: in zoverre er beloften zijn gedaan, hadden die alleen betrekking op Duitsland. 'Niemand sprak over de NAVO en de Oost-Europese landen.'
Ik bel er na ons gesprek over met Van Wolferen. Hij vindt dat ik me opstel als een 'legalist,' niet als een journalist. In juridische zin is de toezegging misschien niet gedaan, maar naar zijn overtuiging is er alle reden voor de Russen om het verraad te vinden dat de NAVO is uitgebreid.
Later mailt hij een bericht dat moet bewijzen dat Matlock daar ook zo over denkt. Het is afkomstig van Ray McGovern, die ook meent dat de Amerikaanse regering achter nine eleven zit. Ik ga liever af op wat Matlock er zelf recent over heeft geschreven dan op een weergave van zijn woorden door een dubieuze bron.
Petro Bryndzya. Kiev, februari 2014. En zijn antwoorden op de vragen: Wat zou je willen dat er nu gebeurt? Wat denk je dat er gaat gebeuren? Foto: Emeric LhuissetMogen landen hun bondgenoten niet zelf kiezen?Als we de vraag of er nu wel of niet harde of informele toezeggingen zijn gedaan even laten rusten, is er nog een andere die we kunnen stellen: mag Oekra¯ne het niet zelf weten als het een associatieverdrag met de EU wil sluiten en is het niet de eigen keuze van Polen als het graag bij de NAVO wil?
'Nee,' zegt Van Wolferen resoluut. 'Mexico heeft niet het recht lid te worden van een door Moskou geleid militair pact.'
Michael Emerson van het Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in Brussel maakt bezwaar tegen deze gedachtegang. 'Is het de vraag of Rusland recht heeft op een invloedssfeer, of de vraag of Oekra¯ne een eigen soevereine keuze mag maken? Oekra¯ne is een onafhankelijk staat die een democratischer kant op wilde en een Europese keuze wilde maken. Wat is Ruslands recht om daar bezwaar tegen te maken? De morele rechtvaardiging daarvan bestaat niet.'
Emerson was van 1991 tot 1996 de eerste ambassadeur van de Europese Unie in Rusland. Hij is getrouwd met een Russische en zijn Brusselse woonkamer hangt vol Russische schilderijen. Hij is diep bedroefd over de richting die Moskou de jongste jaren onder Poetin is ingeslagen. 'De tragedie is dat er zoveel talent en zoveel fantastische mensen in Rusland zijn,' zegt hij. 'Het probleem is dit beestachtige politieke regime.'
Ook PvdA-Europarlementarir Kati Piri bestrijdt het idee dat de schuld aan onze kant ligt en dat een lesje geopolitiek voor beginners genoeg was geweest om te begrijpen dat we problemen over Oekra¯ne zouden afroepen door in Ruslands vaarwater te komen.
'Die redenering hoor je in het Europarlement wel vaker,' zegt ze, 'met name van extreem-rechts of extreem-links. Maar wij denken niet in termen van invloedssferen. Die tijd is voorbij. Ik kom zelf uit Oost-Europa; ik ben in Hongarije geboren. In 1989 was de deling van Europa voorbij. Hadden we toen tegen Polen en de Baltische Staten moeten zeggen: jullie willen graag bij de EU, maar dat doen we niet? Ik vind dat het echt aan landen zelf is daarover te beslissen.'
'Landen hebben uiteindelijk zelf het recht om te bepalen tot welk bondgenootschap ze behoren,' vindt ook Marc Jansen. 'Dat idee van invloedssferen vind ik achterhaald. De twintigste eeuw heeft laten zien dat samenwerking tussen staten veel beter werkt dan confrontaties tussen allianties van staten.'
Die koers heeft het Westen na 1991 ook richting de oude vijand willen varen. 'Heel erg lang is geprobeerd Rusland overal bij te betrekken en economische verstrengeling na te streven,' analyseert de historicus. 'Rusland is altijd met fluwelen handschoenen aangepakt. West-Europa heeft zich ook altijd volledig opengesteld voor handelscontacten met Rusland. Je zou kunnen zeggen dat we nu met de gebakken peren zitten doordat heel veel landen afhankelijk zijn van Russisch gas.'
Maar die strategie had zekere logica, vindt Jansen. 'Waarom is het een wet van de geschiedenis dat er confrontatie moet bestaan tussen het Oosten en het Westen? Wel als een van de partijen dat met alle geweld wil. En dat is waar Poetin helaas voor heeft gekozen in de afgelopen periode.'
Olenka. Kiev, februari 2014. En haar antwoorden op de vragen: Wat zou je willen dat er nu gebeurt? Wat denk je dat er gaat gebeuren? Foto: Emeric LhuissetHad Oekra¯ne een EU-lidmaatschap aangeboden moeten krijgen?In het aanhalen van de vooral economische banden met Rusland hebben we dus veel energie gestoken. Maar om Oekra¯ne maakten we ons niet al te druk. 'De Europese Unie toonde in de eerste jaren na 1991 weinig belangstelling voor Oekra¯ne, laat staan bereidheid het land ook maar enig uitzicht op lidmaatschap te bieden,' schrijft Jansen in Grensland.
In november 2004 stond het Maidanplein voor het eerst vol met demonstranten. Honderdduizenden met oranje linten getooide aanhangers van de Europees georinteerde Viktor Joesjtsjenko, protesteerden tegen de met fraude tot stand gekomen nipte verkiezingszege van de op Moskou gerichte Viktor Janoekovitsj.
'Bij de Oranje Revolutie zagen we dat het land zich aan het ontworstelen was aan de greep van Rusland,' zegt Jansen. 'Dat wekte veel sympathie in Europa. Vanaf dat moment kwam het binnen de horizon van de EU. Maar men wist niet goed wat men ermee aan moest. Want het was op hetzelfde moment dat er een uitbreidingsvermoeidheid optrad binnen de EU. Joesjtsjenko zat de hele tijd op de Europese trom te slaan, maar hij stuitte op heel grote terughoudendheid van Europa zelf. De boodschap was: we staan heel sympathiek tegenover jullie, maar denk maar niet dat we jullie binnen afzienbare tijd in de EU zullen opnemen.'
Die afwerende houding is niet verstandig geweest, vindt Emerson. Vanaf het begin hebben commentatoren zoals hijzelf gewaarschuwd, zegt hij: 'Zolang we landen als Oekra¯ne geen uitzicht op het lidmaatschap van de EU bieden, is het onwaarschijnlijk dat ze zich heel sterk zullen richten op Europese normen en standaarden. De prikkels waren niet sterk genoeg.'
Had Oekra¯ne dan perspectief op EU-lidmaatschap moeten krijgen? Na een lange stilte antwoord de omzichtig formulerende Brit zachtjes ja. 'Er waren goede argumenten om dat niet te doen. De EU had net de grote uitbreiding van 2004 verwerkt en zat niet te wachten op een probleem met massale arbeidsimmigratie uit Oekra¯ne, een land dat twee keer zo groot is als Roemeni en Bulgarije samen, en met een heel lage levensstandaard. Toch zou ik willen volhouden dat het perspectief op lidmaatschap had moeten krijgen, zij het zonder illusies over de termijn en de condities.'
Is Oekra¯ne geholpen met het associatieverdrag?De omwenteling in Kiev is begonnen als een strijd om het associatieverdrag tussen Oekra¯ne en de Europese Unie. Poetin zette Janoekovitsj onder druk niet te ondertekenen en hele volksmassa's kwamen in opstand. 'Poetin had heel makkelijk tegen Oekra¯ne kunnen zeggen: wij begrijpen dat je zowel met de EU als met ons excellente economische betrekkingen wil hebben,' vindt Emerson. 'Laten we daarom aan een vrijhandelsakkoord werken tussen Oekra¯ne en de douane-unie van Rusland, Wit-Rusland en Kazachstan. Dat was iets geweest wat de EU zeer hartelijk had onthaald. Want de basispositie van de EU is: wij willen dat deze landen in het midden een goede relatie hebben met zowel Rusland als met ons.'
Maar is Oekra¯ne ¼berhaupt wel geholpen met het onlangs door het Oekra¯ense en Europese Parlement goedgekeurde vrijhandelsverdrag? Of zal het juist, zeker op korte termijn, tot werkloosheid en sociale onrust leiden omdat Oekra¯ne gedwongen wordt de economie te hervormen en aan de voorwaarden van de EU en IMF te voldoen?
'Er zullen in het begin veel verliezers zijn,' voorspelt Europarlementarir Kati Piri. 'Kleine boeren en kleine bedrijven. Maar het is het land zelf dat het akkoord wilde. Het is de EU geweest die het tempo probeerde af te remmen.'
Emerson, die ook als econoom werkzaam was aan de London School of Economics, verwacht juist dat het wel zal meevallen met het leed. Er is van alles gedaan om het voor hen niet zo lastig te maken, zegt hij. 'Zij hoeven nu al geen importtarieven meer op de Europese markt te betalen. En hun importtarieven mogen ze over een langere periode afbouwen.'
Zeker, vrijhandel zal betekenen dat de ouderwetse kolen- en staalindustrie niet meer concurrerend is en gesaneerd moet worden. 'Maar door die zure appel zullen ze sowieso heen moeten bijten,' zegt de CEPS-medewerker.
Oleksii. Kiev, februari 2014. En zijn antwoorden op de vragen: Wat zou je willen dat er nu gebeurt? Wat denk je dat er gaat gebeuren? Foto: Emeric LhuissetDat vindt ook Marc Jansen. 'Van Wolferen heeft gelijk dat het verdrag gekoppeld is aan een lening van het IMF. Inderdaad stelt het IMF zeer pijnlijke voorwaarden. Herziening van het pensioenstelsel. Hogere energieprijzen voor huishoudens. Dat is nu zwaar gesubsidieerd. Sociale voorzieningen moeten worden aangescherpt. Ik ben het ermee eens dat het een heel zware opgave is voor Oekra¯ne Op korte termijn zal het pijn doen. Maar op lange termijn kan het heilzaam werken. Want dat pensioenstelsel en die energieprijzen mo(C)ten ook hervormd worden. Dat zijn geen loze eisen die alleen maar bedoeld zijn om Oekra¯ne in de Amerikaanse invloedssfeer te brengen.'
'Oekra¯ne heeft ervoor gekozen het vredesplan een kans te geven en heeft dit daarvoor als onderhandelingspunt gebruikt. Moeten wij afdwingen dat ze het nu toch invoeren?'
De invoering van het akkoord is onlangs tot eind 2015 uitgesteld, volgens sommigen een capitulatie voor de Russen.
Kati Piri ziet het anders. 'De Oekra¯ense regering heeft dat besluit genomen. Wij waren bereid versneld te ratificeren. Maar Oekra¯ne heeft ervoor gekozen het vredesplan een kans te geven en heeft dit daarvoor als onderhandelingspunt gebruikt. Wij respecteren dat. Moeten wij afdwingen dat ze het nu toch invoeren?'
Ook Emerson vindt dat er weinig reden is om ons hier druk over te maken. 'Er is niets veranderd aan de vroegtijdige toegang die Oekra¯ne heeft tot de Europese markt. En alle verplichtingen van Oekra¯ne op het gebied van het wegnemen van importtarieven en harmoniseren van regelgeving waren sowieso al gebonden aan lange overgangsperioden. Dit uitstel is een nogal cosmetische verandering.'
Hebben we dan weinig fout gedaan?Is er dan weinig waar van het verhaal Van Wolferen dat het Westen de hand in eigen boezem moet steken in plaats van Rusland de schuld te geven? Barend ter Haar, oud-directeur Strategie van het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken en nu verbonden aan denktank Clingendael, vindt dat we onszelf wel degelijk wat kunnen verwijten. Maar heel andere zaken dan waar Van Wolferen mee komt.
'Na 1991 zijn we zowel tegenover Rusland als Oekra¯ne op onze lauweren gaan rusten,' zegt hij in het theehuis van park Clingendael. 'In het geval van Oekra¯ne hebben we twintig jaar lang een kans gehad bij te dragen aan de ontwikkeling van een stabiele rechtsstaat. Dat hebben we nooit als een strategische opgave gezien, maar als een aardigheidje. We hebben mondjesmaat hulp geboden aan Oekra¯ne en onze ogen gesloten voor alle risico's. We hebben ook veel te weinig geprobeerd intensiever met de Russen te praten. We vonden het voldoende om op korte termijn geld te verdienen aan handel met ze.'
Tekenend vindt Ter Haar het dat in Nederland een paar jaar geleden het MATRA-programma, dat Oekra¯ne wilde helpen bij het opbouwen van een pluralistische, democratische rechtsstaat, de nek is omgedraaid. 'Het idee was: Oekra¯ne wordt toch geen lid van de EU, het was niet zo belangrijk.'
Ook het Europese nabuurschapbeleid dat als doel had te zorgen dat we aan onze Oost- en Zuidgrenzen omringd werden door democratien was naar de overtuiging van Ter Haar 'veel te slap. Allemaal leuk en aardig, maar meer woorden dan daden.'
In 2006, toen hij directeur Strategie bij Buitenlandse Zaken was, bezocht hij Kiev. Uit zijn binnenzak haalt hij een briefje met notities uit die dagen. 'De ontwikkelingen kunnen de verkeerde kant op gaan vanwege onmachtig bestuur, inmenging Rusland, afscheiding van de Krim en afhankelijkheid van Russisch gas,' staat erop.
'De mensen vroegen ons: help ons alsjeblieft,' vertelt Ter Haar. 'Laat onze mensen bij jullie studeren, want wij hebben geen kader. Maar onze reactie was: jammer, maar dat is te duur, we hebben alleen geld voor een paar beursjes. Dat is een strategische fout. Natuurlijk kun je niet met zekerheid zeggen dat als de Europese landen daar meer aan hadden gedaan, het anders was gelopen, maar we hebben het gewoon niet geprobeerd.'
Portretten van hoop en vastberadenheidHet Maidanplein in Kiev (Oekra¯ne) is al bijna een jaar het toneel van de anti-regeringsprotesten. Begin 2014 reisde de Franse fotograaf Emeric Lhuisset naar dit plein om er de sfeer vast te leggen. Hij maakte er honderd portretten die een weerspiegeling vormen van een gemeenschappelijk gevoel van hoop en vastberadenheid hun land te veranderen. Iedereen liet hij twee vragen beantwoorden: Wat zou je willen dat er gebeurt en wat denk je dat er gaat gebeuren? Vorige week is het boek 'Maydan - Hundred People' verschenen en de bijbehorende tentoonstelling is nog tot 29 september te zien in de Tolhuistuin in Amsterdam. Daarna zal het te zien zijn in Kiev en zal Lhuisset met zijn foto's naar Donetsk reizen waar hij ze aan de bevolking daar wil tonen. Wat de uitkomst daarvan zal zijn is onbekend, maar het proces zal hij sowieso filmen.
Kijk hier voor meer informatie over de tentoonstelling en het boek
Eerder verschenen stukken over de situatie in Oekra¯neNa jaren van wegkijken zien we nu Vladimir Poetins ware gezichtIn zijn boek Putin's Wars voorspelde socioloog en Rusland-kenner Marcel van Herpen hoe Rusland onrust zou stoken in het oosten van Oekra¯ne. Een interview over Vladimir Poetins vuile oorlogen en imperialistische dromen, de zin van sancties en het totale gebrek aan een Europese strategie.
Lees mijn gewraakte interview over Poetin
In deze heroverde stad proberen pro-Russen en pro-Oekra¯ners weer samen te levenHet Oekra¯ense leger dringt de pro-Russische separatisten steeds verder terug. De eerste grote overwinning behaalde het leger twee maanden geleden, toen het de Zuidoost-Oekra¯ense stad Marioepol heroverde. Gastcorrespondent Floris Akkerman bezocht de stad en zag hoe pro-Russen en pro-Oekra¯ners weer met elkaar verder proberen te leven.
Lees het verhaal van Floris Akkerman over Oost-Oekra¯ne
Zo ontstond de opstand in Oekra¯neDe West-Oekra¯ense stad Lviv geldt als de historische bakermat van de protestbeweging Euromaidan. Haar getormenteerde verleden is een vruchtbare bodem geweest voor de huidige opstand tegen president Janoekovitsj. Gastauteur en correspondent Michiel Driebergen legt uit hoe dat komt.
Lees het stuk van Michiel Driebergen over het ontstaan van de opstand in Oekra¯ne
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The Business Deal of the World | philosophyofmetrics
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 22:09
Was Europe Traded for the Middle East?
By JC Collins
The geopolitical strategy at play in the proxy resource wars between the east and west has shifted once again with the US strikes on Syria. The response by Russia and China over this unilateral move by America will likely be very telling of the larger strategy at play here.
So far the response has been muted with only statements of slight disgruntlement, such as Russia stating that the US strikes violate Syria's sovereignty.
The arrival of the Chinese naval ship into an Iranian port a few days ago very well could have been pre-positioning in preparation of the US strikes. This would mean the China knew the strikes were going to happen which in turn means a geopolitical business deal was arranged between them and America.
On the Russian front we have Ukraine forces moving artillery back from the front lines and the present truce is holding. ExxonMobile and Rosneft continue on their planned artic oil ventures.
Also announced over the last 24 hours is the Bank of China Hong Kong Asset Management and Citigroup have created a joint venture to expand high yield bond funds in Europe.
And on top of all this we have mass graves being discovered in Ukrainian government held territory, apparently exposing the atrocities of American backed Ukrainian forces.
As reported in the post The Devil's Tears, the US is angling to retain control of both Europe and the Middle East, but will likely sacrifice one for the other if need be before the transition to the multilateral financial system takes place.
Given the resource wealth in the Middle East it is becoming more and more probable that the American interests will abandon their position over Europe and make the trade for the Middle East.
This time last year the US was threatening to bomb Syria to overthrow Assad. Both Russia and China actively spoke out against these planned strikes and made it very clear that they would not allow it to happen. It is even likely that missiles were fired and shot down by Russia before they could strike Syria, along with two US fighter jets crashing in the Golan Heights.
From that moment the US interests began to step up their propaganda and civil unrest strategies in Ukraine which would eventually lead to the coup and overthrow of the pro-Russian government in Kiev during the Winter Olympics.
A new front was opened in the proxy wars ensuring American success in one of the two regions. It is the more likely scenario that the US never intended to retain control over Europe and was only using it as a bartering item to ensure its interests in the Middle East were maintained.
What is still somewhat of a wild card is Saudi Arabia, which could still lean towards China. If the business deal over Syria is concluded than we are likely to see Saudi Arabia remain in the US geopolitical sphere, as Saudi Arabia was aggressively angling to control Syria and rip it away from Assad.
If Assad is removed from power then we know categorically that this deal has been made and the multilateral system will continue to move forward by years end.
The G20 has collectively agreed to keep Russia as a member of the group and the mandate of the G20 to have the 2010 IMF Quota Reforms enacted by the end of this year is still moving forward. With these latest moves on the socioeconomic and geopolitical fronts, the world is moving closer to concluding the largest business deal in history.
Some controlled chaos will have to be created before the preplanned order can be implemented. When this chaos is announced it will be prudent of us all not to panic and come to emotion based conclusions.
The dollar will have to become unstable in order for the Chinese renminbi to be added to the SDR basket valuation. As discussed in the post Renminbi Is Already A Defactor Reserve Currency, the end game is becoming clearer with each passing week.
The Separation of the US Treasury and Federal Reserve is beginning and will facilitate the growing dollar crisis.
The launching of the yuan denominated Shanghai Gold Contracts is moving the world towards the consolidation of global exchanges and streamlining of valuations to fit into the broader mandates of the multilateral system.
Both the G20 and the International Monetary Fund have given the US until the end of this year to pass and enact the 2010 Quota and Governance Reforms so the renminbi can be added to the SDR basket valuation. This is what is playing out this the year.
Will the US be satisfied with giving up Europe to retain control of the Middle Eastern resources? Or will they continue to press for additional resource hegemony? Will Russia and China even allow for the power transition in Syria and the Middle East? Is the passage of the Audit the Fed bill being used as leverage by the international banking interests to pressure the US into finally passing the required legislation to support the implementation of the multilateral financial system? Did the passing of the Fed bill finally prompt the bombing of Syria?
Time will tell but regardless, we are approaching the end of the year and the international bankers will have their way. Continued diversion and manufactured storylines being pushed across the internet and conspiracy worlds only ensures that the methodology of this transition remains hidden. '' JC
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Ukraine Currency Crashes To Record Low As IMF Blasts ''Gross Abuses''
Sat, 20 Sep 2014 00:00
Zero Hedge
Despite celebrations of de-escalations and truce in US equity markets (by asset-gathering commission-takers), the situation continues to go from bad to worse in the nation almost forgotten now that ISIS is stealing American headlines. The Hryvnia plunged 7.5% this morning '' its biggest single-day drop on record '' following the release of a scathing IMF letter and devaluation warnings from BofA. The IMF blasted Ukraine's ''premature emission of extra money,'' and demanded it ''immediately halt these gross abuses,'' as BofA warns of risk of ''10-20% devaluation'' in the next year is high given reserves are at a ''critical level.''
UAH plunges 7.5% to record lows this morning'...
As far as the truce is concerned, we leave it to Bloomberg's Richard Breslow to explain the idiocy'...
For a truce that people keep celebrating '-- the 11th day '-- there seem to be a lot of people still dying, troops moving around, still questions about more sanctions, ultimate effects on Russia eco, the local markets look quite ill.
Russia itself has put out dire f/casts, growth down 3%-4% and recession;
RUB made yet another all-time low, seems to have quieted, Micex is up, hryvnia getting pole-axed
Additionally Luhansk Rebels Would Like to Switch to Ruble, RIA Says
Self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic hopes it won't have to use Ukraine's hryvnia much longer, RIA Novosti reports, citing republic's leader Igor Plotnitskiy.
Plotnitskiy says political issues complicate matter, though he doesn't expect hryvnia to be used for much longer: RIA
Luhansk still must resolve many economic, financial issues, including development of banking system: RIA
And then there is the IMF! (Source: e-news)
Which likely confirms BofA's warning of the potential for a Hyrvnia devaluation'...
Central bank may have to further deplete FX reserves, now near ''critical level'' of $15b, Bank of America Merrill Lynch economist Vadim Khramov says in report
Natural gas purchases for winter to widen current-account deficit: Khramov
''We see risks of 10%-20% hryvnia devaluation from the current level within a year'': Khramov
* * *
But apart from that, everything is under control in Ukraine. Given the extent to which the UAH is falling and the strong language from the IMF, one could be mistaken for thinking the USA is pushing for another leader to be put in place once again'...
Zero Hedge
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Why Russia will not close its sky to EU airlines (and why it might)
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 08:44
With a new set of sanctions imposed on Russia by the EU last week, the trade war between the two sides is gaining momentum. Postulating the potential Russian response, the rumours say that the government at the Kremlin may decide to close its airspace to airlines from the EU and the USA. As alarming as these rumours sound, will Russia actually take that step? It is highly dubious, and below are the reasons why.
Undoubtedly, the ban on flying over Russian territory along the corridors spanning above Siberia would heavily impact the EU's commercial air carriers, as this is the shortest route to fly from Europe to many destinations in the Far East. Should the Russian sky be closed,airlines like Lufthansa or Air France could, of course, try re-routing their flights through the Middle East and Central Asia, but such would make them longer, more expensive and in case of some destinations, counter their economic rationale.
The ban would likely mean a swift bankruptcy for the loss-generating Finnair, whose business model is completely reliant on the location of its hub in Helsinki and the numerous long-haul Asian connections. It is beyond doubt that if the 1600 aircrafts crossing the Siberian airspace every week had to take a different route, the impact on the EU's economy would be hefty.
The count above excludes the flights to destinations within Russia, also counted in hundreds weekly. This note is an important one, as there is a difference between having the right to fly to a country and the right to cross its airspace en route to somewhere else. What we are talking about in this case is the right to fly over the country's territory without landing, which in the world of civil aviation is known as the ''1st freedom''(out of 9 freedoms total).
The first question for us to ask should be; does Russia actually have the right to issue a ban on flying over its territory, especially one that would be targeted specifically at the airlines from the EU and the USA, but not those from other countries? Would it not violate some global agreements on civil aviation?
The response to the question above is positive, meaning that the government at the Kremlin indeed has the right to deny access to aircrafts from countries of its choice. Unlike the USA and all the EU countries, Russia has never signed the International Air Services Transit Agreement (IASTA), through which 130 countries mutually granted each other access to their airspace for the use of commercial aviation. Other governments, including Russia, preferred to maintain more control over who enters its airspace and has solved the matter of access by signing separate agreements with countries individually. Therefore, banning EU carriers from flying over Siberia would not breach any international laws, as if Russia ever cared about abiding to them.
The second question is; would this step make sense for Russia? Here, the response is no. And it is not just a single no, but a triple NO, written in capitalised, flashing red letters.
First of all, restricting airspace access would cost the Russian side at least as much as it would cost the EU. As for all other services in the aviation sector, there are fees collected by each nation for the right to cross its airspace. The airlines have to pay for using the traffic control services of the country they travel through, usually around $50 per 100 nautical miles. In Russia, the exact prices per plane are kept secret, but the total annual toll is known to exceed $170m. Collected by Aeroflot, it is a persistent flow of state aid to the national airline carrier. Given that the airline yielded a $230m profit in 2013, according to its financial statements, the overflight ban would likely result in putting Russia's biggest airline close to the break-even point.
In addition to the direct financial consequences for Aeroflot, the Russian overflight ban would be easy to circumvent. Although the world of civil aviation does not know mercy and is indeed a very competitive market, the airlines from Europe do have some friendships they could make use of. The EU carriers are allied with many East-Asian airlines within the three big alliances, providing them with a number of lee way to get around the Russian ban.
To name just one of those forms of lee way, why shouldn't the European airlines just lease their aircrafts to their far-eastern partners and let them sell tickets for the same routes on their behalf? Their Asian partners could use the same aircrafts to operate on the same routes and the only change would be that the operating carrier would be different from a formal point of view. For example, the German Lufthansa could easily use its codeshare agreement with All Nippon Airlines, allowing the Japanese airline to become the operating carrier of the flights that currently connect Frankfurt with Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, whilst using the aircrafts belonging to the German national carrier.
Should this scenario become real, Russia would have to also close its airspace to the Asian partners of the EU airlines in the next potential step. This would mean opening a new front of antagonised countries, including countries which Putin wants to use as a backup in the clash between Russia and the West. Ensuring the effectiveness of the overflight ban would require Russia to put itself in isolation not only from the West, but also from the East.
All of the above renders the overflight ban as a reckless step with no chances of success. However, one must not forget that a complete ban is not the only option at the hands of the Russian president. Given that the right to cross the Russian airspace is granted to each state individually, Putin is free to pick just a few countries whose airlines will be struck by the aerial closure, and continue playing on the divides within the EU, following what he has been doing since the very start of the Ukrainian conflict.
Banning carriers from selected EU members, such as the Polish LOT from flying above Russia on its 4-weekly connection to Beijing would be a heavy punch for Poland's national carrier. The airline, which is gradually recovering after escaping bankruptcy in late 2012 thanks to a substantial dose of public aid (recently approved of by the European Commission), delivered a long-awaited operating profit at the end of August.
The Polish carrier prepares itself to fight back, despite hardly being a robust enterprise. Although it is prohibited from expanding its services until late 2015, due to the EU competition rules, LOT plans to become an active player in the Far East after that date by opening a number of new connections to Asia. This seems the only logical direction for the airline, given the location of its hub in Warsaw. Regrettably, as an airline from the, probably, most anti-Russian EU country, LOT is also a perfect target for Putin, if he makes the logical decision to take advantage of the EU's internal differences.
The bad news is that here, Putin might win. A symmetric overflight ban from the EU, targeted at Russia, would be rather spineless, as the number of Russian aircrafts transitioning through Europe while flying somewhere else is extremely low. Potential overflight bans imposed by individual countries, such as Poland, would be equally ineffective, given the number of alternative routes around.
If we ever reach that point, the EU members should respond by acting uniformly in banning all Russian aircrafts from landing at European airports altogether. Only then would the response be meaningful and symmetric in practical terms. However, the prospects for such European unity are dim, considering the amount of disagreement on Russia-related issues up to date.
Prohibiting Russian aircrafts from landing in Europe would be something more than just denying them the right to transition through the European airspace and it would incur further steps taken by Russia that could ultimately lead to a complete suspension of all traffic between it and Europe, which is more of a sci-fi plot than an actual possibility.
All of the above scenarios are obviously highly hypothetical and, as I argued, will likely never come true. Yet, even as a distant menace, they inject uncertainty to the vulnerable airline business, threatening and destabilising this important sector of the EU's economy. The number of question marks and the degree of insecurity on the European side is yet another example about how the lack of integration and the multitude of conflicting national interests jeopardise the EU's ability to stand firm.
Patryk SzambelanI'm in a complicated relationship with Europe. When I applied to the University of Warsaw and was admitted to European Studies, I traded it for Political Science. In spite of that, I specialized in the European Administration and then again, I wrote my thesis on a completely unrelated subject. After a gap year marked by voluntary work for the Polish EU presidency and an eye-opening internship in China, I decided to jump into the wellspring of the EU and study European Public Affairs at Maastricht University. Later on, I worked at the European Hydrogen Association in Brussels.I am a radical do-goodist and a socially oriented individualist. I enjoy writing on such subjects as transport, sustainable urban development, environment protection and animal rights. Besides that, I am a dedicated enthusiast of civil aviation and modern architecture. In other people, I admire such features as integrity, civic courage and self-distance.
Please feel free to contact me at patrykszambelan@europeanpublicaffairs.eu.
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Oekra¯ense politicus gedumpt in vuilcontainer | Gewoon-Nieuws.nl
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 12:59
Wie niet horen wil moet voelenEen woedende menigte heeft gisteren buiten het Oekra¯ense parlement een Oekra¯ens parlementslid staan opwachten. Toen het parlementslid, Vitaly Zhurasky, van de ''Economische Ontwikkeling Partij'' het gebouw verliet hebben ze hem opgepakt en in een vuilcontainer gegooid. Het is niet precies duidelijk wat Zhuravsky heeft gedaan om dit te verdienen. Volgens NBC news heeft het te maken met het feit dat hij in het verleden heeft geprobeerd om wetten door te voeren die anti regeringsprotesten moesten tegengaan. Hij is ook van het soort dat regelmatig klaagt dat de pers gemene dingen over hem zegt.
Wanneer zal de eerste Nederlandse politicus in een vuilcontainer eindigen?
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Agenda 21
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[UPDATES] Climate Change Protesters "Flood" Wall Street: Gothamist
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 16:48
On the heels of the massive, largely peaceful People's Climate March, a smaller group of activists has gathered in Lower Manhattan this morning to participate in direct action civil disobedience. With the goal of "stopping capitalism" and "ending the climate crisis," protesters are expected to "Flood Wall Street" in the coming hours. "The economy of the 1% is destroying the planet, flooding our homes, and wrecking our communities," the protesters' website declares.
This could get interesting, as police are prepared to quickly stifle any disruptions in the heavily fortified area around the Stock Exchange. One area worker says Wall Street is "already under lockdown. I had to walk two blocks out of my way to get to work." Protesters are currently massing in Battery Park. We'll update this post as the march gets underway; you can also follow along with Gothamist reporter Christopher Robbins on Twitter and the #FloodWallStreet Twitter hashtag.
Update 12:09 p.m.: Demonstrators have advanced into the Financial District and civil disobedience has begun.
[UPDATES] Climate Change Protesters "Flood" Wall Street
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Live Updates: People's Climate March Draws Thousands to New York Streets
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 15:50
What's This?
By Mashable Team2014-09-21 14:30:32 UTC
More than 300,000 people gathered in New York on Sunday, and at hundreds of events worldwide, to call for action against global warming and other environmental issues. The People's Climate March originally expected to draw around 100,000 people.
The United Nations Climate Summit, set to take place two days later on Tuesday in New York, will feature more than 120 heads of state, along with business leaders and representatives from civil society groups. At the summit, the U.S. is expected to announce several new initiatives to help developing countries increase their resilience to climate change and reduce their emissions, as well as tout the progress made domestically in cutting emissions in recent years, according to the White House.
Read Mashable's latest updates on the People's Climate March, below:
REPORTERS AND EDITORS IN NEW YORK: Andrew Freedman (@afreedma), Bianca Consunji (@BiancaConsunji), Evan Engel (@EvanEngel), Liz Pierson (@Liz_Pierson), Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai (@LorenzoFB) | EDITORS IN TORONTO: Anita Li (@neeeda)
Topics: Climate, climate summit, new york, United Nations, U.S., US & World, WorldImage: Craig Ruttle/Associated Press
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Executive Order -- Climate-Resilient International Development
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 04:50
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 23, 2014
EXECUTIVE ORDER
- - - - - - -
CLIMATE-RESILIENT INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and to safeguard security and economic growth, protect the sustainability and long-term durability of U.S. development work in vulnerable countries, and promote sound decisionmaking and risk management, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. The world must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to prevent the most dangerous consequences of climate change. Even with increased efforts to curb these emissions, we must prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The adverse impacts of climate change, including sea-level rise, increases in temperatures, more frequent extreme precipitation and heat events, more severe droughts, and increased wildfire activity, along with other impacts of greenhouse gas emissions, such as ocean acidification, threaten to roll back decades of progress in reducing poverty and improving economic growth in vulnerable countries, compromise the effectiveness and resilience of U.S. development assistance, degrade security, and risk intranational and international conflict over resources.
Executive Order 13514 of October 5, 2009 (Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance), and Executive Order 13653 of November 1, 2013 (Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change), established a strong foundation for coordinated and consistent action to incorporate climate-resilience considerations into policies and procedures throughout the Federal Government. Executive departments and agencies (agencies) with international development programs must now build upon the recent progress made pursuant to these orders by systematically factoring climate-resilience considerations into international development strategies, planning, programming, investments, and related funding decisions, including the planning for and management of overseas facilities.
This order requires the integration of climate-resilience considerations into all United States international development work to the extent permitted by law. Dedicated U.S. climate-change adaptation funds are critical to managing the risks posed by climate-change impacts in vulnerable countries. Coping with the magnitude of the consequences of accelerating climate change also requires enhanced efforts across the Federal Government's broader international development work. Consideration of current and future climate-change impacts will improve the resilience of the Federal Government's broader international development programs, projects, investments, overseas facilities, and related funding decisions. The United States will also promote a similar approach among relevant multilateral entities in which it participates.
By taking these steps and more fully considering current and future climate-change impacts, the United States will foster better decision-making processes and risk-management approaches, ensure the effectiveness of U.S. investments, and assist other countries in integrating climate-resilience considerations into their own development planning and implementation. Collectively, these efforts will help to better optimize broader international development work and lead to enhanced global preparedness for and resilience to climate change.
The international climate-resilience actions required by this order complement efforts by the Federal Government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at home and globally. The more greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, the less need there will be to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate.
Sec. 2. Incorporating Climate Resilience into International Development. (a) Agencies with direct international development programs and investments shall:
(i) incorporate climate-resilience considerations into decisionmaking by:
(A) assessing and evaluating climate-related risks to and vulnerabilities in agency strategies, planning, programs, projects, investments, overseas facilities, and related funding decisions, using best-available climate-change data, tools, and information, including those identified or developed pursuant to sections 3 and 4 of this order; and
(B) as appropriate, adjusting strategies, planning, programs, projects, investments, and related funding decisions, including the planning for and management of overseas facilities, based on such assessments and evaluations;
(ii) collaborate with other agencies to share knowledge, data, tools, information, frameworks, and lessons learned in incorporating climate-resilience considerations into agency strategy, planning, programs, projects, investments, and related funding decisions, including the planning for and management of overseas facilities;
(iii) work with other countries, as appropriate, to identify climate risks and incorporate climate-resilience considerations into their international development assistance efforts;
(iv) when determining how to use resources, support efforts of vulnerable countries to integrate climate-resilience considerations into national, regional, and sectoral development planning and action; and
(v) monitor progress in integrating and promoting climate-resilient development considerations as required by this subsection.
(b) Agencies that participate in multilateral entities and other agencies with representation in multilateral development entities, including multilateral development banks and United Nations organizations, shall, as appropriate:
(i) work to encourage multilateral entities to:
(A) assess and evaluate climate-related risks to and vulnerabilities in their strategies, planning, programs, projects, investments, and related funding decisions, using best-available climate-change data, tools, and information; and
(B) adjust their strategies, planning, programs, projects, investments, and related funding decisions, as appropriate, based on such assessments and evaluations;
(ii) collaborate with multilateral entities and share with agencies and other stakeholders knowledge, data, tools, information, frameworks, and lessons learned from the multilateral entities in incorporating climate-resilience considerations into strategies, planning, programs, projects, investments, and related funding decisions;
(iii) encourage multilateral entities to support efforts of vulnerable countries to integrate climate-resilience considerations into national, regional, and sectoral development planning and action; and
(iv) monitor the efforts of multilateral entities in integrating climate-resilient development considerations as encouraged by this order.
Sec. 3. Enhancing Data, Tools, and Information for Climate-Resilient International Development. Agencies with direct international development programs and investments and those that participate in multilateral entities shall work together with science and security agencies and entities, through the Working Group on Climate-Resilient International Development established in section 4 of this order, to identify and develop, as appropriate, data, decision-support tools, and information to allow the screening for and incorporation of considerations of climate-change risks and vulnerabilities, as appropriate, in strategies, plans, programs, projects, investments, and related funding decisions, including the planning for and management of overseas facilities. In addition, such agencies shall coordinate efforts, including those undertaken pursuant to Executive Order 13653, to deliver information on climate-change impacts and make data, tools, and information available to decisionmakers in other countries, so as to build their capacity as information providers and users. United States participants in relevant multilateral entities shall share this information with the respective multilateral entity, as appropriate.
Sec. 4. Working Group on Climate-Resilient International Development. (a) Establishment. There is established a Working Group on Climate-Resilient International Development (Working Group) of the Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience (Council) established by Executive Order 13653.
The Secretary of the Treasury and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, or their designees, shall co-chair the Working Group. Agencies with direct international development programs and investments, agencies that participate in multilateral entities, and science and security agencies and entities shall designate a representative from their respective agencies or entities to participate in the Working Group. Representatives from other agencies or entities may participate in the Working Group as determined by the Co-Chairs.
(b) Mission and Function.
(i) The Working Group shall:
(A) develop, for agencies with direct international development programs and investments, guidelines for integrating considerations of climate-change risks and climate resilience into agency strategies, plans, programs, projects, investments, and related funding decisions, including the planning for and management of overseas facilities;
(B) assess and identify, for agencies with direct international development programs and investments, existing climate-change data, tools, and information, as described in section 3 of this order, to help agencies assess climate risks and make decisions that incorporate climate-resilience considerations, such as through project screening. To the extent the Working Group identifies needs for new data, tools, and information, it shall work with relevant science and security agencies and entities to advance their development, as appropriate;
(C) identify approaches for adjusting strategies, planning, programs, projects, investments, and related funding decisions, including the planning for and management of overseas facilities, to respond to the findings of climate-risk assessments;
(D) facilitate the exchange of knowledge, data, tools, information, frameworks, and lessons learned in assessing climate risks to and incorporating climate-resilience considerations into strategies, planning, programs, projects, investments, and related funding decisions, including the planning for and management of overseas facilities, of agencies with direct international development programs and investments, including efforts referenced in section 3 of this order;
(E) work through existing channels to share best practices developed by the Working Group with other donor countries and multilateral entities to facilitate advancement of climate-resilient development policies;
(F) promote interagency collaboration, including through joint training; and
(G) develop, for agencies with direct international development programs and investments, methods for tracking and reporting on Federal Government progress in institutionalizing more climate-resilient development approaches, including performance metrics.
(ii) The Co-Chairs of the Council may designate additional Co-Chairs of the Working Group. The Co-Chairs of the Working Group may establish sub-working groups, as appropriate.
Sec. 5. Implementation and Reporting of Progress. (a) Implementation. To promote sustained focus on implementation, both at agency headquarters and in the field, the Working Group shall:
(i) establish a 2-year timeline, divided into 6-month intervals, to implement section 4(b)(i) of this order, setting forth specific goals to be accomplished and milestones to be achieved; and
(ii) analyze, at least annually, the Federal Government's progress in implementing this order and provide recommendations for priority areas for further implementation to the Council, Office of Management and Budget, National Security Council, Council on Environmental Quality, Office of Science and Technology Policy, and other agencies, offices, and entities, as appropriate.
(b) Reporting.
(i) Agencies with direct international development programs and investments shall report on and track progress in achieving the requirements identified in section 2(a) of this order, including accomplished and planned milestones, through the Federal Agency Planning process set forth in section 5 of Executive Order 13653. Once the Working Group has developed metrics and methodologies as required by section 4(b)(i)(G) of this order, agency reporting shall include an estimation of the proportion of each agency's direct international development programs and investments for which climate-risk assessments have been conducted, as well as an estimation of the proportion of the programs and investments for which climate risk was identified and acted upon.
(ii) Agencies that participate in multilateral entities shall report on the efforts of multilateral entities in integrating climate-resilient development considerations into their operations through the Federal Agency Planning process set forth in section 5 of Executive Order 13653. Where more than one agency is involved in the U.S. Government's participation in a multilateral entity, the lead agency for such participation shall be responsible for reporting, in coordination with the other agencies involved.
Sec. 6. Climate-Change Mitigation. As agencies incorporate climate-resilience considerations into international development work, they shall continue seeking opportunities to help international partners promote sustainable low-emissions development. The Federal Government has greatly increased the number and variety of international development initiatives focused on climate-change mitigation, including programs to promote clean energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable land-use and forestry practices, as well as partnerships with more than two dozen countries to formulate and implement sustainable low-emissions development strategies. Within 1 year of the date of this order, and building on the full range of efforts the United States has undertaken to date, the National Security Council shall convene relevant agencies and entities to explore further mitigation opportunities in broader U.S. international development work and develop recommendations for further action.
Sec. 7. Definitions. As used in this order:
(a) "Adaptation" has the meaning provided in section 8(b) of Executive Order 13653: adjustment in natural or human systems in anticipation of or response to a changing environment in a way that effectively uses beneficial opportunities or reduces negative effects;
(b) "Direct international development programs and investments" refers to:
(i) bilateral, regional, and multilateral international development programs and investments over which agencies have primary programmatic and financial management responsibilities; or
(ii) the extension of official financing by agencies bilaterally to private sector investors to support international development;
(c) "Climate-change mitigation" refers to actions that reduce or enhance removals of greenhouse gas emissions;
(d) "Resilience" has the meaning provided in section 8(c) of Executive Order 13653: the ability to anticipate, prepare for, and adapt to changing conditions and withstand, respond to, and recover rapidly from disruptions;
(e) "Agencies with direct international development programs and investments" means the Department of State, Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior, United States Agency for International Development, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, United States Trade and Development Agency, and other relevant agencies and entities, as determined by the Working Group Co-Chairs;
(f) "Science and security agencies and entities" means the Department of the Interior, Department of Energy, Office of Science and Technology Policy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, United States Global Change Research Program, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and other relevant agencies and entities, as determined by the Working Group Co-Chairs; and
(g) "Agencies that participate in multilateral entities" means the Department of the Treasury, Department of State, and other relevant agencies and entities, as determined by the Working Group Co-Chairs.
Sec. 8. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law or Executive Order to an executive department, agency, or head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with U.S. obligations under international agreements and applicable U.S. law, and shall be subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
BARACK OBAMA
THE WHITE HOUSE,September 23, 2014.
FACT SHEET: President Obama Announces New Actions To Strengthen Global Resilience To Climate Change And Launches Partnerships To Cut Carbon Pollution | The White House
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 03:56
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 23, 2014
The U.S. Continues to Lead International Efforts to Combat Global Climate Change and Prepare for its Impacts
Today, at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York, President Obama announced a new set of tools to harness the unique scientific and technological capabilities of the United States to help vulnerable populations around the world strengthen their climate resilience. The United States also announced its leadership and participation in more than a dozen new climate change partnerships launched at the Climate Summit.
The tools for global resilience announced by the President include improved and extended extreme weather risk outlooks to help avoid loss of life and property; data, tools and services to enable countries to better prepare for the impacts of climate change, including a new release of global elevation data; and an announcement of a new public-private partnership to ensure that the climate data, tools, and products made available by U.S. technical agencies are useful to developing countries. The President also announced a new Executive Order requiring Federal agencies to factor climate resilience into the design of their international development programs and investments.
New international climate change partnerships in which the United States has played a key role in launching include the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture, the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership, the Pilot Auction Facility for Methane and Climate Change Mitigation, and the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance.
These actions build on the President's Climate Action Plan, which includes unprecedented efforts by the United States to reduce carbon pollution, promote clean sources of energy that create jobs, and protect American communities from the impacts of climate change.
The Climate Action Plan is working. In 2012, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell to the lowest level in nearly two decades. Since the President took office, wind energy production has tripled, and solar energy has increased by a factor of ten. This summer, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed the first carbon pollution standards for existing power plants, which account for a third of U.S. carbon pollution. And the President is empowering state and local leaders to reduce carbon pollution and prepare for the impacts of climate change in their communities through initiatives including a $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition and the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.
Internationally, the United States continues to press for an ambitious, inclusive, and pragmatic global climate agreement in 2015, and intends to put forward a robust post-2020 climate commitment in the context of other major economies doing the same. Through our leadership of the Major Economies Forum and the Clean Energy Ministerial as well as our bilateral relationships, we continue to press the scientific and economic case for strong climate action. U.S. leadership has helped spur international action to address the health and climate impacts of short-lived climate pollutants, to launch free trade talks on environmental goods, and to cut donor country financial support for new coal-fired power plants. Going forward, the United States will continue to help develop, launch, and implement practical, action-oriented international initiatives such as those announced at today's U.N. Climate Summit.
New U.S. Actions to Strengthen Global Resilience to Climate Change
Executive Order on Climate-Resilient International Development
President Obama announced an Executive Order on Climate-Resilient International Development, requiring agencies to factor climate-resilience considerations systematically into the U.S. government's international development work and to promote a similar approach with multilateral entities. U.S. financial support for adaptation activities in developing countries has increased eightfold since 2009; such dedicated funding is critical. At the same time, the magnitude of the challenge requires not just dedicated adaptation finance flows but also a broader, integrated approach. Development investments in areas as diverse as eradicating malaria, building hydropower facilities, improving agricultural yields, and developing transportation systems will not be effective in the long term if they do not account for impacts such as shifting ranges of disease-carrying mosquitoes, changing water availability, or rising sea levels, thereby reducing the effectiveness of taxpayer money. This new Executive Order will:
Improve the resilience of the Federal Government's international development programs, projects, investments, overseas facilities, and other funding decisions through consideration of current and future climate-change impacts, as appropriate;Share knowledge, data, tools, information, frameworks, and lessons learned in incorporating climate-resilience considerations; andComplement efforts by the Federal Government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at home and globally.Releasing Powerful New Data to Enable Planning for Resilience
To empower local authorities to better plan for the impacts of severe environmental changes such as drought, glacial retreat, flooding, landslides, coastal storm surges, agricultural stresses, and challenges concerning public health, today the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Geospatial-intelligence Agency (NGA), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), as part of an ongoing commitment to open data and international data sharing through the inter-governmental Group on Earth Observations, will release a collection of higher-resolution elevation datasets for Africa. Datasets covering other global regions will be made available within one year, with the next release of data providing more accurate elevation information for Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Until now, elevation data for Africa were freely and publicly available only at 90-meter resolution. The datasets being released today, and during the course of the next year'--which are based on data collected by sensors designed by an international partnership and carried on the U.S. Space Shuttle'--resolve to 30-meters and will be used worldwide to improve environmental monitoring, climate change research including sea-level rise impact assessments, and local decision support. These datasets are being made available via a user-friendly interface on USGS's Earth Explorer website. With a commitment from the Secure World Foundation, and in collaboration with the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites, USGS, NOAA, and NASA plan to offer online training and regional workshops to further enable users to take advantage of these data resources.
Developing New Outlooks for Extreme-Weather Risk
To reduce harm from extreme-weather events occurring throughout the world, the Obama Administration announced its intent to begin a coordinated U.S. effort, led by NOAA, to develop reliable extreme-weather risk outlooks on time horizons that are currently not available. This effort will initiate the planned development of new extreme-weather outlooks in the 15-30 day range, beyond the 14-day limit of current reliable weather forecasts and will explore producing information products for longer time-scales at which climate change influences risk. Currently available weather and climate information from NOAA empowers decision-makers, communities, farmers, and business owners to make smart decisions as they plan and prepare for the future. This new effort will seek to increase the information available to these decision makers in the 15-30 day timeframe with new kinds of actionable information to use as they plan and prepare for the future. To kick off the effort this year, NOAA will begin issuing weekly 3-4 week precipitation outlooks and will extend its current extreme-heat index product from the current 6-to-10-days-out to 8-to-14-days-out, giving communities several additional days to prepare for potential life threatening heat waves.
Equipping Meteorologists in Developing Nations with the Latest Tools and Knowledge
To help connect meteorologists in developing nations with the best-available tools, knowledge, and information resources, NOAA will seek to significantly expand the reach of its highly successful international ''Training Desk'' program, which brings developing-country meteorologists to the United States for state-of-the-art training and education at NOAA's National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center. Since 1992, more than 300 meteorologists from 35 nations have completed NOAA's training desk program, helping both to build capacity at meteorological institutions in their home countries for climate prediction, monitoring, and assessments, and to feed local observational climate data back to NOAA upon returning to their home countries. This effort will increase the number of meteorologists from developing countries in Africa, the Caribbean, South America, and Southeast Asia who will participate in the training desks and will expand the curriculum from weather and climate to include the important water challenges (predicting how much, how little and what quality) that are now confronting the global community.
Launching a Public-Private Partnership on Climate Data and Information for Resilient Development
President Obama announced that the United States will develop and launch a new public-private partnership focused on connecting actionable climate science, data, tools, and training to decision-makers in developing countries. This partnership will enhance capacity within developing countries to assess impacts and vulnerabilities associated with climate change, boost resilience, and achieve their own development goals in the context of a changing climate. Building on the skills and investments of USAID's climate change and development programming, including leveraging the newly announced Global Resilience Partnership, expertise from international and scientific agencies, including the agencies of the U.S. Global Change Research Program; and the innovation of U.S. universities, NGOs, and the private sector, this new partnership will:
Make existing climate data, scientific information, outlooks, tools, and services more accessible to decision-makers around the world;Identify and address targeted climate information and capacity gaps, including by providing targeted training opportunities;Create a global community of practice that links climate data, climate change adaptation efforts, and international development; andCommit to the timely development of new products to support decision-making targeted at the needs of specific climate-vulnerable countries.Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives Launched at the Climate Summit with U.S. Leadership
The Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture
The United States is joining the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture as a founding member. The Alliance brings together governments, businesses, farmers' organizations, civil society groups, research bodies and intergovernmental entities to address food security in the face of climate change. The United States will bring its existing food security and climate programs to this multi-stakeholder effort, including:
Feed the Future '' the U.S. Presidential initiative for food security, invests in technologies to deliver drought tolerant seeds, fertilizer and water efficiency technologies, and other tools to help farmers become more climate-smart in achieving its objectives of inclusive agricultural sector growth and improved nutrition.The Agriculture Initiative of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) '' the United States co-chairs CCAC's Agriculture Initiative, which seeks to reduce methane and black carbon emissions while promoting agricultural livelihoods and advancing broader climate change objectives on adaptation and mitigation.The Department of Agriculture's Regional Climate Hubs will deliver information to American farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to help them adapt to climate change and weather variability.Launch of CCAC Oil and Gas Methane Partnership
The United States has played an integral role in launching the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership, an innovative public-private initiative bringing together governments, leading oil and gas companies, and other stakeholders in a partnership focused on cost-effective reduction of methane emissions. The Partnership, an initiative of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), provides involved companies with a systematic, cost-effective approach for reducing their methane emissions and for credibly demonstrating to stakeholders the impacts of their actions.
Global Green Freight Action Plan
The United States is helping to lead the development and implementation of a Global Green Freight Action Plan together with over 20 countries plus NGOs, international organizations, and companies. This effort will result in fuel and cost savings for businesses and consumers as well as emission reductions of climate and air pollutants such as black carbon, carbon dioxide, and particulate matter.
Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge
The United States witnessed the signing of the landmark Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge by the CEOs of Cargill, Asian Agri, Golden Agri-Resources, Wilmar, and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This Pledge includes industry-leading benchmarks such as proactive government engagement on policy reform and a principle of no planting on peat lands, and go beyond the companies' existing sustainability commitments. By applying these principles to third-party suppliers and covering the signatories' operations worldwide, these companies are creating best practices for their industry. The U.S. Government looks forward to working with the signatories, civil society and the Government of Indonesia to follow and promote implementation of the Pledge.
Pilot Auction Facility (PAF) for Methane and Climate Change Mitigation
The United States will announce the intention to provide a $15 million contribution to the Pilot Auction Facility for Methane and Climate Change Mitigation (PAF), an innovative, World Bank-managed climate finance instrument that will use auctions to maximize the efficiency of public resources for climate change mitigation. The PAF will pioneer an innovative, results-based climate finance model with potential to support low-carbon investment in ways that provide better value and lower risk for the taxpayer. The United States drove this concept forward from the time of our G8 presidency in 2012 to its launch by the World Bank this month.
Power Africa Cooperation Agreement with Sustainable Energy for All Initiative
The United States will sign a Cooperation Understanding Agreement with the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Initiative to further strengthen collaboration between the President's Power Africa Initiative and the UN- and World Bank-led SE4All activities in Africa. Building on Power Africa's Beyond the Grid component, the cooperation will focus on expanded energy access, as well as development of renewable energy projects. At the August 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders' Summit, President Obama announced new aggregate goals for Power Africa to add 60 million new electricity connections and 30,000 megawatts of clean energy generation in Africa. Working with the countries on investment strategies and reducing barriers to project development will be a high priority of the collaboration.
The Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance
The United States is a founding member of the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance, a new initiative aimed at helping cities around the world access financial tools for low carbon, climate resilient infrastructure. The Alliance will bring together cities, national governments, financial institutions, NGOs, and other stakeholders. The United States will contribute experience, best practice and lessons learned from ongoing efforts such as the National Disaster Resilience Competition and Climate Resilient Transportation System.
National/Subnational Cooperation on Climate Change
Enhanced cooperation and coordination among national and subnational levels of government is essential to forge coherent, effective, and efficient responses to climate change. The United States has been at the leading edge of efforts to connect these national and subnational efforts through its State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience and other programs, and announced a range of initiatives at the Climate Summit including:
Climate Action Champions'' The Climate Action Champions initiative will recognize local and tribal government entities that are leading emission reductions and climate resilience efforts domestically. The initiative will enhance opportunities for financial and technical assistance, as well as facilitated peer-to-peer networking and mentorship, to support and advance their climate mitigation and resilience objectives.
Public Transportation Resilience Projects '' The U.S. Federal Transit Administration announced the awarding of nearly $3.6 billion for climate resilient transportation infrastructure projects in the states impacted by Hurricane Sandy that were competitively selected.
Federal-Tribal Climate Resilience Partnership'' The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs launched a new $10 million program for delivering adaptation training.
First Green Guaranties Issued by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)
By providing ''Green Guaranties,'' OPIC (the U.S. government's development finance institution) joins other public and private sector institutions in supporting climate-friendly investments. OPIC's first Green Guaranties were offered to eligible U.S. investors in the domestic debt capital markets on September 17, 2014. These U.S. government-guaranteed certificates of participation adhere to the Green Bond Principles of 2014, which have been collaboratively developed with the guidance of leading capital markets issuers, investors, underwriters and environmental groups. The placement enables OPIC to boost an asset class that is rapidly becoming an attractive investment for generating both social and financial returns. Proceeds raised under these Green Guaranties will total an initial $47 million to be deployed in the construction of the Luz del Norte solar project in Chile '' which, when completed, will be the largest photovoltaic project in Latin America.
Phasing down Climate-Potent Hydrofluorocarbons
Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are potent greenhouse gases used in refrigerators, air conditioners, and other industrial applications as replacements for ozone-depleting substances. At the Climate Summit, a large group of governments and civil society partners agreed to support phasing down consumption and production of HFCs through a Montreal Protocol amendment; promoting public procurement of climate-friendly alternatives to high-GWP HFCs; and welcoming new private sector led initiatives aimed at reducing HFC emissions, including a Global Cold Food Chain Council, and a Global Refrigerant Management Initiative. This summer, EPA proposed two new rules under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program that would smooth transition to climate-friendly alternatives to HFCs in the United States by expanding the list of acceptable alternatives and limiting use of some of the most harmful HFCs where lower risk alternatives are available. Last week, the Obama Administration also announced new private sector commitments and executive actions that will reduce the equivalent of 700 million metric tons of carbon pollution globally through 2025. Companies committed to introducing new climate-friendly alternatives, transitioning production lines and cold food chain equipment '' the equipment that brings food from farm to market '' away from potent HFCs.
City Action to Reduce Methane and Black Carbon from Municipal Solid Waste
The United States, in cooperation with over 60 country, city, non-government, and private sector partners, is taking action to reduce harmful methane and black carbon from municipal solid waste through a global city network that seeks to catalyse action in 1,000 cities by 2020. The United States is providing direct technical assistance to cities to improve waste and emissions data, design waste policies and programs, and conduct project studies. American cities like San Diego and San Francisco are also doing their share by building partnerships with cities overseas to help them apply our world-class practices in their own cities.
U.S. Leadership on Forest Preservation
The United States joined other governments, the private sector, civil society, and indigenous peoples organizations in signing the New York Declaration on Forests. Supporting the Declaration reaffirms the ongoing commitment of the United States to protecting the world's forests and restoring degraded lands, including our pledge to restore 15 million hectares (ha) of forest land domestically as our contribution to the Bonn Challenge global goal to restore 150 million ha of forests and degraded lands by 2020. The United States government has committed over $1.3 billion to support REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) since 2010. The United States was a co-founder of the BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes (ISFL), which seeks to promote reduced greenhouse gas emissions from the land sector, from REDD+, and from sustainable agriculture, as well as smarter land-use planning, policies and practices. The ISFL co-founders announced at the Climate Summit that they have agreed to establish the first two large-scale, public-private programs in the Oromia Regional State of Ethiopia and the Luangwa Valley of Zambia.
New International Energy Partnerships
At the Climate Summit and SE4All events in New York, the United States announced its support for three group initiatives:
The Africa Clean Energy Corridor is a regional project in East Africa aimed at accelerating renewable energy development and complements the Administration's Power Africa initiative; A coalition of foundations and private companies is launching ''energy efficiency accelerators'' to pursue policy reforms and commercialization of new technologies in buildings, appliances and lighting, and transport. The United States will support these accelerators through the Clean Energy Ministerial's (CEM) Clean Energy Solutions Center and other CEM initiatives; andThe SIDS Lighthouse Initiative complements U.S. efforts in Hawaii and the Virgin Islands and the new Caribbean Energy Security Initiative.
Climate-Smart Agriculture
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 04:02
Achieving food security and responding to the challenges of climate change are two goals that must be achieved together. That's why agriculture, fisheries and forestry in developing countries must undergo a significant transformation
As population is on the rise food consumption patterns are destined to follow the same upward trend. Food production will need to increase by at least 70 percent to meet the demands of this growing population by 2050. Studies show that climate change is likely to reduce food productivity, its production stability and incomes in some areas that already have high levels of food insecurity.
Climate-smart agriculture promotes production systems that sustainably increase productivity, resilience (adaptation), reduces/removes GHGs (mitigation), and enhances achievement of national food security and development goals. See: www.fao.org/climatechange/climatesmart/en
The recognition for the importance of adopting climate smart practices, policy and finance in the international arena has been growing. A number of countries lead by the Netherlands organized the Hague conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change in November 2010. Technical guidance and support was provided by FAO and the World Bank. The conference lead to the development of a roadmap of actions, see: http://www.afcconference.com/the-first-conference/135-final-roadmap-for-action
Although there is consensus on the need for climate smart adoption there are still knowledge and gaps at the methodological, policy and financial levels. These gaps hinder the ability of actors of development (farm smallholders, policy makers and development agencies) to successfully implement climate smart actions.>>
Overseas Private Investment Corporation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 04:09
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is the U.S. government's development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and, in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy.
OPIC supports U.S. private investment in more than 160 developing and post-conflict countries around the world in products that produce important economic, environmental and developmental benefits. OPIC catalyzes revenues, jobs and growth opportunities from Europe to the Middle East, as well as Africa to Asia and Latin America. Projects range from those in the renewable resources sector to food, health, tourism, infrastructure, microfinance, financial services and technology and communications.
OPIC operates on a self'sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. It has helped to reduce the federal budget deficit for the 36th consecutive year. To date, OPIC has supported more than $200 billion of investment in more than 4,000 projects, which have generated an estimated $76 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 278,000 American jobs.
Products and servicesEditFinancingEditMedium' to long'term funding through direct loans and loan guarantees to eligible investment projects in developing countries and emerging markets. By complementing the private sector, OPIC can provide financing in countries where commercial financial institutions often are reluctant or unable to lend.
OPIC recognizes that businesses both large and small can play an important role in developing nations. In recent years, OPIC has made it a priority to work with American small businesses, which comprise, on average, 80 percent of projects supported by the agency. OPIC's Department of Small and Medium'sized Enterprise Finance offers qualified small businesses a streamlined approval process and direct loans from $100,000 to $10 million with terms from three to 15 years. While the eligible U.S. small business must own at least 25 percent of the overseas project, OPIC may be able to finance up to 65 percent of the total project cost. OPIC has conducted more than a dozen small business workshops around the United States since 2006, educating nearly 1,600 business owners about OPIC products and services.
Political risk insuranceEditOPIC's political risk insurance enables U.S. businesses to take advantage of commercially attractive opportunities in emerging markets, mitigating risk and helping them compete in a global marketplace. OPIC helps U.S. investors protect their investments in a variety of situations, including political violence, expropriation or other government interference, and currency inconvertibility.
Investment fundsEditOPIC provides support for the creation of privately'owned and managed investment funds. These funds make direct equity and equity'related investments in new, expanding or privatizing emerging market companies. OPIC'supported funds help emerging market economies to access long'term growth capital, management skills, and financial expertise, all of which are key factors in expanding economic development for people in developing nations.
Investment projectsEditOPIC supports projects in a range of industries'--from energy to housing, agriculture and financial services. It focuses on regions where the need is greatest and in sectors that can have the greatest developmental impact. OPIC has increasingly focused on projects that encourage the use of renewable resources, which represent not only an urgent global need but also a significant investment opportunity.
A current example is Project Salvador, a 70 megawatt-peak photovoltaic power plant in Chile, where solar power is economic without government subsidies due to the volume of solar irradiation in that country. Working with private energy companies Total and Etrion, OPIC provided 70% financing for the $200 million project. [1]
Power AfricaEditAnother key priority is impact investing, which aims to produce positive social impacts while generating financial returns sufficient to make these projects sustainable. OPIC has committed to provide $1.5 billion to develop energy projects in Africa over the next five years, in support of President Obama's Power Africa initiative to double the number of people on the continent who have access to electricity. The Power Africa initiative will help African countries develop more of their extensive energy resources, including oil and gas, geothermal, hydro, wind, solar and biomass, while also building out power generation and transmission infrastructure.[2]
RequirementsEditOPIC requires that its projects have a meaningful connection to the U.S. private sector. For financing, this means a U.S.'organized entity 25 percent or more U.S.'owned or a majority U.S.'owned foreign'organized entity; U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents and U.S.'organized non'governmental organizations. OPIC does not support projects that negatively affect the U.S economy.
Environmental and social standardsEditOPIC projects must meet congressionally mandated requirements regarding protection of the environment, social impacts, health, and safety.[3] The guidelines and procedures are based in large part on environmental and social impact assessment procedures applied by organizations such as the World Bank Group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank and the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Projects that are likely to have significant adverse environmental or social impacts are disclosed to the public for a comment period of 60 days.
In the American effort to rebuild Europe following World War II, two facts became clear to policy makers: private investment is a more powerful generator of economic development than aid; and there is an appropriate role for government in encouraging private investment where it has the potential to do the most good. Accordingly, the Marshall Plan authorized the U.S. government to insure private U.S. investors against the risk that earnings generated overseas in foreign currencies might not be convertible into U.S. dollars. This new tool'--political risk insurance'--was expanded in the 1950s to cover losses from war and expropriation, as well as government interference with investors' rights to the proceeds of their investments. It was subsequently complemented with the addition of project financing.
In 1966 Congress established the International Private Investment Advisory Council (IPIAC) under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1966. In December 1968 IPIAC published "The Case for a U.S. Overseas Private Enterprise Development Corporation", a report articulating the need for such an entity.[4] In the report, the IPIAC recommended the organization of an overseas private enterprise development corporation of and funded by the United States, as responsive to the Javits Amendment to the 1968 Foreign Assistance Act.
As administration of the U.S. guaranty program moved among various agencies, bipartisan support grew to establish it on a permanent basis as a self-sustaining, independent agency.
''The most original of [President Nixon's] recommendations is the one dealing with the establishment of an Overseas Private Investment Corporation. Even opponents of foreign aid agree, I feel sure, that the burden of our international development program can and should be shifted increasingly from public to private resources. The Administration's proposal to set up a Corporation has as its basic objective stimulation of American businessmen into examining the possibility of profitable and productive enterprises in countries hungry for development.I believe OPIC means business'--a businesslike approach to foreign aid. After all, the profit motive was the prime mover in our own Nation's development. Why not use this profit motive in helping the development of others? '--Representative Clement Zablocki (D-WI) during Congressional debate preceding establishment of OPIC November 19, 1969
''''[OPIC is the] first really big initiative that has come along in the foreign aid field almost since it began, which goes back to 1948 and 1949'...this corporation will for the first time apply business methods and business accounting procedures to the business operations of project development, investment, insurance, guarantees and direct lending'--that is, to private activities which are sensitively and directly geared into the development of the less-developed areas which we propose to help in the foreign aid program. '--Senator Jacob Javits (R-NY) during Congressional debate preceding the establishment of OPIC, December 12, 1969''Congress created OPIC in 1969 through an amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act, and the agency began operations in 1971, during the Nixon Administration,[5] with a portfolio of $8.4 billion in political risk insurance and $169 million in loan guaranties. In a special message to Congress in 1971, President Nixon stated that OPIC's establishment will help ''give new direction to U.S. private investment abroad'... and provide new focus to our foreign assistance effort.[6]
Organized as a corporation with a corporate structure, OPIC is governed by a Board of Directors,[7] President and CEO,[8] and Executive Vice President,[9] all nominated by the President of the United States and approved by the U.S. Senate. The majority of the Board of Directors, including its President, are ''drawn from private life and have business experience."[6] Although it operates on a self'sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers, OPIC is appropriated administrative funding, and reauthorized on a regular basis, by the U.S. Congress.
Both Republican and Democratic administrations have since expressed strong support for OPIC:
''I am a strong believer in the importance of private investment to the development process. It is the most effective way of transferring the financial resources, technology, and management skills which play so vital a role in stimulating development. '--President Richard Nixon on the publication of OPIC's first annual report, October 25, 1971''''The greatest contribution this nation can make to developing countries is through increased investment in their developing markets. Private investment by American companies continues to be the most effective way to transfer the financial resources, technology and management skills that play such a vital role in stimulating long-term and independent development. OPIC fulfills an important responsibility by encouraging greater involvement of American business in developing countries, in the process helping our own economy to expand as well. '--President Ronald Reagan in a letter to OPIC President Craig A. Nalen, October 15, 1981''''As OPIC expands into new markets and countries, it is at the crest of a new wave of American assistance, bringing growth, business know-how, and prosperity to the developing world. Millions of people in this country benefit at the same time. While it promotes investments in freedom abroad, OPIC is also creating jobs here at home and increasing American exports. '--President George H. W. Bush on OPIC's 20th anniversary, December 17, 1991''''Since 1971, OPIC has harnessed the resources of American businesses to build hope and opportunity through investment and commerce in countries around the world. By standing behind the U.S. private sector, OPIC has both encouraged long-term stability in developing markets and made significant contributions to America's economic growth. Small, efficient, and self-sustaining, OPIC is the very essence of good government. '--President Bill Clinton on OPIC's 25th anniversary, November 15, 1996''ReferencesEditFurther readingEditExternal linksEdit
Who we are
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 04:06
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialized agency of the United Nations, was established as an international financial institution in 1977 as one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference. The conference was organized in response to the food crises of the early 1970s that primarily affected the Sahelian countries of Africa. It resolved that "an International Fund for Agricultural Development should be established immediately to finance agricultural development projects primarily for food production in the developing countries." One of the most important insights emerging from the conference was that the causes of food insecurity and famine were not so much failures in food production but structural problems relating to poverty, and to the fact that the majority of the developing world's poor populations were concentrated in rural areas. Read more
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Climate change could temporarily make Alaska the new Florida | The Verge
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 13:23
Without coordinated global action, climate change will inevitably render places across the world uninhabitable. The good news: maybe Alaska won't be so cold for a while.
In a new article for the New York Times, Jennifer A. Kingson quotes experts who give jarring, darkly comic opinions on which places in the US will be the least devastated:
"If you do not like it hot and do not want to be hit by a hurricane, the options of where to go are very limited," said Camilo Mora, a geography professor at the University of Hawaii and lead author of a paper published in Nature last year predicting that unprecedented high temperatures will become the norm worldwide by 2047.
"The best place really is Alaska," he added. "Alaska is going to be the next Florida by the end of the century."
Other temporary safe havens might include the Midwest and Pacific Northwest, which climate refugees could migrate to by 2050 or 2100. Oregon and Washington state could become more fertile wine country, taking over after California's Napa Valley is hit by abnormally high temperatures. "People are going crazy putting in vineyards in eastern Washington right now," one expert told the Times.
Not that you'll necessarily want to build a permanent home in colder climes. Even if people begin vacating Los Angeles by 2048, as Mora's model suggests, people will be fleeing Anchorage by 2071, when the options for a comfortable vacation get even slimmer.
CEL :: CEL Ed Fund
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 04:55
Founded in 2012, CEL Education Fund is an independent 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity governed by an independent board of directors. Similar to CEL, the mission of CEL Education Fund is to empower tech-savvy people-powered organizing initiatives. It accomplishes this by housing innovative educational and charitable programs and by fiscally sponsoring other independent organizations that align with its mission. For more about CEL Education Fund, visit CelEducationFund.org
CUTURE STRIKE=CIZITENS ENGAEMENT LAB-Awesome Lineup!
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 04:53
Alica Washington MteuziExecutive AssistantAlica is our Executive Assistant & Office Manager who serves as the control center of our Executive team, and directly supports our Executive Director and Managing Director.
She started her career as a promotions intern at Interscope Records in Santa Monica, CA. Over the past 14 years, Alica has supported top executives such as, the Sr. VP of Product Integrity at GAP, Inc, the General Sales Manager of 98.1 KISS FM (ClearChannel Radio), the CEO & Founder of Greystripe (mobile advertising), the President of TRX Training (world-class fitness), and the COO at TechCrunch, a leading technology media outlet.
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Alica is a Berkeley typical tree-hugging, animal loving, vegan. In her free time, she volunteers for the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition (FFAC) to help raise awareness of the negative consequences of factory farming, promote compassion, and urge policy-makers to shape food systems for ecological public health.
When not at CEL, you will find her running along the San Pablo Reservoir, juicing (vegetables, not steroids), warrior III'ing, Spotify'ing, or watching random British programming on BBC.
CultureStr/ke | Press
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 04:49
RT @CalEndow: Help #ChildRefugees live a more dignified life. Donate to help provide humanitarian aid & services. http://t.co/U3Pf3SUQqz#T'...10 hours ago
.@DocumentedFilm is coming to iTunes October 7th! Pre-order your very own copy TODAY http://t.co/reOFkIayYF!#video4change#apia#not1more13 hours ago
You Want More #Diversity in Your Pop Culture? Here's How to Find It http://t.co/03GR6SmAzt via @io9#art41 day ago
Statement from #GraceLeeBoggs' Bedside http://t.co/nMye2RHFny via @angryasianman#apia#organizing#detroit1 day ago
RT @DetentionWatch: New #ExposeandClose Report on #Artesia calls for closure of all #familydetentionhttp://t.co/RHZa5ymM4J#not1more#p2 h'...1 day ago
Four Questions for After #PeoplesClimate March http://t.co/aZOnHJ1L2A via @tnyCloseRead@newyorker#art42 days ago
via @LatinoVoices: @lasantacecilia On #ImmigrationReform: 'People Will Always Put Politics Before Life' http://t.co/WIYenUU538#not1more2 days ago
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NASA ARGUING ABOUT CLIMATE MODELS WTF-Jet Propulsion Laboratory | News
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 23:52
September 24, 2014
As climate change grips the Arctic, how much carbon is leaving its thawing soil and adding to Earth's greenhouse effect? The question has long been debated by scientists. A new study conducted as part of NASA's Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) shows just how much work still needs to be done to reach a conclusion on this and other basic questions about the region where global warming is hitting hardest.
Lead author Josh Fisher of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, analyzed 40 computer models of the amounts and flows of carbon in the Alaskan Arctic and boreal ecosystems. His team found wide disagreement among the models, highlighting the urgent need for more measurements from the region.
Models represent scientists' integrated understanding of Earth processes and systems. They are used both to test that understanding, by comparing their results with real-world observations, and to gain insight into how current trends may affect our planet's future.
"We all knew there were big uncertainties in our understanding, and we wanted to quantify their extent," said Fisher. That extent proved to be greater than almost anyone expected. "The results were shocking to most people," he said.
However, pinpointing the extent and areas of uncertainty is the first step toward reducing them. Fisher noted that he has shared preliminary results with the modelers who participated in the study, and some have already used the results as an opportunity to rethink how they are representing Arctic processes in global models. Moreover, the uncertainty maps that the study produced, showing the specific Arctic regions where the disagreement is greatest, highlight key locations for field campaigns to collect data.
The study, which involved 30 co-authors from around the world, examined how well the models agreed on various factors, such as the rate of plant growth and the amount of carbon exchanged between living things and the atmosphere. They also evaluated the performance of the models against measurements of carbon at monitoring sites along the tundra of the Alaskan North Slope.
"If all the models agree with the observations, uncertainty is probably pretty low. If they wildly disagree, uncertainty is pretty high," Fisher said. "The models were all over the board."
Fisher stressed that all of these models "are perfectly valid representations of what's going on in the Arctic." Without more real-world measurements, it's not possible to be sure which comes closest to reality.
Scientists urgently want to understand the state of Arctic carbon because there are huge stores of carbon from dead vegetation locked in permafrost -- and permafrost is turning out not to be as permanently frozen as its name implies. With the Arctic warming much faster than the rest of the planet, permafrost is thawing. Those carbon stores could be released into the atmosphere either slowly or in a giant burst, further accelerating the pace of climate change.
"We're opening Pandora's box by warming the permafrost," Fisher said. "In the Amazon, if you cut down a tree and release carbon to the atmosphere, you can plant another tree that will reabsorb that lost carbon. In the Arctic, the carbon stored in permafrost represents millennia of accumulated dead vegetation. If you lose that carbon to the atmosphere, you can't get it back that easily."
But more carbon dioxide in the air and longer growing seasons due to global warming promote more plant growth, and plants remove carbon from the air during photosynthesis. Some models suggest that the carbon removed by plants could balance the carbon released by permafrost thaw.
That's one of the questions that CARVE principal investigator Charles Miller of JPL hopes the campaign will help modelers to answer. "Ultimately, we hope the CARVE data can be used to diagnose the strengths and weaknesses of different models and to improve the representation of carbon cycling in Alaska and throughout the Arctic," Miller said.
"The general feeling is that the Arctic will be a big source of carbon to the atmosphere, but the uncertainty is a little too high to say for sure," Fisher said. "CARVE measurements will quantify the present-day carbon sources and help to reduce that uncertainty."
For more information on CARVE, visit:
https://science.jpl.nasa.gov/projects/CARVE/
http://science.nasa.gov/missions/carve/
NASA monitors Earth's vital signs from land, air and space with a fleet of satellites and ambitious airborne and ground-based observation campaigns. NASA develops new ways to observe and study Earth's interconnected natural systems with long-term data records and computer analysis tools to better see how our planet is changing. The agency shares this unique knowledge with the global community and works with institutions in the United States and around the world that contribute to understanding and protecting our home planet.
For more information about NASA's Earth science activities in 2014, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/earthrightnow
Alan Buis818-354-0474Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.Alan.Buis@jpl.nasa.govWritten by Carol RasmussenNASA Earth Science News Team
2014-323
Jet Propulsion Laboratory | News
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 02:24
September 22, 2014
Prospects have been fading for an El Ni±o event in 2014, but now there's a glimmer of hope for a very modest comeback. Scientists warn that unless these developing weak-to-modest El Ni±o conditions strengthen, the drought-stricken American West shouldn't expect any relief.
The latest sea-level-height data from the NASA/European Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason-2 satellite mission show a pair of eastward-moving waves of higher sea level, known as Kelvin waves, in the Pacific Ocean -- the third such pair of waves this year. Now crossing the central and eastern equatorial Pacific, these warm waves appear as the large area of higher-than-normal sea surface heights (warmer-than-normal ocean temperatures) hugging the equator between 120 degrees west and the International Dateline. The Kelvin waves are traveling eastward and should arrive off Ecuador in late September and early October.
A series of larger atmospheric "west wind bursts" from February through May 2014 triggered an earlier series of Kelvin waves that raised hopes of a significant El Ni±o event. Just as the warming of the eastern equatorial Pacific by these waves dissipated, damping expectations for an El Ni±o this year, these latest Kelvin waves have appeared, resuscitating hopes for a late arrival of the event.
The new image is online at:
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/earth/elnino/earth20140922-full.jpg
For an overview of 2014's El Ni±o prospects and Kelvin waves, please see:
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/19may_elnino/
Climatologist Bill Patzert of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, says it's too early to know for sure, but he would not be surprised if the latest Kelvin waves are the "last hurrah" for this much-hoped-for El Ni±o. "Since February 2014, the prospect of an El Ni±o has waxed and waned. This late in the season, the best we can expect is a weak to moderate event. What comes next is not yet clear. But for the drought-plagued American West, the possibility of a badly needed drenching is fading," said Patzert.
NASA scientists will continue to monitor the Pacific to see what is in store next for the world's climate.
This image was created with data collected by the U.S./European OSTM/Jason-2 satellite during a 10-day period centered on Sept. 18, 2014. It shows a red and yellow area in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific, indicating that the ocean surface is about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 12 centimeters) above normal. Green indicates near-normal conditions. These regions contrast with the western equatorial Pacific, where sea levels (blue and purple areas) are 3 to 6 inches (8 to 15 centimeters) lower than normal.
The height of the ocean water relates, in part, to its temperature, and thus is an indicator of the amount of heat stored in the ocean below. As the ocean warms, the water expands and the sea level rises; as it cools, its level falls. Above-normal height variations along the equatorial Pacific indicate El Ni±o conditions, while below-normal height variations indicate La Ni±a conditions. The temperature of the upper ocean can have a significant influence on weather patterns and climate.
This latest image highlights the processes that occur on time scales of more than a year but usually less than 10 years, such as El Ni±o and La Ni±a. The image also highlights faster ocean processes such as Kelvin waves. As Patzert says, "Jason-2 is a fantastic Kelvin wave counter." These processes are known as the interannual ocean signal. To show that signal, scientists refined data for this image by removing trends over the past 21 years, seasonal variations and time-averaged signals of large-scale ocean circulation. For a more detailed explanation of what this type of image means, visit:
http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/science/elninopdo/latestdata/
The comings and goings of El Ni±o and La Ni±a are part of the long-term, evolving state of global climate, for which measurements of sea surface height are a key indicator. Jason-2 is a joint effort between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the French Space Agency Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). JPL manages the U.S. portion of Jason-2 for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. In early 2015, NASA and its international partners CNES, NOAA and EUMETSAT will launch Jason-3, which will extend the timeline of ocean surface topography measurements begun by the Topex/Poseidon and Jason 1 and 2 satellites. Jason-3 will make highly detailed measurements of sea level on Earth to gain insight into ocean circulation and climate change. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology.
For a time sequence of the evolution of the 2014 El Nino, visit:
http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/science/elninopdo/latestdata/archive/
To learn more on NASA's satellite altimetry programs, visit:
http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov
Alan Buis 818-354-0474Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CaliforniaAlan.Buis@jpl.nasa.gov2014-319
Google will stop supporting climate change science deniers, calls them liars | Ars Technica
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 01:55
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt today said it was a ''mistake'' to support the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group that has said human-created climate change could be ''beneficial'' and opposes environmental regulations. Schmidt said groups trying to cast doubt on climate change science are "just literally lying."
Further ReadingGoogle's membership in ALEC has been criticized because of the group's stance on climate change and its opposition to network neutrality rules and municipal broadband. Earlier this month, Google refused to comment after 50 advocacy groups called on the company to end its affiliation with ALEC.
That changed today when Schmidt appeared on The Diane Rehm Show and was asked by a listener whether Google is still supporting ALEC. The listener described ALEC as ''lobbyists in DC that are funding climate change deniers.''
Schmidt responded, ''we funded them as part of a political campaign for something unrelated. I think the consensus within the company was that was sort of a mistake, and so we're trying to not do that in the future.''
Schmidt did not say what issue led Google to support ALEC. Yelp reportedly joined ALEC to fight so-called "Strategic lawsuits against public participation," but it's not clear if Google had the same motivation. We contacted Google's public relations department today but haven't heard back.
Schmidt did not comment on ALEC's stances on net neutrality and municipal broadband, but criticized the group's position on climate change.
''The company has a very strong view that we should make decisions in politics based on facts, what a shock, and the facts of climate change are not in question anymore,'' Schmidt said. ''Everyone understands that climate change is occurring, and the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and grandchildren and making the world a much worse place. And so we should not be aligned with such people. They're just literally lying.''
Google was a member of ALEC's Communications and Technology Task Force, along with Facebook, Microsoft, and Yahoo. Microsoft cut ties with ALEC recently.
ALEC task forces write model legislation that can be introduced into statehouses and potentially become law. The group helped pass numerous state laws that make it difficult for cities and towns to compete against private ISPs by offering their own Internet service.
On climate change, ALEC offers model legislation proposing the formation of an Interstate Research Commission on Climatic Change.
The bill says human activity ''may lead to deleterious, neutral, or possibly beneficial climatic changes'' and that ''a great deal of scientific uncertainty surrounds the nature of these prospective changes, and the cost of regulation to inhibit such changes may lead to great economic dislocation.''
ALEC has also pushed legislation requiring schools to teach climate change denial or skepticism.
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Troy Hunt: Everything you need to know about the Shellshock Bash bug
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 13:50
Remember Heartbleed? If you believe the hype today, Shellshock is in that league and with an equally awesome name albeit bereft of a cool logo (someone in the marketing department of these vulns needs to get on that). But in all seriousness, it does have the potential to be a biggie and as I did with Heartbleed, I wanted to put together something definitive both for me to get to grips with the situation and for others to dissect the hype from the true underlying risk.
To set the scene, let me share some content from Robert Graham's blog post who has been doing some excellent analysis on this. Imagine an HTTP request like this:
target = 0.0.0.0/0port = 80banners = truehttp-user-agent = shellshock-scan (http://blog.erratasec.com/2014/09/bash-shellshock-scan-of-internet.html)http-header = Cookie:() { :; }; ping -c 3 209.126.230.74http-header = Host:() { :; }; ping -c 3 209.126.230.74http-header = Referer:() { :; }; ping -c 3 209.126.230.74Which, when issued against a range of vulnerable IP addresses, results in this:
Put succinctly, Robert has just orchestrated a bunch of external machines to ping him simply by issuing a carefully crafted request over the web. What's really worrying is that he has effectively caused these machines to issue an arbitrary command (albeit a rather benign ping) and that opens up a whole world of very serious possibilities. Let me explain.
What is Bash and why do we need it?Skip this if it's old news, but context is important for those unfamiliar with Bash so let's establish a baseline understanding. Bash is a *nix shell or in other words, an interpreter that allows you to orchestrate commands on Unix and Linux systems, typically by connecting over SSH or Telnet. It can also operate as a parser for CGI scripts on a web server such as we'd typically see running on Apache. It's been around since the late 80s where it evolved from earlier shell implementations (the name is derived from the Bourne shell) and is enormously popular. There are other shells out there for Unix variants, the thing about Bash though is that it's the default shell for Linux and Mac OS X which are obviously extremely prevalent operating systems. That's a major factor in why this risk is so significant '' the ubiquity of Bash '' and it's being described as ''one of the most installed utilities on any Linux system''.
You can get a sense of the Bash footprint when you look at the latest Netcraft web server stats:
When half the net is running Apache (which is typically found on Linux), that's a significant size of a very, very large pie. That same Netcraft article is reporting that we've just passed the one billion websites mark too and whilst a heap of those are sharing the same hosts, that's still a whole lot of Bash installations. Oh '' that's just web servers too, don't forget there are a heap of other servers running Linux and we'll come back to other devices with Bash a bit later too.
Bash can be used for a whole range of typical administrative functions, everything from configuring websites through to controlling embedded software on a device like a webcam. Naturally this is not functionality that's intended to be open to the world and in theory, we're talking about authenticated users executing commands they've been authorised to run. In theory.
What's the bug?Let me start with the CVE from NIST vulnerability database because it gives a good sense of the severity (highlight mine):
GNU Bash through 4.3 processes trailing strings after function definitions in the values of environment variables, which allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted environment, as demonstrated by vectors involving the ForceCommand feature in OpenSSH sshd, the mod_cgi and mod_cgid modules in the Apache HTTP Server, scripts executed by unspecified DHCP clients, and other situations in which setting the environment occurs across a privilege boundary from Bash execution.
They go on to rate it a ''10 out of 10'' for severity or in other words, as bad as it gets. This is compounded by the fact that it's easy to execute the attack (access complexity is low) and perhaps most significantly, there is no authentication required when exploiting Bash via CGI scripts. The summary above is a little convoluted though so let's boil it down to the mechanics of the bug.
The risk centres around the ability to arbitrarily define environment variables within a Bash shell which specify a function definition. The trouble begins when Bash continues to process shell commands after the function definition resulting in what we'd classify as a ''code injection attack''. Let's look at Robert's example again and we'll just take this line:
http-header = Cookie:() { :; }; ping -c 3 209.126.230.74The function definition is () { :; }; and the shell command is the ping statement and subsequent parameters. When this is processed within the context of a Bash shell, the arbitrary command is executed. In a web context, this would mean via a mechanism such as a CGI script and not necessarily as a request header either. It's worth having a read through the seclists.org advisory where they go into more detail, including stating that the path and query string could be potential vectors for the attack.
Of course one means of mitigating this particular attack vector is simply to disable any CGI functionality that makes calls to a shell and indeed some are recommending this. In many cases though, that's going to be a seriously breaking change and at the very least, one that going to require some extensive testing to ensure it doesn't cause immediate problems in the website which in many cases, it will.
The HTTP proof above is a simple but effective one, albeit just one implementation over a common protocol. Once you start throwing in Telnet and SSH and apparently even DHCP, the scope increases dramatically so by no means are we just talking about exploiting web app servers here. (Apparently the risk is only present in SSH post-auth, but at such an early stage of the public disclosure we'll inevitably see other attack vectors emerge yet.)
What you also need to remember is that the scope of potential damage stretches well beyond pinging an arbitrary address as in Robert's example, that's simply a neat little proof that he could orchestrate a machine to issue a shell command. The question becomes this: What damage could an attacker do when they can execute a shell command of their choosing on any vulnerable machine?
What are the potential ramifications?The potential is enormous '' ''getting shell'' on a box has always been a major win for an attacker because of the control it offers them over the target environment. Access to internal data, reconfiguration of environments, publication of their own malicious code etc. It's almost limitless and it's also readily automatable. There are many, many examples of exploits out there already that could easily be fired off against a large volume of machines.
Unfortunately when it comes to arbitrary code execution in a shell on up to half the websites on the internet, the potential is pretty broad. One of the obvious (and particularly nasty) ones is dumping internal files for public retrieval. Password files and configuration files with credentials are the obvious ones, but could conceivably extend to any other files on the system.
Likewise, the same approach could be applied to write files to the system. This is potentially the easiest website defacement vector we've ever seen, not to mention a very easy way of distributing malware
Or how about this: one word I keep seeing a lot is ''worm'':
When we talk about worm in a malicious computing context, we're talking about a self-replicating attack where a malicious actor creates code that is able to propagate across targets. For example, we saw a very effective implementation of this with Samy's MySpace XSS Worm where some carefully crafted JavaScript managed to ''infect'' a million victims' pages in less than a day.
The worry with Shellshock is that an attack of this nature could replicate at an alarming rate, particularly early on while the majority of machines remain at risk. In theory, this could take the form of an infected machine scanning for other targets and propagating the attack to them. This would be by no means limited to public facing machines either; get this behind the corporate firewall and the sky's the limit.
People are working on exploiting this right now. This is what makes these early days so interesting as the arms race between those scrambling to patch and those scrambling to attack heats up.
Which versions of Bash are affected?The headlines state everything through 4.3 or in other words, about 25 years' worth of Bash versions. Given everyone keeps comparing this to Heartbleed, consider that the impacted versions of OpenSSL spanned a mere two years which is a drop in the ocean compared to Shellshock. Yes people upgrade their versions, but no they don't do it consistently and whichever way you cut it, the breadth of at-risk machines is going to be significantly higher with Shellshock than what it was with Heartbleed.
But the risk may well extend beyond 4.3 as well. Already we're seeing reports of patches not being entirely effective and given the speed with which they're being rolled out, that's not all that surprising. This is the sort of thing those impacted by it want to keep a very close eye on, not just ''patch and forget''.
When did we first learn of it and how long have we been at risk?The first mention I've found on the public airwaves was this very brief summary on seclists.org which works out at about 18:00 GMT on Wednesday (about 2am today for those of us on the eastern end of Australia). The detail came in the advisory I mentioned earlier an hour later so getting towards late afternoon Wednesday in Europe or the middle of the day in the US. It's still very fresh news with all the usual press speculation and Chicken Little predications; it's too early to observe any widespread exploitation in the wild, but that could also come very soon if the risk lives up to its potential.
Scroll back beyond just what has been disclosed publicly and the bug was apparently discovered last week by St(C)phane Chazelas, a ''Unix/Linux, network and telecom specialist'' bloke in the UK. Having said that, in Akamai's post on the bug, they talk about it having been present for ''an extended period of time'' and of course vulnerable versions of Bash go back two and a half decades now. The question, as with Heartbleed, will be whether or not malicious actors were aware of this before now and indeed whether they were actively exploiting it.
Are our ''things'' affected?This is where it gets interesting '' we have a lot of ''things'' potentially running Bash. Of course when I use this term I'm referring to the ''Internet of Things'' (IoT) which is the increasing prevalence of whacking an IP address and a wireless adaptor into everything from our cutlery to our door locks to our light globes.
Many IoT devices run embedded Linux distributions with Bash. These very same devices have already been shown to demonstrate serious security vulnerabilities in other areas, for example LIFX light globes just a couple of months ago were found to be leaking wifi credentials. Whilst not a Bash vulnerability like Shellshock, it shows us that by connecting our things we're entering a whole new world of vulnerabilities in places that were never at risk before.
This brings with it many new challenges; for example, who is actively thinking they should regularly patch their light bulbs? Also consider the longevity of the devices this software is appearing in and whether they're actually actively maintained. In a case like the vulnerable Trendnet cameras from a couple of years ago, there are undoubtedly a huge number of them still sitting on the web because in terms of patching, they're pretty much a ''set and forget'' proposition. In fact in that case there's an entire Twitter account dedicated to broadcasting the images it has captured of unsuspecting owners of vulnerable versions. It's a big problem with no easy fixes and its going to stick with us for a very long time.
But Bash shells are also present in many more common devices, for example our home routers which are generally internet-facing. Remember when you last patched the firmware on your router? Ok, if you're reading this then maybe you're the type of technical person who actually does patch their router, but put yourself in the shoes of Average Joe Consumer and ask yourself that again. Exactly.
All our things are on the Microsoft stack, are we at risk?Short answer ''no'', long answer ''yes''. I'll tackle the easy one first '' Bash is not found natively on Windows and whilst there are Bash implementations for Windows, it's certainly not common and it's not going to be found on consumer PCs. It's also not clear if products like win-bash are actually vulnerable to Shellshock in the first place.
The longer answer is that just because you operate in a predominantly Microsoft-centric environment doesn't mean that you don't have Bash running on machines servicing other discrete purposes within that environment. When I wrote about Heartbleed, I referenced Nick Craver's post on moving Stack Overflow towards SSL and referred to this diagram of their infrastructure:
There are non-Microsoft components sitting in front of their Microsoft application stack, components that the traffic needs to pass through before it hits the web servers. These are also components that may have elevated privileges behind the firewall '' what's the impact if Shellshock is exploited on those? It could be significant and that's the point I'm making here; Shellshock has the potential to impact assets beyond just at-risk Bash implementations when it exists in a broader ecosystem of other machines.
I'm a system admin '' what can I do?Firstly, discovering if you're at risk is trivial as it's such an easily reproducible risk. There's a very simple test The Register suggests which is just running this command within your shell:
env X="() { :;} ; echo busted" /bin/sh -c "echo stuff"You get ''busted'' echo'd back out and you've successfully exploited the bug.
Of course the priority here is going to be patching at risk systems and the patch essentially boils down to ensuring no code can be executed after the end of a Bash function. Linux distros such as Red Hat are releasing guidance on patching the risk so jump on that as a matter of priority.
We'll inevitably also see definitions for intrusion detection systems too and certainly there will be common patterns to look for here. That may well prove a good immediate term implementation for many organisations, particularly where there may be onerous testing requirements before rolling out patches to at-risk systems. Qualys' are aiming to have a definition to detect the attack pretty quickly and inevitably other IDS providers are working on this around the clock as well.
Other more drastic options include replacing Bash with an alternate shell implementation or cordoning off at-risk systems, both of which could have far-reaching ramifications and are unlikely to be decisions taken lightly. But that's probably going to be the nature of this bug for many people '' hard decisions that could have tangible business impact in order to avoid potentially much more significant ramifications.
The other issue which will now start to come up a lot is the question of whether Shellshock has already been exploited in an environment. This can be hard to determine if there's no logging of the attack vectors (there often won't be if it's passed by HTTP request header or POST body), but it's more likely to be caught than with Heartbleed when short of full on pcaps, the heartbeat payloads would not normally have been logged anywhere. But still, the most common response to ''were we attacked via Shellshock'' is going to be this:
unfortunately, this isn't "No, we have evidence that there were no compromises;" rather, "we don't have evidence that spans the lifetime of this vulnerability." We doubt many people do - and this leaves system owners in the uncomfortable position of not knowing what, if any, compromises might have happened.
Let the speculation about whether the NSA was in on this begin'...
I'm a consumer '' what can I do?It depends. Shellshock affects Macs so if you're running OS X, at this stage that appears to be at risk which on the one hand is bad due to the prevalence of OS X but on the other hand will be easily (and hopefully quickly) remediated due to a pretty well-proven update mechanism (i.e. Apple can remotely push updates to the machine).
If you're on a Mac, the risk is easily tested for as described in this Stack Exchange answer:
It's an easy test, although I doubt the average Mac user is going to feel comfortable stepping through the suggested fix which involves recompiling Bash.
The bigger worry is the devices with no easy patching path, for example your router. Short of checking in with the manufacturer's website for updated firmware, this is going to be a really hard nut to crack. Often routers provided by ISPs are locked down so that consumers aren't randomly changing either config or firmware and there's not always a remote upgrade path they can trigger either. Combine that with the massive array of devices and ages that are out there and this could be particularly tricky. Of course it's also not the sort of thing your average consumer is going to be comfortable doing themselves either.
In short, the advice to consumers is this: watch for security updates, particularly on OS X. Also keep an eye on any advice you may get from your ISP or other providers of devices you have that run embedded software. Do be cautious of emails requesting information or instructing you to run software '' events like this are often followed by phishing attacks that capitalise on consumers' fears. Hoaxes presently have people putting their iPhones in the microwave so don't for a moment think that they won't run a random piece of software sent to them via email as a ''fix'' for Shellshock!
SummaryIn all likelihood, we haven't even begun the fathom the breadth of this vulnerability. Of course there are a lot of comparisons being made to Heartbleed and there are a number of things we learned from that exercise. One is that it took a bit of time to sink in as we realised the extent to which we were dependent on OpenSSL. The other is that it had a very long tail '' months after it hit there were still hundreds of thousands of known hosts left vulnerable.
But in one way, the Heartbleed comparison isn't fair '' this is potentially far worse. Heartbleed allowed remote access to small amount of data in the memory of affected machines. Shellshock is enabling remote code injection of arbitrary commands pre-auth which is potentially far more dire. In that regard, I have to agree with Robert:
It's very, very early days yet '' only half a day since it first hit the airwaves at the time of writing '' and I suspect that so far we're only scratching the surface of what is yet to come.
Leaving comments is awesome, please do. All I ask is that you be nice and if in doubt, read Comments on troyhunt.com for guidance.
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Other automakers to challenge Tesla in over-the-air software upgrades
Fri, 19 Sep 2014 23:57
By Bernie Woodall
DETROITFri Sep 19, 2014 6:37pm EDT
1 of 2. A Tesla Motors logo is shown on a Tesla Model S at a Tesla Motors dealership at Corte Madera Village, an outdoor retail mall, in Corte Madera, California May 8, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith
DETROIT (Reuters) - Electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc on Friday announced it is rolling out a software upgrade over-the-air to its current Model S owners, a unique ability that other automakers are expected to offer within a few years.
Tesla, based in Silicon Valley, has completed more than a dozen over-the-air software upgrades since the Model S was first sold in mid-2012, said Egil Juliussen, director of research for automotive electronic technology for IHS Automotive.
Juliussen said other automakers have completed some over-the-air software upgrades but only on an experimental basis.
Normally, when an automaker wants to upgrade software in on-board computers in cars that are already on the road, owners must bring vehicles to dealerships.
Tesla is able to upgrade software remotely, similar to software updates on smartphones.
About 30,000 vehicles have been updated over the air this year, almost all by Tesla. By 2020, a full one-fifth, or about 22 million new vehicles globally, will have the ability to accept software upgrades over-the-air, said Juliussen.
Juliussen said by 2015, over-the-air software upgrades to cars already in consumer hands will expand to 230,000 and reach 1 million in 2016.
"The cost savings alone will make it very attractive for the auto manufacturers to use over-the-air software upgrades," said Juliussen.
Automakers are expected, he said, to team up with software developers for over-the-air communication with the vehicles they have sold.
Three privately held software firms are in the lead in this venture, he said. They are Red Bend Software, based in Waltham, Massachusetts; Symphony Teleca Corp based in Silicon Valley; and Arynga, based in San Diego.
He said that it can cost $400 to $500 every time an owner brings a car into a dealership for a software upgrade. Doing so remotely will cut those costs dramatically, and dealers will not have to purchase as much equipment, Juliussen said.
For the current upgrade, Tesla Model S owners will be notified of the availability of it and will be asked to select a time for it to be downloaded, which takes several hours, Tesla spokeswoman Alexis Georgeson said.
Tesla, which connects to its cars through a 3G network of AT&T Inc, is calling the latest upgrade announced on Friday "Software v6.0." Tesla is rolling out the upgrades in North America and Europe now, and within a few weeks will be performing them for owners in its other markets, China, Hong Kong and Japan.
Among the new features being added in the current upgrade to the Model S are traffic-based navigation and commuting advice and remote starting by using a mobile phone.
(Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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SiriusXM Suffers Crushing Loss in High-Stakes Courtroom Battle - Hollywood Reporter
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 17:07
A California federal judge has delivered a legal earthquake in the music industry by declaring Flo & Eddie of The Turtles the victors in a lawsuit against SiriusXM over the public performance of pre-1972 sound recordings. The plaintiffs are seeking $100 million in damages, but the money is hardly the only consequence of a ruling on Monday that could eventually disrupt the operations of the satellite radio giant as well as other services like Pandora.
The lawsuit was filed in August 2013 and dealt with music created before sound recordings began falling under federal copyright protection. Flo & Eddie aimed to punish SiriusXM for not seeking authorization nor paying royalties on hit songs like "Happy Together," "It Ain't Me Babe" and "She'd Rather Be With Me," while the satcaster warned that interpreting state laws to cover public performance "would radically overturn decades of settled practice."
U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez, who previously acknowledged that the case "could have far-reaching effects," has elected to grant summary judgment to the plaintiffs on the issue of whether SiriusXM violates public performance rights.
In reaching the conclusion, the judge examines a California law that was enacted in 1982 and meant to address pre-1972 recordings. The statute was silent on whether ''exclusive ownership'' of pre-1972 sound recordings carries within it the exclusive right to publicly perform the recording. As such, the judge had to determine whether California's law was inclusive or exclusive '-- and the judge's reading of the law is that other than the exception for cover songs, there's nothing exclusive about it.
Judge Gutierrez writes he "infers that the legislature did not intend to further limit ownership rights, otherwise it would have indicated that intent explicitly."
SiriusXM failed to persuade the judge that California's law was ambiguous in the wake of the passage of new federal copyright law and also struck out in its contention that decades of television and radio broadcasters, restaurant and bar owners, website operators and others exploiting pre-72 music supported its interpretation of the law.
The plaintiffs, represented by Harvey Geller and Henry Gradstein at Gradstein & Marzano, pointed to two prior cases including one ruling that dealt with a website that sold 25 cent songs from The Beatles, for the proposition that precedent supported their cause.
"Although the breadth and specificity of cases acknowledging that exclusive ownership of a sound recording includes the right to publicly perform the recording are slight, Defendant has not directed the Court to a single case cutting against the right to public performance, even implicitly or in dicta," writes the judge.
Judge Gutierrez won't go so far to grant the plaintiffs a summary judgment win on the issue of whether SiriusXM violated reproduction rights by copying recordings on servers and through on-demand offerings. He writes that the plaintiffs still need to show more evidence on this.
But overall, this is a whopping ruling with consequences almost impossible to overstate. In the short term, the ruling will likely be appealed as the plaintiffs eye a trial that will determine the awarding of damages. In the long term, it could compel SiriusXM, Pandora and many in the tech industry to strongly lobby Congress for new copyright laws that cover pre-1972 recordings. The ruling also will '-- or should '-- be read closely by other businesses including terrestrial radio operators and bars that publicly perform older music.
SiriusXM is facing another lawsuit from the RIAA in California as well as more lawsuits from Flo & Eddie in other states. Pandora is also facing a lawsuit by record labels in New York. And the ruling potentially opens the floodgates to more litigation on the issue of pre-1972 music.
Email: Eriq.Gardner@THR.comTwitter: @eriqgardner
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LGBBTQQIAAP
Chad becomes 37th African state to seek ban on homosexuality
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 15:44
An anti-gay rights demonstration in Uganda. The campaign culminated in the brutal murder of leading gay rights activist David Kato. Photo: Benedicte Desrus/AlamyChad looks set to become the 37th country in Africa to outlaw homosexuality after government ministers voted to make same-sex relations a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
The decision, yet to be ratified by the country's president, was condemned by human rights groups as another setback in the struggle for gay rights on the continent. Chad's penal code is more than half a century old and does not explicitly mention homosexuality.
But section 361 of a draft new code states the punishment for anyone who has sexual intercourse with someone of the same sex is 15 to 20 years in jail and a fine of 50,000-500,000 Central African francs (£60-£600), according to a document seen by Agence France-Presse.
The cabinet claims that the measure is intended to ''protect the family and to comply with Chadian society''. It will go before MPs and President Idriss D(C)by to be rubber-stamped. Graeme Reid, director of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights programme at Human Rights Watch, said : ''This is a setback for legal reform in Chad '' the revisions to the penal code are intended to integrate national law with international law, whereas this provision would do exactly the opposite.''. The US-based Robert F Kennedy Centre for Justice and Human Rights called on D(C)by to strike down the proposed law. ''By criminalising homosexuality, Chad's proposed penal code is an instrument of discrimination, not of justice,'' said its president, Kerry Kennedy. ''I urge president D(C)by and the Chadian parliament to reject any attempts to make prejudice the law of the land.''
The new penal code also abolishes the death penalty, more than a decade after the last execution of prisoners, a move welcomed by activists. ''This is very good news, which is unfortunately marred by the criminalisation of homosexuality,'' Florent Geel, Africa director of the International Federation of Human Rights, was quoted as saying by the Gay Star News website. ''Criminalising homosexuality seems discriminatory, demagogic and counter-productive, as it may turn groups against each other.''
Geel added that the reform of the penal code had been in preparation for 10 years but the question of homosexuality, while considered immoral, had never been an issue in Chad.
The development is part of a wave of homophobia sweeping across Africa. Some observers believe it may have been a response to the increased visibility and assertiveness of gay lifestyles and politics in Africa, though US evangelical Christians have been widely blamed for instigating draconian anti-gay legislation in Uganda and other countries. Same-sex relations are illegal in 36 of the continent's 54 countries, according to Amnesty International, and punishable by death in some.
Last month the Gambia passed a bill imposing life imprisonment for ''aggravated homosexuality'' relating to repeat offenders and people living with HIV/Aids. The Gambia's president, Yahya Jammeh, has previously told gay men and lesbians to leave the country or risk beheading.
Uganda recently attempted to impose draconian penalties for the ''promotion of homosexuality'', including life sentences for various same sex acts. The law was struck down by judges on a technicality but is expected to be reintroduced by MPs.
In January, the Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan, signed into law a bill criminalising same-sex ''amorous relationships'' and membership of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights groups. Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president, regularly attacks gay people in speeches and recently said he resented western aid because it depended on conditions such as accepting homosexuality.
SnowJob
Brandis: NO LIMIT to ASIO network taps ' The Register
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 07:57
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
Laws criticised for creating a spooks' warrant for the whole of Australia's Internet - kind of a "spook-envy" of what the NSA says it can accomplish - look like passing before the end of this week, with attorney-general George Brandis declining to limit the scope of ASIO data-tap warrants.
As part of its more general ramp-up of national security legislation, the federal government wants to create a warrant that allows ASIO to tap computer networks, under the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No.1) 2014.
Under that legislation, Brandis told the Senate, ASIO could use a single warrant to access computers on a network '' with no definition of what constitutes a network. That's led legal experts and Greens senator Scott Ludlam to ask whether such a warrant could reach out across the whole Australian Internet.
As well as Ludlam, critics of the law include UNSW law professor George Williams and lecturer Keiran Hardy, and Electronic Frontiers Australia.
Brandis has now told the Senate the law's scope will not be given a legislative definition, but will rather rely on the attorney-general's oversight. Brandis told parliament it's ''unworkable'' to constrain ASIO in legislation, and that such constraints ignored what might happen in the future.
''How can anyone '-- certainly, how can Senator Ludlam '-- stand in the Senate today and anticipate what the needs of ASIO will be in relation to warrant based computer access next year, or in 10 years time, or for however long this legislation exists?'' he told the Senate (apparently ignoring parliament's ability to change legislation).
Instead, ASIO will be subject to attorney-general's guidelines which require it to cause as little intrusion to privacy as possible, only gather data relevant to the investigation, and only act in ways that are ''proportionate'' to a given threat.
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Snowden honored with 'alternative Nobel' - New York News
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 16:19
By KARL RITTERAssociated PressSTOCKHOLM (AP) - Edward Snowden was among the winners Wednesday of a Swedish human rights award, sometimes referred to as the "alternative Nobel," for his disclosures of top secret surveillance programs.
The decision to honor the former National Security Agency contractor with the Right Livelihood Award appeared to cause a diplomatic headache for Sweden's Foreign Ministry, which withdrew the prize jury's permission to use its media room for the announcement.
Snowden split the honorary portion of the award with Alan Rusbridger, editor of British newspaper The Guardian, which has published a series of articles on government surveillance based on documents leaked by Snowden.
The 1.5 million kronor ($210,000) cash portion of the award was shared by Pakistani human rights activist Asma Jahangir, Basil Fernando of the Asian Human Rights Commission and U.S. environmentalist Bill McKibben.
Created in 1980, the annual Right Livelihood Award honors efforts that founder Jacob von Uexkull felt were being ignored by the Nobel Prizes.
Foundation director Ole von Uexkull - the award creator's nephew - said all winners have been invited to the Dec. 1 award ceremony in Stockholm, though he added it's unclear whether Snowden can attend.
"We will start discussions with the Swedish government and his lawyers in due course to discuss the potential arrangements for his participation," von Uexkull told The Associated Press.
Snowden, who has reportedly also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, remains exiled in Russia since leaking top secret NSA documents to journalists last year. He has been charged under the U.S. Espionage Act and could face up to 30 years in prison.
Though the honorary award doesn't include any money, the foundation would offer to help pay Snowden's legal costs, von Uexkull said.
The announcement had been set for Thursday but it was communicated early after a leak to Swedish broadcaster SVT.
Von Uexkull said the foundation had been denied access to the Swedish Foreign Ministry's media room, where it has announced the awards since 1995. He provided an email in which the ministry said it had closed the room to "external events" for security reasons, but said he believed the decision was linked to the fact that Snowden was among the laureates.
The Foreign Ministry referred questions to Foreign Minister Carl Bildt's spokesman, Erik Zsiga, who didn't return calls and an email seeking comment.
The award foundation cited Snowden's "courage and skill" in revealing the extent of government surveillance and praised Rusbridger "for building a global media organization dedicated to responsible journalism in the public interest."
In a statement, Rusbridger said he was "delighted" to share the award with Snowden "because I think he was a whistleblower who took considerable risks with his own personal freedom in order to tell society about things that people needed to know."
Jahangir is a human rights lawyer who has defended women, children, religious minorities and the poor in Pakistan, the award citation said.
Fernando, originally from Sri Lanka, led the Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission for nearly two decades and now serves as its director of policy and programs.
McKibben is founder of 350.org, a grass-roots environmental movement aimed at spurring action to fight climate change.
The Right Livelihood Award is typically announced just ahead of the Nobel Prize announcements, which this year will begin on Oct. 6. There is no connection between the two, except Jacob von Uexkull established his prize after failing to persuade the Nobel Foundation to expand the categories for its prestigious awards. A wealthy stamp dealer, he sold his collection to fund the prize.
The Right Livelihood Award foundation typically honors grass-roots activists and says it's "not an award for the world's political, scientific or economic elite."
___
Karl Ritter can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/karl_ritter
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
VIDEO-CLIPS-DOCS
VIDEO0-Cameron Says to Defeat ISIS We Must Also Defeat Ideology Peddled by Muslim 'Preachers of Hate' | MRCTV
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 14:11
patrick.goodenoughPatrick covered government and politics in South Africa and the Middle East before joining CNSNews.com in 1999. Since then he has launched foreign bureaus for CNSNews.com in Jerusalem, London and the Pacific Rim. From October 2006 to July 2007, Patrick served as Managing Editor at the organization's world headquarters in Alexandria, Va. Now back in the Pacific Rim, as International Editor he reports on politics, international relations, security, terrorism, ethics and religion, and oversees reporting by CNSNews.com's roster of international stringers.
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VIDEO-RAYTHION PR- USS Arleigh Burke launches Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles to combat ISIL - YouTube
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 00:45
VIDEO-Susan Rice: When Obama Repeatedly Boasted About Defeating Al-Qaeda He Didn't Mean All Of Al-Qaeda'... | Weasel Zippers
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 23:02
Rice displaying her verbal gymnastics skills.
Via America Rising:
In an interview with NBC's Matt Lauer, when asked about the ''What happened to the days when the administration was able to say it felt confident that we had dealt a crippling blow to al qaeda and Islamic militants?'' such as the President boasting that Al Qaeda was ''on the run'' and ''decimated'' during the 2012 campaign, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said the Administration was only referring to its actions against ''Al Qaeda core'' in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Al Qaeda ''has metastasized'' ''to places like the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen, parts of Africa, Somalia,'' Mali and Syria.
Video: Detroit residents speak out against war
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 07:44
By Tim Rivers and Seraphine Collins24 September 2014Despite a massive media propaganda campaign designed to railroad the public behind a new war, a broad section of workers and young people say they feel deeply opposed to the Obama administration's bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria.
Residents said the billions of dollars spent on war should be used to fund social services and infrastructure, which are crumbling in US cities like Detroit, even as poverty and hunger grow to record levels.
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VIDEO-RAYTHION PR- USS Arleigh Burke launches Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles to combat ISIL - YouTube
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 00:45
VIDEO-Susan Rice: When Obama Repeatedly Boasted About Defeating Al-Qaeda He Didn't Mean All Of Al-Qaeda'... | Weasel Zippers
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 23:02
Rice displaying her verbal gymnastics skills.
Via America Rising:
In an interview with NBC's Matt Lauer, when asked about the ''What happened to the days when the administration was able to say it felt confident that we had dealt a crippling blow to al qaeda and Islamic militants?'' such as the President boasting that Al Qaeda was ''on the run'' and ''decimated'' during the 2012 campaign, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said the Administration was only referring to its actions against ''Al Qaeda core'' in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Al Qaeda ''has metastasized'' ''to places like the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen, parts of Africa, Somalia,'' Mali and Syria.
Video: Detroit residents speak out against war
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 07:44
By Tim Rivers and Seraphine Collins24 September 2014Despite a massive media propaganda campaign designed to railroad the public behind a new war, a broad section of workers and young people say they feel deeply opposed to the Obama administration's bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria.
Residents said the billions of dollars spent on war should be used to fund social services and infrastructure, which are crumbling in US cities like Detroit, even as poverty and hunger grow to record levels.
Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
VIDEO-Illegal Aliens, Students Seeking Extra Credit Participate in Climate March | MRCTV
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 04:49
MRC TV is an online platform for people to share and view videos, articles and opinions on topics that are important to them '-- from news to political issues and rip-roaring humor.
MRC TV is brought to you by the Media Research Center, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit research and education organization. The MRC is located at: 1900 Campus Commons Drive, Reston, VA 20194. For information about the MRC, please visit www.MRC.org.
Copyright (C) 2014, Media Research Center. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO-Earnest: Providing Security at the White House is "Complicated Business" | MRCTV
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 04:38
MRC TV is an online platform for people to share and view videos, articles and opinions on topics that are important to them '-- from news to political issues and rip-roaring humor.
MRC TV is brought to you by the Media Research Center, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit research and education organization. The MRC is located at: 1900 Campus Commons Drive, Reston, VA 20194. For information about the MRC, please visit www.MRC.org.
Copyright (C) 2014, Media Research Center. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO-Kerry Says Don't Take His or Al Gore's Word on Climate Change, 'Mother Nature '... is Screaming at Us' | MRCTV
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 04:30
patrick.goodenoughPatrick covered government and politics in South Africa and the Middle East before joining CNSNews.com in 1999. Since then he has launched foreign bureaus for CNSNews.com in Jerusalem, London and the Pacific Rim. From October 2006 to July 2007, Patrick served as Managing Editor at the organization's world headquarters in Alexandria, Va. Now back in the Pacific Rim, as International Editor he reports on politics, international relations, security, terrorism, ethics and religion, and oversees reporting by CNSNews.com's roster of international stringers.
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VIDEO-Gayle King To O'Reilly: Why Do you Say Things With Such Certainty? | MRCTV
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 04:27
MRC TV is an online platform for people to share and view videos, articles and opinions on topics that are important to them '-- from news to political issues and rip-roaring humor.
MRC TV is brought to you by the Media Research Center, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit research and education organization. The MRC is located at: 1900 Campus Commons Drive, Reston, VA 20194. For information about the MRC, please visit www.MRC.org.
Copyright (C) 2014, Media Research Center. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO-Rudy Giuliani on Manuel Noreiga's Lawsuit Against Activision | MRCTV
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 04:20
MRC TV is an online platform for people to share and view videos, articles and opinions on topics that are important to them '-- from news to political issues and rip-roaring humor.
MRC TV is brought to you by the Media Research Center, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit research and education organization. The MRC is located at: 1900 Campus Commons Drive, Reston, VA 20194. For information about the MRC, please visit www.MRC.org.
Copyright (C) 2014, Media Research Center. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO-Leonardo DiCaprio Tells U.N. That Climate Change Crisis Is Now Beyond Personal Choices | MRCTV
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 04:09
MRC TV is an online platform for people to share and view videos, articles and opinions on topics that are important to them '-- from news to political issues and rip-roaring humor.
MRC TV is brought to you by the Media Research Center, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit research and education organization. The MRC is located at: 1900 Campus Commons Drive, Reston, VA 20194. For information about the MRC, please visit www.MRC.org.
Copyright (C) 2014, Media Research Center. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO- Rudy Giuliani Says Officials And MSM Are "Exaggerating" The ISIS Threat - YouTube
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 03:40
VIDEO- Can TSA Screening Stop Ebola From Spreading - YouTube
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 03:23
VIDEO-"We're Going To Defeat ISIL! That Could Take YEARS!" Admiral Kirby - YouTube
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 02:54
VIDEO- John Kerry "We Have The Legality To Do What We're Doing Today" - YouTube
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 02:17
VIDEO- Obama "We Believe Bigger Nations Should NOT Be Able To Bully Smaller Ones" - YouTube
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 01:16
VIDEO-Billionaires are hoarding piles of cash
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 00:28
Indeed, billionaires' cash holdings far exceed their investments in real estate. Their real-estate holdings average $160 million per billionaire, or about one-fifth of their cash holdings.
Simon Smiles, chief investment officer for Ultra High Net Worth at UBS Wealth Management, said that the billionaire families and family offices he talks to are focused largely on the same question: What to do with all their cash.
Read MoreTop city for millionaire growth: Dallas
"The apparent safety of cash, reinforced by the painful psychological experience of the 2008-09 globalfinancial crisis and the subsequent troubles within the European Monetary Union, likely reinforces the tendency to favor this cautious allocation strategy," Smiles said in the report.
But he said creeping inflation threatens to erode cash values, so he's advising clients to take on "considered amounts of risk" with interest rate swaps, credit default swaps, or selling rates or foreign exchange derivatives.
Read MoreChinese millionaires plan to leave in droves: Poll
Yet in today's increasingly frothy market environment, and after the hangover of 2009, today's billionaires prefer a return of their assets rather than a return on assets. And in fact, they may be happy with a small loss rather than risk a larger one.
AUDIO-#Gamergate Controversy Fuels Debate On Women And Video Games : All Tech Considered : NPR
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 23:39
Under the #Gamergate hashtag, a debate has flared surrounding ethics in video game journalism and the role and treatment of women in the video game industry. iStockphotohide caption
itoggle caption iStockphotoUnder the #Gamergate hashtag, a debate has flared surrounding ethics in video game journalism and the role and treatment of women in the video game industry.
iStockphotoFor the past several weeks, the video game industry has been embroiled in a heated, sometimes ugly, debate, under the hashtag #Gamergate.
It's a debate about a lot of things and it involves a lot of people, but at its heart, #Gamergate is about two key things: ethics in video game journalism, and the role and treatment of women in the video game industry '-- an industry that has long been dominated by men.
Many in the industry believe that those two things need to be talked about, as the video game industry moves more toward the mainstream than ever before. But it's the way that they're being talked about that has drawn international attention.
Online trolls have long attacked women in the video game industry. But during #Gamergate, it's gotten so bad that two women left their homes because they feared for their own safety, and the FBI has said that it will look into the harassment of game developers.
The first of those two women is Zoe Quinn. Quinn is an independent game developer and a community organizer who's been actively involved in the video game industry for most of her life, both as a consumer of video games and as a developer.
'' I don't think I've ever released a game without getting some sort of rape threat.
- Zoe Quinn, video game developer
"I basically make weird little games that are about feelings, so not the traditional sort of game [that] people usually think of when you say video game," she says.
Quinn's most notable game is called Depression Quest, which simulates the experience of having depression through multiple-choice text.
For a while Quinn dated a programmer named Eron Gjoni. Gjoni sparked the #Gamergate debate when he wrote online that Quinn had cheated on him, one time with a journalist for the games website Kotaku. The implication was that she had done so to get better reviews for Depression Quest. Quinn and Kotaku have denied those claims, but what followed was #Gamergate.
The claims instigated a huge backlash on Twitter and online forums like Reddit and 4chan. Some people used the allegations against Quinn as proof that there's corruption in video game journalism '-- that game developers and game journalists have grown too cozy. Others attacked Quinn based on her gender, calling her a "social justice warrior" '-- an insulting term for people who are deemed to be uninterested in games themselves, just in using those games as a platform to promote themselves or their ideals.
That's where things got ugly '-- horribly ugly.
Quinn was soon flooded with death threats and rape threats. Her personal information, even photos, were hacked and posted online, forcing her to leave her home.
"It's like the Internet is eager and waiting for a reason to be a total scumbag to you '-- at least if you're a woman and you're a loud, outspoken woman," she says.
Quinn says she's seen a lot of sexism in the video game industry, for as long as she's been involved.
"It's absolutely there. I don't think I've ever released a game without getting some sort of rape threat," she says. "And that includes stupid little stuff, like one time I made a game called Jeff Goldblum Staring Contest, which is exactly what it sounds like. And I still got people being like: Girls can't make games. Who made this for you?"
Anita Sarkeesian, host and writer of Feminist Frequency, a video weblog that discusses the representation of women in pop culture. Feminist Frequencyhide caption
itoggle caption Feminist FrequencyAnita Sarkeesian, host and writer of Feminist Frequency, a video weblog that discusses the representation of women in pop culture.
Feminist FrequencyShe's also seen that sexism and harassment lobbed at other women in the industry, like Anita Sarkeesian, who Quinn says has been basically living #Gamergate for two years.
Sarkeesian is a video game critic who looks at the way video games portray women, in an online blog called Feminist Frequency. In her video critiques, she takes clips of games and talks about the roles female characters often play. In one, she talks about how women are often relegated to the role of damsel in distress '-- a prize to be won or a goal to be achieved '-- using Princess Peach from the Super Mario series as an example.
In other blogs, Sarkeesian talks about some of the darker, secondary roles women play.
"How sexualized female bodies often occupy a dual role as both sexual playthings and the perpetual victims of male violence," she says, in a video that cuts to a scene from the Assassin's Creed game series where a man asks about a prostitute.
Sarkeesian has been getting angry backlash for her critiques since she's been doing them, but during #Gamergate, that backlash got so bad that she tweeted she had left her home too, after calling the authorities.
"It can turn your stomach pretty quick," says Adam Saltsman, a small games developer based in Austin, Texas. Saltsman, his wife and many in the industry watched as the backlash spread from Sarkeesian and Quinn to other men and women in the industry who spoke up in their defense.
Andreas Zecher, an independent games designer in Germany, wrote in an email: "For a short moment that strategy of the harassers seemed to work. There was a brief, but unbearable silence. People were afraid to become the next target, if they would speak up and show solidarity."
To address that, Zecher wrote an open letter to the gaming community that read, in part:
"We believe that everyone, no matter what gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion or disability has the right to play games, criticize games and make games without getting harassed or threatened. It is the diversity of our community that allows games to flourish."
The letter quickly gained about 2,500 signatures that included names from people at major studios like Rockstar North, Naughty Dog, Bungie and Ubisoft.
Many in the industry, including Saltsman, point to those signatures as proof that the people sending vicious attacks at Quinn and Sarkeesian weren't representative of the video game industry overall.
"The people doing the most harm are absolutely a vocal minority," Saltsman says.
United Kingdom-based games journalist Leigh Alexander agreed with that sentiment but was more leery of disregarding the attackers as just a vocal minority.
"The sexism stuff and the harassment and the gatekeeping is definitely a thing," she says. "I've had way too many experiences with people working in this field to not believe that it is a thing."
Alexander believes that the reason those things became so vitriolic in the past several weeks is the changing nature of the video game industry itself.
"What I think is going on is that there's a cultural spasm happening that nobody expected that accompanies this mainstreaming of video games and the diversification of video games," she says.
Alexander is referring to games like Candy Crush and Words With Friends '-- games that are now on smartphones and tablets, accessible to a far wider range of people than ever before.
Alexander thinks that the conventional audience '-- which she calls a "boys club" '-- is shaken up by that change.
"In part because they're used to being explicitly catered to as a precious special market demographic and they feel like they might get left behind," she says.
VIDEOBBC News - Islamic State crisis: UN aims to stop jihadist recruits
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 22:35
24 September 2014Last updated at 17:41 ET Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.
Barack Obama: IS "must be degraded and then ultimately destroyed"
The UN Security Council has adopted a binding resolution compelling states to prevent their nationals joining jihadists in Iraq and Syria.
US President Barack Obama chaired the session and said nations must prevent the recruitment and financing of foreign fighters.
US and Arab jets bombed Islamic State (IS) targets in Syria for a second day, including oil facilities, the US says.
Mr Obama urged global efforts to dismantle the IS "network of death".
The US-drafted resolution was adopted unanimously.
The US launched air raids against IS militants in Iraq last month and on Monday night expanded the strikes into Syria, with the participation of Gulf Arab allies.
IS now controls several oilfields in Syria and Iraq, and sales of smuggled crude oil have helped finance its offensive in both countries.
Call to actionUK Prime Minister David Cameron said nations must deal with all forms of extremism, including banning "preachers of hate" and fighting "poisonous ideology".
He told the UN council session that the Iraq and Syria conflicts were attracting young recruits from prosperous countries.
Mr Obama said "the words spoken here today must be matched and translated into action... within nations and between them, not just in the days ahead but for years to come".
In his earlier speech to the UN General Assembly he condemned IS, saying "there can be no reasoning - no negotiation - with this brand of evil".
More than 40 countries had offered to join the anti-IS coalition, he said.
IS aims to set up a hardline caliphate. The well-armed Sunni Muslim militants have seized a huge swathe of Syria and Iraq, forcing whole communities to flee in terror. They have beheaded Western hostages and have persecuted Christians, Yazidis and Shia Muslims, whom they treat as heretics.
Multiple air strikesIn the past 24 hours US warplanes hit IS vehicles and arms dumps near Abu Kamal on the Syria-Iraq border and Deir al-Zour in the east of Syria. In Iraq there were strikes west of Baghdad and southeast of Irbil, near Kurdish territory, the US military said.
Earlier there were air strikes on IS near the border with Turkey.
Meanwhile an Algerian jihadist group linked to IS - Jund al-Khilafa - has released a video which it says shows militants beheading a French tourist. Herve Gourdel was kidnapped on Sunday in Algeria's troubled Kabylie area.
Analysis - Nick Bryant, BBC News, New YorkWhen President Obama addressed the UN General Assembly 12 months ago, he spoke of Iraq mainly in the context of America's withdrawal - a country in his rear-view mirror.
Yet the fight in Iraq and Syria against Islamic State, a militant group he once likened, derisively, to a junior basketball team, could dominate his remaining years in office.
America would not base its entire foreign policy on reacting to terrorism, he stressed, but it is certain to take up much of the remaining bandwidth.
The phrase that will linger is "the network of death," but Obama was at pains to point out this is no clash of civilisations. Nor is America acting alone. Over 50 nations will contribute to the fight against Islamic State.
That fight, he said, needed to be ideological as well as military. He called for a new compact among civilised peoples to "eradicate war at its most fundamental source - the corruption of young minds by violent ideology."
"The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force," Mr Obama told the UN General Assembly.
The US "will work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death," he said.
"In this effort, we do not act alone. Nor do we intend to send US troops to occupy foreign lands. Instead, we will support Iraqis and Syrians fighting to reclaim their communities. We will use our military might in a campaign of air strikes to roll back Isil [IS].
"We will train and equip forces fighting against these terrorists on the ground. We will work to cut off their financing, and to stop the flow of fighters into and out of the region... Today, I ask the world to join in this effort," he said.
He urged Muslims to reject the ideology of IS and al-Qaeda.
The IS advance has created a refugee crisis in Turkey. Aid agencies said some 130,000 Kurdish refugees, most of them from Kobane, crossed into Turkey at the weekend.
The US has launched nearly 200 air strikes against IS in Iraq since August.
The US said Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain and Qatar had all "participated in or supported" the strikes on IS in Syria this week.
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''I'm grateful... to America and her partners,'' one refugee told the BBC
The strikes on Tuesday also targeted Khorasan, a shadowy group of al-Qaeda fighters in Syria's Aleppo province. The US military says it is investigating whether the attack killed Khorasan's leader Mohsin al-Fadhli.
The Dutch government says it will deploy six F-16 fighter jets to join the US-led air campaign. The Netherlands will also send about 130 military trainers to Iraq.
Meanwhile, the UK Parliament will be recalled on Friday to discuss Britain's possible role in air strikes on IS targets.
Who are Islamic State (IS)?
Formed out of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in 2013, IS first captured Raqqa in eastern Syria It captured broad swathes of Iraq in June, including Mosul, and declared a "caliphate" in areas it controls in Syria and Iraq Pursuing an extreme form of Sunni Islam, IS has persecuted non-Muslims such as Yazidis and Christians, as well as Shia Muslims, whom it regards as heretics Known for its brutal tactics, including beheadings of soldiers, Western journalists and aid workers The CIA says the group could have as many as 31,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria The US has been launching air strikes on IS targets in north-eastern Iraq since mid-August Have you been affected by the issues raised in this story? You can email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk
Send your pictures and videos to yourpics@bbc.co.uk or text them to 61124 (UK) or +44 7624 800 100 (International). If you have a large file you canupload here.
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VIDEO-BBC News - Queen purred over Scotland result, says David Cameron
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 21:58
23 September 2014Last updated at 14:41 ET Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.
David Cameron can be heard saying: "She purred down the line"
The Queen "purred" when David Cameron told her about Scotland's rejection of independence, he has apparently revealed.
The prime minister, overheard by waiting camera crews while in conversation with ex-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said he had "never heard someone so happy" at the result.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment on Mr Cameron's remarks.
In the referendum, voters in Scotland rejected independence by 55% to 45%.
Mr Cameron, whose Conservative Party campaigned for such an outcome, discussed the matter with Mr Bloomberg as he walked around the Bloomberg building in New York.
Recalling that he had called the Queen to say "it's all right", he said: "She purred down the line. I've never heard someone so happy."
'Ulcers'He was also critical of opinion polls in the run-up to the vote, which had suggested the result could go either way.
Mr Cameron said: "It should never have been that close. It wasn't in the end, but there was a time in the middle of the campaign when it felt... I've said I want to find these polling companies and I want to sue them for my stomach ulcers because of what they put me through, you know. It was very nervous."
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, who led the campaign for independence, told BBC Scotland: "David Cameron has been prime minister for four years and he hasn't learned basic civility on not gossiping about what Her Majesty The Queen thinks, or doesn't think, to Michael Bloomberg, or anyone else for that matter.
"That's absolutely pathetic and he should hang his head in shame."
Buckingham Palace and Downing Street both said they would not make any comment in relation to Mr Cameron's remarks.
Following the referendum result, the Queen said she believed Scotland would unite in a "spirit of mutual respect and support", despite "strong feelings and contrasting emotions".
After previous reports claimed the Queen was growing increasingly concerned about Scotland breaking away, Buckingham Palace issued a statement maintaining that she was above politics.
VIDEO-BBC News - Ebola-hit nations may 'face collapse'
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 20:12
24 September 2014Last updated at 13:46 ET The Ebola outbreak threatens to become a political crisis that could unravel years of effort to stabilise West Africa, a think tank has warned.
"The worst-hit countries now face widespread chaos and, potentially, collapse," the International Crisis Group (ICG) said.
The world's largest outbreak of Ebola has caused 2,811 deaths so far, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Meanwhile, a team of health workers in Guinea has been attacked.
The International Federation of the Red Cross said they were collecting bodies believed to be infected with Ebola in western Guinea.
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Abba Abashi, Liberian-Nigerian student: "My mum caught me crying"
One Red Cross worker is recovering after being wounded in the neck, it said.
Last week, an eight-member team trying to raise awareness about Ebola was killed in the south-east of the country by villagers suspicious of official attempts to combat the disease.
Twenty-seven suspects have been arrested over their murders, Guinea's Justice Minister Cheick Sacko said, AFP news agency reports.
On Tuesday, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) warned that Ebola infections could treble to 20,000 by November if efforts to tackle the outbreak were not stepped up.
However, Francis Dove Edwin, a member of Sierra Leone's presidential task force dealing with Ebola, said much progress had been made in curbing the outbreak.
Patients were now being isolated and quarantined and from "quarantine you have eradication", Mr Dove told BBC Focus on Africa.
Skills shortage: Liberia with a 4.2m population: 51 doctors; 978 nurses and midwives; 269 pharmacists Sierra Leone with a 6m population: 136 doctors; 1,017 nurses and midwives; 114 pharmacists Source: Afri-Dev.Info
Ebola drains weak health systems
Both Liberia and Sierra Leone are recovering from brutal civil wars and Guinea has faced coups and ethnic unrest.
"Adding social breakdown to the epidemic would create disaster perhaps impossible to manage," the ICG statement said.
The international community needs to provide more personnel and resources "not only to the immediate medical response but also to the longer-term problems of strengthening governance and rebuilding health-care systems", it said.
The Ebola crisis has exposed citizens' lack of trust in their government in "already fragile societies", the group said.
In three worst-hit countries, "past civil conflicts fuelled by local and regional antagonisms could resurface", it said.
BBC Ebola broadcast:The BBC World Service is launching a special programme containing the latest news about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
The first edition will be at 19.50 GMT on Monday 22 September and the programme will continue each weekday.
Ebola virus: busting the myths
Mr Edwin dismissed the ICG's assessment, saying Ebola would not cause political instability in Sierra Leone.
A meeting is expected to take place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York to consider the next steps to deal with the outbreak.
With warnings of soaring food prices and possible shortages, reopening borders with appropriate surveillance measures must be a top priority for West African governments, the group advised.
"Despite rhetoric to the contrary, West African governments have tried to manage these crises unilaterally, ignoring - as demonstrated once again by the rapid spread of Ebola - that their citizenries are deeply linked and interdependent," the ICG statement said.
While countries like the US, UK, France and China and Cuba were ramping up their responses by setting up Ebola health facilities and sending personnel, special attention also needed to be paid to Guinea-Bissau and The Gambia, countries near the epicentre which both have inadequate health systems, it said.
New figures suggest that 70% of those infected with Ebola in West Africa have died, higher than previously reported.
1,578 Liberia
632 Guinea
593 Sierra Leone
8 Nigeria
Getty
VIDEO-'F*** the Police': Communists, Radicals Spotted Throughout Climate March in New York City Demanding 'Revolution, Nothing Less' | Video | TheBlaze.com
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 18:30
Tens-of-thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of New York City Sunday to demand political leaders take action on climate change.
While the protest remained peaceful, much of the ''People's Climate March'' appeared to be made up of fringe elements of the political left.
Image source: Oliver Darcy/TheBlaze
Dozens of signs denouncing capitalism were spotted at the demonstration, often held by self-proclaimed socialists.
''Capitalism is destroying the planet,'' a sticker on one woman's shirt read, ''We need revolution, nothing less.''
Image source: Oliver Darcy/TheBlaze
In one instance, activists shouted ''f**k the police,'' demanding justice for the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Others took advantage of the demonstration's liberal-leaning crowd, attempting to sell literature and t-shirts to them.
Image source: Oliver Darcy/TheBlaze
An individual with the socialist newspaper ''The Militant'' was selling newspapers to attendees, while Occupy Wall Street members asked for ''donations'' in exchange for shirts.
Image source: Oliver Darcy/TheBlaze
Image source: Oliver Darcy/TheBlaze
Members of the Socialists Workers Party also manned a table, passing out flyers attempting to make ''the case for ecosocialism.''
The Manhattan march comes two days before the United Nations Climate Summit. More than 120 world leaders will convene Tuesday for the meeting aimed at galvanizing political will for a new global climate treaty by the end of 2015.
The march also coincides with New York's annual climate week, which will include a string of events this week, some featuring celebrities, CEOs and climatologists.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
'--
Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter
VIDEO-Seattle Passes Laws to Keep Residents From Wasting Food
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 18:26
The new rules would allow garbage collectors to inspect trash cans and ticket offending parties if food and compostable material makes up 10 percent or more of the trash.
The fines will begin at $1 for residents and $50 for businesses and apartment buildings, according to the Seattle Times.
Seattle Public Utilities requested the new rules after falling short of its recycling goals of 60 percent of trash by 2015, according to the Times. The recycling rate in 2013 was 56 percent.
The Seattle city council vote on the new rules was 9-0.
VIDEO-New U.S., coalition air strikes hit Iraq, Syria
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 15:30
Doug Stanglin and Ray Locker, USA TODAY11 a.m. EDT September 24, 2014
U.S. intelligence officials say the airstrikes in Syria are just beginning and that it could take years before Islamic State fighters are defeated. VPC
Video TranscriptAutomatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
00:02 US led air strikes and Syria continue in what is00:05 likely to be eight years long campaign to rid the war00:08 torn country. Of al-Qaeda linked terrorists and Islamic state fighters. The00:13 Department of Defense released videos of strikes Tuesday on I --00:16 compounds and storage facilities. According to military leaders bombing runs like00:21 this will continue into the foreseeable future. President Obama cautioned the00:25 leaders of the five Arab nations that joined in the attack.00:28 That the mission won't be quick or easy. He sat down00:32 with them while in New York the United Nations General Assembly.00:35 But diplomacy experts say the partnership is something that's been unseen00:39 since the gulf war and is a coup for the Obama00:42 administration. The strength this coalition makes it clear. To the world00:46 that this is not. America's fight alone. Above all the people00:51 and governments of the Middle East. Are rejecting -- but air00:54 strikes are just the beginning of the US strategy to fight00:57 Islamic state. Speaking at a forum on global counterterrorism. Secretary of01:01 state John -- Talked about stopping the group's recording of help01:05 from extremists in the US and other western nations we. Obviously01:09 you have to also do specific tactical things like cutting off.01:14 The visas for those who've traveled wanna come back like cutting01:18 off funding. Congress has also approved a plan to train advise01:23 any quit Syrian rebels to battled militants the overall effort will01:26 take time. There will be challenges ahead. We're under what's necessary01:31 to take the fight this terrorist group for the security country01:35 and the region and for the entire world.
People stand on the debris of a damaged home reportedly hit during U.S.-led coalition airstrikes on Sept. 23 in Kfar Derian village in the western Aleppo province, Syria.(Photo: Sami Ali, AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. and coalition aircraft hit five targets in Iraq and Syria early Wednesday as part of the continued round of airstrikes on targets connected to the militant Islamic State terrorist organization, the U.S. Central Command reported.
Meanwhile, White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice told NBC News Wednesday the White House had seen social media reports that the allied airstrikes had killed the leader of Khorasan Group terrorist organization, Muhsin al-Fadhli, although U.S. officials had not confirmed those reports.
"We can't confirm that at this stage," Rice said. "But we've seen reports on social media to that effect. We will continue to look for signs as to whether or not that's, in fact, the case."
USATODAY
Iraqi President: Stopping ISIL a global duty
The Pentagon could not confirm if al-Fadhli had been killed, said a military official on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
One strike damaged eight vehicles linked to Islamic State militants northwest of Al Qa'im Syria, and four were carried out in Iraq, Central Command reported.
"U.S. military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Iraq and Syria, using a mix of attack, bomber and fighter aircraft to conduct five airstrikes Tuesday and today," the statement says.
"Two air strikes west of Baghdad destroyed two ISIL armed vehicles and a weapons cache. Two airstrikes southeast of Irbil destroyed ISIL fighting positions. A fifth airstrike damaged eight ISIL vehicles in Syria northwest of Al Qa'im. All aircraft exited the strike areas safely."
ISIL is an alternative reference the extremist group known as Islamic State or Islamic State in Syria (ISIS).
The BBC quotes Syrian activists as reporting strikes around the the Kurdish town of Kobane, close to the border with Turkey. The town has been besieged by IS fighters for several days.
Witnesses tell the BBC that they saw two military aircraft approaching from Turkey, but Turkish officials denied its airspace or bases had been used in the attack.
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VIDEO: Lorry driver tells of Calais risks
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 07:36
The head of a large UK haulage firm has said the number of illegal immigrants trying to enter the UK is the worst he's ever seen.
The situation has apparently made him fear for the safety of his drivers.
Last week 24 migrants were found in the back of a lorry which had just crossed the Channel.
Tensions have been rising in the port of Calais where many migrants try to jump onto lorries in order to enter the UK illegally.
Tim Muffett reports.
VIDEO-Islamic State battle could take years, Pentagon says - BBC News
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 07:19
The fight against jihadist group Islamic State (IS) will take years, a US military spokesman has told the BBC.
Rear Admiral John Kirby also said that US-led air strikes against IS in Syria had disrupted the group's capabilities.
The remark came as US President Barack Obama thanked Arab states for help and Secretary of State John Kerry said more than 50 nations had agreed to fight IS.
IS has seized large areas of Syria and Iraq, and the US has launched nearly 200 air strikes in Iraq since August.
However, Monday's strikes expanded the anti-IS campaign across the border into Syria for the first time.
Activists say at least 70 IS militants, 50 other al-Qaeda-linked fighters and eight civilians were killed in the strikes, which hit multiple targets in the north and east of Syria.
'Exodus from Raqqa'Speaking in Washington, Rear Adm John Kirby said the air strikes in Syria had successfully degraded IS capabilities.
"We think we have hit what we were aiming at," he said.
However, IS was good at adapting and reacting to changes, he said, adding that the group presented a "serious threat" that would not be eliminated "within days or months."
"It's going to take a serious effort by all involved. We do believe that we're talking about years here."
The strikes targeted IS headquarters in its stronghold of Raqqa, north-eastern Syria, as well as training compounds, vehicles and storage facilities in several other areas.
Residents in Raqqa have told journalists that the air strikes have had a big impact on IS fighters.
One activist in Raqqa, Abu Yusef, told AFP news agency that the militants were "focused on trying to save themselves now".
Abo Mohammed, a local resident, told Reuters that the city's main administrative building had been hit by four rockets, and hundreds of fighters who had been controlling traffic and security in the street had now gone.
Residents were also "fleeing towards the countryside" to avoid the strikes, he said. "There is an exodus out of Raqqa as we speak."
Dozens of militants are said to have been killed in the strikes More than 130,000 people have left Syria to flee the advance of IS fighters Meanwhile, Mr Kerry told reporters that more than 50 countries had agreed to join efforts to fight IS.
"We will not allow these terrorists to find a safe haven anywhere," he said.
'Distorting Islam'On Tuesday, Mr Obama hailed the support of Arab nations in the air strikes, saying: "This is not America's fight alone."
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain and Qatar had taken part in or supported the strikes in Syria, Mr Obama said.
Speaking in New York, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said: "Today we are facing a very dangerous situation as terrorism has turned from cells into armies."
He said the threat had engulfed Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen and had "distorted the image of Islam and Muslims."
Meanwhile, the BBC understands that the UK Parliament will be recalled on Friday to discuss Britain's possible role in air strikes on IS targets.
Speaking on Monday, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said an international coalition was needed to "destroy" IS, adding that it was a fight "you cannot opt out of".
The Pentagon said warplanes, drones and Tomahawk cruise missiles were used in Monday's air strikes.
They were organised in three separate waves with US fighter jets carrying out the first set, and Arab nations participating in the second and third, US military officials said.
US state department spokeswoman Jan Psaki said the US had warned Syria in advance "not to engage US aircraft".
But she added that Washington had not requested permission or given advance notice of the timing of the attacks.
'Imminent attacks'President Obama said al-Qaeda-linked militants, known as the Khorasan Group, were also targeted by air strikes in Syria.
US officials say the group had been plotting "imminent attacks" against the West, and had established a safe haven west of Aleppo.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, quoted by state media, said he supported any international efforts to combat "terrorism" in Syria.
However, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a Syrian government ally, said military action in Syria lacked "legal standing" without a UN mandate or approval from the Syrian government.
Who are Islamic State (IS)?
Formed out of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in 2013, IS first captured Raqqa in eastern SyriaIt captured broad swathes of Iraq in June, including Mosul, and declared a "caliphate" in areas it controls in Syria and IraqPursuing an extreme form of Sunni Islam, IS has persecuted non-Muslims such as Yazidis and Christians, as well as Shia Muslims, whom it regards as hereticsKnown for its brutal tactics, including beheadings of soldiers, Western journalists and aid workersThe CIA says the group could have as many as 31,000 fighters in Iraq and SyriaThe US has been launching air strikes on IS targets in north-eastern Iraq since mid-August Have you been affected by the issues raised in this story? You can email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk
VIDEO-Khorasan Terrorist Group Was Nearing Attack on US or Europe, Say US Officials - The Epoch Times
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 05:41
WASHINGTON'--President Barack Obama's decision to order airstrikes against an al-Qaeda cell in Syria known as the Khorasan Group was based on intelligence suggesting that the group was close to carrying out a terror plot against the U.S. or Europe, administration officials said Tuesday.
On the same night that U.S. and Arab allies carried out more than 200 airstrikes against the Islamic State group, the U.S. alone launched strikes against eight Khorasan Group targets near Aleppo in northwestern Syria, Pentagon officials say.
Briefing reporters at the Pentagon, Lt. Gen. William Mayville, who directs operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Khorasan Group was nearing ''the execution phase of an attack either in Europe or the homeland.''
Last week, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said the Khorasan Group posed a ''potential threat.'' But senior Obama administration officials, briefing reporters Tuesday under ground rules that they not be identified, said the intelligence was both more precise and more dire than Clapper suggested.
''We were monitoring active plotting that posed an imminent threat to the United States and potentially our allies,'' one official said. ''That was the united view of our intelligence community.''
The Khorasan Group, which consists of al-Qaeda veterans who fought in Afghanistan and Pakistan, is focused on attacking the West, not the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Mayville said.
''We know that the Khorasan Group has attempted to recruit Westerners to serve as operatives or to infiltrate back into their homelands,'' he said. ''The Khorasan Group is clearly not focused on either the Assad regime or the Syrian people. They are establishing roots in Syria in order to advance attacks against the West and the homeland.''
Mayville added that it was too early to describe the effects of the strikes against Khorasan Group targets, or say who may have been killed.
A senior administration official said the plan to strike the Khorasan Group ''is something that has been on our radar for several months and it is an action that we were contemplating separate and apart from'' the airstrikes against Islamic State group positions in Syria.
While the Islamic State group has broken from al-Qaeda, the Khorasan Group consists of veteran operatives known to U.S. intelligence officials.
The Associated Press first reported September 13 that U.S. intelligence officials had identified the Khorasan Group as a top threat, in part because the group had been working with bomb makers from al-Qaeda's Yemen affiliate to test new explosive devices that could go undetected by Western airport security measures.
A senior Obama administration official confirmed that the group had been testing bombs at its Syrian camps. The official said the Transportation Security Administration's decision to ban uncharged laptops and cellphones from certain flights, and other enhanced security measures, was prompted by the Khorasan threat.
A U.S. official briefed on intelligence confirmed reports that the group is led by Muhsin al-Fadhli, a Kuwaiti who spent time in Iran and has long been identified as a significant al-Qaeda player. U.S. officials said they did not know whether he was killed in the American airstrikes.
VIDEO-POWERS-Is ISIS Good For The Jews? | Real Jew News
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 05:21
Brother NathanaelSeptember 23, 2014 @ 9:16 pmText ''Text'' Text
Is ISIS Good For The Jews?By Brother Nathanael KapnerCopyright 2014
Is ISIS good for the Jews?
Let's see. For now they're using them to break the Arc of Resistance against Zionism running from Iran, through Iraq, to Damascus, to Beirut.
Israel's former ambassador to the US admitted last year that Israel prefers al-Qaeda to lawful rule.
[Clip: ''The Israeli ambassador to the US says that Tel Aviv prefers al-Qaeda affiliated guys to groups backed by Iran. Israel's initial message was that it had always wanted Syrian's President Bashar al Assad to go even though the bad guys had links to al-Qaeda.'']
The Jerusalem Post just chimed in that ISIS ''poses no threat to Israel.''
But Assad, who maintains stability in the region, he's the threat.
When ISIS'--the latest version of al-Qaeda'--rolled into Iraq last month, the Pentagon said it was 'taken by surprise.'
Bull.
The CIA has been in Syria for three years, arming 'freedom fighters' comprised of al-Qaeda factions.
It knows very well that the caravan of Toyotas ISIS drove across Syria into Iraq matched the same trucks the US State Department gave to the 'Free Syrian Army.'
ISIS and the FSA are united'...cutting deals and celebrating together.
Former President of the FSA Military Council joined the celebration with his ''brothers.''
[Clip: ''Journalist: How is your relationship with the ''Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant'' (ISIL)?
Okaidi: It is good. My relationship with the brothers in ISIL is good.
J: Do you communicate with them?
O: Yes of course. I communicate almost daily with brothers in ISIL to settle these disputes and issues.''
''Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, who enabled us to conquer the Menagh airbase.''
''I swear to Allah, O Alawites, we came to slaughter you.''
''The Islamic State (ISIL) is here to stay, our Sheikh Abu Bakr. The Islamic State is here to stay.''
''With this great victory, after we achieved victory in Khan al-Assal and now in Menagh military airbase, which got liberated at the hands of these heroes.''
''Allahu Akbar (Allah is greater) and praise be to Allah. Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Takbir! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!'']
The 'Free Syrian Army' was from the beginning a ''brand management'' created by America, Israel and Gulf governments.
Their leaders were marketed as the face of the Syrian opposition while serving as conduits of CIA, Saudi, and Turkish support for the more effective al-Nusra and brutal ISIS.
It's these 'moderates''--allied in 'brotherly love' with ISIS'--who will funnel off the latest 500 million from Congress to ''slaughter the Alawites,'' namely Assad, protector of Christians.
Samantha Power, married to Neocon Jew Cass Sunstein, doesn't care about Christians.
Toppling Assad is the Jewish aim.
[Clip: ''Well, let's talk about this moderate opposition in Syria. I'm a little confused at who we're training them to fight. Are we training them to fight ISIS, or are we training them to fight Assad? Who are we training them to fight?
''Well, as you know, our national security imperative is to go after ISIL'...''
''But is that what the Free Syrian Army wants to do? I thought the Free Syrian Army was trying to fight Assad. That they've been fighting side by side in some cases with ISIS. That's why'...Do they know that's why we're training them?''
''Uh, They do! But, but may I add the training will also service these troops in the same struggle they've been in since the beginning of this conflict against the Assad regime. Let me note, the Free Syrian Army and other mod'...other moderate forces have been fighting ISIL since December. They have pushed ISIL out of strategic areas'...'']
Liar. We just heard the former Free Syrian Army president describe relations with ISIS as ''brotherly.''
The fraud begins anew. Arm the 'moderates' and our weapons are siphoned off and sold to ISIS'...or whatever leading terrorist group emerges.
The Jewish neocon plan is to create a sphere of terror across eastern Syria thru northern Iraq breaking up the Arc of Resistance and providing a buffer zone within which ISIS can take out Assad.
One wonders who America takes orders from: 98% of its people or Neocon Jews?
Why are we letting Fred and Kimberly Kagan, William Kristol and Eric Edelman, and their ilk, hijack US interests?
It won't end well.
Russia's UN ambassador makes this clear.
[Clip: ''When the United States decided to make toppling President Assad as the priority of the policy of the United States, we told them that it was the terrorists we needed to worry about.
''There are other terrorist organizations than ISIL in Syria, like this Jabhat al-Nusra and some others. So they may take over the territory which would be vacated by ISIL after American strikes. We fear that it may degenerate into a chaotic situation.'']
WITHOUT Assad, Iran, and Hezbollah keeping ISIS at bay'-- terrorism will flourish and chaos will rule.
Is ISIS good for the Jews? They think they are.
But this insanity will take America down the sinkhole of yet another Middle East quagmire.
Brother NathanaelSeptember 23, 2014 @ 9:17 pmWatch This NEW Video Worldwide & In All EU Countries CENSOR FREE:
''Is ISIS Good For The Jews?'' @
http://brothernathanaelchannel.com/watch_video.php?v=1067
This is my STATE-OF-THE-ART Video Platform AND I OWN It! It Bypasses ALL Jew-Censorship.
ALL Jew-Ruled EU Countries Can NOW View ALL My Vids Without JEW-CENSORSHIP! @
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Brother NathanaelSeptember 23, 2014 @ 9:18 pmStreet Evangelism Schedule'...Streets Across America!
Boston - Postponed
Chicago - October 2-4
Los Angeles - Postponed
NYC - Pending
* Please Consider Sponsoring Me To Come To YOUR City! *
Please Help Me Financially To Continue my Street Evangelism, Videos, and Articles.
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John KnightSeptember 23, 2014 @ 9:26 pmGovernments Create Terrorist Groups to Mask Massive Fraud!
http://socioecohistory.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/govts-create-terrorist-groups-to-mask-massive-fraud/
John KnightSeptember 23, 2014 @ 9:26 pmIsrael Joins The Fighting, Shoots Down Syrian Warplane Which Acted In ''Threatening Manner''!
Whether as a result of recent icy to quite icy diplomatic relations between the two nations, or just because it has other motives, Israel had clearly abstained from joining the US effort to contain the CIA-created ISIS terrorist juggernaut.
However, overnight, with the US finally doing what Israel has hoped it would do for so long, namely being engaged in a bombing campaign of Syria (recall that it was Israel which was one of the biggest supporters of a US-led military intervention in Syria in the summer of 2013), it decided ''hell, why not'' and joined the fray, when shortly before 3 am Eastern time, this hit:
* ISRAELI SAYS IT DOWNED SYRIAN AIRCRAFT IN ISRAELI AIRSPACE* ISRAELI ARMY SAYS DOWNED SYRIAN AIRCRAFT WAS FIGHTER JET
http://socioecohistory.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/israel-joins-the-fighting-shoots-down-syrian-warplane-which-acted-in-threatening-manner/
Brother NathanaelSeptember 23, 2014 @ 9:31 pmDear Real Jew News Family,
The Jewrusalem Post just announced that ISIS ''poses no threat to Israel.''
How about that!
Terrorists are NOT a problem for the wicked Jews BUT Dr Bashir al-Assad and Rhouhani (both civilized men of integrity) are!
And America follows the wicked Jews operating out of Tel Aviv and Washington like some stupid Goyisha MULE.
Wake up Jewmerica! Your land has been occupied and trashed by the same people who CRUCIFIED Christ.
And NOW the Jews are CRUCIFYING your foreign policy, your domestic policy, and your standing around the world.
Jewmerica is NOW the MOST HATED country in the world. Why?
Because, (albeit no one will say it and most don't even know it,) JEWS run America.
Sad day for our founding fathers who would have NEVER allowed wicked, lying, deceptive JEWS to run the country they fought for.
Please know also that I have been working on this Video since last Thursday and developed a HUGE ''head cramp'' because of the wretched issue of JEWRY using ISIS for their agenda of a Greater Israel.
DO any have any idea what goes into producing a Video like this?
HOURS of research. Painstaking searches looking for just the right clips. Distilling TONS of information.
Then comes the Video text which often requires 10 re-writes. Then preparing the illustrations, exact Clip excerpts, collating the captions of the Clips, etc. etc.
Then practicing delivery of the text over and over. THEN filming which requires particulars in setting up. THEN hours of Editing. Whew!
TONS OF WORK. (And VERY LITTLE pay.) VERY FEW donate to me and it's GETTING worse'....
I am NOW officially broke.
It's the end of the month and I CANNOT PAY MY BILLS for The Brother Nathanael Foundation.
Numbers of donations have DWINDLED down to almost nothing.
Is there someone who can PLEASE bail me out?
I need at least $10,000 JUST to maintain a $100 balance by September 30.
I have LOST many regular supporters and I am in DEEP financial trouble.
I do not want to go BACK into debt to keep this site running. (My LAST resort is borrowing from Credit Cards AGAIN'...BUT I am loathe to do that.)
Here are some of the items I have to pay for just to STAY ONLINE: (I have to eat too and keep a roof over my head as well.)
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Research Materials; Special Projects; Sophisticated Software for Video editing (monthly leasing fees); & Assistant for Producing My State-of-the-Art Videos; Legal Fees; Accounting Fees.
Whew! (AND, oh yes, I DO have to eat and keep a roof over my head'...)
PLEASE HELP!
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Brother Nathanael; PO Box 1242; Frisco CO 80443.
PS - ALL cash donations by mail come in safely. Many thanks to those who send cash.
Much Love In Christ!
+Brother Nathanael Kapner @
http://brothernathanaelfoundation.org/about
John KnightSeptember 23, 2014 @ 9:32 pmExcellent video, BROTHER NAT.
Saudi Arabia and Israel have a shared agenda to shape the Middle East to their liking, even if it means using violence and terrorism to bring the region to the brink of war.
Make no mistake about the enmity between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.
A Sunni Arab father once said, ''If I were forced to marry my daughter to a Shiite Muslim or a Jew, I'd chose the Jew!''
http://americanfreepress.net/?p=13790
John KnightSeptember 23, 2014 @ 9:33 pmCHECK THIS IMAGE OUT:
ISIS - https://img.4plebs.org/boards/pol/image/1411/50/1411509004792.png
VIDEO-President Obama Speaks at the 2014 Climate Summit - YouTube
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 05:06
VIDEO-Defense Department Video US Navy Airstrikes ISIS | Video | C-SPAN.org
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 02:50
September 23, 2014This Defense Department video showed Tomahawk land-attack missiles being launched from Navy ships ISIS targets in and around Raqqa, Dayr az Zawr, Al Hasakah, and Abu Kamel in Syria.'‚The U.S. began the strikes the previous evening.
Javascript must be enabled in order to access C-SPAN videos.
VIDEO-Bill Clinton: Firms will care more about people, less about profits
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 23:02
Corporations, someday, will care less about maximizing profits and more about employees and society, former President Bill Clinton told listeners on Tuesday.
Speaking at the annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting, Clinton predicted that American corporations will see a repudiation of the bottom line-focused business philosophy that now dominates. This change will happen, he said, without significant government involvement.
"I think the government can have incentives that will encourage it, but I think by and large it will happen, if it does, because of proof that markets work better that way," Clinton said, adding that companies will see overall greater success by taking care of their employees and doing good for more than only their shareholders.
Read MoreJack Ma: We don't need 'secret government support'
This corporate change, Clinton said, will be one of the most important keys to building a better future.
"We're going to share inequality, misery and conflict, or we're going to share prosperity, responsibilities and a sense of community," Clinton said.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Former President Bill Clinton speaks with Becky Quick at the CGI 2014 annual meeting in New York.
Those predictions were echoed by a panel of business leaders who followed the former president.
Tony James, Blackstone Group's president and COO, highlighted Costco as a company that already embodies Clinton's vision, saying the retailer "never tried to squeeze profits out of its employees," but has still seen tremendous success along the way.
Read MoreOne US ally hates US firms more than the Russians do
In addition to increasing long-term employee satisfaction, putting workers ahead of shareholders will also help attract the best and brightest to a company, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said. She echoed Clinton's prediction.
"People want to work for a company that they believe is socially responsible, and business owners are well aware of that," Pritzker said. "It's necessary to attract the kind of talent that you want to attract in the long haul. I believe we're going to see a moving back to a more positive and more virtuous cycle."
Outside the American sphere, Clinton's prediction may already be coming to fruition.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma said earlier Tuesday that he has always sought to put customers first, then his employees, and lastly his shareholders.
Whether positive employee relations and social responsibility actual help sales, though, remains a question, according to the panel.
Read MoreHigh-profile event highlights Clinton's 'elite' image
Blackstone's James said he sees most consumers caring largely about the value and quality of their goods when all is said and done, but that a company's reputation may come into play if it's a product tied to trust like medicine.
Antony Jenkins, chief executive of Barclays, said he has found there is a "sweet spot" where a company can "create real commercial value" while still doing good.
VIDEO-Remarks at NYC Climate Week Opening Event
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 21:54
Thank you. Well, Steve, thank you very, very much for a generous introduction. More importantly, thank you for reminding me, but I really should be doing that. Sam Adams sounds great. (Laughter.) Sounds very appropriate right now. I'm really delighted, I very privileged actually, to be able to share thoughts with this distinguished gathering of CEOs and government officials, leaders in the environment, and I'm particularly happy to do so at a time where climate week is coinciding with the Secretary-General's climate summit. And I'm very grateful to the Secretary-General for bringing leaders together from around the world in order to put this issue where it really ought to be, obviously.
I thank Brigadier General Steve Cheney for his very kind, warm introduction. For me, it's personally extremely gratifying to see somebody with his national security experience '' a graduate with the Naval Academy, 30 years in the United States Marine Corps, was commandant of the Marine training camp at Paris Island '' and is bringing his leadership skills to this conversation. As everybody here knows, too often climate change is put into an ''environmental challenge'' box, when in fact it's a major set of economic opportunities and economic challenges, it's a public health challenge, and it's also unquestionably '' and this is something that the American Security Project is deeply focused on '' an international security challenge.
And when you think about terrorism, which we think about a lot today; poverty, which is linked obviously to the levels of terror that we see in the world today; and, of course, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction '' all of these are challenges that don't know any borders. And that's exactly what climate change is. Importantly, climate change, without being connected in that way to everybody's daily thinking, in fact, ranks right up there with every single one of the rest of those challenges. You can make a powerful argument that it may be, in fact, the most serious challenge we face on the planet because it's about the planet itself. And today, more than 97 percent of all the peer reviewed studies ever made confirm that.
But despite the scientific consensus, we are collectively still allowing this problem to grow, not diminish. I was privileged to take part in the first hearing of the United States Senate in 1988 with Al Gore, Tim Wirth, a group of us '' Jack Heinz '' all of whom joined together in order to begin to learn about it. That was the first hearing at which Jim Hansen announced that climate change was here and happening. 1988. And then I attended the Earth Summit in Rio two years later when many of us gathered, and George Herbert Walker Bush appropriately sent a delegation and we made a voluntary commitment to create a framework for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. And then, of course, Kyoto followed and Buenos Aires and Copenhagen and many other places where we've had the so-called COP meetings, the Conference of the Parties, to follow up on the conversations. The truth is, however, that during all of this time, notwithstanding the focus, we are not meeting the challenge.
In 2013, last year, we witnessed the largest single-year increase in carbon pollution that causes climate change '' the largest single increase in 20 years. So it is about time that world leaders come to the United Nations to recognize this threat in the way that it requires and demands, and it gives me hope that this global summit may actually produce the leadership that is necessary to try to come together and move the needle, to take advantage of the small window of time '' and I mean that '' the small window of time that we have left in order to be able to prevent the worst impacts of climate change from already happening.
When we began this discussion a number of years ago, we were warned by the scientists that you had to keep the greenhouse gas levels about 450 parts per million in order to be able to hold to the 2 degree centigrade possible allowable warming taking place. Then, because of the rate at which it was happening, the scientists revised that estimate and they told us, ''No, no, no, you can't do 450 anymore. It's got to be 350 or we're not going to meet the standard.'' And I, unfortunately, tell you that today not only are we above 450 parts per million, but we are on track to warm '' having already warmed at 1 degree '' we've got 1 degree left '' we're on track to warm at at least 4 degrees over the course of the next 20, 30, 40 years, and by the century, even more.
So this is pretty real. And what is so disturbing about it is that the worst impacts can be prevented still '' there is still time '' if we make the right set of choices. It's within our reach. But it is absolutely imperative that we decide to move and to act now. You don't have to take my word for it. You don't have to Al Gore's word for it. You don't have to take the IPCC's word and the Framework Convention, all those people who are sounding the alarm bells. You can just wake up pretty much any day and listen to Mother Nature, who is screaming at us about it.
Last month was the hottest August the planet has experienced in recorded history, and scientists now predict that by the end of the century the sea could rise a full meter. Now, a meter may not sound like all that much to a lot of people, but just one meter is enough to put up to 20 percent of the greater New York City underwater. Just one meter would displace hundreds of millions of people worldwide and threaten billions in economic activity. It would put countless homes and schools and parks, entire cities, and even countries at risk. We all know that climate change also means heat waves, water shortages. I can show you parts of the world where people are killing each other today over drought and water. There's a potential of massive numbers of climate '' what we call climate refugees. And obviously, this also has huge implications for agriculture on a worldwide basis.
Scientists predict that in some places climate change will make it much more difficult for farmers to be able to grow major staples like wheat, corn, soy, and rice. I was in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam earlier this year and year before, and I saw firsthand the impacts of climate change on the great rice production center of that part of Southeast Asia. And it's not only farmers who suffer; it's the millions who depend on the crops that the farmers grow. And the scientists further predict that climate change is also going to mean longer, more unpredictable monsoon seasons, and we're already seeing that in levels of rainfall that are taking place in one day that used to take place in a month or in six months. Extreme weather events.
Nobody can tell you '' no scientist can stand up in front of you and tell you that one particular storm or one particular event was the direct result. We don't have that direct correlation at this point in time. But we do know that all of these scientists in that 97 percent are predicting that there will be greater intensity to the storms, that there will be much more disastrous effects, if we continue down the current path. You all who live here remember too well what happened just with Super Storm Sandy flooding the subways and the shorelines and destroying homes, businesses, and lives. So New Yorkers understand this by experience.
So I also want to understand '' want everybody to understand that despite these relatively draconian realities that we face '' and they are '' there's also a huge amount of good news staring us in the face. That's what really makes this so extraordinarily frustrating, to be honest with you. Common sense is not particularly common right now. (Laughter.) We have this opportunity to be able to make a certain set of choices, and that's why President Obama has stepped up unilaterally, because we don't have a Congress that yet completely buys into it and we have one house particularly that not only doesn't but fights back against the science, and over the past five years the United States has actually done more to reduce the threat of climate change domestically, and with the help of our international partners than in all of the 20 years before that. Just in the last five years.
We're laying the groundwork for a clean energy economy of the future. And today, thanks to President Obama's Climate Action Plan, the United States is well on our way to meeting our international commitments to seriously cut our greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. That's because we're going straight to the largest sources of pollution. Just yesterday, I convened a meeting of foreign ministers for the first time to sit down and talk about this among foreign ministers as we plan for the Lima, Peru meeting in December and then plan for Paris next year.
We are targeting emissions from transportation, from power sources that account for 60 percent of the dangerous greenhouse gasses that release. And the President has put in place standards to double the fuel efficiency on cars on American roads. We've proposed regulations that will curb carbon pollution coming from new power plants and similar regulations to limit the carbon that is coming from power plants that are already up and running. And just last week, the President announced an aggressive series of steps alongside leading private sector partners to cut emissions of highly potent greenhouse gasses like methane.
At the same time, since President Obama took office, the United States has upped our wind energy production more than threefold, and we've upped our solar energy production by more than tenfold. We've also become smarter about the way that we provide energy to our homes and our businesses, and as a result, today we're emitting less than we have in two decades. And we're contributing to a range of global and multinational initiatives as well in order to pioneer new, shared approaches that reduce global greenhouse gas pollution.
And I'm pleased to announce today that the United States will be contributing $15 million to kick-start the World Bank's new pilot auction facility. This initiative will set up a guaranteed price for each ton of methane that project developers are able to cut from their facilities, which means that these developers, we hope, will be much more inclined to cut methane from livestock, landfills, waste treatment facilities, because they'll be able to do so with the confidence that they're going to be able to get an adequate if not better return on their investment. And this is especially important for those of you '' and I assume that's everybody here '' follow this so closely. Methane is 20 times more dangerous and damaging than carbon dioxide. And I hate to say this to you, but among the many challenges we face, in parts of the world where the permafrost is melting, you have automatic natural emissions of methane. There are places in the world you can go where the methane is bubbling up through the ocean, that you can take a match and light it and it will ignite. And we have serious methane challenges, how do you capture this methane, in various parts of the world.
The United States is not able '' this may be stating the obvious '' to do this alone. I went to China early this year '' or last year, actually, when I first went to China as Secretary '' and proposed to them that we elevate climate change to a ministerial level and make it part of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue with China. They grabbed onto it, and we had our second round of that this year in Beijing and actually have made significant progress in coming to mutual understanding about steps we can both take, because together, China and the United States represent about 45 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions of the world. And so if together we can state ambitious goals for next year, our hope is that will act as a major incentive to other countries to come along and to become part of this effort. (Applause.)
Obviously, it's particularly difficult because '' I also went to India and I spoke with Prime Minister Modi about this '' there are other challenges with other countries '' Indonesia, other nations. What happens is if the United States were to be perfect and we eliminated all emissions, we still would see all of those gains eradicated by one of these other countries if they continue to put coal-fired burning plants online at the rate that they currently are.
So this is an enormous challenge. And this is why the United States is prepared to take the lead in order to bring other nations to the table. And as Secretary of State, I promise you I am personally committed to making sure that this is front and center in all of our diplomatic efforts. That's why yesterday I convened a group of foreign ministers for the first time. We agreed that we would meet again next year to hold all the nations that were there accountable and to measure ourselves about what the targets are we set as we go into Paris next year. It's hard to believe that that's the first time ever that many foreign ministers '' not climate ministers, not environment ministers, but foreign ministers who set foreign policy came together in order to discuss this topic.
But it is not going to be the last time, we assure you. I've also set a directive to every single one of our 275 missions, embassies, consulates, that the chiefs of mission are to put this issue on the front burner in all of our interventions with our '' with the host countries wherever they may be.
Now, this is going to require an all-out effort. And well before Paris, we need to make sure that the major economies of the world are publicly putting forward their mitigation goals, and the United States needs to do that before March of next year, and we are committed to doing that. The 2015 UN agreement is not going to be the final step towards solving climate change. But I've got news for you; it's going to be the most important one we've had perhaps since Kyoto and may be the demarcation point for the reality of whether we have a chance of getting there or don't.
So over the next 15 months, we need all of you to use whatever pressures you can in order to try to help make this happen. I'll just tell you that I led the efforts in the United States Senate to try to get climate legislation in the last two years before I became Secretary. We actually built up to 55 votes. We had 55 votes ready to do something. We arrived at an agreement with the major oil companies '' Exxon, Chevron, BP were all '' Shell '' had all joined in, and we were in a position where we were able to actually put a fee on carbon through their voluntary participation in this effort. And regrettably, at the last moment two things happened. One, we had the BP oil spill in the Gulf the weekend '' the Friday before the Monday we were supposed to announce this deal, and in the intervening time because they were distracted, coal started to spend money on TV in America and scare people. And so everybody here needs to think hard about the relationship of campaign contributions to outcomes. That is critical to our getting there. (Applause.)
Now, let me give you the best news of all because it really is good news. I believe it's exciting. The market that made America wealthier than we have ever been made was not the 1920s, not the folks '' J.P. Morgan who built this library and the Rockefellers and the Fricks and the Carnegies and others '' great time of wealth, no income tax and all the rest of it. We actually made more money and more people wealthy to a greater amount in the 1990s than in any other time in American history. And every quintile of American income earners saw their income go up during that period. Everybody did well. That came from a $1 trillion market with 1 billion users. It was the tech market '' computer, personal computer, communications, et cetera.
The energy market that is staring us in the face today, staring a nation like the United States of America that actually doesn't even have a national energy grid '' a lot of people don't realize that; we have an East Coast grid, a West Coast grid, a Texas grid, and up in the north around Chicago, out to the Dakotas, we have a line of connection. That's it. There's a gaping hole in the center of America. We do not have a national grid. A country that doesn't have a national grid is sitting here in the year 2014 with extraordinary possibilities of building new energy connections, new energy production, new energy sourcing. If Cape Wind ever gets built in Massachusetts, it can't sell to anywhere but in the immediate vicinity. You can't take solar thermal from the four corners of Colorado and New Mexico, et cetera, California, and '' if it were being produced '' and transport it to Minnesota or to Chicago or cold parts of the winter. You can't do that because we don't have the ability to transmit.
Think of the jobs that could be created if we moved in that direction. Think of the competitiveness America that would be created if we began to embrace the possibilities of that economy. Because the economy we're looking at, the energy economy of the future, is a $6 trillion market with 4 to 5 billion users today, and it's going to go up to 6 to 9 billion users over the course of the next 50 years. It's the mother of all markets with the most extraordinary opportunity if we could begin to have a price and '' you see solar and you see wind beginning to now on the kilowatt-per-hour basis get closer and closer '' we build in some incentives, we could make these decisions if we wanted to.
And so we're looking at the possibility here of $90 trillion going to be invested in infrastructure, in the world's cities, in agriculture, in energy systems. It's an unprecedented opportunity to drive investment into low-carbon growth, which would bring enormous benefits in terms of jobs, health, business. I'll tell you, having been 30 years in the '' almost 30 years in the United States Senate, I saw so many issues cross our plate where they were real tradeoffs, and you struggled to be able to get to a place where you said I could vote for that and survive, and you had enough to be able to say to people why you're doing it, what their benefit was.
This '' this solution to climate change is a win-win-win-win-win if people would stop and really look at it. We'd reduce the number of kids who got '' largest cause of hospitalization of children in the course of the summer in the United States of America is the impact of asthma induced by climate '' by diesel fuels and gas and the climate. Huge cost. All kinds of other health implications for people, environment implications for people. Obviously, we would have greater energy independence. We've had far greater security. You build up all of the things that would benefit us, not to mention this $6 trillion economy and the jobs that are available to us, and the impact would be absolutely stunning.
So I just say to all of you: At the end of the day, we have to rise above politics. We have to recognize the moral obligation that is part of this and the benefits that we could sell to people all across the country. It doesn't cost more to deal with climate change; it costs more to ignore it and to put our head in the sand and continue down this road of obfuscation and avoidance, and we need to make that clear to people in this country. (Applause.)
The guy who built this library that we're privileged to be in today said that the first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you're not going to stay where you are. (Laughter.) So I hope everybody here in this week will make a commitment that this is the year, this is the time, we are the people who are going to make the decision not to stay where we are; we are going to live up to our responsibility. There isn't a philosophy of life or a religion in the world '' not one '' that doesn't have at its core the responsibility of the stewardship of Earth and our responsibility to future generations. Our chance to live up to it is now.
Thank you all very much. (Applause.)
VIDEO-Remarks With Peruvian Foreign Minister Gonzalo Gutierrez and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate Change Ministerial
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 21:28
SECRETARY KERRY: Well, good afternoon, everybody. Thank you very, very much for joining us here at the Major Economies Forum. We're deeply appreciative for so many ministers making the effort to be here. This is the first time we've had ministers like this at the Major Economies, so it's significant. And I'm delighted to be here co-hosting with my friends, Foreign Minister of Peru Gonzalo Gutierrez, and of course, Laurent Fabius of France, and we're very appreciative to all of you for taking part in this.
President Obama launched the Major Economies Forum in 2009, recognizing that the vast '' not the vast majority '' I mean, by far, almost all of the greenhouse gas emissions doing damage to the planet come from about 20 countries. And regrettably, the United States is number two. We've been surpassed by China now. But this is not good for anybody in the world, and we understand this.
So these are the economies that are in the best position to be able to address the global threat of climate change and whose partnership is absolutely essential in order to do so. Today, as I said, is the first time ever that foreign ministers have met under this forum, and it's obviously not going to be the last because it's increasingly clear that climate change has impacts not only on the environment but for our economies and for global security interests as well.
Today, we can see climate refugees. We see people fighting over water in some places. There are huge challenges to food security and challenges to the ecosystem, our fisheries and otherwise. The acidification of the ocean is a challenge for all of us.
And when you accrue all of this, while we are confronting ISIL and we are confronting terrorism and we are confronting Ebola and other things, those are immediate. This also has an immediacy that people need to come to understand, but it has even greater longer-term consequences that can cost hundreds of billions, trillions of dollars, lives, and the security of the world.
So that's why we've invited all of you here today, and that's why I'm so pleased that so many of you have recognized the urgency at hand and you've made it a priority to be here. I know this is obviously a very busy week for all of us, and there's a long list of important issues for all of us to focus on while we're here at the General Assembly, but the grave threat that climate change poses warrants a prominent position on that list. I can remember being in Rio at the Earth Summit in 1992. I can remember a voluntary commitment, which we all know didn't work. I was in Kyoto. Many of you were there. We all understand the road we've traveled. But it hasn't gotten the job done. So the Major Economies obviously understand that if we collectively elevate the important issue of global action to address this threat, we will succeed.
And unlike many of the challenges that we face, when it comes to climate change we know exactly what it takes to get the job done. There's no mystery to this. The solution to climate change is energy policy. If we make the right choices about how we build buildings, how we transport people, what we do with respect to providing electricity and power to our countries, this problem gets solved. And every one of our countries has the technologies today to be able to do this. The policies aren't complicated. It's getting the political will to make the decisions to do what we know we have to do about it. It's as simple as that, and that is true all over the world.
So that's where our focus needs to be. We're going to have a chance to finalize a program and approach to this at the Climate Conference in Paris next year. We're grateful to France for its efforts already to help countries begin to target that. It's only 16 months away, and as foreign ministers we have a key role in the coming months to raise the importance of this issue '' excuse me '' and to help all of our countries to focus on the targets that we need to put forward in order to deal with it.
So again, a profound thank you to all of you for being here. I turn now to Foreign Minister Gonzalo Gutierrez for his words of welcome.
FOREIGN MINISTER GUTIERREZ: Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary of State, distinguished ministers and delegates. We in Peru welcome the timely initiative of the Secretary of State John Kerry to convene a foreign ministers meeting to discuss some of the global implications of climate change. Many of our countries are already experiencing unprecedented weather events that cause destruction and cripple communications, production, transport infrastructure, and above all, taking away precious human lives.
We in Peru are watching helplessly how the largest tropical glaciers on Earth continue melting away, depriving large coastal population and future agricultural developments of valuable water reserves. In the higher parts of the Andean region, unusual freezing temperatures are having a tragic impact on vulnerable population, food production, and different areas of the human life.
Response to these radical changes of nature is not always possible or efficient. This is why adaptation '' we think it's a key pillar in the climate change agenda, one that requires vast mobilization of cooperation, resources, and human qualification. Governments and business will have a chance this week to look closer at the opportunities to work together in innovative investment oriented towards low-carbon economies. We expect announcements that will bolster '' booster confidence and ambition in the process that can lead to a substantial outcome in the COP 20 in Lima.
This, as a basis to conclude a new climate agreement in 2015 in Paris only '' and let me stress only '' if we are able to create a concrete basis for agreement in the Lima COP, there will be a solid basis for a comprehensive understanding in Paris. We expect significant announcements that major economies at this stage may do in order to expect a productive and significant outcome next year.
I thank you very much again for your invitation and I hope we all may have a very fruitful discussion today.
SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you, Gonzalo, very much. And now, Laurent Fabius.
FOREIGN MINISTER FABIUS: I will speak French. That's for the earphones.
(Via interpreter) Dear John, thank you very much for this initiative of yours, which does not surprise us on your part since before you even were Secretary of State of the United States, you have always been interested in climate questions, the environment. You are an expert.
And I also tell my Peruvian colleague how happy I am to be sitting next to him, all the more since, as he said himself but in another way, the more the Lima results will be good, the less work we'll have to do in Paris. If we end the thing in Lima, I invite all of you in Paris for two weeks '' only in nightclubs. (Laughter.)
Two or three quick remarks. First remark: I think it's the first time that foreign affair ministers gather in order to talk about this topic. And it's not only because John is Secretary of State; it is not only because we all have the secret wish to take the job of our environment colleagues; it is much more, because we all understood that this question was a major question for the balance of the world. Of course, there are technical details in the discussions that we're going to have, but before all, as my colleague said very well, it is a question of political will '' political will. And we are here, we as foreign affair ministers, in order to try to express this political will. And I'm certain that we'll make it number one.
Number two, in our work we keep talking about climate change, and sometimes we talk about global warming. As far as I'm concerned, I like to talk about climate disruption '' climate disruption because it is not a question that is limited, it is a question that's going to last 50 years, it is a question that is major and that is of today's importance. So I think that if we want to succeed in Lima, in Paris, we must show two things: number one, that it is a question for right now; and then, that it is a question which needs solutions, of course, with some constraints, but also can give us some extremely positive fallout. And I think we have to be positive in the results; we have to have positive results around new growth, job creation, because this is how we're going to convince people who are still reluctant.
Two last words. Today, a certain number of us have walked and marched in the streets of New York, and I'm told that there were other meetings in the world. I was there. I was with Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the UN. I was with Al Gore and other VIPs. And I think that it shows that people are now much more aware in all our countries of how important this topic is. And this coming week, at the initiative of Ban Ki-moon, is going to strengthen even more this new awareness. And I think in our countries we have to lean on this new awareness in order to obtain the results that are necessary in the Lima conference and in the Paris conference.
And lastly, in Warsaw '' it was my first conference; I'm less of a veteran than some of you '' I got in touch with different delegations. And I didn't ask them what needs to be done in order to succeed. What I asked them was what should not be done. And I've had very interesting answers. One of the conclusions I drew was the following: If, in the past, we have had a few disappointments, it's because we believed that at the very last minute, when the biggest political leaders were going to come, thanks to them, they're going to solve all the problems.
No. Things must be prepared in a way that's both ambitious and humble, ahead of time. That's the reason why it's so important to see each other right now. The UN week must be positive. In Lima, things must go forward, and then in many, many other meetings. So we have to be very ambitious and very modest. And my role, because France is going to chair the conference and the president of the republic has asked me to chair it as minister of foreign affairs, my role will be to listen to all of you and to try not really to push the French solutions. Let's not be arrogant. But I'll have the role of facilitator, so I'm very optimistic because I have all of your support. Thank you very much.
SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you, Laurent, very, very much. We appreciate your words and leadership, and we very much look forward to the Paris conference, to Lima first and then to Paris, and really a year of decision.
VIDEO-'Imminent Attack' in U.S. Prompted Airstrikes on Khorasan - Bloomberg
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 21:26
By David Lerman and Nicole GaouetteSeptember 23, 2014 12:31 PM EDTPhotographer: Win McNamee/Getty Images
Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, arrives for a press conference at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, Sept. 2, 2014.
Airstrikes in Syria against the extremist Khorasan group were prompted by planning for an ''imminent'' terror attack on U.S. soil, the Pentagon said.
''We believe the individuals plotting and planning it were eliminated'' in the eight U.S. airstrikes overnight, Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, said today in an interview with ABC's ''Good Morning America'' program.
Amid attention on the threat from Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Khorasan has emerged in recent weeks as a more immediate peril in the view of the U.S. intelligence community because it's more focused on attacking America and Europe.
Al-Qaeda's Heirs
The militant group is made up of a ''network of seasoned al-Qaeda veterans'' preparing to attack ''United States and Western interests,'' the Defense Department said in a statement. U.S. officials so far have provided no details about the terrorists' planned attack or the credibility of the intelligence they had on it.
Khorasan's intentions put ''them at the top of groups threatening the West,'' said Seth Jones, director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the Rand Corp., a policy group based in Santa Monica, California.
Groups such as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, based in Yemen, and the al-Nusra Front, a Syrian-based al-Qaeda affiliate, also pose a grave danger to the U.S. and European allies and are actively plotting, Jones said.
No 'Safe Havens'The strikes against Khorasan militants west of Aleppo were conducted by the U.S. using Tomahawk missiles, according to the Pentagon. They were waged separately from a series of strikes on 14 Islamic State targets in Syria by the U.S. and five Arab nations.
A chief concern about the Khorasan faction is the group's evident link to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's leading bomb designer in Yemen, Ibrahim al-Asiri, whom the U.S. has targeted with drones, so far without success. His specialty is said to be bombs designed into clothing and implanted in the human body.
''It must be clear to anyone who would plot against America and try to do Americans harm that we will not tolerate safe havens for terrorists who threaten our people,'' President Barack Obama said today at the White House, before leaving for New York and events at the United Nations General Assembly.
Lieutenant General William Mayville, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was cautious in his evaluation, saying he didn't know yet whether the strikes against Khorasan were successful or whether any of the group's leaders were killed.
'Still Assessing'''We're still assessing the effects of our strikes,'' Mayville said at a Pentagon press conference today. The U.S. believed the group ''was nearing the execution phase of an attack either in Europe or the homeland'' and ''has attempted to recruit Westerners to serve as operatives or to infiltrate back into their homelands,'' he said.
Despite the ''bluster'' of Islamic State, the main focus of U.S. policy makers in recent weeks, Jones said the al-Qaeda breakaway group poses less of a threat because ''Islamic State's focus right now seems to me to be trying to keep control of the territory it has in Syria and expand what it has in Iraq.''
Khorasan ''is essentially al-Qaeda central moving into the Syria conflict,'' said Peter Bergen, a national security analyst and member of the Bipartisan Policy Center's Homeland Security Project, who spoke at a forum today on terrorism.
Smaller GroupsU.S. officials had warned in the past week that despite the focus on Islamic State, the intelligence community needs to continue watching less high-profile terrorists.
''What we can't do is let down our guards for any one of these'' groups, CIA Director John Brennan said at a Sept. 17 conference on intelligence issues in Washington. ''You have to be looking at some of these smaller groups.''
Those include the al-Nusra Front, which has ties to al-Qaeda and has made clear its intent to launch attacks outside of the Syrian battleground. Speaking at the same conference, James Clapper, director of U.S. National Intelligence, said the Khorasan Group, part of al-Nusra, represents a threat on par with Islamic State. The Khorasan group is also part of the core al-Qaeda that operates along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan.
Compared with Islamic State, fighters for al-Nusra keep a lower profile on the Internet, with most videos aimed at local Muslims, according to the Mapping Militant Organizations project at Stanford University in California. The videos or postings generally don't show identifiable fighters from the U.S. and Europe, even though the group attracts the second-largest contingent of foreign militants in Syria.
The core group was dispatched from the tribal areas of Pakistan to recruit European Union and U.S. passport holders coming to Syria to wage jihad, and some U.S. intelligence officials think it also may be recruiting in Libya and Somalia, also magnets for young, disaffected Muslims.
To contact the reporters on this story: David Lerman in Washington at dlerman1@bloomberg.net; Nicole Gaouette in Washington at ngaouette@bloomberg.net
To contact the editors responsible for this story: John Walcott at jwalcott9@bloomberg.net Larry Liebert, Michael Shepard
VIDEO-President Obama Delivers a Statement on Airstrikes in Syria | The White House
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 21:25
September 23, 2014 at 10:38 AM EDT
President Barack Obama delivers a statement on confronting the terrorist group ISIL in Syria, on the South Lawn of the White House prior to departure for New York, N.Y.
Watch on YouTube
Last night, President Obama ordered American armed forces to begin targeted airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria. Speaking from the White House South Lawn today, the President made it clear that these strikes are part of the U.S. campaign to deliver one message on ISIL: They will find no safe-haven.
The U.S. military actions also included strikes to disrupt plotting against the U.S. and our allies by the Khorasan Group -- seasoned al Qaeda operatives in Syria.
The President made clear that the fight against these terrorists "is not America's fight alone":
The people and governments of the Middle East are rejecting ISIL, and standing up for the peace and security that the people of the world deserve. Not since the Gulf War has the United States been joined in direct military action by such a broad coalition of Arab partners. Meanwhile, we will move forward with our plan '' supported by bipartisan majorities in Congress - to ramp up our effort to train and equip the Syrian opposition, who are the best counter-weight to ISIL and the Assad regime.
Over 40 nations have offered to take part in our comprehensive plan to degrade and destroy ISIL: "to take out terrorist targets; to train and equip Iraqi and Syrian opposition fighters who are going up against ISIL on the ground; to cut off ISIL's financing; to counter its hateful ideology; and to stop the flow of fighters into and out of the region," he said.
The President once again thanked Congress for taking a bipartisan stand against ISIL:
America is always stronger when we stand united. And that unity sends a powerful message to the world that we will do what is necessary to defend our country.
Over the next several days, I will be meeting Prime Minister Abadi of Iraq and with friends and allies at the United Nations to continue building support for the coalition that is confronting this profound threat to peace security. This overall effort will take time. There are challenges ahead. But we're going to do what is necessary to take the fight to this terrorist group '' for the security of our country, the region, and the entire world.
VIDEO-It's Nice That : Matthew Frost nails awkward selfie culture in new Kirsten Dunst short
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 21:22
Spectacularly creative Dutch duo Lernert & Sander have made a film for COS, The Sound of COS, in which the artists imitate the sounds clothes make. In their studio they crush salt, open umbrellas, slip on oven mitts and stomp about to create the soundtrack for a fashion video. Meta, eh? The concept is ingenious, because as we're paying heightened attention to the pop of the button, the zip of the jacket and the jingle of keys in a purse, we're also paying extra close attention to COS' Autumn/Winter collection in all its lovely detail.
VIDEO-JUDGE JEANINE-Oops, should not have read a speech! - YouTube
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 17:34
VIDEO-FPI Board Member Robert Kagan Discussed U.S. Strategy Against ISIS on Face The Nation | Foreign Policy Initiative
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 16:16
The Foreign Policy Initiative seeks to promote an active U.S. foreign policy committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America's global economic competitiveness.Read More
VIDEO-Remarks at NYC Climate Week Opening Event
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 16:07
Thank you. Well, Steve, thank you very, very much for a generous introduction. More importantly, thank you for reminding me, but I really should be doing that. Sam Adams sounds great. (Laughter.) Sounds very appropriate right now. I'm really delighted, I very privileged actually, to be able to share thoughts with this distinguished gathering of CEOs and government officials, leaders in the environment, and I'm particularly happy to do so at a time where climate week is coinciding with the Secretary-General's climate summit. And I'm very grateful to the Secretary-General for bringing leaders together from around the world in order to put this issue where it really ought to be, obviously.
I thank Brigadier General Steve Cheney for his very kind, warm introduction. For me, it's personally extremely gratifying to see somebody with his national security experience '' a graduate with the Naval Academy, 30 years in the United States Marine Corps, was commandant of the Marine training camp at Paris Island '' and is bringing his leadership skills to this conversation. As everybody here knows, too often climate change is put into an ''environmental challenge'' box, when in fact it's a major set of economic opportunities and economic challenges, it's a public health challenge, and it's also unquestionably '' and this is something that the American Security Project is deeply focused on '' an international security challenge.
And when you think about terrorism, which we think about a lot today; poverty, which is linked obviously to the levels of terror that we see in the world today; and, of course, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction '' all of these are challenges that don't know any borders. And that's exactly what climate change is. Importantly, climate change, without being connected in that way to everybody's daily thinking, in fact, ranks right up there with every single one of the rest of those challenges. You can make a powerful argument that it may be, in fact, the most serious challenge we face on the planet because it's about the planet itself. And today, more than 97 percent of all the peer reviewed studies ever made confirm that.
But despite the scientific consensus, we are collectively still allowing this problem to grow, not diminish. I was privileged to take part in the first hearing of the United States Senate in 1988 with Al Gore, Tim Wirth, a group of us '' Jack Heinz '' all of whom joined together in order to begin to learn about it. That was the first hearing at which Jim Hansen announced that climate change was here and happening. 1988. And then I attended the Earth Summit in Rio two years later when many of us gathered, and George Herbert Walker Bush appropriately sent a delegation and we made a voluntary commitment to create a framework for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. And then, of course, Kyoto followed and Buenos Aires and Copenhagen and many other places where we've had the so-called COP meetings, the Conference of the Parties, to follow up on the conversations. The truth is, however, that during all of this time, notwithstanding the focus, we are not meeting the challenge.
In 2013, last year, we witnessed the largest single-year increase in carbon pollution that causes climate change '' the largest single increase in 20 years. So it is about time that world leaders come to the United Nations to recognize this threat in the way that it requires and demands, and it gives me hope that this global summit may actually produce the leadership that is necessary to try to come together and move the needle, to take advantage of the small window of time '' and I mean that '' the small window of time that we have left in order to be able to prevent the worst impacts of climate change from already happening.
When we began this discussion a number of years ago, we were warned by the scientists that you had to keep the greenhouse gas levels about 450 parts per million in order to be able to hold to the 2 degree centigrade possible allowable warming taking place. Then, because of the rate at which it was happening, the scientists revised that estimate and they told us, ''No, no, no, you can't do 450 anymore. It's got to be 350 or we're not going to meet the standard.'' And I, unfortunately, tell you that today not only are we above 450 parts per million, but we are on track to warm '' having already warmed at 1 degree '' we've got 1 degree left '' we're on track to warm at at least 4 degrees over the course of the next 20, 30, 40 years, and by the century, even more.
So this is pretty real. And what is so disturbing about it is that the worst impacts can be prevented still '' there is still time '' if we make the right set of choices. It's within our reach. But it is absolutely imperative that we decide to move and to act now. You don't have to take my word for it. You don't have to Al Gore's word for it. You don't have to take the IPCC's word and the Framework Convention, all those people who are sounding the alarm bells. You can just wake up pretty much any day and listen to Mother Nature, who is screaming at us about it.
Last month was the hottest August the planet has experienced in recorded history, and scientists now predict that by the end of the century the sea could rise a full meter. Now, a meter may not sound like all that much to a lot of people, but just one meter is enough to put up to 20 percent of the greater New York City underwater. Just one meter would displace hundreds of millions of people worldwide and threaten billions in economic activity. It would put countless homes and schools and parks, entire cities, and even countries at risk. We all know that climate change also means heat waves, water shortages. I can show you parts of the world where people are killing each other today over drought and water. There's a potential of massive numbers of climate '' what we call climate refugees. And obviously, this also has huge implications for agriculture on a worldwide basis.
Scientists predict that in some places climate change will make it much more difficult for farmers to be able to grow major staples like wheat, corn, soy, and rice. I was in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam earlier this year and year before, and I saw firsthand the impacts of climate change on the great rice production center of that part of Southeast Asia. And it's not only farmers who suffer; it's the millions who depend on the crops that the farmers grow. And the scientists further predict that climate change is also going to mean longer, more unpredictable monsoon seasons, and we're already seeing that in levels of rainfall that are taking place in one day that used to take place in a month or in six months. Extreme weather events.
Nobody can tell you '' no scientist can stand up in front of you and tell you that one particular storm or one particular event was the direct result. We don't have that direct correlation at this point in time. But we do know that all of these scientists in that 97 percent are predicting that there will be greater intensity to the storms, that there will be much more disastrous effects, if we continue down the current path. You all who live here remember too well what happened just with Super Storm Sandy flooding the subways and the shorelines and destroying homes, businesses, and lives. So New Yorkers understand this by experience.
So I also want to understand '' want everybody to understand that despite these relatively draconian realities that we face '' and they are '' there's also a huge amount of good news staring us in the face. That's what really makes this so extraordinarily frustrating, to be honest with you. Common sense is not particularly common right now. (Laughter.) We have this opportunity to be able to make a certain set of choices, and that's why President Obama has stepped up unilaterally, because we don't have a Congress that yet completely buys into it and we have one house particularly that not only doesn't but fights back against the science, and over the past five years the United States has actually done more to reduce the threat of climate change domestically, and with the help of our international partners than in all of the 20 years before that. Just in the last five years.
We're laying the groundwork for a clean energy economy of the future. And today, thanks to President Obama's Climate Action Plan, the United States is well on our way to meeting our international commitments to seriously cut our greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. That's because we're going straight to the largest sources of pollution. Just yesterday, I convened a meeting of foreign ministers for the first time to sit down and talk about this among foreign ministers as we plan for the Lima, Peru meeting in December and then plan for Paris next year.
We are targeting emissions from transportation, from power sources that account for 60 percent of the dangerous greenhouse gasses that release. And the President has put in place standards to double the fuel efficiency on cars on American roads. We've proposed regulations that will curb carbon pollution coming from new power plants and similar regulations to limit the carbon that is coming from power plants that are already up and running. And just last week, the President announced an aggressive series of steps alongside leading private sector partners to cut emissions of highly potent greenhouse gasses like methane.
At the same time, since President Obama took office, the United States has upped our wind energy production more than threefold, and we've upped our solar energy production by more than tenfold. We've also become smarter about the way that we provide energy to our homes and our businesses, and as a result, today we're emitting less than we have in two decades. And we're contributing to a range of global and multinational initiatives as well in order to pioneer new, shared approaches that reduce global greenhouse gas pollution.
And I'm pleased to announce today that the United States will be contributing $15 million to kick-start the World Bank's new pilot auction facility. This initiative will set up a guaranteed price for each ton of methane that project developers are able to cut from their facilities, which means that these developers, we hope, will be much more inclined to cut methane from livestock, landfills, waste treatment facilities, because they'll be able to do so with the confidence that they're going to be able to get an adequate if not better return on their investment. And this is especially important for those of you '' and I assume that's everybody here '' follow this so closely. Methane is 20 times more dangerous and damaging than carbon dioxide. And I hate to say this to you, but among the many challenges we face, in parts of the world where the permafrost is melting, you have automatic natural emissions of methane. There are places in the world you can go where the methane is bubbling up through the ocean, that you can take a match and light it and it will ignite. And we have serious methane challenges, how do you capture this methane, in various parts of the world.
The United States is not able '' this may be stating the obvious '' to do this alone. I went to China early this year '' or last year, actually, when I first went to China as Secretary '' and proposed to them that we elevate climate change to a ministerial level and make it part of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue with China. They grabbed onto it, and we had our second round of that this year in Beijing and actually have made significant progress in coming to mutual understanding about steps we can both take, because together, China and the United States represent about 45 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions of the world. And so if together we can state ambitious goals for next year, our hope is that will act as a major incentive to other countries to come along and to become part of this effort. (Applause.)
Obviously, it's particularly difficult because '' I also went to India and I spoke with Prime Minister Modi about this '' there are other challenges with other countries '' Indonesia, other nations. What happens is if the United States were to be perfect and we eliminated all emissions, we still would see all of those gains eradicated by one of these other countries if they continue to put coal-fired burning plants online at the rate that they currently are.
So this is an enormous challenge. And this is why the United States is prepared to take the lead in order to bring other nations to the table. And as Secretary of State, I promise you I am personally committed to making sure that this is front and center in all of our diplomatic efforts. That's why yesterday I convened a group of foreign ministers for the first time. We agreed that we would meet again next year to hold all the nations that were there accountable and to measure ourselves about what the targets are we set as we go into Paris next year. It's hard to believe that that's the first time ever that many foreign ministers '' not climate ministers, not environment ministers, but foreign ministers who set foreign policy came together in order to discuss this topic.
But it is not going to be the last time, we assure you. I've also set a directive to every single one of our 275 missions, embassies, consulates, that the chiefs of mission are to put this issue on the front burner in all of our interventions with our '' with the host countries wherever they may be.
Now, this is going to require an all-out effort. And well before Paris, we need to make sure that the major economies of the world are publicly putting forward their mitigation goals, and the United States needs to do that before March of next year, and we are committed to doing that. The 2015 UN agreement is not going to be the final step towards solving climate change. But I've got news for you; it's going to be the most important one we've had perhaps since Kyoto and may be the demarcation point for the reality of whether we have a chance of getting there or don't.
So over the next 15 months, we need all of you to use whatever pressures you can in order to try to help make this happen. I'll just tell you that I led the efforts in the United States Senate to try to get climate legislation in the last two years before I became Secretary. We actually built up to 55 votes. We had 55 votes ready to do something. We arrived at an agreement with the major oil companies '' Exxon, Chevron, BP were all '' Shell '' had all joined in, and we were in a position where we were able to actually put a fee on carbon through their voluntary participation in this effort. And regrettably, at the last moment two things happened. One, we had the BP oil spill in the Gulf the weekend '' the Friday before the Monday we were supposed to announce this deal, and in the intervening time because they were distracted, coal started to spend money on TV in America and scare people. And so everybody here needs to think hard about the relationship of campaign contributions to outcomes. That is critical to our getting there. (Applause.)
Now, let me give you the best news of all because it really is good news. I believe it's exciting. The market that made America wealthier than we have ever been made was not the 1920s, not the folks '' J.P. Morgan who built this library and the Rockefellers and the Fricks and the Carnegies and others '' great time of wealth, no income tax and all the rest of it. We actually made more money and more people wealthy to a greater amount in the 1990s than in any other time in American history. And every quintile of American income earners saw their income go up during that period. Everybody did well. That came from a $1 trillion market with 1 billion users. It was the tech market '' computer, personal computer, communications, et cetera.
The energy market that is staring us in the face today, staring a nation like the United States of America that actually doesn't even have a national energy grid '' a lot of people don't realize that; we have an East Coast grid, a West Coast grid, a Texas grid, and up in the north around Chicago, out to the Dakotas, we have a line of connection. That's it. There's a gaping hole in the center of America. We do not have a national grid. A country that doesn't have a national grid is sitting here in the year 2014 with extraordinary possibilities of building new energy connections, new energy production, new energy sourcing. If Cape Wind ever gets built in Massachusetts, it can't sell to anywhere but in the immediate vicinity. You can't take solar thermal from the four corners of Colorado and New Mexico, et cetera, California, and '' if it were being produced '' and transport it to Minnesota or to Chicago or cold parts of the winter. You can't do that because we don't have the ability to transmit.
Think of the jobs that could be created if we moved in that direction. Think of the competitiveness America that would be created if we began to embrace the possibilities of that economy. Because the economy we're looking at, the energy economy of the future, is a $6 trillion market with 4 to 5 billion users today, and it's going to go up to 6 to 9 billion users over the course of the next 50 years. It's the mother of all markets with the most extraordinary opportunity if we could begin to have a price and '' you see solar and you see wind beginning to now on the kilowatt-per-hour basis get closer and closer '' we build in some incentives, we could make these decisions if we wanted to.
And so we're looking at the possibility here of $90 trillion going to be invested in infrastructure, in the world's cities, in agriculture, in energy systems. It's an unprecedented opportunity to drive investment into low-carbon growth, which would bring enormous benefits in terms of jobs, health, business. I'll tell you, having been 30 years in the '' almost 30 years in the United States Senate, I saw so many issues cross our plate where they were real tradeoffs, and you struggled to be able to get to a place where you said I could vote for that and survive, and you had enough to be able to say to people why you're doing it, what their benefit was.
This '' this solution to climate change is a win-win-win-win-win if people would stop and really look at it. We'd reduce the number of kids who got '' largest cause of hospitalization of children in the course of the summer in the United States of America is the impact of asthma induced by climate '' by diesel fuels and gas and the climate. Huge cost. All kinds of other health implications for people, environment implications for people. Obviously, we would have greater energy independence. We've had far greater security. You build up all of the things that would benefit us, not to mention this $6 trillion economy and the jobs that are available to us, and the impact would be absolutely stunning.
So I just say to all of you: At the end of the day, we have to rise above politics. We have to recognize the moral obligation that is part of this and the benefits that we could sell to people all across the country. It doesn't cost more to deal with climate change; it costs more to ignore it and to put our head in the sand and continue down this road of obfuscation and avoidance, and we need to make that clear to people in this country. (Applause.)
The guy who built this library that we're privileged to be in today said that the first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you're not going to stay where you are. (Laughter.) So I hope everybody here in this week will make a commitment that this is the year, this is the time, we are the people who are going to make the decision not to stay where we are; we are going to live up to our responsibility. There isn't a philosophy of life or a religion in the world '' not one '' that doesn't have at its core the responsibility of the stewardship of Earth and our responsibility to future generations. Our chance to live up to it is now.
Thank you all very much. (Applause.)
VIDEO-Accused White House Fence Jumper Had Earlier Arrest Record - WSJ
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 15:46
WASHINGTON'--The Army veteran accused of clambering over a White House fence and breaching the executive mansion served two rough tours in Iraq and returned home with symptoms of severe mental illness, according to family and friends.
In federal court on Monday, the prosecutor revealed a pair of earlier incidents involving Omar J. Gonzalez that the government said demonstrated the 42-year-old former Cavalry scout constituted a danger to the president.
In July, Mr. Gonzalez was arrested in Virginia on felony charges of evading arrest and possession of a sawed-off shotgun, police and the prosecutor said. Police also found sniper rifles, handguns and a cache of other weapons in his vehicle, as well as a map of Washington with a line drawn to the White House, Virginia State Police said. He was released on bond.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Secret Service were notified about Mr. Gonzalez's arrest, said Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.
Mr. Gonzalez, a native of Puerto Rico, was stopped by the Secret Service near the White House's south fence on Aug. 25 with a hatchet in his waistband, the prosecutor said. He allowed a search of his vehicle and was released.
After he allegedly burst through White House security Friday at about 7:20 p.m. with a folding knife in his pocket, police also found a machete, two hatchets and more than 800 rounds of ammunition in his vehicle parked nearby, the prosecutor said.
The Secret Service said Monday it was widening its internal review of the incident beyond looking at operational policies and security procedures. The agency will review "Gonzalez' criminal history and contacts with Secret Service personnel," said spokesman Brian Leary.
On Monday, a federal judge ordered Mr. Gonzalez held pending an Oct. 1 hearing. If convicted of unlawfully entering a restricted building with a deadly weapon, he could be sentenced to as much as 10 years in prison.
Mr. Gonzalez's friends and family described him as a dedicated soldier who returned home so paranoid about an unnamed "they" that he kept rifles and shotguns behind the doors and patrolled the perimeter of his home near Fort Hood, Texas.
"He's a standup guy'--he's a hero," said Jerry Murphy, the son of Mr. Gonzalez's former wife. "He sacrificed his mind and his body for his country."
Mr. Murphy and his mother, Samantha Bell, said a military psychiatrist treated Mr. Gonzalez for post-traumatic stress disorder and paranoid schizophrenia before his medical retirement from the military in 2012. Citing privacy laws, a military spokesman declined to provide details about any medical treatment.
The Department of Veterans Affairs provides Mr. Gonzalez with $1,652 in monthly disability payments. "However, at this time, it does not appear the veteran sought treatment in any VA health-care facility," a VA spokeswoman said.
Mr. Gonzalez served his first Iraq tour from October 2006 to January 2008, when he was based in Baghdad and manned a machine gun atop Humvees and Bradley fighting vehicles. On his second tour, he was stationed in Mosul. Known to his comrades as "Gonzo," he encountered firefights, roadside bombs and close-quarters combat, according other soldiers in B Troop, 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment.
At times, insurgents would throw handmade teapot grenades at the scouts' passing vehicles, the soldiers recalled. "We saw a lot of dead bodies, a lot of shooting, a lot of people killed," said Sgt. 1st Class Michael Lashua, who shared a vehicle with Mr. Gonzalez in Iraq.
When Mr. Gonzalez returned to Fort Hood, Ms. Bell said he wouldn't discuss his experiences, except to say they were "very bad" and imply they involved children in some way.
Mr. Gonzalez took to walking around the house with a pistol on his hip, peeking out through the blinds. He worried "they" were pumping poison in through the vents, said Ms. Bell, who left him in 2010. He patrolled the yard looking for footprints, compulsively checked the locks and kept weapons behind the living-room and bedroom doors. "He wasn't violent'--he was a great guy," she said. "It was just those bizarre behaviors. I couldn't deal with it anymore."
One time he closed the blinds while Ms. Bell was running on a treadmill in the same room. "'I'm closing the blinds because they're looking in,'" she remembered him saying. "He always said 'they' but would never tell me who."
A fellow soldier who knew Mr. Gonzalez well recalled that he was unable to sleep well and was troubled by nightmares. "He wouldn't hurt anybody ever," the soldier said.
Mr. Gonzalez was medically retired from the military because of a disability related to severe plantar fasciitis, his former wife said.
Among the awards he received were three Army Commendation medals, one Army Achievement Medal and an Army Good Conduct Medal, according to his records.
"Omar has an illness," said Ms. Bell. "I would love for that to be treated. I don't want him to be punished."
Secret Service agents reported that after his apprehension inside the White House, Mr. Gonzalez said he was "concerned that the atmosphere was collapsing" and that he needed to get unspecified information to the president.
At Monday's hearing, Magistrate Judge John Facciola asked Mr. Gonzalez's public defender, David Bos, if his client appeared to suffer from any mental disease or deficiency. Mr. Bos said there was no basis for a court-ordered competency evaluation. "Sadly, many of my clients suffer from mental illnesses'--including PTSD'--but are still competent to stand trial," he said in an email after the hearing.
'--Colleen McCain Nelson, Lisa Schwartz and Rachel Graf contributed to this article.
Write to Michael M. Phillips at michael.phillips@wsj.com and Jeffrey Sparshott at jeffrey.sparshott@wsj.com
SS-ADMIN WTF-Text of H.J.Res. 124: Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015 (Received by the Senate version) - GovTrack.us
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 09:08
IIA
113th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. J. RES. 124
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
September 17 (legislative day, September 16), 2014
Received
JOINT RESOLUTION
Making continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2015, and for other purposes.
That the following sums are hereby appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, and out of applicable corporate or other revenues, receipts, and funds, for the several departments, agencies, corporations, and other organizational units of Government for fiscal year 2015, and for other purposes, namely:
101.(a)Such amounts as may be necessary, at a rate for operations as provided in the applicable appropriations Acts for fiscal year 2014 and under the authority and conditions provided in such Acts, for continuing projects or activities (including the costs of direct loans and loan guarantees) that are not otherwise specifically provided for in this joint resolution, that were conducted in fiscal year 2014, and for which appropriations, funds, or other authority were made available in the following appropriations Acts:
(1)The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2014 (division A of Public Law 113''76).
(2)The Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2014 (division B of Public Law 113''76).
(3)The Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014 (division C of Public Law 113''76).
(4)The Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2014 (division D of Public Law 113''76).
(5)The Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2014 (division E of Public Law 113''76).
(6)The Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2014 (division F of Public Law 113''76).
(7)The Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2014 (division G of Public Law 113''76).
(8)The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2014 (division H of Public Law 113''76).
(9)The Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2014 (division I of Public Law 113''76).
(10)The Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2014 (division J of Public Law 113''76).
(11)The Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2014 (division K of Public Law 113''76).
(12)The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2014 (division L of Public Law 113''76).
(b)The rate for operations provided by subsection (a) is hereby reduced by 0.0554 percent.
102.(a)No appropriation or funds made available or authority granted pursuant to section 101 for the Department of Defense shall be used for: (1) the new production of items not funded for production in fiscal year 2014 or prior years; (2) the increase in production rates above those sustained with fiscal year 2014 funds; or (3) the initiation, resumption, or continuation of any project, activity, operation, or organization (defined as any project, subproject, activity, budget activity, program element, and subprogram within a program element, and for any investment items defined as a P''1 line item in a budget activity within an appropriation account and an R''1 line item that includes a program element and subprogram element within an appropriation account) for which appropriations, funds, or other authority were not available during fiscal year 2014.
(b)No appropriation or funds made available or authority granted pursuant to section 101 for the Department of Defense shall be used to initiate multi-year procurements utilizing advance procurement funding for economic order quantity procurement unless specifically appropriated later.
103.Appropriations made by section 101 shall be available to the extent and in the manner that would be provided by the pertinent appropriations Act.
104.Except as otherwise provided in section 102, no appropriation or funds made available or authority granted pursuant to section 101 shall be used to initiate or resume any project or activity for which appropriations, funds, or other authority were not available during fiscal year 2014.
105.Appropriations made and authority granted pursuant to this joint resolution shall cover all obligations or expenditures incurred for any project or activity during the period for which funds or authority for such project or activity are available under this joint resolution.
106.Unless otherwise provided for in this joint resolution or in the applicable appropriations Act for fiscal year 2015, appropriations and funds made available and authority granted pursuant to this joint resolution shall be available until whichever of the following first occurs:
(1)the enactment into law of an appropriation for any project or activity provided for in this joint resolution;
(2)the enactment into law of the applicable appropriations Act for fiscal year 2015 without any provision for such project or activity; or
(3)December 11, 2014.
107.Expenditures made pursuant to this joint resolution shall be charged to the applicable appropriation, fund, or authorization whenever a bill in which such applicable appropriation, fund, or authorization is contained is enacted into law.
108.Appropriations made and funds made available by or authority granted pursuant to this joint resolution may be used without regard to the time limitations for submission and approval of apportionments set forth in section 1513 of title 31, United States Code, but nothing in this joint resolution may be construed to waive any other provision of law governing the apportionment of funds.
109.Notwithstanding any other provision of this joint resolution, except section 106, for those programs that would otherwise have high initial rates of operation or complete distribution of appropriations at the beginning of fiscal year 2015 because of distributions of funding to States, foreign countries, grantees, or others, such high initial rates of operation or complete distribution shall not be made, and no grants shall be awarded for such programs funded by this joint resolution that would impinge on final funding prerogatives.
110.This joint resolution shall be implemented so that only the most limited funding action of that permitted in the joint resolution shall be taken in order to provide for continuation of projects and activities.
111.(a)For entitlements and other mandatory payments whose budget authority was provided in appropriations Acts for fiscal year 2014, and for activities under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, activities shall be continued at the rate to maintain program levels under current law, under the authority and conditions provided in the applicable appropriations Act for fiscal year 2014, to be continued through the date specified in section 106(3).
(b)Notwithstanding section 106, obligations for mandatory payments due on or about the first day of any month that begins after October 2014 but not later than 30 days after the date specified in section 106(3) may continue to be made, and funds shall be available for such payments.
112.Amounts made available under section 101 for civilian personnel compensation and benefits in each department and agency may be apportioned up to the rate for operations necessary to avoid furloughs within such department or agency, consistent with the applicable appropriations Act for fiscal year 2014, except that such authority provided under this section shall not be used until after the department or agency has taken all necessary actions to reduce or defer non-personnel-related administrative expenses.
113.Funds appropriated by this joint resolution may be obligated and expended notwithstanding section 10 of Public Law 91''672 (22 U.S.C. 2412), section 15 of the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 U.S.C. 2680), section 313 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1994 and 1995 (22 U.S.C. 6212), and section 504(a)(1) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 3094(a)(1)).
114.(a)Each amount incorporated by reference in this joint resolution that was previously designated by the Congress for Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(A) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 or as being for disaster relief pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(D) of such Act is designated by the Congress for Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(A) of such Act or as being for disaster relief pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(D) of such Act, respectively.
(b)The reduction in section 101(b) of this joint resolution shall not apply to'--
(1)amounts designated under subsection (a) of this section; or
(2)amounts made available by section 101(a) by reference to the second paragraph under the heading Social Security Administration'--Limitation on Administrative Expenses in division H of Public Law 113''76.
(c)Section 6 of Public Law 113''76 shall apply to amounts designated in subsection (a) for Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism.
115.During the period covered by this joint resolution, discretionary amounts appropriated for fiscal year 2015 that were provided in advance by appropriations Acts shall be available in the amounts provided in such Acts, reduced by the percentage in section 101(b).
116.Notwithstanding section 101, amounts are provided for Department of Agriculture'--Domestic Food Programs'--Food and Nutrition Service'--Commodity Assistance Program at a rate for operations of $275,701,000, of which $208,682,000 shall be for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program.
117.For Department of Health and Human Services'--Food and Drug Administration'--Salaries and Expenses, amounts shall be made available by this joint resolution as if outsourcing facility fees authorized by 21 U.S.C. 379j''62, were included after 21 U.S.C. 381, in the second paragraph under such heading in division A of Public Law 113''76.
118.Amounts made available by section 101 for Department of Commerce'--National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration'--Procurement, Acquisition and Construction may be apportioned up to the rate for operations necessary to maintain the planned launch schedules for the Joint Polar Satellite System and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite system.
119.Notwithstanding any other provision of law, except sections 106 and 107 of this joint resolution, for Department of Defense'--Overseas Contingency Operations'--Operation and Maintenance'--Operation and Maintenance, Army, up to $50,000,000, to be derived by reducing the amount otherwise made available by section 101 for such account, may be used to conduct surface and subsurface clearance of unexploded ordnance at closed training ranges used by the Armed Forces of the United States in Afghanistan: Provided, That such funds may only be used if the training ranges are not transferred to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for use by its armed forces: Provided further, That the authority provided by this section shall continue in effect through the earlier of the date specified in section 106(3) of this joint resolution or the date of the enactment of an Act authorizing appropriations for fiscal year 2015 for military activities of the Department of Defense: Provided further, That such amount is designated as provided under section 114 for such account.
120.The following authorities shall continue in effect through the earlier of the date specified in section 106(3) of this joint resolution or the date of the enactment of an Act authorizing appropriations for fiscal year 2015 for military activities of the Department of Defense:
(1)Section 1004 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1991 (Public Law 101''510; 10 U.S.C. 374 note).
(2)Section 1215 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law 112''81; 10 U.S.C. 113 note).
(3)Section 127b of title 10, United States Code, notwithstanding subsection (c)(3)(C) of such section.
(4)Subsection (b) of section 572 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 (20 U.S.C. 7703b(b)), notwithstanding paragraph (4) of such subsection.
121.(a)Funds made available by section 101 for Department of Energy'--Energy Programs'--Uranium Enrichment Decontamination and Decommissioning Fund may be apportioned up to the rate for operations necessary to avoid disruption of continuing projects or activities funded in this appropriation.
(b)The Secretary of Energy shall notify the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate not later than 3 days after each use of the authority provided in subsection (a).
122.(a)Funds made available by section 101 for Department of Energy'--Environmental and Other Defense Activities'--Defense Environmental Cleanup for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant may be obligated at a rate for operations necessary to assure timely execution of activities necessary to restore and upgrade the repository.
(b)The Secretary of Energy shall notify the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate on each use of the spending rate authority provided in this section that exceeds customary apportionment allocations.
123.Notwithstanding any other provision of this joint resolution, except section 106, the District of Columbia may expend local funds under the heading District of Columbia Funds for such programs and activities under title IV of H.R. 5016 (113th Congress), as passed by the House of Representatives on July 16, 2014, at the rate set forth under District of Columbia Funds'--Summary of Expenses as included in the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Request Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20''370), as modified as of the date of the enactment of this joint resolution.
124.Notwithstanding section 101, amounts are provided for Office of Special Counsel'--Salaries and Expenses at a rate for operations of $22,939,000.
125.The third proviso under the heading Small Business Administration'--Business Loans Program Account in division E of Public Law 113''76 is amended by striking $17,500,000,000 and inserting $18,500,000,000: Provided, That amounts made available by section 101 for such proviso under such heading may be apportioned up to the rate for operations necessary to accommodate increased demand for commitments to general business loans under section 7(a) of the Small Business Act: Provided further, That this section shall become effective upon enactment of this joint resolution.
126.Sections 1101(a) and 1104(a)(2)(A) of the Internet Tax Freedom Act (title XI of division C of Public Law 105''277; 47 U.S.C. 151 note) shall be applied by substituting the date specified in section 106(3) of this joint resolution for November 1, 2014.
127.Section 550(b) of Public Law 109''295 (6 U.S.C. 121 note) shall be applied by substituting the date specified in section 106(3) of this joint resolution for October 4, 2014.
128.The authority provided by section 831 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 391) shall continue in effect through the date specified in section 106(3) of this joint resolution.
129.(a)Amounts made available by section 101 for the Department of Homeland Security for U.S. Customs and Border Protection'--Salaries and Expenses, U.S. Customs and Border Protection'--Border Security Fencing, Infrastructure, and Technology, U.S. Customs and Border Protection'--Air and Marine Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection'--Construction and Facilities Management, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement'--Salaries and Expenses shall be obligated at a rate for operations as necessary to respectively'--
(1)sustain the staffing levels of U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and Border Patrol agents in accordance with the provisos under the heading U.S. Customs and Border Protection'--Salaries and Expenses in division F of Public Law 113''76;
(2)sustain border security and immigration enforcement operations;
(3)sustain necessary Air and Marine operations; and
(4)sustain the staffing levels of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, equivalent to the staffing levels achieved on September 30, 2014, and comply with the fifth proviso under the heading U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement'--Salaries and Expenses in division F of Public Law 113''76.
(b)The Secretary of Homeland Security shall notify the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate on each use of the authority provided in this section.
130.Section 810 of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (16 U.S.C. 6809) shall be applied by substituting on the date that is 1 year after the date specified in section 106(3) of the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015 for 10 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.
131.(a)The authority provided by subsection (m)(3) of section 8162 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2000 (40 U.S.C. 8903 note; Public Law 106''79) shall continue in effect through the date specified in section 106(3) of this joint resolution.
(b)For the period covered by this joint resolution, the authority provided by the provisos under the heading Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission'--Capital Construction in division E of Public Law 112''74 shall not be in effect.
132.Activities authorized under part A of title IV and section 1108(b) of the Social Security Act (other than under section 413(h) of such Act) shall continue through the date specified in section 106(3) of this joint resolution, in the manner authorized for fiscal year 2014 (except that the amount appropriated for section 403(b) of such Act shall be $598,000,000, and the requirement to reserve funds provided for in section 403(b)(2) of such Act shall not apply with respect to this section), and out of any money in the Treasury of the United States not otherwise appropriated, there are hereby appropriated such sums as may be necessary for such purpose. Grants and payments may be made pursuant to this authority through the applicable portion of the first quarter of fiscal year 2015 at the pro rata portion of the level provided for such activities through the first quarter of fiscal year 2014.
133.Amounts allocated to Head Start grantees from amounts identified in the seventh proviso under the heading Department of Health and Human Services'--Administration for Children and Families'--Children and Families Services Programs in Public Law 113''76 shall not be included in the calculation of the base grant in fiscal year 2015, as such term is used in section 640(a)(7)(A) of the Head Start Act (42 U.S.C. 9835(a)(7)(A)).
134.The first proviso under the heading Department of Health and Human Services'--Administration for Children and Families'--Low Income Home Energy Assistance in division H of Public Law 113''76 shall be applied to amounts made available by this joint resolution by substituting 2015 for 2014.
135.Amounts provided by this joint resolution for Department of Health and Human Services'--Administration for Children and Families'--Refugee and Entrant Assistance may be apportioned up to the rate for operations necessary to maintain program operations at the level provided in fiscal year 2014.
136.In addition to the amount otherwise provided by this joint resolution for Department of Health and Human Services'--Office of the Secretary'--Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, there is appropriated $58,000,000 for an additional amount for fiscal year 2015, to remain available until September 30, 2015, for expenses necessary to support acceleration of countermeasure and product advanced research and development pursuant to section 319L of the Public Health Service Act for addressing Ebola.
137.In addition to the amount otherwise provided by this joint resolution for Department of Health and Human Services'--Centers for Disease Control and Prevention'--Global Health, there is appropriated $30,000,000 for an additional amount for fiscal year 2015, to remain available until September 30, 2015, for expenses necessary to support the responses of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (referred to in this section as the CDC) to the outbreak of Ebola virus in Africa: Provided, That such funds shall be available for transfer by the Director of the CDC to other accounts of the CDC for such support: Provided further, That the Director of the CDC shall notify the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate not later than 30 days after the date of any transfer under the preceding proviso.
138.Amounts made available by this joint resolution for Department of Education'--Rehabilitation Services and Disability Research, Department of Education'--Departmental Management'--Program Administration, and Department of Health and Human Services'--Administration for Community Living'--Aging and Disability Services Programs may be obligated in the account and budget structure set forth in section 491 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (42 U.S.C. 3515e).
139.Of the unobligated balance of amounts provided by section 108 of Public Law 111''3, $4,549,000,000 is rescinded.
140.Section 113 of division H of Public Law 113''76 shall be applied by substituting the date specified in section 106(3) for September 30, 2014.
141.(a)Notwithstanding section 101, amounts are made available for accounts in title I of division J of Public Law 113''76 at an aggregate rate for operations of $6,558,223,500.
(b)Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this joint resolution, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate a report delineating the allocation of budget authority in subsection (a) by account and project.
142.Notwithstanding section 101, amounts are provided for Department of Veterans Affairs'--Departmental Administration'--General Operating Expenses, Veterans Benefits Administration at a rate for operations of $2,524,254,000.
143.Notwithstanding section 101, amounts are provided for Department of Veterans Affairs'--Departmental Administration'--Office of Inspector General at a rate for operations of $126,411,000.
144.Section 209 of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 6436) shall be applied by substituting the date specified in section 106(3) of this joint resolution for September 30, 2014.
145.Amounts made available by section 101 for Broadcasting Board of Governors'--International Broadcasting Operations, Bilateral Economic Assistance'--Funds Appropriated to the President'--Economic Support Fund, International Security Assistance'--Department of State'--International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement, International Security Assistance'--Department of State'--Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining and Related Programs, and International Security Assistance'--Funds Appropriated to the President'--Foreign Military Financing Program shall be obligated at a rate for operations as necessary to sustain assistance for Ukraine and independent states of the Former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe to counter external, regional aggression and influence.
146.Section 7081(4) of division K of Public Law 113''76 shall be applied to amounts made available by this joint resolution by substituting the date specified in section 106(3) of this joint resolution for September 30, 2014.
147.The Export-Import Bank Act of 1945 (12 U.S.C. 635 et seq.) shall be applied through June 30, 2015, by substituting such date for September 30, 2014 in section 7 of such Act.
148.(a)Section 44302(f) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by striking September 30, 2014 and inserting the date specified in section 106(3) of the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015.
(b)Section 44303(b) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by striking September 30, 2014 and inserting the date specified in section 106(3) of the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015.
(c)Section 44310(a) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by striking September 30, 2014 and inserting the date specified in section 106(3) of the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015.
149.(a)The Secretary of Defense is authorized, in coordination with the Secretary of State, to provide assistance, including training, equipment, supplies, and sustainment, to appropriately vetted elements of the Syrian opposition and other appropriately vetted Syrian groups and individuals for the following purposes:
(1)Defending the Syrian people from attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and securing territory controlled by the Syrian opposition.
(2)Protecting the United States, its friends and allies, and the Syrian people from the threats posed by terrorists in Syria.
(3)Promoting the conditions for a negotiated settlement to end the conflict in Syria.
(b)Not later than 15 days prior to providing assistance authorized under subsection (a) to vetted recipients for the first time'--
(1)the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees and leadership of the House of Representatives and Senate a report, in unclassified form with a classified annex as appropriate, that contains a description of'--
(A)the plan for providing such assistance;
(B)the requirements and process used to determine appropriately vetted recipients; and
(C)the mechanisms and procedures that will be used to monitor and report to the appropriate congressional committees and leadership of the House of Representatives and Senate on unauthorized end-use of provided training and equipment and other violations of relevant law by recipients; and
(2)the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees and leadership of the House of Representatives and Senate a report, in unclassified form with a classified annex as appropriate, that contains a description of how such assistance fits within a larger regional strategy.
(c)The plan required in subsection (b)(1) shall include a description of'--
(1)the goals and objectives of assistance authorized under subsection (a);
(2)the concept of operations, timelines, and types of training, equipment, and supplies to be provided;
(3)the roles and contributions of partner nations;
(4)the number of United States Armed Forces personnel involved;
(5)any additional military support and sustainment activities; and
(6)any other relevant details.
(d)Not later than 90 days after the Secretary of Defense submits the report required in subsection (b)(1), and every 90 days thereafter, the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, shall provide the appropriate congressional committees and leadership of the House of Representatives and the Senate with a progress report. Such progress report shall include a description of'--
(1)any updates to or changes in the plan, strategy, vetting requirements and process, and end-use monitoring mechanisms and procedures, as required in subsection (b)(1);
(2)statistics on green-on-blue attacks and how such attacks are being mitigated;
(3)the groups receiving assistance authorized under subsection (a);
(4)the recruitment, throughput, and retention rates of recipients and equipment;
(5)any misuse or loss of provided training and equipment and how such misuse or loss is being mitigated; and
(6)an assessment of the effectiveness of the assistance authorized under subsection (a) as measured against subsections (b) and (c).
(e)For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(1)The term appropriately vetted means, with respect to elements of the Syrian opposition and other Syrian groups and individuals, at a minimum, assessments of such elements, groups, and individuals for associations with terrorist groups, Shia militias aligned with or supporting the Government of Syria, and groups associated with the Government of Iran. Such groups include, but are not limited to, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Jabhat al Nusrah, Ahrar al Sham, other al-Qaeda related groups, and Hezbollah.
(2)The term appropriate congressional committees means'--
(A)the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Appropriations, and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives; and
(B)the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Appropriations, and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate.
(f)The Department of Defense may submit a reprogramming or transfer request to the congressional defense committees for funds made available by section 101(a)(3) of this joint resolution and designated in section 114 of this joint resolution to carry out activities authorized under this section notwithstanding sections 102 and 104 of this joint resolution.
(g)The Secretary of Defense may accept and retain contributions, including assistance in-kind, from foreign governments to carry out activities as authorized by this section which shall be credited to appropriations made available by this joint resolution for the appropriate operation and maintenance accounts, except that any funds so accepted by the Secretary shall not be available for obligation until a reprogramming action is submitted to the congressional defense committees: Provided, That amounts made available by this subsection are designated by the Congress for Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(A) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985: Provided further, That such amounts shall be available only if the President so designates such amounts and transmits such designations to the Congress.
(h)The authority provided in this section shall continue in effect through the earlier of the date specified in section 106(3) of this joint resolution or the date of the enactment of an Act authorizing appropriations for fiscal year 2015 for military activities of the Department of Defense.
(i)Nothing in this section shall be construed to constitute a specific statutory authorization for the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into situations wherein hostilities are clearly indicated by the circumstances.
(j)Nothing in this section supersedes or alters the continuing obligations of the President to report to Congress pursuant to section 4 of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1543) regarding the use of United States Armed Forces abroad.
This joint resolution may be cited as the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015.
Passed the House of Representatives September 17, 2014.
Karen L. Haas,
Clerk.
VIDEO CLIP OF THE DAY-Judge Jeanine WARNS Americans to prepare for the 'greatest THREAT America has EVER faced' >> The Right Scoop -
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 06:09
By soopermexican
In today's powerful opening statement by Judge Jeanine, she warns all American families that our country is facing one of the greatest threats we've ever faced, and since Obama isn't protecting us, we need to prepare for the worst.
Watch below:
About soopermexicanEl Sooper is an anonymous blogger who has broken many national stories and battled the mainstream liberal lapdog pendejo media with his Mexican wrestling blogger moves.
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VIDEO-White House fence jumper had ammunition, machete in car, prosecutors say - The Washington Post
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 02:06
Bystander captured video of Omar J. Gonzalez who jumped the fence around the White House Friday and sparked a security alert. Gonzalez got inside the front door of the White House before getting caught. (Alan Pawlinski via YouTube)
Federal prosecutors alleged Monday in federal court that a man who jumped a fence and ran into the White House's unlocked front door Friday night posed a threat to President Obama and was keeping 800 rounds of ammunition, two hatchets and a machete in his car, parked blocks away.
Omar Jose Gonzalez, 42, formerly of Copperas Cove, Tex., appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola of the District on one charge of unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon.
After a 15-minute hearing, Facciola ordered Gonzalez held until Oct. 1, pending revocation of bond by authorities in an unrelated July 19 incident in Wythe County, Va. In that case, he was arrested while allegedly carrying a sawed-off shotgun, two sniper rifles and several other firearms, as well as a map of the Washington area with the Masonic Temple in Alexandria, Va., circled and a line pointed toward the White House, a local prosecutor said.
Authorities in Wythe County, about 300 miles southwest of Washington, released Gonzalez and referred to a grand jury felony charges of eluding a police officer while possessing a sawed-off shotgun.
On Aug. 25, U.S. Secret Service officers saw Gonzalez carrying a hatchet in the back waistband of his pants along the south fence of the White House and questioned him, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Mudd said. Gonzalez agreed to let them search his vehicle, parked nearby on New York Avenue NW, but at that time they found only camping gear and two dogs, and released him, Mudd said.
The Secret Service learned of the circumstances surrounding Gonzalez's July 19 arrest in Wythe County shortly after stopping him last month, according to a person familiar with the facts of the case, but it is unclear exactly when or how it factored into its decision to release him or take any further actions.
A spokesman for the Secret Service declined to comment on an active criminal case and said a comprehensive after-action review was underway including Gonzalez's criminal history and contacts with agency personnel.
On Monday, Mudd told the federal court, Gonzalez's ''preoccupation with the White House and accumulation of a large amount of ammunition in apparently a short period of time represented a danger to the president.''
The Secret Service on Saturday began a security review to learn how Gonzalez, who was carrying a Spyerdco VG10 folding knife with a 31/2- inch serrated blade in his pocket, was allegedly able to breach the White House doors after jumping the Pennsylvania Avenue fence and sprinting more than 70 yards across the North Lawn. It is the first time a fence-jumper has entered the White House.
Obama and his family had left the White House about 10 minutes before the incident occurred at 7:20 p.m. Friday.
In the wake of the incident the Secret Service has increased foot patrols and stepped-up surveillance, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Monday. He said changes also were made at the gate used by guests.
''The Secret Service does a great job,'' Obama said Monday. ''I'm grateful for all the sacrifices they make on my behalf and on my family's behalf.''
According to an affidavit signed by Secret Service officer David Hochman, Gonzalez after his arrest told Agent Lee Smart that he was concerned that the ''atmosphere was collapsing'' and that he needed to inform the president to get the word out to the people.
However, neither prosecutors nor Gonzalez's assigned defense attorneys invoked his mental competency as an issue for now. Assistant Federal Public Defender David Bos said Gonzalez understands the proceeding against him.
Gonzalez's friends and relatives said that he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving six years in Iraq with the Army Special Forces as a sniper, and that he had been living in his car and staying where he could for the past couple of years.
Gonzalez's attorneys have said that Gonzalez has no convictions and that he served 18 years in the U.S. military, including three tours in Iraq.
The Army said he served from 1997 until his discharge in 2003, and again from 2005 to December 2012, when he retired due to disability. The Army said he was a cavalry scout and served in Iraq from October 2006 to January 2008 and had been posted to Fort Hood, Tex. and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, in Washington state.
In the Virginia incident, Gonzalez was arrested before noon July 19 while driving a gray Ford Bronco sport utility vehicle northbound on Interstate 81 near Wytheville, after reaching a speed of 83 miles per hour, driving in the median several times, and not responding to a Virginia State Police trooper's signal to stop, prompting other troopers to join a 20-mile chase, according to Wythe County prosecutors.
In the SUV, police found two sniper rifles, an assault rifle, a bolt-action rifle, one sawed-off and one intact shot gun, five handguns, more than seven loaded magazines of ammunition and the map, authorities said.
In addition to the marks around the Masonic Temple and White House, handwriting on the map read ''Easter mon'' and ''Manassas Battlefield yellow trail,'' said Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney David Saliba.
The only illegal firearm was the sawed-off shot gun, Saliba said, although State Police seized all the weapons pursuant to a search warrant in Pulaski County where Gonzalez was pulled over, and are holding them as evidence. Gonzalez posted $5,000 bond and was released from jail that day, Saliba said.
Gonzalez returned to Wythe County General District Court Sept 11, where a judge referred felony counts of eluding police and possessing a sawed-off shotgun to a grand jury, which is scheduled to meet Oct. 20, and prosecutors dropped misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and improper passing, Saliba said.
Saliba said State Police troopers noted that Gonzalez indicated he was a veteran and had been treated for post-traumatic stress disorder, but they did not regard him as dangerous or mentally unstable.
Saliba said he believed the case was handled appropriately.
''We see a lot of cases on the interstate. We have [Interstates] 81 and 77 both running through here. But for the sheer number of guns, the only illegal firearm was the sawed-off shotgun,'' Saliba said. He added, ''And he [Gonzalez] was former military. He had been discharged, and he did not to the trooper seem to be a threat or anything like that.''
Secret Service officers are trained not to shoot intruders on the grounds unless they appear armed or are wearing bulky clothing or backpacks that could indicate they are carrying a bomb. The officers did not release an attack dog for reasons that are under investigation.
The Secret Service is considering closing portions of Pennsylvania Avenue to the public, adding barriers around the White House compound's perimeter and screening visitors farther from entrance gates.
This story has been updated.
Spencer S. Hsu is an investigative reporter, two-time Pulitzer finalist and national Emmy award nominee.
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VIDEO-PJ Media >> PJTV: RFK Jr. Loses It at Climate Rally When Michelle Fields Pushes Him to Lead By Example and Give Up His Cell Phone (Video)
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 07:06
Michelle Fields ran into Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at the 'People's Climate March' in NYC on Sunday. The two had a testy exchange and RFK Jr. revealed his climate rage when Michelle pressed him about being a hypocrite and urged him to lead by example.
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VIDEO-'‹Covert US-EU trade deal could make NHS privatization irreversible '' trade unions '-- RT UK
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 06:57
Published time: September 10, 2014 16:12Edited time: September 11, 2014 09:12European Commission headquaters, Brussels. (Image from panoramio.com)
A group of high-profile trade unions have backed a growing campaign opposed to a new transatlantic trade deal critics claim will make the privatization of Britain's National Health Service (NHS) irreversible.
Three of the UK's largest unions have tendered motions to the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Liverpool, outlining their opposition to the cross-border agreement currently being negotiated by EU bureaucrats and US delegates.
While the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is the largest bilateral trade deal ever brokered, it is currently being developed behind closed doors.
Critics caution it threatens to culminate in the permanent privatization of NHS services by prioritizing profit-wielding corporate firms over domestic lawmakers. Once finalised, UK union Unite warns the deal would pave the way for US corporations, or any firm affiliated with American investors, to sue the British government if it ever embarked on an effort to place privatized health services back under public ownership. Such legal proceedings would be conducted in a secret court setting, the union says.
Once a final agreement is reached, MPs are set to vote on the deal.
Speaking at the TUC in Liverpool on Wednesday, Unite Assistant General Secretary Gail Cartmail urged congress delegates to oppose the TTIP and rally support amongst people in the UK to demand Prime Minister David Cameron keep Britain's health services out of the TTIP agreement.
Reflecting on the danger of the TTIP, Cartmail said, ''It is clear this government thought they could do this deal in secret '' a deal that would mean the irreversible sell-off of our NHS to America.''
The union's assistant general secretary compared the privatization of Britain's NHS to that of the nation's energy sector '' arguing claims this sell-off would culminate in lowered energy prices merely resulted in energy firms reaping ''record profits'' while fuel poverty remains rife.
Cartmail added: ''Wall Street financiers like Blackrock and Invesco are already heavily invested in the NHS '' over 70 percent of new contracts are now in private hands. Over £11 billion of our money in the hands of casino capitalists.''
Calling upon Britons to collectively campaign for the government to ''veto health from TTIP'', she said the British government had privatized the state's ''health care with no mandate'' and must ''not be allowed to sell off our health service to America.''
As covert EU-US negotiations continue, a cross-border European campaign against the trade deal is gathering momentum. Environmentalists, trade unions and leftwing political parties from far-flung states in Europe are collectively voicing their opposition to the TTIP.
Some 10,000 people recently took part in over 600 separate events throughout Britain organized by the UK campaign group, 38 Degrees, in an effort to raise awareness about the dangers the agreement poses to British citizens. According to the campaign, the TTIP harbors profound socio-economic implications for Britons should it be passed, and raises serious questions about the nation's political sovereignty.
''The deal would put the profits of big businesses ahead of our environment, our healthcare, and could even stop the government raising the minimum wage in the future,'' an 38 Degrees spokesperson said.
The British government denies allegations the agreement is driven by the agenda of multinational firms intent upon market deregulation, which would seek to render NHS privatization permanent and soften financial regulation.
Labour's shadow health secretary, Andy Burnham, recently argued the NHS should be removed from the negotiation table and excluded from this deal, which threatens the fabric of a publicly-run NHS.
''The market is not the answer to 21st century healthcare. The demands of 21st century care require integration; markets deliver fragmentation," he said.
VIDEO-Remarks at the 2014 Frontiers in Development Forum
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 06:12
SECRETARY KERRY: (Applause.) Thank you very much. Eliot, thank you very, very much. I accept the nomination. (Laughter.) It's wonderful to be here. I give you a lot of credit, Eliot. As someone who represents New York's 16th District, as someone from the Bronx, thank you very much for not mentioning that the Boston Red Sox are 26 games out of first place. (Laughter.)
As I had the privilege of serving in Congress for almost 30 years and, as Eliot mentioned, had the privilege of chairing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the counterpart to the House. And just yesterday, instead of being on the dais as chairman, I was reminded of my beginnings and of sitting on the other side of the witness table now as Secretary in front of Eliot's committee for hours of a healthy back-and-forth. And I particularly respect the way Eliot, as ranking member, joins in leading that committee in partnership with Ed Royce. He's thoughtful, it's a serious approach, it's deliberative in the very best sense of the word, and the Congress and American foreign policy, frankly, are very lucky to have Eliot Engel leading those debates on issues that affect the security of our country. So Eliot, I thank you very much, as does everybody here. Appreciate it. (Applause.)
I also want to thank Raj Shah. It's impossible to overstate or even overestimate what it means to have a real innovator leading USAID, and Raj launched USAID's Development Lab, and now our world-class universities are helping to create development solutions. Raj has led USAID's efforts on Feed the Future, and it is a testament '' I was just chatting with him about it as we walked in here '' it's a testament to the success of these public-private partnerships in addressing global hunger that a bipartisan group of leaders in Congress introduced a bill yesterday to double down on this transformative approach.
This conference is called Frontiers in Development, and the people of USAID are pioneers. You're working on the front lines of some of the world's toughest challenges. Extreme poverty has plagued us for a long period of time. It is not only a challenge to our values and our sense of humanity, but as Eliot mentioned in his introduction, it presents us with dangers. It is a challenge to our security. And the sooner we get people to connect that, the sooner we will find greater commitment to some of the solutions that we need. So Raj, I thank you and your entire team for the USAID contribution to this. (Applause.)
I was greeted as I came in by President Kikwete, and I know he is going to speak today about the partnerships that we need in order to end poverty. And for President Kikwete, those are not just words. This is a leader who is making these things happen, who is implementing these things, and I want to thank him for bringing partners together here in order to confront climate change. I want to thank him for promoting peace in the Great Lakes, and I want to thank him for asking tough questions in order to reform Tanzania's government.
And I know that Foreign Minister Tedros is here also. I've had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia twice as Secretary, and the privilege of working with Minister Tedros on many critical issues in past months '' from South Sudan to food security. And in the partnerships that are spurring Ethiopia's development, helping to make it one of the fastest growing economies in the world, we have a sense of the enormous possibilities of this moment.
Now I'll tell you that the foreign minister and I went out to dinner when I had a free moment '' rare '' when I was in Addis Ababa. And we were talking about poverty. I asked him about the Muslim population of his country and what was happening and what kind of challenges this presented, and particularly the challenge of extremists who grab young minds, pay the money, then don't have to because they have the mind, and then use them as recruits and build on a long-term strategy not to build the country, not to provide jobs, but to take over, destroy, and to set one way of life, one pattern, one edict, one law, one rule, and none of it modern or willing to accept modernity. So that's a conversation I remember very, very well. And I appreciate enormously his and Ethiopia's leadership.
There's one more leader I want to mention here, someone who has been way ahead of the game in terms of understanding the borderless future that we look at and has seen always the opportunities as well as the challenges and been able to marry a notion of leadership with those possibilities. And that is this special person, Mary Robinson, the UN Special Envoy for Climate Change. Mary has proven her leadership, her moral authority, her ability to help communities understand shared future and shared responsibilities, and that leadership is more vital than ever, and she is bringing that to bear in the struggle against climate change. It could not be more important now. I've had the privilege of working with her and knowing her for many, many years. Mary, thank you so much for your wonderful leadership. We appreciate it. Thank you. (Applause.)
This is a complicated world we're living in right now. It's always been complicated, but now those complications are sort of stripped of any sense of being hidden in the crevasses or tampened down by dictators. It's all breaking out in lots of different ways. For some people it's scary and there are real challenges, as we see in what we are facing with ISIL right now. On the other hand, there's also this enormous moment of opportunity that we're looking at, that if we make the right choices and bring countries together to unite around the right policies, it can also be transformative. We're living in a time of remarkable inter-connection, every one of us. Already in the moments that I've been here, I saw a bunch of you holding up your smart phones and ready to Tweet or Instagram or let people know where you are and what you're doing, and that happens all over the world. Every one of us has a Facebook and most people engage in either Instagram activities or Twitter, whatever. Everybody shares everything with everybody all of the time. And that changes politics.
There are people who, using the social media, have tweeted pictures of leaders in a certain country who they had pictures of at one time wearing very expensive watches, and then when accountability time came, the watches disappeared. But they showed them with their tan line from the watches '' (laughter) '' and they were caught anyway and held accountable. It changes things. There's a new level of capacity for accountability, whether it's Tahrir Square or what happened early on in Syria which then transformed into this different kind of conflict. But this inter-connectedness changes business. It changes life. It changes politics. It changes the course '' crosscurrents of decision making. It is indeed one of the things that even makes it harder to build consensus as a political leader and to get people to make decisions, and it changes, obviously, the amount of information that every individual in the world has to affect their life.
So because of that, for all of us it also has to change our approach to development. Networks of power are challenging old hierarchies of power. Entirely new centers of global economic power are emerging, and the new networked world creates this remarkable opportunity that I'm talking about. It also presents some new challenges. Some of them are profound. The scourge of Ebola in West Africa reminds us how quickly a health crisis can spread, threatening thousands of lives and putting growth and stability at risk. But these tragic events also show us something else: that despite all the changes in the new hyper-connected world, there remains no substitute for leadership. President Obama understands that and I hope I understand that, and that's what we believe we are showing, and that's what President Obama showed this week when he outlined an ambitious and comprehensive strategy in order to combat Ebola. We're using all of the tools of American power '' our military, our diplomats, our health agencies, our universities, as well as know-how from our private sector, bringing them together in partnership in order to help the people of West Africa to tackle this moment of crisis. But I also want to be very clear about something: Even as we focus on crises and flashpoints that dominate the headlines and demand an immediate response, demand crisis leadership, we will always act with long-term opportunities and imperatives foremost in our mind.
And that's why we remain so encouraged by the opportunities in Africa, for instance. The continent is home to many of the world's fastest-growing economies and to 700 million people under the age of 30 '' a staggering youth bulge unknown at any other time on the face of this planet or in time of history. I've met with some of these young people from across the continent, both on the visit to Sub-Saharan Africa this year as part of our Young African Leaders Initiative here in Washington. These men and women are increasingly aware of opportunities available to their peers across the world. It's exciting to meet with them and listen to the things they are doing, and also just to look at the resume of many of these young folks which would dazzle anybody in the New York financial market or anywhere else in the world.
I've seen firsthand the ambition that they have and the talent to do something with that ambition. They're already reinventing their continent. And no matter where they live, young men and women are motivated by exactly the same things. They want a good job, they want a decent education, they want dignity, respect, a future. They want to be able to have a family, raise their family, live well, do better, access to healthcare, institutions they can trust, gender equality, freedom from discrimination, and a healthy planet that has a future. These are their aspirations. It's the aspirations of most people in most parts of the world.
But on the other side '' and there is another side, and that is what we face today in the Middle East, in parts of Africa, in South Central Asia and other parts of the world; we saw it with arrests made yesterday in Australia, even in places you would least expect it '' there are extremists who want to prey on young people's frustrations, who want to seduce people to follow them to a very calculated way into a dead end.
I've just returned from working with our partners in the Middle East and Europe to confront these extremists, to forge a global coalition against ISIL. This is the last thing that we wanted to have to do. The energies of the world ought to be spent providing that education and delivering the healthcare and opening up economic opportunity, creating new energy opportunities, all of these things '' not having to continue to fight each other because someone thinks they can tell everybody else how to live and what to do.
But the way these people are marching through Syria and into Iraq and trying to spread their evil elsewhere, their grotesque acts of violence and brutality, they've provided stark reminders of what is at stake. And mind you, it is not just in Iraq and Syria. That's why later this morning, I am leaving for New York to lead a session of the UN Security Council, where we will focus on how we can come together and confront this toxic ideology. And whether it's ISIL or Boko Haram or al-Shabaab, their ideology does not include a plan to build a nation, which is what we're here to talk about. They don't have a plan to create jobs or deliver opportunity. They don't have any of those things that people most want. But they do have a strategy to capitalize on the grievances of those who feel underrepresented and left behind, to march into places of extreme poverty and turn them into their direction, to capitalize on a failure of governance and a failure of vision and a failure of leadership and a failure of accountability, to capitalize on impunity that comes with corruption in too many places.
So when extremists measure their success by what they destroy, we are compelled to measure ours by what we're building. (Applause.) When extremists succeed from stoking old hatreds, we succeed by imagining new solutions and delivering opportunity. That's why President Obama described development as a critical pillar of American power. That's why what's happening here is important. And that's why, from the very beginning of his presidency, he made a clear connection between our development efforts and our economic strength, between our development efforts and our national security.
And that's why, as Secretary of State, I established a clear set of ambitious development priorities. First, we have to work together to eliminate extreme poverty through inclusive economic growth '' inclusive economic growth '' because we know that no society can thrive when entire segments of the population are excluded from opportunity. Investing in the foundations of economic growth '' health, education, food security '' is absolutely critical.
Second, we need to work to achieve full gender equality, because societies where women and girls are safe, where women are empowered to exercise their rights and move their communities forward '' these societies are more prosperous and they're more stable, not occasionally but always. (Applause.)
Finally '' and finally, because none of our development gains can endure without global action on climate change and solutions for the most vulnerable, we have to confront these challenges today '' not five years from now or in ten years or somewhere down in the future, but now, today, because they are that compelling. And we know this. We actually know this. Doesn't mean we'll respond, but we know it.
Climate change means the heatwaves we're already seeing, the extraordinary level of fires because of drought that is beyond the hundred-year mark. It's the 500-year mark. Water shortages also way beyond hundred-year marks. All of this means conflicts over resources and serious implications for feeding the world's growing population. Development is the only possible way, and it's only possible if we grow more sustainably, if we reduce greenhouse gas emissions, if we transition to a low-carbon economy.
One of the privileges of traveling as I do or Mary Robinson does or Raj does is we see this. We see it now happening. There are people killing each other over water in certain parts of the world. There are people who are refugees because of the lack of food and the changes and the absence of adequate agricultural policies in parts of the world. So this is a critical moment. This is not conjecture. This is not pie in the sky. This is not some time down the road; it's now, and we are compelled to respond.
The timing of this conference is no accident. We are here to reinforce the commitments that we made at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit where we focused on driving development through trade, investment, and partnership. And we're here because the year 2015 presents a unique convergence of events and international agreements that will test the commitment of world leaders to come together and address our shared challenges.
Can we arrive at a new set of development goals in September 2015 that are focused, strategic, ambitious goals that can mobilize governments, business, and citizens to work in common cause? Can we bring partners together in support of a strong financing for development agreement in Ethiopia in July next year? Will a climate agreement, which is possible next year in Paris in December, move us far beyond business as usual in reducing carbon emissions?
These are the questions; these are our challenges. And for all of us in the room here today and at the UN General Assembly in New York in the next few days, these are our responsibilities. At the State Department, at USAID, and across government agencies, we are not waiting until 2015 to set targets of our own. To achieve our ambitious goals on global hunger, on cutting carbon emissions, or with respect to extreme poverty, we have to be just as ambitious in modernizing our approach to development as we are in the vision that we express.
In too many ways, our development tools have simply not kept up with this changing world. We've seen how barriers to trade and technology come crumbling down, but when it comes to development, too many barriers don't come crumbling down. They still exist between governments and NGOs, between the public and the private sector, between nations who are actually committed to the same goals.
Today, developing nations are a destination for close to $1.5 trillion in private sector investment. These nations have 5.9 trillion in their domestic budgets. So that alone tells you how the game has changed in the level of investment and the level of available expenditure and revenue to some of these governments and resources that they have and demand for those resources. All of that requires us to see the opportunities that it creates. The United States is blessed to sit in the center of global networks. We have a unique ability to mobilize resources from diverse sources, from partner governments, Fortune 500 companies, multilateral banks, philanthropists, and individual citizens. The United States is, in fact, in the best position to advance an approach that brings partners together and sets high standards for accountability and transparency.
We're already setting a new standard with some of this approach. Look at how Feed the Future and the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition are leveraging public funding to mobilize billions in private investment. Today, because of Feed the Future's innovative approach, seven million more farmers have the support that they need to improve the yields of their crops and to connect with global food markets.
Last year alone, targeted support for female farmers delivered better nutrition to 12.5 million children across 19 different countries. We could actually do more. We're helping fishermen sustain wild fisheries, helping them to feed their families, and reducing poverty in coastal communities. But these gains cannot be sustained unless we confront new threats from extreme weather and climate volatility.
That's why the United States is helping to launch a Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture next week in New York, and that's why I hosted a conference this spring in the State Department to tackle threats to our oceans, threats that have a severe effect on the food supply for some of the poorest countries. But these efforts should not and they cannot stand alone. We need to focus on climate resilience and sustainability across every single thing that we do.
More than 1 billion people now live in low-lying coastal regions, many in the direct path of rising seas. I was just in the Solomon Islands where they showed me graphically the difference that is already making in their lives, where they have extraordinary storm surges, hundreds of millions more face extreme droughts or flooding. And at this moment, we have the expertise to help these communities, we have the capacity, we have the ability to build better and smarter. So this isn't a question of know-how, this isn't a question of undiscovered solutions. This is a question of leadership and a question of willpower, and we have to make sure we apply both.
I've seen firsthand the differences in investments in climate resilience make. Last December I was in the Philippines. I saw up close and personal the total devastation, the total '' that Typhoon Haiyan left in its wake. And on Samar Island there was one major highway that outlasted the storm. It survived because MCC, Millennium Challenge Corporation, planned for more severe storms when they financed the road. It cost a little more, but not when you measure in what it would have cost to rebuild it if they'd lost it. In the access road provided to aid workers, in the countless lives and millions of dollars that it helped to save, we've already seen a benefit way beyond that cost.
So investing in climate resilience actually makes simple economic sense. It saves lives, it helps create more stable and prosperous communities, and that's why we have joined the Rockefeller Foundation in August to create a $100 million Global Resilience Partnership. And today, I'm proud to announce that the Swedish International Development Corporation has decided to join the partnership, providing an additional $50 million. Our first investment will be the Global Resilience Challenge where we're offering competitive grants to support locally driven solutions in the Sahel, in the Horn of Africa, and South Asia. And this is one more way that we are demonstrating our commitment to do our part and to tackle climate change, to lead by example. But we're not going to be able to do this alone. When the consequences of a changing climate are truly global, they have to be met with global cooperative action.
Make no mistake, my friends, there are plenty of challenges to overcome in the run-up to the UN climate negotiations next year, but let's also remember that we've come together before to confront a borderless, generational crisis, one which I am proud to say that we are now winning. So if anyone suggests that we are impotent to be able to combat climate change, remind them of what we have done to turn back the armies of indifference and denial in the fight against AIDS.
Last World AIDS Day, I was honored to stand with President Obama as he announced that PEPFAR had not only met but exceeded its goal '' more than 6.7 million people who are now receiving treatment supported by PEPFAR. It's an astounding number; a four-fold increase since the beginning of the Administration '' this Administration. And we know this: Investments in health drive stability, they drive economic growth, they advance gender quality '' and that's exactly what PEPFAR is doing.
Every one of the millions that PEPFAR has treated has a name, every one of those people '' a child with a unique contribution to make. And their lives remind us of what we can achieve through good development policies. More importantly, they remind us of the steadfast commitment that we need to achieve an AIDS-free generation, and we're on the brink of achieving that because of these efforts. Reaching that remarkable goal reminds us to meet the goals that we set in Durban this year: to ensure that PEPFAR is defined by greater transparency, greater impact, and a commitment to mutual accountability with our partner nations.
Already, we have brought all PEPFAR and U.S. Government agencies together to share data and best practices, so we're working at this. We've been able to deliver data-driven investments in areas where AIDS remains a persistent challenge, including in places where it affects women and girls at five times the rate of men. Now we're sharing PEPFAR's data with the world and making it easy to use so that innovators and local partners can make the best and the most of their resources.
And today, I'm pleased to announce a $63.5 million investment to help our partners mobilize domestic resources for public health. We're supporting efforts in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Nigeria, Vietnam, so that their investments can actually go further and save more lives. We're leveraging exponentially. And by making more resources available for countries to invest in prevention, in care, and also in treatment, we anticipate a $1 billion benefit over three years. And with what PEPFAR is doing with the Feed the Future efforts, we have proven examples of exactly how we can find ways to work with new partners and to use data more effectively. So when we've seen these practices deliver results in the private sector, there is absolutely no reason that we can't adopt them across all of our development efforts.
We're also doing more to mobilize private capital to advance our development goals. Last year alone, OPIC mobilized $4 billion in private investment overseas. OPIC helped a California startup cultivate acai berries in Brazil. They helped a Nevada-based company provide geothermal power in Kenya. And as part of the U.S.-Africa finance initiative, OPIC is helping deliver energy beyond the grid, reaching millions in rural areas without access to power.
So I am really proud of our plans to expand OPIC's operations in Africa at a time when private sector investment has become far and away the driving force behind global development, and it's absolutely vital that OPIC has the tools and the financing that it needs. But OPIC is not our only tool, and we need to have all of our gears of growth working together. We need Congress to reauthorize the African Growth and Opportunity Act, a tool that '' (applause) '' a tool that '' Eliot, you're going to take that applause back to all those congressmen, all right? (Laughter.) Because this is a tool that really has helped expand trade with African countries for 14 years of a track record now.
We also need to give the Millennium Challenge Corporation the flexibility to use its proven model in order to bolster economic growth in regions and cities. And after significant delays, we need Congress to pass IMF reform so that an institution that has been a foundation for American leadership can continue to drive prosperity, transparency, accountability, reform, and progress.
Now, this is a time where we have to show leadership '' all of us '' in shaping the development agenda in doing our part to end extreme poverty. It's not a mission-impossible; it's not an impossible dream. It's a reality. All of the things I've talked about change X number of lives, but there's still a lot of the rest of the alphabet of lives to reach. We need to reach all of those people, and in the doing so, we will make ourselves safer.
Every nation must play a part here, but the United States can uniquely demonstrate the courage to tackle some of the most difficult challenges. With the ambitious commitments we make, we can give others the confidence to join our efforts. And with the innovations that we deliver, we can give people across the world the tools and the data to shape their own future and challenge the status quo.
This work is part, I am proud to say without arrogance '' even with humility '' I say it is part of who we are as Americans. De Tocqueville wrote about it when he visited America and wrote his historic treaties '' the special quality of charity that is in America and how private people give back to community and help build community. It wasn't by accepting the status quo that the United States rebuilt a broken world after World War II, led the fight against diseases like polio or galvanized a global effort to confront the AIDS epidemic. To continue this kind of exceptional work in the world, we must have the courage to take smart risks, to embrace new partnerships, and to apply new thinking to how we bring people together.
The world watches us, but I am telling you this: The world will not wait for us. In this time of change, this moment of opportunity and challenge, we need to commit to reaching out across disciplines and across the world as Americans did before us, so that we can do the exceptional things that America has always done.
You often hear politicians nowadays talking about how exceptional America is. Well, I'll accept we are. But we're not exceptional because we say we are. We are exceptional because we do and have done exceptional things. Our responsibility as citizens of the United States means we're also citizens of the world. We've always looked at it that way. And that's how we keep the United States on the frontier of global development, and that's how we will make a difference.
Thank you all very much. (Applause.)
VIDEO-Feinstein: ISIS Great Threat to US -- They Behead Little Girls in Party Dresses
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 20:51
Feinstein said, "With ISIL, in my view this aims to be a country, a caliphate. It has a third of Syria already, it has occupied some 14, 15 cities in Iraq. It beheads children. I have a picture of what I estimate to be a six-year-old girl in a gingham party dress, white tights, a little red band around her wrist, mary janes, and she is lying on the ground and her head is gone. This could be an American child, it could be a European child, it could be a child anywhere. And this is the mentality of the group that we are so concerned with. They have killed thousands, they are marching on. they have an army. they are well organized. Many of us believe they are aimed at Baghdad, perhaps our embassy."
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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Agenda 21

MkUltra RFK Jr at Climate March.mp3
Dme Now Climate March - Culture Strike undocumented alien.mp3
Dme Now Climate March - moonbeamer.mp3
Kerry on Climate-Mother earth is SCREAMING.mp3
DiCaprio @ UN as an ACTOR.mp3

Caliphate!

Judge Jeanine election speech gaffe.mp3
FtNation Morell Lieberman Kagan - Its About Assad.mp3
Justice Jeanine Pirro best terror fear pr0n ever.mp3
Feinstein- also coughing tel.mp3
Feinstein- ISIS Great Threat to US -- They Behead Little Girls in Party Dresses.mp3
Feinstein- Her Head Is Gone.mp3
Oreilly on CBS Anti Terrorism Army.mp3
Gulini & Brolf-LONE WOLVES- about 'exxagerration' of ISIL in the media.mp3
Gulini & Brolf about 'exxagerration' of ISIL in the media.mp3.SyncTemp
Rear Admiral Kirby [spokeshole]- Gonna take years!.mp3
Kerry -7- "We Have The Legality To Do What We're Doing Today".mp3
Kerry -6- What we have achieved so far-LONG TIME.mp3
Kerry -5- Dangerous for troops but NO US BOOTS.mp3
Kerry -4- Two tells-cough-laugh.mp3
Kerry -3- On Korhesan.mp3
Kerry -2- Muslims ust yake Islam Back WTF.mp3
Kerry ananmour blow job intro.mp3
Obama UN - Dont blame Israel.mp3
Obama UN - Go after internet and social media.mp3
Obama UN - Muslims must DENOUNCE Islam.mp3
Obama UN - They terrorize no god would condone-FORCE-NETWORK OF DEATH.mp3
Obama UN - simple TRUTHS about USA.mp3
Obama UN - Ebola-Russia-ISIL-Its about control of technology.mp3
UN resolution 2178.pdf
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Hillary 2016

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