Cover for No Agenda Show 657: bio-hacking
October 2nd, 2014 • 3h 10m

657: bio-hacking


Every new episode of No Agenda is accompanied by a comprehensive list of shownotes curated by Adam while preparing for the show. Clips played by the hosts during the show can also be found here.

CSPAN call-in
Hi Adam and John.
ITM! I can't always donate money but I can donate advertising space on CSPAN! I recently moved from Sparks/Reno, NV to Boca Raton, FL which now gives me the great opportunity and advantage to plug NA. Just this morning, Wednesday Oct. 1st, at 9:58am I got through on the democrat line to talk about the ex-Merck doctor's opinion on Gardasil. I unfortunately forgot the ITM and stumbled around a little bit. It felt like amateur hour (minute). I'll be more on top of it next time. Go to the link at 36:00 minutes 9:58am EST.
One a side note. As there are no hillsides in Florida I will not be able to chalk any billboards. I am however plotting for the next free ad space to take over. I challenge other listeners to find free ad space and fill it with NA promotions in a non-destructive and environmentally friendly way. We don't want our message to be dirtied by the shitizens' opinions that our art/message is criminal.
Thank you for your service gentlemen.
- Matt
NA Karma app Updated
Wanted to let you know that I have made an update to the application that was known as No Agenda Karma Generator.
I am pleased to say that it is a complete overhaul and while I am sure there is plenty of room for improvement I think it has moved in the right direction.
I would like to mention that Donagh Hatton gave me a hand porting the NA Search when I was pulling my hair out trying to get it to work.
Seems like a good guy and I gave him credit in the app description.
Did we all read Vonnegut? The end is key!
Twitter is a better email system.
Presidential Proclamation --- Gold Star Mother's and Family's Day, 2014 OLD STAR MOTHER'S AND FAMILY'S DAY, 2014
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 00:52
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 26, 2014
- - - - - - -
For generations, mothers and families have given a piece of their heart to our Nation as their loved ones serve in our Armed Forces with honor and distinction. Seventy years ago, as Americans stormed an unforgiving beach, families waited anxiously for a call or a letter from an ocean away. And today, many families experience the absence of a deployed service member so future generations might know a more just and peaceful world. On Gold Star Mother's and Family's Day, we pay tribute to all those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and to the families who suffered the unimaginable pain of losing them so our Union might endure.
Hung in these families' front windows, blue-turned-gold stars remind us of their extraordinary loss and reflect not only the pride still in their eyes, but also the tears of pain that will never fully go away. Our Gold Star families hold dear to the values for which their loved ones gave their lives. With courage and resilience, they preserve the memories of the brave men and women we have lost by giving back to their communities and working toward a better future. As a Nation, we will always honor the sacrifice these families have made.
Our sacred obligation to our service members and their loved ones will never be forgotten. On this day and every day, we salute all those who have worn America's uniforms and the families who stand by them. Our homeland is stronger and safer because of these heroes. As we celebrate the memories of our troops who gave their last full measure of devotion, we renew our commitment to look after the loved ones they have left in our care.
The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 115 of June 23, 1936 (49 Stat. 1985 as amended), has designated the last Sunday in September as "Gold Star Mother's Day."
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 28, 2014, as Gold Star Mother's and Family's Day. I call upon all Government officials to display the flag of the United States over Government buildings on this special day. I also encourage the American people to display the flag and hold appropriate ceremonies as a public expression of our Nation's gratitude and respect for our Gold Star Mothers and Families.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-sixth 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.
Presidential Proclamation --- National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 2014
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:05
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 30, 2014
Domestic violence affects every American. It harms our communities, weakens the foundation of our Nation, and hurts those we love most. It is an affront to our basic decency and humanity, and it must end. During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we acknowledge the progress made in reducing these shameful crimes, embrace the basic human right to be free from violence and abuse, and recognize that more work remains until every individual is able to live free from fear. Last month, our Nation marked the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Before this historic law, domestic violence was seen by many as a lesser offense, and women in danger often had nowhere to go. But VAWA marked a turning point, and it slowly transformed the way people think about domestic abuse. Today, as 1 out of every 10 teenagers are physically hurt on purpose by someone they are dating, we seek to once again profoundly change our culture and reject the quiet tolerance of what is fundamentally unacceptable. That is why Vice President Joe Biden launched the 1is2many initiative to engage educators, parents, and students while raising awareness about dating violence and the role we all have to play in stopping it. And it is why the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault and the newly launched "It's On Us" campaign will address the intersection of sexual assault and dating violence on college campuses. Since VAWA's passage, domestic violence has dropped by almost two-thirds, but despite these strides, there is more to do. Nearly two out of three Americans 15 years of age or older know a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, and domestic violence homicides claim the lives of three women every day. When women and children are deprived of a loving home, legal protections, or financial independence because they fear for their safety, our Nation is denied its full potential. My Administration is committed to reaching a future free of domestic violence. We are building public-private partnerships to directly address domestic violence in our neighborhoods and workplaces, and we are helping communities use evidence-based screening programs to prevent domestic violence homicides. At the same time, the Federal Government is leading by example, developing policies to ensure domestic violence is addressed in the Federal workforce. New protections under the Affordable Care Act provide more women with access to free screenings and counseling for domestic violence. And when I proudly reauthorized VAWA last year, we expanded housing assistance; added critical protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans; and empowered tribal governments to protect Native American women from domestic violence in Indian Country. Our Nation's success can be judged by how we treat women and girls, and we must all work together to end domestic violence. As we honor the advocates and victim service providers who offer support during the darkest moments of someone's life, I encourage survivors and their loved ones who are seeking assistance to reach out by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or visiting This month, we recognize the survivors and victims of abuse whose courage inspires us all. We recommit to offering a helping hand to those most in need, and we remind them that they are not alone. 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 October 2014 as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I call on all Americans to speak out against domestic violence and support local efforts to assist victims of these crimes in finding the help and healing they need.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth 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.
Presidential Proclamation -- National Disability Employment Awareness Month, 2014
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 04:47
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 30, 2014
Americans with disabilities lead thriving businesses, teach our children, and serve our Nation; they are innovators and pioneers of technology. In urban centers and rural communities, they carry forward our Nation's legacy of hard work, responsibility, and sacrifice, and their contributions strengthen our economy and remind us that all Americans deserve the opportunity to participate fully in society. During National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we celebrate the Americans living with disabilities, including significant disabilities, who enrich our country, and we reaffirm the simple truth that each of us has something to give to the American story. This year's theme, "Expect. Employ. Empower.," reminds us that every American has a right to dignity, respect, and a fair shot at success in the workplace. For too long, workers with disabilities were measured by what people thought they could not do, depriving our Nation and economy of the full talents and contributions of millions of Americans. Nearly 25 years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act codified the promise of an equal opportunity for everyone who worked hard, and in the years since, Americans with disabilities have reached extraordinary heights. But when employees with disabilities are passed over in the workplace or denied fair accommodations, it limits their potential and threatens our democracy; when disproportionate numbers of Americans with disabilities remain unemployed, more work must be done to achieve the spirit of what is one of the most comprehensive civil rights bills in the history of our country. My Administration remains committed to tearing down the barriers that prevent Americans with disabilities from living fully independent, integrated lives. We have supported programs that more effectively prepare workers, including those with disabilities, for high-growth, high-demand careers, and we have found new ways to encourage businesses to foster flexible workplaces that are open to diverse skills. We are also working to ensure those living with disabilities have access to the resources that support employment, including accessible housing, transportation, and technology.
Meaningful careers not only provide ladders of opportunity into the middle class, but they also give us a sense of purpose and self-worth. When Americans with disabilities live without the fear of discrimination, they are free to make of theirlives what they will. This month, we renew our commitment to cultivate a more inclusive workforce, and we continue our efforts to build a society where everyone who works hard has a chance to get ahead. 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 October 2014 as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. I urge all Americans to embrace the talents and skills that individuals with disabilities bring to our workplaces and communities and to promote the right to equal employment opportunity for all people. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth 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.
Presidential Proclamation -- National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, 2014
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 04:47
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 30, 2014
This year, more than 230,000 women and 2,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in America. The heartache and the pain of this disease will touch too many of our mothers, fathers, daughters, and sisters, and too many families will bear these burdens. During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we recognize all those who know the anguish of breast cancer, and we redouble our efforts to improve care and bring attention to this disease. When breast cancer is caught early, treatments work best and survival rates increase. That is why all women and men should be familiar with the risk factors and symptoms of this disease. I encourage women to speak with their health care provider about the risk of breast cancer and the importance of recommended mammograms -- breast cancer screenings that play an essential role in early detection. Whether you are looking for information about breast cancer prevention, treatment of metastatic breast cancer, or information on the latest research, all Americans can learn more by visiting Today, more Americans are surviving breast cancer than ever before, but there is more work to do, and my Administration is fighting every day to improve the lives of breast cancer patients, survivors, and their families. We have invested billions of dollars in critical research to better understand the causes of breast cancer, develop new diagnostic tools, and pursue innovative treatments. The Affordable Care Act has expanded access to life-saving care for millions of Americans, including those affected by breast cancer, and requires most insurance plans to cover recommended preventive services, including mammograms, without copays. New protections under the law also eliminate annual and lifetime dollar limits on coverage and prohibit insurers from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions, including cancer. This month, as we honor those lost to breast cancer, let us join with the loved ones who celebrate their memory and the patients who battle this disease every day, as well as our Nation's advocates, medical researchers, and health care providers. Together, we renew our commitment to better prevent, detect, and treat breast cancer, and we continue our work toward a future free from cancer in all its forms. 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 October 2014 as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I encourage citizens, government agencies, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, and all other interested groups to join in activities that will increase awareness of what Americans can do to prevent breast cancer. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth 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.
Presidential Proclamation --- National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, 2014
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:06
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 30, 2014
Substance abuse disrupts our families, schools, and communities and limits the success of young people across our country. It destroys relationships and stands in the way of academic achievement. Every day, thousands of young Americans try drugs or alcohol for the first time, and for many, this decision will have a profound impact on their health and well-being. This month, we join with families, schools, and local leaders to promote safe and healthy neighborhoods and help ensure all our children have the support and resources they need to achieve their full potential. Preventing substance use before it begins is the most effective way to eliminate the damage caused by drugs and the abuse of alcohol. That is why my Administration's 2014 National Drug Control Strategy supports evidence-based education and outreach programs that connect with young people at schools, on college campuses, and in the workplace. This year, through the Drug-Free Communities Support Program, we are investing in 680 local coalitions that are working to reduce substance use in cities and towns across our country. These partners raise awareness of the harms associated with drug and alcohol use and create supportive environments that foster good decisionmaking. Substance use affects everyone, and each of us can play a part in helping the next generation make choices that support physical, mental, behavioral, and emotional health. Parents, mentors, and community members can model a healthy lifestyle and should talk with kids early and often about the dangers of drug and alcohol use. During National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, we recognize all those who work to prevent substance use in our neighborhoods, and we renew our commitment to building a safer, drug-free America. Together, we can make sure all children have the opportunity to pursue happy, fulfilling, and productive lives. 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 October 2014 as National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. I call upon all Americans to engage in appropriate programs and activities to promote comprehensive substance abuse prevention efforts within their communities. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth 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.
Presidential Memorandum -- Determination with Respect to the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:06
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 30, 2014
SUBJECT: Determination with Respect to the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008
Pursuant to section 404 of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 (CSPA) (title IV, Public Law 110-457), as amended, I hereby determine that it is in the national interest of the United States: to waive the application of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA with respect to Rwanda, Somalia, and Yemen; to waive in part the application of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA with respect to the Central African Republic to allow for provision of International Military Education and Training (IMET); to waive in part the application of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA with respect to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to allow for provision of IMET, nonlethal Excess Defense Articles, the issuance of licenses for direct commercial sales of U.S. origin nonlethal defense articles, Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) assistance, and support provided pursuant to section 1208 of the National
Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 to the extent such support would be restricted by the CSPA; and to waive in part the application of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA with respect to South Sudan to allow for the provision of PKO assistance and support provided pursuant to section 1208 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 to the extent such support would be restricted by the CSPA. I hereby waive such provisions accordingly.
You are authorized and directed to submit this determination to the Congress, along with the accompanying Memorandum of Justification, and to publish the determination in the Federal Register.
Presidential Proclamation --- National Arts and Humanities Month, 2014
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:06
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 30, 2014
In this complicated world and in these challenging times, the arts and humanities enhance the character of our Nation. The flash of insight that comes from watching a thought-provoking documentary or discovering a compelling novel sparks moments of joy, awe, and sorrow. From symphonies that bring tragedy to life with long bow strokes to architecture that challenges the boundaries of the world around it, these works add texture to our lives and reveal something about ourselves. During National Arts and Humanities Month, we reflect on the many ways the arts and humanities have contributed to the fabric of our society. Since our earliest days, America has flourished because of the creative spirit and vision of our people. Our Nation is built on the freedom of expression, and we rely on the arts and humanities to broaden our views and remind us of the truths that connect us. We must never take for granted the wonder we feel when standing before a timeless work of art or the world of memories that is unlocked with a simple movement or a single note. By capturing our greatest hopes and deepest fears, the arts and humanities play an important role in telling our country's story and broadening our understanding of the world. Cultivating the talents of our young people and ensuring they have access to the arts are critical to our Nation's growth and prosperity. To meet the challenges ahead, we must harness the skills and ingenuity of our children and grandchildren and instill in them the same passion and persistence that has driven centuries of progress and innovation. The arts and humanities provide important opportunities for our young people to unleash their creativity and reach for new heights. That is why my Administration is committed to bolstering initiatives that ensure the next generation has the tools to foster their artistic expression and the opportunities to go as far as their imaginations can take them. This month, we pay tribute to the tremendous power of the arts and humanities to bring us together and expose us to new ideas that make us think and feel. As we carry forward this proud tradition, let us celebrate the ways our Nation's rich heritage has strengthened our country and inspired our lives. 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 October 2014 as National Arts and Humanities Month. I call upon the people of the United States to join together in observing this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs to celebrate the arts and the humanities in America.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth 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.
Presidential Proclamation -- National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, 2014
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:05
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 30, 2014
Cyber threats pose one of the gravest national security dangers the United States faces. They jeopardize our country's critical infrastructure, endanger our individual liberties, and threaten every American's way of life. When our Nation's intellectual property is stolen, it harms our economy, and when a victim experiences online theft, fraud, or abuse, it puts all of us at risk. During National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we continue our work to make our cyberspace more secure, and we redouble our efforts to bring attention to the role we can each play.
Cyberspace touches nearly every part of our daily lives. It supports our schools and businesses, powers the grid that stretches across our Nation, and connects friends and families around the world. Our constant connection has led to revolutions in medicine and technology and has bettered our society, but it has also introduced new risks, especially to our finances, identity, and privacy. That is why last year I signed an Executive Order directing my Administration to identify the best ways to bolster our country's cybersecurity. And earlier this year, we delivered on that commitment by releasing the Cybersecurity Framework. A model of public-private cooperation, this Framework will help industry and Government strengthen the security and resiliency of our critical infrastructure. My Administration is also investing in new strategies and innovations that help keep pace with rapidly changing technology, and because cyberspace crosses every boundary, we will continue engaging with our international partners. Americans of all ages can take action to raise the level of our collective cybersecurity, and the Department of Homeland Security's "Stop.Think.Connect." campaign is empowering individuals to do their part. Everyone should utilize secure passwords online and change them regularly. Internet users should take advantage of all available methods to protect their private accounts and information, and parents can teach their children not to share personal information over the Internet. Enhancing the security of our Nation's digital infrastructure is a shared responsibility, and together we can protect our most important information systems. To learn more about safe cyber practices, visit Our commitment to maintaining an open, secure, and reliable cyberspace ensures the Internet will remain an engine for economic growth and a platform for the free exchange of ideas. This month, we resolve to work together to meet this global challenge.
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 October 2014 as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. I call upon the people of the United States to recognize the importance of cybersecurity and to observe this month with activities, events, and training that will enhance our national security and resilience.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth 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.
Presidential Memorandum -- Delegation of Authority under Section 614 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 | The White House
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:04
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 30, 2014
SUBJECT: Delegation of Authority under Section 614 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 301 of title 3, United States Code, I hereby delegate to the Secretary of State the authority under section 614 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA) to determine whether it is important to the security interests of the United States to furnish up to $123,000,000 in funds made available pursuant to chapter 8 of part I of the FAA to provide assistance for
Ukraine, Tunisia, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Nigeria, Albania, and Vietnam without regard to any provision of law within the scope of section 614(a)(1) of the FAA and to authorize the furnishing of such assistance.
You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.
We are the Über of Public Radio
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] 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". January 16, 2003.
Drone Knight Posters received
UK New Powers
The Home Secretary will also introduce “banning orders” for extremist groups,
which would make it a criminal offence to be a member of or raise funds for
a group that spreads or promotes hatred. The maximum sentence could be up to
10 years in prison.
The new orders will be part of the Government’s “Prevent” strategy, which
tackles the ideology behind the terrorist threat. So-called hate preachers,
who currently stay just within terrorism legislation, will be one of the
targets of banning orders and Extremism Disruption Orders (EDOs).
Guardian Summary
So what would an “extremism disruption order” involve? The police
will be able to apply to the high court for an order to restrict the
“harmful activities” of an extremist individual. The definition of
harmful is to include a risk of public disorder or even a risk of
harassment, alarm or distress or the vague-sounding “threat to the
functioning of democracy”. These are very low thresholds. The
restrictions would include a ban on broadcasting and a requirement to
submit to the police in advance any proposed publication on the web,
social media or in print. Taking part in public protests or speaking at
any public event would also be banned. It is no wonder the Liberal
Democrats blocked the plan’s immediate introduction on free speech
How could a broadcast ban work? Between 1988 and 1994 Sinn Féin’s
Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness were banned by Margaret Thatcher from
the airwaves to “deny them the oxygen of publicity”. The broadcasters
used actors to speak their words to get around the ban. In the case of
Adams, the actor Stephen Rea was often used to voice his words. The
effect was that the public quickly came to think that Rea’s voice was
that of Adams. John Major abandoned the restrictions in 1994 after he
became prime minister.
Its really an Election Campaign
Theresa May, the current UK Home Secretary, has announced that, if re-elected, her party (the Conservatives) will push for "extremist disruption orders"
which would effectively ban people declared "extremist" (using a very
broad definition) from using social media or appearing on TV.
ANALYSIS: Theresa May's unemotionally irrational string of Blairite cliches' from the rear-view mirror | The Slog.
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 00:57
I don't really get angry about Theresa May. After all, she is a guile-free area'...and thus something of an easy target. All I wonder about Theresa May is howTF she got to be Home Secretary. Her only saving grace in this role is that she shows no signs of being a paedophile, which is I suppose novel in that role. But she approaches the process of awarding central government draconian powers with the deft sleight of hand normally associated with lepers.
Home Secretaries traditionally have the easy spot at Conservative Conferences. To them falls the task of telling les tricoteuses in the audience that there will be short sharp shocks, boot camps, birching, and death by poison dart practice for all those who steal'...up to but not including people called Goodwin, Hester, Crosby, Diamond etectera ad nauseam et infinitum. This year '' IS having transformed itself from small rabble to global threat '' Madame Mayormaynot had the undefended goal staring at her from two metres out, yet somehow contrived to trip over'....before accidentally titting the ball over the line.
People trip over when they lose their balance, but the problem with Tessie is that she does seem to have an inherent balance problem. Although most of the time about as emotional as a motorway stanchion, she's always given me the feeling that, while suffering PMT or similar, she just might go out and machine-gun an entire bus stop queue. You can of course do this kind of thing when you're Home Secretary, and get clean away with it: look at Leon Brittan. On the other hand, don't '' he's a bit of an eyesore.
Her speech today lacked both passion and reason'...which was a unique achievement, but not really what we need at this turning point in our history. The Home Secretary said that the new Terrorism bill was to be introduced this November because of a ''crisis in national security'' created '' get this '' by the rapidly declining ability of the police and security services to monitor internet and phone use. And she blamed this on the LibDems refusing to give the power to anyone from Uncle Tom Cobbleigh downwards to listen in to everything' if they didn't have this power already. I mean c'mon: since when were the security services bound by the Law?
But the real problem with the speech was Ms May's inability to get beyond the clich(C)d mendacity last peddled by Tony Blair around the turn of the century.
She highlighted ''the scale of the threat to Britain'' from Islamic State. IS, she claimed, could ''get hold of chemical, biological or even nuclear weapons'' once they were ''the world's first truly terrorist state'', operating ''within a few hours flying time of our country''. Oh per-leeeze. I never liked the Mad Handbag, but at least the old bat never suggested that it was ''Today the Falklands, tomorrow Uxbridge''.
We should not, of course, be surprised that Camerlot is running digitally remastered scare propaganda in Blaircolor and Strawrama with added Quadrabushic sound: David Cameron, after all, admires Tony Blair. You have to be some kind of cross between Lord McAlpine and Noddy to admire Tony Blair.
Anyway, what's done is done'....albeit with -56 for finesse: more than enough to pass the Sleeple test with flying colours, but that's not really the point. Before anyone tries to dismiss this piece as yet another wiseassed Conference sketch, let me just itemise what the obvious, efficacious and infinitely less expensive approach to this problem would be for a Government with balls, imagination and the wellbeing of UK citizens in mind.
1. Remove private parts from back passage of Washington/State Dept/CIA loonies
2. Cancel bombing missions to Iraq & Syria
3. Develop energy forms we have already that require neither oil nor fracking '' eg, CO2 neutral coal as developed in Scotland seven years ago, and since ignored by British Government idiots like '' just choosing an example at random here '' Ed Miliband when he was Minister for the Environment, wind-power, fart-recycling and so forth.
4. Recruit some people to MI5/6 who know what to do beyond defecting to the Soviet Union, and focus on eliminating UK-based Jihadists.
5. Explain to UK Muslims in the language of their choice that Islamist fellow-travellers will be awarded zero-tolerance, and expected to make just a teeny-weeny effort to integrate into British life '' or f**k off.
The sole obstacles to achievement of this strategy are political will and creativity (of which Camerlot is devoid) and Point 1 above.
I've often wondered what it is that the Yanks have on us. It must be pretty frighful.
Earlier at The Slog: Plan A isn't working, shame about Plan B
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Britain proposes anti-extremism curbs on civil liberties - EUROPE
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:07
BIRMINGHAM - Agence France-Presse
British Home Secretary Theresa May addresses delegates on the third day of the annual British Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, central England, on September 30, 2014. AFP Photo
Britain's interior minister on Tuesday proposed measures to ban extremist groups and curb the activities of radical Islamist preachers even if they have committed no crime, in a move denounced as "wholly wrong" by campaigners. "Not all extremism leads to violence and not all extremists are violent, but the damage caused by extremism to our society is reason enough to act," Home Secretary Theresa May told the annual Conservative party conference in Birmingham. "We must face down extremism in all its forms. We must stand up for our values, she said, adding: "I want to see new civil powers to target extremists who stay just within the law." The clampdown, which would be enacted if Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives are re-elected in May, follows growing concern about radicalised youths heading to fight with Islamist groups in Syria and Iraq. Under the proposed "Extremism Disruption Orders", British courts would have the power to restrict the activities of individuals to prevent the risk of violence and public disorder, officials said. Individuals could be banned from speaking at public events, taking part in protests or speaking through the media -- a proposal that revives memories of a controversial BBC ban on Irish republican leader Gerry Adams from Sinn Fein during the unrest in Northern Ireland. They could also be ordered to submit any material to the police for vetting before it is put onto the Internet. Separate "banning orders" would extend existing laws to allow groups to be outlawed even if they did not pose a violent threat, including on the grounds of being a "threat" to democracy. Membership of such groups would then become a criminal offence. Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, a civil liberties think tank, said the policies were the "thin end of the wedge". "In a democratic country, it is wholly wrong for people to be labelled an 'extremist' and face having major restrictions placed on their freedom without facing a due legal process and a transparent and accountable system," she said. "The Home Secretary must think very carefully about the international precedent that this policy would set and consider the potential consequences for members of the public."
Officials said the measures, which are to be included in the Conservative manifesto for the general election, would not only target Islamists but could also be used against neo-Nazis or other hardline groups. British police arrested the high-profile radical Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary last week along with others suspected of links to a banned extremist group and militancy. Choudary, who was released on bail, said the arrest was "politically motivated" and claimed it was linked to preparations for last week's vote in the British parliament on joining air strikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq. May said passports had been withdrawn from 25 British nationals suspected of planning to travel to Syria to join IS jihadists and said the police had made 103 arrests this year "linked to terrorism in Syria". Among those arrested, 24 have been charged and five convicted, she said.
What are Theresa May's new 'extremism disruption orders'? | Politics | The Guardian
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 03:49
''Theresa May will also announce that the Conservative manifesto will contain pledges to introduce banning orders for extremist groups and extremism disruption orders for extremists who spread hate but do not break existing laws.'' Conservative briefing note.
The home secretary's manifesto plan to silence extremists by banning their access to the web and television is cast far wider than the Islamist ''preachers of hate'' of tabloid headlines. As David Cameron pointed out, the Conservatives now want to look at the ''full spectrum of extremism'' and not just the ''hard end'' of that spectrum that counter-terrorism policy has focused on up to now.
The difference is spelled out in the detail of the policy, where it says that it is intended to catch not just those who ''spread or incite hatred'' on grounds of gender, race or religion but also those who undertake ''harmful activities'' for the ''purpose of overthrowing democracy''.
This is an area fraught with difficulties that could see non-violent political activists in all sorts of areas deemed to be ''anti-democratic''. The Conservatives already say that the policy would catch neo-Nazis, raising questions about whether the EDL or the BNP would be banned under the measure. But the official definition of non-violent extremism is already wide-ranging and, as Big Brother Watch has pointed out, the national extremism database already includes the names of people who have done little more than organise meetings on environmental issues.
So what would an ''extremism disruption order'' involve? The police will be able to apply to the high court for an order to restrict the ''harmful activities'' of an extremist individual. The definition of harmful is to include a risk of public disorder or even a risk of harassment, alarm or distress or the vague-sounding ''threat to the functioning of democracy''. These are very low thresholds. The restrictions would include a ban on broadcasting and a requirement to submit to the police in advance any proposed publication on the web, social media or in print. Taking part in public protests or speaking at any public event would also be banned. It is no wonder the Liberal Democrats blocked the plan's immediate introduction on free speech grounds.
How could a broadcast ban work? Between 1988 and 1994 Sinn F(C)in's Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness were banned by Margaret Thatcher from the airwaves to ''deny them the oxygen of publicity''. The broadcasters used actors to speak their words to get around the ban. In the case of Adams, the actor Stephen Rea was often used to voice his words. The effect was that the public quickly came to think that Rea's voice was that of Adams. John Major abandoned the restrictions in 1994 after he became prime minister.
Orders will block extremist postings allowed by social media sites - Telegraph
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 03:47
Unlike Facebook, Twitter also decline to monitor postings systematically, relying on other users or government officials to report breaches of its terms of use. All this leaves a lot of wiggle-room for Isil members to post without being blocked.
This is where Theresa May's proposed proposed new orders come in - effectively giving the authorities the right to censor postings by those extremists who are subject to them.
The new orders could prevent British-based Twitter users from tweeting their support for groups such as Isil.
British supporters of the group, including are now fighting in Iraq and Syria, have used Twitter to appeal for new members and to threaten the British state.
In July, a Twitter user believed to be Nasser Muthana, 20, from Cardiff now thought to be in Syria, posted a picture of a stack improvised explosive devices in a garage. He tweeted: "So the UK is afraid I come back with the skills I've gained."
Muthana, a former medical student, had earlier appeared in an Isil recruitment video which was widely circulated on the internet.
Privately-educated Aqsa Mahmood, 20, from Glasgow, has also travelled to the Middle East and has allegedly encouraged terrorist acts via a Twitter account under the name Umm Layth.
Both accounts have since been deleted.
What the 60-plus members of the anti-Islamic State coalition are doing - The Washington Post
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 01:14
Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama outlined steps world leaders should take to stamp out violent extremists such as the Islamic State militants. He also criticized Russia for its conflict with Ukraine. (AP)
The United States-led coalition to fight the Islamic State militant group continues to grow, with numerous nations providing varying levels of backing in the form of military equipment, aid and political support. It is unclear, however, what exactly constitutes being a member of this coalition and how many nations have signed up.
In his speech to the United Nations on Wednesday morning, President Obama said, ''Already, over 40 nations have offered to join this coalition.''
But on Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry said more than 50 nations have agreed to join the coalition. And in a document released by the State Department on Tuesday, 62 nations (including the European Union and the Arab League) are listed as providing support to the U.S.-led coalition.
The strongest allies in the coalition are those providing air support to the United States, while others are offering delivery services and some are providing humanitarian aid.
These are the allies listed by the State Department as aiding the ''international effort to counter ISIL, support the people of Iraq and Syria, and mitigate the Humanitarian consequences of the conflict in Iraq and Syria'':
Allies providing air support, and military equipmentIraq: Location of the fighting. Authorized France to use Iraqi air space and has welcomed the support from Obama and other members of the coalition in their fight against the Islamic State. The Iraqi government requested military airstrikes from the United States to help combat the Islamic State.
Jordan: Destroyed a number of Islamic State targets through air strikes in Syria. Jordan has also worked to cut off funding to extremist and terrorist organizations.
Jordan's minister of media affairs confirmed on Tuesday that the Jordanian air force had carried out attacks against positions of Islamic State militants in Syria. (AP)
Bahrain: Carried out air strikes against the Islamic State in Syria in tandem with allies.
Saudi Arabia: Participated in air strikes in Syria. Saudi Arabia has frequently condemned the Islamic State and has donated $100 million to the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Center and $500 million in humanitarian assistance.
United Arab Emirates: Participated in air strikes in Syria. The UAE has joined together with other Gulf nations to condemn the Islamic State and offer support to the coalition.
France: Bombed a warehouse occupied by the Islamic State in Iraq last week. One of the United States' key allies in the air, the French Air Force has also carried out recon flights over Iraq and has vowed to take part in future airstrikes ''if needed.'' To date, France has sent 59 tons of humanitarian cargo to Irbil with further deliveries due soon. The French have insisted the group should not be referred to as the ''Islamic State.''
The French military released cockpit video of Rafale jets participating in their first air strikes in Iraq as part of the country's promise to join military action against the Islamic State. (Reuters)
Germany: Has sent 40 paratroopers to Iraq to provide weapons training to Kurdish fighters. Germany is also sending 16,000 assault rifles, hundreds of anti-tank weapons and armored vehicles. Some Kurdish fighters are also being trained in South Germany. They will provide enough weapons to arm 4,000 Kurdish soldiers as well as 36 tons of humanitarian aid.
Germany sent on Thursday its first arms shipment to northern Iraq to help Kurdish Peshmergas and Iraqi soldiers fight Islamic State militants who have taken over swathes of Iraq. (Reuters)
Canada: Has deployed ''several dozen members'' of the Canadian Armed Forces to Iraq. The Canadian Air Force also provided airlift support to Albania last week, delivering 503,000 pounds of military supplies to Iraq. Canada has sent $15 million to support security measures in the region '-- including $10 million of ''non-lethal'' assistance and $5 million of humanitarian aid.
United Kingdom: Supplied arms to the Kurds and a Royal Air Force squadron has contributed to surveillance operations. Gifted $1.6 million of weapons and ammunition. Prime Minister David Cameron has not ruled out contributing to U.S.-led airstrikes in the future. Some $38 million has been committed to aid.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday he was recalling parliament to debate Britain's response to a request from Iraqi government to support airstrikes to thwart Islamic State extremists. (AP)
Australia: Has agreed to deploy a ''military force to the region'' and will play a part in U.S.-led airstrikes. Australian Special Forces are advising Iraqi forces. Provided $5 million in humanitarian aid to Iraq as well as aircraft, early warning systems and military stores. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has backed Obama's position, describing the Islamic State as a ''death cult.''
Italy: Sent $2.5 million of weaponry, including machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and a million rounds of ammunition, as well as humanitarian aid. Italy has no plans at present to take part in airstrikes but has offered to aid in the refueling of planes instead.
Czech Republic: Provided fighter jets and 500 tons of ammunition to the Iraqi army, delivered by the Canadian Air Force. Also contributed $1.5 million in humanitarian aid to victims of the Syrian conflict.
Albania: Provided weapons and ammunition to Kurdish forces, with the first shipment sent on Sunday. Earlier this month, Albania said it would provide up to 22 million rifle rounds, 32,000 artillery shells to Kurdish forces as well as 10,000 automatic rifles to Afghanistan.
Netherlands: Provided 1,000 helmets and 1,000 bulletproof vests for Kurdish forces, as well as $10 million in humanitarian aid. The government said Wednesday that it would send six F-16 fighter jets to strike the Islamic State in Iraq.
Estonia: Provided a million machine gun cartridges and a Hercules transport aircraft as well as $90,000 to support displaced Iraqis.
Hungary: Provided 7 million cartridges and ''thousands'' of mines and armor-piercing shells. Hungary has sent a $90,000 aid package to Christians in Irbil.
Turkey: President Tayyip Erdogan has said he will ''give the necessary support to the operation. The support could be military or logistics.'' Moe than 100 trucks of humanitarian aid has been sent to Turkmen in Northern Iraq since June, totaling $1.9 million so far. Turkey has also funded the construction of a camp for 20,000 Iraqi Turkmen.
Belgium: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said ''we are positively inclined to contribute'' and ''we have the military capacity to do so. Belgium does have an interest to contribute.'' Belgium has sent 13 tons of aid to Iraq.
Denmark: Provided a transport aircraft to support the international efforts.
Lebanon: The state will not send troops or weapons but will ''receive military help to fight the organization through the Army'' according to its foreign minister.
Allies providing humanitarian aidSweden: Donated $13 million of aid to Iraq in 2014 to date.
Kuwait: Donated $9.5 million to the United Nations for aid in Iraq.
Switzerland: Donated $9 million in aid to Iraq in 2014 so far.
Japan: Granted $6 million in emergency aid to help displaced people in Northern Iraq.
Austria: Provided $1.3 million in emergency aid to Iraq.
New Zealand: Donated $1 million in humanitarian aid.
Republic of Korea: Provided$1 million in humanitarian aid to help displaced persons in Iraq.
Ireland: Provided $300,000 to UNICEF, a further $300,000 to the Red Cross and $850,000 this year to Iraq in the form of aid.
Spain: Supported United Nations Human Rights Council resolution and donated $640,000 in humanitarian aid.
Slovakia: Donated $25,000 to assist soldiers in the Kurdish region of Iraq.
Norway: Contributed to the most recent UNESCO aid drop, including 40,000 blankets, 10,000 kitchen sets and 18,000 plastic tarpaulins.
Luxembourg: Supported United Nations Resolution 2170 and will step up humanitarian assistance for the Iraqi people. Contributed to aid deliveries from the United Nations.
Qatar: Passed a new law to stop charities diverting money towards the Islamic State. Sent six aircraft carrying 300 tons of humanitarian aid to Iraq.
Allies who have expressed supportBulgaria: Foreign minister has said the conflict ''poses a direct threat to Bulgaria'' but has not offered any military or aid distance so far.
Egypt: Released a statement strongly denouncing the execution of American journalist James Foley, with a spokesman calling for the ''international community to rally efforts to fight terrorism.''
Finland: Minister for Foreign Affairs said his country will ''concentrate on delivering humanitarian aid to people in desperate need''
Georgia: In a statement, its defense minister said officials ''fully support what the United States i doing to eradicate these barbarians''.
Greece: In a statement, the government condemned the actions of the Islamic State and said ''we express our solidarity with the Iraqi government.''
Israel: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement ''these groups must be fought, they must be rolled back, and they must ultimately be defeated. That's why Israel fully supports President Obama's call for united action against ISIS.''
Kosovo: In a Facebook statement, Prime Minister Hashim Thaci said it will help the United States to destroy ISIS and Kosovo is part of the ''emerging global alliance to fight a great evil''.
Oman: The Sultan of Oman has said ''no one can afford to neglect a situation as serious as this'' and his government will work ''as fast as possible to end IS threat.''
Poland: Intends to politically support the fight, as well as through NATO membership, but does not envisage soldiers participating in military operations.
Croatia: Committed to ''helping provide Kurdish forces urgently needed arms and equipment.''
Romania: In a statement, the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it will ''contribute to the international community efforts to combat international terrorism and the ISIL phenomenon.''
Singapore: Ministry of Foreign Affairs has cited a ''critical need for the international community to work closely together to counter this treat.''
Taiwan: In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it would ''monitor the threat to global security'' and will ''cooperate closely with the international community to provide humanitarian aid to the victims of ISIL attacks.''
Coalition supportersThe following nations have an unspecified commitment but State Department has said they are part of the coalition: Andorra, Bosnia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Tunisia and Ukraine.
Non-nation supportersThere are two other bodies that have backed the coalition but are not nation states:
Arab League: Released several statements urging its members to confront the Islamic State ''militarily and politically.'' Foreign ministers from all of the member states have agreed to take ''all necessary measures to confront the Islamic State.''
European Union: The EU Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated to support ''rapid deployment of in-kind assistance and expertise to Iraq.'' Ten member states are providing essential relief through a ''humanitarian air bridge.'' The European Commission has increased the level of aid to $22 million in 2014.
Sebastian Payne is a national reporter with The Washington Post. He is the Post's 35th Laurence Stern fellow.
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Intel on the 1st 3 beheading videos
The first three movies from ISIL -- I don't know about the latest one with the Brit who has his monologue -- were uploaded to a temp file storage site using a temp email account, typical TTPs (Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures) of those types. However, the VSATs (Very Small Aperture Terminal - This is basically a highly mobile satellite system that is typically comprised of a parabolic satellite dish and modem. Long story short, you can get internet anywhere in the world so long as you can see a satellite.) that was used -- three separate terminals, one for each uploaded video, and all three were located in Ar Raqqah, Syria at the time of upload -- were all the same brand, YahSat, manufactured by Mubdala...which is a state-owned company, owned by the UAE.
State Dept Approves $1.75 Billion Arms Sale to Saudis
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 04:49
According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the State Department has agreed to a new $1.75 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, including 202 Patriot missiles, along with launchers and other equipment.
The agency was not clear on if the sale was related to Saudi Arabia's involvement in the war on ISIS, but did assure that it would not impact Israel's regional military superiority, the standard by which all US sales must comply.
The agency informed Congress of the planned sale yesterday, which would involve Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, along with some other, smaller contractor companies.
The approval by the State Department moves the sale forward, but it will not be immediately finalized. Saudi Arabia has dramatically increased its military spending in recent years, though much of the money is spent on prestige items which appear to be of no practical utility to any conceivable Saudi war, and are used primarily for parades.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
Paspoorten 49 jihadgangers ingenomen - Binnenland - Reformatorisch Dagblad
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 11:06
Tot nu toe is van 41 mensen hun paspoort afgenomen om te verhinderen dat ze zouden afreizen naar het strijdgebied in Syri of Irak. Dat gebeurde soms in een half uur tijd, onder meer door de marechaussee op Schiphol. Dat maakte minister Ivo Opstelten (Veiligheid en Justitie) zondag bekend in het tv-programma WNL. Ook is van 8 mensen die al in het strijdgebied zitten, hun paspoort ingetrokken.
De paspoorten van potentile jihadgangers kunnen worden afgenomen doordat de veiligheidsdiensten deze personen in beeld hebben, aldus de minister. Het kabinet wil voorkomen dat mensen weggaan, omdat ze een groot risico vormen als ze terugkomen in Nederland. 'žZe hebben getraind en gevochten'', zei Opstelten. Tot nu zijn ongeveer 140 mensen uitgereisd, zei hij. Onder hen zijn 40 vrouwen.
Van 8 Nederlanders die al in Syri of Irak zitten is het paspoort ingetrokken. Onder hen is de man die afgelopen week het filmpje maakte waarin hij oproept tot een daad tegen Nederland, stelt een woordvoerder van Justitie. Als zij zouden terugkomen naar Nederland worden ze direct opgepakt. Verder kunnen mensen zonder geldig paspoort veel zaken niet meer regelen.
Van 12 personen die zijn uitgereisd zijn de financile tegoeden bevroren. Het gaat om mensen die daar actief zijn voor een terroristische organisatie, aldus een woordvoerder. Dat kan Islamitische Staat (IS) maar ook een andere groep zijn. Verder zijn 30 uitkeringen van jihadgangers stopgezet. De minister verwacht dat alle aantallen nog zullen stijgen.
Verder zei Opstelten dat er inmiddels 30 strafrechtelijke onderzoeken in gang zijn gezet in verband met jihadisme. Het gaat onder meer om mensen die verdacht worden van opruiing, van recrutering van mensen voor de strijd, maar ook om personen die van plan zouden zijn terrroristische daden te plegen. Een aantal van de verdachten is opgepakt.
De minister herhaalde verder dat mensen in Nederland zich niet gek moeten laten maken door alle ophef en het dreigingsniveau. Dat is sinds maart vorig jaar substantieel. 'žWe vragen niks extra's van mensen.'' Volgens hem zitten de diensten erbovenop.
James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence - Home News - UK - The Independent
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 03:15
The Metropolitan police said on Wednesday that it is investigating the contents of the video under its counter terrorism command, indicating that its public use or its being shared online could be seen as a criminal offence under the UK's terrorism legislation, the Guardian reported.
''The Metropolitan police service counter terrorism command (SO15) is investigating the contents of the video that was posted online in relation to the alleged murder of James Foley,'' it said in a statement.
Twitter said it is cracking down on the spread of gory images across its networking platform after links to the video and screenshots of the alleged murder of Mr Foley had been shared on the platform.
Defense Leaders Warn of Tomahawk Missile Shortage | Washington Free Beacon
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 15:14
In this photo released by the U.S. Navy, the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea launches a Tomahawk cruise missile at Islamic State group positions in Syria / AP
BY:Adam KredoSeptember 30, 2014 5:00 am
As the United States steps up its battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), defense leaders on Capitol Hill are raising concerns about a looming shortage in the Tomahawk missile supply, a key offensive weapon that the Navy has deployed against militant strongholds in Syria and elsewhere.
The U.S. Navy's current reliance on the Tomahawk, known as ''the world's most advanced cruise missile,'' comes just months after the Obama administration attempted to significantly cut funding for the weapon and then eliminate it completely it in 2016, a move that drew heavy criticism from defense experts and lawmakers.
With the military relying on the weapons in its strikes against ISIL targets in Syria, defense leaders have begun to warn that the Pentagon could quickly run through its Tomahawk stockpiles, a problem exacerbated by defense budget cuts known as sequestration, defense sources say.
The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) is now expressing concern that the Pentagon has ''insufficient weapons inventories'' and that the Obama administration's proposed termination of the Tomahawk missile program in fiscal year 2016 would worsen ''a deficient inventory problem,'' according to defense insiders and sources close to the committee.
The U.S. Navy deployed 47 Tomahawks last week during its strikes in Syria, which amounts to 47 percent of its planned purchases of the weapon in 2015, according to the American Thinker. There are currently enough Tomahawks left ''for roughly 85 days of a campaign, at the current rate of use,'' the report states.
With a stockpile of about 4,000 Tomahawks'--and the administration still contending that cuts are needed despite its reliance on the missile'--defense insiders warn that the inventory could quickly run low as the military campaign against ISIL continues in Syria and Iraq.
''You could see that if you're starting to really ramp up [use] and be more aggressive, it wouldn't take you too long to expend a significant portion of that [inventory],'' one defense insider told the Washington Free Beacon. ''If you're firing 600 to 800 during a campaign '... it starts to chip away at it pretty fast.''
About 200 Tomahawks were used in the brief 2011 military campaign in Libya; 2,000 have been deployed since the program's inception.
The low stockpile of Tomahawks has highlighted how deepening defense cuts are impacting on-the-ground realities, according to Rep. Howard ''Buck'' McKeon (R., Calif.), HASC's chairman.
''As we saw in this week's airstrikes against ISIL, Tomahawk missiles are among the most valuable and precise tools in our military arsenal,'' McKeon said in a statement provided to the Free Beacon. ''They provide unmanned, all-weather, deep-strike attack capability against both fixed and mobile targets which makes them particularly useful against terrorist groups like ISIL that transcend nations and borders.''
McKeon and his colleagues have fought against the Obama administration's cuts to the Tomahawk and have attempted to restore funding in part.
''I was deeply troubled that in this year's budget request, DoD called for significantly reducing the number of Tomahawks in the arsenal and even recommended suspending their entire production line beginning in 2016,'' McKeon said. ''That is why all four House national security committees, including the Armed Services Committee, rebuffed the administration's request and restored the Tomahawks.''
''Unfortunately,'' McKeon added, ''this a prime example of the types of dangerous cuts our military leaders are being forced to consider under the new sequestration budget regime. It is my hope that the next Congress will reverse sequestration and ensure that vital national security programs like the Tomahawk system are adequately funded.''
Rep. Randy Forbes (R., Va.), a member of the Armed Services Committee, also expressed concern about limiting production of the Tomahawk missiles in the face of new military campaigns.
''All four of Congress' defense committees have rejected the administration's reckless plan to suspend the Tomahawk production line beginning in 2016 and have moved to add additional missiles to the budget,'' Forbes told the Free Beacon in a statement.
''As recent operations in the Middle East show, it is essential that the United States have the sophisticated land-attack capability contained in the Tomahawk missile, especially for striking high-value targets in areas that have advanced air-defense systems,'' he said. ''Even more alarming, because a replacement for the Tomahawk is still years away, it would be a foolish decision to shut down the Tomahawk industrial base and leave the nation without a hot production line.''
The administration originally sought to cut the Tomahawk missile program by $128 million under its fiscal year 2015 budget proposal. It also aimed to fully eliminate production of the missile by year 2016, according to budget documents released by the Navy.
Additionally, the Obama administration sought to reduce the actual number of Tomahawk missiles acquired by the United States in 2015 from 196 last to just 100, a proposal that all four congressional defense committees rebuffed in a notable show of solidarity.
The procurement of Tomahawks was slated to drop to zero in 2016 under the president's original budget proposal.
Now the administration is relying heavily on the very same missile it had sought to eliminate.
''Ninety-five percent of the munitions that we dropped were precision-guided munitions. And that includes the Tomahawk missiles, which are very precise,'' a senior Obama administration official said on background during a conference call last week with reporters on the strikes in Syria against ISIL.
Between Iraq and Syria, the use of Tomahawks could be significant in the coming months and years, insiders say.
''It's difficult for anyone to say how much is enough,'' said the defense insider. ''How can you know for certain? God forbid you end up fighting a two front war.''
The other concern is that as the administration seeks to ramp down procurement of the Tomahawk, a working replacement for the missile is still years off. And once production of the Tomahawk is ended, it becomes much more difficult to restart the program if more missiles are needed.
''Without a suitable replacement it would be unwise to shut off that production line,'' said the defense source. ''It's not like flipping a switch to reactivate suppliers who have been turned off.''
Mackenzie Eaglen, a former Defense Department official, explained that while the stockpile should be adequate into the near future, replenishments will be needed during the next year.
''Given the fact that most military officials are predicting a years-long campaign against ISIL, there is little doubt that some replenishment will be required over the next 12 months,'' said Eaglen, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). ''If and when that happens, it will call into question the Navy plan to shut down this production line.''
''Congress was already moving in that direction to reverse Navy plans regarding Tomahawk, but this air war is sure to solidify them,'' she explained.
A Defense Department official did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the issue.
The Right's Newest Obama Conspiracy: He Made Up a "New" Terrorist Group to Defeat | Mother Jones
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 15:18
On Monday night, the US military bombed ISIS, the radical group taking over chunks of Iraq and Syria. As a "last-minute add-on," as NBC put it, the US also targeted an organization called the Khorasan Group, a shadowy outfit composed of Al Qaeda veterans. After the bombing, the White House and the Pentagon noted that the Khorasan Group was in the "execution phase" of planning attacks on the West.
But some conservatives made sure not to give President Obama any credit for possibly thwarting a terrorist threat. Instead, they hatched yet another anti-Obama conspiracy theory: The president had concocted a supposedly new terrorist organization to destroy. That is, he and his aides were calling this new target the Khorasan Group, and not Al Qaeda, so they would not have to acknowledge that Al Qaeda'--which the president in 2012 said was "on the run"'--was still a threat.
"From what I understand, the [Obama] regime has given this group a new name in order for Obama to be able to continue to say he wiped Al Qaeda out," Rush Limbaugh said on Wednesday. "So you come up with a new name for Al Qaeda, the Kardashians, or Khorasans, or whatever they are, and either way it's defeating'...So this new group is essentially just Al Qaeda renamed."
Glenn Beck came to a similar conclusion: "What is Khorasan? [Director of National Intelligence] James Clapper mentioned Khorasan for the first time last week. What is it? It's an Al Qaeda splinter group. Notice they're not saying 'Al Qaeda Khorasan.' They're just calling it Khorasan. Why? The Pentagon claimed they have been watching Khorasan for a very long time, but it wasn't too long ago that this administration said Al Qaeda was decimated and on the run. But now they're an imminent threat? It doesn't add up, does it?"
Right-wing bloggers jumped on the bandwagon. Sweetness and Light (the Conservative Political Action Conference's blog of the year in 2009), claimed, "There are dozens of Al Qaeda subsets, and we have never bothered to call them by their specific tribal names before'--but now all of a sudden we have to call Al Qaeda 'the Khorasan Group' in order to help save Obama's ass face."
Sarah Noble of the Independent Sentinelwrote, "Khorasan IS Al Qaeda'...They have been dangerous since 2009 and they have been unremittingly dangerous."
The Gateway Punditnoted: "The Obama administration can't say they bombed al-Qaeda because they said they defeated al-Qaeda. So, now they spin lies about core al-Qaeda being defeated and how they bombed the 'Khorasan Group' instead of al-Qaeda. It's just more lies."
But if the Obama administration wants to hide the Khorasan Group's connection to Al Qaeda, it has done a poor job. The administration and US officials have been open about Khorasan's affiliation with Al Qaeda'--especially the ties of its leader Muhsin al-Fadhli, a close ally of Osama bin Laden'--since disclosing details about the group this week before the strikes. Obama referred to the Khorasan Group as "seasoned Al Qaeda veterans" in a statement on Tuesday morning. US officials told the Associated Press earlier this month that the group of about 50 Al Qaeda veterans, mostly from Afghanistan and Pakistan, set up shop in Syria on the orders of Al Qaeda top dog Ayman al-Zawahari in order to attract recruits.
Because the Obama administration has not revealed any intelligence showing that the Khorasan Group was indeed close to executing plots against the United States and other Western nations, it's hard for pundits and citizens to evaluate the claim that a direct and imminent threat was addressed by these air strikes. If administration officials can be taken at their word, then Obama has scored a hit in the battle against Islamic jihadists aiming to harm the United States. But that might be too difficult for conservatives to concede.
US-led Airstrikes Target Syrian Gas Plant | World | RIA Novosti
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 01:29
MOSCOW, September 29 (RIA Novosti) - The US-led coalition's airstrikes have targeted the major gas plant in Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
"The international coalition has for the first time struck the entrance and prayer area of the Koniko gas plant. It is under IS control, and is the largest in Syria," director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Rami Abdel Rahman said Sunday.
The strike "did not kill any jihadists, though it did injure some of them," he added.
Koniko plant is considered to be the biggest gas plant in Syria, providing supplies to the Jander Power Plant in Homs.
Earlier this month, US President Barack Obama revealed a strategy to defeat the Islamic State, a Sunni extremist group that has established control over vast territories in Iraq and Syria and proclaimed a caliphate on all of the captured territories. US plans include the formation of an international coalition, aimed at fighting IS militants. The coalition is comprised of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, together with Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. The airstrikes on Iraq were later joined by the United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Belgium. In an effort to halt the ongoing conflict, the United States also plans to provide equipment and training to Kurdish and Iraqi forces and Syria's moderate opposition.
The United States expanded its operations against the Islamic State (IS) to Syria on September 26, launching airstrikes on areas controlled by IS militants. The US has been carrying out airstrikes against the IS on Syrian territory without any formal permission from Damascus.
Cultural Marxism
RedSkins not agressive enough. Native Americans are KILLERS!
FCC considers banning use of term 'Redskins' | TheHill
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 00:43
The Federal Communications Commission is mulling whether TV and radio stations should be banned from repeatedly saying the name of the Washington Redskins.
Earlier this month, the FCC received a petition to deny renewing the license of Washington sports radio station WWXX-FM because it ''deliberately, repeatedly and unnecessarily broadcasts the word 'R*dskins' during most of its broadcasting day, and especially in prime time.''
The word, which many consider to be an offensive slur against Native Americans, is no different from other racist, homophobic or sexist names, legal activist John F. Banzhaf III argued in his complaint. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told reporters on Tuesday that the commission is examining the complaint.
''We will be dealing with that issue on the merits, and we'll be responding accordingly,'' he said.
If the FCC decides to pull the radio station's license, it would seem to effectively ban stations from repeatedly using the name of the Washington football team.
Wheeler himself is a critic of the team's name. He recently called the name ''offensive and derogatory,'' and said that he did not use the term personally.
During Tuesday's press conference, he repeatedly sidestepped naming the team, instead referring to the organization as ''the Washington football team.''
Redskins owner Dan Snyder has repeatedly said he will not change the name of the team, which he has characterized as a term of honor.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the team's trademark on its famous logo and name, calling them disparaging to Native Americans. The team has since appealed that decision, however, leaving the matter in a legal limbo.
The FCC petition opens up a new possible avenue for critics of the name to force regulators to weigh in.
Ebola NPR chick is a Grey
Dallas hospital monitoring patient for Ebola |
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 19:16
A Dallas hospital says it is isolating a patient who is showing signs of having the Ebola virus.Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas said in a statement Monday night that the patient's symptoms and travel history suggest the patient may have Ebola, the virus that has killed more than 3,000 people across West Africa.
The hospital expects to receive preliminary test results Tuesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Presbyterian Hospital says it's taking measures to keep its doctors, staff and patients safe.
(Copyright (C)2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Tom Frieden - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 14:18
Thomas R. Frieden is the Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). He served as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene from 2002''2009.
Education[edit]Frieden graduated from Oberlin College (BA), Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (MD) and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health (MPH). He completed training in internal medicine at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and sub-specialty training in infectious diseases at Yale University. One brother, Jeffry Frieden, is a noted international political economist and the Stanfield Professor of International Peace at Harvard University.[1] His other brother, Ken Frieden, the B.G. Rudolph Professor at Syracuse University, specializes in nineteenth-century literature.[2]
Early career[edit]Frieden's work on tuberculosis in New York fostered public awareness and helped improve public funding (city, state and federal) for TB control.[3][4] The epidemic was controlled rapidly, reducing overall incidence by nearly half and cutting multidrug-resistant tuberculosis by 80%.[5] The city's program became a model for tuberculosis control.[6][7] From 1996 to 2002, Frieden was based in India, assisting with national tuberculosis control efforts. As a medical officer for the World Health Organization on loan from the CDC, he helped the government of India implement the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP).[8][9][10][11] The 2008 RNTCP status report estimates the nationwide program resulted in 8 million treatments and 1.4 million saved lives.[12] While in India, Frieden worked to establish a network of Indian physicians to help India's state and local governments implement the program[13] and helped the Tuberculosis Research Center in Chennai, India, establish a program to monitor the impact of tuberculosis control services.[14][15]
Frieden served as head of the New York City DOHMH from 2002''2009.[citation needed] The agency employs more than 6,000 people[16] with an annual budget of $1.5 billion.[17] Frieden led a period marked by improvements in the health of New Yorkers.[18]
Tobacco control[edit]Upon his appointment as Health Commissioner in January 2002, Frieden made tobacco control a priority,[19] resulting in a rapid decline[20] after a decade of no change in smoking rates. Frieden established a system to monitor the city's smoking rate, and worked with New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to increase tobacco taxes,[21] ban smoking from workplaces including restaurants and bars, and run aggressive anti-tobacco ads and help smokers quit.[22] The program reduced smoking prevalence among New York City adults from 21.6% in 2002 to 16.9% in 2007'' a change that represents 300,000 fewer smokers and could prevent 100,000 premature deaths in future years.[20][23] Smoking prevalence among New York City teens declined even more sharply, from 17.6% in 2001 to 8.5% in 2007, and is now less than half the national rate.[24] The workplace smoking ban prompted spirited debate before it was passed by the New York City Council and signed into law by Mayor Bloomberg.[25] Over time, the measure has gained broad acceptance by the public and business community in New York City.[26][27] New York City's 2003 workplace smoking ban was among those following California's ban in 1994. Frieden supports increased cigarette taxes as a means of forcing smokers to quit, saying "tobacco taxes are the most effective way to reduce tobacco use."[28] Frieden supported the 62-cent Federal tax on each cigarette pack sold in the United States, introduced in April 2009.[29]
Take Care New York[edit]Frieden also introduced Take Care New York, the city's first comprehensive health policy. This program targeted ten leading causes of preventable illness and death for concerted public and personal action.[30][31] By 2006, New York City had made measurable progress in eight of the ten priority areas.[32]
HIV/AIDS[edit]As Health Commissioner, Frieden sought to fight HIV/AIDS with public health principles used successfully to control other communicable diseases.[33] The most controversial aspect of this strategy was a proposal to eliminate separate written consent for HIV testing. Frieden believes the measure would encourage physicians to offer HIV tests during routine medical care,[34] as the CDC recommends.[35] Some community and civil liberties advocates fought this legislation arguing it would undermine patients' rights and lead eventually to forced HIV testing.[36][37] In 2010, New York State passed a new law that eased the requirement for separate written consent in some circumstances.[38] On 14 February 2007, the NYCDHMH also introduced the NYC Condom,[39][40] prompting Catholic League president Bill Donohue to respond, "What's next? The city's own brand of clean syringes?"[41] More than 36 million were given away in 2007.[42]
Diabetes[edit]Frieden worked to raise awareness about diabetes in New York City, particularly among pregnant women,[43] and established an involuntary, non-disclosed hemoglobin A1C diabetes registry that tracks patients' blood sugar control over several months and report that information to treating physicians in an effort to help them provide better care.[44][45] The New York City Board of Health's decision to require laboratories to report A1C test results has generated a heated debate among civil libertarians, who view it as a violation of medical privacy and an intrusion into the doctor-patient relationship.[46] Even though patients can choose to not receive information from the program, there is no provision enabling patients to opt out of having their glycemic control data entered in the database. The New York City DOHMH asserts that the A1C registry can help reduce the risk of blindness, kidney failure, leg amputations and early death among people with diabetes.[47]
Food policies[edit]To combat cardiovascular disease, New York City has adopted regulations since 2006 to eliminate trans fat from all restaurants.[48][49][50] The restaurant industry and its political allies condemned the trans-fat measure as an assault on liberty by an overzealous "nanny state,"[51][52] but compliance has exceeded 90% among New York City restaurants, and the measure has inspired similar laws in several US cities and the state of California.[53] The Health Department also required chain restaurants to post calorie information to raise consumer awareness of fast food's caloric impact. The measure requires chains with 15 or more outlets to post calorie counts on menus and menu boards. It has prompted two lawsuits by the New York State Restaurant Association. In the first, New York State Restaurant Association v. New York City Board of Health, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that federal law pre-empted New York City's action and overturned it.[54] The NYC Board of Health then repealed and re-enacted the measure.[55] Most chains now post calorie information in their New York City outlets.[56][57] Section 4205 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law 2010, requires menu labeling nationally, for restaurant chains, disclosing on the menu boards, calories, total calories, calories from fat, amounts of fat and saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, total and complex carbohydrates, sugars, dietary fiber, and protein.[58]
Epidemiology[edit]During Frieden's tenure as Commissioner, the Health Department expanded the collection and use of epidemiological data, launching an annual Community Health Survey[59] and the nation's first community-based Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.[60][61]
Electronic health records[edit]To improve quality and efficiency of medical care, the agency also launched the nation's largest community-based electronic health records project to improve preventive care for more than one million at-risk New Yorkers.[62]
Director of CDC and Administrator of ATSDR[edit]On 15 May 2009 the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services named Dr. Frieden the 16th director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR); he assumed his position on 8 June 2009 from the acting head, Richard E. Besser.[63]
On announcing Frieden's appointment, President Obama said, ''America relies on a strong public health system and the work at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is critical to our mission to preserve and protect the health and safety of our citizens''.[64] Frieden had previously worked for the CDC from 1990 to 2002 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in New York City and then as part of CDC's tuberculosis control program.
Bloomberg Philanthropies[edit]Frieden also served as health advisor to New York City Mayor Bloomberg, supporting the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use.[64] This initiative aims to prevent more than 100 million tobacco-related deaths worldwide[65] by promoting tobacco control in developing countries. By mid-2008, the initiative had funded more than 100 organizations in 36 nations,[23] with a focus on China and India, where more than 40% of the world's smokers live.[66] Bloomberg's effort was joined by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2008.[23]
Publications[edit]References[edit]^^^Lobato MN, Wang YC, Becerra JE, Simone PM, Castro KG (2006). "Improved Program Activities Are Associated with Decreasing Tuberculosis Incidence in the United States". Public Health Reports121 (2): 108''15. PMC 1525263. PMID 16528941. ^Leff DR, Leff AR (1 November 1997). "Tuberculosis control policies in major metropolitan health departments in the United States. VI. Standard of practice in 1996". American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine156 (5): 1487''94. doi:10.1164/ajrccm.156.5.9704105. PMID 9372665. ^TB Annual Summary: 2006. New York: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. 2008. [page needed]^World Health Organization Tuberculosis Programme (1995). "New York City's Success Story". Stop TB at the Source. Geneva: World Health Organization. ISBN 978-0-11-951529-9. OCLC 181876135. [page needed]^Steinhauer, Jennifer (14 February 2004). "Gladly Taking The Blame For Health In the City". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 July 2009. ^Drazen JM (October 2002). "A milestone in tuberculosis control". New England Journal of Medicine347 (18): 1444. doi:10.1056/NEJMe020135. PMID 12409549. ^Khatri GR, Frieden TR (October 2002). "Controlling tuberculosis in India". New England Journal of Medicine347 (18): 1420''5. doi:10.1056/NEJMsa020098. PMID 12409545. ^Udwadia ZF, Pinto LM (2007). "Review series: the politics of TB: the politics, economics and impact of directly observed treatment (DOT) in India". Chronic Respiratory Disease4 (2): 101''6. doi:10.1177/1479972307707929. PMID 17621578. ^Chauhan LS, Tonsing J (2005). "Revised national TB control programme in India". Tuberculosis85 (5''6): 271''6. doi:10.1016/ PMID 16253562. ^TB India 2008: RNTCP Status Report: I am Stopping TB. New Delhi: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. March 2008. p. 3. ISBN 81-902652-3-7. Retrieved 8 July 2009. ^Frieden TR, Khatri GR (September 2003). "Impact of national consultants on successful expansion of effective tuberculosis control in India". The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease7 (9): 837''41. PMID 12971666. ^Subramani R, Radhakrishna S, Frieden TR, et al. (August 2008). "Rapid decline in prevalence of pulmonary tuberculosis after DOTS implementation in a rural area of South India". The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease12 (8): 916''20. PMID 18647451. ^Narayanan PR, Garg R, Santha T, Kumaran PP (2003). "Shifting the focus of tuberculosis research in India". Tuberculosis83 (1''3): 135''42. doi:10.1016/S1472-9792(02)00068-9. PMID 12758203. ^Public Health in New York City, 2004''2006. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. p. 3. Retrieved 8 July 2009. ^Public Health in New York City, 2004''2006. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. p. 61. Retrieved 8 July 2009. ^Frieden TR, Bassett MT, Thorpe LE, Farley TA (October 2008). "Public health in New York City, 2002''2007: confronting epidemics of the modern era". International Journal of Epidemiology37 (5): 966''77. doi:10.1093/ije/dyn108. PMID 18540026. ^Steinhauer, Jennifer (15 February 2002). "Commissioner Calls Smoking Public Health Enemy No. 1 and Asks Drug Firms for Ammunition". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 July 2009. ^ abCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (June 2007). "Decline in smoking prevalence '' New York City, 2002''2006". Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report56 (24): 604''8. PMID 17585290. ^Altman, Alex (6 June 2008), "When Are Cigarette Taxes Too High?", Time, retrieved 8 July 2009 ^Frieden TR, Mostashari F, Kerker BD, Miller N, Hajat A, Frankel M (June 2005). "Adult Tobacco Use Levels After Intensive Tobacco Control Measures: New York City, 2002''2003". American Journal of Public Health95 (6): 1016''23. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2004.058164. PMC 1449302. PMID 15914827. ^ abc"Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates Join to Combat Global Tobacco Epidemic" (Press release). Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 23 July 2008. Retrieved 8 July 2009. ^The Lancet (January 2008). "New York City's bold antitobacco programme". Lancet371 (9607): 90. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(08)60078-1. PMID 18191665. ^Chang C, Leighton J, Mostashari F, McCord C, Frieden TR (August 2004). "The New York City Smoke-Free Air Act: second-hand smoke as a worker health and safety issue". American Journal of Industrial Medicine46 (2): 188''95. doi:10.1002/ajim.20030. PMID 15273972. ^Cooper, Michael (23 October 2003). "Poll Finds Smoking Ban Popular". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 July 2009. ^Rutenberg, Jim; Lily Koppel (6 February 2005). "In Barrooms, Smoking Ban Is Less Reviled". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 July 2009. ^Altman, Alex (6 June 2008), "When Are Cigarette Taxes Too High?", Time, retrieved 11 August 2010 ^Jonsson, Patrik (17 November 2009). "Federal and state governments look to smokers for more tax revenue: Though they hit poor Americans hardest, stiff taxes on tobacco can reduce healthcare costs by billions". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 8 August 2010. ^"Cause of Death or Illness, New York City, 2002, and Amenability to Intervention". Take Care New York: A Policy for a Healthier New York City. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. March 2004. pp. 57''61. Retrieved 9 July 2009. ^P(C)rez-Pe±a, Richard (24 March 2004). "City sets goals for the health of New Yorker". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 July 2009. ^Take Care New York: A Policy for a Healthier New York City (Third Year Progress Report). New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. August 2007. p. 2. Retrieved 9 July 2009. ^Frieden TR, Das-Douglas M, Kellerman SE, Henning KJ (December 2005). "Applying public health principles to the HIV epidemic". New England Journal of Medicine353 (22): 2397''402. doi:10.1056/NEJMsb053133. PMID 16319391. ^Mandavilli A (April 2006). "Profile: Thomas Frieden". Nature Medicine12 (4): 378. doi:10.1038/nm0406-378. PMID 16598275. ^Branson BM, Handsfield HH, Lampe MA, et al. (September 2006). "Revised recommendations for HIV testing of adults, adolescents, and pregnant women in health-care settings". Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report55 (RR''14): 1''17; quiz CE1''4. PMID 16988643. ^Chan, Sewell (25 December 2006). "Rifts Emerge on Push to End Written Consent for H.I.V. Tests". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 July 2009. ^Fairchild AL, Alkon A (August 2007). "Back to the future? Diabetes, HIV, and the boundaries of public health". Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law32 (4): 561''93. doi:10.1215/03616878-2007-017. PMID 17639012. ^"HIV Testing Is Now a Routine Part of Health Care in New York" (Press release). New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. 1 September 2010. Retrieved 8 February 2011. ^Chan, Sewell (15 February 2007). "A New Condom in Town, This One Named 'NYC'". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 July 2009. ^"Health department launches the nation's first official city condom" (Press release). New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. 14 February 2007. Retrieved 8 July 2009. ^^"Health department releases new NYC Condom wrapper" (Press release). New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. 13 February 2008. Retrieved 8 July 2009. ^Kleinfield, N. R. (22 February 2006). "City to Warn New Mothers of Diabetes Risk". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 July 2009. ^Steinbrook R (February 2006). "Facing the diabetes epidemic '' mandatory reporting of glycosylated hemoglobin values in New York City". New England Journal of Medicine354 (6): 545''8. doi:10.1056/NEJMp068008. PMID 16467539. ^"The New York City A1C Registry". New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Retrieved 9 July 2009. ^Goldman J, Kinnear S, Chung J, Rothman DJ (May 2008). "New York City's Initiatives on Diabetes and HIV/AIDS: Implications for Patient Care, Public Health, and Medical Professionalism". American Journal of Public Health98 (5): 807''13. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2007.121152. PMC 2374815. PMID 18381989. ^Frieden TR (September 2008). "NEW YORK CITY'S DIABETES REPORTING SYSTEM HELPS PATIENTS AND PHYSICIANS". American Journal of Public Health98 (9): 1543''4; author reply 1544. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2008.142026. PMC 2509589. PMID 18633070. ^"Healthy Heart '' Avoid Trans Fat". New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Retrieved 9 July 2009. ^Okie S (May 2007). "New York to trans fats: you're out!". New England Journal of Medicine356 (20): 2017''21. doi:10.1056/NEJMp078058. PMID 17507699. ^"Calorie Posting". New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Retrieved 9 July 2009. ^Lueck, Thomas J.; Kim Severson (6 December 2006). "New York Bans Most Trans Fats in Restaurants". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 July 2009. ^Halpern, Dan (17 December 2006). "Dr. Do-Gooder". New York. Retrieved 9 July 2009. ^Steinhauer, Jennifer (26 July 2008). "California Bars Restaurant Use of Trans Fats". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 July 2009. ^Feuer, Alan (12 September 2007). "Judge Throws Out New York Rule Requiring Restaurants to Post Calories". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 July 2009. ^Rivera, Ray (25 October 2007). "New York City Reintroduces Calorie Rule". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 July 2009. ^Barron, James (19 July 2008). "Restaurants That Lack Calorie Counts Now Face Fines". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 July 2009. ^Rabin, Roni Caryn (16 July 2008). "New Yorkers try to swallow calorie sticker shock". MSNBC. Retrieved 9 July 2009. ^"Menu & Vending Machines Labeling Requirements". FDA. ^"Community Health Survey". New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. February 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2009. ^"NYC HANES Datasets and Related Documentation". New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Retrieved 9 July 2009. ^Thorpe LE, Gwynn RC, Mandel-Ricci J, et al. (July 2006). "Study Design and Participation Rates of the New York City Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2004". Preventing Chronic Disease3 (3): A94. PMC 1637802. PMID 16776895. ^"Primary Care Information Project". New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Retrieved 9 July 2009. ^^ ab"President Obama Appoints Dr. Thomas Frieden as CDC Director". The White House. May 15, 2009. ^Frieden TR, Bloomberg MR (May 2007). "How to prevent 100 million deaths from tobacco". Lancet369 (9574): 1758''61. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(07)60782-X. PMID 17512860. ^WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2008: The MPOWER Package. Geneva: World Health Organization. 2008. ISBN 978-92-4-159628-2. OCLC 232358592. Retrieved 9 July 2009. [page needed]External links[edit]PersondataNameFrieden, TomAlternative namesShort descriptionAmerican physicianDate of birth1960Place of birthDate of deathPlace of death
Obama Nation
That's How We Roll!
I need some kind of scale to measure the presidents THAT'S HOW WE ROLL
Overwhelming = 97%
''That's how we roll'': President Obama's perfect example of D.C.'s warmongering con -
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 07:19
Among the many things that make the United States such an exceptional nation, its relative unwillingness to spend money on programs to better its citizens' lives is especially notable. Ditto its utterly unrivaled enthusiasm for spending its money on programs to make it easier to end other citizens' lives. But while it's true that Americans work more for less, it's also true that no other country's political class is quite so festooned with top-of-the-line killing machines, or so unencumbered when it comes to deploying those killing machines wherever and whenever they please.
Assuming you're not a defense contractor lobbyist or lifetime bureaucratic warrior in the Pentagon, it doesn't sound like too good a deal for the vast majority of America's 300-million-plus population. But as President Obama showed during Sunday night's new interview with Steve Kroft for ''60 Minutes,'' there's a tried and true way that U.S. leadership manages to square that circle: By telling Americans that the globe is in many ways like a big university '-- one where the United States is the undisputed big man on campus.
''It looks like once again we are leading the operation,'' Kroft complained to the president, noting that despite Obama's efforts to build a broad coalition for his war against ISIS, the United States found itself still in the role of first among equals when it came to shouldering the campaign's burden. It was a pointed question to deliver to a president who was ushered into office in part on a promise to wield America's military more wisely, more judiciously and with more of a mind on the problems unresolved at home.
Still, President Obama, that one-time candidate of change, had a quick and direct answer: ''Steve, that's always the case. That's always the case. America leads. We are the indispensable nation; we have capacity no one else has; our military is the best in the history of the world.
''When trouble comes up anywhere in the world,'' Obama continued, ''they don't call Beijing, they don't call Moscow '-- they call us.''
Having reduced geopolitics to the level of ''Ghostbusters'' (because when there's sectarian killing born from a centuries-long ethnic and cultural conflict in your neighborhood, who ya gonna call?) Obama continued, ''When there's a typhoon in the Philippines, take a look at who's helping the Philippines deal with that situation. When there's an earthquake in Haiti, take a look at who's leading the charge, making sure Haiti can rebuild.''
Obama then laid down the hammer, delivering the sound bite one imagines White House message mavens thought was terrifically badass when they came up with it during the waning hours of an all-night planning session some recent, godforsaken morning: ''That's how we roll,'' the president of the United States said. ''That's what makes us America.'' (''Bring 'em on!'' was already taken.)
So if in years ahead '-- perhaps during a time when the debate has shifted from whether to send troops back to Iraq to how many troops we should send; or perhaps during the next time when a temporary economic downturn persuades the most serious people in Washington that the welfare state is a luxury the United States cannot afford '-- you find yourself wondering why the debate in Washington is always between less welfare and more war now or less welfare and more war later, remember what Barack Obama told you.
That's how we roll. Because we're America.
Secret Service
Get the Obvious lesbian out so Hillary will have a new crew
Job #1 is to stop counterfeit operations
Julia Pierson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 01:09
Julia Ann Pierson (born July 1959[1])[2] is a former American law enforcement official. She served as the 23rd Director of the United States Secret Service.[3] Pierson was appointed by President Barack Obama on March 27, 2013, and became the first woman to head the agency.[3][4][5][6] Amidst a series of security lapses involving the agency, Pierson resigned on October 1, 2014.[7]
Early life and education[edit]Pierson is a native of Orlando, Florida.[8] While she attended high school, she worked at Walt Disney World as a parking lot attendant, watercraft attendant, and in costume in Disney parades.[9]
She was an Explorer in the Boy Scouts of America, in a post specializing in law enforcement chartered to the Orlando Police Department. She was the 1978 National Law Enforcement Exploring Youth Representative, leading the Law Enforcement Exploring division,[10] and was selected as the National Law Enforcement Exploring chair.
She attended the University of Central Florida, graduating in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice.[11]
Pierson served three years in the Orlando Police Department (OPD), patrolling the northeastern section of Orlando. She was one of the first female OPD officers assigned to a beat.[11] She joined the United States Secret Service in 1984 as a special agent. She served in the Miami Field Office from 1984 to 1985, and the Orlando Field Office from 1985 to 1988. Pierson served as deputy assistant director of the Office of Protective Operations from 2005 to 2006, deputy assistant director of the Office of Administration from 2001 to 2005, and special agent in charge of the Office of Protective Operations 2000 to 2001). She served on the presidential protective details (PPDs) of Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. From 2008 to her appointment as director, Pierson served as the chief of staff and the assistant director of the Office of Human Resources and Training for the Secret Service.[4][8]
Pierson was already the agency's highest-ranking woman before being promoted to director.[9] She was tasked with improving the image of the Secret Service, following the Summit of the Americas prostitution scandal.[2] On September 30, 2014, while testifying at a United States House of Representatives hearing, Pierson faced Congressional criticism over the White House security breach of September 19, 2014. On October 1, 2014, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson accepted her resignation as director.[12]
References[edit]^"U.S. Federal Government Officers' Home Addresses: Department of The Treasury". ^ abBaker, Peter (March 26, 2013). "First Woman Is Chosen to Lead Secret Service". The New York Times. Retrieved March 27, 2013. ^ ab"Obama to name Julia Pierson as new Secret Service director". Washington Post. March 26, 2013. Retrieved March 26, 2013. ^ ab"President Obama Announces A Key Administration Post". The White House. March 26, 2013. Retrieved March 26, 2013. ^"Obama Will Appoint Julia Pierson As Secret Service Director". NPR. March 26, 2013. Retrieved March 26, 2013. ^"Julia Pierson, first woman picked to lead Secret Service". Politico. March 26, 2013. Retrieved March 26, 2013. ^"Secret Service Director Julia Pierson Resigns". ABC News. October 1, 2014. Retrieved October 1, 2014. ^ ab"Orlando's Julia Pierson to be 1st woman Secret Service head". Central Florida News 13. March 26, 2013. Retrieved March 26, 2013. ^ abRoth, Siobhan (June 1, 2007). "For Hire: Secret Service Agent". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved March 2013. ^Wendell, Bryan (April 5, 2013). "Our own background check on the new Secret Service director turns up ...". Bryan on Scouting. Scouting. ^ abCurtis, Henry Pierson (March 26, 2013). "Julia Pierson, appointed first female director of U.S. Secret Service, has OPD roots". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved March 27, 2013. ^"Julia Pierson resigns as secret service director". Washington Post. Retrieved October 1, 2014. PersondataNamePierson, JuliaAlternative namesShort descriptionUnited States Secret Service agentDate of birth1959-07Place of birthOrlando, Florida, United StatesDate of deathPlace of death
Voter registration in Ferguson surges after Brown killing
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 14:08
Ferguson Mayor James Knowles speaks with resident Juanita Stone after a town hall meeting with local government officials and residents on Tuesday, at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Ferguson, Mo.(Photo: Whitney Curtis, Getty Images)
More than 3,000 people have registered to vote in Ferguson, Mo., since the death of Michael Brown '-- a surge in interest that may mean the city of 21,000 people is ready for a change.
Since a white police officer shot the unarmed black 18-year-old on Aug. 9, voter registration booths and cards have popped up alongside protests in the city and surrounding neighborhoods. The result: 4,839 people in St. Louis County have registered to vote since the shooting; 3,287 of them live in Ferguson.
The city's population is two-thirds African American but five of its six city council members are white, as is its mayor.
The St. Louis County Election Board does not record the races of eligible voters, but many believe the increase is a sign that Brown's death has spurred renewed interest in politics and might mean more blacks will vote in the upcoming election.
"It's a great move when people come out and register in mass like that," said Anthony Bell, St. Louis 3rd Ward committeeman. "They are sending a signal that we want a change. It doesn't give justice to the Michael Brown family but it will in the future give justice to how the administration is run in a local municipality like Ferguson."
Bell began registering people two days after Brown was shot. He was at Canfield Green Apartments shortly after the teen was killed and watched as his body lay in the street for hours. The experience motivated him to lead a protest the next day and start registering people. He started with a clipboard and later set up a booth a few blocks from the shooting scene.
Rita Days, St. Louis County director of elections, said her office has been fielding calls from individuals and groups asking how to register people to vote. The NAACP, League of Women Voters, sororities and fraternities have taken classes. Others have picked up handfuls of registration cards to encourage people to mail in their registrations.
Registering more than 3,000 people in a month and a half is a significant accomplishment, Days said. She added that the real test will be how many people show up to the polls.
Jonathan Clarke, a writer and columnist for Politics in Color and a longtime St. Louis resident, agrees. "This represents a wake up call," he said. "The problem so far, hasn't been, as far as I understand, registration so much as it has been turnout."
Days said her office, as well as interested organizations, have long stressed the importance of voting to community members. Despite many efforts though, there has been little interest in past elections. During local elections in April, just 1,484 of the 12,096 registered voters in Ferguson cast ballots.
"The apathy regarding voters is rampant in this county," she said. "I mean if we get 10 or 15 (percent of registered voters to vote) that's good."
This time, demonstrators are vowing it will be different.
Community leaders plan to mobilize voters during the upcoming election and ensure that people make it to the polls, said Anthony Shahid, one of the most visible activists who has been protesting in Ferguson since Brown's death. He is also hoping volunteers from different cities will come to help the push.
"We want to have a big rally," Shahid said. "You have to get people excited."
Anthony Gray, an attorney for Michael Brown's family, said supporters of Michael Brown have the power to make Ferguson's political leaders more diverse and to force officials to take into account the concerns of black residents.
"It could completely change the political landscape, the power structure, (and) the decision making," Gray said. "The service to the African American community would almost quadruple because they would be viewed as a credible and legitimate voting block."
To vote in the upcoming Nov. 4 election, people must register by Oct. 8.
For Eric Davis, Brown's cousin, the dates are important ones that could lead to much needed change in local government.
"There is little to no representation of African Americans," Davis said. "It's basically a government that is Caucasian that is ruling over a class of African Americans. It's almost as if it's apartheid in some ways."
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Wisconsin Reporter Was Sent to Cover Michelle Obama's Speech and What She Says an Aide Told Her Had Her 'Creeped Out' |
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:47
Meg Kissinger is a seasoned reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin's well-known newspaper. She's seen a lot in her days. But what she said happened at a speech by Michelle Obama in the state on Monday left her utterly ''creeped out.''
Kissinger took to her Facebook and Twitter page to describe what happened. In short, she said, aides for both the first lady and Wisconsin Democratic candidate for governor, Mary Burke, told her she was banned from talking to members of the crowd.
Kissinger was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, covering the first lady's speech in which she was stumping for Burke.
''[A]ssigned to cover Michelle Obama's speech today and was told by a Mary Burke aide and one for the White House that I could not speak to the people in the crowd,'' she said on her Facebook page. ''To say that I was creeped out is an understatement. This is what reporters do in America: we speak to people. At least that's how I've been doing things '-- at all kinds of political events '-- since 1979.''
(Source: Facebook)
In a follow-up comment to her post, she added that she's ''never seen anything like it in 35 years as a reporter'':
(Source: Facebook)
She recounted the same events on Twitter:
(Source: Twitter)
The odd encounter did make it into her story for the Journal Sentinel [emphasis added]:
At the Burke event, a number of people in the crowd were upset about a lack of seating. Several people, including a woman using two canes, complained that she had nowhere to sit.
Reporters and photographers were cordoned off in a central area with chairs and tables. Several people in the crowd asked if they could have extra chairs reserved for the media '-- but reporters were initially forbidden from handing them over. Eventually, some of the Burke staff gave the extra chairs to attendees.
Burke and White House staff also told reporters not to talk to people in the crowd before the event.
Kissinger's encounter bolsters charges by the media that the administration is one of the most guarded ever.
This story has been updated to reflect that the Burke event took place in Milwaukee, not Hudson, Wisconsin.
No Obamacare Bailout Without Congressional Approval: GAO |
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:50
The Obama administration does not have the legal authority to bail out health insurance companies that are losing money from providing Obamcare-compliant plans without the OK of Congress, a legal opinion from the Government Accountability Office said Tuesday.
President Barack Obama and Health and Human Service Secretary Sylvia Burwell. (AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN MANDEL)
The GAO opinion says Congress must appropriate funds for the Department of Health and Human Services to pay federal dollars to prop up the losses of insurance companies for fiscal year 2015.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, asked the GAO for the opinion.
''Following the law matters. We had serious concerns with the legality of the Obama administration's plan from the get go, and the government's watchdog confirms we were right,'' Upton said in a statement. ''Today's report sounds the alarm once again on the administration's efforts to unlawfully subsidize its health care law with taxpayer dollars. American taxpayers are already on the hook for a still-incomplete health exchange with a price tag that exceeds $2 billion.''
The risk corridor program is a part of the Affordable Care Act that limits the profits or losses that an Obamacare-participating insurer can accrue. Participating insurers that make bigger profits must remit a portion of that profit to the government. Those funds are deposited into an account to reimburse insurers that suffer excessive losses.
Critics of Obamacare, such as conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, have likened the risk corridor program to a government bailout.
President Barack Obama's proposed fiscal year 2015 budget includes a provision to allow the HHS to disburse the money without oversight from Congress. The GAO, the government's watchdog agency, said that's not the case.
''GAO has confirmed beyond dispute that the Department of Health and Human Services has no legal authority to disburse risk corridor payments under Obamacare absent a congressional appropriation'' Sessions in a statement. ''I hope this nips in the bud any ideas this overreaching Administration might have of paying out money not appropriated by Congress. Such expenditures would violate bedrock separation of powers principles in the Constitution.''
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a report in July that said taxpayers could be on the hook for $1 billion to bailout insurance companies taking a loss from providing Obamacare-approved health plans.
We need a new constitution: Here's how we save American democracy from charlatans, loudmouths and the 1 percent -
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 12:58
This is the first of a two-part series; the second will run next weekend on Salon
The most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll says that a clear-cut majority is disgusted with the present political scene and retains little hope that future generations will fare as well as we have. As candidates get down and dirty in the lead-up to midterm elections, 60 percent say the country is in a general state of decline. A mere 19 percent of those polled have a favorable opinion of Republicans in Congress; their Democratic colleagues (or ''colleagues'') poll at 31 percent. But the most remarkable number is 79: that's the percentage of the politicized public that presently voices its discontent with the entire American political system as constituted; and fully half of the respondents said ''very dissatisfied.''
No one should be surprised. Congress is hated for good reason. It often seems that more representatives represent themselves, and cater to private rather than public interests. Government is meant to be a force for good, for fairness; not a stepping stone to private wealth and power for narcissists who grow up feeling entitled, or insensitive social climbers who live to pal around with the already privileged. As the Capitol building itself undergoes a facelift, that waggish definition of Capitol Hill, ''Hollywood for ugly people,'' is becoming more than mere aphorism.
What do the icy critics think of when they think of Congress in 2014? Perhaps it's that there are too many tired, artless old men with bad haircuts and meaningless flag pins, commingling with Tea Party obstructionists''fatefully prone to insincere pronouncements about ''the American people,'' ''freedom,'' ''sound policy'' and ''fresh ideas'' as they stumble through misogynist gaffes. It's known that these guys gravitate toward golf and strong drink. And, for some odd reason, inertia, too.
One thing (that virtually all can agree on) really stinks: Money makes our politics sordid. High-paid lobbyists exert as great a sway as ever. The formerly sanctimonious Eric Cantor, who worked against the interest of working people for years in Congress, gets booted from the House by an even greater ideologue, and promptly joins a Wall Street investment firm. We don't want to know what he's being paid. (We do, but we don't.) It just makes folks angrier. This is hardly meritocracy, but he's typical of what's wrong. And for the record, some Democrats have cashed in, too. The system rewards the already privileged.
Though they haven't articulated it as such, Americans want a new constitution that actually does what the original Constitution was supposed to do: serve the public good.
So, what would that document ideally look like?
It would surely reject outright the decadent, cowardly impulse to fashion a body of laws with special perks designed to prop up the few and wealthy while more or less throwing crumbs to the poor and powerless. Its overall function would be to improve the quality of life across the country, in places big and small. Let's put it in all caps, and maybe stick it in the Preamble: TO CALL ITSELF A REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY, A NATION MUST BE REASONABLE AND EQUITABLE IN THE DIVISION OF POWER.
What systemic changes would take place under this new, more sensible, and decidedly just Constitution?
It would limit the number of terms a representative or senator could serve, so as to introduce fresh blood from a pool of more visible talent. (Does 12 years sound reasonable?) It would not allow ex-congressmen to trade on their insider connections for at least five years''which might then produce fewer power-engrossing lawyer-politicians and more''let's be really optimistic here''systems engineer- or bioethicist-politicians, i.e., problem solvers with a useful trade to fall back on after public service.
Next, let's reform the debased Supreme Court by reducing tenure from life to 10 years. (Honestly, who's not tired of Scalia?)
This is the thing. We all know the solution to our sorest problem. Let's spell out what everyone's saying, but voters, en masse, have failed to press for hard enough. It's all the friggin' campaign contributions. No more fundraising. Period. Taking two clear, unmitigated steps, the new Constitution would completely remove private money from electoral politics.
Step 1: It would continue to conduct congressional redistricting as necessary and proper (in accord with the national census taken every ''0'' year), but in a wholly unbiased manner by means of a mathematically derived algorithm that combines population distribution and natural topography. Partisan-directed state legislatures would once and for all be denied the power to gerrymander districts. How can there be any debate about this one? It so happens that Thomas Jefferson proposed such a grid plan in deliberating what became the Northwest Ordinance (1787): it erased existing districts and replaced them with boundaries that ignored class, race and every other factor that today's paid political operatives can use to rig the system.
Step 2: Use tax dollars exclusively to fund national political campaigns. As students of history, the framers of our Constitution understood the classical meaning of the terms ''republic'' and ''democracy.'' Individually and collectively, they would have had a single word for Citizens United: CORRUPTION. Institutionalized corruption. Despite its contrived explanation, the 2010 Supreme Court decision is not about free speech; all it endorses is the thug's motto: ''Money talks.''
Remove money from politics and ideas flourish. One hundred percent public funding, and a designated campaign season extending months, not years. It can be done, people. They don't know it now, but even the politician class will be glad for it. Do you think they live for the Iowa caucuses? Oblige them to spend more time studying and legislating and less time posturing.
The foregoing are the obvious moves the U.S. has to take to create the kind of governing system it has claimed to have, but doesn't. (Part two of this series will identify more specific changes to Articles I & II of the federal Constitution.)
Now let's return to where we began: the abysmal reputation of a static Congress. We don't seem to promote enough smart, innovative, broadly knowledgeable people. We do, however, observe a good many uninspiring party hacks out there. And how many multi-term congressmen have crashed and burned owing to the ethically unsound choices they've made? If they see elective office as a stepping-stone''as merely a personal opportunity to rise socially or cozy up to a moneyed elite''then they are wrong for government. Plain and simple. Their job is to represent those who elected them; and with private money taken out of political campaigning, it becomes increasingly likely that ''those who elected them'' will mean ''the people,'' more than just rhetorically.
Good government does not exist without smart regulations that insure good character. We need to clip the wings of all the Governor Bob McDonnells out there. Nothing was so fundamental to the Revolutionary generation as character, which is why they were intentionally paid poorly for their public service. They got this right in 1787, insisting that government function as an antidote to arbitrary force and institutionalized corruption. They took it literally that the voters ceded power to their ''governors'' for a limited period of time. It was a known history of abuses of power that inspired the Revolutionaries to establish the first modern republic. Okay, that and an inordinate desire for Indian land.
When they wrote of good government, the nation's founders highlighted the term ''disinterested,'' meaning free from self-interest. It was presented as an ideal, because they well understood that flawed humanity made pure disinterested politics unsustainable. That's why doing right for the largest numbers was inscribed as the central aim of the representative system. It's time for an update. Magnanimous behavior''political honesty''needs to be held up in modern discourse as our model for democracy, and narrow-minded favoritism recognized for what it is.
Our new Constitution would be written in such a way as to facilitate another campaign as well: a campaign against ignorance. Here's a second axiom that belongs in all caps: THE HIGHEST OBLIGATION OF THE CITIZEN IN A DEMOCRACY IS TO REMAIN INFORMED AND TO ARGUE FOR SOMETHING. The sweep of history will sweep us by if we think we can get along by shouting slogans about our record as the ''greatest nation in the history of the world.'' People can disagree about the desired direction to take in our national life; but who would argue against having caring, hopeful, reasoning, discriminating voters (not those who only respond to attack ads) as the voters we want making democratic choices? So let's create more of them.
Case in point. Not very long ago, as the civilized world shook its collective head, polling showed that nearly half of Republican voters were convinced that their duly elected president was an East African Muslim and a usurper. We must not cheapen the voting privilege by allowing angry nonsense to obtain such credibility. James Madison's most palpable fear when he contemplated democracy was that heartless demagogues would sway malleable citizens. A republic run on gossip and angry misrepresentations is going nowhere. At least nowhere positive or productive.
Because political ignorance has festered for a long time, the campaign against ignorance must, of necessity, be fairly radical. Improvement will be slow. Attend first to the poor (rural and urban alike), those who were born with the fewest opportunities to advance in our highly competitive society. Don't treat poor people''white, black, Hispanic, Native American''as waste people. And while we're at it, let's stop touting the ''American Dream'' when it remains unreachable for so many decent people with tremendous potential. The ''Dream'' has become synonymous with private gain. It deserves a broader definition.
Equality in education will serve to reduce inequality generally. Give everyone a boost, but especially those from traditionally underprivileged areas. Bring the best teachers to the worst schools, and pay a hefty premium to those teachers. Make a commitment to fixing these schools first. Let them shine on the outside, as a site for community pride. Give them great equipment and smaller classes. Make the learning environment of the poor superior. Take pride in actual democratic commitment. There isn't enough of it.
K-12 is key, of course, but we can't stop there. Both state and national governments need to pool their intellectual resources and come up with experimental means of making college affordable. The ever-increasing cost of college for middle-class families has reinforced the sad statistic that wealth and privilege almost always matter more than intrinsic merit. We can't be satisfied with that outcome. Consider this fact: For decades, investment in public higher education has steadily declined. Not good. Not democratic. While we're at it, unless they can be seriously monitored, and we mean seriously, let's move away from the concept of for-profit charter schools, for-profit universities and for-profit prisons. They have already proven themselves unusually subject to private greed and corruption.
Because teachers tend to the development of young minds, they need access to a superior, up-to-date curriculum''what the American Enlightenment that our founders subscribed to called ''useful knowledge.'' Today, that translates into a more sophisticated foundation in the sciences and humanities, and a more marked engagement with other cultures. Start teaching foreign languages in first or second grade. Learn that the USA is not an island, nor the repository of God's chosen people; it leads the world in software development and space exploration, true, but also in incarceration.
As we cultivate good, inventive, intuitive teachers to open the minds of a rising generation, we must also see to it that the best teachers are not dictated to by having to measure student success through standardized tests. Painting by number does not make a talented painter. SAT and GRE scores do not measure imagination. Also, reinforce what teachers do by adding counselors and school psychologists to our school systems. That's not the hated nanny state; that's investing in the future.
Our 18-year-olds are hyperactive online but, for the most part, socially immature. They learn how to party in college, while generally failing to complete reading assignments. The new Constitution would institute a two-year national service commitment, allowing students to obtain college admission at the end of high school''deferred acceptance. They would have the security of a spot waiting for them in college, but would in the meantime take a deliberate part in expansive national service programs. The government has run AmeriCorps successfully. Multiply that by a thousand. A math whiz from Vermont can teach high school kids in Zuni, New Mexico. A senior who loves environmental history might work for the Park Service or on an experimental farm. For some, it will be the armed forces. Develop pride, develop useful skills. Energize young citizens''remember, they can vote at 18. Get businesses involved, partnering with government. Teach real-life communication skills, with a dose of empathy. Don't coddle, but compensate the young men and women for their service. Even those who don't intend to go to college will profit from such an introduction to a varied, more interesting life.
And to pay for all this? Let's be blunt about it: Tax those who will never hurt, who will never feel the loss of a few percentage points in their accrued wealth. As things stand''and as incredible as it sounds''the infamous 1 percent own more than one third of the nation's private wealth. How can we not oblige the ultra-rich to do more to support the education of future leaders Somehow, put that dictate into the Constitution. It makes practical sense. No one can claim that it places an unfair burden on the CEO who ''earns'' (rakes in, anyway) $10 million annually. The future will thank us for coming to our senses.
Protect Social Security by increasing the Social Security tax rate of those who earn over a certain amount (say, $300,000) in a given year. Close tax loopholes that continue to protect industries that otherwise feel no compulsion to collaborate with others for social betterment: they should not be bullied, just equitably taxed. When this was done before, the economy prospered. (Evidently, Republicans don't like Eisenhower anymore.)
Along with an education push and revamped tax policy, we improve human life across the board when we stop destroying Earth. Every day is Earth Day, right? Take more seriously the moral component of the enlightened republicanism that our founders trusted in, and make publicity more difficult for the ''poison lobby.'' Those industries actively engaged in destroying the planet should not be getting away with any crap.
Instead of rewarding oil and coal interests with government subsidies, accord them the same treatment government has given to Big Tobacco for a whole generation, which has dramatically reduced the percentage of Americans who smoke. Just as no one objects to highway signs that read ''Buckle Up,'' would it hurt to see warning labels at the gas pump? Make those crass ads go away''take the one where the caring female executive of BP Alaska boasts of how the insufficiently regulated corporation responsible for the Deepwater Horizon disaster loves people and creates jobs and works for America. You shouldn't be able to put a compassionate face on corporate greed. Let's get priorities straight: Instead of permitting them to twist facts, make polluters pay for TV ads that aggressively promote a clean-energy economy.
We know instinctively that something is out of whack when such companies pay more to lobbyists than they pay in taxes; yet that happens as a matter of course today. Really? Yes, really. Big business is more in charge than ever. Make business executives prove themselves patriotic by cooperating with the majority's interest in this country. Broadcast the fact that we are a nation that rewards enterprises that invest in renewable resources, that acts magnanimously to preserve the at-risk natural environment and that pays its fair share of taxes.
It does not mean that government looks upon its relationship to corporations as adversarial when it restructures the corporate tax code to make government work for better business and real people. We have the political tools, just not (up to now) the political will. Without harming capitalist enterprise, take the money out of the brand of politics that tempts elected or appointed officials to abandon the ethics they professedly bring with them into public service.
It should feel good''not intrusive''when government imposes huge fines on companies that pollute our air and water; or when government explains its requirement that we recycle, cease to litter, etc. This is what flows from being part of a community, small or large. The best way to look at the issue of preserving the planet when humans are so capable of ruining it is to adopt a long historical perspective. A constitution is nothing if it does not have posterity in mind.
This hypothetical new Constitution is not a new idea. Just a forgotten one. In his State of the Union Address in January 1944, a time as dark as our own, President Franklin Roosevelt declared that the original Bill of Rights did not do all it should: ''As our nation has grown in size and stature, as our industrial economy expanded, these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.'' His words could not have been plainer: ''We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people''whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth''is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill housed, and insecure.''
He went on to enumerate an updated, modernized Bill of Rights that encompassed ''the right to a useful and remunerative job''; ''the right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation''; ''the right of every family to a decent home''; ''the right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health''; ''the right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment''; ''the right to a good education.'' Sounding a warning about the ''rightist reaction,'' he ended with an impassioned appeal: ''I ask the Congress to explore the means for implementing this economic bill of rights''for it is definitely the responsibility of the Congress so to do.'' And lest there was any doubt whose welfare he thought of most prominently: ''Our fighting men abroad and their families at home expect such a program and have the right to insist upon it.'' In 70 years, little has changed. We need to re-adopt FDR's mantra.
To contend with those who have been conditioned to fear ''big government,'' here's the winning response: Let us profit from good government ideas once they are put into practice. Government performed a masterstroke at the end of World War II with the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944''you know it as the GI Bill''enabling millions of veterans to go to college and better themselves. It's proof that government can make a positive difference in citizens' lives. Much as they try, the defenders of ''free enterprise'' will never convince the majority that we'd all be better off if the big banks and oil companies served as the model for economic justice in America. And is there some way to free the airwaves from the pestilential noise generated by those ideologues who shout ignorantly about getting government off their backs?
Let's face reality head on: Democracy is an ideal, not a given; justice for all is an ideal, not a given. When the status quo leaves our national ideals behind, it falls to the governed to register discontent through informed dissent. The twin causes of democracy and justice cannot remain in focus without intelligent engagement on the part of the governed. If the kind of representative government we want cannot succeed by removing partisan gerrymandering and putting an end to unlimited terms, then the only hope of taking on intractable problems is to anoint a disinterested philosopher king. (Do we have to say that's a joke?) Such people do not exist in abundance.
Meanwhile, the old Constitution is shaking in its boots. More and more, politicians are obtaining office by appealing to base emotions. We all know this to be true, and we hate it. Where the informational potential of modern technology has yielded to the stultifying hyper-drama of viral videos, it can seem like political life consists of a series of emotional swindles. Fame is rarely equated with achievement anymore. Loudmouths with sick ideas grab national headlines. (Donald Trump thinks he'd make a great president.) As politicians pander, national pride declines. National spirit is depressed. Do we need to repeat ourselves: Electoral politics is flat-out corrupt.
What does democracy mean under these conditions? What promise lies in the business of getting ahead at all costs? Or in the unmitigated voyeurism prompted by a mass culture daily saturated with news of mass shootings and manufactured celebrities' mostly bare bodies? The bizarre and banal loom before our eyes and almost appear to outweigh what matters. Hunger and poverty are largely unseen and relatively untreated. A minimum wage that all but insures homelessness is shortsighted and should be highly embarrassing to the citizens of a republic. We should think large. Why don't we? Does anyone doubt that the future will despise us for our relative inaction amid plenty?
This essay is not intended to demean Americans, who remain, by and large, a good and hopeful people. But they hurt. The outcry against income inequality and planetary disfigurement has provoked questions about the essential fairness of existing laws and of a political system that directly produces our dispiritedness. We hear it all the time now: The super-rich are getting super-richer, the majority is plodding along, and underemployment is a major concern. Income inequality appears to be an unstoppable force.
The American middle class no longer compares favorably to the middle class in Western Europe or Canada. Surely, it was not the intent of the U.S. Constitution that a smattering of billionaires would be exercising a nearly obsessive control over political speech or that the flow of money, above all else, would condition political persuasion. This is not democracy. By any definition. Let's change that. Democratically.
Shut Up Slave!
Dutch IRS Police State
Vergeet de politiestaat. Welkom in de belastingstaat
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 04:58
In de herfst van 2012 start een afdeling van de Nederlandse overheid een geheim onderzoek naar een wokrestaurant. Gedurende drie maanden houden medewerkers het all you can eat-etablissement intensief in de gaten. Er staan auto's voor de deur met medewerkers die turven hoeveel mensen er binnengaan. De overheidsfunctionarissen bezoeken het restaurant geregeld om incognito een hapje te eten en de boel te monitoren.
Uit verslagen blijkt dat die etentjes zeer nauwkeurig worden vastgelegd. Hoelaat de ambtenaren het restaurant bezochten, met hoeveel personen, de hoeveelheid aanwezige kinderen, wat er is besteld, wat er is afgerekend en wat er aan fooi is betaald. 'Een drietal dames die rond 17.30 uur ieder alleen naar binnen gingen zijn niet in deze telling meegenomen,' staat in een verslag. 'Deze dames waren duidelijk als personeel te herkennen. Een aantal keren liepen er personen van binnen naar buiten en andersom om te roken of de parkeermeter te vullen.'
De undercover dinergangers nemen geen halve maatregelen. De ene keer gaan zij met zeven personen uit eten, de andere keer met vier. Soms komen ze op dezelfde avond in twee shifts, waarbij het ene koppel vroeg in de avond arriveert en het andere een paar uur later. De ambtenaren bestellen meestal het all you can eat-menu en drinken soms een exotische cocktail.
Als je de verslagen leest, denk je documenten in te zien over een anti-terreuroperatie van de AIVD of een langdurig crimineel onderzoek door de Nationale Recherche.
Maar niet is minder waar: de ambtenaren werken voor de Belastingdienst. Niet voor de FIOD, de opsporingsdienst van de fiscus, maar gewoon voor de afdeling die belastingaangiften controleert.
Het wokrestaurant sjoemelde mogelijk met de administratie.
De grootste informatiefabriek van NederlandDe Belastingdienst vormt de economische smeerolie van de Nederlandse samenleving. Hij heft verzekeringspremies en controleert belastingaangiften van burgers en bedrijven. Hij int belastingen, keert toeslagen uit en controleert of burgers daar recht op hebben. Hij houdt toezicht en bestrijdt belastingfraude. Met ruim 30.000 werknemers is de Belastingdienst een van de grootste werkgevers van Nederland.
Om al die taken uit te kunnen voeren, beschikt de fiscus over enorme hoeveelheden gegevens over Nederlandse burgers. Ga maar na: om alleen al te kunnen controleren of iemand recht heeft op huurtoeslag, moet de Belastingdienst de huurprijs kennen en weten wat iemand verdient, maar ook wat zijn medehuurder verdient, of de persoon wel staat ingeschreven op het opgegeven adres, wie daar nog meer staat ingeschreven, of de persoon eigen vermogen heeft en of de persoon niet ergens anders een koophuis heeft.
De fiscus houdt zelf bij over welke informatie over burgers en bedrijven het kan beschikken. In dat document staan naast persoonlijke gegevens als naam, en geboortedatum en 'persoonsrelatie met een andere geregistreerde en de aard van die relatie,' ook bijvoorbeeld het 'reizigersgedrag' en het 'verplaatsingsgedrag' van de auto.
Om die gegevens te verzamelen, heeft de fiscus een scala aan bevoegdheden. Belastingbetalers dienen de fiscus 'gegevens en inlichtingen' te geven als die daarom vraagt. De fiscus mag ook buiten belastingbetalers om informatie over hen verzamelen. Bij andere overheidsdiensten en bij 'administratieplichtigen,' zoals bedrijven, waar het onder meer de boekhouding en gegevens over klanten kan opvragen.
Daarnaast wisselt de Belastingdienst intensief gegevens uit met andere partijen. Voor deze samenwerkingen worden de afspraken vastgelegd in een zogeheten convenant. De Belastingdienst heeft honderden van zulke convenanten gesloten, bijvoorbeeld met het Centraal Justitieel Incassobureau (CJIB) dat de Belastingdienst data geeft over boetes.
Ook is de Belastingdienst bij tientallen samenwerkingen aangesloten waar gegevens worden uitgewisseld die van nut kunnen zijn voor opsporingsonderzoek of fraude-aanpak, zoals het Financieel Expertise Centrum (een samenwerkingsverband met onder andere het Openbaar Ministerie, de politie en de AFM).
Geen beperkingen aan de informatieverzamelingAlles bij elkaar opgeteld, is de fiscus de grootste informatiefabriek van Nederland, waar gegevens worden verwerkt tot belangrijke conclusies en besluiten. Broodnodig, want zonder een verdeling van de middelen valt de samenleving uit elkaar. Bovendien is fraude is een maatschappelijk en economisch probleem dat bestreden moet worden.
Ook blijkt dat de AIVD, MIVD en het Openbaar Minister toegang kunnen krijgen tot de goudmijn aan gegevens die bij de Belastingdienst ligt opgeslagen
Maar een aantal recente voorvallen laat zien dat de Belastingdienst soms wel erg ver gaat in het bevredigen van de eigen informatiebehoefte. Waar een overheidsdienst als de politie aan zeer strenge regels is gebonden, kent de fiscus nauwelijks beperkingen in het verzamelen van informatie over burgers. Daarbij zoekt de Belastingdienst bovendien de grenzen van de wet op, of gaat daar zelfs overheen.
Uit onderzoek van De Correspondent blijkt daarnaast dat andere overheidsinstanties, zoals de AIVD,MIVD en het Openbaar Ministerie, toegang kunnen krijgen tot de goudmijn aan gegevens die bij de Belastingdienst ligt opgeslagen. Dat kan, zo blijkt uit ons onderzoek, via een wettelijke 'achterdeur', die hen in staat stelt om gegevens op te vragen die ze niet zelf mogen vorderen of minder lang mogen bewaren.
Het gaat daarbij niet alleen maar om de persoonsgegevens van miljoenen Nederlanders over werk-, loon- en banktransacties, maar ook over informatie over kentekens, beelden van kentekenregistraties, parkeergedrag en het OV-reizigersgedrag.
'Deze achterdeur staat wagenwijd open', zegt emeritus hoogleraar strafrecht Theo de Roos verbaasd wanneer ik hem de bevindingen voorleg. 'Dit is heel bedenkelijk en een open uitnodiging voor andere overheidsinstanties. Een officier van justitie die niet meer dan een verdenking heeft van een strafbaar feit, kan al gegevens opvragen.'
'Dat gaat inderdaad extreem ver,' bevestigt ook Guido de Bont, hoogleraar Belastingrecht. 'De politie heeft veel wettelijke beperkingen, maar het ligt gewoon allemaal bij de fiscus en geen haan die naar kraait. We hebben een monster gecreerd.'
Wat kan de Belastingdienst niet?In 1998 promoveerde Gerrit-Jan Zwenne op de vraag welke informatie de Belastingdienst over burgers kon verzamelen. 'Ik kwam al vrij snel tot de conclusie dat je die vraag eigenlijk om zou moeten draaien: wat kan de Belastingdienst niet? Sindsdien is de wetgeving alleen maar verruimd,' zegt Zwenne, nu hoogleraar recht in de informatiemaatschappij aan de Universiteit Leiden en advocaat bij Bird & Bird in Den Haag.
'Een belastinginspecteur mag volgens de wet gegevens opvragen als die 'fiscaal relevant' zijn, maar we hebben in Nederland ongeveer alles fiscaal relevant gemaakt'
De conclusie van Zwennes proefschrift is nog steeds relevant: de informatiehonger van de Belastingdienst is de fiscus niet te verwijten. 'Een belastinginspecteur mag volgens de wet gegevens opvragen als die 'fiscaal relevant' zijn, maar we hebben in Nederland ongeveer alles fiscaal relevant gemaakt. Onze belastingwetgeving is zo uitgebreid, ingewikkeld en genuanceerd, dat de Belastingdienst wel heel gedetailleerd moet gaan kijken naar de persoonlijke omstandigheden van de belastingbetaler. Een haast onvermijdelijk gevolg is dat de Belastingdienst grote sleepnetten uit moet zetten om informatie binnen te halen.'
Eind 2013 kwam een van die sleepnetten aan het licht. Toen bleek dat de Belastingdienst bij SMS-Parking, een bedrijf waar automobilisten met hun mobiele telefoon voor een parkeerplaats kunnen betalen, alle transacties van alle klanten had opgevraagd. Zo kon de fiscus bijvoorbeeld zien waar en wanneer lease-autorijders hun auto parkeerden en of zij zich wel aan de toegestane priv(C)kilometers hielden. Maar de fiscus zou die gegevens ook voor andere doeleinden gebruiken. De eigenaar van het bedrijf weigerde dat, waarop de fiscus naar de rechter stapte.
Die rechter kwam eind november vorig jaar met een opmerkelijke uitspraak: de Belastingdienst was te ver gegaan en het verzoek schendde het recht op privacy, zoals beschreven in het Europees Verdrag voor de Rechten van de Mens. De rechter sprak over een 'fishing expedition' van de Belastingdienst, een uitgezet sleepnet in de hoop dat er iets interessants tussen zat. Dat botste volgens de rechter met het uitgangspunt van een gezonde verhouding tussen burger en overheid. De rechter: 'Het dagelijks doen en laten van de burgers gaat de overheid niets aan.'
Opmerkelijk, omdat het een breuk met de trend van m(C)(C)r bevoegdheden en gegevens zou betekenen, zegt Gerrit-Jan Zwenne. 'Als de bevoegdheden van de Belastingdienst zouden zijn ingeperkt, zou dat revolutionair zijn geweest.'
Maar de Belastingdienst ging in hoger beroep en kreeg gelijk: SMS-Parking moest de gegevens toch afstaan. De hogerberoepsrechter maakte korte metten met de woorden van zijn collega. Ook het argument dat de Belastingdienst een specifiekere aanvraag bij SMS-Parking had kunnen doen, door bijvoorbeeld een aantal reeds verdachte kentekens op te vragen, werd van tafel geveegd.
We hebben geen idee wat de Belastingdienst precies weetVan een andere dataverzameling is het maar de vraag of het is toegestaan. Volgens hoogleraar belastingrecht Guido de Bont is het zelfs 'regelrecht in strijd met de wet.' De Bont, tevens advocaat in Amsterdam, voerde vorig jaar samen met zijn collega Annabel Vissers een proefprocedure tegen de Belastingdienst. Hun clint kreeg een naheffing en een boete omdat ze niet kon bewijzen dat ze jaarlijks niet meer dan 500 kilometer voor priv(C)gebruik in de auto van de zaak had gereden, zoals wettelijk is toegestaan. De fiscus concludeerde na eigen onderzoek dat dit niet het geval was.
De vraag was: hoe kwam de Belastingdienst aan die informatie?
'De gegevens mogen zo lang bewaard worden als fiscaal relevant is'
Via een Wob-verzoek kregen de Bont en Vissers antwoord: in een convenant was vastgelegd dat de Belastingdienst iedere vrijdag een kopie van het KLPD (Korps landelijke politiediensten, nu de Nationale Politie) kreeg met daarop alle kenteken-registraties die de ruim tweehonderd mobiele en vaste politiecamera's op de Nederlandse hoofdverkeersaders maakte. Dat betekent: foto's van alle auto's die op de Nederlandse snelwegen rijden.
De politie moet die registraties direct verwijderen, behalve als een van de kentekens een zogenoemde hit geeft en op naam staat van een persoon die door de politie wordt gezocht of een boete open heeft staan. Maar de Belastingdienst, zo bleek uit het convenant, ontving alle kentekenregistraties van een hele week, ook de no-hits, op een 'beveiligde disc' die door een 'gecertificeerd koeriersbedrijf' werd gebracht.
Een kenteken is zeer persoonlijke informatie. De registraties van kentekens op de Nederlandse autowegen, geven een gedetailleerd beeld van het gedrag van miljoenen Nederlanders, waarvan het grootste deel onschuldig is. Dat is exact de reden dat de politie die gegevens maar een dag mag bewaren.
In de woorden van CBP -voorzitter Jacob Kohnstamm: 'De politie is de geweldsmonopolist en moet secuur omgaan met de bevoegdheden die het heeft. Het opslaan van kentekens van allerlei onschuldige mensen is in strijd met de wet. Die moeten direct worden verwijderd.'
Op de vraag aan de Belastingdienst of het convenant nog steeds van kracht is, antwoordt een woordvoerder: 'Ja, er is met de Nationale Politie onlangs een nieuw convenant gesloten met in essentie dezelfde inhoud. De gegevens mogen zo lang bewaard worden als fiscaal relevant is.'
Dat betekent: alle kentekenregistraties van alle auto's op de Nederlandse snelwegen worden door de fiscus vijf tot zeven jaar bewaard.
Wat verzamelt de dienst over mij?Als De Bont en Vissers geen Wob-verzoek hadden gedaan, was de afspraak tussen het KLPD en de Belastingdienst misschien nooit openbaar geworden. Dat is om een aantal redenen zorgwekkend.
Ten eerste roept het de vraag op met welke organisaties de Belastingdienst nog meer niet-openbare afspraken heeft over uitwisseling van persoonsgegevens. En ten tweede, daarmee samenhangend, dat de Nederlandse burger geen flauw benul heeft dat de kentekenregistraties in handen zijn van de fiscus. Volgens de privacywetgeving moeten burgers kunnen weten welke gegevens door wie worden verwerkt.
Een van de manieren waarop instellingen dat kunnen doen, is door nauwkeurig bij te houden in een openbaar document welke gegevens zij verwerken. Saillant detail: op het document dat de fiscus tijdens de proefprocedure liet zien, stond alleen 'kentekens' vermeld. In de laatste update van het document, dat in augustus 2013 is aangepast, kort na de proefprocedure, staan nu ook 'kenteken waarneming,' 'Datum en tijdstip waarneming in de gewenste opmaak,' 'verplaatsingsgedrag,' et cetera.
Met andere woorden: autogebruikers konden voor de proefprocedure niet weten hun rijgedrag werd bijgehouden door de fiscus, terwijl die wel het geval was.
In het convenant tussen het KLPD en de Belastingdienst staat nog iets interessants, namelijk dat de Belastingdienst 'medegebruiker' is van de ANPR-camera's van de politie. Dat betekent, beargumenteren De Bont en Vissers, dat de fiscus niet meer een verzoek doet aan een andere organisatie, maar dat het zelf de kentekens scant. En daarvoor ontbreekt een wettelijke grondslag.
'Dit is gewoon spionage en een grove inbreuk op de privacy', aldus hoogleraar belastingrecht De Bont
De Bont: 'In het Europees Verdrag voor de Rechten van de mens staat dat de privacy geschonden mag worden voor het economisch welzijn van een land. Maar dan moet er wel een stevige wettelijke basis voor zijn. En die heeft de Belastingdienst niet.'
Datzelfde geldt volgens de hoogleraar voor de eigen scanauto's van de Belastingdienst die rondrijden en kentekens scannen. Denk aan: op een zondag bij de IKEA om na te gaan of er lease-auto's op de parkeerplek staan. 'Daarvoor vind je geen enkele bevoegdheid in de belastingwet. Er staat echt nergens dat de fiscus zelf mag scannen en observeren. Dat is zeker "fiscaal relevant," maar dat zijn iemands telefoongesprekken misschien ook wel. Gaat de Belastingdienst dan ook afluisteren?'
De heimelijke dinertjes in het wokrestaurant uit het begin van het artikel, passen volgens De Bont ook in de trend van de fiscus die zichzelf steeds meer toestaat. De fiscus mag veel om toezicht te houden, zoals waarnemingen ter plaatse (met legitimatering) en boekenonderzoek, maar dit gaat volgens de hoogleraar veel verder. 'Dit is gewoon spionage en een grove inbreuk op de privacy.'
Intelligence en Big Data is ook nog de toekomstNog geen twee weken geleden stuurde staatssecretaris van Financin Eric Wiebes zijn voorstel voor een nieuw belastingstelsel naar de Tweede Kamer. In de voorgenomen beleidsplannen valt het woord privacy geen enkele keer.
Wel kondigt Wiebes een forse uitbreiding van 'het handhavingsproces' aan. De staatssecretaris wil investeringen 'in de verdere kwantitatieve ontwikkeling van het gebruik van intelligence in de handhaving. Analyse van data en andere gegevens wordt ingezet om te komen tot risicoselectie van belastingplichtigen en daarmee tot voorspellingen van gedrag. Het doel is om met intelligence aan groep belastingplichtigen 'die behandeling te geven die ze verdienen.' Ook belooft Wiebes de samenwerking met 'andere handhavers' uit te breiden.
'Straks moet je gaan bewijzen dat er niet drie Bulgaren op je zolder wonen omdat de energierekening zo hoog is. Die profielen zijn eng'
'Draconische maatregelen,' zegt Margriet Overkleeft-Verburgt, emeritus hoogleraar staats- en bestuursrecht. Ze spreekt van het 'haasje-over-effect:' de afgelopen jaren is bij de fiscus alles gedigitaliseerd, onder het mom van efficiency en bezuinigingen. Maar die digitalisering brengt nieuwe frauderisico's met zich mee. Als gevolg daarvan wordt er weer verder gedigitaliseerd en ge¯nvesteerd in nieuwe 'surveillancetechnieken, risicoprofilering en externe koppeling.'
Overkleeft-Verburgt verwijst naar een recente wetswijziging om fraude aan te pakken. Die wetswijziging regelt dat verschillende overheidsdiensten, waaronder de Belastingdienst en de politie, intensief gegevens kunnen uitwisselen om fraude te 'voorkomen en terugdringen.'
De Raad van State kwam recent met een vernietigend oordeel over de nieuwe wet. De Raad: 'Er [is] nauwelijks een persoonsgegeven te bedenken dat niet voor verwerking in aanmerking komt. De opsomming lijkt niet bedoeld om in te perken, maar om zoveel mogelijk armslag te hebben.' Het kabinet legde dit advies naast zich neer.
Een van de kernpunten van de wetswijziging is risicoprofilering: iedere burger wordt getoetst op de mogelijkheid dat hij fraude gaat plegen. Het kabinet geeft als voorbeeld dat een laag waterverbruik kan duiden op fraude, omdat het huis dan misschien niet bewoond is. Ergens gaat er dan een lampje branden en de betrokken persoon wordt gemarkeerd. 'Alle burgers worden onderworpen aan een integretiteitstoets,' zegt Overkleeft-Verburg. 'In feite krijgt iedere burger een rapportcijfer.'
Die nadruk op risicoprofielen in de plannen van het kabinet, raakt aan fundamentele rechten, zegt ook Gerrit-Jan Zwenne. 'Bijvoorbeeld aan de onschuldspresumptie. Straks moet je gaan bewijzen dat er niet drie Bulgaren op je zolder wonen omdat de energierekening zo hoog is. Die profielen zijn eng.'
Daar komt nog eens bij dat de tijden zijn veranderd, zegt hoogleraar Zwenne. Een belangrijke deel van de uitgebreide bevoegdheden om gegevens te verzamelen stamt uit een tijd dat de technologie daar nog niet zoveel mee kon. Belastinginspecteurs moesten vroeger al die gegevens op papier doorploegen om conclusies te trekken. Nu kan dat allemaal geautomatiseerd worden en detecteert softwarepatronen en correlaties. 'Die beperking die er altijd was om gegevens massaal te analyseren, valt weg. En technische beperkingen vormen ook altijd waarborgen.'
Nu is het moment de privacy aan de kaak te stellenHet is volgens Zwenne daarom zaak dat de Tweede Kamer in de discussies over de toekomst van de Belastingdienst ook meeneemt welke informatiebehoefte daarmee gecreerd wordt en wat dit betekent voor de privacy van burgers. De huidige discussie over het nieuwe belastingstelsel lijkt daar een uitgelezen moment voor.
De Belastingdienst is een positie gekomen dat het haast een blanco volmacht heeft gekregen om informatie op te vragen en te verzamelen
Zwenne: 'Als burger mag je in beginsel alles, tenzij het is verboden. Als overheid mag je in beginsel niets, tenzij het is toegestaan. De Belastingdienst is een positie gekomen dat het haast een blanco volmacht heeft gekregen om informatie op te vragen en te verzamelen. En blanco volmachten moeten we niet hebben.'
Hoe veilig zijn onze gegevens eigenlijk bij de Belastingdienst?Een aantal onderzoeksrapporten en gesprekken met ex-medewerkers schetsen een niet erg hoopgevend beeld.
Lees hier meer
Politie en inlichtingendiensten kunnen via een achterdeur bij gegevens van de BelastingdienstOverheidsinstanties als de AIVD, MIVD en het Openbaar Ministerie hebben toegang tot veel meer intieme gegevens over burgers dan volgens hun eigen regels is toegestaan. Die toegang krijgen ze via een achterdeur in de belastingwet.
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Als stagiair opzoeken wat de baas verdient: bij de gemeente kan hetAls stagiair even opzoeken wat de baas verdient of hoeveel het huis van Gordon kostte: dat kan gewoon bij de gemeente. Het gegevensnetwerk Suwinet heeft grote beveiligingslekken, die niemand lijkt te kunnen dichten. Samen met Anne Schepers onderzocht ik de beerputten en belangen die ervoor zorgen dat de privacy van burgers bij de gemeenten niet gewaarborgd is.
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Mijn dank gaat uit naar collega Dimitri Tokmetzis, die mij hielp bij de research voor dit artikel.
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Asscher: Gegevens worden niet zomaar gekoppeld - BNR Nieuwsradio
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 00:09
Meer hieroverVoorspellen met big data is big business
'Nieuwe wet tegen adresfraude weinig effectief'
Het nieuwe Systeem Risico Indicatie (SyRI) maakt gebruik van technieken die ook door inlichtingendiensten worden ingezet. Zodoende hoopt het kabinet te kunnen voorspellen welke belastingbetaler in de gaten moet worden gehouden voor mogelijke fraude.
Het bericht in de Volkskrant leidde tot de nodige commotie. "Dit gaat veel te ver", reageerde onderzoeksjournalist Brenno de Winter vanochtend op BNR.
SyRI moet het voor gemeenten en overheidsinstanties makkelijker maken fraudeurs tijdig op te sporen. Daarvoor worden de boetes, huisvestingsgegevens, fiscale gegevens, toeslagen - en subsidiegegevens en zo nog een hele trits aan elkaar gekoppeld.
Function creepHet is een bekend verschijnsel, zegt De Winter. "Ze noemen het ook wel function creep. Je zet een middel in voor (C)(C)n doel en heel langzaam laat je het migreren naar een veel lichter doel. Dit gaat diep in het persoonlijke leven van mensen. Jouw gedrag wordt tot in detail in de gaten gehouden op basis waarvan ze een profiel maken. Wat dat profiel is, dat mag je zelf niet weten."
SyRI is onderdeel van de vernieuwde Wet Structuur Uitvoeringsorganisatie Werk en Inkomen, die vorig jaar zonder debat of stemming door de Tweede Kamer is aangenomen. Zowel het College Bescherming Persoonsgegevens (CBP) als de Raad van State hebben negatief geadviseerd over het systeem.
Volgens Jacob Kohnstamm, voorzitter van het CBP, wordt er met het nieuwe systeem 'onvoldoende gericht informatie van allerlei mensen aan elkaar gekoppeld'. "Dat is over het algemeen in strijd met de internationale wet- en regelgeving." De voorzitter noemt de inzet van SyRI dan ook disproportioneel en bovendien 'gevaarwekkend'.
ControlestaatHet ministerie durfde hier niet publiekelijk over naar buiten durft te treden, zegt De Winter. "Dat het zo heimelijk is doorgevoerd laat wel zien dat men ook wel weet dat men behoorlijk fout zit met het massaal analyseren van dit soort gegevens."
Dat er in de Tweede Kamer bovendien geen debat heeft plaatsgevonden ("er is niet eens fatsoenlijk over gesproken"), noemen zowel De Winter als Kohnstamm 'zorgelijk'. "Dat betekent namelijk dat de Kamers op dit soort punten niet eens het debat durven aan te gaan over hoe ver je kunt gaan met fraudebestrijding", zegt de CBP-voorzitter. "Dat vind ik te gek voor woorden."
De Winter: "Ik denk dat we langzamerhand in de fase zijn aangekomen zijn dat we moeten accepteren dat we leven in een controlestaat waarin de overheid zich op elk moment tegen ons kan keren." In het ergste geval wegens vergrijpen die achteraf wellicht geen vergrijpen blijken te zijn. "Je moet dus maar hopen dat je niet tussen de radars van zo'n machine wordt verpletterd."
OvertrokkenSP-Kamerlid Paul Ulenbelt noemt de reactie van De Winter overtrokken. "In het Staatsblad staat uitvoerig toegelicht wat de bedoeling is. Ja, natuurlijk, er is altijd het risico dat je kunt afglijden. Maar ik zie er allerlei waarborgen in waardoor dat wat de heer De Winter verwacht, dat dat zoals het nu is opgezet, niet zal gebeuren."
Het gaat volgens het SP-Kamerlid niet om "datamining" en het "standaard koppelen van bestanden". "Ze gebruiken alleen de gegevens die al bij de verschillende diensten afzonderlijk bekend zijn. Voordat die worden uitgewisseld, moeten ze dat eerst voorleggen aan de minister. En dan gaan ze er daarna mee aan de slag om fraude op te sporen. Dat lijkt mij een goede zaak."
HofToch is het nog maar de vraag of deze werkwijze conform Europese richtlijnen is. Zo verwijst CBP-voorzitter Jacob Kohnstamm naar een recente uitspraak van het Europese Hof van Justitie. "Daarin is het vrij ongericht verzamelen en opslaan van verkeersgegevens, zoals internet- en telefoniegegevens, onrechtmatig bevonden."
In de Eerste Kamer heeft onlangs een discussie plaatsgevonden over wat deze uitspraak betekent voor de bewaarplicht verkeersgegevens in Nederland. Eigenlijk zou die ingetrokken moeten worden, zegt Kohnstamm. Net zoals SyRi niet ingezet zou mogen worden. "Dit is ook weer zo'n ongerichte, niet proportionele koppeling van gegevens."
Reactie AsscherMinister Asscher weerspreekt dat het kabinet kritische adviezen van de Raad van State en het CBP over SyRI naast zich heeft neergelegd. Volgens de minister hebben die juist geleid tot 'een groot aantal ook majeure wijzigingen'.
"Bij dit soort gevoelige onderwerpen is het extra belangrijk de feiten juist te presenteren'', reageert Asscher. "Gegevens worden niet zomaar gekoppeld, maar in het kader van de aanpak van fraude onder strikte voorwaarden en onder toezicht van de Inspectie SZW gedeeld. Er zijn strenge voorschriften over het tijdig vernietigen van data.''
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Manhunt boots on the ground email
I happen to live dead-center in the middle of the manhunt for Eric Frein. His parents house, where he lived is in the community next to mine, perhaps 100 yds away. I never knew him or his family.
I can attest to the fact the manhunt is pretty crazy here. I live on the edge of the forest he is thought to be hiding in. We have hundreds of cops from various groups (FBI, ATF, SWAT etc.) patroling and doing sweeps through the area frequently as we head into week 3 of the search. We have been locked out of the community - or inside if you were home intermittently as they closed roads during the first 10 days. My wife got locked out once and had to sleep in her car and another night she was not able to get home for 5 hours. I was locked in with the kids during these periods. I would try to keep their minds off of it but we had to practice what-if scenarios on where to hide/run etc. They are ok so far but some kids in the community are pretty frightened. The swat team set a sniper in my yard facing the house (toward the forest) the first day the search led here. That was fun.
The local info was Eric was just a tweaked guy. Parents maybe were not paying attention - I heard he was a little "Aspergers-ey". That may account for his obsession with war history and the effort he has put into his hiding plan. The woods are very rough back there with lots of caves etc. He has been planning this for a while they say and if so he could have a LOT of gear/food stashed away.
I do not think this is a six week cycle item. From here is feels like a kook did his (unfortunately deadly) kook thing. I do think everyone is trying to spend everything they can and hit the Fed up for funding, Budget padding galore. They brought in a bunch of gear that looks useless to me. Vehicles cannot get through most of the search are. They job they need to do sucks though. I bring them donuts and coffee when I can.
-More random notes (kids just got home from school):
To be clear they were trying to control the area and I understand the logic behind it. They should have set up a chaperone system for the first couple days or a least guided people into and out of their homes. They backed of the lockdowns after the first week - there is a class action suit being put together as I understand it.
When my wife returned to the house one night to pick up stuff they escorted her in and did a room by room search of the house - after they asked permission.
I just heard the latest press briefing: they found 2 pipe bombs set up. Nice!
From a practical standpoint as a parent teaching the kids how to be stealthy in the event of invasion seems reasonable. I prefer to frame it as 'outwitting the enemy' more than 'cower from from the enemy' for the kids though.
I do try to keep things light. We have dozens of wild deer in the area every day (the neighbor feeds them) and they eat everything we try to plant and are a huge pain in the ass.
I told my wife about the sniper in the yard. I said I was trying to mime "I'll slip you a fiver for each deer you pop" from the upper window and that I was not getting a straight answer from him. She did not laugh until the next day.
I also know a helicopter pilot and we were discussing the cost of 12-18 hours of flight time a day for 18+ days. He figured 1.5 to 2K an hour without pilot cost (just maintenance parts and fuel). That is a pile of dough.
Please feel free mention this on the show anonymously.
I do insist you call me out as a douchebag though. Rules are Rules.
Umberella Revolution
Hong Kong police chief's suicide 'nothing to do with Occupy Central' | Coconuts Hong Kong
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 13:35
The Hong Kong's Eastern District expat police chief inspector is thought to have committed suicide at his desk this morning. He was found dead with two gun shot wounds to his temples.
Andrew Phillips, 50, was off duty when he was discovered around 2:40am, slumped in his chair at North Point Police Station with his service pistol beside him. He was pronounced dead at the scene, with initial investigations ruling it a suicide.
Phillips, who had been working for Hong Kong police for 27 years, left a short note, but gave no explanation of why he took his own life.
Talking to SCMP, a colleague of Phillips' denied that the death has anything to do with the ongoing Occupy Central protests, adding that the inspector was not involved in any related operations.
Phillips leaves behind a wife and two teenage children.
Hong Kong's protesters are using the same "hands up, don't shoot" gesture used in Ferguson - Vox
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 21:31
If you're an American and you've been watching the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong closely, you may have noticed something familiar: a number of the young demonstrators are using the same "hands up, don't shoot" gesture that became a symbol of last month's protests in faraway Ferguson, Missouri.
Hong Kong's protesters have good reason to put their hands up: police are using what many observers describe as an unprecedented level of force against the demonstrations, which are rallying against the Chinese government for reneging on its promise to grant them full democracy in 2017. While injuries in the protests have been relatively few so far, the clashes have been bad enough that Hong Kongers appear to earnestly fear the police might crack down violently, and that anxiety is showing in these photos.
It's impossible to say the degree to which protesters are using the gesture as a deliberate nod to Ferguson, or borrowing something they'd seen on the news for their own purposes, or using it coincidentally.
One 22-year-old protester told Quartz's Lily Kuo that she had never heard of the events in Ferguson. Another said that the similarity was coincidental, a result of protest leaders telling people to raise their hands to police to signal peacefulness. Still, Hong Kongers pride themselves on being plugged in to the world, so it is within the realm of possibility that some of them followed the events in Ferguson and are now appropriating the gesture for their own use, even if only subconsciously.
Some of the protesters are organized within a group called Occupy Central, named for Hong Kong's Central financial district and for the global protest movement that began with Occupy Wall Street.
It's fascinating to see a symbol of the fight against racism and police violence in America become a symbol of democracy and freedom halfway around the world, however it got there.
This post has been updated to reflectQuartz's reportingon the topic.
BBC News - Hong Kong: Fresh clashes as pro-democracy protests spread
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 00:57
28 September 2014Last updated at 19:25 ET Thousands of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong defied fresh volleys of tear gas early on Monday as authorities tried to quell spreading unrest.
Overnight, riot police advanced on crowds who ignored official warnings that the demonstrations were illegal.
Protesters are angry at Chinese government plans to vet candidates in Hong Kong's 2017 elections.
Hong Kong's chief executive reassured the public that rumours the Chinese army might intervene were untrue.
"I hope the public will keep calm. Don't be misled by the rumours," CY Leung said.
"Police will strive to maintain social order, including ensuring smooth traffic and ensuring public safety."
Thousands of protesters remained camped out around the government complex overnight, despite appeals for them to go home. Many have erected barricades.
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The BBC's Carrie Gracie reports from the heart of the protest
And in a sign that the unrest was spreading, fresh demonstrations sprang up in other areas.
About 3,000 people blocked a major road across the bay in Mongkok while a crowd of about 1,000 faced a line of riot police in the busy shopping district of Causeway Bay, east of central Hong Kong.
With the Monday rush-hour due to start, police issued a statement urging protesters to "stay calm, stop charging police cordon lines and occupying the main roads".
The Hong Kong Education Bureau also announced on Monday that schools in Wan Chai as well as the Central and Western districts would be closed.
Police have so far used batons, tear gas and pepper spray against demonstrators, with varying degrees of success.
However, protest leaders have called on demonstrators to retreat if rubber bullets are used.
"This is a matter of life or death. If their lives are threatened they should retreat and save their lives," said professor Chan Kin-man, a co-founder of the Occupy Central group.
The broader Occupy Central protest movement threw its weight behind student-led protests on Sunday, bringing forward a mass civil disobedience campaign due to start on Wednesday.
Police said they had arrested 78 people on Sunday on charges of "forcible entry into government premises, unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct in public place, assaulting public officers and obstructing police officers in due execution of duties".
It followed the arrest of more than 70 people in Saturday's protests, including prominent student activist leader Joshua Wong, who has since been released.
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Chief Executive CY Leung said the government was "resolute in opposing the unlawful occupation" by protesters
China, which stations a garrison of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in Hong Kong, said it was confident the city's administration could handle the protests.
A spokesman for China's Hong Kong and Macau affairs office said that Beijing "firmly opposes all illegal activities that could undermine rule of law and jeopardise 'social tranquillity' and it offers its strong backing" to the Hong Kong government, Xinhua news agency reports.
However, analysts say Communist Party leaders in Beijing are worried that calls for democracy could spread to cities on the mainland.
Britain handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" formula that guarantees liberties not seen on the mainland, including freedom of speech and the right to protest.
Hong Kong democracy timeline 1984: Britain and China sign an agreement where Hong Kong is guaranteed "a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs" for 50 years following the handover in 1997. 2004: China rules that its approval must be sought for changes to Hong Kong's election laws. 2008: China says it will consider allowing direct elections by 2017. June-July 2014: Pro-democracy activists hold an unofficial referendum on political reform and a large rally. This is followed by protests by pro-Beijing activists. 31 August 2014: China says it will allow direct elections in 2017, but voters will only be able to choose from a list of pre-approved candidates. Activists stage protests. 22 September 2014: Student groups launch a week-long boycott of classes in protest. Q&A: Hong Kong's democracy controversy
(14.9.29) Press Release by Occupy Central with Love & Peace
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 01:08
Press Release by Occupy Central with Love & Peace
(issued on 04:15, 29.9.2014)
Statement by Occupy Central with Love and Peace in Response to the Chief Executive
Since Hong Kong citizens began to use civil disobedience as a means to struggle for universal suffrage, the Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has refused to enter direct dialogue with the public. Instead, he has unilaterally spoken on television to criticize the Occupy Central movement. The Occupy Central with Love and Peace (OCLP) movement strongly condemns this, and believe Leung 's non-response to the people's demands has driven Hong Kong into a crisis of disorder. OCLP strongly demands that Leung Chun-ying resign to create a space for political reform and to defuse the crisis in our society.
Leung has said OCLP must bear responsibility for the blockage of traffic. OCLP believes the origin of the problem is the government's first report on political reform which provoked public dissatisfaction. When members of the public wished to express their dissatisfaction at Civic Square, the government directed the police to use forcibly obstruct them and violence to crack down on them.
OCLP believes this has already become a spontaneous movement of the Hong Kong people that does not come under any organization. However, we will continue to fight alongside the people to strive for democracy and we fully support the current spontaneous and non-violent occupy actions.
Leung has urged OCLP to stop the activities for the sake of the overall interests of society but OCLP believes it is Leung Chun-ying who should resign because only this will make it possible to re-launch the political reform process and create a space in which the crisis can be defused.
Anyone with a conscience should be ashamed to be associated with a government that is so indifferent to public opinion. We urge all Executive Councillors and government officials under the accountability system, and who have a conscience, to resign from their positions and to stand with the people.
Occupy Central with Love and Peace - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 01:15
Occupy Central with Love and Peace (OCLP), often abbreviated to Occupy Central, is a nonviolentoccupation protest for universal suffrage in Central, Hong Kong that started on 27 September 2014.[2] It had previously been scheduled to start in the second half of 2014.
The campaign was initiated by Benny Tai Yiu-ting, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Hong Kong, in January 2013. He predicted that at least 10,000 citizens would join the protest to take over Central in July 2014 if the universal suffrage for the 2017 Chief Executive election and 2020 Legislative Council Elections would not be carried out according to the "international standards".[3]
Observers noted that the occupy movement campaign would likely occur after Qiao Xiaoyang, chairman of the Chinese National People's Congress Law Committee, stated that chief executive candidates were required to love both the country (China) and Hong Kong, and not confront the central government, effectively excluding candidates from the opposition pro-democracy camp.[4] This was confirmed on 31 August 2014 when the NPC stated that the election for the chief executive of Hong Kong SAR being part of China would, in effect, be restricted to the candidates supportive of the Chinese central government.[5]
Background[edit]The pro-democracy camp petitioned the Hong Kong government and Central People's Government for the full implementation of universal suffrage as indicated in the Hong Kong Basic Law Article 45, which delineates the requirements for electing the chief executive.[citation needed] Members also cited[citation needed]language in Annex I in support of universal suffrage:
In December 2007, the National People's Congress Law Committee officially ruled on the issue of universal suffrage in Hong Kong:[7]
''that the election of the fifth chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in the year 2017 may be implemented by the method of universal suffrage; that after the chief executive is selected by universal suffrage, the election of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region may be implemented by the method of electing all the members by universal suffrage...''The Asia Times wrote in 2008 that both proposals for the Legislative Council (LegCo) and for the chief executive were "hedged in with so many ifs and buts that there is no guarantee of Hong Kong getting anything at all... "[8]
CY Leung, the incumbent chief executive of Hong Kong, was to submit the HK Government's recommendation to the PRC leadership on how to proceed with democratisation in the territory following consultations. As of July 2014[update] a round of consultations ended in early 2014, and another round of consultations was to take place in the second half.[9] Chinese political leaders have since repeatedly declared that the chief executive, which is to be elected by universal suffrage in 2017, "must conform to the standard of loving the country and loving Hong Kong".[10] To that end, the government of Hong Kong, strongly backed by the PRC government, reiterated that CE nominees be screened by a "broadly representative nominating committee", and that there was no provision for civic nominations.[10] The position was reaffirmed in a State Council white paper from June 2014.[11]
Objectives[edit]On 16 January 2013, Benny Tai, Associate Professor at the University of Hong Kong, published an article in the Hong Kong Economic Journal in which he proposed an act of civil disobedience carried out in the Central, the business and financial centre of Hong Kong, to put pressure on the government if its universal suffrage proposals proved to be "fake" democracy.[12]
The OCLP states that it would campaign for universal suffrage through dialogue, deliberation, civil referendum and civil disobedience (Occupy Central);[13] it also demands that the government proposal should satisfy the "international standards" in relation to universal suffrage, i.e. equal number of vote, equal weight for each vote and no unreasonable restrictions on the right to stand for election, and the final proposal for the electoral reform to be decided by means of democratic process. OCLP claims that any civil disobedience would be non-violent[13] though it cannot guarantee Occupy Central will be peaceful.[14]
Deliberations[edit]The three sessions of deliberation day were held on 9 June 2013, 9 March 2014, and 6 May 2014 respectively.
On 5 February 2014, the Democratic Party swore to take part in the Occupy Central campaign at Statue Square despite the risk of being jailed. The radical democrats, mostly People Power disrupted the oath-taking ceremony. The 20-member group of pan-democratic lawmakers condemned the radicals at a joint press conference afterwards.[15]
On the third deliberation day, the Occupy Central participants voted on electoral reform proposals put forward by different organisations for the civil referendum. A total of 2,508 votes were cast in the poll, all three selected proposals contain the concept of civil nomination, which the Beijing officials had said did not comply with the Basic Law. The proposal by student groups Scholarism and Hong Kong Federation of Students which allows for public nomination, received 1,124 votes '' 45 percent of the vote. People Power's proposal came in second with 685 votes, while that from the three-track proposal by Alliance for True Democracy consisting of 27 pan-democracy lawmakers got 445 votes. The proposal from Hong Kong 2020 received 43 votes, while the civil recommendation proposed by 18 academics got 74 votes.[16]
The three proposals chosen by the members of Occupy Central deliberation panel were considered to be more radical. The League of Social Democrats and People Power lawmakers, despite being part of the Alliance for True Democracy, urged their supporters to vote against the alliance's proposals.[17] More moderate pan-democrats that avoided the notion of civic nomination were effectively squeezed out.[18][19] Civic Party lawmaker Ronny Tong Ka-wah, who saw his moderate plan rejected in a poll believed "the Occupy Central movement has been hijacked by radicals". He believed that the poll results would make it harder to find a reform package Beijing would agree to and that wins over the five or so pan-democrats it will need for a two-thirds majority in LegCo. He also believed Occupy's plan to block streets in Central would be likely to go ahead.[17] This, and the decision of People Power and the League of Social Democrats to go back on pledges to support the alliance's proposals, and of People Power to make its own proposal that included civil nomination, pointed to a split in pan democrat ranks.[18][20]
Civic referendum[edit]Civil ReferendumDate20 '' 29 June 2014 (2014-06-29)Location Hong KongVoting systemMajority votingFor CE Election 2017, I support OCLP to submit this proposal to the Government:Alliance for True Democracy proposal '‰
42.1%Students proposal '‰
38.4%People Power proposal '‰
10.4%Abstention '‰
8.9%If the government proposal cannot satisfy international standards allowing genuine choices by electors, LegCo should veto it, my stance is:LegCo should veto '‰
87.8%LegCo should not veto '‰
7.5%Abstention '‰
4%The Occupy Central movement commissioned HKPOP to run a poll on three proposals '' all of which involve allowing citizens to directly nominate candidates '' to present to the Beijing government. It ran from 20 to 29 June 2014.[21] A total of 792,808 people, equivalent to a fifth of the registered electorate, took part in the poll by either voting online or going to designated polling stations,.[22] The two referendum questions were "For CE Election 2017, I support OCLP to submit this proposal to the Government: 1. Alliance for True Democracy Proposal, 2. People Power Proposal, 3. Students Proposal, or Abstention" and "If the government proposal cannot satisfy international standards allowing genuine choices by electors, LegCo should veto it, my stance is: LegCo should veto, LegCo should not veto, or abstain" respectively.
The proposal tabled by the Alliance for True Democracy, a group comprising 26 of the 27 pan-democratic lawmakers, won the unofficial "referendum" by securing 331,427 votes, or 42.1 per cent of the 787,767 valid ballots. A joint blueprint put forward by Scholarism and the Hong Kong Federation of Students came second with 302,567 votes (38.4 per cent), followed by a People Power's proposal, which clinched 81,588 votes (10.4 per cent).[23][24] All three call for the public to be allowed to nominate candidates for the 2017 chief executive election, an idea repeatedly dismissed by Beijing as inconsistent with the Basic Law. However, the Alliance's "three track" proposal would allow the public, the nominating committee, as well as political parties, to put forward candidates. Under their plan, candidates can be nominated by 35,000 registered voters or by a party which secured at least five per cent of the vote in the last Legco election. It did not specify on the formation of the nominating committee, only stating that it should be "as democratic as it can be". The two other proposals would only allow the public and a nominating committee to put forward candidates.[24] 691,972 voters (87.8 per cent) agreed that the Legislative Council should veto any reform proposal put forward by the government if it failed to meet international standards, compared with 7.5 per cent who disagreed.[24]
The unofficial "referendum" infuriated Beijing and prompted a flurry of vitriolic editorials, preparatory police exercises and cyber-attacks. As the poll opened, it was quickly hit by what one US-based cyber-security firm called the "most sophisticated onslaught ever seen". "[The attackers] continue to use different strategies over time," Matthew Prince, the chief executive of CloudFlare, a firm that helped defend against the attack, told the South China Morning Post. "It is pretty unique and sophisticated." The firm could not identify the origin of the attack.[21] Mainland officials and newspapers have called the poll "illegal" while many have condemned the Occupy Central, claiming it is motivated by foreign "anti-China forces" and will damage Hong Kong's standing as a financial capital.[21] On Tuesday, Zhang Junsheng, a former deputy director of Xinhua News Agency in Hong Kong, called the poll "meaningless". The state-run Global Times mocked the referendum as an "illegal farce" and "a joke". The territory's chief executive, Leung Chun-Ying, said: "Nobody should place Hong Kong people in confrontation with mainland Chinese citizens." Mainland censors have meanwhile scrubbed social media sites clean of references to Occupy Central.[21]
Before the referendum, the State Council issued a white paper claiming "comprehensive jurisdiction" over the territory.[25] "The high degree of autonomy of the HKSAR [Hong Kong Special Administrative Region] is not full autonomy, nor a decentralised power," it said. "It is the power to run local affairs as authorised by the central leadership." Michael DeGolyer, director of the transition project at Hong Kong Baptist University, said: "It's very clear from surveys that the vast majority of the people voting in this referendum are doing it as a reaction to this white paper '' particularly because they see it as threatening the rule of law ... That's not negotiating on the one country two systems principle, that's demolishing it."[21]
Legality[edit]The OCLP has pointed out the participants in Occupy Central could be guilty of "obstructing, inconveniencing or endangering a person or vehicle in a public place" under the Summary Offenses Ordinance. Also under the Public Order Ordinance, Occupy Central could be considered as unlawful assembly, i.e., "when three or more people assemble... to cause any person reasonably to fear that the persons so assembled will commit a breach of the peace or will by such conduct provoke other persons to commit a breach of the peace, they are an unlawful assembly." The Hong Kong Secretary for SecurityLai Tung-kwok stated that the government will "take robust action to uphold the rule of law and maintain safety and order."[14]
Official launch of occupation[edit]On 27 September 2014, Benny Tai announced the official start of the Occupy Central with Love and Peace civil disobedience campaign on the stage of the student protests outside Hong Kong's Central Government Complex.[26]
Reactions[edit]SAR government[edit]Chief ExecutiveLeung Chun-ying warned that the Occupy Central movement is bound to neither be peaceful or legal and said that action will be taken to maintain law and order.[27]
Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok warned that the radical elements of Occupy Central may cause serious disturbances like the violent incident during the meeting for funding the northeast New Territories new town in Legislative Council; he reminded the participants to consider their own personal safety and legal liability.[14]
Commissioner of PoliceAndy Tsang Wai-hung said that any attempt to block major thoroughfares in Central will not be tolerated and warned people to think twice about joining the Occupy Central protest, adding "any collective act to hold up traffic unlawfully" would not be tolerated.[28]
PRC government[edit]Wang Guangya, director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, when asked if he believed the Occupy Central plan was beneficial to the city, said "I think Hong Kong compatriots don't want to see Hong Kong being messed up. Hong Kong needs development."[4]
Qiao Xiaoyang, chairman of the National People's Congress Law Committee, was quoted as accusing the "opposition camp" of "fuelling" the Occupy Central plan. Qiao said the plan was only "partly truthful", "complex" and a "risk-everything" proposition.[4]
In October 2013 the party-controlled Global Times objected to Occupy organizers meeting with Democratic Progressive Party figures such as Shih Ming-teh in Taiwan, saying that the DPP, the main opposition party to Taiwan's governing KMT, was "pro-independence." In a piece titled "HK opposition at risk of becoming enemy of the State," Occupy organizers were warned that "collaborating with the pro-independence forces in Taiwan will put Hong Kong's future at the risk of violence," and advised that "if they collaborated... massive chaos might be created, which will compel the central government to impose tough measures to maintain Hong Kong's stability."[29] A few days later the paper said that Occupy Central was a "potentially violent concept" and asked "Why are Benny Tai Yiu-ting, who initiated the Occupy Central campaign and his supporters so bold as to challenge the central government with a bloody proposal over the issue of chief executive election procedures?"[30]
Pro-democracy camp[edit]Civic Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki said he saw the ideas as "the last resort" to pressure Beijing and the SAR administration to introduce universal suffrage. "If Beijing breaks its promise of universal suffrage," he added, "we will have no option but to launch such a civil disobedience movement."[3]
Albert Ho Chun-yan of Democratic Party claimed he would resign from his legislator post to grant Hong Kong people the opportunity to vote in a de facto referendum to pave way for the Occupy Central movement, just as the pan-democrats launched the by-election in 2010 for universal suffrage in 2012.[31][unreliable source?]
The pan-democrats' reactions were not uniformly supportive. Wong Yuk-man has expressed fears that the movement would deteriorate,[32] while Wong Yeung-tat was strongly opposed to the movement.[33]
Pro-Beijing camp[edit]Cheung Kwok-kwan, vice-chairman of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, questioned whether Hong Kong could "afford the negative impact of people staging a rally to occupy and even paralyze Central for a universal suffrage model". He noted that it was "a mainstream idea" in the SAR not to resort to radical means to fight for democracy.[3]Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, a National People's Congress Standing Committee member, feared the occupation would adversely affect Hong Kong's image.[34]National People's Congress Deputy and Executive Councilor Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fan urged the opposition camp to show respect for each other through a rational and pragmatic debate over the issue. She added that there was no need to resort to "extreme action" and claimed that it was not too late to begin consultations next year.[34]
In mid-July, after the civic referendum, the Alliance for Peace and Democracy (APD) initiated a petition against the occupation from 18 July to 17 August.[35] There were criticisms that no identity checks were carried out and that there were no steps to prevent numerous multiple signatories.[35] According to the Wall Street Journal and South China Morning Post, employees faced pressure to sign petition forms that were being circulated by department heads in some companies, including Town Gas, a major public utility.[36][37] The APD claimed in excess of a million signatures were obtained.[38] The organisers said they obtained signatures from many supporters including children, secondary school and university students, the elderly, office staff, celebrities and maids.[35] Official endorsements include chief executive CY Leung and other top Hong Kong officials.[38][39] The APD organised a "march for peace" on 17 August intended to undermine the Occupy movement.[38] It was attended by tens of thousands of marchers. There were widespread claims that organisations had paid people to attend the rally or had given other inducements; the media reported pro-establishment organisations (namely the Federation of Trade Unions) had put on cross-border transport to bring in marchers[40] and that some 20,000 people may have been bussed in from across the border.[41] An editorial in The Standard noted "it's obvious that Beijing spared no effort in maximizing the turnout... Beijing has demonstrated its ability to swiftly mobilize the masses over a relatively short period".[41]
Business and professional groups[edit]Eight major local business groups signed a statement condemning the Occupy Central movement and its founders meeting with Taiwanese independence activists in October 2013. Signatories included Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Hong Kong Industries, Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong and Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong . The Law Society of Hong Kong quickly followed.[42]
In June 2014, Executives and brokers including tycoons Li Ka-shing and Peter Woo, and also the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and the Hong Kong Bahrain Business Association were joined by the Canadian, Indian and Italian chambers of commerce in Hong Kong published an advertisement on newspapers that said the demonstrations may "cripple" businesses.[43]
In late June 2014, Hong Kong's four biggest accounting firms issued a statement condemning the Occupy Central movement arguing that the blockade could have an "adverse and far-reaching impact" on the local legal system, social order and economic development. Employees of the firms who called themselves a "group of Big Four employees who love Hong Kong" took out an advertisement saying their employers' statement "does not represent our stance."[44]
Others[edit]Leo F. Goodstadt, who served as adviser to Chris Patten, the last British-appointed governor of Hong Kong, and chief adviser for the Central Policy Unit of the colonial government, said that it would be normal for protesters to "paralyze Central" because "it is part of their right to protest" and Hong Kong residents already possessed the right to criticise the government through protests since the colonial era. In response to concerns that the Occupy Central campaign would hurt Hong Kong's status as an international financial center, Goodstadt cited the frequent mass protests in New York and London, two leading international financial centres, as having a minimal effect on the business environment there.[45]
Cardinal Joseph Zen has given his conditional support to the campaign, but stated that he would not participate in the movement for an indefinite period.[46] The incumbent bishop Cardinal John Tong Hon expressed that he did not encourage followers to join the movement, suggesting that both parties should debate universal suffrage through dialogue.[47]
Reverend Ng Chung-man of the Evangelical Free Church of China publicly denounced the Occupy Central plan in his church's newsletter. Ng wrote that while "some Christians are advocating...occupying Central to force the governments to give in to their demands...civil disobedience is acceptable biblically only...when people's rights to religion and to live are under threat". He exhorted believers to pray for those in authority, in an act of "active subordination" to "relatively just governments".[48]
Timeline[edit]16 January 2013 '' Associate Professor of Law at the University of Hong Kong, Benny Tai Yiu-ting wrote an article 公民抗命çšæ'大殺傷力æ­...å¨ (Civil disobedience's deadliest weapon) in Hong Kong Economic Journal suggesting an occupation of Central.[12]24 March 2013 '' Qiao Xiaoyang, chairman of the Law Committee under the National People's Congress Standing Committee stated that chief executive candidates must be persons who love the country and love Hong Kong, who do not insist on confronting the central government.[4]27 March 2013 '' Organisers of the "Occupy Central" movement, Benny Tai, Reverend Chu Yiu-ming and Chinese University's Sociology professor Chan Kin-man officially announced at a news conference that they will start promoting the protest in 2014 if the government's proposals for universal suffrage fail to meet international standards.[49]9 June 2013 '' First Deliberation Day.[50]9 March 2014 '' Second Deliberation Day.6 May 2014 '' Third Deliberation Day.4 June 2014 '' The 1989 Tiananmen Square protest Memorial draws a 180,000 crowd in light of the massacre's 25th anniversary.[51]22 June 2014 '' Civil referendum.29 June 2014 '' The civil referendum ends with 787,767 valid evotes, or about 22% of registered Hong Kong's registered voters.[52]1 July 2014 '' The annual 1 July marches on the 17th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to Chinese rule draws 100,000 protesters (500,000 according to organizer), and over 500 arrests.[53][54]18 July to 17 August 2014 - Alliance for Peace and Democracy(APD) "Anti-Occupy Central" petition campaign collected over 1,500,000 signatures.17 August 2014 - APD "Anti-Occupy Central" march was attended by 193,000, according to organisers.[41]28 September 2014 - Benny Tai announces that Occupy Central is launched.[55] The police uses pepper spray, tear gas and batons to disperse protesters near Tamar Park.[56]29 September 2014 - Thousands of protesters occupy part of Causeway Bay and part of Mong Kok.References[edit]^ abcIvan Watson; Elizabeth Joseph; Anjali Tsui; Steve Almasy (September 28, 2014). "At least 34 injured as police and protesters clash in Hong Kong". CNN. Retrieved September 28, 2014. ^"The Associated Press on Twitter: "BREAKING: Hong Kong pro-democracy leaders kick off `Occupy Central' protest in big challenge to Beijing."". Retrieved 28 September 2014. ^ abcLuk, Eddie (25 February 2013). "Hot talk swirls on 'occupy Central' idea". The Standard. Retrieved 27 March 2013. ^ abcdLee, Colleen; But, Joshua (25 March 2013). "Opponents of Beijing ineligible to be CE: top Chinese official". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 27 March 2013. ^"Hong Kong braces for protests as China rules out full democracy". Reuters. Retrieved 28 September 2014. ^ abHK basic law web pdf. "HK basic law." The Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative region of the People's Republic of China. Retrieved 8 January 2007.^"Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on Issues Relating to the Methods For Selecting The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region And For Forming The Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in the Year 2012 And on Issues Relating To Universal Suffrage (Adopted by the Standing Committee of the Tenth National People's Congress at Its Thirty-First Session on 29 December 2007)". Hong Kong Legal Information Institute. ^""Hong Kong on the march '' again". Asia Times Online. 11 January 2008. ^Shankar, Sneha (1 July 2014). "Hong Kong Democracy Protests Begin With Thousands Gathered At Victoria Park To Oppose Chinese Control". International Business Times.^ abBuckley, Chris (25 April 2014). Chinese Vice President Warns Hong Kong Over Protests". The New York Times.^Xinhua (10 June 2014) "Full Text: The Practice of the "One Country, Two Systems" Policy in the HKSAR". China Daily,10 June 2014.^ ab"公民抗命çšæ'大殺傷力æ­...å¨". Hong Kong Economic Journal. Retrieved 27 March 2013. ^ ab"Occupy Central with Love and Peace". Occupy Central with Love and Peace. ^ abc"Occupy Central is action based on risky thinking". The Standard. ^"Democrat split denied after oath-taking fracas". THe Standard. 7 February 2014. ^Ip, Kelly (7 May 2014). "Students' reform proposals get the thumbs-up". The Standard. ^ abCheung, Gary; Chong, Tanna; Cheung, Tony. "Can alliance survive after Occupy vote?". ^ abLuk, Eddie (15 May 2014). "Anson meets moderates in consensus bid". The Standard^[unreliable source?]^"Plurality backed as democrats 'divide'". RTHK. 14 May 2014^ abcdeKaiman, Jonathan (25 June 2014). "Hong Kong's unofficial pro-democracy referendum irks Beijing". The Guardian. ^"Hong Kong democracy 'referendum' draws nearly 800,000". BBC. 30 June 2014. ^Luk, Eddie (30 June 2014). "Alliance proposal wins the day". The Standard^ abcCheung, Tony; Lam, Jeffie; Ng, Joyce; Cheung, Gary (29 June 2014). "Alliance for True Democracy proposal wins Occupy Central poll as nearly 800,000 Hongkongers vote". South China Morning Post. ^Yung, Chester (10 June 2014). "China Reminds Hong Kong of Its Control". The Wall Street Journal.^"Thousands at Hong Kong protest as Occupy Central is launched". BBC News. 27 September 2014. Retrieved 28 September 2014. ^Ip, Kelly; Luk, Eddie (10 June 2014). "Crackdown warning over 'illegal' Occupy move". The Standard. ^"'Occupy Central' plan draws warnings". South China Morning Post. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2013. ^HK opposition at risk of becoming enemy of the StateGlobal Times 24 October 2013^Violent democracy threatens HK prospectsGlobal Times 4 November 2013^Lee, Sau-woon (12 March 2013). "Albert Ho Chun-Yan Promised to Resign to pave way for the Occupy Central Movement". Retrieved 27 March 2013. ^"稱æ'ªè‡è•­è‡ä½--é 中ç'° é>>ƒæ¯'民¹•çå†æ­§ç共è­". 24 March 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2013. ^"ä¸å‹æ‚ä>>£çšçµ‚結". 24 March 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2013. ^ abChan, Kahon (11 March 2013). "NPC deputies blast 'Occupy Central' threat by opposition". China Daily. Retrieved 27 March 2013. ^ abc"Shocking turnout of anti-Occupy backers". The Standard. Retrieved 19 August 2014. ^HKT (28 July 2014). "A Million Sign Hong Kong Petition as Democracy Fight Ratchets Up '' China Real Time Report". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 19 August 2014. ^"Towngas Backs Down After Asking Staff Sign Anti Occupy Central"South China Morning Post^ abcNgai, Edward (18 August 2014) "Hong Kong's Pro-Beijing Groups March to Oppose Occupy Central". The Wall Street Journal.^"Hong Kong Chief Executive Signs Anti-Occupy Campaign". 15 August 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014. ^CNBC. "Thousands join anti-Occupy rally in Hong Kong". CNBC. Retrieved 28 September 2014. ^ abc"More street fights' cooling effect". The Standard. 6 January 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2014. ^"International business mulling Occupy Central censure". Harbour Times. 16 May 2014. ^Hu, Fox (11 June 2014). "Hong Kong Democracy Protest Plan Worries Foreign Businesses". Bloomberg News. ^Lau, Stuart (30 June 2014). "Employees from 'Big Four' accounting firms disown anti-Occupy Central ad". South China Morning Post. ^Lai, Chi-chun (22 March 2013). "Goodstadt in HK to support 'Occupy Central', signaling interference". China Daily. Retrieved 27 March 2013. ^"é"日君æ'‰æ'ä>>¶æ--¯æŒãŒä½--é 中ç'°ã". Ming Pao. 16 March 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2013. ^"湯æ¼ä¸é¼'勵äç'¾ãŒä½--é 中ç'°ã". Sing Tao Daily. 23 March 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2013. ^"Church leaders divided over 'Occupy Central' plan". South China Morning Post. 20 April 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2013. ^"'Occupy Central' threatens action". RTHK. 27 March 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2013. ^""OCLP Deliberation Series" Feature Page". POPCON. ^^"Hong Kong's Occupy Central "referendum," explained". CNN. Retrieved 19 August 2014. ^Kelvin Chan (30 June 2014). "Hong Kong braces for big democracy rally opposing China's limits on vote". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 19 August 2014. ^H.K. Police Clear Protesters After Decade's Biggest Rally^Isabella Steger and Prudence Ho (27 September 2014). "Occupy Central Launches Hong Kong Protest Campaign". The Wall Street Journal. ^"Police fire tear gas and baton charge thousands of Occupy Central protesters". South China Morning Post. 28 September 2014. External links[edit]
Hong Kong Basic Law Article 45 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 01:18
Hong Kong Basic Law Article 45 (Chinese: é...港基æ'¬æ"•ç¬¬å››åäº--æ') is a controversial article in the Basic Law (constitution) of Hong Kong. It states that the Chief executive should be chosen by universal suffrage as an eventual goal. Its speedy implementation is advocated by the Basic Law Article 45 Concern Group.
Contents of Article 45[edit]Article 45 gives the requirements for choosing the Chief Executive:
''"The method for selecting the Chief Executive shall be specified in the light of the actual situation in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and in accordance with the principle of gradual and orderly progress. The ultimate aim is the selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures.[1]"''Details of procedures to be adopted are found in Annex I to the Basic Law where the same expression "broadly representative" is used to describe the constituency of the Election Committee notwithstanding its only representing a tiny section of the total number of registered electors.
Controversy[edit]The focus of initial controversy was on the timetable for progress towards universal suffrage[2] but, having extracted a promise of a timetable of reform (2016 for the legislature and 2017 for the Chief Executive) heated debate ensued over the details of the election systems to be employed. Positions on both sides hardened in early 2013 with the newly appointed chairman of the PRC government's Law Committee, Qiao Xiaoyang, espousing hard-to-define pre-conditions on CE candidature, ("love China and Hong Kong" and "not oppose the Central Government") including declaring that Beijing would refuse to appoint an unsupportive Hong Kong CE even if democratically elected, and pro-democracy groups forming their Alliance for True Democracy in support of the Occupy Central protest movement devised by Dr Benny Y T Tai of the University of Hong Kong, demanding universal suffrage with no strings attached.
References[edit]^ abHK basic law web pdf. "HK basic law." The Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative region of the People's Republic of China. Retrieved on 2007-01-08.^ "" Dialogue, consensus, key to reform. Article 19 May 2004. Retrieved on 2008-01-08.See also[edit]
Benny Tai - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 01:20
Benny Tai Yiu-ting (Chinese: æ´èå>>·; born 1964), MH,[2] is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Hong Kong[3] who received widespread media attention in January 2013, when he initiated the Occupy Central with Love and Peace campaign for universal suffrage in the 2017 Chief Executive election and 2020 Legislative Council Elections.[4][5]
Besides initiating the Occupy Central campaign, Tai is also currently a member of the Panel of Advisers of the Office of the Ombudsman.[6]
Early life[edit]Tai was born in Hong Kong in 1964 and was graduated from Diocesan Boys' School in 1981.[7] He graduated at the University of Hong Kong and obtained his LL.B. in 1986 and P.C.LL. in 1987.[1]
Tai became a professor Law at the University of Hong Kong in 1991, and he was the Associate Dean of the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law from 2000 to 2008.[8]
Controversies[edit]Proposing the Occupy Central Movement[edit]As a result of the Occupy Central campaign, Tai has been accused by members of the pro-Beijing camp, including Legislative Councilor Priscilla Leung, of violating the code of conduct of a legal scholar by calling upon people to intentionally violate the law.[9] In response to this allegation, Tai replied that Occupy Central is a form of civil disobedience, and that civil disobedience does not violate the rule of law.[10] Despite this reply, Tai still received widespread criticism from the pro-Beijing camp, and Tai even received death threats as a result of the Occupy Central Movement.[11]
Denouncing the Anti-Occupy Central Signature Campaign[edit]On 31 July 2014, Tai publicly denounced the Anti-Occupy Central Signature Campaign held by the Alliance for Peace and Democracy as "a blind imitation with ludicrous affection" (Chinese: æ'±æ–½æ•é°), saying that their signature campaign is plagiarized from a civic referendum held by the Occpuy Central earlier in June. Robert Chow, a spokesperson for the Alliance for Peace and Democracy, replied by saying that their signature campaign actually outdoes Tai's civic referendum (Chinese: é''出於藍å‹'於藍).[12][13]
References[edit]PersondataNameBenny TaiAlternative namesShort descriptionDate of birth1964Place of birthHong KongDate of deathPlace of death
Alliance for Peace and Democracy (Hong Kong) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 01:22
The Alliance for Peace and Democracy (Chinese: ä'æ®é¸åä½--中大聯盟, literally The Pro-Universal Suffrage and Anti-Occupy Central Alliance) is a pro-Beijing[4][5] political grouping in Hong Kong.[6] It was founded on 3 July 2014 by numerous members of the pro-Beijing alliance including 40 pro-Beijing groups and scholars,[5] many of whom are also members of the pro-Beijing group Silent Majority for Hong Kong, and was backed by the pro-Beijing Parties Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions and The New People's Party.[7]
The Alliance was established to counter the Occupy Central with Love and Peace movement,[4][7] and it received widespread media attention when it launched a month-long signature campaign for people who oppose the Occupy Central Movement, which lasted from 19 July to 17 August 2014.[4][8] It is a controversial because of its use of confrontational tactics, its propagandising, renting crowds to attend its rallies,[2] as well as conducting campaigns of dubious legality, against Hong Kong suffragists and pan-democrats.[9] The campaign claimed it had collected over a million signatures supporting the campaign,[10] although questions are raised over credibility of the number of signatures collected.[11]
Signature campaign[edit]On 19 July 2014,[5] the Alliance launched a signature campaign for "people who support democracy and universal suffrage, but oppose violence and the Occupy Central Movement" (Chinese: ãŒä'å'Œå¹"ãä'æ®é¸¼Œåæš´åŠ›ãåä½--中ãç°½åèŒå‹•). According to the Alliance's spokesman Robert Chow, the Alliance aims to collect at least 800,000 signature, likely an attempt to top the nearly 790,000 votes cast in Occupy Central's unofficial referendum held in June 2014.[12] On 2 August 2014, the Alliance further launched an online platform to collect signatures from people who oppose Occupy Central's campaign.[13]
Official endorsements include chief executive CY Leung and other top Hong Kong officials, including Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam, Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So and Secretary for Development Paul Chan.[10][14][15][16] The Alliance claimed it had collected over 1,500,000 signatures at the end of the campaign.[17][16]
Controversies[edit]Numerous media and individuals, especially those from the pro-democracy camp, have questioned the credibility of the signature campaign.[11] They have noted that no measures were put in place to prevent repeated signatures in the campaign,[18] as people who sign will be asked for only the letter and first four digits of their HKID cards.[11] According to the Wall Street Journal and South China Morning Post, employees faced pressure to sign petition forms that were being circulated by department heads in some companies, including Town Gas, a major public utility.[19][20]
"Run for Peace and Democracy"[edit]The Alliance held a 3.2-km "Run for Peace and Democracy" as a prelude to the Anti-"Occupy Central" Parade.[21] from Victoria Park to the Chater Road in Central.[1] The alliance called for 10,000 people to take part in fun run,[3] However, it is reported on 17 August that only "hundreds of people" took part in the race.[22] The organisers claimed 1,500 participants, while police estimated 880.[23]
Anti-"Occupy Central" parade[edit]Culminating their petition campaign, the Alliance held an anti-"Occupy Central" parade on 17 August 2014, where participants will be able to dedicate kapok flowers at Chater Garden or Statue Square to show their discontent towards the Occupy Central Movement, their desire for peace in Central as well as their support for universal suffrage. The alliance declared that over 320 organisations and groups had pledged to join the rallies, and they expected a turnout of 50,000 to 60,000.[24]
The Alliance initially estimated that 193,000 people took part in the parade,[25] but it later changed the figure to 250,000,[26] while the Hong Kong police set the figure at 111,800, while the University of Hong Kong Public Opinion Programme put the maximum number of participants at 88,000.[27][28]
Controversies[edit]The Alliance suffered a major credibility crisis due to rampant media reports that the movement engaged in "rent-a-protester" to boost numbers at the rally.[2] It and organisations allied to it were accused of offering people cash, free-meals and pecuniary benefits in an attempt to boost the turnout of the Anti-Occupy Central Parade.[29] The media reported pro-establishment groups had put on cross-border transport to bring in marchers[30] and that as many as 20,000 people may have been bussed in from across the border.[28] Robert Chow, the spokesman of the Alliance, responded that he saw nothing improper in distributing lunch boxes to groups joining the parade as a token of thanks.[29][31]
Numerous media captured video footage of what appears to be people being paid to take part in the parade.[32] Undercover reporters also filed reports of payments of HK$200-$350 ($25-45) and other gifts of food items as inducements being made to participants by various organising sub-groups.[33][34][35] In response to this, Hong Kong Youth Association, one of the groups filmed by reporters, threatened Cable TV News with legal action over the "dishonest editing", implying it had used imposters.[32] The Alliance itself initially stonewalled and denied anybody had been paid, and accused media of fabricating reports.[2] Chow, in damage control, thanked the media for helping to maintain probity.[2] He admitted that Hong Kong Hakka Associations had paid people to join the march, and pledged to cross out 200 paid individuals from the estimated turnout of the parade.[36] Later, the Alliance further admitted that a subsidiary of one of its member groups, the General Association of Hong Kong Heyuan Societies, had paid people varying amounts of cash to join the match.[37]
Class boycott database controversy[edit]In response to the CPC decision, Hong Kong Federation of Students and the student pressure group Scholarism plan to stage a co-ordinated class boycott in Hong Kong and organise public events, including street assemblies.[38][39] To ward off a massive mobilisation, the APD set up a telephone hotline with the objective of collecting data on high school students who participate in the boycott to "save underaged youths from being exploited".[38] Chow said that the information would be passed on to the boycotters' schools, PTAs and the education bureau, and threatened to make the information public.
Federation of Students secretary general denounced the Alliance hotline as "white terror, political persecution and fear-mongering trying to pressure the parents and a violation of privacy".[38][40] The denunciations hotline received strong criticism from the education sector.[41]Ip Kin-yuen, representing the education sector in LegCo, condemned the alliance for pressuring the schools and as well as students, and urged educators to uphold students' rights to freedom speech.[38] Headmasters of Shatin Tsung Tsin Secondary School, among others, said there was no need for the alliance to notify them of boycotters' names, saying that he knew who they were and that they had his blessing.[42][9] The headmaster of Diocesan Boys' School said the affairs of its students on the school's own turf need not be the concern of others.[43][9] The school principals expressed trust in and respect for their students.[44][42] In its editorial, Ming Pao strongly criticised the Cultural Revolution-style intelligence-gathering on individuals for political purposes as "highly divisive".[41] It said that it was difficult to see from any angle how such a campaign had any benefit, the effects of this political intervention by the alliance on Hong Kong and within school campuses can only be adverse and highly destructive.[41]Secretary for Education said on 10 September that the Education Bureau would liaise with relevant schools upon information of boycotts, and would offer assistance as required by the schools.[45] After receiving complaints from teaching unions, the office of the Privacy Commissioner said that there was "no evidence to suggest that the alliance has applied unlawful and misleading means" to acquire the personal data, but reminded the APD to abide by its obligations under the ordinance.[43] In the meantime, the alliance temporarily suspended the operation of its telephone hotline, blaming it on the deluge of prank calls, but invited the public to continue to submit their denunciations by fax or email.[43][46] An editorial in The Standard said the hotline was "riddled with fault", and suggested that the alliance shut down the line definitively.[9]
References[edit]^ ab"Alliance For Peace and Democracy". Retrieved 10 September 2014. ^ abcde"March newbies pay media price". The Standard. 20 August 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014. ^ ab"Chow doesn't want broadcasting job". The Standard (Hong Kong). 15 August 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014. ^ abcSiu, Beatrice (4 July 2014). "Pro-Beijing counter group born". The Standard (Hong Kong). Retrieved 15 August 2014. ^ abcChan, Samuel (14 July 2014). "Hundreds join march against Occupy Central". South China Morning Post (Hong Kong). Retrieved 15 August 2014. ^Noble, Josh (29 July 2014). "HK petition denounces pro-democracy movement". Financial Times (Hong Kong). Retrieved 15 August 2014. ^ abChan, Kahon (19 July 2014). "Petition against 'Occupy' begins". Hong Kong: China Daily Asia. Retrieved 15 August 2014. ^Wong, Alan (21 July 2014). "Campaign Tries Tapping into Hong Kong's 'Silent Majority'". The New York Times (Hong Kong). Retrieved 15 August 2014. ^ abcd^ abNgai, Edward (18 August 2014) "Hong Kong's Pro-Beijing Groups March to Oppose Occupy Central". The Wall Street Journal.^ abc"Questions raised over credibility of planned anti-Occupy Signatures". South China Morning Post (Hong Kong). 10 July 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014. ^Luk, Eddie (18 July 2014). "Firms reject anti-Occupy drive". The Standard (Hong Kong). Retrieved 15 August 2014. ^"Anti-Occupy Central campaign goes online". Hong Kong: RTHK. 2 August 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014. ^"ææŒ¯è‹±ãŒåä½--中ãç°½å:è½æ±‚æ®é¸ä¸å¯é•æ"•" (in Chinese). Hong Kong: Wenweipo. 15 August 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014. ^"CE signs petition for anti-Occupy". The Standard (Hong Kong). 15 August 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2014. ^ ab"é...港ãŒä'æ®é¸ 反ä½--中ãç°½åç ´150萬 ç¸½æ•¸é è¶…é æ'Ÿ" (in Chinese). 鉅亨網新聞中åƒ. 19 August 2014. Archived from the original on 20 August 2014. ^""åå ä¸­"æ--¶é¾150万签名 25万人参与å'Œå¹"æ®é‰æ—¥". Ta Kung Pao (in Simplified Chinese). 19 August 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014. ^Kilpatrick, Rya (29 July 2014). "Critics call out million-strong pro-government petition in Hong Kong". Hong Kong: online.thatsmags. Retrieved 15 August 2014. ^China Real Time Report (28 July 2014). "A Million Sign Hong Kong Petition as Democracy Fight Ratchets Up". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 19 August 2014. ^"Towngas Backs Down After Asking Staff Sign Anti Occupy Central". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 10 September 2014. ^Walker, Pete (17 August 2014). "Alliance for Peace and Democracy holds Fun Run in central Hong Kong". Hong Kong: Demotix. Retrieved 17 August 2014. ^"Hundreds join anti-Occupy Central run ahead of march". South China Morning Post (Hong Kong). 17 August 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2014. ^"Anti-Occupy Central Run Joined by Hundreds ahead of March". Harbour Times. Retrieved 10 September 2014. ^Chan, Kahon (5 August 2014). "Aug 17 rallies to show public opposes 'Occupy'". China Daily (Hong Kong). Retrieved 16 August 2014. ^"Anti-Occupy Central alliance pledge to investigate cash handout reports". South China Morning Post (Hong Kong). 18 August 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014. ^Chan, Kahon (18 August 2014). "250,000 marched against Occupy: Alliance". China Daily (Hong Kong). Retrieved 18 August 2014. ^"Police estimate more than 110,00 marchers attended Anti Occupy Central Match despite kick and controversy". South China Morning Post (Hong Kong). 18 August 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014. ^ ab"More street fights' cooling effect". The Standard. 19 August 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014. ^ abNg, Joyce (10 August 2014). "Free meals and other treats for anti-Occupy Central marchers defended". South China Morning Post (Hong Kong). Retrieved 17 August 2014. ^^"派飯èª8.17遊èŒã周融稱ç問éŒ". Apple Daily (in Chinese) (Hong Kong). 30 July 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2014. ^ ab"Cable TV faces legal action over report". Hong Kong: RTHK. 19 August 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014. ^"直æ'ŠãŒè›‡é ­ãè‹äººæ¹Šå¤ 數 æ´¾éŒéç...®ç‰(C)ãå ±å°å"可æ--¶å·¥". Apple Daily (in Chinese) (Hong Kong). Retrieved 19 August 2014. ^"社å'æ‹'èªæ´¾éŒ 4疑é>>žæ'ªè§£ è¨è…ãŒæ--¾è›‡ãéŠèŒ 獲免è²>>åé¤æ´¾éŒ300元". Ming Pao (in Chinese) (Hong Kong). 18 August 2014. Archived from the original on 20 August 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014. ^"商æ'ƒç‚ºéŠèŒäººå£æä¾›è†"食及è>>Šè²>>" (in Chinese). Hong Kong: now新聞台. 17 August 2014. Archived from the original on 20 August 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014. ^"March organiser denies paying marchers". Hong Kong: RTHK. 18 August 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014. ^"Alliance admits more marchers were paid". The Standard (Hong Kong). 20 August 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014. ^ abcd"'Snitch line' in operation against school boycotters in H.K.". GlobalPost. Retrieved 10 September 2014. ^Yung, Chester; Ngai, Edward (21 August 2014). "Hong Kong Students to Boycott Classes If Democracy Demands Aren't Met". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 10 September 2014. ^"举报ç½è¯¾çƒ­çºèæŒ‡ä¾µç§éšåå ä¸­æ'å¸ç--Ÿèµæ–ãŒé_" [Strike hotline invasion of privacy alleged teachers and students share information] (in Chinese). åŠ æ‹å¤§å®¶å›­ç½‘. Archived from the original on 10 September 2014. ^ abc"è‰å ±ç½·èª²ä>>‹å…¥æ æ-- ç ´å£žää>>>>æ'•è£‚社æ'ƒ" Boycott denunciations interfere with school management, destroys trust and divides society. Ming Pao. 10 September 2014. Archived from the original on 11 September 2014^ ab"æ²å´‡æ 長¹•è‹å‘¨èžä¸ç--¨æ‰¾æ‘" [Tsung Chun headmaster: Please don't come looking for me, Robert Chow]. Ming Pao (in Chinese). 9 September 2014. Archived from the original on 10 September 2014. ^ abc"Exco member says he'd join Occupy if it would work". South China Morning Post, 11 September 2014, pg. C1^Lau, Kenneth (12 September 2014). "Churches divided on class boycotts". The Standard.^"å"克剼šæ‡‰å‘å­¸ç--Ÿè¬›ç½·èª²çšè² é'å½±éŸ". Yahoo 新聞é...港. 10 September 2014. Archived from the original on 11 September 2014. ^"重ç--"設ç‹ãŠå­¸æ 家長救救å­(C)子ã‹ç†±ç¶ç›®çš". Alliance for Peace and Democracy. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
Agenda 21
We've Lost So Much Antarctic Ice It's Causing A Dip In Earth's Gravity
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 18:56
An ESA satellite has spotted something unusual happening in the Antarctic: As the ice has dwindled there over the last five years, they're also seeing a change in the Earth's gravity.
The GOCE satellite was launched in 2009 to undertake a detailed mapping of Earth's gravity, along with any fluctuations in strength. As researchers recently began analyzing the data they'd received, they noticed something curious: the variations in gravity they were seeing in the Antarctic were mirrored by the changes in ice as the collapse of the ice sheet there accelerated.
You can watch the dip in gravity occurring between 2009-2012 in West Antarctica in this visualization ESA put together:
Of course, the fluctuation is noticeable only via satellite, not on the ground. Still, it's one more way to note just how terrific the amount of ice that we're losing each year is. Now we can measure the ice we're rapidly losing in a variety of ways: By volume, bychanges in our maps, by landmass, and even by changes in the Earth's gravity.
Visualization: ESA.
Top image: ravas51
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - National Science Foundation (NSF) News - Cause of California drought linked to climate change - US National Science Foundation (NSF)
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 17:08
Press Release 14-129Cause of California drought linked to climate change
Extreme atmospheric conditions responsible for drought more likely to occur in current global warming
September 29, 2014
The atmospheric conditions associated with the unprecedented drought in California are very likely linked to human-caused climate change, researchers report.
Climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh of Stanford University and colleagues used a novel combination of computer simulations and statistical techniques to show that a persistent region of high atmospheric pressure over the Pacific Ocean--one that diverted storms away from California--was much more likely to form in the presence of modern greenhouse gas concentrations.
The result, published today in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, is one of the most comprehensive studies to investigate the link between climate change and California's ongoing drought.
"Our research finds that extreme atmospheric high pressure in this region--which is strongly linked to unusually low precipitation in California--is much more likely to occur today than prior to the emission of greenhouse gases that began during the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s," says Diffenbaugh.
The exceptional drought crippling California is by some measures the worst in state history.
Combined with unusually warm temperatures and stagnant air conditions, the lack of precipitation has triggered a dangerous increase in wildfires and incidents of air pollution across the state.
The water shortage could result in direct and indirect agricultural losses of at least $2.2 billion and lead to the loss of more than 17,000 seasonal and part-time jobs in 2014 alone.
Such effects have prompted a drought emergency in the state; the federal government has designated all 58 California counties as natural disaster areas.
"In the face of severe drought, decision-makers are facing tough choices about the allocation of water resources for urban, agricultural and other crucial needs," says Anjuli Bamzai, program director in the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, which funded the research.
"This study places the current drought in historical perspective and provides valuable scientific information for dealing with this grave situation. "
Scientists agree that the immediate cause of the drought is a particularly tenacious "blocking ridge" over the northeastern Pacific--popularly known as the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge, or "Triple R"--that prevented winter storms from reaching California during the 2013 and 2014 rainy seasons.
Blocking ridges are regions of high atmospheric pressure that disrupt typical wind patterns in the atmosphere.
"Winds respond to the spatial distribution of atmospheric pressure," says Daniel Swain of Stanford, lead author of the paper.
"We have seen this amazingly persistent region of high pressure over the northeastern Pacific for many months, which has substantially altered atmospheric flow and kept California largely dry."
The Triple R was exceptional for both its size and longevity.
While it dissipated briefly during the summer months of 2013, it returned by fall 2013 and persisted through much of the winter, California's wet season.
"At its peak in January 2014, the Triple R extended from the subtropical Pacific between California and Hawaii to the coast of the Arctic Ocean north of Alaska," says Swain, who coined the term "ridiculously resilient ridge" to highlight the persistent nature of the blocking ridge.
Like a large boulder that has tumbled into a narrow stream, the Triple R diverted the flow of high-speed air currents known as the jet stream far to the north, causing Pacific storms to bypass not only California, but also Oregon and Washington.
As a result, rain and snow that would normally fall on the West Coast were instead re-routed to Alaska and as far north as the Arctic Circle.
An important question for scientists and decision-makers has been whether human-caused climate change has influenced the conditions responsible for California's drought.
Given the important role of the Triple R, Diffenbaugh and colleagues set out to measure the probability of such extreme ridging events.
The team first assessed the rarity of the Triple R in the context of the 20th century historical record.
Analyzing the period since 1948, for which comprehensive atmospheric data are available, the researchers found that the persistence and intensity of the Triple R in 2013 were unrivaled by any previous event.
To more directly address the question of whether climate change played a role in the probability of the 2013 event, the team collaborated with scientist Bala Rajaratnam, also of Stanford.
Rajaratnam applied advanced statistical techniques to a large suite of climate model simulations.
Using the Triple R as a benchmark, Rajaratnam compared geopotential heights--an atmospheric property related to pressure--between two sets of climate model experiments.
One set mirrored the present climate, in which the atmosphere is growing increasingly warmer due to human emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
In the other set of experiments, greenhouse gases were kept at a level similar to those that existed just prior to the Industrial Revolution.
The researchers found that the extreme heights of the Triple R in 2013 were at least three times as likely to occur in the present climate as in the preindustrial climate.
They also found that such extreme values are consistently tied to unusually low precipitation in California, and to the formation of atmospheric ridges over the northeastern Pacific.
"We've demonstrated with high statistical confidence that large-scale atmospheric conditions similar to those of the Triple R are far more likely to occur now than in the climate before we emitted large amounts of greenhouse gases," Rajaratnam says.
"In using these advanced statistical techniques to combine climate observations with model simulations, we've been able to better understand the ongoing drought in California," Diffenbaugh adds.
"This isn't a projection of 100 years in the future. This is an event that is more extreme than any in the observed record, and our research suggests that global warming is playing a role right now."
The research was also supported by the National Institutes of Health. Rajaratnam was also supported in part by DARPA, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the UPS fund.
Media Contacts Cheryl Dybas, NSF, (703) 292-7734, cdybas@nsf.govKer Than, Stanford University, (650) 723-9820,
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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How Climate Change Helped ISIS | Charles B. Strozier
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 04:54
As the Obama administration undertakes a highly public, multilateral campaign to degrade and destroy the militant jihadists known as ISIS, ISIL and the Islamic State, many in the West remain unaware that climate played a significant role in the rise of Syria's extremists. A historic drought afflicted the country from 2006 through 2010, setting off a dire humanitarian crisis for millions of Syrians. Yet the four-year drought evoked little response from Bashar al-Assad's government. Rage at the regime's callousness boiled over in 2011, helping to fuel the popular uprising. In the ensuing chaos, ISIS stole onto the scene, proclaimed a caliphate in late June and accelerated its rampage of atrocities including the recent beheadings of three Western civilians.
While ISIS threatens brutal violence against all who dissent from its harsh ideology, climate change menaces communities (less maliciously) with increasingly extreme weather. Most of us perceive these threats as unrelated. We recycle water bottles and buy local produce to keep the earth livable for our children -- not to ward off terrorists. Yet environmental stressors and political violence are connected in surprising ways, sparking questions about collective behavior. If more Americans knew how glacial melt contributes to catastrophic weather in Afghanistan -- potentially strengthening the Taliban and imperiling Afghan girls who want to attend school -- would we drive more hybrids and use millions fewer plastic bags? How would elections and legislation be influenced?
The drought that preceded the current conflict in Syria fits into a pattern of increased dryness in the Mediterranean and Middle East, for which scientists hold climate change partly responsible. Affecting 60 percent of Syria's land, drought ravaged the country's northeastern breadbasket region; devastated the livelihoods of 800,000 farmers and herders; and knocked two to three million people into extreme poverty. Many became climate refugees, abandoning their homes and migrating to already overcrowded cities. They forged temporary settlements on the outskirts of areas like Aleppo, Damascus, Hama and Homs. Some of the displaced settled in Daraa, where protests in early 2011 fanned out and eventually ignited a full-fledged war.
Drought did not singlehandedly spawn the Syrian uprising, but it stoked simmering anger at Assad's dictatorship. This frustration further destabilized Syria and carved out a space in which ISIS would thrive.
The connection between climate change and conflict continues to evade mainstream recognition, despite reports by think tanks, academics and even military experts. A leading panel of retired generals and admirals, the CNA Corporation Military Advisory Board, recently labeled the impacts of climate change "catalysts for conflict" in vulnerable regions. The Pentagon concluded similarly in this year's Quadrennial Defense Review that the effects of climate change are "threat multipliers," enabling terrorism and other violence by aggravating underlying societal problems.
There is no shortage of nations whose political stability and climate are both vulnerable.
Bangladesh, a country of 160 million people that lies just above sea level, is perhaps the nation most threatened by climate change. In the coming decades, Bangladesh stands to lose up to 17 percent of its land to flooding, displacing 18 million people to overcrowded cities and neighboring states in a region that has seen a recent upsurge in Islamist militarism. One major typhoon could lead to political chaos in the subcontinent, which bristles with nuclear weapons. The Bhola Cyclone of 1970, which killed up to half a million people and led to Bangladesh's war of independence against Pakistan, exemplifies the complex chain of events through which climate may spark regional conflict.
Images of black-clad ISIS fighters brandishing weapons from atop tanks are easy to recognize, but the link between Syria's drought and its current conflict seems generally unknown or forgotten. Our own weather calamity, Superstorm Sandy, fades to memory after two years and costs approximating $65 billion. Calls to reduce our carbon footprint have heralded modest improvements in daily routines. We recycle containers and reuse shopping bags -- perhaps we even compost -- while shifting collectively toward energy efficiency. We approve when businesses, schools and cities "go green." But our understanding of big picture issues like international carbon emissions and diverse energy sources remains clouded in a political quagmire of competing claims.
Toting a metal water bottle is good, but it's time for ordinary people to consider the bigger picture. When we fail to get the facts right about greenhouse gas emissions, we may unwittingly enable ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab and other extremist groups to flourish. As we consider our personal positions on climate change, it is important to understand all that is at stake in our interconnected world.
Merkel: EU May Have to Rethink Its Energy Partnership With Russia | Business | The Moscow Times
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 19:43
Thomas Peter / ReutersGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Sept. 24, 2014.
BERLIN '-- German Chancellor Angela Merkel has there are good reasons to continue the European Union's energy partnership with Russia for the time being but that might change if Moscow continues to violate basic principles.
Merkel, speaking Monday at a news conference in Berlin with Finland's Prime Minister Alexander Stubb, said that in the medium- to long-term it might be necessary to reconsider that energy partnership with Russia.
"There are good reasons to continue the energy partnership with Russia," she said and noted that within the European Union different countries had different levels of dependency on supplies of Russian natural gas.
"It's not our goal to completely sever our dependency," she said, noting that cooperation in the energy sector was in the mutual interest of the EU and Russia.
"Nevertheless we have naturally to think about what we might have to change in the medium- to long-term as far as energy policies go if there is a continued violation of basic principles," she said, referring to respecting national sovereignty.
She added that it was important to keep the pressure on Russia, and that Germany and Finland were in agreement on that. She added that she saw no scope to relax the economic sanctions against Russia, imposed over Moscow's policies on Ukraine.
"We are unfortunately far away from that," she said.
A rift between Russia and the West since the Ukraine conflict has prompted European countries to look at ways to reduce their dependence on Russian oil and gas.
Russia provides around a third of the EU's oil and gas, and 40 percent of the gas is shipped through Ukraine.
Hungary breaks ranks with Europe, cutting reverse gas flow to Ukraine | Euro Asia News
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 04:19
Gas disruption by Hungary to Ukraine breaks European solidarity and worries European officials.
Hungary's decision to cut the flow of natural gas to Ukraine is worrisome and has broken European solidarity on the issue, a top European official said Wednesday.
Due to the crisis between Ukraine and Russia over the price of gas, Ukraine is currently without direct supplies from Russia, its major source of gas. Thus, Ukraine began supplying its natural gas through reverse flow from Hungary.
But last week, Hungary cut its flow of gas to Ukraine, claiming it was due to a technical problem.
However, an official with a group that coordinates European energy policy was critical of the move.
''The principle of solidarity, the cornerstone of the Energy Community, would have required a coordination with the Ukrainian side at least,'' Dirk Buschle, Energy Community Deputy Director, told Anadolu Agency. ''The situation in Ukraine is critical, and we have to work jointly to help them coming through the winter.''
The Energy Community, a group established between the EU and a number of other countries, seeks to import EU energy policy into non-EU countries. The Energy Community Treaty, signed in 2005, binds the parties '-- EU members and a number neighboring countries '' to implement a harmonious policy towards common problems. Ukraine signed the treaty in 2011.
Hungary joined the EU in 2004 and is therefore also a party to the treaty.
Hungary has sent 6.1 billion cubic meters of gas per year '-- 16.8 million per day '-- to Ukraine since March 2013. The decision to cut the gas flow to Ukraine seems to create a serious threat for Kiev just before the winter.
The Energy Community has sent a questionnaire to the Hungarian gas transmission system operator to find out if there is a contractual justification for this disruption, but has not yet received a reply, said Buschle.
''The community is very worried about the latest disruption of gas flows from Hungary to Ukraine. Both countries are part of an internal market for gas, the Energy Community. Under our treaty, maintaining the free flow for gas is mandatory also for Hungary,'' Buschle said.
- A commercial precaution
''Hungary was affected by previous supply crises and it is reasonable to exercise a degree of caution, for example by filling up its underground storage facilities,'' said Anastasios Giamouridis, a senior consultant at Poyry Management Consulting Ltd., based in UK.
Hungarian stores are currently 63 percent full and contain approximately 3.9 billion cubic meters of gas, which is one of the lowest capacities in Europe and poses an unfavorable situation for Hungary compared to its neighboring countries, Giamouridis said.
He said that the current storage is still lower compared to the 76 percent '' roughly 4.7 bcm'' which Hungary had injected to its storages by the end of September, 2010, in the aftermath of the last serious supply cuts to Europe due to a Russia-Ukraine dispute.
Hungary consumed 9.6 bcm of gas last year.
FGSZ, Hungary's state-run gas pipeline network operator said Thursday they had halted the gas flow to Ukraine because of technical problems.
Nuran Erkul, AA
European Commission says it expects Hungary to facilitate reverse gas flow to Ukraine |
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 04:18
European Commission Vice President Guenther Oettinger said the suspension of Hungary's gas deliveries to Ukraine was not a ''blockade'', speaking after a round of Russian-Ukrainian talks in Berlin on Friday.
Hungarian pipeline operator FGSZ suspended reverse gas flows to Ukraine on Thursday in order to top up domestic reserves.
''The Hungarians told Ukraine a few hours ago that reverse flow gas deliveries would not be technically possible until the end of the month,'' Oettinger said.
''Member states want to fill up their own reserves, they want to ensure their own security of supply,'' he said.
''I think this is not about a blockade,'' he added.
Earlier on Friday, a European Commission spokesperson suggested that the EC expects Hungary to facilitate reverse gas flow to Ukraine. Helen Kearns said the Commission's message on the issue was ''very clear''.
''We expect all member states to facilitate reverse flows as agreed by the European Council in the interest of shared energy security,'' she said.
''There is nothing preventing EU companies to dispose freely of gas they have purchased from Gazprom, and this includes selling this gas to customers both within the EU as well as to third countries such as Ukraine,'' she added.
In a radio interview broadcast early Friday, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that the filling of Hungary's gas stores would be accelerated, noting an agreement with large-scale deliveries from Gazprom had been reached.
Orban said Hungary had to be prepared for the possibility of a shutdown of the pipeline on its border with Ukraine through which it gets deliveries of Russian gas.
Hungary's gas stores contained 3.697 billion cubic metres on September 24, the state-owned Hungarian Electricity Works (MVM) said on Friday. Levels are up about 30 percent over last year's highest point, MVM said.
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Former Coast Guard Commandant: U.S. and Russia Working Together In Arctic - USNI News
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 19:51
Former Coast Guard Commandant, Adm. Robert Papp, in front of a map of Barrow, Alaska. US Coast Guard Photo
The former commandant of the Coast Guard said that while ''we work with Russia now'' on fisheries agreements and more, ''we really need them for the [Arctic Council] to be effective'' in ensuring safe economic development, mitigating climate change, and assisting those living in the region.Speaking at a Tuesday forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Robert Papp Jr. said the Arctic ''is a region of shared responsibility,'' particularly to Russia, the United States, and the other six nations that make up the council.
Papp, who unveiled the Coast Guard's strategy for the region in 2013, has been named the United States' special representative for the Arctic and soon will take over the council's chairmanship. He said he will unveil more detailed initiatives for his tenure next month.
But he did say he saw the council being, ''more forward-leaning in addressing Arctic issues.''
Noting that ''we tend to be a little separated from our interests in the Arctic,'' he asked: ''What is the national imperative'' to raise concerns of residents in states other than Alaska about the region?
Papp said historically interest in the rest of the United States has risen in response to national security threats'--such as the building of the Alaska Canada Highway in World War II and the Distant Early Warning radar line during the Cold War. ''They were both born of crises.''
Today he views it as ''a moral obligation'' to ''preserve the wonderful asset we have.'' While the Acrtic remains a ''relative pristine'' maritime environment, the region is feeling the effects of coastal erosion, endangered fresh water supplies, loss of game and depleted fisheries, carbon and methane pollution, increasing shipping, and mineral exploration.
Papp recalled being an ensign 34 years ago on Adak Island and crossing the Bering Strait, then solid ice. Recently ''I saw no ice'' when making the same crossing. The Arctic Ocean ''is changing to a growing open sea'' where new challenges, such as safe shipping, are growing concerns.
''Really great nations will protect'' the environment of the sea, he said. The Arctic, with its ''amazing diverse ecosystems,'' is undergoing rapid changes that ''jeopardize this delicate balance'' and threaten the livelihood of the 50,000 Americans who live there.
Citing President John F. Kennedy's pledge to send an American to the moon, ''we need to go to the Arctic'' and address the challenges it faces.
TASS: World - US to continue anti-terrorism, space exploration cooperation with Russia
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:03
WASHINGTON, October 01. /TASS/. The United States intends to continue cooperation with Russia in those spheres where the two countries have mutual interests despite the current situation in Ukraine, US Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work said at a meeting of the US Council on Foreign Relations on Tuesday.
The US intends to continue joint work with Russia in spheres of mutual interest, he said. The deputy secretary of defense named a joint space program as the main example of this activity.
The US sought to work with Russia in anti-terrorism efforts as closely as possible, Robert Work said. Work recalled about President Barack Obama's position that terrorism was a global problem and needed a global response. Press Secretary of the White House Josh Earnest said earlier at a regular news briefing that the US did not rule out possible interaction with Russia in the fight against the Islamic State extremist grouping.
Internet Freedom
Piracy Police Chief Calls For State Interference to Stop Internet Anarchy | TorrentFreak
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 20:22
Since last year City of London Police's Intellectual Property Crime Unit have been working with copyright holders to tackle online piracy. The police have already booked some successes but according to PIPCU head Andy Fyfe, more state interference may be needed to stop Internet anarchy.
Founded little over a year ago, the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has quickly grown to become one of the world's most active anti-piracy operations.
The unit uses a wide range of strategies, from writing to domain registrars and threatening them, to working with advertisers in order to cut off revenues from 'pirate' sites.
PIPCU is determined to continue its anti-piracy efforts in the years to come. However, the unit's head Andy Fyfe also believes that the Government may have to tighten the rules on the Internet, to stop people from breaking the law.
In an interview with PC Pro, Fyfe says he wants to see this topic being debated in the media.
''I'm very interested in having a debate in the media about how much policing of the internet people want. At the moment, there's almost no regulation and no policing of the internet,'' Fyfe says.
PIPCU's chief believes that the public has to be protected from criminals including pirate site operators who take advantage of their trust. If that doesn't happen then the Internet may descend into anarchy, he says, suggesting that the Government may have to intervene to prevent this.
''In the end, that might mean that the Internet becomes completely ungovernable, and that no one can dare operate on it at all, no one can dare do their shopping or banking on it. So should there be a certain level of '... state inference in the interest of protecting consumers? I'm very keen to raise that as a debate,'' Fyfe notes.
The Police chief believes that tighter rules may be needed to prevent people from breaking the law in the future. This could mean that not everyone is allowed to launch a website, but that a license would be required, for example.
''There may well come a time when government decides it's had enough and it's not getting enough help from those main companies that control the way we use the internet '' they're not getting enough help from them, so they're going to start imposing regulations, imposing a code of conduct about the way people may be allowed to operated on the internet,'' Fife says.
PIPCU's head doesn't detail what the ''code of conduct'' might look like or how it may be enforced. Perhaps it's finally time for the Internet passport to be introduced?
We're keen on having this debate as well, so please feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think.
Six Week Cycle
FBI agents invented a defendant to catch a judge - Yahoo News
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 16:05
PHILADELPHIA (AP) '-- To catch a Philadelphia municipal judge they suspected of corruption, FBI agents invented a defendant '-- complete with a staged arrest and court appearances.
Court documents from Judge Joseph Waters Jr.'s guilty plea Wednesday to federal mail and wire fraud charges include details of the bogus arrest of a man named David Khoury for illegally carrying an unloaded Glock .40-caliber pistol during a 2012 traffic stop, The Philadelphia Inquirer ( reported.
According to the documents, an unnamed campaign donor asked Waters to help Khoury, describing him as a cousin of a business associate.
Waters then called a fellow judge who was scheduled to hear the case. According to Waters' plea document, he identified Khoury as a friend and asked the judge hearing the case to help him.
Prosecutors and defense lawyers who worked briefly on Khoury's case barely remembered the man, and were not in on the FBI's secret.
"As I understand it, none of it was real. This whole sting was orchestrated," Waters' attorney, Michael Engle, said.
The police report on the Khoury arrest said that the arresting officer, John Snyder, pulled Khoury over in May 2012 for driving erratically on a busy stretch of Torresdale Avenue in Philadelphia.
"When I approached the window, I asked him for his information," Snyder testified later at a hearing in the case. "I noticed a black handgun on the floor mat area. I asked if he had a license to carry. He said 'no.'"
The fake 40-year-old defendant was charged with carrying a firearm without a license, a felony. He told officers that he did not know his address and had no phone. He told probation officers he was from Louisville, Kentucky, and gave a Social Security number that appeared to have been issued in Texas in 1988. His black SUV had Virginia plates.
It remains unclear whether Snyder knew the Khoury case was a sting. He declined comment on it last week to the Inquirer.
Ultimately, the judge hearing the case reduced the charge to a misdemeanor. The charges were ultimately dropped when the fake defendant failed to appear for trial and court staff had no address on file.
All that remains of Khoury's case is a manila court file on an office shelf in the Philadelphia courts building. On it is a single green sticky note that reads, "Withdrawn - FBI."
Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer,
Crime & JusticeSociety & CultureThe Philadelphia InquirerFBIPhiladelphia
FAA to review facilities after Chicago air-traffic snarl
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:34
Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Michael Huerta speaks Nov. 5, 2013, during a news conference at the Transportation Department in Washington.(Photo: Cliff Owen, AP)
The head of the Federal Aviation Administration ordered a 30-day review Monday of safety and security at agency facilities, after a contract worker allegedly set a fire at a regional air-traffic control center Friday that has forced the cancellation of more than 3,500 flights from the busy Chicago hub and continues to disrupt flights.
"Regardless of the extraordinary conditions we are dealing with though, I do understand the traveling public's frustrations with flight delays and cancellations," FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told the Air Traffic Control Association. "I want to make sure that we have the most robust contingency plans possible."
Huerta said FAA expects the Chicago center to be fully restored by Oct. 13. The review will be coordinated with two of the workers' unions, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association and the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, to review emergency plans. The review will also cover security for FAA facilities "to make sure we have the most robust policies and practices in place."
TODAY IN THE SKY:Chicago flight woes spill into Monday
"I want to make sure we have all the tools in place to get our airspace back up and running as quickly as possible," Huerta said. "I've asked the team to think as creatively as possible and make recommendations to me about our preparedness going forward."
Despite the continuing problems, service had improved dramatically since Friday, when a contractor with the FAA allegedly set a blaze at a regional radar facility in Aurora, Ill., that almost completely shut down air travel in and out of one of the nation's busiest travel hubs.
Nearly half of O'Hare's flights Friday and almost 70% of Midway's were canceled Friday. Southwest, which flies more passengers domestically than any other carrier, axed its entire schedule at Midway and Milwaukee on Friday. More than 3,500 flights have been grounded at Chicago's O'Hare International and Midway International airports since early Friday. The effect of those cancellations rippled across the country because Chicago is such a busy hub.
On Monday, more than 400 flights had been canceled at O'Hare by 8:50 a.m. ET, according to, a flight-tracking service. That represents about 15% of the Monday schedule at O'Hare.
Air-traffic controllers at other facilities in the region took over for the crippled Aurora center. Controllers are handling high-altitude air-traffic centers near Minneapolis, Kansas City, Mo.; Indianapolis and Cleveland to minimize disruptions for travelers.
"We are steadily increasing the amount of air traffic we can handle in the air space around Chicago, and we are trying to reach as close to normal operations as quickly as possible," Huerta said. "Yesterday, air traffic controllers safely managed about 60% of typical traffic at O'Hare and more than 75% at Midway."
Huerta said the day after the fire, the FAA created direct phone lines between all four regional centers that handle flights above 18,000 feet in the air with local Chicago controllers.
"When controllers handle a departure or arrival there's a lot of coordination that has to happen, for example if there's a go-around," Huerta said. "This ability to communicate directly has helped us increase capacity."
Huerta said the fire also disrupted the FAA's ability to exchange flight-plan data between the Chicago/Aurora center and its four neighboring centers.
The arrival and departure display at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport shows a list of cancelled flights on Saturday.(Photo: Scott Olson, Getty Images)
"We had been typing in the flight plan info for each plane and printing it out on a strip for the en route controllers," Huerta said. "We've been able to automate much of this, and it has significantly improved our throughput as well."
Brian Howard, 36, was charged with destruction of aircraft or aircraft facilities. Howard was discovered in the basement of the Aurora air-traffic control center with self-inflicted stab wounds, attempting to cut his own throat.
An affidavit filed in advance of a criminal complaint said Howard had worked at the Aurora facility for eight years and found out recently that he would be transferred to Hawaii. He went to the FAA facility early Friday morning, and roughly 30 minutes later posted what appeared to be a suicide note on Facebook.
"One of our technical operations employees suffered from smoke inhalation and was treated at the scene," Huerta said. "We are thankful that he is OK. He went back to work soon thereafter."
To restore the Aurora control center, damaged communications equipment needs to be replaced entirely and the space will be reconfigured and moved to a different floor, to house new equipment, Huerta said.
"We have brought in our best technicians from around the country to expedite the replacement of the central communications network at the Chicago center," Huerta told the Air Traffic Control Association's 59th annual conference and exposition in National Harbor, Md.
Huerta said a key to avoiding flight disruptions is updating the air-traffic control system with satellite-based control, rather than ground-based radar, and more electronic communications, under a 20-year program called NextGen.
Congressional budget fights left FAA funding uncertain, after a one-week furlough last year and funding in place now through Dec. 11. But Huerta said more reliable funding would allow development of NextGen, which would enable FAA to react faster to an emergency like the Chicago fire.
Better equipment would allow control centers to "see" farther than their traditional boundaries. Better communication between control centers would allow them to hand off to each other more easily.
"With NextGen capabilities fully operational, we will be able to provide many more options for rapidly reconfiguring our facilities," Huerta said.
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Harris Corporation Awarded $150 Million Contract for FAA's NextGen Data Communications Program
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:19
Highlights:Harris network will support digital data communications between controllers and flight crews.Represents key milestone in existing FAA Data Communications Integrated Services program.FAA Data Communications contracts awarded to Harris now total $481 million.MELBOURNE, Florida, August 15, 2013 '-- Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS), has received authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to begin work on the seven-year, $150 million Data Communications Network Services (DCNS) element of its Data Communications Integrated Services (DCIS) program. DCNS will help to transition U.S. air traffic control from primarily analog voice communications to digital data connectivity '-- significantly increasing the efficiency and safety of the nation's air traffic control system.
Under DCNS, Harris will provide the terrestrial circuits and very high frequency data links that connect ground-based air traffic controllers and airborne flight crews. This will enable air traffic controllers and pilots to communicate more effectively by supplementing traditional voice communications with data to enhance departure clearances, weather route, and other air traffic procedures. These enhanced procedures will save fuel, reduce flight times, and increase air traffic capacity.
Harris DCNS partners include ARINC, SITA, and Thales. The DCNS tasks will be performed under the $331 million Data Communications Integrated Services contract, which was awarded to Harris in September 2012. Under that contract, the company is helping the FAA to integrate its end-to-end data communications system.
"DCNS is a critical next step in advancing the nation's aviation system into the digital era," said John O'Sullivan, vice president, NextGen Initiatives, Civil Programs, Harris Government Communications Systems. "The National Air Space primarily uses analog voice communications for air traffic control. DCNS will enable the FAA to begin a successful, early transition to comprehensive, digital data connectivity."
About Harris CorporationHarris is an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 125 countries. Headquartered in Melbourne, Florida, the company has approximately $5 billion of annual revenue and about 14,000 employees '-- including 6,000 engineers and scientists. Harris is dedicated to developing best-in-class assured communications® products, systems, and services. Additional information about Harris Corporation is available at
# # #
Contact Information:
Sleighton MeyerHarris Government Communications Systemssleighton.meyer@harris.com321-727-6514
Jim BurkeHarris Corporationjim.burke@harris.com321-727-9131
# # #
Forward-Looking StatementsThis press release contains forward-looking statements that reflect management's current expectations, assumptions and estimates of future performance and economic conditions. Such statements are made in reliance upon the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The company cautions investors that any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results and future trends to differ materially from those matters expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements. Statements about the expected value of the program to Harris are forward-looking and involve risks and uncertainties. Harris disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
Remnibi to join SDR magic circle
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 04:43
The stage is set for the Chinese renminbi potentially to develop further as a world currency by entering the 45-year-old Special Drawing Right, the International Monetary Fund's composite currency unit used in official financial transactions and reserves.
No decision has been made. But measures already taken by the Chinese authorities to internationalise the renminbi, and a big increase in financial market interest in the currency, increasingly point towards a broadening of the SDR's composition from January 2016. This is in spite of the renminbi's formal inconvertibility, reflecting Beijing's restrictions on capital account transactions that are highly unlikely to be completely scrapped in the foreseeable future.
An additional factor building momentum towards revitalising the SDR is China's own action to galvanise major emerging market economies towards the reform of world monetary arrangements. This includes the five nation Brics group's decision to set up the New Development Bank in Shanghai, partly as a challenge to the Bretton Woods institutions, the IMF and the World Bank.
Inclusion of the renminbi in the SDR basket, although ostensibly a technical step, would confer upon the Chinese unit the de facto standing of a reserve currency, a highly important symbolic development and the first time that an emerging market currency would attain this status.
Chinese entry into the 'magic circle' of reserve currencies in the SDR, along with the other components (the dollar, euro, yen and sterling), has already been advanced by a ground-breaking decision announced this month by the UK Treasury. The British government will issue renminbi-denominated bonds, the first sovereign government to take such a step (apart from the Canadian province of British Columbia), and allow the proceeds to be held in the UK reserves managed by the Bank of England, breaking two long-held taboos for the UK authorities.
The IMF will undertake a technical criteria-based review of the options for widening the SDR in a review next year, with most of the work to be conducted from mid-year onwards and any changes taking effect in January 2016. The main conditions are that a currency in the SDR should be widely used in trade invoicing and should be 'freely usable' in international payments and asset management.
Other possible indicators include use of currencies in international debt securities and bank liabilities, and foreign exchange spot market turnover. In all these areas the renminbi, although affected by residual capital account restrictions, has made impressive strides in the last two years.
Next year's planned review, five years after the last IMF analysis of the SDR's composition, may touch too on the opportunity for the currency basket to play a greater role in financial markets, for example in denominating bond issues or certificates of deposit.
In view of worldwide interest in the renminbi, repositioning and redynamising the SDR by including a leading emerging market currency could encourage greater interest in SDR-denominated instruments by banks, corporations, asset managers and other institutions around the world. SDR bond issues, which made an entrance in the early 1980s, have never achieved much support on financial markets.
The IMF created the SDR in 1969 as an additional reserve asset (in addition to the main official assets, the dollar and gold, which were then regarded as in short supply) to support the post-war fixed exchange rate system that collapsed only a few years later, in 1971-73. The SDR's value was initially defined as equivalent to 0.888671 grams of fine gold '' which, at the time, was $1. After the collapse of the Bretton Woods system the SDR was redefined as a basket of currencies. Today it consists of the four main reserve currencies.
The SDR's aim was to create a potential claim on the freely usable currencies of IMF members through voluntary exchanges between members. Countries with strong external accounts were empowered to purchase SDRs from members with weak external positions. However, from the early 1970s onwards, flows of private capital rose progressively, and the SDR's importance gradually declined.
As a result of developments over the next 12 months, it may be able to make a comeback.
OMFIF - Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 04:44
The departure of Scotland from the United Kingdom would make European and international politics and economics less predictable, more volatile and less secure.
David Marsh, Lord (Meghnad) Desai, Sir Andrew Large, John Nug(C)e, John Plender and Jack Wigglesworth outline 10 negative consequences of independence.
Gulfs have widened between regions. Asia looks scornfully at the EU's problems, recalling the very different medicine it was prescribed after its 1997-98 financial crisis. Among emerging markets, Argentina's debt tussle with the US judiciary is whetting appetite for change in world financial governance. China, India, Brazil, Russia and South Africa have set up the New Development Bank '' but already there are signs of institutional fragmentation.
'Europe is stuck in a really difficult place', David Marsh told CNBC 'World Exchange'. 'Germany is hit on two sides.' Uncertainties in the east with sanctions are compounded by lower growth in Germany's traditional No.1 trading partner France. 'It is heading for a crunch.' Marsh says Germany is considering tax cuts and spending increases in an effort to stoke domestic demand.
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 04:45
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Regime Change
Argentina president claims US plotting to oust her | World news | The Guardian
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:03
Argentinian opposition politicians have accused the country's president, Cristina Fernndez de Kirchner, of being ''completely out of touch with reality'' after she gave a rambling televised address in which she claimed the US may be behind a plot to overthrow her government and possibly even assassinate her.
''If something should happen to me, don't look to the Middle East, look to the North,'' Fernndez said during the address on Tuesday night, in which she alluded to an alleged plot against her by local bankers and businessmen ''with foreign help''.
Fernndez had previously claimed to have received death threats from Islamic State (Isis) because of her friendship with Pope Francis. In last night's speech, however, she seemed to suggest the threats against her, received in three emails to Argentinian security officials, had come from the US.
Her claim comes in the wake of a rapid deterioration of Argentina's already rocky relationship with the US after the country went into default in August.
Argentina has rejected paying $1.3bn (£990m) awarded by New York Judge Thomas Griesa to ''vulture fund'' investors who refused to accept a ''haircut'' on Argentinian bonds from the country's previous default in 2001.
''I'm not naive, this is not an isolated move by a senile judge in New York,'' said Fernndez. ''Because vultures look a lot like the eagles of empires,'' referring to the bald eagle, the national symbol of the US.
Fernndez almost threw out the US embassy chief of mission Kevin Sullivan for saying ''it is important Argentina get out of default'' to a local newspaper. Fernndez claims that despite its debt crisis, Argentina is not in real default and Sullivan was called in for a reprimand by the Argentinian foreign ministry for using the ''default'' word.
With economic stagnation, Argentina's peso currency in free fall and an alarming rise in crime levels, Fernndez has seemed increasingly beleaguered in the last few weeks.
There is also increasing uncertainty within her Victory Front party regarding who Fernndez will back as presidential candidate in 2015. Fernndez's second term ends next year, and she is unable to stand for re-election, though her 37-year-old son Mximo Kirchner could be a candidate to replace her.
Elisa Carri", the presidential candidate of the centrist opposition UNEN party, said President Fernndez was ''completely out of touch with reality''.
''Since she doesn't resist reality, with unemployment, high inflation, the rising dollar, she says it's no longer Isis trying to kill her, but the US,'' said Carri". ''She's inventing conspiracies.''
The president's mental wellbeing was previously questioned by Hillary Clinton in 2010. ''Is she taking medication?'', Clinton asked in a diplomatic cable leaked to the press while she was US secretary of state. ''How does stress affect her behaviour toward advisers and/or her decision-making?'' the memo added.
Imran Khan vows to carry on protest till Pakistan PM resigns | Arab News '-- Saudi Arabia News, Middle East News, Opinion, Economy and more.
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 20:31
LAHORE: Opposition politician Imran Khan has vowed to continue his protest against Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif until the leader resigns over allegations of election rigging.Khan, along with populist cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri, has been staging a sit-in in capital Islamabad since August 15.Last week he took his protest to Pakistan's largest city Karachi and on Sunday he addressed thousands of people in his home town and Pakistan's second largest city '-- Lahore, which is also the home town of Sharif.''The Pakistan nation has woken up against injustice and tyranny and I will continue this protest in other cities till Nawaz Sharif resigns,'' Khan said.The supporters of Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party carried red and green party flags and waved them while political songs played on the public address system.''I have been struggling to get justice against election rigging, but our laws are such that they deny justice to people, that is why I have to bring this movement to streets,'' Khan added.Khan and Qadri claim the 2013 elections were massively rigged, local and foreign observers said the polls were credible.Their followers clashed with police in late August after they tried to storm the prime minister's residence, leaving three demonstrators dead and hundreds injured on both sides.On September 1, the opposition groups briefly occupied the state broadcaster but the movement has since lost momentum.Analysts believe the protests have been coordinated by the powerful army as a means of re-asserting its dominance over civilian authorities.
New docs show how Reagan-era executive order unbounded NSA | Ars Technica
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 20:03
Further ReadingA set of newly declassified documents shows definitively and explicitly that the United States intelligence community relies heavily on what is effectively unchecked presidential authority to conduct surveillance operations, as manifested through the Reagan-era Executive Order (EO) 12333.And at a more basic level, the new documents illustrate that the government is adept at creating obscure legalistic definitions of plain language words, like "collection of information," which help obfuscate the public's understanding of the scope and scale of such a dragnet.
The documents were first published on Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) after the group filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit with the Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic at Yale Law School.
As Ars reported previously, "twelve triple three" is a presidential order that spells out the National Security Agency's authority to conduct signals intelligence, among other things. EO 12333 was amended three times under President George W. Bush. Famously, the NSA expanded its domestic surveillance operation after the September 11 attacks without a direct order from the president, who later provided cover under EO 12333.
"These documents are a good first step to understanding how EO 12333 is being used," Mark Jaycox, a legislative analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told Ars. "We already know that it's used in a very similar manner to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which is being used as part of collection techniques that collect wholly domestic (American) e-mail. We also know [EO 12333 is] used for the NSA's interception of Internet traffic between Google's and Yahoo!'s data centers abroad, the collection of millions of e-mail and instant message address books, the recording of the contents of every phone call made in at least two countries, and the mass cell phone location-tracking program. The NSA'--and the White House'--must release more material on EO 12333. The President has encouraged a public discussion on the NSA's signals intelligence activities. He must follow through with ensuring an open, and honest, debate on EO 12333 activities."
''The primary source'' of the NSA's legal powerIn a rare instance of clarity and precision, a "legal fact sheet" authored by the NSA and dated June 19, 2013 explains various elements of EO 12333.
FISA only regulates a subset of NSA's signals intelligence activities.
NSA conducts the majority of its SIGINT activities solely pursuant to the authority provided by Executive Order (EO) 12333.
Since 1981, EO 12333 has provided the President's authoritative written instruction for the organization and operation of the United States Intelligence Community (IC).
An internal training document for a course taught with the NSA entitled "Overview of Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Authorities" notes that:
Executive Order 12333 was issued by the President of the United States to provide for the effective conduct of US intelligence activities and the protection of the rights of US persons. It is the primary source of NSA's foreign intelligence-gathering authority.
Executive Order 12333 governs foreign intelligence activities across the Intelligence Community. Derivative documents such as DoD Regulation 5240.1-R, NSA/CSS Policy 1-23, and USSID SP0018 establish policies and procedures consistent with Executive Order 12333.
Under Executive Order 12333, NSA collects, processes, analyzes, produces, and disseminates signals intelligence information and data. These activities are approved for foreign intelligence purposes, counterintelligence purposes, and for the conduct of military operations.
Included in this set of documents is a previously released 74-page memo (dated May 6, 2004) to the attorney general to outline the legality of the President's Surveillance Program. The older, publicly released version has substantial redactions. The newly released version unredacts the already known name of the program, "Stellar Wind." Both versions, which appear to be otherwise identical, also contain this noteworthy section:
The President has inherent constitutional authority as Commander in Chief and sole organ for the nation in foreign affairs to conduct warrantless surveillance of enemy forces for intelligence purposes to detect and disrupt armed attacks on the United States. Congress does not have the power to restrict the President's exercise of this authority.
The new trove of documents also contains an extremely heavily redacted document entitled "Memorandum for the Attorney General" (dated November 4, 2001) from John Yoo, the then-deputy assistant attorney general, to John Ashcroft, the then-attorney general.
Among the rare lines that are not blacked out are these:
Thus, unless Congress made a clear statement in [the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] that it sought to restrict presidential authority to conduct warrantless searches in the national security area'--which it has not'--then the statute must be construed to avoid such a reading.
We do not believe that Congress may restrict the President's inherent constitutional powers, which allow him to gather intelligence necessary to defend the nation from direct attack.
Yoo, who is now a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, did not immediately respond to Ars' request for comment.
Thirty-year NSA veteran William Binney previously told Ars that drastic measures such as the NSA's Fairview program'--described by other intelligence whistleblowers as the NSA's project to "own the Internet"'--are authorized under EO 12333. When pointed to these new documents obtained by the ACLU, he expressed nonchalance.
Further Reading"We have known for quite some time that they have been using EO 12333 paragraph 2.3.C to collect approximately 80 percent of all US-to-US phone calls and Internet data, and that Fairview is the main program to do this," he told Ars on Monday. "So no surprise there."What exactly is ''collecting?''The new documents show that the government is twisting words with obvious English meanings to fit strange definitions. In an August 2004 "Intelligence Law Handbook" produced by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the agency tells its officers that "it is necessary to stop first and adjust your vocabulary" in order to understand the Department of Defense's 64-page implementation of EO 12333, known as DoD 5240.1-R.
The Handbook states that "collecting" information doesn't fit our traditional understanding. Rather, information can have been said to be collected'...
only when it has been received for use by an employee of a DoD intelligence component in the course of his official duties ... (and) an employee takes some affirmative action that demonstrates an intent to use or retain the information.
It continues:
For the purposes of DoD 5240.1-R, "collection" is officially gathering or receiving information, plus an affirmative act in the direction of use or retention of that information. For example, information received from a cooperating source (e.g., the FBI) about a terrorist group is not "collected" unless and until that information is included in a report, entered into a data base, or used in some other manner which constitutes an affirmative intent to use or retain that information.
This is par for the course, according to Binney.
"No surprise with the word game; we have had direct experience with that game for decades," he added. "This all means that no one can trust the [Department of Justice] or [intelligence community] agencies NSA/CIA/DIA/FBI/etc. to tell the truth to anybody. That's why we suggested that the Congress/courts needed a way to verify what they were being told. That has been ignored."
''Classic intel-speak''John Tye, a former State Department official who has spoken out publicly about EO 12333 and who was briefed by the NSA on two occasions during his tenure, told Ars by e-mail on Monday that the "NSA plays a lot of word games."
"The DIA document shows that for the NSA, 'collection' of your e-mails doesn't mean what you think it means. It means something totally different," he said. "They want to be able to say they're not 'collecting' your data, so they claim that even though they copied all your e-mails, put them in a server for five years, and searched them at will, that's not 'collection' because your e-mail didn't go into a report."
"The NSA plays the same games with all of the words they use'--they say you are not a 'target,' even though they collect, store and search all your data," Tye continued. "They say your data is collected only 'incidentally,' even though the NSA intentionally designs its programs to collect everything you do online. They say your data is not collected 'under this program,' which almost certainly means it is collected under some other program. The NSA says things, using some very tortured and legalistic definitions, which are technically true but designed to mislead Americans about how it collects and uses our data. The NSA's collection and use of Americans' data would never stand up to any kind of public scrutiny or judicial review. The only way these programs survive is because they are shielded from review and oversight and challenge in the courts."
Ed Loomis, a cryptologist at the NSA from 1964 to October 2001 who later became a whistleblower, previously told Ars that every year, everyone working in the SIGINT division had to read EO 12333, FISA, and US SIGINT Directive 18 (July 1993) as a way to keep refreshed on the laws. But he said that during his last month at the agency, this narrow legalistic approach became de rigueur.
"The redefinition of words associated with collection took place post September 11," he also told Ars by e-mail on Monday. "It's my observation that it was done to skirt congressional intent behind FISA. The distortion of the definition of 'collection' was not restricted to just DIA. It also applied to NSA where material is not considered to have been 'collected' until an analyst examines it and issues an intelligence report referencing it."
One of Edward Snowden's attorneys, Jesselyn Radack, told Ars that this is "classic intel-speak."
"This semantic game of defining words or terms in a way that defies their dictionary-meaning can be seen back in 2012, when NSA Director Keith Alexander told Congress that NSA did not routinely 'intercept' American citizens' e-mails, cell phone conversations, Google searches, and text messages," Radack said. "Alexander's definition of 'intercept' was clearly different than to collect, store, and search'--all of which we've learned since Snowden (and [other whistleblowers like] Binney before him) that the NSA is actually doing."
Even one former federal judge, who was in charge of approving various forms of digital surveillance on suspects, says that this narrow understanding doesn't make logical'--much less legal'--sense.
"This definition of 'collection' strikes me as odd in this day and age," Brian Owsley, now a law professor at Indiana Tech, told Ars. "How is the information transferred? If by secured e-mail, it is stored somewhere. If by thumb drive, it leaves some footprint on the computer. In other words, I would have to see an example of something that is provided to the NSA by another intelligence gathering agency that is not collected. I think it all would be at some point."
Executive Order 12333 Documents Redefine 'Collection,' Authorize Majority Of Dragnet Surveillance Programs | Techdirt
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:26
Issued in 1981, updated in 1991 (to consolidate power, basically) and continuously expanded (mostly unofficially) since 2001, Executive Order 12333 (EO 12333) is what grants surveillance powers to our nation's intelligence agencies.
Foreshadowing the severe twisting of the English language that follows (see also: NSA-to-English dictionary), the opening paragraphs note that what certain wording sounds like isn't actually what it means. [pdf link]
In spite of the constraining appearance of all the requirements, under E.O. 12333, DoD Directive 5240 .IR, and DIAR 60-4, intelligence activities conducted by the DHS currently have much more latitude and potential for effectiveness than they have had for quite some time.
Looks like "constraints" but in practice is hardly anything at all.Covert and clandestine operations ("Special Activities") -- normally limited to the CIA -- are now something any agency can participate in, if given permission to.
The meaning of the proscription is not that intelligence components are prohibited from conducting all Special Activities; rather, that such activities must be directed by the President and approved by the Secretary of Defense and the respective Service Secretary.
Going on from there, we see the first public instance of the government's redefinition of the word "collection."Procedure 2 introduces the reader of DoD 5240.1-R to his or her first entry into the "maze" of the regulation. To begin the journey, it is necessary to stop first and adjust your vocabulary. The terms and words used in DoD 5240.1-R have very specific meanings, and it is often the case that one can be led astray by relying on the generic or commonly understood definition of a particular word.
For example, "collection of information" is defined in the Dictionary of the United States Army Terms (AR 31011 25) as: The process of gathering information for all available sources and agencies. But, for the purposes of DoD 5240.1-R, information is "collected" -... only when it has been received for use by an employee of a DoD intelligence component in the course of his official duties ... (and) an employee takes some affirmative action that demonstrates an intent to use or retain the information.
"Collection" is now defined as "collection plus action," rather than the way it's been defined for hundreds of years. "Information held" is not a "collection," according to this document. It still isn't collected, even if its been gathered, packaged and sent to a "supervisory authority." No collection happens until examination. It's Schroedinger's data, neither collected nor uncollected until the "box" has been opened. This leads to the question of aging off collected data/communications: if certain (non) collections haven't been examined at the end of the 5-year storage limit, are they allowed to be retained simply because they haven't officially been collected yet? Does the timer start when the "box" is opened or when the "box" is filled?Also of note: "incidental" collections are not collections if utilizing the same mental gymnastics.
If the information is not essential to the mission of the component and it does not fit into one of those categories, then that information may not be collected. However, you will recall from our discussion in paragraph 3 -7 that "collection" means receiving plus an affirmative act to use or retain the information. Therefore, mere receipt of non-essential information does not constitute a violation of DoD 5240.1-R.
More redefining is done here:Once again, we must cautiously examine the vocabulary used in DoD 5240.1-R. The term "retention" means more than merely retaining information in files - it is retention plus retrievability. As stated in DoD 5240.1-R -... the term retention as used in this procedure, refers only to the maintenance of information about United States persons which can be retrieved by reference to the person's name or other identifying data.
Somewhat more positively, this section instructs analysts to a very limited view of "retrievability" and err on the side of "purging" information on US persons that cannot legally be retrieved, even if it was legally "collected" (using the DoD's expanded definition). It does, however, hedge by noting information "necessary to ongoing missions" should be retained.The document goes on to applaud the FISA court for being instrumental in protecting citizens' rights'... apparently by eliminating legal barriers to domestic surveillance.
The [Senate Select] Committee has reviewed the five years of experience with FISA and finds that the Act has achieved its principal objectives. Legal uncertainties that had previously inhibited legitimate electronic surveillance were resolved, and the result was enhancement of U.S. intelligence capabilities. At the same time, the Act has contributed directly to the protection of the constitutional rights and privacy interests of U.S. persons.
There's a lot of information in there, very little of it redacted, but until the ACLU liberated it, completely withheld from the public. The question is, why? Despite the many paragraphs given over to rewriting the English language to better suit intelligence agencies' aims, there's also a lot of very blunt statements made about the balance between the government's counterterrorism efforts and the rights of US citizens.The ACLU highlights this particular section in its write up of the released documents.
This area of DoD intelligence activities, that is, the use of special collection techniques, is the area in which there tends to be the greatest amount of confusion regarding the limitations on permissible activities. Because of this confusion, this area also tends to be the most fertile ground for both abuse and unnecessarily restrictive interpretation of the rules. To be sure, it is fundamental that abuse of the legitimate DoD intelligence and counterintelligence resources and authority must be avoided. The rights of US persons must also be protected, and no intrusion into these protected areas is permissible without first meeting constitutional standards, and then only through a system of careful scrutiny of the intruding apparatus.
This is spelled out more explicitly later, reminding those entering the intelligence world that the job is necessarily difficult -- a fact many of those in the intelligence and law enforcement fields forget all too quickly.The system is complex, but it is not impossible. Its underlying structure is designed to balance the legitimate needs of the government with the rights of the individual. Given those constraints, one could not expect a system to exist which did not inherently contain adequate checks, balances, and oversight procedures.
This is miles away from the DOJ's statements that cell phone search warrant requirements make it too difficult to capture criminals, a refrain now being echoed by law enforcement agencies in response to automatic encryption on iPhones and Android devices.These are the limits these entities must adhere to. These are built-in as a check against government power. But these rights are not a one-way street solely favoring the American public. The DIA guidebook discusses what the intelligence community and the administration have refused to: and it does it in plain, straightforward language.
Nevertheless, we must be mindful of too much caution. We must remember that we are engaged in a real-world mission that involves unprincipled adversaries, and a plethora of sophisticated technical collection and counter-collection enterprises and devices. Terrorism and have destruction as their common denominator, and we are fueling their malignancy when we unnecessarily restrain or restrict our foreign intelligence or counterintelligence efforts, just the same as we would damage the fiber of our democracy through abusive use of our own capabilities and powers.
Our business is one that involves constant vigilance and omnipresent balancing of competing interests. To survive, we must take risks. To succeed, we must minimize those risks. To preserve our precious ideals, we must carefully pursue our crafts in such a manner as to not offer up the rights and dignity of our citizens in exchange for that success.
As the ACLU points out, this frank discussion of the tension between the two is a far cry from the usual "dissembling and obfuscation" the government has provided so far in its tepid responses to leaked documents. This willingness to discuss the balance in real terms may be part of the reasons a lawsuit was needed to free the document.The other, larger issue, is that this order may be the main justification for most of the NSA's surveillance and data dragnets -- an order not subject to any form of oversight.
Because the executive branch issued and now implements the executive order all on its own, the programs operating under the order are subject to essentially no oversight from Congress or the courts. That's why uncovering the government's secret interpretations of the order is so important. We've already seen that the NSA has taken a "collect it all" mentality even with the authorities that are overseen by Congress and the courts. If that history is any lesson, we should expect '-- and, indeed, we have seen glimpses of '-- even more out-of-control spying under EO 12333.
For all of the tough talk about respecting the public's rights, a vast amount of surveillance occurs under this order. In the document, any questions about overriding civil liberties concerns are directed towards members of the Executive branch, rather than to anywhere that might act as a check against its powers -- like courts or the legislative branch. In fact, the legislative branch has done nothing but expand its powers of the last 30+ years. So, new analysts might hear plenty about the importance of respecting civil liberties, but they'll find that in practice, those words -- like "retention" and "collection" mean next to nothing.
Pollute the system with data!
Browser plugin that sends randomized data
Probably re-writes some cookie metadata
Spawn http sessions with the server you're on to confuse parts of its "logic"
Optional of course for friendly websites
Android MDM Installation Instructions | IT Services
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:54
OverviewThe settings used in the installation instructions should be similar for all Android devices. Due to different versions of the Android OS and hardware, the name and location of menus and options may vary.
Before you can enroll your Android device in the MDM service, you must install the AirWatch app from the Google Play Store. You need a Google account to do this.
Depending on your device, you may also need to install an additional service to support the enterprise capabilities of your device. If your device blocks the installation, change your security settings to allow installation of applications not obtained from the Google Play Store.
During the enrollment process you'll be required to set a password with a minimum of four digits on your device. Your device also needs to be encrypted; it must be plugged in and charged to 80% before encryption can begin. If your device is already encrypted, you will skip this step during enrollment.
What to expect after you install a profileYour device will:
Require a password to unlock it. Stanford requires that your password is a minimum of four digits. Some manufacturers, such as Samsung, require a stronger password.Time out after a period of inactivity and require a password to unlock it. You can change your display preferences in Settings to adjust the screen time out.Sync your email, contacts, and calendar appointments during the first few minutes after installation if email activation is supported on your device. See Will MDM Work on My Android?Display the AirWatch app and the Stanford App Catalog.Perform otherwise as it did before you installed the MDM.Before you beginCheck that your device is running Android OS 4.0 or above. You cannot enroll a device in MDM if the OS is below 4.0.Check the list of devices successfully enrolled in MDM during Stanford's testing to see if your device is on it.Make sure you have a Google ID. Otherwise, you won't be able to download AirWatch from Google Play. See Create a new Google Account if you need to set one up.Make sure your device is at least 80% charged and plugged in. Otherwise, you will not be able to encrypt.Back up your device. If you encrypt your device and then forget your password you will need to set your device to factory reset.Remove any SD cards because they may become inaccessible after encryption.Download AirWatchLog in to the WebLogin screen displays, enter your SUNet ID and password and tap Login. You also may have to enter an authentication code for two-step authentication.Read the instructions and then tap Begin Enrollment.
If prompted to "Complete action using," tap Play Store and Just once.On the AirWatch MDM Agent page, tap Install.
You may be prompted to sign in to your Google Play account in order to install the app. Sign in and then tap Install.When the App permissions screen displays, tap Accept.
Enroll in MDMAuthenticateAfter the AirWatch MDM Agent installs, tap Open. Alternatively, you can open AirWatch from the home screen. With your apps displayed, tap AirWatch Agent.Choose Email Address for your authentication method..
At the prompt for your corporate email ID, enter your email address and tap Continue.
If you didn't enter a valid email address, the next screen prompts you for a server and group ID. If this screen displays, enter the following and then tap Enroll Device.Server: mm.stanford.eduGroup ID: SU-MDM or SU-Google (depending on where your email is hosted)Continue without email address: checkedIf you are prompted to "Complete action using," select the browser of your choice and tap Always so you don't see this message again during the enrollment process.If the WebLogin screen displays, enter your SUNet ID and password and tap Login. You also may have to enter an authentication code for two-step authentication.Select the owner of the device and then tap Continue.
Tap Accept to accept the terms of use.SecureYou have completed the authentication part of enrollment and are ready to ensure you device is compliant with Stanford's policies. Tap Get Started.
AirWatch informs you that it needs to be the device administrator. Tap Continue.
Tap Activate to grant permissions to AirWatch to manage your device.
Install AirWatch enterprise service (not required for all devices)Depending on your device, you may see a message that says you need to enable installation of enterprise apps not available in the Play Store. Tap Device Settings.
The Settings app opens. Check the Unknown sources box to allow installation of apps from sources other than the Play Store. Then, tap your device's back button to return to the installation. Tap Continue to install the enterprise service .Information regarding how the AirWatch enterprise service interacts with your device is displayed across several screens. Tap Next to advance to the next screen. On the last screen, tap Install.The Activate device administrator screen displays once again. Tap Activate.ConfigureThe next part of enrollment configures enterprise resources for your device. Tap Continue.
Tap Continue to begin setting up your Stanford.Note: Stanford email is not available on all devices.
Enter your email password and enter it again to confirm. Then, tap OK.
If an Install Applications screen displays listing one or more applications that have been assigned to you, tap Continue.When the configuration completes, tap Exit.
Set a password and encrypt your deviceNote: Encryption can take an hour or more. Start with your battery at least 80% charged and keep your device plugged in until encryption is completed.
A message saying that a passcode is required displays. Tap OK.
The Settings app opens. Tap Password.Enter a password that consists of at least four digits. Some manufacturers require a stronger password (for example, Samsung requires a six-character alphanumeric password).Confirm your password by entering it again.Tap Encrypt Device.
Confirm that you want to continue with device encrption.
Tap Encrypt device.
Enter your password.Tap Encrypt device again to confirm that you want to encrypt this device.Connect to the Stanford VPN (not available on all devices)See Configure VPN for Android for instructions on how to connect to the Stanford VPN with your Android device.
Last modified August 8, 2013
Real News
Donald Trump retweets photo of Fred and Rose West tricked by internet prankster | Daily Mail Online
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 16:18
Tycoon was sent image of Fred and Rose West by Philip Bradbury User said: 'My parents who passed away always said you were big inspiration. Can you pls RT for their memory?'Pair were convicted of multiple murders between 1960s and 1980sTeam who run the 68-year-old's feed immediately shared the postBut after realizing their mistake they quickly removed itBy Wills Robinson for MailOnline
Published: 10:06 EST, 29 September 2014 | Updated: 10:43 EST, 29 September 2014
Donald Trump has been tricked into sharing a photo of notorious British serial killers Fred and Rose West with his 2.7million Twitter followers.
The 68-year-old was contacted on social media by Philip Bradbury, who sent him a message saying his late parents had always considered him a 'big inspiration'- but included an image of the convicted rapists and murderers instead.
The message was quickly shared on the multi-millionaire's feed by his media team but was taken down 40 minutes later after they realized their embarrassing mistake.
Donald Trump, 68, was tricked into sharing this photo of serial killers Fred and Rose West after he was sent a message by a follower saying the tycoon had been a 'big inspiration' to his parents
Bradbury wrote: 'My parents who passed away always said you were big inspiration. Can you pls RT for their memory?'
He included the photo of the couple who tortured, raped and murdered a number of young women and girls between the 1960s and 1980s. Some of them were members of Fred's family.
Twitter users began to congratulate the prankster and within an hour it had been retweeted 2,500 times.
Some users also rushed to mock the businessman, with British comedian Dom Joly tweeting to Trump: 'They seem like lovely, kind caring parents, don't they Donald?'
The team who run the Apprentice star's Twitter feed shared the message, but quickly removed it after realizing the mistake. The serial killers (right) murdered young women and girls between the 1960s and 1980s
Five hours after the original post, the mogul finally responded saying: 'I thought I was being nice to somebody re their parents. I guess this teaches you not to be nice or trusting. Sad!'
Rose West, Britain's most notorious female serial killer, was convicted of ten murders in 1995 after remains of victims were found at the homes in Gloucester, England, she shared with her partner Fred West.
The crimes often occurred inside the properties with many bodies buried around the surrounding gardens.
She is now serving a life sentence at Low Newton prison in Durham, north east England.
Five hours after he shared the post, he uploaded this reponse, saying it was evidence you should not be 'nice and trusting'
Her husband was accused of 12 murders but committed suicide while awaiting trial in prison.
Trump is an avid user of Twitter and constantly shares his viewpoints with his followers.
Last week he criticized President Obama's controversial 'coffee cup' salute he made during a visit to New York.
A follower asked him what he thought about the matter, he said it was 'terrible'.
However he has received a number of backlashes. Last month he said that US doctors who travel across the world to treat patients must 'suffer the consequences' if they are infected.
Share or comment on this article
Real-Life Superhero Geniuses Inspire New CBS Show 'Scorpion' CBS Baltimore
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:09
Get Breaking News FirstReceive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign UpBALTIMORE (WJZ)'--''Scorpion'' premieres on CBS this Monday night. It's a high octane drama inspired by a true story.
Linh Bui talked to the stars and has more on the real life genius behind the show.
Walter O'Brien has the fourth highest IQ in the world. And this new series shows us what he's accomplished with his intelligence.
The new CBS drama ''Scorpion'' is about real life genius Walter O'Brien, played by actor Elyes Gabel.
Homeland Security found O'Brien after he hacked into NASA's database when he was just a teen.
''When they came in, they were looking for a hacker named scorpion because that was his hacker name, and they found a 13-year-old kid,'' Gabel said.
Gabel and Katherine McPhee spoke to WJZ.
McPhee plays a waitress, who becomes part of his group of misfits.
The show is basically about a group of real life superheroes.
''Walter O'Brien who started a company essentially of a group of eccentric geniuses who are government funded problem solvers so that's sort of the premise of the show,'' McPhee said.
That company, Scorpion Computer Services, is also real.
The real O'Brien says it's the largest think tank of high IQ individuals that exists.
''We've saved lives and caught terrorists and stopped wars. And that's about the highest and best use of my skills '-- to protect the country,'' O'Brien said.
And not only is ''Scorpion'' about his life, he's also an executive producer.
''I grew up as many folks my age did watching 'McGuyver' and the 'A Team' and 'Nightrider' and those kinds of shows. And it's generally a bunch of oddballs trying to save the world. And that's what I ended up doing,'' O'Brien said.
O'Brien says he wants to make being smart cool.
He hopes kids watch the show and become inspired to be constructive with their abilities.
Watch the premiere of Scorpion at 9 p.m. on WJZ-TV.
Other Local News:
Best Cities For Couples - Business Insider
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 18:59
If you and your significant other are having a hard time being, well, "coupley," it may have something to do with where you live. According to the experts at, some cities cater more toward couples than others.
With data from Onboard Informatics, put together a list of the 15 best cities for couples to live in.
To create this list, looked at cities with populations of at least 75,000 where over one quarter of all households are rental dwellings. Other criteria include crime rate, divorce rate, school systems, dining, entertainment, nearby cities, and recreation spaces.
Here are the 15 best cities for couples:
15. Torrance, CaliforniaTorrance has a population of 146,892. Fifty-two percent of its adult population is married. Located right outside Los Angeles, Torrance has beautiful weather, endless stretches of beaches, and great restaurants.
14. Farmington Hills, MichiganFlickr/hyperboreal
With college town Ann Arbor a quick drive away and the median rental rate of a one-bedroom apartment at a mere $900, Farmington Hills is a great place for couples. Out of a population of 79,808, 55% of adults are married.
13. Newport Beach, CaliforniaNewport Beach has a population of 86,874, and 50% of its adult population is married. The vibrant nightlife, outdoor biking and hiking trails, and destination beaches are just a few reasons why active couples settle in this beautiful spot.
12. Columbia, MarylandFifty-four percent of adults in Columbia's 103,661-person population are married. It's a short drive from D.C. and Baltimore, so couples can enjoy a suburban life while still being close to cities. There are many outdoor recreation spaces, as well as three local lakes for sailing, fishing, and boating.
11. Woodbridge, New JerseyFlickr/Linh Nguyen
Right outside of New York City, Woodbridge has a population of 101,842 with 53% of its adult population married. Woodbridge is ideal for couples looking to start a family because of the strong public school system and over 400 amusement options.
10. Bellevue, WashingtonBellevue has a population of 126,359, and 55% of its adult population is married. Seattle's largest suburb has everything to offer from zip lining to art galleries. The wine country of Woodinville is a quick trip away with over 100 wineries.
9. San Mateo, CaliforniaFlickr/Paula Tadeo
San Mateo has a population of 99,643 with 50% of its adult population married. Right near San Francisco and Silicon Valley, this sustainable city offers over 800 shops and restaurants as well as its own Central Park, which features a romantic Japanese tea garden. San Mateo has a population of 99,643 people. Half of the adult population is married.
8. Irvine, CAFlickr/Thomas Hawk
Irvine has a population of 216,417 with 49% of its adult population married. Who wouldn't want to live in a city whose mission is to create a safe, vibrant, and aesthetically pleasing environment? As an added bonus, it's often the site used to film Hollywood movies.
7. Troy, MichiganFlickr/Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Troy has a population of 81,060, and 61% of its adult population is married. A Detroit suburb, Troy attracts couples because of its excellent public services and safety, as well as its exceptional school systems.
6. Sunnyvale, CaliforniaFifty-two percent of the adult population in Sunnyvale (population 144,528) is married. Nestled right in Silicon Valley, there are over 300 amusement options as well as great restaurants, leading tech companies, and the largest community-based farm in Silicon Valley.
5. Arlington Heights, IllinoisFlickr/Robert Martinez
This Chicago suburb is full of entertainment options including the Arlington Racetrack, the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, and the Mitsuwa Marketplace. Arlington Heights has a population of 75,358 people. Sixty percent of the adult population is married.
4. Fremont, CaliforniaLocated in the southeast section of San Francisco Bay Area, Fremont has a population of 218,764 with 56% of its adult population married. Also known as "Tree City USA" due to its 55,000+ trees, Fremont has a very reputable school system and is just outside Silicon Valley.
3. Edison, New JerseyEdison has a population of 102,275; 55% of its adult population is married. Easy access to New York City and the Jersey Shore, in addition to its abundance of green spaces, makes Edison a great place for couples.
2. Staten Island, New YorkFlickr/Ed Yourdon
Staten Island is just a short ferry ride away from everything New York City has to offer, with the distance still allowing couples to experience the best parts of suburban life. With a population of 478,653, 51% of the adult population on Staten Island is married.
1. Newton, MassachusettsOne of the safest cities in the U.S., Newton has a population of 86,811 with 55% of its adult population married. Located in one of the most historical parts of the country, Newton is close to Boston and the urban atmosphere there, but has its own suburban vibe and great cuisine.
Sure it's National Kale Day, but we loved it before it was cool - LA Times
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:02
It's like you have this favorite indy band that nobody else knows about. You wear their T-shirt, and people stop you at parties. And then they start to get picked up. Before you know it, they're so popular they're playing Staples. And then they have their own reality television show. How can you not hate them?
Such has been the too-spectacular rise of kale. You could say it has been a rocket-ship ride '... straight over the shark. First bit of evidence? Today is National Kale Day. Let's face it, nothing good has ever come from having a national day in your honor.
Still, I find myself pining for the old kale, before its salad days -- or at least before everyone had picked up on its salad days. In fact, as an early advocate of kale salad, I feel that I bear some of the responsibility. And even a little bit of it is a heavy load indeed.
But you know what? Kale is good. In fact, treat it right, and it's great. Don't let its current popularity cloud your judgment. Soon enough kale will be yesterday's hero and the bandwagoners will move on to something else. Carrots, maybe.
Before you know it, kale will be starring in a remake of ''Behind the Music.'' And we'll be left with its sweet delicious leaves all to ourselves. And we'll be cooking things like the dishes in the photo gallery above.
Are you a food geek? Follow me on Twitter @russ_parsons1
Copyright (C) 2014, Los Angeles Times
Could George Clooney be the next John F. Kennedy? The stylish actor and wife Amal Alamuddin have the D.C. look - NY Daily News
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 13:44
Theirs was the perfect union of high style and political savvy, of bright-eyed exuberance and liberal leanings.
JFK and Jackie? Try George and Amal.
The newlywed Clooneys are conjuring images of Camelot with their storybook September nuptials, renewing speculation about the Hollywood power couple and his oft-discussed chances as a candidate.
Politically active heartthrob Clooney, 53, and lissome human rights lawyer Alamuddin, 36, were too busy honeymooning this week to discuss whether the White House might be in their future.
But British bookmakers say chances of the ''Ocean's Eleven'' star following in the equally charismatic President Kennedy's footsteps to the Oval Office are getting better all the time.
The odds on Clooney becoming President of the United States at some point in the future plunged steeply in the last week from 200-1 to 100-1 '-- still a longshot, but slightly more realistic.
''George Clooney is not just one of the most recognizable faces in the U.S.A., but in the world, and if he did decide to run for President, he ticks a lot of boxes,'' said Rupert Adams, spokesman for the bookmaker William Hill.
Apic/Getty ImagesPresident John F. Kennedy with stylish Jackie at White House in 1962.
EnlargeBill Ray/The LIFE Picture Collection/GettRonald Reagan and wife Nancy smile for the cameras while campaigning for California governor.
EnlargeClooney, a Lexington, Ky., native, does have a touch of presidential blood coursing through his veins.
A distant relative on his mother's side, Mary Ann Sparrow, was the half-sister of Nancy Hanks '-- the mother of President Abraham Lincoln.
The Oscar-winning Clooney is a longtime Democratic supporter, a humanitarian activist focused on ending the genocide in Sudan's Darfur region and a committed fund-raiser for President Obama.
Alamuddin brings her own kind of acclaim to the table: The lawyer is regarded as a shining legal light in London, where she works for a highly respected firm. Her past clients include WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
She's a published author and advises the UN on the use of drones. Alamuddin speaks English, Arabic and fluent French '-- and, like her husband, looks fabulous while doing it all.
Photos of the two before and after their Venice wedding captured the most glamorous couple this side of Brangelina '-- and seemingly a lot more down to Earth.
Alamuddin, who wore a breathtaking Oscar de la Renta wedding dress, would also bring a fashion sense unseen in the White House since Jackie Kennedy's iconic pillbox hats and Chanel suits.
In the past, Clooney has shot down rumors about a run for the Senate or the California governor's chair '-- an actor's haven occupied in the past by Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzennegger.
Dennis Culloton, a Chicago political consultant, said Clooney would be setting his sights too low if he aimed for the statehouse '-- or even the White House.
''President seems like a step down for George,'' joked Culloton. ''Having already worked on human rights issues for years, he's already got 'Gravity.' ''
Culloton said Clooney's biggest plus was name (and face) recognition: ''He's got a great ballot name.''
Other political experts suggested playing a politician in a movie is a lot easier than actually hitting the campaign trail.
Clooney has some family experience of how tough politics can be on the ground. His dad, Nick, a well-known TV anchor, ran for Congress as a Democrat in northern Kentucky and absorbed a 2004 beating.
''Clooney can make more of an impact as an artist and activist than he can in politics,'' said Rich Neimand, a Washington public policy consultant and former Democratic political consultant.
''It's not like he's a B actor like Ronald Reagan who needs another career.''
Clooney already emulates John F. Kennedy as a style icon, with his single-breasted suits complemented by a seemingly effortless cool.
''They both knew to keep things simple and classic when it comes to style,'' says stylist Brian Coats. ''Clooney knows what JFK knew, which was how to stand out from the pack and look handsome and elegant without seeming like you are trying too hard.''
Just as Kennedy's style was inexorably linked with Brooks Brothers, Clooney has a similar partnership with Giorgio Armani.
He sported a classic black Armani tux and black bow tie on his wedding day.
Clooney also borrowed a stylistic page or two from another well-dressed American President, Reagan.
Reagan perfectly merged down-home, all-American costuming and refined suits with an open collar '-- another Clooney trademark.
Should Clooney ever land on the ballot, voters could easily discern hints of his political leanings in the actor-director's filmography.
''Good Night, and Good Luck,'' his second film as director, showed broadcast legend Edward R. Murrow taking on Communist-baiting Republican Sen. Joe McCarthy '-- an indictment of the modern American media's kowtowing to political bullies.
Clooney won an Oscar for ''Syriana,'' a dramatic thriller that dived into a clandestine world of CIA operatives, shady politicos and businessmen whose oil-world exploits resulted in military and moral casualties.
And Clooney played a presidential candidate in 2011's ''The Ides of March,'' which drew back the curtain on the shallow ethics of the American campaign scene.
GOP political consultant John McGovern warned that life as a Hollywood celebrity was a lot less complicated than work as a Washington politician.
Lights and camera are easy, traction a bit more challenging.
''Running a political campaign is a little more difficult than stage-managing a celebrity wedding for the paparazzi,'' said McGovern.
''As a candidate, George Clooney will have to present himself as less of a matinee idol and more of a serious policy advocate who actually understands the problems and aspirations of everyday people.''
The Republican also offered the GOP's likely approach to undermining a Clooney candidacy.
''He'll have to content with . . . a political opposition eager to deconstruct his very carefully crafted public image by defining him as a rich, frivolous, liberal, out-of-touch dilettante,'' he said.
Even the British bookmaker acknowledges a Clooney run in 2016, with Hillary Clinton and Vice President Biden the likely front-runners, could be an exercise in futility.
The 100-1 odds ''are part of a long-term package, because it's too late to be on the party's ticket,'' said spokesman Adams '-- adding that the numbers on a Clooney victory in two years were 500-1.
One thing worth noting: The dashing Clooney would only be 59 in 2020.
According to One Survey, If You're a Married Woman You May Have One of These |
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 13:42
You've heard the phrase, ''Always have a plan B.'' So what about a plan B in case your marriage doesn't work out?
Photo credit: Shutterstock
According to one survey, more than 50 percent of women said they have a ''backup husband'' just in case.
A survey asked 1,000 married women if they have a ''backup husband.'' At least 500 of them said yes. In some cases, women have more than one ''backup'' in mind, according to the survey.
It also found that women are most likely to fall back on an ex or an old friend to fill that void. Most of the women who were surveyed also said the eligible bachelors they have in mind are ''ready and waiting'' for them.
One in five women said their ''backup'' man would be willing to ''drop everything'' for her if she asked him to. But what is perhaps the most startling discovery of all is that one in four women say they have feelings for their ''backup husband'' that are ''as strong'' as their feelings for their current husband.
''For our research to establish that 50 percent of women in relationships have a 'Plan B' is a worrying sign,'' a spokesman for said. ''Men need to be aware of any old friends that turn up out of the blue that's for sure.''
With sites like Facebook and Twitter nowadays, it's ''easier than ever'' to reconnect with a potential ''backup.''
(H/T: San Francisco Chronicle)
Follow Jon Street (@JonStreet) on Twitter
National Podcast Day
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:11
Help spread the word! National Podcast Day is dedicated to promoting Podcasting worldwide through education and public engagement. You may be asking, what can I do to help and what can I do to get involved on National Podcast Day? There are so many things we can do but first we must all Start The Conversation.
Check out our suggestions below. But ultimately, the options are endless!
Grab your mic and camera and ask someone, really anyone, about their favorite podcast and share the response on social media using #podcastdayJoin in with the numerous events going on.Promote by posting the NPD banner image on your website.Use #podcastday to engage with others worldwide talking about the NPD eventPlay the NPD audio or video promo on your showChange your social media image with the NPD logoExplain to someone what a podcast is and get them hookedShare your favorite podcast with someone (coworker, friend, teammate, etc.)Send feedback to your favorite podcasters and tell them thank you.Provide a rating and review of the podcast in iTunes or any other platform.Subscribe to a new show and talk about it using #podcastdayNot a podcaster? Become one!
Sources: Facebook to Apologize For Discriminatory "Real Name" Policy
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 04:45
Facebook sparked a fierce backlash three weeks ago when it began enforcing a "real name" policy against performers and members of the LGBT community. The company initially dug in its heels, refusing to stop requiring people to use their legal names, inciting hundreds of thousands of people to flee to the quasi-anti-corporate network Ello. Now Facebook is feeling the heat and is slated to apologize for the situation later today, sources tell Valleywag.
*San Francisco Supervisor David Campos's office has confirmed to Valleywag that Facebook has apologized.
We're told the apology will be first issued at a meeting with a coalition of drag queens, LGBT activists, and Supervisor David Campos, all of whom have been pressing Facebook end the discriminatory policy. Before making a public announcement, the company will also outline to activists how it plans to fix its policies.
When reached for comment, a Facebook representative declined to comment on the terms of the policy reversal. However, the representative confirmed the meeting is taking place.
SFist originally broke the news of the impact of Facebook's "real name" policy. At the time, the site reported that members of the transgender community were forced "to suffer the indignity of using birth names that no one recognizes."
Facebook has locked several local performers and [Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence] out of their accounts in recent weeks informing them that they must revert to their given names and set up fan pages for their alternate personas. The problems with this are several. In the case of the Sisters, these are not necessarily performers with fan bases but more a community of people who identify by these alternate names in public more often than not. In the case of drag queens, many already have fan pages but have found those to be less reliable ways of promoting themselves than friend networks, which in most cases they've taken years to build.
Also there are the cases of people who have chosen to use alternate names, or pseudonyms, on Facebook precisely because they don't want to be found there by employers, family members, or nosey journalists.
Sister Roma, a queer nun with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, expressed outrage at the notion of setting up a fan page, telling SFist "I want my friends to find me...I detest the idea of having a fan page. I'm not fucking Britney Spears. I have friends, not fans."
Sources say Facebook will stop short of admitting they are reversing the policy, which saw the social network demanding users to go by their "name as it would be listed on [their] credit card, driver's license or student ID."
Rather than owning up to its discriminatory behavior, the company plans on insisting that it always defined "real name" as a person's preferred name. We're told the company will claim that its "real names" policy was being improperly enforced and that a "fix" is on its way.
Update 2:15pm: Following today's meeting with Facebook, Supervisor David Campos's office confirms our original report in a press release.
On Wednesday morning Supervisor David Campos, the lead negotiator for a broad coalition of activists including drag queens, transgender people, performers, survivors of abuse and stalking, political dissidents and privacy activists announced a successful outcome to conversations with Facebook regarding their real name policy.
"The drag queens spoke and Facebook listened! Facebook agreed that the real names policy is flawed and has unintentionally hurt members of our community. We have their commitment that they will be making substantive changes soon and we have every reason to believe them," Campos said. "Facebook apologized to the community and has committed to removing any language requiring that you use your legal name. They're working on technical solutions to make sure that nobody has their name changed unless they want it to be changed and to help better differentiate between fake profiles and authentic ones."
Tocontactthe author of this post, please
Photo: Tom Temprano, via SFist
Facebook changing 'real name' policy following drag queen dust-up
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 13:46
October 1, 2014, 7:46 PM EDTE-mailTweetFacebookGoogle PlusLinkedinShare iconsChalk up a win for the drag queens in their fight against Facebook and its policy requiring that people use their real names on the service.
The social networking giant said Wednesday that it will loosen its ''real name'' policy to let drag queens and others who use stage names to do so on the website.
The change comes after Facebook faced withering criticism for cracking down on drag queens who use creative names on the service. Leaders of the protest included Sister Roma and Lil Miss Hot Mess, who complained of being told by the company that their profiles would be deleted without proper identification.
''I want to apologize to the affected community of drag queens, drag kings, transgender, and extensive community of our friends, neighbors, and members of the LGBT community for the hardship that we've put you through in dealing with your Facebook accounts over the past few weeks,'' Chris Cox, Facebook's chief product officer, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.
The flap began after someone reported several hundred drag queen accounts as being fake, Cox said, setting into motion Facebook's standard process of asking users to verify their identities. Facebook's real name policy is intended to prevent impersonation, domestic abuse, and bullying.
''We've had this policy for over 10 years, and until recently it's done a good job of creating a safe community without inadvertently harming groups like what happened here,'' Cox wrote.
He promised that Facebook FB would create a new system to verify accounts that have been flagged as fake by other users. The company is already building better tools for verifying the Sister Romas of the world while not opening up Facebook to bad actors, he said.
A petition through the website called on Facebook to allow users who are performers to maintain profiles under their stage names. The petition gathered more than 36,000 online signatures. San Francisco Supervisor David Campos also joined the protest.
''The drag queens spoke and Facebook listened,'' San Francisco Supervisor Campos said Wednesday in a statement praising Facebook's change in policy.
Cox, from Facebook, also clarified that the website's policy has never required users to be listed under their legal names.
''The spirit of our policy is that everyone on Facebook uses the authentic name they use in real life,'' Cox said. ''For Sister Roma, that's Sister Roma. For Lil Miss Hot Mess, that's Lil Miss Hot Mess.''
Facebook has recently been fighting to slow the steady stream of users defecting from its own platform to join new rival social media startups like Ello, which eschews advertisements and has taken public aim at Mark Zuckerberg's company. And, apparently, Facebook decided that drag queens are one group of users that the social media giant could not afford to lose to a rival platform '' especially since the broader LGBT community was outspoken in its support of the ''real name'' protest. Ello, which requires new users to be invited to join, was reportedly receiving more than 30,000 membership requests per hour last week.
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Presidential Memorandum -- Certification Concerning U.S. Participation in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic Consistent with Section 2005 of the America
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:47
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 26, 2014
SUBJECT: Certification Concerning U.S. Participation in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic Consistent with Section 2005 of the American Servicemembers' Protection Act
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and consistent with section 2005 of the American Servicemembers' Protection Act of 2002 (22 U.S.C. 7424), concerning the participation of members of the Armed Forces of the United States in certain United Nations peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations, I hereby certify that members of the U.S. Armed Forces participating in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic are without risk of criminal prosecution or other assertion of jurisdiction by the International Criminal Court (ICC) because the Central African Republic has entered into an agreement in accordance with Article 98 of the Rome Statute preventing the ICC from proceeding against members of the Armed Forces of the United States present in that country.
You are authorized and directed to submit this certification to the Congress and publish it in the Federal Register.
Statement by the President on the Signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement and NATO Status of Forces Agreement in Afghanistan
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:46
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 30, 2014
Today we mark an historic day in the U.S.-Afghan partnership that will help advance our shared interests and the long-term security of Afghanistan. After nearly two years of hard work by negotiating teams on both sides, earlier today in Kabul the United States and the new Afghan Government of National Unity signed a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA). This agreement represents an invitation from the Afghan Government to strengthen the relationship we have built over the past 13 years and provides our military service members the necessary legal framework to carry out two critical missions after 2014: targeting the remnants of Al Qaeda and training, advising, and assisting Afghan National Security Forces. The signing of the BSA also reflects the implementation of the Strategic Partnership Agreement our two governments signed in May 2012.
Today, Afghan and NATO officials also signed the NATO Status of Forces Agreement, giving forces from Allied and partner countries the legal protections necessary to carry out the NATO Resolute Support mission when ISAF comes to an end later this year.
These agreements follow an historic Afghan election in which the Afghan people exercised their right to vote and ushered in the first peaceful democratic transfer of power in their nation's history. The BSA reflects our continued commitment to support the new Afghan Unity Government, and we look forward to working with this new government to cement an enduring partnership that strengthens Afghan sovereignty, stability, unity, and prosperity, and that contributes to our shared goal of defeating Al Qaeda and its extremist affiliates.
This day was only possible because of the extraordinary service of our men and woman in uniform who continue to sacrifice so much in Afghanistan on behalf of our security and the Afghan people. The American people are eternally grateful for their efforts.
VIDEO- First-Ever U.S. Ebola Case Diagnosed in Dallas - YouTube
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 14:14
VIDEO- 80 People Now Being Monitored From Contact With Texas Ebola Patient - YouTube
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 14:10
VIDEO-Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan flew United Airlines to Dallas, Texas - CBS News
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 07:05
The first reported case of Ebola in the United States is spooking airline investors and raising the prospect that some frightened travelers might stay home despite repeated reassurances from public-health experts.
CBS This Morning HealthwatchCDC director on threat of a potential U.S. outbreakDr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, talks to the "CBS This Morning" co-hosts about the risks and reality...
Details of the man's 28-hour trip from western Africa emerged Wednesday. He flew on two airlines, took three flights, and had lengthy airport layovers before reaching Texas on Sept. 20.
Still, federal officials say other passengers on the flights are at no risk of infection because the man had no symptoms at the time of his trip.
The patient, identified as Thomas Eric Duncan by CBS Dallas station KTVT, left Monrovia, Liberia, on Sept. 19 aboard a Brussels Airlines jet to the Belgian capital, according to a Belgian official. After layover of nearly seven hours, he boarded United Airlines Flight 951 to Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C. After another layover of nearly three hours, he then flew Flight 822 from Dulles to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, the airline confirmed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Duncan sought medical care Sept. 25 in Dallas after falling ill the day before.
CBS This Morning HealthwatchEbola in America: Man hospitalized with first U.S. caseThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a man in Dallas, Texas, tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus and is now in isolation at...
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease at the National Institutes of Health, told The Associated Press that even though Duncan took several flights to reach the U.S., his lack of symptoms at the time made it "extraordinarily unlikely" that he infected anyone else on the planes.
Still, the incident spooked airline investors. Shares of United and other leading U.S. airline companies dropped 2.8 percent or more. Shares of European carriers fell by similar margins.
"The fear is if this gets worse, it would affect people's travel behavior," said Joseph DeNardi, an analyst with Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. Health officials "sound confident that they've got it under control. Hopefully they're right."
The CDC typically notifies an airline when it learns that an infectious person traveled on that carrier. The airline then turns over the flight manifest to the CDC, and health officials notify other passengers while the airline deals with crew members.
CBS Evening NewsCDC: 1st case of Ebola diagnosed in U.S.The director of the Centers for Disease Control said a patient in a Dallas hospital has been diagnosed with Ebola. This is the first time the dis...
In this case, the CDC told United but not the public what flights the man took. In an interview Wednesday with the AP, Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, suggested that doing so would divert public-health resources away from controlling an outbreak of the virus. He said the CDC was focused on finding and tracking anyone who came in contact with Duncan after he began showing symptoms.
Public health officials have assured fliers that airports in Africa, Europe and the U.S. are taking all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus, including screening passengers for fever.
An outbreak of SARS - severe acute respiratory syndrome - crippled air travel in Asia in 2003. Michael Derchin, an analyst with CRT Capital Group, said it is too early to draw a comparison between one Ebola patient and the 2003 SARS outbreak. He noted that SARS is an airborne disease that health officials say is transmitted more easily than Ebola.
(C) 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
VIDEO-Dallas hospital reportedly failed to follow federal guidelines by sending Ebola patient home | Fox News
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 06:10
Published October 02, 2014Officials at a Dallas hospital apparently failed to follow federally issued guidelines last week when they sent home the patient later diagnosed with the first case of the Ebola virus on U.S. soil.
The Dallas Morning News reports that Thomas Eric Duncan arrived in the emergency room of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital late on the evening of Sept. 25 complaining of a fever and abdominal pain. When questioned by a nurse, Duncan admitted that he had been in Liberia as recently as the prior week.
At that point, according to an Aug. 1 protocol issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Duncan should have been placed in an isolation unit and tested for Ebola immediately. However, the News reports that key medical personnel at the hospital were not told of Duncan's travel history, and he was given antibiotics and sent home, a decision that could have exposed dozens of people to the virus for several hours.
Duncan's condition later worsened, and he returned to the hospital Sunday in an ambulance. At that point, the CDC protocol was followed. The Ebola diagnosis was confirmed by health officials Tuesday.
Dr. Mark Lester, the southeast clinical leader for hospital parent company Texas Health Resources, acknowledged Wednesday that Duncan had voluntarily provided his travel history. However, Lester said, "that information was not fully disseminated." Lester did not say who he thought might be responsible for the miscommunication.
Hospital officials defended the initial handling of Duncan, issuing a statement describing his fever as "low-grade," and insisting "his condition did not warrant admission." They added that they are still investigating why Duncan's travel history was not conveyed to the doctors who sent him home. Hospital epidemiologist Dr. Edward Goodman told the Associated Press that the patient did not show the riskier symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.
KDFW reported late Wednesday that Duncan's condition had been upgraded to serious. Goodman wouldn't comment on drugs being used to treat the patient, but he said that there isn't any more ZMapp available. ZMapp is an experimental drug that was used on two previous Ebola patients.
Meanwhile, a nine-member team of federal health officials has begun tracking anyone who had close contact with him after Duncan fell ill on Sept. 24. The group of 12 to 18 people included three members of the ambulance crew that took Duncan to the hospital and a group schoolchildren. They will be checked every day for 21 days, the disease's incubation period.
Neither the ambulance crew nor the children showed any symptoms and were being monitored at home. It was not clear how Duncan knew the children, but his sister told the AP he had been visiting with family, including two nephews.
The CDC sent a team to the airport in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, on Wednesday to make sure health officials there are screening passengers properly. All people traveling from the outbreak zone are supposed to be checked for fever and asked about their travel history before being allowed to leave. Plastic buckets filled with chlorinated water for hand-washing are present throughout the airport.
"There were no signs of any disease when the gentleman boarded the flight," said Dr. Tom Kenyon, director of the CDC's Center for Global Health. "This was not a failure of the screening process at the airport."
Since the man had no symptoms on the plane, the CDC stressed there is no risk to his fellow passengers.
The Dallas apartment complex where Duncan was believed to be staying was cordoned off Wednesday, and the management was turning away visitors. TV cameras lined the fence of the parking lot, and at least one helicopter hovered overhead.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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VIDEO-DoD Secretary Declares Media 'Needlessly Shrill' and Expectations 'Inappropriately High' | MRCTV
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 03:26
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 20191. For information about the MRC, please visit
Copyright (C) 2014, Media Research Center. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO0'Respect China's Sovereignty' Chinese Foreign Minister Tells Kerry After Remarks About Hong Kong | MRCTV
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 02:59
patrick.goodenoughPatrick covered government and politics in South Africa and the Middle East before joining in 1999. Since then he has launched foreign bureaus for 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's roster of international stringers.
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VIDEO- Texas Ebola Patient Had Contact With Children - YouTube
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 02:40
VIDEO-RAF jets strike first IS targets in Iraq
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:10
30 September 2014Last updated at 17:37 ET Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.
RAF Tornados have flown sorties since Saturday but this is the first time they have carried out strikes, as Jonathan Beale reports
RAF jets have carried out their first strikes on Islamic State targets in Iraq, attacking a "heavy weapon position" and an armed pick-up truck.
The Ministry of Defence said the attacks were in support of Kurdish units in the north-west of the country.
The strikes - by two GR4 Tornados - came four days after Parliament approved military action, and were said to be "successful".
About 40 nations are targeting IS, which controls parts of Iraq and Syria.
Information from Kurdish sources suggests the RAF strikes had helped the Kurds retake an "important border crossing" at Rabia near Syria, said the BBC's Clive Myrie in Irbil, northern Iraq.
Heavy fighting was reported on both sides of the border between Iraq and Syria.
Iraqi Kurdish troops are said to have suffered heavy casualties in recapturing Rabia, as IS fighters were trying to dislodge Syrian Kurdish forces on the other side of the border.
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Defence secretary Michael Fallon : "RAF jets assisted Kurdish troops under attack"
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said both Tornados had "returned safely to their base", RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.
He said they were in action in support of the Iraqi government.
The MoD said the aircraft were on an "armed reconnaissance mission" when they were asked to help Kurdish troops in north-west Iraq.
It said the Kurds were under attack from IS - also known as Isil and Isis.
"On arriving overhead, the RAF patrol, using their Litening III targeting pod, identified an Isil heavy weapon position which was engaging Kurdish ground forces," an MoD statement said.
"One Paveway IV guided bomb was used to attack the Isil position.
"Following this engagement, the patrol identified an Isil armed pick-up truck in the same area and conducted an attack on the vehicle using a Brimstone missile.
"An initial assessment indicates that both precision strikes were successful."
Earlier, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Britain would not be "panicked" into dropping bombs in Iraq by reports that militants were advancing.
He said the RAF would carefully target IS, as hitting civilians would have the "opposite of the effect we are intending".
Meanwhile, at a fringe meeting at the Conservative conference in Birmingham, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said Tory and Lib Dem cabinet ministers were agreed that the UK would have to confront IS in Syria as well as Iraq.
He said: "There was absolute unity around the cabinet table, including the Liberal Democrats as well, all basically saying the same thing - that the complete package is ultimately having to deal with Isil, not Isil in one place."
On Friday, Parliament voted by 524 votes to 43 for UK air strikes against IS in Iraq.
VIDEO- MBDA Dual Mode Brimstone Missile at Sea Air Space 2014 - YouTube
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:09
VIDEO- The City of Johannesburg has declared war against giant rats - YouTube
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:06
VIDEO-Parody copyright laws set to come into effect - BBC News
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:50
Changes to UK legislation are to come into force later this week allowing the parody of copyright works.
Under current rules, there has been a risk of being sued for breach of copyright if clips of films, TV shows or songs were used without consent.
But the new European Copyright Directive will allow the use of the material so long as it is fair and does not compete with the original version.
The new law will come into effect on 1 October.
Owners of the copyrighted works will only be able to sue if the parody conveys a discriminatory message.
It would then be down to a judge to decide if the parody is funny.
"The only, and essential, characteristics of parody are, on the one hand, to evoke an existing work while being noticeably different from it and, on the other, to constitute an expression of humour or mockery," the EU rules state.
"If a parody conveys a discriminatory message (for example, by replacing the original characters with people wearing veils and people of colour), the holders of the rights to the work parodied have, in principle, a legitimate interest in ensuring that their work is not associated with such a message."
By Clive ColemanLegal correspondent, BBC News
In the past comedians like French and Saunders and many others have parodied famous films, TV shows and songs using the copyright material in them, but there has always been a risk they could be sued by the copyright owner.
Copyright owners would often grant a licence to those who wanted to use their work, and charge a fee for doing so. That meant many people wanting to parody were deterred from doing so. However, the view that parody is a form of free expression and creativity has driven the change to the law.
Recently there's been an explosion of online parodies made by comically re-editing or "mashing-up" snippets of TV, film and songs. A mash-up of The Apprentice has had more than five million hits, while a parody of the Miley Cyrus song Wrecking Ball has had more than 50 million.
The new law should lead to a growth of that kind of creativity by parodists who can now plunder copyright material from movies to boy bands.
'Being censored'
Cassette Boy, who is known for his online mash-up parodies of shows including The Apprentice and Dragons' Den, told the BBC's Clive Coleman that current rules meant he had to negotiate many legal issues which often led to frustration.
"It feels like our chosen form of expression is being censored," he said.
"It's like being a painter in a country where paint is illegal. In the past, our work has just disappeared from the internet overnight."
Comedy writer Graham Linehan, who was behind TV shows such as The IT Crowd, Father Ted and Black Books, agreed the rules had been "quite restrictive" in his experience.
"It seems harder to do innocent mentions of anything to represent something that is part of our lives," he told the BBC.
"Artists need to be protected, but recently there's been an automated quality to some of the legal challenges. You might do something and you know full well the author of the original work will love the thing your doing and see it as a tribute or friendly nod, but the lawyers - they don't see any of that, they just see something they have to act on.
"We had an annoying thing recently where have a joke in the new series of Count Arthur Strong that involved a guy in a Predator costume and where the word 'predator' is the thing that makes it funny.
"Quite a long time after we wrote the script, we were told we couldn't use [the word], so we changed it to "alien bounty hunter" and suddenly the joke goes. It's ok, but it's not the joke we wanted."
Linehan added the new legislation change was "a brilliant thing".
"The thing it's most important and useful for, is the explosion of creativity that's come about because of the internet and the ability to share it," he said.
"People like to create new work and up until now those people have been in such a legal limbo. They can do something that's incredibly clever and very funny but it gets taken down in moments."
VIDEO-The symbols of Hong Kong's 'Umbrella Revolution' -
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:09
Like the city in general, Hong Kong's protest sites are clean, orderly and well-run. Volunteers bring in supplies of food and drink to distribute freely, and keep the protest site clean by gathering rubbish in piles for recycling.Symbols of Hong Kong protest
Symbols of Hong Kong protest
Symbols of Hong Kong protest
Symbols of Hong Kong protest
Symbols of Hong Kong protest
Symbols of Hong Kong protest
Symbols of Hong Kong protest
Symbols of Hong Kong protest
Symbols of Hong Kong protest
The umbrella has emerged as the defining symbol of Hong Kong's democracy protestsIt became a symbol of passive resistance after they were used to shield against tear gasA distinct visual language has emerged, including numbered codewords, black t-shirtsThe protesters are highly organized and cooperative, sharing food, water, electricity suppliesHong Kong (CNN) -- Umbrellas, yellow ribbons, numbered codewords and tangles of phone cords: these are the distinctive sights of the dramatic protest unfolding beneath Hong Kong's spectacular skyline.
Here are some of the defining images to have emerged from the days of pro-democracy protest that have rocked the semi-autonomous Chinese territory, and the reasons behind them.
The umbrella
The key symbol of the protests that have upended Hong Kong is the humble umbrella. Since it was used to shield protesters from the tear gas and pepper spray deployed by police, the umbrella has become a ubiquitous sight on the frontlines, and given the movement its name.
Protesters are bringing in umbrellas in bulk and distributing them for free, sleeping under their shelter and writing slogans on them.
Bryan Druzin, an assistant professor of law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the umbrella was not only functional but had "a certain emblematic resonance in that it's a symbol of passive resistance."
"Hong Kong is a city that periodically takes refuge under umbrellas against seasonal typhoons that threaten the city. The turmoil is another storm Hong Kong is trying to weather," he said.
Hong Kong artist Kacey Wong has been generating protest art by running a social media "competition" to create a lasting logo for "the Umbrella Revolution" (the prizes being "justice, democracy and freedom"). He said the way the umbrella was used brought an "enormous feeling of brotherhood."
"Tank Man -- that was one guy standing in front of a tank," says Wong. "The umbrella represents people working with each other to form a defensive shield. If you see a piece of the shield ripped away by the police, it will be replaced by another."
It was a strong image with an inherent contrast, he said. "It's a soft thing but it's also very hard in terms of our determination to win this battle."
Yellow ribbons
A pro-democracy activists shouts at police officers behind a fence with yellow ribbons tied to it by protesters at the entrance to the government headquarters in Hong Kong.
Yellow ribbons are tied to barricade railings, pinned on shirts, and decorate social media profiles. Long an emblem of suffrage movements internationally -- particularly tied to women's suffrage -- they have been adopted by Hong Kong's protesters as a symbol of democratic aspiration.
"Not everyone can be there on the front lines," says Wong. "The ribbon is a way to show your support."
Black tees
The student protesters are mostly dressed in black t-shirts.
Black has traditionally been worn at the city's annual protests to mark the Tiananmen massacre; Wong says they also represent "sorrow and darkness" regarding the use of force on peaceful demonstrators.
The protest site reads like a telephone directory of numbers, emblazoned on notes and posters plastered around the streets: 689, 926, 8964. They also figure heavily in social media posts about the protests.
The numbers are a form of shorthand common to Chinese political culture in Hong Kong and in mainland China, explains Wong. In the mainland, he says, due to censorship, "you have to speak in a curveball way. There's a lot of coded words they use because they cannot express it directly."
Although no such censorship exists in Hong Kong, the same political shorthand is commonplace, said Druzin. Dates are often used: #926 refers to September 26, when the protests kicked off, #8964 to the date of the Tiananmen crackdown.
Numbers are used as political shorthand by the protesters.
Hong Kong chief executive C.Y. Leung, the main target of the protesters' ire, has his own code: 689. It refers to the number of votes he received from Hong Kong's 1,200-strong election committee to rise to office as the territory's leader.
"They use it to question his legitimacy because he was voted for by only 689 people in Hong Kong," said Wong. "They call him that to remind people he doesn't represent all of us -- there's 7 million of us here."
Protesters devoted a bus in a blockaded area to Leung, plastering it with messages to the chief executive. Above the bus's windshield, the route number was changed to "689," the destination to "Hell."
The protest sites are notably orderly, well-organized and clean. Volunteers hand out free bottled water, snacks, towels and medicine. Bananas are dispensed, as are loaves of breads and saltine crackers.
Demonstrators bring carts laden with grocery bags of supplies, which are dispensed for free to whoever needs them.
Trash is sorted into three piles for recycling -- plastic, paper and garbage -- and volunteers patrol with plastic garbage bags to collect trash.
Homemade protection
After Hong Kong protesters were tear gassed on Sunday, many improvised their own protection, using some of the materials circulated by the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Solutions included wrapping exposed skin in Saran plastic wrap, or using swimming goggles and plastic ponchos.
Charging stations
Some people that live close to the protests are offering to let protesters charge their cell phones. They post signs with their contact numbers if people need to use their power supply.
Volunteers have brought power strips and extra chargers so protesters can stay connected.
Phones have played an invaluable role throughout the protests as information is shared through social media.
Rumors that the cell phone network would be shut down sparked a massive rush in Hong Kong to download the FireChat messaging app. The app allows users to message each other without WiFi or cell data connection.
The demand has been so great that Micha Benoliel, the CEO of the U.S. company Open Garden which developed the app, has come out to Hong Kong during the protests.
The protesters are well organized and well prepared, said Benoliel.
"They knew that at some point the cellular networks would be shut down or just be overloaded by number of people in the same place, so they know that Firechat is a way to remain connected and communicate."
With one caveat -- all conversations on FireChat are public because any user can join the messaging rooms.
Phones have another use.
Photographed from above, the glowing screens of mobile phones held aloft by the sea of protesters' have created an enduring image of solidarity.
Candles are long out of vogue as phones are easy, convenient and a non-fire way of providing light in a massive night gathering.
Photographed from above, the glowing screens of mobile phones held aloft by the sea of protesters' have created an enduring image of the demonstrators' solidarity.
Hong Kong chief executive CY Leung has been the main target of the protesters' anger, with calls for him to resign circulating among the crowds.
READ: Here's what Leung says about Hong Kong democracy
A gigantic, enlarged effigy of Leung's head, replete with fangs, has been a distinctive sight on the streets during the protests. Protesters chant in Cantonese, "Step down, step down!" when they see it.
The rousing anthem, "Do you hear the people sing" from the revolution-themed musical "Les Miserables," has been adopted by the protesters.
The slogan is painted on a poster hanging from a prominent bridge and has been played by a string quartet on the streets. In the musical, the song is sung as Parisian revolutionaries prepare to rebel against the government.
VIDEO-Energy Week TV Watch Page- Catch up on past programs| Platts
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 15:39
Will there be a spike in LNG prices this winter?In this video Desmond Wong, Stephanie Wilson, and Javier Diaz discuss the reasons behind a lack of traditional summer rise in Asia LNG prices, the uncertain outlook for LNG prices...Watch the video
US coal prices down despite falling stockpile; China to impose restriction on coal importsJames O'Connell, Platts editorial director for coal, and Andrew Moore, Platts US managing editor for coal, discuss US coal stockpiles; the impact of US rail congestion on coal prices; and...Watch the video
China, India face headwinds as oil product demand, refinery utilizations shiftIn the first seven months of the year, China's oil demand was almost flat while India's consumption climbed almost 2%. Vandana Hari, Platts Asia editorial director, Mriganka Jaipuriyar, senior oil...Watch the video
UK gas, power prices rise on Ukraine crisis concerns, higher gas consumptionIn this video William Powell, managing editor for International Gas Report, focuses on the UK, where worries about a possible escalation of the eastern Ukraine crisis and higher gas consumption...Watch the video
VIDEO-Dept of departures: US security rocked by top-DHS official exodus - YouTube
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 15:03
VIDEO-PLUG-Washington Journal Laurie Abraham Justice Ruth | Video |
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:59
October 1, 2014Laurie Abraham talked about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's interview with Elle Magazine in which she discussed her 21'... read more
Laurie Abraham talked about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's interview with Elle Magazine in which she discussed her 21 years on the high court and why she can't retire now.
This program was part of a ''Washington Journal'' series highlighting recent magazine articles. close
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VIDEO -This Is How We Roll | VEVO - Yahoo Screen
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 07:28
Beyonc(C) - Pretty Hurts
7:04 mins
Beyonc(C) leads this year's field for MTV Video Music Awards nominees, after nabbing a total of a whopping 8 nominations. "Pretty Hurts," a powerful critique of our dangerous obsession with beauty, scored one for the "Videos With A Social Message" category. Other contenders as seen in this playlist are Angel Haze ft. Sia, ''Battle Cry," Avicii ft. Dan Tyminski, ''Hey Brother." J. Cole, ''Crooked Smile," and Kelly Rowland, ''Dirty Laundry." Not seen here is David Guetta's ''One Voice'': The VMAs take place on August 24.
VIDEO-The Long Kiss Goodnight .. 9/11 ... interesting scene from 1996 - YouTube
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 05:00
VIDEO-IMPORTATION-CDC Briefing First Ebola Case US | Video |
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 04:20
September 30, 2014Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Thomas Frieden and Texas health officials briefed reporters on what the CDC said was the first confirmed case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States.
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Clips from This Video
VIDEO-IMPORTATION-BBC News - First Ebola case diagnosed in the US
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 04:16
30 September 2014Last updated at 21:03 ET Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.
Doctors are doing every thing they can to treat the man and prevent further infections, reports Alastair Leithead
The first case of the deadly Ebola virus diagnosed on US soil has been confirmed in Dallas, Texas.
Officials at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital say the unidentified patient is being kept in isolation.
The man is thought to have contracted the virus in Liberia before travelling to the US nearly two weeks ago.
More than 3,000 people have already died of Ebola in West Africa and a small number of US aid workers have recovered after being flown to the US.
"An individual travelling from Liberia has been diagnosed with Ebola in the United States," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden told reporters on Tuesday.
According to Mr Frieden, the unnamed patient left Liberia on 19 September and arrived in the US the next day to visit relatives, without displaying any symptoms of the virus.
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Tom Frieden, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, confirms the US case
Symptoms of the virus became apparent on 24 September, and on 28 September he was admitted to a Texas hospital and put in isolation.
A hospital official told reporters on Tuesday the facility already had procedures in place to deal with any such potential cases.
Preliminary information indicates the unnamed patient was not involved in treating Ebola-infected patients while in Liberia.
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Bill Gates: "We have got to get medical personnel in there."
Health officials are working to identify all people who came into contact with the unnamed patient while he was infectious.
Those people will then be monitored for 21 days to see if an Ebola-related fever develops.
According to Mr Frieden, it is possible a family member who came in direct contact with the patient may develop Ebola in the coming weeks.
But "the bottom line here is I have no doubt that we will control this importation, this case of Ebola, so it does not spread widely in this country," he added. "We will stop it here."
The World Health Organization (WHO) says more than 3,000 people have died of the virus so far, mostly in Liberia.
Earlier on Tuesday, the CDC said the Ebola virus seemed to be contained in Nigeria and Senegal, with no new cases reported there for almost a month.
It is the world's most deadly outbreak of the virus.
Ebola virus disease (EVD) Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage Spread by body fluids, such as blood and saliva Fatality rate can reach 90% - but current outbreak has mortality rate of about 70% Incubation period is two to 21 days There is no proven vaccine or cure Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhoea and vomiting can help recovery Fruit bats, a delicacy for some West Africans, are considered to be virus's natural host Ebola virus: Busting the myths
VIDEO-Chris Matthews vs. Ezekiel Emanuel on Ebola: "Obama Said It Was Unlikely. It Has Happened. It's Here" | Video | RealClearPolitics
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 01:02
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On MSNBC's Hardball tonight, host Chris Matthews argued with Obamacare architect Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel about President Obama saying it was "unlikely" that an Ebola case would strike the U.S.
"Obama said it was unlikely. It has happened. It's here," Matthews said.
Dr. Emanuel said there is some "fear mongering" going on here, but Matthews said he was just quoting the president and stating facts. Here's a bit of the argument that lasted nearly ten minutes:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: I'm just trying to follow the logic here. Everybody's being told, don't worry unless they have the infectious symptoms, you can see them, that you don't have to worry about catching them. Yet, this guy picked up the disease apparently from somebody who did not have the infectious symptoms.
DR. EZEKIEL EMANUEL: Again, don't hypothesize because we just don't know. We have no idea what he did or didn't do and how he got it. I'm sure that's going to be vital information to try to understand the transmission, but the idea that there's going to be a widespread outbreak here, I think is just, again, it's a bit of fear mongering. We have a single case. This is not a big, widespread --
MATTHEWS: Yeah, yeah, but I'm just going back to the president's statement, doctor, and that is that the president said it would be unlikely if we had a case in this country. Unlikely to even have one case. You want to see the tape again?
EMANUEL: He said there wouldn't be an Ebola outbreak.
MATTHEWS: No, and in the second part of his sentence he said in the unlikely case someone brings it here. In the unlikely case someone brings it here. Well, they've done it. We're living in the world of the unlikely already. That's all I'm saying. I'm not fear mongering. I'm stating the facts and I wonder if everybody else is.
EMANUEL: The reason we can be assured here that this isn't going to be a major outbreak is we have a CDC that can do very good contact tracing. We have a very good health system that takes universal precautions on all patients, with the gloves. And you're not regularly in contact with people's bodily fluids the way it is much more common in Liberia. I think those things distinguish it. And I don't think we should get into a panic because we were reassured it would never be in the United States.
MATTHEWS: No, the president said it was unlikely two weeks ago. Well, it's not the unlikely, it has happened. It's here.
VIDEO-Extremists to have Facebook and Twitter vetted by anti-terror police - Telegraph
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 21:20
The UK's terror threat level was raised from ''substantial'' to ''severe'' at the end of August in response to conflicts in Iraq and Syria.
The Home Secretary will also introduce ''banning orders'' for extremist groups, which would make it a criminal offence to be a member of or raise funds for a group that spreads or promotes hatred. The maximum sentence could be up to 10 years in prison.
The new orders will be part of the Government's ''Prevent'' strategy, which tackles the ideology behind the terrorist threat. So-called hate preachers, who currently stay just within terrorism legislation, will be one of the targets of banning orders and Extremism Disruption Orders (EDOs).
Earlier this month, David Cameron announced that the police would be given new powers to seize the passports of terrorist suspects and stop British jihadists from returning to the UK.
The Prime Minister said it was ''abhorrent'' that British citizens had ''declared their allegiance'' to groups such as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil) and said the UK was looking at ''specific and discretionary'' powers to bar suspects from returning home.
Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, has said the Government should take action to stop young Britons being drawn to extremist ideology, with tougher measures to prevent would-be jihadis travelling to join Isil fighters in Iraq and Syria.
EDOs would apply if a judge is convinced that an individual is carrying out their activities for ''the purpose of overthrowing democracy''.
Terrorism Investigation and Prevention Measures were introduced in 2012, shortly after control orders were scrapped for being too restrictive. They include electronic tagging, reporting regularly to the police and facing ''tightly defined exclusion from particular places and the prevention of travel overseas''.
VIDEO-MAC N CHEESE-ISIS recruiting tactics: Apple pie and video games - Sep. 30, 2014
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 21:11
These personal details are part of a Q&A with an ISIS recruiter on, a popular site where people can ask questions anonymously.
His photo is cut off to conceal his identity, and beside it is the tagline "Im just like you" '-- common for ISIS recruiters on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
He's answered 299 questions from the community on, a lesser-known social network with 180 million users worldwide, many of them teenagers.
Other answers include: marriage status (single), where he's from (the United Kingdom) and more specific questions about fighting for ISIS and how his parents reacted when he converted.
He also encourages questioners to make "hijrah" or migrate to Syria. He fields inquiries from a variety of people -- one who identifies as American, others curious about joining ISIS.
"He's a recruiter who may be putting himself out there to some kid who may be trolling looking to see if he can cash in on this little Jihadi adventure that they all think they're on," said terrorism analyst Mubin Shaikh after looking at the posts.
Shaikh is a former recruiter for the Taliban who defected and now works to identify and expose potential threats.
ISIS is known to use popular social media for its recruiting and Shaikh shared many examples that have been taken down. On Instagram, there was a photo referencing the popular video game, Call of Duty. On Twitter, a tweet telling readers to "put the chicken wings down n come to Jihad bro." says it's been removing such pages, though the one referenced in this story is available. "Right now, we are focused on being able to understand, spot and catch extremes of behavior, such as specific threats of violence (including terrorist threats) and other illegal activity," a spokesperson from said in a statement to CNNMoney.
A spokesperson from Instagram/Facebook says terrorist groups, like ISIS, are not permitted on the sites. "We do not allow any person or group to promote terrorism or share graphic content for sadistic purposes. This has long been our policy and something that we take very seriously," the spokesperson said.
The recruitment process goes beyond social networks. On, recruiters will sometimes respond to questions by offering their "kik" username so users can get in touch privately. Kik is a smartphone app for messaging.
There are also jihadi web forums where information is exchanged using advanced encryption software, according to Laith Alkhouri, director of Research at Flashpoint Global Partners, which analyzes terrorist communities.
Some use it to allow individuals to communicate directly with recruiting agents for ISIS. Those protected conversations cover everything from how to cross the border, what to bring, and what life as an ISIS member is like, said Alkhouri.
Shaikh says while companies are becoming more vigilant purging terrorist groups from their sites, damage is done.
"The recruitment has been going on for a long time," he says. "It will be on the decline but it might be a little too late because now the individuals are already there, they're part of the group, part of the threat and they're welcome to bring the threat back."
Related: U.S. has spent nearly $1 billion fighting ISIS
Related: One cost of war: U.S. blowing up its own Humvees
First Published: September 30, 2014: 11:07 AM ET
VIDEO-55. Delete Facebook - YouTube
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 20:24
VIDEO-2 Colorado high schools close amid history curriculum changes - CBS News
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 19:19
Students protest against a Jefferson County School Board proposal to emphasize patriotism and downplay civil unrest in the teaching of U.S. history, in front of their school, Jefferson High, in the Denver suburb of Edgewater, Monday, Sept. 29, 2014. AP / Brennan Linsley)
GOLDEN, Colo. - Hundreds of suburban Denver high school students missed school again Monday as teachers shut down two high schools by calling in sick amid a controversy over proposed changes to an Advanced Placement history class and changes to their pay.
Classes were canceled at Golden and Jefferson high schools after 81 percent and 70 percent of teachers called in sick respectively. Some students who had the day off hit the street to protest against a proposal from the board's new conservative majority to review the history course to make sure it promotes patriotism and doesn't condone social disorder.
At Jefferson High School in Edgewater, about 30 students marched to busy Wadsworth Boulevard and protested in front of the school holding signs such as "We have a right to know history."
At Golden High School, English teacher Tammie Peters told The Denver Post that teachers are "sick of the board majority actions."
Students showed their frustrations as well, due to the changes in the history courses that have been proposed by the board. Students have called it censorship.
"America was founded on civil disobedience, so it's very bothersome that that wants to be taken out," Golden High senior Rachel Hilbrecht told CBS Denver.
The action follows large student walkouts last week over the proposal, which the school board is scheduled to discuss at its meeting Thursday. The waves of protest began after a sickout at two other high schools on Sept. 19 the day after the school board discussed the history proposal as well as backed a plan to link teacher raises to their evaluations. Teachers say that evaluation system is flawed.
The union representing teachers says it didn't organize the sickouts but president John Ford said the union understood the frustration of teachers and the community at large.
"The Board Majority's discussion about censuring the AP History curriculum has hit a nerve with the community that was already raw because of the Board Majority's refusal to listen to the community and their priorities for Jeffco schools," Ford said in a statement.
(C) 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
VIDEO-How the U.S. Concocted a Terror Threat to Justify Syria Strikes, and the Corporate Media Went Along - YouTube
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 15:20
VIDEO-Clooney father-in-law hails wedding as good news for Mideast - Yahoo News
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 21:22
Beirut (AFP) - George Clooney's Lebanese father-in-law said on Sunday that his daughter Amal Alamuddin's wedding to the Hollywood heartthrob was "very good news" for the turmoil-ridden Middle East.
"The wedding was more than perfect," Ramzi Alamuddin told AFP by telephone from Venice.
Clooney and his Lebanese-British lawyer bride married on Saturday at a star-studded private wedding, although they are expected to officially tie the knot on Monday.
Ramzi Alamuddin said the wedding was a "grand" but "simple" affair, with close friends and relatives attending an event he described as "good news".
"It is very good news among the bad news we are living now," he said.
The celebrity nuptials come as unrest grips much of the Middle East, where a US-led coalition is staging air strikes on the jihadist Islamic State group in Lebanon's neighbour Syria and in Iraq.
View gallery
US actor George Clooney and his wife Amal Alamuddin stand on a taxi boat on September 28, 2014 in Ve '...
Saturday's ceremony also coincided with Al-Qaeda's Syria franchise, Al-Nusra Front, threatening reprisals against the coalition which includes several Arab allies.
Other Lebanese agreed that the wedding was the only good news to have emerged from their problem-riddled Mediterranean nation.
"The roads in the country are blocked, we don't have a president, parliament is paralysed, (Prime Minister Tammam) Salam is busy with the issue of the soldiers (kidnapped by jihadists), and the country is on the verge of collapse," said one Twitter user, using the hashtag #congratulations.
"But thank God, Clooney has become the son of Lebanon," he added.
Parliament in Beirut has tried but failed several times since June to elect a new president, but a vote has been delayed again and again by political wrangling.
View gallery
Ramzi Alamuddin, father of the Lebanese-born British attorney who married US actor George Clooney, i '...
- Ridden with tensions -
The Syria war has also stoked existing tensions, particularly between Sunnis who tend to back the uprising and Shiites, including the powerful Hezbollah group, who generally support the Damascus regime.
Last month, Lebanese troops battled jihadists who crossed the border from Syria, and around 30 Lebanese soldiers and policemen are still being held hostage since the clashes.
Al-Nusra Front killed one hostage and rival jihadists of the Islamic State group beheaded two more.
But far from the turmoil, Clooney, Alamuddin and their close friends and relatives danced until dawn on Sunday at one of the most eagerly awaited celebrity marriages in years.
View gallery
Irish singer of the band U2, Bono prepares to board a taxi boat with other guests at the Cipriani ho '...
"It was grand simple and perfect. The couple really do match," said the actor's new father-in-law.
"The couple was very happy about how they were welcomed in Venice," he said.
Alamuddin said the guest list included "the closest from the family and the closest from friends".
Among the guests were Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cindy Crawford and her husband Rande Gerber -- rumoured to be Clooney's best man.
Amal, 36, is a prominent international lawyer who in 2004 worked at the International Court of Justice. She has represented Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and Ukraine's ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
View gallery
US actor George Clooney (L) and his wife Amal Alamuddin stand on a taxi boat on September 28, 2014 i '...
She was just a child when her family left Lebanon for Britain, during a 15-year civil war that ended in 1990.
She comes from the Druze community, a minority sect of the Muslim faith who live mainly in Lebanon and Syria.
Watching from afar, one Twitter user effusively welcomed Clooney, 53, as Lebanon's new "son-in-law".
"God bring you prosperity and children," she tweeted.
Nisreen, a 24-year-old technician, joked that Clooney should have chosen her instead.
"Where was I?" she wrote, adding "She must be a special one for him to have chosen her."
Amal's father taught tourism at the prestigious American University of Beirut. Her mother, Baria, heads the international section at London-based pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat.
Family & RelationshipsPolitics & GovernmentGeorge ClooneyAmal AlamuddinLebanonSyria
VIDEO- Valerie Jarrett Makes Cameo on CBS Drama 'The Good Wife' - YouTube
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 21:13
VIDEO- 10:10 Climate Change Film - Banned - YouTube
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 21:01
VIDEO- Iceland Air Passenger Duct-Taped to Seat Caught on Tape - YouTube
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 16:08
VIDEO-President Obama: What makes us America - CBS News
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 10:44
In wide-ranging interview, president discusses battle against Islamic extremists, U.S.-Russia relations and the upcoming midterm elections
The following is a script of "President Obama" which aired on Sept. 28, 2014. Steve Kroft is the correspondent.L. Franklin Devine, Maria Gavrilovic and Michael Radutzky, producers.
Last week was a long and momentous one in the presidency of Barack Obama. On Monday, he began a bombing campaign with members of an international coalition against ISIS and other terrorist targets in Syria, while continuing airstrikes in northern Iraq. On Wednesday, he addressed the United Nations and laid out his case in the strongest terms for international action against Muslim extremists. By Thursday, his anti-ISIS coalition had grown to more than 60 members, ranging from the Saudis, Jordanians, Emiratis and Europeans who flew missions, to the Irish and Swedes who wrote checks, to the Bulgarians and Egyptians who wished us well.
On Friday, he was back in the White House where he met us in the Diplomatic Reception Room for a conversation that ranged from terror networks to the American economy.
Steve Kroft: A lot of things going on in the world right now. A lot of them bad. You run into people on the street and they say the world is falling apart. You got Syria. You've got Iraq. You've got Ukraine. You've got Ebola. Is this the most difficult period of your presidency, the biggest challenge of your presidency, this period we're in right now?
President Obama: It's a significant period. But if you think about what I walked into when I came into office, we had not only two wars still active, but we also had a world financial system, which was becoming unraveled. And we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. So you know, we've had challenges before. And we've overcome them. That's not to downplay the serious challenges that we do face right now, mostly internationally.
"This is not America against ISIL. This is America leading the international community to assist a country..."Steve Kroft: You spent most of your time in office trying to get the United States out of military entanglements. And last year at the United Nations, you noted that we were out of Iraq and unwinding our position in Afghanistan. And this year ... in your State of the Union message, you said, I quote, "America must move off of permanent war footing." But it feels once again like we are on one.
President Obama: Well, I distinguished, Steve, between counterterrorism and the sort of occupying armies that characterized the Iraq and Afghan war. That's very different from us having 150,000 troops in Iraq on the ground or 60,000 in Afghanistan.
Steve Kroft: Are you saying that this is not really a war?
President Obama: Well, what I'm saying is that we are assisting Iraq in a very real battle that's taking place on their soil, with their troops. But we are providing air support. And it is in our interest to do that, because ISIL represents sort of a hybrid of not just the terrorist network, but one with territorial ambitions, and some of the strategy and tactics of an army. This is not America against ISIL. This is America leading the international community to assist a country with whom we have a security partnership with. To make sure that they are able to take care of their business.
Steve Kroft: Two years ago, in the White House, in this building, you talked about al Qaeda being decimated. You talked about al Qaeda being back on its heels. Two years later, you've got al Qaeda affiliates and al Qaeda offshoots controlling huge chunks of both Iraq and Syria. And you have militias, Islamic radical militias in control of Libya.
Overtime OriginalPres. Obama: Confident in the coalition against ISIS''We now have a coalition of more than 40 countries who are working with the Iraqi government and the Iraqi military to make sure that ISIS is rol...
President Obama: If you'll recall, Steve, you had an international network in al Qaeda between Afghanistan and Pakistan, headed by Bin Laden. And that structure we have rendered ineffective. But what I also said, and this was two years ago and a year ago, is that you have regional groups with regional ambitions and territorial ambitions. And what also has not changed is the kind of violent, ideologically driven extremism that has taken root in too much of the Muslim world. And this week, in my speech to the United Nations General Assembly, I made very clear we are not at war against Islam. Islam is a religion that preaches peace and the overwhelming majority of Muslims are peaceful. But in the Muslim world right now, there is a cancer that has grown for too long that suggests that it is acceptable to kill innocent people who worship a different God. And that kind of extremism, unfortunately, means that we're going to see for some time the possibility that in a whole bunch of different countries, radical groups may spring up, particularly in countries that are still relatively fragile, where you had sectarian tensions, where you don't have a strong state security apparatus. That's why what we have to do is rather than play whack-a-mole and send U.S. troops wherever this occurs, we have to build strong partnerships. We have to get the international community to recognize this is a problem. We've got to get Arab and Muslim leaders to say very clearly, "These folks do not represent us. They do not represent Islam," and to speak out forcefully against them.
Steve Kroft: I understand all the caveats about these regional groups. But this is what an army of 40,000 people, according to some of the military estimates I heard the other day, very well-trained, very motivated.
President Obama: Well, part of it was that...
Steve Kroft: What? How did they end up where they are in control of so much territory? Was that a complete surprise to you?
President Obama: Well I think, our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria.
"And when trouble comes up anywhere in the world, they don't call Beijing. They don't call Moscow. They call us."Steve Kroft: I mean, he didn't say that, just say that, "We underestimated ISIL." He said, "We overestimated the ability and the will of our allies, the Iraqi army, to fight."
President Obama: That's true. That's absolutely true. And I...
Steve Kroft: And these are the people that we're now expecting to carry on the fight?
President Obama: Well, here's what happened in Iraq. When we left, we had left them a democracy that was intact, a military that was well equipped, and the ability then to chart their own course. And that opportunity was squandered over the course of five years or so because the prime minister, Maliki, was much more interested in consolidating his Shiite base and very suspicious of the Sunnis and the Kurds, who make up the other two-thirds of the country. So what you did not see was a government that had built a sense of national unity. And if you don't have...
Steve Kroft: Or an army.
President Obama: Or an army that feels committed to the nation as opposed to a particular sect. Now the good news is that the new prime minister, Abadi, who I met with this week, so far at least has sent all the right signals. And that's why it goes back to what I said before, Steve, we can't do this for them. We cannot do this for them because it's not just a military problem. It is a political problem. And if we make the mistake of simply sending U.S. troops back in, we can maintain peace for a while. But unless there is a change in how, not just Iraq, but countries like Syria and some of the other countries in the region, think about what political accommodation means. Think about what tolerance means.
Overtime OriginalHow Syria became ''ground zero for jihadists''President Obama explains the emergence of the terrorist group ISIS and why he thinks Syria became ''ground zero for jihadists around the world.''
Steve Kroft: And you think we can teach them that?
President Obama: Well, I think there's going to be a generational challenge. I don't think that this is something that's going to happen overnight. They have now created an environment in which young men are more concerned whether they're Shiite or Sunni, rather than whether they are getting a good education or whether they are able to, you know, have a good job. Many of them are poor. Many of them are illiterate and are therefore more subject to these kinds of ideological appeals. And, you know, the beginning of the solution for the entire Middle East is going to be a transformation in how these countries teach their youth. What our military operations can do is to just check and roll back these networks as they appear and make sure that the time and space is provided for a new way of doing things to begin to take root. But it's going to take some time. And in the meantime, what I can...
Steve Kroft: You're saying buy them time, so they can get their act together?
President Obama: Yeah, but in the meantime, it's not just buy them time, it's also making sure that Americans are protected, that our allies are protected.
Steve Kroft: You've acknowledged or you said that the Iraqi government, the new Iraqi government is making great progress or making some.
President Obama: Some progress.
Steve Kroft: Progress.
President Obama: I wouldn't say great, yet.
Steve Kroft: They have a new prime minister. They have a new administration. What it's not produced is any sort of enthusiasm, or much enthusiasm, on the part of the disaffected Sunni majority.
President Obama: It's going to take time.
Steve Kroft: They're not lining up to go and join the Iraqi army.
"For us to just go blind on that would have been counterproductive and would not have helped the situation."President Obama: Well look, the mistrust has been built up over time. His instincts are right. Whether he can pull it off is something that is going to be a great challenge. And we got to give him all the support that we can in this process. The good news is that you have an unprecedented international coalition that is serious about this. Not only do we have Arab states participating in airstrikes for the first time in a very long time and being very serious about their commitment, but you've got the United Kingdom, you've got France, Belgium.
Steve Kroft: I think everybody applauds the efforts that you've made and the size of the coalition that has been assembled. But most of them are contributing money or training or policing the borders, not getting particularly close contact. It looks like once again we are leading the operation. We are carrying...
President Obama: Steve, that's always the case. That's always the case. America leads. We are the indispensable nation. We have capacity no one else has. Our military is the best in the history of the world. And when trouble comes up anywhere in the world, they don't call Beijing. They don't call Moscow. They call us.
President Obama: That's the deal.
Steve Kroft: I mean, it looks like we are doing 90 percent.
President Obama: Steve, when as issue ... when there's a typhoon in the Philippines, take a look at who's helping the Philippines deal with that situation. When there's an earthquake in Haiti, take a look at who's leading the charge and making sure Haiti can rebuild. That's how we roll. And that's what makes this America.
Overtime OriginalThe U.S. at the UN: Tackling violence and a virusEbola, Syria, Iraq, Ukraine -- the number of complex international crises may seem overwhelming, but each is solvable when countries work togethe...
Steve Kroft: But you've said that we are not going to be the Shiite air force. We're not going to be the Kurdistan air force. I'm not going to be the Iraqi air force. But in effect, with the allies, that's what we have become. We have become the Iraqi air force.
President Obama: With the allies, with their ground troops, and if we do our job right and the Iraqis fight, then over time our role can slow down and taper off. And their role, reasserts itself. But all that depends, Steve. And nobody's clearer than I am about this. That the Iraqis have to be willing to fight. And they have to be willing to fight in a nonsectarian way. Shiite, Sunni and Kurd alongside each other against this cancer in their midst.
Steve Kroft: What happens if the Iraqis don't fight or can't fight?
President Obama: Well...
Steve Kroft: What's the end game?
President Obama: I'm not going to speculate on failure at the moment. We're just getting started. Let's see how they do. I think that right now, we've got a campaign plan that has a strong chance for success in Iraq. I think Syria is a more challenging situation.
Syria is more challenging, because the U.S. has few viable allies on the ground there. The regime of Bashir Assad is fighting ISIS but the U.S. wants Assad deposed for committing horrific crimes against his own people and other opposition groups like the al-Nusra Front and a terrorist cell called Khorasan, which was plotting attacks against Europe, and are both affiliated with al Qaeda. The coalition is hoping to train 5,000 moderate Syrian fighters in Saudi Arabia
Steve Kroft: Is there a moderate Syrian opposition?
President Obama: There is. But right now, it doesn't control much territory. It has been squeezed between ISIL on the one hand and the Assad regime on the other.
Steve Kroft: These are the people that you said, the farmers, the doctors, the pharmacists, who stood no chance of overthrowing' the government.
President Obama: Well keep in mind two years ago, that was absolutely true. This is in response to the mythology that's evolved that somehow if we had given those folks some guns two and a half years ago, that Syria would be fine. And the point that I made then, which is absolutely true, is that for us to just start arming inexperienced fighters who we hadn't vetted, so we didn't know and couldn't sort out very well who's potentially ISIL or al-Nusra member and who is somebody that we're going to work with. For us to just go blind on that would have been counterproductive and would not have helped the situation. But we also would have committed us to a much more significant role inside of Syria.
Steve Kroft: You've said, that we need to get rid of Assad. And while we're saying we have to get rid of Assad, we are also bombing and trying to take out some of his most threatening opponents and the...
President Obama: I recognize...
Steve Kroft: And the beneficiary of this is Assad.
President Obama: I recognize the contradiction in a contradictory land and a contradictory circumstance. We are not going to stabilize Syria under the rule of Assad, because the Sunni areas inside of Syria view Assad as having carried out terrible atrocities. The world has seen them. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed. Millions have been displaced. So for a long-term political settlement, for Syria to remain unified, it is not possible that Assad presides over that entire process. On the other hand, in terms of immediate threats to the United States, ISIL, Khorasan group, those folks could kill Americans. And so...
Steve Kroft: They're more important than Assad at this point. That's what you're saying.
President Obama: What I'm saying is that they're all connected, but there's a more immediate concern that has to be dealt with.
Overtime OriginalThe future of an inclusive government in Iraq''We need to do everything we can to help the Iraqi government get this right,'' President Obama says about the efforts by Iraqi Prime Minister Hai...
Steve Kroft: You know, you've said no American boots on the ground. No combat troops on the ground. We've got 1,600 troops there.
President Obama: We do.
Steve Kroft: Some of them are going to be out, embedded with Iraqi units.
President Obama: Well, they're in harm's way in the sense that any time they're in war, it's dangerous. So I don't want to downplay the fact that they're in a war environment and there are hostile forces on the other side. But...
Steve Kroft: And they participated in combat operations.
President Obama: Well, there's a difference between them advising and assisting Iraqis who are fighting versus a situation in which we got our Marines and our soldiers out there taking shots and shooting back.
When we come back, President Obama looks at America's troubled relationship with Russia, his own economic record and his party's prospects in the midterm elections.
The air war against ISIS terrorists in Syria and Iraq isn't the only international crisis facing President Obama. There is the Ebola outbreak in west Africa, to which he has committed up to 3,000 U.S. troops and mobilized an air transport system to help contain the epidemic, which threatens to infect 1.4 million people by early next year.
And then, there's the continuing confrontation with Russia over its incursions into the Ukraine. It's created a face-off with Russian President Vladimir Putin that has sent relations between the United States and Russia into a state of tension not seen in decades.
Steve Kroft: We have a very complicated situation going on right now between NATO and Russia. What's your relationship with President Putin? Do you have a personal relationship?
President Obama: Well, I've always had a business-like relationship with him and it's blunt and it's firm. And what I've said from the outset is that Russian aggression, violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a smaller or weaker country, violates international norms and is contrary to all the progress that's been made in creating a peaceful and prosperous Europe after World War II and then after the Cold War period.
Steve Kroft: And you know, the good news is, because of American leadership, we have been able to impose a cost on Mr. Putin. We've put together sanctions that have hurt their economy, that have given them cause. We now are in a situation in which a ceasefire has been brokered. It is still tentative between the Ukrainian separatists, Russia and Ukraine.
"The country is definitely better off than we were when I came into office."President Obama: There was an agreement announced today that, in fact, Russian gas would still be sold to Ukraine. So that they're not going to freeze this winter. There is the possibility of a political solution. None of that would have happened, though, unless we took a firm line that what Russia did was wrong. And then still leave them the possibility of taking a different path. And that's always been my relationship with Putin and the Russian people. What is a great country with incredible talent and incredible traditions. And if you focus on your engineering talent and your mathematical talents and growing your economy, then by definition, Russia's going to be a great power in this world.
Steve Kroft: Do you think there's any chance of a military confrontation between NATO and Russia and Ukraine?
President Obama: No, I don't think there's going to be a military confrontation between NATO and Russia, although we have worked very hard to reassure our NATO allies on the front lines, including some smaller Baltic states like Estonia, where I visited before the NATO Summit in Wales, that Article Five of the the NATO treaty means what it says. We come to the aid and assistance, so if you mess with the NATO country, then there will be a military confrontation. And Putin understands that. But I do think there's a possibility of Russia moving in a better direction. Unfortunately, what's happened is that Putin, who I think was caught off-guard initially with the protest inside of Ukraine, and improvised to try to figure out how he was going to keep Ukraine in his orbit, as you state propaganda inside of Russia to whip up national sentiment, it's been good for his poll numbers. Been very bad for his economy and it's bad for Russia's future. And part of what I've said to him privately and what I've said publicly is, you know, that's a blind alley for you. Go back to trying to abide by international norms and it'll be better for the Russian people and it'll certainly be better for Europe. We're not looking for confrontation, but we're going to be very firm about the principles at stake.
All of this going on less than six weeks before midterm congressional elections that promise to be in part a referendum on his leadership. Right now public opinion polls show a majority of Americans disapprove of his handling of foreign policy and the economy.
Steve Kroft: You've got midterm elections coming up. Are you going to get shellacked?
President Obama: Well...
Steve Kroft: Or do you think that, I mean, are you optimistic? What are the issues and what are you going to tell the American people?
President Obama: Here's what I'm going to tell the American people. When I came into office, our economy was in crisis. We had unemployment up at 10 percent. It's now down to 6.1. We've had the longest run of uninterrupted private sector job growth in our history. We have seen deficits cut by more than half. Corporate balance sheets are probably the best they've been in the last several decades. We are producing more energy than we had before. We are producing more clean energy than we ever had before. I can put my record against any leader around the world in terms of digging ourselves out of a terrible, almost unprecedented financial crisis. Ronald Reagan used to ask the question, "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" In this case, are you better off than you were in six? And the answer is, the country is definitely better off than we were when I came into office, but now we have to make...
Steve Kroft: Do you think people will feel that?
President Obama: They don't feel it. And the reason they don't feel it is because incomes and wages are not going up. There are solutions to that. If we raise the minimum wage, if we make sure women are getting paid the same as men for doing the same work, if we are rebuilding our infrastructure, if we're doing more to invest in job training so people are able to get the jobs that are out there right now, because manufacturing is coming back to this country. Not just the auto industry that we've saved, but you're starting to see reinvestment here in the United States. Businesses around the world are saying for the first time in a long time, "The place to invest isn't in China. It's the United States."
Steve Kroft: Do you think you can hold the Senate?
President Obama: Yes. I do.
Steve Kroft: You think you can sell this.
President Obama: You know what?
Steve Kroft: You think you can convince people that they're doing fine, economically?
President Obama: Hopefully, they get a chance to hear the argument, because all I'm doing is presenting the facts.
(C) 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Clips & Documents

Agenda 21
DeGrassTyson-dont believe hahaha.mp3
"That's How We Roll" WH Email.rtf
CNN Money-ISIS recruits with apple pie, mac n cheese.mp3
Obama 60 -1-NOT a War.mp3
Obama 60 -6- Propaganda technique insert.mp3
Obama 60-2-F-ISlam.mp3
Obama 60-3-Clapper meets bus.mp3
Obama 60-4-illiterate.mp3
Obama 60-5-Thats how we roll.mp3
Obama 60-7-Boot=advisors shooting back.mp3
RAF Brimstone missle PR video.mp3
Rear Admiral Kirby-Media Shrill and unrealistic.mp3
This is how we roll final.aiff
Uk Home Sec Theresa May-vet FB and twitter NEW POWERS.mp3
AJ Ebola Masks.mp3
CDC Dr Thomas Frieden-1-IMPORTATION.mp3
CDC Dr Thomas Frieden-2-NOT INFECTIOUS.mp3
CDC Dr Thomas Frieden-3-NO DOUBT.mp3
CDC Dr Thomas Frieden-4-AIR WE BREATHE.mp3
CDC Dr Thomas Frieden-Full.mp3
Valerie Jarrett-The Good Wife Cameo.mp3
Nick Carr-1-Work makes us Happy.mp3
JCD Clips
Blinken part zero the hint.mp3
ebola erin.mp3
Holly Williams Erbil sales pitch ending.mp3
Holly Williams lays it on thick.mp3
liberman mccain.mp3
mccain speaks in riddles.mp3
PBS Litany regarding kerry part one.mp3
PBS part three a MESS.mp3
pieerson versus Issa.mp3
Pierson --congressman from boston 2.mp3
pierson boston rep part one.mp3
pierson chaffetz on press release.mp3
pierson elanor holmes norton.mp3
pierson got fired because of this.mp3
pierson grilled by chaffetz 2.mp3
pierson versu scahhetz part 1.mp3
Press secretary hung out to dry.mp3
scorpion strikes again bio-hacking.mp3
Obama Nation
Top DHS officials bailing-chertoff hiring.mp3
NA CSPAN Plug.mp3
Umberella Revolution
Chinese FM slams Kerry on Hong Kong statements.mp3
Kerry telegraphs Hong Kong involvement.mp3
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