661: Speciesism

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 0m
October 16th, 2014
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Executive Producers: Sir Filip Zirin Paladin of Common Sense, Sir Don Tomaso Di Toronto, Sir Jason Berg Knight of the Peacock Lane, Daniel Hochstein, Anonymous, Teresa Huxley, Todd Moss

Associate Executive Producers: Stephen Olker, Nicholas McFall, Soon to be sir PhD Assets, Andrew Green

Cover Artist: 33 Timbers

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Go purple on October 16, 2014 for #spiritday | GLAAD
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 14:14
Millions go purple on Spirit Day in a stand against bullying and to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. Observed annually since 2010, individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, and public figures wear purple, which symbolizes 'spirit' on the rainbow flag.
From your web browser: Use GLAAD's Spirit Day tool to turn your profile picture purple, and then spread the word by posting to Twitter and Facebook.
From your smartphone: GLAAD and Toyota Financial Services have launched the "Go Purple for #spiritday powered by Toyota Financial Services" app for iPhone and Android. The app provides users with anti-bullying resources, calls to action, and a tool that can turn photos purple and share to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The free app is now available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play.
Join the Facebook event now and invite your friends! Like' GLAAD on Facebook at http://facebook.com/glaad and follow @GLAAD on Twitter at http://twitter.com/GLAAD. You can also follow GLAAD on Tumblr at http://glaad.tumblr.com and find @GLAAD on Instagram at http://instagram.com/glaad. Tell your followers why you're going purple using #spiritday!
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-Newsletter nailed It with analytic conclusion that everything is being politicized
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News letter is Dynamite!
The newsletter stated it best. All of these crises are politicized
ISIS for miltary sequstration and never change a team during war
Ebola from both sides, republicans wanted cuts on one hand and Obama care fucked the healthcare industry on the other hand
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Announcing the Podcasting Hall Of Fame '-- New Media Expo Blog
Fri, 10 Oct 2014 18:19
We are very proud to announce that as part of the 10th annual People's Choice Podcast Awards Ceremony we will include our first ever class of inductees into the Podcasting Hall of Fame.
In a year of big news for #NMX we think this is HUGE NEWS!
On April 14th 2015 we will induct the first class of honorees into The Podcasting Hall of Fame at the Podcast Awards Show. The event will be held at the Westgate Resort & Casino in Las Vegas Nevada as part of New Media Expo #NMX side-by-side with the NAB Show. and NAB Show.
We have been talking about creating a podcasting hall of fame for a few years now. With this being the 10th annual Podcast Awards, and the co-location with NAB Show next year, it just felt like the time had come to start canonizing and celebrating the icons and pioneers of the podcasting community in a formal setting. The Podcast Awards is the obvious forum to do that. The Podcast Hall of Fame is a way to document the history of podcasting and recognize the people who have contributed to the art, science and community of podcasting and podcasters. Eligible nominees would include podcasters, technology innovators, and others who have pioneered the medium. The Podcasting Hall of Fame is also a way for the entire podcasting community to say thank you to the pioneers.''
So here is the big question. Who are the first three people you think should be inducted into the Podcasting Hall of Fame?
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Presidential Proclamation -- National School Lunch Week, 2014
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 04:30
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
October 10, 2014
NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH WEEK, 2014
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION
Ensuring access to balanced, healthy meals for all young people is essential to their success, and it is our responsibility as a Nation. Today, more than 30 million children depend on the National School Lunch Program for daily nutrition, and more than 13 million children are able to start their school day with a full stomach because of the School Breakfast Program. For many young people, these programs are the only regular source of food. That is why it is more important than ever to strengthen them and make sure they are supporting healthy lifestyles in classrooms across America. During National School Lunch Week, we encourage schools to expand access to nutritious food options, and we salute all those who work in our Nation's school cafeterias and food preparation centers. Every day they provide essential meals to America's students, contributing to their well-being and helping make sure they can fulfill their potential.
In 1946, President Harry Truman signed the National School Lunch Act, which provided meals for over 7 million children in its first year. Since then, more than 220 billion lunches have been served, and my Administration is proud to continue building on this legacy -- not just by increasing access to breakfasts and lunches, but also by working to improve their quality and nutritional value. When more than one-third of American children and adolescents are overweight or obese -- and as a result, are at risk for conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and Type 2 diabetes -- ensuring access to healthy foods at schools helps support academic performance and improves children's overall health.
In 2010, I signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act in order to raise nutritional standards and expand access to healthy meals. This year -- in many of the more than 22,000 eligible schools across our country -- educators and food service professionals are able to serve all their students free, nutritious breakfasts and lunches. Students now have more opportunities to eat healthy foods than ever before, including new options in vending machines and a la carte lines. And First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative has brought communities, schools, and elected officials together to promote nutrition and healthy lifestyles and empower children to make healthy choices in school and at home.
By expanding access to nutritious meals, we can help put young people on the path to good health from their earliest days. When we provide our children with opportunities to live
prosperous and productive lives, we build a Nation where all kids can reach their dreams and achieve the bright futures they deserve.
The Congress, by joint resolution of October 9, 1962 (Public Law 87''780), as amended, has designated the week beginning on the second Sunday in October each year as "National School Lunch Week" and has requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of October 12 through October 18, 2014, as National School Lunch Week. I call upon all Americans to join the dedicated individuals who administer the National School Lunch Program in appropriate activities that support the health and well-being of our Nation's children.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.
BARACK OBAMA
Presidential Proclamation -- Blind Americans Equality Day, 2014
Congress designated October 15 of each year as "White Cane Safety Day" to recognize the contributions of Americans who are blind or have low vision.
By joint resolution approved on October 6, 1964 (Public Law 88-628, as
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 07:54
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
October 14, 2014
BLIND AMERICANS EQUALITY DAY, 2014
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION
For half a century, our Nation has set aside one day every year to honor the contributions of blind and visually impaired Americans. In that time, we have built a more just and more inclusive society. We have torn down barriers to full participation in our democracy and economy -- but more work remains to guarantee all Americans have a fair shot at success. Today, we reaffirm our commitment to equal access, equal opportunity, and equal respect for every person and continue our work to ensure that no one is excluded from America's promise.
All Americans have a fundamental right to dignity and respect, and to fully take part in the American experience. Every day, people with visual impairments and other print disabilities enrich our communities and demonstrate the inherent worth of every person. In our classrooms, blind Americans teach history and mathematics while fostering an early awareness of the innate possibility within each person. On canvas and through music, artists with visual impairments show us the world as they know it and broaden our understanding of our universe. Across our country, Americans with disabilities contribute to our workplaces and our economy while securing stronger futures for themselves and their families.
My Administration is dedicated to expanding opportunity because all people deserve the freedom to make of their lives what they will. We are building on the foundation of the Americans with Disabilities Act by strengthening the protections against disability-based discrimination and advancing programs that increase accessibility in the places we learn, work, and live. Because Braille is a key tool that unlocks learning for many blind and visually impaired students, my Administration continues to support Braille instruction in classrooms throughout our Nation. We are committed to promoting access to employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, ensuring new technology remains accessible so disabilities do not stand in the way of cutting-edge innovation, and -- through new protections in the Affordable Care Act -- preventing health insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, medical history, or genetic information.
When our Nation is able to harness the full potential of all our citizens, we can achieve extraordinary things. On Blind Americans Equality Day, we resolve to live up to the principles enshrined in the heart of our Nation and do our part to form a more perfect Union.
By joint resolution approved on October 6, 1964 (Public Law 88-628, as amended), the Congress designated October 15 of each year as "White Cane Safety Day" to recognize the contributions of Americans who are blind or have low vision. Today, let us recommit to ensuring we remain a Nation where all our people, including those with disabilities, have every opportunity to achieve their dreams.
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 15, 2014, as Blind Americans Equality Day. I call upon public officials, business and community leaders, educators, librarians, and Americans across the country to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.
BARACK OBAMA
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Smith Mundt Act - A reminder that you are living in a Smith-Mudt Act repealed media landscape
NDAA and Overturning of Smith-Mundt Act
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA) allows for materials produced by the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to be released within U.S. borders and strikes down a long-time ban on the dissemination of such material in the country.[14][15][16]
Propaganda in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 15:00
Propaganda in the United States is propaganda spread by government and media entities within the United States. Propaganda is information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to influence opinions. Propaganda is not only in advertising; it is also in radio, newspaper, posters, books, and anything else that might be sent out to the widespread public.
Domestic[edit]World War I[edit]The first large-scale use of propaganda by the U.S. government came during World War I. The government enlisted the help of citizens and children to help promote war bonds and stamps to help stimulate the economy. To keep the prices of war supplies down, the U.S. government produced posters that encouraged people to reduce waste and grow their own vegetables in "victory gardens." The public skepticism that was generated by the heavy-handed tactics of the Committee on Public Information would lead the postwar government to officially abandon the use of propaganda.[1]
World War II[edit]During World War II the U.S. officially had no propaganda, but the Roosevelt government used means to circumvent this official line. One such propaganda tool was the publicly owned but government funded Writers' War Board (WWB). The activities of the WWB were so extensive that it has been called the "greatest propaganda machine in history".[1]Why We Fight is a famous series of US government propaganda films made to justify US involvement in World War II.
In 1944 (lasting until 1948) prominent US policy makers launched a domestic propaganda campaign aimed at convincing the U.S. public to agree to a harsh peace for the German people, for example by removing the common view of the German people and the Nazi party as separate entities.[2] The core in this campaign was the Writers' War Board which was closely associated with the Roosevelt administration.[2]
Another means was the United States Office of War Information that Roosevelt established in June 1942, whose mandate was to promote understanding of the war policies under the director Elmer Davies. It dealt with posters, press, movies, exhibitions, and produced often slanted material conforming to US wartime purposes. Other large and influential non-governmental organizations during the war and immediate post war period were the Society for the Prevention of World War III and the Council on Books in Wartime.
Cold War[edit]During the Cold War, the U.S. government produced vast amounts of propaganda against communism and the Soviet bloc. Much of this propaganda was directed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation under J. Edgar Hoover, who himself wrote the anti-communist tract Masters of Deceit. The FBI's COINTELPRO arm solicited journalists to produce fake news items discrediting communists and affiliated groups, such as H. Bruce Franklin and the Venceremos Organization.
War on Drugs[edit]The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, originally established by the National Narcotics Leadership Act of 1988,[3][4] but now conducted by the Office of National Drug Control Policy under the Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998,[5] is a domestic propaganda campaign designed to "influence the attitudes of the public and the news media with respect to drug abuse" and for "reducing and preventing drug abuse among young people in the United States".[6][7] The Media Campaign cooperates with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and other government and non-government organizations.[8]
Iraq War[edit]In early 2002, the U.S. Department of Defense launched an information operation, colloquially referred to as the Pentagon military analyst program.[9] The goal of the operation is "to spread the administrations's talking points on Iraq by briefing ... retired commanders for network and cable television appearances," where they have been presented as independent analysts.[10] On 22 May 2008, after this program was revealed in the New York Times, the House passed an amendment that would make permanent a domestic propaganda ban that until now has been enacted annually in the military authorization bill.[11]
The Shared values initiative was a public relations campaign that was intended to sell a "new" America to Muslims around the world by showing that American Muslims were living happily and freely, without persecution, in post-9/11 America.[12] Funded by the United States Department of State, the campaign created a public relations front group known as Council of American Muslims for Understanding (CAMU). The campaign was divided in phases; the first of which consisted of five mini-documentaries for television, radio, and print with shared values messages for key Muslim countries.[13]
NDAA and Overturning of Smith-Mundt Act[edit]The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA) allows for materials produced by the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to be released within U.S. borders and strikes down a long-time ban on the dissemination of such material in the country.[14][15][16]
Ad Council[edit]The Ad Council, an American non-profit organization that distributes public service announcements on behalf of various private and federal government agency sponsors, has been labeled as "little more than a domestic propaganda arm of the federal government" given the Ad Council's historically close collaboration with the President of the United States and the federal government.[17]
International[edit]Through several international broadcasting operations, the US disseminates American cultural information, official positions on international affairs, and daily summaries of international news. These operations fall under the International Broadcasting Bureau, the successor of the United States Information Agency, established in 1953. IBB's operations include Voice of America, Radio Liberty, Alhurra and other programs. They broadcast mainly to countries where the United States finds that information about international events is limited, either due to poor infrastructure or government censorship. The Smith-Mundt Act prohibits the Voice of America from disseminating information to US citizens that was produced specifically for a foreign audience.
During the Cold War the US ran covert propaganda campaigns in countries that appeared likely to become Soviet satellites, such as Italy, Afghanistan, and Chile.
Recently The Pentagon announced the creation of a new unit aimed at spreading propaganda about supposedly "inaccurate" stories being spread about the Iraq War. These "inaccuracies" have been blamed on the enemy trying to decrease support for the war. Donald Rumsfeld has been quoted as saying these stories are something that keeps him up at night.[18]
Psychological operations[edit]The US military defines psychological operations, or PSYOP, as:
planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence the emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.[19]
The Smith-Mundt Act, adopted in 1948, explicitly forbids information and psychological operations aimed at the US public.[20][21][22] Nevertheless, the current easy access to news and information from around the globe, makes it difficult to guarantee PSYOP programs do not reach the US public. Or, in the words of Army Col. James A. Treadwell, who commanded the U.S. military psyops unit in Iraq in 2003, in the Washington Post:
There's always going to be a certain amount of bleed-over with the global information environment.[23]
Agence France Presse reported on U.S. propaganda campaigns that:
The Pentagon acknowledged in a newly declassified document that the US public is increasingly exposed to propaganda disseminated overseas in psychological operations.[24]
Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved the document referred to, which is titled "Information Operations Roadmap." [22][24] The document acknowledges the Smith-Mundt Act, but fails to offer any way of limiting the effect PSYOP programs have on domestic audiences.[20][21][25]
Several incidents in 2003 were documented by Sam Gardiner, a retired Air Force colonel, which he saw as information-warfare campaigns that were intended for "foreign populations and the American public." Truth from These Podia,[26] as the treatise was called, reported that the way the Iraq war was fought resembled a political campaign, stressing the message instead of the truth.[22]
See also[edit]References[edit]^ abThomas Howell, The Writers' War Board: U.S. Domestic Propaganda in World War II, Historian, Volume 59 Issue 4, Pages 795 - 813^ abSteven Casey, (2005), The Campaign to sell a harsh peace for Germany to the American public, 1944 - 1948, [online]. London: LSE Research Online. [Available online at http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/archive/00000736] Originally published in History, 90 (297). pp. 62-92 (2005) Blackwell Publishing^National Narcotics Leadership Act of 1988 of the Anti''Drug Abuse Act of 1988, Pub.L. 100''690, 102 Stat. 4181, enacted November 18, 1988^Gamboa, Anthony H. (January 4, 2005), B-303495, Office of National Drug Control Policy '-- Video News Release, Government Accountability Office, footnote 6, page 3 ^Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998 (Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999), Pub.L. 105''277, 112 Stat. 268, enacted October 21, 1998^Gamboa, Anthony H. (January 4, 2005), B-303495, Office of National Drug Control Policy '-- Video News Release, Government Accountability Office, pp. 9''10 ^Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998 of the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999, Pub.L. 105''277, 112 Stat. 268, enacted October 21, 1998^Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 2006, Pub.L. 109''469, 120 Stat. 3501, enacted December 29, 2006, codified at 21 U.S.C. § 1708^Barstow, David (2008-04-20). "Message Machine: Behind Analysts, the Pentagon's Hidden Hand". New York Times. ^Sessions, David (2008-04-20). "Onward T.V. Soldiers: The New York Times exposes a multi-armed Pentagon message machine". Slate. ^Barstow, David (2008-05-24). "2 Inquiries Set on Pentagon Publicity Effort". New York Times. ^Rampton, Sheldon (October 17, 2007). "Shared Values Revisited". Center for Media and Democracy. ^"U.S. Reaches Out to Muslim World with Shared Values Initiative". America.gov. January 16, 2003.
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F-Russia
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Why Oil Is Plunging: The Other Part Of The "Secret Deal" Between The US And Saudi Arabia | Zero Hedge
Sun, 12 Oct 2014 15:10
Two weeks ago, we revealedone part of the "Secret Deal" between the US and Saudi Arabia: namely what the US 'brought to the table' as part of its grand alliance strategy in the middle east, which proudly revealed Saudi Arabia to be "aligned" with the US against ISIS, when in reality John Kerry was merely doing Saudi Arabia's will when the WSJ reported that "the process gave the Saudis leverage to extract a fresh U.S. commitment to beef up training for rebels fighting Mr. Assad, whose demise the Saudis still see as a top priority."
What was not clear is what was the other part: what did the Saudis bring to the table, or said otherwise, how exactly it was that Saudi Arabia would compensate the US for bombing the Assad infrastructure until the hated Syrian leader was toppled, creating a power vacuum in his wake that would allow Syria, Qatar, Jordan and/or Turkey to divide the spoils of war as they saw fit.
A glimpse of the answer was provided earlier in the article "The Oil Weapon: A New Way To Wage War", because at the end of the day it is always about oil, and leverage.
The full answer comes courtesy of Anadolu Agency, which explains not only the big picture involving Saudi Arabia and its biggest asset, oil, but also the latest fracturing of OPEC at the behest of Saudi Arabia...
... which however is merely using "the oil weapon" to target the old slash new Cold War foe #1: Vladimir Putin.
To wit:
Saudi Arabia to pressure Russia, Iran with price of oil
Saudi Arabia will force the price of oil down, in an effort to put political pressure on Iran and Russia, according to the President of Saudi Arabia Oil Policies and Strategic Expectations Center.
Saudi Arabia plans to sell oil cheap for political reasons, one analyst says.
To pressure Iran to limit its nuclear program, and to change Russia's position on Syria, Riyadh will sell oil below the average spot price at $50 to $60 per barrel in the Asian markets and North America, says Rashid Abanmy, President of the Riyadh-based Saudi Arabia Oil Policies and Strategic Expectations Center. The marked decrease in the price of oil in the last three months, to $92 from $115 per barrel, was caused by Saudi Arabia, according to Abanmy.
With oil demand declining, the ostensible reason for the price drop is to attract new clients, Abanmy said, but the real reason is political. Saudi Arabia wants to get Iran to limit its nuclear energy expansion, and to make Russia change its position of support for the Assad Regime in Syria. Both countries depend heavily on petroleum exports for revenue, and a lower oil price means less money coming in, Abanmy pointed out. The Gulf states will be less affected by the price drop, he added.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which is the technical arbiter of the price of oil for Saudi Arabia and the 11 other countries that make up the group, won't be able to affect Saudi Arabia's decision, Abanmy maintained.
The organization's decisions are only recommendations and are not binding for the member oil producing countries, he explained.
Today's Brent closing price: $90. Russia's oil price budget for the period 2015-2017?$100. Which means much more "forced Brent liquidation" is in the cards in the coming weeks as America's suddenly once again very strategic ally, Saudi Arabia, does everything in its power to break Putin.
Average:Your rating: NoneAverage: 4.5(53 votes)
JustOneMinute: Tom Friedman Making Sense
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 07:49
We have a rare sighting of the sensible (but ahistorical!) Tom Friedman in today's NY Times. His theme - declining oil prices are partly due to a global economic slowdown but may be getting a push from a Saudi-US partnership intended to weaken Russia and Iran. One can only hope!
A Pump War?
Is it just my imagination or is there a global oil war underway pitting the United States and Saudi Arabia on one side against Russia and Iran on the other? One can't say for sure whether the American-Saudi oil alliance is deliberate or a coincidence of interests, but, if it is explicit, then clearly we're trying to do to President Vladimir Putin of Russia and Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, exactly what the Americans and Saudis did to the last leaders of the Soviet Union: pump them to death '-- bankrupt them by bringing down the price of oil to levels below what both Moscow and Tehran need to finance their budgets.
Think about this: four oil producers '-- Libya, Iraq, Nigeria and Syria '-- are in turmoil today, and Iran is hobbled by sanctions. Ten years ago, such news would have sent oil prices soaring. But today, the opposite is happening. Global crude oil prices have been falling for weeks, now resting around $88 '-- after a long stretch at $105 to $110 a barrel.
I question the inclusion of Syria, whose small production plunged back in 2011. Still, point taken.
Sadly, even the sensible Tom Friedman is uncomfortable joining those of us here in reality. He provides an interesting bit of history seemingly blended with imagination:
The Russians have noticed. How could they not? They've seen this play before. The Russian newspaper Pravda published an article on April 3 with the headline, ''Obama Wants Saudi Arabia to Destroy Russian Economy.'' It said: ''There is a precedent [for] such joint action that caused the collapse of the U.S.S.R. In 1985, the Kingdom dramatically increased oil production from 2 million to 10 million barrels per day, dropping the price from $32 to $10 per barrel. [The] U.S.S.R. began selling some batches at an even lower price, about $6 per barrel. Saudi Arabia [did not lose] anything, because when prices fell by 3.5 times [Saudi] production increased fivefold. The planned economy of the Soviet Union was not able to cope with falling export revenues, and this was one of the reasons for the collapse of the U.S.S.R.''
Indeed, the late Yegor Gaidar, who between 1991 and 1994 was Russia's acting prime minister, observed in a Nov. 13, 2006, speech that: ''The timeline of the collapse of the Soviet Union can be traced to Sept. 13, 1985. On this date, Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, the minister of oil of Saudi Arabia, declared that the monarchy had decided to alter its oil policy radically. The Saudis stopped protecting oil prices. ... During the next six months, oil production in Saudi Arabia increased fourfold, while oil prices collapsed. ... The Soviet Union lost approximately $20 billion per year, money without which the country simply could not survive.''
Obama getting all Reaganesque on Putin? Say it ain't so!
And actually, it may not be. PolitiFact looked at this Reagan/Saudi/Russia oil concept when it was mentioned by Reagan's son last March. They were unconvinced.
It seems unlikely that Friedman's numbers about oil prices and Saudi production are correct. Politifact includes a DoE chart of annual oil production by the Saudis and Russia from 1980 to 1988 (but with no annual markers, so guess away!). Saudi production seems to rise from about 4 million to about 5.5 million barrels per day; the time frame is murky, but there is no way to come up with 2 million or 10 million in a 1985-86 time period. Over a full year, anyway - I suppose it is possible that for a few months Saudi Arabia may have produced oil at a rate of 10 million barrels per year with the idea of prodding/terrifying their cartel brethren into agreeing on shared cuts in production. Remember, this was back when the rest of OPEC was cheating on their allotments by over-producing and the Saudis were graciously giving them slack by cutting their own production. From the Times, Jan 24 1986:
By more than doubling its daily oil production since last August, Saudi Arabia, the kingpin of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that is seeking to regain its control over the marketplace, has flooded an already glutted world petroleum market, sending prices into a tailspin.
...
The Saudi Arabian strategy, according to oil analysts, is straightforward. By setting off a scary price slide, Saudi Arabia seeks to force other producers, especially those outside OPEC, to change course and cooperate in limiting production levels to stabilize prices.
As to prices, there was a brief dip in West Texas Intermediate to, hmm, $11. But was this really a Reagan strategy? That is far from clear, as Politifact notes. Beyond that, contemporaneous press coverage indicates that the collapse in oil prices was viewed as a problem for the US. Here's why:
All this, however, is byplay and sheds no light on the serious policy question: Does $10-a-barrel oil serve America's interests? The gut answer - that no price can be too low as long as it reflects costs -is the right one. The complication is that very low prices today may lead to high prices tomorrow. And the real challenge for Washington is to devise policies that preserve the benefits of bargain-price oil, yet protect against future energy shortage.
The immediate reason oil prices have collapsed is Saudi Arabia's decision to pump more oil. But the underlying cause was greed on the part of OPEC cartel members. In the short run, neither the supply of oil nor demand is very responsive to price. That's why it was possible to raise the price to $40 a barrel in 1980, and make it stick. But once the world had time to adjust, and conserve, the supply of $40 oil vastly exceeded demand. Why shouldn't America now sit back and enjoy our turn of the worm? Because, oil producers and bankers say, look at the unemployment rate in Texas and the bank loan default rate in New York. But such problems hardly justify encouraging higher world prices and thus transferring billions to Arab potentates and oil company stockholders. There are ways to protect the innocent and the needy for a fraction of the cost of a general price increase.
A better reason for worrying about low prices is, as President Reagan observed, the threat of future shortages. Economists at Morgan Guaranty estimate that if future prices average $16 to $18 a barrel, the current gap between world production capacity and demand will close within a decade. By 1996, America could be as vulnerable to OPEC as it was in 1974 and 1979.
Reagan and Vice-President Bush expressed their concerns that the US oil industry would be crushed in the short term by market manipulation. As to a connection with sticking it to Russia, well, that was unmentioned.
HMMM: Maybe Friedman is half-right, or at least, not all wrong; this is from the Times, Sept 24 1985:
Under OPEC's production limits, Saudi Arabia is allowed to produce 4.35 million barrels of oil daily out of the total OPEC limit of 16 million. But Saudi Arabia has been keeping production lower to make up for overproduction by OPEC colleagues.
A drop in demand, the cheating by other OPEC members and stepped-up production of non-OPEC oil countries resulted in Saudi production's briefly plunging below 2 million barrels a day this year. Recently it has risen to about 3 million barrels a day.
And the story linked above mentioned $10/bbl oil, the DoE chart notwithstanding.
PolitiFact did all this research too. Their summary:
The pattern of production and prices do not fit neatly with {the young] Reagan's statement. We have no public documents to confirm that Reagan asked the Saudis to use oil as an economic weapon against the USSR.
On the other hand, we have an extensive public record that Saudi Arabia was fighting with its OPEC partners and had warned them for years that it would raise production to make them pay a price for cheating on their quotas. We also see that Saudi Arabia charted its own course in setting oil prices and the consensus view among oil experts is OPEC, not Reagan, shaped their production decisions.
Finally, we have Bush calling on the Saudis to help send prices back up. This is exactly counter to the Reagan strategy in the statement.
There might be an element of truth in the claim, but the public record strongly points the other way. We rate the statement Mostly False.
Interesting, because the Soviet connection was certainly discussed. Here is William Safire, from March 31 1986, speculating as to Saudi motives:
America's geopoliticians preen at the loss in hard currency to the Soviet Union, largest exporter of oil, and the hawks in Washington delight at the anger building in the Warsaw Pact as the Russians force their European clients to pay double the world price.
Of course, and Friedman notwithstanding, "result" and "intention" are not synonyms. As to Reagan engineering the Saudi-instigated oil plunge, I would lean more towards a lemons-lemonade explanation.
Venezuelan Calls for OPEC to Respond to Sliding Oil Prices
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 06:21
Santa Elena de Uairen, October 14th, 2014. (venezuelanalysis.com)- Venezuelan foreign minister Rafael Ramirez alerted press Friday that his cabinet has ''received instructions from the president to request an extraordinary OPEC meeting.'' Ramirez was the head of state-owned petroleum corporation PDVSA until a September cabinet shakeup.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is not due to meet until November 27, but Venezuela's urgency stems from the benchmark value of Brent crude, which has fallen steadily in recent months to reach US$86.17 today, the lowest its been in four years.
A founding member of OPEC, oil export accounts for 97 percent of Venezuela's income.
Attributed to a surge in U.S. and Russian output, the decline comes at a bad moment for Venezuela, as PDVSA is due to repay US$3 billion of bonds maturing on October 28.
Oil ministers from Kuwait and Algeria dismissed the possibility of limiting production to encourage market stabilization. Both countries denied having been invited or alerted to any urgent meeting, in response to Venezuela's plea.
Kuwait oil minister Ali Al-Omair said, ''If we had a way to preserve the stability of prices or something that would bring it back to previous levels, we would not hesitate in that,'' while insisting there was no room for countries to reduce production.
OPEC currently supplies 40 percent of the world's oil, and recently its most productive members of the Persian Gulf region, including Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran, have offered deep discounts to buyers in Asia to maintain market share amid global surplus.
Though Venezuela is not the only oil country strained by the slump, analysts believe it's unlikely that powerhouse Saudi Arabia will risk relinquishing control on Asian markets by curbing production.
Foreign minister Ramirez insisted Friday that it's in every member state's interest that OPEC ''coordinate some type of action to stop the fall in the price of oil.''
''Especially,'' he noted, ''when we are convinced it has nothing to do with market situations but a manipulation of the price to create problems for big producing countries.''
Arbitration & Arrears
Last week, a day after Exxon Mobil Corp. was awarded US$1.6 billion in compensation for seized assets in Venezuela by the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), U.S. oil giant ConocoPhillips said it would seek a second arbitration against the Caribbean nation.
The ICSID already ruled last year that ConocoPhillips is due reparations, but the panel has yet to specify what the value of those are. Exxon Mobil was only awarded a fraction of the US$14.7 billion it originally sought, and ConocoPhillips appears to be aiming even higher to cushion the fall. The company has demanded US$30 billion so far, while details of the second are still unclear.
This brings the number of pending claims against Venezuela up to 29, at least 16 of which resulted from a series of expropriations of transnational oil companies led by Hugo Chavez in 2011-2012.
As president of PDVSA, minister Ramirez mentioned the possibility of selling Venezuelan owned Citgo Petroleum Corp. presumably before the extensive network of refineries and installations on U.S. soil became tangled in the imminent ConocoPhillips ruling.
In September, while visiting New York's South Bronx, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro abruptly dismissed Citgo sale speculations by affirming the company's plans to ''strengthen investments'' and expand the subsidized heating oil program which warms the homes of some 150,000 U.S. family homes in winter.
Maduro's announcement, preceded by a meaningful ''let there be no doubt'...'' seemed to be in direct response to Wall St. analysts, many of whom had been touting the Citgo sale as a sign of impending default.
After the declaration, Financial Times blogger Andres Schipani wrote, ''If Maduro's aim is to keep investors guessing, he is doing a fine job.''
Francisco Rodriguez of Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, who repeatedly affirmed Venezuela's ability to make good on all pending debt in spite of a high-risk rating, was granted a rare visit to the vaults of Venezuela's central bank in September. Rodriguez estimated that of the country's US$21 billion in foreign reserves, US$15 billion are in gold.
However, the total dropped soon afterward, when the Caribbean nation paid back US$1.5 billion of debt that matured on October 8. The payment, while bringing reserves down to an 11 year low of US$19.8 billion, did little to end the decline in the country's bonds, and Venezuelan debt continues to be the most expensive to cover in the world.
Of the US$3 billion PDVSA is due to repay of bonds maturing later this month, it has already bought back 60 percent of the debt, according to a company statement on Friday.
Since September's cabinet shakeup, neither Maduro nor newly appointed economic vice president Rodolfo Marco Torres have given any clues as to the reforms that might sway investors and determine the country's economic fate.
Venezuelan economics commentator Hernan Luis Torres Nu±ez wrote yesterday in news forum Aporrea.org, ''It should be pointed out that not making decisions is a way of deciding'.... [it's] a way of signaling that although the situation is very difficult, making decisions can worsen [things].''
Nu±ez advocated ''putting the economy in the freezer'' until a time when ''the political atmosphere calmed down.''
Under Ramirez, there had been talk of raising gasoline prices and unifying currency controls; proposals which Wall St. investors favored. While Maduro recently discarded the latter possibility during a weekly radio program, petrol prices have so far only been increased at the international pumps available outside border towns, while no decisions have been taken nation-wide.
Whether or not the ''political atmosphere'' calms down, pro-government analysts have pointed out that a gasoline increase would mean a harsh spike in inflation, which has been on the rise all year along with smuggling and hoarding levels, and complications in the import sector.
Many Aporrea.org contributers suggest the government get a handle of those issues first before any true reforms are carried out.
Meanwhile, American Airlines and Copa this morning announced slight increases in service to and from Venezuela.
Published on Oct 14th 2014 at 9.00pm
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Russia and China to complete negotiations on new gas route by November '-- RT Business
Mon, 13 Oct 2014 12:36
Published time: October 13, 2014 10:15Edited time: October 13, 2014 11:41Reuters / Stringer
Russia and China have begun talks on building an additional natural gas pipeline to China via a western route, Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky said. The new pipeline will turn China into Russia's key gas customer ahead of Germany.
The negotiations started on Sunday, and will continue throughout October, with results expected by November, Yanovsky told reporters Monday.
The western route will connect fields in Western Siberia with Northwest China through the Altai Republic and deliver 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year. Gazprom and CNPC inked a framework agreement for the Altai project in October 2009 after beginning negotiations in 2004. It will be an addition to the eastern pipeline called the Power of Siberia that will deliver 38 bcm.
On Monday, Gazprom and CNPC signed the final document outlining the details of design and construction of the Power of Siberia. China will help finance the project and construction on the Chinese part will begin in the first half of 2015.
On September 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli broke ground on the Russian side. The two parties signed the $400 billion gas deal back in May in Shanghai.
READ MORE: Russia and China seal historic $400bn gas deal
When the western Altai route is completed, China will become Russia's biggest gas customer. Russia will be supplying China with 68 bcm of gas annually; well in excess of the 40 bcm it supplies Germany today.
READ MORE: China to become Russia's biggest gas consumer if western route developed
Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang is in Moscow on a three-day official visit ahead of the European and Asian summit in Milan, which kicks off Thursday.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev met with his counterpart and sign 40 intergovernmental deals, including some involving energy.
Russia develops hybrid fusion-fission reactor, invites China participation
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 15:52
Published time: October 15, 2014 09:41Edited time: October 15, 2014 13:07The view of the Kurchatov Institute National Research Center, Moscow.(RIA Novosti / Alexey Kudenko)
Russia is developing a hybrid nuclear reactor that uses both nuclear fusion and fission, said head of leading nuclear research facility. The project is open for international collaboration, particularly from Chinese scientists.
A hybrid nuclear reactor is a sort of stepping stone to building a true nuclear fusion reactor. It uses a fusion reaction as a source of neutrons to initiate a fission reaction in a 'blanket' of traditional nuclear fuel.
The approach has a number of potential benefits in terms of safety, non-proliferation and cost of generated energy, and Russia is developing such a hybrid reactor, according to Mikhail Kovalchuk, director of the Kurchatov Research Center.
''Today we have started the realization of a distinctively new project. We are trying to combine a schematically operational nuclear plant reactor with a 'tokamak' to create a hybrid reactor,'' he told RIA Novosti, referring to a type of fusion reactor design.
''This project is open for our colleagues, the Chinese in the first place. It's being discussed,'' he added.
Being a leading producer in civilian nuclear energy industry, Russia would benefit from improving its plant designs. A hybrid fusion-fission reactor may be several times more efficient than a traditional fission reactor. And building one is ''a goal for tomorrow'' rather than the distant future, as is the case for a fusion reactor like the famous France-based International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) that Russia collaborates on, Kovalchuk said.
Harnessing nuclear fusion for energy generation has been elusive for years. So far no industrial-scale design managed to produce more energy than it consumes to start the reaction, though the California-based National Ignition Facility (NIF) was reported to have achieved this goal on lab-scale by bombarding a fuel pellet with 192 powerful lasers.
READ: Nuclear fusion breakthrough: US scientists make crucial step to limitless power
But nuclear fusion produces neutrons, and those can initiate fission in traditional nuclear fuel like uranium or plutonium. In a hybrid reactor the core fusion zone consumes energy to heat up outer fissile blanket, which on its part generates energy.
A hybrid reactor plant would likely be even more costly that regular nuclear power plants are, considering the complexities of the design. But it is inherently safer, since the reaction in the fissile blanket would be sub-critical, that is, it won't sustain itself. In an emergency it could be simply stopped in a matter of seconds by turning off the fusion core, as opposed to using dampening rods in a traditional reactor.
Another benefit of a hybrid design is that it 'burns down' fissile materials leaving little by-products. So it won't produce radioactive waste and can even treat spent nuclear fuel from regular reactors.
Rather than taking NIF's pellet-and-lasers design for the fusion reactor, Russia wants to use a tokamak, a reactor that suspends superheated plasma with powerful magnetic fields, as the core of a hybrid reactor. ITER uses the design too.
A similar tokamak-based project of a hybrid fusion-fission nuclear reactor is being developed at the University of Texas at Austin, although researchers there eye nuclear waste disposal rather than electricity generation as the goal.
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ITALIAN TALKS-Putin, Poroshenko to discuss gas deal, peace moves in Italy | Reuters
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 04:54
By Alexei Anishchuk and Pavel Polityuk
MOSCOW/KIEVWed Oct 15, 2014 8:04pm BST
Ukraine's President-elect Petro Proshenko (L) walks past Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) during the commemoration ceremony for the 70th anniversary of D-Day at Sword beach in Ouistreham June 6, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool
MOSCOW/KIEV (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko will look for ways to settle a dispute over natural gas supplies and end months of conflict in east Ukraine at talks in Italy this week.
The meeting in Milan on Friday, is an encouraging sign for Moscow, Kiev and Brussels, which fears Russia's decision to cut supplies to Ukraine because of unpaid bills could threaten disruptions in the gas flow to the rest of Europe this winter.
European leaders hope the presidents' third meeting since Poroshenko was elected in May can help the sides build on a much-violated ceasefire agreed by government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine on Sept. 5.
"I think there are some positive signs. It seems like we are entering a more promising and positive chapter of the whole puzzle about the crisis in and around Ukraine," said Vygaudas Usackas, the European Union's ambassador to Russia.
But he told Reuters the 28-nation bloc wanted "sustainable efforts, and concrete outcomes and tangible results."
Although Putin announced this week that Russian troops near the border with Ukraine would be pulled back, Western officials want to see clear evidence that Moscow is withdrawing troops and military equipment from east Ukraine.
Moscow denies arming the rebels or sending troops, despite what the West says is overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
The Kremlin said Putin and Poroshenko had discussed peace moves in a phone call on Tuesday.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi will host the meeting between Putin and Poroshenko during a summit of European and Asian leaders, Renzi's office said.
The meeting will also be attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron as well as Herman Van Rompuy, the chairman of European Union leaders, and EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
A Putin aide, Yuri Ushakov, did not rule out the possibility of a separate one-on-one meeting afterwards and said Putin would also meet Merkel separately.
Poroshenko said "the whole world has high expectations" of his talks with Putin.
GAS DISPUTE
More than 3,600 people have been killed in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, and the EU and the United states have imposed sanctions on Russia over its annexation of the Crimea peninsula and the conflict in the eastern regions.
The conflict has complicated efforts to resolve the long-running dispute over gas supplies.
Ukraine faces possible energy shortages this winter if no deal is reached, which in turn risks causing disruptions to Europe's gas supplies as happened in 2006 and 2009. Europe receives a third of its gas needs from Russia, around half of which is pumped via Ukraine.
Russian natural gas producer Gazprom cut supplies to Ukraine in June after Kiev failed to pay gas debts which Russia says have now reached more than $5 billion.
"I think that the meeting in Milan will bring a breakthrough in the gas sphere," said Mikhail Pogrebinsky, a Kiev-based political analyst. "Russia will eventually sell gas to Ukraine, after Ukraine pays a symbolic part of its debt, this will allow Ukraine not to freeze in winter."
Officials from Russia and the European Commission, which is mediating the talks, say a deal could be near. Poroshenko said on Saturday he hoped for "significant progress" on the issue during the talks in Milan.
Usackas, a former Lithuanian foreign minister, said there were still differences to be ironed out but the presidents' talks and a meeting on Oct. 21 of the countries' gas company chiefs raised hopes of a deal. One key difference is over price.
Moscow's relations with the West are at their lowest ebb since the Cold War ended more than two decades ago. Deep divisions remained between Washington and Moscow after talks between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Paris on Tuesday.
(Additional reporting by Timothy Heritage in Moscow and Richard Balmforth in Kiev; Writing by Alexei Anishchuk and Timothy Heritage; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)
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Minsk Protocol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 04:48
Representatives of Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), and the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) signed the Minsk Protocol, an agreement to halt the war in the Donbass region of Ukraine, on 5 September 2014.[1][2][3] It was signed after extensive talks in Minsk, Belarus, under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The agreement, which followed multiple previous attempts to stop fighting in the Donbass, implemented an immediate ceasefire.
Minsk process and drafting[edit]The agreement was drawn-up by the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine, which consisted of representatives from Ukraine, Russia, and the OSCE.[4] The group was established in June as a way to facilitate dialogue and resolution to the strife across eastern and southern Ukraine. Meetings of the group, along with informal representatives of the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, took place on 31 July 1 September, and 5 September. The details of the agreement, signed on 5 September, largely resembled Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko's 20 June "fifteen-point peace plan". The following representatives signed the document:[5]
Protocol[edit]The protocol of the Minsk Agreement consists of twelve points:[5]
Ensure an immediate bilateral ceasefire.Ensure the monitoring and verification by the OSCE of the ceasefire.A decentralisation of power, including through the adoption of the law of Ukraine "about local government provisional arrangements in some areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts" (law on the special status).Ensure the permanent monitoring of the Ukrainian-Russian border and verification by the OSCE with the creation of security zones in the border regions of Ukraine and the Russian Federation.To immediately release all hostages and illegally detained persons.A law on preventing the prosecution and punishment of persons in connection with the events that have taken place in some areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.Continue the inclusive national dialogue.To take measures to improve the humanitarian situation in Donbass.Ensure early local elections in accordance with the law of Ukraine "about local government provisional arrangements in some areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts" (law on the special status).Withdraw the illegal armed groups, military equipment, as well as fighters and mercenaries from Ukraine.To adopt the program of economic recovery and reconstruction of Donbass region.To provide personal security for the participants in the consultations.Follow-up memorandum[edit]In the two weeks after the Minsk Protocol was signed, there were frequent violations of the ceasefire by both parties to the conflict.[6][7] Talks continued in Minsk, and a follow-up to the Minsk Protocol was agreed to on 19 September 2014. This memorandum clarified the implementation of the Protocol. Amongst some of the peacemaking measures agreed to were:[6][8][9]
To pull heavy weaponry 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) back on each side of the line of contact, creating a 30-kilometre (19 mi) buffer zoneTo ban offensive operationsTo ban flights by combat aircraft over the security zoneTo withdraw all foreign mercenaries from the conflict zoneTo set up an OSCE mission to monitor implementation of Minsk ProtocolReferences[edit]
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Ebola
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State of New Jersey Issues Mandatory Quarantine Order for Dr. Nancy Snyderman and Crew | Planet Princeton
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 03:11
Snyderman
The New Jersey Health Department has issued a mandatory quarantine order for Dr. Nancy Snyderman and the other members of an NBC crew who were exposed to a cameraman with Ebola. The mandatory order was issued after a voluntary 21-day isolation agreement was violated.
A spokeswoman for the state health department told the The Associated Press that Snyderman and her crew remain symptom-free and that there is no reason for concern of exposure to the deadly virus to the community. Citing privacy concerns, the spokeswoman would not give further details, including who violated the agreement and how the state learned of a violation.
Snyderman and her crew were reporting in Liberia about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa with Ashoka Mukpo, a freelance cameraman who was infected with the disease. He is now being treated in Omaha, Nebraska. The director of the Nebraska Medical Center's isolation unit said Friday that Mukpo's condition was slightly improved, the Associated Press reported.
After Mukpo came down with the disease on Oct. 1, the head of NBC announced in a letter that Snyderman and the rest of her crew would voluntarily be isolated for 21 days.
In a phone interview from Liberia last week for the Today Show, Snyderman said all the gear she and her crew used was being disinfected because they all shared work space and vehicles. She said she believed she and her team were at a low risk because they have been hyper-vigilant.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people exposed to the virus develop symptoms two to 21 days after their exposure. The risk of exposure for other members of the NBC crew was considered to be very low.
The isolation deal was made with the CDC, state and local health officials.
''Unfortunately, the NBC crew violated this agreement and so the Department of Health today issued a mandatory quarantine order to ensure that the crew will remain confined until Oct. 22,'' the spokeswoman for the New Jersey Health Department told the Associated Press.
NBC told the Associated Press today that the network could not comment on any individual case, but said the team was deemed to be low-risk upon its return from Liberia and its members agreed to follow guidelines set by local health authorities.
''We fully support those guidelines and continue to expect that they be followed,'' the representative said. ''Our team are all well with normal temperatures, which they check multiple times a day, and they are also in daily contact with local health officials.''
The violation was first reported on Planet Princeton after several readers saw Snyderman in public. The Planet Princeton story was picked up Friday by websites that cover the media industry, including JimRomenesko,com and Mediabistro.
Several Planet Princeton readers reported seeing Snyderman in public this week. One reader allegedly saw Snyderman sitting in her car outside of the Peasant Grill in Hopewell Boro Thursday afternoon. A reader reported that a man who was with her got out of the car and went inside the restaurant to pick up a take-out order. Another man was in the back seat of her black Mercedes. Snyderman had sunglasses on and had her hair pulled back, the reader said.
Editor's Note: Planet Princeton took the information given by readers such as the detailed descriptions of the car, and the other information and used other sourcing to verify that Snyderman had been out. Some officials talked to us for background but did not want to be on record.
ShareAbout Krystal KnappKrystal Knapp is the publisher and founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached at Krystal@planetprinceton.com.SubscribePlanet Princeton Breaking NewsArchives
CONTROLLED MOVEMENT-Interim Guidance for Monitoring and Movement of Persons with Ebola Virus Disease Exposure | Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever | CDC
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 02:15
Updated: August 22, 2014
The world is facing the biggest and most complex Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in history. On August 8, 2014, the EVD outbreak in West Africa was declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) because it was determined to be an 'extraordinary event' with public health risks to other States. The possible consequences of further international spread are particularly serious considering the following factors:
the virulence of the virus,the intensive community and health facility transmission patterns, andthe strained health systems in the currently affected and most at-risk countries.Coordinated public health actions are essential to stop and reverse the spread of Ebola virus. Due to the complex nature and seriousness of the outbreak, CDC has created guidance for monitoring people exposed to Ebola virus and for evaluating their travel, including the application of movement restrictions when indicated.
Definitions used in this documentFor case and exposure level definitions, see: Case Definition for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).Close contactClose contact is defined as
being within approximately 3 feet (1 meter) of an EVD patient or within the patient's room or care area for a prolonged period of time (e.g., health care personnel, household members) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment (i.e., standard, droplet, and contact precautions; see Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations); orhaving direct brief contact (e.g., shaking hands) with an EVD patient while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment.Brief interactions, such as walking by a person or moving through a hospital, do not constitute close contact.
Conditional releaseConditional release means that people are monitored by a public health authority for 21 days after the last known potential Ebola virus exposure to ensure that immediate actions are taken if they develop symptoms consistent with EVD during this period. People conditionally released should self-monitor for fever twice daily and notify the public health authority if they develop fever or other symptoms.
Controlled movementControlled movement requires people to notify the public health authority about their intended travel for 21 days after their last known potential Ebola virus exposure. These individuals should not travel by commercial conveyances (e.g. airplane, ship, long-distance bus, or train). Local use of public transportation (e.g. taxi, bus) by asymptomatic individuals should be discussed with the public health authority. If travel is approved, the exposed person must have timely access to appropriate medical care if symptoms develop during travel. Approved long-distance travel should be by chartered flight or private vehicle; if local public transportation is used, the individual must be able to exit quickly.
QuarantineQuarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of persons exposed to a communicable disease who don't have symptoms of the disease for the purpose of monitoring.
Self-monitoringSelf-monitoring means that people check their own temperature twice daily and monitor themselves for other symptoms.
Early Recognition and Reporting of Suspected Ebola Virus ExposuresEarly recognition is critical to controlling the spread of Ebola virus. Health care providers should be alert for and evaluate any patients with symptoms consistent with EVD and potential exposure history. Standard, contact, and droplet precautions should be immediately implemented if EVD is suspected. Guidance for clinicians evaluating patients from EVD outbreak-affected countries is available at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/clinician-information-us-healthcare-settings.html.
Health care professionals in the United States should immediately report to their state or local health department any person being evaluated for EVD if the medical evaluation suggests that diagnostic testing may be indicated. If there is a high index of suspicion, US health departments should immediately report any probable cases or persons under investigation (PUI) to CDC's Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100.
Important Evaluation FactorsBoth clinical presentation and level of exposure should be taken into account when determining appropriate public health actions, including the need for medical evaluation or monitoring and the application of movement restrictions when indicated.
Recommendations for Evaluating Exposure Risk to Determine Appropriate Public Health ActionsThis guidance provides public health authorities and other partners a framework for determining the appropriate public health actions based on risk factors and clinical presentation. It also includes criteria for monitoring exposed people and for when movement restrictions may be needed.At this time, CDC is NOT recommending that asymptomatic contacts of EVD patients be quarantined, either in facilities or at home.
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Nonprofit Report for THE AGENDA PROJECT INC
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 02:29
Basic Organization InformationTHE AGENDA PROJECT INCPhysical Address:New York, NY 10001 EIN:27-4552853Web URL:www.agendaproject.org NTEE Category:B Educational InstitutionsB01 (Alliance/Advocacy Organizations)Ruling Year:2011 Sign in or create an account to see this organization's full address, contact information, and more!
Mission StatementAGENDA PROJECT INC
Legitimacy InformationThis organization is registered with the IRS.
This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.
Institutional funders should note that an organization's inclusion on GuideStar.org does not satisfy IRS Rev. Proc. 2011-33 for identifying supporting organizations.
Learn more about GuideStar Charity Check, the only pre-grant due diligence tool that is 100% compliant with IRS Rev. Proc 2011-33.
Annual Revenue & Expenses (IRS Form 990, January 2012)Fiscal Year Starting: January 01, 2012Fiscal Year Ending: December 31, 2012
Total Revenue$907,113
Total Expenses$1,072,722
Revenue & ExpensesRevenue and expense information has not been provided by the nonprofit. Click here if you are associated with this organization and want to provide this information.
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Forms 990 Provided by the NonprofitFinancial StatementsAudited Financial Statement is not available for this organization.
Formation Documents A Letter of Determination is a letter from the IRS to a nonprofit organization stating that the organization has successfully applied for tax-exempt status. In this document the IRS indicates under which section of the Internal Revenue Code an organization is qualified.
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LeadershipThis information has not been provided by the nonprofit. Click here if you are associated with this organization and want to provide this information.
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Erica Payne - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 02:30
Erica C. PayneBorn(1969-10-08) October 8, 1969 (age 45)Raleigh, North CarolinaOccupationPublic Policy Expert, Commentator, Author,and StrategistEducationMasters of Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (2000),
Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill(1991)GenreNon-fiction, NewsSubjectPolitics, Progressive Movement,Notable worksTop Wonks: The Economy, The Practical ProgressiveWebsite[The Agenda Project]Erica C. Payne is an American public policy expert[citation needed], commentator, author and strategist.
She is the founder of the Agenda Project, a New York'based hub of public policy discussion and strategy debate for progressive activists from business, media, philanthropy, government, and non'profit. The Agenda Project's monthly newsletter Practical Progress is read by 10,000 political and philanthropic leaders and is a trusted source of insight on policy and politics.[1]
Before joining the Agenda Project full'time in 2010, Payne led the Tesseract Group, a boutique consulting firm that provided strategy and communications advice to select public policy and political organizations. In that role, Payne served as a senior strategist for the Roosevelt Institute to envision and build a new public policy think tank for economic and finance sector policy. At the Roosevelt Institute, Payne co'edited "Make Markets Be Markets: Restoring the Integrity of the US Financial Markets" and produced a major conference by the same name that included George Soros, Elizabeth Warren, Simon Johnson, Lynn Turner and other progressive advocates. Other Tesseract clients included: the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the Howard Gilman Foundation, and the Center for Independent Media among others.[1]
Prior to founding the Agenda Project and the Tesseract Group, Payne co'founded the Democracy Alliance, a donor collaborative whose partners have invested over $100 million in progressive organizations.
Her early career included serving as Deputy National Finance Director for the Democratic National Committee during the 1996 presidential re'election campaign and as a consultant to a number of campaigns and political organizations. In addition to her public sector work, Payne has held senior marketing positions in the private sector.
She is on the Board of Advisors of the Public Diplomacy Collaborative at the Kennedy School at Harvard University. She is also on the Board of Advisors of Health Care for American Now. Payne has a MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (2000) and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1991).[2]
The Agenda Project[edit]The Agenda Project's stated goal is to "return normal Americans to the center of the policy debate by cultivating an understanding of public policy, facilitating common action, and connecting the best ideas and the strongest leaders with engaged citizens, elected officials, the media, political insiders, and experts through a variety of in-person and on-line platforms."[3]The Agenda Project is responsible for progressive campaigns such as F*ck Tea, Hate Begets Hate, Vote Sanity, and Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength, a petition to President Barack Obama from millionaires, who demand that the President let the Bush [tax cuts expire for those who make $1 million or more,[4] where Payne commented that "Only 375,000 Americans have income over $1 million" and "You're asking a small number of people to recognize that our country is in part responsible for their prosperity."[5] Most recently, their criticism of President Obama for speaking to the Chamber of Commerce, called You Deserve To Know, was highlighted by a variety of news sources, including Fox News and CBS, and featured Payne's commentary accusing the President for lying to the American people,[6] and failing to cater to his base.[7]
The Practical Progressive[edit]Payne is the author of The Practical Progressive: How to Build a 21st Century Political Movement, which Jonathan Alter of Newsweek called ''a blueprint for a progressive conspiracy to help save the country.''[2] In 2008, Payne was interviewed by Julian Brookes, the online editorial director of the Progressive Book Club, to discuss her motivations for the book and for the progressive cause, as a whole. Payne stated that her intention was to map out the progressive infrastructure by asking the question: "If you were a chief progressive strategist, what five or six groups would you say are absolutely essential?"[8] Payne continues her work of the Practical Progressive through the Agenda Project.
Media appearances[edit]Erica Payne has appeared on Fox Business Network,[9]The Ed Schultz Show,[10]MSNBC, and CNBC.[11] In addition, she has also appeared on The O'Reilly Factor,[12]GritTV, and CNN's Parker Spitzer.
Since Payne is the President of the Agenda Project, she is often interviewed by major news networks explaining the organization's recent campaigns. In reaction to the controversial "F*ck Tea" Campaign, Payne was seen on CBS defending the aggressive nature of the campaign. She has been featured in the New York Times and the Washington Post for her attack on President Obama's decision to speak to the Chamber of Commerce. When asked about it directly by USA Today, Payne replied:
''The Chamber claims to speak for American business, but half of the Chamber's budget is paid for by 45 big corporations. The President is well aware that the Chamber is in actuality just a high priced lobbyist for a small number of corporations. I hardly think the President will restore our faith in government by fawning over the banks at the center of the financial crisis, oil companies like BP who destroyed the Gulf and insurance companies who secretly funneled $10 million through the Chamber to fight insurance reform,[13]''In Payne's editorials on the Huffington Post she has written about hate crimes committed against Muslims,[14] as well as repeatedly pointing out and denouncing the ties between financial firms and Congressional staff, which she believes to be the most obvious sign of corruption in the[who?] political system.[15] In addition, Payne has attacked the Tea Party by arguing they are a growing threat to American tolerance.[16]
On the 23rd of August, 2012, Erica Payne debated Peter Schiff on Fox Business.[17]
Personal life[edit]Payne grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1991) and a MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (2000). After spending time in Boston, Colorado, Los Angeles, and Washington, Payne moved to New York City in 2001, where she now resides.[18]
References[edit]^ abPayne, Erica. "Erica Payne". Huffington Post. ^ abhttp://agendaproject.org/about.html^https://agendaproject.org/what_we_do.html^http://www.thenation.com/blog/156569/patriotic-millionaires-explain-tax-cuts-rich-dont-grow-economy^http://abcnews.go.com/Business/patriotic-millionaires-petition-obama-bush-era-tax-cuts/story?id=12195201^http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/02/hitting-obama-for-appearing-at-the-chamber/70897/^"Obama's speech to U.S. Chamber of Commerce disappoints progressive groups". The Washington Post. ^Brookes, Julian (November 23, 2008). "An Interview with Erica Payne, Author of The Practical Progressive
National Nurses United
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 02:54
Nurses Call on Obama to Direct Hospitals to Follow Highest Standards for Beating EbolaAs News Breaks that Second Health Worker in Dallas Tests Positive for Ebola, 11,500 RNs Join National Conference Call for Nurses on Preparedness. With concern escalating across the U.S. about the threat of a wider Ebola outbreak, National Nurses United today called on President Barack Obama to ''invoke his executive authority'' to order all U.S. hospitals to meet the highest ''uniform, national standards and protocols'' in order to ''safely protect patients, all healthcare workers and the public.'' '--National Nurses United, 10/15/14 More >>
Press Releases
National Nurses United: Nurse's Toolkit | National Nurses United
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 02:56
Nurses across the country are telling President Obama: Our nation's hospitals are not ready for Ebola. National Nurses United '' the largest union and professional organization of registered nurses in the U.S. with 185,000 members '-- calls for all hospitals to have in place the highest standard of optimal protections to protect all hospital personnel who confront Ebola.
' Frontline hospital workers must have the highest level of protective equipment, such as Hazmat suits used by the Nebraska Medical Center personnel who treat patients with Ebola.
' Frontline hospitals workers must have ongoing, interactive education and hands-on training with the ability to ask questions. Additionally, they should have training that includes drills with other hospital personnel, including practicing donning and doffing of appropriate HazMat suits and other personal protective equipment (PPE).
ACA COVERUP-Health Premiums And Costs Set To Rise For Workers Covered At Work : Shots - Health News : NPR
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 06:18
Fall is enrollment season for many people who get insurance through their workplace. Premium increases for 2015 plans are expected to be modest on average, but the shift toward higher out-of-pocket costs overall for consumers will continue as employers try to keep a lid on their costs and incorporate health law changes.
Recent surveys of employers suggest that premiums will rise a modest 4 percent in 2015, on average, slightly higher than last year but lower than typical recent increases.
"That's really low," says Tracy Watts, a senior partner at benefits consultant Mercer.
Even so, more employers say they're making changes to their health plans in 2015 to rein in cost growth; 68 percent said they plan to do so in 2015, compared with 55 percent just two years earlier, according to preliminary data from Mercer's annual employer benefits survey.
They are motivated in part by upcoming changes mandated by the health law. Starting in January, companies that employ 100 workers or more generally have to offer those who work at least 30 hours a week health insurance or face penalties.
"The more people you cover, the more it's going to cost," says Watts.
In addition, consultants who monitor benefits say, employers are moving to avoid a 40 percent excise tax on expensive health plans '-- those with premiums that exceed $10,200 for individuals or $27,500 for families '-- that will take effect in 2018.
More employees can expect to be offered high-deductible health plans linked to health savings accounts or health reimbursement arrangements in 2015. Nearly three-quarters of companies with more than 1,000 workers offer such plans, according to the 2014 Towers Watson/National Business Group on Health employer health care survey. Nine percent said they planned to add them in 2015.
For a growing number of employees, those plans may be the only ones available through work. For 2015, 30 percent of large employers said they expected to offer only an account-based plan to workers, nearly double the percentage that did so in 2014, the Towers Watson/NBGH survey found.
When employers shift toward plans with higher deductibles, they often try to sweeten the deal for employees by offering to put money into the financial accounts to help defray the workers' increased cost, says Brian Marcotte, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health. The extra cash '-- an average $600 per employee '-- is often tied to wellness activities such as agreeing to get health screenings, says Marcotte. As employees evaluate their health plan offerings this fall, it's worth checking to see if such incentives are offered.
Also this year, workers may find it increasingly expensive to cover their spouses, especially if they have coverage available through their own jobs.
Employers have been increasing workers' costs to cover dependents, including spouses, in recent years. Nearly half of employers say they've hiked employee contributions for dependent coverage, and another 19 percent plan to do so in 2015, according to the Towers Watson/NBGH survey. Upcoming increases are particularly aimed at spouses, including $50 to $100 monthly surcharges for spousal coverage, says Sandy Ageloff, a senior consultant at benefits consultant Towers Watson.
"Legally under the Affordable Care Act, plans can't exclude coverage for kids," says Ageloff. "But they're really trying to shift the onus back onto spouses."
Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of theKaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, Calif.
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The Health Scare That's Always There
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 06:17
Team Obama is trying to hide the new ObamaCare premiums until after the election but the cat is wriggling out of the bag.
Even NPR is getting into the act with this timely reminder:
Health Premiums And Costs Set To Rise For Workers Covered At Work
Fall is enrollment season for many people who get insurance through their workplace. Premium increases for 2015 plans are expected to be modest on average, but the shift toward higher out-of-pocket costs overall for consumers will continue as employers try to keep a lid on their costs and incorporate health law changes.
Recent surveys of employers suggest that premiums will rise a modest 4 percent in 2015, on average, slightly higher than last year but lower than typical recent increases.
Bus as Chris Conover notes at Forbes, a 4% increase in health premiums in an era of minimal wage growth is painful:
There's been a fierce debate over whether Obamacare has increased health insurance premiums. Progressives have argued Obamacare is working due to modest projected premium increases on the Exchanges for 2015. Conservatives have retorted that ''there can be no doubt that health care today is more costly than it would have been without Obamacare.'' But this argument has focused on the health Exchanges, where only 7-8 million people bought their coverage in 2014. Readers would do well to remember that more than 20 times that number of people rely on employer-provided health benefits (Table C-1). In the employer-based market, the adverse effects of Obamacare on premiums and affordability are strikingly obvious.
...
Most discussions of premium trends have failed to address the reality that the purported slowdown in health spending in recent years has occurred at a time that worker earnings also have slowed down relative to earlier periods. For example, the increase in average wages & salaries between calendar year 2012 and calendar year 2013 was only 0.7%. With the exception of the increase from 2008 to 2009 (remember that the recession officially began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009), this was the lowest rate of increase in all the years since 1999''a period which saw increases of 3.0% or more in 6 different years. In contrast, family health insurance premiums rose 3.8% between 2012 and 2013''a modest increase in absolute terms, but vastly faster than the rise of average wages and salaries.
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BREAKING: Formaldeyde in Water Allegedly Causing Ebola-like Symptoms | The Liberian Observer
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 20:09
A man in Schieffelin, a community located in Margibi County on the Robertsfield Highway, has been arrested for attempting to put formaldehyde into a well used by the community.
Reports say around 10 a.m., he approached the well with powder in a bottle. Mobbed by the community, he confessed that he had been paid to put formaldeyde into the well, and that he was not the only one. He reportedly told community dwellers, ''We are many.'' There are are agents in Harbel, Dolostown, Cotton Tree and other communities around the ountry, he said.
State radio, ELBC, reports that least 10 people in the Dolostown community have died after drinking water from poisoned wells.
The man also alleged that some water companies, particularly those bagging mineral water to sell, are also involved. The poison, he said, produces Ebola-like symptoms and subsequently kills people.
The Observer had previously been informed that people dressed as nurses were going into communities with 'Ebola Vaccines'. Once injected, it reportedly produces Ebola-like symptoms and sends victims into a coma. Shortly thereafter, victims expire. Communities are now reportedly chasing vaccine peddlers out of their communities. After 10 children reportedly died from the 'vaccine' in Bensonville, the peddlers were reportedly chased out of the community upon their next visit.
It is possible that the 'vaccine' is/was composed of the same formaldehyde-water mixture. This publication has received reports from families whose loved ones' organs were missing upon return of the bodies to the families. Families suspect an organ trafficking operation is capitalizing on the outbreak of the Ebola virus in Liberia.
The district's representative condemned the act as barbaric, but called upon Liberians not to doubt the existence of the Ebola virus in the country.
An investigation is ongoing.
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WTVM: Zuckerbergs donate $25 million to CDC to fight Ebola
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 14:26
WTVMZuckerbergs donate $25 million to CDC to fight Ebola
Vanzetta Evans
Posted: 10/14/2014 11:38 AM
ATLANTA (CBS46) - The CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are making a major donation to the CDC Foundation.
The Zuckerbergs announced Tuesday they are donating $25 million to help fight the Ebola epidemic.
The money will be used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's efforts to end Ebola in three African nations affected by the potentially deadly virus, and anywhere else in the world Ebola may pose a threat.
Just last month, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen donated $9 million to the foundation.
Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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Mystery man WITHOUT hazmat suit is seen helping 2nd Ebola nurse board plane to Atlanta | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 14:31
Man casually dressed in shirt and pants seen on TV walking with Ebola patient Amber VinsonHe carried a clipboard and walked alongside Ms Vinson and healthcare workers who were ALL dressed in hazmat suitsHe has been identified as a supervisor for Phoenix Air, the company that flew Miss Vinson to Atlanta Miss Vinson walked onto the plane in Dallas and the man without protection also boarded the plane, flying with her to Atlanta, GeorgiaSocial media has dubbed him the 'clipboard man' - expressing shock that he came so close to an infected patient and unprotected By Ashley Collman for MailOnline
Published: 19:46 EST, 15 October 2014 | Updated: 09:11 EST, 16 October 2014
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As news helicopters swarmed over Dallas' Love Field on Wednesday evening to watch the second U.S. nurse to contract Ebola board a private plane bound for Atlanta, one lone mysterious man stood out from the pack.
Holding a clipboard and directing the transfer, the unidentified man seemed to be the only person on the tarmac without protective clothing, wearing just a button down shirt and slacks.
While Ebola is not an airborne disease, his presence so close to patient Amber Vinson's medical team sparked fears after he was seen grabbing a container and hazmat trash bag from one of the workers' in full-protective gear and later boarding the flight.
He then flew with Vinson and the other hazmat-suited medical staff to Atlanta and local television crews spotted him with the stricken nurse as she disembarked at the airport in Georgia to be transferred to Emory University Hospital.
ABC News reports that the man is a supervisor for Phoenix Air, the company that flew Miss Vinson from Dallas to Atlanta.
When the plane landed in Atlanta, the man had still not donned any protective clothing and was seen openly interacting with Vinson and the other medical professionals caring for the nurse.
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Is he with the CDC? Both the ambulance company and Emory University Hospital said the unprotected man with the clipboard (center) is not one of their employees - meaning he is likely a CDC employee
A man in plain clothes was seen on the tarmac Wednesday afternoon, as the second Ebola patient (in yellow hazmat suit) boarded a flight to Atlanta, Georgia
The man is seen boarding the flight, after exchanging several objects with the hazmat crew
Clipboard man appears to have flown on the same flight as infected Miss Vinson, as he is seen in footage of her getting into an ambulance at an airport in Atlanta
Members of the public watching were struck with disbelief at the man's decision to throw caution to the wind.
'He needs to be put on watch the second the plane lands so he does not infect anyone in Atlanta. This needs to be contained and I for one will be ticked of I hear a report next week that he is the next victim!' Dean Pitts wrote on NBC Dallas' website.
Phoenix Air, which operates the special air ambulances that have also flown all five American Ebola patients from West African to the US, claimed the unprotected man actually made the process safer.
'Our medical professionals in the biohazard suits have limited vision and mobility and it is the protocol supervisor's job to watch each person carefully and give them verbal directions to insure no close contact protocols are violated,' a Phoenix Air spokesman told ABC.
'There is absolutely no problem with this and in fact insures an even higher level of safety for all involved.'
Vinson landed in Atlanta, Georgia before 8pm Eastern Time to be treated at Emory University Hospital
A CDC spokesman told KTVT that they didn't think anything was wrong with the interaction since he 'kept a safe distance'.
Miss Vinson's flight landed in Atlanta around 7:45pm Eastern Time.
Social media was as equally impressed as they were dumbfounded by the man who has quickly become known as 'clipboard man' online.
Dan Hevia said what many shocked viewers must have immediately thought when they saw the brave or foolhardy individual when he wrote, 'I'd like to know who the dude with the clipboard is so I can avoid him. C'mon!
Another incredulous witness was staggered, asking, 'My infectious disease training may be a bit limited but fairly sure that clipboard isn't Ebola proof.'
Others went straight to the heart of the matter, with Lib Media Exposed asking, 'Who's the idiot who thinks all the protection he needs from Ebola is a f******' clipboard?'
Another Twitter user, Luke Murray pointed out that 'clipboard man' might be the recipient of a dubious prize, should the worst come to the worst.
'So much for protocols,' wrote Lurray. 'Clipboard dude in the pic with nurse 2 is up for a Dawrin Award should something happen to him.'
The mystery man on the tarmac is just the latest questionable practice highlighted in the CDC's handling of the Ebola outbreak in America, which started when Liberian patient Thomas Eric Duncan was initially turned away from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital last month after reporting a high fever.
The man with the clipboard is seen grabbing various objects from the hazmat team, raising questions about whether he could have been contaminated
Mystery man walks with ebola victim WITHOUT hazmat suit
A plane carrying Miss Vinson, who tested positive for Ebola, departs Love Field for Atlanta
Despite telling health care workers that he had recently returned from Liberia, he was not tested for Ebola, and was instead sent home with antibiotics. He returned home to his family's apartment and continued to get worse over the next several days. It was only when he was taken to the hospital a second time, that time by ambulance, that medics discovered he had Ebola.
And in the initial days of Duncan's treatment, nurses at the Dallas hospital revealed that they were given 'no protocols' on how to dress when caring for the Ebola patient.
That confusion led nurse Nina Pham, 26, to report to the hospital on Friday when she noticed a spike in her temperature. Just four days later, her co-worker Miss Vinson, became the second nurse at the hospital to contract the disease. The CDC is currently monitoring more than 75 health care workers at the hospital who came into contact with Duncan during his stay. He passed way from the disease last week.
The worsening Ebola problem led President Obama to abruptly cancel a planned campaign trip on Wednesday, deciding to meet with his Cabinet on the issue instead.
Obama's decision to nix the trip - just a few hours before Air Force One was scheduled to depart - reflected the urgency facing the administration amid the American public's escalating concerns about potential spread of the virus.
Ebola patient Amber Vinson arrives by ambulance at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta yesterday
Miss Vinson's plane landed in Atlanta around 7:45pm Eastern Time. She was then seen being loaded into an ambulance (pictured) to be taken to Emory University Hospital
Press secretary Josh Earnest said on Wednesday that Obama still had confidence in CDC Director Tom Frieden.
However, the president admitted that Ebola needs to be fought in a 'much more aggressive way'.
'What we've been doing here is reviewing exactly what we know about what's happened in Dallas,' Obama said Wednesday, 'and how we're going to make sure that something like this is not repeated '' and that we are monitoring, supervising, overseeing in a much more aggressive way exactly what has taken place in Dallas initially, and making sure that the lessons learned are then transmitted to hospitals and clinics all across the country.'
Ohio officials look into second case of contracted Ebola
Emergency vehicles escort an ambulance carrying Miss Vinson on the tarmac at Love Field Airport
A maintenance woman wears a mask while working before the Protect Environmental Haz-Mat emergency response team arrived at the Bend East apartment complex where the Ebola-stricken nurse lives
Workers in hazmat suits begin to decontaminate the female Ebola patient's apartment, covering the door with plastic sheeting
Decontamination was in progress in the apartment building of the second health care worker with Ebola
This comes as President Barack Obama pledged on Wednesday to approach new cases of the Ebola virus in a 'much more aggressive way,' signaling that his administration hasn't already been doing all it can to slow the advance of the deadly contagion.
As pressure grows on the administration to explain how it has failed to contain the disease in Texas, the president said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would launch a 'rapid response SWAT team' within 24 hours whenever a new case is confirmed.
A Frontier Airlines jet carrying Dallas nurse Amber Jay Vinson crisscrossed America's skies
The CDC team, he said, will 'take local hospitals step by step through what needs to be done.'
Obama's comments to the press came after a hastily called all-hands-on-deck cabinet meeting that lasted two hours and pre-empted a pair of planned political campaign appearances in New Jersey and Connecticut.
The president's promise to get more serious about Ebola mirrors a vow on Monday from CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden, who said his agency would 'double down' on disease surveillance and interventions.
The Frontier Airlines plane that Amber Vinson flew from Cleveland to Dallas on Monday, rests at a terminal at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport on Wednesday
Dallas Police patrol the entrance to The Village Bend East apartments where a nurse, Amber Jay Vinson, tested positive for Ebola after caring for 'patient zero' Thomas Duncan
In harm's way: Obama said he had personally hugged and shook hands with nurses who had treated an Ebola patient at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta
Miss Winson is transported to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta where she is receiving treatment for Ebola
That comment, too, suggested that the government hadn't yet put the pedal to the metal.
'What we've been doing here is reviewing exactly what we know about what's happened in Dallas,' Obama said Wednesday, 'and how we're going to make sure that something like this is not repeated '' and that we are monitoring, supervising, overseeing in a much more aggressive way exactly what has taken place in Dallas initially, and making sure that the lessons learned are then transmitted to hospitals and clinics all across the country.'
Obama is struggling amid low approval ratings to show that he's in command of the world's most sophisticated public health infrastructure as Ebola threatens to claim tens of thousands of lives across the Atlantic Ocean.
'I am absolutely confident that we can prevent a serious outbreak of the disease here in the United States,' Obama said, 'but it becomes more difficult to do so if this epidemic of Ebola rages out of control in West Africa.'
Wrong guy? Thomas Frieden (on screen) is a doctor with years of experience in monitoring disease outbreaks, but his communication style and his all-is-well predictions rub some in Congress the wrong way
President Barack Obama called off a political trip on Wednesday to convene an Ebola brain-trust meeting at the White House, saying afterward that his administration would be 'much more aggressive' in the future
'If it does, then it will spread globally in an age of frequent travel and the kind of constant interactions that people have across borders.'
Citing the need to continue sending relief workers and aid shipments to western Africa, he insisted that 'the investment we make in helping Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea deal with this problem is an investment in our own public health.'
'This is not simply charity. ... It is also probably the single most important thing we can do to prevent a more serious Ebola outbreak in this country.'
In a bid to assure Americans that the risk of transmitting Ebola from person to person is low, Obama said that he personally 'shook hands with, hugged and kissed (not the doctors) but a couple of the nurses at Emory [University Hospital] because of the valiant work that they did in treating one of the patients.'
'The followed the protocols, they knew what they were doing and I felt perfectly safe doing so,' he said. 'This is not a situation like the flu where the risks of a rapid spread of the disease are imminent.'
'I want to use myself as an example so people have a sense of the science here,' Obama declared.
But the president's confidence has been confounded by his choice of point-persons, which is under fierce attack on Capitol Hill as Republican members of Congress privately fret that the administration has put the wrong people out in front.
Frieden on Wednesday blamed the third confirmed U.S. Ebola patient for getting on a commercial aircraft on Monday following her close interaction with the first patient, when she had a slight fever before the aircraft began boarding.
However, later on Wednesday, the CDC admitted they gave Vinson permission to fly.
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How deforestation helped unleash Ebola | Grist
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 01:58
Treebola
—Perhaps you have heard about Ebola, otherwise known as The Most Terrifying Disease Of Our Modern Times (Sorry, MERs; panic is a fickle friend). But you might not have heard that Ebola's origin story also features a favorite environmental arch-villain? And by ''favorite,'' I mean ''actually the worst'': deforestation.
You see, the most recent outbreak of this particular strain of the Ebola virus began last December, in a town called Meliandou in the sleepy ''Forest Region'' of Guinea. That is, it used to be forested, as a recent article in Vanity Fair pointed out:
Trees were felled to make way for farms or burned down for charcoal. Endless truckloads of timber were shipped to construction companies. The forest suffered another trauma as mining interests '-- the Anglo-Australian Rio Tinto, the omnipresent Chinese '-- pushed aggressively to exploit the country's natural resources (bauxite mostly). As the forests disappeared, so too did the buffer separating humans from animals '-- and from the pathogens that animals harbor.
And that buffer was not in place when one fateful fruit bat came into contact with a human toddler late last year:
Ordinary life in Meliandou came to an end on the day last December when the Ebola virus, which had last claimed a fatality thousands of miles away, arrived in the village, most likely in the body of a fruit bat '-- its natural non-human reservoir, according to a virtual consensus among scientists. Mining and clear-cutting had driven bats from their natural habitats and occasionally closer to people, like those of Meliandou. And fruit bats love palm and mango, which ripen in the village's remaining trees. Bats also feed in colonies, which makes them tempting targets: a single shotgun blast can bring down 10.
While in many ways Ebola qualifies as a natural disaster, it's worth remembering that the distinction between ''natural'' and ''human-made'' is a fine one. Sandy was a ''natural'' disaster, for example, but New York City's bad coastal infrastructure made it worse. Same with Ebola: What could have been an exclusively harmless fruit-bat affair instead took a leap across the thinning fringe of wilderness, traveled by land and by air in our increasingly interconnected world and '-- well, here we are.
There's a lot more deep and very sad thinking about epidemics, mourning, and the risks health-workers take to care for others in the Vanity Fair article here. Read it '-- but maybe bring a box of tissues and a hazmat suit.
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Ebola threatens chocolate - Bill Tomson - POLITICO.com
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 02:05
Ebola is threatening much of the world's chocolate supply.
Ivory Coast, the world's largest producer of cacao, the raw ingredient in M&M's, Butterfingers and Snickers Bars, has shut down its borders with Liberia and Guinea, putting a major crimp on the workforce needed to pick the beans that end up in chocolate bars and other treats just as the harvest season begins. The West African nation of about 20 million '-- also known as C´te D'Ivoire '-- has yet to experience a single case of Ebola, but the outbreak already could raise prices.
Continue ReadingThe world's chocolate makers have taken notice.
The World Cocoa Foundation is working now to collect large donations from Nestl(C), Mars and many of its 113 other members for its Coca Industry Response to Ebola Initiative. The initiative hasn't been publicly unveiled, but the WCF plans to announce details Wednesday, during its annual meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, on how the money will fuel Red Cross and Caritas Internationalis work to help the infected and staunch Ebola's spread.
(Also on POLITICO: Texas reports second Ebola case)
Morristown, N.J.-based Transmar Group, an international cocoa supplier, already has pledged $100,000, and Mars has indicated its support, too.
''As a member of the WCF and a supporter of the CocoaAction strategy, Mars is pleased to see the industry coming together to help organizations on the ground in the prevention and eradication of the Ebola virus,'' the company said in a statement provided to POLITICO. ''We look forward to the WCF partnership meeting in Copenhagen next week where we will learn more about the industry effort.''
(Also on POLITICO: $750 million in Ebola funding approved)
Ivory Coast, which produces about 1.6 million metric tons of cacao beans per year '-- roughly 33 percent of the world's total, according to data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization '-- closed its borders in August to Guinea and Liberia. More than 8,000 have been diagnosed with Ebola, and nearly 4,000 have died in those two countries and Sierra Leone. Next to Ivory Coast is Ghana, the world's third-largest producer of cacao beans '-- 879,348 metric tons per year '-- or 15 percent of the world's total.
Tim McCoy, a senior adviser for the WCF, said signs that Ivory Coast residents already are concerned were immediately obvious during his last trip to the country in September.
''Going into meetings where '... you always shake hands and often times, with men and women, you do the cheek kiss thing '... They weren't doing that,'' McCoy said.
(Also on POLITICO: JFK airport steps up Ebola screening)
The market is worried, too. Prices on cocoa futures jumped from their normal trading range of $2,000 to $2,700 per ton, to as high as $3,400 in September over concerns about the spread of Ebola to C´te D'Ivoire, noted Jack Scoville, an analyst and vice president at the Chicago-based Price Futures Group. Since then, prices have yo-yoed down to $3,030 and then back to $3,155 in the past couple of weeks.
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Caliphate!
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Netherlands says OK for biker gangs to fight Islamic State - Yahoo News
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 19:42
The Hague (AFP) - The Dutch public prosecutor said on Tuesday that motorbike gang members who have reportedly joined Kurds battling the Islamic State group in Iraq are not necessarily committing any crime.
"Joining a foreign armed force was previously punishable, now it's no longer forbidden," public prosecutor spokesman Wim de Bruin told AFP.
"You just can't join a fight against the Netherlands," he told AFP after reports emerged that Dutch bikers from the No Surrender gang were fighting IS insurgents alongside Kurds in northern Iraq.
The head of No Surrender, Klaas Otto, told state broadcaster NOS that three members who travelled to near Mosul in northern Iraq were from Dutch cities Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Breda.
A photograph on a Dutch-Kurdish Twitter account shows a tattooed Dutchman called Ron in military garb, holding a Kalashnikov assault rifle while sat with a Kurdish comrade.
Video footage apparently from a Kurdish broadcaster shows an armed European man with Kurdish fighters saying in Dutch: "The Kurds have been under pressure for a long time."
Many countries including the Netherlands have been clamping down on their nationals trying to join IS jihadists who have taken over swathes of Iraq and Syria.
Measures include confiscating would-be jihadists' passports before travelling and threatening prosecution should they return.
"The big difference with IS is that it's listed as a terrorist group," said De Bruin.
"That means that even preparing to join IS is punishable."
Dutch citizens could not however join the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), as it is blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by Ankara and much of the international community, De Bruin said.
Dutch citizens fighting on the Kurdish side would of course be liable to prosecution if they committed crimes such as torture or rape, De Bruin said.
"But this is also happening a long way away and so it'll be very difficult to prove," said De Bruin.
No Surrender MC - Wikipedia
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 13:36
No Surrender MC is een motorclub met thuisbasis in Nederland.[1] No Surrender werd in februari 2013 opgericht door Klaas Otto, voormalig bestuurder van Satudarah MC, en wordt door onder meer de nationale politie aangemerkt als een 1%MC.[2][3] De motorclub zou zijn opgericht uit onvrede met het beleid van Satudarah MC. Een aantal leden van het voormalige Satudarah-chapter Ciganos en enkele ex-leden van de Hells Angels[4] waren verder betrokken bij de oprichting. Willem Holleeder was vicepresident van de afdeling in Amsterdam tot april 2013.[5] Sergeant-at-arms (ordehandhaver) van dezelfde afdeling was Dick Vrij.[6] President is Willem van Boxtel.[7]
In januari 2014 werd bekend gemaakt dat Henk Kuipers, voormalig leider van Satudarah MC, samen met zo'n 25 andere leden en 50 supportleden is overgestapt naar No Surrender. De reden hiervoor is niet geheel duidelijk.[8]
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ISIS releases new video featuring 100 recruits at training camp in Iraq | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 02:50
Six-minute video titled 'The Blood of Jihad in Nineveh' posted on YouTubeRecruits learn combat skills from trainers on dusty land in northern IraqClip features men waiting in line to be kicked and others talking to cameraThey're shot at while crawling and removing wounded fighters from battleISIS admits triple suicide bombing in which 26 Kurdish security forces dieActivists claim Kurdish fighters have halted ISIS advance in Kobani, SyriaBy Mark Duell for MailOnline
Published: 12:21 EST, 12 October 2014 | Updated: 01:13 EST, 13 October 2014
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The Islamic State has released a new video showing more than 100 recruits learning combat skills on dusty land.at a training camp.
The chilling six-minute video titled 'The Blood of Jihad in Nineveh' was posted on YouTube yesterday after being filmed in northern Iraq.
It sees the men waiting in line to be kicked in the stomach, being shot at while crawling along the ground and removing a wounded fighter from battle.
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Training camp: The chilling six-minute ISIS video titled 'The Blood of Jihad in Nineveh' was posted yesterday
Fighting: The clip was filmed in northern Iraq - and sees recruits learn combat skills from trainers on dusty land
Speaking: The video includes talks from two members of ISIS - one to the camera (above) and one to recruits
Watching on: The new video from the Islamic State (ISIS) shows more than 100 recruits at a training camp
Jihadi training camp: ISIS killers learn how to fight
The video also includes talks from two members of ISIS - one to the camera and one to recruits as they sit down - and Islamic chanting in the background.
Today, a triple suicide bombing in Iraq killed 26 Kurdish security forces north-east of Baghdad and a roadside bomb killed Anbar province's police chief.
The attack reportedly took place in Qara Tappah, with the first bomber detonating an explosives vest at the gateway to a security compound.
Minutes later, two suicide bombers ploughed explosive-filled cars into the compound. At least 60 people were wounded in the attack, claimed by ISIS.
Braced: One section of the YouTube clip features the men waiting in line to receive a kick to the stomach
Crawling: A man is shot at as he perfoms an exercise to remove a wounded fighter from the battlefield
Learning to fight: The video posted on YouTube lasts six minutes and has Islamic chanting in the background
Getting through: The men were seen performing an exercise where they crawled along while being shot at
Sitting: The extremist group has carved out a vast stretch of territory from northern Syria to near Baghdad
The U.S. military said yesterday it launched airstrikes north and west of Baghdad, hitting a small ISIS fighting unit and destroying armed vehicles. It said Britain participated in the airstrikes.
New York-based Human Rights Watch meanwhile said militants from ISIS are holding hundreds of Yazidi captives, including women and children, in detention facilities in Iraq and Syria.
Based on accounts by relatives of detainees, it said the group has systematically separated young women and teenage girls from their families and has forced some of them to marry its fighters.
Hundreds of people from the Yazidi religious minority were killed and tens of thousands were forced to flee for their lives after militants overran their hometown of Sinjar in north-west Iraq in August.
Blast: Smoke rises after a strike on the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, known as Kobane by the Kurds, as seen from the Turkey-Syria border
Warzone: People's Protection Unit fighters walk in a line in the Syrian town of Kobani, seen from near the Mursitpinar border crossing
Smoke: Kurdish forces defending Kobani urged a U.S.-led coalition to escalate air strikes on ISIS who tightened their grip on the town
Fire: A monitoring group said the Kurdish forces faced inevitable defeat in Kobani if Turkey did not open its border to let through arms
Turkish soldiers clear the area of people watching from a hill the armed clashes between Kurdish fighters and ISIS in Kobane, Syria
A photo taken from Suruc district of Sanliurfa, Turkey, shows smoke rising during clashes between ISIS and Kurdish troops in Kobane
Another picture taken from Suruc shows smoke rising during clashes between the Islamic State and Kurdish armed troops in Kobane
Prepared for airdrop: Container delivery system bundles filled with meals and fresh water sitting on a U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules
The bundles were ready to be dropped from a C-130 Hercules during an operational resupply airdrop near the area of Bayji, Iraq
U.S. military aircraft delivered food, water and ammunition to besieged Iraqi troops battling Islamic State militants, the Pentagon said
Also today, activists claimed Kurdish fighters have halted ISIS's advance in the Syrian border town of Kobani, where the U.S.-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes for two weeks.
The Syrian Kurdish enclave has been the scene of heavy fighting since last month, with the heavily armed ISIS fighters trying to capture the border post and deal a blow to the coalition air campaign.
The extremist group has carved out a vast stretch of territory stretching hundreds of miles from northern Syria to the outskirts of Baghdad and imposed a harsh version of Islamic rule.
The fighters have massacred hundreds of captured Iraqi and Syrian soldiers, terrorised religious minorities, and beheaded two American journalists and two British aid workers.
Since the offensive on Kobani began, 550 people have been killed, including about 300 ISIS fighters, 225 Kurdish gunmen and 20 civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Turkish Kurds sit in a field near the Syrian town Kobani as they wait near the Mursitpinar border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border
Rebel fighters prepare a mortar ahead of an 'offensive' against forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad around Handarat area
A rebel fighter fires a weapon mounted on a pick-up truck around Handarat in an attempt to regain control of the area yesterday
Rebels cover a tank with olive tree branches during preparations ahead of what they called an offensive against forces loyal to al-Assad
Rebel fighters prepare to launch an anti-tank missile around Handarat area, north of Aleppo, in an effort to regain control of the area
A Kurdish refugee camp in the Turkish border town of Suruc where young children described how they fled the advancing forces of ISIS
A UNHCR camp in Akakale, one of dozens along the Turkish-Syrian border erected to house refugees who have fled advances by ISIS
Horrifying ordeal: A young girl peers out of at ten in a Kurdish refugee camp in the Turkish border town of Suruc
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Turkey denies reaching accord with U.S. on use of air base against Islamic State - The Washington Post
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 05:02
SANLIURFA, TURKEY '-- Turkey denied Monday that it has reached any ''new agreement'' with the United States to allow the use of Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey for attacks on the Islamic State militant group, despite suggestions from the Obama administration that a deal had been reached.
A statement issued by the office of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said talks are continuing between Ankara and Washington over whether to permit U.S. forces to use Incirlik in the fight against the Islamic State, a radical al-Qaeda offshoot that has captured parts of Syria and Iraq. However, ''there is no new agreement on the Incirlik issue,'' the statement said.
''There are requests and expectations and the negotiations continue,'' it added.
The Obama administration has been pressing Turkey to allow warplanes to use Incirlik '-- where the United States bases aircraft under existing NATO agreements '-- as part of an effort by a U.S.-led coalition to roll back Islamic State gains.
U.S. officials said Sunday that Turkey had agreed to allow the coalition to use Turkish military bases for the fight against the Islamic State and to use Turkish territory as part of a training program for moderate Syrian ­opposition fighters.
Video shot inside Istanbul University shows armed men claiming to support Islamic State militants storming a building in late September'--an example the group's traction among some in Turkey. (AP)
''That's a new commitment and one that we very much welcome,'' Susan E. Rice, President Obama's national security adviser, said on NBC's ''Meet the Press.'' ''They have said that their facilities inside of Turkey can be used by the coalition forces '-- American and otherwise '-- to engage in activities inside of Iraq and Syria.''
Rice did not specify what kind of military activities the United States would be allowed to conduct from Turkish bases to support operations in Syria. A Defense Department planning team is scheduled to travel to Turkey this week to finalize the plans, U.S. officials said.
In a reflection of the sensitivity of the matter, U.S. officials on Monday were reluctant to further address or clarify the issue for fear of irritating the Turks. ''We are grateful for steps Turkey is taking to support the coalition, to include training and the use of some facilities,'' said a U.S. defense official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Turkey has allowed the United States for some time to use Incirlik, located less than 100 miles from the Syrian border, to help with deliveries of humanitarian aid to needy civilians inside Syria. That has not changed, said a Turkish official who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss sensitive diplomatic issues.
Turkey has also allowed the U.S. Air Force to conduct drone surveillance missions over northern Iraq from Incirlik for years but has drawn the line at arming the drones or permitting the United States to use other aircraft for airstrikes.
Opening up the base for warplanes would make it much easier for the United States to launch strikes against Islamic State fighters in Syria, instead of having to rely on much more distant air bases in the Persian Gulf. It also would represent a powerful signal of Turkey's willingness to fully engage in the international coalition formed by the United States to fight the militants.
But Turkey has insisted it will not allow attacks from its soil unless the war is also extended to include Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whom Turkish leaders believe is responsible for creating the conditions that have enabled the extremists to flourish.
Black smoke billows over Kobane at the Turkish-Syrian border Sunday following a U.S.-led coalition airstrike aimed at repelling Islamic State militants, who are advancing on the town from two sides. (AP)
''The Assad regime should be the target for a real solution in Syria,'' Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an address at Istanbul's Marmara University on Monday. He also reiterated Turkey's demands for the imposition of a no-fly zone and the creation of a safe haven in northern Syria, conditions that the United States so far has not accepted.
Turkey did not dispute a statement Sunday by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that an agreement has been reached to train moderate Syrian rebels in Turkey, a step that Turkey has long sought. But it was not immediately clear who would train the rebels or precisely where.
Amid the confusion over Incirlik, the Islamic State launched a new offensive to capture the last neighborhoods of the Syrian border town of Kobane that it does not already control.
Bolstered by reinforcements of men and weaponry that arrived overnight, the jihadists launched a wave of up to six suicide bombings against Kurdish positions in the town, pushing the defenders back several blocks and raising fears that the town's fall could be imminent.
The gains came despite an intensified wave of coalition airstrikes, with the U.S. Central Command reporting that seven took place around Kobane over the previous 24 hours. Fighter jets from Saudi Arabia participated in the strikes alongside U.S. fighters and bombers, according to a Central Command statement.
Witnesses said there were more strikes late Monday, after the statement was issued, but that could not be independently confirmed.
The strikes have helped Kurdish fighters with the People's Protection Units, or YPG, hold out against the Islamic State onslaught for the past 10 days.
But Kurdish activists expressed fears Monday that the fighters would not be able to survive much longer.
''The airstrikes are continuous, but it doesn't make any difference,'' said Mustafa Abdi, who is monitoring the battle from the Kurdish border. ''The situation is getting worse.''
The Central Command said warplanes struck one large and one small Islamic State unit southwest of Kobane, damaged a militant staging location and destroyed a heavy-machine-gun position.
Three airstrikes northeast of Kobane hit an Islamic State unit and buildings, and another strike northwest of the north-central Syrian city of Raqqah, an Islamic State stronghold, struck a militant garrison, the command said.
Up to 200,000 new refugees have fled into Turkey in recent weeks from Kobane, where Kurdish defenders have faced Islamic State attacks from three sides.
William Branigin in Washington contributed to this report.
Liz Sly is the Post's Beirut bureau chief. She has spent more than 15 years covering the Middle East, including the Iraq war. Other postings include Africa, China and Afghanistan.
Craig Whitlock covers the Pentagon and national security. He has reported for The Washington Post since 1998.
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Kill all journalists who witnessed this bullshit the first time around!- Now ISIS Has Chemical Weapons?
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 07:45
Is this fear-mongering at the NY Times? A long expose about the chemical weapons Saddam produced back during his war with Iran includes this bit of contemporary terror:
As Iraq has been shaken anew by violence, and past security gains have collapsed amid Sunni-Shiite bloodletting and the rise of the Islamic State, this long-hidden chronicle illuminates the persistent risks of the country's abandoned chemical weapons.
Many chemical weapons incidents clustered around the ruins of the Muthanna State Establishment, the center of Iraqi chemical agent production in the 1980s.
Since June, the compound has been held by the Islamic State, the world's most radical and violent jihadist group. In a letter sent to the United Nations this summer, the Iraqi government said that about 2,500 corroded chemical rockets remained on the grounds, and that Iraqi officials had witnessed intruders looting equipment before militants shut down the surveillance cameras.
The United States government says the abandoned weapons no longer pose a threat. But nearly a decade of wartime experience showed that old Iraqi chemical munitions often remained dangerous when repurposed for local attacks in makeshift bombs, as insurgents did starting in 2004.
OMG - ISIS has sarin, mustard gas and other chemical weapons? Where is Judy Miller's byline?
Will Obama announce that we need to send ground troops back into Iraq to secure WMDs? There are days when I am not ready for tomorrow.
ERRATA: The article is prog-friendly in that, yes, Bush Lied!
The discoveries of these chemical weapons did not support the government's invasion rationale.
After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Bush insisted that Mr. Hussein was hiding an active weapons of mass destruction program, in defiance of international will and at the world's risk. United Nations inspectors said they could not find evidence for these claims.
Then, during the long occupation, American troops began encountering old chemical munitions in hidden caches and roadside bombs. Typically 155-millimeter artillery shells or 122-millimeter rockets, they were remnants of an arms program Iraq had rushed into production in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war.
All had been manufactured before 1991, participants said. Filthy, rusty or corroded, a large fraction of them could not be readily identified as chemical weapons at all. Some were empty, though many of them still contained potent mustard agent or residual sarin.
Most could not have been used as designed, and when they ruptured dispersed the chemical agents over a limited area, according to those who collected the majority of them.
In case after case, participants said, analysis of these warheads and shells reaffirmed intelligence failures. First, the American government did not find what it had been looking for at the war's outset, then it failed to prepare its troops and medical corps for the aged weapons it did find.
So Obama can blame this on Bush, which will be critical in any decision he makes that is forced upon him.
The article also notes that the Duelfer report mentioned these legacy weapons.
WHY WE FIGHT: Gabriel Mallor at Ace of Spades pushes back against the Times declaration that
The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program.
But here is Dick Cheney talking with Tim Russert about the rationale for war in March of 2003:
VICE PRES. CHENEY: ... We have, Tim, been down this effort now for six months at the U.N. with the enactment of 1441. We asked for a declaration of all of his WMD come clean. He refused to do that. He's, again, continued to do everything he could to thwart the inspectors.I'm hard-put to specify what it is he could do with credibility at this stage that would alter the outcome.
He's always had the option of coming clean, of complying with the resolution, of giving up all of his weapons of mass destruction, of making his scientists available without fear of retribution, turning over the anthrax, and the VX nerve agent, and the sarin, and of the other capabilities he has developed, and he has consistently refused. And if he were to sit here today and say, ''OK, now I'll do it,'' I'm not sure anybody would think that had credibility.
MR. RUSSERT: If he did come forward and say, you know, ''The British laid out six benchmarks. I have decided to turn a new leaf. Here's the VX, here's the mustard gas, here's the anthrax, here's all the records. I will go on television, denounce weapons of mass destruction, you can take any scientists you want out of Iraq, all I ask is that I can stay here in power.''
VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, I think we are at the point where'--it's hard for me to conceive of him doing that. And pure speculation that he might do such a thing. And, of course, the problem we have is what we have seen in the past is that even on those occasions after the '91 Gulf War when we did strip him of certain capabilities, when the inspectors were able to go in through the work of defectors, for example, and destroy significant capabilities that he had acquired, and that as soon as they were gone, he was right back in business again.
And I think that would be the fear here, that even if he were tomorrow to give everything up, if he stays in power, we have to assume that as soon as the world is looking the other way and preoccupied with other issues, he will be back again rebuilding his BW and CW capabilities, and once again reconstituting his nuclear program. He has pursued nuclear weapons for over 20 years. Done absolutely everything he could to try to acquire that capability and if he were to cough up whatever he has in that regard now, even if it was complete and total, we have to assume tomorrow he would be right back in business again.
MR. RUSSERT: So bottom line, he would have to disarm completely and leave the country?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: I think that would be the only acceptable outcome I can think of at this point, but obviously, we can continue to try to work through the United Nations and work diplomacy to try to arrive at an acceptable outcome. To date, we haven't been successful.
So was Cheney talking about active BW and nuclear programs, or just an active ambition on Saddam's part? Later Cheney linked Saddam to keeping WMDs away from terrorists (my emphasis):
But we also have to address the question of where might these terrorists acquire weapons of mass destruction, chemical weapons, biological weapons, nuclear weapons? And Saddam Hussein becomes a prime suspect in that regard because of his past track record and because we know he has, in fact, developed these kinds of capabilities, chemical and biological weapons. We know he's used chemical weapons. We know he's reconstituted these programs since the Gulf War. We know he's out trying once again to produce nuclear weapons and we know that he has a long-standing relationship with various terrorist groups, including the al-Qaeda organization.
That sounds like active programs.
And if you are having trouble getting worried about ISIS, here is Cheney from eleven years ago (same interview):
And at the front of our concerns as we try the deal with these issues is the proposition that the al-Qaeda organization is absolutely determined to do everything they can to acquire chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. We found ample evidence of that in the camps and the tunnels and the caves in Afghanistan. We see evidence of it in the interrogations that we have been able to do now on many of the al-Qaeda members that have been captured. We know that they have done everything they could to acquire those capabilities over the years, and we also are confident that if they ever do acquire that kind of capability, there's no doubt they'll use it. There's absolutely nothing to restrain them from doing that.
If you look back at our strategies that we used in the 20th century, specifically, say vis-a-vis the Soviet Union during the Cold War, we had a policy of containment, alliances, NATO in particular very successful at containing the Soviet Union, a policy of deterrence we could hold at risk, those things that they valued with our ballistic missiles and we were able to forestall a conflict throughout that whole period of time; enormously successful policy.
Then you look at the proposition of a handful of terrorists operating in a part of the world where they find sanctuary and safe haven in a rogue state or in an area that's not even really governed by anybody, developing these capabilities to use against the United States. And how do you apply containment to that situation? How do you deter a terrorist when there's nothing they value that they're prepared to defend, when they're prepared even to sacrifice their own lives in the effort to kill Americans and there's no piece of real estate that they value highly enough so that a concept of deterrence works.
So they have Saddam's old chemical weapons (and easy access to the Ebola virus), a safe haven, and no worries about Obama attempting to dislodge them. But do they still want to go after the US, or might they figure that a major attack on the US might prompt even Obama to overthrow their caliphate? Maybe Cheney is wrong and they are deterred by the possession of their haven.
Chemical weapon exposure sickens U.S. military members: report - NY Daily News
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 07:25
Nearly two dozen members of the U.S. military have been exposed to old chemical weapons in Iraq '-- and secret stashes of the deadly munitions remained scattered across ISIS-held territory.
At least 17 American military personnel and seven Iraqi police have been sickened by poisons, including sarin and mustard gases since 2003, according to a lengthy investigation by The New York Times.
The discovery of some 5,000 chemical weapons that date from 1991 and earlier was kept secret for several reasons, The Times said.
The most pressing one was to prevent jihadist groups like Islamic State from seizing the weapons and repurposing them to use in makeshift bombs. Even aged, the chemicals retain potency.
Many of the largest remaining caches are in the northern region held by ISIS.
The chemical stockpile, dating from the Iran-Iraq war, has no relation to the weapons of mass destruction that President George W. Bush insisted Saddam Hussein was concealing. No such weapons have ever been found.
But plenty of buried munitions from the 1980s '-- many made in the U.S. or Europe '-- are still hidden, The Times said.
Several affected soldiers were denied proper medical care because of security concerns, The Times said.
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NEW BRIT ON ISIS DEATH ROW: yet again, he is not what he seems | The Slog.
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 19:29
JOHN CANTILE IS WELL-CONNECTED BY FAMILY, & USES SYNTAX CONSONANT WITH MILITARY INTELLIGENCEThe mainstream media keep on telling us new candidate for decapitation John Cantlie is nothing more than ''a very talented gung-ho news photographer''.
But once again, it doesn't entirely add up.
As you can see from the above, he is clearly rather well-connected. This is hardly surprising: his family forebears include Dr James Cantlie '' instrumental in the protection of the famous Chinese revolutionary Sun Yat Sen from the Chinese authorities.
By describing him as ''a photographer specialising in hotspots around the world'', the media are being disingenuous: he has spent more than a decade based entirely in the Middle East, and always in countries where geopolitics are of prime importance: Iraq, Libya, Egypt, and Syria.
This is a mirror-image of the career of James Foley. In fact, he and Foley were kidnapped together in November 2012'...something of a coincidence For two competing snappers.
All of Cantlie's written journalism has been avowedly anti-Assad: very much the US/UK/NATO line.
He was kidnapped before, but escaped. In an interview with The Sun newspaper on 26 August 2012, Cantlie said it was ''every Englishman's duty to try and escape if captured.'' That is a classic military attitude; it is never expressed as such by genuinely unaligned snappers.
When last in England, John Cantlie was a key witness in the collapsed trial over jihadi-linked NHS doctor Shajul Islam. The nature of his testimony suggests ''expert witness'' rather than journalist.
The more one delves into it, the more there is a very clear pattern to these ISIS beheadings. This is either a smart terrorist organisation sending out a clear message to Western security agencies'....or Western security agencies using various cover stories to protect their staff.
Yesterday at The Slog: Is Nigel Farage the effluent in the room?
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Saudis offer to host Syrian opposition training - Philip Ewing - POLITICO.com
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 20:53
We are challenging Congress to give the president authority, one senior official says. | AP Photo
CloseSaudi Arabia has offered to host a training center for Syrian opposition fighters, the White House said Wednesday night, but the effort can only get rolling if Congress authorizes it.
Senior administration officials told reporters ahead of President Barack Obama's speech that although Obama believes he can order airstrikes in Syria under the authorization of force passed in 2001, the Pentagon cannot stand up a new training program without a specific bill approving it.
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''We certainly are challenging members of Congress to put aside their partisan affiliations and give the president the authority he needs,'' one senior official said.
Obama talked with Saudi King Abdullah by phone earlier in the day, the White House said, to thank him for joining the campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and specifically for the Saudis' support for the training program. Obama has asked Congress for $500 million to begin arming and training ''vetted'' elements of Syria's anti-government forces to take on President Bashar Assad.
So the White House is in something of an uncomfortable position, at least for now: Obama believes he can attack Syria on his own but not execute another major piece of his strategy without congressional approval. The White House also evidently will not make unseating Assad one of its objectives, even though the U.S. intends to attack one of his biggest foes in ISIL.
Eventually, the administration hopes, anti-government forces would become strong enough to dethrone Assad without the country collapsing into Libya-style anarchy.
Members of Congress have been skeptical about aspects of the counterterrorism fund that includes the $500 million for Syrian rebels, and Republicans may resent the way the White House has boxed them in. Obama is not asking Congress's permission to expand the war against ISIL into Syria '-- but he is all but daring Republicans to veto an important part of it.
No matter what happens with the Syrian training effort, a second senior official told reporters that the administration does not believe Obama's nearer-term attacks against ISIL will create an ''opening'' for Assad because the areas in eastern Syria controlled by the terror group aren't immediately susceptible to seizure by government forces.
The officials declined to give an estimate for when operations against Syria could begin, when the Saudi training center might start operating or when the overall escalation Obama announced on Wednesday would be finished.
''This is something that will be taking place over a period of time,'' the second official said. ''We are going to continue to take the time to get this right.''
The U.S. has been arming Syria's anti-government rebels through a smaller program since last spring, the official said in a rare official concession, but only the Defense Department can scale up the operation to one day make a difference against Assad. The ''vetting'' of Syrian fighters continues, a third official said, but in the time since the U.S. has been backing anti-government fighters there, it has developed relationships that will help with the new larger effort, if Congress agrees.
''We have far greater confidence in who we're dealing with,'' the second official said.
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Smith-Mundt
NSA Mind-Bender: We Won't Tell You What Info We Already Leaked to the Media | WIRED
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 15:04
Longtime reporters who cover the NSA know that any time we ask the obstinate spy agency for information, we're probably going to hit a brick wall. But who would have thought that trying to obtain information about information the agency has already given us would lead to the same wall?
That's what happened when the Federation of American Scientists filed a FOIA request with the Defense Department (of which the NSA is a part) earlier this year seeking information about any authorized leaks of intelligence made to the media during the previous 12 months.
The response they got (.pdf) from the National Security Agency might well have come from Winston Smith's Ministry of Truth.
''The document responsive to your request has been reviewed by this Agency as required by the FOIA and has been found to be currently and properly classified in accordance with Executive Order 13526,'' the letter read. ''The document is classified because its disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.''
Last year, Congress amended the Intelligence Authorization Act to require government officials to notify lawmakers whenever they disclose national security secrets to the media as part of an ''authorized'' leak. Under Section 504 of the statute (.pdf), the government official responsible for authorizing the disclosure has to submit to congressional intelligence committees a timely report about the disclosure, if the information is classified at the time of the leak or was declassified for the purpose of making the leak, and if the information being disclosed was ''made with the intent or knowledge that such information will be made publicly available.''
There have been numerous authorized leaks over the years, including the controversial White House leaks about the killing of Osama bin Laden. There have been even more unauthorized leaks, however'--by government officials and workers. It makes sense for Congress to want to know when classified information has been leaked or declassified in order to distinguish official leaks from unauthorized ones. Lawmakers on the intelligence committees look silly when they tell reporters they can't talk about something, while government officials are freely yapping about the same topic behind their backs. They also look silly when they publicly call for a criminal investigation into a leak that turns out to have been authorized. And, of course, members of both parties in Congress want to know when the party in power in the White House might be authorizing leaks for political gain.
But once those leaks are made to the media and published, why shouldn't the public also be able to know when the information came from an authorized source or an unauthorized one?
Steve Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy, noted in his letter to the NSA appealing its response (.pdf) that ''It is well established that information, including classified information, that has been publicly disclosed on an authorized basis loses its exemption from disclosure under FOIA.''
He has a theory, however, about why the NSA might not want to disclose what it has disclosed. He says that even though the statute refers to information that the leaker expects will be made public, the NSA might not want the public to know which information was part of an authorized leak because some might have been provided off the record.
''I think it's more likely that these disclosures were part of a negotiation with news organizations,'' he told WIRED. In that case, ''the disclosures in question were not actually published, rather they were part of a dialogue with a reporter perhaps in an effort to dissuade her or him from publication.''
The very notion of an authorized disclosure of classified information is, of course, a bit of an oxymoron, Aftergood notes in a blog post about the issue. ''If something is classified, how can its disclosure be authorized (without declassification)?,'' he writes. ''And if something is disclosed by an official who is authorized to do so, how can it still be classified?''
Only Winston Smith knows.
EuroLand
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BBC News - Share prices slide as 'perfect storm' threatens markets
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 14:37
16 October 2014Last updated at 10:03 ET US shares opened sharply lower on Thursday, tracking big losses on European and Asian stock markets.
Wall Street's Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes fell more than 1% on continuing concerns about global economic growth and the Ebola crisis.
The sell-off follows heavy losses in the US, Europe and Asia on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the borrowing costs for Greece and Italy rose, and investors looking for a haven pushed the gold price higher.
In early afternoon trading in Europe, London's FTSE 100 and Frankfurt's Dax indexes were 1.6% lower. The Cac 40 in Paris was down more than 2%.
On Wednesday, the FTSE saw its heaviest one-day fall in 16 months. The S&P is down about 8% from a record closing high on 18 September.
Analysts said that a raft of disappointing economic and corporate news had panicked investors.
Recent poor data from China, Germany and the US have heightened worries that global economic recovery could go into reverse.
Continue reading the main story'Perfect storm'And concerns about the spread of Ebola and its impact on emerging markets have added to the worries. Companies linked to travel and tourism have seen their share prices fall in the past couple of weeks, offsetting hopes that the recent fall in the oil price would lower their long-term fuel costs.
"It's beginning to feel a bit like a perfect storm," said Joe Rundle, head of trading at ETX Capital Markets.
"You have the US Federal Reserve stopping printing money this month, deflation all over the place, oil coming down causing more deflation.
"Everyone is panicking to a certain extent and everything is on the downside, there is real momentum here and there's a lot of money changing hands," he said.
Capital Spreads dealer Jonathan Sudaria said the global economic situation did not warrant such a heavy share sell-off. But he said: "Add a potentially disastrous [Ebola] virus into the mix and the result is what we have here - pandemonium in the market place."
Analysis: Andrew Walker, World Service economics correspondentIs the eurozone crisis back? That would be putting it too strongly, but there are reasons to be uneasy.
In part, the turbulence in European markets is about a weakening global economic outlook. But then the eurozone is one of the principal causes of that.
There have also been some striking moves in eurozone bonds markets. There were sharp rises in the yields - in effect the interest rates - on government debts for the countries at the centre of the crisis.
For most of them there's no cause for panic. Those yields are still affordable - below 2% for ten year bonds in the case of Ireland. But not for Greece, whose government bond yields have climbed three percentage points in a month to a level above 8%.
Can Greece support itself without further financial help? The bond yields mean it will be very difficult.
Bond market movesFinancial shares were among some of the biggest fallers across Europe. Royal Bank of Scotland was down another 3.6% after falling heavily on Wednesday.
Meanwhile in France, Societe Generale and BNP Paribas fell 5% and 4% respectively amid worries about their exposure to a slowdown in southern European economies.
Greece's borrowing costs rose on Thursday on fears about the country's exit from the bailout it received during the financial crisis.
The yield on Greek 10-year bonds rose 85.2 basis points to 8.72% - its highest rate since January. Investors are worried that the country could struggle to borrow money once it is weaned off bailout money.
In Spain, Madrid's benchmark IBEX 35 index fell 4.28% after a bond issue failed to raise as much as the government hoped.
'Monetary morphine'Meanwhile, gold traded at a one-month high, while the price of copper and some other metals fell to multi-month lows amid concern that demand would fall because of an economic slowdown.
Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said that one of the big concerns among investors was the ending of the Fed's monetary stimulus in the US.
"As the monetary morphine has started to wear off the patient has come to realise that a lot of the old problems still remain, and yesterday's poor US data helped trigger a rather extreme reaction in not only the stock markets but bond markets too, as complacent investors rushed to hedge themselves.
"In essence, investors are asking the question with respect to the recent recovery about whether this is as good as it gets, which rather explains the slump in the oil price, bond yields and stock markets," Mr Hewson said.
Bloedbad dreigt op Europese beurzen | Nieuws | Telegraaf.nl
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 14:36
AMSTERDAM - De beursborden in heel Europa kleuren donkerrood. Het Damrak boekt zelfs nog meer verliezen. Beleggers vrezen een nieuwe recessie en dumpen aandelen.
De Amsterdamse AEX staat rond half drie 2,1% lager, maar ook de beeldbepalende Duitse DAX koerst 1,2% lager. De Franse beurs staat 2,3% lager op de vrees dat de Fransen hun begroting niet op orde krijgen.
Vanaf de jaartop van 425,80 punte is de AEX ruim 10% teruggevallen.
Vooral financile instellingen als ING (-3,5%), Aegon (-2,3%) en Delta Lloyd (-3,1%) verloren rond de lunch in de AEX, met geen enkel fonds met winst.
De Amerikaanse beurzen gaan ook weer met rond 1% verlies openen, zo blijkt uit de zogeheten futures voor de Dow Jones-index en S&P500-index.
De olieprijs kelderde, en gaat nu richting de $80 per vat. Oliefondsen als Shell (-2,7%), zwaargewicht in de AEX-index, bodemonderzoeker Fugro (-3,7%) en sectorgenoten als SBM (-3,7%) hadden het zwaar. Philips verloor ook 2,8%,
Gisteren ging de AEX al 3,5% onderuit, vandaag dreigt een nieuwe tegenslag. Deze bijna 6% val is voor beleggers hetzelfde als ongeveer vier jaar sparen voor consumenten met de huidige lage bankenrente.
Damrak hard geraakt
Dat het Damrak meer pijn lijdt, komt volgens analist Corn(C) van Zeijl van Actiam mogelijk omdat de Amsterdamse markt relatief meer liquide is. ''Als grote partijen uit fondsen willen, bij ING en Philips zie je dat veel verhandeld worden, dan kun je in Amsterdam eerder van je stukken af.''
Lees al het nieuws over beleggingen en beursfondsen in de DFT-nieuwsbrief.
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Drinks with the ex-banker
EU unemployment is immigrants with NO skills for the economies of the EU
THAT's why it so fucked.
He agreed that inflation is needed
War is usually a good way of doing that.
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Police want 500 euro banknotes taken out of circulation | Yle Uutiset | yle.fi
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 02:18
Image: Yle UutisgrafiikkaThe Finnish Police are concerned that larger banknotes, like the 200 euro and 500 euro banknotes, encourage criminal activity and should therefore be removed from the Finnish market.
''In practice they enable and fortify the grey economy and money laundering. For this reason, we believe their circulation should be phased out,'' says National Bureau of Investigation's Markku Ranta-aho, head of the Money Laundering Clearing House of Finland.
''Criminal activity almost exclusively deals in cash. Criminals do not pay out from one bank account to another; they use cash. Larger bills make it easier to carry large quantities of money in a small space across borders, both within and outside Europe,'' he says.
Chief Inspector Ranta-aho says criminals prefer cash because it is harder for police to trace its movements. A record of all electronic money transfers always remains in the banking system, which makes the police's job considerably easier.
Ranta-aho says that 200 and 500 euro banknotes should also be removed because Finnish residents no longer use them to pay for their purchases now that bankcards have become more common. In his opinion, no one needs a banknote higher than one hundred for everyday use anymore today.
Bank of Finland says noThe Bank of Finland admits that the use of larger banknotes as a form of payment has diminished in recent years in Finland and the euro zone.
''The demand and need for 500 and 200 euro banknotes in Finland's circulation is small and their use in normal payment traffic is very minimal,'' says the Bank's advisor Kari Takala.
The Bank of Finland is sceptical about the ability of a ban on 500 euro banknotes to eliminate underground labour and trade in Finland, however.
''Removing larger banknotes could make things more difficult for the grey economy, but it would certainly not do away with it or even affect it much. They would just switch to smaller bills,'' says Takala.
''There must be other ways to prevent people being paid under the table than by taking larger banknotes out of circulation. It seems they play a pretty negligible role in the parallel market overall. More illegal transactions take place via bank transfers,'' he says.
The Bank of Finland's Takala says the larger banknotes will remain in circulation for the time being because the benefits are still seen to outweigh the perceived disadvantages.
15.10.
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Obama Nation
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Text - S.2826 - 113th Congress (2013-2014): Strengthening Forgiveness for Public Servants Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 16:22
There is one version of the bill.
Shown Here:Introduced in Senate (09/16/2014)Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this legislative text may be shown by tags (e.g., or ) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF or HTML/XML.
[Congressional Bills 113th Congress][From the U.S. Government Printing Office][S. 2826 Introduced in Senate (IS)]113th CONGRESS 2d Session S. 2826 To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide for a percentage of student loan forgiveness for public service employment, and for other purposes._______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES September 16, 2014 Mr. Blumenthal (for himself and Ms. Warren) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions_______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide for a percentage of student loan forgiveness for public service employment, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Strengthening Forgiveness for Public Servants Act''.SEC. 2. PUBLIC SERVICE LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAM. Section 455(m) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1087e(m)) is amended-- (1) in paragraph (1), in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by inserting ``, except as provided in paragraph (5),'' after ``on any eligible Federal Direct Loan not in default''; and (2) by adding at the end the following: ``(5) Loan cancellation for new loans.-- ``(A) In general.--Beginning after the date of enactment of the Strengthening Forgiveness for Public Servants Act, after the conclusion of each employment period in a public service job, as described in subparagraph (B), the Secretary shall cancel the percent specified in such subparagraph of the total amount due on any eligible Federal Direct Loan made after the date of enactment of the Strengthening Forgiveness for Public Servants Act for a borrower who is employed in such public service job and submits an employment certification form described in subparagraph (C). ``(B) Percent amount.--The percent of a loan that shall be canceled under subparagraph (A) is as follows: ``(i) In the case of a borrower who completes 2 years of employment in a public service job, 15 percent of the total amount due on the eligible Federal Direct Loan on the date the borrower commenced employment in such public service job. ``(ii) In the case of a borrower who completes 4 years of employment in a public service job, 15 percent of the total amount due on the eligible Federal Direct Loan on the date the borrower commenced employment in such public service job. ``(iii) In the case of a borrower who completes 6 years of employment in a public service job, 20 percent of the total amount due on the eligible Federal Direct Loan on the date the borrower commenced employment in such public service job. ``(iv) In the case of a borrower who completes 8 years of employment in a public service job, 20 percent of the total amount due on the eligible Federal Direct Loan on the date the borrower commenced employment in such public service job. ``(v) In the case of a borrower who completes 10 years of employment in a public service job, 30 percent of the total amount due on the eligible Federal Direct Loan on the date the borrower commenced employment in such public service job. ``(C) Employment certification form.-- ``(i) In general.--In order to receive loan cancellation under this paragraph, a borrower shall submit to the Secretary an employment certification form that is developed by the Secretary and includes self-certification of employment and a separate part for employer certification that indicates the dates of employment. ``(ii) Deferment.--If a borrower submits to the Secretary the employment certification form described in clause (i), during the period in which the borrower is employed in a public service job for which loan cancellation is eligible under this paragraph, the borrower's eligible Federal Direct Loan shall be placed in deferment. ``(D) Interest cancelled.--If a portion of a loan is canceled under this paragraph for any year, the entire amount of interest on such loan that accrues for such year shall be canceled.''.
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Glorious Restaurant Serves Only Macaroni And Cheese '' Consumerist
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 20:54
I once thought that I was alone in my dream of a restaurant that served nothing but grilled cheese sandwiches, but I was wrong. The Melt opened in 2011 and continues to thrive and expand. Surely, though, there aren't enough cheese-obsessed Americans to also support a restaurant specializing in macaroni and cheese, right? I'm probably alone in that dream. I am not. mac-O-licious began as a specialty food truck, and is now a real restaurant, where you can sit down and eat ten different varieties of mac and cheese, along with sides like soup, salad, and vegetables. Toppings for your mac and cheese are also available, including two different kinds of bacon and black truffles.
UPDATE: One of my colleagues has pointed out to me that there is also an all mac and cheese restaurant in New York City, which has been open for some time and serves even more varieties of the dish. The world is a beautiful place.
Creamy Dream: The All Mac 'N Cheese Restaurant [NBC Los Angeles]
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Chiner$
Defense.gov News Article: Pacific Pathways Increases Readiness Through Partnership
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 03:47
Pacific Pathways Increases Readiness Through PartnershipBy Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2014 '' The ''Pacific Pathways'' concept is an innovative and experimental approach to increasing Army readiness through partnership, the commander of U.S. Army Pacific said here yesterday.
Army Gen. Vincent K. Brooks explained the concept during a panel discussion at the annual Association of the United States Army symposium at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
''This is an innovation in large measure,'' Brooks said. ''It's a new way of doing something we have been doing already. We have already been participating in exercises around the region.''
The Pacific Pathways concept
The Pacific Pathways concept involves joining multinational partners to conduct a three-part series of military exercises intended to increase Army readiness through additional training and strengthened partner-force relationships. Brooks said that as a senior officer he views exercises differently now than he has previously.
''Exercises are really an agreement between countries for foreign troops to be on sovereign soil,'' he said. ''So if you begin to think about it that way, we've used '... these agreements for U.S. troops as foreign troops to be present in a sovereign country, as the basis upon which we designed the Pacific Pathways.''
The first iteration or proof of concept for Pacific Pathways -- which involves Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan -- is just ending, the general said, with command and control and support provided by U.S. Army Pacific elements 1st Corps, based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, and Hawaii-based 25th Infantry Division.
Innovation of Pacific Pathways
The innovation of this concept, Brooks said, is how the Army goes to those designated places, and how it organizes itself for it.
''We're doing what the Army has always done,'' he added. ''We're going to move units and equipment -- we've put them on ships, just as we did in 1898, and we move into the place we're going to go.''
Now, a century later, ''we've started using aircraft to join the troops themselves with the equipment,'' Brooks said. Projecting from home bases to participate in not just one of the exercises, but rather in a series of exercises, is new, the general said.
As a result of doing that, Brooks said, engagement with others, such as the State Department and the Defense Department, has come in a different way.
''We engage with regional partners where the exercise is going to occur in a different way,'' he said, ''because configuration might be different than the previous year's exercise. And it has to be tailored to what that country can accept. It is different in that it brings together an enterprise approach to projecting ourselves from home stations abroad over the great expanses of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.''
It also has been transformative in many ways, he said, based on how the Army projects itself in a tailored structure around the region while building readiness into the deployed force.
''There's experimentation that happens here, also,'' Brooks said. ''We find that as we're doing this we can experiment with different operating concepts.''
It also allows experimentation with different technologies, he said, as industry and others find opportunities to shake something out in a tremendous battle lab that's on the move.
Key points
The general shared three key points of emphasis on Pacific Pathways. First, he said, it is an operational deployment -- everything that goes into operational deployments anywhere goes into this operation. The planning, preparation, execution, ordering of craft to move troops, and planning for security all are included, he added.
''There are some additional dimensions, too, like passport planning [and] visa planning, that aren't like our traditional deployments,'' Brooks said. ''But it is a deployment, nevertheless, and an operation.''
Brooks' second point was Pacific Pathways is ''part of our engagement structure and strategy.''
''This is not the limit of what we're doing,'' he said. ''It is a part -- a very important part -- because of its innovation, transformation [and] experimentation characteristics.''
Additionally, Brooks noted, it is economical, as he anticipated it would be.
''It really requires an enterprise approach to do this, and that is an enterprise that organizes from top to bottom from department level to executing unit,'' he said. It's also an enterprise approach in terms of contributing capabilities that make it possible to employ the concept, Brooks said, lauding supporting elements such as Military Sealift Command, Army Materiel Command and all of the U.S. Army's components.
''The enterprise approach, from top to bottom, and horizontally as well, is essential to this,'' he added.
Brooks' final point was that Pacific Pathways is shaped by the countries involved in the exercises in conjunction with the State Department.
(Follow Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone Marshall on Twitter: @MarshallDoDNews)
ISND
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ettiquette on phones
Dear Adam
Thank you for your courage...
While listening to ABC Local Melbourne radio this morning, I heard the presenter chatting to "social etiquette coach".
She mentioned something about inappropriate mobile phone use that I thought you might also appreciate...
Her advice re Mobile phone Etiquette?
"Mobile phones are like Penises... You should NEVER take it out while at the dinner table and start playing with it...!"
(Don't be a fapper during dinner! LOL)
In the morning you!!
Darcy from Melbourne, Australia
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Doctors Say Google Glass Caused Worse Withdrawal Symptoms Than Alcohol
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 21:29
Google Glass has a habit of changing people. Not only does it turn wearers into hysterical assholes, American doctors say Glass caused one man to become an addict.
According to The Guardian, scientists believe a navy serviceman is the first-ever patient to suffer from Glass-triggered internet addiction disorder:
The man had been using the technology for around 18 hours a day '' removing it only to sleep and wash '' and complained of feeling irritable and argumentative without the device. In the two months since he bought the device, he had also begun experiencing his dreams as if viewed through the device's small grey window.
The 31-year-old serviceman originally checked himself in for alcohol abuse. But doctors found that his face computing habit was harder to break.
Doctors noticed the patient repeatedly tapped his right temple with his index finger. He said the movement was an involuntary mimic of the motion regularly used to switch on the heads-up display on his Google Glass.
He said he was "going through withdrawal from his Google Glass", Doan explained, adding: "He said the Google Glass withdrawal was greater than the alcohol withdrawal he was experiencing."
His doctors say the "rush" Glass gives users is to blame. It turns out that strapping a screen right in front of your eyeball can be risky if you have a "predisposition for addiction."
Tocontactthe author of this post, please emailkevin@valleywag.com.
Photo: AP
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Planten nemen meer koolstofdioxide op dan gedacht | Wetenschap | NU.nl - Voor het laatste nieuws
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 14:37
De hoeveelheid CO2 die geabsorbeerd wordt door planten zou volgens nieuw onderzoek systematisch onderschat worden.
Dat schrijven Amerikaanse onderzoekers van verschillende universiteiten deze week in het tijdschriftProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Volgens de auteurs van het artikel verklaart dit waarom de verschillende klimaatmodellen de toename van koolstofdioxide in de atmosfeer structureel overschatten.
Koolstofdioxide uit de atmosfeer zou veel langzamer binnen in een blad verspreiden en ook zou de grotere hoeveelheid CO2 zorgen voor snellere groei van planten.
16 procentHet proces van de CO2-verspreiding in een blad heet mesofiele diffusie. Er zou binnen bestaande modellen niet voor deze variabelen gecorrigeerd worden.
De wetenschappers zeggen dat er als gevolg hiervan tussen 1901 en 2010 16 procent meer van het broeikasgas werd geabsorbeerd door levende organismen dan voorheen gedacht.
KanttekeningOp de site van de BBC worden de bevindingen niet in twijfel getrokken, maar wordt wel de kanttekening geplaatst dat de berekeningen naar aller waarschijnlijkheid geen verschil zullen maken met betrekking tot de huidige voorspellingen van de opwarming van de aarde.
Het maken van klimaatmodellen is zeer ingewikkeld en kan niet alleen op basis van uitstoot van koolstofdioxide of opname.
ToevoegingWel is de paper een toevoeging op de bestaande kennis. De verschillende geraadpleegde wetenschappers op de site van de BBC zeggen dat de analyse naar de verspreidingssnelheid van CO2 binnen een blad belangrijk is omdat het bijdraagt aan de kennis in het algemeen.
Ondanks dat er misschien iets meer CO2 door levende organismen wordt opgenomen, zal de vermindering van uitstoot van CO2 in de komende jaren enorm moeten dalen om onder de 2 graden celsius opwarming te blijven, aldus het Centre for Ecology and Hyrdrology uit het Verenigd Koninkrijk.
Door: NU.nl/Krijn Soeteman
NASA Documents Reveal ''Climate Change'' Caused By Covert Weather Weapons Chemtrails: The Exotic Weapon
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 21:24
Little Known NASA Documents Reveal Mission of Military and Federal Agencies to Modify the Climate__________________________________________________
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It's unacceptable that the UN/IPCC continue to push CO2 as the cause for climate change but refuse to acknowledge the military has been actively engaged in Climate Warming Weapons Technologies for more than 20 years.____________________________________________________
TITLE: ''Present and Future Plans of Federal Agencies in Weather-Climate Modification''
This set of documents from 1966 reveals a network of government agencies in perpetual and secret collaboration with each other and the military to Modify the Global climate. Created by the elitist National Academy of Sciences '' decades of an inter-agency culture of secrecy explains why the issue of covert aerosol Geoengineering is a taboo topic to be degraded to the status of ''conspiracy theory'' by a matrix of complicit bureaucrats at every opportunity. This is why your local TV ''meteorologist'' will rarely make a helpful comment about an unusual sky filled with persistent jet trails.
TITLE: ''The Evolution of a Weather Modification R&D program Into a Military Weapons System''.A 1986 Critique of the 1966 initiative.
This document appears as an anonymous draft intended as a critique of the US Weather Modification Program that the author characterizes as hijacked into a military weapons system.
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Jules Verne wrote about geoengineering the earth's climate in 1889 in a sequel to ''From the Earth to the Moon'' called ''The Purchase Of The North Pole''. Verne writes that the Baltimore Gun Club purchased large tracts of the Arctic then used the famous canon from the earth-to-the-moon to tilt the Earth's axis. The goal was to establish a tropical paradise as a profitable tourist attraction at the North Pole while ''improving'' the entire global climate.
If Verne correctly predicted that man would travel from the earth to the moon, it should be no surprise that he also predicted that a small group of influential men would consider warming the climate for profit.
Verne could have been inspired by Harvard geologist Nathaniel Shaler who proposed diverting warm Atlantic water into the Arctic back in 1877 '' a dozen years before Verne's ''fantastic''story was published.
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Warming the Arctic with large-scale Geoengineering projects has been the vision of industrialists for 100 years '' and still isArctic detonation of 88 atmospheric, 29 underground, and 3 underwater nuclear devices from 1955 to 1990Uploaded on Friday 17 Feb 2012 by GRID-Arendal '' Nuclear activities in the Arctic over the last 50 years
From collection: Vital Arctic Graphics (2004 edition)Author: Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Numerous nuclear explosions have taken place in the Arctic. One of the largest military nuclear testing facilities is on the island of Novaya Zemlya, where from 1955 through to 1990 the Soviet Union detonated 88 atmospheric, 29 underground, and 3 underwater nuclear devices. Dozens of civilian 'peaceful nuclear explosions' have also occured in the Russian Arctic, where nuclear bombs were used into the late 1980's for seismic studies, mining, and in attempts to extinguish oil-field fires. (Source)
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In 2008 '' a year before low solar activity began to threaten 40 to 60 years of global cooling, the chemtrail warmists were confident they could achieve a big arctic thaw for BIG OIL, a carbon tax and the politics of a United Nations led New World OrderWorld Watch Institute: March, 2008: Arctic Melting May Lead To Expanded Oil DrillingMore than half of the Arctic Ocean was covered in year-round ice in the mid-1980s. Today, the ice cap is much smaller. Alarming evidence of this warming trend was released last week when the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released satellite evidence that perennial Arctic ice cover, as of February, rests on less than 30 percent of the ocean.
''The rate of sea-ice loss we're observing is much worse than even the most pessimistic projections led us to believe,'' says Carroll Muffett, deputy campaigns director with Greenpeace USA. For the first time in recorded history, this past summer the entire Northwest Passage between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans was ice-free, according to scientists. (Source)
Remember when People Thought Arctic Warming was a Good Idea?VILLAGE VOICE: '' Hey, remember when climate change was a swell idea? Coconuts were in the offing.''
''Imaginations ran wild, and The Washington Post envisioned Manhattan becoming a tropical paradise'' '... ''People would be gathering oranges off the trees in Central Park, or picking cocoanuts from palms along the Battery, [and] hunting crocodiles off the Statue of Liberty.''
The prospect sounded so splendid to New Yorkers that Senator William Calder (1917-1923) tried to get $100,000 appropriated for a study of the idea.Village Voice
Remember when Scientists Thought Arctic Warming was a Good Idea?1962 Harry Wexler (March 15, 1911- 1962) was an MIT graduate and PhD in meteorology. Wexler had been researching the link connecting chlorine and bromine compounds to the destruction of the stratospheric ozone layers, but died of a heart attack while on vacation in Woods Hole, Mass. Wexler had already accepted an invitation to deliver a lecture entitled ''The Climate of Earth and Its Modifications'' at the University of Maryland Space Research and Technology Institute. (Source)
Wexler's was last in a long line of ambitious proposals to warm the Arctic. Coincidently, his proposals were made at the same time the National Academy of Sciences was working to create a national weather modification program '' a direction in which the military had already embarked in 1958.
''Global Warming'' initiatives proposed by Wexler:
To increase the global temperature of the Earth by 1.7°C, ''by injecting a cloud of ice crystals into the polar atmosphere by detonating 10 H-bombs in the Arctic Ocean '' the subject of his 1958 article in Science magazine'' (Wexler H., 1958, ''Modifying Weather on a Large Scale,'' Science, n.s. 128 (Oct. 31, 1958): 1059-1063).To diminish the global temperature by 1.2°C could be doable, ''by launching a ring of dust particles into equatorial orbit, a modification of an earlier Russian proposal to warm the Arctic''.To destroy the ozone layerand hence increase abruptly the surface temperature of the Earth, by spraying ''several hundred thousand tons of chlorine or bromine'' with a stratospheric airplane. Fleming, 2007(a), pp. 56-57; Fleming, 2007(b), ''note n° viii'' p. 9 & p. 5 (source)The decision to reverse direction from warming the arctic to cooling the arctic was announced in 1963 - the year following Wexler's death when the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Atmospheric Sciences recommended appointment of a Panel on Weather & Climate Modification. pg 2
Prevailing Circumstances following WWII:
Operation Paperclip (Also called Operation Overcast) succeeded in recruiting scientists from Nazi Germany for employment in the US after WW II and led to the formation of NASA and the ICBM program.The National Security Act passed in 1947 made possible the rise of the military industrial complex and creation of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA ) to increase opportunities for scientific experiments to be conducted without public knowledge or Congressional oversight.Post-war advances in science and advanced physics opened up opportunities to develop concepts of advanced thinkers like Nikola Tesla that had been waiting on the shelf for over 50 years.In 1958, military application of Tesla's little known methods of electromagnetic manipulation of earth's atmosphere was already underway. White House advisor on weather modification to President Eisenhower reported the DoD was studying ways to manipulate electrical charges of the earth and sky in order to manipulate the weather for purposes of national defense.The rise of an informed and educated middle class looked down on proposals that employed nuclear detonations that became regarded as dangerous and arrogant. This is not to say that proposals to mediate the arctic climate were totally abandoned.____________________________________________________
If warming the arctic was regarded as good for commerce for 100 years why would a discovery that found carbon dioxide was already performing the task for free, suddenly be regarded as a catastrophe to prevent?____________________________________________________
The BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico demonstrates how Big Oil exists in a world of opportunistic pragmatism, no matter the risk to the environment. With an established record of corporate sociopathy, Big Oil would have little interest in what event would cause arctic ice to retreat as long as their long-held dream of new arctic navigation routes and access to previously ice-locked oil and gas reserves was realized. It could make marginal difference if the arctic temperatures rise due to (1) rising CO2 levels or (2) covert arctic climate manipulation.
This timeline of determined Geoengineering projects suggests the goal of mediating arctic climate remains a favorite goal of the fossil fuel industry.
1877 Harvard geologist Nathaniel Shaler proposed channeling more of the warm Kuroshio Current through the Bering Strait to raise temperatures in the Polar region by 30 degrees.
1912, New York Engineer and Industrialist, Carroll Livingston Riker proposed building a 200 mile jetty off Newfoundland to increase the Gulf Stream's flow into to the Arctic Basin with the added benefit that it would ''shift'' the axis of planet earth. The New York Times characterized the proposal as ''amazing'''... but not insane.
1929:Hermann Oberth, German-Hungarian physicist and engineer; Proposed building giant mirrors on a space station to focus the Sun's radiation on Earth's surface, making the far North habitable and freeing sea lanes to Siberian harbors.
1945;Julian Huxley, biologist and Secretary-General of UNESCO 1946-48; Proposed exploding atomic bombs at an appropriate height above the polar regions to raise the temperature of the Arctic Ocean and warm the entire climate of the northern temperate zone.
1946 Village Voice article from 2005 reporting on theMay, 1946 issue of MechanixIllustrated that featured several arctic-warming geoengineering proposals. One ''brave new idea'' was proposed by Julian Huxley, then the Secretary-General of UNESCO, and brother of Aldous Huxley, that would detonate atomic bombs to warm the Arctic.
1958;M. Gorodsky, Soviet engineer and mathematician, and Valentin Cherenkov, Soviet meteorologist; Proposed placing a ring of metallic potassium particles into Earth's polar orbit to diffuse light reaching Earth and increase solar radiation to thaw the permanently frozen soil of Russia, Canada, and Alaska and melt polar ice.
1958;Arkady Markin, Soviet engineer; Proposed that the United States and Soviet Union build a gigantic dam across the Bering Strait and use nuclear power''driven propeller pumps to push the warm Pacific current into the Atlantic by way of the Arctic Sea. Arctic ice would melt, and the Siberian and North American frozen areas would become temperate and productive.
1958 Russian Oil engineer, P.M. Borisov's proposed melting the Arctic and Greenland icecaps by spreading black coal dust on the ice, creating cloud-cover across the poles to trap heat and to divert warm Atlantic waters into the polar regions. This scheme was taken seriously by Soviet climatologists. Two conferences were held in Leningrad in the early 1960'²s following an initial meeting in Moscow by the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1959.
1958Atlantic Richfield geologist L.M. Natland, proposed exploding up to 100 underground nuclear bombs to mine the AlbertaOil Sands. Heat from the detonations was expected to boil the bitumen deposits, reducing their viscosity to the point that standard drilling operations could be used. The plan was encouraged by US efforts to find ''peaceful uses'' for atomic energy. The project was approved in 1959 but the Canadian government reversed their decision in 1962 and declared that Canada was opposed to all forms of nuclear testing. In 2012 the Canadian Tar Sands are, again an issue of international concern.
1962 Harry Wexler (March 15, 1911- 1962) was an MIT graduate and PhD in meteorology. Wexler had been researching the link connecting chlorine and bromine compounds to the destruction of the stratospheric ozone layers, but died of a heart attack while on vacation in Woods Hole, Mass. Wexler had already accepted an invitation to deliver a lecture entitled ''The Climate of Earth and Its Modifications'' at the University of Maryland Space Research and Technology Institute. (Source)
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It remains largely unexplained why decades of optimism for warming the arctic was suddenly replaced with a campaign of fear and doom for the consequences of warming the arctic under the name of ''Global Warming''____________________________________________________
In the 1960's Geoengineering proposals to warm the Arctic took a largely unexplained U-turn when oceanographer, Roger Revelle's research concluded that carbon dioxide was already warming the climate for free and without the need for expensive and risky geoengineering projects.
This U-Turn of direction appeared to be a setback with the exception of those stakeholders in the energy sector who had been invested in arctic warming projects for decades. Did the CO2 story finally promise to give Exxon, BP and Shell what they wanted?
If the science of Roger Revelle's forecast for global warming turned out to be wrong or too slow, the DoD could step in '' for reasons of national security '' to assist arctic warming as secret component of the military's classified weather modification and weapons program.
The 1996 Air Force document that forecasts ''Owning the Weather in 2025'' would not rule out using Tesla and plasma technologies to increase arctic temperatures in order to disadvantage a perceived enemy. A decision not to intervene might betray the military's primary objective of ''Full Spectrum Dominance''. After all, access to Oil and Gas has been a national security priority for decades.
In 1966, Dr. Gordon J. F. MacDonald was Chairman of the ICAS Select Panel on Weather and Climate Modification and wrote:
''Carbon dioxide placed in the atmosphere since the start of the industrial revolution has produced an increase in the average temperature of the lower atmosphere of a few tenths of a degree Fahrenheit.'' Gordon MacDonald ''Unless Peace Comes: How to Wreck the Environment.Source
MacDonald was referring to Roger Revelle and Hans Suess paper that reversed the debate from how to warm the arctic to how to avoid warming the arctic. Revelle's ocean research reported a rise in carbon dioxide in earth's atmosphere was allegedly a result of industrial age manufacturing and coal-burning.Source
Revelle had worked with the Navy in the late 1940's to determine which projects gained funding and successfully promoted the idea that the Navy should invest more in ''basic research''. Revelle was deeply involved in the global growth of oceanography. He was also one of the committee chairmen in the influential National Academy of Sciences studies of the ''Biological Effects of Atomic Radiation'' (BEAR), 1954-1964. Revelle's world influence was significant as president of the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, an international group of scientists devoted to advising on international projects. Revelle and other scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography helped the U.S. government to plan nuclear weapons tests so that oceanographers might make use of the data. Source
The conclusions of the BEAR report were understandably significant for demonstrating the harmful biological and environmental damage of atomic radiation and could easily suffice to thwart geoengineering projects that recommended detonating H-bombs. But the evidence is weak that all intentions to mediate arctic climate was totally abandoned.
If the fundamental goal to warm the arctic remains an unspoken priority of national security in the energy sector, the project could be taken out of public view and committee oversight to become a classified operation in the development of the military's weather warfare program '' an initiative that was acknowledged by civilian weather modification programs formalized by the 1966 NASA and ICAS charter.
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Since 1958 Congress and the military had already been working on exotic weather warfare systems that involved electromagnetic manipulation of the ionosphere.____________________________________________________
US Congress, Senate, Committee on Inter-State and Foreign Commerce, Weather Modification Research, Hearing, Washington D.C. US Govt. Printing Offlce, March 18-19, 1958; Lowell Ponte quotes Capt. Orville as reporting ''that the Dept. of Defense was studying ways to manipulate the charges of earth and sky and so affect the weather by means of an electronic beams to ionize or de-ionize the atmosphere over a given area'' '.... Capt. Orville also discussed ongoing US Air Forceexperiments with 'sodium vapor, ejected from jet planes to intercept solar radiation ' over enemy countries and rain their weather. (The Cooling, op. cit. pp. 168-169 Source P. 42
The flip-flop from finding ways to warm the arctic to suddenly finding ways to keep the arctic from warming was announced in 1963 '' the year following the sudden death of Meteorologist, Harry Wexler. Having total awareness of the military's 1958 weather weapons program, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) recommended the appointment of a ''Panel on Weather and Climate Modification''. source This event could serve to consolidate military and civilian weather modification programs for peaceful purposes or '' if necessary '' as covert weather modification and even climate warming operations secretly carried out by the military under the catch-all justification of ''national security''.
FOLLOW THE MONEY: Lobbyists for Big Oil publicly claim Global Warming is a hoax while quietly investing billions in new drilling opportunities due to the reality of receding arctic ice. The energy sector has made huge investments in ice-breakers and drilling equipment to profit from the very global warming they are reluctant to acknowledge. The position of having your cake while eating it is essential. When arctic climate warming is revealed as a military climate modification operation, big oil can fall back on ''we told you so''. Since governments may come and go over the next 100 years, they calculate the demand for oil '' and the companies who drill for it '' will remain intact.
''As the polar ice cap retreats, energy companies are looking north for a potentially huge new source of crude'' Source''Shell is one of six companies planning to extract oil, gas and minerals in the Arctic as global warming melts ice and opens new sea lanes to commerce.'' Source''Remote and dangerous sources of arctic oil are becoming increasingly attractive as the global need for oil grows and the existing reserves dry up.'' Source
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Documents from 1966 reveal how the military and federal agencies are modifying the global climate.____________________________________________________
TITLE: ''Present and Future Plans of Federal Agencies in Weather-Climate Modification''This set of documents from 1966 reveals a network of government agencies in perpetual and secret collaboration , working with the military to Geoengineer the climate. Created as an agenda of the elitist National Academy of Sciences '' decades of an inter-agency culture of secrecy explains why the issue of covert aerosol Geoengineering is a taboo topic to be degraded to the status of ''conspiracy theory'' by every government agency in this web of complicit bureaucrats at every opportunity. This is why your local TV ''meteorologist'' will rarely make a helpful comment about an unusual sky filled with persistent jet trails.
1966,JUN: ''Present and Future Plans of Federal Agencies in Weather-Climate Modification'' Prepared by the ICAS select Panel on Weather Modification1966:NOV: A Recommended National Program in Weather Modification '' A Report to the Interdepartmental Committee for Atmospheric Sciences (ICAS) by Homer E. Newell '' Associate Administrator for Space Science and Applications, NASA, Washington, D.C.1966:APPENDIX I '' Panel on Weather and Climate Modification to Committee on Atmospheric Sciences NAS-NRC '' Membership Recommendations1966:APPENDIX II '' Special Commission on Weather Modification '' National Science Foundation Membership Recommendations.1966:APPENDIX III Report prepared by the ICAS Select Panel on Weather Modification; ''Present and Future Plans of Federal Agencies in Weather-Climate Modification,'' dated June 20, 19661966:APPENDIX IV Memorandum for Dr. Homer E. Newel1 from J. Herbert Hollomon, Chairman, ICAS, Subject: National Weather Modification Program, dated June 21, 19661966:APPENDIX V NASA Panel to Study Weather Modification Activities; Membership, Chronology of Meetings, and a Compilation of Supporting Material used by the Panel1966:APPENDIX VI Budget Recommendations and Trends for a National Weather Modification Program1966 '' NASA: A Recommended National Program in Weather Modification '' A report to the Independent Committee for Atmospheric Sciences (ICAS) by Homer E. Newell '' Associate administrator for Space Science and Applications, NASA, Washington, DC.
In 1966, a report from NASA to ICAS (Independent Committee for Atmospheric Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences, NAS) was the first step in establishing a national Weather modification program that would ultimately involve multiple federal agencies. The report focused on four initial agencies: ESSA, NSF, NASA, and the Dept. of Interior's Bureau of Reclamation.
Under Recommended Principals it was noted that (a) each agency would be independently funded while stressing inter-agency cooperation in research. Independent funding of agencies could make the program less conspicuous and more difficult for Congress to defund. Also, new agencies could be brought on board without high profile budget hearings. (b) A designated ''central'' agency '' while having responsibility for focusing the national program '' would not have any real authority to implement programs, leaving those decisions to probable unidentified civilian lobbyists and DoD ''stakeholders''.
Although the theme of the ICAS report is in the context of protecting water, agriculture, forests, lands and natural resources, the knowledge gained from climate manipulation was of more immediate interest to the military and their industrial complex.
Thirty years following the creation of the Nation Program in Weather Modification, the US Air Force published a document (''Owning The Weather in 2025'' ) establishing that federal agencies involved in the National Weather Modification program are under tacit authority of the Department of Defense.
Owning the Weather in 2025 '' Opening Statement: Current technologies that will mature over the next 30 years will offer anyone who has the necessary resources the ability to modify weather patterns and their corresponding effects, at least on the local scale. Current demographic, economic, and environmental trends will create global stresses that provide the impetus necessary for many countries or groups to turn this weather-modification ability into a capability.
In the United States, weather-modification will likely become a part of national security policy with both domestic and international applications. Our government will pursue such a policy, depending on its interests, at various levels. These levels could include unilateral actions, participation in a security framework such as NATO, membership in an international organization such as the UN, or participation in a coalition. Assuming that in 2025 our national security strategy includes weather-modification, its use in our national military strategy will naturally follow. Besides the significant benefits an operational capability would provide, another motivation to pursue weather-modification is to deter and counter potential adversaries.
In this paper we show that appropriate application of weather-modification can provide battlespace dominance to a degree never before imagined. In the future, such operations will enhance air and space superiority and provide new options for battlespace shaping and battlespace awareness.1 ''The technology is there, waiting for us to pull it all together;''2 in 2025 we can ''Own the Weather
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A 1986 Critique of the 1966 National Weather Modification InitiativeThe Evolution of a Weather Modification R&D program Into a Military Weapons SystemCASE STUDY Document located on the website of the Federation of American Scientists '' Click Here
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This document appears as an anonymous draft intended as a critique of the US Weather Modification Program that the author characterizes as hijacked into a military weapons system. The final draft is not yet located.
For over 100 years, experts and authors were advocating geoengineering projects warm the arctic. The public, at large, was entertained by these concepts even when suggestions to detonate hydrogen bombs over the north pole were advocated by a nationally recognized weather expert in 1962.
It's revealing that initial proposals to solve the newly discovered CO2 ''warming'' problem had less to do with cutting back on carbon emissions and more to do with a rush to release toxic atmospheric aerosols without first, researching the hazards. The specter of polluting the atmosphere, blocking sunlight and causing the release of huge volumes of CO2 from the jet aircraft aerosol sorties is an obvious public health and strategic concern that requires years of research that the government was unwilling to legislate and fund. Therefore, the impatience with which these chemical aerosol schemes were promoted suggests that emergency steps to cool the planet with aerosols was never the primary mission.
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In 1962, Geoenginnering efforts to warm the arctic were widely entertained but in 1966 it was top priority to prevent the arctic from warming by even one degree.____________________________________________________
Trojan Horse?: Under the military's vision to Own the Weather Weather in 2025 atmospheric warming with ionospheric and plasma weapons is an established capability. The numerous agencies inside the National Weather and Climate Modification program are actively guarding the military's aerosol and energy weapons program with stiff denials to the public and media whenever the issue of ''chemtrails'' is a story on local radio or TV stations.
It's unacceptable that the UN/IPCC continue to push CO2 as the cause for climate change but refuse to acknowledge the military has been actively engaged in climate modification since the mid 1990's?
An abrupt reversal of policy from promoting arctic climate mediation to preventing Global Warming resulted in ideas that both polluted the atmosphere AND became a source of Global Warming.Just as the ICAS/NASA National Weather Modification program is being formalized the record shows most ideas to cool the planet suddenly involve bazaar schemes to spray or disburse particles, biology and dust into the atmosphere and oceans. These are the same people who '' just a few months earlier, were eagerly lining up to hear Wexler talk about ways to warm the planet with hydrogen bombs, destruction of the OZONE and orbital particles.
While most of us realize that many of these proposals from respected experts would be catastrophic to the environment, not all of these draconian ideas have been rejected, even as increasing evidence determines that deploying chemicals into the atmosphere does more harm than good.
Deployment of geoengineering aerosols as observed in practice for two decades is now regarded as a sourceof global warming '' not a fix.:
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Geoengineering Aerosols Are Warming the Atmosphere and Are a Source of Global Warming____________________________________________________
In 2007, investigator, Cliff Carnicom calculated the impact of the current unacknowledged aerosol deployment into the atmosphere and concludes:
''It can be seen from this model that the results of artificial aerosol introduction into the lower atmosphere can be of a magnitude quite on par with the extraordinary impacts projected by even modest and conservative global warming models upon humans in the near future. As the model presented herein is intended to be reasonably conservative, the impact of the aerosol operations could be much greater than these results show. It is advised that the citizens consider the viability and merit of this model in the examination of the global warming issue, and that they openly take aggressive action to halt the intentional aerosol operations.
This paper is late in its offering, as my availability for continued research at this level is limited. I am nevertheless hopeful that the information can be evaluated and assimilated into the many rationales and arguments that have developed over the last decade to cease the intentional alteration of the atmosphere of our planet.'' '' Cliff CarnicomComplete study
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Geoengineering Proposals to Warm the Arctic Are Replaced by Fear of Global Warming____________________________________________________
1965; President's Science Advisory Committee, United States; Proposal: Investigated injecting condensation or freezing nuclei into the atmosphere to counteract the effects of increasing carbon dioxide.1977; Cesare Marchetti, Italian industrial physicist; Coined the term ''geoengineering'' and proposed sequestering CO2 in the deep ocean.1983; Stanford Penner, A. M. Schneider, and E. M. Kennedy, American physicists; Suggested introducing small particles into the atmosphere to reflect more sunlight back into space.1988; John H. Martin, American oceanographer; Proposed dispersing a relatively small amount of iron into appropriate areas of the ocean to create large algae blooms that could take in enough atmospheric carbon to reverse the greenhouse effect and cool Earth.1989; James T. Early, American climatologist suggested deflecting sunlight by 2 percent with a $1 trillion to $10 trillion ''space shade'' placed in Earth orbit.1990; John Latham, British cloud physicist; Proposed seeding marine stratocumulus clouds with seawater droplets to increase their reflectivity and longevity.1992; NAS Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy proposed adding more dust to naturally occurring stratospheric dust to increase the net reflection of sunlight.1998: International Space Station (ISS): The first modular component of the International Space Station (ISS) was launched and is the current (in 2012) habitable artificial satellite in low Earth orbit following the Salyut, Almaz, Skylab and Mir. (1998 ISS mission consistent with same year increase in jet aerosol public observations and complaints)The stated function of the SSI is to provide an international space platform for research and experimentation in the fields of biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology (weather) and other fields.2010: Geoengineer, David Keith (AAAS Meeting) proposal to use jet aircraft to spray Sulfur dioxide and aluminum nano-particles into the atmosphere to reflect sunlight back into space.In 1968, Gordon J. F. MacDonald authored a chapter in ''Unless Peace Comes'' where he correctly predicted that future means of obtaining national objectives by force hinges on man's ability to control and manipulate the environment of planet Earth.
''When achieved, this power over his environment will provide man with a new force capable of doing great and indiscriminate damage. Our present primitive understanding of deliberate environmental change makes it difficult to imagine a world in which geophysical warfare is practised. Such a world might be one in which nuclear weapons were effectively banned and the weapons of mass destruction were those of environmental catastrophe. As I will argue, these weapons are peculiarly suited for covert or secret wars.''
''To consider the consequences of environmental modification in struggles among nations, we need to consider the present state of the subject and how postulated developments in the field could lead, ten to fifty years from now, to weapons systems that would use nature in new and perhaps unexpected ways. ''
More Than Owning the Weather in 2025The confidence and enthusiasm expressed in the USAF 1996 document: Owning the Weather in 2025 was supported by the advent of scalar weapons technologies during the Reagan Star War years. The document promises: ''weather-modification can provide battlespace dominance to a degree never before imagined. The ''never before imagined'' comment speaks directly to the HAARP ionospheric heater facility, the Bernard Eastlund patents and military strategies for global military dominance. This scenario of weather control harkens to the predictive warning from Gordon MacDonald in chapter in the book: Unless Peace Comes: How to Wreck the Environment. Source
Timeline for Owning the Weather: From 1987-1992 ATPI scientists build on Bernard Eastlund's patents for development of new weapon capabilities
In 1994 ATPI is bought by E-Systems with a contract to build the biggest ionospheric heater in the world (HAARP). '-- In 1995, Raytheon bought E-Systems and old APTI patents. '-- In 1996 the Air Force publishes: Owning The Weather in 2025
In his 2011 book, Here on Earth:A Natural History of the Planet, scientist and author, Tim Flannery reminds us that proposals to melt the Icecaps were advanced after World War II by reputable figures including the first director-general of UNESCO (Julian Huxley-1946), by a top official at the U.S. Weather Bureau, and by a Russian oil engineer Petr Mikhailovich Borisov. Scientific conferences debated the merits, while mining and energy corporations contemplated the use of nuclear detonations in the extraction of coal and oil.
Reputable figures in the international community saw an opportunity to detonate nuclear weapons as a novel and constructive way to geoengineer the Arctic. The prevailing rationale to justify method included: (1) The arctic is nearly too cold to be habitable by humans (2) The polar ice cap blocks valuable shipping lanes. (3) The expanses of frigid water up North contributes to uncomfortably cold winters in many countries. (4) difficulty of drilling for oil through ice.
The idea was publicly floated as a ''peaceful use'' of atomic weapons.
Flannery offers this example as evidence of humanity's seeming propensity for hastening its own extinction.
Here on Earth: A Natural History of the Planet - By Tim Flannery. Book Reviewby Mark Engler
Russian Oil engineer, P.M. Borisov's Proposed Method of Melting the Arctic Icecap
Borisov's idea:If the Arctic ice is once melted much less of the sun's radiation will be reflected out into space and therefore the arctic ice cap will not re-form. An ice-free Arctic Ocean would be a great boon to oceanic shipping, especially between Europe and East Asia. Much land in northern Canada and Siberia would be freed of permafrost and made suitable for agriculture. Borisov believed that an ice-free Arctic Ocean would lead to increased evaporation of water and hence increased rainfall worldwide, including the region of Sahara Desert leading to grass growing there. Borisov considers all of the impacts of the melting of the Arctic ice cap to be beneficial. He asserts that the melting of the Greenland ice cap would raise sea levels at a rate of only 1.5 to 2 mm per year.
This scheme was taken seriously by Soviet climatologists. Two conferences were held in Leningrad in the early 1960'²s following an initial meeting in Moscow by the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1959. Borisov's suggestions to warm the arctic included:
Covering great areas of the Arctic with black powders such as coal dust (G. Veksler, 1959) (Carbon Black?)Dispersing the cloud cover over the central Arctic Basin (D. Fletcher, 1958) (Geoengineering Aerosols?)Deepening of the Thomson Sill (V.N. Stepanov, 1963)Covering the water surface with a monomolecular film (M. Budyko, 1962)Installations to direct warmer Atlantic water into the Kara Sea (V.P. P'yankov, 1965)Pumping cold Arctic water into the Pacific to draw warm Atlantic water into the Arctic Basin (P.M. Borisov, c. 1968)This concept also required construction of a dam across the Bering Strait. Source: P.M. Borisov, ''Can we Control the Arctic Climate?'', Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, March, 1969, pp. 43-48.
In a related scheme, a proposal was floated to store nuclear waste in the Antarctic. The plan would allow specially designed canisters of hot radioactive waste to melt down through the ice until it reached the ''ice-rock interface'' where it would supposedly remain in cold storage for 250,000 years.
The following Timeline is from the book, ''Angels Don't Play This HAARP''Advances in Tesla Technology by Jeanne Manning and Dr. Nick Begich and contains disturbing facts about the little known history of our Government's use of scalar technologies to modify the weather. Additional events and links were inserted in 2012 to update the list.
Timeline of public and covert testing and development of energy weapons
1886-8: Nikola Tesla invents system of Alternating Current power source and transmission system. As 60-pulse-per-second (hertz) AC power grids spread over the land, Earth's resonance frequency will eventually dance to a different beat than her usual 7-8 hertz .1900: Tesla applies for patent for a device to transmit Electrical Energy ''Through the Natural Mediums''. U.S. Patent #787,412 issued in 19051924: Confirmation that radio waves bounce off ionosphere (electrically-charged layer starting at altitude of 50 kilometers).1938: Scientist proposes to light up night sky by electron gyrotron heating from a powerful transmitter.1940: Tesla announces ''death ray'' invention.1945: Atomic bomb tests begin 40,000 electromagnetic pulses to follow.1952: W.O. Schumann identifies 7.83 hertz resonant frequency of the earth.1958: Van Allen radiation belts discovered (zones of charged particles trapped in earth's magnetic field) 2,000+ miles up. VA Belt violently disrupted with nuclear detonations1958: Project Argus, U.S. Navy explodes 3 nuclear bombs in Van Allen belt.1958: As far back as 1958, the chief White House adviser on weather modification, Captain Howard T. Orville, said the DoD was studying ''ways to manipulate the charges of the Earth and sky and so affect the weather by using an electronic beam to ionise or de-ionise the atmosphere over a given area.1960: Series of weather disasters begin.1961 '' Project Skywater '' Bureau of Reclamation (water) cloud seeding project funded by Congress.1961: Copper needles dumped into ionosphere as ''telecommunications shield''.1961: Scientists propose artificial ion cloud experiments. In 1960'²s the dumping of chemicals (barium powder etc.) from satellites/rockets began.1961-62: Soviets and USA blast many EMPs in atmosphere, 300 megatons of nuclear devices deplete ozone layer estimated at 4%.1962: Launch of Canadian satellites and start of stimulating plasma resonances by antennas within the space plasma.1966, June, Report to ICAS by ICAS Select Panel '' Chair, Gordon JF MacDonald. ''Future plans of Federal Agencies in Weather and Climate Modification.''1966, Nov, report from NASA to ICAS (Independent Comm. for Atmospheric Sciences of the Nat. Academy of Sciences, NAS) was first step in establishing a National Weather Modification program1966: Gordon J. F. MacDonald publishes military ideas on environmental engineering. MacDonald was Chair of the ICAS Select Panel on Weather and Climate Modification.1960'²s: In Wisconsin, US Navy Project Sanguine lays ELF antennae.1968: Moscow scientists tell the West that Soviets pinpointed which pulsed magnetic field frequencies help mental and physiological functions and which do harm.1968: Gordon JF MacDonald authors chapter in book: ''Unless peace Comes '' a scientific forecast of new weapons'' MacDonald was Chair of the ICAS Select Panel on Weather and Climate Modification.1969: Hail Suppression Data from Western North Dakota, 1969''1972 South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City.1972: First reports on ''ionospheric heater'' experiments with high frequency radio waves, at Arecibo. 100-megawatt heater in Norway built later in decade; can change conductivity of auroral ionosphere.1972: Potential Value of Satellite Cloud Pictures in Weather Mod. Projects '' Report prepared for NASA by Institute of Atmospheric Sciences South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Rapid City.1973: Documentation that launch of Skylab and associated rocket exhaust gases `'halved the total electron content of the ionosphere for three hours.1973: Recommendations for study of Project Sanguine's biological effects denied by Navy.1974: United Nations General Assembly bans environmental warfare. ENMOD1974: High-frequency experiments at Plattesville, Colorado; Arecibo, Puerto Rico; and, Armidale, New South Wales heat ''bottom side of ionosphere''.1974: Experiments airglow brightened by hitting oxygen atoms in ionosphere with accelerated electrons.1975: Evaluation of Monte Carlo Tests of Effectiveness of Cloud Seeding on Growing Season Rainfall in North Dakota.1975: Stanford professor Robert Helliwell reports that VLF from power lines is altering the ionosphere.1975: U. S. Senator Gaylord Nelson forces Navy to release research showing that ELF transmissions can alter human blood chemistry.1975: Pell Senate Subcommittee urges that weather and climate modification work be overseen by civilian agency answerable to U.S. Congress. No action taken.1975: Soviets begin pulsing ''Woodpecker'' ELF waves, at key brainwave rhythms. Eugene, Oregon, one of locations where people were particularly affected.1976: Drs. Susan Bawin and W. Ross Adey show nerve cells affected by ELF fields.1977: Environmental Impacts of Precipitation Management '' Inferences to Project Skywater1979: Launch of NASA's third High-Energy Astrophysical Observatory causes large-scale, artificially-induced depletion in the ionosphere. Plasma hole caused by ''rapid chemical processes'' between rocket exhaust and ozone layer.'' '...''ionosphere was significantly depleted over a horizontal distance of 300 km for some hours.''1979: Annotated Bibliography of Predictor Variables for Weather Modification Applications '' Funded by NSF Grant ATM 79-05007 pub., Illinois State Water Survey, Urbana.1985: Bernard J. Eastlund applies for patent ''Method and Apparatus for Altering a Region in the Earth's Atmosphere, ionosphere and/or Magnetosphere,'' (First of 3 Eastlund patents assigned to ARCO Power Technologies Inc.)1986: US Navy Project Henhouse duplicates Delgado (Madrid) experiment '-- very low-level, very-low-frequency pulsed magnetic fields harm chick embryos. 201987: In the later part of the decade the U.S. begins network of Ground Wave Emergency Network (GWEN) towers, each to generate Very Low Frequency (VLF) waves for defense purposes .1987-92: Other APTI scientists build on Eastlund patents for development of new weapon capabilities.1994: Military contractor E-Systems buys APTI, holder of Eastlund patents and contract to build biggest ionospheric heater in world (HAARP).1994: Congress freezes funding on HAARP until planners increase emphasis on earth-penetrating tomography uses, for nuclear counter proliferation efforts. (Oil and gas exploration)1995-1997: Public complaints accumulate across the US regarding unusual cloud formations and sudden increase in observable persistent jet contrails that appear unnaturally under dry atmospheric conditions. These observations are accompanied by complaints of biological specimens and web formations that appear to fall from the sky. Many instances of qualified lab analysis reveal high concentration of aluminum, barium and other elements that are consistent with DoD electromagnetic experiments1995: Raytheon buys E-Systems and old APTI patents. The technology is now hidden among thousands of patents within one of the largest defense contractor portfolios.1995: Congress budgets $10 million for 1996 under ''nuclear counterproliferation'' efforts for HAARP project.1995: Test of patent number 5,041,834 to generate an Artificial Ionospheric Mirror (AIM), or a plasma layer in the atmosphere. The AIM is used like the ionosphere to reflect RF energy over great distances.1994-6: Testing of first-stage HAARP (euphemistically named High frequency Active Auroral Research Program) equipment continues, although funding was frozen.1996: HAARP scientists test the earth-penetrating tomography applications by modulating the electroject at Extremely Low Frequencies (ELF)1998: Projected date for fully-operating HAARP system.2009: Operation HAMP '' Department of Homeland Security operation to Modify and Steer Hurricanes with Geoengineering Aerosols2012: Celebrating 50 years of Success. A Compilation of highlights from the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Rapid City.____________________________________________________
The World is Waking Up to State Crimes of Climate Warming and Violent Weather by Combinations of Powerful Electromagnetic Energy Weapons and Aerosol Geoengineering____________________________________________________
It was in the mid- 1990's when the US public a were suddenly confronted with unexplained changes in the sky that included bazaar new cloud formations and new types of jet contrails that persisted in the skies for hours even while the relative humidity was very low at the altitudes where the jets were flying. These observed changes were coincident with events following the 1994 E-Systems purchase of APTI, also holder of plasma physicist, Bernard Eastlund's patents and contracts to build the world's largest ionospheric heater (HAARP).
The history of the 1966 National weather Modification Program and the coincidence of events around the time of bazaar new cloud formations is sufficient reason to pursue the relationship of persistent jet aerosols to the ionospheric heater experiments at the HAARP facility and Gakona, AK, Aricebo, PR and many more similar facilities brought online in recent years.
The ongoing depletion of earth's protective OZONE layer is a known risk to manipulation of the ionosphere with powerfully heated beams of electromagnetic radiation. Pollution from the Shuttle missions, alone has accounted for rapid ozone depletion according to NASA's own documents.
Further damage results when chemical aerosols deployed over either polar region traps heat in the troposphere resulting in a rise in surface temperatures to endanger normal formation of seasonal ice with an associated plunge in stratospheric temperatures into the range of -109 deg. F. with the formation of chemically contaminated ice crystals that react with sunlight to further deplete the OZONE.
From 2009 to 2012 persistent jet chemical aerosols are clearly observed over the North Polar regions on many satellite images and ground-based photographs. It is no surprise that NASA now reports new OZONE depletion in far northern latitudes where none was previously detected.
It's no secret that government agencies, the military and commercial interests of the US and abroad have invested in a radical scalar system of weather modification that is now revealed to have far too many unintended negative consequences to sustain life on earth.
Continuation of this vast and terra-deforming aerosol geoengineering operation will only confirm that one agenda is to deplete the arctic ice '' a concept that has been embraced by influential men, Oil companies and nations for nearly 100 years.
The government, military, IPCC, UN and corporate stakeholders can no longer pretend to be desperately concerned about global warming and climate change while the world is waking up to realize these same entities are participating in the deployment of electromagnetic weapons and aerosols of massive climate destruction as a monstrous and Orwellian hoax on humanity.
UPDATESWorld Wide Watch Institute, 2014:
In the seas north of Russia and Alaska, expanded oil-and-gas development is already under way. The U.S. Department of Interior last month sold a record-breaking $2.6 billion in development bids throughout the Chukchi Sea, just above the Bering Strait. Additional sales are scheduled for 2010 and 2012. As companies move into the Arctic to search for energy reserves or to create new shipping lanes, the potential environmental impacts could be huge. Balton acknowledged that shifting ice and coastal erosion makes exploration and development risky. ''It's definitely a dangerous area to maneuver. An oil spill would be really hard to clean up,'' he said. *** Continue
Related Links:___________________________________________________________
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:NikolaTesla, Inventor of the Death Ray, died in Jan, 1943 wherein the FBI took possession of his papers and documents.
After WWII, Operation ''Overcast'' (Later named opertion Paper Clip) was a US program to employ NAZI regime scientists in US laboratories.
The National Security Act, passed in 1947 Created the Central Intelligence Agency and made possible the rise of the military industrial complexto increase opportunities for scientific experiments to be conducted without public knowledge or Congressional oversight.
In 1958, the military announced they were experimenting on the ionosphere with electronic beams for the purpose of manipulating the weather.
In 1962 Respected Meteolrologist Harry Wexler proposed geoengineering strategies to warm the planet.
In 1963 the National Academy of Scientists proposed formation of a panel to create a ''National Weather and Climate Modification Program''.
In 1966 Plans to warm the arctic were abandoned without comment to be replaced with warnings that CO2 was already causing the atmosphere to get warmer.
This video introduces the article. Global Warming Linked to Advanced Climate Change Technology.
The title sounds provocative but NASA has concluded that man-made, persistent contrails are exacerbating global warming and could contribute to long-term changes in Earth's climate.
The article explores the forgotten history of America's National Weather and Climate Modification Program '' Still in existance '' and how it rapidly evolved into a military/civilian weather warfare program of mass destruction.The documentation and subsequent critique reveals a program that went into rapid mission creep when the military became involved. The critique was drafted in 1986 by a member of the Union of Atomic Scientists.
The record shows that industrialists and their scientists have been looking for ways to warm the arctic for 100 years beginning in 1877 when Harvard geologist Nathaniel Shaler proposed diverting warm Atlantic water into the Arctic Sea.
Decades of arctic warming proposals followed until 1962 when respected MIT meteorologist, Harry Wexler proposed 3 schemes to increase the global temperature of the Earth by 1.7°C,:
(1) Detonate 10 hydrogen bombs in the arctic ocean to send ice crystals into the polar atmosphere(2) Destroy the ozone layer by using aircraft to spray chlorine or bromine into the stratosphere .(3) Launch dust particles into equatorial orbit to diffuse light to heat to warm the polar regions.
These ideas sound pretty frightening today, but in 1962 Wexler's ideas were gaining traction and nobody ''important'' was calling him a lunatic. But following Wexler's untimely death that same year the problem of how to warm the planet completely reversed polarity.Suddenly '' and without explanation '' it was now imperative to find ways to cool the planet and to keep the atmosphere from warming.
The U-turn in national direction came about when a paper was published by oceanographer, Roger Revelle who claimed earth's atmosphere was warming due to a buidup of carbon dioxide from burning coal back in the industrial age.
The new narrtive became ''official'' for media consumption in 1966 when Gordon MacDonald '' Chairman of the new ICAS Select Panel on Weather and Climate Modification stated: ''Carbon dioxide placed in the atmosphere since the start of the industrial revolution has produced an increase in the average temperature of the lower atmosphere of a few tenths of a degree Fahrenheit.''
Wexler's proposals to warm the planet were never mentioned again but remained quietly popular with stakeholders in the oil and energy markets who had always seen vast opportunities for new shipping lanes and drilling as soon as the ice melted a bit.
In view of NASA's position that man-made persistent contrails are exacerbating global warming '' what are we to think?
If these man-made clouds are normal water vapor we have a problem that accelerates global warming. But If the problem can be fixed, and no governrnment authority has yet thought it was important enough to take immediate action we can reasonably assume that warming the climate with persistent contrails is a tolerable or even desired outcome.
And if If man-made clouds are revealed to be chemical aerosols deliberately sprayed into the atmosphere we can reasonably assume that heating the atmosphere is a hidden agenda inside a covert aerosol operation that mimmicks the appearance of a geoengineering plan to cool the planet. In reality, the chemical aerosol operations provide plausible deniablity to spectators that our benevolent government is secretly spraying the skies to test ways to mitigate global warming for the good of humanity.
This plausible deniaility is taught to us through media coverage of geoengineers lake David Keith who presents aerosol ''cooling'' strategies in frequent public appearances that are '' in turn '' presented as news in multiple media sources..
So, the agenda to warm the planet is cleverly hidden in plain sight disguised as an undisclosed but benevolent government program to test aerosol spraying to cool the planet if we should ever decide it's necessary. Meanwhile, arctic ice continues to retreat despite decades of ''testing''.
Aerosols are not the sole requirement in advanced climate change technology. High energy ionospheric heaters, Tesla Arrays, and exotic electromagnetic devices are required to interact with chemical aerosols in ways that normal water vapor contrails never could.
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Hillary 2016
The 38 Gayest Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Run For President
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 21:47
The 38 Gayest Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Run For PresidentYour Post Has Been Launched!
Fabulous! Don't forget to share with your friends on Twitter and Facebook.1. She will personally find ''Jen'' from Appleton.Getty Images Joe Raedle
2. She bought this coat because she thought it was cool and funky, wore it once, and then decided she looked like an idiot and never wore it again.Getty Images Paul Zimmerman
3. She believes Becky G is the Mexican Katy Perry.Getty Images Mark Wilson
4. This was her reaction when someone asked her to use a shovel.Getty Images Chip Somodevilla
5. She watches American Ninja Warrior solely for the shirtless DILFs.Getty Images Justin Sullivan
6. She didn't see Ben Affleck's penis in Gone Girl and was fucking pissed about it.AFP / Getty Images SAUL LOEB
7. Sometimes she can't even.Getty Images Brendan Hoffman
8. On her first day in office, she will make an executive order to ban the use of ''#instagay.''Getty Images Mark Wilson
9. ''Iggy Azalea is the best rapper of the past decade!!''Getty Images Win McNamee
10. ''Ariana Grande is the new Britney Spears!!!''AFP / Getty Images NICHOLAS KAMM
11. ''ARTPOP IS THE ALBUM OF THE MILLENNIUM!!!!!!!!!!!!''Getty Images Mark Wilson
12. She relishes in your sweet hot goss.Getty Images Pool
13. She bought Britney Jean on iTunes'....AFP / Getty Images PAUL J. RICHARDS
14. '...thought it completely disrespects Britney Spears' flawless discography'...Getty Images Alex Wong
15. '...but she totally blames Will.i.am. She will ban him too.Getty Images Andrew Burton
16. She believes and is passionate about other worldly and just causes.Getty Images Chip Somodevilla
17. She has more Grammys than Katy Perry.AFP / Getty Images JON LEVY
18. ''Jessie J'...''AFP / Getty Images TIMOTHY A. CLARY
19. ''Masc only.''AFP / Getty Images MANDEL NGAN
20. She understands the real, true value of good lighting.AFP / Getty Images CHRIS WILKINS
21. She's always on the lookout for your man.Getty Images Marty Melville
22. There is a picture of her on Meryl Streep's iPhone.Getty Images Pool
23. She is always working on and tweaking her skinniest pose.AFP / Getty Images AFP
24. She appreciates boobs even though she feels absolutely no physical or sexual attraction toward them.AFP / Getty Images PAUL J. RICHARDS
25. She likes big things.AFP / Getty Images NICHOLAS KAMM
26. She pretends to have an opinion about types of wine'...AFP / Getty Images SAUL LOEB
27. '...but really doesn't give a fuck and just likes getting drunk off it.AFP / Getty Images AFP
28. She always travels in style praying and hoping that someday there will be a super-hot guy sitting next to her on the plane and they'll fall in love like a goddamn romantic comedy.AFP / Getty Images MARIO TAMA
29. Lol sports.Getty Images Handout
30. She's totally vers.Getty Images Chip Somodevilla
31. She's always praying for your faves'...AFP / Getty Images LIONEL BONAVENTURE
32. '...and on the lookout for all you basic bitches.AFP / Getty Images NICHOLAS KAMM
33. She's not really into twinks but would totally do it to it with Zac Efron.AFP / Getty Images PAUL J. RICHARDS
LASTLY, you can commonly hear her say the following'...
34. ''Ha ha. Stop, bottom.''Getty Images WPA Pool
35. ''Lol I'm grilling.''Getty Images Steve Pope
36. ''Yaaaaas, Gaga. Slay, mama. You look sooo good.''Getty Images Spencer Platt
37. ''I love all my gay fans.''AFP / Getty Images NICHOLAS KAMM
38. ''Now #COMETOBRAZIL!!!''Getty Images Peter Macdiarmid
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Letter from the President -- Budget Program Revision for the Commodity Credit Corporation for Fiscal Year 2015
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 21:31
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
October 14, 2014
October 14, 2014
Dear Mr. Speaker:
Consistent with section 5 of the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act (15 U.S.C. 714c) and the Government Corporation Control Act (31 U.S.C. Chapter 91), I hereby notify the Congress of a budget program revision for the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015. The revisions total up to $300 million and reflect the payments that the United States is making, pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and Brazil of October 1, 2014, in connection with termination of the World Trade Organization (WTO) "Cotton dispute" (WT/DS267) brought by Brazil with respect to which the WTO made adverse rulings regarding certain United States cotton programs and export credit guarantees (GSM-102).
For FY 2015, the budget estimates for CCC, as amended by the Mid-Session Review, of $6.074 billion in net outlays would be increased by $300 million, to $6.374 billion.
The details of this action are set forth in the enclosed letter from the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. I concur with the Director's comments and observations.
Sincerely,
BARACK OBAMA
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WTO | dispute settlement - the disputes - DS267
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 21:32
This summary has been prepared by the Secretariat under its own responsibility. The summary is for general information only and is not intended to affect the rights and obligations of Members.
See also:> One-page summary of key findings of this dispute> The basics: how disputes are settled in WTO> Computer based training on dispute settlement> Text of the Dispute Settlement Understanding
Current status back to top
Key facts back to top
Summary of the dispute to date back to top
The summary below was up-to-date at See also:One-page summary of key findings of this dispute
Consultations
Complaint by Brazil.
On 27 September 2002 Brazil requested consultations with the United States regarding prohibited and actionable subsidies provided to US producers, users and/or exporters of upland cotton, as well as legislation, regulations, statutory instruments and amendments thereto providing such subsidies (including export credits), grants, and any other assistance to the US producers, users and exporters of upland cotton (''US upland cotton industry'').
Brazil contended that these measures were inconsistent with the obligations of the United States under the following provisions: Articles 5(c), 6.3(b), (c) and (d), 3.1(a) (including item (j) of the Illustrative List of Export Subsidies in Annex I), 3.1(b), and 3.2 of the SCM Agreement; Articles 3.3, 7.1, 8, 9.1 and 10.1 of the Agreement on Agriculture; and Article III:4 of GATT 1994. Brazil was of the view that the US statutes, regulations, and administrative procedures listed above were inconsistent with these provisions as such and as applied.
On 9 October and 11 October 2002, Zimbabwe and India, respectively, requested to join the consultations. On 14 October 2002, Argentina and Canada requested to join the consultations. The United States informed the DSB that it had accepted the requests of Argentina and India to join the consultations.
On 6 February 2003, Brazil requested the establishment of a panel. At its meeting on 19 February 2003, the DSB deferred the establishment of a panel.
Panel and Appellate Body proceedings
Further to a second request by Brazil, the DSB established a Panel at its meeting on 18 March 2003. Argentina, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, the European Communities, India, Pakistan and Venezuela reserved their third-party rights to participate in the Panel's proceedings.
At that meeting, the Chairman of the DSB announced that he continued to consult with Brazil and the United States on the issue of appointing a DSB representative to facilitate the information-gathering process, pursuant to the Annex V procedures under the SCM Agreement, which had been invoked by Brazil in its panel request. Following a communication from the United States, on 20 March 2003, Brazil indicated, in conformity with paragraph 1 of Annex V, that it considered the following third-county markets as relevant: Argentina, Bangladesh, Colombia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Portugal, Philippines, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand and Turkey.
On 24 March 2003, Benin reserved its third-party rights. On 25 March 2003, Australia reserved its third-party rights. On 26 March 2003, Paraguay reserved its third-party rights. On 28 March 2003, New Zealand reserved its third-party rights. On 4 April 2003, Chad reserved its third-party rights. On 9 May 2003, Brazil requested the Director-General to compose the panel. On 19 May 2003, the Director-General composed the panel.
On 17 November 2003, the Chairman of the panel informed the DSB that it would not be able to complete its work in six months due to the complexity of the matter and that the panel expected to issue its final report to the parties in May 2004.
On 8 September 2004, the panel report was circulated to Members. The panel found that:
agricultural export credit guarantees are subject to WTO export subsidy disciplines and three United States export credit guarantee programmes are prohibited export subsidies which have no Peace Clause protection and are in violation of those disciplines; the United States also grants several other prohibited subsidies in respect of cotton; United States' domestic support programmes in respect of cotton are not protected by the Peace Clause, and certain of these programmes result in serious prejudice to Brazil's interests in the form of price suppression in the world market.On 18 October 2004, the United States notified its intention to appeal certain issues of law and legal interpretations developed by the panel. On 16 December 2004, the Chairman of the Appellate Body informed the DSB that in light of the numerous and complex issues raised in this dispute, the increased burden on the Appellate Body as well as the translation services, the intervening holiday period, and the fact that the Appellate Body expects to be considering two or three other appeals in the coming weeks, the Appellate Body would not be able to circulate its Report by, 17 December 2004. The Chairman stated that the Appellate Body estimated that the Appellate Body report would be circulated no later than 3 March 2005.
On 3 March 2005, the Appellate Body report was circulated to Members. The Appellate Body found inter alia as follows:
A. As regards the applicability of the Peace Clause to this dispute, the Appellate Body:
upheld the panel's finding that two challenged measures (production flexibility contract and direct payments) are related to the type of production undertaken after the base period and thus are not green box measures conforming fully to paragraph 6(b) of Annex 2 to the Agreement on Agriculture; and, therefore, are not exempt, by virtue of Article 13(a)(ii), from actions under Article XVI of GATT 1994 and Part III of the SCM Agreement; modified the panel's interpretation of the phrase ''support to a specific commodity'' in Article 13(b)(ii), but upheld the Panel's conclusion that the challenged domestic support measures granted support to upland cotton; and upheld the panel's finding that the challenged domestic support measures granted, between 1999 and 2002, support to upland cotton in excess of that decided during the 1992 benchmark period and, therefore, that these measures are not exempt, by virtue of Article 13(b)(ii), from actions under Article XVI:1 of the GATT 1994 and Part III of the SCM Agreement; B. As regards serious prejudice, the Appellate Body:
upheld the panel's finding that the effect of the challenged price-contingent subsidies (marketing loan program payments, user marketing (Step 2) payments, market loss assistance payments, and counter-cyclical payments) are significant price suppression within the meaning of Article 6.3(c) of the SCM Agreement, by in turn upholding the panel's findings that: (i) the ''same market'' in Article 6.3(c) may be a ''world market'', a ''world market'' for upland cotton exists, and ''the A-Index can be taken to reflect a world price in the world market for upland cotton''; (ii) ''a causal link exists'' between the price-contingent subsidies and significant price suppression, and that this link is not attenuated by other factors raised by the United States; (iii) it was not required to quantify precisely the benefit conferred on upland cotton by the price-contingent subsidies; and (iv) the effect of the price-contingent subsidies for marketing years 1999 to 2002 is significant price suppression in the same period; found that the panel set out the findings of fact, the applicability of relevant provisions, and the basic rationale behind this finding, as required by Article 12.7 of the DSU; and found it unnecessary to rule on the interpretation of the term ''world market share'' in Article 6.3(d) of the SCM Agreement and neither upholds nor reverses the panel's finding that this term means world supply share;C. As regards user marketing (Step 2) payments, the Appellate Body:
upheld the panel's findings that Step 2 payments to domestic users of United States upland cotton, under Section 1207(a) of the FSRI Act of 2002, are subsidies contingent on the use of domestic over imported goods that are inconsistent with Articles 3.1(b) and 3.2 of the SCM Agreement; and uphelds the Panel's findings that Step 2 payments to exporters of United States upland cotton, pursuant to Section 1207(a) of the FSRI Act of 2002, are subsidies contingent upon export performance within the meaning of Article 9.1(a) of the Agreement on Agriculture that are inconsistent with Articles 3.3 and 8 of that Agreement and Articles 3.1(a) and 3.2 of the SCM Agreement;D. As regards export credit guarantee programs, the Appellate Body:
in a majority opinion, upheld the panel's finding that Article 10.2 of the Agreement on Agriculture does not exempt export credit guarantees from the export subsidy disciplines in Article 10.1 of that Agreement; one Member of the Division, in a separate opinion, expressed the contrary view that Article 10.2 of the Agreement on Agriculture exempts export credit guarantees from the disciplines of Article 10.1 of that Agreement until international disciplines are agreed upon; found that the panel did not improperly apply the burden of proof in finding that the United States' export credit guarantee programs are prohibited export subsidies under Article 3.1(a) of the SCM Agreement and are consequently inconsistent with Article 3.2 of that Agreement; upheld the panel's finding that ''the United States export credit guarantee programmes at issue-GSM 102, GSM 103 and SCGP-constitute a per se export subsidy within the meaning of item (j) of the Illustrative List of Export Subsidies in Annex I of the SCM Agreement'', and upheld the panel's findings that these export credit guarantee programs are export subsidies for purposes of Article 3.1(a) of the SCM Agreement and are inconsistent with Articles 3.1(a) and 3.2 of that Agreement; and found that the panel did not err in exercising judicial economy in respect of Brazil's allegation that the United States' export credit guarantee programs are prohibited export subsidies, under Article 3.1(a) of the SCM Agreement, because they confer a ''benefit'' within the meaning of Article 1.1 of that Agreement;At its meeting on 21 March 2005, the DSB adopted the Appellate Body report and the Panel report, as modified by the Appellate Body report. The resulting DSB recommendations and rulings include the recommendation that the United States withdraw, by at the latest within six months of the date of adoption of the Panel report by the DSB or 1 July 2005 (whichever is earlier), the following prohibited subsidies: (i) the export credit guarantees under the GSM 102, GSM 103 and SCGP export credit guarantee programmes in respect of exports of upland cotton and other unscheduled agricultural products supported under the programmes, and in respect of one scheduled product (rice); (ii) Section 1207(a) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment (FSRI) Act of 2002 providing for user marketing (STEP2) payments to exporters of upland cotton; and (iii) Section 1207(a) of the FSRI Act of 2002 providing for user marketing (STEP2) payments to domestic users of upland cotton. As for the actionable subsidies the recommendation is that the United States takes appropriate steps to remove the adverse effects of certain subsidies or withdraw these subsidies within six months from the date of adoption of the Panel and Appellate Body reports, i.e. the compliance period expired on 21 September 2005.
Compliance proceedings
Following the suspension of the arbitration proceedings under Article 22.6 triggered by Brazil's request to take countermeasures with respect to the prohibited and actionable subsidies (see below), on 18 August 2006, Brazil requested the establishment of a compliance panel. At its meeting on 1 September 2006, the DSB deferred the establishment of a compliance panel. Further to a second request, at its meeting on 28 September 2006, the DSB agreed, if possible, to refer the matter raised by Brazil to the original panel. Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, the European Communities, India, Japan and New Zealand reserved their third party rights. Subsequently, Chad and Thailand reserved their third party rights. On 18 and 20 October 2006, Brazil and the United States respectively requested the Director-General to compose the compliance panel. On 25 October 2006, the Director-General composed the panel.
On 9 January 2007, the Chairman of the panel informed the DSB that given the particular circumstances of this case and the schedule adopted after consultations with parties to this dispute, it had not been possible for the panel to complete its work within the 90-day period as foreseen in Article 21.5. The panel expected to complete its work in July 2007.
On 18 December 2007, the compliance panel report was circulated to Members. The Panel found that with respect to the measure taken by the United States to comply with the DSB recommendations and rulings relating to the original panel's finding of inconsistency with Articles 5 and 6 of the SCM Agreement:
The United States acted inconsistently with its obligations under Articles 5(c) and 6.3(c) of the SCM Agreement in that the effect of marketing loan and counter-cyclical payments provided to US upland cotton producers pursuant to the FSRI Act of 2002 is significant price suppression within the meaning of Article 6.3(c) of the SCM Agreement in the world market for upland cotton constituting ''present'' serious prejudice to the interests of Brazil within the meaning of Article 5(c) of the SCM Agreement. By acting inconsistently with Articles 5(c) and 6.3(c) of the SCM Agreement the United States had failed to comply with the DSB recommendations and rulings. Specifically, the United States had failed to comply with its obligation under Article 7.8 of the SCM Agreement ''to take appropriate steps to remove the adverse effects or ... withdraw the subsidy''. Brazil had not made a prima facie case that the effect of marketing loan and counter-cyclical payments provided to US upland cotton producers pursuant to the FSRI Act of 2002 is an increase in the US world market share in upland cotton as compared to the average US world market share during the previous period of three years and that this increase follows a consistent trend over a period when subsidies have been granted. Therefore, it had not been established that the United States acted inconsistently with Articles 5(c) and 6.3(d) of the SCM Agreement.With respect to the measure taken by the United States to comply with the DSB recommendations and rulings relating to the original panel's findings of inconsistency with Articles 10.1 and 8 of the Agreement on Agriculture and Articles 3.1(a) and 3.2 of the SCM Agreement, the panel found:
Regarding GSM 102 export credit guarantees issued after 1 July 2005 the United States acted inconsistently with Article 10.1 of the Agreement on Agriculture by applying export subsidies in a manner which results in the circumvention of US export subsidy commitments with respect to certain unscheduled products and certain scheduled products, and as a result acted inconsistently with Article 8 of the Agreement on Agriculture. Regarding GSM 102 export credit guarantees issued after 1 July 2005, the United States also acted inconsistently with Articles 3.1(a) and 3.2 of the SCM Agreement by providing export subsidies to unscheduled products and by providing export subsidies to scheduled products in excess of the commitments of the United States under the Agreement on Agriculture. By acting inconsistently with Articles 10.1 and 8 of the Agreement on Agriculture and Articles 3.1(a) and 3.2 of the SCM Agreement, the United States had failed to comply with the DSB recommendations and rulings. Specifically, the United States had failed to bring its measures into conformity with the Agreement on Agriculture and had failed ''to withdraw the subsidy without delay''. With respect to certain export credits guarantees issued prior to 1 July 2005, Brazil had not established that the United States had failed to ''withdraw the subsidy without delay''.The panel also considered that to the extent that the measures taken by the United States to comply with the recommendations and rulings adopted by the DSB in the original proceeding were inconsistent with the objections of the United States under the covered agreements, these recommendations and rulings remain operative.
On 12 February 2008, the United States notified its decision to appeal to the Appellate Body certain issues of law covered in the compliance panel report and certain legal interpretations developed by the panel. On 25 February 2008, Brazil notified its decision to appeal to the Appellate Body certain issues of law and legal interpretations in the compliance panel report. On 11 April 2008, the Chairman of the Appellate Body informed the DSB that it would not be possible to circulate its report within 60 days in light of the numerous and complex issues raised in this appeal, and the increased burden on translation services. It estimated that the Appellate Body report would be issued no later than 2 June 2008.
On 2 June 2008, the Appellate Body report was circulated to Members.
As regards the scope of the Article 21.5 proceedings, the Appellate Body upheld the Panel's finding that Brazil's claims relating to export credit guarantees for pig meat and poultry meat are properly within the scope of these Article 21.5 proceedings. Because the condition on which it was predicated had not been fulfilled, the Appellate Body did not find it necessary to consider Brazil's other appeal that the Panel erred when it found that the measure that is the subject of Brazil's claims is not the revised GSM 102 programme itself.
The Appellate Body also upheld the Panel's finding that Brazil's claims against marketing loan and counter-cyclical payments made by the United States after 21 September 2005 were properly within the scope of these Article 21.5 proceedings. Because the condition on which it was predicated has not been fulfilled, the Appellate Body did not find it necessary to consider Brazil's other appeal that the Panel erred in finding that the original panel's conclusions and recommendations addressed only the payments made under the marketing loan and counter-cyclical payments programmes, and not the programmes themselves.
As regards the revised GSM 102 export credit guarantee programme, the Appellate Body found that the Panel failed to make an objective assessment of the matter, under Article 11 of the DSU, because it dismissed the import of the re-estimates data submitted by the United States on the basis of internally inconsistent reasoning. Consequently, the Appellate Body reversed the Panel's intermediate finding that ''the initial subsidy estimates provide a strong indication that GSM 102 export credit guarantees are provided against premia which are inadequate to cover the long-term operating costs and losses of the GSM 102 programme''.
The Appellate Body upheld the Panel's finding that ''the GSM 102 programme is not designed to cover its long term operating costs and losses'' and, albeit for reasons that differ from those of the Panel, the Panel's conclusion that ''the GSM 102 export credit guarantee programme constitutes an 'export subsidy' because it is provided against premiums which are inadequate to cover its long term operating costs and losses under the terms of item (j) of the Illustrative List''.
Consequently, the Appellate Body upheld the Panel's finding that GSM 102 export credit guarantees issued after 1 July 2005 are export subsidies within the meaning of Article 3.1(a) of the SCM Agreement and Article 10.1 of the Agreement on Agriculture; and that regarding export credit guarantees issued under the revised GSM 102 programme after 1 July 2005 the United States acts inconsistently with Article 10.1 of the Agreement on Agriculture by applying export subsidies in a manner which results in the circumvention of United States' export subsidy commitments with respect to certain unscheduled products and certain scheduled products, and as a result acts inconsistently with Article 8 of the Agreement on Agriculture. Regarding export credit guarantees issued under the revised GSM 102 programme after 1 July 2005, the Appellate Body also found that the United States also acts inconsistently with Articles 3.1(a) and 3.2 of the SCM Agreement by providing export subsidies to unscheduled products and by providing export subsidies to scheduled products in excess of the commitments of the United States under the Agreement on Agriculture.
The Appellate Body further found that, by acting inconsistently with Articles 10.1 and 8 of the Agreement on Agriculture and Articles 3.1(a) and 3.2 of the SCM Agreement, the United States had failed to comply with the DSB recommendations and rulings and specifically, had failed to bring its measures into conformity with the Agreement on Agriculture and ''to withdraw the subsidy without delay''.
As regards whether the effect of marketing loan and counter-cyclical payments is significant price suppression, the Appellate Body upheld the panel's findings that the United States acted inconsistently with its obligations under Articles 5(c) and 6.3(c) of the SCM Agreement in that the effect of marketing loan and counter-cyclical payments provided to United States upland cotton producers pursuant to the FSRI Act of 2002 is significant price suppression, within the meaning of Article 6.3(c) of the SCM Agreement, in the world market for upland cotton, constituting ''present'' serious prejudice to the interests of Brazil within the meaning of Article 5(c) of the SCM Agreement. The Appellate Body also found that, by acting inconsistently with Articles 5(c) and 6.3(c) of the SCM Agreement, the United States had failed to comply with the DSB's recommendations and rulings and, specifically, failed to comply with its obligation under Article 7.8 of the SCM Agreement ''to take appropriate steps to remove the adverse effects or ... withdraw the subsidy''.
The Appellate Body further found that the Panel did not fail to make an objective assessment of the matter before it, as required by Article 11 of the DSU, in its analysis of Brazil's claim that the effect of the marketing loan and counter-cyclical payments is significant price suppression.
The Appellate Body recommended that the DSB request the United States to bring its measures, found to be inconsistent with the Agreement on Agriculture and the SCM Agreement, into conformity with its obligations under those Agreements.
At its meeting on 20 June 2008, the DSB adopted the Appellate Body report and the Panel report, as modified by the Appellate Body report.
Proceedings under Article 22 of the DSU (remedies)
On 4 July 2005, prior to the initiation of the compliance proceedings (see above), and in respect of the ''prohibited subsidies'', Brazil requested, the DSB for authorization to take appropriate countermeasures pursuant to Article 4.10 of the SCM Agreement and to suspend concessions or other obligations pursuant to Article 22.2 of the DSU. Brazil asserted that the reasonable period of time had expired on 1 July 2005. Brazil stated it intended to take appropriate countermeasures in the form of the suspension of tariff concessions and related obligations under the GATT 1994 by imposing additional customs duties on a list of products imported from the United States, to be defined by Brazil. In addition, given that it considered that it was not practicable or effective to exclusively apply additional import duties and that it considered that the circumstances were serious enough, Brazil stated it may resort, to the extent necessary, to countermeasures in the form of suspension of certain obligations under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).
With regard to the prohibited subsidies, on 5 July 2005 the parties to the dispute jointly notified the DSB of ''Agreed Procedures under Articles 21 and 22 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding and Article 4 of the SCM Agreement''. On 14 July 2005, the United States submitted its objections to the request for authorization by Brazil pursuant to Article 22.6 of the DSU and Article 4.11 of the SCM Agreement challenging the appropriateness of the countermeasures, the proposed level of suspension and asserting that the principles and procedures set forth in Article 22.3 of the DSU had not been followed. At its meeting on 15 July 2005, the DSB referred the matter raised by the United States to arbitration. On 17 August 2005, the parties to the dispute jointly requested the Chairman of the Arbitrator to suspend the Article 22.6 arbitration proceedings in accordance with the Agreed Procedures under Articles 21 and 22 of the DSU, and the Arbitrator suspended the proceedings accordingly.
On 6 October 2005, in respect of the ''actionable subsidies'' Brazil requested the DSB for authorization to suspend concessions or other obligations under Article 7.9 of the SCM Agreement and Article 22.2 of the DSU. Brazil asserted that the reasonable period of time had expired on 21 September 2005. Brazil stated that in principle, these countermeasures would take the form of suspension of tariff concessions and related obligations under the GATT 1994 by means of the imposition of additional import duties on a list of products imported from the United States, to be defined by Brazil. In addition, Brazil contended that it was not practicable or effective to suspend concessions or other obligations exclusively with respect to the same sector/agreement as that in which the Panel and the Appellate Body have found the violations and that the circumstances are serious enough to justify the suspension of concessions or obligations under other covered agreements. Therefore it affirmed it may, to the extent necessary, resort to countermeasures in the form of suspension of certain obligations under the TRIPS Agreement and the GATS.
On 17 October 2005, the United States submitted its objections to the request for authorization by Brazil pursuant to Article 22.6 of the DSU and Article 7.10 of the SCM Agreement arguing that the countermeasures proposed are not commensurate with the degree and nature of the adverse effects determined to exist within the meaning of Article 7.9 of the SCM Agreement and that the level of suspension proposed is not equivalent to the level of nullification or impairment within the meaning of Article 22.7 of the DSU. With respect to Brazil's request for ''cross-retaliation'', the United States claimed that the principles and procedures set forth in Article 22.3 of the DSU have not been followed. At its meeting on 18 October 2005, the DSB referred the matter raised by the United States to arbitration. On 21 November 2005, the parties to the dispute jointly requested the Chairman of the Arbitrator to suspend the Article 22.6 arbitration proceedings in accordance with the Agreed Procedures under Articles 21 and 22 of the DSU, and the Arbitrator suspended the proceedings accordingly.
On 25 August 2008, and following the completion of the compliance proceedings (see above), Brazil requested that the two arbitration proceedings be resumed. At the time that Brazil requested the resumption of the arbitration proceedings, two of the arbitrators had become unavailable to serve in these proceedings. On 1 October 2008, the parties agreed to the replacement arbitrators. On 31 August 2009, the two Decisions by the Arbitrator were circulated to Members.
With respect to the ''prohibited subsidies'' at issue, the Arbitrator determined that Brazil may request authorization from the DSB to suspend concessions or other obligations under the Agreements on trade in goods in Annex 1A, at a level not to exceed the value of USD 147.4 million for FY 2006, or, for subsequent years, an annual amount to be determined by applying a methodology described in the Decision of the Arbitrator. The Arbitrator also determined that, in the event that the total level of countermeasures that Brazil would be entitled to in a given year should increase to a level that would exceed a threshold described in the decisions, updated to account for the change in Brazil's total imports from the United States, then, Brazil would also be entitled to seek to suspend certain obligations under the TRIPS Agreement and/or the GATS with respect to any amount of permissible countermeasures applied in excess of that figure.
With respect to the ''actionable subsidies'' at issue, the Arbitrator determined that Brazil may request authorization from the DSB to suspend concessions or other obligations under the Agreements on trade in goods in Annex 1A, at a level not to exceed the value of USD 147.3 million annually. The Arbitrator also determined that, in the event that the total level of countermeasures that Brazil would be entitled to in a given year should increase to a level that would exceed a threshold described in the decisions, updated to account for the change in Brazil's total imports from the United States, then, Brazil would also be entitled to seek to suspend certain obligations under the TRIPS Agreement and/or the GATS with respect to any amount of permissible countermeasures applied in excess of that figure.
With respect to the ''prohibited subsidies'', on 6 November 2009, Brazil requested authorization from the DSB to suspend the application to the United States of concessions or other obligations in conformity with the Arbitrators' Decision pursuant to Article 22.7 of the DSU and Article 4.10 of the SCM Agreement. At its meeting on 19 November 2009, the DSB authorized Brazil to suspend the application to the United States of concessions or other obligations.
With respect to the ''actionable subsidies'', on 6 November 2009, Brazil requested authorization from the DSB to suspend the application to the United States of concessions or other obligations in conformity with the Arbitrators' Decision pursuant to Article 22.7 of the DSU and Article 7.9 of the SCM agreement. At its meeting on 19 November 2009, the DSB authorized Brazil to suspend the application to the United States of concessions or other obligations.
On 8 March 2010, Brazil notified the DSB that, starting on 7 April 2010, it would suspend the application to the United States of concessions or other obligations under the GATT 1994 in the form of increased import duties on certain products when they are imported from the United States. However on 30 April 2010, Brazil notified the DSB that it had decided to postpone the imposition of countermeasures vis- -vis the United States indicating that no countermeasures would enter into force before 21 June 2010, since Brazil and the United States were engaged in a dialogue with a view to reaching a mutually satisfactory solution to the dispute.
Implementation of adopted reports
On 25 August 2010, Brazil and the United States notified the DSB they had concluded a Framework for a Mutually Agreed Solution to the Cotton Dispute (Framework) which in itself does not constitute a mutually agreed solution to the dispute but sets out parameters for discussions on a solution with respect to domestic support programs for upland cotton in the United States, as well as a process of joint operation reviews as regards export credit guarantees under the program GSM-102. Brazil and the United States also agreed to hold consultations not less than four times a year, unless they agree otherwise, with the aim of obtaining convergence of views in respect of a solution to the Cotton dispute. The Framework also provides that, upon enactment of successor legislation to the US Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, Brazil and the United States will consult with a view to determining whether a mutually agreed solution to the Cotton dispute has been reached. The joint communication also specified that as long as the Framework is in effect, Brazil will not impose the countermeasures authorized by the DSB.
At the DSB meeting on 23 October 2012, Brazil said that on 30 September 2012, the 2008 US Farm Bill had expired without the enactment of a successor legislation. However, taking into account that the current US agricultural support programs remained unchanged, Brazil had decided not to terminate the Memorandum of Understanding and the Framework Agreement and would thus not impose any countermeasures at this time.
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NA-Tech
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Dairy Queen Confirms Breach at 395 Stores
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 04:37
Nationwide fast-food chain Dairy Queen on Thursday confirmed that malware installed on cash registers at some 395 stores resulted in the theft of customer credit and debit card information. The acknowledgement comes nearly six weeks after this publication first broke the news that multiple banks were reporting indications of a card breach at Dairy Queen locations across the country.
In a statement issued Oct. 9, Dairy Queen listed nearly 400 DQ locations and one Orange Julius location that were found to be infected with the widely-reported Backoff malware that is targeting retailers across the country.
Curiously, Dairy Queen said that it learned about the incident in late August from law enforcement officials. However, when I first reached out to Dairy Queen on Aug. 22 about reports from banking sources that the company was likely the victim of a breach, the company said it had no indication of a card breach at any of its 4,500+ locations. Asked about the apparent discrepancy, Dairy Queen spokesman Dean Peters said that by the time I called the company and inquired about the breach, Dairy Queen's legal team had indeed already been notified by law enforcement.
''When I told you we had no knowledge, I was being truthful,'' Peters said. ''However, I didn't know at that time that someone [from law enforcement] had already contacted Dairy Queen.''
In answer to inquiries from this publication, Dairy Queen said its investigation revealed that the same third-party point-of-sale vendor was used at all of the breached locations, although it declined to name the affected vendor. However, multiple sources contacted by this reporter said the point-of-sale vendor in question was Panasonic Retail Information Systems.
In response to questions from KrebsOnSecurity, Panasonic issued the following non-denial statement:
''Panasonic is proud that we can count Dairy Queen as a point-of-sale hardware customer. We have seen the media reports this morning about the data breaches in a number of Dairy Queen outlets. To the best of our knowledge, these types of malware breaches are generally associated with network security vulnerabilities and are not related to the point-of-sale hardware we provide. Panasonic stands ready to provide whatever assistance we can to our customers in resolving the issue.''
The Backoff malware that was found on compromised Dairy Queen point-of-sale terminals is typically installed after attackers compromise remote access tools that allow users to connect to the systems over the Internet. All too often, the user accounts for these remote access tools are protected by weak or easy-to-guess username and password pairs.
The incident at DQ fits a pattern of breaches involving retail chains that rely heavily on franchisees and poorly-secured point-of-sale products which allow remote access over the Internet. On Sept. 24, nationwide sandwich chain Jimmy John's confirmed reports first published in this blog about a likely point-of-sale breach at the company's stores. While there are more than 1,900 franchised Jimmy John's locations, only 216 were hit, and they were all running the same point-of-sale software from Newtown, Pa. based Signature Systems. On Sept. 26, Signature disclosed that at least 100 other mom-and-pop restaurants that it serves were compromised through its point-of-sale systems.
Earlier in September, KrebsOnSecurity reported that a different hacked point-of-sale provider was the driver behind a breach that impacted more than 330 Goodwill locations nationwide. That breach, which targeted payment vendor C&K Systems Inc., persisted for 18 months, and involved two other as-yet unnamed C&K customers.
Dairy Queen said that it will be offering free credit monitoring services to affected customers. This has become the standard response for companies trying to burnish their public image in the wake of a card breach, even though credit monitoring services do nothing to help consumers detect or prevent fraud on existing accounts '-- such as credit and debit cards.
There is no substitute for monitoring your monthly bank and credit card statements for unauthorized or suspicious transactions. If you're looking for information about how to protect yourself or loved ones from identity thieves, check out the tips in the latter half of this article.
Tags: Backoff malware, Dairy Queen breach, Dairy Queen credit card breach, Dean Peters, Panasonic, Panasonic Retail Information Systems
This entry was posted on Friday, October 10th, 2014 at 1:42 pm and is filed under Data Breaches. You can follow any comments to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a comment. Pinging is currently not allowed.
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Sony/ATV set to ditch licensing firms over streaming dollars
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 04:51
Richard Morgan NY POST.com 10/12/14
The No. 1 music publisher has decided to go it alone in the battle to boost digital royalties paid to songwriters.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing '-- whose catalog includes Beatles classics along with Taylor Swift's current chart toppers '-- plans to dump the industry's oldest and biggest performance-rights organizations by the end of the year, The Post has learned.
Bypassing BMI and ASCAP, which collect royalties for songwriters when their tunes are played on the radio, streamed online or piped into a store, would allow Sony/ATV to negotiate directly with services such as Pandora, Spotify and YouTube.
Songwriters complain that BMI and ASCAP are bound by outdated government rules that result in paltry royalties from digital outlets. The pain is especially acute as CD sales and digital downloads are in decline, while streaming services are the only area of growth.
In July, Sony/ATV Chief Executive Martin Bandier, in a letter to his songwriters, warned that he might withdraw from ASCAP and BMI so he could better fight for higher streaming royalties.
Sony/ATV already tried a partial pullout from the professional-rights organizations, forcing companies like Pandora to negotiate directly for a license to stream music.
Pandora sued, arguing that music publishers couldn't make partial withdrawals from BMI and ASCAP, which are bound by decades-old consent decrees with the Department of Justice that determine royalty rates.
The federal courts agreed: Either the publisher's entire catalog of licensable songs remained with the licensing groups or none did.
Sony/ATV has appealed the courts' all-or-nothing rule and is imploring the DOJ to review consent decrees it considers antiquated.
As a result of the court rulings, the royalty rate Pandora pays Sony/ATV reverted to the 1.85 percent by decree from the 5 percent that Sony/ATV exacted through direct negotiations.
No. 2 publisher Universal Music Publishing Group is also anxious to enter into direct negotiations over digital rights. But sources close to the company say it's more willing to wait out both of Sony/ATV's appeals.
Sony/ATV, however, isn't nearly as patient.
In his July letter, Bandier cautioned that ''because the DOJ and legal process is not fully within our control, we may have no alternative but to take all of our rights out of ASCAP and BMI.''
A withdrawal would saddle Sony/ATV with significant administrative responsibilities historically handled by BMI and ASCAP. It would likely cripple the licensing groups as well.
But a source claims the $230 million BMI and ASCAP kept for themselves last year '-- after distributing $1.7 billion to songwriters, composers and publishers '-- suggests plenty of room for cost-cutting.
Sony/ATV could replace them with a much leaner operation, the source said, saving tens of millions a year. And at least half of those savings could also be repatriated to the Sony/ATV songwriters that BMI and ASCAP once served.
While Sony/ATV wouldn't confirm that it is pulling out of the licensing groups, it acknowledged the option is on the table.
Calling it a done deal ''would be very premature,'' a Sony/ATV spokesman said.
This entry was posted on October 13, 2014 at 10:26 pm and is filed under Publishing, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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Lawsuit Claims LinkedIn Secretly Sold Your Professional Data
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 04:50
LinkedIn's business practices have been the subject of lawsuits before. This time, LinkedIn is accused of allowing paid subscribers to "anonymously dig into the employment history" of its members, violating federal consumer protection laws.
Via The Recorder:
According to the suit, LinkedIn can mine the information provided by users of its professional networking website to find potential references for job applicants without the applicants' knowledge. Searches yield a list of the names and current job titles for potential references, along with the common employer they share with the applicant and time worked together.
The complaint claims that these reference lists amount to a consumer report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and that LinkedIn fails to abide by safeguards required under the law.
"In essence, LinkedIn has created a marketplace in consumer employment information, where it sells employment information, that may or may not be accurate, and that it has obtained in part from unwitting members, and without complying with the FCRA," write the plaintiffs lawyers at Greenwald Davidson in Boca Raton, Fla., and the Law Offices Todd M. Friedman in Beverly Hills. Plaintiffs are asking for statutory damages for willful violation of the FCRA, which run from $100 to $1,000 per violation.
The suit claims that LinkedIn's reference report feature allows employers to "make hiring and firing decisions based upon the information they gather, without the knowledge of the member, and without any safeguards in place as to the accuracy of the information."
Lawyers further claim that the business network "directly contradicts" the FCRA, which they say "was enacted to promote accuracy, fairness, and the privacy of personal information."
Photo: AP
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VIDEO-CLIPS-DOCS
VIDEO- "The Homeland Security Industrial Complex" (Or... TERROR WAR PROFITEERING) - YouTube
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 05:13
VIDEO- "Columbus Started A Global CHILD SEX Slave Trade" HAPPY COLUMBUS DAY! - YouTube
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 05:08
VIDEO-Remarks at a Solo Press Availability
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 05:01
SECRETARY KERRY: Well, good evening, everybody. Thanks for your patience. This has been a very productive couple of days, and I'm glad to have an opportunity to be able to catch up on the discussions that we've had, both with Foreign Minister Fabius as well as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
First, I want to say a special thank you to my friend, Laurent Fabius, not only for hosting us but for the very important partnership that he is providing and France is providing at a very eventful and consequential time for both of our countries. So today, it is clear that France and America are really facing up to and shouldering responsibilities together on challenge after challenge: from the fight against ISIL, to the challenges of Libya, to work on Iran's nuclear program as partners in the P5+1, to the challenges of Syria, Ebola, and of course, Ukraine.
I also want to make clear that we're very mindful always of the fundamental mission that we are engaged in, which is to stand by a Europe that is whole and free and in peace. And together with our partners in the European Union, the United States and France are deeply committed to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. This was obviously a topic of the conversation that I had with Foreign Minister Lavrov tonight. I want to emphasize that Foreign Minister Lavrov and I came together here to discuss a broad array of issues and to try to find a way to recognize that where there are difference we try to manage those differences, but that we have major responsibilities together and that our countries have an ability to be able to cooperate and work together. And it was important, we believe, to find those places and those areas where you can cooperate and where we can make a difference.
We discussed Ukraine and the need for the full implementation of all of the 12 points of the September 5th Minsk Agreement. And the discussions also centered around those things that we need to do to try to continue to make progress on Ukraine. The shooting around Donetsk airport and other parts of eastern Ukraine has to stop. Foreign forces and weapons need to be withdrawn. Hostages '' all hostages '' need to be released, and that includes the pilot, Nadia Savchenko. And sovereignty has to be restored along the Ukrainian-Russian international border, and that border needs to be closed and held accountable.
I want to congratulate Ukraine's Rada on passing the passage of anti-corruption legislation and on the judicial reform package that they passed today. These reforms actually speak very directly to the call of the Ukrainian people for real change and for an accountable government. And now, obviously, comes the hard work of implementing that legislation and of also engaging in other critical reforms that will transform Ukraine into a modern European state that will meet the demands of Ukraine's people as well as the expectations and hopes of the international community.
Today, Ukraine also submitted a concrete proposal for the OSCE to border '' to be able to manage and monitor the border. This proposal includes the restoration of the Ukrainian border and customs posts under OSCE monitoring and a pullback of heavy weapons, as outlined in the Minsk agreements that I mentioned a moment ago. So we also talked about the steps that need to be taken to improve the situation with respect to the OSCE being able to implement this plan as soon as possible.
I emphasized to Foreign Minister Lavrov that the only legitimate elections in Ukraine are the Rada elections on October 26th and the December 7th elections of local leaders in the Donbas special status zone, and in our judgment, any efforts to hold independence referenda in Luhansk and Donetsk at this time would be a violation of the Minsk agreements and the results will not be recognized by Ukraine or by the international community.
And finally, we discussed the importance '' when I say finally, finally with respect to the issue of Ukraine, we discussed the importance of concluding the EU-Russia-Ukraine gas talks as soon as possible. With winter coming, the people of Ukraine and Europe need to be assured of a reliable supply of fuel.
Now, it is no secret that the United States and Russia have had our differences over Ukraine. But I want to emphasize what I said at the beginning of these comments. We came together today in order to try to focus on those issues where we can find the capacity to be able to make a difference to other countries, to the world in general, and certainly to the relationship between Russia and the United States. And so we talked about many other issues besides Ukraine. In fact, the bulk of the conversation today was on a host of other issues: Ebola, Afghanistan, Iran and the Iran talks, the DPRK and the question of its nuclear program, the Middle East peace process, what is needed with respect to both Syria and development and other challenges of the region such as Yemen and Tunisia.
And in addition, we particularly talked about ISIL. We both recognize the need to destroy and ultimately defeat ISIL, to degrade their efforts and ultimately to defeat them, and also to counter the violent and oppressive approach of ISIL. Minister Lavrov acknowledged, as we acknowledged, both of us have people from our countries who are fighting in ISIL. There may be as many as 500 or more from Russia. We both recognize that ISIL has absolutely no place in the 21st century. No decent country by any definition could support the horrors that are perpetrated by ISIL, and no civilized country should shirk its responsibility to stand up and be part of the effort to stamp out this disease.
In our discussions today, I suggested to Foreign Minister Lavrov that we intensify intelligence cooperation with respect to ISIL and other counterterrorism challenges of the region, and we agreed to do so. And we also agreed to explore whether Russia could do more to support Iraqi Security Forces, and the foreign minister indeed acknowledged their preparedness to help with respect to arms, weapons '' they are doing that now and they already have provided some '' and also potentially with the training and advising aspects.
The United States and Russia also continue to work closely together on Iran, and this was a major topic of our conversation today. Both of our countries are deeply invested in the P5+1 discussions together with our EU colleagues, and we are deeply committed to the diplomatic effort to try to reach an agreement that assures the international community of the fact that the Iranian nuclear program is exclusively peaceful. As part of that effort, we have built a broad coalition of countries, including Russia and our P5+1 colleagues, in order to ensure that the international community is speaking with one voice on this.
So I would close as I began by reminding all of you that my goal today '' our goal today together '' was to try to deepen our ability to be able to work together, to work with Russia where we can in the interest of both of our nations and of all those countries affected by the actions that we decide to take. We also agreed we have to tackle head-on those areas where we have a profound difference and find a way to try to work through those differences constructively. We know that when the United States and Russia do succeed in working together, the world can become a safer place, as was evidenced in our historic agreement to remove all of the chemical weapons that were declared under the conventional weapons system from Syria. And we accomplished that and we still remain focused on any potential remaining item that ought to be removed.
We also know that it is far better to sit down and try to work through these issues through the diplomatic channel to examine our differences, to understand our shared interests, and particularly today, on ISIL, on Iran, on Ebola, on issues of counterterrorism, on Afghanistan, we clearly not only had constructive discussions, but laid out a road ahead for us to be able to continue our work, including some of the discussions we need to have on the issues of proliferation and nonproliferation and nuclear weapons.
So with that, I am happy to answer a few questions.
MS. HARF: Great. Our first question is from Michael Gordon of The New York Times.
QUESTION: Sir, what specifically do the Russians still need to do at this point before economic sanctions on Ukraine, due to the Ukraine situation, can be eased and relations improved? And did you make any concrete headway in your talks with Minister Lavrov today on the issues you identified in the Minsk Agreement? For example, did the Russians inform you when all of their troops and equipment will be out of Ukraine and what steps they're taking to restore Ukrainian sovereignty over the border? And did Minister Lavrov accept your point that independent referendum in eastern Ukraine would be a violation of the Minsk Agreement?
And lastly, if you know anything about the situation in Saudi Arabia, what was behind the shooting there that killed an American citizen? Could you please explain what that was all about, whether it was a disgruntled employee or something more significant? Thank you.
SECRETARY KERRY: Well, with respect to the Saudi Arabian situation today, I have obviously been on the road and been in discussions all day. I've been briefed on it, but we don't have extensive information. We do know that two U.S. citizen employees from Vinnell Arabia, which is a U.S. defense contractor supporting the Saudi National Guard, that they were shot at a local gas station or store which is about a half a mile from the Vinnell Arabia base in Riyadh, and that's about 20 miles away from the U.S. Embassy itself. One employee was killed and the other was lightly injured. Local police, we are told, responded.
We're in close contact with the Saudi Government. We're continuing to gather details about the incident. We cannot '' I can't speak to the motive at this point except to say to you that there are some questions about whether it was or wasn't a disgruntled employee, and there's '' I can't comment yet on whether or not '' what sort of motive or act it really represented. I can tell you that we're in the process of evaluating our security posture. We're going to stay in very close touch with the Saudi authorities and make our judgments accordingly with respect to any other personnel.
With respect to the Minsk Agreement, there are four to five principal requirements with respect to the lifting of sanctions: the release of hostages, the release of all prisoners is one; the withdrawal of the forces, troops and equipment particularly is another; the closing of the border and accountability of the border through the OSCE process is another; and those are really the principal requirements that would result in a move on the sanctions. And at this point, we discussed these things, many of them happening now. The troops are pulling back. The heavy equipment still has to be pulled back. And the border is yet to be properly monitored and secured and put together.
There is an agreement reached in addition to the Minsk Agreement itself through further discussions between President Poroshenko and President Putin where they've agreed on some timelines on some of these things. And there will be a further meeting this Thursday in Milan, Italy at which President Poroshenko, President Putin will be present together with President Hollande and Chancellor Merkel and possibly others. And they will then be reviewing these requirements as well as the gas deal and other things. So we'll wait to hear from that meeting and the results of that meeting sort of where things stand at that point in time.
But Minister Lavrov indicated that they are in the process of implementing Minsk. They believe the Minsk is a good format. We believe that Minsk is an acceptable agreement, but the requirements have to be fully implemented, obviously, and some of them are subject to interpretation. So over the course of the next weeks, people will measure that very carefully. And I suspect the meeting in Milan will flesh out further precisely what those timetables will be and what expectations have been met or haven't been met. And we will follow up on that, obviously.
I think that '' and the foreign minister did not agree with our judgment with respect to the referenda, and so that was a point of disagreement.
MS. HARF: Great. Our final question is from Sangwon Yoon of Bloomberg News.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, the national security advisor on Sunday said that Turkey agreed to allow coalition use of its military bases, and yet Turkish officials have denied that such an agreement was reached. And also Turkish military has begun striking PKK targets, which one could argue weakens the joint fight against Daesh. So can you clarify what understanding you have with the Turks regards to their role in the fight against Daesh? And what is their policy on this? And how tangible is it, regarding your understanding of it?
And on Iran, observers are increasingly skeptical that a comprehensive agreement can be reached by the deadline, and some are talking about an extension being needed. Now, is such an extension even possible? What would the terms of that be? And can you make the case for it to skeptical members of Congress? And how '' I mean, how effective would a second year of dialogue with Iran be given such a deficit of trust between the two countries? Thank you.
SECRETARY KERRY: Well, I'm going to reduce all of your second part of your question to a fairly short answer. I'm leaving here tomorrow morning to go to Vienna to meet with Foreign Minister of Iran, Foreign Minister Zarif. I'm glad that all the pundits and speculators are doubting whether or not it can be reached. They know more than I do. (Laughter.) I can't tell you. As I stand here tonight, I don't have that answer and I'm not about to predict. I don't believe it's out of reach. But we have some tough issues to resolve, and I'm not going to prognosticate. We need to continue to have some serious discussions, which we will, and we'll see where we are. And I just think I'll let the negotiation process speak for itself at this point in time. I don't think anything is served by a lot of speculation at this point in time.
With respect to '' the first part of your question was on the '' Turkey, yeah. There's '' Turkey is a very valued member of the coalition and has joined the coalition, is doing things in the coalition, is committed to things in the coalition. And as far as I know, there is no discrepancy with respect to what is going on. General Allen was there, he had long meetings with them. The meetings, in his judgment, helped to move the ball forward. And so I really think that Turkey obviously has a very important role to play in this process going forward. And I'm confident that that is going to be further defined by Turkey itself on their timetable as we go forward in assigning and undertaking responsibilities within the coalition. I mean, Turkey has agreed to host and train and equip people. It certainly has allowed the use of certain facilities, and we don't need to get into specifics except to say that I don't believe there is any discrepancy with respect to what they will or won't do.
Thank you all. Appreciate it.
MS. HARF: Thank you.
VIDEO-President Obama Remarks Meeting Military | Video | C-SPAN.org
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 04:14
October 14, 2014President Obama spoke about his meeting at Andrews Air Force Base with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey and more than 20 foreign chiefs of defense on the ongoing campaign against Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) militants.
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*The transcript for this program was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
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VIDEO-7 things to know about union's claims in TX Ebola case - CNN.com
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 02:49
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Nurses claim "guidelines were constantly changing" at the hospital, a union rep saysWhen protective gear left their necks exposed, they say they were told to use medical tapeA hospital spokesman says safety is the top priorityThe union hasn't revealed how many nurses they spoke with and hasn't identified them(CNN) -- A nurses' union is sounding the alarm about the lack of safety protocols at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas after two nurses there apparently contracted Ebola from a patient who later died of the virus.
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said the claims made by National Nurses United, if true, are "startling."
A hospital spokesman did not respond to the specific allegations, but said the hospital's focus is on patient safety and a safe working environment.
Here's a look at some of the allegations the nurses made, according to the union:
Claim: Duncan wasn't immediately isolated
On the day that patient Thomas Eric Duncan was admitted to the hospital with possible Ebola symptoms, he was "left for several hours, not in isolation, in an area where other patients were present," union co-president Deborah Burger said.
Up to seven other patients were present in that area, the nurses said, according to the union.
A nursing supervisor faced resistance from hospital authorities when the supervisor demanded that Duncan be moved to an isolation unit, the nurses said, according to the union.
Claim: The nurses' protective gear left their necks exposed
After expressing concerns that their necks were exposed even as they wore protective gear, the nurses were told to wrap their necks with medical tape, the union says.
2nd health care worker tests positive for Ebola at Dallas hospital
"They were told to use medical tape and had to use four to five pieces of medical tape wound around their neck. The nurses have expressed a lot of concern about how difficult it is to remove the tape from their neck," Burger said.
Claim: At one point, hazardous waste piled up
"There was no one to pick up hazardous waste as it piled to the ceiling," Burger said. "They did not have access to proper supplies."
Concern grows about the spread of Ebola
Claim: Nurses got no 'hands-on'training
"There was no mandate for nurses to attend training," Burger said, though they did receive an e-mail about a hospital seminar on Ebola.
"This was treated like hundreds of other seminars that were routinely offered to staff," she said.
Claim: The nurses 'feel unsupported'
So why did the group of nurses -- the union wouldn't say how many -- contact the nursing union, which they don't belong to?
According to National Nurses United Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro, the nurses were upset after authorities appeared to blame nurse Pham, who has contracted Ebola, for not following protocols.
"This nurse was being blamed for not following protocols that did not exist. ... The nurses in that hospital were very angry, and they decided to contact us," DeMoro said.
And they're worried conditions at the hospital "may lead to infection of other nurses and patients," Burger said.
The union did not identify the nurses they spoke to in order to protect them from possible retaliation.
Hospital spokesman Wendell Watson said the hospital takes "compliance very seriously."
"We have numerous measures in place to provide a safe working environment, including mandatory annual training and a 24-7 hotline and other mechanisms that allow for anonymous reporting," Watson said.
The Dallas mayor declined to comment on the accusations against the hospital.
"I don't comment on anonymous allegations," Mike Rawlings said.
But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a statement following the union's claims.
"For health care workers in Dallas and elsewhere, the Ebola situation is extremely difficult," CDC spokesman Tom Skinner wrote.
"The CDC is committed to their safety, and we'll continue to do everything possible to make sure they have what they need so they can prepare to safely manage Ebola patients."
CNN's Michael Martinez, Dave Alsup and Miriam Falco contributed to this report.
VIDEO-Time to reduce reliance on the dollar: Russia PM
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 19:48
Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told CNBC that the world must move away from its dependence on the U.S. dollar, arguing that the global economy would benefit from a more diversified currency system.
In an exclusive interview that aired Wednesday, Medvedev said he did not have a "special negative attitude" toward the dollar'-- the global reserve currency'--but said a "much more just financial system" was possible.
"We have nothing against the dollar, but we believe that today's currency system should be more balanced," he said in the interview Tuesday. He called for a greater number of major reserve currencies, which are held as foreign exchange reserves by the world's central banks and are used in international trade.
Read MoreRussia-US relations reset 'impossible': PM Medvedev
Medvedev highlighted that countries like Russia "really depend" on both the dollar and U.S. economy and are, as such, somewhat beholden to their fortunes.
"The U.S. economy is now improving, but we have no proof that it will not go down again, and then everyone will suffer," he said. "We believe that we should move away from such dependency in the world's financial system."
Read MoreRussia sanctions: Who's losing out so far
It's not just Russia that would benefit from such a shift, according to Medvedev, who highlighted that emerging economies could also gain. "At the end I would like to say: The world economy would benefit from it in general."
China relationship
The deterioration in relations between Russia and the West in recent months over the Ukraine crisis has led Moscow to look East. On Monday, Medvedev and China's Premier Li Keqiang signed energy, trade and finance agreements and agreed on a 150 billion yuan ($25 billion) currency swap.
Medvedev such said a move would enable Russia to trade with China directly, bypassing the dollar. "This is a good demonstration that if somebody leaves their place, another person occupies their place," he added.
The agreements with China were not politically motivated, Medvedev said, and made economic sense because China was already a major trade partner of Russia.
"But at the same time we have to take into account everything that is going on around Russia, and if a part of the projects with the Europeans, Americans or someone else is frozen '... of course we'll have to shift those projects to other places," he added.
Economic slowdown
Monday's deals follow a high-profile gas supply deal with Gazprom, worth $400 billion, signed in May. Russia's gas producer agreed to supply China with gas over 30 years.
Read MoreObama, Merkel warn Russia against intervention
It comes amid concerns of Russia's ability to innovate and compete internationally, given the prominence of state-owned gas and oil giants, Gazprom and Rosneft.
But Medvedev said the companies were required to act in accordance with corporate law, and "must be interested in investing in innovation".
Russia's economic expansion has slowed dramatically since tensions with the European Union and U.S. flared up this year. The country has been battling the pain of sanctions from the West since March, when it annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine.
The penalties have targeted the country's energy, defense and finance sectors, and have made it hard for Russian businesses raise finance in the West.
Read MoreObama: We will join EU in intensifying sanctions on Russia
The ruble has fallen over 20 percent against the U.S. dollar this year, and there has been a surge in capital outflows from Russia. Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund halved its growth forecast for Russia to just 0.5 percent next year.
Medvedev admitted that Russia must look to diversify beyond the oil and gas sectors, which dominate its economy, but argued that a shift toward innovation was taking place, even within its state-owned companies.
"The environment is forming which is made up of small, private start-up companies," he said.
VIDEO-Why We Need to Raise the Minimum Wage, in Less Than Two Minutes: | The White House
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 19:57
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VIDEO-New Islamic State Training Video Emerges '-- Pay Very Close Attention to What Is Printed on the Tents Used by Terrorists | Video | TheBlaze.com
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 16:58
BAGHDAD (TheBlaze/AP) '-- Militants with the Islamic State group on Monday captured a military training camp in western Iraq, inching closer to full control of the restive Anbar province, as a spate of deadly bombings shook Baghdad, hitting mostly Shiite neighborhoods and leaving at least 30 dead.
The attacks, which came as Iraqi Shiites marked a major holiday for their sect with families crowding the streets in celebration, raised new concerns that the Sunni militant group is making gains despite U.S.-led coalition airstrikes.
A new alleged Islamic State training video also emerged this week, apparently showing how their fighters are trained. And if you look closely at the tents used by the terrorists, they are clearly marked ''US.''
Note the tents labeled ''US.''
(Screengrab via CNN)
(Screengrab via CNN)
(Screengrab via CNN)
The propaganda video is reportedly called ''The Blood of Jihad.''
More from CNN:
You can also watch the full propaganda video via MEMRI TV:
VICE News explains the implications of what looks like U.S. equipment being utilized by the Islamic State:
The six-minute-long video comes as the US-led coalition steps-up airstrikes against Islamic State militant bases, including training camps, in Iraq and Syria. It is the latest in a series of multimedia releases from the group, and clearly touts its possession of US equipment and weapons.
Titled ''Blood of Jihad,'' the video features recruits clad in white lined up in a dusty field in Ninewa province in front of tents clearly marked ''US.'' The trainers and recruits each carry weapons, which appear to be either AK-47s, RPGs, or PK machine guns.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, on a visit to Iraq, warned that the airstrikes will not be enough to defeat the extremist group and stressed that the Iraqi security forces would have to do the ''heavy work on the ground.''
'); document.write('(function(e,t){if(t._ym===void 0){t._ym="";var m=e.createElement("script");m.type="text/javascript",m.async=!0,m.src="//static.yieldmo.com/ym.m4.js",(e.getElementsByTagName("head")[0]||e.getElementsByTagName("body")[0]).appendChild(m)}else t._ym instanceof String||void 0===t._ym.chkPls||t._ym.chkPls()})(document,window);' +'ipt>'); } else { document.write(''); try{TBZ.blzDFPAds.registerAdPos("ad-300x250-instory-1","In-Content_300x250_102");}catch(e){ jQuery.tbzWarning(e); } } //--> But Iraqi troops, overstretched and overwhelmed by the Islamic State group's summer blitz that seized large swaths of territory in western and northern Iraq, continued to come under pressure Monday in the western Anbar province, where militants seized an Iraqi military training camp.
The camp, near the town of Hit that fell to the insurgents earlier this month, was overrun in the morning hours after clashes with Iraqi soldiers who were forced to abandon the camp and withdraw from the area, two Anbar officials told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. Town residents confirmed the camp's fall, speaking to the AP also on condition of anonymity, fearing for their own safety.
The Islamic State group touted its conquest of the camp in a statement Monday. The statement could not immediately be verified but it was posted on militant websites commonly used by the group.
In Baghdad, which has largely been spared the violence seen in other parts of Iraq amid the Islamic State group's onslaught, bombings killed at least 30 people and wounded scores more Monday.
The attacks, hitting three Shiite-majority neighborhoods, came as many Iraqi Shiites families took to the streets to celebrate the Eid al-Ghadeer holiday, which commemorates the Shiite Imam Ali, the Prophet Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law and the sect's most sacred martyr.
In the eastern Habibiya district, police said 15 people died and 34 were wounded when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into a police checkpoint. Earlier in the day, a car bomb struck near a bus stop in northern Baghdad, killing 11 and wounding 22. And in the sprawling district of Sadr City, a bomb hidden in a vegetable cart killed four and wounded 18.
Hospital officials confirmed the casualties. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to media.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks but the Islamic State fighters say they have a foothold inside Baghdad and have claimed several large-scale bombings in the city in the past months, particularly in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City.
In Anbar, the capture of the Iraqi military camp came despite the U.S. airstrikes campaign. The U.S. military, which withdrew its forces from the country in late 2011 after more than eight years of war, first launched the airstrikes in early August to help Iraqi and Kurdish ground forces fight back and retake ground lost to the Islamic State group.
The strikes in Iraq were followed in September by the first U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria, where the Islamic State group has captured much of the country's east, declaring a self-styled caliphate on the territory under its control straddling the Iraqi-Syria border.
Since then, more than a dozen countries have entered the fight, providing air power, weapons or humanitarian assistance to more than a million Iraqis displaced by the militants' offensive.
The British government joined the U.S.-led aerial campaign on Sept. 30 but has refused to join the campaign in Syria, where the Americans have been joined by a coalition of Arab partners. The use of foreign ground troops in the battle against the Islamic State group, however, has been frowned upon, both by the Iraqi government and by foreign governments providing assistance.
''The coalition can only deliver effective support to the Iraqi government and Iraqi security forces,'' said Britain's top diplomat during his visit to Baghdad. ''The Iraqi people, the Iraqi security forces and Iraqi government will have to take the lead on the ground.''
''We always understood that our campaign alone was not effective to be decisive in turning the tide against ISIL,'' Hammond added, using an alternate acronym for the militant group. ''But it has halted the ISIL advance, it has forced ISIL to change its tactics and it is degrading their military capabilities and their economic strength, their ability to exploit oil revenues, for example.''
The U.S. military said Sunday it conducted an airstrike southwest of Hit, destroying a militant armored vehicle. It said another airstrike southeast of Hit targeted an armored personnel carrier. Airstrikes were also conducted near the Iraqi cities of Ramadi and Kirkuk, U.S. Central Command said.
Meanwhile, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Monday that as many as 180,000 people have been displaced in Anbar because of the fighting in recent days around Hit and Ramadi, the provincial capital.
U.N. estimates ''suggest that 75 percent of people from Hit, out of an original population of 300,000, have now fled the town,'' according to Farhan Haq in New York.
Thousands are ''still on the move, many in trucks along the highway and are in urgent need of life-saving assistance including food, water and shelter,'' he added.
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VIDEO-FPI Board Member William Kristol Interviews Former Vice President Dick Cheney | Foreign Policy Initiative
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 04:51
The Foreign Policy Initiative seeks to promote an active U.S. foreign policy committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America's global economic competitiveness.Read More
VIDEO: FPI Board Member William Kristol Discussed ISIS and Leon Panetta on ABC News' This Week | Foreign Policy Initiative
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 04:47
The Foreign Policy Initiative seeks to promote an active U.S. foreign policy committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America's global economic competitiveness.Read More
VIDEO-#Ferguson Protesters Shut Down Walmart '' Storm Second Walmart in Maplewood! (VIDEO) | The Gateway Pundit
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 04:19
The protesters moved from the Ferguson police department tonight over to the Walmart.The Walmart shut down early.
The protesters are holding ''End Racism'' signs'... at Walmart(?)
The protesters bragged about their city-wide mayhem today.
Private security at Walmart locked the doors from protesters.
* * * * * * * * *
They're heading to a second Walmart.
Here's video from the screaming protesters inside Walmart.
UPDATE: The protesters stormed into a second Walmart on Hanley Road in Maplewood, Missouri west of St. Louis.
The protesters are chanting, ''Shut it down!'' outside the Hanley Walmart.It makes no sense.
The police
RT @michaelcalhoun: Protesters being put in back of police van. #FergusonOctoberpic.twitter.com/zQLZjwh2CJ#Maplewood#Walmart
'-- Staci D Kramer (@sdkstl) October 14, 2014
''>arrested several of the lawbreakers.Protesters being put in back of police van at Maplewood Walmart.
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VIDEO-PressTV - S Arabia manipulates oil price for political gains: Russian official
Mon, 13 Oct 2014 23:10
A high-ranking Russian energy official has accused oil-rich Saudi Arabia of manipulating oil prices in the global markets for political reasons.
"The current price dynamic, which has been developing for the last few months, may not reflect the objective trend," Mikhail Leontyev, vice president of Russia's state-owned oil giant, Rosneft, told the Russkaya Sluzhba Novostei radio station on Sunday.
"Prices can be manipulative. First of all, Saudi Arabia has begun making big discounts on oil. This is political manipulation," said Leontyev, adding, ''The second factor is the stolen ISIL oil, which reaches the market through Turkey and Israel with a triple discount. It is not much, but it is stolen, so it is cheap."
Moscow needs high oil prices to prop up its economy, which has been hit by sanctions over Ukraine as well as a drop in domestic demand.
Russia favors an oil price of around one hundred dollars a barrel to cover Moscow's future spending.
The Rosneft vice president's remarks come amid reports that Saudi officials have given the green light for lowering oil prices.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is reportedly comfortable with prices as low as USD 80 per barrel for the next two years.
MP/AB/SS
VIDEO-Republican Cuts Kill - YouTube
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CNN on ISIL 'training camp' video US TENTS.mp3
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Ebola

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