666: Slavery Enrollment Month

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 3m
November 2nd, 2014
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Executive Producers: Sir Sergei Filippov, Sir Metal Mike Underwood, André Schmid, Black Knight Sir James Cates of Virginia & of Iceland, Daniel Hochstein

Associate Executive Producers: Allen Peterson, Dame francine hardaway, Sir Gene Naftulyev Earl of Tx, Sir Otaku KF5SVR, David Roberts, Sir Adam Johnson, Sir Upper Decker, Jason Petersen, Jacob Barker

Cover Artist: 20wattbulb


Start of Show
Suggest a new chapter
666 FreeHollowBook
Looking for contact info to send out the gifts for these folks.
I ink there were 2 Sunday and 3 today. I've got two books left for the first two to come thru for the next show.
Just trying to make good on my promise to the producers and the show.
Sir Jimmy
Halloween Costumes
In a recent show I heard you make a few remarks about how you no longer enjoy the Halloween holiday and while I see where you are coming from I also must say that some things which have changed over the years might have been for the better.
For many years I've been in a rock band and we've played the Halloween costume party at a local bar a lot of times. A few years ago while on a break our guitarist Myles remarked about how Halloween costumes had changed. People used to dress up scary but that has mostly gone away and now at least with the women folk it seems like the thing to do is dress like a Halloween slut! Little Bo Peep, a french maid, a leprechaun you get the idea. This is not all bad.... At the costume party the contest however was nearly always won by some guy. I remember one year when he dressed as a witch doctor. Needless to say David Lee Roth had nothing on his costume.
Presidential Proclamation -- National College Application Month, 2014
Sun, 02 Nov 2014 00:51
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
November 01, 2014
- - - - - - -
With hard work and determination, a great education should be within everyone's reach. At the heart of America's promise is the belief that we all deserve an equal opportunity to get ahead, and today more than ever -- as we face greater global competition in a knowledge-based economy -- a college degree is the surest path to a stable, middle-class life. During National College Application Month, we come together to encourage all students to take control of their own destiny by applying to continue their education beyond high school and to let them know that no matter where they come from or who they are -- it does not matter if they are the first in their family to apply to college or if they have been told that they are simply not college material -- there is an opportunity for them.
This fall, high school seniors across our Nation are making the decision to invest in their future by earning a post-secondary degree or credential, and as they navigate the college admissions process, my Administration is dedicated to supporting them with the tools and resources they need to succeed. To help more families afford a college degree, we have expanded grants, tax credits, and loans and invested in programs that help students manage and reduce the burdens of debt after they graduate. We created the College Scorecard to make it easier for students and families to compare colleges and find ones that are well-suited to their needs. And to help students better understand the costs of college and more easily compare aid packages offered by different institutions, we developed the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet. To access these and other resources -- including College Navigator and a tool that helps determine the net price of any given college -- Americans can go to www.WhiteHouse.gov/ReachHigher.
Applying to college is hard work, but it is only the beginning of a journey that requires persistence and focus. A college degree unlocks pathways to opportunity; it prepares today's students for the jobs of the future and is a requirement for the educated workforce and informed citizenry our country needs to create growth, bolster our economy, and strengthen our democracy. That is why as a Nation, we must lift up our students, help them achieve their greatest potential, and work together toward an important goal: to lead the world in college completion.
This month, we celebrate the limitless possibility within every child. We honor the teachers, school counselors, and parents who help students apply to college. We recognize the institutions that are taking steps to ensure they reach the best and brightest students, regardless of their background, and all those who ensure the next generation is prepared for success, including businesses who open their doors to interns and the alumni, foundations, and faith-based organizations that provide scholarships. Let us remind all students that it is never too early to start planning for their future or reaching for 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 November 2014 as National College Application Month. I call upon public officials, educators, parents, students, and all Americans to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs designed to encourage students to make plans for and apply to college.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first 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.
Presidential Proclamation -- National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, 2014
Sun, 02 Nov 2014 00:51
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
November 01, 2014
- - - - - - -
Across our Nation, as many as 5 million Americans live with Alzheimer's disease -- currently an irreversible, incurable, and fatal disease. Together with their loved ones, these individuals experience the tragic realities of a disease that gradually erases cherished memories, affects behavior, and destroys the ability to live independently and carry out the simplest daily tasks. This month, we recognize all those whose lives have been touched by Alzheimer's, and we renew our commitment to making progress in the war against it.
The Federal Government is the world's leading funder of Alzheimer's research, and we are dedicated to finding ways to prevent and effectively treat this devastating disease by 2025. Guided by the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease, my Administration is working to enhance care for Alzheimer's patients, expand support for all people with dementia, and strengthen public-private partnerships to support the Alzheimer's community. We have funded major new clinical trials, helped train health care providers to diagnosis and manage dementia, and launched a new website that serves as a one-stop resource on Alzheimer's issues. And this year, as part of our Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, we announced new investments to support the research that could unlock the answers to this disease. To learn more about Alzheimer's disease -- including risk factors and early signs and symptoms -- and to access resources for patients and caregivers, Americans can visit www.Alzheimers.gov.
During National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, we join with researchers, health care providers, and patient advocates across our country to lift up all those who are battling this disease every day. As we come together to raise awareness about Alzheimer's, we honor the individuals who lost their lives to it, as well as the devotion and selflessness of the millions of caregivers who endure the financial and emotional strains of this disease. In their spirit, let us continue our work to end this debilitating ailment and its devastating effects.
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 November 2014 as National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month. I call upon the people of the United States to learn more about Alzheimer's disease and support the individuals living with this disease and their caregivers.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first 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.
Presidential Proclamation -- National Family Caregivers Month, 2014
Sun, 02 Nov 2014 00:50
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
November 01, 2014
- - - - - - -
Each day, courageous individuals step forward to help care for family members in need, their quiet acts of selflessness and sacrifice telling a story of love and devotion. Across our country, parents and children, siblings and spouses, friends and neighbors heroically give of themselves to support those in their lives affected by illness, injury, or disability. During National Family Caregivers Month, we salute the people who play difficult and exhausting roles, and we recommit to lifting up these Americans as they care for their loved ones while protecting their dignity and individuality.
In the United States, more than 60 million caregivers provide invaluable strength and assistance to their family members, and as the number of older Americans rises, so will the number of caregivers. Many of these dedicated people work full time and raise children of their own while also caring for the needs of their loved ones. Caregivers support the independence of their family members and enable them to more fully participate in their communities, and as a Nation, we have an obligation to empower these selfless individuals.
My Administration continues to work to improve many of the resources on which caregivers depend. The Affordable Care Act invested in programs that expand home and community-based services. To lift up a new generation of service members -- our 9/11 Generation -- we are fighting to ensure those who care for them have access to the support they need, including financial assistance, comprehensive caregiver training, mental health services and counseling, and respite care. Many caregivers rely on workplace flexibility and reasonable accommodations, and this year my Administration held the first-ever White House Summit on Working Families to develop a comprehensive agenda that ensures hard-working Americans do not have to choose between being productive employees and responsible family members. And next year, we will host the White House Conference on Aging, which will focus on the needs of older Americans and those who care for them.
Not only this month, but every month, let us work alongside our Nation's caregivers and make certain they are able to provide the best possible care for their loved ones for as long as necessary. Together, we recognize those who place service above self, including the women and men looking after our veterans. By offering them the same comfort, social engagement, and stability they bring to others, may we remind them that they are not alone.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2014 as National Family Caregivers Month. I encourage all Americans to pay tribute to those who provide for the health and well-being of their family members, friends, and neighbors.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first 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.
Presidential Proclamation -- National Native American Heritage Month, 2014
Sat, 01 Nov 2014 09:24
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
October 31, 2014
- - - - - - -
Every year, our Nation pauses to reflect on the profound ways the First Americans have shaped our country's character and culture. The first stewards of our environment, early voices for the values that define our Nation, and models of government to our Founding Fathers -- American Indians and Alaska Natives helped build the very fabric of America. Today, their spirit and many contributions continue to enrich our communities and strengthen our country. During National Native American Heritage Month, we honor their legacy, and we recommit to strengthening our nation-to-nation partnerships.
As we celebrate the rich traditions of the original peoples of what is now the United States, we cannot forget the long and unfortunate chapters of violence, discrimination, and deprivation they had to endure. For far too long, the heritage we honor today was disrespected and devalued, and Native Americans were told their land, religion, and language were not theirs to keep. We cannot ignore these events or erase their consequences for Native peoples -- but as we work together to forge a brighter future, the lessons of our past can help reaffirm the principles that guide our Nation today.
In a spirit of true partnership and mutual trust, my Administration is committed to respecting the sovereignty of tribal nations and upholding our treaty obligations, which honor our nation-to-nation relationship of peace and friendship over the centuries. We have worked to fairly settle longstanding legal disputes and provide justice to those who experienced discrimination. We have taken unprecedented steps to strengthen tribal courts, especially when it comes to criminal sentencing and prosecuting individuals who commit violence against Native American women. And next month, my Administration will host our sixth annual White House Tribal Nations Conference, part of our ongoing effort to promote meaningful collaboration with tribal leaders as we fight to give all our children the tomorrow they deserve.
Today, as community and tribal leaders, members of our Armed Forces, and drivers of progress and economic growth, American Indians and Alaska Natives are working to carry forward their proud history, and my Administration is dedicated to expanding pathways to success for Native Americans. To increase opportunity in Indian Country, we are investing in roads and high-speed Internet and supporting job training and tribal colleges and universities. The Affordable Care Act provides access to quality, affordable health insurance, and it permanently reauthorized the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, which provides care to many Native Americans. And because the health of tribal nations depends on the health of tribal lands, my Administration is partnering with Native American leaders to protect these lands in a changing climate.
Every American, including every Native American, deserves the chance to work hard and get ahead. This month, we recognize the limitless potential of our tribal nations, and we continue our work to build a world where all people are valued and no child ever has to wonder if he or she has a place in our society.
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 November 2014 as National Native American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to commemorate this month with appropriate programs and activities, and to celebrate November 28, 2014, as Native American Heritage Day.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first 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.
Presidential Proclamation --National Adoption Month, 2014
Sat, 01 Nov 2014 09:23
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
October 31, 2014
- - - - - - -
Every year, adoptive parents welcome tens of thousands of children and teenagers into supportive and loving families. These mothers and fathers provide their sons and daughters with the security and stability of a safe environment and the opportunity to learn, grow, and achieve their full potential. During National Adoption Month, we honor those who have opened their hearts and their homes, and we recommit to supporting all children still in need of a place to call their own. Over the past decade, more than 500,000 children have been adopted. However, there are still too many children waiting to be part of an adoptive family. This month -- on the Saturday before Thanksgiving -- we will observe the 15th annual National Adoption Day, a nationwide celebration that brings together policymakers, practitioners, and advocates to finalize thousands of adoptions and to raise awareness of those still in need of permanent homes.
To help ensure there is a permanent home for every child, my Administration is investing in programs to reduce the amount of time children in foster care wait for adoption and to educate adoptive families about the diverse needs of their children, helping ensure stability and permanency. We are equipping State and local adoption organizations with tools to provide quality mental health services to children who need them, and -- because we know the importance of sibling relationships -- we are encouraging efforts to keep brothers and sisters together. Additionally, last year I was proud to permanently extend the Adoption Tax Credit to provide relief to adoptive families. By supporting policies that remove barriers to adoption, we give hope to children across America. For all those who yearn for the comfort of family, we must continue our work to increase the opportunities for adoption and make sure all capable and loving caregivers have the ability to bring a child into their life, regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation, or marital status. Throughout November, we recognize the thousands of parents and kids who have expanded their families to welcome a new child or sibling, as well as the professionals who offer guidance, resources, and counseling every day. Let us reaffirm our commitment to provide all children with every chance to reach their dreams and realize their highest aspirations.
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 November 2014 as National Adoption Month. I encourage all Americans to observe this month by answering the call to find a permanent and caring family for every child in need, and by supporting the families who care for them. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first 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.
Presidential Proclamation -- National Entrepreneurship Month, 2014
Sat, 01 Nov 2014 09:24
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
October 31, 2014
Across our Nation, in laboratories and around kitchen tables, passionate and creative entrepreneurs are developing new sources of clean energy, cures for life-threatening diseases, and inventions that will transform the way we see the world. America has always been a country of risk takers and dreamers -- where anyone who is willing to work hard can turn a good idea into a thriving business -- and our spirit of ingenuity remains a powerful engine of growth, creating jobs and bolstering our economy. This month, we recognize the grit and determination of American inventors and innovators and their many contributions to our Nation, and we reaffirm our commitment to support these entrepreneurs as they develop the products, services, and ideas of tomorrow. Our country seeks to empower a rising generation of talented and striving innovators and to ensure they have opportunities to pursue their aspirations and take the risks that make America great. That is why my Administration has expanded grants, tax credits, and loans to help more families afford a college degree. We are investing in programs that encourage science, technology, engineering, and math education, especially for traditionally underrepresented groups. We have given nearly 5 million Americans the chance to cap their student loan payments at 10 percent of their income, freeing them to pursue new ideas and unsolved problems. And the Affordable Care Act enables entrepreneurs to set out and build the future they seek by providing the security of quality, affordable health care. As we work to create a new foundation of growth and prosperity, my Administration is taking action to ensure startups and innovators have the resources and access to capital they need to take ideas from the drawing board to the factory floor to the store shelf. Now in its fourth year, our Startup America initiative has brought the Federal Government and private sector partners together to cut red tape for entrepreneurs, speed up innovation, and help get businesses off the ground and scale up more quickly. We are redoubling our support for an open Internet and open data as fundamentals of innovation. We have committed to investing billions of dollars in our small businesses and startups, and we are accelerating the transfer of federally funded research from the laboratory to the commercial marketplace. We have made new efforts to welcome entrepreneurial companies as customers of the Federal Government, and since taking office, I have signed 18 tax cuts for small businesses into law, as well as bipartisan legislation that has helped enable more emerging growth companies to access public capital markets. And because many of the highly skilled workers and talented thinkers on whom our startups depend are first-generation Americans, I continue to call on the Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform -- and I am prepared to address our broken immigration system through executive action in a way that is sustainable and effective, and within the confines of the law. Bringing together America's best and brightest innovators creates important opportunities for mentorship within the startup and small business communities, and it allows policymakers to hear directly from entrepreneurs. This year, we launched the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship. A first-of-its-kind collaboration between successful American businesspeople and the Federal Government, this group is helping to cultivate startup communities and champion entrepreneurship both here at home and overseas. We also hosted inventors from around the country this year at the first-ever White House Maker Faire. And later this month, my Administration is supporting the 5th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Morocco, to foster entrepreneurial success and prosperity around the world. When we encourage entrepreneurs and the ideas they introduce to the world, we strengthen our communities and help secure America's promise for future generations. As we observe National Entrepreneurship Month and celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week, let us continue our work to ensure America remains home to the best minds and the most innovative businesses on earth. 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 November 2014 as National Entrepreneurship Month. I call upon all Americans to commemorate this month with appropriate programs and activities, and to celebrate November 18, 2014, as National Entrepreneurs' Day. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first 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.
Presidential Proclamation -- Military Family Month, 2014
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 21:06
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
October 31, 2014
For more than two centuries, members of our Armed Forces have defended our country with unyielding courage. In our Nation's times of need, these brave patriots step forward to answer America's call, leaving behind everything they know and love. And as they help secure our freedom and democracy, their families sacrifice alongside them. During Military Family Month, we recognize every spouse, parent, sibling, child, and loved one who stands with our service members, and we reaffirm our solemn vow to serve these families as well as they serve us. The selflessness of our military families tells a story of unfailing duty and devotion. Through long deployments, difficult separations, and moves across the country and overseas, spouses and partners put their careers on hold and children take on extra responsibilities. With grace and resilience, families endure the absence of loved ones and shoulder the burdens of war. And when battle ends and our service members return home, their families support their transition and recovery. To fulfill our sacred promise to our service members and their loved ones, my Administration continues to make supporting our military families a top priority. This year, we launched the Veterans Employment Center, an interagency resource to connect transitioning service members, veterans, and their spouses to meaningful career opportunities. We are also committed to fostering partnerships with organizations that help military caregivers and making consistent and effective family services available, including mental health care and counseling, deployment and relocation assistance, and child care and youth programs. Through their Joining Forces initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden are working to ensure members of our Armed Forces, veterans, and their families have all the opportunities and benefits they deserve. And since 2011, their efforts have encouraged businesses to hire more than 500,000 veterans and military spouses. Every day, our military families at home and abroad inspire us and remind us of our obligation to take care of those who do so much for our country. As a grateful Nation, we pay tribute to the women and men who have made our military the finest fighting force the world has ever known, and we honor the enduring strength and dedication of their families. 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 November 2014 as Military Family Month. I call on all Americans to honor military families through private actions and public service for the tremendous contributions they make in support of our service members and our Nation.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first 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.
Presidential Proclamation -- National Diabetes Month, 2014
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 21:06
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
October 31, 2014
Today, nearly 30 million Americans have diabetes. This devastating disease affects men and women of all backgrounds and ages, and can cause serious health complications, including blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, and the loss of lower limbs. During National Diabetes Month, we stand with all those battling this chronic, life-threatening disease and their families, and we pay tribute to the advocates, researchers, and health care professionals who are committed to supporting healthy lifestyles in communities across our country. Most commonly diagnosed in young people, type 1 diabetes has no known method of prevention. However, it can be managed with regular exercise, good nutrition, and proper medication.
Type 2 diabetes accounts for roughly 90 to 95 percent of diagnosed cases of diabetes in adults, and the risk of developing it is commonly associated with older age, obesity, physical inactivity, and a family history of diabetes. African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, and some Asian
Americans and Pacific Islanders are at particularly high risk for this disease and its complications. In some cases, losing weight, eating healthy, and being more active can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Americans who are at risk for this disease can consult with a health care provider to discuss the steps they can take to reduce their chances of developing diabetes. My Administration is committed to finding a cure for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and we continue to invest in critical research to prevent this disease, increase the quality of care, and reduce its devastating complications. Established to help translate the important findings of this research into practice, the National Diabetes Education Program works to raise awareness of this disease among high risk individuals and to improve treatment and outcomes for those living with it. To learn more about diabetes, individuals can visit www.NDEP.NIH.gov. The Affordable Care Act prevents health insurance companies from denying coverage due to a pre-existing condition, such as a diabetes diagnosis, and requires that insurers cover recommended diabetes screenings without a copay for adults with high blood pressure. My Administration also encourages public-private partnerships that are helping Americans at risk of type 2 diabetes take action to prevent the onset of the disease. And as more than one-third of American children and adolescents are overweight or obese -- putting a new generation at risk for diabetes -- First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative seeks to increase opportunities for young people to engage in physical activity and make healthy choices. All Americans deserve the chance to lead healthy lives and achieve their full potential. During National Diabetes Month, we honor the memory of those we have lost to diabetes, and we recommit to pursuing solutions that will shed light on this disease, moving our Nation closer to a healthier tomorrow for all. 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 November 2014 as National Diabetes Month.
I call upon all Americans, school systems, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, health care providers, research institutions, and other interested groups to join in activities that raise diabetes awareness and help prevent, treat, and manage the disease.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first 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.
Presidential Proclamation -- Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month, 2014
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 21:06
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
October 31, 2014
- - - - - - -
Essential to our national security and economic growth, America's critical infrastructure -- from our power plants and pipelines to our hospitals and highways -- supports the physical and virtual systems that underpin American society. In a changing world, the increased interdependence of our country's most vital resources and networks has created new opportunities for growth and innovation, but it has also led to greater risk and vulnerability. During Critical Infrastructure Security andResilience Month, we reflect on the important role our infrastructure plays in building a safe and prosperous Nation, and we recommit to strengthening and protecting these important assets. The security of our Nation is my top priority, and my Administration is dedicated to preserving and fortifying the systems that support our daily lives. Guided by our Cybersecurity Framework, we are working to protect our critical infrastructure from cyber threats, while promoting an open and reliable cyberspace. In the face of a diverse set of physical risks to our infrastructure -- from extreme weather and the impacts of climate change to health pandemics, accidents, and acts of terrorism -- we are taking steps to reduce our vulnerabilities. And because the majority of our critical infrastructure is owned and operated by private companies, we are encouraging the private sector to recognize their shared responsibility. As part of our National Infrastructure Protection Plan, we are finding new ways we can strengthen our public-private partnerships to bolster our systems and networks and to better manage risks. While we cannot always predict the ways in which our infrastructure will be tested, by harnessing an integrated approach to a range of threats and modernizing our cyber and physical infrastructure, we can ensure that one event does not compromise the stability of our entire system. When we invest in 21st century infrastructure, we not only increase our resilience, but also create jobs and expand opportunity for hardworking Americans. That is why earlier this year we launched the Build America Investment Initiative to improve our roads, water systems, electrical grid, and other vital systems. By encouraging innovative financing and increased public-private collaboration, we can build a revitalized, efficient, and secureAmerican infrastructure. In today's interconnected world, we must all remain dedicated to identifying and deterring threats and hazards to our Nation's critical infrastructure and to mitigating the consequences of incidents that do occur. This month, let us resolve to safeguard and strengthen the systems we rely on every day and to support first-class infrastructure that can sustain America's role as a leader on the world stage. 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 November 2014 as Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month. I call upon the people of the United States to recognize the importance of protecting our Nation's resources and to observe this month with appropriate events and training to enhance our national security and resilience.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first 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.
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.
QE ended. Now what?
Space Fakes
joel glenn brenner - Google Search
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:19
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HAM Sattellites on crashed rocket
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 20:57
Hawaii ARES Volunteers Finalize Plans for Possible Lava Flow ActivationSatellites Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads Among Those Lost in Launch ExplosionIndian Radio Amateurs Continue Communication Support Following CycloneColorado EOSS-202 Balloon Flight Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads "Awesome"Bidding in Ninth Annual ARRL On-Line Auction Ends on Thursday, October 30ARISS Encourages Schools to Apply Now for Space Station Ham Radio Contact OpportunitiesW1AW Centennial Operations Set Sights on Washington and Kansas, Plus American Samoa4M Moon Orbiter Completes Lunar FlybyKP1-5 Project Gets Permission to Activate Navassa Island (KP1) in January 2015Indonesia's New Leaders are Radio AmateursNCDXC Donates Radio, Accessories to 3B9FRSpecial Event Call Sign VI6ANZAC Will Mark 100th Anniversary of ANZACFormer ARRL Staff Member Mary Lau, N1VH, SKMirage, KLM Co-Founder Kenneth E. Holladay, K6HCP, SKBill Orr Award Recipient Harry R. "Bob" Schroeder, N2HX, SKA Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRLThe K7RA Solar UpdateGetting It Right!Just Ahead in RadiosportUpcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions and EventsHawaii ARES Volunteers Finalize Plans for Possible Lava Flow Activation
ARRL Pacific Section Manager Bob Schneider, AH6J, said this week that Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers on the Big Island of Hawaii are ready to activate, if needed, in response to the Puna lava flow.
"It's basically on the edges of the populated part of town [of Pahoa]," Schneider said on October 30. "At this point, it's 'get ready and see what happens.'"
The Puna lava flow (center) approaching Pahoa on October 29. [Hawaii Volcano Observatory photo]
Like the 1958 horror movie "The Blob" -- indescribable, indestructible, and nothing can stop it! -- by late in the week, the lava flow was threatening to consume dozens of homes in Pahoa and cut across the town's main highway. The lava claimed its first structure -- a shed -- on October 28. Schneider said the flow oozed across a cemetery this week too. The lava originated from new "vents" in the Earth as a result of the Mt Kilauea volcano, which began erupting more than 30 years ago. After grinding to a halt nearly a month ago, the lava flow recently resumed its slow and devastating crawl toward populated areas. Now the National Guard has been called out, and some 20 families have been ordered to evacuate. Hawaii's Civil Defense has been fully deployed.
Lava flows are nothing new to Hawaiians; Schneider and others call them "a slow-motion disaster." In September ARRL deployed Ham Aid kits to Hawaii for a possible lava flow response then. As it turned out, ARES members there needed the gear for Hurricane Ana first, since the lava flow had abated by the time the equipment got to Hawaii.
Schneider told ARRL Headquarters this week that District Emergency Coordinators were establishing area-specific ARES standard operating procedures in the event of an activation. "[East Hawaii DEC Kim Fendt, WH6HIM] has put together a volunteer shelter-response team," Schneider said. "They all realize that this may involve multiple shifts for a considerable time."
Hawaii County Puna Makai District Councilor Greggor Ilagan reported that the flow was advancing at a rate of up to 17 yards per hour. At 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, the lava incinerates nearly everything in its path, generating smoke and leaving flames behind. Residents downwind with smoke sensitivity or respiratory problems were being advised to "take necessary precautions" and to remain indoors.
Lava pushed through a fence marking a property boundary early on October 28. [USGS/Hawaii Volcano Observatory photo]
According to Schneider, conventional telecommunication systems are "solid" for now, and there is no critical need for an ARES activation, although, he conceded, that could change once the lava crosses the road. "Power to the area is still holding," he reported. Schneider told the ARRL that the power company attempted to protect some tall wooden utility poles by surrounding them with rocks and dirt, but the lava simply consumed the poles from the bottom, making them appearing to sink into the ground.
"We did have a brief power outage [October 28], and the emergency net came up right away," Schneider recounted. "From what we could tell it was mostly on the east side of the island."
Schneider said schools in Pahoa have been closed, and a shelter location has been established, but, he explained, due to the "slow-motion" aspect, residents have had time to deliberate their evacuation plans. The lava flow has affected Election Day plans for some 2000 voters. Those who normally vote at the Pahoa Community Center now will cast their ballots at the Hawaiian Paradise Community Center.
"FEMA is offering a course on how to handle the psychological effects of this thing," Schneider added. "[A] lot of people are having trouble dealing with it."
Satellites Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads Among Those Lost in Launch Explosion
The RACE and GOMX-2 CubeSats, both carrying Amateur Radio payloads, were among more than 2 dozen satellites lost after an unmanned Orbital Space Sciences (OSC) Antares 130 vehicle exploded spectacularly shortly after launch at 2222 UTC on Tuesday, October 28, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island on Virginia's Eastern Shore. The Antares is a new medium-class launch vehicle developed by OSC. The rocket exploded about 6 seconds after launch, sending a huge ball of fire hurtling toward the ground and igniting a massive fire at the NASA launch site.
The Antares 130 launcher exploded within seconds of its launch. [NASA TV video]
"While NASA is disappointed that Orbital Sciences' third contracted resupply mission to the International Space Station was not successful today, we will continue to move forward toward the next attempt once we fully understand today's mishap," said William Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator of NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Directorate. "The crew of the International Space Station is in no danger of running out of food or other critical supplies." Indeed, a smaller resupply mission, launched from Russia, reached the ISS the next day.
The Radiometer Atmospheric Cubesat Experiment (RACE) CubeSat was a joint project of The Texas Spacecraft Laboratory (TSL) at the University of Texas-Austin and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Built by a 30-student team, it carried a 183 GHz radiometer, a new science instrument designed by JPL. The spacecraft was equipped to transmit using GMSK at 38.4 k and CW telemetry on a downlink frequency of 437.525MHz.
TSL's Glenn Lightsey, KE5DDG, a UT engineering professor, oversaw the student project that worked hand-in-hand with NASA staff in creating a satellite that aimed to measure water vapor in Earth's atmosphere.
"It's unfortunate, but it is also part of the aerospace industry," Lightsey told the Texas Statesman newspaper. "The nature of building space vehicles is that it is not a 100 percent reliable process. Getting into space is really the hardest part."
The 2U GOMX-2 CubeSat was intended to test a de-orbit system designed by Aalborg University in Denmark. Karl Klaus Laursen, OZ2KK, is listed as the "responsible operator" on International Amateur Radio Union frequency coordination documents. The Amateur Radio payload proposed using a 9.6 k MSK data downlink on 437.250 MHz. Also on board was an optical communications experiment from the National University of Singapore. The mission also aimed to flight qualify a new high-speed UHF transceiver and SDR receiver built by an Aalborg University team.
The Antares 130 resupply mission was carrying some 5000 pounds of cargo to the International Space Station. The Antares 130 also was carrying the Flock-1d array of 26 satellites as well as Arkyd-3 and Cygnus CRS-3. RACE, GOMX-2, and the other satellites were to be launched into orbit from the ISS later.
Indian Radio Amateurs Continue Communication Support Following Cyclone
More than 2 weeks after Cyclone (hurricane) Hud Hud hit Vishakhapattanam and surrounding communities on India's Bay of Bengal, radio amateurs are continuing to provide communication support to authorities and residents. In the storm's immediate aftermath, all communication with Vishakhapattanam -- known as "Vizag" -- and the wider region was via Amateur Radio. With electric power knocked out, no mobile or landline telephone service was available, but Amateur Radio Society of India (ARSI) National Coordinator for Disaster Communication Jayu Bhide, VU2JAU, said the Amateur Radio emergency communication network ran smoothly. Bhide told ARRL that it will take some time before things are back to normal in the stricken region.
NIAR volunteers Tom Jose, VU3TMO, and Yamini Sadineni, VU2YAM, both of Hyderabad, operated from a police station in Vizag. Sadineni was among the international visitors to the ARRL National Centennial Convention in Hartford this past June. Jose, at 15, is one of India's youngest active radio amateurs. His parents, his brother, and his grandfather all are hams.
"The debris is getting cleared [and] rehabilitation is in progress," he reported over the weekend. A half-dozen radio amateurs from Odissa have been assisting both authorities and the public with communication. Bhide said a few stations working under the National Institute of Amateur Radio (NIAR) banner set up to assist with police and other administrative communication needs.
"The landline telephones are under repair, and part of [the system] has started working," Bhide said. "Mobile towers also are under repair and will be in working condition soon." He said authorities have been working hard to make drinking water available to the public.
Fifteen-year-old Tom Jose, VU3TMO, was among the NIAR volunteers. According to an article in The Hindu, Tom was stationed at the Vishakhapattanam police station, receiving message traffic from other radio amateurs in the cyclone-affected areas and passing it on to the administration for relief measures.
At week's end, radio amateurs in West Bengal and Hyderabad were on alert as Cyclone Nilofar approached Gujarat. -- Thanks to Jayu Bhide, VU2JAU, and Jim Linton, VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee
Colorado EOSS-202 Balloon Flight Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads "Awesome"
An Edge of Space Sciences (EOSS) balloon flight, launched on October 25 by students from Colorado and New Mexico, and carrying three ham radio payloads into near-space surpassed its planned altitude. The mission, designated EOSS-202, took off under a clear sky from Deer Trail, Colorado. The Douglas County, Colorado, STEM School and STEM Academy and Spartan Amateur Radio Club, AB0BX, sponsored and coordinated the balloon flight.
The EOSS-202 mission balloon just after launch, trailing its payload string.
"It was awesome," said Paul Veal, N0AH, a Rocky Mountain Division Assistant Director and AB0X trustee. "It was simply the best weather any of us could have hoped for. According to EOSS, our flight reached one of the highest altitudes they've had in years -- nearly 104,000 feet!"
Veal said a large number of young students participated "with great enthusiasm throughout the morning cold at sunrise throughout the heat of the day." Several of the more than 2 dozen students taking part in the project are radio amateurs.
The "AB0BX Spartan Space Sciences" mission carried seven student-designed payloads aloft. All payloads were retrieved after the balloon burst, at first tumbling and then descending gently to Earth borne by a parachute. Video from the ground was able to capture the balloon's burst as it attained its maximum altitude. The onboard ham radio payloads served to track the balloon during flight and recovery and also transmitted telemetry during the mission.
Veal said the only major snafu involved the onboard Go-Pro cameras, which were equipped with 8 GB cards. "We really needed 32 GB [cards], so we got awesome pictures but only up to around 80,000 feet," he explained.
Volunteers prepare AB0BX Spartan Space Sciences mission payloads on launch day.
Veal said a parent-led chase team convoy was able to see with the naked eye the sun's light reflecting from the balloon when it was more than 84,000 feet up. "This included several parents and students who tagged along in 13 vehicles -- around 50 of us altogether." The balloon traveled more than 70 miles, 19 more than predicted.
"The farming-ranching community in and around the recovery area near Cope, Colorado, gladly helped us to recover the balloon on private land," Veal said. "All payloads were recovered with no serious damage."
"Data from the various experiments, along with photos and videos from EOSS and spectators, will be collected in the next few weeks," said Veal. "I am hoping that the school can create a student team to formulate a digital book to count toward credit." As a result of the balloon project, he said, several project-based lesson plans for grades 6 through 12 can be formulated along STEM standards.
Bidding in Ninth Annual ARRL On-Line Auction Ends on Thursday, October 30
Bidding in the ninth annual ARRL On-Line Auction concludes on Thursday, October 30 (October 31 UTC). Bid closing times are staggered beginning at 0230 UTC and finishing at 0307 UTC on October 31. More than 230 items are on the block, including 24 pieces of gear that were the subject of QST "Product Review" articles. One-of-a-kind items include a hardcover 2014 Centennial edition of The ARRL Handbook, imprinted with "Hiram Percy Maxim, W1AW," and a hardcover edition of the 2014 Centennial Handbook bearing serial number 100. Other unique items include an autographed script from the "Last Man Standing" TV show, starring Tim Allen, who plays a radio amateur on the show and now is licensed for real.
Primo items include Kenwood's top-tier TS-990 transceiver, the recently reviewed Hilberling PT-8000A transceiver, and the TEN-TEC Argonaut VI HF QRP transceiver.
Proceeds from the On-Line Auction benefit ARRL educational programs, including activities aimed at licensing new hams, strengthening Amateur Radio's emergency service training, offering continuing technical and operating education, and creating instructional materials.
Check items in which you have an interest, as bidding end times for each item are staggered.
Previous ARRL On-Line Auction participants may log into the auction site using the password they've already established. Check your ARRL user profile to ensure that all address and credit card information remains the same. Those who are not registered and have not yet place a bid must first register in order to participate.
ARISS Encourages Schools to Apply Now for Space Station Ham Radio Contact Opportunities
The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program has announced that the application window is open for proposals from formal and informal educational institutions and organizations to host an Amateur Radio contact with an ISS crew member. The deadline to submit proposals is December 15. Educational entities may apply individually or in concert with other institutions or organizations. ARISS anticipates that ham radio contacts with the space station will take place between May 1 and December 31, 2015.
"Crew scheduling and ISS orbits will determine the exact contact dates," the ARISS announcement explained. "To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan."
Since December 2000, crew members aboard the International Space Station have taken part in scheduled Amateur Radio contacts with students on Earth. Contacts typically last about 10 minutes -- depending upon the ISS orbit -- and follow a question-and-answer format. Schools and educational organizations are encouraged to partner with a local Amateur Radio club or group to handle the technical aspects of the contact.
An ARISS contact is a voice-only communication opportunity via Amateur Radio between astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the space station and classrooms and communities. ARISS contacts afford education audiences the opportunity to learn firsthand from astronauts what it is like to live and work in space and to learn about space research conducted on the ISS. Students also will have an opportunity to learn about "satellite communication, wireless technology, and radio science."
The ARRL website has more information about the program, including details on expectations, audience, proposal guidelines and application form, and dates and times of informational sessions. Contact ARISS with any questions or for additional information.
ARISS is a cooperative educational initiative of the ARRL and AMSAT, in partnership with NASA and other international space agencies.
W1AW Centennial Operations Set Sights on Washington and Kansas, Plus American Samoa
The ARRL Centennial W1AW portable operations taking place throughout 2014 from each of the 50 states are now in Wyoming, Massachusetts, and the US Virgin Islands. They will transition at 0000 UTC on Wednesday, November 5 (the evening of November 4 in US time zones), to Kansas (W1AW/0) and Washington (W1AW/7). Some W1AW/0 operation from Kansas will take place from the Marshall Ensor Memorial Organization Amateur Radio Club in Olathe. In addition, W1AW/KH8 will be on the air from American Samoa starting on Sunday, November 2, with operation continuing for about 12 days. So far during 2014, W1AW has visited each of the 50 states for at least 1 week, and by year's end W1AW will have been on the air from every state at least twice.
The ARRL Centennial QSO Party kicked off January 1 for a year-long operating event in which participants can accumulate points and win awards. The event is open to all, although only ARRL members and appointees, elected officials, HQ staff, and W1AW are worth ARRL Centennial QSO Party points.
Working W1AW/x from each state is worth 5 points per mode/contact, even when working the same state during its second week of activity.
To earn the "Worked all States with W1AW Award," work W1AW operating portable from all 50 states. (Working W1AW or W100AW in Connecticut does not count for Connecticut. Participants must work W1AW/1 in Connecticut.) A W1AW WAS certificate and plaque will be available.
An ARRL Centennial QSO Party leader board shows participants how many points they have accumulated in the Centennial QSO Party and in the W1AW WAS operations. Log in using your Logbook of The World (LoTW) user name and password, and your position will appear at the top of the leader boards. Results are updated daily, based on contacts entered into LoTW.
4M Moon Orbiter Completes Lunar Flyby
The recently launched 4M (Manfred Memorial Moon Mission) Amateur Radio payload completed its loop around the moon on October 28 between 0030 and 0215 UTC. Among the 13-character onboard messages posted prior to launch was a encomium for Manfred Fuchs, to whom LUXspace dedicated the mission. Fuchs was the founder of LUXspace parent OHB. Roland Zurmely, PY4ZBZ, the first station to receive the 4M signal, was also the first to piece together the 158 JT65B 13-character messages comprising dedication, which described Fuchs as playing "an outstanding role in the European space industry over the last decades." Fuchs died earlier this year at the age of 75.
The LUXspace 4M payload superimposed over an image of the lunar surface. [LUXspace graphic]
The 4M payload downlink is on 2 meters (145.980 ±Doppler shift), transmitting continuously at a power of 1.5 W into a quarter-wave monopole. For its first 12 hours, the 4M payload was powered by rechargeable batteries. It then switched automatically to non-rechargeable high-energy density cells. Even as the spacecraft is on its return trajectory, receiving the signal requires a high-gain antenna. Stations in the Southern Hemisphere have the best chance of hearing the 4M payload. Radio amateurs have been encouraged to receive and report the spacecraft's signals. As of October 29, the spacecraft was some 255,000 miles from Earth. A 4M tracking calculator and payload blog also are available.
A Chinese Long March 3C/G2 rocket carried the 4M lunar flyby experiment into space at 1759 UTC on October 23 as a private payload on China's Chang'e-5-T1 mission. Chang'e-5-T1 represents the third phase of China's lunar exploration program, aimed at validating technologies for a future lunar sample return probe. If successful, this mission would mark the first successful re-entry of a Chinese space vehicle into Earth's atmosphere.
"Here at LUXspace, we are really thankful and grateful to all in the radio amateur community who definitely [are] major actor[s] in the success of this mission," Ghislain Ruy, LX2RG, of LUXspace, said this week. -- Thanks to AMSAT-UK via AMSAT News Service
KP1-5 Project Gets Permission to Activate Navassa Island (KP1) in January 2015
The KP1-5 Project has received word from the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) that it may activate Navassa Island (KP1) in January 2015. The DXpedition, using the call sign K1N, will be a maximum of 14 days, and exact dates will be determined by USFWS mission requirements and weather windows.
"Our experienced team of 15 is complete and is ready for the challenge," said an October 22 KP1-5 Project news release from President Bob Allphin, K4UEE, and Vice President Glenn Johnson, W0GJ. "The weeks ahead will be extremely busy as the team has less than 90 days before the DXpedition comes on the air."
As the announcement explained, January is the month of minimum bird nesting activity, and the USFWS had asked that the operation be completed during that month. Weather is unpredictable in January, however, and because Navassa is surrounded by cliffs, a safe landing by boat would be difficult or impossible.
An aerial view of the east coast of Navassa Island. [USGS photo]
"For safety reasons and in order to maximize our time on the island and on the air, a helicopter operation is planned," the team's news release said. "Navassa is over 100 miles (160 km) from the nearest helicopter staging point, and as many as 10 round trips will be required at the beginning and end of the operation. Obviously, this means that there will be a significant cost for activating this No 1 ranked DXCC entity."
The KP1-5 Project said it will be working with USFWS over the next few weeks to firm up details. The KP1-5 Project team has committed to fund 50 percent of the DXpedition's tab. "We are hopeful the DX community at large will fund the remainder," The announcement concluded.
INDEXA has announced that it will provide substantial financial support for the Navassa Island KP1-5 Project DXpedition. More than half of the DXpedition team members are INDEXA officers, directors, and members.
In other pending-DXpedition news, landing permission has been granted by the Norwegian Polar Institute for a DXpedition on Bouvet (3Y/B). Landing permission covers the period from mid-January to mid-April 2016.
Indonesia's New Leaders are Radio Amateurs
Indonesia's new national leaders are both Amateur Radio licensees.
Indonesia's new president Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, YD2JKW.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, YD2JKW, holds a General class license. Vice President Jusuf Kalla, YC8HYK, is an Advanced class licensee.
Elected in July, Jokowi, 53, and Kalla, 72, were inaugurated on October 20 in Jakarta. Indonesia is the world's third-largest democracy, with a population of approximately 250 million. Secretary of State John Kerry represented the US at the inauguration and met with the new president afterward.
Jokowi previously served as Governor of Jakarta and as Mayor of Surakarta.
NCDXC Donates Radio, Accessories to 3B9FR
The Northern California DX Club (NCDXC) has donated a radio and accessories to Robert Felicite, 3B9FR, to keep his Rodriguez Island station on the air. According to Rusty Epps, W6OAT, Felicite had been seeking help to get his current transceiver repaired, and Epps raised the topic at the club's September meeting. Members were eager to help.
Ross Forbes, K6GFJ, offered to donate an entire station that he was not using to help 3B9FR get back on the air. Kip Edwards, W6SZN, and Rich Stempien, W6RS, made sure the transceiver was in good operating condition before shipping it off to Rodriguez Island. The NCDXC sent an Icom IC-756PROIII transceiver, Icom SP-23 speaker and SM-20 desk mic, and a hand mic, as well as a MicroHAM microKEYER interface and a Heil Pro-Set Plus! Headset -- along with all documentation and cables.
The donation will enable 3B9FR to be active on 160 through 6 meters, CW, SSB, RTTY, and FM, as long as he has the requisite antennas. -- Thanks toThe Daily DXvia Ross Forbes, K6GFJ
Special Event Call Sign VI6ANZAC Will Mark 100th Anniversary of ANZAC
Special event station VI6ANZAC will be on the air for 24 hours, starting
The ANZAC National Centre in Albany, Western Australia.
at 1600 UTC on October 31, from Albany, Western Australia. The operation will commemorate the centennial of the departure from Albany of the first ship convoy transporting Australian and New Zealand troops, later known as ANZAC -- Australian and New Zealand Army Corps -- to the World War I battlefront in Europe.
The operation, being carried out by the Southern Electronics Group VK6SR, will be on 160-10 meters, with operation primarily on SSB. CW and digital mode operation is possible.
QSL via VK3CAM. -- Thanks toThe Daily DX
Former ARRL Staff Member Mary Lau, N1VH, SK
Former ARRL Headquarters staff member Mary E. Lau, N1VH (ex-N7IAL), of Newington, Connecticut, died October 15. She was 61 and had been suffering from ALS. Lau worked in several League Headquarters departments from 1985 until her retirement in 2005, including Field and Educational Services (F&ES), where she was
Mary Lau, N1VH. [Courtesy of Zack Lau, W1VT]
projects supervisor and secretary of the ARRL Foundation, assisting young Amateur Radio operators to secure college scholarships and administering the prestigious Goldfarb Memorial Scholarship. Lau headed the Field and Educational Services support team that produced the "Leap into Amateur Radio" brochure aimed at elementary schoolers. She also contributed technical assistance in the preparation of the Active Club Primer. She edited the "At the Foundation" column for QST while she was the Foundation secretary.
"Mary loved radio, was a hard worker, creative at finding solutions, would bull-dog things she believed in, was quite enthusiastic about learning new things, empathetic to anyone who came to her, super organized, happy to be at ARRL Headquarters, and was overall a 'glass is half full' type of person," said former ARRL Field and Educational Services Manager Rosalie White, K1STO.
A native of Los Angeles, Mary also spent some time in the Pacific Northwest, where she became licensed as N7IAL. She met her husband Zack, W1VT, at ARRL Headquarters, and she enjoyed many fun operating activities over the years. Read more.
Mirage, KLM Co-Founder Kenneth E. Holladay, K6HCP, SK
The co-founder of Mirage Communications and KLM, Ken Holladay, K6HCP, of Gilroy, California, died October 14 after an extended illness. He was 75. Holladay and Everett Gracey, WA6CBA (SK) co-founded
Ken Holladay, K6HCP.
Mirage Communications, now a part of MFJ. He was also the "K" in KLM Electronics, Inc, which he co-founded with Leeland "Mel" Farrer, K6KBE, and Mike Staal, K6MYC.
A radio amateur from his high school days and an ARRL Life Member, Holladay was a California native and attended San Jose Junior College. He wrote several articles in the 1960s and 1970s for Ham Radio magazine and for QST. He and his wife Jacqui published Electro Buyers Guide. He was an active builder and experimenter on the VHF and UHF bands and was an early participant in EME activity on 50 MHz and 1296 MHz. Read more.
Bill Orr Award Recipient Harry R. "Bob" Schroeder, N2HX, SK
Bob Schroeder, N2HX, of Ewing Township, New Jersey, died October 22 after a brief illness. He was 62 and had recently retired from the New Jersey State Police. Orr was the recipient of the 2009 ARRL Bill
Bob Schroeder, N2HX.
Orr, W6SAI, Technical Writing Award. He was cited for his article "Electromagnetic Pulse and Its Implications for EmComm," which appeared in the November 2009 issue of QST.
Schroeder served as the New Jersey State Police Office of Emergency Management RACES officer for many years, and is credited with having fully integrated Amateur Radio into New Jersey OEM response plans. An ARRL and IEEE member, Schroeder was president of the Delaware Valley Radio Association and served as its repeater director. His technical column "Balanced Lines" had appeared in the DVRA newsletter since 1998. Schroeder received his degree in Electrical Engineering from what is now the College of New Jersey in 1976 and was a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for more than 20 years. -- Thanks to Gary Wilson, K2GW
A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL
A photo story in "Up Front in QST" in January 1993 noted that President George H.W. Bush had made an official visit to Springfield, New Jersey, to meet with local and state officials. One of those officials was Jeff, WB2DCJ, who coaxed the President into greeting some locals on 2 meters. "Hey, how are you guys doing?" Bush said on the radio. "Nice to talk with you."
That same issue of QST noted that DXCC credit was now being given for contacts with three new entities -- Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia-Hercegovina -- that emerged from the breakup of the former Yugoslavia.
By 1993, as the number of licensed amateurs increased, so did the number of intentional violations of FCC rules.The Commission responded by getting tough and levying severe fines on intentional wrongdoers, and in some cases taking offenders to court.
The July 1993 issue of QST published the tale of K3KMO's 10,500 mile motorcycle trip from Maryland to Alaska and back, all the while operating HF CW in motion. CW contacts with hams all over the world helped while away the long hours driving along the road.
In the 1970s, the FCC banned amateur communications for business purposes. The vague wording of those rules became interpreted in a progressively stringent manner over the years, however, curtailing the use of Amateur Radio to support even meritorious public service activities. In July 1993, the FCC changed its rules to allow hams to provide communication for worthwhile public service activities. The final rules were adopted almost verbatim from the suggestion made by ARRL.
The 10th anniversary of Amateur Radio as part of NASA space shuttle missions was observed in 1993, with five shuttle crews requesting that ham radio be part of the payload that year. -- Al Brogdon, W1AB
The K7RA Solar Update
Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Strong solar activity continued this week, with average daily sunspot numbers rising 36 points to 119.9 and average daily solar flux up 24 points to 198.
If you are recording solar flux and sunspot data, the DRAO site in Penticton has its archive (text) (HTML) of solar flux data now current, and it's updated three times per day. You can also download an update of the data file for Scott Craig's solar data plotting utility. You can update the data file weekly using this bulletin.
The current prediction has daily solar flux at 145 on October 30, 135 on October 31 through November 2, 130 on November 3-4, 120 on November 5-6, 165 and 160 on November 7-8, 165 on November 9-10, 175 on November 11-12, then peaking at 200 on November 19-20, and reaching a low of 110 on December 12.
The predicted planetary A index is 12 on October 30, 8 on October 31 through November 4, 12 on November 5, 8 on November 6-7, 5 on November 8-9, 8 on November 10-11, then 5 and 8 on November 12-13, 12 on November 14-15, then 22, 15 and 10 on November 16-18, and 8 on November 19-21.
Conditions should be good this weekend for ARRL November Sweepstakes CW. This is the weekend that Daylight Saving Time ends, but UTC is consistent, so you don't get another hour of contesting when the clocks "fall back" by 60 minutes on Sunday at 2 AM local time.
If you are not a diehard contester, you might still enjoy handing out contacts to the bleary-eyed, hungry hordes in final hours of the event -- especially if you happen to live in a rare or semi-rare ARRL/RAC section.
This weekly "Solar Update" in The ARRL Letter is a preview of the "Propagation Bulletin" issued each Friday. The latest bulletin and an archive of past propagation bulletins is on the ARRL website.
In Friday's bulletin look for an updated forecast and reports from readers. Send me your reports and observations.
Getting It Right!
A story, "Actor Tim Allen Gets His Ham Ticket for Real," in the October 2, 2014, edition of The ARRL Letter contained incorrect information about one of the show's characters. It should have read, "Allen plays Mike Baxter, KA0XTT, and the show, which starts its new season October 3, has featured ham radio in some episodes (Allen's TV daughter, Mandy Baxter, is KF0XIE)."
Just Ahead in Radiosport
October 31-November 2 -- Haunted Lighthouse QSO Party
November 1 -- IPA Contest
November 1-2 -- Ukranian DX Contest
November 1-2 -- Himalayan Contest
November 1-2 -- Radio Club of America QSO Party
November 1-3 --ARRL November Sweepstakes(CW)
November 1-3 -- Collegiate ARC Championship
November 2 -- DARC 10-Meter Digital "Corona"
November 3 -- OK1WC Memorial Contest
November 4 -- ARS Spartan Sprint
November 6 -- CWOps Weekly Mini-CWT Tests
November 7 -- NS Weekly RTTY Sprint
November 7 -- NS Weekly CW Sprint
November 8-9 -- Worked All Europe DX Contest
November 8-9 --ARRL EME Contest
November 8-9 -- 10-10 Fall Digital QSO Party
November 8-9 -- Japan International DX Contest
November 8-9 -- OK-OM DX Contest
November 8-9 -- Straight Key Weekend Sprintathon
November 8-9 -- Kentucky QSO Party
November 8-10 -- CQ WE (Western Electric)
See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information.
Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions and Events
October 24-25 -- Oklahoma Section Convention, Ardmore, Oklahoma
November 1 -- TechFest 2014, Lakewood, Colorado
November 1-2 -- Georgia State Convention, Lawrenceville, Georgia
November 8 -- Alabama State Convention, Montgomery, Alabama
November 15-16 -- Indiana State Convention, Fort Wayne, Indiana
December 12-13 -- West Central Florida Section Convention, Plant City, Florida
January 4 -- New York City/Long Island Section Convention, Bethpage, New York
January 10 -- TECHFEST, Lawrenceville, Georgia
January 23-24 -- Mississippi State Convention, Jackson, Mississippi
January 23-25 -- Puerto Rico State Convention, Hatillo, Puerto Rico
February 7 -- South Carolina State Convention, North Charleston, South Carolina
February 7 -- Virginia State Convention, Richmond, Virginia
Find conventions and hamfests in your area.
ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for
Amateur Radio News and Information
Join or Renew Today! ARRL membership includes QST, Amateur Radio's most popular and informative journal, delivered to your mailbox each month.Listen to ARRL Audio News, available every Friday.Subscribe to...
NCJ-- National Contest Journal. Published bi-monthly, features articles by top contesters, letters, hints, statistics, scores, NA Sprint and QSO Parties.QEX-- A Forum for Communications Experimenters. Published bi-monthly, features technical articles, construction projects, columns, and other items of interest to radio amateurs and communications professionals.Free of charge to ARRL members...
Subscribe to the ARES E-Letter (monthly public service and emergency communications news), the ARRL Contest Update (bi-weekly contest newsletter), Division and Section news alerts -- and much more!Find us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.
China completes first mission to moon and back
Sun, 02 Nov 2014 00:50
This is a composite image of the lunar nearside taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in June 2009, note the presence of dark areas of maria on this side of the moon. Credit: NASA China completed its first return mission to the moon early Saturday with the successful re-entry and landing of an unmanned probe, state media reported, in the latest step forward for Beijing's ambitious space programme.
The probe landed safely in northern China's Inner Mongolia region, state news agency Xinhua said, citing the Beijing Aerospace Control Center.
Xinhua said the probe took "some incredible pictures" of the Earth and the moon.
Prior to re-entering the Earth's atmosphere, the unnamed probe was travelling at 11.2 kilometres per second (25,000 miles per hour), a speed that can generate temperatures of more than 1,500 degrees Celsius (2,700 degrees Fahrenheit), the news agency reported.
To slow it down, scientists let the craft "bounce" off Earth's atmosphere before re-entering again and landing.
The probe's mission was to travel to the moon, fly around it and head back to Earth, the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND) said in a statement at its launch eight days ago.
The module would have been 413,000 kilometres from Earth at its furthest point on the mission, SASTIND said at the time.
The mission was launched to test technology to be used in the Chang'e-5, China's fourth lunar probe, which aims to gather samples from the moon's surface and will be launched around 2017, SASTIND previously said.
Beijing sees its multi-billion-dollar space programme as a marker of its rising global stature and mounting technical expertise.
The military-run space project, which has plans for a permanent orbiting station by 2020 and eventually to send a human to the moon, is also seen as evidence of the ruling Communist Party's success in turning around the fortunes of the once poverty-stricken nation.
China currently has a rover on the surface of the moon.
The craft, called the Jade Rabbit and launched as part of the Chang'e-3 lunar mission late last year, has been declared a success by Chinese authorities, although it has been beset by mechanical troubles.
Explore further:China launches first mission to moon and back
(C) 2014 AFP
'Take-or-Pay' Rule in Gazprom-Naftogaz Contract Suspended Through March 2015: Novak
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:24
BRUSSELS, October 31 (RIA Novosti) - The so-called 'take or pay' rule will not apply to the existing contract between Russian energy giant Gazprom and Ukraine's Naftogaz through March 2015, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said following gas talks in Brussels.
"During this period [through March next year] the 'take-or-pay' rule will not be in force," Novak told reporters.
Russia and Ukraine on Thursday held the final round of talks, mediated by the European Commission, to find an interim solution to the standoff over Ukraine's unpaid gas bills and the price Kiev will pay for Russian gas supplies during the upcoming winter.
Following the talks, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union signed a so-called "winter package" agreement on gas deliveries, while Gazprom and Naftogaz signed an addendum to the contract, securing conditions for gas deliveries up until March 2015.
Chinese oil and gas companies are Rosneft's most important partners, says Sechin
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 21:07
"The People's Republic of China and Chinese oil and gas companies are Rosneft's most important partners in the areas of industrial cooperation, supplies and financing,'' said Rosneft head, Igor Sechin.
''Rosneft welcomes the interest of the Chinese companies in extending cooperation in the upstream sphere. The company's priority is to expand the scope and broaden the geographic reach of the cooperation with Chinese partners and develop new partnership areas"
The comments were made on Friday as Rosneft held talks on the development of the strategic cooperation with China in Beijing.
Sechin met with the vice premier of China, Zhang Gaoli, chairman of the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Zhou Jiping, and chairman of Sinopec, Fu Chengyu.
''The parties confirmed that the cooperation between both countries and companies is of a long-term strategic nature and does not depend on external factors or external environment,'' Rosneft said in a statement.
Russia's European and North American oil and gas partners have had to scale operations and renege on agreements in order to comply with Western sanction against Russia following the crisis in Ukraine.
Cooperation between Rosneft and CNPC has been steadily developing since 2009.
''Joint production projects with Sinopec have delivered good results. Cooperation in crude oil supplies is a promising area for the development of the partnership between Rosneft and Sinopec. Special attention was paid to the prospect of the transition to payments in national currencies under long-term supply contracts,'' the statement said.
Tapping the Public Pulse of the Planet A Smarter Planet Blog A Smarter Planet Blog
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 01:33
Alistair Rennie, GM IBM Business Analytics
By Alistair Rennie
Each day, Twitter users press the button on about 500 million Tweets. That tsunami of 140-character messages spans the range of human interests and activities'--from raves about recent purchases to exhortations to rally behind social causes.
Personally, I use Twitter as a sort of market-intelligence radar. I follow very smart people to see what they're reading and thinking.
Now, for the first time, business leaders will be able to tap into the Twitter stream in powerful new ways to harvest insights that help them understand customer sentiment more deeply, develop hit products and services, and anticipate sudden shifts in moods and markets.
That's because IBM and Twitter are combining forces to incorporate Twitter's rich data streams into IBM's cloud-based analytics, customer engagement platforms and consulting services.
Many people recognize the importance of data'--the combination of information contained in structured databases with unstructured data gathered from Web sites, sensing devices, and social media feeds. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty calls this the new natural resource, comparable in impact to coal or oil or iron ore. Until now, however, there was a troublesome gap between social data and enterprise IT systems. We're bridging that gap''and bringing all of those insights into the enterprise.
For starters, IBM will offer Twitter data as part of select cloud-based services, including IBM Watson Analytics, a new cognitive computing service that delivers predictive analytics and data visualization to the palm of your hand.
Using IBM's Watson Developer Cloud or our BlueMix development platform, entrepreneurs and software programmers will be able to integrate Twitter data into their own cloud services and mobile apps.
Twitter and IBM will collaborate to develop a set of enterprise applications designed to improve business decisions across industries and professions. The first target will be applications and services for sales, marketing and customer service.
In addition, the two companies will develop a portfolio of solutions for specific industries, including banking, consumer products, transportation and retail. These solutions will be taken to market by tens of thousands of IBM business consultants and analytics experts.
A few months ago, IBM announced a sweeping alliance with Apple to jointly develop a new generation of mobile enterprise apps for the iPhone. We're combining Apple's expertise for user-centric design and consumer experience with IBM's deep knowledge of business and broad portfolio of technology solutions for the enterprise.
Now, once again, two giants of their industries are combining forces, Twitter for consumers and IBM for the enterprise, to bring business leaders amazing new capabilities they didn't have before.
I mentioned earlier that I use Twitter to help spot market trends. Today, it's a manual process. I scan through the latest Tweets of the people I follow. But, thanks to this alliance I look forward to being able to spot trends on a mass, global scale'--and with a minimum of effort. The new natural resource of social data is at last coming to the enterprise in way that could help transform how business is done.________________________________
Follow IBM Smarter Planet on Google+
IBM Big Data and Analytics - IBM and Twitter - United States
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 01:30
IBM and Twitter announce a landmark partnership to help inform every business decision. Twitter represents the public pulse of the planet. Coupled with IBM's industry-leading cloud-based analytics, customer engagement platforms and consulting services, together we have the potential to transform how businesses and institutions understand their customers, markets and trends.
Tweet the news
Twitter data will be offered in IBM Watson Analytics, our new cognitive service that brings intuitive visualization and predictive analytics to every business user, and other cloud-based analytics solutions from IBM.
Data professionals will be able to integrate Twitter data into IBM DataWorks', a cloud-based data refinery service. And developers will bring compelling new insights to business applications by integrating Twitter data into new cloud services on Watson Developer Cloud and IBM Bluemix platform-as-a-service.
IBM Global Business Services consultants will have access to Twitter data, to enrich consulting services for clients across business. Drawing on the skills of tens of thousands of IBM Global Business Services consultants and application professionals IBM and Twitter will collaborate to develop unique solutions for specific industries.
A set of enterprise applications to help improve business decisions across industries and professions, in marketing, customer service, HR, supply chain, R&D and beyond. Our first joint solution will integrate Twitter data with IBM ExperienceOne customer engagement solutions, allowing sales, marketing and customer service professionals to map sentiment and behavior to better engage and support their customers.
IBM ExperienceOne | Customer Engagement Solutions
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 01:19
Attract, delight, and maximize lifetime value of customersUnderstand not only what your customers are doing, but why. Deliver real-time flow of insights and interactions'--at scale. Empower marketers, merchandisers, sales and service leaders to coordinate interactions to create ongoing customer/client dialogs across channels. Infuse that dialog with real-time and mobile capabilities. Measure performance and predict outcomes to prioritize resources against the customers and moments that matter most to your business.
Press ReleaseResourcesIBM Acquires SilverpopBuilds marketing automation with cloud-based capabilities.
Learn more
Thought Leadership
Mozilla offers FCC a net neutrality plan'--with a twist | Ars Technica
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:14
Mozilla Foundation
The Mozilla Foundation today is filing a petition asking the Federal Communications Commission to declare that ISPs are common carriers, but there's a twist.
The FCC doesn't have to reclassify the Internet access ISPs offer consumers as a telecommunications service subject to common carrier regulations under Title II of the Communications Act, Mozilla says. Instead, the FCC should target the service ISPs offer to edge providers like Netflix and Dropbox, who need to send their bits over ISP networks to reach their customers. Classifying the ISP/edge provider relationship as a common carrier service will be a little cleaner since the FCC wouldn't have to undo several decade-old orders that classified broadband as an "information" service rather than telecommunications, Mozilla argues.
In a summary of the petition, Mozilla wrote:
The FCC currently views last-mile Internet routing as only one commercial relationship: the relationship between an ISP, such as Comcast, and the end user. Mozilla is urging the FCC to recognize that technological evolution has led to two distinct relationships, adding a relationship between the ISP and edge providers.
The petition calls on the FCC to designate last-mile delivery of edge provider communications as ''remote delivery'' services, and as telecommunications services under Title II of the Communications Act. These services include all of our Internet activity, from watching a video on YouTube to shopping on Amazon to playing online games on Xbox Live.
Categorizing remote delivery services as telecommunications services would meet the standard set by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals and give the FCC legal authority to adopt and enforce meaningful net neutrality. With clear legal authority and effective rules, ISPs would be prevented from blocking or discriminating against any edge provider, such as speeding up or slowing down competing video streaming services.
Mozilla, maker of the Firefox browser and other software, explains its view in more detail in a blog post and the 13-page petition.
The petition was written by Mozilla Senior Policy Engineer Chris Riley and Public Policy Lead Alex Fowler. Riley, who formerly worked as an attorney-advisor at the FCC in 2007 and 2008, told Ars that he's concerned FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's latest net neutrality proposal won't withstand court scrutiny.
The FCC had to start from scratch after a federal appeals court ruled that anti-blocking and anti-discrimination rules imposed common carrier obligations on ISPs, despite the fact that the FCC had declared that they were not common carriers.
Nonetheless, Wheeler has floated a new proposal that doesn't declare ISPs as common carriers yet imposes no-blocking requirements on them. The proposal also allows edge providers to pay ISPs for a faster path to consumers, as long as the arrangements are "commercially reasonable."
Further ReadingWheeler hasn't yet provided full details of his proposal, but it's expected to be discussed at the May 15 FCC meeting."My understanding is he's talking about somehow getting to a baseline quality of service but allowing for commercially reasonable negotiations for priority on top of that," Riley said. "I sort of understand that but I think any baseline quality of service, if it's protected by the FCC, is going to be viewed by the DC Circuit [court of appeals] as a no-blocking rule and is going to be exactly the sort of thing they said not to do."
The FCC will likely justify the no-blocking rule based on its powers under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which requires the FCC to accelerate broadband deployment. Matt Wood, policy director of consumer advocacy group Free Press, told Ars that "the slim hope that Section 706 authority could be used to prevent blocking is a tenuous one. It stems from a few paragraphs of speculation in the majority opinion, based on a theory the FCC failed to raise until the oral argument'--an argument that drew nothing but scorn from Judge [Laurence] Silberman in his dissent."
The court's majority opinion noted that "if the relevant service that broadband providers furnish is access to their subscribers generally, as opposed to access to their subscribers at the specific minimum speed necessary to satisfy the anti-blocking rules, then these rules, while perhaps establishing a lower limit on the forms that broadband providers' arrangements with edge providers could take, might nonetheless leave sufficient 'room for individualized bargaining and discrimination in terms' so as not to run afoul of the statutory prohibitions on common carrier treatment."
However, the court said, "We are unable to sustain the commission's action on a ground upon which the agency itself never relied."
"The court basically said that a no blocking rule would probably be OK if the FCC argued it a little bit better," Public Knowledge Senior Staff Attorney John Bergmayer told Ars.
However, Bergmayer agrees that common carriage is the route the FCC should take. "A no-blocking rule is an important thing to have, of course, but the real danger from carriers at the moment isn't outright blocking but more subtle forms of discrimination such as 'fast lanes' and so on. These sorts of protections are what Title II provides better authority for," he said.
Bergmayer said Mozilla's petition presents "a very good argument, and one the FCC should take seriously. It's complementary to our main argument, that consumer broadband access is a telecommunications service. Mozilla's idea could be part of a basket of solutions to the problems that we see in broadband access and competition, as well as interconnection/peering."
Mozilla's petition does not address paid peering agreements like the ones in which Netflix pays Verizon and Comcast for direct connections to the edges of their networks. Like the original net neutrality rules themselves, the petition just covers the "last mile" over which content travels from ISPs to customers.
"These things are certainly related," but "we've structured our petition in such a way to make it grantable by the FCC without resolving questions of interconnection or peering," Riley said.
Mozilla is hoping that the FCC will start a new proceeding based on its petition and ask the public for comment on it. The commission is probably more likely to treat it as part of the overall Open Internet proceeding that's on the May 15 agenda.
FCC reportedly close to reclassifying ISPs as common carriers | Ars Technica
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:12
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler speaking to the cable industry in April 2014.
The head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is reportedly close to proposing a "hybrid approach" to network neutrality in which Internet service providers would be partially reclassified as common carriers, letting the commission take a harder stance against Internet fast lane deals.
Further ReadingHowever, the proposal would not completely outlaw deals in which Web services pay for faster access to consumers.
As reported Thursday by The Wall Street Journal, the broadband service that ISPs offer to consumers would be maintained as a lightly regulated information service. But the FCC would reclassify the service that ISPs offer at the other end of the network to content providers who deliver data over Internet providers' pipes. This would be a common carrier service subject to utility-style regulation under Title II of the Communications Act.
"People close to the chairman" say that Chairman Tom Wheeler is "close to settling on a hybrid approach," the Journal wrote, continuing:
The plan now under consideration would separate broadband into two distinct services: a retail one, in which consumers would pay broadband providers for Internet access; and a back-end one, in which broadband providers serve as the conduit for websites to distribute content. The FCC would then classify the back-end service as a common carrier, giving the agency the ability to police any deals between content companies and broadband providers.
The emerging plan reflects proposals submitted by the Mozilla Foundation and the Center for Democracy and Technology, though it departs from both in parts. The main advantage of the hybrid proposal, as opposed to full reclassification, is that it wouldn't require the FCC to reverse earlier decisions to deregulate broadband providers, which were made in the hopes of encouraging the adoption and deployment of high-speed broadband. The authors of the new proposal believe that not having to justify reversing itself would put the FCC on firmer legal ground.
In May 2014, the Mozilla Foundation proposed a similar approach in a filing with the FCC that Ars reported on at the time.
Later that month, the FCC voted for a plan that would not have reclassified ISPs and did not ban fast lane agreements. But the vote was tentative, allowing the FCC to change its mind after gathering public comments.
The proposal Wheeler is considering now "would leave the door open for broadband providers to offer specialized services for, say, videogamers or online video providers, which require a particularly large amount of bandwidth," the Journal wrote. "The proposal would also allow the commission to explore usage-based pricing at some point, in which consumers are charged based on how much data they use and companies are able to subsidize traffic to their websites or applications."
While not banning prioritization, the plan would "shift the burden" to ISPs to prove that deals benefit consumers and give FCC officials stronger legal authority to block anti-competitive arrangements.
Free Press, a consumer advocacy group, said the latest "Frankenstein proposal" won't protect Internet users, and that "any rules that don't clearly restore the agency's authority and prevent specialized fast lanes and paid prioritization aren't real net neutrality.''
Verizon, which sued to overturn the FCC's previous net neutrality rules, claimed Thursday that any use of Title II in broadband, even a hybrid approach, would not stand up in court. TechDirt was quick to point out that Verizon embraces Title II in other cases in order to get special treatment from the government.
Twitter product chief sidelined as user engagement slides | Reuters
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:06
SAN FRANCISCOThu Oct 30, 2014 7:13pm EDT
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Twitter Inc has sidelined the product chief it recently poached from rival Google Inc, in the latest executive reshuffle at the online messaging service, according to a source familiar with the situation.
Former consumer product chief Daniel Graf will now oversee strategic initiatives such as geo-location mobile features, the person said on condition of anonymity because the move was not public.
Kevin Weil, who was head of revenue-generating products, will now take charge of all products at the company, the person said.
On Monday, Twitter reported a decline in user engagement in the third quarter and forecast disappointing revenue.
Twitter has historically kept two product teams working side-by-side. One focuses on revenue products such as commerce and video services, the other on consumer services, which included work on the main timeline feed.
Twitter has experienced several high-profile departures in recent months, including former Chief Operating Officer Ali Rowghani and head of Twitter news efforts Vivian Schiller. The company has been struggling with user growth and engagement, amid criticism of a steep learning curve for new users that may be discouraging its wider adoption.
(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by David Gregorio)
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Vigilantism: Vandalism and Ethics in Engineering (about the FTDI chip, cross-post from /r/programming)
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 21:05
New here? Please check our Wiki before posting!Reddit's very own ham radio club. All topics relating to the hobby are welcome here, from purchasing and building equipment, to operating techniques and activities, and everything in between.
Read the rules before posting.
Please refer to our Wiki before asking questions.
1. No personal attacks, hate speech or discriminatory remarks allowed.
2. Do not spam your product, website, blog, YouTube channel or other personal project.
3. Keep flair SFW and applicable to the hobby
4. Do not post another user's personal information. This includes callsign if they don't have it publicly displayed!
5. Keep it legal. Posts containing blatant or intentionally illegal or malicious content may be removed at the moderators' discretion.
6. Use Reddiquette. We take it seriously here.
7. The moderators have the final say. We will strive to maintain a fair, inclusive, and positive atmosphere, but we can't please all of the people, all of the time.
Click here for the complete rules.
Coming Soon!
Should I buy a Baofeng?How do I use my Baofeng?How can I get on HF on a tight budget?Are there resources for newbies?How do I get a license?Want to make contact with other /r/amateurradio members? Join us on IRC for net and/or sked coordination.
IRC: irc.geekshed.net #redditnet
Click here for in-browser chat client.
/r/morse - Learn morse code!
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/r/PDXhamradio - Portland OR Ham Radio
Facebook Is Turning Users Into Voter Data Experiments
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 21:08
Facebook's team of mad data scientists caught flak this summer for experimenting on their users' emotions. But the company has a proud history of turning people into unwitting research subjects. For at least six years, the social network has been mining the political preferences of its users without their consent. The company will pull personal political data for the 2016 election as well, but this time Facebook will share its findings.
According toMother Jones, Facebook began secretly subjecting their users to various political experiments before the 2008 election. The primary tests seems benevolent enough: a prominent "I Voted" button to encourage people's friends to vote in elections. But the project, known as "voter megaphone," is drawing concern that 1.3 billion member network could influence elections.
Specifically, Facebook has shown that it is willing to manipulate what users see in their Newsfeed before the elections:
In particular, Facebook has studied how changes in the news feed seen by its users'--the constant drip-drip-drip of information shared by friends that is heart of their Facebook experience'--can affect their level of interest in politics and their likelihood of voting. For one such experiment, conducted in the three months prior to Election Day in 2012, Facebook increased the amount of hard news stories at the top of the feeds of 1.9 million users. According to one Facebook data scientist, that change'--which users were not alerted to'--measurably increased civic engagement and voter turnout.
Facebook officials insist there's nothing untoward going on. But for several years, the company has been reluctant to answer questions about its voter promotion efforts and these research experiments.
Emphasis added. Facebook's research into voter turnout mechanisms has led the company to conclude that they can get more people to the polls. One Facebook-conducted study suggested that the voter megaphone project increased turnout by 340,000 voters between 2006 and 2010.
Higher turnout pushed by Facebook is bad news for the Republican party:
There may be another reason for Facebook's lack of transparency regarding its voting promotion experiments: politics. Facebook officials likely do not want Republicans on Capitol Hill to realize that their voter megaphone isn't a neutral get-out-the-vote mechanism. It's not that Facebook uses this tool to remind only users who identify themselves as Democrats to vote'--though the company certainly has the technical means to do so. But the Facebook user base tilts Democratic. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, women are 10 points more likely to use this social network than men; young people are almost twice as likely to be on Facebook than those older than 65; and urbanites are slightly more likely to turn to Facebook than folks in rural areas. If the voter megaphone was applied even-handedly across Facebook's adult American user population in 2012, it probably pushed more Obama supporters than Romney backers toward the voting booth.
What could concern politicians even more? Facebook told Politico it can now determine a person's "sentiments" regarding politicians and issues'--raising the possibility that the company could run issue-based experiments. AndPolitico reportsthatABC News and BuzzFeed will begin receiving this detailed user data to enhance their election coverage.
The data will be gathered from the posts of Facebook users in the United States 18 and older, classifying sentiments about a politician or issue as positive, negative or neutral. The data can also be broken down into sentiments by gender and location, making it possible to see how Facebook users in the key primary states of Iowa or New Hampshire feel about certain presidential candidates, or how women in Florida feel about same-sex marriage.
When pressed for a statement, a Facebook spokesperson assuredMother Jones that they would not be running turnout trials with voter megaphone in 2014. He also stated that past experiments were distributed in a way that was "entirely random" so no one party or candidate benefited unfairly.
But MoJois suspicious of Facebook's intentions given its lack of transparency: "Facebook wants its users to vote, and the social-networking firm will not be manipulating its voter promotion effort for research purposes. How do we know this? Only because Facebook says so."
Tocontactthe author of this post, please emailkevin@valleywag.com.
Photo: Getty
Virginia court says fingerprint-locked smartphones are fair game
Sat, 01 Nov 2014 09:18
Here's some trivia for your next trip to the pub. Did you know that, in Virginia, you don't have to tell the cops your phone's unlock code, but you're obliged to open it if you use a fingerprintbasedpasscode? It's a quirky piece of legal precedent that's just been established in the state after a key piece of legal evidence was believed to be trapped on the defendant's smartphone. According to The Virginian-Pilot, the court ruled that the fifth amendment's provisions against self-incrimination protect against giving up your passcode, but that since a fingerprint is already taken by the police - same as DNA or handwriting samples - it's fair game. Naturally, this is just one circuit court judgment in one state, but we imagine this is the sort of thing winding up at the supreme court in a few years time.
Via:Techmeme (Twitter)
Source:Hampton Roads
Tags:apple, Court, Crime, Fifth Amendment, Fingerprint, Law, Passcode, Police, Privacy, samsung, SecurityFeatured Stories
Pentagon Warns US Soldiers to 'Mask Their Identities'
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 02:39
The Pentagon Force Protection Agency has sent out warnings to troops saying they should ''mask their identities'' and change their routines, warning they risk attack by ISIS.
''Terrorists directed or inspired by ISIS view members of US military and law enforcement officers as legitimate targets for attack,'' the memo warned, adding that attacks could have ''little-or-no advanced warning.''
The warning appears to stem from the Ottawa parliament attack earlier this month, and the belief that ISIS and its sympathizers could be keen to attack military targets as they find them, particularly as the war escalates.
The memo urged soldiers not only to vary their travel routines, but to take any military decals off their vehicles, and to avoid posting anything critical of terrorist organizations on social media, on the notion that it might fuel such attacks.
There's no doubt that ISIS, or indeed any terrorist group that the US is openly at war with, would consider US troops to be a legitimate target, but the memo suggests a level of concern about it that underscores just how little of a handle the US intelligence community has on the possibility of lone wolf attackers.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
Military Hates White House 'Micromanagement' of ISIS War - The Daily Beast
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 21:09
Touchy, Touchy10.31.14
The Pentagon brass placed in charge of implementing Obama's war against ISIS are getting fed up with the short leash the White House put them on.
Top military leaders in the Pentagon and in the field are growing increasingly frustrated by the tight constraints the White House has placed on the plans to fight ISIS and train a new Syrian rebel army.
As the American-led battle against ISIS stretches into its fourth month, the generals and Pentagon officials leading the air campaign and preparing to train Syrian rebels are working under strict White House orders to keep the war contained within policy limits. The National Security Council has given precise instructions on which rebels can be engaged, who can be trained, and what exactly those fighters will do when they return to Syria. Most of the rebels to be trained by the U.S. will never be sent to fight against ISIS.
Making matters worse, military officers and civilian Pentagon leaders tell The Daily Beast, is the ISIS war's decision-making process, run by National Security Adviser Susan Rice. It's been manic and obsessed with the tiniest of details. Officials talk of sudden and frequent meetings of the National Security Council and the so-called Principals Committee of top defense, intelligence, and foreign policy officials (an NSC and three PCs in one week this month); a barrage of questions from the NSC to the agencies that create mountains of paperwork for overworked staffers; and NSC insistence on deciding minor issues even at the operational level.
''We are getting a lot of micromanagement from the White House. Basic decisions that should take hours are taking days sometimes,'' one senior defense official told The Daily Beast.
Other gripes among the top Pentagon and military brass are about the White House's decision not to work with what's left of the existing Syrian moderate opposition on the ground, which prevents intelligence sharing on fighting ISIS and prevents the military from using trained fighters to build the new rebel army that President Obama has said is needed to push Syrian President Bashar al-Assad into a political negotiation to end the conflict.
The New York Timesreported Wednesday that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel himself is among the critics of Obama's strategy in Syria. Hagel wrote a memo last week to Rice warning that Obama's Syria strategy was unclear about U.S. intentions with respect to Assad, undermining the plan.
Hagel stood by the memo Thursday. ''We owe the president and we owe the National Security Council our best thinking on this. And it has to be honest and it has to be direct,'' he told reporters.
But the top uniformed military leaders in charge of the operation also are struggling to work around the White House policy constraints and micromanagement, including Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey; Gen. Lloyd Austin, commander of CENTCOM; and Gen. Michael Nagata, the SOCOM lead official in charge of the Syrian train and equip program, according to multiple officials and people briefed by those generals.
Nagata has been tasked with building a new rebel army from scratch but is not permitted to work with existing brigades, meaning he must find and vet new soldiers, mostly sourcing from Syrian refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon. What's more, the size of the program will produce only 5,000 fighters a year after the training begins, most of whom who will serve as ''local defense forces'' and not go after ISIS, according to two officials briefed on the plan. Of those forces, 500 would be given additional training in ''counterterrorism.'' That's a small attack force to face an ISIS military that is estimated to have tens of thousands of fighters.
Dempsey told reporters Thursday that the recruiting and vetting of soldiers for the new Syrian rebel army has not yet begun, although sites for the training camps have been chosen.
''At this point we still don't know how long it's going to take to send in the trained guys,'' a senior Defense official said. ''The situation is changing so much on the ground it's hard to plan it out.''
Dempsey has twice made public statements that seemed to reveal his dissatisfaction with the White House policy. Last month, he said it would take 12,000 to 15,000 ground troops to effectively go after ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Earlier this month, he suggested that U.S. ground troops might be necessary to fight ISIS in the future, a comment he later walked back.
Many military officials, including at CENTCOM's headquarters in Tampa and its air base in Qatar, from which the ISIS air campaign is run, are barred even from communicating with Syrian opposition representatives unless those rebels are on a White House/State Department approved list. Many Syrian opposition leaders complain that Free Syrian Army brigades fighting ISIS now are offering help in making the strikes against ISIS effective but are getting no response from the administration.
The international coalition against ISIS, led on the U.S. side by retired Gen. John Allen and State Department official Brett McGurk, is working with Sunni tribes in Iraq to coordinate against ISIS. But it is not working with the corresponding tribes on the Syrian side of the mostly nonexistent Iraq-Syria border. ISIS has slaughtered hundreds of these tribesmen in eastern Syria who refused to yield to the group's demands.
Meanwhile, the Free Syrian Army, largely written off by the White House, has been suffering heavy losses to ISIS as well as to the al Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front, which has opened up a third fighting front against the FSA in Idlib and other cities. FSA brigades that have been vetted by the U.S. government, including the Syrian Revolutionaries Front and Harakat Hazm, have seen their non-aggression pact with al-Nusra disappear.
''Al Qaeda has captured a number of villages from the FSA in Idlib, and the fighting continues to be intense. The FSA needs urgent coalition support in this fight because if al Qaeda captures Jabal al-Zawiyeh in Idlib, extremists will be positioned to cut off a critical line of supply from the Turkish border,'' said Oubai Shahbandar, adviser to the Syrian National Coalition. ''So the question is: Will coalition airstrikes help the FSA fight al Qaeda or will they allow al Qaeda to overrun moderate forces?''
NSC spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan declined to comment on the criticisms coming from the Pentagon and military about the White House's approach to ISIS and training the Syrian rebels. But on Wednesday, Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken, who is rumored to be Obama's choice to replace Bill Burns as deputy secretary of state, defended the White House strategy but said the FSA is just not a viable partner.
''For more than two years working with and supporting the moderate opposition, we've made some gains in making it more effective and trying to position it as a counterweight to Assad. Now we're intensifying that support,'' he said at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. ''The coalition can do real damage to ISIL through the air. But without forces on the ground to hold territory from which ISIL has been removed, we will not be able to shrink and eventually eliminate the safe haven.''
Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that there is no military solution to the Syria crisis and said the U.S. is reaching out to Russia and Iran, among others, to seek a new political negotiation. Syrian National Coalition President Hadi al Bahra told The Daily Beast last month that there is no genuine interest in a new political process in the West, which he described as being ''in a coma.''
''There have been so many things said on Syria that were not delivered,'' said Andrew Tabler, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. ''Nobody thinks the president really wants to do anything on Syria. Even currently serving officials realize that you cannot bomb your way out of this and you need to have a plan for a political solution, but we don't have it. There needs to be a fully thought out strategy with a political dimension that involves the opposition. If you don't do that, you can't solve this problem.''
ISIS May Be Weaponizing Ebola, Spanish Government Warns
Sun, 02 Nov 2014 00:55
In a somewhat stunning announcement, Spain's State Secretary for Security, Francisco Martinez, said in an address to the parliament, that extremists connected to the Islamic State (the terrorist organization formerly known as ISIS) have been considering using Ebola as a weapon against the West. As RT reports, Martinez notes a close eye is being kept on online chat rooms, where such attacks are reportedly discussed among jihadist groups where ''The use of Ebola as a poisonous weapon against the United States'' was the topic of conversation. So far US Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson denied these allegations citing "no specific credible intelligence."
As RT reports,
The Spanish government said it is concerned that terrorists could use the Ebola virus as a biological weapon against the West. A close eye is being kept on online chat rooms, where such attacks are reportedly discussed among jihadist groups.
Extremists connected to the Islamic State (IS, previously ISIS) have been considering using Ebola as a weapon against the West, Spain's State Secretary for Security, Francisco Martinez, said in an address to the parliament.
Martinez stated that this type of activity serves as further proof that the internet is an ''an extension of the battlefield'' for the Islamic State, which uses cyberspace for ''threatening enemies through propaganda, preparing operations, exchanging information, ideological training, recruiting new members and acquiring finance.''
Furthermore, Mr Martinez, the second in command in Spain's interior ministry, said investigators had identified 'many examples' of threats to use Ebola as a chemical weapon.
He pointed out three specific cases in which aspiring jihadis 'linked to ISIS' had used internet chat rooms to seriously discuss the viability of harnessing the deadly virus and other toxins as part of a new terrorism offensive, according to Spain's RTVE media company.
One conversation, identified as having taken place between ISIS sympathisers in mid-September, referred to 'the use of Ebola as a poisonous weapon against the United States,' he claimed.
Another conversation reportedly saw militants working out how best to employ 'deadly chemical products' they had stolen from laboratories.
Mr Martinez went on to say that a spokesman for the terror group had also taken to the internet to urge supporters to kill Westerners by any means possible '' adding that he had suggested 'poisonous injections' as a possible method.
Despite increasing evidence of biological attacks on the West, US Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson denied allegations of the Islamic State's plans to use biological weapons. ''We've seen no specific credible intelligence that [the Islamic State] is attempting to use any sort of disease or virus to attack our homeland,'' Johnson said earlier in October.
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Ministry of Truth
Taibbi Returns To Rolling Stone Days After Leaving eBay Founder's Startup
Sat, 01 Nov 2014 08:02
The rapidly unfolding saga of Matt Taibbi continued on Friday, with the fiery journalist turning up at his old employer after leaving his most recent one.
A spokeswoman for Wenner Media, the publisher of Rolling Stone, told The Guardian that Taibbi will have a "big piece" in the forthcoming issue of the magazine where he worked for more than 15 years.
Taibbi left Rolling Stone for First Look Media earlier this year to spearhead a digital magazine, which was going to be called Racket. But he didn't last long at the startup.
Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire eBay founder who launched First Look, announced late Tuesday that Taibbi was leaving the company a mere seven months after joining.
Omidyar's announcement came only hours after New York Magazine's Andrew Rice first reported that Taibbi had taken a leave of absence from First Look "after disagreements with higher-ups." In a riveting article published Thursday on First Look's only established magazine, The Intercept, Taibbi's former colleagues detailed some of the problems that led to his exit.
"His departure'--which he describes as a refusal to accept a work reassignment, and the company describes as a resignation'--was the culmination of months of contentious disputes with First Look founder Pierre Omidyar, chief operating officer Randy Ching, and president John Temple over the structure and management of Racket, the digital magazine Taibbi was hired to create," wrote Glenn Greenwald, Lara Poitras, Jeremy Scahill and John Cook.
They wrote that Taibbi and other journalists clashed with Omidyar and First Look management over "a confounding array of rules, structures, and systems," which included a "computer program to use to internally communicate, mandatory regular company-wide meetings, mandated use of a 'responsibility assignment matrix' called a 'RASCI,' popular in business-school circles for managing projects'--as well as more substantive issues."
Those "simmering problems," they wrote, reached a boiling point earlier this month when a female staffer complained to management that "Taibbi had been verbally abusive and unprofessionally hostile, and that she felt the conduct may have been motivated, at least in part, by her gender."
The complaint may have given First Look managers an opening to demote Taibbi.
From The Intercept's article:
Temple conducted an investigation, and First Look determined that while none of the alleged conduct rose to the level of legal liability, the grievance bolstered their case that Taibbi should not be the manager of Racket. Among their concerns were the staffer's claims that Taibbi had been privately criticizing First Look managers, particularly Ching, that Taibbi's abrasive demeanor was alienating some on his staff, and that Taibbi instructed Racket staff to resolve any grievances directly with him rather than going to upper management.
On October 10, according to Taibbi's account, Temple and Ching told Taibbi that he would be immediately stripped of all managerial responsibilities pending their investigation. (First Look managers dispute this account, claiming that Taibbi was never stripped of any duties.)
Taibbi was adamant that the complaint had no merit, and rejected any demotion or change in his responsibilities. On the day he was confronted by Temple and Ching, Taibbi left the office and'--aside from one staff meeting he attended, after which he was instructed by Omidyar not to come back until they reached agreement on his role'--did not return. He repeatedly told First Look that he would resign if it did not reverse the decision to reduce his managerial duties, and was insistent that he would accept no changes that could be construed as an acceptance on his part of the validity of the employee complaint.
Joining Taibbi in disputing the complaint was Alex Pareene, the former Salon writer hired to be Racket's executive editor. In a statement provided to The Intercept, Pareene rejected "the allegation that there was a gendered component to [Taibbi's] managerial issues" and defended Taibbi's treatment of subordinates. Pareene also blamed managers at First Look for exacerbating the situation.
"From my perspective, the management of First Look Media repeatedly took incidents that should've been minor hiccups of the sort experienced at any media company or startup and, through incompetence, escalated them into full-blown crises...We were successfully working to address those issues when First Look once again stepped in to fuck things up," Pareene said.
Taibbi did not respond to TPM's request for comment on Friday.
Don't look now, but VICE is about to get even bigger | PandoDaily
Sun, 02 Nov 2014 00:52
By David HolmesOn November 1, 2014
VICE Media wants to take over the world '-- and love them or hate them, they might just pull it off.
At a $2.5 billion valuation '-- which is high for a tech company and virtually unheard of for a media company '-- what began as a boutique ''heroin chic'' rag has become one of the most lucrative online media empires on the planet. If co-founder Shane Smith is to be believed, VICE Media is on track to bring in $1 billion in revenue by 2016.
And the site is no longer content to stay confined by print and digital boundaries. Smith told Business Insider this year, ''I think the next stage of that is you're in a hotel in Barcelona, and you're going to turn on the news, and it's going to be VICE. You're going to be in France, you're going to be in Ireland. It's going to be VICE.''
Today, VICE takes another step toward global domination by revamping its flagship site, VICE.com. It will also hire dozens of new editorial employees around the world to increase the amount of content it produces daily.
''VICE.com is the gateway drug into the world of VICE, offering the best of what we do in one beautiful, functional site,'' said Alex Miller, Global Head of Content for VICE.com. ''As our audience grows, so too must we, so this new and improved VICE.com is the result of listening to exactly what our readers want and giving them just that.''
In VICE's mind, that means a greater emphasis on photos, both contemporary and archival, plus a clean, content-forward site that reminds me of the new Digg in all the right ways.
As for the new content, this will include a number of new video series like ''The Real,'' which will examine ''the characters and stories said to inspire cult TV and film,'' plus new seasons of the investigative ''VICE Report'' as well as its UK documentary series ''Rule Brittania.''
Everything seems to be rolling VICE's way, but there is one major concern: Focus.
Part of VICE's success lies in its unmistakable brand which, in a nutshell, is young, buzzed, and beautiful people doing interesting or important things. And If Smith wants VICE to be everywhere you go, including on TV, not only could that dilute its hipster brand; it could also create tensions within an organization that, from the outside at least, appears to be moving in every direction at once, as fast as it can. When and if VICE is found alongside CNN and Fox News on the channel list for every hotel TV in the nation, will the brand lose some of its edge? Will the site, whose storytelling is so on-brand that it inspired a parody Twitter account, lose sight of what makes a VICE story?
Miller says no: ''A VICE story is something that changes the way you look at the world, turns black to white, up to down and throws you out of the house.''
David Holmes is Pando's East Coast Editor. He is also the co-founder of Explainer Music, a production company specializing in journalistic music videos. His work has appeared at FastCompany.com, ProPublica, the Guardian, the Daily Dot, NewYorker.com, and Grist.
Agenda 21
Tom Steyer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun, 02 Nov 2014 15:03
Thomas Fahr "Tom" Steyer (born June 27, 1957) is an American hedge fund manager, philanthropist, and environmentalist.[2]
Steyer is the founder and former Co-Senior Managing Partner of Farallon Capital Management, LLC and the co-founder of the OneCalifornia Bank, an Oakland-based community development bank.[2] Steyer is responsible for funding the creation of the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy at Stanford University, part of the Precourt Institute of Energy.[3] Since 1986, he has been a partner and member of the Executive Committee at Hellman & Friedman, a San Francisco-based $8 billion private equity firm. Farallon Capital Management, LLC, manages $20 billion in capital for institutions and high net worth individuals. The firm's institutional investors are primarily college endowments and foundations.[2][4]
In 2010, Steyer and Kathryn Ann Taylor, his wife, along with Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, signed the Giving Pledge to donate half their fortune to charity.[5] Steyer is on the board of Next Generation, a non-profit that intends to tackle children's issues and the environment.[6][7] He serves on the Board of Trustees at Stanford University[8] and is active in political campaign fundraising.
Early life and education[edit]Steyer was born in New York City in 1957. His mother, Marnie (n(C)e Fahr), was a teacher of remedial reading at the Brooklyn House of Detention, and his father, Roy Henry Steyer, was a partner in the New York law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell.[9][10] His mother was Episcopalian and his father Jewish (a member of the Reform JewishCongregation Emanu-El of New York).[11]
He attended the Buckley School, Philips Exeter Academy and graduated from Yale University, Summa Cum Laude in economics and political science and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He was captain of the Yale soccer team. Steyer received his MBA from Stanford Business School, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.[12]
Early career[edit]Prior to joining Hellman & Friedman, Steyer worked at Goldman Sachs from 1983-85 as an associate in the risk arbitrage department under Robert Rubin. He began his professional career at Morgan Stanley in 1979.[2]
Farallon Capital Management[edit]Steyer founded Farallon Capital Management, LLC in January 1986.[13] Farallon employs approximately 165 people in eight offices globally and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.[14] Farallon is considered a pioneer in the practice of ''absolute return'' investing, a strategy that aims to produce a positive absolute return regardless of the directions of financial markets.[2] To that end, Farallon makes credit investments, value investments, merger arbitrage, real estate-related investments and direct investments. It also invests in public and private debt and equity securities, and direct investments in private companies and real estate.[15]
Resignation from Farallon[edit]Steyer announced in October 2012 that he would be stepping down from his position at Farallon in order to focus on political activism, in particular on advocating for alternative energy.[16] He cited his desire to focus on giving back "full time" and to revolve his life around service. In an interview he said, "I've tried to organize a business voice for what I call advanced energy....I think I'm going to be focused on how to, is there a way to move the needle in some way having to do with thought or policy. And I don't know what shape that's going to take.''[17]
It was reported in January 2013 that Steyer might be named as a replacement for Energy Secretary Steven Chu or that he might run for Dianne Feinstein's Senate seat in 2018.[18] Asked whether he would accept an appointment to be United States Secretary of Energy, Steyer said yes.[19]
Investments in coal projects[edit]Steyer decided to dispose of his carbon-polluting investments in 2012, although critics say he didn't dispose of them fast enough. Steyer sold his ownership stake in Farallon, but still owns an investment, although his aides said he no longer earns profits. Some of the coal mines and coal power plants they invested in will continue to operate for as much as 30 years. For example, Farallon made tens of millions of dollars from developing the Maules Creek coal mine in Australia, which is opposed by environmentalists.[20][21][22]
Philanthropy[edit]Giving Pledge[edit]In August 2010, Steyer and his wife joined Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and 37 other American billionaires in pledging to give away at least half their fortunes to worthwhile causes.[23] Business people ''are pretty widely mistrusted and seen as overwhelmingly self-interested,'' Steyer said. ''The point is that business people are not just laboring for themselves. They have bigger responsibilities and belong to a wider community.''[24]
[edit]Steyer and his wife, Kat Taylor, founded OneCalifornia Bank, now known as One PacificCoast Bank, a community development bank.[25] The bank functions as a regulated financial institution, insured and for-profit just like other banks, but provides commercial banking services to underserved Bay Area businesses, nonprofits and individuals. Steyer and Taylor put up $22.5 million to start the bank and create the One PacificCoast Foundation to engage in charitable and educational activities, provide lending support, investments and other services for disadvantaged communities and community service organizations in California. Steyer and Taylor maintain mission focus and control of the bank, but take no economic benefit or repayment from their investment as they donated 100% of their economic interest in One PacificCoast Bank to One PacificCoast Foundation.[26][27] In August 2010, the University of San Francisco awarded OneCalifornia Bank and Foundation the 2010 University of San Francisco California Prize for Service and the Common Good.[28]
TomKat Ranch[edit]The couple created the TomKat Ranch in Pescadero, California. The ranch's philanthropic endeavors include underwriting healthy food programs and co-producing an independent film, La Mission, starring Benjamin Bratt, about San Francisco'sMission neighborhood.[29]
OneRoof[edit]Steyer and Taylor also helped found OneRoof, a social business designed to bring technology to rural India. Over the past four years OneRoof has opened computer centers to connect poor residents of India with the information revolution.[30]
Environmentalism[edit]In 2008, Steyer and Taylor gave $40 million to create the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy at Stanford University. The center focuses on the development of affordable renewable energy technologies and promotion of public policies that make renewable energy more accessible. Projects include the creation of lighter, less toxic, and more durable batteries and an analysis of the current power grid's ability to support future renewable energy technologies.[3][31]
Political activism[edit]Steyer is a leading Democratic activist and fundraiser. In 1983, he worked on the Walter Mondale for President campaign.[25] He raised money for Bill Bradley in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004. An early supporter of Hillary Clinton for President, Steyer became one of Barack Obama's most prolific fundraisers. Steyer served as a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 2004 and 2008, and has been a member of the Hamilton Project since 2005.[2] Steyer, one of the backers of Greener Capital, has been accused of reaping benefits from the anti-oil policies of the Obama administration.[32][33]
No on Prop 23[edit]Steyer donated $2.5 million and pledged to contribute $2.5 million more to the No on Prop. 23 campaign, the measure on the November 2010 ballot concerning California's environmental legislation, AB32. Steyer joined former Secretary of State and Republican George Shultz, to co-chair the No on Prop. 23 campaign.[34][35]
Steyer was reportedly "peeved" that out-of-state activists were backing a California measure, and was convinced that passage would hurt California's environment and economy. Steyer described "stepping up" and donating $5 million - the largest sum donated - and driving to people's homes to campaign. Steyer's political emergence was a success and the proposition was defeated.[36]
DNC speech[edit]Steyer gave a speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. He commented that the election was ''a choice about whether to go backward or forward. And that choice is especially stark when it comes to energy.'' Steyer said that Romney would take no action to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels; rather, he said he would increase it. Steyer went on to support Obama's policies, which he described as investments to "make us energy independent and create thousands of jobs.''[37]
Prop 39[edit]Steyer was the leading sponsor of Proposition 39 on the 2012 ballot in California. Its purpose was to close a loophole that allowed multi-state corporations to pay taxes out of state, mandating that they pay in California. Steyer contributed $21.9 million, saying that he could wait no longer for the change.[38][39]
Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, said that the level of giving was unprecedented: "We've seen companies giving that much, and unions and PACs that have a lot at stake giving $10, $20 million in an election, but you didn't see that so much for individual donors.''[38] While supporters of Steyer's effort said it would ''help break the partisan gridlock in Sacramento,'' critics objected that ''the increasing involvement of rich individuals perverts the original intent of the initiatives.[38] The passage of Prop 39 was described as ''a $1 billion corporate tax increase that somehow slipped under the radar'' and a huge political story that somehow went unnoticed. It was noted that the backers' strategy was to eliminate political opposition before it could materialize. Tom Steyer added $30 million into the Yes on Proposition 39 campaign, warning opponents that ''it would be impossible to wage an opposition campaign on the cheap.''[40][41]
2013 Virginia Gubernatorial Election[edit]Steyer supported the campaign of Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the 2013 Virginia Gubernatorial race through his NextGen Climate Action political committee. This support consisted primarily of releasing ads meant to portray McAuliffe's rival, Ken Cuccinelli, as extreme on environmental issues, and in Get out the vote efforts.[42]
2014 Political influence[edit]In 2014, Steyer committed to funding political campaigns in at least seven states to influence climate change policy through his PAC, NextGEN Climate.[43] In June, Steyer said he planned to get involved in California legislature to affect climate change policy by targeting three to four races in each house of the Legislature.[44] In the summer, he founded a political action committee in Florida, reading a major investment in the Gubernatorial race. Steyer cited Florida's pivotal role in the 2016 presidential election and its geographic position, which makes it highly vulnerable to climate change, as reasons for his focus on the state. [45]
Steyer is seen as an adversary to some of the political activities of the Koch brothers.[46][47]
Personal life[edit]In August 1986, he married Kathryn Ann Taylor. She is a graduate of Harvard College and earned a J.D./M.B.A. from Stanford University. The Rev. Richard Thayer, a Presbyterian minister, and Rabbi Charles Familant performed the ceremony.[9] Steyer and his wife have four children.[36] His wife is on the President's Council for the United Religions Initiative whose purpose is to "promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence, and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings."[48]
Tom is the brother of attorney, author, and Stanford University professor Jim Steyer.[citation needed]
See also[edit]References[edit]^"The World's Billionaires - Thomas Steyer"Forbes. March 2013.^ abcdefLashinsky, Adam (September 17, 2008). "California's hedge fund king". Fortune. Retrieved 2010-07-23. ^ abRitch, Emma. "Stanford launches $100M energy research institute". Cleantech Group. Retrieved 2010-07-23. ^[1][dead link]^"40 billionaires pledge to give away half of wealth". MSNBC. Retrieved 2010-08-05. ^Strom, Stephanie (September 15, 2011). "Hedge Fund Chief Takes Major Role in Philanthropy". The New York Times. ^"Thomas F. Steyer profile". Next Generation. Retrieved 2013-10-30. ^"University Governance". Stanford University. Retrieved 2012-02-12. ^ abNew York Times: "Kathryn Taylor Weds T.F. Steyer" August 17, 1986^World Who's who in Commerce and Industry. Marquis-Who's Who. 1968. p. 1327. ^New York Times: "Paid Notice: Deaths STEYER, ROY H."New York Times, June 26, 1997^"The World's Billionaires". Forbes. Retrieved 2010-07-23. ^http://www.faralloncapital.com/farallon/principals_thomas_steyer.htm^http://www.faralloncapital.com/farallon/office_locations.htm^http://www.faralloncapital.com/farallon/strategies.htm^Celarier, Michelle (23 October 2012). "Hedgie Steyer hanging it up". NY Post. ^Henderson, Peter. "INTERVIEW-Billionaire Steyer sees clean energy in his future". Reuters. ^Sink, Justin (8 January 2013). "Obama looks to fill out Cabinet". The Hill. ^Calvey, Mark (16 January 2013). "San Francisco's Tom Steyer reacts to rumors he'll be named U.S. Energy Secretary". Biz Journal. ^Aims of Donor Are Shadowed by Past in Coal By MICHAEL BARBARO and CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times, JULY 4, 2014^Tom Steyer's slow, and ongoing, conversion from fossil-fuels investor to climate activist, By Carol D. Leonnig, Tom Hamburger and Rosalind S. Helderman, Washington Post, June 9, 2014^From black to green: U.S. billionaire's 'Road to Damascus' By Richard Valdmanis, Fergus Jensen and Sonali Paul, Reuters, May 13, 2014^[2][dead link]^"Buffett, Gates persuade 38 billionaires to donate half of wealth". The Joplin Globe. AP. 2010-08-04. Retrieved 2013-10-30. ^ ab[3][dead link]^Sharma-Sindhar, Priyanka. "Oakland Fund Gets the Governor's Attention". The Oakbook. Retrieved 2010-07-23. ^Stuhldreher, Anne (2009-04-08). "Tradtional lending goes mainstream". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-07-23. ^"University of San Francisco Announces 2010 Recipient of Statewide Prize". PR Newswire. Retrieved 2013-10-30. ^Trevenon, Stacy. "Film brings 'brown pride' to Pescadero". Half Moon Bay Review. Retrieved 2010-09-10. ^[4][dead link]^"Stanford starts new, $100 million energy institute". Greenbang. Retrieved 2010-07-23. ^http://freebeacon.com/politics/the-one-percent-gets-its-turn/^http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/opinions/2014-01-04/op-ed-billionaire-bullies/1776425115925.html^Maviglio, Steven. "No on Prop 23 Campaign Gets Big Backing from Major Democratic Donor, Releases Report on Valero's $9 Billion Export of California Energy Dollars". The California Majority Report. Retrieved 2010-07-26. ^Nagourney, Adam. "California Braces for Showdown on Emissions". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-07-26. ^ abDolan, Kerry (21 September 2011). "Tom Steyer: Hedge Fund Billionaire's Foray Into Politics". Forbes. ^"Tom Steyer DNC speech (text)". Politico. September 5, 2012. ^ abcOnishi, Norimitsu (16 October 2012). "California Ballot Initiatives, Born in Populism, Now Come From Billionaires". The New York Times. ^Henderson, Peter (October 24, 2012). "INTERVIEW-Billionaire Steyer sees clean energy in his future". Reuters. ^"Timm Herdt: And then, the opposition blinked". Contra Costa Times. December 25, 2012. ^STEYER, THOMAS FAHR (TOM) contributions to ballot measure committees that supported or opposed ballot measures in elections in California 2012, FollowTheMoney.org http://beta.followthemoney.org/show-me?y=2013,2012,2011,2010,2009,2008,2007,2006,2005,2004,2003,2002,2001,2000&m-exi=1&d-eid=431767&s=CA&y=2012#[{1|gro=f-eid^Meola, Olympia (9 August 2013). "Out-of-state funds pouring into Virginia race for governor". The Richmond Times Dispatch. ^Gold, Matea. "Billionaire Tom Steyer will use clout and cash to boost Democrats, environment, in key races". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 June 2014. ^Metha, Seema. "Billionaire Steyer looking at spending on legislative races". LA Times. Retrieved 4 June 2014. ^Caputo, Marc. "Billionaire climate-change supporter pledges to spend big to beat Florida Gov. Rick Scott Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/08/02/4268750/billionaire-climate-change-supporter.html#storylink=cpy". www.miamiherald.com. The Miami Herald. Retrieved 5 August 2014. ^http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/19/magazine/how-billionaire-oligarchs-are-becoming-their-own-political-parties.html^http://www.politico.com/morningenergy/1014/morningenergy15652.html^United Religions Initiative: Kat Taylor retrieved march 30, 2013External links[edit]PersondataNameSteyer, TomAlternative namesSteyer, Thomas FahrShort descriptionAmerican hedge fund manager billionaireDate of birthJune 27, 1957Place of birthNew York, New York, U.S.Date of deathPlace of death
Disastrous consequences of LNT model at Fukushima Daiichi - Atomic Insights
Sun, 02 Nov 2014 15:57
Radiation regulators often acknowledge that their linear, no threshold model overestimates the hazard of radiation below certain dose levels, but, they say, at least it errs in the ''conservative'' direction.
That assumption might give the practitioners comfort and help them believe that they are protecting the general public, but that presumption ignores the real and measurable harm that can come from overreacting to a small or even non-existent risk. A child that is afraid of the monsters they are sure live in their closet is harmed by insufficient sleep. An adult who is afraid to fly might expose themselves to more danger by driving long distances despite fatigue. A person who believes that black cats bring bad luck might step in front of a rapidly moving car to avoid a friendly animal strolling down the sidewalk.
People who are deathly afraid of radiation or who live in a country with a government that assumes excessive risk might accept the known negative health effects of stress and dislocation in order to avoid a dose that is well below the level that is known to cause harm. People who are already in their 60s, 70s, or 80s might be forced to relocate to avoid a dose whose only known risk is a slightly elevated risk of cancer over a 10-30 year period. Hundreds of thousands of acres of valuable farmland might be destroyed by scraping topsoil that contains a minute amount of radioactive Cs-137.
Scientists for Accurate Radiation Information (SARI) got together and agreed to send a letter to the scientific advisory bodies (ICRP, NCRP, UNSCEAR, IAEA, WHO, NAS) that assist regulator in determining the proper responses to various levels radiation exposure. The letter, signed by 40 members and associate members of SARI was sent on October 31, 2014. It has also been posted on Survey Monkey in order to allow people who are not members of SARI to express their agreement or disagreement with the letter. Here is a sample quote from the letter.
The mistakes made at Chernobyl concerning prolonged evacuation were repeated in Fukushima in spite of the acknowledged adverse health consequences from the prolonged evacuations with little projected benefit, since the radiation doses avoided were too low to have resulted in any detectable harm.
Please take a moment to express yourself. It is a very short survey. The survey page asks for some identifying information since anonymous signers are not terribly useful in such an endeavor.
SARI-Members | Radiation Effects
Sun, 02 Nov 2014 15:59
NameEducation LevelEmployer / AffiliationAdams, RodMSAtomic Insights LLCAllison , WadePhDEmeritus Professor of Physics, University of OxfordAnderson, RipPhDSandia National Laboratories (Retired)Angwin, MeredithBS, MSCarnot CommunicationsBorders, RexMSDOE/NNSABrodsky, AllenSc.D., CHP, CIH, DABRGeorgetown UniversityBrooks, TonyPhDWashington State University (Retired)Brozowski, GeorgeBS, Radiation TechnologyU.S. EPA, Region 6Bus, JamesPhD Exponent '' Engineering and Scientific ConsultingCai, LuMD, PhDUniversity of LouisvilleCohen, MervynMBChBIndiana UniversityConca, JimPhDCenter for Laboratory Sciences, RJLee Group, Inc.Leslie E. CorriceMASelf-employed / Semi-retiredCox, MorganMSCuttler, Jerry MDSc in Nuclear SciencesCuttler & AssociatesDavey, ChrisB.S.King Abdullah University of Science and Technology(KAUST)Denman, MattPhDSandia National LaboratoriesDobrzynski, LudwikD.Sc.National Center for Nuclear Research, 05-400 Otwock, A.Soltana 7, PolandDoss, MohanPhDAssociate Professor, Fox Chase Cancer CenterDube, ScottM.S.Morton Plant HospitalEasty, MackMDU.S.Army (retired)Esposito, Vincent J.PhDAdjunct Prof. Uni of Pittsburgh (Retired)Farooque, AbdullahMSInstitute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, Drdo,Delhi, IndiaFeinendegen, Ludwig E. MDHeinrich-Heine University University Dusseldorf, GermanyFellman, AlanPh.D.Dade Moeller & Associates, Inc.Fisher, DarrellPh.D.Dade Moeller Health GroupFornalski, KrzysztofPh.D., EngPolish Nuclear Society (PTN)Franz J, FreibertPhDLos Alamos National LaboratoryGolden, RobertPhDToxLogicGomez, LeoPh.D.Sandia National Laboratories (Retired)Hansen, Richard (Rick)BSNational Security Technologies, LLC (NSTec)Haque, MunimaPhDSoutheast University, Dhaka, BangaladeshHargraves, RobertPhDDartmouth CollegeHart, JohnDC, MHScSherman College of ChiropracticHayes, RobPhDNuclear Waste Partnership LLC/WIPPHigson, DonPh.D. Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) (Retired)Hiserodt, EdBSControls & Power, IncHylko, JimMS (MPH)Enercon Federal Services, Inc.Janiak, Marek K.Professor of medical sci.Military Institute of Hygiene & Epidemiology, Warsaw, PolandKaspar, MatthewMSDOE/NNSAKesavan, P.C.Ph.D.M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, IndiaKollar, LenkaMSNuclear Undone LLCLaster, BrendaPh.D.Ben Gurion UniversityMahn, JeffreyMSSandia National Laboratories (Retired)Malenfant, RichardMS, MBALos Alamos National Laboratory (Retired)Marcus, Carol SilberB.S., M.S., Ph.D., M.D., ABNMSelf + UCLAMcCollough, Cynthia H.PhD, ProfessorMedical Physics and Biomedical Engineering Director,CT Clinical Innovation Center, Mayo ClinicMiller, MarkMSSandia National LaboratoriesMortazavi, SMJPhDProfessor, Shiraz University of Medical SciencesNowosielska, EvaPhDMilitary Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Warsaw, PolandOrient, JaneBA, BS, MDIndividual Practitioner of Medicine, editor of Doctors forDisaster Preparedness Newsletter and Civil Defense PerspectivesOsborn, DougPhDSandia National LaboratoriesPayne, Steven S.PhDDOE/NNSAPennington, CharlesMS/MBAPrivate ConsultantPhilbin, JeffPhDNuclear Safety AssociatesRangacharyulu, CharyPhDUniversity of Saskatchewan, CanadaReeves, Glen I.MDApplied Research Associates, Inc.Rithidech, Kanokporn NoyPhDProfessor of Research Pathology , Stony BrookUniversityRossin, A. DavidPhDIndependent consultant on nuclear power safetyRuedig, ElizabethPhDPostdoctoral Fellow, Colorado State UniversitySackett, JohnPhDArgonne National Laboratory (retired)Sacks, BillPhD, MDFDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health (Retired)Sacks, MiriamRTKaiser Permanente, Washington, DC (Retired)Sanders, Charles LPhD(Retired)Scott, B.R.PhDLovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI)Shanahan, John A. PhD, M.Sc., B.Sc.President, Go Nuclear, Inc.Siegel, JeffryPhDNuclear Physics EnterprisesSocol, YehoshuaPhDFalcon Analytics, IsraelStabin, MichaelPhDVanderbilt UniversityStrupczewski , AndrzejDScNational Centre for Nuclear Research, PolandUlsh , BrantPhD, CHPMH Chew and AssociatesVaiserman, AlexanderPhDInstitute of Gerontology, KievWaltar, AlanPhDTexas A&M University (Retired)Weiner, Ruth F.PhDSandia National Laboratories (Retired)Welsh, James MS, MD University of Wisconsin
Missing Nigerian schoolgirls 'married off' - no ceasefire
Sat, 01 Nov 2014 08:51
Boko Haram's leader, Abubakar Shekau, has said the 219 schoolgirls kidnapped from the remote town of Chibok in Nigeria's northeast in April have converted to Islam and been married off.
Shekau made the remarks in a video obtained by the AFP news agency on Friday.
"Don't you know the over 200 Chibok schoolgirls have converted to Islam? They have now memorised two chapters of the Koran," he said.
"We have married them off. They are in their marital homes," he added.
In a previous statement the group's leader threatened to sell the girls as slave brides and also suggested that he would be prepared to release them in exchange for Boko Haram prisoners.
Ceasefire claims denied
Shekau also said the group was holding a German national and denied they had agreed to a ceasefire, describing the Nigerian government statement as a lie. He also appeareed to rule out future talks.
The video comes after a surprise Nigerian military and presidency announcement on October 17 that a peace deal had been reached with the group.
A senior presidential aide to President Goodluck Jonathan also said that an agreement had been reached to free the schoolgirls, whose abduction sparked a global campaign for their release.
There was immediate scepticism about both claims because of previous assertions of ceasefires and the identity of the purported Boko Haram envoy at the supposed talks, Danladi Ahmadu.
Fresh attacks
Violence and fresh kidnappings have continued unabated since the announcement, including a triple bombing of a bus station in the northern city of Gombe on Friday that killed at least eight.
Nigeria's government maintains that talks are ongoing in the Chadian capital, Ndjamena.
But Shekau, dressed in military fatigues and boots with a black turban, and flanked by 15 armed fighters, said: "We have not made ceasefire with anyone..."
"We did not negotiate with anyone... It's a lie. It's a lie. We will not negotiate. What is our business with negotiation? Allah said we should not."
He also said he did not know Danladi.
There was no indication of when or where the video was shot but it was obtained through the same channels as previous communications from the group.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a report this week that Boko Haram was holding upwards of 500 women and young girls and that forced marriage was commonplace in the group's camps.
Hillary to come out / Tim Cook covering?
Russian politician says Apple CEO Tim Cook 'should be banned' from country after coming out as gay
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:04
According to a translation by Buzzfeed, anti-LGBT campaigner Vitaly Milonov, a member of the Legislative Assembly of St Petersburg, drew on stereotypes of homosexuals to suggest Tim Cook could bring "Aids and gonorrhea" to Russia.
He told the FlashNord website: ''what could he [Cook] bring us? The Ebola virus, Aids, gonorrhea? They all have unseemly ties over there. Ban him for life."
Milonov is well-known for his opposition to LGBT rights, and was the architect of a local law which became the basis for an internationally condemned country-wide ban on ''gay propaganda''.
Read more: Tim Cook: Apple CEO comes out as gayBusiness leaders like Apple's Tim Cook must stop being one thing in public and another in privateThe prevalence of similarly illiberal attitudes across the world may indicate why Cook had not publicly announced his sexuality before, and is currently the only open homosexual CEO of the top 500 highest grossing US companies.
In a moving open letter published on the Bloomberg Businessweek today, he wrote that he is ''proud to be gay'' and considers being gay ''among the greatest gifts God has given me''.
''Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day,'' he added.
Italy's in terminal decline, and no one has the guts to stop it >> The Spectator
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:09
The Rome Opera House sacked its entire orchestra and chorus the other day. Financed and managed by the state, and therefore crippled by debt, the opera house '-- like so much else in Italy '-- had been a jobs-for-life trade union fiefdom. Its honorary director, Riccardo Muti, became so fed up after dealing with six years of work-to-rule surrealism that he resigned. It's hard to blame him. The musicians at the opera house '-- the 'professori' '-- work a 28-hour week (nearly half taken up with 'study') and get paid 16 months' salary a year, plus absurd perks such as double pay for performing in the open air because it is humid and therefore a health risk. Even so, in the summer, Muti was compelled to conduct a performance of La Boh¨me with only a pianist because the rest of the orchestra had gone on strike.
After Muti's resignation, the opera house board did something unprece-dented: they sacked about 200 members of the orchestra and chorus, in a country where no one with a long-term contract can be fired. It was a revolutionary '-- dare one say Thatcherite? '-- act. If only somebody would have the guts to do something similar across the whole of the Italian state sector. But nobody will. Italy seems doomed.
The latest panic on global stock markets has reminded the world of the vulnerability of the euro, and this week pundits in the British press have been busy speculating about France's possible collapse. Hardly anyone bothers to fret about Italy any more, even though last week its exchanges took the second biggest hit after Greece. Italy's irreversible demise is a foregone conclusion. The country is just too much of a basket case even to think about.
Italy's experience of the European monetary union has been particularly painful. The Italians sleepwalked into joining the euro with scarcely any serious debate, and were so keen to sign up that they accepted a throttlingly high exchange rate with the lira. The price of life's essentials, such as cigarettes, coffee and wine, doubled overnight while wages remained static '-- though back then jobs were still easy to find and money easy to borrow. But when the great crash happened, Italy, as a prisoner of a monetary union without a political union, was unable to do anything much about it, and could not even resort to the traditional medicine of currency devaluation.
The only path to recovery permitted by Brussels and Berlin '-- that of austerity '-- has been counterproductive because it has only been skin-deep. If austerity is to stimulate growth, it must be done to the hilt, which inevitably involves terrible suffering and the risk of mass agitation. No Italian politician can stomach that.
Italy can't blame all its problems on monetary union, however. The euro did not cause the catastrophe, but it deprived Italy of a means to combat it and exposed its fatal structural weaknesses.
The youth unemployment rate here is 43 per cent '-- the highest on record. That figure doesn't factor in the black market, which is so big that the Italian government now wants to include certain parts of it '-- prostitution, drug dealing and assorted smuggling '-- into its official GDP figures. The contribution is thought to be sizeable enough to take the country out of its third recession in six years.
We should remember that Italian companies get state money to pay workers to do nothing and not sack them '-- currently about half a million workers are in what is known as 'cassa integrazione'. So the real unemployment rate in Italy must be at least 15 per cent, and that does not include all those who have given up trying to find work. Just 58 per cent of working-age Italians are employed, compared with an average 65 per cent in the developed world.
Even including all the cocaine and bunga-bunga does not alter the extra-ordinary fact that Italy's economy has been stagnant since 2000. Indeed, over the past five years it has shrunk by 9.1 per cent. Worse still, it went into deflation last month, the thing that everyone most fears '-- even more than hyperinflation '-- and which caused the Japanese economy to stagnate for 20 years.
Since the defenestration of Silvio Berlusconi in November 2011 as a result of the bunga-bunga scandal, and the horrific gap that opened up in the value of Italian and German bonds, Italy has had three unelected prime ministers.
The left-wing Matteo Renzi, the latest of these, is billed as Italy's Tony Blair because he has managed to force his party, the post-communist Partito Democratico, to forget the past and face the future. Initially, he promised that he would bring in all the necessary structural reforms within 100 days; but of course he did not, and now he says that he needs 1,000 days.
Il rottamatore (the 'demolition man'), as Renzi is known, has just forced through a reform bill amid much fanfare and even physical fighting in the Senate. Renzi's bill is supposed to abolish the mythical Articolo 18, which makes it virtually impossible to sack anyone in companies that employ more than 15 people. Yet if the bill ever becomes law, this being Italy, it will no doubt be so watered down by the time it reaches the statute books as to be meaningless. The unions have promised 'un autunno caldo' (a hot autumn) to protect their most prized sacred cow.
Same old story. Regardless of who is in charge in Italy, it is nearly always all mouth and no trousers, which to be fair is partly because the electoral system makes it impossible to avoid coalition governments and partly because the constitution, for fear of dictatorship, gives the prime minister little executive power.
Italian TV broadcasts wall-to-wall political talkshows (most of them left-wing even on Berlusconi's channels) but they too are in crisis: the Italians, fatally disillusioned, are not bothering to watch television any more.
Italy's sovereign debt, meanwhile, continues to grow exponentially. It is now '‚¬2.2 trillion, which is the equivalent of 135 per cent of GDP '-- the third highest in the world after Japan and Greece. And the more deflation Italy has, the bigger the debt and its cost in real terms.
In Italy, as in France, a dirigiste philosophy has predominated since the second world war. The government is run like a protection racket; money finds its way into every nook and cranny of the economy. Even newspapers are publicly subsidised, which is why there are so many of them.
Anyone who works in the real private sector '-- the family businesses that have made Italy's name around the world '-- is in a bad place. Italy has the heaviest 'total tax' burden on businesses in the world at 68 per cent, according to the Sole 24 Ore newspaper, followed by France on 66 per cent, compared with just 36 per cent in Britain. To start a business in Italy is to enter a Kafkaesque bureaucratic nightmare, and to keep it going is even worse. It also means handing the state at least 50 cents for every euro paid to staff. Add to this a judicial system that is byzantine, politicised and in possession of terrifying powers, and you begin to understand why no sane foreign company sets up headquarters in Italy.
I worked for a regional newspaper, La Voce di Romagna,as a columnist for a decade until a year ago, but gave up after my employer '-- even though in receipt of hefty public money '-- failed to pay me for three months. I was not entitled to dole money, because I was self-employed. Employees with proper contracts are entitled to the dole, but only for a year or so. Many of my colleagues have not been paid for up to a year. Now, though, La Voce is about to go into bankruptcy and close. I would not bet a single euro on those former colleagues getting any of the money owed to them.
Yet there is another Italy '-- the state-financed one '-- where life is, if not a bed of roses, still fine, all things considered '-- even though those Rome Opera House sackings have caused a little ripple of anxiety. Italian MPs are the highest paid in the civilised world, earning almost twice the salary of a British MP. Barbers in the Italian Parliament get up to '‚¬136,120 a year gross. All state employees get a fabulous near-final''salary pension. It is not difficult to appreciate the fury of the average Italian private sector worker, whose gross annual pay is '‚¬18,000.
The phrase 'you could not make it up' fits the gold-plated world of the Italian state employee to a tee '-- especially in the Mezzo-giorno, Italy's hopeless south. Sicily, for instance, employs 28,000 forestry police '-- more than Canada '-- and has 950 ambulance drivers who have no ambulances to drive.
An Italian government that really meant business would make urgent and drastic cuts not just to the bloated, parasitical and corrupt state sector, but also to taxes, labour costs and red tape. Yet even now only Beppe Grillo, a modern comic version of Benito Mussolini, and the separatist Northern League advocate Italian withdrawal from the euro. Most Italians still don't get it: the euro is the problem, not the solution '-- unless, that is, they go for real austerity in a major way, which they will not do unless forced to at gunpoint.
Italy, more even than France, is the sick man of Europe '-- and it is also the dying man of Europe. Italian women used to have more children than anyone else in Europe. It is common to meet old men called Decimo ('Tenth'). Yet for decades the birth rate in Italy has been among the lowest in the world, and if it were not for immigration the population would be in decline. When Italian women refuse to make babies, it is a clear sign of a terminally sick society.
This article first appeared in the print edition of The Spectator magazine, dated 25 October 2014
Tags:Berlusconi, Bunga Bunga, Bureaucracy, decline, dirigiste, employees, Italy, private sector, protection racket, Rome Opera House, state sector
Packet Equality
Study Finds Internet Congestion Really Is About Business, Not Technology '' Consumerist
Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:36
Various enormous corporations have this year been at each other's throats over how well or how poorly internet traffic travels through their systems. A new report indicates that some of the mud-slinging this year is true: interconnection, or peering, between ISPs is why end-users are getting terrible internet traffic. But, they say, it's business, and not technology, that's making your Netflix buffer.DSL Reports points the way to the study, from an internet research organization called M-Lab. M-Lab studied how traffic does (or doesn't) make it to you through the peering connections it travels through.
Peering has come up a lot this year, most notably around Netflix. The streaming-video behemoth contended that major ISPs '-- particularly but not solely Comcast and Verizon '-- were deliberately letting Netflix traffic clog up.
The congestion was happening at interconnection points, the places where the transit ISPs Netflix partnered with '-- companies like Level 3 and Cogent '-- met up with the access ISPs (the ''last mile'' providers) that home users use. To alleviate the congestion and avoid hemorrhaging customers who couldn't use the service they paid for, Netflix eventually paid Comcast, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable for direct access to their networks, bypassing those interconnection points entirely.
But even though Netflix moves a lot of data, they're hardly the only internet traffic moving around out there. Massive amounts of information pass through transit ISPs and peering connections every moment of every day. So where are the problems in the system?
M-Lab sat down and did a long-term study measuring how internet traffic moves through all those different transit tributaries, so to speak. The full report (a href=''http://www.measurementlab.net/static/observatory/M-Lab_Interconnection_Study_US.pdf''>PDF) delves into some of the technicalities of measuring and quantifying interconnection and is kind of a hefty read. There are, however, some clear key take-aways.
From a high level, you see some of the patterns you'd expect. For example, there's a lot less network congestion at 3 o'clock in the morning then there is at prime-time, between 7 and 11 p.m.
But beyond that, one pattern began clearly to emerge. The network congestion M-Lab was seeing, they write, doesn't appear to be connected to the technical limitations of ISPs or the connection points themselves. Instead, it seems, ''business relationships between ISPs, and not major technical problems, are at the root of the problems we observed.''
M-Lab is very careful to remind readers that they have data proving correlations, but insufficient information to assign blame. ''While we feel safe pinpointing the interconnection relationship '... as a factor in performance degradation,'' M-Lab writes, ''it is important to not that we cannot determine which actors or actions are 'responsible' for observed degradation. We cannot tell whether any particular ISP between the user and a measurement point is 'at fault,' what the contractual agreement between ISPs did or did not dictate vis-a-vis interconnection, or whether specific network modification was done to alleviate or magnify a given incident.''
But the evidence does look worse for some companies than for others. M-Lab used New York City as one of their case studies. They found that in 2013, internet traffic delivered to Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and Comcast via Cogent took a dramatic hit before rebounding equally dramatically roughly 10 months later:
Since all three ISPs took a hit at roughly the same time, it seems easy to look for a common link. In this case, that link would be Cogent. Perhaps the trouble was on their end, instead of at three different companies?
Not so, says M-Lab. The next graph demonstrates that during the same period of time, in the same city, Cablevision's traffic through Cogent moved smoothly and quickly without taking the same precipitous plunge as the other three providers'.
So that says Cogent was up and running. So perhaps TWC, Comcast, and Verizon all suffered a freak simultaneous set of outages? M-Lab couldn't rule that out, but they also measured the connections all four last-mile ISPs had to another transit provider, Internap, during the same time period. Those connections did not see any significant degradation.
Although they are once again careful not to assign blame, M-Lab points out that the data ''strongly suggests that the issues seen are not isolated to the consumer-facing, edge networks of impacted Access ISPs, but rather relate to the interconnections traversed between Cogent and the three impacted Access ISPs '' Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon.''
Whether the last-mile providers are doing it to squeeze more money out of video companies or simply having contractual disagreements with Cogent doesn't really matter to consumers who, once again, are stuck in the middle without the chance to flee to the competition.
M-Lab: Streaming Issues Were Conscious ISP Business Decision [DSL Reports]
There's No Middle Ground on Title II
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 21:06
King Solomon wasn't serious when he proposed splitting the baby. Let's hope Chairman Wheeler isn't either. Subjecting any part of broadband to Title II opens the door to FCC regulation of the heart of the Internet.
The Chairman is in a difficult position. He knows that those pushing for Title II, claiming it would allow the FCC to ban paid prioritization, are simply mistaken. But he's under enormous pressure to give them some kind of win. Among many problems, Title IIwouldrequirethe FCC to set prices paid by edge providers for having their traffic carried to users '-- the very opposite of ''net neutrality.'' Since the FCC claims that ISPs have a ''terminating access monopoly'' over delivering edge providers' traffic, it's difficult to see how, legally,the FCC could forbearfrom this requirement. And if today's FCCcanmake forbearance that easy, then what would stop a Republican FCC from using forbearance to gut any rules based on Title II?
Title II is unworkable in any form. So Wheeler has only two options. First, he can base new rules on Section 706, which would not require charging edge providers but would allow the FCC to police paid prioritization. No, the FCC couldn't ban all paid prioritization, but it couldn't do so under Title II, either. Second, he could do what the FCC should have done a decade ago: admit that the Communications Act no longer makes sense and ask Congress for new authority.
The contours of a deal are clear: Republicans and many Democrats will insist that new legislation bar any application of Title II to the Internet '-- and stop the FCC from claiming Section 706 as a blank check to regulate the Internet. A broad consensus already exists for giving the FCC some authority over transparency, a no-blocking rule and anti-competitive practices. There's much Congress can do to make it easier for upstart ISPs like Google Fiber to enter the broadband market.
The President has two years left to make good on his campaign promises of post-partisanship. Congressional Republicans have a strong incentive to demonstrate that they can govern responsibly. And all sides of the tech industry desperately need this intractable fight over the FCC's authority to end. If Chairman Wheeler had half the wisdom of Solomon, he'd try to broker a deal.
Haiti hopes to woo back tourists with resorts
Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:45
COTES-DE-FER, Haiti (AP) '-- Off this sleepy southern Haitian village, fishermen in weathered wooden boats slowly move across azure waters. Miles of picture-perfect sandy beaches slope gently, fringed by grasses and framed by mountains.
In any other Caribbean country, such a pristine stretch of shore would have been developed long ago. But in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, the tranquil Cotes-de-Fer area is mostly uninhabited, holding just a scattering of shacks lit by candles, with little to do apart from fishing or working the sunbaked soil.
Things may be changing radically, however. President Michel Martelly's administration wants to build Haiti's biggest tourism development here, hoping that foreign visitors can help spur an economic revival in the nation of 10 million, where most adults lack any kind of steady work and survive on less than $2 a day.
So far there are only tentative signs of the hoped-for boom in Cotes-de-Fer. Dirt access roads have been widened with the help of Taiwan and Venezuela and locals hope they will soon be paved. The government is refurbishing the fishing village and training tourist police as it tries to line up investors for a country enjoying a period of relative tranquility after years of turmoil.
"We know it's a huge task and it won't be easy, but this is one chance that Haiti cannot miss. We've been at the bottom of the ladder for too long," Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe told The Associated Press as he visited Cotes-de-Fer.
A master plan for the area promises tax-free investments for 15 years in a development that could eventually cover about 5,680 acres (2,299 hectares), with up to 20,000 hotel rooms and condos. The first phase would cost nearly $48 million, with 1,266 rooms in four hotels and 1,133 tourist residences, an 18-hole golf course, and a beach club by 2017. A small airport would be built nearby.
Officials hope it will become Haiti's version of Punta Cana, a major resort town carved out of a fishing village in the neighboring Dominican Republic in the 1970s. Grupo PuntaCana, which operates the Dominican resort, has assisted Haiti with developing its plans.
The $266 million project would be the biggest ever in Haiti, which is recovering from a devastating 2010 earthquake that shattered the crowded capital, Port-au-Prince, and surrounding areas.
The broader tourism push includes development of the southern island of Ile-a-Vache. Plans there call for a resort with roughly 2,500 rooms and its own international airport. Dredging to accommodate supply ships is nearing completion, and the site for a future airport is being graded.
Haiti also has signed a memorandum of understanding with Carnival Corp. to develop a $70 million cruise port on Ile de la Tortue, an island off the north coast long known as a departure point for smugglers.
For now, the vast majority of tourists are cruise ship passengers who never leave Labadee, Royal Caribbean's fenced-in port and beach attraction in northern Haiti.
In Cotes-de-Fer, the possibility of a tourism boom is being welcomed by many, especially young people eager for opportunities.
"We're all hopeful about what the future will bring," 15-year-old Doyana Sterne said as she filled jugs with water at a pump where mules get loaded with saddlebags made of woven palm thatch. She has dreams of becoming a civil engineer to help build up her hometown.
Some have doubts about the viability of the projects. Haitian economist Kesner Pharel said potential investors may be scared off by a lack of good roads and other infrastructure as well as the possibility that political instability will return.
Lamothe, however, says the country has turned a corner, with more than $250 million in direct foreign investment projected for this year, up from $4 million in 2001.
Among those interested is the Pennsylvania-based Apple Leisure Group, which is working with the government to bring together hoteliers and airport developers for the south coast resort proposals. Its AMResorts arm operates 32 resorts in 13 beach destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean, including six in Punta Cana.
"We are confident that Haiti's natural beauty and proximity to the U.S. gives it great potential," said Apple Leisure CEO Alex Zozaya.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Haiti's tourism business grew under the brutal but stable dictatorships of Francois and Jean-Claude Duvalier. But political instability and the AIDS epidemic that struck Haiti in the 1980s largely devastated the sector. Seaside resorts turned into ghost towns, including a 700-bed Club Med complex.
But Haiti never lost its idyllic beaches, delicious food and rich history. The former French colony became the first black republic in 1804 after a successful slave rebellion.
It already draws adventuresome travelers. Haiti's second largest city, Cap-Haitien, is a cultural capital where French colonial buildings resemble old New Orleans. The picturesque south coast town of Jacmel attracts European and U.S. vacationers.
Tourism Minister Stephanie Villedrouin has lately been flying around the world to woo investors and hospitality companies.
"It's a day-to-day battle to change Haiti's image. But once you experience what it's really like, you leave with a different perception," she told AP as she sipped strong Haitian coffee outside a family's Cotes-de-Fer home where she spent the night instructing locals how to welcome tourists.
David McFadden on Twitter: http://twitter.com/dmcfadd
VIDEO-John Kutsch - Solar & Wind Incompetence @ TEAC6 - YouTube
Sun, 02 Nov 2014 16:33
VIDEO-BBC News - Hague: 'Determined abuse inquiry will happen'
Sun, 02 Nov 2014 16:19
William Hague has said that the government is "determined" that the child abuse inquiry will happen and will make it work.
Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr he said: "There are so many deeply disturbing things for it to look into."
Referring to the replacement of Fiona Woolf, who stepped down as the chair of the government's child abuse inquiry he said: "I think what we've seen is a determination to get this inquiry going with somebody who would have the very highest standards leading it".
UK viewers can watch the Andrew Marr Show in full for seven days
VIDEO-BBC News - Fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 says IPCC
Sun, 02 Nov 2014 16:03
2 November 2014Last updated at 10:20 ET The unrestricted use of fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change, a UN-backed expert panel says.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says in a stark report that most of the world's electricity can - and must - be produced from low-carbon sources by 2050.
If not, the world faces "severe, pervasive and irreversible" damage.
The UN said inaction would cost "much more" than taking the necessary action.
The IPCC's Synthesis Report was published on Sunday in Copenhagen, after a week of intense debate between scientists and government officials.
It is intended to inform politicians engaged in attempts to deliver a new global treaty on climate by the end of 2015.
The report says that reducing emissions is crucial if global warming is to be limited to 2C - a target acknowledged in 2009 as the threshold of dangerous climate change.
The report suggests renewables will have to grow from their current 30% share to 80% of the power sector by 2050.
In the longer term, the report states that fossil fuel power generation without carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology would need to be "phased out almost entirely by 2100".
'Science has spoken'The Synthesis Report summarises three previous reports from the IPCC, which outlined the causes, the impacts and the potential solutions to climate change.
It re-states many familiar positions:
Warming is "unequivocal" and the human influence on climate is clear The period from 1983 to 2012, it says, was likely the warmest 30 year period of the last 1,400 years Warming impacts are already being seen around the globe, in the acidification of the oceans, the melting of arctic ice and poorer crop yields in many parts Without concerted action on carbon, temperatures will increase over the coming decades and could be almost 5C above pre-industrial levels by the end of this century "Science has spoken," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. "There is no ambiguity in their message. Leaders must act. Time is not on our side."
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Ban Ki-moon: Inaction on climate change "will cost heavily"
"There is a myth that climate action will cost heavily," said Mr Ban, "but inaction will cost much more."
The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, described the report as "another canary in the coal mine".
"Those who choose to ignore or dispute the science so clearly laid out in this report do so at great risk for all of us and for our kids and grandkids," Mr Kerry said in a statement.
Blunt languageProf Myles Allen from Oxford University, a member of the IPCC core writing team, said: "We can't afford to burn all the fossil fuels we have without dealing with the waste product which is CO2 and without dumping it in the atmosphere."
"If we can't develop carbon capture we will have to stop using fossil fuels if we want to stop dangerous climate change."
Analysis: David Shukman, BBC science editor
The language in the UN's climate reports has been steadily ratcheted up over the years, but this publication lays out the options more bluntly than before.
The conclusion that fossil fuels cannot continue to be burned in the usual way - and must be phased out by the end of the century - presents governments with an unusually stark choice.
The IPCC has tried to make it more palatable by saying that fossil fuel use can continue if the carbon emissions are captured and stored.
But so far the world only has one commercially-operating plant of that type, in Canada, and progress developing the technology is far slower than many had hoped.
So this raises the difficult question of how key governments are likely to respond.
Events in Copenhagen back in 2009, when a disastrous and dysfunctional summit failed to agree anything substantial, showed how easily rhetoric crumbles in the face of economic pressures or domestic realities.
The report's clarity of language over the future of coal, oil, and gas was welcomed by campaigners.
"What they have said is that we must get to zero emissions, and that's new," said Samantha Smith from World Wildlife Fund.
"The second thing is they said that it is affordable, it is not going to cripple economies."
Fierce standoffIn the IPCC's discussions on fossil fuels, there was a fierce battle over a chart that showed how much the electricity sector needed to curb its carbon, the BBC's environment correspondent Matt McGrath reports from Copenhagen.
According to one observer, "the Saudis went ballistic" over the chart's inclusion.
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While arctic sea ice is melting at an alarming rate, Antarctic sea ice at record levels, Dr Helen Czerski reports
Another significant fight was over the inclusion of text about Article 2 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
It quickly became a standoff between those who want the focus to be on cutting emissions against those who think the right to develop economies must come first.
An unlikely alliance between Bolivia and Saudi Arabia ultimately saw the section dropped entirely from the underlying report.
Some of those attending the talks said that tackling climate change and sustainable development went hand in hand.
"Different countries come to different perspectives" said Prof Jim Skea from Imperial College and a review editor of the report.
"But from the science perspective, we need them both. We need to walk and chew gum at the same time."
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Why have oil prices been falling recently? In 60 seconds
VIDEO-Kerry phones Netanyahu, apologizes for 'chickenshit' comment | The Times of Israel
Sun, 02 Nov 2014 15:55
US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday phoned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and apologized to him in the name of the Obama administration for the comments made by an anonymous US official who called the prime minister ''a chickenshit.''
On Thursday, Kerry had publicly distanced himself from the comments, stressing that neither he nor US President Barack Obama were behind the remarks, which he said were ''disgraceful, unacceptable, and damaging.''
American officials were quoted Friday night as saying that the Kerry-Netanyahu phone call was a ''good conversation'' and that they discussed ways to improve relations between the US and Israeli leaderships. The two were also said to have discussed other regional issues, including efforts to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions. (Kerry said later Friday that the gaps between the P5+1 and Iran had narrowed ahead of a November 24 deadline on a deal. ''We're closer than we were a week ago or 10 weeks ago,'' Kerry said in an interview Friday, ''but we're still with big gaps.'')
Nonetheless, analysts on both of Israel's main news shows Friday night, on Channels 2 and 10, said ties between the American and Israeli leaderships were extremely bad '-- with a Channel 10 commentator speaking of ''unprecedented loathing'' between the two administrations.
Kerry also telephoned Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday, to discuss the escalating tension in Jerusalem. On Thursday, Kerry had urged Israel to reopen the Temple Mount compound '-- which was closed for the day after the attempted assassination of right-wing activist Yehudah Glick, and the killing of Glick's alleged shooter Mutaz Hijazi '-- and warned against any changes to the status quo at the contested site. Israel reopened the compound to worshippers on Friday.
The anti-Netanyahu comments were published Tuesday by journalist Jeffrey Goldberg in the American magazine The Atlantic, in an article which portrayed the rift between the United States and Israel as a ''full-blown crisis.''
Speaking at a forum hosted by The Atlantic on Thursday, Kerry condemned ''anybody who uses language such as was used in this article,'' and added that the vulgar comment expressed by the unnamed official did not reflect the views of either Obama or his administration.
On Wednesday the White House also denounced the derogatory remarks against Netanyahu, saying the comments had the potential to cause serious harm to Israel-US relations.
''Certainly, that's not the administration's view, and we think such comments are inappropriate and counterproductive,'' said National Security Council spokesman Alistair Baskey, according to the Washington political journal The Hill. ''Prime Minister Netanyahu and the president have forged an effective partnership, and consult closely and frequently, including earlier this month when the president hosted the prime minister in the Oval Office.''
The Atlantic report quoted a senior Obama administration official calling Netanyahu ''a chickenshit,'' with Goldberg adding that officials had previously called the prime minister ''recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and 'Aspergery.''' He said US officials increasingly see the Israeli leader as acting out of a ''near-pathological desire for career-preservation,'' rather than in Israel's national interest.
Netanyahu rejected the criticism Wednesday, saying in the Knesset plenum that he was ''personally attacked purely because I defend Israel, and despite all the attacks against me, I will continue to defend our country; I will continue to defend the citizens of Israel.''
Lazar Berman and AFP contributed to this report.
VIDEO-U.S. Marshal Explains Frein's Injuries | WNEP.com
Sun, 02 Nov 2014 14:45
POCONO TOWNSHIP '-- We're learning more about the moments that led up to accused cop killer Eric Frein's arrest.
When we got our first look at Eric Frein after his arrest the questions began. Photos showed a cut on his nose and bruises on his face.
State police said there was no struggle with law enforcement at the time of his arrest. They claimed Frein's injuries occurred during those 48 days in the woods.
But the U.S. Marshal who found Frein has a different story.
We know now that 11 marshals took down Frein the night of his capture. The special ops team was assigned to search the abandoned Birchwood resort near Tannersville.
During the routine search, U.S. Marshal Scott Malkowski said he spotted one of America's most wanted criminals by chance.
''He turned towards me. I identified myself as law enforcement. I told him to get on the ground. He proned out. He was about five feet away. I said, 'Who are you? What's your name?' He said, 'Eric Frein,''' Malkowski said.
The U.S. Marshal said at that point Frein looked sad and defeated.
Hours later, the public got their first glimpse of Frein, showing some injuries to his face.
State police said his face was that way when they got to the scene, but that's because the U.S. Marshals got to Frein first.
Malkowski said he can explain the injures.
He said that happened as he secured Frein on an asphalt runway.
''Sometimes when we take people into custody we have to take drastic measures. Especially when he killed a fellow officer, we weren't messing around,'' Malkowski said.
Even after that U.S. Marshal admitted that he took Frein's face to the asphalt, people still had questions. Newswatch 16 spoke to some people who live in the Poconos. While some said they agree with what the Marshal did, others said it could have been a lot worse.
''That's the least they could have done and now he'll be brought to justice and that's what I was hoping for a capture, not a kill,''said Donna Muscolini of Tobyhanna.
''I'm glad he wasn't killed. Getting your face shoved to the ground is a very small price to pay,'' said Emily Grebb of Canadensis.
''It's wrong, but what Frein did was wrong. But two wrongs doesn't make a right.''
VIDEO-China recovers experimental moon orbiter | euronews, world news
Sun, 02 Nov 2014 01:02
Kurds worldwide march in solidarity with Kobani
01/11 19:22Bangladesh power cut plunges millions into darkness
01/11 18:25Thousands of Greeks rally in anti-austerity march on parliament
01/11 18:25Bouteflika in rare appearance to mark Algeria's independence celebrations
01/11 18:25Army backs Isaac Zida as new Burkina Faso leader
01/11 17:31France probes fresh drone flights over nuclear power plants
01/11 17:18Ukraine rebels prepare for separatist elections in Donetsk and Luhansk
01/11 15:31US judge rejects isolation for nurse who treated Ebola patients
01/11 13:48NATO's Bold Alligator mission begins off north American coast
01/11 11:30Catalan president snaps back at Madrid government
01/11 09:08Burkina Faso: military power push after president resigns
01/11 06:01Boko Haram denies Nigerian government ceasefire claims
01/11 03:54Ukraine: Poroshenko backs Yatsenyuk for new term as PM
01/11 02:01Pilot dies as Virgin Galactic spacecraft crashes in California
01/11 01:19Kurdish forces call for further international help
01/11 00:18Demonstrators in Hungary celebrate internet tax victory
31/10 23:55Iraqi Pershmerga arrive in Kobani to fight ISIL
31/10 22:50Virgin Galactic spaceship crashes on test flight
31/10 20:34Army chief seizes power in Burkina Faso after president resigns
31/10 20:12Spain under pressure from EU over North African enclaves
31/10 18:59
VIDEO-Russia-Ukraine Gas Deal Comes at a Price - Truthdig
Sun, 02 Nov 2014 00:59
Image by RT
Aid from the International Monetary Fund will enable Ukraine to pay billions in debt to Russia's primary gas company and allow Ukraine to buy fuel through the winter. But the IMF deal entails major reforms to the country's energy industry.
The details of those reforms were not disclosed in an article published in the Financial Times on Oct. 30. But it seems safe to assume they would involve regulations that are beneficial to Western financial interests.
The Financial Times reported:
Russia has secured an 11th-hour deal to resume gas exports to Ukraine, allaying concerns that Europe would face an energy crisis this winter. Moscow severed gas exports to Kiev in June amid a payment dispute that has been overshadowed by a conflict between Ukraine's army and pro-Russian militias in the east of the country.
For months, EU-mediated negotiations to restart gas flows have made no progress and European diplomats viewed the end of October as a deadline for a deal. With temperatures in Kiev dropping below freezing, fears have grown that a supply crunch in Ukraine would disrupt energy exports to the rest of Europe.
But after 30 hours of negotiations in Brussels, Moscow signed a deal with Kiev to guarantee supplies until March. ''There is now no reason for people in Europe to stay cold this winter,'' said Jos(C) Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Moscow made the ''compromise'' to show that it could be relied upon as a commercial partner of the European Union. Disruption of Russian gas into Ukraine this winter would have risked the possibility of supplies failing to reach the EU, as happened in 2006 and 2009. Roughly 30 percent of Europe's gas comes from the Russian company Gazprom, half of it flowing through Ukraine.
Below, University of Missouri economist Michael Hudson talks with RT about how the deal figures into international game-playing. A transcript of his full remarks, provided by RT, appears after the clip.
RT: How important is this gas deal for Ukraine and for Europe?
Michael Hudson: It's apparently most important for Europe because it was Europe that gave in on the deal. The problem was never about the price of the Russian gas. The problem was whether Ukraine was doing to keep up trying just to run up a larger and larger gas bill every month and every year and finally default. In the US Treasury, strategists have already discussed in public how Ukraine can simply avoid paying Russia the money that it owed by going to court and stalling it. So Russia understandably said, ''We need credit in advance.'' Mr. Oettinger of the European Commission said ''Wait a minute, Russia, why don't you just lend them the money. They will repay you.'' And Mr. Putin at the Valdai Club speech in Sochi last week made it very clear. Look, [Russia] has already lent them 11 billion dollars, much more than anyone else has lent to Ukraine. Ukraine is bankrupt, it's torn itself apart. Why didn't perhaps a European Bank underwrite the loan? Finally, Mr. Oettinger gave in. Europe said ''OK, the IMF is going to lend Ukraine the money to pay Russia for the gas for the balance of the year.'' So that Ukraine would end up owing the IMF money and the European Commission money, not Russia. So Russia will not be exposed to having to lend any more money to a dead-beat economy.
RT: You think that it was the EU who gave in on that deal and not Ukraine or Russia. Why?
MH: Ukraine has passed. Ukraine said ''We are broken, we don't have any money, we have spent all our money on war. Our export industry is collapsing. If we need gas, we'll simply steal the gas that Russia is sending to Europe. We are not going to starve - we'll just take your gas.'' And Putin said, ''Well, if they try to steal gas like they did a few years ago, we'll just turn off the gas and Europe won't get gas''. So Europe realized that it wouldn't get the gas if it didn't step behind Ukraine and all of a sudden Europe is having to pay for Ukraine's war against Russia. Europe is having to pay for the whole mess in Ukraine so that it can get gas, and this is not how they expected it to turn out.
RT: Do you think this deal will improve relations between Europe and Russia?
MH: Europe is very uncomfortable with being pressured by the US that essentially said ''Let's you and Russia fight.'' Europe is already suffering. Germany has always been turning towards Russia, all the way. 50 years ago, I remember Konrad Adenauer in Germany always spoke very pro-Western and pro-American, but always turned economically towards Russia. So of course Europe, and Germany especially, has wanted to maintain its ties with Russia. The problem is the US [wants] to start a new Cold War. It created a lot of resentment in Europe, and Europe is finally capitulating. This means that the US pressure to set Europe against Russia has failed.
RT: Could we expect now easing of sanctions on Russia?
MH: No, Europe is still being pressured, the sanctions are pressured by NATO, and NATO is pressing for a military confrontation with Russia. The sanctions are going to continue unless Russia gives back Crimea, which of course it won't. The sanctions are hurting Europe, they are turning out to be a great benefit for Russia because finally Russia is realizing: ''We can't depend on other countries to supply our basic imports, we have to rebuild our industry.'' And the sanctions are enabling Russia to give subsidies to its industry and agriculture that it couldn't otherwise do. So Russia loves the sanctions, Europe is suffering and the Americans are finding that the Europeans are suddenly more angry at it than they are at Russia.
'--Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
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VIDEO-Weekly Address: It's Time to Help Women and Working Families | The White House
Sat, 01 Nov 2014 09:27
November 01, 2014 | 5:29 | Public Domain
In this week's address, the President highlighted the progress our economy is making, and the commonsense policies that could make it even stronger by ensuring that everyone who works hard has the opportunity to get ahead, especially women and working families.
Download mp4 (130MB) | mp3 (3MB)
VIDEO- Boyd Bushman - His Last Interview: A Documentary on Area 51 and UFO's over Tucson, Arizona - YouTube
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 21:17
VIDEO-NEEDED-US Welcomes Russia-Ukraine Gas Deal: Department of State | World | RIA Novosti
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 21:16
WASHINGTON, October 31 (RIA Novosti) - The United States welcomes the gas deal reached between Russia and Ukraine, US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told journalists Friday.
''We welcome news on EU-brockered gas deal between Russia and Ukraine,'' Psaki said.
''The agreement is a positive step,'' she added.
VIDEO- Officials fear drone attacks on America - YouTube
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 20:36
VIDEO-Vulgar message mysteriously posted to traffic sign | FOX2now.com
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 20:22
ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) '' A possible hack attack that MoDOT Is calling a mystery.
MoDOT says someone placed an electronic message board with a vulgar message overnight along hwy 367 northbound at Lindbergh. Several FOX 2 viewers snapped pictures of the message before it was taken down''
Here's the mystery: MoDOT officials say the sign did not belong to them.
VIDEO- Kyle Bass: I'd Much Rather Own Gold Than Paper - YouTube
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 20:19
VIDEO- Ben Shapiro: The Myth of the Tiny Radical Muslim Minority - YouTube
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 20:11
VIDEO-MANNING-Putin Will Out Obama As Gay Within 100 Days - YouTube
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:59
VIDEO-Jon Stewart realized that Koch Industries was running ads during his show. So he trolled them. - The Washington Post
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:38
Jon Stewart realized that Koch Industries (of David and Charles Koch fame/infamy) had been running ads during the Daily Show, and, unsurprisingly, decided to address it. The ad isn't political, it highlights the company's work and the people working there. Many wondered if the ads were designed to counter negative reactions to the Kochs' political activity when they debuted in June. An executive at Koch Industries denied that in a Washington Post story last month.
Holden disputed that notion, saying the ads are aimed at spotlighting jobs available because of Koch's continued growth. ''We have not been impacted by the political attacks in our recruiting, hiring or retention, nor have our businesses been impacted,'' he said.
Where the toll has been felt, Holden said, is personally by the Kochs, who have faced harassment from opponents, including death threats.
The vitriol has affected Koch Industries employees as well, Cohlmia said.
''The collateral damage is something important that should be spoken about,'' she said, adding: ''We know the family. We know the businesses. And they are very good people. So the effect of that on us as employees, it's very hard.''
Those buying ad time for the commercial likely saw the Daily Show's young audience as a perfect one to reach out to. However, it was also inevitable that Stewart would address the ad at some point. He didn't just point it out on Wednesday, though '-- he offered ideas on how he thought the ad could be improved.
The lesson: Make sure that the content surrounding your ad buy doesn't disagree with you and have the ability to try and neutralize the effectiveness of your ad. Because they probably will.
Watch it above.
Related: An amazing map of the Koch brothers' amazing political network
17 things you don't know about the Koch brothers
Daniel Schulman: How the Koch brothers could save the Republican Party
Jaime Fuller reports on national politics for "The Fix" and Post Politics. She worked previously as an associate editor at the American Prospect, a political magazine based in Washington, D.C.
VIDEO-One Dead As Virgin Galactic Spaceship Crashes
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:07
By Sky News US Team
One person is dead and another injured after a Virgin Galactic suborbital rocket plane crashed on a powered test flight over California.
The tragedy occurred after SpaceShipTwo fired its rocket motor following a high-altitude drop from Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo mothership.
California Highway Patrol reported one fatality and one "major injury" after Friday's incident.
SpaceShipTwo on an earlier flight
Virgin Galactic, part of Richard Branson's Virgin Group, aims to begin space tourist flights to the edge of space next year.
The company said in a statement to Sky News: "Virgin Galactic's partner Scaled Composites conducted a powered test flight of SpaceShipTwo earlier today.
"During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of the vehicle.
"The WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft landed safely. Our first concern is the status of the pilots, which is unknown at this time.
"We will work closely with relevant authorities to determine the cause of this accident and provide updates as soon as we are able to do so."
TV pictures showed wreckage from the crashed aircraft in the Mojave Desert.
Virgin Galactic is part of Richard Branson's Virgin Group
Parachutes were reportedly spotted in the air.
Two pilots were thought to have been aboard SpaceShipTwo, according to scanner discussions.
The craft was testing a redesigned rocket motor as it made its first powered flight since January.
SpaceShipTwo, which was attached to the underside of WhiteKnightTwo, took off at 9:19am local time (4:19pm GMT) from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.
More follows...
VIDEO-Ukraine: Oldest cinema in Kiev goes up in flames during gay film screening · PinkNews.co.uk
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:41
Kiev's oldest cinema went up in flames this week during the screening of a gay film after a smoke grenade was thrown into the audience.
A fire broke out in the Zhoten cinema at 21:41 on Wednesday and lasted for roughly five hours, it has been reported.
The flames were extinguished when 22 fire department units were called to the scene.
Although the building itself, built in 1931, was left badly damaged, none of the 100 people at the screening were injured.
Festival coordinator Aleksey Chaschin said: ''The film had been playing for 20 minutes already when people in back rows shouted: 'Smoke!'''
One of the attendees wrote on Facebook that an unknown man tossed an ''incendiary smoke grenade'' into the audience.
He said people attempted to escape the building but the emergency exits were locked. Security guards also did not know how to operate the fire extinguishers.
He added: ''In a country, where street Nazis have become police officers, no one will investigate a crime, committed by the far-right. One hand washes the other.''
It happened during a screening of the French film Les Nuits d'(C)t(C), as part of an LGBT program at the Molodist youth film festival.
Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko has promised the cinema will be rebuilt.
He said: ''The arson of the premise, which became a subject of debate and legal battles in recent years, can't be ruled out.
''We won't allow Zhovten, which became a symbol of intellectual cinema among the moviegoers in the capital, to be taken away from us.''
Despite a ban by a local court, more than a hundred LGBT rights activists held the first gay pride demonstration in the capital of Kiev last year.
In a 2007 poll 5.7% of Ukrainians said that ''gay lifestyles'' were acceptable and only 4.7% of Ukrainians stated that they thought same-sex marriage in the country was a priority.
VIDEO-NASA explosion: Antares Russian engines were 50 years old
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 02:05
Orbital have warned of 'hazardous' Antares debris as investigations begin into the rocket explosion.
CREWS searched for scorched wreckage along the Virginia coast Wednesday in hopes of figuring out why an unmanned commercial rocket exploded in a blow to NASA's strategy of using private companies to fly supplies and, eventually, astronauts to the International Space Station.
The Antares rocket, operated by Orbital Sciences Corp, blew up 15 seconds after lifting off for the space station Tuesday, lighting up the night sky and raining flaming debris on the launch site. No one was injured, but the $200 million-plus mission was a total loss.
The blast not only incinerated the cargo '-- two tons of space station food, clothes, equipment and science experiments dreamt up by schoolchildren '-- but dealt a setback to the commercial spaceflight effort championed by NASA and the White House even before the shuttle was retired.
Although the cause of the blast is still unknown, several outside experts cast suspicion on the 1960s-era Russian-built engines used in the rocket's first stage. Orbital Sciences chairman David Thompson himself said the Russian engines had presented ''some serious technical and supply challenges in the past.''
Ignited ... The moment the rocket blows up on launch.Source: AP
Inferno ... a fireball engulfed the unmanned rocket 15 seconds after blast-off. (AP Photo/Eastern Shore News, Jay Diem)Source: AP
It was the first failure after an unbroken string of successful commercial cargo flights to the space station since 2012 '-- three by Orbital and five by SpaceX, the other U.S. company hired by NASA to deliver supplies.
Mr Thompson said he expects the investigation to zero in on the cause within a week or so. The launch pad on Wallops Island appeared to have been spared major damage.
Even before Tuesday's failure, Orbital Sciences had been reviewing alternatives to the Russian-made engines, Thompson said. The company recently had selected a different main propulsion system for use in a couple of years, and the switch may be accelerated if the Russian engines prove to be the culprit, he said.
The AJ26 engines '-- modified and tested in the U.S. '-- originally were designed for the massive Soviet rockets meant to take cosmonauts to the moon during the late 1960s.
Three years ago, an AJ26 leaked kerosene fuel and ignited on the test stand at a NASA centre in Mississippi. Just this past May, another of the engines exploded during a test firing there.
In 2012, SpaceX's billionaire founder and CEO, Elon Musk, called the Antares rocket ''a punchline to a joke'' because of the Russian engines. SpaceX, by contrast, makes its own rocket parts.
''I mean they start with engines that were literally made in the '60s and, like, packed away in Siberia somewhere,'' Musk said in an interview with Wired magazine.
Russia to blame? This screenshot shows the doomed rocket moments before launch.Source: AFP
As for launching again, Thompson said he expects a delay of at least three months in the company's next flight to the space station, which had been set for April.
''We are certainly disappointed by this failure, but in no way are we discouraged or dissuaded from our objectives,'' he told investors in a phone conference.
Former NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, who helped spearhead the commercial cargo effort, noted that the Antares rocket was still in development. He and others associated with the space agency went into the program knowing that failures were likely.
''It's obviously tragic and upsetting, but we'll move on,'' Griffin told The Associated Press.
In another few years, NASA hopes to launch astronauts again from U.S. soil '-- aboard commercially supplied spacecraft.
The scene ... NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.Source: AFP
Orbital Sciences has never intended to fly anything more for NASA than cargo. The political fallout from the blast is more likely to affect SpaceX and Boeing, both of which are under NASA contract to fly Americans to the space station by 2017.
''We can't allow the one incident of the Antares vehicle loss to smear space commercialisation in Washington and on the Hill,'' Boston-based space analyst Charles Lurio said in an email.
The mood was sombre 418 km up, according to space station astronaut Butch Wilmore. He and his five crewmates were watching a live video feed of the launch and saw the whole thing.
''It's a great loss,'' Wilmore said, quickly adding that the station pantry contains four to six months' worth of food and that there is plenty of research to go around.
Potential hazards ... Fishermen and police in the waters surrounding the flight facility.Source: AFP
Debris '-- potentially hazardous because of fuel '-- plummeted into the Atlantic and onto the launch site, igniting fires. Helicopters took to the air at first light Wednesday to track down remnants. Authorities warned people to avoid touching any debris that might wash ashore.
Ash and other debris covered Chrissy Mullen's house, patio and yard on Chincoteague Island a few kilometres away. She spent the morning cleaning up.
''We thought it was raining, but then we're getting particles out of our hair,'' she said. ''The ash, the debris that was hitting our head was a little freaky.''
Carolyn Dalton watched the launch from the mainland while chaperoning four middle-school students from Colleton County, South Carolina, who had a milk-spoiling experiment aboard the rocket.
Rubber necking ... People look at the launch where the rocket blew up yesterday.Source: AFP
''People were screaming, people were crying, people were in shock,'' Dalton said.
Just hours after the accident, Russia launched a supply ship from Kazakhstan on a previously scheduled flight to the space station, and it docked smoothly. Another load of supplies should be on the way in December, delivered by SpaceX from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
NASA is paying $1.9 billion to Dulles, Virginia-based Orbital Sciences for eight cargo hauls and $1.6 billion to California's SpaceX for 12 shipments. Tuesday's flight was insured.
VIDEO-Mary Landrieu: Obama and I Are Unpopular in Louisiana Because the South Is Racist and Sexist | Washington Free Beacon
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 01:54
BY:Washington Free Beacon StaffOctober 30, 2014 6:21 pm
Senator Mary Landrieu said Thursday she thinks one of the reasons she is losing her campaign for re-election is that the state that voted her into office is sexist. Landrieu also said that President Obama is unpopular in her state because of his race.
Speaking with NBC's Chuck Todd, Landrieu said, ''I'll be very, very honest with you. The South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans.''
Pointing to herself Landrieu continued, ''It's not always been a good place for women to present ourselves. It's more of a conservative place.''
Landrieu oddly didn't mention that her low approval might stem from the fact she was the deciding vote for Obamacare. The senator also didn't note in the interview that President Obama's approval ratings are dismal in northern states as well as southern.
VIDEO-Suspected Cop Killer Eric Frein Captured After 48 Days in Pennsylvania - NBC News.com
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 01:49
Suspected cop killer Eric Frein was captured Thursday in Pennsylvania after a 48-day manhunt, law enforcement sources with direct knowledge of the arrest told NBC News.
Law enforcement sources later said Frein, 31, was captured without incident Thursday afternoon by a U.S. Marshals task force at an abandoned airfield in the Poconos resort region. A rifle and a pistol were found inside a hangar, one of the sources said.
Frein is accused of killing State Police Cpl. Bryon Dickson and wounding Trooper Alex Douglass in an ambush on the Blooming Grove barracks on Sept. 12. Police found a diary entry, his AK-47, two homemade pipe bombs and several campsites, they but hadn't been able to capture him until Thursday.
In the diary, Frein '-- a military reenactment buff and survivalist '-- described how he fled in his Jeep but got only a half-mile before he encountered a roadblock.
"Got a shot around 11 p.m. and took it," he wrote in an entry dated Sept. 12. "He dropped. I was surprised at how quick. I took a follow-up shot on his head, neck area. He was still and quiet after that.
"Another cop approached the one I just shot," Frein continued. "As he went to kneel, I took a shot at him and jumped in the door. His legs were visible and still."
At one campsite uncovered by search teams on the border of Pike and Monroe counties early this month, authorities found military-style packs, food, clothing, the two pipe bombs and .380-caliber ammunition that matched the weapon used to shoot the two troopers. Many of the items police found during the manhunt '-- including soiled diapers and trash '-- tested positive for Frein's DNA, they said.
In addition to the trooper shootings, Frein is charged with two counts of manufacturing weapons of mass destruction after the pipe bombs were found. The shrapnel-packed pipe bombs were booby-trapped with trip wires and could have caused serious injury to anyone nearby, authorities said.
IN-DEPTHSOCIAL'-- Tom Winter, M. Alex Johnson, Michael Kosnar and Jonathan Dienst
First published October 30 2014, 3:43 PM
VIDEO-Attkisson exposes C-SPAN-White House dispute - The Washington Post
Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:36
Among the juicier tidbits in the new book ''Stonewalled'' by former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson relates to a tiff between C-SPAN and the White House. As Attkisson tells the story, C-SPAN eminence Brian Lamb interviewed President Obama on Aug. 12, 2010, for a documentary on the White House. In the session, Lamb asks Obama about the Oval Office: ''What have you changed in this room?''
The president responds, ''We have not yet redecorated this room . . . Given that we are in the midst of some very difficult economic times, we decided to hold off last year in terms of making some changes.''
Two weeks later, reports Attkisson in the book, a White House official contacts C-SPAN to say, ''the Washington Post will be breaking the story of the President's reported multi-million dollar renovation of the Oval Office,'' reads ''Stonewalled.'' According to the author, the White House official, then-TV liaison Dag Vega, wanted to ''make sure'' that C-SPAN didn't run its Obama interview snippet after the story in The Post surfaced. ''The one taped just days before in which President Obama had implied, that in the spirit of austerity, there would be no Oval Office redecoration,'' writes Attkisson. Actually, the president merely said that they'd made a decision to ''hold off last year'' on the changes '-- not that the changes wouldn't be coming soon.
In any case, the White House, via Vega, wanted C-SPAN to drop the footage later, to coincide with the release of its full documentary about the White House. Not when it was most relevant, and when it would raise questions about why the president had spoken of austerity.
On Aug. 31, 2010, The Post drops its story on the Oval Office makeover, much of which took place while the Obama family had been on vacation (between the time of the Lamb interview and the story in The Post).
C-SPAN blows off the White House fussiness and publishes its interview. That very night, Josh Earnest, then the White House deputy press secretary, sends a tough e-mail to C-SPAN accusing the outlet of ''being egregiously unethical and of violating terms of the interview. Though there's no evidence of the existence of any prior agreement, he continues to insist the White House would not and did not agree to an interview with the president without specifying the terms under which it would air,'' writes Attkisson, adding that the White House official threatened to ''withhold future access.''
Of the contretemps, Attkisson concludes, ''I hate to say it, but I think many news organizations would have agreed to the White House demand to hold the president's interview, no questions asked.''
C-SPAN tells the Erik Wemple Blog that it has reviewed Attkisson's treatment of this incident and deems it accurate.
Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.


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Agenda 21

David Kenny CEO Weather channel.mp3
John Coleman - weatherchannel on Reliable sources.mp3
Banki-moon sciene has spoken 2100.mp3
Tom Steyer- "Our Opportunity in November".mp3
Graham Nash Morning Joe-Climate change KOCH BROTHERS.mp3

JCD Clips

bankinging secrecy over.mp3
boko haram update.mp3
elementary sherlock holmes says zoology.mp3
GMA on smiling.mp3
ride out the food ban.mp3
the wo technies intro.mp3
TV meme bullying is a crime.mp3
two techies summarize apple poorly.mp3


Ukraine EU-IMF gas deal.mp3



Space Fakes

China recovers experimental moon orbiter.mp3
Joel Glenn Brenner CNN Virgin-2- HAS NO TECH 10 YEARS.mp3
Joel Glenn Brenner CNN Virgin crash.mp3

Cop Killer

U.S. Marshal Explains Frein’s Injuries.mp3
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