669: Strategic Patience

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 58m
November 13th, 2014
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Executive Producers: Anonymous Baron on behalf of Tom Kumbera

Associate Executive Producers: Dame Joan d'Audiffret, William LaRock, Sir Don Kuehl, Sir Shane Peden- Knight of the Northwest Atlanta Corridor!

Cover Artist: 20wattbulb


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Notice - Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Iran
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 22:41
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
November 12, 2014
- - - - - - -
On November 14, 1979, by Executive Order 12170, the President declared a national emergency with respect to Iran and, pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706), took related steps to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States constituted by the situation in Iran. Because our relations with Iran have not yet returned to normal, and the process of implementing the agreements with Iran, dated January 19, 1981, is still under way, the national emergency declared on November 14, 1979, must continue in effect beyond November 14, 2014. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency with respect to Iran declared in Executive Order 12170. This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.
Letter - Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Iran
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 22:40
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
November 12, 2014
Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within 90 days prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the FederalRegister and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency with respect to Iran that was declared in Executive Order 12170 of November 14, 1979, is to continue in effect beyond November 14, 2014.
Because our relations with Iran have not yet returned to normal, and the process of implementing the agreements with Iran, dated January 19, 1981, is still under way, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12170 with respect to Iran.
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.
FB & Google soliciting donations
Google doubling donations
Board of Directors | Network for Good
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 20:36
The following individuals comprise the Board of Directors for the Network for Good Donor Advised Fund:
The following individuals comprise the Board of Directors for Network for Good, Inc.:
Board of Directors for the Network for Good Donor Advised Fund:
Scott CaseCo-Founder & CEO, Main Street GenomeFounding CEO, Startup America PartnershipChairman of Network for Good
Timothy "Scott" Case is a technologist, entrepreneur and inventor and was founding CTO of Priceline, the "Name Your Own Price" company that was one of only a handful of startups in US history to reach a billion dollars in annual sales in less than 24 months. As Chief Technology Officer, he was responsible for building the technology that enabled Priceline's hyper-growth.
Most recently, Scott co-founded Main Street Genome, a startup focused on developing a software representation of the entire Main Street Economy.
In 2011, Scott was named founding CEO of the Startup America Partnership, and now serves on the board of Up Global where he invests his energy to support high-growth startup communities in the U.S. and around the world.
Prior to joining the Startup America Partnership, Scott served as CEO of Malaria No More, where he worked to inspire individuals and institutions in the private sector to end deaths caused by malaria. Previously, Scott helped build a portfolio of intellectual property at the Walker Digital and is a named inventor on dozens of U.S. patents including the underlying portfolio for Priceline. Scott also co-founded Precision Training Software, a software company that developed the world's first PC-based simulated flight instructor and photo-realistic flight simulator.
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Louise FeltonVP, Global Brand Management, Creative, & Marketing Communications, McAfee (part of Intel Security)
Louise joined McAfee in 2013 to lead the global brand management, creative, and marketing communications teams, with a specific focus on developing the brand strategy, messaging, creative, and digital marketing efforts for the company. Prior to McAfee, Louise spent nearly four years at Yahoo, leading the global brand management team, with responsibilities including brand strategy and messaging, brand creative expression, portfolio strategy, and corporate social responsibility strategy and execution.
Prior to joining Yahoo, Louise spent 20 years working at leading advertising agencies on some of the strongest consumer goods, consumer services, and financial brands in the U.S. Her experience includes positioning regional brands for national strength, building national brands into category powerhouses, and repositioning old, tired brands to compete in today's competitive environment.
Louise's work with not-for-profits includes board positions with Family Caregiver Alliance and the San Francisco YMCA. She is also passionately involved with her children's schools and has volunteered in such diverse capacities as reading to terminally ill children in San Francisco hospitals and teaching orphaned, beached 300-pound elephant seals how to survive and thrive in the wild.
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Alisa GravitzExecutive Director, Green America (formerly Co-op America)
A nationally recognized leader in social and environmental responsibility, Alisa Gravitz is currently the executive director of Green America, a nonprofit investor and consumer education organization. She manages programs galvanizing a consumer-citizen force of more than one million people to urge corporations to improve their social and environmental responsibility. She also co-authored Green America's guide to social investing. Alisa is also vice president of the Social Investment Forum, a national nonprofit investment industry association. Previously, Alisa worked in the Carter Administration on energy policy. She sits on the board of directors for the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economics (CERES), the Social Venture Network, and the Positive Futures Network.
Alisa is the 1995 recipient of the Social Responsibility Investing Services Award and was recently named by Green Business Letter as one of the most important people who are changing the way companies think about the environment. She earned an MBA from Harvard and her bachelor's degree in economics and environmental sciences from Brandeis University.
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Danica RemyManaging Director, Tides
Danica Remy has been with Tides since 2003 and serves as Managing Director, previously overseeing the operations and governance functions across Tides Network which includes Tides Foundation, Tides Center and Tides Shared Spaces. Since 2008 she has been leading Tides Advocacy Fund.
Previous to Tides, she served as an executive at several organizations including Vice President of Operations for Organic, an internet strategy firm; Vice President leading investments, acquisitions and IT operations for Knowledge Universe, a $3 billion global education company; and Vice President of Engineering for Inquisit, a business intelligence service.
Additionally, Danica was Vice President for The WELL the pioneering online service and co-founder of Global Business Network. Danica serves as an officer at Tides and currently serves on the board of directors as President for Point, publisher of the Whole Earth Catalog, Chair for Greenwood School as well as is a director for Network for Good.
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Brian SasscerSenior VP, Strategic Operations, Case Foundation
For more than 20 years, Brian has worked in the private and not-for-profit sectors pioneering innovations in interactive online technologies. In 2005 Brian joined the Case Foundation to spearhead national cause-related campaigns -- applying his expertise in cutting edge technology and social media to the non-profit space. As Senior Vice President of Strategic Operations, he works with the senior management team and foundation principles to shape the overall direction and mission of one of the most innovative philanthropic organizations in the country. As part of his responsibilities, Brian oversees operations, interactive strategies and development of organization initiatives. Brian has helped to spearhead some of the country's most impactful online campaigns '' generating millions of dollars for charitable programs and inspiring hundreds thousands of people to leverage technology to make a difference. Brian's passion for his job is fueled by his desire to leverage new technologies and business strategies for social change on a local, regional, national and global level. An early online pioneer, he started his career in the late 1980's working for AOL '' America Online. As one of the company's early employees, Brian joined the small startup that would become a corporate icon. For more than a decade, Brian and his colleagues helped create a groundbreaking technology platform that allowed people for the first time ever to interact with one another and companies on the internet. As Executive Producer of E-Commerce for AOL, Brian oversaw the design, development and deployment of hundreds of E-commerce initiatives as well strategic advertising partnerships. As an expert in online giving platforms and the utilization of "tech for good", Brian serves on the board of directors and as treasurer for Network for Good, an organization which has processed more than $1 billion in online donations for over 100,000 nonprofits.
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Maureen SullivanSVP of Corporate Communications and Marketing, AOL
As Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Marketing, Maureen Sullivan is one of the key strategists at AOL, overseeing global brand development and the company's marketing and corporate communication initiatives. Sullivan serves as head of the AOL Brand and is a member of AOL's executive management team.
In this role, she has successfully led the global re-branding of AOL as well as defining AOL's brand strategy and brand portfolio. She oversees all creative elements of the AOL Brand, including the AOL brand identity and AOL Artists program. Sullivan also manages brand positioning, architecture, and AOL's internal brand research capabilities. Sullivan oversees corporate marketing initiatives and media investments, including sponsorships and brand partnerships.
Prior to AOL, Sullivan served as Chief of Staff for Tim Armstrong at Google, where she managed partnership development, and business planning. Sullivan also served as an external liaison to valued advertising customers and partners. She worked across Google's product and engineering organizations to drive business development and new initiatives as well as managed communication strategies for key customers and partners.
Previously, Sullivan was an Agency Sales Representative at Google, developing relationships with agency partners. In addition to her roles in the sales organization, she began her tenure at Google as an Associate within the Google New York Engineering organization.
Sullivan graduated magna cum laude from Stanford University where she was selected as a participant for the Stanford Business Leadership Program hosted by the Stanford Business School. She also serves on the board of the non-profit, Network For Good, an organization committed to unleashing generosity by providing a scaled digital platform for charities around the world to empower giving.
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Tien TzuoChief Executive Officer, Zuora, Inc.
Tien Tzuo joined Zuora after 9 years at salesforce.com. Tien was one of the ''original forces'' at salesforce.com, which he joined in 1999 as the 11th employee, when the company was still operating out of a house on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco. In his 9 years at salesforce.com, Tien has held a variety of executive roles in salesforce.com's technology, marketing and strategy organizations, including building out the product management & marketing organization, serving as Chief Marketing Officer for two years and most recently as Chief Strategy Officer.
Tien personally oversaw the vision, direction, and design of the first 17 release of Salesforce.com's award winning product line, including overseeing the launch of Salesforce and the AppExchange. In 2004, Tzuo was named CMO of the Year Finalist by the CMO Council and BusinessWeek Magazine. Tien is also widely recognized as one of the thought leaders in the software-as-a-service industry. His podcast on the Secrets of Salesforce is widely cited and has been downloaded over 250,000 times since it was first published.
Prior to salesforce.com, Tien was at CrossWorlds Software, where he spearheaded CrossWorlds product, marketing and sales push into the Telecommunications vertical worldwide, and at Oracle Corporation in a variety of sales and professional services roles. Mr. Tzuo holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University and a master's in business administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
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Mike YutrzenkaSenior Director, Corporate Affairs, Cisco Systems, Inc.
Michael Yutrzenka is a Senior Director in Corporate Affairs, responsible for managing a team across the APAC region, US, and Canada. His team oversees program execution, stakeholder engagement, and field CSR/business interface for the Cisco Networking Academy and other CSR investments, while developing strategy and execution plans with government agencies, NGOs and other global partners. With nineteen years experience at Cisco in a variety of roles, Michael brings a broad understanding of Cisco and the community. He joined Cisco's Corporate Affairs team in June 2000 to lead the effort to help the nonprofit sector leverage Internet technology and build collaborative partnerships. In this role he has led several programs and initiatives including the Community Fellowship Program, Leadership Fellows Program, Philanthropy Employee Engagement, Matching Gifts, Volunteerism Initiatives, and Product and Cash Grant Programs. He was appointed Executive Director of the Cisco Foundation and served from 2003 -2010. Michael currently serves on the executive committee of the board of directors for Network for Good and Catholic Charities of Santa Clara Country. He has also served on the American Red Cross Corporate Advisory Council, the Conference Board Corporate Contributions Council, and the Mind Research Institute National Advisory Committee. Michael's 25+ years of international experience in business and program leadership includes roles in business development, acquisition integration, channel partnerships, strategic account management, systems analysis, software engineering, sales, and management. Michael earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of North Dakota. When not at work or in the community, he enjoys biking, skiing, swimming and hiking with his wife and three daughters.
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Board of Directors for Network for Good, Inc.:
Scott CaseCo-Founder & CEO, Main Street GenomeFounding CEO, Startup America Partnership
Timothy "Scott" Case is a technologist, entrepreneur and inventor and was founding CTO of Priceline, the "Name Your Own Price" company that was one of only a handful of startups in US history to reach a billion dollars in annual sales in less than 24 months. As Chief Technology Officer, he was responsible for building the technology that enabled Priceline's hyper-growth.
Most recently, Scott co-founded Main Street Genome, a startup focused on developing a software representation of the entire Main Street Economy.
In 2011, Scott was named founding CEO of the Startup America Partnership, and now serves on the board of Up Global where he invests his energy to support high-growth startup communities in the U.S. and around the world.
Prior to joining the Startup America Partnership, Scott served as CEO of Malaria No More, where he worked to inspire individuals and institutions in the private sector to end deaths caused by malaria. Previously, Scott helped build a portfolio of intellectual property at the Walker Digital and is a named inventor on dozens of U.S. patents including the underlying portfolio for Priceline. Scott also co-founded Precision Training Software, a software company that developed the world's first PC-based simulated flight instructor and photo-realistic flight simulator.
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Bill StrathmannCEO, Network for Good
Bill Strathmann is Network for Good's CEO and is a member of its Board of Directors. He is a social entrepreneur, who throughout his career has traversed sectors, bringing good business practices to corporations and nonprofits alike. Bill came to Network for Good from BearingPoint, where he provided strategic planning and mergers and acquisitions consulting to corporations and nonprofit organizations across the nation. With Andersen Business Consulting, he developed and led a consulting practice serving large nonprofits including the Nature Conservancy, National Geographic Society, National Association of Home Builders, and the United Way.
Throughout his career, Bill has been an influential speaker on the topics of philanthropy, the role of technology in fundraising, corporate social responsibility, strategic planning, performance management and mergers and acquisitions. Bill is a co-author featured in the book, People to People Fundraising - How Individuals and Nonprofits can Leverage the Internet for Great Causes. He has a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Haverford College and a master's degree in business administration from the Darden School at the University of Virginia. Bill serves in advisory roles for the Nonprofit Congress, Independent Sector and the Social Enterprise Alliance, and he also serves on the boards of The Anacostia Watershed Society and The Shohola Scholarship Fund.
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Vince TalbertChairman, Board of Directors at Network for Good
Vince is an investor, advisor and educator in the Baltimore philanthropic and education community supporting efforts to transform public education. He has 25 years of marketing, Internet and credit card experience. Vince is currently the chairman of the board for Network for Good. Vince joined Network for Good after the acquisition of GiveCorps where he was CEO. Prior to GiveCorps, he was a VP at PayPal. He joined PayPal through the $1 billion acquisition of Bill Me Later, Inc. in which he was a founder and led marketing. Prior to Bill Me Later, he led Internet Marketing for First USA where he was named IAB's 1999 "Marketer of the Year". He started his career at Citibank. Vince earned his MBA at the UVA and his BS at Towson University.
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Tien TzuoChief Executive Officer, Zuora, Inc.
Tien Tzuo joined Zuora after 9 years at salesforce.com. Tien was one of the ''original forces'' at salesforce.com, which he joined in 1999 as the 11th employee, when the company was still operating out of a house on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco. In his 9 years at salesforce.com, Tien has held a variety of executive roles in salesforce.com's technology, marketing and strategy organizations, including building out the product management & marketing organization, serving as Chief Marketing Officer for two years and most recently as Chief Strategy Officer.
Tien personally oversaw the vision, direction, and design of the first 17 release of Salesforce.com's award winning product line, including overseeing the launch of Salesforce and the AppExchange. In 2004, Tzuo was named CMO of the Year Finalist by the CMO Council and BusinessWeek Magazine. Tien is also widely recognized as one of the thought leaders in the software-as-a-service industry. His podcast on the Secrets of Salesforce is widely cited and has been downloaded over 250,000 times since it was first published.
Prior to salesforce.com, Tien was at CrossWorlds Software, where he spearheaded CrossWorlds product, marketing and sales push into the Telecommunications vertical worldwide, and at Oracle Corporation in a variety of sales and professional services roles. Mr. Tzuo holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University and a master's in business administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
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David WarnockManaging Partner, Camden
David is Senior Partner with Camden Partners and co-founded the firm in 1995. He has over 25 years of investment experience and focuses on investments in the business and education sectors. He serves as Chairman of New Horizons Worldwide, Inc. and Calvert Education Services, LLC. In addition, he is a director of National American University, Primo Water Corporation, Questar Assessment, Inc., Triumph Higher Education Group, Networks For Good, and Ranir, LLC. He formerly served on the board of American Public Education, Inc., Nobel Learning Communities, Inc. and, Towne Park, Ltd., all of which are Camden Partners portfolio companies.
David was employed by T. Rowe Price Associates from 1983-1995. He served as President of T. Rowe Price Strategic Partners I & II as well as co-manager of the T. Rowe Price New Horizons Fund. David started his career at Welch and Forbes, Boston-based private trustees.
David is also involved with numerous non-profit organizations. He is the Chairman of the Center for Urban Families as well as the Warnock Foundation. He is Founder and Trustee of the Green Street Academy in Baltimore City. He also serves on the board of the Greater Baltimore Committee and is a trustee of the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.
David earned a B.A. degree from the University of Delaware and a M.S. (in Finance) from the University of Wisconsin. David is also a Chartered Financial Analyst Charterholder.
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FEMA's ''Pandemic Influenza Wave 1 Full Scale Exercise'' scheduled for November 13th | The Daily Unconstitutional
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 23:07
Is an Ebola false flag event be about to unfold?FEMA's own website says ''yes'' '' but they are calling it a ''training exercise'' -unless they should decide to create another fake emergency for the media to broadcast, in which case it will become another false flag event.
Federal agency orchestrated ''drills'', also called ''training exercises'' in federal agency lingo, have been connected with every recent major American news event that has had anything to do with possible endangerment to public safety.
What's really motivating and driving the actions of the DHS, FEMA, FBI, CIA, and a host of other agencies who claim to be working for our public safety?
Who is the SIFMA?The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) recently published this recap of the event sequence of a training exercise apparently designed to prepare federal agencies for response in case of the development of an Ebola pandemic. According to this document, the program is currently scheduled to begin taking place in the next few days.
Did you get that title, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association? According to SIFMA's website, the group ''represents hundreds of securities firms, banks, and asset managers.'' That sounds reasonable '' an investment information group.
What could a professional group which manages investments and securities have to do with FEMA emergency pandemic exercises? When you donate a dollar to help find a cure for Ebola, where is your dollar going?
I don't have any answers, but I do know that there appears to be a connection. I'm just asking some questions.This page detailing the planned Ebola pandemic training drill,
appears on the SIFMA website. One of the contacts on this FEMA document is a man named Karl Schimmick, a CEO of the SIFMA.
An overview of the pandemic training exercise and schedule is also found there. http://www.sifma.org/services/bcp/fema-pandemic-exercise-series/.
DHS training drills and major news event history in the United StatesNumerous federally conducted ''drills'' presented in recent years to the public as actual events have turned out to be full scale faked emergencies. The public is led to believe in the reality of these events via manipulated media presentations. ''False flag'' events have historically been popular methods by which governments have deceptively achieved specific political objectives.
The history of American false flag eventsFalse flag events are politically motivated. In the most extreme cases, a false flag event is used to justify war. The creation of fabricated news events in the pursuit of political objectives is nothing new. The United States has for nearly two centuries staged false flag events as a pretense to war. An informative summary of the American history false flags can be found on 911review.com.
The Boston Marathon ''Bombing''The so-called Boston marathon bombing didn't go down as it was presented by mainstream media reports. Interestingly, the DHS admits that the entire event was planned as a training exercise months before the alleged bombing took place. ''Operation Urban Shield'' was planned many months before the Boston Marathon. Eyewitness accounts reported the presence of bomb sniffing dogs under the control of bomb squads along the marathon route on the morning of the event. Yet nothing was uncovered. The line of distinction between the ''training exercise'' and the alleged bombing itself is blurry. Evidence points strongly to the possibility that the bombing was an integral part of a ''training exercise'' funded by a $200,000 Homeland Security grant.
The ''bombing'' was then followed by a test of the willingness of the American people to endure martial law in exchange for a false sense of security. Under the direction if the FBI, police SWAT teams performed unwarranted house to house searches on Boston residences in the pursuit of an alleged criminal.
The Sandy Hook ''Shootings''Significant evidence supports the position that this event also was pulled off by government insiders. It's quite possible that nobody at all died at Sandy Hook. The alleged incident may have been trumped up for the purpose of creating public fervor for panic legislation which would outlaw ''assault rifles'' Errors in the cover up are just too numerous to ignore. Sandy Hook, too may have been one huge deceptive government orchestrated scam.
The 911 ''Terror Attacks''Perhaps the largest hoax ever perpetrated upon the American people was the events which took place on September 11, 2001.
More than 3,000 people died on September 11, 2001, but it's possible that the real terrorists are operating within, and as, our own federal agencies. Informed readers are familiar with a growing mountain of scientifically backed physical evidence, as well as testimonial evidence from high offices, that the lives of more than 3,000 people were sacrificed by Washington insiders as pretence to wage war on Iraq.
Could an Ebola false flag event be coming?Check out the links above from FEMA and the SIFMA and draw your own conclusions. The drill might be turned into a false flag event, or perhaps it won't. The facts remain that the drill is scheduled to take place, and that many previous drills have been turned into dramatic faked newsworthy events.
If American people were to become proactive in exposing the deceptive actions of our supposed ''security'' agencies, false flag events and their consequences could be more easily prevented. Innocent lives would be spared in proportion as Americans learn to replace their trust in mainstream news sources with real grass roots information
Be prepared and don't be surprised if a supposed Ebola pandemic in the northeast is announced in conjunction with FEMA's training exercises in the next couple of days, or in coming weeks.
It might happen, or it might not happen. The truth is powerful. For open minded readers, here are a few more links to contemplate. If you're serious about discovering the truth, you'll be busy for a while.
MSF says new strategy needed to fight Ebola - Africa - Al Jazeera English
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 17:15
The medical aid agency Doctors Without Borders has called for a change of strategy in the fight against Ebola in Liberia, urging donors to finance rapid-response teams rather than huge isolation units.
MSF said on Monday it was seeing a decline in the number of patients admitted to case-management centres in Liberia for the first time since the outbreak started, but warned that new hotspots continue to emerge.
The global response must adapt to this new phase of the epidemic, MSF said.
"Priority should be given to a more flexible approach that allows a rapid response to new outbreaks and gets the regular healthcare system safely up and running again," Fasil Tezera, MSF head of operations in Liberia, said.
"Isolation units in Monrovia and some other parts of the country now have adequate capacity and we must adapt the strategy if we want to stay ahead of the curve and beat the epidemic."
MSF said the fight to contain the epidemic should now focus on deploying teams quickly to new hotspots to isolate patients, trace people who have been in contact with the sick, organise safe burials and carry out disinfection.
It says its 250-bed ELWA3 centre in Monrovia is treating around 50 patients, while in the northern town of Foya, at the epicentre of the outbreak, the number of patients fell to zero on October 30, with no confirmed cases since.
Signficant dips
MSF says the case numbers could rise again, as happened in Guinea following two significant dips in admissions to the charity's facilities.
"In Foya, we believe this comprehensive approach, as well as active engagement by the community, has led to a steady reduction of cases across the county," Nico Heijenberg, MSF emergency coordinator, said.
The charity has about 3,300 staff across Liberia and neighbouring Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Ebola virus disease, a tropical fever which is estimated to have a fatality rate of around 70 percent in the current outbreak, is transmitted through contact with infected bodily fluids.
The UN World Health Organisation is reporting about 5,000 deaths and 13,000 infections globally, although it has warned that this official toll could be the tip of the iceberg.
WHO has also confirmed a slowdown in the spread of the virus in hardest-hit Liberia, where 2,697 people have died out of a total of 6,525 cases.
But officials from various UN agencies and the Liberian government have warned against complacency.
Ebola virus: Second outbreak in Mali as imam and nurse who treated him die of disease - Africa - World - The Independent
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 23:03
Tests did not confirm the cause of their illness until Tuesday, when the World Health Organisation (WHO) had already released a statement saying ''confidence was growing'' that the deadly virus would not spread in Mali almost three weeks after the death of its first victim.
The latest fatalities are not believed to be linked to the two-year-old girl who died from Ebola on 24 October after travelling from Guinea '' one of the three countries worst-hit by the disease.
The news is an alarming setback for Malian health authorities trying to shield the country from the epidemic, which has killed almost 5,000 people so far.
Dozens of staff at the clinic where the imam died, in the capital of Bamako, have been quarantined along with the victims' friends and families.
The 70-year-old imam, from the border town of Kouremale, was never tested for Ebola and his body was washed in Mali before being returned to Guinea for burial without any precautions, raising the risk of transmission.
No infectious procedures were activated because the man was not diagnosed with Ebola Officials are searching the city of two million for those who helped prepare the body after he died on 27 October.
The head of Polyclinique Pasteur said that when the imam arrived late at night two days before, he was too ill to tell staff information about his symptoms.
''His family did not give us all the information that would have led us to suspect Ebola,'' Dramane Maiga told the Associated Press.
Read more: Two-year-old dies of Ebola in Mali'No Ebola vaccine because only affected poor African countries'This is how much of Africa is really affectedUnaware of the cause of his illness, doctors at the Bamako hospital treated him for renal insufficiency, which can result from kidney disease but is also a symptom of late-stage Ebola, when vital organs begin to shut down.
The nurse was hospitalised on Saturday but officials did not alert the health ministry until Monday morning and by the time the test results came back on Tuesday, she was already dead.
Two aid workers said that another person who lived in the house where the imam stayed in Bamako had died this week and a doctor at the Polyclinique Pasteur is also believed to have contracted Ebola.
Emergency programs coordinator at Mali's Health Ministry Samba Sow (2nd R) speaks to journalists ''For the moment we have 30 people under observation at Polyclinique Pasteur - including 16 patients - along with 45 family members,'' said Ousmane Doumbia, secretary-general for the Malian health ministry.
The latest outbreak demonstrates the continued difficulty of stopping the transmission of Ebola and diagnosing the disease, which shares early symptoms with many less serious illnesses.
Mali's first outbreak started with a two-year-old girl who had travelled with relatives on a bus from Guinea to Mali with a bleeding nose. About 50 other people who had possible contact with her remain under observation in Kayes, 375 miles from Bamako.
They will be released from quarantine in four days if they show no symptoms.
In a statement on Tuesday, WHO said the toddler was being taken away from her home country into the care of relatives because her father '' a Red Cross worker in contact with Ebola patients '' grandfather, grandmother and two uncles had died.
The first deaths were classified as ''unknown causes'' and the father fled his village because he was deemed the victim of a bad-luck ''curse''.
It was not until the final men who died tested positive for Ebola that officials realised that was the probable cause of all illness in the family.
A spokesperson for WHO said an isolation facility at the Centre for Vaccine Development in Bamako was available for use, as well as biosafety level three laboratory to conduct Ebola tests.
Additional reporting by agencies
allAfrica.com: Mali Confirms New Case of Ebola
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:24
By Boakai FofanaMonrovia '-- Officials in Mali have confirmed the country's second case of Ebola, the BBC is reporting.
The new case - a nurse who died after treating a man from Guinea - is said to be unrelated to the first victim, a two-year-old Guinean girl who died in October.
This comes just as the World Health Organization started to lift the quarantine it had placed on scores of people who might have come in contact with the "index case" '' a public health reference to the first case. Information Minister Mahamadou Camara posted on Twitter that "preventative measures" were being taken. Police have been deployed outside a clinic in Bamako which authorities say is being quarantined, according to Reuters.
Mali becomes the sixth West Africa country affected by Ebola, although WHO has since declared Nigeria and Senegal free of the virus. Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone remain the worst-affected nations. Nearly 5,000 people have died from the disease since the outbreak began in March.
Band Aid 30 | BUY THE SONG. STOP THE VIRUS. #BandAid30
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 23:57
The Band Aid team is gifting an opportunity of a lifetime for one lucky winner and their guest to attend the live recording of the Band Aid 30 official single this weekend. The winner will attend the day's recording alongside the best of British music.
A chance to witness history in the making, he or she will be mixing with the likes of ''Expected artists include'': One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, Sam Smith, Emeli Sande, Elbow, plus many more.
To be in with a chance of winning this phenomenal prize, text AID to 88833. Texts cost £1.50 plus standard network rate and all profits from the competition will be made as donation to Band Aid to help the intervention and prevention of the spread of Ebola.
Competition closes midday Thursday 13th November. The winner will be selected and contacted by Friday 14th November, and must be available on Saturday 15th November to facilitate the prize. Free entry and terms and conditions Texts cost £1.50 plus standard network rates. 100% of your entry (subject to VAT @ 20%) will be donated to Band Aid 30.
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Thu, 13 Nov 2014 00:07
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The Charities Act 2011 requires all registered charities to prepare a Trustees' Annual Report (TAR) and accounts.
Registered charities with a financial period ending on or after 1 April 2009 must send their TAR and accounts to the Commission if their income was greater than £25,000. For financial periods earlier than this charities were required to send the documents if the income was greater than £10,000.
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Harvey Goldsmith - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 00:07
Harvey GoldsmithCBEBorn(1946-03-04)4 March 1946Edgware, Middlesex,England, UKNationalityEnglishCitizenshipUKOccupationPromoter of The Performing ArtsYears active1966-presentEmployerHarvey GoldsmithEntertainments LtdHarvey GoldsmithProductions LtdArtiste ManagementProductions LtdKnown forPerforming Arts promotions, Live Aid, Live 8TitleHarvey Goldsmith CBEWebsiteHarveygoldsmith.comHarvey GoldsmithCBE (born 4 March 1946 in Edgware, Middlesex) is an Englishperforming arts promoter. He is best known as promoter of rock concerts, charity concerts, television broadcasts for the Prince's Trust and more recently the Teenage Cancer Trust shows at the Royal Albert Hall.
During early 2007 he appeared on the Channel 4 programme Get Your Act Together with Harvey Goldsmith. In October the same year he promoted a reunion concert for surviving members of Led Zeppelin in memory of Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Erteg¼n, which was held at The O2 Arena.[1]
Harvey Goldsmith has produced, managed and promoted shows with most of the world's major artists including; Yes, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, The Eagles, Elton John, U2, Rolf Harris, Madonna, Andrea Bocelli, Muse (band), Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Bruce Springsteen, Santana, Luciano Pavarotti, Sheryl Crow, Shania Twain, Bee Gees, Jools Holland, Marti Pellow, Oasis, Paul Weller, Rod Stewart, Diana Ross, Saxon, Shirley Bassey, Family, Ronan Keating, Gabrielle, Richard Hawley, Coldplay, Nigel Kennedy, Eric Clapton, Richard Ashcroft, Ash, Asian Dub Foundation, Supergrass, Doves, Madness, Aswad, David Gray, Streetwalkers, The Black Eyed Peas, John Legend, Nelly Furtado, Scissor Sisters, Van Morrison, Iron Maiden, Whitesnake, Passionate Friends, Sting and many others. In 2009 Goldsmith became manager for the rock guitarist Jeff Beck.[2]
Born on 4 March 1946 to a Jewish family in Edgware, Middlesex, Goldsmith started out as a pharmacy student in Brighton, East Sussex[1] where he founded Club 66, a successful weekly student livemusic venue and organized larger events at the Brighton Metropole. By the end of that decade Goldsmith had created rock music events, such as the Crystal Palace Garden Parties. A decade later the concerts had moved to larger Stadiums and he had established Wembley Stadium as a major venue for the top artists of the world. In 1975, he was the promoter behind the Loftus Road Concert at Queens Park Rangers Stadium for Yes, when they were touring their Relayer album.
During 1978 Goldsmith promoted the first major global TV event The Concerts for Kampuchea at Hammersmith Odeon, London, featuring artists including Paul McCartney, Queen and The Who. The event raised over $2 million from worldwide sales.
In 1985, Goldsmith organised Live Aid with Bob Geldof which became a £140 million fundraising venture within ten weeks. Live Aid was the first ever "Global Juke Box" featuring two simultaneous concerts, at Wembley Stadium in the UK and JFK Stadium in the US, with over sixty countries showing the seventeen-hour event live on television.
Following the success of Live Aid Goldsmith became involved with concerts in aid of Human Rights, including a worldwide Amnesty Tour. He joined the The Prince's Trust in 1982 and produced the first Princes Trust Rock Gala. Goldsmith then became a member of the The Prince's Trust Board and Vice Chairman of Prince's Trust Trading Ltd.[1]
In 1986, he promotedLuciano Pavarotti at Wembley Arena. It was because of Goldsmith's expertise in staging charity events that his company Harvey Goldsmith Artiste Management productions was brought in as executive producers of the 1990 live performance of Pink Floyd's The Wall, from Berlin. Due to the success of these concerts, Pavrotti agreed to perform at a free concert in Hyde Park, which was organised by Goldsmith in 1991. This concert was part of Pavarotti's 30th anniversary celebrations and attracted 125,000 people.[3]
In 1992 Goldsmith organized A Tribute to Freddie Mercury to increase Aids awareness and this was a live TV success. In the same year he became Chairman of the first National Music Day, which was instigated to promote the importance of music in UK and Goldsmith arranged a programme of fifteen-hundred musical events nationwide, covering all musical styles. Goldsmith persuaded Pavarotti to return and perform again in UK at the Leeds Castle in Kent during 1993. In 1994 under the auspices of HRH The Prince of Wales and President Havel of the Czech Republic, Goldsmith was appointed Executive Producer of The Prague Heritage Fund Gala Classical Concert. This concert featured Sir Georg Solti, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Murray Perahia also Gabriela BeÅačkov and was televised worldwide.
In 1994 Harvey Goldsmith started to work with Cirque du Soleil. This has been one of most successful shows to perform in the UK, returning to London's Royal Albert Hall on a regular basis. The show is seen by around 183,000 people and sells in the region of 98% of tickets. In 2005 Goldsmith managed the show in London, Birmingham and Manchester. This marked the first time in Europe for having three different productions in the same Country. He continues to promotes this show. Between 1996 and 1998 Harvey Goldsmith oversaw spectacular productions of the Lord of the Dance musical, which featured Michael Flatley in the leading role. he also promoted Pavarotti for a fourth time, in Manchester during 1997.
In October 2002 Goldsmith promoted Bruce Springsteen at Wembley Arena, the tickets for this show sold out in forty minutes making it one of his most successful promotions to date. This was followed by three sell out stadium shows in May 2003. In November 2006 Harvey produced the UK Arena dates of Bruce Springsteen's sell-out tour with the Seeger Sessions band.
In January 2006 Harvey was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres from the French Minister of Culture. he presented the dance spectacular The Merchants of Bollywood, the first ever Bollywood production to tour straight from Film City in Mumbai. The show toured the UK and opened at the Hammersmith Apollo in London on 21 December 2006. Goldsmith was honoured with the 15th Music Industry Trust's Award (MITS) in October 2006, one of the highest accolades to be awarded in the music industry, in recognition of his contribution to the music industry.[4] In the same year, Midem[5] honoured The Live Aid founders and Live 8 producers Harvey Goldsmith, Bob Geldof and John Kennedy OBE, with the Midem Personality of the Year Award, which was awarded in recognition of their outstanding work in bringing the music industry together to help alleviate poverty and famine in Africa. It was the first time in the seventeen-year history of Midem, that this accolade was awarded to more than one person.[6] In the Queen's Birthday Honours 2007 Goldsmith was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his work in the entertainment industry.[citation needed] In the same year he promoted a six month European tour of The Merchants of Bollywood.[1]
In May and June 2008 Harvey brought Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band back to the UK. They played at Manchester Old Trafford Stadium, London Emirates Stadium and Cardiff Millennium Stadium. This was the first concert ever held at the Emirates Football Stadium. In October 2008 Harvey produced 'Salute Petra', the official tribute concert to the life of Luciano Pavarotti held in Petra, Jordan under the patronage of HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein. The tribute featured artists from the world of Opera (Angela Gheorghiu, Andrea Bocelli, Jos(C) Carreras, Plcido Domingo to name a few) as well as pop artists such as Sting, Zucchero, Laura Pausini and many more. The spectacular concert was filmed and made into a DVD, whose sales raised money for the UN Fund for Refugees. In November 2008 Harvey was honoured with the Armand de Brignac VIP Award from Classic Rock Magazine and he also picked up the award for Event of the Year for the Led Zeppelin concert at the O2 Arena in honour of Ahmet Ertegun. In December 2008 Harvey took over the management of Jeff Beck after the two saw each other at the Classic Rock awards where they were both collecting awards.
The National Outdoor Events Association(NOEA) presented Harvey with the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Outdoor Events Industry in February 2009. The British Music Experience opened at the O2 Arena in March 2009 and Harvey is Chairman of the Foundation and Chairman of the Board. The BME is a registered charity and is the UK's museum of music history, with the purpose to advance the education and appreciation of the art, history and science of music in Britain. Already it has helped over 14,000 students in the last year and administered over £140,000 in Education Grants for the local community. In September 2009 Harvey produced the Tower Festival in the Tower of London which ran for 10 days and weeks later 'Last Night of the Poms' starring Dame Edna and Sir Les Patterson went on Tour around the UK reviving the hit show from 28 years ago. Before the year was out, Harvey produced Andrea Bocelli's UK tour in conjunction with Kilimanjaro, and also produced the first tour by Yusuf (formerly known as Cat Stevens) for nearly thirty years. The tour ended with an incredible night at the Royal Albert Hall, which featured a preview section of Yusuf's new musical 'Moonshadow'.
2010 has seen the release of Jeff Beck's first studio album in over six years, released on Rhino. In support of this album, entitled 'Emotion & Commotion' Jeff Beck has embarked on a major World Tour of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, USA and Europe. This summer will also see Harvey put legendary rock band Faces back together to perform a handful of UK dates. In April 2010 Harvey was honoured with the International Music Person of The Year for his outstanding contributions to the Music Industry at the Musexpo by the City of West Hollywood.
Harvey promoted a concert at the beginning of 2011 for the charity Killing Cancer with a line up of artists including Richard Ashcroft, Bryan Adams, Jeff Beck, Debbie Harry and The Who. In February 2011 Harvey produced 'City Rocks'. An iconic event which was in support of the Lord Mayor's Appeal, attended by The Rt Hon, The Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Michael Bear and the Lady Mayoress, Barbara Bear. City Rocks was the first major rock concert to be held in the City of London. In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the institution's music education, Harvey was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from Ravensbourne, the university sector college innovating in digital media and design in September 2011. Harvey Chaired the Judges Panel for the Editorial Intelligence Awards in October 2011 and became a Board Member.The Lord Mayor of London honoured Harvey with The Freedom of the City in November 2011.In December 2011, Harvey became Event 100 Club's most influential person in the Events business. As Chairman of Ignite, Harvey took the agency to new levels in 2011.
As part of HM The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in May 2012, Harvey received The Diamond Award, for his contribution to The Arts.
July 2012, The University of Brighton presented Harvey with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Arts.
In August 2014, Goldsmith was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.[7]
Promotion companies[edit]In 1973 he formed Artiste Management Productions Limited, to produce and manage Artists in the Music Industry.[1]In 1976 Harvey Goldsmith Entertainments Limited was formed which became the UK's leading Promoter of Concerts and Events.[1]In 2002 Harvey Goldsmith Productions was formed to carry on the legacy of leading Concert and Events promotions.[8]References[edit]External links[edit]PersondataNameGoldsmith, HarveyAlternative namesShort descriptionBritish music promoterDate of birth1946-05-04Place of birthEdgware, Middlesex, UKDate of deathPlace of death
California Nurses Say They'll Strike, Without Talking Wages : Shots - Health News : NPR
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 20:58
A nurse at the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco protests lack of Ebola preparedness in October. The issue will be the focus of national demonstrations Wednesday. Justin Sullivan/Getty Imageshide caption
itoggle caption Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesA nurse at the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco protests lack of Ebola preparedness in October. The issue will be the focus of national demonstrations Wednesday.
Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesAs many as 18,000 nurses in Northern California are preparing for a two-day strike that will start Tuesday. Nurses plan to leave their posts at 7 a.m. and picket outside 21 Kaiser Permanente medical centers and clinics.
The placards nurses carry and the chants they repeat will say little about salaries or pensions. No economic proposals have even been put on the bargaining table yet.
"This seems awfully quick to go to a strike," says Joanne Spetz, an economics professor at the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing. "I can't recall a situation where a strike has come up where there has not been some kind of disagreement about wages and benefits as part of the package."
Instead, nurses are focusing on more than 35 operational proposals that remain unresolved after three months of bargaining. These demands include a call to fill more than 2,000 nursing positions that have been vacated in the last three years, better protections for use of sick leave or more flexibility over breaks, and more training and education.
Both sides have leaned on the recent Ebola scare to try to win PR points with the public. Nurses have demanded better protective gear and more training for caring with potential Ebola patients '-- calls that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention heeded by updating its federal guidelines last month. Kaiser nurses say they still want more, and have timed the second day of their strike to coincide with nurse demonstrations across the country in a "National Day of Action" over Ebola preparedness.
The hospital system has tried to turn that argument around in light of the work stoppage.
"We are baffled by the union's tactics at this critical time," read an ad that Kaiser ran in Northern California newspapers Monday. Calling a strike now, "just as we are entering flu season, and when the nation and our members are concerned about the risk of Ebola, seems particularly irresponsible."
Kaiser Permanente is running ads in Northern California papers in advance of the proposed strike. Lisa Aliferis/KQEDhide caption
itoggle caption Lisa Aliferis/KQEDThe hospital system has hired and trained more than 2,800 temporary nurses to staff its medical centers while its regular nurses are on strike, a stopgap that costs as much as $20 million per day, Kaiser says. Some elective surgeries and non-urgent appointments will be rescheduled to ease pressure on the system.
"Our main concern is patient care issues and safe staffing," says Zenei Cortez, co-president of the California Nurses Association and chair of the bargaining team for the Kaiser nurses.
She says Kaiser will only agree to changes that are "cost neutral," which is one reason the proposals are stuck in limbo.
The main tension in the negotiations is over what's not being said. Nurses say they are eager to incorporate the subject of wages and benefits into the negotiation. While they have made no formal economic proposals, they have stated that they are seeking the status quo: no cuts.
Kaiser is quiet on this. It has not put forward any of its own proposals yet. The hospital system said in a statement that it prefers to resolve a majority of the "other issues the union has already put on the table and then add our wage and benefit proposals to the mix."
Experts say this is all unusual. But the move to isolate patient care demands from economics could be a strategy on either side, says Spetz.
Because the nurses' patient-care proposals would both cost money and create a benefit to nurses in their working conditions '-- by reducing workload, for example '-- it makes sense that they would want to balance these requests against any proposed changes to salary and benefits.
"Usually these all get negotiated as a group," says Spetz.
Kaiser may prefer to separate the issues as a way to strengthen its position when negotiating over wages and pensions. Nurses in California are among the few private professions to still have pensions.
But nurses may benefit from the separation, too, now that they've called a strike.
"To the extent the union can clearly state what exactly their concerns are and argue that Kaiser is not listening, that can bring a lot of public sympathy," Spetz says. "It does not benefit Kaiser to be perceived as (being) against patient safety."
Tetanus vaccines found spiked with sterilization chemical to carry out race-based genocide against Africans - NaturalNews.com
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 20:52
(NaturalNews) Tetanus vaccines given to millions of young women in Kenya have been confirmed by laboratories to contain a sterilization chemical that causes miscarriages, reports the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association, a pro-vaccine organization.A whopping 2.3 million young girls and women are in the process of being given the vaccine, pushed by UNICEF and the World Health Organization.
"We sent six samples from around Kenya to laboratories in South Africa. They tested positive for the HCG antigen," Dr. Muhame Ngare of the Mercy Medical Centre in Nairobi told LifeSiteNews. "They were all laced with HCG."
HCG is a chemical developed by the World Health Organization for sterilization purposes. When injected into the body of a young woman, it causes a pregnancy to be destroyed by the body's own antibody response to the HCG, resulting in a spontaneous abortion. Its effectiveness lasts for years, causing abortions in women up to three years after the injections.Dr. Ngare explained "...this WHO campaign is not about eradicating neonatal tetanus but a well-coordinated forceful population control mass sterilization exercise using a proven fertility regulating vaccine."
The Kenyan government, of course, insists the vaccine is perfectly safe. Dr. Tabu of Kenya's Health Ministry even told the media that because some young women are still having babies, the vaccine therefore must not contain any sterilization agent. However, this claim belies the fact that HCG doesn't work 100% of the time. It only sterilizes the majority of those injected with it, not all of them.
More importantly, the Kenyan Catholic Church is a pro-vaccine organization. "What reason do the Catholic doctors have for lying?" asked Dr. Ngare as reported in the LifeSiteNews article linked above. "The Catholic Church has been here in Kenya providing health care and vaccinating for 100 years for longer than Kenya has existed as a country."
In other words, the very group exposing the sterilization agenda of the tetanus vaccines is in fact a pro-vaccination group. Yet even they have now come to realize the horrifying truth: vaccines are the perfect vector for governments to deviously insert covert chemical or viral agents which are never revealed to the public.
What really raised red flags about this so-called tetanus vaccine was the highly unusual inoculation schedule. This vaccine demanded five shots over two years -- a schedule that isn't used for tetanus."The only time tetanus vaccine has been given in five doses is when it is used as a carrier in fertility regulating vaccines laced with the pregnancy hormone, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) developed by WHO in 1992." explained Dr. Ngare.
Furthermore, the vaccine was only being given to women of child-bearing years, not men or women beyond the age of fertility.
As Dr. Ngare explains, the same vaccine sterilization campaign was used in 1993 in Mexico and both Nicaragua and the Philippines in 1994. WHO attempted to bring it to Kenya in the 1990's, Ngare says, but the effort was stopped by the Catholic Church.
According to Brian Clowes of Human Life International, the United Nations is not refuting the laboratory testing and confirmation of HCG in the vaccines. Instead, it claims some vaccines were "contaminated" in the manufacturing process -- an absurd claim that no reasonable person would believe because HCG should never even be anywhere near a vaccine manufacturing operation unless someone put it there deliberately.
LifeSiteNews reports that it:
has obtained a UN report on an August 1992 meeting at its world headquarters in Geneva of 10 scientists from "Australia, Europe, India and the U.S.A" and 10 "women's health advocates" from around the world, to discuss the use of "fertility regulating vaccines." It describes the "anti-Human Chorionic Gonadotropin vaccine" as the most advanced.
Read the full report from LifeSiteNews at:http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/a-mass-ster...
You will not see this news reported by any mainstream media outlet in the United States. All truth about vaccines is censored, even if the truth is that the United Nations is deliberately engaged in a campaign of vaccine genocide against people of Africa.What is happening in Kenya is a crime against humanity, and it is a crime committed with deliberate racial discrimination. Normally, the liberal media in the United States would be all over a story involving racial discrimination and genocide -- or even a single police shooting of a black teenager -- but because this genocide is being committed with vaccines, the entire mainstream media excuses it. Apparently, medical crimes against black people are perfectly acceptable to the liberal media as long as vaccines are used as the weapon.
As this story clearly demonstrates, "vaccine violence" is very real in our world. Vaccines are the perfect weapon for population control for several reasons:
1) Nobody really knows what's in them.2) They can be easily spiked with hidden chemicals.3) They can be administered under the cover of "public health."4) All governments and establishment media will deliberately collaborate with the genocide in order to protect vaccines from being recognized as medical weapons against women.
Thus, vaccines can be routinely used to inject populations with birth control chemicals or even stealth cancer viruses. In fact, this is exactly what happened to as many as 98 million Americans during the mass polio vaccinations of the 1960's and 70's. The CDC even documented the "accidental" injection of millions of Americans with the cancer-causing SV40 simian virus, but the agency scrubbed all that history from its website in 2013.
In Kenya today, government authorities also claim the sterilization chemical was an "accidental" contamination. That's the excuse that can always be used as a cover story in weaponized vaccination schemes, where governments deliberately taint vaccines with known chemicals that end life, promote cancer or cause spontaneous abortions.
The deliberate adding of HCG to vaccines without full disclosure to the population is a heinous violation of human rights and human dignity. Here are just a few of the crimes now being committed against humanity under the guise of vaccinations:CRIME #1) No informed consent. None of these women in Kenya were told the truth that they were being injected with a sterilization chemical designed to cause infertility.
CRIME #2) Race-based genocide. The targeting of Kenyan women with this vaccine is a deliberate selection based on their race. By any reasonable standard, this would be called a racially-motivated hate crime resulting in genocide.
CRIME #3) The deliberate killing of a human being. The spontaneous abortions caused by these HCG-spiked vaccines results in the ending of a human life inside the mother's body. These killings take place without the consent or permission of the mother, nor any opportunity for defense of the life of the unborn child.
CRIME #4) Violation of Geneva Convention limitations on medical experimentation. All these Kenyan women injected with this vaccine are being used as human guinea pigs in a covert, criminal medical experiment. None of these women voluntarily signed up for this medical experiment, nor were they even informed. This is a medical crime against human beings.
CRIME #5) Crimes against women. Only women were selected for this targeted sterilization vaccine effort, proving that this is not only a race-based crime but also a gender-based crime against women.
If you add all this up, you've got weaponized vaccines being intentionally spiked with a known sterilization chemical developed by the WHO, then deployed in a racially-motivated genocidal manner that targets women to be used in an illegal medical experiment administered via vaccine inoculations.
Yet, despite all this, the mainstream media is perfectly okay with this activity. The World Health Organizations endorses it. The United Nations organizes it. Governments help fund it. Vaccine-pushing scientists excuse it. Media outlets cover it up and censor the story, hoping you don't read Natural News or Life Site News to learn the truth.When pharmacies in your neighborhood push flu shots and other vaccines, they don't tell you they are part of a branch of medicine steeped in genocide, racially-motivated hate crimes and a medical war on women. They don't tell you that flu shots still contain toxic mercury at concentrations 100 times the mercury found in ocean fish. They don't tell you anything about what's in those vaccines for the same reason that women in Kenya are never told what's in them, either.
The truth is that vaccines are easily deployed as weapons against humanity under the false cover story that they are saving humanity. What better way to pursue deliberate chemically-induced population control than to convince people they are being injected "for their own good?"This is precisely why Bill Gates famously said:
The world today has 6.8 billion people... that's headed up to about 9 billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.
Why would Bill Gates be talking about vaccines REDUCING human population if vaccines didn't secretly contain sterilization agents? Remember, Gates is the same person who has funded all sorts of sterilization technologies including one that blasts men's scrotums with high-intensity sound waves to make them infertile.
Gates is part of a covert medical cabal that believes aggressive human depopulation is urgently necessary to save the planet. This group, which includes many scientists and virologists, believe that the most effective tools for human depopulation are:1) Vaccines which are covertly spiked with sterilization chemicals.2) Genetically engineered viruses with a high mortality rate, possibly engineered to target specific races and genetic profiles.
For example, Dr. Charles Arntzen, head of The Biodesign Institute for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology recently joked about using an engineered virus to cull the human population, saying "That's the answer! Go out and use genetic engineering to create a better virus. (laughter) Twenty-five percent of the population is supposed to go in Contagion."
As I wrote on October 22, 2014, many virologists believe humans are nothing more than a "parasite" to be consumed by viruses which are the planet's "immune response" to human overpopulation. Here's a passage from the book "The Hot Zone" by Richard Preston, summarizing the way these scientists think:
...the earth is mounting an immune response against the human species. It is beginning to react to the human parasite, the flooding infection of people, the dead spots of concrete all over the planet, the cancerous rot-outs in Europe, Japan and the United States, thick with replicating primates [i.e. humans], the colonies enlarging and spreading and threatening to shock the biosphere with mass extinctions.
Perhaps the biosphere does not "like" the idea of five billion humans. Or it could also be said that the extreme amplification of the human race, which has occurred only in the past hundred years or so, has suddenly produced a very large quantity of meat, which is sitting everywhere in the biosphere and may not be able to defend itself against a life form that might want to consume it...
The earth's immune system, so to speak, has recognized the presence of the human species and is starting to kick in. The earth is attempting to rid itself of an infection by the human parasite.
What's extraordinary in all this -- both with vaccines and viruses engineered as weapons -- is how the most influential people in the scientific community have come to view humanity as an enemy to be destroyed via tools of medicine and science. Frighteningly, modern medical science has the tools to carry out its genocidal assaults on humankind through "accidental" releases of deadly viruses or "accidental" contamination of vaccines with sterilization chemicals.
The evidence of deliberate sterilization chemicals in United Nations vaccines raises the obvious question: Was the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa also intentional? And what else might scientists, vaccine pushers, world health authorities and governments have in mind for human depopulation in the years ahead?
Is there already something in the food supply that causes sterilization? The answer is a definite YES, and just like the pandemic viruses, it too is genetically engineered.
These are the vectors for the science-based genocidal assault on humanity:1) Vaccines2) Viruses3) Food4) Water5) Chemtrails (i.e. atmospheric deployment of chemicals)
All five of these vectors present "opportunities" for genocidal scientists to achieve their goal of human sterilization and depopulation. That is precisely why anyone who wishes to survive the great human culling now under way must take extraordinary steps to isolate themselves from institutionally-produced food, water and medicine. The only safe food, water and medicine is that which was produced independently and far outside the control of Big Food, Big Ag and Big Pharma.
Don't drink the city water without filtering it first, and read my laboratory testing results for all popular water filters at www.WaterFilterLabs.com
Don't eat factory-produced food. Don't allow yourself to be injected with weaponized vaccines. Don't take Big Pharma's deadly medicines. Be smart by being skeptical about the claimed "safety" of all those things created by institutions and authorities that quite literally want to kill off a significant percentage of the existing world population.
If you're smart and resourceful, you might just survive this great human culling. On the other hand, those who anxiously line up to be injected with the seasonal flu shots are all admitting they are too stupid and gullible to last long in a world where "science" has declared a covert war on human life.
Sources for this article include:[1] http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/a-mass-ster...[2] http://www.naturalnews.com/041345_cdc_polio_...[3] http://www.naturalnews.com/047358_ebola_outb...[4] http://www.naturalnews.com/029911_vaccines_b...[5] http://www.naturalnews.com/046347_ebola_vacc...
About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is the founding editor of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news website, now reaching 7 million unique readers a month.
In late 2013, Adams launched the Natural News Forensic Food Lab, where he conducts atomic spectroscopy research into food contaminants using high-end ICP-MS instrumentation. With this research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products to low levels by July 1, 2015.
In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.
With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.
Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.
Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.
In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released ten popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.
Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.
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North Korea
U.N. human rights report says it's time to hold North Korea to account '-- in court - The Washington Post
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 00:35
TOKYO '-- The United Nations' point man on North Korea's ­human rights violations called Tuesday for Pyongyang to be referred to the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity, saying it is time to take actions against the regime ''to a new level.''
The damning report from ­Marzuki Darusman, the United Nations' special rapporteur dealing with North Korea, comes six months after a U.N. commission of inquiry released a 372-page report detailing brainwashing, torture, starvation and imprisonment for ''crimes'' such as questioning the system or trying to escape it, or secret Christianity.
That report contained a litany of human rights abuses and seems to have marked a turning point for North Korea, which now appears genuinely alarmed by the prospect that leader Kim Jong Un and his cronies could be called before an international tribunal.
''The international community must seize this unique opportunity and momentum created by the commission of inquiry to help to make a difference in the lives of the people of [North] Korea, including victims, and to ensure accountability of those responsible for serious violations of human rights, including crimes against humanity,'' Darusman wrote in his report, published Tuesday.
He noted, however, that North Korea has not accepted any of the commission's findings.
''This sadly reflects its continued state of denial of the widespread, grave and systematic human rights violations and crimes against humanity reported by the commission, and the need for fundamental change,'' he wrote.
Pyongyang has traditionally refused to talk about its ­well-documented human rights violations, threatening to walk out of nuclear negotiations if the issue was raised. But North Korean diplomats and propagandists, with their trademark colorful language, are now actively engaging critics, apparently alarmed that snowballing international pressure could lead the country's top officials '-- including Kim '-- to be charged with crimes against humanity.
Unusually, a North Korean delegation attended a panel on the country's human rights violations at the United Nations in New York last week, at which Michael Kirby, the Australian judge who led the commission of inquiry, and two North Korean defectors spoke.
Kim Song, the head of the North Korean delegation, called their allegations a product of a ''political conspiracy of the United States and hostile forces in their attempt to overthrow our political and social system.'' North ­Korean officials very obviously videotaped the testimony of the two defectors, in what attendees said was a clear attempt to intimidate them.
In a continuation of these ­efforts, Pyongyang released a character-assassination video Tuesday titled ''Lie and Truth,'' in which the father of defector Shin Dong-hyuk says his son's testimony is false.
Shin '-- who was born in a prison camp and lived a life of starvation, hard labor and torture until he escaped at age 22 '-- has become one of the most prominent critics of North Korea.
In the video, a man identified as Shin's father urges Shin to ''come to your senses and return to the embrace of the [Workers'] Party.''
''The dictator is holding my father hostage,'' Shin wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday, confirming that the man was indeed his father, whom he had assumed was dead. ''No matter what the dictator does to my father, they cannot cover my eyes; no matter what the dictator does, they can not cover up my mouth,'' he wrote.
Another North Korean official caused surprise at a U.N. briefing this month when he admitted to the practice of ''reform through labor detention camps,'' although what he described was a long way from the brutal gulags depicted by escapees such as Shin.
And before Darusman released his report, North Korean officials invited him to visit the country, a sharp change from their previous practice of denying entry to anyone investigating the human rights situation.
Engaging on questions of ­human rights, even bombastically, appears to be North Korea's way of trying to tackle the growing chorus of voices calling for its leaders to be put on trial for crimes against humanity, ­analysts and defectors said.
The calls for North Korea's senior leaders to go before a tribunal have ''shaken'' them into discussion, said one Western diplomat who has dealt with Pyongyang and who spoke on the condition of anonymity. ''They want to remove that risk.''
Pyongyang's is an isolated regime that easily becomes paranoid, the diplomat said. When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, Kim Jong Il, the country's leader at the time, reportedly went underground for two weeks, afraid that North Korea would be next.
Ahn Myong-chol, a former North Korean prison guard who defected to the South and has become an outspoken detractor, agreed that Pyongyang is spooked by the efforts to lay the blame at the top.
''For the first time, the resolution demands punishment of the dictators, and North Korea is responding to this because when its leader Kim Jong Un becomes the target, it has to respond,'' Ahn said.
''The international community must keep pushing North Korea by mentioning Kim Jong Un's name until North Korea runs out of space to stand,'' he said.
Analysts say the chances of the Security Council agreeing to refer North Korea to the ICC are slim, noting that permanent members Russia and China would have to agree not to veto such a move.
But Kim Jong Un's regime is trying to avoid finding out the hard way whether a resolution would pass the Security Council '-- although stopping well short of reforming its system.
Supporters of the growing movement to hold North Korea to account called its actions another exercise in deceit.
''They've created this big circus and are doing all these things to try to deny that any crimes have been committed in North Korea,'' said Joanna Hosaniak of the Citizens' Alliance for North Korean Human Rights, a Seoul-based nongovernmental organization. ''It's a total hoax.''
Even if Darusman goes to North Korea, he ''will not be able to visit places ad hoc or speak independently to people,'' she said.
The Chosun Ilbo, South ­Korea's biggest newspaper, reported Tuesday that the North is preparing a Potemkin prison in anticipation of foreign inspections. It is secretly moving political prisoners out of its notorious Yodok concentration camp, in the northern part of the country, to make it look like a collective farm, it reported.
''The regime is transferring the inmates one by one during the night so that their movement can't be detected by satellites,'' the Chosun Ilbo quoted an unnamed source as saying.
Yoonjung Seo in Seoul contributed to this report.
Anna Fifield is The Post's bureau chief in Tokyo, focusing on Japan and the Koreas. She previously reported for the Financial Times from Washington DC, Seoul, Sydney, London and from across the Middle East.
North Korea: US Sports Agent Offers Himself For Prisoner
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 13:05
North Korea recently returned American prisoner Kenneth Bae from a hospital to a labor camp.
According to an APreport, his sister, Terri Chung is concerned about his health and well-being. Chung had this to say about her brother, who reportedly was hospitalized after rapidly losing 50 pounds:
''He's back to eight-hours-a-day, six-days-a-week hard labor. We can't help but be concerned about that.''
Bae reportedly has liver problems, an enlarged heart, diabetes and back pain.
Bae's family isn't alone in their concern. U.S. government officials have weighed in and now, according to a CNNreport, sports agent David Sugarman has joined the effort to return Bae to the United States. Sugarman represents retired NBA star Kenny Anderson '' who joined Dennis Rodman in his infamous visit to North Korea.
According to CNN, Sugarman had this to say in his appeal to Kim Jong Un of North Korea:
''Human to human, I'm asking you to release Kenneth Bae. I'm going to take it a step further: If the North Korea government actually needs somebody in North Korea, take David Sugarman. Allow me to go there. I'm younger. I'm healthier. You have released prisoners before, and I'm asking you to release Kenneth Bae.''
While it's a magnanimous gesture, it's unlikely that the North Korean dictator would agree to that kind of prisoner exchange.
Bae has been accused of trying to overthrow the North Korean government through religious activity.
Kenneth Bae is a devout Christian. He runs a company that specializes in North Korean tours. The company is based in neighboring China. President Obama described Bae as a missionary while calling for his release at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday. According to the AP report, the president said:
''We pray for Kenneth Bae, a Christian missionary who has been held in North Korea for 15 months. His family wants him home, and the United States will continue to do everything in our power to secure his release because Kenneth Bae deserves to be free.''
Bae admitted to conducting anti-government activities in a Jan. 20 news conference. He apologized to the North Korean government, claimed he has not been abused and added, ''I believe that my problem can be solved by close cooperation and agreement between the American government and the government of this country.''
The US State Department has indicated that they are ready to send an ambassador to discuss Bae's situation with representatives of North Korea. As of this time, there don't appear to be any plans to send sports agent David Sugarman, but according to CNN, US Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) said:
''People like David (Sugarman) should be all over the country. Churches and synagogues should be pleading to this government that this has nothing to do with communism and the United States of America. It's a brother and a father and a son, and they should be responding to this effort.''
What do you think? Will it help for Americans '' and particularly American religious organizations '' to put pressure on North Korea to release Kenneth Bae?
Lockheed, Raytheon to share planned $1.4 billion missile sale to South Korea - Washington Business Journal
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 18:38
Nov 6, 2014, 12:33pm EST Updated: Nov 6, 2014, 1:45pm EST
Enlarge Photo
Lockheed Martin Corp.
Lockheed and Raytheon could share a planned $1.4 billion missile sale to South Korea.
A $1.4 billion deal with South Korea, now awaiting Congressional approval, would include 136 Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) missiles manufactured by Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin, a well as as two flight test targets and various support systems and services. Raytheon will serve as the systems integrator for the PAC-3 missile.
According to the announcement from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which coordinates foreign military sales between the Pentagon and allies, the sale will provide South Korea with the capability to defeat lower-tier ballistic missile defense threats, and decrease its reliance on U.S. combat forces to maintain stability in the region. It also increases interoperability between South Korea's ground and sea-based ballistic missile defense forces and U.S. forces located in the region.
The U.S. is scheduled to hand over command of South Korea's wartime defenses in December 2015, so missile-defense capabilities are vital.
South Korea "is one of the major political and economic powers in East Asia and the Western Pacific and a key partner of the United States in ensuring peace and stability in that region," the Pentagon announcement noted. "It is vital to U.S. national interests to assist our Korean ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability."
In June, Bloomberg reported the PAC-3 and Lockheed's longer-range Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, known as Thaad, were among the missile systems that South Korea's military was eyeing. At the time, the U.S. was performing analysis with Korean officials "to help them reach a decision about the capabilities they would have."
This deal comes only a month after Lockheed and Raytheon won a $1.75 billion deal to replenish Saudi Arabia's aging stockpile of PAC-3 missiles.
Jill R. Aitoro covers federal contracting.
JCD Questions for DPG
How serious is NK about creating a tourist destination
Why did they grab the basketball tour guide?
Packet Equality
NET NEURTRALITRY BINGO-AP News : Obama dives into Internet regulation debate
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 16:43
By ANNE FLAHERTYPublished: TodayWASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is embracing a radical change in how the government treats Internet service, coming down on the side of consumer activists who fear slower download speeds and higher costs but angering Republicans and the nation's cable giants who say the plan would kill jobs.
Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to more heavily regulate Internet providers and treat broadband much as it would any other public utility. He said the FCC should explicitly prohibit Internet providers like Verizon and AT&T from charging data hogs like Netflix extra to move their content more quickly. The announcement sent cable stocks tumbling.
The FCC, an independent regulatory body led by political appointees, is nearing a decision on whether broadband providers should be allowed to cut deals with the content providers but is stumbling over the legal complexities.
"We are stunned the president would abandon the longstanding, bipartisan policy of lightly regulating the Internet and calling for extreme" regulation, said Michael Powell, president and CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the primary lobbying arm of the cable industry, which supplies much of the nation's Internet access.
This "tectonic shift in national policy, should it be adopted, would create devastating results," added Powell, who chaired the FCC during the Bush administration until 2005.
Consumer groups and content providers hailed Obama's move, with Netflix posting to its Facebook page that "consumers should pick winners and losers on the Internet, not broadband gatekeepers."
"Net neutrality" is the idea that Internet service providers shouldn't block, slow or manipulate data moving across its networks. As long as content isn't against the law, such as child pornography or pirated music, a file or video posted on one site will load generally at the same speed as a similarly sized file or video on another site.
In 2010, the FCC embraced the concept in a rule. But last January, a federal appeals court struck down the regulation because the court said the FCC didn't technically have the legal authority to tell broadband providers how to manage their networks.
The uncertainty has prompted the public to file some 3.7 million comments with the FCC - more than double the number filed after Janet Jackson's infamous wardrobe malfunction at the 2004 Super Bowl.
On Monday, Obama waded into the fray and gave a major boost to Internet activists by saying the FCC should explicitly ban any "paid prioritization" on the Internet. Obama also suggested that the FCC reclassify consumer broadband as a public utility under the 1934 Communications Act so there's no legal ambiguity. That would mean the Internet would be regulated more heavily in the way phone service is.
"It is common sense that the same philosophy should guide any service that is based on the transmission of information - whether a phone call, or a packet of data," Obama said.
This approach is exactly what industry lobbyists have spent months fighting against. While Internet providers say they support the concept of an open Internet, they want flexibility to think up new ways to package and sell Internet services. And, given the billions of dollars spent to improve network infrastructure, some officials say it's only fair to make data hogs like Netflix bear some of the costs of handling heavy traffic.
AT&T on Monday threatened legal action if the FCC adopted Obama's plan, while Comcast Corp. said reclassifying broadband regulation would be "a radical reversal that would harm investment and innovation, as today's immediate stock market reaction demonstrates." Similar statements were released by Time Warner Cable Inc., Cox Communications and several industry groups including CTIA-The Wireless Association, USTelecom, the Telecommunications Industry Association and Broadband for America.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest, traveling with Obama in China, said the president "felt this was an appropriate time" to make his views known because of the FCC's regulatory timeline, and that the timing wasn't related to Obama's trip this week to Asia and Australia.
Asked whether Comcast had been consulted on the issue, Earnest said only that the White House had been in touch with the business community on a variety of issues.
"There are members of Congress on both sides of this," he added.
Many Republicans including House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky sided with industry in denouncing the plan as government overreach.
"'Net Neutrality' is Obamacare for the Internet," Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a tea party favorite, declared on Twitter. "The Internet should not operate at the speed of government."
The Internet Association, which represents many content providers like Netflix, Twitter, eBay and Google, applauded Obama's proposal.
On Monday, as the Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up slightly, stock prices fell for big cable companies, including Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cablevision and Charter Communications.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, a former industry lobbyist and venture capitalist, has said he is open to using a "hybrid" approach that would draw from both Title II of the 1934 law and the 1996 Telecommunications Act. On Monday, Wheeler said he welcomed the president's comments, but suggested that his proposal was easier said than done.
"The more deeply we examined the issues around the various legal options, the more it has become plain that there is more work to do," Wheeler said. "The reclassification and hybrid approaches before us raise substantive legal questions. We found we would need more time to examine these to ensure that whatever approach is taken, it can withstand any legal challenges it may face."
The FCC isn't under a deadline to make a decision.
The president's statement all but guarantees that the major cable companies will spend the next few months trying to encourage Congress to step in to protect their interests. Still, Internet activists are hoping that Obama's position will go a long way, even as his popularity among his party has waned.
"When the leader of the free world says the Internet should remain free, that's a game changer," said Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass.
AP business writers Michael Liedtke in San Francisco and Ken Sweet in New York and AP writer Josh Lederman in Beijing contributed to this report.
Follow Anne Flaherty on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AnneKFlaherty
Obama's Plan to Save the Internet
Mon, 10 Nov 2014 16:39
Good news, America. Our president, Barack Obama, is finally standing up for the internet, and asking the FCC to classify it as a public utility. In other words, he's asking the agency not to allow destructive things like fast lanes (a.k.a. paid prioritization) or throttling. It's a great day!
At least, today's news is a great step in the right direction.
It's unclear so far exactly how the FCC will react to the president's splashy statements about net neutrality. Chairman Tom Wheeler and his cronies could simply decide to ignore Obama. But when the Commander-in-Chief says something like this, you'd hope the government agencies he's sort of* in charge of will listen:
More than any other invention of our time, the Internet has unlocked possibilities we could just barely imagine a generation ago. And here's a big reason we've seen such incredible growth and innovation: Most Internet providers have treated Internet traffic equally. That's a principle known as "net neutrality" '-- and it says that an entrepreneur's fledgling company should have the same chance to succeed as established corporations, and that access to a high school student's blog shouldn't be unfairly slowed down to make way for advertisers with more money.
Inspirational, right? Obama's good at that. I said "sort of " above because, as Obama is careful to point out in his statement: "The FCC is an independent agency, and ultimately this decision is theirs alone." So they could just ignore him. But let's get into the details before we really consider that option.
The PlanSo Obama's asked the FCC to reclassify the internet as a public utility, like electricity or water. This means a lot of things. Suffice it to say that the internet gets a better square on the Monopoly board. Instead of just being a regular piece of real estate that can be bought or sold or modified or destroyed, the internet would enjoy a number of regulatory protections if it were classified under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.
The White House points out in a blog post about Obama's statement that the reclassification would represent a "basic acknowledgement of the services ISPs provide to American homes and businesses, and the straightforward obligations necessary to ensure the network works for everyone'--not just one or two companies." That sounds about right. The internet was designed to be a free and open tool for communications.
So Obama's presenting a four point plan. You can read his full explanation of each point in the full statement below, but here are the important, pretty self-explanatory bullet points:
No blocking.No throttling.Increased transparency.No paid prioritization.No block and no throttling are obvious. Increased transparency is vague, but we'll come back to that in a second. Meanwhile, you've heard a lot about paid prioritization (fast lanes) from the big fight over the summer, when the FCC invited the public to comment on its pretty shitty rules. As we all know, lots of people'--over 4 million to be exact'--did just that, breaking pretty much every record the FCC had for public involvement in its regulations. So the president agreeing with the public is a terrific thing! But, again, it does not mean that this solves the problem of protecting net neutrality for good.
What It MeansNow, let's get into the dirty details, because that's where this policy shift will either make or break the future of the internet. And there is most definitely a big asterisk on Obama's plan, an exception that some think spoils the whole thing.
The specific mandates that Obama lays out in his statement are exactly that: specific. It's important that he specifically forbids blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization, because pretty much everybody agrees that these are bad for the internet'--everybody except, maybe, the ISPs like Verizon and Comcast who stand to profit from these practices. The FCC got into trouble with the American public for not specifically forbidding certain practices, namely paid prioritization.
The more general aspects of the Obama's plan raise a few questions. The president is very clear when he explains what being classified under the Title II of the Telecommunications Act of 1934 means:
For almost a century, our law has recognized that companies who connect you to the world have special obligations not to exploit the monopoly they enjoy over access in and out of your home or business. That is why a phone call from a customer of one phone company can reliably reach a customer of a different one, and why you will not be penalized solely for calling someone who is using another provider.
Almost a century! The Telecommunications Act is an old law, but it's a good one. Its provisions attempt to guarantee that consumers don't get screwed on services that are integral to daily life. In 1934, that meant telephones. Now, Obama's saying that it should also mean broadband internet. In his own words, this is just "common sense."
But there's a caveat here'--that asterisk I mentioned at the top of this post. Right after his "common sense" remark, Obama says this:
So the time has come for the FCC to recognize that broadband service is of the same importance and must carry the same obligations as so many of the other vital services do. To do that, I believe the FCC should reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act '-- while at the same time forbearing from rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to broadband services.
"Forbearing" is the key word there. The legal term is forbearance, which literally means "the action of refraining from exercising a legal right." In this context, forbearance means that some parts of the Telecommunications Act would not apply to the regulation of broadband internet, namely "rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to broadband services." That line reads like a hat tip to ISPs, a signal that the government is giving them a little bit of wiggle room'--or a lot. It's kind of unclear.
It's long been argued that forbearance would be the key to preserving net neutrality. After all, until the government decides that it will become an ISP and provide Americans with internet access, broadband is a business. To preserve the free and open aspects of the internet, some compromises will have to be made for business interests.
At face value, the fact that Obama is offering ISPs forbearance on an undetermined number of aspects of Title II sounds like a trick. It's one of those devil-you-don't-know situations. Sure, he forbids bad things like fast lanes and throttling, but he's also saying that ISPs will get off the hook for an undisclosed number of regulations. Rate regulation is one that he does name. This means that regulators won't be able to tell ISPs how much they can charge customers. Obviously, ISPs like this idea. But what else won't regulators be able to do?
So keep an eye on this forbearance issue. It might become pretty problematic for the average consumer. Then again, it might be the trade-off we have to make so that the FCC'--and the companies that spend millions so that the agency respects their wishes'--actually approves an acceptable set of net neutrality rules.
Will It Work?Once again, Obama's statement about net neutrality is great news. Great news always has its caveats, but look at it this way. About an hour after the White House released the statement, Tim Wu tweeted:
Tim Wu is the Columbia Law School professor who invented the term "net neutrality." So if he likes Obama's policy, today is a terrific day for the internet. And it actually sounds like he loves the policy.
Keep this in mind when you wonder if it'll work. Will the FCC actually write new rules that conform to the president's wishes? We don't know. We can't know until they do or they don't!
Think of it this way, though. The FCC is not the American people's favorite agency right now. More than one individual commissioner has even admitted that the existing rules are bad. Meanwhile, the experts who understand how the internet works better than the FCC does say that Obama's plan is "100% on target."
It's the FCC's job to listen to experts and do what's best for the American people. Now would be a good time for the FCC to do its job.
Read Obama's full statement below:
An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life. By lowering the cost of launching a new idea, igniting new political movements, and bringing communities closer together, it has been one of the most significant democratizing influences the world has ever known.
"Net neutrality" has been built into the fabric of the Internet since its creation '-- but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted. We cannot allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas. That is why today, I am asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to answer the call of almost 4 million public comments, and implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality.
When I was a candidate for this office, I made clear my commitment to a free and open Internet, and my commitment remains as strong as ever. Four years ago, the FCC tried to implement rules that would protect net neutrality with little to no impact on the telecommunications companies that make important investments in our economy. After the rules were challenged, the court reviewing the rules agreed with the FCC that net neutrality was essential for preserving an environment that encourages new investment in the network, new online services and content, and everything else that makes up the Internet as we now know it. Unfortunately, the court ultimately struck down the rules '-- not because it disagreed with the need to protect net neutrality, but because it believed the FCC had taken the wrong legal approach.
The FCC is an independent agency, and ultimately this decision is theirs alone. I believe the FCC should create a new set of rules protecting net neutrality and ensuring that neither the cable company nor the phone company will be able to act as a gatekeeper, restricting what you can do or see online. The rules I am asking for are simple, common-sense steps that reflect the Internet you and I use every day, and that some ISPs already observe. These bright-line rules include:
No blocking. If a consumer requests access to a website or service, and the content is legal, your ISP should not be permitted to block it. That way, every player '-- not just those commercially affiliated with an ISP '-- gets a fair shot at your business.
No throttling. Nor should ISPs be able to intentionally slow down some content or speed up others '-- through a process often called "throttling" '-- based on the type of service or your ISP's preferences.
Increased transparency. The connection between consumers and ISPs '-- the so-called "last mile" '-- is not the only place some sites might get special treatment. So, I am also asking the FCC to make full use of the transparency authorities the court recently upheld, and if necessary to apply net neutrality rules to points of interconnection between the ISP and the rest of the Internet.
No paid prioritization. Simply put: No service should be stuck in a "slow lane" because it does not pay a fee. That kind of gatekeeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the Internet's growth. So, as I have before, I am asking for an explicit ban on paid prioritization and any other restriction that has a similar effect.
If carefully designed, these rules should not create any undue burden for ISPs, and can have clear, monitored exceptions for reasonable network management and for specialized services such as dedicated, mission-critical networks serving a hospital. But combined, these rules mean everything for preserving the Internet's openness.
The rules also have to reflect the way people use the Internet today, which increasingly means on a mobile device. I believe the FCC should make these rules fully applicable to mobile broadband as well, while recognizing the special challenges that come with managing wireless networks.
To be current, these rules must also build on the lessons of the past. For almost a century, our law has recognized that companies who connect you to the world have special obligations not to exploit the monopoly they enjoy over access in and out of your home or business. That is why a phone call from a customer of one phone company can reliably reach a customer of a different one, and why you will not be penalized solely for calling someone who is using another provider. It is common sense that the same philosophy should guide any service that is based on the transmission of information '-- whether a phone call, or a packet of data.
So the time has come for the FCC to recognize that broadband service is of the same importance and must carry the same obligations as so many of the other vital services do. To do that, I believe the FCC should reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act '-- while at the same time forbearing from rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to broadband services. This is a basic acknowledgment of the services ISPs provide to American homes and businesses, and the straightforward obligations necessary to ensure the network works for everyone '-- not just one or two companies.
Investment in wired and wireless networks has supported jobs and made America the center of a vibrant ecosystem of digital devices, apps, and platforms that fuel growth and expand opportunity. Importantly, network investment remained strong under the previous net neutrality regime, before it was struck down by the court; in fact, the court agreed that protecting net neutrality helps foster more investment and innovation. If the FCC appropriately forbears from the Title II regulations that are not needed to implement the principles above '-- principles that most ISPs have followed for years '-- it will help ensure new rules are consistent with incentives for further investment in the infrastructure of the Internet.
The Internet has been one of the greatest gifts our economy '-- and our society '-- has ever known. The FCC was chartered to promote competition, innovation, and investment in our networks. In service of that mission, there is no higher calling than protecting an open, accessible, and free Internet. I thank the Commissioners for having served this cause with distinction and integrity, and I respectfully ask them to adopt the policies I have outlined here, to preserve this technology's promise for today, and future generations to come.
FCC confirms delay of net neutrality decision until 2015
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:11
'; var _rdtb =''; var _lib1 = ''; var _lib2 = 'President Obama's heralded push to preserve net neutrality won't result in any meaningful progress, at least not this year.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the government regulatory body that's spent much of 2014 deliberating whether to make the Internet a public utility, will abandon its earlier promise to make a decision on new net neutrality rules this year.
Instead, FCC Press Secretary Kim Hart told the Daily Dot in an email, "there will not be a vote on open internet rules on the December meeting agenda. That would mean rules would now be finalized in 2015."
Obama campaigned on a promise of net neutrality, the general concept that Internet providers shouldn't be able to dictate the rules of how fast customers can access certain sites. But Internet freedom advocates' optimism that the president would deliver waned as years of his presidency passed without any progress. And they threw up their hands when he appointed Tom Wheeler, a former cable lobbyist, to head the FCC.
Since then, the issue has become almost stereotypically political. Though Wheeler was Obama's pick, the FCC is an independent body. After the Democrats were shellacked in the midterm elections last week, Obama on Tuesday launched a campaign to enshrine net neutrality into law, and openly called on Wheeler to make the Internet a utility. But Wheeler fired back with a press release that effectively called Obama just another of the almost four million Americans who had written to the FCC to express an opinion on the issue. (It's worth noting that, except for those written by Internet providers, comments were almost unanimously in favor of net neutrality.)
News that the FCC will delay its decision is particularly devastating for net neutrality proponents, because the issue has suddenly become more partisan than before the most recent election, and is very unlikely to improve with a Republican-held Congress. In one heavily-mocked tweet, Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called net neutrality "Obamacare for the Internet," a statement so nonsensical that Cruz deleted it some hours later. Other powerful Republicans in Congress, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and likely 2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), also expressed their opposition to Obama's plan.
H/T Politico. | Photo via Nathan (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed
Cable stocks fall as Obama calls on FCC to protect net neutrality - MarketWatch
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 21:01
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) '-- Shares of leading cable and Internet service providers dropped on Monday after President Barack Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to adopt rules to save and support net neutrality.
Comcast CMCSA, +1.08% Time Warner Cable TWC, +1.15% Cablevision Systems Corp. CVC, +0.39% and Charter Communications CHTR, +1.59% all saw their stock fall following Obama's comments on upholding net neutrality and not allowing content providers to pay cable providers and ISPs for access to so-called fast lanes.
Shares of Netflix NFLX, +0.42% , a major user of Internet bandwidth, edged higher.
''In plain English, I'm asking them to recognize that for most Americans the Internet has become an essential part of everyday communication and everyday life,'' the president said.
He also issued a video accompanying the statement.
Verizon, VZ, +0.51% has already released a statement admonishing the president's proposal.
In its statement, Verizon said reclassifying Internet service to define providers as common carriers ''would be a radical reversal... that would in and of itself threaten great harm to an open Internet.''
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler released a subsequent statement welcoming President Obama's thoughts and ideas. He also acknowledged the legal bumps of creating rules regarding net neutrality and said this is process that may take more time.
The agency had been targeting the release of rules by the end of the year.
''We must take the time to get the job done correctly, once and for all, in order to successfully protect consumers and innovators online,'' Wheeler said in a statement released Monday.
AT&T to pause fiber spending on net neutrality uncertainty
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 19:32
AT&T to pause fiber spending on net neutrality uncertaintyTop News
AT&T to pause fiber spending on net neutrality uncertainty
Wed, Nov 12 12:56 PM EST
By Marina Lopes
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - AT&T Inc (T.N) will stop investing in new high-speed Internet connections in 100 U.S. cities until regulators decide whether to enact tough "net neutrality" rules proposed by President Obama, Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson said on Wednesday.
The investment pause is the most dramatic action yet by a telecommunications or cable company after Obama on Monday urged the Federal Communications Commission to regulate Internet service providers more like public utilities.
At the same time, AT&T had been spending heavily acquisitions and had cut its capital spending estimate for 2015.
Companies and industry groups have already protested Obama's proposal, saying it would stifle growth and investment.
"We can't go out and invest that kind of money deploying fiber to 100 cities not knowing under what rules those investments will be governed," Stephenson said at an analyst conference.
In April, AT&T said it would deploy its high-speed fiber network in 100 cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami.
A primary goal for the FCC in recent years has been to ensure quality Internet access across the country, especially in rural communities.
AT&T pushed back against Obama's comments on Monday and said it would take the government to court if the FCC follows through on his request.
The company, which is buying DirecTV (DTV.O) for $48.5 billion, said on Friday that it would also pay $1.7 billion to acquire Mexican wireless operator Iusacell. It trimmed its 2015 capital spending outlook to $18 billion from $21 billion. [ID:nL1N0SX2RQ]
At the same conference on Wednesday, Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo struck a somewhat lighter tone.
"I think the independent agency of the FCC will make the right decision," Shammo said.
He said the FCC could restrict "paid prioritization" deals, where content companies pay for faster downloads of some websites or applications, without pursuing utility-style regulations under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.
"We don't need to bring Title II into this," he said.
(Reporting by Marina Lopes, Editing by Franklin Paul and Lisa Von Ahn)
AT&T to pause fiber spending on net neutrality uncertaintyTop News
AT&T to pause fiber spending on net neutrality uncertainty
Wed, Nov 12 12:56 PM EST
By Marina Lopes
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - AT&T Inc (T.N) will stop investing in new high-speed Internet connections in 100 U.S. cities until regulators decide whether to enact tough "net neutrality" rules proposed by President Obama, Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson said on Wednesday.
The investment pause is the most dramatic action yet by a telecommunications or cable company after Obama on Monday urged the Federal Communications Commission to regulate Internet service providers more like public utilities.
At the same time, AT&T had been spending heavily acquisitions and had cut its capital spending estimate for 2015.
Companies and industry groups have already protested Obama's proposal, saying it would stifle growth and investment.
"We can't go out and invest that kind of money deploying fiber to 100 cities not knowing under what rules those investments will be governed," Stephenson said at an analyst conference.
In April, AT&T said it would deploy its high-speed fiber network in 100 cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami.
A primary goal for the FCC in recent years has been to ensure quality Internet access across the country, especially in rural communities.
AT&T pushed back against Obama's comments on Monday and said it would take the government to court if the FCC follows through on his request.
The company, which is buying DirecTV (DTV.O) for $48.5 billion, said on Friday that it would also pay $1.7 billion to acquire Mexican wireless operator Iusacell. It trimmed its 2015 capital spending outlook to $18 billion from $21 billion. [ID:nL1N0SX2RQ]
At the same conference on Wednesday, Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo struck a somewhat lighter tone.
"I think the independent agency of the FCC will make the right decision," Shammo said.
He said the FCC could restrict "paid prioritization" deals, where content companies pay for faster downloads of some websites or applications, without pursuing utility-style regulations under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.
"We don't need to bring Title II into this," he said.
(Reporting by Marina Lopes, Editing by Franklin Paul and Lisa Von Ahn)
Dude Named Ben
Email on CERT warning
Since you mentioned industrial security, I would like to share my personal experiences.
I am an information security professional, and worked in a petrochemical plant for over 6 years, i also worked with banks and many government agencies.
The advice US-CERT is providing looks trivial, but knowning how things actually work can better explain the real situation.
In most scenarios, control systems are not operated or supported by IT departments, they are managed by the maintenance department of industrial companies. These are guys with no clue how to create a new folder.
Most control systems are running outdated windows machines that are enclosed in industrial casing. Big vendors like Siemens, Honeywell never touch any of those system because they just work!
Most of these systems are never patched and have no anti-virus.
Systems are not replaced because they are part of a huge setup that costs thousands of dollars.
Many of those vendors will just advice the maintenance department to install a firewall to "secure" systems.
In many cases, USB ports are enabled and you have bored operators hooking their drives to watch a movie or some porn in graveyard shifts.
Just to illustrate how dumb things can get. One day during my career there, we were doing an IT Asset Audit. We came across a an old PC in the Quality Testing lab and we were asked not to touch a single thing. We were told locate the serial number and make sure it's there in the asset list. The PC was showing grey numbers on a black DOS like screen, operators check the readings every 6 hours and record their findings.
Guess what! the damn power cord was disconnected and the dumb operators were taking the readings from this burnt CRT for years!! All steady!
Since most industrial companies have no interests in buying security products and services, many of these systems are being attacked and exploited by security vendors who will showcase how they can blowup plant or a generator. The exploit against Saudi Aramco was an obvious example. They made the Aramco one look like it's coming from Iran, while it might be the Russians (Karpersky) or even McAfee. I heard that after the attacks, that Aramco was flying experts from all over the planet and issuing them visas on arrival then sending them in private cars from the airport straight to the company.
You can use any of the above examples, as usual, I do not exist ;)
More on Dark Energy FUD
I am a dude named Ben that works for a large power company. I am a security analyst. The reports regarding Dark Energy are FUD. However you and John should be made aware that ICS systems are 10+ years behind IT systems (http://media.kaspersky.com/en/business-security/kaspersky-ics-protection-whitepaper.pdf?icid=it-IT:ent-carousel) when it comes to security. We have imbedded systems that cannot even be pinged without falling over. While my company has invested millions in securing our ICS systems many Critical infrastructure related companies have not. You would be shocked at how may DCS and PLC systems can be found on Shodan. As someone who has spent years in IT security, I can tell you it was a losing battle, and now that I am in critical infrastructure security it is 1000x worse. Most ICS systems are designed, tested, and implemented by control systems engineers who have no notion that there systems would ever be attacked. When I was discussing with one said engineer about the effects of sending a single malformed packet to his controller he responded "why would anyone send an invalid packet". This is the reality our most critical assets are designed by people who have even thought of the implications of connecting there controls to the network. The reason why we have not seen more issues is twofold. One, most critical control systems where air gaped… Now even nuclear power plants have network connections (most are through data diodes / one way gateways - see http://www.waterfall-security.com/). The plants have these connections so that the corporate overlords can “monitor and make intelligent business decisions”. Fossil plants are even worse off and most have a number of connections into them. Including some vender remote access (think the target data breach). Two, hackers did not have access to PLCs or DCS controllers. Now you have Kickstarters and raspberry pi firmware that emulates that give cheap and easy accesses to test attacks against the most popular controllers (see https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/85810353/cybatiworks-ics-scada-iot-cybersecurity-education ). IF all of this wasn’t enough our ICS systems are generally maintained by I&C departments and controls engineers who DO NOT understand security or even their systems exposure. Most I&C techs do not even understand the protocols that the controllers use. They are the Linksys Larry of the industrial world; its like if chase trusted its security to the guy down the street who is “a geek”. Better analogy would be trusting there IT security to Leo… yeah enough said.
If you or John ever have any questions regarding the security of our critical infrastructure please feel free to ask.
Email re Total CEO Crash
I'm working in IT under a NDA, so please do not reveal me and my work context as a source regarding the following. If you use this info in the show, refer to me as 'a dude named Ben'.
I work as an network administrator at company producing oil and gas on the Dutch continental shelve. In a recent meeting with other oil companies a manager of Total was present.
His position is not upper management, but right below, responsible for a whole department.
During this meeting, the passing of the CEOs was mentioned. In the talks I learned the following:
The ceo was very respected, not only within Total, but within the whole industry.
The manager had met the ceo before and he described him as a very warm and likable person.
He was the guy you would call when a tough description needed to be forced, in Dutch we'd call him a 'lijmer'. Fixing things getting people together.
That was the exact reason why he was in Russia.
Within Total there are no doubts regarding this event, it was an accident.
That's it. Just some background from the field.
Feinstein, Chambliss: We can pass a cyber bill during lame duck -- FCW
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 23:06
Feinstein, Chambliss: We can pass a cyber bill during lame duckBy Sean LyngaasOct 29, 2014Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) claim their cyber legislation has a solid chance of passing during the lame duck session.
The Senate Intelligence Committee's top Democrat and Republican made an eleventh-hour pitch for Congress to pass their cybersecurity information-sharing bill during next month's lame-duck session.
Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) told an Oct. 28 conference hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that their cybersecurity bill has a good chance of passing in the lame duck because compliance with the bill would be voluntary and not mandatory. Differing opinions on the proper approach to public-private information-sharing have killed several previous cyber bills in 2012 and 2013.
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has said he is ready to convene a conference committee with the Senate during the lame-duck session to work out a final version. The House passed its cybersecurity bill, which the White House threatened to veto, in April 2013.
Chambliss has said the quartet of Intelligence Committee leaders (which includes Maryland Democratic Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger) have collaborated more closely than previous groups. And Chambliss and Rogers are retiring at the end of this term, lending urgency to the effort. But given the crowded legislative calendar, partisan gridlock and the fact that the Obama administration may, as Feinstein noted Oct. 28, prioritize surveillance reform over a cyber bill, there are plenty of ways that a cybersecurity information-sharing bill could still stall in the lame duck.
The Feinstein-Chambliss bill would authorize a centralized process at the Department of Homeland Security by which private firms could share threat information with the government without legal liability. That information would then be shared simultaneously with relevant federal agencies. The DHS secretary would have to confirm to Congress that that process is functional before it is implemented.
Supporters of the bill say the possibility of legal repercussions for firms that share confidential information with the government has undercut cybersecurity. That the bill addresses this liability issue is one reason the U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports it.
The bill also would allow firms with written consent from a federal agency to help an agency repel malware attacks and other cyber threats via "countermeasures," which are defined as techniques and technologies that help protect an information system. Mark Seward, senior director of public sector solutions marketing at Splunk, a big-data analytics firm, has said that data collected through countermeasures would provide fodder for information-sharing across the private sector, and between the private sector and government.
The Senate Intelligence Committee approved the measure by a 12-3 vote in July, but it has yet to see the Senate floor. "I think if we can get this up on the floor, I believe we can pass it," Feinstein said.
A coalition of privacy and online groups oppose the bill, arguing that it would do less to protect civil liberties than a 2012 Senate bill that failed, in part, because of opposition from the Chamber of Commerce.
Starting in mid-November, Congress will reconvene for several weeks with a crowded docket of bills and issues to consider. "I have implored [Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid] that if there is one piece of legislation that needs to be completed between now and the end of the year, this is it," Chambliss said.
Chambliss and Feinstein have sparred over previous cybersecurity legislation, and pointed to their cooperation this time around as evidence the bill is both pragmatic and passable. "We [did] not want to produce something that cannot get a vote," Feinstein said.
Yet even as Chambliss stressed the urgency of passing the bill, he said establishing a public-private mechanism for sharing cyber threats is a long-term endeavor.
"It's important that we put language in this bill that allows flexibility," he said. "This is not a short-term project from our standpoint."
Given how quickly cybersecurity technology changes, he added, "we want to make sure that 10 years from now that there's flexibility in the legislative language that allows the public sector and the private sector ... to adjust to what technology comes forward in the intervening timeframe."
About the Author
Sean Lyngaas is a staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Connect with him on Twitter: @snlyngaas.
Chinese hack U.S. Weather systems, satellite network - The Washington Post
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 18:13
Hackers from China breached the federal weather network recently, forcing cybersecurity teams to seal off data vital to disaster planning, aviation, shipping and scores of other crucial uses, officials said.
The intrusion occurred in late September but officials gave no indication that they had a problem until Oct. 20, according to three people familiar with the hack and the subsequent reaction by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA, which includes the National Weather Service. Even then, NOAA did not say its systems were compromised.
Officials also said that the agency did not notify the proper authorities when it learned of the attack.
NOAA officials declined to discuss the suspected source of the attack, whether it affected classified data and the delay in notification. NOAA said publicly in October that it was doing ''unscheduled maintenance'' on its network, without saying a computer hack made that necessary.
In a statement released Wednesday, NOAA spokesman Scott Smullen acknowledged the hacks and said ''incident response began immediately.'' He said all systems were working again and that forecasts were accurately delivered to the public. Smullen declined to answer questions beyond his statement, citing an investigation into the attack.
NOAA's satellites provide the bulk of the information for generating weather models, advisories and warnings to the nation and world. Maintaining the operations and data acquisition from these satellites is a 24/7 process. This video was filmed at the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Md., where command, control and data distribution systems are located. (NOAA/YouTube)
But the agency confirmed to U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) that China was behind the attack, the congressman said. Wolf has a long-standing interest in cybersecurity and asked NOAA about the incident after an inquiry from The Washington Post.
''NOAA told me it was a hack and it was China,'' said Wolf, who also scolded the agency for not disclosing the attack ''and deliberately misleading the American public in its replies.''
''They had an obligation to tell the truth,'' Wolf said. ''They covered it up.''
Commerce Department Inspector General Todd Zinser said his office was not notified of the breach until Nov. 4, well after he believes the hack occurred. He said that is a violation of agency policy requiring any security incident to be reported to his office within two days of discovering the problem.
''We're in the process of looking into the matter, including why NOAA did not comply with the requirements to notify law enforcement about the incident,'' Zinser said.
Wolf said he did not know if the breach involved classified material or what information was accessed.
Confirmation of the NOAA hack followed an admission Monday by the United States Postal Service that a suspected Chinese attack-- also in September-- compromised data of 800,000 employees, including letter carriers on up through the postmaster general.
NOAA officials also would not say whether the attack removed material or inserted malicious software in its system, which is used by civilian and military forecasters in the U.S. and also feeds weather models at the main centers for Europe and Canada.
NOAA's National Ice Center Web Site also was down for a week in late October. The center is a partnership with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard to monitor conditions for navigation.
The two-day outage skewed the accuracy of National Weather Service long-range forecasts slightly, according to NOAA.
The attack in September hit a web server that connects to many NOAA computers, according to one person familiar with the incursion. The server had security protections, but the person compared the security to leaving a house protected by ''just a screen door.''
Smullen's statement said that four sites were hit by the breach.
Weather satellites orbit hundreds to thousands of miles above the Earth and offer continuous views of weather systems such as hurricanes, thunderstorms and cold fronts while also measuring temperature and moisture at different altitudes --all crucial bits that get fed into prediction models. To get that information to the public, NOAA makes satellite data and imagery available through the Web as well as file transfer networks for downloads.
NOAA has characterized its decision to cut off satellite images as causing a minimal . However, it has previously touted those same systems as intrinsic to the nation's ''environmental intelligence.''
NOAA satellites ''provide critical data for forecasts and warnings that are vital to every citizen and to our economy as a whole,'' NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan said a year ago.
The hack may have been aimed less at manipulating weather data, then finding an opening in a U.S. system to exploit, said Jacob Olcott, a cybersecurity consultant now with Good Harbor Security Risk Management and former Senate staffer on cybersecurity legislation. ''The bad guys are increasingly having a hard time getting in the front of these agencies,'' he said. ''So they figure if I can't get in the front door, I'd ride along in with someone who has trusted access and maybe ride that connection to bigger agencies.''
Wolf said a hack could steal technical insights or cull isolated information '' that may not look significant until they're put with something else and then they become valuable. The Chinese are stealing us blind,'' Wolf said.
The attack on NOAA joins a spate of cyber espionage on federal systems revealed recently including an attack suspected from Russia that breached unclassified White House computer networks.
The October satellite data outage meant the National Weather Service and centers around the world did not receive large amounts of information.
''All the operational data sent via NOAA, which is normally an excellent service, was lost,'' said Stephen English, head of the satellite section at the European Center for Medium-range Forecasting located in Reading, Great Britain. The center is renowned for running a highly advanced global weather prediction model that during Superstorm Sandy, for example, aided evacuations and preparations in the U.S. when it signaled the storm would hit, not hook out to sea.
Rutgers University Global Snow Lab, which provides daily snow cover updates for researchers and forecasters using a data feed from the Ice Center, posted a notice on its Web site that its reports were incomplete throughout the outage.
Commercial interests also were affected by the breach.
Delta Airlines overcame the loss of data it normally incorporates into pilot briefings about aviation hazards. But its flying customers were spared trouble by the added work of the airline's meteorologists and information technology specialists who used alternative sources of information, spokesperson Morgan Durrant said.
In Melbourne, Fla., the satellite images bolster the ocean fishing forecasting service run by Mitchell Roffer.
His company downloads images ''constantly'' and immediately realized around Oct. 20 that the information was out of date. ''We went up the chain asking when we could expect it back and no one was talking for several days.''
A July report on NOAA by the Inspector General for the Commerce Department--where NOAA sits--criticized an array of ''high-risk vulnerabilities'' in the security of NOAA's satellite information and weather service systems.
The report echoed the views of a 2009 audit from the IG that said the primary system that processes satellite data from two environmental and meteorological systems had ''significant'' security weaknesses, and that ''a security breach could have severe or catastrophic adverse effects...''
The watchdog's previously unreleased report, obtained by The Post under a Freedom of Information Act request, called for ''immediate management attention'' and said NOAA's security planning was so poor the agency had little idea how vulnerable its system was.
Mary Pat Flaherty works on investigative and long-range stories. Her work has won numerous national awards, including the Pulitzer Prize.
Jason is currently the Washington Post's weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
Lisa Rein covers the federal workforce and issues that concern the management of government.
Planes subject to hack attack
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:15
Computer scientists at the University of California and John Hopkins University claim equipment used by private pilots when they're flying is vulnerable to hacking.
And that, said the scientists, could not surprisingly lead to catastrophic results.
The researchers looked at three sets of devices and apps that private pilots commonly use '' the Appareo Stratus 2 receiver using the ForeFlight app; the Garmin GDL 39 receiver with the Garmin Pilot app; and the SageTech Clarity CL01 with the WingX Pro7 app.
These devices let hobby pilots use the same info that pilots of a private jet receive but the systems cost $1,000, compared to $20,000 for instruments in high end cockpits.
The devices display location, weather, airspace restrictions and nearby aircraft on a tablet computer via the apps and that's where the vulnerabilities start. Kirill Levchenkto, a computer scientist at UC San Diego said: ''When you attack these devices, you don't have control over the aircraft, but you have control over the information the pilot sees.''
Apparently the FAA has the authority to regulate devices but chooses not to as they're not part of the fabric of a plane.
All three devices let attackers tamper with communication between receiver and tablet.
There are ways to fix the vulnerabilities including cryptography, signed firmware updates and explicit user interaction before downloading device firmware.
MH370 Evidence Points to Sophisticated Hijackers | Jeff Wise
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 19:05
The 777 E/E bay access hatch. Click for video.
Newly emerged details concerning Malaysia Airlines flight 370's electrical system indicate that whoever took over the plane was technically sophisticated, possessing greater knowledge of Boeing 777 avionics than most commercial line pilots. They also suggest that the plane's captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, was not responsible for taking the plane.
The new information comes via Michael Exner, a satellite industry veteran who has been one of the most prominent independent experts investigating the airliner's disappearance. Several days ago Exner gained access to a major US airline's professional-grade flight simulator facility, where he was able to run flight profiles accompanied by two veteran 777 pilots. ''This is a state-of-the-art 777 simulator, level D, part of one of the most modern training facilities on earth,'' Exner says.
A little background. As is well known, approximately forty minutes after its departure from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing, someone turned off all communications between MH370 and the outside world. Around the same time the plane turned sharply to the left and headed back over the Malayan Peninsula. Among the systems that were shut off were satellite communications; the transponder; and two automatic reporting systems, ACARS and ADS-B. The plane went dark just as it entered the space between two air-traffic control zones and was temporarily unmonitored, a sign that whoever planned the diversion wished to avoid detection and was well versed in international air traffic control procedures.
For approximately the next hour, MH370's progress was visible only to military radar. The plane flew straight and fast between established navigational points, indicating that the aircraft had not suffered mechanical accident. At 18.22 UTC the plane was heading west out into the Indian Ocean when it passed out of range of military radar. At that point, the plane became effectively invisible. Shrouded in night, with approximately six hours' fuel aboard, the plane could have reached any point within a 3000-mile radius and no one on the ground would have been any wiser. But it did not stay dark. Less than a minute later, MH370's satellite communications system was switched back on.
Over the span of several minutes, between 18.25 and 18.28, the Satellite Data Unit (SDU) transmitted a flurry of brief electronic messages with Inmarsat satellite 3F-1, which occupies a geosynchronous orbit above the Indian Ocean. In a report issued this June, the Australian Transport Safety Board stated that the signals were ''generated as part of a Log-on sequence after the terminal has likely been power cycled.''
Until now, it has not been publicly known how such a power-cycling could have taken place.
At the simulator facility, Exner reports, he was able to confirm ''that there is no way to turn off the primary power to the satcom from the cockpit. It is not even described in the flight manuals. The only way to do is to find an obscure circuit breaker in the equipment bay [i.e. the Electronic and Equipment bay, or E/E bay, is the airplane's main electronic nerve center].'' Both of the pilots accompanying him told Exner that ''pilots are not trained to know that detail.''
Why the satellite communications system was turned back on is unknown. The system was never used; no outgoing telephone calls were placed, no text messages were sent, and two inbound calls from Malaysia Airlines to the plane went unanswered. Aproximately every hour for the next six hours, however, a geostationary communications satellite sent electronic handshake signals, and the SDU aboard the plane responded, confirming that the system was still active and logged on. Though the signals contained no messages per se, the frequency at which they were sent, and the time it took to send and receive them, have been used to determine the plane's probable direction of travel.
The fact that the SDU was turned back on provides a window into the circumstances of the hijack. For one thing, since the SDU integrates information from other parts of the plane's computer system, we know that the plane's electronics were substantially functional, and perhaps entirely so. Second, the fact that the perpetrator (or perpetrators) knew how to access this compartment and how to toggle the correct switches suggests a high degree of technical sophistication.
Further evidence of the hijacker's sophistication comes from the fact that they also managed to turn of the ACARS reporting system. This is can be done from the cockpit, but only by those with specialized knowledge. ''Disabling it is no simple thing,'' Emirates Airline CEO Tim Clark told Der Spiegel recently, ''and our pilots are not trained to do so.''
For all its importance, the 777 E/E bay is surprisingly accessible to members of the flying public. The hatch, generally left unlocked, is set in the floor at the front of the first class cabin, near the galley and the lavatories. You can see a video of a pilot accessing the E/E bay inflight here. (In Airbus jets, the hatch is located on the far side of the locked cockpit door.) Once inside, an intruder would have immediate physical access to the computer systems that control communication, navigation, and flight surfaces. A device called a Portable Maintenance Access Terminal allows ground crew to plug into the computer system to test systems and upload software.
The security implications of leaving the plane's nerve-center freely accessible have not gone unnoticed. Matt Wuillemin, an Australian former 777 pilot, wrote a master's thesis on the vulnerability in June 2013 and submitted it various industry groups in the hope of spurring action, such as the installation of locks. In his thesis, Wuillemin notes that in addition to the Flight Control Computers, the E/E bay also houses the oxygen cylinders that supply the flight crews' masks in case of a depressurization event and the controls for the system that locks the flight deck door. ''Information is publicly available online describing the cockpit defences and systems located within this compartment,'' Wuillemin notes. ''This hatch may therefore be accessible inflight to a knowledgeable and malevolent passenger with catastrophic consequences.''
Wuillemin reports that, among others, he sent his thesis to Emirates' Tim Clark. A vice president for engineering at Emirates responded that the airline did not perceive the hatch to be a security risk, since the area is monitored by cabin crew and surveillance cameras. Wuillemin notes that cabin crew are often called away to duty elsewhere, and that the surveillance cameras are only routinely monitored when someone is seeking entry to the cockpit; he adds:
Emirates considered the possible requirement for crew to access the area should there be a 'small' in-flight fire. Research indicated there is no procedure, checklist or protocol (manufacturer, regulator or operator) to support this latter position. In fact, Emirates Operations manuals (at that time) specifically prohibited crew accessing this area in flight. Emirates amended the Operations manual recently and re-phrased the section to 'enter only in an emergency'.
The fact that someone must have entered the E/E bay during MH370's disappearance diminishes the likelihood of one of the more popular MH370 theories: that the captain barred himself in the cockpit before absconding with the plane. Even if he locked the copilot on the far side of the door and depressurized the cabin to incapacitate everyone aboard, emergency oxygen masks would have deployed and provided those in the cabin with enough air to prevent Zaharie from leaving the cockpit before the next ACARS message was scheduled to be sent at 17:37, 18 minutes after the flight crew sent its last transmission, ''Goodnight, Malaysia 370'' at 17:19.
It's conceivable that Zaharie could have acted in advance by leaving the cockpit, descending into the E/E bay, pulling the circuit breakers on the satcom system and then returning to the cockpit to lock himself in before making the final radio call and diverting the plane to the west, depressurizing the cabin, and waiting until everyone was dead before returning to the E/E bay to turn the SDU back on. But if his goal was to maintain radio silence he could have achieved the same effect much more simply by using cockpit to controls to deselect the SDU without turning it off.
As it happens, Wuillemin's efforts to draw attention to the potential hazards afforded by unlocked E/E bay hatches proved too little, too late. MH370 went missing just two months after he submitted his work to the Australian government.
James Langevin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 23:29
James R. Langevin (born April 22, 1964) is the U.S. Representative for Rhode Island's 2nd congressional district, serving since 2001. He is a member of the Democratic Party.
Early life and education[edit]Langevin was born in Providence, Rhode Island. He attended Bishop Hendricken High School, located in Warwick, Rhode Island, and then went on to study at Rhode Island College, from which he received an undergraduate degree, in addition to serving as President of Student Community Government, Inc., and he has a Masters of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University.[1]
In 1980, at age 16, he was seriously injured in an accidental shooting. He had been working as a volunteer at the Warwick Police Department when a weapon accidentally discharged, leaving him a quadriplegic.
Rhode Island government[edit]Langevin's first experience in politics was when he was elected to the state's 1986 constitutional convention and was named its secretary. Langevin, who uses a wheelchair, once ran on the slogan "I'll stand up for you", which he stated during a meeting in West Warwick.
Langevin was first elected a member of the Rhode Island General Assembly in 1988 and served as a state representative until 1994. He was elected Secretary of State of Rhode Island in November 1994, defeating Republican incumbent Barbara Leonard. While Secretary of State, he earned a reputation for weeding out corruption in state government.
U.S. House of Representatives[edit]Committee assignments[edit]Caucus Memberships[edit]Congressional Arts CaucusPolitical positions[edit]Abortion[edit]Langevin has a mixed record on abortion. He has voted both to restrict and defend the choice to have the procedure. He voted against banning abortion coverage in the Affordable Care Act, however he has voted for the Abortion Pain Bill, which seeks ''to ensure that women seeking an abortion are fully informed regarding the pain experienced by their unborn child."[2] However, he strongly promotes contraceptive availability, and in a statement in 2007 said, ''I have great respect for the passion displayed by Mr. Smith and Mr. Stupak and I share their opposition to abortion. However, in this instance I must strongly disagree with their decision to prevent the distribution of contraception to some of the most poor and needy people and nations in the world.''[3] Because of his mixed stance on the issue, he has received fluctuating ratings from interest groups such as Planned Parenthood and the National Right to Life Committee.[4]
Langevin believes that abortion should be legal when the pregnancy is a result of incest or rape or when the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother, but does wish to decrease the number of abortions in the country.[5] His relatively complex stance on abortion contributes to somewhat contradictory interest group ratings because of his supporting of various bills: Representative Langevin's stance on abortion supported the interests of the NARAL Pro-Choice America 0 percent in 2006 but in 2007, the same group gave Representative Langevin a grade of 100 and the National Right to Life Committee gave the Representative zero points, with points assigned for actions connected to a pro-life anti-abortion agenda.[6]
Healthcare[edit]On the issue of Health Care, Langevin has strongly demonstrated his support of reform. In May 2009, he introduced the American Health Benefits Program Act of 2009, which has the stated purpose of "amending the Social Security Act and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to assure comprehensive, affordable health insurance coverage for all Americans through an American Health Benefits Program.[7] He has voted in favor of health care extensively during his time in office.[8] In addition, he receives much of his campaign donations from health professionals.[9] Langevin stated his goal for universal health care as ''a system of portable and continuous coverage based on quality, affordability and choice that promotes investment in long-term prevention and drives down the cost of care over time.''[10]
Labor[edit]Langevin is considered strongly pro-labor. He has received $130,000 in campaign contributions from pro-labor groups.[11] During his time in office, he has supported labor interests in over 25 votes.[12] Numerous labor interest groups have rated him extremely highly, including the United Auto Workers, the AFL-CIO, and the Utility Workers Union of America.[13] Interestingly, however, the Latin America Working Group and The Alliance for Worker Freedom have ranked Langevin very poorly.[13]
Gun control[edit]He supports gun control, and co-sponsored a 2005 bill which would have reauthorized the 1994 assault weapons ban, which had expired in 2004.
Stem cell research[edit]One of Langevin's top priorities as a Member of Congress has been the expansion of federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.[14] His policy position is driven by his paralysis and the possibilities that stem cell research provide in helping this condition; he joined other members of the House in introducing the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, expanding the limited funding put in place in 2001.[14]
Cybersecurity[edit]Langevin helped to found the House Cybersecurity Caucus, which he co-chairs.[15] The Representative has appeared on 60 Minutes speaking about the national security challenges the country will face this century in regards to protecting infrastructure and data.[16] Langevin has said that he hopes to raise awareness of the need for security in that area and supports strict penalties for internet crimes as well as strong internet privacy laws.[5]
Rep. Langevin supports cybersecurity measures as long as they do not add "unnecessary regulations to business".[17] His state of Rhode Island passed a statewide cybersecurity plan which Langevin greatly supported in October 2012. In May of 2012, Langevin proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act(NDAA) which would account for the cyber risks that United States faces in terms of national security, saying without these measures the United States is " ignoring key aspects of what is fast becoming the biggest threat to our security"[18]
"Cybersecurity contractors General Dynamics and Raytheon were Langevin's two top sources for campaign contributions" in the 2010 election.[15]
Armed forces[edit]Langevin, who serves on the Committee of Armed Services, has regularly voted for additional support of armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan but he has voted for a timeline for U.S. forces to leave Iraq as well as a ban on any permanent U.S. bases in the country.[19] Langevin has also voted against limiting the interrogation techniques used in fighting terror and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.[20]
Tax cuts[edit]Langevin, who serves on the Congressional Committee on the Budget, believes in tax-cuts for low-income and middle class citizens while eliminating the tax cuts made for the wealthy, indicating in his Political Courage Test that he wishes to ''greatly decrease'' taxes for families making less than $75,000.[5] Langevin also supports temporary incentives for businesses to invest in job creation. Representative Langevin, with a 100% rating from the AFL-CIO, is pro-labor and supports the regulation of business.[6]
Advocacy for people with disabilities[edit]Langevin is known as an advocate for people with disabilities and for universal health care, being himself a quadriplegic. He is the first quadriplegic to serve in Congress.[21]
On July 27, 2004, he spoke to the Democratic National Convention, largely on the subject of stem cell research.
In March 2007, Langevin became a co-sponsor of the Christopher and DanaReeve Paralysis Act, which had the stated purpose of "enhancing and furthering research into paralysis and to improve rehabilitation and the quality of life for persons living with paralysis and other physical disabilities." The bill passed the House of Representatives but not the Senate. However, in 2009, the bill was included in the Omnibus Public Land Management Act, also co-sponsored by Langevin, which passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Barack Obama.
For the Presidency in 2008, Langevin announced his support for Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY),[22] by serving as a special adviser on issues ranging from stem cell research to people with disabilities.
On July 26th, 2010, Langevin became the first member of Congress to preside over the House of Representatives while using a wheelchair.[23] The House had just recently installed a wheelchair lift leading up to the Speaker's rostrum.[24]
The Environment[edit]Representative Langevin leans to the left on environmental and energy issues in Congress. Environmental issue groups have generally given him high ratings; more recently he received a 97% from the League of Conservation Voters in 2011. He has also received a rating of 100% from the Defenders of Wildlife Foundation. Conservative issue groups concerning the energy and the environment have given him very low ratings. He is a strong supporter of alternative energy from oil and coal, voting 'Nay' for the Stop the War Against Coal Act of September 2012[25] and he has supported measures for new wind farms in New England. He has praised these developments, saying wind farm "development holds great promise for Rhode Island and the country to have more stable and cleaner energy resources, while boosting our economy by presenting an opportunity to build a manufacturing base for these turbines and create quality jobs in the Ocean State."[26][27]
In 2011, Langevin strongly opposed the Energy Tax Prevention Act, which would limit the EPA's ability to regulate carbon outputs. Calling the act the "Dirty Air Act," Langevin explained that in passing this act America would be "turning back the progress we have made to protect our health under the Clean Air Act," also claiming that the passage of the bill would be "continuing our nation's addiction to foreign oil."[28] Moreover, he has fought for more environmental regulations that he believes will help Rhode Islanders live healthier lives, saying that "protecting the environment is a matter of pride."[29]
Political campaigns[edit]Langevin was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2000, defeating perennial candidate Robert Tingle for a seat that was left open when Congressman Robert Weygand ran for the U.S. Senate. He took office in 2001, representing Rhode Island's 2nd congressional district. He has been re-elected with relative ease ever since, defeating independent Rodney Driver in 2006 and Republican Mark Zaccaria in 2008.
2010In 2010, he again defeated Republican nominee Mark Zaccaria.
2012Langevin ran for reelection in the 2nd District.[30] He was challenged by Republican nominee Michael Riley and Independent Abel Collins, an environmental activist.[31] Langevin was re-elected with 55.7% of the vote.[32]
References[edit]^"U.S. Representative Jim Langevin at house.gov". Archived from the original on 2008-03-27. Retrieved 2008-04-22. ^"Project Vote Smart - Representative Langevin on HR 6099 - Abortion Pain Bill". Votesmart.org. Retrieved 2010-07-12. ^"Project Vote Smart - Representative James R. 'Jim' Langevin - The Department Of State, Foreigh Operations And Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008-Continued". Votesmart.org. 2007-06-21. Retrieved 2010-07-12. ^"Project Vote Smart - Representative James R. 'Jim' Langevin - Interest Group Ratings". Votesmart.org. 2010-05-14. Retrieved 2010-07-12. ^ abc"Congressional Election 2000 National Political Awareness Test". ^ ab"Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings of James Langevin". ^"H.R. 2399: American Health Benefits Program Act of 2009". GovTrack.us. Retrieved 2010-07-12. ^"Project Vote Smart - Representative James R. 'Jim' Langevin - Voting Record". Votesmart.org. Retrieved 2010-07-12. ^"Jim Langevin: Campaign Finance/Money - Summary - Congressman 2008". OpenSecrets. Retrieved 2010-07-12. ^"Jim Langevin for Congress: Issues: Health Care". Jimlangevin.com. Retrieved 2010-07-12. [dead link]^"Jim Langevin: Campaign Finance/Money - Industries - Congressman 2008 | OpenSecrets". 63.e5bed1.client.atlantech.net. 2009-07-13. Retrieved 2010-07-12. ^"Project Vote Smart - Representative James R. 'Jim' Langevin - Voting Record". Votesmart.org. Retrieved 2010-07-12. ^ ab"Project Vote Smart - Representative James R. 'Jim' Langevin - Interest Group Ratings". Votesmart.org. Retrieved 2010-07-12. ^ ab"James Langevin for Congress: Stem Cells". ^ abCarney, Timothy (2011-04-27) The rise of the cybersecurity-industrial complex, Washington Examiner^"Cyber security is the topic for Langevin on 60 Minutes", Providence Journal-Bulletin, November 8, 2009^"Langevin Responds to Panetta's Stark Warnings about Cyber Threats". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 21 December 2012. ^"Langevin Proposes Cybersecurity Amendments to Defense Bill". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 21 December 2012. ^"James Langevin's Voting Record on Defense". ^"James Langevin's Voting Record on the Military". ^http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2010/07/historic-lift-wheelchairbound-member-presides-over-house/^"Rhode Island Rep. Jim Langevin Endorses Clinton". June 1, 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-22. ^http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2010/07/historic-lift-wheelchairbound-member-presides-over-house/^http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2010/07/historic-lift-wheelchairbound-member-presides-over-house/^"HR 3409 - Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012 - Key Vote". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 21 December 2012. ^"Langevin Applauds Key Step Toward RI Wind Farm". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 21 December 2012. ^"Interior Launches Leasing Process for Commercial Wind Energy Offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 21 December 2012. ^"Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 21 December 2012. ^"Langevin, Kennedy Urge Defeat of Anti-Environmental Legislation". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 21 December 2012. ^Peoples, Steve (April 29, 2011). "Langevin's Influence Jeopardized in Minority". GoLocalProv. Retrieved April 7, 2012. ^Arditi, Lynn (7 June 2012). "Environmental activist challenges Langevin for District 2 seat". The Providence Journal. Retrieved 16 June 2012. ^"2012 House Races". Politico. Retrieved 30 January 2013. External links[edit]PersondataNameLangevin, JamesAlternative namesShort descriptionAmerican politicianDate of birthApril 22, 1964Place of birthProvidence, Rhode IslandDate of deathPlace of death
Private Jihad - The New Yorker
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 20:24
Rita Katz is tiny and dark, with volatile brown eyes, and when she is nervous or excited she can't sit still. She speaks in torrents, ten minutes at a stretch. Everybody who works in intelligence calls her Rita, even people who don't know her well. She sometimes telephones people she hasn't met'--important people in the government'--to tell them things that she thinks they ought to know. She keeps copies of letters from officials whose investigations into terrorism she has assisted. ''You and your staff . . . were invaluable additions to the investigative team,'' the special agent in charge of the F.B.I.'s Salt Lake City Division wrote; the Assistant U.S. Attorney in Boise said, ''You are a rare and extraordinary gem that has appeared too infrequently throughout the course of history.'' The letters come in handy, she told me, when she meets with skepticism or lack of interest; they are her establishment bona fides.
Katz, who was born in Iraq and speaks fluent Arabic, spends hours each day monitoring the password-protected online chat rooms in which Islamic terrorists discuss politics and trade tips: how to disperse botulinum toxin or transfer funds, which suicide vests work best. Occasionally, a chat-room member will announce that he is turning in his user name and password and going to Iraq to become a martyr, a shaheed. Several weeks later, his friends will post a report of the young man blowing himself up. Katz usually logs on at six in the morning. When she has guests for dinner, she leaves a laptop open on the kitchen counter, so she can check for updates. ''It is completely addicting,'' she says. ''You wake up thinking, I've been offline for seven hours, but the terrorists have been making plans.''
Traditionally, intelligence has been filtered through government agencies, such as the C.I.A. and the N.S.A., which gather raw data and analyze it, and the government decides who sees the product of their work and when. Katz, who is the head of an organization called the Search for International Terrorist Entities, or SITE Institute, has made it her business to upset that monopoly. She and her researchers mine online sources for intelligence, which her staff translates and sends out by e-mail to a list of about a hundred subscribers.
Katz's client list includes people in the government who are presumably frustrated by how long it takes to get information through official channels; it also includes people in corporate security and in the media, who rarely get much useful material from the C.I.A. She has worked with prosecutors on more than a dozen terrorism investigations, and many American officers in Iraq rely on Katz's e-mails to, for example, brief their troops on the designs for explosives that are passed around terrorist Web sites. ''You're thrown into Baghdad, and there are a million different groups out there you've never heard of claiming responsibility for attacks,'' Robert Worth, a Times reporter who used Katz's service during the eighteen months he spent in Iraq, told me. ''Rita really knows what she's talking about'--who's responsible for attacks, what's a legitimate terrorist organization and what's not.'' Because many reporters rebroadcast her information, it can reach the public before people in the government have had a chance to evaluate it; her organization's work is cited in the Times and the Washington Post about twice a month.
Katz has many critics, who believe that she is giving terrorists a bigger platform than they would otherwise have, and that the certainty and obsession that make her a dedicated archivist also make her too eager to find plots where they don't exist; she publicized a manual for using botulinum in terror attacks, for example, which experts later concluded was not linked to any serious threat. It's possible that her immersion in the world of terrorism has removed whatever skepticism or doubts she may have had. ''Much as Al Jazeera underplays terrorist threats, the SITE Institute at times overhypes them,'' Michael Scheuer, the former head of the C.I.A.'s bin Laden unit, said.
More fundamentally, some people involved in counterterrorism do not think that a private group with limited resources can do as good or as prudent a job as government agencies can. ''Intelligence analysis is a set of skills that you learn, not just something that anyone can walk in off the street and pick up,'' Steven Aftergood, who monitors the intelligence community for the Federation of American Scientists, told me. Katz, however, pointed out that, for example, the professionals consistently missed signals about Al Qaeda before September 11, 2001, and said that she was simply filling a gap. (A 2004 audit showed that the F.B.I. alone had thousands of hours of untranslated intercepts.) Indeed, Katz has received outsourcing contracts from the government.
Before the September 11, 2001, attacks, the official counterterrorism agencies paid relatively little attention to the jihadis' online presence. But in the past few years that has changed, in large measure because of changes in the way terror networks operate. ''Nearly everything about Al Qaeda that matters is happening online right now,'' Peter Bergen, a journalist and terrorism expert, said. Some analysts believe that Al Qaeda today is a model of what is called ''leaderless resistance'': self-appointed cells operating with help and inspiration from materials that they find online. Traffic rose dramatically after Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of Al Qaeda in Iraq, posted a video of the beheading of the American contractor Nicholas Berg.
''It's not as if Al Qaeda were inventing this,'' Jessica Stern, a terrorism specialist who served on the National Security Council under President Clinton, said. What's unique about Islamic terror and the Internet is that there is up-to-the-minute access to what terrorists are thinking. Rita Katz is, in a sense, the natural complement, the engineer of a leaderless counter-resistance to the terrorist groups. ''Some people think that she's a zealot,'' Stern said when I asked her about Katz, ''but only a zealot would provide this kind of service.''
In March, I visited Katz at her office, on the seventh floor of an old building in a Northeastern city that she refuses to allow reporters to identify in print. She told me to take a train to the city's main terminal, and then call the office for further directions. By the time I got to SITE's locked door, which has a black security camera and a plaque bearing the name of a nonexistent business, I half expected to walk into a center full of high-tech equipment, with flashing maps and screens.
The SITE Institute's office looked like a college newspaper's. There were three rooms: Katz's office, dominated by a large conference table; a small room for two translators (more work part time, from home); and what's called the pit, where several researchers and interns, all in their twenties, sat under a long, eye-level row of mug shots of wanted terrorists'--mostly bearded Arab men, with grim, unsmiling glares. There was an air of intense isolation, with everyone focussed on his own projects. It was hard to ignore the office's youth; Katz told me of a new service she had added that scanned French-language terrorist sites, and that depended on an undergraduate intern who spoke fluent French (Katz has since hired another French-speaker for the service).
Each day, Katz finds about a half-dozen items on the Arabic message boards that are worth distributing. Her researchers, who monitor English-language jihadist Web sites, often find a few more. Some are propaganda: videos taking responsibility for attacks, statements of intent to attack, announcements of allegiances or splits. Others involve tactics and weapons. ''You don't need to go to Afghanistan for training anymore,'' Katz said as we paged through a list of credit-card information that seemed to have been stolen from Houston suburbanites. ''You just get it on the Internet.'' SITE tries to have the items translated and sent to subscribers within an hour and a half of their first appearance online; when the material could be a big news story'--for instance, a new audiotape released by Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's closest associate'--SITE's translation may go on television a few minutes later. The full transcript of the video of the American reporter Jill Carroll, made by her kidnappers, was posted within twenty-five minutes.
Katz has a testy relationship with the government, sometimes acting as a consultant and sometimes as an antagonist. About a year ago, a SITE staffer, under an alias, managed to join an exclusive jihadist message board that, among other things, served as a debarkation point for many would-be suicide bombers. For months, the staffer pretended to be one of the jihadis, joining in chats and watching as other members posted the chilling messages known as ''wills,'' the final sign-offs before martyrdom. The staffer also passed along technical advice on how to keep the message board going. Eventually, he won the confidence of the site's Webmasters, who were impressed with his computer skills, and he gained access to the true e-mail addresses of the members and other information about them. After monitoring the site for several more days, the staffer told Katz that one of the site's members, a young Muslim man in a European country, had just posted a will. ''It was obvious that he was planning to become a martyr very soon,'' Katz said.
Katz called officials in Washington, and was met with institutional resistance: ''They said, 'Oh, Rita, I'm not sure you should even be communicating with them'--you might be providing material support!' And they wanted to get approval from the Department of Justice to look at the e-mails. I said, 'Look, we have to do something.' '' Katz then called an American counterterrorism official stationed in the young man's country, and he, in turn, sent the jihadi's e-mails to local investigators. Within twenty-four hours, they had him under surveillance, and a week later they arrested him. ''In my opinion, they probably wouldn't have had a clue if it hadn't been for Rita,'' the official told me. This, Katz said, is what she always hopes to achieve: ''It's one case where everything just worked so well.''
At the SITE office, Katz showed me some suicide-bombing videos from Iraq. They are often five or ten minutes long, overlaid with religious chanting. In one video, a middle-aged Iraqi doctor straps on a suicide vest. ''In Israel, they always told you that the profile of a suicide bomber was someone young, without family, from the lowest economic level, but what we see here over and over is just the opposite,'' Katz said.
We watched the last day in the life of Abu Mouwayia al-Shimali, a chubby, bespectacled Saudi. Shimali discusses a letter purportedly written by a female prisoner at Abu Ghraib named Fatima, describing nightly public rapes of female prisoners by American guards. The letter is apocryphal, but it has circulated widely online, and has become a rallying point for the Iraqi insurgency. Shimali does not sound unhinged or bloodthirsty; he sounds humble.
Shimali is shown waving as he walks to a car. Then he is in the driver's seat, with a rifle in his lap, patting a clunky metal apparatus next to him. His smile is warm, and he is speaking in a measured tone. ''He is saying, 'This is my bomb,' '' Katz translated. The car pulls up to a dusty checkpoint manned by American and Iraqi soldiers, and then explodes. SITE distributed the video two days after it was posted. As you watch, it feels not like an advertisement for homicide but like an advertisement for belief. Katz told me that even she, watching such videos, could imagine wanting to become a suicide bomber.
Katz believes that America has so far understood the terrorist threat only in bastardized and insufficient terms. She believes that it is wrong to assert, as President Bush does, that terrorists are motivated by hatred for our freedoms rather than by our policies in the Middle East or those of their own governments. Though she herself is circumspect about the issue of Iraq, some members of her staff believe that the war is a distraction from the fight with radical Islamic terrorism. But Katz also believes that terrorists are more sophisticated and resilient than most Americans realize, that the war against radical Islam is likely to last for decades, and that the outcome is far from clear. Her project is, in large measure, to convince Americans of the seriousness of the threat by building a direct conduit to the terrorist mind.
''What makes Rita unique is her background,'' Peter Probst, a terrorism consultant and retired C.I.A. officer who works with Katz, told me. ''Because of what she'd been through, she understood the threat earlier and better than most of us.''
Katz was born in Basra, Iraq, in 1963, one of four children of a wealthy Jewish businessman. In 1968, in the wake of the Six-Day War, the Baath government, with Saddam Hussein as its head of security, encouraged attacks against Iraqi Jews. Some Jews from prominent families were arrested and charged with spying for Israel, among them Katz's father. After he was imprisoned, his wife and children were transported to Baghdad and kept under house arrest in a stone hut. Katz's father was convicted in a military tribunal and executed, in 1969, with eight other Jews and five non-Jews, in a public hanging in Baghdad's central square. Hundreds of thousands of cheering Iraqis attended; the government offered free transportation to people from the provinces, and belly dancers performed for the crowd. Katz was six years old.
After the family had been living in the hut for months, Katz's mother drugged the guards and escaped with the children. By pretending to be the wife of a well-known Iraqi general, a woman she faintly resembled, she got the family first to the Iranian border and then to Israel. They settled in a small seaside town called Bat-Yam. Katz did her military service in the Israel Defense Forces after high school, and studied politics and history at Tel Aviv University. She married a medical student, and went into business with her mother, manufacturing clothes; Katz handled sales. In 1997, Katz's husband won a fellowship to do research in endocrinology at the National Institutes of Health, and they moved to Washington with their three children. (They later had a fourth.)
The particulars of her biography'--her father's execution, her escape from Iraq, and her education in Israel'--give Katz, in the eyes of some in the counterterrorism community, a kind of bionic character, as if she had been designed to hunt down terrorists. Her friends and allies are awed by her background; her critics find in it reason to be suspicious of her motives. Katz claims to attach no special meaning to it. ''I would have to think about that,'' she said, when I asked her if her early life had made her particularly sensitive to the terrorist threat. Later, she told me, ''I know that the people who killed my father aren't the same as the jihadis, but obviously I would never have got interested in the politics of this part of the world if it weren't for his execution.'' (She also said, ''When you grow up in a place like Iraq, you understand maybe a little bit about how Arabs think, and also what they are capable of.'')
Katz's first nine months in the United States were lonely'--''I cried on the phone to my mama every day'''--and she abruptly quit the one job she held, as an assistant in a suburban gift shop. (She didn't get along with her boss.) She saw an ad for an Arabic-speaking research assistant, applied for the job, and got it. Her employer was the Investigative Project, run by Steven Emerson, a former reporter with an interest in terror networks. Emerson became widely known in the aftermath of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, when, appearing as an expert on CBS News, he theorized that the attack was the work of Islamic extremists. It turned out that Timothy McVeigh was responsible.
The Investigative Project was an exciting place to be. By the mid-nineties, the Internet had begun to change intelligence gathering profoundly, allowing groups like Emerson's to emerge'--self-styled spies who relied on the floods of ''open source'' information available online'--tax records, credit reports, Internet newsletters written by people in Belgrade or Indonesia. Senior counterterrorism officials had been slow to take open-source information seriously. ''It was seen as irrelevant, and they much preferred working with spies and satellites,'' Timothy Naftali, of the University of Virginia, who wrote a history of American counterterrorism for the 9/11 Commission, said. Katz would start with the name of an organization, or an individual, and pore over records to find out who was associated with whom, whether they were sending money overseas, what they were writing. She was amazed at what she could discover. She began joining message boards related to a particular group or mosque and chatting with her subjects online, pretending to be a Muslim man.
The Investigative Project also did undercover work at Islamic fund-raisers and rallies. ''Our families all thought we were nuts,'' Evan Kohlmann, who worked with Katz and Emerson, said. (Kohlmann now runs his own Web-based consultancy, globalterroralert.com.) The I.P. sometimes sent Katz to events where non-Muslims would stand out; she pretended to be the wife of a radical Iraqi-American businessman. She taped crowds outside the Israeli Embassy screaming in Arabic, ''Jew, Jew, Muhammad is coming to get you.'' At particularly radical fund-raisers and conferences, she wore a burka, spoke a deferential Iraqi-accented Arabic, and sat apart from the men, averting her eyes. By volunteering to send cash to the families of suicide bombers, she said, she figured out which organizations were funnelling money to them. She openly videotaped events, as true believers do, and, she said, ''sometimes when I had trouble holding the video camera, they would be very polite and hold it for me.'' She became so consumed by this work'--telephoning her house from other cities at odd hours and telling her family that she'd be back in a day or two but couldn't say why'--that her husband suspected her of having an affair.
On December 14, 1999, an Algerian named Ahmed Ressam was arrested as he tried to cross the border from Canada with a trunk full of materials for an explosive device that he intended to detonate at Los Angeles International Airport. Richard A. Clarke, who was then President Clinton's counterterrorism adviser, called Emerson from the White House and asked the Investigative Project for a report on militant Islamic cells in North America. The worry was that Ressam was part of a larger plot planned for the millennium. Each day for the next two weeks, Kohlmann, Katz, Emerson, and two other analysts stayed at the office until well past midnight, looking through public records and other sources. Katz became convinced that she was looking at a single global network of terror. ''We began to realize how big it was, and how little anyone knew about it,'' she said, ''and it just began to swallow me up.''
On September 11, 2001, Kohlmann, then in law school, raced out of class and called Katz. ''She said, 'Time to get to work.' '' But by the following June Katz and Emerson, both combative personalities, had parted ways. Taking two staff members from the Investigative Project, Katz set up her own office. She got by on small government contracts. Some of that work, done for the Treasury Department, involved identifying Islamic groups that might be sending money to terrorist organizations. She also had a contract with the Swiss government and with a group of relatives of 9/11 victims who were suing Saudi Arabian officials, businesses, and charities. Still, during the first two years, Katz said, she couldn't always pay salaries.
But Katz's organization had embedded itself in the Internet, and when a part-time P.R. consultant whom Katz brought in suggested that she start a subscription service, Katz sent out an e-mail to people and groups she had worked with. In a few weeks, SITE had a few dozen subscribers, each paying twenty-five hundred dollars annually. (SITE is a nonprofit organization, and also raises money from private donors.)
The world of private, open-source counterterrorism operations is tiny'--a few dozen people, if you're counting liberally'--and it tends to have the same characteristics as other self-appointed, at-the-barricades (C)lites, like the neoconservatives, or the old American left, or, for that matter, an underground terrorist organization. There are the same personal allegiances and petty feuds, the same mixture of importance and self-importance. Kohlmann and Josh Devon, who left the Investigative Project with Katz and helped set up SITE, have been friends since middle school. They finished college in 2001. Kohlmann has long hair and a beard and is aided in his work, he said, ''by looking like the kind of grad-school, hippie American that Islamic terrorists think they can recruit''; Devon has curly hair and always looks slightly surprised. When I asked Devon whether they had given much thought to the implications of selling intelligence by subscription, he said, ''We were just trying to survive.''
In May, 2003, Katz published, anonymously, a memoir about her work, called ''Terrorist Hunter.'' (She was exposed as its author soon afterward.) The book is as psychologically blunt as she is, and the tone, at times, verges on smugness; the F.B.I., she writes, didn't ''possess one-thousandth of my knowledge on the relevant issues.'' It is also an account, in almost religious terms, of her revelation about the threat and reach of global Islamic terrorism. Not that Katz goes through any real conversion in the course of the book; the only change is the slow, mechanical development of na¯vet(C) into experience, of suspicion into conviction, like water into steam.
That month, Katz went on ''60 Minutes'' to promote ''Terrorist Hunter,'' and to talk about her investigation into terrorist financing. Wearing a wig, five hours' worth of makeup, and a large fake nose to conceal her identity, Katz also suggested that Mar-Jac Poultry, a Georgia chicken farm, was sending money to terrorists. She speculated that the company had hidden the transfers by selling chickens that it had recorded in its books as dead. Mar-Jac sued Katz and CBS. (The suit is still pending.) ''This woman knows nothing about money laundering, and she sure as hell knows nothing about poultry,'' Mar-Jac's lawyer, Wilmer Parker, told me.
Katz said that her information was sound, but the publicity from the suit was not good. And there were other setbacks. In 2004, after she spent months helping the Department of Justice prepare a case against a young University of Idaho computer scientist named Sami Omar al-Hussayen for giving material support to terrorists, a jury acquitted him.
The invasion of Iraq opened up new opportunities for small, private groups like SITE, and as the war went on, and the insurgency continued to grow, SITE provided instantaneous bits of information to keep up with the news cycle. ''It's like when CNN came on the scene in the Gulf War, with twenty-four-hour news'--it forever changed the field,'' Bruce Hoffman, a counterterrorism expert at RAND told me. ''SITE sends out six, seven e-mails a day, and the stuff is good, and it forces everyone else to play catch-up.''
SITE's detractors have also questioned the quality, or, rather, the possible slant, of SITE's translations'--an especially troubling issue given the shortage of alternatives. ''An Arabic word can have four or five different meanings in translation,'' Michael Scheuer, the former C.I.A. analyst, said. SITE, in his view, always picks the ''most warlike translation.''
''Our translations are as close as we can get to the original language,'' Katz told me. ''We have native speakers who do them, and I definitely don't tell the native speakers what word to use'--I am too busy to do that.''
Last December, Katz was reading a jihadist message board called Al Safanat when she discovered a manual describing how to attack the Alaska pipeline. She was struck by the level of detail: the manual recommended that an (C)lite cell of four or five men equipped with armor-piercing bullets or explosives sneak across the border into Alaska from Canada. ''They spilled our brothers' blood and they stole our oil resources,'' it said. ''This is our time to teach them a lesson.'' SITE sent the manual to its subscribers that day.
Soon afterward, the Anchorage Daily News published an article on the threat, crediting SITE for the information. ''That's when everything went crazy,'' Katz said. Other reports followed, and soon Katz's phone was ringing so frequently that she was overwhelmed. Things were even more overwhelming for workers on the pipeline. ''We were already in communication with local, state, and federal officials,'' Mike Heatwole, a spokesman for the company that manages the pipeline, said. When the media reports of the manual came out, Heatwole's company sent internal memos reassuring its employees and their spouses that there was no credible threat. ''The situation we don't want to be in is to have CNN on in our facilities and someone on TV saying, 'This just in'--terrorist threat to the pipeline,' and all our workers and their families saying, 'Oh, no!' ''
Katz conceded that her group doesn't check the scientific accuracy of each manual, or the legitimacy of every threat'--although she tries to make sure that the Web site that a particular item appears on has produced credible threats in the past, and that the threat seems serious. And, she said, vetting isn't her role. ''I'm telling people what terrorists are thinking,'' Katz says. ''Wouldn't you rather know that they're thinking about the Alaska pipeline, even if this manual wouldn't work?''
There are hundreds of extremist Web sites, but there is also a hierarchy: sites on which terrorist groups release statements and videos have the most devoted audiences. As soon as something appears, users post it on dozens of message boards, chat rooms, and blogs. For much of the past two years, activity centered on a board called Ansar; once it was shut down, with its British-based Webmaster imprisoned for his part in a bomb plot, users shifted to a board called Al Hesbah. ''There was absolutely no disruption,'' Katz said.
Al Hesbah has several thousand regular users, and most log on from Europe and the Middle East. The tone of the conversation is respectful'--''brother'' is the universal term of greeting'--and dissent is not tolerated. Once in a while, someone will ask whether it is justifiable to kill Muslims or women in the course of jihad in Iraq, but in the past year, according to Rebecca Givner-Forbes, an analyst with the Terrorism Research Center, ''that has pretty much stopped.''
One afternoon early last fall, Katz came across a new thread. It was about her. A jihadi had posted a link to the SITE Institute's Web site. ''The SITE is lurking,'' he wrote. Its people were on the boards, using false names and acting as spies. He urged his brothers to ferret them out and expel them.
But another poster responded that SITE might be providing a valuable service. He wrote, ''They translate the statements into English on our behalf, and they do not analyze them. Why do we not grab the opportunity?'' Eventually, a moderator on the site weighed in: ''All right, men, do not argue. We will carry out an election, and then we will see if we should keep them or expel them'--what do you think? I am a democratic operative, don't you think?'' He ended with a smiley-face emoticon. By the time attention shifted to a new thread, opinion was running fifty-fifty as to whether SITE was, on balance, good for jihad.
Terrorism is, in part, theatre and psychological warfare, and many of the statements that Katz translates are propaganda intended to raise the profile of obscure groups. Katz sees her audience mainly as professionals'--people whose job it is to stop terrorism or uncover it. But, by creating a shortcut around government agencies, she may also be contributing to the tendency that the media (and at times the government) has displayed since 9/11 to dramatize even the flimsiest threat. In recent months, Katz has noticed Algerian radicals and Afghan terrorists releasing videos that mirror Zarqawi's in substance and tone and that are also designed to impress young militants in the West. Katz believes that the terrorists have been underestimated, and that more people should have direct access to what they are thinking and saying. The terrorists, of course, think so, too.
Katz has a very specific vision of the counterterrorism problem, which she shares with most of the other contractors and consultants who do what she does. They believe that the government has failed to appreciate the threat of Islamic extremism, and that its feel for counterterrorism is all wrong. As they see it, the best way to fight terrorists is to go at it not like G-men, with two-year assignments and query letters to the staff attorneys, but the way the terrorists do, with fury and the conviction that history will turn on the decisions you make'--as an obsession and as a life style. Worrying about overestimating the threat is beside the point, because underestimating the threat is so much worse.
''The problem isn't Rita Katz'--the problem is our political conversation about terrorism,'' Timothy Naftali says. ''Now, after September 11th, there's no incentive for anyone in politics or the media to say the Alaska pipeline's fine, and nobody's cows are going to be poisoned by the terrorists. And so you have these little eruptions of anxiety. But, for me, look, the world is wired now: either you take the risks that come with giving people'--not just the government'--this kind of access to information or you leave them. I take them.'' '...
Rita Katz - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 20:19
Rita Katz (born 1963) is a terrorism analyst and the co-founder of the Search for International Terrorist Entities (SITE) Intelligence Group, a private intelligence firm based in Washington, DC.
The Institute tracks global terrorist networks, and intercepts and distributes secret messages, videos, and advance warnings of suicide bombings from terrorist groups' communications networks.[2][3]
Early life[edit]Katz, a fluent Arabic speaker, was born in Basra in Southern Iraq in 1963 to a well-to-do Iraqi Jewish family.[1][4] After the Six Day War and shortly after Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party seized power in Iraq in 1968, her father was arrested on charges of spying for Israel.[4] The family's property was confiscated by the state, and the rest of the family put under house arrest in a stone hut.[1][4] The following year, after having been tortured, Katz's father was convicted and executed in a public hanging in the central square of Baghdad to the roaring applause of more than half a million Iraqis; the government offered free transportation to people from the provinces, and belly dancers performed for the crowd.[1][4][5] Katz's mother managed to escape on foot with her three small children to Iran, and from there they made their way to Israel.[4]
The family settled in the seaside town of Bat Yam.[4] While in Israel, Katz served in the Israeli Defense Forces and studied politics, history, and Middle Eastern studies at Tel Aviv University.[4] As a committed Zionist, Katz was reluctant to ever leave Israel saying, ''I believed that Jews belong in Israel''.[6] Nevertheless in 1997 Katz's husband was offered a research fellowship in endocrinology at the National Institutes of Health and they moved to Washington with their three children.[7] Katz has acknowledged that at this time she worked in violation of the provisions of her visa. This was disclosed whilst she was acting as a witness against a defendant accused amongst other things of visa fraud.[8]
In approximately 1997 she began working for a Middle Eastern research institute.[1] As a result of her research, she realized that the Holy Land Foundation was a front group for Hamas.[1] Wanting to examine it more closely, she attended a fundraiser of theirs dressed as a Muslim woman.[1] Soon thereafter, again disguised as a Muslim woman, wearing a burqa and wearing recording equipment, she began attending Islamic conferences and fundraisers, visiting mosques, and participating in pro-Palestinian rallies in the U.S. as an undercover investigator in order to expose links of American Islamic groups to foreign terrorist groups.[1][9]
Katz's SITE Institute, co-founded with Josh Devon in July 2002, was funded by various federal agencies and private groups. It analyzes "corporate records, tax forms, credit reports, video tapes, internet news group postings and owned websites, among other resources, for indicators of illicit activity".[10] It provided information on radical Muslim groups operating in the United States, and led to closures of organizations, deportations, and ongoing investigations.[11] She spends hours every day monitoring password-protected online chat rooms in which Islamic terrorists discuss politics, exchange tips, and announce their plans and accomplishments.[4] She and her researchers research online sources for intelligence, which her staff translates and sends out by e-mail to about 100 subscribers.[4] Among her subscribers are people in government, in corporate security, and in the media.[4] She has worked with prosecutors on more than a dozen terrorism investigations, and many American officers in Iraq rely on her e-mails to, for example, brief troops on the designs for explosives that are passed around terrorist Web sites.[4]
With the SITE Institute, which she co-founded to monitor Islamic extremist websites and to expose terrorist front groups, she worked with federal investigators in terrorism cases.[4][12] She was cited in Richard Clarke's book, "Against All Enemies", as having helped to provide information to the government on the Al Qaeda network.[13][14] Clarke wrote that she and Steven Emerson, for whom she formerly worked, regularly provided the White House with a stream of information about possible Al Qaeda activity inside the U.S. that was apparently largely unknown to the FBI before the 9/11 attacks.[15] They gave Clarke and his staff the names of Islamic radical Web sites, the identities of possible terrorist front groups, and the phone numbers and addresses of possible terror suspects'--data Clarke was unable to get from elsewhere in the government.[16] She also served as a consultant in a $1 trillion wrongful-death suit seeking to hold Saudi government and business interests accountable for the 9/11 attacks.[citation needed]
In May 2003 Katz published an anonymous semi-autobiography entitled Terrorist Hunter: The Extraordinary Story of a Woman Who Went Undercover to Infiltrate the Radical Islamic Groups Operating in America. She appeared in disguise on the CBS newsmagazine, "60 Minutes", to promote her book using the pseudonym "Sarah", and wearing a wig and a fake nose,[17] to protect herself and her family from retaliation from groups that she said were linked to al-Qaeda, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah.[1] In the book she tries to reveal what she sees as the gravity and extent of the presence of Islamic fundamentalism in America, and that government agencies still do not all work together as one to fight terrorism, but instead hide information from each other, try to take over investigations, and even deliberately slow down terrorism investigations.[1]
SITE's work was cited in The New York Times and the Washington Post about twice a month as of 2006.[4] In January 2007, Al-Jazeerah reported that the National Association of Muslim American Women filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section, and also with the Executive Office for the United States Attorneys at the U.S. Department of Justice, alleging that as a result of misleading and false information provided to U.S. law enforcement agencies, the media, and various governmental bodies, various Jewish organizations and individuals including Katz had sought to create an environment in the U.S. that is hostile towards U.S. Muslims, resulting in the deprivation and violation of Muslim civil liberties and civil rights.[18]
In October 2007, it was revealed that Katz had discovered and issued to the Bush administration a copy of an Osama bin Laden video which had yet to be released by al-Qaeda. Katz issued the video via a private link to a SITE web page to White House counsel Fred F. Fielding and Joel Bagnal, deputy assistant to the President for Homeland Security. Within 20 minutes, computers registered to various parts of the Executive Branch began downloading the video, and within hours a transcript referencing SITE had appeared on Fox News. Katz had requested that the web page remain confidential, and has reported that dissemination of this information tipped off her Al-Qaeda supporters who had since eliminated the ability of SITE to gather such information.[19]
"Rita really knows what she's talking about'--who's responsible for attacks, what's a legitimate terrorist organization, and what's not", said Robert Worth, a New York Times reporter.[4]
Controversy[edit]In July 2003 two of the groups she discussed in her book and on television (the Heritage Education Trust and the Safa Trust) sued her and revealed her name and identity. The number of lawsuits she was named in rose to three, all in connection with her work helping the government investigate Islamic charities in northern Virginia. In two of the suits, targets of the investigation said they were defamed in the 60 Minutes television broadcast. Katz said she has been the victim of a smear campaign, and attempts to intimidate her, adding:
"As they were never able to challenge the accuracy of my research, and as they were upset by the ramifications of it in terms of arrests, indictments, and raids, a few Muslim activist organizations have on occasion tried to portray me as a Muslim-basher. I have no quarrel with Islam or Muslims, and I only target terrorists and their supporters."[20]
In one case, in 2005 federal Judge Leonie Brinkema dismissed Katz from the lawsuit by a leader of the International Institute of Islamic Thought, Iqbal Unus, and Katz's dismissal was upheld on appeal unanimously by a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2009. The court also ordered Unus to pay Katz $41,000 in legal fees.[21][22]
Critics of Katz claim she is giving terrorists a larger platform than they would otherwise have, and is too eager to find plots where they don't exist.[4] Some people also do not think a private group with limited resources can do as good a job as government agencies can.[4] Katz maintains professionals missed many signals about al-Qaeda before 9/11, and she is simply filling a gap.[4][23] A 2004 audit showed that the FBI alone had thousands of hours of untranslated intercepts.[4]
Book[edit]Select articles[edit]"American servers of terror", San Francisco Chronicle, with Josh Devon, August 11, 2002"Getting at the Whole Network; A lawsuit helps expose more of al Qaeda", National Review, with Josh Devon, August 20, 2002"The Weakness of the West; Stopping al Qaeda", National Review, with Josh Devon, September 17, 2002.[dead link]"Collaborating Financiers of Terror: Hamas and al Qaeda", National Review, with James Mitre, December 16, 2002.[dead link]"Terror Tools; Saudi-funded front in Michigan", National Review, with Josh Devon, March 11, 2003.[dead link]"Ending Al Qaeda; War's many fronts", National Review, with Josh Devon, March 20, 2003.[dead link]"Perilous Power Play; FBI vs. Homeland Security", National Review, with Josh Devon, May 27, 2003.[dead link]"A Global Network; What's really happening on some U.S. paintball courses", National Review, with Josh Devon, June 30, 2003.[dead link]"WWW.JIHAD.COM; E-Groups abused by jihadists", National Review, with Josh Devon, July 14, 2003.[dead link]"Al Qaeda's Fitna; The jihad on Muslims", National Review, with Josh Devon, February 6, 2004.[dead link]"Center of the Jihadist World; They call it ''Londonistan'' for a reason", National Review, with Michael Kern, July 11, 2005Katz, Rita. "It's Real; The arguments over that Zawahiri letter suggests we don't know our enemy"[dead link], National Review, October 21, 2005"The Coming New Wave of Jihad", The Boston Globe, March 13, 2006"Terrorist 007, Exposed", The Washington Post, with Michael Kern, May 26, 2006. Preview"Osama's olive branch to Shi'ites", The Boston Globe, with Josh Devon, July 26, 2006"Web of Terror", Forbes, with Josh Devon, May 7, 2007"Franchising Al Qaeda", The Boston Globe, with Josh Devon, June 22, 2007Testimony[edit]"The Online Jihadist Threat", Testimony Before the House Armed Services Committee; Terrorism, and Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, U.S. House of Representatives, with Josh Devon, February 14, 2007"The Online Jihadist Threat", Testimony Before The Homeland Security Committee; Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment, U.S. House of Representatives, with Josh Devon, November 6, 2007See also[edit]References[edit]^ abcdefghijLopez, Kathryn Jean (June 26, 2003). "Q-A: The Terrorist Hunter Speaks; An amazing story of an Iraqi Jew at the heart of dismantling terrorism.". National Review. Retrieved March 23, 2010. [dead link]^Bartholet, Jeffrey (September 11, 2007). "Keeping an Eye on Al Qaeda: Rita Katz surfs jihadi websites for indications of terrorist activity". Newsweek. Retrieved March 23, 2010. ^Warrick, Joby (September 12, 2007). "Bin Laden, Brought to You by...". The Washington Post. p. A01. Retrieved March 23, 2010. ^ abcdefghijklmnopqrWallace-Wells, Benjamin (May 29, 2006). "Private Jihad: How Rita Katz got into the spying business". The New Yorker. Retrieved March 23, 2010. ^Glick, Caroline B. "A personal jihad", Jerusalem Post, page 12B, July 25, 2003, (fee required) Retrieved 2010-03-23.^Aaron Leibel Author Infiltrates Islamic Terror Cells' Washington Jewish Week 29 August 2003^Benjamin Wallace-Wells, 'PRIVATE JIHAD: How Rita Katz got into the spying business', The New Yorker, 29 May 2006^Bob Fick, Associated Press. Jurors in Saudi computer student's terrorism trial can view, 14 May 2004^Malone, Julia. "Group hunting terrorists online: A nonprofit outfit screens thousands of jihadist Web sites", (fee required) Richmond Times, April 9, 2006. Retrieved 2010-03-23.^Watt, Holly, and Winnett, Robert. "Spies trawl Friends Reunited for terror whispers", The Sunday Times, August 6, 2006. Retrieved 2010-03-23.^Leibel, Aaron."Author Infiltrates Islamic Terror Cells", Jewish Journal, August 28, 2003. Retrieved 2010-03-23.^Cha, Ariana Eunjung."From a Virtual Shadow, Messages of Terror", The Washington Post, page A01, October 2, 2004. Retrieved 2010-03-23.^"Consultant gives limited testimony; Katz's court role in Al-Hussayen case mundane", Spokesman-Review, May 16, 2004,(fee required). Retrieved 03-23-10.^Schmitt, Richard B. "Demand Broadens the Field of Terror Experts; Young, Internet-savvy consultants are making careers in an area once reserved for bookish academics. Critics worry they're just cashing in", Los Angeles Times, (fee required) April 17, 2004. Retrieved January 31, 2010.^Sealey, Geraldine."Thursday's must-reads", Salon, April 1, 2004, accessed January 31, 2010[dead link]^Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball."Terror Watch: How Clarke 'Outsourced' Terror Intel; The Former Counterterrorism Chief Tapped A Private Researcher To Develop Intelligence On Al Qaeda. The Disclosure Sheds New Light On White House Frustrations With the FBI", Newsweek, March 31, 2004. Retrieved 2010-03-23.^Marc Perelman,'Muslim Charities Sue CBS, Investigator', Forward, 13 June 2003^"National Association of Muslim American Women files for Department of Justice investigation of Jewish Lobby," Al-Jazeerah, January 19, 2007. Retrieved 2010-03-23.^Warrick, Joby (October 9, 2007). "Leak Severed a Link to Al-Qaeda's Secrets: Firm Says Administration's Handling of Video Ruined Its Spying Efforts". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 23, 2010. ^Schmitt, Richard B."Antiterror expertise goes high-tech; Many consultants young, Web-savvy", Los Angeles Times, April 25, 2004. Retrieved 2010-03-23.^Gerstein, Josh. "Judge Dismisses Suit Questioning Federal Tactics", The New York Sun, November 8, 2007. Retrieved 2010-03-23.^O'Dell, Larry, Associated Press."Appeals court says raid on Muslims' Va. home OK", The Guardian, May 7, 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-23.^Worth, Robert F. "Mideast Analysis, Fast and Furious", The New York Times, June 18, 2006. Retrieved 2010-03-23.External links[edit]SITE Intel Group website"Islamist Networks in the United States; A Luncheon with Rita Katz, Director of the SITE Institute", The Nixon Center, November 19, 2003"Tracking the Terrorists Online", Yassin Musharbash, Der Spiegel, August 29, 2008Gannon, Kathy; Associated Press (March 8, 2008). "Al-Qaeda taps tech-savvy militants". USA Today. Retrieved March 23, 2010. Warrick, Joby; Rondeaux, Candace (April 9, 2009). "Extremist Web Sites Are Using U.S. Hosts: Ease and Anonymity Draw Taliban, al-Qaeda". Washington Post. Retrieved March 23, 2010. PersondataNameKatz, RitaAlternative namesShort descriptionAnti-terrorism activistDate of birth1963Place of birthBasra, IraqDate of deathPlace of death
Letter from the President -- FY 2015 Budget amendments | The White House
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 07:55
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
November 10, 2014
November 10, 2014
Dear Mr. Speaker:
I ask the Congress to consider the enclosed Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Budget amendments for the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of State and Other International Programs (State/OIP) to fund Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). These amendments would provide $5.6 billion for OCO activities to degrade and ultimately defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) -- including military operations as part of Operation Inherent Resolve.
Accordingly, this request would provide $5.0 billion for DOD OCO activities in addition to the $58.6 billion DOD OCO request I submitted to the Congress in June 2014, and would result in a total DOD OCO request for FY 2015 of $63.6 billion. This amount is $15.8 billion less than the $79.4 billion placeholder for DOD OCO in the FY 2015 Budget. The request would also provide $520 million for State/OIP OCO activities, which is in addition to the $7.3 billion I requested for State/OIP OCO activities in the FY 2015 Budget and the June budget amendment.
The approach to counter ISIL has evolved with emerging requirements identified subsequent to the June OCO amendment, and therefore not previously requested. These amendments include the additional funding necessary to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy.
The details of these amendments are set forth in the enclosed letter from the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Now ISIS wants to introduce its own currency | Daily Mail Online
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 18:52
ISIS said to be planning to introduce its own currency to areas it controlsMilitants allegedly want to bring back the dinar - an ancient Islamic currencyThe original dinar currency consisted of purely gold and silver round coins By Emma Glanfield for MailOnline
Published: 15:42 EST, 10 November 2014 | Updated: 08:00 EST, 11 November 2014
ISIS wants to introduce its own currency and plans to bring back solid gold and silver dinar coins, it has emerged.
The Middle East terror group apparently wants to introduce its own Islamic currency as part of its attempts to solidify its makeshift caliphate.
Militants are said to want to bring back the original dinar, which is an ancient currency from early Islam, and religious figures in Mosul and Iraq's Nineveh province have apparently announced its return in mosques.
ISIS apparently wants to introduce its own currency and plans to bring back gold and silver dinar coins (above)
The currency known as the dinar, which once consisted purely of gold and silver coins, is today used by a variety of countries, but the coins are created from different materials to the originals.
However, the jihadi group is understood to be planning to return to the original gold and silver coins, which were first introduced during the Caliphate of Uthman in 634 CE.
The original Islamic dinar was a gold coin which was the weight of gold equivalent to 4.3 grams. Its silver counterpart, known as the Islamic dirham, was a silver coin equal in weight to 3 grams of silver.
Both were round in shape and one side of the coin was typically stamped with an Islamic message, while the other side featured the date of minting and the country's ruler.
The terror group, led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (pictured addressing Muslim worshippers at a mosque in the militant-held northern Iraqi city of Mosul), is apparently keen to introduce its own currency to areas it controls
IS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi on rewards of Jihad (Archive)
PURE GOLD AND SILVER: THE DINARThe original dinar coins were first introduced during the Caliphate of Uthman in 634 CE.
The coins were made purely from gold and silver and were round in shape.
The gold coin was known as the Islamic dinar, while the silver was known as the Islamic dirham.
Typically, one side of the coin was stamped with an Islamic message, while the other side featured the date of minting and the country's ruler.
While ISIS has yet to confirm the introduction of its currency, social media is awash with claims that leading religious figures announced the plans during recent prayers in Mosul and Nineveh province.
It is believed the terror outfit wants to use the independent currency in areas it controls as part of its war on the West.
The currency, which could be introduced within the next few weeks, will involve changing from regular dinars and Lira to golden dinars and silver dirhams.
Last month, it emerged that ISIS, which also goes by the name Islamic State, is raking in money at a remarkable rate - earning about $1million a day from black market oil sales alone.
The group extracts oil from territory captured across Syria and Iraq, and sells it to smugglers.
David Cohen, who leads the Treasury Department's effort to undermine the Islamic State's finances, said the extremists also get several million dollars a month from wealthy donors, extortion rackets and other criminal activities, such as robbing banks.
In addition, he said the group has taken in at least $20million in ransom payments this year from kidnappings.
Mr Cohen said ISIS, which is led by Iraqi Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,obtains the vast majority of its revenues through local criminal and terrorist activities.
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Report: More U.S. partners needed in Israeli gas basins - UPI.com
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 07:50
HOUSTON, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Israel is on the cusp of becoming a natural gas exporter and is inviting U.S. energy companies to join in reaping the rewards, an official said from Houston.Amit Lang, director general of the Israeli Ministry of Economy, told the Houston Chronicle that U.S. companies "might find gold" in the form of natural gas through partnerships in Israel.
"All the predictions say that our gas discoveries are not done," he said in an interview published Sunday.
In September, Israel's Delek Group, alongside U.S. energy company Noble Energy, signed an agreement with the National Electric Power Co. of Jordan for natural gas deliveries from the Leviathan natural gas field off the Israeli coast to the delight of the U.S. State Department.
"We probably have more gas around the Leviathan," Lang said. "And we need more companies to come get licenses for exploration."
The State Department facilitated talks between the parties in February that led to the signing of a similar deal for gas from Israel's offshore gas field, Tamar.
Leviathan, with an estimated 18 trillion cubic feet of gas, should go onstream in 2016. Tamar is estimated to hold as much as 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
Noble is the only U.S. partner working in Israeli waters, but Lang said he's in Houston hoping to court more U.S. investors to the offshore potential.
"We very much hope that other companies based in Houston, the big oil and gas companies, will also go into Israel and get a license for exploration so we have more competition," he said. "It's not good to be in one company's hands."
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China-Russia ink Western Route agreement and discuss shadowy offshore accord
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 07:59
A framework agreement stipulating natural gas supply terms to China via Russia's the Western Route pipeline transmission network was signed between CNPC and Gazprom in Beijing yesterday in the presence of Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping
''Gazprom goes on boosting the cooperation with its Chinese partners,'' said Miller, chairman of the Gazprom board of directors.
''Power of Siberia, the world's largest project for gas supplies via the Eastern Route, is well underway. Today the framework agreement has been signed for gas supplies via the Western Route. This legally binding document creates the necessary prerequisites for signing a gas purchase and sale agreement within this top-priority project.
''Joint large-scale activities with our Chinese colleagues develop very fast. We set ourselves ambitious goals and we are confident that they will be achieved.''
The agreement defines conditions such as the volume and terms of supply, the take-or-pay level, and the location of the gas delivery point on the border. The framework agreement defines the schedule of compiling a gas purchase and sale agreement, a technical agreement and an intergovernmental agreement on the Western Route.
In addition, Miller and Wang Yilin, chairman of the CNOOC board of directors, signed a confidential memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the oil and gas sector.
CNPC is China's largest petroleum company wholly-owned by the state and is one of the world's leading integrated oil and gas production companies, focused on hydrocarbon production and transmission as well as providing engineering and petroleum services.
The western route stipulates annual gas supply in the amount of 30 billion cubic metres from Western Siberia to China via the Altai gas pipeline.
On May 21, 2014 Gazprom and CNPC signed the purchase and sale agreement for the Russian gas supply via the Eastern Route. The 30-year contract provides for gas supplies in the amount of 38 billion cubic metres of gas per year.
CNOOC is the oldest out of the three major petroleum companies in China, holding an exclusive right for prospecting and exploration as well as for oil and gas production offshore China. CNOOC is also the largest LNG importer of China.
Pierre Omidyar's man in India is named to Modi's cabinet
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:28
By Mark AmesOn November 9, 2014
A longtime senior executive in eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar's global impact fund, Jayant Sinha, has been appointed to Indian ultranationalist leader Narendra Modi's council of ministers.
In 2009, Sinha established Omidyar Network India Advisors and served as partner and managing director in the First Look Media publisher's impact fund. Sinha also served on Omidyar Network's five-member global Executive Committee, and steered well over $100 million of Omidyar Network funds into India, making it the most active single-country investment for the $700 million impact fund, the world's largest impact fund. Earlier this year, Sinha stepped down as partner and managing director at Omidyar Network to run for his father's seat in India's parliament on the far-right BJP Party ticket.
Sinha's appointment to Modi's cabinet makes him the second high-profile Omidyar figure to rise to power in a right-wing, pro-business government in the last two weeks. In late October, PandoDaily reported that Svitlana Zalishchuk '-- whose Ukrainian NGO ''New Citizen'' received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Omidyar and USAID, and took credit for organizing the Maidan revolution '-- took a seat in Ukraine's new parliament, on the party ticket of billionaire president Petro Poroshenko. Since coming to power after the February ''revolution,'' Poroshenko led Ukraine into a bloody and disastrous offensive campaign against Russia-backed separatists in the east of the country, leaving thousands dead. Human Rights Watch has accused Poroshenko of committing potential war crimes by using cluster bombs ''indiscriminately in populated areas.''
As PandoDaily has been reporting all year, Jayant Sinha'--and his boss, Omidyar'--have been playing an unusual dual role in Indian politics over the past few years, conflating supposedly philanthropic activities with decidedly political investments that dovetailed with Sinha's party's political campaign when it was out of power.
Some of those Omidyar grants went to for-profit investments, such as Omidyar investments in microfinance firms like SKS Microfinance, which ended disastrously when SKS's aggressive debt collectors were implicated in pushing hundreds of poor villagers into gruesome suicides, by drinking bottles of pesticide, drowning themselves, and other means.
Other Omidyar-Sinha investments went into NGOs whose campaigns dovetailed perfectly with the far-right BJP Party's campaigns when they were in the opposition, particularly by focusing attention on corruption under the previous center-left government that ruled from 2005 through this year. The BJP won this year's election on an anti-corruption backlash; and Omidyar Network bankrolled one of India's most prominent anti-corruption NGO campaigns, ''I Paid A Bribe.'' In 2010, Sinha and Omidyar Network awarded $3 million to an Indian NGO, Janaagraha, to run the ''I Paid A Bribe'' campaign. A top USAID official, Sarah Mendelsen, described as ''spell-binding'' a speech about anti-corruption campaigns by Janaagraha's co-founder at a Google event in 2011. Janaagraha had previously worked with the World Bank to privatize Bangalore's water.
At the same time that Omidyar Network's Sinha invested in anti-corruption campaigns that undermined India's ruling center-left party, Sinha secretly worked on Modi's team to prepare for the 2014 elections. According to two senior BJP Party members, Sinha also ''worked in Modi's team'' in 2012 and 2013, undisclosed at the time, while simultaneously heading Omidyar Network and guiding the fund's global strategy. Sinha also served as a director in the BJP Party's powerful think-tank, the India Foundation, set up by Ajit Doval, who now heads India's national intelligence apparatus under Modi.
Another Indian NGO that Sinha and Omidyar Network funded was caught in 2012 illegally influencing members of India's parliament on the country's tight e-commerce laws. India's top security agency at the time denounced the NGO as ''detrimental to national security,'' accused it of providing cover for ''foreign'' intelligence agencies to infiltrate India's government '-- and stripped it of its registration.
After that scandal, the co-founder of the beleaguered NGO, CV Mudhakar, was hired by Omidyar to serve as Omidyar Network India's director of investments in'...''government transparency.''
Sinha has for years been pushing India to open its e-commerce markets to foreign investment '-- which would directly benefit Omidyar, who is still chairman of eBay. After Sinha moved from Omidyar Network to campaigning for Modi in February of this year, Modi suddenly began to parrot Sinha's and Silicon Valley's wish-list on opening up India's e-commerce to Silicon Valley. In early June, weeks after Modi and Sinha's election victories, the new Modi government invited representatives from eBay, as well as Amazon and Google, to help rewrite India's e-commerce laws.
As PandoDaily has been reporting this year, Omidyar and other Silicon Valley titans have been huge supporters of Modi, despite his long history of violent sectarianism '-- from his role in the semi-fascist R.S.S. paramilitary, to his role overseeing the mass-murders, gang rapes and ethnic cleansings of Muslims under his watch as head of the state of Gujarat. Modi was blacklisted by the US State Department for years over his role in the anti-Muslim violence.
Now, with Omidyar's former right-hand man in Omidyar Network taking power in Modi's cabinet of ministers, it's becoming clear why Obama's UN Representative Samantha Powerpraised The Intercept's publisher for his role as a leading private arm of the US government's global power.
For more PandoDaily reports on Omidyar Network and Indian politics, read ''REVEALED: The head of Omidyar Network in India had a secret second job'... Helping elect Narendra Modi''; ''Just as we predicted, India's new leader is about to make Pierre Omidyar a lot richer''; ''Now it's time for Silicon Valley to profit from the new Indian ecommerce laws it helped shape''; ''eBay Shrugged: Pierre Omidyar believes there should be no philanthropy without profit''.
Who's Paying the Pro-War Pundits? | The Nation
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 13:52
Retired General Anthony Zinni, retired General Jack Keane and former Bush administration official Fran TownsendIf you read enough news and watch enough cable television about the threat of the Islamic State, the radical Sunni Muslim militia group better known simply as IS, you will inevitably encounter a parade of retired generals demanding an increased US military presence in the region. They will say that our government should deploy, as retired General Anthony Zinni demanded, up to 10,000 American boots on the ground to battle IS. Or as in retired General Jack Keane's case, they will make more vague demands, such as for "offensive" air strikes and the deployment of more military advisers to the region.
But what you won't learn from media coverage of IS is that many of these former Pentagon officials have skin in the game as paid directors and advisers to some of the largest military contractors in the world. Ramping up America's military presence in Iraq and directly entering the war in Syria, along with greater military spending more broadly, is a debatable solution to a complex political and sectarian conflict. But those goals do unquestionably benefit one player in this saga: America's defense industry.
Keane is a great example of this phenomenon. His think tank, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), which he oversees along with neoconservative partisans Liz Cheney and William Kristol, has provided the data on IS used for multiple stories by The New York Times, the BBC and other leading outlets.
Jack Keane (Screenshot: Fox News)
Keane has appeared on Fox News at least nine times over the last two months to promote the idea that the best way to stop IS is through military action'--in particular, through air strikes deep into IS-held territory. In one of the only congressional hearings about IS over the summer, Keane was there to testify and call for more American military engagement. On Wednesday evening, Keane declared President Obama's speech on defeating IS insufficient, arguing that a bolder strategy is necessary. "I truly believe we need to put special operation forces in there," he told host Megyn Kelly.
Left unsaid during his media appearances (and left unmentioned on his congressional witness disclosure form) are Keane's other gigs: as special adviser to Academi, the contractor formerly known as Blackwater; as a board member to tank and aircraft manufacturer General Dynamics; a "venture partner" to SCP Partners, an investment firm that partners with defense contractors, including XVionics, an "operations management decision support system" company used in Air Force drone training; and as president of his own consulting firm, GSI LLC.
To portray Keane as simply a think tank leader and a former military official, as the media have done, obscures a fairly lucrative career in the contracting world. For the General Dynamics role alone, Keane has been paid a six-figure salary in cash and stock options since he joined the firm in 2004; last year, General Dynamics paid him $258,006.
Keane did not immediately return a call requesting comment for this article.
Disclosure would also help the public weigh Keane's policy advocacy. For instance, in his August 24 opinion column for The Wall Street Journal, in which he was bylined only as a retired general and the chairman of ISW, Keane wrote that "the time has come to confront the government of Qatar, which funds and arms IS and other Islamist terrorist groups such as Hamas." While media reports have linked fundraisers for IS with individuals operating in Qatar (though not the government), the same could be said about Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, where many of the major donors of IS reportedly reside. Why did Keane single out Qatar and ignore Saudi Arabia and Kuwait? Is it because his company, Academi, has been a major business partner to the United Arab Emirates, Qatar's primary rival in the region?
Other examples abound.
Anthony Zinni (Screenshot: Charlie Rose)
In a Washington Post story about Obama's decision not to deploy troops to combat IS, retired Marine General James Mattis was quoted as a skeptic. "The American people will once again see us in a war that doesn't seem to be making progress," Mattis told the paper. Left unmentioned was Mattis's new role as Keane's colleague on the General Dynamics corporate board, a role that afforded Mattis $88,479 in cash and stock options in 2013.
Retired General Anthony Zinni, perhaps the loudest advocate of a large deployment of American soliders into the region to fight IS, is a board member to BAE Systems' US subsidiary, and also works for several military-focused private equity firms.
CNN pundit Frances Townsend, a former Bush administration official, has recently appeared on television calling for more military engagement against IS. As the Public Accountability Initiative, a nonprofit that studies elite power structures, reported, Townsend "holds positions in two investment firms with defense company holdings, MacAndrews & Forbes and Monument Capital Group, and serves as an advisor to defense contractor Decision Sciences."'¨'¨
Fran Townsend (Screenshot: CSPAN)
"Mainstream news outlets have a polite practice of identifying former generals and former congressmembers as simply 'formers''--neglecting to inform the public of what these individuals are doing now, which is often quite pertinent information, like that they are corporate lobbyists or board members," says Jeff Cohen, an associate professor of journalism at Ithaca College.
Media outlets might justify their omissions by reasoning that these pundits have merely advocated certain military strategies, not specific weapons systems, so disclosure of their financial stake in the policy need not be made. Yet the drumbeat for war has already spiraled into calls for increased military spending that lifts all boats'--or non-operational jets for that matter.
When the Pentagon sent a recent $2 billion request for ramped-up operations in the Middle East, supposedly to confront the IS issue, budget details obtained by Bloomberg News revealed that officials asked for money for additional F-35 planes. The F-35 is not in operation and would not be used against IS. The plane is notoriously over budget and perpetually delayed'--some experts call it the most expensive weapon system in human history'--with a price tag now projected to be over $1 trillion. In July, an engine fire grounded the F-35 fleet and again delayed the planned debut of the plane. How it ended up in the Pentagon's Middle East wish list is unclear.
"I think an inclination to use military action a lot is something the defense industry subscribes to because it helps to perpetuate an overall climate of permissiveness towards military spending," says Ed Wasserman, dean of the UC Berkeley Graduate School for Journalism. Wasserman says that the media debate around IS has tilted towards more hawkish former military leaders, and that the public would be best served not only with better disclosure but also a more balanced set of opinions that would include how expanded air strikes could cause collateral civil casualties. "The past fifty years has a lot of evidence of the ineffectiveness of air power when it comes to dealing with a more nimble guerrilla-type adversary, and I'm not hearing this conversation," he notes.
The pro-war punditry of retired generals has been the subject of controversy in the past. In a much-cited 2008 expos(C), The New York Timesrevealed a network of retired generals on the payroll of defense contractors who carefully echoed the Bush administration's Iraq war demands through appearances on cable television. '¨'¨
The paper's coverage of the run-up to a renewed conflict in the region today has been notably measured, including many voices skeptical of calls for a more muscular military response to IS. Nonetheless, the Times has relied on research from a contractor-funded advocacy organization as part of its IS coverage. Reports produced by Keane's ISW have been used to support six different infographics used for Times stories since June. The Times has not mentioned Keane's potential conflict of interest or that ISW may have a vested stake in its policy positions. The Public Accountability Initiative notes that ISW's corporate sponsors represent "a who's who of the defense industry and includes Raytheon, SAIC, Palantir, General Dynamics, CACI, Northrop Grumman, DynCorp, and L-3 Communication." As the business network CNBC reported this week, Raytheon in particular has much to gain from escalation in Iraq, as the company produces many of the missiles and radar equipment used in airstrikes.
In addition to providing reports and quotes for the media, ISW leaders have demanded a greater reaction to IS from the Obama administration. In The Weekly Standard this week, ISW president Kim Kagan wrote that President Obama's call for a limited engagement against IS "has no chance of success." '¨'¨
ISW's willingness to push the envelope has gotten the organization into hot water before. In 2013, ISW suffered an embarrassing spectacle when one of its analysts, Elizabeth O'Bagy, was found to have inflated her academic credentials, touting a PhD from a Georgetown program that she had never entered.
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But memories are short, and the media outlets now relying heavily on ISW research have done little to scrutinize the think tank's policy goals. Over the last two years, ISW, including O'Bagy, were forcefully leading the push to equip Syrian rebels with advanced anti-tank and anti-aircraft weaponry to defeat Bashar al-Assad.
For Keane, providing arms to Syrian rebels, even anti-American groups, was a worthwhile gamble. In an interview with Fox Business Network in May of last year, Keane acknowledged that arming Syrian rebels might mean "weapons can fall into radical Islamists' hands." He continued, "It is true the radical Islamists have gained in power and influence mainly because we haven't been involved and that is a fact, but it's still true we have vetted some of these moderate rebel groups with the CIA, and I'm convinced we can'--it's still acceptable to take that risk, and let's get on with changing momentum in the war." '¨'¨That acceptable risk Keane outlined has come to fruition. Recent reports now indicate that US-made weapons sent from American allies in the region to Syrian rebels have fallen into the hands of IS.
Keane, and ISW, is undeterred. The group just put out a call for 25,000 ground troops in Iraq and Syria.
James Franklin Jeffrey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 23:37
James Franklin Jeffrey is a former senior American diplomat and an expert in political, security, and energy issues in the Middle East, Turkey, Germany, and the Balkans.
He has held senior assignments in Washington, D.C., and abroad, including as Deputy National Security Advisor (2007''2008); United States Ambassador to Iraq (2010''2012); United States Ambassador to Turkey (2008''2010); and United States Ambassador to Albania (2002''2004). In 2010 Jeffrey was appointed to the highest rank in the U.S. Foreign Service, Career Ambassador. From 1969 to 1976, Jeffrey was a U.S. Army infantry officer, with service in Germany and Vietnam.
Jeffrey is a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a member of the Defense Policy Board, a member of the American Council on Germany, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He serves on the advisory board for DC-based non-profit America Abroad Media.[1] He is a frequent commentator on broader foreign policy, national security, and economic trends.
Personal life[edit]Jeffrey was born in Saugus, Massachusetts, in 1946. He received a BA in History from Northeastern University in 1969, and a MS in Business Administration from Boston University Graduate School of Management in 1977. Jeffrey also holds a diploma in the French language from the University of Paris. He speaks German, Turkish, and French along with English. Jeffrey is married with two children and is a resident of Virginia.
European security affairs[edit]Jeffrey joined the US Foreign Service in 1977. After a training assignment in Tunis, Tunisia he was posted to Sofia, Bulgaria, where he served as the on-site U.S. representative during a hijacking of a Turkish Air Flight with five U.S. businessmen taken as hostages, in May 1981. Jeffrey then served on assignments in Adana, Turkey and Ankara, Turkey as a political-military officer, from 1983 to 1987.
Jeffrey served in Munich, Germany, during the collapse of the Soviet Union and the reunification of Germany from 1989 to 1991, including as acting principal officer during the first Gulf War, and liaison to Radio Free Europe. He then was selected as the State Department's coordinator for the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (now OSCE). Jeffrey later served as the Deputy Presidential Special Advisor for Bosnia Implementation, working to put into place the Dayton Accords.
Middle East affairs[edit]In 1996 Jeffrey was selected as Deputy Chief of Mission to the American Embassy Kuwait, and served during Operation Desert Fox and the evacuation of Embassy Kuwait. In 1999 he returned to Turkey, as Deputy Chief of Mission. After serving as Ambassador to Albania from 2002 to 2004, he was selected by Secretary of State Colin Powell and Ambassador John Negroponte to bridge the transition from the Coalition Provisional Authority to the new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and subsequently served as Deputy Chief of Mission from 2004 to 2005. He served as Charg(C) d'Affaires in Baghdad before returning to Washington to serve as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's Special Advisor for Iraq from 2006 to 2007. Jeffrey then served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, covering broader Middle East policy matters, including co-chairing the Interagency Iran Policy Group.
President George W. Bush nominated Jeffrey as Ambassador to Turkey in 2008, where he served in his fourth and final assignment to Turkey until 2010. President Barack Obama nominated him to serve as Ambassador to Iraq in 2010. Jeffrey oversaw its expansion into the largest Embassy in the world with almost 16,000 employees and an annual budget of over $6 billion, and worked with the U.S. military to ensure a successful transition to a civilian lead.
Deputy National Security Adviser[edit]In the summer of 2007, Jeffrey was selected to serve on detail to the White House as Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Adviser for President George W. Bush, serving as acting National Security Adviser on Bush's 2007 and 2008 trips to the Pacific nations.
Recognitions[edit]Jeffrey has received the Secretary of State's Distinguished Service Award on two occasions, in 2010 and 2012, as well as the Secretary of State's Career Service Award in 2012, and the Distinguished Honor Award in 2005. Secretary Leon Panetta presented him with the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service in 2011, and CIA Director David Petraeus awarded Jeffrey the Director's Medal in 2012. He received Boston University's School of Management Award for Distinguished Service in 2006, and the American Bar Association's Award for Promoting Rule of Law Worldwide in 2004. His military awards include the Bronze Star.
References[edit]The information of this article comes from the U.S. Department of State website [1].External links[edit]PersondataNameJeffrey, James FranklinAlternative namesShort descriptionAmerican diplomatDate of birth1947Place of birthMassachusettsDate of deathPlace of death
Agenda 21
Climate Science Legal Defense Fund Hires New Executive Director | Global Warming: Man or Myth?
Mon, 10 Nov 2014 17:03
''After years of attacks, I am thrilled that there is a world class litigator whose full time job is to stand up for scientists.'' ''Dr. Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State
Lauren Kurtz
The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund is excited to announce the hiring of Lauren Kurtz as its first Executive Director. Lauren Kurtz is joining CSLDF from Dechert LLP, a top tier law firm where she was a litigator. There she served as project manager on a high-profile $3 billion litigation initiative and she represented commercial and individual clients on cases involving FOIA requests and litigation over FOIA requests, discovery disputes, and defamation claims. Prior to working at Dechert, she held legal and policy positions at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She has a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a master's in Environmental Policy from the University of Pennsylvania.
Ms. Kurtz was hired by the board of directors after a widely publicized summer fundraising campaign to grow CSLDF from an all-volunteer organization to one with a full time professional staff. CSLDF was started to help scientists cope with the barrage of politically motivated attacks. Early successes included a victory for Dr. Michael Mann at the Virginia Supreme Court, legal clinics at major scientific conferences and a legal education campaign.
Ms. Kurtz will be based in NYC working in an office generously provided by the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at the Columbia Law School.
For Press Inquiries:
Lauren Kurtz
(646) 801-0853
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Putin Hits on China's First Lady, Censors Go Wild
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 07:01
As Beijing hosts this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum slated to run through Nov. 11, the United States and China are locked in behind-the-scenes competition over free trade agreements. The United States is promoting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive free trade agreement including 12 nations but excluding China. Beijing, in a move many see as a push against the U.S. rebalance to Asia, hopes to garner support for the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), a less sweeping agreement that would include China.
But the modest FTAAP isn't China's real answer to the immense TTP and its candid support of market liberalization and minimal government interference. Instead, it's the "New Silk Road strategy," a sprawling set of trade and infrastructure agreements proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, which aims to foster free trade -- and bolster Chinese soft power -- with China's neighbors to the west and southeast. The plan, a reference to the trade route connecting China to Europe via Central Asia in the seventh to tenth centuries, aspires to deepen linkages between China and its neighbors via trade, investment, energy, infrastructure, and internationalization of China's currency, the renminbi. On Nov. 8, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the establishment of a $40 billion Silk Road infrastructure fund, focusing on building "roads, railways, ports and airports across Central Asia and South Asia," according to Reuters.
The Silk Road strategy's ambitious vision aligns with Beijing's goals much more closely than the TPP, which is a reflection of the U.S. international trade model writ large. The TPP's proponents see it as a new vision for free trade and market liberalization around the world. It would integrate the U.S. economy with Asia to a degree heretofore unseen, providing a backbone for the oft-criticized U.S. rebalance to Asia. In doing so, it would set higher standards for doing business, with clauses intended to protect both the rights of workers and the environment. It may even become more inclusive and authoritative than the World Trade Organization (WTO), a U.S.-shaped body that currently sets the norms for international trade. The WTO is silent on certain hot-button issues like subsidies to the agricultural sector, manufacturing of parts and components, trade in services, and intellectual property rights protections. The TPP would cover all of these.
Washington insiders had believed the TPP would lead to one of two responses from China, both advantageous to U.S. interests: the TPP's stringent labor and environmental standards would repel China, freezing itself out of a massive and advantageous trading block in its own backyard. Or, China would clamor to join, and in the process -- like in the years leading up to its 2001 ascension into the WTO -- become a more economically open nation. Meanwhile, in Asian capitals outside Beijing, there is widespread hope that the TPP would make China more supportive of other regional negotiations, and thus more likely to show restraint in its many territorial disputes with its neighbors.
But there is little evidence that China would adhere to any of these expectations. And why should it? The Silk Road strategy is a far better fit for Beijing than the TPP. With the TPP, the United States emphasizes high standards in market liberalization and openness. China's Silk Road strategy has no "standards," except for a vague idea of mutual interest and mutual respect. The TPP seeks to reduce the roles of governments in market operations and to restrict the importance of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the economies of its members. The Silk Road plan, in contrast, relies on top-level government coordination, and would enhance the power of large SOEs and governments. The TPP focuses on services, intellectual property rights, and domestic regulations. The Silk Road strategy aims to facilitate large-scale infrastructure construction, energy sale and transport, and relocation of manufacturing industries.
It's not only that the Silk Road plan is a better fit for China. Leading Chinese political thinkers also see the TPP as an enterprise with the potential to weaken China economically and politically -- a strategy "to contain China" and to "change or overturn existing institutions in Asia-Pacific and the world," observed Chinese economics scholar Gu Guoda at Zhejiang University in a recent article in the party journal Probe. And the chairman of the APEC-affiliated China National Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation Council Tang Guoqiang wrote in an early 2014 article in the Chinese journal International Studies that the United States acted as "a selfish hegemon" in the TPP. Some also believe that the changes required by the TPP negotiations -- terms on SOEs, labor, environment, digital economy, and supply chain manufacturing -- are a potential threat to China's current political and social systems.
As China embraces its role as an expanding world power, under Xi's leadership it increasingly seeks to establish itself as an economic and institutional equal to the United States. The FTAAP cannot fulfill this vision. This year's APEC may seem to present a dramatic push-and-pull between Obama's TPP and Xi's FTAAP, but for the real battle for influence over global trade, look to China's new Silk Road strategy.
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Russian troops enter Ukraine - Nato
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:34
12 November 2014Last updated at 14:17 Nato has seen columns of Russian military equipment and Russian combat troops entering Ukraine this week, its top commander said.
"Russian tanks, Russian artillery, Russian air defence systems and Russian combat troops" were sighted, US Gen Philip Breedlove said in Bulgaria.
Russia has consistently denied sending troops into eastern Ukraine to bolster pro-Russian separatist rebels there.
However, the rebels have admitted being helped by "volunteers" from Russia.
Heavy artillery fire rocked the east Ukrainian city of Donetsk, the industrial hub held by pro-Russian separatist rebels, on Wednesday morning.
It was unclear whether the fire came from besieging government forces or the rebels themselves, or both.
There were also reports of fighting near the rebel-held city of Luhansk. One Ukrainian soldier was killed and another injured north of Luhansk, when rebels fired on government positions near the village of Schastya, Ukrainian security forces said.
Unmarked convoysThe Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has reported seeing unmarked convoys in the region in recent days.
Asked about the purpose of the alleged Russian troop deployment, Gen Breedlove replied: "As to their intent, I'm not sure. My strategic team believes that there is a possibility that, as you know, this pocket of separatist Russian-backed forces and Russian forces in the east of Ukraine - it's not a very contiguous pocket. There are lines of communications that are interrupted. There are airports that are not held by the Russian-backed forces etc.
"And so it is our first guess that these forces will go in to make this a more contiguous, more whole and capable pocket of land in order to then hold on to it long term."
More than 4,000 people have died since government forces moved in April to put down an armed insurrection by the rebels in the two regions, which border Russia.
A fragile ceasefire was agreed in Minsk on 5 September, although hundreds of people have been killed since then.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday her government was "not satisfied" with the progress in implementing the Minsk agreement, but added that there were no plans at present for further economic sanctions against Russia over its involvement in Ukraine.
"Further economic sanctions are not planned at the moment, we are focusing on the winter and the humanitarian situation there and how to get a real ceasefire," she said.
The OSCE said earlier that the conflict could get worse.
"The level of violence in eastern Ukraine and the risk of further escalation remain high and are rising," OSCE representative Michael Bociurkiw told reporters in Kiev.
Russian hydro utility partners with Siemens in development, equipment venture - HydroWorld
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:30
Russian hydropower utility RusHydro has signed a three-year strategic partnership with Siemens LLC Russia to refurbish hydropower and thermal plants, implement renewable energy projects including hydro, and manufacture power generation equipment.
The agreement was signed October 20 by Chairman Evgeny Dod of the RusHydro Management Board and Chief Executive Officer Dietrich Moller of equipment manufacturer and engineer Siemens LLC Russia.
Under the agreement, the companies are to strengthen and develop their strategic partnership with priorities including cooperation in reconstruction, modernization and technical upgrade of hydro and thermal power plants as well as construction of new power plants in Russia.
Other priorities include joint participation in implementation of renewable energy projects utilizing hydropower, solar and wind power, and manufacturing of equipment for power generation based on renewable energy sources located in Russian territory.
The government-owned RusHydro recently began offering its shares on the St. Petersburg Stock Exchange. It also consolidated its hydro engineering subsidiaries and formed alliances with PowerChina to develop small hydro in Russia's Far East and with tidal energy developer Atlantis Operations Ltd. to develop joint tidal projects in Australia.
Russia's Magnit says October sales up 36 pct
Mon, 10 Nov 2014 20:36
Russia's Magnit says October sales up 36 pctTop News
Russia's Magnit says October sales up 36 pct
Mon, Nov 10 02:06 AM EST
MOSCOW, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Russia's biggest food retailer Magnit said on Monday its sales grew 36.1 percent in October year-on-year, accelerating from a more than 34 percent rise in the previous month.
Magnit said its sales totalled 66.2 billion roubles ($1.42 billion) last month, bringing its 10-month result to 608.5 billion, an increase of 30.7 percent on the same period of 2013.
The company recently raised its forecast for full-year 2014 revenue growth to 31-32 percent from 26-29 percent. (1 US dollar = 46.5000 Russian rouble) (Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Elizabeth Piper)
Gazprom buys Europe's biggest underground gas storage facility
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 18:39
Gazprom, the largest extractor of natural gas in the world, has announced that it aims to finalise its plans to purchase Europe's biggest underground gas storage facility from Wintershall, a subsidiary of the German chemical company BASF, this autumn. In return, BASF is to get access to significant gas reserves in Western Siberia.
The asset swap was announced in December 2013 and has received EU regulatory approval. The storage facility, located in the Lower Saxony town of Rehden, covers 8 square kilometres and can hold 4.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas. This is equivalent to approximately 7% of Germany's annual consumption.
The storage centre is a key element of the energy security strategy for both Germany and the Netherlands. In 2012, the facility accounted for a fifth of Germany's total storage capacity.
The move will benefit Gazprom and be a logical step in its strategy to supply Western and Northern Europe after opening its Nord Stream double pipeline. Both Russia and the EU say the deal will not be disrupted by sanctions.
The recent sanctions, however, have had a significant impact on levels of co-operation between western and Russian energy companies. Last week it was announced that Royal Dutch Shell has suspended work on its joint venture with Gazprom to develop Russian shale resources. The announcement came after France's Total ceased its joint venture with Lukoil. In addition, ExxonMobil announced it was freezing al 10 of its joint projects with state-owned Rosneft.
Elsewhere in Europe, Latvia has announced plans to increase capacity at its Inculkalns underground gas storage site to 2.8 billion cubic metres. The move to expand the storage facility, at the only one in the Baltic states, is expected to be finalised by 2025. Inculkalns is 34 per cent owned by Gazprom and currently holds 2.3 billions of cubic metres of gas, enough to meet two years of Latvia's annual consumption. However, the facility is also used by Estonia and Lithuania. The facility is also used by Russia for its northwestern region.
According to the latest data, published last week, by Cedigaz in its Worlwide Underground Gas Storage (UGS) database, global working gas capacity reached 399 billion cubic metres on January 1, 2014. This represents a 5% increase compared to the previous year. Salt caverns were the fastest growing segment of the market, expanding 10% in 2013 and representing 33% of the planned projects backlog in terms of capacity.
For more information on the Global gas storage market, see the latest research: Global Gas Storage Market
Follow us on Twitter @CandMResearch
Russia remains key strategic partner for Total '-- CEO | Russia & India Report
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 07:47
Russia remains the key strategic partner for French oil giant Total, Patrick Pouyanne, new CEO of the company, said in an interview with Belgian daily Le Soir.
Sanctions against Russia pose risk to Europe as a whole, Pouyanne noted. Pouyanne said that under conditions of Western sanctions against Moscow, Total is vulnerable in Russia ''where it keeps assets worth of billions of dollars.''
''At the same time there (in Russia) are vast natural resources,'' he said. ''We are speaking here about the most important strategic choice made by (Total late CEO) Christophe de Margerie.''
''We will remain in Russia for a long time,'' Pouyanne said. According to him, Total sticks to the European Union's embargo, however, Pouyanne said that ''thinking that sanctions could help resolve diplomatic issues means to subject all Europe to risks.''
France's energy giant Total does not want to change its plans in Russia, Pouyanne said earlier. Patrick Pouyanne was appointed as the director general of the French oil giant Total on October 22 after former CEO Cristophe de Margerie died in a jet crash at the Moscow airport.
On October 29, the first day of the conference Total Finance Director Patrick de La Chevardiere said that the French company would fully fund its share in the Yamal LNG project by March 2015.
The Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG) project plans construction of a liquefied natural gas LNG-producing plant with annual capacity of 16.5 million tons of LNG with resources at Yuzhno-Tambeiskoye field. Proved and probable gas reserves at the field make 907 billion cubic metres.
First published by TASS.
Russia's Gazprom says Japan suggests gas pipeline to Tokyo - Interfax | Energy & Oil | Reuters
Mon, 10 Nov 2014 20:37
MOSCOW Nov 10 (Reuters) - Alexei Miller, chief executiveofficer of Russia's top natural gas producer, Gazprom,was quoted as saying on Monday that the company was studying asuggestion from Japan to build an undersea gas pipeline toTokyo.
Interfax news agency quoted Miller as speaking in Beijing onthe sidelines of an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
The construction of a gas pipeline between the twocountries, which has been mooted for decades, could face severalobstacles, including a dispute over islands taken by Russianforces at the end of World War Two that has prevented Moscow andTokyo from signing a formal peace treaty. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, editing by Elizabeth Piper)
Good Cop Bad Cop '' How Putin and the West Are Playing The Classic Scam | New World Order G20
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 07:45
For some time now, the Western media has reported airspace violations and ''an 'unusual' uptick in the size and scale of Russian aircraft flying throughout European airspace.'' (1) In mid-October Sweden suspected a Russian submarine had entered the Stockholm archipelago however ultimately no submarine was found. (2) Russia makes its own claims of Western aggression as well.
On Oct 25th the Russian Foreign Ministry's press release stated the U.S. is '' making regular attempts to recruit our diplomats.'' (3) In his address to the U.N. General Assembly Sergey Lavrov stated, ''Washington has openly declared its right to unilateral use of force anywhere to uphold its own interests.'' (4)
Putin echoed this sentiment at the Valdai Club stating ''The United States'... instead of establishing a new balance of power, essential for maintaining order and stability, took steps that threw the system into sharp and deep imbalance. ''(5)
Who benefits from all this back and forth saber rattling? President Obama answered that for us as he made what was considered an unusual trip to the Pentagon. While there, Obama asked Congress to remove the ''draconian'' budget strictures to ''make sure that if we're asking this much of our armed forces, that they've got the equipment and the technology that's necessary for them to be able to succeed at their mission.'' (7)
The Governor of Louisiana and Rhodes Scholar, Republican Bobby Jindal recently called for increased defense spending as well which highlights a bi-partisan political trend. (8)
The illusion of two-parties in the U.S. was further dispelled as the Democrats and Republicans both voted overwhelmingly to send troops to Syria. (9) Not only does the U.S. call for increases in military spending but Russia, with its poor economy and falling Rubel, will increase military spending by over twenty percent over the next year. (10)
NATO members require 2% of GDP military spending and are being asked to reverse trends of spending cuts. Norway's Ine Eriksen S¸reide recent call to ''stop the decline in defense spending'.....cuts need to be reversed ,'' is in lock step with the U.S. (11) Due to political pressure, France is delaying delivery of Mistrial-class warships to Russia. (12) Non-NATO countries are getting on the war train as well as Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan L¶fven stated: ''We need to increase our capacity, meaning that we need to put more resources into defense.'' (13)
As world debt tops $100 Trillion is there any question why Russia and the U.S. would foment adversarial positions when many countries are eager to hop on the gravy train? (14)(15)
The political puppets are rehashing the old script from the past. By creating questionable confrontations and promoting propaganda in the State-controlled media the good cop bad cop scenario is played out. Vladimir Putin's speech at Valdai sugests that world government may be the endgame:
''The world is full of contradictions today. We need to be frank in asking each other if we have a reliable safety net in place. Sadly, there is no guarantee and no certainty that the current system of global and regional security is able to protect us from upheavals'.....It is my conviction that we could not take this mechanism of checks and balances that we built over the last decades, sometimes with such effort and difficulty, and simply tear it apart without building anything in its place''
Putin's use of the word ''us'' in regards to security is no accident. He's referring to the world as a single unified group i.e. One World Order. Some may call Putin's speech a simple condemnation of U.S. aggression but his call for ''community'' are clear with statements like: ''search for global solutions'' and ''one's own models produces the opposite result. Instead of settling conflicts it leads to their escalation.''
In a nutshell, Putin and the U.S. have set up the final act where the good cop Putin condemns the cowboy and bad cop U.S. as a sales pitch for World Government. (5)
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Boeing back to business in Iran, first time since 1979 '-- RT News
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 13:37
Published time: October 23, 2014 10:33Reuters / Jason Reed
In a sign of warming relations with Tehran, American aerospace company Boeing announced it sold products to Iran Air in the third quarter, ending a 35-year freeze that began with the 1979 US hostage crisis.
Boeing, taking advantage of reduced sanctions against Iran, which agreed in November 2013 to halt all nuclear-related research for six months, reported it sold ''aircraft manuals, drawings, navigation charts and data'' to the Iranian national carrier.
READ MORE: Iran's Rouhani blames 'certain intelligence agencies' for rise of global extremism
Although no aircraft or spare parts were included in the $120,000 worth of sales, the news points to a better investment climate between Boeing and Iran, which is operating a fleet of rapidly-aging Boeing aircraft.
The US Treasury Department issued a license in April that permitted Boeing to provide "spare parts that are for safety purposes" to the Islamic Republic for a "limited period of time."
Although the US aerospace and defense company is not permitted to sell aircraft to Iran, it said that more parts could be sold to Iran Air in the future.
"We may engage in additional sales pursuant to this license," it added.
International relations with Iran dramatically improved following an interim nuclear agreement between Tehran and the P5+1 group of global powers in November 2013. Following the deal, the US, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany agreed to reduce sanctions against Tehran.
Since the sanctions regime was put in place, Iran has experienced its share of air catastrophes.
READ MORE: US airstrikes to support Iranian Revolutionary Guard's offensive in Iraq?
On January 9, 2011, an Iran Air Boeing 727 made a forced landing outside Tehran-Mehrabad Airport, resulting in 105 fatalities.
Nederlandse steun leger Oekra¯ne - NOS Nieuws
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 08:25
>>Koenders sprak met Oekra¯ense collega's over de steun komende winterANP
Nederland gaat het leger van Oekra¯ne helpen om de koude winter door te komen. Dat zei minister Bert Koenders van Buitenlandse Zaken na overleg met zijn Oekra¯ense collega Pavlo Klimkin.
Nederland trekt 400.000 euro uit voor de hulp. Er worden onder meer generatoren en winterkleding naar Oekra¯ne gestuurd. Koenders benadrukte dat het niet gaat om wapens of ander gevechtsmaterieel.
Eerder vandaag was minister Koenders aanwezig bij een ceremonie in Charkov, vlak voor het transport van de stoffelijke resten van slachtoffers naar Nederland. Koenders sprak van een "indrukwekkende en aangrijpende" plechtigheid.
Het was een simpele ceremonie met een erewacht. Na een minuut stilte werden de vijf kisten in het transportvliegtuig gedragen.
Kort voor 16.00 uur landde het toestel op Vliegbasis Eindhoven. Daarna zijn de resten naar de Korporaal van Oudheusdenkazerne in Hilversum gebracht. Daar worden ze onderzocht door forensisch experts.
TASS: Economy - Finnish ministry estimates dairy producers' losses due to Russia's embargo at '‚¬200 mln
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 18:40
HELSINKI, November 10. /TASS/. Finland's Agriculture Ministry estimated dairy producers' losses due to Russia's embargo at '‚¬200 million, the Finnish News Bureau (STT) quoted the ministry as saying on Monday.There is no possibility to compensate the losses in full, the ministry said.
''Before talking about any sums it is necessary to see where one can take them from. The problem is that there is no funding,'' Finnish Member of the European Parliament Petri Sarvamaa said.
The agriculture and fisheries ministers of the 28 EU member-countries will discuss additional measures to support European producers amid Russia's embargo. However, it is difficult to estimate the amount of EU aid to the dairy product market, Sarvamaa said.
Finland's largest dairy concern, Valio, is the major dairy product supplier to Russia. The company's export to Russia exceeded '‚¬242 million in 2013 - 85% of Finnish exports hit by Russian food import ban. Finland reduced foodstuffs supplies to Russia by 63% in August 2014 as compared with July 2014.On August 7, 2014 Russia introduced a package of response measures to sanction of the United States, Australia, Canada, the European Union and Norway. The retaliatory sanctions also ban for one year ban the import of almost all kinds of meat from these countries to Russia. Certain kinds of finished products, by-products and meat scraps were not affected by the restrictions.
On August 20, the Russian government excluded from the list of agricultural products to which retaliatory food sanctions apply, concentrates of vegetable and animal protein, sports nutrition, lactose-free milk, vitamin-mineral complexes.
According to the European Commission, the Russian embargo has affected 4.2% of total exports 28 EU countries to the total worth of 5 billion euro.
Afghanistan sees increase in poppy cultivation - The Washington Post
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 19:09
By Associated PressNovember 12 at 5:22 AM
KABUL, Afghanistan '-- Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan hit a record high this year, rising by seven percent over the 2013 figure and accounting for 90 percent of the world's heroin supply, officials and the United Nations said on Wednesday.
The U.N.'s Office on Drugs and Crime said in a report that the increased cultivation could produce 6,400 tons (7,054 U.S. tons) of opium, or 17 percent more than in 2013.
Afghanistan's Minister for Counter-Narcotics Din Mohammad Mubariz Rashidi urged countries around the world to give fresh impetus to controlling the drug's production and trade.
''The international community must fight opium drugs and poppy cultivation in Afghanistan as seriously as they fight terrorism,'' he said.
The area used for poppy cultivation grew to 224,000 hectares (553,500 acres), 89 percent of it in nine provinces with a significant Taliban presence, the U.N. report said. The Taliban, which have been waging war against the Afghan government since 2001, are heavily involved in poppy cultivation and opium distribution.
The report said that the wholesale price of opium was falling because of increased supply, but the value of the crop was equivalent to 4 percent of the country's GDP, which is $22 billion.
Andrey Avetisyan, the UNODC's regional representative, said that with the end of the U.S. and NATO combat mission in December, the production of opium had to be tackled if Afghanistan was to develop its post-war economy.
''Without tackling the problem of drugs seriously, no serious economic achievement is possible to develop Afghanistan,'' he told reporters. ''To help Afghanistan with economic development, we all together have to finally seriously do something with the threat of narcotics.''
Billions of dollars have been spent on counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan in the past decade, including programs encouraging farmers to switch to other cash crops like wheat, fruit and saffron.
The support farmers receive from the Taliban, like fertilizer and cash advances, are strong incentives for poor farmers to stick with poppy rather than wait years for a return on lower-yield produce with uncertain markets and inadequate means of storage and transport.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Record labels part owner of Spotify
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 21:14
A number of high-profile record companies holds a fifth of the Swedish music service Spotify, documents reveal.Before the Swedish Spotify, the digital music service widely tipped as a contestant to the dominance of Apple's music store iTunes, was launched last year a number of record companies bought 18 percent of the company's stocks.
According to newspaper Computer Sweden, which has got hold of documents that Spotify send to the companies registration office in Luxembourg, the record companies bought the shares for 100,000 kronor ('‚¬9.700, $13.900).
The record labels are: Sony BMG (5,8 percent), Universal Music (4,8 percent), Warner Music (3,8 percent) and EMI (1,9 percent). Also Merlin holds a small stake.
Founders Martin Lorentzon and Daniel Ek are the largest owners of the company. Last year the Stockholm-based venture capital companies Northzone Ventures and Creandum invested 130 million kronor in Spotify, according to the document.
Spotify is also close to securing new investment from famous investors including Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing's charitable foundation, the Financial Times reported. Li Ka-shing, Brittish venture capital firm Wellington Partners and other investors are a short way off investing up to $50 million, according to people close to the process. That would value Spotify at $250 million.
Spotify '' legally offering instant access to millions of tracks '' is looking to raise money to expand in the US, following the enormous hype in Europe.
Spotify employs 75 people in Luxembourg, London and Stockholm.
House Committee Demands Answers on Truthy Project | Washington Free Beacon
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 21:00
Taxpayer-funded initiative collected 600,000 political tweets in its 'database,' bragged about having conservative Twitter accounts suspended
Filippo Menczer / Indiana University
BY:Elizabeth HarringtonNovember 10, 2014 5:00 pm
The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee sent a letter to the head of the National Science Foundation (NSF) on Monday, demanding answers about the origins of the nearly $1 million taxpayer-funded project to track ''misinformation'' on Twitter.
The Truthy project, being conducted by researchers at Indiana University, is under investigation for targeting political commentary on Twitter. The project monitors ''suspicious memes,'' ''false and misleading ideas,'' and ''hate speech,'' with a goal of one day being able to automatically detect false rumors on the social media platform.
The web service has been used to track tweets using hashtags such as #tcot (Top Conservatives on Twitter), and was successful in getting accounts associated with conservatives suspended, according to a 2012 book co-authored by the project's lead researcher, Filippo Menczer, a professor of Informatics and Computer Science at Indiana University.
Menczer has also said that Truthy monitored tweets using #p2 (Progressive 2.0), but did not discuss any examples of getting liberal accounts suspended in his book.
''The Committee and taxpayers deserve to know how NSF decided to award a large grant for a project that proposed to develop standards for online political speech and to apply those standards through development of a website that targeted conservative political comments,'' wrote Chairman Lamar Smith (R., Texas) in a letter to NSF Director France Cordova.
''While some have argued that Truthy could be used to better understand things like disaster communication or to assist law enforcement, instead it appears Truthy focused on examples of 'false and misleading ideas, hate speech, and subversive propaganda' communicated by conservative groups,'' he said.
Smith is asking for the original application for the study, and ''every internal and external e-mail, letter, memorandum, record, note, text message or other document'' sent or received by the NSF about Truthy since the study began in 2011.
Smith's letter references a publication co-written by Menczer which explains how the project was used to track tweets before the 2010-midterm elections.
In ''Abuse of Social Media and Political Manipulation,'' a chapter for the book The Death of the Internet, released in 2012, Menczer writes how his team successfully had Twitter accounts suspended.
''With the exploding popularity of online social networks and microblogging platforms, social media have become the turf on which battles of opinion are fought,'' the chapter begins. ''This section discusses a particularly insidious type of abuse of social media, aimed at manipulation of political discourse online.''
Truthy tracked up to 8 million tweets per day in the run up to the 2010 midterms, and stored 600,000 political tweets in their database, contrary to Menczer's claim that Truthy does not ''have a database.'' This section of the Truthy website was recently deleted, following an editorial by FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai warning the project could be misused.
''The streams provided our system with up to 8 million tweets per day during the course of the study,'' the paper said. ''These were scanned in real time by our system. In total, our analysis considered over 305 million tweets collected from September 14 until October 27, 2010.''
''Of these, 1.2 million contained one or more of our political keywords; detection of interesting memes further reduced this set to 600,000 tweets actually entered in our database for analysis,'' the paper added.
''We don't have a database,'' Menczer said when attacking the Washington Free Beacon'sinitial story on Truthy.
The database was used to identify ''several Truthy memes, resulting in many of the accounts involved being suspended by Twitter,'' the chapter said.
Truthy was able to suspend the account of C. Steven Tucker, a health insurance broker, who often used the hashtag ''American Patriots,'' or #ampat, from his two Twitter accounts.
''This activity generated traffic around this hashtag and gave the impression that more people were tweeting about it,'' the chapter said. ''These two accounts had generated a total of over 41,000 tweets.''
Another account, @PeaceKaren_25, was suspended after tweeting in support of Speaker of the House John Boehner (R., Ohio) over 10,000 times in four months. ''A separate colluding account @HopeMarie_25 retweeted all the tweets generated by @PeaceKaren_25 supporting the same candidates and boosting the same websites,'' the paper said.
Smith said it is troubling that the project was able to delete and suspend Twitter accounts.
''Whether by amazing coincidence or on purpose, it appears that several social media accounts highlighted by Truthy were subsequently terminated by the owners of the social media platforms, effectively muzzling the political free speech of the targeted individuals and groups,'' he said. ''In presenting and publishing the findings of their work, the Truthy research team proudly described how the web service targeted conservative social media messages. Their presentations featured examples of what they found to be online political speech 'abuses' by supporters of these groups.''
A spokesman for Indiana University said that they are ''aware of the letter but have no comment.''
Intro to Distributed Hash Tables
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 13:48
AbstractWe introduce the idea of the Chord DHT from scratch, giving some intuition for the decisions made in the design of Chord.
Building a phone listI want to begin with an example from life. You might want to read it even if you have some general knowledge about DHTs, because it might give you some new ideas about where DHTs come from.
On your cellphone, most likely you have a list of contacts. Could you maintain contact with all your friends without having this list? More specifically - What if every person in the world could remember only about 40 phone numbers. Given that structure, could we make sure that every person in the world will be able to call any other person in the world?
In the spirit of no hierarchical related solutions, we will also want to have a solution where all the participants have more or less symmetric roles.
First solution - Phone ringGeneral structureA simple solution would be as follows: We sort the names of all the people in the world into a very big list. (Assume that people have unique names, just for this article :) ). Next, every person will have the responsibility of remembering one phone number: The phone number of the next person on the list.
As an example, if the list is as follows:
BenitoKellnerBritneyAntonioCassiDewolfeCleotildeVandyneColeneKaufmannCordellVarleyDenaeFernandezDonnetteThornberryEdwinPetersGeorgineReneauThen Britney will keep the phone number of Cassi. Cassi, in turn, keeps the phone number of Cleotilde. Cleotilde keeps the phone number of Colene, and so on.
The list is cyclic. You can think of it as a ring, more than as a list. The last person on the list will remember the phone number of the first person on the list. (In our list, it means that Georgine keeps the phone number of Benito).
(The phone list drawn as a ring, with lines representing the connection between people on the list.)
Now assume that Benito wants to call Edwin. How can he do that? He will first call Britney, because he knows her phone number. He will ask Britney for the name and phone number of the next person on the list. That would be Cassi.
Next Benito will call Cassi, and ask her for the name and phone number of the next person on the list. That would be Cleotilde. At this point Benito can forget the name and phone number of Cassi, and move on to calling Cleotilde. Benito will keep advancing in the list until he finally finds Edwin.
We call this operation of finding someone on the list a query, or a search.
Joining the ringAssume that some person \(X\) wants to join the phone list. How can we add \(X\) so that the structure is preserved?
\(X\) will first contact some person \(Y\) that is already on the list. Let us assume that \(X\) contacts Denae for example. Denae will then search for a suitable place for \(X\) on the cyclic list, so that the list will stay sorted. If in our example \(X\) is Gary Jablonski, Then Denae search will yield that Gary should be put between Edwin and Georgine.
After \(Y\) Finds a place for \(X\) on the list, \(Y\) will tell \(X\) about his designated location in the list. Then \(X\) will join the list at this place. (We assume that \(X\) is a good person, and he will just go to his designated place without giving us any trouble.)
Following our example of Gary Jablonski joining the list, the new list will look somehow like this:
BenitoKellnerBritneyAntonioCassiDewolfeCleotildeVandyneColeneKaufmannCordellVarleyDenaeFernandezDonnetteThornberryEdwinPetersGaryJablonskiGeorgineReneauOf course that in the new setting, Edwin for example now has to remember only Gary's phone. He shouldn't keep remembering Georgine's phone number, because it is not needed anymore.
(The new state of the list, after Gary has joined.)
AnalysisWhenever person \(A\) wants to find person \(B\) on the list, he will have to traverse the list of people one by one until he finds \(B\). It could take a very short time if \(A\) and \(B\) are close on this list, however it could also take a very long time if \(A\) and \(B\) are very far (In the cyclic sense. In the worst case, \(B\) is right before \(A\) on the list).
However we could find the average time it takes for \(A\) to contact \(B\). It would be about \(\frac{n}{2}\), where \(n\) is the amount of people on the list.
In addition, we can also measure the amount of memory used for each of the people on the list. Every person is responsible for remembering exactly one people's name and phone number. (The next one on the list).
Whenever a person wants to call someone, he will have to remember an additional phone number, which is the next person he is going to call. This is not much to remember though.
In more mathematical terms, we say that a search (or a query) costs \(O(n)\) operations, and every person on the list has to maintain memory of size \(O(1)\).
Joining the network also costs \(O(n)\) operations. (That is because joining the network requires a search).
Improving search speedSo far we managed to prove that we could live in a world without contact lists. We just have to remember a few names and phone numbers (In the simple solution above: only one name and one phone number) to be able to call anyone eventually. Though "eventually" is usually not enough. We don't want to call half of the world to be able to contact one person. It is not practical.
Just imagine this: Every time that someone in the world wants to call someone else, there is a probability of \(\frac{1}{2}\) that he will call you on the way! Your phone will never stop ringing.
What if we could somehow arrange the phone list so that we will need to call only a few people for every search? Maybe if we remember a bit more than one people's phone number, we could get a major improvement in search performance.
Adding more immediate linksA first idea for improving the phone list would be that each person will remember more of his list neighbours phone numbers. Instead of remembering just the next on the list, why not remember the two next people on the list?
In this structure, every person has to remember \(2\) names and phone numbers, which is not so much more than the \(1\) that we previously had. However, the improvement in the search operation is major: A search operation will now cost an average of \(\frac{n}{4}\) operations, instead of \(\frac{n}{2}\) that we had previously. (Implicitly, it also improves the cost of joining the network).
We can add more and more records to remember for each of the people on the phone list, to get further improvement in the speed of one search operation. If each person on the list remembers \(k\) neighbors forward on the list, then the search operation will be \(k\) times faster. As \(k\) can't be so big (Generally we will assume that people on the list can not remember more than \(O(\log(n))\) stuff), we can only get so far with this method.
Maybe if we choose to remember only specific people on the list in some special way, we could get better results.
(The list with \(k=2\). Search operation is twice as fast.)
ChordSo far we have discussed a very nice phone list game, and you might not understand why care about it at all. Let me formulate the question differently. Assume that we have a set of \(n\) computers, or nodes, connected to the Internet (The good old internet that you know and use). Each computer has some kind of unique name. (The unique name is not his Internet Address.)
We want to create a communication structure (Or an overlay network) that satisfies the following requirements:
Each computer will able to "contact" each of the other computers.Every computer can remember the addresses of only about \(O(\log(n))\) other computers' addresses.Computers might join or leave the network from time to time. We would like to be able to allow that while preserving the general structure of the network.Before dealing with solving this problem, I want to discuss some of the requirements. Lets begin with the first requirement. What does it mean to be able to "contact" other computers? Let me give you a simple use case. Lets assume that every computer holds some chunk of information, some kind of a very big table. Maybe this table is a distributed database. Maybe part of a file sharing protocol. Maybe something else. We want to make sure that every computer can reach any other computer, to obtain data for example.
Regarding the second requirement - Every computer can remember only a few addresses. Why can't every computer keep the addresses of all the other computers? Well, there are a few practical reasons for that. First - There might be a lot of computers. \(n\) might be very large, and it might be heavy for some computers to remember a list of \(n\) addresses. In fact, it might be more than remembering \(n\) addresses. A TCP connection between two computers, for example, has to be maintained somehow. It takes effort to maintain it.
But there is another reason. Probably a more major one. We want that this set of computers will be able to change with time. Some computers might join, and others might leave from time to time. If every computer is to remember all the addresses of all the other computers, then every time a computer joins this set, \(n\) computers will have to be informed about it. That means joining the network costs at least \(O(n)\), which is unacceptable.
If we want computers in this set to be able to bear the churn of computers joining and leaving, we will have to build a structure where every computer maintains links with only a small number of other computers.
Adapting the phone ring solutionAs you have probably noticed, this problem is not very different from the phone list problem. Just replace Computers with People, Computers' unique identities with the people's unique names, and Computer's Internet Addresses (IPs) with People's phone numbers. (Go ahead and do it, I'm waiting :) )
So the solution for the Computer's case is as follows: First we sort the node's names somehow. (If the nodes' unique names are numbers, we just use the order of the natural numbers). Then we build a ring that contains all the nodes, ordered by their name. (We just think about it as ring, we don't really order the nodes physically in a ring, just like we didn't order the people in a circle when we dealt with the phone list problem)
Every node will be linked to the next node on the ring. Searching a node (By his unique name) will be done by iteratively asking the next node for the name and address of the next next node, until the wanted node is found.
Joining the network is as described in the phone list case. (Leaving the network is a subject we will discuss in a later time.)
Here, just like in our description of the previous problem (The phone list), we could also improve the speed of search if every node will keep more links to direct neighbours. However, as we have seen before, we can only get so much improvement in this method, and we would like to find a better idea for link structures between the nodes.
Improving the SearchThe following leap of thought could be achieved in more than one way. One way to begin with it to think ituitively about how we manage to find things in the real world.
Intuition from real world searchingLets assume that you want to get to some place, and you are not sure where it is. A good idea would be to ask someone how to get there. If you are very far from your destination, most likely the person you asked will give you a very vague description of how to get there. But it will get you starting in the correct direction.
After you advance a while, you can ask somebody else. You will get another description, this time more a detailed one. You will then follow this description, until you get closer.
Finally when you are really close, you will find someone that knows exactly where is that place you are looking for. Then your search will end.
This might lead us to think that maybe the network of links between nodes should be arranged as follows:
Every node \(X\) is "linked" to nodes with names closest to his name. (His two immediate neighbors on the ring, for example).
Every node \(X\) is connected to other nodes from the ring: As the distance \(X\) becomes greater, \(X\) is connected to less and less nodes.
Generally: \(X\) knows a lot about his close neighbourhood, however he knows little about the parts of the rings that are far.
Binary SearchA different way to look at the search problem is from the angle of a more common method: Binary search. Given a sorted array, we could find an element inside the array in \(O(log(n))\) operations, instead of the naive \(O(n)\).
How could we apply Binary Search to our case? In the binary search algorithm in every iteration we cut the array to two halves, and then continue searching in the relevant half. We can do that because we have random access to the elements of the array. That means - We could access any element that we want immediately. We could access the middle element immediately.
In the simple ring setting (Every node is connected to the next and previous nodes) we don't have random access. However we could obtain something similar to random access if we added the right links from every node. Take some time to think about it. How would you wire the nodes to obtain the "random access ability"?
Binary search WiringTo explain the next structure of links I want to discuss some notation stuff first. We assume that the names of all the nodes are numbers that could be represented using \(s\) bits. In other words, the names of nodes are from the set: \(B_s := \{0,1,2,\dots,2^{s}-1 \}\). The details here don't really matter. All that matters is that \(2^{s} \geq n\), so that there are enough possible unique names for all the nodes in the network.
We also want to treat the set \(B_s\) as cyclic modulo \(2^{s}\).
Let \(x\) be some node on the ring. (\(x\) is the name of this node. \(x \in B_s\)). We will connect \(x\) to the following nodes on the ring:
\(\left\lceil{x + 1}\right\rceil\)\(\left\lceil{x + 2}\right\rceil\)\(\left\lceil{x + 4}\right\rceil\)\(\cdots\)
\(\left\lceil{x + 2^{s-1}}\right\rceil\)The notation \(\left\lceil{y}\right\rceil\) means the first node that his name is bigger than \(y\).
In the picture: The ring represents the set \(B_s\) of possible names for nodes. (With \(s = 6\)). Blue points are existing nodes. Their location on the ring represents their name. Cuts on the ring represent the exact locations of \(x+1, x+2,\dots,x+2^{s-1}\). The nodes of the form \(\left\lceil{x + 2^{q}}\right\rceil\) are marked on the ring. The green lines represents links from the node \(x\) to other nodes.
Follow the picture and make sure you understand what \(\left\lceil{x + 2^{q}}\right\rceil\) means - It is the "first" (clockwise) node with a name bigger than the number \(x + 2^{q}\) on the ring.
This idea of wiring is also known as a Skip list.
New Search AlgorithmLet's describe the searching process with the new links structure. Assume that node \(x\) (\(x \in B_s\) is the name of the node) wants to reach node \(y\). Node \(x\) will first check his own list of links, and see if he is already connected directly to \(y\). If this is the case, \(x\) can reach \(y\).
But \(x\) will not be that lucky every time. if \(y\) is not in \(x\)'s links list, then \(x\) will choose the "closest" option - a node \(x_1\) that is the closest \(x\) knows to \(y\). By "closest" we mean the closest when walking clockwise. (As an example, the node just before \(x\) on the ring is the farest node from \(x\)).
\(x\) will ask \(x_1\) if he knows \(y\), and if he doesn't, \(x\) will ask \(x_1\) what is the closest node to \(y\) known to \(x_1\)? Let that node be \(x_2\).
\(x\) will keep going, until he eventually finds \(y\). We should analyze this algorithm to make sure that indeed \(x\) eventually finds \(y\), and also how many iterations it takes to find \(y\).
(Illustrated search process)
AnalysisLet us start with the simple things. How many links every node has to maintain? By the definitions of links earlier, we know that not more than \(s\) links. We said that the size of the set \(B_s\) must be more than \(n\), therefore \(2^{s} \geq n\), which means \(s \geq \log(n)\). Therefore every node maintains about \(\log(n)\) links. This is generally a reasonable number, even for very large \(n\)-s.
Next, we want to know how long does it take for a node \(x\) to find some random node \(y\). In fact, we want to be sure that \(x\) always manages to find \(y\) eventually.
If you are not in a mood for some math symbols, I give here a short description of what is going to happen. We are soon going to find out that in every stage of the search algorithm we get twice as close to \(y\). As the size of the set \(B_s\) is \(2^{s}\), we are going to have no more than \(s\) stages before we find \(y\). This also proves that we always manage to find \(y\).
Now let's do some math. We define the distance (going clockwise) between two nodes \(a\) and \(b\) to be \(d(a,b)\). If \(b > a\) then \(d(a,b) = b-a\). Otherwise \(d(a,b) = 2^{s} + a - b\). (Think why).
Back to the searching algorithm, we can note that at every stage we are at point \(x_t\) on the ring, and we want to reach \(y\). We will pay attention to the amount \(d(x_t,y)\) at any stage of the algorithm.
We begin from \(x\). If \(x\) is not directly connected to \(y\), then \(x\) finds the closest direct link he has to \(y\). Let that node be \(x_1\). As \(x\) is linked to \(\left\lceil{x + 1}\right\rceil, \left\lceil{x + 2}\right\rceil, \left\lceil{x + 4}\right\rceil \dots ,\left\lceil{x + 2^{s-1}}\right\rceil \), we conclude that \(d(x_1,y) < >The same is true at the next stages of the algorithm (When finding \(x_2,x_3,\dots\), therefore we conclude that on every stage we get twice closer to \(y\), compared to the previous stage. Finally we get that \(d(x_q,y) < >We know that the initial distance \(d(x,y)\) is no more than \(2^{s}\), therefore in at most \(s\) stages we will reach distance \(0\), which means we have found \(y\).
If you are a careful reader, you might be worried at this point that \(s\) might be much more than \(\log(n)\). This is in fact true. It is also true that in some worst case scenarios the amount of stages for the search algorithm will actually be \(s\), even if \(log(n)\) is much smaller.
However if the names of the nodes are chosen somehow uniformly from the set \(B_s\), we should expect better results which are much closer to \(log(n)\).
Some words about ChordCongratulations, you now know how to wire a collection of \(n\) nodes so that they can contact each other quickly, and at the same time each node doesn't have to remember too many addresses of other nodes.
The construct we have described is related to an idea called The Chord DHT. You can find the original article here
Distributed Hash Tables (DHTs)Lets discuss an important use case for the structure we have found so far. We want to be able to store a large table of keys and values over a large set of computers. This is usually called a Distributed Hash Table (DHT).
The main operations that we want to be able to perform are as follows:
set_value(key,value) - Sets the value of "key" in the table to be "value".
get_value(key) - Reads the value of "key" from the table.
The cool part is that we can invoke those operations from any of the computers, as all the computers have a symmetric role in the network. Instead of letting just one computer deal with requests from client, theoretically we could use all the computers on the network. (Though we might have to deal with some synchronization stuff, which are outside the scope of this document).
There are still some questions to be asked here. What kind of values can the keys be? Must they be numbers, or could they be something else? Maybe strings?
Lets begin with the case in which keys are also from the set \(B_s\). This is not always very realistic, but it would be easier to solve at this point. In that case, the keys are in the same "space" as the names of nodes.
We could let node \(\left\lfloor{k}\right\rfloor\) keep the value of key \(k\), where \(\left\lfloor{k}\right\rfloor\) is the "last" node (clockwise) that has a name not bigger than the number \(k\).
In the picture: The node \(z\) (A blue dot), and some keys that \(z\) is responsible to keep (Small orange dots). The keys and node names are of the same kind (Both are from \(B_s\), so we can also draw them on the ring according to their value. The next node (clockwise) after \(z\) marks the end of the domain \(z\) has responsibility over.
To invoke set_value(key=k,value=v), we first search (Using our search algorithm) for the node that is responsible for keeping the key \(k\). This is done by searching for the value \(k\). We are going to find the node \(z = \left\lfloor{k}\right\rfloor\), which is exactly the node that has the responsibility to keep the key \(k\). Then we just ask the node \(z\) to update \(k\) to have the value \(v\).
To invoke get_value(key=k), again we search for \(k\), and find the node \(z = \left\lfloor{k}\right\rfloor\). We then ask \(z\) what is the value that corresponds to the key \(k\). \(z\) will then tell us the value \(v\).
Dealing with complex keysBut what if our keys are not from the set \(B_s\)? Maybe the keys are strings? Maybe they are names of files, or people? In that case all we need is some function \(f: K\rightarrow B_s\), where \(K\) is the world of keys. Hopefully the function \(f\) will also be some kind of a random function, which means a few things:
It is very unlikely for two keys \(k_1,k_2\) to satisfy \(f(k_1) = f(k_2)\). (A property also known as Collision Resistance).
The keys will map evenly as possible between all the elements inside the set \(B_s\). We don't want to have too much load of a few of the computers.
If you were wondering where you can get such a function, don't worry. We have a few of those functions. They are called Cryptographic Hash Functions.
Now that we have the function \(f\), we will define two operations:
set_key_generic(key=k,value=v) will invoke set_key(key=\(f(k)\),value=v).
get_key_generic(key=k,value=v) will invoke get_key(key=\(f(k)\))
And we get a DHT for a generic key space.
Final NotesWe have introduced a special way to wire a set of computers, so that we don't use too many wires, and at the same time it is easy to find any computer quickly. A major use case of this construct is the idea of DHT.
Our main construction follows the idea of the The Chord DHT, however there are other possible designs for DHT which we haven't talked about. Our space of names was a ring, with a distance function of walking clockwise. There are other spaces with different distance functions that give nice results. One notable example is the Kademlia DHT, which uses XOR as a metric.
We discussed the problem generally, but we didn't address a few important issues. We didn't address stability issues (What happens if some node on the way goes offline just when we want to search for some key?) and security issues. (What happens if a node gives us a wrong value for the key? Could an adversary block users from getting the value of a specific key in the DHT?)
We will think about those topics and how to deal with some of them in the next articles.
Lantern: One Device, Free Data From Space Forever | Indiegogo
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 21:19
EARLY BIRD: Get a Lantern
FIRST 24 HOURS PRICE. "A Library in Every Pocket." Be one of the first in the world to receive Lantern, Outernet's mobile receiver, which will retail for $149. Receive continuous content from space, stay informed when disaster strikes, and never be off the grid again. You are supporting the creation of Humanity's Public Library. Limited edition with serial number. Please add additional funds to cover shipping: US and Canada add $15 Everyone else add $25
Estimated delivery: July 2015
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Collage of Humanity
Anyone can contribute to support Outernet. Add your picture and a short message to be broadcast to the entire world from space! The Collage of Humanity is broadcast as part of the Core Archive.
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Global Library Card
A library card for Humanity's Public Library is an 8 GB micro SD card pre-loaded with: 1) Software to turn a Raspberry Pi into a DIY Outernet receiver (other hardware required) 2) A trimmed version of our Core Archive. Shipping to the US and Canada included. International: Please Add $10
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Donate a Lantern
Outernet has a running list of organizations and partners who could use Lanterns, but cannot afford them. We will let you know who receives your Lantern and keep you updated on its progress from production to arrival at its destination. No shipping charge!
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EARLY BIRD: Two Lanterns
Receive two Lanterns at the Early Bird price for 24 HOURS! You can have both shipped to you, keep one and donate one, or donate both. Please add additional funds to cover shipping: US and Canada add $20 Everyone else add $30
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5 Lanterns + Content
Buy five Lanterns and you can add an original work to the Outernet broadcast. An original work of your choosing (no larger than 500 KB) will be broadcast by Outernet twice to the entire world. Please add additional funds to cover shipping: US and Canada add $25 Everyone else add $50
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"A Library In Every Village." This turns a Lantern into an even more powerful device. Boosts the Wi-Fi signal power and range to extend beyond 100 ft., adds a 1 TB drive and comes in a weatherproof case. Requires an external power supply. Comes with a satellite dish and LNB to receive 200 MB/day. Includes a standard Lantern too. Please add additional funds to cover shipping: US and Canada add $50 Everyone else add $100
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"A Library In Every Village." This turns a Lantern into an even more powerful device. Boosts the Wi-Fi signal power and range to extend beyond 100ft., adds a 1 TB drive and comes in a weatherproof case. Includes a solar array to power Lantern in remote locations. Comes with a satellite dish and LNB to receive 200 MB/day. Includes a standard Lantern too. Please add additional funds to cover shipping: US and Canada add $50 Everyone else add $100
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School: one Solar Village Lantern, three Village Lanterns, thirty Lanterns, and thirty tablets. That is all that is needed to build a functioning school anywhere. Library: one Solar Village Lantern, one Village Lantern, seven Lanterns. Or, work out a custom combination of hardware with us. We will also donate a portion of sponsored content to allow locally relevant (e.g. local language, local news) content to be added to the Outernet broadcast. Free Shipping!
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IBM's Watson Wants to Examine Your DNA | News & Opinion | PCMag.com
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 22:59
With the help of Pathway Genomics, consumers might one day be able to "Ask Watson" for insights into their health.
How much exercise should I get today? How much coffee can I drink on Monday? These are questions you might ask yourself, not really expecting an actual response, but if IBM has its way, its Watson supercomputer will soon be able to supply the answers.
IBM's Watson Group today announced an undisclosed investment in Pathway Genomics to create the first cognitive consumer app based on a user's genetic makeup.
Citing research on genomic medicine, IBM said the bioinformatics market is expected to grow to $12.86 billion by 2020. Few consumers, however, have access to or can benefit from personalized wellness-related recommendations tailored to their individual needs. Which is where IBM and Pathway Genomics come in.
By leveraging the natural language processing and cognitive capabilities of Watson, consumers will be able to "Ask Watson" for insights, based on their own genes, wearable data, and other wellness information, like emotional, physical, and social well being.
"The medical industry is undergoing a dramatic and systemic change, putting the consumer more in charge of their own health care," Michael Nova, chief medical officer at Pathway Genomics and member of the Watson Advisory Board, said in a statement. "Giving the consumers access to a powerful tool built upon cognitive learning and Watson will make the change even more transformative."
The new mobile Pathway Panorama app uses Watson's cognitive intellect to evaluate millions of pages of healthcare data in seconds, and then combine it with details about the individual's lifestyle and biomarker data to provide personal recommendations about how to live a healthier life.
Panorama will also routinely monitor the user's health and wellness information and notify them when new, relevant instructions are available.
"By tapping into IBM Watson's cognitive intellect, Pathway Genomics is allowing consumers to ask health- and wellness-related questions in their own words, and receive personalized and relevant responses," said Stephen Gold, IBM Watson group vice president.
A consumer can ask the app questions based on DNA - like the aforementioned exercise and coffee queries.
"Cognitive computing solutions based on Watson's transformative technology will help define how consumers and businesses alike make better informed decisions, delivering better outcomes," Gold said.
In January, IBM promised $1 billion for development and research within the Watson Group, which focuses on bringing Watson-powered, cloud-based apps and services to the public.
That includes $100 million for venture investments to support IBM's ecosystem of startups and businesses building cognitive apps made with Watson.
IBM declined to reveal the exact amount it has spent on Pathway Genomics; a spokeswoman confirmed that the company is a minority investor.
For more, check out Beyond Jeopardy: Watson Up Close.
Space Fakes
Touchdown! Rosetta's Philae probe lands on comet / Rosetta / Space Science / Our Activities / ESA
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 12:38
Farewell Philae - narrow-angle view
Touchdown! Rosetta's Philae probe lands on comet
12 November 2014ESA's Rosetta mission has soft-landed its Philae probe on a comet, the first time in history that such an extraordinary feat has been achieved.
After a tense wait during the seven-hour descent to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov''Gerasimenko, the signal confirming the successful touchdown arrived on Earth at 16:03 GMT (17:03 CET).
The confirmation was relayed via the Rosetta orbiter to Earth and picked up simultaneously by ESA's ground station in Malarg¼e, Argentina and NASA's station in Madrid, Spain. The signal was immediately confirmed at ESA's Space Operations Centre, ESOC, in Darmstadt, and DLR's Lander Control Centre in Cologne, both in Germany.
The first data from the lander's instruments were transmitted to the Philae Science, Operations and Navigation Centre at France's CNES space agency in Toulouse.
''Our ambitious Rosetta mission has secured a place in the history books: not only is it the first to rendezvous with and orbit a comet, but it is now also the first to deliver a lander to a comet's surface,'' noted Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA's Director General.
Philae's parting image of Rosetta, taken shortly after separation
''With Rosetta we are opening a door to the origin of planet Earth and fostering a better understanding of our future. ESA and its Rosetta mission partners have achieved something extraordinary today.''
''After more than 10 years travelling through space, we're now making the best ever scientific analysis of one of the oldest remnants of our Solar System,'' said Alvaro Gim(C)nez, ESA's Director of Science and Robotic Exploration.
''Decades of preparation have paved the way for today's success, ensuring that Rosetta continues to be a game-changer in cometary science and space exploration.''
''We are extremely relieved to be safely on the surface of the comet, especially given the extra challenges that we faced with the health of the lander,'' said Stephan Ulamec, Philae Lander Manager at the DLR German Aerospace Center.
''In the next hours we'll learn exactly where and how we've landed, and we'll start getting as much science as we can from the surface of this fascinating world.''
Rosetta was launched on 2 March 2004 and travelled 6.4 billion kilometres through the Solar System before arriving at the comet on 6 August 2014.
''Rosetta's journey has been a continuous operational challenge, requiring an innovative approach, precision and long experience,'' said Thomas Reiter, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations.
''This success is testimony to the outstanding teamwork and the unique knowhow in operating spacecraft acquired at the European Space Agency over the decades.''
Philae touchdown
The landing site, named Agilkia and located on the head of the bizarre double-lobed object, was chosen just six weeks after arrival based on images and data collected at distances of 30''100 km from the comet. Those first images soon revealed the comet as a world littered with boulders, towering cliffs and daunting precipices and pits, with jets of gas and dust streaming from the surface.
Following a period spent at 10 km to allow further close-up study of the chosen landing site, Rosetta moved onto a more distant trajectory to prepare for Philae's deployment.
Five critical go/no-go decisions were made last night and early this morning, confirming different stages of readiness ahead of separation, along with a final preseparation manoeuvre by the orbiter.
Deployment was confirmed at 09:03 GMT (10:03 CET) at a distance of 22.5km from the centre of the comet. During the seven-hour descent, which was made without propulsion or guidance, Philae took images and recorded information about the comet's environment.
''One of the greatest uncertainties associated with the delivery of the lander was the position of Rosetta at the time of deployment, which was influenced by the activity of the comet at that specific moment, and which in turn could also have affected the lander's descent trajectory,'' said Sylvain Lodiot, ESA Rosetta Spacecraft Operations Manager.
''Furthermore, we're performing these operations in an environment that we've only just started learning about, 510 million kilometres from Earth.''
Touchdown was planned to take place at a speed of around 1 m/s, with the three-legged landing gear absorbing the impact to prevent rebound, and an ice screw in each foot driving into the surface.
But during the final health checks of the lander before separation, a problem was detected with the small thruster on top that was designed to counteract the recoil of the harpoons to push the lander down onto the surface. The conditions of landing '' including whether or not the thruster performed '' along with the exact location of Philae on the comet are being analysed.
The first images from the surface are being downlinked to Earth and should be available within a few hours of touchdown.
Rosetta's deployment of Philae to land on Comet 67P/Churyumov''Gerasimenko
Over the next 2.5 days, the lander will conduct its primary science mission, assuming that its main battery remains in good health. An extended science phase using the rechargeable secondary battery may be possible, assuming Sun illumination conditions allow and dust settling on the solar panels does not prevent it. This extended phase could last until March 2015, after which conditions inside the lander are expected to be too hot for it to continue operating.
Science highlights from the primary phase will include a full panoramic view of the landing site, including a section in 3D, high-resolution images of the surface immediately underneath the lander, on-the-spot analysis of the composition of the comet's surface materials, and a drill that will take samples from a depth of 23 cm and feed them to an onboard laboratory for analysis.
The lander will also measure the electrical and mechanical characteristics of the surface. In addition, low-frequency radio signals will be beamed between Philae and the orbiter through the nucleus to probe the internal structure.
The detailed surface measurements that Philae makes at its landing site will complement and calibrate the extensive remote observations made by the orbiter covering the whole comet.
''Rosetta is trying to answer the very big questions about the history of our Solar System. What were the conditions like at its infancy and how did it evolve? What role did comets play in this evolution? How do comets work?'' said Matt Taylor, ESA Rosetta project scientist.
''Today's successful landing is undoubtedly the cherry on the icing of a 4 km-wide cake, but we're also looking further ahead and onto the next stage of this ground-breaking mission, as we continue to follow the comet around the Sun for 13 months, watching as its activity changes and its surface evolves.''
While Philae begins its close-up study of the comet, Rosetta must manoeuvre from its post-separation path back into an orbit around the comet, eventually returning to a 20 km orbit on 6 December.
Next year, as the comet grows more active, Rosetta will need to step further back and fly unbound 'orbits', but dipping in briefly with daring flybys, some of which will bring it within just 8 km of the comet centre.
The comet will reach its closest distance to the Sun on 13 August 2015 at about 185 million km, roughly between the orbits of Earth and Mars. Rosetta will follow it throughout the remainder of 2015, as they head away from the Sun and activity begins to subside.
''It's been an extremely long and hard journey to reach today's once-in-a-lifetime event, but it was absolutely worthwhile. We look forward to the continued success of the great scientific endeavour that is the Rosetta mission as it promises to revolutionise our understanding of comets,'' said Fred Jansen, ESA Rosetta mission manager.
More about RosettaRosetta is an ESA mission with contributions from its Member States and NASA. Rosetta's Philae lander is provided by a consortium led by DLR, MPS, CNES and ASI. Rosetta is the first mission in history to rendezvous with a comet. It is escorting the comet as they orbit the Sun together, and has deployed a lander to its surface.Comets are time capsules containing primitive material left over from the epoch when the Sun and its planets formed. By studying the gas, dust and structure of the nucleus and organic materials associated with the comet, via both remote and in situ observations, the Rosetta mission should become the key to unlocking the history and evolution of our Solar System.
About the European Space AgencyThe European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe's gateway to space.
ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.
ESA has 20 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxem-bourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 18 are Member States of the EU. Two other Member States of the EU, Hungary and Estonia, are likely soon to become new ESA Member States.
ESA has Cooperation Agreements with six other Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.
ESA is also working with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.
By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.
ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.
Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, naviga-tion, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.
Learn more about ESA at www.esa.int
For further information, please contact:ESA Media Relations OfficeTel: +33 1 53 69 72 99Email: media@esa.int
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Rosetta and Philae Go for separation / Rosetta / Space Science / Our Activities / ESA
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 12:41
Rosetta's trajectory '' 12 November
Rosetta and Philae Go for separation
12 November 2014Following a night of critical Go/NoGo decisions, Rosetta and Philae are cleared for separation, despite a problem onboard the lander. The mission is set to become the first in history to touch down on a comet.
During checks on the lander's health, it was discovered that the active descent system, which provides a thrust to avoid rebound at the moment of touchdown, cannot be activated.
At touchdown, landing gear will absorb the forces of the landing while ice screws in each of the probe's feet and a harpoon system will lock Philae to the surface. At the same time, the thruster on top of the lander is supposed to push it down to counteract the impulse of the harpoon imparted in the opposite direction.
''The cold gas thruster on top of the lander does not appear to be working so we will have to rely fully on the harpoons at touchdown,'' says Stephan Ulamec, Philae Lander Manager at the DLR German Aerospace Center.
''We'll need some luck not to land on a boulder or a steep slope.''
''There were various problems with the preparation activities overnight but we have decided to 'go'. Rosetta is lined up for separation,'' says Paolo Ferri, ESA's head of mission operations.
Thus despite the potential problem concerning the moment of touchdown, separation will proceed on the planned timeline.
Separation will occur in space at 08:35 GMT / 09:35 CET, but it will take the radio signals from the transmitter on Rosetta 28 minutes and 20 seconds to reach Earth and be transferred to the Rosetta Mission Control Centre at ESA's Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany.
That means we must wait until about 09:03 GMT / 10:03 CET for confirmation the separation has happened correctly.
The Go/No-Go decisions leading up to this milestone began last night at 19:00 GMT / 20:00 CET, with the first confirming that Rosetta is in the correct orbit for delivering Philae to the surface at the required time.
The second Go was given at midnight (GMT), confirming that the commands to control separation and delivery are complete and ready to upload to Rosetta. The Go also confirmed that Rosetta's overall health is good, and that the orbiter is ready to perform.
At 02:35 GMT / 03:35 CET the third GO was given after a final verification that the lander is ready for touchdown.
The final manoeuvre by Rosetta was conducted at 07:35 GMT / 08:35 CET, which is taking Rosetta to a point about 22.5 km from the comet's centre for separation.
Philae separation
The manoeuvre was followed by the final Go/No-Go decision that verified the two spacecraft, the orbit, the ground stations, the ground systems and the teams are ready for landing.
After separation, we will not hear from Philae for some two hours until the lander establishes a communication link with Rosetta. Philae cannot send its data to Earth directly '' only via Rosetta.
The descent to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov''Gerasimenko will take around seven hours, so confirmation of a successful touchdown is expected in a one-hour window centred on 17:02 GMT / 18:02 CET.
''We are anxious but excited,'' said Jean-Pierre Bibring, lead lander scientist, during this morning's press briefing. ''It is not every day that we try to land on a comet.''
Follow the event live via www.esa.int/rosetta
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40 hour battery?-Philae lander makes historic touchdown on comet 67P | Science | The Guardian
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 12:45
The European Space Agency mission control in Darmstadt, Germany, celebrates as Philae touches down
The signal broke a seven-hour wait of agonising intensity and sparked scenes of jubilation at the European Space Agency's mission control in Darmstadt. The team in charge of the Rosetta mission achieved what at times seemed an impossible task by landing a robotic spacecraft on a comet for the first time in history.
The moment the tension broke came shortly after 1600 GMT when the Philae called home. ''We are there. We are sitting on the surface. Philae is talking to us,'' said a jubilant Stephan Ulamec, Philae lander manager at the DLR German space centre. ''We are on the comet.''
Andrea Accomazzo, the Rosetta flight operations director, added: ''We cannot be happier than we are now.''
But celebrations were tempered by the later discovery that the probe's two harpoons had not fired to fasten the craft down in the ultra-low gravity. Scientists now think the probe may have bounced after first coming into contact with the surface. Ulamec said: ''Maybe today we didn't just land once, we landed twice.''
The safe, if precarious, touchdown of the lander gives scientists a unique chance to ride onboard a comet and study from the surface what happens as its activity ramps up as it gets closer to the sun. The first images beamed back from the lander's descent revealed a dramatic landscape of pits and precipices, craters and boulders. However, there have been gaps in its radio link with the orbiting Rosetta mothership.
The Philae lander on its way to the comet, photographed by the Rosetta spacecraft.Photograph: APThe £1bn ($1.58bn) Rosetta mission aims to unlock the mysteries of comets, made from ancient material that predates the birth of the solar system. In the data Rosetta and Philae collect, researchers hope to learn more of how the solar system formed and how comets carried water and complex organics to the planets, preparing the stage for life on Earth.
Space agencies have sent probes to comets before, but not like this. In 1986, Nasa's Ice mission flew through the tail of Halley's comet. In 2005, the agency's Deep Impact spacecraft fired a massive copper block at comet Temple 1. But none before now has landed.
The feat marks a profound success for the European Space Agency (ESA), which launched the Rosetta spacecraft more than 10 years ago from its Kourou spaceport in French Guiana. Since blasting off in March 2004, Rosetta and its lander Philae have travelled more than 6bn kilometres to catch up with the comet, which orbits the sun at speeds up to 135,000km/h.
''We are the first to do this, and that will stay forever,'' said Jean Jacques Dordain, director general of the ESA.
Matt Taylor, a Rosetta project scientist, who had selected an extremely colourful shirt for the event, revealed an impressive '' and brave '' tattoo of the lander on the comet's surface.
''Comets are the original source of Earth's water. That wee lander is now in position, poised to re-write what we know about ourselves,'' tweeted Chris Hadfield, the former Canadian astronaut and commander of the International Space Station.
Early data from the lander revealed that it had had a softer landing on comet 67P than expected. But an hour after the landing signal came through, Paolo Ferri, the ESA's head of mission operations, said that Philae's twin harpoons, which are intended to secure it in place, had not fired, raising fears about the lander's stability and chances of clinging on to the comet for long.
Touchdown for the lander played out 510m kilometres from Earth, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, on a comet hurtling through space at more than 18km/s. At so vast a distance, even radio signals travelling at the speed of light take nearly half an hour to travel from Earth to the spacecraft, making real-time control of the landing impossible. Instead, the entire descent was precalculated, uploaded and run automatically.
Landing Philae on the comet's surface was never going to be easy. When ESA managers got their first closeup of the comet in July, its unusual rubber duck shape left some fearing that a safe touchdown was impossible. The shape was not the only problem. The comet's surface was hostile: hills and spectacular jutting cliffs gave way to cratered plains strewn with boulders. If Philae landed on anything other than even ground it could topple over, leaving it stranded and defunct.
Rosetta spent weeks flying around the comet to create a surface map from which mission controllers could choose a landing site. They faced a trade-off: the site had to be fairly flat and clear of boulders, but with a good view of the whole comet and plenty of sunlight to charge the lander's batteries. From a shortlist of five potential landing spots, scientists and engineers unanimously voted for a 1 sq km region on the comet's ''head'' later named Agilkia.
Scientists celebrate at the space centre in Toulouse as they learn that Philae has landed.Photograph: Remy Gabalda/AFP/Getty ImagesAt the start of the mission, ESA officials had assumed the comet would be potato shaped and rated their chances of a successful landing at 75%. After seeing the shape and terrain of their target close up, those odds fell to around 50%, but climbed again as technical staff learned more about the landing site.
The confidence did not last long though. On Tuesday night, hours before Philae had left its mothership, the chances of a safe landing took another dip. Overnight, a thruster on the lander failed to respond to commands sent from Earth. Engineers tried for hours to correct the fault but to no avail. The malfunction threatened to abort the mission, but at 0235 GMT on Wednesday mission controllers decided to go ahead with the landing regardless.
The nitrogen thruster, facing upwards from the top of the lander, was designed to fire for 60 seconds as Philae touched down to prevent it from bouncing off the comet's surface where the gravitational pull is several hundred thousand times weaker than on Earth.
Philae's shot of its mothership shortly after separation.Photograph: ESA/Handout/ESA/Handout/CorbisFor the mission team, the seven-hour descent, during which Philae fell at walking speed towards the comet's surface, was a nail-biting experience. The lander separated from its mothership at 0835 GMT with confirmation received on Earth at 0903. For the early part of the 20km descent, Philae was expected to be out of contact with Rosetta. Around 1100 GMT the mothership reacquired a signal from the lander, which duly unfurled its legs and began to take pictures. The first image taken just 50 seconds after separation revealed a look back at the mothership, one of its 14-metre-long solar arrays clearly visible, as Philae fell silently to its destination.
One hour from touchdown, Philae was on the right course. Ulamec of the DLR German space centre said everything looked ''fantastic''. Telemetry from the lander showed that it was rotating, but not enough to cause problems.
Scientists in Toulouse look at the first picture transmitted by Philae.Photograph: Remy Gabalda/AFP/Getty ImagesFrom its orbit around the comet, the Rosetta probe will take more high-resolution images and gather information on the body's density, temperature and chemical makeup. It will also capture dust and gas released in ever more violent jets from the comet's nucleus as it nears the sun.
From its vantage point on the surface, the lander can drill down 20cm and collect samples of subsurface material for on-the-spot testing. On board Philae are 10 instruments, including one from the Open University named Ptolemy which will bake pieces of comet material and analyse the gases given off to build up a picture of the comet's composition. Another instrument, the Comet Nucleus Sounding Experiment by Radiowave Transmission (Consert), will reveal the comet's internal structure by passing radio waves through the icy body to Rosetta on the other side.
The Rosetta mission is planned to run until December 2015, but if enough fuel remains in the spacecraft's tanks, mission controllers may extend its life by six months and give the mothership more high-risk tasks, such as flying through one of the gas and dust jets streaming from the comet. Philae has initial battery power to last 40 hours but will then switch to rechargeable ones replenished by sunlight.
The lander could continue working until March next year, when the electronics will become too warm to work properly. Even when Philae packs up, it may still cling on to the comet, perhaps for several 6.45-year-long laps around the sun, before enough material erodes from the comet's surface for the lander to lose its grip.
Celebrations at the European Space Agency's mission control in Darmstadt.Photograph: Arne Dedert/Arne Dedert/DPA/Corbis
ESA Science & Technology: Lander Instruments
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 12:35
Lander Instruments
The ~100 kg Rosetta Lander will be the first spacecraft ever to make a soft landing on the surface of a comet nucleus. The Lander is provided by a European consortium under the leadership of the German Aerospace Research Institute (DLR). Other members of the consortium are ESA, CNES and institutes from Austria, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy and the UK.
The box-shaped Lander is carried in piggyback fashion on the side of the Orbiter until it arrives at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Once the Orbiter is aligned correctly, the ground station commands the Lander to self-eject from the main spacecraft and unfold its three legs, ready for a gentle touch down at the end of the ballistic descent. On landing, the legs damp out most of the kinetic energy to reduce the chance of bouncing, and they can rotate, lift or tilt to return the Lander to an upright position.
Immediately after touchdown, a harpoon is fired to anchor the Lander to the ground and prevent it escaping from the comet's extremely weak gravity. The minimum mission target for scientific observations is one week, but surface operations may continue for many months.
Lander DesignThe Lander structure consists of a baseplate, an instrument platform, and a polygonal sandwich construction, all made of carbon fibre. Some of the instruments and subsystems are beneath a hood which is covered with solar cells. An antenna transmits data from the surface to Earth via the Orbiter.
The Lander TeamThe Lander project managers are:
Dr Stephan Ulamec - DLR, K¶ln Porz-Wahn, GermanyDr Philippe Gaudon - CNES, Toulouse, FranceDr Sylvie Espinasse - Italian Space Agency, Matera, ItalyLead scientists for the Lander are:
Dr Hermann B¶hnhardt - Max-Planck-Institut f¼r Sonnensystemforschung, Katlenburg-Lindau, GermanyDr. Jean-Pierre Bibring - Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, Universit(C) Paris Sud, Orsay, FranceRosetta Lander Instruments
INSTRUMENTPURPOSEPRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORAPXSAlpha-p-X-ray spectrometerG. Klingelh¶ferJohannes Gutenberg-Universit¤t,Mainz,GermanyCIVAPanoramic and microscopic imaging systemJ-P. BibringInstitut d'Astrophysique Spatiale,Universit(C) Paris Sud, Orsay,FranceCONSERTRadio sounding, nucleus tomographyW. KofmanInstitut de Plan(C)tologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble,Grenoble,FranceCOSACEvolved gas analyser - elemental and molecular compositionF. GoesmannMax-Planck-Institut f¼r Sonnensystemforschung,Katlenburg-Lindau,GermanyPtolemyEvolved gas analyser - isotopic compositionI. WrightOpen University,Milton Keynes,UKMUPUSMeasurements of surface and subsurface propertiesT. SpohnInstitut f¼r Planetenforschung,Deutsches Zentrum f¼r Luft- und Raumfahrt,Berlin,GermanyROLISImagingS. MottolaDeutsches Zentrum f¼r Luft- und Raumfahrt,Berlin,GermanyROMAPMagnetometer and plasma monitorH-U. AusterTechnische Universit¤t, Braunschweig,GermanyI. ApthyKFKI,Budapest,HungarySD2Drilling and sample retrievalA. Ercoli-FinziPolitecnico di Milano,Milan,ItalySESAME/CASSESurface Electric Sounding and Acoustic Monitoring Experiment / Comet Acoustic Surface Sounding ExperimentK. SeidenstickerDeutsches Zentrum f¼r Luft- und Raumfahrt,Institute of Planetary Research, Asteroids and Comets,Berlin,Germany(Also PI for the SESAME consortium)SESAME/DIMSurface Electric Sounding and Acoustic Monitoring Experiment / Dust Impact MonitorHarald Kr¼gerMax-Planck-Institut f¼r Sonnensystemforschung,G¶ttingen,GermanySESAME/PPSurface Electric Sounding and Acoustic Monitoring Experiment / Permittivity ProbeWalter SchmidtFinnish Meteorological Institute,Helsinki,Finland
Rosetta Lander PayloadThe Lander experiments will study the composition and structure of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko's nucleus.
The instruments are designed to:
Measure the elemental, molecular, mineralogical, and isotopic composition of the comet's surface and subsurface materialMeasure characteristics of the nucleus such as near-surface strength, density, texture, porosity, ice phases and thermal properties; texture measurements will include microscopic studies of individual grainsThe Lander also carries a Sampling Drilling and Distribution device (SD2), which will drill more than 20 cm into the surface, collect samples and deposit them in different ovens or deliver them for microscope inspection.
Last Update: 08 October 2014
Spaceship pilot unaware co-pilot unlocked brake
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 22:45
In this Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, file photo, wreckage lies near the site where a Virgin Galactic space tourism rocket, SpaceShipTwo, exploded and crashed in Mojave, Calif. The surviving pilot of the Virgin Galactic spaceship that tore apart over the Mojave Desert was thrown clear of the disintegrating craft and did not know his co-pilot had prematurely unlocked the re-entry braking system, federal investigators said Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File) The pilot of the Virgin Galactic spaceship that tore apart over the Mojave Desert didn't know his co-pilot had prematurely unlocked its brakes, despite protocol requiring the co-pilot to announce the step.
Pilot Peter Siebold told the National Transportation Safety Board that he wasn't aware co-pilot Mike Alsbury unlocked the brakes before the rocket was done accelerating. Seconds later, SpaceShipTwo began to disintegrate.
An agency spokesman said Wednesday that protocol was to announce the unlocking. It's not clear if Siebold didn't hear it, or Alsbury never voiced it.
Spokesman Eric Weiss says the safety board plans to analyze audio from the flight starting next week.
The Oct. 31 crash killed the co-pilot and injured Siebold.
It could take a year for the NTSB to determine the crash's cause.
This undated file photo released Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, by Scaled Composites, shows Peter Siebold, the Director of Flight Operations at Scaled Composites. Siebold was piloting SpaceShipTwo on Friday, Oct. 31, 2014, when it exploded in flight. Siebold the surviving pilot of the Virgin Galactic spaceship that tore apart over the Mojave Desert was thrown clear of the disintegrating craft and did not know his co-pilot had prematurely unlocked the re-entry braking system, federal investigators said Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Scaled Composites,File) This undated file photo released Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, by Scaled Composites, shows Michael Alsbury, who was killed while co-piloting the test flight of Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo on Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. The surviving pilot of the Virgin Galactic spaceship that tore apart over the Mojave Desert was thrown clear of the disintegrating craft and did not know his co-pilot Alsbury had prematurely unlocked the re-entry braking system, federal investigators said Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Scaled Composites,File) Explore further:Surviving spaceship pilot described as 'alert'
(C) 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Virgin Galactic Tragedy May Mean New Space Tourism Rules
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:16
The investigation into the Virgin Galactic accident has yet to find a cause, but the FAA will consider new regulations for commercial space travel.
Congress has avoided placing regulations on commercial spaceflight in order to encourage people to enter the business.
When Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip Two disintegrated over the skies of Southern California last week, killing one test pilot and injuring another, it highlighted one of the fundamental problems facing space tourism'--the lack of regulations governing the business of blasting paying members of the public into orbit.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration already has a minimal regulatory framework for commercial spaceflight. Companies have to get test permits, for example. But in an effort to spur on the development of the commercial space industry, Congress imposed a moratorium on burdening the fledgling sector with additional red tape back in 2004, with the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act. And in 2012, Congress extended the measure to October 1, 2015.
''It was believed that this would support the industry by not having regulations to act as barriers,'' said Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Space Law and visiting professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology School of Law. ''The moratorium would be in place until a certain date or the event of the first death. Unfortunately, the first death has now occurred and the FAA will likely revisit the need for regulations, if any.''
That death occurred on October 31, when Michael Alsbury, a test pilot for Scaled Composites, the aerospace company developing an orbital vehicle for Virgin Galactic, was killed during a rocket-powered test flight. Fellow test pilot Peter Siebold was also injured after managing to escape from the vehicle as it broke up at an altitude of around 15,000 meters (50,000 feet).
The National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating the accident. Preliminary evidence shows that the rocket motor, which was initially suspected as the cause of the crash, was not to blame. A statement released by Virgin Galactic, citing the NTSB investigation, noted the intact engine and rocket propulsion fuel tanks. ''This definitively dismisses the premature and inaccurate speculation that the problem was related to the engine or the fuel,'' the statement read.
The NTSB's focus is on SpaceShip Two's unique feathering mechanism, which moves the spacecraft's wing booms into the vehicle's rentry configuration. ''The NTSB indicated that the lock/unlock lever was pulled prematurely based on recorded speed at the time,'' reads the Virgin Galactic statement. ''They have suggested that subsequent aerodynamic forces then deployed the feathering mechanism, which resulted in the in-flight separation of the wings and vehicle.''
Despite the tragic accident, it is unclear if the accident will spur any new regulations, says Henry Hertzfeld, a lawyer and research professor of space policy at George Washington University. ''I really think it's too early to comment on that.''
Aviation accidents, especially during highly sophisticated developmental test programs, are not that uncommon, says Hertzfeld. The issue is how many test flights are needed before the spacecraft can be certified to carry passengers. ''The bottom-line question is how many test flights do you need?'' Hertzfeld says. ''I don't think anyone can put a finger on that.''
Legally, absent any further regulation, passengers can do what they like if they are aware of the danger. ''People climb Everest,'' Hertzfeld says. ''People do those types of things because they are crazy, stupid, or thrill-seeking.''
Shut Up Slave!
Obamacare Architect Explains "Stupidity of American Voter" Needed to Pass ACA
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 09:29
The truth on Obamacare is finally out: The bill was purposely written to trick the CBO (congressional Budget Office) into believing the bill was not a tax. Moreover, the bill also depended on the "Stupidity of the American Voter".
Many of us knew that long ago. But those are the words of Jonathan Gruber, a numbers wizard at M.I.T., who was courted by the Obama administration, and paid $400,000 for his efforts to see that the bill made its way through Congressional obstacles.
The following short video explains the setup.
Academic Case
Back in 2012, regarding Gruber's role in getting the bill passed, the New York Times wrote Academic Built Case for Mandate in Health Care Law.
Interestingly, Gruber was also the architect for Romneycare when Mitt Romney was Massachusetts governor.
Romney was proud of Romneycare until president Obama endorsed virtually the same idea as Obamacare. Romney then ran against his own creation. Lovely.
I picked up the video above from Reason.Com Watch Obamacare Architect Jonathan Gruber Explain Why "Lack of Transparency" Was Key to Passing the Health Care Law.
Complete Quote
Gruber: "This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO [Congressional Budget Office] scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it's written to do that. In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in '' you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed'... Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass....Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I'd rather have this law than not."
Reason says (and I wholeheartedly agree) ...Gruber thinks it's acceptable to deceive people if he believes that's the only way to achieve his policy preference. That's not exactly surprising, given that he failed to disclose payments from the administration to consult on Obamacare even while providing the media with supposedly independent assessments of the law.
But it's particularly revealing in light of Gruber's recently discovered comments regarding the way the law's subsidies for health insurance are supposed to work. In a 2012 video unearthed this summer, Gruber said explicitly that the tax credits to offset coverage costs were conditioned on state participation in the law's exchanges'--a contention that the administration denies, and is at the heart of a legal challenge on its way to the Supreme Court.
Tax Credit Legal ChallengeJumping to the above 2012 video link we find Gruber arguing out of both sides of his mouth in regards to tax credits. Each side taking the opposite side of the other.
Gruber: "What's important to remember politically about this is if you're a state and you don't set up an exchange, that means your citizens don't get their tax credits'--but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you're essentially saying [to] your citizens you're going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that that's a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges. But, you know, once again the politics can get ugly around this."
Reason: "What he says is exactly what challengers to the administration's implementation of the law have been arguing'--that if a state chooses not to establish its own exchange, then residents of those states will not be able to access Obamacare's health insurance tax credits. ... In early 2013, Gruber told the liberal magazine Mother Jones that the theory advanced by the challengers in this case was 'nutty.' Gruber also signed an amicus brief in defense of the administration and the IRS rule. But judging by the video it is quite clear that in 2012 he accepted the essence of the interpretation advanced by the challengers."
Here's the video, which according to YouTube's date stamp was uploaded by Noblis on January 20, 2012. The relevant passage starts around minute 31.And so here we are, stuck in a system designed by Gruber and implemented first by Mitt Romney, then by President Obama.
To get Obamacare through Congress was a chore. It depended on the "Stupidity of the American Voter", says Gruber in those exact words.
Whom do we "thank" most? Gruber, Romney, Obama, or the stupid American public?
Mike "Mish" Shedlockhttp://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com
Dutch court won't rule whether Black Pete racist | News , World | THE DAILY STAR
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 13:57
THE HAGUE: The Netherlands' highest administrative court refused Wednesday to wade into the increasingly acrimonious national debate around "Black Pete," the sidekick to the Dutch equivalent of Santa Claus.
Opponents call Pete, who is often played by white people wearing black-face makeup and a frizzy Afro wig, a racist caricature. Most Dutch people insist he is a harmless fantasy figure.
The Council of State on Wednesday overturned a lower court's decision that Amsterdam municipality shouldn't have allowed last year's festive arrival of Sinterklaas in the city because Pete "forms a negative stereotyping of black people."
Council of State President Jaap Polak said Amsterdam's mayor isn't empowered to take the issue into account when granting permits for the celebrations.
That ruling means that the Council of State "cannot and will not answer the question" of whether Black Pete breaches Dutch anti-discrimination law, Polak told a packed courtroom.
The ruling said that opponents could instead file civil or criminal complaints against organizers - shifting the debate to other courts and possibly opening the door to such complaints from opponents around the country.
"I think a lot of people will be disappointed with that - supporters and opponents who were waiting for a judgment on what we should think of Black Pete," said Wil Eikelboom, a lawyer for opponents of Pete.
In the Dutch Sinterklaas festival, St. Nicholas arrives by steamboat in mid-November and spends a month in the country accompanied by dozens of Petes, clown-like figures who leave cookies, chocolate and other treats for children. The celebrations end in a night of gift-giving on Dec. 5.
St. Nicholas is due to officially "arrive" in the country on Saturday in the central city of Gouda. The city's mayor has said some of the Petes in the parade will be yellow-faced "Cheese Petes" and "Cookie Petes." That appears intended to accommodate the views of Black Pete opponents.
Public universities in California launch loan program for illegal immigrants
Mon, 10 Nov 2014 16:41
TweetStudents in the country illegally can now receive extra financial aid through California's public universities under a new loan program recently approved by the state legislature that circumvents federal regulations prohibiting non-U.S. residents from obtaining federally funded student loans.
California already allows many undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at public colleges, and they can get state-funded tuition aid through Cal grants.
''Nevertheless, many of these students remain ineligible for federal student aid for reasons beyond their control,'' the law states. ''Lack of access to federal student loans presents a substantial barrier for these students to obtain a baccalaureate degree from the California State University or the University of California. The California DREAM Loan Act addresses this barrier by providing access to additional state aid.''
The bill was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in late September, and universities are preparing to offer the loans starting with the 2015''16 academic year.
The interest rate for loans issued under the DREAM program will be the same as those given to students through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, the law states. California will funnel $9.2 million annually from its coffers to support the program, to be run by the California State University and University of California systems. Lawmakers anticipate 3,000 borrowers during the first year.
The Dream program parallels the federal loan system in that students are not required to start repaying their loans until at least six months after ending school.
''Establishing the California DREAM Loan Program will take some of our state's top students closer to the graduation finish line,'' its sponsor, Democratic state Sen. Ricardo Lara, said in a prepared statement.
Lara added that ''these students have an estimated 'gap' in their financial aid packages of roughly $5,000 to $6,000 at the University of California and $3,000 for the California State University that other students with similar financial circumstances do not have. There are an estimated 1,300 undocumented students attending the UC and 6,400 at the CSU.''
Jesse Melgar, a representative for Lara, told The College Fix the program closes financial aid gaps for undocumented students. Asked how the program might affect students' incentive to apply and qualify for U.S. citizenship, Melgar said he hopes it helps them, adding ''these are people who have been waiting a long time.''
However, the senator seeks to ''integrate'' rather than ''ostracize'' the illegal immigrants already residing in California since they are ''actively contributing to the economy,'' Melgar added.
''Citizenship or not'...we're not going to sit idly by and wait for Washington, Congress, or the president to act; we're going to take a proactive approach to integrate the talents and contributions of the undocumented population'...there's a lot of inaction at the federal level,'' Melgar said.
Other supporters of the act echo those sentiments.
''Thousands of undocumented students have never had access to an affordable education in California,'' said Riana King, a state spokeswoman for Young Invincibles, a student group that backed the bill, in an email to The College Fix. ''The DREAM Loan Program will give undocumented students the ability to afford a higher education so that they, too, can increase their prospects of earning higher wages.''
College Fix reporter Mairead McArdle is a student at Thomas Aquinas College.
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racially aggravated offence under section four of the Public Order Act Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2831246/McDonald-s-manager-arrested-launching-foul-mouthed-racist-tirade-Somali-customers-telling-f-restaurant.html#ixzz3Isor4I5h Fo
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 19:12
Yasin Farah, 27, and friends went to the restaurant for breakfast at 5.30amThe manager became angry, saying all Somalis are 'the same'Mr Farah called the police and the manager was arrested and cautioned By Sam Webb for MailOnline
Published: 04:54 EST, 12 November 2014 | Updated: 07:32 EST, 12 November 2014
A McDonald's manager was arrested and cautioned over a foul-mouthed racist tirade against Somali customers.
The victims of his abuse say he told them to 'get the f*** out of my restaurant,' adding: 'All you f****** Somalians are the same.'
Yasin Farah, 27, and friends went to the restaurant in south east London, for breakfast at 5.30am on Sunday November 2 following a night out.
He said the manager of the restaurant, who is understood to be black and had a West African accent, quickly turned on him and four friends.
The manager of a McDonald's restaurant was arrested and cautioned over a foul-mouthed racist tirade against Somali customers (left to right) Abdi Mahamud, Yasin Farah and Mohamoud Duhod
Mr Farah, of Penge, said: 'When it came to us being served the manager jumped on the till and straight away was aggressive with us.
'He was saying to my friend: "Can you not read, can you not see? What do you want for your breakfast?"
'I didn't understand why he was asking if he could read, so I jumped in and starting saying "just let him order his breakfast".
'Then he started telling us to get the f*** out of the restaurant. I thought: "How can you talk to a paying customer like that?"'
At this point things took an even more unpleasant turn.
You are a low life, get out of the restaurant, all you f****** Somalians are all the same
Mr Farah said: 'Then all of a sudden he says I am a low-life.
'He says: "You are a low-life, get out of the restaurant, all you f****** Somalians are all the same".
'A lot of his colleagues were coming in, trying to calm him down.
'The customers were shocked, his response was completely out of proportion.'
'His actions, his mannerisms, the way he was saying the things he said, made me want to take action.
'I called the police. At the end of the day he's the manager, you cannot set that kind of example. No one is allowed to speak to anyone like that in today's society.'
A McDonald's spokeswoman said: 'We are aware of the incident and are working with the individual and restaurant team to ensure this never happens again.
'All are aware of the severity of this and are following internal HR processes.'
A police spokesman said: 'Police were called to an allegation of racially aggravated harassment at McDonald's at 5.50am on Sunday November 2.
'A 41-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of a racially aggravated offence under section four of the Public Order Act. He was subsequently issued with a police caution.'
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Mon, 10 Nov 2014 08:02
The Silent Shame.I am about to share something very dark and deep about myself that I've been hiding from everyone for 40 years and I am doing that to help other people who have gone through the same thing and also help myself become a better person.
It all started in a dusty pickup truck about 40 years ago. My favorite person in the world, a coach and trusted family friend, was teaching me to drive. We were on a dirt road somewhere. The details don't matter and, anyway, I've spent a lifetime trying to forget. He was so much cooler than my parents, taking me to amusement parks, hiking trips, and more. Or so I thought at the time.
But that day he put his hand on my crotch as I was grinding gears in his truck and said ''let's keep this as our little secret, shall we?''
Truth was I liked the attention and even the secrecy. There's a reason why apps like Secret are so addictive to some.
No one I had liked so much had ever paid attention sexually to me before and it was a thrill. Later in life as I've started talking about this day some of my friends said ''I would have punched him.'' But truth is they don't pick kids who will punch back. I had been ''groomed'' by a pedophile.
Along with the thrill, though, a deep shame came. I knew what we were doing was wrong someway. I started wishing I had punched him and run out of his truck. The fact that I didn't makes me feel weak. It's one reason why I seek a bit of power in my life and am enjoying the role I hold in the industry. One guy wrote me once and said I was a narcissistic jerk. That hurt, but truth was he wasn't far from the truth, he just didn't know why. I was keeping a secret from everyone, and even trying to hide it from myself.
That day in the truck my childhood was stolen and I want it back.
I've been running from the shame ever since. Trying to erase those images from my brain. With every drug I can find. At first I took to running. Ever hear of a runner's high? I ran three hours a day in high school and four marathons. It was a good drug, one I'm thinking of going back to except it takes so much time. Then I got into the drug of photography. Capturing someone else's world helped me escape mine. I had several other sexual relationships with men (including a much older school teacher, who also had been abused as a child). They could tell I was a wounded animal (sometimes I catch myself doing that, I can usually pick out the other people who have shame in their heads). Those new relationships piled on the shame and I started craving structure and people who were ''good'' and had strict personal borders in my life.
I grew very religious back in the 1980s (learned my video skills as cameraman on a church TV crew). Prayer and praise actually are still among the most powerful drugs I've used to escape my shame. Later came work. Which I did as much as I could. Like 19 hours a day. I often can't sleep because of the shame, so I get up and start answering email or looking at Facebook to escape the shame.
Still doing that drug, gave up the drug of religion for a variety of reasons which will have to wait for a future day to discuss.
And I've tried many of the other drugs, too. Coachella. New Orleans. Austin City Limits. Sex. The best food in the world. Being on the deck of an aircraft carrier. Getting a tour of the White House. Of Apple Computer when it was only one building. Having Siri be launched in my son's bedroom.
New drugs still exist to try. Kite surfing and meditation are the two most attractive ones that I see friends doing.
All ways to escape the shame. Last week I visited the Jameson Distillery near Cork, Ireland, thanks to the F.ounders conference and having a magical experience. Why was it magical? Because the shame couldn't be heard in my head. Have you ever gotten drunk with some of the best entrepreneurs the world has ever known? I have, and damn, was it fun (which is how we got to the video of dancing and fun that we had in a traditional pub near Cork, Ireland). And, yes, alcohol helps me escape from the shame. Often I use it too much, which is something I'm struggling with. Also another post for a future day.
So why disclose my shame now, in such a public way? This is the scariest post I've ever done. It is the first time I'm really sharing myself at a deep level.
Well, first, when Tim Cook came out, that inspired me. He wrote that he hopes it helps one other kid deal with the inner turmoil that is our sexuality. It helped me. I understood when he said he wanted his privacy. It's very uncomfortable to discuss our sexual selves, it breaks all sorts of social rules. Funny for a guy who is so public, huh? Even I have something I want to hide from all of you (and from myself, even).
One thing I worked through is how confusing this made my sexuality. At many points in my life I asked myself ''am I gay?'' Truth is I'm not attracted to most men, but once in a while that confusion springs forth. Let's just say I'm mostly heterosexual. Maryam and I have a glorious sex life and that has helped me to heal as well.
The real reason I am sharing this now is I've learned several times I'm not alone. I've been telling this privately to friends and people who get close enough that I want to get real with and listening.
Quite a few of the world's greatest entrepreneurs told me of their own shame and similar experiences they've had as kids.
You would be shocked at what they told me happened to them as kids. Some of their stories shock me and I'm not easily shockable. This post is for them, they are my heroes and if I get any credit for this post, the credit should go to them. They were brave enough to open up with me and talk about their shame and just how it's driven them the way it drives me. If I had one dream other than seeing the next new thing it would be to remove the taboos that surround discussions of sex. We need to get there if we are gonna fix the "brogrammer" problems of how we treat women here. Really hard stuff, but it's partly here because we can't really discuss sex with each other and certainly not here on Facebook, right? If you are uncomfortable, I guarantee you I'm more uncomfortable with discussing such here.
Cindy Gallop's words on that topic also encouraged me.
Others in the tech industry are dealing with other private shames. A close family member has a gambling addiction. He's destroyed nearly everything he's ever had (and he once had a lot) and is now trying to rebuild his life. I can see the shame in his eyes. It's why we get along so well.
But it goes back to that secret shame. Because I told no one for decades I wasn't able to really deal with the shame properly. I did things I am further ashamed of. I've hurt people, including my own family members. My kids, for instance, don't have a traditional dad to go and play baseball with. Partly because doing that reminds me too much of the man that stole my childhood. The coach and I played ball together.
My wife, Maryam, has dealt with the aftermath and sometimes I see the pain in her eyes as she sees me trying to escape the pain, often doing destructive, sometimes inappropriate, and hurtful things. Which deepens my shame.
She is a saint and forgives so quickly that it helps us both heal. I am sorry for the hurt I gave to Patrick's mom as I was dealing with this shame, too. She helped me on my journey, but our marriage breaking up and the pain I brought to her added to my shame.
I keep people from really knowing me because of the shame. My relationship with family members and even trusted friends has never been close. Well, until Andy Grignon came into my life. He wasn't treated well by Steve Jobs, so we compare our pain and that greatly helps me. Andy, you really are dear to me. Thank you!
This is why I am sharing it now. Next January I turn 50. This year I've been thinking back on my life and what I've done and seen just how deeply that day in the pickup truck affected me. As I look forward to the next decade, trying to be a better human being, I see that I can only be a better human being by not hiding my shame any longer.
I, like Tim Cook, hope it will help one person who is facing the secret shame and confusion that this kind of shame brings. Please don't keep your secret as long as I kept mine. The only way to get your childhood back is to tell someone. Yes, I've seen a few therapists, they haven't really helped because I can't even be honest with them about the things I've done and the depths of my shame. I'll go back now that I can tell the truth.
I wish I had talked to my parents or a counselor four decades ago. Not to punish those who do this but to help you deal with it in a healthier way than I often have. I have forgiven the man who stole my childhood, mostly. I don't think of him, but I think of the experiences I never was able to have that my son is having now while he's going to school in New York and discovering his own sexuality the regular way (Patrick, I love you, and you make me proud every day and I'm reliving my childhood partly through you as you fall in love and push yourself).
The man who did this to me was also abused as a child. He had his childhood stolen and was just trying to get his back, which is why this is such a hard cycle to break. I wish we could talk more about sexuality so we could get more people in this situation help like I've gotten help.
Last night I was talking with several people about why I love new things (in this case new kinds of music that usually piss people of my generation off, for a variety of reasons). New things are a drug and it's my favorite drug. It's why I want an Oculus Rift so badly.
That day did give me some gifts.
Empathy for people, especially those that are suffering in some way. It's why I stop and am helpful to people suffering (and why I fit into Rackspace so well. Its culture is to be helpful, which is why we push ourselves to provide great service to companies and people).
It's why I listen so patiently to so many pitches. The suffering in the eyes of the entrepreneurs who might be facing rejection and the pressure that comes from credit card balances that are getting higher catches me and I don't want to be the one to add onto that struggle. Crushing the dreams of entrepreneurs comes with this job but I try to do everything I can to help them.
Every entrepreneur has stories of suffering if you ask. Several people told me they don't understand how I can be so patient as we walked the floor of Web Summit (I'm often asked to take selfies or listen to pitches as I walk around these things, I always take the time to do it and hopefully tell them a story that gets them to laugh. Might be the only joy they get in the week. Sorry if I didn't come up to that high bar in an interaction with you).
Anyway, as I get to the bottom of this post I feel a sense of relief. I can stop hiding my shame. A new phase of my life is about to begin. Thank you for being there for me. I've received so much love from all of you for such a long time that you've given me the bravery to discuss this. You have no idea how deeply I love each of you for giving me that gift and to the others who have given me such great experiences, which is one way you all are giving me my childhood back. Thank you!
One more thing, as I was walking through the airport toward Maryam I realized that this is why I don't manage people and don't start companies. I can't trust people enough because of what that man stole from me that day. Writing this post helped me already with seeing a destructive set of behaviors toward others that I'll work on fixing. Also, Maryam read this post and it already helped make our relationship deeper, and for that alone it's worth all the risk of opening up to all of you and all the consequences that could come. Which is why I hid this shame from all of you all of these years.
Thank you Dublin and to Paddy Cosgrave and his team for giving me an extraordinary week and getting me to see myself in a whole new way.
The law should make no judgement on sexuality - Virgin.com
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 18:48
Outraged by the latest attempt to suppress lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights in Uganda. Less than three months after the country's Supreme Court struck down the odious Anti-Homosexuality Act, passed in parliament last year, lawmakers are making another attempt to outlaw and punish people just because of who they love.
The Prohibition of Promotion of Unnatural Sexual Practices Bill reads like a streamlined version of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, but this time appears to be even more draconian.
The Anti-Homosexuality Act imposed up to life in prison for homosexuality, and made it a crime to abet homosexuality. The new proposal goes further to prohibit the promotion of LGBT rights '' proposing a prison sentence of up to seven years, a fine or both for the promotion of homosexuality.
This is in attempt to cut off funding for human rights organisations supporting the LGBT community.
It's not clear how, if and when this draft will be brought before parliament, however more than 100 lawmakers signed a petition in August calling to restore the law Anti-Homosexuality Act. This new bill would damage Uganda's international trade with, and funding from, countries that support LGBT rights '' something that could exacerbate poverty in Uganda and cause even more damage to the country.
Image from Virgin.comTo prevent this draft bill from even receiving consideration, I urge individuals, governments and companies worldwide to voice their distaste. Uganda and all countries that discriminate against people for supporting gay rights must reconsider their stance.
People should be able to love whoever they want '' the law should make no judgement on sexuality, and instead celebrate people who build loving relationships that strengthen society.
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U.S. judge says Citigroup can process Argentina's next bond payment | Reuters
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 23:02
TweetShare thisEmailPrintThe Citibank logo is pictured at its Nicaragua headquarters in Managua October 16, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Oswaldo Rivas
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. judge ruled on Monday that Citigroup Inc could process an $85 million interest payment by Argentina on bonds issued under its local laws following its 2002 default.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in New York said Citigroup could process the Dec. 31 payment it receives on U.S. dollar-denominated Argentine law bonds.
The judge also called off a Dec. 9 hearing over whether the bank could regularly process payments Argentina makes on the bonds. Briefing will be deferred into 2015.
Griesa's order gives Citigroup further breathing room in a dispute between hedge funds suing over defaulted Argentine debt, known as holdout creditors, and the country, which defaulted in July.
Citigroup has said it faces regulatory and criminal sanctions by Argentina if it does not process interest payments on Argentina bonds issued under local law.
Danielle Apsilos-Romero, a Citigroup spokeswoman, confirmed that the order will allow processing of the $85 million payment.
A spokesman for Elliott Management's NML Capital Ltd, one of the holdouts, declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Argentina's economy ministry was not immediately available for comment.
Argentina defaulted in July after refusing to honor court orders to pay $1.33 billion plus interest to holdout bondholders when it paid holders of bonds swapped during the country's 2005 and 2010 debt restructurings.
The hedge funds, which also include Aurelius Capital Management, spurned Argentina's past restructurings, which resulted in exchanges on about 92 percent of the country's defaulted debt. Investors accepting the swaps were paid less than 30 cents on the dollar on average.
Griesa in July blocked Bank of New York Mellon Corp from processing a $539 million interest payment on what the country says is more than $28 billion in restructured debt.
Monday's order marked the third time Griesa had this year allowed Citigroup's branch in Argentina to process a payment to bondholders.
Daniel Pollack, the court-appointed mediator in the case, told Reuters he thought Griesa was "giving the parties every opportunity to settle this long-running dispute."
"It is my hope that the parties will return to the bargaining table promptly after January 1," Pollack added.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond and Daniel Bases in New York; additional reporting by Hugh Bronstein in Buenos Aires; editing by Andrew Hay)
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How 3 Traders Manipulated the Currency Market at Citigroup, JPMorgan and UBS
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 14:52
In the endless revelations about corruption within the banking industry, Bloomberg gives us a taste of the market movements caused by trades at banks for the benefit of the traders:
The traders, and others at banks including HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, would congregate in chat rooms an hour or so before benchmark rates are set to discuss their aggregate trading positions and how to execute them to their mutual benefit
And you just have to love the image of them congratulating and high-fiving eachother for ripping everyones' face off:
Despite the impact their behavior had on the value of trillions of dollars of investments around the world, the traders regularly congratulated each other for successfully manipulating the market.
If the currency manipulation doesn't get you going, then you can move on to Matt Taibbi's article on JP Morgan's fraud in the mortgage market:
When Fleischmann and her team reviewed random samples of the loans, they found that around 40 percent of them were based on overstated incomes '' an astronomically high defect rate for any pool of mortgages; Chase's normal tolerance for error was five percent. One mortgage in particular that sticks out in Fleischmann's mind involved a manicurist who claimed to have an annual income of $117,000. Fleischmann figured that even working seven days a week, this woman would have needed to work 488 days a year to make that much. ''And that's with no overhead,'' Fleischmann says. ''It wasn't possible.''
But when she and others raised objections to the toxic loans, something odd started happening. The number-crunchers who had been complaining about the loans suddenly began changing their reports. The process she describes is strikingly similar to the way police obtain false confessions: The interrogator verbally abuses the target until he starts producing the desired answers. ''What happened,'' Fleischmann says, ''is the head diligence manager started yelling at his team, berating them, making them do reports over and over, keeping them late at night.'' Then the loans started clearing.
And much more on how JP worked with the government to bury the case:
Instead, the government decided to help Chase bury the evidence. It began when Holder's office scheduled a press conference for the morning of September 24th, 2013, to announce sweeping civil-fraud charges against the bank, all laid out in a detailed complaint drafted by the U.S. attorney's Sacramento office. But that morning the presser was suddenly canceled, and no complaint was filed. According to later news reports, Dimon had personally called Associate Attorney General Tony West, the third-ranking official in the Justice Department, and asked to reopen negotiations to settle the case out of court.
Hollywood Sex Abuse Film Revealed: Explosive Claims, New Figures Named (Exclusive)
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 19:02
A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 21 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
The spotlight again will be trained on the alleged sexual abuse of minors by powerful Hollywood players when Amy Berg's disturbing new documentary, An Open Secret, debuts at the DOC NYC film festival in New York on Nov. 14.
The subject was forced out of the shadows earlier this year when Michael Egan III filed lawsuits against X-Men director Bryan Singer, veteran TV executive Garth Ancier, former Disney exec David Neuman and producer GaryGoddard; all four denied the allegations, and by August, Egan had dropped the suits after prior inconsistent statements emerged (he also was scolded by a judge for lying in court). But now Egan is reemerging in a prominent role in Berg's film, which focuses in part on the late 1990s Internet company Digital Entertainment Network headed by Marc Collins-Rector and Chad Shackley, who held alcohol- and drug-fueled parties attended by teen boys. "They would pull away the better-looking younger kids and keep them for their own afterparty," where skinny-dipping was mandatory, says Egan in the film, alleging that Singer was in attendance.
Read moreHollywood Sex Abuse Doc 'An Open Secret' Cancels First Screening
The documentary, which paints a broad picture of sexual exploitation in the entertainment industry, does not revisit the specific allegations in Egan's lawsuits, nor does it characterize the men Egan sued as predators. But in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Berg defends her choice to include them, saying, "The question is, if you are an adult at one of these parties where so much is going on out in the open, what is your responsibility?" She admits, "I don't know the ins and outs of the various suits," but she is convinced of Egan's general credibility.
"He's a straight man in his 30s," she continues. "For him to say he was sexually abused by men as a young teen all the way up to his late teens, that's kind of an unlikely thing to lie about. He was at those parties. His story was not unique. So many other kids had the exact same stories with the same details." Plus, she adds, Egan's account is "only one aspect of the story. It's a much greater issue. When you meet the victims and see how prevalent this problem is, it's difficult to ignore."
Singer's attorney Marty Singer (no relation) has not seen the film yet, but he quesitons why Egan's allegations were included. "It's disappointing and pathetic that Amy Berg would rely on the word of Michael Egan, a proven liar, who recently was admonished by a federal judge for lying in court," Singer tells THR. "Egan has no credibility at all and can hardly be considered a reliable source for her so-called documentary."
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An Open Secret also examines several other cases: Talent manager Marty Weiss '-- who pleaded no contest in 2012 to two counts of committing lewd acts on a child after he was charged with eight felony counts of molesting a young performer he represented '-- is seen in the film attending family gatherings with one of his victims, then is heard, on tape, admitting to the molestation. Bob Villard, a talent manager who at one time represented a young Leonardo DiCaprio and who pleaded no contest to a similar felony charge in 2005, is alleged to have sold pictures of boys (often pictured shirtless, in subservient poses) on eBay.
The film also claims that Michael Harrah, a talent manager who sat on SAG-AFTRA's Young Performers Committee, had young boys stay with him in his home and tried to take at least one of them to bed. "[Berg] quoted someone she had apparently talked to, and that information didn't seem to be correct," Harrah tells THR. "It's hard to respond to anything that is so nebulous." Adds a SAG-AFTRA rep, "We have not received complaints nor suggestions of any wrongdoing regarding the former committee member who resigned earlier this year."
Read moreHollywood Sex Abuse Accuser Apparently Seeks to Withdraw Case Against Bryan Singer
An Open Secret originated in 2011, when Berg, 44, who received an Oscar nomination for her 2006 documentary Deliver Us From Evil, which explored sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, was approached by MatthewValentinas, a Boston entertainment attorney. He and hedge fund manager Alan Hoffman were looking to do something about victims of sexual exploitation, and, after listening to interviews in which actor Corey Feldmantalked of encountering abuse, they decided to produce a documentary. "We chose Amy because we didn't want it to be exploitative or tabloid," says Valentinas. "We wanted it to be empowering for the victims."
At first, Berg says, she had no interest in re-entering the dark world of abuse that she had visited in her earlier film. "It's definitely not something I wanted to go back into," she says. "But even many years after the DEN story, what I found really disturbing was the number of convicted pedophiles who are still being hired on set, on kids' shows. These are people who technically should be nowhere near children. That was really upsetting."
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As she approached the filmmaking challenges involved, Berg discovered a wealth of visual material '-- 26 boxes worth '-- belonging to a collector on the East Coast who had bought up all of DEN's video archives. More importantly, she found victims of abuse, now young men, who were willing to go on camera and relate their experiences '-- and, in some cases, their parents also agreed to take part. The young men described the process of "grooming," by which the predators insinuated themselves into their lives, and they told of the often-difficult aftermath in which a number of them confronted depression, drugs and alcohol.
"They were all struggling with the same thing: trying to move on 10 years after the fact. I think this was healing for many of them," Berg says. "They also felt that there was a threat to other children, and that was another reason they wanted to speak." Valentinas adds, "The narrative really comes from the voices of the victims. The film relies on the courage of the victims coming forward. And for every person who did talk in the film, we talked to two or three who wanted to but couldn't make that jump yet."
Valentinas and Berg insist they didn't hit roadblocks from attorneys representing men named in the film. But when the DOC NYC festival canceled a critics' screening set for Nov. 4 at the producers' request, it raised the question of whether the filmmakers were at odds over the final cut. "There was no disagreement," says Valentinas. "There were a lot of legal complexities involved. We had to be sure we had all the documentation signed. That's what we did, and we're happy it's going to be screening."
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While he had his fingers crossed, Thom Powers, artistic director of DOC NYC, says, "Certainly some moments were dicey, but I always believed in my heart that it was going to screen, because the whole film team was doing everything they could to make it happen." He adds, "I think it's an important film about an important topic, a topic that has, of course, been in the news this past year. But as many news reports as I've read about this story, the film gave me something that I hadn't had before, which is a depth of emotional understanding of what people involved in this have gone through. Anyone who has seen Amy's film Deliver Us From Evil understands the sensitivity she has around this subject and the depth of commitment she brings to it."
Will a distributor now step forward, or will the film, which cost about $1 million to make, prove too hot for Hollywood, forcing the filmmakers to take the self-distribution route? Several distributors have looked at it, and Valentinas says there is one, which he would not name, that has expressed definite interest. Says another distributor who passed, explaining there wasn't room for it on his release slate: "It's extremely compelling. How explosive it is remains to be seen. But I would not have any issue working on this film and think it would be a very interesting release." Valentinas adds, "I think it's going to come down to how courageous the executives are who look at this film. I think Hollywood is obviously nervous about the film, but I think once it is out there and everyone sees it, I'm sure we'll have a lot of suitors for the film. I'm glad it's premiering in New York, and I'm grateful for Thom Powers for giving us this venue to get the film out there."
Read moreBryan Singer Sex Abuse Case: The Troubling History Behind the Accusations
In conjunction with the film, Valentinas is in the process of setting up a foundation. "The profits from the film are going to the foundation," he says. "We are really hoping that more victims will feel they will have a place where they can come out and share their experience. It will also be a way for people to be more educated about how these pedophiles operate in Hollywood, because it's very specific. The people who are going to Hollywood every year to get into films might be a little more susceptible, and the people who are preying on them have more influence and more power to dangle over them. I hope this film will help the industry to police itself better."
Berg has already plunged into a number of new projects. Her first narrative film, Every Secret Thing, a drama about two young women, played by Dakota Fanning and Danielle Macdonald, convicted of killing a baby, debuted at this year's Tribeca Film Festival. and she is completing a documentary about Janis Joplin. But she's looking for more than just applause when An Open Secret finally screens. Say the director, "The goal is having public exposure that helps clean up the industry."
Email: Gregg.Kilday@THR.comTwitter: @gkilday
Sandy Hook
FreedomTorch.com - View Video - Lanza Laptop in police photos listed online as "missing'' from Wichita, KS since 2010.
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 13:24
Lanza Laptop in police photos of Lanza residence, listed online as "missing'' from Wichita, KS since 2010. The laptop identified in the official Connecticut Police photo's as item #13, is also listed as missing from Wichita, KS on a Pawn Shop ''Watch List'' since 2010. Although you may be able to confirm this by scanning the laptop barcode in this clip, to authenticate this information, you can go to the Official source listed in the directions. This will take you to the Official Police photos taken by the Connecticut State Police investigating the Nancy Lanza murder at her residence. The immediate questions that come to mind are; who listed the laptop as missing in Wichita, KS and how did it make its way 1,479 miles into the middle of a murder crime scene at 36 Yogananda St Sandy Hook CT? Note: You may have to Pause and Zoom to view content on the clip longer and more clear. Once Barcode scanner reads Barcode, it should ask if you want a Web search. Direct links: http://cspsandyhookreport.ct.gov/ https://www.pawnalert.com/pawn-items-frontpage.html?sobi2Task=sobi2Details&catid=2&sobi2Id=626
Posted 11 hours ago
Common Core
Common Core math experts say teachers need to stop using shortcuts and math 'tricks' | The Hechinger Report
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 21:22
By Emmanuel FeltonThink back to your elementary school math classes. Were you told to think of a greater-than sign as Pac-Man or to cross-multiply when dividing fractions? You weren't alone. Tricks to help kids get the right answers to difficult problems have long been a staple of American math education.
But if Common Core supporters have their way, shortcuts like these will soon disappear from the nation's classrooms.
In the age of Common Core, getting the right answer to a math problem is only step one. The Common Core math standards, which are in place in more than 40 states, say that it is just as important for students to understand the mathematical principles at work in a problem.
Related:What makes a good Common Core math question?
This emphasis on principles poses a problem for popular techniques like Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally, a mnemonic device for remembering the order of operations that teachers complain is imprecise, and the butterfly method for adding and subtracting fractions. If correctly applied, the tricks always result in the correct answer, but math experts say they allow students to skip the sort of conceptual thinking the standards are trying to encourage in students.
Stacey Jacobson-Francis works on math homework with her 6 year old daughter Luci Wednesday, May 14, 2014, at their home in Berkeley, Calif. As schools around the U.S. implement national Common Core learning standards, parents trying to help their kids with math homework say that adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing has become as complicated as calculus. Stacey Jacobson-Francis, 41, of Berkeley, California, said her daughter's homework requires her to know four different ways to add. ''That is way too much to ask of a first grader. She can't remember them all, and I don't know them all, so we just do the best that we can,'' she said. (AP Photo)
Linda Gojak, president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, is waging a war against the old advice that students should cross off zeros when dividing, for example. Using this technique students can quickly solve a problem like 4000 divided by 100 by eliminating two zeroes from each number and simplifying the problem to 40 divided by 1.
''I get teachers that get mad when I tell them they should stop,'' said Gojak. ''But I envision students dragging in a big bag of tricks into standardized tests and not really thinking about the questions.''
''It is your justification that makes your answer right or wrong,'' Gojak added.
Related:Are math specialists the answer to teaching better math?
Critics, including parents who remember the way they learned math in school, worry the standards are throwing out proven computational techniques in favor of overly complex methods. They say new, convoluted approaches are turning kids off of math.
But Phil Daro, one of the lead writers of Common Core math, says math tricks have already tarnished the math brand for countless students.
''Take the butterfly method. It doesn't articulate any mathematics,'' said Daro at a conference of the Association of Mathematics Teachers of New Jersey last month. ''Nothing in school is perceived to be useful by the kids, but in math they are going farther and saying, 'why are we even doing this?'''
Related: What happens when a robotics class starts the year with no robots?
Steve Leinwand, principal researcher at the American Institutes for Research's education program, also argues that America's math teachers should embrace the shift away from right answers.
''Common Core has the audacity to use the word understand 218 times,'' said Leinwand.
Daro does see some limited room for shortcuts in math.
''Now students have to arrive at a grade level way of thinking about the problem,'' said Daro. ''You can spend the first two-thirds of a lesson letting kids use the varied ways of thinking but for the last one-third we need to get them to the standards' way of thinking.''
As for the tricks, Daro says, ''I'd only settle for something like [the butterfly method], some days for some kids.''
Robin Williams' Suicide: Took His Life Over Parkinson's-Induced Hallucinations - Hollywood Life
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 18:52
Robin Williams' suicide in August was a result of dementia and hallucinations brought on by Lewy Body Dementia coupled with the medication he was taking for his Parkinson's, according to a new report. So sad.Robin Williams may have been suffering more than we realized. When the actor committed suicide on August 11 at the age of 64, he was reportedly suffering from Lewy Body Dementia. The condition, coupled with his Parksinon's and the medication he was taking to combat it, causes hallucinations.
Robin Williams' Suicide: Took His Life Over Parkinson's-Induced HallucinationsDocuments obtained by TMZ show that Robin was suffering from Lewy Body Dementia, and as the outlet reports, the disease ''is marked by abnormal protein deposits in the brain that disrupt normal function.''
Lewy Body Dementia is commonly associated with Parkinson's disease, and exacerbated by Parkinson's medication. At the time of his suicide, Robin may have been suffering hallucinations like ''phantom objects, people or animals. The patients often try to converse with the illusions.'' So sad.
Robin Williams 'Had Been Complaining About The Meds And The Way They Made Him Feel'It's not yet offically confirmed by the family whether Robin was indeed suffering the debilitating hallucinations often associated with Lewy Body Dementia, but his wife, Susan Schneider, reportedly told authorities that Robin ''had been complaining about the meds and the way they made him feel.''
Furthermore, sources close to the family tell TMZ that they do believe that Robin's Lewy Body Dementia was the ''key factor'' in his Aug. 11 suicide.
Our thoughts continue to go out to the Williams family as they recover from this terrible loss.
'' Susan Johnson
More Robin Williams News:Robin Williams: Daughter Zelda Gets Beautiful Tribute Tattoo '-- See The PicRobin Williams Emmy Tribute: Fans React To Billy Crystal's SpeechBilly Crystal 'Humbled' To Honor Robin Williams At 2014 EmmysRobin Williams: Daughter Zelda Gets Beautiful Tribute Tattoo -- See The PicOct24Just two months after her father, Robin Williams, took his own'...Read Article'–º'†'Joel McHale Remembers Working With The 'Amazing' Robin WilliamsOct21We got the chance to catch up with The Soup's host, Joel McHale'...Read Article'–º'†'Sponsored Content by TaboolaLea Salonga: Princess Jasmine Sings 'A Whole New World' 21 Years LaterOct02Lea Salonga, the original Princess Jasmine from Disney's'...Read Article'–º'†'Robin Williams Tribute: Kathy Bates Reveals Shocking SecretAug26Robin was honored during the 2014 Emmy Awards, Aug. 25, by Billy'...Read Article'–º'†'Robin Williams Emmy Tribute: Fans React To Billy Crystal's SpeechAug26Billy Crystal honored Robin Williams in a heartfelt speech at'...Read Article'–º'†'Emmys Best Moments: Robin Williams, Justin Bieber & MoreAug25The biggest night in television -- the Primetime Emmy'...Read Article'–º'†'Robin Williams Emmy Tribute: Watch Billy Crystal's Heartfelt SpeechAug25Robin Williams was honored in front of Hollywood's finest at the'...Read Article'–º'†'Robin Williams' Son Cody Spotted For The First Time Since Dad's DeathAug25Robin's youngest child, Cody Williams, was seen for the first'...Read Article'–º'†'Billy Crystal 'Humbled' To Honor Robin Williams At 2014 EmmysAug25Robin Williams will be honored at the 2014 Emmy Awards by his'...Read Article'–º'†'Robin Williams: Late Actor Honored In Touching VMAs Photo TributeAug24As the world continues to mourn Robin's tragic passing, the late'...Read Article'–º'†'Robin Williams: Watch The Late Actor's Best Comedic MomentsAug21Robin Williams tragically passed away, sadly taking his own life'...Read Article'–º'†'Robin Williams Cremated: Family Scatters His AshesAug20Robin Williams tragically died on Aug. 11, and now the iconic'...Read Article'–º'†'
VIDEO-Orange County school board changes what qualifies as 'F' grade - FOX 35 News Orlando
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 13:12
ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) - It's an intense debate over school grades in Orange County. The question is how low should they go? On Tuesday night, the Orange County School Board decided the lowest "F" score a student can get at the end of a quarter or semester should be a "50" and not a zero. Critics call it inflating grades. Supporters say it will give struggling students a chance to succeed.
The district's Pupil Progression Plan says "50" is the lowest "F" grade a middle school or high school student can receive for a quarterly grade or an end of semester grade. That's in sharp contrast to a zero being the lowest "F" grade.
Supporters say a "50" is still an "F," but if a student gets tutoring, they might be able to raise their grades and pass by the end of the school year.
Orange County School Board Member Joie Cadle supports having "50" as the minimum "F" grade.
She says, ''We do not want our children dropping out of school. At some point if the hole is so deep that you cannot dig out of it. Why try?''
Critics call the "50" minimum "F" score inflating grades. They claim some students will game the system and do just enough work to get by.
Cindy Hamilton is a concerned parent. She says, ''I agree in some cases with our chair in that students need to work for what they're going to get in regards to their grades.''
Hamilton also believes teachers should have had more input in the new "F"grade decision.
Some teachers say a "50" minimum "F" grade takes autonomy away from them, that it should be their right to assess a student's performance and give them a grade from zero to 100.
The school board clarified the "50" minimum "F" grade is for quarterly grades and end of semester grades, but it does not pertain to day to day homework assignments or individual projects.
VIDEO-NJ Activist Fought for N. Korea Release of Detained American | NBC New York
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 13:01
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'); nbcVideoPageUtils.player442('featuredPlayer'+nbcVideoPageUtils.videoStillSeq,videoIDForThePlatform,625,352); nbcVideoPageUtils.videoStillSeq+=1; } } else { console.log("**** LN 448 | METADATA GATHERED, THIS SHOULDN'T BE EXECUTING! ****"); jQuery('#featuredPlayerContainer').html(''); nbcVideoPageUtils.player442('featuredPlayer'+nbcVideoPageUtils.videoStillSeq,videoIDForThePlatform,625,352); nbcVideoPageUtils.videoStillSeq+=1; s.pageName = nbcVideoPageUtils.currentClipTitle; //s.tl(); } } });}// Displays Sochi Promo banner if video content is categorized as Winter-OlympicsdisplayOlympicsBanner = function(featureDataCategory){ if(featureDataCategory == "Olympics-Winter"){ if($("#olympicsBanner").length "); $("#featuredSummaryShare").addClass("sochiStyles"); } } else { if($("#olympicsBanner").length){ $("#olympicsBanner").remove(); $("#featuredSummaryShare").removeClass("sochiStyles"); } }} nbcVideoPageUtils.mobileStart = function() { console.log("**** MOBILE START ****"); nbcVideoPageUtils.hasMobileStarted = true; var now = jQuery.now(); // Parameter string for HTML5 Omniture Beacon var hlsAdditionalTrackingValues="|trackVars=eVar11,eVar12,eVar13,eVar14,eVar27,eVar36,eVar37,eVar38,eVar39,eVar40,eVar41,eVar42,eVar43,eVar45,eVar47,eVar48,eVar50,prop2,prop8,prop9,prop20,prop42,prop43,prop44,prop45,prop46,prop50,products,eVar9,eVar10|trackEvents=event20,event21,event22,event23,event24,event25,event26,event27,event28,event29,event30,event31,event81,event82,event70,event71,event72,event73,event74,event75,event76,event77,event78,event79,event80|prop2=|prop8=|prop9=|eVar9="+nbc.siteKey+"|eVar10="+nbc.callLetters+"|prop20="+nbcVideoPageUtils.RSID+"|eVar36=Video|eVar27=Flash|eVar37="+nbcVideoPageUtils.currentClipTitle+"|eVar39=Video Player|eVar41=|eVar42=|eVar45="+nbc.brand+"|eVar47=normal|prop50="+nbcVideoPageUtils.currentClipTitle+"|eVar48=fullplayer|eVar42=|a.media.name=eVar40|mediaCategoryVars=eVar36|mediaIdVars=eVar50|trackMilestones=25%25,50%25,75%25|pageName=" + nbcu.pageName; player = new Player("featuredPlayer"); nbcVideoPageUtils.currentPlayerRuntime = player._runtime; player.fp.bgcolor = "0x131313"; player.fp.wmode = "opaque"; player.logLevel = "warn"; player.allowFullScreen = "true"; // Cypress Omniture Plugin if(nbc.video.config.htmlOmniture == true) { player.pluginOmniture = "type=tracking|priority=1|URL=/includes/omnitureMedia.js|account="+ mmModule.omni +"|jsInstanceName=nbcu|visitorNamespace=nbcuniversal|dc=122|host=oimg.nbcuni.com|secureHost=osimg.nbcuni.com" + hlsAdditionalTrackingValues; } if(nbc.htmlPreroll == true) { try { player.pluginTremor = "type=adcomponent|URL=http://objects.tremormedia.com/embed/sjs/html5/plugins/theplatform/tpAcudeoPlugIn.js|policy="+nbc.tremorHTMLKey+"|contentData.videoDescriptionUrl="+nbcVideoPageUtils.videoSocialShare+"|contentData.AdUnit1stLevel="+nbc.gptParams.suitename+"|contentData.AdUnit2nd-5thLevel="+nbc.gptParams.gptZone+"|contentData.videoplatform=html5|contentData.feature="+nbc.gptParams.pageData.feature+"|contentData.contentid="+nbcVideoPageUtils.videoMediaId+"|contentData.cid="+nbcVideoPageUtils.videoMediaId+"|contentData.pagetype="+nbc.gptParams.pageData.pagetype+"|contentData.sponsor="+nbc.gptParams.pageData.sponsor+"|contentData.pt="+nbc.omniture.playerType+"|contentData.stage="+nbc.gptParams.pageData.stage+"|contentData.sensitive="+nbc.gptParams.pageData.sensitive+"|contentData.nopreroll="+nbcVideoPageUtils.runpreroll+"|contentData.adtest="+nbc.gptParams.pageData.adtest+"|contentData.TIMESTAMP="+now; console.warn("nbcVideoPageUtils.mobileStart | Tremor HTML5 plugin active."); } catch(e) { alert("nbcVideoPageUtils.mobileStart | Tremor HTML5 plugin failure"); } } player.pluginConviva="type=reporting|url=http://livepassdl.conviva.com/thePlatform/ConvivaThePlatformPlugin.js|customerId=c3.TP-NbcUniversal|priority=3|cdnName=AKAMAI|serviceUrl=http%3A%2F%2Flivepass.conviva.com"; player.playerURL = location.href; // DO NOT TOUCH player.backgroundColor = "0x131313"; player.controlBackgroundColor = "0x131313"; player.controlColor = "0xBEBEBE"; player.controlFrameColor = "0x545759"; player.controlHoverColor = "0xBEBEBE"; player.controlSelectedColor = "0x00CCFF"; player.frameColor = "0x545759"; player.pageBackgroundColor = "0x131313"; player.playProgressColor = "0x00CCFF"; player.scrubberColor = "0xBEBEBE"; player.scrubberFrameColor = "0x00CCFF"; player.scrubTrackColor = "0xBEBEBE"; player.textBackgroundColor = "0x383838"; player.textColor = "0xBEBEBE"; player.loadProgressColor = "0x5D9070"; player.layoutUrl = "/templates/nbc_mobileplayer_layout"; player.skinUrl = nbc.fullDomain + '/assets/pdk449/pdk/skins/glass/glass.json'; player.showControlsBeforeVideo=true; // player.releaseUrl = "http://link.theplatform.com/s/Yh1nAC/clAU8uFm7yvfj2f8obA6MT06FQXbWr2e?mbr=true&manifest=m3u&assetTypes=LegacyRelease"; player.releaseUrl = "http://link.theplatform.com/s/Yh1nAC/"+nbcVideoPageUtils.forcedCorrectPid+"?manifest=m3u&format=SMIL"; player.autoPlay = false; player.useDefaultPlayOverlay = true; nbcVideoPageUtils.omnitureInit(); player.bind("featuredPlayer"); U.log("VIDEO PAGE FEATURE | "+ player.releaseUrl); U.log("VIDEO PAGE FEATURE | iOS player configuration complete!"); } if(!nbcVideoPageUtils.platformOmnitureActivate) { //NBCUOmniture.initialize('nbcu');}nbcVideoPageUtils.videoReplay = function(targetScope) { nbcVideoPageUtils.countdownValue = 4; try { U.log("Attempting to clear timer."); clearTimeout(startTimer); clearInterval(ecCountdown); } catch(e) { U.log(e); U.log("Timer not present, moving on..."); } if(targetScope == null) { targetScope == "*"; U.log("nbcVideoPageUtils.videoReplay: WARNING: Scope not defined, defaulting to wildcard.") } jQuery('#endcard').fadeOut(); if($('.shareLink').hasClass('active')){ $('.shareLink').removeClass('active'); $('.linkBox').fadeOut('fast'); $('.linkBox .zclip').remove(); } if($('.shareEmbed').hasClass('active')){ $('.shareEmbed').removeClass('active'); $('.embedBox').fadeOut('fast'); $('.embedBox .zclip').remove(); } tpController.clickPlayButton(targetScope);}nbcVideoPageUtils.resetPreroll = function() { var content = { id:nbcVideoPageUtils.videoReleaseId, title:nbcVideoPageUtils.currentClipTitle, site:nbc.siteKey, zone:nbc.zone, descriptionUrl:location.href, sect:nbc.section, sub:"", contentgroup:nbcVideoPageUtils.currentClipAdCampaign, pid:nbcVideoPageUtils.currentClipContentCode, hascompanion:"companion", companionexists:true, pt:'fullplayer', videoDescriptionUrl:nbcVideoPageUtils.videoSocialShare, catetory:'fullplayer' } try { if(console) { console.warn("Attempting to re-write Tremor plugin data..."); } AcudeoSetContentData(content); } catch(e) { if(console) { console.warn("nbcVideoPageUtils.resetPreroll | Call to AcudeoSetContentData(content) | " + e); } }}// START SOCIALIZE SHARE BAR ON ENDCARDfunction socializeEndcardShare(choseVideoUrl,choseOldSchoolUrl,choseCmsId,choseVideoTitle) { var videoSummary = $(".feature_summary_top").find(".summary").text() // If oldschool url is not loaded from bottom list of videos // Then assumed it's the right-rail list of videos if (choseOldSchoolUrl == null || choseOldSchoolUrl == ""){ choseOldSchoolUrl = $("#featuredSummaryShare").find("span.featureContentOldSchoolUrl").html(); } if(choseVideoTitle == null || choseVideoTitle == ""){ choseVideoTitle = $("#featuredSummaryShare").find("div.headline-full").html(); } // Define Share Bar plugin's Parameters var breadCrumbSection = $("#videoHeaderBreadcrumb a:nth-child(3)").text(); if(breadCrumbSection == "sounddiego"){ var twitterHandle = "SoundDiego"; } else if(nbc.market == "nbcmiami"){ var twitterHandle = "nbc6"; } else{ var twitterHandle = nbc.market; }; $("#endcard #socialTools .twitter").html(""); $("#endcard #socialTools .fbRecommend").html(""); $("#endcard #socialTools .gplus").html(""); jQuery.ajax({ url: 'http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js', dataType: 'script', cache:true}); FB.XFBML.parse(); gapi.plusone.go(); };// END SOCIALIZE SHARE BAR ON ENDCARDnbcVideoPageUtils.goToNextClip = function(evt) { console.warn("nbcVideoPageUtils.goToNextClip: Is it an ad?"+evt.data.baseClip.isAd); if(evt.data.baseClip.isAd == false) { U.log("start timer "+startTimer); if( startTimer == 1 ) { if(jQuery('#feature_rr_list > li.next_playing').length > 0) { nextUpThumbnail = jQuery('#feature_rr_list > li.next_playing img').attr('src'); jQuery('div.nextUpThumbnail').css({'background-image':'url('+nextUpThumbnail+')'}); nextUpCopy = jQuery('#feature_rr_list > li.next_playing span.feature_rr_item_desc').html(); jQuery('div.nextUpInfo').html(nextUpCopy); jQuery("#endcard").fadeIn("fast"); socializeEndcardShare(); startTimeMS = (new Date()).getTime(); nbcVideoPageUtils.countdownValue = 4; timerStep = 5000; startTimer = setTimeout("nbcVideoPageUtils.triggerNextClip()",5000); ecCountdown = setInterval("nbcVideoPageUtils.endcardCountdown()",1000); } else { jQuery('div.nextUp').hide(); jQuery('div.countdownContainer').hide(); jQuery("#endcard").fadeIn("fast"); socializeEndcardShare(); } } else { if(jQuery('#feature_rr_list > li.next_playing').length > 0) { nextUpThumbnail = jQuery('#feature_rr_list > li.next_playing img').attr('src'); jQuery('div.nextUpThumbnail').css({'background-image':'url('+nextUpThumbnail+')'}); nextUpCopy = jQuery('#feature_rr_list > li.next_playing span.feature_rr_item_desc').html(); jQuery('div.nextUpInfo').html(nextUpCopy); startTimeMS = (new Date()).getTime(); timerStep = 5000; startTimer = setTimeout("nbcVideoPageUtils.triggerNextClip()",5000); } else { jQuery('div.nextUp').hide(); jQuery('div.countdownContainer').hide(); } jQuery("#endcard").fadeIn("fast"); socializeEndcardShare(); forceEventHandlers(); /* if(timerPaused == false){ timerEventsOn(); }*/ embeddedPlayerHTML = ''+'ipt>'; jQuery('.shareBoxes .linkBox fieldset').html(''+nbcVideoPageUtils.videoSocialShare+''); jQuery('.shareBoxes .embedBox fieldset').html(''+embeddedPlayerHTML+''); jQuery('#endcard div.countdownContainer span.countdown').html('05'); if(jQuery('#feature_rr_list > li.next_playing').length > 0) { ecCountdown = setInterval("nbcVideoPageUtils.endcardCountdown()",1000); } // dont put parsing of Social Widgets - WE have all together in one function } }}nbcVideoPageUtils.triggerNextClip = function() { try { U.log("Attempting to clear timer."); clearTimeout(startTimer); clearInterval(ecCountdown); } catch(e) { U.log(e); U.log("Timer not present, moving on..."); } U.log("Jump to next clip here."); try { triggerNextVideoTarget = jQuery('li.next_playing > a').attr('id'); jQuery('#'+triggerNextVideoTarget).trigger('click','autoplay'); jQuery('#'+triggerNextVideoTarget).trigger('click','autoplay'); jQuery("#endcard").fadeOut("slow"); //timerEventsOff(); if($('.shareLink').hasClass('active')){ $('.shareLink').removeClass('active'); $('.linkBox').fadeOut('fast'); $('.linkBox .zclip').remove(); } if($('.shareEmbed').hasClass('active')){ $('.shareEmbed').removeClass('active'); $('.embedBox').fadeOut('fast'); $('.embedBox .zclip').remove(); } } catch(e) { alert(e); }}nbcVideoPageUtils.countdownValue = 4;nbcVideoPageUtils.endcardCountdown = function() { if(nbcVideoPageUtils.countdownValue > 0) { U.log(nbcVideoPageUtils.countdownValue); if(nbcVideoPageUtils.countdownValue > 4) { jQuery('#endcard div.countdownContainer span.countdown').text(nbcVideoPageUtils.countdownValue); } else { jQuery('#endcard div.countdownContainer span.countdown').text('0'+nbcVideoPageUtils.countdownValue); } nbcVideoPageUtils.countdownValue-=1; } else { clearInterval(ecCountdown); U.log("Clear"); }}nbcVideoPageUtils.omnitureInit = function() { console.log("**** DELIVERY BUNDLE FROM thePLATFORM ****"); console.log("**** ADDING thePLATFORM OMNITURE BEACON | 10/10/2014 @1330H | GLOBAL RE-ACTIVATION ****"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("eVar8","D=c8","division"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("eVar9","D=c9","business unit"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("eVar10",nbc.callLetters,"station"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("eVar11",NBCUPDKOmniture.date.getTime,"minute"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("eVar12",NBCUPDKOmniture.date.getHour,"hour"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("eVar13",NBCUPDKOmniture.date.getDayOfWeek,"day"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("eVar14",NBCUPDKOmniture.date.getDate,"date"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("eVar27",nbcVideoPageUtils.currentPlayerRuntime,"runtime"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("eVar36","noprogram","program"); // check on this one NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("eVar37","nosubtitle","subtitle"); // check on this one NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("eVar38","normal","screen"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("eVar39","Video Player","contentGroup"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("eVar40",nbcVideoPageUtils.currentClipTitle,"title"); // REMOVE NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("eVar42","noguid","guid"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("eVar43", document.URL,"href"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("eVar45",nbc.callLetters,"provider"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("eVar47",nbcVideoPageUtils.isLongForm,"longform"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("eVar48","fullplayer","nbc.omniture.playerType"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("eVar50",nbcVideoPageUtils.videoMediaId,"clipid"); // props NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("prop8","nbc","division"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("prop9",nbc.siteKey,"business unit"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("prop10",nbc.callLetters,"station"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("prop20","nbcots"+nbc.market,"rsid"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("prop42", "noguid","guid"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("prop43", "noclipid","clipid"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("prop44", "normal","screen"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("prop46",nbcVideoPageUtils.isLongForm,"longform"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("prop45", 0,"bitrate"); NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setDefault("prop50",nbcVideoPageUtils.currentClipTitle,"title"); // overrides NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setOverride("eVar10",nbc.callLetters,"provider"); //NBCUPDKOmniture.trackingEventFactory.setOverride("prop48", nbc.omniture.playerType,"nbc.omniture.playerType"); // attach the pdk controller PDKTrackingEvents.bus.initialize($pdk.controller); console.log("**** nbcVideoPageUtils.omnitureInit | SUCCESS! ****");}jQuery(document).ready(function() { if (navigator.userAgent.match(/like Mac OS X/i)) { // DO NOTHING } else { tpController.addEventListener("OnMediaEnd","nbcVideoPageUtils.goToNextClip"); } $('#endcard').css({'visibility':'visible','display':'none'}); $('.linkBox').css({'visibility':'visible','display':'none'}); $('.embedBox').css({'visibility':'visible','display':'none'});});//Timer pause functions for embed and link popupspauseTimer = function(){ clearTimeout(startTimer); clearInterval(ecCountdown); timerCount=0; remainingTime = timerStep - ((new Date()).getTime() - startTimeMS); timerStep = remainingTime; timerPaused = true;};resumeTimer = function(){ if (!timerCount){ timerCount=1; timerPaused = false; startTimeMS = (new Date()).getTime(); startTimer = setTimeout("nbcVideoPageUtils.triggerNextClip()",remainingTime); ecCountdown = setInterval("nbcVideoPageUtils.endcardCountdown()",1000); }}//Pause and resume timer on window blur and focus (ie Facebook/Twitter login)var isIE = (navigator.appName == "Microsoft Internet Explorer");function timerEventsOn(){ if (isIE){ document.onfocusout = function(){pauseTimer();} document.onfocusin = function(){resumeTimer();} } else{ window.onblur = function(){pauseTimer();} window.onfocus = function(){resumeTimer();} }}function timerEventsOff(){ if (isIE){ document.onfocusout = null; document.onfocusin = null; } else{ window.onblur = null; window.onfocus = null; }}//]]>
VIDEO-Former US Envoy Says Iran's Supreme Leader Believes in 'Very Similar Islamic Philosophy to That of ISIS' | MRCTV
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 23:36
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei believes in ''a very similar Islamic philosophy to that of ISIS,'' a U.S. career ambassador and Iran specialist said in response to reports that President Obama sent Iran's supreme leader a secret letter describing a common interest in confronting the jihadist group.
VIDEO-Former Counterterrorism Adviser: Terrorists Could Attack Power Grid, Knock Out Power for Months | MRCTV
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 23:34
Former White House Counterterrorism Adviser Richard Clarke on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopolous" on Sunday warned that terrorists could gain the capability to attack the U.S. power grid, potentially knocking out power to part of the country for months.
VIDEO-Nets Ignore ObamaCare Architect Crediting Law's Passage on 'the Stupidity of the American Voter' | MRCTV
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 23:23
See more in the cross-post on the Newsbusters blog.
On Friday, the group American Commitment uploaded a video to YouTube of ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber telling a group of healthcare economists in 2013 that the ''lack of transparency'' regarding the bill's contents and ''the stupidity of the American voter'' were critical to its passage through Congress in 2010.
Since the video was uploaded, the major English and Spanish broadcast networks of ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, and Telemundo have chosen not to cover this devastating video on either their morning or evening newscasts. During the day on Monday alone, Gruber's comments were covered on cable news channels CNN and the Fox News Channel (FNC) in addition to news sites ranging from The Daily Signal to Forbes to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
VIDEO-CBS Offers Bill Nye Platform to Denounce Those Who 'Deny' Climate Change | MRCTV
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 23:18
Video cross-posted here at NewsBusters. On Tuesday morning, Bill Nye the science guy appeared on CBS This Morning to promote his new book, and used his platform as an opportunity to trash individuals who question the existence of manmade climate change. Speaking about his book ''Undeniable: Evolution and the science of creation'' Nye argued that ''it's not a coincidence that the creationists also deny climate change. It's a really important thing.''
VIDEO-US soldiers attacked with dye in Istanbul by nationalist youth group - LOCAL
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 22:54
ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
The TGB members put sacks on the heads of three US soldiers. DHA Photo
A group of Turkish nationalist students attacked NATO soldiers in the touristic Emin¶n¼ district of Istanbul, putting sacks over their heads and throwing dye on them Nov. 12. Members of the nationalist Turkish Youth Union (TGB) followed three NATO soldiers, who were thought to be U.S. citizens, as they exited the USS ROSS, which is currently docked on the coast of the Sarayburnu neighborhood of Emin¶n¼ for four days after returning from a NATO exercise in the Black Sea.
The TGB members shouted slogans ''Yankee Go Home,'' ''Damn American Imperialism'' and threw red dye on the soldiers while also putting sacks over their heads. The alleged U.S. soldiers in civilian clothing escaped by running away.
''You declared that you are a member of the U.S. army. We define you as murderers. We want you to leave our land,'' a man is heard shouting at the soldier in the video released by the group.
''We are using our right to protest you,'' the protester also shouted.
The TGB members were inspired by a 2003 incident when U.S. soldiers staged an operation against Turkish soldiers based in Sulaymaniyah in northern Iraq, in which they took 11 Turkish soldiers hostage and put sacks on their heads.
Embassy condemns 'appalling' attack
The U.S. Embassy in Ankara condemned the attack in a statement released via its Twitter account yesterday after the incident.
''The video showing an assault on three visiting American sailors is appalling. While we respect the right to peaceful protest and freedom of expression, we condemn today's attack in Istanbul, and have no doubt the vast majority of Turks would join us in rejecting an action that so disrespects Turkey's reputation for hospitality'' said the statement.
VIDEO-Mark Kelly: Philae mission 'incredible'
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 21:21
CNN's Rachel Crane and former astronaut Mark Kelly explain the good and bad news of the Philae probe's comet landing.
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VIDEOPresident Obama's Statement on Keeping the Internet Open and Free - YouTube
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 21:02
VIDEO-When Healthy Eating Calls For Treatment - WSJ - WSJ
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 20:41
Nov. 10, 2014 4:25 p.m. ET The growing interest in eating healthy can at times have unhealthy consequences.
Some doctors and registered dietitians say they are increasingly seeing people whose desire to eat pure or ''clean'' food'--from raw vegans to those who cut out multiple major food sources such as gluten, dairy and sugar'--becomes an all-consuming obsession and leads to ill health. In extreme cases, people will end up becoming malnourished.
Some experts refer to the condition as orthorexia nervosa, a little-researched disorder that doesn't have an official diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, considered the bible of psychiatric illnesses. Often, individuals with orthorexia will exhibit symptoms of recognized conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder or end up losing unhealthy amounts of weight, similar to someone with anorexia.
Researchers in Colorado recently proposed a series of criteria they say could help clinicians diagnose orthorexia. The guidelines, published online in the journal Psychosomatics earlier this year, also could serve as a standard for future research of the disorder, they say.
Ryan Moroze, a psychiatry fellow at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine and senior author of the study, said more research needs to be done to develop a valid screening instrument for orthorexia, determine its prevalence and differentiate it from other more well-known eating disorders.
''There are people who become malnourished, not because they're restricting how much they eat, it's what they're choosing to eat,'' said Thomas Dunn, a psychologist and psychology professor at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colo., and a co-author of the article.
''It's not that they're doing it to get thin, they're doing it to get healthy. It's just sort of a mind-set where it gets taken to an extreme like what we see with other kinds of mental illness,'' Dr. Dunn said.
Among the proposed criteria: an obsession with the quality and composition of meals to the extent that people may spend excessive amounts of time, say three or more hours a day, reading about and preparing specific types of food; and having feelings of guilt after eating unhealthy food. The preoccupation with such eating would have to either lead to nutritional imbalances or interfere with daily functional living to be considered orthorexia.
Some orthorexia patients are receiving treatments similar to those for obsessive-compulsive disorder. ''We're getting the people who aren't being treated well under an eating-disorder diagnosis and their disorder is better treated under the OCD dial,'' said Kimberley Quinlan, clinical director of the OCD Center of Los Angeles, an outpatient clinic.
The condition seems to start with an interest in living healthy and then, over time, people develop an increased anxiety about eating food that is contaminated or that they deem unhealthy, said Ms. Quinlan. Treatment often involves cognitive behavioral therapy, a type of psychotherapy aiming at behavior modification. ''We've basically taken a model that we use to treat OCD and applied it to this disorder which is so similar,'' she said.
Experts say there is a gray area between striving to eat healthy and going to the extreme, which helps to spur skepticism about orthorexia. ''People don't believe how eating healthy can be a disorder,'' said Ms. Quinlan.
Sometimes other illnesses can lead to orthorexia. David Rakel, director of integrative medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, estimated that 10% to 15% of the patients who come in with food allergies and related problems develop an unhealthy fear of particular foods.
Nutritional therapy often involves elimination diets'--stopping to eat certain foods to check if they are contributing to an inflammatory condition, Dr. Rakel said. Under the program, the foods are later gradually reintroduced, but some people continue to avoid them. ''People are getting so strict with their health choices that they're not getting the nutrients that they need,'' he said.
Some eating-disorder therapists say many of the orthorexia patients they treat also suffer from anorexia. But other experts say orthorexics often aren't underweight, which can make it difficult to identify them.
''Someone on paper may be perfectly healthy and their blood work is great and their weight is fine but their behavior has become obsessive with food,'' said Marjorie Nolan Cohn, a New York City-based dietitian and national spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a professional organization.
A red flag is when someone's eating habits are making them avoid social engagements, Ms. Cohn said. ''They may not be able to go out to a restaurant with their friends because they don't know what's in the food or it's not cooked in a certain way or what if it's not organic olive oil?'' she said.
Jordan Younger, 24, of Los Angeles, started a popular Instagram and blog last year to post recipes and pictures from her plant-based vegan diet. Then her daily diet became all-consuming.
''I would wake up in a panic thinking, 'What am I going to eat today?' '' said Ms. Younger. ''I would go to a juice place or Whole Foods or a natural grocery store and would spend so much time in there looking at everything trying to plan out the whole day. It just began to take over my mind in a way that I started to see was unhealthy,'' she said.
Ms. Younger, already slim, said she lost 25 pounds on her restrictive diet. Her skin turned orange and she stopped menstruating. In May, she started seeing an eating-disorder specialist and nutritionist who helped her recover.
Now, Ms. Younger said she doesn't restrict herself from eating anything except for processed food. Her skin has returned to its normal color, her hair has thickened and grown 5 inches and she has put back on her weight.
''With all these different dietary philosophies, there's a lot more room for orthorexia to develop,'' she said. ''It makes it really hard to eat if you're listening to all these theories and it gives eating and food a ton of anxiety when really food should be enjoyable.''
VIDEO-Santa Cruz 911 dispatchers now have Ebola questions | Santa Cruz News - KSBW Home
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 18:31
VIDEO-BBC News - Ebola crisis: Sierra Leone health workers go on strike
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:07
12 November 2014Last updated at 08:18 ET More than 400 health workers involved in treating Ebola patients have gone on strike at a clinic in Sierra Leone.
The staff, who include nurses, porters and cleaners, are protesting about the government's failure to pay an agreed weekly $100 (£63) "hazard payment".
The clinic, in Bandajuma near Bo, is the only Ebola treatment centre in southern Sierra Leone.
In Mali, a nurse and the patient he was treating earlier became the second and third people to die from Ebola there.
Nearly 5,000 people have been killed in the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak a global health emergency.
The Bandajuma clinic is run by medical charity MSF, which said it would be forced to close the facility if the strike continued.
MSF's emergency co-ordinator in Sierra Leone, Ewald Stars, told the BBC that about 60 patients had been left unattended because of the strike at the clinic in Bandajuma.
There are international staff at the clinic but they are unable to keep the clinic open on their own.
Mohamed Mbawah, a representative of the striking Sierra Leonean staff, told the BBC his colleagues had already turned away one ambulance.
The staff, who are protesting outside the clinic, say the government agreed to the "hazard payments" when the facility was established but has failed to make any payments since September.
The money was due to be paid in addition to salaries the staff receive from MSF.
Traditional healerEarlier, the Malian authorities confirmed that a nurse and the patient he was treating at a clinic in Bamako had died.
The patient, a traditional Muslim healer in his 50s, had recently arrived from Guinea.
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The current outbreak is the deadliest since Ebola was discovered in 1976
He had been treated by the nurse, 25, at the Pasteur Clinic, which has now been placed in quarantine.
The deaths are unrelated to Mali's first Ebola case, when a two-year-old girl died from the disease in October.
The new cases in Mali follow the WHO's confirmation that 25 of the 100 people who were thought to have come into contact with the two-year-old girl were being released from quarantine.
The toddler's case alarmed the authorities in Mali after it was found she had displayed symptoms whilst travelling through the country by bus, including Bamako, on her return from neighbouring Guinea.
Emergency responseEbola was first identified in Guinea in March, before it spread to neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone. The WHO says there are now more than 13,240 confirmed, suspected and probable cases, almost all in these countries.
Cases have also emerged, though on a much smaller scale, in Nigeria, Senegal, Spain and the US.
Mali launched an emergency response in conjunction with the WHO when the girl's situation came to light. Her family were among those released from quarantine on Monday.
Health department spokesman Markatie Daou said around 50 people were still under observation in Kayes, western Mali, and would be released in a week if they continued to display no symptoms.
Meanwhile, the virus is continuing to spread in Sierra Leone, with almost 300 new infections recorded in the last three days.
VIDEO-Sir Elton John attacks Russia's anti-gay laws during St Petersburg concert · PinkNews.co.uk
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 02:08
Sir Elton John laid into Russia's 'gay propaganda' law during a concert in St Petersburg.
According to PA, the veteran singer launched into a tirade condemning the Russian government, and praising newly-out Apple CEO Tim Cook.
A memorial to Apple boss Steve Jobs was reportedly torn down in the city last week, after Mr Cook '' who succeeded him as CEO '' came out.
Performing in the city's Ice Palace last night, Sir Elton said: ''I'm not big on technology, but I love my iPad! They're amazing, aren't they? They way they can connect us to the things and people we love.
''How dignified that St Petersburg should erect a memorial to Steve Jobs, the remarkable founder of Apple. But last week it was labelled 'homosexual propaganda' and taken down.
''Can this be true? Steve's memory is re-written because his successor at Apple, Tim Cook, is gay? Does that also make iPads gay propaganda? Is Tchaikovsky's beautiful music 'sexually perverting'?
''As a gay man, I've always felt so welcome here in Russia. Stories of Russian fans '' men and women who fell in love dancing to Nikita, or their kids who sing along to Circle Of Life '' mean the world to me.
''If I'm not honest about who I am, I couldn't write this music. It's not gay propaganda. It's how I express life. If we start punishing people for that, the world will lose its humanity.''
The singer recently raised eyebrows when he hailed Pope Francis as a ''hero'' for rhetoric on gay rights '' despite the Catholic Church entirely scrapping plans to relax its anti-gay policies.
VIDEO- Megyn Kelly introduces Mike Fuckabee live on Fox - YouTube
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 21:10
VIDEO-Joe Scarborough Attacks Obama For 'Weak' Response To ISIS | Crooks and Liars
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 20:01
Morning Joe's Joe Scarborough was back at it again this Tuesday, blaming President Obama for not cleaning up George W. Bush's mess in the Middle East quickly enough to suit him and banging the war drums for the U.S. to intervene more than we have already to try to stop the rise of ISIS, and of course, finding another excuse to call the President of the United States "weak."
Morning Joe on Obama: 'We're Paying A Terrible Price' for His Weak Response to ISIS:
After hearing Richard Engel report on ISIS's attempt to take over Kobani, a Kurdish town on the border between Syria and Turkey, Joe Scarborough led the panel in wondering where the hell Obama '-- and, by extension, America '-- was on the issue.
''I keep wondering if it won't show in history: George W. Bush went too far, too excessive, too prepared to use force and Barack Obama overcorrected and we're paying a terrible price for it now,'' Scarborough said in a warmup speech that referenced at least four ex-Presidents. ''If he does not change, if he does not do what every other president does, what Bill Clinton did, what F.D.R. did, what Ronald Reagan did, George W. Bush did, and learn from his past mistakes '-- if he stays isolated in a bubble '-- there will be a tremendous price for America to pay. I'm not saying to go invade the Middle East. I'm saying to get out of your defensive crouch and get out of your bubble and figure out what's going on here and start connecting the dots.''
Joe Scarborough Says Obama's Response To ISIS Is 'Frightening As Hell':
The "Morning Joe" co-host, who acknowledged that he doesn't usually talk about presidents in this way, advised Obama to "get out of your bubble" and establish a plan of action or there will be "a tremendous price for America to pay."
"It's frightening as hell," he said. "And if I had met one ambassador across the world -- if I had met one world leader across the world -- that wasn't scared as hell at how the United States is responding to this threat, I wouldn't be speaking this way."
Scarborough, however, said that the feeling of fear is consistent worldwide.
"I am hearing this from around the globe," he continued. "This is really, really bad, and America's response is scaring the hell out of the world."
Sure you wouldn't Joe.
'†' Story continues below '†'
Maddow Hammers Conservative Media: 'They Just Make Stuff Up'
VIDEO-Ebola scare prompts lockdown in New Zealand parliament building | TheBlaze.com
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 19:57
Two packages purporting to contain Ebola virus sparked fears about a potential bioterror attack in New Zealand on Tuesday.
The New Zealand Herald reported that the mailroom of the country's parliament building was locked down after staffers discovered a package containing a small vial of liquid and a note claiming that it was Ebola.
Hours earlier, the Herald had discovered a similar package in its own Auckland office, including a plastic bottle of liquid and some documents, one of which mentioned Ebola, according to Australia's ABC. Sky News reported that a note claimed it was from a ''jihadist group.''
Both packages were being sent to Melbourne, Australia, for testing, though officials suspect the incidents are a hoax. Officers were working to determine whether they are linked.
There have been no Ebola cases in New Zealand.
Bioterror attacks are the subject of For the Record'sWednesday episode, ''Biological Battlefield'' (Nov. 12, 8 p.m. ET on TheBlaze TV), investigating the threat of anthrax, smallpox or Ebola '-- whether as part of a naturally occurring pandemic or an intentional terrorist attack.
''If something like smallpox were used in an attack, I think that it would represent probably the biggest threat to our national security that, that I can think of in, in recent times,'' said David Dausey, director of the Mercyhurst Institute of Public Health at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania.
David Dausey teaches a class at the School of Health Professions and Public Health at Mercyhurst University. (Tom Orr/TheBlaze)
''The question is, how quickly could we get the population vaccinated, how quickly can we scale up, how quickly could we respond as a nation? It would certainly be a humongous test of our health care and public health systems. And it's not one that I'm confident we would do well on, unless we start to prepare and plan and deal with this type of a threat.''
Sergui Popov, a former scientist in the Soviet Union's biological weapons program, told For the Record the threat of a biological attack is very real.
''A certain level of knowledge is required, but biological weapons are relatively cheap and easy to produce,'' Popov said. ''From a bioterrorist's standpoint, even a crude agent could be sufficient enough to inflict a lot of harm or social instability and to reach their goals.''
Learn more about the threat posed by bioterrorism and pandemics in ''Biological Battlefield,'' Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on TheBlaze TV.
VIDEO- How the impending Arctic blast will unfold - YouTube
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 19:01
VIDEO-Band Aid song Do They Know It's Christmas? re-recorded for Ebola cause | World news | The Guardian
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 16:31
For 30 years it has remained one of pop's most polarising songs '' a track that has raised millions for charity while also being described by Morrissey as a ''daily torture on the people of England''.
Now it is set for another release. Sir Bob Geldof and Midge Ure have announced that the Band Aid classic Do They Know It's Christmas? is to be covered for the fourth time, this time to raise funds for the fight against Ebola in west Africa.
Clockwise from top left: Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, Sam Smith, Bono, One Direction and Paloma Faith, who will perform on the latest version of Do They Know It's Christmas?Photograph: AgenciesThe track, written in 1984 by Geldof and Ure to raise money for the famine in Ethiopia, is to be re-recorded by some of the biggest-selling British pop acts, from One Direction, Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran to Adele, Emeli Sand(C) and Ellie Goulding. Bands Bastille and Mercury prize-winning Elbow have also confirmed they are on board, along with Coldplay and Bono '' the third time the U2 frontman has contributed to a Band Aid recording.
Speaking to a press conference in London, Geldof dismissed claims he was doing it for nostalgia and said it was concern about the situation in west Africa that had prompted him and Ure to ''gather the pop crowd together again and do our thing''.
He said: ''We called up some giants, and they said they would come again to the party. Three weeks ago I got a call from the UN saying they required a 20% increase across the board. They are very concerned about the situation in west Africa.''
He added: ''It's tragic that modernity has released this beast in the world. This Ebola. This illness renders humans untouchable.''
Geldof pleaded with people to put aside their reservations about the song in aid of a good cause. ''It really doesn't matter if you hate this song or you don't like this song, you have to buy this thing,'' he said. ''I really urge everyone. Don't download it, don't look at it on YouTube. It's a couple of quid. It's a great thing to do at Christmas.''
Emeli Sand(C) is another confirmed Band Aid 30 artist.Photograph: Blake Ezra Photography/RexGeldof confirmed he had ''re-tweaked'' the lyrics to Do they Know It's Christmas? to reflect the Ebola cause, and said all the proceeds made from the song will go towards battling the ''pernicious illness''. The sleeve artwork for the song will be designed by artist Tracey Emin.
He continued: ''I don't like doing this stuff; it's quite embarrassing calling people you don't know, but it was that, more than anything else, that those people needed to be supported across the board, not just the people suffering from this filthy little virus.''
The 1984 original, which featured the voices of George Michael, Bono, Duran Duran and Bananarama, sold 3.7m copies and raised £8m for famine relief in Ethiopia. It was re-recorded again in 1989 and the most recent reincarnation was in 2004, featuring Jamelia, Ms Dynamite and Will Young, as well as a rap from Dizzee Rascal and instrumentals from Radiohead's Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, to raise money for wartorn Darfur in Sudan.
Geldof confirmed that the single will not be available on Spotify until January, adding ''I'm a Taylor Swifty'', referring to the singer's decision to pull her catalogue from the streaming service. He also said he had spoken to Quincy Jones to help reconvene the American artists, and had written to David Bowie to ask him to introduce the video as he did in the 1984 version.
Bastille have confirmed they are involved.Photograph: David Levene/David LeveneThe Band Aid 30 musical collective plan to record the new version of the track on Saturday to be available for download on Monday morning. Ure said while many artists had confirmed they were on board, the final line-up was still not set in stone: ''We don't know who exactly is turning up yet. We will decide on the day. It's the contribution that is important, not what you sing.''
The single's release date is also still unknown, but it is likely to follow the precedent of all three previous Band Aid versions and top the Christmas charts. Versions will also be recorded in France, Germany and the US. ''Think Daft Punk. Think Johnny Hallyday,'' Geldof told the press conference.
Speaking about how he came to be involved in the project, Ed Sheeran said: ''Chris [Martin] came and sat with me at my O2 gig before Bob rang up. I was already on board before I was on board. Geldof knows everyone. I still haven't met him but he managed to get my number.''
One Direction
Ed Sheeran
Ellie Goulding
Emeli Sand(C)
Sam Smith
Olly Murs
Sinead O'Connor
Paloma Faith
VIDEO-Ted Cruz just called net neutrality 'Obamacare for the internet' and that's bad news for everyone | The Verge
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 16:28
Republicans just dominated Democrats in the midterm elections, and by all popular accounts Obama may become one of the lamest lame ducks in history '-- the GOP simply hates the guy and it seems unlikely he's going to get anything meaningful done before he leaves office. So we're now entering the presidential "say whatever you want" phase, marked today by the president's strong new stance on rigorous net neutrality regulation. Republican leadership was quick to respond:
This is an insanely cynical tactic that should worry all citizens regardless of political stripe, and it's coming from the guys at the top; Ted Cruz (R-TX) is a powerful member of the GOP in the Senate and a potential presidential candidate for 2016. Republicans just took over Congress and hold the keys to policymaking for at least the next two years. If the best they can continue to come up with is repeating "Obama is bad!" the internet is in serious trouble.
Net neutrality is obviously nothing like Obamacare, but Cruz and his colleagues have already demonstrated they either don't understand what internet freedom means or they're willing to spread mendacious propaganda about it to help their friends at Verizon, Comcast, and other monopolistic ISPs.
Washington is mired in partisanship. Since 2008, the electorate has been subjected to an endless rhetorical tug-of-war between the GOP and Obama, who has become a remarkable manifestation of Republican fears projected on the national stage. Unfortunately, that means even rational policies that ought to be uncontroversial can become tainted by mere association with the president. If Cruz's comments today are a sneak peek at Republican opposition to net neutrality for the next two years, we'll be in for a rough ride.
From the archives: Susan Crawford on how mayors can solve the broadband problem
VIDEO -Obama just did the right thing for the internet '-- and made life hell for the FCC | The Verge
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 15:56
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VIDEO-Second City Cop: Dems Think You're Idiots
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 09:43
Amazing video one of the main architects of Obama-care:
This was the guy who earlier claimed that the Obamacare law's drafters never intending to apply subsidies only to people buying insurance off a state exchange.He was later exposed as a liar, because his even-earlier statements made it plain that this was in fact completely intentional, as a spur to force states to set up state exchanges.
Now he's caught admitting in 2013 that he's willing to lie in any context necessary to get, and and maintain, Obamacare.
He admits in this clip that the text of Obamacare was deliberately written in a "tortured" way to conceal the fact that the mandate was in fact a tax, because if it were perceived (accurately) as a tax, the American public would not have abided it.
He also admits the law was written in order to hide from the public the fact that the whole point of Obamacare is a forced subsidy from the healthy to the sick -- that is, a tax.
And he's proud of this. He says that given the choice between transparency and no Obamacare, on one hand, and deception and Obamacare, on the other, he'd choose the latter every time.
But it's those obstructionist republicans and nasty tea party people who lie to appeal to low information voters? And here's this asshole bragging about it. So-called "progressives" count on lying, slippery syntax and keeping voters in the dark to pass the biggest piece of legislation in history, affecting one-sixth of the US economy, and admit that keeping your health plan, your doctor, and saving $2,500 per year were all lies to get it through Congress and past the Supreme Court.Wait until that employer mandate kicks in next year - everyone on the left will act surprised, but they planned it that way.
Labels: national politics
VIDEO-Matt taibbi interview
Mon, 10 Nov 2014 22:04
Matt Taibbi talks briefly about First Look Media, the new independent journalism project funded by Pierre Omidyar. Earlier this year, Taibbi was hired to start a web magazine called The Racket, which would focus investigative reporting on Wall Street and the corporate world. Last week, Omidyar announced Taibbi had left the company. It is unclear if The Racket will still launch.
Click here to watch our interview with Taibbi about his latest investigation since returning to Rolling Stone titled, "The $9 Billion Witness: Meet the woman JPMorgan Chase paid one of the largest fines in American history to keep from talking."
AMYGOODMAN: Well, Matt, it's great to have you back reporting, to see your piece, but it's in Rolling Stone, it's not at First Look. You had left Rolling Stone to be part of this new news organization. You were launching, like The Intercept at First Look, The Racket. You tweeted out that this piece was coming out in The Racket when you launched, The Racket launch, if you will.
MATTTAIBBI: Right, right.
AMYGOODMAN: But it didn't happen.
MATTTAIBBI: No, it didn't. You know, I think all I can really say about that is that I'm really devastated by the way everything turned out. It was a really horrible situation all around. I'm very, very sorry for the staff that is still there, the people that I hired who took a leap of faith to come work for me. And in a way, I'm'--as happy as I am to be back at Rolling Stone, which I always loved, I'm sad that this piece isn't out in Racket. I mean, I think it would have been a great piece to launch with, but it just didn't work out that way, and that's unfortunate.
AMYGOODMAN: Will Racket launch?
MATTTAIBBI: I don't know. I don't know. I'm not at the company anymore, so you'd have to direct that question to them. I think they'--you know, they absolutely should. They have a very talented group over there and some great young writers, and there's no reason that they couldn't.
VIDEO-Net Neutrality: President Obama's Plan for a Free and Open Internet | The White House
Mon, 10 Nov 2014 16:34
An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life. By lowering the cost of launching a new idea, igniting new political movements, and bringing communities closer together, it has been one of the most significant democratizing influences the world has ever known.
''Net neutrality'' has been built into the fabric of the Internet since its creation '-- but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted. We cannot allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas. That is why today, I am asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to answer the call of almost 4 million public comments, and implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality.
When I was a candidate for this office, I made clear my commitment to a free and open Internet, and my commitment remains as strong as ever. Four years ago, the FCC tried to implement rules that would protect net neutrality with little to no impact on the telecommunications companies that make important investments in our economy. After the rules were challenged, the court reviewing the rules agreed with the FCC that net neutrality was essential for preserving an environment that encourages new investment in the network, new online services and content, and everything else that makes up the Internet as we now know it. Unfortunately, the court ultimately struck down the rules '-- not because it disagreed with the need to protect net neutrality, but because it believed the FCC had taken the wrong legal approach.
The FCC is an independent agency, and ultimately this decision is theirs alone. I believe the FCC should create a new set of rules protecting net neutrality and ensuring that neither the cable company nor the phone company will be able to act as a gatekeeper, restricting what you can do or see online. The rules I am asking for are simple, common-sense steps that reflect the Internet you and I use every day, and that some ISPs already observe. These bright-line rules include:
No blocking. If a consumer requests access to a website or service, and the content is legal, your ISP should not be permitted to block it. That way, every player '-- not just those commercially affiliated with an ISP '-- gets a fair shot at your business.No throttling. Nor should ISPs be able to intentionally slow down some content or speed up others '-- through a process often called ''throttling'' '-- based on the type of service or your ISP's preferences.Increased transparency. The connection between consumers and ISPs '-- the so-called ''last mile'' '-- is not the only place some sites might get special treatment. So, I am also asking the FCC to make full use of the transparency authorities the court recently upheld, and if necessary to apply net neutrality rules to points of interconnection between the ISP and the rest of the Internet.No paid prioritization. Simply put: No service should be stuck in a ''slow lane'' because it does not pay a fee. That kind of gatekeeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the Internet's growth. So, as I have before, I am asking for an explicit ban on paid prioritization and any other restriction that has a similar effect.If carefully designed, these rules should not create any undue burden for ISPs, and can have clear, monitored exceptions for reasonable network management and for specialized services such as dedicated, mission-critical networks serving a hospital. But combined, these rules mean everything for preserving the Internet's openness.
The rules also have to reflect the way people use the Internet today, which increasingly means on a mobile device. I believe the FCC should make these rules fully applicable to mobile broadband as well, while recognizing the special challenges that come with managing wireless networks.
To be current, these rules must also build on the lessons of the past. For almost a century, our law has recognized that companies who connect you to the world have special obligations not to exploit the monopoly they enjoy over access in and out of your home or business. That is why a phone call from a customer of one phone company can reliably reach a customer of a different one, and why you will not be penalized solely for calling someone who is using another provider. It is common sense that the same philosophy should guide any service that is based on the transmission of information '-- whether a phone call, or a packet of data.
So the time has come for the FCC to recognize that broadband service is of the same importance and must carry the same obligations as so many of the other vital services do. To do that, I believe the FCC should reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act '-- while at the same time forbearing from rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to broadband services. This is a basic acknowledgment of the services ISPs provide to American homes and businesses, and the straightforward obligations necessary to ensure the network works for everyone '-- not just one or two companies.
Investment in wired and wireless networks has supported jobs and made America the center of a vibrant ecosystem of digital devices, apps, and platforms that fuel growth and expand opportunity. Importantly, network investment remained strong under the previous net neutrality regime, before it was struck down by the court; in fact, the court agreed that protecting net neutrality helps foster more investment and innovation. If the FCC appropriately forbears from the Title II regulations that are not needed to implement the principles above '-- principles that most ISPs have followed for years '-- it will help ensure new rules are consistent with incentives for further investment in the infrastructure of the Internet.
The Internet has been one of the greatest gifts our economy '-- and our society '-- has ever known. The FCC was chartered to promote competition, innovation, and investment in our networks. In service of that mission, there is no higher calling than protecting an open, accessible, and free Internet. I thank the Commissioners for having served this cause with distinction and integrity, and I respectfully ask them to adopt the policies I have outlined here, to preserve this technology's promise for today, and future generations to come.
VIDEO-Loretta Lynch: A Qualified, but Political, Choice--Update: Whitewater? Update: No
Mon, 10 Nov 2014 01:43
by Joel B. Pollak9 Nov 2014, 5:55 AM PDTpost a commentLynch has served twice as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and has a long r(C)sum(C) of high-profile prosecutions. Her most recent headline case has been that of U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), who was indicted earlier this year for a variety of charges, including hiding $1 million in business receipts from the Internal Revenue Service and hiring illegal immigrant workers, whom he paid in cash, at his restaurant.
In addition, her life and career boast strong civil rights themes. Growing up in North Carolina, Lynch's mother worked as a farmhand; her daughter would go on to graduate from Harvard twice. Lynch also prosecuted the Abner Louima case, involving a Hatian immigrant who was beaten and sodomized with a broom handle by New York City police in 1997. The case was one of the few political crises in Mayor Rudy Giuliani's administration.
An open Democrat, Lynch has certainly created trouble for Republicans. Yet her career shows close familiarity with the nuts and bolts of justice, from terror prosecutions to corporate law and even white-collar defense. Indeed, it is worth asking why Holder, with his highly dubious history during the Clinton administration (see, for example, the Marc Rich and Puerto Rican terrorists' cases), was nominated ahead of someone like Lynch.
The answer, of course, is politics--and politics is again playing a role, as Lynch was certainly chosen not just for her qualifications but also to insulate the Obama administration from a tough confirmation hearing.
Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) have already insisted that Lynch must make clear her views on Obama's proposed "executive amnesty," his effort to circumvent Congress and change immigration laws by executive fiat.
Yet there is so much more that Republicans might hope to ask Holder's successor about--Operation Fast and Furious, for example, and the non-compliance of the Attorney General with Congress; the role of the Justice Department in inflaming racial tensions in the Trayvon Martin and Ferguson cases; the dropped prosecution of the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation in 2008; the lingering IRS scandal; and so much more.
Obama's gamble seems to be that Republicans will be more reluctant to grill a black, female nominee. If that seems far-fetched, consider that after the 2012 election Democrats applied the same logic to Susan Rice's anticipated nomination as Secretary of State, calling criticism of her role in the Benghazi cover-up racist and sexist, as President Obama dared Republican critics not to pick on her but to criticize him instead. (They did).
Steven Dennis of Roll Call observes that "the [Republican] party would be blocking the first African American woman attorney general over immigration when party leaders have professed a desire to do more to appeal to African Americans, women and Hispanics."
So despite Lynch's qualifications, she has been thrust into a cynical game involving race, gender and identity. It's hardly a fresh start for the Obama administration.
Update: A correspondent notes an interesting connection from Lynch's past: she represented the Clintons during the Whitewater scandal. From the New York Times in March 1992:
The two lawyers representing the Clintons are Susan P. Thomases, a longtime friend, and Loretta Lynch, a campaign aide, who participated in several hours of interviews at Ms. Thomases' Manhattan offices Thursday and Friday.
The connection to Whitewater ought to provide additional fodder for Republicans during Lynch's confirmation hearings. It is odd that Obama chose someone so close to the Clintons--or perhaps not, given the prominent role played by Clinton insider John Podesta in the second term of the Obama White House. Lynch has been rewarded throughout her career for her political loyalty--not an unusual path up the career ladder for federal prosecutors, but certainly one that will allow the GOP, as well as Obama, to raise the political stakes.
Update: The Loretta Lynch identified earlier as the Whitewater attorney was, in fact, a different attorney.
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook,Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak


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Agenda 21

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North Korea

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Uncle Don -1-Gulags and the Miller kid was documenting-Fear of UN indictment.mp3
Uncle Don -2-suggested release for economic help-NOTHING from Whitehouse.mp3
Uncle Don -3-why go-KJU is da bomb.mp3
Uncle Don -4-condi kicked out want to talk.mp3
Uncle Don -5-Not a nuke tthreat but south gearing up.mp3
Uncle Don -6-talking in best interest works with totalitariab regimes.mp3
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Packet Equality

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Real News

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