675: Aristocrats!

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 43m
December 4th, 2014
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Executive Producers: Chris Eisbach-Sir Chrisbac, Sebastian Lisic, Brian, Sir Don Tomaso Di Toronto, Sir David Foley Gand Duke of the USA, Sir Gene Naftulyev Earl of Texas

Associate Executive Producers: Dave Da Douche, Ian Wood

Cover Artist: Mats Kjesrud

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Smith Mundt Act - A reminder that you are living in a Smith-Mudt Act repealed media landscape
NDAA and Overturning of Smith-Mundt Act
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA) allows for materials produced by the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to be released within U.S. borders and strikes down a long-time ban on the dissemination of such material in the country.[14][15][16]
Propaganda in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 15:00
Propaganda in the United States is propaganda spread by government and media entities within the United States. Propaganda is information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to influence opinions. Propaganda is not only in advertising; it is also in radio, newspaper, posters, books, and anything else that might be sent out to the widespread public.
Domestic[edit]World War I[edit]The first large-scale use of propaganda by the U.S. government came during World War I. The government enlisted the help of citizens and children to help promote war bonds and stamps to help stimulate the economy. To keep the prices of war supplies down, the U.S. government produced posters that encouraged people to reduce waste and grow their own vegetables in "victory gardens." The public skepticism that was generated by the heavy-handed tactics of the Committee on Public Information would lead the postwar government to officially abandon the use of propaganda.[1]
World War II[edit]During World War II the U.S. officially had no propaganda, but the Roosevelt government used means to circumvent this official line. One such propaganda tool was the publicly owned but government funded Writers' War Board (WWB). The activities of the WWB were so extensive that it has been called the "greatest propaganda machine in history".[1]Why We Fight is a famous series of US government propaganda films made to justify US involvement in World War II.
In 1944 (lasting until 1948) prominent US policy makers launched a domestic propaganda campaign aimed at convincing the U.S. public to agree to a harsh peace for the German people, for example by removing the common view of the German people and the Nazi party as separate entities.[2] The core in this campaign was the Writers' War Board which was closely associated with the Roosevelt administration.[2]
Another means was the United States Office of War Information that Roosevelt established in June 1942, whose mandate was to promote understanding of the war policies under the director Elmer Davies. It dealt with posters, press, movies, exhibitions, and produced often slanted material conforming to US wartime purposes. Other large and influential non-governmental organizations during the war and immediate post war period were the Society for the Prevention of World War III and the Council on Books in Wartime.
Cold War[edit]During the Cold War, the U.S. government produced vast amounts of propaganda against communism and the Soviet bloc. Much of this propaganda was directed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation under J. Edgar Hoover, who himself wrote the anti-communist tract Masters of Deceit. The FBI's COINTELPRO arm solicited journalists to produce fake news items discrediting communists and affiliated groups, such as H. Bruce Franklin and the Venceremos Organization.
War on Drugs[edit]The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, originally established by the National Narcotics Leadership Act of 1988,[3][4] but now conducted by the Office of National Drug Control Policy under the Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998,[5] is a domestic propaganda campaign designed to "influence the attitudes of the public and the news media with respect to drug abuse" and for "reducing and preventing drug abuse among young people in the United States".[6][7] The Media Campaign cooperates with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and other government and non-government organizations.[8]
Iraq War[edit]In early 2002, the U.S. Department of Defense launched an information operation, colloquially referred to as the Pentagon military analyst program.[9] The goal of the operation is "to spread the administrations's talking points on Iraq by briefing ... retired commanders for network and cable television appearances," where they have been presented as independent analysts.[10] On 22 May 2008, after this program was revealed in the New York Times, the House passed an amendment that would make permanent a domestic propaganda ban that until now has been enacted annually in the military authorization bill.[11]
The Shared values initiative was a public relations campaign that was intended to sell a "new" America to Muslims around the world by showing that American Muslims were living happily and freely, without persecution, in post-9/11 America.[12] Funded by the United States Department of State, the campaign created a public relations front group known as Council of American Muslims for Understanding (CAMU). The campaign was divided in phases; the first of which consisted of five mini-documentaries for television, radio, and print with shared values messages for key Muslim countries.[13]
NDAA and Overturning of Smith-Mundt Act[edit]The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA) allows for materials produced by the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to be released within U.S. borders and strikes down a long-time ban on the dissemination of such material in the country.[14][15][16]
Ad Council[edit]The Ad Council, an American non-profit organization that distributes public service announcements on behalf of various private and federal government agency sponsors, has been labeled as "little more than a domestic propaganda arm of the federal government" given the Ad Council's historically close collaboration with the President of the United States and the federal government.[17]
International[edit]Through several international broadcasting operations, the US disseminates American cultural information, official positions on international affairs, and daily summaries of international news. These operations fall under the International Broadcasting Bureau, the successor of the United States Information Agency, established in 1953. IBB's operations include Voice of America, Radio Liberty, Alhurra and other programs. They broadcast mainly to countries where the United States finds that information about international events is limited, either due to poor infrastructure or government censorship. The Smith-Mundt Act prohibits the Voice of America from disseminating information to US citizens that was produced specifically for a foreign audience.
During the Cold War the US ran covert propaganda campaigns in countries that appeared likely to become Soviet satellites, such as Italy, Afghanistan, and Chile.
Recently The Pentagon announced the creation of a new unit aimed at spreading propaganda about supposedly "inaccurate" stories being spread about the Iraq War. These "inaccuracies" have been blamed on the enemy trying to decrease support for the war. Donald Rumsfeld has been quoted as saying these stories are something that keeps him up at night.[18]
Psychological operations[edit]The US military defines psychological operations, or PSYOP, as:
planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence the emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.[19]
The Smith-Mundt Act, adopted in 1948, explicitly forbids information and psychological operations aimed at the US public.[20][21][22] Nevertheless, the current easy access to news and information from around the globe, makes it difficult to guarantee PSYOP programs do not reach the US public. Or, in the words of Army Col. James A. Treadwell, who commanded the U.S. military psyops unit in Iraq in 2003, in the Washington Post:
There's always going to be a certain amount of bleed-over with the global information environment.[23]
Agence France Presse reported on U.S. propaganda campaigns that:
The Pentagon acknowledged in a newly declassified document that the US public is increasingly exposed to propaganda disseminated overseas in psychological operations.[24]
Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved the document referred to, which is titled "Information Operations Roadmap." [22][24] The document acknowledges the Smith-Mundt Act, but fails to offer any way of limiting the effect PSYOP programs have on domestic audiences.[20][21][25]
Several incidents in 2003 were documented by Sam Gardiner, a retired Air Force colonel, which he saw as information-warfare campaigns that were intended for "foreign populations and the American public." Truth from These Podia,[26] as the treatise was called, reported that the way the Iraq war was fought resembled a political campaign, stressing the message instead of the truth.[22]
See also[edit]References[edit]^ abThomas Howell, The Writers' War Board: U.S. Domestic Propaganda in World War II, Historian, Volume 59 Issue 4, Pages 795 - 813^ abSteven Casey, (2005), The Campaign to sell a harsh peace for Germany to the American public, 1944 - 1948, [online]. London: LSE Research Online. [Available online at http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/archive/00000736] Originally published in History, 90 (297). pp. 62-92 (2005) Blackwell Publishing^National Narcotics Leadership Act of 1988 of the Anti''Drug Abuse Act of 1988, Pub.L. 100''690, 102 Stat. 4181, enacted November 18, 1988^Gamboa, Anthony H. (January 4, 2005), B-303495, Office of National Drug Control Policy '-- Video News Release, Government Accountability Office, footnote 6, page 3 ^Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998 (Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999), Pub.L. 105''277, 112 Stat. 268, enacted October 21, 1998^Gamboa, Anthony H. (January 4, 2005), B-303495, Office of National Drug Control Policy '-- Video News Release, Government Accountability Office, pp. 9''10 ^Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998 of the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999, Pub.L. 105''277, 112 Stat. 268, enacted October 21, 1998^Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 2006, Pub.L. 109''469, 120 Stat. 3501, enacted December 29, 2006, codified at 21 U.S.C. § 1708^Barstow, David (2008-04-20). "Message Machine: Behind Analysts, the Pentagon's Hidden Hand". New York Times. ^Sessions, David (2008-04-20). "Onward T.V. Soldiers: The New York Times exposes a multi-armed Pentagon message machine". Slate. ^Barstow, David (2008-05-24). "2 Inquiries Set on Pentagon Publicity Effort". New York Times. ^Rampton, Sheldon (October 17, 2007). "Shared Values Revisited". Center for Media and Democracy. ^"U.S. Reaches Out to Muslim World with Shared Values Initiative". America.gov. January 16, 2003.
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Putin ditches South Stream project and turns to Turkish market | Oil and Gas Technology
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 22:25
Russian president Vladimir Putin called time last night on the South Stream pipeline project to link southern Russia to the EU via a subsea pipeline landing in Bulgaria, citing unfavourable EU legislation as the chief cause, and overseen a new agreement that will see the subsea pipeline redirected south to Turkey
"Taking account of the fact that until now we have not received permission from Bulgaria, we believe that in the current conditions Russia cannot continue with the realisation of this project," said Putin in Ankara, alongside Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Instead, Putin has announced a new transmission network via the Black Sea to Turkey, who would also receive significant gas discounts.
South Stream was Gazprom's global infrastructure project aimed at constructing a gas pipeline with a capacity of 63 billion cubic metres to Southern and Central Europe for the purpose of diversifying the natural gas export routes and eliminating transit risks. The first gas delivery via South Stream was planned in late 2015.
Alexei Miller, head of Gazprom, was also in Turkey and confirmed that the proposed pipeline was finished.
"The project is closed," he told reporters.
EU legislation to prevent gas suppliers from holding a monopoly over production, transmission and supply came into force after agreements over the South Stream project were formed.
Putin commented that the EU blocking the project in Bulgaria "is against Europe's economic interests and is causing damage".
Relations between the EU and Russia have soured since the Ukraine crisis and the imposition of economic sanction.
"If Europe does not want to carry out (South Stream), then it will not be carried out, We are now going to focus our energy resources in other directions," added Putin.
The deal with Turkey would see gas piped under the Black Sea by Gazprom, with Russia also proposing a gas transit hub to the EU on the Turkey-Greece border.
The new gas pipeline will have a capacity of 63 billion cubic metres, with 14 billion cubic metres slated for Turkish consumers (identical amount is being delivered via the Balkan Corridor) and nearly 50 billion cubic metres conveyed to the border between Turkey and Greece, where a delivery point will be arranged.
The Russkaya compressor station being under construction in the Krasnodar Territory will serve as the pipeline starting point.
Miller signed the initial deal with Turkish firm Botas Petroleum Pipeline regarding the subsea pipeline.
"As our cooperation develops and deepens, I think we will be ready for further price reductions," said Miller to reporters. "As we develop our joint projects ... the level of gas price for Turkey could reach the one Germany has today."
Putin Kills "South Stream" Pipeline, Will Build New Massive Pipeline To Turkey Instead | Zero Hedge
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 02:09
In retrospect, it should have been obvious in August.
Back then we wrote that the EU's poorest member nation, Bulgaria, had been an enthusiastic supporter of the Russian-backed South Stream gas pipeline project, whose construction has stoked tensions between the West and Moscow as it enabled gas supply to bypass troubled Ukraine (thus squeezing the desparate economy back into Russia's hands). In early June, Bulgaria's Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski ordered an initial halt (after Europe offered the nation's suddenly collapsing banking system a lifeline). Subsequently, Energy Minister Vasil Shtonov has ordered Bulgaria's Energy Holding to halt any actions in regards of the project as it does not meet the requirements of the European Commission.
And then, just to send Putin a very clear message where the allegiances of this former Soviet satellite nation lie, NATO deployed 12 F-15s and 180 troops to Bulgaria's Graf Ignatievo Air Base.
A dozen F-15s and approximately 180 personnel from the 493rd, based at RAF Lakenheath, England, have deployed to Graf Ignatievo Air Base to participate in a two-week bilateral training exercise with the Bulgarian air force, Pentagon spokesmen Col. Steve Warren told reporters Monday.
The exercise began Monday and will continue through Sept. 1.
The purpose of the deployment is to ''conduct training and focus on maintain joint readiness while building interoperability,'' Warren said.
The move comes at a time when America's Eastern European partners and allies are concerned about Russian military intervention in Ukraine. There are fears that Moscow might try to destabilize other countries in the region.
''This is a reflection of our steadfast commitment to enhancing regional security,'' Warren said about the exercise.
We concluded as follows: "How will Putin react one wonders?"
We now have the answer: earlier today, in a stunning announcement, Putin revealed that the South Stream project is now finished. As the WSJ reports, "Putin said Moscow will stop pursuing Gazprom's South Stream pipeline project that would supply natural gas to Europe with an underwater link to Bulgaria, blaming the European Union for scuttling the project."
''We couldn't get necessary permissions from Bulgaria, so we cannot continue with the project. We can't make all the investment just to be stopped at the Bulgarian border,'' Mr. Putin said. ''Of course, this is the choice of our friends in Europe.''
''We think that the European Commission's position was not constructive,'' Mr. Putin said. ''If Europe does not want to implement it, it will not be implemented.''
Putin is right: Europe - Austria excluded - had seen rising resistance to the South Stream in recent months as the crisis in Ukraine has intensified. The EU is concerned that the project would cement Russia's position as Europe's dominant supplier of natural gas. Russia already meets around 30% of Europe's annual needs.
So what does Putin do? He signs a strategic alliance with NATO member Turkey, the only country in Europe that is anything but European (over the endless veto of Germany preventing its entrance into the EU over fears of cheap, migrant labor) and which lately has been increasingly anti-Western, to build a new mega-pipeline to Turkey instead. As RT reports, Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller said the energy giant will build a massive gas pipeline that will travel from Russia, transit through Turkey, and stop at the Greek border '' giving Russia access to the Southern European market. In effect, Russia will still have access to the Southern Stream endmarkets
The pipeline will have an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters. A total of 14 bcm will be delivered to Turkey, which is Gazprom's second biggest customer in the region after Germany.
Russia's energy minister Aleksandr Novak said that the new project will include a specially-constructed hub on the Turkish-Greek border for customers in southern Europe.
In a joint press conference between Putin and Turkish leader Erdogan, the Russian said that the supply of Russian gas to Turkey will be raised by 3 billion cubic meters via the already operating Blue Stream pipeline, Last year, 13.7 bcm of gas was supplied to Turkeyvia Blue Stream, according to Reuters.
And another fringe benefit of becoming a preferred Russian ally: Moscow will reduce the gas price for Turkish customers by 6 percent from January 1, 2015, Putin said. Later, Novak said the discount could reach 15 percent, subject to negotiations. Sorry Ukraine.
And sorry Bulgaria, which despite being wholly reliant on Russian gas for its commercial, industrial and residential needs, has decided to side with the sinking European Union, making it merely the latest insolvent vassal state of the sinking Eurozone, something Putin made abundantly clear during today's conference:
PUTIN: BULGARIA UNABLE TO ACT AS SOVEREIGN STATE OVER GAS LINKPUTIN: RUSSIA TO REORIENT ENERGY RESOURCES TO OTHER MKTS: IFXBulgaria should now expect its gas costs to boldly go where Ukrainian energy prices have so boldly gone before.
As for Turkey, the country that bridges Europe with Asia is merely the latest expansion of Putin's anti-dollar alliance:
TURKEY, RUSSIA AGREE TO USE LOCAL CURRENCIES IN TRADE: TRTOr, as Obama would put it, Russia just got even more "isolated."
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Exec Summary
Background is essential to understand the current game. Five years ago I was following in detail Pipelineistan’s ultimate opera – the war between rival pipelines South Stream and Nabucco. Nabucco eventually became road kill. South Stream may eventually resurrect, but only if the EC comes to its senses (don’t bet on it.)
The 3,600 kilometer long South Stream should be in place by 2016, branching out to Austria and the Balkans/Italy. Gazprom owns 50 percent of it - along with Italy’s ENI (20 percent), French EDF (15 percent) and German Wintershall, a subsidiary of BASF (15 percent). As it stands these European energy majors are not exactly beaming – to say the least. For months Gazprom and the EC were haggling about a solution. But in the end Brussels predictably succumbed to its own.
Russia still gets to build a pipeline under the Black Sea – but now redirected to Turkey and, crucially, pumping the same amount of gas South Stream would. Not to mention Russia gets to build a new LNG (liquefied natural gas) central hub in the Mediterranean. Thus Gazprom has not spent $5 billion in vain (finance, engineering costs). The redirection makes total business sense. Turkey is Gazprom’s second biggest customer after Germany. And much bigger than Bulgaria, Hungary, and Austria combined.
Russia also advances a unified gas distribution network capable of delivering natural gas from anywhere in Russia to any hub alongside Russia’s borders.
South Stream / Turkey analysis
“South Stream is postponed and diverted, but is not necessarily dead,” Rem Korteweg, a senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform (CER), told beyondbrics. “The original pipeline route, across the Black Sea, coming ashore in Bulgaria, will not be built. But an alternative route – via Turkey – may still emerge to reach the European market.”
“President Putin has mentioned the possibility of a Turkish gas hub,” Korteweg added. “This could mean that other sections of South Stream might still be built in the future and link with the diverted pipeline through Turkey. Do not think that Russia and Gazprom have given up on their attempts to control gas flows to South Eastern Europe. Instead, the plan is changing.”
Laurent Ruseckas, a gas analyst with IHS, agrees, saying that Gazprom could supply to Bulgaria and Romania from a new Turkish hub merely by reversing the flow of existing pipelines.
Indeed, Putin’s statement on South Stream should be seen in the context of another deal signed the same day between Miller and the head of Botas, Turkey’s state-owned crude oil and gas transit and trading company, for a new pipeline that would carry an annual 63bn cubic metres (bcm) of Russian gas to Turkey.
Not coincidentally, 63 bcm was also the designed capacity of South Stream. The Gazprom-Botas deal, signed in the presence of Putin and Erdogan, would see 13bcm supplied to Turkey, and the remaining 50bcm to a “delivery point” on the Greek border.
Korteweg says that South Stream has been “cancelled” due to both business and geopolitical factors. With its earnings being hit by low crude oil prices, Gazprom was facing problems funding the pipeline, and sanctions have closed access to Western financing.
Alternatives to Russian gas have been developing slowly: the proposed US-backed Nabucco pipeline remained on the drawing board for a decade; shale gas exploration has been blocked by political opposition or delayed by geological difficulties across CEE.
More promising is the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which would bring Azerbaijani gas to Italy via the Balkans, and liquefied natural gas imports via a proposed terminal on the Croatian island of Krk and an existing facility in Revithoussa in Greece.
Turkey and SCO / China
Turkey also made a killing. It’s not only the deal with Gazprom; Moscow will build no less than Turkey’s entire nuclear industry, apart from increased soft power interaction (more trade and tourism). Most of all, Turkey is now increasingly on the verge of becoming a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO); Moscow is actively lobbying for it. This means Turkey acceding to a privileged position as a major hub simultaneously in the Eurasian Economic Belt and of course the Chinese New Silk Road(s). The EU blocks Turkey? Turkey looks east. That’s Eurasian integration on the move.
Washington has tried very hard to create a New Berlin Wall from the Baltics to the Black Sea to “isolate” Russia. Now comes yet another Putin judo/chess/go counterpunch – which the opponent never saw coming. And exactly across the Black Sea.
A good map
!!!Israel sees 'stars aligned' for new gas pipeline to Europe | World news | The Guardian
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 08:38
A rig in the Tamar gas field, located 90km west of the city of Haifa, northern Israel. Photograph: AP
Israel and Cyprus have launched a new push for EU funds to build a pipeline that could bring about 10 billion cubic metres (bcm) of their natural gas to Europe annually, and ease the continent's energy security anxieties.
But Palestinians are warning that without a broader resolution of regional disputes, the pipeline risks becoming a source of conflict.
The Cyprus-centred project could be the world's longest pipeline if built, stretching up to 1,530km, and passing through depths of up to 3,000m.
The Israeli energy minister, Silvan Shalom, raised the issue at a ministerial conference in Rome last week and held talks on the margins with the EU's vice president for energy union, Maros Sefkovic, Israeli sources say.
Israel, Greece and Cyprus expect a formal meeting with Sefkovic to discuss ways of actualising the project, on the fringes of an EU energy ministers' summit on 9 December.
''The three countries involved intend to raise this issue [on the 9th] as it involves funding from the commission,'' an EU diplomat said. Israel, as a non-EU member, will depend on its partner countries' powers of persuasion.
With energy diversification and security both rising up Europe's political agenda, ''it looks like the stars have aligned in one position now and that might be good for our timing,'' Guy Feldman, an advisor to Shalom told the Guardian.
But the Palestinian Authority cautioned the EU against signing any contract until territorial gas disputes with neighbouring countries such as Lebanon were resolved.
''The objective of energy security starts with a clear cut boundary of all the gas fields,'' said the PA's energy minister, Omar Kettaneh. ''Otherwise instead of being a source of security the pipeline will be a source of conflict.''
In 2010, the US Geological Survey (USGS) estimated that the Levant Basin, could hold more than 3,455bcm of gas, which is comparable to Iraq's reserves.
But until now, political instability has hindered its exploitation, with Israeli and Cypriot claims to overlapping gas fields contested by Lebanon and Turkey, respectively.
In 2012, Israel, Cyprus and Greece signed a deal to promote exports of their gas to the EU through an eastern Mediterranean corridor.
The planned offshore pipeline, which diplomats say could transport between 8-15bcm of natural gas annually, has already been selected for ''project of common interest'' status by the EU. This potentially gives it access to a '‚¬5.85bn fund, and preferential treatment from multilateral banks.
''It is technically challenging and because of that it might be financially challenging,'' Feldman said. ''But Minister Shalom said in Rome that if the EU will lend a shoulder on the financing, it might be a feasible option,'' Feldman said.
A commission timeline estimates that the pipeline could begin pumping gas by 2020, four years after the Leviathan field, which contains around 450bcm of gas comes online.
As well as Leviathan, the already operating Tamar field has proven reserves of 283bcm. Israel also has several smaller gas fields and is searching for more exploitable reserves. The country wants to export up to 60% of the gas it produces, Feldman said.
A commission spokesperson said that east Mediterranean gas finds such as Leviathan ''could play a very important role in helping both producing and neighbouring countries to address their energy security problems. They could also have a growing role in the EU's diversification strategy, contributing not only to the security of the region but to the entire EU.''
But Kettaneh said that such words rang hollow in Gaza, which has been prevented from exploiting its own natural gas resources as a result of Israel's blockade, and internal political divisions.
''It is ironic to talk about energy security for the EU when Gaza only enjoys five hours of daily electricity, and people are dying in hospitals because of a lack of electricity,'' he said. ''We should actually be talking about energy security for all.''
South Stream pullout by Russia hits eastern Europe hardest | euronews, news +
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 23:10
""Is it always worth it to side with the Russians -- to be more Catholic than the Pope, so to speak, more Russian that Moscow -- or will that just bring more isolation?""
Energy for Europe delivered securely. That was the idea behind the South Stream pipeline funded by Russia's state gas giant Gazprom.
The decision to abandon the project, announced on Monday by Russian President Vladimir Putin, was described by one EU source as ''a lose-lose for everybody.''
The project had begun in Bulgaria in October 2013 but was suspended in June after the European Commission said it broke EU competition rules.
The 930 kilometre pipeline was to have run under the Black Sea to southern and central Europe, avoiding Ukraine, another transit route for Gazprom.
The Kremlin has blamed EU obstructions for the move to halt the project.
Spiralling costs also hit construction. The budget soared by an estimated 47 percent and the total cost had been expected to hit 32 billion euros.
As it avoided Ukraine, South Stream was seen as an insurance policy by Bulgaria, Hungary and Serbia, whose Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic was quoted as saying on state television, ''We are paying the price of a conflict between big powers.''
What now is in the EU action tray after the Kremlin's move?
According to Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs: ''The decision that was taken, announced by Russia yesterday, tells us that it is urgent not only and not so much to diversify the routes, but also the sources of energy for the European Union.''
The pipeline also fell victim to a stalling European demand for gas and plunging energy prices.
One Czech official said: ''The decision shows that the outside world does have an impact on Russia.''
It has also impacted on the market, with shares in German steel pipe maker Salzgitter and Italian oil services group Saipem sliding.
We talked to analyst Andrs Dek, from the Institute of World Economics in Budapest, about other expected changes.
Gabor Kovcs asked: ''Who are the winners and losers after Russia's shock cancellation of the South Stream project and how will this affect energy dependency?''
Andrs Dek: ''Well, it's obvious that if an eventual new project took a route that was different from that of South stream then Turkey could be an absolute winner. It would have more gas in transit across it. Russia is apparently swapping Ukrainian transit dependency for Turkish. This enhances Ankara's bargaining power.
''In a certain sense the European Commission could bring its prestige to bear, to make Russia back down in this conflict. Obviously, both sides would have done better to compromise '-- the Commission accommodating the legal procedure that Russia insisted on. But there was no compromise.
''The losers are clearly the central and eastern European countries '-- the transit countries where the pipeline would have passed. Until the end of this decade they are only going to have the Ukrainian pipeline. Things just got worse for them, because these countries need energy diversification to move slowly. They either need European gas ties with Russia to stay the same or to change slowly.''
Gabor Kovcs, euronews: ''For the last couple of years Hungary has been one of the project's biggest supporters. Why is that, and is the cancellation of South Stream a political and economic blow for Hungary?''
Dek: ''Well, it's true that Russian-Hungarian economic cooperation has developedspectacularly this year. A nuclear deal was signed in January. Over the summer Hungary closed off gas supplies Europe was sending through it to Ukraine, and in the last couple of months Hungary has been supporting South Stream ferociously.
''Clearly there was an economic reason and profit behind this, something that the Russians offered the government, but that's something we don't see. Here's the question: is it always worth it to side with the Russians '-- to be more Catholic than the Pope, so to speak, more Russian that Moscow '-- or will that just bring more isolation?''
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Bulgaria not responsible, will talk to EU leaders in Briussels -TRANSLATED ARTICLE
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 00:58
From:
To:
TASS: Economy - Bulgaria seeks compensation from EU for South Stream project
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 17:13
SOFIA, December 3. /TASS/. Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov is going to Brussels for consultations in the EU on energy issues '-- the main topic of the forthcoming consultations in the European Commission will be Sofia's attempt to get compensation for the closure of the South Stream gas pipeline project by Russia. It was halted by Moscow on December 1 as Bulgaria did not give Russia's natural gas monopoly Gazprom the permission to launch the natural gas pipeline system construction in the Black Sea.Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to Sofia on Monday to demand from the European Union compensation for losses from the halted project. Putin said that the project would have given at least '‚¬400 million to Bulgaria's budget per year from gas transit.
The European Commission on December 9 will hold a coordination meeting with the EU countries' governments on South Stream. And on Wednesday, Bulgarian authorities started the calculation of the lost funds. The more so that freezing the South Stream project Bulgaria complied with the EU policy. Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev said in October that his country would ''prevent a situation in which the gas pipeline will be built not under European legislation.''
''None of us has seen the official figure - how much Bulgaria would gain and when it would start to get the profit. Such figure does not exist,'' Borisov said in the Bulgarian parliament on Wednesday. ''If it's not 400 million euro per year, this means that our half of the project will pay back in several years. I've heard this, but could not read anywhere from which year and how much Bulgaria will be receiving from gas transit through its territory.''The EU already said, however, that it does not intend to pay Bulgaria. European Commission spokesperson Anna-Kaisa Itkonen said on Tuesday that ''there are no legal grounds for compensations in case of suspension of that or other similar projects.''
However, the Bulgarian premier still cherishes hopes. Boyko Borisov asked the lawmakers to set specific tasks: ''There are issues I would like to discuss with representatives of the European Commission. I want the Popular Assembly to charge me with the task to raise them. I want the coming dialogue to be maximally constructive.''
Deputy chairman of Bulgaria's energy commission Martin Dimitrov said in an interview with the NOVA TV channel on Tuesday that Russia's decision to give up the South Stream gas pipeline project and redirecting it towards Turkey is merely another tactical move by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The official said that a possible redirection of the planned pipeline towards Turkey would make the project economically impractical. Dimitrov said the move aims at increasing pressure on Bulgaria and the European Commission.
Bulgaria's former economics and energy minister Rumen Ovcharov was critical of the country's authorities. ''It is nakedly clear that Bulgaria will get no compensation for the suspension of the South Stream project and will find itself in the position of the loser. We must say ''Thank you!'' to Boyko Borisov (Bulgarian prime minister), who has over the past five years managed to suspend all three major infrastructure projects in Bulgaria, which could have drawn tremendous investments into the country and yielded major economic benefits,'' he told TASS. ''Turkey will now enjoy all economic benefits. As for us, theoretically speaking we may build an inter-system connector from Turkey to bring Russian gas to Bulgaria. I can see no extra opportunities for more talks. Russia has already displayed great patience,'' Ovcharov believes.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Moscow would not be able to proceed with the construction of the South Stream project citing the EU's position. The Russian leader said Moscow has failed to receive permission from Bulgaria. Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller later confirmed that the South Stream project has been closed.South Stream is a global infrastructure project of Gazprom for laying a 63-billion cubic metre capacity gas carrier under the Black Sea to countries in South and Central Europe for diversifying natural gas supply routes and warding off transit risks. In the autumn of 2013, the European Commission launched an anti-monopoly investigation into the South Stream project on suspicion that it disagrees with the rules of the EU's Third Energy Package under which companies are supposed to separate generation and sales operations from transmission networks.
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BBC News - Putin to address parliament amid Russia economy woes
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 05:24
3 December 2014Last updated at 23:26 ET President Vladimir Putin is expected to focus on Russia's economy when he delivers his annual state of the nation address to parliament later.
Mr Putin is due to address key issues in his speech at the Kremlin at 12:00 local time (09:00 GMT).
It comes just days after the government warned that Russia would fall into recession next year.
Western sanctions, in response to Russia's role in eastern Ukraine, and falling oil prices have hit hard.
On Monday, the rouble suffered its biggest one-day fall since 1998.
The currency slid almost 9% against the dollar before rallying after suspected central bank intervention.
Way outMr Putin will speak in front of an audience 1,100 attendees in the Kremlin's St George Hall.
Many Russians are hoping he will offer ideas for a way out of the crisis, reports the BBC's Steve Rosenberg in Moscow.
Falling oil prices have affected Russia because of the country's reliance on energy exports, our correspondent says.
And Western sanctions over Russia's annexation of Crimea and its role in destabilising eastern Ukraine are contributing to the country's economic problems.
The estimated cost of sanctions and falling oil prices to Russia is $140bn a year, according to Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov.
Over the last year the rouble has lost around 40% of its value against the dollar and inflation is expected to reach 10% early next year.
However, President Putin remains popular, our correspondent adds. According to one opinion poll this week, 72% of Russians approve of the way he is running the country.
Russia Putin Approval Numbers
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 01:31
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To:
President of Russia Annual Address
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 01:29
The Address will begin at midday in the Kremlin's St George Hall with around 1,100 people invited to attend. The invited audience includes members of the Federation Council, State Duma deputies, members of the Government, the heads of the Constitutional and Supreme Courts, the regional governors, heads of regional legislative assemblies, heads of Russia's traditional religious faiths, and public figures, including heads of regional public chambers and the heads of the country's biggest media outlets.
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American, Georgian & Lithuanian get key jobs in Ukraine's new govt
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 08:09
The natives of the US, Georgia and Lithuania were hastily granted Ukrainian citizenship in order to become key ministers in the new government of Ukraine, which was approved by the country's parliament on Tuesday.
President Poroshenko has also announced he will sign a decree to grant citizenship to foreigners fighting on Kiev's side in the east of the country.
Natalie Jaresko of the US, who currently heads the Kiev-based Horizon Capital investment fund, will take reigns at the Ukrainian Finance Ministry.
Ukraine's newly appointed Finance Minister, Natalie Jaresko, a former U.S. citizen who now heads a Kiev based investment fund. Click to enlarge
In 1992-1995, Jaresko served as the first Chief of the Economic Section of the US Embassy in Ukraine.
Before that she occupied several economic positions in the US State Department, according to Horizon Capital website.
The position of health minister went to Aleksandr Kvitashvili, who occupied a similar post in the Georgian government in 2009-2012.
''Ukraine spends 8 per cent of its GDP on healthcare, but half of this money is being plundered. Aleksandr Kvitashvili must implement radical reforms as he has no ties with the Ukrainian pharmaceutical mafia,'' Ukrainian PM, Arseny Yatsenuk, said as he presented the new minister to the deputies.
Lithuanian Aivaras Abromavicius has been approved as the economy minister by the new parliament, the Verkhovna Rada.
Abromavicius, who is a partner at the $3.6 billion-worth East Capital asset management group, conducts his operations from Kiev after marrying a Ukrainian.
''There's hard work ahead of us because Ukraine is a very poor and corrupt country and we'll have to use radical measures,'' he told MPs from the Rada tribune.
288 out of 450 deputies supported the cabinet proposed by Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, with the new ministers sworn in right after the vote.
''I congratulate the Ukrainians with the formation of the pro-European government,'' Poroshenko wrote on his Twitter page.
He told the Rada that he views the foreigners as some kind of anti-crisis management need due to the difficult situation in economy, the fighting in Donbas, the necessity of radical reforms and large-scale corruption.
Earlier on the Tuesday, the president has signed special a decree granting Ukrainian citizenship to Jaresko, Kvitashvili and Abromavicius.
Dual nationality is forbidden in Ukraine and the trio has already written applications to give up the citizenship of foreign states, Yury Lutsenko, the head of the Petro Poroshenko Block (PPB), said.
Poroshenko said that there'll be even more foreigners on administrative positions in Ukraine as the county ''must attract the best international experience, which includes assigning positions in the government to representative of states friendly to Ukraine.''
Also on Tuesday, the MPs from Poroshenko's ruling bloc have registered a draft law in the Rada on amending the Ukrainian legislation for it to allow citizens of other states in the government.
Continues '...
US-Ukraine Business Council-Jaresco
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 08:10
Natalie A. Jaresko, Managing and Founding Partner, Horizon Capital
Natalie A. Jaresko is one of the co-founders of Horizon Capital and serves as its Managing Partner since March 2006. Currently Horizon Capital manages two funds, Emerging Europe Growth Fund and Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF), with over $280 million under management. Ms. Jaresko manages Horizon Capital's fundraising, strategy, and develops and maintains relationships with current and potential limited partners.
Simultaneously, Ms. Jaresko serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of WNISEF, a position which she has held since February 2001. In a variety of positions at WNISEF since 1995, she has been setting long-term business goals, managing operations and investing in Ukraine and Moldova on behalf of WNISEF. She has personally led transactions in the industrial goods sector and supervised transactions in the retail, FMCG and financial services industries. Ms. Jaresko's broad experience in both the private and public sectors enables Horizon Capital to successfully navigate complex business environments, while maintaining its focus on building profitable market leaders in a wide variety of industries.
Prior to joining WNISEF, Ms. Jaresko worked at the U.S. Department of State. From 1992 to 1995, she served as the first Chief of the Economic Section of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine. Prior to her post with the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, Ms. Jaresko served in various economic positions at the State Department in Washington, D.C.
Ms. Jaresko has over eighteen years of professional experience in the region, primarily in Ukraine. She is a U.S. citizen fluent in Ukrainian, and received her Master's Degree in Public Policy from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government in 1989. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois in 1987 and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Ms. Jaresko received the Order of Princess Olha award from the President of Ukraine in 2003 for her contributions to the Ukrainian economy, and is a member of President Yushchenko's Foreign Investors Advisory Council and the Advisory Board of the Ukrainian Center for Promotion of Foreign Investment under the auspices of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
US-Ukraine Business Council-USAID
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 08:11
Jack Heller
Mr. Heller has been in the practice of law in Washington, DC since 1974. Specializing in international matters, he is a partner in Heller & Rosenblatt.
He served at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from 1962 to 1972 in various positions, including Director of Programs and Policies for Latin America, Legal Advisor and Director of Operations, USAID, Brazil and Senior Tax and Fiscal Advisor for Latin America.
Before joining USAID he was a teaching fellow and research associate (1958-1961) at the Harvard Law School's International Program in Taxation. His other academic experience includes Lecturer and Co- Director, Special programs in International Transactions for Latin American Public Sector Attorneys, (1976-1984) and International Transactions for the Peoples Republic of China (1982-1987).
Mr. Heller was General Counsel and a member of the Board of Directors of the Pan American Development Foundation (1981- 1998) and served as the Foundation's President 1998 - 2000.
He was a founder in 1993 of the Fund For Democracy and Development (''FDD''), a US Foundation which provided emergency commodity (food and heating oil) and technical assistance to Russia, Armenia and other former Soviet Republics. In 1995 he co-founded and was President until 2000, of the FDD's New Russia Small Business Investment Fund, a Moscow based not for profit corporation which provided training to Russian bankers and extended supervised financing to Russian banks for small business lending.
Mr. Heller co-founded the Ukraine-United States Business Council in 1995 and serves as its General Counsel. Mr. Heller has a BA from the University of Chicago, and a LL.B from Columbia University Law School.
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Exit South Stream, enter Turk Stream '-- RT Op-Edge
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 00:04
Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia.
So the EU ''defeated'' Putin by forcing him to cancel the South Stream pipeline. Thus ruled Western corporate media. Nonsense. Facts on the ground spell otherwise.
This ''Pipelineistan'' gambit will continue to send massive geopolitical shockwaves all across Eurasia for quite some time. In a nutshell, a few years ago Russia devised Nord Stream '' fully operational '' and South Stream '' still a project '' to bypass unreliable Ukraine as a gas transit nation. Now Russia devised a new deal with Turkey to bypass the ''non-constructive'' (Putin's words) approach of the European Commission (EC).
Background is essential to understand the current game. Five years ago I was following in detail Pipelineistan's ultimate opera '' the war between rival pipelines South Stream and Nabucco. Nabucco eventually became road kill. South Stream may eventually resurrect, but only if the EC comes to its senses (don't bet on it.)
The 3,600 kilometer long South Stream should be in place by 2016, branching out to Austria and the Balkans/Italy. Gazprom owns 50 percent of it - along with Italy's ENI (20 percent), French EDF (15 percent) and German Wintershall, a subsidiary of BASF (15 percent). As it stands these European energy majors are not exactly beaming '' to say the least. For months Gazprom and the EC were haggling about a solution. But in the end Brussels predictably succumbed to its own.
Russia still gets to build a pipeline under the Black Sea '' but now redirected to Turkey and, crucially, pumping the same amount of gas South Stream would. Not to mention Russia gets to build a new LNG (liquefied natural gas) central hub in the Mediterranean. Thus Gazprom has not spent $5 billion in vain (finance, engineering costs). The redirection makes total business sense. Turkey is Gazprom's second biggest customer after Germany. And much bigger than Bulgaria, Hungary, and Austria combined.
Russia also advances a unified gas distribution network capable of delivering natural gas from anywhere in Russia to any hub alongside Russia's borders.
And as if it was needed, Russia gets yet another graphic proof that its real growth market in the future is Asia, especially China '' not a fearful, stagnated, austerity-devastated, politically paralyzed EU. The evolving Russia-China strategic partnership implies Russia as complementary to China, excelling in major infrastructure projects from building dams to laying out pipelines. This is business with a sharp geopolitical reach '' not ideology-drenched politics.
Russian ''defeat''?Turkey also made a killing. It's not only the deal with Gazprom; Moscow will build no less than Turkey's entire nuclear industry, apart from increased soft power interaction (more trade and tourism). Most of all, Turkey is now increasingly on the verge of becoming a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO); Moscow is actively lobbying for it. This means Turkey acceding to a privileged position as a major hub simultaneously in the Eurasian Economic Belt and of course the Chinese New Silk Road(s). The EU blocks Turkey? Turkey looks east. That's Eurasian integration on the move.
Washington has tried very hard to create a New Berlin Wall from the Baltics to the Black Sea to ''isolate'' Russia. Now comes yet another Putin judo/chess/go counterpunch '' which the opponent never saw coming. And exactly across the Black Sea.
A key Turkish strategic imperative is to configure itself as the indispensable energy crossroads from East to West '' transiting everything from Iraqi oil to Caspian Sea gas. Oil from Azerbaijan already transits Turkey via the Bill Clinton/Zbig Brzezinski-propelled BTC (Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan) pipeline. Turkey would also be the crossroads if a Trans-Caspian pipeline is ever built (slim chances as it stands), pumping natural gas from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan, then transported to Turkey and finally Europe.
So what Putin's judo/chess/go counterpunch accomplished with a single move is to have stupid EU sanctions once again hurt the EU. The German economy is already hurting badly because of lost Russia business.
The EC brilliant ''strategy'' revolves around the EU's so-called Third Energy Package, which requires that pipelines and the natural gas flowing inside them must be owned by separate companies. The target of this package has always been Gazprom '' which owns pipelines in many Central and Eastern European nations. And the target within the target has always been South Stream.
Now it's up to Bulgaria and Hungary '' which, by the way, have always fought the EC ''strategy'' '' to explain the fiasco to their own populations, and to keep pressing Brussels; after all they are bound to lose a fortune, not to mention get no gas, with South Stream out of the picture.
So here's the bottom line; Russia sells even more gas '' to Turkey; and the EU, pressured by the US, is reduced to dancing like a bunch of headless chickens in dark Brussels corridors wondering what hit them. The Atlanticists are back to default mode '' cooking up yet more sanctions while Russia is set to keep buying more and more gold.
Watch those spearsThis is not the endgame '' far from it. In the near future, many variables will intersect.
Ankara's game may change '' but that's far from a given. President Erdogan '' the Sultan of Constantinople '' has certainly identified a rival Caliph, Ibrahim of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh fame, trying to steal his mojo. Thus the Sultan may flirt with mollifying his neo-Ottoman dreams and steer Turkey back to its previously ditched ''zero problems with our neighbors'' foreign policy doctrine.
The House of Saud is like a camel in the Arctic. The House of Saud's lethal game in Syria always boiled down to regime change so a Saudi-sponsored oil pipeline from Syria to Turkey might be built '' dethroning the proposed, $10 billion Iran-Iraq-Syria ''Islamic'' pipeline. Now the Saudis see Russia about to supply all of Turkey's energy needs '' and then some. And ''Assad must go'' still won't go.
US neo-cons are also sharpening their spears. As soon as early 2015 there may be a Ukrainian Freedom Act approved by the US Congress. Translation: Ukraine as a ''major US non-NATO ally'' which means, in practice, a NATO annexation. Next step; more turbo-charged neo-con provocation of Russia.
A possible scenario is vassal/puppies such as Romania or Bulgaria '' pressed by Washington '' deciding to allow full access for NATO vessels into the Black Sea. Who cares this would violate the current Black Sea agreements that affect both Russia and Turkey?
And then there's a Rumsfeldian ''known unknown''; how the weak Balkans will feel subordinated to the whims of Ankara. As much as Brussels keeps Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia in a strait jacket, in energy terms they will start depending on Turkey's goodwill.
For the moment, let's appreciate the magnitude of the geopolitical shockwaves. There will be more, when we least expect them.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
US to Start Exporting Natural Gas to Europe Before 2020: Senator McCain / Sputnik International
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 23:58
Business23:31 03.12.2014(updated 00:46 04.12.2014)
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WASHINGTON, December 3 (Sputnik) '' The United States can deliver natural gas to Europe, balancing energy exports away from Russia prior to 2020, Republican US Senator John McCain told Sputnik on Wednesday.
(C) RIA Novosti. Sergei Guneyev
"I think we can do it before then," McCain stated when asked about US projections becoming a significant exporter nation before 2020. "We can do it a lot quicker than that," he added.
McCain further told Sputnik that he is satisfied with Bulgaria's decision not to allow the construction of the proposed South Stream pipeline project. "I'm just glad our friends in Europe cancelled the pipeline that was going to go through Europe," he said.
(C) East News/ Mikhail Metzel/AP/XMIM101
In a Tuesday press release, McCain stated that his personal efforts to urge the Bulgarian government to look toward Europe to secure its energy interests and refrain from working with Russia, "were successful" and "culminated with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's decision to forgo the pipeline project entirely."
Legislation, introduced in June by McCain and four other US senators would expedite the process of exporting American liquefied natural gas to US allies, particularly in Europe.
Currently Europe is largely dependent on Russia for energy resources. Russia remains the EU's largest source of energy imports, accounting for approximately 32 percent of EU energy imports in 2012, according to European Commission's statistics.
US-EU Energy Council welcomed the prospect of US liquefied natural gas exports to Europe to diversify supplies and further talks on a transatlantic trade deal at the meeting on Wednesday.
Pipeline chess across the Black Sea - Le Monde diplomatique - English edition
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 23:19
Two news items point to important developments in European oil and gas transmission. First, the long awaited expansion of the pipeline running from the Caspian to Novorossiysk (see map) has been agreed between the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) and Moscow (1). The other is an agreement to build an oil pipeline between the Black Sea to the Mediterranean across Turkey (Samsun to Ceyhan) (2). Are these two events really unrelated?
Rival routesCPC carries oil from Tengiz (Kazakhstan) to the Black Sea. The nearby ''supergiant'' Kashagan is expected to come on-stream in 2014-15. But Moscow has never much liked Kazakh fields being operated by foreigners. They have stalled on the CPC pipeline expansion (from 28 to 68m tons per year) for the best part of five years, just as they had earlier delayed the first phase of CPC. They also tend to charge very high transit fees (3).
More recently, Moscow squeezed a promise from Chevron, the main Tengiz operator, to route oil tankers from Novorossiysk to Burgaz on the Bulgarian riviera, from where oil would flow to Alexandroupolis (Greece) on the Aegean coast. The pipeline was to be 51% Russian owned. But in 2010, the Bulgarian prime minister Boyko Borisov (elected in July 2009) baulked at the risk of polluting the pristine beaches of southern Bulgaria and losing its lucrative tourism trade, in return for a paltry '‚¬36m annual transit fee. The preceding government, former Communists, had been more pliable.
In theory, there is a simpler alternative. Tankers loading at Novorossiysk could reach the Aegean through the Turkish straits. However, tankers pass between the two halves of Istanbul, and Turkey has been limiting the size of tankers and queuing them up at the northern approaches, on grounds of safety. Annoyed Russian negotiators argue that this violates the Montreux Treaty, allowing freedom of ''innocent'' passage, but increased tanker traffic through the straits is not an option.
Earlier, fierce opposition to the Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline (75m tons pa) had come from Igor Sechin, the security minded deputy Russian prime minister. After all, Turkey had accepted on its territory the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, exporting 50m tons of Caspian oil without a by your leave towards Moscow. Nevertheless, a bargain was struck between Putin and Erdoğan in 2009. It allowed Gazprom to bypass Ukrainian territory altogether by routing Gazprom's South Stream natural gas pipeline over the Turkish continental shelf towards the southern Balkans. In return, Putin agreed to Samsun-Ceyhan for pumping Russian and Tengiz oil to the Mediterranean, despite Sechin's less than discreet protestations in Ankara that the pipeline made no economic sense. Gazprom's win appeared to register as Sechin's loss.
Cynics see South Stream as a pipeline invented to oppose the ghost of EU-sponsored Nabucco, the pipeline with no gas! The pair of agreements between Putin and Erdoğan could have seemed like posturing towards the EU and the Ukrainians. The latter, having exchanged Yushchenko with Yanukovich, were expected to get on better with Moscow. Despite early friendly gestures, however, Kiev seems to have baulked at allowing Ukrneftegaz to form a new alliance with Gazprom. There have been several other indications that Kiev has been offending Moscow. In response, and despite assurances from Kiev that oil and gas transmission to the West will proceed unimpeded, Gazprom has continued signing supply contracts with governments and utilities in south-eastern Europe, for supplying gas through South Stream.
Moscow appears to have given up on the Burgaz-Alexandroupolis project. For with Samsun-Ceyhan receiving approval, we have the strongest indication yet that South Stream may now be looking less like a giant bluff and more like a huge project. But how this feat of engineering will be financed remains to be seen, coming as it does with an eye-popping price tag of some $20bn.
South Stream Closure 'Setback' to Russian Energy Interests: US Senators / Sputnik International
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 23:14
Business23:37 03.12.2014(updated 01:17 04.12.2014)
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WASHINGTON, December 3 (Sputnik) '' The cancellation of the South Stream pipeline project by Russian President Vladimir Putin is a "setback" to Russia and its energy interests in Europe, two ranking US senators told Sputnik on Wednesday.
(C) Sputnik. Sergey Guneev
"I will say the overall abandonment of the larger pipeline certainly was a setback to Putin and his interests in the region," a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker, said referring to South Stream.
Incoming chairman of the Armed Services Committee, John McCain told Sputnik was pleased with Russian decision to cancel South Stream. "It's a big setback for Vladimir," McCain said of the Russian President.
On Monday, President Putin announced the cancellation of the South Stream pipeline project, as Bulgaria was unable to commit to the deal due to pressure from the European Union. The same day, CEO of Russia's energy giant Gazprom Alexei Miller announced a major pipeline project to Turkey, using the previously planned Black Sea route.
Turkey Renews Plea to Join Shanghai Cooperation Organization | The Diplomat
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 00:32
Turkish PM Erdogan has once again said that Turkey wants to join the SCO. This is just part of Turkey's larger pivot to Asia.
During a trip to Russia in November, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan once again said that Ankara would abandon its quest to join the European Union if it was offered full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
According to Turkish newspapers, Erdogan made the comments during a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The impetus for Erdogan's remarks was Putin's response to a question about Ukraine recently pulling out of talks over an EU trade pact.
''We will ask Turkey what we can do. Turkey has great experience in EU talks,'' Putin said sarcastically, referring to Ankara's long and checkered history of seeking EU membership.
Without skipping a beat, Erdogan responded: ''You are right. Fifty years of experience is not easy. Allow us into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and save us from this trouble.''
Given the context the comment was made in, it might be easy to dismiss the comment as a lighthearted joke. However, this is not the first time that Erdogan has said Turkey would gladly forgo EU membership if it was invited to join the SCO as a full member.
Indeed, Erdogan made waves in January of this year when he stated, that ''If we get into the SCO, we will say good-bye to the European Union. The Shanghai Five [former name of the SCO] is better '-- much more powerful. Pakistan wants in. India wants in as well. If the SCO wants us, all of us will become members of this organization.''
He added, ''The Shanghai Five is better and more powerful, and we have common values with them.''
This followed comments he made in the summer of last year when, again speaking with Putin, Erdogan said Ankara would like to join the SCO. Shortly after making these initial comments, his office wrote them off as a joke. However, he has now repeated it no less than three times.
The SCO is an international organization created in 2001 by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. It was born out of the Shanghai Five group, which consisted of the same nations minus Uzbekistan.
Alongside these permanent members, the SCO also has an increasing number of dialogue partners and observers. Last year, Turkey joined the SCO as a dialogue partner during a summit in Beijing. Belarus and Sri Lanka are also dialogue partners while Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia enjoy observer status at the SCO.
The SCO mainly focuses on common security challenges like anti-terrorism and separation movements. For a number of years now, China has also sought to strengthen economic cooperation within the SCO. These moves have generally been resisted by Russia, which is steadily losing influence to Beijing in Central Asia and already belongs to the economically oriented Eurasian Economic Community with all five Central Asian nations (Uzbekistan is currently suspended from the group).
Consistent with the Shanghai part of its name, China is generally seen as a more enthusiastic backer of the SCO. That Erdogan has generally directed his pleas to join the SCO toward Putin likely reflects the Turkish prime minister's sentiment that Moscow is the main obstacle to Ankara gaining entry into the SCO. In fact, whereas Turkey and China have some basis of cooperation in Central Asia, Ankara and Moscow has historically competed for influence in the region. Furthermore, although Turkey does suffer from the same kind of separatist movements that the SCO preoccupies itself with, Ankara is most likely seeking to advance its economic interests by joining the SCO.
Whatever the reasons behind Erdogan's SCO bid, it is just one of a number of recent examples that suggest Turkey is embarking on its own Asian pivot of sorts. As previously reported, Turkey'--which is a NATO member'--recently announced that it will purchase an air and missile defense system from a Chinese defense company that is under U.S. sanctions. Similarly, Sino-Turkish bilateral trade has grown from US$1.4 billion in 2000 to over US$24 billion last year.
Turkey has also been expanding its relationship with other Asian powers. For example, a Japanese firm won a bid to construct the Marmaray tunnel, one of Erdogan's most prized projects. Japanese PM Shinzo Abe visited Turkey in October to attend to the official opening of the tunnel. Abe also visited Ankara back in May when he and Erdogan officially upgraded bilateral ties to a strategic partnership. While in Turkey this spring, Abe also concluded a US$22 billion deal in which a Japanese and French firm will jointly build Turkey a second nuclear plant.
Relations between Turkey and South Korea have also been growing steadily. In fact, in March of last year, the two sides signed a free trade agreement. When the agreement came into effect this year, South Korea became the first Asian nation to have a free trade agreement with Turkey. They are already examining ways to expand the FTA by including services and investment.
Australia hopes to be the second country in Asia to conclude an FTA with Turkey.
Turkey no Friend of the West :: Middle East Forum
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 23:11
by Tarek FatahThe Toronto SunDecember 2, 2014
http://www.meforum.org/4903/turkey-no-friend-of-the-west
Pope Francis and President Erdogan have vastly different views of what constitutes moderation and tolerance.
Last week, Pope Francis paid a visit to Turkey in what was seen as an attempt to align the Catholic church with moderate Muslims.
In a gesture of goodwill, Pope Francis visited the Blue Mosque, one of the masterpieces of Ottoman architecture, where he turned east toward Mecca, clasped his hands and paused for two minutes as the Grand Mufti of Istanbul delivered an Islamic prayer.
Earlier on Friday, the pontiff met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In an address following the meeting, the Pope condemned the Islamic State's (ISIS) assault on Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria.
He would later say ISIS was committing a "grave sin against God."
To ensure his condemnation of ISIS was not misinterpreted, Pope Francis also denounced people "who say that all Muslims are terrorists."
If the pontiff thought Turkey's leader was the moderate Muslim who would reciprocate in kind, he was setting himself up for disappointment.
On the same day the pontiff met president Erdogan, the Turkish leader delivered a blistering attack on the West, claiming, "They (the West) look like friends, but they want us dead '-- they like seeing our children die. How long will we stand that fact?"
The Turkish newspaper Hurriyetreported Erdogan as saying: "Believe me, they don't like us."
In an incendiary attack on his NATO partners, Erdogan said they "love oil, gold, diamonds, and the cheap labor force of the Islamic world."
The Pope could have taken a less appeasing attitude by standing up to the supremacist and arrogant attitude of global Islamism that poses a threat to human civilization in many ways.
At the state level, countries like Turkey and Qatar are behind the phenomenon of the Islamic State.
Elsewhere, Saudi billionaires and institutions fund mosques and Islamist organizations in Canada and the U.S., while in countries like Pakistan, Islamist mobs recently threw a young Christian couple into a brick kiln after breaking their bones, on charges of committing blasphemy.
Appeasement of the Islamists only strengthens them and weakens the Muslims fighting jihadists on the military and ideological battlefields.
The pope could have been firmer. He should have raised the issue of Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, which for almost 1,000 years was Orthodox Christianity's Kaaba so to speak, but which was forcibly converted into a mosque by Muslim invaders in 1453 Ottoman conquest, and later was turned into a museum in 1935.
If Islamists and leaders of Islamic countries truly wished to reciprocate to the pope's gestures with an olive branch, what better way than to hand the Hagia Sophia back to Orthodox Christianity.
Perhaps Erdogan's harsh response to the pope's gesture will make the West realize that Turkey is not an ally, but our enemy.
Appeasement of the Islamists only strengthens them and weakens the Muslims fighting jihadists on the military and ideological battlefields.
Whether its the RCMP reaching out to Islamists in Canada or the Pope extending a hand of friendship to Erdogan, the outcome is written on the wall.
Tarek Fatahis a founder of theMuslim Canadian Congress, a columnist at the Toronto Sun, host of a Sunday afternoon talk show on Toronto's NewsTalk1010 AM Radio, and a Robert J. and Abby B. Levine Fellow at the Middle East Forum. He is the author of two award-winning books:Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic StateandThe Jew is Not My Enemy: Unveiling the Myths that Fuel Muslim Anti-Semitism.
Related Topics: Turkey and Turks | Tarek Fatahreceive the latest by email: subscribe to the free mef mailing list
TURKEY REGIME CHANGE-U.S. embassy warns of potential attack in southeast Turkey | Reuters
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 01:38
ISTANBULWed Dec 3, 2014 2:35pm EST
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The U.S. Embassy in Ankara said on Wednesday it had received reports that "extremist groups" may be planning an attack against a Syrian opposition group in the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep.
It did not specify who might be targeting the Western-backed body, which sees itself as a government-in-exile but has little influence over rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad in a conflict that has been complicated by the successes of rival hardline Islamist groups.
"The U.S. Embassy has received reports that extremist groups may be planning an attack against the Syrian Interim Government building," the statement said.
"We remind U.S. citizens that the situation in southeast Turkey, while usually calm, can change without warning and U.S. citizens should avoid traveling in areas close to the Syrian border," it said.
The body was formed by the Western-backed National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces in November 2013. Early this year it set up its headquarters in Gaziantep, a province bordering Syria.
It exists to provide local services and support in rebel-held areas in Syria but fighting, political squabbling and the reluctance of donors to support a partisan body have limited its influence.
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Dozens Killed, Wounded In Grozny Attack
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 15:22
Russian authorities say at least 10 police and nine militants have been killed in hours of fighting in the capital of the restive North Caucasus republic of Chechnya.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said on December 4 that a "counterterrorist operation" against gunmen who attacked a traffic-police post and seized a building in central Grozny was over and that at least nine militants were killed.
The National Antiterrorist Committee said that 10 police officers were killed and 28 others were wounded in the fighting, during which a publishing house building was engulfed in flames and gunfire and blasts rocked the city.
It was one of the biggest outbreaks of violence in years in Grozny, which has been rebuilt at great expense to the Kremlin after two devastating post-Soviet wars that spawned an Islamist insurgency which persists in the North Caucasus.
CAUCASUS REPORT: Chechen Insurgents Attack Grozny The fighting began hours before President Vladimir Putin, who came to power 15 years ago while leading a war that drove out a separatist government in Chechnya, delivered an annual address to the nation.
Authorities said the fighting began when gunmen traveling in several cars killed at least three traffic police officers who tried to stop them at a checkpoint late on December 3.
Security forces then surrounded a building housing a publishing house in central Grozny after militants occupied it, and flames and smoke poured from the windows during the siege.
Kadyrov later said all the militants in the building had been "annihilated" but that more gunmen -- heavily armed with weapons including grenade launchers -- were holed up in a school.
Still later, he said the last militants offering resistance had been destroyed, but he made no specific mention of the school and it was not immediately clear what happened there.
Kadyrov said at least nine militants had been killed and said the bodies of others might still be found.
The Kavkaz Center website -- used by Islamic militant groups operating in Russia's North Caucasus -- linked to a video message by an individual claiming to be responsible for the attack.
The man in the video said he was operating under orders from Chechen Islamist leader Aslan Byutukayev, known to his followers as Emir Khamzat.
The authenticity of the video could not be verified.
PHOTO GALLERY: Gunbattle In Grozny (Graphic Content)
Violence is common in the mostly Muslim provinces of the North Caucasus, where the government is struggling to defeat Islamist insurgents whose deadly bombings and other attacks in the region and elsewhere in Russia have marred Putin's years in power.
But the harsh security measures implemented by the authoritarian Kadyrov have ensured that Grozny has remained relatively calm over the past few years, turning the neighboring regions of Daghestan and Ingushetia into the main focus of violence.
Government critics say heavy-handed tactics by security forces fuel the insurgency in the North Caucasus.
The twice-ruined Chechen capital's opulent reconstruction is a source of pride for Kadyrov and Putin, who portrays keeping Chechnya and the rest of the North Caucasus in Russia despite militants' efforts to split off or create an Islamic state as a major success.
WATCH: Scenes from the fighting in Grozny
In his speech, Putin repeated his frequent suggestions that the some in the West supported militants in the Caucasus in the past in hopes of breaking up Russia.
"We remember very well who...openly supported separatism and even direct terror in our country, calling those killers up to their elbows in blood mere rebels and receiving them at the highest level," he said.
But he played down the fighting in Grozny, suggesting it was not a natoinal problem by saying: "I am sure the local guys, local law enforcement, will deal with it properly."
With reporting by TASS, Interfax, AP, and Reuters
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Ford Launches EcoSport In Russia For Production In Naberezhniye Chelny
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 15:31
MOSCOW, December 2. /TASS/. Tatarstan-based car building plant Ford Sollers-Naberezhniye Chelny is launching batch production of Ford EcoSport cars.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will attend an opening ceremony of launching batch production of Ford EcoSport cars in Naberezhniye Chelny.
The Ford Sollers joint venture produces, imports and sells vehicles, produced by the US Ford car producer, on the Russian market. The Ford EcoSport production was launched under difficult conditions the Ford company confronted in Russia: the trade volume has dropped 42% on the shrinking Russian car market which had narrowed by 13% over the three quarters of the outgoing year to 1.8 million cars, or 44,900 cars down the previous trade volume.
At present, the Ford Sollers joint venture has been building Ford EcoSport cars for exports to Kazakhstan to compensate for former imports of Ford-built cars to Kazakhstan from from Germany.
A negative tendency continues on the Russian car market since the end of 2012. Car trade has been increasingly declining since March because of a difficult geopolitical situation and the devaluation of the Russian ruble. Over the past ten months car trade in the Russian Federation dropped by 12.7% against the same period last year; in October alone it dropped by 9.9%
Officials from the Russian industry and trade ministry have warned that the devaluation of the Russian ruble is fraught with serious risks to the Russian car market. The ministry jointly with car producers has been developing measures of support to the Russian car producers in 2015, said Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov.
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WHR
BBC News - Russia: Prostitutes hike prices as rouble falls
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 21:27
3 December 2014Last updated at 09:37 ET News from Elsewhere...... media reports from around the world, found by BBC MonitoringProstitutes in the Russian Arctic port of Murmansk have unexpectedly hiked prices for their services by up to 40%, blaming the tumbling rouble exchange rate for their decision, it seems.
They also want to peg the cost of services to the dollar in the longer term if the situation doesn't improve, sources at one brothel tell the local FlashNord news agency. Two hours with a prostitute in Murmansk cost 3,000-7,000 roubles ($57-132; £36-84) before the price rise, the agency says. The management of another brothel says it's "trying to keep prices down, but the cost of living is rising and the girls can't work at a loss". The rouble has lost more than 40% of its value against the dollar and 60% against the euro since the start of the year, as a result of Western sanctions over Russia's involvement in the eastern Ukraine insurgency and a fall in oil prices.
Russian social media commentators are having a field day over the news, with some getting in digs at the authorities. "Putin - learn about the economy from the Murmansk prostitutes", tweets Andrei Negotov. Others, including Alexander Sitnikov on the NTV website, think the prostitutes should show some patriotism and "raise their rates for foreigners, in reply to sanctions".
Use #NewsfromElsewhere to stay up-to-date with our reports via Twitter.
Ottomanaia
Turkey's inflation rate exceeds 9 percent | Economy | Daily Sabah
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 05:30
ISTANBUL '-- Turkey's Statistical Institute (TurkStat) announced the consumer price index data for November 2014 on Wednesday, indicating that it increased by 9.15 percent compared to the same month in 2013. Prices increased by 0.18 percent in November 2014 and by 8.8 percent on average over the past 12 months. With the arrival of cold weather, the highest monthly increase was in the clothing and footwear category at 4.11 percent while the highest monthly decrease was announced in transportation at 1.79 percent.The increase in Turkish food prices despite the global downtrend was one of the hottest economic debates of 2014, and the food and non-alcoholic beverages category had the highest annual increase in 2014 at 14.3 percent followed by the hotels, caf(C)s and restaurants category at 14.32 percent, the clothing and footwear category at 9.71 percent, the health category at 9.33 percent and the miscellaneous goods and services category at 8.82 percent.
Science, Industry and Technology Minister Fikri Işık evaluated the inflation numbers and noted that the figures point out that the medium term targets have been achieved and that the increase in inflation has slowed down, which means that consumer prices will decrease in the upcoming months. Overall, "2014 was not a good year in terms of inflation. The Dec. 17 and Dec. 25 coups and the increases in foreign exchange rates as a result created a burden on inflation together with the fluctuation caused by the decisions of the FED [Federal Reserve Bank of New York]," Işık said, and added that the drought in Turkey was another factor that increased food prices. "However, the figures show that 2015 will be a better year in terms of fighting inflation and medium-term targets will be achieved," Işık said.
Turkey Renews Plea to Join Shanghai Cooperation Organization | The Diplomat
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 00:32
Turkish PM Erdogan has once again said that Turkey wants to join the SCO. This is just part of Turkey's larger pivot to Asia.
During a trip to Russia in November, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan once again said that Ankara would abandon its quest to join the European Union if it was offered full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
According to Turkish newspapers, Erdogan made the comments during a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The impetus for Erdogan's remarks was Putin's response to a question about Ukraine recently pulling out of talks over an EU trade pact.
''We will ask Turkey what we can do. Turkey has great experience in EU talks,'' Putin said sarcastically, referring to Ankara's long and checkered history of seeking EU membership.
Without skipping a beat, Erdogan responded: ''You are right. Fifty years of experience is not easy. Allow us into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and save us from this trouble.''
Given the context the comment was made in, it might be easy to dismiss the comment as a lighthearted joke. However, this is not the first time that Erdogan has said Turkey would gladly forgo EU membership if it was invited to join the SCO as a full member.
Indeed, Erdogan made waves in January of this year when he stated, that ''If we get into the SCO, we will say good-bye to the European Union. The Shanghai Five [former name of the SCO] is better '-- much more powerful. Pakistan wants in. India wants in as well. If the SCO wants us, all of us will become members of this organization.''
He added, ''The Shanghai Five is better and more powerful, and we have common values with them.''
This followed comments he made in the summer of last year when, again speaking with Putin, Erdogan said Ankara would like to join the SCO. Shortly after making these initial comments, his office wrote them off as a joke. However, he has now repeated it no less than three times.
The SCO is an international organization created in 2001 by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. It was born out of the Shanghai Five group, which consisted of the same nations minus Uzbekistan.
Alongside these permanent members, the SCO also has an increasing number of dialogue partners and observers. Last year, Turkey joined the SCO as a dialogue partner during a summit in Beijing. Belarus and Sri Lanka are also dialogue partners while Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia enjoy observer status at the SCO.
The SCO mainly focuses on common security challenges like anti-terrorism and separation movements. For a number of years now, China has also sought to strengthen economic cooperation within the SCO. These moves have generally been resisted by Russia, which is steadily losing influence to Beijing in Central Asia and already belongs to the economically oriented Eurasian Economic Community with all five Central Asian nations (Uzbekistan is currently suspended from the group).
Consistent with the Shanghai part of its name, China is generally seen as a more enthusiastic backer of the SCO. That Erdogan has generally directed his pleas to join the SCO toward Putin likely reflects the Turkish prime minister's sentiment that Moscow is the main obstacle to Ankara gaining entry into the SCO. In fact, whereas Turkey and China have some basis of cooperation in Central Asia, Ankara and Moscow has historically competed for influence in the region. Furthermore, although Turkey does suffer from the same kind of separatist movements that the SCO preoccupies itself with, Ankara is most likely seeking to advance its economic interests by joining the SCO.
Whatever the reasons behind Erdogan's SCO bid, it is just one of a number of recent examples that suggest Turkey is embarking on its own Asian pivot of sorts. As previously reported, Turkey'--which is a NATO member'--recently announced that it will purchase an air and missile defense system from a Chinese defense company that is under U.S. sanctions. Similarly, Sino-Turkish bilateral trade has grown from US$1.4 billion in 2000 to over US$24 billion last year.
Turkey has also been expanding its relationship with other Asian powers. For example, a Japanese firm won a bid to construct the Marmaray tunnel, one of Erdogan's most prized projects. Japanese PM Shinzo Abe visited Turkey in October to attend to the official opening of the tunnel. Abe also visited Ankara back in May when he and Erdogan officially upgraded bilateral ties to a strategic partnership. While in Turkey this spring, Abe also concluded a US$22 billion deal in which a Japanese and French firm will jointly build Turkey a second nuclear plant.
Relations between Turkey and South Korea have also been growing steadily. In fact, in March of last year, the two sides signed a free trade agreement. When the agreement came into effect this year, South Korea became the first Asian nation to have a free trade agreement with Turkey. They are already examining ways to expand the FTA by including services and investment.
Australia hopes to be the second country in Asia to conclude an FTA with Turkey.
Turkey no Friend of the West :: Middle East Forum
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 23:11
by Tarek FatahThe Toronto SunDecember 2, 2014
http://www.meforum.org/4903/turkey-no-friend-of-the-west
Pope Francis and President Erdogan have vastly different views of what constitutes moderation and tolerance.
Last week, Pope Francis paid a visit to Turkey in what was seen as an attempt to align the Catholic church with moderate Muslims.
In a gesture of goodwill, Pope Francis visited the Blue Mosque, one of the masterpieces of Ottoman architecture, where he turned east toward Mecca, clasped his hands and paused for two minutes as the Grand Mufti of Istanbul delivered an Islamic prayer.
Earlier on Friday, the pontiff met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In an address following the meeting, the Pope condemned the Islamic State's (ISIS) assault on Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria.
He would later say ISIS was committing a "grave sin against God."
To ensure his condemnation of ISIS was not misinterpreted, Pope Francis also denounced people "who say that all Muslims are terrorists."
If the pontiff thought Turkey's leader was the moderate Muslim who would reciprocate in kind, he was setting himself up for disappointment.
On the same day the pontiff met president Erdogan, the Turkish leader delivered a blistering attack on the West, claiming, "They (the West) look like friends, but they want us dead '-- they like seeing our children die. How long will we stand that fact?"
The Turkish newspaper Hurriyetreported Erdogan as saying: "Believe me, they don't like us."
In an incendiary attack on his NATO partners, Erdogan said they "love oil, gold, diamonds, and the cheap labor force of the Islamic world."
The Pope could have taken a less appeasing attitude by standing up to the supremacist and arrogant attitude of global Islamism that poses a threat to human civilization in many ways.
At the state level, countries like Turkey and Qatar are behind the phenomenon of the Islamic State.
Elsewhere, Saudi billionaires and institutions fund mosques and Islamist organizations in Canada and the U.S., while in countries like Pakistan, Islamist mobs recently threw a young Christian couple into a brick kiln after breaking their bones, on charges of committing blasphemy.
Appeasement of the Islamists only strengthens them and weakens the Muslims fighting jihadists on the military and ideological battlefields.
The pope could have been firmer. He should have raised the issue of Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, which for almost 1,000 years was Orthodox Christianity's Kaaba so to speak, but which was forcibly converted into a mosque by Muslim invaders in 1453 Ottoman conquest, and later was turned into a museum in 1935.
If Islamists and leaders of Islamic countries truly wished to reciprocate to the pope's gestures with an olive branch, what better way than to hand the Hagia Sophia back to Orthodox Christianity.
Perhaps Erdogan's harsh response to the pope's gesture will make the West realize that Turkey is not an ally, but our enemy.
Appeasement of the Islamists only strengthens them and weakens the Muslims fighting jihadists on the military and ideological battlefields.
Whether its the RCMP reaching out to Islamists in Canada or the Pope extending a hand of friendship to Erdogan, the outcome is written on the wall.
Tarek Fatahis a founder of theMuslim Canadian Congress, a columnist at the Toronto Sun, host of a Sunday afternoon talk show on Toronto's NewsTalk1010 AM Radio, and a Robert J. and Abby B. Levine Fellow at the Middle East Forum. He is the author of two award-winning books:Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic StateandThe Jew is Not My Enemy: Unveiling the Myths that Fuel Muslim Anti-Semitism.
Related Topics: Turkey and Turks | Tarek Fatahreceive the latest by email: subscribe to the free mef mailing list
TURKEY REGIME CHANGE-U.S. embassy warns of potential attack in southeast Turkey | Reuters
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 01:38
ISTANBULWed Dec 3, 2014 2:35pm EST
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The U.S. Embassy in Ankara said on Wednesday it had received reports that "extremist groups" may be planning an attack against a Syrian opposition group in the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep.
It did not specify who might be targeting the Western-backed body, which sees itself as a government-in-exile but has little influence over rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad in a conflict that has been complicated by the successes of rival hardline Islamist groups.
"The U.S. Embassy has received reports that extremist groups may be planning an attack against the Syrian Interim Government building," the statement said.
"We remind U.S. citizens that the situation in southeast Turkey, while usually calm, can change without warning and U.S. citizens should avoid traveling in areas close to the Syrian border," it said.
The body was formed by the Western-backed National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces in November 2013. Early this year it set up its headquarters in Gaziantep, a province bordering Syria.
It exists to provide local services and support in rebel-held areas in Syria but fighting, political squabbling and the reluctance of donors to support a partisan body have limited its influence.
Furgeson
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Funny how news networks never show long emotional pieces about black boys and white boys killed in Iraq, Afghanistan etc.
Black men killed during resisting arrest, Cosby still at large
Serve on a jury, Try to get out of jury duty?
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3/5ths controversy email
Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution of the United States states:
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.
Now while those free Persons may have included some black people, I don't know of the other Persons including a single white person. We can argue original intent until the cows come home, and even assuming the best case scenario that our founding fathers wished all people to be equal but the political and economic realities of the time made it impossible, which I believe, it remains that what they wrote and signed their names to made it not so.
Were Our Founding Fathers Racist? The Slaves are 3/5ths of a Person Debate | RedState
Mon, 01 Dec 2014 07:13
Many in the progressive world, believe that our founding fathers were racist. As their evidence they point to Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the United States Constitution:
'' Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.''
To the liberals, the 3/5th figure is an indication that our founding fathers were a bunch of racists who thought that the African Slaves were less than human.
The truth is that the founders from the northern colonies who opposed Slavery, insisted on counting the slaves as less than ''full persons.'' The reason for the insistence, is to prevent the slave states from getting too many congressman and electoral votes as to dominate the government and prevent Slavery from ever being abolished.
The Slave states wanted their slaves to be counted as a full person so they could dominate the House of Representatives and the Presidency. And the cool part of if for the southern whites is that they would have the benefit of counting the slaves, they would also be able to control the political power of their large numbers as the slaves were not allowed to vote.
The Northern States did not want them counted at all, to prevent the south from getting too powerful. The ''three fifths of all other Persons'' refers to the slave population as a whole, not to the humanity of each individual.
For those of you who took American History in high school, you might remember something called the Three-Fifths Compromise, originally proposed by Roger Sherman of Connecticut, and James Wilson of Pennsylvania. For those wing-nuts who did not take high school American History, let me suggest you borrow a book, or try Google.
Those who have read the Federalist papers would know the mindset of the founding fathers were not in favor of the continuation of Slavery, but were instead trying to wean their Southern brethren away from Slavery.
For example in Federalist #38 Madison justified the constitutional provision allowing slave trading for 20 years because it was an improvement,
Is the importation of slaves permitted by the new Constitution for twenty years? By the old, it is permitted forever.
In Federalist #42 he says
It were doubtless to be wished, that the power of prohibiting the importation of slaves had not been postponed until the year 1808, or rather that it had been suffered to have immediate operation. But it is not difficult to account, either for this restriction on the general government, or for the manner in which the whole clause is expressed. It ought to be considered as a great point gained in favor of humanity, that a period of twenty years may terminate forever, within these States, a traffic which has so long and so loudly upbraided the barbarism of modern policy; that within that period, it will receive a considerable discouragement from the federal government, and may be totally abolished, by a concurrence of the few States which continue the unnatural traffic, in the prohibitory example which has been given by so great a majority of the Union. Happy would it be for the unfortunate Africans, if an equal prospect lay before them of being redeemed from the oppressions of their European brethren! Attempts have been made to pervert this clause into an objection against the Constitution, by representing it on one side as a criminal toleration of an illicit practice, and on another as calculated to prevent voluntary and beneficial emigrations from Europe to America. I mention these misconstructions, not with a view to give them an answer, for they deserve none, but as specimens of the manner and spirit in which some have thought fit to conduct their opposition to the proposed government.
Ben Franklin, freed his slavesand was a key founder of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. Alexander Hamilton was opposed to slavery and, with John Jay and other anti-slavery advocates, helped to found the first African free school in New York City. Jay helped to found the New York Manumission (literally voluntary freeing of slaves) Society and, when he was governor of New York in 1798, signed into law the state statute ending slavery as of 1821.
When Constitution signerWilliam Livingstonheard of the New York society he, as Governor of New Jersey, wrote them, offering:
''I would most ardently wish to become a member of it [the society in New York] and'... I can safely promise them that neither my tongue, nor my pen, nor purse shall be wanting to promote the abolition of what to me appears so inconsistent with humanity and Christianity'... May the great and the equal Father of the human race, who has expressly declared His abhorrence of oppression, and that He is no respecter of persons, succeed a design so laudably calculated to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke.''
Washington was a paradox, he was a slave owner hated slavery
''I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it [slavery].''-George Washington
Washington's successor John Adams did not own slaves and hated the Practice:
''[M]y opinion against it [slavery] has always been known'... [N]ever in my life did I own a slave.''-John Adams
Slavery will always be a horrible chapter in American History, but the three-fifths compromise was not.The three-fifths clause was not a measurement of human worth; it was an attempt to reduce the number of pro-slavery proponents in Congress. By including only three-fifths of the total numbers of slaves into the congressional calculations, Southern states were actually being denied additional pro-slavery representatives in Congress and electoral votes for selecting the president.
Now if we can only count progressives as three-fifths of a person for census purposes.
Three-Fifths Compromise - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mon, 01 Dec 2014 07:03
EnactmentEditThe Convention had unanimously accepted the principle that representation in the House of Representatives would be in division to the relative state populations. However, since slaves could not vote, non-slaves in slave states would thus have the benefit of increased representation in the House and the Electoral College. Delegates opposed to slavery proposed that only free inhabitants of each state be counted for apportionment purposes, while delegates supportive of slavery, on the other hand, opposed the change, wanting slaves to count in their actual numbers. A compromise which was finally agreed upon'--of counting "all other persons" as only three-fifths of their actual numbers'--reduced the representation of the slave states relative to the original proposals, but improved it over the Northern position.[1] An inducement for slave states to accept the Compromise was its tie to taxation in the same ratio, so that the burden of taxation on the slave states was also reduced.
The Three-Fifths Compromise, is found in Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the United States Constitution which reads:
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.
The three-fifths ratio originated with a 1783 amendment proposed to the Articles of Confederation. The amendment was to have changed the basis for determining the wealth of each state, and hence its tax obligations, from real estate to population, as a measure of ability to produce wealth. The proposal by a committee of the Congress had suggested that taxes "shall be supplied by the several colonies in proportion to the number of inhabitants of every age, sex, and quality, except Indians not paying taxes."[2][3] The South immediately objected to this formula since it would include slaves, who were viewed primarily as property, in calculating the amount of taxes to be paid. As Thomas Jefferson wrote in his notes on the debates, the southern states would be taxed "according to their numbers and their wealth conjunctly, while the northern would be taxed on numbers only."[4]
After proposed compromises of one-half by Benjamin Harrison of Virginia and three-fourths by several New Englanders failed to gain sufficient support, Congress finally settled on the three-fifths ratio proposed by James Madison.[5] But this amendment ultimately failed, falling two states short of the unanimous approval required for amending the Articles of Confederation (only New Hampshire and New York were opposed).
A contentious issue at the Constitutional Convention was whether slaves would be counted as part of the population in determining representation of the states in the Congress or would instead be considered property and, as such, not be considered for purposes of representation.[6] Delegates from states with a large population of slaves argued that slaves should be considered persons in determining representation, but as property if the new government were to levy taxes on the states on the basis of population.[6] Delegates from states where slavery had become rare argued that slaves should be included in taxation, but not in determining representation.[6]
The proposed ratio was, however, a ready solution to the impasse that arose during the Constitutional Convention. In that situation, the alignment of the contending forces was the reverse of what had obtained under the Articles of Confederation. In amending the Articles, the North wanted slaves to count for more than the South did because the objective was to determine taxes paid by the states to the federal government. In the Constitutional Convention, the more important issue was representation in Congress, so the South wanted slaves to count for more than the North did.[citation needed]
Much has been said of the impropriety of representing men who have no will of their own. ...They are men, though degraded to the condition of slavery. They are persons known to the municipal laws of the states which they inhabit, as well as to the laws of nature. But representation and taxation go together.... Would it be just to impose a singular burden, without conferring some adequate advantage?
Impact before the Civil WarEditThe Three-Fifths Compromise gave a disproportionate representation of slave states in the House of Representatives relative to the voters in the North until the Civil War. For example, in 1793 Southern slave states had 47 members but would have had 33, had seats been assigned based on free populations. In 1812, slave states had 76 instead of the 59 they would have had; in 1833, 98 instead of 73. As a result, Southern states had disproportionate influence on the Presidency, the Speakership of the House, and the Supreme Court in the period prior to the Civil War.[9] To these must be added the equality of slave and free states, which was maintained until 1850 and safeguarded the Southern voting bloc in the Senate as well as Electoral College votes.
Historian Garry Wills has postulated that without the additional slave state votes, Jefferson would have lost the presidential election of 1800. Also, "...slavery would have been excluded from Missouri...Jackson's Indian removal policy would have failed...the Wilmot Proviso would have banned slavery in territories won from Mexico....the Kansas-Nebraska bill would have failed...."[9] However, other historians have criticized Wills' analysis as simplistic.[10] For example, while the Three-Fifths Compromise could be seen to favor Southern states because of their large slave populations, the Connecticut Compromise tended to favor the Northern states (which were generally smaller). Support for the new Constitution rested on the balance of these sectional interests.[11]
Repeal and subversion after ReconstructionEditFollowing the Civil War and the abolition of slavery by the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (1865), the three-fifths clause became dead letter, as all people were now free. Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment (1868) later superseded Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3. It provides:
"Representatives shall be apportioned ...counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed..."However, after the Reconstruction era came to an end in 1877, the former slave states subverted the objective of these changes by using various strategies to disfranchise their black citizens, while obtaining the benefit of apportionment of representatives on the basis of the total populations. These measures effectively gave white Southerners even greater voting power than they had in the antebellum era, inflating the number of Southern Democrats in the House of Representatives as well as the number of votes they could exercise in the Electoral College in the election of the President.
The disfranchisement of black citizens eventually attracted the attention of Congress, and in 1900 some members proposed stripping the South of seats, related to the number of people who were barred from voting.[12] In the end, Congress did not act to change apportionment, largely because of the power of the Southern bloc. The Southern bloc comprised Southern Democrats voted into office by white voters which comprised a powerful voting bloc in Congress until the 1960s. Their representatives, re-elected repeatedly by one-party states, controlled numerous chairmanships of important committees in both houses on the basis of seniority, giving them control over rules, budgets and important patronage projects, among other issues. Their power allowed them to defeat federal legislation against racial violence and abuses in the South.[13][not in citation given]
The large-scale migration of African Americans to the Northern and Western states starting in the 1910s was driven largely by economic forces, but at the same time reenfranchised black citizens, and resulted in reapportionment away from the Southern states and increasingly added to the calls for reforms and black civil rights. By the 1960s the African-American civil rights movement and its sympathizers successfully directly challenged the Southern disfranchisement of black citizens, besides other abuses.
ReferencesEdit^Paul Finkelman, "How The Proslavery Constitution Led To The Civil War", Rutgers Law Journal Volume 43 Fall/Winter 2013 Number 3, p405^Wills pg. 51^Hannis Taylor (1911). The Origin and Growth of the American Constitution: An Historical Treatise. Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 131. ^Wills pg. 51-52^Wills pg 53.^ abcConstitutional Rights Foundation. "The Constitution and Slavery". Retrieved November 21, 2007. ^Hamilton pg. 237^Jonathan Elliot, ed. (1866). The Debates In The Several State Conventions On The Adoption Of The Federal Constitution, As Recommended By The General Convention At Philadelphia, In 1787. J.B. Lippincott & Co. Washington: Taylor & Maury. p. 237. ^ abWills pg. 5-6.^"A SLAVE TO THE SYSTEM? Thomas Jefferson and Slavery". Hoover Institution. January 19, 2004. Retrieved 2008-02-20. ^Banning, Lance (August 31, 2004). "Three-Fifths Historian". The Claremont Institute. Retrieved 2008-01-21. ^Committee At Odds on Reapportionment, The New York Times, 20 Dec 1900, accessed 10 Mar 2008^Richard H. Pildes, "Democracy, Anti-Democracy, and the Canon", Constitutional Commentary, Vol.17, 2000, p.10, Accessed 10 Mar 2008BibliographyEdit
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FACT SHEET: Strengthening Community Policing | The White House
Mon, 01 Dec 2014 22:09
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
December 01, 2014
Recent events in Ferguson, Missouri and around the country have highlighted the importance of strong, collaborative relationships between local police and the communities they protect. As the nation has observed, trust between law enforcement agencies and the people they protect and serve is essential to the stability of our communities, the integrity of our criminal justice system, and the safe and effective delivery of policing services.
In August, President Obama ordered a review of federal funding and programs that provide equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies (LEAs). Today, the Obama Administration released its Review: Federal Support for Local Law Enforcement Equipment Acquisition, and the President is also taking a number of steps to strengthen community policing and fortify the trust that must exist between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.
White House Review: Federal Support for Local Law Enforcement Equipment Acquisition
Today, the White House released its review which provides details on the programs that have expanded over decades across multiple federal agencies that support the acquisition of equipment from the federal government to LEAs. During the course of its review, the White House explored whether existing federal programs:
provide LEAs with equipment that is appropriate to the needs of their communities,ensure that LEAs have adequate policies in place for the use of the equipment and that personnel are properly trained and certified to employ the equipment they obtain, andencourage LEAs to adopt organizational and operational practices and standards that prevent misuse/abuse of the equipment.The report finds a lack of consistency in how federal programs are structured, implemented and audited, and informed by conversations with stakeholders, identifies four areas of further focus that could better ensure the appropriate use of federal programs to maximize the safety and security of police officers and the communities they serve: 1) Local Community Engagement, 2) Federal Coordination and Oversight, 3) Training Requirements, and 4) The Community Policing Model.
Consistent with the recommendations in the report, the President instructed his staff to draft an Executive Order directing relevant agencies to work together and with law enforcement and civil rights and civil liberties organizations to develop specific recommendations within 120 days. Some broad examples of what process improvements agencies might implement as a result of further collaborative review include:
Develop a consistent list of controlled property allowable for acquisition by LEAs and ensure that all equipment on the list has a legitimate civilian law enforcement purpose.Require local civilian (non-police) review of and authorization for LEAs to request or acquire controlled equipment.Mandate that LEAs which participate in federal equipment programs receive necessary training and have policies in place that address appropriate use and employment of controlled equipment, as well as protection of civil rights and civil liberties. Agencies should identify existing training opportunities and help LEAs avail themselves of those opportunities, including those offered by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) and the International Association of Law Enforcement Standards and Training.Require after-action analysis reports for significant incidents involving federally provided or federally-funded equipment.Harmonize federal programs so that they have consistent and transparent policies.Develop a database that includes information about controlled equipment purchased or acquired through Federal programs.Task Force on 21st Century Policing
The President similarly instructed his team to draft an executive order creating a Task Force on 21st Century Policing, and announced that the Task Force will be chaired by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, who also serves as President of the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association, and Laurie Robinson, professor at George Mason University and former Assistant Attorney General for DOJ's Office of Justice Programs. The Task Force will include, among others, law enforcement representatives and community leaders and will operate in collaboration with Ron Davis, Director of DOJ's Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office. The Task Force will build on the extensive research currently being conducted by COPS; will examine, among other issues, how to promote effective crime reduction while building public trust; and will be directed to prepare a report and recommendations within 90 days of its creation.
Community Policing Initiative
The President also proposes a three-year $263 million investment package that will increase use of body-worn cameras, expand training for law enforcement agencies (LEAs), add more resources for police department reform, and multiply the number of cities where DOJ facilitates community and local LEA engagement. As part of this initiative, a new Body Worn Camera Partnership Program would provide a 50 percent match to States/localities who purchase body worn cameras and requisite storage. Overall, the proposed $75 million investment over three years could help purchase 50,000 body worn cameras. The initiative as a whole will help the federal government efforts to be a full partner with state and local LEAs in order to build and sustain trust between communities and those who serve and protect these communities.
NYTimes: Wearing a Badge, and a Video Camera
Next steps, have HQ watching and sending commands to the (robo)cops
FEDERAL POLICE?- >> The President And Ferguson
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 02:18
[guest post by Dana]
Following the turbulence in Ferguson, the president held several meetings today with elected officials, community organizers and'... Al Sharpton. The president asked Congress for $263 million, a three-year community policing initiative that would include ''funding for up to 50,000 body-worn cameras, expand training for local law enforcement and community-police engagement, and boost federal support for police department reform'' and he also established a task force to study how to improve the effectiveness of law enforcement in cities around the country. The task force will report back in 90 days with their findings. Also, the president addressed concerns about the possible militarization of law enforcement and the acquisition of surplus military equipment:
The Obama administration, however, declined to call for shutting down the military equipment transfers, which became controversial after images of well-armed law enforcement attacking demonstrators were broadcast around the world in August. Mr. Obama instead vowed to sign a new executive order tinkering with the program.
''I will be signing an executive order that specifies how we are going to make sure that that program is accountable, how we are going to make sure that that program is transparent and how we're going to make sure that we're not building a militarized culture inside our local law enforcement,'' Mr. Obama said.
Further, the president made it clear that he believes the issues in Fergusons are the issues of America at large:
This is not a problem simply of Ferguson, Missouri. This is a problem that is national.
''It is a solvable problem, but it is one that unfortunately spikes after one of them and then fades into the background until something else happens. What we need is a sustained conversation in which, in each region of the country, people are talking about this honestly and then can move forward in a constructive fashion.''
In the president's view, the Brown shooting in Ferguson:
'...laid bare a problem that is not unique to St. Louis '... and that is a simmering distrust that exists between too many police departments and too many communities of color.
He cited civil rights leaders' opinion 'that in a country where one of our basic principles, perhaps the most important principle, is equality under the law, that too many individuals '' particularly young people of color '' do not feel as if they're being treated fairly.
Sharpton, for his part, referred to the meeting as:
[an] historic meeting that the president and vice president sat with all of us and law enforcement to commit to not just another commitment, another study '... but that he would put his full weight behind it.'
'We live in a country that we must support law enforcement but law enforcement must support justice.
And attempting to convince the public that this is more than just about race, Josh Earnest noted before the meetings:
''The underlying issue hear are broader then just race that this goes to sort of a foundational relationship again between law enforcement agencies and the communities they are sworn to serve and to protect. Surely discussions of race are an important part of that relationship. There is no doubt about that, but its more than just that.''
The twitter feed of Operation Ferguson reveals some positive reactions to the president's meetings today:
T-DUBB-O '@TDUBBOHMYGOD
@BarackObama is actually pretty cool #letsgetfree #stl #ferguson2dc @WhiteHouse
And while TDUBB might be impressed, Dana Milbank most amusingly, isn't:
The grand-jury decision not to charge the white police officer who killed an unarmed black teenager in Missouri has given Obama another opportunity to show strong and decisive presidential leadership. And, once again, Obama is using the bully pulpit like a 98-pound weakling. If any more chin-stroking goes on at this White House, the president's advisers are going to have chafe marks on their jawbones.
Apologies for a big clumsy post, but I wanted to include the highlights of what took place today. More at the various links.
''Dana
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Self Defense Products & Personal Safety Equipment: TASER International
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 00:21
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Wed, 03 Dec 2014 00:20
EVIDENCE.com makes it easy for agencies of any size to collect, transfer, manage, retrieve and share any form of digital evidence.
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CollectCollect anything from TASER or other systemsUpload files from AXON cameras, interview rooms, digital cameras, audio recorders, etc.Keep any file format, from .mp4 to .jpg and beyondTransferGo from manual to automatic ingestDock AXON cameras for hands-off uploadPull from your hard drive on a set scheduleManageManage large data volumes easily on day oneScale efficiently and with predictable pricingProtect your evidence with ironclad security and back-upsRetrieveAvoid paper pushing with simple online searchesFind evidence by date, title or key wordsSpend more time on the streets and less on legworkShareShare internally or externally by sending a secure linkGrant access to specific people for a set timeReview audit trails to see who saw evidence when and actions takenSee Pricing Options
TASER International Inc. - Investor Relations
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 23:16
About TASER International
TASER International, Inc. (NASDAQ:TASR) makes communities safer with innovative public safety technologies. Founded in 1993, TASER first transformed law enforcement with its electrical weapons. TASER continues to define smarter policing with its grow...
More >>About TASER International
TASER International, Inc. (NASDAQ:TASR) makes communities safer with innovative public safety technologies. Founded in 1993, TASER first transformed law enforcement with its electrical weapons. TASER continues to define smarter policing with its growing suite of technology solutions, including AXON body-worn video cameras and EVIDENCE.com, a secure digital evidence management platform. More than 100,000 lives and countless dollars have been saved with TASER's products and services.
TASER DevicesTASER electrical weapons help protect law enforcement officers around the world. Our devices use proprietary technology to safely incapacitate dangerous, combative or high-risk subjects who pose a risk to law enforcement officers, innocent citizens or themselves.
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TASER History Co-founders Rick Smith and Tom Smith formed AIR TASER, Inc. in 1993 with initial TASER inventor Jack Cover and four startup employees. In 1998, AIR TASER, Inc. became TASER International, Inc. in response to the company's international expansion and increased market share. TASER International, Inc. became a public company in May 2001, and began public trading on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the symbol TASR.
TASER International's corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility are located in a 100,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona. For further corporate and investor information, please contact [email protected] or call (480) 515-6330.
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Why Ferguson is Our Issue: A Letter to Muslim America
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 23:03
Dear Muslim America:
Ferguson is your issue. Ferguson is our issue. For a range of reasons that go well beyond passive commitment to civil rights or symbolic solidarity, Muslim-Americans are bound to Ferguson '' and the shrill demand calling for an end to state-sponsored and structural violence against Black America '' that reverberates from its embattled streets.
Ferguson is a Muslim-American issue because we frequently appropriate Black imagery and ideas with no history of aligning ourselves with Black struggle. We quote Malcolm X to counter government surveillance of our mosques, and cite Martin Luther King, Jr. to relate the struggle of Syrians to an American audience.
During the siege on Gaza months ago, we raised banners of Black Civil Rights activists ravaged by police dogs, and posted pictures of Black Civil Rights protestors violently water-hosed. Ideas and images displaced form their original Black context, and pasted to a foreign framework in order to pronounce the plight of Palestinians.
Over and again, we borrow from Black struggle as a means to advance our political or strategic ends. And without pause, condemn Black victims or look the other way during ongoing moments of Black crisis. Both yesterday, and again today.
Ferguson is our issue because, before Muslim-America was ''Arab'' or ''South Asian,'' it was Black. Enslaved Muslims constructed the first mosques, observed the inaugural Ramadans, and paved the streets and roads we drive atop today.
Although our segregated masjids won't reveal it, Black Muslims comprise the biggest segment of the Muslim American population. More than one-fourth of Muslims in the United States today are Black. While disoriented as an ''Arab religion'' in America, there are far more Black Muslims than Arab American Muslims. Black Muslims also outnumber South Asian Muslims, and rank as the fastest growing demographic of the faith's domestic population. Muslims aren't the ''New Blacks,'' as many pundits stated after 9/11. Muslims have always been Black.
Black Muslim NY rally 1963
Ferguson is our issue because Muslim-America has not learned from its political blunders. Before 9/11, when racial profiling was a Black and Latino issue, few if any Muslim-American leaders or organizations spoke against it. Self-interest, combined with ethnocentrism and anti-Black racism, persuaded us to deny solidarity meetings with MALDEF, the NAACP, and pioneer opponents of profiling. Our seat at that table, until 9/11, was empty. We believed then that ''profiling is not our issue,'' until the two planes collided into the World Trade Center.
While Muslim Americans may have forgotten, Black and Latino Americans remember our void at the table. And more vividly, our rush to it following 9/11 when PATRIOT and FISA snuck into our homes, communities, and institutions.
Ferguson is our issue because the same structures that ruthlessly enforce anti-Black racism also execute and endorse Islamophobia. Long before Muslims bodies were monitored for fear of violence, subversion, and security, these tropes drove the systematic surveillance of Black bodies.
Black Muslims, who sit at the intersection of anti-Black racism and Islamophobia, endure compounded mistreatment from the state and private citizens. And most damagingly, remain largely excluded from the Muslim American civil rights and advocacy organizations responsible for retrenching racism and religious animus within our communities.
Ferguson is our issue because during 9/11 and the Boston Bombings, the crises of yesterday and those that are certain to unfold tomorrow, the state's and society's fury will again shift in our direction. For those Muslim Americans who turn away from the struggle in Ferguson; argue that, ''structural racism is a farce,'' ''Black on Black crime is the real problem;'' or that the ''grand jury decision was fair and not driven by racism,'' I ask that you apply this mythical reckoning to your own circumstance when the heat and hate is pointed in your direction. Because it surely will, and this shortsighted analysis will not only turn away those allies you deride today, but also expose your self-serving hypocrisy.
Samantha Grace/Flikr
Ferguson is our issue because we have failed our faith, falling short of its unequivocal commitment to racial tolerance and justice. Our missteps are many, and mistakes too numerous to list. Ferguson offers an opportunity to rebuild, and construct that missing pillar of cross-racial commitment that will make us worthy of our faith, and '' one day '' trustworthy to our Black brothers and sisters.
JUST CAME OUT The Ferguson Riots Are A Jihad Against America Organized By Muslim Terrorists (STREET JIHAD IS COMING TO AMERICA) - Walid Shoebat
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 23:03
By Theodore Shoebat
The Ferguson riots are a jihad against America organized by Muslims. This is stealth jihad at work, and it foreshadows that major street jihad is coming to America. Muslim activists and organizers are using the rioters as a means to launch jihad in America. I did a whole video on this:
Shoebat.com was not the first to confirm the Islamic collection in the Ferguson riots. Fox News just released a whole report on the Islamic involvement in the Ferguson riots:
Muslim groups have stepped up efforts to co-opt protests over the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., with a drive to equate the teen's death to the death of a radical Islamist shot during an FBI raid in 2009, a Washington-based security watchdog group is warning.
Using social media, conference calling and traditional outreach methods, leaders of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are portraying Brown and Detroit mosque leader Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah as African-American victims of police targeting, according to the Washington-based Center for Security Policy (CSP). In a conference call organized by CAIR-linked ''Muslims for Ferguson, a CAIR official called Abdullah a ''Shaheed,'' or martyr, and said both he and Brown were victims of a national security apparatus that had ''completely gone wild'' and engaged in ''demonizing and criminalizing Muslims.''
''The reality is that this country, in law enforcement, be it local, state or federal law enforcement, people with guns have always seen black men and black people as threats,'' Dawud Walid, executive director of CAIR's Michigan Chapter, told the some 100 protest organizers on the call, made on the five-year anniversary of Abdullah's death and which was monitored by CSP.
Walid claimed Brown was a Muslim, although when pressed, Walid denied he had made such a claim. Brown was buried in August after a memorial service at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis.
Another Muslim activist behind the Ferguson chaos wrote that Muslims, including CAIR (Council of American Islamic Relations) have been involved since the beginning of this controversy:
From day one, Muslims have been on the ground in Ferguson. The Facebook group Muslims for Ferguson and other efforts were just later manifestations of what was already happening. Muslims were in Ferguson first and foremost because we live in the community like everyone else and are concerned about its well-being.
Along with Brothers Anthony Merrill and Naji Fakhrid-deen Adams, I was on the ground in Ferguson on the first night. I grew up in the area and have been talking about issues of violence and policing and surrounding economic issues for years.
For me, it was a no-brainer to stand in solidarity with those protesting in the streets. Brother Anthony also grew up in the area and has been vocal on local issues for years. Brother Naji is a reformed East St. Louis gang leader and substance-abuse counselor who works in the community every day.
Talal Ahmad was also on the ground from day one. A native of the O'Fallon Park Neighborhood in North St. Louis living in Jennings Brother Talal is a local independent-journalist who emerged as a protest leader with the group Tribe X. Brother Talal was instrumental in the successful occupation and subsequent negotiations with St. Louis University.
Brother Anthony Shahid of the Tawheed Youth Group and Masjid Tawheed is a long time St. Louis activist and veteran of the African-American struggle for justice. Brother Shahid was on the ground from day one and played a pivotal-role as a peacekeeper.
Missouri State Senator Jamillah Nasheed and her aide Eric Vickers, both Muslim, have also been mainstays at the protests. Ministers Donald and Akbar Muhammad, members of the Fruit of Islam security, and the Final Call News and others components of the Nation of Islam have also been active on the ground as have members of the Moorish Science Temple.
Mustafa Abdullah of the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri has not only been active on the ground he has taken local police to court over the ''5 second rule'' and other egregious abuses of civil-liberties. Faizan Syed, director of the St. Louis Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations along with community-activist and Hafiz Abdul-Basit Syed, have also been of assistance to activists starting at an early date.
The Muslims are using the rioters, and of course race, as an instrument for jihad, and Obama is as well playing a major role in this. The entire movement is a conspiracy to weaken the American police force to further enable jihad in America. To prove this point here is a video of Ferguson Muslim Bassem Masri talking about demilitarizing the police:
By ''demilitarize'' and by saying, ''What happens when we demilitarize your police force, are you going to keep the badge?'' he no doubt means neutralizing the police force and bringing in anarchy to America.
Here is another video of Ferguson Muslim activist telling police that neither them nor their children will ever be safe:
This is a terrorist threat, and we must ask ourselves why the police are not arresting him? This is not something police officers tolerate. Some sort of measure must of have been done within the government to force the officers not to react to these low-lives.
God bless Police Chief Edward Flynn for expressing the truth: the people who hate the police don't care about African Americans, because African Americans kill each other every day, and if they really cared they would be focusing on that instead of trying to create sedition.
Obama wants to cause a race war in order to overthrow the American government. All of the violence in society comes from one view: complete freedom of speech. Some speech, like that of these despotic mobs, should not be given freedom. To use the words of Joseph De Maistre,
But of all monarchies, the hardest, most despotic, and most intolerable is King People.
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Obama's Brother In Bed With Terrorists
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David A. Clarke, Jr - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 03:12
Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. (born 1956) is the 64th Sheriff of Milwaukee County. In 2002, Clarke was appointed to a vacancy by Governor Scott McCallum, and later elected that same year to his first four-year term. He was re-elected in November 2006 and 2010, and is currently serving his third full term.
Early life, education, and early career[edit]Clarke was born in the City of Milwaukee, attending Marquette University High School, where he played on the basketball team.
He went on to earn a degree in Criminal Justice Management from Concordia University Wisconsin, graduating summa cum laude. In 2003, Concordia University named him Wisconsin Alumnus of the Year. His postgraduate work includes graduating from the prestigious FBI National Academy and the National Executive Institute in Quantico, Virginia; completing the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government; Driving Government Performance: Leadership Strategies that Produce Results at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government; and studying with Police Chief William Bratton and L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca.[1]
His career in law enforcement began in 1978 at the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD). After 11 years as a patrol officer, Clarke was promoted to Detective, making the Homicide Division less than 1 year later. In 1992, Clarke was again promoted to Lieutenant of Detectives. The next step was becoming Captain of Police for the MPD in 1996. In 1999, Clarke took over the post of Commanding Officer for MPD's Intelligence Division. Clarke then became Milwaukee County Sheriff in 2002, currently holding the same post.[2]
Sheriff of Milwaukee[edit]Persona[edit]As Sheriff, Clarke has been known for his outspokenness. Clarke frequently appears at public events on horseback wearing a cowboy hat. Among his controversial remarks were his assertions that Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele had ''penis envy'' and must have been on heroin when crafting the county budget.[3]
Party affiliation[edit]Clarke has been elected three times to the Sheriff's office as a Democrat, despite not belonging to any party. This has spurred criticism from the local Democratic Party.[3]
Clarke explains his choice to run as a Democrat thusly on his website:
"Like me, most people question why the Office of Sheriff is a partisan election. I have never asked a person to vote for me because I run as a Democrat. I ask them to vote for me based on my 35-year commitment to keeping citizens safe. Most voters get it when it comes to public safety. There is no Democrat or Republican way to be a sheriff. The enemy is not the opposing party; the enemy is the criminal."[4]
Budget cuts and service reductions[edit]In response to budget cuts prompted by the Milwaukee County Pension Scandal,[5] Clarke began eliminating Department units to save money. He eliminated the gun crime unit, drug unit, and witness protection unit. Many of these units duplicate services provided by municipal departments.[6]
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele has consistently cut the Sheriff's budget further. A Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel news story reports that "County Executive Chris Abele's 2014 budget takes direct aim at Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr.'s office, cutting more than $12 million and 69 jobs, shifting park patrols, emergency management, 911 communications and training divisions elsewhere." [7]
House of Corrections turnaround[edit]In January 2008, before the Milwaukee County House of Corrections was placed under the management of Sheriff Clarke, a National Institute of Corrections audit of the Milwaukee County House of Correction identified 44 areas of concern, including serious security, morale, and management issues, and described the facility, as ''dysfunctional.''
In 2009, Sheriff Clarke took over the facility and quickly overcame a $5 million deficit, as well as most of the issues brought up in the audit, including lack of discipline, poor supervision, employee sick use abuse, inmate fights, and excessive and unnecessary overtime use.
Clarke received praise for rapidly correcting the issues.[8]
Support for self-defense and Second Amendment rights[edit]In January 2013, Sheriff Clarke was featured on a series of public radio ads that said citizens could no longer rely on the police for timely protection and should arm themselves. Later that month Clarke appeared on the CNN program Piers Morgan, with Milwaukee Mayor and gun-control advocate Tom Barrett, who attacked the notion that citizens could no longer rely on calling 9-1-1. The appearance sent David Clarke into the national spotlight.[9]
Christian Centurians lawsuit[edit]In 2006, Clarke invited members of a Protestant sectarian organization to speak at mandatory roll calls, over the objections of the Deputies' union and members of various faiths. This resulted in a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, which Clarke lost and subsequently appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, who upheld the lower court's ruling in 2009. The sheriff did not seek review in the U.S. Supreme Court.[10][11]
Constitutional Sheriffs Association Award[edit]In 2013, Clarke was honored with the Sheriff of the Year Award by the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. The official statement credited Clarke with, ''Demonstrating true leadership and courage...staying true to his oath, true to his badge, and true to the people he has promised to serve and protect.''[12] Though Clarke lists the award in his autobiography on the Sheriff's official website,[13] it has been a source of controversy,[3] because the CSPOA is thought by some to be a fringe group, even though 484 Sheriffs in 36 states, and 16 state Sheriff's Associations have expressed their support for CSPOA positions.
In January 2014, Sheriff Clarke announced he is considering a run for Mayor of Milwaukee in 2016.[14]
Personal[edit]David Clarke and his wife live on the northwest side of Milwaukee.
Electoral history[edit]Milwaukee County Sheriff Elections (2002-2014)[edit]2002 Democratic Primary[edit]David Clarke - 59%Pete Misko - 26%Mark Hayes - 15%[15]2002 General Election[edit]David Clarke (D) - 74%Ken Bohn (R), 25%[15]2006 Democratic Primary[edit]David Clarke - 54%Vincent Bobot - 46%[15]2006 General Election[edit]David Clarke (D) - 78%Don Holt (R), 21%[15]2010 Democratic Primary[edit]David Clarke - 53%Chris Moews - 47%[16]2010 General Election[edit]David Clarke (D) - 74%Steven Duckhorn (R) - 25%[17]2014 Democratic Primary[edit]David Clarke - 52%Chris Moews - 48%[18]References[edit]External links[edit]PersondataNameClarke, David A., JrAlternative namesDavid ClarkeShort descriptionAmerican sheriffDate of birth1956Place of birthMilwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.Date of deathPlace of death
New Black Panther Party - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 03:10
The New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (NBPP) is a U.S.-based black political organization founded in Dallas, Texas, in 1989. Despite its name, NBPP is not an official successor of the Black Panther Party.[2] Members of the original Black Panther Party have insisted that the newer party is illegitimate and have firmly declared, "There is no new Black Panther Party".[2]
The New Black Panther Party is currently led by Hashim Nzinga.[1]Malik Zulu Shabazz announced on an October 14, 2013 online radio broadcast that he was stepping down and that Nzinga, then national chief of staff, would replace him.[1]Chawn Kweli, who, initially, served as NBPP national spokesman replaced Nzinga as national chief of staff. Still, the NBPP upholds Khalid Abdul Muhammad as the de facto father of the movement. When former Nation of Islam (NOI) minister Khalid Abdul Muhammad became the national chairman of the NBPP from the late 1990s until his death in 2001, He, Shabazz, and many other, breakaway members of the NOI followed minister Muhammad to the NBPP during this period. Nzinga served as personal assistant to minister Muhammad.
In April 2010, Malik Zulu Shabazz appointed French Black leader Stellio Capo Chichi as the representative of the movement in France.[3] Capo Chichi has been holding the position of head of the francophone branch of NBPP.[4]
The Anti-Defamation League, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights consider the New Black Panthers to be a hate group.[5][6][7]
Formation and early years[edit]In 1987, Michael McGee, an alderman in Milwaukee, threatened to disrupt white events throughout the city unless more jobs were created for black people. He held a "state of the inner city" press conference in 1990 at City Hall to announce the creation of the Black Panther Militia. Aaron Michaels, a community activist and radio producer, was inspired to establish the New Black Panther Party.[citation needed]
Michaels rose to widespread attention for the first time when[when?] he called on blacks to use shotguns and rifles in Philadelphia to protest against the chairman of a school board who had been taped calling black students "little niggers".[8]
In 1998, Khalid Abdul Muhammad brought the organization into the national spotlight when he led the group to intervene in response to the 1998 murder of James Byrd Jr. in Jasper, Texas.
Philosophy, ideology, and criticism[edit]The New Black Panther Party identifies with the original Black Panther Party and claims to uphold its legacy. It also says that many others see the organization similarly. The NBPP is largely seen by both the general public and by prominent members of the original party[2] as illegitimate. Huey Newton Foundation members, containing a significant number of the original party's leaders, once successfully sued the group; their ultimate objective in doing so'--to prevent the NBPP from using the Panther name'--appears to have been unsuccessful. In response to the suit, Aaron Michaels branded the original Panthers "has-been wannabe Panthers", adding: "Nobody can tell us who we can call ourselves."[9]
Although the NBPP says it sees capitalism as the fundamental problem with the world and revolution as the solution, the new party does not draw its influences from Marxism or Maoism as the original party did. Instead, it promotes the Kawaida theory of Maulana Karenga, which includes black unity, collective action, and cooperative economics.[10] The NBPP says it fights the oppression of black and brown people and that its members are on top of current issues facing black communities across the world. Also, it notes that not all of its members are members of the Nation of Islam, although the group acknowledges universal spirituality practices within the organization.[11]
Over time, many groups subscribing to varying degrees of radicalism have called for the "right to self-determination" for black people, particularly US blacks. Critics of the NBPP say that the group's politics represent a dangerous departure from the original intent of black nationalism; specifically, that they are starkly anti-white, and also antisemitic. The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies the NBPP as a "black racist" hate group.[12] Even the mildest critics of the organization have said that the NBPP's provocative brand of black supremacy undermines other civil rights efforts.
Membership size[edit]As of 2009, the NBPP claimed a few thousand members organized in 45 chapters, while independent estimates by the Anti-Defamation League suggest that the group is much smaller but is nevertheless able to attract a large turnout of non-members (some of whom may not even realize what this group actually stands for) to its events by focusing on specific issues of local interest.[13]
Controversies[edit]The New Black Panther Party provoked a melee outside Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney's campaign headquarters after she lost a Democraticprimary election to her opponent, Hank Johnson. The NBPP's Chief of Staff, Hashim Nzinga, had been acting as security detail for McKinney when he physically attacked reporters, calling them Jews and insisting that they must focus on Hank Johnson rather than on McKinney, since Johnson, he alleged, was a "Tom."[14] In a subsequent appearance on the Fox News Channel program Hannity & Colmes, Nzinga defended these actions. He accused his interviewers of being part of a "Zionist" media complex bent on defaming African Americans and, by extension, the New Black Panthers.[15]
In 2006, the New Black Panther Party regained the media spotlight by intervening in the 2006 Duke University lacrosse team scandal, organizing marches outside Duke University and making numerous media appearances to demand that the jury organized by then-District AttorneyMike Nifong convict the accused lacrosse players.[16] Malik Zulu Shabazz met with the DA and asserted repeatedly that the DA's answers meant he was supporting the claims made by the NBPP, a point that was widely disputed.
On April 12, 2007, after the case brought by Nifong collapsed and the Duke Lacrosse players were exonerated, Malik Zulu Shabazz appeared on The O'Reilly Factor. He refused to apologize for his actions in the leadup to the Duke University lacrosse rape scandal, stating that he did not know whether or not anything happened to the young accuser. He stated his beliefs that the rich white families of Duke had placed political pressure on the investigation and forced the charges to be dropped. When questioned by guest host Michelle Malkin, he labeled her a political prostitute and mouthpiece for a male, chauvinist, racist Bill O'Reilly. Malkin said, "There's only one whore on this split screen and it's you, Mr. Shabazz." Shabazz replied, "You should be ashamed of yourself for defending and being a spokesman for Bill O'Reilly, who has no respect for women."[17][18]
Calling the NBPP extremist, critics have cited Muhammad's Million Youth March in Harlem, a youth equivalent of the Million Man March, in which the protest against police brutality included speakers calling for the extermination of white South Africans. The rally ended in scuffles with the New York Police Department as Muhammad urged the crowd to attack officers who had attempted to confiscate firearms. Chairs and bottles were thrown at the police, but only a few in the clash suffered injuries. The Million Youth March was subsequently named an annual event.
King Samir Shabazz, a former Nation of Islam member and head of the New Black Panther Party's Philadelphia chapter, has a long history of confrontational racist behavior. He advocated racial separation and made incendiary racial statements while promoting anti-police messages in the media and on the streets of Philadelphia. He publicly announced, "I hate white people. All of them." He also suggested the killing of white babies.[19][20][21][22][23] Shabazz was arrested in June 2013 for carrying a loaded, unlicensed weapon.[24] The party has claimed his arrest is part of an ''onslaught of attacks against the New Black Pan­ther Party."[25]
Alleged voter intimidation in Philadelphia[edit]During the 2008 presidential election, poll watchers found two New Black Panther militia members shouting racial slurs outside a polling place in Philadelphia.[26] One of the two was a credentialed poll watcher, while the other was a New Black Panther member who had brought a police-style nightstick baton. A University of Pennsylvania student, Stephen Robert Morse, was hired by the local Republican Party on behalf of the John McCain presidential campaign to tape the incident.[27] His video aired on several news outlets throughout the country. Republican poll watcher Chris Hill stated that voters were complaining about intimidation, while the District Attorney's office stated that they had not been contacted by any voters.[28] The New Black Panther with the nightstick was escorted away by the police.[29]
On January 7, 2009, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a civil suit against the New Black Panther Party and three of its members alleging violations of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 over the incident at the Philadelphia polling place. The suit accused members King Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson of being outside a polling location wearing the uniform of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, and said that Shabazz repeatedly brandished a police-style baton weapon.[30] The suit sought an injunction preventing further violations of the Voting Rights Act. After the defendants did not appear for court, a default judgment was entered.[citation needed] On May 29, 2009, the Department of Justice requested and received an injunction against the member who had carried the nightstick, but against the advice of prosecutors who had worked on the case, department superiors ordered the suit dropped against the remaining members. On July 6, 2010, J. Christian Adams, a former lawyer for the Justice Department, testified before the Commission on Civil Rights and alleged that the case was dropped because ''We abetted wrongdoing and abandoned law-abiding citizens,''.[31] Former Civil Rights Division Voting Section Chief Christopher Coates testified on September 24, 2010, "I am here today to testify about the Department of Justice's final disposition of the New Black Panther Party case and the hostility in the Civil Rights Division and the Voting Section toward the equal enforcement of some of the federal voting laws." (pp. 7, 22''25; pp. 8, 1''2)[32]Abigail Thernstrom, the Republican-appointed vice chairwoman of the Commission, has written that perhaps the Panthers should have been prosecuted under section 11 (b) of the Voting Rights Act for [its] actions of November 2008, but the legal standards that must be met to prove voter intimidation'--the charge'--are very high. And "The incident involved only two Panthers at a single majority-black precinct in Philadelphia. So far'--after months of hearings, testimony and investigation no one has produced actual evidence that any voters were too scared to cast their ballots."[33]
According to an April 23, 2010 press release from the New Black Panther Party, the Philadelphia member involved in the nightstick incident was suspended until January 2010. "The New Black Panther Party made it clear then and now we don't support voter intimidation...The charges against the entire organization and the chairman were dropped. The actions of one individual cannot be attributed to an entire organization any more than every act of any member of the Catholic Church be charged to the Vatican."[34]
Bounty for George Zimmerman's capture[edit]Another controversy occurred in 2012 after the NBPP offered a $10,000 bounty for the "legal citizen's arrest" of George Zimmerman, the perpetrator of the shooting of Trayvon Martin. The group also stated that it believed in "a life for a life". The bounty offer was condemned and repudiated by Martin's family and others, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson. The NBPP's organizer, Mikhail Mohammed, said that the United States Constitution granted the right to a citizen's arrest, but he also said that "I don't obey the white man's law, I don't follow the American law." [35]
Prevented from entering Canada[edit]In May 2007, Chairman Shabazz was invited by Black Youth Taking Action (BYTA)[36] to speak at a rally at Queen's Park in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and to give a lecture to students at Ryerson University. The Ryerson Students' Union (RSU) had endorsed the event as it called for grade-school curricula to acknowledge the historical contribution of African-Canadians and African-Americans, and for the Brampton, Ontario, super jail project to be dismantled.[37] But, a spokesperson for the RSU later stated that support for the event was given "before they knew that Shabazz was the speaker."[37]
Shabazz arrived at Toronto Pearson International Airport as planned, but he was prevented from entering Canada by Canadian border officials because of past rhetoric that violates Canadian hate laws. Although Canada's airports and borders are within the federal jurisdiction, the Ontario Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister, Monte Kwinter, justified the barring of Shabazz.[38]Ontario PremierDalton McGuinty expressed concern about Shabazz.[39] The press reported that Shabazz was denied entry to Canada because of a minor criminal record.[40] Shabazz flew back to Buffalo, New York, and attempted to cross the border by car, but he was spotted by border agents and prevented from entering Canada.[41]
The rally at Queen's Park went ahead without Shabazz, with approximately 100 people, plus at least two dozen journalists. Ryerson University canceled the planned lecture.[39][41] The university administration alerted the RSU that it had received e-mails of threats of violent disruption of the event. The RSU canceled Shabazz's lecture because of safety concerns. Heather Kere, RSU's Vice-President of Education, said, "We definitely recognize there was some criticism of his views" and "we were endorsing the campaign's goals and not the individual speaker." Kere added, "He deflected attention away from the main point of the campaign. We still strongly believe in the campaign."[37]
Hashim Nzinga, Shabazz's chief of staff, blamed Jewish groups for the incident, stating in a telephone interview, "They let these groups like the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) and the JDL (Jewish Defense League), which is nothing but a bunch of gangsters, dictate what happens in the world today," and "They told Canada not to let us in and Canada followed [its] rules, because this country is run from Israel."[38] Nkem Anizor, president of the BYTA, also blamed the "Jewish lobby" for the government's decision to deny Shabazz entry to Canada,[38][41][42] Shabazz later said, "Canada is on Malik alert," and "B'nai Brith has won this one, and I'm starting to see the power of the Jewish lobby in Canada, full force. I thought Canada was free. I think this is evidence that black people are being oppressed in Canada."[41] Hashim Nzinga is now the National Chairman of the New Black Panther Party.
Criticism by former members of the original Black Panther Party[edit]The Huey P. Newton Foundation issued a news release denouncing the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. Its release reads in part:
''As guardian of the true history of the Black Panther Party, the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation, which includes former leading members of the Party, denounces this group's exploitation of the Party's name and history. Failing to find its own legitimacy in the black community, this band would graft the Party's name upon itself, which we condemn. [T]hey denigrate the Party's name by promoting concepts absolutely counter to the revolutionary principles on which the Party was founded. The Black Panthers were never a group of angry young militants full of fury toward the white establishment. The Party operated on love for black people, not hatred of white people.[43]''Bobby Seale, one of the co-founding members of the original Black Panther Party, spoke out against the New Black Panther Party. Calling the rhetoric of the New Black Panther Party xenophobic, he spoke of their remarks as absurd, racial, [and] categorical.
''Just to hate another person because [of] the color of their skin or their ethnicity'--we don't do that. That's not what the goal objective is. The goal objective is human liberation. The goal objective is the greater community cooperation and humanism. The goal objective is to get rid of institutionalized racism....[44]''Reacting to a video of two representatives of the NBPP positioned outside of a polling place on Election Day in 2008 in Philadelphia, who called themselves "security",[45] he referred to their actions as voter intimidation. He also noted the major differences between the original Black Panthers and the New Black Panthers, particularly the differences in their 10-Point Plans. Before the close of the interview, Seale reiterated that there is no connection between the original Black Panther Party for Self-Defense and the New Black Panther Party.[46]
See also[edit]References[edit]^ abc"New Black Panther Party Announces New Chairman, Same Hateful Message". Access ADL. Retrieved 17 October 2013. ^ abc"There is No New Black Panther Party", The Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation.^"Kemi Seba nomm(C) par le NEW BLACK PANTHER PARTY, bas(C) Washington, Ministre francophone", Official Web site of MDI^"Interview d'Hery Djehuty Sechat, nouveau Pr(C)sident du MDI", Official website of MDI^"New Black Panther Party." Southern Poverty Law Center. Accessed March 17, 2011.^"New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense." Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved March 17, 2011.^U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, interim report, 11-23-2010 [1]. Retrieved August 13, 2011.^Gregory, Kia (2003-12-17). "The Cats Came Back: Can the Black Panther Party become a force again in Philadelphia?" Philadelphia Weekly, 17 December 2003. Retrieved from http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/news-and-opinion/cover-story/the_cats_came_back-38373074.html.^"Black Panthers: old v. young". London Sunday Times. March 16, 1997. Retrieved August 13, 2010. ^Local Objectives at official Web site^10 Point Platform at official website^"New Black Panther Party". Retrieved 23 May 2012. ^Inside the New Black Panthers, National Geographic (aired 2009). Discussion of membership size starting at 07:40.^"?". [dead link]^Video clip on YouTube, Hannity & Colmes, FOX News.^Biesecker, Michael. "New Black Panthers demonstrate, but not on Duke campus", The News & Observer, 2 May 2006.^NBPP Malik Shabazz on Fox with Michelle Malkin. The O'Reilly Factor. April 12, 2007. Event occurs at 3:30. ^"Racial dialogue? Don't bet on it". The Washington Times. April 16, 2007. ^"Justice Department Files Suit Against New Black Panthers". Anti-Defamation League. January 9, 2009. Retrieved August 5, 2011. ^Greg Chapman (January 9, 2009). "Going Inside the New Black Panther Party". National Geographic Channel. Retrieved August 5, 2011. ^"Arrest in L.A. Grim Sleeper Case; Accused Spies Could Plead Guilty; NY iPhone "Doctor" Fixes All That's Droppable". CNN. July 8, 2010. Retrieved August 5, 2011. ^Dewan, Shaila (July 18, 2010). "Call for Justice Sets Off a Debate". The New York Times. Retrieved August 5, 2011. ^"New Black Panther Party". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved August 5, 2011. ^"King Samir Shabazz, NBPP National Field Marshall, Arrested On Weapons Charge". June 25, 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2013. ^"New Black Panthers Respond To King Samir Shabazz's Arrest". July 1, 2013. Retrieved July 2, 2013. ^Personal video by University of Pennsylvania student on YouTube^"On Fox News, ex-Civil Rights Division Lawyer Blasts DOJ". July 2, 2010. ^Ruppel, Paul. "Philly DA: No Complaints About Black Panthers At Polls", WTXF, FOX Television Stations, Inc., 4 November 2008.^"Voting Intimidation By Black Panthers In Philadelphia". Fox News. November 4, 2008. ^Justice Department Seeks Injunction Against New Black Panther Party: Lawsuit Seeks to Prohibit Voter Intimidation in Future Elections", US Department of Justice, 7 January 2009.^Racial Motive Alleged in a Justice Dept. Decision", New York Times, July 6, 2010^"The Department of Justice's Actions Related to the New Black Panther Party Litigation and its Endorcement of Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act" (PDF). U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. September 24, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2011. ^Thernstrom, Abigail (July 6, 2010). "The New Black Panther Case: A Conservative Dissent". National Review Online. Retrieved October 29, 2011. ^"The Phony Politicized Case and U.S.C.C.R. Hearing Against The New Black Panther Party", The New Black Panther Party, April 23, 2010^"Separatist black group stands by bounty offer for man who killed Florida teen". CNN. March 27, 2012. ^"Groups decry visit by New Black Panther leader". Toronto Star. May 14, 2007. ^ abcMorrow, Adrian (August 21, 2007). "U.S. activist accused of anti-semitism invited to speak at Ryerson". The Eyeopener. ^ abcGreenberg, Lee (May 16, 2007). "Black activist barred from entering Canada". CanWest News Service. ^ ab"Black Panther leader refused entry into Canada". CTV News. May 15, 2007. ^CBC News (May 15, 2007). "Black activist denied entry to Canada, group says". Canada Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). ^ abcdBrean, Joseph (16 May 2007). "Black Panther stopped at border". National Post. ^Goddard, John (16 May 2007). "Black activist blocked at border". Toronto Star. ^Huey P. Newton Foundation. "There Is No New Black Panther Party"^Interview with Robert George "Bobby" Seale, CNN, 8 July 2010.^"Security" patrols stationed at polling places in Philly on YouTube^Bobby Seale on the New Black Panther Party on YouTube CNN InterviewExternal links[edit]
Selma (2014) - IMDb
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 02:46
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EditStorylineMartin Luther King, Lyndon Baines Johnson and the civil rights marches that changed America.
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Michaela Angela Davis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 02:45
Michaela Angela DavisNationalityAmericanOccupationWriter and Image ActivistMichaela Angela Davis is a writer on black style, race, gender and hip-hop culture in the United States. She is also a fashion expert and an "image activist."
Early life[edit]Michaela Angela Davis was born in Germany and raised in Washington, D.C. Her mother was convinced her next child would be a boy, and after visiting the Sistine Chapel during her pregnancy decided to name him Michael Angelo. When Davis was born, her mother gave her the female version of the name, Michaela Angela.[1]
From an early age, Davis was a student of the arts, especially acting. She began her studies at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts as a National Arts Scholar, then moved on to New York University,[1] the Stella Adler Acting Conservatory and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.[2]
Publishing and writing career[edit]After completing her studies, Davis went to work in 1991 for Essence as an associate fashion editor.[3] Her first assignment was the styling of Anita Hill.[1]
She was the associate fashion, culture and the executive fashion and beauty editor for Essence magazine.[4] She was the founding fashion director for Vibe magazine, and she was the last editor-in-chief of Honey, a magazine for 18-34 year old black women. Davis has written for many projects such as Everything But the Burden: What White People are Taking from Black Culture (Broadway Books, 2003), and authored Beloved Baby: A Baby's Scrapbook and Journal (Pocket Books, 1995).[3] On the issue of colorism within the black community, Davis has said that "Anything that tears us apart as sisters, there's no privilege in, we have equal pain, it's just different and has been processed and presented to us in different ways."[1]
Stylist[edit]She was also a celebrity stylist for people such as Oprah Winfrey, Beyonc(C), Prince, Diana Ross, Donald Trump, Mary J. Blige and LL Cool J. Davis. She has worked as a stylist on several films, including the 2002 film Paid in Full.[3]
Film career[edit]She has been featured in documentary films including The Souls of Black Girls (2008). Davis has had several television appearances, most recently on BET in their presentation of Hip Hop vs. America II: Am I My Sister's Keeper?
Activism and mentoring[edit]Davis is developing an online magazine and television show, and a documentary film and book exploring race, gender, beauty and identity. She serves on the board of Black Girls Rock!, Imagenation, The Brooklyn Community Arts and Media High School, and conducts her own monthly career-mentoring program called Salon de Shine. She regularly speaks on campuses and in the community. She is currently working an a novel called ''The Revolution of Happiness: A Book and Digital Conversation Project.'' It is a culmination of ''honest and innovative cross-generational conversations with revolutionary-thinking Black women about disturbing the pain that has burdened or molested our natural exquisite selves.''[5]
Davis is the leader of "Mad Free," a multi-platform, multi-generational critical community conversation[citation needed] with revolutionary women whose work and lives serve to liberate the narrow and misinformed image of women.
References[edit]PersondataNameDavis, Michaela AngelaAlternative namesShort descriptionAmerican journalistDate of birthPlace of birthDate of deathPlace of death
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Come spring, 'For Sale' signs expected in U.S. riot-hit town
Mon, 01 Dec 2014 07:15
Come spring, 'For Sale' signs expected in U.S. riot-hit townTop News
Come spring, 'For Sale' signs expected in U.S. riot-hit town
Fri, Nov 28 16:47 PM EST
By Tom Polansek
(Reuters) - Realty brokers in battered Ferguson, Missouri, are predicting many homes could go up for sale early next year after rioting over the August police shooting of a black teenager appeared to put a chill on the number of active listings.
Some homeowners are eager to leave Ferguson because of racially charged unrest over the past three months, brokers told Reuters. In the latest violence, stores were looted and set ablaze after a grand jury decided on Monday not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown.
"There's no question that we have people wanting to leave because of the unrest,'' said Pearce Neikirk, a long-time real estate broker in Ferguson.
A number of real estate brokers said they had expected to see "panic selling" after the shooting ignited violence and weeks of protests over the summer and fall.
But that didn't materialize. In fact, the number of active listings among private sellers from August to October was down 22 percent from a year earlier at 211 houses, according to data from MORE Realtors, which sells homes in the St. Louis area. It was the smallest number of houses listed during that period since at least 2009.
By comparison, the average number of active listings was down about 7 percent on the year from January to July, prior to the shooting. In all of St. Louis County, which includes Ferguson, the average number of active listings was down about 12 to 13 percent on the year in the months before and after the shootings, according to data from MORE.
It now appears prospective sellers in Ferguson are waiting to list their properties in spring, when the residential real estate market usually picks up, brokers said. They hope to be able to sell at a higher price by delaying the listing a few months.
The intense media focus on Ferguson will likely also have shifted by then, barring any further violence, meaning fewer negative headlines to scare off prospective buyers.
Neikirk said he was surprised the market had held up relatively well in Ferguson. But he expects the number of home listings early next year will climb up to 30 percent from 2014 as residents seek to leave town. He did not say how he arrived at that figure.
"WHITE FLIGHT"
Private parties in Ferguson listed 72 homes and made eight sales last month, down from 89 listings and 11 sales in October 2013, according to MORE Realtors. The average median sale price last month was $66,500, up from $38,000 a year earlier.
Neikirk said the average price went up because more expensive homes were being sold. Some potential buyers are no longer considering Ferguson due to the protests, but others are still attending showings, brokers said.
Ferguson has seen a stark demographic shift in recent decades, going from an overwhelmingly white population in the 1970s to two-thirds African American today. With a population of 21,000 people, Ferguson has about 8,500 households. The median value of owner-occupied units from 2008 to 2012 was $95,300, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
David Pope, an independent real estate broker, said he did not expect to see further ''white flight'' from Ferguson as a result of the riots. So far, homeowners looking to sell seem to be mixed between white and black, Neikerk said.
Dennis Norman, a broker and partner for MORE, said homeowners in a position to sell will watch to see if burned-out buildings in Ferguson's business district are repaired.
If that rebuilding effort does not materialize, "that might be when they all decide to jump on the bandwagon and get out," he said.
The commercial market seems likely to remain jittery, too. Pope has been unable to find a buyer for a Ferguson building with 12 apartment units and ground-floor retail space - even before protesters this week smashed the windows of the retail shops.
"If I had to sell it today, I'd probably have to give it away," he said.
(Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago, editing by Ross Colvin)
Come spring, 'For Sale' signs expected in U.S. riot-hit townTop News
Come spring, 'For Sale' signs expected in U.S. riot-hit town
Fri, Nov 28 16:47 PM EST
By Tom Polansek
(Reuters) - Realty brokers in battered Ferguson, Missouri, are predicting many homes could go up for sale early next year after rioting over the August police shooting of a black teenager appeared to put a chill on the number of active listings.
Some homeowners are eager to leave Ferguson because of racially charged unrest over the past three months, brokers told Reuters. In the latest violence, stores were looted and set ablaze after a grand jury decided on Monday not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown.
"There's no question that we have people wanting to leave because of the unrest,'' said Pearce Neikirk, a long-time real estate broker in Ferguson.
A number of real estate brokers said they had expected to see "panic selling" after the shooting ignited violence and weeks of protests over the summer and fall.
But that didn't materialize. In fact, the number of active listings among private sellers from August to October was down 22 percent from a year earlier at 211 houses, according to data from MORE Realtors, which sells homes in the St. Louis area. It was the smallest number of houses listed during that period since at least 2009.
By comparison, the average number of active listings was down about 7 percent on the year from January to July, prior to the shooting. In all of St. Louis County, which includes Ferguson, the average number of active listings was down about 12 to 13 percent on the year in the months before and after the shootings, according to data from MORE.
It now appears prospective sellers in Ferguson are waiting to list their properties in spring, when the residential real estate market usually picks up, brokers said. They hope to be able to sell at a higher price by delaying the listing a few months.
The intense media focus on Ferguson will likely also have shifted by then, barring any further violence, meaning fewer negative headlines to scare off prospective buyers.
Neikirk said he was surprised the market had held up relatively well in Ferguson. But he expects the number of home listings early next year will climb up to 30 percent from 2014 as residents seek to leave town. He did not say how he arrived at that figure.
"WHITE FLIGHT"
Private parties in Ferguson listed 72 homes and made eight sales last month, down from 89 listings and 11 sales in October 2013, according to MORE Realtors. The average median sale price last month was $66,500, up from $38,000 a year earlier.
Neikirk said the average price went up because more expensive homes were being sold. Some potential buyers are no longer considering Ferguson due to the protests, but others are still attending showings, brokers said.
Ferguson has seen a stark demographic shift in recent decades, going from an overwhelmingly white population in the 1970s to two-thirds African American today. With a population of 21,000 people, Ferguson has about 8,500 households. The median value of owner-occupied units from 2008 to 2012 was $95,300, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
David Pope, an independent real estate broker, said he did not expect to see further ''white flight'' from Ferguson as a result of the riots. So far, homeowners looking to sell seem to be mixed between white and black, Neikerk said.
Dennis Norman, a broker and partner for MORE, said homeowners in a position to sell will watch to see if burned-out buildings in Ferguson's business district are repaired.
If that rebuilding effort does not materialize, "that might be when they all decide to jump on the bandwagon and get out," he said.
The commercial market seems likely to remain jittery, too. Pope has been unable to find a buyer for a Ferguson building with 12 apartment units and ground-floor retail space - even before protesters this week smashed the windows of the retail shops.
"If I had to sell it today, I'd probably have to give it away," he said.
(Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago, editing by Ross Colvin)
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Black Friday brawl videos are how rich people shame the poor - The Washington Post
Mon, 01 Dec 2014 07:28
By Luke O'NeilNovember 28Luke O'Neil is a writer in Boston.
The biggest movie in the country right now is ''The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1,'' a film in which the ostentatiously wealthy people of Panem's capital rule over the poorer districts from which tributes are selected each year to kill each other in a violent media spectacle. It's a grotesque display in which the lives of the impoverished are offered up as entertainment for the comfortable.
It's hard to see the film and not think of the way TV news has covered Black Friday. Consider the jocular hosts' grinning affect as they relate news of brawls throughout the country in this clip from Fox & Friends First today, for example, or how numerous Web sites will round up the best brawl videos. As Yahoo News writes on the spread of Black Friday violence to Britain this year, ''That means even more grown adults fighting over discounted underwear, and more opportunities to for us to gawk at them.'' Or take this video of a fight inside of a Houston Wal-Mart. You'll notice producers from a variety of television programs '-- ''Good Morning America,'' Fox News, CNN '-- all asking for permission to use the video on their broadcasts, because they know this type of shopper-on-shopper violence is a huge draw. Mixed in with those, perhaps unsurprisingly, are a bevy of comments comparing the shoppers to animals, or savages, or making horrifically offensive racist comments.
Granted that's par for the course on any YouTube video, but on broadcast TV, this kind of gawking shows how our lurid interest in these stories is connected to issues of class and race in America. In a telling bit of irony, the former clip comes complete with a pre-roll ad for Black Friday deals. In other words, videos of the type of violence that takes place on Black Friday are being used to sell the shopping holiday back to us, the capitalist serpent swallowing its own tail.
It's hard to avoid the message of those ads. We've been bombarded with them for weeks now, from corporations eager to entice shoppers with so-called ''door-buster'' deals. And then, once the shopping public falls for them, a privileged segment of the population sits back and dehumanizes them for its collective amusement. Look at these hilarious poor people, struggling to take advantage of a deal on something they might not otherwise be able to afford on items that we take for granted, we joke on Twitter. The message is the same: this is shameful, materialistic behavior. And by pointing it out, we differentiate ourselves, reaffirm our class status as being above the fray of the lowly and desperate.
The exact demography of shoppers on Thanksgiving and Black Friday isn't clear, with the former being too new a trend to track, and it seems to have been changing over recent years, with a higher percentage of millennials taking part of late, but studies have shown the shoppers are more likely to be non-white, or single mothers. There's no denying the demographics that seem to show up again in the type of videos we all find so hilarious, however.
As we've seen of late in the Ferguson-related unrest, the physical struggles of non-white America writ large make for great television. I've seen dozens of variations on the obvious and racist pun in the name of the day itself already today. But one thing we can say for sure is that it isn't the wealthy or the comfortable who are standing in line in the cold, or wrestling with one another over a slightly discounted Xbox.
None of which is to say that resorting to violence over a discounted television or video game console is admirable, but it's worthwhile to stop and consider just what it is that inspires such desperation in the first place. As in the world of Panem, an artificial scarcity is imposed from the top down '-- Wal-Mart, Target and so on '-- in order to whip the public into a frenzy of aspiration. The affluent media corporations are then complicit in the con, gorging themselves on advertising from the very stores raking in the sales revenue. And we, the advantaged, sit at home in front of our computers and tablets and phones, all of which we've already purchased at non-bargain prices, and delight in the spectacle.
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HANDS UP-Benjamin Crump - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mon, 01 Dec 2014 22:10
Benjamin Lloyd Crump (born October 10, 1969) is an American attorney at the Tallahassee, Florida based law firm Parks & Crump, LLC[2] known for his association with the 2012-2013 George Zimmerman case. He is representing the family of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African-American man shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri.
Early life and education[edit]Benjamin Lloyd Crump was born in Lumberton, North Carolina, near Fort Bragg where his biological father served in the United States Army.[3] The oldest of nine siblings and step-siblings, Crump grew up in an extended family and was helped raised by his grandmother Mittie.[4] His mother Helen, worked as a hotel maid and in a local converse shoe factory.[5] His mother sent him to attend high school in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where he lived with her second husband, a math teacher, whom Crump identifies as his father.[5][6]
He attended Florida State University and received his bachelor's degree in criminal justice in 1992. Crump received his Juris Doctor from Florida State University in 1995.[7] A classmate of Crump's at Florida State University College of Law was journalist Shannon Bream.[8]
Crump is known for taking on high visibility pro bono cases with widespread media attention and civil rights implications. An example was the shooting of Trayvon Martin, who on February 26, 2012 was killed by George Zimmerman. Crump represents Martin's family.[9]
Crump also represents the family of Alesia Thomas, a 35-year-old single African-American mother who died while in police custody in August 2012.[10] Journalist Chuck Philips reported that during the arrest Thomas was "slammed to the ground, handcuffed behind her back, kicked in the groin, hog-tied and stuffed into the back seat of a patrol car, where she died."[11] Crump demanded that dashboard video of the incident be released, threatening legal action and encouraging Attorney General Eric Holder to launch a federal probe.[11][12] In October 2013, one of the arresting officers was charged with felony assault of Thomas, pleading not guilty.[13] The video was released only to prosecutors and defense attorneys to prevent the tainting of potential jury candidates.[14]
On August 11, 2014, the family of Michael Brown announced that they would be hiring Crump to represent their case, especially as the death had been widely compared to the Trayvon Martin case.[15][16][17]
Other clients include the family of Martin Lee Anderson, an African-American teenager who died after a beating in 2006 by guards in a Florida youth detention center; the family of Genie McMeans, Jr., an African-American driver who died after being shot by a white state Trooper; and Ronald Weekley Jr., a skateboarder beaten by police in Venice, California.[11][18][19][20]
References[edit]^Johnathan P. Hicks (April 18, 2012). "Trayvon Family's Lawyer, a Career Steeped in Civil Rights Cases". bet.com. ^Florida State University (2010). "Mr. Benjamin L. Crump Principal, Parks & Crump, PA". criminology.fsu.edu. ^The Grio (March 30, 2012). "Benjamin Crump: Martin family lawyer known for civil rights cases". thegrio.com. ^"Trayvon Martin Family Lawyer Is Versed In Civil Rights Cases". newsone.com. March 30, 2012. ^ abBarbara Ash; Florida State University Law Review (2006). "BEN CRUMP Seeking Justice for All: BEATING THE ODDS Ben Crump Winning the 'No-Win' Cases". law.fsu.edu. ^Mark Schneider; Associated Press (March 30, 2012). "Martin family lawyer known for civil rights cases When Benjamin Crump got his first call from Trayvon Martin's father last month, the attorney counseled patience.". startribune.com. ^"Benjamin L. Crump '' Parks and Crump Attorneys at Law". Parkscrump.com. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2014-08-15. ^"Twitter / ShannonBream: Still surprises me whenever". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2014-08-15. ^"Trayvon Martin, familys lawyer, Benjamin Crump". Huffington Post. March 30, 2012. Retrieved April 8, 2012. ^Romero, Dennis (August 30, 2012). "Alesia Thomas: Woman Dies in LAPD Custody Amid 'Questionable Tactics,' Police Say". LA Weekly. ^ abcPhilips, Chuck (October 15, 2012). "What Happened to Alesia Thomas". Chuck Philips Post. Retrieved 22 October 2013. ^Romero, Dennis Romero (October 15, 201). "LAPD's Alesia Thomas Beating Video Demanded By Attorney Benjamin Crump". LA Weekly. Retrieved 24 October 2013. ^Botelho, Greg (October 10, 2013). "LAPD officer charged with assaulting arrested woman, who later died". CNN. Retrieved 22 October 2013. ^Abdollah, Tami (15 October 2013). "Mary O'Callaghan Pleads Not Guilty To Felony Assault". The Huffington Post. ^Swaine, Jon (12 August 2014). "Michael Brown shooting: police use teargas to crack down on protesters". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 August 2014. ^Blackburn, Doug (August 15, 2014). "Friends of Brown family called on civil-rights lawyer". USA Today. Retrieved August 19, 2014. ^Cadet, Danielle (August 11, 2014). "Benjamin Crump Representing Michael Brown's Family After Teen's Fatal Shooting". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 19, 2014. ^"Benjamin Crump '' Bay county camp, martin anderson case". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved April 8, 2012. ^"How lawyer got nation talking about Trayvon Martin". NPR. Retrieved April 8, 2012. ^Schneider, Mike (March 30, 2012). "Martin Family lawyer known for civil rights cases". The Grio. Associated Press. Retrieved April 8, 2012. PersondataNameCrump, BenjaminAlternative namesShort descriptionAmerican juristDate of birth1969-10-10Place of birthLumberton, North CarolinaDate of deathPlace of death
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EuroLand
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American cultural imperialism has a new name: GAFA
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 15:35
In France, there's a new word: GAFA. It's an acronym, and it has become a shorthand term for some of the most powerful companies in the world'--all American, all tech giants. GAFA stands for Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon.
The phrase is used by newspapers, blogs, and talking heads on TV'--see here and here and here (all links in French). It even appears in the local version of ''The Internet for Dummies.'' Le Monde's economics editor, Alexis Delcambre, tells Quartz that GAFA first appeared in his newspaper in December 2012. ''GAFA is not used very often, but when used, it is almost always on critical topics, including taxes or personal data,'' he says.
In the US, Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon are generally praised as examples of innovation. In the French press, and for much of the rest of Europe, their innovation is often seen in a less positive light'--the ugly Americans coming over with innovative approaches to invading personal privacy or new ways to avoid paying their fair share. Take Google: its tax affairs in France are being challenged (paywall)'--which comes soon after it has been forced to institute a ''right to be forgotten'' and threatened with being broken up.
But the spread of the term ''GAFA'' may be as much to do with cultural resentment as taxes. ''I think it's more about distribution of power in the online world than tax avoidance,'' Liam Boogar, founder of the French start-up site, Rude Baguette, tells Quartz. France, after all, is a country with a long history of resisting US cultural hegemony.
Remember Jos(C) Bov(C), the sheep farmer who destroyed a McDonald's in 1999 and was a symbol for the anti-globalization movement? Times have changed; McDonald's most profitable country in Europe is now France. Having lost that battle, the French have instead turned their ire to Silicon Valley.
There is also a loss of public sympathy in the wake of the massive American government spying revelations. J(C)r(C)mie Zimmermann, one of the founders of La Quadrature, a tech-oriented public policy non-profit, tells Quartz he dislikes the term ''GAFA'' and prefers to refer to the big US firms as the ''PRISM'' companies (after the US National Security Agency program revealed by Edward Snowden) or the ''Bullrun'' firms (another NSA program), which he uses to refer to ''more or less every US-based company in which trust is broken'''--citing examples that include Intel, Motorola, and Cisco.
Even if the term has a negative connotation, it's worth noting which companies didn't make the acronym. Microsoft, most notably. Samsung is another. No Yahoo.
Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon pretty much dominate every facet of our lives'--from email from friends and family to what's in your pocket to how you get everything in your house to how you pay. As far as acronyms of global power go, it works.
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Swedish muslim report
Hello,
As you probably know we have an interesting time in Sweden. The Sweden democrats (foreigner hostile rightwing party) have just voted down the ruling administration purpose for the budget. That have resulted that the swedish priminister Stefan Lövén (social democrats) have called out a new election (gonna take place in march).
There are a couple of funny things here. First of all not a single party wants to discuss with the sweden democrats. Even now when they are the third largest party in Sweden. I believe that this is something that have pissed of a lot of swedes. A survey made today tells that 44% of the swedish people thinks the sweden democrats did the right thing to throw the ruling administration out by not voting for their budget purpose (or their own). All the politicians tells the media this is an outrage and this is not how its done and sweden democrats thinks the swedish parlament is playground. The only problem is that most of the swedish people thinks just such a thing. All the other parties are blaming each other and the sweden democrats for what just have happened and heres the latest mime from Sweden. ”I have taken responsibility” or ”We are going to continue to take responsibility”. Thats something every politician in Sweden are telling the media today. Its funny how everyone is so damn responsible, but still we are in this mess…
I just want to say that in Sweden we have the FRA. FRA has been spying on Russia for the US for a long time and from 2008 they can listen to wired and wireless traffic without court order. So now when the finns are routing their internet traffic through Sweden, its a really nice time for SÄPO (Swedish Security Service) and the Swedish government to collect some nice information.
Love the show and now when I have some money on my paypal account i will send them to you.
Take care
Diffen
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SnowJob
Citizen Four Review
I just watched Citizen Four (the POITRAS documentary movie on EDWARD
SNOWDEN) - so you don't have to.
Things of interest:
1.) There's a scene in which ASSANGE speaks about SNOWDEN being at
MOSCOW airport at that moment, and that WIKILEAKS is trying to source a
private airplane to bring SNOWDEN to ECUADOR or VENEZUELA.
He uses a cellphone for that conversation. Either this is a
re-enactment, or ASSANGE possibly leaked the plans by using
questionable tradecraft.
2.) There's a scene where SNOWDEN warns POITRAS that additional
pressure and actions from the USGOV should be expected. He claims this
information being from a reliable source. At this moment he is already
in MOSCOW.
3.) SNOWDEN claims that codenames are only used for assets, never for
targets. This is incorrect.
4.) The movie claims that LINDSAY MILLS, SNOWDEN's long-term girlfriend
has moved to MOSCOW to live with him. There's a scene in which she and
he are cooking together in a modern apartment.
5.) In the last few minutes SNOWDEN and GREENWALD communicate by
writing each other pieces of paper and slip them to each other. The
paper head contains the line "Datum/Date", in this order, is from an A4
notepad. The style of the paper and the interior of the room match the
MANDALA SUITES in BERLIN. However, the shots out of the window do
cannot be confirmed to that location. It appears to be the same
location in which an earlier ZDF interview was made.
6.) The movie was co-sponsored by: MACARTHUR FELLOWSHIP, ROCKEFELLER
FOUNDATION, and GUGGENHEIM FOUNDATION.
Caliphate!
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FTO list - No Khorozan? - http://itm.im/fto
Foreign Terrorist Organizations-Khorozan?
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 03:30
Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) are foreign organizations that are designated by the Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended. FTO designations play a critical role in our fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities and pressuring groups to get out of the terrorism business.
Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations
Date Designated
Name
10/8/1997
Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)
10/8/1997
Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)
10/8/1997
Aum Shinrikyo (AUM)
10/8/1997
Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)
10/8/1997
Gama'a al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group) (IG)
10/8/1997
HAMAS
10/8/1997
Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM)
10/8/1997
Hizballah
10/8/1997
Kahane Chai (Kach)
10/8/1997
Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) (Kongra-Gel)
10/8/1997
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
10/8/1997
National Liberation Army (ELN)
10/8/1997
Palestine Liberation Front (PLF)
10/8/1997
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)
10/8/1997
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLF)
10/8/1997
PFLP-General Command (PFLP-GC)
10/8/1997
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)
10/8/1997
Revolutionary Organization 17 November (17N)
10/8/1997
Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C)
10/8/1997
Shining Path (SL)
10/8/1999
al-Qa'ida (AQ)
9/25/2000
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)
5/16/2001
Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA)
12/26/2001
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM)
12/26/2001
Lashkar-e Tayyiba (LeT)
3/27/2002
Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AAMB)
3/27/2002
Asbat al-Ansar (AAA)
3/27/2002
al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)
8/9/2002
Communist Party of the Philippines/New People's Army (CPP/NPA)
10/23/2002
Jemaah Islamiya (JI)
1/30/2003
Lashkar i Jhangvi (LJ)
3/22/2004
Ansar al-Islam (AAI)
7/13/2004
Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA)
12/17/2004
Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)
12/17/2004
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (formerly al-Qa'ida in Iraq)
6/17/2005
Islamic Jihad Union (IJU)
3/5/2008
Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh (HUJI-B)
3/18/2008
al-Shabaab
5/18/2009
Revolutionary Struggle (RS)
7/2/2009
Kata'ib Hizballah (KH)
1/19/2010
al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
8/6/2010
Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI)
9/1/2010
Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP)
11/4/2010
Jundallah
5/23/2011
Army of Islam (AOI)
9/19/2011
Indian Mujahedeen (IM)
3/13/2012
Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT)
5/30/2012
Abdallah Azzam Brigades (AAB)
9/19/2012
Haqqani Network (HQN)
3/22/2013Ansar al-Dine (AAD)
11/14/2013Boko Haram
11/14/2013
Ansaru12/19/2013
al-Mulathamun Battalion1/13/2014
Ansar al-Shari'a in Benghazi1/13/2014
Ansar al-Shari'a in Darnah1/13/2014
Ansar al-Shari'a in Tunisia4/10/2014Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis
5/15/2014al-Nusrah Front
8/20/2014Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (MSC)
Delisted Foreign Terrorist Organizations
Date Removed
Name
Date Orginally Designated
10/8/1999
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine -Hawatmeh Faction
10/8/1997
10/8/1999
Khmer Rouge
10/8/1997
10/8/1999
Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front Dissidents
10/8/1997
10/8/2001
Japanese Red Army
10/8/1997
10/8/2001
Tupac Amaru Revolution Movement
10/8/1997
5/18/2009
Revolutionary Nuclei
10/8/1997
10/15/2010
Armed Islamic Group (GIA)
10/8/1997
9/28/2012
Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK)
10/8/1997
5/28/2013
Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM)10/11/20057/15/2014United Self Defense Forces of Colombia9/10/2001IdentificationThe Bureau of Counterterrorism in the State Department (CT) continually monitors the activities of terrorist groups active around the world to identify potential targets for designation. When reviewing potential targets, CT looks not only at the actual terrorist attacks that a group has carried out, but also at whether the group has engaged in planning and preparations for possible future acts of terrorism or retains the capability and intent to carry out such acts.
DesignationOnce a target is identified, CT prepares a detailed "administrative record," which is a compilation of information, typically including both classified and open sources information, demonstrating that the statutory criteria for designation have been satisfied. If the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury, decides to make the designation, Congress is notified of the Secretary's intent to designate the organization and given seven days to review the designation, as the INA requires. Upon the expiration of the seven-day waiting period and in the absence of Congressional action to block the designation, notice of the designation is published in the Federal Register, at which point the designation takes effect. By law an organization designated as an FTO may seek judicial review of the designation in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit not later than 30 days after the designation is published in the Federal Register.
Until recently the INA provided that FTOs must be redesignated every 2 years or the designation would lapse. Under the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA), however, the redesignation requirement was replaced by certain review and revocation procedures. IRTPA provides that an FTO may file a petition for revocation 2 years after its designation date (or in the case of redesignated FTOs, its most recent redesignation date) or 2 years after the determination date on its most recent petition for revocation. In order to provide a basis for revocation, the petitioning FTO must provide evidence that the circumstances forming the basis for the designation are sufficiently different as to warrant revocation. If no such review has been conducted during a 5 year period with respect to a designation, then the Secretary of State is required to review the designation to determine whether revocation would be appropriate. In addition, the Secretary of State may at any time revoke a designation upon a finding that the circumstances forming the basis for the designation have changed in such a manner as to warrant revocation, or that the national security of the United States warrants a revocation. The same procedural requirements apply to revocations made by the Secretary of State as apply to designations. A designation may be revoked by an Act of Congress, or set aside by a Court order.
Legal Criteria for Designation under Section 219 of the INA as amended
It must be a foreign organization.The organization must engage in terrorist activity, as defined in section 212 (a)(3)(B) of the INA (8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3)(B)),* or terrorism, as defined in section 140(d)(2) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989 (22 U.S.C. § 2656f(d)(2)),**or retain the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity or terrorism.The organization's terrorist activity or terrorism must threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security (national defense, foreign relations, or the economic interests) of the United States.Legal Ramifications of Designation
It is unlawful for a person in the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to knowingly provide "material support or resources" to a designated FTO. (The term "material support or resources" is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2339A(b)(1) as " any property, tangible or intangible, or service, including currency or monetary instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel (1 or more individuals who maybe or include oneself), and transportation, except medicine or religious materials.'' 18 U.S.C. § 2339A(b)(2) provides that for these purposes ''the term 'training' means instruction or teaching designed to impart a specific skill, as opposed to general knowledge.'' 18 U.S.C. § 2339A(b)(3) further provides that for these purposes the term 'expert advice or assistance' means advice or assistance derived from scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge.''Representatives and members of a designated FTO, if they are aliens, are inadmissible to and, in certain circumstances, removable from the United States (see 8 U.S.C. §§ 1182 (a)(3)(B)(i)(IV)-(V), 1227 (a)(1)(A)).Any U.S. financial institution that becomes aware that it has possession of or control over funds in which a designated FTO or its agent has an interest must retain possession of or control over the funds and report the funds to the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.Other Effects of Designation
Supports our efforts to curb terrorism financing and to encourage other nations to do the same.Stigmatizes and isolates designated terrorist organizations internationally.Deters donations or contributions to and economic transactions with named organizations.Heightens public awareness and knowledge of terrorist organizations.Signals to other governments our concern about named organizations.Revocations of Foreign Terrorist Organizations
The Immigration and Nationality Act sets out three possible basis for revoking a Foreign Terrorist Organization designation:
The Secretary of State must revoke a designation if the Secretary finds that the circumstances that were the basis of the designation have changed in such a manner as to warrant a revocation;The Secretary of State must revoke a designation if the Secretary finds that the national security of the United States warrants a revocation;The Secretary of State may revoke a designation at any time.Any revocation shall take effect on the date specified in the revocation or upon publication in the Federal Register if no effective date is specified. The revocation of a designation shall not affect any action or proceeding based on conduct committed prior to the effective date of such revocation.
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SCAM?-UN Suspends Food Aid for 1.7 Million Syrian Refugees
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 02:21
A Syrian refugee girl carries bread as she stands outside tents in the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp in Azaz, near the Syrian-Turkish border, October 27, 2014 (photo: REUTERS/HOSAM KATAN).(Reuters) -- A lack of funds has forced the United Nations to stop providing food vouchers for 1.7 million Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Monday.
"Without WFP vouchers, many families will go hungry. For refugees already struggling to survive the harsh winter, the consequences of halting this assistance will be devastating," said the U.N. agency, which needs $64 million to support the refugees for the rest of December.
Suspension of the assistance program comes as many vulnerable Syrian families enter their fourth bleak winter in difficult living conditions after fleeing a homeland racked by conflict since March 2011.
"This couldn't come at a worse time," said U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres in a statement.
The impact could be particularly devastating in Lebanon, where more than 1.1 million Syrian refugees -- one-quarter of the country's permanent population -- are scattered across some 1,700 communities, according to the U.N. refugee agency. Many live in makeshift settlements, sheds, garages and unfinished buildings.
The electronic voucher program has already injected about $800 million into local shops in the countries hosting refugees, and WFP will immediately resume it if new funding arrives, it said in the statement.
It was not clear how hungry Syrian refugees might fill the gap left by WFP suspending its voucher program.
WFP had warned last month that it might be forced to impose such a suspension and said it might have to announce a similar measure in January for people reliant on aid within Syria, where at least 7.6 million people are internally displaced.
The Rome-based agency has already cut rations for 4.25 million people it is providing food supplies to in Syria.
"WFP will not be able to continue its life-saving operations inside Syria in February without additional funding," WFP spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs told Reuters on Monday.
The U.N. refugee agency has said that a lack of cash has forced it to prioritize as it helps those in need prepare for winter, with preference for people at higher, colder altitudes and vulnerable refugees such as newborn babies.
Reporting by Tom Miles and Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Catherine Evans.
Lack of money at World Food Program leaves 1.7 million Syrians without aid - The Washington Post
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 22:44
BEIRUT '-- A funding crisis has forced the World Food Program to suspend assistance to 1.7 million Syrian refugees, the U.N. agency announced Monday, warning that ''many families will go hungry'' without the aid.
The program, which provides electronic vouchers for Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt to buy food at local stores, faces a $64 million shortfall, the agency said, attributing the problem to ''unfulfilled'' donor commitments.
''The suspension of WFP food assistance will be disastrous for many already suffering families,'' Ertharin Cousin, the agency's executive director, said in a statement.
She called for an immediate resumption of funding and warned that the food-aid suspension will ''endanger the health and safety of these refugees and will potentially cause further tensions, instability and insecurity in the neighboring host countries.''
She did not specify which countries had not fulfilled pledges.
The announcement comes amid heightened concern about the safety of the refugees in harsh conditions. The deaths of two Syrian infants last month in Lebanon were blamed on frigid weather. The flow of an estimated 3.3 million Syrians from the conflict in their country has badly strained neighboring countries such as Lebanon and Jordan.
More than 1 million Syrians have taken refuge in Lebanon, overwhelming the nation of 4.4 million people. Citing the economic burden and security concerns, Lebanon has dramatically reduced the number of Syrians allowed entry.
Wael Abou Faour, Lebanon's health minister, criticized the international community's inability to meet its commitments to the World Food Program, which has spent about $800 million on assistance for Syrians since 2011.
''This demonstrates once again the failure of the international community to help Syrian refugees and the country of Lebanon, which has hosted so many refugees,'' he said by telephone.
For Syrians such as Mouhanad Mouree, there was shock that he, his wife and their six children may no longer receive their World Food Program vouchers. They fled their home town of Homs seven months ago for Tripoli, a city in northern Lebanon, where they live in a garage for $200 a month. Mouree is especially concerned about his 2-year-old son.
''I can hardly afford diapers and milk for my youngest son, and we freeze in the cold weather because we cannot afford heating with electricity,'' he said by telephone. ''I don't know what we'll do.''
Suzan Haidamous contributed to this report.
Hugh Naylor is a Beirut-based correspondent for The Post. He has reported from over a dozen countries in the Middle East for such publications as The National, an Abu Dhabi-based newspaper, and The New York Times.
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Marathon strikes oil in Kurdistan | Oil and Gas Technology
Mon, 01 Dec 2014 21:41
Located 60 kilometres from the city of Erbil, the Jisik-1 Martathon Oil-operated discovery well on the Harir Block was drilled to a depth of 4,511 metres and encountered light oil and gas with condensates intervals in Jurassic and Triassic carbonate reservoirs
Jisik is the second discovery in the block, following on from the Mirawa-1 discovery, announced on October 30, 2013.
''This success confirms Total's exploration strategy in Iraq. The ongoing appraisal of the discoveries made on the Harir and Taza Blocks will allow us to identify options for development,'' commented Marc Blaizot, senior vice president, exploration at Total (35 per cent interest). ''We are continuing exploration works on the Total-operated Safen and Baranan Blocks, with additional wells planned for 2015."
The Jisik-1 well encountered light oil of 43 API in a Jurassic carbonate reservoir. The well was tested with flow rates of 6,100 barrels per day of anhydrous oil, without stimulation.
Two other formation tests, both with flows rates of approximately 10-15 million cubic feet per day, confirmed the presence of gas reservoirs together with associated condensate in the Triassic.
The Jisik-1 well will be suspended for potential future use as a producing well.
Total has a 35 per cent interest in the Harir Block, alongside Marathon Oil (45 per cent, operator) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (20 per cent).
Genel and Gulf Keystone receive first export payments for Kurdistan oil
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 22:26
Genel Energy and Gulf Keystone have both received initial gross payments from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for oil exported through the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI)-Turkey pipeline
Genel received an initial gross payment of USD 30m from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for oil exported through the KRI-Turkey pipeline from its Taq Taq field.
The Tawke field partners will also receive a USD 30m gross payment.
Genel's net share of these payments is USD 24m.
Genel believes that this is an important first step towards the normalisation of payments for oil exported through the pipeline.
Gulf Keystone has also received an initial payment of USD 15m gross for its share of gas exports fro mthe Shaikan field
"We welcome this initial payment of USD 15 million gross from the MNR [Ministry of Natural Resources] for Shaikan export oil sales,'' said John Gerstenlauer, Gulf Keystone's CEO.
''With the creation of a regular payment cycle we look forward to being able to deliver further benefits to the people of Kurdistan, and all our stakeholders, as we consolidate our position as a key producer in the region from the world class Shaikan field."
Payments are expected to become more regular and predictable once the KRG reaches budget equilibrium in early 2015.
Oil exports by pipeline from the KRI continue to grow and recently exceeded 350,000 bopd.
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A-10s will support war against ISIS | TheHill
Mon, 01 Dec 2014 22:26
An Air Force A-10 fighter squadron that recently deployed to the Middle East will work with coalition forces to support the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Air Force said Monday.
The squadron will serve as part of the 332nd Air Expeditionary Group, which was reactivated on Nov. 14, according to an Air Force press report.
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"The unit will work with coalition forces to support Operation Inherent Resolve and other regional operations," the report said, using the official name for U.S. and coalition operations against ISIS. The A-10 fighter squadron arrived in Southwest Asia between Nov. 17 and 21 with "several" jets.
The plane, also known as the "Warthog,'' provides close air support for ground troops. The administration has ruled out the possibility of ground troops in combat, but military officials have floated the possibility of U.S. advisers going into some battles with Iraqi forces.
A six-month deployment of the Indiana Air National Guard 122nd Fighter Wing, with its 300 airmen, and a dozen A-10s to the U.S. Central Command region was first announced on Sept. 17, but its mission was not yet announced.
"I don't know of a time in Blacksnake history we have taken this kind of aviation footprint forward," Col. Patrick R. Renwick, 122nd Fighter Wing Commander, said in a Sept. 17 statement, using the Wing's nickname.
"The A-10 'Warthog' is uniquely suited for the Combatant Commander's needs, and the Blacksnakes are the right team to bring that capability to combat," he added.
The use of the A-10 comes at a time when the Pentagon 'ªis pushing to retire the Cold War-era aircraft, saying the move would save $4 billion over the next five years while freeing up crew members to work on the newer F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. '¬'¬
Some lawmakers have put up a fight, saying that now is not the right time to retire the aircraft, with the U.S. fighting another Middle East war that could require ground forces.
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CYBER!
FBI: Unknown hackers released major malware in US
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 05:25
The FBI warned U.S. businesses that hackers have used malicious software to launch destructive attacks in the United States, following a devastating cyberattack last week at Sony Pictures Entertainment.
The five-page, confidential "flash" warning issued to businesses late on Monday provided some technical details about the malicious software that was used in the attack, though it did not name the victim.
An FBI spokesman declined comment when asked if the software had been used against the California-based unit of Sony Corp.
Read MoreInside North Korea's elite cyberwarfare unit
An FBI official told NBC News that the advisory gives information security personnel details about the Sony attack, including several pages of computer coding. The advisory is not about a new malware attack.
Officials are still analyzing the Sony attack, which caused serious damage to that company's databases, according to NBC News.
The Sony attack resulted in five films being leaked online, including the updated version of "Annie." In the attack on the studio's corporate systems Nov. 24, an image of a skeleton appeared on company computers with a message that said, "Hacked by #GOP," with the group behind it calling itself "Guardians of Peace."
Read MoreBitcoin set to take over the financial world: Book
The message threatened to release "secrets and top secrets" of the company. Currently being investigated is a connection between upcoming Sony movie "The Interview," and North Korea.
Obama Nation
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Lawmakers Propose Higher Gas Tax | The Daily Caller
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 15:26
4398641
Gasoline prices have been plummeting in recent months due to falling oil prices. That means it's time for federal lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to push for a gas tax hike while prices at the pump are falling.
Reps. Tom Petri of Wisconsin and Earl Blumenauer of Oregon are pushing legislation that would raise the federal gasoline tax 15 cents over three years and index it to inflation. Blumenauer, a Democrat, introduced the bill. Petri, a Republican, supports it, invoking the legacy of President Ronald Reagan, who pushed for a gas tax hike in 1982.
''For too long we have watched unmet infrastructure needs increase and the regular funding source to meet these needs become less and less relevant over time,'' said Petri, who will be retiring this year.
''Ronald Reagan supported raising the gas tax back in 1982 because he believed in funding American infrastructure in a responsible way. I think he was right, and it's the best course of action we can take at this time,'' Petri said.
Lawmakers have been looking for ways to raise more revenue for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) which has been in dire financial straits as cars become more fuel efficient, depleting the gas tax revenues its meant to survive on.
According to the Department of Transportation, the HTF had a cash balance of $6.5 billion as of June 2014, but it's expected to have a shortfall again at the end of fiscal year 2014 '-- the HTF has run short on cash for the last 13 years.
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the U.S. needs to spend $2 trillion on surface transportation infrastructure to remain economically competitive with the rest of the world. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the HTF will need an additional $100 billion to stay solvent through 2020.
The national average gas price is about $2.75, down significantly from $3.263, largely due to falling oil prices. Falling prices at the pump present a politically opportune time to push for a higher gas tax. When prices at the pump are high, voters are less willing to endure higher taxes.
The federal gas tax stands at about 18 cents per gallon. This is on top of state gas taxes which averaged about 23 cents in 2013, according to the Energy Information Administration. The last time the gas tax was raised was in the 1990s.
''We all use our roads, bridges and rail, whether we're Republicans or Democrats, rural or urban,'' Blumenauer said. ''This should be our last gas tax increase ever, as we look for fairer and more sustainable funding methods, but it's necessary to bridge the gap and keep our country moving.''
But critics of a gas tax hike argue it's not going to solve the major problems with highway funding and is a ''bait and switch.''
Anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist with Americans for Tax Reform told CNBC's Squawk Box that Reagan admitted his gas tax hike ''was the biggest mistake he made as president.''
''This is a bait and switch that politicians play all the time,'' Norquist said. ''President Obama spent $800 billion with a stimulus package, which was supposed to pave all the highways.''
''We should push down to governors and to mayors the responsibility for raising their own taxes and building their own roads,'' he added.
It's uncertain if a gas tax hike bill will be able to make it out of the House, and there's even less certainty of it passing the Senate.
Norquist agrees that something needs to be done to fix America's aging infrastructure, but the federal government should play little part in it.
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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.
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dotcom us internet party
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 08:05
Last updated 14:21 02/12/2014
HAMISH RUTHERFORD
Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom says he will be "Hillary's worst nightmare" as he revealed plans for a US version of the Internet Party.
Dotcom, who is fighting extradition to the US where he is wanted on piracy charges took to Twitter today to announce the new political movement.
"The Internet Party is coming to the United States in 2015. Stay tuned for our celebrity founders from the music, film and Internet industry," Dotcom posted.
Minutes later he clarified that his role in the party would be limited.
"The Internet Party US will be well funded and run by American citizens. I will help with Public Relations ;-)".
Dotcom said however that he would be "Hillary's worst nightmare in 2016!" The statement appears to be a reference to Hillary Clinton, who is the favourite to win the Democrats' nomination to fight the 2016 US presidential election.
Dotcom helped found the Internet Party earlier this year and poured in millions of dollars of his own money.
He later helped strike a deal with the Mana Party to run on a combined ticket, which could have allowed him to coat tail MPs into Parliament if Mana leader Hone Harawira had retained his seat.
After initially appearing to rise in the polls, after a series of high profile events, the party suffered from infighting.
It eventually attracted only 1.42 per cent of the vote in the September 20 election. With Harawira defeated by Labour's Kelvin Davis in Te Tai Tokerau, the party failed to gain any MPs in Parliament.
Although Dotcom attacked National and its leader John Key throughout the campaign, his profile in the campaign was said by commentators to have helped boost turnout among National supporters, so ultimately helped see the National Party re-elected.
It is unclear what relationship the US Internet Party would have with the New Zealand party.
- Stuff
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MIC
McCain tells White House he wants Lieberman for defense secretary - The Washington Post
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 21:25
Then senator Joseph Lieberman and Sen. John McCain visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem. (Courtesy of Ohio Republican Party)
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), incoming chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Monday that White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough had contacted him about his thoughts on who should be the next defense secretary.
''I said Lieberman,'' McCain told our colleague Steven Ginsberg as he got off the Amtrak Acela from Washington to New York. McCain laughed and said McDonough thanked him for his input, but that McCain did not think his close pal, the former senator from Connecticut, a Democrat turned Independent, would be considered for the job. (After all, he did endorse McCain over Obama in '08.)
McCain also said he did not think Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson would be considered for the job.
''Interesting times. Interesting times,'' he said, before heading out of Penn Station for an appearance on the Colbert Report and then back to Washington Monday night.
Loop Fans may recall that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) last week promoted Lieberman as ''one strong option'' to replace outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. ''I urge the President to give him full and fair consideration for this critical position,'' Cruz said in a press release. And we predicted the suggestion would excite McCain.
The drumbeat is picking up.
Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the ''In the Loop'' column in 1993.
Shut Up Slave!
BBC News - Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland sets out social media prosecution guidelines
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 05:38
3 December 2014Last updated at 19:46 ET Prosecutors have set out new guidelines on whether messages posted on social media should be treated as a crime.
Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland said the test was simple: "If it would be illegal to say it on the street, it is illegal to say it online."
The Crown Office said it would not pursue satirical or mildly offensive humour or provocative statements.
But it promised a "robust" response to hate crime, stalking or credible threats of violence
The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service has previously sought clarity on where the legal boundary lies in such matters.
The guidelines state that communications should be considered for prosecution if they:
specifically target an individual or group which are considered to be hate crime, domestic abuse, or stalking constitute credible threats of violence to the person, damage to property or to incite public disorder may amount to a breach of a court order or contravene legislation making it a criminal offence to release or publish information relating to proceedings do not fall into the above categories but are nonetheless considered to be grossly offensive, indecent or obscene or involve the communication of false information about an individual or group which results in adverse consequences The lord advocate said the aim was not to deny freedom of speech but the law would target internet trolls posting sectarian, homophobic or violent messages or pictures
"Those who use the internet to peddle hate or abuse, to harass, to blackmail, or any other number of crimes, need to know that they cannot evade justice simply by hiding behind their computers or mobile phones," he said.
"I hope this serves as a wake up call to them.
"As prosecutors we will continue to do all in our power to bring those who commit these crimes to justice, and I would encourage anyone who thinks they have been victim of such a crime to report it to the police."
2TTH
U.S. Secret Service agent found dead, apparent suicide: source
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 05:46
U.S. Secret Service agent found dead, apparent suicide: sourceTop News
U.S. Secret Service agent found dead, apparent suicide: source
Fri, Nov 02 06:55 AM EDT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. Secret Service agent assigned to President Barack Obama's protective detail was found dead on Saturday in an apparent suicide, a law enforcement source said on Thursday.
Special agent Rafael Prieto was under investigation for having an unreported romantic relationship with a foreign national, the source said.
The agent's death is being investigated by the District of Columbia police, said Max Milien, a spokesman for the Secret Service.
"Rafael Prieto has a distinguished 20-year career with the Secret Service that was marked by accomplishment, dedication, friendships and the Secret Service is mourning a valued colleague," said Milien.
Prieto was not under investigation for compromising sensitive or classified information, but because he was involved in an administrative proceeding to see if he was in violation of Secret Service rules, the source said.
Gwendolyn Crump, a spokeswoman for the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, would not provide details about an ongoing investigation.
The Secret Service, which prides itself in unobtrusively protecting the president and vice president, has found itself under unaccustomed public scrutiny in recent months.
Secret Service employees were accused of bringing women, some of them prostitutes, back to their hotel rooms in Colombia in April during a trip to prepare for a visit by the president. The agency said later that nine personnel were found to have been involved in serious misconduct.
A government investigation concluded their actions did not compromise the president's safety, but the event was an embarrassment for the Secret Service and its director issued a stricter code of conduct afterward.
A Secret Service officer was arrested in Miami last month the day after a visit by Obama after having been found passed out on a street corner.
Officers are uniformed members of the agency, and perform support services, in contrast to plain-clothed agents who directly guard the president and vice president.
(Reporting By Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Eric Walsh and Peter Cooney)
U.S. Secret Service agent found dead, apparent suicide: sourceTop News
U.S. Secret Service agent found dead, apparent suicide: source
Fri, Nov 02 06:55 AM EDT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. Secret Service agent assigned to President Barack Obama's protective detail was found dead on Saturday in an apparent suicide, a law enforcement source said on Thursday.
Special agent Rafael Prieto was under investigation for having an unreported romantic relationship with a foreign national, the source said.
The agent's death is being investigated by the District of Columbia police, said Max Milien, a spokesman for the Secret Service.
"Rafael Prieto has a distinguished 20-year career with the Secret Service that was marked by accomplishment, dedication, friendships and the Secret Service is mourning a valued colleague," said Milien.
Prieto was not under investigation for compromising sensitive or classified information, but because he was involved in an administrative proceeding to see if he was in violation of Secret Service rules, the source said.
Gwendolyn Crump, a spokeswoman for the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, would not provide details about an ongoing investigation.
The Secret Service, which prides itself in unobtrusively protecting the president and vice president, has found itself under unaccustomed public scrutiny in recent months.
Secret Service employees were accused of bringing women, some of them prostitutes, back to their hotel rooms in Colombia in April during a trip to prepare for a visit by the president. The agency said later that nine personnel were found to have been involved in serious misconduct.
A government investigation concluded their actions did not compromise the president's safety, but the event was an embarrassment for the Secret Service and its director issued a stricter code of conduct afterward.
A Secret Service officer was arrested in Miami last month the day after a visit by Obama after having been found passed out on a street corner.
Officers are uniformed members of the agency, and perform support services, in contrast to plain-clothed agents who directly guard the president and vice president.
(Reporting By Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Eric Walsh and Peter Cooney)
Nukes
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Transatomic Power
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 22:30
12 October 2014The New York TimesVenture Capitalists Return to Backing Science Start-Ups"In August, the Founders Fund, which has backed social networks like Facebook and Yammer and the streaming-music service Spotify, announced a $2 million investment in Transatomic Power of Cambridge, Mass."
24 September 2014ForbesWe Need A Climate Miracle. Could 'New Nuclear' Provide It?"The US, EU and Japan have the technology infrastructure and the dynamic, startup companies to bring New Nuclear to the table quickly."
24 September 2014The TelegraphTechnology revolution in nuclear power could slash costs below coal"Transatomic says it can generate 75 times as much electricity per tonne of uranium as a conventional light-water reactor."
22 September 2014ForbesMolten Salt Nuclear Reactors: Part Of America's Long-Term Energy Future?"One of the most interesting is the work of Transatomic Power. Co-founded by two MIT Ph.D. students, the company is focused on developing a molten salt reactor fueled with nuclear waste."
26 August 2014The Washington PostFrom batteries to nuclear power and 3D printing, here's who to keep an eye on"What if you could build a nuclear power plant that was safe and it could use existing waste from other nuclear power plants? What a fascinating proposition! Enter Transatomic Power."
22 August 2014BetaBostonHow can we make the 'hard stuff' cool again?"Dewan is trying to reinvent the nuclear power plant. The goal of her startup, Transatomic Power: Make nuclear power far less hazardous -- and spare us from some of the effects of climate change in the process."
21 August 2014XconomyHow to Fund an Atomic Startup"Founders Fund was comfortable with the time scale to commercialization - roughly a decade - and the hefty capital requirements, because the venture firm successfully invested in SpaceX, which developed reusable rockets for space missions, under similar conditions, she says."
17 August 2014CNNLeslie Dewan on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS"The rewards could be great. She could help get rid of much of our nuclear waste, and generate enough electricity to power the globe for the next 72 years."
15 August 2014ExtremeTechMolten salt nuclear reactor that eats radioactive waste gets funded"Transatomic has designed a system that can use different types of fuel, including materials that are discarded as waste from traditional nuclear plants. We might as well eke a little more power out of it instead of sealing it up in metal caskets for 100,000 years, right?"
14 August 2014GigaomMore Valley investors are funding nuclear energy tech"At the same time, nuclear energy is starting to see growing public support now that several years have passed after Fukushima and that climate change is becoming an increasingly worrisome issue. While many environmentalists have been staunchly anti-nuclear, because of the waste and exposure issues, more and more environmentalists are starting to support nuclear as one of the only carbon emissions-free forms of base load power."
13 August 2014Next Big FutureTransatomic Power got $2 million in funding"Transatomic Power, developers of a molten salt nuclear reactor design, announced today that FF Science, an investment vehicle of Founders Fund, has invested $2 million to assist the company with its seed stage development."
5 August 2014Business InsiderBillionaire Investor Peter Thiel Now Wants To Disrupt The Nuclear Energy Industry"Billionaire investor Peter Thiel and his venture capital firm Founders Fund will make a $2 million investment in Transatomic Power, a startup that's focused on developing a new type of nuclear reactor that safely turns nuclear waste into clean energy."
5 August 2014Re/codeGoing Nuclear! Founders Fund Plugs $2 Million Into Transatomic"Founders Fund has made its first investment through FF Science, its new allocation for early-stage science ventures, putting $2 million into Transatomic Power."
5 August 2014GigaomNuclear startup Transatomic Power scores seed funding from Founders Fund"On Tuesday, nuclear startup Transatomic Power announced that it has closed a seed round of $2 million from the Founders Fund's newly-launched science-focused fund FF Science."
5 August 2014XconomyNuclear Startup Transatomic Power Lands $2M From Founders Fund"Cambridge, MA-based Transatomic has raised $2 million from FF Science, a portion of Founders Funds $1 billion investment pool that is targeted at science- and engineering-based companies."
5 August 2014Transatomic PowerFF Science Invests $2 Million to Support Transatomic Power's Breakthrough Nuclear Reactor"Transatomic Power, developers of a breakthrough in nuclear reactor design, announced today that FF Science, an investment vehicle of Founders Fund, has invested $2 million to assist the company with its seed stage development."
4 July 2014SourceableMolten Reactor Prevents Nuclear Proliferation"Scientists from Massachussetts-based Transatomic Power believe the improvements they've made to molten salt reactors have the potential to render the technology commercially viable by permitting the usage of uranium fuels with reduced enrichment levels."
3 July 2014FortuneStartup nuclear energy companies augur safer, cheaper atomic power"Between them, they portend leaps in safety, cut way down on nuclear waste, use "waste" as fuel, minimize weapons proliferation risks, slash costs and tremendously boost efficiencies."
24 June 2014The AtlanticIs Nuclear Power Ever Coming Back?"Transatomic Power's reactor operates at normal atmospheric pressure, eliminating the need for the heavy-duty containment structures that drive up the cost of building traditional plants. "
21 June 2014PhysOrgMolten salt reactor concept has new Transatomic Power lift"The company sees potential in an innovative nuclear reactor that can turn nuclear waste into a safe, clean, and scalable source of electricity."
20 June 2014IEEE SpectrumTransatomic Power Wants to Build a Better Reactor"Improving on the 1950s design, Dewan and Massie's reactor could run on spent nuclear fuel, thus reducing the industry's nuclear waste problem."
5 June 2014Bloomberg BusinessweekTransatomic Power's Safer Reactor Eats Nuclear Waste"Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie had a little time on their hands in February 2010, so they decided to fix what's wrong with nuclear reactors."
11 May 2014The Boston GlobeNuclear startups reimagine atomic energy"This technology, Transatomic added, could recover the remaining energy from spent fuel rods stored in US nuclear plants - more than 70,000 metric tons, enough to cover a football field about seven yards deep."
16 April 2014The Weather ChannelNuclear Waste Disposal"MIT engineer Dr. Leslie Dewan co-founded Transatomic Power to solve the problem of nuclear waste that stays hot for centuries."
11 April 2014New ScientistStart-ups fuel boom in small-scale nuclear power"A new wave of nuclear scientists aims to build small-scale reactors that provide carbon-free power more cheaply and safely than today's huge power plants."
3 April 2014Engineering.comGenerating Power from Nuclear Waste - A Moonshot Proposal"Dewan has proposed a nuclear reactor that runs on, and completely consumes, nuclear waste as its fuel."
26 February 2014GizmodoNuclear Energy: What is its place in the future global energy landscape? (in French)"[...] Russ Wilcox, Mark Massie, and Leslie Dewan have designed a nuclear reactor capable of simultaneously producing electricity by consuming radioactive waste from conventional power plants, and significantly reducing the radioactive lifetime of the waste."
26 February 2014Nuclear Energy InstituteNuclear Energy: What is its place in the future global energy landscape?"Leslie Dewan, the chief science officer and co-founder of Transatomic Power Corp., said that her company's proposed molten salt reactor design could achieve a high burnup rate and consume low-enriched uranium or used nuclear fuel. "
16 February 2014ContrepointsProducing energy with nuclear waste? (in French)"Using the hundreds of thousands of tons of nuclear waste already stored, future Transatomic Power reactors would be able to generate enough electricity to power the entire planet for 72 years."
13 February 2014Next Big FutureTransatomic Power presents their molten salt reactor at Google Solve for X 2014"When running on fresh fuel, the TAP reactor is able to generate up to about 75 times more electricity than a light water reactor per kilogram of natural uranium ore."
7 February 2014RayRockTransatomic Tackles Spent Nuclear Fuel Waste with Green Energy"Transatomic Power, a new company founded by MIT PhDs, Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie, and Russ Wilcox is tackling the spent nuclear fuel issue head on!"
5 February 2014The Breakthrough InstituteThe Passion of Alvin Weinberg"A new generation of engineers concerned about climate change are rediscovering Weinberg and his design. ... MIT engineer Leslie Dewan co-founded Transatomic Power, which uses a MSR design."
4 February 2014Next Big FutureTransatomic Power's molten salt nuclear reactor design that would generate 75 times more electricity per ton of uranium"Transatomic Power (TAP) is developing an advanced molten salt reactor that generates clean, passively safe, proliferation-resistant, and low-cost nuclear power."
3 January 2014Q FinanceMolten Salt Reactor Can Transform Nuclear Power Costs"One of the biggest, most insuperable problems with nuclear power generation, namely what to do with the waste that remains toxic for aeons to come, looks like it has been solved by a US start up. Say hello to the Massachusetts-based Transatomic Power."
2 January 2014Harvard Business School MagazineThe Power to Change"After disrupting the book industry with E Ink, Russell Wilcox (MBA 1995) hopes to transform the energy sector by converting nuclear waste into a safe electricity source."
31 December 2013GizmodoThe Most Monstrous Machines of the Year"America alone produces about 2,000 metric tons of nuclear waste annually and our best solution for disposing of it: bury it deep in the Earth. However, a pair of MIT scientists believe they've found not only a better way of eliminating nuclear waste but recycling the deadly detritus into enough clean electricity to power the entire world until 2083. Win, meet win."
30 December 2013Energy & CapitalThe Fuel of the Future"A new company based out of Massachusetts by the name of Transatomic Power of Cambridge has plans to build molten salt reactors to burn off nuclear waste by tons."
20 December 2013ReutersThorium and the dream of clean nuclear power"A privately owned U.S. start-up, Transatomic Power of Cambridge, Massachusetts, says it plans to build molten salt cooled reactors to burn some of the 270,000 metric tons of nuclear waste accumulated worldwide."
15 December 2013Smart PlanetBusiness! Innovation! Startups! It must be nuclear power"Innovation is returning to nuclear in a manner that the industry hasn't seen since the early days in the 1950s and 60s."
12 December 2013Klean IndustriesMolten Salt Reactor Can Transform Nuclear Power Costs"Novel designs with alternative cooling fluids other than water, such as Transatomic Power's molten salt-cooled reactor ... are in development."
6 December 2013Scientific AmericanThe future of nuclear energy: Let a thousand flowers bloom"They have transformed nuclear technology into an entrepreneurial game of ideas and funding sustained by a healthy interplay between academic, industrial and government laboratories. ... They are bucking the trend set by the large, bureaucratic government organizations and their industrial counterparts. And most importantly, they are having fun doing it, trading ideas and exploring new technical ground. "
4 December 2013TIME MagazineThese Are the 30 People Under 30 Changing the World"The innovative design ... mixes nuclear material with molten salt to contain reactions and reduce both waste and the risk of a meltdown."
27 November 2013GreenBizHow radical innovation can shake up the energy sector"Transatomic Power is more quietly making its progress in energy-hungry China. It has developed the mass-producible 500 MW-generating WAMSR, the Waste-Annihilating Molten Salt Reactor, which turns high-level nuclear waste into clean electric power."
19 November 2013Tech and Innovation DailyThe Technology That Will Help Prevent Another Fukushima Nuclear Disaster"Suppose there's a company whose nuclear design not only avoids meltdowns, but also puts the spent fuel rods left over from conventional nuclear reactors to good use. ... Well, there is. It's called Transatomic Power."
1 October 2013The Weather ChannelClimate Change Conversation Focuses on Science, Solutions"'My wish for this week is that we stop hitting the snooze button, that we get out of bed and do something,' Weather Company CEO David Kenny said during his opening remarks. 'We are making progress. We are slowly, slowly winning this battle and I hope today we move it a little further along.'"
16 September 2013US Embassy - IIP DigitalNuclear Entrepreneurs"New-generation nuclear reactors promise to make nuclear power generation safer, more efficient and less expensive and address the issue of radioactive waste, its byproduct, now stored at nuclear plant locations."
20 August 2013MIT Technology ReviewWhat if we could build a nuclear reactor that costs half as much, consumes nuclear waste, and will never melt down?"The nuclear power industry has a reputation for resisting innovative changes. But Leslie Dewan and a colleague have dared to invent a new type of nuclear reactor."
5 August 2013TIME MagazineAmid Economic and Safety Concerns, Nuclear Advocates Pin Their Hopes on New Designs"They see atomic power not as an existential threat to the planet but instead as the best way to save it, and they're trying to revive the stalled industry with next-generation reactor designs that could change the way a skeptical public views atomic energy."
10 July 2013Elle ChinaGeek GirlsCan Save the World (in Chinese)"This is a more secure, more economical, and more environmentally friendly energy source that will provide energy ... while addressing the world's mountain of nuclear waste."
8 July 2013TIME MagazineNuclear Energy Is Largely Safe. But Can It Be Cheap?"The reactor design could also potentially run off nuclear waste - addressing another problem that holds back atomic expansion. ... Pass the molten salt."
13 June 2013The New YorkerA New Way to Do Nuclear"Theoretically, the reactor can put out as much electric power (five hundred megawatts) as a standard coal plant without belching carbon into the atmosphere. It can also run on nuclear waste, generating power even as it relieves another environmental burden."
11 June 2013Popular ScienceThe Energy Fix: How Waste Could Power The U.S. For Decades"Engineers at a start-up called Transatomic Power say a reactor they designed could use this stockpile [of spent nuclear fuel] to meet the nation's energy needs for 70 years."
1 June 2013GlamourGlamour's First Ever Glamstarter Awards: 7 Women Entrepreneurs You Need to Know"She's taking complex issues and developing creative solutions that affect our environmental future."
14 March 2013GizmodoThe Future of Nuclear Power Runs on the Waste of Our Nuclear Past"America alone produces about 2,000 metric tons of nuclear waste annually and our best solution for disposing of it: bury it deep in the Earth. However, a pair of MIT scientists believe they've found not only a better way of eliminating nuclear waste but recycling the deadly detritus into enough clean electricity to power the entire world until 2083. Win, meet win."
13 March 2013Extreme TechThe 500MW molten salt nuclear reactor: Safe, half the price of light water, and shipped to order"Transatomic's proposed reactor would also have a so-called freeze plug - an actively cooled barrier that melts in the event of a power failure, leading all nuclear material to automatically drain into a reinforced holding tank. These reactors are 'walk away safe,' meaning that a power failure, a runaway heat cascade, and a general worker's strike could all happen on the same day - and the worst we'd suffer is loss of service."
12 March 2013MIT Technology ReviewSafer Nuclear Power, at Half the Price"Transatomic Power, an MIT spinoff, is developing a nuclear reactor that it estimates will cut the overall cost of a nuclear power plant in half. It's an updated molten-salt reactor, a type that's highly resistant to meltdowns. Molten-salt reactors were demonstrated in the 1960s at Oak Ridge National Lab, where one test reactor ran for six years, but the technology hasn't been used commercially."
27 February 2013Smart PlanetAnd the DOE energy innovation award goes to ... a new type of nuclear power"A couple of Transatomic Power's young co-founders - Mark Massie and Leslie Dewan - look more Twitterati than Nuclearati. But make no mistake. They're obsessed with nuclear power. So much so that this week, the newfangled nuclear reactor they're developing beat over 200 inventive contestants from across all areas of energy to scoop the top award at a U.S. Department of Energy "innovation summit," voted by investors and entrepreneurs."
13 December 2012Discovery NewsNuclear Plant Powered by Spent Fuel"An old nuclear technology is getting another look, and it could mean clean, emission-free electricity, while at the same solving the problem of nuclear waste. It's called a molten salt reactor, and it's an idea that dates to the late 1950s. A start-up called Transatomic Power, based in Cambridge, Mass., is working on a newer version that uses nuclear waste as fuel."
17 December 2012Forbes30 Under 30 - The Future of Energy is Nuclear"With no risk of meltdown, no carbon emissions, and powered by nuclear waste, Dewan and Massie's design could change the world. ... (Plus, they're exceptionally charismatic and well spoken: check out their captivating TED talk here, and Leslie Dewan's new interview with Forbes here.)"
2 November 201290.9WBURE Ink Founder's Startup Goal: Power The World With Efficient Nuclear Power"Russell Wilcox has helped change the way we read. Now he wants to change the way we produce nuclear power. Wilcox co-founded E Ink, the company that created and built the screens in e-readers such as Kindles and Nooks. Now he's taken the helm of another start-up out of MIT. The goal? To make a new kind of safe and efficient nuclear reactor that could run on nuclear waste."
27 September 2012ForbesA Pair of MIT Scientists Try to Transform Nuclear Power"'Nuclear power is in a cul de sac,' Russ Wilcox, the CEO and co-founder of Transatomic, told me in a phone interview. 'The nuclear industry knows it's in trouble, it's not quite sure what to do, and it's just trying to survive for the moment. It's a fabulous time to do a leapfrog move.'"
4 June 2012GigaomWhen digital entrepreneurs go nuclear, literally"Entrepreneur Russ Wilcox, who is the former CEO and co-founder of display-maker E Ink, has just joined next-gen nuclear startup Transatomic Power as its CEO."
22 March 2012BostInnoThink Hiring a Ruby Developer is Hard? Try Staffing a Nuclear Reactor Startup"In an age of lean startups and hyper-focus on capital efficiency, you might think nuclear power is anathema to the startup and venture world. But you'd be wrong."
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Is Chernobyl still dangerous or was 60 Minutes pushing propaganda? - Atomic Insights
Mon, 01 Dec 2014 19:48
On November 23, 2014, 60 minutes, the venerable CBS News Sunday evening program that has been on the air since its launch in 1968, aired a segment titled Chernobyl: The Catastrophe That Never Ended. The show is full of fascinating contrasts between what the cameras show to the audience and what the narrator tells the audience that they should believe.
Watched with the sound off, viewers see a landscape that has been largely abandoned by humans and taken over by lush greenery. There are a few people living and working in the area who seem quite content. They gesture to interesting icons, statues, empty buildings, and the relics of an old amusement park. There are camera wielding tourists casually walking around and putting themselves in a variety of position seeking an unusual photo or camera angle.
There is a large construction project with swarms of workers wearing the high visibility vests that are typical for a busy work site with numerous moving vehicles. That busy site is quite close to the site of the reactor that was severely damaged 28 years ago in what is perhaps one of the most widely discussed explosions and fires in recorded history.
There are photos of solidified material taken by remote cameras from inside the reactor building. The material looks like it will remain in place for a very long time.
The narrator appears to be well past the standard retirement age of 65.
In fact, the segment narrator, Bob Simon is a television journalist with a long and distinguished history that includes a substantial body of reporting work from Vietnam in the early 1970s. He was born in May 1941. At 73, he is about 5 years older than the first baby boomers. Simon is a member of the ''duck and cover'' generation who was at a very impressionable age of just 4 when bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
If you turn the sound on and watch the segment again, you will hear the narrator telling viewers that radiation ''virtually never dies'', that the Chernobyl ''crisis'' is still with us, that the damaged plant is a danger to the world, that he disbelieves anything that the government or nuclear trained scientists and engineers have told us about the current situation and that he trembles when his dosimeter makes an audible sound designed to let a wearer know that he should take a look at it and understand his current exposure.
He cannot understand why his construction project tour guide '-- a man who has worked every day at the site for years '-- seems unconcerned. He is surprised to find a musician who has chosen to live near the reactor instead of someplace more distant. He seems shocked when that musician uses the word ''sacred'' to describe his surroundings.
He talks to an old couple who returned to their evacuated village more than 25 years ago. That couple tells him that they were constantly sick in the apartment where the government placed them during the evacuation but have been healthy ever since they moved back into their home. Simon asks if no one ever told them that their home was a dangerous place to live; the man tells Simon that he would have died long ago if he had remained in the city.
Finally Simon finds someone else who will reinforce his fears and help him spread the word that radioactivity in the Chernobyl area is not so low after all. Timothy Mousseau, a University of South Carolina biologists who has been the subject of several posts on Atomic Insights '-- including Critical Analysis of Mousseau Fukushima Presentation '-- tells Simon that mice found in ''The Zone'' can be 10,000 times as radioactive as a mouse from a clean area. Not surprisingly, that scary sounding fact is allowed to stand on its own, with no context provided about the health effect to the mouse or the actual level of contamination found. What is 10,000 times virtually zero?
Based on the professional position he has attained, I'd guess that Bob Simon was a good student when he was growing up. I assume that he was skilled at learning his lessons well enough to repeat the information that his teachers wanted to hear on tests, in essays, and during class presentations.
He apparently listened carefully to the lessons that frequently reminded him to be very afraid of radiation, but he seems to have avoided enrolling in any courses that might have provided useful information about how radiation is measured, what effects it has at various levels of intensity and why there is absolutely no reason for a 73 year old man to worry about radiation health effects unless he happens to somehow find an area with levels hundreds of times higher than the ones that can be measured near Chernobyl.
He probably didn't spend much time wondering why the information he memorized did not match reality, possibly because he never met anyone who worked with radiation on a professional basis.
He also seems to have avoided noticing that lumps of metal cannot move or become airborne without some kind of driving force or that materials inside buildings '-- even poorly maintained buildings '-- do not harm people who are outside of the buildings. When trained people can comfortably work within a few hundred feet of the damaged reactor building, it should be obvious to a professional investigator there is no need for anyone living several miles away to worry and absolutely no need for anyone living dozens to hundreds of miles away to spend any time fretting about potential health effects.
Of course, Bob Simon probably did not write, produce or approve the segment, so there are numerous culpable people involved in the production and distribution of the misinformation contained in Chernobyl: The Catastrophe That Never Ended.
I correspond with a number of experts in fields related to radiation, radioactive waste management, site restoration, and the health effects of low level radiation. There has been quite a bit of discussion about the misinformation propagated by this particular 60 Minutes segment.
Here is a quote from Dr. Leo Gomez, who had a long and distinguished career in radiation science, including serving as the editor of the journal Radioactive Waste Management and Environmental Restoration.
I don't know if you saw the 60 Minutes program, but it was really bad. If their stories about topics I know little about are as off the mark as the Chernobyl story was, I don't see how the 60 Minutes folks ca be believed. I'll be more attentive to what they say about anything doing with science.
That comment reminded me of a time when I participated in a survey at my local Rotary Club. About 90% of us believed that the media did a very poor job of accurately providing information about the fields that we knew the most about. About the same number of us generally trusted the media as a source of information for those fields that we knew little about. Think about that for a moment.
After watching the segment several times, I found myself wondering why it was produced and why CBS chose to air it now. With all of the major events happening in the world today, why did CBS choose to focus the attention of its large and still influential audience on a site that was made famous by an industrial accident that took place nearly three decades ago.
I picked up several clues. Not only does the segment reinforce the drumbeat of radiation fear that has been repeated for the past 55 years, but it also reminds people that the Soviet empire failed a long time ago as a result of mistakes like Chernobyl. The abandoned city of Pripyat is described as a ''model of Soviet modernity.'' Simon emphasizes the Soviet era iconography around the city with at least a half a dozen lengthy camera shots and several paragraphs of commentary.
Near the end he makes the following comment:
He spends most of his time writing music for his base guitar, music as desolate as the landscape surrounding him (footage of abandoned apartments '-- surrounded by lush greenery). As desolate as the remains of this empire which has long since disappeared (camera focuses on a statue of Lenin).
I might be reading too much into those words, but I suspect that Simon and his producers are subtly saying that Chernobyl should be viewed as a symbolic expression of the Soviet Union and that the real danger it represents is that the empire that created the catastrophe seems to be trying to rise again.
It is also possible that the segment is designed to garner sympathy and resources for Ukraine as it struggles for continued independence against a rising Russian influence. The message in this well-times propaganda piece is not only antinuclear, but anti-Russian.
Note: I recommend a visit to the CBS page about the segment, where there are several additional related videos that were not aired as part of the televised segment. Those clips helped to form the basis for my interpretation. I considered embedding or or two of them here, but some of the programmed pre-roll ads are rather offensive ''blue pill'' commercials.
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Finland Approves Russia's Rosatom To Build Reactor At Hanhikvi
Mon, 01 Dec 2014 19:50
The Commerce Committee of the Parliament of Finland has given its approval to Fennovoima's plan to build a Rosatom reactor at Hanhikvi. The Finnish government is to take a final vote on an amended decision-in-principle in a plenary session on 5 December.
The government issued a decision-in-principle in favour of the construction of a 1500-2500 MWe capacity plant at Hanhikivi in 2010. Fennovoima's original application had foreseen Areva's EPR and SWR-1000 and Toshiba's ABWR as possible reactors choices. However, in 2013 Fennovoima signed a plant supply contract with Rusatom Overseas for an AES-2006 power plant with a 1200 MWe VVER reactor.
Earlier this year the company applied to the Ministry of Employment and the Economy to supplement the 2010 decision-in-principle to include the Rosatom reactor. The decision-in-principle will be nullified if Fennovoima does not submit an application for a construction licence by 30 June 2015.
In September, the country's minister of economic affairs recommended that the government approve Fennovoima's supplement while rejecting an application from Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) for an extension to a decision-in-principle for a fourth unit at Olkiluoto.
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Space Fakes
BBC News - Nasa's Orion 'Mars ship' set for test flight
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 05:23
3 December 2014Last updated at 23:56 ET By Jonathan AmosScience correspondent, BBC News, Cape CanaveralA US space capsule that could help get humans to Mars is due to make its maiden flight later.
Orion will be launched on a Delta rocket out of Cape Canaveral in Florida on a short journey above the Earth to test key technologies.
The conical vessel is reminiscent of the Apollo command ships that took men to the Moon in the 1960s and 1970s, but bigger and with cutting-edge systems.
Given that this is a first outing, there will be no people aboard.
Nonetheless, the US space agency describes the demonstration as a major event.
"This is huge; Thursday is a giant day for us," said Nasa administrator Charlie Bolden.
Lift-off is scheduled to occur at 07:05 local time (12:05 GMT), depending on the weather and the technical readiness of all involved.
Orion is being developed alongside a powerful new rocket that will have its own debut in 2017 or 2018.
Together, they will form the core capabilities needed to send humans beyond the International Space Station to destinations such as the Red Planet.
For Thursday's flight, the Delta IV-Heavy rocket - currently the beefiest launcher in the world - is being used as a stand-in.
It will send Orion twice around the globe, throwing the ship up to an altitude of almost 6,000km (19,600ft).
This will set up a fast fall back to Earth, with a re-entry speed into the atmosphere close to 30,000km/h (20,000mph) - near what would be expected of a capsule coming back from the Moon.
It should give engineers the opportunity to check the performance of Orion's critical heat shield, which is likely to experience temperatures in excess of 2,000C (4,000F).
They will also watch how the parachutes deploy as they gently lower the capsule into Pacific waters off Mexico's Baja California Peninsula.
Although Orion is a Nasa project, the development has been contracted to Lockheed Martin, and the aerospace giant will be running the show on Thursday.
But the US space agency will be there in the background, keen to see that the LM designs meet their specifications.
A good example is the radiation protection built into the capsule. Radiation will be one of the major hazards faced on voyages into deep space, and Orion's systems must cope with the challenge.
"We're going to be flying through parts of the Van Allen radiation belts, since we're 15 times higher than the space station," explained Mark Geyer, Nasa's Orion programme manager.
"The ISS would not have to deal with radiation but we will, and so will every vehicle that goes to the Moon. That's a big issue for the computers. These processors that are now so small - they're great for speed but they're more susceptible to radiation. That's something we have to design for and see how it all behaves."
Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.
The animation shows how the maiden test voyage of Orion should progress
Thursday's mission is but one small step in a very long development programme. Unable to call upon the financial resources of the Apollo era, Nasa is instead having to take a patient path.
Even if today it had a fully functioning Orion, with its dedicated rocket, Nasa would not be able to mount a mission to another planetary body because the technology to carry out surfaces operations has not been produced yet.
This worries observers like space historian John Logsdon, who doubts the policy as currently envisaged in sustainable.
He told the BBC: "The first launch with a crew aboard is 2020/21, and then nothing very firmly is defined after that, although of course Nasa has plans. That's too slow-paced to keep the launch teams sharp, to keep everyone engaged. It's driven by the lack of money, not the technical barriers."
One solution is to pull in international partners. Europe, for instance, is going to make the "back end" for all future Orion capsules.
This service module is principally the propulsion unit that drives Orion through space. Prof Logsdon wonders if additional partners might want to pick up some of the other technologies needed to help speed the exploration path.
Jonathan.Amos-INTERNET@bbc.co.uk and follow me on Twitter: @BBCAmos
Bank$ters
EconomicPolicyJournal.com: HERE IT COMES: MasterCard Seeks 'Level Playing Field' for Bitcoin Regulation
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 23:08
MasterCard has spoken out against bitcoin's perceived risks and called for regulators to create a "level playing field" for payments systems.The statements were made as part of an ongoing Australian inquiry into digital currencies, headed by the Senate Standing Committee on Economics.In a document, the credit card company argues that all financial services should be held to the same standard, stating that it is imperative all consumers and merchants are able to conduct business and commerce in a way that is safe and simple for all."It is our view that all participants in the payments system that provide similar services to consumers should be regulated in the same way to achieve a level playing field for all. Moreover, any regulations should be technology neutral to ensure that they can and do apply to all new providers of payment services to consumers, especially with advancements in technology." MasterCard "strongly advocates" the application of industry standards on any payment service, including digital currency, explaining:"It must be safe, stable and reliable for consumers; it must provide an accepted value guarantee without exposure to significant fluctuation and risk; and it must offer all the basic protections that consumers and other stakeholders (regulators, governments, banks and merchants) have come to expect."(via CoinDesk)I wrote earlier this year:
I expect that at some point, under the guise of protecting consumers, government regulation will require that Bitcoin middlemen at the retail level, such as Bitpay, allow chargebacks against purchases made with Bitcoin, , in a manner similar to the chargeback process required of Mastercard, Visa, and American Express, if a consumer is unhappy with a product.
This will wipe out the low transaction cost advantage that Bitcoin now has. And, note well, as I have reported, Mastercard has recently hired 5 lobbyists to lobby on behalf of Mastercard and against Bitcoin.
Real News
Mystery of missing University of Texas brains solved
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 07:47
Rick Jervis and Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY6:10 p.m. EST December 3, 2014
Charles J. Whitman, shown in a 1966 photo, was shot and killed in Austin after killed 16 people in a shooting rampage. His brain may have been among 100 specimen missing from a UT-Austin lab.(Photo: AP)
AUSTIN -- The mystery of the missing brains at the University of Texas
appeared solved Wednesday afternoon.
UT officials released a statement saying the 100 brains believed missing from a neuroscience lab were actually destroyed in 2002 as part of routine disposal of biological waste.
"We believe the workers disposed of between 40 and 60 jars, some of which contained multiple human brains, and worked with a biological waste contractor to do so safely," the statement read.
University officials also denied earlier claims that the missing brains had surfaced at another university and said they had "no evidence" that one of the missing brains belonged to Charles Whitman, the infamous UT campus sniper, "though we will continue to investigate those reports."
The missing organs, which represent about half of the university's original collection, had been stored in jars of formaldehyde in a closet in the university's Animal Resources Center, where studies of human brains also occur, prior to the building's renovation, it said.
The brains have been used by neuroscience students to study everything from Huntington's disease to Parkinson's disease, depression, strokes and other disorders.
The Animal Resources Center originally got the organs in 1986 from the Austin State Hospital, formerly known as the Texas State Lunatic Asylum, under a "temporary possession" agreement.
The specimens were assembled by Dr. Coleman de Chenar, a resident pathologist at ASH. They were taken from deceased patients at the hospital from the 1950s through the 1970s, when surgical lobotomies and electroshock therapy were common.
The collection included brains of patients inflicted with dementia, meningitis and Down's syndrome, as well as post-encephalitic Parkinson patients who had been infected with the flu virus around 1918.
The realization that some of the brains had vanished stemmed from the research of a local photographer, Adam Voorhes, who became fascinated with the all-but-forgotten collection and started asking questions. His photo book,Malformed: Forgotten Brains of the Texas State Mental Hospital, is due out this month.
All identifying data was removed from the specimens when the center took them in.
Charles Whitman, 25, killed 16 people, including his mother and wife, before he was fatally shot by police in 1966.
Whitman, who had complained of debilitating headaches, irrational thoughts and "violent impulses," had suspected he suffered from mental illness and left a note requesting his brain be studied.
He said he hoped that there would be an autopsy on his body "to see if there is any visible physical disorder."
De Chenar performed Whitman's autopsy and found a small tumor in his brain and purportedly added the organ to the collection. Thus, Whitman's body was buried in a family plot in Florida, but his brain stayed behind in Austin.
A state commission report on the shootings later found that "the highly malignant brain tumor conceivably could have contributed to his inability to control his emotions and actions."
Austin photographer Adam Voorhes with one of the images from his book project on brains. (Photo: Erich Schlegel for USA TODAY)
As for the missing organs, the university said in a statement that it will investigate "the circumstances surrounding this collection since it came here nearly 30 years ago" and is "committed to treating the brain specimens with respect." It says the remaining brain specimens on campus are used "as a teaching tool and carefully curated by faculty."
The 100 remaining brains at the school have been moved to the Norman Hackerman Building, where they are being scanned with high-resolution resonance imaging equipment.
"As researchers and teachers, we understand the potential scientific value of all of our holdings and take our roles as stewards of them very seriously," the statement said.
Contributing: Associated Press
Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1ygfMoj
VIDEO-CLIPS-DOCS
VIDEO-Exclusive Interview with Man Charged in McChicken Assault of Pregnant Wife | whotv.com
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 15:24
DES MOINES, Iowa '-- A Des Moines man is making international news after he was arrested for assaulting his pregnant wife '-- with a McDonald's McChicken sandwich.
Marvin Hill says his wife brought him the sandwich, even though he doesn't like McChicken. We asked him, ''What is it about McChicken?'' ''There's nothing about the McChicken,'' Hill said, ''I just'...some of them have like cartilage in them and I don't like them. It's not something that you want to wake up to and then see like, 'oh, my wife brought me a McChicken.'''
He says that led to a fight. ''I don't know. I was mad. I threw the bun at her hair,'' Hill said, ''After the bun hit her in the hair she started screaming hysterically and I was like 'dude, you're'...you're freaking out for no reason. Chill out.'''
So, Hill says, instead of comforting his wife he thought it would be funnier to video tape her tantrum. ''I picked up our daughter. She goes to the bathroom to clean the mayo out of her hair and stuff and then I was filming it because she was cussing me out the whole time as I was holding out daughter and stuff,'' Hill says, ''She hit me in my nose, she busted my lip and I was like 'dude you just hit me while I'm holding our kid. Like what's wrong with you.'''
Hill called the police, and they wound up arresting him for assault. On the police report, under ''tool or weapon used,'' police wrote ''McChicken.''
''Like even the cops when they was talking to me they were like 'they really arrested you for that?' and I was like 'yeah. I don't know what to tell you. That's the only weapon I had'...a McChicken.'''
According to the police report, Mrs. Hill told officers her husband pushed the bun into her face, causing redness on her nose. Police say Mr. Hill was the aggressor in the incident and was trying to entice her into knocking his phone out of his hands to make it appear as though she was the aggressor.
Like most couples, Hill says he and his wife have had fights over the past five years they've been together, but nothing involving fast food. Now, the story of his un-happy meal has gone viral, being picked up by news agencies all over the world. ''I mean it sucks. Because I'd never want to be famous for that. Nobody wants to be famous for beating their wife,'' Hill says, ''I just hope it goes away. Like I don't want to be remembered as like the McDonald's McChicken bandit dude.''
VIDEO- LIVE - Vladimir Putin's annual address to Federal assembly (English) - YouTube
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 15:16
VIDEO-Returning to NBC, Nancy Snyderman Finally Admits She Violated Ebola Quarantine | MRCTV
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 02:56
More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.
After a two-month leave of absence following her violation of an Ebola quarantine, NBC's chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman returned to the network with an appearance on Wednesday's Today and finally took personal responsibility for her actions: "I'm very sorry for not only scaring my community and the country, but adding to the confusion....I stepped outside the boundaries of what I promised to do and what the public expected of me. And for that, I'm sorry."
That apology was in stark contrast to the initial statement Snyderman put out in October, when she completely avoided any blame for breaking quarantine: "While under voluntary quarantine guidelines, which called for our team to avoid public contact for 21 days, members of our group violated those guidelines and understand that our quarantine is now mandatory until 21 days have passed."
VIDEO- Selma Official Trailer #1 (2015) - Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding Jr. Movie HD - YouTube
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 02:47
VIDEO-President Obama Speaks on the Eric Garner Decision | The White House
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 02:39
December 03, 2014 | 4:41 | Public Domain
Speaking from the 2014 Tribal Nations Conference, President Obama addresses the Eric Garner decision.
Download mp4 (170MB) | mp3 (5MB)
VIDEO-Assassination studies Kennedy knew a coup was coming - YouTube
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 01:27
VIDEO-Ben Carson Doubles Down On Nazi Germany, Slavery Comparisons | Crooks and Liars
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 01:06
As anybody with a brain knows, Ben Carson is not a credible presidential candidate, but it will be fun to see him in the GOP primaries. And since he's a black conservative, he gets plenty of airtime from the networks to spew his fahrbot theories. Carson has compared Obamacare to slavery and back in March, he equated American society to that of Nazis Germany, I kid you not.
"I mean, [our society is] very much like Nazi Germany," Carson told Breitbart News, after declaring that we were living in a "Gestapo age." "And I know you're not supposed to say 'Nazi Germany,' but I don't care about political correctness. You know, you had a government using its tools to intimidate the population. We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe."
Ben Carson joined Wolf Blitzer today on CNN and defended his harebrained remarks by blaming one of his bogeymen, the PC police.
"Nazi Germany experienced something horrible," Carson told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday. "The people in Nazi Germany largely didn't believe in what Hitler was doing. But they didn't say anything? Of course not, they kept their mouth shut. The fact that our government is using instruments of government like the IRS to punish its opponents, this is not the kind of thing that is a Democrat or a Republican issue. This is an American issue ... A lot of people do not feel free to express themselves."
Asked on Wednesday whether he would retract or amend the Nazi Germany comparison, Carson said, "absolutely not."
"You are just focusing on the words Nazi Germany and completely missing the point of what I said," Carson told Blitzer. "And that's the problem right now. That's what 'PCism' is all about. You may not say this word regardless of what your point is because if you say that word, I go into a tizzy."
Carson also refused to walk back comments he made in October last year in which he described Obamacare as the "worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery."
'†' Story continues below '†'
"Slavery was a horrible thing and affected many people in horrible ways, some of those effects still present today. So, no, it is not the same as slavery," he said of Obamacare on Wednesday. "However, what needs to be understood here is that the way this country was set up, the people -- we the people were set up at the pinnacle of power in this nation.
"The government is supposed to conform to our will," he added. "By taking the most important thing you have, your health and your health care, and turning that over to the government, you fundamentally shift the power, a huge chunk of it, from the people to the government. This is not the direction that we want the government to go in this nation."
When have conservatives ever been silent on anything? This is the garbage that revs up the conservative base and it makes no sense at all. Americans having access to healthcare seems to be a lot better than forcing African Americans to pick cotton for their southern overlords.
This is the man that came in second to Mitt Romney in the latest GOP presidential poll. Herman Cain 2.0, here we come!
Trey Gowdy: Don't Take President Obama's Bait On Immigration
Fox News Host Channels Jim Crow: Americans Should Pass 'Citizenship Test' To Vote
VIDEO-Vice's Shane Smith Hints at HLN Acquisition: 'We Believe We Could Do a Better Job' - TVNewser
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 00:47
Is Vice founder and CEO Shane Smith pondering an acquisition of HLN? He sure hinted as much in a conversation with Jeff Jarvis at the Paley Media Council Tuesday. ''There's a lot of distressed media assets out there, some of them in TV, that we can go after'' Smith said. ''HLN is a distressed media asset. It's a great opportunity because they're doing a very bad job and we believe we could do a better job.''
HLN, which was born as CNN Headline News, has had a tumultuous year. In February, newly installed HLN boss Albie Hecht canceled the long-running ''Showbiz Tonight'', and announced a rebranding of the network, which would become ''the first TV network for the social media generation.'' The network, the thinking went, would attract millennials with a new look, new hosts, and a focus on ''what's trending, going viral, and being shared''.
And yet, by summer, Time Warner appeared ready to hit HLN reboot button yet again''turning to Vice as a potential partner. Time Warner was reported to be considering a major investment in Vice Media, with Smith's company taking over the programming of HLN. The proposed deal was estimated to be in excess of $2 billion. But by August, it was dead. ''Negotiations with Vice have ended,'' Hecht wrote in a note to employees.That same month, The Wall Street Journal reported Time Warner held talks with Glenn Beck's The Blaze over another potential joint venture to ''replace'' HLN.
Perhaps not surprisingly, talk of turning HLN into a hip, buzzy destination for millennials faded fast, with most discussion in the fall centered around layoffs and cancelations.
Vice, meanwhile, spent September cashing checks. The company secured new investments''from Silicon Valley firm Technology Crossover Ventures and cable broadcaster A+E Networks''worth $500 million. That put a valuation on Vice in excess of $2.5 billion, with Smith saying his goal was to use the new funding to create thousands of hours of video content. ''High-quality content and innovative tech platforms will drive Vice through this next period of growth on our relentless quest for total media domination,'' he said.
Here's Smith on Tuesday talking about HLN as a potential takeover target:
VIDEO- Orion: Trial By Fire - YouTube
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 00:13
VIDEO-White House taps soap opera producer as ambassador - CNN.com
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 23:09
By Sara Fischer, CNN
December 3, 2014 -- Updated 1244 GMT (2044 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
A soap opera producer was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Hungary by President Barack ObamaA White House spokesman says Colleen Bell's campaign fundraising role was not the reason she was chosenWashington (CNN) -- It's not every day that White House has to defend its decision to nominate a soap opera producer to represent the country on one of the highest diplomatic levels.
But it was that kind of Tuesday.
Asked at the daily press briefing what makes "The Bold and The Beautiful" producer Colleen Bell qualified to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, White House spokesman Josh Earnest didn't exactly have an explanation.
"(She's) somebody who obviously has succeeded in, you know, in the business world," Earnest said.
"And she is somebody that the President has confidence will be able to maintain our relationship with the government and the people of Hungary."
Earnest also denied that Bell's hand in raising millions of dollars for the President's re-election campaign had anything to do with her appointment.
"Well, I can tell you that that's not the reason she was chosen," he said.
Earnest said the reason Bell was nominated for the post was because the President "has complete confidence in her ability to represent the United States in that country."
But not everyone will be satisfied with that answer.
Just hours before, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, blasted Bell's nomination on the Senate floor.
"We're about to vote on a totally unqualified individual to be ambassador to a nation which is very important to our national security interests," he said.
"I am not against political appointees ... but here we are, a nation that's on the verge of seceded its sovereignty to a neo-fascist dictator getting in bed with Vladimir Putin and we're gonna send the producer of 'The Bold and the Beautiful' as our ambassador," McCain said.
Bell was confirmed to the position Tuesday by a Democrat-led Senate. The chamber also confirmed Noah Mamet, another Democratic fundraiser, as the ambassador to Argentina.
This is not the first diplomatic position the President has selected Bell for. In 2010, Obama appointed Bell to the President's Advisory Committee on the Arts at the Kennedy Center.
VIDEO-Ursula Le Guin - YouTube
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 22:06
VIDEO- Nancy Grace Learns On Air That Families Cannot Sue Pharma For Vaccine Injury or Death - YouTube
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 21:53
VIDEO-Joe Scarborough Just Went On An Epic Tirade About Ferguson - Business Insider
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 21:19
MSNBCJoe Scarborough, right, on "Morning Joe."
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough has had it with the Ferguson, Missouri, protests.
Scarborough devoted a lengthy segment on Monday's "Morning Joe" to chastising both the protests and related media coverage. In particular, the former GOP congressman raged against the St. Louis Rams players who expressed solidarity with the demonstrators by raising their hands as they entered the field during their football game on Sunday.
"I'm sorry, this Ram thing, this was the final straw for me," an exasperated Scarborough said. "I have sat here quietly and listened to BS being spewed all over this network and all over other networks. I can't take it anymore."
Ferguson has been the epicenter of racially charged protests since 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed in August by a white police officer. Violent looters and arsonists roiled the city again last week when a grand jury announced its decision not to indict the officer, Darren Wilson.
Scarborough said he agreed with the protesters that the justice system racially discriminated against young black men, but he insisted that Brown's case was not necessarily the ideal example. He cited Brown allegedlyrobbing a conveniencestore before his fatal encounter with Wilson.
"There are so many great people to embrace as heroes in the black community that deciding you're going to embrace a guy who knocked over a convenience store, and then according to grand jury testimony, acted in ways that would get my children shot '... that's your hero? That's the reason you want to burn down black businesses?" Scarborough asked.
Scarborough also called out some of his show's guests for agreeing with him privately but refusing to express their views on air.
"You know what pisses me off too is I have people around this set all the time. They let me say what I say on set and they sit and stare at me, slack-jawed," he said. "They're afraid to say anything on the air, even though they know it's BS. People [are] saying one thing when the camera's on and then saying something completely different when the camera gets turned off, because they're somehow afraid they'll be called racist if they tell the truth."
Scarborough went on to preemptively dismiss any criticism he receives on the subject.
"If I've offended anybody offended anybody by saying what I've said, trust me, 95% of America thinks just like me. Just because there are cowards that won't say that on TV '-- that's your problem, it's not mine," he said.
View the full segment below.
VIDEO- Josh Earnest says Obama was "speaking colloquially" when he said he changed immigration law - YouTube
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 20:56
VIDEO-BBC News - Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence could end mankind
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 20:49
2 December 2014Last updated at 08:02 ET By Rory Cellan-JonesTechnology correspondent Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.
Stephen Hawking: "Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete and would be superseded"
Prof Stephen Hawking, one of Britain's pre-eminent scientists, has said that efforts to create thinking machines pose a threat to our very existence.
He told the BBC:"The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race."
His warning came in response to a question about a revamp of the technology he uses to communicate, which involves a basic form of AI.
But others are less gloomy about AI's prospects.
The theoretical physicist, who has the motor neurone disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is using a new system developed by Intel to speak.
Machine learning experts from the British company Swiftkey were also involved in its creation. Their technology, already employed as a smartphone keyboard app, learns how the professor thinks and suggests the words he might want to use next.
Prof Hawking says the primitive forms of artificial intelligence developed so far have already proved very useful, but he fears the consequences of creating something that can match or surpass humans.
"It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate," he said.
"Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete, and would be superseded."
But others are less pessimistic.
"I believe we will remain in charge of the technology for a decently long time and the potential of it to solve many of the world problems will be realised," said Rollo Carpenter, creator of Cleverbot.
Cleverbot's software learns from its past conversations, and has gained high scores in the Turing test, fooling a high proportion of people into believing they are talking to a human.
Rise of the robotsMr Carpenter says we are a long way from having the computing power or developing the algorithms needed to achieve full artificial intelligence, but believes it will come in the next few decades.
"We cannot quite know what will happen if a machine exceeds our own intelligence, so we can't know if we'll be infinitely helped by it, or ignored by it and sidelined, or conceivably destroyed by it," he says.
But he is betting that AI is going to be a positive force.
Prof Hawking is not alone in fearing for the future.
In the short term, there are concerns that clever machines capable of undertaking tasks done by humans until now will swiftly destroy millions of jobs.
In the longer term, the technology entrepreneur Elon Musk has warned that AI is "our biggest existential threat".
Robotic voiceIn his BBC interview, Prof Hawking also talks of the benefits and dangers of the internet.
He quotes the director of GCHQ's warning about the net becoming the command centre for terrorists: "More must be done by the internet companies to counter the threat, but the difficulty is to do this without sacrificing freedom and privacy."
He has, however, been an enthusiastic early adopter of all kinds of communication technologies and is looking forward to being able to write much faster with his new system.
But one aspect of his own tech - his computer generated voice - has not changed in the latest update.
Prof Hawking concedes that it's slightly robotic, but insists he didn't want a more natural voice.
"It has become my trademark, and I wouldn't change it for a more natural voice with a British accent," he said.
"I'm told that children who need a computer voice, want one like mine."
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WATCH: Prof Murray Shanahan provides a brief introduction to AI
VIDEO-Charles Barkley Pushes Back When CNN Reporter Alleges Racially-Charged Police Killing Was 'Homicide' | Video | TheBlaze.com
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 20:15
In a new interview with CNN, former NBA all-star Charles Barkley pushed back after reporter Brooke Baldwin alleged the officer-involved death of Eric Garner in New York was a ''homicide.'' A grand jury has yet to issue a decision in the controversial police chokehold that resulted in Garner's death earlier this year.
''I don't think that was a homicide,'' Barkley replied.
''What was that? It was a chokehold, you see it,'' Baldwin shot back.
''I think that cops were trying to arrest him and they got a little aggressive,'' Barkley said. ''I think excessive force, you know, something like that. But to go right to murder '-- Brooke, when the cops are trying to arrest you, if you fight back, things go wrong.''
(CNN)
He also said he doesn't believe the cops were trying to kill Garner, but he was a ''big'' man and they were trying to get him to the ground.
''Homicide'' is defined as the ''killing of one human being by another,'' and can include noncriminal killings. Barkley appeared to be arguing that the killing didn't amount to murder.
Watch the interview via CNN below (portion about Garner case starts at around 3:30):
Earlier in the interview, Barkley also refused to back down or apologize for his recent comments about the Ferguson grand jury decision in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. He stood by his assertion that the Ferguson protesters who looted local businesses are ''scumbags.''
Barkley's response was immediate after Baldwin pressed Barkley to respond to the ''flak'' he's received over the remarks. The former NBA great recently said he thinks the grand jury came to the right decision in not indicting officer Darren Wilson based on the evidence presented.
''The 'scumbag' comment '-- respond to that,'' she said.
''When you're looting people's property, that's what you are,'' Barkley replied. ''That's against the law. It's not your property. You wouldn't want people to do it to your house. If you go back to the stepdad, he didn't want people to burn down his house.''
Later in the interview, Barkley said it's always tragic when parents lose a child, regardless of the circumstance. However, he argued the ''notion that white cops are out there just killing black people'' is ''flat-out ridiculous.''
''Cops are actually awesome,'' he added. ''They are the only thing in the ghetto between this place being the 'Wild, Wild West.'''
AUDIO-Detroit Goes Dark After Major Power Outage : NPR
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 18:22
Much of downtown Detroit went dark on Tuesday after a power cable was cut, leaving the grid without sufficient electricity. Courts, schools, government offices closed up and hospitals and first responders used their generators to operate.
Copyright (C) 2014 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
The lights are back on in Detroit tonight. Power has been restored after a massive outage which paralyzed much of the city's business district today. The power went out because of a cable failure in an aging system. Quinn Klinefelter of member station WDET reports.
QUINN KLINEFELTER, BYLINE: Around 10 this morning, power shut off to courts, schools and government offices in Detroit. More than 900 sites were affected. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says the city is switching to new power system operated by a private utility, but that will take years.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
MAYOR MIKE DUGGAN: A part of the old system that hadn't failed before failed. The staff properly switched the power to a new circuit. The new circuit failed. At that point, there is such a fear of overloading the system that the whole thing shut down.
KLINEFELTER: People were trapped in elevators at City Hall. Hospitals switched to backup generators. Detroit City Official Gary Brown says even fire stations were without power because there are not enough generators to go around.
GARY BROWN: All of the fire station doors, which is important to be able to get the engines out to an emergency, can be opened manually. It doesn't take very much time to open a fire station door by pulling the chains.
KLINEFELTER: Nine-one-one service was not interrupted, but the daily routine of students, like Wayne County Community College's Alexis Graham, were.
ALEXIS GRAHAM: Like, every other street light was out. When I got to Wayne County, the doors were closed, so I couldn't even get in there.
KLINEFELTER: Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says the city will invest a billion dollars, in part, to help prevent such outages, but that's going to happen over the next decade.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
DUGGAN: Today is another reminder of how much work we still have to do to rebuild this city, and a bankruptcy order doesn't solve the decades of neglect.
KLINEFELTER: For NPR News, I'm Quinn Klinefelter in Detroit.
Copyright (C) 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.
VIDEO-MUST SEE: Black minister DESTROYS Al Sharpton and the Ferguson movement >> The Right Scoop -
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 15:22
By The Right Scoop
Minister Johnathan Gentry is noted for his original comments on Ferguson that went viral back in August. And he's back, this time on Cavuto with a strong message of repudiation about what's going on in Ferguson.
He takes issue directly with the likes of Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and other activists who are blaming police departments instead of themselves, arguing that black males being killed by other blacks are the real problem. He said they need to look in the mirror and change themselves before they can effectively change communities.
When asked about Sharpton saying he's acting on the Word of God, Gentry hits back hard, saying that God is love and that what Al Sharpton is doing is taking the hate from when he grew up and fueling that hate into an innocent generation. Gentry said for Al Sharpton to say he's acting on the Word of God is a lie!
Just watch:
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VIDEO-Nancy Grace Learns On Air That Families Cannot Sue Pharma For Vaccine Injury or Death - YouTube
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 06:05
VIDEO-Greek protesters smash cars, clash with police in Athens (PHOTOS, VIDEO) '-- RT News
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 05:26
Published time: December 02, 2014 23:16Protesters light red flares in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on December 2, 2014 during a massive march in solidarity to a 22-years old anarchist hunger striker, Nikos Romanos (AFP Photo / Louisa Gouliamaki)
At least 15 people have been arrested after a peaceful support rally for jailed hunger strike anarchist turned into violent confrontation with police. Authorities used tear gas and stun grenades to quell rioters carrying Molotov cocktails.
As an estimated between 8,000 and 10,000 protesters marched through the central Athens shouting slogans in support of Nikos Romanos, the imprisoned anarchist who is staging a hunger strike as he demands the right to be able to attend university, anarchists' march got violent on the streets of Exarchia, downtown Athens.
Protesters have been smashing cars, setting fire to bins, burned cars and erected barricades in several streets of the popular neighborhood. At least 10 cars have been overturned with five of them destroyed, local media reports.
Youths wearing hoods broke the glass front of the National Bank while overturning a bus to make barricades.
The focus of the riots became the gate of the Athens University, on Stournari road, where some 80 rioters entered the premises.
By 21:30 local time police responded by using tear gas and stun grenades as they engaged the anarchists who responded with stone-throwing and Molotov cocktails. The police arrested at least 15 people on the narrow streets of Exarchia, Tovima news reports.
Tuesday's violence followed a large, up to 10,000 people strong rally in support of a jailed Romanos, who has been on hunger strike since November 10 to protest prison authorities' refusal to let him leave the prison to attend university.
Romanos, now serving a term for robbery, was denied leave to attend classes, even after he was accepted to Athens University while in a prison education program.
Doctors have earlier voiced concern about his health.
On Tuesday, Nikos Romanos's father Giorgos told reporters that his son's life is in mortal danger.
''The life of my child is in great danger and the Minister of Justice, with his hypocritical and calm and sober style has been dealing with [electric] bracelets for two years,'' Giorgos Romanos said Thetoc online quotes.
Nikos Romanos was good friends with Alexandros Grigoropoulos, the unarmed pupil who was shot dead by a policeman during the anti-austerity riots in the Greek capital in 2008. Fifteen years old at the time, he witnessed his friend die. Romanos then became one of the symbols of public rage against authorities that has triggered rioting against police violence.
VIDEO-President Obama Speaks on the Fight Against Ebola | The White House
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 05:24
December 02, 2014 | 22:19 | Public Domain
On December 2, 2014, President Obama visited the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to discuss the progress we've made and the work we still need to do to contain and combat the Ebola outbreak.
Download mp4 (823MB) | mp3 (22MB)
VIDEO-Black Sheriff SLAMS Al Sharpton, DESTROYS Ferguson Race Rioters (VIDEO) - The Political Insider
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 02:29
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who happens to be black, is a true patriot who is tired of President Barack Obama's racial politics. Watch (above) as he explains '' without ''sugar-coating things'' '' why Attorney General Eric Holder should be held in contempt and why professional race agitator Al Sharpton should be prosecuted.
Sheriff Clarke is furious at all of the unnecessary exploitation of racial tensions in Ferguson, Missouri:
I sat up and watched, as events unfolded in Ferguson, Missouri''unfortunate situation, obviously. Anytime a law enforcement officer uses force that takes a life, it deserves a thorough, transparent vetting''investigation. We all agree with that. But then some groups began to converge on the small town of Ferguson, Missouri, like vultures on a roadside carcass'... people like Al Sharpton.''
''To come and exploit that situation, and instead of coming into help and restore calm, poured gas on that fire with some of their inflammatory and irresponsible rhetoric.. [Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and Senator Claire McCaskill, both Democrats] threw law enforcement under the bus for political expediency'''...
''I expected that from Governor Nixon. I expected that from Claire McCaskell. Those are nothing but two-bit politicians'... but I did not expect that from Eric Holder, who calls himself a law enforcement officer'''...
And
''Wait a minute. Mr. Attorney General, if you felt those officers had violated your Fourth Amendment, and you're a federal prosecutor, and you didn't say anything at the time? On behalf of everybody in the United States, you could have done something if you felt that. You could have made a complaint''because all of us kind of realize in law enforcement, right, we testify''what do they say in court? If you didn't write it down, if you didn't report it, it didn't happen.''
''Really, Mr. Attorney General? You didn't report it then. You didn't write it down. But you're telling us some 10-15 years later for self-serving purposes. I thought, 'Why did you do that?' You insulted every law enforcement officer, every man and woman who puts on that badge and uniform everyday, risks their lives in service to their community.''
via YoungCons and TPNN
These bold, conservative statements from a tough talking Sheriff are what America needs to hear. This is not the 1950s, and Ferguson is not the Jim Crow south. Instead, this was an isolated incident of a young street thug robbing a store who started an altercation with a police officer. Then, race hustlers used the optics of this story to incite riots and profit.
Do you support Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke? If so, please share and Tweet his important message.
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VIDEO- Rep. Barletta questions DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson on Amnesty 12-2-14 - YouTube
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 00:19
VIDEO-FBI warns military of ISIS threat - CNN.com
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 22:19
By Pamela Brown and Jim Sciutto, CNN
December 2, 2014 -- Updated 0130 GMT (0930 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
The FBI issued a bulletin on Sunday warning servicemen and women of possible ISIS threatsThe memo asked members of the media to review their social media profilesWashington (CNN) -- The FBI issued a warning Sunday to members of the U.S. military that ISIS is calling for attacks against them, according to a law enforcement source, saying that "overseas based individuals are looking for like-minded individuals in the U.S. to carry out these attacks."
"We also request members of the military review their online social media presence for any information that might attract the attention of violent extremists," the bulletin said, advising that members of the military "use caution and practice operational security when posting."
The new FBI bulletin includes a concern that ISIS members are "spotting and assessing" individuals in the U.S. who they believe may be interested in carrying out attacks on U.S. soil against members of the U.S. military, a U.S. counter-terror official tells CNN.
The bulletin language warns of "individuals overseas spotting and assessing" individuals in the U.S., based on their social media postings in support of the group. The warning encourages members of the military to "exercise operational security" in response to such threats, including reviewing their online social media postings so as not to make themselves easier targets.
U.S. law enforcement posted the warning now in advance of the upcoming holiday season when many members of the U.S. military travel in uniform. The new warning also cites several recent attacks in Canada against members of the Canadian military, including the Oct. 22 Ottawa shooting and two other attacks using cars.
The concern in the FBI and intelligence community is that ISIS members overseas are tracking personal information about "specific" U.S. soldiers --- such as their addresses and even their relatives addresses -- based on their social media posts, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the matter.
The concern is that ISIS operatives are gathering it overseas and then identifying homegrown violent extremists in the U.S who could help carry out the attack. The source says the idea is basically " I don't have to come and get him -- I can call someone in the U.S. who wants to support the cause and they can do it."
The FBI is working very closely with the military and intelligence community to address the issue.
A Pentagon spokesman said Monday morning that the bulletin "reinforces the guidance our combat commanders put out several weeks ago. This is nothing new for us." Col. Steve Warren, the Pentagon spokesman, said he was "aware of no new intelligence" that led to the bulletin being sent.
The FBI also issued a security bulletin in October warning of similar attacks on U.S. soil against law enforcement personnel and members of the news media.
Terrorism and security experts have expressed growing concerns in recent months that ISIS could inspire individuals in the West to carry out terrorist attacks.
Australian authorities in September foiled an ISIS-inspired plot to kidnap and publicly behead someone in public.
Iraq's army weakened from within by 50,000 'ghost' soldiers
Part of complete coverage on
ISIS
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 2332 GMT (0732 HKT)
Wolf Blitzer talks to Rep. Ed Royce about the White House's new ISIS strategy that involves removing Bashar al-Assad.
November 13, 2014 -- Updated 1136 GMT (1936 HKT)
Just two weeks ago, Yasir was regularly strapped into an explosive vest and handed a pistol, an AK-47 and a radio to stand guard at an ISIS base in the eastern Syrian city of Deir Ezzor.
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 2249 GMT (0649 HKT)
How did three U.S. teenagers become radicalized? CNN's Pamela Brown reports.
November 5, 2014 -- Updated 0226 GMT (1026 HKT)
Reza Aslan examines the appeal of ISIS and why the group is able to successfully attract so many recruits.
November 5, 2014 -- Updated 0210 GMT (1010 HKT)
Former U.S. Commander Lt. General Mark Hertling (Ret.) says it is tough for him to watch what is unfolding in Iraq.
November 3, 2014 -- Updated 1418 GMT (2218 HKT)
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh takes a look at how ISIS is using media to desensitize children.
October 26, 2014 -- Updated 2333 GMT (0733 HKT)
A new propaganda video from ISIS features a Canadian ISIS member who died in combat.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
Captured ISIS fighters tell CNN's Ivan Watson of the group's brutality.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 0133 GMT (0933 HKT)
British hostage John Cantlie appears from the battle city of Kobani.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
A captured fighter tells CNN's Ivan Watson: "They gave us drugs... that made you go to battle."
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 1720 GMT (0120 HKT)
As a U.S. soldier, Jordan Matson never saw combat, yet now he's in Syria, fighting for the Kurdish militia. "All my life, I've wanted to be a soldier," he tells CNN's Ivan Watson.
October 26, 2014 -- Updated 1331 GMT (2131 HKT)
The New York Times reports that James Foley and other ISIS captives were tortured and starved ahead of their beheadings.
October 26, 2014 -- Updated 0900 GMT (1700 HKT)
Is ISIS propaganda successful in getting 'lone wolf' terrorists to strike in western countries?
October 26, 2014 -- Updated 0448 GMT (1248 HKT)
Ivan Watson explains why the United States' support of a Kurdish fighting group may cause friction with a NATO ally.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1357 GMT (2157 HKT)
Another casualty of ISIS' ruthless advance: Iraq's pricelss cultural heritage.
Explore CNN's interactive that explains ISIS' roots, what it controls, and where its support comes from.
VIDEO-Activist Post: Mainstream Media Finally Admits to Massive Gold Manipulation
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 16:36
Joshua KrauseActivist PostFor most gold investors, the manipulation of the price of precious metals has been blatant and obvious. Almost everyone who buys physical gold and silver believes that big banks and governments have a vested interest in keeping prices down to support their fiat currencies, and that the market is rigged with massive amounts of ''paper'' gold.
If there was no funny business going on, then there would be no reason to buy physical gold. Doing so is basically a middle finger to the banks, and can be your way of telling the manipulators that you aren't playing their game.
If anything, this market rigging has been solely responsible for the growth of the gold movement. And make no mistake, it is a political movement, just as much as it is a financial movement. With the price being kept artificially low, everyone who knows about this manipulation, also knows that they are getting a great deal when they buy precious metals. They know what it's really worth, and realize that in the long term, the manipulation can't last forever.
Unfortunately (or fortunately if you've already bought gold), the mainstream media has done nothing to inform the public of these market shenanigans. They have long derided gold investors by calling them conspiracy theorists, and claiming that gold is nothing more than a bubble.However, it appears that the media is finally coming around to the idea that these markets are rigged, for reasons that I can only speculate. I can't fathom why their corporate handlers would allow these talking heads to fess up to the true nature of precious metals. Perhaps after buying gold at artificially low prices for so long, they are going to make a windfall by hyping up its manipulation, thus bringing the price back up. Take a look at this CNBC report, and decide for yourself.
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VIDEO-CNN's Barbara Starr: "Make no mistake" Chuck Hagel was forced out by the White House - YouTube
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 13:58
VIDEOS-BBC News - Ebola: World Bank lowers 2014 growth for worst-hit nations
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 06:15
2 December 2014Last updated at 00:09 ET The World Bank has revised downwards its 2014 GDP growth projections for the three nations worst hit by the current Ebola outbreak - Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
"The Ebola epidemic continues to cripple the economies," it said.
Its report comes as bank President Jim Yong Kim begins a two-day visit to West Africa to assess the impact.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says 5,987 people have died from Ebola in the three nations.
The latest World Bank report still shows positive projected growth there for 2014, but at much lower rates.
It said that "all three countries had been growing rapidly in recent years and into the first half of 2014".
World Bank growth estimatesLiberia 2014: Pre-crisis 5.9%; October 2.5%; Now 2.2%
Sierra Leone 2014: Pre-crisis 11.3%; October 8%; Now 4%
Guinea 2014: Pre-crisis 4.5%; October 2.4%; Now 0.5%
Liberia 2015: Pre-crisis 6.8%; October 1%; Now 3%
Sierra Leone 2015: Pre-crisis 8.9%; October 7.7%; Now -2%
Guinea 2015: Pre-crisis 4.3%; October 2%; Now -0.2%
Source: World Bank
The bank is now also projecting negative growth for two of the nations in 2015 - Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Continue reading the main storyEvery day the Ebola burial teams collect about 60 bodies from around Freetown. About 20% turn out to be Ebola cases. Every death is now treated as suspicious''
End QuoteThe bank adds: "In Liberia, where there are signs of progress in containing the epidemic and some increasing economic activity, the updated 2015 growth estimate is 3%, an increase from 1% in October but still less than half the pre-crisis estimate of 6.8%."
It says: "These latest projections imply forgone income across the three countries in 2014-15 totalling more than $2bn."
Mr Kim said: "This report reinforces why zero Ebola cases must be our goal. While there are signs of progress, as long as the epidemic continues, the human and economic impact will only grow more devastating."
The World Bank has said it is mobilising $1bn in financing for the worst-hit nations.
'Gap closing'On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the 60-day goals it had set itself for tackling Ebola in the three nations were largely met.
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WHO's Bruce Aylward: "We've reached an important milestone along the way but that is not going to get you to zero"
The WHO had set a target of isolating and treating 70% of patients and of safely burying 70% of victims in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea by 1 December.
Dr Bruce Aylward, the assistant director general in charge of Ebola response for the WHO, said only the treatment figure in Sierra Leone had fallen below the mark.
Dr Aylward said the "yawning gap" between disease levels and the capacity to cope had narrowed significantly.
But he warned: "There is no room for optimism when you are dealing with the Ebola virus. It's not about low numbers, it's about zero."
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Tony Banbury: "The goal is absolutely zero human cases of Ebola"
Earlier, the head of the UN Ebola response mission in West Africa, Tony Banbury, told the BBC there was still a "huge risk" the disease could spread to other parts of the world.
Speaking in Sierra' Leone's capital, Freetown, Mr Banbury said: "It may spread around this sub-region, or someone could get on a plane to Asia, Latin America, North America or Europe... that is why it is so important to get down to zero cases as quickly as possible".
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Many volunteer grave-diggers in Sierra Leone have seen their pre-Ebola jobs disappear
Bodies still contain high levels of the Ebola virus At least 20% of new infections occur during burials, WHO says Relatives perform religious rites including touching or washing the body Safe burial process involves observing rituals differently, such as "dry ablution" Volunteers with full protective clothing are trained to handle and disinfect bodies Have you been affected by the issues raised in this article? Share your experience by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk
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VIDEO: Obama's call for police body-camera
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 06:14
US President Barack Obama has requested $263m (£167m) to improve police training, pay for body cameras and restore trust in policing.
Mr Obama asked Congress for the funds after a week of nationwide protests over perceived policing injustices.
Ferguson in Missouri was rocked by riots after a grand jury failed to charge a white police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man.
Ben Bland reports.
VIDEO-How a young German is making politics a YouTube hit
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 02:19
In an age of rising YouTube stars, there's nothing unusual about a young German attracting millions of followers. But fans of Florian Mundt, known as LeFloid, are flocking to his channel for an unlikely fix of politics and current affairs, served up with a large dose of opinion. From 'Nazi hipsters' to IS fighters, he's got an opinion on everything. Could this 27-year-old be creating a new generation of news junkies?
Reporter: Charlotte McDonald
Producer: Anne Herzlieb
Video journalist: Greg Brosnan
All our stories are at bbc.com/trending
VIDEO-Supporters see role for A-10 in ISIS fight | TheHill
Mon, 01 Dec 2014 22:26
645X363 - No Companion - Full Sharing - Additional videos are suggested - Policy/Regulation/Blogs
Supporters of the A-10 ''Warthog'' fighter say the Pentagon should halt plans to scrap the jet, saying it is needed in the campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The Pentagon has pushed for years to retire the A-10, which provides close air support for troops on the ground in battle, anticipating the need for more advanced aircraft in future ground wars.
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But as military leaders acknowledge that U.S. troops in Iraq could face combat against ISIS militants, the A-10's backers say it is not a good time to replace the popular jet.''Defeating ISIS will require effective close air support '-- not just dropping bombs from high altitude on isolated targets '--and there is no better CAS aircraft than the A-10,'' said Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.).
''The A-10 is staple of our fleet and I believe we should continue the program for the foreseeable future,'' said Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), an Iraq veteran and member of the Illinois Air National Guard.
''It provides close air support in a way no other aircraft can and is beloved by our troops for the countless lives it has saved,'' he told The Hill in a statement.
Pentagon officials say that budget concerns have not changed, and insist the Cold War-era jet must be retired in favor of advanced fighters such as the F-35 that can also provide close air support to ground troops.
''The A-10 has saved many lives, including those of some fellow Army officers and some fellow enlisted men,'' said Frank Kendall, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition at an Air Force Association conference on Wednesday. ''Today it has become unaffordable within our available budgets.
Kendall has previously said that retiring the A-10 would ''help the Air Force maintain and acquire more cutting-edge technology and weapons systems.''
Air Force officials say the F-15, F-16, the F-18 and the B-1 bomber can all offer close-air support, and so far have not used A-10s in the fight against ISIS.
However, the Pentagon has quietly made plans to deploy a dozen A-10s to the Middle East in early October. Military officials say those aren't specifically part of President Obama's campaign against ISIS, but could play a role in the future.
''The A-10 'Warthog' is uniquely suited for the Combatant Commander's needs, and the Blacksnakes are the right team to bring that capability to combat,'' said Col. Patrick R. Renwick, commander of the 122nd Fighter Wing, on Wednesday, using a nickname for the unit.
Defense experts and proponents of the Warthog say there is no better aircraft to perform close air support and hit enemy targets in combat than the A-10, known as the ''tank killer.''
''The kind of conflict that President Obama wants to fight against ISIS is typically of the role the A-10 performs,'' said Winslow Wheeler, director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Project On Government Oversight. ''It can do this mission better than any other airplane.''
''It can identify exactly what targets they're going to hit '-- whether it's the right target, or friendly forces. It has accurate weapons, especially the Gatling gun,'' he said in an interview with The Hill.
Pentagon leaders say they have no choice but to retire the aircraft, due to automatic defense budget caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act.
Lawmakers had raised defense budget caps, but they are due to go into effect again in October 2015.
The Pentagon sought to retire the A-10 in 2015, but measures in the House and Senate defense policy and spending bills '-- if passed '-- would delay retiring the aircraft for another year.
Advocates are looking to ramp up their opposition to those retirement plans as U.S. troops possibly head back into battle.
''It can loiter over the battlefield longer to help attack and suppress enemy forces. The most important thing is that there is a cadre of trained air crew who know how to do this mission, rather than take on the mission as a part-time job,'' Wheeler said.
He cited an incident in June where a B-1 bomber killed 5 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. A traditional problem in battlefield support is to make sure the right targets are hit, he added.
''The A-10 does that better than any other airplane,'' said Wheeler.
VIDEO-German-made 'miracle' machine turns water into gasoline '-- RT News
Mon, 01 Dec 2014 22:13
Published time: November 30, 2014 08:35Edited time: December 01, 2014 13:01Still from Ruptly video
There is as yet no method to mimic Jesus Christ and turn water into wine, but German chemical engineers have proved they can perform miracles of alchemy. They are now finalizing the assembly of a rig that changes water into gasoline.
The German company says it has developed an engineering installation capable of synthesizing petroleum-based fuels from water and carbon dioxide. The 'power-to-liquid' rig converts gases extracted from water into liquid hydrocarbon fuels.
''I would call it a miracle because it completely changes the way we are producing fuels for cars, planes and also the chemical industry,'' Nils Aldag, Chief Financial Officer and co-founder of Sunfire GmbH told RT's Ruptly video agency.
The Dresden-based company expects the technology to have a big impact on the future fuel market.
The electrically-powered installation uses a process known as Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis, first developed by German chemists Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch in 1925.
The Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) reaction converts colorless, odorless, incombustible carbon dioxide gas (CO2) extracted from water, and hydrogen gas generated from water vapor, by electrolysis into liquid fuels such as diesel, jet kerosene and other chemical products.
The conversion process takes place in a series of reactors at temperatures between 150 and 300 degrees Celsius.However, the F-T fuel technology ''will always be more expensive'' than getting conventional liquid hydrocarbon fuels from oil or coal, Aldag warned.
''What is important is that the value creation happens at the place where you use the fuel,'' he said. So there will be no crude oil transportation costs and expensive infrastructure. ''You are producing the fuel right where you are actually going to use it,'' Aldag stressed.
One might think that much cheaper conventional fuels will always be a sure bet, but this depends on the given conditions. The Pentagon has already been working in this direction.
The US military has spent up to $150 per gallon on alternative jet fuels made from algae, which is a good bit more than the approximately $3 per gallon that traditional jet fuels currently cost in the US.
Although $150 seems a lot for a gallon of gas, the US has spent a fortune on fuel during its 13-year campaign in Afghanistan. The military themselves estimate that the cost of delivering fuel to remote bases is $400 a gallon.Sunfire believes the technology will be refined, and after obtaining regulatory permission they hope to offer it for commercial exploitation by 2016.
While Nils Aldag considers the technology has a bright future, the will to use it needs to gain momentum.
''I think in a very long time it will actually have an impact on geopolitics. What you always have to know is that the quantities that are required in these industries are so big that it would be difficult for such a technology to make a significant impact in a short period of time,'' said Aldag.
VIDEO-ISIS Threat at Home: FBI Warns US Military About Social Media Vulnerabilities - ABC News
Mon, 01 Dec 2014 18:07
More ABC US news | ABC World NewsCopyThe FBI on Sunday issued the strongest warning to date about possible attacks by the ISIS terrorist group against the U.S. military inside the homeland, officials tell ABC News.
In a joint intelligence bulletin issued overnight by the FBI with the Department of Homeland Security, officials strongly urged those who serve in uniform to scrub their social media accounts of anything that might bring unwanted attention from "violent extremists" or would help the extremists learn individual service members' identities.
"The FBI and DHS recommend that current and former members of the military review their online social media accounts for any information that might serve to attract the attention of ISIL [ISIS] and its supporters," the federal bulletin sent to law enforcement agencies said, advising that troops "routinely exercise operational security in their interactions online."
Officials said they fear copycat attacks based on what happened in Canada last month, when two uniformed Canadian soldiers were killed in two separate incidents by young men who claimed they were ISIS followers.
Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press/AP Photo
PHOTO: Emergency personnel tend to a soldier shot at the National Memorial near Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Oct. 22, 2014.
Some in U.S. special operations and other military branches have told ABC News they deactivated, scrubbed or locked Facebook and other personal social media accounts months ago at the urging of security officers as the U.S. began bombing ISIS in Iraq and Syria last August.
But the government on Sunday night indicated they had obtained fresh intelligence that ISIS wants to recruit or inspire sympathizers inside America to hurt military members where they live.
"The FBI recently received reporting indicating individuals overseas are spotting and assessing like-minded individuals who are willing and capable of conducting attacks against current and former U.S.-based members of the United States military," the bulletin said.
Attacks such as those in Canada -- which apparently were carried out without direct contact between ISIS and the perpetrators -- may "embolden" and "motivate" those who support ISIS, the FBI and DHS said.
Today a spokesperson for the Pentagon said the bulletin reinforces information the military been providing troops since the Ottawa shootings.
The spokesperson, Col. Steve Warren, told reporters he wasn't aware of any new intelligence that might have triggered the bulletin and deferred questions to the FBI and DHS.
''It's advice to be vigilant. There's an enemy out there [and] that enemy has made very clear that they seek to make harm to Americans so this advisory was to ensure that you're taking all appropriate cautions for individual force protection,'' Warren said.
The day before the U.S. launched its biggest air blitz against the terrorist group in Iraq and Syria in late September, ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani called upon Muslims in the U.S. and Europe to attack members of the military.
"Do not ask for anyone's advice and do not seek anyone's verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling. Both of them are disbelievers. Both of them are considered to be waging war," Adnani said in an audio speech posted online on Sept. 21.
ABC News' Megan Chuchmach and Lee Ferran contributed to this report.
VIDEO-InternetAristocrat explains SJWs - YouTube
Mon, 01 Dec 2014 07:25
VIDEO-Obama and Mao meet in a T-shirt - YouTube
Mon, 01 Dec 2014 07:13

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