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Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

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December 7th, 2014
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Executive Producers: Sir GQ, Simon Toens, Dame Judy Schwarz of the Boerne Village, Ted Ehrich

Associate Executive Producers: Patricia Hunt Worthington, Sir Scott Spencer, Sir Don E Silva, Dave Da Douche, Sir David C Pugh

Cover Artist: Nick the Rat

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Stop Refrigerating Your Butter
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 14:56
Do you keep your butter in the refrigerator? You do? Stop it. Stop it right this second. You're ruining your butter experience and making your toast taste like failure. Let me tell you why.
Butter is a wonderful substance. Made by churning cream until it separates into buttermilk and fat globules, butter is not only delicious but also versatile. Butter will make pretty much any food outside of breakfast cereal taste better. In order to enjoy your butter-on-bread or butter-on-corn, however, you have to be able to spread it. And anyone who's ever pulled a cold stick of butter out of the fridge with the hopes of smearing that yummy stuff on toast knows that cold butter simply does not spread.
Not only does cold butter not spread, it also destroys. Try smearing a cold paddy of butter on a piece of untoasted bread, and you're going to end up with whole grain carnage. The butter grabs onto the surface of the bread and rips it apart, like a tiller tearing up a garden. If you do manage to get the butter somewhat distributed, you probably won't notice the deliciousness, because the cold also mutes the flavors. That's a real bummer, because butter is basically delectable.
It doesn't have to be like this. In fact, most of the world does not suffer from the murderous cold butter problem, because most of the world leaves their butter on the kitchen counter, where it belongs.
If you've ever visited, say, France, you'll notice how wonderfully spreadable room temperature butter is. And it's also more delicious than you've given it credit for. Butter is complex! Inits guide to butter standards, the United States Department of Agriculture describes the very best butter as "fine and highly pleasing." The USDA also details17 different flavor profiles in various types of butter, from "aged" to "malty" to "weed."Have you ever tasted malty butter? Probably not, because you probably keep your butter in the refrigerator.
It's likely that you keep butter in the fridge because you think it's safer that way. After all, butter is made from cream, and if you leave cream out in the open for too long, it can go bad. And if you consume bad cream, you could get sick, if not from the rancid taste then certainly from the foreign bacteria that feasted on the stuff when it was out in the open.
This line of thinking doesn't really apply to butter, though, at least not in that extreme. The cream that's used to make your standard market variety butter is almost always pasteurized, and it takes quite some time for pasteurized dairy products to go bad. Foreign bacteria is still attracted to pasteurized dairy products. Butter can indeed go bad. But as long as you keep it covered, it's very unlikely that anything bad will happen to the butter before you've had a chance to eat it all.
Yes, a stick of butter will lose its shape if it gets too warm. That's a good reason to cool it off. At room temperature, however, the butter will remain cool enough to keep its shape but warm enough to spread smoothly. To keep butter at the ideal temperature, you might consider buying a butter crock or a simple covered butter dish.
If you have any doubts about this room temperature butter argument, let me direct you to the USDA guide "How to Buy Butter." The agency acknowledges that "ready spreadability" requires removing the butter from refrigerator "10 to 15 minutes before use." It does not, however, warn against keeping the butter at room temperature at all times.
Just to be sure about the official American government perspective, I contacted the Food and Drug Administration. While the FDA has plenty of warnings about the perils of raw milk, the agency concedes that keeping butter out in the open is usually fine. An FDA food safety expert wrote in an email, "One can get away with storing butter at ambient temperature for a while since the temperature usually won't be high enough to deform or melt the product and it will not appreciably accelerate the oxidative rancidity process, meaning that the butter will keep just fine for a while."
Now exactly how long "a while" is totally depends. The FDA wasn't able to give us a specific timeframe because factors like how much light the butter is exposed to, whether it's salted or not, and how much bacteria it had in it to begin with will all affect how long it will last. Their expert added say that this strategy works better in cooler climates than in warmer ones. Either way, leaving your butter on the counter in a covered container is perfectly safe, but all things in moderation.
So let's review. Keeping butter in the fridge makes it hard and flavorless. Keeping butter on the counter makes it soft and delicious. As long as it's done right, leaving butter out at room temperature is also just as safe as leaving it in the fridge. Any questions?
Images via Shutterstock /Flickr
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Presidential Proclamation -- National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, 2014
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 00:33
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
December 05, 2014
NATIONAL PEARL HARBOR REMEMBRANCE DAY, 2014
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION
On the morning of December 7, 1941, Japanese planes thundered over Hawaii, dropping bombs in an unprovoked act of war against the United States.The attack claimed the lives of more than 2,400 Americans.It nearly destroyed our Pacific Fleet, but it could not shake our resolve.While battleships smoldered in the harbor, patriots from across our country enlisted in our Armed Forces, volunteering to take up the fight for freedom and security for which their brothers and sisters made the ultimate sacrifice.On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we pay tribute to the souls lost 73 years ago, we salute those who responded with strength and courage in service of our Nation, and we renew our dedication to the ideals for which they so valiantly fought.
In the face of great tragedy at Pearl Harbor -- our first battle of the Second World War -- our Union rallied together, driven by the resilient and unyielding American spirit that defines us.The millions of Americans who signed up and shipped out inspired our Nation and put us on the path to victory in the fight against injustice and oppression around the globe.As they stormed the beaches of Normandy and planted our flag in the sands of Iwo Jima, our brave service members rolled back the tide of tyranny in Europe and throughout the Pacific theater.Because of their actions, nations that once knew only the blinders of fear saw the dawn of liberty.
The men and women of the Greatest Generation went to war and braved hardships to make the world safer, freer, and more just.As we reflect on the lives lost at Pearl Harbor, we remember why America gave so much for the survival of liberty in the war that followed that infamous day.Today, with solemn gratitude, we recall the sacrifice of all who served during World War II, especially those who gave their last full measure of devotion and the families they left behind.As proud heirs to the freedom and progress secured by those who came before us, we pledge to uphold their legacy and honor their memory.
The Congress, by Public Law 103-308, as amended, has designated December 7 of each year as "National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day."
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 7, 2014, as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.I encourage all
Americans to observe this solemn day of remembrance and to honor our military, past and present, with appropriate ceremonies and activities.I urge all Federal agencies and interested organizations, groups, and individuals to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff this December 7 in honor of those American patriots who died as a result of their service at Pearl Harbor.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.
BARACK OBAMA
Executive Order -- Closing of Executive Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government on Friday, December 26, 2014
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 21:21
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
December 06, 2014
EXECUTIVE ORDER
- - - - - - -
CLOSING OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2014
By the authority vested in me as President of the United States of America, by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. All executive branch departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall be closed and their employees excused from duty on Friday, December 26, 2014, the day after Christmas Day, except as provided in section 2 of this order.
Sec. 2. The heads of executive branch departments and agencies may determine that certain offices and installations of their organizations, or parts thereof, must remain open and that certain employees must report for duty on December 26, 2014, for reasons of national security, defense, or other public need.
Sec. 3. Friday, December 26, 2014, shall be considered as falling within the scope of Executive Order 11582 of February 11, 1971, and of 5 U.S.C. 5546 and 6103(b) and other similar statutes insofar as they relate to the pay and leave of employees of the United States.
Sec. 4. The Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall take such actions as may be necessary to implement this order.
Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
BARACK OBAMA
THE WHITE HOUSE,
December 5, 2014.
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Smith Mundt Act - A reminder that you are living in a Smith-Mudt Act repealed media landscape
NDAA and Overturning of Smith-Mundt Act
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA) allows for materials produced by the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to be released within U.S. borders and strikes down a long-time ban on the dissemination of such material in the country.[14][15][16]
Propaganda in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 15:00
Propaganda in the United States is propaganda spread by government and media entities within the United States. Propaganda is information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to influence opinions. Propaganda is not only in advertising; it is also in radio, newspaper, posters, books, and anything else that might be sent out to the widespread public.
Domestic[edit]World War I[edit]The first large-scale use of propaganda by the U.S. government came during World War I. The government enlisted the help of citizens and children to help promote war bonds and stamps to help stimulate the economy. To keep the prices of war supplies down, the U.S. government produced posters that encouraged people to reduce waste and grow their own vegetables in "victory gardens." The public skepticism that was generated by the heavy-handed tactics of the Committee on Public Information would lead the postwar government to officially abandon the use of propaganda.[1]
World War II[edit]During World War II the U.S. officially had no propaganda, but the Roosevelt government used means to circumvent this official line. One such propaganda tool was the publicly owned but government funded Writers' War Board (WWB). The activities of the WWB were so extensive that it has been called the "greatest propaganda machine in history".[1]Why We Fight is a famous series of US government propaganda films made to justify US involvement in World War II.
In 1944 (lasting until 1948) prominent US policy makers launched a domestic propaganda campaign aimed at convincing the U.S. public to agree to a harsh peace for the German people, for example by removing the common view of the German people and the Nazi party as separate entities.[2] The core in this campaign was the Writers' War Board which was closely associated with the Roosevelt administration.[2]
Another means was the United States Office of War Information that Roosevelt established in June 1942, whose mandate was to promote understanding of the war policies under the director Elmer Davies. It dealt with posters, press, movies, exhibitions, and produced often slanted material conforming to US wartime purposes. Other large and influential non-governmental organizations during the war and immediate post war period were the Society for the Prevention of World War III and the Council on Books in Wartime.
Cold War[edit]During the Cold War, the U.S. government produced vast amounts of propaganda against communism and the Soviet bloc. Much of this propaganda was directed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation under J. Edgar Hoover, who himself wrote the anti-communist tract Masters of Deceit. The FBI's COINTELPRO arm solicited journalists to produce fake news items discrediting communists and affiliated groups, such as H. Bruce Franklin and the Venceremos Organization.
War on Drugs[edit]The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, originally established by the National Narcotics Leadership Act of 1988,[3][4] but now conducted by the Office of National Drug Control Policy under the Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998,[5] is a domestic propaganda campaign designed to "influence the attitudes of the public and the news media with respect to drug abuse" and for "reducing and preventing drug abuse among young people in the United States".[6][7] The Media Campaign cooperates with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and other government and non-government organizations.[8]
Iraq War[edit]In early 2002, the U.S. Department of Defense launched an information operation, colloquially referred to as the Pentagon military analyst program.[9] The goal of the operation is "to spread the administrations's talking points on Iraq by briefing ... retired commanders for network and cable television appearances," where they have been presented as independent analysts.[10] On 22 May 2008, after this program was revealed in the New York Times, the House passed an amendment that would make permanent a domestic propaganda ban that until now has been enacted annually in the military authorization bill.[11]
The Shared values initiative was a public relations campaign that was intended to sell a "new" America to Muslims around the world by showing that American Muslims were living happily and freely, without persecution, in post-9/11 America.[12] Funded by the United States Department of State, the campaign created a public relations front group known as Council of American Muslims for Understanding (CAMU). The campaign was divided in phases; the first of which consisted of five mini-documentaries for television, radio, and print with shared values messages for key Muslim countries.[13]
NDAA and Overturning of Smith-Mundt Act[edit]The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA) allows for materials produced by the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to be released within U.S. borders and strikes down a long-time ban on the dissemination of such material in the country.[14][15][16]
Ad Council[edit]The Ad Council, an American non-profit organization that distributes public service announcements on behalf of various private and federal government agency sponsors, has been labeled as "little more than a domestic propaganda arm of the federal government" given the Ad Council's historically close collaboration with the President of the United States and the federal government.[17]
International[edit]Through several international broadcasting operations, the US disseminates American cultural information, official positions on international affairs, and daily summaries of international news. These operations fall under the International Broadcasting Bureau, the successor of the United States Information Agency, established in 1953. IBB's operations include Voice of America, Radio Liberty, Alhurra and other programs. They broadcast mainly to countries where the United States finds that information about international events is limited, either due to poor infrastructure or government censorship. The Smith-Mundt Act prohibits the Voice of America from disseminating information to US citizens that was produced specifically for a foreign audience.
During the Cold War the US ran covert propaganda campaigns in countries that appeared likely to become Soviet satellites, such as Italy, Afghanistan, and Chile.
Recently The Pentagon announced the creation of a new unit aimed at spreading propaganda about supposedly "inaccurate" stories being spread about the Iraq War. These "inaccuracies" have been blamed on the enemy trying to decrease support for the war. Donald Rumsfeld has been quoted as saying these stories are something that keeps him up at night.[18]
Psychological operations[edit]The US military defines psychological operations, or PSYOP, as:
planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence the emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.[19]
The Smith-Mundt Act, adopted in 1948, explicitly forbids information and psychological operations aimed at the US public.[20][21][22] Nevertheless, the current easy access to news and information from around the globe, makes it difficult to guarantee PSYOP programs do not reach the US public. Or, in the words of Army Col. James A. Treadwell, who commanded the U.S. military psyops unit in Iraq in 2003, in the Washington Post:
There's always going to be a certain amount of bleed-over with the global information environment.[23]
Agence France Presse reported on U.S. propaganda campaigns that:
The Pentagon acknowledged in a newly declassified document that the US public is increasingly exposed to propaganda disseminated overseas in psychological operations.[24]
Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved the document referred to, which is titled "Information Operations Roadmap." [22][24] The document acknowledges the Smith-Mundt Act, but fails to offer any way of limiting the effect PSYOP programs have on domestic audiences.[20][21][25]
Several incidents in 2003 were documented by Sam Gardiner, a retired Air Force colonel, which he saw as information-warfare campaigns that were intended for "foreign populations and the American public." Truth from These Podia,[26] as the treatise was called, reported that the way the Iraq war was fought resembled a political campaign, stressing the message instead of the truth.[22]
See also[edit]References[edit]^ abThomas Howell, The Writers' War Board: U.S. Domestic Propaganda in World War II, Historian, Volume 59 Issue 4, Pages 795 - 813^ abSteven Casey, (2005), The Campaign to sell a harsh peace for Germany to the American public, 1944 - 1948, [online]. London: LSE Research Online. [Available online at http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/archive/00000736] Originally published in History, 90 (297). pp. 62-92 (2005) Blackwell Publishing^National Narcotics Leadership Act of 1988 of the Anti''Drug Abuse Act of 1988, Pub.L. 100''690, 102 Stat. 4181, enacted November 18, 1988^Gamboa, Anthony H. (January 4, 2005), B-303495, Office of National Drug Control Policy '-- Video News Release, Government Accountability Office, footnote 6, page 3 ^Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998 (Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999), Pub.L. 105''277, 112 Stat. 268, enacted October 21, 1998^Gamboa, Anthony H. (January 4, 2005), B-303495, Office of National Drug Control Policy '-- Video News Release, Government Accountability Office, pp. 9''10 ^Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998 of the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999, Pub.L. 105''277, 112 Stat. 268, enacted October 21, 1998^Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 2006, Pub.L. 109''469, 120 Stat. 3501, enacted December 29, 2006, codified at 21 U.S.C. § 1708^Barstow, David (2008-04-20). "Message Machine: Behind Analysts, the Pentagon's Hidden Hand". New York Times. ^Sessions, David (2008-04-20). "Onward T.V. Soldiers: The New York Times exposes a multi-armed Pentagon message machine". Slate. ^Barstow, David (2008-05-24). "2 Inquiries Set on Pentagon Publicity Effort". New York Times. ^Rampton, Sheldon (October 17, 2007). "Shared Values Revisited". Center for Media and Democracy. ^"U.S. Reaches Out to Muslim World with Shared Values Initiative". America.gov. January 16, 2003.
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F-Russia
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America is on a ''Hot War Footing'': House Legislation Paves the Way for War with Russia? | Global Research
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 20:26
America is on a war footing. While, a World War Three Scenario has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for more than ten years, military action against Russia is now contemplated at an ''operational level''. Similarly, both the Senate and the House have introduced enabling legislation which provides legitimacy to the conduct of a war against Russia.
We are not dealing with a ''Cold War''. None of the safeguards of the Cold War era prevail.
There has been a breakdown in East-West diplomacy coupled with extensive war propaganda. In turn the United Nations has turned a blind eye to extensive war crimes committed by the Western military alliance.
The adoption of a major piece of legislation by the US House of Representatives on December 4th (H. Res. 758) would provide (pending a vote in the Senate) a de facto green light to the US president and commander in chief to initiate ''without congressional approval'' a process of military confrontation with Russia.
Global security is at stake. This historic vote ''which potentially could affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people Worldwide'' has received virtually no media coverage. A total media blackout prevails.
The World is at a dangerous crossroads. Moscow has responded to US-NATO threats. Its borders are threatened.
On December 3, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation announced the inauguration of a new military-political entity which would take over in the case of war.
Russia is launching a new national defense facility, which is meant to monitor threats to national security in peacetime, but would take control of the entire country in case of war. (RT, December 3, 2014)
Timeline of War Preparations
In May 2014, the Russian Aggression Prevention Act (RAPA) was introduced in the US Senate (S 2277), calling for the militarization of Eastern Europe and the Baltic States and the stationing of US and NATO troops on Russia's doorstep:
S.2277 '' Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014
Directs the President to: (1) implement a plan for increasing U.S. and NATO support for the armed forces of Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, and other NATO member-states; and (2) direct the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO to seek consideration for permanently basing NATO forces in such countries.
Directs the President to submit a plan to Congress for accelerating NATO and European missile defense efforts.
While The S 2277 resolution was sent to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for review, its essential premises are already in the process of being implemented. In mid-July, NATO's Europe commander General Philip Breedlove in consultation with the Pentagon and Britain's Ministry of Defence, called for:
''stockpiling a base in Poland with enough weapons, ammunition and other supplies to support a rapid deployment of thousands of troops against Russia''.(RT, July 24, 2014).
According to General Breedlove, NATO needs ''pre-positioned supplies, pre-positioned capabilities and a basing area ready to rapidly accept follow-on forces'':
''He plans to recommend placing supplies '-- weapons, ammunition and ration packs '-- at the headquarters to enable a sudden influx of thousands of Nato troops'' (Times, August 22, 2014, emphasis added)
Breedlove's ''Blitzkrieg scenario'' ''which could potentially lead to military escalation'' was reaffirmed at the September NATO Summit in Wales. A so-called NATO action plan directed against the Russian Federation was decided upon. The Wales Summit had given the ''green light''.
Barely a month later, in October, US-NATO military drills were held in the Baltic States. In early November, a second round of drills was held in both the Baltic States and Eastern Europe.
As part of this broader endeavour, NATO's Iron Sword 2014 military exercises ''involving the participation of nine member countries of the Atlantic Alliance'' were launched in Lithuania in early November:
''US tanks rolled in to Lithuania earlier this month is a show of force to Russia that it's not welcome in the region.''
The military exercises were explicitly directed against Russia. According to Moscow, they consisted in ''increasing operation readiness'' as well the transfer of NATO ''military infrastructure to the Russian borders''.
In response to NATO deployments on Russia's borders, the Russian Federation also conducted in early November extensive war games in the sea of Barent. The Russian drills consisted in testing ''its entire nuclear triad consisting of strategic bombers; submarines'' and the ''silo-based Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile launched from Plesetsk in Arkhangelsk Oblast'' on November 1st.
The US House of Representatives H.Res. 758 Resolution
On 18 November, a major resolution H. Res. 758 was introduced in the House of Representatives. Its main thrust consists in portraying Russia as an ''Aggressor Nation'', which has invaded Ukraine and calling for military action directed against Russia:
You can watch Rep. Kinzinger's floor speech on the legislation
H.RES.758 '-- Whereas upon entering office in 2009, President Barack Obama announced his intention to `reset' relations with the Russian Federation, which was described by former United States Ambassador'... (Introduced in House '' IH)
HRES 758 IH
113th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. RES. 758
Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination.
(The full text of H. RES. 758 is contained in annex to this article)
H. Res. 758 not only accuses Russia of having invaded Ukraine, it also invokes article 5 of the Washington Treaty, namely NATO's doctrine of collective security.
An attack on one member of the Atlantic alliance is an attack on all members of the Alliance.
The underlying narrative is supported by a string of baseless accusations directed against the Russian Federation. It accuses Russia of having invaded Ukraine. It states without evidence that Russia was behind the downing of Malaysian Airlines MH17, it accuses Russia of military aggression.
Ironically, it also accuses the Russian Federation of having imposed economic sanctions not only on Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova but also on several unnamed member states of the European Union. The resolution accuses the Russian Federation of having used ''the supply of energy for political and economic coercion.''
In essence, House Resolution 758 were it to become law would provide a de facto green light to the President of the United States to declare war on the Russian Federation, without the formal permission of the US Congress.
In this regard, it could be interpreted as ''mildly unconstitutional'' in that it contravenes the substance of Article 1, Section 8, of the US Constitution which vests in the Congress ''the Power to declare war'...''
The resolution urges the President of the United States in consultation with the US Congress to:
''conduct a review of the force posture, readiness, and responsibilities of the United States Armed Forces and the forces of other members of NATO to determine if the contributions and actions of each is sufficient to meet the obligations of collective self defence under article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty and to specify the measures needed to remedy any deficiencies'' .
What the above paragraph suggests is that the US is contemplating the use of NATO's collective security doctrine under article 5 with a views to triggering a process of military confrontation with the Russian Federation.
The structure of military alliances is of crucial significance. Washington's intent is to isolate Russia. Article 5 is a convenient mechanism imposed by the US on Western Europe. It forces NATO member states, most of which are members of the European Union, to act wage war on Washington's behalf.
Moreover, a referendum on Ukraine's membership in NATO is contemplated. In case Ukraine becomes a member of NATO and/or redefines its security agreement with NATO, article 5 could be invoked as a justification to wage a NATO sponsored war on Russia.
''Fast Legislation''
Click image below to order Michel Chossudovsky's book
The speed at which this legislation was adopted is unusual in US Congressional history. House resolution 758 was introduced on November 18th, it was rushed off to the Foreign Affairs Committee and rushed back to the plenary of the House for debate and adoption.
Two weeks (16 days) after it was first introduced by Rep. Kinzinger (Illinois) on November 18, it was adopted by 411-10 in an almost unanimous vote on the morning of December 4th.
Members of Congress are puppets. Their vote is controlled by Washington's lobby groups. For the defence contractors, Wall Street and the Texas oil giants, ''war is good for business''.
In the words of Dennis Kucinich in an open letter published on December 2:
The resolution demands Russia to be isolated '... In other words, 'let's get ready for war with Russia.'
This is exactly the type of sabre rattling which led to the initiation and escalation of the Cold War. It is time we demanded that the US employ diplomacy, not more military expenditures, in the quest for international order.
Media Blackout
One would expect that this historic decision would has been the object of extensive news coverage.
In fact what happened was a total news blackout.
The nation's media failed to provide coverage of the debate in House of Representatives and the adoption of H Res 758 on December 4.
The mainstream media had been instructed not to cover the Congressional decision.
Nobody dared to raise its dramatic implications. its impacts on ''global security''. ''World War III is not front page news.''
And without mainstream news concerning US-NATO war preparations, the broader public remains unaware of the importance of the Congressional decision. .
Google News Feed 7pm ET, December 4, 2014. Last 24 hours.
The Vote in the House of Representatives took place in the morning of December 4th, ET.
last 24 hours (image icons removed)
H.RES.758 '-- Whereas upon entering office in 2009, President Barack Obama announced his intention to `reset' relations with the Russian Federation, which was described by former United States Ambassador'... (Introduced in House '' IH)
HRES 758 IH
113th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. RES. 758
Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination.IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
November 18, 2014
Mr. KINZINGER of Illinois submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign AffairsRESOLUTION
Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination.Whereas upon entering office in 2009, President Barack Obama announced his intention to `reset' relations with the Russian Federation, which was described by former United States Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul as a policy to `engage with Russia to seek agreement on common interests', which included the negotiation of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) in which the United States agreed to major reductions in its nuclear forces;
Whereas the Russian Federation has responded to this policy with openly anti-American rhetoric and actions and with armed aggression against United States allies and partner countries, including Ukraine and the Republic of Georgia;
Whereas the Russian Federation has subjected Ukraine to a campaign of political, economic, and military aggression for the purpose of establishing its domination over the country and progressively erasing its independence;
Whereas the Russian Federation's invasion of, and military operations on, Ukrainian territory represent gross violations of Ukraine's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity and a violation of international law, including the Russian Federation's obligations under the United Nations Charter;
Whereas the Russian Federation's forcible occupation and illegal annexation of Crimea and its continuing support for separatist and paramilitary forces in eastern Ukraine are violations of its obligations under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, in which it pledged to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine and to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine;
Whereas the Russian Federation has provided military equipment, training, and other assistance to separatist and paramilitary forces in eastern Ukraine that has resulted in over 4,000 civilian deaths, hundreds of thousands of civilian refugees, and widespread destruction;
Whereas the Ukrainian military remains at a significant disadvantage compared to the armed forces of the Russian Federation in terms of size and technological sophistication;
Whereas the United States strongly supports efforts to assist Ukraine to defend its territory and sovereignty against military aggression by the Russian Federation and by separatist forces;
Whereas the terms of the ceasefire specified in the Minsk Protocol that was signed on September 5, 2014, by representatives of the Government of Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and the Russian-backed separatists in the eastern area of the Ukraine have been repeatedly violated by the Russian Federation and the separatist forces it supports;
Whereas separatist forces in areas they controlled in eastern Ukraine prevented the holding of elections on May 25, 2014, for a new President of Ukraine and on October 26, 2014, for a new Rada, thereby preventing the people of eastern Ukraine from exercising their democratic right to select their candidates for office in free and fair elections;
Whereas, on November 2, 2014, separatist forces in eastern Ukraine held fraudulent and illegal elections in areas they controlled for the supposed purpose of choosing leaders of the illegitimate local political entities they have declared;
Whereas the Russian Federation has recognized the results of the illegal elections and continues to provide the military, political, and economic support without which the separatist forces could not continue to maintain their areas of control;
Whereas the reestablishment of peace and security in Ukraine requires the full withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory, the resumption of the government's control over all of the country's international borders, the disarming of the separatist and paramilitary forces in the east, an end to Russia's use of its energy exports and trade barriers to apply economic and political pressure, and an end to Russian interference in Ukraine's internal affairs;
Whereas Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a civilian airliner, was destroyed by a Russian-made missile provided by the Russian Federation to separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, resulting in the loss of 298 innocent lives;
Whereas the Russian Federation has used and is continuing to use coercive economic measures, including the manipulation of energy prices and supplies, as well as trade restrictions, to place political and economic pressure on Ukraine;
Whereas military forces of the Russian Federation and of the separatists it controls have repeatedly violated the terms of the ceasefire agreement announced on September 5, 2014;
Whereas the Russian Federation invaded the Republic of Georgia in August 2008, continues to station military forces in the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and is implementing measures intended to progressively integrate these regions into the Russian Federation;
Whereas the Russian Federation continues to subject the Republic of Georgia to political and military intimidation, economic coercion, and other forms of aggression in an effort to establish its control of the country and to prevent Georgia from establishing closer relations with the European Union and the United States;
Whereas the Russian Federation continues to station military forces in the Transniestria region of Moldova;
Whereas the Russian Federation continues to provide support to the illegal separatist regime in the Transniestria region of Moldova;
Whereas the Russian Federation continues to subject Moldova to political and military intimidation, economic coercion, and other forms of aggression in an effort to establish its control of the countries and to prevent efforts by Moldova to establish closer relations with the European Union and the United States;
Whereas under the terms of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), a flight-test or deployment of any INF-banned weapon delivery vehicle by the Russian Federation constitutes a violation of the INF Treaty;
Whereas, on July 29, 2014, the United States Department of State released its report on the Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments, as required by Section 403 of the Arms Control and Disarmament Act, for calendar year 2013, which found that, `[t]he United States has determined that the Russian Federation is in violation of its obligations under the INF Treaty not to possess, produce, or flight-test a ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) with a range capability of 500 km to 5,500 km, or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles';
Whereas according to reports, the Government of the Russian Federation has repeatedly engaged in the infiltration of, and attacks on, computer networks of the United States Government, as well as individuals and private entities, for the purpose of illicitly acquiring information and disrupting operations, including by supporting Russian individuals and entities engaged in these actions;
Whereas the political, military, and economic aggression against Ukraine and other countries by the Russian Federation underscores the enduring importance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as the cornerstone of collective Euro-Atlantic defense;
Whereas the United States reaffirms its obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty, especially Article 5 which states that `an armed attack against one or more' of the treaty signatories `shall be considered an attack against them all';
Whereas the Russian Federation is continuing to use its supply of energy as a means of political and economic coercion against Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and other European countries;
Whereas the United States strongly supports energy diversification initiatives in Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and other European countries to reduce the ability of the Russian Federation to use its supply of energy for political and economic coercion, including the development of domestic sources of energy, increased efficiency, and substituting Russian energy resources with imports from other countries;
Whereas the Russian Federation continues to conduct an aggressive propaganda effort in Ukraine in which false information is used to subvert the authority of the legitimate national government, undermine stability, promote ethnic dissension, and incite violence;
Whereas the Russian Federation has expanded the presence of its state-sponsored media in national languages across central and western Europe with the intent of using news and information to distort public opinion and obscure Russian political and economic influence in Europe;
Whereas expanded efforts by United States international broadcasting across all media in the Russian and Ukrainian languages are needed to counter Russian propaganda and to provide the people of Ukraine and the surrounding regions with access to credible and balanced information;
Whereas the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Incorporated continue to represent a minority market share in Ukraine and other regional states with significant ethno-linguistic Russian populations who increasingly obtain their local and international news from Russian state-sponsored media outlets;
Whereas the United States International Programming to Ukraine and Neighboring Regions Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-96) requires the Voice of America and RFE/RL, Incorporated to provide programming content to target populations in Ukraine and Moldova 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including at least 8 weekly hours of total original video and television content and 14 weekly hours of total audio content while expanding cooperation with local media outlets and deploying greater content through multimedia platforms and mobile devices; and
Whereas Vladimir Putin has established an increasingly authoritarian regime in the Russian Federation through fraudulent elections, the persecution and jailing of political opponents, the elimination of independent media, the seizure of key sectors of the economy and enabling supporters to enrich themselves through widespread corruption, and implementing a strident propaganda campaign to justify Russian aggression against other countries and repression in Russia, among other actions: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved,
That the House of Representatives''
(1) strongly supports the efforts by President Poroshenko and the people of Ukraine to establish a lasting peace in their country that includes the full withdrawal of Russian forces from its territory, full control of its international borders, the disarming of separatist and paramilitary forces eastern Ukraine, the adoption of policies to reduce the ability of the Russian Federation to use energy exports and trade barriers as weapons to apply economic and political pressure, and an end to interference by the Russian Federation in the internal affairs of Ukraine;
(2) affirms the right of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and all countries to exercise their sovereign rights within their internationally recognized borders free from outside intervention and to conduct their foreign policy in accordance with their determination of the best interests of their peoples;
(3) condemns the continuing political, economic, and military aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova and the continuing violation of their sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity;
(4) states that the military intervention by the Russian Federation in Ukraine''
(A) is in breach of its obligations under the United Nations Charter;
(B) is in violation of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances in which it pledged to respect the independence, sovereignty, and existing borders of Ukraine and to refrain from the threat of the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine; and
(C) poses a threat to international peace and security;
(5) calls on the Russian Federation to reverse its illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula, to end its support of the separatist forces in Crimea, and to remove its military forces from that region other than those operating in strict accordance with its 1997 agreement on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet Stationing on the Territory of Ukraine;
(6) calls on the President to cooperate with United States allies and partners in Europe and other countries around the world to refuse to recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation;
(7) calls on the Russian Federation to remove its military forces and military equipment from the territory of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, and to end its political, military, and economic support of separatist forces;
(8) calls on the Russian Federation and the separatist forces it controls in Ukraine to end their violations of the ceasefire announced in Minsk on September 5, 2014;
(9) calls on the President to cooperate with United States allies and partners in Europe and other countries around the world to impose visa bans, targeted asset freezes, sectoral sanctions, and other measures on the Russian Federation and its leadership with the goal of compelling it to end its violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, to remove its military forces and equipment from Ukrainian territory, and to end its support of separatist and paramilitary forces;
(10) calls on the President to provide the Government of Ukraine with defense articles, services, and training required to effectively defend its territory and sovereignty;
(11) calls on the President to provide the Government of Ukraine with appropriate intelligence and other relevant information to assist the Government of Ukraine to defend its territory and sovereignty;
(12) calls on North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies and United States partners in Europe and other nations around the world to suspend all military cooperation with Russia, including prohibiting the sale to the Russian Government of lethal and non-lethal military equipment;
(13) reaffirms the commitment of the United States to its obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty, especially Article 5, and calls on all Alliance member states to provide their full share of the resources needed to ensure their collective defense;
(14) urges the President, in consultation with Congress, to conduct a review of the force posture, readiness, and responsibilities of United States Armed Forces and the forces of other members of NATO to determine if the contributions and actions of each are sufficient to meet the obligations of collective self-defense under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty and to specify the measures needed to remedy any deficiencies;
(15) urges the President to hold the Russian Federation accountable for violations of its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and to take action to bring the Russian Federation back into compliance with the Treaty;
(16) urges the President to conduct a review of the utility of the INF Treaty in securing United States interests and the consequences for the United States of withdrawing from the Treaty if the Russian Federation does not return to compliance with its provisions;
(17) calls on Ukraine, the European Union, and other countries in Europe to support energy diversification initiatives to reduce the ability of the Russian Federation to use its supply of energy as a means of applying political and economic pressure on other countries, including by promoting increased natural gas and other energy exports from the United States and other countries;
(18) urges the President to expedite the United States Department of Energy's approval of liquefied natural gas exports to Ukraine and other European countries;
(19) calls on the President and the United States Department of State to develop a strategy for multilateral coordination to produce or otherwise procure and distribute news and information in the Russian language to countries with significant Russian-speaking populations which maximizes the use of existing platforms for content delivery such as the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Incorporated, leverages indigenous public-private partnerships for content production, and seeks in-kind contributions from regional state governments;
(20) calls on the United States Department of State to identify positions at key diplomatic posts in Europe to evaluate the political, economic, and cultural influence of Russia and Russian state-sponsored media and to coordinate with host governments on appropriate responses;
(21) calls upon the Russian Federation to seek a mutually beneficial relationship with the United States that is based on respect for the independence and sovereignty of all countries and their right to freely determine their future, including their relationship with other nations and international organizations, without interference, intimidation, or coercion by other countries; and
(22) calls for the reestablishment of a close and cooperative relationship between the people of the United States and the Russian people based on the shared pursuit of democracy, human rights, and peace among all nations.-
https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-resolution/758
To download the text of the Resolution Click: H Res 748
Text - H.Res.758 - 113th Congress (2013-2014): Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 20:14
Shown Here:Engrossed in House (12/04/2014)Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this legislative text may be shown by tags (e.g., or ) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF or HTML/XML.
[Congressional Bills 113th Congress][From the U.S. Government Printing Office][H. Res. 758 Engrossed in House (EH)]H. Res. 758 In the House of Representatives, U. S., December 4, 2014.Whereas the Russian Federation has subjected Ukraine to a campaign of political, economic, and military aggression for the purpose of establishing its domination over the country and progressively erasing its independence;Whereas the Russian Federation's invasion of, and military operations on, Ukrainian territory represent gross violations of Ukraine's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity and a violation of international law, including the Russian Federation's obligations under the United Nations Charter;Whereas the Russian Federation has, since February 2014, violated each of the 10 principles of the 1975 Helsinki Accords in its relations with Ukraine;Whereas the Russian Federation's forcible occupation and illegal annexation of Crimea and its continuing support for separatist and paramilitary forces in eastern Ukraine are violations of its obligations under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, in which it pledged to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine, and to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine;Whereas the Russian Federation has provided military equipment, training, and other assistance to separatist and paramilitary forces in eastern Ukraine that has resulted in over 4,000 civilian deaths, hundreds of thousands of civilian refugees, and widespread destruction;Whereas the Ukrainian military remains at a significant disadvantage compared to the armed forces of the Russian Federation in terms of size and technological sophistication;Whereas the United States strongly supports efforts to assist Ukraine to defend its territory and sovereignty against military aggression by the Russian Federation and by separatist forces;Whereas the terms of the cease-fire specified in the Minsk Protocol that was signed on September 5, 2014, by representatives of the Government of Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and the Russian-led separatists in the eastern area of Ukraine have been repeatedly violated by the Russian Federation and the separatist forces it supports;Whereas separatist forces in areas they controlled in eastern Ukraine prevented the holding of elections on May 25, 2014, for a new President of Ukraine and on October 26, 2014, for a new Rada, thereby preventing the people of eastern Ukraine from exercising their democratic right to select their candidates for office in free and fair elections;Whereas on November 2, 2014, separatist forces in eastern Ukraine held fraudulent and illegal elections in areas they controlled for the supposed purpose of choosing leaders of the illegitimate local political entities they have declared;Whereas the Russian Federation continues to provide the military, political, and economic support without which the separatist forces could not continue to maintain their areas of control;Whereas the reestablishment of peace and security in Ukraine requires the full withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory, the resumption of the Government of Ukraine's control over all of the country's international borders, the disarming of the separatist and paramilitary forces in the east, an end to Russia's use of its energy exports and trade barriers to apply economic and political pressure, and an end to Russian interference in Ukraine's internal affairs;Whereas Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a civilian airliner, was destroyed by a missile fired by Russian-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, resulting in the loss of 298 innocent lives;Whereas the Russian Federation continues to supply the vast majority of arms purchases, which include anti-aircraft missile systems and other lethal weapons, to the Bashar Assad regime in Syria, a state sponsor of terrorism that is actively backed by Hezbollah, a sophisticated terrorist group hostile to the United States and its close allies;Whereas the Russian Federation has protected the Assad regime and backed its brutal assault against the Syrian people;Whereas the Russian Federation has used and is continuing to use coercive economic measures, including the manipulation of energy prices and supplies, as well as trade restrictions, to place political and economic pressure on Ukraine;Whereas France agreed to sell to the Russian Federation two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships in 2011 for $1.7 billion;Whereas Russian possession of these ships would be a destabilizing addition to the Russian military, which would likely have boosted its ability to invade Crimea;Whereas given the Russian invasion of sovereign territory of the Republic of Ukraine in Crimea and elsewhere and its dangerous behavior throughout the region, France decided to suspend delivery of the Mistral-class warships to the Russian Federation;Whereas purchase of the two Mistral-class warships by North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries would expand NATO's capabilities, resolve France's legitimate concern over the cost of the ships, and eliminate a potential threat to countries in Eastern Europe;Whereas the Russian Federation invaded the Republic of Georgia in August 2008, continues to station military forces in the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and is implementing measures intended to progressively integrate these regions into the Russian Federation, including by signing a ``treaty'' between Georgia's Abkhazia Region and the Russian Federation on November 24, 2014;Whereas the Russian Federation continues to subject the Republic of Georgia to political and military intimidation, economic coercion, and other forms of aggression in an effort to establish its control of the country and to prevent Georgia from establishing closer relations with the European Union and the United States;Whereas the Russian Federation continues to station military forces in the Transniestria region of Moldova in violation of the express will of the Government of Moldova and of its Organization for Security and Co- operation in Europe (OSCE) commitments;Whereas the Russian Federation continues to provide support to the illegal separatist regime in the Transniestria region of Moldova;Whereas the Russian Federation continues to subject Moldova to political and military intimidation, economic coercion, and other forms of aggression in an effort to establish its control of the country and to prevent efforts by Moldova to establish closer relations with the European Union and the United States;Whereas the Russian Federation acceded to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty obligation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in a declaration issued at Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in October 1992;Whereas under the terms of the INF Treaty, a flight-test or deployment of any INF-banned weapon delivery vehicle by the Russian Federation constitutes a militarily significant violation of the INF Treaty;Whereas on April 2, 2014, the Commander, U.S. European Command, and Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Breedlove, stated that, ``A weapon capability that violates the INF, that is introduced into the greater European land mass is absolutely a tool that will have to be dealt with * * *. I would not judge how the alliance will choose to react, but I would say they will have to consider what to do about it * * *. It can't go unanswered.'';Whereas on July 29, 2014, the United States Department of State released its report on the Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments, as required by Section 403 of the Arms Control and Disarmament Act, for calendar year 2013, which found that, ``[t]he United States has determined that the Russian Federation is in violation of its obligations under the INF Treaty not to possess, produce, or flight-test a ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) with a range capability of 500 km to 5,500 km, or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles'';Whereas concerns also exist with respect to a new Russian ballistic missile, the RS-26, which, according to reports, has been tested on multiple occasions at intermediate ranges, and in different configurations, which would be covered by the interpretative statements the United States Senate relied upon when it ratified the INF Treaty in May 1988;Whereas the Russian Federation has requested the approval of new sensors and new aircraft to be flown over the United States and Europe as part of the Treaty on Open Skies, and serious concerns have been raised regarding impacts to United States national security if such approval is given;Whereas on November 11, 2014, the Commander, U.S. European Command, and Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Breedlove, stated that, Russian forces ``capable of being nuclear'' are being moved to the Crimea Peninsula;Whereas according to reports, the Government of the Russian Federation has repeatedly engaged in the infiltration of, and attacks on, computer networks of the United States Government, as well as individuals and private entities, for the purpose of illicitly acquiring information and disrupting operations, including by supporting Russian individuals and entities engaged in these actions;Whereas the political, military, and economic aggression against Ukraine and other countries by the Russian Federation underscores the enduring importance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as the cornerstone of collective Euro-Atlantic defense;Whereas the United States reaffirms its obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty, especially Article 5 which states that ``an armed attack against one or more'' of the treaty signatories ``shall be considered an attack against them all'';Whereas the Russian Federation is continuing to use its supply of energy as a means of political and economic coercion against Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and other European countries;Whereas the United States strongly supports energy diversification initiatives in Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and other European countries to reduce the ability of the Russian Federation to use its supply of energy for political and economic coercion, including the development of domestic sources of energy, increased efficiency, and substituting Russian energy resources with imports from other countries;Whereas the Russian Federation continues to conduct an aggressive propaganda effort in Ukraine in which false information is used to subvert the authority of the legitimate national government, undermine stability, promote ethnic dissension, and incite violence;Whereas the Russian Federation has expanded the presence of its state-sponsored media in national languages across central and western Europe with the intent of using news and information to distort public opinion and obscure Russian political and economic influence in Europe;Whereas expanded efforts by United States international broadcasting across all media in the Russian and Ukrainian languages are needed to counter Russian propaganda and to provide the people of Ukraine and the surrounding regions with access to credible and balanced information;Whereas the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Incorporated continue to represent a minority market share in Ukraine and other regional states with significant ethno-linguistic Russian populations who increasingly obtain their local and international news from Russian state-sponsored media outlets;Whereas the United States International Programming to Ukraine and Neighboring Regions Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-96) requires the Voice of America and RFE/RL, Incorporated to provide programming content to target populations in Ukraine and Moldova 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including at least 8 weekly hours of total original video and television content and 14 weekly hours of total audio content while expanding cooperation with local media outlets and deploying greater content through multimedia platforms and mobile devices; andWhereas Vladimir Putin has established an increasingly authoritarian regime in the Russian Federation through fraudulent elections, the persecution and jailing of political opponents, the elimination of independent media, the seizure of key sectors of the economy and enabling supporters to enrich themselves through widespread corruption, and implementing a strident propaganda campaign to justify Russian aggression against other countries and repression in Russia, among other actions: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives-- (1) strongly supports the efforts by President Poroshenko and the people of Ukraine to establish a lasting peace in their country that includes the full withdrawal of Russian forces from the territory of Ukraine, full control of Ukraine's international borders, the disarming of separatist and paramilitary forces in eastern Ukraine, the adoption of policies to reduce the ability of the Russian Federation to use energy exports and trade barriers as weapons to apply economic and political pressure, and an end to interference by the Russian Federation in the internal affairs of Ukraine; (2) affirms the right of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and all countries to exercise their sovereign rights within their internationally recognized borders free from outside intervention, and to conduct their foreign policy in accordance with their determination of the best interests of their peoples; (3) condemns the continuing political, economic, and military aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova and the continuing violation of their sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity; (4) states that the military intervention by the Russian Federation in Ukraine-- (A) is in breach of its obligations under the United Nations Charter; (B) is in clear violation of each of the 10 principles of the 1975 Helsinki Accords; (C) is in violation of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances in which it pledged to respect the independence, sovereignty, and existing borders of Ukraine and to refrain from the threat of the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine; and (D) poses a threat to international peace and security; (5) calls on the Russian Federation to reverse its illegal annexation of Crimea, to end its support of the separatist forces in Crimea, and to remove its military forces from that region other than those operating in strict accordance with its 1997 agreement on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet Stationing on the Territory of Ukraine; (6) calls on the President to cooperate with United States allies and partners in Europe and other countries around the world to refuse to recognize any de jure or de facto sovereignty of the Russian Federation over Crimea, its airspace, or its territorial waters; (7) calls on the Russian Federation to remove its military forces and military equipment from the territory of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, and to end its political, military, and economic support of separatist forces; (8) calls on the Russian Federation and the separatist forces it supports and controls in Ukraine to end their violations of the cease- fire announced in Minsk on September 5, 2014; (9) calls on the President to cooperate with United States allies and partners in Europe and other countries around the world to impose visa bans, targeted asset freezes, sectoral sanctions, and other measures on the Russian Federation and its leadership with the goal of compelling it to end its violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, to remove its military forces and equipment from Ukrainian territory, and to end its support of separatist and paramilitary forces; (10) calls on the President to provide the Government of Ukraine with lethal and non-lethal defense articles, services, and training required to effectively defend its territory and sovereignty; (11) calls on the President to provide the Government of Ukraine with appropriate intelligence and other relevant information in a timely manner to assist the Government of Ukraine to defend its territory and sovereignty; (12) calls on North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies and United States partners in Europe and other nations around the world to suspend all military cooperation with Russia, including prohibiting the sale to the Russian Government of lethal and non-lethal military equipment; (13) reaffirms the commitment of the United States to its obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty, especially Article 5, and calls on all Alliance member states to provide their full share of the resources needed to ensure their collective defense; (14) urges the President, in consultation with Congress, to conduct a review of the force posture, readiness, and responsibilities of United States Armed Forces and the forces of other members of NATO to determine if the contributions and actions of each are sufficient to meet the obligations of collective self-defense under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty and to specify the measures needed to remedy any deficiencies; (15) welcomes the decision of France to indefinitely suspend the delivery of the Mistral-class warships to the Russian Federation and urges the United States, France, NATO, and other partners to engage in consultations and consider all alternative acquisition options for such warships which would not include transfer of the ships to the Russian Federation; (16) urges the President to publicly hold the Russian Federation accountable for violations of its obligations under the Intermediate- Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and to take action to bring the Russian Federation back into compliance with the Treaty; (17) urges the President to work with Asian, European, and other allies to develop a comprehensive strategy to ensure the Russian Federation is not able to gain any benefit by its development of military systems that violate the INF Treaty; (18) believes the emplacement by the Russian Federation of its nuclear weapons on Ukrainian territory would constitute a provocative and destabilizing move; (19) calls on Ukraine and other countries to support energy diversification initiatives to reduce the ability of the Russian Federation to use its energy exports as a means of applying political or economic pressure, including by promoting energy efficiency and reverse natural gas flows from Western Europe, and calls on the United States to promote increased natural gas exports and energy efficiency; (20) calls on the President and the United States Department of State to develop a strategy for multilateral coordination to produce or otherwise procure and distribute news and information in the Russian language to countries with significant Russian-speaking populations which maximizes the use of existing platforms for content delivery such as the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Incorporated, leverages indigenous public-private partnerships for content production, and seeks in-kind contributions from regional state governments; (21) calls on the United States Department of State to identify positions at key diplomatic posts in Europe to evaluate the political, economic, and cultural influence of Russia and Russian state-sponsored media and to coordinate with host governments on appropriate responses; (22) calls on the Russian Federation to cease its support for the Assad regime in Syria; (23) calls on the President to publicly and privately demand the Russian Federation cease its destabilizing behavior at every opportunity and in every engagement between the United States and its officials and the Russian Federation and its officials; (24) calls upon the Russian Federation to seek a mutually beneficial relationship with the United States that is based on respect for the independence and sovereignty of all countries and their right to freely determine their future, including their relationship with other nations and international organizations, without interference, intimidation, or coercion by other countries; and (25) calls for the reestablishment of a close and cooperative relationship between the people of the United States and the Russian people based on the shared pursuit of democracy, human rights, and peace among all nations. Attest: Clerk.
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South Stream McCain in June
On June 8th John McCain, an American senator, on a visit to Sofia, bluntly warned the Socialist prime minister, Plamen Oresharski, over the danger of proceeding with South Stream. America is particularly unhappy about the project. One of the contractors, Stroytransgaz, is owned by Gennady Timchenko, a Russian magnate who is on the White House sanctions list because of his ties to Vladimir Putin.
Bulgaria ready to start building South Stream if EU compliance resolved, says Prime Minister | Russia Beyond The Headlines
Fri, 05 Dec 2014 23:21
Bulgaria is ready to start building the South Stream gas pipeline across its territory right now if the issue of compliance with the EU's Third Energy Package can be resolved, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said at talks with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
But the fate of the pipeline depends on Russia, he said. Borisov said Sofia had not yet received official notification from Moscow that the project was at an end.
He said he hoped for a solution to the issue soon, that Bulgaria had spent a lot on the project and that a lot of people were against suspending it.
Read more: Questions appear as Russia drops controversial South Stream pipeline>>>Russia has abandoned its project to build the controversial South Stream gas pipeline gas pipeline linking Russia and Central Europe via the Black Sea, citing Bulgaria's refusal to allow construction on its territory as a key factor.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the decision during a one-day visit to Turkey on Dec. 1.
The information in this section is provided by the Interfax news agency and is intended for personal use only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without express permission from Interfax. To request permission to republish, email: ifaxru@interfax.ru
Bulgaria-McCain: Screams and streams | The Economist
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 01:19
FOR those worried by the Kremlin's growing influence in Europe, Bulgaria has long been a prime suspect. As much as 90% of its gas comes from Russia. It is an ardent backer of South Stream, a Balkan gas pipeline that Russia is promoting in defiance of European Union rules on public procurement and energy liberalisation. A Russian presence in the murky worlds of Bulgarian banking and political-party finance has also aroused concern.
This month the issue has come to a head. On June 3rd the EU flatly told Bulgaria to stop work on South Stream, a project also backed by the governments of Austria, Greece and Hungary. The Bulgarian government'--a minority coalition of Socialists and a party of ethnic Turks'--instantly refused. On the same day the EU temporarily cut tens of millions of euros in regional-development funds, the distribution of which has long been a bailiwick of the Turkish party, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS in Bulgarian). The EU has privately threatened to freeze more. This stoked a row inside the coalition between DPS and its Socialist (ex-communist) allies, South Stream's strongest backers.
On June 8th John McCain, an American senator, on a visit to Sofia, bluntly warned the Socialist prime minister, Plamen Oresharski, over the danger of proceeding with South Stream. America is particularly unhappy about the project. One of the contractors, Stroytransgaz, is owned by Gennady Timchenko, a Russian magnate who is on the White House sanctions list because of his ties to Vladimir Putin.
Mr Oresharski promptly said that he was suspending work on the pipeline, pending consultations with the EU. His energy minister contradicted him, saying the decision to back South Stream was ''irreversible''. An already weak government began to look doomed. On June 17th Rosen Plevneliev, the president, said that the country's political parties had agreed to hold an election this autumn, two years ahead of schedule.
The president'--a strong Atlanticist and pro-European who doesn't belong to any political party'--has come out well from this. But he lacks a political base. Some hope he will form a political party to campaign in the election. The other big winner is the beefy Boyko Borisov, an ex-bodyguard who heads GERB, the nominally centre-right opposition party. The most likely election outcome will be a government headed by him, with the perennial DPS as a junior partner.
But shuffling the cards will not resolve worries about corruption and the abuse of power that have fuelled the political crisis. Particular controversy surrounds a leading figure in DPS, Delyan Peevski, a media tycoon whom the government tried to put in charge of the state security agency. He came second in the party's list for the European elections, but had to step down because of opposition from the Liberal group in the parliament, to which DPS belongs. He now claims that Tzvetan Vassilev, a banker with close ties to Moscow and the Socialist Party, tried to have him killed last week (Mr Vassilev denies this).
The fall of the government may be a sign that, when it comes to the crunch, local magnates' power exceeds the Kremlin's. But that is no cause for comfort.
McCain in June killed south stream for Nabucco-EU-US Bulgaria squeeze freezes South Stream | neurope.eu
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 01:12
THESSALONIKI '' Following pressure from Brussels and Washington, Bulgaria has decided to halt construction work on the Gazprom-led South Stream gas pipeline, in which the Russian gas monopoly holds a 50% stake.
A visit by US senators John McCain, Christopher Murphy and Ron Johnson on June 8 in Sofia was ''definitely a factor'' in Bulgaria's decision, independent consultant Peter Poptchev, a long-time Bulgarian ambassador-at-large for energy security and South Stream negotiator, told New Europe on June 12 in Thessaloniki.
Bulgaria's Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said on June 8 that he has ordered all work on the project planned to bypass Ukraine as a transit country and consolidating Russia's energy grip in Europe to continue only after consultations with Brussels.
''The US side, through its ambassador in Sofia and others, has been sending signals of their displeasure that Bulgaria continues to be defiant to the notifications of the Commission,'' Poptchev said in an interview on the sidelines of a regional energy conference by the Institute of Energy for South-East Europe (IENE) in Greece's northern port city of Thessaloniki. He said that the US senators' visit to Sofia ''is a positive expression of the strategic relationship between the two countries''.
Last week, the European Commission opened an infringement procedure against Bulgaria and asked construction work to be stopped, arguing that Bulgaria hadn't respected EU internal market rules covering the award of public contracts.
Washington has pushed Sofia to diversify its energy resources. About 85% of Bulgaria's gas comes from Russia. McCain attended Bulgaria's signing of the Nabucco intergovernmental agreement in Ankara in 2009 '' a project that later lost the race against the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) to carry Azerbaijani gas to Europe.
''The three senators emphasised the situation as they said there is too much Russian participation in South Stream, probably implying that if the project is internationalised this would be much more acceptable to the international community,'' Poptchev said.
US ratchets up the pressure
He also said that the US ''thought it advisable to approach Bulgaria at high political level to push its point'' that it would not be acceptable if Bulgaria proceeded with Stroytransgaz, a Russian company hit by US sanctions, to construct South Stream on its territory. Bulgaria selected Strontransgaz late in May. The Russian company is controlled by Gennady Timchenko, a personal friend and ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin who is subject to US sanctions. Timchenko is not subject to EU sanctions.
Poptchev said that there has not been any real South Stream construction per se - just preparatory work where the pipelines would come out of the sea on Bulgarian land.
Russia has been pushing South Stream as a way to provide an alternative supply route for Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia, Austria and Italy. It is expected to ship up to 63 billion cubic metres of gas from 2018.
Roland Wolk, head of marketing and sales at the Central European gas Hub AG (CEGH) in Austria, noted that South Stream does not increase security of supply sources but security of supply routes. ''If there should be problems in Ukraine then you can go via South Stream. But additional pipelines also probably will bring additional gas - not only replacing gas from Ukraine into South Stream,'' Wolk told New Europe on the sidelines of the same conference in Thessaloniki.
He noted that after the planned EU-backed Nabucco project died, Austria is now getting its role back as an energy hub through South Stream. ''It's getting the role back. I don't think that much additional gas will come. It's just another route of supply,'' he said, adding that Russia is a big player in Austria.
Bulgaria was among those who suffered most of the gas price dispute between Russia and Ukraine in 2009. ''There's no doubt that a project of the magnitude of South Stream is very important for a country like Bulgaria for strategic, economic, commercial and '' at least as far as the current government is concerned - social reasons,'' Poptchev told New Europe. ''However, there have been critical views and opinions to South Stream both as a concept and in particular as an implementation mode,'' he added.
Serbia sends mixed signals
Following Bulgaria's announcement that it would freeze the construction of South Stream on its territory, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Mijailovic said on June 9 that Serbia had to suspend the construction of the gas pipeline due to Bulgaria's decision. But Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said later the same day that Serbia's government has not taken a decision on South Stream.
Poptchev said that each and every of the EU member states that have signed intergovernmental agreements with Russia on South Stream have repeatedly said that they are interested in having South Stream. ''But, on the other hand, it's obvious again that none of these countries have at all been near infringement procedures threat by the Commission '' meaning that Bulgaria has gone perhaps too far. The case of Bulgaria might have been used by other to be perhaps more cautious. As for Serbia it is, of course, not an EU member not yet so it's not obliged to follow in legal terms. But, on the other hand, having acquired pre-accession negotiation status it is in its interest to follow what Brussels thinks on South Stream,'' he said.
''This is predominantly political - to Serbia South Stream and Russia have more strategic meaning than any other country in Europe,'' Poptchev said. ''It's very political also in Bulgaria. Some of the leading parties in Bulgaria have tied up their fortunes and their social and economic policies to the implementation of South Stream,'' he said.
''Outside of the views of some extreme parties, the mainstream parties are all in favour of South Stream with the notable difference that the Bulgarian Socialist Party, at least until last week, did not see the need for South Stream to comply necessarily with EU requirements while most other parties have said right from the beginning that they want the project provided that it complies with Commission requirements,'' Poptchev said on June 12, adding that the BSP appears to soften their stance.
He said that the Ukrainian crisis has brought other positions and considerations to the forefront.
''The European Commission did not interrupt consultations with the Russian side just to show its displeasure about what is going on in Ukraine. It interrupted because it has to reassess the meaning of South Stream for European Energy security but also the implications of Gazprom's plans,'' he said.
''The fate of South Stream, the decision-making, is now been elevated to the very top echelons of the European institutions and perhaps the United States as well,'' he said, adding that the new decisions will probably be made after the new European Parliament and Commission are in place.
Poptchev noted that if South Stream were to adopt third-party access, it could help the implementation of the pipeline. ''But this is the least of problems for Russia. South Stream has other features which could potentially upset the application of the EU Third Energy Package and now is the time for the Commission to negotiate strategically. After Crimea the Commission has political leverage it could use to the benefit of all 28 member states,'' Ambassador Poptchev said.
Turning back to Bulgaria, he noted that on June 13 there is a Bulgarian Parliamentary debate on South Stream on which the prime minister and energy minister were asked to report as a basis for the debate. And on the same, a small delegation from DG Energy is expected to discuss South Stream with the Bulgarian government in Sofia.
Meanwhile, IENE Executive Director Costis Stambolis told New Europe on the sidelines of the same conference that South Stream is not in trouble after the Commission put pressure on Bulgaria to halt the project.
''I think the Russian government, President Putin, Gazprom and the entire Russian establishment are firmly behind South Stream. It is part of the current energy policy of Russia and the project is so important that they are going to use - and we can see that - whatever strategies they have in their means,'' Stambolis said.
Russia remains silent
''Maybe right now despite of what Bulgaria has done or Serbia is saying is going to do, the Russians are purposefully showing restraint. They are not reacting in any strong way because the actual project and the benefits which will derive from the project and the price are so big. So the Russians are playing it very cool right now, seeing what the reactions are going to be from the European Union, from Brussels, from other countries and they are reassessing their strategy,'' he said, adding that in essence the Russians are playing very strongly.
''Don't forget that South Stream is the mirror project of Nord Stream. Nord Steam, South Stream and LNG export capability of Russia right now is the center of the energy policy,'' Stambolis added.
See also:
Needing the gas, EU referees Ukraine-Russia dispute
Gazprom ready for South Stream 'worst-case scenario'
EU's Juncker says South Stream pipeline can still be built | TODAYonline
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 01:09
Published:9:09 PM, December 4, 2014
BRUSSELS - European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has insisted the $40 billion South Stream natural gas pipeline can still go ahead and accused Russia of holding EU-member Bulgaria to ransom when it said it had abandoned the project.
Speaking after talks with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov, whose country South Stream would traverse making it a major beneficiary, Juncker rebutted Russia's statement that EU competition rules had killed it.
He told reporters issues relating to the pipeline were not insurmountable and he was working with Bulgaria to address them.
Russia said on Monday it had abandoned the pipeline, which would have bypassed Ukraine, Gazprom's traditional transit route for Russian gas, citing EU competition requirements for a pipeline's ownership to be divorced from its cargo. It said it was working on an alternative route via Turkey.
Juncker accused Moscow of blackmailing Bulgaria, which retains strong political and economic ties with Moscow and is almost entirely dependent on Russia for its gas.
"I am not accepting the simple easy idea that Bulgaria can be blackmailed as far as these energy relations are concerned," Juncker said.
"We'll take ... all the necessary steps to make sure that our relations with Russia will be improved, but it doesn't depend only on the willingness of the EU, of the European Commission. To dance a tango ... you need two dancers."
Borisov also said South Stream could be built and agreed it had to comply with EU rules, including legislation known as the third energy package, which limits how much of a pipeline a company can own if it also controls its contents.
Further efforts to bring the project in line will be made on Tuesday, when EU energy ministers meet for regular talks.
"I hope that all these technical details will be solved at this meeting including the third energy package," Borisov said. He added he had not received any official notice from Russia that South Stream was not going ahead.
EU sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Russia's calculation could have been that its announcement of South Stream's demise would place the Commission under pressure from some member states to soften its regulatory stance.
At the same time, Russia has a struggle to find the cash for South Stream, given a falling oil price and economic sanctions. REUTERS
South Stream: when the periphery becomes the frontline | European Council on Foreign Relations
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 01:07
(C) Gazprom
It has been two days since Vladimir Putin announced the death of the South Stream pipeline and the domestic political fallout in Bulgaria continues. Opinions have varied wildly, coloured also by the fact that Putin explicitly mentioned Bulgaria as having succumbed to pressure from Brussels not to back the project.
Some have welcomed the demise of South Stream because of its lack of transparency, the potential for corruption, and the geopolitical dimension.
Some have welcomed the demise of South Stream because of its lack of transparency, the potential for corruption, and the geopolitical dimension. Its non-compliance with the EU's Third Energy Package was one legal obstacle; the other was the organisation of the tenders for the actual building of the pipeline in Bulgaria. The European Commission protested at the tender procedures used and fined the Bulgarian government. Many blame these failed tenders for the Corporate Commercial Bank's liquidity crisis and the dissolution of the Oresharski government in the summer (backed by the Russia-friendly Socialist Party). Even if this was pure coincidence, the fact remains that the corruption surrounding South Stream was unheard of in this part of Europe. The price per kilometre in Bulgaria and Serbia ('‚¬3.5 million) was said to be at least twice the price of building the pipeline in Austria, and the difference was threatening to pollute the entire Bulgarian political landscape.
Others, however, talk angrily of the demise of the project as the end of Bulgarian economic development for decades to come. This group, led by the Bulgarian Socialist party and the radical nationalist (yet Russophile) Ataka, argues that Bulgaria will lose '‚¬600 million a year in transit fees and that Turkey has won even more economic influence in the region. They are wrong on the former - the agreement is not publicly available, but apparently the debt incurred during the initial investment was to absorb the fees for the first ten years anyway. But they are probably quite right about the latter: Turkey is the big winner in Putin's latest move.
Turkey is the big winner in Putin's latest move.
The announcement of South Stream's sudden death coincided with two other pieces of news: Turkey will buy Russian gas at a discount of 6 percent and the Ministry of the Environment in Ankara has granted Russia's Rosatom a permit to build the Akkuyu nuclear power plant. This is the first such installation in Turkey to be built, owned, and operated by Rosatom. In his isolation from the West, Putin needs Turkey as a regional ally, which explains his concessions to the energy-hungry Turkish economy. Without Nabucco and, now, minus South Stream, many in the Balkans see energy dependency on one country (Russia) as having simply been exchanged for another (Turkey).
All this has turned out to be a tricky situation for Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. He did not expect to get all the blame or the threat of legal action if Moscow decides to go to court. Borissov realised that a country that had for so long lived on the EU's periphery had turned into the frontline so he needed support from the EU's institutions. ''We do not want to be a bargaining chip between Russia and Europe,'' he said on his way to Brussels, mentioning that Bulgarians fear a weakening in solidarity as a result of a multi-speed Europe. Therefore Jean-Claude Juncker's statement later that day was an important signal. "South Stream can be built," he said, adding he will not accept that Bulgaria be blackmailed by Russia. For a country that feels squeezed by geopolitics, this is a sign of support. The next one should be a real push to build interconnectors and revive the Southern Corridor, this time on Europe's terms.
Read more on: Wider Europe, Wider Europe Forum, Russia
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Angry families of MH17 crash victims seek U.N. investigation | Reuters
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 21:29
By Anthony Deutsch
AMSTERDAMFri Dec 5, 2014 11:09am EST
1 of 2. Soft toys are seen near the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane (flight MH17) near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region November 16, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Antonio Bronic
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Relatives of MH17 crash victims, angered by what they see as Dutch mishandling of inquiries into the disaster, want a special U.N. envoy to launch an international investigation.
A letter sent to Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Friday, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, said Dutch officials had failed to build a case. They asked that inquiries by the Safety Board and prosecution service be handed over to the United Nations.
Rutte should "request the U.N. to appoint a special envoy to take over," said the letter written by Van der Goen Attorneys.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was downed on July 17 over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew, two-thirds of them Dutch. Experts say the most likely cause was a ground-to-air missile fired from territory held by pro-Russian separatists.
The Dutch launched the largest criminal investigation in their history after the crash. This week, trucks are carrying pieces of the plane home, but much of the wreckage still lies in Ukrainian fields.
Dutch investigators, leading a case involving 11 countries, have not concluded how the plane was shot down or identified suspects.
The Netherlands "has completely botched" the fact-finding investigation and the legal framework of the case, said the letter, sent on behalf of 20 relatives from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States.
Dutch prosecutors have been unable to access the crash site, in a war zone disputed by Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed rebels, or not met international requirements to secure evidence, the letter said.
"Nobody knows who is doing what," said Bob van der Goen, a spokesman for the law firm. "There is no coordination, there is no leadership whatsoever (by) Holland."
Rutte said on Friday the Dutch teams were returning to the Netherlands. "We have done everything we could. In view of the safety situation and the weather, we cannot do anything more right now," he said.
An international inquiry is the only way to identify who shot down the plane and ensure they are brought to court, the letter said.
Van der Goen has represented relatives of victims of a 1992 El Al jetliner crash in Amsterdam, a 2010 Afriqiyah Airways crash in the Libyan capital Tripoli and the 1977 Pan Am-KLM crash in the Canary Islands that left 583 people dead.
Relatives of the Pan Am-KLM crash victims received more than $100,000 each, the highest ever settlement at the time.
(Reporting By Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Tom Heneghan)
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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Ukraine's Made-in-USA Finance Minister
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 15:13
Ukraine's new Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko, a former US State Department officer who was granted Ukrainian citizenship only this week, headed a US government-funded investment project for Ukraine that involved substantial insider dealings, including $1 million-plus fees to a management company that she also controlled.
Jaresko served as president and chief executive officer of Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF), which was created by the US Agency for International Development (US AID) with $150 million to spur business activity in Ukraine. She also was cofounder and managing partner of Horizon Capital which managed WNISEF's investments at a rate of 2 to 2.5 percent of committed capital, fees exceeding $1 million in recent years, according to WNISEF's 2012 annual report.
The growth of that insider dealing at the US-taxpayer-funded WNISEF is further underscored by the number of paragraphs committed to listing the ''related party transactions,'' i.e., potential conflicts of interest, between an early annual report from 2003 and the one a decade later.
In the 2003 report, the ''related party transactions'' were summed up in two paragraphs, with the major item a $189,700 payment to a struggling computer management company where WNISEF had an investment.
In the 2012 report, the section on ''related party transactions'' covered some two pages and included not only the management fees to Jaresko's Horizon Capital ($1,037,603 in 2011 and $1,023,689 in 2012) but also WNISEF's co-investments in projects with the Emerging Europe Growth Fund [EEGF], where Jaresko was founding partner and chief executive officer. Jaresko's Horizon Capital also managed EEGF.
From 2007 to 2011, WNISEF co-invested $4.25 million with EEGF in Kerameya LLC, a Ukrainian brick manufacturer, and WNISEF sold EEGF 15.63 percent of Moldova's Fincombank for $5 million, the report said. It also listed extensive exchanges of personnel and equipment between WNISEF and Horizon Capital.
Though it's difficult for an outsider to ascertain the relative merits of these insider deals, they could reflect negatively on Jaresko's role as Ukraine's new finance minister given the country's reputation for corruption and cronyism, a principal argument for the US-backed ''regime change'' that ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych last February.
Declining Investments
Based on the data from WNISEF's 2012 annual report, it also appeared that the US taxpayers had lost about one-third of their investment in WNISEF, with the fund's balance at $98,074,030, compared to the initial US government grant of $150 million.
Given the collapsing Ukrainian economy since the Feb. 22 coup, the value of the fund is likely to have slipped even further. (Efforts to get more recent data from WNISEF's and Horizon Capital's Web sites were impossible Friday because the sites were down.)
Beyond the long list of ''related party transactions'' in the annual report, there also have been vague allegations of improprieties involving Jaresko from one company insider, her ex-husband, Ihor Figlus. But his whistle-blowing was shut down by a court order issued at Jaresko's insistence.
John Helmer, a longtime foreign correspondent in Russia, disclosed the outlines of this dispute in an article examining Jaresko's history as a recipient of US AID's largesse and how it enabled her to become an investment banker via WNISEF, Horizon Capital and Emerging Europe Growth Fund.
Helmer wrote: ''Exactly what happened when Jaresko left the State Department to go into her government-paid business in Ukraine has been spelled out by her ex-husband in papers filed in the Chancery Court of Delaware in 2012 and 2013. '...
''Without Figlus and without the US Government, Jaresko would not have had an investment business in Ukraine. The money to finance the business, and their partnership stakes, turns out to have been loaned to Figlus and Jaresko from Washington.''
According to Helmer's article, Figlus had reviewed company records in 2011 and concluded that some loans were ''improper,'' but he lacked the money to investigate so he turned to Mark Rachkevych, a reporter for the Kyiv Post, and gave him information to investigate the propriety of the loans.
''When Jaresko realized the beans were spilling, she sent Figlus a reminder that he had signed a non-disclosure agreement'' and secured a temporary injunction in Delaware on behalf of Horizon Capital and EEGF to prevent Figlus from further revealing company secrets, Helmer wrote.
''It hasn't been rare for American spouses to go into the asset management business in the former Soviet Union, and make profits underwritten by the US Government with information supplied from their US Government positions or contacts,'' Helmer continued. ''It is exceptional for them to fall out over the loot.''
Jaresco, who served in the US Embassy in Kiev after the collapse of the Soviet Union, has saidthat Western NIS Enterprise Fund was ''funded by the US government to invest in small and medium-sized businesses in Ukraine and Moldova '' in essence, to 'kick-start' the private equity industry in the region.''
While the ultimate success of that US-funded endeavor may still be unknown, it is clear that the US AID money did ''kick-start'' Jaresco's career in equity investments and put her on the path that has now taken her to the job of Ukraine's new finance minister. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko cited her experience in these investment fields to explain his unusual decision to bring in an American to run Ukraine's finances and grant her citizenship.
A Big Investment
The substantial US government sum invested in Jaresco's WNISEF-based equity fund also sheds new light on how it was possible for Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland to tally up US spending on Ukraine since it became independent in 1991 and reach the astounding figure of ''more than $5 billion,'' which she announced to a meeting of US-Ukrainian business leaders last December as she was pushing for ''regime change'' in Kiev.
The figure was so high that it surprised some of Nuland's State Department colleagues. Several months later '' after a US-backed coup had overthrown Yanukovych and pitched Ukraine into a nasty civil war '' Under Secretary of State for Public Affairs Richard Stengel cited the $5 billion figure as ''ludicrous'' Russian disinformation after hearing the number on Russia's RT network.
Stengel, a former Time magazine editor, didn't seem to know that the figure had come from a fellow senior State Department official.
Nuland's ''more than $5 billion'' figure did seem high, even if one counted the many millions of dollars spent over the past couple of decades by US AID (which puts its contributions to Ukraine at $1.8 billion) and the US-funded National Endowment for Democracy, which has financed hundreds of projects for supporting Ukrainian political activists, media operatives and non-governmental organizations.
But if one looks at the $150 million largesse bestowed on Natalie Jaresco, you can begin to understand the old adage that a hundred million dollars here and a hundred million dollars there soon adds up to real money.
Those payments over more than two decades to various people and entities in Ukraine also constitute a major investment in Ukrainian operatives who are now inclined to do the US government's bidding.
Reprinted with permission from ConsortiumNews.com.
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E.U. Member Signs Big Oil Contract With Russia
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 00:32
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Slovakian Industry Minister Pavol Pavlis signed a long-term agreement on deliveries of Russian oil to Slovakia and oil transit to other countries in Europe, an Energy Ministry spokesman said.
Under the agreement, Russia will deliver up to 6 million tonnes of crude oil to Slovakia each year and the same amount of oil for transit through Slovakia to third countries.
The contract takes effect on January 1, 2015 and is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2029.
The agreement will automatically be extended for a five-year period unless one of the parties notifies the other of cancellation no later than six months prior to the expiration date.
The current bilateral oil delivery agreement between Russia and Slovakia from December 14, 1999, expires on December 31, 2014.
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Finland's Parliament Votes To Build Nuclear Plant in Pyh¤joki By Russian Consortium
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 21:20
Pyh¤joki nuclear power plant will be built south of Oulu in northern Finland.(Photo: Fennovoima)
115 in favour and 74 against. Finland's Parliament granted on Friday permission to the Fennovoima power consortium to construct a single-reactor nuclear power plant in Pyh¤joki.
When in operation, the plant will be the third nuclear power plant in Finland and the second in the Barents Region. Finland's two other nuclear power plants are located in the south, while Kola nuclear power plant in Russia is the only one in the Barents Region.
Earlier this week, BarentsObserver reported that Fortum takes over a 15 percent stake in Fennovoima nuclear power plant project. With the deal, the domestic ownership of Fennovoima will surpass the minimum 60 percent required by the Finnish Government.
Russia's state nuclear company Rosatom holds a 34 percent stake in the company. The reactor to be built is the not-yet commissioned 1200 MWAES-2006.
The nuclear power plant project is highly controversial in Finland. In September, the coalition party Green League decided to leave the government after a majority voted ''yes'' to the plant.
A survey made after Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea, the respondents said they were more sceptical to the project with Rosatom as supplier of the reactor.
Parliament member from Swedish People's Party of Finland, Stefan Wallin decided to cast a blank vote on Friday.
''It does not my habit to vote blank, but I have two opinions on the matter. I support more nuclear power, but in the current geopolitical situation after what happened in eastern Ukraine and with the EU's trade sanctions, I could not vote for a project where Rosatom is a major owner,'' Wallin told Hufvudstadsbladet.
In neighbouring Sweden, the NGO network K¤rnkraftsfritt Bottenviken (Nuclear free Gulf of Bothnia) is opposing the plans arguing an accident could contaminate both countries. Members are Friday posting strong protests at the Facebook site of the network.
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Gazprom says signed 390 mln euros credit line with UniCredit | Agricultural Commodities | Reuters
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 21:20
MOSCOW Dec 5 (Reuters) - Russia's top natural gas producerGazprom said on Friday it had signed a 390-millioneuros credit line with Italy's UniCredit.
Gazprom did not provide in the statement announcing the dealany financial terms of the agreement and did not say how itwould allocate the resources.
(Reporting by Denis Pinchuk; Writing by Lidia Kelly)
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Furgeson
Legal Definition of Homicide
homicide
n. the killing of a human being due to the act or omission of another. Included among homicides are murder and manslaughter, but not all homicides are a crime, particularly when there is a lack of criminal intent. Non-criminal homicides include killing in self-defense, a misadventure like a hunting accident or automobile wreck without a violation of law like reckless driving, or legal (government) execution. Suicide is a homicide, but in most cases there is no one to prosecute if the suicide is successful. Assisting or attempting suicide can be a crime.
Lets get body cams for:
Grand Jury's
Executioners
Pilots
Bus drivers
All automobile operators!
Time for "Federal" Police?
How About a die-in for 'suspected militants' murdered by our drones. Hypocrites
US drone strikes kill 28 unknown people for every intended target, new Reprieve report reveals | Carol Anne Grayson (Radical Sister) blog
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 21:28
Aftermath of drone strike in Yemen
(image from National Organization For Drone Victims)
PRESS RELEASE: Monday November 24, 2014
US drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan have killed as many as 1,147 unknown people in failed attempts to kill 41 named individuals, a report by human rights charity Reprieve has found.
The report looks at deaths resulting from US drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan between November 2002 and November 2014. It identifies 41 men who appeared to have been killed multiple times '' drawing into question the Obama administration's repeated claims that the covert drone programme is 'precise.'
While the US drone programme is shrouded in secrecy, security sources regularly brief the media on the names of those suspected militants targeted or killed in the strikes. Frequently, those individuals are reported to have been targeted or killed on multiple occasions.
Reprieve's assessment is the first to provide an estimate of the number of people '' including in some cases children '' who are killed each time the US apparently attempts to assassinate a 'high value target.' Due to the US Government's refusal to publish any information relating to the programme, or the 'Kill List' said to determine its targets, the analysis is limited to existing, publicly-available data from media reports and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
Key findings of the report include:
In Pakistan, 24 men were reported as killed or targeted multiple times. Missed strikes on these men killed 874 people, including 142 children.In Yemen, 17 men were reported killed or targeted multiple times. Missile strikes on these men killed 273 others and accounted for almost half of all confirmed civilian casualties and 100% of all recorded child deaths.In targeting Ayman al Zawahiri, the CIA killed 76 children and 29 adults. They failed twice, and Ayman al Zawahiri is reportedly still alive.It took the US six attempts to kill Qari Hussain, a Pakistani target. During these attempts, 128 people were killed, including 13 children.Each assassination target on the US government's so-called Kill List 'died' on average more than three times before their actual death.The US government's drone programme has come under increasing scrutiny after a number of strikes that hit large numbers of civilians by mistake. It was recently revealed '' as a result of investigations by Reprieve '' that the US government compensates civilian victims of drone strikes in Yemen.
Jennifer Gibson, Staff Attorney at Reprieve who compiled the report, said: ''These 'high value targets' appear to be doing the impossible '' dying not once, not twice, but as many as six times. At the same time, hundreds of unknown men, women and children are also caught in the crosshairs. President Obama continues to insist drone strikes are 'precise', but when targeting one person instead kills as many as 128 others, there's only one conclusion that can be drawn '' there's nothing targeted about the US drone programme.''
END
Report link
You never die twice: Multiple kills in the US drone program
http://www.reprieve.org/uploads/2/6/3/3/26338131/2014_11_24_pub_you_never_die_twice_-_multiple_kills_in_the_us_drone_program.pdf
Reprieve Website
http://www.reprieve.org.uk/
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT 'Action = Life' Human Rights Award' for ''upholding truth and justice''. She is also a survivor of US ''collateral damage''.
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Citizens would vote Jon Stewart President in a heartbeat today
BREAKING: BLACK FEMALE Police Sergeant Supervised Eric Garner's Deadly Arrest | The Gateway Pundit
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 00:06
Lost in the racial outcry over the decision to not indict white police officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Black petty criminal Eric Garner is the key fact that the attempt to arrest Garner was overseen by a Black female police sergeant.
Black female Police sergeant Kizzy Adoni supervized the fatal arrest of Eric Garner.
The Black female police sergeant is not shown in the countless replays in the media of cellphone footage that showed white male police officers confronting and taking down Garner but she is said to be seen in the video.
From a police report reported by PIX11 in July, the sergeant's name appears to be Kizzy Adoni.
''Another female sergeant, Kizzy Adoni, made a similar statement in the report. She ''believed she heard'' Garner say he was having difficulty breathing. Adoni also said ''The perpetrator's condition did not seem serious and he did not appear to get worse.''''
There is no mention of Adoni in a Google News search of the latest reports on the Garner decision.
There are very few mentions at all that a Black female sergeant oversaw the attempted arrest of Garner.
NBC News in New York reported the sergeants at the scene were offered immunity for their testimony before the grand jury.
''Pantaleo is the only NYPD member facing possible indictment. Others at the scene, including two sergeants, were offered immunity for their testimony to the grand jury.''
Denis Hamill wrote at the New York Daily News that a federal civil rights case will likely be scuttled by the presence and oversight of Pantaleo's actions by the Black female sergeant''who did not intervene in the attempted arrest.
''Pantaleo who applied the lethal chokehold on Eric Garner was supervised by an African-American female NYPD sergeant.
''Having that black sergeant in charge of that crime scene takes race out of the equation. As awful as Pantaleo's actions appear on that video, at no time does that black sergeant order Pantaleo to stop choking Garner.
'...''Any chance of a federal civil rights case will be hampered by that African-American police sergeant's presence.''
Does Attorney General Eric Holder know?He just opened a civil rights investigation on Eric Garner's death.
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Ebola
Ebola Czar is Set to Return to the Private Sector - Fortune
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 21:35
With the Ebola crisis seemingly in hand, Ron Klain, the veteran political operative the White House plucked from a venture capital gig to coordinate the government's response, is planning a late-winter return to the private sector.
Klain has committed to former AOL chief Steve Case that by March 1, he'll be back on the job as president of Case Holdings and general counsel for Case's venture firm Revolution LLC, Case tells Fortune. An administration official confirmed the plan.
''He has no intention of staying on in any other capacity here at the White House,'' the administration official said. ''Ron will do the job for which he was appointed and return to Revolution.''
Klain's role as the White House's ''Ebola czar'' was always meant to be temporary. He took a leave of absence from Revolution in late October to join the administration as a special government employee '-- a technical designation for short-termers that stipulates they'll stay on the job no longer than 130 days. But there has been active speculation, fueled by a POLITICO report, that Klain would stay on in the White House in another role, potentially succeeding John Podesta as Counselor to the President, if Podesta quits to run a Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.
Contrary to the chatter, Case said the expiration date on Klain's public service has been well understood within the White House. Talks to bring Klain aboard proceeded rapidly '-- Case said they started two days before the White House announced the appointment on Oct. 17 '-- and that Klain ''was not eager to take on this assignment but felt it was an important thing to do. He agreed to do it with the understanding that it would be for a limited period of time.''
A behind-the-scenes operator by temperament, Klain found himself thrust into a vortex of crisis-driven fears and politically motivated recriminations upon being named to tackle the challenge. Two weeks out from the midterm elections, the White House looked badly off-balance. The outbreak was defying official assurances the situation was under control '-- two nurses treating a Liberian man in Dallas contracted the disease, revealing containment protocols porous as a chain-link fence. Congressional calls for a travel ban piled up as cable news whipped public concern toward panic.
Klain's appointment did little to calm nerves. Republicans leapt on the selection of a political hand '-- Klain served as chief of staff to then-Vice President Al Gore and worked for Vice President Joe Biden coordinating the launch of the 2009 stimulus package '-- as a signal the White House was treating the Ebola threat as a political headache. Even Saturday Night Live took up the GOP line, lampooning Klain's lack of healthcare expertise.
Seven weeks on, however, the disease has all but fallen off the radar. A surgeon who contracted Ebola in his native Sierra Leone died in a Nebraska hospital on Nov. 17, bringing the total U.S. death to two, and no new cases have surfaced since. The White House touted the progress under Klain in a Monday memo, noting the 32 new designated treatment facilities, 29 labs newly equipped to test for the disease, an enhanced screening system for travelers from abroad and the completion of the first phase of clinical trials for a vaccine. While it's of course tough to know how much of that would have been achieved without Klain's involvement, the administration official said he gets credit for ''building the airplane mid-flight. You really need someone who's at the bellybutton of this, who can call upon all of the resources of the United States government. That person has to sit at the White House, where Ron, as he currently does, has ready access to the President and all of his senior-most advisors, and is able to ensure the response is adequately resourced and synchronized both at home and overseas.''
Klain still has plenty to do. At the moment, his work is focused on securing Congressional support for Obama's $6.2 billion request to fund a range of emergency response measures, even though any sense of emergency has palpably drained away. The President himself traveled to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. on Tuesday to press the case, but the ask is tangled in a broader budget dispute and Congressional Republicans are unlikely to meet it in full.
That said, the best testimonial to the low-key Klain's performance may be his success in disappearing back behind the curtain. Fortune asked four of the most outspoken Congressional Republican critics of his appointment to weigh in on how he's done so far. All declined to comment. ''He's perfectly fine not getting credit,'' says Case. ''In fact, he prefers it.''
NWO
allAfrica.com: Kenya: Christmas Comes Early for Kenyan President
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 21:42
By Judie KaberiaNairobi '-- An elated President Uhuru Kenyatta could not withhold his joy after receiving the early Christmas gift when International Criminal Court Prosecutor withdrew charges against him on Friday afternoon.
The Presidential Strategic Communication Unit tweeted that President Kenyatta was eager to share the news.
"I am very keen to run to my wife @FirstLadyKenya right now and tell her what is happening" #Vindicated," the tweet read.
President Kenyatta was among six Kenyans initially summoned to appear before the Pre-Trial Chamber of the ICC on March 2011 as indirect co-perpetrators of the 2008 Post Election Violence in Kenya.
Charges against former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali and former Industrialisation Minister Henry Kosgey were dropped during the confirmation of hearings charges in 2011.
In March 2013, charges against former Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura were dropped leaving Kenyatta as the only accused person who implemented a 'joint common plan' during the attacks in Naivasha and Nakuru in Kenya Case II.
However, the case against Kenyatta faced major hurdles as the prosecution on several occasions adjourned his trial dates.
The first trial date was set for October 2013.
On December 19, 2013 Bensouda requested the judges to vacate the date to February 5, 2014 after she said she did not have adequate evidence but requested for more time to put it together.
READ: Push Uhuru's ICC case to 2014-Bensouda
She further made another application with pronouncements of lack of evidence and made a similar request to be given more time to gather her evidence.
On December 23, Bensouda again told the ICC judges that she did not have evidence to sustain charges against Kenyatta but accused the Government of Kenya failing to cooperate in submitting evidence to her office.
READ: I no longer have case against Uhuru - Bensouda
On October, 2014, President Kenyatta was summoned to be present at the ICC during a status conference to review his case.
He travelled to the court as an ordinary citizen and appointed his Deputy William Ruto to hold brief for him in his absence.
Whereas some advisers had told him not to go, legal minds shared views that failure to go would give the ICC something to hang on as it would declare him as a wanted person.
Upon his return from The Hague, Kenyatta said the judges though he would not be present in court after the summons to appear.
READ: They imagined I'd defy court
Withdrawal of charges against President Kenyatta marked the death of Kenya case Two.
The judges of Trial Chamber V (b) will however issue a ruling based on applications of the Defence, Prosecution and the Victims.
Space Fakes
Apollo blueprints!
It's not just the video footage that's "missing" from the Apollo missions, as you mentioned in episode 676 of No Agenda. It is also the blueprints for the Saturn V rockets, lunar modules, and even rovers! For instance, see this NYT article from 1987: http://www.nytimes.com/1987/05/26/science/hunt-is-on-for-scattered-blueprints-of-powerful-saturn-moon-rocket.html (the originals were never all found!)
That's not half of the story, either. You alluded to another piece of it by mentioning the Van Allen radiation belts. Let's not forget that those lunar landers (that the 13 crew were "stuck" in for their whole failed trip back, for example) were--according to the astronauts themselves--as thin as a few sheets of tin foil and could be poked through if it was attempted. I would highly recommend that anyone interested in the matter begin by reading Dave McGowan's series of articles, entitled "Wagging the Moondoggie" and found on his website:http://www.davesweb.cnchost.com
By the way, remember that this all took place during the Nixon years and right during his Vietnam surge after election promises of ending the war, too. We all know him and his administration as liars and cheats. Why would we trust anything else that the government said then (or now!)?
MIC
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DIRECTED ENERGY-Ashton Carter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fri, 05 Dec 2014 19:31
Ashton Baldwin "Ash" Carter (born on September 24, 1954, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is a physicist and U.S. Department of Defense official who was nominated by President Barack Obama on 12/5/2014 to replace Chuck Hagel as the United States Secretary of Defense.[1] He was deputy secretary of defense from October 2011 to December 2013, serving as the DOD's chief operating officer overseeing more than $600 billion per year and 2.4 million civilian and military personnel, and managing global 24/7 operations. From April 2009 to October 2011, he was undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics with responsibility for procurement of all technology, systems, services, and supplies, bases and infrastructure, energy and environment, and more than $50 billion annually in R&D.
Previously, Carter was a senior partner of Global Technology Partners focused on advising investment firms in technology and defense, and an advisor to Goldman Sachs on global affairs. At Harvard's Kennedy School, he was professor and chair of the International Relations, Science, and Security faculty. He served on the boards of the MITRE Corporation, Mitretek Systems, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and a member of the Draper Laboratory Corporation. Carter has been a member of the Defense Policy Board, the Defense Science Board, and the Secretary of State's International Security Advisory Board. He was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Aspen Strategy Group.
From 1993 to 1996, Carter served as assistant secretary of defense for international security policy, responsible for policy regarding the former Soviet states, strategic affairs, and nuclear weapons policy.
For his service to national security, Carter has on five occasions been awarded the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal. He received the Defense Intelligence Medal for his contributions to intelligence, and the Joint Distinguished Service Medal from the Chairman and Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate for both the number-two and number-three Pentagon positions. Carter is author or co-author of 11 books and more than 100 articles on physics, technology, national security, and management.
On December 5, 2014, Carter was nominated by President Barack Obama to replace outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.[2]
Early lifeEditAshton Carter was born on September 24, 1954 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was educated at Abington High School in Abington, Pennsylvania, where he had been president of the honor society, and graduated in 1972. He received bachelor's degrees in physics and in medieval history from Yale University, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa in 1976.[3] He then received his doctorate in theoretical physics from the University of Oxford in 1979, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.[3]
He was a physics instructor at Oxford, a postdoctoral fellow at Rockefeller University and MIT, and an experimental research associate at Brookhaven and Fermilab National Laboratories.
Department of Defense careerEditCarter served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy during President Clinton's first term.
His Pentagon responsibilities encompassed: countering weapons of mass destruction worldwide, oversight of the U.S. nuclear arsenal and missile defense programs, policy regarding the collapse of the former Soviet Union (including its nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction), control over sensitive U.S. exports, and chairmanship of NATO's High Level Group. Carter directed military planning during the 1994 crisis over North Korea's nuclear weapons program;[4] was instrumental in removing all nuclear weapons from the territories of Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus;[5] directed the establishment of defense and intelligence relationships with the countries of the former Soviet Union when the Cold War ended; and participated in the negotiations that led to the deployment of Russian troops as part of the Bosnia Peace Plan Implementation Force. Carter managed the multi-billion dollar Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program to support elimination of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons of the former Soviet Union, including the secret removal of 600 kilograms of highly enriched uranium from Kazakhstan in the operation code-named Project Sapphire. He also directed the Nuclear Posture Review and oversaw the Department of Defense's (DOD's) Counterproliferation Initiative. He directed the reform of DOD's national security export controls. His arms-control responsibilities included the Agreed Framework which froze North Korea's plutonium producing nuclear reactor program,[4] the extension of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the negotiation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and matters involving the START II, ABM, CFE, and other arms-control treaties.
In an April 4, 2013, speech at Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Secretary affirmed that the 'Shift to Asia' initiative of President Obama was a priority that would not be affected by the Budget sequestration in 2013 as the Pentagon and other departments scaled down spending. The Secretary responded to a Reuters reporter's question that China was suspicious of the refocusing of American foreign policy to Asia as a military targeting of China by stating that the Chinese should ask the North Koreans to lower their military posturing and resolve to use diplomacy and dialogue to solve their problems. Carter noted that China was a central economic partner and that 'The Shift to Asia' is principally an economic matter with new security implications. India, Australia, and New Zealand were mentioned as forthcoming security partners.[6]
Secretary of Defense nominationEditCarter has been nominated by President Obama as the U.S. Secretary of Defense.[7]
Other rolesEditCarter had been a longtime member of the Defense Science Board and the Defense Policy Board, the principal advisory bodies to the Secretary of Defense. During the Bush administration, he was also a member of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's International Security Advisory Board; co-chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Policy Advisory Group; a consultant to the Defense Science Board; a member of the National Missile Defense White Team, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on International Security and Arms Control. In 1997, Carter and former CIA Director John M. Deutch co-chaired the Catastrophic Terrorism Study Group which urged greater attention to terrorism. From 1998 to 2000, he was deputy to William J. Perry in the North Korea Policy Review and traveled with him to Pyongyang.[4] In 2001-2002, he served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science and Technology for Countering Terrorism and advised on the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. He has testified frequently before the armed services, foreign relations, and homeland security committees of both houses of Congress.
In addition to his public service, Carter was a Senior Partner at Global Technology Partners and a member of the Board of Trustees of the MITRE Corporation, and the Advisory Boards of MIT's Lincoln Laboratory and the Draper Laboratory. He has been a consultant to Goldman Sachs and Mitretek Systems on international affairs and technology matters, and speaks frequently to business and policy audiences. Carter was also a member of the Aspen Strategy Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Physical Society, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. Carter was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Carter's research focuses on the Preventive Defense Project, which designs and promotes security policies aimed at preventing the emergence of major new threats to the United States.
From 1990 to 1993, Carter was director of the Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Chairman of the Editorial Board of International Security. Previously, he held positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, and Rockefeller University.
Views on IranEditCarter's views on Iran have been perceived as hawkish.[3] In 2006, he authored a report advocating use or threat of force to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.[3] Carter has supported diplomacy with Iran and written about methods of containing a nuclear-armed Tehran. [8]
Personal lifeEditIn addition to authoring numerous articles, scientific publications, government studies, and Congressional testimonies, Carter co-edited and co-authored 11 books, including:
Directed Energy Missile Defense in Space (1984)Ballistic Missile Defense (1984)Managing Nuclear Operations (1987)Soviet Nuclear Fission: Control of the Nuclear Arsenal in a Disintegrating Soviet Union (1991)Beyond Spinoff: Military and Commercial Technologies in a Changing World (1992)A New Concept of Cooperative Security (1992)Cooperative Denuclearization: From Pledges to Deeds (1993)Preventive Defense: A New Security Strategy for America (1997)Keeping the Edge: Managing Defense for the Future (2001)ReferencesEdit^http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/05/politics/obama-ash-carter-defense-secretary/index.html?iref=allsearch^"Meet Chuck Hagel's expected replacement as Defense Secretary". CNN. December 2, 2014. Retrieved December 2, 2014. ^ abcdRebecca Shimoni Stoil, Obama names Ashton Carter as next defense secretary, The Times of Israel, December 5, 2014^ abc"Kim's Nuclear Gamble: Interview: Ashton Carter". Frontline. PBS. March 3, 2003. Retrieved June 9, 2009. ^Carter, Ashton B. (September 2004). "How to Counter WMD". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved December 2, 2014. ^"Video: Statesmen's Forum: The Honorable Ashton B. Carter, Deputy Secretary of Defense". Center for Strategic and International Studies. April 9, 2013. Retrieved December 2, 2014. ^"Obama picks former Pentagon official Ashton Carter to be defense secretary". FOXNEWS. December 5, 2014. Retrieved December 5, 2014. ^Crowley, Michael. "Can a wonk run a war?". Retrieved December 5, 2014. External linksEdit
Ashton Carter - Directed Energy Weapons
He was a theoretical physicist. Carter used that background to criticize former President Ronald Reagan’s ambitious “Star Wars” program that in part planned to shoot down Russian nuclear missiles with lasers from space. “In all cases, directed-energy weapons and other devices with the specifications needed for boost-phase intercept of ICBMs have not yet been built in the laboratory, much less in a form suitable for incorporation in a complete defense system,” Carter wrote in an April 1984 paper titled “Directed Energy Missile Defense in Space” while he was at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology near Boston.
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5 Remarkable Figures Buried In A $585 Billion, 1600 Page Defense Spending Bill | ThinkProgress
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 00:07
by Beenish AhmedPosted on December 4, 2014 at 4:31 pm Updated: December 5, 2014 at 9:16 am
"5 Remarkable Figures Buried In A $585 Billion, 1600 Page Defense Spending Bill"
CREDIT: AP
The House approved the passage of a $585 billion defense spending bill which will allow for an expanded U.S. role in combating ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria, as well as continue to support military operations in Afghanistan.
'¨Even though the U.S. is wrapping up its combat mission in Afghanistan and has ended its official operations in Iraq, the defense bill affords an additional $63.7 billion to ''overseas contingency operations'' in the two counties.
Defense bills generally garner bi-partisan support, but many lawmakers from both sides of the aisle recently expressed concern over the U.S. role in combatting ISIS since President Barack Obama has not sought authorization from Congress for his use of airstrikes and deployment of non-combat troops to Iraq and Syria.
Debate on this issue was further stifled by House leadership, who barred the inclusion of amendments to the bill in order to pass it before the lame-duck session begins. It will now go to the Senate for approval.
Here are some key foreign policy figures from 1,648 page bill:
$24 million: The amount available to for construction and property acquisition at the Guantanamo Bay detention center.
Obama first promised to close Guantanamo before he was elected president. Now as his second term draws to a close, more funding is being made available for the detention center, but this defense bill would explicitly bar the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to U.S. federal prisons.
$351 million: The amount available to Israel in order to enhance and expand its ''Iron Dome'' rocket defense system.
This allocation would double the amount offered to Israel for its defense system last year.
$2.9 billion: The amount available to the Afghanistan Ministry of Defense.
This is down from $5.8 billion which was allocated to the country's defense department last year. The United States will only have a maximum of 10,000 troops in Afghanistan by the end of this year as part of its security agreement with Afghanistan.
$1.6 billion: The amount available to ''train and equip'' Iraqi security forces.
The passage of this bill will offer allow for supplies and support as well as stipends to go to Kurdish and tribal security forces in addition to Iraqi troops.
$75 million: The amount available to support the government of Ukraine.
Not a single mention was made of Ukraine in the last defense spending bill, but with nearly 4,500 killed in the conflict there since April, a lot has changed in a year.
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Caliphate!
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Barack Obama condemns 'brutal murder' of American photojournalist | World news | The Guardian
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 16:11
Luke Somers, a 33-year-old British-born US journalist, who has been killed in a failed rescue attempt. Photograph: Yahya Arhab/EPA
US president Barack Obama has condemned the ''brutal murder'' of American photojournalist Luke Somers, who was shot by his al-Qaida captors during a rescue mission by US special forces.
The 33-year-old was shot during the rescue attempt on Saturday morning and died while being transferred to a warship by American troops. A South African teacher being held with him, Pierre Korki, was also killed in the raid.
''On behalf of the American people, I offer my deepest condolences to Luke's family and to his loved ones,'' Obama said in a statement.
''As this and previous hostage rescue operations demonstrate, the United States will spare no effort to use all of its military, intelligence and diplomatic capabilities to bring Americans home safely, wherever they are located. And terrorists who seek to harm our citizens will feel the long arm of American justice.
''The callous disregard for Luke's life is more proof of the depths of Aqap's (al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula) depravity, and further reason why the world must never cease in seeking to defeat their evil ideology.''
An aid group helping negotiate the release of South African Pierre Korkie said he was to be freed Sunday and his wife was told on Saturday morning: ''The wait is almost over.''
The raid took place in the southern region of Shabwa and was the second attempt in the past fortnight to rescue British-born Somers, who had been held for more than a year. On Wednesday his captors released a video of him pleading for help, and threatened to kill him by the end of the week if their demands were not met.
That message may have pushed Washington, which does not pay ransoms for American captives, to launch a second risky rescue bid. US defense secretary Chuck Hagel said the failed raid was justified.
''There were compelling reasons to believe Mr Somers' life was in imminent danger,'' Hagel told journalists in Kabul. ''(The hostages) were murdered by Aqap terrorists during the mission.''
The two US-led operations came after a long media blackout surrounding details of Somers' captivity. It also follows the seizure and execution of three US hostages in Syria, James Foley, Steven Sotloff and Peter Kassig and two Britons, David Haines and Alan Henning, who were all killed by the Islamic State group, to which al-Qaida in Yemen is linked.
A US raid near the Syrian city of Raqaa in June failed to find the hostages at the time, and subsequent efforts by the families of the victims to negotiate with the extremists were unsuccessful. All the while, the Obama administration and Downing Street held firm to policies of not paying ransoms.
After Kassig was beheaded in late-November, the US president said Washington's approach to dealing with kidnappers was under review. While the two Yemen raids within a week appear to flag a more robust approach, they also underscore the enormous risks in carrying out operations deep inside insurgent territory.
It is understood Somers and other hostages had been held in chains in rugged mountain caves for much of their captivity. The photojournalist was captured in September 2013, outside a supermarket in the Yemeni capital. He had worked as a freelance photographer and as a copy editor at country's the National newspaper.
His family, who had earlier pleaded for him to be released, asked for privacy. ''We ask that all of Luke's family members be allowed to mourn in peace,'' his sister Lucy Somers told the Associated Press.
In an online video, she had described her older brother as a romantic who ''always believes the best in people''. She added: ''Please let him live.'' His father, Michael, said Somers was ''a good friend of Yemen and the Yemeni people''.
This last week's video asking for help begins with a reading in Arabic from Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi, an official of the terrorist group, before Somers appears and gives a statement.
''My name is Luke Somers. I'm 33 years old. I was born in England, but I carry American citizenship and have lived in America for most of my life. ''It's now been well over a year since I've been kidnapped in Sana'a. Basically, I'm looking for any help that can get me out of this situation. I'm certain that my life is in danger.
Ansi gave the US government three days to meet the demands ''otherwise, the American hostage held by us will meet his inevitable fate''. The three-minute video also features Ansi speaking about American activity in Afghanistan, Somalia and Iraq as well as recent air strikes in Syria.
Fuad Al Kadas, who called Somers one of his best friends, said the American started teaching English at a Yemen school but quickly established himself as a one of the few foreign photographers in the country.
''He is a great man with a kind heart who really loves the Yemeni people and the country,'' Al Kadas wrote in an email from Yemen to the Associated Press. He said he last saw Somers the day before he was kidnapped.
''He was so dedicated in trying to help change Yemen's future, to do good things for the people that he didn't leave the country his entire time here,'' Al Kadas wrote.
Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby on Thursday had acknowledged for the first time that a US raid last month had sought to rescue Somers but that he turned out not to be at the site.
Kirby did not elaborate on the joint US-Yemeni operation to free Somers, saying details remained classified. However, officials have said the raid targeted a remote al-Qaida safe haven in a desert region near the Saudi border.
Eight captives including Yemenis, a Saudi and an Ethiopian were freed. Somers, a Briton and four others had been moved days earlier.
The US considers Yemen's al-Qaida branch to be the world's most dangerous arm of the group as it has been linked to several failed attacks on the US homeland.
My colleague Luke Somers and the photos he took before his capture and death at the hands of Al-Qaida | The Rundown | PBS NewsHour
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 01:58
Photojournalist Luke Somers was captured by militants in Yemen last year. The 33-year old appeared in a video released by Al-Qaida's branch in Yemen Thursday. Photo from Luke Somers' Facebook page
UPDATE 7:26 a.m. EST | President Obama announced on Saturday that Luke Somers was among two hostages killed ''at the hands of Al-Qaida terrorists'' during a rescue attempt conducted by U.S. forces in Yemen.
On Thursday, Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula released a video to announce that American photojournalist Luke Somers would be killed within 72 hours.
I knew Luke. Not particularly well. But during my 15 months as a fellow freelancer in Yemen, we crossed paths on perhaps a dozen or so occasions '-- both social and professional. Quirky, passionate and thoughtful, he also struck me as a fairly private guy.
But his photography is anything but.
Luke never wavered from the front lines. He spent countless hours documenting revolutionaries in Sanaa's Change Square and snapped photos ranging from Yemen's former president to children afflicted with malnutrition. His work provides a gripping window into a country rarely on the world's radar. It also reveals his deep and persistent love for the country.
Below are a few of my favorite of Luke's photos. More can be found on the BBC (here, here and here), as well as Luke's Corbis and Demotix pages.
With President Saleh's efforts focused on remaining in power, general security and stability rapidly deteriorated in 2011. Among the inevitable consequences for the Arab world's poorest nation was a worsening humanitarian situation. In 2012, the UN World Food Programme said that one million Yemeni children faced severe malnutrition. At Sanaa's al-Sabeen Hospital, Dr Obei said: ''The Ministry of Health only provides us with milk '-- this is not enough.'' Photo by Luke Somers/courtesy of BBC
Less than two weeks after the UN threatened him with sanctions because of fears he was meddling in Yemen's transitional process, ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh held a large gathering in Sanaa. With thousands of his supporters in attendance, he called for ''reconciliation, shaking hands and forgiveness of the past to build a new Yemen''. Meanwhile, at the massive Sanaa mosque which bears his name, a museum focused on Mr Saleh's political career has been opened. Photo by Luke Somers/courtesy of BBC
Mr. Somers said the uprising has brought people together for now: ''Mohammed, a friend and protester, told me that he had no siblings. But at the tent city he had found 'brothers'. But when I asked what he would do when the revolution ends, he predicted that he would again feel lonely.'' Photo by Luke Somers/courtesy of BBC
The flag used by the Southern Movement is identical to the flag which flew over the former People's Democratic Republic of Yemen. In 1990, the south Yemeni state joined the north to form the Republic of Yemen, which has managed to hold up until the present day. Throughout the historically prosperous port city of Aden, the omnipresence of the former state's flag on walls and buildings gives the sense of a city in rebellion. Photo by Luke Somers/courtesy of BBC
Yemen has featured heavily in the news this week. Luke Somers says his photo shows a member of the Deaf and Dumb Youth Revolution Alliance in Sana'a anxiously awaiting Ali Abdullah Saleh's signing of the GCC power transfer deal. Photo by Luke Somers/courtesy of BBC
Luke Somers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 01:55
Luke Daniel Somers (1981-2014)[3] was a British-born[4] American photojournalist who had been held hostage by the militant Islamist group al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen. He was a dual citizen of the United Kingdom and the United States.[5] He graduated from Beloit College with a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing and later traveled to Egypt before settling in Yemen.[6]
He was described by his friend, Fuad Al Kadas, as "a great man with a kind heart who really loves the Yemeni people and the country ... He was so dedicated in trying to help change Yemen's future, to do good things for the people that he didn't leave the country [Yemen] his entire time here." [7]
Somers worked as a freelance journalist. His pictures were featured in the BBC [8] and Al Jazeera[9]. His work can also be found on his Corbis[10] and Demotix[11][12] pages.
Kidnapping[edit]Somers was kidnapped by the organization in Sana'a, the capital of Yemen, in September 2013.[13]
In December 2014, Somers appeared in a video was issued by AQAP. The video, which is aimed at the United States government, includes an AQAP official saying that the United States has three days to meet their demands. In the video, the official also says that ''otherwise the American hostage held by us will meet his inevitable fate.''[14] The video does not specify the demands AQAP want the United States to meet.[4] The mission to rescue Somers was disclosed in response to the release of the video by AQAP.[15]
Somers' mother and brother posted a video online in response to the AQAP's video of him. In the video, they pleaded with AQAP to "show mercy",[16] and appealed for Somers' release. They also said Somers was only "trying to do good things for the Yemeni population".[17]
Numerous News organizations, friends around the world, and family mobilized to save Somers. Yemen's The National newspaper appealed to save Somers' life.[18] as well as the Committee to Protect Journalists [19] Friends of Luke Somers also organized petitions, vigils, twitter pages[20], and Facebook groups to gather support for his safe release.[21].
First rescue attempt[edit]After being authorized to do so by President of the United StatesBarack Obama,[13]the Pentagon launched a secret mission to attempt to rescue Somers in November 2014, but the mission was unsuccessful. On December 4, they disclosed the fact that this mission had occurred.[15]
The mission, an assault on a cave in remote Hagr As Sai'ar District in Hadhramaut Governorate, was successful in freeing six Yemenis, an Ethiopian and a Saudi but none of the Western hostages including Somers were found..[13][22]
Details surrounding the mission remain classified as of December 4.[13] It is believed that Somers had been moved from the hostage site before the special operators in the mission arrived there. Previous intelligence indicated that some hostages had been moved several days earlier, but it was not then known if Somers was among them.[23]
On 4 December 2014 Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) threatened to execute Somers within three days if the US government failed to meet unspecified demands.[24][25]
On 6 December 2014 about 40 US special operations forces were involved in the attempt to rescue Luke Somers and Pierre Korkie, a South African teacher also held by al-Qaida militants in Yemen, which followed US drone strikes in the area. The rescuers, backed by Yemeni ground forces, advanced within 100 meters of the compound in Shabwah Governorate when they were spotted by the militants. A firefight ensued. When the American soldiers finally entered the building were Somers and Korkie were kept, they found both men alive, but gravely wounded.
The US forces pulled Somers and Korkie onto V-22 Ospreys, and medical teams began performing surgery in midair. Korkie died during the flight and Somers died after the Ospreys landed on the USS Makin Island.[26]
Information "indicated that Luke's life was in imminent danger," said US President Barack Obama. "Based on this assessment, and as soon as there was reliable intelligence and an operational plan, I authorized a rescue attempt." He condemned the "barbaric murder" of Somers. "The callous disregard for Luke's life is more proof of the depths of AQAP's depravity, and further reason why the world must never cease in seeking to defeat their evil ideology," Obama said in a statement.[27][28][29]
References[edit]^Al-Qaida threatens to kill U.S. photojournalist, UPI.com; accessed 6 December 2014.^Beloit College grad threatened by Yemen's al-Qaida in new video, Wsj.com; accessed 6 December 2014.^UK Birth Registers, Westminster vol 15 p 2279^ ab"Yemen hostage: US reveals bid to rescue Luke Somers". BBC News. 4 December 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2014. ^Al-Qaeda in Yemen threatens to kill British-born hostage, thetimes.co.uk; accessed 6 December 2014.^Staff, Associated Press. "Luke Somers, American Killed In Yemen, Had 'Wanderlust'". HuffingtonPost. ^The Associated Press. "Luke Somers, American Killed In Yemen, Had 'Wanderlust'". HuffingtonPost. ^TIK ROOT (6 December 2014). "My colleague Luke Somers and the photos he took before his capture and death at the hands of Al-Qaida". PBS.org. Retrieved 6 December 2014. ^"Somers' work for Al Jazeera". Al Jazeera. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2014. ^"Luke Somers". LukeSomers. 6 December 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014. ^"Luke Somers". LukeSomers. 6 December 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014. ^TIK ROOT (6 December 2014). "My colleague Luke Somers and the photos he took before his capture and death at the hands of Al-Qaida". PBS. Retrieved 6 December 2014. ^ abcd"U.S. discloses failed attempt to rescue American in Yemen". Reuters. 4 December 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2014. ^Staff, Press Association (4 December 2014). "Al-Qaida hostage Luke Somers shown in video". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 December 2014. ^ abAssociated Press (4 December 2014). "Pentagon confirms failed effort to rescue Somers". Washington Post. Retrieved 4 December 2014. ^Hameed, Mustafa (4 December 2014). "American Hostage Luke Somers' Mother to Al Qaeda: 'Please, Show Mercy'". ABC News. Retrieved 4 December 2014. ^"Luke Somers: Yemen hostage's family in video appeal". BBC News. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2014. ^Fakhri Al-Arashi (4 December 2014). "National Yemen Newspaper Appeals Al-Qaeda To Save Luke Somers's Life". Yemen National. Retrieved 5 December 2014. ^Staff (4 December 2014). "CPJ calls for release of U.S. journalist held in Yemen". CPJ.org. Retrieved 5 December 2014. ^"Free Luke Somers". 3 December 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2014. ^"Free Luke Somers". 3 December 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2014. ^"US Acknowledges Rescue Mission in Yemen Last Week to Rescue Luke Somers", ABCNews.go.com; accessed 6 December 2014.^"Timeline: How US Missed the Chance to Rescue Luke Somers, American Al Qaeda Hostage". ABC News. 4 December 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2014. ^"US forces raid al-Qaida hideout in Yemen; hostages reported killed". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 6 December 2014. ^"Barack Obama condemns 'barbaric murder' of Luke Somers". The Telegraph. Retrieved 6 December 2014. ^"US forces raid al-Qaida hideout in Yemen; hostages reported killed". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 6 December 2014. ^"American Hostage Luke Somers Killed in Rescue Attempt". The Atlantic. Retrieved 6 December 2014. ^"Barack Obama condemns 'barbaric murder' of Luke Somers". The Telegraph. Retrieved 6 December 2014. ^"US hostage Luke Somers dies after rescue bid". BBC News. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
US 'unaware' of second Yemen hostage
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 11:15
7 December 2014Last updated at 09:52 US special forces who tried to rescue photojournalist Luke Somers from al-Qaeda in Yemen were not aware of the identity of the other hostage held with him, a US official has told the BBC.
Both South African teacher Pierre Korkie and Mr Somers were shot by the militants during the raid, US officials say, and died as a result.
A charity working with Mr Korkie said he was to have been freed on Sunday.
Its statement said the US rescue attempt had "destroyed everything".
The US says the raid in southern Yemen was launched because they believed there was an immediate threat to Mr Somers' life.
However, it is understood that a payment had been made to enable the release of Mr Korkie.
Some workers at the charity that he was with, Gift of the Givers, have criticised the US raid.
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Luke Somers was abducted in Yemen in 2013, as the BBC's Frank Gardner reports
A senior official in the US administration told the BBC's Tom Esslemont in Washington that the rescuers were not aware that Mr Korkie was being held with Mr Somers.
Separately, details have been emerging of the rescue mission. US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have said some 40 special forces took part in the rescue attempt, which came after drone strikes in the area.
The rescuers reportedly landed by helicopter around six miles (10 km) from the compound where the hostages were being held. Backed by Yemeni ground forces, they advanced to within 100m (320ft) of the site in Shabwa province.
A gunfight broke out when they were spotted by the militants, one of whom was briefly seen entering the compound. US officials believe this was when the hostages were shot.
Both hostages were evacuated with serious injuries and received immediate medical care. Mr Korkie died on a helicopter while Mr Somers died while being treated at US navy ship in the region.
US officials said the men could not have been hit by US gunfire, based on where they were being held. The raid lasted about 30 minutes.
US President Barack Obama condemned the "barbaric murder" of both hostages.
He said he authorised the raid to rescue Mr Somers and other hostages held in the same location.
He also offered his "thoughts and prayers" to Mr Korkie's family, saying: "Their despair and sorrow at this time are beyond words".
The charity working with Mr Korkie said it was saddened by his death.
"Pierre Korkie was very sick - he had a hernia," Gift of the Givers' Yemen project director Anas Hamati told the BBC's Newshour.
Mediators had been working on an "arrangement to take him out", he said, adding: "His passport was ready, everything was ready.
"In that time, the attack happened by US special forces in Yemen and that has destroyed everything."
Mr Korkie was abducted with his wife Yolande in May last year in Yemen's second city, Taiz.
She was freed on 10 January without ransom and returned to South Africa.
"The psychological and emotional devastation to Yolande and her family will be compounded by the knowledge that Pierre was to be released by al-Qaeda tomorrow," the charity said in a statement.
'Difficult time'Mr Somers, who was kidnapped in Yemen in 2013, appeared in a video this week appealing for help.
The footage showed a member of the Yemeni offshoot of Al-Qaeda threatening to kill him unless unspecified demands were met.
Mr Somers worked as a journalist and photographer for local news organisations. His material appeared on international news outlets, including the BBC News website.
A friend of Mr Somers, who did not wish to be named, described him as "one of the kindest and most dedicated people to Yemen I have ever met".
Mr Somers was kidnapped outside a supermarket in the Yemeni capital Sanaa in September 2013.
"Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time," a BBC spokesperson said on Saturday.
'Omgekomen gijzelaar Jemen zou vandaag vrijkomen'
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 14:40
In een verklaring laat de organisatie, Gift of the Givers, weten dat de reddingspoging 'alles heeft verpest'. De BBC schrijft vandaag dat er losgeld zou zijn betaald aan de gijzelnemers. Dat waren leden van Al Qaida op het Arabisch Schiereiland (AQAP).
Amerikaanse commando's probeerden in de nacht van vrijdag op zaterdag de gegijzelde fotojournalist Luke Somers te bevrijden.
Beide gijzelaars werden doodgeschoten door hun bewakers tijdens de mislukte reddingsoperatie. Volgens de Amerikaanse functionarissen kunnen de gijzelaars niet zijn neergeschoten door Amerikaanse soldaten.
ReddingsoperatieEen functionaris in het Amerikaanse leger vertelde aan de BBC dat de reddingsmedewerkers niet wisten dat Korkie en Somers samen werdenvastgehouden. Volgens de BBC, die zich baseert op anonieme bronnen binnen het Amerikaanse leger, deden zo'n 40 special forces mee aan de reddingsoperatie. De operatie ging van start na drone-aanvallen in het gebied.
De special forces landden met hun helikopter zo'n 10 kilometer van de plek waar de gijzelaars vastgehouden werden. Ze werden ondersteund door Jemenitische grondtroepen. Er ontstond een vuurgevecht toen ze werden gezien door de gijzelnemers: de Amerikaanse functionarissen denken dat de gijzelaars op dat moment werden neergeschoten. De reddingsoperatie duurde ongeveer een half uur.
De gijzelaars werden gevacueerd: beiden hadden ernstige verwondingen opgelopen en ontvingen onmiddellijk medische hulp. Korkie overleed in een helikopter, Somers overleed toen hij behandeld werd op een Amerikaans marineschip niet ver van het vaste land.
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BBC News - Pakistan Taliban chief Latif Mehsud 'repatriated'
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 14:37
7 December 2014Last updated at 09:08 ET A senior Pakistani Taliban commander, Latif Mehsud, has reportedly been handed over to Pakistan by the US from Afghanistan.
The US military confirmed it "transferred custody" of three Pakistanis, but did not reveal their identities.
The Afghan government was not involved in the transfer, the US said.
Correspondents say the repatriation of a senior Taliban figure is extremely unusual.
It could relate to attempts to improve Afghanistan-Pakistan ties, they say.
Secret flightWhile the US did not confirm Latif Mehsud was among those transferred, Pakistani officials said Latif Mehsud had been "released".
Several senior officials said that the commander had been secretly flown to Pakistan earlier this week.
The identity of the other two men is not yet known. The three men had been held by the US at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan.
The office of the US Forces in Afghanistan said that the transfer took pace after talks between the US and Pakistan.
"In making a decision to transfer a detainee, we take into account the totality of relevant factors relating to the individual and the government that may receive him, including but not limited to any diplomatic assurances that have been provided," the US military said in a statement.
Warming in relationsLatif Mehsud was second-in-command to the former Pakistan Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed in a US drone strike last year.
He was seized by the Afghan army in October 2013 in eastern Afghanistan, close to the Pakistani border, then held by US forces at Bagram airbase.
There were unconfirmed reports at the time that he was returning from talks over a mooted prisoner swap deal, and his capture is said to have angered then-Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The latest development is leading to speculation that such exchanges could be in prospect now, reports the BBC's Mike Wooldridge in Kabul.
There does currently appear to be some warming in relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which have repeatedly accused one another of failing to act against cross-border militancy, our correspondent says.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan's new President Ashraf Ghani has said he is committed to striving for a peaceful solution to the conflict with the Taliban.
Taliban prisoners have been freed in the past in a bid to help peace efforts.
Pakistan's government entered talks with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in February.
The hardline Islamist movement has been waging its own insurgency against the Islamabad government since 2007, leaving tens of thousands of people dead.
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Russia Ready to Help Lebanon Fight Terrorist Groups
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 02:24
BEIRUT -- Russia is committed to supporting Lebanon's sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity and is against any attempts of interfering into domestic affairs with the aim of destabilizing the country, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov has said.
Bogdanov, who is Russian president's special representative for the Middle East and Africa, attended on Friday a solemn ceremony devoted to the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The diplomat expressed support for "the decisive steps taken by the Lebanese Army and law enforcement agencies to fend off terrorist groups." "We are ready to provide our Lebanese partners with the necessary assistance," he said.
"We presume that the current problems need to be resolved in the constitutional framework through the dialogue between all the political and confessional forces," Bogdanov said.
The diplomat said the Russian-Lebanese relations are now on an upward trajectory what has been proved by an increase in bilateral trade. "Good prospects open for increasing Lebanese exports to Russia, namely of agricultural goods," Bogdanov said.
Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil has marked new horizons in the mutually beneficial cooperation with Russia. "We expect to significantly increase the flow of Lebanese goods to Russia," he said. "Besides, we anticipate that Russian companies will have an important role in developing oil and gas reserves on the sea shelf."
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Packet Equality
Angela Merkel argues against net neutrality, calls for special access fast lane | The Verge
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 15:21
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has laid out her vision for the future of the internet, and net neutrality proponents won't be pleased. In comments on Thursday in Berlin, Merkel argued for a two-lane internet. One lane for "special," high priority service, and another that's meant to resemble the internet as it exists today.
While supporters of net neutrality argue that it is key to the continued growth of the internet, Merkel believes just the opposite. She argues that fast lanes are necessary for the development of new, advanced uses of the internet, like telemedicine or driverless cars. According to Merkel, without guaranteed, fast-access internet connections, such innovations won't come to market.
Can you have a fast lane and maintain net neutrality?
It's not clear how such a two-lane system would be implemented or regulated. For instance, it's unknown if there would be limits on what sort of companies could pay for access to fast-lane internet. A report from Frankfurter Allgemeine cites sources inside the German government who say that on-demand internet video streaming services would be among the companies that would be able to pay for access for high-speed service.
The European Union currently mandates true net neutrality, though discussions have been underway for the future of internet regulation. Merkel believes that her position is a middle ground, but the idea that the general traffic lane will operate under net neutrality depends entirely on how much bandwidth it receives from internet providers. If the main traffic lane isn't fast, and any company can opt for fast-lane access, companies will likely find it necessary to pay up for direct access just to compete '-- the exact opposite of net neutrality.
SJW
France to pay U.S. $60 million in settlement for deporting Holocaust victims | TheBlaze.com
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 00:42
The government of France has agreed to pay the U.S. $60 million, which will be used to compensate families of people who were deported out of France to Nazi death camps during the Holocaust.
France's government-owned rail company, SNCF, moved tens of thousands of Jews to concentration camps during World War II. The company has said it was under Nazi control, but its role in the Holocaust has created legal complications as SNCF tries to win transportation contracts around the world.
This file photo shows French Holocaust survivors gathering at the site of the former Drancy detention camp, north of Paris, France. From Aug. 20, 1941 until the end of World War II, more than 70,000 Jewish men, women and children passed through Drancy on their way to Nazi extermination camps, particularly Auschwitz.Image: AP Photo/Michel Euler, File
Under the agreement announced by the State Department, France will make a lump-sum payment to the U.S., and the U.S. will distribute that money to victims and their families. In return, the U.S. would hold France immune from future claims related to the Holocaust.
According to State, three categories of people will be able to apply for payments. The first is made up of people who were transported to a death camp and survived, and now live outside of France and don't live in a country that already has a payment agreement with France.
''It is estimated that each of these eligible survivors would receive a payment of over one hundred thousand dollars,'' State said.
A second group of people who can apply are spouses of those who were deported, if they are living outside of France. Spouses can expect to receive ''tends of thousands of dollars,'' state said.
The third group is comprised of estates of survivors or spouses who died at the end of the war '-- State said the size of these payments would depend on when the survivor of the spouse died.
According to State, the French Parliament has to approve the deal, after which the payment would be made. The U.S. will then formally announce the program and tell people how they can apply.
Obama Nation
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Attorney General Eric Holder Plans to Start 'Institute of Justice'
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 00:10
Attorney General Eric Holder Plans to Start 'Institute of Justice'Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.
Learn how to update your browserTAP
The Institute for Justice
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 00:11
- 181 cases litigated in four core mission areas: economic liberty, property rights, political and commercial speech, and school choice
- 5 U.S. Supreme Court cases since 2002 (four victories)
- 70 percent victory rate (through litigation and legislation)
- In FY14 alone, IJ litigated 54 cases, including 15 case victories and 22 new cases
- 47 states protected property rights from eminent domain through legislative reform or state supreme court rulings after sole U.S. Supreme Court loss in Kelo v. City of New London
- Over 16,000 homes and businesses saved since Kelo
- First favorable U.S. appeals court ruling for economic liberty since the New Deal
- More than 200,000 children nationwide benefiting from school choice
- 35 national awards for our media relations work, publications, and production
- Strategic research cited by U.S. Supreme Court and Indiana Supreme Court; used in six IJ briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court, three successful cert. petitions, and 13 articles published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals; also cited in 57 articles by other authors in law, public policy, and scholarly journals
- Only law school clinic in the nation focusing exclusively on assisting low-income entrepreneurs start exclusively private-sector businesses
READ MORE IJ AT A GLANCE
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Illegal immigrants are going back home in record numbers
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 00:29
GOING HOME: More illegal immigrants than ever are heading home.
By Yal Ossowski | Watchdog.org
While opponents to President Obama's Nov. 20 executive action are decrying the plan's legal consequence and calling attention to the scourge of illegal immigrants in the country, the numbers are saying the problem is actually not as severe as in years past.
A look at census data over the past few years reveals record numbers of illegal immigrants are going back home, with or without the president's help, according to the Pew Research Center's latest study on illegal immigrant population.
The numbers reveal an increase of illegal immigrant populations in seven states since 2009, but an overall decrease in 14 states. An estimate of the total numbers of illegal immigrants stands at 11.2 million, roughly 3.5 percent of the U.S. population.
The states that have seen the largest decrease in the numbers of undocumented migrants are California, New York and Arizona.
''The losses in 13 of (the states) were due to drops in the number of unauthorized immigrants from Mexico,'' claims the Pew study.
It was conducted using census data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau and mapped according to current population figures.
California's illegal immigrant population went down by 90,000 in the past three years, while New York's fell by over 60,000. The states with the largest amount of increase were New Jersey and Florida, with 75,000 illegal immigrants moving to the Garden State and 55,000 making their way to the Sunshine State on the country's southern coast.
With just a few days left in the legislative sessions in both the U.S. House and Senate, it is uncertain what Congress will attempt to thwart the president's recent action.
''This is a serious breach of our Constitution,'' Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Tuesday at a press briefing at the Capitol, describing the president's legal action offering work visas to illegal immigrants with U.S.-born children. ''It's a serious threat to our system of government. And, frankly, we have limited options and limited abilities to deal with it directly.''
The plan proposed by the president halts deportations for children who have been born in the United States and their parents who are illegal immigrants, in turn offering them a chance to obtain a temporary work visa.
That would direct federal resources more towards immigrants involved in criminal activity rather than standard deportations, according to the Department of Homeland Security's website.
One such provision of that action would also provide more flexibility to employers looking to hire hire skilled foreign-born workers, a move currently being challenged in court.
As Watchdog.org reported Tuesday, a federal court has agreed to hear the case for scrapping the extension of F-1 visas for high-skilled foreign-born workers.
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Shut Up Slave!
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French homeless forced to wear 'yellow triangles' - Europe's News in English
Fri, 05 Dec 2014 00:44
Louise Nordstr¶m | 4 Dec 2014, 14:48
The city of Marseille has been blasted for using Nazi-era tactics to identify its homeless population by issuing them with ID cards, adorned with a yellow triangle. The cards detail their health issues and will be worn visibly.
Authorities in France's second-largest city have come under fire for issuing its homeless with ID cards that detail their health issues.
Human rights groups and government ministers have slammed the ''yellow triangle cards'', comparing them to the Nazi-era Star of David that was sown onto Jewish people's clothes during the Holocaust.
''This is scandalous, it's stigmatizing,'' Christophe Louis, president of the homeless charity Collectif Morts de la Rue, told The Local.
''Wearing something that shows the whole world what illnesses you have is not only discriminating but it also breaches all medical confidentiality,'' he said, adding that the symbolism in the design of the card is outrageous.
''Being identified by either a star or a triangle is horrific,'' he said.
French human rights group La Ligue des droits de l'Homme said it was troubled by the resemblance ''of this card and the yellow star that the Jews had to wear during World War II.''President Fran§ois Hollande's government in Paris has also reacted sharply to the initiative.
''I'm shocked. Forcing homeless people to carry a yellow triangle indicating the illnesses they might have is outrageous. You don't point the finger at the poorest,'' Social Affairs Minister Marisol told French daily Le Parisien in an interview published Thursday.
''You don't write their illnesses on their clothes. Medical confidentiality, in particular, is a fundamental right. I want this local initiative to be stopped,'' she said.
The card, an initiative Marseille's Town Hall and social services, identifies the person with his or her photo, name and date of birth.
It also specifies whether the person has any illnesses or allergies. The front of the card is adorned with a yellow triangle.
In their defense authorities say the purpose is to help health workers quickly come to the aid of a homeless person who has fallen ill or is in need of aid.
Over 100 of the identifications have been distributed already.
On Wednesday, about 100 activists and homeless people protested against the initiative outside the city's town hall.
For its part Marseille Town Hall has been outraged by the criticism it has endured by issuing ''the card that saves lives''.
In a statement given to The Local, one of Marseille's deputy mayors Xavier Mery said: ''I'm appalled by the absurd controversy surrounding this help card distributed by the SAMU (social medical emergency services).
"[The reaction] not only questions the necessity of a scheme for homeless people but also the commitment of the city, the SAMU and volunteers to come to the aid of those who need it the most''.
Mery rejected the idea that the cards need to be worn visibly and say they "allow above all firefighters and care workers to get access to essential information in order to identify, give efficient help and often to save the lives of people lacking a social safety net.''
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Stats-based response to UK Tories' call for social media terrorism policing - Boing Boing
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 15:20
David Cameron wants social media companies to invent a terrorism-detection algorithm and send all the "bad guys" it detects to the police -- but this will fall prey to the well-known (to statisticians) "paradox of the false positive," producing tens of thousands of false leads that will drown the cops.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg -- the problems implicit in using Kafkaesque algorithms to determine guilt are myriad (and well-explained in this Guardian piece by James Ball).
Data strategist Duncan Ross set out what would happen if someone could create an algorithm that correctly identified a terrorist from their communications 99.9% of the time '' far, far more accurate than any real algorithm '' with the assumption that there were 100 terrorists in the UK.
The algorithm would correctly identify the 100 terrorists. But it would also misidentify 0.1% of the UK's non-terrorists as terrorists: that's a further 60,000 people, leaving the authorities with a still-huge problem on their hands. Given that Facebook is not merely dealing with the UK's 60 million population, but rather a billion users sending 1.4bn messages, that's an Everest-sized haystack for security services to trawl.
'You're the bomb!' Are you at risk from the anti-terrorism algorithms? [James Ball/The Guardian]
(Image: Haystacks, John Pavelka, CC-BY)
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LGBBTQQIAAP
US: Congress kills the Employment Non-Discrimination Act · PinkNews.co.uk
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 16:38
The final attempt to pass a law outlawing discrimination against LGBT people in employment has failed.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would protect employees on the grounds of sexuality and gender identity, has been stalled in Congress for over a year.
However, the Republicans are set to take back a majority in the Senate in January after last month's elections '' in addition to extending their majority of the House of Representatives '' leaving the primarily Democrat-sponsored bill dead.
Democrats had attempted to force the bill onto the agenda this week, by attaching it to a vital defense spending bill that must be passed this month.
However, the move was blocked again, by a Rules Committee vote along party lines of 7-3 against.
The manoeuvre was seen as the final attempt to get the bill a hearing before the Republicans take the Senate.
President Obama has already signed an Executive Order seen by many as a weaker version of the bill, which outlaws discrimination against LGBT people among federal contractors, but it is not as far-reaching.
Additionally, If a Republican with a poor record on gay rights takes office in 2016, the executive order might possibly be rescinded, leaving no federal protection.
It is highly unlikely that any equality legislation at all will pass through Congress while the Republicans control both houses '' and certainly not without religious exemptions, which some fear could lead to an effective 'license to discriminate' against gay people.
Out at Work top 50 will reveal Britain's top LGBT business executives · PinkNews.co.uk
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 16:51
The top 50 most influential LGBT people in business and enterprise will be officially recognised in January.
For the first time, Britain's leading LGBT business powerhouses will be ranked in a comprehensive list, which will be published by the Daily Telegraph in collaboration with the leading diversity and inclusion events company, Square Peg Media.
The team behind the Out at Work Top 50 today called for business leaders to nominate the most deserving LGBT executives from across their organisations.
The judging panel led by Lord Guy Black, Executive of the Telegraph Media Group, Labour Peer Michael Cashman and diversity and inclusion expert Linda Riley, aim to highlight the most successful LGBT achievers in business in 2015 when the list is announced at the Houses of Parliament on 15 January.
Retail consultant and broadcaster Mary Portas will also be on the panel.
Nominees will be considered according to a key criteria including impact on business, involvement in internal and external diversity events, helping shape policy on LGBT issues and work to incite change.
It is the first time a list of LGBT business stars has been complied.
Linda Riley, Chair of the Out at Work Judging Advisory board said: ''This list is incredibly important in recognising the individuals working tirelessly for the LGBT community that might ordinarily be overlooked due to their position in the company, or the size of their company.
''To be considered as a nominee for the Out at Work Top 50 Most Influential LGBT People in Business, an individual needs to be out at work and have made a difference to the LGBT network in their company, for example: working to promote it, supporting LGBT charities, mentoring or acting as a role model.''
Nominations can be submitted at http://www.outatworktop50.com
Out At Work is a PinkNews advertiser.
The Out At Work Telegraph Top 50 LGBT Executives In Business - Home
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 16:57
The Out at Work & Telegraph Top 50 LGBT Executives In Business list is compiled by the Global Diversity Awards, in partnership with The Telegraph.The list will be published in the business section of the Telegraph newspaper on the16th January 2015,with each member of the shortlist invited to a private launch, hosted at the Rt Hon John Bercow's Speaker's House at the Houses of Parliament. GDA and The Daily Telegraph consider recognising LGBT achievement of the utmost importance. The individuals nominated for the Out at Work Top 50 are paving the way for future generations by proving that being 'out' at work doesn't mean staying hidden or staying put.
The Top 50 LGBT Executives In Business list is compiled via nominations, with each individual considered by a select advisory panel, including Lord Cashman of Limehouse, Lord Guy Black of Brentwood, Curt Hess - CFO Barclays, Aongus Hegarty - President Dell, Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe - Head of Diversity & Inclusion Google EMEA and GLAAD Board Director, Linda Riley, according to key criteria such as:
Impact on businessInvolvement in internal / external diversity and inclusion events Social influence within the workplace, i.e. educating the wider workforce on LGBT issues Helping policy or legislation on LGBT and inclusion issuesRole in inciting change through mentoring Activities outside the workplace to promote LGBT issuesCOMING SOON EXCLUSIVE PUBLISHERS OF THE 2015 STONEWALL TOP 100 EMPLOYERS: WORKPLACE EQUALITY INDEX
GOLD
US Mint Temporarily Sold Out of Silver Eagles Amid Huge Demand | GoldBroker.com
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 11:35
US Mint Temporarily Sold Out of Silver Eagles Amid Huge DemandThe U.S. Mint said on Wednesday it has temporarily sold out of its American Eagle silver bullion coins following "tremendous" demand in the past several weeks.
In a statement sent to its biggest U.S. coin wholesalers, the U.S. Mint says it will continue to produce 2014-dated coins.
The Mint will advise when additional inventory will become available for sale without providing further details.
The announcement has not been made available to the public, but a U.S. Mint spokesman confirmed that it has sent the statement to its authorized participants.
In June, the U.S. Mint lifted its ration on Silver Eagle coins, which had been in place since January 2013 as unprecedented demand depleted silver coin blanks.
Sharp breaks in gold and silver prices to their lowest in more than four years have unleashed a surge in demand for investment coins and small bars by retail investors around the world, with buyers in Germany queueing out the door and some U.S. investors returning to the market for the first time in years.
Retailers and distributors in Asia and the United States are struggling to get supplies of items such as Canadian Maple Leaf silver coins made by the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM), Reuters reported earlier on Wednesday.
The RCM has started rationing its Silver Maple Leaf coin sales to its global distributors in response to high demand in September when gold prices fell to a near 2014 low, it said.
Gold BrokerSource : GoldBroker.com
Peter Boehringer Exposes the Truth on German Gold Repatriation | GoldBroker.com
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 11:23
Home>News>Articles>Peter Boehringer Exposes the Truth on German Gold RepatriationEric King: Peter, the Germans asked to see their gold supposedly stored at the New York Fed and they were told, 'No,' by the Fed. The absurd excuse given to the Germans was that their entry into the vault would somehow represent a 'security risk.' This is of course preposterous but that was the lie that was used to conceal whatever truth the New York Fed did not want the Germans to discover -- namely that their gold was already sold into the market.
Peter Boehringer: That's absolutely right. I can only agree with you that it is preposterous. Even the 5 tonnes that have been repatriated back to Germany from the Fed had to be recast. Why in the world would our original serial-numbered gold bars deposited into the Fed for safekeeping have to be melted down and recast into new bars?
This caused great concern on our end because it only increased the speculation that the German gold had already been sold into the market and was not safely stored in the New York Fed's vault. This is my opinion also. I don't believe that the Fed has our gold and that's why they would not allow for the gold to be seen by German officials.
Many prominent people have openly written and discussed their belief that the German gold is already gone -- that the Fed has betrayed the German people with their clandestine gold-leasing activities. It would be so easy for the Fed and the Bundesbank to disprove these concerns by conducting a proper audit of the U.S. gold reserves as well as the foreign gold which is allegedly stored at the New York Fed. This would have to be done with substantial photo and video evidence and it would also have to be confirmed by individuals whom the world could trust. But this is not happening.
This is one of many things that make the German people so suspicious about the U.S. Federal Reserve. But we the German people are still entitled to ask for it back from the Fed and that's what we are doing. But contrary to patently false information recently published on a major internet site in the United States, the pressure inside Germany is building for the Bundesbank to get our gold back onto German soil. That kind of misinformation is potentially damaging to the cause and so we will fight against this every step of the way.
This is the reason I asked to be interviewed by King World News -- because I want the world to know the truth about what is really happening in Germany. And the truth is that this historic movement to repatriate Germany's gold is stronger than ever, especially in the face of the Fed's clandestine activities and the Bundesbank's refusal to cooperate. But I am confident that in the end the German citizens will prevail and Germany will get its gold back onto German soil where it belongs because the momentum over the past several years is clearly on our side. And I don't care if the gold is not at the New York Fed, they can buy it back in the open market.
> Read the full article here
Reproduction, in whole or in part, is authorized as long as "GoldBroker.com all rights reserved" is mentioned along with a link to this page.
Peter Boehringer Exposes the Truth on German Gold RepatriationEric King: Peter, the Germans asked to see their gold supposedly stored at the New York Fed and they were told, 'No,' by the Fed. The absurd excuse given to the Germans was that their entry into the vault would somehow represent a 'security risk.' This is of course preposterous but that was the lie that was used to conceal whatever truth the New York Fed did not want the Germans to discover -- namely that their gold was already sold into the market.
Peter Boehringer: That's absolutely right. I can only agree with you that it is preposterous. Even the 5 tonnes that have been repatriated back to Germany from the Fed had to be recast. Why in the world would our original serial-numbered gold bars deposited into the Fed for safekeeping have to be melted down and recast into new bars?
This caused great concern on our end because it only increased the speculation that the German gold had already been sold into the market and was not safely stored in the New York Fed's vault. This is my opinion also. I don't believe that the Fed has our gold and that's why they would not allow for the gold to be seen by German officials.
Many prominent people have openly written and discussed their belief that the German gold is already gone -- that the Fed has betrayed the German people with their clandestine gold-leasing activities. It would be so easy for the Fed and the Bundesbank to disprove these concerns by conducting a proper audit of the U.S. gold reserves as well as the foreign gold which is allegedly stored at the New York Fed. This would have to be done with substantial photo and video evidence and it would also have to be confirmed by individuals whom the world could trust. But this is not happening.
This is one of many things that make the German people so suspicious about the U.S. Federal Reserve. But we the German people are still entitled to ask for it back from the Fed and that's what we are doing. But contrary to patently false information recently published on a major internet site in the United States, the pressure inside Germany is building for the Bundesbank to get our gold back onto German soil. That kind of misinformation is potentially damaging to the cause and so we will fight against this every step of the way.
This is the reason I asked to be interviewed by King World News -- because I want the world to know the truth about what is really happening in Germany. And the truth is that this historic movement to repatriate Germany's gold is stronger than ever, especially in the face of the Fed's clandestine activities and the Bundesbank's refusal to cooperate. But I am confident that in the end the German citizens will prevail and Germany will get its gold back onto German soil where it belongs because the momentum over the past several years is clearly on our side. And I don't care if the gold is not at the New York Fed, they can buy it back in the open market.
> Read the full article here
Gold BrokerSource : GoldBroker.com
Belgium Looking to Repatriate its Gold Reserves
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 08:05
Belgium Looking to Repatriate its Gold ReservesAccording to VTM Nieuws, Belgium is contemplating the repatriation of its gold reserves.
According to media reports Belgium will start to repatriate foreign held gold reserves as well ..
'-- willem middelkoop (@wmiddelkoop) December 5, 2014
It only has a limited amount of gold stored at the Belgium National Bank (BNB); the bulk of Belgium's reserves is held at the Bank of England, a portion is held at the Bank of Canada, and another portion at the Bank for International Settlements (in Basel).
It is essentially for historical reasons that the Belgian gold is held in England. It was transferred to London during the Second World War to keep the Nazi regime away from looting it.
After the Netherlands that just repatriated 122.5 tonnes, Germany, or even France (Marine Le Pen requested central bank repatriate french gold), another European country is showing interest for its gold stored abroad. There was also, recently, a referendum in Switzerland about repatriation of gold stored abroad.
Belgium owns 227.4 tonnes of gold, or roughly 7.3 million ounces:
Source : Sharelynx
Just like Switzerland did, Belgium got rid of a sizable portion of its gold reserves: since 1989, Belgium has sold more than 1,000 tonnes.
Gold BrokerSource : GoldBroker.com
Ministry of Truth
snopes.com: Did the Koch Brothers Buy NPR?
Fri, 05 Dec 2014 22:35
Claim: The Koch brothers bought NPR and stopped the broadcaster's coverage of climate change.Example: [Collected via e-mail, December 2014]I just saw a post on Facebook: THE KOCH BROTHERS BUY NPR "After making large donations to National Public Radio (NPR), the radio network charged with delivering an alternative viewpoint to Americans, NPR has slashed its environmental and climate change coverage. Is anyone surprised?
Origins: On 28 November 2014, the Facebookgroup Vocal Progressives posted the meme displayed above to their page, without corroborating information or news links, and alarmed many readers who feared corporate interests had compromised the integrity of National Public Radio (NPR). Referenced in the image are Charles Koch and his brother David, the politically active owners of the corporation Koch Industries. David Koch is a board member of several organizations, among them the political advocacy group Americans for Prosperity (which opposes the imposition of taxes levied to address climate change issues).While David Koch (and to a lesser extent Charles) remains openly engaged on specific political issues, the claim regarding NPR and the Kochs is of dubious origin. In part, it appears to trace back to an article published on 24 October 2014 on Inside Climate News entitled "NPR Reduces Its Environment Team to One Reporter":
The move to shift reporters off the environment beat was driven by an interest to cover other fields more in depth, said Anne Gudenkauf, senior supervising editor of NPR's science desk."We'll think of a project we want to do and the kind of staff that we need to do it, and then organize ourselves that way," she said. "One of the things we always do is change in response to the changing world."
Gudenkauf also said she doesn't "feel like [the environment] necessarily requires dedicated reporters" because so many other staffers cover the subject, along with their other beats.
The article in question addressed NPR's decision to reduce its allocation of coverage to climate change as a separate beat (in favor of folding that topic into standard news coverage); nowhere in the article were David Koch or Charles Koch mentioned by name, despite the presence of several other articles on the site covering the Koch brothers' interests in the Keystone XL pipeline environmental issue. As such, it's reasonable to assume that had the Koch brothers been germane at all to Inside Climate News's NPR story published in October 2014, the publication would have made that connection at the time. Although Inside Climate News's piece was critical of NPR's decision to combine climate coverage with other news, the move was not framed as one made under any political or funding pressure whatsoever.Three days after the original Inside Climate News article was published, an unrelated article appeared in a different publication that involved the Koch brothers and NPR. Titled "Did You Hear the Koch Brothers Just Gave a Million Bucks to NPR to Cover Healthcare?", that piece was deliberately misleading in its frame: It opened by explaining that the million dollar Koch donation hadn't happened, but that another organization had donated a large sum to NPR. The near-concurrent appearance of the two articles may have loaned credence to the idea that NPR slashed their climate change coverage to appease the Kochs in October of 2014.
Another article, published in May 2013, may have fueled the belief that NPR's reduction of dedicated environmental coverage stemmed from Koch donations. The New Yorker ran a piece at the time about PBS affliate WNET's handling of content involving the Kochs. In that piece, WNET's president Neal Shapiro disclosed conversations with David Koch about a 2013 film release:
That Friday, Shapiro initially said, he called Koch at his office and told him that the Gibney film "was going to be controversial," noting, "You're going to be a big part of this thing." Shapiro offered to show him the trailer, and added that he hoped to arrange "some sort of on-air roundtable discussion of it, to provide other points of view." It could air immediately after the documentary. (Shapiro told me, "We did this after Ken Burns's film on baseball, too. We like to have a local angle.") Shapiro asked Koch, "Do you want to be involved?" He also offered Koch the opportunity to provide a written response, which the station could air after the show.Shapiro acknowledges that his call to Koch was unusual. Although many prominent New Yorkers are portrayed in "Park Avenue," he said that he "only just called David Koch. He's on our board. He's the biggest main character. No one else, just David Koch. Because he's a trustee. It's a courtesy." Shapiro, who joined WNET six years ago, from NBC News, added, "I can't remember doing anything like this '-- I can't remember another documentary centered around New York and key people in the city, and such controversial topics."
However, that article addressed content pertaining to the Koch brothers' overall influence and was not specific to climate change, and the controversial claims made in the piece concerned PBS, not NPR. In NPR's ethics manual, guidelines for the interaction of funding sources and NPR journalists are detailed:Our journalism is made possible by a diverse coalition of funding sources, including donations from members of the public, grants from foundations and government agencies, and paid sponsorships and underwriting. While we value all who support our work, those who fund us do so in the knowledge that our journalism serves only the public. We believe our strength as a business is premised solely on high-quality, independent journalism in the public interest. All NPR employees '-- journalists as well as sponsorship, communications and development staff '-- are committed first and foremost to that service.At NPR, the journalists '-- including senior news managers '-- have full and final authority over all journalistic decisions. We work with all other divisions of the company towards the goal of supporting and protecting our journalism. This means we communicate with our sponsorship and development departments to identify areas where we hope to expand our reporting. It also means we may take part in promotional activities or events such as coordinated fund drives, listener support spots and public radio audience-building initiatives.
But we observe a clear boundary line: NPR journalists interact with funders only to further our editorial goals, not to serve the agendas of those who support us.
NPR additionally addressed the specific issue of whether the Kochs were major donors (or donated at all) during controversy over coverage of the People's Climate March in September 2014. NPR confirmed at the time that critics believed David and Charles Koch were NPR donors and stated that there was no record of any donation (large or small) from the Kochs. NPR clarified their position on climate change and their objective when covering environmental issues:In a related note, many emailers seemed to think that the brothers David and Charles Koch are donors to NPR. If so, no one at NPR knows about it. The development office did several days of searching and could find no record of their giving. Not that the Kochs couldn't give if they wanted to. The critics might be confusing NPR with WGBH, the public TV and radio station in Boston; David Koch is a long-time supporter and board member there and formerly of other public radio stations like WNET.In its coverage of climate change, NPR long ago crossed the bridge to conclude that, based on the science, climate change is real and we humans are contributing to it. Some of the email writers seem to want NPR to be an advocate on the issue, but beyond drawing attention to it, NPR isn't one and shouldn't be. It reports dissenting views when newsworthy, though in its framing of stories overall and in its emphasis on the facts, I find the coverage avoids the trap of "false equivalence."
So while NPR did indicate in October 2014 that coverage of environmental issues such as climate change would be folded into standard beats, even sources separately critical of the decision and the Koch brothers' involvement in climate issues did not claim any connection between the two. Furthermore, no evidence (confirmed or merely speculative) accompanied the image-based claim that the Koch brothers "bought" NPR. Prior criticisms regarding the influence of David Koch and public broadcasting involved PBS, not NPR. NPR specifically denied that the Kochs donated money, and added that they would be free to donate if they so chose.Last updated: 4 December 2014
Urban Legends Reference Pages (C) 1995-2014 by snopes.com.This material may not be reproduced without permission.snopes and the snopes.com logo are registered service marks of snopes.com.
Candy Crowley Leaving CNN | Multichannel
Fri, 05 Dec 2014 23:14
Veteran CNN political anchor Candy Crawley is leaving CNN, network president Jeff Zucker announced in a staff memo Friday.
Crowley, who hosted the network's Sunday morning State Of The Union news/public affairs program, has been with the network since 1987. It is unclear who will take over her position.
In 2012 Crowley moderated a presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
In the memo Zucker called Crawley one of the ''most important and impactful journalists'' at CNN.
Nigeria
US to Continue Security Cooperation with Nigeria: State Department / Sputnik International
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 00:45
WASHINGTON, December 6 (Sputnik) '-- Nigeria's ending of the US sponsored training program for the country's army will not affect the bilateral security cooperation, a US Department of State official told Sputnik.
"This [termination of the training program] will not affect the ability of the US government to continue other aspects of our bilateral security relationship, as well as all other assistance programs, with Nigeria," the official stated Friday.
On Friday, the Nigerian government terminated the third phase of training of a Nigerian Army battalion by the US forces. The authorities reportedly explained the move by logistical reasons.
"We regret the premature termination of this training sponsored by the US Government to strengthen the Nigerian Army's capacity to counter Boko Haram," the official said.
Boko Haram is the most prominent extremist group in the country aiming at imposing the Sharia law on the territory of Nigeria. The extremists are behind the majority of the terrorist attacks in the country.
In late November, several bomb explosions and gunfire near the central mosque in the Nigerian city of Kano killed at least 120 people and injured more than 270, according to media reports. Boko Haram group is suspected of carrying out the attack.
Haiti
More violence in 2nd day of Haiti protest marches - Omaha.com: World
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 02:35
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) '-- Thousands of anti-government protesters marched Saturday through Haiti's capital for the second time in two days amid anger over delayed elections and other issues.
The crowd began marching peacefully toward the Canadian Embassy in Port-au-Prince, but protesters later began burning tires, throwing rocks at police and trying to force their way through barricades as officers fired tear gas.
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You must login to view the full content on this page.kAm|2?J AC@E6DE6CD 42CC:65 A@DE6CD 56>2?5:?8 E92E !C6D:56?E |:496= |2CE6==J 2?5 !C:>6 |:?:DE6C {2FC6?E {2>@E96 DE6A 5@H?]k^AmkAmQ(6 ?665 6=64E:@?D :? E96 4@F?ECJ D@ 56>@4C24J 42? 4@?E:?F6 ]]] ?@E 4@CCFAE:@?[Q D2:5 y62? #@?2=5 qC:D@?[ @H?6C @7 2? 2FE@ A2CED DE@C6]k^AmkAm|2CE6==JVD 25>:?:DEC2E:@? H2D DFAA@D65 E@ 42== 6=64E:@?D :? a_`` 7@C 2 >2;@C:EJ @7 $6?2E6 D62ED[ E96 6?E:C6 r92>36C @7 s6AFE:6D 2?5 =@42= @77:46D] qFE 3@E9 96 2?5 {2>@E96 92G6 3=2>65 =68:D=2E@CD 7@C 3=@46?E]k^AmkAmp D:>:=2C AC@E6DE 96=5 uC:52J 2=D@ EFC?65 G:@=6?E[ H:E9 A@=:46 7:C:?8 E62C 82D 2E AC@E6DE6CD H9@ 3FC?65 E:C6D 2?5 E9C6H C@46E6C 2E E96 }2E:@?2= !2=246] }@ 562E9D @C >2;@C :?;FC:6D H6C6 C6A@CE65]k^AmkAm{2>@E96 255C6DD65 E96 AC@E6DE =2E6 uC:52J G:2 %H:EE6Ci Q(6 FC86 56>@?DEC2E@CD E@ 6I6C4:D6 E96:C 4@?DE:EFE:@?2= C:89E H:E9 C6DEC2:?E 2?5 C6DA@?D:3:=:EJ]Qk^AmkAmu@FC 2?E:\8@G6C?>6?E 56>@?DEC2E:@?D 92G6 366? 96=5 :? w2:E:VD 42A:E2= :? 23@FE 2 >@?E9 2?5 2 7:7E9 :D A=2??65 7@C ?6IE H66
Designer Kenneth Cole Opens Boutique in Haiti | The Haitian Times
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 02:37
Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe with Kenneth Cole at Kinam
AP '' Kenneth Cole has opened a boutique in Haiti that the designer says will bring commercial and humanitarian benefit to the poor Caribbean country.
A woman looks at sunglasses inside the new Kenneth Cole boutique during its grand opeing inside the Kinam Hotel complex in Petionville. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery
The store celebrated its grand opening Thursday in a hotel complex in Petionville. The district in the hills above downtown Port-au-Prince has rebounded from the devastation of the January 2010 earthquake and is now the major commercial center of the capital.
Kenneth Cole Productions says a portion of profits from the sale of clothing and accessories will go to the Kenneth Cole Haiti Health Center in the impoverished Cite Soleil on the northern edge of the capital. A company statement announcing the new boutique says the center is providing medical care to hundreds of thousands of people in the metropolitan area.
Related
Virgin Record's Richard Branson Announces Reforestation Project In Haiti | The Haitian Times
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 02:36
Richard Branson and team.
Virgin Records founder Richard Branson announced Thursday his collaboration with the Clinton Foundation and Yunus Social Business Global Initiatives (YSB) on Haiti Forest, a reforesting iniative designed to replenish Haiti's woodlands. Although 70 percent of the population relies on agriculture as a source of income, about 98 percent of the country's land has been deforested.
Haiti Forest aims to plant over a million trees each year, including reforesting 1,000 hectares around the town St Michel d'Attalaye. The initiative is expected to improve the lives of nearly 4,500 farmers as well as create 200 additional jobs outside the farming industry, Branson said in a blog post. ''In total the economic impact is estimated to be over $4 million yearly revenue across the whole ecosystem.''
''This is a true team effort. It's a really exciting model and there are already some great businesses demonstrating it at work.'' Branson highlighted Haitian-owned beauty business, Kreyol Essence, who committed to planting over 40,000 castor oil plants and creating 300 jobs over the next three years. ''Yve-Car's [Momperousse] success is success for Haiti and her people too,'' he said of the Kreyol Essence founder.
Rather than taking a charity-based approach to finding supporters of Haiti Forest, Branson is taking a ''business-based'' approach to ensure the project's sustainability. A lack of forests is a ''very real problem,'' Branson said. ''By linking trees with grassroots entrepreneurs we can break the deforestation cycle and develop Haiti's struggling economy.''
Related
Sandy Hook
Home of Sandy Hook shooter transferred to Newtown - Yahoo News
Fri, 05 Dec 2014 22:37
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) '-- Newtown has taken possession of the Colonial-style home where school shooter Adam Lanza lived with his mother in a deal with a bank that prepared the house by removing and incinerating all personal effects.
The Newtown Legislative Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to accept the house at no cost. The appraised value of the 3,162-square-foot home was $523,620.
Llodra told The News-Times that the process of acquiring the property began about six months ago with a call from a real estate agent hired by Hudson City Savings Bank.
Details of the negotiations and terms of the transfer were not available, but she said the bank demonstrated an extreme degree of "compassion and generosity."
Llodra told the council that the acquisition began with a call from a real estate agent who specializes in properties linked to tragic events. She said he was hired by the bank to help negotiate a possible acquisition.
She met with bank officials before presenting the offer for a closed-door discussion with the Board of Selectmen last month.
Adam Lanza's parents, Nancy and Peter Lanza, moved from southern New Hampshire and bought the new house in 1998.
Bill LaCalamito, senior vice president at Hudson City Savings Bank, said Thursday that by deeding the house to Newtown, it was trying to help the community just as others donated money, time and labor immediately after the massacre.
"We wanted to do what was right for the community," he said. "We told the town, 'You've been through enough. Tell us what you want us to do."
Because of its notoriety, the house had little or no value. "Obviously no one wanted the property," LaCalamito said.
LaCalamito would not disclose the cost to the bank for the remaining mortgage and work done on the house. For example, the bank had the house stripped of rugs, furniture, lighting fixtures and other effects and incinerated the belongings, he said. The bank also paid for new locks, repaired or replaced doors that were "compromised" by police who entered the house in the immediate aftermath of the Dec. 14, 2012, shootings, installed a security system and hired a landscaper to maintain the property.
Randall Bell, founder of Real Estate Damage Economics, a Laguna Beach, California, company that specializes in property damage, said he proposed nine or 10 choices to the bank on what it could do with the Lanza house. Among the options were selling it in foreclosure, selling it conventionally or bulldozing it.
"The agenda was very simple: Lay out all the options," he said. "The bank was very concerned about being very sensitive to the town. My job was not to steer them in any particular direction."
The future use of the house and property will be decided later. Several residents said the home should be demolished and the property restored to woodlands. One resident said putting the house on the market might have drawn the merely curious and even conspiracy theorists.
Real estate experts say properties known for crimes or violence are usually tough to sell and state law requires disclosure of homicides and similar events.
The 20-year-old Lanza fatally shot his mother at the house before killing 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. He killed himself at the school as emergency responders approached the school.
___________
Stephen Singer can reached on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SteveSinger10
Real EstateHudson City Savings BankNewtown
Bank Burned Lanza Items To Prevent Memorabilia Sales - Chicago Tribune
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 09:46
The bank that took control of the house where Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter Adam Lanza lived burned all the items left in the house to ensure that no one could sell them as murder memorabilia.
"There is nothing left but the light fixtures; we burned everything from the carpets to any personal effects left behind," said William LaCalamito, a senior vice president for Hudson Savings Bank of New Jersey, which turned the house over to the town of Newtown this week at no cost. "We didn't want anything from that house showing up for sale on eBay two years from now."
The Newtown Legislative Council approved the transfer of the property at 36 Yogananda St. from the bank to the town on Wednesday, ending a process that started several months ago when Ryan Lanza, the heir to his mother Nancy Lanza's estate, agreed to turn over the property for $1 to a limited liability corporation, which then transferred it to Hudson Bank. Town officials have been discussing the land transfer for about a month.
Nancy Lanza was the first person that Adam Lanza killed on Dec. 14, 2012, shooting her four times with a .22-caliber rifle while she slept in the house. He then drove to the Sandy Hook Elementary School and shot and killed 20 first-graders and six adults before killing himself.
State police took a number of items out of the house soon after the shootings.
The bank is absorbing a mortgage of nearly $400,000 that Nancy Lanza had on the 3,100-square-foot home. The yellow house was built in 1998 and is on 2.19 acres in a high-end residential subdivision.
"It is not common that a bank is driven by compassion and not by profits, but that was the case here," Newtown First Selectman Patricia Llodra said Thursday.
LaCalamito said people at the bank decided that the right thing to do was to give the property to the town and allow it to do what it wants with it. The first thing the bank did was hire California real estate expert Randall Bell, who has been involved in the sale or disposal of such notorious properties as the Sharon Tate home and O.J. Simpson's house.
Bell said Thursday that he toured the Lanza house several times, met with Llodra at least twice, and that there was a lot of high-end furniture left behind, as well as many of Adam Lanza's belongings.
"It was a sad situation. There was tons of stuff in that house. There were a lot of Adam Lanza's possessions still there and that stuff needed to be gone," Bell said.
Bell said that the house would have been difficult to sell, but not impossible. The house was assessed at more than $500,000 and had a fair market value of at least $360,000.
"It certainly would have been a hard sell, but it probably could have been sold eventually," said Bell. "But for this community, that was not the right thing to do."
Bank officials met with Llodra and Police Chief Michael Kehoe several times to discuss options. One of the key issues was security. When the bank took control of the property in late September, a new security system and lighting was installed. The yard was landscaped and someone was hired to cut the grass regularly.
Llodra said that despite the notoriety of the house, there was only one time when someone broke in. She said it was unclear if anything was taken and a new alarm system was installed immediately after that.
LaCalamito said he didn't have an estimate on what the bank paid for the upkeep of the house.
"We went the extra mile in this case because of the situation," LaCalamito said. "This was kind of us doing our part as a good corporate neighbor."
With the council approving the transfer, Hudson Bank is now done with the Lanza house.
"It's up to them to do whatever they choose," LaCalamito said. "We wish the town nothing but the best."
Llodra said she will begin discussions in January with the board of selectmen, victims' families and neighbors on what to do with the house. Llodra told Reuters that the town was "strongly considering" tearing it down.
"We now own the problem and can execute a solution ourselves rather than rely on an outside entity," Llodra said. "We're not as vulnerable."
Copyright (C) 2014, Chicago Tribune
EuroLand
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Captain Euro | Europe's superhero!
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 20:59
Captain Euro® was originally launched back in the 1990s to help launch the new Euro currency, and solve Europe's lack of clear identity. It created instant public impact, appearing on the cover of the Wall Street Journal, Time magazine, The Times, BBC, The Sun, CNN and news channels around the world. He was a divisive and exciting figure. With the Euro's successful launch and reception, Captain Euro had done his job!
AT LEAST, UNTIL NOW! Now, Captain Euro has returned to solve the EU's identity crisis and tackle global issues from an entirely different angle. He's back, and this time, it's personal! Times have changed, and so has he.
With Captain Euro's relaunch comes an entirely new approach and audience. The new Captain Euro uses the power of satire, humour, and intrigue to raise awareness of critical global issues.
He is also tasked with exposing and criticizing areas which lack effective global governance, or systems with excess bureaucracy; particularly in the context of contemporary national, European and global politics. These new stories include Captain Euro dealing with global issues and world leaders including Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Matteo Renzi, new European Commission President Juncker, Vladimir Putin and David Cameron, among others. When world leaders want advise and wisdom about EU and global affairs, they come to Captain Euro. Who else!?
Check our section 'Europe's Global Pop Icon' for more information and trivia on his incredible popular appeal!
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Openbaar vervoer plat, VRT op zwart, chaos verwacht in België
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 11:17
De Belgische publieke omroep (VRT), die is gevestigd in Brussel, gaat grotendeels op zwart. Er worden alleen ingekorte nieuwsuitzendingen en herhalingen getoond. Kinderzender Ketnet blijft wel normaal uitzenden. Ook bij de post, banken en ziekenhuizen worden acties gehouden. Evenals bij supermarkten en andere winkels.
Nederlandse treinreizigers die naar Brussel willen moeten zondagavond en dinsdagochtend rekening houden met uitval van treinen. Maandag rijden er helemaal geen treinen tussen Belgi en Nederland. Thalys raadt reizigers daarom aan hun reis uit te stellen.
Derde stakingsdagHet is de derde regionale stakingsdag in Belgi. De acties van de vakbonden begonnen met een nationale betoging op 6 november, waar 120.000 mensen op afkwamen. Daarna volgden stakingen op 24 november in onder meer Antwerpen en op 1 december in onder meer Luik. De vakbonden willen Belgi platleggen op 15 december, dan staat een algehele stakingsdag gepland.
De Belgische vakbonden maken hun belofte van een 'hete herfst' vol stakingen en betogingen waar. Ze protesteren tegen het bezuinigingsbeleid van de centrum-rechtse regering van Charles Michel. Die wil de pensioenleeftijd verhogen van 65 naar 67 jaar, de salarissen tijdelijk bevriezen en de uitkeringen verlagen. Daarnaast wil de Vlaamse regering het inschrijvingsgeld voor het hoger onderwijs verhogen en de hypotheekrenteaftrek flink versoberen.
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BBC News - Clashes at Greek protests to mark police shooting
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 23:26
6 December 2014Last updated at 16:53 ET Clashes have erupted in the capital of Greece during protests marking six years since police shot dead an unarmed teenager.
At least 5,000 demonstrators marched in Athens on Saturday. Some attacked shops and hurled petrol bombs at riot police.
Police officers used tear gas and a water cannon to disperse protesters.
The demonstrators had been marking the anniversary of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos' death. He was shot by an officer who has since been jailed.
Mr Grigoropoulos' killing on 6 December 2008 sparked violent riots across Greece, with cars being set alight and shops looted in a number of cities.
Clashes have also broken out on previous anniversaries of his death.
On Saturday, anti-establishment protesters attacked banks and damaged shops and bus stops.
At one point, demonstrators looted a clothes shop and set fire to the merchandise in the street, the Associated Press news agency reported.
According to Reuters, police said they detained close to 100 protesters.
Clashes primarily took place in Athen's Exarchia neighbourhood, but violence was also reported in Thessaloniki, in northern Greece.
No injuries were reported in either city.
Protesters have also been expressing support for Nikos Romanos, a friend of Mr Grigoropoulos who witnessed his death.
Romanos, 21, has been jailed for attempted bank robbery. He is currently on hunger strike, demanding study leave after he was accepted onto a university course.
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Nederlands schip zet 400 vluchtelingen af in Itali | Binnenland | de Volkskrant
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 23:27
Een Nederlands koopvaardijschip heeft vandaag op het Italiaanse eiland Sicili bijna 400 bootvluchtelingen uit Syri afgezet die het schip een dag eerder op zee had gered. De veelal jonge mannen, vrouwen en kinderen dreven al een paar dagen zonder bemanning rond op een 60 meter lang schip, dat in slechte staat verkeerde.
Het Nederlandse vrachtschip Erasmusgracht haalde de migranten vrijdagavond uit hun benarde situatie. Dat gebeurde 250 mijl ten zuiden van de 'hak' van Itali, in de Ionische Zee, zo bevestigde een woordvoerder van rederij Spliethoff in Amsterdam. De bemanning van het migrantenschip was er met de reddingsboot vandoor gegaan.
Spliethoff is de eigenaar van het vrachtschip. De Erasmusgracht kreeg zaterdag aan het eind van de middag toestemming om de opgepikten af te zetten in de haven van Catania, op Sicili. Dat is inmiddels gebeurd. Aanvankelijk dacht de bemanning ruim 300 bootvluchtelingen te hebben meegenomen, maar bij het van boord gaan bleken het er 393 te zijn.
Hoe lang het stuurloze schip met migranten onderweg was, is niet bekend. Maar de motoren deden het niet en er was gebrek aan water. Sommigen zouden al zijn begonnen met het drinken van zeewater, wat juist tot meer uitdroging leidt en overlevingskansen doet verminderen.
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Agenda 21
Jaw dropping December mega-thaw ahead? | Updraft | Minnesota Public Radio News
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 14:29
And Minnesota's weather hits just keep on comin'. To steal a recent ad phrase, this could indeed be a December to remember weather event.
Overnight and early Thursday model runs just keep magnifying the intensity and duration of what looks like a near record breaking December heat wave starting late next week.
Check out the latest Global Forecast System temperature anomaly map from Climate Reanalyzer, which shows most of North America, including Minnesota, bathed in temperatures 10 to 20 degrees warmer than average by next Thursday.
University of MaineThe overnight European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts run is first out of the gate with 50s by late next week for the metro, advertising near record highs at or above 50 as soon as next Friday and Saturday.
WeathersparkThe overnight GFS runs continue recent trends, and forecast highs in the 50s right through Dec. 16. Even more eye catching: a long string of lows above freezing, even in the 40s to near 50 degrees?
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via IPS MeteostarIt remains to be seen if the magnitude and duration of this warm spell currently forecast will hold in the next week. December weather can turn on a dime, and a cold snap or pre-Christmas snowstorm is still entirely possible.
But right now the smart money appears to be on a warm, snow free landscape across much of Minnesota by Dec. 20.
You may want to wait to put that ice house out this year.
About the bloggerPaul Huttnerphuttner@mpr.orgPaul Huttner is chief meteorologist for Minnesota Public Radio. Huttner has worked TV and radio stations in Minneapolis, Tucson and Chicago. Paul is a graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul and holds a bachelor's degree in geography with an emphasis in meteorology.
Related Blog Posts
Hillary 2016
Warren Buffett invests in a Clinton presidential bid
Fri, 05 Dec 2014 23:39
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Warren Buffett
The USA's second-richest man just bet on Hillary Rodham Clinton for president.
Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett has donated $25,000 to Ready for Hillary, a super PAC laying the groundwork for the Democrat's potential White House bid, officials with the super PAC confirm.
The group, which raised more than $10 million through Oct. 15, will file its paperwork detailing recent contributions and expenditures by midnight Thursday.
More from USA Today:Starbucks brews up five year growth plan5 things we learned from November auto salesNew Republic cuts print schedule as editors leave
Buffett has made no secret of his support for Clinton, declaring earlier this fall that "Hillary is going to win." He also has contributed to her past campaigns. However, the recent donation marks the first time the billionaire investor has contributed to a super PAC that can raise or spend unlimited amounts to aid an individual candidate.
Ready for Hillary has voluntarily imposed a $25,000 limit on the donations it will accept.
Bloomberg Politics first reported the Buffett contribution.
Buffett's support '-- along with that of other wealthy individuals including financier George Soros and Walmart heir and philanthropist Alice Walton '-- underscore the big financial edge Clinton would enjoy if she entered the race.
Forbes pegs Buffett's net worth at $73.6 billion, falling behind Microsoft founder Bill Gates' $82 billion fortune.
Real News
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The Top 10 Hottest Female Field Hockey Players - TheRichest
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 23:29
When it comes to field hockey '' or hockey as it is simply called '' there is much global attention to its gorgeous hot players. Field hockey is a popular sport in South America, Europe, Asia and Oceania. Do you remember the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton? She was a hockey player and she's definitely one beautiful lady in the field who knows how to play the game very well. It may be a rough sport since the players really have to run fast and be adequately skillful with their hockey sticks.
When it comes to female hockey players, men get themselves hooked on the game, keeping score on who plays the best and who is good looking. It is quite a marvel to have girl power on the field. They go agog when their favorite hockey hottie has a new photograph posted in the web and makes the headlines.
Looks like the Dutch National Team is proud to have its members included in the roster among the hottest international female hockey players.
10. Kate Woods
South Africa starts of the list with its hockey beauty Kate Woods who lands on the tenth spot. She played in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London with the rest of the South African women's national field hockey team. Kate played as a defender and played the entire 70 minute-game. It's where the team got its only win in the Olympics, against the United States.
9. Fatima Moreira de Melo
The first Dutch beauty in the list of hottest female hockey players is blonde haired Fatima Moriera de Melo. She is one of the Netherlands' leading strikers. Fatima's debut match pitted her team against Germany in 1997, which they eventually won. From then on, she played with the team and helped bring in a barrage of awards in different international competitions. Apart from being a professional hockey player, she is also active in a few local and national TV programs. Do you know that she is also a singer and that she has a Masters Degree in Law? That's beauty, brains, and athletic skills all rolled into one.
8. Naomi van As
Hitting the eighth spot is Dutch forward and midfielder Naomi van As who plays for the national women's hockey team HC Klein Zwitserland. Too bad for those men, she is currently dating Dutch long track skater Sven Kramer. Naomi made her debut in 2003 for the Netherlands women's national team, competing against South Africa. This Dutch brunette hottie won gold medal with her team during the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Summer Olympics. Her tall physique gives her the advantage of playing with adroitness in the field.
7. Luciana Aymar
Argentinean Luciana Aymar has the striking looks that make men drool and the proficiency of being a sought-after hockey player. She is known to be the Diego Maradona and sometimes Michael Jordan in the field of hockey. During the 2012 Summer Olympics, her team won silver medal. No doubt that she has the knack to perform at her best and help her team score since she has a lot of awards under her name. This includes the FIH Player of the Year which she won for seven times making her the most celebrated and best female hockey player of all times.
6. Casey Eastham
Australia's Casey Eastham nicks the sixth spot as hottest female hockey player. She plays for the Australian Women's Field Hockey team Hockeyroos as a midfielder. This talented and beautiful field hockey star made her debut in the national team at the age of 17 at the Four Nations Tournament. Never mind what the Australian Hockey website thinks about her, Casey knows how to play good hockey. And yes, not to mention just how beautiful she is.
5. Nicole Hudson
Australia's Nicole Hudson is a retired international professional player who played for the Australian Women's Field Hockey and was the captain of the Hockeyroos. This gorgeous hockey player made her debut during the Sydney Olympics where she won a gold medal. Nikki, as she is usually called, was the top goal scorer among the rest of the players. Her skillful and subtle performance brought her to play 300 international matches and the first woman to do so for Australia. Not bad for Australia.
4. Jade Warrender
Another Aussie in the name of Jade Warrender makes it to the fourth spot. Strikingly beautiful, Jade made her debut in the arena of professional hockey in 2011 when she competed for the Australian national team Hockeyroos. Too bad, she got ruled out from joining the 2012 Summer Olympics due to a ruptured anterior ligament while training in Perth, which needed reconstruction. The team had to compete minus one of their best defenders, Nikki.
3. Emily Naylor
Playing for the New Zealand Black Sticks is Emily Naylor. This striking beauty has shown her skills while performing for New Zealand Under 18 Team. Thus, she was selected to attend the Olympic Qualifying training camp in 2003. Emily was also picked to play with the team for the 2004 summer Olympics. Because of her outstanding performance in Greece, she was nominated for the 2004 World Hockey Junior Women's Player of the Year award and was voted by the ABCD Hockey Magazine as Oceania Player of the Century.
2. Charlotte Harrison
At the age of 16, charming Charlotte Harrison was one of New Zealand's youngest hockey player to be selected for the Black Sticks team. She went to play her very first match with the team against Australia as part of the 2005 Oceania Cup and World Cup qualifier. Charlotte participated at the 2006 and 2010 Commonwealth Games, as a reserve for the 2008 Summer Olympics, and as a player in the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London. As young as she is, when she plays hockey, she can definitely play with prowess.
1. Ellen Hoog
Taking the limelight during the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games, Ellen Hoog eventually got the world's attention thanks to her good looks and athletic abilities. Before the London Games, Ellen seemed to be just one of the average hockey players out there. Would you believe that this young Dutch woman has been representing her country for eight years already? She participated in the 2006 Women's World Cup of Field Hockey where her team won the world championship. This two-time Olympic gold medalist is considered a veteran in the sport, to think that she is only 26 years old. Men are watching closely if she will do a stint just like what Brandi Chastain did when she took off her shirt. Dutch ladies are certainly hitting it big in terms of athletic abilities and stunning looks.
Australische hockeysters naar finale | Sport | de Volkskrant
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 23:28
Mochten de Nederlandse hockeysters zich in de nacht van zaterdag op zondag plaatsen voor de finale van de Champions Trophy, dan is Australi daarin de tegenstander. De ploeg van coach Adam Commens won vandaag in de halve eindstrijd van Nieuw-Zeeland. Daar had Australi weliswaar shoot-outs voor nodig.
Nieuw-Zeeland kwam in de reguliere speeltijd al na twee minuten op voorsprong via aanvoerster Anita Punt: 1-0. Amelia Spence trok de stand in het derde kwart gelijk, waarna er niet meer werd gescoord. In de shoot-outs was Australi oppermachtig. Georgia Nanscawen, Karri McMahon en Emily Smith benutten alle drie hun kans, terwijl alle Nieuw-Zeelandse vrouwen misten.
Oranje speelt om 23.00 uur (Nederlandse tijd) de andere halve finale tegen Argentini. Een finale tegen Australi zou de herhaling van de WK-finale in Den Haag betekenen. Die won Oranje afgelopen zomer.
Nederlandse hockeysters missen finale Champions Trophy | Sport | de Volkskrant
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 02:26
De Nederlandse hockeyvrouwen verloren dankzij een treffer in de laatste minuut de wedstrijd om een finaleplaats in de Champions Trophy. Argentinia wist op het nippertje de eindstad op 2-1 te brengen.
De ploeg van de debuterende bondscoach Sjoerd Marijne speelde tegen de Argentijnse vrouwen een stuk beter dan in de voorgaande wedstrijden. Lidewij Welten zorgde vlak voor het verstrijken van de eerste periode voor de 1-0. Silvina D'Elia bracht de stand in evenwicht vlak na rust in evenwicht. Het leek op shoot-outs uit te lopen, maar Rebecchi werkt de bal in de allerlaatste minuut toch nog binnen: 1-2.
'We waren heel goed aan het spelen, onze beste wedstrijd van het toernooi', aldus Marijne in een reactie tegen de NOS. 'Ik ben heel erg blij. We willen snelheid in ons spel, dat heb ik vandaag gezien. Dat is ook belangrijk voor ons. Dan moeten we verder geen overhaaste conclusies trekken.'
In de finale treedt Argentini zondag aan tegen Australi, dat in de andere halve eindstrijd te sterk was voor Nieuw-Zeeland. Oranje speelt tegen Nieuw-Zeeland om het brons.
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Necrophilia video allegation in Jessica Padgett no surprise, expert says - The Morning Call
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 01:21
The allegation that Jessica Padgett's stepfather videotaped himself having sex with her dead body did not surprise Dr. Fred Berlin, a sexual disorders expert who testified at the trial of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.
Necrophilia pornography can be found online, Berlin noted, and there is an Internet community of people who share an interest in having sex with corpses.
"The struggle with the Internet, though, is determining which online accounts are real and which are just fantasy," Berlin said.
If Gregory R. Graf, 53, of Allen Township, is convicted of murdering the 33-year-year Padgett and sexually abusing her corpse in his home, he'll join a short but disturbing list of killers who have committed one of the ultimate taboos.
Serial killers Ted Bundy and Ed Gein admitted to sexually abusing the bodies of people they murdered, as did mass murderer Henry Lee Lucas, who reportedly told investigators that he preferred sex with the dead because "I like peace and quiet."
Berlin is the founder of the Johns Hopkins Sexual Disorders Clinic and serves as director of its Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit. He testified as a defense expert at Dahmer's trial, helping jurors understand why Dahmer was compelled to sexually abuse the bodies of all 17 of his victims.
Berlin said necrophilia is exceedingly rare, but can often lead to tragic circumstances. Dahmer, for example, would drug young men so he could pretend they were corpses.
"He was acting out a fantasy which escalated into violence," he said.
For some, necrophilia brings to mind serial killers such as Dahmer and Bundy who had multiple victims, but Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli dismissed that idea in this case.
"The thought always passes your mind," Morganelli said. "I have no evidence of that at the present time."
Necrophilia is best described as sexual arousal stimulated by a dead body. Necrophiliacs get sexually excited by fantasies about, or actual contact with, a corpse.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the standard classification of mental disorders used by mental health professionals in the United States, the criteria for necrophilia are the presence, over a period of at least six months, of recurrent and intense urges and sexually arousing fantasies involving corpses that are either acted upon or have been markedly distressing.
The condition is not curable, Berlin said, but can be managed with a combination of sexual appetite suppressing medication and therapy.
Morganelli disclosed on Friday that Graf allegedly made a video of himself engaged in several sex acts with Padgett's body, saying it was clear from the images that she was dead.
He said the state police investigation is ongoing, and troopers continue to examine Graf's computer where the video was found.
As with most sexual perversions, necrophilia is usually committed by males between the ages of 20 and 50, studies show. Some necrophiliacs seek jobs that give them access to corpses, such as morgue attendants and cemetery caretakers.
"The vast majority of people who work at these places are not interested in sex with the dead, but people do tend to gravitate to places that give them access to things that they are attuned to sexually," Berlin said.
Berlin, who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of adults and adolescents with psychosexual disorders, said it would not surprise him if no one close to Graf knew about his alleged interest in necrophilia. He said it's a shame that Graf didn't talk to a doctor about his urges before they allegedly turned violent.
"One of the unfortunate things about our society is that we do not encourage people to speak up about any deviate sexual thoughts they are having," Berlin said. "Instead, we're always picking up the pieces."
The case is not the first Morganelli has prosecuted with potential elements of necrophilia. In 2001, a Northampton County jury convicted 23-year-old Douglas Crist of murdering Debra LaForm, the 42-year-old mother of his fiancee.
Jurors concluded that Crist bludgeoned LaForm with a hammer in her Bethlehem home, then set a fire to erase evidence. Crist was also charged with rape, but jurors acquitted him on that count because they believed the sexual assault occurred after her death.
Crist is serving a life sentence for the killing.
lmason@mcall.com
Twitter @LehighCourts
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Copyright (C) 2014, The Morning Call
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Leaked Sony Documents Confirm That Adam Sandler Films "Have No More Value" | Splitsider
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 00:18
Sony has been dealing with the effects of a major hack from last week, and among the many leaked documents is a 25-page collection of Sony employee complaints that reveal even the people who make Adam Sandler movies hate Adam Sandler movies. Gawker combed through the complaints and highlighted some of the best digs at Sandler's expense:
Be more focussed and ruthless in directing our resources to businesses that will sustain the long term health of SPE '' networks, broadcast TV shows, new movie franchises, digital distibution By the same token, stop or reduce support for areas that have no more value (Sandler movies, DVD)
There is a general "blah-ness" to the films we produce. Althought we manage to produce an innovative film once in awhile, Social Network, Moneyball, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, we continue to be saddled with the mundane, formulaic Adam Sandler films. Let's raise the bar a little on the films we produce, and inspire employees that they are working on the next Social Network. That said, there's a strange dichotomy of encouraging us to be fiscally responsible, but then upper management allows certain talent and filmmakers to bleed us dry with their outlandish requests for private jets, wardrobe and grooming stylists- and are surprised when they are asked to work more than 5 hours to promote their film.
In TV and Theatrical, I hope management looks closely at the money spent on development and term deals to ensure efficiency. There are a lot of term deal personnel as well as creative personnel, yet we only release a dozen or so Columbia Pictures a year, for example. And will we still be paying for Adam Sandler? Why?
It is commenable that SPE understands/supports the importance of risk-taking, particularly in how the we pick films to greenlight. However, the studio needs to change deal structure that has been in place with Happy Madison, as this arrangement has disproportionately benefitted Adam Sandler and his team, relative to SPE.
There are other complaints about Sony making too many remakes, reboots, and "safe, soul-less movies and TV shows," which is at least confirmation that Hollywood isn't totally clueless about its lack of originality these days. Check out the rest of the leaked complaints over at Gawker.
VIDEO-CLIPS-DOCS
VIDEO-Protesters clash with police in Haiti capital | euronews, world news
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 11:41
Thousands of people marched through Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince for the second day running on Saturday. They are angry over delayed elections and among other issues.
There were clashes with police as some demonstrators burned flags and called for the president and the prime minister to step down.
VIDEO-Harris-Perry on 'Burn This Bitch Down': Arson and Looting Are 'Not Violence' | MRCTV
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 00:51
On her MSNBC show, commenting on the news that authorities are considering charges against Michael Brown's stepfather Louis Head, who on the night the grand jury declined to indict, jumped on a car and implored the crowd "burn this mother------ down! Burn this bitch down!," Melissa Harris-Perry argues that "arson and looting . . . are not necessarily violence,"
VIDEO-Congressional Hearing On Domestic Violence In Professional Sports - YouTube
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 00:50
VIDEO-State Dep't Spokeswoman Calls Her Egypt Talking-Point 'Ridiculous' | MRCTV
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 00:33
Shortly after baffling reporters with a non-answer on the administration's view of the acquittal of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki in an unguarded moment this week appeared to describe her prepared talking-point on the issue as ''ridiculous.''
VIDEO- Captain Euro on BBC Daily Politics - Nicolas De Santis - YouTube
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 20:57
VIDEO- CDC Issues Flu Vaccine Apology - YouTube
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 20:09
AUDIO-Charges Of Crimes Against Humanity Dropped Against Kenyan Leader : NPR
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 20:02
The first case of crimes against humanity leveled against a sitting head of state has ended with the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court dropping all charges against Kenya's president, Uhuru Kenyatta.
Copyright (C) 2014 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
There was a setback today for the International Criminal Court. The ICC's first case of crimes against humanity, leveled against a sitting head of state, ended with the prosecutor dropping all charges. Those charges were against Kenya's president Uhuru Kenyatta. The case was supposed to show that even the highest office confers no immunity from war crimes. NPR's Gregory Warner reports on what went wrong.
GREGORY WARNER, BYLINE: In the end, it came down to evidence. The prosecution had asked for the president's personal phone and bank records. It's said that they would show he had a role in instigating and funding some of Kenya's deadly ethnic violence seven years ago. But the government of Kenya did not turn over those records. The court, though it found Kenya noncompliant, could not make them comply. Mwalimu Mati of Kenyan NGO Mars Group Kenya says the judges in The Hague faced an unusually powerful defendant.
MWALIMU MATI: He is not your typical war criminal.
WARNER: Uhuru Kenyatta is a member of one of Africa's wealthiest and most influential families. He hired a crack legal defense team and, outside the court, proved adept at using the Kenyan media and diplomatic meetings to exploit growing anti-Western sentiment in what used to be one of the most reliably pro-Western corners of the world.
MATI: The African elite, as it were, doesn't like the idea of the International Criminal Court having any jurisdiction over presidents.
WARNER: Leslie Lefkow, country director of Humans Rights Watch, said that supporters of the ICC focused on the legal process may have misjudged the political savvy of the Kenyan president.
LESLIE LEFKOW: To turn this into an ICC versus Africa narrative.
WARNER: Kenyatta even won last year's presidential election on the back of the ICC. He spun the charges against him as a foreign insult on Kenyan autonomy. With his case now cleared, the court turns to Vice President William Ruto, also on the docket for war crimes. Gregory Warner, NPR News, Nairobi.
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-Looks like Chicago PD had a stingray out at the Eric Garner protest last night | Privacy SOS
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 16:19
Looks like police in Chicago have a tricked out surveillance truck equipped with cell site simulators, a.k.a. Stingrays, that force nearby phones to send data to cops instead of to phone company cell towers. Did those cops get a warrant for that?
Your tax dollars at work: Spying on people just because they demand that the government's agents stop killing black people.
UPDATE: Anonymous has released a video featuring what appear to be Chicago police radio transmissions revealing police wiretapping of organizers' phones at the protests last nightthe day after Thanksgiving, perhaps using a stingray. The transmissions pointing to real-time wiretapping involve the local DHS-funded spy 'fusion' center.
Watch:
Please note that by playing this clip YouTube and Google will place a long term cookie on your computer.
Below is a rough transcript of what's intelligible from the tape:
(Dialogue starts at 1:05 in the video)
Dispatch: ''CPIC [Chicago police's spy 'fusion' center] on the air for a mobile''Officer 1: ''Go ahead''Officer 2: ''Yeah one of the girls, an organizer here, she's been on her phone a lot. You guys picking up any information, uh, where they're going, possibly?''Officer 1: ''Yeah we'll keep an eye on it, we'll let you know if we hear anything.''Officer 2: ''10-4. They're compliant, and they're, they're doing ok now but she's spending a lot of time on the phone.''Officer 1: ''10-4''
Then there's a brief conversation about one of the officers calling the other's cell phone.
A longer clip of the audio is available here.
VIDEOS-British-American photojournalist Luke Somers shot during failed rescue attempt in Yemen |
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 16:13
'THEY SHOT THE HOSTAGE': American photojournalist Luke Somers dies during failed U.S. rescue attempt in Yemen '-- along with South African teacher reportedly set to be released by Al Qaeda tomorrowThe President said he ordered the raid over an 'imminent danger' to Somers. An aid group helping negotiate the release of Korkie said he was to be freed Sunday and his wife was told only that morning: 'The wait is almost over.''
THE ASSOCIATED PRESSPublished: Saturday, December 6, 2014, 3:20 AM
Luke Somers, who was being held as a hostage in Yemen, speaks in a propaganda video released by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Somers died during a failed rescue attempt.
SANAA, Yemen '' An American photojournalist and a South African teacher held by Al Qaeda militants in Yemen were killed Saturday during a failed U.S.-led rescue attempt, a raid President Obama said he ordered over an ''imminent danger'' to the reporter.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula previously posted a video online threatening to kill photographer Luke Somers, prompting a second rescue attempt for him by American forces backed by Yemeni ground troops. But an aid group helping negotiate the release of South African Pierre Korkie said he was to be freed Sunday and his wife was told only that morning: ''The wait is almost over.''
In a statement, Obama did not address Korkie by name, only saying he ''authorized the rescue of any other hostages held in the same location as Luke.'' The South African government did not immediately comment on Korkie's death.
Information ''indicated that Luke's life was in imminent danger,'' Obama said. ''Based on this assessment, and as soon as there was reliable intelligence and an operational plan, I authorized a rescue attempt.''
Lucy Somers, the photojournalist's sister, told The Associated Press that she and her father learned of her 33-year-old brother's death from FBI agents at 0500 GMT (12 a.m. EST) Saturday.
''We ask that all of Luke's family members be allowed to mourn in peace,'' she said from near London.
Yemen's national security chief, Maj. Gen. Ali al-Ahmadi, said the militants planned to kill Luke Somers on Saturday, prompting the joint mission.
''Al Qaeda promised to conduct the execution (of Somers) today so there was an attempt to save them but unfortunately they shot the hostage before or during the attack,'' al-Ahmadi said at a conference in Manama, Bahrain. ''He was freed but unfortunately he was dead.''
The operation began before dawn Saturday in Yemen's southern Shabwa province, a stronghold of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the country's local branch of the terror group. U.S. drone struck first the Wadi Abdan area first, followed by strafing runs by jets and Yemeni ground forces moving in, a Yemeni security official said. Helicopters also flew in more forces, he said.
South African teacher Pierre Korkie was killed with fellow hostage Luke Somers. Korkie was to be flown out of Yemen on Sunday, the aid group Gift of Givers said. via Facebook
At least nine Al Qaeda militants were killed in an initial drone strike, another security official said. Both spoke on condition of anonymity as they weren't authorized to speak to journalists.
Both Somers and Korkie ''were murdered by the AQAP terrorists during the course of the operation,'' U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said from Kabul, Afghanistan.
Saturday's operation marked the second failed rescue by U.S. and Yemeni forces looking for Somers, among the roughly dozen hostages believed held by Al Qaeda militants in Yemen. On Nov. 25, American special operations forces and Yemeni soldiers raided a remote Al Qaeda safe haven in a desert region near the Saudi border, freeing eight captives '-- including Yemenis, a Saudi and an Ethiopian. Somers, a Briton and four others had been moved days earlier, officials later said.
Following the first raid, Al Qaeda militants released a video Thursday that showed Somers, threatening to kill him in three days if the United States didn't meet the group's unspecified demands or if another rescue was attempted. Somers was kidnapped in September 2013 as he left a supermarket in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, said Fakhri al-Arashi, chief editor of the National Yemen, where Somers worked as a copy editor and a freelance photographer during the 2011 uprising in Yemen.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Luke Somers and 'a second non-U.S. citizen hostage were murdered' during the raid ordered by President Obama. Alex Wong/Getty Images
Before her brother's death, Lucy Somers released an online video describing him as a romantic who ''always believes the best in people.'' She ended with the plea: ''Please let him live.''
In a statement, Somers' father, Michael, also called his son ''a good friend of Yemen and the Yemeni people'' and asked for his safe release.
Korkie was kidnapped in the Yemeni city of Taiz in May 2013, along with his wife Yolande. Militants later released his wife after a non-governmental group, Gift of the Givers, helped negotiate for her freedom. Those close to Korkie said Al Qaeda militants demanded a $3 million ransom for his release.
''The psychological and emotional devastation to Yolande and her family will be compounded by the knowledge that Pierre was to be released by al Qaida tomorrow,'' Gift of Givers said in a statement Saturday. ''A team of Abyan leaders met in Aden this morning and were preparing the final security and logistical arrangements, related to hostage release mechanisms, to bring Pierre to safety and freedom. It is even more tragic that the words we used in a conversation with Yolande at 5:59 this morning was: 'The wait is almost over.'''
A propaganda video released Dec. 4 purportedly shows Nasser bin Ali Al-Ansi, of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, reading a message threatening to kill U.S. hostage Luke Somers.
Somers, who was born in Britain, earned a bachelor's degree in creative writing while attending Beloit College in Wisconsin from 2004 through 2007.
''He really wanted to understand the world,'' said Shawn Gillen, an English professor and chairman of Beloit College's journalism program who had Gillen as a student.
Fuad Al Kadas, who called Somers one of his best friends, said Somers spent time in Egypt before finding work in Yemen. Somers started teaching English at a Yemen school but quickly established himself as a one of the few foreign photographers in the country, he said.
''He is a great man with a kind heart who really loves the Yemeni people and the country,'' Al Kadas wrote in an email from Yemen. He said he last saw Somers the day before he was kidnapped.
''He was so dedicated in trying to help change Yemen's future, to do good things for the people that he didn't leave the country his entire time here,'' Al Kadas wrote.
Al-Arashi, his editor at the Yemen Times, recalled a moment when Somers edited a story on other hostages held in the country.
''He looked at me and said, 'I don't want to be a hostage,''' al-Arashi said. '''I don't want to be kidnapped.'''
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VIDEO-CDC issues flu vaccine apology: this year's vaccine doesn't work! - NaturalNews.com
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 05:13
(NaturalNews) The following video from Gary Franchi of NextNewsNetwork reveals the shocking admission by the CDC that this year's flu vaccine doesn't work.From the video:
For the first time we can remember, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are going on the record, saying the flu vaccine won't work this year. The warning comes just before the busiest part of flu season, in January and February. Unfortunately, there won't be any refund for any of the patients or insurance companies who spent money on flu shots earlier this fall.
But don't worry. Just when you thought perhaps the CDC could boost their credibility, they found a way to put a sales pitch on the end of their warning. The CDC says if you do come down with the flu, there's a cure. It's just going to cost more money. Money that will end up profiting pharmaceutical giants, GlaxoSmithKline and Roche. CDC officials are urging doctors to prescribe two specific antiviral medications for any patients who come in with flu symptoms.
Just last week, the CDC issued a warning, prompting Americans to take the flu vaccine if they haven't already. Health officials said they had 160 million flu shots on the shelves and ready to go. But just earlier this week, Italy launched an official investigation after about a dozen people died within 48 hours of getting the flu shot. Their national health agency issued an immediate warning, saying DON'T take the vaccine. Here in America, the CDC isn't going that far. In fact, they found a way of turning this failed vaccine into a promotion for yet another big pharma drug.
Here's the news report viewo:
And here's an original laboratory research report from Natural News earlier this year. I personally conducted the ICP-MS heavy metals analysis of these flu vaccines and have the raw count data to prove it. Mercury particle counts at atomic masses 200, 201 and 202 were through the roof on these laboratory tests.
Don't you find it astonishing that it takes a private ICP-MS laboratory with no ties to government funding, universities or the FDA to finally test flu vaccines and report the truth? (To my knowledge, Natural News is the only news organization in the world that owns a cutting-edge private mass spectrometry instrument and uses it for scientific research in the public interest...)
Mercury tests conducted on vaccines at the Natural News Forensic Food Lab have revealed a shockingly high level of toxic mercury in an influenza vaccine (flu shot) made by GlaxoSmithKline (lot #9H2GX). Tests conducted via ICP-MS document mercury in the Flulaval vaccine at a shocking 51 parts per million, or over 25,000 times higher than the maximum contaminant level of inorganic mercury in drinking water set by the EPA.(1)The tests were conducted via ICP-MS using a 4-point mercury calibration curve for accuracy. Even then, the extremely high level of mercury found in this flu shot was higher than anything we've ever tested, including tuna and ocean fish which are known for high mercury contamination.
In fact, the concentration of mercury found in this GSK flu shot was 100 times higher than the highest level of mercury we've ever tested in contaminated fish. And yet vaccines are injected directly into the body, making them many times more toxic than anything ingested orally. As my previous research into foods has already documented, mercury consumed orally is easily blocked by eating common foods like strawberries or peanut butter, both of which bind with and capture about 90% of dietary mercury.
Here are the actual results of what we found in the influenza vaccine from GSK (lot #9H2GX):
Aluminum: 0.4 ppmArsenic: zeroCadmium: zeroLead: zeroMercury: 51 ppm
All tests were conducted via calibrated, high-end ICP-MS instrumentation as shown in these lab videos.
As you take in the scientifically-validated fact that mercury exists at very high concentrations in flu vaccines, keep in mind that most doctors, pharmacists and members of the mainstream media continue to stage an elaborate lie that claims mercury has "already been removed from vaccines."Never mind the fact that the use of mercury is admitted right on the package containing the vaccine vial. And now, Natural News has scientifically confirmed the mercury content of flu vaccines using high-end laboratory instrumentation. The existence of high mercury in flu shots is irrefutable.
Anyone who claims mercury has been removed from all vaccines is either wildly ignorant or willfully lying. And anyone who would knowingly allow themselves to be injected with mercury is probably already a victim of the kind of brain damage well known to be caused by mercury.
Shockingly, the package insert for this flu shot readily admits the vaccine has never been subjected to scientific clinical trials:"There have been no controlled trials adequately demonstrating a decrease in influenza disease after vaccination with Flulaval," the package insert claims in tiny text (that no one reads).
This is printed right on the insert, yet no one in the mainstream media will ever report this astonishing admission. This statement, all by itself, is a confession that flu shot marketing is a fraud.
Across the board, flu shots are heavily propagandized and promoted with the implication that they have zero risks while offering 100% protection. No one in the mainstream media ever questions this claim even though the package insert openly admits the claim is complete hokum and has never been subjected to scientific scrutiny.
But that's not all the insert admits. It also says:"Safety and effectiveness of Flulaval have not been established in pregnant women, nursing mothers or children."
And yet everywhere you go in America, there's a Walgreens, CVS or Wal-Mart pharmacy promoting flu shots for pregnant women. Never mind the fact that flu shot safety has never been established in pregnant women, and never mind the obvious fact that you should never inject a pregnant women with mercury in the first place!
Who needs scientific proof when you've got the full propaganda of the media and the government to back you up? Anyone who dares question the scientific validity of flu shot safety for pregnant women is immediately attacked as being an opponent of all vaccines.
Apparently, the only requirement to be accepted by the vaccine community is to believe in medical fairy tales while abandoning all critical thinking and scientific skepticism. In the vaccine industry, genuine science is simply not allowed. No wonder two former Merck virologists filed a False Claims Act with the federal government, accusing the company of knowingly fabricating its vaccine efficacy data to trick the FDA.
Flu shots are heavily promoted for children, right alongside mumps and measles vaccines. But it turns out flu shots are never scientifically tested for safety or efficacy in children.Check out what the insert for this vaccine directly admits:
"Safety and effectiveness of Flulaval in pediatric patients have not been established."
It's right there in black and white... an open admission. Yet flu shots are aggressively marketed to parents and children as if they were Tic-Tacs. The real beauty of the entire vaccine industry scam is that no scientific evidence is required! You don't have to have any proof, all you have to do is believe in vaccines as a matter of faith.
Do flu shots cause cancer? The honest, scientific answer is that these shots are never tested for that. As the insert readily admits:"Flulaval has not been evaluated for carcinogenic or mutagenic potential, or for impairment of fertility."
Believe it or not, the Flulaval vaccine also warns that no one should be given this shot if they've already received another flu shot at some previous time:
"Do not administer Flulaval to anyone... following previous administration of any influenza vaccine."
And yet, amazingly, people are encouraged to get flu shots year after year, even though the package insert directly warns against anyone taking a series of influenza vaccines.
The same insert that admits this vaccine has never been proven safe in children or pregnant women also openly admits that it contains neurotoxic chemicals.Per the insert, each dose of Flulaval contains up to 25 mcg of formaldehyde (a neurotoxin) and up to 50 mcg of sodium deoxycholate.
This is on top of the 25 mcg of mercury you'll get in every dose. And remember, this is mercury that's injected directly into your body, so you absorb 100% of this mercury (unlike mercury you eat, where most of it sticks to food fibers and is transported out of your body).
Ever wonder what all these toxic chemicals and heavy metals cause in humans? Flu shots vaccines, it turns out, are already known to cause a huge number of devastating health effects.Predictably, there is a massive disinfo campaign across the mainstream media, Wikipedia, medical journals and government propaganda agencies (CDC, FDA, etc.) to pretend that flu shots have no risks whatsoever. Yet the insert that comes with the vaccine openly admits the flu shot has been linked with a long, frightening list of serious adverse effects. As this Flulaval insert says (see photo below):
"In addition to reports in clinical trials, the following adverse events have been identified during postapproval use of Flulaval...
vomitingchest painallergic edema of the mouthanaphylaxislaryngitiscullulitismuscle weaknessarthritisdizzinessparesthesiatremorsomnolenceGuillian-Barre syndromeconvulsions / seizuresfacial or cranial nerve paralysisencephalopathylimb paralysisinsomniadyspneasweating"
Here's a photo of this section of the package insert, complete with the GlaxoSmithKline toll-free phone number:
The upshot of all this is that flu shots utterly lack any scientific evidence of safety of efficacy. We don't know if they work at all, in other words, and neither does the vaccine manufacturer. Neither do the doctors or medical staff who administer them. Flu vaccines are injected into people purely as a matter of blind faith in the very same companies that have already been convicted of felony crimes.GlaxoSmithKline, for example, not only manufacturers this Flulaval vaccine... the company also committed multiple felony crimes and got caught bribing doctors, ultimately agreeing to pay a multi-billion-dollar criminal settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Trusting a flu shot made by a corporation of felons is a lot like trusting the purity of heroin you buy from a street dealer. Both flu shots and street heroin have at least one thing in common, by the way: neither has ever been tested for safety.
We also know that flu shots contain neurotoxic chemicals and heavy metals in alarming concentrations. This is irrefutable scientific fact. We also know that there is no "safe" form of mercury just like there is no safe form of heroin -- all forms of mercury are highly toxic when injected into the body (ethyl, methyl, organic, inorganic).
The only people who argue with this are those who are already mercury poisoned and thus incapable of rational thought. Mercury damages brain function, you see, which is exactly what causes some people to be tricked into thinking vaccines are safe and effective.
Technically, you'd have to be stupid to believe such a thing, as the vaccine insert directly tells you precisely the opposite.
Share this story with everyone who needs to know the truth about flu vaccines. This message needs to get out. Every fact stated in this article is 100% true and verified. The quotes from the Flulaval package insert are on-the-record statements from GlaxoSmithKline.And for the record, I am not an opponent of the theory of vaccination. What I'm against is the continued use of toxic heavy metals and chemicals in vaccines. I'm also opposed to the wildly fraudulent marketing of vaccines. If any other product were marketed with the same lies and deceptions as vaccines, they would be immediately charged with fraud and misrepresentation by the FTC. But somehow when the vaccine industry commits routine fraud, everybody pretends it isn't happening.
Even with all the marketing fraud taking place, if the vaccine manufacturers would stop poisoning the population with vaccine additives (by removing mercury, formaldehyde and other chemicals from their products), nearly all opposition to vaccines would rapidly disappear.
Sources for this story include:(1) http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/basi...(2) http://vaccines.naturalnews.com
About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is the founding editor of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news website, now reaching 7 million unique readers a month.
In late 2013, Adams launched the Natural News Forensic Food Lab, where he conducts atomic spectroscopy research into food contaminants using high-end ICP-MS instrumentation. With this research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products to low levels by July 1, 2015.
In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.
With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.
Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.
Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.
In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released ten popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.
Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.
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VIDEO-Mark Wahlberg seeks pardon from state for past crimes - 7News Boston WHDH-TV
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 03:15
BOSTON (WHDH) - Actor Mark Wahlberg has appealed to the governor of Massachusetts for a pardon from crimes he committed before he was 17.Wahlberg is looking to wipe his record, appealing to Gov. Patrick and the Commonwealth for a pardon.
To explain he wrote: "The more complex answer is that receiving a pardon would be a formal recognition that I am not the same person that I was on the night of April 8, 1988."
He was convicted of assault and battery, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and possession of a controlled substance from an incident where he attacked two Vietnamese men. Wahlberg was sentenced to two years behind bars, but only spent 45 days in jail.
"The guy said...Vietnamese no good, something like that. I don't know why," said victim Thanh Lam.
He said that a pardon would allow him to work in law enforcement in Los Angeles, helping troubled kids.
"My hope is that, if I receive a pardon, troubled youths will see this as an inspiration and motivation that they too can turn their lives around and be formally accepted back into society," Wahlberg wrote.
In order for Wahlberg's pardon to be approved a parole board has to recommend the pardon to the Governor and then the Governor's Council would have to approve it.
"Well he's got to get through the parole board. He's gonna be treated like everyone else. No more questions," said Gov. Patrick when questioned by 7News.
Wahlberg is a married father of four and is active in charities around Boston. He started the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation and works for the Dorchester Boys and Girls Club, along with the Taco Bell Foundation for Kids.
VIDEO-Body Cam Shows Unarmed Dillon Taylor Shot While Walking Away- DA Rules it ''Justified'' | The Free Thought Project
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 00:52
New body cam footage released shows Dillion Taylor's execution the moment he appears to be complying with officers orders to put his hands up, the District Attorney has ruled the shooting ''justified''.
The family is ''upset with my decision since they think that since he didn't have a weapon, he shouldn't have been shot.'' County Attorney Sim Gill stated.
Just two days after the tragic killing of Michael Brown, which sparked global outrage and protest, another unarmed young man was executed by police in Salt Lake City. His name was Dillon Taylor, and he was just 20 years old.
On August 11, Taylor, his brother, and his cousin were exiting a 7-Eleven in an area where police were searching for a suspect who had allegedly been waving a gun around. These uninvolved young men allegedly matched the description.
When the three men exited the convenience store they were surrounded by officers and ordered to show their hands. Two of the men stopped and complied, Dillon Taylor, listening to music, kept walking.
Barely 40 seconds go by from the time Dillon is approached until he is shot by this trigger happy officer.
Police state that when ordered to stop and show his hands by Officer Bron Cruz, the killer cop who was following Taylor as he walked away, Taylor said, ''No, fool.'', this is apparently punishable by death.
His brother and cousin maintain he was simply pulling up his pants.
The County Attorney states Taylor put his hands in his waistband, then lifted his shirt with one hand, while his other hand was ''in a drawing motion,''. Interesting, seeing as how he was unarmed.
''He couldn't hear them, so he just kept walking. Then '... they had guns pointed at his face. That's when he turned off the music,'' Taylor's brother Jerrail Taylor told the victim-blaming SLC Tribune. ''I saw them point guns at my brother's face, and I knew what was going to happen.''
One officer told Taylor to get on the ground, while another told him to put his hands on his head.
''He got confused, he went to pull up his pants to get on the ground, and they shot him,'' Jerrail Taylor said.
The SLC Tribune, parroting the police, reported that Taylor has had prior run-in's with the law, although even the police admit that the officer did not know this and it was unrelated. Trying to portray victims as villains is a shameful tactic used far too frequently.
They also report he was intoxicated, with a blood alcohol content of .18, which may explain his confusion and poor judgement when reacting to the situation. It is important to remember, however, that this man had committed no crime, aside from underage drinking, and was not driving when the incident occurred. These young men had simply gone to the store to purchase drinks.
Taylor was shot in the chest and abdomen, his body was then handcuffed before he would receive any medical attention.
The police-apologist SLC Tribune has footage of this, but has decided to withhold it claiming it is too graphic. Based on their extremely despicable reporting however, it would be a safe bet to say that the footage likely just makes their beloved officers look bad.
VIDEO-Before Beheading, Children Tell ISIS: 'No, We Love Jesus'
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 00:19
Christian children from Mosul, Iraq, who fled with their families from violence in their country, found safety in Jordan'--unlike the brave young martyrs in Iraq who refused to renounce Jesus even at the point of a sword. (Reuters) Some of the bravest martyrs this generation may ever know are teenagers'--and perhaps even younger.
When Islamic State militants threatened four children in Iraq'--all under the age of 15'--with death if they did not promise to follow Islam's "prophet" Muhammad, they defiantly stated, "No. We love Yasua (Jesus). We have always followed Yasua."
Andrew White, an Anglican priest known as the "Vicar of Baghdad," has seen violence and persecution against Christians unprecedented in recent decades. In a CBN News video embedded on this site, he recounts the story of the Iraqi Christian children who were told by ISIS militants to convert to Islam or be beheaded.
"ISIS turned up and they said to the children, 'You say the words that you will follow Muhammad,'" White says on the video.
"The children, all under 15, four of them, they said, 'No, we love Yasua. We have always loved Yasua. We have always followed Yasua. (This spelling is similar to the Hebrew name, Yeshua, which is translated "Jesus" in English and Spanish.) Yasua has always been with us,'" White recounted. "[The militants] said, 'Say the words!' [The children] said, 'No, we can't do that.'
"They chopped all their heads off."
White's account does not make clear whether he personally witnessed the children's martyrdom, nor does it say where in Iraq this occurred.
"How do you respond to that?" he asked rhetorically. "You just cry. They are my children. That is what we have been going through. That is what we are going through."
"[Militants] say to one man, an adult, 'You say the words of conversion or we will kill all of your children.' He was desperate. He said the words. Then he phoned me and said '[Father], I said the words, does that mean Yasua doesn't love me anymore? I have always loved Yasua. I said those words because I couldn't see my children be killed.' I said, 'Jesus still loves you. He will always love you.'"
Find out more about White's ministry, The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, which provides humanitarian assistance to many of the Christians under attack by ISIS.
Want to get involved and help out? Here are 8 Ways You can Help Victims of Christian Genocide today.
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VIDEO-Blog: State Department mouthpiece Psaki caught on hot mic admitting her talking point is 'ridiculous'
Fri, 05 Dec 2014 23:33
Jen Psaki had a very tough day Thursday, having to spout evasive blather. Nothing unusual in that, of course, but AP reporter Matt Lee tried extra-hard to pin her down about the U.S. reaction to Egypt's decision to clear former President Hosni Mubarak of murder.
There is nothing to be gained in expressing an opinion. He was a dictator, and he probably did have people offed, but then he was overthrown (with tacit Obama support), the Muslim Brotherhood took over, and they were overthrown, and now Egypt has a military regime that likes Mubarak better than the Moobs. Having gotten America into a helluva mess before, the opportunity to do harm outweighs any benefit of expressing an opinion.
After she repeatedly mouthed non-answers, the TV lights dimmed, and Psaki thought the session was over. But the podium microphone was still live, feeding audio, and caught her admission to Lee that her talking point was ''ridiculous.'' The Free Beacon summarizes the exchange:
''Generally, we continue to believe that upholding impartial standards of accountability will advance the political consensus on which Egypt's long-term stability and economic growth depends,'' Psaki said.
Lee was astonished at the response, and took the opportunity to point out that the answer was meaningless.
''Wow, I don't understand that at all,'' Lee said. ''What you said says nothing. It's like saying, 'we support the right of people to breathe.'''
Psaki decline[d] to give any further comment to any reporters during the briefing. However, as the lights dimmed, Psaki was exasperated and told Lee how she really felt, not realizing her microphone was still on.
''That Egypt line is ridiculous,'' Psaki said.
Lee can be heard laughing loudly right before the audio feed is cut off.
See for yourself:
Psaki has always been over her head in her role at State. But I confess I enjoy her candor here.
Hat tip: Ed Lasky
Jen Psaki had a very tough day Thursday, having to spout evasive blather. Nothing unusual in that, of course, but AP reporter Matt Lee tried extra-hard to pin her down about the U.S. reaction to Egypt's decision to clear former President Hosni Mubarak of murder.
There is nothing to be gained in expressing an opinion. He was a dictator, and he probably did have people offed, but then he was overthrown (with tacit Obama support), the Muslim Brotherhood took over, and they were overthrown, and now Egypt has a military regime that likes Mubarak better than the Moobs. Having gotten America into a helluva mess before, the opportunity to do harm outweighs any benefit of expressing an opinion.
After she repeatedly mouthed non-answers, the TV lights dimmed, and Psaki thought the session was over. But the podium microphone was still live, feeding audio, and caught her admission to Lee that her talking point was ''ridiculous.'' The Free Beacon summarizes the exchange:
''Generally, we continue to believe that upholding impartial standards of accountability will advance the political consensus on which Egypt's long-term stability and economic growth depends,'' Psaki said.
Lee was astonished at the response, and took the opportunity to point out that the answer was meaningless.
''Wow, I don't understand that at all,'' Lee said. ''What you said says nothing. It's like saying, 'we support the right of people to breathe.'''
Psaki decline[d] to give any further comment to any reporters during the briefing. However, as the lights dimmed, Psaki was exasperated and told Lee how she really felt, not realizing her microphone was still on.
''That Egypt line is ridiculous,'' Psaki said.
Lee can be heard laughing loudly right before the audio feed is cut off.
See for yourself:
Psaki has always been over her head in her role at State. But I confess I enjoy her candor here.
Hat tip: Ed Lasky
VIDEOBBC News - Uhuru Kenyatta denounces ICC as Kenya charges dropped
Fri, 05 Dec 2014 22:52
5 December 2014Last updated at 15:29 ET Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.
"This is the most high profile collapse of a case in the ICC's history", reports Anna Holligan in The Hague
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has denounced the case against him at the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has now been dropped, calling it "obviously deficient" and a "travesty".
Mr Kenyatta said he felt "vindicated" that crimes against humanity charges had been withdrawn.
He had been indicted in connection with post-election ethnic violence in Kenya in 2007-08, in which 1,200 people died.
Prosecutors said the Kenyan government had impeded their investigation.
They accused it of refusing to hand over documentary evidence vital to the case and said potential witnesses had been threatened and intimidated.
'Bribed'Mr Kenyatta said he was "excited" and "relieved" that the case was over.
"My conscience is absolutely clear," he said, adding that his case had been "rushed there without proper investigation".
"Just as the ICC failed me, it has also failed the victims of the 2007-2008 post-election violence," Mr Kenyatta said.
"They were killed, maimed, displaced, dispossessed and utterly traumatised. I have been victimised, libelled and senselessly profiled by the same defective process."
Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed said her government would try to have two other similar cases thrown out including one involving Deputy President William Ruto.
"As they say, one case down, two more to go," Mr Kenyatta said on Twitter.
He has denied inciting ethnic violence following the disputed 2007 elections in order to secure victory for then-President Mwai Kibaki.
Mr Kenyatta won Kenya's presidential elections in 2013 with the backing of Mr Kibaki, rallying nationalist support by accusing the Dutch-based court of meddling in Kenya's affairs.
Analysis: Dennis Okari, BBC Africa, NairobiOver the last six years, ICC cases have become a political chess game in Kenya. When Uhuru Kenyatta and one-time rival William Ruto joined forces to win elections last year, they decided to play the issue to their advantage.
The bitter rivalry between their communities, which often degenerated into violent clashes, was forgotten. The two had a clear message, one of galvanising the country to forgive and forget the past.
But the overriding factor was that they were victims of an international process - as Mr Ruto, too, was accused of orchestrating the violence that followed the elections in 2007 when they had been on opposing sides.
With the dropping of the charges against Mr Kenyatta, some of the victims may feel it makes a mockery of justice.
But the two politicians are sticking together. Deputy President William Ruto tweeted: "The truth has set you free," and Mr Kenyatta called him "indispensable", saying he looked "forward to the day when we shall not have the distractions of the trials, so that we can continue delivering our transformational agenda to the people of Kenya".
However, this romance is glued together by the ICC, and analysts say if Mr Ruto is not vindicated by the court, where his trial is ongoing, then a political storm may determine the future of Kenya.
He was the first head of state to appear before the court, after he was charged in 2012.
The prosecution repeatedly asked for more time to build its case, saying witnesses had been bribed and intimidated, and the Kenyan government had refused to hand over documents vital to the case.
On Wednesday, the ICC gave prosecutors a week to decide whether to pursue their case or withdraw charges, saying further delays would be "contrary to the interests of justice".
But on Friday prosecutors said the evidence had "not improved to such an extent that Mr Kenyatta's alleged criminal responsibility can be proven beyond reasonable doubt".
The BBC's Anna Holligan in The Hague said the decision was a huge blow to prosecutors.
Many observers had seen the case against Mr Kenyatta as the biggest test in the court's history, she says.
The main prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, made plain her dismay at having to withdraw charges, saying there had been "a steady and relentless stream of false media reports... an unprecedented campaign on social media to expose the identity of protected witnesses [and] concerted and wide-ranging efforts to harass, intimidate and threaten individuals who would wish to be witnesses".
She said the case had required the help of the Kenyan government, but this was "not provided".
Uhuru Kenyatta
Born in 1961, became Kenya's youngest president Son of the country's first president, Jomo Kenyatta Heir to one of the largest fortunes in Kenya, according to Forbes magazine Entered politics in 1990s, groomed by ex-President Daniel arap Moi Lost presidential race in 2002 by a large margin to coalition led by Mwai Kibaki Backed Mr Kibaki for re-election in 2007 Married father of three Hobbies: Football and golf 'Widespread disappointment'Human Rights Watch, which has accused the Kenyan government of acting as a roadblock, said: "It's clear that a long tradition of impunity in Kenya and pressure on witnesses have been serious obstacles to a fair process before the ICC."
Fergal Gaynor, a lawyer who represents victims of the violence, told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme that there was a "widespread feeling of disappointment" at the dropping of charges.
About 1,200 people were killed in the violence in 2007-8 and 600,000 were displaced.
Mr Ruto is on trial at the ICC on similar charges to Mr Kenyatta, after his legal team's efforts to have the case thrown out failed.
He and Mr Kenyatta were on opposing sides during the 2007 election, with Mr Ruto accused of fuelling violence to bolster opposition leader Raila Odinga's chances of becoming president. He denies the charges.
Mr Ruto subsequently formed an alliance with Mr Kenyatta in the 2013 election, opening the way for him to become deputy president.
VIDEO-UKIP's Nigel Farage says women who breastfeed in public should 'sit in the corner'
Fri, 05 Dec 2014 17:04
What's This?
Farage supported the decision made by a London hotel earlier this weekImage: Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press
By Blathnaid HealyUK2014-12-05 13:19:41 UTC
LONDON '-- UKIP is known for taking a firm stance on immigrants but now it's taking aim at women who breastfeed in public.
The comments from Nigel Farage, the party's leader, come after London hotel Claridges asked a woman breastfeeding to cover up with a cloth napkin while having tea earlier this week.
Asked by LBC radio whether the hotel was wrong to behave in the way it did by putting a napkin over a baby's head, Farage said it was up to Claridges, adding that breastfeeding women could "perhaps sit in the corner."
"I think that given that some people feel very embarrassed by it, it isn't too difficult to breastfeed a baby in a way that's not openly ostentatious," he said.
Farage said it wasn't an issue that he personally got "terribly hung up about," but said "people, particularly of the older generation, get awkward and embarrassed by it."
Louise Burns tweeted Monday about her experience in Claridges. Her original tweet was retweeted more than 1,000 times.
The hotel told the BBC it asks that "mothers are discreet towards other guests."
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.
Topics: breastfeeding, nigel farage, UK, U.S., US & World
VIDEO-In 2015 Facebook Will Drop a ''Bombshell''
Fri, 05 Dec 2014 04:55
Major news is about to be released from the infamous privacy stealing company known as Facebook. All users will be asked around January 1st, 2015, to accept the new terms. But just what are these mysterious ''new terms'' being bolstered by Facebook? How about the fact that they want to allow third parties like the CIA, FBI, NSA, etc. to collect information not only from your Facebook page but from your computer, your phone, and any other device you access Facebook from. Joe Biggs Infowars reporter brings us the latest'...
If by now you haven't figured out that Facebook is in cahoots with the government, then I feel for you but for those who are well aware of the issues it's high time you switched over to Seen.is a place similar to Facebook but without all the censorship crap!
Here are some of the differences you'll find at Seen.is:
No censorship! Keep in mind we do have a Terms of Service that will need to be followed for things like pornography, copyright violations and defamation. If we receive a complaint, we'll investigate. If you are accustomed to the freewheeling style at Before It's News, we think you'll enjoy Seen.is
NO ID required. Facebook is now asking certain people for their ID's. That's beyond the pale. You can use whatever name you'd like at Seen and no ID required.
No search crawlers. We're blocking those critters because once they crawl a page, whatever you posted is theirs forever. We think you should be able to delete things if you make a mistake. We know this will hurt the traffic, but we think you'll appreciate this.
We don't sell your data, in fact we don't even collect it (other than your email so you can receive notifications). It's hosted in Iceland and selling data isn't allowed there. A very good reason to go visit Iceland. A lot of very friendly people there, too.No limit to your account's friends. If you're popular enough to get over 5,000 friends, we think that's great! More power to you!
Private and secure chat rooms are coming soon! It looks like we might be able to get private chat rooms on Seen in a couple of weeks, too. These are strongly encrypted and there's no snooping.
The way Facebook is headed in the New Year it's not going to be a place you want to stay. Sign up and create an account at Seen.is today and get away from this invasive censorship!
(Via beforeitsnews)
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VIDEO: 2014 FPI Forum Panel on Putin's Challenge to the West
Fri, 05 Dec 2014 04:49
The Foreign Policy Initiative seeks to promote an active U.S. foreign policy committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America's global economic competitiveness.Read More
VIDEO-European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Statement by President Juncker following his meeting with Boyko Borissov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria
Fri, 05 Dec 2014 04:47
Bulgaria is part of the European family.
The European family is supporting Bulgaria in finding solutions to the current geopolitical challenges. We are here to help our Bulgarian family members.
We will make sure EU funds are relaunched and used to the full in solidarity with Bulgaria and Bulgaria will do its best to use them to stimulate growth, create jobs and improve the lives of the Bulgarian people.
Energy matters are a matter of common concern to all Europeans. You are not alone, and we are not observers. We are with you in these difficult times.
We want energy to flow to Bulgaria and to the whole of Europe and we will not accept any blackmailing on energy matters. Bulgaria is not a small country, it has the whole of Europe behind it.
We will be working closely together on the Juncker Investment Plan to ensure that energy interconnectors are a key element in the new wave of investments of the 315 billion EUR we want to trigger.
As regards South Stream, the EU and Bulgaria are working together to solve the outstanding legal issues. They are not insurmountable. We should do what is best for Bulgaria and best for Europe. Boyko and Jean-Claude will find a solution together.
South Stream can be built. The conditions have been clear since a long time. There is nothing new. The ball is in the court of Russia. We are ready. Preparatory work is on the way.
VIDEO: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) Discusses How to Restore America's Global Leadership at the 2014 FPI Forum
Fri, 05 Dec 2014 04:44
The Foreign Policy Initiative seeks to promote an active U.S. foreign policy committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America's global economic competitiveness.Read More
VIDEO: Ambassadors Robert Ford and James Jeffrey Discuss the Crisis in the Mideast at the 2014 FPI Forum
Fri, 05 Dec 2014 04:44
The Foreign Policy Initiative seeks to promote an active U.S. foreign policy committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America's global economic competitiveness.Read More

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Caliphate!

Andrew White, “Vicar of Baghdad,”Before Being Beheaded, Children Told ISIS- ‘No, We Love Jesus’.mp3
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Drone Nation

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Furgeson

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JCD Clips

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Jingles

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MIC

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Shut Up Slave!

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CDC Flu Vaccine Apology.mp3
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