690: Win by a Gyp

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 2m
January 25th, 2015
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Executive Producers: The Kraut Brothers - Baron of Babylon 5, Sir Wesley Clark of Carolina

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Otaku, Allie Jade, Baronettes Elizabeth Borozan, Michael Workman

Cover Artist: johnfletcher


Start of Show
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Super Pi Donation show
As you may already know, Mar 14th is already being considered by some to be Super Pi Day! The date 3/14/15 only comes around once every hundred years, after all. Could be a prime opportunity for a super producer credit. Perhaps extra points for donating at 9:26? (Could be either AM or PM or both! You know, for those overachievers).
Just an idea. What do you think?
Kissing in EU
To Adam:
I am intrigued by the European notion of greeting other men with a kiss on each cheek. You being a taller gentlemen, how do you approach a significantly shorter individual? Do you stoop down? Lift them up by the armpits? Offer up the nearest apple crate? Or do you politely peck them on the top of the head?
Cheers to you both, and have a splendid weekend.
Podcast Awards
Sir Troy
Hi Fokes,
Please use your highly developed analysis skills to review the podcast awards scam. Every podcast I listen to mention it and ask their listeners to visit their site to vote. Come on, it's a traffic scam paramount to audio click bate. Do yourselves and your audience a favour stop doing native advertising for these guys.
Talk Normal on the radio and tv please!
Theodore Kasczinski "Industrial Society and Its Future"
Smith Mundt Act - A reminder that you are living in a Smith-Mudt Act repealed media landscape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.
Statement by the President on the Death of Haruna Yukawa | The White House
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 04:12
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
January 24, 2015
The United States strongly condemns the brutal murder of Japanese citizen Haruna Yukawa by the terrorist group ISIL. Our condolences today are with the people of Japan for their terrible loss. We renew our call for the immediate release of Kenji Goto and all other remaining hostages. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our ally Japan and applaud its commitment to peace and development in a region far from its shores. We will work together to bring the perpetrators of these murders to justice and will continue to take decisive action to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL.'‹
January 24, 2015 6:00 AM EST
Weekly Address: Middle-Class EconomicsIn this week's address, the President shared his plan, outlined in his State of the Union address earlier this week, to give hardworking families the support they need to make ends meet by focusing on policies that benefit the middle class and those working to reach the middle class.
January 23, 2015 3:51 PM EST
The Week in Review: A Day of Service, A Speech for the Middle-Class, An Interview for You(tube)From the President's sixth State of the Union address to YouTube interviews live from the East Wing of the White House, this week was full of memorable moments. Here's your White House week in review.
January 23, 2015 1:54 PM EST
Watch President Obama's Interview with YouTube StarsDays after delivering his 2015 State of the Union address, President Obama sat down with three leading YouTube content creators to answer questions on issues ranging from education to foreign policy.
view all related blog posts
Friend wages 'I am Kenji' campaign to free held journalist | The Japan Times
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 16:15
With the plight of hostage Kenji Goto still unknown, and his fellow captive apparently executed, friends of the journalist have taken to social media to work for his release, creating an ''I am Kenji'' Facebook page and collecting signatures online.
Film producer Taku Nishimae, who has been a friend of Goto's for more than 10 years, began the page with a simple picture of himself holding a placard with the words ''I am Kenji'' written on it.
Accompanying the picture, Nishimae asks readers to post selfies to show unity with Goto and ask for his release.
While Nishimae's social media push was inspired by the ''Je suis Charlie'' (''I am Charlie'') movement that emerged after the terrorist attacks in France earlier this month, he says his page is not linked to that campaign.
The slogan was adopted by supporters of free speech after 12 people were killed at the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which had featured several covers depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
Some people fear that a social media campaign like Nishimae's could push the Islamic State group in the direction of killing Goto.
''Some people pointed that out to me, and I have to stress that this is not the same movement,'' Nishimae said. '' 'I am Kenji' is to support Kenji as friends, and help each other in this desperate situation. Free speech is important as I'm a journalist myself, but 'I am Kenji' is not to promote free speech, it's here to promote peace and save our friend.''
With over 6,000 likes as of Sunday afternoon, the page has taken off, receiving scores of submissions from people across the globe voicing a show of unity for the 47-year-old captive journalist.
Goto had been held with Haruna Yukawa, 42. A video that emerged late Saturday purportedly showed that Yukawa had been executed by the Islamic extremists after the deadline for paying a $200 million ransom expired.
''We are very shocked and enraged, but it is not the time to show emotion,'' Nishimae said. ''The last thing we want to do is to attack and stimulate ISIS in any way.''
''It, of course, motivates us even more to voice out the unity and support for Kenji,'' he added.
ISIS is another name for the Islamic State group.
Nishimae said that when he first heard the news that his friend had been abducted, he was both shocked and angered.
''I could not do anything for several hours,'' he said. After talking with friends, ''we decided that we've got to do something.''
For Nishimae, giving up the belief that his friend will return unscathed is simply not an option.
''If there is any drop of hope, it's each one of us not abandoning hope and doing something,'' he said.
Meanwhile, on the online petition platform Change.org, at least two types of petitions had collected a total of more than 23,000 signatures as of Sunday.
One of the petitions has a message for Islamic State, asking the group to release the two Japanese hostages, while the other, directed at the Foreign Ministry and the prime minister's office, requests that Japan suspend its offer of $200 million in aid to countries involved in conflicts with the Islamic State.
A broken man living on dreams pulls Japan into Syria hostage drama
Sat, 24 Jan 2015 19:34
Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:08am EDTBy Teppei Kasai and Antoni Slodkowski
TOKYO (Reuters) - When Haruna Yukawa was captured in Syria earlier this month, a video apparently released by his captors showed them pressing the Japanese man to answer questions friends say he had struggled with for years: Who are you? Why are you here?
In fact, Yukawa, 42, had first traveled to Aleppo four months earlier on what amounted to a hardship course in self-discovery, according to people who know him and his account.
Changes in Yukawa's life in suburban Tokyo had been fast and disorienting. Over the past decade, he had lost his wife to lung cancer, lost a business and his house to bankruptcy and been forced to live in a public park for almost a month, according to Yukawa's father and an online journal he maintained.
The hard times led to soul searching. By his own account, he had changed his name to the feminine-sounding Haruna, attempted to kill himself by cutting off his genitals and came to believe he was the reincarnation of a cross-dressing Manchu princess who had spied for Japan in World War Two.
By late 2013, Yukawa had also begun a flirtation with Japan's extreme right-wing politics and cultivated a new persona as a self-styled security consultant, according to his Facebook page and blog posts, though he never did any work as a consultant.
He borrowed money to travel to Syria and dreamed of providing security to big Japanese companies in conflict areas like the coast of Somalia. The Syrian civil war was a new start '' and his last chance to make a success in life, he told friends and family. Later this year, he planned to head to Somalia "where the danger factor will be amped up".
"He felt his life had reached its limit," said Yukawa's father, Shoichi, 74.
Yukawa's capture by fighters believed to be with Islamic State has pulled Japan into a scramble by various governments to free dozens of foreigners held hostage in Iraq and Syria. The incident marks the first hostage situation for the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe since January 2013 when 10 Japanese were killed by Islamist militants at a gas complex in Algeria.
Japan's Foreign Ministry has declined to identify the captured person or to comment on reports. "We are doing our best to gather information," a spokeswoman told Reuters.
The picture of Yukawa that emerges from his writing and the accounts of his father and people who had met him in Japan and in Syria is at odds with the tough image he tried to cultivate in video posts from Syria in black t-shirt and fatigues.
"He was a very friendly, gentle guy. I hosted him at my house for five days," said Fadi Qarmesh, who met and spent time with Yukawa in Abril in northern Iraq in June. Qarmesh showed pictures from that time of Yukawa holding a girl on his shoulders.
Two months earlier, Yukawa had been in Syria and was stopped and briefly detained for questioning by fighters from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and he befriended an Asian member of the group, according to Kenji Goto, a Japanese journalist who met Yukawa then. Reuters could not verify this aspect of the account.
In Syria, Yukawa said he became particularly close to a part-Korean, part-Japanese fighter who had been born in Yugoslavia. Over time, Goto said, the FSA fighters took a liking to him, sharing meals and introducing him to their families in refugee camps. He was also given an Arabic nickname.
For his part, Yukawa spoke of wanting to bring badly needed medicine and shoes to Syrian hospitals and developed an interest in Islam, according to his father and Yukawa's blog.
After his first visit to Syria in April, Yukawa had a short stay back in Japan before returning to the Middle East, first to Iraq with Goto in June to observe the veteran reporter and learn how to work in a conflict zone and then to Syria again in late July after traveling through Turkey.
Although he had never learned to handle a weapon and described himself as a "very gentle" person, Yukawa portrayed himself online as a soldier of fortune. A visit to the Tokyo address of his paper company, Private Military Company, revealed a building with numerous small, unmarked offices. The firm was set up for a range of businesses including handling pet goods, according to a company registry.
In effect, it existed only on the Internet.
In video blogs shot from Syria and loaded to the company website, Yukawa showed himself awkwardly firing an AK-47 in Aleppo. "My bodyguards are five minutes away so I keep this for protection," he said in one posting, picking up an assault rifle to show the camera.
But it was his gentle personality that helped Yukawa win over FSA rebels, said Goto, who first met Yukawa in Aleppo in April. "Yukawa has this soft, non-threatening approach that makes people trust him and puts them at ease," said Goto. In his online journal, Yukawa talked about how he and the Asian FSA fighter talked until three in the morning.
"The friendship between the two was a big factor in Yukawa forming a bond with the other soldiers," said Goto.
In a blog post from October, Yukawa said his cheerfulness was something he learned from being bullied as a child. "I would pretend to be happy even if I felt lonely or in pain so that others couldn't read my mind," said Yukawa. "Hiding my true feelings became my second nature. It also came in handy in business later."
Yukawa's road to Aleppo started in a sleepy suburb of Chiba, about an hour's drive east of Tokyo. After graduating from high school, Yukawa, then still known as Masayuki, started a military surplus store selling helmets, belts and other equipment.
But Yukawa's store failed around 2005, leaving him in debt, his father said. Around 2008, Yukawa described an attempt to kill himself by cutting off his genitals, an act he likened to the ritual suicide of a samurai.
"I thought if I failed I would live as a woman and leave the rest to destiny."
Yukawa was saved by the intervention of his wife who rushed him to a hospital. She died some two years later, according to Yukawa's father, who said he was forced to sell an apartment he had bought for the couple to pay off his son's debts.
Yukawa did not return to his father's house until last year. When he came home again, he looked different, his father said. With rounder cheeks and long brown hair, he told his father that he had consulted a fortune teller and decided to change his name from the masculine Masayuki to Haruna.
Over the next few months, Yukawa attended events of the Japanese nationalist group Gambare Nippon '' Stand Firm, Japan, which has made several trips to the islands at the heart of a territorial dispute between China and Japan. The group wants Japan to stand up to China and the United States and promotes a return to what it calls Japan's traditional values, including reverence for the Emperor.
Yukawa posted photos posing with Toshio Tamogami, a former Japanese air force chief of staff sacked in 2008 for saying Japan was not the aggressor in World War Two. Yukawa also persuaded a local leader of the nationalist group, Nobuo Kimoto, 70, to become an adviser to his company, Kimoto said.
Yukawa was looking forward to his final, solo trip to Syria.
"It seems like the Free Syrian Army soldiers are all waiting for me. I'm very happy and I too want to quickly meet up with them," he said in a blog post from June. "I want to devote the rest of my life to others and save many people. I want to make my mark on history one more time."
On August 14, the fighters with Yukawa were overrun by the Islamic State militant group. Amid the fighting, Yukawa suffered a leg injury and was captured, Goto said, citing information he had been given by local contacts. At the time, Goto was already back in Japan.
In a YouTube video uploaded by an unidentified person this month of an interrogation that followed Yukawa's capture, he can be seen lying on the sand, his face bleeding as he is questioned by a group of unidentified men. Yukawa tells them his name. The men press him on why he has a gun. "You thief? Why you have gun? You kill soldier?," one of the men says. In the exchange, Yukawa tells them he is a photographer and "half doctor".
"I am no soldier," Yukawa says.
(Additional reporting by Jiro Minier; Editing by Kevin Krolicki and Mark Bendeich)
Email Article>> Next Article: Japan condemns apparent IS execution, demands release of remaining hostage
Who are the Isis Japanese hostages Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa?
Sat, 24 Jan 2015 17:44
A photo of independent journalist Kenji Goto, believed to have been taken while he was reporting in Syria.(Twitter)In the second hostage video released by the Islamic State [IS] this year - after the alleged killing of Russian spies by a young boy - two Japanese nationals appear either side of the British executioner known as "Jihadi John", seen in the group's previous propaganda videos documenting the beheadings of western journalists and aid workers.
The men in the video, entitled "A Message to the Government and People of Japan", are believed to be Kenji Goto Jogo and Haruna Yukawa.
Jihadi John threatens that both men will be killed within 72 hours unless a $200m (£132m) ransom is paid in full, as compensation for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe offering non-military aid to the US-led campaign against the terror group on his tour of the Middle East.
But how did these men fall into the hands of one of the most feared terror organisations in the world?
Before his capture, Goto was an avid freelance journalist who created his own video production company, Independent Press, in Tokyo in 1996 with the tagline "The World With You".
Through this company, he sent footage of conflict zones to Japanese television networks.
Goto is a man with a great interest in the Syrian civil war and the humanitarian crisis that has unfolded in the country, delivering lectures on the crisis and the reality on the ground before he returned.
At the time of Yukawa's capture in August last year, Goto was already back in Japan, according to Reuters, before returning to northern Syria.
In October last year, his final Twitter post shows a YouTube video of him speaking in front of the Syrian-Kurdish city of Kobani, which has been besieged by IS fighters for months.
According to his Twitter account and website he had been covering events in Syria and it is believed but unconfirmed that he was captured in Aleppo, the city at the heart of the battle between rebels, jihadists and government forces.
It appears that Goto's passion for helping the Syrian people led to his return to northern Syria and his subsequent capture.
Haruna Yukawa had his own company called "Private Military Company", of which he was the sole employee, and had moved to Syria to travel with the Free Syrian Army.(Twitter)Haruna Yukawa's military fantasy
In YouTube footage released in August last year, the second man in the hostage video, believed to be Haruna Yukawa, was shown captured in Syria by IS sympathisers.
He was taken hostage while travelling with the Free Syria Army in northern Aleppo and because of his possession of a gun he was treated as a spy. In the footage, the militants ask the Japanese national: "You thief? Why you have gun? You kill soldier?" He replied: "I am no soldier."
His capture reached Japan and many started to dig for more information on the captive. It was discovered that he owned a company known simply as "Private Military Company" and he had uploaded Facebook videos showing himself using an AK47 in Aleppo.
The website gave the impression that Yukawa had a company with offices all over the world, even with its own CEO blog.
The reality was that he was the sole employee of the paper company, with no existing office, despite its business being "international private military work, international bodyguard, armed shipping escort, logistical support and conflict zone escorts".
"Live as a woman"
After his kidnap, Reuters reported that Yukawa had lost his wife to lung cancer, his house to bankruptcy and his business, leaving him to live in a public park for a month, all within the space of a decade.
He even contemplated cutting off his genitals as he felt that if he had failed he would "live as a woman and leave the rest to destiny".
This series of life-changing events led him to the point where he wanted to escape to some of the world's worst conflict zones, dreaming of providing security to big Japanese companies in Syria and Somalia "where the danger factor will be amped up", he told friends.
Yukawa was initially detained by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in Aleppo before befriending members of the group because of his kind nature.
According to Reuters' report, Yukawa and Goto met each other in Syria and had travelled together in Iraq, with Goto providing details of his fellow countrymen after his capture in August last year.
Now, both have been publicly reunited in the most horrible fashion, on screen either side of the knife-wielding British jihadi as part of the terror group's propaganda machine, awaiting their fate as the Japanese government decides its response to the shocking footage.
Video claims 1 Japanese ISIS hostage killed; new demand made - CNN.com
Sat, 24 Jan 2015 15:54
On the video, which shows a static image of Goto holding the photograph, a man's voice claiming to Goto's says Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to blame for Yukawa's death.
The voice says his captors no longer want money, but rather are demanding the release of Sajedah Rishawi, who is being held by Jordanian authorities.
"You were given a deadline, so my captives acted upon their words," he says.
"They no longer want money, so you don't need to worry about funding terrorists," the voice says in English. "... Again, I would like to stress how easy it is to save my life. You bring them their sister form the Jordanian regime, and I will be released immediately -- me for her."
CNN's Ali Younes and Yoko Wakatsuki contributed to this report.
Colorado woman gets 4 years for wanting to join ISIS - CNN.com
Sat, 24 Jan 2015 15:53
Story highlightsShannon Conley, 19, receives prison sentence that prosecutors requestedJudge weights "what is it that will cause others to stop" endorsing jihad"I do not believe I am a threat to society," Conley pleads before sentencingShannon Maureen Conley is one of the first Americans to be sentenced for conspiracy to support ISIS and received a sentence that was also recommended by prosecutors seeking to send a message of deterrence.
Though the judge initially cited how Conley needs psychiatric care, he sided with prosecutors in the end.
"What is it that will cause others to stop" in the future, Judge Raymond P. Moore said during sentencing.
Before sentencing, Conley wept as she read a statement saying, "It was after arrest that I learned the truth about the ISIS that I was taught to respect."
She talked about her ongoing journey into Islam.
"Since my incarceration I have had a chance to read the entire Quran," she said. She concluded that "the scholars" she had been following in her online research about Islam had distorted the Quran, she said.
"Even though I was committed to the idea of jihad, I didn't want to hurt anyone. It was all about defending Muslims," she said.
She called her situation a "life-altering" experience and said she now wants to be a "catalyst of good" going forward.
"I am deeply humbled by this opportunity to grow," she said.
"I do not believe I am a threat to society and I ask you to allow me to prove it," she pleaded to the judge.
Conley's mother waved to her with tears in her eyes as Conley was led out of the courtroom. Later her parents released a statement online criticizing the U.S. legal system for making an example of their daughter in trying to discourage others from turning to extremism. If "the government is willing to sacrifice the future of a 19-year-old American citizen to drive the point home ... then we feel the terrorists have won this particular battle in the war on terrorism."
Outside the courthouse after the proceeding, Conley's lawyer, Assistant Federal Defender Robert Pepin, told reporters he was disappointed with the sentence and noted that the plea agreement imposed limitations on any appeal, which the defense is considering.
"I think the judge gave a sentence he thought was appropriate. That's all I really have to say about the sentence," Pepin said.
He said he wanted Americans to know that his client is a wonderful person. "Her future will be bright. She will get past this," he said.
'Not taking any chances'But Moore said Conley's plea agreement gave him limited options on sentencing.
Under the plea agreement, Conley faced "up to five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 for conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization," federal prosecutors said.
She received credit for cooperating with federal authorities, according to the prosecutor and the judge.
Her prison sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release and 100 hours of community service, in which she has to interact with "ordinary people," Moore said.
He also prohibited her possession of any black powder or explosive materials.
"I'm not taking any chances," Moore said.
Conley's plea was made last year in exchange for a reduced charge with a lighter sentence.
The prosecutionDuring Friday's sentencing hearing, U.S. Attorney Greg Holloway said Conley has been cooperative and willingly provided information to investigators. He argued that a four-year sentence would send a message that the U.S. government uses restraint, but consequences are serious in terror cases.
Moore interrupted the prosecutor at one point saying, "That woman is in need of psychiatric help."
"I'm not saying that her decisions were all a product of mental illness. ... But she's a bit of a mess," Moore said.
The judge referenced Conley's psychiatric report that stated "she is not a terrorist."
The judge also alluded to a series of events from 2011 to her arrest in 2014.
"There is a history of events that would make for a bad movie," Moore said.
Conley almost agreed to marry three different people in a matter of months, according to Moore.
The prosecutor said Conley was "pathologically naive."
Added the judge: "She has no history in the criminal justice system. She is very young. ... Teenagers make dumb decisions a lot."
The defenseConley looked relaxed in court. She smiled at times while talking with lawyers before the hearing. She wore a blue and white jail uniform, a head scarf and glasses.
Pepin said while Conley has been in jail, she has been studying Spanish and macroeconomics, writing letters to her mother, sisters, friends, even "Allah," talking about religion and her desire "to understand."
Her lawyer said she has gone through a complete transformation in the past nine months. Pepin argued that "the things that she believed at the time she was arrested she does not believe now."
He noted that Conley, a convert to Islam, changed her adopted Muslim name from Halima to Amatullah, because she is a different person now. Amatullah means female "servant of Allah." Conley initially took the name Halima after converting to Islam.
Opinion: When Americans leave for jihad
But Moore adamantly responded, "She had another name before Halima."
"Don't tell me that changing her name means she gets it. She changes her name like I change my socks," the judge told the defense.
'A string of defiance'The judge said a belief, even if she was misled by ill-intentioned extremists asserting religion justifies violent jihad, does not excuse her actions.
"There is a string of defiance that rolls through her life that I have not seen change yet," Moore said. "Defiance has been a part of the fabric for a long time and that is concerning."
The judge talked about how she showed up to a meeting with the FBI wearing a T-shirt that said, "Sniper don't run, you'll die trying."
The judge also mentioned how investigators tried to stop Conley with multiple warnings that following through on her plans could lead to her arrest.
She responded with, "I'd rather go to prison than do nothing," according to Moore.
The judge also expressed alarm about Conley's other preoccupations.
"What am I to do about this obsession with the military?" Moore said.
Opinion: Rise of the female jihadists
He said Conley planned to be a police officer and join the military and then went to training with U.S. Army Explorers to learn military skills.
What if one reason she desired to go to Syria to marry an ISIS fighter wasn't just because she shared a belief in jihad, but "because he was attractive to her because he was a soldier?" the judge asked.
The judge noted that Conley still signs letters "behind enemy lines."
A female imam went to mentor Conley in jail and reported that Conley wanted to talk about violent jihad.
The judge said it's surprising that Conley suddenly is disavowing jihad and that she has seemed to do a 180-degree turn in a very short period.
The judge also brought up a letter Conley wrote to a friend that seemed to mock the American people's concern about terrorism.
Criticism of CNN jailhouse visitMoore also referenced comments that Conley made to CNN when it visited her a day before Friday's sentencing.
Conley told CNN of her new adopted Muslim name, a new hairstyle for the sentencing date, and how "I'm in a vulnerable place right now, and it would be stupid of me to talk to you when I'm vulnerable."
On Friday, Moore noted that "she doesn't get it."
"She's a look-at-me girl," Moore continued, and he referenced the CNN interview.
Pipen said he was furious about the jailhouse visit and said he thought it was sneaky.
The judge also cited the ISIS fighter whom she was to marry, Yousr Mouelhi, a 32-year-old Tunisian man
"Why did she think Mouelhi was a good man?... Does she get this?" the judge said. He indicated that Conley still calls her suitor "a good man."
Arrested on the jetwayConley attracted national attention last year after authorities arrested her at Denver International Airport. Investigators said she told them she was going to Turkey to await word from an ISIS member in Syria, a man she met on the Internet and planned to marry.
According to court documents, she intended to become a nurse in an ISIS camp. She is a Colorado certified nurse's aide.
Her parents, Ana Maria and John Conley, were aware of their daughter's conversion to Islam but didn't know about her interest in extreme Islam or jihad.
John Conley reportedly caught his daughter talking to her ISIS "suitor" on Skype. The couple asked for the father's blessing, but he said no.
On April 1, the father called the FBI to report that he had found her ticket for an April 8 flight to Turkey on his desk.
Opinion: What lures Americans to Syria fight?
CNN's Ana Cabrera and Sara Weisfeldt reported from Colorado. Michael Martinez wrote and reported from Los Angeles.
japan sez video is fake
Fri, 23 Jan 2015 23:34
Last updated 10:37 22/01/2015
The Japanese government believes a video of two Japanese hostages released on the internet by the Islamic State extremist group may have been doctored.
The government is analysing the video images.
Read more: Bid to save friend led to capture
The Islamic State has used high-level technology to edit video clips as part of its promotional efforts, and experts in the field said images of the hostages taken separately were likely combined into a single video to make the footage more intimidating.
"Experts are analysing them [the video images]," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference on Wednesday morning (local time). It is believed a composite video may have been made using footage of the two hostages in a different place, or in which the hostages were videotaped separately.
In the video clip, two men who are believed to be Haruna Yukawa, 42, and Kenji Goto, 47, are seen kneeling in a desert. A man clad all in black stands between them, wielding a knife and making other intimidating actions.
The shadows of the man on the left side of the screen, believed to be Goto, and the person in the center extend back and to the right. However, the shadow of the man on the viewer's right, believed to be Yukawa, extends back and to the left.
The shadows of the hostages' heads, which appear on their necks, are also cast in opposite directions.
"It's possible that video images taken at different times were combined," said Tsuyoshi Moriyama, an associate professor at Tokyo Polytechnic University who is an expert on image technology. "A very high level of knowledge and skill would be necessary to make such a composite video."
Waseda University Professor Shigeo Mori-shima, an expert on information-communication engineering, focused on the orange clothes the two hostages wore.
The colours were different shades and the two men's clothes did not flutter in the wind at the same time, Morishima said. Therefore: "It's possible that the images [of the two men] were videotaped in different places."
The Islamic State has recruited extremists across the globe through the use of video clips and other materials on the internet.
The video of the Japanese hostages was confirmed to have been posted on the internet on Tuesday, three days after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that Japan will provide US$200 million (NZ$264m) in humanitarian assistance to nearby countries for measures to deal with the Islamic State.
Abe is currently on a visit to the Middle East.
Counterterrorism expert Shiro Kawamoto, chief of the Council for Public Policy's second research section, said: "It's possible the militants regarded Prime Minister Abe's announcement of the assistance as a good opportunity and hurriedly put together the composite video. They may have aimed to cause a greater shock than before by having two people appear in the video."
Professor Kazuo Takahashi of the Open University of Japan, an expert on Middle East studies, mentioned the extremely high ransom demanded in the online video. "I think they don't intend to negotiate in earnest," Takahashi said.
"The purpose is probably to exhibit their presence and warn Japan, which is taking concerted actions with the United States and European countries," he said.
ISIS Posts Countdown Clock Online As Time Running Out For Hostages CBS DC
Fri, 23 Jan 2015 15:36
TOKYO (CBS News/CBSDC/AP) '-- Militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have posted an online warning that the ''countdown has begun'' for the group to kill a pair of Japanese hostages.
The posting, which appeared Friday, shows a clock counting down to zero along with gruesome images of other hostages who have been beheaded by the group.
ISIS gave Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a 72-hour deadline '' which expired Friday '' to pay a $200 million ransom for the two hostages. The Friday posting on a forum popular among Islamic State militants and sympathizers did not show any images of the Japanese hostages.
In the past, the website has posted Islamic State videos very quickly, sometimes before anyone else. Nippon Television Network first reported the message in Japan.
The status of efforts to free the two men was unclear. Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga, when asked about the latest message, said Japan was analyzing it.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe convened his National Security Council to discuss how to handle the crisis, as the mother of one of the captives appealed for her son's rescue.
''Time is running out. Please, Japanese government, save my son's life,'' said Junko Ishido, the mother of 47-year-old journalist Kenji Goto.
''My son is not an enemy of the Islamic State,'' she said in a tearful appearance in Tokyo, using the name ISIS calls itself.
Ishido said she was astonished and angered to learn from her daughter-in-law that Goto had left less than two weeks after his child was born, in October, to go to Syria to try to rescue the other hostage, 42-year-old Haruna Yukawa.
''My son felt he had to do everything in his power to try to rescue a friend and acquaintance,'' she said.
In very Japanese fashion, Ishido apologized repeatedly for ''all the trouble my son has caused.''
The national broadcaster NHK reported early Friday that it had received a message from ISIS ''public relations'' saying a statement would be released soon.
Lacking clout and diplomatic reach in the Middle East, Japan has scrambled for a way to secure the release of the two men, one a journalist, the other an adventurer fascinated by war.
There was no sign the government had taken action on an offer to try to negotiate with ISIS by Ko Nakata, an expert on Islamic law and former professor at Kyoto's Doshisha University, along with freelance journalist Kousuke Tsuneoka.
Nakata and Tsuneoka, who both are converts to Islam, said Thursday that they have a contact in the Islamic State group and were prepared to go.
Appearing at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan, Nakata, who is also a former Islamic specialist at the Japanese Embassy in Saudi Arabia, read a message in Japanese and Arabic.
''Seventy-two hours is just too short. Please wait just a bit longer, and do not try to take action immediately,'' he said, addressing the militants. ''If there is room to talk, I'm ready to go and negotiate.''
Nakata proposed offering $200 million in humanitarian aid to refugees and residents of areas controlled by ISIS, through the Red Crescent Society.
Nakata and Tsuneoka, who was released after being held hostage in Afghanistan in 2010, visited Syria in September in an unsuccessful attempt to gain Yukawa's release. Goto was seized sometime after late October when he entered the area.
Ishido said she had not had any contact with the government.
The militants threatened in their video message to kill the hostages unless they received $200 million within 72 hours.
Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga reiterated Friday that Japan was trying all possible channels to reach those holding the hostages, and that its policy of providing humanitarian aid for those displaced by conflict in the Middle East was unchanged.
''We are doing our very best to coordinate with related parties, including through tribal chiefs,'' Suga said.
Suga confirmed Thursday that the government had confirmed the identity of the two hostages, despite obvious discrepancies in shadows and other details in the ransom video that suggest it may have been altered.
Japanese officials have not directly said whether they are considering paying any ransom, but said their lives were the top priority.
Japan has joined other major industrial nations of the Group of Seven in opposing ransom payments. U.S. and British officials also said they advised against paying.
Tokyo lacks strong diplomatic connections in the Middle East, and Japanese diplomats left Syria as the civil war there escalated, adding to the difficulty of contacting the group holding the hostages.
Since Japan's military operates only in a self-defense capacity at home, any rescue attempt would require help from an ally like the United States.
(TM and (C) Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
Radicalization from years to months now-Two Montreal women left to join ISIS: Police | Canada | News | Toronto Sun
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 05:05
MONTREAL '-- Two Montreal women, ages 18 and 19, were reported missing by their families in November and Canadian authorities believe they have joined Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.
Police fear the women have become "slaves" of jihadist fighters, said Insp. Andre-Guy Lamothe of the Montreal police anti-terrorism unit.
"There were signs of radicalization," he said. "Unfortunately, we lost them, they've already arrived there. They'll be used as slaves for the people there."
Lamothe wouldn't say exactly where he believes they went.
Both Montrealers are considered high-risk travellers and are being investigated by Canada's Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams, a source close to the investigation told QMI Agency. The two women are friends.
The Criminal Code bars any Canadian from joining terrorist groups such as ISIS or providing money or assistance of any kind.
At the request of police, QMI Agency isn't revealing the women's names to prevent others in their inner circle from becoming radicalized. Police say they have a close relationship with the grieving families.
A CSIS agent told QMI that 10% to 15% of young people who leave their families to join ISIS are women.
"Radicalization used to take three, four or five years," the agent said. "Now we're talking about months."
He recalled holding sobbing parents in his arms after informing them that their children left to fight with terrorists.
"I've met many parents and it's sad," the spy said. "They didn't know. It's too late. They're gone."
He said people can become radicalized in front of their computers and recruitment can take just a few weeks.
"We couldn't detect them," he said.
RCMP Sgt. Hakim Bellal, head of a community outreach program on radicalization and national security, has also seen firsthand how families are affected by the radicalization of their children.
"The families are the victims," he said. "They don't even know their children are gone (to Iraq or Syria). They think they're just missing."
Last fall, the head of Canada's spy agency said authorities are monitoring 80 suspected Canadian terrorists who have returned home from violent hot spots around the world.
Montreal police officers discussed the foreign fighter problem this week at a special training session on terrorism and radicalization.
The session, organized by the RCMP, also included Quebec provincial police and intelligence agents. About 100 officers received the training.
CSIS overwhelmed with cases of high-risk travellers
Most CSIS staff in Montreal are tied up with high-risk traveller cases, an intelligence officer said this week.
"Our goal is to detect them, it's the RCMP's job to stop them," he said, explaining that intelligence officers such as himself don't have the authority to arrest or charge suspects.
The agent said almost anything is available on the Internet for curious young people who become radicalized.
They're easily manipulated by cunning terrorists once they ask questions and make contacts on social networks such as Facebook or Twitter.
"There are guides that discuss how to go to Syria," he said. "Guides that explain how to outwit the intelligence services. And there are guides on how to avoid investigation by police. Everything is there. It's quite a challenge we have here."
John Maguire, 23, Ottawa.
a.k.a. Abu Anwar al-Canadi. Travelled to Syria in January 2013 to join ISIS. Appeared in a video in December calling for attacks on Canadian soil. Jan. 14 Twitter post on pro-ISIS account said Maguire was killed in Syria but some experts say it could be a hoax.
Mahad Hirsi, 20, Edmonton.
Went overseas in October 2013 with cousins Hamsa and Hersi Kariye, also of Edmonton. Hirsi's father said his son last called from Egypt saying he was headed to Syria. All three men were reportedly killed last fall while fighting for ISIS.
Youssef Sakhir, Samir Halilovic and Zakria Habibi, all of Sherbrooke, Que.
They vanished last October. Sakhir's mother told QMI "he's in Syria or somewhere, I don't know where."
Why Saudi Arabia's Neighbor Is the Real Concern for the U.S. | TIME
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 06:28
TIMEPoliticsForeign PolicyWhy Saudi Arabia's Neighbor Is the Real Concern for the U.S.Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah receives U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the king's Riyadh Palace on April 6, 2011 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.Chip Somodevilla'--Getty ImagesA smooth succession is all but guaranteed in the Kingdom '-- but that won't help imperiled U.S. allies in YemenKing Abdullah of Saudi Arabia died Thursday of natural causes at age 90, leaving in place what appears to be a well-laid succession plan that U.S. analysts hope will assure continued stable relations between Washington and the oil-rich country that dominates most of the peninsula.
Unfortunately, in neighboring Yemen, the government of U.S. ally President Abdel Rabbo Mansour Hadi also died Thursday, leaving nothing but the prospect of a failed state and increased sway for Iran-backed Houthi rebels and a powerful and dangerous branch of al Qaeda.
On balance, the bad news outweighs the good.
Abdullah's successor, Crown Prince Salman, is an established figure in U.S.-Saudi affairs, with a history of collaboration on national security matters dating to his fundraising for the Afghan Mujahedeen during their war against the Soviets in the 1980s, says Bruce Reidel of the Brookings Institution. One of Salman's sons, Reidel reports, ''led the first RSAF mission against Islamic State targets in Syria last year.''
But while oil futures soared on the news of Abdullah's death as traders worried about potential instability in Saudi Arabia, former U.S. officials viewed the collapse of central governing authority in Yemen as the real cause for concern. ''Rule number one of contemporary national security policy is allow the emergence of no new failed states,'' says former State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Amb. Daniel Benjamin.
The power vacuum is most worrying because it imperils U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism operations against one of the few al Qaeda off shoots that retains the U.S. as its primary target. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has a talented bomb-maker in its upper ranks, a Saudi fugitive named Ibrahim al Asiri. U.S. officials believe al Asiri is behind several near-miss attempts to bring down Western airliners, at least one of which was foiled by a Saudi double agent who had penetrated the group.
The Houthis are only a threat to the U.S. insofar as they appear to have effected the ouster of the U.S.-backed Hadi and left a collapsed state in his wake. ''We were banking on a guy who was very pro-American, but had far less support in his country than we thought,'' says Whitley Bruner, a former CIA Baghdad station chief who previously served in Yemen and has worked as a security consultant there in recent years.
The Saudis dislike both the Houthis and AQAP, which dispatched al Asiri's brother in a suicide attack that nearly killed the Saudi Interior Minister in 2009. But the kingdom has little chance of putting its neighbor back together again: with Yemen's history of sectarian, tribal and ideological violence, ''it's going to get worse,'' says Bruner. AFP reported late Thursday that ''four provinces of Yemen's formerly independent south, including its main city Aden, say they will defy all military orders from Sanaa'' now that the capital has fallen to the Houthis.
Agenda 21
Climate scientists rebuff skeptics' arguments against 2014 'warmest year' claim
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 14:34
What's This?
Global average surface temperature anomalies during 2014.Image: NASA
By Andrew Freedman2015-01-20 19:40:43 UTC
On January 16, two U.S. climate observing agencies jointly announced that 2014 was most likely the warmest year on record worldwide, beating previous record years such as 1998, 2005 and 2010. The announcement signaled the death knell of the argument that global warming "stopped" in 1998, which has been a popular rallying cry for climate change contrarians, from blog posts to speeches on the Senate floor.
With such high stakes, climate skeptics have been vigorously pushing back against the data, saying that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA downplayed the uncertainties in their records and misled the public.
Temperature departures from average since 1880, according to NOAA data.
Image: Bob Al-Greene/Mashable
Headlines like "2014: The Most Dishonest Year on Record" have been posted on climate skeptic blogs, such as Watts Up With That, and a commentator for the popular British newspaper The Daily Mail all but accused NASA of lying to the press and the public about global temperatures, despite the open discussion of uncertainties both in NASA's press materials and during a press conference with audio that is publicly accessible.
The skeptics have focused mainly on one table in the temperature report issued on Friday, which explains the uncertainties involved in declaring 2014 the warmest year. The table would appear to indicate that 2014 only has a 38% chance of being the warmest year in NASA's data set, which isn't that convincing at first glance, and a 48% likelihood according to NOAA's data. (Each agency uses slightly different methods of calculating global average surface temperatures.)
Here is how the Daily Mail discussed the temperature record in a story published on Sunday. "The Nasa climate scientists who claimed 2014 set a new record for global warmth last night admitted they were only 38% sure this was true." The story portrayed NASA as backing off their claim that 2014 was clearly the warmest year on record according to its data set.
But NASA did no such thing.
NASA and NOAA scientists say they have not changed their tune about 2014, since the data clearly shows that it was most likely the warmest year to date since instrument records began in 1880. Furthermore, they argue that climate skeptics are twisting the meaning of uncertainty ranges and making it seem like there is far less confidence in temperature data than there actually is.
Climate science debates occur every day in the blogosphere and on cable news shows, but this particular fight about a major temperature record (and therefore, major news story) highlights the extent to which many boil down to mere contradiction and rejections of facts, rather than arguments based on competing lines of evidence.
Slide from a publicly available presentation showing the probabilities that 2014 was the warmest year on record.
Mashable reached out to Gavin Schmidt, the director of NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), who helped make Friday's announcement and has been a target of the vigorous pushback from the climate skeptic community. Schmidt is mentioned several times in the Daily Mail story.
Schmidt told Mashable that NASA is not backtracking from its conclusion that 2014 was the warmest year in its records, and that climate skeptics '-- (some prefer to call them "climate deniers") '-- misunderstand the characterization of uncertainty that NASA provided on Friday.
Schmidt says there is, of course, some uncertainty in the global temperature data, which NASA has long acknowledged. But even when these uncertainties are considered, the data still shows that 2014 was most likely the warmest year.
"No-one disputes that there are uncertainties in estimating the global mean temperature anomaly '-- issues of spatial coverage, measurement practice changes over time, movement of stations etc. and we estimate that any one year's value comes with an uncertainty of about plus or minus 0.05 degrees Celsius, or 0.09 degrees Fahrenheit," Schmidt said in an email.
"2014 *is* the warmest year in the GISTEMP, NOAA and Berkeley Earth analyses," he said, referring to different data sets kept by different groups of scientists, including the one kept by his center and known as "GISTEMP."
Schmidt said there is considerably more confidence '-- albeit not complete certainty '-- that 2014 is the warmest year compared to 2010, which was the previous record-holder in GISTEMP.
Schmidt continued:
It is *likely* to have been the warmest year for the planet. Exact estimates of that likelihood are difficult to calculate (though a simple calculation we did - assuming that errors are uncorrelated from one year to another - does suggest ~38%, [which is] some one and a half times more than 2010," he said. "With the same assumptions, the chances that 2014 was warmer than 2010 is about 60%.
Schmidt said the uncertainties were "plainly and clearly discussed at the NASA/NOAA press conference on Friday." He referred to a slide in the presentation provided to reporters and the public, as well as the audio from a press conference, where the odds of 2014 being the warmest year are discussed around minute 13:47.
Deke Arndt, the head of the climate monitoring branch of the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina, told Mashable that his agency's characterization of uncertainty estimates were also being misconstrued by numerous bloggers and journalists.
Arndt says many journalists and skeptic bloggers in particular are making a basic mistake in interpreting what a range of uncertainty means.
"The entire community of journalists, well-meaning colleagues, bloggers would do well to remember that a "range of uncertainty" has a shape of its own," Arndt said.
An uncertainty range "does ***NOT*** mean" that each temperature within the given range is "equally likely," Arndt says.
"It resoundingly and definitively means something fundamentally different. Gavin's slide from the presentation shows this pretty beautifully," he said.
Given the intensity of the discourse on global warming, including relatively routine annual climate announcements, it's unlikely that most skeptics will be convinced that 2014 was the warmest year. At the end of the day, the discussion about a single calendar year obscures the more important long-term trend of warming air temperatures, warming and acidifying oceans along with melting ice sheets, all of which are hallmarks of manmade global warming. Including 2014, 14 of the top 15 warmest years have all occurred since 2000.
Topics: Climate, NASA, NOAA, U.S., US & World, warmest year, World
State Department asks Disney for climate change Frozen spin-off
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 04:48
US Arctic representative in talks with film executives over educational climate project starring Frozen characters
Pic: Justin Brown/Flickr
By Sophie Yeo
The US government is consulting with Disney on creating a climate change project starring the characters from Frozen.
Admiral Robert Papp, the State Department's special representative on the Arctic, revealed that he had been in talks with the company's executives to harness the popularity of the 2013 film to teach children about the impacts of global warming in the Arctic.
''I went to Disney and I had the opportunity to speak to an executive there,'' said Papp, speaking at the Arctic Frontiers conference in Troms¸, Norway.
''In explaining why we wanted Disney's assistance on this, I said, 'You've taught an entire generation about the Arctic. Unfortunately the Arctic that you've taught them about is a fantasy kingdom in Norway, where everything is nice.'
''And I said what we really need to do is educate the American youth about the plight of the polar bear, about the falling tundra, about Alaskan villages that run the risk of falling into the sea because of the lack of sea ice protecting their shores.''
Frozen, which tells the story of a princess trying to free her kingdom from eternal winter, is the highest grossing animated film of all time, earning $400 million in the US and Canada.
But the exact nature of how the government and Disney could collaborate on a climate change spin-off has yet to take shape. Papp admitted that the film executives were ''perplexed'' about how to fuse the depressing story of climate change with Disney's relentless optimism and penchant for happy endings.
But Papp promised that there was more to come from the potential collaboration. ''We're regrouping on our storyline and we still have Disney engaged,'' he said. The State Department told RTCC in an email that ''no further collaboration is planned at this time''.
The US, which will take over chairmanship of the Arctic Council by May, has pledged to make climate change one of the cornerstone of its two-year tenure.
The Arctic is warming at twice the average rate of the rest of the world.
Its melting glaciers and vanishing sea ice are contributing to rising sea levels across the globe '' while at the same time creating opportunities for oil and gas companies, including Shell and Chevron, to exploit the pristine area for its resources.
This is not the first time that the US government has latched on to Frozen to make a point.
During an appearance on The Colbert Show after the disastrous launch of his healthcare website, US president Barack Obama joked: ''Remember the healthcare.gov website? I think that's where Disney got the idea for 'Frozen.'''
How a group of conspiracy theorists could derail the debate over climate policy - The Washington Post
Sat, 24 Jan 2015 17:11
By Puneet KolliparaJanuary 22
As governments' efforts to cut greenhouse-gas emissions continue to sputter, some researchers have discussed another possible tool for combating climate change: ''geoengineering'' the climate. One particular form of it, ''solar geoengineering,'' would involve reflecting sunlight away from the Earth to reduce future warming, possibly by deploying an army of mirrors or spraying the air with reflective aerosols that would function like a chemical sunscreen.
But as it turns out, some people believe that a global campaign is already underway to have aircraft spray the air with chemicals '-- whether to control climate change or for other, more sinister purposes.
Meet the ''chemtrails'' crowd, who posit that governments, scientists and other institutions are using airplanes' ''chemtrails'' '-- basically contrails that are allegedly laced with chemicals '-- to alter the climate, create extreme weather, poison people, or even control our minds. The chemtrails movement has gained a small but passionate following on the Internet, with people across the ideological spectrum '-- from left-wingers worried about the environment to right-wingers concerned about abuses of government power. We don't know the size of the community, but followers generally point to seeming irregularities in aircraft contrails as indisputable proof that illicit weather or climate modification is already happening, right now, and being used to control people and nations, especially poor ones. Chemtrails activist Dane Wigington, for instance, points to videos of an airplane spewing out multiple exhaust trails of different lengths, or airplanes spewing trails of different colors. ''This amounts to weather warfare '-- period,'' he charges.
As farfetched (and baseless) as these claims may be, a recent scholarly analysis of the chemtrails movement suggests we can't write off its relevance entirely '-- not because its proponents are right, but because of the insights they may offer about a future debate over geoengineering. It might be many years, after all, before any geoengineering proposal seriously enters the policy realm. Still, writes science and technology policy researcher Rose Cairns of the University of Sussex in The Geographical Journal, ''Ignoring or dismissing these discourses out of hand as pathological or paranoid is to ignore potentially revealing insights about the emerging politics of geoengineering.''
Solar geoengineering '-- more formally known as solar radiation management (SRM) '-- is merely an idea right now, and many scholars aren't convinced that it'd actually be worth it. But with the National Research Council set to weigh in on various forms of geoengineering very soon, it '-- and the conspiracy theories involving it '-- stands to gain more of the public spotlight.
There's no evidence that the alleged chemtrails are any different than normal contrails, much less that thousands of scientists, companies and bureaucrats have engaged in a global conspiracy that they've managed to keep secret this whole time. But the more general concerns that chemtrails believers have about technology's potential impacts on the climate and the environment, and about government and institutional power, shouldn't be dismissed so easily, Cairns suggests.
Agreeing with Cairns, SRM researcher David Keith of Harvard University argues that we can't simply dismiss the concerns that drive this emotionally charged movement. ''The strength of the concern about chemtrails no doubt reflects very real and much more widespread concerns about high-leverage [technologies] in general, and about solar geoengineering in particular,'' he explained in an email.
Environmental concerns could naturally become central to any mainstream debate over whether to actually use aerosols to undertake SRM. Some scientists have suggested that putting additional aerosols in the air could increase deadly air pollution or damage the ozone layer. It also wouldn't address emissions of the most important greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. Thus, not only would it do nothing to slow down CO2-driven ocean acidification; it also would mean that if you were ever to stop injecting aerosols into the air, global warming would resume '-- and quickly.
Then there are more-general political concerns; chemtrails activists may simply not trust institutions, particularly on a global scale. Cairns notes that the chemtrails discourse seems to resonate with elements of both the right and left wings, albeit for different reasons. Adherents on the left worry about the potential for corporations and other institutions to use chemtrails to harm people and the environment. On the right, meanwhile, are those who worry about individual freedoms and state power or dispute the idea that humans are changing the climate.
She argues that these issues of trust aren't entirely irrational or paranoid and could easily manifest in mainstream debates over geoengineering. ''Is it necessarily more irrational to believe that the climate is being controlled, than to believe that one can control the climate?'' Cairns asks.
Nor should we ignore the chemtrails activists themselves. For the longest time, researchers were aware of the chemtrails narrative, but it hadn't received much attention in the academic literature. Keith hopes that's about to change. ''I have been urging academic researchers to pay some attention to chemtrails and I am very glad that Rose did so,'' Keith says.
Left ignored, the chemtrails narrative could poison legitimate debate over geoengineering's merits. Right now the public is still learning what geoengineering is, and people's opinions about it have yet to fully form, making them vulnerable to misinformation. But how, exactly, geoengineering researchers should address the chemtrails narrative without outright ignoring it isn't clear.
Unfortunately, Cairns suggests, the potential for the geoengineering research community to publicly engage with chemtrails activists ''appears limited'' '-- they may simply not be receptive. As she argues, chemtrails believers' longtime distrust of the alleged conspirators has reached outright disgust '-- to the point where unbelievers are labeled as paid liars (or even ''mentally retarded,'' as she quotes one chemtrails activist).
A very tiny subset of the chemtrails activists could have a more chilling effect on the field of geoengineering, Keith worries. He notes that he continually receives nasty emails and voice messages from chemtrails believers, and he has even received multiple threats of violence that have prompted him to contact the police.
In short, chemtrails itself is a conspiracy theory. But the environmental and political concerns underlying the theory can't be ignored, as they certainly would arise in any mainstream debate over whether to proceed with geoengineering. And chemtrails believers themselves could become a thorn in geoengineering researchers' and proponents' sides for many years to come.
Je Suis Charlie
Fiasco Paris II: The Wrong Car Gambit | Veterans Today
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 16:14
By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor
Remember the car supposedly used in the Paris ''events,'' as calling phony theatre a terror attack is a misnomer? This is what the friggin' French did:
They planted the ID beforehand in what was supposed to be an identical car. Problem is, the second car was a different model, different year.
French Citroen with chrome mirrors, the model claimed to ''not exist'' from VT Paris
We exposed the use of blanks during the terror attacks. Dr. Fetzer showed us how they staged it all, with an ''X'' spray painted on the road. Sky News exposed the pig blood poured on the sidewalk of the conveniently unguarded crime scene.
Please excuse the Christian based imperative, but:
''Holy Mary, Mother of God, whose first son Jesus, if he is somewhere is either spinning in his grave or somewhere in heaven laughing himself half to death''
The French staged a terror attack with actors who arrive at the scene of a phony shooting with a 2014 car with chrome mirrors but, immediately thereafter abandon the car which magically turns into a 2013 version with black mirrors.
The new issue of contention/cover-up is the denial that this model car was ever built. You see, unless you are in France and can navigate a website using ''restaurant French,'' pretty much what the French themselves speak, you can't get to the trim configuration page for Citroen C3 and may get suckered into taking trolls seriously. Ah, but our restaurant French here at VT is ''perfection.'' (which actually is a French word)
Citroen Terrorist Design Grid, Chrome Mirrors on Black Paint Seen from Above
What is it that Jim W. Dean says so often, oh yes: ''You just can't make things like this up.''
I am all in favor of giving the French and their Israeli friends a second chance. Let's say, after a day of running around, losing shoes, smiling for the camera and loading weapons with blanks, they got a text message:
''Hello, this is Citroen Corporation, manufacturer of the car you are currently using in your reign of terror around Paris. We regret to inform you but your car has been recalled for a seat belt malfunction. Please return it immediately for repairs.
Black mirrors are an option also, on the 'Special''...the ''wrong car''
So, the murderous brothers pull into a dealership, AK47s at the ready. ''How long is it going to take to fix this?''
Citroen says, ''About an hour.'' (Citroen is very efficient)
The terrorists, losing their cool, raise their weapons: ''Do you take me for a meshuggenah? I want a car right now!''
Citroen: ''But sir, we only have this 2013 loaner available.''
Terror twins: ''OK, here's what we will do. I will take this now but I will leave my identification on the seat in case there is some confusion. After all, the car looks prettymuch the same except it is a different year, different model and has black mirrors.
Citroen: ''But why would you want to leave your identification in a car? Then again, I could ask why terrorists would return a car on a minor recall in the middle of a terror spree but after all I am French and I have learned to simply ignore things like this out of a combination of good manners and a desire to not have the police shoot me in the head and declare me a ''suicide.''
Terror twins: ''Oh that.''
Gordon DuffGordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War.He is a disabled veteran and has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades.Gordon Duff is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists.He manages the world's largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues.
Gordon Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than "several" countries.He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration.Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.
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Latest posts by Gordon Duff (see all)Related Posts:The views expressed herein are the views of the author exclusively and not necessarily the views of VT or any other VT authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors or partners and technicians. Notices Posted by Gordon Duff on 1:49 pm, With 0 Reads, Filed under Investigations, Paris Attacks 2015. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
TASS: World - Central Bank: Iran stops using dollar in international settlements
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 04:09
TEHRAN, January 24. /TASS/. Iran stops using US dollar in settlements with foreign countries, the Islamic Republic's Central Bank said on Saturday.
''In foreign trade we from now on shall be using other currencies, including yan, euro, Turkish lira, Russian rouble and South Korean won,'' the Central Bank's deputy head Gholam Ali Kamyab told the Tasnim News Agency.
He said Iran presently considered bilateral currency agreements with several countries on use of other currencies. Those agreements, which would favour the trade-economic operations, he said, are planned for near future.
Iran moves away from US dollar in foreign trade '-- RT Business
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 04:09
Published time: January 24, 2015 14:11Reuters/Raheb Homavandi
Iran is stopping mutual settlements in dollars with foreign countries and agreements on bilateral swap in new currencies will be signed in the near future, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has said.
''In trade exchanges with foreign countries, Iran uses other currencies, including Chinese yuan, euro, Turkish lira, Russian ruble and South Korean won,'' Gholamali Kamyab, CBI deputy head, told the Tasnim state news agency.
He added that Iran is considering the possibility of signing bilateral monetary agreements with several countries on the use of other currencies.
Kamyab believes bilateral currency swap agreements will ease trade and economic transactions between Iran and other states.
View image | gettyimages.com
Iran is not the first country to move away from the US dollar. In 2014, Russia and China agreed on swaps and forwards in foreign currencies, a move aimed at reducing the influence of the US dollar and foreign exchange risks.
READ MORE: Ditching US dollar: China, Russia launch financial tools in local currencies
Experts believe the establishment of the BRICS Bank was also a major step towards de-dollarization and reducing Western dominance in the global financial system.
READ MORE: BRICS establish $100bn bank and currency pool to cut out Western dominance
The move was made to increase international competition and activate trade and investment cooperation on the world stage.
Six Week Cycle
Stec analysis of Ohio sting
Some legal background on why the Cincinnati kid ( with apologies to the movie of the same name) had to be railroaded by the FBI.
In order to be charged or convicted of 'attempted' whatever, the suspect must cross the so-called 'preparation / perpetration' boundary.
What seems to have happened here is that the kid was strung along for as much as a year by the FBI on the chatroom circuit expressing anti governmental views. Was this a crime? Not. Probably not even preparation unless they cultured some plans. What was needed was that the kid would have to take affirmative steps toward perpetration. Thus they probably set up travel arrangements and the gun purchase for the schlep.
This then would at least be enough to indict.
This is particularly disturbing that BUT FOR the FBI setting up the gun sale, the kid apparently never committed a crime.
BUS IN UKRAINE- ÐÑаÐ"едия в Ð--онецке. ÐнаÑяд укÑоÑаÑистов ÐоÐаÐ>> в тÑоÐ>>Ð>>ейбус 18+ - YouTube
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 06:02
Russia pushes ahead with Turkey-EU pipeline plan | Oil and Gas Technology
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 05:52
Russian and Gazprom officials have reaffirmed their plans to use a natural gas transit route through Turkey to access EU markets via a land crossing with Greece
Gazprom is pushing forward with its plan to replace the now cancelled South Stream pipeline project with alternative transit route into the EU via Turkey.
At a meeting in Moscow on Tuesday between Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, energy minister Alexander Novak, and Gazprom chairman Alexey Miller, Novak warned that once current transit agreements via Ukraine expire in 2019, Russia will use Turkey as its means of delivery.
''In this context I told Mr. Sefcovic [European Commission vice president for Energy Union] that in December the Russian Federation made a decision on constructing a new gas pipeline route across Turkey with a hub on the border between Turkey and Greece with the annual gas supply to the hub in the amount of 63 billion cubic metres,'' said Novak.
''Gazprom is currently taking steps to deliver this project jointly with its Turkish partners. It fully complies with the European law, and that is what the European Commission has been basically pressing for.''
''At present, bearing in mind that the transit agreement expires in 2019 and the gas volumes to be supplied to European consumers will be delivered to the border between Turkey and Greece, as I've already mentioned, the European Commission jointly with the consuming countries (Southeastern and Central Europe) have to promptly decide on developing their own infrastructure for the required gas volumes to reach European consumers.''
Russia claims that it was left with little choice but to scrap the South Stream Transport pipeline project in December 2014 following repeated opposition from EU officials.
''I'd like to point it out once again that South Stream was a great project,'' said Medvedev.
''We actually did a lot of job as part of it. The decision made by the Russian Federation is neither political, nor by any means emotional '' it is a legal decision based exactly on what you've mentioned. That is why all our attempts to get down to work came to nothing in fact. We were forced out of the project. That is the history of the project and the decisions adopted by the Russian Federation and rejected by the European Commission.
''It is sad, but life goes on and there is a whole range of other ideas you've just dwelled on. We are ready for cooperation but only under the terms we'll be able to agree on.''
The Russians are coming: AK-47 assault rifles could soon be American-made - MarketWatch
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 04:17
Personal finance reporter
The U.S. importer of the famed Russian-made AK-47 assault rifle announced this week that it plans to set up a U.S.-based factory later this year to build the guns here. Sanctions imposed last summer by the Obama administration against the gun's Russian manufacturer had effectively kept new AK-47s from reaching American buyers.
RWC Group, the licensed importer for the Kalashnikov company, revealed at the popular Las Vegas gun exposition known as SHOT Show this week that it would form a new company known as Kalashnikov USA to manufacture the weapon. The company is currently negotiating with three U.S. states to locate a production plant, with the rifles possibly rolling off the lines as early as the second quarter of this year, Jim Kelly, the new production manager of Kalashnikov USA, told the website OutdoorHub.com.
RWC (which stands for Russian Weapon Company), located in Tullytown, Pa., didn't return phone or email messages seeking comment; voice-mail announcements indicated that most of its staff were at SHOT Show.
Kalashnikov's Russian manufacturer, State Corporation of Russian Technologies, or Rostec, signed a two-year agreement in January 2014 with RWC Group at that year's Las Vegas SHOT Show saying they hoped to sell 200,000 Kalashnikov products a year in the U.S. The U.S. market constituted about 90% of its export sales in 2013, according to Pavel Kolegov, Kalashnikov's deputy chief executive for sales and marketing, in a statement at the time. As of last summer, Russian-manufactured AK-47s were selling in U.S. gun shops for between $800 and $1,050 each.
But last July, the U.S. slapped sanctions on Rostec, along with other Russian defense companies, in response to suspected Russian involvement in the shoot-down of a Malaysian passenger jetliner over Ukraine. The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said at the time that U.S. owners and dealers of the weapons could still own them and resell them at gun shows, so long as they or their dealers didn't make any payments to the Russian parent company.
New transactions with the Kalashnikov company were prohibited after July 16, 2014. That was expected to hurt U.S. gun dealers, who wouldn't be able to import any new Kalashnikov models (or models from the related Izhmash and Saiga brands). Only about 100,000 of the guns had been delivered to the U.S. at the time of the ban.
In a July 18 posting on its website, Rostec said that the U.S. market is one of ''high demand'' for the company and that ''the sanctions of the United States government against Kalashnikov Concern go against the interest of American consumers.'' On its own website, RWC said that it only had a ''limited supply'' of the weapons and that ''there will be no more Saigas for the foreseeable future.''
Kalashnikov '-- named for Mikhail Kalashnikov, a World War II Red Army tank veteran who developed the ''Avtomat Kalashnikova'' rifle in 1947 '-- is the largest firearms producer in Russia. During Soviet times, the original plant in Izhevsk, two hours' flight time east from Moscow, churned out 600,000 rifles a year for the military. Now, it's down to a fraction of that, which made the U.S. deal a critical addition to the firm's sales.
The AK-47, firing a powerful 7.62 mm round with a ''distinctive sound,'' was widely used by Soviet bloc countries during the Cold War and by aligned countries such as North Vietnam, Syria and Egypt. It has also been favored by insurgent and terrorist groups such as the Viet Cong, al Qaeda (Osama bin Laden's own AK-47 now hangs in the CIA's museum), Che Guevara's ill-fated Bolivian revolutionaries and the Palestine Liberation Organization. More than 70 million have been produced, according to the Kalashnikov website. Mikhail Kalashnikov died in December 2013, at the age of 94.
Building a production line in the U.S. for the Soviet-era rifles could ease a shortage of the popular guns for American consumers. In July, after the sanctions were announced, Atlantic Firearms of Bishopville, Md., a dealer that exclusively trades in Kalashnikov-related weapons, noted on its website that ''due to the recent Import Ban on Russian Based AK firearms we are experiencing heavy order volumes.'' At the time a Russian-made AK-47 model listed for between $849 and $1,049 on the Atlantic Firearms site. At press time, none were available, though less-desired Polish, Romanian and other Eastern bloc''made copies of the Kalashnikov still are available for $649 to $839. On its Facebook page, Atlantic Firearms reported at the time that it sold over 400 weapons the day after the ban was announced.
A representative from Atlantic Firearms didn't respond to email and phone messages; voice-mail prompts indicated their staff was also at the Las Vegas gun show.
Chimps and gorillas need an Ebola vaccine too
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 08:50
There is a side tothe Ebola crisisthat, perhaps understandably, has received little media attention: the threat it poses to our nearest cousins, the great apes of Africa. At this moment in time Ebola is the single greatest threat to the survival of gorillas and chimpanzees.
The virus is even more deadly for other great apes as it is for humans, with mortality rates approximately 95% for gorillas and 77% for chimpanzees ( Pan troglodytes). Current estimates suggest a third of the world's gorillas and chimpanzees have died from Ebola since the 1990s.
As with humans, these deaths tend to come in epidemics. In 1995, an outbreak is reported to have killed more than 90% of the gorillas in Mink(C)b(C) Park in northern Gabon. In 2002-2003 a single outbreak of ZEBOV (the Zaire strain of Ebola) in the Democratic Republic of Congo killed an estimated 5,000 Western gorillas (Gorilla gorilla). It's hard to accurately count such elusive creatures but the WWF estimates there are up to 100,000 left in the wild '' so a single Ebola outbreak wiped out a considerable chunk of the world's gorilla population.
There are of course additional factors behind the declining numbers of Africa's great apes: illegal trading in wildlife and bushmeat, war, deforestation and other infectious diseases. The world's remaining wild apes are being increasingly forced into isolated pockets of forest, which impedes their ability to forage, breed and to hide from hunters. There is also a growing body of evidence linking deforestation and subsequent changes in climate to the spread of Ebola and other infectious diseases.
The ranges of the remaining wild ape populations in Africa. ICUN/Riccardo Pravettoni, GRID-ArendalBack in 2003 an article on the decline of great apes, written by a team led by primatologist Peter Walsh, predicted that:
Without aggressive investments in law enforcement, protected area management and Ebola prevention, the next decade will see our closest relatives pushed to the brink of extinction.
Sadly, this prediction appears to have come true. Since 2008, the IUCN has listed the Eastern Gorilla (Gorilla beringei) as endangered and the Western Gorillas as critically endangered. If we do not act fast, these may prove to be the last decades in which apes can continue to live in their natural habitat. Unfortunately, there appears to be a lack of political will to implement policies which would bring viable solutions into effect.
We need both short-term solutions to halting the spread of Ebola and long-term ones to prevent future outbreaks. As a short-term strategy, vaccination could prove enormously useful in tackling the Ebola crisis in apes. Unlike for humans, a vaccine for gorillas and apes has been developed which thus far has been proven both safe and effective.
To date though, these trials have not involved "challenging" the vaccinated chimps with the live virus. Across much of Europe, medical research on great apes is either banned or highly restricted because of their cognitive similarity to humans. The question is whether or not we should make an exception in this case.
In the long term, conservation efforts aimed at restoring forest habitat could also help curb the spread of the virus, as larger forested areas would reduce the chances of infected animals coming into contact with one another. In tandem with forest regeneration, greater protection for apes from hunters and strict laws to control bushmeat consumption would also be hugely beneficial, both for apes and for humans.
This article was originally published on The Conversation .
Drone Nation
Some Mexican Drug Cartel Is About to Get an Angry Letter from the FAA - Hit & Run : Reason.com
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 06:00
NBC7Oh, sure, if you want to get perfectly legal beer delivered via drone, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is going to tell you no. But there's an easy way to get around them. Just be a drug cartel!
It seems somebody in Mexico is using drones to deliver meth. Black market innovation in action! There's still some perfecting to be done, as the drone ended up crashing in the parking lot of a Tijuana supermarket. Police believe it was attempting to cross the border into the United States, according to NBC's San Diego affiliate. A report last summer from the Drug Enforcement Agency said cartels started turning to drones back in 2011, but have stepped up their use to deliver drugs across the border because it's cheaper than methods like digging tunnels and can't be picked up on radar.
All this absurd activity is because America has been successful in making it hard to easily purchase the ingredients for Americans to make their own meth. This doesn't stop people from wanting to use meth in any way, shape or form. It just makes it cheaper for Mexican cartels to provide the meth to Americans and fuels international drug trade. But now that states like Washington and Colorado have legalized recreational marijuana use, we're seeing the opposite. As it becomes cheaper (and safer) for America to produce its own marijuana, its wrecking Mexico's crops. Maybe those drones were also going to pick up some ganja from our side to bring back down south.
DRONE NATION-2015/01/21 Establishing the CODE for Unmanned Aircraft to Fly as Collaborative Teams
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 04:27
January 21, 2015
CODE program is offering the opportunity to participate in discussions to help develop groundbreaking software enabling unmanned aircraft to work together with minimal supervision
The U.S. military's investments in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) have proven invaluable for missions from intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) to tactical strike. Most of the current systems, however, require constant control by a dedicated pilot and sensor operator as well as a large number of analysts, all via telemetry. These requirements severely limit the scalability and cost-effectiveness of UAS operations and pose operational challenges in dynamic, long-distance engagements with highly mobile targets in contested electromagnetic environments.
DARPA's Collaborative Operations in Denied Environment (CODE) program aims to overcome these challenges by developing algorithms and software that would extend the mission capabilities of existing unmanned aircraft well beyond the current state-of-the-art, with the goal of improving U.S. forces' ability to conduct operations in denied or contested airspace. CODE researchers seek to create a modular software architecture that is resilient to bandwidth limitations and communications disruptions, yet compatible with existing standards and capable of affordable retrofit into existing platforms.
DARPA has released a Special Notice (http://go.usa.gov/JXFd) inviting interested parties to identify their interest in participation in select Phase 1 CODE meetings. DARPA is particularly interested in participants with capabilities, methodologies, and approaches that are related to CODE research and focused on revolutionary approaches to unmanned aircraft systems, autonomy and collaborative operations. Responses to the Special Notice will be used to select the participants and should not contain intellectual, confidential, proprietary or other privileged information.
Two meetings are currently planned: an Open Architecture Meeting and a Technology Interchange Meeting. The Open Architecture Meeting will review the requirements and approaches for making the CODE open architecture compatible with communication-constrained, distributed, highly autonomous collaborative systems. During the Technology Interchange Meeting, invited participants will present technologies for potential incorporation into the demonstration planned for Phases 2 and 3 of the program and ensure that CODE leverages the best available technologies from all possible sources.
The meetings are scheduled for the first week of March 2015 in the Arlington, Va., area. To be considered for attendance to the meetings, interested parties may submit a one-page response to DARPA by 4:00 PM Eastern Time on February 4, 2015. More information can be found at http://go.usa.gov/JXFd. All technical and administrative correspondence, including one-page responses and questions regarding this announcement, should be sent to DARPA-SN-15-20@darpa.mil.
About CODE:
CODE intends to focus in particular on developing and demonstrating improvements in collaborative autonomy: the capability for groups of UAS to work together under a single human commander's supervision. The unmanned vehicles would continuously evaluate themselves and their environment and present recommendations for UAV team actions to the mission supervisor who would approve, disapprove or direct the team to collect more data. Using collaborative autonomy, CODE-enabled unmanned aircraft would find targets and engage them as appropriate under established rules of engagement, leverage nearby CODE-equipped systems with minimal supervision, and adapt to dynamic situations such as attrition of friendly forces or the emergence of unanticipated threats.
CODE's envisioned improvements to collaborative autonomy would help transform UAS operations from requiring multiple people to operate each UAS to having one person who is able to command and control six or more unmanned vehicles simultaneously. Commanders could mix and match different systems with specific capabilities that suit individual missions instead of depending on a single UAS that integrates all needed capabilities but whose loss would be potentially catastrophic. This flexibility could significantly increase the mission- and cost-effectiveness of legacy assets as well as reduce the development times and costs of future systems.
''Just as wolves hunt in coordinated packs with minimal communication, multiple CODE-enabled unmanned aircraft would collaborate to find, track, identify and engage targets, all under the command of a single human mission supervisor,'' said Jean-Charles Led(C), DARPA program manager. ''Further, CODE aims to decrease the reliance of these systems on high-bandwidth communication and deep crew bench while expanding the potential spectrum of missions through combinations of assets'--all at lower overall costs of operation. These capabilities would greatly enhance survivability and effectiveness of existing air platforms in denied environments.''
# # #
Associated images posted on www.darpa.mil and video posted at www.youtube.com/darpatv may be reused according to the terms of the DARPA User Agreement, available here: http://go.usa.gov/nYr.
Tweet @darpa
Shut Up Slave!
BBC News - US reporter jailed for linking to stolen data
Fri, 23 Jan 2015 20:31
22 January 2015Last updated at 18:55 ET A journalist with connections to the hacking collective Anonymous has been sentenced to five years in jail after posting online links to stolen data.
Barrett Brown originally faced charges punishable by more than 100 years in prison, but the sentence was reduced after he pleaded guilty last year.
He said he broke the law to reveal details of illegal government activity.
The case drew criticism from advocates of free speech and media rights organisations.
One of Mr Brown's supporters is Glenn Greenwald, a journalist who publicised the National Security Agency (NSA) spying programme revealed by whistle-blower Edward Snowden.
Brown, a 33-year-old US journalist, became an advocate for Anonymous and was often interviewed about the group.
He was arrested after posting a link to data hacked from defence intelligence firm Stratfor.
In April he pleaded guilty to three charges, including obstruction of a police search, making internet threats and a charge related to his involvement in the sharing of the Stratfor data.
But according to the AFP news agency, in a statement written before Thursday's hearing Mr Brown launched a staunch rebuttal of the case.
He said: "The government exposed me to decades of prison time for copying and pasting a link to a publicly available file that other journalists were also linking to without being prosecuted."
His defence was backed by the media rights groups who said he was being prosecuted for his journalistic work.
Read the statement Barrett Brown read to the court in his sentencing hearing - Boing Boing
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 05:58
Barrett Brown.
Activist and intel/security journalist Barrett Brown criticizes the government that wants to put him in jail for eight-and-a-half more years in his sentencing speech, while also expressing "sincere regret" for threatening an FBI agent and his family.
His sentencing hearing is currently taking place, and results will be announced today by presiding US District Judge Sam Lindsay.
Here is the full text of Brown's sentencing statement.
Good afternoon, Your Honor.
The allocution I give today is going to be a bit different from the sort that usually concludes a sentencing hearing, because this is an unusual case touching upon unusual issues. It is also a very public case, not only in the sense that it has been followed closely by the public, but also in the sense that it has implications for the public, and even in the sense that the public has played a major role, because, of course, the great majority of the funds for my legal defense was donated by the public. And so now I have three duties that I must carry out. I must express my regret, but I must also express my gratitude. And I also have to take this opportunity to ensure that the public understands what has been at stake in this case, and why it has proceeded in the way that it has. Because, of course, the public didn't simply pay for my defense through its donations, they also paid for my prosecution through its tax dollars. And the public has a right to know what it is paying for. And Your Honor has a need to know what he is ruling on.
First I will speak of regret. Like nearly all federal defendants, I hope to convince Your Honor that I sincerely regret some of the things that I have done. I don't think anyone doubts that I regret quite a bit about my life including some of the things that brought me here today. Your Honor has the Acceptance of Responsibility document that my counsel submitted to you. Every word of it was sincere. The videos were idiotic, and although I made them in a manic state brought on by sudden withdrawal from Paxil and Suboxone, and while distraught over the threats to prosecute my mother, that's still me in those YouTube clips talking nonsense about how the FBI would never take me alive. Likewise, I didn't have the right to hide my files from the FBI during a lawful investigation, and I would've had a better chance of protecting my contacts in foreign countries if I had pursued the matter in the courts after the raid, rather than stupidly trying to hide those laptops in the kitchen cabinet as my mother and I did that morning. And with regard to the accessory after the fact charge relating to my efforts to redact sensitive emails after the Stratfor hack, I've explained to Your Honor that I do not want to be a hypocrite. If I criticize the government for breaking the law but then break the law myself in an effort to reveal their wrongdoing, I should expect to be punished just as I've called for the criminals at government-linked firms like HBGary and Palantir to be punished. When we start fighting crime by any means necessary we become guilty of the same hypocrisy as law enforcement agencies throughout history that break the rules to get the villains, and so become villains themselves.
I'm going to say a few more words about my regrets in a moment, but now I'm going to get to the unusual part of the allocution. I'm going to make some criticisms of the manner in which the government has pursued this case. Normally this sort of thing is left to one's lawyers rather than the defendant, because to do otherwise runs the risk of making the defendant seem combative rather than contrite. But I think Your Honor can walk and chew bubble gum at the same time. I think Your Honor understands that one can regret the unjust things one has done, while also being concerned about the unjust things that have been done to him. And based on certain statements that Your Honor has made, as well as one particular ruling, I have cause to believe that Your Honor will understand and perhaps even sympathize with the unusual responsibility I have which makes it necessary that I point out some things very briefly.
I do so with respect to Your Honor. I also do it for selfish reasons, because I want to make absolutely certain that Your Honor is made aware that the picture the government has presented to you is a false one. But it is also my duty to make this clear as this case does not just affect me. Even aside from the several First Amendment issues that have already been widely discussed as a result of this case, there is also the matter of the dozens of people around the world who have contributed to my distributed think tank, Project PM, by writing for our public website, echelon2.org. Incredibly, the government has declared these contributors '-- some of them journalists '-- to be criminals, and participants in a criminal conspiracy. As such, the government sought from this court a subpoena by which to obtain the identities of all of our contributors. Your Honor denied that motion and I am very grateful to Your Honor for having done so. Unfortunately the government thereafter went around Your Honor and sought to obtain these records by other means. So now the dozens of people who have given their time and expertise to what has been hailed by journalists and advocacy groups as a crucial journalistic enterprise are now at risk of being indicted under the same sort of spurious charges that I was facing not long ago, when the government exposed me to decades of prison time for copying and pasting a link to a publicly available file that other journalists were also linking to without being prosecuted. The fact that the government has still asked you to punish me for that link is proof, if any more were needed, that those of us who advocate against secrecy are to be pursued without regard for the rule of law, or even common decency.
Your Honor, I understand that this is my sentencing hearing and not an inquiry into the government's conduct. This is not the place to go into the dozens of demonstrable errors and contradictions to be found in the government's documentation, and the testimony by the government. But it would be hypocritical of me to protest the government's conduct and not provide Your Honor with an example. I will do so very briefly. At the September 13th bond hearing, held in Magistrate Judge Stickney's court the day after my arrest, Special Agent Allyn Lynd took the stand and claimed under oath that in reviewing my laptops he had found discussions in which I admit having engaged in, quote, ''SWATting'', unquote, which he referred to as, quote, ''violent activity'', unquote. Your Honor may not be familiar with the term SWATting; as Mr. Lynd described it at the hearing it is, quote, ''where they try to place a false 911 call to the residence of an individual in order to endanger that individual.'' He went on at elaborate length about this, presenting it as a key reason why I should not receive bond. Your Honor will have noted that this has never come up again. This is because Mr. Lynd's claims were entirely untrue. But that did not stop him from making that claim, any more than it stopped him from claiming that I have lived in the Middle East, a region I have never actually had the pleasure of visiting.
Your Honor, this is just one example from a single hearing. But if Your Honor can extrapolate from that, Your Honor can probably get a sense of how much value can be placed on the rest of the government's testimony in this case. Likewise, Your Honor can probably understand the concerns I have about what my contributors might be subjected to by the government if this sort of behavior proves effective today. Naturally I hope Your Honor will keep this in mind, and I hope that other judges in this district will as well, because, again, there remains great concern that my associates will be the next to be indicted.
I've tried to protect my contributors, Your Honor, and I've also tried to protect the public's right to link to source materials without being subject to misuse of the statutes. Last year, when the government offered me a plea bargain whereby I would plead to just one of the eleven fraud charges related to the linking, and told me it was final, I turned it down. To have accepted that plea, with a two-year sentence, would have been convenient. Your Honor will note that I actually did eventually plea to an accessory charge carrying potentially more prison time '-- but it would have been wrong. Even aside from the obvious fact that I did not commit fraud, and thus couldn't sign on to any such thing, to do so would have also constituted a dangerous precedent, and it would have endangered my colleagues each of whom could now have been depicted as a former associate of a convicted fraudster. And it would have given the government, and particularly the FBI, one more tool by which to persecute journalists and activists whose views they find to be dangerous or undesirable.
Journalists are especially vulnerable right now, Your Honor, and they become more so when the FBI feels comfortable making false claims about them. And in response to our motion to dismiss the charges of obstruction of justice based on the hiding of my laptops, the government claimed that those laptops contained evidence of a plot I orchestrated to attack the Kingdom of Bahrain on the orders of Amber Lyon. Your Honor, Amber Lyon is a journalist and former CNN reporter, who I do know and respect, but I can assure Your Honor that I am not in the habit of attacking Gulf state monarchies on her behalf. But I think it's unjust of them to use this court to throw out that sort of claim about Miss Lyon in a public filing as they did if they're not prepared to back it up. And they're not prepared to back it up. But that won't stop the Kingdom of Bahrain from repeating this groundless assertion and perhaps even using it to keep Miss Lyon out of the country '-- because she has indeed reported on the Bahraini monarchy's violent crackdowns on pro-democracy protests in that country, and she has done so from that country. And if she ever returns to that country to continue that important work, she'll now be subject to arrest on the grounds that the United States Department of Justice itself has explicitly accused her of orchestrating an attack on that country's government.
Your Honor, this is extraordinary. Miss Lyon isn't the only journalist that's been made less secure legally by this prosecution. Every journalist in the United States is put at risk by the novel, and sometimes even radical, claims that the government has introduced in the course of the sentencing process. The government asserts that I am not a journalist and thus unable to claim the First Amendment protections guaranteed to those engaged in information-gathering activities. Your Honor, I've been employed as a journalist for much of my adult life, I've written for dozens of magazines and newspapers, and I'm the author of two published and critically-acclaimed books of expository non-fiction. Your Honor has received letters from editors who have published my journalistic work, as well as from award-winning journalists such as Glenn Greenwald, who note that they have used that work in their own articles. If I am not a journalist, then there are many, many people out there who are also not journalists, without being aware of it, and who are thus as much at risk as I am.
Your Honor, it would be one thing if the government were putting forth some sort of standard by which journalists could be defined. They have not put forth such a standard. Their assertion rests on the fact that despite having referred to myself as a journalist hundreds of times, I at one point rejected that term, much in the same way that someone running for office might reject the term ''politician''. Now, if the government is introducing a new standard whereby anyone who once denies being a particular thing is no longer that thing in any legal sense, then that would be at least a firm and knowable criteria. But that's not what the government is doing in this case. Consider, for instance, that I have denied being a spokesperson for Anonymous hundreds of times, both in public and private, ever since the press began calling me that in the beginning of 2011. So on a couple of occasions when I contacted executives of contracting firms like Booz Allen Hamilton in the wake of revelations that they'd been spying on my associates and me for reasons that we were naturally rather anxious to determine, I did indeed pretend to be such an actual official spokesman for Anonymous, because I wanted to encourage these people to talk to me. Which they did.
Of course, I have explained this many, many times, and the government itself knows this, even if they've since claimed otherwise. In the September 13th criminal complaint filed against me, the FBI itself acknowledges that I do not claim any official role within Anonymous. Likewise, in last month's hearing, the prosecutor accidentally slipped and referred to me as a journalist, even after having previously found it necessary to deny me that title. But, there you have it. Deny being a spokesperson for Anonymous hundreds of times, and you're still a spokesperson for Anonymous. Deny being a journalist once or twice, and you're not a journalist. What conclusion can one draw from this sort of reasoning other than that you are whatever the FBI finds it convenient for you to be at any given moment. This is not the ''rule of law'', Your Honor, it is the ''rule of law enforcement'', and it is very dangerous.
Your Honor, I am asking you to give me a time-served sentence of thirty months today because to do otherwise will have the effect of rewarding this sort of reckless conduct on the part of the government. I am also asking for that particular sentence because, as my lawyer Marlo Cadeddu, an acknowledged expert on the guidelines, has pointed out, that's what the actual facts of the case would seem to warrant. And the public, to the extent that it has made its voice heard through letters and donations and even op-eds in major newspapers, also believes that the circumstances of this case warrant that I be released today. I would even argue that the government itself believes that the facts warrant my release today, because look at all the lies they decided they would have to tell to keep me in prison.
I thank you for your indulgence, Your Honor, and I want to conclude by thanking everyone who supported me over the last few years. I need to single out one person in particular, Kevin Gallagher, who contributed to my Project PM group, and who stepped up immediately after my arrest to build up a citizens' initiative by which to raise money for my defense, and to spread the word about what was at stake in this case. For the two and a half years of my incarceration, Kevin has literally spent the bulk of his free time in working to give me my life back. He is one of the extraordinary people who have given of themselves to make possible this great and beautiful movement of ours, this movement to protect activists and journalists from secretive and extra-legal retaliation by powerful corporate actors with ties to the state. Your Honor, Kevin Gallagher is not a relative of mine, or a childhood friend. This is only the third time I've been in the same room with him. Nonetheless, he has dedicated two years of his life to ensure that I had the best possible lawyers on this case, and to ensure that the press understood what was at stake here. Your Honor, he set up something on Amazon.com whereby I could ask for books on a particular subject and supporters could buy them and have them sent to me. And he spoke to my mother several times a week. During that early period when I was facing over a hundred years worth of charges, and it wasn't clear whether or not I would be coming home, he would offer support and reassurance to her, an effort that I will never be able to repay. He knows how much I regret the pain and heartbreak that my family has suffered throughout this ordeal.
A few weeks ago, Kevin got a job at the Freedom of The Press Foundation, one of the world's most justifiably respected advocacy organizations. And, according to the government, he is also a member of a criminal organization, because, like dozens of journalists and activists across the world, he has been a contributor to Project PM, and the government has declared Project PM to be a criminal enterprise. I think that the government is wrong about Kevin, Your Honor, but that is not why I've brought him up. And although I am very glad for the opportunity to express my gratitude to him in a public setting, there are some gifts for which conventional gratitude is an insufficient payment. One can only respond to such gifts by working to become the sort of person that actually deserves to receive them. A thank-you will not suffice, and so I am not bringing him up here merely to thank him. Instead, I am using him in my defense. Your Honor, this very noble person, this truly exemplary citizen of the republic who takes his citizenship seriously rather than taking it for granted, knows pretty much everything there is to know about me '-- my life, my past, my work, from the things I've done and the things I've left undone, to the things I should not have done to begin with '-- and he has given himself over to the cause of freeing me today. He is the exact sort of person I tried to recruit for the crucial work we do at Project PM. I am so proud to have someone like him doing so much for me.
Your Honor, the last thing I will say in my own defense is that so many people like Kevin Gallagher have worked so hard on my behalf. And having now said all those things that I felt the need to say, I respectfully accept Your Honor's decision in my sentencing.
Thank you.
[via tumblr.freebarrettbrown.org]
Smartphones will begin categorizing users' mental health; gun seizures will follow - NaturalNews.com
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 05:26
(NaturalNews) The Digital Age has produced some remarkable technology and will continue to do so, but as each new innovation springs forth, more of us are finding that we are not as comfortable with it as we once thought we might be.One of the latest examples comes from a new iPhone app that appears capable of gauging one's mental health -- though how accurately it can do so remains questionable, as does what authorities might do with such information.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal:
Toward the end of Janisse Flowers's pregnancy, a nurse at her gynecologist's office asked her to download an iPhone app that would track how often she text messaged with friends, how long she talked on the phone and how far she traveled each day.
The app was part of an effort by Ms. Flowers 's health-care provider to test whether smartphone data could help detect symptoms of postpartum depression, an underdiagnosed condition affecting women after they give birth.
The app was developed by Ginger.io, Inc., a San Francisco-based firm that says it compared data from Flowers and nearly 200 other women against answers given for a weekly survey used to diagnose depression. The firm's analysts said they found that behavioral patterns like decreased mobility and lengthened phone calls became linked with poor overall mood in the surveys.
Designed to track and flag behavior
"It's very creepy to think someone can tell your mood" based on smartphone data, Flowers, who gave birth to twins last year, told WSJ. However, she added, "I felt like this was something that was going to help me while I was in a vulnerable place."
The app is one of a new generation of health-surveillance technologies that are being employed by doctors, healthcare providers, hospitals themselves and even health insurance companies. Like fitness trackers, such as "FitBit," which record running distances and burned calories, the new apps and other technological tools measure the volume of text messaging, the tone of voice in calls and other behavioral patterns to get a sense of a patient's psychological condition. Doctors say mental health has a strong link to physical health.
"Health insurer Aetna Inc., for instance, says it uses voice-analysis software on some telephone calls to get people who receive short-term disability benefits back to work sooner," WSJ reports.
Adds Ginger.io CEO Anmol Madan: "There are four billion phones on the planet, and it turns out they're incredibly powerful diaries of a person's life."
But how accurate are such apps, really? And if they're not all that accurate, at least at this time, is it a good idea for health providers and insurers to rely on them so soon? Many do.
As WSJ noted:
Ginger.io's app, called Ginger.io, is being used by 30 medical centers, including Kaiser Permanente and the University of California, San Francisco, the company says.
What's more, taxpayers are on the hook now as well.
The National Institutes of Health has awarded $2.42 million in grant money to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health who are developing a smartphone app designed to examine and assess factors like when patients lock and unlock their phones, in order to determine sleeping patterns in those diagnosed with psychiatric problems.
Not all are ready to trust the technology
Also, researchers at the University of Michigan are working on an app that will record and analyze patients' speech and voice patterns during calls to gauge whether they are near depression or mania.
A number of apps are aimed at treating mental health conditions. However, other patterns -- like when someone may suddenly stop calling family members or begins staying inside their home for a week -- can also serve as potential signs of encroaching behavioral issues.
Still, many hospitals and doctors are skittish about trusting the apps - especially when it comes to the use of data which they will collect.
"I wonder how companies are going to reassure people that when they download an app that can track everything they're doing, the data will never be used against them," Dr. Timothy G. Ferris, an internist and senior vice president of population health management at Partners HealthCare -- Massachusetts' largest healthcare provider -- told WSJ.
Others are concerned that such technologies may be employed by health providers and even police, eventually, to deprive people of their firearms. In many states, those diagnosed with mental health issues are not permitted to own guns, but if the diagnosis is incorrect, then some could be unduly punished.
Such apps are "going to create a bunch of false positives until they get really, really good at the algorithms," Ferris told WSJ.
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The TSA Blog: TSA 2014 Year in Review
Sat, 24 Jan 2015 15:47
Every day, transportation security officers interact with nearly two million travelers across the United States with a single goal in mind '' ensuring the safety and security of the traveling public. We want to share with you examples of the continued vigilance of TSA officers in protecting our nation's transportation systems, including some of the most unusual items discovered at checkpoints. TSA had a busy year in 2014, screening more than 653 million passengers in 2014 (about 1.8 million per day), which is 14.8 million more passengers than last year. 2,212 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging more than six firearms per day. Of those, 2,212 (83 percent) were loaded. Firearms were intercepted at a total of 224 airports; 19 more airports than last year. There was a 22 percent increase in firearm discoveries from last year's total of 1,813.Top 10 Airports for Gun Catches in 2014Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW): 120Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL): 109Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX): 78George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH): 77Denver International Airport (DEN): 70William P. Hobby Airport (HOU): 50Tampa International Airport (TPA): 49Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL): 49Nashville International Airport (BNA): 48Orlando International Airport (MCO): 47Here are a few of the more notable firearm incidents: A record number of firearms discovered in one day was set on June 4, 2014, when 18 firearms were discovered around the country in carry-on bags. That broke the previous record of 13 set in 2013.A disassembled .22 caliber firearm was discovered in a carry-on bag at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). Various components of the gun were found hidden inside a PlayStation 2 console.A loaded folding-stock rifle with two loaded magazines was discovered in a carry-on bag at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW).A loaded 380. caliber firearm was discovered strapped to a passenger's ankle after walking through a metal detector at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG).A loaded 380. caliber firearm was discovered in the rear pocket of a San Antonio International Airport (SAT) passenger during advanced imaging technology screening.In addition to firearms discovered this year, there were many unsafe items that passengers attempted to travel with this year including: An Mk 2 hand grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The Terminal 1 checkpoint was closed while the explosive ordnance disposal team transported the grenade to an offsite location to be disrupted. Five flights were delayed more than two hours, affecting 800 passengers.A homemade avalanche control charge was discovered in a carry-on bag at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC). FBI responded and arrested the passenger. From the left: stun grenade (EVV), stun grenade (MEM), flare gun (AMA) and smoke grenade (SEA)Officers also find inert items that appear very realistic. The problem with these types of items is that we don't know if they are real, toys or replicas until TSA explosives experts are called upon. Inert items can lead to disruption, closed terminals and checkpoints, which often result in canceled or delayed flights. Here are some of the more interesting inert items found last year:Six blocks of inert C-4 were discovered in a checked bag at Tampa (TPA).A novelty alarm clock resembling an explosive device was discovered in a carry-on bag at Kansas City (MCI).An improvised explosives device (IED) training kit was discovered in a checked bag at Honolulu (HNL). A military training kit containing inert blasting caps, inert detonators, inert detonating cord and inert C-4 were discovered in a checked bag at Honolulu International Airport (HNL). The baggage room was evacuated causing a delay in screening.A realistic replica of a Claymore anti-personnel mine was discovered in a traveler's checked bag at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).An explosives training kit was discovered in a traveler's checked bag at Northwest Florida Regional Airport (VPS). From the left, items discovered at: CVG, SEA, SAN, and ATLThere were many instances last year when travelers attempted to hide items, or the items they packed were disguised to look like other items. TSA officers regularly find sword canes, credit card knives, belt buckle knives, comb/brush knives, knives hidden in shoes, knives hidden in thermoses and knives hidden under the bag lining near the handle mechanism. Here are a few instances that stood out: An anomaly was detected with advanced imaging technology in the center chest area of a Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) passenger. After a pat-down, a pen and highlighter combo was discovered to be concealing small knives.Razorblades were discovered concealed in a greeting card at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF).A multi-tool/knife was detected concealed inside the water chamber of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine at San Antonio International Airport (SAT).A three-inch knife was found concealed inside of a laptop's hard drive caddy at Dayton International Airport (DAY).Many other concealed items were discovered last year including: a stun cane, a razorblade in a cell phone, asaw blade in a bible, a cell phone knife case, a lipstick stun gun, a knife concealed in a tube of toothpaste, a knife under the sole of a shoe, pen knives, a pocket knife in a potato chip bag, knife keys, a knife in a neck pillow, a lipstick knife, two rounds of .22 caliber ammo sewn into a shirt cuff, a machete concealed under the lining of bag, and a round of .22 caliber ammo in a tube of medical cream.While TSA works to keep dangerous items off of commercial aircraft, when contraband is found, it must be reported to local law enforcement. Here are a few of the more notable narcotics discoveries:A San Jose International Airport (SJC) passenger was arrested after nearly three pounds of cocainewas discovered in his checked baggage wrapped inside a package of raw meat.18 bags of heroinwere discovered on the leg of an Atlantic City International Airport (ACY) passenger during advanced imaging technology screening. The year also provided the need for travelers to surrender a few odd items:Many other odd items were discovered last year. Here are a few of the standouts: octagonal sais, a batarang, another batarang, threespearguns, a bang stick, a whip, a fly grenade, a burning book, a mallet, shukos, giant scissors, bear mace,a grenade-shaped vaping device, a gun knife, a novelty bomb, an inert firework display and a knuckle stunner.2014 was also a great year for TSA Pre'''®! Be sure to read our blog postreflecting on risk-based security last year. Thanks for reading this year's run down of the more notable items TSA officers discovered in 2014. Keep in mind that far more was discovered than those listed in this report. When bag searches are needed, the line slows down. If you haven't read them yet, make sure you check out our year in review posts for 2011,2012&2013.
Euro hits 11-year low: Will it go below $1?
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 05:32
The euro, which has shed around 18 percent of its value against the dollar in the past year, has tumbled over 8.5 percent over the past 30 days.
A move to or below the one-to-one level against the dollar implies a further fall of at least 11 percent.
"The divergence between the ECB, the BOJ (Bank of Japan) easing policy more, and the (U.S.) Federal Reserve'... no matter how you slice it, the Federal Reserve will raise rates well before the ECB and the BOJ'--I think that this pushes the euro well below parity next year," Brown Brothers Harriman currency expert Marc Chandler told CNBC's "Futures Now" on Thursday.
"I think about where the euro fell to back in the early part of 2000, 2001, we were down below $0.9. And I think that that's where we should be thinking that we're headed again," Chandler said.
Quantitative easing tends to put downward pressure on a currency on the premise that a central bank will print the money it needs to buy bonds and help push interest rates lower.
Read MoreWhy we were right on QE: ECB board member
Speaking at a CNBC panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos Friday, billionaire investor George Soros said the quantitative easing by the ECB would impact currency markets.
"The sheer size of the massive injection and the duration, and so on, will have undoubtedly an effect," he said.
European Central Bank: CNBC Explains
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 05:31
What is the ECB?
The ECBis considered one the most important central banks in the world.
Its primary focus is to maintain the euro's purchasing power and price stability in the euro area. In simple terms, that means controlling inflation.
The euro area is made up of 17 countries or nation-states that use the euro for their currency. They are:
Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain.The ECB was established by the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1998, and is headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany. It has about 600 employees. The ECB is the successor to the European Monetary Institute (EMI), which was set up in 1994 to handle the transition of states dropping their own currency in order to adopt the euro.
The ECB is the central bank or controlling force for 17 national central banks, each serving its own country. Those central banks are the original members of the euro zone.
Although the ECB is governed by European law, it's set up like a corporation in the sense that the ECB has shareholders and stock capital. Shares in the ECB are not transferable and cannot be used as collateral.
The ECB's capital holdings are said to be around five billion euros which is held by the national central banks of the member states as shareholders.
What powers does the ECB have?The key power the ECB has is to implement monetary policy'--basically controlling the supply of money. It also conducts foreign exchange operations and takes care of the foreign reserves, the amount of foreign currency, held by the central banks of the euro zone countries.
The ECB can lend money to the central banks. It can also buy up debts of euro zone nations but only on the secondary markets.
A big tool for the ECB is its ability to raise or lower interest rates for the euro zone, depending on what it sees as the best way to control inflation.
The ECB has the exclusive right to issue euro banknotes and coins'--the money people use. Member states can also issue euro coins, but the amount must be approved by the ECB.
How does the ECB compare to the U.S. Federal Reserve?
In some ways, they are very similar. Both the ECB and the Fed are central banks. Both have boards of governance'--though set up differently'--that decide on policy matters.
But here is one difference. The Fed acts as the Federal Government's banker. The U.S. Treasury maintains accounts with the Fed and those accounts handle Federal tax deposits and outgoing government payments. But the ECB does not have that role. It does not handle outgoing payments for the euro zone countries or handle tax deposits.
The biggest difference, however, may be in the mandates. The Fed has a written policy stating it must 'promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.' That means controlling inflation as well as promoting job growth.
The ECB's monetary policy does have an objective of high employment, but price stability'--controlling inflation'--is the primary goal.
NA-Tech News
Obama administration reverses itself on release of consumer data from HealthCare.gov
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 05:13
The Obama administration is reversing itself afteran outcry over consumer privacy on HealthCare.gov, the government'shealth insurance website.
The Associated Press confirms that the administration made changes tothe website to scale back release of consumers' personal information toprivate companies that analyze Internet performance and sell ads.
Read MoreGovernment health-care website quietly sharing personal data
The AP reported earlier this week that HealthCare.gov was sending outpersonal data such as age, income, ZIP code, tobacco use and whether awoman is pregnant.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
That prompted lawmakers to demand an explanation. Privacy advocatescalled for immediate changes.Administration officials at first defended the practice, saying theoutside companies only used the data to analyze the workings ofHealthCare.gov and make improvements for consumers.
An administration spokesman has not responded to a request for comment.
Read MoreCost concerns keep insured out of doctor's office
Enigma machine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 04:33
An Enigma machine was any of several codesigned electro-mechanicalrotor cipher machines used in the twentieth century for enciphering and deciphering secret messages. Enigma was invented by the German engineer Arthur Scherbius at the end of World War I.[1] Early models were used commercially from the early 1920s, and adopted by military and government services of several countries'--most notably by Nazi Germany before and during World War II.[2] Several different Enigma models were produced, but the German military models are the most commonly recognised.
German military messages enciphered on the Enigma machine were first broken by the Polish Cipher Bureau, beginning in December 1932. This success was a result of efforts by three Polish cryptologists, Marian Rejewski, Jerzy R"życki and Henryk Zygalski, working for Polish military intelligence. Rejewski "reverse-engineered" the device, using theoretical mathematics and material supplied by French military intelligence. Subsequently the three mathematicians designed mechanical devices for breaking Enigma ciphers, including the cryptologic bomb. From 1938 onwards, additional complexity was repeatedly added to the Enigma machines, making decryption more difficult and necessitating larger numbers of equipment and personnel'--more than the Poles could readily produce.
On 25 July 1939, in Warsaw, the Poles initiated French and British military intelligence representatives into their Enigma-decryption techniques and equipment, including Zygalski sheets and the cryptologic bomb, and promised each delegation a Polish-reconstructed Enigma. The demonstration represented a vital basis for the later British continuation and effort.[3] During the war, British cryptologists decrypted a vast number of messages enciphered on Enigma. The intelligence gleaned from this source, codenamed "Ultra" by the British, was a substantial aid to the Allied war effort.[4]
Though Enigma had some cryptographic weaknesses, in practice it was German procedural flaws, operator mistakes, laziness, failure to systematically introduce changes in encipherment procedures, and Allied capture of key tables and hardware that, during the war, enabled Allied cryptologists to succeed.
Like other rotor machines, the Enigma machine is a combination of mechanical and electrical subsystems. The mechanical subsystem consists of a keyboard; a set of rotating disks called rotors arranged adjacently along a spindle; and one of various stepping components to turn one or more rotor with each key press.
Electrical pathway[edit]The mechanical parts act in such a way as to form a varying electrical circuit. When a key is pressed, a circuit is completed. Current flows through various components in their current configuration, ultimately lighting one display lamp, revealing an output letter. For example, when encrypting a message starting ANX..., the operator would first press the A key, and the Z lamp might light, so Z would be the first letter of the ciphertext. The operator would next press N, and then X in the same fashion, and so on.
The detailed operation of Enigma is shown in the wiring diagram to the left. To simplify the example, only four components of a complete Enigma machine are shown. In reality, there are 26 lamps and keys, rotor wirings inside the rotors (of which there are either three or four) and between six and ten plug leads.
Current flowed from the battery (1) through a depressed bi-directional keyboard switch (2) to the plugboard (3). Next, it passed through the (unused in this instance, so shown closed) plug "A" (3) via the entry wheel (4), through the wiring of the three (Wehrmacht Enigma) or four (Kriegsmarine M4 and Abwehr variants) installed rotors (5), and entered the reflector (6). The reflector returned the current, via an entirely different path, back through the rotors (5) and entry wheel (4), proceeding through plug "S" (7) connected with a cable (8) to plug "D", and another bi-directional switch (9) to light the appropriate lamp.[7]
The repeated changes of electrical path through an Enigma scrambler implemented a polyalphabetic substitution cipher that provided Enigma's security. The diagram on the right shows how the electrical pathway changed with each key depression, which caused rotation of at least the right-hand rotor. Current passed into the set of rotors, into and back out of the reflector, and out through the rotors again. The greyed-out lines are other possible paths within each rotor; these are hard-wired from one side of each rotor to the other. The letter A encrypts differently with consecutive key presses, first to G, and then to C. This is because the right-hand rotor has stepped, sending the signal on a completely different route. Eventually other rotors step with a key press.
Rotors[edit]The rotors (alternatively wheels or drums, Walzen in German) formed the heart of an Enigma machine. Each rotor was a disc approximately 10 cm (3.9 in) in diameter made from hard rubber or bakelite with 26 brass, spring-loaded, electrical contact pins arranged in a circle on one face; the other side housing the corresponding number of circular plate electrical contacts. The pins and contacts represent the alphabet'--typically the 26 letters A''Z (this will be assumed for the rest of this description). When the rotors were mounted side-by-side on the spindle, the pins of one rotor rested against the plate contacts of the neighbouring rotor, forming an electrical connection. Inside the body of the rotor, 26 wires connected each pin on one side to a contact on the other in a complex pattern. Most of the rotors were identified by Roman numerals, and each issued copy of rotor I was wired identically to all others. The same was true for the special thin beta and gamma rotors used in the M4 naval variant.
By itself, a rotor performs only a very simple type of encryption'--a simple substitution cipher. For example, the pin corresponding to the letter E might be wired to the contact for letter T on the opposite face, and so on. Enigma's security came from using several rotors in series (usually three or four) and the regular stepping movement of the rotors, thus implementing a polyalphabetic substitution cipher.
When placed in an Enigma, each rotor can be set to one of 26 possible positions. When inserted, it can be turned by hand using the grooved finger-wheel, which protrudes from the internal Enigma cover when closed. So that the operator can know the rotor's position, each had an alphabet tyre (or letter ring) attached to the outside of the rotor disk, with 26 characters (typically letters); one of these could be seen through the window, thus indicating the rotational position of the rotor. In early models, the alphabet ring was fixed to the rotor disk. A later improvement was the ability to adjust the alphabet ring relative to the rotor disk. The position of the ring was known as the Ringstellung ("ring setting"), and was a part of the initial setting prior to an operating session. In modern terms it was a part of the initialization vector.
Each rotor contained a notch (or more than one) that controlled rotor stepping. In the military variants, the notches are located on the alphabet ring.
The Army and Air Force Enigmas were used with several rotors, initially three. On 15 December 1938, this changed to five, from which three were chosen for a given session. Rotors were marked with Roman numerals to distinguish them: I, II, III, IV and V, all with single notches located at different points on the alphabet ring. This variation was probably intended as a security measure, but ultimately allowed the Polish Clock Method and British Banburismus attacks.
The Naval version of the Wehrmacht Enigma had always been issued with more rotors than the other services: at first six, then seven, and finally eight. The additional rotors were marked VI, VII and VIII, all with different wiring, and had two notches, resulting in more frequent turnover. The four-rotor Naval Enigma (M4) machine accommodated an extra rotor in the same space as the three-rotor version. This was accomplished by replacing the original reflector with a thinner one and by adding a thin fourth rotor. That fourth rotor was one of two types, Beta or Gamma, and never stepped, but could be manually set to any of 26 positions. One of the 26 made the machine perform identically to the three-rotor machine.
Stepping[edit]To avoid merely implementing a simple (and easily breakable) substitution cipher, every key press caused one or more rotors to step by one twenty-sixth of a full rotation, before the electrical connections were made. This changed the substitution alphabet used for encryption, ensuring that the cryptographic substitution was different at each new rotor position, producing a more formidable polyalphabetic substitution cipher. The stepping mechanism varied slightly from model to model. The right-hand rotor stepped once with each keystroke, and other rotors stepped less frequently.
Turnover[edit]The advancement of a rotor other than the left-hand one was called a turnover by the British. This was achieved by a ratchet and pawl mechanism. Each rotor had a ratchet with 26 teeth and every time a key was pressed, the set of spring-loaded pawls moved forward in unison, trying to engage with a ratchet. The alphabet ring of the rotor to the right normally prevented this. As this ring rotated with its rotor, a notch machined into it would eventually align itself with the pawl, allowing it to engage with the ratchet, and advance the rotor on its left. The right-hand pawl, having no rotor and ring to its right, stepped its rotor with every key depression.[8] For a single-notch rotor in the right-hand position, the middle rotor stepped once for every 26 steps of the right-hand rotor. Similarly for rotors two and three. For a two-notch rotor, the rotor to its left would turn over twice for each rotation.
The first five rotors to be introduced (I''V) contained one notch each, while the additional naval rotors VI, VII and VIII each had two notches. The position of the notch on each rotor was determined by the letter ring which could be adjusted in relation to the core containing the interconnections. The points on the rings at which they caused the next wheel to move were as follows.[9]
Position of turnover notchesRotorTurnover position(s)BP mnemonicIRRoyalIIFFlagsIIIWWaveIVKKingsVAAboveVI, VII and VIIIA and NThe design also included a feature known as double-stepping. This occurred when each pawl aligned with both the ratchet of its rotor and the rotating notched ring of the neighbouring rotor. If a pawl engaged with a ratchet through alignment with a notch, as it moved forward it pushed against both the ratchet and the notch, advancing both rotors. In a three-rotor machine, double-stepping affected rotor two only. If in moving forward the ratchet of rotor three was engaged, rotor two would move again on the subsequent keystroke, resulting in two consecutive steps. Rotor two also pushes rotor one forward after 26 steps, but since rotor one moves forward with every keystroke anyway, there is no double-stepping.[8] This double-stepping caused the rotors to deviate from odometer-style regular motion.
With three wheels and only single notches in the first and second wheels, the machine had a period of 26 — 25 — 26 = 16,900 (not 26 — 26 — 26, because of double-stepping).[8] Historically, messages were limited to a few hundred letters, and so there was no chance of repeating any combined rotor position during a single session, denying cryptanalysts valuable clues.
To make room for the Naval fourth rotors, the reflector was made much thinner. The fourth rotor fitted into the space made available. No other changes were made, which eased the changeover. Since there were only three pawls, the fourth rotor never stepped, but could be manually set into one of 26 possible positions.
A device that was designed, but not implemented before the war's end, was the L¼ckenf¼llerwalze (gap-fill wheel) that implemented irregular stepping. It allowed field configuration of notches in all 26 positions. If the number of notches was a relative prime of 26 and the number of notches were different for each wheel, the stepping would be more unpredictable. Like the Umkehrwalze-D it also allowed the internal wiring to be reconfigured.[10]
Entry wheel[edit]The current entry wheel (Eintrittswalze in German), or entry stator, connects the plugboard to the rotor assembly. If the plugboard is not present, the entry wheel instead connects the keyboard and lampboard to the rotor assembly. While the exact wiring used is of comparatively little importance to security, it proved an obstacle to Rejewski's progress during his study of the rotor wirings. The commercial Enigma connects the keys in the order of their sequence on the keyboard: QA, WB, EC and so on. However, the military Enigma connects them in straight alphabetical order: AA, BB, CC, and so on. It took inspired guesswork for Rejewski to penetrate the modification.
Reflector[edit]With the exception of models A and B, the last rotor came before a 'reflector' (German: Umkehrwalze, meaning 'reversal rotor'), a patented feature unique to Enigma among the period's various rotor machines. The reflector connected outputs of the last rotor in pairs, redirecting current back through the rotors by a different route. The reflector ensured that Enigma is self-reciprocal: conveniently, encryption was the same as decryption. However, the reflector also gave Enigma the property that no letter ever encrypted to itself. This was a severe conceptual flaw and a cryptological mistake subsequently exploited by codebreakers.
In Model 'C', the reflector could be inserted in one of two different positions. In Model 'D', the reflector could be set in 26 possible positions, although it did not move during encryption. In the Abwehr Enigma, the reflector stepped during encryption in a manner like the other wheels.
In the German Army and Air Force Enigma, the reflector was fixed and did not rotate; there were four versions. The original version was marked 'A', and was replaced by Umkehrwalze B on 1 November 1937. A third version, Umkehrwalze C was used briefly in 1940, possibly by mistake, and was solved by Hut 6.[11] The fourth version, first observed on 2 January 1944, had a rewireable reflector, called Umkehrwalze D, allowing the Enigma operator to alter the connections as part of the key settings.
Plugboard[edit]The plugboard (Steckerbrett in German) permitted variable wiring that could be reconfigured by the operator (visible on the front panel of Figure 1; some of the patch cords can be seen in the lid). It was introduced on German Army versions in 1930, and was soon adopted by the Reichsmarine, (German Navy). The plugboard contributed more cryptographic strength than an extra rotor. Enigma without a plugboard (known as unsteckered Enigma) can be solved relatively straightforwardly using hand methods; these techniques are generally defeated by the plugboard, driving Allied cryptanalysts to special machines to solve it.
A cable placed onto the plugboard connected letters in pairs; for example, E and Q might be a steckered pair. The effect was to swap those letters before and after the main rotor scrambling unit. For example, when an operator presses E, the signal was diverted to Q before entering the rotors. Up to 13 steckered pairs might be used at one time, although only 10 were normally used.
Current flowed from the keyboard through the plugboard, and proceeded to the entry-rotor or Eintrittswalze. Each letter on the plugboard had two jacks. Inserting a plug disconnected the upper jack (from the keyboard) and the lower jack (to the entry-rotor) of that letter. The plug at the other end of the crosswired cable was inserted into another letter's jacks, thus switching the connections of the two letters.
Accessories[edit]Other features made various Enigma machines more secure or more convenient.[12]
Schreibmax[edit]Some M4 Enigmas used the Schreibmax, a small printer that could print the 26 letters on a narrow paper ribbon. This eliminated the need for a second operator to read the lamps and transcribe the letters. The Schreibmax was placed on top of the Enigma machine and was connected to the lamp panel. To install the printer, the lamp cover and light bulbs had to be removed. It improved both convenience and operational security; the printer could be installed remotely such that the signal officer operating the machine no longer had to see the decrypted plaintext.
Fernleseger¤t[edit]Another accessory was the remote lamp panel Fernleseger¤t. For machines equipped with the extra panel, the wooden case of the Enigma was wider and could store the extra panel. A lamp panel version could be connected afterwards, but that required, as with the Schreibmax, that the lamp panel and lightbulbs be removed.[7] The remote panel made it possible for a person to read the decrypted plaintext without the operator seeing it.
Uhr[edit]In 1944, the Luftwaffe introduced a plugboard switch, called the Uhr (clock), a small box containing a switch with 40 positions. It replaced the standard plugs. After connecting the plugs, as determined in the daily key sheet, the operator turned the switch into one of the 40 positions, each producing a different combination of plug wiring. Most of these plug connections were, unlike the default plugs, not pair-wise.[7] In one switch position, the Uhr did not swap letters, but simply emulated the 13 stecker wires with plugs.
Mathematical analysis[edit]The Enigma transformation for each letter can be specified mathematically as a product of permutations. Assuming a three-rotor German Army/Air Force Enigma, let denote the plugboard transformation, denote that of the reflector, and denote those of the left, middle and right rotors respectively. Then the encryption can be expressed as
.After each key press, the rotors turn, changing the transformation. For example, if the right-hand rotor is rotated positions, the transformation becomes , where is the cyclic permutation mapping A to B, B to C, and so forth. Similarly, the middle and left-hand rotors can be represented as and rotations of and . The encryption transformation can then be described as
.Combining three rotors from a set of five, the rotor settings with 26 positions, and the plugboard with ten pairs of letters connected, the military Enigma has 158,962,555,217,826,360,000 (158 quintillion) different settings.[14]
Operation[edit]Basic operation[edit]A German Enigma operator would be given a plaintext message to encrypt. For each letter typed in, a lamp indicated a different letter according to a pseudo-random substitution, based upon the wiring of the machine. The letter indicated by the lamp would be recorded as the enciphered substitution. The action of pressing a key also moved the rotor so that the next key press used a different electrical pathway, and thus a different substitution would occur. For each key press there was rotation of at least the right hand rotor, giving a different substitution alphabet. This continued for each letter in the message until the message was completed and a series of substitutions, each different from the others, had occurred to create a cyphertext from the plaintext. The cyphertext would then be transmitted as normal to an operator of another Enigma machine. This operator would key in the cyphertext and'--as long as all the settings of the deciphering machine were identical to those of the enciphering machine'--for every key press the reverse substitution would occur and the plaintext message would emerge.
Details[edit]In use, the Enigma required a list of daily key settings and auxiliary documents. The procedures for German Naval Enigma were more elaborate and more secure than those in other services. Navy codebooks were printed in red, water-soluble ink on pink paper so that they could easily be destroyed if they were endangered.
In German military practice, communications were divided into separate networks, each using different settings. These communication nets were termed keys at Bletchley Park, and were assigned code names, such as Red, Chaffinch, and Shark. Each unit operating in a network was assigned a settings list for its Enigma for a period of time. For a message to be correctly encrypted and decrypted, both sender and receiver had to configure their Enigma in the same way; rotor selection and order, starting position and plugboard connections must be identical. All these settings (together the key in modern terms) were established beforehand, distributed in codebooks.
An Enigma machine's initial state, the cryptographic key, has several aspects:
Wheel order (Walzenlage) '' the choice of rotors and the order in which they are fitted.Initial position of the rotors '' chosen by the operator, different for each message.Ring settings (Ringstellung) '' the position of the alphabet ring relative to the rotor wiring.Plug connections (Steckerverbindungen) '' the connections of the plugs in the plugboard.In very late versions, the wiring of the reconfigurable reflector.Note that although the ringstellung was a required part of the setup, they did not affect encryption because the rotors were positioned independently of the rings. The ring settings were only necessary to determine the initial rotor position based on the message setting that was transmitted at the beginning of a message, as described in the "Indicators" section, below. Once the receiver's rotors were set to the indicated positions, the ring settings no longer played any role.
In modern cryptographic language, the ring settings did not actually contribute entropy to the key used for encrypting the message. Rather, the ring settings were part of a separate key (along with the rest of the setup such as wheel order and plug settings) used to encrypt an initialization vector for the message. The session key consisted of the complete setup except for the ring settings, plus the initial rotor positions chosen arbitrarily by the sender (the message setting). The important part of this session key was the rotor positions, not the ring positions. However, by encoding the rotor position into the ring position using the ring settings, additional variability was added to the encryption of the initialization vector.
Enigma was designed to be secure even if the rotor wiring was known to an opponent, although in practice considerable effort protected the wiring configuration. If the wiring is secret, the total number of possible configurations has been calculated to be around 10114 (approximately 380 bits); with known wiring and other operational constraints, this is reduced to around 1023 (76 bits).[15] Users of Enigma were confident of its security because of the large number of possibilities; it was not then feasible for an adversary to even begin to try a brute force attack.
Indicator[edit]Most of the key was kept constant for a set time period, typically a day. However, a different initial rotor position was used for each message, a concept similar to an initialisation vector in modern cryptography. The reason is that encrypting many messages with identical or near-identical settings (termed in cryptanalysis as being in depth), would enable an attack using a statistical procedure such as Friedman'sIndex of coincidence.[16] The starting position for the rotors was transmitted just before the ciphertext, usually after having been enciphered. The exact method used was termed the indicator procedure. Design weakness and operator sloppiness in these indicator procedures were two of the main weaknesses that made cracking Enigma possible.
One of the earliest indicator procedures was used by Polish cryptanalysts to make the initial breaks into the Enigma. The procedure was for the operator to set up his machine in accordance with his settings list, which included a global initial position for the rotors (the Grundstellung, meaning ground setting), say, AOH. The operator turned his rotors until AOH was visible through the rotor windows. At that point, the operator chose his own arbitrary starting position for that particular message. An operator might select EIN, and these became the message settings for that encryption session. The operator then typed EIN into the machine, twice, to allow for detection of transmission errors. The results were an encrypted indicator'--the EIN typed twice might turn into XHTLOA, which would be transmitted along with the message. Finally, the operator then spun the rotors to his message settings, EIN in this example, and typed the plaintext of the message.
At the receiving end, the operation was reversed. The operator set the machine to the initial settings and typed in the first six letters of the message (XHTLOA). In this example, EINEIN emerged on the lamps. After moving his rotors to EIN, the receiving operator then typed in the rest of the ciphertext, deciphering the message.
The weakness in this indicator scheme came from two factors. First, use of a global ground setting'--this was later changed so the operator selected his initial position to encrypt the indicator, and sent the initial position in the clear. The second problem was the repetition of the indicator, which was a serious security flaw. The message setting was encoded twice, resulting in a relation between first and fourth, second and fifth, and third and sixth character. This security problem enabled the Polish Cipher Bureau to break into the pre-war Enigma system as early as 1932. However, from 1940 on, the Germans changed procedure.
During World War II, codebooks were only used each day to set up the rotors, their ring settings and the plugboard. For each message, the operator selected a random start position, let's say WZA, and a random message key, perhaps SXT. He moved the rotors to the WZA start position and encoded the message key SXT. Assume the result was UHL. He then set up the message key, SXT, as the start position and encrypted the message. Next, he transmitted the start position, WZA, the encoded message key, UHL, and then the ciphertext. The receiver set up the start position according to the first trigram, WZA, and decoded the second trigram, UHL, to obtain the SXT message setting. Next, he used this SXT message setting as the start position to decrypt the message. This way, each ground setting was different and the new procedure avoided the security flaw of double encoded message settings.[17]
This procedure was used by Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe only. The Kriegsmarine procedures on sending messages with the Enigma were far more complex and elaborate. Prior to encryption the message was encoded using the Kurzsignalheft code book. The Kurzsignalheft contained tables to convert sentences into four-letter groups. A great many choices were included, for example, logistic matters such as refueling and rendezvous with supply ships, positions and grid lists, harbor names, countries, weapons, weather conditions, enemy positions and ships, date and time tables. Another codebook contained the Kenngruppen and Spruchschl¼ssel: the key identification and message key.[18]
Additional details[edit]The Army Enigma machine used only the 26 alphabet characters. Signs were replaced with rare character combinations. A space was omitted or replaced with an X. The X was generally used as point or full-stop.
Some signs were different in other parts of the armed forces. The Wehrmacht replaced a comma with ZZ and the question sign with FRAGE or FRAQ.
The Kriegsmarine replaced the comma with Y and the question sign with UD. The combination CH, as in "Acht" (eight) or "Richtung" (direction), was replaced with Q (AQT, RIQTUNG). Two, three and four zeros were replaced with CENTA, MILLE and MYRIA.
The Wehrmacht and the Luftwaffe transmitted messages in groups of five characters.
The Kriegsmarine, using the four rotor Enigma, had four-character groups. Frequently used names or words were varied as much as possible. Words like Minensuchboot (minesweeper) could be written as MINENSUCHBOOT, MINBOOT, MMMBOOT or MMM354. To make cryptanalysis harder, messages were limited to 250 characters. Longer messages were divided into several parts, each using a different message key.[19][20]
History[edit]The Enigma family included multiple designs. The earliest were commercial models dating from the early 1920s. Starting in the mid-1920s, the German military began to use Enigma, making a number of security-related changes. Various nations either adopted or adapted the design for their own cipher machines.
An estimated 100,000 Enigma machines were constructed. After the end of World War II, the Allies sold captured Enigma machines, still widely considered secure, to developing countries.
Commercial Enigma[edit]On 23 February 1918, German engineer Arthur Scherbius applied for a patent for a cipher machine using rotors and, with E. Richard Ritter, founded the firm of Scherbius & Ritter. They approached the Kaiserliche Marine, (German Navy) and Foreign Office with their design, but neither was interested. Scherbius & Ritter then assigned the patent rights to Gewerkschaft Securitas, who founded the Chiffriermaschinen Aktien-Gesellschaft (Cipher Machines Stock Corporation) on 9 July 1923; Scherbius and Ritter were on the board of directors.
Enigma model A (1923)[edit]Chiffriermaschinen AG began advertising a rotor machine'--Enigma model A'--which was exhibited at the Congress of the International Postal Union in 1923''1924. The machine was heavy and bulky, incorporating a typewriter. It measured 65—45—35 cm and weighed about 50 kilograms (110 lb).
In 1925 Enigma model B was introduced, and was of a similar construction.[22] While bearing the Enigma name, both models A and B were quite unlike later versions: they differed in physical size and shape, but also cryptographically, in that they lacked the reflector.
Enigma C (1926)[edit]The reflector'--suggested by Scherbius's colleague Willi Korn'--was introduced in Enigma C (1926).
Model C was smaller and more portable than its predecessors. It lacked a typewriter, relying on the operator; hence the informal name of "glowlamp Enigma" to distinguish it from models A and B.
Enigma D (1927)[edit]The Enigma C quickly gave way to Enigma D (1927). This version was widely used, with shipments to Sweden, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Japan, Italy, Spain, United States and Poland.
"Navy Cipher D" - Italian Navy[edit]Other countries used Enigma machines. The Italian Navy adopted the commercial Enigma as "Navy Cipher D". The Spanish also used commercial Enigma during their Civil War. British codebreakers succeeded in breaking these machines, which lacked a plugboard. Not only militaries used the Enigma, they were also used by diplomatic services.
Swiss K[edit]The Swiss used a version of Enigma called model K or Swiss K for military and diplomatic use, which was very similar to commercial Enigma D. The machine was cracked by Poland, France, the United Kingdom and the United States (the latter codenamed it INDIGO). An Enigma T model (codenamed Tirpitz) was used by Japan.
Military Enigma[edit]Funkschl¼ssel C[edit]The Reichsmarine was the first military branch to adopt Enigma. This version, named Funkschl¼ssel C ("Radio cipher C"), had been put into production by 1925 and was introduced into service in 1926.
The keyboard and lampboard contained 29 letters'--A-Z, , – and ''--which were arranged alphabetically, as opposed to the QWERTZU ordering. The rotors had 28 contacts, with the letter X wired to bypass the rotors unencrypted.
Three rotors were chosen from a set of five and the reflector could be inserted in one of four different positions, denoted α, β, Î" and δ. The machine was revised slightly in July 1933.
Enigma G, (1928-1930)[edit]By 15 July 1928, the German Army (Reichswehr) had introduced their own exclusive version of the Enigma machine; the Enigma G.
The Abwehr used the Enigma G (the Abwehr Enigma). This Enigma variant was a four-wheel unsteckered machine with multiple notches on the rotors. This model was equipped with a counter which incremented upon each key press, and so is also known as the "counter machine" or the Z¤hlwerk Enigma.
Wehrmacht Enigma I, (1930-1938)[edit]Enigma machine G was modified to the Enigma I by June 1930. Enigma I is also known as the Wehrmacht, or "Services" Enigma, and was used extensively by German military services and other government organisations (such as the railways[31]), before and during World War II.
The major difference between Enigma I, (German Army version from 1930), and commercial Enigma models was the addition of a plugboard to swap pairs of letters, greatly increasing cryptographic strength.
Other differences included the use of a fixed reflector and the relocation of the stepping notches from the rotor body to the movable letter rings. The machine measured 28—34—15 cm (11 in—13.5 in—6 in) and weighed around 12 kg (26 lb).[32]
In August 1935, the Air Force introduced the Wehrmacht Enigma for their communications.
M3, (1934)[edit]By 1930, the Reichswehr had suggested that the Navy adopt their machine, citing the benefits of increased security (with the plugboard) and easier interservice communications. The Reichsmarine eventually agreed and in 1934[34] brought into service the Navy version of the Army Enigma, designated Funkschl¼ssel ' or M3. While the Army used only three rotors at that time, the Navy specified a choice of three from a possible five.
[edit]In December 1938, the Army issued two extra rotors so that the three rotors were chosen from a set of five. In 1938, the Navy added two more rotors, and then another in 1939 to allow a choice of three rotors from a set of eight.
Shark, 1942[edit]A four-rotor Enigma was introduced by the Navy for U-boat traffic on 1 February 1942, called M4 (the network was known as Triton, or Shark to the Allies). The extra rotor was fitted in the same space by splitting the reflector into a combination of a thin reflector and a thin fourth rotor.
Enigma II[edit]There was also a large, eight-rotor printing model, the Enigma II. In 1933 the Polish Cipher Bureau detected that it was in use for high-level military communications, but that it was soon withdrawn, as it was unreliable and jammed frequently.
Enigma G, used by the Abwehr, had four rotors, no plugboard, and multiple notches on the rotors.
The German-made Enigma-K used by the Swiss Army had three rotors and a reflector, but no plugboard. It had locally re-wired rotors and an additional lamp panel.
An Enigma model T (Tirpitz)'--a modified commercial Enigma K manufactured for use by the Japanese.
An Enigma machine in the UK's Imperial War Museum
Enigma in use in Russia (image Bundesarchiv)
Breaking Enigma[edit]Surviving machines[edit]The effort to break the Enigma was not disclosed until the 1970s. Since then, interest in the Enigma machine has grown. Enigmas are on public display in museums around the world, and several are in the hands of private collectors and computer history enthusiasts.[37]
The Deutsches Museum in Munich has both the three- and four-rotor German military variants, as well as several civilian versions. Enigma machines are exhibited at the National Codes Centre in Bletchley Park, the Government Communications Headquarters, the Science Museum in London, the Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum in London, the Polish Army Museum in Warsaw, the Swedish Army Museum (Arm(C)museum in Stockholm, the National Signals Museum in Finland, and at the Australian War Memorial and in the foyer of the Defence Signals Directorate, both in Canberra, Australia.
In the United States, Enigma machines can be seen at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, and at the National Security Agency'sNational Cryptologic Museum in Fort Meade, Maryland, where visitors can try their hand at enciphering and deciphering messages. Two machines that were acquired after the capture of U-505 during World War II are on display at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Illinois. A four rotor device is on display in the ANZUS Corridor of the The Pentagon on the second floor, A ring, between corridors 9 and 10. This machine is on loan from Australia. There's also a machine located at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
In Canada, a Swiss Army issue Enigma-K, is in Calgary, Alberta. It is on permanent display at the Naval Museum of Alberta inside the Military Museums of Calgary. A 3-rotor Enigma machine is on display at the Military Communications and Electronics Museum at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Kingston in Kingston, Ontario.
Occasionally, Enigma machines are sold at auction; prices have in recent years ranged from US$40,000[38][39] to US$203,000[40] in 2011. Replicas are available in various forms, including an exact reconstructed copy of the Naval M4 model, an Enigma implemented in electronics (Enigma-E), various simulators and paper-and-scissors analogues.
A rare Abwehr Enigma machine, designated G312, was stolen from the Bletchley Park museum on 1 April 2000. In September, a man identifying himself as "The Master" sent a note demanding £25,000 and threatening to destroy the machine if the ransom were not paid. In early October 2000, Bletchley Park officials announced that they would pay the ransom, but the stated deadline passed with no word from the blackmailer. Shortly afterward, the machine was sent anonymously to BBC journalist Jeremy Paxman, missing three rotors.
In November 2000, an antiques dealer named Dennis Yates was arrested after telephoning The Sunday Times to arrange the return of the missing parts. The Enigma machine was returned to Bletchley Park after the incident. In October 2001, Yates was sentenced to 10 months in prison and served three months.[41]
In October 2008, the Spanish daily newspaper El Pa­s reported that 28 Enigma machines had been discovered by chance in an attic of Army headquarters in Madrid. These 4-rotor commercial machines had helped Franco's Nationalists win the Spanish Civil War because, though the British cryptologist Alfred Dilwyn Knox in 1937 broke the cipher generated by Franco's Enigma machines, this was not disclosed to the Republicans, who failed to break the cipher. The Nationalist government continued using its 50 Enigmas into the 1950s. Some machines have gone on display in Spanish military museums,[42][43] including one at the National Museum of Science and Technology (MUNCYT) in A Coru±a. Two have been given to Britain's GCHQ.[44]
The Bulgarian military used Enigma machines with a Cyrillic keyboard; one is on display in the National Museum of Military History in Sofia.[45]
Derivatives[edit]The Enigma was influential in the field of cipher machine design, spinning off other rotor machines. The British Typex was originally derived from the Enigma patents; Typex even includes features from the patent descriptions that were omitted from the actual Enigma machine. The British paid no royalties for the use of the patents, to protect secrecy. The Typex implementation is not the same as that found in German or other Axis versions.
A Japanese Enigma clone was codenamed GREEN by American cryptographers. Little used, it contained four rotors mounted vertically. In the U.S., cryptologist William Friedman designed the M-325, a machine logically similar, although not in construction.
A unique rotor machine was constructed in 2002 by Netherlands-based Tatjana van Vark. This device makes use of 40-point rotors, allowing letters, numbers and some punctuation to be used; each rotor contains 509 parts.[46]
Machines like the SIGABA, NEMA, Typex and so forth, are deliberately not considered to be Enigma derivatives as their internal ciphering functions are not mathematically identical to the Enigma transform.
Several software implementations exist, but not all exactly match Enigma behavior. The most commonly used software derivative (that is not compliant with any hardware implementation of the Enigma) is at EnigmaCo.de. Many Java applet Enigmas only accept single letter entry, complicating use even if the applet is Enigma compliant. Technically, Enigma@home is the largest scale deployment of a software Enigma, but the decoding software does not implement encipherment making it a derivative (as all original machines could cipher and decipher).
A user-friendly 3-rotor simulator, where users can select rotors, use the plugboard and define new settings for the rotors and reflectors is available.[47] The output appears in separate windows which can be independently made "invisible" to hide decryption.[48] Another includes an "autotyping" function which takes plaintext from a clipboard and converts it to cyphertext (or vice versa) at one of four speeds. The "very fast" option produces 26 characters in less than one second.[49]
A Japanese Enigma clone, codenamed GREEN by American cryptographers.
Tatjana van Vark's Enigma-inspired rotor machine.
Electronic implementation of an Enigma machine, sold at the Bletchley Park souvenir shop
Simulators[edit]Simulator NamePlatformMachine TypesUhrFrank Spiess Three Rotor Enigma Simulators[50]Adobe FlashWehrmachtNoFranklin Heath Enigma Simulator[51]AndroidK Railway, Kriegsmarine M3,M4NoOpen Enigma Project[52]Arduino + Custom PCBKriegsmarine M3, M4NoArduino Enigma Machine Simulator[53]Arduino + Touchscreen LCDWehrmacht, Kriegsmarine M3, M4YesAndy Carlson Enigma Applet (Standalone Version)[54]JavaKriegsmarine M3, M4NoRussell Schwager Enigma Simulator[55]JavaKriegsmarine M3NoPA3DBJ G-312 Enigma Simulator[56]JavascriptG312 AbwehrNoDaniel Palloks Universal Enigma[57]JavascriptWehrmacht, Kriegsmarine M3, M4. D (commercial), K (Swiss), Railway, Tirpitz (Japan), A-865 Z¤hlwerk, G-111 Abwehr/Munich, G-260 Abwehr/Argentina, G-312 Abwehr/BletchleyYesTerry Long Enigma Simulator[58]MacOSKriegsmarine M3NoPaul Reuvers & Marc Simons Enigma-E[59]PIC Microcontroller + Custom PCBKriegsmarine M3, M4YesPaul Reuvers Enigma Simulator for RISC OS[60]RISC OSKriegsmarine M3, M4, G-312 AbwehrNoDirk Rijmenants Enigma Simulator v7.0[61]WindowsWehrmacht, Kriegsmarine M3, M4NoFrode Weierud Enigma Simulators[62]WindowsAbwehr, Kriegsmarine M3, M4, RailwayNoAndy Lauwers Enigma 2.0[63]WindowsWehrmachtNoAlexander Pukall ENIGMA WEHRMACHT / LUFTWAFFE SIMULATOR[64]WindowsWehrmachtNoIn popular culture[edit]The play Breaking the Code by Hugh Whitemore focuses on the life and death of Alan Turing, who was the central force in continuing to break the Enigma in the United Kingdom during World War II. Turing was played by Derek Jacobi, who also played Turing in a 1996 television adaptation of the play.Robert Harris's 1995 novel Enigma is set against the backdrop of World War II Bletchley Park and cryptologists working to read Naval Enigma in Hut 8. The book, with substantial changes in plot, was made into the 2001 film Enigma, directed by Michael Apted and starring Kate Winslet and Dougray Scott. The film was criticized for historical inaccuracies, including neglect of the role of Poland's Biuro Szyfr"w. The film'--like the book'--makes a Pole the villain, who seeks to betray the secret of Enigma decryption.[65]An earlier Polish film dealing with Polish aspects of the subject was the 1979 Sekret Enigmy, whose title translates as The Enigma Secret.[66]Wolfgang Petersen's 1981 film Das Boot includes an Enigma machine which is evidently a four-rotor Kriegsmarine variant. It appears in many scenes. The plot of U-571, released in 2000, revolves around an attempt by American, rather than British, forces to seize an Enigma machine from a German U-boat.Neal Stephenson's novel Cryptonomicon prominently features the Enigma machine and efforts to break it, and portrays the German U-boat command under Karl D¶nitz using it in apparently deliberate ignorance of its penetration.The 2014 film The Imitation Game tells the story of Alan Turing and his attempts to crack the Enigma machine code during World War II.[37]See also[edit]References[edit]Notes[edit]^Singh, Simon (1999). The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography. London: Fourth Estate. p. 127. ISBN 1-85702-879-1. ^Lord, Bob (1998''2010). "1937 Enigma Manual by: Jasper Rosal - English Translation". Retrieved 31 May 2011. ^Gordon Welchman, who became head of Hut 6 at Bletchley Park, has written: "Hut 6 Ultra would never have gotten off the ground if we had not learned from the Poles, in the nick of time, the details both of the German military version of the commercial Enigma machine, and of the operating procedures that were in use." Gordon Welchman, The Hut Six Story, 1982, p. 289.^Much of the German cipher traffic was encrypted on the Enigma machine, and the term "Ultra" has often been used almost synonymously with "Enigma decrypts". Ultra also encompassed decrypts of the German Lorenz SZ 40 and 42 machines that were used by the German High Command, and decrypts of Hagelin ciphers and other Italian ciphers and codes, as well as of Japanese ciphers and codes such as Purple and JN-25.^ abcRijmenants, Dirk; Technical details of the Enigma machine Cipher Machines & Cryptology^ abcHamer, David (January 1997). "Enigma: Actions Involved in the 'Double-Stepping' of the Middle Rotor" (zip). Cryptologia21 (1): 47''50. doi:10.1080/0161-119791885779. Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. ^Sale, Tony. "Technical specifications of the Enigma rotors". Technical Specification of the Enigma. Retrieved 15 November 2009. ^"L¼ckenf¼llerwalze". Cryptomuseum.com. Retrieved 2012-07-17. ^Philip Marks, "Umkehrwalze D: Enigma's Rewirable Reflector '-- Part I", Cryptologia 25(2), April 2001, pp. 101''141^Reuvers, Paul (2008). "Enigma accessories". Retrieved 22 July 2010. ^158,962,555,217,826,360,000 - Numberphile on YouTube^Miller, A. Ray (2001). "The Cryptographic Mathematics of Enigma". National Security Agency. ^Friedman, W.F. (1922). The index of coincidence and its applications in cryptology. Department of Ciphers. Publ 22. Geneva, Illinois, USA: Riverbank Laboratories. OCLC 55786052. ^Rijmenants, Dirk; Enigma message procedures Cipher Machines & Cryptology^Rijmenants, Dirk; Kurzsignalen on German U-boats Cipher Machines & Cryptology^"The translated 1940 Enigma General Procedure". codesandciphers.org.uk. Retrieved 16 October 2006. ^"The translated 1940 Enigma Officer and Staff Procedure". codesandciphers.org.uk. Retrieved 16 October 2006. ^"image of Enigma Type B". ^Michael Smith Station X, Channel Four books (Macmillan) 1998, Paperback 2000, ISBN 0-7522-7148-2, Page 73^Stripp, 1993^Kahn 1991, p. 43 says August 1934. Kruh & Deavours 2002, p. 15 say October 2004.^ abNg, David. "Enigma machine from World War II finds unlikely home in Beverly Hills". Los Angeles Times. January 22, 2015.^Hamer, David; Enigma machines '' known locations*[dead link]^Hamer, David; Selling prices of Enigma and NEMA - all prices converted to US$[dead link]^Christi's; 3 Rotor enigma auction^"Man jailed over Enigma machine". BBC News. 19 October 2001. Retrieved 2 May 2010. ^Graham Keeley. Nazi Enigma machines helped General Franco in Spanish Civil War, The Times, 24 October 2008, p. 47.^"Taller de Criptograf­a - Enigmas espa±olas". Cripto.es. Retrieved 2013-09-08. ^Posted on March 26, 2012 at 6:38 AM ' 23 Comments (2012-03-26). "Schneier on Security: Rare Spanish Enigma Machine". Schneier.com. Retrieved 2013-09-08. ^"Communication equipment". znam.bg. 2003-11-29. ^van Vark, Tatjana The coding machine^3 rotor download^Enigma at Multimania^Autotype download^Frank Spiess Three Rotor Enigma Simulators, http://enigmaco.de/_fs/index-enigma.html^Franklin Heath Enigma Simulator, https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.co.franklinheath.enigmasim&hl=en^Open Enigma Project, http://www.stgeotronics.com/^Arduino Enigma Machine Simulator, http://arduinoenigma.blogspot.com/^Andy Carlson Enigma Applet (Standalone Version), http://www.mtholyoke.edu/~adurfee/cryptology/enigma_j.html^Russell Schwager Enigma Simulator, http://russells.freeshell.org/enigma/^PA3DBJ G-312 Enigma Simulator, http://home.caiway.nl/~antonh/enigma_ga.html^Daniel Palloks Universal Enigma, http://people.physik.hu-berlin.de/~palloks/js/enigma/index_en.html^Terry Long Enigma Simulator, http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/25427/enigma-simulator^Paul Reuvers & Marc Simons Enigma-E, http://www.cryptomuseum.com/kits/enigma/^aul Reuvers Enigma Simulator for RISC OS, http://www.cryptomuseum.com/crypto/enigma/sim/riscos.htm^Dirk Rijmenants Enigma Simulator v7.0, http://users.telenet.be/d.rijmenants/en/enigmasim.htm^Frode Weierud Enigma Simulators, http://cryptocellar.org/simula/^Andy Lauwers Enigma 2.0, http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~andlaw/engindex.htm^Alexander Pukall ENIGMA WEHRMACHT / LUFTWAFFE SIMULATOR, http://pc1cipher.pagesperso-orange.fr/enigma-en/^Laurence Peter, How Poles cracked Nazi Enigma secret, BBC News, 20 July 2009^Enigma machine at the Internet Movie DatabaseBibliography[edit]Bauer, F. L. (2000). Decrypted Secrets (2 ed.). Springer. ISBN 3-540-66871-3. Hamer, David H.; Sullivan, Geoff; Weierud, Frode (July 1998). "Enigma Variations: an Extended Family of Machines", Cryptologia, 22(3). Online version (zipped PDF).Stripp, Alan (1993). Hinsley, F. H.; and Stripp, Alan (editors),, ed. The Enigma Machine: Its Mechanism and Use. Codebreakers: The Inside Story of Bletchley Park. Kahn, David (1991). Seizing the Enigma: The Race to Break the German U-Boats Codes, 1939''1943. ISBN 0-395-42739-8. Kozaczuk, Władysław (1984). Kasparek, Christopher, ed. Enigma: How the German Machine Cipher Was Broken, and How It Was Read by the Allies in World War Two. Frederick, MD: University Publications of America. ISBN 0-89093-547-5. Kozaczuk, Władysław. "The origins of the Enigma/ULTRA". Kruh, L.; Deavours, C. (2002). "The Commercial Enigma: Beginnings of Machine Cryptography". Cryptologia26: 1. doi:10.1080/0161-110291890731. editMarks, Philip; Weierud, Frode (January 2000). "Recovering the Wiring of Enigma's Umkehrwalze A", Cryptologia 24(1), pp. 55''66.Rejewski, Marian (1980). "An Application of the Theory of Permutations in Breaking the Enigma Cipher". Applicationes mathematicae16 (4). ISSN 1730-6280. Smith, Michael (1998). Station X (Macmillan) ISBN 0-7522-7148-2Smith, Michael (2006). "How it began: Bletchley Park Goes to War". In Copeland, B Jack. Colossus: The Secrets of Bletchley Park's Codebreaking Computers. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-284055-4. Ulbricht, Heinz (2005). "Die Chiffriermaschine Enigma '-- Tr¼gerische Sicherheit: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Nachrichtendienste" [The Enigma Cipher Machine '-- Deceptive Security: A contribution to the history of intelligence services]. PhD Thesis (in German). Further reading[edit]Aldrich, Richard J. GCHQ: The Uncensored Story of Britain's Most Secret Intelligence Agency, HarperCollins, July 2010.Bertrand, Gustave. Enigma ou la plus grande (C)nigme de la guerre 1939''1945, Plon, 1973.Calvocoressi, Peter. Top Secret Ultra. Baldwin, new edn 2001. 978-0-947712-36-5Cave Brown, Anthony. Bodyguard of Lies, 1975. A journalist's sensationalist best-seller that purported to give a history of Enigma decryption and its effect on the outcome of World War II. Worse than worthless on the seminal Polish work that made "Ultra" possible. See Richard Woytak, prefatory note (pp. 75''76) to Marian Rejewski, "Remarks on Appendix 1 to British Intelligence in the Second World War by F.H. Hinsley", Cryptologia, vol. 6, no. 1 (January 1982), pp. 76''83.GarliÅski, J"zefIntercept, Dent, 1979. A superficial, sometimes misleading account of Enigma decryption before and during World War II, of equally slight value as to both the Polish and British phases. See Richard Woytak and Christopher Kasparek, "The Top Secret of World War II", The Polish Review, vol. XXVIII, no. 2, 1983, pp. 98''103 (specifically, about GarliÅski, pp. 101''3).Herivel, John. Herivelismus and the German military Enigma. Baldwin, 2008. 978-0-947712-46-4Keen, John. Harold 'Doc' Keen and the Bletchley Park Bombe. Baldwin, 2003. 978-0-947712-42-6Large, Christine. Hijacking Enigma, 2003, ISBN 0-470-86347-1.Marks, Philip. "Umkehrwalze D: Enigma's Rewirable Reflector'--Part I", Cryptologia 25(2), April 2001, pp. 101''141.Marks, Philip. "Umkehrwalze D: Enigma's Rewirable Reflector'--Part II", Cryptologia 25(3), July 2001, pp. 177''212.Marks, Philip. "Umkehrwalze D: Enigma's Rewirable Reflector'--Part III", Cryptologia 25(4), October 2001, pp. 296''310.Paillole, Paul (1985). Notre espion chez Hitler [Our Spy with Hitler] (in French). Robert Laffont. Perera, Tom (2010). Inside ENIGMA. Bedford, UK: Radio Society of Great Britain. ISBN 978-1-905086-64-1. Perera, Tom. The Story of the ENIGMA: History, Technology and Deciphering, 2nd Edition, CD-ROM, 2004, Artifax Books, ISBN 1-890024-06-6sample pagesRejewski, Marian. "How Polish Mathematicians Deciphered the Enigma", Annals of the History of Computing 3, 1981. This article is regarded by Andrew Hodges, Alan Turing's biographer, as "the definitive account" (see Hodges' Alan Turing: The Enigma, Walker and Company, 2000 paperback edition, p. 548, footnote 4.5).Quirantes, Arturo. "Model Z: A Numbers-Only Enigma Version", Cryptologia 28(2), April 2004.Sebag-Montefiore, Hugh. Enigma: the battle for the code. Cassell Military Paperbacks, London, 2004. 978-1-407-22129-8Ulbricht, Heinz. Enigma Uhr, Cryptologia, 23(3), April 1999, pp. 194''205.Welchman, Gordon. The Hut Six Story: breaking the Enigma codes. Baldwin, new edition, 1997. 978-0-947712-34-1Winterbotham, F.W, The Ultra Secret, Harper and Row, New York, 1974; Spanish edition Ultrasecreto, Ediciones Grijalbo, Madrid, 1975External links[edit][1]Gordon Corera, "Poland's overlooked Enigma codebreakers", BBC News Magazine, 4 July 2014: "The debt owed by British wartime codebreakers to their Polish colleagues was acknowledged this week at a quiet gathering of [Polish, French and British] spy chiefs [held in Warsaw, Poland]."[2] Episode 5 on the Polish contribution.Bletchley Park National Code Center Home of the British codebreakers during the Second World WarPictures of a four-rotor naval enigma, including Flash (SWF) views of the machineEnigma Pictures and Demonstration by NSA Employee at RSAEnigma machine at DMOZAn online Enigma Machine simulatorA three rotor Enigma Machine simulatorOnline Enigma simulatorKenngruppenheftProcess of building an Enigma M4 replicaBreaking German Navy CiphersGrime, James. "Enigma '' 158,962,555,217,826,360,000". Numberphile. Brady Haran. Grime, James. "The Enigma Flaw". Numberphile. Brady Haran.
America's best-selling cars and trucks are built on lies: The rise of fake engine noise - The Washington Post
Fri, 23 Jan 2015 08:22
Stomp on the gas in a new Ford Mustang or F-150 and you'll hear a meaty, throaty rumble '-- the same style of roar that Americans have associated with auto power and performance for decades.
It's a sham. The engine growl in some of America's best-selling cars and trucks is actually a finely tuned bit of lip-syncing, boosted through special pipes or digitally faked altogether. And it's driving car enthusiasts insane.
Fake engine noise has become one of the auto industry's dirty little secrets, with automakers from BMW to Volkswagen turning to a sound-boosting bag of tricks. Without them, today's more fuel-efficient engines would sound far quieter and, automakers worry, seemingly less powerful, potentially pushing buyers away.
Softer-sounding engines are actually a positive symbol of just how far engines and gas economy have progressed. But automakers say they resort to artifice because they understand a key car-buyer paradox: Drivers want all the force and fuel savings of a newer, better engine '-- but the classic sound of an old gas-guzzler.
''Enhanced'' engine songs have become the signature of eerily quiet electrics such as the Toyota Prius. But the fakery is increasingly finding its way into beefy trucks and muscle cars, long revered for their iconic growl.
For the 2015 Mustang EcoBoost, Ford sound engineers and developers worked on an ''Active Noise Control'' system that amplifies the engine's purr through the car speakers. Afterward, the automaker surveyed members of Mustang fan clubs on which processed ''sound concepts'' they most enjoyed.
Ford said in a statement that the vintage V-8 engine boom ''has long been considered the mating call of Mustang,'' but added that the newly processed pony-car sound is ''athletic and youthful,'' ''a more refined growl'' with ''a low-frequency sense of powerfulness.''
Among purists, the trickery has inspired an identity crisis and cut to the heart of American auto legend. The ''aural experience'' of a car, they argue, is an intangible that's just as priceless as what's revving under the hood.
''For a car guy, it's literally music to hear that thing rumble,'' said Mike Rhynard, 41, a past president and 33-year member of the Denver Mustang Club. He has swayed between love and hate of the snarl-boosting sound tube in his 2012 Mustang GT, but when it comes to computerized noise, he's unequivocal: ''It's a mind-trick. It's something it's not. And no one wants to be deceived.''
That type of ire has made the auto industry shy about discussing its sound technology. Several attempts to speak with Ford's sound engineers about the new F-150, a six-cylinder model of America's best-selling truck that plays a muscular engine note through the speakers, were quietly rebuffed.
Car companies are increasingly wary of alerting buyers that they might not be hearing the real thing, and many automakers have worked with audio and software engineers to make their cars' synthesized engine melody more realistic.
Volkswagen uses what's called a ''Soundaktor,'' a special speaker that looks like a hockey puck and plays sound files in cars such as the GTI and Beetle Turbo. Lexus worked with sound technicians at Yamaha to more loudly amplify the noise of its LFA supercar toward the driver seat.
Some, including Porsche with its ''sound symposer,'' have used noise-boosting tubes to crank up the engine sound inside the cabin. Others have gone further into digital territory: BMW plays a recording of its motors through the car stereos, a sample of which changes depending on the engine's load and power.
Orchestrated engine noise has become a necessity for electric cars, which run so quietly that they can provide a dangerous surprise for inattentive pedestrians and the blind. Federal safety officials expect to finalize rules later this year requiring all hybrid and electric cars to play fake engine sounds to alert passersby, a change that experts estimate could prevent thousands of pedestrian and cyclist injuries.
With traditional engines, some boosters have even celebrated artificial noise as a little added luxury. Without it, drivers would hear an unsettling silence or only the kinds of road racket they would rather ignore, like bumps in the pavement or the whine of the wind.
Yet even drivers who appreciate the accompaniment have questioned the mission. A SlashGear reviewer who otherwise enjoyed the new F-150 said the engine sound was piped in ''arguably pointlessly.''
Which raises a more existential question: Does it matter if the sound is fake? A driver who didn't know the difference might enjoy the thrum and thunder of it nonetheless. Is taking the best part of an eight-cylinder rev and cloaking a better engine with it really, for carmakers, so wrong?
Not everyone is so diplomatic. Karl Brauer, a senior analyst with Kelley Blue Book, says automakers should stop the lies and get real with drivers.
''If you're going to do that stuff, do that stuff. Own it. Tell customers: If you want a V-8 rumble, you've gotta buy a V-8 that costs more, gets worse gas mileage and hurts the Earth,'' Brauer said. ''You're fabricating the car's sexiness. You're fabricating performance elements of the car that don't actually exist. That just feels deceptive to me.''
Drew Harwell is a national business reporter at The Washington Post.
Packet Equality
FCC Adopts JSA Rule and Begins 2014 Media Ownership Quadrennial Review | FCC.gov
Sat, 24 Jan 2015 21:16
NEWSFederal Communications Commission
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500
445 12th Street, S.W.Internet: http://www.fcc.gov
Washington, D. C. 20554
TTY: 1-888-835-5322
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
March 31, 2014Janice Wise (202) 418-8165Email: janice.wise@fcc.govFCC ADOPTS TV JSA ATTRIBUTION RULES, BEGINS 2014 MEDIA OWNERSHIP
Actions Will Help Protect Consumers and Preserve Local Broadcasting
Washington, D.C. '' The Federal Communications Commission today took steps to close a loophole in itsTV ownership rules, making sure that a party's interests in a market are properly counted. Removal ofthe loophole helps ensure competition, localism, and diversity in local broadcast markets by preventing apractice that previously resulted in consolidation in excess of what is permitted under the Commission'srules.A JSA, or joint sales agreement, is between two stations in the same market in which one station isauthorized to sell advertising time on the other station. The Commission's radio rules have longrecognized that these agreements create an ownership interest when the JSA allows for the sale of 15% ormore of the advertising time on a competing local station. Today's Report and Order applies this samestandard to broadcast television. Parties to existing TV JSAs will have two years to come intocompliance with the applicable local ownership limits. Waiver requests, considered on a case-by-casebasis, must show that strict compliance with the rule is inconsistent with the public interest.Also adopted today was a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that initiates the Commission's 2014Media Ownership Quadrennial Review and incorporates the ongoing 2010 Quadrennial Review record.The FNPRM asks for new and additional information on current market conditions to ensure acomprehensive and refreshed record. The current ownership rules remain in place while the review ispending.The FNPRM additionally asks for comment on whether commercial television stations should be requiredto disclose shared service agreements and how best to achieve disclosure. An SSA allows same marketstations to share resources, such as employees, administrative services, or hard assets, such as a newshelicopter.The Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking also recommends reinstatement of the Commission'srevenue-based ''eligible entity'' standard, finding that the program would support new entry into thebroadcast industry by small businesses.Action by the Commission March 31, 2014, by Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Report andOrder (FCC 14-28). Chairman Wheeler, Commissioners Clyburn and Rosenworcel with CommissionersPai and O'Rielly dissenting. Chairman Wheeler, Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel, Pai andO'Rielly issuing statements. MB Docket No. 14-50.For further information, contact Hillary DeNigro or Brendan Holland of the Industry Analysis Division,Media Bureau, at (202) 418-2330. Press contact: Janice Wise (202-418-8165; janice.wise@fcc.gov).-FCC-For news and information about the FCC, please visit www.fcc.govNote: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.
Local marketing agreement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sat, 24 Jan 2015 21:26
In U.S. and Canadian broadcasting, a local marketing agreement (or local management agreement, abbreviated as an LMA) is a contract in which one company agrees to operate a radio or television station owned by another licensee (the "junior" partner). In essence, it is a sort of lease or time-buy.
Under Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations, a local marketing agreement must give the company operating the station (the "senior" partner) under the agreement control over the entire facilities of the station, including the finances, personnel and programming of the station. Its original licencee still remains legally responsible for the station and its operations, such as compliance with relevant regulations regarding content. Occasionally, a "local marketing agreement" may refer to the sharing or contracting of only certain functions, in particular advertising sales. This may also be referred to as a local sales agreement (LSA), management services agreement (MSA), or most commonly, a joint sales agreement (JSA) or shared services agreement (SSA). JSAs are counted toward ownership caps for television and radio stations.[1][2] In Canada, local marketing agreements between domestic stations require the consent of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), although Rogers Media has used a similar arrangement to control a U.S.-based radio station in a border market.
The increased use of sharing agreements by media companies to form consolidated, "virtual" duopolies became controversial between 2009 and 2014, especially arrangements where a company buys a television station's facilities and assets, but sells the license to an affiliated third-party "shell" corporation, and operates it under a sharing agreement. Activists have argued that broadcasters were using these agreements as a loophole for the FCC's ownership regulations, that they reduce the number of local media outlets in a market through the aggregation or outright consolidation of news programming, and allow station owners to have increased leverage in the negotiation of retransmission consent with local subscription television providers. Station owners have contended that these sharing agreements allow streamlined, cost-effective operations that may be beneficial to the continued operation of lower-rated and/or financially weaker stations, especially in smaller markets.[3]
In 2014 under chairman Tom Wheeler, the FCC began to increase its scrutiny regarding the use of sharing agreements by television broadcasters to evade its policies; on March 31, 2014, the commission voted to make joint sales agreements count as ownership if the senior partner sells 15 percent or more of advertising time for its partner, and to ban coordinated retransmission consent negotiations between two of the top four stations in a market. Wheeler has also indicated that he also plans to address local marketing and shared services agreements in the future. The change in stance also prompted changes to then-proposed acquisitions by Gray Television and Sinclair Broadcast Group, who disclosed intents to shut down acquired stations entirely and consolidate their programming onto digital subchannels of company-owned stations, rather than use sharing agreements to control them or relinquishing operational responsibilities of the stations to the "shell" companies without any involvement from the group originally intending to use a sharing agreement to control them.
History and backgroundEditDue to the FCC's limits on station ownership at the time (which prevented the common ownership of multiple radio stations), local marketing agreements in radio, in which a smaller station would sell its entire airtime to a third-party in time-buy, were widespread between the 1970s and early 1990s.[4] These alliances gave larger broadcasters a way to expand their reach, and smaller broadcasters a means of obtaining a stable stream of revenue.[4] In 1992, the FCC began allowing broadcasting companies to own multiple radio stations in a single market. Following these changes, local marketing agreements largely fell out of favor for radio, as it was now possible for broadcasters to simply buy another station outright rather than lease it'--consequentially triggering a wave of mass consolidation in the radio industry.[4] However, broadcasters still used local marketing agreements to help transition acquired stations to their new owners.[4]
The first local marketing agreement in North American television was formed in 1991, when the Sinclair Broadcast Group purchased Fox affiliate WPGH-TV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As Sinclair had already owned independent station WPTT (now MyNetworkTV affiliate WPMY) in that market, which would have violated FCC rules which at the time had prohibited television station duopolies, Sinclair decided to sell the lower-rated WPTT to the station's manager Eddie Edwards, but continued to operate the station through an LMA (Sinclair eventually repurchased the station '' then assigned the call letters WCWB '' outright in 2000, after the Federal Communications Commission began permitting common ownership of two television stations in the same market, creating a legal duopoly).[5]
In 1999, the FCC modified its media ownership rules to count LMAs formed after November 5, 1996 that cover more than 15% of the broadcast day toward the ownership limits for the brokering station's owner.[6] Even still, the related joint sales and shared services agreement structures became increasingly common during the 2000s; these outsourcing agreements proliferated between 2011 and 2013, when station owners such as Sinclair and the Nexstar Broadcasting Group began expanding their portfolios by acquiring additional stations in an effort to drive scale as well as to gain leverage in retransmission consent negotiations with cable and satellite television providers.
ConsolidationEditThe most common use of an LMA in television broadcasting is to create a "virtual duopoly", where the stations operated under the agreement are consolidated into a single entity. The operations of the stations can be streamlined for cost-effectiveness through the sharing of resources, such as facilities, advertising sales, personnel and programming.[7] Many broadcasters who engage in the practice believe that such agreements are beneficial to the survival of television stations '' especially in smaller markets, where the overall audience reach is considerably less than that of markets that are centered upon densely populated metropolitan areas '' where the cost savings achieved through the consolidation of resources and staff may be necessary to fund a station's continued operation.[7][8]
Sharing agreements may also be used as a loophole to control television stations in situations where it is legally impossible to own them outright. For instance, FCC regulations only allow a single company to own more than one full-powered television station in a given market if there are at least eight distinct station owners, and also prohibits the ownership of two or more of the four highest-rated stations (based on total day viewership) in a market. An LMA or similar agreement does not affect the ownership of the station's license, meaning that they do not require the approval of the FCC to establish, and the two stations are still legally considered separate operations from a licensing standpoint.[8] Both Tribune Media and the Gannett Company were required to use shared services agreements as a similar loophole to take control of certain stations in their respective 2013 purchases of Local TV and Belo, as they did not have exemptions to the FCC's newspaper cross-ownership restrictions in the affected markets. For Tribune, the situation is only temporary, as the company was preparing to spin off its newspaper arm, Tribune Publishing, as an independent company.[9][10]
Broadcasters could also collect carriage fees for the stations they operate under sharing agreements on behalf of their owner, often bundling its carriage agreements with those of stations they own outright. This can, especially in LMAs between two stations affiliated with the "major" networks, allow the broadcaster to charge higher fees for retransmission consent to television providers for carrying the stations, which could result in smaller cable companies not being able to afford the higher fees imposed. Cable television providers have also advocated barring sharing agreements between television stations for this particular reason. In the United States, the FCC no longer allows broadcasters to collude with one another in negotiating retransmission consent fees.[3][7][8]
Operation on behalf of a third-party ownerEditAlthough the majority of LMAs involve the outsourcing of one television station's operations to another, occasionally, a company may operate a station under an LMA, JSA or SSA even if it does not already own a station in that market. One example occurred in December 2013, when the Louisiana Media Company (owned by New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Hornets owner Tom Benson) entered into a shared services agreement with Raycom Media to run the former company's Fox affiliate in New Orleans, Louisiana, WVUE-DT; while Louisiana Media Company retained the station's ownership and license, other assets were assumed by Raycom, which owns stations in markets adjacent to New Orleans (including Baton Rouge, Lake Charles and Shreveport) but not within New Orleans itself. Benson had received offers from Raycom and others to buy the station, but was not prepared to sell WVUE outright.[11][12]
Foreign control of broadcast outletsEditLMAs can also allow companies to control foreign stations from outside of their respective country; Canadian media company Rogers Media uses a joint sales agreement to operate Cape Vincent, New York radio station WLYK as a station targeting the nearby Canadian market of Kingston, Ontario, where it owns CKXC-FM and CIKR-FM. Rogers owns a 47% stake in WLYK's licensee, Border International Broadcasting.[13][14]
Similarly, Entravision Communications Corporation controls XHDTV-TDT, a Tijuana, Mexico-based station owned by Televisora Alco, which operates as an English-language station serving the border market of San Diego.[15]
Effects of LMAsEditPublic interest organizations have disapproved of the use of LMAs for virtual duopolies that circumvent the FCC's rules due to their effects on the broadcasting industry, particularly the results of consolidation through the irregular use of LMAs.[7][8] In markets where duopolies are not legally possible, a company may elect to form one by purchasing a station's "non-license" assets (such as their physical facilities, programming rights, and other intellectual property), and selling the license itself to a third-party "sidecar" company (who is often affiliated with the purchaser), which in turn, enters into an LMA or a similar agreement with the senior partner. The FCC only recognizes ownership of television stations by the ownership of their license and facility ID, and not by the ownership of these "non-license" assets; this means that the senior partner becomes the de facto owner of the station, but the sidecar is still the legal owner.[7][8][16] Although the FCC determines a sidecar firm to be an independent entity from the company using it to outsource station operations for licensing purposes, the Securities and Exchange Commission does not make such a designation, requiring reports on sidecars to be included in a broadcaster's financial statements.[17][18]
Both Sinclair Broadcast Group and Nexstar Broadcasting Group became infamous for their frequent use of sidecars as part of their expansion and consolidation tactics, partnering with companies like Cunningham Broadcasting (whose stock assets are largely controlled by the family of Sinclair founder Julian Smith), Deerfield Media, Mission Broadcasting, and even each other in the case of a virtual duopoly in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania between Sinclair-owned CBS affiliate WHP-TV and Nexstar-owned CW affiliate WLYH-TV, and a former virtual duopoly in Rochester, New York between Nexstar-owned CBS affiliate WROC-TV and Sinclair-owned Fox affiliate WUHF (in the wake of Sinclair and Deerfield's purchase of ABC affiliate WHAM-TV, this particular arrangement ended in January 2014).[7][8][19]
While not to the same, wide extent as Sinclair and Nexstar, Raycom Media has a similar business relationship with American Spirit Media in markets such as Toledo, Ohio (where American Spirit Media purchased Fox affiliate WUPW from LIN Media in 2012, with that station's operations being taken over by CBS affiliate WTOL),[20] Gray Television is affiliated with the sidecar Excalibur Broadcasting '' owned by former Gray executive Don Ray,[21] and Granite Broadcasting Corporation operated virtual duopolies in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Duluth, Minnesota with the sidecar Malara Broadcast Group. In February 2014, it was announced that the Granite/Malara stations would respectively be sold to Quincy Newspapers and SagamoreHill Broadcasting, with Quincy operating SagamoreHill's stations under an SSA'--although in Fort Wayne, Quincy was to acquire the previous junior partner, Malara's WPTA, with SagamoreHill taking WISE-TV.[22] In November 2014, Quincy chose to restructure the deals, maintaining the existing duopoly arrangements with Malara Broadcast Group, and acquiring WISE-TV instead of WPTA.[23][24]
Effects on programmingEditThe stations partnered through a sharing agreement may also consolidate their programming operations: local newscasts on the junior partner in the LMA, if it operated a separate news department before the LMA's formation, may be rescheduled or scaled back to prevent direct competition with newscasts airing on the station acting as the senior partner. The stations may share news-gathering resources, but maintain separate news telecasts that are differentiated by their on-air appearance, anchors, and overall format; in these cases, a seemingly separate newscast on the brokered station in the duopoly may ultimately consist of repackaged news content from the other station.[8] Alternatively, the stations may consolidate their news programming under a single joint brand,[16][25] or maintain a degree of autonomy from each other.[26]
Redundant staff members are often laid off as part of the consolidation process, and the sharing of news content reduces the number of unique editorial voices in the market. This in particular is one of the caveats of pushes to ban outsourcing agreements by media consolidation critics, who also suggest that LMAs result in a decreased amount of local news coverage on the brokered station.[7][8][27]
Depending on how the outsourcing agreement is structured, as well as how the brokered station is programmed, how the stations are consolidated and the amount of news programming featured on the brokered station may vary, for example:
In October 2008, Tribune Broadcasting and Local TV LLC consolidated the operations of their respective CW and Fox affiliates in Denver and St. Louis, resulting from a groupwide management agreement between both companies.[28][29] In Denver, CW affiliate KWGN-TV moved into Fox affiliate KDVR's facilities in the Speer neighborhood; while in St. Louis, Fox affiliate KTVI '' despite being the senior partner in the LMA with CW affiliate KPLR '' moved into the latter station's Maryland Heights studios. Both cities were (and still are) top-25 markets, making Denver and St. Louis the largest where any English-language stations were involved in an LMA; however, both cities had enough stations to allow a legal duopoly (this was not possible with KPLR and KTVI as both were among the four highest-rated stations in St. Louis at the time, placing ahead of ratings-challenged ABC affiliate KDNL-TV), and were large enough to support at least four television news operations (Denver had five and St. Louis had four news-producing stations prior to the formation of the LMA).KWGN and KPLR moved The CW's primetime lineup one hour later (to 8:00 p.m.) than the network-recommended timeslot, and shifted their evening newscasts to 7:00 p.m. (weekend editions of the evening newscasts were discontinued with the move; KPLR has since expanded its 7:00 p.m. newscast to Saturday and Sunday evenings) to avoid competing with KDVR and KTVI's 9:00 p.m. newscasts; KWGN retained its weekday morning newscast (which competes directly with KDVR's morning newscast), but canceled its 5:30 p.m. '' and later, 11:00 a.m. '' newscasts. In contrast, KPLR (which had run a primetime newscast for much of its history) eventually added hour-long midday and late afternoon newscasts.[30][31][32][33][34] The two LMA arrangements became legal duopolies in December 2013, once Tribune finalized its acquisition of Local TV.[35][36]In 2009, Raycom Media (owner of Honolulu-based NBC and MyNetworkTV affiliates, KHNL and KFVE) announced it would take over the operations of local CBS affiliate KGMB (then owned by MCG Capital Corporation), giving it control of three of the television stations in Hawaii. The deal was a complex arrangement which involved trading the non-license assets of KFVE (such as its call sign, programming, and network affiliation) for those of KGMB (effectively placing the station under Raycom ownership, but using KFVE's license, signal, and virtual channel 5), and taking over KFVE (which moved to the channel 9 license owned by MCG Capital) under a shared services agreement. Due to its nature, the swap was not a transaction that would require the intervention of the FCC, aside from the changing of call signs. The three stations were then folded into a shared news operation branded as Hawaii News Now. An estimated 68 positions from a total of 198 from the three stations would be eliminated as part of the agreement.[16][25] On November 20, 2013, MCG Capital filed to sell KFVE to the aforementioned American Spirit Media.[37]In 2010, the operations of Schurz Communications-owned NBC affiliate WAGT in Augusta, Georgia were taken over by Media General-owned ABC affiliate WJBF-TV. Both stations were consolidated into new, high-definition capable facilities constructed on the site of a former Barnes & Noble store, with separate studios for each station, and a third, shared studio. Despite the consolidation, the two stations aimed to maintain some autonomy from each other: both WAGT and WJBF maintain their own on-air identities, newsrooms, and sales departments within the facility. While the newscasts on both stations do share some "factual" video content, they are otherwise produced independently of each other. However, upon the consolidation, most of WAGT's managerial staff were dismissed and other employees were reassigned to different positions.[26][38][39]In 2010, Nexstar announced a new joint news operation for its consolidated cluster in Utica/Rome, New York, which consists of Nexstar-owned Fox and MyNetworkTV affiliates WFXV and WPNY-LP, and Mission-owned ABC affiliate WUTR. Unlike the other examples, neither station had a pre-existing newscast at the time; WUTR's original news department was closed in 2003 by previous owner Clear Channel Communications as a cost-saving measure, and WFXV had never aired local news programming at all. Its slate included early and late evening newscasts on WUTR, an encore of WUTR's evening newscast on WPNY, and a 10:00 p.m. newscast on WFXV with a faster, younger-skewing format. The station's executive vice president, Steve Merren (who had come from NBC affiliate WKTV, which had the sole television news operation in the market prior to the formation of Nexstar's Eyewitness News operation) believed that it "[was] important that the community has another source of news. We have one newspaper and one news station and the community could benefit from another voice."[40][41][42]In Evansville, Indiana, Mission Broadcasting acquired then-independent station WTVW (now a CW affiliate) in 2011 with its former owner Nexstar Broadcasting retaining operational duties under an SSA. WTVW consolidated news operations with ABC affiliate WEHT, for which Nexstar traded WTVW to Mission in exchange for acquiring WEHT from Gilmore Broadcasting Corporation, and had its newscast output reduced through the reductions of its weekday morning newscast from four hours to two and its 6:00 p.m. newscast '' except on Sundays, where it remained one hour '' from one hour to 30 minutes (leaving only a two-hour morning newscast, half-hour noon and 6:30 p.m. newscasts and an hour-long newscast at 9:00 p.m.). Both stations were then folded into a shared news operation branded as Eyewitness News.[43][44]In November 2011, in the Tucson, Arizona, market, Belo relinquished the operations of its Fox and MyNetworkTV duopoly KMSB and KTTU to Raycom Media. Operations of the two stations, along with production of KMSB's 9:00 p.m. newscast, were assumed by Raycom's CBS station KOLD-TV. Belo Media Operations president Peter L. Diaz touted that the consolidation would result in "better produced, increased news programming for the Tucson market", citing Raycom's addition of a locally-produced morning newscast to KMSB, and the upgrade of KMSB's news programming to high definition as part of the transition. Although ruling out the need to do so in other markets, Diaz noted that the agreements "[allowed] us to increase our news product that we couldn't afford to do otherwise." The consolidation resulted in layoffs for almost all of the two stations' employees, aside from advertising sales staff, which remained employed by Belo but worked from KOLD's facilities.[45] The acquisition of Belo by Gannett in 2013 had few effects on the virtual triopoly; although the stations' licenses were sold to third-parties to satisfy newspaper cross-ownership restrictions, Raycom still operates the stations, and their sales departments remain operated by Gannett.[46]The 2012 sale of Newport Television led to the formation of two full-power virtual quadropolies. In Little Rock, Arkansas, Nexstar and Mission Broadcasting formed a virtual quadropoly consisting of two duopolies; NBC station KARK-TV and MyNetworkTV station KARZ-TV (owned by Nexstar), along with Fox station KLRT-TV and CW station KASN (owned by Mission, operated by Nexstar under a local marketing agreement). All four stations were consolidated into KARK's facilities; 30 employees were laid off as part of the consolidation.[47] As a result, KLRT reduced its weeknight 5:00 p.m. newscast from one hour to 30 minutes (limiting it to the 5:30 half-hour) and dropped its 10:00 p.m. newscast, while adding a two-hour weekday morning newscast and retaining its existing hour-long newscast at 9:00 p.m.[47]Sinclair formed a similar arrangement in Mobile, Alabama between its existing Pensacola duopoly of ABC affiliate WEAR-TV and MyNetworkTV affiliate WFGX, and the newly acquired Mobile duopoly of NBC affiliate WPMI and independent station WJTC (owned by Deerfield Media). However, the stations were not consolidated, and maintain their own studio facilities, news departments and staff. WEAR and WPMI also produce competing 9:00 p.m. newscasts for their respective duopoly partners.[48][49][50]Reaction and government actionEditIn February 2001, Clear Channel Communications subsidiary Citicasters was fined $25,000 for its use of time brokerage agreements and litigation for unlawfully controlling Youngstown, Ohio area radio station WBTJ (101.9 FM, now WYLR); the company had also been the target of complaints for using KFJO (FM) to rebroadcast KSJO after it had nominally sold KFJO to minority-owned interests.[51][52][53][54]
In 2009, the Media Council of Hawaii complained to the FCC about Raycom's Hawaii News Now operation, stating that it would "directly reduce the diversity of local voices in a community by replacing independent newscasts on the brokered station with those of the brokering station." In response, the FCC stated it would begin to investigate into the matter.[8][16]
Gannett acquisition of BeloEditGannett Company's 2013 acquisition of Belo was opposed by organizations such as the American Cable Association and Free Press, due to Gannett's plans to use LMAs and two shell companies owned by former Belo and Fisher Communications executives (respectively, Sander Media and Tucker Operating Co.) to dodge FCC newspaper cross-ownership restrictions in Louisville, Phoenix, Portland, Oregon and Tucson. Although Gannett contended that the arrangements were legal, Free Press president Craig Aaron stated that "the FCC shouldn't let Gannett break the rules. Media consolidation results in fewer journalists in the newsroom and fewer opinions on the airwaves. Concentrating media outlets in the hands of just a few companies benefits only the companies themselves." The deal would have given Gannett a virtual triopoly in Phoenix, consisting of its NBC station KPNX, independent station KTVK and CW affiliate KASW. In Tucson, Fox affiliate KMSB and MyNetworkTV affiliate KTTU were already operated by Raycom Media's CBS affiliate KOLD-TV under a shared services agreement established under Belo ownership, but Gannett would still handle advertising sales for the stations.[46]
In December 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice blocked Gannett from using an agreement with Sander Media to operate CBS affiliate KMOV in St. Louis alongside its own NBC station KSDK, and ordered Gannett to sell KMOV. Even though Gannett planned to operate KMOV separately from KSDK, the Department ruled the agreement to be a violation of antitrust law, as it would reduce competition for advertising sales.[55] Following the closure of the Belo purchase, Meredith Corporation announced a deal to purchase KMOV, along with KTVK and KASW. As Meredith would have a duopoly between KTVK and its Phoenix CBS affiliate KPHO-TV, KASW was to be sold to SagamoreHill Broadcasting and operated by Meredith under an LMA.[9][46][56]
Sinclair acquisition of AllbrittonEditAs part of its planned acquisition of Allbritton Communications, Sinclair originally planned to sell its existing stations in three markets where Allbritton already owned stations'--Charleston, South Carolina, Birmingham, Alabama and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, but continue to operate them under local marketing agreements. WABM and WTTO in Birmingham and WHP-TV in Harrisburg were to be sold to Deerfield Media, and WMMP in Charleston was to be sold to Howard Stirk Holdings'--a broadcasting company owned by conservative talk show host Armstrong Williams.[57] Howard Stirk Holdings was also used as a sidecar for two conflicting stations in Sinclair's acquisition of Barrington Broadcasting.[58]
In December 2013, FCC Video Division Chief Barbara Kreisman sent a letter demanding information from the Sinclair Broadcast Group on the financial aspects of its "sidecar" operations, and warned that in the three aforementioned markets, "the proposed transactions would result in the elimination of the grandfathered status of certain local marketing agreements and thus cause the transactions to violate our local TV ownership rules."[57] It was asserted that the deal might only be legal if the affected stations were operated under shared services agreements.[57][59] Sinclair restructured the deal in March 2014, choosing to sell WHP-TV, WMMP, and WABM and terminate an SSA with the Cunningham-owned Fox affiliate WTAT in Charleston to acquire the Allbritton-owned stations in those markets (WCIV, WHTM-TV and WBMA-LD, while also creating a new duopoly between the ABC and CW affiliates in Birmingham), as well as foregoing any operational or financial agreements with the buyers of the stations being sold to other parties.[60][61]
In May 2014, Sinclair disclosed in an FCC filling that it was unable to find buyers for the three affected stations, requiring changes to its transaction.[62] In Harrisburg, Sinclair chose to retain WHP-TV, and divest WHTM to Media General.[63] However, in Charleston and Birmingham, the company proposed to shut down stations entirely (rather than selling them to other buyers that would also handle their operational responsibilities) so it could maintain legal duopolies; surrendering the licenses for WCIV and the full-powered repeaters of WBMA-LD (WJSU and WCFT), and moving their ABC programming to Sinclair's existing stations WMMP and WABM respectively '' which would shift their existing MyNetworkTV programming to digital subchannels.[62] After nearly a year of delays, Sinclair's deal to acquire Allbritton was approved by the FCC on July 24, 2014.[64]
FCC limits on joint sales agreements for television stationsEditIn response to criticism of the virtual duopolies and sharing agreements, the FCC began to consider potential changes to address these loopholes. In March 2013, the Commission first tabled a proposal that would make joint sales agreements count the same as ownership.[65]
In January 2014 town hall meeting, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler disclosed that he planned to place more scrutiny on the use of LMA-style agreements and shell companies, stating that "there were a couple of references in a couple of recent decisions in which we've said that we're going to do things differently going forward on what were called these shell corporations." Later that month, it was reported that the FCC had placed all pending acquisitions involving the use of shell companies on hold, so the Commission could discuss changes to its policies. Among the deals affected by this decision included the aforementioned Sinclair/Allbritton purchase.[66][67]
On March 6, 2014, the FCC announced that it would hold a vote on March 31 on a proposal to ban joint sales agreements involving television stations outright, making them attributable to FCC ownership limits if the senior partner sells 15% or more of advertising time of a competing junior partner station in the JSA; the ban applies to both existing sharing agreements under such a structure as well as pending station transactions that include a JSA. Station owners will be given a two-year grace period to unwind or modify joint sales agreements in violation of the policy; coordinated retransmission consent negotiations between two of the four highest-rated stations in a single market would also be barred under the proposal. Wheeler also proposed an expedited process to review joint sales agreements on a case-by-case basis, granting a waiver of the rules if a broadcaster can prove a particular joint sales agreement arrangement serves the public interest.[68][69]
On March 12, 2014, the FCC Media Bureau released a notice that it would further analyze television station transactions that include sharing agreements, particularly those that include a purchase option that "may counter any incentive the licensee has to increase the value of the station, since the licensee may be unlikely to realize that increased value."[70] Under the new provisions, broadcasters must demonstrate in their transaction applications as to how such deals would serve the public interest.[70] The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) '' which, along with station groups such as Sinclair Broadcast Group, have disapproved of the proposal to ban JSAs '' presented a compromise proposal, in which the brokered licensee in a sharing agreement would retain control over at least 85 percent of the station's programming, maintain at least 70 percent of ad sales revenue and "maintain at least 20 percent of station value in the license itself".[71] FCC commissioner Ajit Pai, and Gordon Smith, president of the NAB, were also opposed to the new rules on joint sales agreements, believing that they would discourage the ownership of television stations by minority-owned companies.[64][72] Tom Wheeler, however, proposed the restrictions in the hopes of encouraging more women and minorities to own stations, due to the ongoing consolidation in the television industry through company mergers and sharing agreements.[73]
On March 31, 2014, the FCC voted 3''2 to approve the proposed ban on joint sales agreements and voted 5''0 to approve the proposed ban on coordinated retransmission consent negotiations between two of a market's four highest-rated stations; the JSA ban went into effect on June 19, 2014.[74] Under the restrictions, the FCC would rule on waivers to maintain select existing JSAs within 90 days of the application's filing. The FCC also began a request for comment on policies to address other agreements, such as shared services agreements.[2][3][75] The prohibition on television JSAs had been proposed as early as 2004, a year after the FCC voted to treat JSAs between radio stations as duopolies. Despite this fact, broadcasting companies have blasted the ban on JSAs since its proposal stage, accusing the Commission of using it as a move to push broadcasters into participating in a spectrum incentive auction then set to occur in 2015, and stating that the ban would place them at a disadvantage during retransmission consent negotiations with pay television providers.[76][77]
Shutdown of stationsEditThe increased scrutiny being imposed by the FCC regarding local marketing, shared services, and joint sales agreements have led to more drastic measures by broadcasting companies attempting to use them in acquisitions; in 2014, two broadcasting companies declared intents to shut acquired stations down entirely and consolidate their programming onto existing stations through multicasting, rather than attempting to use sidecars and sharing agreements or selling them to other parties that would assume full responsibility of their day-to-day operations.[78][79]
In May 2014, Sinclair informed the FCC that it was unable to find buyers for WABM or WMMP '' the company's MyNetworkTV stations in Birmingham, Alabama and Charleston, South Carolina that it planned to sell in its purchase of Allbritton Communications. In Birmingham, the company proposed surrendering the licenses of WCFT-TV and WJSU-TV '' the two full-powered satellites of ABC affiliate WBMA-LD, converting WABM into a full-powered satellite of WBMA-LD '' and moving its existing MyNetworkTV programming to a digital subchannel of WABM. Similarly, in Charleston, Sinclair planned to surrender WCIV's license and move its ABC affiliation and programming to WMMP. In both cases, Sinclair believed that its own stations had superior technical facilities than those of the stations it intends to surrender.[62][79] Sinclair can retain WBMA-LD as the FCC does not impose any ownership limits on low-power stations.[80]
On June 13, 2014, Gray Television announced that it would shutter six stations and consolidate existing programming onto subchannels of Gray-owned stations in their respective market. Unlike Sinclair, however, Gray stated that it would sell the licenses of the shuttered stations to minority-owned broadcasters in collaboration with the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council '' under the condition that they would operate them independently from other stations in the market, and without the use of any sharing agreements. All six of the stations were owned by companies other than Gray, but their non-license assets are either owned by Gray, or were operated by stations now owned by Gray under agreements. Gray will operate the affected stations under LMAs until the sales and consolidation are complete. Aside from one, most of the stations involved in these changes were related to Gray's acquisition of stations from Hoak Media. Three of these stations were immediately shut down the same day, while the remainder will remain operated by Gray until the sales are completed.[78][81][82] Gray announced buyers for the stations on August 27, 2014.[83]
The six stations affected by Gray's move include:
KHAS-TV (Hastings/Lincoln, Nebraska), previously owned by Hoak. On June 13, 2014, KHAS-TV was shut down and its NBC programming was moved to the primary channel of KSNB-TV. Gray had bought KSNB under a failing station waiver to form a duopoly with CBS station KOLN/KGIN, and operated the station as a MyNetworkTV/Me-TV affiliate with local programming focused on central Nebraska; this existing programming was moved to KSNB-DT2 upon the transition.[84][85] On August 27, 2014, the station was sold to Legacy Broadcasting.[83]KNDX/KXND (Bismarck/Minot, North Dakota), owned by Prime Cities Broadcasting, who asked the FCC to dismiss their sale to Excalibur Broadcasting (a sidecar owned by former Gray executive Don Ray),[21] which would have made them sisters to the NBC North Dakota chain being acquired from Hoak by Gray.[86] On May 1, 2014, Gray acquired the stations' non-license assets,[87] and on June 13, 2014, both stations were taken off the air, with Fox programming being moved to subchannels of the NBC North Dakota stations (KMOT, KQCD-TV and KFYR-TV).[82] On August 27, 2014, the stations were sold to Legacy Broadcasting.[83]KXJB and KAQY (Fargo, North Dakota and Columbia/Monroe, Louisiana''El Dorado, Arkansas), both owned by Parker Broadcasting and operated by Hoak (now Gray) stations. Both were originally to be sold to Excalibur Broadcasting.[87] On August 27, 2014, KXJB was sold to Major Market Broadcasting, and KAQY to Legacy Broadcasting.[83]KJCT (Grand Junction, Colorado), acquired by Excalibur in August 2013 from News-Press & Gazette Company, and taken over by Gray-owned KKCO following the acquisition.[21] On August 27, 2014, the station was sold to Chang Media Group.[83]Following the approval of Sinclair's purchase of Allbritton, commissioner Ajit Pai further criticized the FCC's new policies and its endorsement of Sinclair's proposal to shut down stations to comply with them. Describing the three Allbritton stations as being "victims" of the "crackdown" against joint sales agreements, he stated regarding WCIV that "apparently the Commission believes that it is better for that station to go out of business than for Howard Stirk Holdings to own the station and participate in a joint sales agreement with Sinclair. I strongly disagree. And so too, I'll bet, would consumers in Charleston."[64] In September 2014, Sinclair backtracked on its original plans, and reached deals to sell WCIV, WCFT, and WJSU's license assets to Howard Stirk Holdings for $50,000 each and lease them studio space, pending FCC approval. Unlike HSH's other stations, which are operated by Sinclair, the company will operate and program the stations independently, and Sinclair will not enter into any agreements with the company to operate the stations on their behalf.[88][89][90][91]
InternationallyEditIn a 2005 Canadian dispute, Rogers Media and Newcap Broadcasting had a joint sales agreement pertaining to CHNO-FM in Sudbury, Ontario, but community interests and the lobby group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting presented substantial evidence to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission that in practice, the agreement was a de facto LMA, going significantly beyond advertising sales into program production and news-gathering. LMAs in Canada cannot be implemented without the CRTC's approval, and in early 2005, the CRTC ordered the agreement to cease.[92]
In 2008, the Filipino Associated Broadcasting Company leased its airtime to the Malaysian broadcaster Media Prima (through the local subsidiary MPB Primedia, Inc) similar to an LMA '' with MPB Primedia providing entertainment programming, and ABC handling news programming and operations. Soon afterward, ABC and Media Prima were sued by rival media company GMA Network, Inc. for attempting to use the partnership to skirt laws requiring domestic ownership of broadcasters. In response, ABC's media relations head Pat Marcelo-Magbanua reiterated that the subsidiary was a Filipino company which was self-registered and Filipino-run.[93] The concerns became moot in 2010, when Media Prima announced it would divest its ownership in the network to the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company's broadcasting subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings.[94]
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Retrieved December 5, 2010. ^Miner, Dan (March 31, 2011). "Local news coming to ABC and FOX in Utica and Rome". Utica Observer-Dispatch (Gatehouse Media). Retrieved March 21, 2014. ^Phillips, Marques (April 16, 2010). "Company has not had news since 2003". Utica Daily News (Townsquare Media). Archived from the original on April 20, 2010. Retrieved 21 March 2014. ^"Utica's WUTR to Revive Local News Operation". CNYRadio.com. March 31, 2011. Retrieved March 21, 2014. ^Newkirk, Jacob (November 22, 2011). "Big changes coming to News 25 and Local 7". Evansville Courier & Press (E. W. Scripps Company). Retrieved November 28, 2011. ^Newkirk, Jacob (November 29, 2011). "Nexstar announces anchors, expanded 'Local' news on WTVW, WEHT". Evansville Courier & Press (E. W. Scripps Company). Retrieved November 29, 2011. ^"Belo Turning Over KMSB, KTTU To KOLD". TVNewsCheck (NewsCheckMedia). November 15, 2011. Retrieved September 21, 2014. ^ abcHatfield, David (June 13, 2013). "Little change on Tucson TV expected from Belo's sale to Gannett". Inside Tucson Business. Retrieved June 13, 2013. ^ abKnable, Kate (January 29, 2013). "Almost 30 Lose Jobs at KARK, KLRT as TV Owners Consolidate". Arkansas Business (Arkansas Business Publishing Group). ^Mitchell, Ellen (July 19, 2012). "Sinclair adds 2 more Gulf Coast TV stations to stable '' WPMI and WJTC". AL.com. Alabama Media Group. Retrieved March 28, 2014. ^Blanton, Christopher M. (August 8, 2013). "WPMI to produce newscasts for WJTC...". Florida News Center (Press release). Retrieved March 28, 2014. ^Blanton, Christopher M. (July 31, 2013). "WEAR to produce new newscasts for WFGX...". Florida's News Center. Retrieved March 28, 2014. ^Citicasters Co. v. Stop 26 Riverbend, Inc. (PDF). Ohio Seventh District Court of Appeals. May 2, 2002. Archived from the original on February 15, 2012. Retrieved July 27, 2014. ^Korn, Alan (October 28, 2005). "Petition to Deny Renewal" (PDF). Media Alliance. Archived from the original on February 7, 2006. Retrieved March 22, 2014. ^Kava, Brad (May 8, 2001). "Biggest radio mogul bending rules to get bigger?". San Jose Mercury News (MediaNews Group). Retrieved March 22, 2014. ^"In the Matter of Citicasters Co.". Federal Communications Commission. February 13, 2001. Retrieved March 22, 2014. ^Eggerton, John (December 16, 2013). "Justice: Sander Can't Keep KMOV". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. Retrieved December 27, 2013. ^Staff writers (December 23, 2013). "Meredith Buying Three Stations from Gannett". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved December 23, 2013. ^ abcHalonen, Doug (December 6, 2013). "FCC Targets Sinclair Sidecar Deals In 3 Mkts.". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved December 7, 2013. ^Meyers, Jim (28 February 2013). "Armstrong Williams Purchases TV Stations". Newsmax. Retrieved 11 August 2014. ^Hagey, Keach (December 6, 2013). "FCC Asks Sinclair to Revise Plans to Use 'Sidecar' Companies". The Wall Street Journal (Dow Jones & Company). Retrieved December 7, 2013. ^Eck, Kevin (March 21, 2014). "Sinclair Offers to Sell Stations Ahead of FCC Decision". TVSpy. Mediabistro. Retrieved July 26, 2014. ^"Sinclair Proposes Restructuring of Allbritton Transaction in Order To Meet Objections of the Federal Communications Commission" (Press release). Baltimore: PR Newswire. March 20, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2014 '' via The Wall Street Journal. ^ abcJessell, Harry A. (May 29, 2014). "Sinclair Giving Up 3 Stations To Appease FCC". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved May 30, 2014. ^Staff writer (June 23, 2014). "Media General Buying WHTM For $83.4M". TVNewsCheck (NewsCheckMedia). Retrieved June 23, 2014. ^ abcEggerton, John (24 July 2014). "FCC Approves Sinclair/Allbritton Deal". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. Retrieved 24 July 2014. ^Halonen, Doug (March 5, 2013). "FCC's Pai: JSA Overhaul Plan Still In Play". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckGroup. Retrieved March 6, 2013. ^Halonen, Doug (January 23, 2014). "Report: Wheeler Putting Brakes on SSAs". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved January 24, 2014. ^Halonen, Doug (January 10, 2014). "Wheeler Vows To Take Closer Look at SSAs". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved January 24, 2014. ^Halonen, Doug (March 6, 2014). "Wheeler Moves To End Sharing Agreements". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved July 26, 2014. ^Yu, Roger (March 6, 2014). "FCC proposes to curb TV stations' joint sales deals". USA Today (Gannett Company). ^ abHalonen, Doug (March 12, 2014). "FCC To Scrutinize Station Sales with SSAs". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved July 26, 2014. ^Halonen, Doug (March 14, 2014). "NAB Proposes JSA Compromise Plan". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved July 26, 2014. ^Bachman, Katy (6 March 2014). "FCC Takes Aim at TV Joint Sales Deals". Adweek. Retrieved 11 August 2014. ^"Wheeler's Diversity Claim Is A Fantasy". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved 11 August 2014. ^"Media Bureau Announces the Effective Date of the Television Joint Sales Agreement Attribution Rule" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. June 18, 2014. Archived from the original on July 27, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2014. ^Johnson, Ted (March 31, 2014). "FCC Votes to Bar Stations from Jointly Selling Ad Time". Variety (Penske Media Corporation). ^Halonen, Doug (April 7, 2014). "FCC's Lake: FCC Not At War Over JSAs". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved April 7, 2014. ^McConnell, Bill (August 3, 2004). "FCC May Tighten Joint Sales Rules". Broadcasting & Cable (NewBay Media). Retrieved April 7, 2014. ^ abMarcucci, Carl (June 13, 2014). "Gray closes Hoak deal; completes refinancing". Radio & Television Business Report. Streamline RBR. Retrieved July 26, 2014. ^ abEggerton, John (May 29, 2014). "Sinclair Proposes Surrendering Three Licenses to Get Allbritton Deal Done". Broadcasting & Cable (NewBay Media). Retrieved May 30, 2014. ^"Low Power Television (LPTV) Service". Federal Communications Commission. February 24, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2014. ^Staff writers (November 20, 2013). "Gray Buying Hoak, Prime Stations For $342.5M". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved November 20, 2013. ^ ab"Gray Retains Minority Media and Telecommunications Council as Exclusive Broker for Transfer of Former Shared Services Stations" (Press release). Atlanta: PR Newswire. June 13, 2014. Retrieved June 16, 2014 '' via Gray Television. ^ abcde"Gray Sets Buyers For Its Six SSA Stations". TVNewsCheck. 27 August 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2014. ^Jessell, Harry A. (November 26, 2012). "Gray Lines Up 2nd Station In Lincoln, NE". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved June 16, 2014. ^Korbelik, Jeff (June 12, 2014). "KSNB-TV to become NBC affiliate". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved June 16, 2014. ^Paxson, Ann Thomas (March 25, 2014). "Re: Prime Cities Broadcasting, Inc. Request for Dismissal of Group Application for Assignment of Broadcast Station License(s)..." (PDF). CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Archived from the original on March 27, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2014. ^ abStaff writers (May 1, 2014). "Gray Adds North And South Dakota TVs". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved May 2, 2014. ^"Application For Consent To Assignment Of Broadcast Station Construction Permit Or License". CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission. Charleston Television, LLC. Retrieved 15 September 2014. ^"Howard Stirk Holdings Grabs WCIV for $50,000". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 19 September 2014. ^"DESCRIPTION OF TRANSACTION AND UNIQUE SERVICE TO BE PROVIDED". Howard Stirk Holdings. Retrieved 21 September 2014. ^"APPLICATION FOR CONSENT TO ASSIGNMENT OF BROADCAST STATION CONSTRUCTION PERMIT OR LICENSE". TV Alabama, Inc. Retrieved 26 September 2014. ^"Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2005''22". Ottawa: Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. January 31, 2005. Retrieved March 8, 2014. ^Almo, Nerisa (January 5, 2009). "'TV5 is a Filipino company', defends one of its executives". Philippine Entertainment Portal. GMA New Media. Retrieved January 20, 2009. ^Godinez, Bong (March 26, 2010). "Revamped TV5 parades new programs and roster of stars at its trade launch". Philippine Entertainment Portal. GMA New Media. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
Exclusive: CIA's Top Spy Steps Down - The Daily Beast
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 04:58
The secretive head of the agency's National Clandestine Service is retiring amid reports of infighting over a reorganization of the intelligence service.
The director of the CIA's National Clandestine Service, the storied home of the agency's most secretive intelligence operations, has announced that he plans to retire, The Daily Beast has learned.
CIA spokesman Dean Boyd confirmed that the director announced his retirement ''after a long and distinguished career at CIA. We thank him for this profound and lasting contributions to both CIA and to our nation's security.''
As a practice, the CIA doesn't identify the head of the clandestine service by name. But Frank Archibald was outed in a Twitter post in 2013, and details of his biography were known to some journalists. Archibald, who was 57 when he took the job that year, reportedly served tours in Pakistan and Africa and also headed the CIA's Latin America division. The Associated Press reported that Archibald "once ran the covert action that helped remove Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic from power."
Archibald's retirement comes at a transitional moment for the CIA. The agency's director, John Brennan, is considering major changes to the agency's structure, including the possible creation of new intelligence centers and doing away with the traditional division of CIA into its analysis group and the clandestine service.
''This would be to their mind the greatest threat to their independence since they were created as the Directorate of Plans back in 1951.''
Critics of the reorganization, which hasn't been formally proposed and, officials have stressed, isn't a done deal, see it as potentially undermining some of the CIA's core capabilities in favor of organizing the agency around regions of the world. Some in the National Clandestine Service in particular view a reorganization as a threat to the high-degree of independence it has traditionally enjoyed within the intelligence bureaucracy.
''This would be to their mind the greatest threat to their independence since they were created as the Directorate of Plans back in 1951,'' one former official said.
Brennan is slated to make public remarks on Monday at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, where he'll be interviewed by journalist Charlie Rose. The CIA hasn't announced what, if any, news Brennan plans to make. But former officials said they'd been anticipating that he might soon unveil more of his thinking about any reorganization.
The CIA has also seen some shakeups in the senior ranks of late. Earlier this month, President Obama tapped David Cohen to be the CIA's new deputy director. Cohen, a senior Treasury Department official, has been the chief architect of the administration's sanctions regime against Iran.
Also this month, Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland Jr., who previously was deputy commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, became the CIA's new associate director for military affairs. In recent years, the CIA and special operators have worked more closely together than ever, most famously in the successful raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan 2011.
VIDEO-Analyst says video of Japanese hostages is manipulated - YouTube
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 14:21
AUDIO-Who Are The Houthis Of Yemen? : Parallels : NPR
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 06:33
Shiite Houthi rebels chant slogans after taking over a government military compound in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, in September. The group forced the country's president to resign on Thursday, plunging Yemen into uncertainty. Hani Mohammed/APhide caption
itoggle caption Hani Mohammed/APShiite Houthi rebels chant slogans after taking over a government military compound in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, in September. The group forced the country's president to resign on Thursday, plunging Yemen into uncertainty.
Hani Mohammed/APThe Houthis of northern Yemen were an obscure group until recently. But they surged to prominence in September, when the Houthi militia took over parts of Yemen's capital, Sanaa.
Yemen's president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, was weakened by the Houthi advance and agreed to a deal that allowed the militia to keep control in a number of key areas in Sanaa.
The fragile deal fell apart this week as the Houthis seized the presidential palace and placed more demands on Hadi, who resigned on Thursday. This has plunged Yemen into uncertainty.
Letta Tayler, a senior researcher on terrorism at Human Rights Watch who has closed followed Yemen, spoke to NPR's David Greene about the Houthis, a minority in Yemen who practice an offshoot of Shiite Islam known as Zaidism.
DAVID GREENE: Who are the Houthis?
LETTA TAYLER: They are a real wild card. They're a rebel group from northern Yemen. They have rapidly morphed into the armed faction of a full-fledged political movement. And I guess the most important thing for Americans to know is that part of the Houthi slogan is "God is great." But then it continues, "Death to America, death to Israel."
Does this suggest Yemen is moving into a very dangerous place?
Well, it could indeed be moving into a very dangerous place. But despite the slogan, the Houthis have not harmed Americans, nor have they harmed Israel. It's AQAP [al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula] in Yemen ... that is kidnapping and in some cases killing, foreigners. It's not the Houthis. So again, they're a wild card. We really don't know which direction they might go.
Does the U.S. fight against al-Qaida in Yemen fall apart?
Well, ironically, the one thing that we know that the Houthis and the U.S. government have in common is that they both want to get rid of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. So it may actually work out. It may not be entirely implausible to envision the Houthis and the United States joining in the fight against AQAP. So even marginal but sincere action against the AQAP by the Houthis might be a step forward.
There's something incredibly striking about this narrative.
This is often the way Yemen is. Yemen's politics and intrigue makes the word "Byzantine" seem simplistic. We don't know if Yemen is really sliding into chaos or if it's just continuing to hover on the brink. But we do know that this is a serious challenge for the U.S. government. ...
Combating terrorism is a priority for the Yemeni people, but it is not nearly as high on the priority list as ending government corruption, creating jobs, providing a good education system, ensuring that the country does not run out of water.
So these are the concerns of Yemenis. Yes, AQAP is one of those concerns, but most Yemenis see AQAP as more of a problem for the U.S. government. And they see the U.S. government coming in, not to help fix its own problems, but rather to take out elements of AQAP that may be a threat to the U.S., but not to resolve any of the deep problems of Yemen.
Does anything give you hope for the future of this country?
Every time I go to Yemen, I think, "Can things really get worse?" And then somehow they pop back up. I think the thing that gives me the most hope is the Yemeni people. There are so many people filling the squares and the streets of Yemen who genuinely want change, who will continue to press their demands peacefully, no matter how often they are tempted to try to shed blood. Let's not cross this country off just yet as a failed state.
VIDEO-Psaki wiggles out of RT's Ukraine ceasefire question, bluntly blames Russia (VIDEO) '-- RT News
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 05:45
Published time: January 23, 2015 05:08US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki (Still from RT video)
RT could not get a straight response from US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki on Kiev's role in a breach of the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. Psaki chose to loudly blame Russia while keeping quiet about the actions of the Ukrainian government.
READ MORE: At least 9 killed in eastern Ukraine rush hour shelling amid conflicting arrest reports (VIDEO)
Psaki got grilled during Friday's daily briefing about whether the Ukrainian government's actions comply with the Minsk agreements that have been backed by the UN and other international players as the only viable solution to the conflict.
But, after multiple attempts to get a straight answer, Psaki kept repeating accusations against Russia.
''It was clear to me that the spokesperson was trying to avoid giving a direct answer to the question, so I pressed on, but received more of the same,'' RT's Gayane Chichakyan said. ''What I gathered from this briefing is that the US always has something to say about Russia, but never about what the Ukrainian government is doing.''
READ MORE: OSCE urges upholding of ceasefire as tensions rise in eastern Ukraine
Chichakyan pointed out that at times Psaki was not even willing to admit the fact that Ukrainian government has been using heavy artillery.
''This tactic of avoiding questions about what the Ukrainian government is doing by pointing to Russia is becoming increasingly obvious,'' the journalist said.
Here is an excerpt from the briefing:
Gayane Chichakyan:Do the actions of the Ukrainian government comply with the Minsk agreement?
Jen Psaki: In general Russia has illegally '' and Russian-backed separatists have illegally '' come into Ukraine, including Donetsk. Ukraine has a responsibility and an absolute right to defend itself. We certainly expect both sides to abide by the Minsk agreements. We have not seen that happen, we've seen a lot of talk, not a lot of backup from the Russian side.
GC:I am specifically asking about the actions of the Ukrainian government. Can you give a more definitive answer, whether or not they comply with the Minsk agreements?
JP: You are not talking about a specific incident, I think I'll leave it at what I said.
GC:With the Minsk agreement, do they comply? You pass a judgment that Russia is not complying with the agreement, can you assess whether Ukraine is complying?
JP: I listed a range of specific ways Russia is not complying.
GC:Under the agreement sides must avoid deploying and using heavy artillery. Isn't it what the Ukrainian government is doing right now?
JP: First of all, let's start again with the fact that Russia has illegally intervened in Ukraine and come into a country that was a sovereign country. So I am not sure that you are proposing that a sovereign country doesn't have the right to defend themselves.
GC:I am asking specifically about the actions of the Ukrainian government, you are veering off.
JP: I think we are going to leave it at that.
After numerous failed attempts to get Psaki to answer a simple question, AP's Matt Lee tried his chances.
Matt Lee:It just seems to be that when the government of Ukraine is accused of shelling civilian targets, you say: 'Let's have an investigation.' And when there are incidents that you ascribe to the separatists, there is an immediate condemnation, so I think that is where these questions are coming from.
JP: I wouldn't say that is exactly what's happened. There are times when it is clear who is responsible. This is a case where there is going to be an investigation.
READ MORE: State Dept Sideshow: Jen Psaki's most embarrassing fails, most entertaining grillings (VIDEO)
VIDEO-Tom Brady Addresses Deflated Football Controversy: "This Isn't ISIS" | Video | RealClearPolitics
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 05:37
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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady gives a press conference surrounding the controversy of the use of deflated footballs.
"Things are fine. This isn't ISIS," Brady said. "No one is dying."
TOM BRADY: I have had a lot of great support from a lot of people, and I think in a situation like this it's really -- it's a very -- like I said, sometimes some of the toughest things you deal with end up being the best things because you realize that the people you can rely on that love you and support you through something like this. So, it's a -- I appreciate all their support. I tell them i'm okay. Things are fine. This isn't ISIS. This isn't -- you know, no one is dying. But we'll get through this, and hopefully we can really start preparing for Seattle and get our mind focused there, because they're going to take all my mental energy for the next ten days.
Related Videos:ESPN NFL Live Panel: Tom Brady's LyingNFL Experts: The Impact Of Underinflated Footballs
VIDEO- АмеÑиканский наёмник в Ð'аÑиуÐоÐ>>е ÐосÐ>>е обстÑеÐ>>а 24/01/15 - YouTube
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 05:02
VIDEO-State Dept. Official Asked Disney About Using Frozen to Teach Climate | Mediaite
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 04:49
Admiral Robert Papp, the U.S. special envoy to the Arctic, revealed at a conference in Norway this week he talked to Disney about using the characters from Frozen to teach kids about the Arctic climate and issues related to climate change.
Papp recalled seeing hundreds of children watching Frozen and how he was given the suggestion of how the government ''might employ Disney to come up with some public service announcements'... to tell the story of the Arctic'' to kids.
And so Papp spoke with an executive at Disney about this very idea. The Disney exec had a very ''perplexed'' reaction and apparently told Papp they're in the business of ''optimism and happy endings.''
That being said, they're still working on seeing what they can do. And it's not as if Disney hasn't done educational shorts before (some, um, more propaganda-y than others).
You can watch Papp's comments below:
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[h/t The Hill][image via screengrab]
'' ''
Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac
VIDEO-South Pasadena woman told to be quarantined after sister gets measles | abc7.com
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 04:40
A South Pasadena woman's younger sister came down with the measles. Now, federal health officials want her locked down under quarantine, but she is resisting.Ylsa Tellez is a 26-year-old grad student whose younger sister, 24-year-old Maura Tellez, was one of the confirmed cases of measles caught recently at Disneyland. So far, there have been 26 confirmed cases of measles, but Ylsa is not one of them.
List of potential exposure locations and times
Measles: Potential exposure locations and times
Following the recent outbreak of measles in Southern California, here is a list of potential exposure locations and times released by health officials.
Ylsa has no symptoms and feels perfectly healthy, but she said she received a call on Tuesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and got a visit by the local health department, both of whom wanted her to quarantine herself inside."(They were) saying I need to get vaccinated and I need to be quarantined, otherwise I'm going to go to jail or something, or I'm going to get a misdemeanor," said Ylsa.
Ylsa says she refuses to be a prisoner in her own home despite the possible quarantine order. Ylsa's mother is also defending her daughter.
"It's not nice when my daughter is threatened like this because she's not even sick," said Myrna Tellez.
But health officials say the public does have reason to be concerned.
"Measles is one of the most highly communicable infections that we know of, so any susceptible individual who is within close proximity to somebody with measles will probably get infected," said Dr. Jill Hoffman with Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
Ylsa says she is taking immune-boosting supplements and plans on speaking with a doctor to decide whether or not she will get a measles vaccine.
"I'm just a little upset because if there are so many cases of people that got the shot who also developed measles, then why are they attacking me specifically?" said Ylsa. "I don't think it's necessary for me to be on house arrest."
The family received a form from the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, and it's a request for legal intervention. It mentions a home quarantine, with no school or work until Jan. 29.
The L.A. County and Pasadena departments of health have not returned our calls for a comment.
(Copyright (C)2015 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)
VIDEO-Al Qaeda's YouTube guide for jihadists | Daily Mail Online
Sat, 24 Jan 2015 19:41
Terror group issued tutorial video based on what they learned from Ed Snowden disclosuresBritish and US intelligence chiefs have warned Snowden's 'betrayal' would play into the hands of terroristsVideo is seven and a half minutes long and contains detailed guidance By Robert Verkaik for MailOnline
Published: 06:19 EST, 20 January 2015 | Updated: 09:52 EST, 20 January 2015
Al Qaeda is using the leaks from US spy Edward Snowden to help its fighters evade Western surveillance technology, MailOnline can reveal.
The terrorist group has issued new video guidance based on what they have learnt about Western spying methods from the Snowden disclosures which have been made public on the internet.
The move confirms the worst fears of British and American intelligence chiefs who warned that Snowden's betrayal would play into the hands of the terrorists. The video even uses footage of news reports of the Snowden leak, highlighting how 'NSA is tracking millions of phones'.
Scroll down for video
Guide: The seven and half minute video released by a media platform for Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups, provides detailed graphics on how terrorists can avoid detection
HOW VIDEO USES LEAKS TO ADVISE JIHADIS Snowden leak: Snowden revealed that the NSA and GCHQ was harvesting millions of emails, instant messaging contact lists and internet browsing history.
Al Qaeda guidance: 'All your calls, messages and internet history are stored in this same place'....spies have access to these files and can know your daily routine, friends and what you are planning to do tomorrow night at that tall building'....'
Snowden leak: Showed Western agencies have the capacity to track and map the location of cell phones and was using cookies to 'piggyback' on the same tools used by internet advertisers 'to pinpoint targets for government hacking and to bolster surveillance.'
Al Qaeda guidance: 'All mobile phone providers use the same software, your device continuously is in contact with the nearest tower'...'...'....As you are moving around your different coordinates are tracked and stored.'
Snowden leak: The NSA's top-secret 'black budget', obtained from Snowden by The Washington Post, exposed the 'successes and failures' of the 16 spy agencies comprising the US intelligence community, and revealed that the NSA was paying private tech companies for 'clandestine access' to their communications networks.
Al Qaeda guidance: The video warns Al Qaeda agents that spies are working with internet companies. Using a chart Al Qaeda even links Western countries, including the UK and the US, with named internet companies it claims they are working with.
It comes after David Cameron travelled to America to urge Barack Oabama to put pressure on US Internet giants to co-operate more fully with intelligence and security agencies in the fight against terrorism.
A seven and half minute video released by a media platform for Al Qaeda, and other jihadist groups, provides detailed graphics on how terrorists can avoid detection by what it calls the 'FBI Secret Spying technology' when using phones and computers.
It identifies Western countries, including the UK, and the computer companies that it claims works with them. And, worryingly, Al Qaeda has published a list of software packages to protect against surveillance and where to find it on the internet.
Spoken in Arabic but with English sub-titles it says: 'Allah created us with a unique voice, this can be used to track you anywhere no matter (sic) you buy a new phone, simcard or satellite.'
It adds: 'We will now show you some different ways how the enemy can track you and have a view at some modern war technologies.
'All mobile phone providers use the same software, your device continuously is in contact with the nearest tower... As you are moving around your different coordinates are tracked and stored. All your calls, messages and internet history are stored in this same place'... spies have access to these files and can know your daily routine, friends and what you are planning to do tomorrow night at that tall building'...'
'Every Mujahed that does not take the right precautions can be a tool in the hand of the enemy. With his phone, tablet or laptop the enemy can listen/record all conversations and meetings.
Adrian Culley, a former senior detective with the Metropolitan Police's Computer Crime Unit, who has seen the video, said: 'It is clear the Snowden leaks have raised cyber security issues in the minds of terrorists. This video is concerned with techno fear and propaganda.
'We are in an cyber arms race with the terrorists and the security agencies have to be always one step ahead of the jihadists who only need to be lucky once to score a terrorist hit.'
The video also exhorts people not to trust the 'kuffar' when using technology, reminding them: 'You have the power to let these spies know what YOU want them to know.'
It also replays media reports of how Western agencies use a range of technology to pinpoint the location of millions of people.
Video guide shows techniques deployed to avoid surveillance
I spy: The video identifies Western countries, including the UK, and computer companies that it claims works with them
Fears: The heads of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ have all warned that Edward Snowden's expos(C) could educate a whole new generation of extremists
Al Qaeda warns its agents: 'Safe houses should in crowded cities and have different entries. Know your surroundings, keep your face down, the cameras are everywhere. Have a special place for Internet and phone use. If you are being monitored, they will do anything to catch you.'
The heads of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ have all warned that Snowden's expos(C) could educate a whole new generation of extremists about how best to exploit the power of the web to peddle their militant ideology.
And as far as Islamist terrorists fighting in Iraq and Syria are concerned, to have a 'Snowden-approved' security system on their mobile phones and personal computers is to possess the ultimate in internet accessories.
During his work as a contractor at America's National Security Agency (NSA), Snowden gathered information about how it and its British equivalent, the GCHQ listening centre at Cheltenham, accessed social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to monitor the activities of terrorists.
New tech: The video even warns jihadists that fingerprints can be traced through their touchscreen phones to internet databases
Last week Jonathan Evans, who stood down as head of MI5 in April 2013, used his maiden speech in the House of Lords to deliver a devastating analysis of the harm caused by Snowden, who stole and leaked thousands of documents in June 2013 detailing intelligence-gathering techniques used by Western intelligence agencies. He now lives in an undisclosed location in Russia.
The revelations have led to terrorists changing the way they communicate. They have also made internet companies less willing to co-operate with MI5 and GCHQ for fear of upsetting privacy campaigners.
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VIDEO-Online post claims 1 Japanese ISIS hostage killed; new demand made - CNN.com
Sat, 24 Jan 2015 17:21
The static image, posted by a known ISIS supporter, shows what appears to be surviving Japanese hostage Kenji Goto, alone, in handcuffs and dressed in orange, holding a photo of what appears to be beheaded compatriot Haruna Yukawa.
Saturday's posting came four days after an ISIS video demanded that the Japanese government pay $200 million within 72 hours for the hostages' release.
CNN cannot independently verify the post. Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said Saturday that the government is checking the authenticity of the claim.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe acknowledged the post Saturday.
"It was outrageous, unforgivable violence," Abe said, adding that he demands Goto be released immediately.
Over Saturday's post, a man's voice claiming to be Goto's says in English that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to blame for Yukawa's death.
"You were given a deadline, so my captives acted upon their words," he says.
The voice then relays ISIS' new demand -- the release of Sajida Rishawi, a woman arrested in Jordan in 2005 on suspicion of planning to take part terror attacks.
"They no longer want money, so you don't need to worry about funding terrorists," the voice says. "They just demand the release of their imprisoned sister Sajida Rishawi.
"It is simple. You give them Sajida, and I will be released. ... Again, I would like to stress how easy it is to save my life. You bring them their sister from the Jordanian regime, and I will be released immediately -- me for her."
Opinion: Should nations pay ISIS ransom?
CNN's Ali Younes, Yoko Wakatsuki and Saeed Ahmed contributed to this report.
VIDEO-Experts say ISIS ransom clip faked as deadline for Japanese hostages passes | Fox News
Fri, 23 Jan 2015 20:29
The deadline imposed by ISIS for Japan to pay $200 million to free two captives passed, starting what the terrorist group called a countdown clock on Friday, even as questions swirled about the authenticity of the initial tape and whether the pair is even alive.
A tweet from a Twitter account linked to ISIS said the hostages had been killed "because of Japan's choices." The tweet, on the same one that previously posted the countdown clock, warned that a new video was "being sent to production." Intelligence sources told Fox News the claim the hostages had been killed could not be confirmed, but said the situation is being monitored as they await release of a new video.
In a video released Tuesday, Kenji Goto, a journalist, and Haruna Yukawa, who runs a security company, were threatened with beheading by the barbaric terror organization if the Japanese government did not pay the staggering on ransom. The video, posted on militant websites and identified as being made by the Islamic State group's al-Furqan media arm, appeared to have been shot in the same location as those showing American hostages James Foley, Steven Sotloff and Peter Kassig, and British captives David Haines and Alan Henning.
Japan has said it is working to free the hostages, but has not stated whether it would pay the ransom. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe convened his National Security Council to discuss how to handle the crisis.
The hostage video showing the hostages wearing orange jump suits and kneeling before a masked, black-clad jihadist may have been faked, experts said. New analysis of the video appears to reveal the message was shot indoors using a "green screen," and a phony backdrop, according to Veryan Khan, editorial director for the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium. She told The Associated Press the light source on the men in the latest videos appears to be coming from two different directions '-- as opposed to one bright sun, and said if the video was made outdoors in natural light, the shadows behind them should be going in one direction. Instead, they converge.
"The hostages are visibly bothered by" the bright light, she said.
"My son is not an enemy of the Islamic State."
- Mother of 47-year-old journalist Kenji Goto
Although one of the hostage's jumpsuits flutters in a breeze, Khan said she believes a fan caused the movement and noted that wind in the desert would be noisy and affect the sound quality of the statements being made by the knife-wielding man. It would also kick up dust, and none seems apparent, she said.
Experts poring over the slickly-produced videos believe they were made in an area south of Raqqa in northern Syria, the self-declared capital of the Islamic State group. The killings of the five other hostages took place between August and November. The U.S.-led coalition began targeting IS militants in Syria in mid-September, and has gradually intensified its aerial bombardment of suspected IS infrastructure in both Syria and Iraq.
In Japan, government officials and family members of the hostages were desperate to save the men.
"Time is running out. Please, Japanese government, save my son's life," said Junko Ishido, the mother of 47-year-old journalist Kenji Goto.
"My son is not an enemy of the Islamic State," she said in a tearful appearance in Tokyo.
Ishido said she was astonished and angered to learn from her daughter-in-law that Goto had left less than two weeks after his child was born, in October, to go to Syria to try to rescue the other hostage, 42-year-old Haruna Yukawa.
"My son felt he had to do everything in his power to try to rescue a friend and acquaintance," she said.
In very Japanese fashion, Ishido apologized repeatedly for "all the trouble my son has caused."
The national broadcaster NHK reported early Friday that it had received a message from ISIS "public relations" saying a statement would be released soon.
Lacking clout and diplomatic reach in the Middle East, Japan has scrambled for a way to secure the release of the two men, one a journalist, the other an adventurer fascinated by war. Two Japanese who said they have contacts with an ISIS leader offered Thursday to try to negotiate, but it was unclear if the Japanese government was receptive to the idea.
Ishido said she had not had any contact with the government.
Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga reiterated Friday that Japan was trying all possible channels to reach those holding the hostages, and that its policy of providing humanitarian aid for those displaced by conflict in the Middle East was unchanged.
"We are doing our very best to coordinate with related parties, including through tribal chiefs," Suga said.
Japan has joined other major industrial nations of the Group of Seven in opposing ransom payments. U.S. and British officials also said they advised against paying.
Tokyo lacks strong diplomatic connections in the Middle East, and Japanese diplomats left Syria as the civil war there escalated, adding to the difficulty of contacting the group holding the hostages.
There was no sign the government had taken action on an offer to try to negotiate with ISIS by Ko Nakata, an expert on Islamic law and former professor at Kyoto's Doshisha University, along with freelance journalist Kousuke Tsuneoka.
Nakata and Tsuneoka, who both are converts to Islam, said Thursday that they have a contact in ISIS and were prepared to go to Syria.
Nakata and Tsuneoka, who was released after being held hostage in Afghanistan in 2010, visited Syria in September in an unsuccessful attempt to gain Yukawa's release. Goto was seized sometime after late October when he entered the area.
Since Japan's military operates only in a self-defense capacity a home any rescue attempt would require help from an ally like the United States.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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