778: Long Gun

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 1m
December 3rd, 2015
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Executive Producers: Jean-Claude Schmid, Sir K-Town Lord of the Late Night Lab

Associate Executive Producers: Jan Leclerc, John F. Bell, Dame Jamie Graham, David Ingraham, Sir Trevor Baxter

Cover Artist: Jaymoon


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What does clutch mean? clutch Definition. Meaning of clutch. OnlineSlangDictionary.com
Tue, 01 Dec 2015 19:33
adjectivegreat; "awesome"; "cool".
Citation from "Nepotism", The Office (TV, 2010), Season 7 Episode 1 blacked out to resolve Google's penalty against this site.
Pepsi is the clutchest chaser when drinking.
Last edited on Apr 12 2013. Submitted by steph from WI, USA on Feb 16 2000.
helpful during a difficult situation or period of time. Something that "came through in the clutch", that is, came through in a difficult or trying time.That money you sent me was clutch.
See more words with the same meaning: helpful.Last edited on Dec 11 2002. Submitted by Brooklyn from New York, NY, USA on Dec 11 2002.
EssentialToronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista delivers clutch double in win over Chicago Cubs" --http://sports.nati.
Last edited on Sep 11 2014. Submitted by Anonymous on Sep 11 2014.
nouna difficult or trying time. Often used in sports to describe a player or team's ability (or inability) to deliver when peak performance is needed."Big-time players deliver in the clutch." Kurt Johnson, Roseville Press-Tribune.
"David Wright has been wrong in the clutch for Mets." Peter Botte, NY Daily News.
Last edited on Dec 11 2002. Submitted by Brooklyn from New York, NY, USA on Dec 11 2002.
Slang terms with the same meaningOther terms relating to 'good, okay, cool, awesome, fun':
Definitions include: extreme approval, great, awesome, fine or meaning to be perfect, precise or better.Definitions include: an exclamation like "Cool" or "Awesome."Definitions include: very good, excellent; "cool".Definitions include: to be successful.Definitions include: "cool".Definitions include: impressive.Definitions include: very good, excellent; "cool"; "sick"; "wicked".Definitions include: very good.Definitions include: to test something before it is released or presented.Definitions include: extremely high-fashion or expensive.Definitions include: very good.Definitions include: something very awesome.Definitions include: awesome, sweet, cool, just plain rancid!Definitions include: Cool, wicked, etc.Definitions include: good; excellent; "cool".Other terms relating to 'hard, confusing, difficult, a problem':
Definitions include: Alternate spelling of donezo.Definitions include: to greatly confuse a person.Definitions include: to have a difficult-to-solve problem.Definitions include: a problem that, in reality, demonstrates one's good fortune.Definitions include: penis.Definitions include: of no more value or no longer cool.Definitions include: spelling variant of goner.Definitions include: a stubborn person.Definitions include: speech one doesn't understand - usually jargon specific to a particular field.Definitions include: too difficult.Definitions include: something very difficult.Definitions include: the problem.Definitions include: "impossible".Definitions include: to acquire.Definitions include: confused, problematic, troublesome.Slang terms with the same root wordsOther terms relating to 'clutch':
Definitions include: a member of a sports team who performs well in the clutch.Definitions include: a metaphorical place suggesting a difficult situation or period of time.Definitions include: to fail to perform "in the clutch" because of the pressure; the game was on the line and he clutched.Average of 126 votes: 18% (See the most vulgar words.)
Your vote: None (To vote, click the pepper. Vote how vulgar the word is '' not how mean it is.)
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To link to this term in a web page or blog, insert the following.
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Manhunt and Gunmen are not PC!!!
Jewelry, cigars and a lot of rugs: What Qatar gave to the US in 2014 - Doha News
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 00:15
Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Qatari officials increased their spending on gifts to American officials last year to nearly $170,000, a quarter of which went toward presents for the US Secretary of Homeland Security and his family, recently released records show.
That's up from $99,664 in 2013, according to an annual disclosure of gifts given to US federal employees from foreign governments around the world, which was released last week.
The official who received the most expensive items was Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Charles Johnson, whose family was given some $44,000 in gifts, including a $15,700 Cartier platinum bracelet and a $6,600 Rolex watch.
US Department of Homeland Security
US Secretary Jeh Johnson met with Sheikh Abdullah Bin Naser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Interior Minister in Qatar.
Qatar Attorney General Ali Bin Fetais al-Marri also gave both Johnson's daughter and wife $3,200 gold Cartier necklace pendants engraved with their initials and the word ''love.''
The gifts were received around the time that al-Marri met with Johnson in the US.
Several weeks later, Johnson traveled to Qatar and participated in a panel discussion on government treatment of the commercial aviation industry during the International Air Transport Association's annual general meeting, according to a press release published at the time.
Lavish spendingUS government officials are not allowed to keep most valuable gifts given to them on the job. But according to the disclosure, they accept some offerings, to ''avoid embarrassment to the donor and the US government.''
Nadia Priestley/Flickr
Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Most items given to US government employees are then either transferred to the General Services Administration, a government agency that handles federal property, or put to ''official'' use.
It's not clear where Johnson's gifts ended up. The registry lists the items as being stored in what appears to be a Homeland Security building.
Qatar is far from alone in gifting expensive items to US officials. Saudi Arabia, for example, gave Michelle Obama, the First Lady of the United States, a diamond and pearl jewelry set worth $570,000.
Some of the most notable items given by Qatari officials this year include:
Two boxes of Habanos and Cohiba cigars, as well as a 4'² x 6'² Persian rug. The gift has a total value of $7,360 and was given by al-Marri to Stephen Preston, general counsel of the Department of Defense;A white leather Gentili humidor worth $1,500, also to Preston from al-Marri, which will be ''retained for official use in the general counsel's office.''A gold scallop shell with a Qatari pearl inside a red leather presentation case worth $445 given to US Secretary of State John Kerry by his counterpart, Qatar Minister of Foreign Affairs Khalid Bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah;A 32GB iPhone 5, as well as a Dior men's and ladies' watch set with a Dior pen in a wooden box. The gift has a total value of $8,025 and was given by Gen. Ghanim Bin Shaheen Al Ghanim, Qatar's Armed Forces chief of staff, to Heidi Grant, the deputy under secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs.As in past years, senior members of the US Armed Forces and Department of Defense received the largest number of gifts, likely reflecting the deep security relationship between the two countries.
Security relationshipQatar is home to Al Udeid Air Base, one of the largest American military outposts in the Middle East that's been described as the ''regional nerve center'' for US-led strikes on ISIL.
316th ESC/Flickr
Al Udeid Air Base
General Dennis L. Via, the commanding general of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, received gifts worth more than $12,000 that included five watches, two wallets, cufflinks, a suitcase and a gold State of Qatar statue.
Gen. Via's department oversees the research, development, maintenance and parts distribution of weapons systems. The gifts were officially received a week before Qatar announced plans to purchase billions of dollars worth of US-made military helicopters and missile defence systems.
In addition to providing glimpses into the world of diplomatic protocol and hospitality, the gift registry also provides occasional insights into joint programs.
In 2013, for example, Qatar's Ministry of Interior spent more than $15,000 on the travel and lodging costs for senior Homeland Security officials to discuss the establishment of a joint US- Qatar law enforcement training academy.
Chantelle d'Mello
Photo of Lekhwiya vehicle for illustrative purposes only.
Qatar announced it was creating a police college in late 2013 without mentioning American involvement.
Qatar's generosity hasn't always precluded awkward moments with its allies.
US Senator Lindsey Graham received a $4,000 rug on two occasions from Qatar's attorney general in 2014.
However, earlier this year he said the five former Taliban prisoners released by the US to Qatar may be looking to return to the battlefield and had ''reached out'' to individuals fighting American forces in Afghanistan who had come to meet with them.
That prompted Qatar's foreign minister to defend his country's handling of the former prisoners.
Goldman Sachs buys into Turkish Petkim's Aegean port - Invest in Turkey
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 15:53
Hurriyet Daily News '' Global leader US investment firm Goldman Sachs has become a partner in Turkey's largest integrated port, operated by petrochemicals maker Petkim, in a deal that will boost Petkim's plans to develop the port as the largest in the Aegean region.
Petkim announced that it has reached a preliminary agreement to sell its 30 percent stake in Petkim Limancılık (Petlim) for USD 250 million, after months of talks beginning in February of this year.
Petkim and Petlim are controlled by the Turkish branch of Azeri energy giant SOCAR. Petlim was founded to run the financial operations of Petkim's port in the Aliağa district of the Aegean province of İzmir.
''For one of the world's biggest investors to become a partner in our port company means approval of the value and finance of our project,'' SOCAR Turkey President Kenan Yavuz said, speaking after a ceremony to mark the signing of the deal and a preliminary financing agreement for the port project with Turkish lender Akbank.
''We have signed a preliminary agreement with Akbank, one of Turkey's largest banks, for the financing of our port investment's project. We will secure USD 211 million in financing with a 13 year maturity within the term-sheet,'' Yavuz said.
''We are very glad to finalize the share transfer deal with a global giant such as Goldman Sachs and the project financing agreement with Akbank on the same day,'' he added.
The investment in what is expected to become Turkey's third container port will be in force in the last quarter of 2015, Yavuz also said.
The Petkim Container Port, which will enable the berthing of ships with 11,000 TEUs for the first time in Turkey, will possess a starting capacity of 1.5 million TEUs. A 48-hectares logistics area will be created having 42 hectares in the port for container storage and 6 hectares in the rear service area.
SOCAR Turkey also plans to build a refinery on the Petkim Peninsula in order to integrate refinery, petrochemical and logistical operations at the site.
The company is building the USD 5.5 billion Star refinery in partnership with Turcas Petrol to supply feedstock to Petkim and reduce Turkey's dependence on imported refined products.
The USD 3.3 billion credit deal for Turkey's first privately built oil refinery that SOCAR Turkey signed in June is the largest and longest-term financing deal signed in Turkey.
Virtuous | Definition of virtuous by Merriam-Webster
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 15:40
moral, ethical, virtuous, righteous, noble mean conforming to a standard of what is right and good. moral implies conformity to established sanctioned codes or accepted notions of right and wrong . ethical may suggest the involvement of more difficult or subtle questions of rightness, fairness, or equity . virtuous implies moral excellence in character . righteous stresses guiltlessness or blamelessness and often suggests the sanctimonious . noble implies moral eminence and freedom from anything petty, mean, or dubious in conduct and character .
In Iraq, anti-ISIS fighters make The Punisher's symbol their own - Robot 6 @ Comic Book ResourcesRobot 6 @ Comic Book Resources
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 07:46
Robot 6by Kevin Melrose| April 13, 2015 @ 12:29 PM |18 Comments|
Writing for Time, Rebecca Collard examines how the iconic ''long-fanged'' skull logo of Marvel's Punisher has been appropriated by Iraqi security forces and Shi'ite militia fighting against ISIS.
The use of the skull is so widespread that Italian journalist Daniele Raineri last week tweeted photos of the emblem '-- on a vehicle, on a flak jacket, on pouches '-- from several locations across the country. The Punisher may be a distinctly American creation, but the Iraqis have made his symbol their own.
Collard notes that it was actually U.S. soldiers who brought the four-fanged skull to Iraq: The members of American Sniper Chris Kyle's unit referred to themselves as the Snipers, labeling the gear with logo and painting it on walls ''to mark their territory.'' (Norway's Telemark Battalion mechanized infantry unit, which previously wore Punisher skull patches on its uniforms, reportedly painted the symbol on walls in Afghanistan. Some of its members are now in Iraq training local forces.)
Writer Gerry Conway, ''an anti-war person'' who co-created The Punisher, admits, ''I'm flabbergasted by the whole thing.''
CommentsBrowse the Robot 6 Archives
WTI Crude Crashes Below $40 On OPEC Delegate "No Cut" Comments
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 02:40
Amid the biggest single-day drop in two months, WTI Crude has been hammred back below once again as a cooling realization washes across the energy complex that Saudi Arabia will make no changes at this week's OPEC meeting (delegate quoted as saying "OPEC unlikley to cut if non-OPEC is not cutting,") leaving a grossly over-supplied (and over-leveraged Shale drillers) world to flounder...
From Monday's spike on hopes of more China stimulus to yesterday's insane swings on algo stop-runs and economic data carnage, oil has been volatile but today's bloodbath following OPEC member comments that Saudi will not budge followed by DOE data indicating further demand weakness, production rises, and inventory surges...
And then this...
The Iraqis do not seem happy:
Charts: Bloomberg
Average:Your rating: NoneAverage: 5(3 votes)
Message -- 2016 Alternate Pay Plan
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 00:21
For Immediate Release
November 30, 2015
I am transmitting an alternative plan for pay increases for civilian Federal employees covered by the General Schedule and certain other pay systems in January 2016.
Title 5, United States Code, authorizes me to implement alternative pay plans for pay increases for civilian Federal employees covered by the General Schedule and certain other pay systems if, because of "national emergency or serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare," I view the adjustments that would otherwise take effect as inappropriate.
Civilian Federal employees have already made significant sacrifices as a result of 3-year pay freeze that ended in January 2014. In January 2014 and again in January 2015, increases for civilian Federal employees were limited to a 1.0 percent overall pay increase, an amount lower than the private sector pay increases and statutory formula for adjustments to the base General Schedule for 2014 and 2015. However, as the country's economic recovery continues, we must maintain efforts to keep our Nation on a sustainable fiscal course. This is an effort that continues to require tough choices.
Under current law, locality pay increases averaging 28.74 percent and costing $26 billion would go into effect in January 2016. Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases. Accordingly, I have determined that under the authority of section 5304a of title 5, United States Code, locality-based comparability payments for the locality pay areas established by the President's Pay Agent, in the amounts set forth in the attached table, shall become effective on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2016. These rates are based on an allocation of 0.3 percent of payroll as indicated in my August 28, 2015, alternative pay plan for adjustments to the base General Schedule. These decisions will not materially affect our ability to attract and retain a well-qualified Federal workforce.
The adjustments described above shall take effect on the first applicable pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2016.
THE WHITE HOUSE,November 30, 2015.
Iraqis think the U.S. is in cahoots with the Islamic State, and it is hurting the war - The Washington Post
Wed, 02 Dec 2015 23:25
BAIJI, Iraq '-- On the front lines of the battle against the Islamic State, suspicion of the United States runs deep. Iraqi fighters say they have all seen the videos purportedly showing U.S. helicopters airdropping weapons to the militants, and many claim they have friends and relatives who have witnessed similar instances of collusion.
Ordinary people also have seen the videos, heard the stories and reached the same conclusion '-- one that might seem absurd to Americans but is widely believed among Iraqis '-- that the United States is supporting the Islamic State for a variety of pernicious reasons that have to do with asserting U.S. control over Iraq, the wider Middle East and, perhaps, its oil.
''It is not in doubt,'' said Mustafa Saadi, who says his friend saw U.S. helicopters delivering bottled water to Islamic State positions. He is a commander in one of the Shiite militias that last month helped push the militants out of the oil refinery near Baiji in northern Iraq alongside the Iraqi army.
The Islamic State is ''almost finished,'' he said. ''They are weak. If only America would stop supporting them, we could defeat them in days.''
[Inside the surreal world of the Islamic State's propaganda machine]
What started out as simple protests in Syria has expanded to civil war and now an international crisis.U.S. military officials say the charges are too far-fetched to merit a response. ''It's beyond ridiculous,'' said Col. Steve Warren, the military's Baghdad-based spokesman. ''There's clearly no one in the West who buys it, but unfortunately, this is something that a segment of the Iraqi population believes.''
The perception among Iraqis that the United States is somehow in cahoots with the militants it claims to be fighting appears, however, to be widespread across the country's Sunni-Shiite sectarian divide, and it speaks to more than just the troubling legacy of mistrust that has clouded the United States' relationship with Iraq since the 2003 invasion and the subsequent withdrawal eight years later.
At a time when attacks by the Islamic State in Paris and elsewhere have intensified calls for tougher action on the ground, such is the level of suspicion with which the United States is viewed in Iraq that it is unclear whether the Obama administration would be able to significantly escalate its involvement even if it wanted to.
''What influence can we have if they think we are supporting the terrorists?'' asked Kirk Sowell, an analyst based in neighboring Jordan who publishes the newsletter Inside Iraqi Politics.
In one example of how little leverage the United States now has, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi pushed back swiftly against an announcement Tuesday by Defense Secretary ­Ashton B. Carter that an expeditionary force of U.S. troops will be dispatched to Iraq to conduct raids, free hostages and capture Islamic State leaders.
[Is it too late to solve the mess in the Middle East?]
Iraq's semiautonomous region of Kurdistan, where support for the United States remains strong, has said it would welcome more troops. But Abadi indicated they would not be needed.
The Islamic State is one of the most well-funded terrorist organizations in the world. So where does it get its money? (Jorge Ribas/The Washington Post)
''There is no need for foreign ground combat troops,'' he said in a statement. ''Any such support and special operations anywhere in Iraq can only be deployed subject to the approval of the Iraqi Government and in coordination with the Iraqi forces and with full respect to Iraqi sovereignty.''
The allegations of U.S. collusion with the Islamic State are aired regularly in parliament by Shiite politicians and promoted in postings on social media. They are persistent enough to suggest a deliberate campaign on the part of Iran's allies in Iraq to erode American influence, U.S. officials say.
In one typical recent video that appeared on the Facebook page of a Shiite militia, a lawmaker with the country's biggest militia group, the Badr Organization, waves apparently new U.S military MREs (meals ready to eat) '-- one of them chicken and dumplings '-- allegedly found at a recently captured Islamic State base in Baiji, offering proof, he said, of U.S. support.
''The Iranians and the Iranian-backed Shiite militias are really pushing this line of propaganda, that the United States is supporting ISIL,'' Warren said. ''It's part of the Iranian propaganda machine.''
The perception plays into a widening rift within Iraq's ruling Shiite elite over whether to pivot more toward Iran or the United States. Those pushing the allegations ''want to create a narrative that Iran is our ally and the United States is our enemy, and this undermines Abadi, who is America's ally,'' Sowell said.
[Police call him an ISIS recruiter. He says he's just an outspoken preacher.]
Iraqi government officials say they don't believe the charges and point out that Abadi regularly pushes back against them. But Abadi's own position has weakened in recent months. He is battling for his political survival against a variety of Shiite militia leaders whose power has been bolstered by the increasingly dominant role played on the battlefield by the militias, collectively known as Hashd al-Shaabi, or popular mobilization units.
Iraqi officials complain that their task is hampered by what is universally perceived as the lackluster U.S. response to the threat posed by the Islamic State.
''We don't believe the Americans support Daesh,'' said Naseer Nouri, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State. ''But it is true that most people are saying they do, and they are right to believe that the Americans should be doing much more than they are. It's because America is so slow that most people believe they are supporting Daesh.''
U.S. warplanes routinely fail to respond to requests for air support because of U.S. rules of engagement that preclude strikes if there is a risk civilians may be hit, he said. According to Warren, that standard frequently is not met. The United States has conducted more than 3,768 strikes in Iraq as of Nov.­ 19, according to the U.S. military, and the tempo of strikes has increased lately, U.S. officials say.
But it also appears that the fighters are unaware when they do receive U.S. air support. The U.S. military reported near-daily strikes in support of the offensive to recapture Baiji last month and continues to respond regularly to requests for strikes in the vicinity, Warren said.
[In the fight against the Islamic State, Iraq's leader begins to look shaky]
The fighters there insist there have been no strikes by the Americans at all. ''We'd be better off without them,'' said 1st Lt. Murtada Fadl, who is serving with the Iraqi elite forces in Baiji. He said that the only air support had come from the Iraqi air force and that he wishes the government would ask the Russians to replace the Americans.
In a part of the world where outcomes are often confused with intentions and regional complexities enable conspiracy theories to thrive, the notion that the United States is colluding with the Islamic State holds a certain logic, according to Mustafa Alani, director of the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center. Most Arabs are too in awe of American might to believe that the United States is deliberately adopting a minimalist approach, he said.
''The reason is that the Americans aren't doing the job people expect them to do,'' he said. ''Mosul was lost and the Americans did nothing. Syria was lost and the Americans did nothing. Paris is attacked and the Americans aren't doing much. So people believe this is a deliberate policy. They can't believe the American leadership fails to understand the developments in the region, and so the only other explanation is that this is part of a conspiracy.''
On the streets of Baghdad, most Iraqis see no other explanation.
''The image of the U.S. was damaged in the region, so they created Daesh in order to fight them and restore their image,'' said Mohammed Abdul Khaleq, a journalist for a local TV station who was drinking coffee in a cafe favored by writers, most of whom said they agreed.
A rare dissenting voice was offered by Hassan Abdul-Wahab, 23, selling luggage in a nearby shop. ''It is true that most people believe that,'' he said. ''But it's not based on reason. It's based on racism '-- because Iraqis don't like Americans in the first place.''
Mustafa Salim contributed to this report.
Read more:
Life in the 'Islamic State'
Did these tweets encourage a Chicago teen to try joining the Islamic State?
Why the Islamic State leaves tech companies torn between free speech and security
With fight against the Islamic State in Iraq stalled, U.S. looks to Syria for gains
Liz Sly is the Post's Beirut bureau chief. She has spent more than 15 years covering the Middle East, including the Iraq war. Other postings include Africa, China and Afghanistan.
Designation under Russia's "Undesirables" Law of the Open Society Foundations
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 00:45
We are deeply troubled by Russia's continued restrictions against civil society organizations in Russia. Today's designation of the Open Society Foundations and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation as so-called ''undesirable'' organizations will only further restrict the work of civil society in Russia for the benefit of the Russian people. This action is yet another example of the Russian Government's growing crackdown on independent voices and a deliberate step to further isolate the Russian people from the world.
We continue to be concerned about increasing restrictions on independent media, civil society, members of minority groups, and those seeking a voice in their government. Russians, like people everywhere, deserve an open marketplace of ideas, transparent and accountable governance, equal treatment under the law, and the ability to exercise their rights without fear of retribution. We urge the Government of Russia to uphold its international obligations and commitments to respect the freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, and association, and the rule of law.
Prosecutors ban Soros Foundation as 'threat to Russian national security' '-- RT Russian politics
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 15:57
The Russian Prosecutor General's Office has recognized George Soros's Open Society Institute and another affiliated organization as undesirable groups, banning Russian citizens and organizations from participation in any of their projects.
In a statement released on Monday, prosecutors said the activities of the Open Society Institute and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation were a threat to the foundations of Russia's Constitutional order and national security. They added that the Justice Ministry would be duly informed about these conclusions and would add the two groups to Russia's list of undesirable foreign organizations.
Prosecutors launched a probe into the activities of the two organizations - both sponsored by the well-known US financier George Soros - in July this year, after Russian senators approved the so-called ''patriotic stop-list'' of 12 groups that required immediate attention over their supposed anti-Russian activities. Other groups on the list included the National Endowment for Democracy; the International Republican Institute; the National Democratic Institute; the MacArthur Foundation and Freedom House.
In late July, the Russian Justice Ministry recognized the US National Endowment for Democracy as an undesirable group after prosecutors discovered the US NGO had spent millions on attempts to question the legitimacy of Russian elections and tarnish the prestige of national military service.
READ MORE: US National Endowment for Democracy labeled 'undesirable' group under new law
The Law on Undesirable Foreign Organizations came into force in early June this year. It requires the Prosecutor General's Office and the Foreign Ministry to draw up an official list of undesirable foreign organizations and outlaw their activities. Once a group is recognized as undesirable, its assets in Russia must be frozen, its offices closed and the distribution of any of its materials must be banned.
If the ban is violated, the personnel of the outlawed group and any Russian citizens who cooperate with them could face heavy fines, or even prison terms in the case of repeated or aggravated offences.
READ MORE: Foreign Ministry praises law banning undesirable foreign groups in Russia
The Soros Foundation started working in Russia in the mid-1990s, but wrapped up its active operations in 2003.
Erdogan has a trump card against Putin that would transform the Syrian war - Yahoo Finance
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 15:52
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putler putin - Google Search
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 14:51
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Nine EU countries want to bury Nord Stream-2 '-- RT Business
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 14:06
A group of Eastern European countries has sent a letter to the European Commission calling to block the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany bypassing Ukraine. They say it goes against the EU's energy diversification and security policies.
The countries against Gazprom's deal with Berlin are headed by Slovakia and Poland who are believed to have initiated the campaign. They are supported by the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Greece. Bulgaria was planning to sign the document, but walked away, according to the FT. The EU has confirmed receiving the letter.
Greek Energy Minister Panos Skourletis said Athens did not sign a petition to block Nord Stream-2. He confirmed this to Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak during a meeting on Wednesday according to the Ministry.
According to the petition, the Nord Stream-2 pipeline will allow Germany to dominate the European gas market.
''Nord Stream 2 would be, above all, detrimental in geopolitical terms'‰.'‰.'‰.'‰for the purpose of exerting more political pressure and applying blackmail on the EU, its eastern member states and its eastern neighbors,'' said Polish MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, a member of the centre-right leadership in the European Parliament.
''In the current geopolitical context, enhancing Gazprom's '-- the external expression of the Kremlin's policy '-- position on EU territory could be a geopolitical game-changer, especially for the EU's neighborhood,'' he added.
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At the same time the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker has said the project should be considered not as a political issue, but as a commercial one.
Nord Stream-1 started in 2011 despite strong opposition from Eastern European countries. Radoslaw Sikorski, who was the Polish foreign minister at the time, said the pipeline was similar to the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop pact that divided Poland between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
However, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder insisted on signing the deal. These were his last days in office, and after leaving his post Schroder was appointed chairman of the company that runs Nord Stream, the North European Gas Pipeline Company.
The second part of the pipeline depends on the political will of Angela Merkel, the current German Chancellor. Germany is by far the biggest consumer of Russian gas and extending the pipeline is a good deal for Berlin. However, it is unclear whether Merkel will go as far as her predecessor judging by her unwillingness to defend troubled domestic companies like Volkswagen and Deutsche Bank.
When Germany's Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel visited Moscow in October, he said that politics should be left behind in building the pipeline.
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The Nord Stream-2 pipeline project has become necessary for both Russia and the EU due to the continuing problem of reliability of gas transit though Ukraine. Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak warned German and French colleagues that Kiev could face a gas shortage this winter. This could result in a gas crisis similar to 2006 which left parts of Europe without heat after Ukraine began to siphon off gas sent to the European market.
In September, Gazprom signed a deal to create a company to construct Nord Stream-2. It will include two new pipes that will deliver an additional 55 billion cubic meters of gas annually from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea bypassing Ukraine.
Among the shareholders in the project called New European Pipeline AG will be Gazprom, E.On, Shell, OMV, BASF/Wintershall and Engie (former GdF Suez). Gazprom will hold a 51 percent stake, and its European partners will each have about 10 percent. The project's route is expected to follow the 1,224 kilometers of Nord Stream-1.
If Turks needs Russian gas, they should come and ask '' Gazprom CEO '-- RT Business
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 14:05
If Ankara wants the Turkish Stream gas pipeline it will need to show some initiative, said Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller. He added that Russia is ready to consider the proposal, if it comes up.
Russia has suspended the project in response to Turkey shooting down a Russian jet in Syria, according to Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak.
"The negotiations on the Turkish Stream are suspended,'' he said.
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On Tuesday, The Kremlin said it would suspend the work of the joint Russian-Turkish Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation. Moscow and Ankara were negotiating the Turkish Stream within this commission.
A preliminary agreement on constructing the pipeline was reached by Russia and Turkey in December 2014. Originally it was planned that it would have four lines with a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters of gas a year. Sixteen billion cubic meters were intended to be delivered to Turkey and 47 billion to a gas hub on the Turkish-Greek border
In October, Miller announced that Gazprom would cut the capacity of the Turkish Stream pipeline from 63 to 32 billion cubic meters of gas. He said that Nord Stream-2 project would cover the current European gas demand.
Biography | About | U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff of California's 28th District
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 06:30
Congressman Adam Schiff represents California's 28th Congressional District, and throughout his tenure in Congress, he has focused on growing the economy, bolstering national security, strengthening our communities, helping small businesses, and improving education, safety and health care for our children. In his 8th term in the House of Representatives, Schiff currently serves as the Ranking Member, or top Democrat, of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and as a Member of the Benghazi Select Committee. The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence oversees the nation's intelligence agencies including components of the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, State and Energy. Schiff is currently on a leave of absence from the House Appropriations Committee.
In addition to his committee work, Schiff's top priority is to create jobs and help improve the economy. Schiff has always believed that small businesses have been the true engine of growth in challenging economic times and has been fighting to enact tax relief for small businesses, to assist them with access to capital and to remove burdensome regulations. Schiff also believes that reestablishing America as a manufacturing powerhouse is crucial. Through these efforts, American businesses can begin growing and adding jobs again so that all Americans can enjoy a brighter, more prosperous future.
Schiff has also been a leader on national security and foreign policy efforts in Congress, and has pushed for a broader strategy that emphasizes diplomacy, intelligence reform, and efforts to stabilize countries that are at risk of becoming future failed states and havens for terrorists. He has advanced efforts to ensure the safety of all Americans by addressing nuclear proliferation, and is the author of the Nuclear Forensics and Attribution Act, which President Obama signed into law on February 16, 2010. Schiff has also been a leader on human rights, and a forceful advocate for recognition of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23, introducing resolutions and giving numerous floor speeches on the matter, including one delivered in Armenian and another addressed directly to the Turkish people. Schiff has also been an outspoken leader in the effort to end or ''sunset'' the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force, which he believes no longer applies to the current struggle against ISIS and the diffuse franchises of al Qaeda scattered around the world. Schiff also co-founded the Congressional Caucus for Freedom of the Press in May 2006, a bipartisan, bicameral caucus that is chaired by Schiff. The Freedom of the Press Caucus aims to advance press freedom around the world by creating a forum to combat and condemn media censorship and the persecution of journalists around the world. Schiff is also the author of the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act, signed into law by President Obama on May 17, 2010.
As a former federal prosecutor, Schiff has made improving public safety, with an emphasis on smart, cost-effective solutions, a major focus of his work in Congress. Among his successes are obtaining federal funding to create a Foothills Regional DNA Lab in Glendale to speed the processing of DNA evidence in Glendale, Burbank, Pasadena, and other foothill cities and take violent offenders off the street. The lab began operations in April 2012. He also was able to obtain vital funding to assist the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles Sheriff's Department with eliminating a backlog of thousands of untested sexual assault evidence kits, resulting in numerous convictions in cases that would otherwise have gone unsolved. Legislatively, he introduced the Katie Sepich Enhanced DNA Act of 2012 which encourages states to collect DNA upon arrest for certain felonies in order to solve open cases and prevent further crimes, legislation which was signed in to law on January 10th, 2013.
A long time champion of the environment and mass transit, Schiff is the author of the Rim of the Valley Corridor Study Act, which was signed into law by President Bush on May 08, 2008. As a State Senator, he wrote the legislation establishing the Gold Line Light Rail Authority and in Congress has led efforts to extend the light rail throughout the San Gabriel Valley. And because the Entertainment Industry is one of the largest job creators in the region and an economic powerhouse, Schiff is a leader on efforts to combat intellectual property theft and piracy. He is a founder and co-chair of the International Creativity and Theft-Prevention Caucus, a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers dedicated to working with America's international trade partners to secure the enactment of strong copyright laws and the vigilant enforcement of those laws.
Schiff is a strong proponent of science and believes that American leadership in space exploration is a key driver of American leadership in a host of high-tech and emerging industries. As a member of the Appropriations subcommittee that funds NASA, Schiff has fought hard to preserve and expand the robotic missions undertaken by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Ca±ada-Flintridge, from missions to Mars to a future mission to Jupiter's moon of Europa.
Prior to serving in the House of Representatives, Schiff completed a four-year term as State Senator for California's 21st State Senate District, chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate Select Committee on Juvenile Justice and the Joint Committee on the Arts. During his time in Sacramento, he led legislative efforts to guarantee up-to-date textbooks in the classroom, overhaul child support, and pass a patient's bill of rights. Before serving in the Legislature, Schiff served with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles for six years, most notably prosecuting the first FBI agent ever to be indicted for espionage.
Born on June 22, 1960, Adam is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School. He and his wife Eve (yes, it's true '' Adam and Eve) have two children, a daughter, Alexa Marion, born in July 1998, and a son, Elijah Harris, born in July 2002.
UK Passes Vote To Begin Syria Airstrikes
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 00:39
And just like that another country has decided it would send its fighter planes in the already congested skies above Syria, when moments ago the UK parliament decided, in a 397 to 223 vote, to begin airstrikes on Syria.
According to the vote, U.K. lawmakers backed Prime Minister David Cameron's plan to extend air strikes against Islamic State from Iraq into Syria, after the opposition Labour Party split over whether to support military action.
The House of Commons in London voted in favor of a motion by Cameron's government authorizing action. Lawmakers had earlier rejected an amendment that would have blocked the use of military force.
The 10 1/2 hours of debate saw many tetchy speeches and interventions, but the best received came from Labour foreign-affairs spokesman Hilary Benn, ending the debate by taking the opposite side of the argument from his leader, Jeremy Corbyn, a career-long opponent of military interventions.
''We must now confront this evil,'' Benn said, as Corbyn sat in silence beside him. ''It is now time for us to do our bit in Syria.''
What the RAF's fighters will instead confront upon their campaign, which is set to begin imminently, is a lot of Russian dogfighters, each armed with Air to Air missiles thanks to Turkey, making the probability of a deadly chance encounter above Syria that much higher.
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CDA, VVD en PvdA stemmen tegen motie voor meer druk op Turkije inzake Demmink - Katholiek Nieuwsblad
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 15:32
''Gaat Turkije nu ook meewerken aan de Nederlandse verzoeken om rechtshulp in de affaire Demmink?'' Dat twitterde Louis Bontes (groep Bontes/Van Klaveren) al op 20 november.
Aanleiding was de aankondiging van minister Ard van der Steur van Justitie en Veiligheid dat Nederland en Turkije de justitile samenwerking gingen verbeteren. Hiertoe zal een ambtelijke werkgroep in het leven worden geroepen.
Gemanipuleerd bewijsDe relatie met Turkije is aan de orde vanwege de affaire rond Joris Demmink, de voormalige secretaris-generaal van het departement. Naar hem loopt een onderzoek naar pedofilie, in het bijzonder verkrachting van twee Turkse jongens waarvan hij wordt beschuldigd. Ook de affaire Baybasin, de in Nederland tot levenslang veroordeelde Koerdische activist, wordt hiermee in verband gebracht. De veroordeling van Baybasin is zo goed als zeker op gemanipuleerd bewijs tot stand gekomen
MotieBontes heeft een motie ingediend waarin hij de regering verzoekt bij Turkije de druk te verhogen om mee te werken aan de rechtshulpverzoeken inzake Demmink, die dat land nog altijd niet heeft uitgevoerd. Dat zou een belangrijke blijk van verbeterde justitile samenwerking op voor de hand liggend terrein zijn. ''VVD, CDA en PvdA hebben tegen mijn motie over meer druk op Turkije in kwestie Demmink gestemd'', laat Bontes vandaag echter per Twitter weten.
San Bernadino Shooting
Lawmakers Offer 'Prayers' For Mass Shooting Victims, Receive Large Checks From The NRA | ThinkProgress
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 14:59
Following Wednesday afternoon's mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, which left at least 14 people dead, numerous lawmakers tweeted their ''thoughts and prayers'' to the victims of the gruesome tragedy. But many of the same congresspeople who were quick to publicly register their feelings about the 352nd mass shooting this year, received thousands of dollars from the National Rifle Association and voted against sensible gun reforms like expanding background checks to more gun purchases.
The Daily News also blasted lawmakers for looking to God instead of turning to more concrete legislative action.
How a Los Angeles Times Reporter Misled the Internet in Aftermath of California Shooting | TheBlaze.com
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 14:21
A Los Angeles Times reporter incorrectly reported Wednesday night that a suspect in the deadly San Bernardino shooting was a citizen from Qatar.
Image source: Twitter
Times FBI/justice reporter Rick Serrano seemingly copy and pasted the erroneous report word-for-word from a random Twitter account that had posted the incorrect information five hours earlier.
Within minutes, the tweet had amassed hundreds of retweets.
But it did not stop there. Several websites quickly aggregated the information in Serrano's tweet, most prominently the Washington Times and Mediaite.
The false report even found its way to Fox News, splashed on the bottom of the screen in a chyron.
Serrano later deleted his tweet and acknowledged that it appeared to be a hoax. He, however, did not apologize or say where he got the information.
Times spokeswoman Hillary Manning told TheBlaze that the publication did not have comment, but said Serrano's tweet had been shared with ''relevant editors.''
Manning added that she was ''trying to determine the original source of the apparent hoax.''
A spokesperson for Fox News did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday night.
Authorities identified the actual suspects as Syed Farook, 28, an American citizen, and Tashfeen Malik, 27. 14 were killed and 17 were wounded in Wednesday's shooting.
Follow the author of this story on Twitter and Facebook:
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Two Suspects Killed In California Mass Shooting - KKTVwww.kktv.com/.../Multiple-Victims-Reported-Shot-In-San-Bernar...10 hours ago -San Bernardino police updated the number of injured to 17. ... Paul Lacroix said his son was able to escape after gunfire erupted at a Southern ...
VVC Alerts Public to Upcoming ''Active Shooter'' Training | VVNG.com Victor Valley News
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 02:06
VICTORVILLE-(VVNG.com): Victor Valley College officials would like to inform students and area residents that there will be an ''active shooter'' training exercise on the VVC campus on Monday, November 30th. There will be significant police presence at this time according to Chief Leonard Knight who said this training will last several hours.
In order to avoid any confusion, the public is being notified ahead of time. Victor Valley College Police Department (VVCPD), San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department (SBCSD), Victorville Police Station, San Bernardino County Fire Department (SBCFD), Victorville Fire Station, and American Medical Response (AMR) have planned for and are conducting this exercise to ensure coordinated, timely and effective response to the college community, as well as enhance safety at Victor Valley College.
The campus will be on lockdown causing a portion of the campus to be unavailable and the campus bus routes to be diverted until about noon on Monday. VVC Superintendent/President Roger Wagner believes these exercises and training sessions are imperative as these type of occurrences are all too common. ''What I want everyone to know is that we have, on an on-going basis been assessing and implementing an improved campus security and response plan for many months. Many improvements have been made and there are still more to come.''
According to the Victor Valley College press release, this drill is to prepare the school faculty, staff and students in preparation of an active shooter occurrence within our campus community as well as a real life simulation. ''Conducting and planning for this exercise will allow us to assess our emergency preparedness and review the coordination and rapid response of both police agencies.'' stated Chief Knight.
The campus community will be alerted prior to the start of the exercise via an ''emergency notification message'' sent through the Alertus Emergency Notification System and through the Text Alert Message System. Additional pre exercise messages will provided through social media, email, classroom announcements and flyers posted around the campus.
PP Shooting
Activists Urge Attorney General to Call Attack on Planned Parenthood Clinic an Act of Terror
Wed, 02 Dec 2015 22:31
When men attack women's health clinics, the Department of Justice should call it domestic terrorism and treat it that way, a coalition of activists said Wednesday.
The group led by NARAL Pro-Choice America, UltraViolet and Courage Campaign, and CREDO Action, is calling on the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate crimes like last Friday's murderous rampage at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic as acts of domestic terrorism rather than ordinary violent crimes.
''Clearly these attacks [against Planned Parenthood] meet the definition of domestic terrorism. This is not a random shooting'...and it must be called out as such,'' said Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America on a press teleconference on Wednesday.
The FBI defines ''domestic terrorism'' as ''activities '... [that] involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law '... appear intended to (i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population, (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.''
And following 9/11, the USA Patriot Act redefined terrorism to include domestic crimes'--giving investigators more latitude to pursue crimes it called ''terrorism'' during their investigations.
Attacks on clinics that provide abortion services are politically motivated and intended to strike fear into the hearts of women across the country seeking care'--not just at the particular clinic'--the activists say.
So far, Attorney General Loretta Lynch hasn't commented on the Colorado shooting, one way the other. The activists are hoping that when she does, she won't mince words.
But actually prosecuting an attack like that under terrorism statutes is a different story. As The Intercept reported in July, immediately after the indictment of a white 21-year-old who shot and killed nine black churchgoers in South Carolina, there is no criminal charge of domestic terrorism on the books.
There is a section of U.S. criminal code which includes terrorism-related crimes, such as ''using a weapon of mass destruction'''--one of the counts Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged with.
But when the weapon of choice is a gun, rather than an explosive or weapon of mass destruction, there is no terrorism-related statute to employ when filing an indictment.
The DOJ ultimately charged Dylann Roof with murder, attempted murder and use of a firearm, all in the commission of a hate crime, in the church shooting.
Hogue of NARAL acknowledged that ''there are not statutory remedies available.'' But, she said, ''we're asking that these crimes be investigated as domestic terrorism'...because it's a discussion we need to have'...[to bring about] an understanding of this as a network of actors, an intentional campaign to scare people.''
''If that results in a statutory definition'' of terrorism, Hogue said, ''we wouldn't oppose it. But the current ask is for the DOJ to call it what it is.''
Top Photo: A person is transported in an ambulance outside the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic on November 27, 2015 where Robert Dear allegedly killed three and wounded nine.
Shut Up Slave!
Yoga has become the latest victim of political correctness on university campuses over 'cultural appropriation' dispute
Mon, 23 Nov 2015 08:04
Yoga has become the latest victim of political correctness on university campuses, after a free class was cancelled because of complaints that the lessons were an unaceptable ''cultural appropriation'' of a non-Western practice.
Jennifer Scharf, a yoga practitioner who has offered free weekly sessions to students at the University of Ottawa in Canada since 2008, said she was shocked to receive an abrupt message telling her the classes were to be suspended.
''I'd been in touch to prepare for the new semester's classes when, out of nowhere, I received an email telling me there were some issues in terms of a formal complaint,'' she told The Independent.
The decision to cancel the classes was made by the Ottawa Student Federation, the university's independent student body.
According to the Ottawa Sun, staff from the Centre for Students with Disabilities, where the classes were held for students of all abilities, wrote in an email: ''While yoga is a really great idea and accessible and great for students...there are cultural issues of implication involved in the practice. Yoga has been under a lot of controversy lately due to how it is being practiced'', and which cultures those practices ''are being taken from''.
The email went on to say that because many of those cultures ''have experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy... we need to be mindful of this and how we express ourselves while practising yoga.''
Ms Scarf said she suggested a compromise by changing the name of the classes to suggest ''mindful stretching'', but was rejected. ''I think it's easy to worry too much about accommodating everyone,'' she said. ''By saving one person's feelings, we're ruined the experience for so many others.''
The disagreement comes amid growing debate about freedom of speech and political correctness at British and North American universities. In recent months, Oxford University cancelled a debate on abortion after protesters objected to the fact it was being held between two men, while the Cambridge Union was asked to withdraw its speaking invitation to the writer and commentator Germaine Greer because of her views on transgender issues.
Last month, the lecturer Erika Christakis and her husband were called on to resign from Yale's Silliman College, where the couple lived and worked, after she sent an email suggesting that her students try not to be offended by culturally insensitive Halloween costumes.
In the US, students have asked for so-called ''trigger warnings'' on the front covers of classic works of literature, in case people who have had distressing experiences of sexual violence, racism or other trauma are caught off-guard and find themselves reliving the past. It has stirred debate into whether universities are being turned into ''safe spaces'', where students are shielded from words and ideas that might make them uncomfortable.
Ms Scharf said she has had no response from the University itself, but remains optimistic that they will support her.
''It's crazy that someone would find yoga offensive in the way we teach it. If you look at how, historically yoga has been so non-controversial, it's a wonder nobody's taking offense with kickboxing or spin class instead.''
The Ottawa Student Federation body was unavailable for comment.
Earlier this year, yoga was banned by Russian officials for being ''too closely associated with religious cults''
IRS: Won't use phone-tracking technology without warrant - Salon.com
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 15:58
WASHINGTON (AP) '-- The head of the Internal Revenue Service says agents investigating crimes won't continue using cellphone-tracking technology without seeking a warrant.
Commissioner John Koskinen wrote about the new policy in a letter sent Nov. 25 to Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon. Koskinen said his agency was drafting a policy to follow the Justice Department's rules, which require a warrant except in emergencies.
The IRS has used its cellphone-tracking technology to locate 37 cellular devices as part of 11 federal investigations since 2011.
Wyden and Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah have introduced a bill requiring a warrant for government tracking of electronic data.
One such tracking device is known as a Stingray. It's the size of a suitcase and tricks cellphones into electronically identifying themselves, then transmits data to police.
If your kids don't want to drop bombs on Syria, they may be terrorists / Boing Boing
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 15:30
The "child safeguarding" office of the London Borough of Camden sent parents a brochure listing warning-signs for "radicalisation" (code for "incipient terrorist recruit"). Some signs: your kid objects to government policy, especially foreign policy; "mistrusts mainstream media reports" and switches their screen quickly when adults approach.
If your kid shows all these signs, the brochure warns, they may be planning to go to Syria to fight with Daesh.
No, seriously.
Council officials and local politicians sit in the board, as well as local voluntary groups and community organisations. Local Safeguarding Children Boards are mandated by the Government all around the country under the Children Act 2004.
Bella Sankey, policy director at the campaign group Liberty, criticised the leaflet.
''Children should be encouraged to take an interest in politics and think critically about what they see in the media, not deemed suspect for so doing,'' she said.
Young people who question Government or media may be extremists, officials tell parents [Jon Stone/The Independent]
(via Diane Duane)
In 2014, Britain strode boldly into the late 20th century, finally legalising ''private copying'' '-- ripping CDs, taping LPs, recording TV shows, backing up your ebooks and games '-- but now it's thought better of the move.
READ THE RESTThe Snoopers Charter is the UK Tory government's proposal to force ISPs to retain records of all their customers' online activities, and the government has used the excuse of the Paris attacks to call for its immediate passage despite the fact that the £175m/year the government has budgeted to defray ISPs' costs is not even ['...]
READ THE RESTIt's been five years since the first cases of UK undercover police officers infiltrating environmental groups and tricking activists into having sex with them surfaced, and now, one of the survivors of the practice, ''Lisa,'' has granted her first-ever interview.
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Channel 4 News cancels Prince Charles interview due to 'draconian' demands | Media | The Guardian
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 13:36
Prince Charles delivers a speech as part of the United Nations conference on climate change. Photograph: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images
Channel 4 News has turned down an interview with the Prince of Wales after refusing to sign a ''draconian'' contract with a string of demands including the pre-vetting of all questions and right to control editing.
The extremely tight level of control and censorship has not stopped some outlets from broadcasting interviews: Sky News ran an interview late last month covering topics including global warming. A spokesman for Sky News refused to comment on the broadcaster's decision to agree to the terms laid down by Clarence House.
Sky News held its own interview with Prince Charles, which aired on 23 NovemberHowever, Channel 4 News felt that it could not conduct an interview under such terms, which included a 15-page contract full of limitations and restrictions. It cancelled an interview with Prince Charles that was due to be conducted by Jon Snow on Sunday at the British ambassador's residence in Paris, on the eve of the Paris climate change talks.
The decision to pull out of the interview would have ultimately been made by Ben de Pear, the editor of Channel 4's flagship news programme.
Channel 4 News said it would be happy to carry out an interview but not with such a restrictive contract.
''We do not sign pre-interview agreements, and interviewees appear on Channel 4 News on that basis,'' said a spokesperson. ''We would still be delighted to interview Prince Charles.''
It is not clear if other media outlets, such as ITV News and BBC News, have agreed to run interviews with Prince Charles.
The contractual stipulations surrounding Prince Charles were first made public by the Independent, which cited clauses in the contract such as: if the interviewer goes off script, Clarence House staff present have the right to ''intervene and halt filming''.
A spokeswoman for Clarence House said the Prince of Wales received hundreds of requests for interviews and no media outlet was obligated to sign the standard contract.
''The issuing of broadcast contracts is standard practice across the royal households,'' said the spokeswoman. ''The Prince of Wales receives hundreds of requests for interviews from media organisations around the world. No media organisation is under any obligation to approach the Prince of Wales for an interview or enter into a contract negotiation.''
She added that the restrictions were to ensure ''factual accuracy''. ''All broadcasters that do [an interview], are keen to ensure that they do not breach any of the relevant broadcast rules and go to great lengths to protect their independence in this regard,'' she said. ''The contracts are put in place to ensure factual accuracy and protect the broadcaster as well as the interview subject.''
Electronic Communications Privacy Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 06:58
Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986Long titleAn Act to amend title 18, United States Code, with respect to the interception of certain communications, other forms of surveillance, and for other purposes.Acronyms(colloquial)ECPAEnacted bythe 99th United States CongressEffectiveOctober 21, 1986CitationsPublic lawPub.L. 99''508Statutes at Large100 Stat. 1848CodificationTitles amended18Legislative historyIntroduced in the Houseas H.R. 4952 byRobert Kastenmeier (D''WI) on June 5, 1986Committee consideration byJudiciaryPassed the House on June 23, 1986 (Voice Vote)Passed the Senate on October 1, 1986 (Voice Vote) with amendmentHouse agreed to Senate amendment on October 2, 1986 (Unanimous Consent)Signed into law by PresidentRonald Reaganon October 21, 1986Major amendmentsUSA PATRIOT ActElectronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA) was enacted by the United States Congress to extend government restrictions on wire taps from telephone calls to include transmissions of electronic data by computer (18 U.S.C. § 2510et seq.), added new provisions prohibiting access to stored electronic communications, i.e., the Stored Communications Act (SCA, 18 U.S.C. § 2701et seq.), and added so-called pen trap provisions that permit the tracing of telephone communications (18 U.S.C. § 3121et seq.).
ECPA was an amendment to Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (the Wiretap Statute), which was primarily designed to prevent unauthorized government access to private electronic communications. The ECPA has been amended by the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) of 1994, the USA PATRIOT Act (2001), the USA PATRIOT reauthorization acts (2006), and the FISA Amendments Act (2008).[1]
Overview[edit]"Electronic communications" means any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photooptical system that affects interstate or foreign commerce, but excludes the following:[2]
Title I of the ECPA protects wire, oral, and electronic communications while in transit. It sets down requirements for search warrants that are more stringent than in other settings. Title II of the ECPA, the Stored Communications Act (SCA), protects communications held in electronic storage, most notably messages stored on computers. Its protections are weaker than those of Title I, however, and do not impose heightened standards for warrants. Title III prohibits the use of pen register and/or trap and trace devices to record dialing, routing, addressing, and signaling information used in the process of transmitting wire or electronic communications without a court order.
Provisions[edit]The ECPA extended government restrictions on wire taps from telephone calls to include transmissions of electronic data by computer (18 U.S.C. § 2510et seq.), added new provisions prohibiting access to stored electronic communications, i.e., the Stored Communications Act (18 U.S.C. § 2701et seq.), and added so-called pen/trap provisions that permit the tracing of telephone communications (18 U.S.C. § 3121et seq.).
18 U.S.C. § 3123(d)(2) provides for gag orders which direct the recipient of a pen register or trap and trace device order not to disclose the existence of the pen/trap or the investigation.[3]
Case law[edit]Several court cases have raised the question of whether e-mail messages are protected under the stricter provisions of Title I while they were in transient storage en route to their final destination. In United States v. Councilman, a U.S. district court and a three-judge appeals panel ruled they were not, but in 2005, the full United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit reversed this opinion. Privacy advocates were relieved; they had argued in Amicus curiae briefs that if the ECPA did not protect e-mail in temporary storage, its added protections were meaningless as virtually all electronic mail is stored temporarily in transit at least once and that Congress would have known this in 1986 when the law was passed. (see, e.g., RFC 822). The case was eventually dismissed on grounds unrelated to ECPA issues.[citation needed]
The seizure of a computer, used to operate an electronic bulletin board system, and containing private electronic mail which had been sent to (stored on) the bulletin board, but not read (retrieved) by the intended recipients, does not constitute an unlawful intercept under the Federal Wiretap Act, 18 U.S.C. s 2510, et seq., as amended by Title I of ECPA.[4] Governments can actually track cell phones in real time without a search warrant under ECPA by analyzing information as to antennae being contacted by cell phones, as long as the cell phone is used in public where visual surveillance is available.[5]
In Robbins v. Lower Merion School District (2010), also known as "WebcamGate", the plaintiffs charged that two suburban Philadelphia high schools violated ECPA by remotely activating the webcams embedded in school-issued laptops and monitoring the students at home. The schools admitted to secretly snapping over 66,000 webshots and screenshots, including webcam shots of students in their bedrooms.[6][7]
Criticism[edit]ECPA has been criticized for failing to protect all communications and consumer records, mainly because the law is so outdated and out of touch with how people share, store, and use information nowadays. For instance, under the ECPA it is relatively easy for a government agency to demand that service providers hand over personal consumer data that has been stored on their servers.[citation needed]
For instance, email that is stored on a third party's server for more than 180 days is considered by the law to be abandoned, and all that is required to obtain the content of the emails by a law enforcement agency, is a written statement certifying that the information is relevant to an investigation, without judicial review.[citation needed][original research?]
When the law was initially passed, emails were stored on a third party's server for only a short period of time, just long enough to facilitate transfer of email to the consumer's email client, which was generally located on their personal or work computer. Now, with online email services prevalent such as Gmail and Hotmail, users are more likely to store emails online indefinitely, rather than to only keep them for less than 180 days. If the same emails were stored on the user's personal computer, it would require the police to obtain a warrant first for seizure of their contents, regardless of their age. When they are stored on an internet server however, no warrant is needed, starting 180 days after receipt of the message, under the law. In 2013 members of the U.S. Congress proposed to reform this procedure.[8]
The ECPA also increased the list of crimes that can justify the use of surveillance as well as the number of judicial members who can authorize such surveillance. Data can be obtained on traffic and calling patterns of an individual or group without a warrant, allowing an agency to gain valuable intelligence and possibly invade privacy without any scrutiny, because the actual content of the communication is left untouched. While workplace communications are in theory protected, all that is needed to gain access to communiqu(C) is for an employer to simply give notice or a supervisor to feel that the employee's actions are not in the company's interest. This means that with minimal assumptions an employer can monitor communications within the company. The ongoing debate is on where to limit the government's power to see into civilian lives, while balancing the need to curb national threats.
In 2011, the New York Times published "1986 Privacy Law Is Outrun by the Web", highlighting that:[9]
...the Justice Department argued in court that cellphone users had given up the expectation of privacy about their location by voluntarily giving that information to carriers. In April, it argued in a federal court in Colorado that it ought to have access to some e-mails without a search warrant. And federal law enforcement officials, citing technology advances, plan to ask for new regulations that would smooth their ability to perform legal wiretaps of various Internet communications.
The analysis went on to discuss how Google, Facebook, Verizon, Twitter and other companies are in the middle between users and governments.
References[edit]^"Office of Justice Programs (OJP), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)". Retrieved 2013. ^18 U.S.C.A. § 2510 (2012)^In Re: Sealing and Non-disclosure of Pen/Trap/2703(d) Orders of May 30, 2008, p. 5^36 F.3d 457 (5th Cir. 1994).^402 F. Supp. 2d 597 (D. Md. 2005).^Doug Stanglin (February 18, 2010). "School district accused of spying on kids via laptop webcams". USA Today. Retrieved February 19, 2010. ^"Initial LANrev System Findings", LMSD Redacted Forensic Analysis, L-3 Services '' prepared for Ballard Spahr (LMSD's counsel), May 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2010.^Andrea Peterson, "Privacy Protections for Cloud E-mail", Think Progress, March 20, 2013.^Helft, Miguel and Claire Cain Miller, ''News Analysis: 1986 Privacy Law Is Outrun by the Web'', New York Times, January 9, 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-10.See also[edit]
Bill Summary & Status Search Results - THOMAS (Library of Congress)
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 06:50
Text searched: FLD003:#1(Rep Poe Ted):
Items 1 through 42 of 421.H.R.28 : Keystone For a Secure Tomorrow ActSponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 1/6/2015) Cosponsors (None)Committees: House Transportation and Infrastructure; House Energy and Commerce; House Natural ResourcesLatest Major Action: 3/16/2015 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Federal Lands.
2.H.R.29 : Separation of Powers Act of 2015Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 1/6/2015) Cosponsors (31)Committees: House JudiciaryLatest Major Action: 1/6/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
3.H.R.181 : Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 1/7/2015) Cosponsors (16)Committees: House Judiciary; Senate JudiciaryHouse Reports:114-7Latest Major Action: 2/4/2015 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
4.H.R.236 : Foreign Counterfeit Merchandise Prevention ActSponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 1/9/2015) Cosponsors (3)Committees: House JudiciaryLatest Major Action: 2/2/2015 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.
5.H.R.237 : FTO Passport Revocation Act of 2015Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 1/9/2015) Cosponsors (10)Committees: House Foreign Affairs; Senate Foreign RelationsLatest Major Action: 7/22/2015 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
6.H.R.296 : Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 1/13/2015) Cosponsors (2)Committees: House JudiciaryLatest Major Action: 2/2/2015 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.Note: For further action, see S.178 , which became Public Law 114-22 on 5/29/2015.
7.H.R.300 : SMART Border Act of 2015Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 1/13/2015) Cosponsors (10)Committees: House Homeland Security; House Armed Services; House Rules; House Energy and Commerce; House AgricultureLatest Major Action: 1/28/2015 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security.
8.H.R.428 : Export American Natural Gas Act of 2015Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 1/21/2015) Cosponsors (2)Committees: House Energy and Commerce; House Foreign AffairsLatest Major Action: 2/11/2015 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade.
9.H.R.464 : Constitutional Check and Balance ActSponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 1/22/2015) Cosponsors (2)Committees: House JudiciaryLatest Major Action: 2/19/2015 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.
10.H.R.583 : Timely Repatriation ActSponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 1/28/2015) Cosponsors (18)Committees: House Judiciary; House Foreign AffairsLatest Major Action: 3/17/2015 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security.
11.H.R.881 : Bringing Awareness and Knowledge to Exempt Schools Against Legislative Encroachment ActSponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 2/11/2015) Cosponsors (14)Committees: House Education and the WorkforceLatest Major Action: 4/29/2015 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education.
12.H.R.1385 : Preserving American Privacy Act of 2015Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 3/17/2015) Cosponsors (8)Committees: House JudiciaryLatest Major Action: 3/31/2015 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.
13.H.R.1415 : Jane's LawSponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 3/18/2015) Cosponsors (14)Committees: House JudiciaryLatest Major Action: 4/21/2015 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.
14.H.R.1566 : Local Courthouse Safety Act of 2015Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 3/24/2015) Cosponsors (8)Committees: House Judiciary; House Oversight and Government ReformLatest Major Action: 4/21/2015 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.
15.H.R.1803 : Veterans Back to Work Act of 2015Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 4/15/2015) Cosponsors (None)Committees: House Ways and MeansLatest Major Action: 4/15/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.
16.H.R.1931 : American Land ActSponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 4/22/2015) Cosponsors (2)Committees: House Natural Resources; House AgricultureLatest Major Action: 5/19/2015 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.
17.H.R.2126 : Cutting Costly Codes Act of 2015Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 4/30/2015) Cosponsors (12)Committees: House Energy and Commerce; House Ways and MeansLatest Major Action: 5/1/2015 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Health.
18.H.R.2233 : End Warrantless Surveillance of Americans ActSponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 5/5/2015) Cosponsors (42)Committees: House Intelligence (Permanent Select); House JudiciaryLatest Major Action: 6/1/2015 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.
19.H.R.2255 : To make participation in the American Community Survey voluntary, except with respect to certain basic questions, and for other purposes.Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 5/12/2015) Cosponsors (16)Committees: House Oversight and Government ReformLatest Major Action: 5/12/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
20.H.R.2883 : Master Limited Partnerships Parity ActSponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 6/24/2015) Cosponsors (7)Committees: House Ways and MeansLatest Major Action: 6/24/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.
21.H.R.3626 : Ensuring Affordable Energy ActSponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 9/28/2015) Cosponsors (18)Committees: House Energy and CommerceLatest Major Action: 10/2/2015 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Energy and Power.
22.H.R.3653 : Billy's LawSponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 9/30/2015) Cosponsors (1)Committees: House JudiciaryLatest Major Action: 11/3/2015 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.
23.H.R.3654 : Combat Terrorist Use of Social Media Act of 2015Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 9/30/2015) Cosponsors (11)Committees: House Foreign Affairs; House Judiciary; House Intelligence (Permanent Select)Latest Major Action: 11/3/2015 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.
24.H.R.3693 : IRGC Terrorist Sanctions Act of 2015Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 10/6/2015) Cosponsors (None)Committees: House Foreign AffairsLatest Major Action: 10/6/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
25.H.R.3765 : ADA Education and Reform Act of 2015Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 10/20/2015) Cosponsors (13)Committees: House JudiciaryLatest Major Action: 11/3/2015 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.
26.H.R.3766 : Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2015Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 10/20/2015) Cosponsors (14)Committees: House Foreign AffairsLatest Major Action: 11/5/2015 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Ordered to be Reported by Unanimous Consent.
27.H.R.4032 : States' Right of Refugee Refusal Act of 2015Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 11/17/2015) Cosponsors (42)Committees: House JudiciaryLatest Major Action: 11/17/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
28.H.CON.RES.47 : To correct the enrollment of S. 178.Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 5/20/2015) Cosponsors (None)Latest Major Action: 5/20/2015 Passed/agreed to in Senate. Status: Received in the Senate, considered, and agreed to without amendment by Unanimous Consent.Latest Action: 5/21/2015 Message on Senate action sent to the House.
29.H.RES.37 : Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives condemning the recent terrorist attacks in Paris that resulted in the deaths of seventeen innocent persons and offering condolences to those personally affected by this cowardly act.Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 1/16/2015) Cosponsors (10)Committees: House Foreign AffairsLatest Major Action: 1/20/2015 Passed/agreed to in House. Status: On motion to suspend the rules and agree to the resolution Agreed to by voice vote.Latest Action: 1/20/2015 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
30.H.RES.492 : Supporting the goals and ideals of October as "National Domestic Violence Awareness Month" and expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that Congress should continue to raise awareness of domestic violence and its devastating effects on individuals, families, and communities, and support programs designed to end domestic violence in the United States.Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 10/26/2015) Cosponsors (2)Committees: House Education and the WorkforceLatest Major Action: 10/26/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
31.H.RES.525 : Urging the Administration to work with North Atlantic Treaty Organization member states to invoke Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty in response to the Paris attacks.Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 11/16/2015) Cosponsors (None)Committees: House Foreign AffairsLatest Major Action: 11/16/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
32.H.AMDT.275 to H.R.2578 Amendment increases funding for victims of human sex trafficking by $17.3 million, bringing the funding level back up to a total of $43 million for victim services and victim grants.Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 6/2/2015) Cosponsors (None)Latest Major Action: 6/2/2015 House amendment agreed to. Status: On agreeing to the Poe (TX) amendment (A007) Agreed to by voice vote.
33.H.AMDT.311 to H.R.2578 Amendment prohibits the government from requiring the use of encryption in cell phones that are sold to Americans, which would allow the FBI to have access to conversations, emails, or text messaging.Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 6/2/2015) Cosponsors (None)Latest Major Action: 6/2/2015 House amendment agreed to. Status: On agreeing to the Poe (TX) amendment (A043) Agreed to by voice vote.
34.H.AMDT.316 to H.R.2578 An amendment to prohibit the use of funds to enforce section 221 of title 13, United States Code, with respect to the survey, conducted by the Secretary of Commerce, commonly referred to as the "American Community Survey".Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 6/2/2015) Cosponsors (None)Latest Major Action: 6/2/2015 House amendment agreed to. Status: On agreeing to the Poe (TX) amendment (A048) Agreed to by voice vote.
35.H.AMDT.322 to H.R.2578 An amendment to prohibit the use of funds for DNA analysis and capacity enhancement program and for other local, State, and Federal forensic activities for which funds are made available under this Act as part of the $125 million for DNA-related forensic programs and activities, unless such funds are used in accordance with the DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act.Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 6/2/2015) Cosponsors (None)Latest Major Action: 6/2/2015 By unanimous consent, the Poe (TX) amendment was withdrawn.
36.H.AMDT.473 to H.R.2685 Amendment sought to reduce funding for aid to Pakistan by $430 million.Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 6/10/2015) Cosponsors (None)Latest Major Action: 6/10/2015 House amendment not agreed to. Status: On agreeing to the Poe (TX) amendment (A033) Failed by recorded vote: 117 - 315 (Roll no. 340).
37.H.AMDT.477 to H.R.2685 Amendment sought to strike subsection (b) of section 9015 regarding the waiver used by the Secretary of Defense with respect to providing funds to Pakistan.Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 6/10/2015) Cosponsors (None)Latest Major Action: 6/10/2015 House amendment not agreed to. Status: On agreeing to the Poe (TX) amendment (A037) Failed by recorded vote: 114 - 318 (Roll no. 344).
38.H.AMDT.521 to H.R.2596 Amendment requires the Director of National Intelligence to report to Congress on the nexus between terrorist groups and wildlife trafficking, how wildlife trafficking impacts U.S. national security, and key actors and facilitators of wildlife trafficking.Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 6/16/2015) Cosponsors (None)Latest Major Action: 6/16/2015 House amendment agreed to. Status: On agreeing to the Poe (TX) amendment (A014) Agreed to by voice vote.
39.H.AMDT.522 to H.R.2596 Amendment requires the Director of National Intelligence to submit a report that represents the coordinated assessment of the intelligence community on how terrorists and terrorist organizations are using social media, the intelligence value of social media posts by terrorists and terrorist organizations, and the impact on the national security of the United States of the public availability of terrorist content on social media.Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 6/16/2015) Cosponsors (None)Latest Major Action: 6/16/2015 House amendment agreed to. Status: On agreeing to the Poe (TX) amendment (A015) Agreed to by voice vote.
40.H.AMDT.523 to H.R.2596 Amendment requires the Director of National Intelligence to submit a report to Congress on a strategy to defeat ISIL and al-Qaeda.Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 6/16/2015) Cosponsors (None)Latest Major Action: 6/16/2015 House amendment agreed to. Status: On agreeing to the Poe (TX) amendment (A016) Agreed to by voice vote.
41.H.AMDT.531 to H.R.2822 Amendment reduces and then increases funding for the Bureau of Land Management by $1 million with the intent of identifying unused land for potential sale to Americans.Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 6/25/2015) Cosponsors (None)Latest Major Action: 6/25/2015 House amendment agreed to. Status: On agreeing to the Poe (TX) amendment (A001) Agreed to by voice vote.
42.H.AMDT.563 to H.R.2822 Amendment takes $1 million out of the Forest Service land acquisition account and then returns it to the same account with the intention of identifying unused land for potential sale.Sponsor:Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 7/7/2015) Cosponsors (None)Latest Major Action: 7/7/2015 House amendment agreed to. Status: On agreeing to the Poe (TX) amendment (A033) Agreed to by voice vote.
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Tue, 01 Dec 2015 13:08
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This is Not a Day Care. It's a University! - Oklahoma Wesleyan University
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 03:30
Dr. Everett Piper, President
Oklahoma Wesleyan University
This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service and complain because he felt ''victimized'' by a sermon on the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. It appears this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love. In his mind, the speaker was wrong for making him, and his peers, feel uncomfortable.
I'm not making this up. Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic. Any time their feelings are hurt, they are the victims. Anyone who dares challenge them and, thus, makes them ''feel bad'' about themselves, is a ''hater,'' a ''bigot,'' an ''oppressor,'' and a ''victimizer.''
I have a message for this young man and all others who care to listen. That feeling of discomfort you have after listening to a sermon is called a conscience. An altar call is supposed to make you feel bad. It is supposed to make you feel guilty. The goal of many a good sermon is to get you to confess your sins'--not coddle you in your selfishness. The primary objective of the Church and the Christian faith is your confession, not your self-actualization.
So here's my advice:
If you want the chaplain to tell you you're a victim rather than tell you that you need virtue, this may not be the university you're looking for. If you want to complain about a sermon that makes you feel less than loving for not showing love, this might be the wrong place.
If you're more interested in playing the ''hater'' card than you are in confessing your own hate; if you want to arrogantly lecture, rather than humbly learn; if you don't want to feel guilt in your soul when you are guilty of sin; if you want to be enabled rather than confronted, there are many universities across the land (in Missouri and elsewhere) that will give you exactly what you want, but Oklahoma Wesleyan isn't one of them.
At OKWU, we teach you to be selfless rather than self-centered. We are more interested in you practicing personal forgiveness than political revenge. We want you to model interpersonal reconciliation rather than foment personal conflict. We believe the content of your character is more important than the color of your skin. We don't believe that you have been victimized every time you feel guilty and we don't issue ''trigger warnings'' before altar calls.
Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a ''safe place'', but rather, a place to learn: to learn that life isn't about you, but about others; that the bad feeling you have while listening to a sermon is called guilt; that the way to address it is to repent of everything that's wrong with you rather than blame others for everything that's wrong with them. This is a place where you will quickly learn that you need to grow up.
This is not a day care. This is a university.
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Racial Humor Among Friends Deemed 'Harassment' at Lewis & Clark College - FIRE
Tue, 01 Dec 2015 21:07
May 8, 2014
PORTLAND, Oregon, May 8, 2014'--Lewis & Clark College has declared two students, one African-American and one white, guilty of creating a ''hostile and discriminatory environment'' after racially themed jokes spoken between the friends at a private party were overheard and reported to campus authorities. The students contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. In the face of media scrutiny and growing faculty concern, the college has said only that it ''may'' respond to FIRE's criticisms.
''To punish two friends for joking with one another simply because someone overheard their language and was offended is utterly wrongheaded,'' said Robert Shibley, FIRE's Senior Vice President. ''If it really wants to fight racism on campus, Lewis & Clark should stop wasting its time on jokes among friends who happen to have different skin colors.''
On November 23, 2013, roughly 20 students, many of them members of Lewis & Clark's football team, attended a private party at a campus residence hall. During a game of ''beer pong,'' one African-American student jokingly named his team ''Team Nigga'' and would exclaim the team's name when scoring a point. The student also exchanged an ''inside joke'' greeting with a white friend, who welcomed him by saying, ''How about a 'white power'?'', to which the African-American student replied in jest, ''white power!''
A student not present at the party overheard the language and reported it to Lewis & Clark's Campus Living office, which turned the matter over to the college's Campus Safety division. Campus Safety investigated the alleged ''racial and biased comments'' made at the party, interviewing the two students and questioning them about the language used both at the party and within Lewis & Clark's football program. After the investigation's conclusion, Lewis & Clark charged both students with ''Physical or Mental Harm,'' ''Discrimination or Harassment,'' and ''Disorderly Conduct.'' Although the students' conduct charges and ensuing disciplinary hearings were spurred by the complaint about the November 23 party, Lewis & Clark made clear that it intended to investigate ''[o]ther acts of potential hate speech and bias that have occurred recently on campus'' as well.
Lewis & Clark found both students guilty on all charges and rejected each of their appeals. In one student's disciplinary letter, Lewis & Clark wrote that the student's language ''contributed to the creation of a hostile and discriminatory environment.'' In rejecting the same student's appeal, Lewis & Clark claimed his speech ''caused reasonable apprehension of harm to the community.'' Lewis & Clark placed both students on probation and required each to complete ''Community Restitution'' in the form of ''Bias Reduction and Bystander Intervention Training,'' among other sanctions. Both students contacted FIRE.
FIRE wrote to Lewis & Clark President Barry Glassner on April 18, demanding that the charges and sanctions against the students on the basis of their expression be removed. Though Lewis & Clark is a private college not bound by the First Amendment, it does make promises of free speech to its students. Its policy on Freedom of Expression & Inquiry states, for example, that students are ''free to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately.'' Lewis & Clark General Counsel David Ellis responded to FIRE on May 1, writing: ''The President's office has referred your letter to me for review. I may be back in touch when that review is completed.''
Lewis & Clark's treatment of the two students has resulted in widespreadmediacoverage and criticism, including from its own faculty. This week, 40 Lewis & Clark faculty members sent an open letter to the college, criticizing the college's ''questionable treatment of free speech and of our students' right to due process'' and lamenting that faculty efforts to get more information have been ''met with silence'' from the university.
''From the start, this case has been marked by disregard for free speech and failures of basic common sense,'' said Peter Bonilla, director of FIRE's Individual Rights Defense Program. ''The Lewis & Clark community deserves a whole lot more from the administration than a statement that it 'may' address the serious failures exhibited in this case.''
FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, freedom of expression, academic freedom, due process, and rights of conscience at our nation's colleges and universities. FIRE's efforts to preserve liberty on campuses across America can be viewed at thefire.org.
Peter Bonilla, Director, Individual Rights Defense Program, FIRE: 215-717-3473; peter@thefire.orgBarry Glassner, President, Lewis & Clark College, 503-768-7680; president@lclark.edu
Schools: Lewis & Clark CollegeCases: Lewis & Clark College: Two Students Guilty of 'Harassment' for Racial Jokes at Party
Lewis and Clark student assaulted describes race-based attack, says he reported it to police right away | OregonLive.com
Tue, 01 Dec 2015 20:09
Lewis & Clark College student Tanguy Muvuna had worked out in a dorm gym, grabbed a late night snack at a campus caf(C), brought some food back for a friend and then went out for a walk to get some fresh air.
It was about 12:15 a.m. Saturday when the 26-year-old from Rwanda headed to the campus Estate Gardens. He reached the flag pole to the east of the reflecting pool by the outdoor swimming pool and started walking back on the lawn toward his dorm when three men suddenly appeared from the south.
He said they walked up to him and asked, "What's up?'' and called him the N- word. Muvuna laughed, thinking it was a joke.
But then one of the men slapped Muvuna in the face and Muvuna responded by pushing him. One of the others punched him in the face and said something like, "That's how we're going to show you how we treat the black man,'' according to Muvuna.
Muvuna punched him back, when a third man grabbed him from behind and held his arms and threatened, "You are going to die tonight.'' His three attackers were all white, Muvuna said.
Muvuna is a student in the college's English Studies program and the 2015-2016 recipient of the school's Rom(C)o Dallaire Scholarship intended to honor the former commander of the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission to Rwanda. Muvuna was selected for his human rights work in his native country.
He said he was speaking out Sunday night about the attack to correct the Portland police version of events.
Muvuna struggled to break free from his attackers and screamed, but no one seemed to be around, he said. He couldn't make out everything the men were saying, but did catch other derogatory racial remarks, including: "The blacks, they're going to know they shouldn't be here.''
The men kicked him, trying to knock him to the ground, he said. One of them placed a hand around his neck and tried to choke him and another tried to pour a liquid into his mouth from a small bottle, he said. He described the liquid as initially tasting sweet, then sour.
He swallowed a bit of it, but spit out the rest in the face of one of his attackers.
The man holding him from behind began laughing and Muvuna was finally able to break loose. He ran back to his dorm. It was about 12:40 a.m. Saturday. He called out to a friend and raced to a bathroom. He stuck a finger down his mouth to try to throw up, unsure what the liquid was he swallowed.
A friend called campus security. A Portland police patrol officer and emergency medical workers arrived. He declined an offer to go to the hospital -- he's been in the U.S. less than three months and has never been to a hospital here. He said he thought he was OK.
Another officer arrived about an hour later, and a Portland detective showed up at his dorm about 2 or 3 a.m., awakening Muvuna, and took a full statement from him, he said.
Muvuna said the police account of when the attack occurred was wrong. A police press release Saturday said the assault occurred at 9 p.m. Friday and the victim waited until 12:49 a.m. Saturday to report it to police.
Muvuna didn't delay making a report and is disturbed about the discrepancy, he said. Sgt. Pete Simpson, the Portland Police Bureau spokesman, said during the weekend that the release was based on information in the police report.
Muvuna said he gave police descriptions of the men who assaulted him and believes he can identify at least one of them from a photo. Police have reached out to him to try to draw a composite sketch of the assailants and are investigating the attack as a potential hate crime.
Muvuna's face was swollen right after the attack, he said. He was limping Sunday night -- caused by the men's kicks, he said.
He came to Lewis & Clark College on Aug. 24. He has a bachelor's degree in law from Kigali Independent University, where he started a student human rights association. He also volunteered with Rwanda's national commission for the fight against genocide, according to the college. He's written a book on Rwandan history with his father and teaches traditional dance, according to Lewis & Clark College.
The scholarship was set up to honor the work and vision of Rom(C)o Dallaire, former commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda, a retired Canadian army lieutenant-general, a senator and humanitarian.
"While studying and living with other students from throughout the United States and around the world, scholarship recipients experience firsthand the history and habits of diverse cultures even as they share with others their own traditions, customs, insights and beliefs,'' according to the college.
What is Yik Yak, anyways?A controversial social media site most adults haven't heard of has caused fear and unrest on college campuses across the country. Watch to find out what Yik Yak is and how it works.Muvuna's assault comes in the wake of campus protests tied to racist and threatening comments posted last week on the social media site Yik Yak and amid similar demonstrations at other U.S. colleges.Muvuna said he intends to complete his year of studies at the college and not let the attack change his view of people or the school.
"I have many friends here, black friends and white friends,'' Muvuna said. "I'm not angry. I'm not upset. I love everyone here. I love the white people. I love the black people here. ... Many white people here, they are not racists. ... I'm safe. I'm safe here.''
But he said he wants those who assaulted him, apparently because of the color of his skin, to be held responsible for what they did and to face arrest. And he wants police to respond appropriately.
"I don't have time to hate people,'' Muvuna said. "I have time to love people.''
-- Maxine Bernstein
A Message from President Glassner and Dean Gonzalez on an Issue of Community Safety and Concern - The Source - Lewis & Clark
Tue, 01 Dec 2015 19:54
November 21, 2015
Dear Lewis & Clark parents and alumni,
Recently, there have been some troubling events on campus, and we want to make sure you're informed with the facts, as we know them, and what we're doing. Late last night, one of our students who is black was physically assaulted on campus by three white males who have not yet been identified. Our student was treated on scene by medical personnel, returned to his residence hall, and is now physically safe and is being supported on campus by staff and friends. At his request, we are respecting his privacy and not sharing his name.
Earlier this week, some racist posts were made on Yik Yak, a social media network that allows people on or near campus to make anonymous posts. We have chosen not to share those hateful postings here so as not to amplify the message or further empower the poster.
We don't know if these incidents are directly related. We are not dismissing the possibility that the assault is a hate or bias crime, nor are the law enforcement agencies that are investigating the assault. Anyone with information about either of these incidents is encouraged to contact Campus Safety (503-768-7787) or the Portland Police Bureau (Central Precinct, 503-823-0097, or the general non-emergency line at 503-823-3333). In an emergency, call 911 immediately. Information gathered will help to ensure the safety of the entire Lewis & Clark community.
We are committed to Lewis & Clark being a safe, welcoming, and equitable place. We will not condone racist rhetoric and violence, discrimination, or hate speech and are fully cooperating with the authorities to identify the people responsible for these recent events.
We are, first and foremost, a vibrant educational community of scholars and students. We are engaged in meaningful work, and our classes and activities will continue.
We are addressing these incidents in the following ways:
Investigating Assault: Portland Police were immediately called to campus and are investigating the assault. As mentioned, we are cooperating fully with these law enforcement officials. We have asked students to call Portland Police or Campus Safety if they have additional information.Investigating Yik Yak Posts: The College is aggressively following up with city leaders and law enforcement to identify the anonymous people posting the troubling, racist messages on Yik Yak.Campus Security: We have increased campus security, hiring additional outside security on campus starting this afternoon. We have advised students to not walk alone at night, to use the buddy system, and to look out for one another.Student Support: Counseling Services are available to all students: undergraduate, graduate, and law. On weekends, students may contact counseling at 503-265-7804. On weekdays during business hours, students may contact the Counseling Service at 503-768-7160. Students living on campus can also seek support through their Resident Advisors and Area Directors.Upcoming Events: We encourage continuing the critical dialogue in positive and respectful ways. There will be an interfaith gathering tomorrow, Sunday, November 22, at 6 p.m. in Agnes Flanagan Chapel. On Monday, November 23, students are invited by the Exploration & Discovery Steering Committee to an open forum on the E&D curriculum. The conversation will be held from 4:45 to 6:15 p.m. in Council Chamber.Ongoing Programs: The institution-wide Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) is central to our efforts. The members of this group represent the many of us who work on programs and initiatives relating to diversity and inclusion in all aspects of life at Lewis & Clark. Our Department of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement (IME) is responsible for leading Lewis & Clark's efforts toward its commitment to a diverse, inclusive, and multicultural campus community. IME engages students, faculty, staff, and community partners to promote an inclusive campus climate; provide academic, social, and programmatic support to students from underrepresented communities; and help students develop a greater understanding of their global citizenship through the intercultural exchange of ideas and traditions.We want to reiterate that we take these incidents very seriously and are diligently working to ensure the safety and well-being of all of our students and community members. We will provide more information and guidance as it is available. Please visit this page for the latest information: https://www.lclark.edu/live/news/31639-an-issue-of-community-safety-and-concern.Feel free to reach out to us with your concerns. Understand, however, that we are focusing our resources on our on-campus community, so our ability to respond to phone calls and inquiries may be delayed. To ensure the safety of everyone in our community, and to respond to our students' concerns and needs, our priority is to find the people posting hate speech and the assailants quickly. We will not allow this situation to distract us from our mission of cultivating scholars in an engaging, creative environment. Even as we look forward to a swift and just resolution of these troubling incidents, we recognize this as an opportunity to have difficult but necessary conversations about the society in which we live, and to celebrate the cultural, ethnic, and social diversity of the Lewis & Clark community.
For ongoing updates on these matters, please visit The Source. Sincerely,
Barry Glassner, PresidentAnna Gonzalez, Dean of Students
Vision for LC '-- Barry Glassdoor
Tue, 01 Dec 2015 19:36
November 29, 2015 - 2:15 PMWe, as concerned Lewis & Clark students, are occupying the President's office to accomplish what we believe to be the President's work. For as long as it takes, we are committing ourselves to the vision of an inclusive and safe campus, achieved through the implementation of the values outlined below.
Our commitments to the College and to each other are as follows:
Ensure Student SafetyThe Buddy System has been up since Saturday, November 21st, created in response to the violent attacks that occurred earlier that morning. It shall be incorporated into a substantial support service that is always available to students of Color and the community.
Create ten work study positions for Sexual Assault Response Advocate (SARA) trained students and fill these through an affirmative action process that emphasizes hiring students of color.
Create an exclusive, full time position for the Chair of the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.Increase student participation in the Committee:
Ensure transparency of Diversity Committee documents, including, but not limited to, meeting minutes.
The process of committee member selection must be open and accessible to the wider Lewis & Clark community.
Diversify Lewis & Clark Staff and FacultyDraft a proposal to staff the Health and Wellness Center with physicians of color who can address and treat physical and emotional trauma associated with issues of identity.
Draft a proposal for an increase in the representation of faculty of color in the form of a 2 year, 5 year and 10 year plan.
Community HealingMend Relationships with the Lewis & Clark Community and the globe with the understanding that the Office of the President is a figurehead for the College, and that the President is responsible for conveying the values of the College and its community:
Have Barry Glassner hold a press conference in Agnes Flanagan Chapel no later than March 20, 2016 where he will present a handwritten, formal statement that will include, but is not limited to:
A formal apology to the LC Black Lives Matter organizers for his absence during the incident on the night of November 20, 2015, and the lack of communication thereafter.
A verbal commitment to fulfilling LC Black Lives Matter and #WalkTheTalk demands.
An admittance of his failure to prioritize the safety and security of students of Color during his tenure as president.
A formal statement to the Dallaire Scholarship donors, Rom(C)o Dallaire, the UWC International Office, the Davis Foundation, and the office of International Students and Scholars reaffirming his commitment to the safety of all international students.
A public acknowledgement of the following facts:
Lewis & Clark College was built upon stolen land through the genocide of Indigenous and Native American peoples.
Through its name, Lewis & Clark College honors the lives and deeds of owners of enslaved peoples.
Lewis & Clark College replicates the assertion of, and benefits from, the legacy of Anglo-American white supremacy.
Institute mandatory, campus-wide open dialogues every four years beginning academic 2015-2016 school year regarding the personal cultural, historical, and political significances of the individuals Sacagawea and York, and the significance of the statues SacagaweaandJean Baptiste and York: Terra Incognita on undergraduate campus property.
Create a Campus Safety Committee
Create a Title VI Coordinator positionThis administrator must be trained in Title VI regulation and able to facilitate dialogue about campus race relations and tensions.
We, as concerned students, are holding ourselves and the College accountable for the realization of these goals. This is a collective vision for a Lewis & Clark College that is actively dedicated to diversity, inclusion, and social engagement. If any of the aforementioned goals are unable to be met, representatives of the College and students concerned will work together to provide a comprehensive and publicly available explanation.
Lewis & Clark Black Lives Matter
Agenda 2030
price of one ton co2 - Google Search
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Search Results' The Low case forecasts a carbon price that begins in 2020 at $10 per ton, and increases to $40 per ton in 2040, representing a $22 per ton levelized price over the period 2020-2040.May 22, 2014
[PDF]2015 Carbon Dioxide Price Forecast - Synapse Energywww.synapse-energy.com/.../2015%20Carbon%20Dioxide%20Price%20...Mar 3, 2015 - The Mid case forecasts a CO2 price that begins in 2020 at $20 per ton, and increases to $35 in 2030 and $85 in 2050, representing a $41 per ton levelized price over the period 2020-2050. This forecast represents a scenario in which federal policies are implemented with significant but reasonably achievable goals.[PDF]CO2 Price Report, Spring 2014 - Synapse Energywww.synapse-energy.com/.../SynapseReport.2014-05.0.CO2-Price-Repo...May 22, 2014 - ' The Low case forecasts a carbon price that begins in 2020 at $10 per ton, and increases to $40 per ton in 2040, representing a $22 per ton levelized price over the period 2020-2040.Social Cost of Carbon | Climate Change | US EPAwww.epa.gov/.../scc.htmlUnited States Environmental Protection Agency
Nov 4, 2015 - EPA and other federal agencies use the social cost of carbon ... in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, conventionally one metric ton, in a given year. ... Social Cost of CO2, 2015-2050 a (in 2014 Dollars per metric ton CO2)Fact Sheet: Carbon Pricing around the World | White Papers ...www.eesi.org/papers/.../fact-sheet-carbon-pricing-around-the-world?/...Oct 17, 2012 - Carbon pricing is any government policy that puts a price on carbon emissions. ... in April 2006 at '‚¬30 ($36) per tonne (metric ton) of CO2, but then decreased ... Auction prices for allowances (covering one tonne of CO2) have ...Calculating The True Cost Of Carbon - Forbeswww.forbes.com/.../cap-and-trade-intelligent-investing-carbon.ht...Jun 3, 2009 - It is carbon, and its potential expense could one day make us all nostalgic .... Using an average per-ton price of CO2 from an emissions trading ...Carbon price - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_price1.1 Price commitments; 1.2 Emission permits and carbon taxes ..... that the tax is $60.01/ton and the cap has been set at 40 tons, so that 40 one-ton permits have ...CO2 calculator'ŽAdwww.myclimate.org/'Ž
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250-GigaTonsSetting a carbon budget to keep below two degrees
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 07:19
We have already committed the planet to a certain amount of warming due to past carbon emissions. But efforts to reduce emissions now and over the next few decades will critically affect the degree of future warming.
One way of determining how much we need to reduce carbon emissions is to use a ''carbon budget''. A budget lays out how much carbon we can burn in total if we want to keep to a certain amount of warming.
This was one of the headline messages of the recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I Fifth Assessment Report. For the first time, the IPCC described the limits to how much more carbon dioxide can be emitted to keep global temperatures below certain thresholds.
Concentrate on the totalThe IPCC report highlighted the direct, almost proportional, relationship between cumulative carbon dioxide emissions from human activities and global temperatures. This is an important finding.
It means that staying below certain temperature targets depends not so much on the rate that we emit in any particular year, but what the grand total of emissions is. Consequently we must take into account all emissions that have taken place from the industrial revolution through to now, and add on all carbon dioxide that we emit in the future.
The bigger the grand total, the higher the eventual warming.
A carbon budget is like a household budget. You only have so much money to spend. How you choose to spend and invest your money will determine the available budget for your retirement and the legacy you provide for future generations.
This budget approach is attractive to policymakers because of its simplicity, and because it is not prescriptive on how and when the emissions quota needs to be met. However, the rate of emissions over time does make a difference to how quickly cuts will need to be made.
Higher emissions this year, or in the next few years, imply more rapid cuts will be needed later. Lower emissions now imply more gradual future reductions.
Keeping below two degreesThe Fifth Assessment Report found the carbon dioxide emitted by humans so far is already about two-thirds of the quota allowable in order to have a two-in-three chance (66%) of keeping temperatures below two degrees centigrade of warming from pre-industrial levels. This is if all sources of future warming are taken into account.
In the 2009 Copenhagen Accord of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, governments around the world pledged to maintain temperatures below this threshold.
Beyond two degrees the risks to societies and ecosystems are judged to be unacceptably high.
The two degrees is based on the consideration of all scientific evidence, plausible natural and socio-economic impacts, mitigation requirements, and associated uncertainties. These considerations led to a prudent and still achievable temperature target, judged by governments to avoid dangerous impacts on ecosystems, economic development and food production due to climate change.
Up until 2011, the world has warmed by about 0.9C since pre-industrial times.
To keep temperatures below the two degrees target, there is a limit to how much more carbon dioxide we can emit. How can this quantity be estimated?
From the relationship between global temperatures and cumulative carbon dioxide emissions, we can estimate the carbon budget or compatible emissions for any temperature target with a prescribed level of certainty. The lower the temperature target, the lower the emissions quota. The more certainty we want of staying below a certain temperature, the less we can emit.
Do other influences matter?Carbon dioxide is only one influence on global warming, though it is the single most important one. Human emissions of other greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxides also contribute to human-induced warming. Expected reductions in emissions of aerosols - particles such as soot - will also make a difference.
Some of these components ''live'' for a shorter time in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. For instance, more than half of today's carbon dioxide emissions will still remain in the atmosphere in 200 years time, while methane and aerosols are removed within weeks to a decade through natural processes. This means the pathway of emissions (when they are released) is more important than the total cumulative amount in so far as their contribution to global warming. Other greenhouse gases such as nitrous oxide and synthetic gases can remain in the atmosphere for long periods of time.
However, carbon dioxide is the dominant force in future global warming (accounting for 80-90% of the total impact by humans through the 21st Century). So the proportional relationship between cumulative carbon dioxide emissions and global temperatures will continue to hold true to the end of this century.
Taking all this into consideration, the IPCC report found that for global temperatures to be likely to stay below two degrees (with a >66% probability), the total amount of all carbon dioxide emitted since the late 19th Century should be no more than 790 billion tonnes (790 Gigatonnes of carbon). The permissible carbon budget increases to 900 Gigatonnes of carbon if we accept only a one in three chance (>33%) of staying below two degrees.
How much time is left?By 2011 we had already emitted 515 Gigatonnes of carbon. This is about two-thirds of the total emissions allowed to stabilise temperatures below 2 degrees.
This leaves only another 275 Gigatonnes of carbon for future use.
With the current rate of carbon dioxide emissions at about 10 Gigatonnes of carbon per year - and assuming an annual growth rate of 3%, as seen over the last decade - the remaining carbon budget will be used up in less than 25 years.
If we want a greater chance than 66% of limiting warming to two degrees, we would need to emit even less carbon dioxide. Conversely, if we accepted a lower probability of limiting the warming to two degrees, the budget would be higher.
The IPCC considered four possible emission scenarios. They call these Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs).
Only one of the four pathways keeps us within the estimated quota of 790 Gigatonnes of carbon in total, or 275 Gigatonnes more. RCP2.6, as it's known, allows for declining emissions well into the second half of this century while still remaining under two degrees.
All the other emission scenarios considered in the report overshoot the emissions quota - and the associated warming - by a substantial amount.
If we're going to get on the RCP2.6 pathway, it will require strong mitigation beginning now and we may have to make our emissions negative later this century. That would require an energy system with zero emissions, plus additional technologies that directly remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it safely.
Risk assessmentAn additional risk acknowledged in the IPCC report, but not accounted for in the carbon budget figures above, is that stored carbon and methane will potentially be released from thawing permafrost. These are areas of frozen soil, predominantly in the Arctic and Tibetan plateau, that are projected to reduce with rising temperatures.
There is limited understanding of how much carbon will be released as permafrost thaws. But it could be large if strong warming occurs in these permafrost regions.
The IPCC estimated that the potential additional emissions from this source are in the range of 50-250 Gigatonnes of carbon over this century if warming follows the RCP8.5 scenario. This means we will need an even more stringent future emissions quota to keep future temperature rise to the recommended two degree limit.
The conclusion of the IPCC is that only if substantial and sustained reductions in emissions are made, can we avoid potentially dangerous consequences of climate change.
After this article was published the IPCC released an updated version of the Summary for Policymakers of the Working Group I contribution to the AR5. This included corrections to some of the carbon budget values cited here and on November 19 2013 we updated those values to reflect the final version of the SPM. For example, the remaining emissions that can be emitted in order to stay below two degrees changed from 270 to 275 Gigatonnes of carbon. A full explanation of how the errors were reported and handled by the IPCC is available from http://www.climate2013.org/spm.
France's Weatherman Hired Kremlin After Questioning Warming | The Daily Caller
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 00:43
Verdier's book, Climate Investigation, claims activists are exaggerating global warming science to scare the public and says the U.N. ''politicized'' the issue and published false data. The weatherman even committed the heresy of claiming there could be some benefits in a warmer world, like cheaper energy prices and more tourism.
''I am being punished for exercising my freedom of expression,'' Verdier said after being let go. ''I put myself in the path of COP21, which is a bulldozer, and this is the result.''
Verdier said he was inspired to write his book after meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and top meteorologists. At the meeting, Fabius told them to start warning the public about the dangers of global warming and featuring stories about how warming was impacting people today.
That inspiration cost Verdier's his job, but now he's back on television covering the U.N. climate talks for Russia Today '-- a television station funded by the Russian government.
U.S. media outlets have criticized Russian media for not giving enough attention to global warming, especially given the massive wildfires ravaging Siberia which the media has blamed on global warming.
American media has also criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for being dismissive of global warming. In 2003, Putin said warming would allow Russians to ''spend less on fur coats,'' adding that ''agricultural specialists say our grain production will increase, and thank God for that.''
Putin believes ''there is no global warming, that this is a fraud to restrain the industrial development of several countries, including Russia,'' Stanislav Belkovsky, a political analyst and Putin critic, told Reuters.
''That is why this subject is not topical for the majority of the Russian mass media and society in general,'' Belkovsky said.
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Verdier's book, Climate Investigation, claims activists are exaggerating global warming science to scare the public and says the U.N. ''politicized'' the issue and published false data. The weatherman even committed the heresy of claiming there could be some benefits in a warmer world, like cheaper energy prices and more tourism.
''I am being punished for exercising my freedom of expression,'' Verdier said after being let go. ''I put myself in the path of COP21, which is a bulldozer, and this is the result.''
Verdier said he was inspired to write his book after meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and top meteorologists. At the meeting, Fabius told them to start warning the public about the dangers of global warming and featuring stories about how warming was impacting people today.
That inspiration cost Verdier's his job, but now he's back on television covering the U.N. climate talks for Russia Today '-- a television station funded by the Russian government.
U.S. media outlets have criticized Russian media for not giving enough attention to global warming, especially given the massive wildfires ravaging Siberia which the media has blamed on global warming.
American media has also criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for being dismissive of global warming. In 2003, Putin said warming would allow Russians to ''spend less on fur coats,'' adding that ''agricultural specialists say our grain production will increase, and thank God for that.''
Putin believes ''there is no global warming, that this is a fraud to restrain the industrial development of several countries, including Russia,'' Stanislav Belkovsky, a political analyst and Putin critic, told Reuters.
''That is why this subject is not topical for the majority of the Russian mass media and society in general,'' Belkovsky said.
Follow Michael on Facebook and Twitter
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected]
Climate/Geology Professor Friedrich-Karl Ewert Says ''Standards Of Science Not Met'' By Climate Models
Wed, 02 Dec 2015 23:28
A few days ago I posted a piece about an article written by award-winning journalist G¼nter Ederer, who had reported on Prof. Karl-Friedrich Ewert's analysis of NASA temperature data '' data that he found to have been ''incredibly altered'' to show warming. That NTZ post has been shared or liked close to 20,000 times so far, making it one of the most shared ever at NTZ.
Prof. Ewert now writes that he has received many enquiries requesting to see his results. He has posted a reaction at the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) here. What follows is a summarized version I've translated.
Plot of unaltered data NASA GISS. The reference of 13.8°C is the IPCC's global mean temperature for 1880. The cooling in the 5th phase was modest at first, until 1960, but then was significantly stronger, despite rising CO2. Atmospheric CO2 rose by 1 part for each 10,000 due to emissions.
Ewert writes that man has always known that climate change exists. And as science developed, the reasons were for this were discovered: changes in solar activity and the sun's the interactions with the earth. Yet, beginning in the early 1980s, out of the blue, solar activity ceased being a factor and suddenly atmospheric trace gas CO2 morphed into the major factor and is now regarded as dominant for the development of the climate.
Ewert remarks that the climate movement first started out as one run by environmental activists, but soon also scientists saw they could exploit it for advancing their careers, and thus shifted their efforts to producing evidence and computer models to show that CO2 was the cause of warming since 1980 and that it would continue warming into the future respectively.
However Prof. John Christy of the Uni­versity of Alabama compared the projections generated by the most important computer simulations and found that the results were completely different. Therefore the standards of science were not met because these standards require that different approaches reach the same result. The computer results showed the exact opposite: a warming range of 0.3°C to 1.3°C by 2020! Which result can be valid when they are all different? None!
Ewert says it is false to claim that a few decades of data from the earth's 4.5 billion year history are sufficient to say the models are reliable for simulating the climate of the future. He notes that German experts Ulrich Berner & Hans-J¶rg Streif scientifically analyzed the geological past, up to the present, for German government institutes and have proven that climate warming by man-made CO2 emissions is not taking place as claimed.
Despite the expertly performed analyses by John Christy, and Ulrich Berner & Hans-J¶rg Streif, climate politics continue to claim a manmade global warming is taking place due to CO2 emissions. The sole basis for the political claims are climate models projecting warming despite the current cooling phase. The planet is currently cooling. Although the IPCC said early on that forecasting the climate is not possible because it is a chaotic system involving a myriad of factors, governments and scientists continue to rely on the computer model forecasts.
Ewert writes that much evidence exists showing that CO2 emissions are meaningless, but that the evidence simply gets ignored.
One example is the more than 100 years of measured temperature readings that taken from weather stations worldwide. This is the reason it was necessary to manually evaluate the registered temperatures from 1881 to 2010 in detail. The results are available in the pdf-file report. The chart above summarizes what was found. It shows:
'' that four cooling phases and three warming phases occurred between 1881 and 2010,'' that stronger warming occurred before CO2 emissions began in earnest, and despite the longer cooling phases,'' that the temperature over the first 100 years even cooled slightly, and'' that there is no recognizable effect by CO2 emissions on temperatures.
The long version (in German) can be downloaded in two parts from the annex.
SOLAR ENGINEERING-COP21 Paris: Can we avoid climate apocalypse? (Opinion) - CNN.com
Wed, 02 Dec 2015 23:26
That's when climate change starts to get especially dangerous. Nearly every country in the world has agreed that 2 degrees of warming, measured as an increase in global average temperature since the Industrial Revolution, is too much to tolerate. Yet there's less agreement about how to achieve the ambitious goal of keeping the increase below that threshold, and how economies can switch quickly enough from dirty fuels like coal and oil to cleaner sources of energy like solar and wind.
Want to tackle the challenge? Tell ushow you think climate change will affect your local community, or try seeing how your views affect climate change with this calculator.
Call it the nightmare scenario. First, world leaders meeting in Paris this December fail to agree on a plan to cut back global greenhouse gas emissions. Renewables like solar power remain too expensive, and people stay irrationally scared of carbon-free nuclear. The world shifts back to burning coal.
Mark Lynas
Then we find out that the Earth's "climate sensitivity" -- how quickly and drastically the planet responds to carbon emissions -- is at the upper end of the range scientists predicted. Tipping points are crossed: Methane starts to belch out of the melting permafrost in huge quantities, and the ice sheets respond with what experts euphemistically call "nonlinear disintegration." Sea levels begin to shoot up.
In the latter part of this century we find the planet's temperature rise pushing not 2 degrees, as is the current internationally agreed maximum target, but 4, 5, even 6 degrees Celsius of warming. Large areas of the subtropics become biologically uninhabitable to humans: It's simply too hot to go outside. Food crops in breadbaskets wither in searing heatwaves, and extreme cyclones pummel coastal cities already under threat from the rising seas.
Could human civilization survive? We don't know -- but this nightmare scenario is surely a risk we should not take. We know how to make the shift away from fossil fuels. The time to act is now.
Mark Lynas, a British journalist, is the author of "Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet."
Kathy Kijiner: It should be 1.5 degreesScientists have warned that should the world exceed a global temperature increase of 2 degrees, catastrophe of the worst kind will hit. They have stated that 2 degrees is the safe zone.
Kathy Kijiner
However, in these same reports, scientists will add, almost as an afterthought, that at 2 degrees, the Marshall Islands -- my home -- and all low-lying atolls will be under water.
This is why our island leaders push for 1.5 degrees as the target, instead of 2 degrees. And yet 1.5 degrees continues to be a debate instead of the bottom line. The argument is that 2 degrees is achievable and a more realistic goal. But this comes at the expense of hundreds of atolls and thousands of lives.
If we prioritize 2 degrees as our target for global temperature, we are sentencing atoll nations to death. World leaders must not allow this to happen. I urge the world to hear our people's pleas and to save our islands.
Kathy Kijiner is a Marshall Islands environmental activist.
Van Jones: Embrace Obama's 'Clean Power Plan'The age of fossil fuels helped America build its industrial might. But it came at a great cost, from children with asthma to global climate disruption.
We must keep global warming below a 2-degree increase or it will put our very society at risk. To get there, we need to stop the nonsense and embrace the future. In the wake of President Obama's recent decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, a new consensus is emerging that we must keep remaining fossil fuels in the ground.
Van Jones
Obama's "Clean Power Plan" is a good start, and it needs to be fully implemented. Americans need to take the Clean Power Plan and build on it with strong commitments to powering America with 50% clean energy by 2030. This will put us on a path to powering America with 100% clean energy by 2050 and send a signal to entrepreneurs and other nations.
Unfortunately, Republicans appear to be just as addicted to donations from fossil fuel interests as our nation is addicted to those fossil fuels. They are currently mounting an attack on the Environmental Protection Agency's common-sense plan to reduce global warming polluting from coal-fired power plants.
But there is hope. In every presidential debate, Republican nominees bemoan the lack of good American manufacturing jobs. At some point, they will catch on to the fact that those jobs exist -- in renewables. Today solar and wind employ more Americans than coal.
If we keep the focus on the future and well-paying, 21st-century jobs, we can overcome the fierce opposition of fossil fuel diehards and build a bipartisan consensus. Congress needs to stop burying its head in the tar sands. Our future is not down those holes. Our future is in clean energy and in the hands of the workers, inventors, entrepreneurs, and bold leaders who will lead the way.
Van Jones is president of Dream Corpsand Rebuild the Dream, which promote innovative solutions for America's economy. He was President Barack Obama's green jobs adviser in 2009. A best-selling author, he is also founder of Green for All, a national organization working to build a green economy. Follow him on Twitter@VanJones68.
Fatih Birol: Is 2 degrees doable?Since the first Conference of Parties in 1995, global greenhouse gas emissions have risen by more than 25% and the atmospheric concentration of these gases has marched steadily higher. As the largest source of global greenhouse gas emissions, actions in the energy sector can make or break efforts to achieve the world's agreed climate goal, while sustaining global economic growth and bringing modern energy to the billions who lack it today.
Fatih Birol
Is a dramatic transformation of the energy sector possible?
There are encouraging signs that the transition is already underway. Renewables have been gaining momentum -- collectively, they accounted for more than 40% of new power generation capacity worldwide in each of the last four years. And energy efficiency efforts have spread: The International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook 2015 estimates that the share of worldwide final energy consumption that is covered by energy efficiency regulations reached 27% in 2014, almost twice the level of 2005.
Pledges for Conference of Parties 21 in Paris will have a positive impact, but are consistent with an average global temperature increase of around 2.7 degrees Celsius by 2100, falling short of the global goal of 2 degrees. COP21 must establish a clear long-term vision and certainty of action that will drive the right investments and accelerate the energy sector transition.
Fatih Birol is the executive director of the International Energy Agency.
Bjorn Lomborg: Ineffective responses so farFor 20 years, governments have tried to cut carbon emissions. The result has been two decades of failure with ever-increasing global emissions.
Governments have already revealed the carbon cuts they likely will commit to in Paris. All of these combined will reduce temperatures by a tiny 0.05 degrees Celsius (0.09 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100. Yet the cost is likely to be more than $1 trillion annually.
Bj¶rn Lomborg
Carbon-cutting promises are ineffective and costly because solar and wind are far too expensive and inefficient to replace fossil fuels. We get a minuscule 0.4% of total global energy consumption from solar and wind, according to the International Energy Agency, and even by 2040 that will have reached only 2.2%.
We should end fossil fuel subsidies and invest much more in green energy research and development. This would be much cheaper and more effective than our current approach. We need to innovate the price of green energy down to where everyone wants to buy it. And we should acknowledge that wasting $1 trillion annually on minuscule temperature reductions is immoral and wasteful when there are major needs today -- from malaria to nutrition to family planning -- where small investments could achieve a great deal more.
Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, is the author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist" (Cambridge Press, 2001) and"Cool It"(Knopf, 2007).
David Keith: Try solar geoengineeringOne the most powerful options to counter climate change is solar geoengineering: an engineered increase in the Earth's reflectivity, resulting in cooler temperatures for the planet's surface. It might be done by injecting sulfate aerosols or even diamond dust into the stratosphere, where they would reflect sunlight just as do the droplets in a very thin cloud layer.
David Keith
It is not a substitute for cutting emissions -- it is a supplement. We can't keep using the atmosphere as a waste dump for carbon and expect to have good climate, no matter what we do to reflect away some sunlight.
The combination of emissions cuts and solar geoengineering could limit climate risks in ways that simply cannot be achieved by emissions cuts alone. It could, for example, allow the world to stay under the 2-degree mark.
But it makes no sense to start geoengineering today, since the uncertainties are far too large and the world lacks adequate mechanisms for governance.
We need research to sharpen our understanding on how to reduce the risks. Yet the U.S. has no research program on solar geoengineering because of a taboo based on the fear that it will lessen efforts to cut emissions. This is like refusing to develop chemotherapy for lung cancer out of fear that it will encourage smoking.
If we have no research program, then we give our children the gift of ignorance. If climate change is worse that we expect, then they will have to make decisions about geoengineering on that basis.
David Keith is the Gordon McKay professor of applied physics and professor of public policy at Harvard University. He is the author of "A Case for Climate Engineering."
Nancy Harris: Deforestation has to stopAll life depends on plants. Forests regulate climate and water cycles while providing the food, fiber, fuel, livelihoods and genetic resources upon which human societies depend.
Nancy Harris
In many tropical developing countries, greenhouse gas emission profiles are dominated not by fossil fuels, as for developed countries, but by deforestation. Here, it's a land management challenge. Every day, nearly 25,000 soccer fields of tropical forests are lost. Brazil's deforestation rates have dropped 70% since 2004, but loss is accelerating in other countries such as Indonesia, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Madagascar. How can they stop the deforestation that contributes 12% to 15% to human-caused emissions while still achieving their development goals?
It won't be easy, but Brazil has shown it's possible. As we wait for improved technologies in the energy and transportation sectors, reducing emissions from deforestation represents a low-cost and immediate option for limiting global warming to 2 degrees.
All countries can participate. Climate change impacts don't follow national borders, so it's in our collective interest to support the leadership of tropical countries in their transition away from a dependence on natural resource depletion and toward the preservation of forest landscapes, a critical element of current and future life on earth.
Nancy Harris is research manager of Global Forest Watch at World Resources Institute.
Michael Mann: Aim for renewable energyWe have seen significant commitments from the leading emitters -- the U.S., China, and now India -- to make substantial reductions in emissions. The collective pledges from all countries going to COP21 are already enough to get us halfway (3.5 degrees Celsius warming) from "business as usual" warming of 5 degrees to 2-degree stabilization. Through hard-nosed negotiations in Paris we ought to be able to get even closer.
Michael Mann
COP21 isn't the end-all in the battle to avert dangerous climate change. It's just the next step in an ongoing process.
In the years ahead, we must build on the progress we have seen in decarbonizing our economy. Such efforts would include market incentives to accelerate the transition already underway toward a renewable energy economy. We must also put a price on carbon to level the playing field in the energy marketplace so renewables can compete fairly. Such actionable goals provide a framework for making further progress in subsequent summits.
Michael Mann is distinguished professor of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University and author of "The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines"(with guest foreword by Bill Nye "The Science Guy").
John Reilly: Be more aggressiveClimate change is accelerating. Is 2 degrees the right goal? Can we live with 3 degrees? Island states will disappear because of sea level rise with 2 degrees or less warming.
John Reilly
Paleoclimate data show the sea level was 6 to 8 meters higher when polar temperatures were 4 degrees warmer. A 2-degree increase in global mean temperature would result in a 3- to 4-degree warming at the poles.
It may take centuries for this melting to occur, but it is not hard to imagine major portions of coastal cities like New York, London, Miami and Hong Kong under meters of ocean.
Unfortunately our ability to actually predict what will happen with global warming is poor, and so we have often already been surprised by heat waves and significant death, extreme flooding, rapid melt of sea ice, drought, ocean acidification and major dieback of forests from pest infestation.
Given our poor record of prediction, we can't adequately put a value on the climate impacts and the benefits of mitigation, and most estimates of these benefits are probably underestimates.
I am confident that sound economic measures -- a broad carbon price -- will unleash the creativity of people and industry to use existing solutions and invent new ones. The cost of mitigation may be a year to four years of growth over 100 years, but that will still leave us much wealthier.
Given the politics, there seems virtually no chance that we will mitigate "too much." We need to abate as aggressively as we can. If we miss 2 degrees and end up at 2.3 or 2.7, that is far better than continuing our current path and ending at 3, 4 or 5 degrees or more.
John Reilly, an economist, is co-director of the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change at the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research at MIT.
Wang Tao: Will China take serious action?With an economy that's slowing down, China has legitimate concerns over the short-term impact of an energy transition that it pledges at the Paris climate conference. But that is no reason to back off.
Wang Tao
The determination of China in achieving a global climate goal is pretty clear, judging by all the joint climate change announcements it has made with the U.S., UK, Germany and France in the last couple of months.
What China needs to do is to reconcile the need to tackle climate problems with domestic reform of state-owned enterprises, especially the monopolies in the oil, gas and power sectors. In the long term, China has far more to gain by improving the efficiency of clean energy rather than relying on heavy (and dirty) industrialization.
It's time for President Xi Jinping to crack some real nuts in cleaning the air and mitigating climate change while growing the economy.
Wang Tao is a resident scholar in the Energy and Climate Program based at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy.
Katharine Hayhoe: Why Christians should careTo care about climate change, we don't have to be a certain type of person -- someone who already recycles, or bikes to work, or votes green. To care about climate change, all we need to be is a human living on this planet, a human who needs food, water and air to survive and a safe, healthy environment in which to thrive.
Katharine Hayhoe
If we're one of 2 billion Christians around the world, though, we have even more reason to care. The Bible reminds us that humans have been given responsibility to care for every living thing on the planet. It tells us that we are to be known for our love for others, particularly those who have less than we do.
Caring about climate change is not something that is foreign to Christian values, requiring a theology shift or a foreign belief. Caring about climate change is an opportunity to express our beliefs in a tangible, authentic way. We care about climate change because it impacts real people in serious and increasingly dangerous ways. And we know that the more carbon we produce, the more suffering there will be.
We need our science to tell us that climate is changing, and that our choices matter. We need our faith to make sure we make the right choice.
There isn't one best way to reach 2 degrees; it may not even be the best goal. It's like trying to make up a magic number of cigarettes someone can smoke and still be OK. There is no such number. But clearly, the fewer cigarettes we smoke and the sooner we are able to wean ourselves off our dirty and dangerous addiction, the better off we will be.
Katharine Hayhoe, founder and CEO of ATMOS Research, is associate professor in the Department of Political Science and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, part of the Department of Interior'sSouth Central Climate Science Center.
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WHO | Climate change and health
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 21:50
Key factsClimate change affects the social and environmental determinants of health '' clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter.Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.The direct damage costs to health (i.e. excluding costs in health-determining sectors such as agriculture and water and sanitation), is estimated to be between US$ 2-4 billion/year by 2030.Areas with weak health infrastructure '' mostly in developing countries '' will be the least able to cope without assistance to prepare and respond.Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases through better transport, food and energy-use choices can result in improved health, particularly through reduced air pollution.Climate changeOver the last 50 years, human activities '' particularly the burning of fossil fuels '' have released sufficient quantities of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to trap additional heat in the lower atmosphere and affect the global climate.
In the last 130 years, the world has warmed by approximately 0.85oC. Each of the last 3 decades has been successively warmer than any preceding decade since 18501.
Sea levels are rising, glaciers are melting and precipitation patterns are changing. Extreme weather events are becoming more intense and frequent.
What is the impact of climate change on health?Although global warming may bring some localized benefits, such as fewer winter deaths in temperate climates and increased food production in certain areas, the overall health effects of a changing climate are likely to be overwhelmingly negative. Climate change affects social and environmental determinants of health '' clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter.
Extreme heatExtreme high air temperatures contribute directly to deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory disease, particularly among elderly people. In the heat wave of summer 2003 in Europe for example, more than 70 000 excess deaths were recorded2.
High temperatures also raise the levels of ozone and other pollutants in the air that exacerbate cardiovascular and respiratory disease.
Pollen and other aeroallergen levels are also higher in extreme heat. These can trigger asthma, which affects around 300 million people. Ongoing temperature increases are expected to increase this burden.
Natural disasters and variable rainfall patternsGlobally, the number of reported weather-related natural disasters has more than tripled since the 1960s. Every year, these disasters result in over 60 000 deaths, mainly in developing countries.
Rising sea levels and increasingly extreme weather events will destroy homes, medical facilities and other essential services. More than half of the world's population lives within 60 km of the sea. People may be forced to move, which in turn heightens the risk of a range of health effects, from mental disorders to communicable diseases.
Increasingly variable rainfall patterns are likely to affect the supply of fresh water. A lack of safe water can compromise hygiene and increase the risk of diarrhoeal disease, which kills approximately 760 000 children aged under 5, every year. In extreme cases, water scarcity leads to drought and famine. By the late 21st century, climate change is likely to increase the frequency and intensity of drought at regional and global scale1.
Floods are also increasing in frequency and intensity, and the frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation is expected to continue to increase throughout the current century1. Floods contaminate freshwater supplies, heighten the risk of water-borne diseases, and create breeding grounds for disease-carrying insects such as mosquitoes. They also cause drownings and physical injuries, damage homes and disrupt the supply of medical and health services.
Rising temperatures and variable precipitation are likely to decrease the production of staple foods in many of the poorest regions. This will increase the prevalence of malnutrition and undernutrition, which currently cause 3.1 million deaths every year.
Patterns of infectionClimatic conditions strongly affect water-borne diseases and diseases transmitted through insects, snails or other cold blooded animals.
Changes in climate are likely to lengthen the transmission seasons of important vector-borne diseases and to alter their geographic range. For example, climate change is projected to widen significantly the area of China where the snail-borne disease schistosomiasis occurs3.
Malaria is strongly influenced by climate. Transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes, malaria kills almost 600 000 people every year '' mainly African children under 5 years old. The Aedes mosquito vector of dengue is also highly sensitive to climate conditions, andstudies suggest that climate change is likely to continue to increase exposure to dengue.
Measuring the health effectsMeasuring the health effects from climate change can only be very approximate. Nevertheless, a WHO assessment, taking into account only a subset of the possible health impacts, and assuming continued economic growth and health progress, concluded that climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year between 2030 and 2050; 38 000 due to heat exposure in elderly people, 48 000 due to diarrhoea, 60 000 due to malaria, and 95 000 due to childhood undernutrition4.
Who is at risk?All populations will be affected by climate change, but some are more vulnerable than others. People living in small island developing states and other coastal regions, megacities, and mountainous and polar regions are particularly vulnerable.
Children '' in particular, children living in poor countries '' are among the most vulnerable to the resulting health risks and will be exposed longer to the health consequences. The health effects are also expected to be more severe for elderly people and people with infirmities or pre-existing medical conditions.
Areas with weak health infrastructure '' mostly in developing countries '' will be the least able to cope without assistance to prepare and respond.
WHO responseMany policies and individual choices have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and produce major health co-benefits. For example, cleaner energy systems, and promoting the safe use of public transportation and active movement '' such as cycling or walking as alternatives to using private vehicles '' could reduce carbon emissions, and cut the burden of household air pollution, which causes some 4.3 million deaths per year, and ambient air pollution, which causes about 3.7 million deaths every year.
In 2015, the WHO Executive Board endorsed a new work plan on climate change and health. This includes:
Partnerships: to coordinate with partner agencies within the UN system, and ensure that health is properly represented in the climate change agenda.Awareness raising: to provide and disseminate information on the threats that climate change presents to human health, and opportunities to promote health while cutting carbon emissions.Science and evidence: to coordinate reviews of the scientific evidence on the links between climate change and health, and develop a global research agenda.Support for implementation of the public health response to climate change: to assist countries to build capacity to reduce health vulnerability to climate change, and promote health while reducing carbon emissions.References1: IPCC. Summary for Policymakers. In: Edenhofer O, R. Pichs-Madruga, Y. Sokona, E. Farahani, S. Kadner, K. Seyboth, A. Adler, I. Baum, S. Brunner, P. Eickemeier, B., Kriemann JS, S. Schl¶mer, C. von Stechow, T. Zwickel and J.C. Minx editors. Climate Change 2014, Mitigation of Climate Change Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.: Cambridge University Press; 2014.
2: Robine JM, Cheung SL, Le Roy S, Van Oyen H, Griffiths C, Michel JP, et al. Death toll exceeded 70,000 in Europe during the summer of 2003. C R Biol. 2008;331(2):171-8.
3: Zhou XN, Yang GJ, Yang K, Wang XH, Hong QB, Sun LP, et al. Potential Impact of Climate Change on Schistosomiasis Transmission in China. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2008;78(2):188-94.
4: WHO. Quantitative risk assessment of the effects of climate change on selected causes of death, 2030s and 2050s. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2014.
Obama's Organizing for Action Group: 'Call Out the Climate Change Deniers' | PJ Media
Wed, 02 Dec 2015 19:44
It's always been clear that to Barack Obama, his only real enemies are his political enemies, including all conservatives, the entire GOP and everyone who resists "fundamental transformation." I wish I was making this up, but I'm not. It's from the president of the United States's "community organizing" non-profit group, Organizing for Action:
97% OF CLIMATE SCIENTISTS AGREE that climate change is real and man-made, and affecting communities in every part of the country.
Yet too many of our elected officials deny the science of climate change. Along with their polluter allies, they are blocking progress in the fight against climate change.
Find the deniers near you'--and call them out today.
There follows a list of so-called "deniers" -- the Holocaust terminology is both offensive and deliberate -- with thumbnail pictures of folks like Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan, with a button below each so the Obamabots can call them out. If this isn't enough, the other side of the page consists of a form by which the Believers can "Find Deniers" simply by typing in the name of a suspect.
Obama's National Socialist shock troops (as long as we're invoking WWII, two can play at that game) need to hear about this, and someone -- Ted Cruz? Donald Trump? Ben Carson? -- needs to rub their nasty fascist noses in it before things get entirely out of hand.
Call them out today.
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Elections 2016
A Definitive Debunking of Donald Trump's 9/11 Claims - The New York Times
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 14:40
PhotoDonald J. Trump on Saturday in Birmingham, Ala., where he said he had seen thousands cheering in New Jersey when the World Trade Center fell on Sept. 11, 2001.Credit Eric Schultz/Associated PressHow alarmed were New Jersey officials by reports of Muslims dancing in the streets of Jersey City and Paterson on Sept. 11, 2001, to celebrate the destruction of the World Trade Center?
They feared riots would break out and were ready to send in the National Guard and the State Police to preserve order.
But John J. Farmer Jr., then the New Jersey attorney general and the state's chief law enforcement officer, said on Tuesday that he ordered an investigation that very day and found the reports to be bogus, more wild stories born in the stricken hours after the attacks.
Nevertheless, those ancient, false rumors were recycled as truth over the weekend by Donald J. Trump, who has folded them into his calls for the national registration of Muslims and possible closing of mosques. Speaking in Alabama, Mr. Trump said: ''Hey, I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, N.J., where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.''
PhotoJohn J. Farmer Jr., a professor of law at Rutgers University and former New Jersey attorney general, says of Mr. Trump's claim of having seen Muslims cheering in New Jersey on Sept. 11: "False report. Never happened."Credit Matt Rainey for The New York TimesReporters were unable to find any evidence for his story, but Mr. Trump stuck with it in a television interview on Sunday. ''It did happen,'' he said. ''I saw it. It was on television.''
Few people, if any, could address the circumstances more definitively than Mr. Farmer, who went on to serve as senior counsel to the Sept. 11 commission.
In an account Mr. Farmer provided Tuesday, he described being in the state's command center, in Liberty State Park in Jersey City, directly across the Hudson River from the burning wreckage of the trade center. The New Jersey State Police radio antenna had been on top of one of the towers, cutting off communications.
''We were forced to rely on runners for intelligence about what was happening across the river and in New Jersey,'' Mr. Farmer said.
In the vacuum, rumors were flying, he said. Bombers with suicide vests were in Times Square. Saboteurs were lurking around power plants. New York City's mayor, Rudolph W. Giuliani, was missing.
And then there was the wisp of a story that Mr. Farmer said was most disturbing of all: ''That Muslims were dancing on the rooftops and in the streets of Jersey City and Paterson.''
Indeed, pockets of radical Islamists had set up in Jersey City in the past. The 1993 World Trade Center bombers rented a van and stored chemicals and fertilizers in that city.
Open jubilation at the mass death, Mr. Farmer said, might quickly be followed by rioting and more deaths. ''If true, we would have had to mobilize the State Police and National Guard and locked the place down,'' he said.
''We followed up on that report instantly because of its implications,'' he added. ''The word came back quickly from Jersey City, later from Paterson. False report. Never happened.''
Political campaigns are notorious for the damage they do to truth, but Mr. Trump's presidential run has erased any lines that would segregate rumors, facts, mistakes and outright falsehoods. This month, he posted a graphic on Twitter that purported to show that 81 percent of white murder victims were killed by blacks; in fact, 82 percent of whites are murdered by whites.
Confronted by Bill O'Reilly, Mr. Trump essentially shrugged: ''I retweeted somebody that was supposedly an expert, and it was also a radio show.'' He has said, variously, that 200,000 or 250,000 Syrian refugees would be coming to the United States; the Obama administration's actual goal for next year is 10,000, as FactCheck.orgreported.
Indifferent as Mr. Trump is to facts, in retailing the myth of the dancing Muslims, he could not face a more sober and careful fact-finder than Mr. Farmer.
Now a professor of law at Rutgers University, he led the Sept. 11 commission's investigation of the disarray in the nation's air defenses on that morning and exposed as fiction claims by the Pentagon that fighter pilots were in hot pursuit of the hijacked airliners. In fact, military officials did not know about three of the four hijacked planes until after they had already crashed. That became the subject of a book by Mr. Farmer, ''The Ground Truth,'' which was hailed by Jacob Heilbrunn in The New York Times as a ''precise and reliable accounting of what happened.''
Mr. Farmer said isolating and stigmatizing Muslims now, whatever its short-term political appeal, would spawn more alienated Muslim youth and potential recruits for the Islamic State.
''Whatever the message, it is just plain wrong to cite thousands of Muslims dancing in Jersey City or Paterson on 9/11 as support,'' Mr. Farmer said. ''That simply never happened.''
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A version of this article appears in print on November 25, 2015, on page A25 of the New York edition with the headline: Trump Refuted With Authority on 9/11 Claim.
CALLING TRUMP A NARCISSIST--ON FACEBOOK!-Is Trump's Narcissism Really a Bad Thing? | Psychology Today
Wed, 02 Dec 2015 23:49
Source: "Narcissus-Caravaggio (1594-96) edited" by Caravaggio - scan. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons
The word narcissist gets thrown around a lot these days. Narcissus was a character in Greek mythology, who was so enamored of his own beauty that he died next to a pool of water, captivated by his own reflection. The narcissus flower is a delicate beauty, often found nodding over the water on the banks of such ponds.
We all know such people '' those people who never met a mirror they didn't like. In today's world of selfies, there's even theories that the number of selfies you post is a reflection of your degree of narcissism. The problem of narcissism today though, has less to do with beauty, and more to do with arrogance. Unhealthy narcissists discount the opinions or ideas of others, and cannot consider the idea that they, the narcissist, might not be right about something.
Over the years, I've seen a funny thing with some narcissists, that they can almost appear psychotic, in their reinvention of the world and history. While YOU might remember an event perfectly well, the narcissist always remembers it better than you, and it just so happens that their recollection confirms their argument and their belief in their own rightness.
But is narcissism REALLY a bad thing? Some of the common personality tests have historically pathologized self-confidence and assertiveness, painting these traits as narcissism. Narcissists aren't humble. But, many powerful people in our world aren't either. Many of our most famous, celebrated leaders turned the world topsy-turvy, because they believed their way of looking at the world was better. Was it narcissistic for Martin Luther King, Jr. to believe that he was right, and segregation was wrong? Looking back, we celebrate Kohn F. Kennedy's triumphs, and we ignore the signs of selfishness and entitlement.
It takes an incredible degree of self-confidence, assuredness and, yes arrogance, to look at the world, and think you know how to run it better. But isn't that why we elect politicians? We've created an election system where every candidate must assert that they, and they alone, have THE ANSWERS. As a populace, we are selecting candidates because we want a new answer. We want someone to fix things, things that seem broken. We want a new voice, and yes, we want one that will change things for the better.
The narcissus flower, enamored
Source: By AnRo0002 (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
Craig Malkin's thoughtful book Rethinking Narcisissm points out some of our flaws in this. We paint narcissism as a bad thing, but in truth, what we call narcissism contains components of healthy functioning. The challenge Dr. Malkin points out, is when these ingredients are in bad proportions.
So, how do we tell a healthy, confident leader who has passion and new ideas, who has the drive to succeed, from a narcissist who views everyone around them as less than themselves? True narcissists cannot admit they made a mistake. Even when their recollection is proven untrue, the unhealthy narcissist ''doubles down,'' and their conviction (and paranoia) increases.
A healthy, confident, assertive leader is one who resists simplistic divisions of the world. Narcissists live in a simple, black and white world. For them, the world is divided into two groups of people: people who serve the needs of the narcissist (including the narcissist's desire for aggrandizement); and everyone else.
I don't know whether Donald Trump is truly a narcissist or not. And neither do any of the reporters or talking heads on television. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a clinical diagnosis, and not one that should be bandied about casually and unethically. Those reporters and talking heads who call him a narcissist don't acknowledge that Trump is acting exactly like we've taught him to, by a media-driven election process which encourages candidates towards cliffs of arrogance, overconfidence and simplicity.
But I do know that in selecting good leaders, we need to choose based upon both confidence, and willingness to admit mistakes or ignorance. We need to seek out leaders who acknowledge that the world is a complex mix of right and wrong and in-between, and who can learn from others. If we don't want our leaders to behave like narcissists, then we should stop rewarding such behavior.
The 15 must-read Clinton emails - POLITICO
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 00:52
"Thanks for the outreach, but I'm ok in the doctor department for now," she wrote back, causing Reines to apologize and clarify that he had meant he was enlisting the help of those who would help dispel some of the doubts cast upon Clinton's condition, given that she had missed a scheduled testimony on the Benghazi attacks because of her injury.
"Sorry, didn't mean medically. Wouldn't ever do that. I meant I enlisted their help in my ongoing efforts to undermine the John Boltons and Laura Ingraham's of the world who are belittling your health. I sent Ingraham a long note. Crafting one to Bolton now. Don't worry, no profanity," Reines said. "Not that kind of note. Just not letting these comments stand, no matter who says them."
In the week following the bombshell resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus after an FBI investigation uncovered an extramarital affair and a month after the attacks on the mission in Benghazi, Blumenthal offered firm advice for Clinton for her own brewing controversy, along with a smattering of news clippings.
"Projection, madness, revenge'--you pick the Shakespeare plot. Most of them truly believe in their fevered visions. McCain? Back to Shakespeare, last category. Not to mention the Dittohead FBI agent. Eric Cantor's explanation that he wanted to prevent the investigation from being 'politicized' doesn't rise to risible," he wrote of the Petraeus scandal, recounting a discussion with British ambassador to the U.S. Peter Westmacott in which he dished on Jill Kelley, who played a central role in the unveiling of Petraeus' affair.
"Even if she is just an ambitious dope (or in another jargon, unwitting asset of someone or some power), the scene is squalid. This is the center of the war on terror? Or is it the set of the next season of Homeland? My advice to you?" he said. "Publicly and directly puncture conspiracy fever on Benghazi before any closed hearing, in response to press question that you make yourself available to."
Following her Senate testimony on Benghazi, Blumenthal shared what he felt was the "best analysis so far of [the] hearing," a Feministing blog post titled "How to deal with a mansplainer starring Hillary Clinton in GIFs."
Clinton was a fan ("Loved them!" she replied), and Blumenthal then volunteered that his wife, Jackie, also wears glasses and thought her fashion choice was "very stylish, attractive."
It wasn't all praise for Clinton after her testimony, a fact she shared in an email from former Clinton campaign adviser Mark Penn that she forwarded to Reines, Sullivan and Mills.
"The Republicans but not the American people have been obsessed with Libya and trying to pin the acts of terrorists on you. They have been playing this non stop on their cable tv," Penn wrote, after Clinton's "what difference at this point does it make" line reverberated. "But I don't think the emotion in the hearing works to your advantage -- looks more like they rattled you on something no one outside the crazy right blamed you for anyway."
In passing along Penn's critique, Clinton acknowledged it as such: "Ok, so here's first discordant note--just to keep it real."
Reines had something to say about that.
"I say this as someone who has never had a problem with Mark or held him as accountable as other people do - but... Give Me A Break," he wrote, breaking for another line after each word in the last phrase. "You did not look rattled. You looked real. There's a difference. A big one."
10. Daughters
In an August 2012 email chain to Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea, (under the pseudonym Diane Reynolds), Reines offered his own analysis as to why Mitt Romney's candidacy was doomed to fail: he had no daughters. The senior adviser then listed every president through Franklin D. Roosevelt, noting that only Dwight D. Eisenhower had sons.
"That's fascinating. What did you then conclude?!" Chelsea wrote back, under her Secret Service code name "Energy."
Reines called it "hardly a valid sample size, but it's interesting nonetheless."
"And the historical pattern aside, Romney just also happens to be down 20 pts among women. It makes complete sense to me that a man with daughters would be affected in ways someone with only sons wouldn't be," he wrote.
"I guess my next step will be to look for the last person to win their party's nomination but went on to lose the general election, and see who didn't have daughters. If the pattern holds, it's further anecdotal evidence that we look for certain attributes in our Presidents, supported by the fact that no matter who won, they would have possessed that trait," he noted. "Off the top of my head working backwards, McCain, Kerry, Gore, Dole (I think), Dukakis (I think), and Mondale all had daughters. Further back will require the Google."
11. Paging Atticus Finch
In another fawning email from Lanny Davis, the longtime family friend shared the results of a Gallup survey in May 2012 that noted her "near record-high favorability numbers."
"So why am I not surprised? Am writing about the reasons why this is so in Purple Nation column -- ok? I won't embarrass you or make comparisons to others, promise," he wrote Clinton, who responded, "I'm afraid anything you write will be suspect in light of our long relationship!"
Davis responded with a frown emoticon, saying that he would not write it, but if he could, he would write that the secretary of state "is a hard worker," "is fact-driven," "is sensitive to the perspective of others ... as was said about Atticus Finch in 'To Kill A Mockingbird': 'she can walk in other people's shoes and see the world through their eyes.'" Finally, he wrote, Clinton "is a gracious person - the most important quality for a successful diplomat."
Clinton then asked for the email to be printed.
12. Counting trips and asterisks
Clinton's State Department kept a tight count of the secretary's travels throughout her four-year term, as evidenced by a June 2012 email from Reines to his boss and Abedin.
"With 7ish months left, plenty of time to run up the score on total countries. 110 is a reasonable goal. Here are the 94 countries left to choose from," he wrote, before listing each country, including asterisks "next to countries you visited prior to becoming SecState, but not since - so they would count."
13. Stargazing
Clinton could not help herself in the subject line of an email to former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson in December 2012, writing simply, "I met Naomi Watts last weekend and we talked about you and Valerie and how amazing you both are!" Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, is a former CIA officer whose identity as an operative was revealed in a Washington Post column in 2003.
Watts had attended the annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington the previous weekend. The Oscar-nominated actress played Plame in the 2010 film "Fair Game."
14. How to get a job with Hillary
As Clinton looked to the exit at the State Department, Gary Gensler, the former head of the Commodities Future Trading Commission, sent the secretary of state no fewer than six emails asking for advice. Gensler, whom Clinton named as her campaign's chief financial officer in April, played the long game. He did not leave the commission until January 2014.
In his first message in December 2012, Gensler wrote, "[i]f we might be able to find a moment to chat, I would love to share my thoughts on possible new challenges and opportunities within the Administration.''
Gensler followed up with more emails without a response, before wishing the secretary well after he discovered that she had suffered a fall and concussion.
''My mom always recommended a bit of chicken noodle soup,'' he wrote. ''And please don't worry about connecting with me on the work matters until you are really up to it.''
A few weeks later after the well-wishes, Gensler wrote Clinton again, expressing that he was "[s]o glad that you are recovering," adding, "Whenever you might be free, it would be wonderful to catch up."
15. Spielberg and Israel
Ahead of his meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres, Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg wanted to speak with the secretary of state in March 2012.
"SS has lunch tomorrow with Shimon Peres and sent HRC an email to see if she has a minute to talk between now and then?" wrote Andy Spahn, who worked as head of corporate affairs and communications for DreamWorks SKG from 1994 to 2006.
Capricia Marshall, State's chief of protocol, forwarded the message to Clinton and Abedin: "Fyi - Steven Spielberg hoping to chat with you"
"Capricia - call set up for noon tomorrow," Abedin responded.
It's not just Trump: Islamophobia in America is spiraling out of control - Vox
Wed, 02 Dec 2015 20:34
On the Tuesday after the Paris terror attacks, a Virginia civil engineer named Samer Shalaby carried a few poster boards into Spotsylvania County's small, low-ceilinged community forum room to present plans to replace Fredericksburg's aging Islamic center. Shalaby's presentation was meant to formalize his application for a zoning permit '-- the very dullest sort of dull civic meeting '-- but as a crowd filed in, filling every seat and standing shoulder to shoulder along the walls, it became clear that they were not there to discuss zoning.
"Nobody wants your evil cult in this town," one of them shouted at Shalaby, pointing an outstretching finger. Many in the crowd clapped and cheered their affirmation.
"And I'll tell you what," he went on, "I will do everything in my power to make sure that this does not happen. Because you are terrorists. Every one of you are terrorists. I don't care what you say. I don't care what you think." He later added, to cheers, "Every Muslim is a terrorist, period. Shut your mouth."
As the crowd grew more hostile, a city official stepped in, first to ask them to calm down and, when they wouldn't, to abruptly cancel the meeting.
Three days later, on November 20, Donald Trump told an NBC News reporter that he would "certainly" implement a system to register and track Muslims in the United States.
Trump was widely and correctly criticized for this, accused of wanting to reproduce discriminatory policies like those of prewar Europe, when Jews were forcibly registered. But looking at the timeline of events since the Paris attacks, and indeed in the months before them, it becomes clear that Trump isn't actually the problem here. Rather, he's merely indulging a sentiment that was already widespread.
"In 20 years I have not heard such intolerance and hatred from political leaders in this society," Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told the Guardian.
That didn't come out of nowhere '-- it's been building for months, in American politics and media and popular discourse. Trump is just the tip of an iceberg that runs much deeper than many Americans would like to believe. America's climate of anti-Muslim hatred and fear, a form of bigotry known as Islamophobia, is rampaging out of control. And it has very real and legitimately scary implications for the millions of Americans who follow Islam.
Anti-Muslim bigotry in America is becoming violentThe day after Trump's registry comments, a makeshift militia, wearing military-style camo, some of them masked, showed up outside an Islamic center in Irving, Texas, carrying assault rifles and announcing they had come to stop the "Islamization of America."
The militia later published the home addresses of dozens of local families they said were Muslims and "Muslim sympathizers." The militia leader responded to criticism of the list by writing on Facebook, "If we had a hit list and wanted to run down that list, you would have already seen it on the news."
The day after the Texas militia incident, Trump claimed that "thousands" of Muslims in New Jersey had cheered the 9/11 terrorist attacks '-- a claim he has repeated over and over despite it being frequently disproven. It was his claims that got all the attention, and indeed they do matter, but Islamophobia manifested itself in other and scarier ways that week. It's not that Trump caused anti-Muslim violence, but rather that his comments '-- widely believed and legitimately popular among a slice of Americans '-- are the leading edge of an Islamophobic movement that is also violent.
On Thanksgiving, just a few days later, a cab driver in Pittsburgh who is also an immigrant from Morocco picked up a passenger who accosted him with questions about his background and about ISIS. When they arrived at the passenger's destination, he went inside for what he said was his wallet, and then emerged carrying a rifle. The driver saw what was coming and sped away, but the passenger was still able to raise the rifle and fire, hitting the driver between his shoulder blades.
The United States does not officially track the number of citizens who are Muslim, but it's likely a few million. A 2010 Pew survey estimated the Muslim American population at 2.6 million and predicted that by 2030 it would rise to 6.2 million, or about 1.7 percent of the population. These Americans increasingly live in a climate where they face not just hateful and discriminatory rhetoric but also violence and the threat of violence.
The threat of violence often has the same theatrical point as violence itself: to terrify and intimidate, to inflict psychological suffering on the targeted group in the form of fear and alienation, to force that targeted group to live a little bit less in the open and more in the shadows. Obviously, actual attacks on Muslims are worse than implicit or explicit threats '-- and, make no mistake, when militias stand outside an Islamic center, even if they have no intention of using violence, they are conveying a threat '-- but they serve the same goal of inflicting suffering on Muslims meant to drive them into the shadows or out of public society altogether.
Thankfully, so far most of that violence has targeted Islamic buildings rather than people '-- a series of mosques and Islamic cemeteries have been vandalized '-- though even this is rightly perceived by Muslims as a threat of more deadly attacks.
In November of 2014, someone opened fire on a California mosque as several worshipers prayed inside. That December, a man in Kansas City wrote on his SUV that the Quran was a "disease worse than Ebola," and then drove the vehicle into a 15-year-old Muslim boy in front of a local mosque, severing his legs and killing him.
The January terrorist attack against Charlie Hebdo magazine, in Paris, provoked a wave of Islamophobic violence in France as well as many threats to Muslims here in the United States. Tellingly, Vox's coverage of that Islamophobia has drawn us more threats of violence, including threats of sexual violence against women writers, than any other subject I have ever covered. (Our decision to publish inflammatory Charlie Hebdo cartoons that mocked Islam drew zero threats or complaint.) These threats have expressed hatred of Muslims and outrage at Vox's criticism of anti-Muslim bigotry.
Then, in February, came the Chapel Hill murders: A man known for both his anger problems and his hatred of religion shot to death three university students, all Muslim, in his apartment complex.
When national media was slow to pick up the story of what had happened in Chapel Hill, many Muslim Americans used the hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter to call attention to the murders and, just as crucially, to the growing hatred toward Muslims in this country.
The hashtag asked Americans to acknowledge the climate, one that many non-Muslims still refuse to see, in which Muslims are treated with open fear and suspicion. It was this climate, they argued, that had allowed the murders to happen and that let them go initially ignored. It's a climate that was already quite severe and has, in the months since, gotten a lot worse.
The politics of Islamophobia are everywhere in AmericaIslamophobic attitudes initially spiked after President Obama's election '-- a continuation of the dog-whistle politics that Obama is a secret Muslim, or at least suspiciously un-hostile toward Islam '-- but have been resurfacing more recently.
A February poll showed that 54 percent of Republican respondents believe that Obama "deep down" is best described as Muslim. By September, an Iowa poll found that only 49 percent of Republicans there believed that Islam should be legal, with 30 percent saying it should be illegal and 21 percent "unsure." Among Trump supporters in Iowa, hostility toward Muslims was higher but not that much higher: 36 percent said Islam should be outlawed. A November nationwide poll found that 56 percent of Americans see Islam as at odds with American values. Fifty-seven percent of Americans, and 83 percent of Republicans, say that Muslims should be barred from the presidency.
State legislatures are passing laws banning "Sharia" or "foreign law," a barely veiled expression of official legislative hostility toward Islam and Muslim American communities.
In late January, a Texas state legislator protested the state capital's Muslim Capitol Day, meant to promote tolerance, by demanding that any Muslim "publicly announce allegiance to America and our laws" before entering her office. "We will see how long they stay in my office," she said.
Though her stunt likely seemed silly to many Americans '-- another far-flung legislator saying something outlandish '-- it was neither isolated nor fringe, but rather part of a concerted and deliberate campaign to promote anti-Muslim fear and hatred that has coincided with anti-Muslim violence.
That campaign is not just coming from nutty state legislators. Elements of the Republican Party have been hijacked, at state and national levels, by a group of anti-Muslim activists who see Islam itself as a threat. Groups such as the Center for Security Policy, which argue that all Muslim American groups are extremist sleeper cells bent on subverting the Constitution, have raised tens of millions in donations, which they use, along with preexisting connections to conservative media institutions, to push anti-Muslim hysteria and conspiracy theories.
While some leading Republicans resist their agenda, others embrace it; Louisiana Gov. and presidential hopeful Bobby Jindal has falsely claimed that Muslims in the UK have set up "no-go zones" that police refuse to enter and where Sharia law prevails, and that Muslim immigrants coming to the US are an "invasion" and "colonization."
This has come through especially clearly in the American political controversy over accepting Syrian refugees.
America's refugee debate isn't really about refugees. It's about immigration and Islam.
Turkmen children at a displaced children's camp. (Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images)In the first days after the terror attacks in Paris, American politics became consumed in debate over whether the attacks showed that the US should slow or altogether halt its already-small program to admit Syrian refugees. Many Americans presumed that the Paris attacks had been conducted by people who'd arrived from Syria and feared the same happening here.
But then something curious happened. As French authorities identified the attackers, each turned out to be not Syrian at all, refugee or otherwise, but rather a European Union citizen who was French or Belgian. So you might think that Americans would see this and drop their Paris-based fears that refugees lead to terrorism. But in fact the opposite happened: The more information that came out showing Syrian refugees had played little or no role in Paris, the more vigorously Americans debated blocking Syrian refugees in response.
As the debate developed, it became clearer why this was: The backlash against Syrian refugees wasn't really about Paris, but rather about a deeper fear of Muslims that has been building for some time.
And it's not just Donald Trump. Ben Carson compared Syrian refugees to rabid dogs; he has also said that Muslims should be barred from the presidency and has falsely claimed, among other things, that Islamic law requires that "people following other religions must be killed."
This goes beyond "outsider" candidates, too. Chris Christie has said that the US should not accept a single Syrian refugee, even "orphans under [age] five." This policy does not make sense unless you see these refugees as threats purely for their demographic background.
In part, this is about hostility toward immigrants, irrespective of their religion '-- a central issue for Trump and his campaign for months, and one he's pressed on Latin American immigration as well. But the reaction against Syrian refugees, for all its similarities to other anti-immigration movements, also has a clear and consistent religious element to it.
It's hard to ignore the appearance that the focus on refugees, though refugees played no currently known role in the Paris attacks, is at least in part about generalized anti-Muslim fear. Both Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz have proposed barring refugees but making special exemptions for Christian refugees '-- again, a policy that only makes sense if you see refugees as threats not because they are refugees or foreign but because they are Muslim.
The conversation has at moments drifted, tellingly, away from the refugee issue entirely and more explicitly into what it was always about: a desire to treat Muslims as dangerous threats who must be controlled. Hence Trump's suggestion that he would support a federal "database" of all Muslims in the US and might even require Muslim Americans to carry special identification.
Trump also suggested support for closing some mosques. Marco Rubio, when asked on Fox News about this, said he might go even further. "It's not about closing down mosques. It's about closing down anyplace '-- whether it's a cafe, a diner, an internet site '-- anyplace where radicals are being inspired," he said.
How American media creates a climate of anti-Muslim hate and fearThe story of America's resurgent Islamophobia is in many ways a media story. Over the past year, much of the media has treated the rise of ISIS in the Middle East as an indictment of Islam itself, a sign that Muslims are somehow less human and more violent.
Cable TV news has been promoting overt bigotry against Muslims, stating over and over that Islam is an inherently violent religion that is to blame for ISIS.
CNN has promoted a kind of "he said, she said" conception of Islam, in which it is valid and worthwhile to debate whether Muslims make for inferior people and societies, thus mainstreaming more overt bigotry. Host Chris Cuomo, for example, called Muslims "unusually violent" and "unusually barbaric." The network has run chyrons such as "IS ISLAM VIOLENT? OR PEACEFUL?"
Hosts have repeated bigoted falsehoods, for example that female genital mutilation is an inherently Muslim problem (in fact, it is a regional practice that crosses religious lines) or that restrictions on women driving are "commonplace" in the Muslim world (in fact, it is restricted to one country, Saudi Arabia, that represents 2 percent of the global Muslim population). In one bizarre segment, during an interview with Muslim-American human rights lawyer Arsalan Iftikhar, CNN host Don Lemon interrupted him mid-sentence to ask, for no obvious reason at all, "Do you support ISIS?"
This is a problem that includes the left. HBO host Bill Maher frequently rants against Islam and its adherents, saying, for example, that "vast numbers of Muslims want humans to die for holding a different idea" and share "too much in common with ISIS."
But what is worst is arguably not these incidents of over Islamophobia on cable news, but rather the degree to which American media treats the question of whether Muslims are inherently violent or backward as a valid debate in which both sides should be aired. When CNN came under fire for asking if Islam promotes violence, several hosts countered that they were just following their journalistic responsibility to "ask the question."
Because many in the media continue to indulge Islamophobia as a valid position, they implicitly tell their audiences that it is acceptable to hate Muslims and indeed important to question whether Muslims are inherently inferior.
This shows up in popular culture, as well. In January, Warner Bros. released American Sniper, an Iraq War film that portrays Iraqis as an undifferentiated mass of terrorists and terrorist sympathizers who can only be confronted with violence.
In one scene, the film's protagonist and namesake shoots an Iraqi woman and child to death '-- an act the film tacitly approves by later showing them as having been carrying a grenade. The morality of killing Iraqi civilians is raised only so the hero protagonist can shout down whoever has had the gall to question his decisions by explaining that those civilians were no innocents.
(Cryanne)The film went on to become one of the most successful war films in American history, to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, and to inspire a wave of death threats against Muslims and Arabs.
How right-wing media is mainstreaming violent IslamophobiaFox News has taken this media treatment of Islam to the next logical step, telling its millions of viewers over and over that Muslims are a threat who must be feared and dealt with forcefully, even violently.
For example, Fox News's Andrea Tantaros, in making a point about "the history of Islam," argued, "You can't solve it with a dialogue. You can't solve it with a summit. You solve it with a bullet to the head. It's the only thing these people understand." Bill O'Reilly has declared that "Islam is a destructive force" and that the US is in a holy war with certain groups of Muslims.
Host Jeanine Pirro once issued a breathtaking seven-minute monologue calling for the United States to arm death squads throughout the Muslim world to kill all Islamists and members of Islamist organizations, though many of those organizations are avowedly peaceful and have millions of members, including women and children.
You will notice a theme in this coverage: It emphasizes combat, violence, and war. And not just as rhetorical devices for metaphorical struggles against extremism, but rather to describe a narrative of a literal, actual war against "radical Muslims" or "Islamists." Those terms are rarely defined but are said to encompass vast and terrifying enemies, giving viewers every reason to conclude they represent many Muslims, if not the bulk.
But there's another, much more dangerous way that Fox News mainstreams anti-Muslim hatred and even violence. You can see this, for example, in an incident with Donald Trump this September.
In September, at a Trump rally, the man who has led GOP polls for months paused to let a supporter, armed with a microphone, ask a question. Here's their full exchange. As you read it, know that Trump, beaming, nodded in vigorous affirmation throughout:
MAN IN AUDIENCE: We have a problem in this country, it's called Muslims. We know our current president is one. You know he's not even an American. Birth certificate, man!
DONALD TRUMP: We need this question!
MAN IN AUDIENCE: But anyway, we have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That's my question: when can we get rid of 'em?
DONALD TRUMP: We're gonna be looking at a lot of different things. And you know that a lot of people are saying that, and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there. We're going to be looking at that and plenty of other things.
The exchange mostly drew attention for the line that "we have a problem in this country" and Trump's seeming agreement. But in fact it's much worse than it looks.
The line about "training camps" referred to a conspiracy theory that has been festering for months and growing from the far-right fringes to the right-wing mainstream: that Muslim American communities throughout the US are sheltering secret terrorist training camps in the US.
"Fears of 'Muslim training camps' have simmered on the far right for years, especially since the rise of the Islamic State," Jenna Johnson wrote in the Washington Post, adding that right-wing media outlets sometimes claim there are dozens of such camps.
Fox News has pushed this conspiracy theory from the fringes to the mainstream. In January, Bill O'Reilly hosted a member of a far-right group who claimed that Muslim Americans are organizing secret paramilitary communes poised to commit acts of terrorism. O'Reilly and the guest discussed the supposed Muslim training camps at length.
On Fox Business, also in January, Lou Dobbs hosted the same group to repeat these claims. The guest, a member of an anti-Muslim group known as the Clarion Project (one of the groups, mentioned above, that has worked to mainstream extremist anti-Muslim ideas), suggested that seemingly peaceful Muslim American families were in fact hiding vast training facilities that, if left undisturbed, would be used to launch terror attacks across the US.
A viewer would be left to conclude that the normal-looking Muslim American families in their midst were in fact terrifying and imminent threats. It is not hard to see how such viewers, on hearing Trump's plan to forcibly register Muslims, might conclude this was a good idea. And it is not hard to see how some might conclude that the threat was urgent enough to justify taking action themselves.
This spring, the FBI arrested a Tennessee man named Robert Doggart who was plotting to lead a far-right militia on a killing spree against a heavily Muslim community in New York state. He appears to have been motivated in part by the "training camps" conspiracy theory.
Doggart believed the community was a "Muslim Jihadist Training Camp," according to a post he made on his website. He wrote, "Given the recent beheading of an American Journalist by the treacherous ISIS group, the Islamic networking that is underway in America, and the threats directed at us, there is no choice but to engage this topic, face-to-face, on location."
So when the Trump supporter warned of the "training camps" and said he wanted to "get rid of 'em," the thing he wanted to "get rid of" was not camps but rather peaceful Muslim American communities. He was calling for exactly what Doggart almost accomplished: violence to "get rid" of certain American families and neighborhoods.
It is hard to ignore that Trump's audience cheered this on, and that Trump nodded along. When the incident became a minor scandal '-- mostly over Trump's apparent support for the idea that Obama is Muslim '-- the Trump campaign responded by insisting that the question and Trump's "we're gonna look into it" were in fact about the "training camps." In other words, the campaign deflected criticism that it had indulged anti-Obama conspiracy theories by instead saying it had indulged Islamophobic conspiracy theories that have, in the recent past, been the basis of attempted terrorist violence against American families.
America is working very hard to ignore this problem '-- even as it spirals out of control
Prajwol/Ru Ninth-grader Ahmed Mohamed being arrested in school.When the Trump supporter demanded "when can we get rid of 'em," there was an odd reaction in the media: to note that the man had only been referring to fictitious "training camps" and not to all Muslims, and that therefore his statement was not an incitement to sectarian violence. But as the Doggart almost-massacre shows, these conspiracy theories are exactly calls to mass sectarian violence against innocent Muslim American families.
The fact that these conspiracy theories have nonetheless received two extended hearings on Fox News, and were the subject of a Trump rally, shows just how out of control America's Islamophobia problem has grown. It shows that this problem is much more than just nasty rhetoric or zany fringe candidates or politically incorrect media debates.
It is a climate of active and widespread hate that has included incitements to violence and actual violence against an American demographic group that is too small to compel political action on its own behalf, yet large enough to be nationally visible at a moment when being visible is dangerous.
This climate will continue to get worse until American society can recognize this problem in itself and begin to honestly address it '-- even if it is uncomfortable, even if many of us struggle to look past headscarves and prayer rugs to see human beings.
The murders of the three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, this February, took us a step closer to seeing the problem of American Islamophobia and dealing with it, but it did not get us there.
This September, when a Texas school had a 14-year-old boy named Ahmed Mohamed arrested for bringing in a homemade clock, it again looked like a moment when Islamophobia had brought America to such absurd lengths that surely we would have to acknowledge things had gone too far. But instead, a movement on both the right and left emerged to discredit Mohamed, even attempting to link him to ISIS. In the months since, America's Islamophobia problem has only gotten worse.
It is frightening to consider what it would take, if a triple murder and the persecution of an innocent child did not do it, to force Americans to recognize its Islamophobia problem. Maybe the fever will break after the 2016 election cycle finally ends, 12 very long months from now. Maybe some sanity will finally emerge in our political discourse, or cable media will confront its own role and start pushing back on a problem it helped create. But if none of those do the trick, then it is probably just a matter of time until the rhetoric becomes something more than rhetoric.
FACT SHEET: Visa Waiver Program Enhancements | whitehouse.gov
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 00:20
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) permits visa free travel for 20 million visitors per year to the United States for citizens of 38 program partner countries around the world. VWP utilizes a layered system of security to detect and prevent terrorists, serious criminals, and other potentially dangerous individuals from traveling to the United States. These layers of security include comprehensive screening of VWP travelers prior to departure for the United States, at various points throughout the traveler's journey, and upon arrival at U.S. ports of entry.
Over the past year, the Administration has taken a series of steps to enhance the significant security measures in the VWP. In the wake of the attacks in Paris, the administration is announcing additional actions today that will further enhance and accelerate these changes. Additionally, the Administration is working closely with Congress to provide statutory authority for many of these security enhancements, which will further improve our ability to implement and enforce the changes.
How Does the Visa Waiver Program Work?
Every prospective VWP traveler undergoes counterterrorism screening and must receive approval through DHS' Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Through ESTA, DHS evaluates whether individuals are eligible to travel to the United States under the VWP before they are allowed to board a carrier bound for the United States.The counterterrorism screening draws on information from U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies. DHS uses this information to decide if the travel poses any law enforcement or security risks. Without DHS approval through ESTA, VWP travelers cannot travel to the United States and must appear in person for a visa interview before they can be authorized to travel to the United States.This process has been enhanced repeatedly to improve security and more effectively identify individuals who might pose a threat to the United States.Travelers must be a citizen of a VWP country to use the program. Residence in a VWP country, or the possession of refugee travel documents issued by a VWP member state, does not qualify an individual for VWP travel.Recently Enhanced Security Measures
DHS, in consultation with the Department of State, continuously adapts the VWP to address current threats. Over the last year, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State, in coordination with several other federal agencies, have made a number of significant enhancements to the VWP to ensure our security apparatus continues to adapt in the face of evolving threats.
DHS introduced additional data fields to the ESTA application in November 2014 that already have produced security benefits.DHS introduced new traveler screening and information sharing requirements for VWP countries in August 2015 specifically to address the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters.DHS and the Department of State are working with VWP partners to implement the new VWP requirements, which will strengthen U.S. security and the security of our partners.These security enhancements are part of our continuing assessments of U.S. security in the face of evolving threats and challenges, and our determination to stay one step ahead of those threats and challenges.New Changes Announced Today
Given the terrorist attacks in Paris and the ongoing threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters, the United States is aggressively strengthening its Visa Waiver Program and bolstering our relationships with VWP partners by immediately moving forward on the following administrative actions:
DHS will immediately take steps to modify its Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) applications to capture information from VWP travelers regarding any past travel to countries constituting a terrorist safe haven. The Director of National Intelligence, in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security, will identify and regularly review these countries so that traveler risk assessments can be made on the most up-to-date information.The Department of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and other appropriate agencies will accelerate its review process for VWP partner countries and within 60 days, will provide a full report to the President:o Identifying possible pilot programs designed to assess the collection and use of biometrics (fingerprints and/or photographs) in the VWP to effectively increase security; and
o Identifying any countries that are deficient in key areas of cooperation, along with recommended options to engender compliance using a range of penalties and incentives available under his current authority including the more frequent submission of ESTAs and/or the suspension of ESTA issuances (new and/or renewals) for citizens of countries that fail to meet key metrics.
The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation will evaluate the terrorism information sharing that occurs between the United States and VWP countries, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence and the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security, and provide a report to the President of the United States within 60 days identifying options to mitigate any deficiencies.DHS will offer assistance to countries to better facilitate terrorism information sharing, specifically to include biometric pilots. For example, DHS and the Terrorist Screening Center will assist all interested VWP countries in screening refugees or asylum seekers, including through the application of extensive terrorism information already provided to VWP members and through piloting capability for conducting near real time biometric checks.The Secretaries of DHS, State, and Commerce will promote the Global Entry program among VWP partners to further expand this trusted traveler program, which includes biometrics.The Secretary of Homeland Security will work with Congress to seek authority to increase Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) fines from $5,000 to $50,000 for air carriers that fail to verify a traveler's passport data. The Departments of Homeland Security and State, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and U.S. intelligence community elements will deploy Foreign Fighter Surge Teams to work with countries to counter terrorist travel.The Departments of Homeland Security and State will encourage and provide assistance as needed to enhance border security and legislation related to FTFs of our partner countries, and encourage more robust information sharing, better use of shared information, and more effective and efficient coordination between our partners.Working with Congress to Enhance the Visa Waiver Program
The Administration is working with Congress to provide statutory authority for many of the key security enhancements to VWP, including:
Improving our ability to identify individuals who may have traveled to conflict zones to train or fight with terrorist organizations or other adversaries and increasing information sharing between our VWP partners and INTERPOL;Maximizing the use of international agencies like INTERPOL to track lost and stolen travel documents, and to prevent their usage for illicit travel;Encouraging VWP partner countries to share information and to use that information in their own border screening activities;Accelerating the requirement for 100% of VWP travelers to use e-passports (i.e., passports with embedded security chips);Exploring how biometrics could be effectively added to the VWP process; andExpanding the use of the DHS' Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Preclearance program, through which CBP law enforcement officers inspect passengers and their baggage '' to include collecting and screening biometrics where appropriate '' at foreign airports prior to departing for the United Stateso Through the current round of expansion, CBP is in negotiations with airports in seven VWP participant countries (Belgium, Japan, Norway, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom). Support for Preclearance expansion will greatly increase border and aviation security in the United States and abroad.
Denmark's referendum becomes clarion call for eurosceptics - FT.com
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 00:59
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Chinese mogul behind Nicaragua canal lost 85% of his fortune in stock market | World news | The Guardian
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 01:57
Wang Jing (right) of HKND pictured with Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega and the agreements for the construction of the interoceanic canal in 2013. HKND has invested more than 3bn yuan in the project. Photograph: Esteban Felix/AP
Fresh doubts have arisen over a Chinese billionaire's plan to build a $50bn (£33bn) interoceanic canal through Nicaragua after it emerged that China's stock market crisis wiped out nearly 85% of his fortune.
Wang Jing, the Chinese telecoms tycoon behind the gargantuan shipping project, has seen his net worth plummet since his country's stock market meltdown began, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Until June, 42-year-old Wang was worth $10.2bn (£6.7bn), making him one of the world's 200 richest people, Bloomberg reported. His net worth has since slumped to $1.1bn.
Related:Land of opportunity '' and fear '' along route of Nicaragua's giant new canal
Analysts said Wang's dismal fortunes '' Bloomberg called him the world's worst performing billionaire in 2015 '' could affect the ability of his company, HKND, to push ahead with construction of the 178-mile canal in Nicaragua.
Daniel Wagner, the head of US-based consultancy Country Risk Solutions, told Bloomberg: ''The turn of fortune in '... Wang's financial resources will impact how and whether the canal can and will be built. I would expect, given this year's financial gyrations in China, that the government is also asking itself whether the canal is a viable proposition.''
Officials at HKND '' which won a 50-year concession to build and operate the canal in 2013 '' denied the billionaire's financial woes spelled trouble for the mega-project.
Bill Wild, HKND's chief project adviser for the canal, said: ''I have no doubt that appropriate financial arrangements will be in place before construction commences.''
Nicaraguan authorities last week said they had postponed the start of canal construction work until at least early 2016 because of environmental concerns.
Speaking to China's official news agency, Xinhua, last month, HKND's vice-president, Peng Guowei, said the project was ''progressing in an orderly manner''.
Peng said his company hoped to complete the project within five years and said that by the end of August, HKND had invested more than 3bn yuan (£311m), all of which came from Wang's ''own pocket''.
News of Wang's financial troubles will bring some hope to environmentalists, who have warned that the canal could inflict massive damage on rainforests and wetlands, and force indigenous communities from their lands.
Speaking at a canal groundbreaking ceremony in Nicaragua last December, Wang Jing instructed Chinese companies working on the project not to ''destroy or damage'' their host country.
''We can demonstrate to the world that we are builders, not destroyers [and that] what we bring is wealth and dignity,'' he said, according to a transcript of his speech on HKND's website.
Wang said the canal '' which would be three times longer than its rival in Panama '' would ''change the pattern of global maritime trade''.
''I am confident that we will succeed, and that victory will belong to us,'' said Wang, who has denied rumours that he enjoys close ties to China's Communist party.
Additional reporting by Luna Lin
$50bn Nicaragua canal postponed as Chinese tycoon's fortunes falter | World news | The Guardian
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 01:55
Part of the Brito inlet, which Nicaragua says is the likely Pacific Coast outlet of a planned interoceanic canal to rival that of Panama. Photograph: Tim Johnson/MCT via Getty Images
The world's biggest canal project '' a $50bn interoceanic canal through Nicaragua '' has been delayed, following an environmental report and a collapse in the fortunes of the Chinese businessman behind the company that planned to build it.
Related:Land of opportunity '' and fear '' along route of Nicaragua's giant new canal
The Hong Kong Nicaragua Development (HKND) Group announced on Wednesday that it would be another year before the start of major works on the proposed rival to the Panama canal.
The company said the ''design of the canal is being fine tuned'', in accordance with recommendations contained in an environmental impact assessment.
Preliminary operations on ports and access roads started 11 months ago. Since then the slow pace of work on the canal has been attributed to the wait for the environmental report. The report was approved earlier this month, but instead of ramping up work the company said in a statement: ''The construction of locks and the big excavations will start toward the end of 2016.''
The mega-project '' which would be the world's biggest earth-moving operation '' has proved controversial since it was agreed by Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega and Wang Jing, the Chinese telecoms mogul who subsequently registered HKND.
Nicaraguan officials say the investment will boost the economy and raise living standards in the second-poorest nation in Latin America. But conservationists have warned that the 178-mile canal will damage Lake Nicaragua '' the biggest freshwater source in Central America '' and infringe upon protected areas and indigenous territory.
Environmental Resources Management '' the UK-based company that drew up the impact assessment for HKND '' concluded that the project would ''have significant environmental and social impacts'' but said these could be minimised.
HKND officials have said the route may be adjusted and other changes made to the original plan in order to offset such concerns and ensure the project is in compliance with international standards, so it can win support from the World Bank and other global institutions.
Such claims remain contentious. But company officials say the project will go ahead, with the construction of a port at Brito early next year.
Other concerns focus on the financing of the project, which remains obscure. HKND says it plans to build a global consortium with investors from many countries. Until now, however, most of the seed money has reportedly come from Wang's personal fortune.
That is not what it was. Until June, Wang was worth more than $10bn, putting him among the world's 200 richest people. But a collapse in Chinese stock prices earlier this year slashed his fortune at one point by nearly 85% to $1.1bn.
His shareholdings have since partially recovered, but are still more than a third below levels at the start of the year.
Wang appears determined to push ahead with the canal project. If, however, he were to eventually abandon it, he would be in good company.
In the past 500 years, more than 70 canal proposals have been mooted and later dropped, by visionaries ranging from the first Spanish conquistadores to US president Theodore Roosevelt.
Congress blocking insider trading investigation
Wed, 02 Dec 2015 23:45
Lawyers for the House of Representatives have escalated their legal fight to block the first-ever congressional insider trading investigation.
The case revolves around allegations that Brian Sutter, a former senior staff member of the Ways and Means Committee, passed along nonpublic information concerning a Medicare reimbursement rate change to a lobbyist with Greenberg Traurig in April 2013.
The information was then disclosed to a consulting firm that shared the tip with it's financial clients. A number of the hedge funds appeared to use the insider tip to trade on stocks that would be impacted.
The Securities and Exchange Commission opened an investigation and served subpoenas on Sutter and the Ways and Means Committee.
Despite passing a bipartisan law to address the very issue of congressional insider trading '-- the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or STOCK Act of 2012 '-- congressional attorneys have fought the SEC investigation at every turn. First they refused to comply with the subpoenas.
Then, when the SEC sued, the House attorneys claimed that the case should not proceed because lawmakers and their staff are constitutionally protected from such inquiries. ''Communications with lobbyists, of course, are a normal and routine part of Committee information-gathering,'' they argued in a brief filed last year.
On November 13, U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe agreed with most of the SEC's claims and ordered Congress to comply with the subpoena within 10 days. ''Members of Congress and congressional employees are not exempt from the insider trading prohibitions arising under the securities laws,'' he wrote. Gardephe reminded the attorneys that ''Congress barred such claims of immunity when it adopted'' the STOCK Act.
Kerry W. Kircher, the House general counsel, requested more time. Then, shortly before Thanksgiving, on November 25, he filed a motion to appeal the subpoena to the 2nd Circuit. Kircher argued that the STOCK Act did not explicitly authorize the SEC to issue subpoenas to Congress, even to investigate inside trading.
The appeal, which could obstruct the investigation or at least delay it for months, is the latest move by Congress to undermine its own ethics law. The STOCK Act remains the only significant congressional ethics reform measure passed into law since 2007.
Lawmakers at the time patted themselves on the back, hailing the STOCK Act as a major step toward curbing corruption. ''Insider trading should never occur and should never be tolerated,'' Rep. Paul Ryan, now the House speaker and Kircher's boss, said in a statement.
Away from the spotlight, however, congressional leaders continue to fight enforcement and to shore up the target of the SEC inquiry. Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, and Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., two lawmakers who served on the same committee as Sutter, have used PAC money to donate to the legal defense fund set up to defend him.
War on Religion
No, atheist kids are not more altruistic than religious kids
Tue, 01 Dec 2015 13:12
A recent study came out suggesting that atheist children are more altruistic than the children of believers. I'm an atheist so you might think I'd be happy to count this as a win for Team Atheism and forget about it. However, I'm also a social scientist so I was very interested in the methods of this study. After actually reading the journal article, I found three major flaws in this study.
1) They didn't control for enough variables
Control variables are meant to make sure that there isn't some hidden variable that's actually driving the desired effect. The authors did control for socio-economic status, region, and maternal education. But that's it. The MAJOR variable they overlooked was some kind inequality measure. It's a common finding in the developmental psychology literature that parenting styles can be affected by several aspects of inequality (yes they measured SES, but that simply isn't enough as some sort of needs to income measure would have been great). Furthermore, this study didn't even measure race or ethnicity, which could impact parenting styles as well. Finally, the authors never even measured the kid's religiosity, only their parents!
2) The ''dictator game'' is not a great measure of altruism
So what exactly was this magical measure that could assess a complicated phenomena like altruism in 5-year-olds? Well the authors measured it by the Dictator Game. Here is the description of the task from their paper:
Children were shown a set of 30 stickers and told to choose their 10 favorite. They were then told ''these stickers are yours to keep.'' Children were instructed that the experimenter did not have the time to play this game with all of the children in the school, so not everyone would be able to receive stickers. Children were finally shown a set of envelopes and informed that they could give some of their stickers to another child who would not be able to play this game by putting them in one envelope and they could put the stickers they wanted to keep in the other envelope. Experimenters turned around during the child's choice and children were instructed to inform the experimenter when they were finished. Altruism was calculated as the number of stickers shared out of 10.
''Altruism was calculated as the number of stickers shared out of 10'" Yes, that really seems to capture such a convoluted concept like altruism! Beyond the obvious problems with reading too much into this single measure, the Dictator Game may simply reflect the obedience of participants.
3) The effect size was quite small
Effect sizes measure the how large a treatment effect is if it exists. So if atheist parenting is really causing children to be more altruistic, we should see a large effect size. Well, they had an effect size (r squared) of .19, which is usually considered to be pretty small (as it only explains 19% of the variance for all variables in the regression model. Religiosity only accounts for about 4%). For an exploratory study this effect size isn't terrible, but given the limitations I mentioned above, I would not feel comfortable saying that the effect found here is particularly meaningful. There are even more problems with the statistics they used, which have already been neatly explained in this post.
To summarize, this study was interesting, but a few fatal flaws severely limit the conclusions we can draw from it. These flaws are pretty obvious to anyone who has studied behavioral sciences (and may be why this paper was published in a biology journal and not psychology/sociology). However, I think this study does at least provide some evidence that atheist kids are not immoral monsters. With so many believers telling atheists how evil they are, that in itself is a small win.
UPDATE:The featured comment below is pretty long, but it provides an excellent analysis that goes beyond my quick points. If anyone is interested in a more detailed breakdown of the problems of this paper, I would check it out! I also found it particularly distressing how the lead author of this paper has been presenting the results to the media.
Featured image from Pixabay
NA-Tech News
Wolf predicts what will happen in 2016
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 14:36
David NeedlemanDan Loeb asked Michael Wolf to find a CEO for Yahoo.
On Tuesday, top business-strategist Michael Wolf gave a massive presentation on the future of tech and media in 2016 at The Wall Street Journal's conference.
He shared that the average American spends more time on tech and media then sleeping, and predicts that messaging will blow past social networking.
But if you are all prepped for the cord-cutting revolution, you'll have to wait a little longer '-- though streaming music is going to be the next big winner.
And Wolf knows what he's talking about. He served on the board at Yahoo, helping bring Marissa Mayer in as CEO, and cofounded the technology and media consulting-firmActivate, where he is managing director. His career has spanned from being a managing partner at consulting powerhouse McKinsey to being the chief operating officer of MTV networks.
You can see the entire presentation from the Wall Street Journal Digital Live Conference below,which we've republished in full.
VIDEO-IMF approves China's yuan as elite reserve currency - YouTube
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 15:54
VIDEO-An Hour Before The San Bernardino Shooting, Trump Was With Radio Host Who Says Sandy Hook Was A Hoax | ThinkProgress
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 00:07
CREDIT: AP Photo/Jim Cole
Even among right-wing radio hosts, Alex Jones is a standout. Where Rush Limbaugh offers a torrent of conservative views that largely align with Republican policy preferences, Jones labels 9/11 an ''inside job.'' Where Mark Levin touts radical constitutional theories that, nonetheless, have grown popular in Republican circles, Jones ties same-sex marriage on ''the eugenicist/globalist view.'' Jones is the king of fringe conspiracy theories. Among other things, he may be the nation's most prominent proponent of the view that the Sandy Hook shooting that killed 26 people an elementary school was a ''synthetic, completely fake '-- with actors, in my view '-- manufactured'' hoax.
And one hour before another terrible mass shooting occurred in San Bernardino, California on Wednesday, Jones hosted a very special guest on his radio show '-- Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.
The conversation between Trump and Jones was, in one reporter's words, a ''love fest.'' Jones described the wealthy heir as a ''self-made'' man and a ''true maverick.'' Trump, in return, praised Jones.
''Your reputation is amazing,'' the billionaire-turned-politician told the conspiracy theorist, adding that ''I won't let you down.''
VIDEO-Eagles Of Death Metal - San Berdoo Sunburn - YouTube
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 15:20
VIDEO-Ashton Carter Joseph Dunford Testimony Military | Video | C-SPAN.org
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 15:17
December 1, 2015Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair General Joseph Dunford testified on U.S. military strategy to combat ISIS*'... read more
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair General Joseph Dunford testified on U.S. military strategy to combat ISIS* militants in Iraq and Syria.'‚Secretary Carter announced that the U.S. is expanding its special operations force in Iraq and Syria.'‚The specialized expeditionary targeting force will be sent to Iraq to assist Iraqi and Kurdish forces and will also be positioned to conduct unilateral missions in Syria.'‚Secretary Carter stated that this special force will be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence, and capture ISIS leaders.'‚He also said the U.S. is expanding strikes on ISIS infrastructure and sources of revenue from oil.'‚
After the hearing adjourned, Committee Chair Mac Thornberry (R-TX) answered reporters' questions.'‚
* The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or DAISH/DAESH in Arabic is a militant group that has called itself the Islamic State. close
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*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
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VIDEO-Ashton Carter on We Are At WarWar | Video | C-SPAN.org
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 15:11
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VIDEO-The BBC's Distressingly Accurate Intro To The San Bernardino Shooting | ThinkProgress
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 14:53
CREDIT: AP Photo/Katie Zezima
A gun buyback in Newark, New Jersey in 2013 yielded 1,700 weapons, including 1,100 handguns.
The BBC opened its coverage of the ongoing San Bernardino mass shooting Wednesday evening by acknowledging a fairly alarming reality: ''Just another day in the United States of America, another day of gunfire, panic, and fear.''
Watch it:
The quip is painfully accurate. As ThinkProgress has already pointed out, there have been 355 mass shootings this year in the United States, more than one for every day of the year that has passed so far.
But the commentary inherent in the BBC segment also speaks to how the United States is unique in this regard. In fact, the United States is the world leader when it comes to mass shootings. Despite having 5 percent of the world's population, the U.S. is home to 31 percent of the world's mass shootings since 1966.
A number of factors seem to contribute to this, but the high rate of gun ownership seems to play a key role. In fact, the connection between gun ownership rates and mass shooting rates isn't unique to the U.S. Finland and Switzerland, two countries often thought of as being very safe, rank just below the U.S. in per capita gun ownership and similarly rank in the top 15 countries for mass shooters per capita.
In contrast, countries like Australia and Great Britain have done much to rein in gun ownership and mass shootings in turn. In Australia, efforts like buyback programs, extended waiting periods for gun purchases (measured in weeks, not days), a national firearms registry, limits on ammunition, and bans on many semi-automatic, self-loading rifles, and shotguns have made a huge difference. The country has had very few mass shootings since these changes were implemented in 1996, and the changes also contribute to a decline in the firearm homicide rate by 59 percent and a decline in the firearm suicide rate by 65 percent, with no corresponding non-firearm increases in either.
In addition to some of the same measures, Britain went so far as to ban private handgun ownership in 1997, buying back 162,000 firearms from private citizens. In the years immediately after the gun control measures were passed, gun violence continued to increase there for a few years, peaking in 2003''2004, but it dropped off by 53 percent in the subsequent seven years.
When the BBC suggests that mass shootings are a near-daily occurrence in the United States, it's not just making the point that the rate is high, but also that the country stands alone in that regard. There are, in fact, places in the world where people are shocked and surprised when mass shootings take place.
VIDEO-Watch What Happens as Defiant Trump Spokeswoman Turns 9/11 Question on CNN Host: 'You Believe It Happened, Right?' | Video | TheBlaze.com
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 14:40
CNN's Carol Costello pressed Donald Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson on the air Wednesday over the defiant GOP candidate's claim that Muslims celebrated in New Jersey following the 9/11 attacks. While Trump's initial ''thousands and thousands'' of Muslims claim appears to be false, other reports have surfaced suggesting small number of Muslims were witnessed celebrating.
The distinction is what drove the tension during the interview as Costello pushed for a retraction while Pierson asserted that the new developments have bolstered Trump's claim.
''No one remembers seeing thousands and thousands of Muslims celebrating in the United States after 9/11,'' Costello said
''You guys changed it and made it out of quantity instead of quality,'' Pierson shot back.
''Doesn't quanity matter? Doesn't six people celebrating differ from thousands and thousands?'' Costello replied.
Pierson then repeated that Trump was merely talking about what he ''saw,'' and wasn't pulling his information from an ''intelligence report.''
At the end of the interview, Pierson asked Costello her own question.
''You believe it happened, right?'' she asked.
After letting out a sigh of apparent frustration, Costello stated, ''thousands and thousands of Muslims were not celebrating after 9/11.''
VIDEO-Toner: Russia's wrong about Erdogan dealing ISIL oil. 02 Dec 2015 - YouTube
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 14:07
VIDEO-Who were Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik? - CNN.com
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 14:03
Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik committed the deadliest U.S. mass shooting since Sandy Hook in December 2012 before being killed by police, authorities say.
Farook, 28, and Malik, 27, had been married for two years, according to Hussam Ayloush, head of the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim advocacy group.
The couple left their 6-month-old girl with Farook's grandmother Wednesday and said they had a doctor's appointment.
The grandmother became concerned when she saw reports of the shooting and couldn't reach Farook.
Farook was environmental health specialist for countyFarook, an American citizen, was an environmental health specialist with the San Bernardino County health department, which was hosting the holiday party at the Inland Regional Center where the attack took place.
This image of Syed Rizwan Farook appears on the dating site iMilap.com.
He had been there five years. Records list a man with his name and title who worked at the agency and made $53,000 in 2013.
He graduated from California State University, San Bernardino, with a degree in environmental health in 2009.
Police don't have a motiveFarook was at the party but left abruptly before the shooting. He seemed angry, witnesses told police. He returned. And, along with Malik, he went into the building and began firing, authorities said.
There are no indications his job was in jeopardy, police said. They're also unaware of any criminal history.
Farhan Khan, Farook's brother-in-law, told reporters he was at a loss, too.
"I have no idea why he would he do something like this. I have absolutely no idea. I am in shock myself," Khan said.
He said the family, like the rest of America, will have to wait for the police investigation for answers.
Farook and Malik didn't appear to have left behind a note, a law enforcement official said.
He kept a low profileThose who worked with Farook described him as quiet.
"I would say hi and bye. But we never engaged him in conversation. He didn't say much at all," said Griselda Reisinger, a former co-worker, told the Los Angeles Times.
Maria Gutierrez, who knew Farook, used the same word to describe him to the New York Daily News.
"He was quiet but always polite," she said.
He met his wife onlineCo-worker Patrick Baccari told the Los Angeles Times that Farook recently visited Saudi Arabia to meet a woman he met online. They returned as husband and wife.
Farook had a profile set up on iMilap.com, which describes itself as "a site for people with disabilities and second marriage."
The profile said he "enjoys working on vintage and modern cars, reads religious books, enjoys eating out sometimes."
"Enjoys travelling and just hanging out in the back yard doing target practice with his younger sister and friends."
He said he was from a secular familyIn the same profile, Farook said he came from a Muslim family with "Eastern and Western" family values.
There's no indication when the profile was set up. But his father told the New York Daily News that Farook was very religious.
"He would go to work, come back, go to pray, come back," he said.
He and his brother share the same nameIt's important to note Farook's middle name -- Rizwan. Because his older brother is also named Syed Farook but has a different middle name.
Farook and Malik 'came prepared'The attackers were "dressed in dark, kind of tactical gear," San Bernardino police Chief Jarrod Burguan said. They carried rifles and semi-automatic handguns.
Two handguns recovered have been traced back to Farook. He purchased them legally three or four years ago, an official said. Two rifles were purchased by someone else, possibly a former roommate, also legally three or four years ago. Officials said they don't think that person had anything to do with the shooting.
"These were people that came prepared," Burguan said. "There had to have been some degree of planning that went into this."
They intended to inflict more damageA bag believed to belong to the shooters was found inside the conference room. Inside, investigators found three rudimentary explosive devices packed with black powder and rigged to a remote controlled car. The remote for the car was found inside the SUV where Farook and Malik were later killed, a law enforcement official said.
The pair planned to use the remote to detonate the explosives from a distance, the official said. Either it didn't work because of distance or they didn't do it. Officials later rendered the explosive devices safe.
They died in a hail of bulletsAfter carrying out the attack at Inland Regional -- where they killed 14 people and injured at least 17 -- Farook and Malik led police on a chase. Farook fired at officers while Malik drove, officials said. They died in the shootout, which involved 21 officers.
CNN's Evan Perez, Barbara Starr, Pamela Brown, Deborah Feyerick, Michael Martinez, Greg Botelho, Joshua Berlinger, Ashley Fantz, Joshua Gaynor, Jason Hanna, John Newsome, Stella Chan, Nadia Kounang, Steve Almasy, Kyung Lah, Alberto Moya, Catherine E. Shoichet, Andy Rose, Tina Burnside, Dave Alsup, Artemis Mostaghian and David Shortell contributed to this report.
VIDEO-Syria's Assad says Russian support has tipped balance on the ground | euronews, world news
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 07:30
Syria's President has praised Russia's role in his country's conflict.
In an interview aired on Czech Television, Bashar al-Assad said Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane revealed Ankara's frustration with developments on the ground.
''I think it [the plane incident] has shown the real intention of [Turkish President Tayyip] Erdogan, who, let's say, lost his nerve just because the Russian intervention has changed the balance on the ground.'' he said.
''He did it but I don't think it's going to change any balance. The war against terrorism is continuing. The Russian support and participation is going to be stronger, it is stronger anyway and I think there is no way back,'' added Assad.
The Syrian government says its agreed a deal for opposition ''gunmen'' to leave the last insurgent-held area of Homs; progress it claims to have made because of Russian air strikes.
VIDEO-Kerry appeals to NATO nations to join fight against ISIL | euronews, world news
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 07:23
"There are various ways in which countries can contribute; they don't necessarily have to be troops, engaged in kinetic action (lethal force)"
As the UK and Germany consider joining the military campaign against ISIL militants in Syria, the US has called on other NATO countries to provide help as well.
Secretary of State John Kerry spoke after attending a series of NATO meetings in Brussels.
''We have asked for the participation of special forces, of people to provide police training, people to provide ammunition, military assistance, people can provide ''enablers'' (helpers on the ground).
''There are various ways in which countries can contribute; they don't necessarily have to be troops, engaged in kinetic action (lethal force). There are medical facilities, there are other assets that can be deployed, there is intelligence gathering.''
The call for more help comes as the US announces the deployment of special operations forces in Iraq.
Some reports say the number of troops involved will be between 100 and 150.
Last month the Pentagon said 50 commandos were also being sent to northern Syria.
VIDEO-US Congress blocks Obama's climate change plan | euronews, world news
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 07:14
As US president Barack Obama gathered with world leaders in Paris to work out a global climate deal .. Republicans in the US Congress voted to block Obama's plan to force cuts in power plant emissions.
The House blocked two resolutions rendering the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) measures inoperative.
''When you look at the impact, this proposal by President Obama`s EPA would have a 29 billion (US) dollars per year cost on middle class families,'' said Steve Scalise, GOP Whip and Republican representative for Louisiana. ''The people that are going to be hit the hardest are lower income families.''
The measures will now go to the White House where they will almost certainly be vetoed when they reach Obama's desk.
The goal at the Paris summit known as COP21 is to reach a deal within two weeks on reducing global warming to 2 degrees celcius.
VIDEO-Russia releases what it claims is proof of oil trading between ISIL and Turkey | euronews, world news
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 07:09
"Top Turkish leadership is involved in this criminal business, including president Erdogan and his family"
The rift is growing between Russia and Turkey.
The Russian Defence Ministry claims it has proof that Turkey is involved in the trading of oil with ISIL militants.
Officials released satellite pictures, alleging they show oil tankers heading along three roads from ISIL-held areas to Turkey.
Anatoly Antonov, the Deputy Russian Defence Minister, told a news conference: ''Turkey is the principal consumer of this oil, stolen from its legitimate owners,Syria and Iraq.
''According to inbound data, top Turkish leadership is involved in this criminal business, including president Erdogan and his family.''
Pro-government media in Turkey dismissed the claims as impossible, saying the roads shown by Russia are controlled by Kurdish rebels and the Syrian army.
President Erdogan also denied the claims.
''Turkey has not lost its moral values; we're not buying oil from a terrorist organisation,'' he said.
''We are watching Russia's disproportionate reactions with sadness, while the whole world accepts that we are right.
''If Russia's reactions continue, we will be forced to take our own measures, '' said Erdogan.
The row began when Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet it claims was in Turkish airspace
The burial has taken place today of the pilot. who died.
Russia has imposed tough sanctions against Turkey, including import bans, restrictions on visas for Turkish nationals and restrictions on Russians going on holiday in Turkey.
VIDEO-British bombers launch first airstrikes against ISIL in Syria | euronews, world news
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 07:06
British bombers have carried out their first air strikes against ISIL in Syria, just hours after MPs voted in favour of UK action against the militants there.
Four Tornado jets took off from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus making a strike over Syria according to the ministry of defence. High-precision, laser-guided Brimstone missiles are believed to have been fired although the precise targets have not been revealed.
Cyprus, 100km from Syria is the closest European Union member state to turmoil in the Middle East.
On Wednesday lawmakers backed Prime MInister David Cameron's call to target ISIL voting by 397 to 223 after a 10-hour debate in the parliament.
The result comes as a blow to the leader of Britain's main opposition Party, Jeremy Corbyn, who is a pacifist and was against the bombing . A total of 66 Labour MPs sided with the government.
Britain is already engaged in airstrikes in Iraq but many MPs and members of the public have been wary of entering into another costly military operation.
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 06:42
VIDEO-CNN Guest: San Bernardino Office Holiday Party 'May Have Been Offensive' to Muslim Gunman | MRCTV
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 06:36
See more in the cross-post on the NewsBusters blog.
Just when the liberal media's extrapolations concerning the motives of the San Bernardino gunman couldn't grow any more jaw-dropping, an expert appearing during the 11:00 p.m. Eastern hour of CNN Tonight predicted late Wednesday that the office holiday party where the shooting occurred ''may have been offensive'' to the Muslim gunman.
Criminologist Casey Jordan was called on by host Don Lemon and began by suggesting that the ''[d]isgruntled employee'' appeared to ''have Arabic or Middle Eastern names, but the key is that from the beginning everything that was reported about him, going into this conference room where there was a holiday party which may have been offensive to him.
VIDEO-San Bernardino Suspect's Brother-in-Law Speaks at CAIR-Hosted Briefing of Family's Shock | MRCTV
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 06:32
The brother-in-law of one of the suspected shooters responsible for killing 14 people at a social services center in San Bernardino, Calif. said at a brief press conference hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Anaheim Wednesday night that he was ''shocked that something like this happened here.''
VIDEO-WaPo's Marcus: GOP Candidates 'Inflamed People, Helped Create Environment' for CO Shooting | MRCTV
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 05:56
Ruth Marcus has come close to blaming Republicans for the Colorado Springs shootings. Appearing on Jose Diaz-Balart's MSNBC show today, Washington Post columnist Marcus said that "the Republican candidates . . . have been part of the inflamed and inflammatory rhetoric about Planned Parenthood, about the sale of baby parts, about dismembering live babies . . . I think it's a fair conclusion, especially based on his . . . alleged mentioning of 'no more baby parts,' that this kind of rhetoric helped create this environment."
Really? Is there no room for people--without being accused of inflaming people to commit murder--to express their opposition to abortion and to the largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood? To state what the videos indisputably demonstrate: among other things that PP was in the business of selling baby body parts?
VIDEO-Scorched Earth: Networks Evening Shows Spend 15 Minutes Hyping Climate Change Agenda, Summit | MRCTV
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 05:41
See more in the cross-post on the NewsBusters blog.
Seeking to boost President Barack Obama and backers of the Paris climate change summit, the ''big three'' networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC devoted on Monday night over 15 minutes of airtime across six segments touting the summit, a Discovery Channel documentary on climate change, a hashtag campaign, and climate scientists in the Arctic Circle to name a few examples.
Leading the way toward the 15-minute-and-14-second total (without teases) was the CBS Evening News, which started with the topic on its Monday broadcast and included anchor Scott Pelley cheering ''the unprecedented global summit meeting'' and a friendly poll of their own to back the climate change advocates.
VIDEO-CBS, NBC Fail to Note Arrest of Chicago Student Threatening 'White Devils' in Chicago | MRCTV
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 04:27
See more in the cross-post on the NewsBusters blog.
Late Monday afternoon, my colleague Matthew Balan astutely wondered in a post on this site whether or not any of the major broadcast networks would cover that evening the arrest of an African-American teen for allegedly making threats on social media against white male students at the University of Chicago in retaliation for the shooting death of Laquan McDonald.
Turns out, we got our answer hours later as both the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News omitted this angle from their coverage out of Chicago and the release on bail of the police officer accused of fatally shooting McDonald. Somewhat miraculously, ABC's World News Tonight and correspondent Alex Perez did find time to allude to this arrest in its report
VIDEO-CNN Touts GOP Candidates' 'Anger-Filled Rhetoric' Before Colorado Shootings | MRCTV
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 03:56
[More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.]
On the 30 November 2015 edition of CNN's AC360, Randi Kaye played up that the hidden camera videos from the Center for Medical Progress triggered "anger-filled rhetoric" from the Republican presidential candidates in the months before the Colorado shootings. Kaye touted that CMP's David Daleiden "told CNN that...he did get creative with the video '-- admitting that it was edited '-- a critical detail that seemed to be lost on all the GOP candidates." This, of course, ignores the hours of footage that does show Planned Parenthood officials "bargaining, negotiating, pricing, and arranging the sales of body parts," according to her network's own reporting.
VIDEO-Only NBC Notices College President Blasting Political Correctness on Campus | MRCTV
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 03:29
More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.
On Tuesday, only NBC's Today covered Oklahoma Wesleyan University president Everett Piper slamming political correctness on college campuses. Co-host Matt Lauer informed viewers: ''...a university president is getting a lot of attention for a surprising blog post that he aimed at students. His message to today's youth, 'Grow up and stop being so self-absorbed and narcissistic.'''
In the report that followed, correspondent Kerry Sanders declared: ''Many now seeing the growing lack of reasoned discussion on college campuses as a disturbing trend. This blog post by the President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University titled, ''This is Not a Day Care. It's a University!,'' hit a nerve.''
VIDEO-Giuliani: Linking Climate Change to Terrorism 'Like Saying Communism Was Caused by Climate Change' | MRCTV
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 03:22
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, in an appearance on "Your World With Neil Cavuto" on Tuesday, disputed the president's assertion that climate change is linked to terrorism, noting that many of the terrorists are middle class or rich, so it's not the result of desperation.
VIDEO-Cameron seeks backing to bomb Islamic State in Syria | Reuters.com
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 02:53
Images of NovemberMon, Nov 30, 2015 -(1:01)
The disappearance of Lake PowellMon, Nov 30, 2015 -(1:14)
The Utmost Bliss Dharma AssemblyFri, Nov 27, 2015 -(1:06)
The universe in false color imageryFri, Nov 27, 2015 -(0:41)
Images of OctoberMon, Nov 02, 2015 -(1:00)
Images of SeptemberFri, Oct 02, 2015 -(1:00)
Images of AugustWed, Sep 02, 2015 -(0:59)
The legacy of Hurricane KatrinaFri, Aug 28, 2015 -(2:38)
China's only childrenThu, Oct 29, 2015 -(0:48)
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TIMELAPSE: Disney's 60th anniversary parade of...Wed, May 27, 2015 -(1:22)
Images of AprilFri, May 01, 2015 -(1:00)
Images of MarchWed, Apr 01, 2015 -(1:00)
Images of FebruaryFri, Feb 27, 2015 -(0:30)
TIMELAPSE: On the Grammy red carpetWed, Feb 11, 2015 -(2:58)
Images of JanuaryFri, Jan 30, 2015 -(0:30)
Images of DecemberTue, Dec 23, 2014 -(0:30)
Tsunami - unclaimed possessionsTue, Dec 23, 2014 -(2:23)
Images of NovemberTue, Dec 02, 2014 -(0:30)
Images of OctoberMon, Nov 03, 2014 -(0:57)
The world in a cityFri, Oct 31, 2014 -(1:30)
Real-life superheroesTue, Oct 28, 2014 -(1:44)
View from the hill: Covering Kobani from afarThu, Oct 23, 2014 -(0:59)
Dance of the northern lightsMon, Oct 20, 2014 -(1:08)
Beating addiction with the world's hardest...Sun, Oct 12, 2014 -(2:34)
Images of SeptemberWed, Oct 01, 2014 -(1:00)
Still missing '' MH370Fri, Sep 05, 2014 -(2:05)
Burning TogetherMon, Sep 01, 2014 -(2:23)
Mending dolls, teddies and heartsFri, Aug 22, 2014 -(3:12)
Images of AugustFri, Aug 29, 2014 -(1:00)
"Old timers" sail the Chesapeake BayMon, Aug 11, 2014 -(2:27)
Burned memoriesFri, Aug 08, 2014 -(3:02)
Images of JulyThu, Jul 31, 2014 -(1:20)
Syrian refugee longs to 'kiss the dirt I used...Tue, Jul 15, 2014 -(3:07)
VIDEO-DAN BERNADINO LYRIC-Eagles Of Death Metal - San Berdoo Sunburn - YouTube
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 02:08
VIDEO-Defiance in Catalonia as Madrid thwarts independence bid | euronews, world news
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 02:02
"The decision has pleased all Spanish people who believe in Spain, in national sovereignty and in the equality of citizens"."
Spain's Constitutional Court has revoked a motion from the Catalonian Parliament to begin the process to separate from Madrid.
The regional assembly passed a resolution last month setting out a plan for independence within 18 months.
However, the court says it violates five articles of Spain's 1978 constitution as well articles of the region's own statute.
The resolution was challenged by the Spanish government in Madrid.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told reporters Wednesday's decision ''has pleased all Spanish people who believe in Spain, in national sovereignty and in the equality of citizens''.
Reaction in CataloniaCatalonia's recently-elected leaders say the Constitutional Court's ruling is political and have vowed to ignore it.
''They are hiding behind a Court which is under their control,'' said Francisco Homs from the CDC.Pro-independence parties hold a slim majority in the Catalan regional parliament.
However, the region of 7.5 million people is evenly divided over splitting with the rest of Spain.
Highly industrialised and populous, the north-eastern region of Catalonia accounts for around a fifth of Spain's economic output.
What they are sayingFor some, the decision carries the authority of Spanish sovereignty and the rule of law.
Catalonia's regional government has responded angrily.
Pro-independence campaigners say the ruling will not affect support for independence for Catalonia.
Others think it will not make a difference to Catalonia's pro-independence politicians who will press ahead with their plan for secession.
VIDEO-Millennials in the Workplace Training Video - YouTube
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 01:46
VIDEO-Russia presents proof of Turkey's role in ISIS oil trade | Veterans Today
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 01:12
Turkey's leadership, including President Erdogan and his family, is involved in illegal oil trade with Islamic State militants, says the Russian Defense Ministry, stressing that Turkey is the final destination for oil smuggled from Syria and Iraq.
The Russian Defense Ministry held a major briefing on new findings concerning IS funding in Moscow on Wednesday. According to Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov, Russia is aware of three main oil smuggling routes to Turkey.
''Today, we are presenting only some of the facts that confirm that a whole team of bandits and Turkish elites stealing oil from their neighbors is operating in the region,'' Antonov said, adding that this oil ''in large quantities'' enters the territory of Turkey via ''live oil pipelines,'' consisting of thousands of oil trucks.
The views expressed herein are the views of the author exclusively and not necessarily the views of VT, VT authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, technicians, or the Veterans Today Network and its assigns. LEGAL NOTICE - COMMENT POLICYPosted by GPD on December 2, 2015, With 0 Reads, Filed under WarZone. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
VIDEO-Facebook CEO, wife to give 99 percent of shares to charity | Reuters.com
Thu, 03 Dec 2015 00:53
Images of NovemberMon, Nov 30, 2015 -(1:01)
The disappearance of Lake PowellMon, Nov 30, 2015 -(1:14)
The Utmost Bliss Dharma AssemblyFri, Nov 27, 2015 -(1:06)
The universe in false color imageryFri, Nov 27, 2015 -(0:41)
Images of OctoberMon, Nov 02, 2015 -(1:00)
Images of SeptemberFri, Oct 02, 2015 -(1:00)
Images of AugustWed, Sep 02, 2015 -(0:59)
The legacy of Hurricane KatrinaFri, Aug 28, 2015 -(2:38)
China's only childrenThu, Oct 29, 2015 -(0:48)
Images of JulyFri, Jul 31, 2015 -(1:00)
Images of JuneThu, Jul 02, 2015 -(0:59)
Images of MayThu, Jun 04, 2015 -(1:00)
TIMELAPSE: Disney's 60th anniversary parade of...Wed, May 27, 2015 -(1:22)
Images of AprilFri, May 01, 2015 -(1:00)
Images of MarchWed, Apr 01, 2015 -(1:00)
Images of FebruaryFri, Feb 27, 2015 -(0:30)
TIMELAPSE: On the Grammy red carpetWed, Feb 11, 2015 -(2:58)
Images of JanuaryFri, Jan 30, 2015 -(0:30)
Images of DecemberTue, Dec 23, 2014 -(0:30)
Tsunami - unclaimed possessionsTue, Dec 23, 2014 -(2:23)
Images of NovemberTue, Dec 02, 2014 -(0:30)
Images of OctoberMon, Nov 03, 2014 -(0:57)
The world in a cityFri, Oct 31, 2014 -(1:30)
Real-life superheroesTue, Oct 28, 2014 -(1:44)
View from the hill: Covering Kobani from afarThu, Oct 23, 2014 -(0:59)
Dance of the northern lightsMon, Oct 20, 2014 -(1:08)
Beating addiction with the world's hardest...Sun, Oct 12, 2014 -(2:34)
Images of SeptemberWed, Oct 01, 2014 -(1:00)
Still missing '' MH370Fri, Sep 05, 2014 -(2:05)
Burning TogetherMon, Sep 01, 2014 -(2:23)
Mending dolls, teddies and heartsFri, Aug 22, 2014 -(3:12)
Images of AugustFri, Aug 29, 2014 -(1:00)
"Old timers" sail the Chesapeake BayMon, Aug 11, 2014 -(2:27)
Burned memoriesFri, Aug 08, 2014 -(3:02)
Images of JulyThu, Jul 31, 2014 -(1:20)
Syrian refugee longs to 'kiss the dirt I used...Tue, Jul 15, 2014 -(3:07)
VIDEO-'Blackface': Dutch holiday tradition or racism? - CNN.com
Wed, 02 Dec 2015 23:41
It would if you lived in the Netherlands, where the visit of Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet on December 5 -- the eve of St. Nicholas' birthday -- is a longstanding tradition. But it's a tradition that's been called into question in recent years, including by Roger Ross Williams, the director of the short film "Blackface," which looks into the character and his past.
"It was shocking to me. The arguments of the Dutch is that it's a children's holiday and that it's a tradition," says Williams, an African-American whose short film "Music by Prudence" won an Oscar for short subject in 2010. Many don't see the racist aspects of the character, he adds.
When he announced his documentary, he was insulted online, told to "eat a banana, black monkey" and other epithets. He hasn't been alone in raising hackles; his film shows one black protester being hauled away from a crowd welcoming Zwarte Piet because, in the protester's words, "I made them feel so uncomfortable that they had to get the cops."
The issue of racism is a complex one in the famously liberal Netherlands. (Indeed, its liberalism was a huge attraction for Williams, a gay man who is married to a white Dutchman and now lives in Amsterdam.) The country profited greatly from the slave trade in the 17th and 18th centuries; one of the roles of the Dutch West India Co. was to transport slaves from Africa to the Americas. The Dutch didn't ban slavery in its territories until 1863, though it was illegal in the Netherlands.
Though the story of Zwarte Piet is said to date back hundreds of years, it was popularized in a 19th-century children's book. The character is Sinterklaas' Moorish helper, and his arrival from Spain with Sinterklaas -- who rides a white horse -- has become a yearly celebration, complete with Sinterklaas' boat pulling into a Dutch harbor and a welcoming parade. Children and adults dress up as Zwarte Piet at parties.
"It's just tradition. It has nothing to do with racism," says Ronald Livius, a commodities trader who grew up in the southern Netherlands and now lives in Switzerland. A former Atlanta resident, he says that the Surinamese members of the Atlanta Holland Club who played Zwarte Piet had "absolutely no issue doing so."
Williams, the filmmaker, dismisses this as "Dutch innocence."
"They'll say that Black Pete is not blackface, but you're literally blacking up your face ... and (adding) hoop earrings and an Afro wig," he says. "It's pretty obvious to us, but it's like a whole country in denial."
There has been some reconsideration of Zwarte Piet. There's a Facebook page in opposition, and some fans have tried to recast his blackface as chimney soot.
Still, resistance has been strong. A U.N. committee asked the Netherlands to get rid of the character, but the Dutch government "dismissed" its request, The New York Times reported in August.
The right-wing party of Geert Wilders, one of the country's most popular politicians, proposed a "Black Peter Law" last year that would ensure the character would remain as he is.
And when Emily Raboteau, an American who spent a holiday season in Amsterdam, tried to explain to locals why she had issues with Zwarte Piet, they ignored her.
"You're being racist," she said her Dutch neighbors told her. "We love him."
"I was arguing with a wall," she wrote in an essay for Virginia Quarterly Review.
For his part, Williams has been asked why he doesn't focus on race problems in America. He says he has, but that's not the point -- he lives in the Netherlands now.
"This is something that's upsetting and disturbing to me, and I'm not going to look the other way," he says. "I can't look the other way."
VIDEO-Jersey City 9/11 Celebration Report CBS - YouTube
Wed, 02 Dec 2015 22:56
VIDEO-A Conversation with Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter - Harvard - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Wed, 02 Dec 2015 22:32
Provided by Department of Defense
GRAHAM ALLISON: So good evening, I'm Graham Allison, the director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. And it's my great honor to welcome home the Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. (Applause.)
So what does the Secretary of Defense do? For those of you who haven't studied up, he has a budget of about $600 billion. Billion. Half of the federal workforce works for him. More than two million men and women in arms as well as the civilians.
He's the president's chief adviser on national security affairs that involve the use of military force.
He's the chief interlocutor of ministers of defense of every other country in the world. He actually has become, also, part of the diplomatic corps since things having not gone all that well recently in the relationship between the U.S. and Israel. As Jeff Goldberg wrote recently, that account seems to have been given to Ash since he manages to get along with his counter parts better than many of the other parts of the U.S. Government.
And when he's not doing this, he spent 3.5 hours this morning testifying to the House Armed Services Committee. So why would somebody with a job like that be here with us tonight?
And I can say it's only out of his affection for his colleagues here. And it's for our affection for him. So let's say again how proud we are. (Applause.)
So Ash, let me start with a -- with a question that connects to the Kennedy School directly.
So you've been called the best prepared secretary of defense we ever had. And the question is, how was your two decades spent here -- how did they contribute to your preparation for this job?
You spent 20 years here thinking, writing, teaching about issues of national security and defense. So in what ways are these helpful to you for doing what you do everyday?
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ASH CARTER: Yeah. Well, no -- no question about it. By the way, this is the house that Graham built that we're in today and a lot of respect -- (Applause.) -- the great institution. I'm proud to have been apart of it and obviously I'm better for it. For everything I learned here, and everything I was able to do.
I -- I liken to get a slightly different point, though, which is look around here at these people. Everywhere I go, and not just in Washington. All around the world are Kennedy School students in all kinds of positions of consequence. American, non-American, uniform, non-uniformed. And they combine the two things that were always magic for me, and one of the reasons I'm here in Boston is to try to elicit more of this kind of interest. But the two things that were magical to me in my life was -- was first of all, feeling like I could contribute something. And it originally was physics, which was my background and then other things I learned here at the Kennedy School. But the second one was working on something of consequence -- being apart of something that's bigger than yourself.
And that's what we have. And if you get that combination, which I think all of you must feel, where you're doing something which is so clearly of importance to this country, but to human kind, and helping leave a better future for our children, making the world a place where people can raise their families, dream their dreams, live their lives in peace. If you can be apart of that and you feel that you're uniquely valuable -- you're in a real (inaudible), and you know what? That wouldn't of been done or that wouldn't have been advanced without my contribution.
That's magic. And it makes up for all the other grief associated with public service.
MR. ALLISON: So, okay. And one of the reasons when Ash looks around and finds a lot of Kennedy school faces is that if you go to the front office at the -- the secretary of
defense at the Pentagon, lo and behold, the chief of staff is over here, Eric Rosenbach. If you look at his chief assistants, half a dozen of them are Kennedy School students. Including Sasha who's here somewhere.
SEC. CARTER: Sasha Rogers.
MR. ALLISON: Where's Sasha?
SEC. CARTER: There she is.
MR. ALLISON: Sasha just graduated two -- years or three ago?
STAFF: 2011.
MR. ALLISON: 2011.
So we are so proud of the students have graduated from the place. And Ash is not the employer of last resort, but nonetheless he's managed to recruit a number of them.
Ash, you mentioned the trip that your -- here in Boston. So this is part of -- a counterpart to the trips you took to Silicon Valley where you're coming to the hub of the biotech revolution, synthetic biology, genomics, to try to connect tomorrow at the Broad -- and at MIT, to this community with the notion that it will be beneficial to the nation's defense.
So specifically, what are you looking for and how does this work?
SEC. CARTER: Well, it -- it, you know, I've -- I've gotta fight the fights of today. I spent all morning on counter-ISIL. I'm sure we'll come back to that. And we deal with all the major geopolitical situations that confront our country, but I'm always mindful of this, Graham, which is that I -- it is my privilege to command the finest fighting force the world has ever known. And there are a number of reasons for that.
One is the technology we have. Come back to that. Another one is what we stand for, which I'm proud of, and what -- and -- and for that reason, people like working with us. We have friends and allies around the world; that's unique. It's because of what we stand for.
But it is also, and importantly, because of the people. And so, I need to look to my successor, and my successor's successor, and say, what they have is fine -- it's an all volunteer force, right? We don't make anybody do this, we don't draft them either into civilian service or military service.
So, it has to be attractive to the next generation of people who see their lives differently. They don't want to live Ford Motor company lives; they want to live up-to-date lives, in which their life doesn't look like an escalator, where you get on and wait until it takes you up. You get to hop around like a jungle gym, and get up by getting around. They want to live that kind of life.
Can we connect to that generation, so that we live such -- that's what I -- why I want to come to a place where -- that is a great educational hub for the United States.
Then you mentioned biotechnology, and of course, biotechnology isn't the only thing that is done in the greater Boston area, but this is probably the central location for the life sciences research in the United States.
We, in order to remain the best, and particularly, to stay ahead of people who would do harm to us, we need to have access to the best technology.
Now, when I started out in this business -- I'm a physicist, all the technology of consequence, most of it, originated in the United States. And a great deal of it originated with the government.
Now, neither of those is true anymore. We still do a lot; we still have spinoffs. But you know, it's not like it used to be.
So, if we can't connect to the technology community, and get them interested in our problems and involved in our problems -- and meet them halfway, because sometimes there's distrust, the Snowden thing didn't help us in the IT [information technology] area. I realize that, we have to face up to that, and try to rebuild trust, rebuild those relationships that I knew so well when I was young, and when the Internet -- the integrated circuit, lots of things came out of defense.
I can't recreate those days, but I can try to rebuild that bridge. That's the other reason for being here, even despite everything that's going on in the headlines, because I need to be looking down the road, as well as dealing with today's problems.
MR. ALLISON: So, you mentioned the fighting force of the future. And in your three or four priorities, whenever you were talking about them, you talk about the force.
And in particular, even earlier today, you met with men and woman, many of whom are here, who were students, in service, but are students here at the Kennedy School, as well as vets and others -- as you do whenever you go anywhere.
So, for people that are not part of the military and not part of the defense establishment, what is this stuff about the force? And what is it that you're -- I mean, what's -- make it more specific.
SEC. CARTER: Well, good question -- let's -- some people say to themselves, they see something like what happens in Paris, and they say, you know what? How can I make a difference? How can I contribute?
And then they look around at these excellent people in uniform -- and that's one way. And I'm proud to say Harvard has a ROTC program that it didn't -- you know, there were times where that wasn't the case.
I'm proud to say that a lot of people decide to serve in uniform. But I -- not everybody is going to want to take that road. And I -- so, I'm trying to create alternatives to that, as well as to improve the attractiveness of military service to give people an opportunity to try it, just come in for a year.
So, I'm working -- I've had a lot of new fellowships, the defense digital service -- I wish D.J. Patil was here from the White House. But one of the fathers of that, along with the president.
And these are ways that people who are talented can give it a try. And likewise, for the uniformed people there -- they -- I need to -- if I'm going to retain them, first of all, they're going to stay in, and the next generation's going to come in behind these fine people, I have to make it possible for them to do that.
It has to be compatible, reasonably, with a -- with family life, with coming to a place like the Kennedy School to improve themselves and get an education.
And so, we need to manage our work force in defense the way thoughtful companies do today. We're not a company, we'll never be. We're a profession of arms, it's different. But that doesn't mean we can't learn.
And so, I want to learn from the Facebooks and so forth, and the LinkedIns -- I should say LinkedIn, especially -- about how we connect people to how they're thinking about their lives, because I want as many people to be a part of our mission as I can possibly attract.
MR. ALLISON: Okay, so let me -- let me just push a little further on that. So, let's imagine you're a student here now, and you're not in the military and you're not going to join the military.
What kind of things should folks -- what kind of people should be thinking about responding to that proposition?
SEC. CARTER: Look at all...
MR. ALLISON: And what kind of things would you have them do?
SEC. CARTER: Look at all of our internship programs. Look at all of our fellowship programs.
Look at the -- the way our field agencies and our laboratories advertise for people. Sign up for a project; do something meaningful for a year or two. Don't say it's forever, just give it a try.
We give you lots of what I call on-ramps. And you can get on the highway, you don't have to travel all the way down the highway, maybe you'll get off the next exit.
But you'll have given it a try, and maybe you'll come back. I mean, I was -- and Graham has been in and out of government. Graham, I should say, is a principle adviser to me as he has been to presidents -- or secretaries of defense dating back to Caspar Weinberger.
And that's good. So, I want people who can come in and out. Likewise, for our people who are in, I want them to have the opportunity to go out and get an education, or to serve in a company for a time, to see what the rest of the world is like.
Because the government is important, but it can be isolating. And so, you want to get out and see how the rest of the world is doing things. That'll refresh our organization, that'll enliven our organization. We don't have a enough of that.
So on-ramps, off-ramps. Lots of things. I talked to students today, student newspapers, and told them -- you know, tell -- spread the word -- I hope they are, about our fellowship program.
Somebody wants to do a summer, they want to do a year after they graduate. Remember, a large fraction of college kids today go on -- do -- do a fellowship first. Why not a fellowship with us?
MR. ALLISON: Okay. So, Ash, you may not want to go here, because you just spent three and a half hours being grilled up in the House Armed Services Committee. After that, you should probably have a stiff drink and stay home. (Laughter.)
But in any case, thank goodness you came to visit us. So, the topic was ISIS and how things are going. So, what were your two or three main points that you were conveying to them? And did they get it?
SEC. CARTER: I think -- well, we have to defeat ISIL. We will defeat ISIL.
The -- and we are constantly seeking and finding new ways to strike ISIL, and also to protect ourselves. So, I was describing -- this was to the House Armed Services Committee, what we've done just in recent weeks. This is, by the way, before Paris, although Paris is yet another -- should be, to everyone, yet another motivator for why we need to be absolutely serious about this.
What we're doing, and as I told them about a number of things we're doing. A lot of people don't think there're boots on the ground, that we're putting boots on the ground. And we're doing a lot from the air, but there are, by the way, boots on the ground. And I was telling them about some ways that we're going to do more of that.
Our strategy, you recall, is that we've learned from our 14 years in Iraq and Afghanistan that in order to have a lasting defeat, the lasting defeat of ISIL, we need to think ahead to what comes after they're defeated and to make sure they stay defeated. That's the reason why we work with local forces, try to get them motivated, try to get them capable.
But that said, we have to enable them as well. And we do that uniquely through the unique capabilities of the United States, as I was describing some of the ways that our special forces are working with capable and motivated ground forces. They do exist in both Iraq and in Syria.
I was describing our expeditionary targeting force, which is a force that will essentially do raids throughout the territory of Syria, including unilaterally. And in Iraq with the approval of the Iraqi government. That's an important principle I can come back to.
But and the objective there will be to take out ISIL leadership, to capture ISIL leadership, to rescue hostages, as we've done. To gather, as you know we did a similar raid. To collect intelligence. And to make ISIL wonder, as the way I put it today was when they go to bed at night who's going to be coming in the window?
And that takes advantage of the agility, the range, the mobility, the precision, the intelligence that only we have. So it's another way that we can leverage what we're good at.
Then of course we're doing a lot more from the air. That in turn depends upon having good intelligence, which allows us constantly to refine the way we're able to strike from the air.
So, I was describing all that. And then the last thing I'll say, Graham, is, and it's very important to say this, is look, you know the United States is and I think must lead in this fight. But we need others to go with us. So I was talking.
Also the French were galvanized by what happened to them in Paris and so they're now in the game in a way that they weren't in Syria. We're working with them. That's a good thing.
The U.K. is debating actually as we speak. And but it's a decidedly mixed picture as you go around the world and you say who should be doing this.
In Europe among the Gulf States who are the nearest to the danger and who have the most potentially to contribute because they can -- they have an insight and a sensitivity into local problems that is probably greater than we can aspire to.
So we need them to do -- we need others to do more. And that was the second thing I was describing today.
And by the way, yesterday I guess I sent out letters to my counterparts in many, many countries detailing. I said here's what you can do. We've thought about it. How about you sign up to do this, this and this.
Because as I said, we will do more. We will win. But we need others to help us. And we need, as I said, local forces in Syria and Iraq to sustain the defeat of ISIL after we defeat ISIL.
MR. ALLISON: So let me take you to a broader sweep. I mean one of the challenges as the secretary of Defense, you have to look at the whole world. China or Russia or Iran or ISIL or the South China Sea or Cuba or whatever.
If you imagine you're a student, when you were a student or you were the assistant professor when you were an assistant professor. And you're thinking about topics that I could work on that by thinking about I might be able to advance our understanding of them in a way that would be helpful probably not to you but to your successor.
What kind of topics do you feel like we don't have a good enough understanding of as you try to figure out what you would best do given the understanding we currently have?
SEC. CARTER: Well, let me go to the other extreme, so to speak, from the real and palpable, clear danger associated with ISIL.
You raised China. Now, by the way, Joe Nye is here. You are here. There are lots of people who have worked on the dilemma posed by China's rise to security.
I'm not one of those people who believes war, cold or otherwise, with China is likely. It's certainly not desirable.
But you don't get anything for free in this world. We have to create the conditions under which change can occur, including a change of great consequence in the Asia-Pacific region in a way that is -- preserves the peace and stability.
That the peace and stability that for 70 years has allowed prosperity and the rise of, first of Japan, then of South Korea, Taiwan, Southeast Asia. Today China and India. This is good. But it has been able to occur because there has been peace and stability in the region.
And the single most important factor in that 70-year history has been the American -- pivotal role of American military power in the region. We aim to keep that going.
Now, that's not a matter of stopping China from rising. It's on the contrary. That's not our approach at all. Our approach is everybody rises. That's fine with us. It's not to exclude. Our approach has always been an inclusive one. So we actually seek to include China, India.
I was in Vietnam a couple of months ago. And you know some of us go back long enough to remember when it was otherwise with Vietnam.
But this is the single region of the world, Graham, which will be of greatest consequence to our nation's future. And I say that for the very simple reason it's where half of humanity lives. It's where half of the economic activity of the globe is.
And so keeping peace and stability there is a very important thing to do. And we need to do that.
Now, you know, that involves everybody else in the region and China. Everybody needs to play their part.
So that is a politico-military task of great consequence. I pay a lot of attention to it. We have something called the rebalance, which is a big and probably not the greatest word in the world. But all it means is we aim to keep going what has worked for 70 years in this region and has allowed everyone, including China and their -- if Chinese think about it, and many do recognize that this has been great for China. China can do its own thing, raise hundreds of millions out of poverty, develop in a way that is congenial to China.
But again, you can't take it for granted, this environment of peace and security. So we got to -- we do that. And I've learned a lot from folks here at the Kennedy School, and they have pioneered a lot of the thinking in that regard.
I'll also say, because Joe's here and you're here, Graham, cyber's a whole other one of them. I won't go into that now.
But if you're trying to look down the road and think of big things, yes, there's ISIL today. And you haven't asked about the Russians, but the Russians and Ukraine and Syria and there's plenty to worry about in the here and now. But you need to look down the road as well because strategy is about having perspective in space and in time.
MR. ALLISON: But let me push this a little further on this because I think one is to say with respect to the China and the rise of China and what could be a sufficiently good outcome for us over the next decade or two or three, you feel like you have a pretty good picture.
So I'm asking what are some topics about which you feel the -- our current best thinking is still not good enough that is these are opportunities if I were a young person looking for a topic for my thesis or that was the book I was going to write or a research project. There's gold in that field if I were to go there and dig.
SEC. CARTER: Yes. Unfortunately there aren't few of them, but I'll name a few.
One I've already mentioned which is cyber where I think we're still grasping for an understanding of what is fair and not fair, safe, not safe, how to keep the peace. I know Joe's been doing some thinking about it. Graham, you have as well.
Old concepts like deterrence that were born near in reference to nuclear weapons. Do they apply? How do they apply to a domain like cyber? That's an important one.
I think the question of violent extremism is with us to stay. And I don't mean ISIL. I do believe we will defeat ISIL. But if you ask is -- are people who's job is like mine is to worry about protecting our people, will we long worry about violent extremism?
My prediction is yes, we will. Because destructive power of greater and greater magnitude falls into the hands of smaller and smaller groups of human beings. And as that -- and of course smaller groups and individuals exhibit more aberrant behavior, those of you who take statistics here know, than large groups do.
And so you're always going to have somebody that's out there that's you know several standard deviations of estrangement from the rest of humanity. And if they're able to get their hands, even in small numbers on hugely destructive weapons, that is a problem for society as a whole.
And the institutions charged with protecting our people will be expected to do something about it. I think that's part of our future, far into the future. And as you look at things like social media-fueled extremism and so forth, I think it's quite clear that that presents some new challenges to security institutions. And we need to think that through.
You mentioned biology. We're in the hub of biology. Everybody thinks when they think about technology changing the world, they think about IT. And of course, that's important too. But I happen to be a believer that we will look back in decades to come at the revolution and the biological sciences as even more momentous. And of course, like everything else, it's gonna be used for good and used for evil.
And our -- we're gonna be looked at to make sure we're on the good side of that and that we're protecting people, that we conduct ourselves ethically, and all kinds of other things that are really big deals, so the -- the idea that we've thought them through -- no, we haven't. We need help.
MR. ALLISON: So again, for people looking for topics to work on there were three good ones, and I think if we gave you time, you would give us thirty more.
So the way the -- goes is I asked a few questions to get started, and then invite the audience to ask questions. There are two microphones here on the ground floor. And there are two microphones on the loge. Please go stand up at the microphone. I will call on you.
The way the game works is we have only one speaker tonight, but we're glad to have him here and honored to have him here. So please introduce yourself, ask your question briefly, and that you end with a question mark.
And let's start with this gentleman, please.
Q: Good evening sir. My name is Specialist Candwar Singh. I serve in the United States Army, Massachusetts National Guard.
It's a real honor to hear you speak tonight. I admire the work you and President Obama has -- have done to encourage more women to serve in combat rules as well as end Don't Ask Don't Tell, and diversify our military.
As you can see, I'm a practicing Sikh, with unshorn hair, beard, and turban.
Sikhs are prevented from serving in our military. I, for example, can get discharged at any point if my chain of command doesn't agree with my articles of faith. Twenty-seven generals wrote a letter to you recently requesting ending the presumptive ban on patriotic American Sikhs who want to serve our country.
So I want to understand what can we do to ensure anyone who's passionate and patriotic can serve our country without them having to give up on their religion?
SEC. CARTER: I appreciate...
Q: Thank you.
SEC. CARTER: ... Your patriotism, and I appreciate what you're doing. And I appreciate your faith, too, and what -- the -- the phrase is called religious accommodation. I'm sure you know that phrase. I haven't gotten the letter yet. I'll tell you where I come from on that, and -- which is, you mentioned other forms of -- of recognition of society's diversity today, so if I can generalize a little bit from religious accommodation for a second -- by the way, the new Canadian defense minister's a Sikh, and -- by the way, extremely able and capable guy. And he, you know, worked with the Canadian forces figuring out how to accommodate the -- the head, you know to a helmet -- it's all possible.
But I want -- taking it to the larger question about -- we have an all-volunteer force. The only way to stay good is to make sure that we're drawing from the largest possible pool. That's really important to me. Now, fairness is too, don't get me wrong. Fairness as -- as regard -- gender, sexual orientation, any -- religious, religion -- fairness is important too. But mission effectiveness is absolutely critically important.
Mission effectiveness depends upon us having access to the largest possible pool of Americans. 'Cause this is an all-volunteer force. I can't go out and draft people, whoever I want.
They need to join, and I need the best. So I can't afford to -- unless I have a really good reason to hive off any part of our population and say, you can't serve simply because of some -- something that doesn't truly have consequence for their ability to serve.
Everybody who can contribute to our mission who -- who -- who can meet what are high standards and contribute to our mission, we need them.
It's not just a matter of giving them the opportunity, it's giving us the opportunity as a country to avail ourselves of their talent.
MR. ALLISON: This gentleman in the loge.
Q: Hello, my name is Wright Smith, I'm an undergraduate at Harvard.
So one of the terms that you didn't mention in the discussion of ISIL was Bashar Assad. Assad has played a major role in the radicalization in both Iraq and Syria, and so how does the United States continue to pressure Assad and now Iran and Russia to make some kind of diplomatic agreement with more moderate rebels without risking escalation, such as the Turkish shoot down of the Russian jet?
SEC. CARTER: That's a very good question, and you're absolutely right that it is pivotal that there be a political transition in Syria. We say that again, and again, and again.
The Syrian civil war has fueled the extremism that is represented by ISIL. And that political transition must involve Bashar Assad moving on. Now, I think it's important at the same time that we do that quickly, and we do it in a way that preserves as much as possible of what is decent and structured in -- on the territory of Syria so there can be a decent state that gives that long suffering people what they really deserve. And I say that because, for example, the refugee phenomenon, which is a spill over is -- is in addition, to being a very sad thing to see is also the hollowing out -- because many of these are young males who are looking for work in Europe. They are -- part of Syria's future. And they are leaving because they don't see a future there.is
If we're gonna have a future for Syria, there needs to be a political transition in -- it needs to happen quickly.
Now, that gets to who can influence that. And that gets to the Russians. And you mentioned the Russians. And I'll just say one thing about the -- about the Russians. I have talked to my Russian counterpart and I've been saying this constantly, the Russians got off to the wrong -- on the wrong foot on this.
They were doing something -- not only was -- was wrong headed, but backwards. They said they were coming in to fight ISIL and to participate in the political transition in Syria and that's not what they've done.
They had been supporting Assad rather than trying to move him out, which they could contribute to because they obviously have influence with them. And they've been -- they've been striking the people who are in the opposition who are -- who need to be part of the future of Syria. They should be striking ISIL.
So it's backwards. Now -- the -- Secretary Kerry is trying to work with the Russians to get them in the right place. If they got in the right place and actually fought ISIL and moved to the political transition and Assad they would be doing what we're trying to do, and we could associate ourselves with what they're doing.
We can't associate ourselves with what they're doing now because it's doomed to fail.
MR. ALLISON: Gentleman in the loge.
Q: Good evening, gentlemen. My name is Phillip Ramirez. I'm a sophomore at the college and also a member of the Naval ROTC [Reserve Officers' Training Corps] program here at Harvard.
My question for you concerns an article The Atlantic wrote last month about the brain-drain in the military.
The first part of my question, do you indeed think, like, there is a brain-drain? And how would you address the issues that the article brought up, such as the rigid pipeline that is really turning a lot of people away from the military?
SEC. CARTER: Well, it is worry -- it is a concern to me. And you raised two things, the last part was getting people to come in. Let me talk about the problem of people leaving.
We have a generation, now, that reaching -- sort of captains, majors, who have vast experience. They have done things that you never expected a young leader to do, in Iraq and Syria. And they did it with incredible skill.
And they had this tremendous experience. Now, they're at a point where they're saying, well, am I going to stick with this or not?
And it's important to me that the best stick with us. Now, I go around and I talk to them, and I try to listen to them, what's going on in their heads -- and by the way, I talked to some of our -- the folks that you see before you today.
When you go home, and you talk to your spouse, what's the conversation like? And how could I make that a conversation that leads you to stay?
Now, I can't change everything. I can't -- if you're told to deploy, you have got to deploy. I can't change that. I can't move you around, I can give some consideration to that, but I can make it easier for you to have a family if you want to have a family.
I can make it easier for you to get a higher degree if you want a higher -- if you need a higher degree. And I'm looking for way -- every way we can do.
We have a personnel management system that isn't as modern as our forces deserve. And if we're going to retain, we've got to modernize it.
Now, am I going to lose people? Yeah, I'm going to lose people. And by the way, one of the really bright spots in our country is the -- is the veterans do extremely well in the work place. Why? Because people know they make incredibly good employees.
They have tremendous maturity, discipline, experience -- they're fantastic.
And so, they're hired very avidly. Now, I'm of two minds about that. You know, on the one hand, I hate to lose -- well, on the other hand, I say to myself, hey, you know, look, every time someone leaves and does well who was in the military, somebody in the lower ranks will look up and say, you know what? They did well by being here.
Therefore, this is a good place to be from; therefore, it's a good place to be, so I'll join, or so I'll stay.
So, at the other end of the pipe, it's got it's good -- now, that still doesn't comfort me when good people are leaving. But there is a silver lining to that cloud, which is that our people do well when they -- I'm incredibly proud of that. I think that's fantastic, and it's a great recruiting tool.
MR. ALLISON: This gentleman.
Q: Thank you so much for being here, Mr. Secretary.
My name is Victor Cameron, I'm a junior at Harvard College, and I spent this past summer interning at the U.S. embassy in Lithuania.
So, tensions in the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have been growing dramatically ever since Russia's annexation of Crimea early last year.
I was wondering if you think Moscow's actions, such as troop build ups in Kaliningrad, or support for air bases in nearby Belarus will ever amount to a direction confrontation with NATO and potentially the United States on the Baltic front?
SEC. CARTER: Well, we, and together with our NATO partners, need to act. This is a little bit like the China thing, although starker, even, to make sure that that is unlikely, by making sure that the consequences of doing that are very clear to Vladimir Putin's Russia.
Now, I -- and now -- I've dealt with the Russians for a very long time, and have had many good feelings about Russian culture and so forth. Graham has done historic work with respect to Russia, and there was a time when we though that Russia would go in a different direction.
That is apparent -- it is apparent now, that at least for now, that under Vladimir Putin, it is going in another direction, and we need to take that into account. And NATO needs to as well.
What does that mean. When we talk about an approach, and the way I've just characterized it, I know the president has, is strong and balanced. Strong, meaning we're -- we are taking Russian military activity into account as we spend our budget, as we modernize, as we deploy forces in Europe, as we put heavy equipment -- including in the Baltics, which you're probably familiar with -- do rotational deployments.
And in NATO, where we're trying to -- the way I put it is update NATO's playbook.
NATO had the old playbook of, you know, big tank battle and the Fulda Gap, that isn't what's going to work now. So, we have to rethink what is appropriate for the Baltic states and so forth. And make sure that NATO can do what NATO needs to do, which is satisfy the provisions of Article 5, which says that the collective defense is the heart of NATO.
So, that's the strong part. Now, I say, "and balanced," because I think -- I continue to hold the door open for a Russia, either after Vladimir Putin that does, what in my judgment is better for the welfare of the Russian people in the long-term, which is, don't spend all your money on military stuff, don't adventure, don't live under sanctions, don't self-isolate. Be part of the world, part of the global economy.
Now, I think that's better for the Russian people in the long-run, but obviously, their government doesn't agree with that now. Maybe sometime in the future, they will -- I think we need to hold that door open.
And we need to continue to be willing to work with them where it is possible to work with them. Let us say, for example, with respect to Iranian nuclear program, which people here know a lot about, or the North Korean nuclear program. Or maybe, just maybe, as has been discussed earlier, Syria, is they change -- if they get on the right foot and off of the wrong foot.
And so, we need to keep that door open.
MR. ALLISON: Lady on the left.
Q: Sir, I'm Lieutenant Diana Park, a first year student here at HAS.
As a Navy lieutenant, I would just like to ask you a couple more questions about your experience visiting the South China Sea. Can you -- if you're able to, can you briefly go into the decision making process for you to embark the USS Roosevelt, whether it was an influence, or how much of an influence did our partners and allies in the region have in that decision?
And any takeaways from your trip?
SEC. CARTER: Well, it's interesting. For those of you who don't know, a few weeks ago, I was abroad the Theodore Roosevelt in the South China Sea.
Now, why was that even noticed, is the question you might ask? American Naval vessels have been in the South China Sea for 70 years.
We weren't doing anything new. Why was it in the newspapers? Because China has been doing something new, namely, dredging islands in the South China Sea, and making unilateral claims to territory.
Now, they're not the only ones that are doing that out there. There are other countries that have been doing the same.
We oppose that, we say, that's no way to stake claims, by China or anyone else.
And for our part -- it's not going to change what we do. We're going to sail, fly, operate anywhere international law allows, like we have for decade upon decade upon decade. So that's what I was doing.
Now you said what do other people think about it? Well, with me was the Malaysian defense minister. And what does that tell you? That tells you that in the region there, there are others who are concerned also about this conduct. And basically the over-weaning and domineering attitude that goes with dredging.
As I said, the Chinese aren't the only ones that are doing that, but they're the principle one that causes concern. And it's having the effect of causing the entire region to rally in opposition to China. Is that really what China wants in the end? That's certainly not what we want.
I told you, our approach is not to exclude. Our approach is to include. But if they self-exclude by behaving this way, that's what will happen. And that's what you see happening.
So everybody is -- all -- many, many countries in the region are seeking out more contact, more military-to-military activity with the United States from Vietnam to India to Australia, the Philippines, Malaysia, on and on, as well as you know, longstanding allies like Japan, South Korea where I was the same week. And I mentioned Australia already.
So that's the effect that it's having. But I think the interesting point is it wasn't new that the American aircraft carrier was in the South China Sea. It was interesting that I got so much press attention. But that's because of what the Chinese are doing that's new, not because of what we're doing.
MR. ALLISON: There's a spectacular photo in Ash's office of him and the Malaysian defense minister looking over the -- I don't remember which ship you're looking at...
SEC. CARTER: It's the...
MR. ALLISON: Maybe the Roosevelt?
SEC. CARTER: It's the Roosevelt and other ones that were part of the same task group. And we were on a V-22, by the way.
MR. ALLISON: And the Malaysian defense minister I would say looks terrified, as if he might be about to be pushed out or fall out.
So, this gentleman?
Q: My name is (inaudible). I'm from China. And I'm the first year candidate at the Kennedy School.
Actually my question also regarding the South China Sea. I think -- I started to lay like during the half past century there from continuous like dispute around the territory, you know, understanding you talk about the issue.
So, in your understanding, in the long run what will be the most likely scenario will be like in the South China Sea? Is like the Chinese government was still like building the islands? And at the same time U.S. Navy still like sail freely? So what do your'....
SEC. CARTER: No. I can't -- I don't know what is the most likely. I can certainly say what is the most desirable. And that would be a South China Sea in which territorial claims are settled peacefully and without military activities, where everyone has freedom of navigation.
Remember, those are the seas through which most of the world's commerce flows, including to China, both imports and exports, energy and everything else. So we all depend upon the freedom of the commons.
And I'm fine with having China you know at sea also. They have a navy. They can go anywhere the United States Navy goes. And we can partner with China's navy, and we are in things like dealing with piracy, trafficking in human beings and drug trade.
There's all kinds of common problems that we all have that affect the commons in the seas. Why don't we work on all those things together instead of squabbling about whose map, you know, old map is -- beats somebody else's old map, or these places that -- where -- that everybody can share?
Everybody can share those oceans. There's no reason why anybody has to dominate them. We're certainly not seeking to dominate them. So that's the future I hope for.
And I hope -- and by the way, just because you're from China I want to emphasize what I said earlier, which is China's not the only one, the only country that is making claims, that is doing dredging. It happens to be doing it on a much larger scale than anyone else.
But our principle remains the same, which is we oppose all reclamation and further militarization. We think everybody ought to knock it off. That's no way to do things. You can resolve these disputes, territorial disputes in some other way. Let's not forget the big prize here, which is free commons for everyone.
MR. ALLISON: The loge?
Q: Hi. My name is Jacqueline. I'm an MPP [Master in Public Policy] student here at the Kennedy School.
In one of my classes this semester we've talked a lot about the astounding rates of sexual assault in the U.S. military. In recent years the Department of Defense has promised reforms on this issue.
But the Military Justice Improvement Act has been blocked by the Senate twice now. And earlier this year when the Annual Report on Sexual Assault came out you said that there clearly needs to be a lot more work to be done.
And so my question's very simple. It's, what is the Department of Defense currently doing to address military sexual assault?
SEC. CARTER: Well, we're doing a lot, but we need to do more. I tell you, I understand sexual assault is sadly widespread in society, including, by the way, on educational campuses. But it is completely unacceptable in our culture.
Our culture is founded upon trust, honor, getting the best out of everyone. That's part of the profession of arms. It's part of the ethos. And so it's very offensive to what we stand for, in my judgment. We really can't have it. And therefore we -- I -- no tolerance for it.
Now, we are -- as we -- one of the things I am proud of the Defense Department about is that we are up front about admitting issues that we have and working on them. I think that's important also.
So we're up front about this and working on it. And the more we work on it, the -- actually the more we uncover other aspects of it that we also need to work on. Let me give you an example.
Not only do we need to stop sexual assault, but one thing we've come to understand recently is the prevalence of retaliation, which is a double whammy for the victim where people who report sexual assault become the victims of (inaudible) and so forth, which is yet another.
So the more we learn, the more we have to do. That's why I'm not satisfied until we don't have it at all and we've gotten all dimensions of it.
You raised one particular dimension of it, which is important, which is the criminal justice aspect of it. And you're right. There's been a longstanding dispute among our lawyers and other lawyers and so forth about what is the best criminal justice system to deal with this offense.
And I respect that there are two points of view on that question, no doubt about it. It is -- the only thing I'd say about that is there's a lot else to the issue.
I mean first of all, you don't want to be in the position where that crime has occurred. We don't want a crime to occur in the first place.
We need to worry about retaliation. There're lots of different dimensions to this. So this is a problem that I'm determined that we tackle.
I end on a somewhat brighter note. I hope that by being forthright and by throwing ourselves into solving this the way we threw ourselves into dealing with counterinsurgency and so forth, that we will learn things about how to get better that will benefit others, by the way, including educational institutions because I don't -- I wouldn't say Harvard particularly.
But everywhere where there are young people, genders mix, alcohol, you know there are a lot of conditions that are common to this crime. And you know we've got to attack it in our society overall.
MR. ALLISON: This gentleman, please.
Q: Yes. Hi. My name's Sam Kessler. We met earlier today. I'm a student at the college. Thank you so much again for being here.
My question is about something that you already referenced earlier today, which is the fact that cybersecurity is one of the greatest issues that our nation, really any nation, faces today. Yet the international community still lacks any clear consensus or definitions on what comprises appropriate cyber activity.
Now, the U.N. has proposed a set of international cybersecurity norms. And the United States and China recently made big news have taken some first steps with the cyber espionage agreement on observing those norms. Yet still we have a lot -- a long ways to go. And people speculate that that's because nations are afraid that implementing norms would compromise their defensive capabilities.
So basically my question to you is can you address those people who are afraid this would compromise our defensive capabilities?
SEC. CARTER: Well, I'm not among them really. So I'm not sure I can address it.
I think cyber defense is critical, and perfecting cyber defense is critically important. And it is by far and away our highest priority because we depend, really abjectly, upon network function. You know our plane, ships and tanks, all that stuff doesn't do anything unless they are connected now.
We have a younger generation of service members who've grown up with that technology. That's what they expect. It's one of the secret sauces of the effectiveness of our military. So if it is vulnerable to attack or interruption, it's a critical -- what am I spending $600 billion a year for if I've got an Achilles heel?
So that is job one. And that mirrors the issue that we have in critical infrastructure, making sure our electrical system, for example. Our electrical grid can't be taken down in cyber. It is a mirror of what companies like Target face. They depend on cybersecurity for their business.
So there's a broad alignment of society's needs behind cyber defense. I find that you know overwhelmingly important. And that -- I made that very clear to our cyber officials. That's job one for me. Now, I -- there are other things we do in cyber space and -- but this is job one for us, this cyber defense. And so, I'm very much aligned with the idea of improving cyber defenses. And there are technology pieces to that, there are procedural pieces to that. There are all kinds of things, and I believe they are norms. I -- I believe -- you know, norms won't necessarily offer that sort of hard kind of protection, but norms do two things.
They keep many people most of the time from doing something bad, and they provide the rational that helps everyone else understand what must be done to protect them. So norms are -- I should point out by the way, that both Joe and Graham and other people here or at the Kennedy School are working on this very question. So I think norms are part of the future, as well.
But cyber defense -- critical, including to me.
MR. ALLISON: I have the unfortunate responsibility of -- and apologies to everybody else that's up, but because of the scheduling, Secretary Carter has a hard stop at seven, and the clock here just showed seven.
Let me say again on behalf of Harvard how proud we are of you, of your service and glad you came back to visit us. (Applause.)
VIDEO-Hungary's Orban Says Germany Struck `Secret' Turkey Refugee Deal - Bloomberg Business
Wed, 02 Dec 2015 20:08
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a staunch opponent of accepting refugees into the European Union, said Germany struck a ''secret pact'' with Turkey to take in as many as half a million people.
The initiative, which wasn't part of a weekend agreement between Turkey and the EU on curbing the flow of refugees, may be announced by Germany within days, Orban told a forum of ethnic Hungarian leaders in Budapest on Wednesday. European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans dismissed reports of a covert deal as ''nonsense.''
''Beyond what we agreed with Turkey in Brussels there's something that doesn't figure in the agreement,'' Orban said. ''We'll wake up one day -- and I think this will be announced in Berlin as soon as this week -- that we have to take in 400,000 to 500,000 refugees directly from Turkey.''
Facing the biggest influx of refugees since World War II and reeling from the terrorist attacks in Paris last month, the EU over the weekend agreed to relaunch Turkey's bid for membership in the bloc and offered a package of 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) to help finance refugee camps.
French Reaction''France and Germany are working together to manage the flow of migrants, which is a challenge to everyone,'' French government spokesman Stephane Le Foll told reporters in Paris on Wednesday. ''Last weekend the union reached an agreement with Turkey,'' and Orban should be aware of the details since he was there, Le Foll said.
A German government official, requesting anonymity because EU-Turkey talks are ongoing, said Orban's claim that Germany made a secret deal is false.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker met with the leaders of eight member states on the sidelines of the EU-Turkey summit in Brussels, spokeswoman Mina Andreeva told reporters on Nov. 30 without disclosing details of the meeting. The EU commission agreed to prepare a framework for a ''voluntary scheme'' by Dec. 15, she said.
While some leaders, such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have insisted Europe must honor its asylum commitments and want EU members to accept refugees according to binding quotas, others such as Orban reject immigration by Muslims and sealed off their borders with fences. Merkel also confirmed after the Brussels summit that she had met with seven other EU leaders to discuss a plan to settle refugees from Turkey.
The plan to take in refugees from Turkey directly was also raised at a summit of EU leaders in Malta last month and was shelved after it became clear that some countries including Hungary were prepared to use their veto power to block it, Orban said.
''There'll be tremendous pressure on us'' and on other central European countries ''that if somebody already agreed to this -- and to avoid causing a diplomatic tussle by naming the country I'm not going to say where Berlin is -- that we shouldn't just take them in but distribute them according to binding quotas,'' Orban said. ''This nasty surprise is still waiting for Europeans.''
(A previous version of this story corrected the timing of Orban's statement.)
VIDEO-Cameron 'deceitful' in Syria Statement '' Peter Ford - YouTube
Wed, 02 Dec 2015 20:01
VIDEO-How Bill Nye Connects the Paris Terrorist Attacks to Climate Change | Flavorwire
Wed, 02 Dec 2015 19:48
Bill Nye thinks climate change played a role in motivating the terrorist attacks on Paris last month.
Speaking on HuffPost Live Tuesday, Nye said drought in Syria makes it easier for terrorist organizations to recruit new members, giving them the manpower to coordinate complex operations like the Paris attacks:
''It's very reasonable that the recent trouble in Paris is a result of climate change. This water shortage in Syria '--there is a water shortage in Syria. This is fact based'-- small and medium farmers have abandoned their farms because there's not enough water, not enough rainfall. And especially the young people who have not grown up there, have not had their whole lives invested in living off the land, the young people have gone to the big cities looking for work. There's not enough work for everybody, so the disaffected youths, as we say, the young people who don't believe in the system, believe the system's failed, don't believe in the economy are more easily engaged and more easily recruited by terrorist organizations, and then they end up part way around the world in Paris shooting people. So you can make a very reasonable argument that climate change is not that indirectly related to terrorism.
This is just the start of things. The more we let this go on, the more trouble there's going to be. You can say 'we'll stamp out the terrorists,' but if everybody's leaving their farms because of water shortages that's a little bigger problem''
Nye has used his name recognition in recent years to become a science advocate and climate change has become his current focus. His new book Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change The World, released last month, pushes the public to recognize that climate change is responsible for recent erratic weather and flooding and insists that policymakers and the public must commit to creating a more sustainable culture and infrastructure.
''It's such a big problem that people are paralyzed'--they're paralyzed by self doubt,'' Nye told Quartz. ''And this, in my perception, feeds into denialism. It's just so overwhelming, you can't even contemplate doing something about it. But as I like to say, the longest journey begins with but a single step. The sooner you get started the sooner we can address these issues.''
Obviously, the connection between terrorism and the weather is less direct and Nye's argument, at least in this form, seems more logical than evidentiary. Still, it's hard to think of a clearer way to establish Nye's larger point, that ignoring climate change will get people killed in any number of ways, direct and indirect.
VIDEO-Lewis & Clark students occupy administration building to urge safety, inclusion (PHOTOS) | OregonLive.com
Tue, 01 Dec 2015 19:40
Updated at 6:29 p.m.
Dozens of Lewis & Clark College students began peacefully and silently occupying rooms outside the college president's office at about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday to send him the message they want more done to create safety and inclusion on campus. They were still there at nightfall, and planned to remain overnight.
Their protest comes after several race-related incidents on campus, including a Saturday morning attack on a black student from Rwanda who said three white men beat him while making racist remarks.
President Barry Glassner was not in his office when the students began their sit-in, but he came to the protest briefly to speak to students, thanking them for their commitment to the cause.
Catherine Gunther Kodat, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, pledged to hire diverse faculty, change curriculum to promote diversity and inclusion, and listen to any suggestions the students make. She sat quietly among the protesters, reading their detailed written suggestions and talking with a sit-in organizer.
The students presented a list of detailed goals they want Glassner and others to accomplish, including hiring more diverse faculty, creating 10 work study positions to promote campus safety and making transparent the work of the college's diversity committee.
They also called on Glassner to hold a news conference by March 20 at which they want him to do the following:
Apologize for being absent during the Saturday morning attack and for failing, in the students' eyes, to speak out about the incident promptly enough after it happened.Commit to fulfilling the students' demands.Admit what they say is his failure to prioritize the safety and security of students of color during his time as president.Reaffirm his commitment to the safety of international students.Acknowledge that Lewis & Clark is built on land taken from Native Americans, honors slave owners, appropriates Native American culture in some of its art and architecture and asserts the legacy of Anglo-American white supremacy.Glassner did not directly respond to any of their requests. But he told them, "I am just as committed to these issues as you are," and he pledged to continue working to make the campus safe and inclusive.
Glassner was in Washington, D.C., on Saturday when the assault was reported. He worked with Dean of Students Anna Gonzalez to write and distribute a strong, lengthy statement about the race-related incidents that day. He returned to Portland ahead of schedule and spoke with students on campus Sunday and attended an interfaith solidarity gathering in the campus chapel that evening, said college spokesman Joe Becker.
Speaking to the protesters Tuesday morning, Glassner said, "We are going to do everything we can to find" the perpetrators of racist incidents and "to fight racism wherever it shows itself on this campus." He choked up as he told them, "We are going to get somewhere through love. It is the only way you fight hate."
Students plan to work outside Glassner's office all day on four things: fundraising to hire a chief diversity officer, community outreach, diversifying curriculum and implementing a permanent buddy system to keep students safe.
Classes are still in session.
Maya Bon, a sophomore studying environmental studies, is with the group.
"I feel really ashamed because I was so shocked, whereas a lot of people have been telling us it is this serious for years. And no one listened," Bon said. "People said they were exaggerating. They have been saying for years that it's not going to be taken seriously until someone gets hurt.
"I am here because I am making up for lost time," she said. "I'm not going to stop until this is a different school."
Kodat told the students that a hiring freeze in place last year has been lifted and the college will now hire five tenure-track professors. She said commitment to inclusive teaching practices was a requirement for all five positions, and she promised that candidates of color will be among those interviewed as finalists for those jobs.
-- Betsy Hammond and Casey Parks
VIDEO-University president rebukes 'self-absorbed, narcissistic' students | Fox News
Tue, 01 Dec 2015 12:53
A chapel sermon on love left a student at Oklahoma Wesleyan University feeling ''offended'' and ''victimized.''
But instead of capitulating to the offended young scholar, OWU President Everett Piper pushed back with a blistering rebuke of what he called ''self-absorbed and narcissistic'' students.
Click here to join Todd's American Dispatch '' a must-read for Conservatives! http://toddstarnes.us4.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=e0507c4c1980fd9357fa63803&id=92d26c77ee
''This is not a day care. This is a university,'' he wrote in a blog that has since gone viral.
Back home in Tennessee, we call that a ''Come to Jesus'' moment.
''Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic,'' he wrote. ''Any time their feelings are hurt, they are victims! Anyone who dares challenge them and, thus, makes them 'feel bad' about themselves, is a 'hater,' a 'bigot,' an 'oppressor,' and a 'victimizer.'''
Oh behalf of a grateful nation, I say, thank you, Dr. Piper.
It's refreshing to see a grown man with advanced degrees willing to stand up to a generation of perpetually-offended nincompoops and bullies.
Dr. Piper's brilliant take on the current state of affairs on college campuses came about after a student complained about a chapel sermon on 1 Corinthians 13 '' the Bible's love chapter.
The student felt offended because the ''homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love,'' he explained. ''In his mind, the speaker was wrong for making him, and his peers, feel uncomfortable.''
Dr. Piper offered some wise advice for the young man.
''If you want the chaplain to tell you you're a victim rather than tell you that you need virtue, this may not be the university you're looking for,'' he wrote. ''If you want to complain about a sermon that makes you feel less than loving for not showing love, this might be the wrong place.''
For weeks we've watched academically-castrated university presidents capitulate to the outrageous demands of students.
But finally '' there's a Christian university willing to stand up and say, ''Enough!''
''The bottom line is that at the end of the day I would argue that college is not about safe spaces or being a safe place,'' Dr. Piper told me in a telephone interview. ''OWU is not a safe place.''
He said the nation's universities should be ashamed for educating a culture of ''selfish individuals.''
''The university needs to recognize that our obligation is to challenge bad thinking and bad ideas and not coddle individuals in their self-absorption and narcissism,'' he said.
The modern-day collegian is a fragile snowflake '' who needs psychological help for such atrocities as reading the works of a white author or attending Taco Night at the campus dining hall.
Humorous? You bet!
Dangerous? Absolutely.
A recent Pew Research poll revealed that 40 percent of millennials support a crackdown on offensive speech.
Dr. Piper warned that could set the stage for a problem that transcends college campuses.
''Do we want ideological fascism or do we want intellectual freedom and academic freedom,'' he asked. ''Because really what we have right now is an argument for ideological fascism. You must submit. You must agree. You must be one of us. And if you don't, we will silence you. We will crush you.''
The nation needs more academic leaders like Dr. Piper '' a grownup willing to say what needs to be said to coddled collegians.
It's time to put on your big-boy pants, kids.
Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is "God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values." Follow Todd on Twitter@ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.
VIDEO-Scientists Dispute 2-Degree Model Guiding Climate Talks - WSJ
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 13:40
The single most important benchmark underpinning this week's talks in Paris on climate change'--two degrees Celsius'--has guided climate-treaty discussions for decades, but scientists are at odds on the relevance of that target.
Many researchers have argued that a rise in the planet's average global air temperature of two degrees or more above preindustrial levels would usher in catastrophic climate change. But many others, while...
VIDEO-Even science is under attack by the Thought Police - YouTube
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 06:01


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Agenda 2030

Bill Nye The Science Guy explains the connection between climate change and terrorism in Paris.mp3
CBS Obama Paris Climate Terrorism.mp3
Fish-BIG fish flopping.mp3
Fish-Little fish flopping.mp3
Fish-water in the streets of Miami.mp3
Giuliani- Linking Climate Change to Terrorism 'Like Saying Communism Was Caused by Climate Change'.mp3
Obama [tired and insane] Says A New Tax Is The 'Most Elegant' Way to Stop Climate Change.mp3
President Obama- Scientists' Consensus on Climate Change is 99.5%.mp3
Protesters Petition Bill Gates To Make His Actions Match His Words.mp3
US Congress blocks Obama’s climate change plan-The Jedi Mind Trick.mp3


Eagles Of Death Metal - San Berdoo Sunburn-THEN WE HIT TEXAS.mp3
Eagles Of Death Metal - San Berdoo Sunburn.mp3


ABC-Arrest of Chicago Student Threatening ‘16 Whites’ in Chicago.mp3
Big Boy Pants Kids ISO.mp3
Oklahoma Wesleyan University president Everett Piper-PC Rant.mp3
University president rebukes 'self-absorbed, narcissistic' students.mp3


Ash Carters version of what we want from our allies.mp3
Ashton Carter-We Are At War-Final.mp3
Ashton Carter-We Will WIn.mp3
British bombers launch first airstrikes against ISIL in Syria.mp3
Cameron seeks backing to bomb Islamic State in Syria.mp3
Kerry's stupid appeal to NATO nations to join fight against ISIL.mp3
Rep. Adam Schiff- Increase Funding to FBI, DHS to 'Combat This Threat...in Our Homeland'.mp3
Rep. McCaul- Increase Funding to FBI, DHS to 'Combat This Threat...in Our Homeland'-Final.mp3
Russia releases what it claims is proof of oil trading between ISIL and Turkey.mp3
Syria’s Assad says Russian support has tipped balance on the ground.mp3
Tulsi Gabbard Ash Carter-VIRTUOUS intelligence 2.mp3

JCD Clips

ANOTHER DAUGHTER saw nothing fearful.mp3
CBS jen crawford report from washington DC.mp3
CBS triage removed use of thee tem long guns.mp3
charlie 2 with response.mp3
charlie ONE gearing up.mp3
CNN the two doofuses analysis.mp3
Dad BEST local report ONR.mp3
Dad BEST local report TWO.mp3
dad daughter text pray for us.mp3
divestment movement.mp3
fad daughter crying.mp3
first report from Scott Pelly.mp3
gayle goes off on ryan.mp3
Herridge and tidbits.mp3
late report on loma lind hospital.mp3
marcos aG first report with stretchers already.mp3
obama this morning.mp3
SHEP and never seen any sort of thing.mp3
the woman who stay home discusses cameras and drilss CNN.mp3
two hospital lockdown and curtains.mp3


Ash Carte-Sinjar its about the oil transports.mp3


Andrea Mitchell, Cecile Richards on PP shooting.mp3
CNN Larry Wilmore on Planned Parenthood-baby parts.mp3
CNN Touts GOP Candidates' 'Anger-Filled Rhetoric' Before Colorado Shootings.mp3
Cooper Invites Planned Parenthood to Blame GOP Candidates for Shootings.mp3
Obama on Planned Parenthood Shooting- 'This Just Doesn't Happen in Other Countries'.mp3
Planned Parenthood EVP on Rhetoric' motivating PP shooter.mp3
Vicki Cowart CEO Colorado Planned Parenthood with the talking points.mp3
WaPo's Ruth Marcus- GOP Candidates 'Inflamed People, Helped Create Environment' for CO Shooting.mp3

San Bernardino Shooting

BBC-Just another day in America.mp3
CNN Guest Criminologist Casey Jordan- San Bernardino Office Holiday Party ‘May Have Been Offensive’ to Muslim Gunman.mp3
Inland resource Center form990.pdf
News report slip-militarization of police.mp3
Obama On Manchurian Candidates.m4a
San Bernardino Suspect’s Brother-in-Law Speaks at CAIR-Hosted Briefing of Family’s Shock.mp3
Shep Smith on San Bernadino DRILL.mp3
Training Exercise In The Area.m4a
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