786: Come Together

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 56m
December 31st, 2015
Share at 0:00

Executive Producers: Grand Duke of the USA Sir David Foley, Sir Nick Eizmendi-Dragon of the Four Domains, Sir Justin Hylton, Sir Otaku, Alex van der Hengst

Associate Executive Producers: Mike Savela, Sir Corwin Underwood, Sir Robert Slaught jr, Kevin Strange, Sir Craig Allen Harms, Victor, Bryan of Irvine

Cover Artist: pewdiepie

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
Suggest a new chapter
PR
No Agenda CD!
Finally! A new NACD and this one is a whopper! I pulled enough clips for 4 NACDs and this is the first. The forthcoming CDs will all be topic-specific, this first one being focused on Anthropogenic Global Warming. It is titled: AGW... WTF! and can be found, as usual, at noagendacd.com. Propagate the Formula, Slaves!
Hail Apple!
AGW'... WTF! | No Agenda CD.com
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 20:52
The first in a series of finely tuned, hand crafted, topic-specific No Agenda CDs is FINALLY available for downloading, burning and mouth-hitting. Now we're counting on you.
''I'm Shocked!''
Download MP3s in a ZIP archive
Download WAV files in a ZIP archive
Download Labels
If you are burning and distributing discs, please let us know!noagendacd@gmail.com@NoAgendaCD on the Tweeters
Send Pictures!
. Bookmark the
.
NA Meetups
Please remember to plug the meetup site. http://Meetup.com/NoAgenda
Looking for anyone wanting to organize meet ups for the human resources. Anyone wanting to host let me know and I'll make them the organizer.
In most cases there's very little work involved: pick a location and time. I keep hearing people want to have a meetup so let's get it going
Next meetup is in DFW on Jan 9 @ 4PM in Bedford, TX. Already 1/2 dozen human resources planning to attend.
Matthew J Stevens
TODAY
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Welcome Tom Waits, listener of the show
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lemmy and the selfie posts on FaceBag
Lemmy, lead singer of Mot¶rhead, dies at 70 | Music | The Guardian
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 16:05
. Photograph: Eamonn McCabe/Redferns
Ian ''Lemmy'' Kilmister, founding member and singer in the British heavy metal band Mot¶rhead, has died at the age of 70 shortly after learning he had been diagnosed with cancer.
Related:Lemmy Kilmister obituary
The band announced on their Facebook page that Lemmy learned of the disease on 26 December, and was at home when he died.
Lemmy, born Ian Fraser Kilmister, formed Mot¶rhead in 1975 and was its only constant member, as singer and bassist. The band released 23 studio albums and are best known for their 1980 single Ace of Spades.
The band requested fans ''play Lemmy's music LOUD. Have a drink or few. Share stories. Celebrate the LIFE this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself.
''There is no easy way to say this '... our mighty, noble friend Lemmy passed away today after a short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer. He had learned of the disease on 26 December, and was at home, sitting in front of his favourite video game from The Rainbow which had recently made it's way down the street, with his family.
Lemmy in Los Angeles earlier this year for a Grammy ceremony. Photograph: Rebecca Sapp/WireImage for NARAS''We cannot begin to express our shock and sadness; there aren't words.
''We will say more in the coming days, but for now, please '... play Mot¶rhead loud, play Hawkwind loud, play Lemmy's music LOUD. Have a drink or few.
''Share stories.
''Celebrate the LIFE this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself.
''HE WOULD WANT EXACTLY THAT.''
The band signed off: ''Ian 'Lemmy' Kilmister
''1945 -2015
''Born to lose, lived to win.''
Tributes poured in for the heavy metal giant, with Ozzy Osbourne tweeting: ''Lost one of my best friends, Lemmy, today. He will be sadly missed. He was a warrior and a legend. I will see you on the other side.''
Former Mot¶rhead drummer Phil ''Philthy Animal'' Taylor died aged 61 in November. ''Fast'' Eddie Clarke, who becomes the last surviving member of the band's most famous lineup, wrote on Facebook: ''I have just been told that Lemmy has passed away in LA. Like Phil, he was like a brother to me. I am devastated. We did so much together, the three of us.
''The world seems a really empty place right now. I am having trouble finding the words '... He will live on in our hearts. RIP Lemmy!''
Lemmy's public struggles with illness intensified in recent years. The singer underwent surgery to have an implantable defibrillator placed in his chest in 2013, and has cancelled shows in recent years due to exhaustion and a haematoma.
The band had been scheduled to tour the UK and France in early 2016.
Lemmy performing live with Mot¶rhead on the Pyramid stage during the first day of the Glastonbury festival in June. Photograph: Jim Dyson/Getty ImagesLemmy was born in Burslem, Staffordshire, on Christmas Eve in 1945. His musical career began in the early 1960s and he was, for a time, a roadie for Jimi Hendrix. He played in several rock bands, including the Rockin' Vickers, Sam Gopal and Hawkwind, before founding Mot¶rhead (originally named Bastard).
Related:Lemmy: 'Apparently I am still indestructible'
He wrote in his autobiography, White Line Fever, that he had been fired from Hawkwind for ''doing the wrong drugs''.
Mot¶rhead's loud, fast style was a pioneering force in heavy metal. Lemmy's vocal growl and aggressive bass playing has been emulated by countless other bands, but the singer joked that he largely learned on the job, telling Spin in 2012 that ''the volume's loud so nobody really notices that much''.
The band's highest-rating record was the live album No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith, which peaked at number one on the UK album charts '' a testament to the band's crushing onstage performances.
Other highlights from Mot¶rhead's extensive discography include their second and third albums, Overkill and Bomber, both recorded in 1979, and several high-rating singles in the early 1980s. The Ace of Spades album reached number four in the UK charts, and the single number 15.
Related:Lemmy from Mot¶rhead is dead: and the internet pays tribute
The band's early years are credited with laying the ground for thrash and speed metal, but Lemmy consistently refused to categorise their music as either punk or metal, often playing to audiences of both genres.
Despite the band's success, Lemmy said in interviews over the years that he had made more money from writing Osbourne's 1991 hit Mama I'm Coming Home than from the entire Mot¶rhead catalogue.
He told the Guardian earlier this year: ''I didn't really want to be in the lifestyle without the music. And I didn't want to be in the music without the lifestyle.''
Among those to pay tribute to Lemmy after his death was announced were Megadeth founder Dave Mustaine, Gene Simmons, the Kiss frontman, and Motley Crue's Vince Neil and Nikki Sixx, and rapper Ice T.
Related:Lemmy of Mot¶rhead '' a life in pictures
Bernie Marsden of Whitesnake tweeted: ''Spent many a evening chatting with him, especially about Hendrix! A great man. RIP x.''
James Kottak of the Scorpions said Lemmy was ''a true friend '... the real deal '... RIP you will rock & roll forever''.
Geezer Butler, founding bassist of Black Sabbath, said: ''Very sad to hear of Lemmy's passing. We've lost a true, true legend. RIP.''
British music journalist Mark Beech tweeted that Lemmy had told him: ''I will be killed by death. I might be killed by too much booze, women or music, but it's not a bad way to die.''
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Strong solar storm to hit Earth before New Year's Eve, northern lights visible in northern states - seattlepi.com
Wed, 30 Dec 2015 22:28
SFGATE.com|on December 29, 2015
Sunspot erupts 12/28/2015 (image from http://aia.lmsal.com/)
Sunspot erupts 12/28/2015 (image from http://aia.lmsal.com/)
A massive solar eruption is about to hit Earth, and the resulting northern lights could be spectacular just before New Year's Eve for those in the right latitudes. NOAA forecasts the aurora borealis will dip clear down to Oregon, with a small chance of even the Bay Area seeing the northern lights.
"It's certainly possible," Terry Onsager, a physicist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told SFGATE. "It depends entirely on the strength of the storm. If it turns out to be stronger than that, it could be seen."
On Monday, a powerful M1.9 class solar flare erupted from the sun. The solar phenomenon will hit Earth early in the morning on December 30th, and the effects could linger into New Year's Eve.
NOAA is predicting a strong "G3" class geomagnetic storm. The rating system classifies the magnetic fields created by these solar events on a scale of G1 to G5. A G3 storm like what will hit this week can create fluctuations in power grids, cause radio blackouts in the higher latitudes, and even affect GPS reception. A less common G4 storm would create northern lights visible in California.
Onsager describes the coronal mass ejection as, "...a chunk of the sun's atmosphere, mainly protons and electrons, that carries a magnetic field."
"The whole earth's magnetic system is embedded in this flowing 'battery,'" said Onsager, "and that is what drives the electric currents around us."
Image1of12
NOAA Solar Storm Warning December 2015
NOAA Solar Storm Warning December 2015
Image2of12
Coronal mass ejection, December 28th, 2015
Coronal mass ejection, December 28th, 2015
Image3of12
AN ACTIVE 2015 FOR THE SUN: A small, but complex mass of plasma gyrated and spun about over the course of 40 hours above the surface of the Sun (Sept. 1-3, 2015). It was stretched and pulled back and forth by powerful magnetic forces but not ripped apart in this sequence. The temperature of the ionized iron particles observed in this extreme ultraviolet wavelength of light was about 2.8 million degrees C. (or 5 million degrees F.) Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA
AN ACTIVE 2015 FOR THE SUN: A small, but complex mass of plasma gyrated and spun about over the course of 40 hours above the surface of the Sun (Sept. 1-3, 2015). It was stretched and pulled back and forth by
... morePhoto: NASAImage4of12
A whole series of loops towered above a group of active regions over a five-days period (July 9-13, 2015). When viewed in extreme ultraviolet light, magnetic field lines above the Sun's surface are revealed by charged particles that spin along the lines and create these loops. They are best observed along the edge of the Sun as they are here. The tallest of the loops reach up about 15 times the diameter of Earth. Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA.
A whole series of loops towered above a group of active regions over a five-days period (July 9-13, 2015). When viewed in extreme ultraviolet light, magnetic field lines above the Sun's surface are revealed by
... morePhoto: NASAImage5of12
Dark strands of plasma hovering above the Sun's surface began to interact with each other in a form of tug of war over two and a half days (June 28-30, 2015). At times, strands of plasma extended a tenuous connection between one area and the other. Twice the small tower of plasma to the lower left shot a burst of energy over to the quivering filament higher up. We are seeing the push and pull of magnetic forces revealed in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA.
Dark strands of plasma hovering above the Sun's surface began to interact with each other in a form of tug of war over two and a half days (June 28-30, 2015). At times, strands of plasma extended a tenuous
... morePhoto: NASAImage6of12
A substantial coronal mass ejection blew out from side of the Sun, giving us a great view of the event in profile (June 17-18, 2015). We caught the action in the 304 Angstrom wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. The video clip covers about four hours of the event. While some of the plasma falls back into the Sun, a look at the coronagraph on SOHO shows a large cloud of particles heading into space. Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA.
A substantial coronal mass ejection blew out from side of the Sun, giving us a great view of the event in profile (June 17-18, 2015). We caught the action in the 304 Angstrom wavelength of extreme ultraviolet
... moreImage7of12
The Sun blew out a coronal mass ejection along with part of a solar filament over a three-hour period (Feb. 24, 2015). While some of the strands fell back into the Sun, a substantial part raced into space in a bright cloud of particles (as observed by the SOHO spacecraft). The activity was captured in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. Because this occurred way over near the edge of the Sun, it was unlikely to have any effect on Earth. Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA
The Sun blew out a coronal mass ejection along with part of a solar filament over a three-hour period (Feb. 24, 2015). While some of the strands fell back into the Sun, a substantial part raced into space in a
... morePhoto: NASAImage8of12
NASA
NASA
Photo: NASAImage9of12
NASA
NASA
Photo: NASAImage10of12
NASA
NASA
Photo: NASAImage12of12
Strong solar storm to hit Earth before New Year's Eve, northern lights visible in northern states
1 / 12
Back to Gallery
When the electricity hits the upper atmosphere, it glows just like a neon light.
If you're flying early in the morning on December 30th, or live in the northern states, you're likely to see the northern lights between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Wednesday.
NOAA warns:
The geomagnetic storming watch for 30 December has been upgraded to a G3 (Strong), with a G1 (Minor) storming watch still in effect for 31 December. These watches are in response to consistent WSA-Enlil modeling results and SWPC forecasters' determination that a coronal mass ejection (CME) impact is likely just after mid-UTC day on 30 December with residual CME effects continuing into 31 December. The CME impact may cause a sudden impulse geomagnetic response at Earth, likely resulting in the G3 conditions. The CME was associated with a long-duration M1 flare (R1-Minor radio blackout) that peaked at 1245 UTC (0745 ET) on 28 December, 2015. Keep checking the SWPC website for continued updates.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FBI wants Austin residents to be on high alert | News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News | KEYE
Wed, 30 Dec 2015 21:16
Regional FBI agents want Austinites to be on alert. It's part of an effort to get people to report suspicious behavior that could potentially stop a terrorist attack or act of violence before it happens. Terror experts say criminals are using non-suspicious items like a soda can or even children's toys to create explosive devices. There are no credible threats against Austin but the FBI says there could be a threat it doesn't know about yet.
"I think there's a lot of open-minded nice people here," said Matt Mooney who lives in the Austin area.
In a city known for its weird and wonderful, how do you spot someone or something suspicious?
"I think in Downtown Austin it's pretty important to always be on high alert," said Austin resident Stacy Mellish.
In a news conference on Wednesday, the FBI regional office out of San Antonio says it's what it doesn't know that concerns them.
"There are people that may be being radicalized right now that we're not aware of," said FBI San Antonio Special Agent Christopher Combs.
The FBI is working 24/7 through the holidays to follow up on any threats to the Austin area.
"If something is suspicious you have to call us. I think the price of not calling is even worse," said Special Agent Combs.
"It's always changing. There's always something new coming out," said terrorism expert Jay Fonville.
Fonville showed KEYE TV News what terrorist or lone wolf attackers already know.
"To make an explosive is very cheap for individuals here," said Fonville.
He's part of the training team for first responders and law enforcement. Fonville showed KEYE TV that soda cans, parts of an Etch-a-sketch, greeting cards and even the materials from an ice pack can be used in explosive devices.
"We only have so many officers and first responders out there. So the more eyes we have out there and ears we have out there will help the first responders," said Fonville.
The FBI says if someone's normal behavior suddenly changes, or a neighbor is getting supplies like wires and pipes shipped to their home, that's the time to call.
"I think the price of not calling is even worse," said Special Agent Combs.
You can call the FBI San Antonio Division at 210-225-6741. You can also submit a tip electronically through their website at https://tips.fbi.gov/. You can also contact local police with a tip or submit a tip through the DPS website https://iwatchtx.org/?site=tx.
Follow us on Twitter @keyetv and LIKE us on Facebook for updates!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chi-raq movie
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Page Three: Open Season: There's no way to process 2015 without worrying how much worse it's going to get once Texas' open carry law goes into effect - Columns - The Austin Chronicle
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 15:11
"It is time we started a conversation about just when and where loaded firearms should be considered socially acceptable, not just what the law allows."
Reader Susan Cook wrote that last week in a letter to the editor. Because I'm a content provider '' the fashionable term now for people who jam journalism into the Internet's trash compactor '' my first thought when reading her letter was, hmm, there's a fun story there: the Ps & Qs of open carry. (No wearing white after Labor Day, fancy-dress holsters suggested for PTA meetings!) My second thought was more sober: Oh shit, this is really happening.
Our annual Top 10s issue is devoted to the year that was, not the one that will be here soon enough. But there's no way to process 2015 '' a year in which mass shootings became as regular as sunrise and sunset, and presidential candidates made a recruiting tool out of xenophobia and religious intolerance '' without worrying how much worse it's going to get once Texas' open carry law goes into effect on Jan. 1.
Though Gov. Abbott may think Austin '' Texas' seat of government since 1839 '' is too liberal to live in, the fact is, we're not in a bubble here. Despite our city's long history of imagining us fixed in tie-dyed amber, this is no progressive paradise where the rest of the state's lunacy won't tread. The open carry movement has already brandished AK-47 rifles within spitting distance of the UT campus, in the most recent instance of public protest. (Protesting what exactly? Is this right to wear guns as hip-loud as a fanny pack not in fact going into law?) Open carry may feel like a freight train, but the tracks have been laid for a long while.
My parents live in Georgetown '' a lovely community that voted heavily Republican in the last presidential election. Is it fair to equate "Republican" with "totally cool with waving guns around at the mall and the local Cinemark"? Maybe not, but if there's a divide in the Texas Republican Party over the issue, the nays are about as loud as a stage whisper. And if being a Republican means being in support of the politicians who made open carry law the law of our land '' and that, it follows, means being totally cool with waving guns around at the mall, and the local Cinemark, and the seafood place my parents frequent every Sunday night, where the waitress already knows their order before they sit down '' then it makes sense that my Mom and Pop are petrified. When I join them for dinner at that seafood joint, the conversation too often has drifted to the places they dream about moving to. Safer harbors where they know the next booth over won't be packing heat.
I admit '' their exit plans have reminded me of liberals' threat to move to Canada if Dubya won the presidency back in 2000. Of the presumably few who actually made good on the promise, I've genuinely wondered: How'd that work out? Is the poutine as good as they say? Is there still room for the rest of us?
That's a joke. Kind of. It's not actually funny at all that two people who've spent the majority of their lives as law-abiding citizens of Texas, who pay their taxes and, in my mom's case, paid a lot more as a career public teacher, feel like there's no longer a safe place for them in this state. They're not the only ones, not by a long shot. Pause to reflect: Have you really thought about what it means to be shopping for cold cuts at the grocery store and the customer next to you has a visible weapon on their body? To send your child to freshman orientation knowing her roommate quite possibly packed a gun along with her PJs? And then once that's sunk in, you've got to wonder '' is this actually the Republican leadership's endgame? To make our state so unlivable '' nice head start gutting women's health care access, guys! '' to send all their detractors scattering to the four winds, looking for somewhere they're statistically less likely to be shot while enjoying their shrimp scampi?
This is sounding cynical. That wasn't my intent. OK, there was that crack about "content provider," but I still file "journalist" on my W-2 form every year with a flush of pride.
That's pride in what this paper does, together, every damn week. Because the people who put out this paper believe powerfully '' religiously, even '' in the work we do reporting the news, from open carry to marriage equality to the latest club opening, and from a progressive point of view. The work we do reflects the community and responds to it. And that includes everyone from our investigative reporters and the front desk receptionist who fields so many calls from crazies to the office staff who makes salad on free-lunch Wednesdays and the ad reps who pound the pavement to remind community businesses who we are, what we've done, and what we still do every, yes, damn week. Of the last '' that's especially hard work. Print media is in a tailspin, and the Chronicle is not immune from an industry-wide collapse. Think about that the next time you pick up a Chronicle just to pack a moving box.
Did that sound aggressive? I didn't mean to. (Nahhhh, maybe I did. Which isn't to say the Chronicle hasn't cushioned my every move across town.) It's hard not to turn to truculence. Venerable alt-weeklies all over the nation are shuttering. A lot of days, it feels like we're at war. But I look around, and what magnificent comrades-in-arms I find in these trenches.
My boss Louis Black has in this space paid tribute to a lot of people who made this paper what it is today. I'd like to pay tribute to the ones who do that work now. There are the lifers who built our reputation and also serve as our institutional memory, remind us of that story we ran that time back then '' we should dig that up, maybe the source still wants to talk? And then there's this vibrant new guard, the ones who make sure we're not just a record of what once was, but what is now, and what is next. Every week they all get together in a room to talk about the next week's issue and make one another laugh. Then they go back to their desks, and they get back to work. They get back to the fight. I'm so proud to be one of them.
Louis Black's "Page Two" will return next week.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elections 2016
Here's The Very NSFW Way Anonymous Trolled The Hell Out of ISIS - Viral Thread
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 06:05
Posted on December 14 2015 at 09:50 am
Last Monday, the group declared Friday 'ISIS Trolling Day' and began encouraging anyone with an anti-ISIS stance to harass members of the terrorist group and their supporters through, well, meme-based mockery.
The idea was that we should not be scared of them; the mainstream media always shies away from mocking Daesh for fear of being Islamophobic. But we need to realise that Islam and these maniacs are two completely separate entities. It's important that we are able to ridicule ISIS without fear of judgement or retribution.
People certainly didn't disappoint. The posts were hilarious and certainly prove that we will not be cowed, or scared into submission. Everyone was posting under #TrollingDay and you soon realise that most of the jokes were based around goats'... Yes they are pretty crude and some might find them offensive, but remember, the target of these are ISIS'... Not anybody else.
Here are the best of them:
But they weren't all about goats. Here are the best of the rest:
Although ISIS might find this annoying there is no doubt that it won't effect their operations. But that really isn't the point; it's important that we are able to ridicule these maniacs. It makes them a lot less scary and that can only be a good thing.
Trump's like a 1963 Corvette Stingray - Loud, brash. All issues covered up with fashion
The trouble with Bernie
Mon, 28 Dec 2015 19:15
Here's my problem with Bernie Sanders. With few exceptions, I agree with his positions on issues. But I don't like him or his political temperament. He'd be an awful president.I followed him carefully when I was editor of the Burlington Free Press in Vermont. Sanders was the state's sole congressman, lived in Burlington, and would periodically visit with the newspaper's editors and publisher.
Considering that the Free Press' editorial positions were very liberal, reflecting the nature of a very liberal Vermont community, one might think that meetings with Sanders were cordial, even celebratory.
They weren't. Sanders was always full of himself: pious, self-righteous and utterly humorless. Burdened by the cross of his socialist crusade, he was a scold whose counter-culture moralizing appealed to the state's liberal sensibilities as well as its conservatives, who embraced his gun ownership stance, his defense of individual rights, an antipathy toward big corporations and, generally speaking, his stick-it-to-them approach to politics.
My most memorable encounter with Sanders was during an editorial board session during a period when the Vermont Progressive Party was reconstituting itself to challenge for more seats on the Burlington City Council.
Sanders had been mayor of Burlington from 1981 until 1989, institutionalizing progressive government in the city and other Vermont enclaves. Although he has been in Washington since his election to the House of Representatives in 1991, he remained the titular head of the movement, yet refused to endorse a progressive slate seeking City Council seats or the new leadership orchestrating the campaigns.
After discussing his favorite issues '-- corporations, government reform, health care and the like, I asked about his unwillingness to endorse his fellow progressives. He said it wasn't his role. I suggested voters might expect him to weigh in. He disagreed, clearly annoyed at the persistent questioning. Finally I suggested that he had a larger moral responsibility to the progressive movement.
At which point he jumped out of his seat, told me to go f*** myself and stormed out of the edit board meeting. OK, maybe my persistence bordered on hectoring. But I felt he ought to provide an honest answer. My suspicion was that he resented others for assuming his mantle of progressive leadership and wouldn't acknowledge them.
He returned to the meeting about five minutes after the outburst and we continued to discuss issues of the day.
The candidate you see on television working crowds, shaking hands and even smiling has undergone a presidential campaign conversion. And there is no doubt that Sanders is a smart, deft politician riding a popular, populist wave. But what is real?
I'm not alone in my opinions about Sanders. Chris Graf, long-time Associated Press bureau chief in Vermont, in an article published Sept. 30 in Theweek.com, had this to say about the senator.
''Bernie has no social skills, no sense of humor, and he's quick to boil over. He's the most unpolitical person in politics I've ever come across,'' Graf said. Others who have covered Sanders agree.
Seven Days, the lively alternative weekly in Burlington, is offering extensive coverage of the Sanders campaign, reporting framed by decades of coverage. A recent article by Paul Heintz titled ''Anger Management'' featured current and former staff who have experienced the dark side of Sanders.
''They characterize the senator as rude, short-tempered and, occasionally, downright hostile. Though Sanders has spent much of his life fighting for working Vermonters, they say he mistreats the people working for him,'' Heintz wrote. Among those he cited was Steve Rosenfeld, Sanders' press secretary during his 1990 House campaign, and author of ''In Making History in Vermont.''
"At his best, Sanders is a skilled reader and manipulator of people and events," Rosenfeld wrote in his account of the campaign. "At his worst, he falls prey to his own emotions, is unable to practice what he preaches (though he would believe otherwise) and exudes a contempt for those he derides, including his staff."
In the clubby media/political Vermont government bubble examples of Sanders' sour temperament and moralizing abound. His response to my challenges was perhaps a bit extreme, but not by much. He is a polarizing politician and proud of it; as Woody Allen put it in ''Annie Hall'': ''But for the left.''
That's not good enough. The rigid, uncompromising ideology of the Orwellian-named Republican Freedom Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives has helped paralyze government. Its members won't even compromise with the more pragmatic members of the party, preferring no loaf rather than a half.
Republicans will continue to control the House after the 2016 election. The Democrats have a chance to regain control of the Senate. Split government again. That the parties are unwilling, or at least unable, to work together accounts for the public's astounding low opinion of Congress. Add a president as unyielding as Sanders to the political mix and we may look back at the current Congress as the good times.
Which is too bad, because Sanders' positions are really good, progressive and would help Americans. He'd just be really bad advancing them.
Caliphate!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Onderzoek gestart naar mogelijke orgie tussen militairen en ... - De Standaard
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 20:57
Themabeeld. Er is geen link tussen de personen op deze foto en de inhoud van het artikel.
De Franstalige media in ons land berichten dinsdagochtend over een orgie op het commissariaat van Ganshoren tussen acht militairen en twee politieagentes, die zou hebben plaatsgevonden toen terreurdreiging 4 van kracht was. 'Intern Toezicht is een onderzoek gestart', reageert politiewoordvoerder Johan Berckmans.
Volgens de krant La Derni¨re Heure is het enige waar patrouillerende politieagenten het over hebben sinds enkele weken de vrijpartij op het commissariaat van Ganshoren, dat in de politiezone West ligt en Molenbeek, Jette, Ganshoren, Koekelberg en Sint-Agatha-Berchem omvat. Daarbij zouden twee politieagentes en acht militairen betrokken zijn geweest.
Toen Ocad besliste om het dreigingsniveau op te trekken naar 4 in het gehele Brussels Gewest werd de beslissing genomen om een twintigtal militairen, die overdag op straat moesten waken, te slapen te leggen in het commissariaat van Ganshoren. Zo moesten de militairen zich op het einde van hun shift om 22 uur niet telkens weer verplaatsen naar de kazerne.
Twee weken lang mochten zij in de slaapzaal van het gebouw overnachten, waarna ze nog een week in Jette overnachtten. Tijdens hun verblijf in Ganshoren zouden twee vrouwelijke politieagenten en acht militairen in de slaapzaal samen seks hebben gehad.
'Hier is niets over vernomen tot wij het vandaag in de krant lazen', zegt politiewoordvoerder Johan Berckmans. 'Wij kunnen enkel bevestigen dat er inderdaad een 15 20 militairen hebben overnacht in Ganshoren in die periode. Maar of daar iets gebeurd is, weten we niet. Intern Toezicht is een onderzoek gestart.'
Belgian army investigates soldier with Christmas shopping bag '' POLITICO
Wed, 30 Dec 2015 01:47
An armed soldier stands guard in central Brussels on November 24, 2015. | Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images
Brussels remains on the second-highest level of terror alert.
ByVince Chadwick
12/23/15, 1:29 PM CET
Updated 12/23/15, 1:41 PM CET
A Belgian soldier seen with a shopping bag while on anti-terrorist patrol in Brussels has been returned to his unit, pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation.
A photo of the soldier, widely shared on social media, was snapped Sunday by a Christmas shopper in the city center.
Defense spokesman Olivier Severin said the soldier had been returned to his unit while a disciplinary investigation takes place to establish all the facts.
The woman who took and posted the photo declined to comment, but announced Tuesday via social media that she never intended the case, which has been picked up by Belgian media, to become so notorious, nor the consequences for the soldier.
Brussels spent almost one week under the highest possible terror threat level in November '-- leading to the closure of schools, museums and public transport '-- after Prime Minister Charles Michel warned the government had ''relatively precise information that a risk of attack could take place as it did in Paris.''
Since then, the Belgian army has patrolled metro stations, tourist attractions and even residential neighborhoods, and it is not uncommon to see troops checking their phones during a dull moment.
The current threat level is three, meaning an attack is considered ''possible and probable.''
For the past year, locals have become accustomed to heavily armed soldiers protecting sensitive sites such as embassies and the Jewish museum, where four people were killed in a May 2014 terrorist attack.
Belgian police probing report of orgy by police, soldiers
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 15:11
you've reached a subscriber-only article.Take the trial to enjoy one month access for $1.00Sign up now and access the full breadth of The Daily Star content in minutes.
subscribe nowunrestricted access$1 for this month then $12 per month.Existing users can login here or register for a new account.
Advertisement
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jihadist AUDITION in NYC bomb plot may have stabbed child as ISIS tryout | New York Post
Mon, 28 Dec 2015 13:48
An alleged jihadist arrested in June on charges that he plotted to blow up Times Square may also be the fiend who stabbed a 9-year-old Staten Island boy in the neck five months earlier in what some investigators now believe was a botched ISIS audition.
Jermaine CulverBut NYPD detectives investigating the Jan. 9 knife attack have been frustrated by the feds, who won't give them access to terror suspect Fareed Mumuni, said a source familiar with the probe.
Mumuni, 21, lived only 600 yards from Jermaine Culver, who was stabbed as he walked to school in the Mariners Harbor section of Staten Island.
A surveillance camera on a home across the street captured a stocky attacker as he stalked the boy from behind on Union Avenue before grabbing him around the neck and stabbing him in his back, head, neck and arm.
Jermaine is seen stumbling a few steps before he regains his footing and runs.
''It looks like he's trying to kill that kid,'' said Luis Padilla, 44, the home's owner. ''He went straight for the jugular.''
Following the savagery, Jermaine was afraid to leave the hospital. The shell-shocked boy was eventually sent to live with an aunt in Atlanta.
''But he's alive and fine and well,'' said his 21-year-old brother, Shawn Williams.
Williams said the family remains in the dark about his case a year later.
''We still don't know,'' he said. ''It seems like the cops gave up on it.''
Fareed MumuniIn the days after the attack, cops distributed fliers reading, ''Wanted for Assault 1,'' with a surveillance photo of the attacker running down Leyden Avenue. The NYPD also stationed a mobile command unit at the corner of Union and Leyden.
''They came up with less than zero,'' the source said.
Cops got their first break in the case when federal agents with the Joint Terrorism Task Force foiled an alleged four-man, New York-New Jersey terror operation in June. The group had been under surveillance since at least April.
Munther Omar Saleh, 20, of Queens, was arrested on June 13 and charged with plotting to use a pressure-cooker bomb to attack Times Square or One World Trade Center. He had also been spotted surveilling the George Washington Bridge.
Mumuni, who was studying social work at the College of Staten Island, and Saleh, a student at Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology in Queens, had met multiple times in May, according to court documents.
They were captured on phone recordings and ''exchanged electronic communications in which they discussed attacking members of law enforcement,'' the papers say.
Four days after Saleh's arrest, the task force descended on Mumuni's Mersereau Avenue home at 6:35 a.m. to execute a search warrant.
Mumuni tried to bury a kitchen knife in an agent's chest, authorities said. The blade was stopped by the agent's body armor.
Mumuni, court documents say, ''espouses violent jihadist beliefs.'' He allegedly told authorities that he had pledged allegiance to ISIS and that if he failed to join the group in the Mideast, he planned to attack law enforcement.
Investigators believe that if Mumuni was the man who knifed Jermaine, the attack could have been Mumuni's audition for the ISIS, the bloodthirsty terror group that has released a series of videos of hostage decapitations.
The knife allegedly used by Fareed Mumuni.''If you look at the video, it looks like he was trying to slit his throat,'' the source said.
NYPD detectives want to quiz Mumuni in the assault, describing the purported jihadist as a ''person of interest.''
He has a physical ''similarity to the description in the video, he lived three blocks away, and he likes to play with knives and attempted to stab a federal agent,'' the source said.
Detective Edward Patterson of the 121st Precinct on Staten Island is assigned to case.
Mumuni's attorney, Anthony Ricco, could not be reached for comment.
Additional reporting by Michael Oates
IS Fighter Calls to Rob ''Easy Targets'' During New Year Celebrations | Western Jihadist Forum Digest
Wed, 30 Dec 2015 16:51
IS Fighter Calls to Rob ''Easy Targets'' During New Year Celebrations | Western Jihadist Forum DigestWestern Jihadist Forum DigestLast Updated: December 30, 2015
A British Islamic State (IS) fighter called on jihadists in the West to assault and steal from ''disbelievers'' during New Year celebrations.
Login to read more...
The Shabaab al-Mujahideen Movement continued to release updates about their September 21, 2013 attack against the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi,
A Twitter user claiming to be a Kenyan jihadist in Somalia continued providing commentary and analysis of the siege at the Westgate mall in Nairobi,
The Islamic State (IS) released a video of a Russian fighter calling on Muslims to travel to and join the group, and defending the IS from accusations
The Islamic State (IS) released a video of a Moldovan fighter defending its establishment of a Caliphate and explaining that the former state of the
The Islamic State (IS) released a video of British captive John Cantlie giving a tour inside cities in Syria's Aleppo governorate, reporting from a
Simply titling it ''Just Terror,'' the Islamic State (IS) released the twelfth issue of its English magazine, ''Dabiq,'' on November
Fighters from the Islamic State (IS) in the Libyan city of Sirte celebrated the Paris attacks by distributing sweets to Muslims.
Labib al-Nahhas, Ahrar al-Sham's Chief of Foreign Political Relations, condemned the Islamic State's (IS) November 13, 2015 terror attacks
Syrian opposition groups expressed condemnation after the Islamic State's (IS) November 13, 2015 Paris attacks, and called for international focus
A pro-Islamic State (IS) Twitter user disseminated a document suggesting a new way to share IS news and propaganda while avoiding suspension on Twitter.
SITE Main Twitter FeedSITE - Far Right / Far LeftSITE - Cyber SecurityRita Katz's Twitter Feed
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Those Demanding Free Speech Limits to Fight ISIS Pose a Greater Threat to U.S. Than ISIS
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 18:41
In 2006 '' years before ISIS replaced Al Qaeda as the New and Unprecedentedly Evil Villain '' Newt Gingrich gave a speech in New Hampshire in which, as he put it afterward, he ''called for a serious debate about the First Amendment and how terrorists are abusing our rights''using them as they once used passenger jets''to threaten and kill Americans.'' In that speech, Gingrich argued:
Either before we lose a city, or, if we are truly stupid, after we lose a city, we will adopt rules of engagement that use every technology we can find to break up (terrorists') capacity to use the Internet, to break up their capacity to use free speech [protections] and to go after people who want to kill us''to stop them from recruiting people before they get to reach out and convince young people to destroy their lives while destroying us.
In a follow-up article entitled ''The First Amendment is Not a Suicide Pact,'' Gingrich went even further, arguing that terrorists should be ''subject to a totally different set of rules,'' and called for an international convention to decide ''on what activities will not be protected by free speech claims.''
To make his case, Gingrich cited a 2005 Commentary article by the extremist former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, entitled ''Free Speech for Terrorists?,'' the central premise of which was that ''the free-speech clause was never intended to frustrate government's ability to suppress true threats to national security.'' In general, McCarthy argued, we must say that ''some things are truly evil,'' and ''that advocating them not only fails to serve any socially desirable purpose but guarantees more evil.'' Thus, the U.S. Government must ''convey in the strongest terms that the advocacy of terrorism in this day and age is entitled to no First Amendment protection.''
Back then '' just nine years ago '' Gingrich's anti-free-speech remarks were, for the most part, quickly dismissed as unworthy of serious debate. Even National Review, which employs McCarthy, included Gingrich's anti-free speech proposal on its 2011 list of the bad ideas the former speaker has espoused in his career. In 2006, I argued that the Gingrich/McCarthy desire to alter the First Amendment to fight The Terrorists was extremist even when judged by the increasingly radical standards of the Bush/Cheney War on Terror, which by that point had already imprisoned Americans arrested on U.S. soil with no due process and no access to lawyers. With rare exception, Gingrich's desire to abridge Free Speech rights in the name of fighting terrorism was dismissed as a fringe idea.
Fast forward to 2015, where the aging Al Qaeda brand has become decisively less scary and ISIS has been unveiled as the new never-before-seen menace. There are now once again calls for restrictions on the First Amendment's free speech protections, but they come not from far-right radicals in universally discredited neocon journals, but rather from the most mainstream voices, as highlighted this week by The New York Times.
The NYT article notes that ''in response to the Islamic State's success in grooming jihadists over the Internet, some legal scholars are asking whether it is time to reconsider'' the long-standing ''constitutional line'' that ''freedom of speech may not be curbed unless it poses a 'clear and present danger' '-- an actual, imminent threat, not the mere advocacy of harmful acts or ideas.''
The NYT cites two recent articles, one in Bloomberg by long-time Obama adviser Cass Sunstein and the other in Slate by Law Professor Eric Posner, that suggested limitations on the First Amendment in order to fight ISIS. It describes growing calls to ban the YouTube lectures and sermons of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American cleric whom the U.S. assassinated by drone in 2011 (and then, two weeks later, killed his 16-year-old American son). It also notes that the desire to restrict the internet as a means of fighting ISIS has seeped into the leadership of both parties: Donald Trump said the ''internet should be closed up'' to ISIS, while ''Hillary Clinton said the government should work with host companies to shut jihadist websites and chat rooms,'' a plan that would be unconstitutional ''if the government exerted pressure on private firms to cooperate in censorship.''
All of these proposals take direct aim at a core constitutional principle that for decades has defined the First Amendment's free speech protections. That speech cannot be banned even if it constitutes advocacy of violence has a long history in the U.S., but was firmly entrenched in the Supreme Court's unanimous 1969 decision in Brandenburg v. Ohio, about which I've written many times. The Brandenburg ruling ''overturned the criminal conviction of a Ku Klux Klan leader who had threatened violence against political officials in a speech.'' Even more important was the law which the Brandenburg court invalided as unconstitutional:
The KKK leader in Brandenburg was convicted under an Ohio statute that made it a crime to ''advocate . . . the duty, necessity, or propriety of crime, sabotage, violence, or unlawful methods of terrorism as a means of accomplishing industrial or political reform'' and/or to ''voluntarily assemble with any society, group, or assemblage of persons formed to teach or advocate the doctrines of criminal syndicalism.'' The Court struck down the statute on the ground that it ''purports to punish mere advocacy'' and thus ''sweeps within its condemnation speech which our Constitution has immunized from governmental control.'' The Court ruled that ''except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action'' '-- meaning conduct such as standing outside someone's house with an angry mob and urging them to burn the house down that moment '-- ''the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force'' (emphasis added).
The First Amendment bars the U.S. Government from banning or punishing speech even if that speech advocates ''the duty, necessity, or propriety of unlawful methods of terrorism.'' And that's exactly how it should be.
There are millions of people in the world who believe and argue that the U.S. has been supporting tyranny and bringing violence to predominantly Muslim countries for decades as a means of dominating that region, and that return violence is not only justifiable but necessary to stop it (just as there are millions of westerners who believe and argue that they must bring more violence to the countries of that region). In particular, it's astonishing to watch Americans '' whose favorite political debate is deciding which country should be bombed next or which individuals should be next assassinated '' propose changes to the First Amendment to make it a crime for others to justify (not engage in, but merely justify) the use of violence in what they argue is valid self-defense.
Cass Sunstein with his wife, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, at the TIME 100 Gala, Time Warner Center on April 21, 2015, in New York. (Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Abusing the force of law to silence legitimately expressed views '' by criminalizing the advocates of one side of that debate '' is as direct an attack on core free speech rights as anything that can be imagined (to understand how extremist the proposal is, see Ken White's response to Posner's article). Trying to dictate which views can and cannot be expressed on the internet, aside from being futile, is the modern-day hallmark of an authoritarian. Throughout its history, the U.S. has suffered far greater harm from overwrought authoritarians acting in the name of security than it has external threats; the tyrannical impulses that drove the Alien and Sedition Acts, World War I prosecutions of anti-war dissidents, the internment of Japanese-Americans and McCarthyism did at least as much damage to the U.S. as any foreign adversary.Above all, this has been the core lesson of the ''War on Terror'': the greatest threats to western countries have come from those seeking to limit rights in the name of fighting terrorism, not the terrorists themselves. There is no more compelling example than those who now explicitly advocate Newt Gingrich's 2006 idea of formally restricting the First Amendment.
For the reasons I set forth here, no human beings or human institutions should ever be trusted to promulgate lists of Prohibited Ideas and Viewpoints. But even if you are someone who yearns for such lists, it should be immediately obvious that your dream of prohibiting ideas is utterly futile, particularly in the digital age (so predictably, the killing of Awlaki did not silence his ideas but rather, as the NYT reports, ''enhanced the appeal of his message to many admirers, who view him as a martyr''). And, just by the way, there is still not a single example of a terrorist attack carried out on U.S. soil by anyone radicalized by ISIS's social media campaign (contrary to initial reports, the San Bernardino attackers were inspired by the message of Awlaki and al-Qaeda, not ISIS); this is the threat that some individuals are now invoking to dismantle a core protection of the First Amendment?
What makes all of this especially ironic is that not even a year has elapsed since the western world congratulated itself for its flamboyant street celebration of free speech in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo murders. Remember all that? Yet now, explicitly advocating new restrictions on free speech and internet freedom is the norm.
It is essential to note that, for many years, the U.S. and other western governments have been abridging free speech rights in the name of terrorism. They've already repeatedly prosecuted people '' almost always Muslims, of course '' for the ideas they have expressed on the internet and elsewhere. Those abridgments have already been severe when the villain was al Qaeda; now that it's ISIS, these attacks on free speech are intensifying throughout the west.
But there is a difference between violating constitutional rights, as those cases have done, and formally restricting them, as people like Sunstein and Posner are now agitating to do. Guaranteeing free speech rights is one of the things that the U.S., relative to the rest of the world, still does well (not perfectly, but well). It is not an exaggeration to say that the people now plotting how to exploit terrorism fears in order to formally restrict rights of free expression themselves pose a clear and present danger to the U.S. (Sunstein previously proposed that the U.S. Government ''cognitively infiltrate'' the internet by sending teams of covert agents into ''chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups'' to discredit what he regards as false conspiracy theories, as well as pay so-called ''independent'' credible voices to bolster the Government's messaging). And as far as ''hate speech'' goes: there are few things more ''hateful'' than wanting to imprison one's fellow citizens for expressing prohibited political ideas.
I certainly don't think their right to espouse these dangerous ideas ought to be suppressed or punished. The solution to their dangerous ideas is to confront and refute them, not outlaw them. But it is vital to recognize the danger they and their ideas entail. We've been told for years that The Terrorists ''hate our freedoms,'' yet we cannot seem to rid ourselves of those who think the solution is to voluntarily abolish those freedoms ourselves.
Photo: Members of a joint military honor guard stand watch over the Bill of Rights at the National Archives Rotunda in Washington, Dec. 15, 1991.
Syrian war, oil prices and the Paris attacks
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 17:48
Syrian war, oil prices and the Paris attacksBy STEVE AUSTIN for OIL-PRICE.NET, 2015/12/02In our last article we predicted that thousands of hardened ISIS fighters, blending among refugees, would march into Europe undetected. We also advised our readers that this would spread distrust between European powers and borders would go back up in an attempt to stem the invasion, at the cost of slowing down European economies. We were right on all counts.
On November 13th 2015, ISIS terrorists committed multiple suicide attacks in Paris, which formed the deadliest terrorist atrocity on French soil since WW2. They caused France to close borders and declare a state of emergency.
There is a strange connection between these tragic events and the politics of petroleum. On the one hand, Saudi-funded fundamentalism has, within a few decades, balkanized Europe into a net supplier of jihadi fighters. On the other hand, a proxy war in Syria over a gas pipeline created the refugee crisis. These are both dire issues which few governments dare to face effectively, yet these issues will shape our world for centuries to come.
France's Terrorist HotbedsAs of November 2015 both the French and German governments estimate that between 5,000 and 6,000 Western Europeans jihadis have joined the ranks of ISIS in Syria. Of these, almost half came from France and are mostly second or third-generation immigrants of Algerian descent. This makes France the largest supplier of Western jihadis. According to France's DGSE secret service 250 have returned so far, some giving TV and radio interviews about their experiences in ISIS. This media blitz occurs while they await mild prison sentences and still collect welfare benefits. Meanwhile, more than 300 candidates are considering joining ISIS and this figure is climbing.
Although this "Salafist" radicalization is sometimes abusively portrayed as recent, it is a multi-generational trend spanning nearly four decades and is a consequence of the European powers' oil policies.
Most European countries have no oil reserves. Shortly after the 1973 oil crisis they attempted to tie long-term partnerships with the Gulf States. As a result, oil from Saudi Arabia and Qatar still flows reliably into Europe in exchange for currency, weapons technology, and a few Saudi-funded mosques. For example, around that time Belgium signed a 99-year lease with Saudi Arabia to build the Great Mosque of Brussels, just a short distance from the Molenbeek suburbs, today considered Europe's most volatile terror hotbed. In Spain, Madrid is home to the largest Mosque in Europe, also built by Saudi Arabia. Saudi-trained conservative imams took the helms of these mosques and indoctrinated generations of followers with wahhabi and salafist rhetoric. They called on the Muslims of Europe to split away from the native European society they deem incompatible and seize power. Hence political Islam had set foot in Europe.
Despite protests and warnings from conservatives, leftist European politicians not only tolerated this rhetoric, they even embraced it. They interpret it as a sort of "class struggle" in phase with their own ideology. As years went by and the Muslim population increased, Europe's socialist parties began to court the Islamic vote more assiduously under the guise of multiculturalism and tolerance. It paid off for some leftist parties who got elected repeatedly, buying votes at the cost of massive low-cost housing projects and welfare benefits targeted preferentially towards citizens of foreign descent.
Unfortunately, these policies created immense low-cost housing neighborhoods, which soon tuned into a state within a state, following the salafist rethoric of self-segregation. Today some of these no-go zones are Islamist enclaves operating under near-Shariah law with no police presence. They are disconnected from the rest of France's society, but nonetheless welcome free housing and medical services, utilities and generous welfare benefits in exchange for votes. The pattern is similar in Belgium, Holland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Germany. Why change something that works?
The perpetrators of the Paris terror attacks were all raised and radicalized in France and Belgium. However, France's socialist President Hollande was quick to point the finger elsewhere at ISIS and Syria, drawing the media's attention away from his government's accountability. This allowed Hollande to bolster state expenditure and deficits despite EU budget rules, while pledging to welcome 30,000 new Syrian refugees - new voters for the 2017 elections paid for by taxpayers. In reality, France's home-grown terrorism problem is the result of decades of complacency by Hollande's own party towards Saudi-funded political Islam - an unreasonable price for crude oil and weapons export.
France's commercial and cultural exchanges with Saudi Arabia are supervised by a dedicated workgroup within the French government (Groupe d'amitie France-Arabie Saoudite) headed by politician Olivier Dassault, heir to aerospace conglomerate Dassault Defense Systems. In July 2015, France signed a record $12 billion contract with Saudi Arabia to sell helicopters, build two nuclear reactors and export advanced weapons systems to the Kingdom - though any "cultural" part in the agreement flowing back from the Kingdom was not disclosed to the public. Given the Kingdom's recent offer to build 200 new mosques for Syrian refugees in Germany, the $12 billion cheque to France most certainly came with strings attached, the consequences of which the average Joe - or Pierre as it may be - will endure. From the looks of it, the hands of France's ruling class are tied and it is unlikely they will stand up to Saudi Arabia.
Police raids following the attacks uncovered heavy weaponry in known hotbeds, a tell-tale sign that regular law enforcement cannot keep track of terrorist activities in normal times. The Paris attacks went undetected by the DGSE secret services simply because the number of aspiring jihadis has reached a critical mass which now exceeds the service's capacity. It takes on average 20 agents to monitor a suspected terrorist, more if he is aware of being monitored. The 5,000-strong DGSE has repeatedly warned that it cannot effectively monitor homegrown jihadis because of their sheer numbers. Unfortunately, going forward, Paris-style attacks are the new normal.
Syria's Civil WarAs we explained in our last article, the Syrian Civil War stems from a disagreement between the Saudis and Russia over the route for a new gas pipeline ducting Gulf gas to the lucrative European markets. Russia, whose only Mediterranean base is located in Tartus, Syria, supports Assad's initiative of a gas pipeline from Iran through Iraq and Syria (the Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline). But Saudi Arabia's hardline Sunni Muslims wants to overthrow Syria's Assad, who is a Shia Muslim, for religious reasons. They want to run a 100 per cent Sunni-controlled pipeline from Qatar through Syria and Turkey (the Qatar-Turkey pipeline), into Europe. As a result of this disagreement a proxy war is taking place in Syria between the aforementioned powers. Meanwhile displaced Syrian refugees are flooding into Europe with jihadis in their midst.
Originally, Europeans were strongly in favor of deposing Assad for so-called "humanitarian reasons". Their humanitarian concerns for Assad's repressive regime veil the truth - Europe resents depending on Russia for 40 per cent of its gas. Russian President Putin annexed Crimea and maintained a belligerent stance, pushing Europe to favor the pipeline proposal of Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The Saudi plan to duct natural gas all the way to Europe through Syria and Turkey came with a catch - Assad would have to be toppled. The US supported the initiative as Russia's only Mediterranean naval base would disappear with Assad. Thus, the Western world had itself a new plan that would bring peace and prosperity to the region. That is after the "initial shakeout" necessary to oust Assad.
The "initial shakeout" didn't go as planned. Russia-backed Assad proved far more resilient than anticipated. But more importantly, western-backed Islamic militias committed such barbaric acts of terror they even made Assad, and Russia, look good in comparison. An emboldened ISIS gradually took over several of the region's oil fields to fund its operations to the tune of $50 million per month by smuggling oil into Turkey. The routes and means were well established during the previous oil embargo on Iraq and so are the financial networks that profit from it in Turkey. Today, crude oil illegally smuggled by ISIS into Turkey accounts for a fairly significant 3.5 per cent of Turkey's total oil imports. Turkey's NATO allies are starting to question her true allegiance and motivation to fight ISIS, as does Turkey's downing of a Russian jet while it was tracking an oil convoy headed for Turkey. Turkey's allegiance has become so questionable that Texas governor Rick Perry suggested that Turkey be dismissed from NATO.
Turkish DelightSyria's history particularly draws Turkey's attention. For centuries most of the Middle East, including the area now known as Syria, was part of the Ottoman Empire. That Empire was ruled from the Turkish city of Istanbul by a dynasty of autocratic Sultans, called the Ottoman family. As well as ruling over most of the Middle East, the Sultan held the hereditary position of Caliph. This was the leadership of all the Sunni Muslims in the world - a Muslim Pope.
The Ottoman Empire was an ally of the German Empire during the First World War. When they lost that war, the British and French governments took their revenge by splitting off all of the empire's provinces and creating colonies for themselves. Those colonies evolved into independent countries and today they are Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. The rump of the empire was left independent and in turmoil. In 1922 the army overthrew the Ottoman sultan and declared a republic, changing the Empire's name to Turkey.
The leaders of ISIS want to form their own homeland by uniting Iraq, Syria and the Lebanon into one country. They will then spread out over all the former territories of the Ottoman Empire to recreate it. They also want to recreate the Caliphate. Although their aims are an homage to the Ottomans, they don't intend to invite the family back. They like the romantic notion of days gone by, specifically because those enchanting eras give glamour to dictatorship and repression. ISIS wants to wind back to the good old days when whoever was in charge could have anyone they wanted whipped or killed without the meddling of politics, courts, rights or democracy. They want the luxury of autocracy for themselves, not for some hapless descendant of the last Sultan.
All of this plays well for Turkey. ISIS admires their northern neighbors and they don't include that country in their plans. The ISIS vision of an empire is the Ottoman Empire, without Turkey.
Trade Not AidAlthough the Turks are members of NATO and allies of the United States, they have their own agenda, which often flies contrary to the policies of America. For one thing, they have a troublesome separatist movement in the Kurds.
Kurdistan has never been an independent country and today it covers an area of Western Iran, Northern Iraq and Syria, and about a third of Turkey's territory. The overriding obsession of every Turkish government is to prevent the loss of that area which would occur with the creation of Kurdistan. Rather than give the Kurds concessions and try to befriend them, the Turks choose to repress, imprison and cull the Kurds by any means possible.
America, France and Britain love the Kurds. One of the justifications for toppling Sadam Hussein in Iraq was his mass murder of the Kurds through gassing. The Kurds fought fiercely alongside the Western armies and the allies rewarded them by giving them total autonomy in their homeland in Northern Iraq, right along the border with Turkey which hosts significant crude oil and natural gas proven reserves in Iraq. This infuriated the Turkish government, as an oil-rich Kurdistan could rise militarily and stand up to Turkey.
US trained and armed Kurds are the only force that has had any luck in defeating ISIS in Northern Syria. The Kurds held two area of borderland and were successfully driving ISIS back into the interior of the country. ISIS had one stretch of the border area with Turkey and used that as a checkpoint to trade with their much-admired neighbor.
ISIS's early successes in Northern Iraq saw them seize oil fields and refineries. Rather than destroy these monuments to Western occupation, they took over them and cranked up production. However, as they are designated as a terrorist organization, they don't have access to oil trading markets to sell their black gold. So, who on earth would buy oil from terrorists? Turkey.
The befriending of ISIS has worked very well for Turkey. They get a cheap source of oil, pouring $50 million a month into ISIS's coffers. On top of that, they know that one of the main ways their terrorist friends will use that money is to buy back weaponry to kill as many Kurdish independence fighters as possible.
Things were going great for Turkey, until the American-backed and armed Kurds started to gear up for their final push to squeeze ISIS out of the border area, thus uniting Kurdish control of the entire southern border of Turkey. The Turkish government declared that it had enough of the terrible atrocities occurring in Syria. They joined the war in the name of freedom, and bombed the Kurds to smithereens. This helped ISIS regain control of Northern Syria, and kept the cheap oil flowing to Turkey. America did nothing.
Brothers in ArmsTurkey and Saudi Arabia are the two biggest Sunni countries in the Middle East. Turkey lies to the north of the region, and Saudi Arabia lies to the south, deep in the Arabian Peninsula. Industrialized Turkey produces weapons while Saudi Arabia buys technology and arms from the West and both are smuggling some of those weapons to various Syrian rebel groups, including Al-Qaeda affiliates and unofficially ISIS. However, the economies of the two countries are very different.
As a non-oil producing industrialized nation depending on Russia for 60% of its gas imports, Turkey's economy is strengthened by falling oil price, and having a plentiful supply of under-priced contraband oil on its southern border is just making life a lot easier for the people of Turkey. Saudi Arabia doesn't have a value-added economy but rely on oil production. The fall in oil prices, which are now approaching $40 per barrel due to Saudi non-respect of OPEC quotas, doesn't bode well for the Kingdom's finances.
Historically Saudi Arabia was formed by a desert prince, who allied himself with religious fundamentalist warriors, the wahhabis, and took over the peninsula. This formed the Kingdom named after that prince.
However, there was a price to pay for this alliance and Saud had to enforce a strict religious code, lest the wahhabis turned on him. Saud had to remain pious, lest the Wahabis turned on him. That "pious" religious code means banning music, repressing women, strict observance of the hours of prayer, and lots and lots of public beheadings. King Saud lived to a ripe old age and since his death, the rule of the Kingdom has passed sideways along the family tree of Saud's sons. The present king of Saudi Arabia is a son of the first monarch.
Since then Saudi rulers have mostly remained pious - with the exception of a some of the 15,000 Saudi princes and their tabloid-worthy lifestyles once abroad - in appearance at least. While at home, royals have used oil revenue to pacify their restless subjects with lavish spending. The most aggressive subjects are "encouraged" to go see the world rather than upset the status-quo within the Kingdom. It is no coincidence that Osama Bin Laden, a Saudi, had to take his revolution to Afghanistan and today, scores of Saudi youths follow in his footsteps by joining ISIS.
But, building Mosques and filling planes with fighters for Allah costs money. Although Saudi oil costs as little as $10 per barrel to pull out of the ground, the government needs a breakeven price of $95 per barrel in order to keep funding trouble abroad while keeping peace at home. Given today's low oil prices, Saudi Arabia is spending $10 billion a month of its savings to keep the country afloat. According to the IMF, it will take 5 years of their current levels of deficit to send the country bankrupt.
Slippery SlopeFive years of deficit funding seems manageable. Five years is a long time, anything can happen. However, five years may be a generous estimate. Countries find financing gets harder when they get down towards the bottom of the cookie jar. Without large reserves, international lenders get jumpy and interest rates rise sharply. The country will start to face inflation and the government policy of subsidizing the prices of essential goods will become even more expensive, thus escalating the depletion of reserves. It may only take three years to drive the Kingdom bankrupt if the government doesn't reign in their spending and a costly ongoing war with Yemen doesn't help.
If the Saudi Arabian government takes the necessary action to cut their budget and reduce the annual deficit, they may not last five years: cutting military spending against Yemen, heavily armed by Iran, is not an option. Cutting entitlements used to pacify ultra-conservative wahhabis would be suicidal. So transitioning Saudi Arabia into more of a value-added, sustainable economy seems the best option, however this meets cultural opposition.
As of 2015, a mere 4 per cent of Saudis work in the private sector. As a whole, the Saudi private sector is 87 per cent staffed by foreigner workers. Since the oil price crashed, the Saudi government has attempted to force the private sector to hire more Saudi nationals to reduce the state cost of unemployment. But as one CEO puts it: it is "a serious battle trying to get those that they hire to actually do anything". Working for a living is simply not culturally accepted in the Islamic state. This cultural attitude explains why astonishingly, Saudi Arabia is a net importer of gasoline: it imports 25 per cent of its gas and 20 per cent of its diesel. In other words Saudis produce oil easily (by inviting in foreign companies with their own highly trained staff) but they don't "add value" by refining it. Refining crude oil may seem like such a low-hanging fruit for us westerners, yet the effort involved puts is out of reach of Saudis.
To make things worse, the army of the Kingdom is mired in an unwinnable war in the country's southern neighbor, Yemen. Granted, the Saudi army is one of the best equipped in the world. The government's back-scratching with Western powers resulted in the Saudis buying an enormous amount of weaponry to keep the GDP of their allies buoyant. However this stands in contrast with the effectiveness of its service members. Commanders traditionally hold their positions because they are Saudi Royals, not necessarily because they are competent in military matters. On the ground, as many members of the western military who part-took in joint training with the Saudi armed forces have anecdotally reported, Saudi discipline is mediocre, to put it mildly. And as everyone knows, the plural of anecdote is data. Should ISIS head south and Iran-backed Yemen head north, most Saudi soldiers may simply run for the hills.
My Enemy's EnemyThe Saudi obsession with getting at Syria has drawn the attention of Western media to the Kingdom's private funding of terrorists and lost it friends. By contrast, Iran seems more reasonable and easier to deal with. The standoff between the US and Russia, picking sides in the Syrian conflict is melting away, as the US and its allies abandon Saudi Arabia and realize that shoring up President Assad is preferable to absorbing millions of Muslims in Europe.
Moreover, Europe needs a new source of gas to prevent Vladimir Putin throttling the newly liberated countries of Eastern Europe through his gas blackmail policy. However, through all of the planning and lobbying for permission to build one or other pipeline through Syria, there is one obvious outcome that everyone seems to have overlooked. Why not build both and let them compete?
The Sunni/Shia religious war presages further blackmail down the line. If only the Sunni pipeline gets built, the Sunni Muslim governments of the Middle East will be able to blackmail Europe to do its bidding by turning off supplies. If only the Shia pipeline gets built, Iran can blackmail Europe, in fact you can bet that Vladimir Putin has already organized a coordinated "pricing" strategy with the Iranians.
It is in Europe's interests to have three piped gas suppliers - Russia, Qatar, and Iran. That way, no single force can manipulate Europe's energy needs for political gain. Although Russia and Iran might team up, the prospects of the Sunnis in the south forming a cartel with the other two suppliers are slim. The United States has little direct commercial or political interest in any of the possible outcomes of the pipeline projects, aside for pleasing "allies" Saudi Arabia and Turkey. It is just committed to keeping Europe free, and so a powerful Putin incurs military expense for America.
Plan BThe Saudis don't have a Plan B, but Iran does, and it is implementing it now. They are playing their capitulation into a diplomatic triumph and winning friends away from Saudi Arabia. As the West and Russia cease to undermine Syria's efforts to survive, those exported wahhabi insurgents will return home to Saudi Arabia with an axe to grind and a surplus of arms.
The Iranian gas pipeline will be built through Syria. With the trouble in Syria over, the Americans will take less interest in the Kurds. Turkey can go back to quietly stamping on the prospects of an independent Kurdistan, and would probably be willing to see the final leg of the gas pipeline pass through their territory, thus removing the need for an underwater segment and reducing its cost while upping their geostrategic significance.
With Saudi Arabia in turmoil, its ability to project influence on the world will erode itself. Without its oil output, oil prices will rise again. Without its exported petrodollars, ISIS will melt away. Turkey may grow to become the chief Sunni Muslim nation in the world - a position it held when it was the seat of the Caliphate.
Isis: The munitions trail - FT.com
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 17:40
As a known arms dealer for rebels fighting Isis in his east Syrian home town, Abu Ali was sure his days were numbered when, a year ago, two jihadi commanders stepped out of their pickup truck and walked towards him.
He was baffled when they handed him a printed paper. ''It read, 'This person is permitted to buy and sell all types of weaponry inside the Islamic State,''' recalls Abu Ali. ''It was even stamped 'Mosul Centre'.''
Rather than being detained or expelled as they had feared when the jihadi group swept through eastern Syria last year, many black-market traders such as Abu Ali were courted by Isis. They were absorbed into a complex system of supply and demand that keeps the world's richest jihadi group stocked with munitions across a self-proclaimed ''caliphate'' spanning half of Syria and a third of Iraq.
''They buy like mad. They buy every day: morning, afternoon and night,'' says Abu Ali, who, like others who have operated inside Isis territories, asked not to be identified by his real name.
Isis seized weapons worth hundreds of millions dollars when it captured Iraq's second city, Mosul, in the summer of 2014. Since then, in every battle that it has won, it has acquired more material. Its arsenal includes US-made Abrams tanks, M16 rifles, MK-19 40mm grenade launchers (seized from the Iraqi army) and Russian M-46 130mm field guns (taken from Syrian forces).
More
On this topicIN Middle Eastern Politics & SocietyBut dealers say despite this, there is one thing Isis still needs: ammunition. Most in demand are rounds for Kalashnikov assault rifles, medium-calibre machine guns and 14.5mm and 12.5mm anti-aircraft guns. Isis also buys rocket-propelled grenades and sniper bullets, but in smaller quantities.
It is difficult to calculate the exact sums involved in Isis's multimillion-dollar munitions trade. Earlier this year, skirmishes along the front lines near the eastern city of Deir Ezzor '-- just one of many Isis battlefields '-- required at least $1m-worth of munitions each month, according to interviews with fighters and dealers. A week-long December offensive on the nearby airport alone required another $1m, they said.
Isis's need for ammunition reflects its battle tactics: the group relies heavily on truck bombs, suicide vests and improvised explosives during both advances and retreats. But the fast-paced fighting in between '-- mostly with Kalashnikovs and truck-mounted machine guns '-- can consume tens of thousands of bullets in a single day. Fighters say that ammunition trucks resupply various front lines every day.
To secure this supply, Isis runs a complex logistics operation, which fighters say is so critical that it is directly overseen by the higher military council that is part of the group's top leadership. This is similar to the way it controls the trade in oil, the group's main source of revenue.
The best sources of ammunition are Isis's enemies. Pro-government militia in Iraq sell some supplies to black marketeers, who then sell on to Isis dealers.
Most of all, Isis fighters rely on their rivals in Syria's three-way war between President Bashar al-Assad's forces and the rebels fighting to topple both him and Isis. This is where Syrian arms dealers play a critical role. Abu Ali fled when asked to join their ranks but Abu Omar, a veteran black marketeer in his sixties, plunged into the trade.
''We could buy from the regime, the Iraqis, the rebels '-- if we could buy from the Israelis, they wouldn't care, as long as they got the weapons,'' says Abu Omar. Speaking to the Financial Times while knocking back whiskies at a bar in Turkey, he recounts his year as a gunrunner for Isis. He abandoned the trade in August, he says, after deciding Isis was ''oppressive''.
Isis commanders provide stamped IDs for traders who have been officially approved by two members of Isis's security branches. The group then imposes an exclusivity clause: the gun-runners can move freely and ply their trade '-- as long as Isis is the only customer.
The jihadis' opponents are intrigued by the group's ability to move huge supplies of munitions quickly during fighting. In northern Iraq, Kurdish peshmerga fighters recovered detailed documents of weapons and ammunition shipments outlining orders that had been made for the battles that had just ended.
''Within 24 hours, the ammunition was sent to them by car,'' says one security official in Iraq, who asked not to be named.
Fighters and dealers credit the speed to the jihadis' communications systems. A roving ''committee'' appointed by the top military council in Iraq speaks constantly with weapons ''centres'' in each province, they say, which in turn take requests from military emirs.
Exchanges between emirs and the ''centres'' can sometimes be heard on walkie-talkie frequencies by their enemies. From the Iraqi-Syrian border, Kurdish peshmerga fighters huddle around a device tuned to a crackling Isis frequency, as fighters shout for ''kebab'', ''chicken tikka'' and ''salad''.
''Kebab is probably a heavy machine gun,'' says Abu Ahmad, a rebel commander from eastern Syria who fought under Isis until he fled to Turkey this summer. ''The salad would be Kalashnikov ammunition. You've got explosive bullets, penetrating bullets '-- a mix, just like salad,'' he laughs.
Abu Omar says he contacted the centres using WhatsApp, the mobile texting service. Every few days the roving committee issues price lists that the centres use for the bullets and grenades that are most in demand. The centre to which Abu Omar reported would text him any price updates. Dealers say their commission ranged from 10 to 20 per cent.
Prices are rising as US-backed coalition fighters drive the group farther from the Turkish border, limiting potential smuggling routes, Abu Ahmad told the FT. Isis has issued more licences to boost competition and lower prices, one dealer complained, leading arms traders to jostle for the same deals.
Most munitions come from Syria, now a source of weapons for the wider region. Gulf backers send their favourite rebel groups truckloads of munitions over the Turkish border. Corrupt fighters divert some to local dealers; the border provinces of Idlib and Aleppo have now become the biggest black market in the country, say locals.
Ideology hardly matters after five years of war, Abu Ahmad says. ''Some (dealers) even hate Isis. But that doesn't matter when it comes to making a profit.''
Dealers use a network of drivers and smugglers to hide munitions in trucks delivering civilian goods such as vegetables and materials for construction. ''You have trucks moving in and out like crazy. They are always using things that aren't suspect,'' says Abu Ahmad. ''Fuel trucks are used a lot, because they come back to Isis territory empty.''
Munitions from Moscow and Tehran that are meant for Mr Assad are another top source of weaponry bought on the black market, often in areas such as southern Suwaida. ''They like Russian products,'' says Abu Omar. ''The Iranian stuff they will buy '-- but only cheaply.''
In an area with few economic opportunities left, stopping the trade becomes all the more challenging. Every time an arms trader flees, many more are desperate for a chance to make money.
''Today, it's all about money. Nobody cares who you are'‰.'‰.'‰.'‰They just care about the dollar,'' said Abu Omar.
Isis bombs The bombs that have made Isis infamous in battle are also the most difficult part of the group's supply chain to disrupt.
Experts at the UK-based Conflict Armament Research group that has been working with the Kurdistan Region Security Council in Iraq to track Isis munitions say Isis buys and uses almost anything to make bombs.
''We've seen everything from mobile phones and Motorola walkie-talkies to garage door openers and circuit boards of laptops,'' says James Bevan, director of CAR, which is tracking Isis ammunitions and explosives on abandoned battlegrounds with the support of the Kurdistan Region Security Council in Iraq.
Many of the goods that the group is buying '-- such as electronics that are made into bomb triggers '-- are so innocuous they are near-impossible to control. Other materials, such as aluminium oxide and fertiliser, which CAR has found to be chemicals that Isis often seeks beyond its borders, have legitimate commercial uses in mining or agriculture, making them difficult to to crack down on.
These materials come from all over the world, says one Iraqi official: ''Just put your finger on a map, and they've got something from there.''
There are a number of conduits used to get these materials to Isis. The biggest by far is Turkey. CAR discovered that some Turkish companies buying demolition and mining materials, for example, are selling to clients who then secretly pass them on to the jihadi group.
The range of materials that Isis accesses through its frontmen gives a sense of how difficult it is to stop the flow. The FT has discovered the case of a businessman in the southern Turkish town of Akcakale who disappeared four months ago after it was discovered he was purchasing plumbing pipes and fertiliser that his employees say were sent on to Isis.
CAR has also documented cases of chemicals and agricultural products such as fertiliser coming into Isis hands after passing through Lebanon and Iraq. The group uses these materials to make large quantities of bombs. CAR researchers entered an abandoned bomb facility in Iraq with Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces and found enough explosives to fill half a 20-foot shipping container.
Abu Ahmed, a rebel commander who fought with Isis for a year, says the group even has facilities to make armour for the vehicles that it makes into car bombs.
''They want to be sure the suicide bomber driving the car reaches his target without being shot,'' he says.
''Whereas I've almost never seen them armour the vehicles they actually use to drive around.''
Additional reporting by Ahmed Mhidi in southern Turkey
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2015. You may share using our article tools.Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.
We still don't know what weapons the Paris attackers used. Why that matters.
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 19:20
By Nicolas Florquin and Keith KrauseDecember 28
On Nov. 14, the day after the deadly coordinated attacks in Paris, French prosecutor Fran§ois Molins provided the first official insights into the firearms used by the terrorist commandos. According to his statement, the teams all used ''Kalashnikovs,'' while ammunition of various caliber, but primarily 7.62 mm, was found on the scene. Despite speculation that the weapons may have come from the Balkans or various conflict zones, available information is too limited for any meaningful interpretation. There are nearly 200 varieties of AK-pattern rifles (specialists' term for the Kalashnikov rifle family) produced in at least 30 countries '-- the possible sources are therefore endless.
While the current veil of secrecy is understandable and meant to protect the ongoing investigation, it is also harmful for public understanding of the issues at stake. A clear example emerged from the information released on one of the firearms used in the previous Paris attacks of January 2015.
Mediapart, a French investigative news outlet, revealed in September that a ''CZ 58'" rifle was found on the scene of the hostage taking at the Hyper Cacher market. According to official French police documents published by the magazine, a Belgian national legally purchased the weapon on Jan. 13, 2014, in a ''neutralized'' state at a specialized store in Slovakia. It was then presumably converted to fire live ammunition for use by Amedy Coulibaly in the attack, although where and when this happened remain unclear.
[Pentagon promises to boost intelligence sharing with France after attacks]
It was not a Kalashnikov. The CZ 58 is a commonly used term for the Sa vz. 58 rifle, manufactured in the Czech Republic. Coulibaly can be seen sitting next to the Compact version of the weapon in stills of his post-mortem video. The Sa vz. 58 Compact's general physical resemblance to the AKS-74U, the AK variant that frequently appeared in videos next to Osama bin Laden, is perhaps a deliberate symbolic choice. Yet the two rifles are mechanically different, and specialists do not even consider vz. rifles to belong to the Kalashnikov family.
Distinguishing between different models of Kalashnikovs '-- or in this case, between AK-pattern rifles and other rifles such as the Sa vz. 58 '-- is of great importance for policymakers and the public. While the reported use of Kalashnikovs by terrorists is often interpreted as indication that the weapons might have come from the Balkans or even Libya, more detailed information on the firearm models seized can lead to a more informed debate. The Sa vz. 58 rifle owned by Coulibaly points to a problem within the E.U. itself: legislative differences among the member states on what constitutes a firearm and the extent to which blank and deactivated weapons should be similarly regulated.
Releasing more detailed information about the firearms used in the Paris attacks '-- and about the weapons used in crime more generally '-- would help curtail speculation about their origins, and improve policymaking. More than a month after the Nov. 13 events, only little information is available about the other firearms used by the attackers in both the January and November Paris attacks.
Reports suggest some of the AK-pattern rifles used in November were manufactured in Serbia in the 1980s, but how and when they were smuggled into western Europe remains unclear. The lack of public knowledge around the firearms used in these horrific attacks is symptomatic of deeper challenges to systematically collect and analyze data on illicit firearms within the E.U. and its neighboring countries. In spite of recent attempts to address this gap, current knowledge on firearms smuggling in Europe remains patchy, gleaned from specific arrests and seizures, and leading to widely differing estimates of the scale of the problem.
It should not be so. Precise information and analysis can inform good policy. On Dec. 15, the European Commission issued new guidelines to strengthen regulations on deactivated firearms and alarm guns, thereby addressing a loophole highlighted by both experts and Coulibaly's Sa vz. 58. The E.U. and its member states need to better communicate on the extent and exact nature of firearms trafficking in the region. This includes more coordinated data collection and the more systematic release of policy-relevant information.
E.U. member states have been at the forefront of international efforts to tackle illicit trafficking in weapons, including the recently adopted Arms Trade Treaty. They have also strongly supported efforts to document in detail the arms and ammunition found circulating in several conflict zones. Ironically, there is today more detailed information available on the arms used by armed groups in Syria than those used in the Charlie Hebdo or recent Paris attacks.
Nicolas Florquin is research coordinator and Keith Krause is program director at Small Arms Survey, a Swiss nonprofit affiliated with the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nigeria has documents suggesting oil money has been looted, Buhari says
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 03:36
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari (C) stands at the opening of the 48th ordinary session of ECOWAS Authority of Head of States and Government in Abuja, Nigeria, December 16, 2015
Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde
LAGOS Nigerian authorities have seen documents suggesting the proceeds from past crude oil sales were diverted to personal accounts rather than reaching government coffers, President Muhammadu Buhari said in a wide-ranging interview on Wednesday.
Africa's biggest economy faces its worst economic crisis in years, since it relies on oil exports for about 58 percent of government revenue. The sharp fall in oil prices over the past year has hit those revenues hard.
This problem has been exacerbated by the long-standing mismanagement of oil revenue. Buhari has previously said treasury coffers were virtually empty when he took office in May and that "mind-boggling" sums of money had been stolen.
The 73-year-old former military ruler, who won April elections after campaigning on an anti-corruption ticket, outlined progress made by his government in a two-hour "media chat" with three journalists broadcast live on state television.
"We have some documents where Nigerian crude oil was lifted illegally and the proceeds were put into some personal accounts instead of the federal government accounts," said Buhari.
The president said stolen money had already been recovered by the government. He did not disclose the sums involved and said he could not provide more details because various cases were being taken to court.
A former oil minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, is under investigation as part of a crackdown on corruption in the oil industry. She has denied any wrongdoing. Buhari's latest comments suggested other officials might also be named.
A 2013 investigation by former central bank governor Lamido Sanusi raised questions about the alleged disappearance of about $20 billion in oil revenues.
Clad in a white kaftan, the president answered questions on a wide range of topics, from security to the economy, unemployment and the Biafra secessionist movement.
Smiling frequently and at times laughing, Buhari seemed more at ease in the public interview format than his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, who widely considered to have responded to with rambling answers.
Buhari said the government was prepared to hold talks with the Islamist militant group Boko Haram in a bid to secure the release of around 200 schoolgirls kidnapped from the northeastern town of Chibok last year.
"If a credible leadership of Boko Haram can be established and they tell us where those girls are, we are prepared to negotiate with them without any preconditions," said Buhari.
However, he said there was no firm intelligence on the whereabouts of the girls, whose abduction in April 2014 prompted an international outcry, or whether they are still alive.
Boko Haram has been waging a six-year campaign to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria. More than 1,000 people have been killed in attacks by suspected Boko Haram militants since Buhari took office. In the latest flare-up, two suicide attacks killed at least 48 people on Monday.
The president also reiterated his belief that Nigeria's currency should not be devalued further, despite the central bank's growing struggles to keep the naira at current levels.
And he backed measures imposed by the central bank to restrict access to foreign exchange, which have not gone down well with investors. "The foreign currency restrictions cannot be lifted because the money is not there," the president said.
Buhari added that "productive industries" - such as manufacturers - should be identified and allocated foreign exchange to pay for "essential materials" rather than to "those who want to import rice and toothpicks".
(Additional reporting by Felix Onuah in Abuja, editing by Larry King)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IS Fighters Claim ''Looming Collapse'' of IS in Yemen
Wed, 30 Dec 2015 16:37
NOTE: The following materials are for information purposes only and may not be copied, reproduced, or transmitted without the explicit permission of SITE Intelligence Group and specific attribution to SITE Intelligence Group.
DetailsJihadist NewsCreated: 29 December 2015
Pro-al-Qaeda jihadists on Telegram and Twitter distributed a JustPaste.it document attributed to Islamic State (IS) fighters in Yemen, wherein they predicted the collapse of IS in the country due to immoral leadership.
Register to read more ...
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Migrants
Samantha Power invites Syrian refugees over for a photo-op twitchy.com
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 05:54
Samantha Power, United States ambassador to the United Nations, wants to welcome refugees into the country with open arms. The next time you think you're being clever by asking Power how many Syrian refugee families she's taken in, keep in mind that she's taken in one family more than you have '-- for dinner and a photo-op '-- and just might have them back for her Super Bowl party.
The New York Times notes that the Al Teibawi family, who have settled in New Jersey, weren't greeted at the airport by U.S. government officials, unlike those lucky refugees who landed in Canada and were personally greeted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Perhaps to make up for that slight, the Al Teibawis were invited to join Power for dinner at her official penthouse residence atop the Waldorf Towers.
''I wanted to make sure that at least one family could hear directly from me as a representative of President Obama but also as an immigrant, myself, to this country just how much we value the contribution that we know that they'll make to this country,'' Power told the Times.
Power is from Ireland, while her husband, Cass Sunstein, is proud of his Lithuanian lineage. ''Over a meal of pizza, chicken parmigiana and spaghetti, broccoli and salad, Mr. Sunstein welcomed them and mentioned that the immigration papers of his great-great-Lithuanian ancestors were hung in another room. ''We're a nation of immigrants,'' Mr. Sunstein said. What a curious thing to say over pizza.
You obviously haven't learned the lesson of the article '... not that there was a lesson in it. No, it was just an interesting anecdote, really.
Was there any leftover spaghetti?
Ottomania
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Little sign of compromise as Turkey seeks constitutional reform
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 03:37
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan addresses the audience during a meeting in Ankara, Turkey, December 3, 2015.
Reuters/Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Palace Press Office/Handout via Reuters
ANKARA Turkey's ruling AK Party and the main opposition agreed on Wednesday to revive efforts to forge a new constitution, a move President Tayyip Erdogan hopes will hand him sweeping powers, but deep divisions mean progress is likely to be halting.
The AKP has put a new constitution at the heart of its agenda after winning back a majority in a November parliamentary election. Erdogan wants the change to consolidate power in the hands of the presidency by turning the previously ceremonial office into that of a chief executive.
Western allies, which need Turkey as a stable partner in the fight against Islamic State and in efforts to resolve Europe's migration crisis, support the idea of a constitution that bolsters Turkish rights and democracy but fear an executive presidency could strengthen Erdogan's authoritarian instincts.
Turkish opposition parties agree on the need to replace the current constitution, born of a 1980 coup and still bearing the stamp of its military authors, but do not back the presidential system envisaged by Erdogan for the EU candidate nation.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), agreed after a 2-1/2 hour meeting in Ankara to revive a cross-party commission to work on a new text.
"Turkey must rescue itself from the coup constitution," CHP spokesman Haluk Koc told a news conference, making clear that his party would continue to back changes such as moves toward EU-backed reforms.
"(But) we are standing our ground regarding the presidential system, and they are probably guarding their position as well. There was no detailed discussion on this," he said of Kilicdaroglu's meeting with the prime minister.
Davutoglu is due to meet the leader of the nationalist MHP opposition next week to try to win his backing for a new constitution, but has canceled a planned meeting with the leader of the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) after it joined a call for Kurdish self-rule.
"Turkey's biggest problem is the Kurdish issue, so without talking about the Kurdish issue, how will they make a new constitution," HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas told a news conference in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir.
"A constitution without the HDP can't create social reconciliation. It won't be any different from a coup constitution," he said, adding the party was awaiting a new appointment date with the AKP.
RED LINES
Despite several amendments, Turkey's constitution is seen by critics as discriminating against Kurdish and other minorities, as well as propping up out-dated electoral and judicial laws.
A similar cross-party panel tried for two years to reconcile its differences on some of the most deeply divisive issues in modern Turkey. It agreed some 60 article changes, but gave up in late 2013 after running into insurmountable disagreements on issues ranging from the definition of citizenship to the protection of religious freedoms.
"Unfortunately, we're not expecting the formation of a new constitution. These efforts are futile in an environment with such strict red lines," said one senior government official.
The AKP holds 317 of 550 seats in parliament, but would need 330 votes to take a new constitution to a referendum, meaning it is dependent on winning at least some opposition support.
Those close to Erdogan say an executive presidency, a Turkish take on the system in the United States, France or Russia, would give Turkey the firm hand it needs to prosper and eliminate tensions between the president and prime minister.
"We have laid out our presidential system plan to the CHP. We want to discuss our suggestion and CHP's new suggestions regarding the parliamentary system together," AKP spokesman Omer Celik told a separate news conference in Ankara.
He made clear there was little room to give ground on Kurdish demands for greater autonomy, after Demirtas took part in a two-day congress of Kurdish groups last weekend that called for more self-governance.
"We do not foresee local parliamentarian or federal or autonomous structures in our plans for the constitution, there is no such need," Celik said.
The gulf between the government and Kurdish opposition has widened in recent months. Erdogan said on Tuesday Demirtas' calls for greater self-governance were a "clear provocation" and that his party would be "taught a lesson".
Violence in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast has flared up since the collapse of a ceasefire in July. The military says more than 210 Kurdish militants have been killed in the last two weeks, during which fighting has intensified.
(Additional reporting by Melih Aslan in Istanbul, Gulsen Solaker and Tuvan Gumrukcu in Ankara; writing by Jonny Hogg and Nick Tattersall; editing by Philippa Fletcher)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Turkish, Greek Jets Engage In Dogfight Over Mediterranean
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 20:09
Turkey is no stranger to aerial conflict of late.
After months of back and forth banter between Ankara and Moscow regarding supposed Russian incursions into Turkish airspace, Erdogan finally ''went there'' on November 24 when Turkish F-16s shot down a Russian Su-24 near the border with Syria. One of the two pilots was killed.
Although Turkey claimed the (17 second) violation of its airspace was unacceptable and just cause for military engagement, it was just three years prior that Erdogan had decried the downing of a Turkish F-4 phantom in Syria's airspace."A short-term border violation can never be a pretext for an attack," he declared.
But that wasn't the only hypocrisy apparent in Turkey's brazen move. According to the University of Thessaly (whose statistics are based on the Greek military's tally), there were 2,244 violations of Greece's airspace by Turkish jets in 2014 alone, representing an increase of some 250% from 2013. Here's a look at the graphic:
Well don't look now, but Turkish and Greek fighters just got into a dogfight over the Aegean.
Here's eKathimerini:
Greek and Turkish jets engaged in a brief dogfight over the Aegean Sea on Tuesday after Turkish aircraft violated Greek national air space several times.
A formation of six Turkish jets, flanked by two CN-235 aircraft that were not in formation, violated Greek air space nine times, according to Greek defense officials.
In all cases the Turkish jets were chased off by Greek aircraft. Two of the eight Turkish aircraft were armed.
The violations were the first since early December following a minor diplomatic spat between the two Aegean neighbors after a message on Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's Twitter account accused Turkish jets of repeated transgressions in the Aegean.
Since Erdogan is a fair man, and because we're sure Turkey's attack on the Russian warplane was completely legitimate, we suppose the Turkish President would have understood if Greece had shot down one of Turkey's fighters.
Average:Your rating: NoneAverage: 4.3(7 votes)
Russia jams Syria
Wed, 30 Dec 2015 16:47
Russia have deployed new electronic jamming systems that are able to blind radar, disrupt electronic guidance systems, and interfere with satellite imagery.
NATO have complained that Russia have effectively blinded their electronics in Syria, inside a bubble of 600 km in diameter.
Sputniknews.com reports:
Russian Secret Weapon Deployed in Syria
The technology in question seems similar to the KRET Richag-AV system, although it apparently functions on a larger scale. A tactical version of this system was presented to journalists in April 2015. As Sputnik reported then:
''The Richag-AV system, mounted on the Mi-8MTPR1 (a variant of the Mi-8MTB5-1 helicopter) is said to have no global equivalent. Its electronic countermeasures system is designed to jam radar, sonar and other detection systems in the aims of defending aircraft, helicopters, drones, ground and naval forces against air-to-air and surface-to-air defense systems within a radius of several hundred kilometers. It can be mounted on units from any branch of the armed forces, including helicopters and airplanes, as well as ground and ship-based forces. The Mi8-MTPR1-based Richag-AV platform, using multi-beam antenna arrays with DRFM technology, is designed to actively jam and thus 'blind' radar systems in order to defend against radio-electronic guided weapons systems. In a combat situation, the system would operate as part of an aviation shock attack group aimed at breaking through virtually any defense system, blinding everything up to and including the US MIM-104 'Patriot' anti-aircraft missile system.''
NATO supreme commander and US Air Force General Philip Breedlove was probably talking about this new KRET system when he addressed the German Marshall Fund on Monday, September 28. Here Breedlove had warned that Russia was creating an ''A2/AD bubble'' over the Syrian coast, and the eastern Mediterranean. A2/AD is the abbreviation for anti-access and area denial. Breedlove pointed out that Russia has already established such bubbles over the Baltic Sea at the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, and also over the Crimea and the Black Sea.
'While Russia's stated goal in moving into Syria is to fight the Islamic State, NATO's top commander believes Russia's new presence includes the first pieces of an intricate layer of defensive systems deployed to hinder U.S. and coalition operations in the region. ''As we see the very capable air defense [systems] beginning to show up in Syria, we're a little worried about another A2/AD bubble being created in the eastern Mediterranean,'' said Breedlove. During the early stages of warfare, A2/AD could have been a moat around a castle, or spikes dug into the ground'--anything to keep the enemy off a certain swathe of territory. In the 21st century, however, A2/AD is a combination of systems such as surface-to-air missile batteries and anti-ship missiles deployed to prevent forces from entering or traversing a certain area'--from land, air or sea. According to Breedlove, the introduction of an A2/AD bubble in Syria would be Russia's third denial zone around Europe. The first and oldest he said, was in the Baltics where the Russian naval base in Kaliningrad has robust anti-air capabilities. The second zone '--originating from Crimea '-- covers the Black Sea. ''Russia has developed a very strong A2/AD capability in the Black Sea,'' said Breedlove. ''Essentially their [anti-ship] cruise missiles range the entire Black Sea, and their air defense missiles range about 40 to 50 percent of the Black Sea.''
In addition, the Russian military had provided a demonstration of their ability to blind even the sophisticated Aegis phased array radar, which is part of the equipment of modern US cruisers and destroyers. This incident came during the Crimean crisis of spring 2014, when the US sent a destroyer into the Black Sea. This ship was repeatedly buzzed up by a Russian Sukhoi-24 jet fighter, which was able to cripple the radar guidance the systems of the vessel. Here is a summary of the incident from Live Leak:
''The US destroyer USS Donald Cook, equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles entered the neutral waters of the Black Sea on April 10, 2014. The purpose was a demonstration of force and intimidation in connection with the position of Russia in Ukraine and Crimea. The appearance of American warships in these waters is in contradiction of the Montreux Convention about the nature and duration of stay in the Black Sea by the military ships of countries not washed by this sea. In response, Russia sent an unarmed bomber Su- 24 to fly around the U.S. destroyer. However, experts say that this plane was equipped with the latest Russian electronic warfare complex. According to this version, Aegis spotted from afar the approaching aircraft, and sounded alarm. Everything went normally, and the American radars calculated the speed of the approaching target. But suddenly all the screens went blank. Aegis was not working any more, and the rockets could not get target information. Meanwhile, Su-24 flew over the deck of the destroyer, did battle turn and simulated a missile attack on the target. Then it turned and repeated the maneuver. And did so 12 times.''
http://yournewswire.com/russian-jamming-system-kills-all-nato-electronic-systems-in-syria/
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Erdogan's neo-Ottoman vision meets Xi's Silk Road dream '' Asia Times
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 20:23
By Christina LinonDecember 29, 2015in
Asia Times News & Features, China, Middle EastThe ancient Silk Roads crossed Eurasia to link trade between China and its Greco-Roman trading partners until the Ottoman Empire cut it off in the 1400s. With the newly revived One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Initiatives under Chinese President Xi Jinping, will it meet the same fate as Turkey's President Erdogan asserts his Neo-Ottoman ambitions in the greater Middle East?
China hopes it won't. On Dec. 17, DHL Global Forwarding, a leading provider of air, sea and road freight services in Europe and Asia, inaugurated its China-Turkey intermodal corridor as part of the One Belt, One Road initiative.[1]
The Lianyungang-Istanbul corridor takes around 14 days to transit Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia as well as the Caspian and Black Seas, with the option for immediate freight forwarding by truck to any Turkish city.
The rail corridor is expected to generate US$2.5 trillion in annual trade within the next ten years, and was recently expanded to connect Taiwan with Europe via China, thereby linking the Pacific Ocean with the Atlantic Ocean through the Eurasian continent.[2]
Steve Huang, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding China, said: ''Turkey already counts China as its second-largest source of imports, and the EU as its largest export market'... new corridors like the Lianyungang-Istanbul link will only further boost Turkey's strategic importance and associated economic development as a conduit for trade between China and Europe.''
However, challenges remain. Foremost is how China and Turkey can cooperate in the Middle East segment of China's OBOR, especially as Turkey is also taking a more robust military posture to protect its energy interests.
Turkey's expanding military footprint
After winning the November election, Erdogan has taken a more aggressive posture to realize his dream of reviving the Ottoman Empire both domestically by pushing for a presidential system and internationally by deploying Turkish troops abroad.
Qatar. In December, Turkey announced it is establishing a new military base in natural gas-rich Qatar with an initial 3,000 troops stationed at the base, including air and naval units, military trainers and special operations forces.
In an interview with Reuters, Turkey's ambassador to Qatar Ahmet Demirok said, ''Today we are not building a new alliance but rather rediscovering historic and brotherly ties'', referring to the Muslim Ottoman Empire which stretched from eastern Europe to the Arab Gulf.[3]
Iraq. At the same time, Hurriyet Daily announced Turkey would also set up a permanent military base in Iraq when Ankara sent around 200 soldiers accompanied by 20-25 tanks to Bashiqa near oil-rich Mosul, following a deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on 4 November.[4] After Iraq protested against Turkey's invasion at the UN, Turkey is now moving its troops around, some to inside Kurdistan while it is not yet clear where other troops would move to.
Syria. In north Syria, Turkey has deployed troops and the Turkmen Sultan Murat Brigade, which according to pro-AKP paper Yeni Safak, will consolidate various Turkmen brigades and other armed groups into the United Turkmen Army to control Aleppo and Bayirbucak by Latakia. [5] Aleppo is where the proposed Qatar-Turkey natural gas pipeline would traverse Syria unto Turkey and the lucrative EU energy market.[6]
Cyprus. Turkish troops invaded and occupied north Cyprus since 1974 and Ankara is now asserting its naval power over disputed offshore Cypriot natural gas fields, including harassing Italian and Norwegian exploration vessels operating on behalf of Greek Cyprus.[7]
Greece. Turkey and Greece continue to have territorial disputes in the Aegean Sea, with Turkey violating Greek airspace 2,244 times in 2014.[8] Open military conflict almost broke out when in 1996 a Greek Mirage 2000 shot down a Turkish F-16 and in 2006 a Greek and Turkish F-16 collided, resulting in the death of the Greek pilot.
According to Politico, in its weakened state, Greece is hardly a threat to Turkey, but the exponential jump of over 2,000 airspace violations in one year may be to exploit Greece's disastrous finances that ''encouraged Turkey to tease its long-time foe (and NATO ally) a bit more than usual, as every Hellenic Air Force scramble costs Greece precious euros.''
''In the case of air incursions, you have to react,'' said Thanos Dokos from the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy. ''It's very hard to unilaterally pull back from a situation of military aggression. It's a tragic situation, because the money we're spending on dogfights with Turkey is money that we could have spent on other areas of defense.''[9]
Israel. Energy needs also drive Erdogan's recent olive branch to Israel and a proposed pipeline connecting Israeli offshore gas fields to Turkey. Nonetheless, with Israel's newly discovered energy bounty offshore and on the Golan Heights, Jerusalem may be wary of Erdogan's potential erratic turn against Israel again should conflict erupt with Hamas in Gaza.[10]
In the Middle East, Syria is where China and Turkey have divergent interests, with Ankara desiring a pliable Islamist regime to replace Assad while Beijing prefers a secular regime that won't export Salafi extremism to China's Muslim population. As such, whether Erdogan would show sensitivity toward and make compromises with Eurasian states of China, Russia and India that are receiving blowback from his current Syrian policy of backing Salafi-jihadists, is key to eventual Eurasian integration via the Silk Roads.
Can Erdogan and Xi's dreams co-exist on Silk Road?
In his 2010 book on the China Dream, retired PLA Colonel Liu Mingfu discussed how China's dream is not automatically America's nightmare. Translated into English in 2015, Colonel Liu discussed how a rising China should not be seen through a zero-sum lens as a US ''enemy'' or ''antagonist'', but rather as a ''competitor'' for market shares in a multipolar world order.[11] This applies especially in the Pacific.
Similarly, Turkey and China's dreams may not necessarily be each other's nightmares. On the multipolar Eurasia continent, China, Turkey, Russia, Iran and India are natural competitors. However, Beijing has deepened ties and economic integration with other Eurasian states via the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), while Turkey is reaching out to central Asia and the Caucasus via TAKM to forge a new Turkic military force.[12]
TAKM (first letters of the member-states) was established in February 2013 and includes Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Mongolia, with Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Georgia expressing interest in what some tout as Turkey's version of NATO or CSTO.[13]
Given China's SCO is already cooperating with Russia's Eurasia Union/CSTO for regional stability, whether Erdogan would coordinate with China, Russia, India and Iran or maintain the current hostile posture driven by his anti-Assad obsession remains to be seen.
As Charles Kupchan, current NSC director for Europe in the Obama White House wrote in No One's World: The West, The Rising Rest, and the Coming Global Turn (2012), with power shifting from the West to the rising rest, in this new order no country, region, or political model will dominate. Rather, regional blocs will coexist in a mosaic of ''multiple modernities'' rooted in distinct histories and political models.
It is in this ''no one's world'' that Erdogan would need to decide whether Turkey could coexist as a pole in a multipolar world with other Eurasian powers, or seek dominance through his Army of Conquest in Syria and unto the former Ottoman territories. Putin, Xi and the next US president would also need to decide whether they could forge a modus vivendi with one another, as we enter an increasingly post-western and multi-polar new world order.
1 http://www.dhl.com.sg/en/press/releases/releases_2015/local/121715.html
2 http://www.lloydsloadinglist.com/freight-directory/news/DHL-opens-China-Turkey-intermodal-corridor/65139.htm#.VncMvDY4lEI
3 http://www.reuters.com/article/us-qatar-turkey-military-idUSKBN0TZ17V20151216
4 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-military-to-have-a-base-in-iraqs-mosul.aspx?pageID=238&nID=92113&NewsCatID=352
5 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/conquering-aleppo.aspx?pageID=238&nID=87106&NewsCatID=396; http://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkey-syrian-turkmen-team-up-to-form-united-turkmen-army-2207584
6 http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/nations/turkey/2012/10/01/Syria-new-markets-Qatari-gas-Al-Assad-analyst_7560833.html ; http://www.isn.ethz.ch/Digital-Library/Publications/Detail/?id=192741
7 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-navy-authorized-over-oil-crisis-with-greek-cyprus''.aspx?pageID=238&nID=74088&NewsCatID=510; http://cyprus-mail.com/2013/07/31/italian-vessel-was-harassed-by-turkish-navy-off-paphos/ ; http://www.todayszaman.com/diplomacy_turkish-navy-intercepts-norwegian-exploration-ship-off-cyprus-coast_338400.html
8 http://www.latimes.com/world/europe/la-fg-greece-turkey-20141121-story.html; http://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2015/11/26/turkish-jets-violated-greek-airspace-over-2000-times-last-year-infographic/
9 http://www.politico.eu/article/turkey-buzzes-weakened-greece-military-airspace/
10 http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israel-stakes-claim-golan-after-oil-find-913890970
11 Liu Mingfu, The China Dream: Great Power Thinking & Strategic Posture in the Post-American Era (New York: CN Times Books, Inc., 2015).
[12] E. Mehdiyev, ''Joint armed forces of Turkic-speaking countries created'', Trend, 29 January 2013, http://en.trend.az/azerbaijan/politics/2113147.html
[13] ''New states to join TAKM'', Azerbaycanca, 20 February2013, ''Turkey delivers security experience to Central Asia via TAKM'', Today's Zaman, 10 February 2013, http://en.apa.az/news_new_states_to_join_takm_188227.html ; http://www.todayszaman.com/national_turkey-delivers-security-experience-to-central-asia-via-takm_306586.html
Dr. Christina Lin is a Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at SAIS-Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of 'The New Silk Road: China's Energy Strategy in the Greater Middle East' (The Washington Institute for Near East Policy), and a former director for China policy at the US Department of Defense.
(Copyright 2015 Asia Times Holdings Limited, a duly registered Hong Kong company. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)
Related
Categories: Asia Times News & Features, China, Middle East
Tags: Erdogan's neo-Ottoman vision, Xi's Silk Road China dream, Turkey's expanding military footprint, Silk Road dreams of Erdogan and Xi merge, Lianyungang-Istanbul corridor, China-Turkey intermodal corridor, TAKM- Turkish version of Nato
Related Articles
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Erdoğan and NATO Are Really Screwed'--Another New World Order Defeat | Veterans Today
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 19:59
Putin to Turkish ambassador: ''Tell your dictator president he can go to hell along with his ISIL terrorist and I shall make Syria to nothing but a 'Big Stalingrad.'"
''God is going to forgive you, Erdogan. But I'm planning to send you and your terrorist group ISIS to him.''
'...by Jonas E. Alexis
Erdoğan and NATO and even the Zionist state in America continue to bleed and smell like a rotten corpse. If you have not smelled that corpse yet, then you have not been paying much attention to current events.[1]
Both Erdoğan and NATO have deliberately made a diabolical deal with the New World Order and with ISIS,[2] and now they find themselves morally and politically naked in front of the entire world. Even Turkish journalists and intellectuals are now observing that their government has betrayed them.[3]Gordon Duff has recently reported that:
''Turkey is training Islamic State terrorists in a camp disguised as a training ground for the Free Syrian Army, a 20-year-old jihadist captured by the Kurdish YPG told Sputnik.''
This is not farfetched at all. Listen to this:
''An ISIS commander was killed in Salahuddin province and his body was searched. A cell phone retrieved from the corpse revealed messages from Turkish intelligence services proving the NATO country was providing security for ISIS militants when they traveled between Turkey and Iraq. This is the second NATO country implicated in assisting ISIS troops. The first was Canada.
''The IS commander was killed by Hashd al-Shaabi, a loyalist volunteer force. Jabbar al-Ma'mouri, a leader within the force made the announcement. He said, 'The mobile phone also contains other important information which cannot be disclosed now, and it has been delivered to the specialized security groups for further scrutiny'...'
''While the western media seems to be overlooking and downplaying NATO support for the Islamic State, some senior US officials are speaking out. Former US Department of State senior adviser David Phillips said, 'Turkey's role has not been ambiguous '-- it has overtly supported the ISIL. It has provided logistical support, money, weapons, transport and healthcare to wounded warriors.'''[4]
Oh, brother. Putin was actually right when he said to one of Erdoğan's embassadors:
''Tell your dictator president he can go to hell along with his ISIL terrorist and I shall make Syria to nothing but a 'Big Stalingrad', for Erdoğan and his Saudi allies are no vicious than Adolf Hitler..
''How hypocrite is your president as he advocates democracy and lambasts the military coup d'(C)tat in Egypt. And he simultaneously condones all terrorist activities aimed to overthrow Syrian president.''
So, we can definitely conclude that the New World Order failed in 2015. Those who were also pessimistic throughout the year should take copious note: things can get better, despite the fact that the New World Order exerts an enormously powerful influence on politics.
We are certainly making a difference, and we all should pick up our battle ground in 2016 and show New World Order agents that we are not for sale. If Solzhenitsyn and Hegel are right, then we will triumph, though that may require patience and endurance.
[1] For recent developments, see ''Syrian Army Destroys Terrorist Supply Routes Close to Turkish Border,'' Sputnik News, December 29, 2015; ''Syrian Army Offensive in Damascus Causes 'Chaos' Among Terrorists,'' Sputnik News, December 28, 2015; ''Love Thy Enemy? US Plot to Evacuate Top Jihadis From Ramadi Uncovered,'' Sputnik News, December 27, 2015; ''Russian strikes help Syrian rebels free 20 areas from ISIS control,'' Russia Today, December 29, 2015.
[2] Seymour Hersh, as we have seen in the previous article, has made this point. Former C.I.A. officer Philip Giraldi has made similar points. Philip Giraldi, ''Coalition of the Unwilling,'' American Conservative, December 22, 2015.
[3] '''Erdogan was in a fix': Jailed Cumhuriyet chief on why Turkey punished journos for Syria revelations,'' Russia Today, December 29, 2015.
[4] Justin King, ''Killed ISIS Commander's Cell Phone Shows Direct Ties To Turkish Intelligence,'' MintPress News, December 28, 2015.
Related Posts: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 Jonas E. Alexis on December 28, 2015, With 0 Reads, Filed under World. 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.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
VP Biden to meet with leaders in Turkey in mid-January
Wed, 30 Dec 2015 16:48
Dec. 30, 2015 | 05:50 PM
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden gestures as he speaks during an event honoring former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale hosted by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota in Washington October 20, 2015. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shut Up Slave!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Emotional bullies could face 5 years in jail as new domestic violence law comes into force - Mirror Online
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 14:51
Emotional bullies in relationships could be punished with up to five years in jail '' as a law comes into force today.
Partners who cause severe psychological harm will be targeted through the Serious Crime Act.
Activists argue some extreme emotional abuse can have a more lasting impact than violence.
The behaviour can range from stopping a partner socialising, dictating what they wear, ­monitoring them online or spying on them with phone apps.
Victims are often told they are worthless, humiliated or threatened with violence.
Humiliated: Emotional abuse can have a more lasting impact than violenceDirector of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said: ''This behaviour can be incredibly harmful, even if it might seem playful, ­innocuous or loving.''
For the first time the Crown Prosecution Service can prosecute specific offences of domestic abuse if there is evidence of repeated, or continuous, coercive behaviour.
The time limit on many domestic abuse prosecutions will also be extended from six months to two years.
Extremely damaging: Alison Saunders has welcomed the new lawCampaigner Shireen Jamil, who suffered a severe head injury in an abusive marriage and was instrumental in having the six-month time limit abolished, called the law ''vital''.
The mum-of-two, 60, worked with online charity Digital Trust and former Plaid Cymru MP Elfyn Llwyd to get the law passed.
She said: ''Long after the wounds fade, those left behind by coercive control sometimes never heal.''
Polly Neate, of Women's Aid, called it a ''landmark'' moment.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
House Dems Introduce Resolution Condemning Criticism Of Islam'... | Weasel Zippers
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 15:51
Sharia law, how progressive.
Via Independent Sentinel:
House Resolution 569 was introduced on December 17th by the Democrats and it's dangerous. It's self-described purpose is ''condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States.''
There is no proof of a war against Muslims in this country. Racial hate and anti-semitism are far worse problems, but that won't stop leftists from using it as an excuse to put in laws that damage or destroy the First Amendment.
Democrats have been trying to ban hate speech and now plan to exploit Muslims to achieve their goals.
The measure panders for votes from the Muslim community, a community of people who are conservative and don't even belong with these leftists. It's all a prelude to the death of the First Amendment.
Resolutions of this nature have a tendency to be reintroduced later as binding legislation to be forwarded to the Senate. The introduction of this resolution is not yet newsworthy, but it will be if it emerges intact from committee to be voted on by the whole House says Edward Cline at the Rule of Reason.
People behind the resolution include: Keith Ellison, a Democrat and Muslim from Minnesota; Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida Democrat and chairman of the Democratic National Committee; Charles Rangel, New York Democrat; and Alan Grayson, a Democrat from Florida.
Keep reading'...
Breaking'...Democrats Introduce Measure to Condemn Criticism of Islam | www.independentsentinel.com
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 15:51
House Resolution 569 was introduced on December 17th by the Democrats and it's dangerous. It's self-described purpose is ''condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States.''
There is no proof of a war against Muslims in this country. Racial hate and anti-semitism are far worse problems, but that won't stop leftists from using it as an excuse to put in laws that damage or destroy the First Amendment.
Democrats have been trying to ban hate speech and now plan to exploit Muslims to achieve their goals.
The measure panders for votes from the Muslim community, a community of people who are conservative and don't even belong with these leftists. It's all a prelude to the death of the First Amendment.
Resolutions of this nature have a tendency to be reintroduced later as binding legislation to be forwarded to the Senate. The introduction of this resolution is not yet newsworthy, but it will be if it emerges intact from committee to be voted on by the whole House says Edward Cline at the Rule of Reason.
People behind the resolution include: Keith Ellison, a Democrat and Muslim from Minnesota; Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida Democrat and chairman of the Democratic National Committee; Charles Rangel, New York Democrat; and Alan Grayson, a Democrat from Florida.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch recently said that she would prosecute hate speech against Muslims though it's obviously in violation of the First Amendment.
Hillary Clinton has attempted to do the same thing and if she is president, she will push for the UN resolution criminalizing criticisms of Islam.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has a plan to criminalize criticism of Islam embodied in UN Human Rights Council 16/18 ''combating [religious] intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization'' passed in March 2011.
The resolution is modeled on extremist Pakistani Blasphemy Laws used to prosecute imperiled minority Christians for alleged desecration of the Qur'anic canon and Sharia Law.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), according to Wiki, is an international organisation consisting of 57 member states. The organisation attempts to be the collective voice of the Muslim world (Ummah) and attempts to safeguard the interests and ensure the progress and well-being of Muslims.
As an aside, remember when Obama said he visited 57 states, perhaps he meant the Muslim states.
The OIC has a permanent delegation to the United Nations, and considers itself the largest international organisation outside of the United Nations.
The Organisation of the Islamic Conference adopted the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI) in Cairo in 1990. It affirms Islamic Shari'ah as its sole source.
This declaration enabled the Muslim states to ignore the UN Declaration of Human Rights. Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the Sudan, in particular, criticized the UN Declaration because it did not follow Shari'ah Law.
One of the most fundamental concerns of Islam and Shari'ah Law is slander. Slander against God is the worst form of slander. We have seen the reaction of some Islamists to criticism of Mohammed. Slander in Shari'ah extends far beyond God. Their understanding of slander, and their manner of dealing with it, is very different than ours.
We hear the term Islamophobia used in conjunction with slander. The word was coined in the 80's or 90's and has been used frequently since 9/11. There were no significant retaliations against Muslims in the United States after 9/11, but the media and Islamic groups acted as if there were.
People in the United States are not Islamophobic and there is no need to deal with this nonexistent problem. We have some legitimate concerns about extremists.
Islamophobia, as defined in 1997 by the British Runnymede Trust, is the ''dread or hatred of Islam and therefore, to the fear and dislike of all Muslims,'' stating that it also refers to the practice of discriminating against Muslims by excluding them from the economic, social, and public life of the nation. It includes the perception that Islam has no values in common with other cultures, is inferior to the West and is a violent political ideology rather than a religion.
How can anyone accuse Americans of being Islamophobic under this definition. It's absurd.
Resolution 16/18 was the topic of discussion with Hillary Clinton and OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu in December 2011. Both she and Barack Obama have been receptive to adopting some version of this definition.
You can read the declaration here:
Criticizing Islam Might Be Against the Law
Text - H.Res.569 - 114th Congress (2015-2016): Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States. | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 15:51
There is one version of the bill.
114th CONGRESS1st Session
H. RES. 569
Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
December 17, 2015
Mr. Beyer (for himself, Mr. Honda, Mr. Ellison, Mr. Crowley, Mr. Carson of Indiana, Ms. Norton, Ms. McCollum, Ms. Kaptur, Mrs. Carolyn B. Maloney of New York, Mr. Kildee, Ms. Loretta Sanchez of California, Mr. Rangel, Mr. Peters, Mr. Ashford, Mr. Grayson, Mr. Takai, Mr. Higgins, Mr. Keating, Mr. Grijalva, Ms. Wasserman Schultz, Mr. Butterfield, Mr. Connolly, Mr. Gallego, Mrs. Bustos, Mr. Delaney, Ms. Castor of Florida, Mr. Guti(C)rrez, Mr. Quigley, Ms. Esty, Mr. Kennedy, Ms. Kelly of Illinois, Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, Mr. Meeks, Ms. Meng, Mr. Al Green of Texas, Ms. Clark of Massachusetts, Mr. Schiff, Mr. Hastings, Mr. Farr, Mr. Pallone, Mr. McDermott, Ms. Lee, Ms. Edwards, Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania, Ms. Wilson of Florida, Mr. Michael F. Doyle of Pennsylvania, Mr. Sires, Ms. DelBene, Ms. Judy Chu of California, Mr. Polis, Mr. Loebsack, Mr. Pascrell, Mrs. Dingell, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. Cohen, Mr. Hinojosa, Mr. Yarmuth, Ms. Tsongas, Mr. Langevin, Mr. Pocan, Mr. Conyers, Mr. Takano, Mr. Ryan of Ohio, Mr. Serrano, Mr. Johnson of Georgia, Mr. Tonko, Ms. Lofgren, Mr. Van Hollen, Mrs. Capps, Mr. Price of North Carolina, Ms. Matsui, Ms. Moore, and Mr. Heck of Washington) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
RESOLUTION
Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States.
Whereas the victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes and rhetoric have faced physical, verbal, and emotional abuse because they were Muslim or believed to be Muslim;
Whereas the constitutional right to freedom of religious practice is a cherished United States value and violence or hate speech towards any United States community based on faith is in contravention of the Nation's founding principles;
Whereas there are millions of Muslims in the United States, a community made up of many diverse beliefs and cultures, and both immigrants and native-born citizens;
Whereas this Muslim community is recognized as having made innumerable contributions to the cultural and economic fabric and well-being of United States society;
Whereas hateful and intolerant acts against Muslims are contrary to the United States values of acceptance, welcoming, and fellowship with those of all faiths, beliefs, and cultures;
Whereas these acts affect not only the individual victims but also their families, communities, and the entire group whose faith or beliefs were the motivation for the act;
Whereas Muslim women who wear hijabs, headscarves, or other religious articles of clothing have been disproportionately targeted because of their religious clothing, articles, or observances; and
Whereas the rise of hateful and anti-Muslim speech, violence, and cultural ignorance plays into the false narrative spread by terrorist groups of Western hatred of Islam, and can encourage certain individuals to react in extreme and violent ways: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved,That the House of Representatives'--
(1) expresses its condolences for the victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes;
(2) steadfastly confirms its dedication to the rights and dignity of all its citizens of all faiths, beliefs, and cultures;
(3) denounces in the strongest terms the increase of hate speech, intimidation, violence, vandalism, arson, and other hate crimes targeted against mosques, Muslims, or those perceived to be Muslim;
(4) recognizes that the United States Muslim community has made countless positive contributions to United States society;
(5) declares that the civil rights and civil liberties of all United States citizens, including Muslims in the United States, should be protected and preserved;
(6) urges local and Federal law enforcement authorities to work to prevent hate crimes; and to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those perpetrators of hate crimes; and
(7) reaffirms the inalienable right of every citizen to live without fear and intimidation, and to practice their freedom of faith.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Twitter clarifies rules on banned content, abusive behavior | Reuters
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 21:48
Tue Dec 29, 2015 | 4:33 PM EST
By Jim Finkle and Dustin Volz
(Reuters) - Twitter Inc has clarified its definition of abusive behavior that will prompt it to delete accounts, banning "hateful conduct" that promotes violence against specific groups.
The social media company disclosed the changes on Tuesday in a blog post, following rising criticism it was not doing enough to thwart Islamic State's use of the site for propaganda and recruitment.
"As always, we embrace and encourage diverse opinions and beliefs, but we will continue to take action on accounts that cross the line into abuse," Megan Cristina, director of Trust and Safety, said in the blog.
The new rules do not mention Islamic State or any other group by name.
"You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability or disease," according to the revised rules. (bit.ly/1MFueNn)
The company previously used a more generic warning that banned users from threatening or promoting "violence against others."
J.M. Berger, co-author of a March 2015 Brookings Institute "census" of ISIS Twitter use, which found that the militant group had operated at least 46,000 accounts from September to December of last year, said the change would lead to more aggressive reporting of abuse by users who flag accounts that break the rules.
"The new definition is much clearer and takes some of the guesswork out of determining if a Tweet violates the rules," Berger said.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, who heads the Digital Terrorism and Hate Project at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, said that "terrorists and hate groups will leave" if Twitter enforces the revised rules.
He said that would require blocking repeat offenders from setting up new accounts with altered handles and remove thousands of existing counts that violate the policy.
Tuesday's announcement did not disclose changes to Twitter's enforcement strategy. A company spokesman declined to say if any were in the works.
The new rules also said that Twitter might respond to reports that somebody is considering "self-harm" by contacting the person to express concern and provide contact information to mental health practitioners.
Lawmakers in Congress proposed legislation earlier this month that would require social media operators, including Twitter and Facebook Inc, to notify federal authorities of any detected "terrorist activity."
(Reporting by Jim Finkle in Boston and Dustin Volz in Washington; Editing by Peter Cooney)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FBI offers $5,000 reward after bacon found at Las Vegas mosque -
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 14:53
Published 12/30 2015 12:45PM
Updated 12/30 2015 12:45PM
Surveillance video of person placing bacon on door handles./Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
LAS VEGAS
The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward as authorities investigate raw bacon that was found on the door handles of a Las Vegas mosque.
The FBI said in a statement Wednesday that they're seeking information on the man seen in a surveillance video putting the meat on the entrances of the Masjid-e-Tawheed mosque, calling it a desecration of the Islamic worship center.
The Quran, the holy book of Islam, prohibits Muslims from eating pork, and pigs have been used to taunt or offend Muslims.
Both the FBI and Las Vegas police say they're investigating the Dec. 27 incident west of the Strip as a possible hate crime.
The sit wasn't damaged and no one was hurt.
Officials at the mosque couldn't immediately be reached.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dyslexic donors turned away from largest UK sperm bank | Society | The Guardian
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 20:37
Campaigners referred to the ban on dyslexic men as 'eugenics'. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo
Britain's largest sperm bank has been turning away donors with dyslexia in what it describes as attempts to ''minimise the risk of transmitting common genetic diseases or malformations to any children born''.
In a practice branded ''eugenics'' by campaigners and a would-be donor, the London Sperm Bank has banned men with dyslexia or other common conditions it described as ''neurological diseases'' from donating.
A leaflet to donors lists a series of conditions the clinic screens for, including: attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD], autism, Asperger syndrome, dyslexia and the motor disorder dyspraxia.
The fertility regulator has launched a review of the London Sperm Bank after being alerted to its practices by the Guardian.
Part of a leaflet from the London Sperm Bank setting out a ban on donations from men with dyslexia. The leaflet has now been withdrawn. Photograph: London Sperm BankFollowing questions from the Guardian, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) asked the Harley Street-based clinic to explain its literature and policies and is involved in a review of its practices.
In a statement. the authority said: ''The HFEA has never required or endorsed prohibiting people with dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADD, ADHD and other disorders from becoming sperm donors. The clinic's HFEA inspector is clarifying our requirements for selecting donors with the centre, and is reviewing all the exemptions cited in the centre's materials, to ensure that all future donors are treated fairly and in accordance with the law.''
The intervention highlights a debate among experts about whether dyslexia, which affects up to 10% of the population, should be regarded as a disability.
Some even see dyslexia as an advantage because of the mental attributes often associated with the condition, such as lateral thinking, spatial reasoning and pattern recognition.
Prominent dyslexics have described their condition as a gift, citing the high proportion of dyslexic artists, entrepreneurs and entertainers including Sir Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Ruby Wax and Benjamin Zephaniah.
Fred Fisher, a 30-year-old dyslexic Oxford graduate, was told of the London Sperm Bank ban when he approached the clinic in November. ''I was really taken aback to see dyslexia listed as a neurological disease,'' he said. ''I'd never thought they would turn people way for having dyslexia, especially given how important we are told science and entrepreneurship are these days.''
Fisher, who is a software engineer based in London, said: ''I told them this was eugenics, but it's not even good eugenics. Would they turn away Richard Branson or Albert Einstein? We need innovative people who think differently in the world. Dyslexic people make a great contribution to our society.
''I would like the government and HFEA to be much clearer about ruling out this practice. And you could say the same for dyspraxia, ADD and ADHD.''
Vanessa Smith, quality manager at the JD Healthcare group, which runs the London Sperm Bank, said: ''The HFEA has been in touch with us. In response we will be reviewing all our practices and protocols.''
She said the organisation had now withdrawn its leaflet setting out the ban. Asked whether the London Sperm Bank still regarded dyslexia as a neurological disease, she said: ''Our literature states that but the policy is under review. There may be some genetic component to it. But we are going to review all the recent literature about it.''
When Fisher asked why the clinic banned dyslexic donors, he was told this was HFEA policy. Smith said it was ''unfortunate'' that Fisher was given this ''misinformation''.
A vial of donor sperm frozen in liquid nitrogen. Photograph: David Levene for the GuardianSteve O'Brien, chair of the Dyslexia Foundation and a board member of the International Dyslexia Association, said: ''This is eugenics. It's trying to say that dyslexics shouldn't be in society. But we're moving into a visually dominated world of Instagram and YouTube where given the right tools it is no longer an issue, because people with dyslexia are right-brained often with hyper-visual skills.
''By suggesting you can't donate sperm because you're dyslexic will knock people's confidence. This kind of stuff is what makes people shy away from admitting they have dyslexia and asking for help.''
Smith said: ''We definitely don't work in eugenics. When we recruit a donor what we are looking for is good sperm that is going to freeze well and will produce a pregnancy afterwards. We are looking for someone who is medically clear of infectious diseases and genetic issues that may possibly be passed on to any resulting child. But we are also looking for a guy who is coming forward for the right reasons who understands the lifelong commitment to this.''
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hyde Park visitors covertly tracked via mobile phone data | World news | The Guardian
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 19:16
As well as mobile data being tracked, soil moisture sensors and air pollution kits were used to monitor Hyde Park's environmental status. Photograph: Alamy
Visitors to Hyde Park, one of London's most famous tourist spots, were covertly tracked via their mobile phone signals in a trial undertaken by the Royal Parks to analyse footfall amid drastic funding cuts.
Officials were able to retrospectively locate park-goers for 12 months using anonymised mobile phone data provided by the network operator EE via a third party.
Aggregated age and gender data was also made available during the initiative. If a zone of the park contained more than 50 people at once, it was possible to ''drill down'' to the aggregated demographic data of visitors to that area too, creating a detailed picture of how different people used the park in previous months .
The third party which supplied the phone-tracking service, Future Cities Catapult (FCC) '' a government-funded initiative which focuses on urban renewal '' harvested data that officials from the Royal Parks said allowed them to review the number of visitors to Hyde Park and their distribution on a heat map.
The data also showed the percentage of people to have visited from different boroughs, towns and cities.
Related:London garden bridge users to have mobile phone signals tracked
EE triangulated visitors' locations from local mobile phone masts and sold the data to FCC, which has been tasked with the transformation of Hyde Park's technology. Only EE users were captured in the trial.
The trial took place from August 2014 to August 2015 and used mobile data with a four-week delay, according to EE.
Colin Buttery, deputy chief executive at the Royal Parks, told the Guardian the organisation could benefit from up-to-date methods to measure visitors: ''It would be great to find out how many people are in the park today, but that is very much blue-sky thinking.''
But Buttery added that it would not be possible to use mobile data for same-day visitor counts, while EE confirmed all its mobile data was sold with a four-week delay.
The Royal Parks and FCC said location data could inform policing of crowds at large events, tailor amenities to park usage and protect the ecology of the park, which was visited 12.8m times in 2014.
The trial follows a decade of severe cuts to the Royal Parks' government funding and a period of rapid diversification of its offering to visitors, including the launch of events such as Winter Wonderland, the annual festival and theme park, which attracted 4.5 million visitors to Hyde Park last year.
A ferris wheel at Winter Wonderland, which is one of the money-spinning events Hyde Park holds to make up its government funding shortfall. Photograph: Han Yan/Xinhua Press/CorbisThe Royal Parks' government funding has fallen to an all-time low, while visitor numbers have hit record highs. State funding for the eight parks dropped from approximately 80% of total revenue 10 years ago to just 35% last year.
The number of visitors has nearly doubled to 77 million during the same period, making it the most popular urban parkland in the world.
The deal with FCC is one of a number of ways to help the parks plan ways of raising revenue to assist with their £35m annual operating costs, which have not increased over the past 10 years despite inflation. New cafes, shops and galleries also compensate for the funding shortfall.
The Hyde Park initiative shares similarities with plans to track visitors to London's private garden bridge, revealed by the Guardian in November.
Usman Haque, co-founder of Thingful, a search engine for the Internet of Things, said: ''The notion of public spaces includes within it some notion of being anonymous within that space. When you don't have the option of defining that anonymity for yourself, I would argue your rights have been taken away.''
Related:BBC News staff voice concern over corporation tracking mobile devices
EE discloses in its privacy policy that it shares aggregated personal data about sales, customers and traffic patterns to third parties and says that the statistics will not include any information that ''is likely to identify you''.
The sale of location and demographic data has become big business for mobile phone carriers, which are looking for new ways to generate revenue.
Customers are increasingly accessing ''over the top'' services such as Skype and WhatsApp through mobile internet data, which carries a lower profit margin than call minutes or multimedia messaging. According to AdAge, third-party data sharing now represents a $24bn (£16bn) industry.
In addition to providing mobile data, FCC also deployed soil moisture sensors and air pollution kits to monitor Hyde Park's environmental status. Buttery said FCC's work was just one way the Royal Parks was attempting to boost sustainability and protect the natural ecology while raising self-generated revenue.
A Royal Parks spokesman said: ''Future Cities Catapult is very much a research project to which we have provided a venue for them to carry out a range of investigations including air, soil and water quality.
''While it would be useful to know how visitors use the park for future management, such as the provision of activities and amenities, and to protect the wildlife, we do not have plans to track real-time data of visitors through mobile phone data.
''The visitor data we saw as part of this project was several months old and was simply dots on a screen which showed us the flow of visitors. Any research of our visitors is carried out through official market research data.''
Scott Cain, chief business officer at FCC, said: ''The work we do is around innovation that makes cities better. We take a human-centered designed approach to engage with people.
''In Hyde Park we were looking to help the park manage its resources and ecology more efficiently as well as tailor its service provision to the way in which the public actually use the park.''
An EE spokesman said: ''Big data has proven to be a highly effective method of improving infrastructure and public services. We worked as part of the Sensing London project to inform the better use of the royal parks and provide greater understanding of the needs of park users.
''This would include providing anonymous and retrospective network usage data of large groups of people '' without ever intruding on the privacy of individuals.''
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Anne Frank foundation fights plans to publish diary online on 1 January | Books | The Guardian
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 15:25
Anne Frank's diary charts her life from 1942 to 1944, when her family were hiding in Amsterdam. She died in 1945 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Photograph: Universal History Archive/Univer
An academic and a French MP have said they will go ahead with plans to publish the diary of Anne Frank online on Friday, despite the organisation holding publication rights threatening legal action.
Related:Anne Frank: 10 beautiful quotes from The Diary of a Young Girl
Olivier Ertzscheid, a lecturer at the University of Nantes, France, said the planned 1 January publication date in the diary's original Dutch would be after the Diary of a Young Girl falls within public domain rules.
European copyright law dictates that a book become public domain on the first day of January 70 years after the author's death.
Anne Frank died at the age of 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945. Between 12 June 1942 and 1 August 1944, she wrote her red-and-white checked diary charting the time she spent in hiding in an Amsterdam warehouse until three days before her family was betrayed.
Her diary is one of the primary pieces of literature detailing life in Nazi-era Europe, with more than 30 million copies sold since its first publication in 1947.
Ertzscheid, who describes himself as a activist when it comes to public domain, called the pushback against publication ''appalling'', adding that works such as Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf will enter public domain on Friday.
The researcher had in October published on his website two French versions of the book, only to take them down after the Livre du Poche publisher sent a formal notice stating that copyright for translators was still in effect.
Otto Frank, father of Anne, pictured in 1971 receiving the Golden Pan award for the sale of one million copies of her Diary of a Young Girl. Photograph: Dave Caulkin/APAnne Frank Fonds, the Swiss charitable foundation established by her father Otto Frank in 1963, informed French publishers in October that the diaries would not be entering the public domain on 1 January 2016 because Otto, who died in 1980, had done so much work on the most widely published version that he had ''earned his own copyright''.
The foundation told the AFP news agency that it had sent a letter threatening legal action if the diary was published.
It argues that the book is a posthumous work, for which copyright extends 50 years past the publication date, and that a 1986 version published by the Dutch State Institute for War Documentation (NIOD) is under copyright until at least 2037.
Related:Hitler's Mein Kampf to be sold as annotated edition in Germany from January
Yves Kugelmann, a member of the board of the foundation's trustees, said earlier this year: ''After the war, Otto Frank merged, or compiled, the two versions of the diary that Anne Frank left, that were both incomplete and that partly overlapped, into one reader-friendly version. He typed over Anne Frank's manuscripts and with scissors and glue subsequently literally 'cut and pasted' them into the version that was published in English from the early fifties.
''The book he created earns his own copyright. For the purposes of copyright, he is to be viewed as an 'author' of that version. Please note, again, that this does not imply that he 'co-wrote' anything.''
French parliament member Isabelle Attard also plans to publish the book in its original Dutch on 1 January. Her spokesperson had previously defended the move: ''Saying now the book wasn't written by Anne alone is weakening the weight it has had for decades, as a testimony to the horrors of this war.''
Attard has criticised the foundation's move as a ''question of money'', adding that if the work were in the public domain, Anne Frank would win ''even more renown''.
Agence France-Presse contributed to this report.
Anne Frank foundation fights plans to publish diary online on 1 January
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 15:24
Anne Frank's diary charts her life from 1942 to 1944, when her family were hiding in Amsterdam. She died in 1945 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Photograph: Universal History Archive/Univer
An academic and a French MP have said they will go ahead with plans to publish the diary of Anne Frank online on Friday, despite the organisation holding publication rights threatening legal action.
Related:Anne Frank: 10 beautiful quotes from The Diary of a Young Girl
Olivier Ertzscheid, a lecturer at the University of Nantes, France, said the planned 1 January publication date in the diary's original Dutch would be after the Diary of a Young Girl falls within public domain rules.
European copyright law dictates that a book become public domain on the first day of January 70 years after the author's death.
Anne Frank died at the age of 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945. Between 12 June 1942 and 1 August 1944, she wrote her red-and-white checked diary charting the time she spent in hiding in an Amsterdam warehouse until three days before her family was betrayed.
Her diary is one of the primary pieces of literature detailing life in Nazi-era Europe, with more than 30 million copies sold since its first publication in 1947.
Ertzscheid, who describes himself as a activist when it comes to public domain, called the pushback against publication ''appalling'', adding that works such as Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf will enter public domain on Friday.
The researcher had in October published on his website two French versions of the book, only to take them down after the Livre du Poche publisher sent a formal notice stating that copyright for translators was still in effect.
Otto Frank, father of Anne, pictured in 1971 receiving the Golden Pan award for the sale of one million copies of her Diary of a Young Girl. Photograph: Dave Caulkin/APAnne Frank Fonds, the Swiss charitable foundation established by her father Otto Frank in 1963, informed French publishers in October that the diaries would not be entering the public domain on 1 January 2016 because Otto, who died in 1980, had done so much work on the most widely published version that he had ''earned his own copyright''.
The foundation told the AFP news agency that it had sent a letter threatening legal action if the diary was published.
It argues that the book is a posthumous work, for which copyright extends 50 years past the publication date, and that a 1986 version published by the Dutch State Institute for War Documentation (NIOD) is under copyright until at least 2037.
Related:Hitler's Mein Kampf to be sold as annotated edition in Germany from January
Yves Kugelmann, a member of the board of the foundation's trustees, said earlier this year: ''After the war, Otto Frank merged, or compiled, the two versions of the diary that Anne Frank left, that were both incomplete and that partly overlapped, into one reader-friendly version. He typed over Anne Frank's manuscripts and with scissors and glue subsequently literally 'cut and pasted' them into the version that was published in English from the early fifties.
''The book he created earns his own copyright. For the purposes of copyright, he is to be viewed as an 'author' of that version. Please note, again, that this does not imply that he 'co-wrote' anything.''
French parliament member Isabelle Attard also plans to publish the book in its original Dutch on 1 January. Her spokesperson had previously defended the move: ''Saying now the book wasn't written by Anne alone is weakening the weight it has had for decades, as a testimony to the horrors of this war.''
Attard has criticised the foundation's move as a ''question of money'', adding that if the work were in the public domain, Anne Frank would win ''even more renown''.
Agence France-Presse contributed to this report.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
F-Russia
TASS: Russian Politics & Diplomacy - Russian Defense Ministry accuses Pentagon of imitating fight against Islamic State
Mon, 28 Dec 2015 14:40
Read also
MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. The Pentagon, refusing to transfer the data on terrorist targets in Syria to the Russian military, continues to fight against the Islamic State terrorist group "in word only", Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told reporters on Monday.
He thus commented on a recent statement by the Pentagon spokesperson Michelle Baldanza who confirmed that the US military did not intend to share with Moscow the information on IS targets until Russia changes its policy towards Syrian President Bashar Assad. "We are not going to cooperate with Russia on Syria until they change their strategy of supporting Assad and instead focus on ISIL (IS)," Baldanza said.
"The hackneyed thesis has once again confirmed that the Pentagon will fight against IS in word only, instead of taking real action," Konashenkov said. "The statement by the US Defense Department spokesperson Michelle Baldanza about the [US side's] refusal from any cooperation in the fight against Islamic State is a broken record, and it's high time to change it," he said.
The Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said that at last week's news briefing of the chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the Russian General Staff, General Sergey Rudskoy, the military presented data on changes in the routes of illegal transportation of oil by the Islamic State militants.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the new routes run through the north-western regions of Iraq, which "are in the focus of constant attention of the United States." "We publicly told our American colleagues that it is necessary not to discuss the IS activities in Iraq, but to take real action to block the terrorists' sources of income in the region," Konashenkov said.
On December 25, Sergey Rudskoy told journalists that Russian intelligence found almost 12,000 tank/delivery trucks on the Turkish-Iraqi border near Zakho, where the 'eastern' oil smuggling route used by the Islamic State terrorist group runs. "As of the time the imagery was shot, there were 11,775 tank and delivery trucks on both sides of the Turkish-Iraqi border in the vicinity of Zakho, with 4,530 of them in Turkey and 7,250 in Iraq," he added. "It is worth mentioning that oil extracted both in Iraq and in Syria is smuggled via the checkpoint there," he added.
The Defense Ministry had said previously that the Russia-banned Islamic State's eastern oil smuggling route led from the oilfields in Syria's northeast and Iraq's northwest to Turkey via the border towns of Kara Chokh, Cham Khanik, Tavan and Zakho. Since the beginning of the operation in Syria, Russian aircraft have taken out around 2,000 tank trucks operated by the militants. "Thirty-seven oil wells and refineries operated by the terrorists and 17 tank truck convoys hauling oil products have been eliminated over the last week," Rudskoi said.
The Russian military launched an air operation against the militants with the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria on September 30 by request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Russian air task force in Syria included over 50 aircraft, including Su-34 (NATO reporting name: Fullback) and Su-24M (Fencer) tactical bombers, Su-25 (Frogfoot) attack aircraft, Su-30SM (Flanker-H) multirole fighters and Mi-8 (Hip) and Mi-24 (Hind) helicopters. The Russian Defense Ministry issued a statement in mid-November that it would focus its strikes on the oil production, storage, refining and transportation facilities controlled by Islamic State militants.
Obama's ''Worst Nightmare'' Realized As Chinese Troops Flood Into Syria - AWD News
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 20:22
DetailsTop News29 December 2015In what a new Ministry of Defense (MoD) report circulating in the Kremlin today is describing as President Barack Obama's ''worst nightmare'', the Ministry of National Defense (MoND) of the People's Republic of China has secured the permission of the Syria Arab Republic to begin ''flooding'' into the Levant War Zone up to 5,000 of its most elite military forces, and which will first include the feared Shenyang Military Region ''Siberian Tiger'' Special Forces and Lanzhou Military Region ''Night Tiger'' Special Forces Units.
According to this MoD report, this extraordinary move by China to enter into this war was authorized by China's National People's Congress (NPC) yesterday by their passing that country's first anti-terrorism law making it legal for the People's Liberation Army to take part in counter-terrorism missions abroad'--and which fulfils the 30 November vow made to President Putin by Chinese President Xi Jinping that his nation would work to take on a broader role in the international war against terrorism and that China would be at Russia's disposal to aid in global anti-terror efforts.
Most critical to China in entering this war, this report continues, is the ''grave'' national security threat it faces from both the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/Daesh) and Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MIT)'--and as, perhaps, best described by the noted award winning American military-intelligence journalist Seymour M. Hersh who in his latest article warned of this threat by stating:
''China, an ally of [Syrian leader] Assad has committed more than $30 billion to postwar reconstruction in Syria. China, too, is worried about the Islamic State. China regards the Syrian crisis from three perspectives: international law and legitimacy; global strategic positioning; and the activities of jihadist Uighurs, from Xinjiang province in China's far west.
Xinjiang borders eight nations '' Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India '' and, in China's view, serves as a funnel for terrorism around the world and within China.
Many Uighur fighters now in Syria are known to be members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement'--an often violent separatist organization that seeks to establish an Islamist Uighur state in Xinjiang.
The fact that they have been aided by Turkish intelligence to move from China into Syria through Turkey has caused a tremendous amount of tension between the Chinese and Turkish intelligence and China is concerned that the Turkish role of supporting the Uighur fighters in Syria may be extended in the future to support Turkey's agenda in Xinjiang.''
Though the US corporate-propaganda media continues to blackball from the American people Hersh's ''bombshell'' article, this report notes, 2015 has become the year Russia exposed the barbaric nature of Western powers'--from their criminal conspiracy for regime change in Syria, to aggression against Yemen, Iran, Russia, China and any country that does not toe the line'--and has, also, exposed for the entire world to see that the Obama regimes fight against the Islamic State has all been pretended.
And with the Obama regime reported to be scrambling to come up with new lies to tell the American people about this war, this report says, only one person in that government, US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, just weeks ago warned the American public that not only is the Obama regime lying to them, they may end up inadvertently starting World War III.
Echoing Congresswoman Gabbard's fears, this report further notes, is billionaire investor George Soros, who warned the Obama regime this past summer that China might use the Levant War to mask its mounting economic problems and stated ''should the external conflict escalate into a military confrontation with an ally of the United States such as Turkey or Japan, it is not an exaggeration to say that we would be on the threshold of a third world war.''
As to why the Obama regime is still protecting the terrorist-supporting nation of Turkey and daily sending in more NATO forces to defend risking world war, this report notes, is beyond insanity'--especially when viewed of the light of Turkish leader Erdogan refusing President Obama's order to remove Turkish troops who illegally invaded Iraq, and, just yesterday, Turkish intelligence services assassinating another journalist, Naji Jerf, editor-in-chief of the Hentah monthly, for exposing Erdogan's support of Islamic State terrorists.
So as President Putin's special envoy, Alexander Lavrentyev, continues today visiting and informing various Middle East nations of Russia's new alliance with China against Turkey and the Islamic State, this report concludes, it is, also, preparing for the worst'--and which is why the Western Military District, equipped with Iskander-M tactical ballistic missile systems, was put on alert just hours ago.
Source: EU Times
Hits: 9989
NA-Tech NEws
FaceBag BlowBack on "Free Basics"
Free Basics Platform | Internet.org
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 19:45
Join the Free Basics Platform by adding your app, website, or service to Free Basics, which provides people free access to a range of basic services in markets where internet access may be less affordable.
Add your website to Free Basics to:
Grow your audience by providing affordable access to your services.Scale your social impact.Establish your brandearlyin the fastest-growing mobile markets.Submit to the Free Basics Platform
Open PlatformFree Basics is an open platform. Anyone can add their website to the Free Basics Platform so long as they abide by our participation guidelines, which exist to optimize for performance on older phones and slower network connections.
Learn about our Participation Guidelines
DevelopersReach new-to-internet users across Africa, Asia, and Latin America and make a social impact by adapting your mobile app or website for the Free Basics platform.
Get started
Non-profit OrganizationsIf you are a non-profit organization or NGO with services or information that are beneficial for new-to-internet users, there are resources that can help you build and adapt your website for Free Basics.
Learn more
GovernmentsProvide essential information to your citizens through Free Basics.
Contact us
Success StoriesSmartBusiness, a South African website that helps people launch and run businesses, receives 5x more daily searches since joining the Free Basics Platform.
Socialblood is building the largest network of blood donors, hospitals, and blood banks on the internet. Since joining the Free Basics Platform, Socialblood has seen an 85 percent increase in monthly visitors, a 59 percent increase in requests for blood, and a 65 percent decrease in donor response time. Through Free Basics, Socialblood has connected thousands of patients across the globe to life saving blood products.
Maya, a women's health support website, sees 71 percent of their traffic from Free Basics. Maya receives 18x more daily queries since launching with Free Basics.
1doc3, a digital platform from Colombia that helps real doctors answer medical questions, has seen 21 percent of total traffic generated from Free Basics. Free Basics has also allowed the company to reach 4 new markets.
BabyCenter has reached 3.4 million people with vital health information for pregnancy and parenting through Free Basics alone.
Join the Free Basics PlatformContact Us
Why India's Net Neutrality Activists Hate Facebook - Bloomberg Business
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 19:44
Facebook Inc. Chairman Mark Zuckerberg made a personal appeal in one of India's leading newspapers for the country to allow a free Internet service that has stirred controversy and invited questions from regulators.
Facebook's proposed Free Basics plan allows customers to access the social network and other services such as education, health care, and employment listings from their phones without a data plan. Yet activists say the program threatens the principles of net neutrality and could change pricing in India for access to different websites.
The backlash in India centers on net neutrality, the principle that all Internet websites should be equally accessible. Critics accused the world's largest social networking company of favoring a limited swath of the Internet and excluding rival services. And Facebook's broader Internet.org initiative, including Free Basics, is seen as an effective way to draw more users onto a social network already used by over a billion people.
''We haven't got a problem with free Internet as long as it's open to all. Free Basics is just a way of locking in users into the Facebook ecosystem. There's no Google, no YouTube,'' said Mahesh Murthy, a venture capitalist who co-founded Seedfund and marketing startup Pinstorm. ''It can't be that the rich get access to the entire Internet and the poor get access only to Facebook.''
Costly InitiativeZuckerberg's Facebook is spending billions of dollars on Internet.org, including projects to deliver the Web to under-served areas via drones, satellites and lasers. The billionaire co-founder has said Facebook or its partners will not make money off this initiative and that the goal is to bring Internet access to the developing world and alleviate poverty.
''This isn't about Facebook's commercial interests '' there aren't even any ads in the version of Facebook in Free Basics,'' Zuckerberg wrote in an opinion piece in the Times of India. ''If people lose access to free basic services they will simply lose access to the opportunities offered by the Internet today.''
This month, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India asked in a ''consultation paper'' whether telecommunications service providers should be allowed to charge different pricing for data usage on websites, applications and platforms. The initial comment period for the Indian consultation paper ends Dec. 30.
Activists have argued that Free Basics is a ''land grab on government property'' and that with data rates in India already being low, eventually ''everybody will be on the full and open Internet.''
CampaigningWith two days to go before the deadline on comments, Facebook is scrambling to drum up support for Free Basics, a program already offered in 37 countries from Bangladesh to Zambia.
Beyond Zuckerberg's op-ed, his company has taken out full-page advertisements to make its case. One features a smiling Indian farmer and his family who the ads say used new techniques to double his crop yield.
It's started a ''Save Free Basics In India'' campaign, asking Indian users to support ''digital equality'' by filling out a form that shoots an e-mail to regulators. That also has the effect of sending notifications to user's friends unless they opt out.
''There's just a tremendous opportunity in India,'' Zuckerberg told students at the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi in October. ''If there are a billion people who are not connected, then this is one of the biggest opportunities I think to help develop the economy here and to help obviate poverty and really lift up a lot of folks.''
Facebook fights for free Internet in India, global test-case
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 15:23
MUMBAI/NEW DELHI India has become a battleground over the right to unrestricted Internet access, with local tech start-ups joining the front line against Facebook Inc founder Mark Zuckerberg and his plan to roll out free Internet to the country's masses.
The Indian government has ordered Facebook's Free Basics plan to be put on hold while it decides what to do.
The program, launched in around three dozen developing countries, offers pared-down web services on mobile phones, along with access to Facebook's own social network and messaging services, without charge.
But critics say the program, launched 10 months ago in India in collaboration with operator Reliance Communications, violates principles of net neutrality, the concept that all websites on the internet are treated equally. It would put small content providers and start-ups that don't participate in it at a disadvantage, they say.
"India is a test case for a company like Facebook and what happens here will affect the roll out of this service in other smaller countries where perhaps there is not so much awareness at present," said Mishi Choudhary, a New York-based lawyer who works on technology and Internet advocacy issues.
Also at stake is Facebook's ambition to expand in its largest market outside the United States. Only 252 million of India's 1.3 billion people have Internet access, making it a growth market for firms including Google and Facebook.
RECORD SUBMISSIONS
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said on Thursday it had received record submissions for a public consultation that precedes the rule-making process.
But more than three quarters of the 1.8 million comments submitted by users via Facebook will be disregarded as they did not follow the proper format, TRAI Chairman Ram Sevak Sharma told a news conference.
In the past week, Facebook has urged users in India to send a response to the TRAI both through its social networking platform and through mobiles by dialling a number that automatically generates a response on the users' behalf.
However, the social media giant faces stiff resistance.
In a letter seen by Reuters, the heads of nine start-ups including Alibaba-backed Paytm and dining app Zomato have written to the TRAI urging it to ensure Internet access was allowed without differential pricing.
The executives said in the letter, dated Tuesday, that differential pricing for Internet access would lead to a "few players like Facebook with its Free Basics platform acting as gate-keepers."
"There is no reason to create a digital divide by offering a walled garden of limited services in the name of providing access to the poor," they wrote.
Zuckerberg has got personally involved.
"We know that for every 10 people connected to the Internet, roughly one is lifted out of poverty," he wrote in The Times of India newspaper this week. "We know that for India to make progress, more than 1 billion people need to be connected to the Internet.
"What reason is there for denying people free access to vital services for communication, education, healthcare, employment, farming and women's rights?"
BOTH SIDES
A Facebook spokesman said the aim of the Free Basics initiative was to give people a taste of what the internet can offer. And Facebook has issued a series of full-page newspaper advertisements and billboard banners in an aggressive campaign to counter the protests.
"Free Basics is at risk of being banned, slowing progress towards digital equality in India," said an advertisement published in Mumbai newspapers on Wednesday, urging Internet users to support the initiative.
Launched last year in Zambia, Free Basics, earlier known as internet.org, has run in to trouble elsewhere on grounds that it infringes the principle of net neutrality. Authorities in Egypt effectively suspended the service when a required permit was not renewed after it lapsed on Wednesday.
The TRAI has asked Facebook and Reliance Communications to suspend Free Basics until a final policy decision is made next month.
"In a democracy you have both sides - you have Facebook spending so much on the campaign and on the other side you have internet activists making their own efforts," the TRAI's Sharma told Reuters on Wednesday.
"Our job is to make a policy that is in the interest of telecom operators and end users in India."
(Reporting by Himank Sharm and Douglas Busvine; Writing by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Ian Geoghegan)
New Facebook service ignites battle over net neutrality in India - LA Times
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 19:43
Amid fierce opposition in one of its most important markets, Facebook has launched an aggressive campaign in India for an app that gives users access to a small number of Internet services for free, arguing it could help lift millions out of poverty.
The Menlo Park, Calif.-based social media giant has blanketed Indian cities with billboards and taken out two-page newspaper advertisements to tout Free Basics, which Indian regulators suspended last week after opponents claimed it violated Internet neutrality, the principle that Internet providers allow equal access to all online content.
In an op-ed piece published Monday in the Times of India, the country's largest English-language newspaper, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote that critics have mischaracterized Free Basics, which he said serves as a bridge to the Internet for millions who had never been online before.
''If we accept that everyone deserves access to the internet, then we must surely support free basic internet services,'' Zuckerberg wrote. He compared the service to libraries, education and healthcare '' basic public goods that everyone expects to be available.
Libraries ''don't contain every book, but they still provide a world of good,'' Zuckerberg wrote.
The struggle over Free Basics has evolved into a surprisingly bitter contest between Zuckerberg's goal to spread Internet access across the globe '' while recruiting millions more Facebook users '' and a diverse collection of Indian activists and entrepreneurs who accuse the company of creating a second-tier Internet service for people who can't afford to pay for data.
Join the conversation on Facebook >>
It also shows how India has become a battleground for tech giants, including Google and Microsoft, who are grappling for advantage in a country that will soon surpass the U.S. and claim the world's second highest number of Internet users '' with two-thirds of the population yet to be reached.
Free Basics is a pre-selected suite of Internet services for healthcare, education, weather, jobs and communication '' including, of course, Facebook '' that the company has rolled out in more than 30 emerging markets, including India, in partnership with local telecom companies.
Users get those services '' which vary by country '' for free but must pay for access to other sites and apps outside of Free Basics. That has led to allegations that it hinders consumer choice and violates the net neutrality principle, which requires that Internet providers don't prioritize traffic to certain websites.
Critics say that by controlling which services are part of Free Basics, Facebook will determine the content that the poorest Internet users get to see. Mahesh Murthy, a Mumbai venture capitalist and net neutrality activist, has described it as ''digital apartheid.''
''Unlike the rest of us who are all digitally equal, being able to access the full and complete internet, which has more than a billion sites on it, Facebook wants to offer our poor, our young and our future a few dozen sites, that's all,'' Murthy wrote in an online commentary.
Internet experts in India have also raised questions about online privacy, arguing that Facebook, by directing all traffic through its partner apps, could suck up data about its users.
Facebook has responded by promising strict data encryption and saying it will not bar any apps or developers from joining the Free Basics suite if they meet its technical requirements.
The company says that 15 million people use Free Basics in countries such as the Philippines, Malawi, Bangladesh, Thailand and Mongolia, including about 800,000 in India. According to its data, half the users who go online for the first time with Free Basics pay to access the full Internet within a month.
''Free Basics is a bridge to the full internet and digital equality,'' Zuckerberg wrote in the op-ed.
Many Indians have not been impressed. Several top Internet companies refused to participate in Free Basics. More than 1 million people submitted petitions earlier this year in support of net neutrality to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, according to Save the Internet, an online volunteer group that led the campaign.
Last week, the regulatory authority ordered Reliance Communications '' which has partnered with Facebook to release Free Basics in India '' to stop the service pending a ruling on whether it violates net neutrality. A decision is expected next month.
The controversy has been a blow to Zuckerberg, who has personally courted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in what has widely been seen as an effort to boost Facebook's 1.5 billion worldwide user base on the back of the fast-growing Indian market. With an estimated 400 million Internet users '' a nearly 50% jump over last year '' India represents the last massive frontier for Facebook, which is banned in China.
Google is also trying to increase its usage in India. Google Chief Executive Sunder Pichai, who was born in the Indian city of Chennai, visited the country this month and reiterated plans to provide Wi-Fi at 500 railway stations and allow Google users to type in 11 Indian languages, including Modi's native Gujarati, on the Android platform.
The Indian regulator has announced a Wednesday deadline for public comment on Free Basics, prompting Facebook's marketing push. ''Support Rahul,'' says one ad, featuring a man whom the company says is an engineering student who used Free Basics for research.
Opponents have also swung into action. The comedy group All India Bakchod released an online video (with expletives) last week opposing the Facebook plan and poking fun at its tactics.
Noting that Facebook was running a prominent link on its site in India asking users to support ''digital equality,'' which the company says more than 3 million people have clicked, Rohan Joshi, one of the comedians, joked: ''When it's the top notification on Facebook, in vague wording, that makes it sound like Free Basics is basically the solution to India's poverty problem.''
Follow @SBengali for news from South Asia
ALSO
South Korea and Japan reach deal on World War II sex slaves
South Korean single mothers turn to theater to strike back against stereotypes
Lame Cherry: The Villainy of Mark Zuckerberg
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 19:42
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
The VILLAINY of Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook knows absolutely no bounds, depths or craters to hell, as he has targeted one of the poorest nations on earth with thee worst nation rapist scheme engaged since Birther Obama looted 18 trillion dollars from the US economy for his cartel cronies.
DOMINATE: Zuckerberg's Internet.org cast as villain in India fight over Internet rules...
'False claims'...
'Digital apartheid'...
It all seems not that lethal when Mark Zuckerberg talks about free internet, but is there really anything in this world which is free? Is Welfare free when it robs from the rich and gives to the poor? Are organ donors giving away organs when hospitals charge people hundreds of thousands of dollars for them? Is a nation free when it is an Obama debt gulag?
You have to look at this plea by Mark Zuckerberg to the billion people of India in demanding free internet for those billion Hindus.
So they get free internet...........someone though has to put up the hardware, software, electricity and yes computers, as the reality is about 750 million Indians wipe their asses with grass each day, and their daily paddy is a regime hand out.
The poor can not pay for this, so the impoverished Indian people will have to pay for it, instead of food and ways to raise their people to a better standard of living.
But what is in it for Zuckeberg as it is not good will toward men from this Ashkenaz schemer for the NSA.
It is about market share. See Zuckerberg is sucking money and the life out of the internet in his Facebook scheme, of censorship, ad rate jacking, destroying other news sites, and yes inflating numbers of users with bogus ad hits, so he can inflate his faux power presence on the internet.Zucktard is tapped out, and his scheme is to bloat Facebook with a billion more paddy eaters, and make site sponsors pay for these deadbeats......meaning Zuckerberg is going to charge like Amazon more money for ads, to people who will never buy a damn thing from Jeff Bezos, but Bezos can not shit money, so in the end it will be higher prices YOU IN AMERICA will have to pay for these Indians in their free internet.
That is all Zuckerberg is driving for in cold feudal capitalism. He is just squeezing the life blood out poor Asians and expecting Americans to subsidize Facebook to spy on them some more.
I am telling you people to get off of Facebook. Do not visit that damnedable site. If you want to talk so bad to people, get the old chat programs or get a blog to post things of yourself, which no one will read anyway, as that Facebook AI is raising hell all over the internet already, and now this international fiend named Mark Zuckerberg is raping India to death, in trying to bankrupt them for Facebook ad numbers which you Americans and Europeans are going to pay for. That is the realty, because as Bill Gates mocked Zuckerberg correctly a few months ago in, "What good is free internet to people who need food and medicine and have no computers?"Yeah the computers come next too in your paying for them as Zuckerberg addicts those Asians to the net, and you will remember one poor Asian girl killed herself, because her husband took the net away from her, as that is all she did is sit on that mind control Facebook and destroy herself.
Now you know what a heinous crimes against humanity terrorist Mark Zuckerberg is.......along with all his other crimes from getting sweetheart multi million dollar loans for his mountain mansion depriving poor people of those moneys for loans from banks to their homes.
Zuckerberg is as evil as George Soros and Warren Buffett. He belongs as they do before People's Courts like Nuremberg to seize all he stole and to find him guilty of crimes against humanity.
Nuff said
agtG
New Google Glass: Latest version is bendy and has a better battery - Independent.ie
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 21:04
James Titcomb
Published 29/12/2015 | 12:02
Pictures of a new version of Google Glass have emerged in filings with American authorities, revealing a bendy design more akin to typical glasses.
Google pulled sales of its £1,000 wearable headset almost a year ago and cancelled the "Explorer" programme for testing it, despite spending years on its development. The move was seen as a major U-turn at the time, although Google insisted that it had not cancelled the Glass project and that it would focus on business users.
Now, images of a new model have appeared on the Federal Communications Commission website. They show a new, foldable, design that will let owners store Glass in their pockets or cases like normal spectacles, as well as a manual for the device.
Some photos show Glass with the nose bridge that helped the earlier version stay on an owner's face, while others do not, although the latter may just be to show the design better.
Google was one of the first big companies in the wearable tech space, unveiling Glass in 2012. The headset was designed to take pictures, respond to voice controls and display other smartphone-style features on a small screen on the edge of the right eye.
It went on sale to some people in 2013 before a general release in 2014, and several popular services developed apps for the technology. However, many were quickly abandoned, and Glass drew controversy, especially over surreptitious filming. Google even had to explain to users how not to be a "glasshole".
In January, Google pulled sales of the original device, but said it would release a new version, focused on enterprise users, when it is ready. The new device is already being quietly used in some businesses, although a consumer version, if it emerges, is believed to be some way away.
At the same time, other wearable tech products, such as Apple's Watch, have emerged, while a series of other augmented reality products like Microsoft's Hololens are due to go on sale in 2016.
A basic manual reveals that controls for the new Google Glass are similar to those of the previous version. However, it uses an improved Intel processor that will mean better battery life, and reportedly also has a slightly larger screen.
Telegraph.co.uk
Free Internet service for over 3 million Egyptians shut down
Wed, 30 Dec 2015 16:48
Dec. 30, 2015 | 06:13 PM
In this March 30, 2011, file photo, an art student from the University of Helwan paints the Facebook logo on a mural commemorating the revolution that overthrew Hosni Mubarak in the Zamalek neighborhood of Cairo, Egypt. (AP Photo/Manoocher Deghati, File)
The Year of Cloud and Big Data Obfuscation | John C. Dvorak | PCMag.com
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 03:15
The jargon and double-speak are hitting all-time highs in Silicon Valley and beyond. Here's the translations you need.
Everyone seems to think that the Cloud and Big Data is going to be bigger than ever in 2016. All of us "data civilians" (a new term I just ran across) will only need a terminal and a mobile phone, maybe a notepad, to get access.
This vision would be a little more attractive if today's cloud offerings worked as advertised. That includes Adobe's Creative Cloud, Microsoft Office 365, and cloud initiatives by Autodesk and others, none of which work as smoothly as they should and must be a support nightmare. This holds true for anything with the "cloud" moniker, including various "personal clouds" in the form of Network Attached Storage (NAS) with some Internet access.
Exactly why the simplicity of a backup system consisting of a USB-attached drive and a decent backup program is eschewed in favor of the cloud is beyond me. The only relevant fear to argue against in-house backup is if the place burns down. So yes, you need an offsite backup. Fine. I personally keep a backup drive in my car trunk or at someone else's house. Apparently General Motors cannot do that.
Meanwhile, since data is being accumulated in these various "clouds," the idea that this information can provide a source for analysis is being chatted up, unlike anything I've seen since the days of "client-server."
The level of linguistic nonsense used to hype the idea is reaching an all-time high. Let me relate a few gems in a recent article from the India Infoline News Service regarding Oracle's predictions for 2016 regarding Big Data. It's as though the editors sat around dreaming up the most ludicrous and meaningless phrases they could imagine. Adderall is at work here.
This is the thesis sentence used to describe what will happen in the coming year: "2016 will witness an increase in the proliferation of experiments default risk, policy underwriting, and fraud detection as firms try to identify hotspots for algorithmic advantage faster than the competition." Translation: In 2016 we will struggle to make anything work.
And there is this gem: "In 2016, simpler big data discovery tools will let business analysts shop for datasets in enterprise Hadoop clusters, reshape them into new mashup combinations, and even analyze them with exploratory machine learning technique." Translation: In 2016 we'll see a lot of confusing tools that will do nothing useful.
Onward: "Organizations will witness that successful data virtualization technology will offer performance equal to that of native methods, complete backward compatibility and security." Translation: This makes no sense, but sounds like it might make sense.
Next: "But in the big data era data lineage is a must-have because customers are mashing up company data with third-party data sets." Translation: We will try not to lose data in a simple merge-purge operation.
Another one: "Highly secure IoT Cloud services will help manufacturers create new products that safely take action on the analyzed data without human intervention." Translation: Let's make the most idiotic assertions and see what happens.
I'd advise everyone, especially investors, to read this article since all the newest Silicon Valley jargon and nonsense is in there for your use at the next board meeting. Mix and match and call it a trend. Something like "Balance controlled security sub-systems using AI techniques will eliminate the need for intervention regarding vendor verifications." Cool!
What I see is obfuscation and nonsense. Someone will lap this up because they are indeed dull-witted and this sounds smart to them. What it tells me is that these technologies are mostly a con; otherwise why can't someone actually explain the benefits in plain English? It's because it ends up coming out like the above translations.
We'll be able to do it someday...after the nonsense dissipates. I can do it with cloud services, for example. Translation: Clouds services are searchable and sometimes manipulatable off-site data backup stores. Also a way to make more money.
I can now do it for Big Data. Translation: Big Data is a meaningless term employed as a promise for some unobtainable utopia of information analysis. Also a way to make more money.
So when someone uses the moniker "Big data" at a cocktail party, immediately call them a Communist and walk away.
Back to top
Previous :Buffer for BusinessJohn Dvorak is a columnist for PCMag.com and the host of the weekly TV video podcast CrankyGeeks. His work is licensed around the world. Previously a columnist for Forbes, Forbes Digital, PC World, Barrons, MacUser, PC/Computing, Smart Business and other magazines and newspapers. Former editor and consulting editor for Infoworld. Has appeared in the New York Times, LA Times, Philadelphia Enquirer, SF Examiner, Vancouver Sun. Was on the start-up team for CNet TV as well as ZDTV. At ZDTV (and TechTV) was host of Silicon... More >>
Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
blog comments powered by
Facebook must face shareholder class actions over IPO
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 03:39
NEW YORK A federal judge has certified two shareholder class actions accusing Facebook Inc of hiding concerns about its growth forecasts prior to the social media company's May 2012 initial public offering.
U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet in Manhattan said retail and institutional investors who claimed to lose money from buying Facebook shares at inflated prices in connection with the $16 billion IPO may pursue their respective claims as groups.
The decision is dated Dec. 11 but had been kept under seal, which Sweet lifted in an order made public on Tuesday.
Other Facebook defendants include Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and other officials.
Facebook is appealing the class certifications, which the Menlo Park, California-based company said are "without merit" and conflict with "well-settled" precedent.
Shareholders accused Facebook of concealing internal projections prior to its IPO of how growth in mobile devices, an area in which it generated little ad revenue, might hurt its prospects, even as it quietly warned underwriters to cut their forecasts.
Facebook made its market debut on May 18, 2012 at $38 per share. Its share price fell to $17.55 on Sept. 4, 2012 and stayed below the IPO price for more than a year.
The stock ultimately rebounded, and closed on Tuesday up $1.33 at $107.26 on Nasdaq. That gave Facebook a roughly $303 billion market value, Reuters data show.
In his 55-page decision, Sweet said Facebook "marshaled an impressive amount of evidence" to suggest that shareholders knew how mobile usage would affect revenue.
But he rejected Facebook's argument that shareholders should pursue their claims individually, which might prove costly and reduce recoveries, because of wide variations in how much they knew.
Sweet wrote that "given the extraordinary size of this case," allowing two subclasses "in fact adds more weight to the predominance of common questions and answers, practically negating the individualized questions raised."
In asking the federal appeals court in Manhattan for permission to appeal the class certifications, Facebook said on Monday "the suggestion that class members' knowledge might be inferred on a class-wide basis flouts due process," helping make Sweet's decision "all the more arbitrary."
The law firms Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann and Labaton Sucharow were appointed class counsel. Thomas Dubbs, a Labaton partner, said he is pleased with Sweet's decision.
The case is In re: Facebook Inc IPO Securities and Derivative Litigation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 12-md-02389.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Additional reporting by Nate Raymond; Editing by Chris Reese and Richard Chang)
A Facebook logo is displayed on the side of a tour bus in New York's financial district July 28, 2015.
Reuters/Brendan McDermid
Elite$
Bush cancels Europe trip amid calls for his arrest - Salon.com
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 17:24
Will George W. Bush set foot in Europe again in his lifetime?
A planned trip by Bush to speak at the Switzerland-based United Israel Appeal later this week has been canceled after several human rights groups called for Swiss authorities to arrest Bush and investigate him for authorizing torture. Bush has traveled widely since leaving office, but not to Europe, where there is a strong tradition of international prosecutions.
The Swiss group and Bush's spokesman claim that it was threats of protest, not of legal action, that prompted the cancellation. But facing protests is nothing new for Bush. What was different about this trip was that groups including Amnesty International and the Center for Constitutional Rights argued that Switzerland, as a party to the UN Convention against Torture, is obligated to investigate Bush for potential prosecution.
Amnesty's memo to Swiss authorities cites, among other things, Bush's admission in his own memoir that he approved the use of waterboarding. From Amnesty's press release:
''To date, we've seen a handful of military investigations into detentions and interrogations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantnamo. But none of these has had the independence and reach necessary to investigate high-level officials such as President Bush,'' said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
''Meanwhile, there has been virtually zero accountability for crimes committed in the CIA's secret detention program, which was authorized by then-President Bush.''
Anywhere in the world that he travels, President Bush could face investigation and potential prosecution for his responsibility for torture and other crimes in international law, particularly in any of the 147 countries that are party to the UN Convention against Torture.
''As the US authorities have, so far, failed to bring President Bush to justice, the international community must step in,'' said Salil Shetty.
The Center for Constitutional Rights, meanwhile, intended to file a 2,500-page complaint against Bush in Swiss court on behalf of two Guantanamo detainees. The group will release that complaint to the public today.
Here is the Amnesty memo:
amr510092011en
EuroLand
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Crisis Worse than ISIS? Bail-Ins Begin
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 19:09
This piece first appeared at Web of Debt.
At the end of November, an Italian pensioner hanged himself after his entire '‚¬100,000 savings were confiscated in a bank ''rescue'' scheme. He left a suicide note blaming the bank, where he had been a customer for 50 years and had invested in bank-issued bonds. But he might better have blamed the EU and the G20's Financial Stability Board, which have imposed an ''Orderly Resolution'' regime that keeps insolvent banks afloat by confiscating the savings of investors and depositors. Some 130,000 shareholders and junior bond holders suffered losses in the ''rescue.''
The pensioner's bank was one of four small regional banks that had been put under special administration over the past two years. The '‚¬3.6 billion ($3.83 billion) rescue plan launched by the Italian government uses a newly-formed National Resolution Fund, which is fed by the country's healthy banks. But before the fund can be tapped, losses must be imposed on investors; and in January, EU rules will require that they also be imposed on depositors. According to a December 10th article on BBC.com:
The rescue was a ''bail-in'' '' meaning bondholders suffered losses '' unlike the hugely unpopular bank bailouts during the 2008 financial crisis, which cost ordinary EU taxpayers tens of billions of euros.
Correspondents say [Italian Prime Minister] Renzi acted quickly because in January, the EU is tightening the rules on bank rescues '' they will force losses on depositors holding more than '‚¬100,000, as well as bank shareholders and bondholders.
. . . [L]etting the four banks fail under those new EU rules next year would have meant ''sacrificing the money of one million savers and the jobs of nearly 6,000 people''.
That is what is predicted for 2016: massive sacrifice of savings and jobs to prop up a ''systemically risky'' global banking scheme.
Bail-in Under Dodd-Frank
That is all happening in the EU. Is there reason for concern in the US?
According to former hedge fund manager Shah Gilani, writing for Money Morning, there is. In a November 30th article titled ''Why I'm Closing My Bank Accounts While I Still Can,'' he writes:
[It is] entirely possible in the next banking crisis that depositors in giant too-big-to-fail failing banks could have their money confiscated and turned into equity shares. . . .
If your too-big-to-fail (TBTF) bank is failing because they can't pay off derivative bets they made, and the government refuses to bail them out, under a mandate titled ''Adequacy of Loss-Absorbing Capacity of Global Systemically Important Banks in Resolution,'' approved on Nov. 16, 2014, by the G20's Financial Stability Board, they can take your deposited money and turn it into shares of equity capital to try and keep your TBTF bank from failing.
Once your money is deposited in the bank, it legally becomes the property of the bank. Gilani explains:
Your deposited cash is an unsecured debt obligation of your bank. It owes you that money back.
If you bank with one of the country's biggest banks, who collectively have trillions of dollars of derivatives they hold ''off balance sheet'' (meaning those debts aren't recorded on banks' GAAP balance sheets), those debt bets have a superior legal standing to your deposits and get paid back before you get any of your cash.
. . . Big banks got that language inserted into the 2010 Dodd-Frank law meant to rein in dangerous bank behavior.
The banks inserted the language and the legislators signed it, without necessarily understanding it or even reading it. At over 2,300 pages and still growing, the Dodd Frank Act is currently the longest and most complicated bill ever passed by the US legislature.
Propping Up the Derivatives Scheme
Dodd-Frank states in its preamble that it will ''protect the American taxpayer by ending bailouts.'' But it does this under Title II by imposing the losses of insolvent financial companies on their common and preferred stockholders, debtholders, and other unsecured creditors. That includes depositors, the largest class of unsecured creditor of any bank.
Title II is aimed at ''ensuring that payout to claimants is at least as much as the claimants would have received under bankruptcy liquidation.'' But here's the catch: under both the Dodd Frank Act and the 2005 Bankruptcy Act, derivative claims have super-priority over all other claims, secured and unsecured, insured and uninsured.
The over-the-counter (OTC) derivative market (the largest market for derivatives) is made up of banks and other highly sophisticated players such as hedge funds. OTC derivatives are the bets of these financial players against each other. Derivative claims are considered ''secured'' because collateral is posted by the parties.
For some inexplicable reason, the hard-earned money you deposit in the bank is not considered ''security'' or ''collateral.'' It is just a loan to the bank, and you must stand in line along with the other creditors in hopes of getting it back. State and local governments must also stand in line, although their deposits are considered ''secured,'' since they remain junior to the derivative claims with ''super-priority.''
If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.
The Bail-Ins Are Back! Portugal Slaps Senior Bank Bondholders With '‚¬2 Billion Loss
Wed, 30 Dec 2015 19:43
A little over a week ago, Portugal announced that for the second time in less than two years, Lisbon would be forced to bailout a large lender.
This time around it was Banif, the country's seventh-largest banking group which ran into trouble when it couldn't repay a previous government cash injection (so really, this was a bailout of a bailout).
Ultimately, the issue had to be resolved ahead of the new year, when new rules on bank resolutions that would have imperiled uninsured depositors go into effect across Europe. The '‚¬2.2 billion cash injection for Banif is set to add at least one percentage point to the country's budget deficit which is already well wider than Brussels' target thanks in part to the fact that the cost of last year's Banco Espirito Santo (BES) capital injection had to be placed on the government's books after Portugal failed to sell Novo Banco (the ''good'' part of BES) in order to pay back the taxpayer money spent on the bailout.
The auction process for Novo Banco - which at one point drew the interest of ''China's Warren Buffett'' - fell apart late in the summer after Chinese bidders became cautious in the wake of the country's market meltdown and US private equity was reluctant to bid for an entity with a mountain of NPLs and an uncertain future. In short, it wasn't clear if Novo Banco would need more capital. Well, it turns out that under the ECB's ''adverse scenario'', the bank would need to plug a '‚¬1.4 billion hole and so, out of options, Lisbon has decided to effectively bail-in senior bondholders.
Some '‚¬2 billion in bonds will be transferred to BES (which will be liquidated) from Novo's books. The move immediately raises the bank's Tier 1 ratio to 13.4% from 9.4% previously. If you own anything on this list, you just had a bad morning:
Taking the hit will be institutional investors who bought minimum lots of '‚¬100,000.
When BES was bailed out, senior bondholders and depositors were protected while junior debtholders and anyone stuck with the equity were, well, screwed. As was the case with Banif, if Portugal had waited until the new year dawned, uninsured depositors would have been at risk in any attempt to shore up Novo's books ahead of a plan to restart the auction process. Ultimately, someone had to pay to make this "good" bank turned bad "good" again.
Here's a look at what happened to Novo Banco 2017s in the wake of the announcement:
And for those wondering just which institutional investors are holding those, here's a list (note that Allianz and BlackRock are right at the top):
''This measure was needed to ensure that the losses from Banco Espirito Santo are absorbed firstly by shareholders and creditors and not by the financial system and taxpayers,'' the Bank of Portugal said, in a statement.
Novo Banco initially said the shortfall identified by the ECB last month would be addressed "with a plan that would include selling assets." Here's what The Bank of Portugal said when the stress test was concluded:
As announced by Banco de Portugal on 15 September, the Board of Directors of Novo Banco has already been empowered to present a plan to strengthen its solvency and implement strategic reorganisation. The plan will include measures to address the shortfall within an appropriate time frame. Amongst others, those measures included the following, to be implemented in the short term with the support of Banco de Portugal and Fundo de Resolu§£o:
Sale of Novo Banco's shareholding in GNB Vida - Companhia de Seguros, S.A.;Sale of other shareholdings which are perceived to be non-core for the bank's business.In other words, the idea was to sell "assets" in order to fill the gap on the way to selling the bank itself. Well, someone apparently determined that it would be more efficient to simply force bondholders to fund a capital injection. As WSJ notes, the move represents the first time senior bondholders are on the hook for a banking bailout in the country.
But no one should be worried - well, no one except all of the institutional investors who just got wiped out - because Portugal swears this is the last time capital will have to be injected in Novo Banco. In other words, the sale process will be smooth sailing from here.
Of course the fact that the bank resorted to a bail-in rather than individual asset sales seems to suggest otherwise. As does this:
Average:Your rating: NoneAverage: 4.8(5 votes)
Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Get Your Money Out of Italian Banks Now! Austerity and Bail-Ins Fan Populist Flames; Italy's 5-Star Movement to Challenge Renzi
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 20:15
Austerity and Bail-Ins Fan Populist Flames
The Italian economy is growing, albeit barely. But Italy is still saddled with massive amounts of debt.
Citizens are upset about a recovery that has passed most of them by. For example, youth unemployment is a whopping 39.8%.
That's a lot of potential voters rightfully upset about things. For them, promises are many, and gains are nonexistent.
Topping off the discontent, Italy Bank Rescues Spark Bail-In Debate as Anger at Renzi Grows.
In 2013, Sergio Picinotti, a 63-year-old unemployed man living with his elderly mother, invested much of their nest egg of '‚¬40,000 in a bond issued by Banca Etruria, their local bank based in the medieval Tuscan city of Arezzo.
''They said 'what are you doing keeping that in your checking account? Put it here, you'll earn 4 per cent flat,'' Mr Picinotti recalls. ''A friend at the bank told me: 'Trust me, it will take the third world war to shut down Banca Etruria'.''
Today, Mr Picinotti has lost all that money, but Banca Etruria never closed: in fact it was saved from collapse last month along with three other small banks in a dramatic rescue operation engineered by the centre-left Italian government led by Matteo Renzi.
The trouble is there was a price to pay: under the terms of the deal, several thousand subordinated bondholders such as Mr Picinotti were wiped out along with Banca Etruria shareholders, while holders of senior debt and depositors were spared.
''They stole it all, I'm living on the edge,'' says Mr Picinotti.
But the reverberations of the bank rescue have also been felt far beyond Tuscany: as Europe prepares to institute new rules from next year which would force losses on bank creditors and big depositors, the saga of Banca Etruria serves as a cautionary tale to politicians and policymakers about the public backlash that could follow any future ''bail-ins''.
On a national level, anger has been mounting towards Mr Renzi for his handling of the affair. It has created an unlikely hotbed of discontent with the 40-year-old prime minister and former mayor of nearby Florence in a region that is traditionally sympathetic to his own political party at a time when he is already battling declining polling numbers.
The Banca Etruria case has also revived worries about the health of the Italian banking sector, which remains saddled by more than '‚¬200bn of non-performing loans (NPLs) and has barely started to increase lending again after the end of a bruising triple-dip recession. It has also raised questions about the effectiveness of regulators at the Bank of Italy and Consob, the stock market regulator. Italian officials have defended the solidity of their banks and the work of their regulators, and pointed to new reforms of small bank governance. But Francesco Galietti, an analyst at Policy Sonar in Rome, said: ''If there was such a kerfuffle with four regional banks, what will a large resolution look like?''
Italy's 5-Star Movement to Challenge RenziWith the above bailout and unemployment backdrop, it should not be surprising to see the eurosceptic Five Star Movement on the Rise.
When the populist Five Star Movement burst into Italian politics in 2009 during the financial crisis, it was defined by uncompromising protests and the burly, sardonic figure of its leader, the comedian Beppe Grillo.
But the Five Star Movement is now attempting to change its face from that of one of Europe's most eccentric '-- even clownish '-- political parties. The transformation aims to achieve what seemed like a fantasy only a year ago: to govern the country and challenge the centre-left government led by prime minister Matteo Renzi.
Mr Grillo, 67, has removed his name from the party logo, signalling that he may soon step aside. His most likely heir is Luigi Di Maio, a 29-year-old smooth-talking Neapolitan with polished looks, tight-fitting dark suits and moderate tones.
''The perception of the movement has changed,'' Mr Di Maio tells the Financial Times. ''At the beginning there was the idea that this was a protest movement'‰.'‰.'‰.'‰But we crashed through that wall. We want to govern.''
The odds of that happening are increasing. The Five Star Movement is now Italy's second party. After trailing Mr Renzi's Democratic party by nearly 20 percentage points a year ago, recent polls suggest the margin has shrunk to about 5 percentage points '-- 32 per cent to 27 per cent.
The Five Star Movement has won a few municipal races '-- clinching control of small cities such as Parma, Livorno and Ragusa. The results have been mixed. The mayor of Livorno, for example, has faced harsh criticism after a scandal over uncollected rubbish broke out in the Tuscan port city.
A bigger test of the Five Star Movement's strength is to come next year, when local elections will be held in some of Italy's largest cities. The big prize is Rome, the scandal-ridden capital where Five Star has been riding high in the polls after the resignation of Democratic party mayor Ignazio Marino in October.
The Five Star Movement's platform has been based on a few key pillars that have drawn supporters from both the right and the left: opposition to corruption, environmentalism, and a referendum on euro membership, which Mr Di Maio blames for many of Italy's economic woes.
''The real failure of monetary union is to think that countries in the south should travel at the same speed as the ones in the north,'' he says.
Lately, his party has been lashing out at Italy's rescue of four small banks, which wiped out thousands of retail investors holding junior debt.
''Their goal was to save the bankers, not the citizens,'' Mr Di Maio wrote on his Facebook page last week. There are some signs he has tried to moderate Mr Grillo's sharper edges. Mr Di Maio recently helped broker a deal with Mr Renzi's PD for the appointment of three constitutional judges.
And he is keen to distance himself from another populist party shaking Europe's establishment, France's far-right National Front. Its rise reflects a ''climate of general indignation'', says Mr Di Maio. Yet the Five Star Movement, he insists, is not a populist toxin but its antidote: ''We're the natural spokesman of citizens. We are a barrier against hatred and extremism''.
Get Your Money Out of Italian Banks Now!The goal is always to bail out the banks at any expense, especially that of taxpayers. The bail-ins in December are a huge warning shot at what's highly likely in 2016.
If you have money in weak banks after this mess, you are crazy. Cyprus, Greece, and Italy have all provided warning shots. I have been warning about these setups for years. And in 2016, banks can go right after depositors if necessary.
It will be very interesting to watch target2 imbalances (a measure of capital flight) following this bail-in debacle. The political scene looks interesting as well. Renzi's days may well be numbered.
If the Renzi government falls, it's highly likely it will be to a eurosceptic party. In this regard, Greece was a sideshow. Italy is the real deal.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NWO
Somalia: Cholera Hits World's Largest Refugee Complex
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 15:12
By Assadullah NasrullahDadaab, Kenya '-- Health workers at the world's largest refugee complex in Kenya are gaining the upper hand in battling a cholera outbreak that has killed 10 people and sickened around 1,000 others since it broke out last month amid rains linked to El Ni±o.
Cholera, an often fatal water-borne bacterial illness, which causes fever, vomiting and watery diarrhoea, flared up in mid-November at Dadaab, which comprises five camps hosting 347,000 refugees and asylum seekers, the majority fleeing violence in Somalia.
An outbreak control team comprising staff from the UN Refugee Agency and partner agencies, has worked with the Kenyan Health Ministry and Department of Refugee Affairs officials around the clock to treat cases and stamp out the disease at the sprawling complex in North-Eastern Kenya.
Among patients brought to one of four cholera treatment centres set up at Dadaab was two-year-old Faisal, a refugee whose family fled Mogadishu, Somalia. The toddler tested positive for the illness and was admitted to the hospital, where his condition stabilized and improved after three days of treatment.
"We don't know what caused the cholera but thank God, he is better now ... He got a lot of fluid here, I am happy," said Faisal's father, 32-year-old Ahmed, who seemed satisfied with the treatment his son received in the hospital.
The four specialized treatment centres, each of which can treat more than 50 patients, provide intravenous rehydration to those in the critical wards, who receive care around the clock from dedicated staff.
"They cannot take medicine orally, so we transfuse to hydrate and treat them. Once they are stable, they are moved out of the critical area. On average it takes three days for a patient to recover and discharge," said Caroline, a doctor in Hagadera camp hospital which is managed by the International Rescue Committee.
Officials said the flare up has been aggravated by pooling groundwater caused by El Ni±o rains - a cyclical warming of a Pacific Ocean current that causes anomalous weather patterns around the globe, ranging from unseasonal flooding to droughts.
Promoting hygiene is a pillar of the broader push to curb the outbreak at the complex. UNHCR and its partner agencies have been carrying out soap distribution, house and latrine disinfection and hygiene promotion campaign across all the five camps. Among those on teams disinfecting refugees' accommodation is Isaq Abdi, a 43-year-old refugee from Somalia.
"Spraying is going on well," said Abdi, who reckoned he had sprayed 200 latrines and 200 homes at the Ifo 2 camp as part of a Kenya Red Cross Society team. "People appreciate our work. I like what I do because I am helping my community, preventing diseases and also getting an allowance," he added.
UNHCR is also endeavouring to increase the number of latrines at the camp, although decreased funding in recent years has hindered the drive.
The first case of the current Cholera outbreak in Dadaab was reported on November 18 at the Ifo 2 camp: a 10-year-old boy who had been playing in a stagnant pool and may have swallowed some of the water. He has since been treated and recovered.
UNHCR continues to educate children, parents and community about the risk of swimming in muddy water ponds in and around the camps. Filling in such pools - wherever possible - has also been carried out. Local FM radio stations have frequently airing community sensitization messages.
The first camp, Hagadera, was established at Dadaab in 1991, when refugees fleeing the civil war in Somalia started to cross the border into Kenya. A second large influx occurred in 2011, when some 130,000 refugees arrived, fleeing drought and famine in southern Somalia.
War on Guns
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Text - H.R.4269 - 114th Congress (2015-2016): Assault Weapons Ban of 2015 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
Mon, 28 Dec 2015 14:42
H. R. 4269
To regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes.
To regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,SECTION 1.Short title.
This Act may be cited as the ''Assault Weapons Ban of 2015''.
SEC. 2.Definitions.
(a) In general.'--Section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended'--
(1) by inserting after paragraph (29) the following:
''(30) The term 'semiautomatic pistol' means any repeating pistol that'--
''(A) utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round; and
''(B) requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.
''(31) The term 'semiautomatic shotgun' means any repeating shotgun that'--
''(A) utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round; and
''(B) requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.''; and
(2) by adding at the end the following:
''(36) The term 'semiautomatic assault weapon' means any of the following, regardless of country of manufacture or caliber of ammunition accepted:
''(A) A semiautomatic rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any 1 of the following:
''(i) A pistol grip.
''(ii) A forward grip.
''(iii) A folding, telescoping, or detachable stock.
''(iv) A grenade launcher or rocket launcher.
''(v) A barrel shroud.
''(vi) A threaded barrel.
''(B) A semiautomatic rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds, except for an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.
''(C) Any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment, or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun.
''(D) A semiautomatic pistol that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any 1 of the following:
''(i) A threaded barrel.
''(ii) A second pistol grip.
''(iii) A barrel shroud.
''(iv) The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip.
''(v) A semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm.
''(E) A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
''(F) A semiautomatic shotgun that has any 1 of the following:
''(i) A folding, telescoping, or detachable stock.
''(ii) A pistol grip.
''(iii) A fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 5 rounds.
''(iv) The ability to accept a detachable magazine.
''(v) A forward grip.
''(vi) A grenade launcher or rocket launcher.
''(G) Any shotgun with a revolving cylinder.
''(H) All of the following rifles, copies, duplicates, variants, or altered facsimiles with the capability of any such weapon thereof:
''(i) All AK types, including the following:
''(I) AK, AK47, AK47S, AK''74, AKM, AKS, ARM, MAK90, MISR, NHM90, NHM91, Rock River Arms LAR''47, SA85, SA93, Vector Arms AK''47, VEPR, WASR''10, and WUM.
''(II) IZHMASH Saiga AK.
''(III) MAADI AK47 and ARM.
''(IV) Norinco 56S, 56S2, 84S, and 86S.
''(V) Poly Technologies AK47 and AKS.
''(ii) All AR types, including the following:
''(I) AR''10.
''(II) AR''15.
''(III) Armalite M15 22LR Carbine.
''(IV) Armalite M15''T.
''(V) Barrett REC7.
''(VI) Beretta AR''70.
''(VII) Bushmaster ACR.
''(VIII) Bushmaster Carbon 15.
''(IX) Bushmaster MOE series.
''(X) Bushmaster XM15.
''(XI) Colt Match Target Rifles.
''(XII) DoubleStar AR rifles.
''(XIII) DPMS Tactical Rifles.
''(XIV) Heckler & Koch MR556.
''(XV) Olympic Arms.
''(XVI) Remington R''15 rifles.
''(XVII) Rock River Arms LAR''15.
''(XVIII) Sig Sauer SIG516 rifles.
''(XIX) Smith & Wesson M&P15 Rifles.
''(XX) Stag Arms AR rifles.
''(XXI) Sturm, Ruger & Co. SR556 rifles.
''(iii) Barrett M107A1.
''(iv) Barrett M82A1.
''(v) Beretta CX4 Storm.
''(vi) Calico Liberty Series.
''(vii) CETME Sporter.
''(viii) Daewoo K''1, K''2, Max 1, Max 2, AR 100, and AR 110C.
''(ix) Fabrique Nationale/FN Herstal FAL, LAR, 22 FNC, 308 Match, L1A1 Sporter, PS90, SCAR, and FS2000.
''(x) Feather Industries AT''9.
''(xi) Galil Model AR and Model ARM.
''(xii) Hi-Point Carbine.
''(xiii) HK''91, HK''93, HK''94, HK''PSG''1, and HK USC.
''(xiv) Kel-Tec Sub-2000, SU''16, and RFB.
''(xv) SIG AMT, SIG PE''57, Sig Sauer SG 550, and Sig Sauer SG 551.
''(xvi) Springfield Armory SAR''48.
''(xvii) Steyr AUG.
''(xviii) Sturm, Ruger Mini-14 Tactical Rife M''14/20CF.
''(xix) All Thompson rifles, including the following:
''(I) Thompson M1SB.
''(II) Thompson T1100D.
''(III) Thompson T150D.
''(IV) Thompson T1B.
''(V) Thompson T1B100D.
''(VI) Thompson T1B50D.
''(VII) Thompson T1BSB.
''(VIII) Thompson T1''C.
''(IX) Thompson T1D.
''(X) Thompson T1SB.
''(XI) Thompson T5.
''(XII) Thompson T5100D.
''(XIII) Thompson TM1.
''(XIV) Thompson TM1C.
''(xx) UMAREX UZI Rifle.
''(xxi) UZI Mini Carbine, UZI Model A Carbine, and UZI Model B Carbine.
''(xxii) Valmet M62S, M71S, and M78.
''(xxiii) Vector Arms UZI Type.
''(xxiv) Weaver Arms Nighthawk.
''(xxv) Wilkinson Arms Linda Carbine.
''(I) All of the following pistols, copies, duplicates, variants, or altered facsimiles with the capability of any such weapon thereof:
''(i) All AK''47 types, including the following:
''(I) Centurion 39 AK pistol.
''(II) Draco AK''47 pistol.
''(III) HCR AK''47 pistol.
''(IV) IO Inc. Hellpup AK''47 pistol.
''(V) Krinkov pistol.
''(VI) Mini Draco AK''47 pistol.
''(VII) Yugo Krebs Krink pistol.
''(ii) All AR''15 types, including the following:
''(I) American Spirit AR''15 pistol.
''(II) Bushmaster Carbon 15 pistol.
''(III) DoubleStar Corporation AR pistol.
''(IV) DPMS AR''15 pistol.
''(V) Olympic Arms AR''15 pistol.
''(VI) Rock River Arms LAR 15 pistol.
''(iii) Calico Liberty pistols.
''(iv) DSA SA58 PKP FAL pistol.
''(v) Encom MP''9 and MP''45.
''(vi) Heckler & Koch model SP''89 pistol.
''(vii) Intratec AB''10, TEC''22 Scorpion, TEC''9, and TEC''DC9.
''(viii) Kel-Tec PLR 16 pistol.
''(ix) The following MAC types:
''(I) MAC''10.
''(II) MAC''11.
''(III) Masterpiece Arms MPA A930 Mini Pistol, MPA460 Pistol, MPA Tactical Pistol, and MPA Mini Tactical Pistol.
''(IV) Military Armament Corp. Ingram M''11.
''(V) Velocity Arms VMAC.
''(x) Sig Sauer P556 pistol.
''(xi) Sites Spectre.
''(xii) All Thompson types, including the following:
''(I) Thompson TA510D.
''(II) Thompson TA5.
''(xiii) All UZI types, including Micro-UZI.
''(J) All of the following shotguns, copies, duplicates, variants, or altered facsimiles with the capability of any such weapon thereof:
''(i) Franchi LAW''12 and SPAS 12.
''(ii) All IZHMASH Saiga 12 types, including the following:
''(I) IZHMASH Saiga 12.
''(II) IZHMASH Saiga 12S.
''(III) IZHMASH Saiga 12S EXP''01.
''(IV) IZHMASH Saiga 12K.
''(V) IZHMASH Saiga 12K''030.
''(VI) IZHMASH Saiga 12K''040 Taktika.
''(iii) Streetsweeper.
''(iv) Striker 12.
''(K) All belt-fed semiautomatic firearms, including TNW M2HB.
''(L) Any combination of parts from which a firearm described in subparagraphs (A) through (K) can be assembled.
''(M) The frame or receiver of a rifle or shotgun described in subparagraph (A), (B), (C), (F), (G), (H), (J), or (K).
''(37) The term 'large capacity ammunition feeding device''--
''(A) means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device, including any such device joined or coupled with another in any manner, that has an overall capacity of, or that can be readily restored, changed, or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition; and
''(B) does not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.''.
(b) Related definitions.'--Section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code, as amended by this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following:
''(38) The term 'barrel shroud''--
''(A) means a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel of a firearm so that the shroud protects the user of the firearm from heat generated by the barrel; and
''(B) does not include'--
''(i) a slide that partially or completely encloses the barrel; or
''(ii) an extension of the stock along the bottom of the barrel which does not encircle or substantially encircle the barrel.
''(39) The term 'detachable magazine' means an ammunition feeding device that can be removed from a firearm without disassembly of the firearm action.
''(40) The term 'fixed magazine' means an ammunition feeding device that is permanently fixed to the firearm in such a manner that it cannot be removed without disassembly of the firearm.
''(41) The term 'folding, telescoping, or detachable stock' means a stock that folds, telescopes, detaches or otherwise operates to reduce the length, size, or any other dimension, or otherwise enhances the concealability, of a firearm.
''(42) The term 'forward grip' means a grip located forward of the trigger that functions as a pistol grip.
''(43) The term 'rocket' means any simple or complex tubelike device containing combustibles that on being ignited liberate gases whose action propels the tube through the air and has a propellant charge of not more than 4 ounces.
''(44) The term 'grenade launcher or rocket launcher' means an attachment for use on a firearm that is designed to propel a grenade, rocket, or other similar destructive device.
''(45) The term 'permanently inoperable' means a firearm which is incapable of discharging a shot by means of an explosive and incapable of being readily restored to a firing condition.
''(46) The term 'pistol grip' means a grip, a thumbhole stock, or any other characteristic that can function as a grip.
''(47) The term 'threaded barrel' means a feature or characteristic that is designed in such a manner to allow for the attachment of a device such as a firearm silencer or a flash suppressor.
''(48) The term 'qualified law enforcement officer' has the meaning given the term in section 926B of title 18, United States Code.
''(49) The term 'grandfathered semiautomatic assault weapon' means any semiautomatic assault weapon the importation, possession, sale, or transfer of which would be unlawful under section 922(v) but for the exception under paragraph (2) of such section.
''(50) The term 'belt-fed semiautomatic firearm' means any repeating firearm that'--
''(A) utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round;
''(B) requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge; and
''(C) has the capacity to accept a belt ammunition feeding device.''.
SEC. 3.Restrictions on assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices.
(a) In general.'--Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is amended'--
(1) by inserting after subsection (u) the following:
''(v) (1) It shall be unlawful for a person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a semiautomatic assault weapon.
''(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to the possession, sale, or transfer of any semiautomatic assault weapon otherwise lawfully possessed under Federal law on the date of enactment of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2015.
''(3) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to any firearm that'--
''(A) is manually operated by bolt, pump, lever, or slide action;
''(B) has been rendered permanently inoperable; or
''(C) is an antique firearm, as defined in section 921 of this title.
''(4) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to'--
''(A) the importation for, manufacture for, sale to, transfer to, or possession by the United States or a department or agency of the United States or a State or a department, agency, or political subdivision of a State, or a sale or transfer to or possession by a qualified law enforcement officer employed by the United States or a department or agency of the United States or a State or a department, agency, or political subdivision of a State, for purposes of law enforcement (whether on or off duty), or a sale or transfer to or possession by a campus law enforcement officer for purposes of law enforcement (whether on or off duty);
''(B) the importation for, or sale or transfer to a licensee under title I of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 for purposes of establishing and maintaining an on-site physical protection system and security organization required by Federal law, or possession by an employee or contractor of such licensee on-site for such purposes or off-site for purposes of licensee-authorized training or transportation of nuclear materials;
''(C) the possession, by an individual who is retired in good standing from service with a law enforcement agency and is not otherwise prohibited from receiving a firearm, of a semiautomatic assault weapon'--
''(i) sold or transferred to the individual by the agency upon such retirement; or
''(ii) that the individual purchased, or otherwise obtained, for official use before such retirement;
''(D) the importation, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of a semiautomatic assault weapon by a licensed manufacturer or licensed importer for the purposes of testing or experimentation authorized by the Attorney General; or
''(E) the importation, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of a firearm specified in Appendix A to this section, as such firearm was manufactured on the date of introduction of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2015.
''(5) For purposes of paragraph (4)(A), the term 'campus law enforcement officer' means an individual who is'--
''(A) employed by a private institution of higher education that is eligible for funding under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070 et seq.);
''(B) responsible for the prevention or investigation of crime involving injury to persons or property, including apprehension or detention of persons for such crimes;
''(C) authorized by Federal, State, or local law to carry a firearm, execute search warrants, and make arrests; and
''(D) recognized, commissioned, or certified by a government entity as a law enforcement officer.
''(6) The Attorney General shall establish and maintain, in a timely manner, a record of the make, model, and, if available, date of manufacture of any semiautomatic assault weapon which the Attorney General is made aware has been used in relation to a crime under Federal or State law, and the nature and circumstances of the crime involved, including the outcome of relevant criminal investigations and proceedings. The Attorney General shall annually submit a copy of the record established under this paragraph to the Congress and make the record available to the general public.
''(w) (1) It shall be unlawful for a person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a large capacity ammunition feeding device.
''(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to the possession of any large capacity ammunition feeding device otherwise lawfully possessed on or before the date of enactment of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2015.
''(3) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to'--
''(A) the importation for, manufacture for, sale to, transfer to, or possession by the United States or a department or agency of the United States or a State or a department, agency, or political subdivision of a State, or a sale or transfer to or possession by a qualified law enforcement officer employed by the United States or a department or agency of the United States or a State or a department, agency, or political subdivision of a State for purposes of law enforcement (whether on or off duty), or a sale or transfer to or possession by a campus law enforcement officer for purposes of law enforcement (whether on or off duty);
''(B) the importation for, or sale or transfer to a licensee under title I of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 for purposes of establishing and maintaining an on-site physical protection system and security organization required by Federal law, or possession by an employee or contractor of such licensee on-site for such purposes or off-site for purposes of licensee-authorized training or transportation of nuclear materials;
''(C) the possession, by an individual who is retired in good standing from service with a law enforcement agency and is not otherwise prohibited from receiving ammunition, of a large capacity ammunition feeding device'--
''(i) sold or transferred to the individual by the agency upon such retirement; or
''(ii) that the individual purchased, or otherwise obtained, for official use before such retirement; or
''(D) the importation, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of any large capacity ammunition feeding device by a licensed manufacturer or licensed importer for the purposes of testing or experimentation authorized by the Attorney General.
''(4) For purposes of paragraph (3)(A), the term 'campus law enforcement officer' means an individual who is'--
''(A) employed by a private institution of higher education that is eligible for funding under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070 et seq.);
''(B) responsible for the prevention or investigation of crime involving injury to persons or property, including apprehension or detention of persons for such crimes;
''(C) authorized by Federal, State, or local law to carry a firearm, execute search warrants, and make arrests; and
''(D) recognized, commissioned, or certified by a government entity as a law enforcement officer.''; and
(2) by adding at the end the following:
''(aa) Secure storage or safety device requirement for grandfathered semiautomatic assault weapons.'--It shall be unlawful for any person, other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer, to store or keep under the dominion or control of that person any grandfathered semiautomatic assault weapon that the person knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, will be accessible to an individual prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm under subsection (g), (n), or (x), or any provision of State law, unless the grandfathered semiautomatic assault weapon is'--
''(1) carried on the person, or within such close proximity that the person can readily retrieve and use the grandfathered semiautomatic assault weapon as if the grandfathered semiautomatic assault weapon were carried on the person; or
''(2) locked by a secure gun storage or safety device that the prohibited individual has no ability to access.''.
(b) Identification markings for semiautomatic assault weapons.'--Section 923(i) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: ''The serial number of any semiautomatic assault weapon manufactured after the date of enactment of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2015 shall clearly show the date on which the weapon was manufactured or made, legibly and conspicuously engraved or cast on the weapon, and such other identification as the Attorney General shall by regulations prescribe.''.
(c) Identification markings for large capacity ammunition feeding devices.'--Section 923(i) of title 18, United States Code, as amended by this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following: ''A large capacity ammunition feeding device manufactured after the date of enactment of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2015 shall be identified by a serial number and the date on which the device was manufactured or made, legibly and conspicuously engraved or cast on the device, and such other identification as the Attorney General shall by regulations prescribe.''.
(d) Seizure and forfeiture of large capacity ammunition feeding devices.'--Subsection (d) of section 924 of title 18, United States Code, is amended'--
(1) in paragraph (1)'--
(A) by inserting ''or large capacity ammunition feeding device'' after ''firearm or ammunition'' each time it appears;
(B) by inserting ''or large capacity ammunition feeding device'' after ''firearms or ammunition'' each time it appears; and
(C) by striking ''or (k)'' and inserting ''(k), (r), (v), or (w)'';
(2) in paragraph (2)'--
(A) in subparagraph (C), by inserting ''or large capacity ammunition feeding devices'' after ''firearms or quantities of ammunition''; and
(3) in paragraph (3)'--
(A) in subparagraph (E), by inserting ''922(r), 922(v), 922(w),'' after ''922(n),''.
(e) Appendix A.'--Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
''Benelli R1 Rifle
''Browning BAR Mark II Safari Magnum Rifle
''Browning BAR Mark II Safari Semi-Auto Rifle
''Browning BAR Stalker Rifles
''Browning High-Power Rifle
''Browning Longtrac Rifle
''Browning Shorttrac Rifle
''Heckler & Koch HK630
''Heckler & Koch HK770
''Heckler & Koch HK940
''Heckler & Koch Model 300 Rifle
''Heckler & Koch SL7 Rifle
''Iver Johnson 50th Anniversary M''1 Carbine (w/o folding stock)
''Iver Johnson M''1 Carbine (w/o folding stock)
''M''1 Carbines with standard fixed stock
''M''1 Garand with fixed 8 round capacity and standard stock
''Marlin Model 9 Camp Carbine
''Marlin Model 45 Carbine
''Remington Model 74
''Remington Model 81
''Remington Model 740
''Remington Model 742
''Remington Model 750 Synthetic
''Remington Model 750 Woodmaster
''Remington Model 7400 Rifle
''Remington Model 7400 Special Purpose Auto Rifle
''Remington Nylon 66 Auto-Loading Rifle
''Ruger Mini 30
''Ruger Mini-14 (w/o folding stock)
''Ruger PC4
''Ruger PC9
''SKS type rifles with fixed 10 round magazine and standard fixed stock
''Winchester Model SXR
''Action Arms Timber Wolf Pump Action
''Beretta 1873 Renegade Lever Action
''Beretta Gold Rush Slide Action
''Big Horn Armory Model 89
''Browning BLR Model 181 Lever Action, All Models
''Browning BPR Pump Rifle
''Browning Model 53 Lever Action
''Browning Model 65 Grade 1 Lever Action Rifle
''Browning Model 71 Rifle and Carbine
''Browning Model 81 BLR
''Browning Model 81 BLR Lever-Action Rifle
''Browning Model 81 Long Action BLR
''Browning Model 1886 High Grade Carbine
''Browning Model 1886 Lever-Action Carbine
''Browning Model B''92 Carbine
''Charles Daly Model 1892 Lever Action, All Models
''Chiappa 1886 Lever Action Rifles
''Cimarron 1860 Henry Replica
''Cimarron 1866 Winchester Replicas
''Cimarron 1873 30'" Express Rifle
''Cimarron 1873 Short Rifle
''Cimarron 1873 Sporting Rifle
''Cimarron 1873 Winchester Replicas
''Dixie Engraved 1873 Rifle
''Dixie Lightning Rifle and Carbines
''E.M.F. 1860 Henry Rifle
''E.M.F. 1866 Yellowboy Lever Actions
''E.M.F. Model 73 Lever-Action Rifle
''E.M.F. Model 1873 Lever Actions
''Henry .30/30 Lever Action Carbine
''Henry Big Boy .357 Magnum
''Henry Big Boy .44 Magnum
''Henry Big Boy .45 Colt
''Henry Big Boy Deluxe Engraved .44 Magnum
''Henry Big Boy Deluxe Engraved .45 Colt
''Marlin Model 30AS Lever-Action Carbine
''Marlin Model 62 Lever Action
''Marlin Model 93 Lever Action
''Marlin Model 308MX
''Marlin Model 308MXLR
''Marlin Model 336 Deluxe
''Marlin Model 336C
''Marlin Model 336CS Lever-Action Carbine
''Marlin Model 336DL Lever Action
''Marlin Model 336SS
''Marlin Model 336W
''Marlin Model 336XLR
''Marlin Model 338MX
''Marlin Model 338MXLR
''Marlin Model 444
''Marlin Model 444 Lever-Action
''Marlin Model 444XLR
''Marlin Model 1894 Marlin Model 1894 Cowboy
''Marlin Model 1894 Lever Action, All Models
''Marlin Model 1894C
''Marlin Model 1894CL Classic
''Marlin Model 1894CS Carbine
''Marlin Model 1894S Lever-Action Carbine
''Marlin Model 1894SS
''Marlin Model 1895
''Marlin Model 1895 Cowboy
''Marlin Model 1895 Lever Action, All Models
''Marlin Model 1895G
''Marlin Model 1895GS
''Marlin Model 1895M
''Marlin Model 1895MXLR
''Marlin Model 1895SBL
''Marlin Model 1895SS Lever-Action Rifle
''Marlin Model 1895XLR
''Marlin XLR Lever Action Rifles
''Mitchell 1858 Henry Replica
''Mitchell 1866 Winchester Replica
''Mitchell 1873 Winchester Replica
''Mossberg 464 Lever Action Rifle
''Mossberg Model 472 Lever Action
''Mossberg Model 479 Lever Action
''Navy Arms 1866 Yellowboy Rifle
''Navy Arms 1873 Sporting Rifle
''Navy Arms 1873 Winchester-Style Rifle
''Navy Arms 1892 Short Rifle
''Navy Arms Henry Carbine
''Navy Arms Henry Trapper
''Navy Arms Iron Frame Henry
''Navy Arms Military Henry Rifle
''Puma Bounty Hunter Rifle
''Puma Model 92 Rifles & Carbines
''Remington 7600 Slide Action
''Remington Model 6 Pump Action
''Remington Model 14, 141'2 Pump Actions
''Remington Model 141 Pump Action
''Remington Model 760 Slide Actions
''Remington Model 7600 Special Purpose Slide Action
''Remington Model 7600 Synthetic
''Remington Model 7615 Camo Hunter
''Remington Model 7615 Ranch Carbine
''Remington Model 7615 SPS
''Rossi M92 SRC Saddle-Ring Carbine
''Rossi M92 SRS Short Carbine
''Rossi R92 Lever Action Carbines
''Ruger Model 96/44 Lever Action
''Savage 99C Lever-Action Rifle
''Savage Model 170 Pump Action
''Taurus Thunderbolt Pump Action
''Taylor's & CO., Inc. 1865 Spencer Carbine/Rifle
''Taylor's & CO., Inc. 1892 Carbine/Rifle
''U.S. Fire Arms Standard Lightning Magazine Rifle
''Uberti 1866 Sporting Rifle Uberti 1873 Sporting Rifle
''Uberti 1876 Rifle
''Uberti 1883 Burgess Lever Action Rifle/Carbine
''Uberti Henry Rifle
''Uberti Lightning Rifle/Carbine
''Winchester Lever Actions, All Other Center Fire Models
''Winchester Model 94 Big Bore Side Eject
''Winchester Model 94 Ranger Side Eject Lever-Action Rifle
''Winchester Model 94 Side Eject Lever-Action Rifle
''Winchester Model 94 Trapper Side Eject
''Winchester Model 94 Wrangler Side Eject
''Winchester Model 1895 Safari Centennial
''Accurate Arms Raptor & Backpack Bolt Action Rifles
''Alpine Bolt-Action Rifle
''Anschutz 1700D Bavarian Bolt-Action Rifle
''Anschutz 1700D Classic Rifles
''Anschutz 1700D Custom Rifles
''Anschutz 1733D Mannlicher Rifle
''Arnold Arms African Safari & Alaskan Trophy Rifles
''A-Square Caesar Bolt-Action Rifle
''A-Square Genghis Khan Bolt Action Rifle
''A-Square Hamilcar Bolt Action Rifle
''A-Square Hannibal Bolt-Action Rifle
''Auguste Francotte Bolt-Action Rifles
''Bansners Ultimate Bolt Action Rifles
''Beeman/HW 60J Bolt-Action Rifle
''Benton & Brown Firearms, Inc. Model 93 Bolt Action Rifle
''Blackheart International BBG Hunter Bolt Action
''Blackheart International LLC BBG Light Sniper Bolt Action
''Blaser R8 Professional
''Blaser R84 Bolt-Action Rifle
''Blaser R93 Bolt Action Rifle
''BRNO 537 Sporter Bolt-Action Rifle
''BRNO ZKB 527 Fox Bolt-Action Rifle
''BRNO ZKK 600, 601, 602 Bolt-Action Rifles
''Brown Precision Company Bolt Action Sporter
''Browning A-Bolt Gold Medallion
''Browning A-Bolt Left Hand
''Browning A-Bolt Micro Medallion
''Browning A-Bolt Rifle
''Browning A-Bolt Short Action
''Browning A-Bolt Stainless Stalker
''Browning Euro-Bolt Rifle
''Browning High-Power Bolt Action Rifle
''Browning X-Bolt Bolt Action Rifle
''Carbon One Bolt Action Rifle
''Carl Gustaf 2000 Bolt-Action Rifle Century
''Centurion 14 Sporter
''Century Enfield Sporter #4
''Century M70 Sporter
''Century Mauser 98 Sporter
''Century Swedish Sporter #38
''Cheytac M''200
''Cheytac M70 Sporter
''Cooper Model 21 Bolt Action Rifle
''Cooper Model 22 Bolt Action Rifle
''Cooper Model 38 Centerfire Sporter
''Cooper Model 56 Bolt Action Rifle
''CZ 527 Bolt Action Rifles
''CZ 550 Bolt Action Rifles
''CZ 750 Sniper Rifle
''Dakota 22 Sporter Bolt-Action Rifle
''Dakota 76 Classic Bolt-Action Rifle
''Dakota 76 Safari Bolt-Action Rifle
''Dakota 76 Short Action Rifles
''Dakota 97 Bolt Action Rifle
''Dakota 416 Rigby African
''Dakota Predator Rifle
''DSA DS''MP1 Bolt Action Rifle
''E.A.A./Sabatti Rover 870 Bolt-Action Rifle
''EAA/Zastava M''93 Black Arrow Rifle
''Ed Brown Hunting and Model 704 Bolt Action Rifles
''Heym Bolt Action Rifles
''Heym Magnum Express Series Rifle
''Howa Bolt Action Rifles
''Howa Lightning Bolt-Action Rifle
''Howa Realtree Camo Rifle
''H''S Precision Bolt Action Rifles
''Interarms Mark X Bolt Action Rifles
''Interarms Mark X Viscount Bolt-Action Rifle
''Interarms Mark X Whitworth Bolt-Action Rifle
''Interarms Mini-Mark X Rifle
''Interarms Whitworth Express Rifle
''Iver Johnson Model 5100A1 Long-Range Rifle
''KDF K15 American Bolt-Action Rifle
''Kenny Jarrett Bolt Action Rifle
''Kimber Bolt Action Rifles
''Krico Model 600 Bolt-Action Rifle
''Krico Model 700 Bolt-Action Rifles
''Magnum Research Mount Eagle Rifles
''Marlin Model XL7
''Marlin Model XL7C
''Marlin Model XL7L
''Marlin Model XL7W
''Marlin Model XS7
''Marlin Model XS7C
''Marlin Model XS7Y
''Marlin XL''7/XS7 Bolt Action Rifles
''Mauser Model 66 Bolt-Action Rifle
''Mauser Model 99 Bolt-Action Rifle
''McMillan Classic Stainless Sporter
''McMillan Signature Alaskan
''McMillan Signature Classic Sporter
''McMillan Signature Super Varminter
''McMillan Signature Titanium Mountain Rifle
''McMillan Talon Safari Rifle
''McMillan Talon Sporter Rifle
''Merkel KR1 Bolt Action Rifle
''Midland 1500S Survivor Rifle
''Mossberg Model 100 ATR (All-Terrain Rifle)
''Navy Arms TU''33/40 Carbine
''Nosler Model 48 Varmint Rifle
''Parker Hale Bolt Action Rifles
''Parker-Hale Model 81 Classic African Rifle
''Parker-Hale Model 81 Classic Rifle
''Parker-Hale Model 1000 Rifle
''Parker-Hale Model 1100 Lightweight Rifle
''Parker-Hale Model 1100M African Magnum
''Parker-Hale Model 1200 Super Clip Rifle
''Parker-Hale Model 1200 Super Rifle
''Parker-Hale Model 1300C Scout Rifle
''Parker-Hale Model 2100 Midland Rifle
''Parker-Hale Model 2700 Lightweight Rifle
''Parker-Hale Model 2800 Midland Rifle
''Remington 700 ADL Bolt-Action Rifle
''Remington 700 BDL Bolt-Action Rifle
''Remington 700 BDL European Bolt-Action Rifle
''Remington 700 BDL Left Hand
''Remington 700 BDL SS Rifle
''Remington 700 BDL Varmint Special
''Remington 700 Camo Synthetic Rifle
''Remington 700 Classic Rifle
''Remington 700 Custom KS Mountain Rifle
''Remington 700 Mountain Rifle
''Remington 700 MTRSS Rifle
''Remington 700 Safari
''Remington 700 Stainless Synthetic Rifle
''Remington 700 Varmint Synthetic Rifle
''Remington Model 40''X Bolt Action Rifles
''Remington Model 700 Alaskan Ti
''Remington Model 700 Bolt Action Rifles
''Remington Model 700 CDL
''Remington Model 700 CDL 'Boone and Crockett'
''Remington Model 700 CDL Left-Hand
''Remington Model 700 CDL SF Limited Edition
''Remington Model 700 LSS
''Remington Model 700 Mountain LSS
''Remington Model 700 Sendero SF II
''Remington Model 700 SPS
''Remington Model 700 SPS Buckmasters Edition
''Remington Model 700 SPS Buckmasters Edition 'Young Bucks' Youth
''Remington Model 700 SPS Stainless
''Remington Model 700 SPS Tactical Rifle
''Remington Model 700 SPS Varmint
''Remington Model 700 SPS Varmint (Left-Hand)
''Remington Model 700 SPS Youth Synthetic Left-Hand
''Remington Model 700 VL SS Thumbhole
''Remington Model 700 VLS
''Remington Model 700 VS SF II
''Remington Model 700 VTR
''Remington Model 700 XCR
''Remington Model 700 XCR Camo
''Remington Model 700 XCR Compact Tactical Rifle
''Remington Model 700 XCR Left-Hand
''Remington Model 700 XCR Tactical Long Range Rifle
''Remington Model 715
''Remington Model 770
''Remington Model 770 Bolt Action Rifles
''Remington Model 770 Stainless Camo
''Remington Model 770 Youth
''Remington Model 798
''Remington Model 798 Safari
''Remington Model 798 SPS
''Remington Model 799
''Remington Model Seven 25th Anniversary
''Remington Model Seven Bolt Action Rifles
''Remington Model Seven CDL
''Remington Model Seven Custom KS
''Remington Model Seven Custom MS Rifle
''Remington Model Seven Predator
''Remington Model Seven Youth Rifle
''Ruger M77 Hawkeye African
''Ruger M77 Hawkeye Alaskan
''Ruger M77 Hawkeye All-Weather
''Ruger M77 Hawkeye All-Weather Ultra Light
''Ruger M77 Hawkeye Compact
''Ruger M77 Hawkeye International
''Ruger M77 Hawkeye Laminate Compact
''Ruger M77 Hawkeye Laminate Left-Handed
''Ruger M77 Hawkeye Predator
''Ruger M77 Hawkeye Sporter
''Ruger M77 Hawkeye Standard
''Ruger M77 Hawkeye Standard Left-Handed
''Ruger M77 Hawkeye Tactical
''Ruger M77 Hawkeye Ultra Light
''Ruger M77 Mark II All-Weather Stainless Rifle
''Ruger M77 Mark II Express Rifle
''Ruger M77 Mark II Magnum Rifle
''Ruger M77 Mark II Rifle
''Ruger M77 Mark II Target Rifle
''Ruger M77 RSI International Carbine
''Ruger M77
''Ruger Compact Magnum
''Ruger M77RL Ultra Light
''Ruger M77VT Target Rifle
''Ruger Model 77 Bolt Action Rifles
''Sako Bolt Action Rifles
''Sako Classic Bolt Action
''Sako Deluxe Lightweight
''Sako FiberClass Sporter
''Sako Hunter Left-Hand Rifle
''Sako Hunter LS Rifle Sako Hunter Rifle
''Sako Mannlicher-Style Carbine
''Sako Safari Grade Bolt Action
''Sako Super Deluxe Sporter
''Sako TRG''S Bolt-Action Rifle
''Sako Varmint Heavy Barrel
''Sauer 90 Bolt-Action Rifle
''Savage 16/116 Rifles
''Savage 110 Bolt Action Rifles
''Savage 110CY Youth/Ladies Rifle
''Savage 110F Bolt-Action Rifle
''Savage 110FP Police Rifle
''Savage 110FXP3 Bolt-Action Rifle
''Savage 110G Bolt-Action Rifle
''Savage 110GV Varmint Rifle
''Savage 110GXP3 Bolt-Action Rifle
''Savage 110WLE One of One Thousand Limited Edition Rifle
''Savage 112 Bolt Action Rifles
''Savage 112FV Varmint Rifle
''Savage 116 Bolt Action Rifles
''Savage 116FSS Bolt-Action Rifle
''Savage Axis Series Bolt Action Rifles
''Savage Model 10 Bolt Action Rifles
''Savage Model 10GXP Package Guns
''Savage Model 11/111 Series Bolt Action Rifles
''Savage Model 12 Series Rifles
''Savage Model 14/114 Rifles
''Savage Model 25 Bolt Action Rifles
''Savage Model 110GXP3 Package Guns
''Savage Model 112BV Heavy Barrel Varmint Rifle
''Savage Model 112FVS Varmint Rifle
''Savage Model 116FSK Kodiak Rifle
''Shilen Rifles Inc. DGA Bolt Action Rifles
''Smith & Wesson i-Bolt Rifle
''Steyr Scout Bolt Action Rifle
''Steyr SSG 69 PII Bolt Action Rifle
''Steyr SSG08 Bolt Action Rifle
''Steyr-Mannlicher Luxus Model L, M, S
''Steyr-Mannlicher Model M Professional Rifle
''Steyr-Mannlicher Sporter Models SL, L, M, S, S/T
''Thompson/Center ICON Bolt Action Rifles
''Thompson/Center Icon Classic Long Action Rifle
''Thompson/Center Icon Medium Action Rifle
''Thompson/Center Icon Precision Hunter
''Thompson/Center Icon Weather Shield Long Action Rifle
''Thompson/Center Icon Weather Shield Medium Action Rifle
''Thompson/Center Venture
''Tikka Bolt-Action Rifle
''Tikka Premium Grade Rifles
''Tikka T3 Bolt Action Rifles
''Tikka Varmint/Continental Rifle
''Tikka Whitetail/Battue Rifle
''Ultra Light Arms Model 20 Rifle
''Ultra Light Arms Model 24
''Ultra Light Arms Model 28, Model 40 Rifles
''Voere Model 2155, 2150 Bolt-Action Rifles
''Voere Model 2165 Bolt-Action Rifle
''Voere VEC 91 Lightning Bolt-Action Rifle
''Weatherby Classicmark No. 1 Rifle
''Weatherby Lasermark V Rifle
''Weatherby Mark V Crown Custom Rifles
''Weatherby Mark V Deluxe Bolt-Action Rifle
''Weatherby Mark V Rifles
''Weatherby Mark V Safari Grade Custom Rifles
''Weatherby Mark V Sporter Rifle
''Weatherby Vanguard Bolt Action Rifles
''Weatherby Vanguard Classic No. 1 Rifle
''Weatherby Vanguard Classic Rifle
''Weatherby Vanguard VGX Deluxe Rifle
''Weatherby Vanguard Weatherguard Rifle
''Weatherby Weatherguard Alaskan Rifle
''Weatherby Weathermark Alaskan Rifle
''Weatherby Weathermark Rifle
''Weatherby Weathermark Rifles
''Wichita Classic Rifle
''Wichita Varmint Rifle
''Winchester Model 70 Bolt Action Rifles
''Winchester Model 70 Custom Sharpshooter
''Winchester Model 70 Custom Sporting Sharpshooter Rifle
''Winchester Model 70 DBM Rifle
''Winchester Model 70 DBM''S Rifle
''Winchester Model 70 Featherweight
''Winchester Model 70 Featherweight Classic
''Winchester Model 70 Featherweight WinTuff
''Winchester Model 70 Lightweight Rifle
''Winchester Model 70 SM Sporter
''Winchester Model 70 Sporter
''Winchester Model 70 Sporter WinTuff
''Winchester Model 70 Stainless Rifle
''Winchester Model 70 Super Express Magnum
''Winchester Model 70 Super Grade
''Winchester Model 70 Synthetic Heavy Varmint Rifle
''Winchester Model 70 Varmint
''Winchester Ranger Rifle
''Armsport 1866 Sharps Rifle, Carbine
''Ballard Arms Inc. 1875 #3 Gallery Single Shot Rifle
''Ballard Arms Inc. 1875 #4 Perfection Rifle
''Ballard Arms Inc. 1875 #7 Long Range Rifle
''Ballard Arms Inc. 1875 #8 Union Hill rifle
''Ballard Arms Inc. 1875 11'2 Hunter Rifle
''Ballard Arms Inc. 1885 High Wall Sporting Rifle
''Ballard Arms Inc. 1885 Low Wall Single Shot
''Brown Model 97D Single Shot Rifle
''Brown Model One Single Shot Rifle
''Browning Model 1885 Single Shot Rifle
''C. Sharps Arms 1875 Target & Sporting Rifle
''C. Sharps Arms Custom New Model 1877
''C. Sharps Arms New Model 1885 High Wall Rifle
''C.Sharps Arms 1874 Bridgeport Sporting Rifle
''C.Sharps Arms 1875 Classic Sharps
''C.Sharps Arms New Model 1874 Old Reliable
''C.Sharps Arms New Model 1875 Rifle
''C.Sharps Arms New Model 1875 Target & Long Range
''Cabela's 1874 Sharps Sporting
''Cimarron Billy Dixon 1874 Sharps
''Cimarron Model 1885 High Wall
''Cimarron Quigley Model 1874 Sharps
''Cimarron Silhouette Model 1874 Sharps
''Dakota Model 10 Single Shot Rifle
''Dakota Single Shot Rifle
''Desert Industries G''90 Single Shot Rifle
''Dixie Gun Works 1873 Trapdoor Rifle/Carbine
''Dixie Gun Works 1874 Sharps Rifles
''Dixie Gun Works Remington Rolling Block Rifles
''EMF Premier 1874 Sharps
''Harrington & Richardson Buffalo Classic Rifle (CR''1871)
''Harrington & Richardson CR 45''LC
''Harrington & Richardson Handi-Mag Rifle
''Harrington & Richardson Handi-Rifle
''Harrington & Richardson Handi-Rifle Compact
''Harrington & Richardson New England Hand-Rifle/Slug Gun Combos
''Harrington & Richardson Stainless Handi-Rifle
''Harrington & Richardson Stainless Ultra Hunter Thumbhole Stock
''Harrington & Richardson Superlight Handi-Rifle Compact
''Harrington & Richardson Survivor Rifle
''Harrington & Richardson Synthetic Handi-Rifle
''Harrington & Richardson Ultra Hunter Rifle
''Harrington & Richardson Ultra Varmint Fluted
''Harrington & Richardson Ultra Varmint Rifle
''Harrington & Richardson Ultra Varmint Thumbhole Stock
''Krieghoff Hubertus Single Shot
''Meacham High Wall
''Merkel K1 Lightweight Stalking Rifle
''Merkel K2 Custom Stalking Rifle
''Model 1885 High Wall Rifle
''Navy Arms #2 Creedmoor Rifle
''Navy Arms 1873 John Bodine Rolling Black Rifle
''Navy Arms 1873 Springfield Cavalry Carbine
''Navy Arms 1874 Sharps Rifles
''Navy Arms 1874 1885 High Wall Rifles
''Navy Arms Rolling Block Buffalo Rifle
''Navy Arms Sharps ''Quigley'' Rifle
''Navy Arms Sharps Cavalry Carbine
''Navy Arms Sharps Plains Rifle
''New England Firearms Handi-Rifle
''New England Firearms Sportster/Versa Pack Rifle
''New England Firearms Survivor Rifle
''Red Willow Armory Ballard No. 1.5 Hunting Rifle
''Red Willow Armory Ballard No. 4.5 Target Rifle
''Red Willow Armory Ballard No. 5 Pacific
''Red Willow Armory Ballard No. 8 Union Hill Rifle
''Red Willow Armory Ballard Rifles
''Remington Model Rolling Block Rifles
''Remington Model SPR18 Blued
''Remington Model SPR18 Nickel
''Remington Model SPR18 Single Shot Rifle
''Remington-Style Rolling Block Carbine
''Rossi Match Pairs Rifles
''Rossi Single Shot Rifles
''Rossi Wizard
''Ruger No. 1 RSI International
''Ruger No. 1 Stainless Sporter
''Ruger No. 1 Stainless Standard
''Ruger No. 1A Light Sporter
''Ruger No. 1B Single Shot
''Ruger No. 1H Tropical Rifle
''Ruger No. 1S Medium Sporter
''Ruger No. 1V Special Varminter
''Sharps 1874 Old Reliable
''Shiloh 1875 Rifles
''Shiloh Sharps 1874 Business Rifle
''Shiloh Sharps 1874 Long Range Express
''Shiloh Sharps 1874 Military Carbine
''Shiloh Sharps 1874 Military Rifle
''Shiloh Sharps 1874 Montana Roughrider
''Shiloh Sharps Creedmoor Target
''Thompson/Center Contender Carbine
''Thompson/Center Contender Carbine Survival System
''Thompson/Center Contender Carbine Youth Model
''Thompson/Center Encore
''Thompson/Center Stainless Contender Carbine
''Thompson/Center TCR '87 Single Shot Rifle
''Thompson/Encore Rifles
''Traditions 1874 Sharps Deluxe Rifle
''Traditions 1874 Sharps Standard Rifle
''Traditions Rolling Block Sporting Rifle
''Uberti (Stoeger Industries) Sharps Rifles
''Uberti 1871 Rolling Block Rifle/Carbine
''Uberti 1874 Sharps Sporting Rifle
''Uberti 1885 High Wall Rifles
''Uberti Rolling Block Baby Carbine
''Uberti Springfield Trapdoor Carbine/Rifle
''A. Zoli Rifle-Shotgun O/U Combo
''Auguste Francotte Boxlock Double Rifle
''Auguste Francotte Sidelock Double Rifles
''Baikal IZH''94 Express
''Baikal MP94 (IZH''94) O/U
''Beretta Express SSO O/U Double Rifles
''Beretta Model 455 SxS Express Rifle
''Chapuis RGExpress Double Rifle
''CZ 584 SOLO Combination Gun
''CZ 589 Stopper O/U Gun
''Dakota Double Rifle
''Garbi Express Double Rifle
''Harrington & Richardson Survivor
''Harrington & Richardson Synthetic Handi-Rifle/Slug Gun Combo
''Heym Model 55B O/U Double Rifle
''Heym Model 55FW O/U Combo Gun
''Heym Model 88b Side-by-Side Double Rifle
''Hoenig Rotary Round Action Combination Rifle
''Hoenig Rotary Round Action Double Rifle
''Kodiak Mk. IV Double Rifle
''Kreighoff Teck O/U Combination Gun
''Kreighoff Trumpf Drilling
''Krieghoff Drillings
''Lebeau-Courally Express Rifle 5X5
''Merkel Boxlock Double Rifles
''Merkel Drillings
''Merkel Model 160 Side-by-Side Double Rifles
''Merkel Over/Under Combination Guns
''Merkel Over/Under Double Rifles
''Remington Model SPR94 .410/Rimfire
''Remington Model SPR94 12 Gauge/Centerfire
''Rizzini Express 90L Double Rifle
''Savage 24F O/U Combination Gun
''Savage 24F''12T Turkey Gun
''Springfield Inc. M6 Scout Rifle/Shotgun
''Tikka Model 412s Combination Gun
''Tikka Model 412S Double Fire
''AMT Lightning 25/22 Rifle
''AMT Lightning Small-Game Hunting Rifle II
''AMT Magnum Hunter Auto Rifle
''Anschutz 525 Deluxe Auto
''Armscor Model 20P Auto Rifle
''Browning Auto .22 Rifles
''Browning Auto-22 Rifle
''Browning Auto-22 Grade VI
''Browning BAR .22 Auto Rifle
''Browning SA''22 Semi-Auto 22 Rifle
''Henry U.S. Survival .22
''Henry U.S. Survival Rifle AR''7
''Krico Model 260 Auto Rifle
''Lakefield Arms Model 64B Auto Rifle
''Marlin Model 60 Self Loading Rifles
''Marlin Model 60C
''Marlin Model 60SB
''Marlin Model 60S''CF
''Marlin Model 60SN
''Marlin Model 60ss Self-Loading Rifle
''Marlin Model 70 Auto-loading Rifles
''Marlin Model 70 HC Auto
''Marlin Model 70P Papoose
''Marlin Model 70PSS
''Marlin Model 795
''Marlin Model 795SS
''Marlin Model 922 Magnum Self-Loading Rifle
''Marlin Model 990l Self-Loading Rifle
''Marlin Model 995 Self-Loading Rifle
''Mossberg 702 Plinkster
''Norinco Model 22 ATD Rifle
''Remington 552BDL Speedmaster Rifle
''Remington Model 522 Viper Autoloading Rifle
''Remington Model 597 Blaze Camo
''Remington Model 597 Pink Camo
''Remington Model 597 Synthetic Scope Combo
''Ruger 10/22 Autoloading Carbine (w/o folding stock)
''Ruger 10/22 Compact
''Ruger 10/22 Sporter
''Ruger 10/22 Target
''Survival Arms AR''7 Explorer Rifle
''Texas Remington Revolving Carbine
''Thompson/Center R''55 All-Weather
''Thompson/Center R''55 Benchmark
''Thompson/Center R''55 Classic
''Thompson/Center R''55 Rifles
''Thompson/Center R''55 Sporter
''Voere Model 2115 Auto Rifle
''Browning BL''22 Lever-Action Rifle
''Henry .22 Lever Action Rifles, All Models
''Henry Golden Boy .17 HMR
''Henry Golden Boy .22
''Henry Golden Boy .22 Magnum
''Henry Golden Boy Deluxe
''Henry Lever .22 Magnum
''Henry Lever Action .22
''Henry Lever Carbine .22
''Henry Lever Octagon .22
''Henry Lever Octagon .22 Magnum
''Henry Lever Youth Model .22
''Henry Pump Action Octagon .22
''Henry Pump Action Octagon .22 Magnum
''Henry Varmint Express .17 HMR
''Marlin 39TDS Carbine
''Marlin Model 39A Golden Lever Action
''Marlin Model 39AS Golden Lever-Action Rifle
''Mossberg Model 464 Rimfire Lever Action Rifle
''Norinco EM''321 Pump Rifle
''Remington 572BDL Fieldmaster Pump Rifle
''Rossi Model 62 SA Pump Rifle
''Rossi Model 62 SAC Carbine
''Rossi Model G2 Gallery Rifle
''Ruger Model 96 Lever-Action Rifle
''Taurus Model 62 Pump
''Taurus Model 72 Pump Rifle
''Winchester Model 9422 Lever-Action Rifle
''Winchester Model 9422 Magnum Lever-Action Rifle
''Anschutz 1416D/1516D Classic Rifles
''Anschutz 1418D/1518D Mannlicher Rifles
''Anschutz 1700 FWT Bolt-Action Rifle
''Anschutz 1700D Bavarian Bolt-Action Rifle
''Anschutz 1700D Classic Rifles
''Anschutz 1700D Custom Rifles
''Anschutz 1700D Graphite Custom Rifle
''Anschutz 1702 D H B Classic
''Anschutz 1713 Silhouette
''Anschutz Achiever
''Anschutz Achiever Bolt-Action Rifle
''Anschutz All other Bolt Action Rimfire Models
''Anschutz Kadett
''Anschutz Model 1502 D Classic
''Anschutz Model 1517 D Classic
''Anschutz Model 1517 MPR Multi Purpose
''Anschutz Model 1517 S''BR
''Anschutz Model 1710 D KL
''Anschutz Model 1717 Classic
''Anschutz Model 1717 Silhouette Sporter
''Anschutz Model G4 MPB
''Anschutz Model Woodchucker
''Armscor Model 14P Bolt-Action Rifle
''Armscor Model 1500 Rifle
''Beeman/HW 60''J''ST Bolt-Action Rifle
''BRNO ZKM 452 Deluxe
''BRNO ZKM''456 Lux Sporter
''BRNO ZKM''452 Deluxe Bolt-Action Rifle
''Browning A-Bolt 22 Bolt-Action Rifle
''Browning A-Bolt Gold Medallion
''Browning T-Bolt Rimfire Rifles
''Cabanas Espronceda IV Bolt-Action Rifle
''Cabanas Leyre Bolt-Action Rifle
''Cabanas Master Bolt-Action Rifle
''Cabanas Phaser Rifle
''Chipmunk Single Shot Rifle
''Cooper Arms Model 36S Sporter Rifle
''Cooper Model 57''M Bolt Action Rifle
''CZ 452 Bolt Action Rifles
''Dakota 22 Sporter Bolt-Action Rifle
''Davey Crickett Single Shot Rifle
''Harrington & Richardson Sportster
''Harrington & Richardson Sportster 17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire
''Harrington & Richardson Sportster Compact
''Henry 'Mini' Bolt Action Rifle
''Henry Acu-Bolt .22
''Henry Mini Bolt Youth .22
''Kimber Bolt Action .22 Rifles
''Krico Model 300 Bolt-Action Rifles
''Lakefield Arms Mark I Bolt-Action Rifle
''Lakefield Arms Mark II Bolt-Action Rifle
''Magtech Model MT Bolt Action Rifle
''Magtech Model MT''22C Bolt-Action Rifle
''Marlin Model 15YN 'Little Buckaroo'
''Marlin Model 25MN Bolt-Action Rifle
''Marlin Model 25N Bolt-Action Repeater
''Marlin Model 880 Bolt-Action Rifle
''Marlin Model 881 Bolt-Action Rifle
''Marlin Model 882 Bolt-Action Rifle
''Marlin Model 883 Bolt-Action Rifle
''Marlin Model 883SS Bolt-Action Rifle
''Marlin Model 915 YN 'Little Buckaroo'
''Marlin Model 915Y (Compact)
''Marlin Model 915YS (Compact)
''Marlin Model 917
''Marlin Model 917S
''Marlin Model 917V
''Marlin Model 917VR
''Marlin Model 917VS
''Marlin Model 917VS''CF
''Marlin Model 917VSF
''Marlin Model 917VST
''Marlin Model 917VT
''Marlin Model 925
''Marlin Model 925C
''Marlin Model 925M
''Marlin Model 925R
''Marlin Model 925RM
''Marlin Model 980S
''Marlin Model 980S''CF
''Marlin Model 981T
''Marlin Model 982 Bolt Action Rifle
''Marlin Model 982VS
''Marlin Model 982VS''CF
''Marlin Model 983
''Marlin Model 983S
''Marlin Model 983T
''Marlin Model XT''17 Series Bolt Action Rifles
''Marlin Model XT''22 Series Bolt Action Rifles
''Mauser Model 107 Bolt-Action Rifle
''Mauser Model 201 Bolt-Action Rifle
''Meacham Low-Wall Rifle
''Mossberg Model 801/802 Bolt Rifles
''Mossberg Model 817 Varmint Bolt Action Rifle
''Navy Arms TU''33/40 Carbine
''Navy Arms TU''KKW Sniper Trainer
''Navy Arms TU''KKW Training Rifle
''New England Firearms Sportster Single Shot Rifles
''Norinco JW''15 Bolt-Action Rifle
''Norinco JW''27 Bolt-Action Rifle
''Remington 40''XR Rimfire Custom Sporter
''Remington 541''T
''Remington 541''T HB Bolt-Action
''Rifle Remington 581''S Sportsman Rifle
''Remington Model Five
''Remington Model Five Youth
''Rossi Matched Pair Single Shot Rifle
''Ruger 77/17
''Ruger 77/22
''Ruger 77/22 Rimfire Bolt-Action Rifle
''Ruger 77/44
''Ruger K77/22 Varmint Rifle
''Savage CUB T Mini Youth
''Savage Mark I''G Bolt Action
''Savage Mark II Bolt Action Rifles
''Savage Model 30 G Stevens Favorite
''Savage Model 93 Rifles
''Thompson/Center Hotshot Youth Rifle
''Ultra Light Arms Model 20 RF Bolt-Action Rifle
''Winchester Model 52B Sporting Rifle
''Winchester Wildcat Bolt Action Rifle 22
''Anschutz 1803D Intermediate Match
''Anschutz 1808D RT Super Match 54 Target
''Anschutz 1827B Biathlon Rifle
''Anschutz 1827BT Fortner Biathlon Rifle
''Anschutz 1903 Rifles
''Anschutz 1903D Match Rifle
''Anschutz 1907 Match Rifle
''Anschutz 1910 Super Match II
''Anschutz 1911 Match Rifle
''Anschutz 1912 Rifles
''Anschutz 1913 Super Match Rifle
''Anschutz 54.18MS REP Deluxe Silhouette Rifle
''Anschutz 54.18MS Silhouette Rifle
''Anschutz 64 MP R Silhouette Rifle
''Anschutz 64''MS Left Silhouette
''Anschutz Super Match 54 Target Model 2007
''Anschutz Super Match 54 Target Model 2013
''Beeman/Feinwerkbau 2600 Target Rifle
''Cooper Arms Model TRP''1 ISU Standard Rifle
''E.A.A./HW 60 Target Rifle
''E.A.A./HW 660 Match Rifle
''E.A.A./Weihrauch HW 60 Target Rifle
''Ed Brown Model 704, M40A2 Marine Sniper
''Finnish Lion Standard Target Rifle
''Krico Model 360 S2 Biathlon Rifle
''Krico Model 360S Biathlon Rifle
''Krico Model 400 Match Rifle
''Krico Model 500 Kricotronic Match Rifle
''Krico Model 600 Match Rifle
''Krico Model 600 Sniper Rifle
''Lakefield Arms Model 90B Target Rifle
''Lakefield Arms Model 91T Target Rifle
''Lakefield Arms Model 92S Silhouette Rifle
''Marlin Model 2000 Target Rifle
''Mauser Model 86''SR Specialty Rifle
''McMillan 300 Phoenix Long Range Rifle
''McMillan Long Range Rifle
''McMillan M''86 Sniper Rifle
''McMillan M''89 Sniper Rifle
''McMillan National Match Rifle
''Parker-Hale M''85 Sniper Rifle
''Parker-Hale M''87 Target Rifle
''Remington 40''X Bolt Action Rifles
''Remington 40''XB Rangemaster Target Centerfire
''Remington 40''XBBR KS
''Remington 40''XC KS National Match Course Rifle
''Remington 40''XR KS Rimfire Position Rifle
''Sako TRG''21 Bolt-Action Rifle
''Sako TRG''22 Bolt Action Rifle
''Springfield Armory M''1 Garand
''Steyr-Mannlicher SSG Rifles
''Steyr-Mannlicher Match SPG''UIT Rifle
''Steyr-Mannlicher SSG P''I Rifle
''Steyr-Mannlicher SSG P''II Rifle
''Steyr-Mannlicher SSG P''III Rifle
''Steyr-Mannlicher SSG P''IV Rifle
''Tanner 300 Meter Free Rifle
''Tanner 50 Meter Free Rifle
''Tanner Standard UIT Rifle
''Time Precision 22RF Bench Rifle
''Wichita Silhouette Rifle
''American Arms
''American Arms/Franchi Black Magic 48/AL
''Benelli Bimillionaire
''Benelli Black Eagle Competition Auto Shotgun
''Benelli Cordoba
''Benelli Executive Series
''Benelli Legacy Model
''Benelli M1
''Benelli M1 Defense
''Benelli M1 Tactical
''Benelli M1014 Limited Edition
''Benelli M2
''Benelli M2 Field Steady Grip
''Benelli M2 Practical
''Benelli M2 Tactical
''Benelli M2 American Series
''Benelli M3 Convertible
''Benelli M4 Models Vinci Steady Grip
''Benelli Montefeltro Super 90 20-Gauge Shotgun
''Benelli Montefeltro Super 90 Shotgun
''Benelli Raffaello Series Shotguns
''Benelli Sport Model
''Benelli Super 90 M1 Field Model
''Benelli Super Black Eagle II Models
''Benelli Super Black Eagle II Steady Grip
''Benelli Super Black Eagle Models
''Benelli Super Black Eagle Shotgun
''Benelli Super Black Eagle Slug Gun
''Benelli Super Vinci
''Benelli Supersport
''Benelli Two-Gun Sets
''Benelli Ultralight
''Benelli Vinci
''Beretta 390 Field Auto Shotgun
''Beretta 390 Super Trap, Super Skeet Shotguns
''Beretta 3901 Citizen
''Beretta 3901 Rifled Slug Gun
''Beretta 3901 Statesman
''Beretta A''303 Auto Shotgun
''Beretta A400 Series
''Beretta AL''2 Models
''Beretta AL''3 Deluxe Trap
''Beretta AL390 Series
''Beretta AL391 Teknys Gold
''Beretta AL391 Teknys Gold Sporting
''Beretta AL391 Teknys Gold Target
''Beretta AL391 Urika 2 Camo AP
''Beretta AL391 Urika 2 Camo Max-4
''Beretta AL391 Urika 2 Classic
''Beretta AL391 Urika 2 Gold
''Beretta AL391 Urika 2 Gold Sporting
''Beretta AL391 Urika 2 Parallel Target SL
''Beretta AL391 Urika 2 Sporting
''Beretta AL391 Urika 2 Synthetic
''Beretta ES100 Pintail Series
''Beretta Model 1200 Field
''Beretta Model 1201F Auto Shotgun
''Beretta Model 300
''Beretta Model 301 Series
''Beretta Model 302 Series
''Beretta Model 60
''Beretta Model 61
''Beretta Model A304 Lark
''Beretta Model AL391 Series
''Beretta Model TX4 Storm
''Beretta Silver Lark
''Beretta UGB25 Xcel
''Beretta Vittoria Auto Shotgun
''Beretta Xtrema2
''Breda Altair
''Breda Altair Special
''Breda Aries 2
''Breda Astro
''Breda Astrolux
''Breda Echo
''Breda Ermes Series
''Breda Gold Series
''Breda Grizzly
''Breda Mira
''Breda Standard Series
''Breda Xanthos
''Brolin BL''12
''Brolin SAS''12
''Browning A''500G Auto Shotgun
''Browning A''500G Sporting Clays
''Browning A''500R Auto Shotgun
''Browning Auto-5 Light 12 and 20
''Browning Auto-5 Magnum 12
''Browning Auto-5 Magnum 20
''Browning Auto-5 Stalker
''Browning B2000 Series
''Browning BSA 10 Auto Shotgun
''Browning BSA 10 Stalker Auto Shotgun
''Browning Gold Series
''Browning Maxus Series
''Charles Daly Field Grade Series
''Charles Daly Novamatic Series
''Charles Daly Tactical
''Churchill Regent
''Churchill Standard Model
''Churchill Turkey Automatic Shotgun
''Churchill Windsor
''Cosmi Automatic Shotgun
''CZ 712
''CZ 720
''CZ 912
''Escort Escort Series
''European American Armory (EAA) Bundra Series
''Fabarms Ellegi Series
''Fabarms Lion Series
''Fabarms Tactical
''FNH USA Model SLP
''Franchi 610VS
''Franchi 612 Series
''Franchi 620
''Franchi 712
''Franchi 720
''Franchi 912
''Franchi AL 48
''Franchi AL 48 Series
''Franchi Elite
''Franchi I''12 Inertia Series
''Franchi Prestige
''H&K Model 512
''H&R Manufrance
''H&R Model 403
''Hi-Standard 10A
''Hi-Standard 10B
''Hi-Standard Semi Automatic Model
''Hi-Standard Supermatic Series
''Ithaca Mag-10
''Ithaca Model 51 Series
''LaSalle Semi-automatic
''Ljutic Bi-matic Autoloader
''Luger Ultra-light Model
''Marlin SI 12 Series
''Maverick Model 60 Auto Shotgun
''Model AL''1
''Mossberg 1000
''Mossberg Model 600 Auto Shotgun
''Mossberg Model 930 All-Purpose Field
''Mossberg Model 930 Slugster
''Mossberg Model 930 Turkey
''Mossberg Model 930 Waterfowl
''Mossberg Model 935 Magnum Combos
''Mossberg Model 935 Magnum Flyway Series Waterfowl
''Mossberg Model 935 Magnum Grand Slam Series Turkey
''Mossberg Model 935 Magnum Turkey
''Mossberg Model 935 Magnum Waterfowl
''New England Firearms Excell Auto Combo
''New England Firearms Excell Auto Synthetic
''New England Firearms Excell Auto Turkey
''New England Firearms Excell Auto Walnut
''New England Firearms Excell Auto Waterfowl
''Nighthawk Tactical Semi-auto
''Ottomanguns Sultan Series
''Remington 105Ti Series
''Remington 1100 20-Gauge Deer Gun
''Remington 1100 LT''20 Auto
''Remington 1100 LT''20 Tournament Skeet
''Remington 1100 Special Field
''Remington 11''48 Series
''Remington 11''96 Series
''Remington Model 105 Cti
''Remington Model 11 Series
''Remington Model 1100 Classic Trap
''Remington Model 1100 Competition
''Remington Model 1100 G3
''Remington Model 1100 G3
''Remington Model 1100 Series
''Remington Model 1100 Shotgun
''Remington Model 1100 Sporting Series
''Remington Model 11''87 Sportsman Camo
''Remington Model 11''87 Sportsman Super Mag Synthetic
''Remington Model 11''87 Sportsman Super Mag Waterfowl
''Remington Model 11''87 Sportsman Synthetic
''Remington Model 11''87 Sportsman Youth
''Remington Model 11''87 Sportsman Youth Synthetic
''Remington Model 48 Series
''Remington Model 58 Series
''Remington Model 870 Classic Trap
''Remington Model 878A Automaster
''Remington Model SP''10 Magnum Satin
''Remington Model SP''10 Waterfowl
''Remington Model SPR453
''Remington Versa-Max Series
''Savage Model 720
''Savage Model 726
''Savage Model 740C Skeet Gun
''Savage Model 745
''Savage Model 755 Series
''Savage Model 775 Series
''Scattergun Technologies K''9
''Scattergun Technologies SWAT
''Scattergun Technologies Urban Sniper Model
''SKB 1300 Upland
''SKB 1900
''SKB 300 Series
''SKB 900 Series
''SKS 3000
''Smith & Wesson Model 1000
''Smith & Wesson Model 1012 Series
''Spartan Gun Works SPR453
''TOZ Model H''170
''Tri-Star Diana Series
''Tri-Star Phantom Series
''Tri-Star Viper Series
''Tula Arms Plant TOZ 87
''Verona 401 Series
''Verona 405 Series
''Verona 406 Series
''Verona SX801 Series
''Weatherby Centurion Series
''Weatherby Field Grade
''Weatherby Model 82
''Weatherby SA''08 Series
''Weatherby SA''459 TR
''Weatherby SAS Series
''Winchester 1500
''Winchester Model 50
''Winchester Model 59
''Winchester Super X1 Series
''Winchester Super X2 Series
''Winchester Super X3 Series
''ADCO Diamond Grade
''ADCO Diamond Series Shotguns
''ADCO Mariner Model
''ADCO Sales Inc. Gold Elite Series
''Armscor M''30 Series
''Armscor M''5
''Baikal IZH''81
''Baikal MP133
''Benelli Nova Series
''Benelli Supernova Series
''Beretta Ariete Standard
''Beretta Gold Pigeon Pump
''Beretta Model SL''12
''Beretta Ruby Pigeon Pump
''Beretta Silver Pigeon Pump
''Brolin Field Series
''Brolin Lawman Model
''Brolin Slug Special
''Brolin Slugmaster
''Brolin Turkey Master
''Browning BPS Game Gun Deer Special
''Browning BPS Game Gun Turkey Special
''Browning BPS Pigeon Grade Pump Shotgun
''Browning BPS Pump Shotgun
''Browning BPS Pump Shotgun (Ladies and Youth Model)
''Browning BPS Series Pump Shotgun
''Browning BPS Stalker Pump Shotgun
''Browning Model 12 Limited Edition Series
''Browning Model 42 Pump Shotgun
''Century IJ12 Slide Action
''Century Ultra 87 Slide Action
''Charles Daly Field Hunter
''Ducks Unlimited Dinner Guns
''EAA Model PM2
''Escort Field Series
''Fort Worth Firearms GL18
''H&R Pardner Pump
''Hi-Standard Flite-King Series
''Hi-Standard Model 200
''Interstate Arms Model 981
''Interstate Arms Model 982T
''Ithaca Deerslayer II Rifled Shotgun
''Ithaca Model 87 Deerslayer Shotgun
''Ithaca Model 87 Deluxe Pump Shotgun
''Ithaca Model 87 Series Shotguns
''Ithaca Model 87 Supreme Pump Shotgun
''Ithaca Model 87 Turkey Gun
''Magtech Model 586''VR Pump Shotgun
''Maverick Models 88, 91 Pump Shotguns
''Mossberg 200 Series Shotgun
''Mossberg 3000 Pump shotgun
''Mossberg 535 ATS Series Pump Shotguns
''Mossberg Field Grade Model 835 Pump Shotgun
''Mossberg Model 500 All Purpose Field
''Mossberg Model 500 Bantam
''Mossberg Model 500 Bantam Combo
''Mossberg Model 500 Bantam Pump
''Mossberg Model 500 Camo Pump
''Mossberg Model 500 Combos
''Mossberg Model 500 Flyway Series Waterfowl
''Mossberg Model 500 Grand Slam Series Turkey
''Mossberg Model 500 Muzzleloader
''Mossberg Model 500 Muzzleloader Combo
''Mossberg Model 500 Series Pump Shotguns
''Mossberg Model 500 Slugster
''Mossberg Model 500 Sporting Pump
''Mossberg Model 500 Super Bantam All Purpose Field
''Mossberg Model 500 Super Bantam Combo
''Mossberg Model 500 Super Bantam Slug
''Mossberg Model 500 Super Bantam Turkey
''Mossberg Model 500 Trophy Slugster
''Mossberg Model 500 Turkey
''Mossberg Model 500 Waterfowl
''Mossberg Model 505 Series Pump Shotguns
''Mossberg Model 505 Youth All Purpose Field
''Mossberg Model 535 ATS All Purpose Field
''Mossberg Model 535 ATS Combos
''Mossberg Model 535 ATS Slugster
''Mossberg Model 535 ATS Turkey
''Mossberg Model 535 ATS Waterfowl
''Mossberg Model 835 Regal Ulti-Mag Pump
''Mossberg Model 835 Series Pump Shotguns
''Mossberg Model 835 Ulti-Mag
''Mossberg Turkey Model 500 Pump
''National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Banquet/Guns of the Year
''New England Firearms Pardner Pump Combo
''New England Firearms Pardner Pump Field
''New England Firearms Pardner Pump Slug Gun
''New England Firearms Pardner Pump Synthetic
''New England Firearms Pardner Pump Turkey Gun
''New England Firearms Pardner Pump Walnut
''New England Firearms Pardner Pump-Compact Field
''New England Firearms Pardner Pump-Compact Synthetic
''New England Firearms Pardner Pump-Compact Walnut
''Norinco Model 98 Field Series
''Norinco Model 983
''Norinco Model 984
''Norinco Model 985
''Norinco Model 987
''Orvis Grand Vazir Series
''Quail Unlimited Limited Edition Pump Shotguns
''Remington 870 Express
''Remington 870 Express Rifle Sighted Deer Gun
''Remington 870 Express Series Pump Shotguns
''Remington 870 Express Turkey
''Remington 870 High Grade Series
''Remington 870 High Grades
''Remington 870 Marine Magnum
''Remington 870 Special Field
''Remington 870 Special Purpose Deer Gun
''Remington 870 Special Purpose Synthetic Camo
''Remington 870 SPS Special Purpose Magnum
''Remington 870 SPS''BG-Camo Deer/Turkey Shotgun
''Remington 870 SPS-Deer Shotgun
''Remington 870 SPS''T Camo Pump Shotgun
''Remington 870 TC Trap
''Remington 870 Wingmaster
''Remington 870 Wingmaster Series
''Remington 870 Wingmaster Small Gauges
''Remington Model 11''87 XCS Super Magnum Waterfowl
''Remington Model 870 Ducks Unlimited Series Dinner Pump Shotguns
''Remington Model 870 Express
''Remington Model 870 Express Jr.
''Remington Model 870 Express Shurshot Synthetic Cantilever
''Remington Model 870 Express Super Magnum
''Remington Model 870 Express Synthetic
''Remington Model 870 Express Youth Gun
''Remington Model 870 Express Youth Synthetic
''Remington Model 870 SPS Shurshot Synthetic Cantilever
''Remington Model 870 SPS Shurshot Synthetic Turkey
''Remington Model 870 SPS Special Purpose Magnum Series Pump Shotguns
''Remington Model 870 SPS Super Mag Max Gobbler
''Remington Model 870 XCS Marine Magnum
''Remington Model 870 XCS Super Magnum
''Winchester 12 Commercial Riot Gun
''Winchester 97 Commercial Riot Gun
''Winchester Model 12 Pump Shotgun
''Winchester Model 120 Ranger
''Winchester Model 1200 Series Shotgun
''Winchester Model 1300 Ranger Pump Gun
''Winchester Model 1300 Ranger Pump Gun Combo & Deer Gun
''Winchester Model 1300 Series Shotgun
''Winchester Model 1300 Slug Hunter Deer Gun
''Winchester Model 1300 Turkey Gun
''Winchester Model 1300 Walnut Pump
''Winchester Model 42 High Grade Shotgun
''Winchester Speed Pump Defender
''Winchester SXP Series Pump Shotgun
''Zoli Pump Action Shotgun
''ADCO Sales Diamond Series Shotguns
''American Arms/Franchi Falconet 2000 O/U
''American Arms Lince
''American Arms Silver I O/U
''American Arms Silver II Shotgun
''American Arms Silver Skeet O/U
''American Arms Silver Sporting O/U
''American Arms Silver Trap O/U
''American Arms WS/OU 12, TS/OU 12 Shotguns
''American Arms WT/OU 10 Shotgun
''American Arms/Franchi Sporting 2000 O/U
''Armsport 2700 O/U Goose Gun
''Armsport 2700 Series O/U
''Armsport 2900 Tri-Barrel Shotgun
''AYA Augusta
''AYA Coral A
''AYA Coral B
''AYA Excelsior
''AYA Model 37 Super
''AYA Model 77
''AYA Model 79 Series
''Baby Bretton Over/Under Shotgun
''Baikal IZH27
''Baikal MP310
''Baikal MP333
''Baikal MP94
''Beretta 90 DE LUXE
''Beretta 682 Gold E Skeet
''Beretta 682 Gold E Trap
''Beretta 682 Gold E Trap Bottom Single
''Beretta 682 Series
''Beretta 682 Super Sporting O/U
''Beretta 685 Series
''Beretta 686 Series
''Beretta 686 White Onyx
''Beretta 686 White Onyx Sporting
''Beretta 687 EELL Classic
''Beretta 687 EELL Diamond Pigeon
''Beretta 687 EELL Diamond Pigeon Sporting
''Beretta 687 series
''Beretta 687EL Sporting O/U
''Beretta Alpha Series
''Beretta America Standard
''Beretta AS
''Beretta ASE 90 Competition O/U Shotgun
''Beretta ASE 90 Gold Skeet
''Beretta ASE Gold
''Beretta ASE Series
''Beretta ASEL
''Beretta BL Sereis
''Beretta DT10 Series
''Beretta DT10 Trident EELL
''Beretta DT10 Trident L Sporting
''Beretta DT10 Trident Skeet
''Beretta DT10 Trident Sporting
''Beretta DT10 Trident Trap Combo
''Beretta Europa
''Beretta Field Shotguns
''Beretta Gamma Series
''Beretta Giubileo
''Beretta Grade Four
''Beretta Grade One
''Beretta Grade Three
''Beretta Grade Two
''Beretta Milano
''Beretta Model 686 Ultralight O/U
''Beretta Model SO5, SO6, SO9 Shotguns
''Beretta Onyx Hunter Sport O/U Shotgun
''Beretta Over/Under Field Shotguns
''Beretta Royal Pigeon
''Beretta S56 Series
''Beretta S58 Series
''Beretta Series 682 Competition Over/Unders
''Beretta Silver Pigeon II
''Beretta Silver Pigeon II Sporting
''Beretta Silver Pigeon III
''Beretta Silver Pigeon III Sporting
''Beretta Silver Pigeon IV
''Beretta Silver Pigeon S
''Beretta Silver Pigeon V
''Beretta Silver Snipe
''Beretta Skeet Set
''Beretta SO''1
''Beretta SO''2
''Beretta SO''3
''Beretta SO''4
''Beretta SO5
''Beretta SO6 EELL
''Beretta SO''10
''Beretta SO10 EELL
''Beretta Sporting Clay Shotguns
''Beretta SV10 Perennia
''Beretta Ultralight
''Beretta Ultralight Deluxe
''Bertuzzi Zeus
''Bertuzzi Zeus Series
''Beschi Boxlock Model
''Big Bear Arms IJ''39
''Big Bear Arms Sterling Series
''Big Bear IJ''27
''Blaser F3 Series
''Bosis Challenger Titanium
''Bosis Laura
''Bosis Michaelangelo
''Bosis Wild Series
''Boss Custom Over/Under Shotguns
''Boss Merlin
''Boss Pendragon
''Breda Pegaso Series
''Breda Sirio Standard
''Breda Vega Series
''Bretton Baby Standard
''Bretton Sprint Deluxe
''BRNO 500/501
''BRNO 502
''BRNO 801 Series
''BRNO 802 Series
''BRNO BS''571
''BRNO BS''572
''BRNO ZH''300
''BRNO ZH''301
''BRNO ZH''302
''BRNO ZH''303
''Browning 325 Sporting Clays
''Browning 625 Series
''Browning 725 Series
''Browning B''25 Series
''Browning B''26 Series
''Browning B''27 Series
''Browning B''125 Custom Shop Series
''Browning Citori 525 Series
''Browning Citori GTI Sporting Clays
''Browning Citori Lightning Series
''Browning Citori O/U Shotgun
''Browning Citori O/U Skeet Models
''Browning Citori O/U Trap Models
''Browning Citori Plus Trap Combo
''Browning Citori Plus Trap Gun
''Browning Cynergy Series
''Browning Diana Grade
''Browning Lightning Sporting Clays
''Browning Micro Citori Lightning
''Browning Midas Grade
''Browning Special Sporting Clays
''Browning Sporter Model
''Browning ST''100
''Browning Superlight Citori Over/Under
''Browning Superlight Citori Series
''Browning Superlight Feather
''Browning Superposed Pigeon Grade
''Browning Superposed Standard
''BSA Falcon
''BSA O/U
''BSA Silver Eagle
''Cabela's Volo
''Caprinus Sweden Model
''Centurion Over/Under Shotgun
''Century Arms Arthemis
''Chapuis Over/Under Shotgun
''Charles Daly Country Squire Model
''Charles Daly Deluxe Model
''Charles Daly Diamond Series
''Charles Daly Empire Series
''Charles Daly Field Grade O/U
''Charles Daly Lux Over/Under
''Charles Daly Maxi-Mag
''Charles Daly Model 105
''Charles Daly Model 106
''Charles Daly Model 206
''Charles Daly Over/Under Shotguns, Japanese Manufactured
''Charles Daly Over/Under Shotguns, Prussian Manufactured
''Charles Daly Presentation Model
''Charles Daly Sporting Clays Model
''Charles Daly Superior Model
''Charles Daly UL
''Churchill Imperial Model
''Churchill Monarch
''Churchill Premiere Model
''Churchill Regent Trap and Skeet
''Churchill Regent V
''Churchill Sporting Clays
''Churchill Windsor III
''Churchill Windsor IV
''Classic Doubles Model 101 Series
''Cogswell & Harrison Woodward Type
''Connecticut Shotgun Company A. Galazan Model
''Connecticut Shotgun Company A''10 American
''Connecticut Valley Classics Classic Field Waterfowler
''Connecticut Valley Classics Classic Sporter O/U
''Continental Arms Centaure Series
''Cortona Over/Under Shotguns
''CZ 581 Solo
''CZ Canvasback 103D
''CZ Limited Edition
''CZ Mallard 104A
''CZ Redhead Deluxe 103FE
''CZ Sporting
''CZ Super Scroll Limited Edition
''CZ Upland Ultralight
''CZ Wingshooter
''Dakin Arms Model 170
''Darne SB1
''Darne SB2
''Darne SB3
''Depar ATAK
''Doumoulin Superposed Express
''Ducks Unlimited Dinner Guns/Guns of the Year, Over/Under Models
''Dumoulin Boss Royal Superposed
''E.A.A. Falcon
''E.A.A. Scirocco Series
''E.A.A./Sabatti Falcon-Mon Over/Under
''E.A.A./Sabatti Sporting Clays Pro-Gold O/U
''ERA Over/Under
''Famars di Abbiatico & Salvinelli Aries
''Famars di Abbiatico & Salvinelli Castrone
''Famars di Abbiatico & Salvinelli Dove Gun
''Famars di Abbiatico & Salvinelli Excaliber Series
''Famars di Abbiatico & Salvinelli Jorema
''Famars di Abbiatico & Salvinelli Leonardo
''Famars di Abbiatico & Salvinelli Pegasus
''Famars di Abbiatico & Salvinelli Posiden
''Famars di Abbiatico & Salvinelli Quail Gun
''Famars di Abbiatico & Salvinelli Royal
''Famars di Abbiatico & Salvinelli Royale
''Fausti Boutique Series
''Fausti Caledon Series
''Fausti Class Series
''Ferlib Boss Model
''Finnclassic 512 Series
''Franchi 2004 Trap
''Franchi 2005 Combination Trap
''Franchi Alcione Series
''Franchi Aristocrat Series
''Franchi Black Majic
''Franchi Falconet Series
''Franchi Instict Series
''Franchi Model 2003 Trap
''Franchi Renaissance Series
''Franchi Sporting 2000
''Franchi Undergun Model 3000
''Franchi Veloce Series
''Galef Golden Snipe
''Galef Silver Snipe
''Golden Eagle Model 5000 Series
''Griffon & Howe Black Ram
''Griffon & Howe Broadway
''Griffon & Howe Claremont
''Griffon & Howe Madison
''Griffon & Howe Silver Ram
''Griffon & Howe Superbrite
''Guerini Apex Series
''Guerini Challenger Sporting
''Guerini Ellipse Evo
''Guerini Ellipse Evolution Sporting
''Guerini Ellipse Limited
''Guerini Essex Field
''Guerini Flyaway
''Guerini Forum Series
''Guerini Magnus Series
''Guerini Maxum Series
''Guerini Summit Series
''Guerini Tempio
''Guerini Woodlander
''H&R Harrich #1
''H&R Model 1212
''H&R Model 1212WF
''H&R Pinnacle
''Hatfields Hatfield Model 1 of 100
''Heym Model 55 F
''Heym Model 55 SS
''Heym Model 200
''Holland & Holland Royal Series
''Holland & Holland Sporting Model
''IGA 2000 Series
''IGA Hunter Series
''IGA Trap Series
''IGA Turkey Series
''IGA Waterfowl Series
''K.F.C. E''2 Trap/Skeet
''K.F.C. Field Gun
''Kassnar Grade I O/U Shotgun
''KDF Condor Khan Arthemis Field/Deluxe
''Kimber Augusta Series
''Kimber Marias Series
''Krieghoff K''80 Four-Barrel Skeet Set
''Krieghoff K''80 International Skeet
''Krieghoff K''80 O/U Trap Shotgun
''Krieghoff K''80 Skeet Shotgun
''Krieghoff K''80 Sporting Clays O/U
''Krieghoff K''80/RT Shotguns
''Krieghoff Model 20 Sporting/Field
''Krieghoff Model 32 Series
''Lames Field Model
''Lames Skeet Model
''Lames Standard Model
''Lames California Model
''Laurona Model 67
''Laurona Model 82 Series
''Laurona Model 83 Series
''Laurona Model 84 Series
''Laurona Model 85 Series
''Laurona Model 300 Series
''Laurona Silhouette 300 Sporting Clays
''Laurona Silhouette 300 Trap
''Laurona Super Model Over/Unders
''Lebeau Baron Series
''Lebeau Boss Verres
''Lebeau Boxlock with sideplates
''Lebeau Sidelock
''Lebeau Versailles
''Lippard Custom Over/Under Shotguns
''Ljutic LM''6 Deluxe O/U Shotgun
''Longthorne Hesketh Game Gun
''Longthorne Sporter
''Marlin Model 90
''Marocchi Avanza O/U Shotgun
''Marocchi Conquista Over/Under Shotgun
''Marocchi Conquista Series
''Marocchi Model 100
''Marocchi Model 99
''Maverick HS''12 Tactical
''Maverick Hunter Field Model
''McMillan Over/Under Sidelock
''Merkel 201 Series
''Merkel 2016 Series
''Merkel 2116 EL Sidelock
''Merkel 303EL Luxus
''Merkel Model 100
''Merkel Model 101
''Merkel Model 101E
''Merkel Model 200E O/U Shotgun
''Merkel Model 200E Skeet, Trap Over/Unders
''Merkel Model 200SC Sporting Clays
''Merkel Model 203E, 303E Over/Under Shotguns
''Merkel Model 204E
''Merkel Model 210
''Merkel Model 301
''Merkel Model 302
''Merkel Model 304E
''Merkel Model 310E
''Merkel Model 400
''Merkel Model 400E
''Merkel Model 2000 Series
''Mossberg Onyx Reserve Field
''Mossberg Onyx Reserve Sporting
''Mossberg Silver Reserve Field
''Mossberg Silver Reserve Series
''Mossberg Silver Reserve Sporting
''Norinco Type HL12''203
''Omega Standard Over/Under Model
''Orvis Field
''Orvis Knockabout
''Orvis Premier Grade
''Orvis SKB Green Mountain Uplander
''Orvis Sporting Clays
''Orvis Super Field
''Orvis Uplander
''Orvis Waterfowler
''Pederson Model 1000 Series
''Pederson Model 1500 Series
''Perazzi Boxlock Action Hunting
''Perazzi Competition Series
''Perazzi Electrocibles
''Perazzi Granditalia
''Perazzi Mirage Special Four-Gauge Skeet
''Perazzi Mirage Special Skeet Over/Under
''Perazzi Mirage Special Sporting O/U
''Perazzi MS80
''Perazzi MT''6
''Perazzi MX1/MX2
''Perazzi MX3
''Perazzi MX4
''Perazzi MX5
''Perazzi MX6
''Perazzi MX7 Over/Under Shotguns
''Perazzi MX8/20 Over/Under Shotgun
''Perazzi MX8/MX8 Special Trap, Skeet
''Perazzi MX9 Single Over/Under Shotguns
''Perazzi MX10
''Perazzi MX11
''Perazzi MX12 Hunting Over/Under
''Perazzi MX14
''Perazzi MX16
''Perazzi MX20 Hunting Over/Under
''Perazzi MX28, MX410 Game O/U Shotguns
''Perazzi MX2000
''Perazzi MX2005
''Perazzi MX2008
''Perazzi Sidelock Action Hunting
''Perazzi Sporting Classic O/U
''Perugini Maestro Series
''Perugini Michelangelo
''Perugini Nova Boss
''Pietro Zanoletti Model 2000 Field O/U
''Piotti Boss Over/Under Shotgun
''Pointer Italian Model
''Pointer Turkish Model
''Remington 396 Series
''Remington 3200 Series
''Remington Model 32 Series
''Remington Model 300 Ideal
''Remington Model 332 Series
''Remington Model SPR310
''Remington Model SPR310N
''Remington Model SPR310S
''Remington Peerless Over/Under Shotgun
''Remington Premier Field
''Remington Premier Ruffed Grouse
''Remington Premier Series
''Remington Premier STS Competition
''Remington Premier Upland
''Richland Arms Model 41
''Richland Arms Model 747
''Richland Arms Model 757
''Richland Arms Model 787
''Richland Arms Model 808
''Richland Arms Model 810
''Richland Arms Model 828
''Rigby 401 Sidelock
''Rota Model 650
''Rota Model 72 Series
''Royal American Model 100
''Ruger Red Label O/U Shotgun
''Ruger Sporting Clays O/U Shotgun
''Ruger Woodside Shotgun
''Rutten Model RM 100
''Rutten Model RM285
''S.I.A.C.E. Evolution
''S.I.A.C.E. Model 66C
''S.I.A.C.E. 600T Lusso EL
''San Marco 10-Ga. O/U Shotgun
''San Marco 12-Ga. Wildflower Shotgun
''San Marco Field Special O/U Shotgun
''Sauer Model 66 Series
''Savage Model 242
''Savage Model 420/430
''Sig Sauer Aurora Series
''Sig Sauer SA''3
''Sig Sauer SA''5
''Silma Model 70 Series
''SKB Model 85 Series
''SKB Model 500 Series
''SKB Model 505 Deluxe Over/Under Shotgun
''SKB Model 505 Series
''SKB Model 600 Series
''SKB Model 605 Series
''SKB Model 680 Series
''SKB Model 685 Over/Under Shotgun
''SKB Model 685 Series
''SKB Model 700 Series
''SKB Model 786 Series
''SKB Model 800 Series
''SKB Model 880 Series
''SKB Model 885 Over/Under Trap, Skeet, Sporting Clays
''SKB Model 885 Series
''SKB Model 5600 Series
''SKB Model 5700 Series
''SKB Model 5800 Series
''SKB Model GC''7 Series
''Spartan SPR310/320
''Stevens Model 240
''Stevens Model 512
''Stoeger/IGA Condor I O/U Shotgun
''Stoeger/IGA ERA 2000 Over/Under Shotgun
''Techni-Mec Model 610 Over/Under
''Tikka Model 412S Field Grade Over/Under
''Traditions 350 Series Traditions Classic Field Series
''Traditions Classic Upland Series
''Traditions Gold Wing Series
''Traditions Real 16 Series
''Tri Star Model 330 Series
''Tri-Star Hunter EX
''Tri-Star Model 300
''Tri-Star Model 333 Series
''Tri-Star Setter Model
''Tri-Star Silver Series
''Tri-Star Sporting Model
''TULA 120
''TULA 200
''TULA TOZ34
''Universal 7112
''Universal 7312
''Universal 7412
''Universal 7712
''Universal 7812
''Universal 7912
''Verona 501 Series
''Verona 680 Series
''Verona 702 Series
''Verona LX692 Series
''Verona LX980 Series
''Weatherby Athena Grade IV O/U Shotguns
''Weatherby Athena Grade V Classic Field O/U
''Weatherby Athena Series
''Weatherby Classic Field Models
''Weatherby II, III Classic Field O/Us
''Weatherby Orion II Classic Sporting Clays O/U
''Weatherby Orion II series
''Weatherby Orion II Sporting Clays O/U
''Weatherby Orion III Series
''Weatherby Orion O/U Shotguns
''Winchester Model 91
''Winchester Model 96
''Winchester Model 99
''Winchester Model 101 All Models and Grades
''Winchester Model 1001 O/U Shotgun
''Winchester Model 1001 Series
''Winchester Model 1001 Sporting Clays O/U
''Winchester Model G5500
''Winchester Model G6500
''Winchester Select Series
''Zoli Condor
''Zoli Deluxe Model
''Zoli Dove
''Zoli Field Special
''Zoli Pigeon Model
''Zoli Silver Snipe
''Zoli Snipe
''Zoli Special Model
''Zoli Target Series
''Zoli Texas
''Zoli Z Series
''Zoli Z''90 Series
''Zoli Z-Sport Series
''Armas Azor Sidelock Model
''ADCO Sales Diamond Series Shotguns
''American Arms Brittany Shotgun
''American Arms Derby Side-by-Side
''American Arms Gentry Double Shotgun
''American Arms Grulla #2 Double Shotgun
''American Arms TS/SS 10 Double Shotgun
''American Arms TS/SS 12 Side-by-Side
''American Arms WS/SS 10
''Arizaga Model 31 Double Shotgun
''Armes de Chasse Sidelock and Boxlock Shotguns
''Armsport 1050 Series Double Shotguns
''Arrieta Sidelock Double Shotguns
''Auguste Francotte Boxlock Shotgun
''Auguste Francotte Sidelock Shotgun
''AYA Boxlock Shotguns
''AYA Sidelock Double Shotguns
''Baikal IZH''43 Series Shotguns
''Baikal MP210 Series Shotguns
''Baikal MP213 Series Shotguns
''Baikal MP220 Series Shotguns
''Baker Gun Sidelock Models
''Baltimore Arms Co. Style 1
''Baltimore Arms Co. Style 2
''Bayard Boxlock and Sidelock Model Shotguns
''Beretta 450 series Shotguns
''Beretta 451 Series Shotguns
''Beretta 452 Series Shotguns
''Beretta 470 Series Shotguns
''Beretta Custom Grade Shotguns
''Beretta Francia Standard
''Beretta Imperiale Montecarlo
''Beretta Model 452 Sidelock Shotgun
''Beretta Omega Standard
''Beretta Side-by-Side Field Shotguns
''Beretta Verona/Bergamo
''Bertuzzi Ariete Hammer Gun
''Bertuzzi Model Orione
''Bertuzzi Venere Series Shotguns
''Beschi Sidelock and Boxlock Models
''Bill Hanus Birdgun Doubles
''Bosis Country SxS
''Bosis Hammer Gun
''Bosis Queen Sidelock
''Boss Robertson SxS
''Boss SxS
''Boswell Boxlock Model
''Boswell Feartherweight Monarch Grade
''Boswell Merlin Sidelock
''Boswell Sidelock Model
''Breda Andromeda Special
''BRNO ZP Series Shotguns
''Brown SxS Shotgun
''Browning B''SS
''Browning B''SS Belgian/Japanese Prototype
''Browning B''SS Sidelock
''Browning B''SS Sporter
''Bruchet Model A
''Bruchet Model B
''BSA Classic
''BSA Royal
''Cabela's ATA Grade II Custom
''Cabela's Hemingway Model
''Casartelli Sidelock Model
''Century Coach SxS
''Chapuis RGP Series Shotguns
''Chapuis RP Series Shotguns
''Chapuis Side-by-Side Shotgun
''Chapuis UGP Round Design SxS
''Charles Daly 1974 Wildlife Commemorative
''Charles Daly Classic Coach Gun
''Charles Daly Diamond SxS
''Charles Daly Empire SxS
''Charles Daly Model 306
''Charles Daly Model 500
''Charles Daly Model Dss Double
''Charles Daly Superior SxS
''Churchill Continental Series Shotguns
''Churchill Crown Model
''Churchill Field Model
''Churchill Hercules Model
''Churchill Imperial Model
''Churchill Premiere Series Shotguns
''Churchill Regal Model
''Churchill Royal Model
''Churchill Windsor Series Shotguns
''Cimarron Coach Guns
''Classic Doubles Model 201
''Classic Clot 1878 Hammer Shotgun
''Cogswell & Harrison Sidelock and Boxlock Shotguns
''Colt 1883 Hammerless
''Colt SxS Shotgun
''Connecticut Shotgun Co. Model 21
''Connecticut Shotgun Co. RBL Series
''Continental Arms Centaure
''Crescent SxS Model
''Crucelegui Hermanos Model 150 Double
''CZ Amarillo
''CZ Bobwhite
''CZ Competition
''CZ Deluxe
''CZ Durango
''CZ Grouse
''CZ Hammer Models
''CZ Partridge
''CZ Ringneck
''CZ Ringneck Target
''Dakin Model 100
''Dakin Model 147
''Dakin Model 160
''Dakin Model 215
''Dakota American Legend
''Dakota Classic Grade
''Dakota Classic Grade II
''Dakota Classic Grade III
''Dakota Premier Grade
''Dan Arms Deluxe Field Model
''Dan Arms Field Model
''Darne Sliding Breech Series Shotguns
''Davidson Arms Model 63B
''Davidson Arms Model 69SL
''Davidson Arms Model 73 Stagecoach
''Dumoulin Continental Model
''Dumoulin Etendard Model
''Dumoulin Europa Model
''Dumoulin Liege Model
''E.A.A. SABA
''E.A.A./Sabatti Saba-Mon Double Shotgun
''E.M.F. Model 1878 SxS
''E.M.F. Stagecoach SxS Model
''ERA Quail SxS
''ERA Riot SxS
''ERA SxS
''Famars Boxlock Models
''Famars Castore
''Famars Sidelock Models
''Fausti Caledon
''Fausti Class
''Fausti Class Round Body
''Fausti DEA Series Shotguns
''Ferlib Mignon Hammer Model
''Ferlib Model F VII Double Shotgun
''FN Anson SxS Standard Grade
''FN New Anson SxS Standard Grade
''FN Sidelock Standard Grade
''Fox Higher Grade Models (A''F)
''Fox Sterlingworth Series
''Franchi Airone
''Franchi Astore Series
''Franchi Destino
''Franchi Highlander
''Franchi Sidelock Double Barrel
''Francotte Boxlock Shotgun
''Francotte Jubilee Model
''Francotte Sidelock Shotgun
''Galef Silver Hawk SxS
''Galef Zabala SxS
''Garbi Model 100
''Garbi Model 101 Side-by-Side
''Garbi Model 103A, B Side-by-Side
''Garbi Model 200 Side-by-Side
''Gastinne Model 105
''Gastinne Model 202
''Gastinne Model 353
''Gastinne Model 98
''Gib 10 Gauge Magnum
''Gil Alhambra
''Gil Diamond
''Gil Laga
''Gil Olimpia
''Greener Sidelock SxS Shotguns
''Griffin & Howe Britte
''Griffin & Howe Continental Sidelock
''Griffin & Howe Round Body Game Gun
''Griffin & Howe Traditional Game Gun
''Grulla 217 Series
''Grulla 219 Series
''Grulla Consort
''Grulla Model 209 Holland
''Grulla Model 215
''Grulla Model 216 Series
''Grulla Number 1
''Grulla Royal
''Grulla Super MH
''Grulla Supreme
''Grulla Windsor
''H&R Anson & Deeley SxS
''H&R Model 404
''H&R Small Bore SxS hammer Gun
''Hatfield Uplander Shotgun
''Henry Atkin Boxlock Model
''Henry Atkin Sidelock Model
''Holland & Holland Cavalier Boxlock
''Holland & Holland Dominion Game Gun
''Holland & Holland Northwood Boxlock
''Holland & Holland Round Action Sidelock
''Holland & Holland Round Action Sidelock Paradox
''Holland & Holland Royal Hammerless Ejector Sidelock
''Holland & Holland Sidelock Shotguns
''Holloway premier Sidelock SxS Model
''Hopkins & Allen Boxlock and Sidelock Models
''Huglu SxS Shotguns
''Husqvarna SxS Shotguns
''IGA Deluxe Model
''IGA Turkey Series Model
''Interstate Arms Model 99 Coach Gun
''Ithaca Classic Doubles Series Shotguns
''Ithaca Hammerless Series
''Iver Johnson Hammerless Model Shotguns
''Jeffery Boxlock Shotguns
''Jeffery Sidelock Shotguns
''K.B.I. Grade II SxS
''Khan Coach Gun
''Kimber Valier Series
''Krieghoff Essencia Boxlock
''Krieghoff Essencia Sidelock
''Lanber Imperial Sidelock
''Laurona Boxlock Models
''Laurona Sidelock Models
''Lefever Grade A Field Model
''Lefever Grade A Skeet Model
''Lefever New
''Lefever Model
''Lefever Nitro Special
''Lefever Sideplate Models
''Leforgeron Boxlock Ejector
''Leforgeron Sidelock Ejector
''Liberty Coach Gun Series
''MacNaughton Sidelock Model
''Malin Boxlock Model
''Malin Sidelock Model
''Masquelier Boxlock Model
''Masquelier Sidelock Model
''Medwell SxS Sidelock
''Merkel Model 8, 47E Side-by-Side Shotguns
''Merkel Model 47LSC Sporting Clays Double
''Merkel Model 47S, 147S Side-by-Sides
''Merkel Model 76E
''Merkel Model 122E
''Merkel Model 126E
''Merkel Model 280 Series
''Merkel Model 360 Series
''Merkel Model 447SL
''Merkel Model 1620 Series
''Merkel Model 1622 Series
''Mossberg Onyx Reserve Sporting
''Mossberg Silver Reserve Field
''Navy Arms Model 100
''Navy Arms Model 150
''Orvis Custom Uplander
''Orvis Field Grade
''Orvis Fine Grade
''Orvis Rounded Action
''Orvis Waterfowler
''Parker Fluid Steel Barrel Models (All Grades)
''Parker Reproductions Side-by-Side
''Pederson Model 200
''Pederson Model 2500
''Perazzi DHO Models
''Perugini Ausonia
''Perugini Classic Model
''Perugini Liberty
''Perugini Regina Model
''Perugini Romagna Gun
''Piotti Hammer Gun
''Piotti King Extra Side-by-Side
''Piotti King No. 1 Side-by-Side Piotti Lunik Side-by-Side
''Piotti Monaco Series
''Piotti Monte Carlo
''Piotti Piuma Side-by-Side
''Piotti Westlake
''Precision Sports Model 600 Series Doubles
''Premier Italian made SxS Shotguns
''Premier Spanish made SxS Shotguns
''Purdy Best Quality Game Gun
''Remington Model 1900 Hammerless
''Remington Model SPR210
''Remington Model SPR220
''Remington Model SPR220 Cowboy
''Remington Premier SxS
''Richland Arms Co. Italian made SxS Models
''Richland Arms Co. Spanish made SxS Models
''Rigby Boxlock Shotgun
''Rigby Hammer Shotgun
''Rizzini Boxlock Side-by-Side
''Rizzini Sidelock Side-by-Side
''Rossi Overlund
''Rossi Squire
''Rota Model 105
''Rota Model 106
''Rota Model 411 Series
''Royal American Model 600 Boxlock
''Royal American Model 800 Sidelock
''Ruger Gold Label
''SAE Model 209E
''SAE Model 210S
''SAE Model 340X
''Sarasqueta Mammerless Sidelock
''Sarasqueta Model 3 Boxlock
''Sauer Boxlock Model Shotguns
''Sauer Sidelock Model Shotguns
''Savage Fox Model FA''1
''Savage Model 550
''Scott Blenheim
''Scott Bowood
''Scott Chatsworth
''Scott Kinmount
''SIACE Italian made SxS Shotguns
''SKB Model 100
''SKB Model 150
''SKB Model 200
''SKB Model 280
''SKB Model 300
''SKB Model 385
''SKB Model 400
''SKB Model 480
''SKB Model 485
''Smith & Wesson Elite Gold Series Grade I
''Smith & Wesson Elite Silver Grade I
''Smith, L.C. Boxlock Hammerless Shotguns
''Smith, L.C. Sidelock Hammerless Shotguns
''Spartan SPR Series Shotguns
''Stevens Model 311/315 Series
''Stoeger/IGA Uplander Side-by-Side Shotgun
''Taylor's SxS Model
''Tri-Star Model 311
''Tri-Star Model 411 Series
''Ugartechea 10-Ga. Magnum Shotgun
''Universal Double Wing SxS
''Vouzelaud Model 315 Series
''Walther Model WSF
''Walther Model WSFD
''Weatherby Atheana
''Weatherby D'Italia Series
''Weatherby Orion
''Westley Richards Best Quality Sidelock
''Westley Richards Boxlock Shotguns
''Westley Richards Connaught Model
''Westley Richards Hand Detachable Lock Model
''William Douglas Boxlock
''Winchester Model 21
''Winchester Model 24
''Zoli Alley Cleaner
''Zoli Classic
''Zoli Falcon II
''Zoli Model Quail Special
''Zoli Pheasant
''Zoli Silver Hawk
''Zoli Silver Snipe
''ADCC Diamond Folding Model
''American Arms Single-Shot
''ARMSCOR 301A
''Armsport Single Barrel Shotgun
''Baikal MP18
''Beretta 471 EL Silver Hawk
''Beretta 471 Silver Hawk
''Beretta Beta Single Barrel
''Beretta MKII Trap
''Beretta Model 412
''Beretta Model FS
''Beretta TR''1
''Beretta TR''1 Trap
''Beretta Vandalia Special Trap
''Browning BT''99 Competition Trap Special
''Browning BT''99 Plus Micro
''Browning BT''99 Plus Trap Gun
''Browning Micro Recoilless Trap Shotgun
''Browning Recoilless Trap Shotgun
''Crescent Single Shot Models
''CZ Cottontail
''Desert Industries Big Twenty Shotgun
''Fefever Long Range Field
''Frigon FS''4
''Frigon FT''1
''Frigon FT''C
''Gibbs Midland Stalker
''Greener General Purpose GP MKI/MKII
''H&R Survivor
''H&R Tracker Slug Model
''Harrington & Richardson N.W.T.F. Turkey Mag
''Harrington & Richardson Pardner
''Harrington & Richardson Pardner Compact
''Harrington & Richardson Pardner Compact Turkey Gun
''Harrington & Richardson Pardner Screw-In Choke
''Harrington & Richardson Pardner Turkey Gun
''Harrington & Richardson Pardner Turkey Gun Camo
''Harrington & Richardson Pardner Waterfowl
''Harrington & Richardson Tamer
''Harrington & Richardson Tamer 20
''Harrington & Richardson Topper Classic Youth Shotgun
''Harrington & Richardson Topper Deluxe Classic
''Harrington & Richardson Topper Deluxe Model 098
''Harrington & Richardson Topper Junior
''Harrington & Richardson Topper Model 098
''Harrington & Richardson Topper Trap Gun
''Harrington & Richardson Tracker II Slug Gun
''Harrington & Richardson Ultra Slug Hunter
''Harrington & Richardson Ultra Slug Hunter Compact
''Harrington & Richardson Ultra Slug Hunter Deluxe
''Harrington & Richardson Ultra Slug Hunter Thumbhole Stock
''Harrington & Richardson Ultra-Lite Slug Hunter
''Hi-Standard 514 Model
''Holland & Holland Single Barrel Trap
''IGA Reuna Model
''IGA Single Barrel Classic
''Ithaca Model 66
''Ithaca Single Barrel Trap
''Iver Johnson Champion Series
''Iver Johnson Commemorative Series Single Shot Shotgun
''Iver Johnson Excel
''Krieghoff K''80 Single Barrel Trap Gun
''Krieghoff KS''5 Special
''Krieghoff KS''5 Trap Gun
''Lefever Trap Gun
''Ljutic LTX Super Deluxe Mono Gun
''Ljutic Mono Gun Single Barrel
''Ljutic Recoilless Space Gun Shotgun
''Marlin Model 55 Goose Gun Bolt Action
''Marlin Model 60 Single Shot
''Marocchi Model 2000
''Mossberg Models G''4, 70, 73, 73B
''Mossberg Models 75 Series
''Mossberg Models 80, 83, 83B, 83D
''Mossberg 173 Series
''Mossberg Model 183 Series
''Mossberg Model 185 Series
''Mossberg Model 190 Series
''Mossberg Model 195 Series
''Mossberg Model 385 Series
''Mossberg Model 390 Series
''Mossberg Model 395 Series
''Mossberg Model 595 Series
''Mossberg Model 695 Series
''New England Firearms N.W.T.F. Shotgun
''New England Firearms Standard Pardner
''New England Firearms Survival Gun
''New England Firearms Tracker Slug Gun
''New England Firearms Turkey and Goose Gun
''Parker Single Barrel Trap Models
''Perazzi TM1 Special Single Trap
''Remington 90''T Super Single Shotgun
''Remington Model No. 9
''Remington Model 310 Skeet
''Remington Model No. 3
''Rossi Circuit Judge Lever Action Shotgun
''Rossi Circuit Judge Shotgun
''Ruger Single Barrel Trap
''S.W.D. Terminator
''Savage Kimel Kamper Single Shot
''Savage Model 210F Slug Warrior
''Savage Model 212 Slug Gun
''Savage Model 220 Series
''Savage Model 220 Slug Gun
''SEITZ Single Barrel Trap
''SKB Century II Trap
''SKB Century Trap
''SKB Model 505 Trap
''SKB Model 605 Trap
''Smith, L.C. Single Barrel Trap Models
''Snake Charmer II Shotgun
''Stoeger/IGA Reuna Single Barrel Shotgun
''Tangfolio Model RSG''16
''Tangfolio Blockcard Model
''Tangfolio Model DSG
''Tangfolio Model RSG''12 Series
''Tangfolio Model RSG''20
''Tangfolio RSG-Tactical
''Taurus Circuit Judge Shotgun
''Thompson/Center Encore Shotgun
''Thompson/Center Pro Hunter Turkey Shotgun
''Thompson/Center TCR '87 Hunter Shotgun
''Universal Firearms Model 7212 Single Barrel Trap
''Winchester Model 36 Single Shot
''Winchester Model 37 Single Shot
''Winchester Model 41 Bolt Action
''Winchester Model 9410 Series
''Zoli Apache Model
''Zoli Diano Series
''Zoli Loner Series''.
SEC. 4.Penalties.
Section 924(a)(1)(B) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking ''or (q) of section 922'' and inserting ''(q), (r), (v), (w), or (aa) of section 922''.
SEC. 5.Background checks for transfers of grandfathered semiautomatic assault weapons.
(a) In general.'--Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, as amended by this Act, is amended'--
(1) by repealing subsection (s);
(2) by redesignating subsection (t) as subsection (s);
(3) in subsection (s), as redesignated'--
(A) in paragraph (3)(C)(ii), by striking ''(as defined in subsection (s)(8))''; and
(B) by adding at the end the following:
''(7) In this subsection, the term 'chief law enforcement officer' means the chief of police, the sheriff, or an equivalent officer or the designee of any such individual.''; and
(4) by inserting after subsection (s), as redesignated, the following:
''(t) (1) Beginning on the date that is 90 days after the date of enactment of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2015, it shall be unlawful for any person who is not licensed under this chapter to transfer a grandfathered semiautomatic assault weapon to any other person who is not licensed under this chapter, unless a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer has first taken custody of the grandfathered semiautomatic assault weapon for the purpose of complying with subsection (s). Upon taking custody of the grandfathered semiautomatic assault weapon, the licensee shall comply with all requirements of this chapter as if the licensee were transferring the grandfathered semiautomatic assault weapon from the licensee's inventory to the unlicensed transferee, except that in applying paragraph (1)(B)(ii) of such subsection, '14' shall be substituted for '3'.
''(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to a temporary transfer of possession for the purpose of participating in target shooting in a licensed target facility or established range if'--
''(A) the grandfathered semiautomatic assault weapon is, at all times, kept within the premises of the target facility or range; and
''(B) the transferee is not known to be prohibited from possessing or receiving a grandfathered semiautomatic assault weapon.
''(3) For purposes of this subsection, the term 'transfer''--
''(A) shall include a sale, gift, or loan; and
''(B) does not include temporary custody of the grandfathered semiautomatic assault weapon for purposes of examination or evaluation by a prospective transferee.
''(4) (A) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Attorney General may implement this subsection with regulations.
''(B) Regulations promulgated under this paragraph'--
''(i) shall include a provision setting a maximum fee that may be charged by licensees for services provided in accordance with paragraph (1); and
''(ii) shall not include any provision imposing recordkeeping requirements on any unlicensed transferor or requiring licensees to facilitate transfers in accordance with paragraph (1).''.
(b) Technical and conforming amendments.'--
(1) SECTION 922.'--Section 922(y)(2) of title 18, United States Code, is amended, in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking '', (g)(5)(B), and (s)(3)(B)(v)(II)'' and inserting ''and (g)(5)(B)''.
(2) SECTION 925A.'--Section 925A of title 18, United States Code, is amended, in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking ''subsection (s) or (t) of section 922'' and inserting ''section 922(s)''.
(c) Effective date.'--The amendments made by this section shall take effect 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
SEC. 6.Notification to law enforcement agencies of prohibited purchase or attempted purchase of a firearm.
(a) In general.'--Title I of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 (18 U.S.C. 922 note) is amended by adding at the end the following:
''SEC. 107.Notification to law enforcement agencies of prohibited purchase or attempted purchase of a grandfathered semiautomatic assault weapon.
''(a) In general.'--In the case of a background check conducted by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System pursuant to the request of a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer of firearms (as such terms are defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code), which background check determines that the receipt of a grandfathered semiautomatic assault weapon (as defined in section 921(a)(49) of title 18, United States Code) by a person would violate subsection (g) or (n) of section 922 of title 18, United States Code, the System shall notify the law enforcement agencies described in subsection (b), including in a case where such a determination is made after 14 business days have elapsed since the licensee contacted the System.
''(b) Law enforcement agencies described.'--The law enforcement agencies described in this subsection are the law enforcement agencies that have jurisdiction over the location from which the licensee contacted the System and the law enforcement agencies that have jurisdiction over the location of the residence of the person for which the background check was conducted, as follows:
''(1) The field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
''(2) The local law enforcement agency.
''(3) The State law enforcement agency.''.
(b) Clerical amendment.'--The table of contents of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 (18 U.S.C. 922 note) is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 106 the following:
''107. Notification to law enforcement agencies of prohibited purchase or attempted purchase of a firearm. ''.SEC. 7.Use of Byrne grants for buy-back programs for semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices.
Section 501(a)(1) of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3751(a)(1)) is amended by adding at the end the following:
''(H) Compensation for surrendered semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices, as those terms are defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code, under buy-back programs for semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices.''.
SEC. 8.Severability.
If any provision of this Act, an amendment made by this Act, or the application of such provision or amendment to any person or circumstance is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this Act, the amendments made by this Act, and the application of such provision or amendment to any person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chi-Raq review
Lysistrata - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wed, 30 Dec 2015 06:36
LYSISTRATA There are a lot of things about us women That sadden me, considering how men See us as rascals. CALONICE As indeed we are!These lines, spoken by Lysistrata and her friend Calonice at the beginning of the play,[3] set the scene for the action that follows. Women, as represented by Calonice, are sly hedonists in need of firm guidance and direction. Lysistrata however is an extraordinary woman with a large sense of individual and social responsibility. She has convened a meeting of women from various city states in Greece (there is no mention of how she managed this feat) and, very soon after confiding in her friend about her concerns for the female sex, the women begin arriving.
With support from Lampito, the Spartan, Lysistrata persuades the other women to withhold sexual privileges from their menfolk as a means of forcing them to end the interminable Peloponnesian War. The women are very reluctant but the deal is sealed with a solemn oath around a wine bowl, Lysistrata choosing the words and Calonice repeating them on behalf of the other women. It is a long and detailed oath, in which the women abjure all their sexual pleasures, including the Lioness on the Cheese Grater (a sexual position).
Soon after the oath is finished, a cry of triumph is heard from the nearby Acropolis'--the old women of Athens have seized control of it at Lysistrata's instigation, since it holds the state treasury, without which the men cannot long continue to fund their war. Lampito goes off to spread the word of revolt and the other women retreat behind the barred gates of the Acropolis to await the men's response.
A Chorus of Old Men arrives, intent on burning down the gate of the Acropolis if the women don't open up. Encumbered with heavy timbers, inconvenienced with smoke and burdened with old age, they are still making preparations to assault the gate when a Chorus of Old Women arrives, bearing pitchers of water. The Old Women complain about the difficulty they had getting the water but they are ready for a fight in defense of their younger comrades. Threats are exchanged, water beats fire and the Old Men are discomfited with a soaking.
The magistrate then arrives with some Scythian archers (the Athenian version of police constables). He reflects on the hysterical nature of women, their devotion to wine, promiscuous sex and exotic cults (such as to Sabazius and Adonis) but above all he blames men for poor supervision of their womenfolk. He has come for silver from the state treasury to buy oars for the fleet and he instructs his Scythians to begin levering open the gate. However, they are quickly overwhelmed by groups of unruly women with such unruly names as σÏερμαÎ"ÎραιÎÎ>>εκιθÎÎ>>αχανÎÏώÎ>>ιδες (seed-market-porridge-vegetable-sellers) and σκÎρÎδÎÏανδÎκευÏριαρÏÎÏώÎ>>ιδες (garlic-innkeeping-bread-sellers).[4]
Lysistrata restores order and she allows the magistrate to question her. She explains to him the frustrations women feel at a time of war when the men make stupid decisions that affect everyone, and their wives' opinions are not listened to. She drapes her headdress over him, gives him a basket of wool and tells him that war will be a woman's business from now on. She then explains the pity she feels for young, childless women, ageing at home while the men are away on endless campaigns. When the magistrate points out that men also age, she reminds him that men can marry at any age whereas a woman has only a short time before she is considered too old. She then dresses the magistrate like a corpse for laying out, with a wreath and a fillet, and advises him that he's dead. Outraged at these indignities, he storms off to report the incident to his colleagues, while Lysistrata returns to the Acropolis.
The debate or agon is continued between the Chorus of Old Men and the Chorus of Old Women until Lysistrata returns to the stage with some news'--her comrades are desperate for sex and they are beginning to desert on the silliest pretexts (for example, one woman says she has to go home to air her fabrics by spreading them on the bed). After rallying her comrades and restoring their discipline, Lysistrata again returns to the Acropolis to continue waiting for the men's surrender.
A man soon appears, desperate for sex. It is Kinesias, the husband of Myrrhine. Lysistrata instructs her to torture him and Myrrhine then informs Kinesias that she can't have sex with him until he stops the war. He promptly agrees to these terms and the young couple prepares for sex on the spot. Myrrhine fetches a bed, then a mattress, then a pillow, then a blanket, then a flask of oil, exasperating her husband with delays until finally disappointing him completely by locking herself in the Acropolis again. The Chorus of Old Men commiserates with the young man in a plaintive song.
A Spartan herald then appears with a large burden (an erection) scarcely hidden inside his tunic and he requests to see the ruling council to arrange peace talks. The magistrate, now also sporting a prodigious burden, laughs at the herald's embarrassing situation but agrees that peace talks should begin.
They go off to fetch the delegates; and, while they are gone, the Old Women make overtures to the Old Men. The Old Men are content to be comforted and fussed over by the Old Women; and thereupon the two Choruses merge, singing and dancing in unison. Peace talks commence and Lysistrata introduces the Spartan and Athenian delegates to a gorgeous young woman called Reconciliation. The delegates cannot take their eyes off the young woman; and meanwhile, Lysistrata scolds both sides for past errors of judgment. The delegates briefly squabble over the peace terms; but, with Reconciliation before them and the burden of sexual deprivation still heavy upon them, they quickly overcome their differences and retire to the Acropolis for celebrations.
Another choral song follows; and, after a bit of humorous dialogue between drunken dinner guests, the celebrants all return to the stage for a final round of songs, the men and women dancing together.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Agenda 2030
Huh? Could Cleaner Air Be Worsening Global Warming?
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 18:57
SAN FRANCISCO '-- It may seem counterintuitive, but cleaner air could actually be exacerbating global warming trends.
The soot and other particles that make up air pollution tend to scatter light back out into space. As countries around the globe have cleaned up their act, there are fewer particles to reflect light, meaning more sunlight is reaching the Earth's surface and warming it, Martin Wild, a researcher at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, said Tuesday (Dec. 15) here at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union.
That's not to say people can blame global warming on the clearer skies '-- the underlying cause of climate change is excess carbon emissions into the atmosphere. But air pollution may have counteracted some of that warming caused by excess carbon in the atmosphere, Wild said. [In Photos: The World's 10 Most Polluted Places]
Changing light
Perhaps surprisingly, the sunlight reaching Earth's surface hasn't remained constant, at least not on the timescale of human civilization, Wild said.
"The sunlight we receive at the Earth's surface is not stable over the years, but undergoes substantial decadal changes," Wild said at a news briefing.
To understand what's going on, Wild looked at the level of solar radiation at 56 spots across Europe between 1939 and 2012. There were big peaks in that period. It turned out that solar radiation spiked in the 1950s, and then decreased until the 1980s, when it started to uptick again.
But what could have been the source? Sunspots, which look almost like moles on the face of the sun, are areas of intense magnetic activity which are cooler than the surrounding regions of the sun. Because they emit less radiation at these cooler temperatures, the number and extent of sunspots can change how much light reaches the Earth. However, cycles between high and low sunspot levels are much shorter than the timescales of the global dimming and brightening trend, and these cycles weren't correlated with those larger changes, Wild and his colleagues found.
Curbing sulfur
It turned out that there was a huge spike in sulfur emissions up until the 1980s, at which point sulfur pollutants dropped, Wild said. The drop in sulfur emissions corresponds with the introduction of legislation in a number of countries to reduce air pollution, Wild said. (Diesel exhaust often contains high levels of sulfur compounds.)
It's not surprising to scientists that higher levels of pollutants could dim the Earth's surface: After volcanic eruptions, for instance, the huge amounts of sulfur spewed into the atmosphere can cool the planet for a few years. That's because the tiny particles can scatter and absorb light, reducing how much of that light ultimately reaches the Earth's surface, Wild said.
Air pollution can also alter the light reaching Earth in other ways.
"Polluted clouds, counterintuitively, become brighter," Wild said. "The polluted clouds can also stay longer in the air because their droplets are small." [In Images: Mysterious Night-Shining Clouds]
Here's how the cloud brightening works: Aerosols that are normally in the air are insoluble and act as seeds for water droplets to condense around, and ultimately to form clouds. Polluted air, on the other hand, contains water-soluble particles, leading to clouds with more, yet smaller, water droplets. These numerous and tiny droplets provide more surfaces for light to reflect off, and voil '-- brighter clouds.
These brighter clouds also reduce how much light reaches the ground, he added.
What's more, this unintentional geoengineering may have already impacted global warming, Wild said. Global temperatures held fairly constant from the 1950s to the 1980s, and warming only accelerated starting in 1985, when the global brightening seems to have begun, Wild reported in a study published this month in the journal WIREs Climate Change.
He also sees evidence that this unintentional geoengineering affected the world's hemispheres differently. Temperatures held steady until the mid-1980s in the Northern Hemisphere, where most of the world's population lives, and spiked up sharply afterward. By contrast, in the "relatively more pristine" Southern Hemisphere, which has much fewer people, the region experienced a steadier uptick in warming. That suggests that air pollution had a measurable effect on global warming on the globe's northern half, and less so in the southern half, he said.
Of course, there are other reasons to curb pollution. Smog and other air pollution kills millions every year.
Follow Tia Ghose onTwitter andGoogle+. Follow Live Science@livescience,Facebook &Google+. Original article on Live Science.
The storm that caused tornadoes will heat the North Pole.
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 03:06
The aftermath of a tornado in Rowlett, Texas,on Dec. 27, 2015.Photo by Laura Buckman/AFP/Getty Images
This year's holiday season has been full of extreme weather, with weird anomalies from coast to coast'--like a script worthy of a Syfy network movie.
The week of Christmas was the warmest on record by far for a vast stretch of the eastern United States from Texas to Maine. In Philadelphia, every single day this month has been warmer than normal'--if that word even retains meaning during a month like this.
While this month's extreme weather is primarily due to an atmosphere supercharged by the record-breaking El Ni±o, it's also an example of the kind of unnerving meteorological event that's becoming more likely as climate change plays an increasingly large role in daily weather. The New York Timescalled it ''a fitting end to the warmest year on record.'' Together, El Ni±o and climate change have combined for a year unlike any other in human history'--a harbinger of an altered planet.
Over the past several days, an alarming string of tornadoes has left dozens dead across the South. At least 68 tornadoes were reported in 15 states from California to the Carolinas from Dec. 21 to Monday, the longest streak on record of December days with a tornado. December tornadoes are twice as common during El Ni±o years, but this weekend's atmosphere over the South was something different entirely: By some measures, it was the most moisture-laden ever seen during the winter months.
One tornado in northern Mississippi on Wednesday was so strong it ripped the carpet off the floor after destroying a home. A series of tornadoes also struck Northern Texas the day after Christmas, many at night, creating horrific devastation. The worst one seems to have occurred in Garland, Texas; it was the deadliest tornado in the Dallas area'--for any month'--in nearly 90 years. Meteorologist Bob Henson notes that 2015 is the first year since 1875, when records began, that there have been more tornado-related deaths in December than in the entire rest of the year combined.
The Texas tornadoes were part of a much larger storm system that at one point encompassed about half the country. The same storm system also brought heavy rains to the Midwest that threaten one of the biggest floods in history on the Mississippi River south of St. Louis, surpassing even the legendary 1993 flood. Road closures due to high water blanketed Missouri, and water levels will continue to rise for several days as record floodwaters from Oklahoma make their way toward the Gulf of Mexico.
That's absolutely terrifying and incredibly rare.
On its western and northern fringes, the storm brought snow, the worst of which struck New Mexico. There, Gov. Susana Martinez activated the state's National Guard and said the historic snowstorm had created a ''dire situation.'' In fact, at the exact same time that tornadoes were bearing down on Dallas, a record-setting blizzard was burying cars under snowdrifts 10 feet deep on the western side of Texas. Snow fell as far south as northern Mexico. The system also helped bring record-breaking freezing weather to southern California, a fierce ice storm to Chicago and Michigan, and the first significant New England snowfall of the season'--just two days after temperatures climbed into the 70s as far north as Vermont. The Wall Street Journalcalled the juxtaposition of weather extremes ''freakish.''
El Ni±o has driven the show when it comes to this year's extreme weather, and there are signs its influence on the atmosphere will only grow over the coming weeks and months. In the United Kingdom, recent record rains have caused flooding that's prompted a political firestorm as the country struggles with the aftermath. In South America, the worst flooding in 50 years has hit parts of Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. Meanwhile, drought and famine threaten Ethiopia, and Australia has suffered a record-setting heat wave. Earlier this year, a prolonged drought in Indonesia sparked a nightmare of forest fires that blanketed the region in smoke.
Taken together, the fires, floods, heat waves, tornadoes, and blizzards are surely strange, even unsettling'--but the scariest weather of the year is still on the way.
As it departs North America this week, the storm will rapidly intensify over the northern reaches of the Gulf Stream and draw tremendous amounts of warm air northward from Spain and the Mediterranean Sea toward the Arctic. As the storm approaches Iceland, it will have strengthened to the equivalent of some of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded in terms of atmospheric pressure. Intensely high pressure over western Russia, perhaps boosted by melting sea ice, will aid in setting up the tropics-to-pole atmospheric superhighway.
Unlike other recent episodes of extreme weather around the planet, this storm is probably not related to El Ni±o, which has limited influence in Europe. The storm will be strengthening over the exact spot that North Atlantic temperatures have been cooling over recent years, an effect that scientists have linked to a slowdown of the basin's circulation triggered in part by melting sea ice'--the same scenario that was highly dramatized in the movie The Day After Tomorrow. This year, there's been a notable increase in the sharp contrast between this cold patch and record warm ocean temperatures in the tropical Atlantic, an effect that leads to stronger ocean storms'--like this one.
The remarkable storm will briefly boost temperatures in the Arctic basin to nearly 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal'--and the North Pole itself will be pushed above the freezing point, with temperatures perhaps as warm as 40 degrees. That's absolutely terrifying and incredibly rare. Keep in mind: It's late December and dark 24 hours a day at the North Pole right now. The typical average high temperature this time of year at the North Pole is about minus 15 to minus 20 degrees. To create temperatures warm enough to melt ice to exist in the dead of winter'--some 50 or 60 degrees warmer than normal'--is unthinkable.
For some perspective, I contacted a team of climate scientists at the University of Washington who maintain a fleet of weather monitoring equipment near the North Pole. James Morison, the principal investigator of the North Pole Environmental Observatory, said he's ''never heard of'' temperatures above freezing in the wintertime there. Looking closer at the weather data, it appears this event is in fact unprecedented during the time period from late December through late April.
On Wednesday, the North Pole will be warmer than Western Texas, Southern California, and parts of the Sahara.
A weather forecast for Wednesday morning shows a rare midwinter warm front over the North Pole, with temperatures a few degrees above freezing'--about 50 or 60 degrees warmer than normal for late December.GFS model courtesy of Levi Cowan
This, more than any other extreme weather event in a remarkable year for the climate, feels like something new. This midwinter melt at the North Pole is a preview of what's to come later this century'--in fact, the temperature anomalies match almost exactly with what is predicted. The long-feared worst-case climate change scenario, which, thankfully was made less likely by the Paris agreement earlier this month, projects an ice-free Arctic within decades. Storms like this week's are exactly the type of events that do the dirty work of ushering in that world. In the meantime, we're running on the knife's edge as a civilization, dodging warning signs and hoping for a planetary miracle.
LA's Gas Leak Is a Global Disaster
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 06:55
One of the worst environmental disasters of the decade is currently underway in a quiet community 25 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Putrid, methane-rich natural gas has been spewing into the air at an estimated rate of nearly 1,300 metric tons per day for over two months. Experts are calling it the climate version of the BP oil spill, and the leak isn't going to be contained anytime soon.
Natural gas is often touted as a cleaner energy source than oil or coal, because of the lower greenhouse gas emissions associated with burning it. But as this disaster highlights, there are insidious risk to natural gas production. Coupled with weak regulation, they can make this energy source as dirty as the fossil fuels it's meant to replace.
''The science is crystal clear: if you allow the methane to leak, you can wipe out its climate benefits,'' Tim O'Connor, director of the Environmental Defense Fund's Oil and Gas Program in California told Gizmodo.
In fact, everything about the leak is eerily reminiscent of the oil spills that have blackened oceans and beaches for over a century. These parallels underscore a hard truth: we need to transition off carbon-based fuels entirely to fix our planet.
Like 7 Million CarsOn October 23rd, a natural gas leak erupted at a storage well beneath the community of Porter Ranch. The well stores gas carried by pipelines from extraction operations hundreds of miles away in Texas, the Midwest, and the Rocky Mountains.
The leak has taken a serious toll on Porter Ranch residents, who for weeks have reported headaches, nausea, dizziness, and other symptoms. Methane is odorless and non-toxic, but natural gas producers inject it with trace quantities of sulfurous chemicals called mercaptans so that leaks can be detected by scent. According to Cyrus Rangan, director of the Toxics Epidemiology Program at LA County's Department of Public Health, the stench from the leak is so foul that residents are having a physiologic response to it.
''People are having very real responses, based on their own sensitivity,'' Rangan told Gizmodo. ''In terms of acute chemical exposures, this is a really, really big deal.'' Rangan estimates that somewhere between four and five thousand families have filed for help, with 2,200 families temporarily relocated so far.
As of this week, the leak has sent over 73,000 metric tons of methane gas skyward, according to estimates published by the Environmental Defense Fund, which is providing real-time updates on the situation. And that's a big problem for our climate. Although short-lived in the atmosphere, methane is a potent greenhouse gas, with up to 80 times the global warming potential of CO2 in the first twenty years of its lifespan. 73,000 metric tons of methane is the global warming equivalent of over six million metric tons of CO2. Put another way, the daily emissions from Porter Ranch are essentially equivalent to sticking seven million additional cars on the road.
Plugging the Hole and Fixing the ProblemThe first order of business for California is getting this well plugged. After several failed attempts to stop the flow of gas using conventional methods, SoCalGas began drilling a secondary ''relief well'' on December 4th. This well will intersect the leaky one and plug it. ''After we intercept the well at more than 8,500 feet of measured depth, we will pump heavy fluids and drilling mud into the bottom of the leaking well to stop the flow of gas up from its source, the reservoir,'' a statement provided to Gizmodo by SoCalGas, which manages the well, reads. ''Once the flow of gas has been stopped, we will pump cement into the well to permanently seal the leak.''
Here's what the entire operation will look like:
Image via SoCalGas
At last check-in, the drilling operation had reached a depth of 3,850 feet, and'--in an important milestone'--workers have now identified the seven-inch wide leaky gas pipe using magnetic ranging technology.
Still, SoCalGas warns that plugging the leak and stopping the flow of methane could take until the end of March.
Estimates from California's Air and Resources Board show that total statewide methane emissions rose 25% this fall, dramatically diminishing any climate benefit natural gas industry offers. ''SoCalGas recognizes the impact this incident is having on the environment,'' SoCalGas spokesperson Anne Silva told Gizmodo in an email. ''While working to stop the gas leak and alleviate its impact on the community, we also have been evaluating options to mitigate the environmental impact.''
But whatever mitigation measures SoCalGas takes, the leak highlights the shortcomings of natural gas'--and how it's regulated.
Nobody's sure exactly how the Porter Ranch leak started, but a report by the EDF paints a disturbing picture of the state of natural gas pipes around Los Angeles. Nearly 40 percent of the pipes in SoCalGas' jurisdiction are over 50 years old, and they're leaking everywhere. The EDF reports an average of one methane leak every four to five miles across Pasadena, Inglewood, and Chino, three geographically disparate neighborhoods. These leaks vary from less than 1,000 to over 60,000 liters of natural gas per day. That means tens of thousands more cars worth of carbon emissions thanks to crappy infrastructure.
But this isn't just an LA problem. Another report by the EDF estimated over 13 million metric tones of natural gas leakage on federal and tribal lands in 2013 alone. ''Globally, we know that more methane is leaked into the air from oil and gas infrastructure than the entire gas production of Norway'--which is one of the world's leading gas producers,'' O'Connor said. ''Methane is a significant problem, and in the US, it can erode the climate benefit of the gas industry.''
Nationwide, O'Connor estimates there are approximately 400 underground methane storage areas subject to little to no federal regulation'--other Porter Ranch disasters waiting to happen. ''These facilities are exempt from federal requirements for underground injections, and they fly under the radar until catastrophes strike,'' he said.
And that's not to mention leaks during drilling, transportation through pipelines, and distribution. If we're going to see a net climate benefit from natural gas production over fossil fuels, experts say no more than 3 percent of gas can leak during the entire production process. In some parts of the country, we're well beyond that figure. In other areas, the amount of leakage simply isn't known.
For the first time this year, the EPA has introduced national standards that would directly regulate methane emissions from oil and gas facilities built in the future. But as the EDF points out, these rules say nothing about facilities already in operation. If the natural gas industry wants to sell an environmentally-friendly alternative to oil, all of its infrastructure needs to be air-tight.
''We need to think of natural gas as a bridge fuel, '' O'Connor said. ''It's an energy source that can have a benefit, but that benefit is only realized if you keep it in the pipes.''
Follow the author @themadstone
Top image: Crews from SoCalGas and elsewhere work at a relief well located near Porter Ranch. Image via Dean Musgrove/Los Angeles Daily News/AP
LGBBTTQQIAAP
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Children as young as four 'encouraging each other to consider a sex change' - Telegraph
Mon, 28 Dec 2015 05:48
"These kids are so much happier now they have been supported to live in the gender they identify with."
Susie Green, chairman of Mermaids
The pupil's parents want teachers at the state-run school to refer to their child as ''he'' and to use a male name. Mrs Green, who is backing the request of the eight-year-old's parents, said: ''We are working with [the school], we are trying to resolve that but they are very reluctant.''
She said such stand-offs are now ''very common'' and added that a legal challenge over the issue could not be ruled out in the near future.
Mrs Green '' whose adult daughter, Jackie, was born a boy and first spoke about being the wrong gender at the age of four '' said eight years old is now ''not particularly early'' to begin the process of changing gender.
''We have got four-year-olds, five-year-olds, six-year-olds who are transitioning as parents know more about it and are more aware if they have a child who is struggling and suffering,'' she said.
''You wouldn't necessarily do anything unless it is causing distress [but] these kids are so much happier now they have been supported to live in the gender they identify with.''
She indicated that the charity is now dealing with around 80 cases per year involving children of primary school age.
''In terms of families joining our parents' group, this year alone we've had over 200 families,'' said Mrs Green.
''The majority of those '' about 60 per cent '' are teenagers, but the rest are families of young children. It is a lot more than people realise.''
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MAKE DISSENTERS EASIER TO SPOT-NON CONFORMING-BUT NOT SPEECH!-New York City lays out transgender protection on dress codes, bathrooms | Reuters
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 14:50
NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - New York City has warned landlords, employers and businesses they could be running afoul of the law by purposely calling a transgender woman "him" or "Mr." when she prefers a female title and pronoun, or by barring her from using a women's restroom.
New guidelines detail the legal protections of transgender and gender-nonconforming New Yorkers and what constitutes discrimination under the city's Human Rights Law, the New York City Commission on Human Rights said on Monday.
Some 25,000 transgender and gender non-conforming people live in New York City, where discrimination based on gender identity and expression has been illegal since 2002.
"Today's new guidelines strengthen those laws by ensuring that every transgender and gender non-conforming person in New York receives the dignity and respect they deserve," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.
The guidelines said dress codes requiring men to wear ties or women to wear skirts are discriminatory.
Failing to provide employee health benefits for gender-affirming care or failing to accommodate people undergoing gender transition, such as medical appointments, could violate the law as well, they said.
"It's a huge step forward and really catapults New York City to the forefront of the struggle for transgender rights," said Michael Silverman, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, a non-profit law office based in New York.
"This is an extremely positive development for transgender New Yorkers who face enormous rates of discrimination, unemployment and difficulty accessing things like health care that people take for granted."
Three-quarters of transgender New Yorkers have reported harassment and mistreatment in the workplace, and more than half said they had been verbally harassed or disrespected in public, according to a survey cited by the Commission on Human Rights.
One in five said they had been refused a home because of their gender identity, the 2011 survey said.
New York City provides stronger protections than most local laws in the U.S. and goes beyond federal law as well, said Silverman and other advocates.
"By issuing some of the strongest and most comprehensive legal guidance in the country, New York City has taken a major step toward ensuring that transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers can enjoy dignity, respect and access to opportunity in our city," said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MIC
Reuters Investigates - UNACCOUNTABLE: The Pentagon's bad bookkeeping
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 16:26
FRIENDLY FIRE: U.S. Army combat medic Shawn Aiken dresses for a hospital visit in El Paso, Texas. Wounded in battle, he was later shortchanged on his pay by the Pentagon. REUTERS/Ivan Pierre AguirrePart 1: Hobbled by old, incompatible computer systems, the Defense Department's payroll bureaucracy inflicts punishing errors on America's warriors
EL PASO, Texas - As Christmas 2011 approached, U.S. Army medic Shawn Aiken was once again locked in desperate battle with a formidable foe. Not insurgents in Iraq, or Taliban fighters in Afghanistan - enemies he had already encountered with distinguished bravery.
This time, he was up against the U.S. Defense Department.
Aiken, then 30 years old, was in his second month of physical and psychological reconstruction at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, after two tours of combat duty had left him shattered. His war-related afflictions included traumatic brain injury, severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), abnormal eye movements due to nerve damage, chronic pain, and a hip injury.
But the problem that loomed largest that holiday season was different. Aiken had no money. The Defense Department was withholding big chunks of his pay. It had started that October, when he received $2,337.56, instead of his normal monthly take-home pay of about $3,300. He quickly raised the issue with staff. It only got worse. For all of December, his pay came to $117.99.
All Aiken knew was that the Defense Department was taking back money it claimed he owed. Beyond that, "they couldn't even tell me what the debts were from," he says.
At the time, Aiken was living off base with his fiancee, Monica, and her toddler daughter, while sharing custody of his two children with his ex-wife. As their money dwindled, the couple began hitting church-run food pantries. Aiken took out an Army Emergency Relief Loan to cover expenses of their December move into a new apartment. At Christmas, Operation Santa Claus provided the family with presents - one for each child, per the charity's rules.
Eventually, they began pawning their possessions - jewelry, games, an iPhone, and even the medic bag Aiken used when saving lives in Afghanistan. The couple was desperate from "just not knowing where food's going to come from," he says. "They just hit one button and they take your whole paycheck away. And then you have to fight to get the money back."
Aiken's injuries made that fight more difficult. He limped from office to office to press his case to an unyielding bureaucracy. With short-term and long-term memory loss, he struggled to keep appointments and remember key dates and events. His PTSD symptoms alienated some staff. "He would have an outburst '... (and) they would treat him as if he was like a bad soldier," says Monica. "They weren't compassionate."
They were also wrong. The money the military took back from Aiken resulted from accounting and other errors, and it should have been his to keep. Further, even after Aiken complained, the Defense Department didn't return the bulk of the money to Aiken until after Reuters inquired about his case.
The Pentagon agency that identified the overpayments, clawed them back and resisted Aiken's pleas for explanation and redress is the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, or DFAS (pronounced "DEE-fass"). This agency, with headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana, has roughly 12,000 employees and, after cuts under the federal sequester, a $1.36 billion budget. It is responsible for accurately paying America's 2.7 million active-duty and Reserve soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.
It often fails at that task, a Reuters investigation finds.
A review of individuals' military pay records, government reports and other documents, along with interviews with dozens of current and former soldiers and other military personnel, confirms Aiken's case is hardly isolated. Pay errors in the military are widespread. And as Aiken and many other soldiers have found, once mistakes are detected, getting them corrected - or just explained - can test even the most persistent soldiers (see related story).
"Too often, a soldier who has a problem with his or her pay can wait days, weeks or even months to get things sorted out," Democratic Senator Thomas Carper of Delaware, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, wrote in an email. "This is simply unacceptable."
Reuters found multiple examples of pay mistakes affecting active-duty personnel and discharged soldiers. Some are erroneously shortchanged on pay. Others are mistakenly overpaid and then see their earnings drastically cut as DFAS recoups the money, or, like Aiken, they are forced to pay money that was rightfully theirs.
Precise totals on the extent and cost of these mistakes are impossible to come by, and for the very reason the errors plague the military in the first place: the Defense Department's jury-rigged network of mostly incompatible computer systems for payroll and accounting, many of them decades old, long obsolete, and unable to communicate with each other. The DFAS accounting system still uses a half-century-old computer language that is largely unable to communicate with the equally outmoded personnel management systems employed by each of the military services.
Source: April 2012 GAO report
In a December 2012 report on Army pay, the Government Accountability Office said DFAS and the Army have no way to ensure correct pay for soldiers and no way to track errors. These deficiencies, it said, "increase the risk that the nearly $47 billion in reported fiscal year 2011 Army active duty military payroll includes Army servicemembers who received pay to which they were not entitled and others who did not receive the full pay they were due."
In a written response to the report, Robert Hale, the Defense Department's comptroller, said, "I agree that we need to strive to improve payroll accuracy," but added that the GAO had overstated the problem and mischaracterized some of the debts as errors.
NO-ACCOUNT ACCOUNTING
IN THE DARK: When Shawn Aiken sought answers about the deductions from his pay, "they couldn't even tell me what the debts were from," he says. REUTERS/Ivan Pierre Aguirre
Pay errors are part of a larger phenomenon that Reuters will explore in a series of articles: the Defense Department's endemic failure to keep track of its money - how much it has, how much it pays out and how much is lost or stolen.
The department's authorized 2013 budget, after sequester, totals $565.8 billion - by far the largest chunk of the annual federal budget approved by Congress. Yet the Pentagon is literally unable to account for itself. As proof, consider that a law in effect since 1992 requires annual audits of all federal agencies - and the Pentagon alone has never complied. It annually reports to Congress that its books are in such disarray that an audit is impossible.
In this series, Reuters will delve into how an organization that fields the most sophisticated technology in the world to fight wars and spy on enemies has come to rely on an accounting system of antiquated, error-prone computers; how these thousands of duplicative and inefficient systems cost billions of dollars to staff and maintain; how efforts to replace these systems with better ones have ended in costly failures; and how it all adds up to billions of taxpayer dollars a year in losses to mismanagement, theft and fraud.
For all its errors, Pentagon record-keeping is an expensive endeavor. For fiscal 2012, ended Sept. 30, the Defense Department requested $17.3 billion to operate, maintain and modernize the more than 2,200 systems it uses to manage finances, human resources, logistics, property, and weapons acquisitions, according to an April 2012 GAO report. That amount does not include billions of dollars more in each of the military services' "operations and maintenance" budgets used for upkeep of the systems. Nor does it cover all of DFAS's $1 billion-plus budget.
The issue has yet to garner much attention in the political arena, despite continuing debate over the U.S. government's deficits and efforts to restore fiscal order. More immediately, the mess in Pentagon pay in particular carries implications for national security. In its December 2012 report, the GAO recognized that fielding soldiers burdened with pay errors "may pose financial hardship for the soldiers and detract from their focus on mission."
Officers complain that the difficulty of keeping track of personnel makes it harder to deploy men and women in times of war. Retired four-star Navy Admiral William J. Fallon says that while serving in 2007 and 2008 as chief of the U.S. Central Command, overseeing joint military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, he had to maintain "an incredibly bloated staff" from each of the services to keep him informed of the numbers and availability of troops. "It is an incredibly inefficient, wasteful way of doing business," he says.
This way of doing business has also proved resistant to change. A recalcitrant bureaucracy, competing priorities - war, among others - and until recently, congressional indifference have stymied any efforts to impose order. Most notable among those efforts: a project to install a new, unified pay- and personnel-management system that eventually ate more than $1 billion before the Pentagon killed it.
"If you look at the things this country has done, how hard is this?" says Daniel Denning, assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and Reserve affairs from 2002 to 2007 and now a consultant at MBO Partners LLC in McLean, Virginia. "If someone could put something like Facebook together or Google, one would think that bringing these decades-old military personnel and pay systems into the 2012 world shouldn't be that hard."
Source: Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (top); Office of Management and Budget"FINGER-GAPPING"
The mistakes in soldiers' pay may seem small - $1,000 here, a few hundred there. But for an Army private first class making a base annual salary of about $23,000, or a wounded veteran on disability, they can be devastating. Former soldiers have had their civilian wages and their Veterans Administration benefits garnished. They have been pursued by private collection agencies and forced to pay tax penalties. In other cases, too, deserters have continued to be paid for months, and sometimes years, after disappearing.
The Pentagon's record-keeping tangle not only increases the potential for errors; it also forces DFAS to depend heavily on "manual workarounds," another source of errors. Neither the Pentagon or DFAS or the military services can specify how many workers are used to handle these tasks, but "it takes a massive amount of human effort," says Roy Wallace, an Army assistant deputy chief of staff.
"At last count, there were 167 manual workarounds" for the 40-year-old pay system used by DFAS and all the services except the Marines, he says. As a result, staff often must transcribe information from one system onto paper, carry it to another office, and hand it off to other workers who then manually enter it into other systems - a process called "finger-gapping" that Wallace faults as a further source of errors.
Another sort of workaround was a main reason for Aiken's hardships at Fort Bliss. Injured by a rocket-propelled grenade in Afghanistan, Aiken was eventually sent to an Army hospital in Landstuhl, Germany. Upon arrival there, he should have been designated as a "wounded warrior," a status that would have automatically forgiven all debts related to the overpayments DFAS later claimed and entitled him to benefits he didn't receive.
Lacking a unified, automated system to process soldiers arriving from combat zones, DFAS had to post staff at Landstuhl to do the work in person, by hand - but only for those soldiers arriving by air. Aiken, who had already moved with his unit from Afghanistan to another location in Germany, arrived by bus.
BATTLE FATIGUE: With severe PTSD, traumatic brain injury, a damaged hip and other war-related damage, Shawn Aiken was undergoing treatment and therapy as he limped from office to office at Fort Bliss, texas, seeking relief from the Pentagon's deductions from his pay. REUTERS/Ivan Pierre Aguirre
"We're not out to screw our own people," said Defense Department Comptroller Hale, to whom DFAS reports. "The military pay system is just very complex."
DFAS said pay errors are extremely rare. Based on a self-audit, it said, its accuracy for pay and calculation of benefits for military personnel in the nine months through July 2012 was 99.76 percent. The agency also said it had undergone partial audits for pay accuracy by the inspector general of the Defense Department and by the GAO.
But a spokeswoman for the Defense Department inspector general and a senior GAO official said their respective offices hadn't audited the overall accuracy of DFAS pay in the past five years, and neither could recall any such audit ever having been conducted.
Further, in a report issued in February this year, the Defense Department inspector general found "significant deficiencies" in DFAS's own internal auditing organization. These included failure to "exercise sufficient professional judgment," ineffective quality-control monitoring and failure to comply with required accounting standards.
DFAS Director Teresa McKay declined to be interviewed for this article and declined to allow Reuters to interview any other DFAS personnel. Her boss, Pentagon Comptroller Hale, backed that decision. The agency accepted only written questions.
Source: DFAS
"In general, what we often find and what we are trying to do a better job of explaining to our customers, is they are not familiar with (and in some cases, not happy with) the time needed for us to process and correct errors," DFAS spokesman Thomas LaRock said in an email. "Each case and any associated documentation must be reviewed by DFAS and the military service before a final decision on the validity of the debt or claim can be made."
WALKING DEAD
When the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, retired four-star general Peter Schoomaker heeded a call from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to return to active duty - as Army chief of staff, the highest military rank in the Army.
Schoomaker returned to work, but he didn't get paid. DFAS had - correctly - stopped Schoomaker's monthly retirement checks when he resumed active duty. But its computers weren't able to restart pay for a soldier returning from retirement.
It took months for Schoomaker to start receiving his pay, and even more to get reimbursed for the months he had been stiffed.
In the meantime, soon after Schoomaker's return to active duty, a computer-generated letter arrived at his home, addressed to his wife and offering condolences on the general's death. DFAS's computers were programmed to assume that when a retiree was taken off the rolls, that person had died.
The letter didn't cause any undue alarm at the Schoomaker home; the general was living there at the time. He did notice that the letter spelled his name three different ways.
"If the Chief of Staff of the Army is treated that way," Schoomaker says, "you can imagine how a private is treated."
James Watkins, assistant secretary of the Army for financial management, said the system has been reprogrammed to fix the glitch that prompted the condolence letter: "We would catch that today," he said.
The same can't be said for the pay error that affected Schoomaker. The reason lies in the origins of DFAS.
Source: Peter Schoomaker
The agency was born in the push to realize savings in defense spending after the Cold War. To that end, then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney in 1991 approved a plan to create DFAS by consolidating into one entity some of the overlapping pay and accounting functions that had been performed separately by each of the military services.
But the consolidation wasn't complete. While the newly created DFAS would handle payroll duties across all branches of the military, personnel responsibilities would remain with each of the services. That decision haunts the Pentagon to this day.
Information handled by the personnel departments of the military branches plays a big part in determining how much a soldier is paid. This information includes promotions, discharges, assignment changes, marriages and divorces.
Congress has made it even more complicated in recent decades by establishing a multitude of pay levels. There is basic pay, plus "entitlements" for everything from serving in a combat zone to housing allowances to re-enlistment bonuses. An individual's pay can change several times in a day.
With the creation of DFAS, ensuring correct pay for soldiers required speedy, efficient communication between the new agency handling payroll and the different military branches, each still running its own personnel operations. No one was prepared.
DFAS, for its part, inherited a pay operation that even at the time was an antique - a 20-year-old Air Force system that DFAS renamed the Defense Joint Military Pay System, or DJMS. It ran, and still runs, on Cobol, a computer language that dates to 1959. Most of the Cobol code the Pentagon uses for payroll and accounting was written in the 1960s, according to 2006 congressional testimony by Zack Gaddy, director of DFAS from May 2004 to September 2008.
Source: GAOWallace, the Army assistant deputy chief of staff, says the system has "seven million lines of Cobol code that hasn't been updated" in more than a dozen years, and significant parts of the code have been "corrupted." The older it gets, the harder it is to maintain. As DFAS itself said: "As time passes, the pool of Cobol expertise dwindles."
Further, the system is nearly impossible to update because the documentation for it - explaining how it was built, what was in it, and how it works - disappeared long ago, according to Kevin McGraw. He retired recently after working 30 years in DFAS's Cleveland office, most of that time responsible for maintaining the part of DJMS that handles Navy pay. "It's hard to make a change to a program if you don't know what's in there," McGraw says.
Most of the personnel systems that each of the military services operates are just as old and obsolete. Typically, within each branch, different systems handle different categories of active-duty soldiers, while still others handle Reserve and National Guard personnel. Most of these systems can't talk to each other. And each has its own pipeline into DFAS, with its own way of translating data into a form that DFAS can use in its separate systems for active-duty and for Reserve and Guard personnel.
Donald Shycoff, deputy comptroller at the Defense Department when DFAS was formed two decades ago, says that the intention of establishing the agency was to save money, and that there was no discussion then about the potential impact of separating pay and personnel functions.
Cheney, through a spokesman, declined to comment.
To catch mistakes, the Army relies mainly on local commanders to review monthly pay figures and report any errors. The GAO found that the Army doesn't enforce the requirement. From October 2011 through March 2012, it said, 26 percent of the monthly reports were turned in late or not at all. At some bases, the rate was as high as 40 percent.
Source: DFAS; Shawn AikenThe heavy reliance on paperwork in the absence of unified pay and personnel systems also means that money continues to flow to soldiers who are absent without leave and others who shouldn't get it.
Spokesmen for the military services said that when an individual goes AWOL, the name and other identifying information are sent to the Defense Manpower Data Center, an office under the secretary of defense. A spokeswoman for the secretary of defense's office said the center does not check with DFAS to make sure that pay to AWOL personnel is stopped. It's up to the individual services to notify DFAS, she said, which "is a proven means of doing business."
Commanders often don't bother to notify DFAS about an AWOL soldier, though they are required to do so, according to the December GAO report. Similarly, National Guard and Reserve personnel who leave active duty but don't fill out the required paperwork may continue to receive pay.
Beginning in November 2009, Carl W. Marquis of Burke, Virginia, then a commander in the Navy Reserves, spent three months on active duty at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland. When his tour ended, he didn't sign out. DFAS continued depositing full active-duty pay into his bank account for 15 months, totaling $159,712.
Source: DFAS
DFAS and Navy officials learned of the mistake only after an administrator with Marquis's Reserve unit in Virginia questioned why his name was missing from the unit's rolls. By then, he had spent all but $25,000 of the money, court records show. In December 2011, Marquis pleaded guilty to a "concealment" charge and was sentenced to four months in jail.
Marquis, now a fitness trainer in Reston, Virginia, declined to comment.
"ONE OF OUR HEROES"
Gary J. Pfleider II had been through rehab for drug addiction and was working at a Wal-Mart and a pizza restaurant when he joined the Oregon National Guard in October 2001. He says he wanted to "do something for my country" after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and keep his life on the right track for his two little girls.
INSULT, AFTER INJURY: Wounded warrior Gary J. Pfleider II couldn t afford to stay in his apartment after the Pentagon moved aggressively to collect erroneous debts from him, forcing him to move into a shack behind his parents' house in Lebanon, Oregon. REUTERS/Steve DiPaola
Repeatedly denied deployment to Iraq because of his drug record, he wrote a letter in pencil on lined paper to then-First Sergeant Michael Amen "beging (sic) and pleading with you to please let me deploy out. '... This deployment is all I have left."
Amen acceded, and wasn't disappointed. "Gary was a tremendous soldier and asset to the unit," Amen says. Capt. Stephen Bomar, who also was with Pfleider in Iraq, says, "He is one of our heroes."
Pfleider (pronounced FLY-der) was a specialist in a National Guard unit assigned to fill craters blasted into roads by improvised explosive devices. On Sept. 24, 2007, his platoon was working on "Route Tampa," 43 miles from a military base in Balad, central Iraq, when a sniper's bullet tore through his left thigh, severing arteries before punching out a six-inch-long exit wound.
In the ensuing days, he nearly bled to death three times. Recovery was slow. He lost a big chunk of thigh muscle to gangrene.
In February 2009, five months after his discharge, Pfleider was back in his hometown of Lebanon, Oregon, when he received from DFAS a bill for $3,136.73 and a warning that he had 30 days to pay. In subsequent bills, the amount increased steadily, mainly from interest and penalties.
DFAS moved aggressively to collect. By March 2010, the Treasury, on DFAS's behalf, had clawed back $1,630 by withholding Pfleider's 2009 tax refund and garnishing his federal benefits. After keeping $97 in administrative fees, it turned over $1,533 to DFAS. The Treasury then handed off the balance of Pfleider's debt - about $2,100 - to a private collection agency, which Pfleider says hasn't tried to recoup the money since sending an initial debt notice.
The 36-year-old Pfleider, a lean 6 foot 2 with a buzz cut, a beard and a ring in each ear, doesn't work. He often walks with a cane, is usually in pain, and suffers from severe PTSD, with flashbacks, panic attacks, occasional fits of rage, and night terrors. His only income is from Social Security and VA benefits, totaling $1,992 a month.
Unable to afford the rent on his apartment, Pfleider moved into a workshop in back of his parents' house. He doesn't drive, and lack of money makes it hard to visit his two daughters, who live with their mother in Washington state.
Around the time DFAS was dunning him, Pfleider received a separate surprise from the Oregon National Guard: an itemized demand for $1,400, representing the value of equipment - a helmet, a sleeping bag and the like - that he didn't return before he was medevacked out of Iraq.
"What was I supposed to do?" he says. "Stop and gather up all my gear and make sure I brought every piece with me on the plane?"
Television station KVAL in Eugene, Oregon, did a story about that equipment bill in May 2010. The next day, the Guard said it had dropped the claim.
He got no such relief from DFAS. Pfleider says he didn't see wording on the first DFAS bill stating that the $3,136.73 debt was for three weeks the agency had erroneously paid him after his discharge. Later bills said nothing about the source of the debt.
It turns out that nearly all of Pfleider's debt resulted from errors by the Army, DFAS and the Oregon National Guard. Pfleider was mistakenly paid for the extra three weeks because the Army had reported his discharge a month late, DFAS said. He also was overpaid after Army officials demoted him several months before his discharge.
The demotion resulted from a failed drug test after Pfleider returned from a weekend with family in Lebanon. Documents related to the demotion say Pfleider tested positive for methamphetamine; Pfleider says he took methadone, an old prescription from earlier treatments, to relieve leg pain when a missed bus forced to him to sleep on a station floor.
DFAS records show that after the Army demoted Pfleider in February 2008, the Oregon National Guard mistakenly promoted him. After confused communications between the Army and the National Guard, the Guard then demoted and re-promoted Pfleider several times. Because Pfleider was on active duty, the Guard had no legal authority to change Pfleider's rank or pay; only the Army did. DFAS erroneously accepted the promotions and demotions the Guard reported, raising and lowering Pfleider's salary accordingly.
Most of the salary overpayments were recouped by DFAS when it docked Pfleider's pay before he left the service. Even so, DFAS said Pfleider still owed $1,098.87 for such overpayments when he was discharged in September 2008.
In response to inquiries from Reuters, DFAS accountants reviewed Pfleider's pay records and sent to Reuters a four-page analysis that, among other things, found additional debts charged to Pfleider by mistake and benefits not paid.
Sources: DFAS; Fort Bliss Wounded Warrior Battalion staff; Shawn AikenDFAS confirmed that most of the debts charged to Pfleider should have been canceled because of his status as a wounded warrior and other reasons. DFAS couldn't erase the $1,098.87 Pfleider still owed for salary overpayments because Defense Department rules forbid cancellation of any debts related to a demotion under the Uniform Code of Military Justice - even if those debts result from payments made in error.
Pfleider's revised total debt of $1,098.87 was less than the $1,533 the Treasury had already collected from him on behalf of DFAS. After accounting for other, smaller underpayments to Pfleider, as well as interest and penalties, DFAS said his final total debt came to $815.50 - or only about 25 percent of what it had claimed when it started sending bills to him. DFAS deducted that from the $1,533 it already had collected and in mid-April, a month after Reuters inquired about his case, paid him the balance of $717.50.
When soldiers like Pfleider and Aiken seek explanations about pay problems, getting answers is tough. It's hard for DFAS to find answers, too. Because of the division between pay and personnel, the agency must submit requests to personnel staff at the relevant branch of the military when it wants questions answered. The wait can take weeks or longer.
DFAS debt notices tell soldiers to address any questions or challenges to the agency. But DFAS admits it often doesn't investigate errors, and generally refers military personnel back to their units, telling them to provide documentary proof to support their claims. Likewise, DFAS said it does not review for potential underpayments the pay records of personnel as they prepare to leave their branch of service or after they leave.
DFAS does operate call centers. In 2011, it said, those centers received 726,680 calls from current and former military personnel, mostly with routine inquiries. The agency said it often refers callers to their units.
Pavlos Kaltsas was a Navy officer who held several senior positions at DFAS through 2005, including overseeing a call center for Navy personnel in Cleveland, Ohio. Staff were limited in what they could do, he says, because they were unable to retrieve the necessary information or make the necessary changes on the computers in front of them. Kaltsas says call center staff often told military personnel to check back in a few weeks - in "the hope that the member just gives up."
Every few days, he says, a Navy officer who had paid his way to Cleveland would show up, refusing to leave until his pay problem was fixed. Kaltsas, assigned to deal with some of them, says that despite his efforts, he often wasn't able to get DFAS to resolve mistakes.
Craig Arndt, a Navy captain, was one of those who showed up. While stationed in Kuwait from 1999 through 2002, he called DFAS to ask that it pay him the special allowances and entitlements he should have been receiving. He got nowhere.
Source: Kevin McGraw, retired DFAS employee of 30 years
Later, while on leave in 2003 and again in 2005, he paid his own airfare from his home in Florida to Cleveland to demand what he was owed. Arndt says that at the end of his second visit, with the issue still unresolved, Karl Bernhardt, a senior pay official, told him that DFAS staff had already spent an inordinate amount of time on Arndt's case.
Arndt persisted. "They couldn't push me around because I was a captain," he says.
Arndt, who retired in 2011 after 30 years in the Navy, eventually accepted a settlement of $15,000. "I don't even know if that was all of it," he says, because of the difficulty of calculating all of the various entitlements he says he was owed. DFAS denied his separate claim of $2,000 to cover an increase in life-insurance premiums after the agency switched his coverage without telling him.
Bernhardt, the senior pay official, said he doesn't recall Arndt or the incident or any time when an officer paid his or her way to Cleveland to complain about a pay error and attempt to get it fixed.
DFAS said it has put in place a certification program for call center employees and plans additional improvements for the centers. It also said it has "not had, in recent years, military people show up uninvited at DFAS Offices to request or demand that perceived pay problems be corrected."
JUST ANOTHER ACRONYM
It wasn't until after the start of the first Gulf War, in 1990, that the problem of pay errors took on any urgency as thousands of Reserve and National Guard personnel were mobilized for Operation Desert Storm.
For months, many of the soldiers called up weren't paid because the system couldn't put them on the active-duty payroll, according to Eric Reid, director of the Army Financial Command. Many found themselves on both Reserve and active-duty payrolls, and were thus paid twice. Later, thousands of demobilized soldiers continued to receive their active-duty pay because the systems were unable to remove them from the active-duty rosters.
In 1996, Defense Secretary William Perry and his staff were sufficiently alarmed to ask the Defense Science Board - a group of corporate executives and senior military personnel that advises the Pentagon on technology - to study the problem and offer ideas for fixes.
The board was unsparing in its criticism. The pay system was "obsolete," it said in its report. It concluded that dysfunctions of the system "damage the morale and welfare of the Service members and their families."
The board's recommendation: Scrap the current system. The Pentagon should emulate big corporations and implement a "single, all-Service and all-component, fully integrated personnel and pay system, with common core software."
RECOGNITION DUE: Shawn Aiken was injured while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the Pentagon s pay personnel failed to designate him as a wounded warrior on at least two occasions when doing so would have erased his alleged debts and prevented his family s ordeal. REUTERS/Handout Picture
Thus was born the Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System, or DIMHRS (pronounced DIME-ers). Under the plan, the Defense Department would buy a commercial, off-the-shelf personnel system and install it with minimal modifications. It chose a product from PeopleSoft, the big human-resources and managerial software maker, since acquired by Oracle Corp.
Under this system, when a soldier's status changed, his or her pay and benefits would be updated with a few keystrokes. Soldiers would be able to change certain information - applying for additional pay after getting married, for example. And DIMHRS would combine the separate systems for active-duty and Reserve personnel.
The Pentagon told Congress in 1997 that the new system would cost $577 million. That was cheap, given the savings that would result from eliminating 88 pay and personnel systems, the secretary of defense's office said at the time. It would be phased in quickly, beginning with the Army in 2004.
Soon after development got under way, delays began to mount, and costs began to rise. Staff in the individual services insisted on changes to accommodate their particular needs. They wanted DIMHRS to be grafted on top of existing systems. Months stretched into years. The services were insisting on "15,000 requirements, and they were adding requirements when I left in 2009," says Nelson Ford, former undersecretary of the Army. "I concluded that DIMHRS was not going to work."
Source: DFAS
Tina Jonas, the Pentagon's chief financial officer from 2004 to 2008, and other officials overseeing the project say it wasn't a priority among top brass, who left implementation to lower-level managers, rarely checking in on progress.
In early 2009, the system was still undergoing testing. Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England, about to leave office as the new Obama administration was settling in, wanted to make a final decision on whether to continue spending money to impose DIMHRS on a reluctant bureaucracy, or kill it.
At a meeting Jan. 14, 2009, England gathered together the secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air Force and their top-ranking generals and admirals, along with DIMHRS personnel, to discuss the issue. The consensus, according to participants, was that the only way to make it work would be to pull a four-star general from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to manage what they saw as a bookkeeping project.
England pulled the plug. After more than a decade of development and more than $1 billion of taxpayer money spent, DIMHRS was dead. England and the military leaders agreed to let each of the military services pick from the remains of the project to update their own, separate systems.
England, now president of defense consulting firm E6 Partners, says he has come to believe that DIMHRS was doomed from the start: "The payroll systems in DOD are hugely complex."
Defense Secretary Robert Gates revealed the decision to dump DIMHRS in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee in February 2010. For the money spent, he told the committee, all that the military got was "an unpronounceable acronym."
Roland Burris, who served just 21 months in the Senate after his controversial appointment by disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, was the only senator at the hearing to react to Gates's announcement, saying the U.S. "could save millions and millions of dollars" with a rationalized military pay system.
A spokeswoman for Democratic Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, the committee chairman, said other members were focused on budgeting for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and "didn't have time to get to every other issue of importance."
More recently, several lawmakers have been pressing the Pentagon to reform its record-keeping systems. Senator Carper, the Delaware Democrat, and Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, have conducted investigations and requested GAO audits of the military - including the audit released in December last year.
"Unfortunately the problem of pay errors at the Department of Defense is widespread and will continue," Carper said, unless Congress, the White House and military leaders make concerted efforts to correct it.
NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT
On the DFAS website, a page devoted to wounded warriors reassures them of its commitment. "From the moment you leave the combat zone," it says, "our Wounded Warrior Pay Management teams are at work to make sure your pay and other entitlements don't become things that you or your family have to worry about."
Shawn Aiken had a different experience.
The wounded warrior was a high-school student in Blair, Nebraska, a few miles north of Omaha, when his mother was diagnosed with stomach cancer. He helped care for her until her death a year after his graduation. He enlisted in the Army in June 2003, at age 22, after a small business he had started foundered. He was drawn to a medical specialty; with training, he qualified as a combat medic.
Aiken's combat tours began in August 2005, when he was deployed with the 172nd Stryker Brigade to Mosul, Iraq. Three months later, he was the only medically trained soldier accompanying two platoons on patrol outside of Mosul when they were ambushed. Troops traced the gunfire to a nearby house. They fought their way inside. The house blew up. Aiken was alone to treat 23 wounded soldiers until help arrived.
U.S. Army combat medic Shawn Aiken holds up the bag of his prescription medicines at his home in El Paso, Texas on May 20, 2013. REUTERS/Ivan Pierre Aguirre
He ignored the screams of those he knew he couldn't save in order to focus on those he could. "I still see the faces of some of the guys that were laying there, screaming and crying for help," he says.
Aiken retains the boyish face that beams from snapshots taken while he was serving overseas. He speaks haltingly, and stops when his memory fails him. Still, he can't forget when he was standing next to one of his best buddies, a fellow medic, and cracked a joke. His friend burst out laughing and flung his arms in the air - just as a sniper's bullet pierced his armpit and tore through his chest. "All the way to the hospital I did CPR on him, but there was nothing I could do to save him," Aiken says.
In 2006, the Army awarded Aiken an Army Commendation Medal for saving three lives in two days of combat in Iraq.
In 2010, after re-enlisting, Aiken was in Afghanistan when an armored vehicle he was riding in hit an anti-tank mine. Aiken suffered a concussion and neck and back injuries.
Later that year, a rocket-propelled grenade blasted him through the air and sent him slamming head-first onto hard ground.
His commanders wanted to evacuate him to the Army's Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. He pleaded with them to let him remain because as a sergeant, he says, he felt a responsibility to his men. They relented, but forbade him to go on patrol. Weeks later, Aiken's unit was transferred to Schweinfurt, Germany, where he began visiting Landstuhl for treatment.
U.S. Army combat medic Shawn Aiken is shown during his EKG appointment at the VA Medical Center in El Paso, Texas on May 24, 2013. REUTERS/Ivan Pierre Aguirre
At that point, everyone familiar with Aiken's case agrees, he should have been designated a "wounded warrior." That status entitles soldiers to receive special pay while they are hospitalized or in "warrior transition units." Most debts to the military are to be canceled. And the exemption from income taxes for soldiers in combat zones is extended while they are hospitalized.
But Aiken was taking a bus on his visits to Landstuhl. DFAS staff there, meeting wounded warriors as they arrived by air, never caught him in their system.
Back in Germany after a leave in the United States, Aiken, depressed and still suffering from PTSD, gulped down lethal doses of the drugs Xanax and OxyContin. Just before losing consciousness, he telephoned a friend, who raced over and got him to the hospital in time for staff to save him.
Landstuhl doctors sent him to a VA hospital in North Chicago, Illinois, for specialized treatment for his PTSD. After nearly 15 weeks there, he was discharged and sent back to Germany. In August 2011, he was demoted from sergeant to specialist for having beaten up a fellow soldier in a fight in Afghanistan.
Finally, in October 2011, the Army - for "compassionate reasons" - transferred him to Fort Bliss, Texas. There he could be closer to Monica, a former soldier herself, and his two children with the wife he was divorcing, who live in El Paso.
Aiken was now assigned to the warrior transition battalion at Fort Bliss. Upon arrival there, he was "in-processed" by DFAS personnel who, after reviewing Aiken's pay records, determined that he owed several thousand dollars to the Defense Department for earlier overpayments. They put through orders to dock his pay.
The DFAS personnel evidently never noticed that Aiken had not been given wounded warrior status. If they had caught the error, then by law Aiken's debts would have been waived, and he and his family would have been spared their financial ordeal.
DFAS spokesman LaRock said the agency has "no part in designating a soldier as a wounded warrior." That responsibility, he said, rests with the medical department of the relevant military service - in Aiken's case, the Army Medical Department.
Margaret Tippy, a spokeswoman for the Army Medical Department, said she could "say with certainty" that her department doesn't have primary responsibility for designating a soldier as a wounded warrior.
Earlier statements by Pentagon officials indicate it is DFAS's job to designate wounded warriors. In congressional testimony in 2006, then-DFAS Director Gaddy said the agency had developed a "Wounded in Action Pay Management Program," and that "we identify and monitor all battle-injured and non-battle-injured soldiers who have served in a combat zone from October 7, 2001, to the present." At the same hearing, then-Pentagon Comptroller J. David Patterson said oversight of wounded warriors was the responsibility of his office and DFAS.
It wasn't until February 2012 - after Aiken had taken out loans, pawned his belongings and accepted charity to keep him and his family afloat through Christmas and beyond - that his nurse case manager noticed he wasn't listed as a wounded warrior. On Feb. 27, he was officially declared one.
In March, he received small reimbursements for meal expenses. In the following months his pay trended upward, but didn't reach normal levels until June 2012, eight months after the deductions started. But he still wasn't reimbursed for most of the money withheld over the previous months.
Reuters first asked DFAS about Aiken's case in September 2012. In response, the agency reviewed his records and, in mid-November, sent Reuters a summary that detailed 14 errors related to the money clawed back from Aiken. The sums include alleged overpayments of housing and meal allowances for soldiers living off-base, as well as wounded warrior benefits he hadn't received, such as the tax exemption, free hospital meals and special pay for hospitalized wounded warriors.
The summary also includes $1,291 that DFAS charged him for "delayed notice" of his divorce, which was declared final the day he was traveling from Chicago back to Germany. Once there, he says, he reported the divorce, but to his old unit, not the wounded warrior transition unit in Schweinfurt he was joining, and DFAS was never notified. Thus the agency claimed as a debt the benefits he'd been paid as a married soldier with children, from the date of his divorce until his arrival several months later at Fort Bliss.
DFAS declined to provide a figure for the total amount of debt it collected from Aiken. An analysis by Reuters of Aiken's pay records - including monthly pay statements obtained from DFAS under a waiver Aiken signed - shows that from October 2011 through March 2012, DFAS withheld more than $4,700 from his pay.
Aiken says he believes that since the pay review prompted by the Reuters inquiries, DFAS has now fully repaid him for the debts it collected.
A Reuters examination of his records and DFAS responses to questions suggest otherwise.
DFAS said that since October 2012, it has reimbursed Aiken $1,818.31. That amount, plus $490.25 in meal reimbursements he received in March, brings the total repaid to Aiken to only $2,308.55.
At least part of the shortfall is due to "partial" payments of extra pay that wounded warriors receive, known as "Pay and Allowance Continuation." DFAS didn't explain why it didn't pay the full benefit, nor did it list the dollar amount it approved.
DFAS's review of Aiken's pay history did not catch all of the mistakes. His pay records show that DFAS double-billed him for $622.06 in alleged meal overpayments in December and January and mistakenly deducted twice that amount from his pay. Aiken eventually was reimbursed for the original $622.06, but not the remainder.
Today, Aiken and Monica, who married in February last year, live in a small stucco house, one of many like it near Fort Bliss. Their first child, son Mason, was born last November. After two surgeries, Aiken spends most of his days on the base, receiving treatment and counseling. He still has nightmares, flashbacks, chronic pain and other symptoms.
(Edited by John Blanton)
Next, Part 2: Behind the Pentagon's opaque ledgers, a running tally of epic waste
VW Gate
BOSH-Schedule 32. Chaos Communication Congress
Mon, 28 Dec 2015 03:55
Version 1.2 - House of Cards
Take a deep breath into pollution trickeryAnalysis of the emission scandal shaking the German automotive industry from a procedural, organizational and technical level. Includes insight into cheating for advanced managers and code extraction from ECUs from Ebay. And from Volkswagen. Initially.
The exhaust emission scandal has visibly shaken the confidence auto buyers put into the German automotive industry.The details are '' half a year after Volkswagen managers confessed to fraud '' scarce, very scare.Both around the procedural and the technical details of the betrayal. Daniel will show how engineering a Electronic Control Unit (ECU) works, and how many people are involved.And he will take a look at the revealing communication from the affected parties. That try to share nothing with many words but still reveal a few interesting details.Felix takes the other approach and looks at body of evidence that 8+ million people have access to but too few took a closer look.He will share the tricks to extract the firmware from the affected engine control units and share the findings he made along the way and when he looked at the plain and honest truth in code.
Big Pharma
ADHD Meds May Raise Risk for Psychotic Side Effects in Some Kids: Study - MedicineNet
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 15:04
By Alan MozesHealthDay ReporterWEDNESDAY, Dec. 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Stimulant medications, such as those used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), may raise the risk for psychotic side effects among young patients who have a parent with a history of serious mental illness, new research suggests.
The study included 141 children and young adults aged 6 to 21. Nearly two-thirds of those prescribed stimulant medications had a psychotic side effect. These side effects included hallucinations, delusions, hearing voices, and/or perceptual disturbances, the researchers said.
By comparison, psychotic effects affected just over one-quarter of those who had not taken a stimulant drug, the study showed.
"These meds can be extremely helpful, including in kids with a family history of mental illness," said study lead author Dr. Rudolf Uher. He is an associate professor and Canada research chair in early intervention in the department of psychiatry at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
"So this should in no way mean that we should stop using stimulants," he added.
Uher stressed that doctors have long known that these medications can cause hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms. "[But] what is surprising is the quantity. No one suspected that these side effects could be so common," he said.
"What it means is that docs need to ask kids about unusual experiences. They do not tell you unless you ask," Uher explained. "And then, make decisions on risk-benefit balance."
The study authors said the study's design didn't allow them to prove a cause-and-effect relationship, only to find an association between stimulant medications and psychotic symptoms.
The study findings were published online Dec. 30, and in the January print issue of Pediatrics.
ADHD affects between 5 percent and 10 percent of school-aged kids in the United States. Stimulants are considered a first-line treatment for the condition, the study authors said.
For the current investigation, all of the children, and their parents, were from Nova Scotia.
Parents and children underwent psychiatrist-led mental health screenings. Interviews and pharmacy records confirmed whether stimulant medications had been prescribed for the children.
All of the children had at least one parent with a history of major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Nearly one-quarter of the children were diagnosed with ADHD, according to the report.
About 17 percent of all the children -- including half of those diagnosed with ADHD -- were prescribed stimulant medications, such as Ritalin (methylphenidate), Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine), or Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine). These medications are known to limit the hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity associated with ADHD, the researchers said.
The children were also interviewed to assess any drug-related "funny feelings" that might represent a psychotic experience.
In the end, the frequency with which stimulants were associated with psychotic events was found to be much higher than indicated by previous research.
That finding prompted the investigators to suggest that the risk for psychotic side effects should no longer be considered rare among such children. They advised doctors to carefully monitor children and teens taking stimulant drugs.
Erin Schoenfelder, an assistant professor with the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, agreed that "it's useful for practitioners to be aware of heightened risk for certain kids."
But, she said, more research will be necessary, given that the new study didn't distinguish between children with mild or severe mental illness. "Which means that we can't rule out that those kids with severe mental illness were not inherently at higher risk for these side effects, because those with milder difficulties might have been less likely to be prescribed medication in the first place," Schoenfelder said.
Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y., said his own clinical experience suggests that the study findings make sense.
"It seems that stimulant-related psychotic symptoms associated with stimulant treatment are more common, more complex and more extensive among children of parents with mood disorders compared to children whose parents do not have active mental illness," he said.
"Pediatricians who care for children who have one or more parents with mental illness should be vigilant for the development of psychotic symptoms in these children," Adesman advised, "especially if stimulant medications are being prescribed."
Copyright (C) 2015 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
SOURCES: Rudolf Uher, M.D., Ph.D., MRCPsych, associate professor, Canada research chair in early intervention, department of psychiatry, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia; Erin Schoenfelder, Ph.D., assistant professor, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle; Andrew Adesman, M.D., chief, developmental and behavioral pediatrics, Cohen Children's Medical Center, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; January 2016, Pediatrics
Out There
European Space Agency is shooting for a moon base by the 2030s
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 14:51
What's This?
Europe is shaping a moon-first program of human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit.Image: ESA
Leonard David for Space.com 2015-12-31 08:15:39 UTCThere is growing interest in Europe to prioritize the moon as humanity's next deep-space destination.
The moon, supporters say, can serve as a springboard to push the human exploration of the solar system, with Mars as the horizon goal. So Europe is ratcheting up what it sees as the strategic significance of the moon by pushing forward on lunar-exploration missions that would involve both humans and robots.
Calling the effort a "comeback to the moon," European space planners envision a series of human missions to the lunar vicinity starting in the early 2020s. Those missions, according to the plan, will include coordination between astronauts and robotic systems on the lunar surface. Robots would land first, paving the way for human explorers to set foot on the moon later.
Europe's lunar intentions were clearly evident at an international symposium this month to discuss plans for a return to the moon. The European Space Agency (ESA) hosted the two-day symposium, called "Moon 2020-2030 '-- A New Era of Coordinated Human and Robotic Exploration," on Dec. 15 at the European Space Research and Technology Center in Noordwijk, Netherlands. More than 200 scientists and space officials from 28 countries attended the meeting.
Return to the moonThe intent of the symposium was to gain a strong common message from the representatives of the science, academic, agency and industrial communities, said Markus Landgraf, a symposium organizer and a space architecture analyst for the European Space Agency.
The message would entail "how lunar exploration can be implemented as a sustainable international endeavor, building on past successes and enabled by new partnerships," Landgraf told Space.com.
ESA already participates in the critical effort to develop human space-transportation systems for missions beyond low-Earth orbit. The space agency is providing the European Service Module to be used in conjunction with NASA's next spaceship: the Orion crew module.
Furthermore, the head of ESA, W¶rner, has repeatedly expressed his keenness for a moon base as a successor to the International Space Station. He has stated that such a lunar base should be international, drawing upon different competencies in various countries.
Telepresence lunar explorationU.S. astronomer Dan Lester, a consultant and telerobotics specialist, said that his big takeaway message from the ESA symposium "was that exploration telepresence is no longer an off-the-wall idea, but one that seemed to be threaded throughout the conference."
"This conference seemed to accept that it was a new way of doing exploration," Lester told Space.com. One strong recommendation that will come out of the meeting is that real analog studies will be necessary to understand how to do operations on the moon, he added.
"Not analog operations at a moonlike sites, which can be hugely expensive just for travel, but analog operations where geologists use a real rover robot, perhaps just in a rock yard, with vision, dexterity/haptics and low latency control to do real-time field geology," Lester said.
One other theme that was clear from the meeting: A load of important science still needs to be done on the moon. "That was a regular reminder at this meeting," Lester said.
Near the moon: Cislunar spaceNASA's Kathy Laurini, co-chair for the Exploration Roadmap Working Group for the Global Exploration Roadmap, also took part in the European gathering on lunar exploration.
"The symposium was very well-attended and effective in gathering community input on priorities for exploration of the moon," Laurini told Space.com.
A major topic at the meeting, she said, was how humans in cislunar space '-- the region of space near the moon '-- could contribute to lunar exploration. They could do so by working with robotic assets that demonstrated future human landing technologies and contributed information about high-priority science questions.
"The ESA space-exploration strategy sets the moon as a priority destination for humans on the way to Mars, and the recent talk of a 'Moon Village' certainly has generated a lot of positive energy in Europe '... [of] Europe playing a role in a global human exploration scenario," Laurini said. It is clear, she added, that the ESA Ministerial meeting in December 2016 will be an important milestone for Europe.
"The timing is right," Laurini said, "to get started on the capabilities which allow Europe to meet its exploration objectives and ensure Europe remains a strong partner as humans begin to explore the solar system."
Europe is sharpening its skills in developing human space-transportation systems for missions beyond low-Earth orbit. An example is the European Service Module, to be used in conjunction with the NASA-developed Orion crew module.
Proving groundLaurini took part in a panel discussion during the meeting, describing NASA's journey-to-Mars vision, noting the agency's "desire to lead an international effort to explore deep space with the 'proving ground' of cislunar space as the first step."
All the strategic planning and scenarios done over the last several years, Laurini said, show the importance of human missions into cislunar space as the initial common step beyond low-Earth orbit to destinations such as the moon and Mars.
"Human missions to the moon will only be possible with European investment in related technologies and capabilities,"Laurini said.
Foster + Partners is part of a consortium set up by the European Space Agency to explore the possibilities of 3D printing to construct lunar habitations.
Image: ESA/Foster + Partners
Ground truthAlso bullish on the European meeting and a U.S. meeting organizer is Clive Neal, professor at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
He said that take-home messages from the meeting were numerous.
"We keep talking about lunar resources, but we still need to demonstrate they can be used '... [that] they are, in fact, reserves. So ground truth verification of deposit size, composition, form and homogeneity requires a coordinated prospecting program. A successful program would then clearly demonstrate that lunar resources can enable solar system exploration," Neal said.
The meeting highlighted technology development in terms of precision landing; robotic sample return; and cryogenic sampling, caching, return and curation, Neal said.
"Significant investments in the latter are required and starting to be made," he said.
Quantifying the benefits from government investment in space exploration is critical for convincing both governments and the private sector to invest in such endeavors, Neal said.
In other meeting news, Neal said, it was evident that partnerships '-- especially those between ESA and Russia '-- are maturing rapidly.
The lunar path ahead"There is most definitely international interest in human missions to the moon," said Paul Spudis, of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston.
Spudis told Space.com there is recent and significant focus on the moon, not only by Europe, but also India, Japan and China, "whose lunar plans are probably the most ambitious of all, if not the most transparent."
There are three possible paths to lunar return that Spudis can envision:
A single-nation effort, analogous to NASA's Apollo moon-landing project. China is the most likely initiator of this path.
A cooperative, international effort, analogous to the International Space Station. ESA, Japan, India and Russia are likely major participants in such an effort.
A series of commercial lunar missions, largely led by American "New Space" companies, an effort that would likely be almost totally robotic and fairly small in scope.
"I do not rule out the possibility of a major change in the strategic direction of civil space in the USA," Spudis said, "but only after we have a new administration in place, and dependent upon who the new president might be. In such a case, our involvement would likely be along path No. 2."
Spudis said he supports all efforts to return to the moon under most circumstances, "except one by China in order to establish their cislunar hegemony."
This article originally published at Space.com here
Topics: Space, europe, moon, Robot, solar system, World
2TTH
R.I.P Ian Murdock, Founder of Debian Linux, Dead at 42 - The Hacker News
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 03:03
Ian Murdock, the founder the Debian Linux operating system and the creator of apt-get, has passed away.
Yes, it is very sad to announce that Ian Murdock is not between us. His death has touched the entire software community. He was just 42.
The announcement of Murdock death came out via a blog post on Docker website, where Murdock was working as a member of the technical staff.The cause of death is unclear at present, but Murdock tweeted the same day that he would commit suicide that night. His Twitter account had since been deleted.However, at that time, some people speculated that Murdock's account had been hacked and that the tweets were not by him.
Murdock posted some Tweets on Monday suggesting he had been involved in a police case and has been beaten by the police and charged with battery.However, neither Docker, nor the San Francisco Police Department immediately commented on Murdock's actual cause of death.
Murdock developed Debian in August 1993 '-- and yes the ''ian'' in the project's name is from Ian Murdock.In the past, He also worked at Sun Microsystems and served as the CTO of the Linux Foundation.
It is with deep regret that we say goodbye to our great friend, the most significant contributor to Linux community, our beloved Ian Murdock.
Rip :(
Drone Nation
Air Force Looks Beyond Officers to Boost Drone-Pilot Ranks - WSJ
Mon, 28 Dec 2015 19:10
The U.S. military's increasing demand for drones has forced changes in the Air Force's ''flyboy'' culture over the years, plucking pilots out of the cockpit and sending some to high-tech desert trailers to operate remotely piloted aircraft, leaving their proverbial white scarves at home.
As the need keeps rising for drones and their valuable ISR'--intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance'--due to the rise of Islamic State and other...
CLIPS AND DOCS
VIDEO-'I Feel Like I Was Racially Profiled': Fremont Woman 'Singled Out' After Asking Question About Ammo at Dick's Sporting Goods | NBC Bay Area
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 05:32
An East Bay woman visited a Dick's Sporting Goods last week and asked a store employee about buying eight boxes of ammunition for her AR-15. Two days later, on Friday, Sim Sangha received an unwelcome visit by two police officers. Chuck Coppola reports. (Published Monday, Dec. 14, 2015)
An East Bay woman visited a Dick's Sporting Goods last week and asked a store employee about buying eight boxes of ammunition for her AR-15. Two days later, on Friday, Sim Sangha received an unwelcome visit by two police officers.
The store employee had alerted them, police said. Now, the 24-year-old Fremont resident is accusing the store of racial profiling.
"I don't know if it's [because of] my skin color or that I'm Indian," she said. "I'm not a Muslim, but even if I were, that's no reason to call police to my home, instantly."
Sangha, a firearms instructor, didn't buy ammunition for her rifle '' the same kind used to gun down 14 people and injure 17 others in San Bernardino '' and left instead with an exercise mask.
"They singled me out," Sangha said. "They singled me out because of the way I look."
Had the store asked, Sangha, who is preparing to join the Los Angeles Police Department, said she would have provided proof of her certification.
"I feel like I was racially profiled," she said. "I've had friends buy bulk ammo and they've never had police show up at their door."
A Fremont police spokeswoman said that the department does not have a defined policy to step up police actions against activity that may be construed by some as terrorist-related. They are, however, on heightened alert since a husband-and-wife duo opened fire at a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center in Southern California.
A store manager referred NBC Bay Area's questions about the case to Dick's corporate office.
Fremont police said the officers apologized to Sangha but defended their duty to check out what residents consider "suspicious."
Published at 5:55 PM PST on Dec 14, 2015
VIDEO-Hitler's Mein Kampf to be published in Germany | Reuters.com
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 05:01
The stories of Japan's wartime ''comfort women''11:46am EST -(1:47)
Hundreds of fighters and civilians escape...10:47am EST -(0:59)
A look at the strangest scenes from 2015Wed, Dec 23, 2015 -(0:43)
A world of Christmas treesTue, Dec 22, 2015 -(1:36)
Reuters most captivating animal pictures of...Tue, Dec 22, 2015 -(0:46)
Santa Claus is coming to townMon, Dec 21, 2015 -(1:27)
The year in 60 seconds: 2015Wed, Dec 02, 2015 -(1:01)
Being Darth VaderWed, Dec 16, 2015 -(0:54)
Chelsea sack 'Special One' MourinhoFri, Dec 18, 2015 -(0:44)
Serena Williams wins SI Sportsperson of the...Thu, Dec 17, 2015 -(0:51)
Behind The Scenes of 'The Nutcracker'Mon, Dec 14, 2015 -(0:48)
Talking Climate COP21Sun, Dec 13, 2015 -(1:48)
Reuters Pictures of the Year 2015Wed, Dec 09, 2015 -(1:33)
The disappearance of Aletsch GlacierThu, Dec 03, 2015 -(1:00)
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)
VIDEO-Brussels calls off traditional New Years Eve festivities over terror alert fears | euronews, world news
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 04:50
The traditional New Year's Eve fireworks and festivities in Brussels have been called off over fears of a militant attack.
The decision was taken conjunction with the Belgium government reportedly due to information it had received.
''It is the nature of a gathering of so many people, an enormous number. You know last year a 100,000 were here and you cannot control and check everyone who comes to the event. And as the inquiries are still ongoing on a local and federal level and elements of those inquiries still being analysed it was decided it was better not to take the risk,'' Brussels Mayor Yvan Mayeur told reporters.
The fear of a terror attack at New Year's Eve celebrations was brought into sharp focus after arrests in Belgium on Tuesday.
It's understood the two people arrested will appear in court on Thursday and belong to a motorbike club called the Kamikaze Riders whose members are mostly of North African descent according to one media outlet.
VIDEO-20 km high space elevator tower planned | Reuters.com
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 04:45
The stories of Japan's wartime ''comfort women''11:46am EST -(1:47)
Hundreds of fighters and civilians escape...10:47am EST -(0:59)
A look at the strangest scenes from 2015Wed, Dec 23, 2015 -(0:43)
A world of Christmas treesTue, Dec 22, 2015 -(1:36)
Reuters most captivating animal pictures of...Tue, Dec 22, 2015 -(0:46)
Santa Claus is coming to townMon, Dec 21, 2015 -(1:27)
The year in 60 seconds: 2015Wed, Dec 02, 2015 -(1:01)
Being Darth VaderWed, Dec 16, 2015 -(0:54)
Chelsea sack 'Special One' MourinhoFri, Dec 18, 2015 -(0:44)
Serena Williams wins SI Sportsperson of the...Thu, Dec 17, 2015 -(0:51)
Behind The Scenes of 'The Nutcracker'Mon, Dec 14, 2015 -(0:48)
Talking Climate COP21Sun, Dec 13, 2015 -(1:48)
Reuters Pictures of the Year 2015Wed, Dec 09, 2015 -(1:33)
The disappearance of Aletsch GlacierThu, Dec 03, 2015 -(1:00)
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)
VIDEO-Germany's costly migrant spending plan | Reuters.com
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 04:38
The stories of Japan's wartime ''comfort women''11:46am EST -(1:47)
Hundreds of fighters and civilians escape...10:47am EST -(0:59)
A look at the strangest scenes from 2015Wed, Dec 23, 2015 -(0:43)
A world of Christmas treesTue, Dec 22, 2015 -(1:36)
Reuters most captivating animal pictures of...Tue, Dec 22, 2015 -(0:46)
Santa Claus is coming to townMon, Dec 21, 2015 -(1:27)
The year in 60 seconds: 2015Wed, Dec 02, 2015 -(1:01)
Being Darth VaderWed, Dec 16, 2015 -(0:54)
Chelsea sack 'Special One' MourinhoFri, Dec 18, 2015 -(0:44)
Serena Williams wins SI Sportsperson of the...Thu, Dec 17, 2015 -(0:51)
Behind The Scenes of 'The Nutcracker'Mon, Dec 14, 2015 -(0:48)
Talking Climate COP21Sun, Dec 13, 2015 -(1:48)
Reuters Pictures of the Year 2015Wed, Dec 09, 2015 -(1:33)
The disappearance of Aletsch GlacierThu, Dec 03, 2015 -(1:00)
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)
VIDEO-Denver Non-Profit Passing Out Joints To Homeless People! - YouTube
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 04:32
VIDEO-THE REAL TERRORIST THREAT LEVEL - YouTube
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 04:24
VIDEO-WSJ: Obama Spying On Netanyahu Personal Communications And Other Top Israeli Officials! - YouTube
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 04:21
VIDEO-Justice Dept Suspends Program That Allows Police Officers To STEAL Money And Property From ANYONE - YouTube
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 04:13
VIDEO-NBC's Guthrie Tries to Tell Trump Clinton's Affairs Were Only 'Alleged' | MRCTV
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 04:06
See more in the cross-post on the NewsBusters blog.
During his latest phone-in interview Tuesday morning, Donald Trump appeared on NBC's Today where co-host Savannah Guthrie attempted to convince Trump that former President Bill Clinton's extramarital affairs (and specifically what occurred with Monica Lewinsky) were merely ''alleged'' and thus might not be fair to bring up in a campaign involving Hillary Clinton.
Soon after, however, Guthrie must have realized she had committed the blunder and immediately went along with Trump in pointing out that Clinton did eventually own up (to what happened with Lewinsky).
VIDEO-State: US Has Concerns About Syrian Islamist Group, But Leader Should Not Have Been Killed As He Supported Political Process | MRCTV
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 04:03
The U.S. has ''significant concerns'' about a Syrian rebel group whose influential leader was killed in a Christmas Day airstrike but was nonetheless troubled by the decision to target someone who had committed himself to efforts to negotiate an end to the civil war, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Tuesday.
VIDEO-CBS Touts Hillary Receiving Question from Young Boy at Rally on Equal Pay; 'Pay Perspective' | MRCTV
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 03:59
See more in the cross-post on the NewsBusters blog.
With the year winding down and the news cycle slowing (aside from the weather), Wednesday's CBS This Morning found it proper to reserve 59 seconds for fawning over Hillary Clinton receiving a question on Tuesday from a young boy about equal pay.
Spinning it in the on-screen headline as some ''pay perspective'' from Clinton, fill-in co-host Margaret Brennan started the brief by making clear that the former secretary of state ''did not mention Trump by name at a rally in New Hampshire'' and instead ''argued the economy does better when a Democrat is president.''
VIDEO-FBI investigating incident where bacon wrapped on mosque door - + KSHB.com
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 03:01
Flood Warning issued December 26 at 1:26PM CST expiring December 27 at 1:25PM CST in effect for: Cooper, Saline
Flood Warning issued December 26 at 11:26AM CST expiring December 27 at 2:25AM CST in effect for: Bates, Vernon
Flood Warning issued December 26 at 1:32PM CST expiring December 30 at 7:00PM CST in effect for: Carroll, Chariton, Saline
Flood Warning issued December 26 at 1:32PM CST expiring December 30 at 4:05PM CST in effect for: Carroll, Chariton, Linn, Livingston
Flood Warning issued December 26 at 7:44PM CST expiring December 31 at 2:00PM CST in effect for: Chariton, Howard, Saline
5
Weather Alerts
2
Closings & Delays
VIDEO-Trump vows to raise campaign spend
Wed, 30 Dec 2015 16:45
A look at the strangest scenes from 2015Wed, Dec 23, 2015 -(0:43)
A world of Christmas treesTue, Dec 22, 2015 -(1:36)
Reuters most captivating animal pictures of...Tue, Dec 22, 2015 -(0:46)
Santa Claus is coming to townMon, Dec 21, 2015 -(1:27)
The year in 60 seconds: 2015Wed, Dec 02, 2015 -(1:01)
Being Darth VaderWed, Dec 16, 2015 -(0:54)
Chelsea sack 'Special One' MourinhoFri, Dec 18, 2015 -(0:44)
Serena Williams wins SI Sportsperson of the...Thu, Dec 17, 2015 -(0:51)
Behind The Scenes of 'The Nutcracker'Mon, Dec 14, 2015 -(0:48)
Talking Climate COP21Sun, Dec 13, 2015 -(1:48)
Reuters Pictures of the Year 2015Wed, Dec 09, 2015 -(1:33)
The disappearance of Aletsch GlacierThu, Dec 03, 2015 -(1:00)
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)
VIDEO-The Life of Adam - YouTube
Wed, 30 Dec 2015 06:40
VIDEO-Gwiji - Queen - YouTube
Wed, 30 Dec 2015 06:39
VIDEO-Security ramped up in Belgium
Wed, 30 Dec 2015 01:49
A look at the strangest scenes from 2015Wed, Dec 23, 2015 -(0:43)
A world of Christmas treesTue, Dec 22, 2015 -(1:36)
Reuters most captivating animal pictures of...Tue, Dec 22, 2015 -(0:46)
Santa Claus is coming to townMon, Dec 21, 2015 -(1:27)
The year in 60 seconds: 2015Wed, Dec 02, 2015 -(1:01)
Being Darth VaderWed, Dec 16, 2015 -(0:54)
Chelsea sack 'Special One' MourinhoFri, Dec 18, 2015 -(0:44)
Serena Williams wins SI Sportsperson of the...Thu, Dec 17, 2015 -(0:51)
Behind The Scenes of 'The Nutcracker'Mon, Dec 14, 2015 -(0:48)
Talking Climate COP21Sun, Dec 13, 2015 -(1:48)
Reuters Pictures of the Year 2015Wed, Dec 09, 2015 -(1:33)
The disappearance of Aletsch GlacierThu, Dec 03, 2015 -(1:00)
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)
VIDEO-Amazon hits all-time high
Wed, 30 Dec 2015 01:41
A look at the strangest scenes from 2015Wed, Dec 23, 2015 -(0:43)
A world of Christmas treesTue, Dec 22, 2015 -(1:36)
Reuters most captivating animal pictures of...Tue, Dec 22, 2015 -(0:46)
Santa Claus is coming to townMon, Dec 21, 2015 -(1:27)
The year in 60 seconds: 2015Wed, Dec 02, 2015 -(1:01)
Being Darth VaderWed, Dec 16, 2015 -(0:54)
Chelsea sack 'Special One' MourinhoFri, Dec 18, 2015 -(0:44)
Serena Williams wins SI Sportsperson of the...Thu, Dec 17, 2015 -(0:51)
Behind The Scenes of 'The Nutcracker'Mon, Dec 14, 2015 -(0:48)
Talking Climate COP21Sun, Dec 13, 2015 -(1:48)
Reuters Pictures of the Year 2015Wed, Dec 09, 2015 -(1:33)
The disappearance of Aletsch GlacierThu, Dec 03, 2015 -(1:00)
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)
VIDEO-Witch Hunt | KQED Truly CA - YouTube
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 21:19
VIDEO-A Progressive 20-Something, Joe Rogan and A Kangaroo - YouTube
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 21:16
VIDEO-STARWARS JANITOR-Clerks (5/12) Movie CLIP - Death Star Contractors (1994) HD - YouTube
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 20:58
VIDEO-Iconic Comedian Jerry Lewis Slams Obama - Praises Donald Trump (Video) - The Gateway Pundit
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 20:11
Iconic American comedian Jerry Lewis slammed Barack Obama and praised Donald Trump in an interview on World Over with Raymond Arroyo.
Lewis blasted Obama for his failed non-existent leadership.
''Refugees should stay where the hell they are,'' said Lewis bluntly. ''Hey, no one has worked harder for the human condition than I have, but they're not part of the human condition. If 11 guys in the group of 10,000 are ISIS'--how can I take that chance?''
Lewis is not alone in this feeling; as of last month at least 31 governors rejected President Obama's push to accept Syrian refugees into their states. Reports of ISIS now having access to a machine that makes American passports and recent revelations of the holes in our vetting system, borne out in the horrific San Bernardino terror attack, are just a couple of the factors legitimizing such pushback from the American people.
Lewis then said that President Obama was ''never prepared'' for ISIS and suggested that he was not a real leader'...
'...The clip concludes with Lewis praising Trump for his ''showmanship.''
''I think he's great,'' said Lewis of Trump. ''He's a showman and we've never had a showman in the president's chair.''
''Well, we had Ronald Reagan,'' Arroyo interjected.
''Well, that's different,'' answered Lewis. ''You can't make do a comparison on Ronald Reagan because I can do three hours on him with just praise, he was so good.''
ArchivesArchives
VIDEO-ISIS regulates sex slaves | Reuters.com
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 20:05
A look at the strangest scenes from 2015Wed, Dec 23, 2015 -(0:43)
A world of Christmas treesTue, Dec 22, 2015 -(1:36)
Reuters most captivating animal pictures of...Tue, Dec 22, 2015 -(0:46)
Santa Claus is coming to townMon, Dec 21, 2015 -(1:27)
The year in 60 seconds: 2015Wed, Dec 02, 2015 -(1:01)
Being Darth VaderWed, Dec 16, 2015 -(0:54)
Chelsea sack 'Special One' MourinhoFri, Dec 18, 2015 -(0:44)
Serena Williams wins SI Sportsperson of the...Thu, Dec 17, 2015 -(0:51)
Behind The Scenes of 'The Nutcracker'Mon, Dec 14, 2015 -(0:48)
Talking Climate COP21Sun, Dec 13, 2015 -(1:48)
Reuters Pictures of the Year 2015Wed, Dec 09, 2015 -(1:33)
The disappearance of Aletsch GlacierThu, Dec 03, 2015 -(1:00)
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)
VIDEO-Robert Waldinger: What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness | TED Talk | TED.com
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 17:14
Watch next
Benjamin Wallace: The price of happiness
arrow
Loading'...
Watch next...
Benjamin Wallace: The price of happiness
arrowWhat keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it's fame and money, you're not alone '' but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you're mistaken. As the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction. In this talk, he shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, long life.
This talk was presented to a local audience at TEDxBeaconStreet, an independent event. TED editors featured it among our selections on the home page.
Discuss127 comments
Enthusiastically agree? Respectfully beg to differ? Have your say here.
VIDEO-PressTV-'Bill Kristol could be hanged over 9/11'
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 17:11
''William Kristol, who is one of the 9/11 perpetrators who is going to be tried, convicted and hanged for mass murder and high treason when this comes out, is terrified that Trump might become president, because there is a chance that Trump might decide to clean house,'' Dr. Kevin Barrett told Press TV on Sunday.
US neoconservative commentator William (Bill) Kristol is terrified that if Donald Trump becomes president, he might try the perpetrators of the 9/11 coup d'etat for mass murder and high treason, an American scholar and researcher says.
Dr. Kevin Barrett, a founding member of the Scientific Panel for the Investigation of 9/11, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Sunday while commenting on a recent interview by Kristol, the founder of the Emergency Committee for Israel, an American neoconservative group associated with the Israel lobby.
In an interview with ABC News on Saturday, Kristol called for a third party run in the event Trump wins the Republican Party nomination for the presidency of the United States.
Kristol, the founder and editor of the political magazine The Weekly Standard, also said Trump will not be nominated by his party, adding that he will begin to fall behind his rivals if loses in the Iowa state primary elections.
Dr. Barrett said ''Kristol is the dean of American neoconservatism, an ultra-Machiavellian Zionist, political-intellectual movement that brought us the 9/11 coup d'etat, the new Pearl Harbor, that the neoconservative think tank, Project for the New American Century, called for shamelessly exactly one year before September 11th. So therefore William Kristol, as I understand it, should be viewed as the godfather of the 9/11 perpetrators.''
''That's his role in the current American political system. And he is terrified of Donald Trump. He is willing to do anything to try to stop Trump. Why is that?'' he asked.
'Trump knows about 9/11'
Republican presidential candidate Donald TrumpDr. Barrett said he thinks ''it's because as Roger Stone recently said on the Alex Jones Show, 'Trump knows about 9/11.' People should ask themselves why Trump is constantly bringing up 9/11. Why has he blamed [George W.] Bush for 9/11, and gotten into a big fight over this with Jeb Bush?''
''Well if Roger Stone is right, Donald Trump, who should know this '' he is well-placed in the oligarchy of New York City, and with the Jewish-Zionist element of that oligarchy, led by people like Larry Silverstein, a man who demolished his own buildings on September 11th and took huge insurance payoff (Silverstein being a close friend of Netanyahu) '' Trump moves in those circles. He knows very well who murdered 3,000 Americans on September 11th 2001,'' stated Barrett, a founding member of the Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance.
The September, 11, 2001 attacks, also known as the 9/11 attacks, were a series of strikes in the US which killed nearly 3,000 people and caused about $10 billion worth of property and infrastructure damage.
US officials assert that the attacks were carried out by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists but many experts have raised questions about the official account.
They believe that rogue elements within the US government, such as former Vice President Dick Cheney, orchestrated or at least encouraged the 9/11 attacks in order to accelerate the US war machine and advance the Zionist agenda.
Cheney presided over murder of 3,000 Americans
Dick Cheney watching the initial TV reports of planes hitting the Twin Towers in New York on September 11, 2001.Dick Cheney sitting in the US president's seat.Dr. Barrett, who's also an editor at Veterans Today, said ''Kristol, who is one of the 9/11 perpetrators who is going to be tried, convicted and hanged for mass murder and high treason when this comes out, is terrified that Trump might become president, because there is a chance that Trump might decide to clean house.''
''He might decide to put the neoconservatives who murdered 3,000 of their fellow Americans in the worst crime ever committed on American soil '' an act of high treason and mass murder '' he just might decide to bring back democracy by exposing this and prosecuting these people,'' he said.
''So Kristol is panicking. He'll do anything to stop Trump. And look who he is calling for to run his third party candidate against Trump: Dick Cheney, the man who presided over the murder of 3,000 Americans on 9/11, who directed the operation from the situation room. That's the guy that Kristol wants to run as the third party candidate against Trump,'' the analyst stated.
Jeb Bush's role in 9/11 murderous op
Jeb Bush, brother of George W. BushDr. Barrett said Kristol's second ''choice is Jeb Bush, the [former] governor of Florida, who's not only the brother of the president who was the figurehead overseeing the 9/11 coup d'etat '' Jeb Bush is actually a direct participant in the murderous operation of September 11th of 2001. Jeb Bush flew into the phony flight schools, which were actually CIA drug import airstrips in Florida, where the non-hijackers, the supposed hijackers, who were not on the planes at all, had been pretending learn to fly, going through the motion as they worked for the corrupt Bush wing of the CIA smuggling drugs.''
''Jeb Bush flew into those airstrips on a C-40 cargo plane and stole all the evidence showing these were not really flight schools, they were CIA drug import airstrips. That evidence had been seized by the police. He went to the police station, and he and his National Guard goons stole all that evidence at gunpoint from the police, and loaded that evidence into a C-40 cargo plane and flew out. This has been attested to by the police who were there and multiple witnesses and sources,'' he stated.
''It's all Daniel Hopsicker's book, Welcome to Terrorland. So no wonder Kristol, who is going to be literally tried, convicted, and hanged for the worst crime ever committed in America, along with his friends, Dick Cheney and Jeb Bush, is terrified by the possibility that this unpredictable loose cannon Donald Trump, who knows what happened on 9/11 and may not really like it, could become president,'' concluded the author of Questioning the War on Terror.
VIDEO-Why I Am Cancelling My Documentary on Hillary Clinton
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 14:07
In late 2012, CNN Films approached me about directing a documentary. We discussed a number of potential subjects, and eventually settled on Hillary Rodham Clinton. The film would be ambitious, controversial, and highly visible. But I felt that it was important, that I was qualified to do it, and that I could be fair. CNN gave me complete control ("final cut") over the theatrical version, and a generous budget.
And then the fun began. The day after the contract was signed, I received a message from Nick Merrill, Hillary Clinton's press secretary. He already knew about the film, and clearly had a source within CNN. He interrogated me; at first I answered, but eventually I stopped. When I requested an off-the-record, private conversation with Mrs. Clinton, Merrill replied that she was busy writing her book, and not speaking to the media.
Next came Phillipe Reines, Hillary Clinton's media fixer, who contacted various people at CNN, interrogated them, and expressed concern about alleged conflicts of interest generated because my film was a for-profit endeavor (as nearly all documentaries and news organizations are). When I contacted him, he declined to speak with me. He then repeated his allegations to Politico, which published them.
CNN and I decided to publicly confirm the film project to clear the air. Immediately afterwards, the chairman of the Republican National Committee announced that the Republicans would boycott CNN with regard to the Republican presidential primary debates in 2016. Shortly afterwards, the entire RNC voted to endorse this position. This did not surprise me. What did surprise me was that, quietly and privately, prominent Democrats made it known both to CNN and to me that they weren't delighted with the film, either.
Next came David Brock, who published an open letter on his highly partisan Democratic website Media Matters, in which he endorsed the Republican National Committee's position, repeating Reines' conflict of interest allegations and suggesting that my documentary would revive old, discredited Clinton scandal stories. Coming from Mr. Brock, this was rather amusing. David Brock began life as an ultraconservative "investigative journalist," quotation marks very much intended, spreading scandal with little regard for truth. He first attracted attention with The Real Anita Hill, his nasty (and factually wrong) hatchet job on the woman who, during Clarence Thomas' confirmation hearings, said that Thomas had sexually harassed her. Years later, he apologized and switched to the Democrats.
When Brock published his letter about my film, I got in touch with several prominent Democrats who knew Hillary Clinton. I told them that this campaign against the film and against CNN was counterproductive. They conveyed this message to Mrs. Clinton personally, along with my request to speak with her. The answer that came back was, basically, over my dead body.
None of this deterred or even greatly bothered me. I flew to New York and had a two hour meeting with CNN's President Jeff Zucker and his senior staff. They were great. They asked me how I was holding up -- I said fine. They pledged their support, expressed dismay that things were so nasty, and told me to go forth and make my film. I did so.
In June, I attended a dinner for Bill Clinton, which was educational. Clinton spoke passionately about his foundation, about African wildlife, inequality, childhood obesity, and much else with enormous factual command, emotion, and rhetorical power. But he and I also spoke privately. I asked him about the financial crisis. He paused and then became even more soulful, thoughtful, passionate, and articulate. And then he proceeded to tell me the most amazing lies I've heard in quite a while.
For example, Mr. Clinton sorrowfully lamented his inability to stop the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which banned all regulation of private (OTC) derivatives trading, and thereby greatly worsened the crisis. Mr. Clinton said that he and Larry Summers had argued with Alan Greenspan, but couldn't budge him, and then Congress passed the law by a veto-proof supermajority, tying his hands. Well, actually, the reason that the law passed by that overwhelming margin was because of the Clinton Administration's strong advocacy, including Congressional testimony by Larry Summers and harsh public and private attacks on advocates of regulation by Summers and Robert Rubin.
Wow, I thought, this guy is a really good actor. And I also saw one reason why Hillary Clinton might not be thrilled about my movie. I discovered others. In Arkansas, she joined the boards of Walmart and Tyson Foods. One of the largest donors to the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation is the government of Saudi Arabia. The Clintons' personal net worth now probably exceeds $200 million, and while earned legally, both the money's sources and the Clintons' public statements indicate a strong aversion to rocking boats or making powerful enemies.
It was not always thus. When Bill Clinton became President, he and Hillary initially attempted courageous reforms: allowing gays to serve in the military, a carbon tax, health care reform. But they got their heads handed to them: Colin Powell went on television telling America that if gays served in the military, morale would suffer. And the Clintons also learned about money, because back then they had none. When they were mercilessly hounded by Kenneth Starr and Congressional Republicans, culminating in impeachment, their legal bills soared and the Clintons fell many millions of dollars into debt. (To be sure, Bill Clinton poured gasoline on the fire by lying.) It is very clear that the Clintons then decided never to be at anyone's mercy again. And since Bill Clinton first became Governor of Arkansas, the cost of Presidential campaigns has gone from $66 million (both parties combined, in 1976) to an estimated $5 billion for 2016, when Hillary will run. So more than ever, the Clintons need money and the people who supply it.
I would have loved to explore all this. But when I approached people for interviews, I discovered that nobody, and I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film. Not Democrats, not Republicans -- and certainly nobody who works with the Clintons, wants access to the Clintons, or dreams of a position in a Hillary Clinton administration. Not even journalists who want access, which can easily be taken away. I even sensed potential difficulty in licensing archival footage from CBN (Pat Robertson) and from Fox. After approaching well over a hundred people, only two persons who had ever dealt with Mrs. Clinton would agree to an on-camera interview, and I suspected that even they would back out.
This, of course, was the real consequence, and probably the real intent, of the announcements by the RNC, Philippe Reines, and David Brock. Neither political party wanted the film made. After painful reflection, I decided that I couldn't make a film of which I would be proud. And so I'm cancelling. (Not because of any pressure from CNN -- quite the contrary.) It's a victory for the Clintons, and for the money machines that both political parties have now become. But I don't think that it's a victory for the media, or for the American people. I still believe that Mrs. Clinton has many virtues including great intelligence, fortitude, and a deep commitment to bettering the lives of women and children worldwide. But this is not her finest hour.
VIDEO-CNN Anchor Passes Out: Poppy Harlow Was Reporting on Terrorism Poll Results - Hollywood Reporter
Mon, 28 Dec 2015 18:15
CNN anchor Poppy Harlow briefly passed out during a live broadcast on Monday.
Harlow was reporting on the results of a CNN/ORC poll about whether people in the U.S. are "satisfied with how things are going in the war on terrorism" when she began making strange sounds, almost like she was slurring her words, before she stopped talking. Harlow couldn't be seen during this part of the broadcast, with the screen displaying a graphic with the poll results.
Later Harlow told viewers, "I got a little hot and I passed out for a moment. I am fine."
She shared a similar update on Twitter.
Thank you all for your concern and messages! I am ok! Passed out briefly and am with the doctor now. So thankful to our amazing CNN team.
'-- Poppy Harlow (@PoppyHarlowCNN) December 28, 2015The pregnant anchor later indicated that both she and the baby were doing fine.
Update from the hospital -- our little girl due this spring is doing just fine. Was a scare but we are both ok. Thank you all so much!
'-- Poppy Harlow (@PoppyHarlowCNN) December 28, 2015Harlow is the anchor of CNN Newsroom Weekend and a New York-based correspondent with the cable news network.
CNN declined to provide any additional comment.
VIDEO-Hitler's "Mein Kampf" to be published in Germany
Mon, 28 Dec 2015 06:37
A look at the strangest scenes from 2015Wed, Dec 23, 2015 -(0:43)
A world of Christmas treesTue, Dec 22, 2015 -(1:36)
Reuters most captivating animal pictures of...Tue, Dec 22, 2015 -(0:46)
Santa Claus is coming to townMon, Dec 21, 2015 -(1:27)
The year in 60 seconds: 2015 (graphic images)Wed, Dec 02, 2015 -(1:01)
Being Darth VaderWed, Dec 16, 2015 -(0:54)
Chelsea sack 'Special One' MourinhoFri, Dec 18, 2015 -(0:44)
Serena Williams wins SI Sportsperson of the...Thu, Dec 17, 2015 -(0:51)
Behind The Scenes of 'The Nutcracker'Mon, Dec 14, 2015 -(0:48)
Talking Climate COP21Sun, Dec 13, 2015 -(1:48)
Reuters Pictures of the Year 2015Wed, Dec 09, 2015 -(1:33)
The disappearance of Aletsch GlacierThu, Dec 03, 2015 -(1:00)
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)

Art

Image
Load image
Image
Load image
Loading troll messages...