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No Agenda Episode 462 - Flaming Groovies

By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, November 18, 2012 at 1:15 PM.

Flaming Groovies

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By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, November 18, 2012 at 1:15 PM.


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By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, November 18, 2012 at 1:15 PM.

Flaming Groovies

Executive Producer: Dame Astrid Klein

Associate Executive Producer: iCODING Technology Inc.

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Knighthoods: Dan Mack, Greg Stierley, Poppa Guido, Allan Martin

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Amerika Fuk Yeah

Federal Register | 36(b)(1) Arms Sales Notification

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Sun, 18 Nov 2012 13:46

Ms. B. English, DSCA/DBO/CFM, (703) 601-3740.

The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittal 12-49 with attached transmittal, and policy justification.

Dated: November 13, 2012.

Aaron Siegel,

Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.

Transmittal No. 12-49Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended(i) Prospective Purchaser: Qatar

(ii) Total Estimated Value:

Major Defense Equipment *$4.0 billionOther$2.5 billionTOTAL$6.5 billion(iii) Descriptionand Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase: 2 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Fire Units, 12 THAAD Launchers, 150 THAAD Interceptors, 2 THAAD Fire Control and Communications, 2 AN/TPY-2 THAAD Radars, and 1 Early Warning Radars (EWR). Also included are fire unit maintenance equipment, prime movers (trucks), generators, electrical power units, trailers, communications equipment, tools, test and maintenance equipment, repair and return, system integration and checkout, spare/repair parts, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics personnel support services, and other related support elements.

(iv) Military Department: Missile Defense Agency (VAA)

(v) Prior Related Cases, if any: None

(vi) Sales Commission, Fee, etc., Paid, Offered, or Agreed to be Paid: N/A

(vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article orDefense Services Proposed to be Sold: See Attached Annex

(viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: 2 November 2012

Policy JustificationQatar'--Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)The Government of Qatar has requested a possible sale of 2 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Fire Units, 12 THAAD Launchers, 150 THAAD Interceptors, 2 THAAD Fire Control and Communications, 2 AN/TPY-2 THAAD Radars, and 1 Early Warning Radar (EWR). Also included are fire unit maintenance equipment, prime movers (trucks), generators, electrical power units, trailers, communications equipment, tools, test and maintenance equipment, repair and return, system integration and checkout, spare/repair parts, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics personnel support services, and other related support elements. The estimated cost is $6.5 billion.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that has been and continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.

This proposed sale will help strengthen U.S. efforts to promote regional stability by enhancing regional defense capabilities of a key U.S. partner. The proposed sale will help strengthen Qatar's capability to counter current and future threats in the region and reduce dependence on U.S. forces. Qatar will have no difficulty absorbing this weapon system into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractors are Lockheed Martin Space Systems Corporation in Sunnyvale, California, and the sub-contractor is Raytheon Corporation in Andover, Massachusetts.

There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale at this time.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require periodic travel of up to 13 U.S. Government and contractor representatives to Qatar for an undetermined period for delivery, system checkout, and training as determined by the schedule. There is no known adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

Transmittal No. 12-49Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amendedAnnexItem No. vii(vii) Sensitivity of Technology

1. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD) Ballistic Missile Defense System contains classified Confidential/Secret components and critical/sensitive technology. The THAAD Fire Unit is a ground-based, forward deployable terminal missile defense system that represents significant technological advances. The THAAD System continues to hold a technology lead over other terminal ballistic missile systems. THAAD is the first weapon system with both endo- and exo-atmospheric capability developed specifically to defend against ballistic missiles. The higher altitude and theater-wide protection offered by THAAD provides more protection of larger areas than lower-tier systems alone. THAAD is designed to defend against short, medium, and intermediate range ballistic missiles. The THAAD system consists of four major components: Fire Control/Communications, Radar, Launchers, and Interceptors.

2. The THAAD Ballistic Missile Defense System contains sensitive/critical Technology, primarily in the area of design and production know-how and primarily inherent in the design, development and/or manufacturing data related to certain critical components. Information on operational effectiveness with respect to countermeasures and counter-counter measures, low observable technologies, select software documentation and test data are classified up to and including Secret.

3. If a technologically advanced adversary were to obtain knowledge of specific hardware, the information could be used to develop countermeasures which might reduce weapons system effectiveness or be used in the development of a system with similar or advanced capabilities.

[FR Doc. 2012-27956 Filed 11-15-12; 8:45 am]



Jimmy Savile's BBC colleague Dave Lee Travis arrested | The Australian

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Thu, 15 Nov 2012 23:55

Dave Lee Travis arrives home after leaving Aylesbury police station near Leighton Buzzard, England, last night. Picture: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Jimmy Savile and Dave Lee Travis on BBC's Top Of The Pops in 1975. Picture: SuppliedSource: Supplied

RADIO and TV presenter Dave Lee Travis was reportedly arrested on Thursday as part of the British police investigation set up in the wake of allegations against his BBC colleague Jimmy Savile.

Police said a man in his 60s was being held on suspicion of sexual offences, although they did not officially name him.

But British media widely reported that Travis, 67, was being questioned by detectives.

Travis, nicknamed the Hairy Cornflake, worked with Savile at BBC Radio 1 during the 1970s and 1980s and was one of the most recognisable faces in British broadcasting.

Last year Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi said his World Service music request show had helped her to get through more than two decades under house arrest. Travis met Suu Kyi when she visited BBC studios during a visit to Britain in June.

There is no suggestion that any accusations of paedophilia have been made against him, although two women have alleged in recent weeks that he groped them in the 1970s. He strongly denied the allegations when they were made.

Savile, one of the BBC's biggest stars for more than two decades, is believed to have preyed on under-age girls, sometimes on BBC premises.

Meanwhile, the BBC announced on Thursday it would pay former politician Alistair McAlpine STG185,000 ($A284,418) in damages for falsely implicating him in child sex abuse allegations.

A statement issued by the BBC late Thursday said: "The BBC has agreed terms with Lord McAlpine to settle his claim of libel against the Corporation. The settlement is comprehensive and reflects the gravity of the allegations that were wrongly made.''

McAlpine, Conservative party treasurer under Margaret Thatcher, responded: "I am delighted to have reached a quick and early settlement with the BBC. I have been conscious that any settlement will be paid by the licence fee-payers, and have taken that into account in reaching agreement with the BBC.

"We will now be continuing to seek settlements from other organisations that have published defamatory remarks and individuals who have used Twitter to defame me.''

The broadcaster has already apologised for linking McAlpine with abuse at a children's home in Wrexham in Wales in the 1970s.

The report broadcast by the BBC's flagship current affairs show Newsnight did not name him but he was quickly identified on social networking sites.

The false allegations, coming as the BBC was under intense scrutiny over its decision to spike a report about child abuse claims surrounding Savile, plunged the world's largest broadcaster into one of the worst crises in its history.

BBC director-general George Entwistle has resigned over the report, while two other top executives have also stood aside.

McAlpine said Thursday in an interview with BBC radio he had been "in a state of shock'' after he heard of the allegations.

"To suddenly find I was mixed up in all this - and I didn't know what Newsnight was going to say - it really was a horrendous shock."

It emerged that an abuse victim who had implicated McAlpine in the Newsnight report had not been shown a photograph of him.

Only after the report was broadcast did he realise McAlpine was not the man who had assaulted him.

McAlpine's lawyer Andrew Reid said that legal letters would be sent to individuals who mentioned the peer's name on the Internet, particularly Twitter.

Sally Bercow, wife of the House of Commons speaker, is believed to be one of those in line to be sued, and wrote on her Twitter account that she was seeking legal advice.

Britain's broadcasting watchdog Ofcom said it was investigating the program, and was also looking into a presenter from the ITV station after he brandished a list of alleged abusers he had gathered from the Internet and handed it to Prime Minister David Cameron during a live interview.

ITV said it had taken "appropriate disciplinary action'' over the incident last week in which presenter Phillip Schofield asked Cameron if he would investigate the names.

Police said Thursday the number of victims in the Savile investigation has risen to 450 from the figure of 300 it gave last month.

Although the vast majority of allegations are against the eccentric presenter, who died last year at the age of 84, the Scotland Yard probe has widened to include other figures in the entertainment industry.

Former glam rock star and convicted paedophile Gary Glitter, comedian Freddie Starr and a 73-year-old man have been arrested and bailed in connection with the investigation.


Link to Article

Source: aangirfan

Sat, 17 Nov 2012 15:04

Malcolm King.Malcolm King is a whistle-blower who helped expose the Welsh children's home sex abuse scandal.Two weeks ago, he "cheated death" in a car accident ­after his brakes failed.Malcolm King found his brake pedal unattached and lying on the car floor.My terror at hands of paedos - Daily Star - 17th November 2012Police are examining Malcolm King's motor to see if it was sabotaged.

The car, a well-maintained Volvo, careered across a busy road and was hit by an Alfa Romeo.

Malcolm King, 68, suffered a broken leg.

Labour councillor Malcolm King blew the whistle on a ­paedophile ring ­operating at north Wales children's homes in the mid-1980s.The ring allegedly ­involved MI5, Jimmy Savile, politicians, police chiefs and judges.

Malcolm King, a former chair of North Wales ­Police ­Authority, was one of only 12 people given copies of the 1996 Jillings Report, which named ­every abuser.

Deaths of former residents of children's homes in Clwyd:Robert Chapman, a former resident of Bryn Alyn, fell to his death from a railway bridge.Robert Arthur Smith, a former resident of Bryn Alyn, killed himself in May 1978, aged 16, by overdosing on painkillers.Barry Williams, former resident of Little Acton Assessment centre, Clywd, found dead in a flat where he lived in poverty, aged 21.Peter Davies died 1985.Adrian Johns, former resident of Bryn Alyn, died in a 1992 fire aged 32 in Brighton, Sussex. Verdict - unlawful killing.Heath Kelvin Jones, former resident of Bryn Alyn, found dead in 1992 in a bedsit, aged 18. Cause of death, acute respiratory failure due to solvent abuse.Peter Wynn hanged himself in January 1994, aged 27.

Brendon Randalls, former Bryn Estyn resident, died aged 27 from alcohol abuse in April 1994. Allegedly the victim of a serious sexual offence.Richard Williams was found dead in a car aged 18 in July 1994. Alleged to have suffered maltreatment while in care.Craig Wilson hanged himself in November 1994 aged 16.Lee Johns, also known as Lee Homberg , former resident of Bryn Alyn where it was alleged he had been sexually abused. Died in February 1995 aged 37.Mark Humphries hanged himself in February 1995 aged 31. Allegations of sexual abuse against care workers.Simon Birley, former resident of Bryn Estyn, was found hanging in May 1995 aged 27. Allegations he had been sexually abused by care worker.Tony Wallis found dead 1996."Some have even speculated that Princess Diana sealed her own fate after threatening to reveal networks of pedophilia within the Royal family. Indeed, Diana did speak of ''dark forces'' and members of an ''organization'' that were monitoring her shortly before her death."The Prince and the Pedophile

Pillar of Cloud

Israeli Election Table

Fars News Agency :: Locations of Hamas Leaders Identified during Qatari Emir's Recent Visit to Gaza

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Sun, 18 Nov 2012 00:29

The emir of Qatar gifted a number of watches and ballpoint pens to Hamas leaders, which transmitted low-frequency signals to Israeli satellites, the sources, who asked to remain unnamed due to the sensitivity of the information, told FNA, adding that the Israeli military officials would then use the received signals to spot and assassinate senior Hamas officials.

Sheikh Hamad arrived in Gaza on October 23 to become the first head of state to visit the besieged enclave since the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, took power in the territory five years ago.

Qatar's emir has repeatedly met with Israeli leaders, and is working hard to boost the diplomatic clout of his small Persian Gulf country.

The Israeli military frequently carries out airstrikes and other attacks on Gaza Strip.The new wave of Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip has claimed more than 41 lives since November 14. Ahmed al-Ja'abari, the popular and influential head of the Hamas military wing, the Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades, was assassinated in an Israeli attack on his car on Wednesday.

On Friday, Ahmed Abu Jalal, a field commander of the Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades, was also killed in an Israeli airstrike on the central Gaza district of Maghazi.

Operation Pillar of Cloud - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Fri, 16 Nov 2012 18:29

For the manifestations of the presence of the God of Israel in the Torah, see Pillar of Cloud.Operation Pillar of Cloud[3] (Hebrew: ×ַמּוּ×' ×Ö¸× Ö¸×Ÿ, Amºd Ann) is an Israel Defense Forces operation in the Gaza Strip, officially launched on 14 November 2012 with the killing of Ahmed Jabari, chief of the Gaza military wing of Hamas.[4][5][6] This operation comes after several Israeli air strikes on Gaza and Counterattack by Gazan missles.

The Israeli strikes killed 19 Palestinians including 7 militants and twelve civilians.[7][8]

Palestinian militants further intensified their rocket attacks on Israel, firing over 300 Iranian Fajr-5 and Russian Grad rockets, Qassams and mortars into Israeli cities and towns. Three Israelis were killed in a direct hit on a home in Kiryat Malachi,[4] and rockets hit Tel Aviv for the first time since the 1991 Gulf War.[9]

Russia,[10]Egypt, Turkey and several other Arab and Muslim countries condemned the Israeli operation.[11][12][13][14] The European Union, United States, United Kingdom, and several other Western countries condemned the Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel and/or expressed support for Israel's right to defend its citizens. China[15] and France[16] expressed concern for the possibility of civilian casualties and urged restraint. The United Nations Security Council held an emergency session on the situation but reached no decision.[17]

BackgroundAccording to the Israel Security Agency, rockets have been launched from Gaza into Israel continually throughout 2012. There were 92 rockets attacks in October.[18] On the last 11 years Gazan missiles killed 21 Israeli, while Palestinians claim, without confirmation, that Israel responses killed over 1477 children and in the past 5 years Israel killed 2300 and wounded 7700 in Gaza only[19].

5''13 NovemberOn 5 November, during a period of heightened tension, militant groups firing rockets and mortars into Israel, soldiers killed a 20-year-old Palestinian who ignored Israeli warning shots when he neared the Gaza''Israel border fence. According to Palestinian medics, the man had learning difficulties.[20][21] On the 5th of November a Palestinian road side bomb exploded and Israeli soldiers were injured. On 8 November, the IDF made a short-range incursion into Gaza after finding more bombs along the border, leading to a gunfight with the Popular Resistance Committees.[22] During the clash, a 13-year-old Palestinian boy was killed "by machine-gun fire, either from IDF helicopters or tanks that took part in the incident."[23][24] Later that day, Palestinian militants detonated an explosives-packed tunnel they had dug on the border, wounding four Israeli soldiers.[25][26][24]

Qassam rocket attacks took place on 9 November.[27][28][29] though none of the rocket attacks resulted in any Israeli casualties.

On 10 November, militants fired an anti-tank missile at an IDF Jeep on routine patrol near Israel's side of the border, wounding four soldiers one of whom is in critical condition.[30][26][31][32][33] The IDF shelled the source of the fire and pre-chosen targets in the Sa'ajiya area. Hamas spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said that four teenagers were killed.[34][32] Militants then fired at least 30 rockets and several mortars into Israel, prompting Israelis in the area to seek shelter.[22][35]

The sides continued to exchange fire for several days after the incident. Militants fired more than 150 rockets, striking Israeli homes. Several Israelis were wounded, including two whose car was hit.[31][36] Schools across southern Israel were closed.[37] Israel carried out further airstrikes in Gaza, killing six militants.[32]

In the days before the operation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that "Israel's reaction will come at the appropriate time." However, following a cabinet meeting in the morning before the operation, Minister Benny Begin said that "the current exchange of hostilities seems to be over". According to one Israeli analyst, these mixed messages, the expected diplomatic repercussions from Egypt and the risks of a war on the eve of the Israeli elections are three factors designed to foster a laissez-faire atmosphere for Gaza's Palestinian leaders.[vague][38]

On 12 November, Hamas and PIJ officials indicated a willingness to discuss a ceasefire. A PIJ spokesman said, "The ball is in Israel's court. The resistance factions will observe Israel's behavior on the ground and will act accordingly." However, the Israeli military claims Palestinians fired 12 rockets on 12 November.[39] Two rockets were fired into Israel during the day. Israel asked the UN Security Council to berate the rocket attacks, with Barak saying that Israel "would not accept the harm to daily life of our civilians".[39][40]

The operation14 NovemberThe operation began about 16h (Israel time) with an airstrike targeting Ahmed Jabari, chief of Hamas's military wing.[41] Osama Hamdan, a Hamas representative in Lebanon, said the airstrike also killed Jabari's son. The IDF released a video of this airstrike.[42] On the same day, an Israeli round hit the home of Jihad Mishrawi, a BBC Arabic video editor residing in Gaza. The airstrike killed his 11-month old son Omar, and his sister in law. Mishrawi told the BBC Middle East bureau chief that there had been no fighting in his residential neighbourhood at the time of the attack.[43]

The IDF also struck against 20 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, including underground rocket launchers and an ammunition warehouse stocking Iranian-made, long-range Fajr-5 missiles.[44] The IDF said that many of the targeted weapon stashes were in residential areas and evidenced "the pattern of Hamas to use the population in Gaza as human shields." Israel claims to have destroyed most of this long-range capability.[45] An IDF spokesman said that the goal of the operation is to "bring back quiet to southern Israel, and... to strike at terror organizations."[45] At the same time, Israeli spokespersons said that it would try "to avoid civilian casualties."[46]

Gazan militants continued to fire rockets towards the Israeli cities of Beersheba, Ashdod, Ofakim and the Shaar Hanegev and Eshkol Regional Council. The Iron Dome missile defense system made 130 interceptions.[47] About 55 rockets were launched on the evening of 14 November, including a Grad rocket fired in the direction of the Negev Nuclear Research Center near Dimona.[48] On the night of 14 November, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the Israeli cabinet had authorized a partial call-up of reservists in case they were needed for a large ground-based operation.[49]

15 NovemberOn 15 November, all schools within 40 kilometers of the Gaza Strip were closed down. An 8-month old girl was killed in Gaza when her house was shelled.[50] In total, 15 Palestinians were killed, including five militants and two children during the airstrikes.[8][51][52][53]

Thirteen Israelis were treated for injuries suffered during the night. Three Israelis, a man and two women, were killed when a rocket struck a four-storey building in Kiryat Malachi. Magen David Adom paramedics treated five wounded people at the scene, including a 11-month-old child who was critically injured. A further five missiles were fired at the town as emergency services attempted to rescue those trapped inside the debris. A residence in Ashdod and a school in Ofakim were struck by rockets. The Israeli air force distributed leaflets over Gaza telling residents to keep a distance from Palestinian forces and their facilities.[54]

Also on 15 November, at least two Fajr rockets landed in the suburbs of Tel Aviv. No injuries were reported. This was the first time that Gush Dan has been targeted by missiles since the Persian Gulf War, when Saddam Hussein launched a number of Scud missiles at Israel.[55] On the night of 15 November, the Israeli Air Force launched a series of 70 bombing runs to destroy what it said were underground medium-range rocket launchers.[56]

16 NovemberThe prime minister of Egypt, Hisham Qandil, paid a visit to the Gaza Strip on 16 November. His official purpose of the visit was to "show solidarity with the Palestinian people." He arranged for a 3-hour ceasefire to accommodate his visit. The Israeli army reported that about 50 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip during this window. Hamas argued that the IDF bombed a Hamas commander's house in Gaza during the ceasefire, but the IDF denies the claim.[57]

Casualties19 Palestinians have been killed to date, including 7 militants and twelve civilians, among them were a pregnant woman and six children.[7][58]

Ahmed Jabari, 52, operational commander of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas.[58]Muhammad al-Hams, 28, bodyguard of Jabari.[58]Ismail Qandil, 24, member of the Izz-ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.[59]Rami Hamad, member of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.[60]Khaled Abu Nasr, member of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.[60]Issam Abu al-Maaz, 20, member of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.[61]Hisham Muhammad al-Ghalban, 25, member of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.[62][58]Wael Haidar al-Ghalban, 28, member of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.[62]Habes Masmah, 30, Hamas security commander.[62][58]Fares al-Bassiouni[60]Tareq Jamal Naser, 16,[60]Oday Jamal Nasser, 14[60]Omar/Ahmad Mashharawi, 11 months[61]Hiba Mashharawi, 19[61]Muhammad Abu Swawen, 65[61]Muhammad/Hani Kasih, 18[61]Rinan Arafat, 7[61]Haneen Tafish,[63] 8 months[50]Unnamed girl, 2 years old[64]Unnamed woman, pregnant with twins[64]Three Israeli civilians, two men and one woman,[50] have also been killed:[65]

Yitzchak Amsallem, 22Ahron Smadja, 49Mirah Scharf, 26, pregnant[66]Social media and InternetThe IDF made widespread use of Twitter and a liveblog to give an up-to-date account of its operations. The military wing of Hamas also made use of Twitter, publicising its rocket and mortar attacks and tweeting when Israeli casualties were reported.[67]Foreign Policy magazine labeled this effort a "milestone in military communications."[69] The use of Twitter in military engagements had previously been used by the KDF in its operation against Al Shabaab in Somalia in 2011.[70][71][72] The IDF's Twitter account gained more than 50,000 new followers in 24 hours.[73]

Hamas were accused of using pictures of children that have been injured or killed in Syria and presenting them in the social media as Palestinian dead. One of its tweets about the Israeli strikes contained a picture of a dead girl that previously been posted on the Syrians & Friends Facebook page in October.[74][75][76] Another photo of explosions that was uploaded to the Facebook page affiliated with Hamas appeared to be digitally altered.[67] There were suggestions that a Gazan man had feigned injury, being seen carried by Palestinians in apparent discomfort, and yet moments later walking on his own.[77][78][better source needed]

Anonymous attacked many Israeli websites in response to the IDF offensive in Gaza and claims to have taken down at least 50 sites.[79] Many of the websites were replaced with messages condemning the Israeli campaign and expressing support for the citizens of Gaza.[80] Hackers from Kuwait disrupted the website of Likud MK Danny Danon, who had posted an online petition urging the government of Israel to cease providing the Gaza Strip with electricity.[81]

ReactionsInternationalIsraelOn the first day of the operation, Prime Minister of IsraelBenjamin Netanyahu said "Today we sent a clear message to Hamas and other terrorist organisations, and if it becomes necessary we are prepared to expand the operation."[82] According to Haaretz, PresidentShimon Peres updated US PresidentBarack Obama by phone and told him "Israel does not want an escalation but for the last five days we were under nonstop bombardment, mothers and children cannot sleep in peace at night. There is a limit to what Israel can withstand. Ahmed Jabari was behind many terror activities."[83]Most Israeli political leaders, including Tzipi Livni, Shelly Yachimovich, Shaul Mofaz, and Naftali Bennett applauded the operation. However, leaders of the left-wing Meretz party voiced opposition on the radio and online.[84] The Israeli Foreign Ministry went into semi-emergency mode, canceling all vacations for its Jerusalem staffers.[83]

HamasFawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas, called the assassination of Ahmed Jabari an act of war.[85] On 14 November 2012, a statement from the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades said "The occupation has opened the gates of hell on itself" and vowed that its militants would "continue the path of resistance".[86] Similarly Abu Ahmed, a spokesman for the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, called the assassination a "declaration of war" pledging a response within hours.[85]Palestinian National AuthorityPalestinian officials have asked the U.N. Security Council to act to halt Israel's military operation in Gaza.[87] President Mahmoud Abbas cut short a tour of Europe to return to the West Bank.[88]United NationsThe United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting on the situation during the night of 14''15 November and came to no decision. President Pro Tempore of the Council Hardeep Singh Puri subsequently told reporters: ''In short, the message that must resonate from this meeting is 'the violence has to stop'''.[89]European UnionEU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said: "The rocket attacks by Hamas and other factions in Gaza, which began this current crisis are totally unacceptable for any government and must stop. Israel has the right to protect its population from these kind of attacks. I urge Israel to ensure that its response is proportionate."[90]AustraliaThe Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, stated that "The government condemns the repeated rocket and mortar attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip and calls on Hamas to cease these immediately. Australia supports Israel's right to defend itself against these indiscriminate attacks. Such attacks on Israel's civilian population are utterly unacceptable."[91]BelgiumBelgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders stressed "Israel's legitimate right to defend its population against these attacks" and called for a "measured response".[92]BulgariaBulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov defended "the right of Israeli citizens to live peacefully" and condemned the rocket attacks by "Hamas and other militant groups". At the same time he urged Israel to take "strict measures to avoid civilian casualties among the Palestinian population" and expressed condolences to the families of victims among the civilian population on both sides.[93]CanadaCanadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, John Baird, issued a statement stating, ''We fundamentally believe that Israel has the right to defend itself and its citizens from terrorist threats. Far too often, the Jewish people find themselves on the front lines in the struggle against terrorism, the great struggle of our generation. Just last weekend, more than 100 rockets rained down on civilians in southern Israel from positions in the Gaza Strip. Canada condemns the terrorist group Hamas and stands with Israel as it deals with regional threats to peace and security.''[94]Czech RepublicThe Czech Foreign Ministry released a statement saying: "The Czech Republic deeply regrets the loss of civilian lives in Israel and Gaza as well as the current escalation of the situation. The Czech Republic fully recognizes Israel's right to self defense against rocket barrage carried out by the militant organizations in the Gaza Strip while underlining importance of avoiding civilian casualties. The Czech Republic calls on both sides to refrain from all forms of violence and provocative actions and to bring quiet to the civilian population of both sides.[95]EgyptEgyptian PresidentMohamed Morsi sated that "The Israelis must realise that this aggression is unacceptable and would only lead to instability in the region" and expressed solidarity with the people of Gaza.[96] The Foreign Ministry of Egypt berated the operation and called on Israel to halt its attacks. According to The Guardian, the chairman of the Freedom and Justice party, Saad El-Katatni, said: "The Egyptian people revolted against injustice and will not accept an attack on Gaza. The brutal aggression on Gaza proves that Israel has not yet learned that Egypt has changed".[97] The recently appointed Egyptian ambassador to Israel, Yasser Reda, has been summoned back to his capital, for briefing, in reaction to the strikes.[98] An Egyptian official reported that Egyptian hospitals are ready to receive wounded Palestinians and that the Rafah Crossing will remain open.[99] Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil announced his plan to visit Gaza on Friday, 16 November.[100]FranceThe French Foreign Ministry released a statement saying: "France is exceedingly worried about the deteriorating situation in Gaza and the South of Israel. It is calling on the parties to refrain from any escalation of violence since the Israeli and the Palestinian civilian population would inevitably pay the price." French ambassador to Israel Christophe Bigot visited Kiryat Malachi, where three Israeli civilians were killed, and expressed his solidarity with Israeli victims of rocket attacks.[101]GermanyGerman Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said: "It is obvious that Israel has a legitimate right to defend itself and protect its own citizens against rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip... Now it is necessary that everyone contributes to deescalating the situation. Everybody needs to understand that we need to prevent worse things from happening. We call upon all parties to act wisely and in a deescalating manner."[101] A spokesperson for Chancellor Angela Merkel said: "Hamas in Gaza is responsible for the outbreak of violence. There is no justification for the shooting of rockets at Israel, which has led to massive suffering of the civilian population. The Chancellor urges those responsible in the Gaza Strip to immediately stop firing on Israel. At the same time she calls on the Egyptian government to use its influence on Hamas to limit the violence and bring it to an end."[90]HungaryThe Hungarian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying, "We regard it as a necessity that the sides exercise self-restraint and desist from the use of violence. We support all efforts which facilitate the termination of fighting."[102]IranForeign Ministry spokesmanRamin Mehmanparast berated the Israeli strikes, saying that they were a "sign of the regime's brutal nature".[103]JordanJordanian Information Minister Sameeh Maaytah said: "Israel's aggressive policy placed the area again in a cycle of violence and instability. This additional hostility... closes all doors on negotiations and the achievement of political arrangements. Israel deprives the Palestinian people of their political and national right to create an independent state... Israel's aggression needs to be stopped and the Palestinian people need to be protected."[101]NetherlandsDutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said Hamas is guilty for the escalation: "Hamas has attacked Israel by firing rockets over and over again. Doing this makes Hamas the mainactor that is guilty for the Israeli reaction". He also said: "Let it be clear that the currect created and unbelievable sorrow of the people in the Gazastrip is in first place the result of Hamas' actions". Beside that he stated: "Israel has the full right to defend itself as long as its does this in a proportional way".Non-Aligned MovementA statement released by Iran, which holds the rotating presidency of the bloc, condemned the Israeli air strikes.[104]NorwayNorwegian Foreign Minister said he is worried about the escalation of violence between the Palestinians and Israelis of which leader of the Hamas military Ahmed Jabar was killed. He said the rocket attacks on Israel are "clearly unacceptable" and that Israel has a right to defend itself. He added that reactions must be proportional and must distinguish between combatants and non-combatants.[105], refusing and postponing to say whether the Israeli response indeed was "within acceptable limits".[106]QatarAfter a meeting in the Saudi capital between Gulf Cooperation Council Foreign Ministers and their Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to discuss Syrian Civil War, SheikhHamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani told journalists "I condemn in the name of Qatar... This filthy crime must not pass without a punishment. The UN Security Council must shoulder its responsibilities in preserving peace and security in the world."[107]RussiaRussian Foreign MinisterSergei Lavrov called for end to the violence after a meeting held with Gulf Arab foreign ministers in Riyadh.[108] Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said: "The attacks on southern Israel, as well as Israel's disproportionate shelling, are entirely unacceptable. We urge all sides to end the military confrontation immediately and to prevent a new round of bloodshed in the Gaza Strip."[101]SyriaThe Syrian Government called Israel's actions "barbaric, reprehensible crimes" and called on the international community to pressure Israel into halting its strikes.[109]TurkeyForeign Ministry of Turkey condemned the Israeli strikes with a written statement. "We strongly condemn this Israeli attack and immediately demand that it be stopped," the statement said, adding that no country, Israel included, is above international law.[110]United KingdomForeign Secretary William Hague said: "Hamas bears principal responsibility for the current crisis. I utterly condemn rocket attacks from Gaza into southern Israel by Hamas and other armed groups. This creates an intolerable situation for Israeli civilians in southern Israel, who have the right to live without fear of attack from Gaza." He also called on all those involved "to avoid any action which risks civilian casualties or escalates the crisis."[111]United StatesThe U.S. Department of State issued a press release stating, "We strongly condemn the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel, and we regret the death and injury of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused by the ensuing violence." The statement offered support for Israel's right to self-defense and urged Israel to avoid civilian casualties in its military operations.[112]Non-governmental organizationsAmnesty International said that both sides should stop the violence, and Ann Harrison, Deputy Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme, said "The Israeli military must not carry out further indiscriminate attacks, or attacks in densely populated residential areas that will inevitably harm civilians." and "Palestinian armed groups in Gaza meanwhile must not fire indiscriminate rockets into Israel. The international community must put pressure on both sides to fully respect the laws of war and protect civilian lives and property."[113]Human Rights Watch said that ''Israeli and Palestinian forces alike need to make all feasible efforts to avoid harming civilians,'' and ''there is no justification for Palestinian armed groups unlawfully launching rockets at Israeli population centers.''[114]The Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem warned both sides about causing civilian deaths and stated: "Protection of civilians stands at the heart of international humanitarian law. They must never be targeted; all measures must be taken to protect them. B'Tselem demands that the Israeli government respect these principles at all times and under all circumstances."[115]The J Street organization said it "stands with Israel and its right to defend itself from all threats to its people and territory. Our sympathies go out to the Israeli victims and families caught in the violence. We reiterate our call on Hamas to immediately cease rocket attacks on Israel and to ensure that other groups in Gaza desist as well." It also urged Israel to avoid civilian casualties and hoped for President Obama to "mobilize international partners to broker a ceasefire quickly."[116]References^"Iran ready to send humanitarian aid to Gaza: FM Salehi". PressTV. Retrieved 16 November 2012.^Benhorin, Yitzhak; Curiel, Ilana; Levy, Elior; Zitun, Yoav (2012'11'15). "3 killed by rocket fire on Kiryat Malachi". YNet News.,7340,L-4305658,00.html. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^"Chief of Staff Declares 'Operation Pillar of Cloud'". Arutz Sheva (Israel national news). 14 November 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012.^ ab"Day 2: 300+ Rockets Fired at Israel Since Start of Operation Pillar of Defense". Algemeiner. November 15, 2012 15h10. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^Lappin, Yaakov (2012'11'14). "Israeli air strike kills top Hamas commander Jabari". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 14 November 2012.^Kalman, Matthew (15 November 2012). "Massed Israeli troops poised for invasion of Gaza". The Independent (UK). Retrieved 15 November 2012.^ abRabinovitch, Ari (2012-11-16). "Israel's military begins calling up 16,000 reservists". Reuters. Retrieved 16/11/2012.^ abBrulliard, Karin (15 November 2012). "15 Palestinians, 3 Israelis dead as intense air assaults and rocket fire continue". The Washington Post. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^Lappin, Yaakov; Lazaroff, Tovah (15 November 2012), "Gaza rocket hits area south of Tel Aviv for first time", The Jerusalem Post,^"Russia condemns 'disproportionate' strikes on Gaza". LB: The Daily Star. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^"At the UN, Pakistan slams Israel's offensive in Gaza". PK: The Express Tribune. 2012'11'15. Retrieved 16 November 2012.^"Morocco Strongly Condemns Israeli Raids on Gaza". Rabat, BH: Bahrain News Agency. 2012-11-15. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^"Sudanese president condemns Israeli strikes on Gaza". CN: The Global Times. 2012-11-15. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^"Lebanese president: Israeli attack on Gaza obstructs peace". NOW Lebanon. November 15, 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^"China voices grave concern over Israeli military operation in Gaza". Beijing, CN; IN: Newstrack. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.^Kais, Roi (2012'11'15). "France urges restraint, says violence leads nowhere". Ynet news.,7340,L-4306164,00.html. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^"Gaza toll rises as UN calls for end to the bloodshed". UK: The Telegraph. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^Monthly summary '' October 2012. Israel Security Agency.^"Gaza under attack: Israel assassinates a Palestinian during ongoing assault on Gaza". Occupied Palestine (Word press). 2012'10'24. Retrieved 2012'11'16.^"IDF fires on Palestinian approaching Gaza fence". The Jerusalem Post. 5 November 2012.^"Soldiers shoot dead 20-year-old man near Gaza border". Maan. 6/11/2012.^ ab"Barrage of rocket attacks slam southern Israel". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^Lappin, Yaakov (2012'11'8). "Palestinian report: IDF kills 13-year-old in Gaza". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^ abAlmughrabi, Nidal; Heller, Jeffrey (8 November 2012). "Israeli gunfire kills Palestinian boy in Gaza clash: medics". Reuters. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^Lappin, Yaakov (9 November 2012). "Gazans set off explosives in massive tunnel". The Jerusalem Post.^ abMartin, Patrick (13 November 2012). "Israel and Gaza step back from the brink". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^Ben Gedalyahu, Tzvi (4 November 2012). "Qassam Rocket Attack: No Injuries, No Damage and No Report". Israel National News. Retrieved 2012'11'16.^"רק×ת ק×א×' ×--תפו×...×...×-- ב×(C)××— פתוח במו××...×-- ×--אזור×ת א×(C)כו×', א×ן × ×¤×'×××' [Qassam rockets exploded in the open in the Eskhol regional council, no injuries]" (in Hebrew). News (IL: Nana10). Retrieved 15 November 2012.^Benari, Elad (9 November 2012). "Gaza Rockets Explode in Eshkol Region". Arutz Sheva (Israel National News).^"Live Updates: IDF Launches Widespread Attack on Gaza Terror Targets". Israel Defense Forces. 14''6 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.^ abLappin, Yaacov (12 November 2012). "Gaza groups pound Israel with over 100 rockets". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 14 November 2012.^ abcBarzak, Ibrahim (10 November 2012). "After attack on jeep, Israeli army kills 4 in Gaza". Associated Press. Retrieved 14 November 2012.^Akram, Kershner; Fares, Isabel (2011'11'10''1). "Violence Surges on Israeli-Gaza Border". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^Lappin, Yaakov (10 November 2012). "Gazan anti-tank missile hits IDF jeep, injuring four". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2012'11'16.^Cohen, Gili; Kubovich, Yaniv; Khoury, Jack; Issacharoff, Avi (10 November 2012). "Four IDF soldiers wounded when Gaza anti-tank missile hits jeep on border". Haaretz (IL).^"Rockets hit homes in south as fire continues for second day". The Times of Israel. November 11, 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012.^"Schools closed after rockets hit Israel". Israel Today. Retrieved 14 November 2012.^Segal, Udi (15 November 2012). "Under the surface: The Israeli deception that preceeded the operation in the Gaza Strip" (in Hebrew). Channel 2 News. IL. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^ abBalmer, Crispian; Nidal al-Mughrabi (12 November 2012). "Gaza militants signal truce with Israel after rockets". Reuters. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^Lappin, Yaakov (2012'11'11). "Egypt mediates tahcit truce on Gaza border". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^Henderson, Barney (14 November 2012). "Hamas military chief killed in Gaza air strike". The Daily Telegraph (UK).^"Israeli air strike on Hamas military chief '' video released by IDF". UK: The Guardian. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.^Fisher, Max (2012-11-15). "The story behind the photo: Journalist's 11-month-old son killed in Gaza strikes". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 16, 2012.^Harel, Amos; Issacharoff, Avi; Cohen, Gili (14 November 2012). "Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari killed by Israeli strike". Haaretz (IL). Retrieved 14 November 2012.^ abLappin, Yaakov (14 November 2012). "Israeli air strike kills Hamas military chief". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 14 November 2012.^"Gaza rocket fire persists; gov't okays IDF reserves call-up". Ynet news (IL). 15 November 2012.,7340,L-4305624,00.html. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^Zitun, Yoav (2012'11'15). "Gaza op: IDF attacked 310 targets; 120 rockets intercepted". Ynet news (IL).,7340,L-4306366,00.html. "IDF sources said that since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense 320 terror targets were successfully attacked in Gaza. In addition they stated that the defensive missile system Iron Dome has successfully intercepted 130 rockets fired at Israel."^"Iron Dome intercepts 13 Gaza rockets; 6 land near Beersheba". The Jerusalem Post. 14''5 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.^Ben Zion, Ilan (14 November 2012). "Wider offensive and possible ground operation on the table, as cabinet okays reserves call-up". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^ abcBrulliard, Karin (15 November 2012). "Brief truce quickly collapses as Egypt's PM visits Gaza". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 16 2012.^"Three dead in rocket attack on Kiryat Malachi". The Times of Israel. 14 November 2012. Retrieved 2012'11'16.^Connolly, Kevin (2012'11'14). "Three Israelis killed by Gaza rocket as violence escalates". UK: BBC. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^Lappin, Yaakov (15 November 2012). "Gaza terrorists fire two rockets at Tel Aviv". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^"Israel army drops leaflets over Gaza Strip". Maan. 15 November 2012.^"IDF pummels Gaza, orders call-up, after rockets encroach on Tel Aviv area". The Times of Israel. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^Lappin, Yaakov (2012'11'15). "Air Force hits 70 Gaza Strip targets in an hour". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^Greenwood, Phoebe; Damien McElroy and Richard Spencer (16 November 2012). "Israel and Gaza conflict: rocket from Gaza lands near Jerusalem". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 November 2012.^ abcde"Israeli Airstrikes Kill 3 Palestinians in Gaza, Raising Death Toll to 11". Wafa (Gaza, PS: Palestine News & Information Agency). 15 November 2012. Retrieved 2012'11'16.^"Israel renews airstrikes on Gaza, 2 dead", Ma'an News (Gaza, PS), 2012-11-16,^ abcde"Gaza assault live report: Day 2", Ma'an News (Gaza, PS), 16 November 2012,^ abcdef"8 victims of Gaza attacks identified", Ma'an News (Gaza, PS), 15-11-2012,^ abc"Rocket kills 3 Israelis after deadly airstrike", Ma'an News (Gaza, PS), 15 November 2012,^Abdul-Karim, Reyham; Brulliard, Karin (15 November 2012). "Civilians in Gaza, Israel suffer amid conflict". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012 November 16.^ ab"Gaza: Children and militants are buried as conflict grows". The Telegraph (UK). 15 November 2012.^Lubin, Annie (2012-11-15). "Mirah Scharf, Killed by Missile, Laid to Rest". Arutz Sheva (Israel national news).^"Gaza crisis: pregnant Israeli missionary among those killed as Hamas wreaks revenge". The Telegraph (UK). 15 November 2012.^ ab"Hamas Shoots Rockets at Tel Aviv, Tweeting Every Barrage". Wired. Retrieved November 15, 2012.^Friedman, Uri (15 November 2012). "Israel Defense Forces live blogs Gaza offensive". Foreign Policy (World Wide Web log).^Smith, David. "Al-Shabaab in war of words with Kenyan army on Twitter". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 November 2012.^Chirchir, Major Emmanuel. "Mj. E Chirchir". Twitter. Retrieved 16 November 2012.^Al Shabaab. "Official account". Twitter. Retrieved 16 November 2012.^Bohn, Lauren E (15 November 2012). "Israel and Hamas battle on social media as well". Associated Press. Boston Globe. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^"Busted: Hamas Tweeted Months-Old Picture From Rebel Attack In Syria". Business Insider. Retrieved November 15, 2012.^"Hamas Recycles Pictures of Syrian Dead". Tablet Magazine. Retrieved November 15, 2012.^"Hamas uses photo of dead Syrian girl to provoke anti-Israel support". The Global Dispatch. Retrieved November 15, 2012.^"Gaza Man Caught Faking Injuries to Create Anti-Israel Media Bias? Here's the Video Evidence". The Blaze. Retrieved November 15, 2012.^"Exposed: Palestinians Faking Injuries for World Media as 'Pallywood' Returns to Gaza". American Thinker. Retrieved November 15, 2012.^"Anonymous targets Israeli websites in response to Gaza conflict". NBC News. Retrieved November 15, 2012.^"Anonymous attacks Israeli Web sites", The New York Times, 2012'11'15,^Harkov, Lahav (15 November 2012). "Danon hacked after he petitions to cut Gaza power". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 16 November 2012.^Hamas military chief killed in Israeli air strike on Gaza. France 24. 2012'11'14.^ abRavid, Barak (14 November 2012). "Jerusalem preparing for 'significant expansion' of Gaza operation, says government official". Haaretz. Retrieved 14 November 2012.^"Politicians voice support for Jabari assassination". The Jerusalem Post. 14 November 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012.^ ab"Hamas: Assassination is a declaration of war". The Jerusalem Post. 14 November 2012.^Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari killed by Israeli air strike, Israel launches Gaza op. Voice of Russia. 2012'11'14.^"Palestinians ask UN Security Council in emergency session to stop Israel's Gaza attacks". The Washington Post. November 15.^"Abbas returning to Ramallah due to Gaza crisis". Reuters. The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 16 November 2012.^"Rockets pound Israel, Gaza as Netanyahu alleges 'double war crime'". CNN. 15 November 2012.^ abEU's Ashton: Israel has a right to defend itself, Jerusalem Post 16-11-2012^"Gillard condemns attacks on Israel" (Press release). AU: Fairfax Media. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.^Les ministres europ(C)ens mettent en garde Isral quant l'escalade de la violence Gaza, 16-11-2012^"Foreign minister Nikolay Mladenov commenting on the situation in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip". Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Bulgaria). 15 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.^"Canada Condemns Hamas and Stands with Israel" (Press release). CA: Foreign Affairs and International Trade. 14 November 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^Statement of MFA on Israel and the Gaza Strip, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic 15-11-2012^Harriet, Sherwood. "Egyptian president condemns Israel's 'aggression' in Gaza". UK: The Guardian. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^"Egypt condemns Israeli air strikes in Gaza and demands ceasefire". The Guardian (UK). 2012'11'14.^Kais, Roi (14 November 2012). "Egypt recalls ambassador after Jabari hit". Ynetnews (IL).,7340,L-4305587,00.html. Retrieved 14 November 2012.^"Egyptian hospitals prepare for Gaza victims". Ma'an. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^"Egyptian delegation to visit Gaza on Friday". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^ abcd"Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Russia chorus condemnation of Israel's resort to force, US leads Western supporters". The Times of Israel. 15 November 2012.^"Statement on the latest developments in the Middle East". Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.^"Iran Condemns Israel's Fresh Strikes on Gaza". Fars News Agency. 14 November 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012.^"Rocket Attacks and Airstrikes Intensify in Gaza Conflict". The New York Times. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^"Espen Barth Eide: - Vi ser med stor bekymring p¥ eskaleringen av volden" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten (NO).^"NRK". TV (NO).^"Qatar wants Israel punished for Gaza attacks". Reuters. 2012'11'14.^al-Sharif, Asma (14 November 2012). "Russia calls for end to attacks, violence in Gaza". Reuters. Retrieved 14 November 2012.^Sabbagh, H. (14 November 2012). "Syrian Government Denounces Barbaric Israeli Crimes against Palestinian People in Gaza". Syrian Arab News Agency. Retrieved 14 November 2012.^"Turkey condemns Israeli attack on Gaza, demands halt". Today's Zaman. 14 November 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012.^"Foreign Secretary statement on Gaza and southern Israel". Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Retrieved 15 November 2012.^"Gaza Rocket Attacks" (Press release). U.S. Department of State. 14 November 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012.^Israel/Gaza: All sides must step back from the brink to protect civilians (press release). Amnesty. 2012'11'14.^Israel/Gaza: Avoid Harm to Civilians, Human Rights Watch, 2012'11'15,^"Learning the Lessons of the Past to protect Gaza civilians". IL: B'Tselem. 2012'11'15. Retrieved 15 November 2012.[dead link]^"Reaction to escalation of violence in Israel and Gaza". J Street. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2012.External linksBefore 19471947''19491950s1960s1970s1980s1990s2000s2000''2005 Al-Aqsa Intifada (Second Intifada)2000''2006 Shebaa Farms conflict2001''present Rocket and mortar attacks on southern Israel (2001''2006, 2007, 2008, Gaza War, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)2002 Operation Defensive Shield (Jenin, Nablus, Bethlehem)2002 Operation Determined Path2003 Ain es Saheb airstrike2004 Israel''Gaza conflict (Operation Rainbow, Operation Days of Penitence)2006 Operation Bringing Home the Goods2006 Israel''Gaza conflict (Operation Autumn Clouds)2006 Lebanon War2007''present Lebanese rockets2007''2008 Israel''Gaza conflict (Operation Hot Winter)2007 Operation Orchard2008''2009 Gaza War (Operation Cast Lead)2010s

Fraud: CNN Uses Video Footage Of Faked Palestinian 'Injuries'

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Fri, 16 Nov 2012 18:11


LoginRegisterSubscribeBreitbart TVBig HollywoodBig GovernmentBig JournalismBig PeaceThe WiresLast night on CNN's 360 with Anderson Cooper, video footage was broadcast that purported to show injuries and victims of Israeli military operations in Gaza. The footage was exposed as fraudulent here on Breitbart News yesterday..16 Nov 2012, 9:48 AM PDTpost a commentadvertisement




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BBC Converts Tel Aviv To Gaza | Israellycool

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Sun, 18 Nov 2012 14:11

This is what I'm talking about:

The image on the right of the split screen is Frishman Beach, Tel Aviv.

Note: I did not see the story myself (the above screen grab has been shared on Facebook), so I am not sure if the footage shown on the right was similar to this or not.

Filed Under: Aussie Dave

Tags: BBC, Media Bias

Obama Quietly Removes HAMAS Terrorist Muhammad Salah From State Department Terrorist List; May Get $1.4 Million in HAMAS/Qaeda Funds

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Source: Debbie Schlussel

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 22:53

By Debbie Schlussel

While Israel is forced, today, to defend its innocent civilians against hundreds of rockets in the non-stop war perpetrated by HAMAS, another HAMAS war is being won in America with the help of Barack Obama. On November 5th, the day before Election Day, Obama quietly removed HAMAS terrorist and Chicago resident Muhammad Salah from the Treasury Department Terrorist List. Salah was the conduit for Al-Qaeda financing of HAMAS. Salah sued the Department of Treasury in September, and when the answer to the lawsuit was due, the Obama administration chose to remove Salah from the terrorist list, rather than fight for what's right. You cannot say much better for the Bush administration, which protected Salah every step of the way.

Federal agents and the lawyer for the Boim family, whose son was murdered by HAMAS, didn't know this was being done. And they are all outraged that this Islamic terrorist''who shouldn't be walking free on American streets''is not only free, but now is no longer designated as an Islamic terrorist, which means he's free to go about his business. Muslims are gloating.

Salah was convicted of funding HAMAS in Israel in 1993, after Israeli authorities found $95,000, which he admitted he was transporting to HAMAS, in his Jerusalem hotel room. He pleaded guilty and then spent four-and-a-half years in an Israeli prison, and America's Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control put Salah on its list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT). This should have meant that Salah was not allowed back into the U.S. or that he served time in our prisons, as well. But it only meant that Salah would have difficulty getting a mortgage, opening a bank account, or getting a job without the government's permission (permission that they rarely withheld). And HAMAS terrorist Salah walked America's streets''the streets of Chicago, in his case''freely. Later, Salah was convicted of lying under oath in a lawsuit filed against him, the Holy Land Foundation, and other HAMAS terrorists and financiers. The lawsuit was filed by the family of David Boim, a 17-year-old American murdered by HAMAS. The Boims won a $156 million judgment against several of the parties, and at least one of the parties was founded by HAMAS CAIR chief, Nihad Awad.

While Salah was sentenced to 21 days in prison for his perjury and ordered to pay a $25,000 fine and do 100 hours of community service, in the end, he got away with his HAMAS terrorist-financing activity. Idiotic Federal Judge Amy St. Eve even allowed him to vacation at Disney World. I spoke with the Boim family's attorney, Nat Lewin, today. He did not know that Salah was taken off the terrorist list. I asked him about $1.4 million the government had also seized from Salah''money that came from Al-Qaeda and was earmarked for HAMAS (more on that, below)''and whether that money was taken from him to pay the judgment the Boims obtained. Lewin told me no and that Judge Richard Posner had somehow excused Salah from responsibility in the case.

I wrote about Salah back in 2004 in the New York Post (a longer version of which appears here), when I wrote about the FBI's persecution and attempted firing of FBI agent Robert Wright, who had investigated Salah in the 1990s as part of a network of HAMAS and Al-Qaeda financiers, most of them in the United States. The operation was known as ''Operation Vulgar Betrayal.'' Wright and former FBI agent John Vincent appeared on ABC News to discuss their outrage, after 9/11, that designated Islamic terrorists like Salah were still walking free in America, and the Bush administration refused to do anything about it. Salah was actually working as a college professor in the Chicago area, despite the fact that Wright and Vincent had gotten the government to seize $1.4 million from Salah which was given to him by major Al-Qaeda banker Yassin Al-Qadi (he's also a designated terrorist), apparently to give to HAMAS.

Because Wright spoke out, he was endlessly harassed and persecuted by FBI brass, who tried to fire him. He begged for Operation Vulgar Betrayal to be re-opened because it involved Al-Qaeda and other Islamic terrorists in America, just as America was attacked and 3,000 Americans were murdered by Al-Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks. Wright's investigations documented not only the terrorist money-laundering activities of Hamas political director Musa Abu Marzook and the Holy Land Foundation, now shut down for financing Hamas terrorism, but also the fact that Al-Qaeda was financing all of this. By investigating US companies like BMI, Wright uncovered the financial links between Hamas funding and Al Qaeda banker Yassin Al-Qadi, now a U.S. ''Designated Terrorist''. Wright's efforts resulted in the ''global terrorist'' designation of Muhammad Salah. But Wright's investigations would ''embarrass the Saudis'' he was told by FBI brass who laughed at him, as I noted back in 2004. He was told to let sleeping dogs lie.

Justice Dept. officials tried to return $1.4 million Wright had seized and return it to Salah. Hamas political director Marzook was indicted on December 18, 2002 '-- only after the FBI learned Agent Wright would appear the next night on ABC's ''PrimeTime'' to complain about Marzook and Salah. The Bush administration deported Marzook to safety in the Middle East, despite Wright's insistence on keeping him in custody for prosecution. Marzook still lives freely in terror-host Syria, evading extradition. In retribution for Bob Wright's public outcry about this, the FBI began an investigation of Bob Wright, and they instructed FBI Internal Affairs Unit Chief John Roberts to lie about it and create trumped-up allegations of misconduct, according to a letter Roberts wrote. In it, Roberts said that FBI Director Robert Mueller was in on the whole thing.

Because the FBI refused to reopen the Operation Vulgar Betrayal, the US Attorney's office had no choice but to negotiate the return of the terror funds back to the terrorist''the $1.4 million back to Muhammad Salah. However, following the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Chicago held on to the money. If the 9/11 attacks had not happened, the $1.4 million was going to be returned to Salah during October 2001 because of the FBI's refusal to reopen the Vulgar Betrayal case. The FBI would not work with the U.S. Attorney's Office to continue with the forfeiture process of the terror funds. Even after 9/11, the FBI refused to reopen the Salah case and only did so after Bob Wright went public in 2002.

The Boims should have received that money. And no one knows what has happened to it.

Now that Barack Obama has officially removed Muhammad Salah from the terrorist list, look for him to try to get back the illicit Al-Qaeda/HAMAS funds. Now there is nothing to stop him.

Thanks, Barack.


White House Says Israel Has The Right To Defend Itself & The Israelis Will Make Their Own Decisions

"Over One Thousand Terror Targets Targeted In Gaza" Netanyahu

CNN: Egypt Vows To Protect Gaza

"This Latest State Of Violence Started After Israeli Helicopters Shot A 13 Year Old Boy In The Head"

ABC's Amanpour Suggests Israel Killed Too Many Civilians in 2009 Gaza War

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Source: MRCTV - News & Politics

Sun, 18 Nov 2012 03:09

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Skype Interview Interrupted by Gaza Bomb Blast [VIDEO]

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Sat, 17 Nov 2012 15:25

A Skype interview between CNN's Isha Sesay, Israeli citizen and Ashkelon resident Nissim Nahoom, and Mohammed Sulaiman, a Palestinian resident of Gaza, was suddenly interrupted by repeated bomb blasts.

The two interviewees live on the two sides of the Israeli, Gaza strip border, separated only by a 15 minute drive, the CNN anchor notes. After the first few blasts, Sulaiman tried to keep talking and ignoring them, until a louder one gets him offline and interrupts the call.

''You can hear everything,'' says Sulaiman after the blasts go off. ''What was that noise we just heard?'' asks the anchor.

The simultaneous Skype interviews were set up by CNN as a way to underscore the dangers or regular people who live on the front lines of the conflict that renewed Wednesday with the assassination of Ahmed Said Khalil al-Jabari, the head of Hamas' military wing. The airstrike has been followed by Hamas militants launching missiles towards Israeli cities as well as subsequent bombings by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in Gaza.

The IDF has used social media to basically live-tweet the conflict as well as post videos of its airstrike on YouTube. At the same time the Israeli authorities have asked their citizens not to tweet where Hamas' missiles hit to avoid giving the group information they could use for their next targets.

The hacker group Anonymous is also trying to take center stage with an online retaliation campaign called OpIsrael, as reported by Tech News Daily.

Watch the scary footage in the video embedded below. The blasts start right after the 2:50 mark.

Photo courtesy of Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

Drone Nation

Indy Drone

'Noxious gas' at Riley Hospital remains a mystery

Sometime before noon Thursday, a woman visited a relative at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.

Workers in the Downtown Indianapolis hospital found the woman in the bathroom, collapsed. They tried treating her. But they, too, started showing symptoms: nausea, trouble breathing, a tingly feeling in the mouth. A "flowery" odor tainted the air. ...

She grew ill, but not enough to raise alarm. The woman told hospital personnel she wasn't feeling well and walked into the women's restroom. What happened next caused an emergency room lockdown and a medical campus scare.

From our Producer

1) Under the cover of darkness, authorities were on the scene but would not let

anyone else onto the scene. No residents, no media, nobody. We even reported that

the gas company itself was saying that they had no idea what was going on or what

happened because they weren't allowed on the scene. They didn't get to go on scene

until after daylight broke, about nine hours after the explosion happened. That's

plenty of time to get rid of any wreckage or anything else.

2) The NTSB said they were on the scene because they 'controlled the gas up to the

meter', which is a bunch of crap because the gas company controls that! This was

reported by the local paper.

3) There were a high amount of 911 calls to the east/north-east that night due to

strange sickness.

4) There is a small airport within two miles to the south/south-west.

5) There is a big military installation about 40 miles to the South where some sort

of test aircraft could have taken off from. Maybe drone crash instead of attack?

Maybe unrelated, but about a month ago there was a strange occurrence in downtown

Indianapolis where a woman walked into the Riley Children's Hospital ER room and

made a bunch of people fall ill suddenly. Here's more info:

Never found out anything about that. FBI and HLS were both on the scene

immediately. Strange we could never find out what happened.

Anyway, there is definitely something going on here with this explosion.

Dealerscope Mobile Edition : News for consumer electronics retailers and manufacturers

Link to Article

Sat, 17 Nov 2012 02:01

Posted on Thursday Nov 15th at 8:55am

Indy Audio Labs said Monday that the company's director of product development and technology, John "Dion" Longworth has died. Longworth and his wife Jennifer both were killed in a home subdivision explosion in Indianapolis Saturday.

Dion Longworth also worked at Klipsch and founded a start-up called Stray Light Optical.

"Dion was taken from us abruptly and far, far too early. He was a very special person who touched the heart of everyone he met. Sincere, loyal, brilliant and steadfast: a small list of his many wonderful qualities," CEO Rick Santiago said in a statement. "There are so many innovative contributions he would have made to our industry that we will now never see. Dion's unique personality, technical abilities and vision will be missed by our company and by many, many people in our industry."

In their memory, the Dion and Jennifer Longworth Memorial Fund has been established, in order to fund education scholarships and grants.

To donate to the fund, contact:

Dion and Jennifer Longworth Memorial Fundc/o Central Indiana Community Foundation615 N. Alabama St., #119Indianapolis, IN 46204317-634-2423

The Longworths' funeral will take place Nov. 18 from 4-8 p.m. Wilson-St. Pierre Funeral Home in Greenwood, Ind. Funeral Mass will take place Nov. 19 at 10 a.m. at St. Barnabas Catholic Church at 8300 Rahke Road in Indianapolis.

Dion Longworth, job relations with Saad al Hilli? - David Icke's Official Forums

Link to Article

Fri, 16 Nov 2012 19:56

Dion Longworth.For whom did he work?What was his most recent job?Who were his contacts?I'm trying to collect evidence from the internet by submitting some screen shots.

Recently he obviously worked on a secret military project with AMX (Dallas, Ft.Worth) where his contact person was a former "Klipsch" company collegue, perhaps or most likely of Pakistani origin, Mr. Fawed Nackvi, an inventor from Westfield, IN, who got several patents on audio processing. Mr. Fawed Nackvi works for AMX as you can easily find out when checking his LinkedIn profile or by searching google.

Yesterday I saw a google search result by accident. The website linked was dead but there was still that google link available with a few email addresses on that certain company website linking to that company. One of those email addresses was the email address of dion longworth.

That's below what was still listed in the google search results:___________________________________________'.../external-alt.csv' iewm@ '..... tim.porter '...___________________________________________

There is "dion.longworth" from indyaudiolabsHis collegues who apparently worked on the same project were originally listed on that now defunct website are:1. A klonsberry from altatronems.com2. An iewm from A chrisp from lvcontrol.com4. A J.Michael Porter from AMX5. A Tim Porter from

Secure Components is a delivery company for military, aeronautics and defense products.Meder produces products for security and so does wietech.

Check out the websites regarding those companies.

Our trigger for research results, however, will be AMX and particularly Fawed Nackvi with whom Dion Longworth apparently worked for Klipsch earlier on.

Well, first let's have a look on the very interesting Fawed Nackvi LinkedIn website (screenshots):

On the Fawed Nackvi job profiles there are Dion Longworth, Javed Nackvi and Kurtis Alexander all listed next to each other.

Now let's have a look at Javed Nackvi. I strongly suggest that you sit down and relax first!

Here is the backlink to Fawed Nackvi from Javed's page:

Here is an interesting contact on Javed Nackvis (probably Pakistan origin) executive contacts:Martin Gurney from the UK (we'll need him lateron).

Now let's have a look to Javed Nackvi's executive contact Martin Gurney:

Martine Gurney is executive of QinetiQ, a secret UK defense company that works closely on new defense technologies with Lockheed Martin and the US airforce and the US navy. One of the most important creations of QinetiQ ist the new Lockheed Martin future airplane and MAARS, a police and military robot not unlike the robots from the well known movie Terminator (Skylink). Check youtube for MAARS.

When we follow the Martin Gurney contacts, the next name that jumps into our eyes is

James Stratford-Tuke

Another contact is

Prof. Kenneth Edwards, Consultant at Defense Avionics, Guildford, Surrey.

When we look up the Stratfort-Tuke contacts, we findDuncan Cunningham, Director of Gov. Affairs at Lockheed Martinand next we findBaroness Pauline Neville-Jones.(enter that name into wikipedia to learn more about her).

Now let's go back to AMX, the company of Fawed Nackvi with whom Dion Longworth had worked on various projects since the time when they both had worked for Klipsch.

The CEO of AMX is RASHID SKAF. Most likely his family is of Lebanese origin.

Rashid Skaf is a very interesting guy. He does a lot of things and he is highly educated and reknown. He is an executive member of the University of Chicago. Now let's think a while about who else was previously working at the University of Chicago?

Finally, summing up:Dion Longworth obviously worked on some secret military devices, most likely in a joint venture with AMX, altatronems, wietech, lvcontrol, meder and securecomponents. Not so unlikely, due to their common contacts, that joint venture worked probably for QinetiQ. Perhaps for MAARS, perhaps for the new Lockheed future plane, perhaps on some space defense programs, perhaps on new weapons. We don't know. However, you certainly don't work constructing consumer market audio devices together with AMX and

QinetiQ is working in joint ventures with Surrey Satellites for the TOPSAT program and perhaps on other, secret, probably still secured projects, (laser and alternative energy, e.g. Hafnium batteries). Saad al Hilli was working for Surrey Satellites.

Dennis Kucinich "American Drones In Pakistan Have Killed As Many As 3378 People!"

Hoes and Heavy Weapons

Why a Benghazi Cover-Up Makes No Sense

Link to Article

Source: Dave Winer's linkblog feed

Sun, 18 Nov 2012 13:50

November 18, 2012The Economist: "At the most fundamental level, the reason it is absurd to suspect the existence of a 'cover-up' over the Benghazi attack is that such a cover-up could not have had any conceivable goal.""Back to the beginning: the underlying accusation about Benghazi is that the Obama administration deliberately mischaracterised the terrorist attack there as having grown out of a spontaneous demonstration because that would be less politically damaging. Such a cover-up would have made no sense because the attack would not have been less politically damaging had it grown out of a spontaneous demonstration. The attack on the Benghazi compound would not have been any less politically difficult for the administration if it had grown out of a riot, nor would any normal voter have expected it to be less politically damaging, nor would any normal campaign strategist have expected any normal voter to have expected it to be less politically damaging."

Susan Rice: Benghazi-gate gets even more ludicrous

Link to Article

Sun, 18 Nov 2012 13:52

Nov 15th 2012, 14:18 by M.S.

REPUBLICAN senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham devoted an appearance at the Washington Ideas Forum on Wednesday to vowing to filibuster if Susan Rice, the current UN ambassador, is nominated to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. They're apparently ticked off over her statements on talk shows on September 15th about the Benghazi attacks. Barack Obama got pretty incensed about this at his press conference later in the day, and Kevin Drum argues he was right to be incensed. As Mr Drum says, everything Ms Rice said on September 15th was in fact the judgment at that moment of American intelligence agencies, and she relayed that judgment accurately. The only thing that was even arguably wrong in those intelligence assessments was the claim that there had been a copycat protest over those anti-Muslim YouTube videos in Benghazi; intelligence agencies didn't start calling this into question until some time later. "Berating Rice, who had nothing to do with Benghazi aside from representing the administration on these talk shows, is nuts," Mr Drum writes. "The intelligence community was wrong about one relatively unimportant fact, and Rice passed along that mistake. That's it. There's no coverup, no conspiracy, no incompetence, no scandal."

This is absolutely right as far as it goes, but it doesn't go far enough. At the most fundamental level, the reason it is absurd to suspect the existence of a "cover-up" over the Benghazi attack is that such a cover-up could not have had any conceivable goal. Back to the beginning: the underlying accusation about Benghazi is that the Obama administration deliberately mischaracterised the terrorist attack there as having grown out of a spontaneous demonstration because that would be less politically damaging. Such a cover-up would have made no sense because the attack would not have been less politically damaging had it grown out of a spontaneous demonstration. The attack on the Benghazi compound would not have been any less politically difficult for the administration if it had grown out of a riot, nor would any normal voter have expected it to be less politically damaging, nor would any normal campaign strategist have expected any normal voter to have expected it to be less politically damaging. Had Susan Rice gone on the talk shows on September 15th and inaccurately stated that the attackers had been wearing green pants, when in fact their pants had been red, there would be no reason to suspect this to be part of a political "cover-up", because no American voters could conceivably have cared either way.

Look, back in 2009 when I was based in Hanoi I spent an hour or so at the Hoa Lo Prison Museum (formerly the POW camp known as the Hanoi Hilton) trailing John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Amy Klobuchar, who were on an official visit. At some point Mr Graham made a joke about his experiences farming chickens, at which Mr McCain did not laugh. If I separately asked each of them about that incident I have no doubt there would be differences in their recollections, and then I could run around accusing Mr Graham or Mr McCain of trying to engage in a political cover-up of the chicken-farming joke incident at the Hoa Lo Prison Museum. The correct way to assess the validity of such an accusation would not be to start investigating who knew what about the chicken-farming joke, and when did they know it. The correct response would be to dismiss it out of hand, because nobody cares whether or not Lindsey Graham made a joke about chicken farming at the Hoa Lo Prison Museum, so nobody would cover it up. The Obama administration could not rationally have believed it would have derived any benefit from inaccurately claiming the attack on the Benghazi consulate grew out of a demonstration; why on earth would they engage in a cover-up of something that makes no difference?

Obviously there's a huge temptation to turn any incident that could reflect badly on the opposition's government, such as the killing of an ambassador in a terrorist attack, into some kind of scandal. But this attempt is just absurd. The strategy here has been to shout "Benghazi Benghazi Benghazi Benghazi!" until the public begins to think there's something fishy going on with Benghazi, and then move on to targeting administration figures because...Benghazi! If this actually works, we are all still in kindergarten.

Mini-Me: Jane Harman at CIA? Over Many Dead Bodies

Link to Article

Source: Public Intelligence Blog

Fri, 16 Nov 2012 03:21

Who? Mini-Me?


Jane Harman and Israeli Spying

Possible New CIA Director Already Politically Compromised


CounterPunch, November 14, 2012

It is astounding to find that one of the handful of prospects being floated to become CIA director following the fall of General David Petraeus is a person reportedly implicated in a 2005 Israeli spy scandal.

CNN, Politico, and others have all listed former Congresswoman Jane Harman as a potential new CIA head. Oddly, however, none have mentioned reports in 2006 and again in 2009 that an NSA wiretap in 2005 had picked up Harman promising a suspected Israeli agent that she would aid people indicted for espionage on behalf of Israel.

According to reports, Harman allegedly told the Israeli agent that she would lobby the Justice Department to reduce espionage-related charges against two top officials for the powerful Israel lobby organization, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

In return, the suspected Israeli agent (who may have been a dual-citizen American) reportedly pledged to help lobby for Harman to become chair of the House Intelligence Committee. Harman was already the ranking Democrat on the committee.

At the end of the conversation, Harman reportedly said: ''This conversation doesn't exist.''

The two AIPAC officials had been indicted for illegally obtaining classified documents about Iran and passing these on to Israel. They also gave them to prominent Washington Post journalist Glenn Kessler, whose speaker bio lists three topics: ''Global Affairs, Jewish Interest, Middle East Issues.''

One of the indicted AIPAC officials has since defended himself by stating that his actions were routine for AIPAC '' that AIPAC staffers regularly obtain and hand on classified U.S. information to Israel and others.

Read full article.

Phi Beta Iota: Harman has multiple sins to answer for, not only her disloyal elevation of Israeli interests over the public interest. She is also the person, acting in an official capacity as a member of Congress, who urged the New York times not to publish its 2004 expose on the Bush-Hayden warrantless wiretapping program that was subsequently found to be unconstitutional by the Court. She is considered by some to be the pro-Israeli alter ego of Joe Lieberman the ''honorary'' foreign minister of Israel resident in the United States of America. At a more mundane level, with Susan Rice and Michelle Flournoy certain of very senior appointments in the second Obama Cabinet, and a sensational twenty most senior women (including Rice and Clinton) already serving, Harman would be fortunate to be considered as a wild card choice for Attorney General (after Gonzalez and Holder she would be a huge improvement). The President has to decide if he wants to listen to Harry Truman and redirect the CIA '-- it could become a consolidated classified source management agency, or an all-source processing and analysis agency '-- what seems clear, with all the different clandestine human intelligence elements springing up across the government, is that CIA is no longer the respected nor the effective home for clandestine operations or covert action. Now that there may be ''open season'' on CIA employees who have been living immunity rather than cover, there are many good reasons for withdrawing CIA pseudo-clandestine case officers from abroad at the same time that we close our military bases overseas. The spaces now occupied by CIA in official facilities could be usefully converted into inter-agency all-source analytic units combined with a tactical all-source collection management and processing unit, and a country-wide open source intelligence acquisition and contracting element. No one at CIA is thinking seriously about these options '-- finding someone capable of such thoughts should be the primary factor in who the President considers as a serious candidate. And of course, there is the matter of the ineffective DNI and the cast of thousands of over-promoted irrelevant staffers that need to be disposed of in a humane manner. Bottom line: the President can chose a Secretary of Defense that will create a serious national intelligence (decision support) capability compellingly relevant to policy, acquisition, and operations '-- for Whole of Government planning, programming, budgeting, and execution '-- or the secret world can be left as it is, worthless to most, but priceless as a channel for unaccountable secret pork that yields 5% kick-backs to Members.

See Also:

Ancient History: When the CIA was Serious'...

Chuck Spinney: Drones '-- Of Idiots, By Idiots, For Idiots + Meta-RECAP

CIA Re-Direction of Clandestine Operations

CURVEBALL: The Interview + Integrity RECAP

David Isenberg: Secret Contracting '' Totally Beyond the Reach of Inspectors-General

DefDog: Jim Clapper On Way Out? + RECAP

DefDog: Whither the CIA & Should David Ignatius Stop Talking?

Journal: Can't Get No Satisfaction from US Intelligence Community'...

Journal: CIA Blows''Blackwater, $5M Bar Bill, and Reprise of Rendition Atrocities

Journal: CIA Continues to Ignore Published Critics

Journal: CIA Denies Disability to Poisoned Officer

Journal: CIA Ghosts of Khost Ride Again'....

Journal: CIA Leads the ''Walking Dead'' in USA

Journal: CIA Links to NYC Mosque Controversy

Journal: CIA Officer Blew Off Warning in Jordon Weeks in Advance of Jordanian Suicide Bombing in Afghanistan that Killed Seven

Journal: CIA's Poor Tradecraft AND Poor Management

Journal: CIA WikiLeaks Task Force (aka WTF, One Down From REMF)

Journal: IndyMedia Wanted Poster on CIA Renditioners''Significant for Two Reasons

Journal: Israel, False-Flags, Dual-Citizens, & Smiles

Journal: Loch Johnson on It's Never a Quick Fix at the CIA

Journal: Mel Goodman on CIA Myths

Journal: Nato's Secret Armies (It's Not Terror if CIA Pays and Locals Do the Dirty'....)

Journal: Taliban Laughing''the Clowns Dance On'...

Journal: The Truth on Khost Kathy

Journal: Why Do We Need a CIA At All?

Marcus Aurelius: Admiral Lyons Blasts US Intelligence Community '' No Improvement Since 9/11 '-- Could It Even Be WORSE? With Comment by Robert Steele

Marcus Aurelius: Jennifer Sims Party Line on Military Clandestine Service with Robert Steele Comment + RECAP

Marcus Aurelius: Jose Rodriguez, the Ollie North of CIA

Marcus Aurelius: Rule One for Spies '' Do Not Work Out of Embassies . . . Hmmmm

Marcus Aurelius: The Pentagon's New Defense Clandestine Service

Mini-Me: DoD ''Spies'' Will Die Often '-- Expect More ''Car Crashes'' All Over the World '-- and the Four Part Solution Clapper, Vickers, and Flynn Need to Consider

Mini-Me: Horne on JFK, CIA, NPIC & Zapruder Film

Mini-Me: Italian Court Confirms Convictions of CIA Personnel for Rendition & Torture '' Way Now Clear for Formal Extradition Request

Mini-Me: JFK Assassination Cover-Up Unravels Further + RECAP

Reference: Human Intelligence (HUMINT) '' All Humans, All Minds, All the Time [Full Text Online for Google Translate]

Reference: Military HUMINT in Iraq

Reference: National Intelligence Program (NIP) '' and Questions Not Asked

Robert Steele: Clandestine Operations 101 + Personal Comment

Robert Steele: Post-Benghazi '-- Open Season on CIA?

Robert Steele: Waterboarding Morons '-- A Social Cancer

Search: the death of humint + HUMINT RECAP

Search: humint [Human Intelligence] HUMINT + Meta-RECAP

Secrecy News: CIA Culture In Detail

Thomas Briggs: No, China Does Not Have 3,000 Nuclear Weapons (Nor Does CIA Have Clandestine Assets Anywhere Relevant)

U.S. Intelligence Community as Land of Make Believe

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Intelligence (Most)

John McCain, Rand Paul Skip Benghazi Hearing to Complain About Benghazi on TV

Link to Article

Source: Crooks and Liars

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 21:19

Even as John McCain was vowing to do everything in his power to block Susan Rice's nomination while Lindsey Graham was making smarmy, gossipy suggestions that Susan Rice was somehow untrustworthy, both of them were doing their best to avoid the facts about what actually happened in Benghazi. I can only assume their reluctance to actually be briefed was so they could claim they were not being briefed and could run to Papa Fox to whine.

Via Foreign Policy:

This week, a number of Republican senators have strongly criticized the administration for failing to properly explain the circumstances surrounding the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi. Some of those senators failed to show up for a briefing on the attack Wednesday.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has been the leading congressional critic of the administration's handling of the Benghazi attack and what he sees as the administration's lack of candor with Congress on the matter. On Wednesday, he pledged to block the potential nomination of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton due to Rice's statements on the attack. That drew a sharp rebuke from President Barack Obama at Wednesday's press conference.

But although McCain had time to speak on the Senate floor and on television about the lack of information provided to Congress about the attack, he didn't attend the classified briefing for senators Wednesday given to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, of which he is a member.

Oops! In an update to that post, McCain explained his absence as being a scheduling error. Yep, that's the ticket, go out and pimp the right wing conspiracy theories and then blame not getting actual facts on your staff.

As for Rand Paul, evidently he also was too busy to pay attention to actual facts because he was out there spinning the right wing story for Faux:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), another Homeland Security committee member who was on television complaining about the lack of Benghazi information, also did not show up for the Wednesday hearing. Paul did a CNN interview from the Capitol building Wednesday in which said he had questions about the anti-Islam video, the lack of Marines in Libya, and diplomatic security. At one point he says, "I don't know enough of the details."

But see, he could have known more of the details if he had just been doing his job. If they had been doing their job.

Posturing for Faux News is not doing their job. Attending a hearing and getting the facts is their job. It's time for them to do it.

Hertling leaves USAREUR without fanfare, retires - News - Stripes

Link to Article

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 21:16

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany '-- No ceremony. No press release. No fanfare.

Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, the now-former commander of U.S. Army Europe, quietly departed Germany last week and retired days later at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

According to USAREUR spokesman Bill Roche, it was Hertling's ''personal preference and his desire to focus attention on serving the Soldiers and families of U.S. Army Europe, rather than on his retirement,'' and, as he wished, there was no U.S. Army Europe ceremony to mark his leaving.

The command also didn't alert the press to Hertling's exit, nor issue a news release on its website, where Hertling's official biography now says he ''was'' USAREUR commander from March 25, 2011, through Sunday.

''Lt. Gen. Hertling's decision to retire was a matter of personal choice, based on his personal plans for the future,'' Roche wrote in an email response to Stars and Stripes. Citing a Stars and Stripes article from June 29, Roche wrote, ''the general chose not to discuss those plans publicly.''

According to postings on USAREUR Command Sgt. Maj. David Davenport Sr.'s official web and Facebook pages, Hertling left Europe Nov. 1 and retired Saturday at West Point.

Hertling did not respond by deadline to email and Facebook messages asking for comment on his departure and retirement, which had been expected since his replacement's nomination in June, though details of his post-USAREUR plans were never made public.

After the June announcement, USAREUR spokeswoman Col. Rumi Nielson-Green said in a statement to Stars and Stripes: ''LTG Hertling is currently declining to talk about his plans for the future, as he feels there is much more to do in the service of the Soldiers and families of USAREUR prior to the anticipated fall change of command date.''

Hertling's named successor, Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell Jr., was approved by the Senate in July, but is still serving as commander of the Army's III Corps at Fort Hood, Texas. Campbell's successor still hasn't been named, according to a III Corps spokesman.

Roche, in an email, said Campbell ''is expected to arrive sometime after the new year.''

Maj. Gen. James C. Boozer is now the acting commander and chief of staff of U.S. Army Europe.


U.N. Ambassador Rice and Benghazi Consulate Attack

Link to Article

Source: Programs Recently Aired - C-SPAN Video Library

Fri, 16 Nov 2012 19:04

U.S. House of Representatives | Radio and Television Gallery

Several women members of the House Democratic caucus defended U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice testimony at the United Nations regarding the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.

Several women members of the House Democratic caucus defended U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice testimony at the United Nations regarding the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.

33 minutes |



Ministry of Truth

Hearing from the White House in a New Way

Link to Article

Sun, 18 Nov 2012 13:43

November 16, 2012 at 05:13 PM EST

The White House is always looking for new ways to help Americans engage with President Obama and the rest of his administration, so we're excited to launch our official presence on SoundCloud -- a social platform devoted to sharing sounds, including recorded speeches and music.

We record thousands of hours of audio here, and while many speeches and recordings are already on and our YouTube channel, we're excited to have a new way to share those recordings with the American people.

SoundCloud allows us to embed those sound files right on, and users on SoundCloud can leave time-specific comments right in the waveform (the visual representation of the sound file). Here are President Obama's remarks from last week on moving the country forward and keeping taxes low for the middle class:

Make sure you visit, where we've posted some of the President's most well-known speeches in an easy-to-download format. We've even gone back to some of the President's speeches and re-encoded them in higher quality using the original recordings.

Here's what you can find on our SoundCloud page right now:

The President's Weekly AddressesPresident Obama's inaugural addressAll of President Obama's speeches to CongressThe President's 10 most-watched speechesThe First Lady and Dr. Biden's speeches for Let's Move and Joining ForcesCheck it out, and be sure to follow us.

Follow the White House on Facebook and Twitter. Learn more about ways to engage with the White House at


EUROBLOWN: Witches in the wardrobe as Greece plunges through the looking glass.

Link to Article

Sun, 18 Nov 2012 13:26

Vaxevanis to be retried as Golden Dawn go on a people-pummelling frenzy

Under Greek law, if you The State fail to nobble someone at the first attempt, you can appeal for another go. Funny old way of working, but anyway '' as you can imagine with the Greek '(C)lite' '' once a few euros have been exchanged between the right and left hands, such appeals are rarely turned down.

Journalist Kostas Vaxevanis

So it is that 48 hours ago journalist Kostas Vaxevanis was told he is to stand trial again because he released details of the notorious Lagarde-List naming of 2,059 Greeks with bank accounts at the Geneva branch of HSBC.

The Prosecution considers as ''legally erroneous'' the acquittal judgment made by the Court trying Vaxevanis the first time time around. But interesting from the British standpoint is that sources from the prosecutor's office saidthe appeal 'comes after complaints by citizens and lawyers.' This is probably the same sort of pressure that forced Lord McAlpine (entirely against his will) to extract £185,000 from the BBC, and not give it to Children In Need. The Greek 'complaints' are not explained, and so Kostas '' a modern-day Mr K from The Trial by Franz Kafka '' will go through the ordeal again. Clearly the international outrage at his original arrest has now been overtaken by domestic Greek complaints.

Said Vaxevanis at his trial, ''Greek people have known for two years now that there is a list of people who are rich, rightly or wrongly, and they are untouchable. At the same time, the [Greek people] are on the other side, they are suffering cuts''. The trial came only days after he was arrested, while tax evaders won't face prosecution for up to a decade'....and probably never. This chimes in an odd sort of way with the rapid reimbursement of a privileged English gent, and the continuing poverty of those who were abused by person or persons unknown in the UK Care Homes scandal.

Respected newspaper Kathimerini described the Vaxevanis farce as an 'embarrassing double jeopardy re-trial of an investigative journalist who revealed the names of Greeks with secret Swiss bank accounts'. Mr Vaxevanis is lucky he didn't surprise Antonis Samaras with the list while interviewing him on a TV sofa, as by now he would almost certainly be a national pariah. As it is, he seems to be a national hero: Philip Schofield, eat your heart out.

Sadly, the struggles of Samaras are becoming very serious indeed. He plans to repeal laws granting citizenship to second-generation immigrants who were born in Greece, speak Greek, and go to Greek school. This is of course a sop to Greece's perniciously influential and systemically woven-in Nazi Party, Golden Dawn. As is the decision by prosecutors, taking their direction from the far-right wing party, to put on trial for blasphemy the organisers, producer, cast and crew of American playwright Terrence McNally's Corpus Christi, which portrays Jesus Christ and his disciples as gay and living in Texas.

The U.S. Embassy said it ''confirmed reports of U.S. African-American citizens detained by police authorities conducting sweeps for illegal immigrants in Athens.'' Yesterday, Embassy dwellers were warned by the US State Department to proceed with care, and avoid confrontations with Nazis beating up immigrants. Perhaps Obama code-named this order Operation Samaritan. This too chimes with the US military order of 2005 in London, ordering its soldiers to GTF out of the City once Islamist bombs started going off there. America has always been a generous ally, in very much the same way as Brussels-am-Berlin is a beneficent governing body in the eurozone: for both the eurocrats and the White House seem at ease watching a european State collapse into venal fascist confusion and civil war.

You may think the parallels I draw here with the UK to be risible. That's OK: I'm used to the blind telling me they just can't see what I'm getting at.

Yesterday at The Slog: Has somebody cloned scribofile Lord Alistair McAlpine?

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Real Estate Sales Collapse in Paris and Ile-de-France; New Home Starts Lowest Since 1998; VAT Hike to Make Matters Much Worse

Link to Article

Source: Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

Sun, 18 Nov 2012 03:09

Mainstream media offers little on the stunning collapse of real estate sales in France, notably Paris and Ile-de-France. Via Google translate, please consider Real Estate November 2012: figures for the month. Here are a few translate-unedited snips.

2012 will remain a very bad year for real estate professionals. In this comprehensive figures on the property market in November 2012, discover the sharp decline in real estate sales in Paris and Ile-de-France.

Even in Paris, it becomes difficult to sell a property

Notaries in Paris / Ile-de-France note that even in their region very attractive it becomes difficult to sell a property . Between June and August 2012, it has sold "only" 35,000 existing homes, or 19% compared to the same period in 2011.

Through the preliminary contracts, that is to say, the sales agreement signed but the sale is not yet final, notaries noted an accentuation of the decrease in sales in September 2012. To believe the figures MeilleursAgents which figure barometer advanced compared to the figures of notaries, there are currently -30 to -40% of sales in Paris and the Ile-de-France.

Borrowing rates are low, borrowers are scarce

The mortgage rates continue to fall slightly in November 2012 . That makes 8 months in a row that interest rates fall. Loans for short periods have the largest declines compared to last month.

On loans granted in October 2012, the average rate is 3.37% and the duration of payments is 207 months.

Despite these cheap rates, mortgage demand plunges more now. The Observatory Housing Credit CSA announces -45.8% in October 2012 compared to the same month of the previous year. This accentuates the fall of -30.5% of mortgages in the first 9 months of 2012.

Starts of new homes in the third quarter of 2012 recorded their lowest level since 1998

Only 66,932 new dwelling units have been started in the third quarter of 2012. This is the lowest level seen since the third quarter of 2012. This represents a decrease of 17.3% compared to the same period in 2011.

VAT at 10% instead of 7% for the building in 2014?

The maintenance and renovation of housing more than two years are subject to reduced VAT under certain conditions. After passage of the VAT rate in the building from 5.5% to 7% in 2012, the government expects an increase in the VAT rate to 10% through.

Blazing StupidityHiking the VAT in face of falling demand is blazing stupidity. Apparently a VAT hike is an expectation rather than a done deal, but given other examples of stunning stupidity from France, including tax hikes and the Economically Insane Proposal: "Make Layoffs So Expensive For Companies That It's Not Worth It" one should expect no less from French president Francois Hollande.

For more examples of things about to wreck France, please consider "Google Law" Yet Another Warped Policy by Hollande; Government Motors French Style

Mike "Mish" Shedlock


What should Obama call it? Burma or Myanmar?

Link to Article

Source: Dave Winer's linkblog feed

Sat, 17 Nov 2012 15:07

President Barack Obama's landmark visit to Myanmar, known by the US as Burma, brings up an unusual problem of protocol: What does he call it?If recent practice by visiting US officials is any guide, Obama will sidestep the issue by using neither name Monday when he becomes the

first sitting American president to visit the country.The former ruling junta summarily changed the name 23 years ago without consulting the people - a typically high-handed act by an unpopular regime that had gunned down hundreds of anti-government protesters the year before.

The change was opposed by democracy advocates who stuck with "Burma."

As the country has opened up politically, shifting from five decades of direct military rule, the linguistic battle lines have blurred some.

The US, Britain, Canada and New Zealand still officially refer it to it as Burma.

But as the relations with the reformist government of President Thein Sein have blossomed in past year and dignitaries have beaten a path to his door, they've become less dogmatic about using the old name.

Last December, when secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton became the highest-ranking US visitor to Myanmar in 56 years, she mostly referred to it as "this country," and did the same this September when she met Thein Sein in New York and announced easing of sanctions.

Visiting US senators have used both names. Even at congressional hearings in Washington, there's an occasional mention of "Myanmar."

"Burma" is something Myanmar officials can get sore about.

"You might think this is a small matter, but the use of 'Myanmar' is a matter of national integrity," foreign minister Wanna Maung Lwin told visiting US envoy Joseph Yun in May 2011, according to the Myanmar Times newspaper.

"Using the correct name of the country shows equality and mutual respect."

This summer, Myanmar authorities also warned opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi after she used "Burma" during high-profile trips abroad, saying "Republic of the Union of Myanmar" is enshrined in the constitution.

She asserted her right to say what she wants, but has also said she's open to either name.

"It's for each individual to make his or her own choice as to which he or she uses," the Nobel laureate said in a Washington speech in September that many interpreted as a green light for the US to change its policy.

The truth is that for most Burmese, the name debate doesn't matter.

Myanmar, comprising a vast array of ethnic groups, did not exist as a single entity until it was colonized by the British in the 19th century. The country achieved independence in 1948 and took the English language name used by its former rulers, Burma.

But it was formally known in Burmese, the national language, as "myanma naing ngan" or more colloquially as "bama pyi" or "country of Burma." Both those usages persist, and the national anthem still refers to "bama pyi."

When the name was changed in 1989, it applied only to the English language title.

"When the name was changed it was a political statement," said San San Hnin Tun, a lecturer in Burmese language and visiting scholar at Cornell University. "It did not change how people refer to the country in Burmese."

The junta justified it as shedding a legacy of colonial rule and better reflecting the country's ethnic mix. In reality, both "myanma" and "bama" denote the dominant Burman ethnic majority. There are 135 ethnic groups, and minorities have long fought for more autonomy.

The junta actually entrenched Burman cultural control. It Burmanized many place names, angering minority groups.

There's plenty of precedent for a nation changing its title or place names, particularly during decolonization or regime changes. Western nations have sometimes been slow to catch on.

It took decades for China's preferred English spelling of Beijing to become the norm in the West, instead of Peking, and years for India's commercial center to become known as Mumbai instead of Bombay.

The politically charged case of "Myanmar" has been particularly tricky, and usage has widely varied among governments and international organizations.

Australia and the European Union use "Myanmar," although they've otherwise been in lockstep on policy with the US and Britain, which use "Burma."

Among rights groups, Amnesty International uses "Myanmar," but Human Rights Watch says "Burma."

Among news media, The New York Times has used "Myanmar" since 1989; the main international news agencies including The Associated Press followed suit in 1998, but the BBC still sticks with "Burma." The Financial Times switched to "Myanmar" this January.

Even US diplomats say they sometimes use "Myanmar" in private with government officials as a matter of courtesy.

Ernie Bower, Southeast Asia program director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said he believes the US government is on the brink of switching its policy.

Not quite yet though. The White House said Thursday it is sticking with "Burma."

Hams on the air

Cyber War$

Shut Up Slave!

Smart card licenses and enforced quotas proposed to combat smoking | Ars Technica

Link to Article

Fri, 16 Nov 2012 17:06

A public health professor has published a paper proposing that smokers be forced to apply for licences and given weekly quotas.

In his paper, published in PLOS Medicine, Simon Chapman of the University of Sydney's School of Public Health says that by issuing every smoker with a paid-for smartcard to buy cigarettes, governments will be able to gather data the health authorities can then use in anti-smoking campaigns.

Every time they buy a pack of cigarettes the smart card will need to be swiped and, depending on what annual license level the individual has purchased, the numbers will be totted up and they will be cut off when they reach their maximum weekly limit (70 per week, 140 per week or 350 per week). The higher the limit, the more the licence will cost, deterring, says Chapman, lower-income individuals: "Poor smokers, as a group, are known to be more responsive to price than those on higher incomes, in terms of both quitting and reducing use." This may perturb the world's one billion smokers, 80 percent of which, according to the World Health Organisation, reside in low- and middle-income countries.

Chapman's argument is based on a pretty simplistic premise: if we need prescriptions to get hold of potentially harmful or addictive drugs, why don't cigarettes fall into this category?

"The prescription system is in effect a system of temporary licencing to use restricted substances," he writes in the paper. "Travellers carrying restricted drugs across borders can be required to show that they have a 'licence' to be in possession of some drugs'... By contrast, tobacco products can be sold by any retailer'... smokers can buy unlimited quantities of tobacco. Many nations outlaw sales to minors, but prosecutions are rare and sales to children common. In contrast to the highly regulated way we allow access to life-saving and health-enhancing pharmaceuticals, this is how we regulate access to a product that kills half its long-term users."

Based on the fact that smoking kills almost six million people each year, it should fall into the same category as things like firearms and fireworks, which are heavily restricted, argues Chapman. Sheer inconvenience and cost will not be the only deterrents of this system'--Chapman calls the license fee "neither trivial nor astronomical... set at a sufficient level to give smokers some pause."

Most users will sign up online, and once their contact details have been obtained, anti-smoking messages of encouragement will be e-mailed to the user. There will also be financial incentives to stop smoking'--if a user decides not to renew their license, they will be given back all the fees they paid to date, with interest. There should also be a critical cut-off point for this, so people give pause for thought about the financial burden of not giving up. New smokers, those turning 18, will have to take a "knowledge of risk test" before being granted a licence.

Chapman is not so na¯ve as to think there would not be a minor public outcry from smokers and sceptics alike, so although he touches on issues such as black market up-take, he has also asked Jeff Collin, political scientist and director of the Global Public Health Unit, to respond.

In Collin's "The Case against a Smoker's License," he argues that in some countries it would be a totally impractical system'--for instance, in the UK, where "successive governments have failed to introduce identity cards."

"If it's very difficult to envisage health advocates securing support for a comparable scheme on the basis of a public health rationale, it is still harder to see why they should wish to."

His paper also suggests Chapman's strategy would make smokers feel like registered addicts, stigmatising the habit and creating demeaning scenarios for low income individuals: "The proposal to require licences will inevitably be widely perceived as demeaning, onerous, and punitive, and in explicitly targeting smokers would dramatically exacerbate the sense that smoking 'just has that sort of feel about it, a leper.'"

Collin does, however, agree that Chapman's argument of raising the legal smoking age by one year, every year, is worth consideration. He also concedes that there should be some restrictions on sales, considering some studies into hours of sale suggest putting restrictions in place could have a great effect.

"It is indeed an historical absurdity that so dangerous a product should be so readily available," he writes, but the rigidity of Champan's system is probably not the answer. Rather, Collin wants more creative and innovative techniques that look to undo the very nature of the mass manufacturing and promotion of tobacco we have all come to accept. Aside from the aforementioned tweaks to the system, Collin doesn't appear to have an alternative, however.

Completely changing the rules of the game halfway through has not proven effective in the past. For instance, in Bhutan the government attempted to enforce an outright ban on the sale of tobacco in 2005. However, by 2009 the authorities were already debating the bill after smuggling cigarettes became big business. It's also probably not good for the country's community relations when it threatens to jail a Buddhist monk for five years for being in possession of chewing tobacco.

This post originally appeared on Wired UK.

Police Chief Uses Unique Method To Control Homeless Population CBS Sacramento

Link to Article

Sat, 17 Nov 2012 15:24

NEVADA CITY (CBS13) '' A police chief says he's found a one-of-a-kind way to manage a growing problem in his city, and it's putting the homeless on the hot seat.

A new law would give Nevada City the power to hand out permits to a small group of homeless, which would give them permission to sleep in public. While the new ordinance would give some homeless a place to stay, it would tell others, mostly the troublemakers and the criminals, to stay away.

''I come down here every fall,'' said Bob Barton, who chooses to be homeless in Nevada City.

For Barton, the new ordinance that would essentially identify law-abiding homeless and reward them is music to his ears.

''The goal is to start managing the homeless population within our city,'' said Chief James Wickham.

Wickham asked council members to pass a no-camping ordinance.

''It just basically means you can't set up a tent. You can't live in your vehicle. You can't live in the woods in Nevada City,'' he said.

That is unless you have a permit.

The chief says his program is one of a kind, making only a select few of the city's homeless population an exception to the law, like William Peach.

''There's some of us out there like me who try to blend in with the community,'' said Peach.

However, others who come to Nevada City to commit crimes or with a criminal history won't be so lucky.

''Those are the ones we really don't want in our city and that we're trying to keep from camping in our city,'' said Wickham.

''We've seen a huge upsurge in homeless people,'' Teresa Mann said.

Mann, who owns a business in downtown, says it's about time. And so do the homeless who stay out of trouble and want trouble to stay away.

''If they're homeless and heartless, hey, we got a place for them,'' said James, who is homeless. ''It's called county jail.''

For now, the police chief will give out about six to 10 permits. He'll check back in six months to see if the program is working. If it is, that's when he says he'll give out more.

Wickham says he's identified at least 60 homeless in his community, and 500 homeless countywide.

VIDEO: What you can and can't say on twitter

Link to Article

Source: BBC News - Technology

Sun, 18 Nov 2012 14:21

More and more of us are blogging and tweeting, putting our thoughts online. But do we think about the consequences?

Lord McAlpine, the Tory peer who was wrongly accused of child abuse, is said to be preparing to sue individuals who mentioned the allegations on Twitter.

And another recent court case saw a rape victim awarded damages, paid by the people who identified her online.

The situation raises an interesting debate about the right to free speech and protecting people from unjustified attacks.

Media barrister Christina Michalos and the journalist and media law consultant David Banks discuss the pitfalls and the power of social networking sites.


HAITI: Assassinated Cop Led Kidnapping Ring from Police Station

Link to Article

Source: ZapLog - externe links

Sat, 17 Nov 2012 15:20

Heavily armed assailants gunned down Police Division Inspector Yves Michel Bellefleur in a hail of bullets on the morning of Fri., Nov. 9 near the G(C)rald Bataille circle in Tabarre.

A police spokesman and some media have presented the killing as a response from criminals to the Oct. 22 arrest of prominent Haitian businessman Clifford Brandt and several others '' including policemen and ex-policemen '' for kidnapping.

However, a former police official told Ha¯ti Libert(C) that Inspector Bellefleur was in fact working with Clifford Brandt's criminal organization and led a kidnapping ring based in the police station of Pernier, which, not coincidentally, is the same neighborhood that Clifford Brandt's abductees, Coralie and Nicolas Moscoso, were found and freed (see Ha¯ti Libert(C), Oct. 31, 2012).

Most alarmingly, a kidnapping victim of Bellefleur had denounced the cop and some of his associates to the Haitian National Police (PNH) immediately following his release last April, but apparently no action was ever taken.

''I think that Bellefleur was rubbed out because, if he was arrested, he might have revealed the names of powerful people, as Brandt is maybe doing now,'' said the former police official, who requested anonymity.

A few hours later in the afternoon of Nov. 9, another policeman, Johnby Mathieu, was shot dead by unidentified armed men near the police outpost at Portail Saint-Joseph, in the capital's commercial center.

''These assassinations are happening in a context of struggle against major criminality,'' said Frantz Lerebours, the PNH's spokesman.

The lack of action against Bellefleur reflects, at the very least, negligence on the part of the PNH's former Director General Mario Andr(C)sol and his successor Godson Or(C)lus, who replaced Andr(C)sol on Aug. 15, 2012.

''In April 2012, Emane 'Jacques' Jean-Louis, the owner of Sourire Rent-a-Car in the capital's Tabarre district, was kidnapped,'' reported Ha¯ti Libert(C) on Aug. 15, 2012. ''His family eventually paid the kidnappers about $800,000 in ransom, and he was freed. But, immediately following his release, Emane took legal action against the PNH for the involvement of police officers in his kidnapping, according to the former high-ranking police official who requested that he not be named. Emane provided the license plate number of a police vehicle used and the names of several of the policemen involved. Up until now, there has been no action by the police to arrest any of those that Emane accuses of having helped kidnap him.''

In his complaint, Jean-Louis denounced Inspector Bellefleur as the leader of the kidnappers based in the Pernier police station.

Ha¯ti Libert(C) asked Chief Or(C)lus about Jean-Louis's complaint again in a Sep. 16 interview. ''We have zero tolerance'' for cops found to be involved in kidnapping, Or(C)lus responded. ''When we find them, we arrest them, and we put them in prison.''

The question remains: did either Or(C)lus or Andr(C)sol investigate Jean-Louis's complaint. If not, why not? If so, why wasn't he arrested?

''Bellefleur was working alongside Clifford Brandt in kidnappings,'' said the former police official. ''Six months ago, Emane Jean-Louis gave to authorities, in a formal complaint, the names of the policemen, including that of Yves Michel Bellefleur, who kidnapped him. Why was nothing ever done to arrest them? It seems it wasn't until the Moscoso kids were kidnapped that the police took any action, and that was apparently only done because the U.S. authorities became involved.''

On Nov. 13, Mario Andr(C)sol gave an interview to Radio Kiskeya to denounce the death threats he claims have been made against him and the Internet rumors that he was placed under house arrest. He dismissed rumors that he had been interrogated by FBI agents, who are presently in Haiti, about the Brandt affair. Andr(C)sol said that his security detail had been reinforced by the PNH because of death-threats he has received in recent weeks.

Andr(C)sol also saluted ''the memory'' of the late Inspector Bellefleur. Is it really possible that he was unaware of Emane Jean-Louis's complaint against Bellefleur?

When he was riddled with bullets, Bellefleur was still the head of the Pernier police station, located near the old military academy on the northern fringes of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

''Bellefleur had just dropped his children at school, he was in civilian clothes, and he was killed by gunmen traveling in a vehicle with tinted windows and a 'service of the state' [government] license plate'' said PNH spokesman Lerebours. According to witnesses at the scene, Bellefleur was hit by many bullets, his attackers had automatic weapons, and they were in a Toyota all-terrain vehicle, commonly called in Haiti a ''Zoreken'' (Shark bone).

According to Radio Vision 2000, Lerebours said on Nov. 13 that ''the first elements in the police investigation'' into Bellefleur's murder ''reveal links with organized crime networks in the country,'' but he ''was still not able to say whether it involved [Brandt's] powerful gang network recently dismantled by the police.''

Are the police incapable of establishing the links between Bellefleur and Brandt's organization, or are they trying to cover-up the links?

Meanwhile, PNH spokesman Lerebours told the press that Johnby Mathieu, 29, was an Agent I with the Central Command of Street Police (DCPR). He was killed by four bullets, two in the throat, two in his arms. Mathieu had graduated with the PNH's 21st promotion. He was dressed in civilian clothes when shot by assailants who got away. Justice of the peace Fritz Dilia inspected the crime scene before the body was removed.


Airport security checks are vulnerable to fake boarding passes, experts warn - The Washington Post

Link to Article

Sun, 18 Nov 2012 14:21

More than 11 years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, it remains possible to use fake boarding passes to get through airport security checks, according to new evidence from security researchers and official documents.

The security vulnerabilities could allow terrorists or others on ''no-fly'' lists to pass through airport checkpoints with fraudulent passes and proceed through expedited screening. They could even allow them to board planes, security analysts warn.

Does TSA ''Randomly'' Pat Down Women More Than Men? - Flying With Fish

Link to Article

Fri, 16 Nov 2012 17:34

The mere mention of the term ''Enhanced Pat Down'' is enough to send many travelers into an endless rant about the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). One issue a significant group of travelers (women) seems to bring up is that more women are selected for pat downs than men. This is a statistic the TSA has both claimed to not keep records of, as well as claim that it is information it cannot divulge for security reasons.

While no official statistics exist for the ratio of women who are selected for enhanced pat down over men, there are in fact some people keeping track. I recently discussed these allegations by women travelers with a few Supervisors and Managers with the TSA and three of them agreed that women are selected more than man '... interestingly none of the others argued any differently.

The three people within the TSA are from geographically different locations, and none know each other, as well they all seem to give similar numbers with different explanations as to why women are selected more frequently than men. Sexual harassment is not a factor in the minds of any of these people, two male, one female, as women handle the pat downs, not men.

Two TSA Supervisory Transportation Security Officers (STSO), one male, one a female, believe that women are selected for additional screening 3-to-1 over men. These STSOs are assigned to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and at Washington's Reagan National Airport. A Transportation Security Manager, who asked that the Metro New York City airport he worked at not be identifed, stated that women are selected on average 2-to-1 over men at their airport.

The explanations of why women are selected more frequently than men vary widely.

The STSO, a woman based at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport believes women are selected more frequently because ''women are bitchier and as a result end up with the pat down.'' When asked to clarify this, the STSO responded, ''Men go with the flow. Shoes off jacket off, laptop out and keep going forward. Women are more likely to complain when asked to remove a belt, remove jewelry or when challenged on liquids exceeding 100ml. As a result they end far more frequently being sent off for additional screening.''

The STSO based at Reagan National Airport gives a far less insightful view, ''I can't explain it. I find that I send more men than women, but when I look at tallies, it is women 3 to 1. I tried to pay attention to this as I heard complaints with more frequency and there it was in front of me most days. Far more women were being referred for a more thorough screening. I don't have an answer as to why it happens here at DCA.''

I think the explanation from the Transportation Security Manager (TSM) in New York may be the closest to a likely reason. Their theory is, ''Women who are not so randomly selected for additional screening often have on jewelry, or a metal watch that they did not remove when asked to prior to entering the AIT [Advanced Imaging Technology scanner] or WTMD [walk through metal detector]. These items are often hidden under their sleeves. Some of these women wear belts that are not airport safe, which is to say that they go nicely with an outfit, but do not go nicely with our screening equipment. Complaints, at least at our check points are more frequently from women in regard to selecting cabin baggage for a hand search. The reason we end up hand searching more cabin baggage for women than men is that they pack the bags tighter frequently hiding liquids that are in excess of 3-1-1 or other items that catch our attention. Men are far less likely, in my experience, to pack their bags in a manner than requires us to hand search the bags. I am sure someone at the Crystal Palace [TSA's HQ] has done a study on that that we're not allowed to see.''

'... are these observations by Supervisory Transportation Security Officers and a Transportation Security Manager accurate? That is unknown because the TSA won't confirm is they have studied this themselves, although I suspect they have.

Have an opinion on this? Weigh in and discuss it.

Happy Flying!


OSI Systems Falls After Hearing on Naked-Image Scanners - Businessweek

Link to Article

Fri, 16 Nov 2012 17:10

OSI Systems Inc. (OSIS) fell the most in more than 15 years after a U.S. lawmaker said tests may have been falsified on software intended to stop the company's airport body-scanning machines from recording graphic images of travelers.

OSI's Rapiscan Systems unit, one of two suppliers of scanners used for U.S. airport security screening, ''may have attempted to defraud the government by knowingly manipulating an operational test,'' Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Transportation Security Subcommittee, said in a Nov. 13 letter to Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole.

OSI, in a statement, said testimony to a hearing held by Rogers's subcommittee today shows ''that this was at all times a government-controlled test'' and that the company ''could not have manipulated'' any of the data.

''At no time did Rapiscan Systems falsify test data or engage in any fraudulent conduct,'' OSI Chief Executive Officer Deepak Chopra said in today's statement. ''We take the matter very seriously and are fully cooperating with the TSA during this process.''

OSI fell $21.40, or 28 percent, to $54.89 on the Nasdaq Stock Market, the Hawthorne, California-based company's biggest one-day drop since (OSIS) October 1997 and Nasdaq's biggest percentage decline today. Almost 4.9 million shares changed hands, 44 times the three-month daily average.

John Sanders, assistant administrator for the TSA's office of security capabilities, said at the House hearing that the agency doesn't have evidence that tests on the machines were manipulated.

''At this point we don't know what has occurred,'' Sanders said. ''We are in contact with the vendor. We are working with them to get to the bottom of it.''

Underwear BomberThe TSA accelerated the use of advanced scanners in 2010, following the Dec. 25, 2009, attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight by igniting explosives in his underpants. It's used two vendors: Rapiscan, whose backscatter machines use a form of X-rays, and L-3 Communications Holdings Inc., (LLL) which features another imaging technology known as millimeter-wave.

Airline passengers were offended by the revealing images, including those of children and the elderly, and the TSA moved its screens to separate rooms away from the checkpoints so the scans couldn't be seen by the public. If TSA agents spot an image that looks like a weapon or an explosive, they communicate by radio with screeners at the security lines about where to search.

'Strip Search'The Electronic Privacy Information Center sued the agency, calling use of the machines the equivalent of a ''physically invasive strip search.''

Rapiscan has been trying, without success, to write software that would display a generic image. L-3 has been able to produce such software.

TSA has said passengers who don't want to go through the scanners can opt for a pat-down instead. That option has also generated criticism from the public and members of Congress as being excessively invasive.

The European Union banned backscatter machines in November 2011, citing health risks from low doses of radiation. TSA says the machines expose passengers to less radiation than they receive from the atmosphere during a flight.

If wrongdoing is proven on the government contracts, Rapiscan could face fines, prison terms and a ban on government contracting, said Dan Gordon, former head of federal procurement for President Barack Obama's administration.

'Incredibly Serious'''Fake test results are incredibly serious,'' said Gordon, now a dean at George Washington University Law School in Washington. ''Every false statement is a criminal act, sending someone in that company to jail.''

Rogers said his committee received a tip alleging that tests were faked. While Rogers' letter doesn't identify the company, his spokeswoman, Shea Snider, confirmed in an e-mail that the lawmaker was referring to Rapiscan.

TSA relied on a third-party vendor rather than the company to verify the technology, so the agency may be attempting to find a scapegoat for a poorly managed program, Rogers said at today's hearing.

The Alabama Republican, who has oversight of TSA operations, said the agency first indicated it was moving Rapiscan machines to smaller airports, then couldn't produce a list of airports. The agency is moving 91 units worth $14 million to a warehouse instead of redeploying them, Rogers said.

The TSA has 174 backscatter machines, David Castelveter, a TSA spokesman, said.

'Transparency Problem'''It appears we not only have a technology problem, but a significant transparency problem on our hands,'' Rogers said.

The TSA intends to keep the machines in a warehouse until the privacy-protection software works, John Sanders, assistant administrator for the agency's office of security capabilities, said at the hearing.

TSA has spent about $40 million on backscatter machines to date, Sanders said. It has spent about $100 million on 600 millimeter-wave machines.

The agency awarded a September contract to three companies for the next generation of advanced-imaging scanner: L-3, American Science & Engineering Inc. (ASEI) and Smiths Group Plc. (SMIN) All future machines will come pre-equipped with privacy software, Sanders said.

Peter Kant, an executive vice president with the company, said Rapiscan received a so-called show-cause letter from the TSA on Nov. 9 seeking detailed information about the testing of technology used in the machines.

Passenger SafetyRapiscan became aware of an issue related to software under development months ago and promptly notified the TSA, Kant said in an interview yesterday. The company is fully cooperating with the agency's investigation, which doesn't relate to software that detects anomalies on passengers' bodies, Kant said. Passenger safety was never affected, he said.

Show-cause letters are sent when the government believes a contractor isn't complying with terms, said Gordon, the former federal procurement administrator. It's a last chance for the company to demonstrate it hasn't violated the contract, he said.

Show-cause letters are rare because most contractors try hard to meet the government's requirements, Gordon said. Companies that default on contracts may have a difficult time winning business again from that agency or other parts of the government, he said.

Machines MovedThe TSA recently said it was relocating Rapiscan machines from seven larger, busier airports to smaller ones.

The change related to extra time it takes for passengers to be scanned with the backscatter machines, not any doubts about whether the technology works, Pistole told reporters at a news conference in Washington Nov. 13. Backscatter machines require staff in a separate room to look at the images and radio back to an officer at the checkpoint if extra screening is needed, he said.

TSA believes backscatter technology is still effective in finding non-metallic objects, Pistole said.

''We originally went with two companies to help drive competition and try to get to the next level of detection with the best possible performance,'' Pistole said. ''We're still committed to doing that.''

TSA has contracted for increasing levels of detection and other efficiency and privacy enhancements, Castelveter said in a statement yesterday.

''We fully expect our vendors to deliver on their commitments, and are working with them to that end within the federal contracting process,'' Castelveter said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Plungis in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernard Kohn at

EXCLUSIVE: Obama Pays $175K to ICE Agent to Cover Up Janet Napolitano Sex Harassment '' Homeland Paycheck Security

Link to Article

Source: Debbie Schlussel

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 21:56

By Debbie Schlussel

How much will Barack Obama pay to keep details of Janet Napolitano's discrimination against straight male agents at the Department of Homeland Security a secret? $175,000. How much will Obama pay to keep details of Napolitano's hand-picked Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ex-Chief of Staff Suzanne Barr's sexual harassment of dozens of male agents a secret? $175,000. has learned that today the US government agreed to settle the lawsuit filed by James T. Hayes, the Department of Homeland Security's top New York cop, for $175,000. A court filing, posted below, just made announces the amount.

Click on the image to see the whole thing . . .

Cha-Ching: Barack Obama Just Gave NY ICE Special Agent in Charge Jim Hayes (top left) $175K to Put the Kabosh on Info About Homeland Security Chief Napolitano's Anti-Straight Discrimination in Favor of J-No Girlfriend Dora Schriro (bottom right) & Napolitano's Crony ex-ICE Chief of Staff Suzanne Barr's Sexual HarrassmentI told you, last week, that the biggest winner in Barack Obama's re-election, other than Barack Obama, was Hayes, and that the lawsuit would be quickly settled. And I was right. broke the story, months ago, about Hayes, ICE Special Agent in Charge for New York City, and the lawsuit he filed against Napolitano. As I told you, it would be very embarrassing to Barack Obama to have Napolitano and her lesbian girlfriend, Dora Schriro, deposed, along with disgraced former ICE Chief of Staff Suzy Barr. That the Obama administration was willing to pay $175,000 to keep this from happening is pretty clear evidence of the lengths to which Barack Obama is willing to go to cover up embarrassing details of the top people he hires, including the woman who is supposed to be protecting America from terrorists, and is instead protecting gay and lesbian paramours and female sexual harassers.

You heard a lot from Barack Obama about the Republican Party's alleged ''war on women.'' But Barack Obama uses your money to keep the lid on media attention about his ''war on men.''

I can tell you that there are many other ICE agents who will be sorry they didn't file such a lawsuit, and since the statute of limitations hasn't run out yet for most of Suzy ''Stripper Pole'' Barr's and Janet Napolitano's victims, this settlement may open the floodgates for a lot of similar other lawsuits.

Given this development, I don't think Barack Obama will ever nominate Janet Napolitano for anything else, including''as it was rumored''Attorney General. That would be pretty stupid, since the settlement can't prevent Senators and Congressmen from calling Jim Hayes and other ICE agents as witnesses against ''The Lesbionic Woman.''

''We're From the Govt & We're Here to Help . . . Protect The Lesbionic Woman''

Artwork by David Lunde/Lundesigns

Actual DHS Recruitment Ad

Agenda 21

Plants, soils could exacerbate climate change as global climate warms

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 18 Nov 2012 14:24

Published 15 November 2012Scientists have demonstrated that plants and soils could release large amounts of carbon dioxide as global climate warms; this finding contrasts with the expectation that plants and soils will absorb carbon dioxide and is important because that additional carbon release from land surface could be a potent positive feedback that exacerbates climate warming

Plants and carbon may release carbon when warm. // Source:

Scientists from the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and University of California, Berkeley have demonstrated that plants and soils could release large amounts of carbon dioxide as global climate warms. This finding contrasts with the expectation that plants and soils will absorb carbon dioxide and is important because that additional carbon release from land surface could be a potent positive feedback that exacerbates climate warming.

The study was published today in a Journal of Climate paper titled, ''Carbon cycle uncertainty increases climate change risks and mitigation challenges.''

''We have been counting on plants and soils to soak up and store much of the carbon we're releasing when we burn fossil fuels,'' Paul Higgins, a study co-author and associate director of the AMS Policy Program, said. ''However, our results suggest the opposite possibility. Plants and soils could react to warming by releasing additional carbon dioxide, increasing greenhouse gas concentrations and leading to even more climate warming.''

An AMS release reports that the research team used a computer model of Earth's land surface to examine how carbon storage might react to a warmer planet with higher atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. The experimental design helps quantify the possible range in future terrestrial carbon storage.

Results indicated that the potential range of outcomes is vast and includes the possibility that plant and soil responses to human-caused warming could trigger a large additional release of carbon. If that outcome is realized, a given level of human emissions could result in much larger climate changes than scientists currently anticipate. It would also mean that greater reductions in greenhouse gas emissions could be required to ensure carbon dioxide concentrations remain at what might be considered safe levels for the climate system.

These findings could pose additional challenges for climate change risk management. Recognizing such challenges will afford decision makers a greater chance of managing the risks of climate change more effectively.

Dr. Higgins works on climate change and its causes, consequences, and potential solutions. His scientific research examines the two-way interaction between the atmosphere and the land-surface, which helps quantify responses and feedbacks to climate change. Higgins's policy analysis helps characterize climate risks and identify potential solutions. He also works to inform policy makers, members of the media, and the general public about climate science and climate policy.

Dr. John Harte, the study's other co-author, is a professor of energy and resources and of environmental science, policy and management at University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include climate-ecosystem interactions, theoretical ecology and environmental policy.

'-- read more in Paul A. T. Higgins and John Harte, ''Carbon Cycle Uncertainty Increases Climate Change Risks and Mitigation Challenges,'' Journal of Climate 25 (13 November 2012): 7660''68 (doi:

Coffee beans in danger of extinction - Yahoo! News Canada

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Fri, 16 Nov 2012 18:51

A cup of morning coffee could be much harder to find, and much more expensive, before the century is out thanks to climate change and the possible extinction of wild Arabica beans.

That's the warning behind a new study by U.K. and Ethiopian researchers who say the beans that go into 70 per cent of the world's coffee could be wiped out by 2080.

Researchers at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew and the Environment and Coffee Forest Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia looked at how climate change might make some land unsuitable for Arabica plants, which are highly vulnerable to temperature change and other dangers including pests and disease.

They came up with a best-case scenario that predicts a 38 per cent reduction in land capable of yielding Arabica by 2080. The worst-case scenario puts the loss at between 90 per cent and 100 per cent.

There is a ''high risk of extinction'' says the study, which was published this week in the academic journal Plos One.

That would be bad news for both coffee drinkers and coffee-producing countries such as Ethiopia, Brazil and Colombia, which in 2009/2010 shipped some 93 million bags of coffee around the world, worth an estimated $15.4 billion.

Most coffee is made from Arabica beans. They are prized for their genetic diversity and grow best at between 18 C and 21 C. Above that, the plants ripen too quickly '-- which affects taste '-- or grow too slowly. Other coffee stems from Robusta beans.

The study goes on to note that its results are ''conservative'' because it did not take into account the large-scale deforestation of the Arabica-suitable highland forests of Ethiopia and South Sudan.

"The models assume intact natural vegetation, whereas the highland forests of Ethiopia and South Sudan are highly fragmented due to deforestation," the researchers wrote. Pests, disease and other factors were also not considered.

The authors of the report say certain "core sites" capable of yielding Arabica until at least 2080 should be set aside for conservation.

Israel sperm banks find quality is plummeting - Los Angeles Times

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Sun, 18 Nov 2012 14:13

Ruth Har-Nir, head of Hadassah Sperm Bank in Jerusalem, first noticed a'... (Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles'...)

JERUSALEM '-- The founder of the Tel Aviv-based specialty firm raves about his product with the same gusto distillers reserve for their top-notch scotch. He's particularly proud of his "premium" line. Sure, it costs a bit more, but it's targeted at a more discriminating client.

Dr. Jacob Ronen is in the sperm business. Among other things, as head of Cryobank Israel, the country's largest private sperm bank, he guarantees that his stable of superior donors includes only tall, twentysomething ex-soldiers whose sperm has passed rigorous genetic testing.

But finding such super sperm isn't as easy as it used to be. Only 1 in 100 donors makes the cut. A decade ago, it was 1 in 10.

And it's not just first-rate sperm that's in short supply. All of Israel's half a dozen or so sperm banks are scrambling to keep their liquid-nitrogen freezers stocked.

Simply put, the quality of Israeli sperm is falling at an alarming rate, and no one's sure exactly why.

Fertility is a major issue in Israel, where memories of the Holocaust genocide are fresh, and having children is an entrenched part of Judaism. There's also a political aspect, because birthrates among Arabs in Israel have at times been as much as double those of Jews, triggering a population race that some believe could one day affect who controls the land.

So the drop in the quality of sperm is raising some red flags, even though the cause remains a mystery. Speculative theories range from the mundane (carrying cellphones in front pockets) to the far-fetched (depleted uranium from exploded munitions). Some Israeli scientists are looking seriously at naturally occurring hormones, particularly estrogen, in Israel's water and milk and suggest that it's a mark of the country's aggressive dairy farming methods.

The white-coated director of the Hadassah Sperm Bank, Ruth Har-Nir, hunches over a microscope to view a freshly donated specimen and begins to methodically count each squiggly swimmer magnified on the slide.

She is checking the quality of a prospective donor, a young graduate student hoping to earn some extra cash. Though sophisticated lab machines could be used to analyze potency, Har-Nir says the old-fashioned method works best.

After a quick scan, she sits up straight and shakes her head. The number of spermatozoa darting around each tiny grid on the slide is two to four, well below the minimum six required, and nowhere near the 10 to 20 per grid that indicates the kind of healthy concentration the bank likes to see.

Also, rather than surging forward, some of the little guys flit left and right or just stall out, suggesting a weak motility.

"Under no circumstances can we accept sperm of this quality," she says. In the previous three weeks, her bank tested six candidates and rejected all. "This is the trend," she adds.

When Har-Nir helped launch the sperm bank in 1991, she says, it turned away about a third of the applicants for low quality. Using the same standard today, it would reject more than 80%. Though the bank relaxed its criteria, it still vetoes about two-thirds.

Har-Nir first noticed the problem a decade ago when she began rejecting more and more sperm from otherwise healthy young men. She shared her observations with local fertility doctors and their research has confirmed her suspicion.

Over the last 10 to 15 years, the concentration of sperm samples collected by the bank dropped 37% from 106 million cells per milliliter to 67 million, according to Dr. Ronit Haimov-Kochman, a leading Israeli infertility researcher at the Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center.

Though declining sperm quality is an international phenomenon, the change in Israel is occurring at nearly twice the pace as other developed countries, Haimov-Kochman said. If current trends continue, she said, by 2030 the concentration of sperm from Israeli donors will drop below 20 million cells per milliliter, which many international health experts define as abnormal.

So far, there's no evidence that declining sperm quality is resulting in fewer babies. The birthrate of Israel's Jewish population has risen in recent decades, thanks largely to the increase in the number of ultra-Orthodox Jews, who tend to have large families.

Haimov-Kochman estimated that infertility rates in Israel have risen from 10% to 15% over the last 15 years, but says that's in line with international trends. But she said male infertility '-- once believed to be the cause about half the time, just as in the U.S. '-- is now suspected in 70% of the cases here.

Most worrisome, she added, is that research so far has focused on sperm-bank donors, mostly students who are younger and healthier than the general population.

"If this is happening to the guys on our A-team, we might only be seeing the tip of the iceberg," she said.

Coldest Winter In 100 Years On Way

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Source: Aftermath News

Sun, 18 Nov 2012 00:43

A severe bout of cold weather looks to be heading Britain's way | Nov 17,2012

By Nathan Rao

A severe bout of cold weather looks to be heading Britain's way

BRITAIN will grind to a halt within weeks as the most savage freeze for a century begins.

Temperatures will fall as low as minus 20C in rural areas, forecasters warned last night, while heavy snow and ''potentially dangerous'' blizzards will close roads and cripple rail networks.

James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, said: ''We are looking at some of the coldest and snowiest conditions in at least 100 years. This is most likely to occur in the December to January period with the potential for widespread major snowfall across the country.

''Parts of the North, Scotland and eastern England are likely to experience a run of well below average temperatures, which will include some potentially dangerous blizzard conditions at times.''

He warned the South faces a bout of ''unusually heavy snowfall'' in December.

Leon Brown, meteorologist for The Weather Channel, said snow could arrive as early as next weekend, with temperatures falling to minus 5C in the North.

''There is a 30 per cent risk of some snow over lower levels in Scotland on Friday.''

But before the big freeze arrives the problem will be torrential rain and strong winds gusting up to 80mph. The Met Office last night issued severe weather warnings for heavy rain in parts of the North-west on Monday and Tuesday.

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U.N. Ambassador Rice and Benghazi Consulate Attack

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Source: Programs Recently Aired - C-SPAN Video Library

Fri, 16 Nov 2012 19:04

U.S. House of Representatives | Radio and Television Gallery

Several women members of the House Democratic caucus defended U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice testimony at the United Nations regarding the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.

Several women members of the House Democratic caucus defended U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice testimony at the United Nations regarding the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.

33 minutes |

White House Says Israel Has The Right To Defend Itself & The Israelis Will Make Their Own Decisions

Bill Clinton: Explanation is empowerment

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Sun, 18 Nov 2012 13:40

"Over One Thousand Terror Targets Targeted In Gaza" Netanyahu

Batman Move Massacre Copycat Arrested

CNN: Egypt Vows To Protect Gaza

"This Latest State Of Violence Started After Israeli Helicopters Shot A 13 Year Old Boy In The Head"

"Cyber Security Is DEAD In This Congress!" Senator Harry Reid

ABC's Amanpour Suggests Israel Killed Too Many Civilians in 2009 Gaza War

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Source: MRCTV - News & Politics

Sun, 18 Nov 2012 03:09

MRC TV is an online platform for people to share and view videos, articles and opinions on topics that are important to them -- from news to political issues and rip-roaring humor.

MRC TV is brought to you by the Media Research Center, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit research and education organization. The MRC is located at: 325 South Patrick Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. For information about the MRC, please visit

Copyright (C) 2012, Media Research Center. All Rights Reserved.

VIDEO: What you can and can't say on twitter

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Source: BBC News - Technology

Sun, 18 Nov 2012 14:21

More and more of us are blogging and tweeting, putting our thoughts online. But do we think about the consequences?

Lord McAlpine, the Tory peer who was wrongly accused of child abuse, is said to be preparing to sue individuals who mentioned the allegations on Twitter.

And another recent court case saw a rape victim awarded damages, paid by the people who identified her online.

The situation raises an interesting debate about the right to free speech and protecting people from unjustified attacks.

Media barrister Christina Michalos and the journalist and media law consultant David Banks discuss the pitfalls and the power of social networking sites.

Police Chief Uses Unique Method To Control Homeless Population CBS Sacramento

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Sat, 17 Nov 2012 15:24

NEVADA CITY (CBS13) '' A police chief says he's found a one-of-a-kind way to manage a growing problem in his city, and it's putting the homeless on the hot seat.

A new law would give Nevada City the power to hand out permits to a small group of homeless, which would give them permission to sleep in public. While the new ordinance would give some homeless a place to stay, it would tell others, mostly the troublemakers and the criminals, to stay away.

''I come down here every fall,'' said Bob Barton, who chooses to be homeless in Nevada City.

For Barton, the new ordinance that would essentially identify law-abiding homeless and reward them is music to his ears.

''The goal is to start managing the homeless population within our city,'' said Chief James Wickham.

Wickham asked council members to pass a no-camping ordinance.

''It just basically means you can't set up a tent. You can't live in your vehicle. You can't live in the woods in Nevada City,'' he said.

That is unless you have a permit.

The chief says his program is one of a kind, making only a select few of the city's homeless population an exception to the law, like William Peach.

''There's some of us out there like me who try to blend in with the community,'' said Peach.

However, others who come to Nevada City to commit crimes or with a criminal history won't be so lucky.

''Those are the ones we really don't want in our city and that we're trying to keep from camping in our city,'' said Wickham.

''We've seen a huge upsurge in homeless people,'' Teresa Mann said.

Mann, who owns a business in downtown, says it's about time. And so do the homeless who stay out of trouble and want trouble to stay away.

''If they're homeless and heartless, hey, we got a place for them,'' said James, who is homeless. ''It's called county jail.''

For now, the police chief will give out about six to 10 permits. He'll check back in six months to see if the program is working. If it is, that's when he says he'll give out more.

Wickham says he's identified at least 60 homeless in his community, and 500 homeless countywide.