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No Agenda Episode 438

By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, August 26, 2012 at 12:29 PM.

Social Media Weapons

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Cover Art

By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, August 26, 2012 at 12:30 PM.

NA-Art-438-BIG

Art By: MartinJJ

See ALL the artwork at the generator

Credits

By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, August 26, 2012 at 12:30 PM.

Social Media Weapons

Executive Producers: Sir Greg Simunich, Brian Ferguson

Associate Executive Producers: William R. Baughman, Sir Robert Goshko, Sir Paul Schneiderman, NoAgendaNation.com

438 Club Member: Brian Ferguson

Become a member of the 439 Club, support the show here

Knighthoods: Cory Watilo, Greg Simunich

Art By: MartinJJ

ShowNotes Archive of links and Assets (clips etc) 438.nashownotes.com

Fanscribed Transcription: 438.readnoagenda.com (Pitch in!)

New: Directory Archive of Shownotes (includes all audio and video assets used) nashownotes.com

The No Agenda News Network- noagendanewsnetwork.com

RSS Feed for the newsletter

Get the No Agenda News App for your iPhone and iPad

Torrents of each episode via BitLove

PR

currydvorak.com

Yo Adam, CurryDvorak.com is ready for business. *Serious business. --- Adios mofo. Julien from Melbourne.

Sr kelly's kid's demo car

My son Dallas spent most of the last week preparing his demo car, and wanted to propagate the formula, so the Pontiac Sunfire (now #33) got the No Agenda treatment! http://www.flickr.com/photos/canamrotax/ Building a demo car involves lots of mechanical skills, welding, fabricating, and understanding of automotive systems. The fuel tank and battery are moved inside the cabin to help protect them, all flammable trim and  fabrics are removed, and any glass is removed. It's a ton of work, but it will get the message in front of many eyeballs Sunday!

democar.curry.com

NoAgendaRacing.com

ITM,

I got a third place Saturday. Was in first in my race this morning but it started raining like crazy and we didnt finish that lap so i got 2nd.

Sir Andrew of the round and round table

swasselnuff.com

Welcome to the United States Department of Justice

Link to Article

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 15:44

Friday, August 24, 2012

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has approved a comprehensive settlement agreement between the United States and the Commonwealth of Virginia, resolving the department's findings that Virginia's system for serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The department had found that Virginia was violating the ADA requirement, as interpreted by the Supreme Court's decision in Olmstead v. L.C., to provide people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to live and receive services in the community.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Justice and Interior Departments this week launched a new training seminar for tribal and federal law enforcement on investigating and prosecuting sexual assault cases on tribal lands.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A jury convicted Arvind Ahuja yesterday on federal tax charges stemming from his failure to disclose offshore bank accounts maintained in India and the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. Trial began on Aug. 15, 2012 before U.S. District Judge Charles N. Clevert, Jr., in Milwaukee. Ahuja, a prominent neurosurgeon in Milwaukee, was convicted of one count of filing a false 2009 individual income tax return and one count of failing to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Justice Department today concurrently filed a complaint and consent decree against the Burke County, N.C., Department of Social Services, alleging that the county did not have an effective harassment and discrimination policy in place and did not provide sufficient training in race harassment and discrimination for its employees and supervisors, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. Title VII is a federal statute which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Two Missouri men pleaded guilty today for their roles in a scheme to defraud consumers seeking immigration-related services, the Department of Justice announced.

Rainstick emails

Cory

Hey Adam, Got two things for you, a theory about the rain stick, and the other about my knighthood (accounting attached). Thanks! The Rain Stick Works I'm usually a skeptic when it comes rain sticks and such nonsense, but I can doubt no more: the rain stick really works! It rained very unexpectedly in Southern California (Orange County, specifically), late Thursday night, about 16 hours after the rain stick was shaken. I have a theory as to how it works: The signal was transmitted over the internet backbone that connects Dallas to Los Angeles, a distance of 1,500 miles. The reason it took 16 hours to get here is because the signal was degraded when it made it from Austin to the Dallas hub, and then split all across the country. It looks like the stick needs to be shaken as close to a major backbone as possible for maximum signal strength when sending remote rain signals. Knighthood Cory Watilo (pronounced waddle-low), Orange County, CA (I'm not drunk donating, but I am sleepy, so if John's got a sleepy voice, I'd love to hear it.) After 2 years on the Boarding Pass subscription ($33.33/mo), I've finally reached my knighthood! (Well, I'm $0.10 short, but I'm hoping you can kick in the dime.) Got a bunch of friends who listen to the show but I haven't heard any donations from them lately, so the following people need douchebag callouts: Scott Hodson (btw, Scott is loaded, so he deserves a double douchebag), Tom Capote (kuh-poe-tee) and the entire Capote family. Btw, I've been calling our Vice President by his true name, Joe O'Biden, in conversations with friends and everyone who hears me say it finds it hilarious. Calling people by their NA nicknames is a great lead-in to introducing people to the show, and more people should do that. -- Cory Watilo

Tyler

to let you know, i was listening to the stream when you did the rain stick, Lincoln has been on mandatory water restrictions for a month or two now... well, it's raining right now and we are suppose to get 2 inches today. Thanks! -- Tyler Cruthers

Christopher

Christopher Altman wrote: Dude, I am listening to the podcast and IT IS RAINING IN ATLANTA AS WE SPEAK.

Ken - Arsonomics

Googling "Libor James Holmes" is very interesting indeed. BTW, the rain stick works!!! It just started raining in OKC. Funny thing is I heard the podcast about 9 hours ago! So maybe it's 8-12 hours from the time you hear the podcast. Or perhaps it just takes longer the further away from the stick you are. Ken - ARSONomics

War on Ammo

Police: All Empire State shooting victims were wounded by officers. (CNN video)

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 01:00

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

Victim apparently filed prior complaint that gunman would try to kill him, police sayPolice gunfire wounded nine people in Empire State Building shooting, commissioner saysPolice: Investigation under way after officer shot nine rounds while another shot sevenNew York (CNN) -- On a busy Friday morning in Manhattan, nine pedestrians suffered bullet or fragment wounds after police unleashed a hail of gunfire at a man wielding a .45 caliber pistol who had just killed a former co-worker.

The officers unloaded 16 rounds in the shadow of the Empire State Building at a disgruntled former apparel designer, killing him after he engaged in a gunbattle with police, authorities said.

Three passersby sustained direct gunshot wounds, while the remaining six were hit by fragments, according to New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. All injuries were caused by police, he said Saturday.

One officer shot nine rounds and another shot seven.

Police identified the gunman as Jeffrey Johnson, 58, who was apparently laid off from his job as a designer of women's accessories at Hazan Import Co. last year.

Johnson, who served in the U.S. Coast Guard in the mid-1970s, had two rounds left in his pistol. It holds eight, Kelly said.

Shooting at the Empire State Building

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Police identified the slain co-worker as Steven Ercolino, 41, who had apparently filed a prior complaint against his assailant, claiming that he thought Johnson would eventually try to kill him.

Both men had filed harassment complaints against each other in April 2011, Kelly added.

Ercolino was listed as a vice president of sales at Hazan Import Corp., according to his LinkedIn profile.

"It's not something that should happen to a loving person like that," said his brother, Paul. "He's going to be so missed by everybody. He was a light of so many lives."

His longstanding dispute with the gunman "apparently centered on the fact that Ercolino was not selling -- at least in Johnson's opinion -- as much of his product ... as he wanted him to," Kelly said.

The suspect lost his job last year at Hazan "as a result of downsizing" but continued to return to the company regularly, engaging in "a confrontation with Ercolino virtually every time he went back."

The violence erupted Friday morning just as visitors began to queue up to ascend the famous New York skyscraper in one of Manhattan's busiest neighborhoods.

Six of the injured were treated and released at hospitals by Friday evening, while three others remained hospitalized, Kelly added.

One of those wounded, Erica Solar, was on her way to get a cup of coffee at Dunkin' Donuts when a bullet tore through the back of her leg, her brother said. The Manhattan receptionist is being treated at the city's Bellevue Hospital.

Experts: Empire State Building shooting won't keep tourists away

Others like Robert Asika, a 23-year-old city tour guide, were on their way to work and got caught in the crossfire.

"When I turned around, I saw a guy reach in his suit and he pulled out a gun," he told CNN affiliate WCBS-TV. "I guess he shot at the police officer. And the police officer shot him. And one of them shot me in the arm, and I fell."

Witnesses recount chaotic, unsettling scene

On Friday, Johnson was wearing a business suit and carrying a briefcase as he waited for Ercolino outside his business on West 33rd Street. When Ercolino appeared, "Without any conversation, he shot him once in the head and then shot him in the torso," the police commissioner said.

Johnson then walked east, before eventually turning north. A construction worker was among those who dashed after the gunman after the initial gunshots. Eventually, the worker alerted two police officers in front of the Empire State Building that the suspect "just killed a man around the corner," Kelly said.

The police commissioner said the suspect pulled his gun out of his briefcase as the officers approached, pointing at them. The officers then fatally shot Johnson.

A brief surveillance video released Friday night by police shows the man walking behind a large planter on a busy street. He appears to point something as two officers approach, coming to within a few feet of him. Then, as bystanders run in all directions, the man falls abruptly to the ground after apparently being shot.

Witnesses said police shot Johnson at least three times.

"I heard the gunshots," said Anika Basu, who was on a bus near the building when the shooting happened. "I looked toward the left and saw three people fall. ... The whole entire crosswalk emptied and people were running.

Police say Johnson used a semiautomatic handgun and was carrying extra ammunition in his briefcase. He purchased the weapon legally in 1991 in Florida but did not have a permit to carry it in New York City.

The former Manhattan resident did not appear to have had a criminal record, but authorities were still checking, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

Johnson's neighbor, Gisela Casella, described him as a quiet animal lover whose death left her "shocked."

"He was the nicest guy. He must have snapped or something. I don't know," she said.

His landlord, Guillermo Suarez, said he lived alone and that he'd seen Johnson leave the building around 8 a.m. in a suit.

By around 9 a.m., the shootings had prompted local and federal authorities to close several streets around Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street, snarling traffic in the heart of Manhattan.

What to know about Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is one of the most famous skyscrapers in the world and one of New York's best-known tourist attractions.

Each year, about 4 million people visit the building's two observation decks. At more than 1,453 feet tall, the landmark building reaches more than a quarter-mile into the sky.

CNN's Jonathan Noah, Greg Botelho, Chris Kokenes, Rose Arce and Poppy Harlow contributed to this report.

Gun Used by Shooter Is Known for Its Deadly Power

Link to Article

Source: NYT &gt; Most Recent Headlines

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 00:12

The pistol used by a disgruntled clothing designer to kill a former co-worker outside the Empire State Building on Friday is among the more lethal handguns on the American firearms market.

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said the shooter, Jeffrey T. Johnson, 58, used a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol that held eight rounds. Law enforcement officials said Mr. Johnson bought the pistol in Sarasota, Fla., in 1991.

Mr. Johnson did not have a concealed carry or residential permit in New York, so his possession of the weapon was illegal in New York City, according to Marc La Vorgna, a spokesman for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

The .45-caliber semiautomatic was the standard sidearm for the American armed forces for much of the 20th century. The semiautomatic feature means that the gun reloads automatically after the trigger is pulled and a round is fired; it fires larger rounds than most handguns, making it difficult to handle, but powerful.

''If you don't know what you're doing, you're probably not going to be able to hit the broad side of a barn with it,'' said Joseph F. King, a former United States Customs Service special agent. But, he added, ''If you can put a round in center mass of the body, or the head, he's probably not going to make it.''

The firearm, powerful as it may be, is not the subject of much of the debate about gun control.

''I can't think of a current gun law that would have banned the weapon that was used in this shooting,'' said Daniel Webster, a director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research.

Elected officials who have been pushing new gun laws pointed to the shooting on Friday as another reason that the issue of gun violence deserved more attention from policy makers. ''We are not immune to the national problem of gun violence,'' Mr. Bloomberg said, adding, ''Once again, there's an awful lot of guns out there.''

War on Generics

Draft Guidance for Industry on Generic Drug User Fee Amendments of 2012

Link to Article

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 00:49

Although you can comment on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)), to ensure that the Agency considers your comment on this draft guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance, submit either electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by October 26, 2012.

Submit written requests for single copies of the draft guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 2201, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the draft guidance document.

Submit electronic comments on the draft guidance to http://www.regulations.gov. Submit written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

Jaewon Hong, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20993, 866-405-5367 or 301-796-6707.

FDA is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled ''Generic Drug User Fee Amendments of 2012: Questions and Answers.'' GDUFA (Pub. L. 112-144, Title III) was signed into law by the President on July 9, 2012. GDUFA is designed to speed the delivery of safe and effective generic drugs to the public and reduce costs to industry. GDUFA enables FDA to assess user fees to support critical and measurable enhancements to FDA's generic drugs program.

GDUFA establishes fees for abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs), prior approval supplements (PASs) to ANDAs, and drug master files (DMFs), annual facility fees, and a one-time fee for original ANDAs pending with FDA on October 1, 2012 (backlog fees). Fees will be incurred for ANDAs and PASs submitted on or after October 1, 2012. An application fee will also be incurred the first time a DMF is referenced in an ANDA or PAS submitted on or after October 1, 2012. FDA plans to publish the fee amounts for ANDAs, PASs, DMFs, and the backlog fee in the Federal Register on or before October 31, 2012.

The amount of the annual user fees for generic drug facilities will be determined after GDUFA program launch. Under GDUFA, facilities, sites, and organizations are first required to self-identify. Fees will be determined after the self-identification process has been completed, providing FDA information about the number of facilities that will be required to pay user fees. These include facilities manufacturing, or intending to manufacture, active pharmaceutical ingredients of human generic drugs and/or finished dosage form human generic drugs.

This draft guidance is intended to provide answers to common questions from generic drug industry participants and other interested parties involved in the development and/or testing of generic drug products regarding FDA's plans for implementing GDUFA. This draft guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The draft guidance, when finalized, will represent the Agency's current thinking on generic drug user fee amendments of 2012. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind FDA or the public. An alternative approach may be used if such approach satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.

Interested persons may submit either written comments regarding this document to the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES) or electronic comments to http://www.regulations.gov. It is only necessary to send one set of comments. Identify comments with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document. Received comments may be seen in the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will be posted to the docket at http://www.regulations.gov.

Cyber War$

General tells crowd how US hacked enemy in Afghanistan (video)

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 01:08

By Raphael SatterThe Associated Press

Published: August 24, 2012

The U.S. military has been launching cyberattacks against its opponents in Afghanistan, a senior officer says, making an unusually explicit acknowledgment of the oft-hidden world of electronic warfare.

Marine Lt. Gen. Richard P. Mills' comments came last week at a conference in Baltimore during which he explained how U.S. commanders considered cyber weapons an important part of their arsenal.

"I can tell you that as a commander in Afghanistan in the year 2010, I was able to use my cyber operations against my adversary with great impact," Mills said. "I was able to get inside his nets, infect his command-and-control, and in fact defend myself against his almost constant incursions to get inside my wire, to affect my operations."

Mills, now a deputy commandant with the Marine Corps, was in charge of international forces in southwestern Afghanistan between 2010 and 2011, according to his official biography. He didn't go into any further detail as to the nature or scope of his forces' attacks, but experts said that such a public admission that they were being carried out was itself striking.

"This is news," said James Lewis, a cyber-security analyst with the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. He said that while it was generally known in defense circles that cyberattacks had been carried out by U.S. forces in Afghanistan, he had never seen a senior officer take credit for them in such a way.

"It's not secret," Lewis said in a telephone interview, but he added: "I haven't seen as explicit a statement on this as the one" Mills made.

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on Mills' speech.

U.S. defense planners have spent the past few years wondering aloud about how and under what circumstances the Pentagon would launch a cyberattack against its enemies, but it's only recently become apparent that a sophisticated program of U.S.-backed cyberattacks is already under way.

A book by The New York Times reporter David Sanger recently recounted how President Barack Obama ordered a wave of electronic incursions aimed at physically sabotaging Iran's disputed atomic energy program. Subsequent reports have linked the program to a virus dubbed Flame, which prompted a temporary Internet blackout across Iran's oil industry in April, and another virus called Gauss, which appeared to have been aimed at stealing information from customers of Lebanese banks. An earlier report alleged that U.S. forces in Iraq had hacked into a terrorist group's computer there to lure its members into an ambush.

Herbert Lin, a cyber expert at the National Research Council, agreed that Mills' comments were unusual in terms of the fact that they were made publicly. But Lin said that the United States was, little by little, opening up about the fact that its military was launching attacks across the Internet.

"The U.S. military is starting to talk more and more in terms of what it's doing and how it's doing it," he said. "A couple of years ago it was hard to get them to acknowledge that they were doing offense at all - even as a matter of policy, let alone in specific theaters or specific operations."

Mills' brief comments about cyberattacks in Afghanistan were delivered to the TechNet Land Forces East conference in Baltimore on Aug. 15, but they did not appear to have attracted much attention at the time. Footage of the speech was only recently posted to the Internet by conference organizers.

Richard P. Mills (USMC General) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Darpa Looks to Make Cyberwar Routine With Secret 'Plan X'

Link to Article

Source: ZapLog - externe links

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 14:06

By Noah Shachtman | Wired.com

The Pentagons top research arm is unveiling a new, classified cyberwarfare project. But its not about building the next Stuxnet, Darpa swears. Instead, the just-introduced Plan X is designed to make online strikes a more routine part of U.S. military operations. That will make the son of Stuxnet easier to pull off to, as Darpa puts it, dominate the cyber battlespace.

Darpa spent years backing research that could shore up the nations cyberdefenses. Plan X is part of a growing and fairly recent push into offensive online operations by the Pentagon agency largely responsible for the internets creation. In recent months, everyone from the director of Darpa on down has pushed the need to improve and normalize Americas ability to unleash cyberattacks against its foes.That means building tools to help warplanners assemble and launch online strikes in a hurry. It means, under Plan X, figuring out ways to assess the damage caused by a new piece of friendly military malware before its unleashed. And it means putting together a sort of digital battlefield map that allows the generals to watch the fighting unfold, as former Darpa acting director Ken Gabriel told the Washington Post: a rapid, high-order look of what the Internet looks like of what the cyberspace looks like at any one point in time.

Its not quite the same as building the weapons themselves, as Darpa notes in its introduction to the five-year, $100 million effort, issued on Monday: The Plan X program is explicitly not funding research and development efforts in vulnerability analysis or cyberweapon generation. (Emphasis in the original.)

But it is certainly a complementary campaign. A classified kick-off meeting for interested researchers in scheduled for Sept. 20.

The American defense and intelligence establishment has been reluctant at times to authorize network attacks, for fear that their effects could spread far beyond the target computers. On the eve of the Iraq invasion of 2003, for instance, the Bush administration made plans for a massive online strike on Baghdads financial system before discarding the idea out of collateral damage concerns.

Its not the only factor holding back such operations. U.S. military chiefs like National Security Agency director Gen. Keith Alexander have publicly expressed concern that America may not be able to properly respond to a national-level attack unless theyre given pre-defined battle plans and standing rules of engagement that would allow them to launch a counterstrike at net speed. Waiting more than a few moments might hurt the American ability to respond at all, these officers say.

Plan X aims to solve both problems simultaneously, by automatically constructing mission plans that are as easy to execute as the auto-pilot function in modern aircraft, but contain formal methods to provably quantify the potential battle damage from each synthesized mission plan.

Then, once the plan is launched, Darpa would like to have machines running on operating systems that can withstand the rigors of a full-blown online conflict: hardened battle units that can perform cyberwarfare functions such as battle damage monitoring, communication relay, weapon deployment, and adaptive defense.

The ability to operate in dangerous areas, pull potential missions off-the-shelf, and assess the impact of attacks these are all commonplace for air, sea, and land forces today. The goal of Plan X is to give network-warfare troops the same tools. To get it to the point where its a part of routine military operations, explains Jim Lewis, a long-time analyst of online operations at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Of course, many critics of U.S. policy believe the deployment of cyberweapons is already too routine. Americas online espionage campaign against Iran has been deeply controversial, both at home and abroad. The Russian government and its allies believe that cyberweapons ought to be banned by international treaty. Here in the U.S., theres a fear that, by unleashing Stuxnet and other military-grade malware, the Obama administration legitimized such attacks as a tool of statecraft and invited other nations to strike our fragile infrastructure.

[...]

Read the full article at: wired.com

Blue on Green

U.S. General says Ramadan a factor in murders of U.S. troops by their Afghan partners - Jihad Watch

Will 'Green-on-Blue' Attacks Change NATO Strategy?

Link to Article

Source: News From Antiwar.com

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 04:04

The growing concern about the ''green-on-blue'' attacks by Afghan forces against NATO troops is sparking a lot of finger-pointing. Karzai is blaming Pakistan. Gen. Allen is blaming Ramadan. The Taliban is taking credit for itself, while the Pentagon is trying to downplay the Taliban's role.

Whatever the cause, it is a growing problem for occupation forces in Afghanistan, particularly because many of them are spending a lot of time on Afghan bases training the security forces.

So far, Gen. Allen is insisting their will be no major changes until the matter is more fully studied, while others are speculating that this might force a rethink that would slow down the training mission and, by extension, prolong the occupation.

Of course this has been a time-honored strategy for the US already in keeping the Afghan war going, but with the 2014 ''transition'' date still being given lip-service, it is about time for NATO to come up with an excuse to bump it back yet again, and the ''green-on-blue'' problem could be ready-made for just that.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Battle Fatigue

Follow the Pipes

Azeri pipeline to 'help' Turkey in talks with EU.

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 14:10

Merve Erdil - ISTANBUL / H¼rriyet

This photo shows a SOCAR facility in Azerbaijan. SOCAR owns an 80 pct stake in the TANAP pipeline, while Turkey's BotaÅŸ owns a 15 pct stake and TPAO a 5 pct stake. Company photo

The Trans-Anatolia Pipeline (TANAP) project, which is set to send Azerbaijani natural gas to Turkey, could be a ''game-changer'' in Ankara's accession talks with the European Union, according to an Azeri research center.''Turkey can achieve political gains with this pipeline; it can be an ace in terms of its EU membership negotiations. With the finalization of this project, Turkey will have a whole new position within the region,'' said Gulmir Rzayeva, one of two analysts who wrote a report for SAM, a strategic research center sponsored by the Azerbaijani government.

Turkey was initially interested in the Nabucco pipeline, which is slated to carry natural gas from Azerbaijan's Åžahdeniz gas field to Europe via Turkey, Rzayeva said, but added that the pipeline was deemed to only serve the interests of the consumer nations, meaning Turkey, Azerbaijan and the Åžahdeniz Consortium did not want to remain tied to the pipeline.

TANAP a game changer

''If we had chosen the Nabucco pipeline, we would all be tied to a European project. The Turkish and Azerbaijani governments acted wisely by starting their own pipeline. TANAP has completely changed the game,'' she said.

According to the report, the TANAP pipeline will be very large and have the capacity to transport 60 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

Addressing speculation that the pipeline would cost $7 billion, she said: ''This is not a definite number. It could be more than this or less than this. The pipeline will be built in three stages. It will start with 16 billion cubic meters, continue with 20 billion to 30 billion cubic meters and at the end reach 60 billion cubic meters. This is a long-term perspective. It will also allow for the connection to Central Asian gas.''

Rzayeva also said the pipeline was not in Russia and Iran's interest. Iran, which had been charging Turkey $505 for a thousand cubic meters of gas, has upped the price to $585 since the TANAP agreement was signed in June. This adds an extra $800 million to Turkey's energy bill per year.

TANAP is currently negotiating with both BP and Statoil for potential partnerships, Rzayeva said, adding that the TANAP Consortium's headquarters would be based in the Netherlands in the interests of locating to a ''neutral'' location.

The TANAP pipeline will transport natural gas from Azerbaijan through Georgia and will be sold and forwarded through Turkey. The project's first phase will see the sale of 6 billion cubic meters of the 16 billion cubic meters of natural gas via Turkey. The remaining 10 billion cubic meters will be transported to Europe. Pipeline construction is expected to begin in 2014 and finish in 2018.

The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) holds an 80 percent stake in TANAP, Turkey's natural gas distributor BotaÅŸ holds a 15 percent stake, while Turkey's national oil and gas company (TPAO) controls 5 percent. SOCAR wants to hold at least a 50 percent stake in the pipeline, but this may prove difficult if new partners come on board, according to the report.

August/24/2012

Chavez orders blast investigation

Link to Article

Source: BBC News - Home

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 01:01

25 August 2012Last updated at 19:47 ET Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.

Amateur video showed several blazes at the site

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has ordered an urgent investigation to find the cause of a huge explosion at the country's biggest oil refinery.

The blast at the Amuay plant in Falcon state, in the north-west of the country, led to the deaths of at least 26 people, officials say. More than 80 others were injured.

Mr Chavez declared three days of national mourning.

Earlier, Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said a gas leak had caused the blast.

Mr Chavez said the tragedy had touched all families in the country.

"I want to send out to the families of those who died, civilians and military, all our pain, mine, that of all my family, everyone in the national government and the people of Venezuela," he said.

"It has been decided to have three days of mourning, national mourning because this affects everyone in the big family of Venezuela."

Venezuelan Vice-President Elias Jaua said 17 of the victims were members of the National Guard stationed at the plant.

Venezuelan authorities say the worst is over and the fire is now under control.

Amuay, on the Paraguana peninsula, is part of the Paraguana Refinery Complex, which also includes the Cardon refinery.

It is one of the biggest refinery complexes in the world with an overall capacity of 955,000 barrels per day, Reuters news agency notes.

The accident has halted operations at the refinery, but Mr Ramirez said he expected production to be resumed by Monday.

Mr Ramirez said that Venezuela had enough fuel supplies to guarantee continued exports and domestic supply.

Gas leakThe blast occurred at 01:11 (05:41 GMT) on Saturday.

It unleashed a huge fire that destroyed two fuel tanks and stopped production at the plant.

"The gas cloud exploded, igniting at least two storage tanks and other facilities at the refinery," the energy minister told state TV.

"It was a significant explosion, there is appreciable damage to infrastructure and to houses opposite the refinery," said Mr Ramirez.

Falcon State Governor Stella Lugo said nearby houses had been damaged by the blast.

Local resident Nelly da Lugo said it would be too dangerous for her family to remain in the area:

"PDVSA (Venezuela's government-run oil company) should buy all of these houses and get us out of this community because we are at a very high risk here."

Venezuela has the world's biggest certified oil reserves.

But critics blame under investment by the state-controlled oil company for a decline in production and safety standards.

Refineries have suffered from a long list of problems including power failures and accidents.

Venezuela Gas China exports

Venezuela for a time in 2008-2009ish had Gas stations in USA, they gave up, but still export, it's biggest export partner has now changed from USA to China, and news stories yesterday were talking about this exact fact.  Today a different story, http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/25/world/americas/venezuela-refinery-blast/index.html   26 dead

Has Russia sold out Iran for a stake in Israeli gas?

Link to Article

Source: @adamcurry - Twitter Search

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 13:17

By Peter C. Glover and Michael J. Economides from The Commentator

Chief amongst the Kremlin's economic and political priorities is ensuring that Russia's vast energy resources help it to remain a global superpower

As the tension between Israel and Iran ratchets up, an interesting sub-text has developed over the role of Iran's traditional backer, Russia. While many Western observers continue to raise the spectre of a 'wider Middle East conflagration' (an argument we have consistently refuted), and one that could drag in Russia, a whole new, higher value, game chip is now in play: Moscow's interest in Israeli energy.

Israel and its neighbouring potential partner, Cyprus, of course must be quite aware that Gazprom, Russia's battering ram, can easily prove to be a Trojan Horse in any major future natural gas development. Certainly, they will try to affect a project that could lessen their energy stranglehold over Europe. 20 million metric tons of liquid natural gas (LNG) exported each year from the eastern Mediterranean into Europe would amount to about one third of current Russian exports.

Whatever we may think of Vladimir Putin's politics, one thing is clear, he is a shrewd, often ruthless, operator on the global stage. But Putin's Kremlin is clearly rattled by the threat of decline for that which underpins Russia's entire economy: its energy hegemony.

Putin is only too aware of the triple whammy of falling domestic energy productivity, surging global shale development in the wake of the transforming US shale revolution, and a new threat posed to a European market still dependent on Russian gas imports '' the significant potential of Israeli and Cypriot gas exports.

According to reports, while publicly playing down the impact that shale gas and oil is likely to have, Putin is privately urging Russia's energy majors to learn all they can about hydraulic fracturing techniques. Meanwhile, in a bid to retain a key stake in its European export market '' Russia supplies a quarter of all Europe's (rising) natural gas demand '' Moscow is set on doing all in its power to protect its 'captive' market.

To date, Europe's anti-shale gas policies have played into Russian hands. But with energy prices spiralling in Europe while America's shale revolution has seen natural gas prices cut in half with the country on the road to possible energy independence, Europe's own shale gas resources, almost on a par with those in the US, are proving an increasingly attractive economic proposition.

Read the whole thing

Elite$

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

Link to Article

Source: NYT &gt; Most Recent Headlines

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 13:14

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands '-- Not since Queen Elizabeth II's hello to this remote part of her realm four decades ago have the inhabitants of Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands, made such a fuss for a visitor. Hillary Clinton is expected next week for the Pacific Island Forum.

It's a big occasion that presents major challenges for the 9,000 people who live here in Avarua, a town in northern Rarotonga, arguably one of the most isolated spots on the planet.

Realpolitik is about to confront local realities.

Space is at such a premium at the local airport that should the U.S. secretary of state make next week's gathering, her second plane, a cargo aircraft, will need to find alternative parking, perhaps in Pago Pago, a two-hour flight away.

She won't be alone. Delegates from the 16-member forum and another 41 countries will descend on the Cook Islands next week.

Representatives from China '-- which, like the United States, is what is officially known as a ''Dialogue Partner'' to P.I.F. '-- are coming to lobby for the cluster of U.N. votes held by South Pacific nations, seeking even more allies in Beijing's never-ending tussle with Taiwan.

Yet for most islanders, who rarely get to bask in the international limelight, what counts as a weighty diplomatic matter is whether Clinton will attend. Anxiety is running high. ''Is she coming?'' has for months been the nagging question at the supermarkets and bars.

One worry is that there aren't enough government S.U.V.s to make a proper motorcade, so locals have been called upon to lend their four-wheel drives to Clinton and her entourage. Volunteers are being trained as chauffeurs.

Lesser envoys, including prime ministers, will have to be satisfied with a police escort on motorbikes along Rarotonga's only road, a 32-kilometer two-lane highway that circles the island, along white sand beaches and the sparkling Pacific Ocean. As one local put it, this road goes in two directions, clockwise and anti-clockwise.

Not everyone is happy with the guests' special treatment. With Rarotongans under orders not to overtake the convoys, one disgruntled local is reportedly having posters made depicting a bare, bent-over bottom to display as they pass by.

Then again, some guests might not much care for the local treatment. America's secret service agents tend to travel armed, but Cook Islands Police Commissioner Maara Tetava has publicly insisted that all weapons carried by foreign security details will be confiscated on arrival, to be returned upon leaving.

The prohibition makes sense: there are few guns in the Cook Islands, a country of five-digit telephone numbers. Men here play rugby, fish and paddle outrigger canoes. Women run most of the businesses and really do wear a circlet of flowers in their hair.

A cat named Tossi also made headlines the day news was splashed on the front page of Cook Island News that Clinton's spare jet might have to land 800 miles away. The feline, black with a splash of calico, had escaped from an animal clinic.

Luke Hunt is a journalist based in Southeast Asia.

Agenda 21

California Hit With Hottest Rain in Recorded History

Link to Article

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 12:38

Howlander/CC BY 2.0

With much of the U.S. continuing to suffer under the worst drought conditions in half-a-century, any rainy weather system at all might seem a refreshing sight -- but evidently, sometimes a T-storm can feel a lot like a tea-storm.

According to Weather Underground, the city of Needles, California, recently experienced what is believed to be the hottest rainfall on record. On Monday, not long after hitting a daytime high of 118°F (the hottest it's ever been there, by the way), a thunderstorm rolled through, dropping precipitation over the Mojave Desert town that reached a scorching 115°F.

"Monday's rain at 115° in Needles sets a new world record for the hottest rain in world history," writes weather expert Dr. Jeff Masters.

But that wasn't the only record set that day. The rain fell with conditions at just 11 percent humidity, "the lowest humidity rain has ever occurred at anywhere on Earth in recorded history."

Due to the low humidity, however, only a scattering of the super-hot droplets reached the ground before evaporating, sparing unsuspecting residents from the full brunt of an oddly shower-like rain shower.

Dr. Master explains the science behind the scalding rain:

It is exceedingly rare to get rain when the temperature rises above 100°F, since those kind of temperatures usually require a high pressure system with sinking air that discourages rainfall. Monday's rain in Needles was due to a flow of moisture coming from the south caused by the Southwest U.S. monsoon, a seasonal influx of moisture caused by the difference in temperature between the hot desert and the cooler ocean areas surrounding Mexico to the south.

Prior to Needles' record-setting rain, the hottest on record occurred in Saudi Arabia, reaching temperatures of 109°F. And, what might seem a mere arbitration, may in fact be a growing trend; to date, the top three hottest rainfalls on record have occurred within the last two years.

How Climate Change Contributed to The Syrian Uprising.

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 01:02

Years of drought and mass displacement in Syria may have been the straw that broke the camel's back and led to the ongoing uprising

Following the eruption of revolts and riots in 2011 which later became the Arab Spring, the link between food prices and rising political opposition was a difficult one to ignore. The Arab revolutions had been sparked by the actions of a desperate young man who set himself alight in Sidi Bouzid after being forbidden from selling his produce at market. People across the region were also vocally unhappy with the rising price of basic foods and falling wages '' in Egypt, loaves of bread were waved in protests to highlight this struggle. The link between climate change related factors and the war in Syria, however, hasn't been as widely discussed. Yet, drought and ineffective water and agricultural policies are believed to have contributed to the uprisings and should ''serve as a warning of the potential impact of climate change on political stability.''

According to an article written by Shahrzad Mohtadi in the Bulletin of Atomic Sciences, ''drought tipped the scale of an unbalanced agricultural system that was already feeling the weight of policy mismanagement and unsustainable environmental practices. Further, lack of contingency planning contributed to the inability of the system to cope with the aftermath of the drought. Decades of poorly planned agricultural policies now haunt Syria's al-Assad regime.''

Between 1990 and 2005, Syria experienced six significant droughts most of which lasted one season. The latest drought, however, took place from 2006 to 2010 and lasted an astounding four seasons- a true anomaly according to Mohtadi, who adds that the longevity meant that farmers weren't as able to withstand the dry periods by falling back on secondary water resources.

An estimated 1.5 million people were displaced in Syria due to the drought. Entire families were forced to emigrate from Eastern Syria near the Euphrates River that had shrivelled under the five year drought to urban cities. Temporary settlements formed on the outskirts of Damascus, Hama, Homs, Aleppo, and Dara'a '-- the latter city being the site of the first significant protest in the country in March 2011.

As early as 2001, the World Bank warned that the Syrian Government's efforts to achieve food security by investing in water-intensive crops such as wheat and also cotton would undermine ''Syria's security over the long-term by depleting available groundwater resources.'' Indeed by 2008, the Syrian government was forced to accept that its policy of self-sufficiency had failed and for the first time in two decades it began importing wheat.

''A combination of stress factors resulting from policies of economic liberalization '-- including growing income disparities and the geographic limitations of the economic reforms '-- shattered the Syrian regime's projected image of stability,'' explains Mohtadi. ''Even if it was not the leading cause of the Syrian rebellion, the drought and resulting migration played an important role in triggering the civil unrest now underway in Syria.''

: Bulletin of Atomic Sciences. Hat tip to The Arabist

: Image of protest against Assad via homeros / Shutterstock.com

For more on Syria and climate change:

Millions Go Hungry In Syria, Libya and Yemen

Syrian Farmers Increasingly Vulnerable

Climate Change Kills 160 Syrian Villages

NYT Carbon Tax Would Have Many Benefits

Link to Article

Source: bertb news feed

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 07:09

DON'T expect to hear much about climate change at the Republican and Democratic conventions.

Yes, there will be plenty of speeches about unemployment, budget deficits and other immediate problems. But the threats posed by global warming are decades away '-- or so we have been told repeatedly in recent years.

Many climate scientists, however, are now pointing to evidence linking rising global temperatures to the extreme weather we're seeing around the planet. The United States has just endured its hottest 12-month period on record. The worst drought in a generation has parched the nation's crop belt. Floods that happened once a century now occur every few years.

With distressing images of weather-related disasters saturating the news media, climate change no longer seems such a distant and abstract worry '-- except, perhaps, in Washington. In 2009, President Obama persuaded House Democrats, then in the majority, to pass a bill aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Facing a Republican filibuster in the Senate, however, the legislation died. And its prospects dimmed further when Republicans took control of the House in 2010. Mr. Obama has remained relatively silent on the issue since then.

Mitt Romney, for his part, has been equivocal about whether rising temperatures are caused by human action. But he has been adamant that uncertainty about climate change rules out policy intervention. ''What I'm not willing to do,'' he told an audience in New Hampshire last summer, ''is spend trillions of dollars on something I don't know the answer to.''

Climatologists are the first to acknowledge that theirs is a highly uncertain science. The future might be better than they think. Then again, it might be much worse. Given that risk, policy makers must weigh the potential cost of action against the potential cost of inaction. And even a cursory look at the numbers makes a compelling case for action.

According to the respected M.I.T. global climate simulation model, there is a 10 percent chance that average surface temperatures will rise by more than 12 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. Warming on that scale could end life as we know it. Smaller increases would be less catastrophic, but even the most optimistic projections imply enormous costs.

The good news is that we could insulate ourselves from catastrophic risk at relatively modest cost by enacting a steep carbon tax. Early studies by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimated that a carbon tax of up to $80 per metric ton of emissions '-- a tax that might raise gasoline prices by 70 cents a gallon '-- would eventually result in climate stability. But because recent estimates about global warming have become more pessimistic, stabilization may require a much higher tax. How hard would it be to live with a tax of, say, $300 a ton?

If such a tax were phased in, the prices of goods would rise gradually in proportion to the amount of carbon dioxide their production or use entailed. The price of gasoline, for example, would slowly rise by somewhat less than $3 a gallon. Motorists in many countries already pay that much more than Americans do, and they seem to have adapted by driving substantially more efficient vehicles.

A carbon tax would also serve two other goals. First, it would help balance future budgets. Tens of millions of Americans are set to retire in the next decades, and, as a result, many budget experts agree that federal budgets simply can't be balanced with spending cuts alone. We'll also need substantial additional revenue, most of which could be generated by a carbon tax.

If new taxes are unavoidable, why not adopt ones that not only help balance the budget but also help make the economy more efficient? By reducing harmful emissions, a carbon tax fits that description.

A second benefit would occur if a carbon tax were approved today but phased in gradually, only after the economy had returned to full employment. High unemployment persists in part because businesses, sitting on mountains of cash, aren't investing it because their current capacity already lets them produce more than people want to buy. News that a carbon tax was coming would create a stampede to develop energy-saving technologies. Hundreds of billions of dollars of private investment might be unleashed without adding a cent to the budget deficit.

SOME people argue that a carbon tax would do little good unless it were also adopted by China and other big polluters. It's a fair point. But access to the American market is a potent bargaining chip. The United States could seek approval to tax imported goods in proportion to their carbon dioxide emissions if exporting countries failed to enact carbon taxes at home.

In short, global warming has a fairly simple and cheap technical solution. Extreme weather is already creating enormous human suffering. If it continues, politicians will have a hard time ignoring the problem when the 2016 conventions roll around. If the recent meteorological chaos drives home the threat of climate change and prompts action, it may ultimately be a blessing in disguise.

Robert H. Frank is an economics professor at the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.

Smart meter movement stirs rowdy debate in Texas - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports.

Link to Article

Source: BrianWright's Feed

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 01:03

By SARAH KUTAAssociated Press DALLAS (AP) - Thelma Taormina keeps a pistol at her Houston-area home to protect against intruders. But one of the last times she used it, she said, was to run off a persistent utility company worker who was trying to replace her old electricity meter with a new digital unit.

"This is Texas." she declared at a recent public hearing on the new meters. "We have rights to choose what appliances we want in our home."

A nationwide effort to upgrade local power systems with modern equipment has run into growing resistance in Texas, where suspicion of government and fear of electronic snooping have made a humble household device the center of a politically charged showdown over personal liberty.

Some angry residents are building steel cages around their electric meters, threatening installers who show up with new ones and brandishing Texas flags at boisterous hearings about the utility conversion. At a recent hearing at the state Capitol in Austin, protesters insisted everyone present recite the Pledge of Allegiance before the meeting could begin.

"It's Gestapo. You can't do this," said Shar Wall of Houston, who attended the Public Utility Commission meeting wearing a large red "Texas Conservative" pin. "I'm a redneck Texas girl and I won't put up with it."

Utilities began replacing old-style electricity meters across the country about seven years ago as part of an effort to better manage demand on an increasingly strained power grid. New "smart meters" transmit and receive data remotely as electricity is used. Utility officials say they can use the real-time information to help prevent grid overloads during extreme temperatures. The devices would also promote conservation, such as cycling air conditioners on and off during peak demand periods.

In 2009, President Barack Obama devoted $3.5 billion in federal stimulus funds to help utility companies make the upgrade.

The conversion has triggered opposition in a number of states. Some residents have questioned the health impact of the radio waves the devices emit or the possibility that hackers could get confidential data from the transmissions.

Officials have downplayed the hazards, but several states, including California, Vermont, Maine and Nevada, have allowed residents to opt out of the new system. In most cases, residents would have to pay extra to have a utility employee come to their house to read their old meter.

Texas utilities have installed nearly 6 million smart meters, or 87 percent of their goal, since the state passed authorizing legislation in 2005. But as the project moves toward completion by 2016, the opposition is getting louder. It also carries the distinct flavor of an ultraconservative state that relishes its history as an independent republic before joining the United States.

State utility commission hearings on the meters have featured as many references to the Founding Fathers, the Revolutionary War and the Constitution as to the technical demands on the power system.

At a recent session, a staff presentation included a slide saying the new meters "are not meant to spy on you." Waiting to testify, activist David Akin replied, "Yes they are!"

Some say the meters would allow the police or other government agencies to tell when a person was awake and what they were doing in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

"I'm not going to let somebody else control what I do in my house," said Ginger Russell, who recently replaced her "No Smart Meters" sign with a steel cage around her home's analog meter in the East Texas town of Magnolia.

Those emphasizing privacy concerns cite a report issued by the U.S. Department of Energy in January that said many companies had not done enough to protect the smart meters from hackers. Some studies have also added to the health concerns. A branch of the World Health Organization last year called radio-frequency radiation from cellphones, utility meters and other devices a "possible carcinogen."

However, the Federal Communications Commission has rated the smart meters as safe, saying they are considered unlikely to cause bodily tissue heating or electric shock. The radio frequency radiation levels are much lower than those emitted by cellphones, supporters say.

Utility commission officials say the security concerns are being addressed and that the overwhelming majority of Texans accept the new meters. The commission will consider this fall whether to allow Texas residents to opt out.

"We believe this new technology is a direction that benefits consumers from an energy efficiency standpoint," said Leticia Lowe, spokeswoman for CenterPoint Energy, which serves the Houston area. She added, "We're moving forward with an industry that hadn't changed in over 100 years."

In the meantime, CenterPoint has directed its employees to leave immediately when a resident rejects a smart meter. The company says contract installers are encountering tough resistance in some neighborhoods.

"We're concerned about the safety of utility workers and other public service personnel legitimately doing their jobs," said CenterPoint spokesman Floyd LeBlanc.

Taormina, 55, says she's keeping her pistol handy just in case. The first smart meter installer who came to her house last summer wouldn't leave until she got the weapon out, she said.

"If someone comes on my property and assaults me - that's the idea of having a weapon is to equalize my little self against somebody that's bigger than me," she said.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Does a Spanish Nuclear Plant have the same cracks as found in Belgium?

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 12:51

Does a Spanish Nuclear Plant have the same cracks as found in Belgium?larger | smallerBy h.b. - Aug 24, 2012 - 12:01 PMThe possible problems are at the Garo±a plant in Burgos.The Nuclear Safety Council, CSN, is to investigate whether the aging nuclear power station at Garo±a could be suffering the same cracks which have been found in a Belgian nuclear plant.

Any defect in the manufacture of the reactor would complicate extending the life of the plan as planned. The plant should close in July 2013 but it to ask, in the first week of September, for an extension to 2019, which the PP cabinet has already approved.Brussels gave a warning earlier this month after uncovering a defect in the manufacture of the plant.

Ecologists in Spain have always described Garo±a as 'The nuclear power station of the 1,000 cracks' referring to earlier problems over ten years ago.

In Spain the safety council thinks it improbable that the nuclear plant at Cofrentes, a village in the Valencia region, is suffering and problems.

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Syria

How Climate Change Contributed to The Syrian Uprising.

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 01:02

Years of drought and mass displacement in Syria may have been the straw that broke the camel's back and led to the ongoing uprising

Following the eruption of revolts and riots in 2011 which later became the Arab Spring, the link between food prices and rising political opposition was a difficult one to ignore. The Arab revolutions had been sparked by the actions of a desperate young man who set himself alight in Sidi Bouzid after being forbidden from selling his produce at market. People across the region were also vocally unhappy with the rising price of basic foods and falling wages '' in Egypt, loaves of bread were waved in protests to highlight this struggle. The link between climate change related factors and the war in Syria, however, hasn't been as widely discussed. Yet, drought and ineffective water and agricultural policies are believed to have contributed to the uprisings and should ''serve as a warning of the potential impact of climate change on political stability.''

According to an article written by Shahrzad Mohtadi in the Bulletin of Atomic Sciences, ''drought tipped the scale of an unbalanced agricultural system that was already feeling the weight of policy mismanagement and unsustainable environmental practices. Further, lack of contingency planning contributed to the inability of the system to cope with the aftermath of the drought. Decades of poorly planned agricultural policies now haunt Syria's al-Assad regime.''

Between 1990 and 2005, Syria experienced six significant droughts most of which lasted one season. The latest drought, however, took place from 2006 to 2010 and lasted an astounding four seasons- a true anomaly according to Mohtadi, who adds that the longevity meant that farmers weren't as able to withstand the dry periods by falling back on secondary water resources.

An estimated 1.5 million people were displaced in Syria due to the drought. Entire families were forced to emigrate from Eastern Syria near the Euphrates River that had shrivelled under the five year drought to urban cities. Temporary settlements formed on the outskirts of Damascus, Hama, Homs, Aleppo, and Dara'a '-- the latter city being the site of the first significant protest in the country in March 2011.

As early as 2001, the World Bank warned that the Syrian Government's efforts to achieve food security by investing in water-intensive crops such as wheat and also cotton would undermine ''Syria's security over the long-term by depleting available groundwater resources.'' Indeed by 2008, the Syrian government was forced to accept that its policy of self-sufficiency had failed and for the first time in two decades it began importing wheat.

''A combination of stress factors resulting from policies of economic liberalization '-- including growing income disparities and the geographic limitations of the economic reforms '-- shattered the Syrian regime's projected image of stability,'' explains Mohtadi. ''Even if it was not the leading cause of the Syrian rebellion, the drought and resulting migration played an important role in triggering the civil unrest now underway in Syria.''

: Bulletin of Atomic Sciences. Hat tip to The Arabist

: Image of protest against Assad via homeros / Shutterstock.com

For more on Syria and climate change:

Millions Go Hungry In Syria, Libya and Yemen

Syrian Farmers Increasingly Vulnerable

Climate Change Kills 160 Syrian Villages

Terrorists in Syria Using Prisoners as ''Human Bombs''

Link to Article

Source: BlackListedNews.com

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 13:37

One can only imagine the headlines had the Syrian government been caught using blindfolded prisoners to deliver trucks to enemy targets, told freedom was at hand when in reality they were delivering vehicles packed full of explosives and were essentially unwitting ''human bombs.'' Curt articles with headlines like ''ASSAD REGIME USES HUMAN BOMBS!'' would surely be splashed across the Western press.

Image: This man, identified as Abu Hilal, was told he'd be given his freedom as part of a ''prisoner exchange.'' In reality, terrorists had planted a bomb in the bed of the truck Hilal would be driving and planned to detonate it remotely as he approached a military checkpoint. Undermining yet another myth of the fraudulent ''War on Terror,'' it appears that Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists, in Syria, Iraq, and beyond, have used unwitting ''human bombs'' driving vehicles or carrying parcels rigged with explosives they had no knowledge of '' claiming they are ''suicide bombers.''

'....

However, it is terrorist militants operating in Syria that are employing these very tactics, apparently so frequently the Western media has feared eventually the story would get out. What would follow was a ''limited hangout'' provided courtesy of the New York Times, with copious amounts of literary padding to portray the craven war criminals as ''human'' and their premeditated violation of human rights as ''desperate,'' even ''justified.''

Even the title of NYT's article, ''Life With Syria's Rebels in a Cold and Cunning War,'' betrays what is essentially reported '' an egregious war crime that illuminates what many have long suspected is the reality behind ''suicide bombings'' used by Al Qaeda and its affiliates not just in Syria, but worldwide '' that they are not carried out by fanatics, but by unwitting, coerced, and ultimately innocent victims.

What NYT does, is attempt with its long-winded narrative to humanize and endear to us the militants before revealing just what they did. However, the nearly 4,000 word article boils down to just 4 sentences:

The real plan was beginning to emerge. It involved the prisoner, Abu Hilal. The assurances that he would be released had been a deception. The fighters intended to put him behind the wheel of the truck bomb near the checkpoint and tell him to drive forward in a prisoner exchange.

The NYT would claim that the bomb ''failed'' leaving the terrorists ''disappointed.'' But in Syria, sectarian terrorists, many with direct ties to Al Qaeda, have been employing bombings like this for months, many of which have been categorized as ''suicide bombings.'' Surely had NYT's terrorist hosts succeeded, yet another ''suicide bombing'' would have been marked down.

It had been reported in May 2012, that terrorists operating in Syria had begun using bombs to target both the military and civilians, with entire ''factories'' dedicated to the production of explosive devices. Many of these bombs were being built by Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists who had participated in the Iraqi civil war, cultivated by the West itself to break the back of joint Sunni-Shi'ia resistance to US occupation.

Also, during the Iraq War and US occupation throughout it, there were reports of Iraqis having their vehicles impounded by Western forces, and upon securing the release of their vehicles discovering they had been rigged with explosives '' in a scenario very similar to what is now being seen by US-funded, armed, and backed terrorists in Syria.

With this latest insight into the deceit with which the West wages its proxy wars, and the deceit exhibited by their terrorist legionaries, along with stories like British SAS soldiers being caught in Iraq posing as extremists and terrorizing local populations to trigger further conflict, the public must be aware that not all is what it seems, especially in regards to what is reported by the West's corporate media. NYT has reported this to portray it as an isolated incident, when in reality it is a method of operation that has transcended US theaters of war and destabilization across the region and beyond.

What the New York Times has done, and many other Western media houses like it have been doing, is observing war crimes, then promptly spinning and excusing them. Concurrently, they manipulate Syrian Army operations, or even fabricate events, to demonize the Syrian government. This is war propaganda, and it is in itself is a war crime punishable under the Nuremberg precedent. As war criminals, the Western press certainly have found ideological allies amongst the terrorists ravaging Syria.

VIDEO: 'Scores of bodies' found in Syria

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Source: BBC News - Home

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 13:07

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Egypt

Egypt seals off 120 smuggling tunnels

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Source: euronews

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 16:41

Egyptian security officials say they have now sealed off 120 tunnels in the Sinai peninsula, which were being used to smuggle people and goods to and from neighbouring Gaza.

Several homes sitting on top of passageway exits have also been demolished.

The military has stepped up its offensive in Sinai with extra troops and tanks, after suspected militants killed 16 Egyptian border guards earlier this month.

Egypt says the gunmen used the smuggling tunnels to carry out the attack.

Lawlessness has spread in Sinai since the fall of president Hosni Mubarak and the election of Mohamed Mursi, who has vowed to restore stability to the area.

More about:Border Controls, Egypt, Israel, The Gaza StripCopyright (C) 2012 euronews

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EUROLand

France refuses to back Greece's call for more time to enact reforms

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Source: The Guardian World News

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 16:31

Antonis Samaras (L) and Fran§ois Hollande: the French president praised Greece for making budget cuts. Photograph: Michel Euler/AP

The French president, Fran§ois Hollande, has put more pressure on Greece to push ahead with painful reforms after a meeting with the Greek prime minister, Antonis Samaras.

While Hollande praised Greek citizens for making necessary budget cuts, which EU leaders hope will pull Greece back from crisis and secure the next round of bailout funds, the French leader offered no concessions to Samaras during their meeting in Paris on Saturday.

Samaras has been seeking more time to pass reforms, arguing that an extension of up to two years would allow Greece time to improve growth and therefore its public finances.

But Hollande said no decision could be taken on the issue until European ministers have considered a financial report on Greece, which is due to be published by the International Monetary Fund, the European commission and the European Central Bank in September.

The report will be presented to a Eurogroup summit in October and Hollande said Europe needed to make decisions "the sooner the better".

"We've been facing this question for two-and-a-half years; there's no time to lose, there are commitments to reaffirm on both sides, decisions to take, and the sooner the better," Hollande said.

Hollande's position echoes that of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, who met Samaras in Berlin on Friday.

However, the French president was keen to promote the idea of solidarity. "For me, the question should no longer be asked: Greece is in the eurozone," he said.

"In the face of ordeals, we must show more solidarity '... I hailed the efforts that the Greek people have committed to painfully for the last two years," Hollande said. "We need to be aware of all that has been done."

Samaras needs to put in place economic and structural reforms, which include changes to the labour market and more privatisation, and spending cuts of some '‚¬11.5bn (£9.1bn) over the next two years.

Responding to concerns that Greece may not stick to such harsh requirements amid pressure from the financial markets, Samaras restated a commitment to the plan.

"Some continue to speculate against Greece '... to speculate by saying that Greece won't pull through, that it can't stay in the eurozone," he said. "I'm here today to say that will pull through, it will stay in the eurozone. I also think we can fulfil our commitments and goals, reduce our deficits, reduce our debt, achieve the structural reforms that have begun privatisations and justice."

If he succeeds, Samaras will secure '‚¬33.5bn in the second instalment of the '‚¬130bn bailout, which Greece needs to repay on its debt burden and to stay in the euro.

Greece Ready To Start Selling Its Islands

Link to Article

Source: Untitled Feed

Thu, 23 Aug 2012 15:41

A year ago the mere mention of Greece selling its real estate, let along its prized islands, was enough to fill Syntagma square with tear gas, laser light pointers and the occasional riot dog. Now - nobody cares, which is why the statement by Greek PM Samaras that he is ready to start selling Greek islands was largely met with a yawn across the investing world.

From AP:

Afraid of investing in Greek bonds? Invest in a Greek island instead.

Greece's prime minister is quoted Thursday in an interview in France's Le Monde as saying the government could cash in on uninhabited islands.

Antonis Samaras said investment is key to reviving the economy, and that privatization plans include selling railways and a part of the Attica coast.

Asked if the government is ready to sell uninhabited islands too, he said, ''as long as this doesn't pose problems for national security, some of these isles could have a commercial use.''

He didn't elaborate or say the government would sell the islands altogether: ''This is not, in any way, about selling them off for cheap, but about transforming unused terrain into capital that could generate revenue, at a fair price.''

Of course, nobody in their right mind will "buy" a Greek island for three reasons:

Said island will soon be used as secret collateral for loans to the ECB and Germany, meaning there will be no equity value left for the "buyers""Buyers" can't take it with them, andAll island sales will be promptly re-nationalized when the opposition takes control of government in the next election in a few months, kicking Greece out of the Euro, and declaring all previous "deals" null and void, just before it announces Odious debt means all Greek debt is also null and void.And to think all of this could have been avoided if Greece simply collected taxes....

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Bullying!

Forsyth County Schools Put Anti-Bullying Ads On Buses: See Something? Say Something? | digtriad.com

Link to Article

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 12:38

Winston-Salem, NC - With school approaching, the 10 or 15 minute school bus ride can determine the rest of a child's day.

"If its chaos...if they are afraid and if they are being picked on. And what about the child who says they are walking and doesn't come to school," said Rhonda fleming, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

Winston-Salem Forsyth county schools placing anti-bullying ads on their buses using the slogan, See something? Say Something?

Kids will be able to call the number on the ad to report bullying. The anti-bullying stickers were purchased as apart of the bullying curriculum which is funded by the school district. This is a perfect time to remind you at home to slow down when buses are present. And when stop arm is extended to put on the brakes.

According to Forsyth School officials, our school district has had Bullying Awareness committee since 2010. It started when the district rolled out "Rachel's Challenge" in an effort to educate students, parents and the community on what is bullying, its affects and what to do about it.

There is a national bullying curriculum for all school bus drivers and their slogan is "SEE SOMETHING. DO SOMETHING." (See this link for more about the curriculum/training.)

The Winston/Forsyth County School District, held training for all school bus drivers last week on being aware of bullying and reporting it to school administration right away and general student management.

The district's data indicated their are "hot spots" in every school system such as hallways, stairwells, playgrounds and buses. So, transportation officials decided to make available the number on the school bus to add to resources available to help us stop bullying.

The ads, would allow both the victim to report it and any witnesses.

"Sometimes children lack the confidence to stand up for themselves, we have to help them until they are able to help themselves. Other students can help us stop bullying by reporting it," said Fleming.

Squirrel!

Feds Charge Man As Enemy Combatant Supporting Terrorism For Uploading Youtube Video

Link to Article

Source: Dprogram.net

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 14:08

(HigginsBlog) '' Feds Charge Man As Enemy Combatant Supporting Terrorism For Uploading YouTube Video, Subjecting Him To Permanent Imprisonment, Torture, And Lethal Beatings Without A Trial

Take freedom of speech and other personal liberties '-- including protections against cruel and unusual punishment, right to face your accuser, and right to trial by jury '-- and throw them right out the window. All for the crime of uploading a YouTube.

That is what a 24 year old Virginia man, Jubair Ahmad, faces as the feds charge him with providing support for terrorism for allegedly uploading a propaganda video. The crime comes with the dubious distinction that the accused are treated as if they are actually terrorists or as the U.S. government labels them ''enemies combatants''. With the declaration of being an enemy combatant the rights and protections engraved into the Constitution with the full force of our founding father's very own flesh and blood are instantly nullified.

That's right. The Department of Justice of the great United States of America has charged a Jubair Ahmad, a 24 year old Woodbridge, Virginia man, of providing support for terrorism because he allegedly uploaded a propaganda video to YouTube. The accusation alone instantly classifies the man as an 'enemy combatant' and 'clear and present danger'. Such persons who are a 'threat to national security' have absolutely no rights. To make matters worse, businesses and nations aren't allowed to do business with such so-called 'terrorists' or they will be declared a terrorist themselves. That means a lawyer who takes up his case can be charge with providing support for terrorism. That is if the United States government even decides to honor habeas corpus and give the man a trial in the first place. Our beloved supreme court has ruled that 'enemy combatants' can be abducted, tortured, assassinated, and even detained for ever without a trialbecause the constitution does not apply to them. Even worse, the lucky few who are released after being declared innocent have no right to legal recourse because revealing the details of their detention and torture is also a threat to national security.

This is what the 'war on terror' has escalated to, which we have been brainwashed by our government is necessary to protect our liberties from our enemies.

The video in question reportedly showed the leader of a group designated as a terrorist organization along with other purported ''jihadi martyrs'' and clips armored trucks exploding from the detonation of IEDs.

The Feds by uploading the propaganda video the man has committed the crime of providing support to terrorists organization, which qualifies the man to have all constitutional rights to be suspended and to be detained indefinitely without trial. As we have seen in past cases, the suspension of the constitutional ''inalienable rights'' for the so-called enemy combatants allows the executive branch of the federal government, including the military and CIA, to become the judge, jury and executioner in such cases. Of course without the constitutional right to the protection against cruel and unusual punishment the feds are now free to beat and torture the man to death, as they have done in past cases.

To reinforce their charges, the feds further allege Ahmad received 'religious training' from the 'Lashkar-e-Taiba' 'terrorist group' when he was a teenager while he still lived in Pakistan before moving to the United States. The State Department claims the group operates in the disputed Kashmir territory along the Pakistan and India border.

MSNBC reports:

A Virginia man who came to the US from Pakistan has been charged with supporting Lashkar-e-Taiba, the radical Islamist terrorist group behind the 2008 shooting attack in Mumbai, India.

Justice Department officials said Friday that Jubair Ahmad, 24, of Woodbridge, received religious training from the terrorist group as a teenager in Pakistan and later attended one of its training camps.

He came to the United States in 2007 with his family. He's been under investigation for two years, ever since the FBI got a tip that he might be connected to the group, the officials said.

Court documents say that last fall, he produced and uploaded a propaganda video to YouTube on behalf of of the group, showing its leader and purporting to show ''jihadi martyrs'' and armored trucks exploding after having been hit by improvised explosive devices. Investigators say when asked about the video, Jubair falsely denied having anything to do with it.

The State Department has designated Lashkar-e-Taiba as a terrorist group. It is among nearly a dozen rebel groups operating in the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

[...]

Source: MSNBC

Source: Higgins Blog

Related posts:

YouTube Blocks Viral Massacre Self-Defense VideoNSI Instructional Video: Public Photography is TerrorismPolice Captain Ray Lewis punished for supporting OWS?Mainstream Doctors Say Supporting The 2nd Amendment Is A Mental DisorderKnow Thine Enemy: Crowd Control Tactics of the RegimeYouTube Moves To Shut Down Alex Jones!Feds Using NDAA To Silence Journalists Critical Of GovernmentYouTube Sends Hundreds of Ron Paul Videos to Memory Hole

Pussy Putin

Two Pussy Riot members flee Russia

Link to Article

Source: The Guardian World News

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 12:40

A Pussy Riot protest performance in January: two activists have now fled Russia and are 'recruiting foreign feminists to prepare new protest actions'. Photograph: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters

The Russian punk band Pussy Riot says two of its members who were being sought by police have left the country.

Five members of the feminist group took part in a provocative performance inside Moscow's main cathedral in February to protest against Vladimir Putin's rule and his relationship with the Russian Orthodox church.

The women wore their trademark balaclavas and only three were identified and arrested. After a controversial trial, they were sentenced on 17 August to two years in prison.

Days later, Moscow police said they were searching for the others, in what was seen as a warning to the group to stop its anti-Putin protests.

Pussy Riot tweeted on Sunday that the two activists had fled Russia and are "recruiting foreign feminists to prepare new protest actions".

BBC News - Two Pussy Riot activists 'flee Russia'

Empire State Shooter

Graphic Photos of Alleged Empire State Building Shooter

Link to Article

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 20:52

Max ReadView ProfileEmailTwitterRSSTipster Vladimir Dusil sent us these images of the body of a man who allegedly opened fire outside the Empire State Building earlier this morning.

The alleged shooter, who was killed by police on the scene, has been identified as Jeffrey Johnson, a 53-year-old women's accessories designer who'd been laid off from his job at Hazan Imports. He apparently shot and killed a former coworker before being chased and shot by police; as these photos show, he's said to have been wearing a grey suit. The scene's other victims, it's now believed, were likely hit by stray police bullets '-- as has been pointed out, Johnson's gun only held eight bullets, three of which he used on his former manager. And yet nine people were shot.

Previously:Breaking: Reports of Mass Shooting Near Empire State Building (UPDATES, GRAPHIC PHOTOS)

Gawker: NYPD release footage showing officers taking down Empire State Building gunman http://t.co/Fg2YF2uD

Link to Article

Source: Twitter / Favorites from davewiner

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 04:04

Police tonight released video footage [Warning: Graphic] showing the moment two officers shot and killed 58-year-old Jeffrey Johnson, a former employee of Hazan Imports who a short while earlier gunned down former coworker Steve Ercolino near the Empire State Building.

After the shooting, Johnson attempted to conceal the .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun he used to kill Ercolino inside a black bag, and headed away from the scene, but was chased down by construction workers who alerted police. The footage above shows the moment the officers confront Johnson.

It was later established that Johnson pointed the gun but did not fire at the officers, who themselves shot off 16 rounds which killed Johnson, but also injured nine bystanders. None of the collateral injuries were life-threatening.

Johnson, who lived in Manhattan, was fired from his job as women's apparel designer over a year ago after six year at Hazan. He had an ongoing dispute with Ercolino, and had reportedly threatened to kill him at least once.

Empire State Building gunman Jeffrey Johnson 'was always alone'

Link to Article

Source: Delicious/pwarnock/NANN

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 18:36

Police officers guard the entrance the building where Jeffrey Johnson lived in New York. Photograph: Louis Lanzano/AP

A fuller picture of the shooter who sparked panic at the Empire State Building emerged Saturday, depicting a Willy Loman-like figure who would still dress for work despite losing his job a year ago.

As the New York police department faced questions over how officers managed to injure nine bystanders during the confrontation with Jeffrey Johnson, details of the gunman's troubled back story began to be known.

The assassination of his former boss '' the event that led to Friday's chaotic scenes on the doorstep of the New York landmark '' appears to have taken place following a year of brooding over the loss of his job.

Johnson had worked as a designer of women's clothing at Hazan Imports for six years before he was let go due to downsizing at the firm.

Neighbours say that even after he was laid off by the firm, Johnson would leave his apartment in Manhattan's Upper East Side every morning dressed in a suit.

Some days the 58-year-old would merely go to a nearby McDonald's for breakfast before retuning back home.

"He was always alone," said Gisela Casella, who lived a few floors above him. "I always felt bad. I said: 'Doesn't he have a girlfriend?' I never saw him with anybody."

Apartment superintendent, Guillermo Suarez, said he lived alone in a one-bedroom apartment that he was subletting. He called him a "very likeable guy" who always wore a suit.

But police say that he harboured a grudge against his former firm's vice president Marc Ercolino.

He blamed the one-time colleague for his unemployment, complaining that Ercolino failed to promote his line of women's t-shirts.

The workplace dispute was to cost Johnson's former colleague his life.

Dressed in an olive suit and carrying a briefcase, the laid-off employee walked up to Ercolino early Friday and shot him once in the head and then in the torso without saying a word, eye-witnesses said.

The victim's eldest brother, Paul Ercolino, said the import businessman never mentioned any grievance with Johnson.

But the two men's dispute was known within the firm, and even spilled out into the courts.

Police commissioner Ray Kelly said Johnson had gone back to his former place of work regularly since being laid off.

There was a "confrontation with Ercolino virtually every time he went back", CNN quoted Kelly as saying.

He added that both men had filed harassment complaints against each other in April 2011.

Empire State Building shooting victims say NYPD fired 'randomly' into street

Link to Article

Source: The Guardian World News

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 16:29

Questions have been raised over the New York police department's handling of a shooting near the Empire State Building after armed officers injured nine passers-by as they pursued a gunman who had just shot dead his former boss.

One of those injured by police told the Guardian that officers appeared to fire "randomly" as they confronted Jeffrey Johnson, 58, minutes after a workplace dispute escalated into a chaotic shootout in one of the busiest parts of Manhattan.

Reports suggest that while Johnson drew his gun when he was confronted by officers, he did not fire; all those injured appear to have been shot by police. The New York police commissioner, Raymond Kelly, said officers had no choice but to act as they did: police discharged 14 rounds and the gunman died at the scene.

The incident began just after 9am on Friday when Johnson, described as a "disgruntled former employee", walked up to Steve Ercolino, 41, his former manager at Hazan Imports, a business that operates from premises in Midtown, near the Empire State Building. Johnson shot him three times before calmly walking away.

A construction worker alterted two police officers stationed at the landmark. They appear to have attempted to stop Johnson, who dropped a bag and pulled out his gun, according to witnesses. In the ensuing shootout, Johnson died.

Panic soon ensued in the tourist-heavy streets around the Empire State Building, with fears that another mass shooting was under way. However, it became clear that it was not a random attack when police revealed the victim was targeted. Johnson had previously been fired from the business.

Robert Asika was among those wounded, shot in the elbow from a distance of around eight feet by one of the two police officers who confronted Johnson. He accused police of "shooting randomly", and said he saw at least two others hit by police bullets.

"If you're gonna aim try and aim perfectly. If you wanna aim at the target, you got to know what you're doing because it's the street," Asika said. "I could have been dead right now. I could have been dead."

Asika was working on 5th Avenue on Friday morning, selling tickets for tour buses and the building's observation deck. He had only been in the job a week, after having been unemployed for over a year. "I was just standing there and I saw people running. I didn't want to run because I wanted to know why people were running so I turned around and I saw this guy," he said.

"He was suited up, he had like a tie and a briefcase. If you see him, you'd probably think he was like a doctor, or maybe a lawyer, a business guy. He just looked like a normal guy."

Johnson, who was wearing a light-coloured suit, had just killed his former boss and was walking calmly away. "Jeffrey just came from behind two cars, pulled out his gun, put it up to Steve's head and shot him," said Carol Timan, whose daughter, Irene, was walking to Hazan Imports at the time with Ercolino. A construction worker saw the shooting and told two police officers who were stationed outside the Empire State Building.

The mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg '' a vocal critic of America's lax firearm controls '' said: "Once again, there are an awful lot of guns out there." He added that although homicides in New York were on the decline, "we are not immune to the problem of gun violence".

Police said Johnson been employed for six years as a designer of women's accessories at Hazan Imports. Kelly said during a press conference that he was laid off as part of a downsizing at the firm. Kelly described the gunman as a "disgruntled former employee" who came back to confront his former manager. "He shot and killed the former co-worker, striking him three times," Kelly said.

Johnson moved to draw his weapon, a .45 caliber handgun, as the officers approached, police said. There are conflicting reports as to what happened next. "The [police] tape clearly shows that the gunman had the gun out, and was trying to kill the officers," Bloomberg said. Other officials at the scene reportedly said the man had not fired on police.

The two police officers discharged 14 rounds, killing Johnson outside the entrance to the Empire State Building. Kelly at first said Johnson fired on officers, but police later said they were trying to determine whether Johnson fired. "These officers ... had absolutely no choice," Kelly said. "This individual took a gun out very close to them and perhaps fired at them."

Johnson legally bought the gun in Sarasota, Florida, in 1991, but he did not have a required permit to possess the weapon in New York City, police said.

Four women and five men were taken to city hospitals with gunshot wounds, but none was believed to be in a life-threatening condition. Police shut down nearby streets as forensic teams checked the gunman's body. The FBI were quick to confirm that the attack was not an act of terrorism.

Askia described the scene when officers caught up with Johnson. He said the gunman stopped six feet away from him, with two officers about eight feet in the other direction. "All of a sudden the guy stopped, and he was facing a cop who was following him," Asika said.

"He just reached in his suit and took out the gun, and I saw him pull it [towards] the cops. I'm like, is this guy for real? One of the cops was trying to shoot back at him and one of them shot me while the other one shot the guy."

"As soon as the bullet hit me, I felt like I didn't feel it. But then as soon as I tried to get up, I couldn't get up. I looked there and the blood was gushing out," Asika said.

"I was crawling, trying to get across the street, to the safe side of the street. I got across the street and I just fell at the bus stop and I was laying there and I couldn't get up no more. I was so tired, I was so scared. I've never been scared like that in my whole life."

Asika said Bloomberg visited him in hospital, but he received no apology from police. He was discharged with his arm bandaged and in a sling.

Adam Gabbatt interviews a witness to the shootingErica Solar, a mother of two who works as a receptionist on 37th Street, was hit in the back of the leg as she made her way to Dunkin' Donuts. Solar's friend, Christopher Collins, found her lying on the street as he got off a bus on his way to work.

"She was basically in shock. She didn't know if she had gotten stabbed or if she had gotten shot, but she just knew she was bleeding, and I was just there trying to keep her calm until paramedics arrived," Collins told the Guardian.

"It was chaotic. Everybody was running, cops were there immediately," Collins said. Solar was taken to Bellevue hospital, about a mile from the Empire State Building.

Another among the wounded was Media Rosario, from Brooklyn, who like Solar was hit in the back of the leg. She said that everything happened so fast, she saw people running, and when she turned around to see what happened, she was already shot," said her sister-in-law, Auselis Rosario.

Johnson lived alone in the Upper East Side, his superintendent, Guillermo Suarez confirmed to the Associated Press. Suarez described Johnson as a "very likeable guy" who always wore a suit. "He was always alone," said Gisela Casella, who lived a few floors above him. "I always felt bad. I said 'Doesn't he have a girlfriend?' I never saw him with anybody."

City officials were quick to praise the response by police and the construction worker who followed Johnson from the site of the initial shooting.

Bloomberg said: "We all use the word 'hero' '' he did what he should have done." The mayor added: "He saw something, he said something" '' the phrase has become the backbone of efforts to get New York residents to be vigilant ever since the September 11 attacks. The actions of both the worker and police officers may have prevented further injuries, Bloomberg and Kelly said.

The incident puts gun crime in America back in the spotlight. As with other high-profile summer shootings in the US '' at a movie theatre in Colorado on 20 July and at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin earlier this month '' it is thought unlikely that Barack Obama or Mitt Romney will address the issue in an election year.

The Artwork of Jeffrey Johnson

Link to Article

Source: NYT &gt; Most Recent Headlines

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 23:30

Jeffrey Johnson, the designer-turned-gunman in the murder near the Empire State Building, had a Youtube channel dedicated to showcasing stills of the illustrations on his Web site, St. Jolly's Art, most of which depict cars, motorcyles, young women and combinations thereof.

Here is a selection of videos from his channel.

Hookers!

Bonn; hooker tax ticket machine great succes.

Link to Article

Source: bertb news feed

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 16:31

Wenn die Bonner sich Liebe kaufen, verdient die Stadt mit. Die Sex-Steuer heiŸt im Beamtendeutsch: 'žSteuer f¼r die Einr¤umung der Gelegenheit zu sexuellen Vergn¼gungen und das Angebot sexueller Handlungen gegen Entgelt''.

Sie muss sowohl von Prostituierten als auch von den Bordellbetreibern und -besitzern gezahlt werden. Die Damen, die auf den Bonner StraŸenstrich gehen, m¼ssen sich pro Tag ein Sex-Steuerticket (g¼ltig von 20.15 bis 6 Uhr) am Automaten ziehen.

Dieses kostet 6 Euro. Zwei Kontrolleure ¼berpr¼fen, ob die Damen ein g¼ltiges Ticket haben. Wer keins hat, muss bis zu 100 Euro BuŸgeld zahlen.

Science!

Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children

Link to Article

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 06:26

Big Think | About Us

Link to Article

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 06:23

Big Think is a knowledge forum.

In our digital age, we're drowning in information. The web offers us infinite data points'--news stories, tweets, wikis, status updates, etc'--but very little to connect the dots or illuminate the larger patterns linking them together. Here at Big Think, we believe that success in the future is about knowing the ideas that allow you to manage and master this universe of information. Therefore, we aim to help you move above and beyond random information, toward real knowledge, offering big ideas from fields outside your own that you can apply toward the questions and challenges in your own life.

Every idea on Big Think comes from our ever-growing network of 2,000 Big Think fellows and guest speakers, who comprise the top thinkers and doers from around the globe. Our editorial team regularly sources ideas from these experts, asking them about the most important ideas in their respective fields. Our editors then sift through the submitted ideas and determine which qualify to appear on Big Think, subjecting each to our simple, three-pronged standard geared to your interests:

a) significance '-- how will this idea change the world and impact your life?

b) relevance '-- what groups and individuals does this idea most affect?

c) application '-- how can this idea change the way you think or act?

Big Think's editorial team then packages and presents these ideas to you, our users, using the range of multimedia tools the Internet makes possible, with the aim of distilling each idea to its essence. We think of it as optimizing the "speed of knowledge," conveying ideas' value as efficiently and effectively as possible, so you have the time to explore, and absorb, more of them.

Because as we move from the information age to the knowledge era, the more ideas you command, the more you will be able to guide the course of your own lifeand positively impact the lives of those around you.

That's our big idea.

Drone nation

A Nato strike kills Pakistani Taliban leader in tribal area

Link to Article

Source: DEBKAFile

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 14:30

Pakistani and Afghan officials agree with the coalition report that Mullah Dadullah died in the attack along with 12 other terrorists, but disagree on its location. NATO spokesman said it took place in Kunar province in Afghanistan near the Pakistan border. Pakistan said 19 people were killed at a location in Pakistan's Bajur region just across from Kunar.

Conflicting accounts on death of Haqqani chief by US drone

Link to Article

Source: DEBKAFile

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 05:55

Pakistani military and intelligence officials say a US drone killed Badruddin Haqqani, commander of the jihadi network behind some of the most high-profile attacks on NATO and the Kabul government in Afghanistan, during a series of drone attacks last week on North Waziristan. One official said he fled the compound after it was hit by a missile, but was killed when a second struck his car.

Pakistani Taliban and tribal sources said they believed Badruddin was killed in the drone attack. Afghanistan's Taliban movement, allies of the Haqqani network, said Badruddin was alive.

UK: Police drones could be used to monitor public from sky.

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 01:00

"police drone''Give me something that I do now, cheaper, more efficiently, more effective, with less risk and I'll buy it.

''If somebody gave me an unmanned system that I could use as I use a helicopter at half the cost, within the regulations, I would buy it tomorrow.''

He added any drones used by police should be cost-efficient to convince the public they are justified against fears of a "Big Brother" state.

He referred to one manufacturer, which had presented him with an £81 million system despite the entire National Police Air Service budget amounting to just over £60 million.

Earlier this year, it was reported that US authorities, including the FBI and police, had been given permission to use surveillance drones.

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) approved applications for more than 50 non-military agencies to use the aircrafts, including North Little Rock, a city of fewer than 70,000 people.

The city's police force said the drone would be used for training but hoped it would eventually be used to gather intelligence on areas with high crime levels.

Ministry of Truth

Ex-NPR Reporter Confides She Simply Repeated Political Spin

Link to Article

Source: Crooks and Liars

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 23:31

That journalism as a profession is falling by the wayside, and that there are so few jobs available, might be the reason why young journalists essentially censor themselves. But I have to say, I've seen this throughout my career. I've always been puzzled by the reporters who sucked up to sources but simply refused to report what was actually happening, right in front of them. Did they think it would hurt their careers? I don't think so. I think they were ill-suited for journalism because they were conflict-adverse. The best reporters I knew just let politicians rant on while they went ahead and did their jobs:

Andrea Seabrook left NPR [ed. note: Known to blog readers as Nice Polite Republicans] this summer to start her own venture, DecodeDC, and she's letting fly about what it's like to ''collude'' with politicians as a daily news reporter.

As Seabrook explained to Politico: ''I realized that there is a part of covering Congress, if you're doing daily coverage, that is actually sort of colluding with the politicians themselves because so much of what I was doing was actually recording and playing what they say or repeating what they say. ... And I feel like the real story of Congress right now is very much removed from any of that, from the sort of theater of the policy debate in Congress, and it has become such a complete theater that none of it is real. '... I feel like I am, as a reporter in the Capitol, lied to every day, all day. There is so little genuine discussion going on with the reporters. '... To me, as a reporter, everything is spin.''

Peter Hart of FAIR put it this way on Twitter, ''Ex NPR reporter says politicians lied to her every day. That would have been a great thing to, I dunno, report.''

This reminds of several years ago, when a group of Philadelphia bloggers were invited to do a panel before local journalists. They were quite belligerent toward us, and were mostly interested in how you could possibly make money by blogging. The part that really bugged them? "Who do you answer to?" Our readers, we told them. But they didn't understand. "What about fact checking?" one foreign correspondent huffed.

"Who did Judy Miller's fact checking?" I responded.

"Oh, Judy Miller! Everyone knew not to take her seriously!" she replied.

And I thought, gee, I wonder how many lives could have been spared if someone shared that with their readers. The only reason I didn't say it out loud was just that afternoon, they found out their papers were up for sale and I didn't want to kick them when they were down.

I should have done it. Oh well. Time for another bloggers ethics conference!

ASSange

Police mistake reveals plan for Assange's Embassy capture

Link to Article

Source: BlackListedNews.com

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 14:28

A fairly basic security slip has showed just how far the British police are preparing to go to make sure Julian Assange doesn't leaving the UK without getting his collar felt.

Police plan caught by snapper (click to enlarge) Credit: PA

"Action required '' Assange to be arrested under all circumstances," reads a handwritten briefing note photographed in the hands of one of the officers surrounding the Ecuadorian embassy. The note says Assange is to be arrested if he leaves the embassy in the company of another diplomat or if the Ecuadorians try and smuggle him out in the diplomatic bag.

The police briefing note also warns that there may be an attempt at disruption to aid Assange's escape, possibly by the protestors who are at the embassy. The note references SS10, which may be a misspelling of SO10, the Metropolitan Police's covert operations group, and SS20, the forces' counter-terrorism protective security command.

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Bank$ters

Fixing the Mortgage Mess: The Game-changing Implications of Bain v. MERS

Link to Article

Source: BlackListedNews.com

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 00:56

Two landmark developments on Aug. 16 give momentum to the growing interest of cities and counties in addressing the mortgage crisis using eminent domain:

The Washington State Supreme Court held in Bain v. MERS, et al., that an electronic database called Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) is not a "beneficiary" entitled to foreclose under a deed of trust; andSan Bernardino County, Calif., passed a resolution to consider plans to use eminent domain to address the glut of underwater borrowers by purchasing and refinancing their loans.MERS is the electronic smokescreen that allowed banks to build their securitization Ponzi scheme without worrying about details like ownership and chain of title. According to property law attorney Neil Garfield, properties were sold to multiple investors or conveyed to empty trusts, subprime securities were endorsed as triple A, and banks earned up to 40 times what they could earn on a paying loan, using credit default swaps in which they bet the loan would go into default. As the dust settles from collapse of the scheme, homeowners are left with underwater mortgages with no legitimate owners to negotiate with. The solution now being considered is for municipalities to simply take ownership of the mortgages through eminent domain. This would allow them to clear title and start fresh, along with some other lucrative dividends.

A major snag in these proposals has been that to make them economically feasible, the mortgages would have to be purchased at less than fair market value, in violation of eminent domain laws. But for troubled properties with MERS in the title - -which now seems to be the majority of them -- this may no longer be a problem. If MERS is not a beneficiary entitled to foreclose, as held in Bain, it is not entitled to assign that right or to assign title. Title remains with the original note holder; and in the typical case, the note holder can no longer be located or established, since the property has been used as collateral for multiple investors. In these cases, counties or cities may be able to obtain the mortgages free and clear. The county or city would then be in a position to "do the fair thing," settling with stakeholders in proportion to their legitimate claims, and refinancing or reselling the properties, with proceeds accruing to the city or county.

Bain v. MERS: No Rights Without the Original Note

Although Bain is binding precedent only in Washington State, it is well reasoned and is expected to be followed elsewhere. The question, said the panel, was "whether MERS and its associated business partners and institutions can both replace the existing recording system established by Washington statutes and still take advantage of legal procedures established in those same statutes." The Court held that they could not have it both ways:

Simply put, if MERS does not hold the note, it is not a lawful beneficiary...MERS suggests that, if we find a violation of the act, "MERS should be required to assign its interest in any deed of trust to the holder of the promissory note, and have that assignment recorded in the land title records, before any non-judicial foreclosure could take place." But if MERS is not the beneficiary as contemplated by Washington law, it is unclear what rights, if any, it has to convey. Other courts have rejected similar suggestions. [Citations omitted.]

If MERS has no rights that it can assign, the parties are back to square one: The original holder of the promissory note must be found. The problem is that many of these mortgage companies are no longer in business, and even if they could be located, it is too late in most cases to assign the note to the trusts that are being tossed this hot potato.

Mortgage-backed securities are sold to investors in packages representing interests in trusts called REMICs (Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits), which are designed as tax shelters. To qualify for that status, however, they must be "static." Mortgages can't be transferred in and out once the closing date has occurred. The REMIC Pooling and Servicing Agreement typically states that any transfer after the closing date is invalid. Yet few, if any, properties in foreclosure seem to have been assigned to these REMICs before the closing date, in blatant disregard of legal requirements.

The whole business is quite complicated, but the bottom line is that title has been clouded not only by MERS but because the trusts purporting to foreclose do not own the properties by the terms of their own documents. Legally, the latter defect may be even more fatal than filing in the name of MERS in establishing a break in the chain of title to securitized properties.

What This Means for Eminent Domain Plans: Focus on San Bernardino

Under the plans that the San Bernardino County board of supervisors voted to explore, the county would take underwater mortgages by eminent domain and then help the borrowers into mortgages with significantly lower monthly payments.

Objections voiced at the Aug. 16 hearing included suspicions concerning the role of Mortgage Resolution Partners, the private venture capital firm bringing the proposal (would it make off with the profits and leave the county footing the bills?), and where the county would get the money for the purchases.

A way around these objections might be to eliminate the private middleman and proceed through a county land bank of the sort set up in other states. If the land bank focused on properties with MERS in the chain of title (underwater, foreclosed or abandoned), it might obtain a significant inventory of properties free and clear.

The county would simply need to give notice in the local newspaper of intent to exercise its right of eminent domain. The burden of proof would then transfer to the claimant to establish title in a court proceeding. If the court followed Bain, title typically could not be proved and would pass free and clear to the county land bank, which could sell or rent the property and work out a fair settlement with the parties.

That would resolve not only the funding question but whether using eminent domain to cure mortgage problems constitutes an unconstitutional taking of private property. In these cases, there would be no one to take from, since no one would be able to prove title. The investors would take their place in line as unsecured creditors with claims in equity for actual damages. In most cases, they would be protected by credit default swaps and could recover from those arrangements.

The investors, banks and servicers all profited from the smokescreen of MERS, which shielded them from liability. As noted in Bain:

Critics of the MERS system point out that after bundling many loans together, it is difficult, if not impossible, to identify the current holder of any particular loan, or to negotiate with that holder... Under the MERS system, questions of authority and accountability arise, and determining who has authority to negotiate loan modifications and who is accountable for misrepresentation and fraud becomes extraordinarily difficult.Like MERS itself, the investors must deal with the consequences of an anonymity so remote that they removed themselves from the chain of title.

On Aug. 15, the Federal Housing Finance Agency threatened to take action against municipalities condemning federal property. But to establish its claim, the FHFA, too, would have to establish that the mortgages were federal property; and under the Bain ruling, this could be difficult.

Setting Things Right

While banks and investors were busy counting their profits behind the curtain of MERS, homeowners and counties have been made to bear the losses. The city of San Bernardino is in such dire straits that on Aug. 1, it filed for bankruptcy.

San Bernardino and other counties are drowning in debt from a crisis created when Wall Street's real estate securitization bubble burst. By using eminent domain, they can clean up the destruction of their land title records and 400 years of real property law. And by setting up their own banks, counties and other municipalities can use their own capital and revenues to generate credit for local purposes.

Homeowners who paid much more for a home than it was worth as a result of the securitization bubble have little chance of challenging the legitimacy of their underwater mortgages on their own. Insisting that their state and local governments follow the lead of Washington State and San Bernardino County may be their best shot at escaping debt peonage to their mortgage lenders.

>>

Uitkering dag te laat bij duizenden mensen met rekening bij ABN Amro

Link to Article

Source: VK: Home

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 16:30

Bewerkt door: Redactie ''24/08/12, 16:31 '' bron: ANP

Mogelijk 200.000 uitkeringsgerechtigden met een bankrekening bij ABN Amro hebben deze maand hun geld een dag te laat gekregen. Door een storing is vrijdag het geld overgemaakt in plaats van donderdagochtend, aldus een woordvoerder van financieel verwerker Equens.

Een woordvoerder van uitkeringsinstituut UWV dat onder meer de WW en de WAO/WIA uitvoert, zei dat er veel telefoontjes over de late betaling zijn binnengekomen.

Volgens de woordvoerder van Equens heeft de verwerker van betalingen door een storing later dan normaal gegevens aan ABN Amro doorgegeven om het uitkeringsgeld van de huisbankier ING van het UWV naar de juiste rekeningen over te kunnen maken.

Da Bruddahood

Breivik declared sane, sentenced to 21 years. (Euronews video)

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 13:30

Norwegian killer Anders Behring Breivik has been sentenced to 21 years in prison after a court in Oslo found he was sane when he carried out last July's twin attacks.

The 33-year-old will serve at least 10 years in prison for the the murders of 77 people during a bomb attack on the capital Oslo and a mass shooting at a youth camp on Otoeya island.

His sentence can be extended indefinitely under Norwegian law if he is deemed a threat to society.

Analysts said before the verdict that Breivik was unlikely to ever be freed.

Prosecutors had called for Breivik to be judged insane. But after a 10-week trial, a panel of five judges found that he was of sound mind when he carried out his anti-Islam attacks.

The crimes and subsequent trial have stunned many Norwegians and raised questions about the prevalence of far-right views as immigration continues to increase in the 5 million population country.

There's even been controversy over Breivik's prison cell which some victims' families say is too luxurious.

The three roomed cell at the Ila prison, near Oslo, features a bedroom, a personal gym and a study complete with laptop.

Two seperate teams of psychiatrists had come to different conclusions about Breivik's sanity. One ruled he was a paranoid schizophrenic, the other that he was sane.

Several other experts described several apparent mental health conditions that Breivik suffers from.

There's even been controversy over Breivik's prison cell which victims' families say is too luxurious.

Before the verdict, polls showed that around 70 percent of Norwegians thought such a well-planned attack could not have been the work of a madman. They said Breivik must take responsibility rather than be dismissed as merely deranged.

More about:Norway, Norway massacre, Terrorism, TrialCopyright (C) 2012 euronews

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Breivik- from 16 year old Poul

Hello adam, as i dont have the ability to donate, but still want to tell you about how disgusting the indoctrination of the anti terrorist meme has gotten here in norway. The reality hit me like a brick at school today when we had project time capsel(stargate?) which will contain a message for us in august 24 2031(NEW DATE!). Despite john and you having kicked the bucket by then, it will probably matter for us youngsters. They had it perfectly set up: this is what you write to your self, we are the world was sung, and of course, they denouced ALL of breviks theories(but didnt mention it ofc) As a 11th grader(16 years old) I have figured it out! The whole 22nd of juli in norway was to change the youth, akin to hitlerjungend in nazi germany to further the new world order goals. I am convinced Brevik was hired by the NWO to bomb central oslo, HOWEVER the organizers in norway realised the public would only respond with apathy to such a situation, they instead had to KILL children in order to whip the norwegians into their right thinking.  Although i am not entirely sure of the goals of this operation, since i dont think any new laws have been passed since, something is bound to be picking up since it happend. I am not sure if you are convinced, but the proof is astounding! -Brevik bombed it when none was there, after workhours in the middle of summer! We cant kill the elites! -There was a FILM TEAM AT THE ISLAND FROM 21-22th july AND LEFT WITH SEVERAL OTHERS BEFORE BREVIK CAME! -There was significant terrorist prepareness downbuilding in the previous months/year before the terror happend, with heimevernets terrorunit being dismissed in the spring and beredskapstroppen(basically terror prepareness unit of the police) just finished an exercise 5 frigging minutes before the bomb went off! -Before 2011, the police had a chopper and a fully stocked terror vehicle ready for this, but i was removed in early 2011 to make sure brevik could kill enough children! -They are going to release a film called til ungdommen( http://tilungdommen.com/ ) which was filmed on the island in the 21-22 of juli, and they said this out in the open.  SKAM DERE NORGE! PS: Sorry for the rambleling, i am so infuriated right now about the lies being propegated, i didnt know anyone on utøya, but i know i would have been even more pissed if i knew someone on the island. Love the show! And i hope you can pull stuff outta here, feel free to contact me if you need more info!

Breivik's statement in court June 22, 2012

Link to Article

Source: Attack On The Labor Party

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 15:49

(This is a transcript of Anders Behring Breivik's statement in the Oslo District Court on the last day of the trial, based on an audio recording.)

Thank you.

I think we all can agree that on 7/22 a barbaric operation took place.

What occurred on 7/22 in the government quarter and on Utoya were barbaric actions, and I remember that on 7/21 that I thought, after several years of planning, I was thinking: ''Tomorrow, then I will die.'' And then, as I was two hundred meters before reaching the government quarters, I remember that I thought: ''In two minutes I will die.''

And what is it I will be dying for? This is what I will be saying a few words about now.

I will not be giving a speech now, because I presented an explanation on 4/17 that really included all the arguments, at least most of them, that I have wished to present. So the explanation that I made on 4/17 is really, explains most. But there are some things that I did not get a chance to explain myself about, that I will attempt to bring up now.

I will start with a couple of points related to the evaluation of my legal accountability.

As a starting point, according to the law, all people shall be considered accountable [for their actions]. And of those that have evaluated me, 37 persons in total, that are fully qualified in psychiatry and in the evaluation of psychiatric cases, of those 37 persons, it is then 35 that have not found any symptoms whatsoever. And of those 37 persons, it was then two persons that have found a multitude of symptoms. So it is quite evident what one ought to put weight on. The 35 persons, or the two persons.

I will not be touching much upon the existence of the Knights Templar, we have covered that previously. But there are quite a few indications that point to the existence [of the Knights Templar] that I have conveyed in police questioning, but that the prosecutors naturally do not wish to communicate here in court, but I will not be repeating these things [here in court].

There is one thing I should wish to comment on, in regards to the [prosecutors'] claim of unaccountability. It was communicated by the prosecutor that I wished to go for unaccountability in the beginning. This is not correct. I remember in the beginning of December when the first [psychiatric] report came, at the end of November, then everyone was shocked and I thought ''Well, what shall one do now?'' One waits until the debate matures, I thought strategically, before I punctured the debate by saying that I demand two new court appointed psychiatrists.

So, after a while, I thought, now I have been betrayed by two psychiatrists that have not taped the conversations, it is just my word against theirs. And how can I ever trust a psychiatrist again. And then I thought, perhaps I should never let myself be evaluated again, because if I get two reports against me then the outcome [of the court case] is a given. And this is, therefore, why I considered not letting myself be evaluated again, because I knew that the first [report] had received so much criticism. But it is not correct that I have been in favor of [legal] unaccountability at any point in time.

I have brought up a few different topics. The conclusion of what I have explained, especially on 4/17, is that the European democratic model, so called mass democracy, does not function. The arguments that I have presented, and that I will continue to put forward, stress that a fundamental change of leadership in Norway and Europe is needed.

This started after WWII. In the 60s, the Labor Party decided that a large group of Pakistanis that had been refused entry to Finland, that then came to Norway on a tourist visa, should be granted [permanent] residence. And it was so that the multicultural experiment in Norway began.

The Labor Party decided that Norway should follow the examples of Great Britain and France with Asian and African mass immigration in the 60s and 70s.

In regards to the censorship, the ridicule and the persecution of nationalists and cultural conservatives after WWII, I have spoken a bit about it already. So I will not repeat what I have already said. I will bring up a couple of minor points.

What has been the main characteristic is that there has been political discrimination. Cultural conservative NGOs and youth organizations do not receive any support at all '' they are worked against. The perhaps only cultural conservative newspaper, ''Norge i Dag'' [''Norway Today''], lost the state press funding a couple of years ago.

After 7/22, the HRS (Human Rights Service), I think one could call it [the organization] culturally conservative, was the victim of a revenge attack, by having their state funding cut in half. And this is an organization that has nothing at all to do with me, at all.

The last 20 years, 30 years, the [Norwegian] state has supported left wing extremist organizations in Norway such as ''Blitz'', ''Tjen Folket'' and ''Rasistisk Senter.''

Then I would like to get to another point. There are probably some of us that remember that the leader of [the environmental organization], ''Fremtiden i v¥re hender'' [''The Future in Our Hands''], Steinar Lem, who died of cancer some years ago, before he died, he conveyed a last message [about an issue] that he had held for himself for many years.

It was something which he felt he did not dare to say before he knew he was going to die, and just before that, and that was [as follows]: ''We fight for the right of Tibet and the indigenous people of Tibet, we fight for other indigenous people, but in modern Norway today, it is not permitted to say that Norwegians are just as entitled to a homeland as Tibetans and that our rights actually are just as important.''

He [Steinar Lem] did not dare to say this his entire life and [first when] he received notice from his doctor that he would die not before long, and then, first then did he dare to say the truth. What he really thought.

I have written quite a bit in the compendium [2083 '' A European Declaration of Independence] about the deconstruction of, or the absence of morality, in Norway, after the autumn of 1968. These are major problems so I will not be getting into the details of it now.

The problem is that in Norway today, ideals are being lifted up that are very destructive for Norway and that will cause great damage to our future.

When it regards STDs and the sexual revolution, this is actually [a topic] that has been analyzed insufficiently, and it has caused great problems in Norway and Europe.

The ideal that is being lifted up is to have sex with as many strangers as possible. Strangers. And instead of idealizing the nuclear family, that there was focus on in Europe until 1960, one is now focusing on dissolving the nuclear family and all the problems this results in.

There are, for example, the ideals of the [TV-series] ''Sex in the City'' where Samantha and Carrie during the course of 100, 200 episodes of this series, have had sex with over 100 men. It is these ideals that are being presented for our sisters and daughters today.

This is an illness. These sick ideals must be censored and be kept away from society.

Then one gets to the neglect of one's duty towards the family and the nation. People take education, they travel, they become 35 before they consider having children. It is not a sustainable development.

Women ought to begin having children in their 20s. Our birth rate is below the existence minimum. I will not go further into the details of this now.

Protection of the established.

One of the most influential people in Norway, Arne Strand, who is editor in chief of Dagsavisen, has made very many statements regarding the state press support. He is a promoter for keeping everyone on the right-wing, to the right of Carl I. Hagen [retired Progress Party politician], on the outside of the democracy. He says plainly that the state press funding is necessary to preserve today's political hegemony. We must protect the hegemony, we must not let the sub-humans on the right-wing express themselves.

The state press funding safeguards that Norway never becomes a democracy by denying everyone on the far right-wing to take part in the [public] debate.

And then I will explain a bit about some examples that I did not mention on the 17th.

Cause and effect of the politically motivated violence on 7/22.

Just to name a few, but important and typical actions, committed by the powers that be in Norway that, at least as a whole, are suitable for triggering violent counter reactions. It is correct that the Labor Party, to avoid having to sentence, this is back to WWII, and Holden [the prosecutor] meant that it was not that many that for political reasons were sent to psychiatric wards in Norway. He [Holden] meant that it only was Hamsun [the famous writer] and justice minister Riisn...s. But there were more [people]. There were more.

I will talk about a couple of examples of this.

So, it is not a secret that very many cultural conservatives and nationalists were neutralized following WWII by the assistance of the psychiatric profession. In any case, these from the ''Nasjonal Samling'' [National Socialists] side of politics were sent to madhouses by the power apparatus of the Labor Party after the war.

Halldis Neegaard stbye, pioneer of woman ski-sport, Quisling's secretary and chauffeur, NS-ideologist, who published several books including ''The war of the Jews'' 1943. In the end, she died in Dikemark madhouse.

She was first kept imprisoned for two years from 1945, eight months of which were in solitary confinement. She was later sentenced to seven years in prison and received a cash fine that ruined her and had assets taken from her. The ski factory ''Splitkein'' in Oslo that also produced the top selling ski wax was, by the Labor Party, taken from her and her husband, Petter stbye, during the post-war proceedings.

And Knut Hamsun is known to us.

The unconstitutional, unjust, post-war proceedings are still a festering wound in today's Norway and will remain so until the truth about it becomes official history, the illegal verdicts overturned, and compensation given to the affected [persons] or their descendants.

Also, non-NS individuals that were against the Labor Party were attempted to be declared insane. The example is editor Toralv Fanebust. When the attempt failed, they gave him a longer prison sentence for having written the truth about central Labor Party people and their actions before, during, and after the war.

His grandson, Frode Fanebust, has recently published the book ''Krigshistorien '' oppgj¸r med mytene'' [The War History '' Addressing the Myths] where he, among other things, brings up the Fanebust-case and how the Labor Party apparatus tried to declare his grandfather unaccountable.

What else has the political power milieu done, encouraged, permitted, celebrated, that is suited to provoke violent resistance instead of non-violent political resistance?

Fedrelandspartiet [The Fatherland Party] received about 0.5% of the votes in 1993. In 1993, which was the first time the party submitted lists for a parliamentary election.

Bjarne Dahl, first candidate on the Oslo list for the Fatherland Party in 1993, attempted lawful political resistance against [mass] immigration. At a meeting in a square in Oslo 9/4/1993, he had his faced smashed with an iron pipe, broken the jawbone, and teeth knocked out as a result of an attack by some members of ''Blitz.''

The party leader, professor Professor Harald Trefall, was also hit in the face by something that was thrown or hit towards him in the same attack. This resulted in that also the party leader was bleeding from a wound in the face. Others were also hit and kicked.

When a shocked bystander sent a notice to the editorial staff of [the newspaper] Dagbladet about this violent attack on the Fatherland Party's top candidates for the parliamentary elections, the person in question received the following reply from the editorial staff of Dagbladet: ''Ok, but isn't this just something good?'' This said Dagbladet. And this was their position on the coverage of this case.

The same attitude, it seems, applies to the entire Norwegian press. The mass media did not at all mention this dangerous violent attack against the Fatherland Party.

On 6/28/2002, the politicians in parliament committed, unanimously, a party massacre. They decided on a new election law which automatically liquidated all small political parties.

All parties that didn't receive at least 5000 votes in the last election were deleted as a registered party. In order to submit [candidate] lists for new elections, these [political parties] have to start from scratch like everyone else who wishes to submit lists and who do not have any registered party to work through.

They will then have to collect 5000 signatures under strict restrictions. This has led to a great reduction in the number of registered parties and it is almost close to impossible to start and operate a new political party here in this country.

One can mention that in Sweden, with about twice as many citizens, the requirement is only 1500 votes, and there is no automatic deletion of political parties that receive few election votes.

2003 to 2012.

The PST [Police Security Service] brags without constraint about itself and about how they have managed to crush the political-religious organization ''Vigrid'' This they have managed, they explain proudly, by calling in all young supporters together with their parents, to meetings at the local police station. The PST has, in other words, accomplished their goal of crushing the organization by harassment of the young supporters.

In addition, the PST carried out extensive harassment of the leader of Vigrid, Tore Tvedt.

Among other things via extensive surveillance, repeated unfounded searches of his home, arrests, and that they made sure that he time and time again was thrown out of his rented apartments. This is also something he has confirmed here [in court].

And at the [high-]school debate [that took place] in T¸nsberg on 8/28 in relation to the parliament elections in 2009, Oyvind Heian, party leader of the political party ''Norgespatriotene'' [The Norway Patriots] is shot [with a slingshot] in the forehead so that he gets a strongly bleeding wound and immediately has to leave the meeting.

The meeting continued as if nothing had happened. Neither the school administration nor the police did seemingly anything at all to apprehend the person responsible for this violent and dangerous attack on party leader Heian.

Before the local elections last year, the ''Kristent Samlingsparti'' [Christian Unity Party] was exposed to an attack by a person who was a member of ''SOS Rasisme'' [SOS Racism]. These are then, communists [inaudible]. Such anti-democratic incidents, violent and non-violent, as mentioned above, naturally provoke everyone with national attitudes in this country.

That counter-reactions have not occurred before 7/22 surprises all nationalists that have followed the development. The anti-democratic forces that rule our country have obviously also anticipated something [happening]. This one can see from the increasing new surveillance measures they have introduced, and how they have been carrying out practices and exercises for scenarios similar to what happened [on 7/22].

The political milieu that rules the country, however, avoids a debate about the motives for such counter-reactions. They apparently attempt to give the impression that here is nothing in their [own] behavior that motivates such [counter] actions.

It is actually quite possible that many members of this power milieu actually also themselves actually believe in this, or do not see the connection. Unfortunately. This gives a dark outlook for our country.

The Labor Party and the Soviet Union.

It is known and documented that the Labor Party before WWII received financial support from the communist regime of the Soviet Union. It is, however, incorrect to claim that the Labor Party is a completely communistic party. They do not support a planned economy. But they do support a communistic cultural policy. Therefore the expression: ''Cultural Marxists'' or ''half-communists.''

It is known that many leading Labor Party politicians had close relations to the Soviet Union all the way up to 1993, behind the backs of the Americans. Many, among them Thorvald Stoltenberg, the prime minister's father, had a code name in KGB registries. Even Jens Stoltenberg had a codename, ''Steklov,'' in the KGB archives prior to 1993, something two authors wished to shed light on some years ago.

The Labor Party, however, managed to stop the book publication, and therefore prevented the truth about the communist ties of the Labor Party and their cynical behavior to be known to the Norwegian people.

And these two books, one is titled ''rnen har landed'' [The Eagle Has Landed], by Reiulf Steen from 2003. I do not believe it was stopped. But there was a new book, ''Mitrokhin Archive'' by Christopher Andrew, that reportedly was attempted stopped [from being published].

The problem with the Labor Party is not their communist past, but the fact that they do not wish to deal with it, and that they do not stand behind their own policies.

As party secretary Raymond Johansen said, they blame international agreements when they give reasons for their immigration policy. Rather than to stand up for the fact that they wish to transform Norway ethnically and culturally. [This is] because Raymond Johansen is intelligent enough to know that Japan and South Korea have experienced the same bothering by the United Nations regarding reception of refugees and asylum seekers.

Japan and South Korea have learned to say no. They do wish that their countries are attempted used as a dumping ground for the birth rate surplus of the Second and Third Worlds.

The political model of Japan and South Korea is the proof that a country that says ''no'' to mass immigration in the long term will be more successful than Norway and other European countries, which in the future will experience great ethnic, cultural and religious conflicts. And it is these conflicts that led to 7/22.

This Raymond Johansen and the Labor Party know. If they had possessed any integrity whatsoever, they would have admitted why they really want mass immigration of Asians and Africans.

As International Marxists, they wish to deconstruct the Norwegian ethnic group and Norwegian culture. In other words, they have exactly the same agenda as social democrats in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and Great Britain.

About persecution.

I will use an example that I have not yet mentioned. Individuals who have made it known that they support cultural conservative, nationalist, anti-Islamization and anti-communist organizations have been systematically ridiculed, harassed, and persecuted in Norway and Western Europe after WWII.

In Norway, several hundreds of people have in the last decade lost their job and been publicly branded as racists, fascists and Nazis, for the sole reason that they are opponents of Islamization, multiculturalism, and Marxism.

And I will bring forth one example.

Remi Huseby was the first leader of the democratic, anti-violent and anti-Islamist ''Norwegian Defence League.'' When this became known to the Norwegian press, he was presented as, and publicly branded as, an intolerant and evil right-wing extremist, for the sole reason that he opposed Islamism and because he criticized the Norwegian state ideology: multiculturalism.

As a result of this media coverage his employer felt pressured to fire him and he lost his job.

And this is only one of several hundreds of cases in Norway, and only one of many tens of thousands of examples in Europe that document journalists' and editors' systematic ridicule, harassment and persecution of cultural conservatives and nationalists after WWII and up to this day.

The worst of all is that this demonizing actually is better than to be ignored. To be ignored is the worst of all. In many hundreds of cases in Europe and Norway, cultural conservatives, anti-communists and nationalists have been pressured into suicide as a result of public branding and subsequent demonizing.

It is quite similar to how it was in the Soviet Union.

And now I will move on to another point, that I considered to omit, but will bring up nevertheless.

Cultural self-contempt and Eurovision.

I have previously claimed that the Norwegian society suffers from a serious cultural, psychological condition, that manifests itself through contempt for our own culture and self-contempt of Norwegian and Nordic ideals. This collective cultural psychosis is caused by many decades of Cultural Marxism and the multicultural ideology that in turn results in cultural self-contempt.

A good example of this is Norway's contributions to Eurovision's Song Contest the last four years. Well assisted by the Norwegian media, we let a Belorussian asylum seeker, probably with Tartar background, named Alexander Igaravitsj Rybak, represent Norway in the international finale.

It is in itself ok that we let an asylum seeker represent us, to show that we are tolerant. But what happens then? A couple of years later it is an asylum seeker, Nyambura Mwangi from Kenya, who wins with a bongo-tune. Russian Eurovision commentators wondered: what is Norway doing, which sends an asylum seeker as their ambassador, not just one time, but twice, within such a short time period? Is there a lack of Norwegians in Norway, or are they suffering from cultural self-contempt?

And what happens next? As if that is not enough, of course an asylum seeker from Iran, Touraj Keshtkar, had to win.

This is scorn and a great provocation towards all Norwegians that are opponents of multiculturalism.

What is wrong with Marxists and liberalists? The answer is simple: very many Norwegians '' and here I refer to the Marxists and liberalists '' suffer from cultural delusions, cultural self-contempt, and have needs for immediate medication. The medicine for this illness is ''more nationalism'' and with immediate introduction of cultural and ethnic protection of the Nordic ideal.

And now I've come to the definition of indigenous people.

Regarding the definition of the term ''indigenous people,'' it refers to the old or original inhabitants or citizens. Those who claim that ethnic Norwegians are not Norway's indigenous people are mistaken.

We of course know that the United Nations does not recognize ethnic Europeans as indigenous people. But one must view the creation of the United Nations and its agenda in view of the fact that the Axis Powers were defeated during WW II.

The United Nations supports the deconstruction of European states because the United Nations is dominated by Marxists and liberalists. And the same holds true for the European Union.

For example, Barroso, who has been the European Union's top leader for several years. Barroso was a member of the Portuguese communist party for a number of years. Which indicates what kind of people have influence in the Euopean Union.

So to get back to the definition of the term ''indigenous people.'' Because there does not exist any universal, internationally accepted definition of the term indigenous people that is recognized by both communists and nationalists. This means that Europe's nationalists and indigenous peoples '' defenders, like myself '' use another definition of the term ''indigenous people'' than the European Union and the United Nation uses. The correct definition is therefore ''old or original inhabitants.''

Why is the fight for indigenous people of Bolivia, Tibet, the Uyghurs and other non-European ethnic groups so important? Why do defenders of indigenous people's rights in countries and areas like these get international support and various awards while defenders of European indigenous peoples, like European nationalists, are being branded as narrow-minded racists, Nazis, and right-wing extremists that shall be fought?

The fight is identical for all defenders of indigenous people, namely to fight against the ethnic and cultural eradication of one's people, against the immigration of ethnic groups that are superior in numbers.

The fact that these [other ethnic groups] are being supported, while we are fought, as if we were a disease, is an unbearable injustice.

Regarding deconstruction.

When it regards the continuous ethnic deconstruction, also called indirect ethnic cleansing or genocide I will recommend for everyone to read the essay with the title ''Is resisting genocide a human right?'' by David Kopel, Paul Gallant and Joanne Eisen.

Regarding Mullah Krekar, who was called as witness earlier. The reason why I wished to call Mullah Krekar as a witness was to demonstrate the views of a Muslim fundamentalist on Europe. He calls himself now a Kurdish Jihadist, but up until recently he has defended international Jihadism and is one of a few Muslim leaders who have been quite honest regarding Islam's demographic takeover of Europe. And he has said the following: ''In Denmark they printed drawings, but the result is that the support for Islam only increases. I and all Muslims are a proof: you have not managed to change us. It is we who will be changing you.''

Look at the development of the population in Europe where the number of Muslims reproduce like mosquitoes. Every Western woman in the European Union produces on average 1.4 children. Every Muslim woman in the same countries produces 3.5 children. ''In 2050, 30% of the population in Europe will be Muslims,'' said Krekar.

I also remind you that Muammar Gaddafi, who was recently killed by NATO, in March 2007 said the following: ''There are signs that suggest that Allah will hand us a victory in Europe, without even using sword, without rifles, without conquering. We do not need any terrorists, we do not need any suicide bombers. The more than 50 million Muslims in Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.''

I will now mention a couple of points about demographics.

These are demographic examples that document how Islamic demographic warfare works in practice through mass immigration and high birth rates. Kosovo is a very good example which I haven't spoken about.

In the year 1900, there were 60% Christians in Kosovo. In other words 40% Muslims. In 1913, the number was 50%. 1925: 60%. 1948: 72%. In 1971, there were 79% Muslims. In 2008, after NATO bombed our Serbian Christian brothers, there were 93% Muslims.

From a Christian country, Kosovo has become a Muslim country in only 100 years. All source references are in the compendium.

Lebanon, which was commented on by the Norwegian press previously, that noted completely correctly that Lebanon was not an independent country in 1911, it was an occupied state, occupied by the Ottoman empire. In 1911, there were 21% Muslims. Today there are about 80% Muslims.

This is demographic warfare. And this is a warfare that is carried out in Europe at this very moment and against Norway.

When it regards Pakistan, it is not only warfare against Christians or Europeans. In 1941, there were 25% Hindus in Pakistan. In 1948 there were 17%. Today there are less than 1% Hindus. This is the Pakistani ''tolerance'' towards people who thinks differently, and towards Muslims and against everyone else.

The same is the case in Bangladesh. In 1941: 30% Hindus. Today: less than 8%.

And then one can look at the explosive demographic development of Muslim countries. In 1951 there were 33 million people in Pakistan. Today the number approaches 200 million. From 33 millions to almost 200 million in 60 years. Officially they operate with a birthrate of 3.58%, but this is obviously, false.

To give an insight into Muslims generally all over the world, which is not too far away from us. The news media like to convey to us that most Muslims support democracy. But this is not correct.

A study carried out by the University of Maryland '' the source reference is in the compendium '' it was a thorough investigation of 4000 Muslims from Morocco, Egypt, Pakistan and Indonesia '' relatively moderate countries '' shows that 65% of Muslims wish to unite all Muslim countries to one Caliphate, and 65% want to implement a strict interpretation Sharia law.

Then it is not'... I will be moving on to my final points.

The plaintiffs' attorneys have previously called me a ''child murderer.'' But we know that the average age of the AUF [Labor Youth Organization] members on the island was over 18 years, even if one does not count the [older] adults.

Half of the world's standing armies are 18 years old. Many of our own Afghanistan soldiers are 18 years. Does that mean that we send child soldiers into conflict zones?

And since we are touching on ''child murdering.'' The Labor Party has since 1978 murdered more than 500,000 Norwegian children around hospitals in Norway. And they continue to murder 16,000 Norwegian children every single year through the abortion law.

And this is primarily ethnic Norwegian children. Muslims don't do abortions because Sharia does not permit it.

The Labor Party and AUF are, therefore, responsible for a mass murder of 500,000 Norwegian children since the abortion law was introduced in 1978. And at the same time they use the low Norwegian birth rates to justify even more mass immigration.

The judges that are seated here today can sentence me as they themselves wish. If you choose to recognize my claim of ethnic, cultural and religious emergency self defense, you will in a very efficient manner send shock waves through all the illegitimate regimes in Europe that today make themselves guilty of ethnic cleansing and other crimes towards the European people.

The court must remember that the partial judges that worked for Hitler's Germany were condemned by history after the war. And in the same manner, history will pass verdict on the judges in this case.

History will decide if they condemned a man who tried to stop the evil of our time. History shows that one sometimes has to carry out a small barbarity in order to stop a much bigger barbarity.

My brothers in the Norwegian and European resistance movement are now sitting out there and are following this case while they are planning new operations.

The next attack could, in the worst case, result in as many as 40,000 [people] dying.

Yesterday explosives were found outside a Swedish nuclear power plant, which indicates that my brothers in the Swedish resistance movement have something to do with this. In the compendium ''2083,'' I describe in detail how one can attack Swedish, German and British nuclear power plants.

The goal is to break the back of the economy, to create a climate [favorable] for revolutionary change.

The PST knows that militant nationalists in Norway and Europe have access to weaponry capable of causing massive damage. I feel obligated to warn about this, because this can be avoided if the will for it is there.

In the compendium, I have described a solution that can prevent all future attacks and that can avoid the conflict between Europe's leftist regimes and the ultra-nationalists and others on the right-wing.

The smart thing that could be done would be to give us self-rule, autonomy over a separate area in Norway. We would be interested in having our own sovereign state within the state, which is reserved for the Norwegian indigenous people, anti-communists, anti-liberalists. In other words, National Conservatives, traditional Christians and National Socialists.

Such a solution would be beneficial to both sides, the Marxists and the liberals who would not have to fear our wrath and our endless bitterness and complaining about today's development. While we would not have to be forced to live in a multicultural hell where our ethnic group, our culture, and our religion, are being robbed from us.

I have described this political model and will be conveying this complete proposal in the future, for a solution such as this can can be used in all European countries, and can thus prevent further escalation of the conflict between today's liberal and secular regimes and the farthermost right-wing.

The starting point could have been that we would get the control over an area equivalent of one to two percent of the country, and areas increasing proportionally with this self governed states' growth and number of citizens. If we do not succeed and flourish, then the self governed state will not be able to expand its area.

Very many, if not all ultra-nationalists and ultra-conservatives would be interested in developing such a state. This political model resembles to some extent historical solutions related to the rights of indigenous people in other parts of the world.

For the alternative is that we focus on power takeover of the whole country, something Marxists and liberals would be extremely unpleased about. But as long as today's regimes are not even interested in entering into a dialog with us we do not have anything to lose, and this conflict will therefore escalate the next years.

It is maybe not very tactical to put forth such a radical proposal now, in light of the state's attorneys' claims of legal unaccountability. But I feel obligated to convey a potential peace solution that most likely can save many lives in the future.

This trial ought to be about finding the truth. The documentation of the claims that I have made, are they truthful? Because if they are true then how can what I did be unlawful?

I have documented that multiculturalist politicians, academics and journalists collaborate, making use of undemocratic methods, in order to deconstruct the Norwegian ethnic group, Norwegian culture and traditions, Norwegian Christendom, the Norwegian identity and the Norwegian nation-state. How can it then be unlawful to conduct armed resistance to against these treacherous people?

The state's attorneys wanted to know who had given me mandate to carry out 7/22. Was it the Knights Templar network who had given me this mandate? I have answered this before, but I will do so again.

It is the Universal [Declaration of] Human Rights, international law, and the right to self defense that gave me the mandate to carry out this preventive attack. The whole, it was triggered by the actions of those who deliberately and those who undeliberately are destroying our country.

Responsible Norwegians and Europeans who feel a touch of moral obligation will not be sitting still and watch while ethnic Norwegians become a minority in their own country and in their own capital.

We will be fighting against the multiculturalists in the Labor Party and other political activists that are working towards the same goal.

The attacks on 7/22 were preventive attacks in defense of the Norwegian indigenous people, ethnic Norwegians, our culture, and I can, therefore, not acknowledge legal guilt.

I acted in emergency self defense on behalf of my people, my culture, my religion, my city, and my country. I therefore demand to be acquitted of the relevant charges.

_____

Related post:Breivik's statement in court April 17, 2012

Related post:Breivik's statement in court February 6, 2012

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Newspapers and parliamentary members received letter addressed from Knights Templar Norway

Link to Article

Source: Attack On The Labor Party

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 16:25

Several Norwegian newspapers, as well as many parliamentary members, received a letter via email on August 13, 2012, addressed from someone claiming to represent the Knights Templar Norway, the resistance organization of which Anders Behring Breivik says he is a part.

Newspapers and politicians received the letter on the same day as the government-appointed 7/22 commmission published its findings regarding how the 7/22 attacks were handled by the police and emergency services.

According to TV2, the letter is more than two pages long and opens with the following statement: ''I hereby present myself as cell two and second-in-command of the Norwegian resistance movement. I, with my soldiers, will, with all respect for our people, our culture, and our ethnicity, warn all proponents of multiculturalism of this war we now so sincerely find ourselves in.''

According to TV2, the letter further states: ''The organization will continue its gruesome actions until all the Norwegian and Europoean peoples are awakened from the psychosis and the brainwashing they have afflicted on our brothers and sisters. Now it is time that we, and our commander Breivik, receive recognition in the political arena in Norway and Europe.''

NRK has published a photo of the letter head that reads ''Knights Templar Norway, Second-in-Command, Cell Two.''

NRK has also published an excerpt from the letter: ''That he now possibly will be ignored again and be declared unaccountable by the false and corrupt power apparatus is for us unbearable and unjust. In that case, all those who died by his sword have died in vain. We, therefore, demand our commander's aquittal and a recognition of his claim of emergency self defence in this war.''

In an interview with NRK, Breivik's lawyer, Geir Lippestad, says: ''Breivik has, from day one, claimed that there are several cells in Norway and this was also an important part of the discussion in the trial against him. If it now turns out that there are several [cells], then that is interesting.''

Google translation:

Claims to be Breivik's second in command

Police Security Service has launched an investigation after several people received a highly suspicious e-mail Monday morning.

''I can confirm that we have initiated an investigation after we learned that a person claims to be second in command of the organization Knights Templar Norway,'' says Head of PST Martin Berntsen to the website of TV2.

After that TV 2 understand the security have recently been informed of an email sent to several people '' including several prominent politicians '' in which the sender claims he is the cell number two in Anders Behring Breivik's alleged terrorist network'....

Original article:Hevder ¥ v...re Breiviks nestkommanderende_____

Google translation:

Members of Parliament received the alleged Knights Templar letter

PST investigator incitement to terror after several politicians today received a letter from someone claiming to be a part of Breivik's Knights Templar network.

Same day as the July 22 Commission submitted its report on the biggest terrorist attack on Norwegian soil, several Norwegian politicians received new threats'....

The letter is partly sent to more liberal-conservative politicians, including Christian Tybring-Gjedde, Peter N Myhre and Per-Willy Amundsen'....

Original article:Stortingsrepresentanter mottok p¥st¥tt Knights Templar-brev

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The Breivik Verdict and Europe's Far Right

Link to Article

Source: NYT &gt; Most Recent Headlines

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 13:22

LONDON '-- The smirk on Anders Behring Breivik's face was an indication that the Norwegian mass murderer got the verdict he wanted. By sentencing him to 21 years in jail, an Oslo court judged he was sane when he killed 77 people in a bomb and gun rampage a year ago.

It raises the alarming question of how many other sane people might be out there, prepared to murder and maim in pursuit of their far-right extremist beliefs.

Far-right groups and individuals in Europe, including those cited as sources of inspiration in Mr. Breivik's manifesto, ran for cover in the wake of the Norway killings, distancing themselves from his murderous response to multiculturalism, if not from his ideas.

But the shock felt in Norway and elsewhere when Mr. Breivik struck appears to have done little to reverse the growth of the far-right groups in Europe, where their activities are seen as posing an enduring threat to the Continent's democratic societies.

A day before the Norwegian verdict, the German police launched raids across the state of North Rhine-Westphalia that were aimed at breaking up a network of far-right extremists, as my colleague Melissa Eddy reported from Berlin.

''These groups are dangerous,'' Burkhard Freier, the head of the state's domestic intelligence agency, said. ''We have noticed they are attracting ever more young people to their ideals.''

The rise of the far right has been variously linked to Europe's harsh economic climate and to an Islamophobic response to fundamentalist Islamist terrorism that post-dates the Qaeda attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Matthew Goodwin, a British expert on the far right, challenged those assumptions in an academic paper last September that noted populist extremist parties continued to rally large and durable levels of support and had even joined coalition governments.

''They emerged before the terrorist attacks on 11 Sept. 2001 and the recent financial crisis,'' Dr. Goodwin wrote. ''They have rallied support in some of the most economically secure and highly educated regions of Europe.''

He said supporters of all these groups shared one core feature: their profound hostility towards immigration, multiculturalism and rising cultural and ethnic diversity. ''Contrary to the conventional wisdom that these citizens are motivated by feelings of economic competition from immigrants and minority groups, feelings of cultural threat are the most important driver of their support.''

In Greece, where austerity is forcing many below the poverty line, the anti-immigrant Golden Dawn does appear to have turned economic concerns and hostility to foreigners into votes, although it remains a small presence in the Greek Parliament.

Golden Dawn has all the outward trappings of a neo-Nazi party, a label it rejects. Elsewhere, far right groups have sought to cast off an earlier Angry White Man image to appeal to a wider electorate, toning down their rhetoric in the process.

The leader of France's far-right National Front is a woman, Marine Le Pen, who has tempered some of the party's previous extremist language, all the while denouncing the Muslim ''occupation'' of France. Like other European far-rightists seeking votes, the Front does not espouse violence.

One aspect of the far-right phenomenon that is worrying European authorities is the increasingly sophisticated use of social media to peddle their ideas, turning to Facebook, Twitter and other ''friends'' networks to serve as a megaphone for extremist views.

The far right, it emerges, has embraced the new technology with a vengeance. Right-wing extremists are ''increasingly active in online social networking, to reach out to a younger generation. The internet is a cheap and effective way of communicating with targeted audiences. This is adding a new dimension to the threat right-wing extremism may present in the future.''

That was from the annual report of Europol, the agency set up to help the European Union's 27 states fight serious crime and terrorism, published just a few months before Mr. Breivik put out his his rambling 1,500-page online manifesto.

According to the Europol analysis potentially violent groups have successfully shrugged off their old beer hall image and embraced youth culture in order to lure the next generation of supporters. White Power Music concerts that attract hundreds of fans from across Europe are announced only on the internet and staged at secret locations in order to avoid police surveillance.

After the killings in Norway, the Netherlands-based agency announced it was setting up a 50-strong task force to focus on the threat of far right extremism.

The reaction of the European authorities is an indication the threat is real, although it would be inaccurate to portray modern European societies as ripe for the picking by far-right extremists. Global Post, an American human rights Web site recently spotlighted concerns about five European countries, including Greece and France.

In electoral terms, however, voters continue overwhelmingly to choose parties that reject the language of hatred.

At a ''counter-jihad'' rally in Stockholm this month by European and U.S. far-right groups fewer than 200 people turned up and they were outnumbered by anti-racist protesters.

DHS

Shut Up Slave!

Feds give RCMP, CBSA green light to use torture-tainted information - Yahoo! News Canada

Link to Article

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 21:50

OTTAWA - The Conservative government has quietly given Canada's national police force and the federal border agency the authority to use and share information that was likely extracted through torture.

Newly disclosed records show Public Safety Minister Vic Toews issued the directives to the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency shortly after giving similar orders to Canada's spy service.

The government directives state that protection of life and property are the chief considerations when deciding on the use of information that may have been derived from torture.

They also outline instructions for deciding whether to share information when there is a "substantial risk" that doing so might result in someone in custody being abused.

As key members of Canada's security apparatus, both the RCMP and border services agency have frequent and extensive dealings with foreign counterparts.

The directives are almost identical to one Toews sent last summer to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service '-- instructions that were roundly criticized by human rights advocates and opposition MPs.

After Violence in India, a Crackdown Online

Link to Article

Source: NYT &gt; Most Recent Headlines

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 21:44

NEW DELHI '-- The recent panic that led tens of thousands of Indians to flee their homes has largely subsided, leaving in its wake an uneven government crackdown on the Internet and text-messaging services that top officials blame for circulating the baseless rumors that set off the exodus.

Kuldeep Singh Dhatwalia, a spokesman for India's Home Ministry, called the crackdown essential for preserving law and order. But many of the sites that the government has sought to block are general news sites, such as pages from the British newspaper The Telegraph. And some of the Twitter accounts that the government sought to freeze are those of journalists, critics or political comedians who appear to have done nothing to further any violence.

Pranesh Prakash, of the Bangalore-based Center for Internet and Society, said that the campaign showed evidence of the government simply flailing.

''I don't see this as politically motivated censorship,'' Mr. Prakash said. ''I see this as gross ineptitude by the government.''

The restrictions came after a cascading series of attacks and counterattacks between rival ethnic groups in the northeastern state of Assam that claimed at least 78 lives, destroyed more than 14,000 homes and prompted nearly a half million people to flee to refugee camps. That conflict started in July and worsened in early August.

But there was no broader issue until a protest by Muslims in Mumbai turned violent, and some northeastern residents were attacked in the city of Pune. Suddenly Web sites and cellphone text messages started carrying misleading accounts that fed a nationwide panic among migrants from the northeast.

Government officials initially blamed Pakistan for fomenting ethnic tension, and officials limited each cellphone user to just five text messages per day and sought to block access to some 310 Web pages and sites.

The crackdown was so severe that the United States issued a cautious warning. On Thursday the State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, said, ''as the Indian government seeks to preserve security, we are urging them also to take into account the importance of freedom of expression in the online world.''

On Thursday night, the government increased to 20 from 5 the number of daily text messages that each of the country's nearly 700 million mobile phone users could send. Even so, the restrictions are likely to affect tens of millions of users and have shut down thousands of businesses that use text messages for marketing.

''If you want us to send out free messages advocating peace and harmony, we are offering to do that,'' said Subho Ray, president of the Internet and Mobile Association of India, which represents some of the marketing companies. ''But why are we banned from carrying out legitimate businesses?''

The relationship between India's government and growing social media has long been tense. For decades, the Indian government set and enforced strict standards for the country's newspaper, film and television industries. But even a shadow of that sort of control has been impossible to exert over popular sites like Facebook and YouTube, where vast amounts of user-generated content are largely unsupervised.

Last year, the government tried to enforce rules requiring that such content be preapproved, but they were withdrawn amid a storm of criticism. In 2006, the government blocked a number of blogs, including one by an American teenager who called herself Princess Kimberly. In 2009, the government banned a popular and sexually explicit online comic.

A major factor in the disconnect between India's leadership and the world of social media is simply age. Of the country's 100 million Internet users, the fastest-growing group of freewheeling texters and posters are under 25, the demographic that makes up half of India's population of 1.2 billion people.

Raghav Bahl, a media executive and author, noted that, in contrast, most of India's top political leaders are in their 70s and 80s and began their political careers as socialists who admired the Soviet Union.

''Today, they may grudgingly accept free-market reforms, but their core ideology remains socialist,'' he said.

Stellar Wind

The National Security Agency's Domestic Spying Program - NYTimes.com

Stellar Wind (code name) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Amnesty et al. v. Clapper: FISA Amendment Act Challenge | American Civil Liberties Union

July 2008: The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 is signed into law by President Bush. The ACLU files a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York challenging the constitutionality of the new law.

May 21, 2012: The Supreme Court agrees to consider whether ACLU plaintiffs have standing in the case.-

February 17, 2012: The Obama administration appeals the standing issue to the Supreme Court.

September 2011: The Second Circuit Court of Appeals denies the government's request for rehearing-en banc,-allowing the ACLU's challenge to the-FAA to proceed.

March 2011: A federal appeals court reinstates the ACLU's lawsuit challenging the FAA, ruling that the plaintiffs in the case could indeed challenge the FAA without first showing with certainty that they had been spied on under the statute.

December 2009: The ACLU files its principal brief on appeal. -"Friend-of-the-court" briefs in support of the ACLU are filed by the Brennan Center and other civil liberties and privacy groups,-Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and a coalition of law professors.

October 2009: The ACLU appeals the district court's dismissal of the lawsuit.

August 2009: The district court dismisses the lawsuit on "standing" grounds because plaintiffs could not prove with certainty that they had been spied on. The court's legal analysis would have the effect of placing the FAA -- and other broad surveillance laws -- permanently beyond the scope of judicial review.

Man Kicked Off Plane For Wearing Anti Homeland Security T-Shirt "Mock The Security Charade..."

Gagged on Torture: Gitmo lawyers silenced ahead of 9/11 hearings (RT video)

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 01:07

Words Matter

Language: A Key Mechanism of Control

Link to Article

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 19:11

.

Language: A Key Mechanism of Control

Newt Gingrich's 1996 GOPAC memo

As you know, one of the key points in the GOPAC tapes is that "language matters." In the video "We are a Majority," Language is listed as a key mechanism of control used by a majority party, along with Agenda, Rules, Attitude and Learning. As the tapes have been used in training sessions across the country and mailed to candidates we have heard a plaintive plea: "I wish I could speak like Newt."

That takes years of practice. But, we believe that you could have a significant impact on your campaign and the way you communicate if we help a little. That is why we have created this list of words and phrases.

This list is prepared so that you might have a directory of words to use in writing literature and mail, in preparing speeches, and in producing electronic media. The words and phrases are powerful. Read them. Memorize as many as possible. And remember that like any tool, these words will not help if they are not used.

While the list could be the size of the latest "College Edition" dictionary, we have attempted to keep it small enough to be readily useful yet large enough to be broadly functional. The list is divided into two sections: Optimistic Positive Governing words and phrases to help describe your vision for the future of your community (your message) and Contrasting words to help you clearly define the policies and record of your opponent and the Democratic party.

Please let us know if you have any other suggestions or additions. We would also like to know how you use the list. Call us at GOPAC or write with your suggestions and comments. We may include them in the next tape mailing so that others can benefit from your knowledge and experience.

Optimistic Positive Governing Words

Use the list below to help define your campaign and your vision of public service. These words can help give extra power to your message. In addition, these words help develop the positive side of the contrast you should create with your opponent, giving your community something to vote for! active(ly) activist building candid(ly) care(ing) challenge change children choice/choose citizen commitment common sense compete confident conflict control courage crusade debate dream duty eliminate good-time in prison empower(ment) fair family freedom hard work help humane incentive initiative lead learn legacy liberty light listen mobilize moral movement opportunity passionate peace pioneer precious premise preserve principle(d) pristine pro- (issue): flag, children, environment, reform prosperity protect proud/pride provide reform rights share strength success tough truth unique vision we/us/our Contrasting Words

Often we search hard for words to define our opponents. Sometimes we are hesitant to use contrast. Remember that creating a difference helps you. These are powerful words that can create a clear and easily understood contrast. Apply these to the opponent, their record, proposals and their party. abuse of power anti- (issue): flag, family, child, jobs betray bizarre bosses bureaucracy cheat coercion "compassion" is not enough collapse(ing) consequences corrupt corruption criminal rights crisis cynicism decay deeper destroy destructive devour disgrace endanger excuses failure (fail) greed hypocrisy ideological impose incompetent insecure insensitive intolerant liberal lie limit(s) machine mandate(s) obsolete pathetic patronage permissive attitude pessimistic punish (poor ...) radical red tape self-serving selfish sensationalists shallow shame sick spend(ing) stagnation status quo steal taxes they/them threaten traitors unionized urgent (cy) waste welfare

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Nothing to See Here!

Twin Cities: Black copters? Those are special ops training missions - TwinCities.com

If you hear or see low-flying black helicopters in St. Paul or Minneapolis, police are telling the public not to be alarmed -- they're part of training missions.

Police aren't releasing exact training times or locations for safety reasons.

People in St. Paul and Minneapolis might see or hear military transport helicopters -- Black Hawks and smaller Hughes 500s -- between 7 p.m. and midnight.

Most of the training, which has been coordinated with property owners where it's happening, will be out of public view. The training began Sunday, Aug. 19, and continues through Sept. 1. Starting this Sunday, it may become more visible when "helicopters begin supporting the training," the releases said.

U.S. Special Operations Command has been in the two cities for "routine urban-environment training," both police departments said in news releases. Portions of the training include St. Paul police.

"It's going to be an unusual occurrence, and we don't want people to overwhelm our 911 center with concerned callers," said Sgt. William Palmer, Minneapolis police spokesman.

Scampaign

Tampa Strippers Patriotically Dolling Up For Republican National Convention Goers

ANARCHIST THREATEN REPUBLICAN CONVENTION! Police State Propaganda Reel #CNN08232012

Reality Check: RNC Pulling Out All Stops To Keep Ron Paul's Name Out Of Nomination - YouTube

Link to Article

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 02:34

Insider Exposes Bin Laden Death Book Hoax

Link to Article

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 00:14

Infowars.comAugust 24, 2012

A new book, allegedly put out by a member of the Navy Seal Team 6 outfit that allegedly raided Osama bin Laden's headquarters in Abbottabad, Pakistan, is causing major uproar.

The book, No Easy Day: The Autobiography of a Navy Seal, claims to give a firsthand account of the raid by one of the Seals who actually witnessed the death of bin Laden.

The publisher, Dutton, a Penguin boutique imprint, would have us believe the book was not vetted by the Pentagon.

Also, Fox News claimed they received confirmation that the author's name is actually Matt Bissonnette, instead of the pen name Mark Owen, and that the Department of Defense is supposedly pissed that the book has even been released.

On the contrary, as we've witnessed recently with the arrest and detainment of Brandon Raub, an unapproved publication would likely warrant a full-scale assault on its author.

The fact that this hasn't happened should be proof enough that the book has been released under false pretenses and that its dissemination of disinformation is intentional.

Exposing the HoaxInfowars has maintained for years that bin Laden died in 2002 and that his corpse would be dragged out at the most politically expedient moment. This has most definitely been the case.

Yesterday, Alex interviewed Dr. Steve Pieczenik, a Harvard trained psychiatrist with international relations skills from M.I.T. and history working as a crisis and hostage negotiator for the Department of State spanning four different presidential administrations.

In 2002, Dr. Pieczenik revealed on the Alex Jones Show that Osama bin Laden actually died in 2001, and that a top general had even told him directly that 9/11 was a false flag operation, a statement that he would gladly make in front of a grand jury.

Last year we wrote, ''Back in April 2002'...Pieczenik told the Alex Jones Show that Bin Laden had already been ''dead for months,'' and that the government was waiting for the most politically expedient time to roll out his corpse. Pieczenik would be in a position to know, having personally met Bin Laden and worked with him during the proxy war against the Soviets in Afghanistan back in the early 80'²s.''

Dr. Pieczenik went on to explain that a physician he knew had treated bin Laden for Marfan syndrome, a degenerative disease with no cure: ''[He died] Not because special forces had killed him, but because as a physician I had known that the CIA physicians had treated him and it was on the intelligence roster that he had marfan syndrome'...He died of marfan syndrome, Bush junior knew about it, the intelligence community knew about it.''

Dr. Pieczenik is appalled at the perpetuation of the fabled Seal Team 6 raid. He says it endangers the lives of those men and women and paints a target especially on Special Forces teams: ''Every time you say we killed Osama bin Ladin by some hot shot make believe seal team six, some Special Forces guy is going to be taken out because some real terrorist is really gonna kill him to make a point that Special forces are not that special.''

As we have exhaustively covered, Osama bin Laden (AKA Tim Osman) was a CIA operative and has been dead for a number of years.

By parading bin Laden's image on every major news station in the days following the 9/11 attack, Americans were subjected to a version of the two-minute hate, the mandatory video session envisioned in George Orwell's 1984 that taught society exactly who to detest. Bin Laden's picture was posted on every media outlet for weeks, feverishly conditioning everyone to accept the bearded cave-dweller as our enemy. They took a page almost directly from Orwell in producing an enemy that could neither be found, nor slowed.

Undermines the intelligence of the American PeopleThe book's publication is a slap in the face of the American people, and if published under the circumstances described, should be a direct violation of State Department protocol, deeming a raid of the author's home or at the very least a court martial.

The book's release signifies the government's latest effort to quell dissent over the 9/11 issue, doing more harm than good to the American people and further weaving a tangled web of lies designed to cover-up the truth behind Bin Laden's death.

With the book beginning to top best-seller lists on Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com, this latest propaganda is geared to put to rest any dissenting voices that call the raid a hoax.

The mere fact that this book was released and that its author has not been reprimanded is indeed a tell-tale sign that the book is nothing more than a fabricated work of fiction.

The propaganda is not overAs if placing nails on the coffin, in December the film ''Zero Dark Thirty'' is set to be released. Its aim will be to further propagandize the fabled raid and attempt to give further credence to the fabrication.

In 2011, Dr. Pieczenik described how even the photo released of White House staff purportedly viewing the bin Laden raid was a hoax.

Whistleblower 'Colonel Sixx' Dead!Dead!Dead! SEAL TEAM 6 MURDERED!-Reveals Whistleblower

Deaths of SEAL Team 6 Exposed!

The SEAL TEAM 6 WhistleBlower DEAD!

Tags: Government Corruption

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Soledad O'Brien Grills RNC Official for Not Including Rape Exception in Platform

Link to Article

Source: Crooks and Liars

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 14:17

The Republican Party's communications director is explaining the abortion ban in his party's platform by saying it doesn't include an exception for rape -- but it also doesn't NOT include an exception.

RNC communication director Sean Spicer worked hard not to pinned down on Thursday as he found himself in the uncomfortable spot on of being grilled by CNN's Soledad O'Brien because his party's official platform had called to make abortion illegal, even in cases of rape.

Following outrage over anti-abortion Rep. Todd Akin's (R-MO) assertion this week that victims of "legitimate rape" could not get pregnant, the Republican National Committee drafted an official platform that called for ''a human life amendment'' to the Constitution that would not allow abortion even in cases of rape, incest or life of the mother.

''Faithful to the 'self-evident' truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed,'' the draft said. ''We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children.''

Although presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has repeatedly said that he backs a ''personhood amendment'' to define a fertilize egg as a person and ban abortion in all circumstances, he responded to fallout from Akin's remarks by saying he ''would not oppose'' an exception for rape.

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, however, believes that abortion should be illegal in all cases, and has said that he is only comfortable with Romney's position because it is a "good step in the right direction."

Because Romney has embraced the doctor that authored Akin's "legitimate rape" theory and Ryan co-sponsored a bill with Akin that would have redefined rape as "forcible rape," Democrats have released an ad linking everything together as the "Romney-Ryan-Aiken Platform for Women."

During a Thursday interview, O'Brien pressed the RNC communications director about what Ryan meant when he said that Romney's anti-abortion commitment was "a good step in the right direction" even though it includes an exception for rape.

"The Republican Party is a pro-life party," Spicer explained. "Our platform is just a simple set of principles which say -- the problem with the ad that you played is the Democrats are trying to take a simple set of principles, which is the Republican Party's pro-life. There is no additional language, so to talk about exceptions or whatever is not found in the platform."

"That platform is more specific than you're making it sound," O'Brien observed.

"No, it's not," Spicer shot back.

"It is, though, really," O'Brien replied, pointing out that Republicans had proposed HR-212, a bill which states that "human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization."

"It's the same language that we've had in there since 1984, no difference," Spicer said. "So somehow, again, this is news to anyone is amazing. And it states a general principle that we believe in the concept of life. Then within that, there are different people within our party say, 'Well, okay, I support that, but I believe there should be an exception for this or that.'"

"What Mitt Romney believes is that there should be an exception for rape, incest, and the life of the mother. Paul Ryan has said that he believes slightly that he is more -- or does not necessarily believe in all of those exceptions, but as the number two he is signing onto the number one's ticket," Spicer continued, spinning the fact the Ryan actually believes in no exceptions at all.

"So, to try to read into it and say this means this and -- as you just did -- attach a specific piece of legislation, is not what the platform says."

"We'll agree to disagree on that," O'Brien concluded.

(h/t: Talking Points Memo)

FnF

Mexico Embassy Drug Running

This week: It's all over the news in Mexico, I'm talking a huge story. Mexican police + anti cartel groups were patrolling an area known to be used by drug cartel, low and behold they spotted an USA ambassador armored vehicle using the little traveled trail, at least that's the story now. They were not releasing info on the story at first. The truck did not stop, so they called backup, 6 other cars, and they shot the truck. Mexico released a report and statement almost a few hours after asking what it was doing there. USA still has not released a report. American Media paints it: http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/24/world/americas/mexico-shooting-us-marines/index.html "Gunmen attack US diplomatic vehicle"

Mexico police shoot at US embassy car

2TTH

Four Swiss killed in plane accident

Link to Article

Source: Reuters: World News

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 14:01

ZURICH | Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:19am EDT

ZURICH (Reuters) - Four Swiss citizens were killed when a flight between Belgium and Switzerland went down in eastern France, officials said.

The spokesman for the Swiss Foreign Ministry said the relatives had been informed and that the cause of the accident was not yet known. He declined to give any further details.

The flight went down at 1600 GMT on Friday in Solemont, east of the city of Besancon and just shy of the Swiss border, a French Finance Ministry official said in a statement.

(Reporting by Catherine Bosley; Editing by Alison Williams)

Vaccine$

Out There

Curiosity finds Mars 'teeming with UFOs' - Technology & science - Science - LiveScience - NBCNews.com

dead pixels in hdtv camera chips - Google Search

Keep in mind as you put together your Neil Armstrong packages tonight'... Charles Apple copydesk.org

Link to Article

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 12:20

OK, Neil Armstrong is dead. Clearly, that's a page-one story for most of you.

Here's one thing I do not want to see on page one tomorrow: Arguably the most famous picture taken in the history of mankind.

One reason I don't want to see it: That's not Neil. That's Buzz Aldrin.

The second reason I don't want to see it: Because NASA manipulated that photo before it was released to the public, back in 1969.

Evidently, Neil shoots pictures the same way my wife does: He cuts off people's heads. Here's the actual, unedited frame of that picture, which NASA calls AS11-40-5903:

NASA retouchers added black sky to the top of the picture. That might not seem like a big deal to you '-- especially when you're on deadline tonight '-- but, believe me, it is. Many newspapers have ethical guidelines in place that specifically warn against using handout pictures that were manipulated by the source.

In fact, now that you know this picture was manipulated by the source, I'd urge you to have it removed from your photo archives. Permanently.

Read more about that picture and its history straight from NASA itself here.

In fact, if you're hoping to use a picture of Armstrong on the moon tonight: Rots of Ruck to you. Armstrong and Aldrin only walked on the moon for about two-and-a-half hours that night in 1969. Most of the time, Armstrong carried the primary camera. Aldrin carried a camera but was assigned to shoot specific, technical things.

The result: Lots of pictures of Aldrin. But hardly any of Neil.

There's this one, in which Neil passed in front of Buzz as Buzz was shooting the solar wind experiment.

Nice shot of Neil's ass, perhaps. But nothing you'd want on page one tonight.

Here, Buzz was shooting the landscape immediately in front of the lunar lander. Neil happened to be retrieving equipment from the storage pods.

That's Neil. On the moon. But hardly a picture you'd want to use.

One of the more famous visuals that came back from Apollo 11 was a time-lapse video '-- one frame per second '-- of Neil and Buzz raising the flag on the surface of the moon. If you freeze the frames and zoom way, way in, you can see Neil. Here he is, raising the gold-coated sun visor of his helmet'...

'...and here he is, a moment later. This is the only picture we know about in which you can see Neil Armstrong's face while he's on the moon.

But again: The quality sucks.

One idea: Use this picture of Neil shot immediately after his historic walk on the moon.

The official NASA archives caption to that picture says:

Buzz took this picture of Neil in the cabin after the completion of the EVA [the moon walk]. Neil has his helmet off but has not yet doffed his ''Snoopy'' cap. The circuit breaker panels are illuminated, and a small floodlight is on at the lower right. A circuit breaker chart has been fixed up on the wall with gray tape, below the rendezvous window in the cabin roof.

Find the high-rez version of that picture here.

Another idea: Use this picture of Armstrong taking during training at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston on April 22, 1969. You can clearly see Neil through his visor.

That picture is a NASA shot '-- therefore, it's free to use '-- and available via the Apollo archive web page. Find the high-resolution version here.

If you can get by with a black-and-white shot from July 11, 1969 '-- just five days before liftoff. this has long been one of my favorite pictures of Neil Armstrong, also practicing for his moonwalk. You can just about see him thinking: Damn'... That IS a long step.

In 2003, Armstrong said via e-mail about this picture:

I really don't have the foggiest idea of what I was doing. I don't think it had anything to do with simulation. If I were simulating a mission phase, I would have the helmet on and suit pressurized. On the other hand, if it was only five days before flight, I would not be wearing the suit unless it was for a purpose.

Find the high-rez version of this picture here.

'--UPDATE '' 6:10 p.m.

I've already found a few people using the famous NASA picture of an Apollo 11 footprint on the moon.

The pictures are from this sequence. Here are the unedited frames:

If you use this, be advised: 1) The original is a black-and-white picture. So any color version you see has been manipulated. 2) The sun is at the right of this shot (look for the shadow along the leg). So the shadow should be in the bottom (heel) portion of the footprint. The most common version I see of this on the wires has the shadow at the top. Which is upside-down.

And 3) That's not Neil Armstrong's foot. That's Buzz Aldrin's.

For more information: Look for pictures AS11-40-5876 through AS11-40-5880 on the Apollo 11 image archive.

'--UPDATE '' 7 p.m.

Also: The whole ''Good luck, Mr. Gorsky'' thing? Never happened.

'--

Find NASA's extensive Apollo 11 photo archives here, here and here.

This entry was posted5:24 p.m. Aug. 25and is filed under Photojournalism.You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Whoops! NBC News Reports Death of Astronaut Neil ... Young

Link to Article

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 22:37

Whoops! NBC News Reports Death of Astronaut Neil ... Young

NBC News was one of the first to learn of the death of astronaut Neil Armstrong on Saturday, but instead announced the death of astronaut Neil '... Young.

"Astronaut Neil Young, first man to walk on moon, dies at age 82," read the NBC News headline shortly after 3 pm EST, which was tweeted out and picked up by thousands of others before it was changed.

As a refresher, Neil Young is a 66-year-old rock star who is very much alive.

Neil Armstrong, an American hero and the first man to walk on the moon, died on Saturday a few weeks after heart surgery.

NBC updated its story and added an editor's note acknowledging the error in the initial headline.

The pressure to get news out quickly has been leading to other high-profile errors of late, including CNN erroneously reporting on a Supreme Court ruling regarding President Obama's health care plan.

Neil Young is undoubtedly much relieved.

Spontaneous Human Combustion Explained With Pork Belly

Link to Article

Source: Set You Free News

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 16:40

By Belinda McCallum | The Epoch Times

New light has been shed on the phenomenon of Spontaneous Human Combustion (SHC), which was proposed to explain mysterious deaths over the last several centuries when people seemed to have burned to death without an external source of ignition.

Most recently, Irishman Michael Faherty died in his sitting room in 2010, but the only damage to the house were scorch marks on the ceiling above and on the floor below him.

English author and biologist Brian J. Ford described what happens to SHC victims in an article printed in New Scientist on Aug. 23. ''One minute they may be relaxing in a chair, the next they erupt into a fireball.''

''Jets of blue fire shoot from their bodies like flames from a blowtorch, and within half an hour they are reduced to a pile of ash,'' he wrote. ''Typically, the legs remain unscathed sticking out grotesquely from the smoking cinders.''

''Nearby objects''a pile of newspapers on the armrest, for example''are untouched.''

He noted that various reports of SHC linked it with alcoholism but were later disproved. Another theory called the ''wick effect'' holds that the victim's clothing is lit by an external source and acts like a wick, setting fire to subcutaneous fat.

Ford put this theory to the test using pork belly marinated in ethanol for a week, but it would not burn even when covered in gauze dampened with alcohol. However, certain medical conditions can cause the body to produce acetone, which is highly flammable.

''A range of conditions can produce ketosis, in which acetone is formed, including alcoholism, fat-free dieting, diabetes, and even teething,'' Ford explained. Pork belly was instead marinated in acetone and used to make human-sized models, which were clothed and lit.

''They burned to ash within half an hour,'' Ford said. ''For the first time a feasible cause of human combustion has been experimentally demonstrated.'' Only parts of the dummies' legs were left, which is typical of SHC. Ford believes this may be because the legs contain less fat and therefore less acetone.

(C) Copyright 2012 The Epoch Times '' Published at Set You Free News with license

Helium shortage affects not only the balloons

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Sat, 25 Aug 2012 13:51

From:

To:

VIDEO

Police: All Empire State shooting victims were wounded by officers. (CNN video)

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Source: WT news feed

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 01:00

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

Victim apparently filed prior complaint that gunman would try to kill him, police sayPolice gunfire wounded nine people in Empire State Building shooting, commissioner saysPolice: Investigation under way after officer shot nine rounds while another shot sevenNew York (CNN) -- On a busy Friday morning in Manhattan, nine pedestrians suffered bullet or fragment wounds after police unleashed a hail of gunfire at a man wielding a .45 caliber pistol who had just killed a former co-worker.

The officers unloaded 16 rounds in the shadow of the Empire State Building at a disgruntled former apparel designer, killing him after he engaged in a gunbattle with police, authorities said.

Three passersby sustained direct gunshot wounds, while the remaining six were hit by fragments, according to New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. All injuries were caused by police, he said Saturday.

One officer shot nine rounds and another shot seven.

Police identified the gunman as Jeffrey Johnson, 58, who was apparently laid off from his job as a designer of women's accessories at Hazan Import Co. last year.

Johnson, who served in the U.S. Coast Guard in the mid-1970s, had two rounds left in his pistol. It holds eight, Kelly said.

Shooting at the Empire State Building

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Police identified the slain co-worker as Steven Ercolino, 41, who had apparently filed a prior complaint against his assailant, claiming that he thought Johnson would eventually try to kill him.

Both men had filed harassment complaints against each other in April 2011, Kelly added.

Ercolino was listed as a vice president of sales at Hazan Import Corp., according to his LinkedIn profile.

"It's not something that should happen to a loving person like that," said his brother, Paul. "He's going to be so missed by everybody. He was a light of so many lives."

His longstanding dispute with the gunman "apparently centered on the fact that Ercolino was not selling -- at least in Johnson's opinion -- as much of his product ... as he wanted him to," Kelly said.

The suspect lost his job last year at Hazan "as a result of downsizing" but continued to return to the company regularly, engaging in "a confrontation with Ercolino virtually every time he went back."

The violence erupted Friday morning just as visitors began to queue up to ascend the famous New York skyscraper in one of Manhattan's busiest neighborhoods.

Six of the injured were treated and released at hospitals by Friday evening, while three others remained hospitalized, Kelly added.

One of those wounded, Erica Solar, was on her way to get a cup of coffee at Dunkin' Donuts when a bullet tore through the back of her leg, her brother said. The Manhattan receptionist is being treated at the city's Bellevue Hospital.

Experts: Empire State Building shooting won't keep tourists away

Others like Robert Asika, a 23-year-old city tour guide, were on their way to work and got caught in the crossfire.

"When I turned around, I saw a guy reach in his suit and he pulled out a gun," he told CNN affiliate WCBS-TV. "I guess he shot at the police officer. And the police officer shot him. And one of them shot me in the arm, and I fell."

Witnesses recount chaotic, unsettling scene

On Friday, Johnson was wearing a business suit and carrying a briefcase as he waited for Ercolino outside his business on West 33rd Street. When Ercolino appeared, "Without any conversation, he shot him once in the head and then shot him in the torso," the police commissioner said.

Johnson then walked east, before eventually turning north. A construction worker was among those who dashed after the gunman after the initial gunshots. Eventually, the worker alerted two police officers in front of the Empire State Building that the suspect "just killed a man around the corner," Kelly said.

The police commissioner said the suspect pulled his gun out of his briefcase as the officers approached, pointing at them. The officers then fatally shot Johnson.

A brief surveillance video released Friday night by police shows the man walking behind a large planter on a busy street. He appears to point something as two officers approach, coming to within a few feet of him. Then, as bystanders run in all directions, the man falls abruptly to the ground after apparently being shot.

Witnesses said police shot Johnson at least three times.

"I heard the gunshots," said Anika Basu, who was on a bus near the building when the shooting happened. "I looked toward the left and saw three people fall. ... The whole entire crosswalk emptied and people were running.

Police say Johnson used a semiautomatic handgun and was carrying extra ammunition in his briefcase. He purchased the weapon legally in 1991 in Florida but did not have a permit to carry it in New York City.

The former Manhattan resident did not appear to have had a criminal record, but authorities were still checking, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

Johnson's neighbor, Gisela Casella, described him as a quiet animal lover whose death left her "shocked."

"He was the nicest guy. He must have snapped or something. I don't know," she said.

His landlord, Guillermo Suarez, said he lived alone and that he'd seen Johnson leave the building around 8 a.m. in a suit.

By around 9 a.m., the shootings had prompted local and federal authorities to close several streets around Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street, snarling traffic in the heart of Manhattan.

What to know about Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is one of the most famous skyscrapers in the world and one of New York's best-known tourist attractions.

Each year, about 4 million people visit the building's two observation decks. At more than 1,453 feet tall, the landmark building reaches more than a quarter-mile into the sky.

CNN's Jonathan Noah, Greg Botelho, Chris Kokenes, Rose Arce and Poppy Harlow contributed to this report.

General tells crowd how US hacked enemy in Afghanistan (video)

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 01:08

By Raphael SatterThe Associated Press

Published: August 24, 2012

The U.S. military has been launching cyberattacks against its opponents in Afghanistan, a senior officer says, making an unusually explicit acknowledgment of the oft-hidden world of electronic warfare.

Marine Lt. Gen. Richard P. Mills' comments came last week at a conference in Baltimore during which he explained how U.S. commanders considered cyber weapons an important part of their arsenal.

"I can tell you that as a commander in Afghanistan in the year 2010, I was able to use my cyber operations against my adversary with great impact," Mills said. "I was able to get inside his nets, infect his command-and-control, and in fact defend myself against his almost constant incursions to get inside my wire, to affect my operations."

Mills, now a deputy commandant with the Marine Corps, was in charge of international forces in southwestern Afghanistan between 2010 and 2011, according to his official biography. He didn't go into any further detail as to the nature or scope of his forces' attacks, but experts said that such a public admission that they were being carried out was itself striking.

"This is news," said James Lewis, a cyber-security analyst with the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. He said that while it was generally known in defense circles that cyberattacks had been carried out by U.S. forces in Afghanistan, he had never seen a senior officer take credit for them in such a way.

"It's not secret," Lewis said in a telephone interview, but he added: "I haven't seen as explicit a statement on this as the one" Mills made.

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on Mills' speech.

U.S. defense planners have spent the past few years wondering aloud about how and under what circumstances the Pentagon would launch a cyberattack against its enemies, but it's only recently become apparent that a sophisticated program of U.S.-backed cyberattacks is already under way.

A book by The New York Times reporter David Sanger recently recounted how President Barack Obama ordered a wave of electronic incursions aimed at physically sabotaging Iran's disputed atomic energy program. Subsequent reports have linked the program to a virus dubbed Flame, which prompted a temporary Internet blackout across Iran's oil industry in April, and another virus called Gauss, which appeared to have been aimed at stealing information from customers of Lebanese banks. An earlier report alleged that U.S. forces in Iraq had hacked into a terrorist group's computer there to lure its members into an ambush.

Herbert Lin, a cyber expert at the National Research Council, agreed that Mills' comments were unusual in terms of the fact that they were made publicly. But Lin said that the United States was, little by little, opening up about the fact that its military was launching attacks across the Internet.

"The U.S. military is starting to talk more and more in terms of what it's doing and how it's doing it," he said. "A couple of years ago it was hard to get them to acknowledge that they were doing offense at all - even as a matter of policy, let alone in specific theaters or specific operations."

Mills' brief comments about cyberattacks in Afghanistan were delivered to the TechNet Land Forces East conference in Baltimore on Aug. 15, but they did not appear to have attracted much attention at the time. Footage of the speech was only recently posted to the Internet by conference organizers.

U.S. General says Ramadan a factor in murders of U.S. troops by their Afghan partners - Jihad Watch

Man Kicked Off Plane For Wearing Anti Homeland Security T-Shirt "Mock The Security Charade..."

General Wants The Letter "D" Removed From PTSD (Because That Will Make All The Difference)

"Some Speculate ISRAEL WILL ATTACK IRAN Before The US Election Giving Obama No Choice..."

Iran's SUPER-FAST GUNSHIPS! They Will Surely Destroy Us Al

Egypt seals off 120 smuggling tunnels

Link to Article

Source: euronews

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 16:41

Egyptian security officials say they have now sealed off 120 tunnels in the Sinai peninsula, which were being used to smuggle people and goods to and from neighbouring Gaza.

Several homes sitting on top of passageway exits have also been demolished.

The military has stepped up its offensive in Sinai with extra troops and tanks, after suspected militants killed 16 Egyptian border guards earlier this month.

Egypt says the gunmen used the smuggling tunnels to carry out the attack.

Lawlessness has spread in Sinai since the fall of president Hosni Mubarak and the election of Mohamed Mursi, who has vowed to restore stability to the area.

More about:Border Controls, Egypt, Israel, The Gaza StripCopyright (C) 2012 euronews

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Gawker: NYPD release footage showing officers taking down Empire State Building gunman http://t.co/Fg2YF2uD

Link to Article

Source: Twitter / Favorites from davewiner

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 04:04

Police tonight released video footage [Warning: Graphic] showing the moment two officers shot and killed 58-year-old Jeffrey Johnson, a former employee of Hazan Imports who a short while earlier gunned down former coworker Steve Ercolino near the Empire State Building.

After the shooting, Johnson attempted to conceal the .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun he used to kill Ercolino inside a black bag, and headed away from the scene, but was chased down by construction workers who alerted police. The footage above shows the moment the officers confront Johnson.

It was later established that Johnson pointed the gun but did not fire at the officers, who themselves shot off 16 rounds which killed Johnson, but also injured nine bystanders. None of the collateral injuries were life-threatening.

Johnson, who lived in Manhattan, was fired from his job as women's apparel designer over a year ago after six year at Hazan. He had an ongoing dispute with Ercolino, and had reportedly threatened to kill him at least once.

Homeland Security Operations - C-SPAN Video Library

Video: Behind the scenes of Hillary's photo shoot for Conde Nast Traveler

Link to Article

Source: JAFB*

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 14:29

Warning, vomit bag strongly recommended when viewing these videos.

There's more sickening material here. You have been warned.

ANARCHIST THREATEN REPUBLICAN CONVENTION! Police State Propaganda Reel #CNN08232012

Reality Check: RNC Pulling Out All Stops To Keep Ron Paul's Name Out Of Nomination - YouTube

Link to Article

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 02:34

Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children

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Sun, 26 Aug 2012 06:26

Chavez orders blast investigation

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Source: BBC News - Home

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 01:01

25 August 2012Last updated at 19:47 ET Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.

Amateur video showed several blazes at the site

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has ordered an urgent investigation to find the cause of a huge explosion at the country's biggest oil refinery.

The blast at the Amuay plant in Falcon state, in the north-west of the country, led to the deaths of at least 26 people, officials say. More than 80 others were injured.

Mr Chavez declared three days of national mourning.

Earlier, Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said a gas leak had caused the blast.

Mr Chavez said the tragedy had touched all families in the country.

"I want to send out to the families of those who died, civilians and military, all our pain, mine, that of all my family, everyone in the national government and the people of Venezuela," he said.

"It has been decided to have three days of mourning, national mourning because this affects everyone in the big family of Venezuela."

Venezuelan Vice-President Elias Jaua said 17 of the victims were members of the National Guard stationed at the plant.

Venezuelan authorities say the worst is over and the fire is now under control.

Amuay, on the Paraguana peninsula, is part of the Paraguana Refinery Complex, which also includes the Cardon refinery.

It is one of the biggest refinery complexes in the world with an overall capacity of 955,000 barrels per day, Reuters news agency notes.

The accident has halted operations at the refinery, but Mr Ramirez said he expected production to be resumed by Monday.

Mr Ramirez said that Venezuela had enough fuel supplies to guarantee continued exports and domestic supply.

Gas leakThe blast occurred at 01:11 (05:41 GMT) on Saturday.

It unleashed a huge fire that destroyed two fuel tanks and stopped production at the plant.

"The gas cloud exploded, igniting at least two storage tanks and other facilities at the refinery," the energy minister told state TV.

"It was a significant explosion, there is appreciable damage to infrastructure and to houses opposite the refinery," said Mr Ramirez.

Falcon State Governor Stella Lugo said nearby houses had been damaged by the blast.

Local resident Nelly da Lugo said it would be too dangerous for her family to remain in the area:

"PDVSA (Venezuela's government-run oil company) should buy all of these houses and get us out of this community because we are at a very high risk here."

Venezuela has the world's biggest certified oil reserves.

But critics blame under investment by the state-controlled oil company for a decline in production and safety standards.

Refineries have suffered from a long list of problems including power failures and accidents.

Breivik declared sane, sentenced to 21 years. (Euronews video)

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 13:30

Norwegian killer Anders Behring Breivik has been sentenced to 21 years in prison after a court in Oslo found he was sane when he carried out last July's twin attacks.

The 33-year-old will serve at least 10 years in prison for the the murders of 77 people during a bomb attack on the capital Oslo and a mass shooting at a youth camp on Otoeya island.

His sentence can be extended indefinitely under Norwegian law if he is deemed a threat to society.

Analysts said before the verdict that Breivik was unlikely to ever be freed.

Prosecutors had called for Breivik to be judged insane. But after a 10-week trial, a panel of five judges found that he was of sound mind when he carried out his anti-Islam attacks.

The crimes and subsequent trial have stunned many Norwegians and raised questions about the prevalence of far-right views as immigration continues to increase in the 5 million population country.

There's even been controversy over Breivik's prison cell which some victims' families say is too luxurious.

The three roomed cell at the Ila prison, near Oslo, features a bedroom, a personal gym and a study complete with laptop.

Two seperate teams of psychiatrists had come to different conclusions about Breivik's sanity. One ruled he was a paranoid schizophrenic, the other that he was sane.

Several other experts described several apparent mental health conditions that Breivik suffers from.

There's even been controversy over Breivik's prison cell which victims' families say is too luxurious.

Before the verdict, polls showed that around 70 percent of Norwegians thought such a well-planned attack could not have been the work of a madman. They said Breivik must take responsibility rather than be dismissed as merely deranged.

More about:Norway, Norway massacre, Terrorism, TrialCopyright (C) 2012 euronews

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The National Security Agency's Domestic Spying Program - NYTimes.com

VIDEO: 'Scores of bodies' found in Syria

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Source: BBC News - Home

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 13:07

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Soledad O'Brien Grills RNC Official for Not Including Rape Exception in Platform

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Source: Crooks and Liars

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 14:17

The Republican Party's communications director is explaining the abortion ban in his party's platform by saying it doesn't include an exception for rape -- but it also doesn't NOT include an exception.

RNC communication director Sean Spicer worked hard not to pinned down on Thursday as he found himself in the uncomfortable spot on of being grilled by CNN's Soledad O'Brien because his party's official platform had called to make abortion illegal, even in cases of rape.

Following outrage over anti-abortion Rep. Todd Akin's (R-MO) assertion this week that victims of "legitimate rape" could not get pregnant, the Republican National Committee drafted an official platform that called for ''a human life amendment'' to the Constitution that would not allow abortion even in cases of rape, incest or life of the mother.

''Faithful to the 'self-evident' truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed,'' the draft said. ''We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children.''

Although presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has repeatedly said that he backs a ''personhood amendment'' to define a fertilize egg as a person and ban abortion in all circumstances, he responded to fallout from Akin's remarks by saying he ''would not oppose'' an exception for rape.

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, however, believes that abortion should be illegal in all cases, and has said that he is only comfortable with Romney's position because it is a "good step in the right direction."

Because Romney has embraced the doctor that authored Akin's "legitimate rape" theory and Ryan co-sponsored a bill with Akin that would have redefined rape as "forcible rape," Democrats have released an ad linking everything together as the "Romney-Ryan-Aiken Platform for Women."

During a Thursday interview, O'Brien pressed the RNC communications director about what Ryan meant when he said that Romney's anti-abortion commitment was "a good step in the right direction" even though it includes an exception for rape.

"The Republican Party is a pro-life party," Spicer explained. "Our platform is just a simple set of principles which say -- the problem with the ad that you played is the Democrats are trying to take a simple set of principles, which is the Republican Party's pro-life. There is no additional language, so to talk about exceptions or whatever is not found in the platform."

"That platform is more specific than you're making it sound," O'Brien observed.

"No, it's not," Spicer shot back.

"It is, though, really," O'Brien replied, pointing out that Republicans had proposed HR-212, a bill which states that "human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization."

"It's the same language that we've had in there since 1984, no difference," Spicer said. "So somehow, again, this is news to anyone is amazing. And it states a general principle that we believe in the concept of life. Then within that, there are different people within our party say, 'Well, okay, I support that, but I believe there should be an exception for this or that.'"

"What Mitt Romney believes is that there should be an exception for rape, incest, and the life of the mother. Paul Ryan has said that he believes slightly that he is more -- or does not necessarily believe in all of those exceptions, but as the number two he is signing onto the number one's ticket," Spicer continued, spinning the fact the Ryan actually believes in no exceptions at all.

"So, to try to read into it and say this means this and -- as you just did -- attach a specific piece of legislation, is not what the platform says."

"We'll agree to disagree on that," O'Brien concluded.

(h/t: Talking Points Memo)

Forsyth County Schools Put Anti-Bullying Ads On Buses: See Something? Say Something? | digtriad.com

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Fri, 24 Aug 2012 12:38

Winston-Salem, NC - With school approaching, the 10 or 15 minute school bus ride can determine the rest of a child's day.

"If its chaos...if they are afraid and if they are being picked on. And what about the child who says they are walking and doesn't come to school," said Rhonda fleming, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

Winston-Salem Forsyth county schools placing anti-bullying ads on their buses using the slogan, See something? Say Something?

Kids will be able to call the number on the ad to report bullying. The anti-bullying stickers were purchased as apart of the bullying curriculum which is funded by the school district. This is a perfect time to remind you at home to slow down when buses are present. And when stop arm is extended to put on the brakes.

According to Forsyth School officials, our school district has had Bullying Awareness committee since 2010. It started when the district rolled out "Rachel's Challenge" in an effort to educate students, parents and the community on what is bullying, its affects and what to do about it.

There is a national bullying curriculum for all school bus drivers and their slogan is "SEE SOMETHING. DO SOMETHING." (See this link for more about the curriculum/training.)

The Winston/Forsyth County School District, held training for all school bus drivers last week on being aware of bullying and reporting it to school administration right away and general student management.

The district's data indicated their are "hot spots" in every school system such as hallways, stairwells, playgrounds and buses. So, transportation officials decided to make available the number on the school bus to add to resources available to help us stop bullying.

The ads, would allow both the victim to report it and any witnesses.

"Sometimes children lack the confidence to stand up for themselves, we have to help them until they are able to help themselves. Other students can help us stop bullying by reporting it," said Fleming.

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