31 Dec 2007
The 2007 International Privacy Ranking
- Constitutional protection in Article 10, Article 12, and 13; moves to change the constitution to be more technology neutral were postponed
- Comprehensive privacy law and sectoral protections
- Data Privacy Authority can apply administrative measures and impose fines; and posts advisories to government on new legislation; extensive work in the area of medical records in 2007
- Growth of corporate privacy officers across the country
- Court order required for interception, except for the intelligence services who are authorised by the Minister of Interior; controversies and court cases over the burden to industry
- Access to traffic data by order of the public prosecutor, but for serious offences (where punishment is imprisonment for four years or more); though subscriber data can be accessed by police in case of mere suspicion. Parliament rejected proposal to notify suspects after subscriber data has been accessed.
- In 2007 government moved to implement data retention directive with 18 months period, despite concerns from Authority
- Continued proposals to increase power of law enforcement agencies
- Plans to implement in 2008 a database of all children to record development from birth
- New plans for expanded use of biometrics
- DNA collected on all convicted of serious crimes
- Compulsory identification for all persons from age of 14, where 5300 individuals are fined every month for not carrying ID
- Passport includes fingerprints and facial images, and government proposed in 2005 that a centralised register be created
- Law from 2003 makes it unlawful to use hidden cameras in public places without notification; cameras can otherwise keep images for 4 weeks for the purpose of keeping public order
- Courts have ruled that subscriber data can be disclosed to copyright industry, and anonymous website owners
- Ratified Cybercrime convention
The elitist Rockefeller sons would sometimes "joke" about which parts of the world they would each control according to biographer Peter Collier, carving the world up into different thiefdoms. Collier's admission that there was "something really behind the joke" is an understatement considering the revelations of the late Aaron Russo about what Nicholas Rockefeller told him.
The admission is taken from a segment of a History Channel documentary about the Rockefeller family which hit You Tube today.
"Sometimes they would joke about it, they would say well David gets Europe, Nelson's gonna have Latin America, and you know John D. the third gets Asia and then they'd make some joke about what Winthrop got, you know which would be something like Arkansas - but nonetheless there was something really behind the joke," states Peter Collier, who wrote a glowing biography of the family with top Neo-Con and former Marxist David Horowitz.
China's Cyber Warriors are not only going after Western industrial and military secrets, they are also shutting down Chinese dissidents who are operating from the West. Hundreds of Chinese language web sites and blogs are based in the West, where they can be reached by the 10-20 percent of Chinese users willing and able to use available tools that allow you to bypass the "Great Firewall of China." The government knows this is going on, because they see news, and ideas, from these offshore sights quickly showing up in China. The Chinese government does not like this, because the "illegal" news is often embarrassing to the government.
30 Dec 2007
Simone White (thanks to a car commercial..)
Benazir Bhutto's son has been anointed her successor, the slain former prime minister's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) confirmed today. A senior PPP official had told TIME late Saturday that Bhutto's 19-year-old son, Bilawal, would likely be named as her political heir and the new party leader on Sunday. PPP members met this morning to discuss the party's future and to give Bilawal, a student at Oxford, a chance to read his mother's last will and testament.
More about the boy here, like "The 19-year-old, currently studying in Oxford, told a local daily in a rare interview three years ago that he will always regret the fact that he could not play cricket because of the "circumstances in which my family had been put". (link)
An 89-year-old woman died after an ambulance crew spent two hours trying 30 hospitals before finding one that would accept her for treatment, Japanese officials said today.
The ambulance crew and local fire department contacted 30 hospitals before one of the hospitals finally said it could admit her - about two hours after her family had called for an ambulance, Matsumoto said.
The woman’s heart stopped when she was taken to Osaka Minami Medical Centre, according to Matsumoto.
She was resuscitated at the hospital but died on Wednesday, according to hospital official Hiroshi Tone.
Matsumoto said the other hospitals rejected the woman saying their hospitals were full or their doctors were not immediately available to treat her.
Last year, a pregnant woman in western Japan died after being refused admission by about 20 hospitals that said they were full.
The latest case underscores Japan’s health care woes, in part created by a shortage of doctors in the country’s rapidly aging society. Critics say long working hours and a government policy change several years ago to keep the number of doctors down are to blame.
So that is why they need robots in their hospitals...?
as Popgadget says: "If this is where the future services industry of Japan is heading, it will only add to the woes of an already disgruntled and out-of-work labor force. With all due respect to the tremendous applications that robots have had in the manufacturing industry, when it comes to caring, give me a human being any day. No robotic hospitals for me" (link)
29 Dec 2007
A two hour long presentation by Michael Tsarion
Researchers found a way to clone pet cats five years ago. Now they can play a trick on their genes to change their color.
A Gyeongsang National University team said they have succeeded in cloning cats after modifying a gene to change their skin color. Because of the red fluorescence protein in their skin cells, the three Turkish Angola kittens look reddish under ultraviolet light, the researchers said.
The red cloned cat research is expected to be utilized in dealing with certain genetic diseases in animals and humans. It will also help reproduce rare animals, such as tigers and wildcats, which are on the verge of extinction, the team said.
According to the team led by professor Kong Il-keun, three kittens were born in January and February by caesarian section, but one died during the procedure. They weighed between 110 and 136 grams at birth and now weigh 3.5 kilograms each now, the researchers said.
"We are the freedom loving Lakota from the Sioux Indian reservations of Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana who have suffered from cultural and physical genocide in the colonial apartheid system we have been forced to live under."
During the week of December 17-19, 2007, the Lakota Freedom Delegation traveled to Washington DC and withdrew from the constitutionally mandated treaties to become a free and independent country. We are alerting the Family of Nations we have now reassumed our freedom and independence with the backing of Natural, International, and United States law.
Download the complete Declaration of Continuing Independence (pdf).
More about the Lakota people on Wikipedia and also remember the Wounded Knee Massacre (1890) and on the very good site Manataka American Indian Council "The Legacy of Wounded Knee" lots of information about the 1973 siege with a very good presentation (click here to watch)
Dutch Governmental fireworks safety advertisement. LiveLeak.com - LAAF Eternal rains of fire (English Subtitles)
In the 24 hours since a lone attacker assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the rumor mill has again been working overtime. Not only are there conflicting reports of how Bhutto died — from bullet wounds or from a bomb blast that followed or from fracturing her skull against her car's sun-roof as the assailant blew himself up — but many Pakistanis are pointing the finger of blame at President Pervez Musharraf and his allies in Washington.
On jihadi websites, al-Qaeda claimed the assassination was their work and intelligence officials in both Pakistan and the U.S. agree that Islamic extremists from al-Qaeda or the Taliban were probably responsible for the devastating attack. But as Musharraf's popularity has slipped badly, moderate and religious Pakistanis alike have begun to blame him for the increasing chaos in their country — and to trace every incident directly to his rule and his high-profile allies. "This assassination was fabricated by the present government," says Liaqat Baloch, a senior official in Jamaat-e-Islami, one of Pakistan's main Islamic parties. "It is part of the American strategy to scare people that Pakistan is falling apart."
See the actual shooting below:
And right on cue, shortly after former Pakistani premier Bhutto's own slaying, key al-Qaeda news items appear. Like "senior US officials" are checking into an al-Qaeda claim of responsibility for the assassination, and—lo and behold—"Osama" himself will soon release a message regarding Iraq.
Remember Operation Cyclone? "Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, concerned of the growing strength of the Islamist movement, told President George H. W. Bush, "You are creating a Frankenstein". More here
28 Dec 2007
In a controversial new program, the city of Chicago has opened five public schools since 1999 based on a military academy model. Over 10,000 students attend the schools, which offer college preparatory courses combined with a military curriculum.
According to the Chicago Tribune, "military personnel work at the schools as teachers and administrators, and all academy students must enlist in the Junior ROTC, wear a military uniform and take a daily ROTC course that includes lessons on leadership, character development, drug prevention and military history."
Former army officer Paul Stroh, now principal of the Marine Military Academy, told PBS that the school's aim is to produce graduates who will become leaders of their communities. Parents interviewed by PBS agreed that the school gives their children special opportunities to succeed, while the students described the chance to take on leadership roles as "really cool."
27 Dec 2007
Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday in the wake of a suicide bombing that killed at least 14 of her supporters, doctors, a spokesman for her party and other officials said.
Bhutto suffered bullet wounds in the aftermath of the bomb attack, TV networks were reporting.
An AP reporter at the scene saw body parts and flesh scattered at the back gate of the Liaqat Bagh park in Rawalpindi where the rally was held. He counted about 20 bodies, including police, and could see many other wounded.
The road outside was stained with blood and people screamed for ambulances. Others gave water to the wounded lying in the street. The clothing of some of the victims was shredded and people put party flags over their bodies.
See this defiant Bhutto after the last assassination attempt:
Travelers at Sea-Tac and dozens of other major airports across America are being scrutinized by teams of TSA behavior-detection officers specially trained to discern the subtlest suspicious behaviors.
TSA officials will not reveal specific behaviors identified by the program -- called SPOT (Screening Passengers by Observation Technique) -- that are considered indicators of possible terrorist intent.
But a central task is to recognize microfacial expressions - a flash of feelings that in a fraction of a second reflects emotions such as fear, anger, surprise or contempt, said Carl Maccario, who helped start the program for TSA.
"In the SPOT program, we have a conversation with (passengers) and we ask them about their trip," said Maccario from his office in Boston. "When someone lies or tries to be deceptive, ... there are behavior cues that show it. ... A brief flash of fear."
Such people are referred for secondary screening, which can include a pat-down search and an X-ray exam. The microfacial expressions, he said, are the same across many cultures.
25 Dec 2007
24 Dec 2007
NO CHICKEN FOR X-MAS FOR ME !
Putin grudgingly reveals a few personal details between intermittent bites of food: He relaxes, he says, by listening to classical composers like Brahms, Mozart, Tchaikovsky. His favorite Beatles song is Yesterday. He has never sent an e-mail in his life. And while he grew up in an officially atheist country, he is a believer and often reads from a Bible that he keeps on his state plane. He is impatient to the point of rudeness with small talk, and he is in complete control of his own message.
He is clear about Russia's role in the world. He is passionate in his belief that the dissolution of the Soviet Union was a tragedy, particularly since overnight it stranded 25 million ethnic Russians in "foreign" lands. But he says he has no intention of trying to rebuild the U.S.S.R. or re-establish military or political blocs. And he praises his predecessors Yeltsin and Mikhail Gorbachev for destroying a system that had lost the people's support. "I'm not sure I could have had the guts to do that myself," he tells us. Putin is, above all, a pragmatist, and has cobbled together a system—not unlike China's—that embraces the free market (albeit with a heavy dose of corruption) but relies on a strong state hand to keep order.
23 Dec 2007
Newly declassified document shows that J. Edgar Hoover, the longtime director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had a plan to suspend habeas corpus and imprison some 12,000 Americans he suspected of disloyalty.
Hoover sent his plan to the White House on July 7, 1950, 12 days after the Korean War began. It envisioned putting suspect Americans in military prisons.
Hoover wanted President Harry S. Truman to proclaim the mass arrests necessary to “protect the country against treason, espionage and sabotage.” The F.B.I would “apprehend all individuals potentially dangerous” to national security, Hoover’s proposal said. The arrests would be carried out under “a master warrant attached to a list of names” provided by the bureau.
The death bed, a torture method originating from Jilin Prison, is frequently used to torture imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners at the Jilin Prison and Jilin Province Women's Prison, also known as Heizuizi Women's Prison, in Changchun City. Similar to the ancient, cruel punishment of being drawn and quartered, many Falun Gong practitioners have been tortured to death this way.
The tortured person is left feeling neither dead nor alive. Falun Gong practitioners who refuse to give up their beliefs have all been tortured with the death bed at least once. Some can't even count how many times they've been put on the death bed.
Ms. Song Yanqun of Shulan City, Jilin Province, is an English teacher at Dade Japanese School in Haerbing. She was sentenced to 12 years in prison for refusing to give up the practice of Falun Dafa. After Ms. Song was tortured on the death bed by the guards at Jilin Province Women's Prison in May 2005, her left leg became cold and numb. Her entire right arm constantly trembles from pain, and she can no longer write.
Also see The Falundafa in Europe Site
Tony Blair's personal role as prime minister in halting the Saudi arms sale bribery investigation is revealed in court documents which the Guardian is publishing in full on its website.
Government memos stamped "Secret" reveal that the then attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, twice tried in vain to stop Blair interfering in the criminal investigation.
His chief of staff told the cabinet secretary, Gus O'Donnell, on October 3 2006: "The attorney general is of the firm view that, if the case is in fact soundly based, it would not be right to discontinue it."
But Blair wrote a "Secret and Personal" letter to Goldsmith on December 8 2006, demanding he stop the investigation. He said he was concerned about the "critical difficulty" in negotiations over a new Typhoon fighter sales contract, as well as a "real and immediate risk of a collapse in UK/Saudi security, intelligence and diplomatic cooperation".
22 Dec 2007
Former prime minister Tony Blair has left the Anglican Church to become a Roman Catholic.
His wife and children are already Catholic and there had been speculation he would convert after leaving office.
Last year, Mr Blair, who is now a Middle East peace envoy, said he had prayed to God when deciding whether or not to send UK troops into Iraq.
And one of Mr Blair's final official trips while prime minister was a visit to the Vatican in June where he met Pope Benedict XVI.
20 Dec 2007
A SENSATIONAL handwritten letter by Princess Diana claiming Charles wanted to kill her in a car crash was revealed in full for the first time yesterday.
Diana scribbled the letter on headed paper in October 1996 warning her husband wanted her murdered so he could marry their children’s nanny.
The Princess of Wales was wrongly convinced that Charles was having an affair with pretty Tiggy Legge-Bourke and had got her pregnant. And she dismissed Camilla Parker Bowles as “nothing but a decoy.”
Diana gave it to butler Paul Burrell, who revealed its existence in his 2003 book.
But a dramatic page of the letter – written by the princess as “insurance” less than a year before she died in a car accident in August 1997, aged 36 – was yesterday seen publicly in full for the first time.
"You won't find my new release at your local cinema. My latest project is "Kentucky Fried Cruelty," an undercover exposé blowing the whistle on the cruel treatment of animals at KFC's factory farm and slaughterhouse suppliers.
The video details just how horribly KFC treats chickens—birds are so crippled that they can't even walk, live birds are forced into tanks of scalding-hot water while completely conscious and able to feel pain, and Moorefield, West Virginia slaughterhouse workers kill birds by slamming them against the wall and stomping on them!
I'm calling on consumers to "Kick the Bucket" and boycott KFC until the company agrees to make some simple improvements in the way it treats animals."
17 Dec 2007
Australia’s new defense minister warned U.S. and NATO allies over the weekend that they risk losing the war in Afghanistan without a sharp shift in military and reconstruction efforts there, according to his office.
Fitzgibbon’s comments echo those of a leading candidate for the coordinator’s job, British diplomat Paddy Ashdown. Ashdown, the former U.N. high representative for Bosnia-Herzegovina, told a British newspaper in October that the allies were at risk of losing Afghanistan.
While the U.S. military feels it maintains a battlefield advantage over the Taliban, the senior military official told CNN that there are far too many bombings and far too many IEDs. He said the Taliban has become more diverse, with religious ideologues joined by local fighters hired for pay, warlords, drug bosses and those simply fighting over local disputes.
16 Dec 2007
Best-selling author and Bilderberg sleuth Daniel Estulin says he has received information from sources inside the U.S. intelligence community which suggests that people from the highest levels of the U.S. government are considering an assassination attempt against Congressman Ron Paul because they are threatened by his burgeoning popularity.
Estulin, whose information has unfortunately proven very accurate in the past, went public with the bombshell news during an appearance on The Alex Jones Show today.
"I am getting information from my sources that there are people involved from a higher level of the American establishment who are seriously considering - this has not been confirmed - but assassination is definitely on the agenda and I pray to God that this is not the case," said Estulin.
A court in Bangalore has issued an order for the 'arrest without the possibility of bail' of seven campaigners over their websites postings about labour conditions of an Indian supplier of fashion label G-Star. The activists are from the Clean Clothes Campaign and the India Committee of the Netherlands; the director of their Netherlands based ISP, Antenna, is included.
The case could have implications for activists posting anything on the web, with the court using the Convention on Cyber Crime to call for extradition. It all happens with the backdrop of the continuing campaign about labour conditions and particularly the huge number of child workers in India coming up against the religion of 'free trade'.
The case has been running for some time now. As the legal threats get worse the campaign are asking for solidarity. As G-Star is the only remaining buyer from the jeans manufacturer at which the CCC and ICN have highlighted the labour rights violations they are asking people to make demands of them listing things you can do [cleanclothes.org]. In the UK No Sweat! have called a picket of G-star [nosweat.org] focusing on their Covent Garden store. There are lots of outlets around on their store locator [g-star.com].
Short documentary; Shocking!
15 Dec 2007
2008 is the year of The Christmas Conspiracy!
When the Christmas lights are turned off, the torn-up paper and ribbons are thrown away, and the plastic tree and ornaments packed back in the garage -- that's the time to start taking Christmas seriously.
King Herod took Christmas seriously. When the wise men told Herod that a rival King had been born in Bethlehem, Herod slaughtered every male infant in the area. Deep in their hearts, today's kings are afraid that Christians will take The Christmas Conspiracy! seriously.
More on The Christmas Conspiracy
14 Dec 2007
11 Dec 2007
A century after European states carved Africa into a series of colonies, Europe is looking to create a new world order - in alliance with Africa.
"Imagine if we showed that with 1.5 billion people and 80 countries - almost half the UN membership - we can make a real impact, both regionally and as global partners," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told the summit of the European and African Unions in Lisbon Saturday.
The two continents should create a "genuine partnership of solidarity and mutual respect which defends the priorities of Africa and its specific interests" in global issues, Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak told the 26 European and 53 African leaders.
The EU-AU summit - the first in seven years and only the second in history - has been hailed by both sides as a chance to launch a "new relationship" between the continents.
And one key aim of that relationship, according to the agreement jointly drawn up by representatives of the two organisations, is to develop "common responses to global challenges" in international fora - including the UN.
9 Dec 2007
On December 1, the Bangalore magistrate court ordered the arrest of seven Dutch human rights activists from the Clean Clothes Campaign and the India Committee of the Netherlands.
The seven are being targeted for their efforts to disseminate information about labour rights violations at the jeans manufacturer, Fibres and Fabrics International Pvt. Ltd. (FFI) and its subsidiary Jeans Knit Pvt. Ltd. (JKPL). The court has asked the India Ministry of Home Affairs to execute arrest warrants and request extradition of the Dutch nationals. The director of the internet service provider Antenna is also included in the request.
We urgently call upon you to contact G-Star, the only remaining buyer at FFI/JKPL, and urge them to take immediate action to make sure the workers producing their jeans are guaranteed freedom of speech and freedom of association.