31 Jan 2013
The case of the mystery button began like a story about a poltergeist. On Monday, a preliminary hearing in the military commission trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other accused 9/11 conspirators convened at Guantánamo. The courtroom is set up so that spectators behind sound-proof glass can listen to an audio feed with a forty-second delay.
As Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald describes it, “A red emergency light spins in court when a censor at the judge’s elbow hits the mute button to prevent someone from spilling national security secrets.” At just before 2:30 P.M., David Nevin, one of the defense lawyers, who was addressing a brief having to do with C.I.A. secret prisons, said he understood that “we are going to do this in a 505 and that some portion of this will turn out to be closed or secret.” As he pronounced “secret,” the light began to flash and white noise filled the audio feed, as if it had been a trigger word—even though neither the security officer or the judge had touched the button
A senior Charedi rabbi has been secretly filmed warning an alleged victim of child sex abuse not to go to the police.
Rabbi Ephraim Padwa, head of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations (UOHC), which is the organising body of the UK's strictly Orthodox community, was filmed claiming that to go to the police is an act of "mesira" - a Jewish law forbidding reporting a Jew to a non-Jewish authority.
Rabbi Ephraim Padwa, head of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations in Stamford Hill in London, was recorded by a former community member, in footage that is being broadcast by Channel 4 Dispatches.
The Syrian army has confirmed that Israeli jets crossed into Syria below radar level at dawn and carried out airstrikes against military targets.
It is unclear, however, what the exact nature of the target of Wednesday's air strikes was. Syrian state media said that the strikes targeted a military research centre near Damascus, while regional security sources told the Reuters and AP news agencies that the target was convoy of trucks allegedly carrying anti-aircraft missiles for Hezbollah in Lebanon. "Israeli fighter jets violated our airspace at dawn today and carried out a direct strike on a scientific research centre in charge of raising our level of resistance and self-defence," the army's general command said in a statement carried by state news agency SANA on Wednesday evening.
The strike came "after terrorist groups made several failed attempts in the past months to take control of the site," the statement added, using the term President Bashar al-Assad's government uses for rebel fighters. The jets entered Syrian airspace via Mount Hermon, or Jabal el-Sheikh in Arabic, the army said. "They... carried out an act of aggression, bombarding the site, causing large-scale material damage and destroying the building," state television quoted the military as saying. The army added that two site workers were killed in the strike, and five others wounded.
30 Jan 2013
After the “Arab springs” and other protest movements that prompted many rises and falls in last year’s index, the 2013 Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index marks a return to a more usual configuration. The ranking of most countries is no longer attributable to dramatic political developments. This year’s index is a better reflection of the attitudes and intentions of governments towards media freedom in the medium or long term.
The same three European countries that headed the index last year hold the top three positions again this year. For the third year running, Finland has distinguished itself as the country that most respects media freedom. It is followed by the Netherlands and Norway. Although many criteria are considered, ranging from legislation to violence against journalists, democratic countries occupy the top of the index while dictatorial countries occupy the last three positions. Again it is the same three as last year – Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea.
“The Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders does not take direct account of the kind of political system but it is clear that democracies provide better protection for the freedom to produce and circulate accurate news and information than countries where human rights are flouted,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “In dictatorships, news providers and their families are exposed to ruthless reprisals, while in democracies news providers have to cope with the media’s economic crises and conflicts of interest. While their situation is not always comparable, we should pay tribute to all those who resist pressure whether it is aggressively focused or diffuse.”
29 Jan 2013
David Icke: “Bilderberg Regular Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands 'Royal' Family (with more skeletons and cupboards than a graveyard and a furniture store, see House of Windsor) Abdicates in Favour of Her Son”
28 Jan 2013
Drone engineers and their operators from the U.S. military, explain how these unmanned flying robots work. Are they killing machines or do they save lives. What are the implications for our privacy, are they the harbinger of a future void of any privacy.
As predicted, that speech on “Europe” delivered by David Cameron at eight o’clock on Wednesday morning put one in mind of the White Queen’s boast that she could “believe six impossible things before breakfast”.
He wanted us to believe that he could persuade the EU to change its nature and the purposes for which it has been built up over 60 years. He wanted us to believe that it could breach its core rule that powers of government once surrendered to Brussels are never handed back; and that he can somehow persuade Brussels, and the other 26 members, to allow us to retain full membership, while opting out of much else except the right to continue trading freely in the single market.
He would also have us believe that he can win the next election on the promise of such negotiations, and that they could be completed by 2017, to be part of a new treaty the EU is planning, for quite different purposes – even though the requirements for such a treaty, including a lengthy intergovernmental conference, could not possibly be completed by that date.
Like many other people, Mr Cameron is clearly unaware that recent years have seen a mighty and accelerating revolution in the way that rules are made in our globalised world. A huge proportion of the regulations governing the single market now originate from global bodies even higher than the EU; and in the tortuous process of shaping those rules, Norway is not only a very active player but also enjoys more influence, as an independent country, than we do. Britain is increasingly represented on these bodies only as part of the EU, on the basis of a “common position” agreed by majority voting, where we are just one of 27 member states, with 8 per cent of the votes.
Rather than seeing Brussels as the source of many of our laws, we should be looking at another European city, Geneva, where vast buildings house the largest number of UN employees on the planet (34 organisations, comprising the United Nations Office at Geneva, or Unog) and such powerful bodies as the World Trade Organisation, the World Health Organisation, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the UN’s Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the International Standards Organisation, and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, with its sponsoring bodies, the World Meteorological Organisation and the UN Environment Programme, to name but a few.
Italy's former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has praised fascist leader Benito Mussolini's leadership skills at a Holocaust memorial event, but said he was wrong to pass anti-Jewish laws.
In widely criticised comments at the event in Milan, the former Prime Minister said: "It's difficult now to put yourself in the shoes of people who were making decisions at that time. "Obviously the government of that time, out of fear that German power might lead to complete victory, preferred to ally itself with Hitler's Germany rather than opposing it.
"As part of this alliance, there were impositions, including combating and exterminating Jews. The racial laws were the worst fault of Mussolini as a leader, who in so many other ways did well.
The centre-left Democratic Party, the movement expected to beat Berlusconi's party in the February elections, condemned his comments. A spokesman told Reuters: "Our republic is based on the struggle against Nazi fascism and these are intolerable remarks which are incompatible with leadership of democratic political forces.
27 Jan 2013
A CIA whistleblower who was among the first to expose details of the spy agency’s use of waterboarding and other torture methods against Muslim suspects accused of terrorism was sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison by a US judge.
The 48-year-old former CIA agent John Kiriakou, who worked for the spy agency between 1990 and 2004 and was involved in the capture of a ‘terror suspect,’ received the jail term on Friday by US District Judge Leonie Brinkema, who proclaimed that the sentence she issued was “way too light.”
The judge harshly rejected the notion that Kiriakou was a whistleblower concerned about the illegal use of harsh torture tactics by American spies and intelligence officers and said, “This is a case of a man who betrayed a solemn trust.”
In a 2007 televised interview with the US-based ABC News, Kiriakou offered a dramatic description of the use of waterboarding in torturing a suspect that he had helped capture, Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Hussein, also identified as Abu Zubaida.
Furthermore in 2008 and 2009, Kiriakou reportedly revealed to journalists the name of a CIA agent who had taken part in interrogation and torture of suspects captured by the agency’s operatives abroad, court documents allege.
Health Minister director general instructs all gynecologists in Israel's four health maintenance organizations not to inject women with long-acting contraceptive Depo-Provera if they do not understand ramifications of treatment.
A government official has for the first time acknowledged the practice of injecting women of Ethiopian origin with the long-acting contraceptive Depo-Provera.
Health Ministry Director General Prof. Ron Gamzu has instructed the four health maintenance organizations to stop the practice as a matter of course.
France has in an unprecedented move called for a total media blackout in what many say is an attempt to save her image from damages caused upon her former colony Mali.
The ban on the media comes as the international Federation for Human rights issue a damning report accusing both the French and Malian troops of gross human rights violation. In a meeting called to sensitize local journalists about the war in the north, Malian army introduced what they call the rule of engagement for any journalist wishing to cover the war in the north.
26 Jan 2013
In December 2012 the Prime Minster of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, caused a stir by speaking straight-faced to reporters about extraterrestrial beings.
In a candid moment after a televised interview, he made statements to a reporter that instantly got the attention of many.
After completing an on-air interview with five television reporters on December 7, 2012, Prime Minister Medvedev continued to respond to reporters and made some off-air comments without realizing that the microphone was still on. He was then asked by one reporter if “the president is handed secret files on aliens when he receives the briefcase needed to activate Russia’s nuclear arsenal,”
What makes Medvedev’s words more interesting is a newly released document that is to be covered at Davos - the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting of world leaders in business, banking, and politics. They’re meeting in Switzerland from the 23rd to 27th of January not only to discuss economics, but also to address financial crises, environmental challenges, and global government.
Apparently, aliens are ALSO on the agenda.
The EUTimes.net writes:
Medvedev is scheduled to open this years Forum where as many as 50 heads of government, including Germany’s Angela Merkel and Britain’s David Cameron, will attend the five-day meeting that begins on 23 January.
Critical to note about this years Forum is that the WEF, in their 2013 Executive Summary, scheduled for debate and discussion a number of items under their X Factors from Nature category, and which includes the “discovery of alien life” of which they state: “Proof of life elsewhere in the universe could have profound psychological implications for human belief systems.”
The Church's insistence that life begins with your very first hell-worthy dirty thought and must be protected at all costs, despite all consequences, including, of course, the consequence of dead women, whose lives are not nearly as valuable as the "life" of an unborn fetus. In just the past year, the Church has called upon its faithful followers to march, to starve themselves, to go to jail, to even take up arms—all to protect those fetuses. No exceptions. None. Not if the fetus is already dead inside the womb. Not if the fetus is going to kill the actual living woman carrying it. No goddamned exceptions EVER.
Well, except for one: when it's going to cost the Church money.
Turns out, when a man sues a Catholic hospital for malpractice because his wife and the twins she was carrying inside her died when she turned up in the emergency room and her doctor never bothered to answer a page—well, things get a little tricky. Yes, the Catholic hospital adheres to the strict Ethical and Religious Directives of the Catholic Church, as set forth by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. And yes, those directives include the claim that "[t]he Church's defense of life encompasses the unborn" and a mandate to uphold "the sanctity of life 'from the moment of conception until death.'" But come on. That obviously does not apply when Catholic Health Initiatives, the Church-affiliated organization that runs the Church-affiliated St. Thomas More Hospital where a young woman and her two unborn fetuses died, is the lead defendant in a lawsuit:
Instead, they are arguing state law protects doctors from liability concerning unborn fetuses on grounds that those fetuses are not persons with legal rights.
25 Jan 2013
A Republican lawmaker in New Mexico (USA) introduced a bill on Wednesday that would legally require victims of rape to carry their pregnancies to term in order to use the fetus as evidence for a sexual assault trial.
“Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime," the bill says.
North Korea raises tensions with plan to carry out new nuclear test aimed at 'sworn enemy' United States
The secretive North Korean regime has said it is planning a nuclear test and more long-range rocket launches, aimed at what it calls its "sworn enemy", the United States. The move, which comes in defiance of a resolution issued by the UN on Tuesday, is likely to once again raise tensions in the region over the North Korean missile program.
On Tuesday the UN Security Council condemned North Korea for test-firing a missile in December and tightened existing sanctions on the regime. The National Defence Commission of Korea responded by saying the new nuclear test would be part of its action against the "sworn enemy of the Korean people".
The regime has also said it plans to press ahead with the ongoing testing of long-range missiles. The declaration by the National Defence Commission, said: "We do not hide that the various satellites and long-range rockets we will continue to launch, as well as the high-level nuclear test we will proceed with, are aimed at our arch-enemy the United States."
24 Jan 2013
Prince Harry said killing the Taliban is a job "you would expect to do" as a soldier as he arrived back in the UK after his 20-week tour of duty to Afghanistan. The 28-year-old Apache co-pilot gunner made headlines this week after he confirmed he shot dead insurgents from the cockpit, but he said opening fire was necessary to protect allied troops and the Afghan people.
Harry has been criticised by some for his frank comments that he took the enemy "out of the game", and soldiers "take a life to save a life".
Taliban leaders have fired back at Prince Harry over the royal's comments that piloting a helicopter in Afghanistan—where he says he killed insurgents during his recent tour of duty—is like playing a video game.
Harry, who co-piloted an Apache helicopter during his 20-week tour, made the comparison in an interview broadcast by the BBC Monday night. “It’s a joy for me because I’m one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox," the 28-year-old said. "So with my thumbs I like to think I’m probably quite useful."
The Taliban did not appreciate the comparison.
23 Jan 2013
Two men have been arrested after a series of incidents in London saw members of the public harassed by self-styled vigilantes who posted footage of their activities online. One included a clip showing a man being subjected to homophobic abuse. (video)
The incidents are believed to be linked to a group claiming to be behind "Muslim patrols" of Whitechapel. In the latest video in which a group of men described themselves as "vigilantes implementing Islam upon your own necks", a man is followed and told: "Get out of here you fag … Don't stay around here any more." His pursuers tell him that he is "walking through a Muslim area dressed like a fag".
The East London Mosque has condemned the actions. It said in a statement last week that individuals claiming to be 'Muslim patrols' have been harassing members of the public on the streets of east London late at night, including outside the mosque after it has closed, and that it had contacted the police to alert them to the presence of the individuals and video.
"These actions are utterly unacceptable and clearly designed to stoke tensions and sow discord," it said. "We wholly condemn them. The East London Mosque is committed to building co-operation and harmony between all communities in this borough. The actions of this tiny minority have no place in our faith nor on our streets.
The gay rights group, Stonewall, said: "This incident is yet another reminder of the homophobic abuse that gay people face all too often. We urge victims of all homophobic crimes and incidents to report them to the police and for the police to take action to protect gay people from these disturbing crimes."
22 Jan 2013
Comedian Andrew Maxwell takes five British creationists to the west coast of America to try to convince them that evolution rather than creationism explains how we all got here. Stuck on a bus across 2,000 miles of dustbowl roads with these passionate believers, Maxwell tackles some firmly held beliefs - could the Earth be only 6,000 years old, and did humans and T-Rex really live side by side? It's a bumpy ride as he's confronted with some lively debates along the way, but by the end could he possibly win over any of these believers with what he regards as hard scientific fact?
Goldman Sachs made more than a quarter of a billion pounds last year by speculating on food staples, reigniting the controversy over banks profiting from the global food crisis.
Less than a week after the Bank of England Governor, Sir Mervyn King, slapped Goldman Sachs on the wrist for attempting to save its UK employees millions of pounds in tax by delaying bonus payments, the investment bank faces fresh accusations that it is contributing to rising food prices.
Goldman made about $400m (£251m) in 2012 from investing its clients' money in a range of "soft commodities", from wheat and maize to coffee and sugar, according to an analysis for The Independent by the World Development Movement (WDM). This contributed to the 68 per cent jump in profits for 2012 Goldman announced last week, allowing it to push up the average pay and bonus package of its bankers to £250,000.
The extent of Goldman's food speculation can be revealed after the UN warned that the world could face a major hunger crisis in 2013, after failed harvests in the US and Ukraine. Food prices surged last summer, with cereal prices hitting a record high in September.
Few passing London tourists would ever guess that the premises of Bulgari, the upmarket jewellers in New Bond Street, had anything to do with the pope. Nor indeed the nearby headquarters of the wealthy investment bank Altium Capital, on the corner of St James's Square and Pall Mall.
But these office blocks in one of London's most expensive districts are part of a surprising secret commercial property empire owned by the Vatican.
Behind a disguised offshore company structure, the church's international portfolio has been built up over the years, using cash originally handed over by Mussolini in return for papal recognition of the Italian fascist regime in 1929.
Since then the international value of Mussolini's nest-egg has mounted until it now exceeds £500m. In 2006, at the height of the recent property bubble, the Vatican spent £15m of those funds to buy 30 St James's Square. Other UK properties are at 168 New Bond Street and in the city of Coventry. It also owns blocks of flats in Paris and Switzerland.
21 Jan 2013
An Oxford college is being sued for allegedly discriminating against poor students after it rejected applications from postgraduates who couldn't prove they had £21,082 for tuition and living costs. Damien Shannon, 26, is taking St Hugh's college to court claiming the policy amounts to "selecting by wealth" and bars all but the wealthiest of students.
Shannon had successfully applied to take an MSc in economic and social history but was told his place was conditional on meeting Oxford's financial requirements. According to the Guardian, Shannon's submitted legal papers state: "It is my contention that the effect of the financial conditions of entry is to select students on the basis of wealth, and to exclude those not in possession of it.
It was a shot almost heard around the world as millions watched a man storm a stage in Bulgaria and then point his gun at a prominent opposition politician live on television. But many in Bulgaria are now trying to separate fact from fiction as they try to be clear about what motivated the attack.
Police took Oktai Enimehmedov, 25, into custody after he pulled the gun on Ahmed Dogan, the leader of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), a party supported by Muslim voters including some Turks in Bulgaria.
Police now say Enimehmedov was holding a gas pistol that was loaded with pepper spray, with two other "bullets" being simply noisemakers. He pointed the gun at Dogan's head during a party congress in the capital, Sofia, but failed to shoot. He was tackled to the ground and beaten by guards and party members as TV cameras continued to roll.
Enimehmedov, an ethnic Turk, reportedly left a note at his home addressed to his mother, saying he had no intention of killing the party leader but simply wanted to show him he was not "untouchable".
20 Jan 2013
When American President Obama rests his hand on two historic Bibles to take his second-term oath of office Monday (Jan. 21), he'll add a phrase not mentioned in the Constitution: "So help me God."
But the Almighty's role on the Capitol steps is a controversial one.
First, there was a myth that the tradition of adding God to the oath began with George Washington. It didn't, say experts at the Library of Congress, the U.S. Senate Historical Office and the first president's home, Mount Vernon. Obama's first inaugural speech called out to Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and, for the first time in any inaugural address, to nonbelievers as well. That's a wide sweep now that one in five Americans say they have no religious identity.
California atheist activist Michael Newdow has battled unsuccessfully in federal court to ban the phrase. Obama notified Chief Justice John Roberts, who administers the oath, that he wanted this phrase included. In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Newdow's last appeal.
There is a mystery along the South Carolina coast. Thousands of dead fish washed up on the beach at the south end of Pawleys Island Tuesday afternoon.
The fish are menhaden, and the SC Department of Natural Resources have been notified of the incident. Menhaden fish are a small, oily fish that are used for fish oil and its oil is also an ingredient in lipstick and they are also used for livestock feed.
19 Jan 2013
The Rockefeller global oil and banking empire has been the subject of much critical commentary on the Internet. However, the Rockefeller Octopus’s tentacles into every facet of America’s banking, oil (through their control of Standard Oil), military, educational, and foreign policy apparatus was exposed in a monograph prepared by the Soviet Union in 1959. An English translation of the Soviet article prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency’s Foreign Documents Division and dated December 16, 1959, was uncovered from the CIA’s archives. The paper is titled: “About Those Who Are Against Peace.”
The arguments in the Soviet paper generally concur with President Dwight Eisenhower’s Farewell Address to the American people shortly before the inauguration of President Kennedy in January 1961. In his speech, Eisenhower warned the American people about the dangers posed to America’s democracy by the “military-industrial complex.”
There is nothing in the Soviet paper that rings false about the Rockefellers… The oligarchic family has exercised control over America’s foreign policy through their part-sponsorship of the Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, and Bilderberg Group – all three shadowy organizations of the world’s elite class who determine monetary, foreign, and military policies behind closed doors. Rockefeller funding of Columbia University and the University of Chicago have helped inflict on the United States some of the most brazen neo-conservatives serving inside and outside of government.
The paper states “In 1957, the Rockefeller oligarchy of American oil industrialists controlled a capital of 61.4 billion dollars. The precise size of the Rockefeller fortune is a state secret in America: the American press noted at one time that special measures are taken so that data concerning the largest fortunes of the U.S. are not published.”
In yet another hysterical over-reaction to last month’s Sandy Hook school shooting, a girl of five-years-old has been suspended from school following a three hour grilling when she joked that she would shoot her classmates with a toy gun.
The girl, from Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania, was last week said to have told other children at the school that she was going to shoot them, and then herself with a pink Hello Kitty bubble gun; a toy that is filled with a soapy solution to make bubbles with.
School officials reportedly categorized the incident as a “terroristic threat,” and labeled the girl’s actions a “threat to harm others.”
18 Jan 2013
A Russian opposition activist has been found dead in the Netherlands after being refused political asylum, the Dutch justice ministry confirmed on Thursday. Aleksander Dolmatov, arrested last May during a demonstration opposing president Vladimir Putin, applied for political asylum in the Netherlands in June, saying he feared for his life.
Dolmatov was found dead in a Dutch detention centre early on Thursday morning. He was sent to the centre on Wednesday to await deportation after his application for asylum failed. A spokesman for junior justice minister Fred Teeven told the NRC he had left a note for his mother, but did not go into details about why his application for asylum had been rejected.
The spokesman also said staff at the detention centre did not see any signs that Domatov intended to kill himself. However, based on earlier reports, he was being held in a section for asylum seekers with psychiatric problems, the spokesman said.
17 Jan 2013
Scientists, Astronauts And YouTube users report strange sightings. People claim to videotape UFOs in the sky above Earth. They also spot unusual-looking objects in NASA camera feeds at the International Space Station.
Now, a growing number of individuals insist they're using their telescopes and cameras to reveal UFOs around the moon, according to the International Business Times. Many odd things have been seen by amateur and professional astronomers on the moon over decades, and YouTube affords the opportunity to look at alleged UFOs flying across, toward and away from our nearest astronomical neighbour.
See Huffington Post for more.
In the video, watch Cenk Uygur of Current TV's interview with an overheated oddball radio host Alex Jones, whose websites Prison Planet and Infowars are America's HQ for paranoid conspiracy theories. In the interview, Jones lets off a lot of steam, including sharing his hatred for nutty right-leaning media rival, Glenn Beck, who he called a “piece of trash” and “bastard.”
16 Jan 2013
On July 31, 1903, a letter addressed to President Theodore Roosevelt arrived at the White House. It had been mailed from the town of Bainbridge, Georgia, the prosperous seat of a cotton county perched on the Florida state line.
The sender was a barely literate African American woman named Carrie Kinsey. With little punctuation and few capital letters, she penned the bare facts of the abduction of her fourteen-year-old brother, James Robinson, who a year earlier had been sold into involuntary servitude.
Kinsey had already asked for help from the powerful white people in her world. She knew where her brother had been taken—a vast plantation not far away called Kinderlou. There, hundreds of black men and boys were held in chains and forced to labor in the fields or in one of several factories owned by the McRee family, one of the wealthiest and most powerful in Georgia. No white official in this corner of the state would take an interest in the abduction and enslavement of a black teenager.
On Saturday afternoon, January 11, 2013, a rally/protest demanding the closure of Guantanamo prison was held at the Ellipse, just south of the White House. One of the speakers at the event was the investigative journalist, filmmaker and author, Andy Worthington. He is the author of "The Guantanamo Files." See: andyworthington.co.uk
15 Jan 2013
The letter will say that China’s frequent patrols in the disputed Diaoyu Islands and increasing maritime power has intensified the security situation in East Asia, Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported on Sunday.
In the letter, Abe will also mention that Japan is ready to take a more active role in maintaining stability and prosperity in East Asia, NHK reported.
According to the report, Katsuyuki Kawai, chairman of the Lower House Foreign Affairs Committee of Japan, will arrive at Brussels next Wednesday and bring Abe’s personal letter to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
This letter, viewed as another move by Japan to enhance its military capability, comes after the nation increased its defense budget for the first time in 11 years last Sunday against the background of the Diaoyu Islands disputes.
14 Jan 2013
Today Kaspersky Lab published a new research report which identified an elusive cyber-espionage campaign targeting diplomatic, governmental and scientific research organizations in several countries for at least five years. The primary focus of this campaign targets countries in Eastern Europe, former USSR Republics, and countries in Central Asia, although victims can be found everywhere, including Western Europe and North America.
The main objective of the attackers was to gather sensitive documents from the compromised organizations, which included geopolitical intelligence, credentials to access classified computer systems, and data from personal mobile devices and network equipment.
A New Hampshire (USA) lawyer who works with a virulently anti-gay Christian-right organization has been found guilty of child pornography charges after videotaping her own daughter having sex with two men on multiple occasions. She also allegedly made a cellphone video of herself having sex with her daughter. Lisa Biron, 43, of Manchester faces a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison after a jury convicted her yesterday. The jury deliberated for less than an hour.
Biron, who claimed on her Facebook page (which was taken down, according to the Concord Monitor) that the Bible was her favorite book, had worked with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), formerly the Alliance Defense Fund, in defending a Pentecostal church in Concord in a tax fight against the city. The Arizona-based ADF calls itself a “servant ministry” that seeks to transform the legal system and advocate “for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.” The group issues dire warnings about “the homosexual agenda” and offers a book (available for a donation of $35) by its president, Alan Sears, and senior director Craig Osten, with that title. In the book, the authors claim that “the homosexual agenda” will destroy religious liberty and free speech. In one chapter, they claim that homosexuality on college campuses leads to pedophilia, and that homosexuality and pedophilia “are intrinsically linked,” a falsehood long perpetuated by the anti-gay right to demonize LGBT people.
In an unsurprising turn of events (in the USA), Paul Ryan has signed on as cosponsor to the Sanctity of Human Life Act again. The original bill — which declares that life begins with fertilization, and would give states the right to ban all abortion, even in the cases involving incest, rape, or the life of the mother — thankfully died in Congress in 2011.
But now it's back, which is scary because not only is the above terrifying, there's all sorts of other creepy shit hidden in this monster. Like, if a woman who was raped in a state that banned abortions went to a state that didn't ban abortions and had an abortion? Her rapist could theoretically sue to stop the abortion from happening, and probably win. And it doesn't stop there with the reproductive weirdness, if passed, it'll probably make many forms of IVF illegal
Several hundred thousand people massed at the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Sunday to protest against President François Hollande's plan to legalise gay marriage and adoption by June. Three columns of protesters, waving pink and blue flags showing a father, mother and two children, converged on the landmark from different meeting points in Paris. Many came after long train and bus rides from the provinces. Hollande has pledged to push through the law with his Socialists' parliamentary majority but the opponents' campaign has dented public support and forced deputies to put off a plan to allow lesbian couples access to artificial insemination.
Champ de Mars park at the Eiffel Tower was packed, but turnout estimates varied widely. Organisers claimed 800,000 had protested, while police put the number at 340,000. "Nobody expected this two or three months ago," said Frigide Barjot, a flamboyant comedian leading the "demo for all". At the rally, she read out a letter to Hollande asking him to withdraw the draft bill and hold an extended public debate on the issue.
The “Un papa une maman" ("one dad one mum") demonstration featured a performer sporting a spandex suit and wings, fluttering between “mamas” and “papas” before gaining steam from the cheers of both. The performance was supposed to demonstrate that a child needs both a mother and father.
But it was quickly outdone by a spontaneous act between two women, whose embrace in front of the crowd left some of the protesters open-mouthed and prompting others to turn their heads away.
A powerful and timely investigation into the media's role in war, tracing the history of embedded and independent reporting from the carnage of World War One to the destruction of Hiroshima, and from the invasion of Vietnam to the current war in Afghanistan and disaster in Iraq.
13 Jan 2013
Police found the body of the 26-year-old in his apartment in New York City borough of Brooklyn on Friday, said a spokeswoman for the city’s chief medical examiner. Brooklyn’s chief medical examiner ruled the death a suicide by hanging, but no further detail is available about the mysterious death.
Last year, Swartz openly criticized the US and the Israeli regime for launching joint cyber attacks against Iran. The blogger was also vocal in criticizing Obama’s so-called kill list and other policies.
Obama has been reportedly approving the names put on the “kill lists” used in the targeted killing operations carried out by US assassination drones.
Aaron H. Swartz (November 8, 1986 – January 11, 2013) was an American computer programmer, writer, archivist, political organizer, and Internet activist. Swartz co-authored the "RSS 1.0" specification of RSS, and built the Web site framework web.py and the architecture for the Open Library. He also built Infogami, a company that merged with Reddit in its early days, through which he became an equal owner of the merged company.
Swartz also focused on sociology, civic awareness and activism. In 2010 he was a member of the Harvard University Center for Ethics. He cofounded the online group Demand Progress (best known recently for its campaign for Richard O'Dwyer) and later worked with US and international activist groups Rootstrikers and Avaaz.
On January 6, 2011, Swartz was arrested in connection with systematic downloading of academic journal articles from JSTOR, which became the subject of a federal investigation. JSTOR offended Swartz mainly for two reasons: it charged large fees for access to these articles but did not compensate the authors and it ensured that huge numbers of people are denied access to the scholarship produced by America's colleges and universities.
On January 11, 2013, Swartz was found dead in his Crown Heights, Brooklyn, apartment; where he had hanged himself.
Pulling out. The Bible doesn't get too much into birth control... it's clearly pro-populating but, back when it was written, no one really anticipated the condom or the sponge, so those don't get specific bans.
But... pulling out does. One of the most famous sexual-oriented Bible verses... the one that's used as anti-masturbation rhetoric... is actually anti-pulling out.
It's Genesis 38:9-10: "Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother's wife, he wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother. But what he did was displeasing in the sight of the Lord; so He took his life also." (full story here)
Yep -- pull out and get smote. That's harsh.
12 Jan 2013
Greek Police are evicting Villa Amalias, in Athens Greece, a building which is being used by a group of squatters to display how solidarity and organizing self sufficiency in society can withstand any crisis.
11 Jan 2013
"Bill O'Reilly is really befuddled by the popularity of "Gangnam Style" — so befuddled that he brought controversial Fox News psychiatrist Keith Ablow on for an existential discussion about the viral sensation. The mega-hit by Korean pop star Psy recently became the most-watched video in the history of Youtube. O'Reilly, however, just wasn't having it.
On the flat top of a steep hill in a distant corner of northern Japan lies the tomb of an itinerant shepherd who, two millennia ago, settled down there to grow garlic. He fell in love with a farmer’s daughter named Miyuko, fathered three kids and died at the ripe old age of 106. In the mountain hamlet of Shingo, he’s remembered by the name Daitenku Taro Jurai. The rest of the world knows him as Jesus Christ.
It turns out that Jesus of Nazareth—the Messiah, worker of miracles and spiritual figurehead for one of the world’s foremost religions—did not die on the cross at Calvary, as widely reported. According to amusing local folklore, that was his kid brother, Isukiri, whose severed ear was interred in an adjacent burial mound in Japan.
Coward is a 28 minute film set during World War 1 that brings to light some of the brutal treatment soldiers received for suffering what would now be known as shell-shock. It follows two cousins, Andrew and James, from their home in Northern Ireland who join the British Army to fight for their Country and make their families proud. Through their eyes we see the reality of life on the front lines.
10 Jan 2013
The President of Uruguay Jose Mujica has been dubbed by international media as 'the poorest president in the world'.
In his latest official declaration of wealth, he says he owns just two vehicles, a small amount of property and his farmhouse. He donates 90% of his salary to charity. Mujica became president of Uruguay after a landslide victory more than two years ago. After a half a term in power, he is now backing a bill to legalise the use of cannabis
(and this is just the christians…)