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No Agenda 515 - Wantonly Podcasting

By Adam Curry. Posted Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 12:07 PM.

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By Adam Curry. Posted Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 12:07 PM.

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By Adam Curry. Posted Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 12:07 PM.

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This Week!

Presidential Proclamation -- National Maritime Day, 2013

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Source: White House.gov Press Office Feed

Wed, 22 May 2013 11:07

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

May 21, 2013

NATIONAL MARITIME DAY, 2013

- - - - - - -

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Through every chapter of the American story, ordinary men and women have accomplished extraordinary things as members of the United States Merchant Marine. When the idea of America depended on the success of a revolution, mariners took on the world's most powerful navy and helped secure our future as a sovereign Nation. In the decades since, they have sustained critical supply lines for our troops abroad -- at times enduring profound losses to keep our sea lanes open. And through war and peace alike, the Merchant Marine has driven our economic growth by shipping our products all around the world. On National Maritime Day, we honor the generations of mariners who have served and sacrificed to make our country what it is today.

To keep America moving forward in the 21st century, we need to expand trade and commerce that creates good jobs for our people. Businesses in every corner of our country are stepping up to meet that challenge, ramping up manufacturing and selling more goods and services overseas. As they do, our Merchant Marine is making sure our products get wherever they need to go -- from ports here at home to new markets halfway across the globe. Their work is essential to growing our economy, and my Administration remains committed to getting our mariners the support they need to carry out their mission.

Whether equipping our service members in the theater of war or guiding our maritime industry in the calm of peace, the United States Merchant Marine has helped keep America strong for more than two centuries. Let us mark this day by reflecting on that legacy of service, honoring the men and women who forged it, and saluting the proud mariners who carry it forward today.

The Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 20, 1933, has designated May 22 of each year as "National Maritime Day," and has authorized and requested the President to issue annually a proclamation calling for its appropriate observance.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 22, 2013, as National Maritime Day. I call upon the people of the United States to mark this observance and to display the flag of the United States at their homes and in their communities. I also request that all ships sailing under the American flag dress ship on that day.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

BARACK OBAMA

Federal Register | World Trade Week, 2013

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Wed, 22 May 2013 23:45

A ProclamationAs a Nation, we need to do everything we can to create good, middle-class jobs right here in America. And one of the best ways we can do that is by boosting manufacturing and expanding trade that allows us to sell more of our goods and services all around the world. We have made important progress toward meeting that goal under our National Export Initiative, and we are taking historic steps to help our businesses access new markets abroad. But we cannot stop there. We need to keep making the investments in commerce and infrastructure that drive our economic growth and bring more Americans into a thriving middle class.

We can start by modernizing our roads, bridges, and ports. These upgrades would allow American companies to ship their goods faster and cheaper, and they would encourage businesses worldwide to set up shop here and bring more jobs to our shores. So earlier this year, I proposed the Partnership to Rebuild America'--a collaboration between the private and public sectors to break ground on our most pressing infrastructure projects.

In the past 4 years, we have focused on opening up growing markets for our businesses through historic trade agreements and enforcing trade rights so American workers can compete on a level playing field. To build on that progress, we are joining nations in Asia and the Americas to negotiate a new, high-standard trade agreement: the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Once realized, the deal would boost our exports, support American jobs, and help our companies succeed in the global marketplace. And to ramp up trade with Europe, we also plan to launch talks for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union.

My Administration is committed to expanding international commerce that creates jobs and grows our economy. During World Trade Week, we recognize workers, growers, and entrepreneurs nationwide who share that ambition, and we rededicate ourselves to advancing it in the year ahead.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 19 through May 25, 2013, as World Trade Week. I encourage all Americans to observe this week with events, trade shows, and educational programs that celebrate and inform Americans about the benefits of trade to our Nation and the global economy.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

[FR Doc. 2013-12401Filed 5-21-13; 11:15 am]

Billing code 3295-F3

Federal Register | National Safe Boating Week, 2013

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Wed, 22 May 2013 23:32

Proclamation 8981 of May 17, 2013

A ProclamationEvery year, the United States Coast Guard joins partners nationwide to raise awareness about boating responsibly. We highlight that important work during National Safe Boating Week, and we encourage all boaters to take appropriate precautions before casting off this season.

Safe boating starts onshore. Americans planning to spend a day on the water should prepare by filing a float plan with family or a friend, getting a free vessel safety check, and participating in a boating safety course. As they embark, boaters should make sure they have checked the marine forecast and all passengers are wearing a life jacket. And to put an end to preventable accidents that claim too many lives every year, individuals should never operate a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Boating is an important part of our national heritage. This week, let us carry that tradition forward by following commonsense safety procedures and keeping our lakes, rivers, and oceans safe for all to enjoy.

In recognition of the importance of safe boating practices, the Congress, by joint resolution approved June 4, 1958 (36 U.S.C. 131), as amended, has authorized and requested the President to proclaim annually the 7-day period prior to Memorial Day weekend as ''National Safe Boating Week.''

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 18 through May 24, 2013, as National Safe Boating Week. I encourage all Americans who participate in boating activities to observe this occasion by learning more about safe boating practices and taking advantage of boating education.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

[FR Doc. 2013-12399Filed 5-21-13; 11:15 am]

Billing code 3295-F3

Federal Register | 2013 Amendments to the Manual for Courts-Martial, United States

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Wed, 22 May 2013 23:47

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including chapter 47 of title 10, United States Code (Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. 801-946), and in order to prescribe amendments to the Manual for Courts-Martial, United States, prescribed by Executive Order 12473, as amended, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Parts III and IV of the Manual for Courts-Martial, United States, are amended as described in the Annex attached and made a part of this order.

Sec. 2. These amendments shall take effect as of the date of this order, subject to the following:

(a) Nothing in these amendments shall be construed to make punishable any act done or omitted prior to the effective date of this order that was not punishable when done or omitted.

(b) Nothing in these amendments shall be construed to invalidate any nonjudicial punishment proceedings, restraint, investigation, referral of charges, trial in which arraignment occurred, or other action begun prior to the effective date of this order, and any such nonjudicial punishment, restraint, investigation, referral of charges, trial, or other action may proceed in the same manner and with the same effect as if these amendments had not been prescribed.

THE WHITE HOUSE,May 15, 2013.

Billing code 3295-F3-P

[FR Doc. 2013-12157Filed 5-20-13; 8:45 am]

Billing code 5001-06-C

Federal Register | Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to the Stabilization of Iraq

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Wed, 22 May 2013 23:52

On May 22, 2003, by Executive Order 13303, the President declared a national emergency pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by obstacles to the continued reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in the country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq.

The obstacles to the continued reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in the country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. For this reason, the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303, as modified in scope and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13438 of July 17, 2007, must continue in effect beyond May 22, 2013. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency with respect to the stabilization of Iraq declared in Executive Order 13303.

This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.

THE WHITE HOUSE,May 17, 2013.

[FR Doc. 2013-12261Filed 5-20-13; 11:15 am]

Billing code 3295-F3

BBC News - Gif's inventor says ignore dictionaries and say 'Jif'

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Wed, 22 May 2013 09:20

22 May 2013Last updated at09:55 ETThe creator of the Gif graphics format has said that his invention should be pronounced so it starts with a "j" rather than with a hard "g".

Steve Wilhite told the New York Times that he was "annoyed" there was still a debate over how to say the acronym.

He added that the Oxford English Dictionary was wrong to say it could be pronounced both ways.

The OED told the BBC that it was beyond the software engineer's control to determine how the word should be said.

The difference of opinion coincided with Mr Wilhite being awarded a lifetime achievement prize at The Webby Awards. To mark the moment, screens at the ceremony displayed a message he had written saying: "It's pronounced 'Jif'".

Looping animationsThe retired US-based software writer developed the Graphics Interchange Format in 1987 while working at the internet service provider Compuserve.

The data compression technique he used allowed images to be sent over what were then slow dial-up connections at much faster speeds than had been previously possible.

His efforts paved the way for his employer to start offering its customers the ability to download colour pictures rather than being limited to black-and-white.

Although the Jpeg format later caught on because it is better at compressing photographs, Gif's technique remains superior at tackling images containing large areas of uniform colour when no more than 256 different colours are used in the whole picture.

Gif's enduring popularity has also been helped by the fact it supports animations, making it easy for people to embed short clips into blogs, and copy and paste jokey looping video - such as odd actions by the actor James Van Der Beek - into discussion forums.

The format's long-lasting appeal was underlined by Google's recent announcement that it was adding a feature to help users search for such files, saying Gifs had "become the de facto standard for short animations on the web, from pony glitter text to grumpy cat memes".

Word rowThe Gif Pronunciation Page has long catalogued evidence that Gif sounds like Jif.

The site suggests the reason for this was to make it sound like a popular brand of American peanut butter - "one of the principle three programmer foods (the other two being Pepsi and nacho cheese Doritos)".

That reference would be lost on UK users, who are more likely to associate Jif with lemon juice or an abandoned brand of sink cleaner.

The Oxford English Dictionary's chief editor John Simpson made it clear that whatever the word's roots, the fact many people used the hard "g" meant that option was acceptable.

"The pronunciation with a hard 'g' is now very widespread and readily understood," he said.

"A coiner effectively loses control of a word once it's out there; for instance, the coiner of quark in the physics sense had intended it to rhyme with cork, but general usage has resulted in it rhyming with mark.

"Whichever pronunciation you use for Gif, it should of course be the same for both the noun and the verb."

The American Heritage Dictionary also states the acronym can be said both ways.

The White House has also weighed in on the debate when it made it clear, last month, that President Obama preferred to use the "hard g".

Net jokersNews of Mr Wilhite's intervention sparked a flood of responses from other web users.

"Preach it, Gif inventor," tweeted @xaxnermaclaren.

"Finally, the Gif has been liberated! Yes!" added @themightythor.

But others were more critical.

"Unless we are going to pronounce graphics as jraphics he makes zero sense," posted Scathe to Reddit.

"I will never pronounce it that way sir! Never!" wrote @CharlesTrippy.

Next you're going to tell me it's pronounced 'gaypeg'," added TheObviousChild.

Creative Review magazine took a more balanced stance, saying only: "Well, there you jo."

Bautsin

War on Crazy

Why Rational People Buy Into Conspiracy Theories - NYTimes.com

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Archived Version

Tue, 21 May 2013 12:17

In the days following the bombings at the Boston Marathon, speculation online regarding the identity and motive of the unknown perpetrator or perpetrators was rampant. And once the Tsarnaev brothers were identified and the manhunt came to a close, the speculation didn't cease. It took a new form. A sampling: Maybe the brothers Tsarnaev were just patsies, fall guys set up to take the heat for a mysterious Saudi with high-level connections; or maybe they were innocent, but instead of the Saudis, the actual bomber had acted on behalf of a rogue branch of our own government; or what if the Tsarnaevs were behind the attacks, but were secretly working for a larger organization?

Crazy as these theories are, those propagating them are not '-- they're quite normal, in fact. But recent scientific research tells us this much: if you think one of the theories above is plausible, you probably feel the same way about the others, even though they contradict one another. And it's very likely that this isn't the only news story that makes you feel as if shadowy forces are behind major world events.

''The best predictor of belief in a conspiracy theory is belief in other conspiracy theories,'' says Viren Swami, a psychology professor who studies conspiracy belief at the University of Westminster in England. Psychologists say that's because a conspiracy theory isn't so much a response to a single event as it is an expression of an overarching worldview.

As Richard Hofstadter wrote in his seminal 1965 book, ''The Paranoid Style in American Politics,'' conspiracy theories, especially those involving meddlesome foreigners, are a favorite pastime in this nation. Americans have always had the sneaking suspicion that somebody was out to get us '-- be it Freemasons, Catholics or communists. But in recent years, it seems as if every tragedy comes with a round of yarn-spinning, as the Web fills with stories about ''false flag'' attacks and ''crisis actors'' '-- not mere theorizing but arguments for the existence of a completely alternate version of reality.

Since Hofstadter's book was published, our access to information has vastly improved, which you would think would have helped minimize such wild speculation. But according to recent scientific research on the matter, it most likely only serves to make theories more convincing to the public. What's even more surprising is that this sort of theorizing isn't limited to those on the margins. Perfectly sane minds possess an incredible capacity for developing narratives, and even some of the wildest conspiracy theories can be grounded in rational thinking, which makes them that much more pernicious. Consider this: 63 percent of registered American voters believe in at least one political conspiracy theory, according to a recent poll conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University.

While psychologists can't know exactly what goes on inside our heads, they have, through surveys and laboratory studies, come up with a set of traits that correlate well with conspiracy belief. In 2010, Swami and a co-author summarized this research in The Psychologist, a scientific journal. They found, perhaps surprisingly, that believers are more likely to be cynical about the world in general and politics in particular. Conspiracy theories also seem to be more compelling to those with low self-worth, especially with regard to their sense of agency in the world at large. Conspiracy theories appear to be a way of reacting to uncertainty and powerlessness.

Economic recessions, terrorist attacks and natural disasters are massive, looming threats, but we have little power over when they occur or how or what happens afterward. In these moments of powerlessness and uncertainty, a part of the brain called the amygdala kicks into action. Paul Whalen, a scientist at Dartmouth College who studies the amygdala, says it doesn't exactly do anything on its own. Instead, the amygdala jump-starts the rest of the brain into analytical overdrive '-- prompting repeated reassessments of information in an attempt to create a coherent and understandable narrative, to understand what just happened, what threats still exist and what should be done now. This may be a useful way to understand how, writ large, the brain's capacity for generating new narratives after shocking events can contribute to so much paranoia in this country.

''If you know the truth and others don't, that's one way you can reassert feelings of having agency,'' Swami says. It can be comforting to do your own research even if that research is flawed. It feels good to be the wise old goat in a flock of sheep.

Surprisingly, Swami's work has also turned up a correlation between conspiracy theorizing and strong support of democratic principles. But this isn't quite so strange if you consider the context. Kathryn Olmsted, a historian at the University of California, Davis, says that conspiracy theories wouldn't exist in a world in which real conspiracies don't exist. And those conspiracies '-- Watergate or the Iran-contra Affair '-- often involve manipulating and circumventing the democratic process. Even people who believe that the Sandy Hook shooting was actually a drama staged by actors couch their arguments in concern for the preservation of the Second Amendment.

Our access to high-quality information has not, unfortunately, ushered in an age in which disagreements of this sort can easily be solved with a quick Google search. In fact, the Internet has made things worse. Confirmation bias '-- the tendency to pay more attention to evidence that supports what you already believe '-- is a well-documented and common human failing. People have been writing about it for centuries. In recent years, though, researchers have found that confirmation bias is not easy to overcome. You can't just drown it in facts.

In 2006, the political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler identified a phenomenon called the ''backfire effect.'' They showed that efforts to debunk inaccurate political information can leave people more convinced that false information is true than they would have been otherwise. Nyhan isn't sure why this happens, but it appears to be more prevalent when the bad information helps bolster a favored worldview or ideology.

In that way, Swami says, the Internet and other media have helped perpetuate paranoia. Not only does more exposure to these alternative narratives help engender belief in conspiracies, he says, but the Internet's tendency toward tribalism helps reinforce misguided beliefs.

And that's a problem. Because while believing George W. Bush helped plan the Sept. 11 attacks might make you feel in control, it doesn't actually make you so. Earlier this year, Karen Douglas, a University of Kent psychologist, along with a student, published research in which they exposed people to conspiracy theories about climate change and the death of Princess Diana. Those who got information supporting the theories but not information debunking them were more likely to withdraw from participation in politics and were less likely to take action to reduce their carbon footprints.

Alex Jones, a syndicated radio host, can build fame as a conspiracy peddler; politicians can hint at conspiracies for votes and leverage; but if conspiracy theories are a tool the average person uses to reclaim his sense of agency and access to democracy, it's an ineffective tool. It can even have dangerous health implications. For example, research has shown that African-Americans who believe AIDS is a weapon loosed on them by the government (remembering the abuses of the Tuskegee experiment) are less likely to practice protected sex. And if you believe that governments or corporations are hiding evidence that vaccines harm children, you're less likely to have your children vaccinated. The result: pockets of measles and whooping-cough infections and a few deaths in places with low child-vaccination rates.

Psychologists aren't sure whether powerlessness causes conspiracy theories or vice versa. Either way, the current scientific thinking suggests these beliefs are nothing more than an extreme form of cynicism, a turning away from politics and traditional media '-- which only perpetuates the problem.

Maggie Koerth-Baker is science editor at BoingBoing.net and author of ''Before the Lights Go Out,'' on the future of energy production and consumption.

Maggie Koerth-Baker - Boing Boing

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Archived Version

Tue, 21 May 2013 12:23

I have a personal Facebook account, which I use to keep up with friends and family. Like many of you, I've also discovered that this gives me a peek inside the psyche of those friends and family '-- and one of the things that I saw was an interest (and sometimes belief in) conspiracy theories. It wasn't limited to the Right or the Left. And it definitely wasn't limited to people I love but consider a little "off", if you know what I'm saying.* Over and over, I saw perfectly rational, sane people, supporting and spreading ideas that, to me, seemed a little nuts.

And that made me curious: Where do conspiracy theories come from? The answer, according to psychologists and sociologists, is not "Glenn Beck's fevered imagination." In fact, the category "people who believe in conspiracy theories" can't even really be separated into The Other in a nice, neat way. If you look at the data, the people who believe in conspiracy theories are us. And those theories grow out of both historical context, our feelings about ourselves and the wider world, and the way that our brains respond to feelings of powerlessness and uncertainty. Here's a short excerpt from my most recent column for The New York Times Magazine:

While psychologists can't know exactly what goes on inside our heads, they have, through surveys and laboratory studies, come up with a set of traits that correlate well with conspiracy belief. In 2010, Swami and a co-author summarized this research in The Psychologist, a scientific journal. They found, perhaps surprisingly, that believers are more likely to be cynical about the world in general and politics in particular. Conspiracy theories also seem to be more compelling to those with low self-worth, especially with regard to their sense of agency in the world at large. Conspiracy theories appear to be a way of reacting to uncertainty and powerlessness.

Economic recessions, terrorist attacks and natural disasters are massive, looming threats, but we have little power over when they occur or how or what happens afterward. In these moments of powerlessness and uncertainty, a part of the brain called the amygdala kicks into action. Paul Whalen, a scientist at Dartmouth College who studies the amygdala, says it doesn't exactly do anything on its own. Instead, the amygdala jump-starts the rest of the brain into analytical overdrive '-- prompting repeated reassessments of information in an attempt to create a coherent and understandable narrative, to understand what just happened, what threats still exist and what should be done now. This may be a useful way to understand how, writ large, the brain's capacity for generating new narratives after shocking events can contribute to so much paranoia in this country.

Read the rest

*This joke is totally going to get me into trouble. Dear friends and family: Trust me, you are not the one I'm referring to here.

Image: December 21st...., a Creative Commons Attribution No-Derivative-Works (2.0) image from clawzctr's photostream

Insular cortex - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Archived Version

Wed, 22 May 2013 10:03

In each hemisphere of the mammalianbrain the insular cortex (often called insula, insulary cortex or insular lobe) is a portion of the cerebral cortex folded deep within the lateral sulcus (the fissure separating the temporal lobe from the parietal and frontal lobes).

The insulae are believed to be involved in consciousness and play a role in diverse functions usually linked to emotion or the regulation of the body's homeostasis. These functions include perception, motor control, self-awareness, cognitive functioning, and interpersonal experience. In relation to these it is involved in psychopathology.

The insular cortex is divided into two parts: the larger anterior insula and the smaller posterior insula in which more than a dozen field areas have been identified. The cortical area overlying the insula towards the lateral surface of the brain is the operculum (meaning "lid"). The opercula are formed from parts of the enclosing frontal, temporal and parietal lobes.

The insula was first described by Johann Christian Reil while describing cranial and spinal nerves and plexi.[1]Henry Gray in Gray's Anatomy is responsible for it being known as the Island of Reil.[1]

Functions[edit]Interoceptive awareness[edit]The right anterior insula aids interoceptive awareness of body states, such as the ability to time one's own heart beat. Moreover, greater right anterior insular gray matter volume correlates with increased accuracy in this subjective sense of the inner body, and with negative emotional experience.[2] It is also involved in the control of blood pressure,[3] particularly during and after exercise,[3] and its activity varies with the amount of effort a person believes they are exerting.[4][5]

The insular cortex also is where the sensation of pain is judged as to its degree.[6] Further, the insula is where a person imagines pain when looking at images of painful events while thinking about them happening to one's own body.[7] Those with irritable bowel syndrome have abnormal processing of visceral pain in the insular cortex related to dysfunctional inhibition of pain within the brain.[8]

Another perception of the right anterior insula is the degree of nonpainful warmth[9] or nonpainful coldness[10] of a skin sensation. Other internal sensations processed by the insula include stomach or gastric distension.[11][12] A full bladder also activates the insular cortex.[13]

One brain imaging study suggest that the unpleasantness of subjectively perceived dyspnea is processed in the right human anterior insula and amygdala.[14]

The cerebral cortex processing vestibular sensations extends into the insula[15] with small lesions in the anterior insular cortex being able to cause loss of balance and vertigo.[16]

Other noninteroceptive perceptions include passive listening to music,[17] laughter and crying,[18] empathy and compassion,[19] and language.[20]

Motor control[edit]In motor control it contributes to hand and eye motor movement,[21][22] swallowing,[23] gastric motility,[24] and speech articulation.[25][26] It has been identified as a "central command'' centre that ensures that heart rate and blood pressure increase at the onset of exercise.[27] Research upon conversation links it to the capacity for long and complex spoken sentences.[28] It is also involved in motor learning[29] and has been identified as playing a role in the motor recovery from stroke.[30]

Homeostasis[edit]In homeostasis it controls autonomic functions through the regulation of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems.[31][32] It has a role in regulating the immune system.[33][34][35]

Self[edit]It has been identified as playing a role in the experience of bodily self-awareness,[36][37] sense of agency[38] and sense body ownership.[39]

Social emotions[edit]The anterior insular processes a person's sense of disgust both to smells[40] and to the sight of contamination and mutilation[41] '-- even when just imagining the experience.[42] This associates with a mirror neuron like link between external and internal experience.

In social experience it is involved in the processing of norm violations,[43] emotional processing,[44] empathy,[45] and orgasms.[46]

Emotions[edit]The insular cortex, in particular its most anterior portion, is considered a limbic-related cortex. The insula has increasingly become the focus of attention for its role in body representation and subjective emotional experience. In particular, Antonio Damasio has proposed that this region plays a role in mapping visceral states that are associated with emotional experience, giving rise to conscious feelings. This is in essence a neurobiological formulation of the ideas of William James, who first proposed that subjective emotional experience (i.e. feelings) arise from our brain's interpretation of bodily states that are elicited by emotional events. This is an example of embodied cognition.

Functionally speaking, the insula is believed to process convergent information to produce an emotionally relevant context for sensory experience. More specifically, the anterior insula is related more to olfactory, gustatory, vicero-autonomic, and limbic function, while the posterior insula is related more to auditory-somesthetic-skeletomotor function. Functional imaging experiments have revealed that the insula has an important role in pain experience and the experience of a number of basic emotions, including anger, fear, disgust, happiness and sadness.

Specifically, the anterior insular cortex (AIC) is believed to be responsible for emotional feelings, including maternal and romantic love, anger, fear, sadness, happiness, sexual arousal, disgust, aversion, unfairness, inequity, indignation, uncertainty, disbelief, social exclusion, trust, empathy, sculptural beauty, a 'state of union with God', and hallucinogenic state. [47]

Functional imaging studies have also implicated the insula in conscious desires, such as food craving and drug craving. What is common to all of these emotional states is that they each change the body in some way and are associated with highly salient subjective qualities. The insula is well situated for the integration of information relating to bodily states into higher-order cognitive and emotional processes. The insula receives information from "homeostatic afferent" sensory pathways via the thalamus and sends output to a number of other limbic-related structures, such as the amygdala, the ventral striatum and the orbitofrontal cortex, as well as to motor cortices.[48]

A study using magnetic resonance imaging found that the right anterior insula was significantly thicker in people who meditate.[49]

Another study using voxel-based morphometry and MRI on experienced Vipassana meditators was done to extend the findings of Lazar et al., which found increased grey matter concentrations in this and other areas of the brain in experienced meditators.[50]

Salience[edit]Functional imaging research suggests the insula is involved in two types of salience. Interoceptive information processing that links interoception with emotional salience to generate a subjective representation of the body. This involves the anterior insular cortex with the pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (Brodmann area 33) and the anterior and posterior mid-cingulate cortices. Second, a general salience system concerned with environmental monitoring, response selection, and skeletomotor body orientation that involves all of the insular cortex and the mid-cingulate cortex.[51]

An alternative or perhaps complementary proposal is that right anterior insular regulates the interaction between the salience of the selective attention created to achieve a task (the dorsal attention system) and the salience of arousal created to keep focused upon the relevant part of the environment (ventral attention system).[52] This regulation of salience might be particularly important during challenging tasks where attention might fatigue and so cause careless mistakes but if there is too much arousal it risks creating poor performance by turning into anxiety.[52]

Neuroanatomy[edit]Connections[edit]The anterior insula receives a direct projection from the basal part of the ventral medial nucleus (VMb) of the thalamus and a particularly large input from the central nucleus of the amygdala. Additionally, the anterior insula itself projects to the amygdala.

One study on rhesus monkeys revealed widespread reciprocal connections between the insular cortex and almost all subnuclei of the amygdaloid complex. The posterior insula projects predominantly to the dorsal aspect of the lateral and to the central amygdaloid nuclei. In contrast, the anterior insula projects to the anterior amygdaloid area as well as the medial, the cortical, the accessory basal magnocellular, the medial basal and the lateral amygdaloid nuclei.[53]

The posterior insula connects reciprocally with the secondary somatosensory cortex (S2) and receives input from spinothalamically activated ventral posterior inferior (VPI) thalamic nuclei. More recent work by Bud Craig and his colleagues has shown that this region receives inputs from the ventromedial nucleus (posterior part) of the thalamus that are highly specialized to convey emotional/homeostatic information such as pain, temperature, itch, local oxygen status and sensual touch.

A human neuroimaging study using diffusion tensor imaging revealed that the anterior insula is interconnected to regions in the temporal and occipital lobe, opercular and orbitofrontal cortex, triangular and opercular parts of the inferior frontal gyrus. The same study revealed differences in the anatomical connection patterns between the left and right hemisphere.[54]

Cytoarchitecture[edit]The insular cortex has regions of variable cell structure or cytoarchitecture, changing from granular in the posterior portion to agranular in the anterior portion. The insula also receives differential cortical and thalamic input along its length.

Origins[edit]The insular cortex is considered a separate lobe of the telencephalon by some authorities.[55] Other sources see the insula as a part of the temporal lobe.[56] It is also sometimes grouped with limbic structures deep in the brain into a limbic lobe.[citation needed]

As a paralimbic cortex, the insular cortex is considered to be a relatively old structure. It plays a role in a variety of highly conserved functions that are related to basic survival needs, such as taste, visceral sensation and autonomic control (so-called homeostatic functions). There is evidence that in addition to its more conserved functions, the insula may play a role in certain "higher" functions that operate only in humans and other great apes. John Allman and his colleagues have shown that the anterior insular cortex contains a population of neurons, called spindle neurons. These neurons are also found in the anterior cingulate cortex, which is another region that has reached a high level of specialization in great apes. Spindle neurons are found at a higher density in the right insular cortex. It has been speculated that these neurons are involved in cognitive-emotional processes that are specific to great apes, such as empathy and self-aware emotional feelings. This is supported by functional imaging results showing that the structure and function of the right anterior insula are correlated with the ability to feel one's own heartbeat, or to empathize with the pain of others. It is thought that these functions are not distinct from the "lower" functions of the insula, but rather arise as a consequence of the role of the insula in conveying homeostatic information to consciousness.[57][58]

Clinical[edit]Progressive non-fluent aphasia[edit]Progressive non-fluent aphasia is the deterioration of normal language function which causes individuals to lose the ability to communicate fluently while being still being able to comprehend single words and intact other non-linguistic cognition. It is found in a variety of degenerative neurological conditions including Pick's disease, motor neuron disease, corticobasal degeneration, frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer's disease. It is associated with hypometabolism[59] and atrophy of the left anterior insular cortex.[60]

Addiction[edit]A number of functional brain imaging studies have shown that the insular cortex is activated when drug abusers are exposed to environmental cues that trigger cravings. This has been shown for a variety of drugs, including cocaine, alcohol, opiates and nicotine. Despite these findings, the insula has been ignored within the drug addiction literature, perhaps because it is not known to be a direct target of the mesotelencephalic dopamine system which is central to current dopamine reward theories of addiction. Recent research[61] has shown that cigarette smokers who suffer damage to the insular cortex, from a stroke for instance, have their addiction to cigarettes practically eliminated. However, the study was conducted on average eight years after the strokes, and the author admits recall bias could affect the results.[62]

These individuals were found to be up to 136 times more likely to undergo a disruption of smoking addiction than smokers with damage in other areas. Disruption of addiction was evidenced by self-reported behavior changes such as quitting smoking less than one day after the brain injury, quitting smoking with great ease, not smoking again after quitting, and having no urge to resume smoking since quitting. This suggests a significant role for the insular cortex in the neurological mechanisms underlying addiction to nicotine and other drugs, and would make this area of the brain a possible target for novel anti-addiction medication. In addition, this finding suggests that functions mediated by the insula, especially conscious feelings, may be particularly important for maintaining drug addiction, although this view is not represented in any modern research or reviews of the subject.[63]

A recent study in rats by Contreras et al.[64] corroborates these findings by showing that reversible inactivation of the insula disrupts amphetamine conditioned place preference, an animal model of cue-induced drug craving. In this study, insula inactivation also disrupted "malaise" responses to lithium chloride injection, suggesting that the representation of negative interoceptive states by the insula plays a role in addiction. However, in this same study, the conditioned place preference took place immediately after the injection of amphetamine, suggesting that it was the immediate, pleasurable interoceptive effects of amphetamine administration, rather than the delayed, aversive effects of amphetamine withdrawal that are represented within the insula.

A model proposed by Naqvi et al. (see above) is that the insula stores a representation of the pleasurable interoceptive effects of drug use (e.g. the airway sensory effects of nicotine, the cardiovascular effects of amphetamine), and that this representation is activated by exposure to cues that have previously been associated with drug use. A number of functional imaging studies have shown the insula to be activated during the administration of drugs of abuse. Several functional imaging studies have also shown that the insula is activated when drug users are exposed to drug cues, and that this activity is correlated with subjective urges. In the cue-exposure studies, insula activity is elicited when there is no actual change in the level of drug in the body. Therefore, rather than merely representing the interoceptive effects of drug use as it occurs, the insula may play a role in memory for the pleasurable interoceptive effects of past drug use, anticipation of these effects in the future, or both. Such a representation may give rise to conscious urges that feel as if they arise from within the body. This may make addicts feel as if their bodies need to use a drug, and may result in persons with lesions in the insula reporting that their bodies have forgotten the urge to use, according to this study.

Other clinical conditions[edit]The insular cortex has been suggested to have a role in anxiety disorders,[65] and emotion dysregulation.[66]

Gallery[edit]Coronal section of brain through intermediate mass of third ventricle.

Coronal section through anterior cornua of lateral ventricles.

Coronal section of brain through anterior commissure.

Orbital surface of left frontal lobe.

Section of brain showing upper surface of temporal lobe.

Horizontal section of left cerebral hemisphere.

Human brain frontal (coronal) section

Human brain view on transverse temporal and insular gyri

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Five new mental disorders you could have under DSM-5

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Source: The Conversation

Mon, 20 May 2013 09:29

Sufferers of internet disorder might find it starts to impose on real life, such as causing difficulties in socialising. Flickr/FleSince it was first published in 1952, the DSM has been the has been the diagnostic bible for many psychiatrists. Each time the manual is updated, new conditions are introduced, often amid much controversy. DSM-5, the latest edition published on Saturday, is one of the most controversial yet.

Many conditions we're now familiar with were codified in the DSM, including body dismorphic disorder, schizophrenia and bipolar.

Inclusions and removals can be hugely controversial. Autism is in the manual, for example, but Asperger's isn't. Homosexuality was only removed in 1974.

Below, five experts explain some of the most noteworthy new additions, and why they've been included.

Hoarding disorderDavid Mataix-Cols: Most children have collections at some point and approximately 30% of British adults define themselves as collectors. This is a pleasurable, highly social and benign activity, which contrasts with another disabling form of object accumulation: hoarding disorder.

The symptoms include persistent difficulty in discarding possessions due to a strong perceived need to save items and distress in discarding them. This results in the accumulation of a large number of possessions that fill up and clutter key living areas of the home, to the extent that their intended use is no longer possible.

Symptoms are often accompanied by excessive acquiring, buying or even stealing of items that are not needed or for which there is no available space.

Using DSM-5, hoarding disorder can only be diagnosed once other mental disorders have been ruled out.

With a prevalence of at least 1.5% of the UK population, the disorder is associated with substantial functional disability, family conflict, social isolation, risk of falls and fires, evictions and homelessness.

Hoarding syndrome can leave key living areas unable to be used. Shadwwulf

Binge eating disorderChristopher Fairburn: The inclusion of binge eating disorder in DSM-5 was expected and uncontroversial for the deciding committee. It's already listed as a provisional diagnosis in DSM-IV.

The disorder is characterised by recurrent over-eating episodes and a sense of loss of control at the time. Sufferers don't have the extreme dieting, vomiting and laxative misuse seen in people who have bulimia. It is the loss of control over eating that is the distressing feature of binge eating disorder, or BED.

BED is very different from anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. These disorders are largely confined to young women and they share many features including highly distinctive concerns about shape and weight and extreme weight control behaviour, such as dieting. None of this is present in people with BED.

BED is typically seen among those who are middle aged. Men make up about a third of cases. The disorders also differ in their response to treatment. Unlike anorexia and bulimia, people who suffer from binge eating disorder respond well to a variety of treatments.

Skin picking disorderJon Grant: Skin picking has been documented in medical literature since the 19th century but only now has it been recognised in DSM-5.

Skin picking disorder affects around 2-5% of people in the US. It is not simply a harmless habit nor merely a symptom of another disorder. Skin picking may result in significant tissue damage and often leads to medical complications such as local infections and septicemia.

Sufferers of the disorder are diagnosed according to five criteria including recurrent skin picking that causes skin lesions; repeated attempts to cut down or stop, and that the skin picking causes significant distress or problems in social situations, work, or other important areas in life.

Skin picking also can't be because of the physical effects of a substance or a medical condition, or linked to another mental disorder '' for example because someone has body dysmorphic disorder. These criteria separate people who pick only their skin occasionally.

Data from multiple researchers around the world consistently show that skin-picking disorder has distinct characteristics, important neurobiological links, and documented responsiveness to treatments '' both Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and medication can work.

Skin picking disorder can cause significant distress or problems in social situations. Flickr/Chris@APL

Somatic symptom disorderChristopher Lane: Somatic comes from the Greek word for ''of the body'', the focus of the disorder. DSM's earlier family of medically unexplained ailments grouped together problems as different as hypochondria and body dysmorphia and so the American Psychiatric Association proposed somatic symptom disorder.

It's a new, stand-alone disorder for people who experience a ''disproportionate'' sense of anxiety about their health and at least one physical symptom, such as a persistent headache.

People can be diagnosed with the new disorder if their physical symptoms are distressing and/or disruptive to their daily life for at least six months, and they also have one of the following: disproportionate thoughts about the seriousness of their symptoms; or a high level of anxiety about their symptoms or health; or they devote excessive time and energy to their symptoms or health concerns.

There have been concerns because the threshold of ''disproportionate'' and ''excessive'' is difficult to quantify and the disorder could be used as a catch-all for many people.

Internet addictionKaren M Von Deenen: While not yet officially codified within a psychopathological framework, internet addiction is growing in prevalence and has attracted the attention of psychiatrists, educators, and the public.

Internet addiction is a newly identified condition associated with loss of control over internet use. It leads to negative psychosocial and physical results, such as impairment of academic failure, social deficits, criminal activities and even death. The consists of three main subtypes: excessive gaming, sexual preoccupations, and e-mail/text messaging.

The DSM-5 now includes a newly-created category of behavioural addictions, in which gambling will be the sole disorder. Internet addiction was considered for this category, but work group members decided there was insufficient research data to do so, so they recommended it be included in the manual's appendix instead, with the goal of encouraging additional study.

Present treatment has included electric shock therapy and internet rehab, but these have not been satisfactory. More research needs to be done to understand the underlying mechanisms of this addiction.

Sign in to Favourite Post a CommentTagsMental health, Psychiatry, DSM, Eating disorders, DSM-5, Psychiatric disorders

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VIDEO-When Social Skills Are a Warning - WSJ.com

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Wed, 22 May 2013 10:01

With many neurological disorders, from Alzheimer's to ADHD, the first clue something is wrong may be atypical social behavior. Shirley Wang reports on Lunch Break. Photo: Getty Images.

An uncle starts believing all your sarcastic comments. Or a kindhearted friend never understands anymore how you feel. These people may not just be momentarily off. Recent research indicates they may be exhibiting early signals that something is going awry in their brains.

Changes in social behavior, such as difficulty detecting insincere comments or feeling empathy, can be a window into our neurological health, scientists say. That is because how we interact with other people is one of the more complex functions the brain must perform. It requires a symphony of neurons firing throughout the brain and working together in networks so that we can detect, decode and interpret social signals. Deterioration in social functioning can begin even while executive functions like planning and organizing remain intact during the early stages of mental disorders.

Recognizing social changes that previously might have been shrugged off could allow for earlier diagnosis of a disorder and treatment, doctors say. It also could give families more time to prepare for long-term care.

With some childhood conditions, like autism or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, social problems are one of the primary characteristics of the disorder. In other conditions in which social problems aren't the main symptoms, including dementia, depression and schizophrenia, early clues may come from changes to a person's normal personality, such as becoming less friendly, understanding or attentive, or more paranoid.

"Whenever we see someone with an emotional or social symptom we always say, 'What's going on in the brain?' " says Katherine Rankin, a neurology professor at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Rankin and other scientists at UCSF, Stanford University and other institutions are studying the underlying neurobiology of social behavior. They are seeking to understand how these neural networks function normally and how changes in the anatomical structures and functioning can shed light on the progression of disease.

Social peculiarities can be subtle or drastic, ranging from a lack of interest in spending time with other people to problems reading social etiquette and emotionally inappropriate behaviors. Other social deficits that could signal a problem include the inabilities to focus attention on what other people are noticing or to imagine what another person is thinking.

Researchers believe there are several networks made up of different brain parts communicating with one another that are critical to social behavior. Some networks act as emotional brakes and others as the gas. Everyone has a different balance of these networks, which contributes to our personalities, emotions and behaviors. But with disease, the parts of the brain or how they communicate with other areas can be dramatically disrupted.

to comeDr. Katherine Rankin, seated, who researches neurobiology at UCSF, with Dr. Tal Shany-Ur.

People are unlikely to observe social changes in themselves. So it is often up to family members to report their concerns to a doctor, says Dr. Rankin. She recommends people over the age of 40 or 50 see a neurologist if they experience changes in social or emotional functioning, or language or memory problems. An evaluation for an adult might include a physical examination, questions about changes in mood and activity levels, and assessments of cognitive functioning. For a child, there may also be questions about developmental milestones.

Dr. Rankin says the family of an older man she treated recently brought him in for an evaluation after watching him eat. During meals, the man would finish all the food on his plate, then pick it up and begin licking. It turned out the man had frontotemporal dementia, damage to the frontal lobe of the brain, for which he is now taking medication to treat symptoms, she says.

One critical brain pathway is called the ventral-salience network, which filters incoming information for that which is personally important. The network appears to be significant in helping determine people's emotional awareness. It also helps them evaluate the potential for social punishment. Then, the task-control network tells the brain to pay attention to the important information and to process it. The semantic-appraisal network adds our emotional interpretation to the situation. Together, these networks and others help us understand the context for social or emotional situations, researchers theorize.

When one or more of the networks go awry, we often lose the ability to empathize, which is one of the most complex social behaviors, says Dr. Rankin, who treats and studies dementia patients. To truly empathize, we need to correctly read meaningful emotional information and to figure out what an appropriate response is, which sometimes might not match what the other person is feeling, she says.

More Clues to Mental HealthPeople with autism and schizophrenia tend to have difficulty with empathy. Stanford University researchers have suggested that a lack of response to emotionally meaningful information in the insula, a brain region at the hub of the salience network, can lead to a cascade of effects that result in inappropriate emotional displays.

Lucina Uddin, a cognitive neuroscientist at Stanford, and her colleagues are now studying whether brain imaging of this network can serve as a biological marker of autism in kids. "The answer looks like yes," says Dr. Uddin, who plans to publish the research.

The salience detection network also may go awry in anxiety, schizophrenia and other conditions, says Dr. Uddin. In anxiety, too much environmental stimuli registers in the brain as important and thus becomes overwhelming. People with schizophrenia may have difficulty figuring out what to attend to.

The ability to detect and understand insincerity is another basic social deficit that can occur with disease. In a study published last year in the journal Cortex, Dr. Rankin and her colleagues studied the ability to detect sarcasm in 102 patients who had been diagnosed with four progressive diseases that lead to memory loss: frontotemporal dementia, Alzheimer's disease, progressive supranuclear palsy and vascular-cognitive impairment. They compared the results with those of 77 healthy older people. Detecting such insincere forms of communication require many brain functions, including the ability to read emotion, see the world from another person's perspective and understand others' intentions.

In the study, participants viewed 16 videos in which they watched clips of people interacting in which some lied and others were sarcastic. All participants were able to understand sincere comments, but patients with frontotemporal dementia had trouble understanding lies and sarcasm. The other patients' ability to understand depended on the severity of their disease.

Bradford Dickerson, a neurology professor at Harvard Medical School, and colleagues have shown in studies that the size of certain parts of the brain important to emotional processing is associated with how many friends we have. "More connected individuals might be better equipped to perceive social cues like facial expression" and might derive more positive experience from social interaction, writes Dr. Dickerson in a recent paper.

Inventor of ADHD's deathbed confession 'ADHD is a fictitious disease'

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Source: WT news feed

Mon, 20 May 2013 08:54

Saturday, 18 May 2013 10:54

'The alarmed critics of the Ritalin disaster are now getting support from an entirely different side. The German weekly Der Spiegel quoted in its cover story on 2 February 2012 the US American psychiatrist Leon Eisenberg, born in 1922 as the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, who was the ''scientific father of ADHD'' and who said at the age of 87, seven months before his death in his last interview: ''ADHD is a prime example of a fictitious disease''

Since 1968, however, some 40 years, Leon Eisenberg's ''disease'' haunted the diagnostic and statistical manuals, first as ''hyperkinetic reaction of childhood'', now called ''ADHD''. The use of ADHD medications in Germany rose in only eighteen years from 34 kg (in 1993) to a record of no less than 1760 kg (in 2011) '' which is a 51-fold increase in sales! In the United States every tenth boy among ten year-olds already swallows an ADHD medication on a daily basis. With an increasing tendency.'

Read more: Inventor of ADHD's deathbed confession 'ADHD is a fictitious disease'

Why French Kids Don't Have ADHD

Fast & Furious

Season 5 & 6 of FX's Son's of Anarchy

Google washed by the Movie (6!)

Bullying

DOJ And Dept. Of Education To Colleges: Start Restricting Free Speech On Campus Or Kiss Your Federal Funding Goodbye | Techdirt

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Wed, 22 May 2013 09:05

Our nation's universities are (or were) usually considered to be places that fostered open discourse and encouraged the discussion of controversial topics in order to promote the growth of both the students and their critical thinking skills. This is no longer the case. Many universities have crafted guidelines and policies that inhibit free speech, usually as an overreaction to offended sensibilities or criminal activity.

Much of what we've covered recently has dealt with private colleges, which have a little more leeway in crafting their speech policies. The chilling of free speech on campus is now spreading to public universities (not that some didn't have this problem already). Worse still, it's a government mandated inhibition of free speech, tied directly to federal funding.

In a letter sent yesterday to the University of Montana that explicitly states that it is intended as "a blueprint for colleges and universities throughout the country," the Departments of Justice and Education have mandated a breathtakingly broad definition of sexual harassment that makes virtually every student in the United States a harasser while ignoring the First Amendment. The mandate applies to every college receiving federal funding'--virtually every American institution of higher education nationwide, public or private.

The letter states that "sexual harassment should be more broadly defined as 'any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature'" including "verbal conduct" (that is, speech). It then explicitly states that allegedly harassing expression need not even be offensive to an "objectively reasonable person of the same gender in the same situation"'--if the listener takes offense to sexually related speech for any reason, no matter how irrationally or unreasonably, the speaker may be punished.

What the OCR (the Dept. of Education's Office for Civil Rights) has done is remove the "objective" standard and opened anything said or done to be judged as harassment from a strictly subjective viewpoint. This is coupled with some very broad definitions of the sort of behavior prohibited under these new national codes. Eugene Volokh's in-depth writeup lists some of the prohibited actions.saying ''unwelcome'' ''sexual or dirty jokes''spreading ''unwelcome'' ''sexual rumors'' (without any limitation to false rumors)''engaging in ''unwelcome'' ''circulating or showing e-mails of Web sites of a sexual nature''engaging in ''unwelcome'' ''display[] or distributi[on of] sexually explicit drawings, pictures or written materials''making ''unwelcome'' sexual invitations.

There is no longer any stipulation that the offending actions create a "hostile, offensive or abusive environment." And, again, the "objective and reasonable" yardstick has been removed and replaced with subjectivity.As FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) points out, this new OCR letter contradicts a "Dear Colleague" letter issued by the OCR in 2003, in which the office offered the clarification that any guidelines issued were not intended to inhibit free speech on campus.

I want to assure you in the clearest possible terms that OCR's regulations are not intended to restrict the exercise of any expressive activities protected under the U.S. Constitution ...OCR's regulations and policies do not require or prescribe speech, conduct or harassment codes that impair the exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment.

It appears the OCR is no longer interested in protecting First Amendment rights. As FIRE notes, the new OCR letter does not contain the phrases "free speech" or "First Amendment" anywhere within its 31 pages. It also contradicts the OCR's earlier guidance on harassment, where it stated that actionable (or prohibited) behavior "must include something beyond the mere expression of views, words, symbols or thoughts that some person finds offensive."FIRE also points out that the new codes cover much more than "sexual" speech, being expanded to cover "gender-based harassment," including "harassment based on a person's nonconformity with gender stereotypes." All well and good to bring more people under this "protection," but it does mean that certain protected speech will now lose its protection, at least on campus. FIRE quotes a Third Circuit Court decision [DeJohn v. Temple University, 537 F.3d 301 (3d Cir. 2008)]:

[T]he policy's use of "hostile," "offensive," and "gender-motivated" is, on its face, sufficiently broad and subjective that they "could conceivably be applied to cover any speech" of a "gender-motivated" nature "the content of which offends someone." This could include "core" political and religious speech, such as gender politics and sexual morality.

The OCR's letter does some dangerous conflation, in addition to its general disregard for students' First Amendment rights. By using the criminal sexual assault that occurred at the University of Montana as a springboard for its harassment policies, the OCR aims to kill two birds with stone, but only manages to injure one with its feckless toss -- free speech. The actions condemned (and meant to be prevented) by this letter remain punishable by existing laws and policies. Adding further limits to speech is simply a welcome byproduct for establishments (universities and the government) that seem to feel more and more that only subjectively acceptable speech should be protected. This new, mandated First-Amendment-as-university-doormat will only serve to make students more closed-minded as they toe these aribitrary lines and make our institutions of higher learning pale parodies of their formerly progressive selves.

The Volokh Conspiracy >> The Administration Says Universities Must Implement Broad Speech Codes

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Wed, 22 May 2013 09:05

The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights is telling universities to institute speech codes. And not just any old speech codes: Under these speech codes, universities would be required to prohibit students from, for instance,

saying ''unwelcome'' ''sexual or dirty jokes''spreading ''unwelcome'' ''sexual rumors'' (without any limitation to false rumors''engaging in ''unwelcome'' ''circulating or showing e-mails of Web sites of a sexual nature''engaging in ''unwelcome'' ''display[] or distributi[on of] sexually explicit drawings, picture,s or written materials''making ''unwelcome'' sexual invitations.This is not limited to material that a reasonable person would find offensive. Nor is limited to material that, put together, creates a ''hostile, abusive, or offensive educational environment.'' (I think even speech codes that would have these requirements are unconstitutional, but the speech codes that the government is urging would in any event not have these requirements.) Every instance of such material of a ''sexual nature,'' under the government's approach, would be ''sexual harassment'' and would need to be banned.

Why do I say this? The explanation has quite a few moving parts, because of how the government has articulated its theory. But here's a brief summary.

1. The OCR has long taken the view that, just as Title VII's ban on employment discrimination has been read as prohibiting speech or conduct that is ''severe or pervasive'' enough to create a ''hostile, abusive, or offensive environment'' based on sex for plaintiff and for a reasonable person, so Title IX (the educational analog) does the same for speech and conduct in educational institutions. Colleges and universities, according to the government, must therefore institute speech and conduct codes that ban such speech and conduct.

Those courts that have considered the issue have held that such speech codes in public universities violate the First Amendment on their face (to the extent they cover speech), because they are too vague or overbroad (i.e., apply beyond the few unprotected categories of speech, such as threats or ''fighting words''). See, for instance, some of the cases cited in this guest post by FIRE's Greg Lukianoff. The government's pressuring the creation of such codes in either public institutions or private institutions would likewise violate the First Amendment. But the government takes a different view. Though it agrees that ''harassment'' codes shouldn't be read in ways that violate the First Amendment (which is tautologically true), they apparently think that a great deal of speech ''of a sexual nature'' on campuses is unprotected by the First Amendment, as suggested by the materials discussed below, and that

2. Now, in an investigation involving the University of Montana (and see also this document, the government has apparently gone further:

a. The government has specifically faulted the University for defining ''sexual harassment'' as being limited to conduct or speech that is severe or pervasive enough to create a hostile environment, or conduct or speech that would be objectively offensive to a reasonable person. ''Whether conduct is objectively offensive is a factor used to determine if a hostile environment has been created, but it is not the standard to determine whether conduct was 'unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature' and therefore constitutes 'sexual harassment.'''

b. Instead, according to the government, ''sexual harassment'' is simply ''unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, such as sexual assault or acts of sexual violence.'' And what constitutes ''unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature''? An earlier OCR document, defining, conduct ''sexual in nature'' as ''sexual conduct,'' says that ''Examples of sexual conduct include'':

making sexual propositions or pressuring students for sexual favors;touching of a sexual nature;writing graffiti of a sexual nature;displaying or distributing sexually explicit drawings, pictures, or written materials;performing sexual gestures or touching oneself sexually in front of others;telling sexual or dirty jokes;spreading sexual rumors or rating other students as to sexual activity or performance; orcirculating or showing e-mails or Web sites of a sexual nature.Incidentally, the ''sexually explicit drawings, pictures, and materials'' do not have to be punishable obscenity, or even displays of sex; ''pictures of nude suggestive pictures even if not nude, since the government routinely analogizes toworkplace harassment cases, in which nudity has not been required for material to be found to be unduly suggestive.

Finally, the government does not limit such ''sexual conduct'' to conduct said directly to the offended person. Speech displayed or said to people generally may qualify if one of the viewers finds it offensive (as one can again tell by looking at hostile work environment cases, given that the government routinely analogizes to them).

c. So ''sexual harassment'' is defined that broadly '-- and though the government concedes that such sexual harassment is legally actionable only if it is objectively offensive, and ''severe or pervasive'' (or perhaps both ''severe and pervasive,'' as Hans Bader's post on this argues), the government insists that universities should punish each such instance of conduct:

''The Agreement will serve as a blueprint for colleges and universities throughout the country to protect students from sexual harassment and assault.''''To resolve the concerns identified in the Letter of Findings, the University will take effective steps designed to: prevent sex-based harassment [defined to include 'sexual harassment' -EV] in its education programs and activities ....''''By July 15, 2013, the University will update its program to provide regular mandatory training ..... [that] will ... make students aware of the University's prohibition against sexual harassment, sexual assault, and retaliation.''''On May 4, 2012, the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights mailed notification to the University indicating that OCR was opening a Title IX compliance review to assess whether ... the University's implementation of [its] policies and procedures ensure the elimination of sexual harassment and sexual violence, appropriately respond to such harassment and violence, prevent future harassment, and eliminate the hostile environment and its effects that result from such harassment.''''To improve the campus climate, the University is providing more training for students that defines sexual harassment, including sexual assault, and makes clear it is unacceptable.''''Other actions [following a sexual harassment complaint] may also be necessary to address the educational environment, including special training, the dissemination of information about how to report sexual harassment, new policies, and other steps designed to clearly communicate the message that the college or university does not tolerate, and will be responsive to any reports of, sexual harassment.And I assume the government means exactly what it says here '-- that even individual instances of ''conduct of a sexual nature'' that aren't severe or pervasive or objectively offensive must be punished '-- and isn't just using ''sexual harassment'' to mean ''speech that creates a legally actionable hostile environment.'' After all, the government expressly condemned the University of Montana (see 2a above) for using ''sexual harassment'' to mean speech that creates a legally actionable hostile environment; ''sexual harassment,'' the government stressed, is simply ''unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature'' (whether or not objectively offensive ''and can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, such as sexual assault or acts of sexual violence.'' And though some of the statements I quote above discuss what the University of Montana is about to do, it's clear from context that the government is arguing that universities must in general be doing this.

These individual instances, then '-- sexual jokes, sexually themed posted material, sexual propositions, and so on '-- is what the government is saying should be treated as ''unacceptable,'' should not be ''not tolerate[d],'' and should be ''prevent[ed],'' ''prohibit[ed],'' and ''eliminat[ed].''

3. In the University of Montana situation, as well as in others in the past, the core issue has had to do with alleged sexual assault of varying degrees. No specific speech-cases were discussed.

But that's a big part of the problem: Serious problems involving alleged physical assaults, and university's potential failure to properly deal with such assaults, have long been merged '-- by the government and others '-- with sexually themed speech. The policies the government is seeking deliberately aren't limited to physical assault, but expressly cover speech. How universities should deal with alleged physical assaults by students against other students is a difficult question. But the government's demands of universities go far beyond those questions, and extend to speech that is protected by the First Amendment and that, in any event, ought not be the subject of university discipline (even if it's juvenile and rude).

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has more on this, as does Hans Bader (OpenMarket.org).

DOJ Instructs All Managers To Be Vocal Advocates Of Gay Pride'...

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Source: Weasel Zippers

Tue, 21 May 2013 07:59

The DOJ (and the Obama administration as a whole) has no problems with trampling on First Amendment liberties.

Via NRO:

When the Department of Justice is finished violating journalists' First Amendment rights, perhaps it should look into this: Liberty Counsel, an international Christian litigation organization, has obtained a brochure entitled, ''LGBT Inclusion at Work: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Managers, distributed to DOJ managers by DOJ Pride, the department's in-house LGBT association, in advance of ''LGBT Pride Month'' (a.k.a. ''June'').

Under each of the seven habits is a list of DOs and DON'Ts '' but they are not just the usual diversity shtick. Argues Matt Barber, vice president of Liberty Counsel Action, ''[The document is] ''riddled with directives that grossly violate '' prima facie '' employees' First Amendment liberties.'' Among the helpful hints:

DO assume that LGBT employees and their allies are listening to what you're saying (whether in a meeting or around the proverbial water cooler) and will read what you're writing (whether in a casual email or in a formal document)'' . . .

DO talk in staff meetings about why diversity is important to you as a manager, and make it clear you define diversity to include both sexual orientation and gender identity. . . .

DO provide explicit, verbal reassurance that advancement and development opportunities are based strictly on merit.

The fifth habit of highly effective managers? ''Come out'' as a ''straight ally.'' [...]

For DOJ Pride, there is no longer a place even for private, unexpressed disapproval of homosexuality in the workplace. Regardless of personal beliefs, every manager ought to be a vocal advocate for the LGBT cause. If you are not an outspoken supporter, you must be an enemy.

Keep reading'...

Shut Up Slave!

Lawmakers Back Military's Laser Weapon Programs

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Wed, 22 May 2013 22:33

Congressional Republicans say they support the U.S. military's laser weapons and directed-energy programs designed to protect troops by zapping apart potential threats, from incoming rockets to drones flying overhead.

A panel of the House Armed Services Committee singled out the Army's Solid State Laser Testbed and the Navy's Laser Weapon System as ''items of special interest'' in its draft of the 2014 defense authorization bill, which sets policy goals and spending targets for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

''The committee stresses the importance of directed energy research and encourages the Army's continuation of those efforts,'' according to language approved May 22 by the Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, headed by Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas.

The panel similarly backed the Navy program, including the service's plans to deploy the Laser Weapon System, or LaWS, aboard the amphibious transport dock USS Ponce early next year for further testing.

It will be the first such deployment of the system after completing test shots last summer aboard the destroyer USS Dewey. The solid-state, infrared beam burned up dummy drones in evaluations in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California.

The legislation would require the secretaries of the Army and Navy to brief lawmakers on the demonstration programs and provide more information about the potential challenges of adopting the technology for wider use within the services, given its high-energy requirements.

Separately, the bill would also give lawmakers greater oversight of military intelligence operations. It calls for withholding half of the funding for the Pentagon's new Defense Clandestine Service, or DSC, until Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel certifies that the unit, part of the Defense Intelligence Agency, will fulfill requirements ''otherwise unmet.''

''The Defense Intelligence Agency has made good progress in developing and explaining the rationale behind the DCS,'' Thornberry said during a brief hearing. ''But as a new organization, it should have greater scrutiny and if military resources are being used, we want to make sure that the defense intelligence priorities are being met, especially in this very tight budget.''

The Pentagon next year plans to spend a total of $606 billion. That figure includes a base budget of $526.6 billion and $79.4 billion for the war in Afghanistan, according to figures the department disclosed on May 20. It doesn't include the next round of automatic federal budget cuts, known as sequestration, which may total as much as $51 billion.

The full committee on June 5 is expected to vote on the bill, H.R.1960.

May 22nd, 2013 | Lasers and Ray Guns, Less-lethal, The Defense Biz | 204061 Commenthttp%3A%2F%2Fdefensetech.org%2F2013%2F05%2F22%2Flawmakers-back-militarys-laser-weapon-programs%2FLawmakers+Back+Military%27s+Laser+Weapon+Programs2013-05-22+20%3A17%3A58Brendan+McGarryhttp%3A%2F%2Fdefensetech.org%2F%3Fp%3D20406

Tagged as: budget, Laser Weapon System, LaWS, Solid State Laser Testbed

Xbox One's Kinect discerns heartbeat and who has the controller | Joystiq

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Wed, 22 May 2013 08:56

The Xbox One's next-generation Kinect has a greater interest in your facial features, and is capable of discerning your identity, even if you hand off the controller.In a brief demonstration in one of its Kinect testing rooms, Microsoft showed press how the Kinect kept track of two player profiles, each tied to a controller in use. When Player 1 and Player 2 swap controllers, the Xbox One is able to recognize which profile is the new Player 1. The Kinect also monitors the position of players, meaning it can match portions of split-screen games to the side of the screen at which that player is looking. This may also translate to fighting games, which is good news if you're the sort to get confused when your spot in the couch isn't aligned with your character.

Microsoft also demonstrated a few more tricks made possible by the new Kinect's enhanced sense of depth, its greater field of view - which does make closer gaming in smaller apartments a more feasible '' its ability to see in the dark via infrared, and its flattering scrutiny of facial features. By examining your face's skin color and transparency, the Kinect and Xbox One are able to estimate your current heart rate. Whether or not someone puts that information to good use in Kinect games or fitness programs is another matter, as we've learned from Nintendo's flatlined "vitality sensor."

Valve has experimented with biometric data in games too, adjusting game difficulty, objectives and timers in response to the player's physical state. With a Kinect shipping alongside every Xbox One, and assuming the camera is relatively accurate, biometric influence over gameplay may become less esoteric in the near future.

Selective Service System: Welcome

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Wed, 22 May 2013 09:59

IMPORTANT MESSAGE

CHANGE TO PRE-1960 SELECTIVE SERVICE RECORDS REQUEST

National Archives and Records Administration has sole responsibility of ownership, storage, and retrieval of Selective Service records for men born before 1960. Consequently, Selective Service can no longer access any of these records.

All requests should be mailed directly to:

National Archives & Records Administration

National Archives at St. Louis

ATTN: RL-SLP.O. Box 38757St. Louis, MO 63138-0757

Record Request Form - Click Here

MEN BORN BEFORE 1960

Status Information Letters are not required of men born before 1960 ... [MORE]

ATTENTION, UNDOCUMENTED MALES& IMMIGRANT SERVICING GROUPS!

Selective Service does not collect any information which would indicate whether or not you are undocumented. You want to protect yourself for future U.S. citizenship and other government benefits and programs by registering with Selective Service. Do it today.

If you are a man ages 18 through 25 and living in the U.S., then you must register with Selective Service. It's the law. According to law, a man must register with Selective Service within 30 days of his 18th birthday. Selective Service will accept late registrations but not after a man has reached age 26. You may be denied benefits or a job if you have not registered. You can register at any U.S. Post Office and do not need a social security number. When you do obtain a social security number, let Selective Service know. Provide a copy of your new social security number card; being sure to include your complete name, date of birth, Selective Service registration number, and current mailing address; and mail to the Selective Service System, P.O. Box 94636, Palatine, IL 60094-4636.

If you have a social security number, you can register online (click here). It's quick and easy.

EUROLand

Sweden: Youths burn 100 cars in north Stockholm riots

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Source: WT news feed

Mon, 20 May 2013 09:38

Published: 20 May 13 08:10 CET | Print versionUpdated: 20 May 13 11:49 CETOnline: http://www.thelocal.se/48006/20130520/

Youths rioted in northern Stockholm on Sunday night, setting fire to cars and throwing rocks at police, in what is believed to be a protest against the fatal police shooting of a machete-wielding man in the suburb last week.

"At 10pm we sent out staff to an address in Husby," explained Lars Bystr¶m of the Stockholm police to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.IN PICTURES: See the damage from the Husby fires

"My colleagues were met by young people who threw stones at them. It continued with a couple of violent riots and extensive damage."

The riot kicked off when young people set fire to cars in Husby, a suburb in the far north of Stockholm. Witnesses claim at least 100 vehicles in the area were in flames. Another fire was lit in a nearby garage, resulting in the evacuation of the apartment block. Around 50 residents were taken care of and sheltered in buses that were on hand.

The local shopping centre was also vandalized, and three police officers were injured in the fracas. Police estimate that the riots involved somewhere between 50 and 60 youths.

RELATED STORY: 'Husby is usually a very peaceful place'

Forty emergency workers from both police and the firefighting service were on hand.

The protests come in response to a fatal police shooting of a 69-year-old man in Husby last Monday, according to the youth organization Megafonen. The man had been threatening police with a machete before he was shot.

Initially, police told the press that the man had died from his injuries at hospital, but it later emerged that the 69-year-old died at the scene.

Many neighbours questioned why police used such extreme violence to deal with the situation.

"This was an old man with a knife facing a whole gang of specially trained armed police officers. Did they really have to kill him?" a neighbour said to the Aftonbladet tabloid the day after the shooting.

A community-based organization that aims to organize residents of Stockholm's northern suburbs to fight for social justice claimed Sunday night's disturbances started as a "reaction to police brutality against citizens, our neighbours".

"We understand that people react like this," Rami Al-Khamisi from Megafonen said in a statement.

Calm was restored to Husby by 5.30am. Police did not, however, make any arrests.

"We've not made any arrests, but we'll try to during the day. We'll take a look at security footage and speak with witnesses so we can take legal action against the people who are guilty of crimes," Bystr¶m told DN.

TT/The Local/ogFollow The Local on Twitter

Stockholm riots spread around city

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Source: BBC News - Europe

Thu, 23 May 2013 08:00

23 May 2013Last updated at06:53 ETPlease turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.

Nick Childs reports on a fourth night of riots in Sweden

A fourth night of unprecedented riots in Stockholm has seen unrest spread, with a restaurant and up to 40 cars burnt, police told the BBC.

Three police officers were hurt as rioters threw stones and directed laser pointers at emergency services.

The worst of the latest rioting was in the south of the city, not the north-west where it began on Sunday.

Stockholm police spokesman Kjell Lindgren said the rioters were a "mixture of every kind of people".

Continue reading the main storyWe have never had this kind of riots before in Stockholm, not this amount of riots and not this number of hot areas''

End QuoteKjell LindgrenStockholm police spokesmanThe violence began in the deprived, largely immigrant suburb of Husby, days after police shot dead an elderly man there who had reportedly threatened to kill them with a machete.

Activists in the area have accused police of racist behaviour - an accusation greeted with scepticism by the police themselves.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has said everybody must take responsibility for restoring calm in Stockholm.

"It's important to remember that burning your neighbour's car is not an example of freedom of speech, it's hooliganism," he said on Wednesday.

Laser pointersIt is unclear how many cars have been burnt since Sunday as a result of the rioting, Mr Lindgren told the BBC.

But on Wednesday night 10 attacks were reported in the north-western suburbs while between 20 and 30 were burnt in southern parts of Stockholm.

Firefighters struggled to contain the fire at the restaurant in the southern suburb of Skogas, where young people pelted them with stones, the spokesman said.

Groups of rioters, as small as five people and as large as 100, have been seen this week, Mr Lindgren said. They typically wait for emergency services to attend a fire before attacking.

Green laser pointers have also been shone in the eyes of the emergency services, according to Mr Lindgren.

No arrests were made on Wednesday night because the police's priority was to disperse mobs and ensure access to fires for the fire brigade, he said. Overall, five people have been arrested since Sunday.

'Very young people'The Stockholm police spokesman said rioting had occurred in both deprived parts of the city and parts that would be considered "normal".

"My colleagues say the people on the streets are a mixture of every kind of people you can think of," he added.

"We have got Swedes, we have got very young people, we have got people aged 30 to 35. You can't define them as a group.

"We don't know why they are doing this. There is no answer to it."

In Husby, more than 80% of the 12,000 or so inhabitants are from an immigrant background, and most are from Turkey, the Middle East and Somalia.

Rami al-Khamisi, a law student and founder of the youth organisation Megafonen, told the Swedish edition of online newspaper The Local this week that he had been insulted racially by police. Teenagers, he said, had been called "monkeys", fuelling resentment.

The Stockholm police spokesman said he was aware that complaints had been made about the behaviour of one police officer but added that he could "hardly believe" all the complaints being made were true.

"We have never had this kind of riots before in Stockholm, not this amount of riots and not this number of hot areas," said Mr Lindgren.

European Commission shelves olive oil jug ban after outcry

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Source: euronews

Thu, 23 May 2013 07:26

The European Commission has shelved a proposed stricter rule on how restaurants can serve olive oil amidst public outcry and accusations of meddling bureaucracy.

Commissioner Dacian CioloÅŸ, responsible for agriculture and rural development, said today at the mid-day press conference at the European Commission that he was withdrawing the proposition.

''I've decided to withdraw this proposal and not submit it for adoption,'' Ciolos said as he attempted to deflect a barrage of pointed questions. ''I wanted to come here today to demonstrate that I've been very alive to the current debate in the press.''

The aborted regulation planned that, from January 1, 2014, eateries would be banned from serving oil to diners in small glass jugs or dipping bowls, and forced instead to use pre-sealed, non-refillable bottles that must be disposed of when empty.

The European Commission said the move was designed to improve hygiene and reassure consumers that olive oil in restaurants has not been diluted with an inferior product. The Commission also said its proposal was supported by 15 out of 27 EU member governments, including the continent's main olive oil producers '' Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal '' which are among the countries worst affected by the euro crisis.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron had criticized the ban, saying it was ''''exactly the sort of area that the European Union needs to get right out of''.

German newspaper Sueddetsche Zeitung described the plan as ''the weirdest decision since the legendary curvy cucumber regulation'', referring to now-defunct EU rules on the shape of fruit and vegetables sold in supermarkets.

Olive oil isn't quite yet off the European Commission's menu. To ''meet objectives concerning quality'' for consumers, Commissioner CioloÅŸ has invited restaurants, hotels and consumers associations to meet next week in Brussels to discuss promoting olive oil quality for consumer without disproportionate regulations, a EC spokesman tweeted.

With Reuters

More about:Agriculture, Brussels, EU Commission, European UnionCopyright (C) 2013 euronews

A Silver lining... (Greek Hookers & Blow)

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Source: BadChad's ThoughtPile

Thu, 23 May 2013 00:31

With Greece suffering the biggest economic depression in decades, all so a few rich men can preserve their wealth and not have their EUR-denominated savings wiped out (even if the alternative means finally being able to rebalance externally using the Drachma instead of forcing internal rebalancing via unemployment and plunging wages), it was only a matter of time before we found out just how humiliating the conversion of the entire economy to a "gray", non-tax paying one would be for the citizens of Greece.

As the NYT reports, in just the past two years, the numbers of Greeks engaging in prostitution as a last course source of income has more than doubled: according to the National Center for Social Research, the number of people selling sex has surged 150 percent in the last two years.

Furthermore, with every business in which there is exploding "competition" and rich client scarcity, it is not just any prostitution, but very deflationary prostitution:

''Five euros only, just 5 euros,'' whispered Maria, a young prostitute with sunken cheeks and bedraggled hair, as she pitched herself forward from the shadows of a graffiti-riddled alley in central Athens on a recent weeknight.

Many prostitutes have been selling their services for as little as 10 to 15 euros, a price that has shrunk along with the income of clients afflicted by the crisis. Many more prostitutes are taking greater health risks by having unprotected sex, which sells for a premium. Still more are subject to violence and rape.

Now a new menace has arisen: a type of crystal methamphetamine called shisha, after the Turkish water pipe, but otherwise known as poor man's cocaine, brewed from barbiturates and other ingredients including alcohol, chlorine and even battery acid.

And with a surge in prostitution come the drugs, and the danger of an epidemic of blood-transmitted diseases, like HIV:

A hit of shisha, concocted in makeshift laboratories around Athens, costs 3 to 4 euros. Doses come in the form of a 0.01-gram ball, leaving many users reaching for hits throughout the day. They include prostitutes, whom Mr. Tzortzinis photographed in a seedy central neighborhood of Athens called Omonia, next to a large police station.

Shisha is most often smoked. But it is increasingly being taken intravenously; because of the caustic chemicals it contains, a rising number of users are winding up in the emergency room. Health experts say the injections are also adding to an alarming rise in H.I.V. cases around Greece, which surged more than 50 percent last year from 2011 as more people turn to narcotics.

For Mr. Tzortzinis, who grew up in the area, seeing women give themselves for as little as 5 euros underscores one of the many horrors of Greece's drawn-out crisis.

Unfortunately for the country which is terrified to just say no to Europe due to the indoctrinated dread of what would happen if it left the Eurozone, this is only the beginning as the problem is far deeper, and it goes to the root of everything: an entire generation going to waste.

But while the Greek still soaring unemployment rate is no surprise to anyone, it is the youth unemployment that is the problem. And as the Telegraph reports, in some areas of Greece, youth unemployment has now hit a inconceivable 75%.

Western Macedonia in Greece had the highest level of youth unemployment in the European Union, with the number of 16 to 24 year-olds out of work jumping to 72.5pc in 2012 from 52.8pc in 2011, according to Eurostat. Total youth unemployment in Greece stood at 55.3pc last year, more than double the EU average of 22.9pc.

The region, located in northern Greece, has been hit hard by the economic crisis, with total unemployment rising from 12.1pc in 2007 to almost 30pc in 2012 due to de-industrialisation and the migration of labour intensive industries to neighbouring countries, where wage demands are lower.

According to a report by the European Commission in December, more than a fifth of firms stopped trading in the region between 2008 and 2011.

Europe's response to this pandemic of unemployment?

Europe's leaders have called for more action to tackle joblessness in Europe. Earlier this month, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso urged Europe's leaders to come up with "a more ambitious plan to fight youth unemployment" at a next month's EU summit.

"We must give revive hope, specially for young people," he said. "We cannot wait for long, we are all aware this is urgent."

And when hope is not enough, and when these same young people end up as prostitutes, drug addicts or, worst, infected with HIV, maybe they should also hope that a cure for the disease is somehow discovered (and which they can afford).

Why? Just so the 0.001% uberwealthy can continue to get richer and richer courtesy of a year after year of flawed monetary and fiscal policy, even as the real world around them burns.

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Eurovision song contest, prelude to WWIII? : Russian foreign minister wades into voting row.

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Source: TheCandyman's news feed

Tue, 21 May 2013 08:07

Russia's Dina Garipova performs during the final of the 2013 Eurovision song contest. Photograph: John Macdougall/AFP/Getty Images

Russia's foreign minister has taken time out of a busy schedule that includes defending arms sales to Syria and criticising US policy around the world to wade into a growing scandal over the Eurovision song contest.

Sergei Lavrov issued a stern warning over the contest on Tuesday following reports that the Russian contestant, Dina Garipova, had been deprived of 10 points allegedly issued by the country's ex-Soviet ally Azerbaijan.

"That 10 points were stolen from our contestant during the Eurovision 2013 contest does not make us happy regarding the organisation of the event," Lavrov said during a joint press conference with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Elmar Mammadyarov. "The outrageous action at Eurovision regarding the Russian contestant will not go unanswered," he warned.

Garipova, who sang a ballad called What If, finished fifth with 174 points in the contest's final in Sweden on Saturday. She was 17 points behind fourth-placed Margaret Berger of Norway, so the extra 10 points would not have made any difference in the overall ranking.

Mammadyarov said on Tuesday that "a significant part of the Azeri population voted for the Russian singer", and said a full investigation would be carried out to see where the "stolen votes" went.

Azerbaijan's ambassador to Moscow, the renowned Soviet-era crooner Polad B¼lb¼loÄŸlu , told Russian television that it was impossible that Garipova had not scored any points in his country. In its own voting, Russia gave the Azerbaijani entry the maximum 12 points.

The gaudy Eurovision song contest is known for its highly politicised voting, particularly as it has grown in popularity in eastern Europe and Russia, where the event is taken very seriously.

A fan of competition and eager to show off its global standing, Russia has evidenced growing love of Eurovision since the pop star Dima Bilan won the event in 2008. That same year Ireland sent a turkey puppet to compete in the event.

This year Denmark's Emmelie de Forest won with 281 points for her song Only Teardrops, well ahead of Azerbaijan's Farid Mammadov who came second.

IRS Gate

IRS Senate Hearings

Senator Wyden {D} about the political use of non profits

Perhaps this was all set up to get rid of secret donors and money in the 2014 mid terms?

Day 2

New MSNBC theory: Maybe the IRS commissioner appointed by Bush targeted tea partiers because they're a threat to the GOP Hot Air

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Wed, 22 May 2013 10:19

posted at 6:41 pm on May 20, 2013 by Allahpundit

Fun from MSNBC's early afternoon ''news'' bloc of programming via Noah Rothman. The logic is ironclad and inexorable: Doug Shulman, appointed IRS commissioner by Bush in March 2008, was so fiercely loyal to his Beltway Republican masters that he decided to risk his career to kneecap conservative insurgents' nonprofits in 2010 '... even though Bush had left office more than a year before and the GOP establishment he represented was widely loathed by pretty much everyone in America. Oh, and even though (again per Rothman) Shulman himself has donated to the DNC in the past. Say it with me, guys: This. Is. A. Republican. Scandal.

In the same spirit of half-assed spitballing/''news,'' how's this for an alternate theory: Shulman tacitly approved of the tea-party targeting because he was eager to prove himself a loyal soldier to a new Democratic administration that might have been suspicious of his Bush pedigree. After hearing tea partiers impugned a thousand times by Dem officials and liberal media outlets '-- none more so than MSNBC '-- maybe he got it in his head that singling out these right-wing would-be domestic terrorists was the patriotic (and career-furthering) thing to do. Slightly more plausible, yes? As theories go, I'd say it's 51-percent-assed. Soon we'll get to hear Shulman's side of it when he's inevitably subpoenaed by Darrell Issa's committee. And, almost as inevitably, his testimony won't be carried live by MSNBC.

Update: How embarrassing is this? Dude:

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CHARITIES RUN BY THE SPIES?

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Archived Version

Source: aangirfan

Wed, 22 May 2013 00:26

Are charities being taken over by the spies?In 1991, in the UK, Duncan and Jenni Dyason watched a TV documentary about street children in Guatemala being shot dead by the police.They set up the Toybox Charity to help street children.

Toybox now works in Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru and El Salvador.However, Toybox appears to be changing.Duncan and Jenni no longer work for Toybox.1. The new boss of Toybox is Lynne Morris.Lynne worked for World Vision for over 12 years

2. Jeni York is now a Toybox Trustee.Jeni was Human Resources Director at World Vision for 21 years.3. Ian Gray is now Toybox's International Programmes Director.Ian was Associate Director, Policy and Programme Innovation at World Vision.World Vision is alleged to be a CIA-front organisation."USAID is 'the humanitarian arm of the CIA' and Americares has been singled out as well. "World Vision is also a CIA front." Many Faces of the CIA

Bolivian President Evo Morales orders expulsion of USAID - CNN

It appears that large international charities such as World Vision are in fact intelligence cut-out operations for clandestine mind-control operations and other counter-intelligence activities around the world.

"World Vision employee, Mark David Chapman, worked at their Haitian refugee camp in Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas.

"He was later to gain infamy as the assassin of John Lennon in New York City.

"World Vision works with refugees worldwide."At the Honduran border, they are present in camps used by American CIA to recruit mercenaries against Nicaragua.

"They were at Sabra and Shatilla, camps in Lebanon where fascist Phalange massacred the Palestinians.

"Their representatives in the Cuban refugee camps on the east coast included members of the Bay of Pigs operation, CIA-financed mercenaries from Omega 7 and Alpha 66.

"Are they being used as a worldwide cover for the recruitment and training of these killers?

"They are, as mentioned earlier, working to repopulate Jonestown with Laotians who served as mercenaries for our CIA."

CIA Cults and the Global Brainwashing Experiment: The Untold Story ...www.sott.net

Many charities are fronts for the CIA and its friends.

1. In early September 2012, Pakistan ordered foreigners working for Save the Children to leave Pakistan.Pakistan stated that Save the Children was being used by Western spies.A doctor accused of assisting the CIA claimed that Save the Children had introduced him to US intelligence officers.Child actors? Propaganda for the CIA? A Save the Children film.2. On 25 September 2012, Save the Children produced what appears to be a piece of propaganda for the CIA.The charity has released Untold Atrocities, a collection of alleged 'first-hand accounts' from children and parents allegedly receiving help from Save the Children after fleeing Syria."The six-year-old son of an anti-government activist is abducted, then starved and beaten to death. The new report by the UK charity Save the Children documents these and other alleged atrocities."

Save the Children has been refused permission to enter Syria.

Save the Children is on the ground on Syria's borders.

Justin Forsyth (left) with Andrew Mitchell (Andrew Mitchell 'plebs' comment)Justin Forsyth became chief executive of Save the Children in July 2012.

Forsyth is a former adviser to Tony Blair.

He is also a former communications director to Gordon Brown.

The former boss of Save the Children was Jasmine Whitbread, who previously worked for Oxfam. 3. Oxfam, like several other charities, has been accused of being a front for the UK security service MI6."In the early 1970s, the Tamil Tigers began establishing training camps and secret arms caches under the cover of a chain of Refugee and Rehabilitation Farms of the Gandhian Society."Funds for the farms came from Oxfam, one of the most powerful and secretive British intelligence organizations acting under non-governmental organization cover...

"John Glover, a British feature writer, wrote to the Western Mail in Wales about the ongoing and future training programs for Tamil youth by British mercenaries.

"A band of mercenary soldiers recruited in South Wales is training a Tamil army to fight for a separate state in Sri Lanka.

4. Reporter Andrew Geoghegan visited his 14 year old sponsored child in Ethiopia.The girl has "been part of a World Vision program all her life" yet said "until recently, I didn't know I had a sponsor."

And when asked about her knowledge of World Vision sponsorship she said "Last time they gave me this jacket and a pen."

Geoghegan was disconcerted to find that despite being "told by World Vision that the girl waslearning English at school, and was improving... she speaks no English at all."

(Geoghegan, Andrew "Ethiopia - The Endless Famine", Foreign Correspondent, 25 November 2008, series 18, episode 22, Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Sabra and Shatila.

World Vision reportedly is a front for the CIA.

(http://www.oilempire.us/reagan.html)World Vision "ran the refugee camp in Sabra-Shatillawhere the fascist Phalange were allowed in to kill the Palestinians...

"They ran the Cuban and Thai refugee camps in the United States.

"Mark David Chapman, who eventually shot John Lennon, worked at the Thai refugee camps out in Arkansas that World Vision operated there.

"They ran these camps brutally, forcing people into political education against Castro, refusing to feed people, beating people...

"The chairman of the board for some period was John W. Hinkley Sr..

"The son worked at Fort Chafey at the Thai refugee camps."There were pictures of him after the Reagan shooting running in his World Vision T-shirt around the edge of the camp...

"Scott was already doing the wheeling and dealing and was tight with Neil Bush..."

Jonestown - linked to the CIA and World VisionAnd what about the Jonestown Massacre and World Vision?

(Source: Jonestown Massacre by Fiona Steel, published at Court TV's Crime Library)Allegedly Jonestown was part of a CIA mind-control program: the CIA infiltrated The People's Temple, to carry out their experiments.

CIA theorists claim that Jim Jones had many questionable associations with the CIA throughout the years he was establishing The People's Temple.

The Temple had a strong association with the World Vision organisation that many believe to be another CIA front.

(http://www.crimelibrary.com/8)

"Jim Jones had a very interesting past which was overlooked by the media: Jones was ... sent to Brazil where his house, transportation and groceries were provided to him by the U.S. Embassy, and he frequently traveled to Belo Horizonte, the CIA headquarters in Brazil.

"Jones had been contacted in Ukiah by 'Christian missionaries' from World Vision(World Vision is a CIA controlled front operation), an evangelical order which had performed espionage work for the CIA in Southeast Asia."

(http://www.subversiveelement.com/Firefromsky20.html)

Duncroft School, run by Barnardos

5. Barnardo's is a UK children's charity.Sir Jimmy Savile used to abuse children at one of their children's homes called Duncroft.Serious child abuse took place at a number of Barnardo's homes over the years.Some children's homes in the UK, such as Kincora and Bryn Estyn, have reportedly been used by the security services as boy brothels.JIMMY SAVILE - USA AND EUROPE - DUTROUX, BONACCI ...6. Larry King got children for his child abuse ring from Boys Town, Omaha.

Child victims said that King took part in the satanic ritual murder of children. (Franklin Credit Union Child-Sex Scandal)The "Washington Post", "New York Times", "Village Voice" and "National Law Journal" referred to the accusations.

King was linked to Iran-Contra.

King was said to have provided the CIA with information gained from the users of the child sex ring.

Several of the Omaha child victims testified that they had traveled to Washington with King in private planes to attend political events and sex parties.Omaha's top daily newspaper reported, "One child, who has been under psychiatric care, is said to believe she saw George Bush at one of King's parties."

(Franklin Credit Union Child-Sex Scandal)David Miliband, whose brother Ed is expected to be the next prime minister of the UK.

7.David Miliband was the UK government minister responsible for the UK spy service MI6.Now he is to head the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a charity based in the USA, with operations in over 40 countries.

The IRC provides "emergency relief, post-conflict development and resettlement services."

The IRC is reported to be a CIA front organisation."Ford Foundation archives reveal a raft of joint Foundation-CIA projects."The most prominent of these CIA fronts are the Eastern European Fund, the Congress for Cultural Freedom, and International Rescue Committee."international rescue committee The Most Revolutionary Act

Anonymous comments:

A quick look a wiki page of this so called charity told me what they were. This charity was where the US-trained death squads were active in the 80s and 90s.

Oh, and those loving humanitarians Albright and Kissinger are involved; while on the board sit the great and good of the corporate world: representatives JP Morgan and American Express!

Monsantooo

Mysterious respiratory disease infects 7 in southeast Alabama, 2 dead.

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Archived Version

Source: DaDenMan news feed

Thu, 23 May 2013 07:31

Montgomery, Alabama (CBS/AP) -- A mysterious respiratory illness of unknown origin has killed two people in southeast Alabama and put five more in the hospital.

A May 21 statement from the Alabama Department of Public Health says that seven people have been admitted to a hospital with a fever, cough and shortness of breath in recent weeks.

State and local health departments are investigated the disease cluster in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Laboratory samples have been obtained from all the patients and testing continues, according to the statement.

Dr. Mary McIntyre, spokesperson for the Alabama Department of Public Health, said the illness was first reported late last week and the last of the seven patients was hospitalized Monday.

McIntyre says officials hope to have preliminary results on the samples back by Wednesday or Thursday morning.

Hospital staffers have been told to wear N95 breathing masks and take other precautions when caring for patients who have respiratory symptoms. It is unclear at this time which hospital received the patients and which municipalities the illnesses were concentrated in.

"We're only aware of the Southeast, but we don't know - we haven't received reports from anywhere else," McIntyre said. "That's why we're trying to get the information out."

McIntyre said it's unclear what's causing the illness but some of the seven patients also had the flu.

The CDC referred all questions to Alabama health officials.

Mysterious Illness Kills 2 in Southeast Alabama - ABC News

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Wed, 22 May 2013 07:49

A mysterious respiratory illness has left five people hospitalized and two dead in southeast Alabama, state health officials said Tuesday.

Seven people have been admitted to hospitals with a fever, cough and shortness of breath in recent weeks, Alabama Department of Public Health spokeswoman Mary McIntyre said in a statement.

Two of the seven have died. The Alabama Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control Respiratory Laboratory are analyzing lab tests from all seven patients. McIntyre says officials hope to have preliminary results on the samples back by Wednesday or Thursday morning.

The illness was first reported late last week and the last of the seven patients was hospitalized Monday, McIntyre said.

It wasn't immediately clear which municipalities the illnesses were concentrated in.

"We're only aware of the Southeast, but we don't know '-- we haven't received reports from anywhere else," McIntyre said. "That's why we're trying to get the information out."

McIntyre said it's unclear what's causing the illness but some of the seven patients also had the flu. Authorities are urging hospital staff to wear masks when caring for patients who appear to be suffering from respiratory illnesses.

The Centers for Disease Control referred all questions to Alabama health officials.

Scientists Discover Bt Toxins Found In Monsanto Crops Damage Red Blood Cells | Collective-Evolution

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Wed, 22 May 2013 07:51

Studies are showing that Bt toxins found in Monsanto crops are harmful to mammalian blood by damaging red blood cells and more. RBC's are responsible for delivering oxygen to the body tissues through blood flow.

Bacillus thuringensis (Bt) is a bacterium commonly used as a biological pesticide. It is a microorganism that produces toxic chemicals. It occurs naturally in the environment, and is usually isolated from soil, insects and plant surfaces. Prior to this study, Bt was thought to be toxic only to insects, but recent studies are proving otherwise.

Dr. Mezzomo and his team of Scientists from the Department of Genetics and Morphology and the Institute of Biological Sciences, at University of Brasilia recently published a study that involved Bacillus thuringensis (Bt toxin) and its effects on mammalian blood. According to the study, the ''Cry'' toxins that are found in Monsanto's GMO crops like corn and soy, are much more toxic to mammals than previously thought. The study was published in the Journal of Hematology and Thromboembolic Diseases(1).

We do not support animal testing, and think it is unnecessary. It should really be a no brainer that GMO crops cause significant damage to human health. Studies that don't require animal testing have already proven the dangers of GMO consumption. This study unfortunately required the use of Swiss Albino Mice if Bt was to be properly examined. At the same time, most of us know that the existence of GMOs is completely unnecessary.

Advances in genetic engineering promise the expression of multiple Cry toxins in Bt-plants, known as gene pyramiding. Therefore, studies on non-target species are requirements of international protocols to verify the adverse effects of these toxins, ensuring human and environmental biosafety.

Due to its growing use in agricultural activities, Bt presence hasalready been detected in different environmental compartments such as soil and water. Consequently, the bioavailability of Cry proteins has increased, and for biosafety reasons their adverse effects might be studied, mainly for non-target organisms. Studies are therefore needed to evaluate Bt toxicity to non-target organisms; the persistence of Bt toxin and its stability in aquatic environments; and the risks to humans and animals exposed to potentially toxic levels of Bt through their diet.(1)

Thus, we aimed to evaluate, in Swiss albino mice, the hematotoxicity and genotoxicity of four Bt spore-crystals'...

Scientists tested levels ranging from 27 mg to 270 mg over a seven day period, it was remarkably evident that the Cry toxins were hemotoxic, even at the lowest doses administered. Hemotoxins destroy red blood cells, disrupt blood clotting and cause organ degeneration and tissue damage.

The number of RBC's, (red blood cells) as well as their size, were significantly reduced, and so were the levels of hemoglobin for oxygen to attach to. Every factor regarding RBC's indicated some level of damage for all levels of toxin administered and across all cry proteins. The tests clearly demonstrated that Cry proteins resulting from the Bt toxin were cytotoxic (quality of being toxic to cells) to bone marrow cells. Studies contiually show that these proteins kill blood cells bytargeting the cell membranes of RBC's.

Cry1Ab (the protein produced in common Bt corn and soy) induced microcytic hypochromic anemia in mice, even at the lowest tested dose of 27 mg/Kg, and this toxin has been detected in blood of non-pregnant women, pregnant women and their fetuses in Canada, supposedly exposed through diet [34]. These data, as well as increased bioavailability of these MCA in the environment, reinforce the need for more research, especially given that little is known about spore crystals' adverse effects on non-target species (1)

Dr. Mezzomo and his team are not the only group of scientists to discover the harmful effects of Bt toxins. Professor Joe Cummins, Professor Emeritus of Genetics at the University of Western Ontario has also studied it (2)(3)(4). He concluded that that there is sufficient evidence that the Bt toxin will impact directly on human health through damaging the ileum, which is the final section of the small intestine that is responsible for the absorption of vitamin B12. He also points out that the Bt cry toxin gene has not been proven to be the same as the natural bacterial gene. As mentioned in the first paragraph, it occurs naturally in the environment, usually isolated from soil, insects and plant surfaces.

It seems that everyday brings forth new information regarding GMO's. We have so much evidence that points to just how harmful these foods are, yet they continue to be mass produced and the corporations that develop them are constantly protected. The truth still remains, you still have a choice as to what you put into your body. I encourage everybody reading this to further their research, most 'industries' we have on the planet today really aren't necessary, we are just made to believe that they are.

Sources:

http://gmoevidence.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/JHTD-1-104.pdf (1)

http://www.gefree.org.nz/assets/pdf/joecummins.pdf(4)

http://www.biotech-info.net/bt_cummins.html(2)

http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Bt-toxin.php(3)

http://occupymonsanto360.org/2013/05/06/new-study-proves-bt-toxins-in-gmos-toxic-to-mammalian-blood/

http://www.nationofchange.org/new-study-proves-bt-toxins-gmos-toxic-mammalian-blood-1367936953

Institute for Responsible Technology - 65 Health Risks of GM Foods

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Archived Version

Wed, 22 May 2013 07:50

Section 1: Evidence of reactions in animals and humans

1.1 GM potatoes damaged rats1. Rats were fed potatoes engineered to produce their own insecticide.2. They developed potentially precancerous cell growth in the digestive tract, inhibited development of their brains, livers and testicles, partial atrophy of the liver, enlarged pancreases and intestines and immune system damage.3. The cause was not the insecticide, but in all likelihood was the process of genetic engineering.4. GM foods on the market½which were created with the same process½have not been subject to such an extensive testing protocol.

1.2 Rats fed GM tomatoes got bleeding stomachs, several died1. Rats were fed the GM FlavrSavr tomato for 28 days.2. Seven of 20 rats developed stomach lesions (bleeding stomachs); another 7 of 40 died within two weeks and were replaced in the study.3. The tomato was approved despite unresolved safety questions by FDA scientists.

1.3 Rats fed Bt corn had multiple health problems1. Rats were fed Monsanto's Mon 863 Bt corn for 90 days.2. They showed significant changes in their blood cells, livers and kidneys, which might indicate disease.3. Although experts demanded follow-up, Monsanto used unscientific, contradictory arguments to dismiss concerns.

1.4 Mice fed GM Bt potatoes had intestinal damage1. Mice were fed either GM potatoes engineered to produce the Bt-toxin or natural potatoes spiked with Bt-toxin.2. Both diets created abnormal and excessive cell growth in the lower part of their small intestine (ileum).3. Similar damage to the human small intestine might result in incontinence or flu-like symptoms, and may be precancerous.4. This study overturns the assumptions that Bt-toxin is destroyed during digestion and is not biologically active in mammals.

1.5 Workers exposed to Bt cotton developed allergies1. Agricultural laborers in six villages who picked or loaded Bt cotton reported reactions of the skin, eyes and upper respiratory tract.2. Some laborers required hospitalization.3. Employees at a cotton gin factory take antihistamines everyday.4. One doctor treated about 250 cotton laborers

1.6 Sheep died after grazing in Bt cotton fields1. After the cotton harvest in parts of India, sheep herds grazed continuously on Bt cotton plants.2. Reports from four villages revealed that about 25% of the sheep died within a week.3. Post mortem studies suggest a toxic reaction.

1.7 Inhaled Bt corn pollen may have triggered disease in humans1. In 2003, approximately 100 people living next to a Bt cornfield in the Philippines developed skin, respiratory, intestinal reactions and other symptoms while the corn was shedding pollen.2. Blood tests of 39 people showed an antibody response to Bt-toxin, which supports½but does not prove½a link.3. The symptoms reappeared in 2004 in at least four other villages that planted the same corn variety.4. Villagers also attribute several animal deaths to the corn.

1.8 Farmers report pigs and cows became sterile from GM corn1. More than 20 farmers in North America report that pigs fed GM corn varieties had low conception rates, false pregnancies or gave birth to bags of water.2. Both male and female pigs became sterile.3. Some farmers also report sterility among cows.

1.9 Twelve cows in Germany died mysteriously when fed Bt corn1. Twelve dairy cows died on a farm in Hesse Germany, after being fed a diet with significant amounts of a single GM corn variety, Bt 176.2. Other cows in the herd had to be killed due to some mysterious illness.3. Syngenta, the producers of Bt 176, compensated the farmer for part of his losses, but did not admit responsibility for the cow deaths.4. In spite of demands by the farmer and even public protests, no detailed autopsy reports were made available.

1.10 Mice fed Roundup Ready soy had liver cell problems1. The liver cells of mice fed Roundup Ready soybeans showed significant changes.2. Irregularly shaped nuclei and nucleoli, an increased number of nuclear pores and other changes, all suggest higher metabolism and altered patterns of gene expression.3. The changes may be in response to a toxin.4. Most of the effects disappeared when GM soy was removed from the diet.

1.11 Mice fed Roundup Ready soy had problems with the pancreas1. Mice fed GM soy showed changes in the synthesis and processing of digestive enzymes.2. The production of alpha-amylase, a major digestive enzyme, dropped by as much as 77%.3. This, combined with other pancreatic changes, suggests that GM soy may interfere with digestion and assimilation, as well as alter gene expression.

1.12 Mice fed Roundup Ready soy had unexplained changes in testicular cells1. The structure and gene expression pattern of testicle cells of mice fed Roundup Ready soybeans changed significantly.2. The cause for the changes is unknown, but the testicles are sensitive indicators of toxins.3. Some of the changes might possibly influence adult fertility as well as the health of the offspring.4. Mouse embryos from GM-fed mothers did show a temporary decrease in gene expression.

1.13 Roundup Ready Soy Changed Cell Metabolism in Rabbit Organs1. Rabbits fed GM soy for about 40 days showed significant differences in the amounts of certain enzymes in their kidneys, hearts and livers.2. A rise in LDH1 levels in all three organs suggests an increase in cellular metabolism.3. Changes in other enzymes point to other alterations in the organs.

1.14 Most offspring of rats fed Roundup Ready soy died within three weeks1. Female rats were fed Roundup Ready soy starting before conception and continuing through pregnancy and weaning.2. Of the offspring, 55.6% died within three weeks compared to 9% from non-GM soy controls.3. Some pups from GM-fed mothers were significantly smaller and both mothers and pups were more aggressive.4. In a separate study, after a lab began feeding rats a commercial diet containing GM soy, offspring mortality reached 55.3%.5. When offspring from GM-fed rats were mated together, they were unable to conceive.

1.15 Soy allergies skyrocketed in the UK, soon after GM soy was introduced1. In a single year, 1999, soy allergies in the UK jumped from 10% to 15% of the sampled population.2. GM soy was imported into the country shortly before 1999.3. Antibody tests verify that some individuals react differently to GM and non-GM soy varieties.4. GM soy also has an increased concentration of a known allergen

1.16 Rats fed Roundup Ready canola had heavier livers1. The livers of rats fed GM canola were 12-16% heavier than those fed non-GM varieties.2. The liver is a chemical factory and primary detoxifier for the body.3. Heavier livers may indicate liver disease or inflammation.4. If this were caused by oil-soluble toxins, they may be present in canola oil.

1.17 Twice the number of chickens died when fed Liberty Link corn1. The death rate for chickens fed Chardon LL GM corn for 42 days was 7%, compared to 3.5% for controls.2. GM-fed chickens also had more erratic body weight and food intake, and less weight gain overall.3. The study was designed so that only huge differences would be statistically significant.4. The results were therefore dismissed without follow-up.

1.18 GM peas generated an allergic-type inflammatory response in mice1. In advanced tests not normally part of GM crop evaluations, protein produced by GM peas generated a dangerous immune response in mice.2. That "same" protein, when produced naturally in beans, had no effect.3. The GM peas produced a subtle, hard-to-detect difference in the way sugar molecules attached to the protein, which likely caused the problem.4. The response in mice suggested that the GM peas could provoke inflammatory or allergic reactions in humans; commercialization of the peas was therefore cancelled.5. This type of subtle but dangerous change in the GM protein would rarely, if ever, be detected in the safety assessments typically used to approve GM crops.

1.19 Eyewitness reports: Animals avoid GMOs1. When given a choice, several animals avoided eating GM food.2. In farmer-run tests, cows and pigs repeatedly passed up GM corn.3. Animals that avoided GM food include cows, pigs, geese, squirrels, elk, deer, raccoons, mice and rats.

1.20 A GM food supplement killed about 100 people and caused 5,000-10,000 to fall sick1. One brand of the supplement L-tryptophan created a deadly US epidemic in the 1980s2. The company genetically engineered bacteria to produce the supplement more economically.3. Their product contained many contaminants, five or six of which were suspected as the cause of the disease.4. Discovering the epidemic required multiple coincidences, suggesting that adverse reactions to GM foods may be hard to identify.

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Sandy Hook Nothing to See Here!

Secretly Drafted CT Bill: Sandy Hook Details Would Remain Blocked

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: BlackListedNews.com

Thu, 23 May 2013 07:20

Source: Hartford CourantA secretly drafted bill to block release of photos, tapes of 911 calls and death certificates related to the Dec. 14 Newtown elementary school massacre could be acted on in the General Assembly as early as the end of the week, officials said Wednesday.

Family members of victims would have discretion over release of some of the records.

A draft of the bill was released Wednesday afternoon by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's office, which has been working behind the scenes in recent weeks on drafting the language with legislative leaders and the office of the state's top prosecutor, Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane.

Word of the planned legislation was kept from the public until Tuesday, when The Courant obtained a copy of an email written by a Kane assistant that said Malloy's legal staff told him a draft of a "special act" would be quickly "forthcoming."

A Courant story about the secret plan to withhold information on the Newtown investigation has sparked intense interest and concern in Connecticut and nationwide '-- based both on what the bill would do and the way it was put together outside the normal legislative process, without a public hearing.

Read More...

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RYOT News >> Man who oversees Sandy Hook fund and One Fund among others says work is wrenching

Link to Article

Archived Version

Wed, 22 May 2013 10:53

By JAY LINDSAY, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) '-- His work has immersed him in events that read like a roster of recent catastrophes, from 9/11 to the Gulf oil spill. Now, Kenneth Feinberg is adding the Boston Marathon bombings to that list.

The Massachusetts native and attorney is managing the payouts from The One Fund, which was established to help victims of the explosions that killed three and injured 260.

Feinberg is experienced dealing with people facing profound loss, but he doesn't seek the work.

''I must tell you every time I do one, you say to yourself, 'God I hope this is the last one,'' he said.

Feinberg handled victims' compensation after 9/11, the BP oil spill, the Virginia Tech shootings and the Colorado movie theater shootings, among other calamities.

He's now advising a panel distributing money after the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., and mediating Penn State's settlement discussions with the sex abuse victims of former football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Article Brought To You By

The experiences are wrenching, he said. And recipients invariably resent him, thinking he's trying to put a price on the priceless things they've lost.

''Don't expect thanks or appreciation or gratitude, none of that,'' Feinberg said. ''We have very emotional victims and you're offering them money instead of a limb, instead of the return of a family member. This is a no-win situation.''

He keeps saying yes in the same spirit of those who donate, he said.

''Look at the amount of money that pours in from private people, private citizens,'' he said. ''How do you say no if the governor calls, the mayor?''

The 67-year-old Feinberg is a native of Brockton, about 20 miles south of Boston, and his Washington D.C. firm specializes in mediation and dispute resolution. In 1984, a judge appointed him to distribute money from a $180 million settlement for veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange. His work on that project got notice from President George W. Bush's administration, which asked him to manage the 9/11 victims' compensation fund.

Since then, the calls have come regularly.

Most of his work is pro bono, including the Boston Marathon job. But Feinberg is being paid for the Penn State job and was paid by BP after the oil spill '-- a job that saw Feinberg absorb significant abuse. In his 2012 book, ''Who Gets What,'' he said he became a ''human pinata.'' Residents complained about the speed and distribution of the payouts, and insults flew at public meetings. ''You are such a lying piece of (garbage),'' one person told him.

Lawyers, meanwhile, scoffed at his vigorous declarations of independence from BP, which he still makes.

''The spin was that he was independent, but he was working for BP, that's just the way it is,'' said attorney Anthony Tarricone, now of the Boston firm Kreindler & Kreindler, who represented both BP and 9/11 families.

But Tarricone called Feinberg the perfect person to manage the Boston fund, citing both his legal skills and his respectful manner with the 9/11 families.

''He was fair, he listened to the families, the families felt as if they were being listened to, and that he was understanding what they were going through,'' Tarricone said.

Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, who appointed Feinberg to handle the 9/11 fund, said Feinberg balances compassion with vigilance in managing the money.

''I can't say exactly how he handles it emotionally and psychologically. I just know that he does it professionally,'' Ashcroft said. ''I don't think the world would keep going back, knocking on his door, saying, 'Ken, we need you again,' if they were displeased.''

The One Fund had notched more than $26 million by Saturday. Its eventual total will determine exactly who can be helped. For instance, compensation for deaths is the top priority, followed by compensation for physical injuries. Payment for psychological damages comes only if there's money left, Feinberg said.

In Boston, Feinberg will be dealing with complex injuries, such as numerous amputations, including cases where victims lost both legs. Feinberg hopes to be ready to meet with families by June 15 and get checks out by June 30.

By then, he'll have immersed himself in Boston's stories, and all the senseless pain and loss. The classical music aficionado will also likely have relied on the refuge offered in the music of composers he cherishes.

''During the day, I'm working on a project that shows you how uncivilized some people can be and how they willy-nilly, at random, kill and maim people,'' he said. ''And at night you turn on Mozart, and it's the height of civilization.''

It helps him recognize, he said, ''that mankind isn't all bad.''

RYOT NOTE: This guy has a tough job, and we're pretty familiar with some of the difficulties he faces. While we need never attempt to dissuade someone from donating to the one fund, RYOT has established our fund for the Boston Marathon bombing victims, and you can be certain every penny of every dollar will go to the victims. We'll even follow up with you on this very website so you know exactly where the funds went and why we chose to send them there. Just click on the gray box alongside this story to learn more and to make a donation.

Bengahzi

Roger L. Simon >> PJM EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Diplomats Report New Benghazi Whistleblowers with Info Devastating to Clinton and Obama

Link to Article

Archived Version

Wed, 22 May 2013 09:30

More whistleblowers will emerge shortly in the escalating Benghazi scandal, according to two former U.S. diplomats who spoke with PJ Media Monday afternoon.

These whistleblowers, colleagues of the former diplomats, are currently securing legal counsel because they work in areas not fully protected by the Whistleblower law.

According to the diplomats, what these whistleblowers will say will be at least as explosive as what we have already learned about the scandal, including details about what really transpired in Benghazi that are potentially devastating to both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

The former diplomats inform PJM the new revelations concentrate in two areas '-- what Ambassador Chris Stevens was actually doing in Benghazi and the pressure put on General Carter Ham, then in command of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and therefore responsible for Libya, not to act to protect jeopardized U.S. personnel.

Stevens' mission in Benghazi, they will say, was to buy back Stinger missiles from al-Qaeda groups issued to them by the State Department, not by the CIA. Such a mission would usually be a CIA effort, but the intelligence agency had opposed the idea because of the high risk involved in arming ''insurgents'' with powerful weapons that endanger civilian aircraft.

Hillary Clinton still wanted to proceed because, in part, as one of the diplomats said, she wanted ''to overthrow Gaddafi on the cheap.''

This left Stevens in the position of having to clean up the scandalous enterprise when it became clear that the ''insurgents'' actually were al-Qaeda '' indeed, in the view of one of the diplomats, the same group that attacked the consulate and ended up killing Stevens.

The former diplomat who spoke with PJ Media regarded the whole enterprise as totally amateurish and likened it to the Mike Nichols film Charlie Wilson's War about a clueless congressman who supplies Stingers to the Afghan guerrillas. ''It's as if Hillary and the others just watched that movie and said 'Hey, let's do that!''' the diplomat said.

He added that he and his colleagues think the leaking of General David Petraeus' affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell was timed to silence the former CIA chief on these matters.

Regarding General Ham, military contacts of the diplomats tell them that AFRICOM had Special Ops ''assets in place that could have come to the aid of the Benghazi consulate immediately (not in six hours).''

Ham was told by the White House not to send the aid to the trapped men, but Ham decided to disobey and did so anyway, whereupon the White House ''called his deputy and had the deputy threaten to relieve Ham of his command.''

The White House motivation in all this is as yet unclear, but it is known that Ham retired quietly in April 2013 as head of AFRICOM.

PJ Media recognizes this is largely hearsay, but the two diplomats sounded quite credible. One of them was in a position of responsibility in a dangerous area of Iraq in 2004.

We will report more as we learn it.

Twisters

Twisters historically from NOAA

Tornado Lockdowns

Update

Thanks Adam. I found out from someone in the Moore school district

that about 30-45 mins before the tornado hit, the Moore school district

put out an automated call to parents to come pick up their children.

That's why there were so few children there.

But

the OKC school district policy called for locking everyone down

DISTRICT WIDE (covering over 130 square miles) when there was NO

threat.

My wife also informed me that one

father at her school DID take his child during the lockdown, against the

"authority" of the principal.

Adam,

I live a few miles from the horrible tornado devastation that happened today in Oklahoma and wanted to share my frustration and anger with the situation that unfolded. I believe that many of the people who perished did so because of government led emergency protocols, much the same way that many children would perish in a school shooting because of mandatory lockdown procedures. You've discussed how locking the children in the schools would make them sitting ducks if there was a shooter on the prowl. Well, the procedure is much the same in regard to tornado dangers. Today, the worst case scenario happened: two schools were wiped out and many children perished. And they did so AFTER school was out!

I received a call from the Oklahoma City Public School System at 3:03pm stating that the students would not be released from school "until further notice" due to the tornado warning that was in effect. This was a CITY wide policy in both Oklahoma City and Moore, even though there was only one tornado forming, outside of Oklahoma City in Newcastle. (OKC, Moore and Newcastle are all part of the OKC metro). THOUSANDS of children in OKC and Moore were in NO danger and were being held prisoner in their schools. Parents were at the schools trying to pick up their children and were not allowed to take them once the city Giant Voice tornado siren began to blare. It's district policy! This, obviously, frustrated many of the parents, but they maintained calm and did as good slaves do. Luckily for me, my children get out at 2:20, so we were already safe at home. Had the school tried to do this to me, I would've used force if necessary to remove my children from the premises as I am responsible for them. They are MY children and don't belong to the school district, and I am equipped to keep them safe.

My wife works for the OKC school district and was told she could not leave at her normal time either, and was witness to the parent's frustration with the policy. She decided not to leave because she wanted to help keep the children and parents calm. Thankfully for us, new tornadoes didn't form and hit Oklahoma City. Again, Moore was not so lucky.

Ken

NWO

Atlas Shrugged

Apple Senate Hearing

Rand Paul calls them heroes

Levin is Wesley Mouch

EU wants big companies to reveal national tax bills

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: Reuters: Technology News

Thu, 23 May 2013 07:30

Apple Operations International, a subsidiary of Apple Inc, is seen in Hollyhill, Cork, in the south of Ireland in this October 6, 2011 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Michael MacSweeney/files

By John O'Donnell

BRUSSELS | Thu May 23, 2013 7:57am EDT

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europe's top regulatory official is seeking to force large companies to disclose how much tax they pay in each country where they operate, a measure some politicians say could curb tax avoidance.

Michel Barnier, the European commissioner in charge of drafting business regulation, said in a speech in Amsterdam that rules which will force banks to report their profits, taxes and subsidies by country from 2015 should be extended to cover other companies.

"We will expand these reporting obligations to large companies and groups," he said on Thursday.

Corporate tax avoidance has become a big international political issue over the last year and was given new impetus this week by a U.S. Senate report into Apple Inc.

The report said Apple, a multinational business, paid little or no tax on tens of billions of dollars in profits channeled through Irish subsidiaries that were tax resident in no country.

The extent to which Apple had avoided taxes had not been made public because companies do not have to report revenues, profits or taxes on a national basis.

Apple said it pays all the tax due in every country where it operates.

Tax campaigners, who have been emboldened by public anger at media reports of widespread corporate tax avoidance at a time of austerity, say naming and shaming low tax payers will deter avoidance.

U.S. coffee chain Starbucks agreed to pay an additional 20 million pounds in UK tax last year, after a Reuters investigation showed it assured investors the country was a profitable market after telling tax authorities its operations there lost money.

Big business is strongly opposed to country-by-country reporting which companies say would impose unreasonable administrative burdens.

It could be made law by simply amending the existing proposal on non-financial reporting, one European Union official said.

That would make it possible to introduce the rules by 2015, subject to negotiations between member states and the European Parliament to finalize any new legislation.

The EU agreed earlier this year to force European banks to report profit on a country-by-country basis as part of measures to ensure they hold enough capital.

The U.S. and EU have also agreed to force mining and oil companies to publish tax and other payments to resource-rich nations, to reduce corruption.

Denmark already publishes information on big companies' tax payments, tax advisers said.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an international advisory body, has said the practice of companies shifting profits out of countries where they are earned into tax havens was growing.

The G20 group of leading economies has asked the OECD to consider proposals to tackle the problem and the think tank is due to issue a report in July.

Prime Minister David Cameron has said corporate tax avoidance will be discussed at the annual summit of the Group of Eight leading industrial economies, which Britain is hosting next month in Northern Ireland.

However, officials have downplayed the likelihood that firm measures will be put forward, since the meeting is in advance of the OECD planned report.

Britain has said it backs additional disclosure by companies about their tax affairs, on a voluntary basis.

(Additional reporting by Tom Bergin; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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War on Printers

http://namii.org/ unavailable outside the USA

Gestapo

VIDEO-Bing Webmaster: Duane Forrester Discusses Crawl Rate - Bing Videos

Link to Article

Archived Version

Wed, 22 May 2013 09:53

Tooltip Information:Guy clings to hood of truck while pleading for lady to call the cops

Video by:

Description:THE NOW video '' Usually Florida is known for these kinds of strange occurrences, but this bizarre highway action happened in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The grainy video was shot by a woman driving by, who noticed a man holding on for dear life to the hood of a truck next to her. All three of the participants in this video seem a little too relaxed given the circumstances, if you ask us. Baton Rouge police have since reported that it was actually all over a stolen shrimp-for-sale sign. It all makes so much more sense now, right?

Rating:3.36

Views:60301

LOOK AT SOME TIME CLAUSE-Bing Webmaster Tools Adds Malware Re-Evaluation & Geo-Targeting Tools

Link to Article

Archived Version

Wed, 22 May 2013 09:54

Bing announced two new features for Bing Webmaster Tools. First, you can now see more details on malware issues impacting your site and be able to submit a malware re-evaluation request. Second, you can now geo-target specific pages, directories or your whole site within Bing Webmaster Tools.

Bing Malware Re-EvaluationBing always had a notification of malware issues impacting your site. Bing, as does Google, will notify you if they detect malware on your site. Both search engines will also label the search results with a warning (or remove the result) so the searcher is aware and protected.

Now, Bing has added a ''malware re-evaluation'' process to aid the webmaster in not just discovering and fixing the malware issue on their site, but also communicating the fix to Bing. After you submit the re-evaluation request, Bing will show you the status and progress inside the Malware tool. During the review period, Microsoft will perform ''several deep re-scans.'' If all is clear after those several scans, Bing will notify you with an ''all clear'' notification and remove the malware label in the search results. If Bing still finds issues, then you will be notified of the failure and Bing said ''you will not be able to submit another re-evaluation request for some time.''

Here is a screen shot:

This feature is available within the Reports & Data section in Bing Webmaster Tools.

Geo-TargetingYou can now geo-target not just your whole site, as Google allows but also specific pages or sections of your site. You can geo-target your site at the domain level, subdomain level, directory level or page level.

Bing said they do this to offer more flexibility for multinational sites. This way they ''do not need to verify each section they want to geo-target separately.''

Here is a screen shot of the tool:

This feature is available within the Configure my Site section in Bing Webmaster Tools.

For more details on these two new features, see the Bing Blog.

Related Topics:Channel: SEO | Microsoft: Bing Webmaster Tools

Agenda 21

BBC News - Climate slowdown means extreme rates of warming 'not as likely'

Link to Article

Archived Version

Mon, 20 May 2013 14:36

19 May 2013Last updated at13:31 ETBy Matt McGrathEnvironment correspondent, BBC NewsScientists say the recent downturn in the rate of global warming will lead to lower temperature rises in the short-term.

Since 1998, there has been an unexplained "standstill" in the heating of the Earth's atmosphere.

Writing in Nature Geoscience, the researchers say this will reduce predicted warming in the coming decades.

But long-term, the expected temperature rises will not alter significantly.

Continue reading the main storyThe most extreme projections are looking less likely than before''

End QuoteDr Alexander OttoUniversity of OxfordThe slowdown in the expected rate of global warming has been studied for several years now. Earlier this year, the UK Met Office lowered their five-year temperature forecast.

But this new paper gives the clearest picture yet of how any slowdown is likely to affect temperatures in both the short-term and long-term.

An international team of researchers looked at how the last decade would impact long-term, equilibrium climate sensitivity and the shorter term climate response.

Transient natureClimate sensitivity looks to see what would happen if we doubled concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere and let the Earth's oceans and ice sheets respond to it over several thousand years.

Transient climate response is much shorter term calculation again based on a doubling of CO2.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported in 2007 that the short-term temperature rise would most likely be 1-3C (1.8-5.4F).

But in this new analysis, by only including the temperatures from the last decade, the projected range would be 0.9-2.0C.

"The hottest of the models in the medium-term, they are actually looking less likely or inconsistent with the data from the last decade alone," said Dr Alexander Otto from the University of Oxford.

"The most extreme projections are looking less likely than before."

The authors calculate that over the coming decades global average temperatures will warm about 20% more slowly than expected.

But when it comes to the longer term picture, the authors say their work is consistent with previous estimates. The IPCC said that climate sensitivity was in the range of 2.0-4.5C.

Ocean storageThis latest research, including the decade of stalled temperature rises, produces a range of 0.9-5.0C.

"It is a bigger range of uncertainty," said Dr Otto.

"But it still includes the old range. We would all like climate sensitivity to be lower but it isn't."

The researchers say the difference between the lower short-term estimate and the more consistent long-term picture can be explained by the fact that the heat from the last decade has been absorbed into and is being stored by the world's oceans.

Not everyone agrees with this perspective.

Prof Steven Sherwood, from the University of New South Wales, says the conclusion about the oceans needs to be taken with a grain of salt for now.

"There is other research out there pointing out that this storage may be part of a natural cycle that will eventually reverse, either due to El Nino or the so-called Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, and therefore may not imply what the authors are suggesting," he said.

The authors say there are ongoing uncertainties surrounding the role of aerosols in the atmosphere and around the issue of clouds.

"We would expect a single decade to jump around a bit but the overall trend is independent of it, and people should be exactly as concerned as before about what climate change is doing," said Dr Otto.

Is there any succour in these findings for climate sceptics who say the slowdown over the past 14 years means the global warming is not real?

"None. No comfort whatsoever," he said.

Follow Matt on Twitter.

Global warming debunked: NASA report verifies carbon dioxide actually cools atmosphere

Link to Article

Archived Version

Wed, 22 May 2013 23:50

(NaturalNews) Practically everything you have been told by the mainstream scientific community and the media about the alleged detriments of greenhouse gases, and particularly carbon dioxide, appears to be false, according to new data compiled by NASA's Langley Research Center. As it turns out, all those atmospheric greenhouse gases that Al Gore and all the other global warming hoaxers have long claimed are overheating and destroying our planet are actually cooling it, based on the latest evidence.As reported by Principia Scientific International (PSI), Martin Mlynczak and his colleagues over at NASA tracked infrared emissions from the earth's upper atmosphere during and following a recent solar storm that took place between March 8-10. What they found was that the vast majority of energy released from the sun during this immense coronal mass ejection (CME) was reflected back up into space rather than deposited into earth's lower atmosphere.

The result was an overall cooling effect that completely contradicts claims made by NASA's own climatology division that greenhouse gases are a cause of global warming. As illustrated by data collected using Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry (SABER), both carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitric oxide (NO), which are abundant in the earth's upper atmosphere, greenhouse gases reflect heating energy rather than absorb it.

"Carbon dioxide and nitric oxide are natural thermostats," says James Russell from Hampton University, who was one of the lead investigators for the groundbreaking SABER study. "When the upper atmosphere (or 'thermosphere') heats up, these molecules try as hard as they can to shed that heat back into space."

According to the data, up to 95 percent of solar radiation is literally bounced back into space by both CO2 and NO in the upper atmosphere. Without these necessary elements, in other words, the earth would be capable of absorbing potentially devastating amounts of solar energy that would truly melt the polar ice caps and destroy the planet."The shock revelation starkly contradicts the core proposition of the so-called greenhouse gas theory which claims that more CO2 means more warming for our planet," write H. Schreuder and J. O'Sullivan for PSI. "[T]his compelling new NASA data disproves that notion and is a huge embarrassment for NASA's chief climatologist, Dr. James Hansen and his team over at NASA's GISS."

Dr. Hansen, of course, is an outspoken global warming activist who helped spark man-made climate change hysteria in the U.S. back in 1988. Just after the release of the new SABER study, however, Dr. Hansen conveniently retired from his career as a climatologist at NASA, and reportedly now plans to spend his time "on science," and on "drawing attention to [its] implications for young people."

You can read more details of the new NASA SABER study by visiting:http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2012/22mar_saber/

You can also check out a informative, four-minute video report on the solar storm here:http://youtu.be/EEFQHDSYP1I

Sources for this article include:

http://principia-scientific.org

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2012/22mar_saber/

http://youtu.be/EEFQHDSYP1I

people have commented on this article.

LIVEBLOG! KOUDSTE 23 MEI OOIT EVER!

Link to Article

Archived Version

Thu, 23 May 2013 07:10

Warmwaterkruik in de Uggs vandaag, het wordt smerig koud. WeerOnline claimt dat het vandaag zomaar de koudste 23 mei in de geschiedenis van de mensheid kan worden. Ever ooit. En de lui van WeerOnline kunnen het weten, want die zitten er op. RTL praat zelfs al over een horrorlente, wat wij persoonlijk een beetje ongepast vinden gezien Ruben en Julian. Maar goed, je kunt in dit land iemand op straat onthoofden en mensen zouden zich nog steeds meer opwinden over de Staat van het Klimaat. Vandaag is het net alsof iedereen jarig is en "de koudste 23 mei ooit ever" het nieuwe 'gefeliciteerd' is. Let maar op. Een beetje handige directie kondigt vandaag een grote reorganisatie aan, want mensen gaan het toch over niks anders hebben dan hoe koud het wel niet is voor 23 mei. Iedereen weet later nog waar hij was toen 23 mei kouder was dan ooit tevoren. Het is vandaag zo koud, dat de koelkast in de schuur in principe je bier staat op te warmen tot 7 graden. Later meer.Update: In de Randstad wordt melding gemaakt dat in de meeste huizen de verwarming is aangeslagen.Update: Winterjassen gesignaleerd. Reporters ter plaatse spreken ook van sjaals, wanten en zelfs winterbanden.Update: ooggetuigen melden dat er op diverse stations als sprake is van zichtbare ademwolkjes bij de forenzen.Update: Geruchten gaan dat diverse Telegraaf-redacteuren opdracht hebben gekregen om tweets van BN'ers over de kou te verzamelen.Update: 'koud' bijna world wide trending topic.Update: IJsmeesters gesignaleerd in de buurt van Friese wateren.Update: Instagram zegt extra servers te hebben klaar gezet voor het geval er sneeuw gaat vallen.Update: Mensen melden de eerste dode koolmezen. Dat betekent dat de eerste bejaarden nog voor het middaguur gaan.Update: Live webcam uit de provincie Groningen.Update: Jongelui, die niks gewend zijn, beginnen van de k-k-kou zelfs te stotteren op Twitter.

Johnny Quid | 23-05-13 | 08:19 | Link | Reageer ookJe bent ingelogd als: (Uitloggen)

Probeer trouwens eens de totaal officieuze niet-ondersteunde third-party GeenStijl extension die compleet niet door ons ondersteund wordt en volledig op eigen risico is.

Je bent niet ingelogd, klik hier om dat wel te doen: login of doe een CookieSync.

Our Bandwidth

We're just maxing out out bandwidth on

all servers in the first three hours after a new NA mp3 has been

uploaded. To make it somewhat bearable for everyone, a 500 kbyte (not

kbit as mike says) speed cap had to be implemented. Without it, the

first connections get all the bandwidth and later connections get almost

none, e.g. 2kb/sec. That really sucked, so, I had to cap it.

I can show you the graphs that demonstrate the demand.

Approximately

3 hours later demand has lessened, so at that time the cap is raised to

3mbyte per second. Its as good as I can make it and 500 kbyte is not

that bad anyway. They can also download it later if they just want to

get a kick out of watching their speed gauge.

Follow the Pipes

US to Continue Supporting French Air Ops in Mali.

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Source: WT news feed

Thu, 23 May 2013 07:56

RAF MILDENHALL, England -- Although France is withdrawing its ground troops from Mali, there is no indication its air force will stop requesting U.S. aid in support of operations there.

The Department of Defense announced Friday that the U.S. will continue to provide mid-air refueling to French planes. The refueling operation has been going on since January, almost immediately after the French intervened in Mali to halt the advance of militant forces connected with al-Qaida.

To support French air power used in that operation, the 351st Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron was deployed to Mor"n Air Base, Spain, to fly KC-135 Stratotankers over Mali and refuel French planes.

''We're here as long as they need us,'' squadron commander Lt. Col. Tim Kuehne said. ''So, I don't have a projected end date.''

French warplanes must transit significant distances to reach Mali. Consequently, they're operating at the edge of their range once they arrive in its airspace and don't have enough fuel to patrol or conduct attack missions.

''Without our gas, they basically would have to turn around as soon as they got there,'' said Capt. Tim Gerne, an aircraft commander with the 351st who flies over Mali. ''They couldn't even make it back all the way back to the place that they left.''

The rebels, using heavy weapons seized from government armories during NATO's bombing of Libya in 2011, defeated Mali's ragtag army and occupied much of the country's northern desert. France intervened in January, when the rebels appeared poised to advance on the capital.

Since the start of the conflict, France relied heavily on air power to defeat the militants and retake the occupied territory. As soon as French President Francois Hollande announced his country's military intervention, the Armee de l'Air (air force) started bombing rebels in strategic locations across the country. Since then, the 351st has flown more than 200 missions and provided more than 8.8 million pounds of fuel to the French.

In addition to fuel, the U.S. flew more than 1,000 people and 1,500 tons of equipment and supplies for French and Chadian forces from January 21 to March 7, said an official with U.S. Army Africa command. Troops from Chad have also fought in Mali against the militants.

Despite an announcement that France will withdraw the majority of its troops from Mali by the end of the year, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has said his country was committed to staying in Mali for an ''undetermined period'' to prevent a ''revival of terrorism.''

(C) Copyright 2013 Stars and Stripes. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

China, Tajikistan establish strategic partnership

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Source: Global Times

Mon, 20 May 2013 07:55

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon at the signing of a joint announcement to establish a strategic partnership, after their talks in Beijing, capital of China, May 20, 2013. Photo: Xinhua

China and Tajikistan established a strategic partnership on Monday, pledging to boost bilateral cooperation.The announcement was made during talks held between President Xi Jinping and his visiting Tajik counterpart Emomali Rakhmon, who is visiting China from May 19 to 20.

China and Tajikistan share the need to consolidate cooperation, safeguard common interests and address common challenges, Xi said, adding that China will maintain a friendly policy stance toward Tajikistan.

Xi highlighted the significance of the strategic partnership, which he said will cement cooperation in multiple fields.

He said both sides should step up their mutual support on issues concerning sovereignty, territorial integrity and security.

The two sides should also effectively use cooperation to boost economic growth and intensify coordination on significant international and regional issues, Xi added.

Rakhmon said Tajikistan and China have set an example for other countries by working together as candid and trustful strategic partners, adding that Tajikistan is willing to offer firm support for China on key issues.

Rakhmon expressed hope that the Chinese dream of the renewal of the Chinese nation could be realized at an early date. Rakhmon pledged commitment to maintaining high-level exchanges and cooperation with China.

After the talks, the two heads of state also signed a joint declaration concerning the strategic partnership and witnessed the signing of a series of agreements on cooperation.

According to the declaration, China and Tajikistan will support the development paths chosen by their citizens and support each other's efforts to safeguard national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity as well as measures to maintain social stability, boost economic growth and expand foreign exchanges.

The two countries also agreed to push bilateral economic cooperation forward and accelerate the implementation of aviation and cross-border railway and highway projects.

Both sides will jointly explore mineral, and oil and gas resources and discuss cooperation in power infrastructure, wind and solar energy, the declaration said.

Both sides will carry out agricultural technology cooperation projects and set up a China-Tajikistan agricultural technology demonstration center and agricultural industrial park in Tajikistan to raise the country's capability for grain production.

China and Tajikistan will offer financial support for bilateral trade and cooperation, as well as for Chinese enterprises to invest in Tajikistan and settle bilateral trade in their own currencies.

The two nations also pledged to expand cooperation among law enforcement and judicial departments and jointly crack down on terrorism, separatism and extremism, as well as drug-related crimes and new threats and challenges.

Both sides decided to boost cooperation in the fields of culture, education, tourism, health and sports. China welcomes Tajik students to study in the country and the Tajik side welcomes more Confucius Institutes to be established in Tajikistan.

The significant role played by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in promoting regional peace and development was emphasized in the declaration. The two countries will work with other SCO member countries to ensure the success of the SCO summit to be held in Bishkek later this year.

China will offer full support for Tajikistan after the country assumes the SCO rotating presidency following the Bishkek summit, the declaration added.

Both sides also pledged to enhance cooperation under the multi-lateral frameworks including the United Nations to jointly cope with global and regional challenges so as to promote world and regional peace, security and development.

A worldwide undersea gold rush is coming

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Source: Global Geopolitics

Mon, 20 May 2013 09:13

An undersea gold rush could be coming soon with the rising cost of minerals and advancements in technology opening the seafloor to mining '' environmental concerns not withstanding.

The United Nations International Seabed Authority (ISA) last week published a study on what frameworks would be necessary to ensure that mining is done responsibly. Commercial mining operations could begin as soon as 2016, but ISA acknowledged that there will be ''inevitable environmental damage'' and identified a ''Catch-22'" where firms have not demonstrated appropriate competency and skills but must first start mining to gain them.

'...

Mining would take place in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. ISA licensees include well-known industrial giants including Lockheed Martin, BBC News's science editor David Shukman wrote in his report on the study. The ISA has identified vast undersea mineral deposits and will ensure that developing nations will receive a share of the profits from mining operations under its auspices.

This undersea gold rush is prompting the ISA to rapidly prepare a regulatory regime. ''Doing so requires the development of a strategic framework that allows the Authority to have in place the necessary mandates, organizational capacities (technical and administrative), policies and regulations (implementing rules and regulations) and capacities (fiscal, manpower and specialties,'' the ISA noted in its executive summary.

Full article: A worldwide undersea gold rush is coming (Smart Planet)

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Michael Jackson promoter 'worked without a contract'

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Source: Culture | guardian.co.uk

Tue, 21 May 2013 08:30

Remember the time '... Michael Jackson rehearses for the This Is It tour in LA in 2009. Photograph: Kevin Mazur/AP

As the trial into Michael Jackson's ill-fated This Is It tour continues, it has been claimed that AEG promoter Kenny Ortega was working without a contract.

The late singer's mother, Katherine Jackson, is attempting to show in court that the promoters were negligent in hiring Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of involuntary manslaughter over Jackson's death in June 2009. But in the latest development AEG's general counsel, Shawn Tell, has told jurors that Ortega, the tour's director, was working on the basis of an agreement solely laid out via emails.

Ms Jackson claims that AEG failed to properly investigate Murray before hiring him to serve as her son's tour physician, and that the company ignored or missed warning signs about the singer's health. AEG denies that it hired Murray in the first place.

In court, Ms Jackson's lawyers presented emails sent a month before the death of her son in which Murray's contract terms were laid out. But Trell claimed that the evidence did not demonstrate an employment relationship '' a crucial factor in the case. And while Trell acknowledged that Ortega was paid for his work on the shows, he claimed that this was only on the basis of the terms laid out in a series of emails. "Kenny Ortega is different from Conrad Murray," he said.

Michael Jackson died before signing a $150,000-a-month contract for Murray to serve as his doctor on the series of concerts, planned to take place at London's 02 arena in the summer of 2009. AEG's lawyers say Jackson's signature was required to finalise Murray's contract.

An email displayed in court showed Murray's contract terms. Other documents indicated AEG budgeted $300,000 to pay Murray for his work with Jackson in May and June of 2009.

Another email said executive Paul Gongaware informed colleagues that Murray would be "full-time" on the tour by mid-May. Plaintiff's attorney Brian Panish asked Trell to agree with a statement that Murray was working for AEG.

"I would totally disagree with that statement," Trell said, noting that Ortega and Murray were considered independent contractors. He also testified that the company obtained an insurance policy that covered the possible cancellation of some of the shows after the singer was evaluated by doctors. Trell testified that five days before Jackson's death, top AEG executives were informed the singer was in poor health. By that point, Ortega had sent executives an email titled "Trouble at the front", detailing Jackson's problems. "There are strong signs of paranoia, anxiety and obsessive-like behavior," Ortega wrote to AEG Live's CEO, Randy Phillips.

Now into its fourth week, the trial continues.

George Michael 'kept in hospital'

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Tue, 21 May 2013 08:29

21 May 2013Last updated at08:16 ETSinger George Michael is being kept in hospital for treatment after sustaining head injuries on the M1 in Hertfordshire, his spokeswoman said.

The former Wham! star, aged 49, was a passenger in a Range Rover involved in an accident on Thursday at junction 6A, near St Albans.

Michael, whose real name is Georgios Panayiotou, was airlifted to a specialist trauma centre in London.

A spokeswoman for the star said he was "making good progress".

Michael was found on the road by paramedics at the scene of the accident on Thursday afternoon.

'Bumps and bruises'His spokeswoman said: "Following the traffic accident on Thursday, we can confirm that he is still in hospital.

"We are keen to stress it's purely as a precaution for observation.

"He did suffer a couple of bumps and bruises to the head and that's why they are keeping him in - to keep an eye on him.

"He is doing better. He is making good progress and is looking forward to getting out."

An ambulance service spokesman confirmed the patient, a man in his 40s, was "fully conscious" throughout the incident.

"The patient was on the road when paramedics arrived," said Gary Sanderson, of the East of England Ambulance Service.

"The patient required further assessments at a specialist trauma centre after he received a head injury.

"He was fully conscious throughout his treatment at the scene and flight to hospital and the injuries were deemed non life threatening."

A Hertfordshire Police spokeswoman said officers were unaware of any damage to the Range Rover and confirmed no other vehicles were involved.

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Lagarde questioned by Paris court over payout to French businessman

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Source: euronews

Thu, 23 May 2013 07:59

International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde has arrived at a court in Paris to be grilled over her role in a legal battle between the state and high-profile French businessman Bernard Tapie.

As French finance minister in 2007, under Nicolas Sarkozy, she decided to use arbitration to settle the dispute. It resulted in Tapie being awarded just over 400 million euros, including interest.

The case centres on a stake in sports company Adidas, which the businessman sold to Credit Lyonnais.

Tapie, a Sarkozy supporter, claimed the bank defrauded him after it later sold the stake for a much higher sum.

Lagarde, who has denied any wrongdoing, risks being placed under formal investigation.

''Any indictment would undermine the role of Christine Lagarde as Director General of the International Monetary Fund,'' said euronews reporter Giovanni Magi, in Paris.

''It would be further trauma for the institution, two years after the scandal of Dominique Strauss Khan.''

More about:Christine Lagarde, France, IMF, JusticeCopyright (C) 2013 euronews

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"We Will Defeat Violent Extremism By Backing Our Police And Security Services" PM Cameron

Sources: Man killed by FBI agent confessed to triple murder.

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Thu, 23 May 2013 07:23

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

Dead Boston bombing suspect implicated in 2011 killings, official saysAnother man, Ibragim Todashev, attacks FBI agent with a knife, is killedTodashev had admitted to a role in a 2011 triple murder in MassachusettsAuthorities told him not to take a pending flight to Chechnya(CNN) -- Deceased Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev participated in a 2011 gruesome triple homicide outside Boston along with a Chechen killed early Wednesday during a confrontation with the FBI and Massachusetts State Police in Orlando, Florida, a federal law enforcement official told CNN.

Ibragim Todashev, who died during the interview with authorities, not only confessed to his direct role in slashing the throats of three people in Waltham, Massachusetts, but also fingered Tsarnaev in the deaths, the official said Wednesday.

Todashev was being questioned about the slayings and his acquaintance with Tsarnaev.

Todashev attacked an FBI agent, who shot him dead, a federal law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the case told CNN.

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Suspects tied to Boston bombings

Suspects tied to Boston bombings

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HIDE CAPTION

"He used some kind of weapon," the official said, and that prompted the FBI agent to shoot the suspect.

A second law enforcement official confirmed Todashev made the confession.

The unsolved triple murder received renewed interest after it was learned that Tsarnaev was sparring partners at a local gym with one of the victims.

Source: 2011 slayings of Tsarnaev friend, 2 others revisited

Investigators of the crime reported at the time that the heads of the three victims were pulled back and their throats slit ear to ear with great force. Marijuana was spread over the bodies in a "symbolic gesture," and several thousand dollars in cash was found at the scene.

Todashev told investigators the men were killed during a drug ripoff because he and Tsarnaev were afraid they would be able to identify them and tell police what happened, according to a law enforcement source.

So far, no link has been found between Todashev and the Boston Marathon bombings. However, the FBI is looking into the many connections between Todashev and Tsarnaev, whose radicalization allegedly led to the Boston bombings.

A federal law enforcement official has told CNN they were initially led to Todashev because they learned he knew Tsarnaev and his younger brother, Dzhokhar. They also said cell phone records connected Tamerlan and Todashev.

Todashev was being interviewed in the kitchen of his Florida home. He grabbed a knife, which is why fatal force was used, according to a source briefed on the ongoing investigation.

"Preliminary information indicates the agent took actions to defend himself," said a federal law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the case.

"The agent sustained non-life-threatening injuries," FBI spokesman Jason Pack said.

Investigators are awaiting test results to determine whether Todashev's DNA was found at the Massachusetts triple murder scene and whether the DNA of Tamerlan Tsarnaev also was found there.

Todashev and Tsarnaev were acquainted through a mixed martial arts center near Boston, said a source briefed on the bombing investigation.

In Orlando, an FBI team is reviewing the circumstances of the shooting, a procedure that follows any FBI shooting.

Todashev had an impending flight from Orlando, via New York and Moscow, to Chechnya, when investigators sought to interview him, according to a source briefed on the ongoing investigation. He was told not to take the flight, the source said.

Details emerged Wednesday about how Todashev had Tsarnaev's phone number in his cell phone, said the source.

Both men were members of the mixed martial arts forum Sherdog.com, along with Russian-Canadian boxer-turned-jihadist William Plotnikov, the source said.

Last month, CNN reported that Plotnikov and six others died in a July 2012 firefight with Russian forces in the southwestern republic of Dagestan, while Tsarnaev was visiting the region, according to a source briefed on the investigation.

Todashev, 27, knew Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, also a suspect in the April 15 bombings, the official said. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, injured and captured after a manhunt, is being held by authorities. His brother died in a shootout with police.

Todashev was from the Chechnya region, as were the Tsarnaev brothers, the source said.

Todashev was granted political asylum in 2008, but he came to the United States some time before that, a federal law enforcement official told CNN. Todashev had been living in the United States as a legal resident because of that asylum claim.

In the 2011 Massachusetts triple homicide, the Middlesex County district attorney's office said at the time that the victims and two unknown perpetrators appeared to know each other and that it was not a random crime. No suspects were named then.

Suspect: Bombing was payback for hits on Muslims

A source said that the FBI had been investigating Todashev for about a month.

The FBI had followed Todashev for days, his friend told CNN affiliate Central Florida News 13.

Todashev "wasn't like real close friends (with Tsarnaev), but he just happened to know him," Khasuen Taramov told the TV station. "But he had no idea that they were up to something like that, like bombings and everything, you know what I mean?"

He told CNN affiliate WESH that Todashev and Tsarnaev had spoken by telephone about a month before the bombings.

"It was a complete shock to him," Taramov said.

The two met a couple years ago in Boston, where Todashev had lived and where there is a small, close-knit community of Chechens, said Taramov.

Their telephone conversation before the bombings contained nothing but routine pleasantries, he said. "It was 'How are you doing; how's your family?' That's all."

Taramov said he himself was questioned by the FBI for three hours Tuesday night. Asked what he was asked, Taramov said, "Different kind of questions like 'what do you think about bombings,' 'do you know these guys,' blah blah blah, what is my views on certain stuff."

He said Todashev was not a radical. "He was just a Muslim. That was his mistake, I guess."

Taramov said his friend had told him he had a bad feeling about the direction the investigation was heading.

"He felt like there's going to be a setup ... bad setup against him. Because he told me, 'They are making up such crazy stuff, I don't know ... why they doing it. OK, I'm answering the questions, but they are still making up some, like, connections, some crazy stuff. I don't know why they are doing it.' "

Before meeting with the FBI for a 7:30 p.m. interview Tuesday, Taramov said, his friend asked him to take his parents' telephone numbers. "He just told me, 'Take the numbers, in case something happens, if I get locked up, or whatever, call them.' You know what I mean?

"We were expecting to get him locked up, but not getting him killed. I can't believe it."

Todashev was unemployed and had been living on insurance money he received after surgery for an accident. "He used to be a fighter, MMA fighter," Taramov said, in a reference to mixed martial arts.

Todashev was arrested this month on a charge of aggravated battery after getting into a fight over a parking spot with a man and his son outside an Orlando mall. The son was taken to a hospital with head injuries, a split upper lip and several teeth knocked out of place, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said in a report.

"Todashev said he was only fighting to protect his knee because he had surgery in March," the report said. He told the police that he was a former mixed martial arts fighter, it said.

Todashev, described as 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds, was released on $3,500 bond.

Asked about the incident, Taramov downplayed it. "He had a fight in the parking lot, the two guys jumped on him ... pretty much he just defended himself against two," he told WESH. "The only mistake: he did kick their ass and left."

Todashev had recently gotten his green card and had been planning to visit his parents in Chechnya and then return to the United States, but canceled the plans, Taramov said.

Now, he added, he was planning to call his friend's parents.

Former Chechen rebel: 'I have nothing to do with' Boston bombings

CNN's Michael Martinez, Jason Hanna and MaryLynn Ryan contributed to this report.

VIDEO-UKIP Nigel Farage - The EU politics of envy May 2013 - YouTube

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VIDEO-Orlando man fatally shot by FBI

Appeals Court Refuses To Release Osama Bin Laden Photos And Videos

VIDEO-The Price of Carbon - YouTube

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Wed, 22 May 2013 11:10

Obama Administration Admits For The First Time To Killing Of FOUR U.S. Citizens By Drone Strike

MSNBC's Karen Finney On IRS Scandal: 'Why Didn't Romney Make More Of A Big Deal Of It?'

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Source: MRCTV - News & Politics

Thu, 23 May 2013 00:32

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

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

Copyright (C) 2013, Media Research Center. All Rights Reserved.

VIDEO-When Social Skills Are a Warning - WSJ.com

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Wed, 22 May 2013 10:01

With many neurological disorders, from Alzheimer's to ADHD, the first clue something is wrong may be atypical social behavior. Shirley Wang reports on Lunch Break. Photo: Getty Images.

An uncle starts believing all your sarcastic comments. Or a kindhearted friend never understands anymore how you feel. These people may not just be momentarily off. Recent research indicates they may be exhibiting early signals that something is going awry in their brains.

Changes in social behavior, such as difficulty detecting insincere comments or feeling empathy, can be a window into our neurological health, scientists say. That is because how we interact with other people is one of the more complex functions the brain must perform. It requires a symphony of neurons firing throughout the brain and working together in networks so that we can detect, decode and interpret social signals. Deterioration in social functioning can begin even while executive functions like planning and organizing remain intact during the early stages of mental disorders.

Recognizing social changes that previously might have been shrugged off could allow for earlier diagnosis of a disorder and treatment, doctors say. It also could give families more time to prepare for long-term care.

With some childhood conditions, like autism or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, social problems are one of the primary characteristics of the disorder. In other conditions in which social problems aren't the main symptoms, including dementia, depression and schizophrenia, early clues may come from changes to a person's normal personality, such as becoming less friendly, understanding or attentive, or more paranoid.

"Whenever we see someone with an emotional or social symptom we always say, 'What's going on in the brain?' " says Katherine Rankin, a neurology professor at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Rankin and other scientists at UCSF, Stanford University and other institutions are studying the underlying neurobiology of social behavior. They are seeking to understand how these neural networks function normally and how changes in the anatomical structures and functioning can shed light on the progression of disease.

Social peculiarities can be subtle or drastic, ranging from a lack of interest in spending time with other people to problems reading social etiquette and emotionally inappropriate behaviors. Other social deficits that could signal a problem include the inabilities to focus attention on what other people are noticing or to imagine what another person is thinking.

Researchers believe there are several networks made up of different brain parts communicating with one another that are critical to social behavior. Some networks act as emotional brakes and others as the gas. Everyone has a different balance of these networks, which contributes to our personalities, emotions and behaviors. But with disease, the parts of the brain or how they communicate with other areas can be dramatically disrupted.

to comeDr. Katherine Rankin, seated, who researches neurobiology at UCSF, with Dr. Tal Shany-Ur.

People are unlikely to observe social changes in themselves. So it is often up to family members to report their concerns to a doctor, says Dr. Rankin. She recommends people over the age of 40 or 50 see a neurologist if they experience changes in social or emotional functioning, or language or memory problems. An evaluation for an adult might include a physical examination, questions about changes in mood and activity levels, and assessments of cognitive functioning. For a child, there may also be questions about developmental milestones.

Dr. Rankin says the family of an older man she treated recently brought him in for an evaluation after watching him eat. During meals, the man would finish all the food on his plate, then pick it up and begin licking. It turned out the man had frontotemporal dementia, damage to the frontal lobe of the brain, for which he is now taking medication to treat symptoms, she says.

One critical brain pathway is called the ventral-salience network, which filters incoming information for that which is personally important. The network appears to be significant in helping determine people's emotional awareness. It also helps them evaluate the potential for social punishment. Then, the task-control network tells the brain to pay attention to the important information and to process it. The semantic-appraisal network adds our emotional interpretation to the situation. Together, these networks and others help us understand the context for social or emotional situations, researchers theorize.

When one or more of the networks go awry, we often lose the ability to empathize, which is one of the most complex social behaviors, says Dr. Rankin, who treats and studies dementia patients. To truly empathize, we need to correctly read meaningful emotional information and to figure out what an appropriate response is, which sometimes might not match what the other person is feeling, she says.

More Clues to Mental HealthPeople with autism and schizophrenia tend to have difficulty with empathy. Stanford University researchers have suggested that a lack of response to emotionally meaningful information in the insula, a brain region at the hub of the salience network, can lead to a cascade of effects that result in inappropriate emotional displays.

Lucina Uddin, a cognitive neuroscientist at Stanford, and her colleagues are now studying whether brain imaging of this network can serve as a biological marker of autism in kids. "The answer looks like yes," says Dr. Uddin, who plans to publish the research.

The salience detection network also may go awry in anxiety, schizophrenia and other conditions, says Dr. Uddin. In anxiety, too much environmental stimuli registers in the brain as important and thus becomes overwhelming. People with schizophrenia may have difficulty figuring out what to attend to.

The ability to detect and understand insincerity is another basic social deficit that can occur with disease. In a study published last year in the journal Cortex, Dr. Rankin and her colleagues studied the ability to detect sarcasm in 102 patients who had been diagnosed with four progressive diseases that lead to memory loss: frontotemporal dementia, Alzheimer's disease, progressive supranuclear palsy and vascular-cognitive impairment. They compared the results with those of 77 healthy older people. Detecting such insincere forms of communication require many brain functions, including the ability to read emotion, see the world from another person's perspective and understand others' intentions.

In the study, participants viewed 16 videos in which they watched clips of people interacting in which some lied and others were sarcastic. All participants were able to understand sincere comments, but patients with frontotemporal dementia had trouble understanding lies and sarcasm. The other patients' ability to understand depended on the severity of their disease.

Bradford Dickerson, a neurology professor at Harvard Medical School, and colleagues have shown in studies that the size of certain parts of the brain important to emotional processing is associated with how many friends we have. "More connected individuals might be better equipped to perceive social cues like facial expression" and might derive more positive experience from social interaction, writes Dr. Dickerson in a recent paper.

VIDEO-LOOK AT THAT EXPERIENCE-Introducing Bing on Windows 8 - Bing Videos

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Wed, 22 May 2013 09:55

Tooltip Information:Guy clings to hood of truck while pleading for lady to call the cops

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Description:THE NOW video '' Usually Florida is known for these kinds of strange occurrences, but this bizarre highway action happened in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The grainy video was shot by a woman driving by, who noticed a man holding on for dear life to the hood of a truck next to her. All three of the participants in this video seem a little too relaxed given the circumstances, if you ask us. Baton Rouge police have since reported that it was actually all over a stolen shrimp-for-sale sign. It all makes so much more sense now, right?

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VIDEO_Bernstein Blames 'Jewish' Neo-Cons For Persuading Bush On Iraq War | MRCTV

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On Morning Joe, Carl Bernstein says that because he's Jewish, he could be permitted to accuse "Jewish" neo-cons of persuading President George W. Bush into starting an "insane" war against Iraq. Joe Scarborough offers a strong rebuttal.

VIDEO-Youth riots in Stockholm suburb | euronews, world news

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Mon, 20 May 2013 14:28

In the Stockholm suburb of Husby, police clashed with youths, who set fire to buildings and cars on May 19.

Authorities said that around 50 people were involved in the riot '' and that they were unsure what caused it.

Local media reports that the violence was sparked by the fatal shooting of a Husby local by police on May 13.

More about:Clashes and riots, Stockholm, SwedenCopyright (C) 2013 euronews

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VIDEO: Toilet paper shortage in Venezuela

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Mon, 20 May 2013 14:32

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Juan Williams: The Obama Administration Has Criminalized Journalism

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Tue, 21 May 2013 21:33

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

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

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VIDEO-Obama Aide: 'Irrelevant Fact' Where President Was During Benghazi Attacks | The Weekly Standard

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Mon, 20 May 2013 07:09

WALLACE: let's turn to benghazi. he had a meeting with panetta in the afternoon, heard about this on an unrelated subject, wanted them to deploy forces as soon as possible. the next time he shows up, hillary clinton says she spoke to him at around 10:00 that night after the attack at the consulate, not the annex, but the attack at the consulate had ended. question, what did the president do the rest of that night to pursue benghazi?

PFEIFFER: the president was kept up to do throughout the entire night, from the moment it started till the end. this is a horrible tragedy, people that he sent abroad whose lives are in risk, people who work for him. i recognize that there's a series of conspiracy theories the republicans are spinning about this since the night it happened, but there's been an independent review of this, congress has held hearings, we provided 250,000 pages of -- 250,000 pages of documents up there. there's been 11 hearings, 20 staff briefings. everyone has found the same thing. this is a tragedy. the question is not what happened that night. the question is what are we going to do to move forward and ensure it doesn't happen again? congress should act on what the president called for earlier this week, to pass legislation to actually allow us to implement the recommendations of the accountability review board. when we send diplomats off into far-flung places, there's inherent risk. we need to mitigate that risk.

WALLACE: with all due respect, you didn't answer my question. what did the president do that night?

PFEIFFER: kept up to date with the events as they were happening.

WALLACE: he didn't talk to the secretary of state except for the one time when the first attack was over. he didn't talk to the secretary of defense, he didn't talk to chiefs. the chairman of the joint who was he talking to?

PFEIFFER: his national security staff, his national security council.

WALLACE: was he in the situation room?

PFEIFFER: he was kept up to date throughout the day.

WALLACE: do you know know whether he was in the situation room?

PFEIFFER: i don't know what room he was in that night. that's a largely irrelevant fact.

WALLACE: well --

PFEIFFER: the premise of your question, somehow there was something that could have been done differently, okay, that would have changed the outcome here. the accountability roof board has looked at this, people have looked at this. it's a horrible tragedy, and we have to make sure it doesn't happen again.

WALLCE: here's the point, though, the ambassador goes missing, the first ambassador in more than 30 years is killed. four americans, including the ambassador, are killed. dozens of americans are in jeopardy. the president at 4:00 in the afternoon says to the chairman of the joint chiefs to deploy forces. no forces are deployed. where is he while all this is going on?

PFEIFFER: this has been tested to by --

WALLACE: well, no. no one knows where he is, who was involved, the --

PFEIFFER: the suggestion of your question that somehow the president --

WALLACE: i just want to know the answer.

PFEIFFER: the assertions from republicans that the president didn't take action is offensive. there's no evidence to support it.

WALLACE: i'm simply asking a question. where was he? what did he do? how did he respond in who told him you can't deploy forces and what was his president?

PFEIFFER: the president was in the white house that day, kept up to date by his national security team, spoke to the joint chiefs of staff earlier, secretary of state, and as events unfolded he was kept up to date.

Martin Bashir on Moore, Oklahoma: 'Perhaps the Worst Tornado in the History of the Planet'

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Source: MRCTV - News & Politics

Tue, 21 May 2013 00:20

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

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

Copyright (C) 2013, Media Research Center. All Rights Reserved.

Schieffer to Obama Advisor: 'Why Are You Here? Why Isn't the White House Chief of Staff Here?'

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Source: MRCTV - News & Politics

Sun, 19 May 2013 20:29

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

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

Copyright (C) 2013, Media Research Center. All Rights Reserved.

VIDEO-Celebrities Endorse Matt Damon's Continued Strike | Watch the video - Yahoo! Screen

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Wed, 22 May 2013 23:51

Matt Damon is going on strike. Kind of. The Academy Award winner, and friends, will not go to the bathroom until everyone in the world has access to clean toilets.

To join Matt on his toilet strike, visit StrikeWithMe.org/Yahoo For $25, you can give a person clean water for life.

VIDEO-Herman Van Rompuy's introductory remarks at the May 2013 EU Council - YouTube

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Wed, 22 May 2013 11:08

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