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No Agenda 516 - 9/11 Generation

By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 12:30 PM.

9/11 Generation

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By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 12:30 PM.


Art By: Melissa Shutlz-Jones

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By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 12:31 PM.

9/11 Generation

Executive Producers: Sir Geesaman, Philip Sanders, Sir Sander Hoksbergen, Robin Clements

Associate Executive Producers: Snorkel, Sir Atomic Rod Adams, Paul Donlan

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If you mention the forwarding on the show Adam, can

you please refer to me as "Buckfast and Haggis".

Would be appreciated.

And by the way, as it seems to come up quite often - tell John you pronounce


Mid as in mid

LOTH - as in Loathe - to loathe something - (not as in SLOTH)

and IAN - as in the christian name Ian.

Midlothian is an area in Scotland around Edinburgh.

I have no idea how the American variant of Midlothian is pronounced -

but would hazard a guess that it stems from the Scottish version as a

lot of american place names do.

Just checked the Book of Knowledge,_Virginia

And right enough - it is named after the area in Scotland.



is pronounced MILTON KEENS

Can't think of any others right now that come up.

Anyway - adios mofo


Buckfast and Haggis


Memorial Day - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Presidential Proclamation -- Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 2013

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: White Press Office Feed

Sat, 25 May 2013 22:01

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

May 24, 2013


- - - - - - -



Since our Nation's earliest days, America has been blessed with an unbroken chain of patriots who have served our country with honor and distinction. From Concord to the Korengal, generations of brave warriors have fought for freedom across sand and snow, over mud and mountains, into lonely deserts and through crowded streets. Today, we pay tribute to those patriots who never came back -- who fought for a home to which they never returned, and died for a country whose gratitude they will always have.

Scripture teaches us that "greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." On Memorial Day, we remember those we have lost not only for what they fought for, but who they were: proud Americans, often far too young, guided by deep and abiding love for their families, for each other, and for this country. Our debt to them is one we can never fully repay. But we can honor their sacrifice and strive to be a Nation equal to their example. On this and every day, we must meet our obligations to families of the fallen; we must uphold our sacred trust with our veterans, our service members, and their loved ones.

Above all, we can honor those we have lost by living up to the ideals they died defending. It is our charge to preserve liberty, to advance justice, and to sow the seeds of peace. With courage and devotion worthy of the heroes we remember today, let us rededicate ourselves to those unending tasks, and prove once more that America's best days are still ahead. Let us pray the souls of those who died in war rest in eternal peace, and let us keep them and their families close in our hearts, now and forever.

In honor of all of our fallen service members, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, as amended (36 U.S.C. 116), has requested the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe, in their own way, the National Moment of Remembrance.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 27, 2013, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time to unite in prayer. I also ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

I request the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control. I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth 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.


Presidential Proclamation -- National Hurricane Preparedness Week, 2013

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: White Press Office Feed

Sat, 25 May 2013 21:59

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

May 24, 2013


- - - - - - -



Last year, devastating hurricanes upended coastal communities spanning the shores of New England to the Gulf of Mexico. Scenes from Isaac and Sandy shook us to the core -- great cities plunged into darkness, homes swept away with the tide, families whose worlds were torn apart with the loss of a loved one. But in the aftermath, we also saw what is best in America. Heroic first responders rose far beyond the call of duty, working around the clock to rescue, recover, and rebuild. Ordinary citizens fought through tough times together, looking out for their neighbors and leaving nobody behind.

This week, we reaffirm that it is never too early to prepare for this year's hurricane season. As my Administration keeps working with State and local partners to apply lessons learned and improve hurricane preparedness, all families can take simple steps to ensure that if disaster strikes, they are ready. These steps include building a supply kit with food, water, and medicine; taking time now to learn evacuation routes, and how workplaces and schools will respond in an emergency; and most importantly, discussing what to do in a disaster and developing a plan that everyone knows. If a hurricane is coming, always follow instructions from State and local officials, and heed evacuation orders if they are given.

The Federal Government also has an important role to play in hurricane preparedness. My Administration stands shoulder-to-shoulder with our partners in emergency management throughout the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, and we remain committed to getting them the resources they need to act quickly and effectively. Going forward, we will keep working to improve hurricane forecasting with the latest science and technology. And in the months and years ahead, we will continue to help communities stay resilient to severe weather threats and the consequences of climate change. To learn more and get involved, visit or

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 26 through June 1, 2013, as National Hurricane Preparedness Week. I call upon government agencies, private organizations, schools, media, and residents in the coastal areas of our Nation to share information about hurricane preparedness and response to help save lives and protect communities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth 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.


Distraction of the Week

Admission of al-Awlaki killing could affect family's lawsuit against government - Open Channel

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Sat, 25 May 2013 18:51

Anonymous / AP

Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born Yemeni cleric and recruiter for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, in Yemen, in an October 2008 photo.

By Pete WilliamsChief Justice Correspondent, NBC News

Now that the U.S. government has publicly acknowledged that it launched a drone strike that killed U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen two years ago, a federal judge has asked the Justice Department to explain what effect the admission will have on a lawsuit filed by al-Awlaki's father.

In an order issued late Wednesday, Judge Rosemary Collyer ordered the Justice Department to file a memo stating how Attorney General Eric Holder's confirmation Wednesday that the government had targeted and killed al-Awlaki ''affects the legal issues in the case.''

Earlier, a letter that Holder sent to Congress confirmed that the U.S. had targeted al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born radical cleric who died in a Sept. 30, 2011, drone strike. The letter also acknowledged that the U.S. had killed three other Americans in drone strikes, including ''Inspire'' magazine editor Samir Khan, who died in the same Sept. 30 attack, al-Awlaki's son, Abdulrahman, and Jude Kenan Mohammed. Abdulrahman al-Awlaki died in an October 2011 Yemen drone strike, while Mohammed was killed in Pakistan in November 2011.

Anwar al-Awlaki's father, Nasser, a citizen and resident of Yemen, is suing the U.S. government over the killing of his son and grandson. Samir Khan's mother, a U.S. citizen, has joined the lawsuit.

The Justice Department has asked a federal judge to throw the case out, mainly on the grounds that the courts have no role in passing judgment on what is essentially a military and foreign policy decision to target someone overseas. But the government also argues that the targeted killing program is classified.

"Plaintiffs' allegations that Department of Defense and CIA officials targeted al-Awlaki and then 'authorized and directed' a series of missile strikes in Yemen,'' says the government, ''are claims which ... would 'inevitably require an inquiry into classified information.'"

A hearing on the government's request to dismiss the lawsuit is scheduled for June 19.

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Obama Nation

Obama Fails to Salute Marine | The Weekly Standard

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Archived Version

Sat, 25 May 2013 21:41

Via CBS's Mark Knoller:

UPDATE: More from the pool reporter:

Under gray skies and intermittent drizzle, President Obama boarded Marine One at 9:30 a.m. EDT in an open press event.

A few White House regulars were atwitter (and on Twitter) when the President walked directly up the steps of Marine One without saluting the Marine on duty. He soon came out of the helicopter, walked down the steps, shook hands with the Marine and engaged in a brief conversation.

Presidential Ospreys Get a Paint Job | Defense Tech

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Archived Version

Sat, 25 May 2013 21:09

The first MV-22 Ospreys set to fly presidential support missions for Marine Helicopter Squadron One have arrived at Quantico, Va., and they received a new paint job.

The Ospreys will not be white tops like the VH-3D Sea King and VH-60 White Hawks, which get their nickname from the white paint job up top. These are the helicopters that carry the President of the United States. Instead, the Ospreys were painted green as they will carry presidential support staff and the media.

The Marines started flight operations with the Osprey on April 26, however the tilt-rotor aircraft will not start carrying reporters and presidential support staff until later in 2013, according to the Marine announcement.

Questions remain how the Ospreys will work together with the Sea King and White Hawks. The Osprey is significantly faster than either the Sea King or the White Hawk. The tilt-rotor Osprey flies at 280 knots, according to a Marine fact sheet. The Sea King has a maximum speed of about 166 knots and the White Hawk has a maximum speed of 159 knots, according to Navy statistics.

If anything, the support staff will be able to arrive much earlier than the president depending on where they are flying.

Of course, the Osprey has faced a checkered crash history. However, Marine officials now refer to it as their safest aircraft after it's faced a rigorous operations tempo for the past four years in Afghanistan. The Osprey has been able to prove the Osprey's worth delivering Marines and supplies over the long distances between forward operating bases in Afghanistan.

May 17th, 2013 | Grand Ole Osprey | 2035172

Tagged as: green, Marine One, Osprey, President Obama

Madison police "overwhelmed" with calls confusing sunbathers for corpses - Minneapolis - News

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Sat, 25 May 2013 09:02

Here's a sure sign you've just lived through a too-long winter: You see somebody lying around outside under the sun, and your first thought is Oh my God is that person dead?!SEE ALSO: Wisconsin is stupid, says Google auto-complete

In fact, so many people in Madison placed calls to police to share their concern about the well-being of sunbathers on Monday and Tuesday that a dispatcher asked a reporter to "Please tell cellphone users that people lying in the grass are not necessarily dead."

"The [911 call center] was overwhelmed with calls from cellphone users reporting people lying on the grass, not moving, possibly not living," reports.

Temps in Madison peaked at 78 degrees on Tuesday afternoon. Can you imagine what'll happen when highs hit 85 or 90? Folks listening to police scanner activity will probably think Wisconsin is in the midst of a zombie apocalypse or something.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at

Michelle O Wants Textbooks to 'Swap Cupcakes for Apples' in Math Problems | CNS News

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Archived Version

Sat, 25 May 2013 21:09

First lady Michelle Obama (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

( '' First Lady Michelle Obama's ''Let's Move!'' initiative is praising textbook publishers for ''swapping out cupcakes for apples in math problems,'' in a campaign to incorporate health information into the learning resources for kids.

''Today at the White House, we celebrated a group of educational publishers on their development of voluntary guidance to incorporate health information into textbooks and other learning materials,'' Let's Move! said in a blog post entitled, ''Cookies 2 Carrots,'' on Wednesday.

''Publishers are making simple changes, like swapping out cupcakes for apples in math problems,'' the anti-obesity initiative noted. ''They are also finding ways to include physical activity in lesson plans '' discussing the history of little league baseball and using sports in word problems.''

Let's Move! '' a government initiative started by Mrs. Obama '' aims to curb the obesity rate among children in the U.S. Mrs. Obama has recently expanded her campaign to museums and zoos asking them to change their menus, and also wants to ''impact the nature of food in grocery stores.''

The first lady now wants textbook companies to join the cause.

Mrs. Obama praised several publishers that are ''voluntarily coming together to support the health of our nation's children,'' Let's Move! said.

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO); the Association of American Publishers (AAP), a trade association that represents 300 book publishing companies; the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP); and the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) were celebrated at the White House on Wednesday.

''Just as these publishing companies came together thirty years ago to incorporate greater diversity into textbooks, they are now using their platform to have a positive impact on children's health,'' Let's Move! said. ''We congratulate them on their exciting leadership.''

Bin Laden Leaves Joe Biden Off Hit List, Suggests VP Could Help Bring Down U.S.

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Archived Version

Sat, 25 May 2013 08:22

You know your image management has taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way when, as vice president of the United States, you're not even considered worth killing by al Qaeda. Such is the ongoing indignity of being Joe Biden.

This week, West Point's Counter Terrorism Center released a batch of translated, declassified documents. seized during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Spanning from the fall of 2006 through the spring of 2011, the 17 documents are letters between al Qaeda members musing about everything from PR strategies to leadership structures to promising new jihad projects.

In a May 2010 missive to Shaykh Mahmud `Atiyya (SOCOM-2012-0000019-HT), bin Laden inquired about what progress had been made toward establishing two groups, one in Afghanistan and one in Pakistan, specifically tasked with looking for opportunities to assassinate President Obama. He reasoned:

''Obama is the head of infidelity and killing him automatically will make Biden take over the presidency for the remainder of the term, as it is the norm over there. Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the US into a crisis.''

Yowza. It's one thing to have the Republican opposition deriding you as a buffoon or certain members of your own party grumbling that maybe you should be bumped from the ticket. But when the world's most famous terrorist is plotting to bring down America by putting you in charge? That's just cold.

Bin Laden's slam is particularly harsh considering that, as VPs go, Biden is as well, if not better, suited to take over the big chair than most. Dan Quayle? Walter Mondale? Dick Cheney? Sure, Cheney had the foreign policy chops. But in the opinion of many Americans, the guy was, dispositionally speaking, an apocalypse waiting to happen. Scary and uber-hawkish in a way that made even many Republicans nervous, Cheney didn't leave office with the nickname Darth Vader and a 13 percent approval rating for nothing.

In matters of foreign policy, Biden has vastly more knowledge and experience than Obama. He also has a much stronger history and better working relationships with pols down on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. He relates well to blue-collar America, and he enjoys the rough-and-tumble aspects of politics'--a valuable asset in the current climate.

''Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the US into a crisis.''

Admittedly, the veep has his flaws. He talks too much, he says stupid things, and he behaves at times like a complete goofball. Despite spending basically his entire adult life in electoral politics, Biden has somehow failed to develop the sort of filter that would stop most prominent pols from faking an Indian accent when giving a speech about the outsourcing of call centers. Did I mention that he talks too much?

All of this is what Biden's colleagues refer to as ''Joe being Joe.'' No question he's a character; at times an extremely problematic one. But to pointedly be left off al Qaeda's hit list? That's just one insult too far.

The rise of the fourth branch of government - The Washington Post

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Archived Version

Sat, 25 May 2013 13:35

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro professor of public interest law at George Washington University.

There were times this past week when it seemed like the 19th-century Know-Nothing Party had returned to Washington. President Obama insisted he knew nothing about major decisions in the State Department, or the Justice Department, or the Internal Revenue Service. The heads of those agencies, in turn, insisted they knew nothing about major decisions by their subordinates. It was as if the government functioned by some hidden hand.

Clearly, there was a degree of willful blindness in these claims. However, the suggestion that someone, even the president, is in control of today's government may be an illusion.

The growing dominance of the federal government over the states has obscured more fundamental changes within the federal government itself: It is not just bigger, it is dangerously off kilter. Our carefully constructed system of checks and balances is being negated by the rise of a fourth branch, an administrative state of sprawling departments and agencies that govern with increasing autonomy and decreasing transparency.

For much of our nation's history, the federal government was quite small. In 1790, it had just 1,000 nonmilitary workers. In 1962, there were 2,515,000 federal employees. Today, we have 2,840,000 federal workers in 15 departments, 69 agencies and 383 nonmilitary sub-agencies.

This exponential growth has led to increasing power and independence for agencies. The shift of authority has been staggering. The fourth branch now has a larger practical impact on the lives of citizens than all the other branches combined.

The rise of the fourth branch has been at the expense of Congress's lawmaking authority. In fact, the vast majority of ''laws'' governing the United States are not passed by Congress but are issued as regulations, crafted largely by thousands of unnamed, unreachable bureaucrats. One study found that in 2007, Congress enacted 138 public laws, while federal agencies finalized 2,926 rules, including 61 major regulations.

This rulemaking comes with little accountability. It's often impossible to know, absent a major scandal, whom to blame for rules that are abusive or nonsensical. Of course, agencies owe their creation and underlying legal authority to Congress, and Congress holds the purse strings. But Capitol Hill's relatively small staff is incapable of exerting oversight on more than a small percentage of agency actions. And the threat of cutting funds is a blunt instrument to control a massive administrative state '-- like running a locomotive with an on/off switch.

The autonomy was magnified when the Supreme Court ruled in 1984 that agencies are entitled to heavy deference in their interpretations of laws. The court went even further this past week, ruling that agencies should get the same heavy deference in determining their own jurisdictions '-- a power that was previously believed to rest with Congress. In his dissent in Arlington v. FCC, Chief Justice John Roberts warned: ''It would be a bit much to describe the result as 'the very definition of tyranny,' but the danger posed by the growing power of the administrative state cannot be dismissed.''

Book Club

Drone Nation

Obama's Speech on Drone Policy

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Archived Version

Thu, 23 May 2013 19:00

Following is a transcript of President Obama's speech on U.S. drone and counterterror policy, as provided by the White House:

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Good afternoon, everybody. Please be seated.

It is a great honor to return to the National Defense University. Here, at Fort McNair, Americans have served in uniform since 1791 '-- standing guard in the earliest days of the Republic, and contemplating the future of warfare here in the 21st century.

For over two centuries, the United States has been bound together by founding documents that defined who we are as Americans, and served as our compass through every type of change. Matters of war and peace are no different. Americans are deeply ambivalent about war, but having fought for our independence, we know a price must be paid for freedom. From the Civil War to our struggle against fascism, on through the long twilight struggle of the Cold War, battlefields have changed and technology has evolved. But our commitment to constitutional principles has weathered every war, and every war has come to an end.

With the collapse of the Berlin Wall, a new dawn of democracy took hold abroad, and a decade of peace and prosperity arrived here at home. And for a moment, it seemed the 21st century would be a tranquil time. And then, on September 11, 2001, we were shaken out of complacency. Thousands were taken from us, as clouds of fire and metal and ash descended upon a sun-filled morning. This was a different kind of war. No armies came to our shores, and our military was not the principal target. Instead, a group of terrorists came to kill as many civilians as they could.

And so our nation went to war. We have now been at war for well over a decade. I won't review the full history. What is clear is that we quickly drove al Qaeda out of Afghanistan, but then shifted our focus and began a new war in Iraq. And this carried significant consequences for our fight against al Qaeda, our standing in the world, and '-- to this day '-- our interests in a vital region.

Meanwhile, we strengthened our defenses '-- hardening targets, tightening transportation security, giving law enforcement new tools to prevent terror. Most of these changes were sound. Some caused inconvenience. But some, like expanded surveillance, raised difficult questions about the balance that we strike between our interests in security and our values of privacy. And in some cases, I believe we compromised our basic values '-- by using torture to interrogate our enemies, and detaining individuals in a way that ran counter to the rule of law.

So after I took office, we stepped up the war against al Qaeda but we also sought to change its course. We relentlessly targeted al Qaeda's leadership. We ended the war in Iraq, and brought nearly 150,000 troops home. We pursued a new strategy in Afghanistan, and increased our training of Afghan forces. We unequivocally banned torture, affirmed our commitment to civilian courts, worked to align our policies with the rule of law, and expanded our consultations with Congress.

Today, Osama bin Laden is dead, and so are most of his top lieutenants. There have been no large-scale attacks on the United States, and our homeland is more secure. Fewer of our troops are in harm's way, and over the next 19 months they will continue to come home. Our alliances are strong, and so is our standing in the world. In sum, we are safer because of our efforts.

Now, make no mistake, our nation is still threatened by terrorists. From Benghazi to Boston, we have been tragically reminded of that truth. But we have to recognize that the threat has shifted and evolved from the one that came to our shores on 9/11. With a decade of experience now to draw from, this is the moment to ask ourselves hard questions '-- about the nature of today's threats and how we should confront them.

And these questions matter to every American.

For over the last decade, our nation has spent well over a trillion dollars on war, helping to explode our deficits and constraining our ability to nation-build here at home. Our servicemembers and their families have sacrificed far more on our behalf. Nearly 7,000 Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice. Many more have left a part of themselves on the battlefield, or brought the shadows of battle back home. From our use of drones to the detention of terrorist suspects, the decisions that we are making now will define the type of nation '-- and world '-- that we leave to our children.

So America is at a crossroads. We must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us. We have to be mindful of James Madison's warning that ''No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.'' Neither I, nor any President, can promise the total defeat of terror. We will never erase the evil that lies in the hearts of some human beings, nor stamp out every danger to our open society. But what we can do '-- what we must do '-- is dismantle networks that pose a direct danger to us, and make it less likely for new groups to gain a foothold, all the while maintaining the freedoms and ideals that we defend. And to define that strategy, we have to make decisions based not on fear, but on hard-earned wisdom. That begins with understanding the current threat that we face.

Today, the core of al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan is on the path to defeat. Their remaining operatives spend more time thinking about their own safety than plotting against us. They did not direct the attacks in Benghazi or Boston. They've not carried out a successful attack on our homeland since 9/11.

Instead, what we've seen is the emergence of various al Qaeda affiliates. From Yemen to Iraq, from Somalia to North Africa, the threat today is more diffuse, with Al Qaeda's affiliates in the Arabian Peninsula '-- AQAP '-- the most active in plotting against our homeland. And while none of AQAP's efforts approach the scale of 9/11, they have continued to plot acts of terror, like the attempt to blow up an airplane on Christmas Day in 2009.

Unrest in the Arab world has also allowed extremists to gain a foothold in countries like Libya and Syria. But here, too, there are differences from 9/11. In some cases, we continue to confront state-sponsored networks like Hezbollah that engage in acts of terror to achieve political goals. Other of these groups are simply collections of local militias or extremists interested in seizing territory. And while we are vigilant for signs that these groups may pose a transnational threat, most are focused on operating in the countries and regions where they are based. And that means we'll face more localized threats like what we saw in Benghazi, or the BP oil facility in Algeria, in which local operatives '-- perhaps in loose affiliation with regional networks '-- launch periodic attacks against Western diplomats, companies, and other soft targets, or resort to kidnapping and other criminal enterprises to fund their operations.

And finally, we face a real threat from radicalized individuals here in the United States. Whether it's a shooter at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, a plane flying into a building in Texas, or the extremists who killed 168 people at the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, America has confronted many forms of violent extremism in our history. Deranged or alienated individuals '-- often U.S. citizens or legal residents '-- can do enormous damage, particularly when inspired by larger notions of violent jihad. And that pull towards extremism appears to have led to the shooting at Fort Hood and the bombing of the Boston Marathon.

So that's the current threat '-- lethal yet less capable al Qaeda affiliates; threats to diplomatic facilities and businesses abroad; homegrown extremists. This is the future of terrorism. We have to take these threats seriously, and do all that we can to confront them. But as we shape our response, we have to recognize that the scale of this threat closely resembles the types of attacks we faced before 9/11.

In the 1980s, we lost Americans to terrorism at our Embassy in Beirut; at our Marine Barracks in Lebanon; on a cruise ship at sea; at a disco in Berlin; and on a Pan Am flight '-- Flight 103 '-- over Lockerbie. In the 1990s, we lost Americans to terrorism at the World Trade Center; at our military facilities in Saudi Arabia; and at our Embassy in Kenya. These attacks were all brutal; they were all deadly; and we learned that left unchecked, these threats can grow. But if dealt with smartly and proportionally, these threats need not rise to the level that we saw on the eve of 9/11.

Moreover, we have to recognize that these threats don't arise in a vacuum. Most, though not all, of the terrorism we faced is fueled by a common ideology '-- a belief by some extremists that Islam is in conflict with the United States and the West, and that violence against Western targets, including civilians, is justified in pursuit of a larger cause. Of course, this ideology is based on a lie, for the United States is not at war with Islam. And this ideology is rejected by the vast majority of Muslims, who are the most frequent victims of terrorist attacks.

Nevertheless, this ideology persists, and in an age when ideas and images can travel the globe in an instant, our response to terrorism can't depend on military or law enforcement alone. We need all elements of national power to win a battle of wills, a battle of ideas. So what I want to discuss here today is the components of such a comprehensive counterterrorism strategy.

First, we must finish the work of defeating al Qaeda and its associated forces.

In Afghanistan, we will complete our transition to Afghan responsibility for that country's security. Our troops will come home. Our combat mission will come to an end. And we will work with the Afghan government to train security forces, and sustain a counterterrorism force, which ensures that al Qaeda can never again establish a safe haven to launch attacks against us or our allies.

Beyond Afghanistan, we must define our effort not as a boundless ''global war on terror,'' but rather as a series of persistent, targeted efforts to dismantle specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America. In many cases, this will involve partnerships with other countries. Already, thousands of Pakistani soldiers have lost their lives fighting extremists. In Yemen, we are supporting security forces that have reclaimed territory from AQAP. In Somalia, we helped a coalition of African nations push al-Shabaab out of its strongholds. In Mali, we're providing military aid to French-led intervention to push back al Qaeda in the Maghreb, and help the people of Mali reclaim their future.

Much of our best counterterrorism cooperation results in the gathering and sharing of intelligence, the arrest and prosecution of terrorists. And that's how a Somali terrorist apprehended off the coast of Yemen is now in a prison in New York. That's how we worked with European allies to disrupt plots from Denmark to Germany to the United Kingdom. That's how intelligence collected with Saudi Arabia helped us stop a cargo plane from being blown up over the Atlantic. These partnerships work.

But despite our strong preference for the detention and prosecution of terrorists, sometimes this approach is foreclosed. Al Qaeda and its affiliates try to gain foothold in some of the most distant and unforgiving places on Earth. They take refuge in remote tribal regions. They hide in caves and walled compounds. They train in empty deserts and rugged mountains.

In some of these places '-- such as parts of Somalia and Yemen '-- the state only has the most tenuous reach into the territory. In other cases, the state lacks the capacity or will to take action. And it's also not possible for America to simply deploy a team of Special Forces to capture every terrorist. Even when such an approach may be possible, there are places where it would pose profound risks to our troops and local civilians '-- where a terrorist compound cannot be breached without triggering a firefight with surrounding tribal communities, for example, that pose no threat to us; times when putting U.S. boots on the ground may trigger a major international crisis.

To put it another way, our operation in Pakistan against Osama bin Laden cannot be the norm. The risks in that case were immense. The likelihood of capture, although that was our preference, was remote given the certainty that our folks would confront resistance. The fact that we did not find ourselves confronted with civilian casualties, or embroiled in an extended firefight, was a testament to the meticulous planning and professionalism of our Special Forces, but it also depended on some luck. And it was supported by massive infrastructure in Afghanistan.

And even then, the cost to our relationship with Pakistan '-- and the backlash among the Pakistani public over encroachment on their territory '-- was so severe that we are just now beginning to rebuild this important partnership.

So it is in this context that the United States has taken lethal, targeted action against al Qaeda and its associated forces, including with remotely piloted aircraft commonly referred to as drones.

As was true in previous armed conflicts, this new technology raises profound questions '-- about who is targeted, and why; about civilian casualties, and the risk of creating new enemies; about the legality of such strikes under U.S. and international law; about accountability and morality. So let me address these questions.

To begin with, our actions are effective. Don't take my word for it. In the intelligence gathered at bin Laden's compound, we found that he wrote, ''We could lose the reserves to enemy's air strikes. We cannot fight air strikes with explosives.'' Other communications from al Qaeda operatives confirm this as well. Dozens of highly skilled al Qaeda commanders, trainers, bomb makers and operatives have been taken off the battlefield. Plots have been disrupted that would have targeted international aviation, U.S. transit systems, European cities and our troops in Afghanistan. Simply put, these strikes have saved lives.

Moreover, America's actions are legal. We were attacked on 9/11. Within a week, Congress overwhelmingly authorized the use of force. Under domestic law, and international law, the United States is at war with al Qaeda, the Taliban, and their associated forces. We are at war with an organization that right now would kill as many Americans as they could if we did not stop them first. So this is a just war '-- a war waged proportionally, in last resort, and in self-defense.

And yet, as our fight enters a new phase, America's legitimate claim of self-defense cannot be the end of the discussion. To say a military tactic is legal, or even effective, is not to say it is wise or moral in every instance. For the same human progress that gives us the technology to strike half a world away also demands the discipline to constrain that power '-- or risk abusing it. And that's why, over the last four years, my administration has worked vigorously to establish a framework that governs our use of force against terrorists ''- insisting upon clear guidelines, oversight and accountability that is now codified in Presidential Policy Guidance that I signed yesterday.

In the Afghan war theater, we must '-- and will '-- continue to support our troops until the transition is complete at the end of 2014. And that means we will continue to take strikes against high value al Qaeda targets, but also against forces that are massing to support attacks on coalition forces. But by the end of 2014, we will no longer have the same need for force protection, and the progress we've made against core al Qaeda will reduce the need for unmanned strikes.

Beyond the Afghan theater, we only target al Qaeda and its associated forces. And even then, the use of drones is heavily constrained. America does not take strikes when we have the ability to capture individual terrorists; our preference is always to detain, interrogate, and prosecute. America cannot take strikes wherever we choose; our actions are bound by consultations with partners, and respect for state sovereignty.

America does not take strikes to punish individuals; we act against terrorists who pose a continuing and imminent threat to the American people, and when there are no other governments capable of effectively addressing the threat. And before any strike is taken, there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured '-- the highest standard we can set.

Now, this last point is critical, because much of the criticism about drone strikes '-- both here at home and abroad '-- understandably centers on reports of civilian casualties. There's a wide gap between U.S. assessments of such casualties and nongovernmental reports. Nevertheless, it is a hard fact that U.S. strikes have resulted in civilian casualties, a risk that exists in every war. And for the families of those civilians, no words or legal construct can justify their loss. For me, and those in my chain of command, those deaths will haunt us as long as we live, just as we are haunted by the civilian casualties that have occurred throughout conventional fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But as Commander-in-Chief, I must weigh these heartbreaking tragedies against the alternatives. To do nothing in the face of terrorist networks would invite far more civilian casualties '-- not just in our cities at home and our facilities abroad, but also in the very places like Sana'a and Kabul and Mogadishu where terrorists seek a foothold. Remember that the terrorists we are after target civilians, and the death toll from their acts of terrorism against Muslims dwarfs any estimate of civilian casualties from drone strikes. So doing nothing is not an option.

Where foreign governments cannot or will not effectively stop terrorism in their territory, the primary alternative to targeted lethal action would be the use of conventional military options. As I've already said, even small special operations carry enormous risks. Conventional airpower or missiles are far less precise than drones, and are likely to cause more civilian casualties and more local outrage. And invasions of these territories lead us to be viewed as occupying armies, unleash a torrent of unintended consequences, are difficult to contain, result in large numbers of civilian casualties and ultimately empower those who thrive on violent conflict.

So it is false to assert that putting boots on the ground is less likely to result in civilian deaths or less likely to create enemies in the Muslim world. The results would be more U.S. deaths, more Black Hawks down, more confrontations with local populations, and an inevitable mission creep in support of such raids that could easily escalate into new wars.

Yes, the conflict with al Qaeda, like all armed conflict, invites tragedy. But by narrowly targeting our action against those who want to kill us and not the people they hide among, we are choosing the course of action least likely to result in the loss of innocent life.

Our efforts must be measured against the history of putting American troops in distant lands among hostile populations. In Vietnam, hundreds of thousands of civilians died in a war where the boundaries of battle were blurred. In Iraq and Afghanistan, despite the extraordinary courage and discipline of our troops, thousands of civilians have been killed. So neither conventional military action nor waiting for attacks to occur offers moral safe harbor, and neither does a sole reliance on law enforcement in territories that have no functioning police or security services '-- and indeed, have no functioning law.

Now, this is not to say that the risks are not real. Any U.S. military action in foreign lands risks creating more enemies and impacts public opinion overseas. Moreover, our laws constrain the power of the President even during wartime, and I have taken an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States. The very precision of drone strikes and the necessary secrecy often involved in such actions can end up shielding our government from the public scrutiny that a troop deployment invites. It can also lead a President and his team to view drone strikes as a cure-all for terrorism.

And for this reason, I've insisted on strong oversight of all lethal action. After I took office, my administration began briefing all strikes outside of Iraq and Afghanistan to the appropriate committees of Congress. Let me repeat that: Not only did Congress authorize the use of force, it is briefed on every strike that America takes. Every strike. That includes the one instance when we targeted an American citizen '-- Anwar Awlaki, the chief of external operations for AQAP.

This week, I authorized the declassification of this action, and the deaths of three other Americans in drone strikes, to facilitate transparency and debate on this issue and to dismiss some of the more outlandish claims that have been made. For the record, I do not believe it would be constitutional for the government to target and kill any U.S. citizen '-- with a drone, or with a shotgun '-- without due process, nor should any President deploy armed drones over U.S. soil.

But when a U.S. citizen goes abroad to wage war against America and is actively plotting to kill U.S. citizens, and when neither the United States, nor our partners are in a position to capture him before he carries out a plot, his citizenship should no more serve as a shield than a sniper shooting down on an innocent crowd should be protected from a SWAT team.

That's who Anwar Awlaki was '-- he was continuously trying to kill people. He helped oversee the 2010 plot to detonate explosive devices on two U.S.-bound cargo planes. He was involved in planning to blow up an airliner in 2009. When Farouk Abdulmutallab '-- the Christmas Day bomber '-- went to Yemen in 2009, Awlaki hosted him, approved his suicide operation, helped him tape a martyrdom video to be shown after the attack, and his last instructions were to blow up the airplane when it was over American soil. I would have detained and prosecuted Awlaki if we captured him before he carried out a plot, but we couldn't. And as President, I would have been derelict in my duty had I not authorized the strike that took him out.

Of course, the targeting of any American raises constitutional issues that are not present in other strikes '-- which is why my administration submitted information about Awlaki to the Department of Justice months before Awlaki was killed, and briefed the Congress before this strike as well. But the high threshold that we've set for taking lethal action applies to all potential terrorist targets, regardless of whether or not they are American citizens. This threshold respects the inherent dignity of every human life. Alongside the decision to put our men and women in uniform in harm's way, the decision to use force against individuals or groups '-- even against a sworn enemy of the United States '-- is the hardest thing I do as President. But these decisions must be made, given my responsibility to protect the American people.

Going forward, I've asked my administration to review proposals to extend oversight of lethal actions outside of warzones that go beyond our reporting to Congress. Each option has virtues in theory, but poses difficulties in practice. For example, the establishment of a special court to evaluate and authorize lethal action has the benefit of bringing a third branch of government into the process, but raises serious constitutional issues about presidential and judicial authority. Another idea that's been suggested '-- the establishment of an independent oversight board in the executive branch '-- avoids those problems, but may introduce a layer of bureaucracy into national security decision-making, without inspiring additional public confidence in the process. But despite these challenges, I look forward to actively engaging Congress to explore these and other options for increased oversight.

I believe, however, that the use of force must be seen as part of a larger discussion we need to have about a comprehensive counterterrorism strategy '-- because for all the focus on the use of force, force alone cannot make us safe. We cannot use force everywhere that a radical ideology takes root; and in the absence of a strategy that reduces the wellspring of extremism, a perpetual war '-- through drones or Special Forces or troop deployments '-- will prove self-defeating, and alter our country in troubling ways.

So the next element of our strategy involves addressing the underlying grievances and conflicts that feed extremism '-- from North Africa to South Asia. As we've learned this past decade, this is a vast and complex undertaking. We must be humble in our expectation that we can quickly resolve deep-rooted problems like poverty and sectarian hatred. Moreover, no two countries are alike, and some will undergo chaotic change before things get better. But our security and our values demand that we make the effort.

This means patiently supporting transitions to democracy in places like Egypt and Tunisia and Libya '-- because the peaceful realization of individual aspirations will serve as a rebuke to violent extremists. We must strengthen the opposition in Syria, while isolating extremist elements '-- because the end of a tyrant must not give way to the tyranny of terrorism. We are actively working to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians '-- because it is right and because such a peace could help reshape attitudes in the region. And we must help countries modernize economies, upgrade education, and encourage entrepreneurship '-- because American leadership has always been elevated by our ability to connect with people's hopes, and not simply their fears.

And success on all these fronts requires sustained engagement, but it will also require resources. I know that foreign aid is one of the least popular expenditures that there is. That's true for Democrats and Republicans '-- I've seen the polling '-- even though it amounts to less than one percent of the federal budget. In fact, a lot of folks think it's 25 percent, if you ask people on the streets. Less than one percent '-- still wildly unpopular. But foreign assistance cannot be viewed as charity. It is fundamental to our national security. And it's fundamental to any sensible long-term strategy to battle extremism.

Moreover, foreign assistance is a tiny fraction of what we spend fighting wars that our assistance might ultimately prevent. For what we spent in a month in Iraq at the height of the war, we could be training security forces in Libya, maintaining peace agreements between Israel and its neighbors, feeding the hungry in Yemen, building schools in Pakistan, and creating reservoirs of goodwill that marginalize extremists. That has to be part of our strategy.

Moreover, America cannot carry out this work if we don't have diplomats serving in some very dangerous places. Over the past decade, we have strengthened security at our embassies, and I am implementing every recommendation of the Accountability Review Board, which found unacceptable failures in Benghazi. I've called on Congress to fully fund these efforts to bolster security and harden facilities, improve intelligence, and facilitate a quicker response time from our military if a crisis emerges.

But even after we take these steps, some irreducible risks to our diplomats will remain. This is the price of being the world's most powerful nation, particularly as a wave of change washes over the Arab World. And in balancing the trade4offs between security and active diplomacy, I firmly believe that any retreat from challenging regions will only increase the dangers that we face in the long run. And that's why we should be grateful to those diplomats who are willing to serve.

Targeted action against terrorists, effective partnerships, diplomatic engagement and assistance '-- through such a comprehensive strategy we can significantly reduce the chances of large-scale attacks on the homeland and mitigate threats to Americans overseas. But as we guard against dangers from abroad, we cannot neglect the daunting challenge of terrorism from within our borders.

As I said earlier, this threat is not new. But technology and the Internet increase its frequency and in some cases its lethality. Today, a person can consume hateful propaganda, commit themselves to a violent agenda, and learn how to kill without leaving their home. To address this threat, two years ago my administration did a comprehensive review and engaged with law enforcement.

And the best way to prevent violent extremism inspired by violent jihadists is to work with the Muslim American community '-- which has consistently rejected terrorism '-- to identify signs of radicalization and partner with law enforcement when an individual is drifting towards violence. And these partnerships can only work when we recognize that Muslims are a fundamental part of the American family. In fact, the success of American Muslims and our determination to guard against any encroachments on their civil liberties is the ultimate rebuke to those who say that we're at war with Islam.

Thwarting homegrown plots presents particular challenges in part because of our proud commitment to civil liberties for all who call America home. That's why, in the years to come, we will have to keep working hard to strike the appropriate balance between our need for security and preserving those freedoms that make us who we are. That means reviewing the authorities of law enforcement, so we can intercept new types of communication, but also build in privacy protections to prevent abuse.

That means that '-- even after Boston '-- we do not deport someone or throw somebody in prison in the absence of evidence. That means putting careful constraints on the tools the government uses to protect sensitive information, such as the state secrets doctrine. And that means finally having a strong Privacy and Civil Liberties Board to review those issues where our counterterrorism efforts and our values may come into tension.

The Justice Department's investigation of national security leaks offers a recent example of the challenges involved in striking the right balance between our security and our open society. As Commander-in-Chief, I believe we must keep information secret that protects our operations and our people in the field. To do so, we must enforce consequences for those who break the law and breach their commitment to protect classified information. But a free press is also essential for our democracy. That's who we are. And I'm troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable.

Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs. Our focus must be on those who break the law. And that's why I've called on Congress to pass a media shield law to guard against government overreach. And I've raised these issues with the Attorney General, who shares my concerns. So he has agreed to review existing Department of Justice guidelines governing investigations that involve reporters, and he'll convene a group of media organizations to hear their concerns as part of that review. And I've directed the Attorney General to report back to me by July 12th.

Now, all these issues remind us that the choices we make about war can impact '-- in sometimes unintended ways '-- the openness and freedom on which our way of life depends. And that is why I intend to engage Congress about the existing Authorization to Use Military Force, or AUMF, to determine how we can continue to fight terrorism without keeping America on a perpetual wartime footing.

The AUMF is now nearly 12 years old. The Afghan war is coming to an end. Core al Qaeda is a shell of its former self. Groups like AQAP must be dealt with, but in the years to come, not every collection of thugs that labels themselves al Qaeda will pose a credible threat to the United States. Unless we discipline our thinking, our definitions, our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don't need to fight, or continue to grant Presidents unbound powers more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states.

So I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF's mandate. And I will not sign laws designed to expand this mandate further. Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all wars, must end. That's what history advises. That's what our democracy demands.

And that brings me to my final topic: the detention of terrorist suspects. I'm going to repeat one more time: As a matter of policy, the preference of the United States is to capture terrorist suspects. When we do detain a suspect, we interrogate them. And if the suspect can be prosecuted, we decide whether to try him in a civilian court or a military commission.

During the past decade, the vast majority of those detained by our military were captured on the battlefield. In Iraq, we turned over thousands of prisoners as we ended the war. In Afghanistan, we have transitioned detention facilities to the Afghans, as part of the process of restoring Afghan sovereignty. So we bring law of war detention to an end, and we are committed to prosecuting terrorists wherever we can.

The glaring exception to this time-tested approach is the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. The original premise for opening GTMO '-- that detainees would not be able to challenge their detention '-- was found unconstitutional five years ago. In the meantime, GTMO has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law. Our allies won't cooperate with us if they think a terrorist will end up at GTMO.

During a time of budget cuts, we spend $150 million each year to imprison 166 people '-- almost $1 million per prisoner. And the Department of Defense estimates that we must spend another $200 million to keep GTMO open at a time when we're cutting investments in education and research here at home, and when the Pentagon is struggling with sequester and budget cuts.

As President, I have tried to close GTMO. I transferred 67 detainees to other countries before Congress imposed restrictions to effectively prevent us from either transferring detainees to other countries or imprisoning them here in the United States.

These restrictions make no sense. After all, under President Bush, some 530 detainees were transferred from GTMO with Congress's support. When I ran for President the first time, John McCain supported closing GTMO '-- this was a bipartisan issue. No person has ever escaped one of our super-max or military prisons here in the United States '-- ever. Our courts have convicted hundreds of people for terrorism or terrorism-related offenses, including some folks who are more dangerous than most GTMO detainees. They're in our prisons.

And given my administration's relentless pursuit of al Qaeda's leadership, there is no justification beyond politics for Congress to prevent us from closing a facility that should have never have been opened. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Excuse me, President Obama ''

MR. OBAMA: So '-- let me finish, ma'am. So today, once again ''

AUDIENCE MEMBER: There are 102 people on a hunger strike. These are desperate people.

MR. OBAMA: I'm about to address it, ma'am, but you've got to let me speak. I'm about to address it.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: You're our Commander-In-Chief ''

MR. OBAMA: Let me address it.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: '-- you an close Guantanamo Bay.

MR. OBAMA: Why don't you let me address it, ma'am.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: There's still prisoners ''

MR. OBAMA: Why don't you sit down and I will tell you exactly what I'm going to do.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: That includes 57 Yemenis.

MR. OBAMA: Thank you, ma'am. Thank you. (Applause.) Ma'am, thank you. You should let me finish my sentence.

Today, I once again call on Congress to lift the restrictions on detainee transfers from GTMO. (Applause.)

I have asked the Department of Defense to designate a site in the United States where we can hold military commissions. I'm appointing a new senior envoy at the State Department and Defense Department whose sole responsibility will be to achieve the transfer of detainees to third countries.

I am lifting the moratorium on detainee transfers to Yemen so we can review them on a case-by-case basis. To the greatest extent possible, we will transfer detainees who have been cleared to go to other countries.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: '-- prisoners already. Release them today.

MR. OBAMA: Where appropriate, we will bring terrorists to justice in our courts and our military justice system. And we will insist that judicial review be available for every detainee.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: It needs to be ''

THE PRESIDENT: Now, ma'am, let me finish. Let me finish, ma'am. Part of free speech is you being able to speak, but also, you listening and me being able to speak. (Applause.)

Now, even after we take these steps one issue will remain '-- just how to deal with those GTMO detainees who we know have participated in dangerous plots or attacks but who cannot be prosecuted, for example, because the evidence against them has been compromised or is inadmissible in a court of law. But once we commit to a process of closing GTMO, I am confident that this legacy problem can be resolved, consistent with our commitment to the rule of law.

I know the politics are hard. But history will cast a harsh judgment on this aspect of our fight against terrorism and those of us who fail to end it. Imagine a future '-- 10 years from now or 20 years from now '-- when the United States of America is still holding people who have been charged with no crime on a piece of land that is not part of our country. Look at the current situation, where we are force-feeding detainees who are being held on a hunger strike. I'm willing to cut the young lady who interrupted me some slack because it's worth being passionate about. Is this who we are? Is that something our Founders foresaw? Is that the America we want to leave our children? Our sense of justice is stronger than that.

We have prosecuted scores of terrorists in our courts. That includes Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to blow up an airplane over Detroit; and Faisal Shahzad, who put a car bomb in Times Square. It's in a court of law that we will try Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is accused of bombing the Boston Marathon. Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, is, as we speak, serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison here in the United States. In sentencing Reid, Judge William Young told him, ''The way we treat you' the measure of our own liberties.''

AUDIENCE MEMBER: How about Abdulmutallab '-- locking up a 16-year-old '-- is that the way we treat a 16-year old? (Inaudible) '-- can you take the drones out of the hands of the CIA? Can you stop the signature strikes killing people on the basis of suspicious activities?

MR. OBAMA: We're addressing that, ma'am.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: '-- thousands of Muslims that got killed '-- will you compensate the innocent families '-- that will make us safer here at home. I love my country. I love (inaudible) '--

MR. OBAMA: I think that '-- and I'm going off script, as you might expect here. (Laughter and applause.) The voice of that woman is worth paying attention to. (Applause.) Obviously, I do not agree with much of what she said, and obviously she wasn't listening to me in much of what I said. But these are tough issues, and the suggestion that we can gloss over them is wrong.

When that judge sentenced Mr. Reid, the shoe bomber, he went on to point to the American flag that flew in the courtroom. ''That flag,'' he said, ''will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag still stands for freedom.''

So, America, we've faced down dangers far greater than al Qaeda. By staying true to the values of our founding, and by using our constitutional compass, we have overcome slavery and Civil War and fascism and communism. In just these last few years as President, I've watched the American people bounce back from painful recession, mass shootings, natural disasters like the recent tornados that devastated Oklahoma. These events were heartbreaking; they shook our communities to the core. But because of the resilience of the American people, these events could not come close to breaking us.

I think of Lauren Manning, the 9/11 survivor who had severe burns over 80 percent of her body, who said, ''That's my reality. I put a Band-Aid on it, literally, and I move on.''

I think of the New Yorkers who filled Times Square the day after an attempted car bomb as if nothing had happened.

I think of the proud Pakistani parents who, after their daughter was invited to the White House, wrote to us, ''We have raised an American Muslim daughter to dream big and never give up because it does pay off.''

I think of all the wounded warriors rebuilding their lives, and helping other vets to find jobs.

I think of the runner planning to do the 2014 Boston Marathon, who said, ''Next year, you're going to have more people than ever. Determination is not something to be messed with.''

That's who the American people are '-- determined, and not to be messed with. And now we need a strategy and a politics that reflects this resilient spirit.

Our victory against terrorism won't be measured in a surrender ceremony at a battleship, or a statue being pulled to the ground. Victory will be measured in parents taking their kids to school; immigrants coming to our shores; fans taking in a ballgame; a veteran starting a business; a bustling city street; a citizen shouting her concerns at a President.

The quiet determination; that strength of character and bond of fellowship; that refutation of fear '-- that is both our sword and our shield. And long after the current messengers of hate have faded from the world's memory, alongside the brutal despots, and deranged madmen, and ruthless demagogues who litter history '-- the flag of the United States will still wave from small-town cemeteries to national monuments, to distant outposts abroad. And that flag will still stand for freedom.

Thank you very, everybody. God bless you. May God bless the United States of America.

Obama Orders Drone Strikes, Killing of 6 ''Suspected Militants'' in Yemen

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Archived Version

Sat, 25 May 2013 08:54

by Joe Wolverton

Just days before President Obama is scheduled to make a major policy speech announcing his legal justification for his use of drones as a means of summary execution, the U.S. has ramped up the remote control war in the Yemeni theater.

In a pre-dawn strike Friday night, May 17, drones piloted by U.S. officials (military or CIA) launched several missiles at a truck traveling on a road north of Ja'ar in the Abyan province of Yemen. At least four and as many as seven people were killed with many others wounded.

An AFP story reports that ''the truck was carrying grenades and explosive belts'' and that all the ordnance was destroyed by the missiles.

The AFP and other major media accounts of the story also reported that all those killed in the attack were ''suspected militants'' associated with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the local branch of the global terrorist network.

For President Obama and those pulling the triggers on the joysticks guiding the missiles toward their human targets, ''suspected militants'' are officially defined as ''all military-age males in a strike zone.''

For those of us concerned with the Constitution, due process, and the rule of law, however, ''suspected militant'' is just a euphemism for a person not charged with any crime, not afforded even the most perfunctory due process protections, but executed by presidential decree anyway. In this way, we are no better than those we kill in the name of safety.

Last Friday's attack was the first in Yemen in nearly a month, but it wasn't the last.

On Monday '-- just four days after the previous strike '-- the Obama administration ordered an attack on a motorcycle as it drove away from a farm in the central Yemeni province of Baydah.

Striking a very familiar (and convenient) tone, the Long War Journal reported that ''Two members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula were killed in the airstrike. The Yemeni military identified the fighters as Abd Rabbo Mokbal Mohammed Jarallah al Zouba and Abbad Mossad Abbad Khobzi.''

Long War Journal also recounts the purported growth of the group in the area:

Since losing control of large areas of Abyan and Shabwa, AQAP has spread out into the provinces of Aden, Al Baydah, Al Jawf, Damar, Hadramout, Hodeida, Ibb, Marib, Saada, and Sana'a. Of the 29 drones strikes recorded by The Long War Journal over the past 11 months, 25 have taken place in the provinces of Aden, Al Baydah, Al Jawf, Damar, Hadramout, Hodeida, Ibb, Marib, Saada, and Sana'a.

AQAP has increased its presence in Baydah province over the past several years, and the US has pursued the terror group with drone strikes. On May 28, 2012, the US targeted Kaid al Dhahab, AQAP's emir in the province, and his brother Nabil, who is also a senior leader in the terror group, in a strike in the town of Rada'a.

Although it is the official policy of the United States to refuse to confirm drone strikes or associated casualties, reports from Yemen indicate that the United States has launched nine drone strikes in the country in 2013.

In 2012, 42 drone strikes were ordered in Yemen by the U.S. government. In 2011, there were 10 such strikes, all of which were prosecuted under the pretext of targeting the leadership of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

This expansion of the Yemeni area of operation of the deadly drone war is likely to continue on its record-setting pace. In fact, U.S. ''successes'' in the region are being used as a blueprint for the execution of the tactic in other areas, particularly in North Africa.

With that in mind, Americans can expect the growth of anti-American sentiment to increase proportionally to the number of missiles fired from the powerful Predator and Reaper drones used to carry out the culling of the president's kill list.

That sentiment is already being channeled by al-Qaeda leadership as its primary recruitment message.

Testimony from victims and eyewitnesses of the drone-delivered devastation in Yemen reveals that the attacks are serving better to recruit al-Qaeda than defeat them.

Since the inauguration of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, the number of sorties sent to Yemen has spiked.

Although U.S. officials typically do not comment on this or any other drone strike in Yemen or elsewhere, Hadi isn't quite so close-mouthed about the arrangement between the two ''allies.''

In a statement made to the Washington Post in an interview published September 29, 2012, President Hadi said he ''personally approves every U.S. drone strike in his country.''

Hadi's praise for the Predators continued during a speech delivered at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. ''They [drones] pinpoint the target and have zero margin of error, if you know what target you're aiming at,'' Hadi said, according to the New York Times.

As the Washington Post rightly posits, it is likely this personal interest in promoting President Obama's drone war that has influenced U.S. officials to consider Hadi ''one of the United States' staunchest counterterrorism allies.''

Beyond the effect the winnowing of the president's kill list is having on domestic politics in Yemen, there is a larger threat to security from blowback.

Blowback in this case is defined as violent counter-attacks carried out as revenge for covert operations.

After a drone attack killed 13 Yemenis by ''mistake'' last September, relatives of those killed in the strike spoke with the clarity and carelessness that comes from the mixture of mourning and rage.

''You want us to stay quiet while our wives and brothers are being killed for no reason. This attack is the real terrorism,'' said Mansoor al-Maweri, whom CNN reported as being ''near the scene of the strike.''

Then there was this from ''an activist'' who lives near the site of the September massacre:

''I would not be surprised if a hundred tribesmen joined the lines of al Qaeda as a result of the latest drone mistake,'' said Nasr Abdullah. ''This part of Yemen takes revenge very seriously.''

Perhaps an increase in militancy isn't a relevant consideration. There are some who argue that the goal of the drone war is not to reduce AQAP's strength, but to increase the safety of the United States.

The problem with that premise is that there is no way to tell who is a ''militant'' and who isn't.

Besides, when did militancy become a crime? If it is a crime, where is it defined? How can anyone know if he is guilty of militancy if such a crime is not defined? Could one hypothetically be a militant without knowing it, given that the crime is nowhere defined?

Incidentally, it is this very vagueness that dilates the grey area and makes the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) such a fearsome weapon in the arsenal of the seemingly all-powerful president.

With this record in mind, it is all but certain that President Obama's speech on Thursday will continue to ring the ''militant'' alarm bell and warn that these threats to the homeland must be hunted and must be killed to keep America safe.

The New American will cover the speech and provide appropriate context for all the president's claims.

Fact Sheet: U.S. Policy Standards and Procedures for the Use of Force in Counterterrorism Operations Outside the United States and Areas of Active Hostilities

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Archived Version

Source: White Press Office Feed

Fri, 24 May 2013 09:58

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

May 23, 2013

Since his first day in office, President Obama has been clear that the United States will use all available tools of national power to protect the American people from the terrorist threat posed by al-Qa'ida and its associated forces. The President has also made clear that, in carrying on this fight, we will uphold our laws and values and will share as much information as possible with the American people and the Congress, consistent with our national security needs and the proper functioning of the Executive Branch. To these ends, the President has approved, and senior members of the Executive Branch have briefed to the Congress, written policy standards and procedures that formalize and strengthen the Administration's rigorous process for reviewing and approving operations to capture or employ lethal force against terrorist targets outside the United States and outside areas of active hostilities. Additionally, the President has decided to share, in this document, certain key elements of these standards and procedures with the American people so that they can make informed judgments and hold the Executive Branch accountable.

This document provides information regarding counterterrorism policy standards and procedures that are either already in place or will be transitioned into place over time. As Administration officials have stated publicly on numerous occasions, we are continually working to refine, clarify, and strengthen our standards and processes for using force to keep the nation safe from the terrorist threat. One constant is our commitment to conducting counterterrorism operations lawfully. In addition, we consider the separate question of whether force should be used as a matter of policy. The most important policy consideration, particularly when the United States contemplates using lethal force, is whether our actions protect American lives.

Preference for CaptureThe policy of the United States is not to use lethal force when it is feasible to capture a terrorist suspect, because capturing a terrorist offers the best opportunity to gather meaningful intelligence and to mitigate and disrupt terrorist plots. Capture operations are conducted only against suspects who may lawfully be captured or otherwise taken into custody by the United States and only when the operation can be conducted in accordance with all applicable law and consistent with our obligations to other sovereign states.

Standards for the Use of Lethal ForceAny decision to use force abroad '' even when our adversaries are terrorists dedicated to killing American citizens '' is a significant one. Lethal force will not be proposed or pursued as punishment or as a substitute for prosecuting a terrorist suspect in a civilian court or a military commission. Lethal force will be used only to prevent or stop attacks against U.S. persons, and even then, only when capture is not feasible and no other reasonable alternatives exist to address the threat effectively. In particular, lethal force will be used outside areas of active hostilities only when the following preconditions are met:

First, there must be a legal basis for using lethal force, whether it is against a senior operational leader of a terrorist organization or the forces that organization is using or intends to use to conduct terrorist attacks.

Second, the United States will use lethal force only against a target that poses a continuing, imminent threat to U.S. persons. It is simply not the case that all terrorists pose a continuing, imminent threat to U.S. persons; if a terrorist does not pose such a threat, the United States will not use lethal force.

Third, the following criteria must be met before lethal action may be taken:

Near certainty that the terrorist target is present;

Near certainty that non-combatants[1] will not be injured or killed;

An assessment that capture is not feasible at the time of the operation;

An assessment that the relevant governmental authorities in the country where action is contemplated cannot or will not effectively address the threat to U.S. persons; and

An assessment that no other reasonable alternatives exist to effectively address the threat to U.S. persons.

Finally, whenever the United States uses force in foreign territories, international legal principles, including respect for sovereignty and the law of armed conflict, impose important constraints on the ability of the United States to act unilaterally '' and on the way in which the United States can use force. The United States respects national sovereignty and international law.

U.S. Government Coordination and ReviewDecisions to capture or otherwise use force against individual terrorists outside the United States and areas of active hostilities are made at the most senior levels of the U.S. Government, informed by departments and agencies with relevant expertise and institutional roles. Senior national security officials '' including the deputies and heads of key departments and agencies '' will consider proposals to make sure that our policy standards are met, and attorneys '' including the senior lawyers of key departments and agencies '' will review and determine the legality of proposals.

These decisions will be informed by a broad analysis of an intended target's current and past role in plots threatening U.S. persons; relevant intelligence information the individual could provide; and the potential impact of the operation on ongoing terrorism plotting, on the capabilities of terrorist organizations, on U.S. foreign relations, and on U.S. intelligence collection. Such analysis will inform consideration of whether the individual meets both the legal and policy standards for the operation.

Other Key ElementsU.S. Persons. If the United States considers an operation against a terrorist identified as a U.S. person, the Department of Justice will conduct an additional legal analysis to ensure that such action may be conducted against the individual consistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States.

Reservation of Authority. These new standards and procedures do not limit the President's authority to take action in extraordinary circumstances when doing so is both lawful and necessary to protect the United States or its allies.

Congressional Notification. Since entering office, the President has made certain that the appropriate Members of Congress have been kept fully informed about our counterterrorism operations. Consistent with this strong and continuing commitment to congressional oversight, appropriate Members of the Congress will be regularly provided with updates identifying any individuals against whom lethal force has been approved. In addition, the appropriate committees of Congress will be notified whenever a counterterrorism operation covered by these standards and procedures has been conducted.

[1] Non-combatants are individuals who may not be made the object of attack under applicable international law. The term ''non-combatant'' does not include an individual who is part of a belligerent party to an armed conflict, an individual who is taking a direct part in hostilities, or an individual who is targetable in the exercise of national self-defense. Males of military age may be non-combatants; it is not the case that all military-aged males in the vicinity of a target are deemed to be combatants.




Possible to do easily or conveniently.

Likely; probable.


Headless in Blighty


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Source: aangirfan

Sun, 26 May 2013 07:11

Michael Adebolajo released from Kenya, with the help of MI5?Michael Adebolajo, one of the alleged 'Woolwich terrorists', is reported to have become a father just days before the Woolwich attack.In 2010, Michael Adebolajo may have been sent by the UK security services to work for al Qaeda in Somalia.(Al Qaeda is now being used to try to topple President Assad of Syria)Reportedly, Michael Adebolajo was among a group arrested in Kenya en route to Somalia in 2010.Michael Adebolajo was arrested in Kenya under suspicion of being at the centre of a CIA-al-Qaeda-inspired plot in 2010.

MI5 'tried to recruit' Woolwich attack suspect Michael Adebolajo

He was one of seven people, which included two secondary-school boys, arrested by Kenyan police in November 2010.

7/7 London Bombs mastermind Aswat (right) reportedly worked for MI6. London Bombs - unanswered questions The Kenyan press reported that Michael Adebolajo was "suspected of masterminding the racket".

Michael Adebolajo appears to have had the backing of the UK government because he was deported back to Britain without charge.

After returning from Kenya, members of his family said he was constantly in contact with MI5 agents.

MI5 'tried to recruit' Woolwich attack suspect Michael Adebolajo

Adel Abdul Majid was implicated in the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat (above). In 1991, he fled to Britain and immediately was granted political asylum. Terrorists working for MI6 BBC Newsnight may have been used to create disinformation on the MI5 connection.'A friend of Michael Adebolajo' told the BBC that MI5 had attempted to recruit Michael Adebolajo six months ago.

It is more likely that Michael Adebolajo had been an asset of MI5 for many years.

When Michael Adebolajo was arrested in kenya, his family had been told by the Kenyan authorities that he would be hanged or beheaded.

But he was freed to return to Britain.

"The decision has raised questions over official involvement in Mr Adebolajo's release '' and the true extent of his connections with the intelligence services since he returned home to the UK."

MI5 'tried to recruit' Woolwich attack suspect Michael Adebolajo

Aimee West

Aimee West is reported to be Lee Rigby's mistress.

A friend of Aimee West, a Royal Military Policewoman, told the Sunday Mirror: "They met about two years ago and he proposed to her recently. I don't think she will ever take that ring off.Michael Adebowale

The father of the alleged 'Woolwich terrorist' Michael Adebowale is a diplomat.

He works for the Nigerian High Commission and lives in a flat just yards from Holloway prison. The mother Juliet Obasuyi was a probation officer.

"He was a young loving boy, quiet," says Damilola Taylor's father who mentored Adebowale

Anders Breivik was the son of a diplomat and was a loving boy.The security services often choose people like Adebowale and Breivik to become their mind-controlled patsies.Steve Adebiyi said of his friend Michael Adebowale: 'They brainwashed him.'


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.

BBC News - Stockholm restaurant torched as riots spread

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Sat, 25 May 2013 08:33

23 May 2013Last updated at10:43 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 unrest began on Sunday in the deprived, largely immigrant suburb of Husby, to the north-west of the city.

Days earlier the police had shot dead an elderly man who had allegedly threatened to kill them with a machete.

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 worst of the latest rioting has been in the south of the city.

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

Activists in the Husby 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 have typically waited for emergency services to attend a fire before attacking them.

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 prosecutors were investigating complaints, and the behaviour of one police officer in particular.

But he 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.

Luchtmobiele Brigade onder Duits commando - Binnenland

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Sat, 25 May 2013 08:39

Luchtmobiele Brigade onder Duits commando - Binnenland | Het laatste nieuws uit Nederland leest u op [binnenland]Uw browser ondersteunt geen javascript of javascript staat uitgeschakeld. Hierdoor kunnen er cookies geplaatst worden waar u geen toestemming voor heeft gegeven.


Remarks by the President Presenting Carole King the Gershwin Prize

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Source: White Press Office Feed

Sat, 25 May 2013 22:02

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

May 22, 2013

East RoomWashington, D.C.

8:32 P.M. EDT THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. I have to say that as the podium came out, which meant that was my cue, my mother-in-law said, "Oh, shoot." (Laughter.) True story -- she was getting into the music. (Laughter.) Welcome to the White House, everybody.

I want to start by thanking all the incredible artists who have joined us to pay tribute to the one and only Carole King. (Applause.) I also want to thank Dr. James Billington and all the folks at the Library of Congress not just for making this event possible, but for the outstanding work that they do every day to preserve the very best of our culture for generations to come. (Applause.)

Of course, as we gather tonight to present this award, our thoughts and prayers remain with the wonderful people of Oklahoma. They have suffered mightily this week. And while the road ahead will be long, their country will be with them every single step of the way. That's who we are and that's how we treat our family and friends, and our neighbors wherever they are in the country. So we're going to help them recover. We're going to help them rebuild for as long as it takes. And eventually, life will go on and new memories will be made. New laughter will come. New songs will be sung.

And that's often why we turn to music during trying times -- for comfort and for inspiration, and sometimes just for a good diversion. George Gershwin, it was said, was a ''man who lives in music,'' who ''expresses everything, serious or not, sound or superficial, by means of music, because it is his native language.'' And I can't think of a better description of tonight's Gershwin Prize recipient, singer-songwriter Carole King.

By the age of four, Carole was already mastering the piano. By 15, she had already conducted her first orchestra. By 17, she had already written her first number one hit, which you've already heard -- ''Will You Love Me Tomorrow'' -- with Gerry Goffin. So at this point, all of you are feeling like underachievers. I understand. (Laughter.) It was pretty clear by this time that this promising young musician from New York -- who grew up not far from where George and Ira Gershwin were born -- was destined for similar heights.

Whether it was Little Eva telling us to do the "Loco-Motion" or Aretha Franklin belting out the anthem of "A Natural Woman" or James Taylor reminding us that even here in Washington, "You've got a friend" -- (laughter) -- for an entire decade, behind so many of the songs that touched our hearts, behind so many of the lyrics that stirred our soul there was Carole -- ever joyful, ever uplifting.

And then, in 1971, came the biggest break of all, when she showed the world that she couldn't just write hit songs, she could sing them too. Her album -- ''Tapestry'' -- struck a chord with a whole new legion of fans, including me. It was the very first solo album by a female artist to reach Diamond status, meaning it sold more than 10 million copies. It was the first album by a female artist to win all the top Grammy awards for record, song, and album of the year, along with the Grammy for best pop vocal performance. And as one of the best-selling albums of all-time, it cemented Carole's status as one of the most influential singer-songwriters that America has ever seen.

To date, Carole has written more than 400 compositions that have been recorded by over 1,000 artists, resulting in over 100 hits. She's done everything from doo-wop to pop. She's played with everyone from Bono to Babyface. (Laughter.) She's been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And tonight, she's still reaching new heights, becoming the first female artist to win the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. (Applause.)

As Carole tells it, the secret to her success is that ''I try to get out of the way and let the process be guided by whatever is driving me.'' That's what makes her songs so personal and so powerful, so enduring. Like the Gershwins, it's not just that Carole lives the music. It's that music lives in her.

So tonight, it is my great pleasure to present America's highest award for popular music to a living legend, Carole King. (Applause.)

END 8:38 P.M. EDT

How wealth of Silicon Valley's tech elite created a world apart

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Source: The Guardian World News

Sat, 25 May 2013 22:09

Every morning and every evening the fleet glides through the city, hundreds of white buses with tinted windows navigating San Francisco's rush hour. From the pavement you can see your reflection in the windows, but you can't see in. The buses have no markings or logos, no advertised destinations or stops.

It doesn't matter. Everyone knows what they are. "Transport for a breed apart. For a community that is separate but not equal," said Diamond Dave Whitaker, a self-professed beat poet and rabble-rouser.

The buses ferry workers to and from Apple, Facebook, Google and other companies in Silicon Valley, an hour's drive south. They hum with air-conditioning and Wi-Fi. They are for the tech elite, and only the tech elite.

This month Whitaker, 75, and a few dozen other activists smashed a model Google bus pi±ata to pieces. They cheered each blow. The British and US governments may feel the same way, it emerged last week, when politicians in London and Washington accused Google's Eric Schmidt and Apple's Tim Cook of dodging corporate taxes.

The internet titans barely flinched. They denied wrongdoing and hit back at what they said were archaic tax codes unfit for the digital era. The defiance startled those unfamiliar with Silicon Valley's power and confidence.

It did not come as news to San Francisco. The city knows better than anyone that technology companies like having things their way, whether it be taxes, transport or lifestyle. This dominance, critics say, has produced a cossetted caste which lords it over everyone else, a pattern established during the dotcom explosion a decade ago and now repeated amid a roaring boom.

"They're really trying to make it a different structure. It's segmentation. You see it everywhere," said Michael Veremans, 27, a co-ordinator with the Occupy-linked group San Francisco Food Not Bombs.

Commuters who struggle with the crowded municipal bus service openly envy the spacious tech shuttles filled with their iPad-tapping passengers.

The San Francisco Chronicle recently swelled the chorus with an op-ed denouncing the private shuttles as symbols of alienation and division: "San Franciscans feel resentful about the technology industry's lack of civic and community engagement, and the Google bus is our daily reminder."

Techies, in other words, price locals out of the housing market, twist rules and regulations to suit themselves, and spend outrageously.

The most vilified are the likes of David Sacks, Yammer's CEO, who held an extravagant "Let them eat cake"-themed 40th birthday party last year. Facebook billionaire Sean Parker is preparing a reported $10m Game of Thrones-themed wedding, replete with fake ruins and waterfalls.

Lower down the food chain are employees who take the Wi-Fi-enabled shuttles to campuses with gourmet canteens, ping-pong tables, M&M fountains, barbers and masseurs '' self-contained citadels allegedly inured from social realities.

Entrepreneurs and software engineers respond to that rap sheet with a mix of indignation, hurt and scorn. "This is a very expensive place tax-wise, but it feels like we're not getting an awful lot back," said Duncan Logan, 42, founder of RocketSpace, which incubates 130 start-up companies in a downtown headquarters. "A dirty city with a crumbling road network and a not great education system."

Logan, a Scot who came to tech via agriculture and banking, voiced support for Cook and Schmidt. "I welcome this uproar [over taxes] because it will pressure governments to be more effective in their spending." He said governments should "compete" in offering value for taxes.

Logan conceded that you could become blinkered when surrounded by like minds. "When you live in this world you forget how the rest of the world lives." Reality intruded only during visits to Scotland, where some still considered Twitter a newfangled marvel, he said. He sympathised with locals forced out of San Francisco by soaring property prices, but said the fault lay not with freespending techies but building restrictions: "The city has to relax planning controls."

A software engineer for a major internet company said the criticism was unfair. "We feel what we're doing helps make the world a better place. Helping people share information is a force of empowerment for individuals."

Everybody benefited from the shuttle buses, he said, since it meant fewer cars and less congestion. As for the campus perks, they were no big deal. The massages, haircuts and other services were subsidised, not free, and helped workers reach the "flow state" of optimal concentration. "Software engineering is like building something, like a craft, you become completely absorbed in the task. I really like that."

A software designer for another company was less effusive, saying the thrill of working for a charismatic CEO gradually paled with the long hours and extra shifts: "You never know if you'll have the weekend off, so you can't really make plans to hang out with friends." Her campus food and facilities were amazing, she said. "It's not that you want to be in this bubble, it's just you're so focused on work."

Mark Zuckerberg's founding of, an advocacy group for immigration reform, has won backing from other Silicon Valley tycoons, prompting suggestions they have matured politically.

But Victor Hernandez, 35, a software engineer who worked for more than a decade at one of the big firms, says the geek culture still has blind spots. Young, white males dominate and can make women feel uncomfortable: "It's a very homogenous environment. No one is macho, but they can be sexist."

For all their academic and business smarts, engineers and entrepreneurs often failed to connect society's dots, he said. They would grumble about the state of roads and schools but make no link to the low taxes paid by major tech companies. "There's a disconnect."

Restraints on conspicuous consumption '' once considered gauche and tacky '' were loosening, said Hernandez. "You'll see guys still wearing the same clothes of 15 years ago, but now they're driving Porsches."

Over time, the engineer found himself yearning for more social interaction. He traded in his iPhone for an old Nokia. "With no internet permanently available, I was forced to engage more with the people around me."

Hernandez, who is married to a nurse, then did something even more shocking. He quit and took a two-third salary cut to work as a high school maths teacher. The decision baffled most of his colleagues. Hernandez is now adjusting to a lower standard of living. The Wi-Fi shuttle buses are a receding memory. "I'm happy. I'm doing what I wanted."

Britain's Elite School Justifies Shooting Protesters Dead

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Source: Global Research

Sun, 26 May 2013 07:18

BNritain's Elite School Justifies Shooting Protesters DeadEton college's exam asks boys to justify army shooting protesters deadBritain's elite school Eton, where Prime Minister David Cameron went to school, has asked 13-year old boys to pretend to be Prime Minister and justify the army shooting dead 25 protesters in a speech to win a scholarship, British media reported.

''The year is 2040. There have been riots in the streets of London after Britain has run out of petrol because of an oil crisis in the Middle East. Protesters have attacked public buildings. Several policemen have died. Consequently, the government has deployed the army to curb the protests. After two days the protests have stopped but 25 protestors have been killed by the army,'' the question reads.

Candidates are then asked to imagine that they were the Prime Minister and to write a speech for broadcast to the nation on why the decision to deploy the army against violent protests was both necessary and morally right.

The headmaster of Eton College, Tony Little, emailed the US paper the Huffington Post saying the question has been taken out of context and that Eton School does not favor any particular political viewpoint.

''We are looking for candidates who can see both sides of an idea and express them clearly. High ability candidates at this level are often asked to put themselves in someone else's shoes,'' he wrote.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Center of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author's copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

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French minister says IMF boss Christine Lagarde 'must resign' if she is charged in connection with £270million fraud and embezzlement scam | Mail Online

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Sat, 25 May 2013 18:28

Lagarde, 57, appears in front of special tribunal of judges in ParisWidely expected to be charged with fraud and embezzlementRelates to £270m payout to Bernard Tapie when she was finance ministerGovernment minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem says she will be asked to quit if placed under investigation by Court of Justice of the RepublicDenies any wrongdoing and lawyer said she expects case to be dismissedBy Peter Allen

PUBLISHED: 02:55 EST, 23 May 2013 | UPDATED: 19:42 EST, 23 May 2013




Former French finance minister and head of the IMF Christine Lagarde appeared in court this morning where she was expected to be formally charged with embezzlement and fraud

A French government minister last night called on Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, to resign if she is charged with fraud and embezzlement.

She was questioned by magistrates in Paris yesterday over a £340million payout of public money five years ago to convicted conman Bernard Tapie.

As she appeared in court, there were calls for her to stand down from her high-profile £305,000-a-year job if she is charged.

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, the Minister for Women's Rights, said: 'Knowing the IMF and the way this type of institution works, I tend to think that if she was placed under investigation, she would without doubt be asked to quit her post.'

Last night the court adjourned after 13 hours sitting but it was widely predicted Mrs Lagarde, 57, would be placed under investigation by the Court of Justice of the Republic, equivalent to a suspect being charged in the UK.

She faces allegations that she stepped in to settle a long- running legal battle in which Tapie claimed he was cheated out of millions by Credit Lyonnais bank over the 1993 sale of his sportswear company Adidas.

Mrs Lagarde ordered a panel of judges to arbitrate and they awarded Tapie 400million euros (£340million) in damages paid from taxpayers' money. Prosecutors suspect Tapie received favourable treatment in return for supporting ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy in the 2007 presidential elections.

Claims: The raid relates to claims Miss Lagarde authorised a £270million payout to Bernard Tapie

They have suggested that Mrs Lagarde '' who was France's Finance Minister at the time and the first woman ever to hold the post '' was partly responsible for 'numerous anomalies and irregularities' which could amount to complicity in fraud and misappropriation of public funds.

There is no suggestion Mrs Lagarde profited personally in any way from the final settlement.The affair has become a huge embarrassment to France and the IMF.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was forced to quit the IMF two years ago after being accused of trying to rape a hotel chambermaid in New York, charges which were later dropped.

Dispute: Mr Tapie, the former head of Adidas in France, claims he was cheated out of millions by Credit Lyonnais bank. Miss Lagarde ended the dispute by asking a panel of judges to arbitrate

Mrs Lagarde took over from 'DSK' almost two years ago, in July 2011.

Her grilling by prosecutors comes after police raided her £1million Paris apartment in March.Mrs Lagarde's lawyer, Yves Repiquet, said the inquiry was 'in no way incompatible' with her new job, adding that he expected the case to be dismissed.

She has denied any wrongdoing, saying: 'If it's decided to continue with this inquiry it won't be particularly surprising. Personally, it doesn't worry me at all '' I didn't benefit personally.'

But it has been widely reported in the French media that investigators intend to charge her with fraud and embezzlement.

Le Monde reported that magistrates had already written to Mrs Lagarde to tell her not to expect any special treatment because of her high-profile international job.

Tapie was jailed for six months in 1997 for corruption and match- fixing while he was the owner of Marseilles football club.

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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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8.2 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes offshore Russia, Tsunami Center Investigating '--

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Sat, 25 May 2013 08:34

A magnitude 8.2 Earthquake struck offshore Russia on Friday. The Tsunami Center is investigating further on the quake's power. Earthquakes of this size are known to generate tsunamis, potentially dangerous to coasts outside the source region.

More information will be available as products are issued and the investigation is underway. Senior Meteorologist Kevin Martin says the quake might be too deep.

''You are looking at a quake that was 385 miles deep,'' said Martin. ''Generally tsunamis are generated with much shallower earthquakes so chances are the warning center will not issue watches for it. We are awaiting their official word.''

The final word has come in. A Tsunami Warning/Watch will NOT be issued by the Tsunami Center.

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Disclaimer: Remember, all products here are custom forecasts and are not issued by the National Weather Service unless otherwise noted. Tornado, Blizzard, Hurricane products issued by this website begin with the word 'TWS" in it. You will not see our products on the media either but that does not mean you need to bypass them. These are real forecasts and real threats.


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Sat, 25 May 2013 08:28

CALIFORNIA TWIN EQ'S 5.7 RUMOR? INSIDERS IN THE SAN JOSE ARE MOVING THEIR FAMILY NOWSomething HUGE is going down....Just had Two 5.7 earthquakes just north ofSacramento near Lassen Volcanic National Park. Don't normally post thiskind of thing just giving you a heads up..All I can say is someone wasgiven the word that California is about to get a big one. Moving theirfamily out right now. They are in San Jose. Not someone who would jokearound unless they knew something..I really don't want to freak anyone outbut this is legit info..I'm sorry, just knew when this guy said somethingthat he was worried. He was given the word to move VIPs then told to getout of Cali. Like NOW! Key dignitaries from SanFran consulates have beenflown out. Suspected plate fractures off Oregon, Cali coast. A doubleheader. That's all I know.. NOTE;ANY OTHER CONFIRMS WOULD BE APPRECIATED--SOME HAVE SAID THIS INFO CANT BE PROVEN--WITH ALL THE EQ ACTIVITY SOMETHING IS DEFINITELY GOING ON AND THE POWERS THAT BE SURE WONT GIVE A HEADS UP NOW WILL THEY-TAKE IT TO THE LORD IN PRAYER

May 24, 2013


BBC News - HSBC faces new money laundering claims in Argentina

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Sat, 25 May 2013 18:32

18 March 2013Last updated at23:53 ETBanking giant HSBC, which was hit with a US fine for money laundering last year, is facing fresh accusations of illegal activity in Argentina.

Argentina has alleged that the bank used "fake receipts" to facilitate money laundering and tax evasion, and launder 392m pesos ($77m; £50m).

The country's tax authority said it had filed criminal charges against HSBC.

HSBC said that it would cooperate with the investigation, adding that the allegations were "of great concern".

"We are committed to working cooperatively with authorities to ensure a thorough review and appropriate resolution of the matter," said Lyssette Bravo, a spokeswoman for HSBC.

Last year, HSBC agreed to pay US authorities $1.9bn (£1.2bn) in a settlement over money laundering, the largest paid in such a case.

Argentina laid out its case against HSBC late on Monday.

"On the basis of what's been investigated so far, in six months we've recorded 392 million pesos in fraudulent transactions, generated by evasion and money laundering," said Ricardo Echegaray, head of Argentina's tax agency.

Mr Echegaray added that HSBC also helped clients evade taxes on an additional 224m pesos.

"We hope to recover what is due and see the courts apply an appropriate penalty," he said.

Tightening controlsMoney laundering is the process of disguising the proceeds of crime so that the money cannot be linked to the wrongdoing.

HSBC, which has previously admitted to having poor money laundering controls, has been taking steps to tighten its operations.

Last year, it said that it had spent $290m on improving its systems to prevent money laundering.

At the same time, it also appointed a former US official, Bob Werner, to work as its head of financial crime compliance, a new position the bank has created.

The bank said that he will be responsible for beefing up its anti-money laundering and sanctions compliance systems.

Mr Werner was previously the head of the US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, the agency responsible for enforcing the US sanctions on countries, including Iran.

Agenda 21

Hurricane season fears as warning satellite fails - Americas - World - The Independent

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Sat, 25 May 2013 20:33

A satellite designed to track severe weather in the US, has failed on the eve of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season.

Experts fear it could not have happened at a worse time. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the satellite, which provides coverage for the entire US eastern seaboard, is relied upon to track hurricanes threatening cities along the coast. The NOAA gave a warning that this year's hurricane season '' the first since hurricane Sandy devastated the New York and New Jersey shorelines last October '' is likely to be "extremely active".

The Atlantic-Caribbean hurricane season begins this week and lasts for six months. The NOAA has predicted as many as 13 to 20 tropical storms could threaten homes, with half of those likely to strengthen.

The NOAA announced that a spare satellite had been activated while attempts are made to fix the failed one, but added there was currently "no estimate on its return to operations".

The organisation's three current Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) were built by Boeing and designed to last 10 years. The failed satellite, GOES-13, was launched in 2006.

NOAA typically operates two GOES spacecraft over the country, overlooking the East and West coasts, plus one on-orbit spare. The satellites are fitted with technology enabling them to watch for clouds and developing storms.

The first sign of trouble with GOES-13, the primary East coast satellite, emerged late last Wednesday when it failed to relay expected images, NOAA reports showed.

If a second GOES should fail, NOAA would operate its remaining satellite to get a full view of the US every half-hour. The organisation would also depend more on other information relayed by polar-orbiting weather satellites.

Shut Up Slave!

Major fines coming to New Yorkers who rent out apartments for under a month '-- RT USA

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Source: BadChad's ThoughtPile

Fri, 24 May 2013 09:18

New Yorkers who use an accommodation business to rent apartment space to tourists are in violation of a city law protecting expensive hotels and, according to a recent court ruling, will be hit with major fines if they continue the practice.

Earlier this month Administrative Law Judge Clive Morrick ruled that resident Nigel Warren was operating an improvised hotel out of his apartment in the East Village section of Lower Manhattan. Warren advertised his room as an alternative to the major hotel chains that dominate Manhattan and the surrounding areas. Lawyers for Airbnb, a fast-growing social network that acts as a listing service for hosts like Warren and renters, became involved in the trial on Warren's behalf, to no avail.

For his entrepreneurship New York City rewarded Warren with a $7,000 fine, although the fee was eventually cut down to $2,400. A 2010 law makes it illegal for New York residents to rent out their property for fewer than 29 days.

The city has also levied crackdowns on similar start-ups hoping to take advantage of the burgeoning sharing economy, among them being Roomorama and RelayRides '' essentially an Airbnb for car sharing.

Airbnb has argued that Warren and those like him are caught in the crossfire of confusion stemming from the flawed law.

''This decision makes it even more critical that New York law be clarified to make sure regular New Yorkers can occasionally rent out their own rooms,'' the company said in a statement this week. ''There is universal agreement that occasional hosts like Nigel Warren were not the target of the 2010 law, but that agreement provides little comfort to the handful of people, like Nigel, who find themselves targeted by overzealous officials.''

Lawmakers have asserted that the services, which have seen their growth stall since the new scrutiny, do not offer a clear plan of action in the event of a problematic tenant and are not strict enough on corrupted hosts.

''The real problem here is the devil-may-care attitude companies like Airbnb take toward the legal consequences for their users,'' said New York state senator Liz Krueger, who sponsored the 2010 legislation. ''Whether it's the laws like New York's or it's the basic terms of use of a potential user's co-op or condo, Airbnb is recruiting private citizens into their business model without sufficiently warning them that it may not be legal and could even lose them their homes. That's pathologically irresponsible.''

This news comes only weeks after New York City placed a temporary restraining order on Uber, a popular app that alerts taxi and limo services when a customer needs a ride. Even New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised the service, which swelled in popularity among Silicon Valley workers commuting in California's Bay Area. The problem, unfortunately, is just the most recent in a city known for its stifling bureaucracy.

''Despite Bloomberg's best efforts to redefine the city's image as a tech hub in tune with Silicon Valley-style innovation culture,'' wrote Wired's Marcus Wohlsen, ''it's New York's fabled history of machine politics and protection rackets that come to mind whenever the city's latest sharing economy shutdown makes the news.''

Xbox One Reveal 2013 Highlights

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Sat, 25 May 2013 08:58

War on Crazy

Blog: Former Marine Targeted by Federal Vigilantes Files Lawsuit

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Sat, 25 May 2013 21:21

The case of veteran Marine Brandon Raub exemplifies a government turning on its people.

Agents of the federal government under the FBI program "Operation Vigilant Eagle" not only surveilled Raub's Facebook postings, but went to his home, arrested him without probable cause, jailed him, temporarily placed him in a mental hospital then transported him to a veterans' facility for the mentally ill.From August 16, 2012 to August 23, 2012, Raub was at the mercy of federal "vigilantes" until a circuit court judge released him because an August 20 petition claiming that Raub was mentally ill was "so devoid of factual allegations that it could not reasonably be expected to give rise to a case or controversy."

Tuesday, Raub filed a federal suit in U.S. District Court for the eastern District of Virginia, arguing he was illegally detained as part of an effort to suppress his freedom of speech. The complaint, Raub v. Bowen, et al, lists 15 defendants, including members of the Chesterfield Police Department and the county's Community Services Board.

From the case file linked on the Rutherford Institute website:

This case arises out of the retaliatory and unlawful seizure and detention of Brandon Raub ("Raub") a citizen of the United States and a military veteran , who was seized, taken from his home, and detained without probable cause and in violation of the rights guaranteed to him by the law of Virginia and by the Fourth, Fifth and/or Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.

Additionally, upon information and belief, it is alleged that the baseless incarceration of Raub upon the pretext that he was mentally unstable was the result of systematic surveillance of military veterans by the government and its attempt to suppress free speech activities critical of the government's war efforts by veterans, including expression engaged in by Raub.

If law enforcement and mental health employees can justify incarcerating Raub against his will, why not scoop up all the rappers, occupiers, and activists who have said much stronger, very public violent statements?

Funny how the Black Panthers audio recording of killing cracker babies and taking whites out to the streets and beating them to death gets a pass from the FBI, but a veteran Marine literally gets pulled from his home for criticizing the government on his Facebook page.

Incidentally, Raub's "detention" happened under the same government that celebrated the revolutionary overthrow of Egypt's president Mubarak -- thanks in part to social media including Facebook!

Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report.

Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games

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Sat, 25 May 2013 14:25

Join us on Facebook for daily polls and caption contests.From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games

A ' B ' C ' D ' E ' F ' G ' H ' I ' J ' K ' L ' M ' N ' O ' P ' Q ' R ' S ' T ' U ' V ' W ' X ' Y ' Z

Featured SponsorDesert Tactical ArmsFounded in May of 2007, Desert Tactical Arms is known for the large caliber, long range and high precision rifles.Featured ArticleFacts About the UpgradeThrough the use of gallery format, the galleries that are displayed on the gun category pages (such as the pistol page) will automatically be updated when a new gun is added.


Millions march against GM crops

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Source: The Guardian World News

Sat, 25 May 2013 22:09

Protesters make their point to Monsanto in Los Angeles, California, May 25, 2013. Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Organisers say that two million people marched in protest against seed giant Monsanto in hundreds of rallies across the US and in more than 50 other countries on Saturday.

"March Against Monsanto" protesters say they wanted to call attention to the dangers posed by genetically modified food and the food giants that produce it. Founder and organiser Tami Canal said protests were held in 436 cities across 52 countries.

Genetically modified plants are grown from seeds that are engineered to resist insecticides and herbicides, add nutritional benefits, or otherwise improve crop yields and increase the global food supply. Most corn, soybean and cotton crops grown in the United States today have been genetically modified. But some say genetically modified organisms can lead to serious health conditions and harm the environment.

The use of GMOs has been a growing issue of contention in recent years, with health advocates pushing for mandatory labelling of genetically modified products even though the federal government and many scientists say the technology is safe.

The "March Against Monsanto" movement began just a few months ago, when Canal created a Facebook page on 28 February calling for a rally against the company's practices. "If I had gotten 3,000 people to join me, I would have considered that a success," she said Saturday. Instead, she said, two million responded to her message.

Together with Seattle blogger and activist Emilie Rensink and Nick Bernabe of, Canal worked with A digital anarchy to promote international awareness of the event. She called the turnout "incredible" and credited social media for being a vehicle for furthering opportunities for activism.

Despite the size of the gatherings, Canal said she was grateful that the marches were uniformly peaceful and that no arrests had been reported.

"It was empowering and inspiring to see so many people, from different walks of life, put aside their differences and come together today," she said. The group plans to harness the success of the event to continue its anti-GMO cause.

"We will continue until Monsanto complies with consumer demand. They are poisoning our children, poisoning our planet," she said. "If we don't act, who's going to?"

Monsanto, based in St Louis, said on Saturday that it respects people's rights to express their opinions, but maintained that its seeds improve agriculture by helping farmers produce more from their land while conserving resources such as water and energy.

The US Food and Drug Administration does not require genetically modified foods to carry a label, but organic food companies and some consumer groups have intensified their push for labels, arguing that the modified seeds are floating from field to field and contaminating traditional crops. The groups have been bolstered by a growing network of consumers who are wary of processed and modified foods.

The Senate this week overwhelmingly rejected a bill that would allow states to require the labelling of genetically modified foods.

The Biotechnology Industry Organisation, a lobbying group that represents Monsanto, DuPont & Co and other makers of genetically modified seeds, has said that it supports voluntary labelling for people who seek out such products. But it says that mandatory labelling would only mislead or confuse consumers into thinking products weren't safe, even though the FDA has said there is no difference between GMO and organic, non-GMO foods.

However, state legislatures in Vermont and Connecticut moved ahead this month with votes to make food companies declare genetically modified ingredients on their packages. And supermarket retailer Whole Foods Markets Inc has said that all products in its North American stores containing genetically modified ingredients will be labeled as such by 2018.

Whole Foods says there is growing demand for products that don't use GMOs, with sales of products with a "Non-GMO" verification label spiking between 15% and 30%.

200,000 in 40 countries to rally against GMO '-- RT News

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Source: BadChad's ThoughtPile

Fri, 24 May 2013 09:06

Activists around the world are gearing up for a weekend of rallies to protest Monsanto, the biotechnology giant accused of genetically engineering agriculture and food while turning a blind eye to their potentially deadly health ramifications.

Organized by the 'March Against Monsanto' movement, an estimated 200,000 activists will participate in the massive campaign spanning six continents, 40 nations, and at least 48 US states.

Angered by the lack of action from governments on the issue, activists in hundreds of cities '' including New York, Chicago, Montreal, Berlin, Paris, Brussels, Moscow and Melbourne '' will stage coordinated protests against Monsanto and demand a ban on Genetically Engineered and Genetically Modified Organisms (GE/GMOs).

Initially a small, grassroots event, the march became a globe-spanning movement through the efforts of local activists and environmentalists. The protest is being organized on Facebook and Google Documents, where users can find a list of events near their location.

March Against Monsanto Director Nick Bernabe told the Natural Society that genetically engineered food could affect everyone, even the apathetic: ''What we're trying to do is bring awareness to GMOs and the health effects that they're causing and bring about some solutions about what people can do to take back their food supply,'' he said. ''They're expecting more than 15,000 people in San Francisco alone'... We want to get people working together in their communities.''

Monsanto has described current research into GMO crops as "inconclusive," and has lobbied hard in Washington and around the globe to continue manufacturing lab-made foods without the oversight demanded by activists.

In March, Congress passed a biotech rider dubbed the 'Monsanto Protection Act' that effectively allows Monsanto and other companies that use GMOs to plant and sell genetically altered products even if legal action is taken against them.

Up until it was signed, ''the USDA [US Department of Agriculture] oversaw and approved (or denied) the testing of genetically modified seeds, while the federal courts retained the authority to halt the testing or sale of these plants if it felt that public health was being jeopardized. With HR 933 now a law, however, the court system no longer has the right to step in and protect the consumer,'' explained James Brumley, a reporter for Investor Place.

''They own the largest share of the agribusiness, pesticides and seeds,'' Joanne Montana, who organized a protest in Florida, told the Gainesville Sun. ''They're transnational, in food behind the scenes and a big conglomerate.''

The 'Monsanto Protection Act' was co-authored by a senator who has received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the company '-- a revelation that did not surprise many, given that another important figure in Washington, Justice Clarence Thomas, served as an attorney for the corporation before he was nominated to the Supreme Court, only to eventually preside over a case involving his former employer.

But according to Food & Water Watch, the relationship between Monsanto and the government extends beyond Congress and the Supreme Court. In a statement accompanying a health report, Food & Water Watch wrote that communications uncovered by WikiLeaks detailed how ''the US State Department lobbies foreign governments to adopt pro-agricultural biotechnology policies and laws, operates a rigorous public relations campaign to improve the image of biotechnology and challenges commonsense biotechnology safeguards and rules '' including opposing genetically engineered (GE) food labeling laws.''

With the protest approaching, organizers have accused Monsanto of going on the offensive and wrote on the event's Facebook page that the mass rallies had not been cancelled, debunking a false rumor they accused Monsanto sympathizers of spreading.

''Events are disappearing, posts are being put on city event pages that say events are being cancelled,'' said Tom Canal, an administrator for the March Against Monsanto Facebook page, according to the Organic Prepper blog. ''In no way, shape or form, has any event been cancelled. I believe Monsanto is behind this. Some of the people on the page that are commenting have newly made profiles and seemingly those profiles were made strictly to cause problems and get a rise out of our participants on the page.''

In an interview with Bloomberg earlier this month, Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant portrayed those who do not agree with his business tactics as snobs: ''There is this strange kind of reverse elitism: If I'm going to do this, then everything else shouldn't exist,'' he said. ''In the US, we've got a system that works.''

In their ongoing struggle to reach a wider audience through the mainstream media, anti-GMO activists have outlined a number of solutions and goals for which they are advocating, including the "labeling of GE/GMOs so that consumers can make those informed decisions easier," "further scientific research on the health effects of GE/GMOs," and, perhaps most importantly, "taking to the streets to show the world and Monsanto that we won't take these injustices quietly."

Check back with RT throughout the weekend for the most extensive up-to-the-minute coverage on the global demonstrations.

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

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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.

Mali - Follow the Pipes

UN Says China Offers Peacekeepers for Mali

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Fri, 24 May 2013 17:43

UNITED NATIONS -- China has offered to contribute troops to the new U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali, where Islamist jihadists controlled the country's north until French-led troops launched an offensive in January to oust them, a U.N. official said Thursday.

Andre-Michel Essoungou, a spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping department, told The Associated Press that it "has received pledges and offers of contributions from a number of countries from around the world, including China."

U.N. officials and diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because no announcement has been made, said China has offered to send a civil engineering company, comprising about 150 soldiers, and is likely to send as many as 600 peacekeepers.

In late April, the Security Council authorized a U.N. force comprising 11,200 military personnel and 1,440 international police to replace a 6,000-member African-led mission now in Mali on July 1. The deployment date could be delayed if security conditions deteriorate.

Mali was plunged into turmoil after a coup in March 2012 created a security vacuum. That allowed secular rebel Tuaregs, who have long felt marginalized by Mali's government, to take half of the north as a new homeland. But months later, the rebels were kicked out by Islamic jihadists who imposed strict Shariah law in the north, including amputations for theft.

France sent in warplanes, combat helicopters and 2,000 soldiers in January against the Islamic extremists, many linked to al-Qaida, after they suddenly started moving south into government-controlled areas and captured key towns. Backed by Chadian soldiers, French troops ousted the radical Islamic fighters from the major towns in northern Mali. But many went into hiding in the desert and continue to carry out suicide bombings, and Kidal, the capital of one of the three northern provinces which fell into rebel hands, is now controlled by Tuareg separatists.

U.N. diplomats said the Security Council will meet on June 25 to discuss security in Mali and decide whether to give a green light to the deployment of the new U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, known as MINUSMA, starting July 1 or delay it.

The main jobs of the new U.N. force in Mali will be to stabilize key population centers in the north, support the re-establishment of government authority throughout the country, and assist the transitional authorities in restoring constitutional order, democratic governance and national unity.

The U.N.'s Essoungou said the peacekeeping department is in permanent contact with member states and troop contributors to decide how best to use troops and police for the Mali mission. Diplomats said Bangladesh has also offered troops to the new force.

China's offer of civil engineers for the Mali force is certain to be welcomed because engineering skills are in short supply.

Most of the 6,000 members of the African mission now in Mali are expected to become part of the U.N. force, but diplomats said none meet the required U.N. standards so a lot of work must be done to bring the troops' equipment and training up to standard by July.

China started making significant deployments to U.N. peacekeeping operations in 1992 when it sent a contingent to Cambodia.

At the end of April, China had 1,872 peacekeepers in nine of the U.N.'s 15 peacekeeping operations -- in Western Sahara, Congo, Darfur, Cyprus, Lebanon, Liberia, South Sudan, Ivory Coast and the U.N. Truce Supervision Organization in the Mideast. Its contribution is much larger than that of the four other permanent members of the Security Council, the U.S., Russia, Britain and France.

The Security Council also authorized the U.N. mission to help promote reconciliation between northern and southern Mali and support elections scheduled for July 28.

Diplomats said the new head of the U.N. mission, Albert Koenders, will arrive in Mali the second week in June and will be focusing on political reconciliation where initial efforts have stalled.

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

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.

Helium Market is going nuts

IRS Gate

Did Feb. 2010 Austin Plane Crash Prompt IRS Scandal?

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Sat, 25 May 2013 21:05

At the time, the media blamed the attack on the Tea Party--the first of many false accusations. The New York Times, among other mainstream outlets, wondered whether the pilot was "the first Tea Party terrorist."

It was just a few weeks later, in March 2010, that the IRS began targeting the Tea Party, according to the report of the Treasure Inspector General for Tax Administration. Members of Congress have struggled to determine the precise time when the IRS began its misconduct, with some speculating that it began after the Citizens United ruling in January 2010, which President Obama singled out in his State of the Union Address.

However, it is possible that the Austin plane crash might have played a role--a decisive one. Perhaps the IRS--or higher officials in the Obama administration--were not satisfied with the truth that the Tea Party had not been involved, and decided to pursue further information about, and harassment of, the anti-tax movement.

Update: John Sexton notes that Garance Franke-Ruta made a similar observation on May 15 at the Atlantic. John adds that the Inspector General's report notes that the start of the scandal began with an email on Feb. 25, 2010, while the New York Times post blaming the Tea Party was posted on February 23, 2010.

Why the IRS Went After the Tea Party Instead of Establishment Republicans

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Sat, 25 May 2013 08:51

Tea Party , IRS ScandalSince 2006, with the beginnings of the breakaway of populist conservatives from the national Republican Party via the Tea Party movement, the GOP has been trying to figure out how to co-opt and capture it once again, just as George W. Bush did with many elements of the conservative movement in the early years of the 21st century.

But with the unofficial (and official) rise of the Tea Party movement, this development has struck fear in the Washington establishment because it represents an intellectual challenge to the anti-intellectual status quo of the Democrats and the Big Government Republicans.

Dorothy Parker observed her own destructiveness and the ''curling smoke'' of the ''burning bridges'' of her escapades. The IRS and the Washington Establishment may have irreparably burned down the bridge of legitimacy granted it by the American people, and the national Republicans smell an opportunity in the curling smoke.

Men and women of the Establishment Republican Party like Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who previously regarded the Tea Party Movement as something unpleasant and unsophisticated, are now trying to be their friends. That sound you just heard was thousands of Tea Party individuals choking with laughter at the thought of Susan Collins defending them. Same goes for Mitch McConnell and other majoritarian Republicans. Already well known is the GOP establishment had and has nothing but contempt for the Tea Party. As my grandfather used to say, ''Cover your wallet,'' as the GOP desperately tried to inject itself into the debate.

The appropriation of conservative populist issues by the Republican Establishment for its own gain is not without precedent. In 1977, after campaigning against the Panama Canal Treaties for more than a year, the RNC asked Ronald Reagan to sign a direct mail piece for the committee. Reagan agreed, and over a million dollars cascaded into the RNC. But when Reagan asked RNC chairman Bill Brock to release some of the funds for a ''Truth Squad,'' Brock refused, in part because his friends former president Gerald Ford and Senator Howard Baker supported the treaties. Reagan was furious and vowed never to raise money again for the RNC, and he didn't until after he became president in 1981.

The unspoken 600-pound gorilla in the room is that the IRS did not go after Republican Party groups. There has been some noise made in that direction, but it is just that--noise. The real IRS vendetta was aimed at the Tea Party movement and not at the myriad GOP inside-the-beltway groups like American Crossroads or Americans for Job Security or any of the other interlocking GOP seen as front groups for corporate America.

As I stated elsewhere recently, The Republican Establishment is pea green with envy but also embarrassment "that the IRS did not think them worthy of harassing, or even worse, on the same side as the IRS. In other words, the IRS saw the GOP as too feckless to worry about. Either explanation is not very appealing for the national Republicans.''

Of course, the only thing going through the minds of the pecuniary consultants who run the Republican Party is they are missing out on a fundraising bonanza which is necessary to feed their army of mediocre consultants.

Let's face it, the Tea Party movement is comprised of breakaway elements of populist conservatives disgusted with the Big Government Bush Republicans beginning in 2006. They remain separate and apart even today, seven years later, because they perceive the national GOP has not changed, still a part of the corruption of Washington.

The crimes committed by the IRS have yet to be completely catalogued, but unless millions are paid out in damages and people go to jail, then justice will not be served. What they did was not rinky dink. There was a twenty-seven month criminal conspiracy inside the IRS to deny the Tea Party their basic civil rights to political speech and action and association while rubber stamping any liberal group's application.

Conspiracy is not too tough a word to use or to say in polite company that the Tea Parties were denied their civil rights to political participation by their own government and outside agitators.

Many questions are begged. Did outside liberal groups conspire with the IRS against the Tea Party? Did Republican Establishment types conspire with the IRS to censor the Tea Party? If so, how high up did the conspiracy go inside the two major parties, both of which had something to gain with the marginalization and/or destruction of the Tea Party movement?

As far as the Tea Party and it sympathizers are concerned, nearly everybody in Washington is a suspect. The Tea Party has found the enemy, and it is the Washington Establishment.

Isn't it ironic that the Tea Party now stands for the rule of law and that elements of the United States government and the Washington establishment have become the rogue, criminal element in America?

Craig Shirley is the author of two bestselling books about Ronald Reagan including Rendezvous with Destiny and Reagan's Revolution, he is the author of the bestselling December, 1941; 31 Days That Changed America and Saved the World and is the president of Shirley & Banister. He is now completing a biography of Newt Gingrich and writing several more books about Reagan including Last Act. He has lectured at the Reagan Library, is the First Reagan Scholar at Eureka College and is a member of the Board of Governors of the Reagan Ranch.


Federal Register | National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program; List of Petitions Received

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Archived Version

Fri, 24 May 2013 17:57

For information about requirements for filing petitions, and the Program in general, contact the Clerk, United States Court of Federal Claims, 717 Madison Place NW., Washington, DC 20005, (202) 357-6400. For information on HRSA's role in the Program, contact the Director, National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 11C-26, Rockville, MD 20857; (301) 443-6593.

The Program provides a system of no-fault compensation for certain individuals who have been injured by specified childhood vaccines. Subtitle 2 of Title XXI of the PHS Act, 42 U.S.C. 300aa-10 et seq., provides that those seeking compensation are to file a petition with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and to serve a copy of the petition on the Secretary of Health and Human Services, who is named as the respondent in each proceeding. The Secretary has delegated her responsibility under the Program to HRSA. The Court is directed by statute to appoint special masters who take evidence, conduct hearings as appropriate, and make initial decisions as to eligibility for, and amount of, compensation.

A petition may be filed with respect to injuries, disabilities, illnesses, conditions, and deaths resulting from vaccines described in the Vaccine Injury Table (the Table) set forth at Section 2114 of the PHS Act or as set forth at 42 CFR 100.3, as applicable. This Table lists for each covered childhood vaccine the conditions which may lead to compensation and, for each condition, the time period for occurrence of the first symptom or manifestation of onset or of significant aggravation after vaccine administration. Compensation may also be awarded for conditions not listed in the Table and for conditions that are manifested outside the time periods specified in the Table, but only if the petitioner shows that the condition was caused by one of the listed vaccines.

Section 2112(b)(2) of the PHS Act, 42 U.S.C. 300aa-12(b)(2), requires that ''[w]ithin 30 days after the Secretary receives service of any petition filed under section 2111 the Secretary shall publish notice of such petition in the Federal Register.'' Set forth below is a list of petitions received by HRSA on March 13, 2013, through April 30, 2013. This list provides the name of petitioner, city and state of vaccination (if unknown then city and state of person or attorney filing claim), and case number. In cases where the Court has redacted the name of a petitioner and/or the case number, the list reflects such redaction.

Section 2112(b)(2) also provides that the special master ''shall afford all interested persons an opportunity to submit relevant, written information'' relating to the following:

1. The existence of evidence ''that there is not a preponderance of the evidence that the illness, disability, injury, condition, or death described in the petition is due to factors unrelated to the administration of the vaccine described in the petition,'' and

2. Any allegation in a petition that the petitioner either:

(a) ''Sustained, or had significantly aggravated, any illness, disability, injury, or condition not set forth in the Table but which was caused by'' one of the vaccines referred to in the Table, or

(b) ''Sustained, or had significantly aggravated, any illness, disability, injury, or condition set forth in the Vaccine Injury Table the first symptom or manifestation of the onset or significant aggravation of which did not occur within the time period set forth in the Table but which was caused by a vaccine'' referred to in the Table.

In accordance with Section 2112(b)(2), all interested persons may submit written information relevant to the issues described above in the case of the petitions listed below. Any person choosing to do so should file an original and three (3) copies of the information with the Clerk of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims at the address listed above (under the heading ''For Further Information Contact''), with a copy to HRSA addressed to Director, Division of Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, Healthcare Systems Bureau, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 11C-26, Rockville, MD 20857. The Court's caption (Petitioner's Name v. Secretary of Health and Human Services) and the docket number assigned to the petition should be used as the caption for the written submission. Chapter 35 of title 44, United States Code, related to paperwork reduction, does not apply to information required for purposes of carrying out the Program.

1. Tory J. and Sarah E. Moody on behalf of Victorya E. Moody, Bedford, Indiana, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0190V.

2. Pamela Jean Peguess, Memphis, Tennessee, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0191V.

3. Eileen Goeschel, Sarasota, Florida, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0199V.

4. Kearsten Demczuk, Park Ridge, Illinois, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0205V.

5. Howard Reddy and Hanan Tarabay on behalf of Andrew Howard Reddy, Pensacola, Florida, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0208V.

6. Mona Marie Troup, Everett, Washington, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0209V.

7. Angel Blackstone on behalf of S.B., Deceased, Trenton, New Jersey, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0213V.

8. Isidra Durwin, Sarasota, Florida, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0214V.

9. Nancy and Sandro Giannetta on behalf of A.M.G., Sarasota, Florida, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0215V.

10. Kimberly Pedersen, West Allis, Wisconsin, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0216V.

11. Charles and Jeannie Maikish on behalf of S.M., Nyack, New York,Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0217V.

12. Ina Scanlon, Muncie, Indiana, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0219V.

13. David Stachlewitz on behalf of H.G.S., Glendale, Arizona, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0220V.

14. Mary E. Thompson, Brookport, Illinois, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0222V.

15. Matthew Gorski, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0224V.

16. Woodrow Coffey, Jr., Irvine, California, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0225V.

17. Stephen Warren on behalf of Taylor Warren, Deceased, New York, New York, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0226V.

18. Robert Wiggins, Nashville, North Carolina, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0228V.

19. Peggy Kalmeyer, Depew, New York, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0230V.

20. Rosemary and Wayne Trezza on behalf of P.T., West Orange, New Jersey, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0231V.

21. Jane Tomassetti, Woodbury, Minnesota, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0234V.

22. Everett Johnson, Sr., Ashland, Kentucky, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0235V.

23. Edwin W. Fockler, Sarasota, Florida, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0237V.

24. James Cox, Las Cruces, New Mexico, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0238V.

25. Chanel and Paul A. Monroe on behalf of Angelina Monroe, Las Vegas, Nevada, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0239V.

26. Noteel Koss, Houston, Texas, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0240V.

27. Tamika M. Kratzer on behalf of Ian M. Kratzer, Sacramento, California, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0243V.

28. Rosalie Peck, Boston, Massachusetts, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0249V.

29. Shannon Keller, Sacramento, California, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0250V.

30. Edwina Bradshaw, North Myrtle Beach, North Carolina, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0252V.

31. William and Brenda Lehann Rodriguez on behalf of C.R., Clayton, Georgia, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0253V.

32. Corrine K. Ibana, Kamuela, Hawaii, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0257V.

33. Lorel Cubano, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0259V.

34. Brittany and Davey Lambert on behalf of Noah Lambert, Memphis, Tennessee, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0265V.

35. Scott and Caroline VanScoy on behalf of Alyssa VanScoy, Simi Valley, California, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0266V.

36. Jane Sprecher, Reading, Pennsylvania, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0271V.

37. Georgia Murdock, Silver Spring, Maryland, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0273V.

38. Willie Andre Simmons, Augusta, Georgia, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0274V.

39. Jung Park, M.D., New York, New York, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0275V.

40. Allison and Steven Council on behalf of Adam Council, Plainfield, Illinois, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0276V.

41. Maryann Giordano, Lindenhurst, New York, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0277V.

42. Laura A. Jones, Greensboro, North Carolina, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0279V.

43. David D. Griffin, Afghanistan, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0280V.

44. James Demoski, Endicott, New York, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0286V.

45. Christina N. Steinat, Seattle, Washington, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0287V.

46. Jessica L. Stone, Baraboo, Wisconsin, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0289V.

47. Holly Rhew, Wichita, Kansas, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0293V.

48. Janet DeYear, Dallas, Texas, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0299V.

49. Cynthia Adkins, Sarasota, Florida, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0295V.

50. Saurabh V. and Archana Amin on behalf of Sheaa Amin, Linwood, New Jersey, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0300V.

51. Juliet and Mohamed Edoo on behalf of Justin Edoo, Miami, Florida, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0302V.

52. James Boyer, Boston, Massachusetts, Court of Federal Claims No: 13-0303V.

[FR Doc. 2013-12347 Filed 5-23-13; 8:45 am]


New J&J anti-depressant related to 'Special K' party drug | Reuters

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Archived Version

Sat, 25 May 2013 14:36

By Ransdell Pierson

NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey | Thu May 23, 2013 5:12pm EDT

NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson said it plans to seek approvals for 11 new drugs by 2017, including a treatment for patients with depression who have failed to benefit from standard medications.

The intranasal drug, called esketamine, is closely related to a pediatric anesthetic called ketamine that has been shown in academic studies to ease symptoms rapidly in such patients, including a reduction in suicidal thoughts.

Ketamine is also the active ingredient of the mood-altering party drug known as "Special K."

J&J, which is testing its tweaked version of ketamine in mid-stage trials, on Thursday said initial findings have been promising.

Yale University researchers have described ketamine as the biggest breakthrough against depression in the past half-century, theorizing that the anesthetic helps rejuvenate connections between brain cells called synapses that have been damaged by stress and depression.

"The results have been truly remarkable," Husseini Manji, head of neuroscience at Johnson & Johnson, said of the studies conducted at Yale on ketamine.

Manji said esketamine could be very important for depressed patients who have become suicidal, because it works so quickly. "Today you basically treat people and lock them up until the drugs take effect."

The Yale research shows ketamine takes effect within hours. By contrast, standard drugs can take weeks or months to improve symptoms. But the Yale researchers have cautioned that ketamine can cause short-term psychosis if used in large doses.

J&J spokesman Greg Panico said the company's altered form of ketamine is given in small doses through an intranasal spray.

Details about the depression drug emerged on Thursday at an all-day meeting with hundreds of analysts and fund managers at J&J's headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey, held to discuss trends for its pharmaceuticals business.

J&J said it will also seek approvals by 2017 for drugs to treat hepatitis C, immune diseases and schizophrenia, and vaccines for flu, rabies and polio.

The company, citing industry statistics, said total global sales of prescription drugs are expected to grow 4.5 percent annually until 2017.

Peter Rabover, an analyst with Scharf Investments in Scotts Valley, California, said J&J's array of experimental drugs suggests company pharmaceutical sales will outpace the market.

"To me, it looks like they can grow 6 to 9 percent a year for the next five years," Rabover said.


The diversified healthcare company said it is conducting mid-stage trials of a new type of drug for heart failure, a debilitating and hard-to-treat condition in which the heart is unable to supply blood adequately to the rest of the body. The drug mimics a protein called Beta 1-Adrenergic Receptor.

J&J is wading back into the heart-failure field after the collapse of its older treatment, called Natrecor, which J&J spent billions of dollars to acquire. It became a big seller after being launched in 2001, but was virtually abandoned years later after studies questioned its safety and effectiveness.

Company prescription drugs have rebounded in the past two years following generic competition for Risperdal and J&J's Topamax epilepsy treatment.

Sales of J&J drugs rose 4 percent last year and by 10 percent in the first quarter of 2013, thanks to brisk-selling new treatments for prostate cancer, blood clots, diabetes and other diseases.

"Pharma is now J&J's most attractive segment because they have moved past patent expirations and have a large number of new products," said Jeff Jonas, an analyst with Gabelli & Co. The company's other two businesses - consumer products and medical devices - are also growing, but have been plagued by product recalls.

Company shares have jumped 26 percent so far this year, versus an 18 percent gain for the drug sector. They have been helped by enthusiasm for J&J's improving drug lineup and the steady return of recalled consumer medicines, including Tylenol, to store shelves.

J&J shares closed down 0.7 percent at $87.21 on Thursday amid a moderate decline for the drug sector

(Additional reporting by Caroline Humer in New York; editing by John Wallace, Maureen Bavdek, Dale Hudson and Matthew Lewis)

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China's Bird Flu Goes Airborne

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Archived Version

Source: BadChad's ThoughtPile

Fri, 24 May 2013 09:25

As if China was not suffering enough from a slumping economy, the South China Morning Post now reports that the H7N9 'bird flu' virus that has infected 131 people (and killed 36) so far can be transmitted not only by close contact but by airborne exposure. Domestic reports suggest the virus appears to be brought under control largely through restrictions at bird markets but the team at the University of Hong Kong has also found that pigs can be infected(cue 'when pigs can fly' pun). The findings suggest that there may be many more cases that have been detected or reported since "people may be transmitting the virus before they know they've even got it."

Click image for interactive map of 'bird flu' infections...

For more information on individual patients infected: blue, patients infected with the H7N9 virus under treatment; red, those infected with H7N9 who have died; yellow, those who have fully recovered; and pink, those infected other types of the Influenza A virus, including H1N1.


The H7N9 bird flu virus can be transmitted not only through close contact but by airborne exposure, a team at the University of Hong Kong found after extensive laboratory experiments.


"We also found that the virus can infect pigs, which was not previously known," said Dr Maria Zhu Huachen, a research assistant professor at HKU's School of Public Health.


It was found the virus could spread through the air, from one cage to another, albeit less efficiently.


This means there may be more cases than have been detected or reported.


"People may be transmitting the virus before they even know that they've got it," Zhu said.


She said the government had collaborated with HKU on intensive surveillance of both birds and pigs. Zhu added that people who regularly had close contact with live poultry or pigs should take precautions, have routine body checks and report their case immediately if they feel unwell.

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Space War$

Federal Register | Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Revision of U.S. Munitions List Category XV and Definition of ''Defense Service''

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Archived Version

Sat, 25 May 2013 00:15

(a) A defense service means:

(1) The furnishing of assistance (including training) using other than public domain information (see§ 120.11 of this subchapter) to a foreign person (see§ 120.16 of this subchapter), whether in the United States or abroad, in the design, development, engineering, manufacture, production, assembly, testing, intermediate- or depot-level maintenance (see§ 120.38 of this subchapter), modification, demilitarization, destruction, or processing of defense articles (see§ 120.6 of this subchapter);

(2) The furnishing of assistance to a foreign person, whether in the United States or abroad, for the integration of any item controlled on the U.S. Munitions List (USML) (see§ 121.1 of this subchapter) or items subject to the EAR (see§ 120.42 of this subchapter) into an end item (see§ 121.8(a) of this subchapter) or component (see § 121.8(b) of this subchapter) that is controlled as a defense article on the USML, regardless of the origin;

Note to paragraph (a)(2):''Integration'' means the systems engineering design process of uniting two or more items in order to form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning or unified whole, including introduction of software to enable proper operation of the article. This includes determining where to integrate an item (e.g., integration of a civil engine into a destroyer which requires changes or modifications to the destroyer in order for the civil engine to operate properly; not plug and play). ''Integration'' is distinct from ''installation,'' which means the act of putting something in its place and does not require changes or modifications to the item in which it is being installed (e.g., installing a dashboard radio into a military vehicle where no changes or modifications to the vehicle are required).

(3) The furnishing of assistance (including training), to a foreign person regardless of whether technical data (see§ 120.10 of this subchapter) is transferred, including formal or informal instruction in the United States or abroad by any means, in the tactical employment (not basic operation) of a defense article;

(4) Conducting direct combat operations for a foreign person (see paragraph (b)(5) of this section);

(5) The furnishing of assistance (including training) in the integration of a satellite or spacecraft to a launch vehicle, including both planning and onsite support, regardless of the jurisdiction of, the ownership of, or the origin of the satellite or spacecraft, or whether technical data is used; or

(6) The furnishing of assistance (including training) in the launch failure analysis of a satellite, spacecraft, or launch vehicle, regardless of the jurisdiction of, the ownership of, or the origin of the satellite, spacecraft, or launch vehicle, or whether technical data is used.

(b) The following is not a defense service:

(1) Training in organizational-level (basic-level) maintenance (see§ 120.38 of this subchapter) of a defense article lawfully approved for export from the United States or subsequently approved for reexport or retransfer to an end-user, unless otherwise proscribed in § 126.1 of this subchapter or otherwise ineligible (see§ 126.7(a)(4) and (6) of this subchapter);

(2) Mere employment of a natural U.S. person by a foreign person;

(3) Servicing of an item subject to the EAR (see§ 120.42 of this subchapter) that has been integrated or installed into a defense article;

(4) Providing law enforcement, physical security, or personal protective services (including training and advice) to or for a foreign person (see§ 120.16 of this subchapter) using only public domain information; or

(5) Services performed, to include direct combat operations, as a member of the regular military forces of a foreign nation by a U.S. person who has been drafted into such forces.

4.Section 121.1 is amended by revising U.S. Munitions List Category XV to read as follows:

* * * * *

(a) Spacecraft, including satellites, manned or unmanned space vehicles, whether designated developmental, experimental, research or scientific, or having a commercial, civil, or military end-use, that:

*(1) Are specially designed to mitigate effects (e.g., scintillation) of or for detection of a nuclear detonation;

*(2) Track ground, airborne, missile, or space objects using imaging, infrared, radar, or laser systems;

*(3) Conduct signals or measurement and signatures intelligence;

(4) Provide space-based logistics, assembly or servicing of any spacecraft (e.g., refueling);

*(5) Are anti-satellite or anti-spacecraft (e.g., kinetic, RF, laser, charged particle);

*(6) Have space-to-ground weapons systems (e.g., kinetic or directed energy);

*(7) Have any of the following electro-optical remote sensing capabilities or characteristics:

(i) Electro-optical visible and near infrared (VNIR) (i.e., 400nm to 1,000nm) or infrared (i.e., greater than 1,000nm to 30,000nm) with less than 40 spectral bands having an aperture greater than 0.35 meters;

(ii) Electro-optical hyperspectral with 40 spectral bands or more in the VNIR, short-wavelength infrared (SWIR) (i.e., greater than 1,000nm to 2,500nm) or any combination of the aforementioned and having a Ground Sample Distance (GSD) less than 30 meters;

(iii) Electro-optical hyperspectral with 40 spectral bands or more in the mid-wavelength infrared (MWIR) (i.e., greater than 2,500nm to 5,500nm) having a narrow spectral bandwidth of Î--Î>> less than or equal to 20nm full width at half maximum (FWHM) or having a wide spectral bandwidth with Î--Î>> greater than 20nm FWHM and a GSD less than 200 meters; or

(iv) Electro-optical hyperspectral with 40 spectral bands or more in the long-wavelength infrared (LWIR) (i.e., greater than 5,500nm to 30,000nm) having a narrow spectral bandwidth of Î--Î>> less than or equal to 50nm FWHM or having a wide spectral bandwidth with Î--Î>> greater than 50nm FWHM and a GSD less than 500 meters;

Note 1 to paragraph (a)(7):Ground Sample Distance (GSD) is measured from a spacecraft's nadir (i.e., local vertical) position.

Note 2 to paragraph (a)(7):Optical remote sensing spacecraft or satellite spectral bandwidth is the smallest difference in wavelength (i.e.,Î--Î>>) that can be distinguished at full width at half maximum (FWHM) of wavelength Î>>.

Note 3 to paragraph (a)(7):An optical satellite or spacecraft is not SME if non-earth pointing.

*(8) Have radar remote sensing capabilities or characteristics (e.g., active electronically scanned array (AESA), synthetic aperture radar (SAR), inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR), ultra-wideband SAR) except those having a center frequency equal to or greater than 1 GHz but less than or equal to 10 GHz AND having a bandwidth less than 300 MHz;

(9) Provide Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT);

Note to paragraph (a)(9):This paragraph does not control a satellite or spacecraft that provides only a differential correction broadcast for the purposes of positioning, navigation, or timing.

*(10) Are specially designed to be used in a constellation or formation that when operated together, in essence or effect, form a virtual satellite (e.g., functioning as if one satellite) with the characteristics of other items in paragraph (a);

(11) Are man-rated sub-orbital, orbital, lunar, interplanetary or habitat; or

*(12) Are classified, contain classified software or hardware, are manufactured using classified production data, or are being developed using classified information (e.g., having classified requirements, specifications, functions, or operational characteristics or include classified cryptographic items controlled under USML Category XIII of this subchapter). ''Classified'' means classified pursuant to Executive Order 13526, or predecessor order, and a security classification guide developed pursuant thereto or equivalent, or to the corresponding classification rules of another government or international organization.

Note to paragraph (a):Spacecraft that are not identified in this paragraph are subject to the EAR.

(b) Ground control systems and training simulators specially designed for telemetry, tracking, and control of spacecraft in paragraph (a) of this category.

Note to paragraph (b):Parts, components, accessories, attachments, equipment, or systems that are common to satellite ground systems or simulators used to control non-USML satellites are subject to the EAR.

(c) Global Positioning System (GPS) receiving equipment specifically designed, modified, or configured for military use; or GPS receiving equipment with any of the following characteristics:

(1) Designed for encryption or decryption (e.g., Y-Code) of GPS precise positioning service (PPS) signals;

(2) Designed for producing navigation results above 60,000 feet altitude and at 1,000 knots velocity or greater;

(3) Specifically designed or modified for use with a null steering antenna or including a null steering antenna designed to reduce or avoid jamming signals;

(4) Designed or modified for use with unmanned air vehicle systems capable of delivering at least a 500 kg ''payload'' to a ''range'' of at least 300 km.

Note 1 to paragraph (c)(4):''Payload'' is the total mass that can be carried or delivered by the specified rocket, space launch vehicle, missile, drone, or unmanned aerial vehicle that is not used to maintain flight. ''Range'' is the maximum distance that the specified aircraft system is capable of traveling in the mode of stable flight as measured by the projection of its trajectory over the surface of the Earth. The maximum capability based on the design characteristics of the system, when fully loaded with fuel or propellant, will be taken into consideration in determining ''range.'' The ''range'' for aircraft systems will be determined independently of any external factors such as operational restrictions, limitations imposed by telemetry, data links, or other external constraints. For aircraft systems, the ''range'' will be determined for a one-way distance using the most fuel-efficient flight profile (e.g., cruise speed and altitude), assuming International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard atmosphere with zero wind.

Note 2 to paragraph (c)(4):GPS receivers designed or modified for use with military unmanned air vehicle systems with less capability are considered to be specifically designed, modified, or configured for military use and therefore covered under this paragraph (c)(4). Any GPS equipment not meeting this definition is subject to the jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce (DOC). Manufacturers or exporters of equipment under DOC jurisdiction are advised that the U.S. Government does not assure the availability of the GPS P-Code for civil navigation. It is the policy of the Department of Defense (DOD) that GPS receivers using P-Code without clarification as to whether or not those receivers were designed or modified to use Y-Code will be presumed to be Y-Code capable and covered under this paragraph. The DOD policy further requires that a notice be attached to all P-Code receivers presented for export. The notice must state the following: ''ADVISORY NOTICE: This receiver uses the GPS P-Code signal, which, by U.S. policy, may be switched off without notice.''

(d) [Reserved]

(e) Spacecraft parts, components, accessories, attachments, equipment, or systems, as follows:

(1) Antennas as follows:

(i) Having a diameter greater than 25 meters;

(ii) Are actively scanned;

(iii) Are adaptive beam forming; or

(iv) Are for interferometric radar;

(2) Space-qualified optics (i.e., lens or mirror), including optical coating, having active properties (e.g., adaptive or deformable), or having a largest lateral dimension greater than 0.35 meters;

(3) ''Space-qualified'' focal plane arrays (FPA) having a peak response in the wavelength range exceeding 900nm and readout integrated circuit (ROIC) specially designed therefor;

(4) ''Space-qualified'' mechanical cryocooler, active cold finger, and associated control electronics specially designed therefor;

(5) ''Space-qualified'' active vibration suppression, including isolation and dampening, and associated control electronics therefor;

(6) Optical bench assemblies for items in paragraph (a) of this category and the multi-aperture assemblies; fast steering mirrors (i.e., greater than 300 rad/sec [2] acceleration), pushbroom assemblies, flexure mounts, beam splitters, mirror folds, focus or channeling mechanisms, alignment mechanisms, inertial reference unit (IRU), black body cavities, baffles and covers, and control electronics specially designed therefor;

(7) Non-communications space-qualified directed energy (e.g., lasers or RF) systems and specially designed for a spacecraft in paragraph (a) of this category;

(8) Space-based kinetic systems or charged particle energy systems, including power conditioning and beam-handling/switching, propagation, tracking, or pointing equipment, and specially designed parts and components therefor;

(9) ''Space-qualified'' cesium, rubidium, hydrogen maser, or quantum (e.g., based upon Al, Hg, Yb, Sr, Be Ions) atomic clocks, and specially designed parts and components therefor;

(10) Attitude determination and control systems, and specially designed parts and components therefor, that provide earth location accuracy without using Ground Location Points better than or equal to:

(i) 5 meters from low earth orbit (LEO);

(ii) 30 meters from medium earth orbit (MEO);

(iii) 150 meters from geosynchronous orbit (GEO); or

(iv) 225 meters from high earth orbit (HEO);

(11) Space-based nuclear thermionic or non-nuclear thermionic converters or generators, and specially designed parts and components therefor;

(12) Thrusters (e.g., rocket engines) that provide for orbit adjustment greater than 150 lbf (i.e., 667.23 N) vacuum thrust;

(13) Control moment gyroscope;

(14) ''Space-qualified'' monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMIC) that combine transmit and receive (T/R) functions on a single die as follows:

(i) Having a power amplifier with maximum saturated peak output power (in watts), Psat, greater than 200 divided by the maximum operating frequency (in GHz) squared [Psat >200 W*GHz [2] /fGHz [2] ]; or

(ii) Having a common path (e.g., phase shifter-digital attenuator) circuit with greater than 3 bits phase shifting at operating frequencies 10 GHz or below, or greater than 4 bits phase shifting at operating frequencies above 10 GHz;

(15) ''Space-qualified'' oscillator for radar in paragraph (a) of this category with phase noise less than '120 dBc/Hz + (20 log 10 (RF) (in GHz)) measured at 2 KHz*RF (in GHz) from carrier;

(16) ''Space-qualified'' star tracker or star sensor with angular accuracy less than or equal to 1 arcsec in all three axes and a tracking rate equal to or greater than 3.0 deg/sec, and specially designed parts and components therefor (MT);

*(17) Secondary or hosted payload, and specially designed parts and components therefor, that perform any of the functions described in paragraph (a) of this category;

*(18) Department of Defense-funded secondary or hosted payload, and specially designed parts and components therefor; or

(19) Spacecraft re-entry vehicles, and specially designed parts and components therefor, as follows (MT if usable in rockets, SLVs, missiles, drones, or UAVs capable of delivering a ''payload'' of at least 500 kg to a ''range'' of at least 300 km):

(i) Heat shields, and components therefore, fabricated of ceramic or ablative materials;

(ii) Heat sinks and components therefore, fabricated of light-weight, high heat capacity materials; or

(iii) Electronic equipment specially designed for spacecraft re-entry vehicles;

Note to paragraph (e)(19):For definition of ''range'' as it pertains to aircraft systems, see note to paragraph (c)(4) of this category. For definition of ''range'' as it pertains to rocket systems, see note to paragraph (f)(6) of USML Category VI.

*(20) Any part, component, accessory, attachment, equipment, or system that (i) is classified;

(ii) Contains classified software; or

(iii) Is being developed using classified information.

''Classified'' means classified pursuant to Executive Order 13526, or predecessor order, and a security classification guide developed pursuant thereto or equivalent, or to the corresponding classification rules of another government or international organization.

Note 1 to paragraph (e):Parts, components, accessories, and attachments specially designed for spacecraft enumerated in this category but not listed in paragraph (e) are subject to the EAR.

Note 2 to paragraph (e):For the purposes of this paragraph, an article is ''space-qualified'' if it is designed, manufactured, or qualified through successful testing, for operation at altitudes greater than 100 km above the surface of the Earth. Notes: (1) A determination that a specific article (or commodity) (e.g., by product serial number) is ''space-qualified'' by virtue of testing does not mean that other articles in the same production run or model series are ''space-qualified'' if not individually tested. (2) ''Article'' is synonymous with ''commodity,'' as defined in EAR § 772.1. (3) A specific article not designed or manufactured for use at altitudes greater than 100 km above the surface of the Earth is not ''space-qualified'' before it is successfully tested.

(f) Technical data (see§ 120.10 of this subchapter) and defense services (see§ 120.9 of this subchapter) directly related to the defense articles enumerated in paragraphs (a) through (e) of this category and classified technical data directly related to items controlled in ECCNs 9A515, 9B515, 9C515, and 9D515 and defense services using the classified technical data. (See§ 125.4 of this subchapter for exemptions.) (MT for technical data and defense services related to articles designated as such.)

(g)-(w) [Reserved]

(x) Commodities, software, and technical data subject to the EAR (see§ 120.42 of this subchapter) used in or with defense articles controlled in this category.

Note to paragraph (x):Use of this paragraph is limited to license applications for defense articles controlled in this category where the purchase documentation includes commodities, software, or technical data subject to the EAR (see§ 123.1(b) of this subchapter).

* * * * *

7.Section 124.2 is amended by revising the section header, removing and reserving paragraphs (a) and (b), and revising paragraph (c) introductory text to read as follows:

War on Printer$

New Animated Video About the TPP and its Chilling Effects on Internet Users

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Sat, 25 May 2013 08:52

When most people think of a trade agreement, they're unlikely to think that it would have anything to do with regulating the Internet. For more than a decade however, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has included copyright enforcement in international trade deals. Such provisions empower countries to enact digital restrictions in the name of preventing illegal file sharing. In practice, these copyright measures strip Internet users of their rights to privacy, free speech, and access to knowledge and culture, and could even work to undermine their very purpose of enabling and promoting innovation and creativity.

Such provisions closely mirror the language carried in the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Up to this point, we have already seen over 15 years of harmful effects due to the DMCA and now there are widespreadefforts in the U.S. to reform it. It's therefore both improper and contradictory for the U.S. Trade Rep to push the U.S. copyright system around the world when our own government recognizes that our system is defective.

This new animated video explains how two provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement's intellectual property chapter threaten users' rights. First, it creates legal incentives for Internet and online service providers to police their users' activities for copyright infringement. Second, the TPP carries rigid protections for digital rights management (DRM) in ways that could create expansive chilling effects for anyone who wishes to legally share and interact with their content and devices.

Please share this video, spread the word about this secretive multinational trade agreement, and let others know how they can help fight it.

Take ActionYou can express your concern about these problems '-- and others '-- that arise from a secret copyright agenda driving international agreements by signing our petition to stop it.

Wherever you are in the world, you can sign on to this petition directed at decision-makers to demand a Fair Deal.

If you're in the U.S., take our action to send a message to your representative to demand an end to these secret backroom negotiations.

If you're in Peru, join Hiperderecho and tell the Peruvian president that our rights on the Internet are non-negotiable.

Spread the WordOur website ''Why the Heck Should I Care About the TPP?'' lays out some of the worst consequences for Internet users if this agreement were to pass.

Share our infographic about the TPP! We have versions in both English and Spanish.


Watch Keynote: Bruce Gagnon | Free Speech TV Episodes | News & Politics Videos | Blip

Thousands risk radicalisation - May

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Sun, 26 May 2013 07:42

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Theresa May: "We need to see if there are additional steps we should be taking to prevent radicalisation"

Thousands of people are potentially at risk of being radicalised in the UK, Home Secretary Theresa May has said.

She also told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show that those at risk were at "different points on what could be a path to violent extremism".

Mrs May said a new taskforce would look at whether new powers were needed to tackle radicalisation.

Three more arrests have been made in connection with the killing of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

On Sunday, the family of Drummer Rigby visited the scene of his death and Woolwich Barracks.

Two men already arrested on suspicion of his murder remain in custody in hospital in a stable condition.

Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, were shot and wounded by police at the scene in Woolwich on Wednesday after the killing.

The Metropolitan Police said counter terrorism officers arrested three men, aged 21, 24 and 28, in London on Saturday evening on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder - a Taser was used on two of them.

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Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson: "The first role of government is to protect its people"

'Resignation issue'Mrs May said "500 officers and others" were working on the case, including counter terrorism officers brought in from elsewhere in the country.

She said the government had introduced "a new programme, which is not for those immediately at danger of radicalisation, but for those who are perhaps "further out". Around 2,000 people had been worked with within the last year, she added.

When asked if she would now push ahead with a Communications Data Bill, Mrs May said: "The law enforcement agencies, the intelligence agencies, need access to communications data and that is essential to them doing their job."

Mrs May has previously said such a bill would help modernise crime-fighting laws, to combat criminals' use of internet-based phone calls and social media sites.

Continue reading the main storyThe killing of Drummer Lee Rigby has posed a series of questions for the government to grapple with. The central one is this: what more, if anything, can ministers do to reduce the likelihood of other similar attacks?

The Home Secretary Theresa May is very keen on giving the police and intelligence agencies more power to store details of online communications.

There is no such thing as a trade union of former home secretaries. But on this issue, it sounds as though there is. Labour's Lord Reid and Alan Johnson and the Conservative Lord Howard all agree with her. In short, their argument is we have seen the classified files and the spooks need this power. Critics - including most Liberal Democrats - accuse them of going native and backing a "snooper's charter".

The other big question is whether the government's existing policies for dealing with extremism and radicalisation are up to the job.

A so-called "taskforce" will look into this. Money is not everything in devising government policies that work. But critics will point to, and ministers will have to defend, the big cut in the annual budget for the Prevent strategy two years ago.

The bill was sent back for reassessment in December after criticism from a joint committee of MPs and peers, includes plans for internet service providers having to store for a year all details of online communication in the UK.

Mrs May said the government needed to look at how organisations outside government could help, such as Ofcom.

Senior Whitehall sources have previously confirmed to the BBC both suspects arrested at the scene of the killing of Drummer Rigby were previously known to security services.

When asked if there were mistakes made by the security services in dealing with this case, Mrs May said: "What we have is the right procedures which say when things like this happen we do need to look at whether there are any lessons to be learned."

She also said the government's Intelligence and Security Committee will review what the security service's actions in this case, but added that this report "won't happen immediately, because they will look back at the operation and the case".

Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson also told the programme a Communications Data Bill should be "on the statute book before the next election".

"It is a resignation issue for our home secretary if the Cabinet do not support her in this central part of what the security services do," he added.

Lord Carlile, the Lib Dem former independent reviewer of terror laws, told the BBC that while it was not known whether the bill would have prevented this incident, "it might have [and] it would certainly help to prevent similar incidents in the future".

But Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes said there is "no evidence at all" that the bill could have prevented the killing.

In other developments:

Prayers were said on Sunday at a service dedicated to Drummer Rigby at St Peter the Apostle Roman Catholic Church, in Woolwich, at a service at the town's St Mary Magdalene Parish Church and in his local church in his home town of Middleton, Greater ManchesterA 29-year-old man, arrested on Thursday on suspicion of conspiracy to murder, has been bailed to return pending further inquiriesFrench authorities are investigating whether the stabbing of a soldier in a Paris suburb was a copycat attack. The soldier, who was stabbed in the neck by an unknown man who escaped, is in a stable conditionMI5 director general Andrew Parker is expected to present an initial report to a Parliamentary committee next week about what the security services knew about the two murder suspectsThere has been a large increase in anti-Muslim incidents since Wednesday's murder, an inter-faith charity has saidMrs May said the government taskforce announced this weekend would "be able to look across the whole of government" and look at institutions such as universities and prisons to see if more could be done in tackling the issue of countering extremism.

The special government committee being set up will be chaired by the prime minister and will include senior cabinet ministers and security chiefs.

Downing Street sources have said the new taskforce will "build on" Labour's Prevent Strategy, which was set up to counter radicalisation.

The coalition reviewed this Prevent Strategy in 2011 reducing its annual budget from £63m to £36m saying at the time that some of the money was going to groups who should have been confronted.

Hazel Blears MP told the Observer that vulnerable people who are likely to be influenced by extremist preachers were being spotted too late.

Meanwhile the Independent on Sunday is one of a number of papers to feature a picture it says is of Mr Adebolajo appearing in court in Kenya in 2010 accused "of being at the centre of an al-Qaeda-inspired plot".

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British Secret Services "Tried" To Recruit As A Spy One Of Men Accused Of Hacking Soldier To Death

US Launches New Military Satellite Into Orbit

Medea Benjamin Explains Why She Disrupted Obama's Speech

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Sat, 25 May 2013 08:19

VIDEO-Code Pink Protester Who Interrupted Obama To CNN: I'm Not A 'Heckler' '...And I'm Not 'Crazy' | Mediaite

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Sat, 25 May 2013 20:45

Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin not only managed to completely derail President Obama's hour-long counterterrorism speech yesterday, she also got to bring her message to CNN today. Benjamin faced off with CNN's Carol Costello for a somewhat contentious interview Friday morning, with the protester pushing back on accusations that she's a ''crazy'' ''heckler.''

''First, I want to take objection with the term 'heckler,''' Benjamin began, ''because I actually had an invitation to get in.'' She did not specify how she got access to the event, but apparently she was able to attend as a member of the ''press.'' Benjamin also insisted that she ''waited until the end of the speech'' to begin shouting ''You can close Guantanamo today,'' when in reality her outburst came at the beginning of Obama's section on that topic.

''You clearly interrupted the president, though'' Costello told Benjamin. ''That would be called heckling.'' When the protester pushed back on that description, Costello added, ''it seems the president was changing his tone on Gitmo and on drones, so you were kind of getting what you wanted anyway, so why go into this speech and heckle him when he's kind of talking in a way that you should welcome?''

Benjamin maintained that her actions were justified because she wasn't hearing the policy prescriptions in the speech about the drone program and Guantanamo Bay that she and her group had wanted the president to announce. She brushed off Costello's assertion that she was perhaps ''hurting her own cause'' and seemed ''rude'' and ''a little crazy'' by pointing to the ''fabulous response'' she has received.

''I think killing innocent people with drones is rude. I think keeping people who are innocent in indefinite detention for 11 years is rude,'' Benjamin said. ''There are a lot of rude things about our policies, speaking out is actually not rude, but it's the basis of a Democratic society where people use their voices to try to make our country better and our policies more in line with the rule of law.''

Watch video below, via CNN:


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VIDEO-MUST WATCH!! Woolwich Terrorist Attack - ITV NEWS FRAUD - SHARE IT NOW!!!! - YouTube

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Sat, 25 May 2013 20:04

VIDEO-"Our 9/11 Generation" President Obama Weekly Address On Memorial Day Weekend - YouTube

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Sat, 25 May 2013 21:47

Christie Dismisses Climate Change Question from NBC's Lauer as 'Distraction,' 'Esoteric Theory'

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Sat, 25 May 2013 21:58

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In an interview with Chris Christie on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer grilled the New Jersey Governor on his skepticism that man-made climate change caused Superstorm Sandy: "You said you don't think there's been any proof thus far that Sandy was caused by climate change. Several experts I've heard from say the destruction, though, from Sandy, was probably more severe because of elements of climate change, including rising sea levels."

Lauer began to ask: "Are you not willing to say that's from-" Christie cut him off: "No, I'm not....this is their business, they study it, and they say, 'probably,' 'maybe.' All I said was, I haven't been shown any definitive proof yet that that's what caused it. And this is just '' listen, this is distraction. I've a place to rebuild here and people want to talk to me about esoteric theories."

More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.

VIDEO-Police warn public over 3D printer guns - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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Sat, 25 May 2013 12:52

Updated May 24, 2013 23:08:00

New South Wales police have warned the public against trying to manufacture plastic guns using new 3-D printers. Authorities around the world are trying to stop computer models of hand guns being distributed over the internet but files have already been downloaded by over one hundred thousand people.

John Stewart

Source: Lateline | Duration: 3min 43sec

Topics:computers-and-technology, nsw


EMMA ALBERICI, REPORTER: New South Wales police have warned the public against trying to manufacture plastic guns using new 3D printers.

Authorities around the world are trying to stop downloadable blueprints of handguns being distributed over the Internet.

But the online plans have already been acquired by over 100,000 people.

John Stewart reports.

JOHN STEWART, REPORTER: It's called the liberator. A plastic gun made by a 3D printer. 3D printers cost under $1,500 and work by spraying down layer upon layer of plastic to form an object. Plans of the objects can be downloaded over the Internet. The model of this handgun has been obtained by more than 100,000 people around the world.

ANDREW SCIPIONE, NSW POLICE COMMISSIONER: That weapon cost us approximately $35 to make. We made that on a base entry-level 3D printer.

JOHN STEWART: The New South Wales police today warned the public against making or using plastic guns.

ANDREW SCIPIONE: Make no mistake about it, not only are these things undetectable, untraceable, cheap and easy to make, but they will kill.

WAYNE HOFFMAN, DET INSPECTOR, NSW POLICE: It penetrated approximately 17 cm into the gelatine block which is about six-and-thee-quarter inches and that would've been a fatal wound if it was pointed at someone.

JOHN STEWART: Police have received information that plastic bullets can also be made by 3D printers and say that making or using a plastic gun in Australia is illegal.

ANDREW SCIPIONE: If you are thinking about even considering making one of these weapons you need to understand that not only are they illegal, but they are enormously dangerous.

JOHN STEWART: The Liberator is only a single shot handgun but the plastic guns are difficult to detect and are becoming a threat to airport security. Authorities are concerned that gun owners may modify bigger weapons, making firearms fully automatic by printing their own gun parts.

Home-made plastic landmines or grenades may also become a security problem. As 3D printers begin to simplify weapons production.

BRUCE JACKSON, 3D PRINTING SYSTEMS: Simplification, that's all that 3D printing is bringing to the party, is a simpler way of making parts, whether it's a gun or whether it's a landmine or whatever type you shape you use, it's determined on the materials you use and the processes so yes it does make it easier.

JOHN STEWART: Bruce Jackson operates a 3D printer business in Australia and New Zealand.

BRUCE JACKSON, 3D PRINTING SYSTEMS: This is gonna be printing a bearing. So what you see on the computer screen, that's what it's gonna print. It's gonna print all the balls inside the bearing race and it will come off the printer just like that and it will be a working bearing.

JOHN STEWART: He says the vast majority of objects being made by 3D printers are beneficial to society, from human body parts used by doctors to spare parts for consumer goods.

BRUCE JACKSON: I fixed my dishwasher at home. A plastic clip had broken, a 10-year-old dishwasher. I can't find that part any more. Just drawn it up, printed it out, very easy to do. And it's - and it works and it only cost me $1.20 to make that part.

JOHN STEWART: More expensive are the new 3D titanium printers, which can make complex metal objects.

Bruce Jackson says they cost about $1 million. Fortunately, the printers are still too expensive for those in the market for cheap, home-made guns.

John Stewart, Lateline.

"And The Killing Of His 16 Year Old Son It's Just Shameful!" Jeremy Scahill

Jeremy Scahill "NONE Of The Allegations Against Al-Awlaki Have Been Proven"

Reihan Salam Slaps Down Stephanie Miller's Hackish Defense of Weiner

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When lefty radio host Stephanie Miller downplayed Anthony Weiner's Twitter scandal as an eighth-grade stunt and a "guy thing," conservative CNN contributor Reihan Salam responded, "Which middle school did you go to, Stephanie?"

No Mention of IRS Scandal on NBC's 'Today,' But Plenty of Time for Obama Prom Photo

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Fri, 24 May 2013 09:58

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While Thursday's NBC Today completely ignored Wednesday's dramatic congressional hearing on the growing IRS scandal, the network morning show did manage to find time to gush over Barack Obama's 1979 prom picture, with fill-in news reader Tamron Hall exclaiming: "Well, now thanks to Time magazine, we have proof that even the commander-in-chief once donned the white dinner jacket. There he is, that's 17-year-old Barry his senior prom in Hawaii...."

Hall provided another important detail to viewers: "President Obama's classmate Kelli Alman released the pictures to Time, complete with the President's yearbook inscription to her, calling her, quote, 'extremely sweet and foxy.'" The news brief prompted a thirty-second discussion on the topic.

More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.

"I Do Not Use Crack Cocaine! Nor Am I An Addict Of Crack Cocaine!" Mayor Of Toronto