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Howdy Adam, my name is Daniel Fraire just wanted to let you know that i will be hosting a skateboarding competition this friday the 21st for National Go Skateboarding Day, and as PR for the show i will have a No Agenda table full of free CD's of the latest shows to give out, I'll take some pics to send to y'all, hopefully I'll be able to convert the shitizens to citizens, and turn the El Paso boners into donors, that way i don't have to call them out as douchebags anymore.Skateboarding PR Push

FnF

Federal Register | Unblocking of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons Pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act

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Archived Version

Tue, 18 Jun 2013 22:46

The unblocking and removal from the list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (''SDN List'') of the 3 individuals and 2 entities identified in this notice whose property and interests in property were blocked pursuant to the Kingpin Act, is effective on June 12, 2013.

Assistant Director, Sanctions Compliance & Evaluation,Department of the Treasury,Office of Foreign Assets Control,Washington, DC 20220Tel: (202) 622-2420

This document and additional information concerning OFAC are available from OFAC's Web site at www.treasury.gov/ofac or via facsimile through a 24-hour fax-on demand service at (202) 622-0077.

On December 3, 1999, the Kingpin Act was signed into law by the President of the United States. The Kingpin Act provides a statutory framework for the President to impose sanctions against significant foreign narcotics traffickers and their organizations on a worldwide basis, with the objective of denying their businesses and agents access to the U.S. financial system and to the benefits of trade and transactions involving U.S. persons and entities.

The Kingpin Act blocks all property and interests in property, subject to U.S. jurisdiction, owned or controlled by significant foreign narcotics traffickers as identified by the President. In addition, the Secretary of the Treasury consults with the Attorney General, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Homeland Security when designating and blocking the property or interests in property, subject to U.S. jurisdiction, of persons or entities found to be: (1) Materially assisting in, or providing financial or technological support for or to, or providing goods or services in support of, the international narcotics trafficking activities of a person designated pursuant to the Kingpin Act; (2) owned, controlled, or directed by, or acting for or on behalf of, a person designated pursuant to the Kingpin Act; and/or (3) playing a significant role in international narcotics trafficking.

On June 12, 2013, the Director of OFAC removed from the SDN List the 3 individuals and 2 entities listed below, whose property and interests in property were blocked pursuant to the Kingpin Act:

IndividualsBELTRAN SANCHEZ, Rosario, c/o FABRIDIESEL, S.A. DE C.V., Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico; DOB 05 Oct 1952; POB Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico; nationality Mexico; citizen Mexico (individual) [SDNTK].

ZERMENO BELTRAN, Guillermo, c/o FABRIDIESEL, Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico; DOB 20 Dec 1977; POB Mexico; nationality Mexico; citizen Mexico; R.F.C. ZEBG771220-PE6 (Mexico) (individual) [SDNTK].

ZERMENO BELTRAN, Patricia, c/o FABRIDIESEL, S.A. DE C.V., Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico; DOB 25 May 1975; POB Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico; nationality Mexico; citizen Mexico (individual) [SDNTK].

EntitiesFABRIDIESEL, Juan De Dios Batiz 690 OTE, Colonia El Parque, Los Mochis, Sinaloa 81250, Mexico; R.F.C. ZEBG-771220-PE6 (Mexico) [SDNTK].

FABRIDIESEL, S.A. DE C.V., Blvd. Juan De Dios Batiz 712 OTE, Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico [SDNTK].

Dated: June 12, 2013.

Adam J. Szubin,

Director, Office of Foreign Assets Control.

[FR Doc. 2013-14464 Filed 6-17-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4810-AL-P

Dvoraks law - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Tue, 18 Jun 2013 23:11

Dvorak's Law states: "The worse the economy, not only do the hookers get better looking, but they get cheaper."

Some postulate that additionally, hookers get more business during a worse economy, however Dvorak himself attributes this to supply and demand which often leads to an increase in business (i.e. tricks) is driven by the need to meet sales target because of same reduction in cost stated in the law. [1]

2TTH

Award-winning journalist and war correspondent Michael Hastings killed in car crash

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Archived Version

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 17:38

Blue Rider Press/REUTERSRolling Stone magazine and BuzzFeed reporter Michael Hastings, 33, died on Tuesday in a car wreck in Los Angeles, his employer said.

Award-winning journalist and war correspondent Michael Hastings died early Tuesday in a single car crash in Los Angeles, his employer and family said.

Hastings' groundbreaking reporting on Gen. Stanley McChrystal's candid criticism of the Obama administration is credited with ending McChrystal's military career and earned him a 2010 George Polk Award. He was 33.

The Rolling Stone and BuzzFeed reporter is being remembered by many of his colleagues as an unfailingly bright and hard-charging reporter who wrote stories that mattered.

"Michael was a great, fearless journalist with an incredible instinct for the story, and a gift for finding ways to make his readers care about anything he covered from wars to politicians," said Ben Smith, BuzzFeed's editor-in-chief who described colleagues as devastated by the loss.

Smith said he learned of the death from a family member.

RELATED: MCCHRYSTAL TAKES BLAME FOR ROLLING STONE ARTICLE

Around 4:15 am witnesses say Hastings' vehicle collided with a tree in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Authorities reported that the fiery crash killed a man, but coroner's officials could not immediately confirm whether Hastings was the victim.

"I was just coming northbound on Highland and I seen a car, like, going really fast and all of a sudden I seen it jackknife," witness to the scene, Luis Cortez, told KTLA.

Another neighbor described hearing a huge explosion drawing him and several others outside their homes.

One man was seen using a watering hose in his best efforts to stifle the engulfing flames.

RELATED: HILLARY CLINTON SPOKESMAN TELLS BUZZFEED REPORTER TO 'F--- OFF'

The vehicle's engine ejected 50 to 60 yards from the scene before landing near a telephone pole, according to neighbor and film maker Gary Grossman who said he couldn't have written a scene like this for a movie.

In Hastings' Rolling Stone cover story "The Runaway General," he quoted McChrystal and his aides mocking Obama administration officials, including Vice President Joe Biden, over their war policies.

At a Pentagon ceremony for his subsequent retirement in 2010, McChrystal made light of the episode in his farewell address.

The four-star general warned his comrades in arms, "I have stories on all of you, photos of many, and I know a Rolling Stone reporter."

When he died, Hastings was also a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, where Managing Editor Will Dana was quoted Tuesday saying Hastings exuded "a certain kind of electricity" that exists in great reporters whose stories burn to be told.

RELATED: MCCHRYSTAL SAYS CAREER DIDN'T END AS HE HOPED IN FAREWELL SPEECH

"I'm sad that I'll never get to publish all the great stories that he was going to write, and sad that he won't be stopping by my office for any more short visits which would stretch for two or three completely engrossing hours," Dana said.

Hastings was also an author of books about the wars.

"The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan" was published late last year and details shocking exploits of the military overseas.

In 2010, with the publication of "I Lost My Love in Baghdad," Hastings told the story of being a young war correspondent whose girlfriend dies in Iraq.

ngolgowski@nydailynews.com with wire services

On a mobile device? Watch the video here

Why Democrats Love To Spy On Americans

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Archived Version

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 18:17

For most bigwig Democrats in Washington, D.C., the last 48 hours has delivered news of the worst kind '-- a flood of new information that has washed away any lingering doubts about where President Obama and his party stand on civil liberties, full stop.

Glenn Greenwald's exposure of the NSA's massive domestic spy program has revealed the entire caste of current Democratic leaders as a gang of civil liberty opportunists, whose true passion, it seems, was in trolling George W. Bush for eight years on matters of national security.

''Everyone should just calm down,'' Senator Harry Reid said yesterday, inhaling slowly.

That's right: don't panic.

The very topic of Democratic two-facedness on civil liberties is one of the most important issues that Greenwald has covered. Many of those Dems '-- including the sitting President Barack Obama, Senator Carl Levin, and Sec. State John Kerry '-- have now become the stewards and enhancers of programs that appear to dwarf any of the spying scandals that broke during the Bush years, the very same scandals they used as wedge issues to win elections in the Congressional elections 2006 and the presidential primary of 2007-2008.

Recall what Senator Levin told CNN in 2005, demanding to ''urgently hold an inquiry'' into what was supposedly President Bush's domestic wiretap program.

Levin continued, at length: ''It means that there's some growing concern on Capitol Hill about a program which seems to be so totally unauthorized and unexplained'...The president wraps himself in the law, saying that it is totally legal, but he doesn't give what the legal basis is for this. He avoided using the law, which we provided to the president, where even when there is an emergency and there's a need for urgent action can first tap the wire and then go to a court.''

There are two notable exception to this rule are Senator Ron Wyden, from Oregon, and Sen. Mark Udall from Colorado, who had seemed to be fighting a largely lonely, frustrating battle against Obama's national security state.

As Mark Udall told the Denver Post yesterday: ''[I] did everything short of leaking classified information'' to stop it.

His ally in Oregon, Ron Wyden, was one of the first to seize on the Guardian's news break: ''I will tell you from a policy standpoint, when a law-abiding citizen makes a call, they expect that who they call, when they call and where they call from will be kept private,'' Wyden said to Politico, noting ''there's going to be a big debate about this.'' The Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, admitted he'd mislead Senator Wyden at a hearing earlier this year, revising his statement yesterday to state that the NSA didn't do ''voyerustic'' surveillance.

The state of affairs, in other words, is so grave that two sitting Senators went as close as they could to violating their unconstitutional security oaths in order to warn the country of information that otherwise would not have been declassified until April of 2038, according to the Verizon court order obtained by Greenwald.

Now, we're about to see if the Obama administration's version of the national security state will begin to eat itself.

Unsurprisingly, the White House has dug in, calling their North Korea-esque tools ''essential'' to stop terrorism, and loathe to give up the political edge they've seized for Democrats on national security issues under Obama's leadership. The AP spying scandal '-- which the administration attempted to downplay at the time, even appointing Eric Holder to lead his own investigation into himself '--was one of the unexpected consequences of one of two leak investigations that Obama ordered during the 2012 campaign.

It's unclear where a possible third leak investigation would lead. However, judging by the DOJ's and FBI's recent history, it would seem that any new leak case would involve obtaining the phone records of reporters at the Guardian, the Washington Post, employees at various agencies who would have had access to the leaked material, as well as politicians and staffers in Congress'--records, we now can safely posit, they already have unchecked and full access to.

In short: any so-called credible DOJ/FBI leak investigation, by its very nature, would have to involve the Obama administration invasively using the very surveillance and data techniques it is attempting to hide in order to snoop on a few Democratic Senators and more media outlets, including one based overseas.

Outside of Washington, D.C., the frustration that Wyden and Udall have felt has been exponentially magnified. Transparency supporters, whistleblowers, and investigative reporters, especially those writers who have aggressively pursued the connections between the corporate defense industry and federal and local authorities involved in domestic surveillance, have been viciously attacked by the Obama administration and its allies in the FBI and DOJ.

Jacob Appplebaum, a transparency activist and computer savant, has been repeatedly harassed at American borders, having his laptop seized. Barrett Brown, another investigative journalist who has written for Vanity Fair, among others publications, exposed the connections between the private contracting firm HB Gary (a government contracting firm that, incidentally, proposed a plan to spy on and ruin the reputation of the Guardian's Greenwald) and who is currently sitting in a Texas prison on trumped up FBI charges regarding his legitimate reportorial inquiry into the political collective known sometimes as Anonymous.

That's not to mention former NSA official Thomas Drake (the Feds tried to destroys his life because he blew the whistle ); Fox News reporter James Rosen (named a ''co-conspirator'' by Holder's DOJ); John Kirakou, formerly in the CIA, who raised concerns about the agency's torture program, is also in prison for leaking ''harmful'' (read: embarrassing) classified info; and of course Wikileaks (under U.S. financial embargo); WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (locked up in Ecuador's London embassy) and, of course, Bradley Manning, the young, idealistic, soldier who provided the public with perhaps the most critical trove of government documents ever released.

The attitude the Obama administration has toward Manning is revealing. What do they think of him? ''Fuck Bradely Manning,'' as one White House official put it to me last year during the campaign.

Screw Manning? Lol, screw us.

Perhaps more information will soon be forthcoming.

Hillary Clinton spokesman tells Buzzfeed reporter to 'F--- Off'

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Archived Version

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 17:39

A top aide to Hillary Clinton got into a heated email spat with a BuzzFeed reporter who was aggressively questioning him on U.S. actions in Libya '-- which ended with the Clinton spokesman telling the reporter to "f--- off."

BuzzFeed published the lengthy email exchange between longtime Clinton aide Philippe Reines and reporter Michael Hastings on Monday.

The testy back-and-forth came after Reines accused CNN this weekend of reporting on the personal journal of slain U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens despite objections from his family.

CNN, which found Stevens' journal inside the consulate after his death, said it "did not initially report on the existence of a journal out of respect for the family, but we felt there were issues raised in the journal which required full reporting, which we did."

Reines called that decision "indefensible" and CNN's justification "disgusting."

The related row between Reines and Hastings began when the Buzzfeed reporter emailed the Clinton aide with a series of pointed questions about other "valuable intelligence" that may have been left inside the consulate for CNN and others to find.

Reines replied with an exasperated-sounding 'no,' along with further explanations, while accusing Hastings of being "needlessly antagonistic."

From there the exchange devolved into name-calling, with Hastings saying the official's answers were "bullsh--" and Reines calling the reporter an "unmitigated assh---."

"Now that we've gotten that out of our systems, have a good day," Reines said. "And by good day, I mean F--- Off."

Confrontations between reporters and officials' spokespeople aren't rare, but they're not usually aired quite so publicly.

A spokesman for Mitt Romney, Rick Gorka, also made headlines for losing his temper in July.

During a campaign stop in Poland, Gorka's caught-on-camera demand that reporters "kiss my a--" and "shove it" overshadowed Romney's visit to Pilsudski Square to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

With News Wire Services

klee@nydailynews.com

Michael Hastings contacted Wikileaks lawyer a few hours before death claiming FBI were investigating him | Max Keiser

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Archived Version

Thu, 20 Jun 2013 04:03

Stacy Summary: This tweet just in from Wikileaks:

Michael Hastings contacted WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson just a few hours before he died, saying that the FBI was investigating him.

'-- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) June 19, 2013

Apparently, there are already Freedom of Information requests in for further information about this alleged investigation.

Michael Hastings Crash: Car Was Speeding, Engine Flew 100 Feet, Cops Say - Los Angeles - News - The Informer

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Archived Version

Thu, 20 Jun 2013 03:58

Even as fans of journalist Michael Hastings, known for his take-down of General Stanley McChrystal and for his probing of CIA shenanigans, focused on his coverage of the powerful in a search for answers regarding his untimely death in Hollywood, increasing evidence points to speed as a major factor in his fatal car crash early yesterday.LAPD traffic investigators found the motor of the late-model Mercedes-Benz C250 coupe involved in the accident about 100 feet away from the car, the Weekly has learned, a clue that would indicate the vehicle was travelling at more than 60 miles an hour when it apparently veered out of control and struck a palm tree:

That's according to the expert estimation of Harry B. Ryon, a former LAPD officer who now runs his own private accident investigation firm in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The engine's location is evidence that the driver "was hauling Irish ass and lost control," Ryon told us:

With the engine torn off the gas lines would rupture and it would start a fire.

See also: Michael Hastings Probed the CIA Before Fatal Hollywood Crash.

The vehicle was traveling south on Highland Avenue just past Melrose Avenue, where Hollywood turns into Hancock Park, when it crashed and burst into flames, according to LAPD traffic investigators.

View Larger Map

TV news footage shows that the car hit a palm tree in the median, not far from Mario Batali's famed Mozza restaurants.

Ryon said it was possible to achieve freeway speeds on that stretch of Highland.

LAPD Officer Richard French says that, contrary to reports, the department has not yet identified the victim of the crash and that it could take a while: The coroner will have to use dental records to make a positive ID, he said.

It will take weeks for the coroner to conduct conclusive toxicology tests that could determine if Hastings was driving under the influence.

The writer does have a history with alcohol and drugs, however. In his first book, I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story, Hastings says that he crashed a car in a drunk driving accident when he was 19.

And in this True/Slant piece from 2009 Hastings describes himself as a "a recovering drunk/addict/screw-up."

In another True/Slant piece he says, "I have smoked crack."

Still, conspiracy theorists are coming out of the woodworks to cast suspicion on the crash that was reported at 4:25 a.m. Tuesday.

In Hastings 2012 book The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan, Hastings says a McChrystal staffer said to him, "We'll hunt you down and kill you if we don't like what you write."

In the same book Hastings says he hasn't had a drink in 10 years.

We were also pointed to the "Boston Brakes" technique, in which the electronic management of a car, specifically a Mercedes, can be manipulated remotely to simulate an out-of-control accident. (Google it, or check this out.)

And then there's this WikiLeaks tweet:

Interestingly, one neighbor, Rochelle Frankel, told KTLA news the crash sounded like an explosion.

It sounded like a bomb went off in the middle of the night. My house shook. The windows were rattling.

-With reporting from LA Weekly staff writer Gene Maddaus.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

BuzzFeed Partners With CNN And YouTube To Create Online Video Channel

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Archived Version

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 18:38

Social news site and meme aggregator BuzzFeed is partnering with CNN and YouTube to create a new online-video channel called ''CNN BuzzFeed'' that will be unveiled later today. Chief operating officer Jon Steinberg told the Wall Street Journal that BuzzFeed plans to invest a low ''eight-digit sum'' over two years in the video platform.

The YouTube channel will include archival and current content designed to be shared over social media networks. Steinberg says that BuzzFeed will create around three videos a week, focusing on serious news events.

The CNN partnership is the latest in a series of efforts BuzzFeed has made to become a top news source for 18-to-34 year olds, a demographic highly sought after by advertisers. The site's business model has been a balancing act''its rewrites of popular Reddit posts and pictures of furry animals pull traffic to the ad-based site, helping finance BuzzFeed's long-form features.

While BuzzFeed already manages six YouTube channels, partnering with a recognized journalism brand like CNN gives the youth-oriented site credibility. In return, CNN gets access to BuzzFeed's younger users (content from the BuzzFeed-CNN YouTube channel will also appear on CNN.com).

The new channel, which will use the mashup video format BuzzFeed is known for, is being launched without the support of advertising partners, a strategy that is in line with BuzzFeed's refusal to rely on traditional display advertising. Instead, it sells and creates sponsored posts designed to be shared over social media.

BuzzFeed's latest round of funding was disclosed in January, when the site announced that it had raised $19.3 million in a Series D led by new investor NEA with existing investors RRE, Hearst, SoftBank, and Lerer Ventures also participating, as well as new investors Michael and Kass Lazerow.

CEO Jonah Peretti said in a statement the money would be used to scale up the startup into a bona fide media company: ''We have the senior management, board, and investors we need to build the next great media company: socially native, tech enabled, with massive scale. We are all focused on that big goal and raised this capital to move even faster.''

BuzzFeed is the leading media company for the social age, intensely focused on delivering high-quality original reporting, insight, and viral content across a rapidly expanding array of subject areas. Our technology powers the social distribution of content, detects what is trending on the web, and connects people in realtime with the hottest content of the moment. Our site is rapidly growing and reaches more than 60 million monthly unique visitors. Jonah Peretti, founder & CEO of BuzzFeed, previously co-founded...

'†' Learn more

BuzzFeed | CrunchBase Profile

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Archived Version

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 18:37

BuzzFeed is the leading media company for the social age, intensely focused on delivering high-quality original reporting, insight, and viral content across a rapidly expanding array of subject areas. Our technology powers the social distribution of content, detects what is trending on the web, and connects people in realtime with the hottest content of the moment. Our site is rapidly growing and reaches more than 60 million monthly unique visitors. Jonah Peretti, founder & CEO of BuzzFeed, previously co-founded the Huffington Post. Ben Smith is its Editor-in-chief, Jon Steinberg is its President & COO and Kenneth Lerer is the Executive Chairman.

Recent MilestonesBuzzFeed received $19.3M in Series D funding. (1/3/13)Posted 1/3/13 at 6:17pm via techcrunch.comBuzzFeed added Rob Fishman as Contributing Editor. (12/1/12)Posted 6/6/13 at 3:11pm

BuzzFeed acquired Yoke. (9/11/12)Posted 11/28/12 at 3:38pm via techcrunch.comBuzzFeed acquired Kingfish Labs. (9/11/12)Posted 3/28/13 at 9:52am via businessinsider.comBuzzFeed added Jeff Revesz as Senior Developer. (9/1/12)Posted 6/6/13 at 3:13pm

BuzzFeed '-- BuzzFeed Surpasses 30 Million Users And Is On Track To Triple 2011 Revenue (7/24/12)Posted 7/24/12 at 7:00pm via businessinsider.comBuzzFeed received $15.5M in Series C funding. (1/9/12)Posted 1/9/12 at 5:08am via techcrunch.comBuzzFeed acquired Star.me. (9/1/11)Posted 5/6/13 at 12:54pm via crosscutventures.comBuzzFeed added Mark Frackt as CFO. (9/1/11)Posted 1/10/12 at 9:14am

BuzzFeed added Andy Wiedlin as CRO. (7/26/11)Posted 7/26/11 at 1:02am

BuzzFeed added Greg Leuch as Senior Designer. (12/1/10)Posted 3/12/11 at 7:14pm

BuzzFeed added Jon Steinberg as President. (6/1/10)Posted 5/27/10 at 3:26pm

BuzzFeed received $8M in Series B funding. (5/12/10)Posted 5/12/10 at 10:44am via techcrunch.comBuzzFeed received $3.5M in Series A funding. (7/9/08)Posted 7/10/08 at 11:46am via paidcontent.orgBuzzFeed added Scott English as Board Director. (7/1/08)Posted 9/23/11 at 11:53am

BuzzFeed added Eric Buth as Developer. (10/1/07)Posted 2/16/08 at 5:10pm

Videos

Above:This video was originally published on Beet.TV

Added: 1/18/13

Above:This video was originally published on Beet.TV

Added: 12/7/12

Above:This video was originally published on Beet.TV

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Above:This video was originally published on Beet.TV

Added: 3/1/13ScreenshotsProductsAbove: BuzzFeed Home PageUploaded: 5/8/12

Traffic AnalyticsQuantcastCompeteSourcesBuzzFeed's First Acquisition Kingfish Labs Could Make Its FB Ads Go More Viral Than Football Cats (techcrunch.com) [edit]Business Insider (businessinsider.com) [edit]crosscutventures.com [edit]Trend Site Buzzfeed Raises $3.5 Million First Round (paidcontent.org) [edit]TechCrunch (techcrunch.com) [edit]Viral Aggregator BuzzFeed Raises $15.5M To Transform The Way People Get Their News (techcrunch.com) [edit]Social Publishing FTW: With 40M Users, Jonah Peretti's BuzzFeed Raises Another $19.3M Led By NEA (techcrunch.com) [edit]BuzzFeed Surpasses 30 Million Users And Is On Track To Triple 2011 Revenue (businessinsider.com) [edit]

BuzzFeed Raises $19 Million From Same Investors - Peter Kafka - Media

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Archived Version

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 18:32

BuzzFeed, the fast-growing, Facebook-friendly Web publisher, has raised another $19.3 million. The deal comes a year after the company rounded up $15.5 million in funding, and involves the same set of investors, including New Enterprise Associates, Lerer Ventures, Hearst Media, Softbank and RRE. BuzzFeed has raised more than $46 million since 2008, and says the money will go into international expansion, among other plans.

About BuzzFeed

Link to Article

Archived Version

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 18:26

BuzzFeed is the leading media company for the social age, intensely focused on delivering high-quality original reporting, insight, and viral content across a rapidly expanding array of subject areas. Our technology powers the social distribution of content, detects what is trending on the web, and connects people in realtime with the hottest content of the moment. Our site is rapidly growing and reaches more than 50 million monthly unique visitors. Jonah Peretti, founder & CEO of BuzzFeed, previously co-founded the Huffington Post. Ben Smith is its Editor-in-Chief, Jon Steinberg is its President & COO and Kenneth Lerer is the Executive Chairman.

Kenneth Lerer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Archived Version

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 18:26

Kenneth Lerer is an American businessman and media executive. He was the chairman and co-founder of The Huffington Post, a liberal/progressive American news website and content aggregating blog, headquartered in New York. He is a Managing Director of Lerer Ventures. Founded in January 2010, Lerer Ventures is a seed stage venture capital fund. Investments include Warby Parker, RapGenius, SailThru, GroupMe, Makerbot, and Birchbox and the fund makes about 40 investments a year. In addition, Lerer Ventures runs its own incubator, Soho Tech Labs. He is the Chairman of Betaworks and BuzzFeed, and the Vice-Chairman of Bedrocket. He is a past Executive Vice President of AOL Time Warner and was a founding partner of New York-based corporate communications firm Robinson, Lerer, and Montgomery. In 2003, Lerer launched StoptheNRA.com to advocate for the continuation of the assault weapons ban as a federal law. He subsequently donated the website to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Lerer has taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, University of Pennsylvania and New York University, where he taught courses on the media and American corporations. He served as Chairman of the Public Theater in New York for 10 years, and is now its Chairman Emeritus.[1] He is also on the boards of the Association to Benefit Children, and the Bank Street College of Education. He has two children: a son, Benjamin, who started an online men's lifestyle website Thrillist.com and who is also a Managing Director at Lerer Ventures; and a daughter, Isabel. Isabel is a Ph.D. Candidate in Philosophy at Columbia University's Graduate School. Ken and his wife Katherine Sailer are active fundraisers for the Democratic party. According to the New York Times, on April 9, 2007, they co-hosted a $2,300/plate fundraiser for Barack Obama at their Central Park West apartment in New York.[2]

Lerer is one of the minority owners of the New York Mets, holding a 4% stake in the baseball team.

R.I.P. James Gandolfini - Deadline.com

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Archived Version

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 23:33

I've learned that actor James Gandolfini died suddenly in Italy after a suspected heart attack. He was 51. Gandolfini will be forever known for his portrayal of mob boss Tony Soprano on the seminal HBO series The Sopranos, which won him three Emmy Awards. He remained in business with the pay cable network and was in pre-production on a new limited series, Criminal Justice, one of several projects he had in the works. MORE

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.

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AMA Considers Classifying Obesity As A Disease - Forbes

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Wed, 19 Jun 2013 23:24

Log in with your social account:Or, you can log in or sign up using Forbes.New Posts+2 posts this hourMost PopularMost Expensive HomesListsHighest-Paid AthletesVideo'Buycott' App In ActionGet two issues of Forbes for FREE!Help|Connect

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Black Forest fire victims were members of Air Force Space Command

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Wed, 19 Jun 2013 12:20

BLACK FOREST '-- A husband and wife who died while trying to flee the Black Forest fire last week were longtime members of Air Force Space Command, officials said Tuesday.

A co-worker said they died trying to protect firefighters by removing ammunition and propane tanks from their home and loading them into their car.

The victims were identified by the El Paso County Sheriff's office as Marc Allen Herklotz, 52, and his wife, Robin Lauran Herklotz, 50.

Their bodies were found in the garage of their home on Jicarilla Drive in Black Forest, near the area where investigators believe the fire began. Officials said the doors of their car were open and it appeared they were trying to evacuate. The home sat on a heavily wooded 2.6-acre lot, according to county records.

Investigators spoke to someone who talked to the victims by phone at about 5 p.m. on June 11, just hours after the fire started, Sheriff Terry Maketa said last week. In the background of the phone call, the person could hear popping sounds.

"All indications on scene is that they were planning on leaving quickly," Maketa said.

Neighbors Bob and Barbara Schmidt told The Associated Press that they last saw the Herklotzes about 4:35 p.m. The Schmidts said the Herklotzes told them they had not received an automated evacuation call but were packing and "they'd leave when they needed to."

Identification of the bodies was difficult because the fire burned for several days in that area at about 2,500 degrees, Maketa said Tuesday. The bodies were identified through a cooperative effort by the El Paso County coroner's office and a forensic dentist.

Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Jeff Kramer said investigators have learned little about the circumstances of the couple's deaths.

"The coroner had very little in the way of remains to work with," he said.

James Wing, a co-worker and friend of the couple, described them as happy and inseparable.

"It's a small consolation for those that knew them that they were together in the end, but it would not have been a small consolation to them," Wing said.

Wing said Marc was a radio-control enthusiast like his father, and had rare and impressive model airplanes hanging in his office where he worked writing intelligence software for the Air Force.

In their death, Wing said he learned the couple was thinking of the safety of firefighters first, likely causing them to take too long to evacuate when the fire was approaching.

"Marc was a shooting enthusiast and he had lots of ammunition and also propane tanks," Wing said. "A neighbor saw them loading them, trying to remove all of it, so that it wouldn't pose a danger to firefighters."

A son of the couple is on tour in Afghanistan, Wing said.

An Air Force news release said Marc Herklotz served in the Air Force from 1983-87 and worked as a civilian employee in the Innovation Division of Space Command's Air, Space and Cyberspace Operations Directorate. Robin Herklotz was an Air Force contractor.

"Both were longtime members of Air Force Space Command, supporting critical air, space and cyberspace operational missions from offices on Schriever Air Force Base," the release said.

The fire began at about 2 p.m. on June 11 in Black Forest north of Colorado Springs, and it quickly raced through ponderosa pine and shrub oak.

It has burned 14,280 acres and destroyed 509 homes. Maketa said there are still 937 homes and 9,830 acres under the mandatory evacuation order. About 2,600 people remain out of their homes; at the high point of the fire, almost 40,000 people were evacuated.

As of Tuesday evening, the fire was 85 percent contained.

As people return, Maketa said to remember those who no longer have homes.

"We need to not lose sight of those who lost every memory they ever created," he said.

The cause of the fire has not been determined. Maketa has said investigators believe it was human-caused and are narrowing in on a point of origin. He said Tuesday that area is 40 feet square.

"It's certainly something you do not rush," Maketa said. "It is important to determine if the fire was caused accidentally or intentionally."

The sheriff's office Tuesday downgraded additional mandatory evacuation areas, allowing residents like Robert Runyard to go home for the first time in a week.

Runyard is admittedly sentimental, but he held his cool as he bounded down the winding roads of Black Forest for his first glimpse of the rubble and wreckage he once called home.

The skeletal trees and charred rolling hills offered further proof of what he already knew: The house on Swan Road had become part of the landscape. A lone brick wall, streaked black with smoke, jutted out like a beacon.

"This is my neighborhood," he said. "What a mess."

Camera in hand and girlfriend Amy Feik by his side, he took stock of the remains: a pile of blackened nails from inside a melted bucket, a motorcycle helmet that crumbled at the touch, a Subaru station wagon, mangled and gutted.

"My first souvenir!" Runyard said, grabbing its license plate from the ground. The numbers had burned off.

But, at least for the moment, Runyard didn't flinch. The veteran was "back in battle mode."

"I saw parts of Kuwait like this," he said, sifting through the ashes of his two-story barn. He'd lived in the home since 1986. He designed it himself and made many upgrades.

"I'll cry when you leave," he said.

The couple wandered further into the disorienting landscape. They uncovered the twisted remains of rifles, a battered washing machine.

"The wheelbarrow is still there!" Feik yelled.

"This is the hose!" Runyard shouted.

"Oh my God, do you remember when I took a pottery class and made a little bowl?" Feik said pulling it from the rubble. Later, a shattered coffee mug made her smile.

"Every object you find has a story," Runyard said. "Some of the things I thought would survive the fire didn't, but I guess that's not surprising."

Still, his assessment was that it could have been worse.

"It's under control," he told Feik, and gave her a kiss.

Copyright 2012 The Denver Post. All rights reserved.

Drone Nation

FBI director acknowledges use of Surveillance Drones in the US

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Source: Global Research

Thu, 20 Jun 2013 13:31

FBI Director Robert Mueller acknowledged in Congressional testimony on Wednesday that his agency has used aerial drones for surveillance purposes within the United States. The revelation came in the midst of more efforts to justify the Obama administration's unconstitutional domestic surveillance programs under the banner of the ''war on terror.''

Though the government has previously admitted to using drones along the US-Mexico border and in isolated instances, Mueller's admission was the first time the FBI publicly acknowledged that it uses remotely piloted aircraft. The disclosure may well have been made in order to pre-empt whistleblower Edward Snowden, who has threatened to make public further details about the government's widespread surveillance programs.

During Mueller's testimony, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley asked, ''Does the FBI own or currently use drones and if so for what purpose?''

''Yes, and for surveillance,'' Mueller replied

''[Drones are] very seldom used and generally used in a particular incident when you need the capability,'' Mueller claimed in an attempt to downplay the significance of the revelation. Mueller gave no indication as to what these ''particular incident(s)'' were.

In the course of his testimony, Mueller repeated claims made by the Obama administration and intelligence officials over the past several days aimed at defending the unconstitutional and secret spying programs revealed by Snowden.

Obama himself, speaking in Germany yesterday, repeated talking points delivered by NSA Director Keith Alexander earlier this week. ''This is not a situation in which we are rifling through the ordinary emails of German citizens or American citizens or French citizens or anybody else,'' Obama claimed. ''This is not a situation where we simply go into the internet and start searching any way that we want. This is a circumscribed, narrow system, directed at us being able to protect our people and all of it is done with the oversight of the courts.''

These are simply lies. What Obama calls a ''circumscribed, narrow system'' involves the collection of phone records of hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the world, along with a system that sucks up billions of Internet communications on an ongoing basis.

Obama's statements have been directly contradicted by Snowden, as well as fellow NSA whistleblowers Thomas Drake, William Binney, and J. Kirk Wiebe.

''There is no probable cause,'' Drake told the USA Today in an interview published last weekend, referring to justifications given by the government to access the content of communications. ''There is no indication of any kind of counterterrorism investigation or operation. It's simply: 'give us the data.'''

In an effort to justify the programs, Obama and the political establishment as a whole have brought out the standard ''war on terror'' arguments used for every war and violation of democratic rights over the past decade. On Wednesday, Obama repeated claims that the surveillance programs have prevented over fifty ''potential terrorist events'' since September 11.

The counter-offensive of the Obama administration is aimed both at undermining widespread opposition to the spying programs, as well as creating the rational for the arrest, prosecution or assassination of Snowden for ''aiding the enemy'' by leaking information to the American people.

For the US government, the Constitution and Bill of Rights'--including the prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures'--are treated as suggestions, useful perhaps under some circumstances, but which can be violated whenever it is deemed necessary by the state. Speaking yesterday in Germany, Obama claimed that ''lives have been saved'' and that the administration has ''struck the appropriate balance'' between security and privacy.

The rights guaranteed in the Constitution are not, however, suggestions. The ''state of exception'' and ''balancing'' arguments of government officials amount to declaration that the Constitution itself is invalid.

Even if one were to accept that the spying programs had ''thwarted 50 attacks,'' this would not justify the violation of democratic rights. However, all discussion on how best to strike the ''appropriate balance'' between ''security'' and ''liberty'' is predicated on a basic lie: that the ''war on terror'' places the American and international public under the constant threat of attack, and that this threat must be countered by setting the foundations of a police state. Such arguments are the hallmark of every authoritarian regime, from Nazi Germany to Pinochet's Chile.

In fact, the various supposed plots cited by Alexander, Obama and others are described in the vaguest possible terms'--post facto justifications for a policy implemented for entirely different reasons.

Moreover, many of the alleged terrorist plots over the past decade'--both thwarted and otherwise'--had involved individuals who were under close surveillance by the state prior to carrying out attempted attacks. Serious questions remain as to the connections between the security apparatus and the likes of Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 9/11 hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar, and suspected Danish newspaper plotter David Headley.

It must be noted as well that the right-wing Islamic groups that that have committed terrorist attacks are the product of decades of US imperialist campaigns in the Middle East and Central Asia. More often than not, the American military has utilized the services of such organizations for their own purposes'--as was the case in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Claims that the US government is ''fighting terrorism'' are all the more absurd considering the Obama administration's recent decision to arm the Syrian opposition, which is spearheaded by Al-Qaida affiliated groups.

The testimony this week, along with Obama's remarks in Berlin, are part of an intensifying campaign by the entire political establishment and the media, aimed at defending what is an unprecedented assault on the democratic rights of the population of the United States and the entire world.

EUROLand

"It's A Massacre" - Each Day 134 Retail Outlets Close In Italy.

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Thu, 20 Jun 2013 13:32

If anyone is still not convinced that surging stock bourses in Europe are indicative of anything more than central bank liquidity, carry trade allocation and localized asset bubbles, we present a snapshot of what is actually happening on the ground via Italy's Ansa: "It's a massacre," said Confesercenti President Marco Venturi. "Each day 134 shops, restaurants and bars close in recession-hit Italy, retail association Confesercenti said on Wednesday. Confesercenti, which represents small and medium-sized businesses in the retail and tourism sectors, said 224,000 enterprises had closed their shutters since the start of the global economic crisis in 2008.

"Every day five green grocers, four butchers, 42 clothes shops, 43 restaurants and 40 bars and catering business close down".

But who needs commerce when all those newly available day traders can just boot up their E-trade platform and trade their way, along with the trading mascot baby, to untold riches?

Average:Your rating: NoneAverage: 4.8(16 votes)

Bulgaria: Citizens head back to the streets.

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Thu, 20 Jun 2013 13:06

At a demonstration against the appointment of Bulgaria's new head of counter espionage. Sofia, June 14, 2013.

For almost a whole week, the streets of Bulgaria have been thronged with protesters. The appointment of a controversial member of parliament to head the counterintelligence agency was all that was needed to rekindle the February protests, which led to an early election. Discontent still lingers. Excerpts.

I wrote an article some time ago to explain how I found a person who reads to be beautiful. That person, you see, is discreetly cultivating his taste for things that are absent. And a person who has this cultivated taste cannot be a swine.

The person who protests is beautiful too, and for the same reasons. Today, the two are tied, intimately but strongly. When the person who reads goes out into the street to protest, we notice him immediately. And his protest becomes more luminous, full of sense. This is what we are seeing today in the streets of Sofia and elsewhere. Both literally and metaphorically, these protests are the protests of children. Of the children and the grandchildren of those who came out in February to protest against the hike in the price of electricity.

But June is not February. The children of June are demanding much more. Today, it is no longer a question of money and unpaid bills. In February, the political elite responded very quickly, and the Conservative government of Boyko Borisov resigned after two weeks of demonstrations that were at times marred by violence. When it comes to money, things are simpler: one launches some pie-in-the-sky promises, hands out state aid and blames everything on big foreign capital that controls the electricity companies.

Protest sparked by Delyan PeevskiToday is quite another matter. And it's total confusion. The protesters say they do not want a shady oligarchy to go on leading the country. The elites fail to grasp that, because they eat straight out of the hands of this shady oligarchy. For them, politics boils down to the behind-the-scenes intrigues that this oligarchy cooks up. Moreover, today we are no longer hearing from the political-scientist flunkeys who are happy to trot out, in their pleased way, their insights into the situation '' those who, on television in February, were puttings words into the mouth of the protesters. That was how poor people who could not pay their bills, the humiliated and despised, were made to repeat absurdities like ''the Icelandic model'', the ''Irish model'', ''nationalisation'', and so on.

Today, the ones who are coming out into the streets every day after 6:30 pm all have jobs, and they pay their electricity and heating bills. There are a lot of them, and from very different walks of life: parents, teachers, journalists, writers, bicyclists, actors, engineers, students, readers.These aren't professional revolutionaries, much less hooligans. That they all feel deeply offended is enough to make them come out into the street.

The most amazing thing is that the current political elite does not always grasp why all these people are out there. The spark was the appointment of controversial MP, Delyan Peevski [which has now been revoked by parliament], as head of the National Security Agency (DANS, counter-intelligence). ''We underestimated the public image of this man'', said Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski (a ''non-partisan'' Socialist Party member whose coalition government is supported by the ethnic Turkish party, the MDL, and the ultra-nationalists of Ataka) [On June 19, the Parliament canceled the appointment of Mr. Peevski].

''We underestimated the resistance that his appointment has generated,'' added the Chair of the Socialist Party, Sergei Stanishev. For them, the problem is not the candidate himself but his apparently maligned image. Welcome to the language of the shady oligarchy. ''We underestimated the scale of the challenge. We were expecting a hundred people to show up outside Parliament, and it turned into quite another thing.''

Protests must not be hijackedIf financiers read books, our crises would be different. At the very least, the financiers might develop some sensitivity. But books, and sensitivity, are not part of their portfolios. Like its predecessor, this government has yet to grasp that the economic crisis is only the tip of the iceberg of another crisis, a much deeper and more personal crisis: a crisis of meaning, of hope for the future.

It's good to have experts, for sure, but expertise should always come after morality. And the economy after ethics. An expert without morality will always only be a tool in the hands of those who have bought his services, a tool in the service of any oligarchy.

The first days of protest are the most beautiful, the most unexpected. We must be on our guard to save these protests from being hijacked, manipulated and distorted by nationalists and troublemakers. I sincerely hope that this protest will find the force to remain as it is today. With parents who come with their children perched on their shoulders, with smiling faces and a quiet anger. With this sense of belonging, finally, to a community of values. Because the person who protests is truly beautiful. And sensible.

This blog post is available in English only.

German Bonds Face Selloff at Denmark's ATP on Trading Tax

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Thu, 20 Jun 2013 12:16

By Matthew Winkler, Peter Levring and Maud van GaalJune 19, 2013 6:01 PM EDTGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Denmark's biggest pension fund, which holds $36 billion of long-term German bonds, says it may have to sell the debt unless Chancellor Angela Merkel moves to block a tax on financial transactions.

Such a levy ''would instantly destroy our business model and would force us to invest differently,'' Carsten Stendevad, chief executive officer of the $140 billion ATP fund, said in an interview at his office in Copenhagen. ''The moment they would do this, many investors would start looking for other safe havens.''

Investors overseeing Europe's pension savings are adding their voice to bank industry warnings that a tax on financial trades will miss its mark and end up hurting average citizens. ATP estimates the levy would cost it ''hundreds of millions of dollars,'' eroding pensioners' returns. Merkel said last week that the German government is listening to investor complaints about the proposed levy and will take their views into account.

Moving ahead with a tax model that hits pension savers ''would obviously be a very bad thing to do,'' Merkel said in a June 14 interview at the Chancellery in Berlin. Still, she restated her government's commitment to some form of tax on transactions, citing the disparity between value-added taxes on consumer goods and ''basically free'' financial transactions.

Policy makers in Europe originally proposed the tax in an effort to prevent a repeat of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. European Union Tax Commissioner Algirdas Semeta has said the levy would encourage pension funds to avoid secondary markets and stick to long-term investments.

'Pile of Bonds'The proposal doesn't take into account how pension funds operate, said Guus Warringa, an Amsterdam-based board member and chief legal counsel at APG Asset Management, which oversees 342 billion euros ($458 billion) in pension assets.

''Pension funds are indeed long-term investors, yet the assumption they have a pile of bonds which they put into a safe until they mature 20 years later is simply wrong,'' Warringa said. ''Markets, interest rates change. It would imply we would have had to keep our exposure to Greece unchanged. We wouldn't get away with such a policy.''

APG, the investment management unit of Heerlen, Netherlands-based APG Algemene Pensioen Groep NV, would probably ''invest less in countries that have a financial transactions tax,'' he said.

Merkel said last week she's talking to investors about the financial transactions tax. ''I know their concerns and we have not come to the end of our deliberations,'' she said.

Trading TaxThe EU unveiled its plan on Feb. 14 for a 0.1 percent tax on stock and bond trades and 0.01 percent on derivatives trades with ties to participating countries. To prevent traders from escaping the levy by operating outside the tax zone, the EU plan invokes ''residence'' and ''issuance'' ties to firms in participating nations. That means, for example, that a French bond traded in London would still be affected.

The taxes would be collected worldwide by Germany, France and nine other EU nations that have signed up. Denmark, where ATP is based, has rejected the tax in its current form, as has the Netherlands.

The proposal ''will be an entirely different matter from what was intended if it impacts those nations not participating and disrupting the inner market,'' Danish Economy Minister Margrethe Vestager said in a June 14 interview during a conference on the Danish island of Bornholm. ''This will obviously have consequences for Denmark, as it will for all of the 16 EU nations that are not part of this.''

German PoliticsMerkel's Christian Democratic Union party, which faces September elections, has backed a financial transaction tax. The CDU is urging that the measure be introduced ''as quickly as possible,'' while ''safeguarding the interests'' of Germany's financial industry, according to a draft of the party's campaign platform.

Stendevad, 40, who left his job as a managing director at Citigroup Inc. (C) in New York to take the helm at ATP in April, said efforts to rein in the financial industry are needed, though the methods under consideration are proving clumsy.

''Even things with good intentions can have significant unintended consequences,'' Stendevad said. The proposed financial tax is ''a good example. The bill will be paid by the Danish pensioners, not the banks,'' he said.

Should the tax pass, the challenge for ATP would be to find a suitable alternative to German bunds, he said. Other AAA rated euro-region bonds such as those from Finland and the Netherlands lack the liquidity ATP needs, while U.S. Treasury bonds have a currency risk, Stendevad said.

ATP already owns 70 percent of 30-year Danish government bonds and the remaining stock is too small to fill the hole that would be left if the fund sold its bunds, Stendevad said.

''You really have to think through all the unintended consequences of these regulations,'' Stendevad said. ''Regulation as retribution is not a good tool.''

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Winkler in New York at mwinkler@bloomberg.net; Peter Levring in Copenhagen at plevring1@bloomberg.net; Maud van Gaal in Amsterdam at mvangaal@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tasneem Brogger at tbrogger@bloomberg.net; Jonas Bergman at jbergman@bloomberg.net

Putting the Greek Economy back in motion | Hellenic Republic Assets Development Fund

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Wed, 19 Jun 2013 20:50

CorporateThe HRADF envisions to sell, by 2014, virtually all the corporate monopolies, or virtual monopolies of the Greek state. Only critical infrastructure networks will remain under public control. Our portfolio is rich with highly profitable ''national champions'', modern casinos, gaming and lottery firms, banks and other successful enterprises, which guarantee high returns for interested investors.

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Greece Looks at Speeding up Port Sale - WSJ.com

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Wed, 19 Jun 2013 20:48

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Borg Sees Tax Cuts as Top Priority as Sweden Faces Lean Years - Bloomberg

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Wed, 19 Jun 2013 20:52

Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg said the first priority after elections in 2014 will be to lower taxes for low and middle-income earners while backing away from cutting the top marginal rate.

The government will also work to lower corporate and ownership taxes, Borg said today at a Moderate Party event in Stockholm. There won't be money to lower the tax rates for high- income earners because Sweden should prioritize spending on welfare and education, he said.

''We still want to strengthen tax cuts for low and middle income earners during the years ahead,'' Borg said, adding that it could be done as early as next year. While Sweden should target a 1 percent surplus also after the 2014 election, the country is unlikely to reach that target until 2017.

Sweden has steered clear of the recession that's engulfed the euro area, helping the AAA-rated Nordic nation to emerge as a haven from the debt crisis and allowing the state to cut both income and corporate taxes. Still, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt last year scrapped a fifth round of income tax cuts since taking power in 2016 to protect the economy against deficits.

Reinfeldt also said today at the same event Sweden must create more jobs, which is likely to become the main topic in the general election. Swedish companies are buckling under strains from a surging krona, which is driving up the price of exports for the trade-reliant economy. The krona has jumped 28 percent versus the euro since early 2009.

The premier said last month that companies will need to adapt to a stronger currency.

Slumping demand for exports slowed economic growth to 0.8 percent last year from 3.7 percent in 2011. The country's central bank forecasts unemployment will rise to an average 8.1 percent in 2013 from 7.7 percent in 2012.

The government will consider measures to broaden the tax base by targeting corporate tax evasion and reducing interest rate deductions, Borg said.

Sweden's corporate tax rate was cut in January to 22 percent from 26.3 percent previously.

The country will post a 1.3 percent deficit of gross domestic product this year, the government forecast in December.

Sweden has ''limited'' room for new fiscal initiatives ''in the years ahead,'' he said. The country should also avoid ''significant changes'' to labor laws, leaving it to unions and employers' organizations to make the job market more flexible, he said.

Borg's Moderate Party, which is the largest in government, today said it will have to negotiate a common election platform with the three smaller coalition parties ahead of the next parliamentary elections in 2014.

To contact the reporters on this story: Johan Carlstrom in Stockholm at jcarlstrom@bloomberg.net Niklas Magnusson in Stockholm at nmagnusson1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tasneem Brogger at tbrogger@bloomberg.net

Oz

Don't bank on your savings being safe

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Thu, 20 Jun 2013 12:12

Illustration: Simon Letch

Remember the Cyprus banking crisis in March when their cash-strapped government appropriated money from bank savings accounts? ''Thank goodness it can't happen here,'' we smugly told ourselves. But it can, and it has.

Last December, the federal government rushed legislation through Parliament that meant banks had to transfer depositors' money to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission from any accounts that were deemed ''inactive'' for three years, down from seven years previously.

Our own cash-strapped government expected to raise $109 million from these accounts in this financial year.

When I read about a Queensland pensioner who'd had $22,000 taken from his savings I thought I'd better check the account my superannuation fund has had since 2009 with BankWest in Perth.

This account was a Business TeleNet Saver account - an online savings account that earned a small but useful rate of interest while the funds stayed safely tucked away. Or so I thought.

When I logged in to check the balance, the account had disappeared and there was no sign of the $2200 I had deposited.

I rang the bank and was told my account had been inactive for three years and the money had been duly transferred to ASIC. Oh, and it would take up to six weeks to get it back.

I wonder about their definition of ''inactive''. It's an online account, right? So I log into the bank's website and check the balance at least once a year to prepare my fund's tax return. My last login was August 5, 2012. Why hadn't BankWest contacted me before lifting the money? ''We sent a letter to you and got no response.'' When I queried the address it turned out to be one that I'd asked to be changed in November 2010.

The bank also had my email and mobile number but somehow just couldn't manage to contact me.

At least the bank could send me the forms to file for a return of my funds. Fantastic! Three weeks after completing them I'm still waiting.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has said a Coalition government would move to overturn the law that has turned banks into robbers. This is one promise he can keep without getting anyone offside.

Phil Keeffe

NSA SnowJob

Naomi Wolf's Notes

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Mon, 17 Jun 2013 09:15

I hate to do this but I feel obligated to share, as the story unfolds, my creeping concern that the NSA leaker is not who he purports to be, and that the motivations involved in the story may be more complex than they appear to be. This is in no way to detract from the great courage of Glenn Greenwald in reporting the story, and the gutsiness of the Guardian in showcasing this kind of reporting, which is a service to America that US media is not performing at all. It is just to raise some cautions as the story unfolds, and to raise some questions about how it is unfolding, based on my experience with high-level political messaging.

Some of Snowden's emphases seem to serve an intelligence/police state objective, rather than to challenge them.

a) He is super-organized, for a whistleblower, in terms of what candidates, the White House, the State Dept. et al call 'message discipline.' He insisted on publishing a power point in the newspapers that ran his initial revelations. I gather that he arranged for a talented filmmaker to shoot the Greenwald interview. These two steps '-- which are evidence of great media training, really 'PR 101'" '-- are virtually never done (to my great distress) by other whistleblowers, or by progressive activists involved in breaking news, or by real courageous people who are under stress and getting the word out. They are always done, though, by high-level political surrogates.

b) In the Greenwald video interview, I was concerned about the way Snowden conveys his message. He is not struggling for words, or thinking hard, as even bright, articulate whistleblowers under stress will do. Rather he appears to be transmitting whole paragraphs smoothly, without stumbling. To me this reads as someone who has learned his talking points '-- again the way that political campaigns train surrogates to transmit talking points.

c) He keeps saying things like, ''If you are a journalist and they think you are the transmission point of this info, they will certainly kill you.'' Or: ''I fully expect to be prosecuted under the Espionage Act.'' He also keeps stressing what he will lose: his $200,000 salary, his girlfriend, his house in Hawaii. These are the kinds of messages that the police state would LIKE journalists to take away; a real whistleblower also does not put out potential legal penalties as options, and almost always by this point has a lawyer by his/her side who would PROHIBIT him/her from saying, 'come get me under the Espionage Act.'' Finally in my experience, real whistleblowers are completely focused on their act of public service and trying to manage the jeopardy to themselves and their loved ones; they don't tend ever to call attention to their own self-sacrifice. That is why they are heroes, among other reasons. But a police state would like us all to think about everything we would lose by standing up against it.

d) It is actually in the Police State's interest to let everyone know that everything you write or say everywhere is being surveilled, and that awful things happen to people who challenge this. Which is why I am not surprised that now he is on UK no-fly lists '' I assume the end of this story is that we will all have a lesson in terrible things that happen to whistleblowers. That could be because he is a real guy who gets in trouble; but it would be as useful to the police state if he is a fake guy who gets in 'trouble.'

e) In stories that intelligence services are advancing (I would call the prostitutes-with-the-secret-service such a story), there are great sexy or sex-related mediagenic visuals that keep being dropped in, to keep media focus on the issue. That very pretty pole-dancing Facebooking girlfriend who appeared for, well, no reason in the media coverage'...and who keeps leaking commentary, so her picture can be recycled in the press'...really, she happens to pole-dance? Dan Ellsberg's wife was and is very beautiful and doubtless a good dancer but somehow she took a statelier role as his news story unfolded'...

f) Snowden is in Hong Kong, which has close ties to the UK, which has done the US's bidding with other famous leakers such as Assange. So really there are MANY other countries that he would be less likely to be handed over from'...

g) Media reports said he had vanished at one point to 'an undisclosed location' or 'a safe house.' Come on. There is no such thing. Unless you are with the one organization that can still get off the surveillance grid, because that org created it.

h) I was at dinner last night to celebrate the brave and heroic Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights. Several of Assange's also brave and talented legal team were there, and I remembered them from when I had met with Assange. These attorneys are present at every moment when Assange meets the press '-- when I met with him off the record last Fall in the Ecuadoran embassy, his counsel was present the whole time, listening and stepping in when necessary.

Seeing these diligent attentive free-speech attorneys for another whisleblower reinforced my growing anxiety: WHERE IS SNOWDEN'S LAWYER as the world's media meet with him? A whistleblower talking to media has his/her counsel advising him/her at all times, if not actually being present at the interview, because anything he/she says can affect the legal danger the whistleblower may be in . It is very, very odd to me that a lawyer has not appeared, to my knowledge, to stand at Snowden's side and keep him from further jeopardy in interviews.

Again I hate to cast any skepticism on what seems to be a great story of a brave spy coming in from the cold in the service of American freedom. And I would never raise such questions in public if I had not been told by a very senior official in the intelligence world that indeed, there are some news stories that they create and drive '-- even in America (where propagandizing Americans is now legal). But do consider that in Eastern Germany, for instance, it was the fear of a machine of surveillance that people believed watched them at all times '-- rather than the machine itself '-- that drove compliance and passivity. From the standpoint of the police state and its interests '-- why have a giant Big Brother apparatus spying on us at all times '-- unless we know about it?

Naomi

Is Naomi Wolf working for the NSA?

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Mon, 17 Jun 2013 09:12

I hate to do this, but I feel obligated to share, as the story unfolds, my creeping concern that the writer Naomi Wolf is not whom she purports to be, and that her motive in writing an article on her public Facebook page speculating about whether National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden might actually be still working for the NSA, could be to support the government's effort to destroy him.

After all, with Snowden under vicious attack by both the government and the corporate media, being wrongly accused of treason, or portrayed as a drop-out slacker, a narcissist, a loser hoping to gain fame and even a ''cross-dressing'' weirdo, what defender of liberty would pile on with publication of a work of absolutely fact-free speculation as to whether he might also be a kind of ''double agent'' put out there by the NSA in order to discourage real potential whistleblowers from even considering leaking information about government spying on Americans.

Because that is exactly what Wolf has done on her website (the first clause at the opening of this article is a direct quote from the lead in Wolf's Facebook piece, but with her name substituted for Snowden's).

What basis does she offer for her wild-eyed speculation that Snowden is perhaps ''not who he purports to be''?

Well, first of all she notes darkly that US spy agencies ''create false identities, build fake companies, influence real media with fake stories, create distractions or demonizations in the local news that advance US policies, bug (technologically) and harass the opposition, disrupt and infiltrate the meetings and communications of factions that the US does not wish to see in power.'' This, she says, touting her own now rather dated 2007 book The End of America, is ''something you can't not see if you spend time around people who are senior in both the political establishment and the intelligence and state department establishments. You also can't avoid seeing it if you interview principled defectors from those systems, as I have done'...''

Then, after having assuring us of how well-connected she is, she raises what she calls ''red flags'' about Snowden:

''I was concerned about the way Snowden conveys his message. He is not struggling for words, or thinking hard, as even bright, articulate whistleblowers under stress will do. Rather he appears to be transmitting whole paragraphs smoothly, without stumbling. To me this reads as someone who has learned his talking points '-- again the way that political campaigns train surrogates to transmit talking points.''

''He keeps saying things like, 'If you are a journalist and they think you are the transmission point of this info, they will certainly kill you.' Or: 'I fully expect to be prosecuted under the Espionage Act.' He also keeps stressing what he will lose: his $200,000 salary, his girlfriend, his house in Hawaii. These are the kinds of messages that the police state would LIKE journalists to take away.'' In case we miss the point, she adds, implying rather strongly that she is concluding Snowden is a fake, ''A real whistleblower also does not put out potential legal penalties as options, and almost always by this point has a lawyer by his/her side who would PROHIBIT him/her from saying, 'come get me under the Espionage Act.' Finally in my experience, real whistleblowers are completely focused on their act of public service and trying to manage the jeopardy to themselves and their loved ones; they don't tend ever to call attention to their own self-sacrifice.''

''It is actually in the Police State's interest to let everyone know that everything you write or say everywhere is being surveilled, and that awful things happen to people who challenge this. Which is why I am not surprised that now he is on UK no-fly lists '' I assume the end of this story is that we will all have a lesson in terrible things that happen to whistleblowers.'' She adds, in a further indictment of Snowden, ''That could be because he is a real guy who gets in trouble; but it would be as useful to the police state if he is a fake guy who gets in 'trouble.'''

She says he talks about the beautiful ''pole-dancer'' girlfriend he abandoned (actually he did that for her safety, Naomi), implying his repetition process might be so that the media have a justification to keep showing her sexy photo (as though our prurient media needs a justification to do such a thing).

The media keep saying he is in a ''safe house'' in Hong Kong, which according to Wolf cannot exist in the former British colony, now a part of China, ''Unless you are with the one organization that can still get off the surveillance grid, because that org created it.''

He's not surrounded by an army of attorneys the way Wikileaks' Julian Assange was when he traveled (and by the way, I recall that for a long time, after Wikileaks ran the Bradley Manning documents, including the horrific ''Collateral Damage'' war crime video, there were conspiracy theorists out there claiming baselessly that he was actually probably a Mossad asset '-- this on the basis that he had not been sufficiently leaking damaging information about Israel's actions against Palestinians).

That's it, folks! All sheer wild speculation about Snowden, with not even one shred of actual evidence against him to suggest he's anything but what he says he is: a young man who was hired to do some really dirty work spying on Americans en masse, who decided that what was happening was the creation of a totalitarian system, and who had the courage of, instead of walking away from it, putting his life in jeopardy by publicly blowing the whistle.

I have nothing against trying to uncover conspiracies, particularly those orchestrated by a government like our own which we know has manufactured from whole cloth faked evidence to justify a war in Iraq that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people, even to the point of torturing captives to get them to make up tales that would justify that fake evidence. But when someone with Wolf's reputation on the left sinks to this level of baseless and libelous accusations against a brave person who is under attack by that government, it cannot be allowed to pass.

Of course, I don't really think that Wolf is acting as an agent for the government (I could only speculate about that, and I won't). And if she were just thinking these idle thoughts, and maybe raising them in a playful discussion at home with a few friends over dinner, I would see nothing wrong in the exercise. But as a highly media-savvy public person, she's publishing them intentionally where they will be widely circulated: on her publicly accessible Facebook page. I have to conclude she has allowed her instinct for self-promotion and grandstanding in this case to let her do something truly treacherous and unconscionable: baselessly defaming and attacking the credibility of a brave whistleblower who is under official under attack.

As a long-time investigative reporter, I also dispute Wolf's self-serving claim that her own experience in dealing with whistleblowers shows them to be uniformly disorganized and inarticulate. In my experience, some are very disorganized and hard to follow because of their focus on the trees in their personal forest, but some whistleblowers are intensely organized and know exactly what they want to tell you as a journalist. They are also apt, organized or not, contrary to what Wolf says, to highlight the danger they are in, and that they may be putting the reporter in. Sometimes this may be simply to make sure you are interested and recognize the seriousness of what they have to say, and sometimes it is out of genuine fear for themselves and concern for the journalist's safety, and perhaps also to make sure you fully understand what you're getting into and that you will not cave and reveal their identity the moment you are put under pressure yourself.

Wolf, who always makes a point of mentioning she's a Yale grad and a Rhodes Scholar who studied at Oxford, should take care in assuming that someone with only a high school diploma speaking in whole sentences or paragraphs is probably reciting ''talking points'' from a script. Her assumption reeks of class-based stereotyping. I have met car mechanics, who besides working miracles on my old cars, can speak in multiple paragraphs about politics, often with more wisdom and insight than most of the ivy-league pundits on the tube.

As for Wolf's claim of there being ''no safe houses'' in Hong Kong, I just have to laugh. Having lived in Hong Kong for five years, I can assure her that there are myriad urban warrens all over Hong Kong where one could hide for decades undetected, as well as vast stretches of tropical wilderness in the New Territories where people can become lost for days, even with professional rescue teams looking for them. Wolf should stick to things she has actual knowledge about, instead of trashing good people on the basis of ignorant speculation and pretend savvy.

Unless and until someone comes up with a single hard fact seriously suggesting that Snowden is a fake, this kind of fantasizing should halt. Wolf should apologize for her self-aggrandizing tripe and make a generous donation from her book sales to the Snowden defense fund '-- unless of course she has evidence that the Progressive Change Campaign Committee is an NSA or CIA front group.

DAVE LINDORFF is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

Snowden says NSA used Cisco to spy: China media

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Thu, 20 Jun 2013 13:27

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- A Chinese media report quoted former National Security Agency contract Edward Snowden as saying the U.S. government used Cisco Systems Inc. /quotes/zigman/20039/quotes/nls/cscoCSCO-0.93% routers to spy on Chinese networks. The report on the Chinese-language site Techweb.com, dated Tuesday, also said that Cisco had been involved in many major Chinese Internet infrastructure projects, including those of military and government networks. However, an English-language report on TechinAsia.com, which cited the Techweb report and other Chinese media accounts, questioned whether Snowden in fact named Cisco, as some of the reports incorrectly named Cisco as part of the NSA's "Prism" operation.

/quotes/zigman/20039/quotes/nls/cscoUS : U.S.: Nasdaq

Volume: 417,328

June 20, 2013 9:30a

Market Cap$131.90 billion

Rev. per Employee$718,498

United States person - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Wed, 19 Jun 2013 22:33

The term United States person or U.S. person is used in various contexts in U.S. laws and regulations with different meanings.

Data collection and intelligence[edit]The term "U.S. person" is used in the context of data collection and intelligence by the United States, particularly with respect to the provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. If information from, about, or to a U.S. person who is not a named terrorist is captured in the course of U.S. foreign intelligence activities, there are strict rules about preserving the anonymity of such a person in any subsequent intelligence report. Only if the U.S. person information is relevant to the report, is it included.

According to the National Security Agency web site, Federal law and executive order define a United States person as any of the following:[1]

a citizen of the United Statesan alien lawfully admitted for permanent residencean unincorporated association with a substantial number of members who are citizens of the U.S. or are aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residencea corporation that is incorporated in the U.S.Securities market regulation[edit]Regulation S (promulgated under the Securities Act of 1933) in Section 902(k)(1) defines a U.S. person as:[2]

Any natural person resident in the United States;Any partnership or corporation organized or incorporated under the laws of the United States;Any estate of which any executor or administrator is a U.S. person;Any trust of which any trustee is a U.S. person;Any agency or branch of a foreign entity located in the United States;Any non-discretionary account or similar account (other than an estate or trust) held by a dealer or other fiduciary for the benefit or account of a U.S. person;Any discretionary account or similar account (other than an estate or trust) held by a dealer or other fiduciary organized, incorporated, or (if an individual) resident in the United States; andAny partnership or corporation if:Organized or incorporated under the laws of any foreign jurisdiction; andFormed by a U.S. person principally for the purpose of investing in securities not registered under the Act, unless it is organized or incorporated, and owned, by accredited investors (as defined in Rule 501(a)) who are not natural persons, estates or trusts.Section 902(k)(2) further defines some persons who are explicitly not U.S. persons.[2] Unlike other definitions of U.S. person, the Regulation S definition of U.S. person does not include U.S. citizens not resident in the U.S.

Taxation[edit]Internal Revenue Code Section 7701(a)(30) defines a U.S. person as:[3]

a citizen or resident of the United States,a domestic partnership,a domestic corporation,any estate (other than a foreign estate, within the meaning of paragraph (31)), andany trust if'--a court within the United States is able to exercise primary supervision over the administration of the trust, andone or more United States persons have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust.See also[edit]References[edit]External links[edit]

NOVA | The Spy Factory 2009

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The Spy FactoryPBS Airdate: February 3, 2009

NARRATOR: Halfway between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., is a hidden city, the headquarters of the National Security Agency, NSA. Here, tens of thousands of mathematicians, computer scientists, analysts, linguists and voice interceptors work in absolute secrecy.

JAMES BAMFORD (Author, The Shadow Factory): For those in the know, the joke was that NSA stood for "no such agency." For those on the inside, the joke was that NSA stood for "never say anything."

NARRATOR: NSA's job? To secretly listen in on telephone conversations, email communications, anything and everything that might warn of plots to do harm.

ERIC HASELTINE (National Security Agency, Director of Research, 2002''2005): The scope of what happens at NSA is mind-boggling. I don't think the average person can even begin to conceive of the staggering depth and breadth of what they have to do.

NARRATOR: But was NSA doing its job before the 9/11 attacks? It's a question that has never been thoroughly investigated.

MICHAEL SCHEUER (Former Central Intelligence Agency Analyst): None of this information that we're speaking about this evening is in the 9/11 Commission Report. They simply ignored all of it.

NARRATOR: But author James Bamford has investigated and come up with a chilling tale of terrorists, living in San Diego, communicating with bin Laden's operations center in Yemen, moving freely about, and all the while, NSA is listening in.

JAMES BAMFORD: But the NSA never alerted any other agency that the terrorists were in the United States and moving across the country towards Washington.

NARRATOR: Since the 9/11 attacks, NSA's role has grown even bigger, along with its license to listen in on Americans here and abroad.

ADRIENNE KINNE (Former National Security Agency Voice Interceptor): It was incredibly uncomfortable to be listening to private, personal conversations of Americans. It's almost like going through and finding somebody's diary.

NARRATOR: But is this flood of information making America any safer? Looking into The Spy Factory, right now on NOVA.

Major funding for NOVA is provided by the following:

One of the factors impacting energy prices is growing global demand. And one way to put downward pressure on prices is to make more supply available. ExxonMobil has invented a breakthrough technology that we've just begun using, here in the U.S., to access cleaner-burning natural gas that's locked in very tight, hard rocks. We could produce enough gas from one U.S. source alone to heat 50 million homes for almost a decade.

And David H. Koch. And...

Discover new knowledge: HHMI.

And by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and by contributions to your PBS station from viewers like you. Thank you.

NARRATOR: On the southbound lane of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, traffic is stalled as commuters crowd down a special restricted exit that disappears into the thick woods. Beyond, hidden from view and protected by electrified fences and heavily armed guards, is the largest, most secret and most technologically advanced intelligence agency in the world: the National Security Agency, NSA.

Its mission: making and breaking codes; tapping into foreign signals, sifting through the international phone calls, emails, text and instant messages that blanket the modern world.

Every day, more than 20,000 people flood into this secret city. Unlike undercover CIA operatives, spying in hostile territory, NSA's spies use technology in what is believed to be the largest collection of mathematicians, linguists and computer scientists on the planet. Author James Bamford has written about NSA for the past 25 years.

JAMES BAMFORD: For the few in the know, the joke was always that NSA stood for "no such agency." For those on the inside, the joke was that NSA stood for "never say anything."

During the cold war, NSA circled nearly the entire Soviet Union with listening posts, to intercept military and diplomatic communications. NSA even listened in on Soviet leaders calling to the Kremlin from their limousines. At its headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, NSA used acres of supercomputers to break any coded communications.

NARRATOR: But when the Soviet Union collapsed, a new enemy emerged, one NSA was never designed to engage. That enemy was Al Qaeda. Eric Haseltine was NSA's Director of Research.

ERIC HASELTINE: The Russians were easy to find and hard to kill, and terrorists are hard to find and easy to kill.

NARRATOR: Unlike the Soviets, Al Qaeda was a small, scattered, moving target. Headquartered in remote, mountain training camps, its soldiers communicated by cell and satellite phones.

ERIC HASELTINE: And if you look at the job of NSA, to find the enemy, they had to go from looking at an enemy that they kind of knew who they were and where they were, to one that they didn't know who they were or where they were or how they communicated.

NARRATOR: For NSA, the challenge was to change tactics to match an increasingly dangerous adversary. In cities across Asia and the Middle East, Al Qaeda operatives were using public payphones and internet cafes to plan a series of strikes that would culminate in the 9/11 attacks.

TIM SAMPLE (Former Staff Director, United States Congress House Intelligence Committee): At that point, it was a race. It was a race between how much could we rebuild and have the type of capabilities that you need against an individual or a small group of individuals who operate around the world and pay little attention to borders. Can you do that? And can you rebuild the intelligence community in time?

NARRATOR: Those questions still resonate today. Was the National Security Agency, the organization responsible for intercepting foreign calls and messages, listening in on Al Qaeda prior to 9/11? What role did the NSA play? And are we any safer today?

Surprisingly, the 9/11 Commission never investigated the NSA's role as fully as it did those of the CIA or FBI, but by carefully piecing together a variety of unclassified public records, the story of NSA and its role in the "war on terror" emerges.

JAMES BAMFORD: In my research, I used thousands of documents available in the public record. They included intelligence agency memos, transcripts of terrorist trials, and a secret FBI chronology of the 9/11 terrorists' movements obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. One fact is clear from these sources: they were monitoring the Al Qaeda leader long before 9/11.

NARRATOR: In November, 1996, a known Al Qaeda contact buys an Inmarsat satellite phone from a store in a New York suburb. That phone is for Osama bin Laden. Once he starts dialing from Afghanistan, NSA's listening posts quickly tap into his conversations. Analysts at the CIA, like Michael Scheuer'--head of Alec Station, the CIA's newly formed bin Laden tracking unit'--are also eager to get the information.

MICHAEL SCHEUER: Osama bin Laden's Inmarsat telephone was really a godsend. It gave us an idea, not only of where he was in Afghanistan, but where Al Qaeda, as an organization, was established, because there were calls to various places in the world.

NARRATOR: For NSA, tapping into satellite calls is a basic tactic in what's known as "signals intelligence." Inmarsat phones transmit signals straight to a satellite orbiting over the Indian Ocean. By tracking all calls in and out of Afghanistan, the NSA quickly determines bin Laden's number: 873-682505331. Once they have this, they home in on both sides of his conversations, listening to bin Laden by means of a huge dish in space, and to the person he's speaking to with a dish-shaped antenna on the ground.

MICHAEL SCHEUER: In the intelligence business, signals intelligence is among the most important kind of intelligence options that you have'--the electronic communications that are in the air, whether from telephone to telephone, from satellite to satellite, from Inmarsat radio to Inmarsat radio'--and NSA collects those with a very broad array of electronic collection capability, but once you collect them, all you have is the signals. And ultimately, it all comes down to the human being.

NARRATOR: Human analysts plot out which numbers are being called from bin Laden's phone and how frequently. They quickly discover that most of the calls from bin Laden's phone in Afghanistan are going to a house in Yemen, 2,000 miles to the south.

JAMES BAMFORD: Yemen is central to understanding how Al Qaeda operates. It's where Osama bin Laden's father was born and raised. It has a culture of clans and secrets. It didn't surprise me that bin Laden chose its capital city, Sana'a, for his logistics and communications headquarters. What was surprising was that I found it tucked away in one of the city's poorest neighborhoods. The headquarters was hidden in a small undistinguished house the CIA said was the home of one of bin Laden's closest associates.

NARRATOR: Bin Laden's phone calls aren't encrypted, so there is no code for NSA's supercomputers to break. Instead, NSA voice interceptors and linguists painstakingly translate, transcribe and write summaries of the calls. The summaries are shared with the CIA, but its analysts at Alec Station want more. They believe that only by carefully studying each word will it be possible to understand bin Laden's intentions.

MICHAEL SCHEUER: Over time, if you read enough of these conversations, you first get clued in to the fact that maybe "bottle of milk" doesn't mean "bottle of milk." And if you follow it long enough, you develop a sense of what they're really talking about. But it's not possible to do unless you have the verbatim transcript.

We went to Fort Meade to ask then the NSA's deputy director for operations for the transcripts, and she said, "We are not going to share that with you." And that was the end.

NARRATOR: NSA declined NOVA's repeated requests for interviews, but its policy since its founding has been to never share raw data, even with other intelligence agencies. Scheuer is so determined to get it, he persuades the CIA to build its own ground station. But without a satellite, he can only get half of the conversations.

MICHAEL SCHEUER: We would collect it, translate it, send it to NSA and ask them for the other half of it, so we could better understand it, but we never got it.

NEWSCASTER (8/7/98): A terrorist attack on Americans half a world away.

NARRATOR: August 7, 1998: Al Qaeda strikes two U.S. embassies in east Africa.

NEWSCASTER (8/7/98): The principle suspect is Osama bin Laden.

NARRATOR: Both NSA and CIA are monitoring the Al Qaeda network, but neither gives any warning of the two precisely timed attacks.

MICHAEL SCHEUER: Truth of the matter is, though, we had various reports from human intelligence sources within East Africa that there was an Al Qaeda operation brewing somewhere on the east coast of Africa. We could never really pin it down.

NARRATOR: The embassy attacks are technically on American soil, so the FBI is called in and finds out about the house in Yemen.

MARK ROSSINI (Former Federal Bureau of Investigation Supervisory Agent): I first learned about the communications center in Yemen when I got to Nairobi, after the embassy bombing there. That house was a focal point for operatives in the field to call in, that number would then contact bin Laden to pass along information and receive instruction back.

NARRATOR: With only a handful of ways to pin down bin Laden's location'--reconnaissance satellites, spies on the ground and signals intelligence'--NSA's expertise is becoming increasingly important.

ERIC HASELTINE: If you've only got very few people who are hiding out in a cave somewhere, you're looking for a very small target and very few targets, as opposed to a big army division or a big missile complex. So, imagery intelligence was of relatively less value. Human intelligence, in an environment where a terrorist network is all relatives, blood relatives...it becomes tougher to get information in that kind of network.

I think one interpretation was that NSA understood that they were becoming more important, in the grand scheme of things, in the war on terror.

NEWSCASTER (10/12/00): An American ship is attacked in Yemen.

NARRATOR: October 12, 2000: Al Qaeda strikes again. This time, it's an attack on the U.S.S. Cole, moored off the coast of Yemen.

NEWSCASTER: Yemen's Port Authority had been penetrated...immediately suspect Osama bin Laden.

NARRATOR: Once again, the U.S. intelligence community fails to give a timely warning of the attack. Frank Blanco, NSA's Executive Director at the time, says NSA was still stuck confronting terrorist tactics with Cold War technology.

FRANK BLANCO (National Security Agency Executive Director, 1999''2001): You've got targets that are very mobile. They use a variety of communications, which are cell phones, laptops. NSA had to begin to think about, "What is the real technology that is necessary and how much is it going to cost and where do we get the money?"

NARRATOR: Money is a pressing issue. After the Cold War, Congress had reduced NSA's budget by a third, while criticizing it for violating privacy laws.

CONGRESSPERSON 1: ...concerned about the privacy rights of American citizens.

CONGRESSPERSON 2: There is no legitimate excuse for that.

CONGRESSPERSON 3: It is intolerable to think of the United States Government, of big brother, or anybody else...

NARRATOR: By law, NSA was prohibited from spying on American soil without approval from a special court, created by FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

JAMES BAMFORD: When I interviewed General Michael Hayden, the head of NSA, I was surprised when he told me that they were monitoring less than half a dozen people in the United States. He was very busy fighting Hollywood's image of NSA like you saw in movie, Enemy of the State.

GENE HACKMAN (Film Clip, Enemy of the State): The National Security Agency conducts worldwide surveillance. Fax, phones, satellite communications '-- they're the only ones including the military who could possibly have anything like this.

ERIC HASELTINE: To us, in the intelligence community, movies like Enemy of the State are quite amusing, because it made us look omniscient, we could collect anything we want and it's just not that way. It's not that way, at all. You may collect a lot of stuff, but you don't know what you've got. Really, the biggest technology challenge was how do you deal with volumes of information like that and find dots, connect dots and understand dots. That's the problem.

NARRATOR: In late December, 1999, NSA finds one very important dot: it intercepts an alarming call to the house in Yemen, instructing two Al Qaeda foot soldiers to fly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for what sounds like a terrorist summit. The foot soldiers are Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi. This is the phone call that sets in motion the 9/11 attacks.

JAMES BAMFORD: After picking up this critical call, NSA passed on their first names to the FBI and the CIA but not their last names. Nawaf's last name had been in the NSA's database for over a year, because of his association with bin Laden's operations center in Yemen, but apparently the NSA never looked it up.

NARRATOR: The CIA does find al-Mihdhar's name in its database. They ask security agents to make a copy of his passport as he passes through a checkpoint in Dubai. When analysts at CIA headquarters see it, they are astonished to find a valid U.S. visa inside. Alec Station, the CIA's bin Laden unit, now has two FBI agents detailed to it, Doug Miller and Mark Rossini.

MARK ROSSINI: Once they arrived in Kuala Lumpur, of course, the CIA requested the intelligence service over there in Malaysia to conduct surveillance of these subjects and find out as much as they can. They took photographs, followed them. And you read from that one of the individuals had a visa to come to the U.S.

NARRATOR: Fearing an Al Qaeda terrorist may be headed to the U.S., the agents are determined to tell the FBI, but a CIA official will not allow it.

MARK ROSSINI: I guess I was the more senior agent. So I went up to the individual that had the ticket on the Yemeni cell, the Yemeni operatives. And I said to her, I said, "What's going on? You know, we've got to tell the Bureau about this. These guys clearly are bad. One of them, at least, has a multiple-entry visa to the U.S. We've got to tell the FBI."

And then she said to me, "No, it's not the FBI's case, not the FBI's jurisdiction."

So I go tell Doug. And I'm like, "Doug, what can we do?" If we had picked up the phone and called the Bureau, I would have been violating the law. I would have broken the law. I would have been removed from the building that day. I would have had my clearances suspended, and I would be gone.

JAMES BAMFORD: This is one of the most astonishing parts of the story. The CIA had FBI operatives working within their bin Laden unit, but when the FBI operatives found out that one, and possibly two, of the terrorists had visas to the United States, were heading for the United States, the CIA wouldn't let them tell their headquarters that they were coming. Only the FBI could have put out alerts to stop Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi if they tried to enter the United States.

NARRATOR: January 15, 2000, Los Angeles International Airport: United Airlines Flight 2 arrives from Bangkok, where the CIA lost al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi's trail. They pass through U.S. Immigration undetected. Within two weeks they move into the anonymity of a San Diego suburb.

MARK ROSSINI: The FBI put together this chronology as part of its investigation into the 9/11 attack. The timeline, the declassified copy, is the movements and the activities of the hijackers while they are in the U.S., hiding in plain sight.

NARRATOR: They get drivers licenses in their own names. They use a local bank to pick up international wire transfers from a known Al Qaeda finance chief. Their telephone number is even listed in the San Diego white pages: Alhazmi Nawaf M 858-279-5919.

JAMES BAMFORD: The CIA was forbidden from operating within the United States, and the FBI didn't know they were here, so the only way to track the terrorists was if NSA continued to monitor the conversations as they called back to the house in Yemen.

NARRATOR: But nine days after al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar arrive in California, the NSA has a catastrophic failure.

FRANK BLANCO: I remember getting a phone call on January 24, 2000, that began with, "We have a problem." NSA systems had actually stopped working.

NARRATOR: The most technologically advanced intelligence agency in the world, capable of monitoring millions of simultaneous conversations, is deaf.

FRANK BLANCO: NSA was brain-dead. It took probably three to four, maybe even five days to bring everything back up the way it was.

NARRATOR: It is unclear whether, during those five days, NSA misses any calls from the hijackers in San Diego. But what is certain, as the FBI chronology spells out, is that the hijackers waste no time settling into their new neighborhood.

MARK ROSSINI: Here, as it says in the chronology: February 5, 2000: al-Mihdhar signed a lease to rent an apartment at 6401 Mount Ada Road, in San Diego.

February 25: Al-Mihdhar purchased a Toyota Corolla, in San Diego, California.

February 28: records at Progressive Insurance Company verify Al-Mihdhar's insurance policy, number 604725921-0, Huggy Bear Insurance Corporation.

March 20: the San Diego telephone number associated with Nawaf al-Hazmi made a call, which lasted 16 minutes, to Yemen.

NARRATOR: That is one of many calls made from San Diego to bin Laden's operations center, the house in Yemen that NSA has been monitoring for over three years. But NSA would not pass on that information to any other intelligence agency. Eleanor Hill investigated NSA's role in 9/11 for Congress.

ELEANOR HILL (Staff Director, United States Congress 9/11 Committee): We were very surprised to learn that, you know, they had this information. And if there are contacts from known terrorists in the United States with terrorist facilities abroad, that's exactly the kind of information our intelligence community needs to have. They didn't have it.

MARK ROSSINI: You put the NSA intel and the FBI intel together, you have both sides of the conversation. So they come in, we follow them, find out where they're going; listen to their homes, listen to their conversations at their home, or cell phone, whatever; emails. The possibilities are endless once you're able to peer into someone's life.

JAMES BAMFORD: Incredibly, the NSA never informed the FBI that these calls were coming from the United States, and we may never know why. No one from NSA will discuss it, and the 9/11 Commission never investigated it. They either didn't realize the two terrorists were calling from the United States'--which is hard to believe because even I have caller I.D., which shows where calls are coming from'--or what's more likely is that they ignored it because then they would have had to hand the contacts over to the FBI.

NARRATOR: April 12, 2000: almost three months after the hijackers arrive in the U.S., NSA director Michael Hayden hints at another possible explanation for NSA's silence. Already warned by Congress to respect Americans' privacy rights, Hayden responds to the House Intelligence Committee with extreme caution.

GENERAL MICHAEL HAYDEN (National Security Agency Director, 1999''2005): Let me put a fine point on this. If, as we are speaking here this afternoon, Osama bin Laden is walking across the Peace Bridge from Niagara Falls, Ontario, to Niagara Falls, New York, as he gets to the New York side, he is an American person. And my agency must respect his rights against unreasonable search and seizure, as provided by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

JAMES BAMFORD: But General Hayden knew that the law permitted the agency to eavesdrop on the terrorists without interruption if they entered the United States.

MARK ROSSINI: You could link back who they were, their connection to bin Laden, the connection to the Yemeni house, et cetera. You could have gone to any court, any judge in the FISA court and say, "We want a FISA on that residence in San Diego."

It would have been easy. And we would have surveilled them, and we would have learned more information. People who are going to watch this, they're going to say, "Oh, it's hindsight 20''20." But, no, I'm not talking hindsight 20''20. I'm talking basic, logical investigation.

NARRATOR: Again, the FBI chronology, compiled after the 9/11 attacks, describes precisely how al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi begin training for their 9/11 operation.

MARK ROSSINI: April 4, 2000: Nawaf al-Hazmi received one hour of introductory flight instruction from the National Air College, located at 3760 Glenn Curtis Road, San Diego.

May 4: Khalid al-Mihdhar debit card purchase: two Jeppesen training kits.

June 10, 2000: Al-Mihdhar departed U.S. via Lufthansa Flight 457 from Los Angeles, California to Frankfurt, Germany.

NARRATOR: Khalid al-Mihdhar is heading home to see a newborn son. For the next 13 months he will live with his wife and baby in the house in Yemen, the house NSA is monitoring. He will even apply for a new U.S. visa, and, incredibly, he will get it.

December 8, 2000: Hani Hanjour, another 9/11 hijacker, touches down in San Diego. Three days later he joins Nawaf al-Hazmi on a road trip to New Jersey, where the rest of the hijackers are assembling. Once more, the FBI chronology, compiled after the attacks, documents their five-month trip.

MARK ROSSINI: March 1, 2001: Hanjour has eight hours of simulator training at Jet Tech.

April 1: Nawaf al-Hazmi received a speeding ticket and received a summons for failure to wear a seatbelt.

May 1: Al-Hazmi filed a police report with Fairfax County, Virginia, police department, alleging he was mugged by an unknown black male.

NARRATOR: June 21, 2001: a reporter from the Middle East Broadcasting Corporation interviews bin Laden's lieutenants in Afghanistan. They hint that a major attack may soon take place. U.S. forces in the Mideast are put on the highest alert.

After the interview is released, NSA's traffic analysis detects a huge spike of threatening communications.

ELEANOR HILL: There was a great anticipation that there was going to be an attack on U.S. interests by Al Qaeda. Most people believed it was going to be overseas. And so, tragically, their focus was on their job, which was looking overseas and not so much on what was happening in the U.S., which they viewed as the FBI's job.

MARK ROSSINI: As the chronology goes on: July 4, 2001: Al-Mihdhar entered the U.S. on Saudi Arabian Flight 53, via J.F.K., in New York City, using a B1 business visa and listing his intended address as the Marriot Hotel, New York City. That was the Marriot Hotel at the World Trade Center.

NARRATOR: To make final preparations for their attack, al-Hazmi, al-Mihdhar and Hanjour drive south on the New Jersey Turnpike. They avoid staying in large cities. They avoid hotel chains with computerized registration. Instead, the crew drives into the Maryland town of Laurel and checks in to the low-budget Valencia Motel. By now they have their final assignment, targeting the Pentagon.

JAMES BAMFORD: Throughout their whole journey, whether they were in San Diego or they were in New Jersey or they were in Laurel, Maryland, they were communicating back and forth to the bin Laden ops center in Yemen. NSA was listening in on the ops center, recording the conversations and then transcribing them. But the NSA never alerted any other agency that the terrorists were in the United States and moving across the country, towards Washington.

NARRATOR: On the face of it, Laurel, Maryland, looks like a typical Washington suburb.

JAMES BAMFORD: What's very different is that this town happens to be right next door to NSA's headquarters.

NARRATOR: While NSA has detected a spike in communications threatening an imminent attack, Bin Laden's hit men have taken refuge right in their backyard.

MARK ROSSINI: August 18: Hani Hanjour rented mailbox number 433.

The day before the hijacking: Nawaf al-Hazmi, Walmart, $36.65; Food Factory, Khalid al-Midhar.

9/6/2001: Nawaf al-Hazmi, Khalid al-Midhar, Hani Hanjour: Gold's Gym, Greenbelt, Maryland.

JAMES BAMFORD: The hijackers seemed to blend in very well. Even when they shopped for improvised weapons for the hijackings, they shopped in a Target Store just down the street from NSA. No one thought what they were doing was suspicious.

So here you have these two groups of people: one, the terrorists who were plotting the largest terrorist operation in U.S. history. And you have NSA, which had been listening to some of their phone calls for years. And now they are living side by side, neither of them knowing that the other is there.

What was really tragic is that if General Hayden had looked out his eighth floor window, west, towards Laurel, just two miles away, he could have almost seen the motel in which the hijackers were living. I mean, it's one of the biggest ironies in the history of American intelligence.

NARRATOR: On the day of the 9/11 attacks, most of NSA's employees are ordered to leave their headquarters. Afraid that NSA might be another target, some of the few who remain move from their upstairs offices to lower floors. Others tack up black curtains to block their windows. They seem to have no idea what their own agency and the CIA both knew but had said nothing about.

ELEANOR HILL: Had we been able to realize how significant that was, put it together and get it to the agencies who could have made use of it in time, would there have been a different end to the 9/11 story?

MARK ROSSINI: I can't come up with a rational reason why I didn't break the rules, pick up the phone, and tell that the hijackers, or really bad guys, are in the U.S. And I don't know if I'll ever be able to come to terms with that. I don't know. I really don't know.

MICHAEL HAYDEN: On the 13th of September, I gave an address to an empty room, but we beamed it throughout our entire enterprise, about free peoples always having to decide the balance of security and their liberties, and then I told the workforce, there are going to be a lot of pressures to push that banner down toward security, and our job at NSA was to keep America free by making Americans feel safe again.

NARRATOR: Those pressures aren't long in coming. When Hayden is asked by Vice President Cheney what more NSA can do, he answers, "Not much, without breaking FISA laws," the laws force that force NSA to obtain a warrant to listen in on Americans.

Three weeks after the attacks, President Bush bypasses those laws, by secretly issuing an executive order: NSA will no longer have to worry about obtaining warrants to eavesdrop inside America. If 9/11 was a wake-up call, the response is a license to listen to almost anything and everything.

TIM SAMPLE: And part of that wake-up call, certainly right after 9/11, included the fact that you needed to take some strict measures. You needed to take some action that would allow you to not let that happen again.

NARRATOR: But to make the new program work, Hayden must finally bring the National Security Agency into the modern age. The backbone of global communications had moved from easily intercepted satellite signals in space, to fiber optic cables buried under the ocean. To understand the challenge NSA faces, NOVA follows one email message as it circles the globe.

In Malaysia's capital city of Kuala Lumpur, James Bamford is researching Al Qaeda's communications network. In a busy cafe, he types out an email message to NOVA's producers, in Boston. Bamford's message is harmless but contains the kinds of keywords and phrases that NSA supercomputers are programmed to detect, phrases like "blow up the White House," "destroy the Capitol building," "biological warfare."

When he presses "send," Bamford's message is instantly mixed in with dozens of other messages on the same wireless network, then routed to a large telecommunications center in the city. There, voice calls are converted from analog to digital signals and streamed, as pulses of light, through a fiber optic cable that dives into the South China Sea, off Malaysia's Coast.

Along the way, Bamford's message is merged with thousands of phone calls, emails and faxes, in dozens of languages, from hundreds of Asian cities. The jumble of data crosses under the Pacific Ocean at the speed of light.

Just five hundredths of a second after the message was sent, it comes ashore, six feet under this lonely stretch of California beach, near Morro Bay. There, beneath screeching gulls and surfers in wet suits, Asian communications stream in. A few miles inland, the message passes through a small, nondescript building near San Luis Obispo.

JAMES BAMFORD: If you want to tap into international communications, it seems like the perfect place is San Luis Obispo. That's where 80 percent of all communications from Asia enters the United States.

NARRATOR: But under NSA's new orders, they don't tap in here. Instead the cables run straight from San Luis Obispo to a building in San Francisco.

The building, at 611 Folsom Street, is AT&T's regional switching center. All the international traffic snakes up to the seventh floor, and it is here that a crucial change takes place. The seventh floor is also where AT&T's domestic traffic is routed'--a cacophony of millions of conversations: cries and laughter, hopes and dreams, emails, faxes, bank statements, hotel reservations, love poems and death notices, all sent by people from inside the United States. The only thing they have in common is a reasonable expectation of privacy.

NARRATOR: In 2003, an AT&T engineer notices that the cables on the seventh floor have been rerouted, and a mirror image of all the traffic, both domestic and international, is now being sent to a secret room one floor below.

MARK KLEIN (Former AT&T Technician): It was obvious that this was some kind of NSA installation. I figured out that what they were doing was a blind wholesale copying of the entire internet data flow. And this meant randomly scooping up huge amounts of purely domestic data, as well as international data.

BRIAN REID (Internet Systems Consortium): When I hear the word wiretap, I've always imagined some person in a trench coat and a black hat and sunglasses, skulking around after dark, secretly tapping into a wire and hoping that no one notices. But what they've done in that facility is by full light of day, they've cut the fiber optic cables and then reconnected them in a splitter. What they have built is a facility that is capable of monitoring absolutely all data communication through it.

NARRATOR: Brian Reid, a communications expert, has examined AT&T's internal documents that Klein provided. They show that the secret room contains electronic equipment specifically designed for signals intelligence, equipment programmed to sift through millions of messages, searching for keywords like the ones Bamford sent from Kuala Lumpur.

BRIAN REID: The most curious piece of equipment in that room is a completely flexible monitoring system that can be told on a moment's notice, "Please monitor all conversations that contain the word hummingbird. Please monitor all conversation that goes to Mobile, Alabama. Please monitor all conversations that contain both the word hummingbird and go to Mobile, Alabama."

NARRATOR: NSA has turned its giant ear to listen in on America.

BRIAN REID: Based on everything I know, I believe that there are between 15 and 30 of these secret rooms around the U.S.

NARRATOR: The post-9/11 rules authorized NSA to listen in to Americans both inside and outside the U.S., without any special court approval.

ADRIENNE KINNE: After 9/11, we were essentially put in charge of a new system which intercepted satellite phone communications in Iraq and Afghanistan and surrounding areas.

NARRATOR: Calls and data from the Middle East and North Africa are collected and relayed to a listening post, tucked in the hills, outside Augusta, Georgia. As a voice interceptor, Adrienne Kinne listened to some of those calls. Assigned by the Army to NSA, she was called back to active duty after 9/11.

ADRIENNE KINNE: For a voice interceptor, the computer system would essentially pop up, and it would be very similar, I would say, to iTunes, where you could just go through and click on various conversations, and it would have the phone number, the time up, time down. We were told that we were to listen to all conversations that were intercepted, to include those of Americans and other allied countries.

NARRATOR: Some of those conversations are personal, some even intimate.

ADRIENNE KINNE: And there was no directive to say that when you had conversations like this come through, that you should delete them. That's what we did when I was on active duty in '94 to '98. We would never collect on an American. I had a real problem with the fact that people were listening to it and I was listening to it. The time that that interceptor, that voice interceptor, is spending listening to conversations in the States, that's time that they can't spend looking or listening for actual conversations related to terrorist organizations.

NARRATOR: As NSA began tapping in to fiber optic cables as well as satellites, information began to flood in like never before.

According to a Congressional study in 2008, some intelligence data sources grow at a rate of four petabytes'--that's four quadrillion bytes'--per month, the equivalent of 12 filing cabinets of new information for every American citizen, every year. But what does it all mean?

ERIC HASELTINE: Computers, today, tell people what things are: "Here's some data that you asked for." They don't tell you what it means. So there is some work going on to try to marry the power of computers to the power of humans.

NARRATOR: Specialized software can help extract important information based on context and meaning. Dr. Robert L. Popp does advanced research on these kinds of programs, known as classifiers.

DR. ROBERT L. POPP: Say you wanted to build a classifier for Al Qaeda, the term, the concept, Al Qaeda. The way it would work is you, as an analyst, would go find all these documents'--whether they're emails or things on the web or whatever'--but all these documents that in your judgment are narratives associated with the concept of Al Qaeda.

NARRATOR: In the future, by refining the software and harnessing enough computing power, these classifiers could potentially reduce the mountain of information human analysts have to examine.

ERIC HASELTINE: So the next frontier may be, "Computer, do you see any unusual associations that I didn't think to ask you about that I ought to have asked you about when it relates to a threat against the homeland?"

NARRATOR: But most experts agree that may take decades. And it could only help mine information in documents, emails and faxes. When it comes to human conversations, technology is of little help. It still takes people wearing headphones and listening in.

DAVID MURFEE FAULK (Former National Security Agency Voice Interceptor): I decided, a couple weeks after 9/11, to enlist, and go do Arabic. And I hoped to go hunt Osama at that time.

NARRATOR: David Murfee Faulk was one of the thousands of new linguists trained to work in the trenches of NSA's signals intelligence operations.

DAVID MURFEE FAULK: NSA spends literally billions of dollars to obtain signals, to process them, move them from place to place without people knowing, to get them to an end user, a translator who can make some sense of them and write up a transcription.

What I found was a large number of translators simply not meeting minimal requirements in language skills, basically running some very expensive, very complicated equipment, without the kind of knowledge or context that they would need to do that properly.

NARRATOR: Before 9/11, the budget for U.S. intelligence was $26.7 billion. By 2008 that budget nearly doubled. NSA's portion is secret, but believed to be over a third, more than the departments of Treasury, Interior or Labor. Its ranks have swelled to over 35,000.

TIM SAMPLE: Given all the additional money spent now, on rebuilding the intelligence community and its capabilities, are we really safer as a nation? I think generally, for me, the answer is yes'--the fact that we haven't had another attack, the fact that we have better coordination and better information-sharing. Are we to the point where we can relax and put our guard down? No. I think if we do, then we run the risk of changing the answer.

ELEANOR HILL: It's very, very hard to draw a hard and fast line between where foreign intelligence stops and domestic intelligence starts. That doesn't mean we want our foreign intelligence agencies on every street corner in America. But it does mean that you have to have very good communication and coordination between the foreign intelligence agencies, like the CIA and NSA, and our domestic agencies, like the FBI,

because if you don't, things are going to slip between the cracks. And that's exactly what happened with 9/11.

JAMES BAMFORD: The problem with reporting on a story like this is that you're really searching in the dark. There's no way to sit on the outside and really know what's going on on the inside.

And, without an official inquiry, some questions can't be answered: Why did the NSA fail to act or pass on information that could have warned of 9/11? Why didn't it share information with the CIA and FBI that could possibly have stopped the plot?

As for the question of whether we are any safer now than we were before, we should have been safe the way it was. NSA had all the information that it needed to stop the hijackers, and it already had laws that allowed it to track them. So now, with NSA's new rules, with all the money it's spent, with all the data it collects, is NSA doing a better job or is its job that much harder because it's just being flooded with data? How much information is enough, and won't too much information end up making the world more dangerous?

NARRATOR: On NOVA's Spy Factory Web site, dig deeper into this topic, with original content including interactives, interviews and more. Find it on PBS.org.

This NOVA program is available on DVD. The companion book, The Shadow Factory, is also available. To order, visit shoppbs.org or call us at 1-800-PLAYPBS.

NOVA is a production of WGBH Boston.

Boundless Informant: the NSA's secret tool to track global surveillance data | World news | guardian.co.uk

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The National Security Agency has developed a powerful tool for recording and analysing where its intelligence comes from, raising questions about its repeated assurances to Congress that it cannot keep track of all the surveillance it performs on American communications.

The Guardian has acquired top-secret documents about the NSA datamining tool, called Boundless Informant, that details and even maps by country the voluminous amount of information it collects from computer and telephone networks.

The focus of the internal NSA tool is on counting and categorizing the records of communications, known as metadata, rather than the content of an email or instant message.

The Boundless Informant documents show the agency collecting almost 3 billion pieces of intelligence from US computer networks over a 30-day period ending in March 2013. One document says it is designed to give NSA officials answers to questions like, "What type of coverage do we have on country X" in "near real-time by asking the SIGINT [signals intelligence] infrastructure."

An NSA factsheet about the program, acquired by the Guardian, says: "The tool allows users to select a country on a map and view the metadata volume and select details about the collections against that country."

Under the heading "Sample use cases", the factsheet also states the tool shows information including: "How many records (and what type) are collected against a particular country."

A snapshot of the Boundless Informant data, contained in a top secret NSA "global heat map" seen by the Guardian, shows that in March 2013 the agency collected 97bn pieces of intelligence from computer networks worldwide.

The heat map reveals how much data is being collected from around the world. Note the '2007' date in the image relates to the document from which the interactive map derives its top secret classification, not to the map itself.Iran was the country where the largest amount of intelligence was gathered, with more than 14bn reports in that period, followed by 13.5bn from Pakistan. Jordan, one of America's closest Arab allies, came third with 12.7bn, Egypt fourth with 7.6bn and India fifth with 6.3bn.

The heatmap gives each nation a color code based on how extensively it is subjected to NSA surveillance. The color scheme ranges from green (least subjected to surveillance) through yellow and orange to red (most surveillance).

The disclosure of the internal Boundless Informant system comes amid a struggle between the NSA and its overseers in the Senate over whether it can track the intelligence it collects on American communications. The NSA's position is that it is not technologically feasible to do so.

At a hearing of the Senate intelligence committee In March this year, Democratic senator Ron Wyden asked James Clapper, the director of national intelligence: "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"

"No sir," replied Clapper.

Judith Emmel, an NSA spokeswoman, told the Guardian in a response to the latest disclosures: "NSA has consistently reported '' including to Congress '' that we do not have the ability to determine with certainty the identity or location of all communicants within a given communication. That remains the case."

Other documents seen by the Guardian further demonstrate that the NSA does in fact break down its surveillance intercepts which could allow the agency to determine how many of them are from the US. The level of detail includes individual IP addresses.

IP address is not a perfect proxy for someone's physical location but it is rather close, said Chris Soghoian, the principal technologist with the Speech Privacy and Technology Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. "If you don't take steps to hide it, the IP address provided by your internet provider will certainly tell you what country, state and, typically, city you are in," Soghoian said.

That approximation has implications for the ongoing oversight battle between the intelligence agencies and Congress.

On Friday, in his first public response to the Guardian's disclosures this week on NSA surveillance, Barack Obama said that that congressional oversight was the American peoples' best guarantee that they were not being spied on.

"These are the folks you all vote for as your representatives in Congress and they are being fully briefed on these programs," he said. Obama also insisted that any surveillance was "very narrowly circumscribed".

Senators have expressed their frustration at the NSA's refusal to supply statistics. In a letter to NSA director General Keith Alexander in October last year, senator Wyden and his Democratic colleague on the Senate intelligence committee, Mark Udall, noted that "the intelligence community has stated repeatedly that it is not possible to provide even a rough estimate of how many American communications have been collected under the Fisa Amendments Act, and has even declined to estimate the scale of this collection."

At a congressional hearing in March last year, Alexander denied point-blank that the agency had the figures on how many Americans had their electronic communications collected or reviewed. Asked if he had the capability to get them, Alexander said: "No. No. We do not have the technical insights in the United States." He added that "nor do we do have the equipment in the United States to actually collect that kind of information".

Soon after, the NSA, through the inspector general of the overall US intelligence community, told the senators that making such a determination would jeopardize US intelligence operations '' and might itself violate Americans' privacy.

"All that senator Udall and I are asking for is a ballpark estimate of how many Americans have been monitored under this law, and it is disappointing that the inspectors general cannot provide it," Wyden told Wired magazine at the time.

The documents show that the team responsible for Boundless Informant assured its bosses that the tool is on track for upgrades.

The team will "accept user requests for additional functionality or enhancements," according to the FAQ acquired by the Guardian. "Users are also allowed to vote on which functionality or enhancements are most important to them (as well as add comments). The BOUNDLESSINFORMANT team will periodically review all requests and triage according to level of effort (Easy, Medium, Hard) and mission impact (High, Medium, Low)."

Emmel, the NSA spokeswoman, told the Guardian: "Current technology simply does not permit us to positively identify all of the persons or locations associated with a given communication (for example, it may be possible to say with certainty that a communication traversed a particular path within the internet. It is harder to know the ultimate source or destination, or more particularly the identity of the person represented by the TO:, FROM: or CC: field of an e-mail address or the abstraction of an IP address).

"Thus, we apply rigorous training and technological advancements to combine both our automated and manual (human) processes to characterize communications '' ensuring protection of the privacy rights of the American people. This is not just our judgment, but that of the relevant inspectors general, who have also reported this."

She added: "The continued publication of these allegations about highly classified issues, and other information taken out of context, makes it impossible to conduct a reasonable discussion on the merits of these programs."

Additional reporting: James Ball in New York and Spencer Ackerman in Washington

DNI Statement on the Collection of Intelligence Pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

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DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCEWASHINGTON, DC 20511June 8, 2013

DNI Statement on the Collection of Intelligence Pursuant to Section 702of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

Over the last week we have seen reckless disclosures of intelligence community measures used to keep Americans safe. In a rush to publish, media outlets have not given the full context''including the extent to which these programs are overseen by all three branches of government''to these effective tools.In particular, the surveillance activities published in The Guardian and The Washington Post are lawful and conducted under authorities widely known and discussed, and fully debated and authorized by Congress. Their purpose is to obtain foreign intelligence information, including information necessary to thwart terrorist and cyber attacks against the United States and its allies.

Our ability to discuss these activities is limited by our need to protect intelligence sources and methods. Disclosing information about the specific methods the government uses to collect communications can obviously give our enemies a ''playbook'' of how to avoid detection. Nonetheless, Section 702 has proven vital to keeping the nation and our allies safe. It continues to be one of our most important tools for the protection of the nation's security.

However, there are significant misimpressions that have resulted from the recent articles. Not all the inaccuracies can be corrected without further revealing classified information. I have, however, declassified for release the attached details about the recent unauthorized disclosures in hope that it will help dispel some of the myths and add necessary context to what has been published.

James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence

Solving the mystery of PRISM - The Week

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What exactly is PRISM? How does it work? Who uses it?

Let's assume that the companies whose data is sucked in by a National Security Agency tool called PRISM are denying their knowledge of the word and its associations in good faith. And let us also accept their denials that they've given someone at the NSA "direct access" to their servers.

So where are we?

There are many types of nicknames and special words that the NSA uses.

Some refer to collection tools. Some refer to data processing tools.

Each data processing tool, collection platform, mission and source for raw intelligence is given a specific numeric signals activity/address designator, or a SIGAD. The NSA listening post at Osan in Korea has the SIGAD USA-31. Clark Air Force Base is USA-57.

PRISM is US-984XN.

Each SIGAD is basically a collection site, physical or virtual; the SIGAD alphanumerics are used to indicate the source of intelligence FOR a particular report.

The NSA often assigns classified code names to the product of SIGADs. These can be confused with the nicknames or proper names of the collection platforms themselves, which may or may not be classified. What PRISM does is classified; the fact that there is a "PRISM" tool that does something is not.

Analysts working on a problem can request that a particular collection site be tasked, or used. The form they fill out is known as an SP0200. Additionally, when they wish to discontinue using a SIGAD for a mission, they send in another SP0200.

To make things even more complicated, the NSA assigns every administrative and technical operation, location and cell its own alphanumeric designation. The NSA office that tasks and troubleshoots the SENIOR SPAN platform, attached to U2 spy planes, is known as G112. The agency's Special Collection Service, which operates out of embassies, is F6.

Other NSA nicknames refer to databases. "Marina" is a database for metadata collected from telephone records. Most database names are not classified, but their association with a particular technology or a dataset is classified.

That is, Marina=telephone metadata '-- classified. Marina by itself ... unclassified.

I think, but don't know, that the Verizon metadata contained in the FISC order we saw goes into the Marina database.

On top of this, for especially sensitive programs, like those involving analysis and collection of domestic telephone or email metadata, or those involving offensive cyberwarfare, the NSA creates "special access programs" that are identified by a code word, an unclassified nickname, and a digraph. The existence of these SAPs and their code words are classified TOP SECRET. Sometimes, small NSA collection cells access particularly sensitive or advanced collection platforms, like, say, tiny flying bugs. These technologies are not shared with every NSA collection cell; the technologies themselves are classified. (I don't know if the NSA actually uses tiny flying bugs).

So: An analyst sits down at a desk. She uses a tool, like PRISM, to analyze information collected and deposited in a database, like CONTRAOCTAVE. Then she uses another tool, perhaps CPE (Content Preparation Environment), to write a report based on the analysis. That report is stored in ANOTHER database, like MAUI. MAUI is a database for finished NSA intelligence products. Anchory is an intelligence community-wide database for intelligence reports.

If the analyst was analyzing the content of telephone traffic, he or she would access the desired traffic stream through the use of a "selector," which is the NSA's term for production lines. The stuff inside a selector comes from one or more SIGADs. A selector is kind of like an RSS feed that fills itself with content from several sources.

A system called XKEYSCORE processes most of the SIGINT traffic that comes into the NSA by way of various SIGADs, and compartmentalizes it by selector. A selector might be "RUSFOR," which would stand for Russian foreign ministry intercepts. Or something like that. Recorded signals intercepts are stored in a database called PINWALE.

This is all very complicated, and that is on purpose. But this brief tutorial is important. PRISM is a kick-ass GUI that allows an analyst to look at, collate, monitor, and cross-check different data types provided to the NSA from internet companies located inside the United States.

The programs that use PRISM are focused, as the government said yesterday, on foreign intelligence. A lot of foreign intelligence runs through American companies and American servers.

The chain of action works like this.

Under the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, the NSA and the attorney general apply for an order allowing them to access a slice of the stuff that a company like Facebook keeps on its servers. Maybe this order is for all Facebook accounts opened up in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Maybe there are 50 of them. Facebook gets this order.

Now, these accounts are being updated in real-time. So Facebook somehow creates a mirror of the slice of stuff that only the NSA can access. The selected/court-ordered accounts are updated in real-time on both the Facebook server and the mirrored server. PRISM is the tool that puts this all together. Facebook has no idea what the NSA is doing with the data, and the NSA doesn't tell them.

The companies came online at different points, according to the documents we've seen, maybe because some of them were reluctant to provide their data and others had to find a way to standardize their data in a way that PRISM could understand. Alternatively, perhaps PRISM updates itself regularly and is able to accept more and more types of inputs.

What makes PRISM interesting to us is that it seems to be the ONLY system that the NSA uses to collect/analyze non-telephonic non-analog data stored on American servers but updated and controlled and "owned" by users overseas. It is a domestic collection platform USED for foreign intelligence collection. It is of course hard to view a Facebook account in isolation and not incidentally come into contact with an account that is owned by an American. I assume that a bunch of us have Pakistani Facebook friends. If the NSA is collecting on that account, and I were to initiate a Facebook chat, the NSA would suck up my chat. Supposedly, the PRISM system would flag this as an incidental overcollect and delete it from the analyst's workspace. Because the internet is a really complicated series of tubes, though, this doesn't always happen. And so the analyst must sometimes "physically" segregate the U.S. person's data.

What happens if I, in America, tell my Pakistani friend via Facebook chat that I am going to bomb a bridge? We don't know precisely what happens when, in the course of a foreign intelligence intercept, a U.S. person creates evidence of their complicity with terrorism. The analyst must be able to distinguish between relevant and non-relevant communication. If the analyst catches my threat, then he or she will immediately initiate a procedure that sends the information to the FBI, which begins its own investigation of me. The NSA does not continue to collect on me. The FBI does '-- and probably uses the NSA tip as probable cause to obtain a FISA order to start collecting data using a PRISM-type tool of its own.

What if the location of the other person is unknown? The NSA has a tool called AIRHANDLER that helps them geolocate the origin of these special signals.

Here is an important thing to know: Everything the NSA analyst leaves an audit trail. And the NSA has a staff of auditors who do nothing but sample the target folders for over-collects.

There are many unknowns, of course, and many places where the system could break down. We do not know the minimization rules. They are highly classified. We do not know how long minimized data sits in storage. We don't know how many NSA analysts are trained to handle U.S. persons' data, or HOW they are trained. We don't know the thresholds to determine what the NSA finds to be relevant enough. We don't know how long the NSA can collect on a target without getting a FISA order, though we do know that they can start collecting without one if the circumstances demand it.

The NSA Sent a Takedown Notice Over My Custom PRISM-Logo T-Shirts

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Archived Version

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 20:24

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NSA director says surveillance programs have foiled 50 terrorist plots worldwide

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Archived Version

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 14:52

From left, Deputy Attorney General James Cole; National Security Agency (NSA) Deputy Director Chris Inglis; NSA Director Gen. Keith B. Alexander; Deputy FBI Director Sean Joyce; and Robert Litt, general counsel to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; prepares to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 18, 2013, before the House Intelligence Committee hearing regarding NSA surveillance.

Charles Dharapak, Associated Press

WASHINGTON '-- The director of the National Security Agency said Tuesday the government's sweeping surveillance programs have foiled some 50 terrorist plots worldwide, including one directed at the New York Stock Exchange, in a forceful defense of the spy operations.

Army Gen. Keith Alexander said the two recently disclosed programs '-- one that gathers U.S. phone records and another that is designed to track the use of U.S.-based Internet servers by foreigners with possible links to terrorism '-- are critical in the terrorism fight.

Alexander, seated side by side with top officials from the FBI and Justice Department at a rare, open congressional hearing, described how the operations work under questioning from members of the House Intelligence Committee who displayed a supportive demeanor. The officials as well as members of the panel repeatedly bemoaned the leaks by Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former contractor.

Alexander said Snowden's leaks have caused "irreversible and significant damage to this nation" that also undermined the U.S. relationship with its allies.

Asked what was next for Snowden, Sean Joyce, deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said simply, "Justice."

Intelligence officials last week disclosed some details on two thwarted attacks '-- one targeting the New York subway system, one to bomb a Danish newspaper office that had published the cartoon depictions of the Prophet Mohammad. Alexander and Joyce offered additional details on two other foiled plots, including one targeting Wall Street.

Under questioning, Joyce said the NSA was able to identify an extremist in Yemen who was in touch with an individual in Kansas City, Mo. They were able to identify co-conspirators and thwart a plot to bomb the New York Stock Exchange.

Joyce also said a terrorist financier inside the U.S. was identified and arrested in October 2007, thanks to a phone record provided by the NSA. The individual was making phone calls to a known designated terrorist group overseas.

Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, asked if that country was Somalia, which Joyce confirmed, though he said U.S. counterterrorist activities in that country are classified.

The programs "assist the intelligence community to connect the dots," Alexander told the committee. He said the intelligence community would provide the committees with more specifics on the 50 cases as well as the exact numbers on foiled plots in Europe.

Alexander said the Internet program had helped stop 90 percent of the 50-plus plots he described. He said just over 10 of the plots thwarted had a connection inside the U.S., and most were helped by the review of the phone records.

Alexander got no disagreement from the leaders of the panel, who have been outspoken in backing the programs since Snowden disclosed information to The Washington Post and the Guardian newspapers.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the committee, and Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland, the panel's top Democrat, said the programs were vital to the intelligence community and assailed Snowden's actions as criminal.

"It is at times like these where our enemies within become almost as damaging as our enemies on the outside," Rogers said.

Ruppersberger said the "brazen disclosures" put the United States and its allies at risk.

Committee members were incredulous about the scope of the information that Snowden was able to access and then disclose.

Alexander said Snowden had worked for 12 months in an information technology position at the NSA office in Hawaii under another contract preceding his three-month contract with Booz Allen.

The Most Frequently Asked Question | The Purple Box

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Archived Version

Tue, 18 Jun 2013 22:44

Whenever we tell someone new about Ghostery, the odds-on favorite for the the first question they ask is: ''so how do you guys make money?'' Web users have learned to be skeptical when it comes to an allegedly free product.

We think that being skeptical is smart, and Ghostery is made for exactly the type of user who would ask this question with one raised eyebrow and one foot out of the door.

The data donation feature in Ghostery is called ''GhostRank,'' which is opt-in and anonymous. We know how important it is for us to make clear exactly how what data is shared and how we make use of GhostRank data.

Ghostery is owned by Evidon, a for-profit company. Evidon sells GhostRank data to businesses to help them market to consumers more transparently, better manage their web properties, and comply with privacy standards around the world.

Now that we have that out there, here's more detail on those points above:

Ghostery is free to use.We don't collect any data whatsoever unless you specifically check a box in Ghostery's options saying it's okay. Evidon and Ghostery use data on trackers, not people. If you don't opt in, the product isn't affected in any way. We have no plans or intentions to make any of Ghostery's features dependent on GhostRank participation.

Ghostery does not share any data about our users.GhostRank data does not include things like ''John Doe is a Midwestern car enthusiast.'' It includes things like ''Ad Network X's tracking code was encountered 50 times on this car site.'' We hash IP addresses in our logs (we only keep those scrambled strings to help us do a basic user count), and we strip out query strings in the urls we collect in an effort to make sure there isn't any user-specific information lurking there, either. Put simply, none of us could use GhostRank data to identify a user out on the web even if we were inclined to do so.

Ghostery is owned by Evidon, a for-profit company.GhostRank data helps us to create solutions that help businesses. It enables site owners to detect all of the tracking technologies on their sites and maintain control of their data, and provides competitive intelligence for companies across the web.

Evidon and Ghostery have transparency at the core of our collective business model '' it's not a ''main goal'' or a ''central value,'' but the actual core of our company. All of our products increase visibility into the online advertising world, and those products are designed to meet the most rigorous standards of operational transparency

That's important to note, because this transparency-by-design approach means healthy skeptics don't have to simply trust that the things I've asserted in this post are true. First, read our privacy policy, terms of use, and FAQ. You'll find that everything I've spelled out here is echoed there '' we worked very hard to make sure we gave ourselves the right legal protections without leaving room in those documents for us to compromise. Secondly, Ghostery's code is not at all obscure '' anyone can unpack our extension and look directly at what the javascript is built to do. You can also use a header request inspector to view all the requests a page makes, including the l.ghostery.com requests we send (these inspectors are now built into many browsers or available as extensions themselves).

Skepticism is healthy, and beyond that, all of us at Ghostery applaud that approach. But we hope that users don't let skepticism turn into fear, uncertainty, and doubt about a product that can help you, in a safe and uncompromising way, be a better skeptic. We hope you'll opt into our data donation to help support the product, but we understand that requires a level of trust about what we do with the data. To that end, if you have any questions, please find us on our support forums, Twitter, Facebook, and/or via email. You can also email me personally at andy@ghostery.com.

A Popular Ad Blocker Also Helps the Ad Industry | MIT Technology Review

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Archived Version

Tue, 18 Jun 2013 22:44

Millions of people use the tool Ghostery to block online tracking technology'--few realize that it feeds data to the ad industry.

Whenever discussion starts about how to hide from the tracking code that follows users around the Web to serve them targeted ads, recommendations soon pile up for a browser add-on called Ghostery. It blocks tracking code, noticeably speeds up how quickly pages load as a result, and has roughly 19 million users. Yet few of those who advocate Ghostery as a way to escape the clutches of the online ad industry realize that the company behind it, Evidon, is in fact part of that selfsame industry.

Evidon helps companies that want to improve their use of tracking code by selling them data collected from the eight million Ghostery users that have enabled a data-sharing feature in the tool.

That makes Evidon, which bought Ghostery in 2010, something of an anomaly in the complex world of online advertising. Whether in Congress or at the Web standards body W3C, debates over online privacy typically end up with the ad industry and privacy advocates facing off along clearly demarcated lines (see ''High Stakes in Internet Tracking'').

Evidon straddles both sides of that debate. ''This is not a scheme,'' says Scott Meyer, Evidon's cofounder and CEO and formerly a senior figure in the New York Times Company's online operations, when asked about that dual role. He says there is no conflict in offering a tool that helps users hide from the ad industry while also helping that same industry.

''Anything that gives people more transparency and control is good for the industry,'' says Meyer, who says it's fine with him that most Ghostery users opt not to share data with Evidon. Meyer points out that those who want to block online advertising are unlikely to respond to it, making Ghostery use good for both sides.

Evidon sells two main services based on the data it collects. One allows website operators to see which tracking code, from which companies, is active on their site and how it affects the speed with which its pages load. The other provides ad companies with figures on how common the tracking code from different companies is around the Web.

The first of those services is particularly important, says Meyer, because website operators often don't know what tracking code is being used on their visitors. ''The ecosystem of how an ad gets delivered to a webpage is incredibly complex,'' he says, ''and you need real user data to see if companies are doing what they said they did.''

Although website owners control which ad networks can put content on their pages, those networks often draw on code from third parties, which itself may pull in further code.

''It's usual for the operator of a website to say, 'These 10 companies on my site I know about and these 10 I didn't,' '' says Meyer. Companies also use Evidon's data to check whether the code they want to deploy is present on every page. The majority of Evidon's analytics customers are large retailers and brands, he says.

Not everyone sees Evidon's business model as conflict-free, though. A major source of business for Evidon is selling data that helps ad companies ensure their compliance with AdChoices, a self-regulatory program supposed to help people opt out of targeted ads. Some experts say AdChoices is confusing to consumers, and it has been criticized by U.S. and E.U. policymakers. ''Evidon has a financial incentive to encourage the program's adoption and discourage alternatives like Do Not Track and cookie blocking as well as to maintain positive relationships with intrusive advertising companies,'' says Jonathan Mayer, a Stanford grad student and privacy advocate active in efforts to thrash out a standard ''Do Not Track'' feature for Web browsers (see ''Ad Men and Browser Geeks Collide Over Web Protocols''). Mayer hasn't tested Ghostery recently, but says that it has previously offered ''quite effective privacy protections if configured correctly.''

Meyer says that Evidon's dual role will continue, and says the company is now working on a similar service to unmask the ad tracking built into many mobile apps. This month it acquired Mobilescope, a project started by privacy researchers that lets a smartphone user see the data that apps transfer and flags when sensitive data such as an e-mail address is transmitted (see ''How to Detect Apps Leaking Your Data''). Techniques that profile a person's use of apps on his phone to figure out how to target him with ads are booming, says Meyer, and so far it is mostly impossible to detect. ''Nobody has any visibility into what happens in these apps,'' he says.

Evidon plans to release an improved version of Mobilescope later this year, and will eventually add an opt-in data-sharing capability similar to the one offered by Ghostery.

VIDEO-Shia Labeouf: One-In-Five Phone Calls Are Recorded (2008-09-16) - YouTube

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Archived Version

Tue, 18 Jun 2013 22:38

Adobe and Other Bad Actors

NSA spin-off Sqrrl Announces General Availability of its Secure Big Data Platform, Sqrrl Enterprise.

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: TheCandyman's news feed

Thu, 20 Jun 2013 13:09

Cambridge, MA (PRWEB) June 19, 2013

Sqrrl, the company that develops secure database software to power Big Data applications, is now shipping Version 1.1 of Sqrrl Enterprise. Sqrrl Enterprise is the world's most secure and scalable Big Data platform for building real-time analytical applications. With Version 1.1 Sqrrl Enterprise moves from Limited Release to General Availability and delivers more advanced security tools, enhanced analytic capabilities, and a variety of additional features.

Sqrrl Enterprise utilizes Apache Accumulo technology to deliver the only Big Data platform with cell-level security capabilities. Cell-level security enables Sqrrl customers to tag every piece of data with fine-grained security labels that dictate access to the data. This cell-level security capability makes Sqrrl Enterprise a powerful solution for industries with sensitive data, such as finance, telecommunications, healthcare, energy, and government.

''Our customers demand enterprise-class security for their mission-critical applications,'' said Mark Terenzoni, CEO of Sqrrl. ''In Version 1.1 of Sqrrl Enterprise we have extended the rich security capabilities of Apache Accumulo, while also adding additional developer tools that make building real-time analytical applications easier.''

Increased Security '' Version 1.1 adds encryption of data-at-rest and data-in-motion; as well as improved cell-level security capabilities, including integration with Active Directory, Kerberos and LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol). Version 1.1 also features auditing capability for all transactions within Sqrrl Enterprise.

Enhanced Analytics '' Sqrrl Enterprise provides developers with a rich set of discovery analytics that can power real-time Big Data applications (aka ''Big Apps''). These capabilities include full-text search via Apache Lucene, SQL, statistics, and graph search. All of these analytical features have tight integration with Sqrrl Enterprise's cell-level security capabilities.

Ease-of-use '' Version 1.1 adds document store capabilities by providing full JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) document support. Sqrrl Enterprise converts Accumulo's key/value pairs into hierarchical JSON documents to simplify data models and structures. Version 1.1 also adds streaming ingest, improved installation tools and command-line shells, and configurable indexing.

''Developing Big Data applications is complicated and Sqrrl Enterprise substantially simplifies application development for emerging large scale apps," says Wikibon chief analyst David Vellante. "Wikibon practitioners are excited about Sqrrl toolsets because they enable organizations to co-mingle sensitive datasets on a single Big Data platform through fine-grained cell-level security controls. Scale, performance, security and flexibility will define the next wave of Big Data application development, and companies like Sqrrl are leading the way."

Sqrrl Enterprise is currently deployed at organizations in the Government, Financial Services, Healthcare, Telecommunications, and Academia sectors, providing solutions for secure data stores, secure search, and real-time analytics applications. One of the most popular use cases for Sqrrl Enterprise is using it as a platform for Big Data Security Analytics.

Big Data Security Analytics Use CaseCybersecurity professionals are building Big Data Security Analytics apps with Sqrrl Enterprise. These apps are designed to continuously ingest and store petabytes of cybersecurity data, such as log and event files, Netflow data, emails, social activity, identity context information, and threat intelligence. The amount and variety of this data would overwhelm a traditional Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tool. Sqrrl Enterprise augments SIEM capabilities by supporting retrospective analysis over years of multi-structured historical data. Using Sqrrl Enterprise's analytical building blocks, Sqrrl customers are rapidly building secure, lightweight apps to interrogate or ''swim through'' all of this data in real-time.

About SqrrlHeadquartered in Cambridge, MA, Sqrrl was founded by former computer scientists from the National Security Agency (NSA). As part of the team that created Apache Accumulo, Sqrrl founders have been working with some of the largest, most complex and most sensitive data sets in the world. Today, Sqrrl Enterprise is the world's most secure and scalable Big Data platform for building real-time analytical applications. It is the only Big Data solution that possesses fine-grained security controls, scales elastically to tens of petabytes of data, and supports a diverse set of analytics, including graph, SQL, statistics, and full-text search. As creators and developers of Accumulo, Sqrrl's understanding of security and Big Data technologies enable organizations to securely unlock the potential of Big Data. Learn more at http://www.sqrrl.com.

Silicon Valley and Spy Agency Bound by Web Advances

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Archived Version

Thu, 20 Jun 2013 12:09

WASHINGTON '-- When Max Kelly, the chief security officer for Facebook, left the social media company in 2010, he did not go to Google, Twitter or a similar Silicon Valley concern. Instead the man who was responsible for protecting the personal information of Facebook's more than one billion users from outside attacks went to work for another giant institution that manages and analyzes large pools of data: the National Security Agency.

Mr. Kelly's move to the spy agency, which has not previously been reported, underscores the increasingly deep connections between Silicon Valley and the agency and the degree to which they are now in the same business. Both hunt for ways to collect, analyze and exploit large pools of data about millions of Americans.

The only difference is that the N.S.A. does it for intelligence, and Silicon Valley does it to make money.

The disclosure of the spy agency's program called Prism, which is said to collect the e-mails and other Web activity of foreigners using major Internet companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook, has prompted the companies to deny that the agency has direct access to their computers, even as they acknowledge complying with secret N.S.A. court orders for specific data.

Yet technology experts and former intelligence officials say the convergence between Silicon Valley and the N.S.A. and the rise of data mining '-- both as an industry and as a crucial intelligence tool '-- have created a more complex reality.

Silicon Valley has what the spy agency wants: vast amounts of private data and the most sophisticated software available to analyze it. The agency in turn is one of Silicon Valley's largest customers for what is known as data analytics, one of the valley's fastest-growing markets. To get their hands on the latest software technology to manipulate and take advantage of large volumes of data, United States intelligence agencies invest in Silicon Valley start-ups, award classified contracts and recruit technology experts like Mr. Kelly.

''We are all in these Big Data business models,'' said Ray Wang, a technology analyst and chief executive of Constellation Research, based in San Francisco. ''There are a lot of connections now because the data scientists and the folks who are building these systems have a lot of common interests.''

Although Silicon Valley has sold equipment to the N.S.A. and other intelligence agencies for a generation, the interests of the two began to converge in new ways in the last few years as advances in computer storage technology drastically reduced the costs of storing enormous amounts of data '-- at the same time that the value of the data for use in consumer marketing began to rise. ''These worlds overlap,'' said Philipp S. Kr¼ger, chief executive of Explorist, an Internet start-up in New York.

The sums the N.S.A. spends in Silicon Valley are classified, as is the agency's total budget, which independent analysts say is $8 billion to $10 billion a year.

Despite the companies' assertions that they cooperate with the agency only when legally compelled, current and former industry officials say the companies sometimes secretly put together teams of in-house experts to find ways to cooperate more completely with the N.S.A. and to make their customers' information more accessible to the agency. The companies do so, the officials say, because they want to control the process themselves. They are also under subtle but powerful pressure from the N.S.A. to make access easier.

Skype, the Internet-based calling service, began its own secret program, Project Chess, to explore the legal and technical issues in making Skype calls readily available to intelligence agencies and law enforcement officials, according to people briefed on the program who asked not to be named to avoid trouble with the intelligence agencies.

Project Chess, which has never been previously disclosed, was small, limited to fewer than a dozen people inside Skype, and was developed as the company had sometimes contentious talks with the government over legal issues, said one of the people briefed on the project. The project began about five years ago, before most of the company was sold by its parent, eBay, to outside investors in 2009. Microsoft acquired Skype in an $8.5 billion deal that was completed in October 2011.

James Risen reported from Washington, and Nick Wingfield from Seattle. Kitty Bennett contributed reporting.

Adobe Flash exploit grabs video and audio, long after ''fix''

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Archived Version

Fri, 14 Jun 2013 15:19

A security flaw in Adobe Flash thought to be repaired in October of 2011 has resurfaced again with a new proof-of-concept hack that can grab video and audio from a user's computer without getting user authentication. Employing a transparent Flash object on a page to capture a user's click, the exploit tricks a user into clicking to activate the object. The object can then take control of the camera and microphone regardless of the permissions set by the user.

The exploit was demonstrated by developer Egor Homakov and was based on code by Russian security researcher Oleg Filippov. (Note that the demonstration uses images of scantily-claid women and may not be considered safe for work.)

''This is not a stable exploit (tested on Mac and Chrome. I do use Mac and Chrome so this is a big deal anyway),'' Homakov wrote. "Your photo can be saved on our servers but we don't do this in the PoC. (Well, we had an idea to charge $1 for deleting a photo but it would not be fun for you). Donations are welcome though.''

The ''clickjack'' works in a fashion similar to previous attacks against Flash by hiding the dialogue that would prevent a hijack of the camera and mic behind another page element. This demonstration attack apparently needs to be tailored to the target browser, however. Ars has tested the exploit on Mac OS with Chrome and Firefox, Windows 8 with Internet Explorer and Chrome, and on Chrome OS; the exploit only worked consistently in Chrome browsers and not at all on Windows 8.

''The basic problem with Flash is that it doesn't have modal dialogues that pop up outside of the browser, which can alert the user to what's about to happen,'' said Robert Hansen, director of product management for WhiteHat Security, in a e-mail conversation with Ars. ''Because the dialogues are on the same page as the adversary's code, they can overlay things, make it opaque, and so on, to effectively hide the dialogue warning.''

Ars reached out to an Adobe spokesperson for comment on the exploit, but the company has not yet responded.

NSA publishes its Best Practices document for Keeping Your Home Network Secure - LOL

US Casualties of WAR

This Month

Staff Sgt. Jesse L. Thomas Jr., 31, of Pensacola, Fla.

Lt. Col. Todd J. Clark, 40, of Evans Mills, N.Y.,

Maj. Jaimie E. Leonard, 39, of Warrick, N.Y.

2nd Lt. Justin L. Sisson, 23, of Phoenix, Ariz.

Specialist. Robert A. Pierce, 20, of Panama, Okla.

Warrant Officer Sean W. Mullen, 39, of Dover, Del.

Pfc. Mariano M. Raymundo, 21, of Houston, Texas

Spc. Ray A. Ramirez, 20, of Sacramento, Calif.

Spc. Kyle P. Stoeckli, 21, of Moseley, Va

Staff Sgt. Job M. Reigoux, 30, of Austin, Texas,

Adobe PrimeTime Launches

Hello guys!

Just thought I would help out how I can- I am a brand new listener since

April. The Stanley Cup Finals started on Friday, and I do not own a TV.

So I found an iPhone app that provides a live stream of the game. It's

called NBC Sports Live Extra found here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nbc-sports-live-extra/id542511686?mt=8

The moment you launch the app, a splash screen comes up that has a tiny

little Adobe icon in the bottom right. (the attachment)

And according to this article:

http://www.overdigital.com/2013/04/11/adobe-primetime-explained-part-14-ad-insertion/

The app apparently uses the Adobe Primetime's ad insertion. I wonder

what else is included with "ad insertion".

I hope you read this, as it seems combining a few well paid developers

and putting a former Adobe CTO in the position of reporting to Bob

Mansfield has compromised Apple.

I think I'll be able to donate next month, everything is almost all

caught up. Thanks for all you both do.

Christopher Hansson

Adobe Primetime Explained (Part 1/4) - Ad Insertion

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Archived Version

Sat, 15 Jun 2013 17:12

Adobe Primetime officially launched this week, providing an end-to-end solution to distribute, monetize, analyze and optimize online video.

I encourage you to read the official Adobe announcement for a more in-depth overview. This is a multi-part blog miniseries to highlight key relevant features. In the first part, I'm going to describe a key feature for both users and advertisers: Ad Insertion.

There are fundamental challenges with online video ad insertion today:

Seamless ad insertion on both desktop and mobile devices is difficult, and approaches are fragmentedThe ad transition user experience is often poor, with buffering between content and adsThe percentage of streaming on the web is increasing, and high-quality live ad insertion is fundamentally harder than video on demand (VOD)Without implementing the proper technology, it is challenging to provide a seamless user experience. One of the challenges resides with the very popular, but inefficient, dual player approach.

Having a dual player means swapping the video players between the ad breaks and the main content (e.g. via the ProxyElement with OSMF). Unfortunately, with a dual player approach come many disadvantages including the required buffering between ads and content, the overhead of having multiple player instances, the higher CPU and memory consumption.

On mobile platforms, the disadvantage of using a dual-player is even more pronounced. For example, the video stack on iOS provides a lot less flexibility. Adobe used its profound expertise of video protocols, packaging and playback to create a low-level, seamless ad insertion solution that provides the best possible user experience. It solves this complicated task much more efficiently than other approaches. The time has come to move beyond a dual player, and provide a quality experience for the next generation of TV viewing across screens.

Interested in seeing this in action? Check out NBC Sports Live Extra on desktop, iOS and Android, or XFINITY TV by Comcast.

> Part 1 - Ad Insertion

Part 2 - Solving the Android Video Problem

Part 3 - A Single Protocol and DRM

Part 4 - Bringing It All Together

NBC Sports Live Extra for iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad on the iTunes App Store

Link to Article

Archived Version

Sat, 15 Jun 2013 17:11

Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator

iTunes

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To download the free app NBC Sports Live Extra by NBC Universal, Inc., get iTunes now.

iTunes for Mac + PCBy NBC Universal, Inc.

Open iTunes to buy and download apps.

DescriptionWatch more than 1,000 events LIVE for FREE with the NBC Sports Live Extra app. You can follow your favorite events and sports, and receive push notifications for event start times. Download now on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. The app will live stream an abundance of live sporting events that air on NBC, NBC Sports Network and the Golf Channel, including NHL Regular-Season and Stanley Cup Playoff games, PGA TOUR, U.S. Open (golf), Notre Dame Football, French Open (tennis), Premier League (soccer), Major League Soccer, Formula One, IndyCar, Triple Crown horse racing and the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. iPads that support Retina display can experience HD quality video at up to 1080p. The video quality will adapt based on your data connection.

Features:* Video on Demand: access short-form video clips to preview upcoming events and check out highlights from past events* Online coverage schedule: browse the online listings schedule and set event reminders* Live Events: watch marquee NBC Sports events LIVE!* Full Event Replays: relive all the great moments with full event replays* Push Notifications: receive reminder alerts for upcoming events* DVR: most live streams and all full event replays will have DVR capabilities

The vast majority of live streaming content on NBC Sports Live Extra will only be available to authenticated cable, satellite and telco customers via TV Everywhere. NBC Sports Live Extra is currently available for Comcast Xfinity, Verizon Fios, Cablevision, Suddenlink, Mediacom, Bend and Grande customers. We'll be adding more cable providers shortly, so check back soon! Further instructions are provided in the app settings section.

NBC Sports video is only accessible in the U.S. and certain U.S. territories. The application requires a 3G, 4G or WiFi data connection. Watching video over a 3G or 4G connection may affect your wireless data plan.

What's New in Version 1.6.4- Performance Enhancements

Customer ReviewsHockey

by ozzie18Happy to be able to watch hockey anywhere... Good quality too.

Does not Work

by Matthew SalweiI was very excited to use this app but it does not work. After pressing "Select a Provider" it tells me there has been an error it cannot recover from. I have to give it.

Lies! Lies I tell ya!

by Sharky26Worked great for me during the Olympics (since NBC wanted to get as many people watching as possible) but since then they won't allow TWC customers to use it, at least not for live content which the name of the app implies. Yet again another dispute between companies, sigh.TWC has their own app but doesn't show NBC content like this.Today they (NBC) issued an update and now the app crashes when even trying to look up what providers are available. Even tried it while on Verizon and work T1 line (not TWC).

View In iTunesThis app is designed for both iPhone and iPad

Free

Category:SportsUpdated: May 31, 2013Version: 1.6.4Size: 26.3 MBLanguages: English, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, TurkishSeller: NBC Universal, Inc.(C) 2013 NBCUniversalRequirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

I present Adobe Insight. That same Adobe building next to the NSA in Utah. (PDF Linked) : reddit.com

Link to Article

Archived Version

Sat, 15 Jun 2013 09:52

use the following search parameters to narrow your results:

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Google Says Secret Intelligence Court Restricts Its Right to Free Speech

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Archived Version

Source: New on MIT Technology Review

Tue, 18 Jun 2013 21:50

Google is demanding that a secret intelligence court allow it to share some details about surveillance requests for user data.

Last week, negative press in the wake of recent leaks about NSA surveillance prompted Facebook, Google, and Microsoft to politely ask the U.S. government to be allowed to share broad statistics on their legally required role in such activities.

Google is now said by the Washington Post to be preparing legal papers that would make its request more of a demand, claiming that gag orders placed on it disclosing data requests breach the First Amendment. A statement from Google published by the Post says:

''Greater transparency is needed, so today we have petitioned the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to allow us to publish aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures, separately.''

Google's papers join others filed with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court since material leaked by Edward Snowden came to light. Last week the ACLU launched a suit alleging that the bulk collection of phone records approved by the court (see ''NSA Surveillance Reflects Broader Interpretation of the Patriot Act'') was unconstitutional.

Update: The National Journal has posted a copy of Google's filing (PDF).

JesterGear: Home: Zazzle.com Store

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Archived Version

Fri, 14 Jun 2013 09:39

So I decided to bite the bullet and open this store. I am fully aware that some folks may accuse me of 'selling out', but hey, you don't like it, don't buy it. This great country was founded on capitalism. Welcome to America. 10% of profits are donated to the Wounded Warrior Project. Stay Frosty. International buyers welcome, links to your country at bottom of this page.

MIC

House Passes Sweeping $638B Defense Bill

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Archived Version

Mon, 17 Jun 2013 16:34

WASHINGTON -- The House overwhelmingly passed a sweeping, $638 billion defense bill on Friday that imposes new punishments on members of the armed services found guilty of rape or sexual assault as outrage over the crisis in the military has galvanized Congress.

Ignoring a White House veto threat, the Republican-controlled House voted 315-108 for the legislation, which would block President Barack Obama from closing the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and limit his efforts to reduce nuclear weapons.

The House bill containing the provisions on sex-related crimes that the Obama administration supports as well as the detention policies that it vigorously opposes must be reconciled with a Senate version before heading to the president's desk. The Senate measure, expected to be considered this fall, costs $13 billion less than the House bill -- a budgetary difference that also will have to be resolved.

The defense policy bill authorizes money for aircraft, weapons, ships, personnel and the war in Afghanistan in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 while blocking the Pentagon from closing domestic bases.

Shocking statistics that as many as 26,000 military members may have been sexually assaulted last year and high-profile incidences at the service academies and in the ranks pushed lawmakers to tackle the growing problem of sexual assault. A single case of a commander overturning a conviction -- a decision that even Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel couldn't change -- drove Congress to act swiftly.

Both the House and Senate were determined to shake up the military's culture in ways that would ensure victims that if they reported crimes, their allegations wouldn't be discounted or their careers jeopardized.

"This is a self-inflicted wound that has no place in the military," Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., who lost both legs and partial use of an arm in a rocket-propelled grenade attack in Iraq, told her colleagues in the final moments of debate on Friday.

The House bill would require a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison for a member of the armed services convicted of rape or sexual assault in a military court.

Officers, commissioned warrant officers, cadets and midshipmen convicted of rape, sexual assault, forcible sodomy or attempts to commit those offenses also would be dismissed. Enlisted personnel and noncommissioned warrant officers convicted of similar crimes would be dishonorably discharged.

The bill also would strip military commanders of the power to overturn convictions in rape and sexual assault cases and eliminate the five-year statute of limitations on trial by court-martial for sexual assault and sexual assault of a child.

Duckworth and several other Democratic women made a last-ditch effort to change the bill to allow a victim to choose whether the Office of Chief Prosecutor or the commander in the victim's chain of command decides whether the case would go to trial. They argued that the bill did not go far enough.

Their effort failed, 225-194, but in an emotional moment on the House floor, a wheelchair-bound Duckworth received kisses, hugs and handshakes after her plea.

The bill also includes a provision requiring the military services to use a single combat uniform. There are now 10 different camouflage uniforms that have cost taxpayers close to $10 million over the last decade, according to Rep. Bill Enyart, D-Ill., who pushed for the measure.

Rather than cut military and civilian personnel due to automatic budget cuts, Enyart has argued for a "joint" uniform as a cost-saving measure.

Despite last-minute lobbying by Obama counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco, the House soundly rejected Obama's repeated pleas to shutter Guantanamo. In recent weeks, the president implored Congress to close the facility, citing its prohibitive costs and its role as a recruiting tool for extremists.

A new hunger strike by more than 100 of the 166 prisoners protesting their conditions and indefinite confinement have prompted the fresh calls for closure. Obama is pushing to transfer approved detainees -- there are 86 -- to their home countries and lift a ban on transfers to Yemen. Fifty-six of the 86 are from Yemen.

"They represent some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world," said Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., who argued that Yemen as a destination made no sense since it is home to an active al-Qaida affiliate.

Countering her argument, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., said the nation's intelligence experts have determined that the detainees are an acceptable risk for release and hardly a grave threat to the country.

"Holding them forever is un-American," he said.

The senior Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, Smith said U.S. maximum security prisons are perfectly capable of holding terrorists, with some 300 terrorists, including some of the most notorious, currently incarcerated.

The House voted down Smith's amendment to close the naval detention center by Dec. 31, 2014, on a 249-174 vote. It also backed Walorski's amendment to stop the president from transferring any detainees to Yemen. That vote was 236-188.

Smith said his staff worked with the White House to win votes for the amendment.

"We floated this out, they said they support it, and they've been lobbying to get votes for it," he said just before the vote.

The restrictions in the House bill put it at odds with the Democratic-controlled Senate.

The Senate Armed Services Committee's bill gives the Defense Department additional flexibility to transfer Guantanamo detainees to the U.S. and other countries, with the objective of closing the detention facility there.

But, in a move that reflects deep divisions on Capitol Hill over Guantanamo's future, the committee did not hold votes on the provision in the bill, opting instead to have that debate when the legislation moves to the Senate floor.

In its current form, the Senate committee's legislation would permit transfer of terror suspects to the U.S. if the Pentagon determines that doing so is in the interests of national security and that any public safety issues have been addressed, the committee said Friday in a statement detailing the bill's major provisions.

Detainees could be moved to foreign countries if they are determined to no longer be a threat to U.S. security, the transfers are pursuant to court orders, or the individuals have been tried and acquitted, or have been convicted and completed their sentences.

Transfers to third countries also could occur if the Pentagon determines the move supports U.S. national security interests and steps have been taken "to substantially mitigate the risk of the detainee re-engaging in terrorist activities," the committee said.

There are still restrictions, "but there is greater flexibility provided," Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., told reporters Thursday night. But the committee's senior Republican, Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, said he would fight to have the transfer authority stripped out of the committee's bill when it comes to the Senate floor this fall.

Inhofe called Guantanamo "a great asset, a great resource" that needs to stay open.

During two-plus days of House debate, defense hawks prevailed over fiscal hawks as the House rejected two attempts to cut the overall amount of spending authorized in the bill. Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland joined forces with Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina to trim $5 billion that the Armed Services Committee had added to the bill for war costs.

Mulvaney argued that "simply spending more money than the Defense Department asks for doesn't mean we're stronger on defense." Van Hollen called the money a "slush fund."

The House also rejected a measure by Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., to cut $53 million that the Army National Guard spends for World Wrestling Federation and NASCAR sponsorships. McCollum had argued that as the military bemoans the automatic, across-the-board budget cuts, the money could be better spent elsewhere.

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

Federal Register | 36(b)(1) Arms Sales Notification

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Archived Version

Tue, 18 Jun 2013 22:55

Ms. B. English, DSCA/DBO/CFM, (703) 601-3740.

The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives,Transmittals 13-15 with attached transmittal and policy justification.

Dated: June 13, 2013.

Aaron Siegel,

Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer,Department of Defense.

Transmittal No. 13-15Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of OfferPursuant to Section 36(b)(1)of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended(i) Prospective Purchaser: Libya

(ii) Total Estimated Value:

Major Defense Equipment*$222 millionOther$366 millionTotal$588 million(iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase: 2 C-130J-30 aircraft, 10 Rolls Royce AE 2100D3 engines (8 installed and 2 spares), aircraft modifications, Government Furnished Equipment (including radios), support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support.

(iv) Military Department: Air Force (SAF)

(v) Prior Related Cases, if any: None

(vi) Sales Commission, Fee, etc., Paid, Offered, or Agreed to be Paid:

(vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article orDefense Services Proposed to be Sold: None

(viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: 7 June 2013

* As defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act.

POLICY JUSTIFICATIONLibya'--C-130J-30 AircraftThe Government of Libya has requested a sale of 2 C-130J-30 aircraft, 10 Rolls Royce AE 2100D3 engines (8 installed and 2 spares), aircraft modifications, Government Furnished Equipment (including radios), support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated cost is $588 million.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of Libya. The Government of Libya uses airlift to maintain the connection between the central government and the country's outlying areas. The sale of these C-130Js to Libya will significantly increase its capability to provide in-country airlift support for its forces, thus strengthening its capacity in the security arena.

Libya intends to use these aircraft primarily to move supplies and people within Libya. This medium lift capability should assist with border security, the interdiction of known terrorist elements, and rapid reaction to internal security threats. In addition, Libya intends to utilize these aircraft in support of regional peacekeeping and humanitarian operations. Libya, which already operates a mix of legacy C-130s, will have little difficulty absorbing these aircraft, which include a three-year training and sustainment package.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractor will be Lockheed Martin-Aerospace in Marietta, Georgia. There are no known offset agreements in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of four contracted Field Service Representatives (FSR) and one Logistics Support Representative (LSR) for a period of three years. The FSRs and LSR will have expertise in airframe, avionics/electrical, propulsion systems, ground maintenance systems, and logistics support. Additionally, there will be a USAF logistics specialist assisting the purchaser to establish a supply system in support of flight operations, supply management, inventory control, and documentation procedures for a period of three years following aircraft delivery.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

[FR Doc. 2013-14480 Filed 6-17-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 5001-06-P

Federal Register | 36(b)(1) Arms Sales Notification

Link to Article

Archived Version

Tue, 18 Jun 2013 23:00

Ms. B. English, DSCA/DBO/CFM, (703) 601-3740.

The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives,Transmittals 13-25 with attached transmittal and policy justification.

Dated: June 13, 2013.

Aaron Siegel,

Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer,Department of Defense.

Transmittal No. 13-25

Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of OfferPursuant to Section 36(b)(1)of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended

(i) Prospective purchaser: The Government of Kuwait

(ii) Total Estimated Value

Major Defense Equipment*$0 millionOther$200 millionTOTAL$200 million(iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services Under Considerationfor Purchase: continuation of logistics support, contractor maintenance, and technical services in support of the F/A-18 C/D aircraft to include avionics software upgrade, engine component improvement, ground support equipment, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documentation, engineering change proposals, U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics support services and other related elements of logistical support.

(iv) Military Department: Navy (GGW)

(v) Prior Related Cases, if any: Multiple FMS cases dating back to 1997

(vi) Sales Commission, Fee, etc., Paid, Offered, or Agreed to be Paid: None

(vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article or Defense ServicesProposed to be Sold: None

(viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: 7 June 2013

* as defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act.

POLICY JUSTIFICATIONGovernment of Kuwait'--Technical/Logistics Support for F/A-18 C/D AircraftThe Government of Kuwait has requested a possible sale of continuation of logistics support, contractor maintenance, and technical services in support of the F/A-18 C/D aircraft to include avionics software upgrade, engine component improvement, ground support equipment, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documentation, engineering change proposals, U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics support services and other related elements of logistical support. The estimated cost is $200 million.

The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.

The proposed sale of this support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractors will be General Dynamics of Fairfax, Virginia; The Boeing Company of St. Louis, Missouri; and Wyle Laboratories, Inc of Huntsville, Alabama. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of ninety U.S. Government and contractor representatives for a period three years to establish and maintain operational capability.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

[FR Doc. 2013-14481 Filed 6-17-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 5001-06-P

Giant Voice System

Siri steps up response to possible suicide references

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Archived Version

Tue, 18 Jun 2013 14:32

Siri has strengthened its response to potential references to suicide by offering to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Previously it would show the locations of centres but not offer to call them.

The change has been implemented in iOS 6 as well as iOS 7.

38,364 Americans committed suicide last year. Worldwide estimates range between 800,000 and a million people, with suicide the 10th most common cause of death.

(Thanks, Ryan.)

iPhones on AT&T get mandatory government alert update | TechBlog | a Chron.com blog

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Archived Version

Sat, 15 Jun 2013 23:49

Modern smartphones have the ability to display emergency alerts pushed out by government agencies. These include notifications about dangerous weather, unsafe situations or Amber Alerts for missing children and seniors. Carriers must enable the features on specific phones and until today, iPhone users on AT&T were not invited to the party.

Now, AT&T is pushing out an update that enables governmental and Amber alerts on iPhone 4S and 5 phones runing iOS 6.1 or later. When the update comes, you'll see a notification on your iPhone's screen that reads:

Carrier Settings UpdatedNew settings required for your device have been installed.

Your only option is an OK button '' this is not an update you can decline.

You can, however, turn off most of the updates if you prefer not to see them. Go into Settings > Notifications and scroll to the bottom. You'll see separate toggles for Government and Amber alerts.

The FCC provides some details on its website about the types of alerts that are delivered through what's called the Wireless Emergency Alert service, or WEA:

Pre-authorized national, state or local government may send emergency alerts regarding public safety emergencies, such as evacuation orders or shelter in place orders due to severe weather, a terrorist threat or chemical spill, to WEA.

And . . .

Alerts from WEA cover only critical emergency situations. Consumers will receive only three types of alerts:

Alerts issued by the PresidentAlerts involving imminent threats to safety or lifeAmber AlertsYou can turn off everything but the ''alerts issues by the President''. And you may want to leave on the ''imminent threats to safety or life'' alerts, since they often involve bad weather. They were used during the recent tornadoes in the Midwest. And it is, after all, hurricane season here in the Gulf states . . .

If you're in an office or some other place where a lot of people have smartphones, you've likely heard a bunch of alerts go off at once. That's the WEA system at work. Now, AT&T iPhone users will be among those joining the cacophony.

And if your iPhone isn't yet running on iOS 6.1 or later, you'll get the alert the next time you upgrade the device.

Wes Clark 7

Statement by NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on al-Shabaab's Attack on the United Nations in Somalia

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Archived Version

Source: White House.gov Press Office Feed

Thu, 20 Jun 2013 12:57

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

June 19, 2013

The United States condemns in the strongest terms al-Shabaab's despicable attack on the United Nations in Somalia today. The attack targeted people and organizations working in partnership with the Somali Government to provide health services, clean water, sanitation, education, and economic opportunity '' people striving to build a better future for the Somali people. We commend the brave and swift response by the Somali security forces and the African Union Mission in Somalia, and send our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims of this heinous act.

Today's attack highlights the repugnant terrorist tactics al-Shabaab continues to use to stand in the way of efforts to ease the suffering of the Somali people. Whether by denying food and medical aid during one of the region's worst droughts, or by repeated attacks against fellow Somalis and soldiers helping to build a lasting peace, al-Shabaab has shown again and again that it stands on the side of death and destruction.

The United States remains a steadfast partner of the Somali people and their government as they work to build a safer, more prosperous future. We reiterate our strong support for the important work of the United Nations toward reaching that goal. Those seeking to derail Somalia's progress will not succeed.

Federal Register | Designation of Four (4) Individuals Pursuant to Executive Order 13224 of September 23, 2001, ''Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Persons Who Commit, Threaten To Commit, or Support Terrorism''

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Archived Version

Source: BadChad's ThoughtPile

Sat, 15 Jun 2013 14:32

The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (''OFAC'') is publishing the names of four (4) individuals whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to Executive Order 13224 of September 23, 2001, ''Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Persons Who Commit, Threaten To Commit, or Support Terrorism.''

The designations by the Director of OFAC of the 4 individuals in this notice, pursuant to Executive Order 13224, are effective on June 11, 2013.

Assistant Director, Compliance Outreach & Implementation, Office of Foreign Assets Control, Department of the Treasury, Washington, DC 20220, tel.: 202/622-2490.

This document and additional information concerning OFAC are available from OFAC's Web site (www.treas.gov/ofac) or via facsimile through a 24-hour fax-on-demand service, tel.: 202/622-0077.

On September 23, 2001, the President issued Executive Order 13224 (the ''Order'') pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1701-1706, and the United Nations Participation Act of 1945, 22 U.S.C. 287c. In the Order, the President declared a national emergency to address grave acts of terrorism and threats of terrorism committed by foreign terrorists, including the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon. The Order imposes economic sanctions on persons who have committed, pose a significant risk of committing, or support acts of terrorism. The President identified in the Annex to the Order, as amended by Executive Order 13268 of July 2, 2002, 13 individuals and 16 entities as subject to the economic sanctions. The Order was further amended by Executive Order 13284 of January 23, 2003, to reflect the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.

Section 1 of the Order blocks, with certain exceptions, all property and interests in property that are in or hereafter come within the United States or the possession or control of United States persons, of: (1) Foreign persons listed in the Annex to the Order; (2) foreign persons determined by the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and the Attorney General, to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States; (3) persons determined by the Director of OFAC, in consultation with the Departments of State, Homeland Security and Justice, to be owned or controlled by, or to act for or on behalf of those persons listed in the Annex to the Order or those persons determined to be subject to subsection 1(b), 1(c), or 1(d)(i) of the Order; and (4) except as provided in section 5 of the Order and after such consultation, if any, with foreign authorities as the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and the Attorney General, deems appropriate in the exercise of his discretion, persons determined by the Director of OFAC, in consultation with the Departments of State, Homeland Security and Justice, to assist in, sponsor, or provide financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, such acts of terrorism or those persons listed in the Annex to the Order or determined to be subject to the Order or to be otherwise associated with those persons listed in the Annex to the Order or those persons determined to be subject to subsection 1(b), 1(c), or 1(d)(i) of the Order.

On June 11, 2013 the Director of OFAC, in consultation with the Departments of State, Homeland Security, Justice and other relevant agencies, designated, pursuant to one or more of the criteria set forth in subsections 1(b), 1(c) or 1(d) of the Order, four (4) individuals whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to Executive Order 13224.

The listings for these individuals on OFAC's list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons appear as follows:

1. AL-WATFA, Ali Ibrahim (a.k.a. AL-WAFA, Ali Ibrahim; a.k.a. AL-WAFA, Alie Ibrahim; a.k.a. AL-WATFA, Alie Ibrahim; a.k.a. IBRAHIM, Al Hajj Alie), 26 Malama Thomas Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone; DOB 1969; POB Al Qalamun, Lebanon (individual) [SDGT].

2. CHEHADE, Ali Ahmad (a.k.a. CHEADE, Ali; a.k.a. CHEHADE, Abou Hassan Ali; a.k.a. JAWAD, Abou Hassan; a.k.a. JAWAD, Abu Hassan; a.k.a. SHIHADI, Ali), Abidjan, Cote d Ivoire; DOB 05 Jan 1961; POB Ansarie, Lebanon; citizen Lebanon; Passport RL0516070 (Lebanon) (individual) [SDGT].

3. FAWAZ, Abbas Loutfe (a.k.a. FAWWAZ, 'Abbas Abu-Ahmad; a.k.a. FOUAZ, Abbas), Dakar, Senegal; DOB 07 Aug 1978; POB Jwaya, Lebanon; alt. POB Dakar, Senegal; citizen Lebanon; alt. citizen Senegal; Personal ID Card 096574S (Senegal) (individual) [SDGT].

4. KHANAFER, Hicham Nmer (a.k.a. KANAFER, Hicham; a.k.a. KANAFER, Hisham; a.k.a. KHANAFAR, Hisham; a.k.a. KHANAFIR, Hisham); DOB 23 May 1965; POB Ainata, Lebanon; alt. POB Kuntair, The Gambia; nationality Lebanon; alt. nationality The Gambia; Passport 1617889 (Lebanon) (individual) [SDGT].

Dated: June 11, 2013.

Adam J. Szubin,

Director, Office of Foreign Assets Control.

[FR Doc. 2013-14303 Filed 6-14-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4810-AL-P

Nukes

Moniz hires the president of the Union of Concerned Scientists as his gate keeper

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Archived Version

Source: Atomic Insights

Thu, 20 Jun 2013 12:51

I did not understand the enthusiasm with which some of my nuclear energy colleagues greeted the selection and appointment of Ernest Moniz as the new Secretary of Energy. He is a natural gas advocate who professes undue conservatism about the potential value of nuclear energy. Read and compare the MIT reports produced under his direction, The Future of Natural Gas and The Future of Nuclear Power.

Here is the enthusiastic introductory paragraph of The Future of Natural Gas:

Natural gas is ¬nding its place at the heart of the energy discussion. The recent emergence of substantial new supplies of natural gas in the U.S., primarily as a result of the remarkable speed and scale of shale gas development, has heightened awareness of natural gas as a key component of indigenous energy supply and has lowered prices well below recent expectations.

This study seeks to inform discussion about the future of natural gas, particularly in a carbon constrained economy.

Here is the cautious conclusion of the Executive Summary of the 2009 update to The Future of Nuclear Power:

The central premise of the 2003 MIT Study on the Future of Nuclear Power was that the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in order tomitigate global warming, justified reevaluating the role of nuclear power inthe country's energy future. The 2003 study identified the challenges to greater deployment and argued that the key need was to design, build, and operate a few first-of-a-kind nuclear plants with government assistance, to demonstrate to the public, political leaders, and investors the technical performance, cost, and environmental acceptability of the technology. After five years, no new plants are under construction in the United States and insufficient progress has been made on waste management. The current assistance program put into place by the 2005 EPACT has not yet been effective and needs to be improved. The sober warning is that if more is not done, nuclear power will diminish as a practical and timely option for deployment at a scale that would constitute a materialcontribution to climate change risk mitigation.

Yesterday, my concerns about Dr. Moniz were confirmed when I read a brief notice in the Washington Post indicating that he had selected Kevin Knobloch, who has served as the President of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) for the past ten years. One of my contacts within the DOE sent an email from inside the organization. He included Dr. Moniz's internal announcement following his pithy response to that correspondence.

I am done.

The inmates are running the damn asylum.

Anyone need help?

(Name removed)

_____________________________________________From: Secretary MonizSent: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 12:55 PMSubject: Announcing Kevin Knobloch as the New Chief of Staff

Colleagues:

Over the past few weeks, one of my top priorities has been to assemble a leadership team of incredibly talented individuals from both inside and outside the Department. I am pleased to announce that Kevin Knobloch will be joining us on Monday, June 24 as Chief of Staff and will be managing this team as we work together to execute the Department's critical mission.

Kevin brings 35 years of experience in public policy, government, advocacy, and media to his job as Chief of Staff of the Energy Department. He joins us after serving as the President of the Union of Concerned Scientists for the past ten years, where he led the science-based organization's analytical, legislative, and policy functions. Before that, Kevin held a number of roles on Capitol Hill, as a journalist, and with an environmental organization. I am confident that Kevin's deep understanding of energy issues and experience as an outstanding manager will be of incredible value to the Department.

Please join me in welcoming Kevin in his new capacity as Chief of Staff.

Secretary Moniz

For those who still believe that the Union of Concerned Scientists is anything but a professional antinuclear organization that believes that the only safe nuclear plants are the ones that are permanently shut down, please visit the organization's web site and read its carefully worded position on nuclear energy. Here is a quote from that page:

Nuclear power is an inherently hazardous technology; there's no way to make it perfectly safe.

(Emphasis added.)

If that does not convince you, perhaps you could read Nuclear Power: Still Not Viable without Subsidies. One more suggestion would be to read Mr. Knobloch's own writing on the challenge of climate change and try to find a single mention of the 'N' word as an important tool in fight.

I hope you all can understand the irony of this situation. We have a man who played a key role in a report that acknowledges the important role that nuclear energy can play in mitigating climate change if the government will implement certain key programs to enable its growth. That man is selected for to be the head honcho at the agency that is tasked by the Congress to provide that assistance. One of his first decisive acts in that new position is to hire his official gate keeper and access controller. (That is the role of a Chief of Staff.) His choice for that important role is a man that has spent the past ten years leading an organization that denies the value of nuclear energy, claims it is not viable without subsidies, and fights all efforts to provide any kind of enabling assistance. Hmmm.

Is there anyone else who can see through this to recognize that there is a plan in place to do everything possible to slow the development of nuclear energy as a competitive power source so that the natural gas industry (aka the oil industry) can become even more prosperous and powerful than it already is?

Empowering victims of the Fukushima Frenzy to resist radiation FUD

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Archived Version

Source: Atomic Insights

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 15:20

Dr. James Conca has published another important post about the aftermath of Fukushima and the efforts of the people opposed to the use of nuclear energy to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt about imaginary health effects of low dose radiation. The article is titled Fukushima 2.25 '-- The Humanitarian Crisis; it is a ''must read'' that includes a growing discussion thread of occasionally thoughtful commentary.

Jim's premise is that the continued access restrictions to all but the most contaminated areas are harming people by preventing them from living normal, productive lives. Instead, potentially healthy Fukushima natives are being turned into victims of excessive stresses caused by living in temporary relocation facilities while being frequently subjected to fear-inducing stories about how they and their children will eventually become victims of cancer or other scary illnesses. In some cases, their fellow countrymen actively avoid contact out of irrational fear that they will somehow become contaminated themselves.

Ironically, however, the WHO report highlights the psychological effects of the disaster '-- fear, anxiety and depression to the point of psychosomatic illness, psychiatric disorders and suicide (Husband of Fukushima suicide victim demands justice). And, as only humans can do, people tend to stigmatize those hailing from the affected areas, making relocation even more punishing socially and physically.

The miniscule risks outlined by all these studies do not justify the continued harm and devastation perpetrated upon the Fukushima refugees. Except for the small, highly contaminated areas adjacent to the reactors which should stay off-limits until remediated, the risk of cancer and death from the increased use of coal and gas since the disaster has provided much more risk to the population of the Tohoku region, and to Japan as a whole, than any radiation effects from Fukushima (Killer Energy Sources).

Atomic Insights readers would not be surprised to learn that our old friend, Bob Applebaum, is actively involved in the discussion thread. He is posting as ''anon'', but his habit of accusing anyone who questions the Linear, No-Threshold dose assumption of being a Creationist identifies him as accurately as a fingerprint. In response to one of Bob's comments claiming that the LNT is a proven theory that has been tested and validated for about 100 years, I added my own thoughts. I'm vain and lazy enough to capture and repurpose them here as a way of encouraging additional discussion.

@anon (AKA Bob A)

I find it interesting that you both date the LNT hypothesis to the work of a man who lived more than 100 years ago, and then claim that it is the central theory of low dose radiation health effects because of its statistical effect on DNA.

You are aware, I hope, that scientists did not even know that DNA existed 100 years ago. People like Hermann Muller and Hugo DeVries had no way to study how DNA repair mechanisms work for complex, multicell creatures like human beings.

There was no way for them to begin to understand WHY Caspari's (working in Muller's own lab) experiments showed such dramatically contrary results that invalidated the LNT assumption.

Here is a brief history. Caspari was interested in determining if mutation rates really were related to radiation doses in a linear fashion all the way down to zero. He had studied Muller's results and was aware of his linear, no threshold hypothesis. Like a good scientist with a questioning attitude, he wanted to validate '' or invalidate '' that hypothesis through a well-designed experiment.

He used radium as the source of what was then considered to be low doses. He exposed large samples of fruit flies to doses of about 50 Rad (50 rem or 500 mSv) given at a lower rate (2.5 r/day) than the 100 R/min x-rays that Muller used in his own mutation experiments. Caspari's experimental results showed that mutation rates for the exposed fruit flies were indistinguishable from the mutation rates in a similarly large control population that was NOT exposed.

Muller was aware of Caspari's results BEFORE he gave his Nobel Prize speech, but he ignored them because those results did not support Muller's political desire to stoke radiation fear as a means of encouraging people to actively resist the atomic bomb testing program.

In recent years, scientists like Feinendegen, Pollycove, Callabrese, and Neumann have learned how low doses of radiation stimulate (up-regulate) metabolic defenses and molecular repair mechanisms and how those defenses stop working only when doses exceed a reasonably high threshold. Unlike Muller and DeVries, today's genetic researchers can study DNA and detect the way that redundant repair mechanisms succeed. They can also study DNA in living organisms to find out that spontaneous DNA damage rates from many other influences exceed those caused by low dose radiation by 3 to 6 orders of magnitude.

Adaptive response works. Doses below a single whole body dose of 100-150 mSv (10-15 rem) and below a chronic dose rate of about 700 mSv/y (70 rem/year) are safe and even somewhat beneficial to human health. Unlike the situation of 50 to 100 years ago, we now have the tools available to test and validate those numbers.

High doses of radiation are dangerous and must be avoided. Fortunately, we can detect radiation at levels far below the harmful level with a high degree of confidence.

We do not need to tremble in fear of ionizing radiation as a silent killer; by conducting simple measurements we can learn when levels are safe and when they are high enough to cause concern. We can go about our lives in confidence and make good use of Nature's gift of exceedingly energy dense fuels that do not destroy our shared atmosphere.

Of course, people whose wealth and power are based using any energy source other than nuclear energy or those whose prosperity is based on getting paid large sums of money to PROTECT people from the imaginary danger of low doses of radiation (I'm looking at you, Bob) will continue to spread FUD and hope that no one notices.

People who understand the science of radiation health effects and its potential economic impacts must effectively resist the fossil fuel, ''renewable energy'', ''smart grid'', conservation and radiation protection sales efforts with facts and science.

Many powerful people have a lot to lose when the rest of us figure out that we have been duped into believing a failed hypothesis that produces INCORRECT results when applied to radiation doses in the range of possible variations in normal background.

It is incredibly empowering for human society to recognize that we already know how to design resilient power plants where three large reactors can melt at the same time without exposing anyone to harmful levels of radiation. We've had that knowledge for nearly 50 years; we just did not conduct the validating experiment until March 11, 2011.

Defy Joe Romm's advice and watch Pandora's Promise

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: Atomic Insights

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 15:19

Joe Romm, the lead thinker at Climate Progress, has once again exposed the fact that he is not terribly serious about fighting climate change. In fact, he is so casual about the effort that he wants everyone to dismiss nuclear energy out of hand as being too expensive to matter, without even thinking about trying to solve the often solvable issue of cost.

If the television manufacturing industry adhered to Joe's understanding of cost control, we might all still be looking at large, flat screen TVs with longing lust instead of having watched their prices drop rapidly into the affordable range.

Of course, so far, the nuclear industry has done a bang-up job of not controlling costs. We have cooperated in a long term effort to burden our amazing technology with so many cost-increasing features that we have priced ourselves right out of the market. In the process, we have done as much or more as the antinuclear opposition to make the world a dirtier and more dangerous place.

Joe's latest rant about the high cost of nuclear energy came in a post purposely aimed at discouraging his followers from going to see Pandora's Promise. He has not bothered to watch the movie, but he apparently feels qualified to offer a ''resounding no'' to anyone who might be considering investing just 90 minutes of their time to gain a new and useful perspective on one of the most important topics of our time.

I strongly disagree with that recommendation. You should see the movie and you should take all of your friends to see the movie. You should organize outings to encourage strangers to see the movie. It is an valuable contribution to a vital discussion.Here is the comment I posted in response:

Unlike Joe Romm, who lives in Washington, DC, where Pandora's Promise is available to any remotely curious reviewer for an $11.50 ticket, I have made the effort to actually watch the movie.

I had to travel from Lynchburg to DC to do so, but I thought it was worth the effort so that I could write intelligently about the experience instead of just parroting other points of view.

Robert Stone might have creatively decided that his movie was not about costs, but about ideas and potential, but it seems kind of petty to criticize a creative effort merely because it did not talk about the topic you wanted it to talk about.

Pandora's Promise includes frequent allusions to the scale of the challenge of changing our energy supply system and to the scale of the investments required to build new nuclear plants and develop a new nuclear supply system. His protagonists might not be elected leaders of establishment Environmental organizations, but that does not mean that they are not caring, concerned environmentalists who honestly care deeply about the fate of the planet.

Many reviewers have claimed that Stone ''mocks'' the opposition, but his technique is merely to film them and allow them to speak for themselves. He does not limit his footage to classic reels of '70s or '80s vintage ''No Nukes'' concerts, but also shows very current assemblies with leaders like Wasserman and Caldicott at the microphone. He even tries to let Dr. Caldicott explain herself and her position. I am not sure how that qualifies as ''mocking.''

My wife attended the movie with me. She is an environmentalist with a degree in biology who worked for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for several years. We both recycle, we care about clean air and water, and we have a deep interest in leaving a better world for our children and grandchildren. She thought that the movie was well done, but asked me if Lynas and Stone were really as sure about nuclear as some critics have implied. It was her impression that they were still wishy washy in their support.

My recommendation to all of you '' watch the movie with your critical thinking caps on before you dismiss it.

BTW '' Joe, I will agree that nuclear power costs too much and that the ''industry'' is more at fault than the opposition. For too long, we have used the excuse that people are afraid of radiation. We have hiddem a lot of excessive costs (and generous salaries) behind the mantra that it is not yet safe enough and we have to spend even more money to make it safer still.

We need to change and to recognize that the public deserves access to abundant, affordable, RELIABLE power that is acceptably (not perfectly) safe.

Rod AdamsPublisher, Atomic InsightsNuclear energy professional

Agenda 21

Global Chill Already Cometh? | OBRL-News Blog

Link to Article

Archived Version

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 23:25

Global Chill Already Cometh?

Intensive work at OBRL has prevented the usual commentary and postings. However, the recent tragedy of massive tornado strikes in the Midwest, with political speeches claiming this is the result of "global warming" deserves giving the matter some attention.

First, a nice blue-glowing cloud picture, details about which are also given below:

To continue, I have no idea what the devotees to the "CO2-Warming" theory of climate changes are saying '-- probably continuing with the same old mantra '-- but this last winter has been exceptionally cold for most of the Northern Hemisphere, with records broken as to bitter cold temps and massive snowfalls across Europe, Asia and Alaska.

For Example:

Cold Wave hits China, coldest in 30 years.http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2012/12/22/Bitter-cold-snap-grips-China/UPI-40031356187955/An internet search on "China Bitter Cold 2013" will bring up more of the same, indicating this was not just a one-time episode.

Moscow Cold, Snow, 50 year records broken.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/worldnews/9711789/Heavy-snow-in-Moscow-and-the-first-snowfall-of-the-season-in-Europe.htmlAn internet search on "Moscow cold snow records broken 2013" or "Russia'..." will show more of the same. Here's a few reports from April 2013:http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_04_01/Moscow-struggles-with-record-snowfall/http://iceagenow.info/2013/04/record-snowfall-moscow/

Alaska longest snow season on record, breaking a 30 year past record.http://www.today.com/id/51929453/ns/local_news-anchorage_ak/t/anchorage-sets-record-longest-snow-season/

Europe also hit by record cold, snows:http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2012/16feb_deepfreeze/

Darkest Winter (lack of sun due to incessant clouds, snow, rain) for Germany in 43 years.http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/germany-weathers-darkest-winter-in-43-years-a-885608.htmlVery nice blue-glowing clouds picture at this website, reproduced above.

Ooops we must correct that, it is the Darkest Winter ever recorded for Germany:http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/winter-weather-plagues-germany-as-spring-begins-a-890166.html

OK, having said all that, it is true that "weather is not climate", even though climate is produced by the averaged aggregate of measured weather data. So what are the averages saying?

Finally the more scientifically inclined members of the "warming" community are admitting that something is not correct with their theories. As documented here:

Has Global Warming Come to a Halt?http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-blogs/climatechange/has-global-warming-come-to-a-h-1/61445Note the trends on this website: From 1950 to 1975 approx., no basic change in global temps. From 1980 to 1998, a warming trend. Then from 1998 to today, global temperatures have leveled off. Note the graph of El-Nino/La-Ni±a events, and how the peaks give rise to global changes. Likewise the small volcanic symbols, indicating sun-blocking dusts in the upper atmosphere. This particular website takes the "warmist" view, so even this begrudging admission is remarkable. Some of the weblinks on this page are rather outrageous in unscientific claim-making, rather like cheer-leaders for a football team, as if scientific conclusions needed cheer-leading to "win" '-- of course this is cheerleading for Billions in grant money, for "their side". Whatever happened to old-fashioned scientific investigation, and allowing the truth to fall where it may?

Here's more, the British met office being a bit more reliable than the American NOAA or the cherry-picked "consensus" community of "scientists" whomever that is supposed to be. The last time the IPCC made such surveys, they included all kinds of leftist political hacks and "activists" from neo-Marxist environmental groups. "Climate Deniers" were of course excluded from such surveys.

Global Warming stopped 16 years ago, Met Office.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2261577/Global-warming-stopped-16-years-ago-Met-Office-report-reveals-MoS-got-right-warming''deniers-now.html16 years ago was what? 1997-1998 The worst El Nino on record, highest global temps from that, but not from CO2 emissions.

Even the die-hard Leftist BBC finally admits, sort of, that well, maybe, POSSIBLY, their theory on warming isn't panning out as it should:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22567023

Then of course, the major radical-left politicians weigh in on the issue:

Team Obama calls global warming doubters 'crazy'http://washingtonexaminer.com/team-obama-calls-global-warming-doubters-crazy/article/2529291Mygod, are we now supposed to bow to the King's Hat? (If you don't know what that means, then you really have been under-educated. Look it up.) Yeah, it is the global warming critics who are the untrustworthy people, not the political hacks in Washington DC.http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/20/democratic-senator-goes-on-anti-gop-rant-over-climate-change-as-tornadoes-hit-oklahoma/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

And just in case you think the recent disastrous tornado outbreak has something to do with global warming, just go back a few decades and the same mainstreamers today pushing the "warming" scenario as the cause of weather catastrophes were then blaming "global cooling":

1975 : Tornado Outbreaks Blamed On Global Coolinghttp://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/05/21/1975-tornado-outbreaks-blamed-on-global-cooling/

In fact, the Little Ice Age was a time of many weather disasters, globally failed crops, famines and epidemic diseases, wars and government collapse. Definitely not so good as the Medieval Warm Period, which was still warmer on average than anything we have experienced in the last 1000 years! The MWP was a time of excellent crops, economic boom, abundance and plenty, fewer wars, with extra money to finance voyages of exploration, massive architectural projects, works of art, and so on.

This modern "climate change" fascism would have you believe otherwise, and this means, well, just ignore all those reports given above. Erase them from your memory, even if you experienced such bitter cold. That kind of intellectual fascism as pushed by the "warmers" is playing out exactly as happened with government, industry and academic support for nuclear power reactors back in the same 1970s. No matter what the evidence, they KNEW nuclear power plants were "safe, cheap, efficient", etc., even though all evidence showed it was unsafe, expensive and inefficient. So dissenting professors were fired, academic journals censored papers revealing the dangers, Big Lies were told in Science and Nature and by all the political hacks and "journalists" in the newspapers and on TV. The dissenters were either silenced or pilloried, just as today are the dissenters to the CO2 theory of warming. It took the disasters of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima to keep the Atomic Power Vampire sealed in its crypt. What disasters will be necessary to put an end to the intensive planning for increased warming, when in fact we should be putting more attention to the cold side of things.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/elderhealth/9959856/Its-the-cold-not-global-warming-that-we-should-be-worried-about.htmlWe have yet another cold blast of winter headed into the Pacific Northwest just as I write this, in the latter part of May. Maybe a chilly brush, or a big dump of snow. Who can say? No clear idea what lays ahead, except that it won't be like what is predicted out of Washington DC. Prepare accordingly.

James DeMeo, PhD

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Adam's Email

Adam's Email during Sex

Fuck you curry.

Last week, I was in the middle of some really hot sex and just as it was starting to get really good, aaaadamms gonna reaaaaddd hisss emaaailll starts goin over n over in my head. Ruined it!!!

Thank GOD there was no one else there otherwise it woulda been embarrassing.

Aside from that, I'm absolutely loving the 5 or 6 shows I've now listened to. Thanks for bringing a great alternative show that I can actually show others.

- unlike cough cough jones that I listen to but would be embarrassed to tell my friends about. All his "Puss filled maggot pig darkness of hell" bs.

Anyway, please withhold name. All the best mate. I'll contribute ASAP to ya.

Cheers

Voice Recognition Technology

Hi Adam,

I wanted to update you on one of your emails from episode 521, 1hr and 3 minutes into the podcast. I can not verify if that the NSA/ FBI was the tapping of the calls, etc but I can explain the technology. I sold voice and data switches for over 15 years. Avaya in particular has been able to push patches, etc to telephone switches for many, many years. The Avaya "experts" can remotely monitor a system from several of the data centers. They, Avaya, would contact their clients proactively to let them know of any issues.

Regarding the other comment about being able to tell if a caller is upset, etc. That as well has been in place for a long time as well. If you notice when you call into many call centers and get voicemail H#$$, you can tell certain words and you get to the front of the line. When I get upset with going through the IVR tree, I tend to saw F..., F.. a few times. Straight to the front.

The voice and data guys hate each other.

Sorry I am not donating for a bit. I got an $85 ticket for not turning on my blinker over Memorial Weekend. And there was no one in the park at the time, except the upset cop that had to work.. And we either need to replace our well pump or dig for a new well. It's almost like Hurricane Sandy hit again but at least I have power and it is warm. I am getting really tired of going to one of the rivers to fill up my milk jugs of water so my husband and I can go to the bathroom. So tired of being a camper.

Please wish us some good Karma. My 97 yr old granny, who got out of the hospital is in rehab now.

Thanks again,

Far Hills, NJ

Shut Up Slave!

IRS Agents 'Accidentally' Discharged Guns 11 Times, Possible Injuries | CNS News

Link to Article

Archived Version

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 23:34

(AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) '' Special agents at the IRS accidentally shot their firearms 11 times between 2009 and 2011, and at least three of the cases ''may have resulted in property damage or personal injury.''

Agents actually fired their guns accidently more often than they intentionally fired them in the field, according to an audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

The report also found that the agency, which is now training with AR-15s, does not always provide remedial training to agents who fired their weapons due to ''negligence.''

The September 2012 audit examined whether IRS special agents, who execute search warrants for those suspected of violating U.S. tax laws, are being properly trained and reporting incidents when weapons are fired.

''When performing their duties, special agents carry firearms and are authorized to use deadly force to protect themselves and the public,'' the report explains.

''Special training agents not properly trained in the use of firearms could endanger the public, as well as their fellow special agents, and expose the IRS to possible litigation over injuries or damages,'' it warns.

According to the audit, ''there were a total of eight firearm discharges classified as intentional use of force incidents and 11 discharges classified as accidental during FYs 2009 through 2011.'' In other words, agents were more likely to accidentally fire their weapon than to fire it intentionally.

Accidental discharges are defined in the report as ''instances where a special agent did not intend to discharge the firearm but, either through a voluntary or involuntary action, the firearm did discharge.''

Accidents are supposed to be reported to the National Criminal Investigation Training Academy (NCITA), which manages the firearms training program for the IRS Criminal Investigation unit. However, four of the 11 incidents were not properly reported.

''In three of the four accidental discharges that were not reported, the accidental discharges may have resulted in property damage or personal injury,'' the report says.

The details on these incidents, however, are redacted from the report.

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

A TIGTA spokesperson told CNSnews.com that the audit could not disclose the information due to privacy laws.

''It would have identified an individual by name and that's not allowed under the privacy act,'' they said.

Furthermore, the audit details that agents who accidentally fire their guns do not receive special follow- up training.

''We found that the four visited field offices did not always provide remedial training when an accidental discharge occurred due to special agent negligence,'' the report said.

The review was performed at field offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. between August 2011 and April 2012.

Special agents for the IRS are required to have handgun training four times a year, shoot a minimum of 75 percent on a qualifying test, participate in firearms ''building entry'' exercises, and attend briefings on safety and how to shoot a gun from a moving vehicle. In addition, they are mandated to receive shotgun training twice a year.

Agents are also now training with AR-15s, according to Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), who toured a federal law enforcement facility last month.

''I think Americans raise eyebrows when you tell them that IRS agents are training with a type of weapon that has stand-off capability,'' Duncan told Politico. ''It's not like they're carrying a sidearm and they knock on someone's door and say, 'You're evading your taxes.'''

The TIGTA audit found that the firearms training and requirements for the Criminal Investigation division ''generally met or exceeded those of other Federal law enforcement agencies.''

''However, we found that some special agents did not meet all of the firearms training or qualification requirements,'' it said.

TIGTA gave several recommendations to the IRS, including that the agency enforce its rules that agents must surrender their firearm if they fail training, or face other consequences.

A spokesman for TIGTA said there are no plans for a follow-up report at this time.

''Typically, we like to give the IRS some time to respond to the recommendations and take action and we usually try to circle back in the future,'' they said. ''But I don't think we've enacted any specific plans at this point.''

NFL 2013 Stadium Bag Policy

Link to Article

Archived Version

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 23:23

Why did the NFL and its clubs adopt this policy?

Was this step taken because of what happened at the Boston Marathon?

Are other events limiting bags?

How does the new policy improve public safety?

How does this make it more convenient for fans?

Will teams be making money from selling team identified bags to fans?

How many bags can each person bring into the stadium?

Can fans carry cameras, binoculars, smart phones or tablets separately from what they put in a clear bag?

Are seat cushions allowed to be carried into the stadium?

What about bringing blankets in cold weather?

Why haven't more stadiums and arenas adopted this kind of policy?

What happens if I show up at the gate with a bag that is not permitted?

If I have certain items that I need to bring into the stadium for medical reasons and they won't fit in the clear bag, what do I do?

What are some examples of how NFL stadium safety has evolved in recent years?

FEMALE FAN FAQ

Are all purses prohibited?

Do I have to put everything I'm carrying into the permissible bags?

What about diaper bags?

If I have special medical equipment I need to have with me at all times, where do I put that?

Will this policy affect the ability of fans to tailgate? Are there limitations on tailgating items?

Why did the NFL and its clubs adopt this policy?

The league and clubs review their public safety and stadium security policies every year looking for ways to improve them. The Committee on Stadium Security and Fan Conduct leads this review and obtains a wide range of information to assist in doing so. The committee strongly believed that it made sense to adjust our policy to enhance public safety and make stadium access more efficient by limiting the size and style of bags carried into the stadium. This was reviewed with the clubs at the May league meeting and will be implemented by every team.

This proactive measure both will enhance safety inside and outside the stadium and speed the security screening process for all NFL fans. The public deserves to be in a safe, secure environment. This is about both safety and improving the overall fan experience.

Was this step taken because of what happened at the Boston Marathon?

That was a factor to take into account, certainly, but we update and improve the policy every year. It has evolved so that we can continue to adjust to the realities of public safety. We had been discussing a new approach to bag restrictions before the Boston Marathon incident. We have come up with a way to do it that will actually make access more convenient for fans than it has been. We think the fans will embrace and appreciate it.

Are other events limiting bags?

Yes. In fact, some like the University of Michigan, Penn State, and Michigan State University do not permit any bags. The pat downs and metal detector screenings of all individuals entering NFL stadiums provide an additional level of safety for fans. The limitations on bag size and style is a further enhancement for convenience and safety.

How does the new policy improve public safety?

There will be a secondary perimeter around the stadium where security personnel will check for prohibited items or bags being carried toward the stadium so those situations can be corrected immediately. This establishes a protected buffer area for fans in plaza-level areas and at the queues for stadium entry. Prohibited bags will be turned away. Any prohibited bag inside the second perimeter will be highly visible and more quickly resolved.

The clear bag is easily and quickly searched and greatly reduces faulty bag searches. It also supports the Department of Homeland Security's ''If You See Something, Say Something'' campaign.

How does this make it more convenient for fans?

This will enable us to move fans through our security check points much faster. A standard size bag eliminates the need for bag templates to check bag sizes. It will make the stadium's job much easier, allowing staff to be more efficient and effective in checking bags that are brought into the stadium. There will be less time spent standing in lines at the stadium gates and fans will be able to be in their seats well before kickoff. Fans also will enjoy an improved sense of safety. Shorter lines mean fewer hassles.

Will teams be making money from selling team identified bags to fans?

There are a variety of options, including a clear 12'' by 6'' by 12'' bag with no commercial identification or an inexpensive Ziploc bag. In addition, fans may carry their own small clutches. For fans who wish to purchase team logo bags, they will be available.

How many bags can each person bring into the stadium?

One large clear bag '' either a one-gallon Ziploc style bag or the 12'' by 6'' by 12'' clear bag '' plus a small clutch. The larger clear bag must be a standard 12'' by 6'' by 12'' made of clear PVC vinyl and is easily searched. The one-gallon Ziploc bag is readily available, inexpensive and easily searched. The small clutch allows privacy for small personal items and also is easily searched.

Can fans carry cameras, binoculars, smart phones or tablets separately from what they put in a clear bag?

Yes. Binoculars or a phone or camera can be carried into the stadium so long as it is not in its own bag. This is not a restriction on items that fans have been able to bring into the stadium. It is only a restriction on the type of container used to carry items.

Are seat cushions allowed to be carried into the stadium?

No, they are not due to the large size and because the way seat cushions are constructed would allow them to be used to conceal a potential explosive device.

What about bringing blankets in cold weather?

Fans will be able to bring blankets by tossing them over a shoulder or arm as they do in Green Bay. They can be easily screened carrying a blanket into the stadium.

Why haven't more stadiums and arenas adopted this kind of policy?

The NFL is the only professional sports league that has a comprehensive set of best practices for stadium security certified by the Department of Homeland Security as anti-terrorism technologies under the United States Safety Act. As such, other professional sports leagues look to the NFL as the leader in stadium and large venue security. Other stadiums have watched the NFL closely and followed, to the extent possible, security enhancements pioneered by the NFL. We anticipate that many more stadiums and arenas will soon adopt this policy.

What happens if I show up at the gate with a bag that is not permitted?

Fans carrying bags that do not meet the criteria will be turned away from the stadium well before they reach the gates. Stadiums are encouraged to maintain an ample supply of clear plastic tote bags or clear plastic freezer bags to afford guests the opportunity to transfer their belongings to an approved bag before they approach the stadium. As an alternative for guests that have no other option, stadiums are encouraged to consider providing the opportunity to temporarily check non-compliant bags at a facility located well outside the bag-restricted area.

If I have certain items that I need to bring into the stadium for medical reasons and they won't fit in the clear bag, what do I do?

There will be a separate entrance to allow screening of these bags and medically necessary items.

What are some examples of how NFL stadium safety has evolved in recent years?

The NFL's Best Practices for Stadium Security was the result of a comprehensive evaluation of stadium security risks undertaken after the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001.

In September 2001, the league office established a Task Force of league, club, and stadium executives to make recommendations on NFL security matters relative to fans, teams and stadiums.

November 2001, the NFL issued its Best Practices for Stadium Security. The central components specific to security checkpoint procedures were: 1) Continue current search criteria, including the prohibition of coolers, backpacks, large bags, explosives and weapons; and 2) Ensure adequate staff is available at gates to efficiently handle the inspections. Search all items allowed into the stadium and pat down coats and visually inspect outer clothing.

In June 2005, the following was added to the Best Practices for Stadium Security in reference to physical searches at security checkpoints: ''Facility management should be prepared to implement additional screening measures should Department of Homel and Security elevate the alert level.''

In November 2007, The following was added to the Best Practices for Stadium Security in reference to the search of bags permitted inside the stadium: ''Use a template at each public access gate to show allowable package size.'' Also, the search of persons was enhanced to include a physical pat down of guests under the following recommendation: ''NFL Policy requires visual inspection and limited pat-downs of all patrons, employees, vendors and game production personnel after lockdown of the facility has occurred on game days.''

In September 2011, the NFL recommended to the clubs that the limited pat-down searches conducted at all NFL stadiums be expanded to include: ''a pat-down of the area from the knees down to the ankles in an effort to identify any concealed weapons.''

In June 2012, the following was added to the Best Practices for Stadium Security in reference to physical searches at stadium security check points: ''NFL Policy requires visual inspection and metal detector screening (hand-held or walk-through) of all patrons, employees, vendors, and game production personnel after lockdown of the facility has occurred on game days.''

In June 2013, restrictions on specific bags, containers, and packages permitted inside stadiums were unanimously recommended by the NFL Committee on Stadium Security after discussion with all 32 teams.

Are all purses prohibited?

No. Unlike some event venues, we are not banning all bags. Small clutch purses, with or without a handle or strap, are permitted along with either the 12'' by 6'' by 12'' clear tote bag or the one-gallon freezer bag. This should enable you to carry the same items you have in previous years and speed entry into the stadium for all fans because it will take less time to screen bags. Shorter lines means fewer hassles. We encourage fans not to bring any bags, but have created a policy that balances fan needs with improved public safety and convenience.

Do I have to put everything I'm carrying into the permissible bags?

No. We are limiting only the type of bags carried into the stadium, not items that you normally bring to a game. Therefore, you can carry in your pockets or jacket keys, makeup, feminine products, comb, phone, wallet, credit cards, etc., if you choose not to put them in a clear bag or clutch. And you can carry a blanket over your arms, and binoculars and/or camera around your neck or in your hands without the case. You can use the clear bag and clutch to carry other items. You will continue to have the flexibility to bring a wide variety of approved items into the stadium. Every member of your family may carry in a permissible bag.

What about diaper bags?

Diapers can be carried in a clear bag. Each member of a family, including children, would be allowed to carry an approved clear bag and a clutch purse into the stadium. That is a quite a bit of storage capacity.

If I have special medical equipment I need to have with me at all times, where do I put that?

An exception will be made for medical necessary items after proper inspection at a specified stadium gate designated for this purpose.

Will this policy affect the ability of fans to tailgate? Are there limitations on tailgating items?

No. Fans will be able to enjoy tailgating activities in the parking lots and do so with greater safety and knowledge that entry into the stadium will be smoother and faster.

Pentagon bracing for public dissent over climate and energy shocks.

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Archived Version

Source: bertb news feed

Sun, 16 Jun 2013 00:44

Top secret US National Security Agency (NSA) documents disclosed by the Guardian have shocked the world with revelations of a comprehensive US-based surveillance system with direct access to Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft and other tech giants. New Zealand court records suggest that data harvested by the NSA's Prism system has been fed into the Five Eyes intelligence alliance whose members also include the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

But why have Western security agencies developed such an unprecedented capacity to spy on their own domestic populations? Since the 2008 economic crash, security agencies have increasingly spied on political activists, especially environmental groups, on behalf of corporate interests. This activity is linked to the last decade of US defence planning, which has been increasingly concerned by the risk of civil unrest at home triggered by catastrophic events linked to climate change, energy shocks or economic crisis - or all three.

Just last month, unilateral changes to US military laws formally granted the Pentagon extraordinary powers to intervene in a domestic "emergency" or "civil disturbance":

"Federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances."

Other documents show that the "extraordinary emergencies" the Pentagon is worried about include a range of environmental and related disasters.

In 2006, the US National Security Strategy warned that:

"Environmental destruction, whether caused by human behavior or cataclysmic mega-disasters such as floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, or tsunamis. Problems of this scope may overwhelm the capacity of local authorities to respond, and may even overtax national militaries, requiring a larger international response."

Two years later, the Department of Defense's (DoD) Army Modernisation Strategy described the arrival of a new "era of persistent conflict" due to competition for "depleting natural resources and overseas markets" fuelling "future resource wars over water, food and energy." The report predicted a resurgence of:

"... anti-government and radical ideologies that potentially threaten government stability."

In the same year, a report by the US Army's Strategic Studies Institute warned that a series of domestic crises could provoke large-scale civil unrest. The path to "disruptive domestic shock" could include traditional threats such as deployment of WMDs, alongside "catastrophic natural and human disasters" or "pervasive public health emergencies" coinciding with "unforeseen economic collapse." Such crises could lead to "loss of functioning political and legal order" leading to "purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency...

"DoD might be forced by circumstances to put its broad resources at the disposal of civil authorities to contain and reverse violent threats to domestic tranquility. Under the most extreme circumstances, this might include use of military force against hostile groups inside the United States. Further, DoD would be, by necessity, an essential enabling hub for the continuity of political authority in a multi-state or nationwide civil conflict or disturbance."

That year, the Pentagon had begun developing a 20,000 strong troop force who would be on-hand to respond to "domestic catastrophes" and civil unrest - the programme was reportedly based on a 2005 homeland security strategy which emphasised "preparing for multiple, simultaneous mass casualty incidents."

The following year, a US Army-funded RAND Corp study called for a US force presence specifically to deal with civil unrest.

Such fears were further solidified in a detailed 2010 study by the US Joint Forces Command - designed to inform "joint concept development and experimentation throughout the Department of Defense" - setting out the US military's definitive vision for future trends and potential global threats. Climate change, the study said, would lead to increased risk of:

"... tsunamis, typhoons, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and other natural catastrophes... Furthermore, if such a catastrophe occurs within the United States itself - particularly when the nation's economy is in a fragile state or where US military bases or key civilian infrastructure are broadly affected - the damage to US security could be considerable."

The study also warned of a possible shortfall in global oil output by 2015:

"A severe energy crunch is inevitable without a massive expansion of production and refining capacity. While it is difficult to predict precisely what economic, political, and strategic effects such a shortfall might produce, it surely would reduce the prospects for growth in both the developing and developed worlds. Such an economic slowdown would exacerbate other unresolved tensions."

That year the DoD's Quadrennial Defense Review seconded such concerns, while recognising that "climate change, energy security, and economic stability are inextricably linked."

Also in 2010, the Pentagon ran war games to explore the implications of "large scale economic breakdown" in the US impacting on food supplies and other essential services, as well as how to maintain "domestic order amid civil unrest."

Speaking about the group's conclusions at giant US defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton's conference facility in Virginia, Lt Col. Mark Elfendahl - then chief of the Joint and Army Concepts Division - highlighted homeland operations as a way to legitimise the US military budget:

"An increased focus on domestic activities might be a way of justifying whatever Army force structure the country can still afford."

Two months earlier, Elfendahl explained in a DoD roundtable that future planning was needed:

"Because technology is changing so rapidly, because there's so much uncertainty in the world, both economically and politically, and because the threats are so adaptive and networked, because they live within the populations in many cases."

The 2010 exercises were part of the US Army's annual Unified Quest programme which more recently, based on expert input from across the Pentagon, has explored the prospect that "ecological disasters and a weak economy" (as the "recovery won't take root until 2020") will fuel migration to urban areas, ramping up social tensions in the US homeland as well as within and between "resource-starved nations."

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was a computer systems administrator for Booz Allen Hamilton, where he directly handled the NSA's IT systems, including the Prism surveillance system. According to Booz Allen's 2011 Annual Report, the corporation has overseen Unified Quest "for more than a decade" to help "military and civilian leaders envision the future."

The latest war games, the report reveals, focused on "detailed, realistic scenarios with hypothetical 'roads to crisis'", including "homeland operations" resulting from "a high-magnitude natural disaster" among other scenarios, in the context of:

"... converging global trends [which] may change the current security landscape and future operating environment... At the end of the two-day event, senior leaders were better prepared to understand new required capabilities and force design requirements to make homeland operations more effective."

It is therefore not surprising that the increasing privatisation of intelligence has coincided with the proliferation of domestic surveillance operations against political activists, particularly those linked to environmental and social justice protest groups.

Department of Homeland Security documents released in April prove a "systematic effort" by the agency "to surveil and disrupt peaceful demonstrations" linked to Occupy Wall Street, according to the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF).

Similarly, FBI documents confirmed "a strategic partnership between the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the private sector" designed to produce intelligence on behalf of "the corporate security community." A PCJF spokesperson remarked that the documents show "federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America."

In particular, domestic surveillance has systematically targeted peaceful environment activists including anti-fracking activists across the US, such as the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition, Rising Tide North America, the People's Oil & Gas Collaborative, and Greenpeace. Similar trends are at play in the UK, where the case of undercover policeman Mark Kennedy revealed the extent of the state's involvement in monitoring the environmental direct action movement.

A University of Bath study citing the Kennedy case, and based on confidential sources, found that a whole range of corporations - such as McDonald's, Nestle and the oil major Shell, "use covert methods to gather intelligence on activist groups, counter criticism of their strategies and practices, and evade accountability."

Indeed, Kennedy's case was just the tip of the iceberg - internal police documents obtained by the Guardian in 2009 revealed that environment activists had been routinely categorised as "domestic extremists" targeting "national infrastructure" as part of a wider strategy tracking protest groups and protestors.

Superintendent Steve Pearl, then head of the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (Nectu), confirmed at that time how his unit worked with thousands of companies in the private sector. Nectu, according to Pearl, was set up by the Home Office because it was "getting really pressured by big business - pharmaceuticals in particular, and the banks." He added that environmental protestors were being brought "more on the radar." The programme continues today, despite police acknowledgements that environmentalists have not been involved in "violent acts."

The Pentagon knows that environmental, economic and other crises could provoke widespread public anger toward government and corporations in coming years. The revelations on the NSA's global surveillance programmes are just the latest indication that as business as usual creates instability at home and abroad, and as disillusionment with the status quo escalates, Western publics are being increasingly viewed as potential enemies that must be policed by the state.

Dr Nafeez Ahmed is executive director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development and author of A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilisation: And How to Save It among other books. Follow him on Twitter @nafeezahmed

Letter from Loretto - John Kiriakou - Pastebin.com

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Sat, 15 Jun 2013 12:49

Original handwritten PDF can be found here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/705038/john-kiriakou-letter-from-loretto-1.pdf"Letter From Loretto"Greetings from the Federal Correctional Institute at Loretto, Pennsylvania. I arrived here on February 28, 2013 to serve a 30-month sentence for violating the Intelligence Identities Protection act of 1982. At least that's what the government wants people to believe. In truth, this is my punishment for blowing the whistle on the CIA's illegal torture program and for telling the public that torture was official U.S. government policy. But that's a different story. The purpose of this letter is to tell you about prison life. At my formal sentencing hearing in January, the judge, the prosecutors, and my attorneys all agreed that I would serve my sentence in Loretto's Federal Work Camp. When I arrived, however, much to my surprise, the Corrections Office (CO, or "hack") who processed me said that the Bureau of Prisons had deemed me a "threat to the public safety," and so I would serve the entire sentence in the actual prison, rather than the camp. Processing took about an hour and included fingerprinting, a mug shot (my third after FBI and the Marshals), and fourth DNA sample, and a quite comprehensive strip search. I was given a pair of baggy brown pants, two brown shirts, two pairs of underwear, two pairs of socks, and a pair of cheap sandals. My own clothes were boxed and mailed to my wife. The CO then led me to a steel bunk in "Central Unit" and walked away. I didn't know what to do, so I took a nap. My cell is more like a cubicle made out of concrete block. Built to hold four men, mine holds six. Most others hold eight. My cellmates include two Dominicans serving 24 - and 20 - year sentences for drugs, a Mexican serving 15 years for drugs, and a Puerto Rican serving 7 1/2 years for drug conspiracy, and the former auditor of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, who's doing a long sentence for corruption. They're all decent guys and we actually enjoy each other's company. The prison population is much like you might expect. Loretto has 1,369 prisoners (I never call myself an "inmate." I'm a prisoner.)About 50% are black, 30% are Hispanic, and 20% are white. Of the white prisoners, most are pedophiles with personal stories that would make you sick to your stomach. The rest of the white prisoners are here for drugs, except for a dozen or so who ran Ponzi schemes. Of the 1,369 prisoners, 40 have college degrees and 6 of us have master's degrees. The GED program is robust. (But when I volunteered to teach a class my "counsellor" shouted, "Dammit, Kiriakou! If I wanted you to teach a fucking class, I'd ask you to teach a fucking class!") I'm a janitor in the chapel. I make $5.25 a month.The cafeteria, or "chow hall" was the most difficult experience of my first few days. Where should I sit? On my first day, two Aryans, completely covered in tatoos(sic), walked up to me and asked, "Are you a pedophile?" Nope, I said. "Are you a fag?" Nope. "Do you have good paper?" I didn't know what this meant. It turned out that I had to get a copy of my formal sentencing documents to prove that I wasn't a child molester. I did that, and was welcomed by the Aryans, who aren't really Aryans, but more accurately self-important hillbillies. The cafeteria is very formally divided. There is a table for the whites with good paper, a section of a table for the Native Americans, a section of a table for people belonging to a certain Italia-American stereotypical "subculture", two tables for the Muslims, four tables for the pedophiles, and all the remaining tables for the blacks and Hispanics. We don't all eat at the same time, but each table is more-or-less reserved as I described.Violence hasn't been much of a problem since I arrived. There have been maybe a half-dozen fights, almost always over what television show to watch. The choices are pretty much set in stone between ESPN, MTV, VHW, BET, and Univision. I haven't watched TV since I got here. It's just not worth the trouble. Otherwise, violence isn't a problem. Most of the guys in here have worked their way down to a low-security prison from a medium or a maximum, and they don't want to go back. I've also had some luck in this regard. My reputation preceded me, and a rumor got started that I was a CIA hitman. The Aryans whispered that I was a "Muslim hunger," but the Muslims, on the strength of my Arabic language skills and a well-timed statement of support from Louis Farrakhan have lauded me as a champion of Muslim human rights. Meanwhile, the Italians have taken a liking to me because I'm patriotic, as they are, and I have a visceral dislike of the FBI, which they do as well. I have good relations with the blacks because I've helped several of them write communication appeals or letters to judges and I don't charge anything for it. And the Hispanics respect me because my cellmates, who represent a myriad of Latin drug gangs, have told them to. So far, so good. The only thing close to a problem that I've had has been from the COs. When I first arrived, after about four days, I heard an announcement that I was told to dread: "Kiriakou - report to the lieutenant's office immediately." Very quickly, I gave my wife's phone number to a friend and asked him to call her if, for some reason, I was sent to the SHU (Special Housing Unit) more commonly known as the hole, or solitary confinement. I hadn't done anything wrong, but this kind of thing happens all the time.When I got to the lieutenant's office, I was ushered into the office of SIS, the Special Investigative Service. This is the prison version of every police department's detective bureau. I saw on a desk a copy of my book, The Reluctant Spy, as well as DVD copies of all the documentaries I've been in. The CO showed me a picture of an Arab. "Do you know this guy," he asked me. I responded that I had met him a day earlier, but our conversation was limited to "nice to meet you." Well, the CO said, this was the uncle of the Times Square bomber, and after we had met, he called a number in Pakistan, reported the meeting, and was told to kill me. I told the CO that I could kill the guy with my thumb. He's about 5'4" and 125 pounds compared to my 6'1" and 250 pounds. The CO said they were looking to ship him out, so I should stay away from him. But the more I thought about it, the more this made no sense. Why would the uncle of the Times Square bomber be in a low-security prison? He should be in a maximum. So I asked my Muslim friends to check him out. It turns out that he's an Iraqi Kurd from Buffalo, NY. He was the imam of a mosque there, which also happened to be the mosque where the "Lackawana 7" worshipped. (The Lackawana 7 were charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism.) The FBI pressured him to testify against his parishioners. He refused and got five years for obstruction of justice. The ACLU and several religious freedom groups have rallied to his defense. He had nothing to do with terrorism.In the meantime, SIS told him that I had made a call to Washington after we met, and that I had been instructed to kill him! We both laughed at the ham-handedness by which SIS tried to get us to attack each other. If we had, we sould have spent the rest of our sentences in the SHU - solitary. Instead, we're friendly, we exchange greetings in Arabic and English, and we chat. The only other problem I've had with the COs was about two weeks after I arrived. I get a great deal of mail here in prison (and I answer every letter I get.) Monday through Friday, prisoners gather in front of the unit CO's office for mail call. One female CO butchers my name every time she says it. So when she does mail call, I hear "kirkakow, Kiriloo, Teriyaki" and a million other variations. One day after a mail call I passed her in the hall. She stopped me and said, "Are you the motherfucker whose name I can't pronounce?" I responded, "Ki-ri-AH-koo." She said, "how about if I just call you Fuckface?" I just walked away and a friend I was walking with said, "Classy." I said to him, "White trash is more like it." An hour later, four COs descended on both of our cells, trashing all of our worldly possessions in my first "Shake-down." Lesson learned: COs can treat us like subhumans but we have to show them faux respect even when it's not earned. I'll write about COs more next time. If you'd like to drop me a line, I can be reached at : John Kiriakou 79637-083, P.O Box 1000, FCI Loretto, Loretto, PA 15940.Best regards from Loretto, John

War on Crazy

CDC: 'Nearly 50% of U.S. Adults Will Develop at Least One Mental Illness' | CNS News

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Archived Version

Sat, 15 Jun 2013 17:18

(AP Image)

(CNSNews.com) -- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention says that at any given moment about a quarter of American adults are mentally ill and that over the course of their lifetimes about half of all Americans will develop at least one mental illness.

A CDC mental-health fact sheet--Mental Illness Surveillance Among U.S. Adults--says that "published studies report that about 25% of all U.S. adults have a mental illness and that nearly 50% of U.S. adults will develop at least one mental illness during their lifetime.''

The fact sheet also notes that the authors of a 2011 CDC mental health surveillance report pointed out that "currently, no surveillance efforts at the national or state level are directed toward documenting anxiety disorders." The authors thus call for "initiating national-level anxiety disorder surveillance activities."

Mental illness, says the CDC, ''refers collectively to all diagnosable mental disorders'' and that ''the most common mental illnesses in adults are anxiety and mood disorders.'' Mental illnesses effects "include sustained abnormal alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior associated with distress and impaired functioning."

In addition, says the agency, "mental illness is associated with increased occurrence of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, epilepsy, and cancer."

"The most common mental illnesses in adults are anxiety and mood disorders," says the fact sheet.

(AP Image)

The CDC said: ''Mental illness also is associated with use of tobacco products and alcohol abuse."

The CDC published its most recent full surveillance report on mental illness among American adults on Sept. 2, 2011.

That report said the categories, subcategories, and terminology of mental illness have varied over time. ''For example," said the report, "terms used to describe depression have included major and minor depression, psychotic depression, depression not otherwise specified, bipolar disorder, dysthymia, moderate to severe depression, and mild depression. However, the relationship among the disorders described by these different terms often is unclear.''

The CDC noted that among the standard questionnaires used for collecting data on depression, people are asked: "Over the last 2 weeks, how often have you been bothered by any of the following problems? ... 1) little interest or pleasure in doing things; 2) feeling down, depressed, or hopeless; 3) trouble falling/staying asleep, sleeping too much; 4) feeling tired or having little energy; 5) poor appetite or overeating; 6) feeling bad about yourself or that you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down; 7) trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television; 8) moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed, or the opposite -- being so fidgety or restless that you have been moving around a lot more than usual; and 9) (PHQ-9 only) thoughts that you would be better off dead or of hurting yourself in some way.''

For pregnant women, the CDC noted, surveyors would ask questions that could indicate postpartum depression.

On May 17, 2013 the CDC published its surveillance report on mental health among children.

''A total of 13%''20% of children living in the United States experience a mental disorder in a given year, and surveillance during 1994''2011 has shown the prevalence of these conditions to be increasing,'' said that CDC report.

''Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (6.8%) was the most prevalent parent-reported current diagnosis among children aged 3''17 years, followed by behavioral or conduct problems (3.5%), anxiety (3.0%), depression (2.1%), autism spectrum disorders (1.1%), and Tourette syndrome (0.2% among children aged 6''17 years). An estimated 4.7% of adolescents aged 12''17 years reported an illicit drug use disorder in the past year, 4.2% had an alcohol abuse disorder in the past year, and 2.8% had cigarette dependence in the past month,'' reported the CDC.

Michael W. Chapman contributed to this report.

Now Feds Want Your Mental Health Records Set You Free News

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Archived Version

Sat, 15 Jun 2013 14:59

By binaryloop | Liberty Crier

Privacy experts are warning of a strategy embedded inside a federal plan to adjust privacy rules so that the federal government can access Americans' mental health records as part of Barack Obama's war on gun ownership.

According to the plan, the government would be told the details right away if anyone is sent to a mental institution for ''mental defectiveness, or mental illness.''

But the White House plan also includes a notification to Washington should someone be lodged in a mental facility ''for other reasons.''

''The phrase 'for other reasons' is overly broad and vague,'' said the Electronic Privacy Information Center. ''Although the DOJ has illustrated that drug use is an example of 'commitments for other reasons,' the nebulous language would grant the DOJ sweeping authority to prohibit individuals from possessing firearms, a constitutionally protected right.''

The organization says the concern over the privacy of such records means nothing should be changed right away.

''Until the DOJ clearly defines and enumerates the types of formal commitments that can bar gun ownership, HHS should not amend its regulations to release sensitive mental health information to the DOJ,'' the organization said in a submission commenting on the Obama plan.

The issue erupted after the school shooting at Sandy Hook six months ago. In response, the Obama administration launched an agenda that includes ''closing background check loopholes to keep guns out of dangerous hands,'' a ban on ''military-style'' weapons and some ammunition magazines, as well as ''making schools safer'' and improving mental health services. But the vague generalities used to describe the plans have privacy experts and Second Amendment supporters worried.

WND recently reported on another anti-gun strategy, which is a possible explanation why the Obama administration has failed to launch legal action against Colorado and Washington, where voters last fall voted to ''legalize'' marijuana under their state laws, even though federal law doesn't allow it.

The White House, however, has insisted state laws exempting people from the federal Obamacare law are invalid. And when Arizona took it upon itself to adopt a state law to enforce federal immigration restrictions, the Obama administration sued.

Some have asked if there something about the idea of legalizing marijuana that Washington likes. The idea may have been borne out recently when the Congressional Research Service released its report on the ''State Legalization of Recreational Marijuana: Selected Legal Issues.''

As attorneys Todd Garvey and Brian Yeh wrote in the report, Washington has flexibility regarding drug prosecution, stating: ''The extent to which federal authorities will actually seek to prosecute individuals who are engaged in marijuana-related activities in Colorado and Washington remains uncertain. President Obama himself has suggested the prosecuting simple possession is not a priority, while the Department of Justice has said only that 'growing, selling or possession any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal law.'''

What is more certain, they wrote, is that federal firearms regulators will be aggressive about banning anyone who uses marijuana from buying '' or possessing '' a weapon.

''With the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes in Colorado and Washington, it seems likely the ATF will '... consider a recreational user of marijuana to be a prohibited possessor of firearms regardless of whether the use is lawful under state provisions,'' they wrote.

The attorneys said the ATF specifically has stated ''any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.''

Read Full Article

Chemtrails

Chemtrail invented by US-AIRFORCE

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Tue, 18 Jun 2013 14:37

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US Air Force Academy Chemtrail Manual

"Our Fish, Our Birds, Our Bees Are Dying"

aluminum 3, barium-fluoride , beryllium, cloud-seeding, HAARP, ions of copper, iron 2 , lithium ions, nickel perchlorate, Radioactive, silver iodide, sodium ions, various ions, weather modification, weather warfareSubscribe toForbidden Knowledge TV

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The Word "chemtrails" Was Not InventedBy a Conspiracy Theorist, It Was InventedBy the US Air Force.

ForbiddenKnowledgeTVAlexandra BruceApril 11, 2013

The word "chemtrails" was not invented by a conspiracy theorist, it was invented by the US Air Force. A microfiche has been found in the Oklahoma Library system of an Air Force manual dating back to 1990, which uses the word "Chemtrails" in its title and describes the various experiments pilots will be conducting with the aerosol release of various noxious substances, some relating to cloud-seeding and weather modification such as silver iodide and others, in conjuction with the HAARP project, such as barium-fluoride.

The spraying of toxic barium salts in the atmosphere relates to scalar weapons systems (HAARP), which behave like targeted gravitational fields and act as anti-ballistic shields.

The list of substances listed in this manual to be used in these USAF experiments include: aluminum 3, aluminum hydride, barium-fluoride, beryllium, cyanide, hydrochloric acid, various ions, including ions of copper, iron 2, lithium ions, nickel perchlorate (rocket fuel), phosphorous tri-fluoride, silver iodide, sodium ions and single-valence metals.

===

Werner AltnickelApril 4, 2013

Weitere interessante Informationen finden Sie auf: http://www.chemtrail.de/

EQ Machine

OBAMA Earthquake Machine sends message to Nicaragua and China. DO NOT BUILD A CANAL THAT COMPETES WITH PANAMA

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Archived Version

Source: What Mel Cooley is saying.

Sat, 15 Jun 2013 14:57

MEXICO CITY '-- A strong 6.5-magnitude earthquake was registered off the Pacific coast of Nicaragua around midday Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries after the quake, which was felt at 11:34 a.m. local time (1734 GMT).

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered about 50 kilometers (31 miles) west of the Masachapa, a community located on Nicaragua's Pacific coast.

Nicaragua's seismological institute measured the temblor's strength as 6.6, and it declared a tsunami alert as a precaution because of the earthquake's strength.

F-Russia

Notice to Congress -- Continuation of the National Emergency with respect to Belarus

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Archived Version

Source: White House.gov Press Office Feed

Fri, 14 Jun 2013 06:44

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

June 13, 2013

NOTICE

- - - - - - -

CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO THE ACTIONS AND POLICIES OF CERTAIN MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF BELARUS AND OTHER PERSONS TO UNDERMINE BELARUS'S DEMOCRATIC PROCESSES OR INSTITUTIONS

On June 16, 2006, by Executive Order 13405, the President declared a national emergency pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States constituted by the actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Belarus and other persons to undermine Belarus's democratic processes or institutions, manifested in the fundamentally undemocratic March 2006 elections, to commit human rights abuses related to political repression, including detentions and disappearances, and to engage in public corruption, including by diverting or misusing Belarusian public assets or by misusing public authority.

In 2012, the Government of Belarus continued its crackdown against political opposition, civil society, and independent media. The September 23 elections failed to meet international standards. The government arbitrarily arrested, detained, and imprisoned citizens for criticizing officials or for participating in demonstrations; imprisoned at least one human rights activist on manufactured charges; and prevented independent media from disseminating information and materials. These actions show that the Government of Belarus has not taken steps forward in the development of democratic governance and respect for human rights.

The actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Belarus and other persons continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. For this reason, the national emergency declared on June 16, 2006, and the measures adopted on that date to deal with that emergency, must continue in effect beyond June 16, 2013. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13405.

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

BARACK OBAMA

BELARUS IS NOT THE DAMN BUSINESS OF EU, BUT GREECE IS!

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Archived Version

Source: VENITISM

Fri, 14 Jun 2013 07:13

Ashton and F¼le say:

"We welcome yesterday's adoption by the Human Rights Council of a resolution on Belarus by a solid majority of the Council members. We note increasing support to this initiative and express our gratitude to all partners who worked on it with the European Union."We also welcome the extension of the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Belarus Mr Mikl"s Haraszti, who will continue to report independently and in a balanced manner and provide recommendations to the Belarusian authorities on the human rights situation in the country. We urge the Belarusian authorities to cooperate fully with him."We deeply regret that on the week of the adoption of this resolution, which draws the attention to death penalty in the country, yet another two persons were condemned to a death sentence in Belarus. We hope that his right to appeal will be fully exercised."We take note of the re-establishment of the parliamentary working group on the death penalty in Belarus. We urge Belarus, the only country in Europe still applying the capital punishment, to join global moratorium on death penalty as a first step towards its universal abolition."We recall that the development of bilateral relations between the EU and Belarus is conditional on progress towards respect by Belarus for the principles of democracy, the rule of law and human rights. The EU remains willing to assist Belarus to meet its obligations in this regard."EU practices double standards in civil rights. It's freakish for EU to interfere in the civil rights of foreigners, but condone the abuse of civil rights of Greek dissident bloggers, who are citizens of EU! There is no justice in Greece for dissident bloggers. The Greek government is so stupid, so brutal, so freakish, and so barbarous that it robs, persecutes, and terrorizes dissident bloggers! The Greek government is a major enemy of blogosphere. Ex-officio law suit (αυÏεÏαÎ"Î"εÎ>>ÏÎÏ‚) means the state sues somebody without involvement of the accuser. This terrible scheme has been used by Graecokleptocrats to persecute dissident bloggers. A Graecokleptocrat would sue an innocent dissident blogger, and the Graecokleptocrat wouldn't show up in court, because the state takes over the position of the accuser! At the ex-officio law suit, the accuser just hits and runs! This hit-and-run justice is the most disgusting justice on Earth. In all civilized nations, the accused is in a position to face his accuser eyeball to eyeball, but not in Greece. Just think about it for a while. The accuser slings false accusations against you, the state takes over, and the accuser disappears from court!The court trial is postponed infinite times to break the nerves of the innocent blogger at great cost of time and money. This is a disgusting punishment of the presumed innocent. Justice delayed is justice denied. Justice perpetuated is hell. The Greek government uses the ex officio law suit as a political tool. This has happened to me too!Graecokleptocratsjust hit dissident bloggers with false accusations and run! Correspondents of http://venitism.blogspot.com report that agony of perpetual delay of trial in Greece is being used as a punishment of the innocent without trial. Greek justice is a spider web, catching small prey and swallowing them, while allowing crocodiles to penetrate and dominate it. Visiting Greek prisons, you could see all les miserables that fill them up, but you could not find any kleptocrats. Givingcybercensorshiptoblogbusters is giving gin to alcoholics! Blogbusters galore! Hit and run is freakish behavior against dissident bloggers. Freak! Freak! Freak! The freakish government of Greece, the most corrupt country in Europe, steals computers! Robbing dissident bloggers and locking them in jail is a freakish behavior that does not belong to the European Union, not even to this galaxy! No wonder some vain Greeks boast they come from Andromeda galaxy!The persecution of Greek dissident bloggers is a worrying example of how freedom on the net is under increasing threat. As more people use cyberspace to communicate, obtain information, express their views, socialize, and conduct commerce, governments are stepping up their efforts to regulate and control it. Tight control on the internet impinges on our freedom of speech, association and assembly. And it means that violations of other civil rights are kept away from us.On October 18, 2010, a gang of six brutalpolicechimpsof the violent Greek Cyber Crime Unit (CCU) broke into my home in Athens and into my college office, and stole my computers, software, files, documents, and personal data. Thepolicechimpslocked me in jail for a night, they humiliated me with handcuffs, fingerprints, mug shots, and lies, leaked false information to the media parrots, and the Greek government initiated sham ex-officio court proceedings for a stack of stupid fictitious freakish charges! There was neither pillow nor toilet facility in my jail cell. I had to urinate in a bottle! I, a 68 years old with high blood pressure, was not allowed to keep my hypertension pills with me. There was neither toilet paper nor soap in the whole CCU jail facility. Persecuting dissident bloggers, the outlaw government of Greece violates Article 2 of the Lisbon Treaty, which states the European Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, and respect for human rights. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, nondiscrimination, tolerance, and justice prevail.Greece also violates Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which states that everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.Greece also violates Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights(UDHR), which states that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.Greece also violates Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which states that every citizen has the right to freedom of expression. This right includes freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. The freedom and pluralism of the media shall be respected.

Monsantooo

Agent Orange Settlement Fund - Compensation

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Fri, 14 Jun 2013 17:52

During the past decade, the Department of Veterans Affairs has received many inquiries regarding the Agent Orange Settlement Fund. That Fund, created as a result of a private class action lawsuit settlement, involved neither VA nor any other executive branch agency of the Federal government. The Settlement Fund closed in 1997. Below is a brief history.

The Agent Orange Settlement Fund was created by the resolution of the Agent Orange Product Liability Litigation '' a class action lawsuit brought by Vietnam Veterans and their families regarding injuries allegedly incurred as a result of the exposure of Vietnam Veterans to chemical herbicides used during the Vietnam war. The suit was brought against the major manufacturers of these herbicides. The class action case was settled out-of-court in 1984 for $180 million dollars, reportedly the largest settlement of its kind at that time.

The Settlement Fund was distributed to class members in accordance with a distribution plan established by United States District Court Judge Jack B. Weinstein, who presided over the litigation and the settlement. Because the plaintiff class was so large (an estimated 10 million people), the Fund was distributed to class members in the United States through two separate programs designed to provide maximum benefits to Vietnam Veterans and their families most in need of assistance:

A Payment Program, which provided cash compensation to totally-disabled Veterans and survivors of deceased Veterans; andA Class Assistance Program, which provided funds for social services organizations and networks for the purpose of establishing and maintaining programs for the benefit of the class as a whole.This plan for distributing the Settlement Fund was unprecedented: it employed mechanisms not previously adopted in class action lawsuits in order to maximize benefits to class members and to respond to the complex needs expressed by the class during a series of "Fairness Hearings" held in six different locations in the country.

Applications for the Payment Program had to be submitted prior to December 31, 1994. To be eligible for compensation under the Payment Program, Vietnam Veterans or their survivors had to establish the following:

that the Veteran served in Vietnam as a member of the Armed Forces between 1962 and 1972 (the period during which Agent Orange was used in Vietnam);that the applicant was either a totally-disabled Vietnam Veteran or the survivor of a deceased Vietnam Veteran;that based upon the circumstances of the Veteran's service (including location of service and particular experiences during service), the Veteran met a test of probable exposure to herbicides;that death or disability was not caused by a traumatic or accidental occurrence; andthat death or disability occurred before December 31, 1994.The Payment Program operated over a period of 6 ½ years, beginning, after appeals, in 1988 and concluding in 1994. During its operation, the Settlement Fund distributed a total of $197 million in cash payments to members of the class in the United States. Of the 105,000 claims received by the Payment Program, approximately 52,000 Vietnam Veterans or their survivors received cash payments which averaged about $3,800 each.

The other part of the Settlement Fund, the Class Assistance Program, was intended by the distribution plan to function as a foundation. Between 1989 and 1996 it distributed, through a series of Requests for Proposal, $74 million to 83 social services organizations throughout the United States. These agencies, which ranged from disability and Veterans service organizations to community-based not-for-profits, provided counseling, advocacy, medical and case-management services. During this period, these organizations assisted over 239,000 Vietnam Veterans and their families.

On September 27, 1997, the District Court ordered the Fund closed, its assets having been fully distributed.

Norway Lobbied to Raise Toxin Level in Salmon Feed

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Sun, 16 Jun 2013 07:40

After yesterday's debate on the danger of eating farmed salmon due to high level harmful pollutants, it was revealed Norwegian authorities have lobbied in EU to allow more toxin level in salmon.

Keep Updated with the Latest News and Feeds, Follow Us on FacebookAccording to Aftenposten's report, Norway has for years tried to get the EU to allow ten times more toxin (Endosulfan) in salmon than previously allowed. Now, Norway has received approval in the EU. In the consultation document from the FSA shows that there are economic reasons why Norway is eager to raise the limit.

"The limit value for the concentration of endosulfan in feed for salmonids is of great economic importance for the aquaculture industry in the short and longer term," stated in the letter.

Endosulfan was previously forbidden to use in feed for all salmonids, but research has shown that fish can withstand poison through better feed than by being exposed to it in the water.

Opposition parties criticizes fisheries minister for not taking the debate seriously. Many fear all the debate about potential hazards of eating farmed salmon can have negative consequences for the Norwegian salmon export.

Endosulfan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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Endosulfan6,7,8,9,10,10-Hexachloro-1,5,5a,6,9,9a-hexahydro- 6,9-methano-2,4,3-benzodioxathiepine-3-oxide

Other names

Benzoepin, Endocel, Parrysulfan, Phaser, Thiodan, Thionex

IdentifiersCAS number115-29-7 YChemSpider21117730 YUNIIQY5Y9R7G0E YKEGGC11090 YJmol-3D imagesImage 1Cl[C@@]3(Cl)[C@]1(Cl)C(/Cl)=C(/Cl)[C@@]3(Cl)[C@H]2[C@@H2]OS(=O)O[C@@H2][C@H]12

InChI=1S/C9H6Cl6O3S/c10-5-6(11)8(13)4-2-18-19(16)17-1-3(4)7(5,12)9(8,14)15/h3-4H,1-2H2/t3-,4-,7-,8+,19+/m0/s1 YKey: RDYMFSUJUZBWLH-QDLMHMFQSA-N Y

InChI=1/C9H6Cl6O3S/c10-5-6(11)8(13)4-2-18-19(16)17-1-3(4)7(5,12)9(8,14)15/h3-4H,1-2H2Key: RDYMFSUJUZBWLH-UHFFFAOYAH

InChI=1/C9H6Cl6O3S/c10-5-6(11)8(13)4-2-18-19(16)17-1-3(4)7(5,12)9(8,14)15/h3-4H,1-2H2/t3-,4-,7-,8+,19+/m0/s1Key: RDYMFSUJUZBWLH-QDLMHMFQBI

PropertiesMolecular formulaC9H6Cl6O3SMolar mass406.93 g mol''1Density1.745 g/cm"Melting point70-100 °C, 343-373 K, 158-212 °F

Solubility in water0.33 mg/LHazardsEU classificationYes (T, Xi, N)R-phrasesR24/25R36R50/53Main hazardsT, Xi, NNFPA 704 Y (verify) (what is: Y/N?)Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)Infobox referencesEndosulfan is an off-patentorganochlorineinsecticide and acaricide that is being phased out globally. The two isomers, endo and exo, are known popularly as I and II. Endosulfan sulfate is a product of oxidation containing one extra O atom attached to the S atom. Endosulfan became a highly controversial agrichemical[1] due to its acute toxicity, potential for bioaccumulation, and role as an endocrine disruptor. Because of its threats to human health and the environment, a global ban on the manufacture and use of endosulfan was negotiated under the Stockholm Convention in April 2011. The ban will take effect in mid-2012, with certain uses exempted for five additional years.[2] More than 80 countries,[3] including the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, several West African nations,[4] the United States,[5][6] Brazil,[7] and Canada[8] had already banned it or announced phase-outs by the time the Stockholm Convention ban was agreed upon. It is still used extensively in India, China, and few other countries. It is produced by Makhteshim Agan and several manufacturers in India and China.

Endosulfan has been used in agriculture around the world to control insect pests including whiteflys, aphids, leafhoppers, Colorado potato beetles and cabbage worms.[9] Due to its unique mode of action, it is useful in resistance management; however, as it is not specific, it can negatively impact populations of beneficial insects.[10] It is, however, considered to be moderately toxic to honey bees,[11] and it is less toxic to bees than organophosphate insecticides.[12]

Production[edit]The World Health Organization estimated worldwide annual production to be about 9,000 metric tonnes (t) in the early 1980s.[13] From 1980 to 1989, worldwide consumption averaged 10,500 tonnes per year, and for the 1990s use increased to 12,800 tonnes per year.

Endosulfan is a derivative of hexachlorocyclopentadiene, and is chemically similar to aldrin, chlordane, and heptachlor. Specifically, it is produced by the Diels-Alder reaction of hexachlorocyclopentadiene with cis-butene-1,4-diol and subsequent reaction of the adduct with thionyl chloride. Technical endosulfan is a 7:3 mixture of stereoisomers, designated α and β. α- and β-Endosulfan are conformational isomers arising from the pyramidal stereochemistry of sulfur. α-Endosulfan is the more thermodynamically stable of the two, thus β-endosulfan irreversibly converts to the α form, although the conversion is slow.[14][15]

History of commercialization and regulation[edit]Early 1950s: Endosulfan was developed.1954: Hoechst AG (now Bayer CropScience) won USDA approval for the use of endosulfan in the United States.[16]2000: Home and garden use in the United States was terminated by agreement with the EPA.[12]2002: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommended that endosulfan registration should be cancelled,[17] and the EPA determined that endosulfan residues on food and in water pose unacceptable risks. The agency allowed endosulfan to stay on the US market, but imposed restrictions on its agricultural uses.[12]2007: International steps were taken to restrict the use and trade of endosulfan. It is recommended for inclusion in the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent,[18] and the European Union proposed inclusion in the list of chemicals banned under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Such inclusion would ban all use and manufacture of endosulfan globally.[19] Meanwhile, the Canadian government announced that endosulfan was under consideration for phase-out,[20] and Bayer CropScience voluntarily pulled its endosulfan products from the U.S. market[21] but continues to sell the products elsewhere.[22]2008: In February, environmental, consumer, and farm labor groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council,[23]Organic Consumers Association, and the United Farm Workers[24] called on the U.S. EPA to ban endosulfan. In May, coalitions of scientists,[25] environmental groups, and arctic tribes asked the EPA to cancel endosulfan,[26] and in July a coalition of environmental and workers groups filed a lawsuit against the EPA challenging its 2002 decision to not ban it.[27] In October, the Review Committee of the Stockholm Convention moved endosulfan along in the procedure for listing under the treaty,[28] while India blocked its addition to the Rotterdam Convention.[29]2009: The Stockholm Convention's Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC) agreed that endosulfan is a persistent organic pollutant and that "global action is warranted", setting the stage of a global ban.[30] New Zealand banned endosulfan.[31]2010: The POPRC nominated endosulfan to be added to the Stockholm Convention at the Conference of Parties (COP) in April 2011, which would result in a global ban.[32] The EPA announced that the registration of endosulfan in the U.S. will be cancelled[6][33] Australia banned the use of the chemical.[34]2011: The Supreme Court of India banned manufacture, sale, and use of toxic pesticide endosulfan in India. The apex court said the ban would remain effective for eight weeks during which an expert committee headed by DG, ICMR, will give an interim report to the court about the harmful effect of the widely used pesticide.[35]2011: the Argentinian Service for Sanity and Agroalimentary Quality (SENASA) decided on August 8 that the import of endosulfan into the South American country will be banned from July 1, 2012 and its commercialization and use from July 1, 2013. In the meantime, a reduced quantity can be imported and sold.[36]Health effects[edit]Endosulfan is one of the most toxic pesticides on the market today, responsible for many fatal pesticide poisoning incidents around the world.[37] Endosulfan is also a xenoestrogen'--a synthetic substance that imitates or enhances the effect of estrogens'--and it can act as an endocrine disruptor, causing reproductive and developmental damage in both animals and humans. Whether endosulfan can cause cancer is debated. With regard to consumers' intake of endosulfan from residues on food, the Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations has concluded that long-term exposure from food is unlikely to present a public health concern, but short-term exposure can exceed acute reference doses.[38]

Toxicity[edit]Endosulfan is acutely neurotoxic to both insects and mammals, including humans. The US EPA classifies it as Category I: "Highly Acutely Toxic" based on a LD50 value of 30 mg/kg for female rats,[12] while the World Health Organization classifies it as Class II "Moderately Hazardous" based on a rat LD50 of 80 mg/kg.[39] It is a GABA-gated chloride channelantagonist, and a Ca2+, Mg2+ATPaseinhibitor. Both of these enzymes are involved in the transfer of nerve impulses. Symptoms of acute poisoning include hyperactivity, tremors, convulsions, lack of coordination, staggering, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases, unconsciousness.[16] Doses as low as 35 mg/kg have been documented to cause death in humans,[40] and many cases of sublethal poisoning have resulted in permanent brain damage.[16] Farm workers with chronic endosulfan exposure are at risk of rashes and skin irritation.[12]

EPA's acute reference dose for dietary exposure to endosulfan is 0.015 mg/kg for adults and 0.0015 mg/kg for children. For chronic dietary expsoure, the EPA references doses are 0.006 mg/(kg·day) and 0.0006 mg/(kg·day) for adults and children, respectively.[12]

Endocrine disruption[edit]Theo Colborn, an expert on endocrine disruption, lists endosulfan as a known endocrine disruptor,[41] and both the EPA and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry consider endosulfan to be a potential endocrine disruptor. Numerous in vitro studies have documented its potential to disrupt hormones and animal studies have demonstrated its reproductive and developmental toxicity, especially among males.[12][16] A number of studies have documented that it acts as an antiandrogen in animals.[42] Endosulfan has shown to affect crustacean molt cycles, which are important biological and endocrine-controlled physiological processes essential for the crustacean growth and reproduction.[43] Environmentally relevant doses of endosulfan equal to the EPA's safe dose of 0.006 mg/kg/day have been found to affect gene expression in female rats similarly to the effects of estrogen.[44] It is not known whether endosulfan is a human teratogen (an agent that causes birth defects), though it has significant teratogenic effects in laboratory rats.[45] A 2009 assessment concluded the endocrine disruption in rats occurs only at endosulfan doses that cause neurotoxicity.[46]

Reproductive and developmental effects[edit]Several studies have documented that endosulfan can also affect human development. Researchers studying children from many villages in Kasargod District, Kerala, India, have linked endosulfan exposure to delays in sexual maturity among boys. Endosulfan was the only pesticide applied to cashew plantations in the villages for 20 years, and had contaminated the village environment. The researchers compared the villagers to a control group of boys from a demographically similar village that lacked a history of endosulfan pollution. Relative to the control group, the exposed boys had high levels of endosulfan in their bodies, lower levels of testosterone, and delays in reaching sexual maturity. Birth defects of the male reproductive system, including cryptorchidism, were also more prevalent in the study group. The researchers concluded, "our study results suggest that endosulfan exposure in male children may delay sexual maturity and interfere with sex hormone synthesis."[47] Increased incidences of cryptorchidism have been observed in other studies of endosulfan exposed populations.[48]

A 2007 study by the California Department of Public Health found that women who lived near farm fields sprayed with endosulfan and the related organochloride pesticide dicofol during the first eight weeks of pregnancy are several times more likely to give birth to children with autism. This is the first study to look for an association between endosulfan and autism, and additional study is needed to confirm the connection.[49] A 2009 assessment concluded that epidemiology and rodent studies that suggest male reproductive and autism effects are open to other interpretations, and that developmental or reproductive toxicity in rats occurs only at endosulfan doses that cause neurotoxicity.[46]

Endosulfan and cancer[edit]Endosulfan is not listed as known, probable, or possible carcinogen by the EPA, IARC, or other agencies. No epidemiological studies link exposure to endosulfan specifically to cancer in humans, but in vitro assays have shown that endosulfan can promote proliferation of human breast cancer cells.[50] Evidence of carcinogenicity in animals is mixed.[16]

Environmental fate[edit]Endosulfan is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant. The chemical is semivolatile and persistent to degradation processes in the environment. Endosulfan is subject to long-range atmospheric transport, i.e. it can travel long distances from where it is used. Thus, it occurs in many environmental compartments. For example, a 2008 report by the National Park Service found that endosulfan commonly contaminates air, water, plants, and fish of national parks in the US. Most of these parks are far from areas where endosulfan is used.[51] Endosulfan has been found in remote locations such as the Arctic Ocean, as well as in the Antarctic atmosphere.[52] The pesticide has also been detected in dust from the Sahara Desert collected in the Caribbean after being blown across the Atlantic Ocean.[53] The compound has been shown to be one of the most abundant organochlorine pesticides in the global atmosphere.[52]

The compound breaks down into endosulfan sulfate, endosulfan diol, and endosulfan furan, all of which have structures similar to the parent compound and, according to the EPA, "are also of toxicological concern'...The estimated half-lives for the combined toxic residues (endosulfan plus endosulfan sulfate) [range] from roughly 9 months to 6 years." The EPA concluded, "[b]ased on environmental fate laboratory studies, terrestrial field dissipation studies, available models, monitoring studies, and published literature, it can be concluded that endosulfan is a very persistent chemical which may stay in the environment for lengthy periods of time, particularly in acid media." The EPA also concluded, "[e]ndosulfan has relatively high potential to bioaccumulate in fish."[12] It is also toxic to amphibians; low levels have been found to kill tadpoles.[54]

In 2009, the committee of scientific experts of the Stockholm Convention concluded, "endosulfan is likely, as a result of long range environmental transport, to lead to significant adverse human health and environmental effects such that global action is warranted."[55] In May 2011, the Stockholm Convention committee approved the recommendation for elimination of production and use of endosulfan and its isomers worldwide. This is, however, subject to certain exemptions. Overall, this will lead to its elimination from the global markets.[56]

Status by region[edit]India[edit]Although classified as a yellow label (highly toxic) pesticide by the Central Insecticides Board, India is one of the largest producers[57] and the largest consumer of endosulfan in the world.[9] Of the total volume manufactured in India, three companies '-- Excel Crop Care, Hindustan Insecticides Ltd, and Coromandal Fertilizers '-- produce 4,500 tonnes annually for domestic use and another 4,000 tonnes for export. Endosulfan is widely used in most of the plantation crops in India. Toxicity of endosulfan and health issues due to its bioaccumulation came under media attention when health isuues precipitated in the Kasargod District (of Kerala) was publicised.[58][59] This inspired protests, and the pesticide was banned in Kerala as early as 2001 following a report by the National Institute of Occupational Health. In the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants of 2011, when an international consensus arose for the global ban of the pesticide, ironically India stood against this move owing to pressure from the endosulfan manufacturing companies.[19][60] This flared up the protest,[61][62][63] and while India still maintained its stance, the global conference decided on a global ban, for which India asked a remission for 10 years. Later, on a petition filed in the Supreme Court of India, the production, storage, sale and use of the pesticide was temporarily banned on 13 May 2011, and later permanently by the end of 2011.

The Karnataka government also banned the use of endosulfan with immediate effect. Briefing presspersons after the State Cabinet meeting, Minister for Higher Education V.S. Acharya said the Cabinet discussed the harmful effects of endosulfan on the health of farmers and people living in rural areas. The government will now invoke the provisions of the Insecticides Act, 1968 (a Central act) and write a letter to the Union Government about the ban. Minister for Energy, and Food and Civil Supplies Shobha Karandlaje, who has been spearheading a movement seeking a ban on endosulfan, said, "I am grateful to Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and members of the Cabinet for approving the ban.[64]

Rajendra Singh Rana has written a letter to Prime MinisterManmohan Singh demanding the withdrawal of the National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH) study on Endosulfan titled "Report Of The Investigation Of Unusual Illness" allegedly produced by the Endosulfan exposure in Padre village of Kasargod district in north Kerala. In his statement Mr. Rana said "The NIOH report is flawed. I'm in complete agreement with what the workers have to say on this. In fact, I have already made representation to the Prime Minister and concerned Union Ministers of health and environment demanding immediate withdrawal of the report," as reported by The Economic Times and Outlook India[65][66]

Mrs. Vibhavari Dave, local leader and Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), from Bhavnagar, Gujarat, voiced her concerns on the impact of ban of endosulfan on families and workers of Bhavnagar. She was a part of the delegation with Bhavnagar MP, Rajendra Singh Rana, which submitted a memorandum to the district collector's office to withdraw the NIOH report calling for ban of endosulfan.[67][68] The Pollution Control Board of the Government of Kerala, prohibited the use of endosulfan in the state of Kerala on 10 November 2010.[69] On February 18, 2011, the Karnataka government followed suit and suspended the use of endosulfan for a period of 60 days in the state.[70] Indian Union Minister of Agriculture Sharad Pawar has ruled out implementing a similar ban at the national level despite the fact that endosulfan has banned in 63 countries, including the European Union, Australia, and New Zealand.[71]

The Government of Gujarat had initiated a study in response to the workers' rally in Bhavnagar and representations made by Sishuvihar, an NGO based in Ahmadabad. The committee constituted for the study also included former Deputy Director of NIOH, Ahmadabad. The committee noted that the WHO, FAO, IARC and US EPA have indicated that endosulfan is not carcinogenic, not teratogenic, not mutagenic and not genotoxic. The highlight of this report is the farmer exposure study based on analysis of their blood reports for residues of endosulfan and the absence of any residues. This corroborates the lack of residues in worker-exposure studies.[72]

The Supreme Court passed interim order on May 13, 2011, in a Writ Petition filed by Democratic Youth Federation of India, (DYFI), a youth wing of Communist Party of India (Marxist) in the backdrop of the incidents reported in Kasargode, Kerala, and banned the production, distribution and use of endosulfan in India because the pesticide has debilitating effects on humans and the environment. The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) welcomed this order, and called it a 'resounding defeat' for the pesticide industry which has been promoting this deadly toxin. A 2001 study by CSE had established the linkages between the aerial spraying of the pesticide and the growing health disorders in Kasaragod. Over the years, other studies have confirmed these findings, and the health hazards associated with endosulfan are now widely known and accepted. However, in July 2012, the Government asked the Supreme Court to allow use of the pesticide in all states except Kerala and Karnataka, as these states are ready to use it for pest control.[73]

New Zealand[edit]Endosulfan was banned in New Zealand by the Environmental Risk Management Authority effective January 2009[31] after a concerted campaign by environmental groups and the Green Party.

Philippines[edit]A shipment of about 10 tonnes of endosulfan was illegally stowed on the ill-fated MV Princess of the Stars, a ferry that sank off the waters of Romblon (Sibuyan Island), Philippines, during a storm in June 2008. Search, rescue, and salvage efforts were suspended when the endosulfan shipment was discovered, and blood samples from divers at the scene were sent to Malaysia for analysis.[74] The Department of Health of the Philippines has temporarily banned the consumption of fish caught in the area.[75] Endosulfan is classified as a "Severe Marine Pollutant" by the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code.[18]

United States[edit]In the United States, endosulfan is only registered for agricultural use, and these uses are being phased out.[6] It has been used extensively on cotton, potatoes, tomatoes, and apples according to the EPA.[76] The EPA estimates that 0.626 million kg of endosulfan were used annually from 1987 to 1997.[12] The US exported more than 140,000 lb of endosulfan from 2001 to 2003, mostly to Latin America,[77] but production and export has since stopped.

In California, endosulfan contamination from the San Joaquin Valley has been implicated in the extirpation of the mountain yellow-legged frog from parts of the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains.[78] In Florida, levels of contamination the Everglades and Biscayne Bay are high enough to pose a threat to some aquatic organisms.[79][80][81]

In 2007, the EPA announced it was rereviewing the safety of endosulfan.[82] The following year, Pesticide Action Network and NRDC petitioned the EPA to ban endosulfan,[83] and a coalition of environmental and labor groups sued the EPA seeking to overturn its 2002 decision to not ban endosulfan.[27] In June 2010, the EPA announced it was negotiating a phaseout of all uses with the sole US manufacturer, Makhteshim Agan, and a complete ban on the compound.[6]

An official statement by Makhteshim Agan of North America (MANA) states, "From a scientific standpoint, MANA continues to disagree fundamentally with EPA's conclusions regarding endosulfan and believes that key uses are still eligible for re-registration." The statement adds, "However, given the fact that the endosulfan market is quite small and the cost of developing and submitting additional data high, we have decided to voluntarily negotiate an agreement with EPA that provides growers with an adequate time frame to find alternatives for the damaging insect pests currently controlled by endosulfan." [84][85]

Australia[edit]Australia banned endosulfan on October 12, 2010,[86][87][88] with a two-year phase-out for stock of endosulfan-containing products.[86] Australia had, in 2008, announced endosulfan would not be banned.[89] Citing New Zealand's ban, the Australian Greens called for "zero tolerance" of endosulfan residue on food.[4]

Taiwan[edit]US apples with endosulfan are now allowed to be exported to Taiwan, although the ROC government denied any US pressure on it.[90]

References[edit]^"Bayer to stop selling endosulfan". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. July 17, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-17. ^.thehindu.com/news/national/article1968299.ece^"Endosulfan: Supreme Court to hear seeking ban on Monday". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 1 May 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2011. ^ ab"Australia should ban endosulfan: Greens". Weekly Times (News Limited). January 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-08. ^Cone, Marla. EPA Bans Pesticide Found on Cucumbers, Zucchini, Green Beans and Other Vegetables.The Daily Green. June 10, 2010.^ abcd"EPA Action to Terminate Endosulfan". United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 10 June 2010. ^http://www.agrow.com/markets/southamerica/Endosulfan-ban-in-Brazil-from-2013-299753?autnRef=/contentstore/agrow/codex/0bef898a-90fc-11df-870a-bbcce1c03e31.xml^PMRA: Re-evaluation Note REV2011-01, Discontinuation of Endosulfan http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pubs/pest/_decisions/rev2011-01/index-eng.php^ abGovernment of Canada (January 10, 2009). "Endosulfan: Canada's submission of information specified in Annex E of". Retrieved 2009-01-29. ^Mossler, Mark; Michael J. Aerts and O. Norman Nesheim (March 2006). "Florida Crop/Pest Management Profiles: Tomatoes. CIR 1238". University of Florida, IFAS Extension. Retrieved 2009-01-27. ^Extension Toxicology Network (June 1996). Pesticide Information Profile: Endosulfan. Oregon State University. ^ abcdefghiUS EPA, Reregistration Eligibility Decision for Endosulfan, November 2002.^World Health Organization, Environmental Health Criteria 40, 1984.^(a) Schmidt WF, Hapeman CJ, Fettinger JC, Rice CP, and Bilboulian S, J. Ag. Food Chem., 1997, 45(4): 1023''1026.(b) Schmidt WF, Bilboulian S, Rice CP, Fettinger JC, McConnell LL, and Hapeman CJ, J. Ag. Food Chem., 2001, 49(11): 5372''5376.^Robert L. Metcalf "Insect Control" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry" Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2002. doi:10.1002/14356007.a14_263^ abcdeAgency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Toxicological Profile for Endosulfan, 2000.^Kay, Jane (March 2, 2006). "A move to ease pesticide laws". San Francisco Chronicle. pp. A1. .^ abSecretariat for the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade (16 October 2007). "Draft Decision Guidance Document" (PDF). United Nations Environment Programme. Retrieved 2008-10-06. ^ ab"SUMMARY OF THE FOURTH MEETING OF THE PERSISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANTS REVIEW COMMITTEE OF THE STOCKHOLM CONVENTION". Earth Negotiations Bulletin15 (161). October 20, 2008. ^Canada to end endosulfan use?Agrow, Oct 22, 2007.^Note to Reader. Endosulfan: Request for Additional Information on Usage and Availability of Alternatives, U.S. EPA, Nov. 16, 2007.^Our Products: Endosulfan, BayerCropScience.com, Accessed 03/03/08.^PETITION TO BAN ENDOSULFAN AND REVOKE ALL TOLERANCES AND COMMENTS ON THE ENDOSULFAN UPDATED RISK ASSESSMENT (OPP-2002-0262-0067) BY THE NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL, National Resources Defense Council, Feb. 2008.^Thousands Tell EPA: Phase Out Endosulfan, Pesticide Action Network, Feb. 18, 2008^Sass J, Janssen S (2008). "Open letter to Stephen Johnson, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: ban endosulfan". Int J Occup Environ Health14 (3): 236''9. PMID 18686727. ^Erickson, Britt (MAY 21, 2008). "Groups Petition EPA To Ban Endosulfan". Chemical and Engineering News. ^ ab"Group sues to ban DDT-related pesticide". The Mercury News. Retrieved 2008-08-11. [dead link]^POPRC-4 '-- Summary and Analysis, 20 October 2008, The International Institute for Sustainable Development '' Reporting Services Division.^Dutta, Mahdumita (November 21, 2008). "To Industry's Tune". Down to Earth. Retrieved 2008-11-22. [dead link]^Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention (16 October 2009). "Endosulfan and other chemicals being assessed for listing under the Stockholm Convention". Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention. Retrieved 2009-10-20. ^ ab"ERMA: Endosulfan Use Prohibited". ENVIRONMENTAL RISK MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY. December 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-28. ^"UN chemical body recommends elimination of the toxic pesticide endosulfan". Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Retrieved 13 December 2010. ^Martin, David S. EPA moves to ban DDT cousin.CNN. June 10, 2010.^"Australia finally bans endosulfan. 13 Oct 2010. National Rural News. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". www.abc.net.au. Retrieved 2010-10-13. ^"SC bans sale and use of toxic pesticide endosulfan. 13 May 2011. The Times of India". timesofindia.indiatimes.com. May 13, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-29. ^"Endosulfan: nuevas medidas para la importaci"n, elaboraci"n y uso en Argentina. 8 Aug 2011 SENASA". www.senasa.gov.ar. Retrieved 2011-08-29. ^Pesticide Action Network North America, Speaking the Truth Saves Lives in the Philippines and India, PAN Magazine, Fall 2006.^"Pesticide residues in food 2006 - Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues". Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 2006. ^World Health Organization, The WHO Recommended Classification of Pesticides by Hazard, 2005.^International Programme on Chemical Safety, World Health Organization, Endosulfan (Poison Information Monograph 576), July 2000.^Colborn T, Dumanoski D, Meyers JP, Our Stolen Future : How We Are Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence and Survival, 1997, Plume.^Wilson VS, LeBlanc GA (January 1998). "Endosulfan elevates testosterone biotransformation and clearance in CD-1 mice". Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol.148 (1): 158''68. doi:10.1006/taap.1997.8319. PMID 9465275. ^Tumburu L, Shepard EF, Strand AE, Browdy CL (November 2011). "Effects of endosulfan exposure and Taura Syndrome Virus infection on the survival and molting of the marine penaeid shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei". Chemosphere86 (9): 912''8. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2011.10.057. PMID 22119282. ^Varayoud J, Monje L, Bernhardt T, Mu±oz-de-Toro M, Luque EH, Ramos JG (October 2008). "Endosulfan modulates estrogen-dependent genes like a non-uterotrophic dose of 17beta-estradiol". Reprod. Toxicol.26 (2): 138''45. doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2008.08.004. PMID 18790044. ^Singh ND, Sharma AK, Dwivedi P, Patil RD, Kumar M (2007). "Citrinin and endosulfan induced teratogenic effects in Wistar rats". J Appl Toxicol27 (2): 143''51. doi:10.1002/jat.1185. PMID 17186572. ^ abSilva MH, Gammon D (February 2009). "An assessment of the developmental, reproductive, and neurotoxicity of endosulfan". Birth Defects Res. B Dev. Reprod. Toxicol.86 (1): 1''28. doi:10.1002/bdrb.20183. PMID 19243027. ^Saiyed H, Dewan A, Bhatnagar V, et al., Effect of Endosulfan on Male Reproductive Development, Environ. Health Perspect., 2003, 111:1958''1962.^(a) Damgaard IN, Skakkeb...k NE, Toppari J, et al., Persistent Pesticides in Human Breast Milk and Cryptorchidism, Environ. Health Perspect., 2006, 114:1133''1138.(b) Olea N, Olea-Serrano F, Lardelli-Claret P, et al., Inadvertent Exposure to Xenoestrogens in Children, Toxicol. Ind. Health, 15:151''158.^(a) Roberts EM, English PB, Grether JK, Windham GC, Somberg L, Wolff C (2007). "Maternal Residence Near Agricultural Pesticide Applications and Autism Spectrum Disorders among Children in the California Central Valley". Environ. Health Perspect.115 (10): 1482''9. doi:10.1289/ehp.10168. PMC 2022638. PMID 17938740. (b) Lay Summary: Autism and Agricultural Pesticides, Victoria McGovern, Environ. Health Perspect. 2007, 115(10):A505^(a) Grunfeld HT, Bonefeld-Jorgensen EC, Effect of in vitro estrogenic pesticides on human oestrogen receptor alpha and beta mRNA levels, Toxicol. Lett., 2004, 151(3):467''80.(b) Ibarluzea JmJ, Fernandez MF, Santa-Marina L, et al., Breast cancer risk and the combined effect of environmental estrogens, Cancer Causes Control, 2004, 15(6):591''600.(c) Soto AM, Chung KL, Sonnenschein C, The pesticides endosulfan, toxaphene, and dieldrin have estrogenic effects on human estrogensensitive cells, Environ. Health Perspect., 1994, 102(4):380''383.^Western Airborne Contaminants Assessment Project, National Park Service.^ abEndosulfan, a global pesticide: A review of its fate in the environment and occurrence in the Arctic, Science of The Total Environment, Volume 408, Issue 15.^Ramnarine, Kristy (May 12, 2008). "Harmful elements in Sahara dust". Trinidad & Tobago Express. Retrieved 2008-05-14. [dead link]^Relyea RA (2008) A cocktail of contaminants: how mixtures of pesticides at low concentrations affect aquatic communities. Oecologia (accepted: 13 October 2008) Relyea, Ra (Mar 2009). "A cocktail of contaminants: how mixtures of pesticides at low concentrations affect aquatic communities". Oecologia159 (2): 363''76. doi:10.1007/s00442-008-1213-9. PMID 19002502. ^Earth Negotiations Bulletin (Monday, 19 October 2009). Briefing Note on the 5th Meeting of the POPRC. International Institute for Sustainable Development. ^United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (Press release). UNEP. May 3, 2011 http://hqweb.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=2637&ArticleID=8719&l=en&t=long. Retrieved 2011-06-13. ^Indian Chemical Council (January 9, 2009). "Form for submission of information specified in Annex E". Retrieved 2009-01-29. ^Uppinangady, Arun (July 14, 2009). "Beltangady: Endosulfan Affected Leading Hellish Life '-- Seek Succour". Daijiworld Media Network. Retrieved 2009-07-14. ^'Rain man' of Indian journalism makes sure wells stay full, Frederick Noronha, IndiaENews.com, July 5th, 2007, accessed July 5th, 2007.^"SUMMARY OF THE FOURTH MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE ROTTERDAM CONVENTION". Earth Negotiations Bulletin15 (168). November 3, 2008. ^http://www.indiatogether.org/2006/sep/env-endosulf.htm^"V.S. Achuthanandan to lead 'satyagraha'". The Hindu (Chennai, India). April 24, 2011. ^http://www.indianexpress.com/news/MP-govt-backs-VS-ban-demand/783265/^"Karnataka bans use of endosulfan". The Hindu (Chennai, India). February 18, 2011. ^"Rana Wants Withdrawal of NIOH Study on Endosulfan". Outlook India. November 16, 2010. ^"Rajendra Singh Rana, MP, Bhavnagar calls for withdrawal of NIOH report on Endosulfan". World News. December 17, 2010. ^"Local MLA speaks in support of Bhavnagar Endosulfan Workers". Daily Motion. December 18, 2010. ^"Workers demand withdrawal of study on Endosulfan". WebIndia 123. November 16, 2010. ^, accessed Nov 19th, 2010^"Karnataka bans use of endosulfan". Chennai, India: The Hindu. February 18, 2011. ^"India will not ban Endosulfan pesticide, says Sharad Pawar". Tehelka. February 22, 2011. ^"REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE TO EVALUATE THE SAFETY ASPECTS OF ENDOSULFAN Department". Health and Family Welfare Department - Government of Gujarat. March 15, 2011. ^"Allow use of endosulfan except in Kerala and Karnataka". 27 July 2012. ^"Divers' blood samples sent to Singapore for analysis". GMAnews.TV. June 27, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-27. ^Aguilar, Ephraim (June 27, 2008). "DoH bans eating of fish from Romblon waters". Inquirer.net. Retrieved 2008-06-27. ^Benefits of Endosulfan in Agricultural Production: Analysis of Usage Information, U.S. EPA, Docket ID NO. EPA-HQ-OPP-2002-0262-0062, 2007.^Smith, Carl; Kathleen Kerr and Ava Sadripour (July/September 2008). "Pesticide Exports from US Ports, 2001''2003". Int. J. Occup. Environ. Health14 (3): 176''186. PMID 18686717. ^Fellers GM, McConnell LL, Pratt D, Datta S (September 2004). "Pesticides in mountain yellow-legged frogs (Rana muscosa) from the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, USA". Environ. Toxicol. Chem.23 (9): 2170''7. doi:10.1897/03-491. PMID 15378994. [dead link]^Carriger JF, Rand GM (October 2008). "Aquatic risk assessment of pesticides in surface waters in and adjacent to the Everglades and Biscayne National Parks: I. Hazard assessment and problem formulation". Ecotoxicology17 (7): 660''79. doi:10.1007/s10646-008-0230-0. PMID 18642080. ^Carriger JF, Rand GM (October 2008). "Aquatic risk assessment of pesticides in surface waters in and adjacent to the Everglades and Biscayne National Parks: II. Probabilistic analyses". Ecotoxicology17 (7): 680''96. doi:10.1007/s10646-008-0231-z. PMID 18642079. ^Dan B. Kimball, Superintendent National Park Service (October 29, 2008). "Letter to EPA re: Petitions to Revoke All Tolerances Established for Endosulfan; Federal Register: August 20, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 162). Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0615-0041.1". Retrieved 2009-01-27. ^ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (November 16, 2007). "Endosulfan Updated Risk Assessments, Notice of Availability, and Solicitation of Usage Information". Federal Register72 (221): 64624''64626. ^ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (August 20, 2008). Petitions to Revoke All Tolerances Established for Endosulfan; Notice of Availability73 (162). pp. 49194''49196. ^"MANA And EPA Agree To Voluntary Plan On Endosulfan". MANA Crop Protection. June 10, 2010. ^"MANA, EPA Agree To Voluntary Plan On Endosulfan". Growing Produce. June 11, 2010. ^ abAustralian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) apvma (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. October 12, 2010 http://www.apvma.gov.au/news_media/media_releases/2010/mr2010-12.php. Retrieved 2010-10-13. ^"Australia finally bans endosulfan". Australia: ABC. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-13. ^"Regulator finally acts to ban endosulfan". NTN blog. Australia: National Toxics Network. October 13, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-13. ^Burke, Kelly (January 7, 2009). "Australia refuses to join ban on pesticide". Fairfax. Retrieved 2009-01-08. ^Taiwan Academics slam end of pesticide ban for U.S. fruitExternal links[edit]

Vaccine$

The Lead Vaccine Developer Comes Clean So She Can "Sleep At Night": Gardasil and Cervarix Don't Work, Are Dangerous, and Weren't Tested

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Archived Version

Sat, 15 Jun 2013 23:42

Dr. Diane Harper was the lead researcher in the development of the human papilloma virus vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix. She is the latest to come forward and question the safety and effectiveness of these vaccines. She made the surprising announcement at the 4th International Public Conference on Vaccination, which took place in Reston, Virginia on Oct. 2nd through 4th, 2009. Her speech was supposed to promote the Gardasil and Cervarix vaccines, but she instead turned on her corporate bosses in a very public way. When questioned about the presentation, audience members remarked that they came away feeling that the vaccines should not be used.

"I came away from the talk with the perception that the risk of adverse side effects is so much greater than the risk of cervical cancer, I couldn't help but question why we need the vaccine at all."

-- Joan Robinson

Dr. Harper explained in her presentation that the cervical cancer risk in the U.S. is already extremely low, and that vaccinations are unlikely to have any effect upon the rate of cervical cancer in the United States. In fact, 70% of all H.P.V. infections resolve themselves without treatment in a year, and the number rises to well over 90% in two years. Harper also mentioned the safety angle. All trials of the vaccines were done on children aged 15 and above, despite them currently being marketed for 9-year-olds.

So far, 15,037 girls have reported adverse side effects from Gardasil alone to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (V.A.E.R.S.), and this number only reflects parents who underwent the hurdles required for reporting adverse reactions. At the time of writing, 44 girls are officially known to have died from these vaccines. The reported side effects include Guillian Barr(C) Syndrome (paralysis lasting for years, or permanently -- sometimes eventually causing suffocation), lupus, seizures, blood clots, and brain inflammation. Parents are usually not made aware of these risks.

Dr. Harper, the vaccine developer, claimed that she was speaking out, so that she might finally be able to sleep at night.

''About eight in every ten women who have been sexually active will have H.P.V. at some stage of their life. Normally there are no symptoms, and in 98 per cent of cases it clears itself. But in those cases where it doesn't, and isn't treated, it can lead to pre-cancerous cells which may develop into cervical cancer.''

-- Dr. Diane Harper

One must understand how the establishment's word games are played to truly understand the meaning of the above quote, and one needs to understand its unique version of "science". When they report that untreated cases "can" lead to something that "may" lead to cervical cancer, it really means that the relationship is merely a hypothetical conjecture that is profitable if people actually believe it. In other words, there is no demonstrated relationship between the condition being vaccinated for and the rare cancers that the vaccine might prevent, but it is marketed to do that nonetheless. In fact, there is no actual evidence that the vaccine can prevent any cancer.

From the manufacturers own admissions, the vaccine only works on 4 strains out of 40 for a specific venereal disease that dies on its own in a relatively short period, so the chance of it actually helping an individual is about about the same as the chance of him being struck by a meteorite. Why do nine-year-old girls need vaccinations for extremely rare and symptom-less venereal diseases that the immune system usually kills anyway?

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NA Tech

Facebook RSS reader said to uncloak June 20 ' The Register

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Archived Version

Sun, 16 Jun 2013 00:42

Regcast training : Hyper-V 3.0, VM high availability and disaster recovery

Facebook has sent out invitations for a press event on June 20, and it's widely rumored to be the announcement of a new RSS reader aimed at scooping up disaffected Google Reader users.

In March, Google announced it was going to shut down the Reader system on July 1, saying that the number of users had declined over the years and that the Chocolate Factory wanted to focus on new creations.

That news didn't go down well with users, sparking the now-traditional Downfall parody, a 150,000+ signature petition, and a mass migration to other services.

Fading news aggregation site Digg has already announced it will build its own RSS system to support those Google users who don't fancy any of the other myriad of readers out there (and try and get Digg some traction again with internet users). Now Facebook has set out a mysterious invite (by snail mail no less '' how retro) for the event.

The dead-tree invitation features a printed coffee cup stain ring and the words "A small team has been working on a big idea. Join us for coffee and learn about a new product." No other details have been released, but a Scottish developer may have spotted an important clue as to the purpose of the mysterious announcement.

Tom Waddington, who also maintains the website Cut Out + Keep with his fianc(C) Cat Morley, which is devoted to home arts and crafts skills (with over 150,000 registered users and a million hits a month), blogged on Thursday that he'd spotted something unusual in Facebook's code base.

"A new entry appeared '' now users have RSS feeds, each RSS feed has multiple entries, and a list of subscribers," he wrote.

"What's surprising is that the code mentions RSS specifically and distinctly from existing interest lists and friend lists. Also, note that this is unconnected to Facebook outputting RSS feeds, which they've done for a while."

A Facebook RSS footprint?

Waddington said that he'd tried to access the RSS feeds by means of the API, but it was locked down and only available to whitelisted applications at the present time.

If Facebook does have a new RSS reader, the move would fit in with the company's strategy of trying to become the go-to place for internet users looking to know what is going on in the world, a strategy Mark Zuckerberg pointed to at the March launch of Facebook's revamped news feed.

"We want more than a single feed of content," the behoodied one said at the time. "We want to give everyone in the world the best newspaper we can. It should have high-quality public content and socially relevant content, and to drill into any topic." ®

Regcast training : Hyper-V 3.0, VM high availability and disaster recovery

NA Notes

VIDEO

NSA spin-off Sqrrl Announces General Availability of its Secure Big Data Platform, Sqrrl Enterprise.

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Archived Version

Source: TheCandyman's news feed

Thu, 20 Jun 2013 13:09

Cambridge, MA (PRWEB) June 19, 2013

Sqrrl, the company that develops secure database software to power Big Data applications, is now shipping Version 1.1 of Sqrrl Enterprise. Sqrrl Enterprise is the world's most secure and scalable Big Data platform for building real-time analytical applications. With Version 1.1 Sqrrl Enterprise moves from Limited Release to General Availability and delivers more advanced security tools, enhanced analytic capabilities, and a variety of additional features.

Sqrrl Enterprise utilizes Apache Accumulo technology to deliver the only Big Data platform with cell-level security capabilities. Cell-level security enables Sqrrl customers to tag every piece of data with fine-grained security labels that dictate access to the data. This cell-level security capability makes Sqrrl Enterprise a powerful solution for industries with sensitive data, such as finance, telecommunications, healthcare, energy, and government.

''Our customers demand enterprise-class security for their mission-critical applications,'' said Mark Terenzoni, CEO of Sqrrl. ''In Version 1.1 of Sqrrl Enterprise we have extended the rich security capabilities of Apache Accumulo, while also adding additional developer tools that make building real-time analytical applications easier.''

Increased Security '' Version 1.1 adds encryption of data-at-rest and data-in-motion; as well as improved cell-level security capabilities, including integration with Active Directory, Kerberos and LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol). Version 1.1 also features auditing capability for all transactions within Sqrrl Enterprise.

Enhanced Analytics '' Sqrrl Enterprise provides developers with a rich set of discovery analytics that can power real-time Big Data applications (aka ''Big Apps''). These capabilities include full-text search via Apache Lucene, SQL, statistics, and graph search. All of these analytical features have tight integration with Sqrrl Enterprise's cell-level security capabilities.

Ease-of-use '' Version 1.1 adds document store capabilities by providing full JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) document support. Sqrrl Enterprise converts Accumulo's key/value pairs into hierarchical JSON documents to simplify data models and structures. Version 1.1 also adds streaming ingest, improved installation tools and command-line shells, and configurable indexing.

''Developing Big Data applications is complicated and Sqrrl Enterprise substantially simplifies application development for emerging large scale apps," says Wikibon chief analyst David Vellante. "Wikibon practitioners are excited about Sqrrl toolsets because they enable organizations to co-mingle sensitive datasets on a single Big Data platform through fine-grained cell-level security controls. Scale, performance, security and flexibility will define the next wave of Big Data application development, and companies like Sqrrl are leading the way."

Sqrrl Enterprise is currently deployed at organizations in the Government, Financial Services, Healthcare, Telecommunications, and Academia sectors, providing solutions for secure data stores, secure search, and real-time analytics applications. One of the most popular use cases for Sqrrl Enterprise is using it as a platform for Big Data Security Analytics.

Big Data Security Analytics Use CaseCybersecurity professionals are building Big Data Security Analytics apps with Sqrrl Enterprise. These apps are designed to continuously ingest and store petabytes of cybersecurity data, such as log and event files, Netflow data, emails, social activity, identity context information, and threat intelligence. The amount and variety of this data would overwhelm a traditional Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tool. Sqrrl Enterprise augments SIEM capabilities by supporting retrospective analysis over years of multi-structured historical data. Using Sqrrl Enterprise's analytical building blocks, Sqrrl customers are rapidly building secure, lightweight apps to interrogate or ''swim through'' all of this data in real-time.

About SqrrlHeadquartered in Cambridge, MA, Sqrrl was founded by former computer scientists from the National Security Agency (NSA). As part of the team that created Apache Accumulo, Sqrrl founders have been working with some of the largest, most complex and most sensitive data sets in the world. Today, Sqrrl Enterprise is the world's most secure and scalable Big Data platform for building real-time analytical applications. It is the only Big Data solution that possesses fine-grained security controls, scales elastically to tens of petabytes of data, and supports a diverse set of analytics, including graph, SQL, statistics, and full-text search. As creators and developers of Accumulo, Sqrrl's understanding of security and Big Data technologies enable organizations to securely unlock the potential of Big Data. Learn more at http://www.sqrrl.com.

VIDEO-FBI Foils Plot To Build Strange X-Ray Weapon, Possibly Target President Obama - ABC News

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Archived Version

Thu, 20 Jun 2013 06:08

A New York man who allegedly wanted to kill President Obama and apparently blamed him for the recent Boston bombings has been arrested for trying to build and detonate a weapon of mass destruction.

Glendon Scott Crawford, 49, of Galway, N.Y., spent months designing and constructing an X-ray system that would emit deadly amounts of radiation and could be detonated remotely, according to the FBI. Crawford recruited Eric J. Feight, 54, of Hudson, N.Y, to join in the plot, and both were arrested Tuesday, the FBI said.

Crawford and Feight allegedly planned to hide their weapon in a truck and FBI experts said it would have been "functional" and "lethal."

According to the FBI, Crawford cited "a political figure" and a Muslim organization as "potential targets." Sources familiar with the investigation identified the "political figure" as Obama.

"Obama's policies caused this," Crawford allegedly wrote in a text message on April 15, the day a series of bombings killed three and injured scores more at the Boston marathon.

"He directed the [government] to start bringing [Muslims] here without background checks," Crawford wrote, according to the FBI. "They don't have to follow any laws, and this administration has done more to enable a government sponsored invasion than the press can cover up."

Skip Dickstein/The Albany Times Union/AP Photo

NSA Director Defends Secret Surveillance Programs Watch VideoThe NSA Phone Program the White House Didn't Want Revealed Watch VideoThe FBI launched an investigation into Crawford last spring after he allegedly walked into a synagogue in Albany, N.Y., and inquired about technology that could kill "Israel's enemies while they slept." The synagogue notified police, and within six weeks the FBI had a source secretly recording meetings with Crawford, according an FBI affidavit filed in the case.

In a June 2012 conversation, Crawford '' described by the FBI as a member of the Ku Klux Klan '' called his design "Hiroshima on a light switch," the affidavit said. And in August 2012, Crawford allegedly asked a high-ranking official in the KKK for money to fund his plot. The KKK official informed the FBI, and within weeks two undercover agents posing as KKK members were introduced to Crawford.

Over the next several months, Crawford conducted extensive research for the design, at times expressing frustration over the slow pace of the team's progress, the FBI affidavit indicated. Ultimately, with help from the undercover agents, Crawford and Feight acquired the necessary parts and even tested the device that would remotely detonate the weapon, according to the FBI. It would all be powered through a truck's cigarette lighter, the FBI said.

Crawford and Feight planned to meet Tuesday to connect the final components of their weapon, but they were arrested by the FBI.

The pair had met at GE, where Crawford was an industrial mechanic and Feight sometimes worked as an outside contractor due to his engineering skills. But GE has "no reason to believe" any crimes "took place on GE property," and Crawford has since been suspended, the company said in a statement.

"We are cooperating fully with authorities on their investigation," said Jim Healy, communications director for GE Power & Water.

Both defendants have been charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, namely through use of a weapon of mass destruction. The charges came via a criminal complaint, which means a grand jury will decide whether to indict the men if a plea deal is not reached beforehand.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian said the public must "remain vigilant to detect and stop potential terrorists," and the head of the FBI's field office in Albany, Andrew Vale, said such anti-terrorism efforts "are only successful" with the public's help.

Miss Alabama Offers Her Thoughts On NSA Surveillance Program (VIDEO)

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Archived Version

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 17:25

Somewhere in the mix of modeling a swimsuit and an evening gown at last night's Miss USA competition, Miss Alabama gave her take on the National Security Agency's controversial surveillance program.

When asked about the NSA's recently outed data mining operation, Miss Alabama (aka Mary Margaret McCord) responded in a manner likely to give privacy advocates nightmares. After weighing the apparent tradeoff between privacy and safety, McCord lept headfirst into the arms of the NSA.

"Government tracking of phone records has been in the news lately," asked judge Wendie Malick. "Is this an invasion of privacy, or necessary to keep our country safe? Why or why not?"

To which Miss Alabama replied:

I think the society that we live in today it's sad that, if we go to the movies or to the airport or even to the mall, that we have to worry about our safety. So I would rather someone track my telephone messages and feel safe wherever I go than feel they're encroaching on my privacy.

Writes CNET's Chris Matyszczyk in response to McCord's comment, "Sadness is something that occurs only too often in our difficult world. Especially when all we want is a little freedom to be less sad."

In her defense, Miss Alabama did offer a complete answer (unlike Miss Utah's now-infamous answer about income inequality), and hey -- she still came in second.

WATCH Miss Alabama's response, above.

VIDEO-First Congressman Allowed to Read Secret Treaty Says ''This ... Hands The Sovereignty of Our Country Over to Corporate Interests'' | Zero Hedge

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We reported last year:

Democratic Senator Wyden '' the head of the committee which is supposed to oversee it '' is so furious about the lack of access that he has introduced legislation to force disclosure.

Republican House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa is so upset by it that he has leaked a document on his website to show what's going on.

What is everyone so furious about?

An international treaty being negotiated in secret which would not only crack down on Internet privacy much more than SOPA or ACTA, but would actually destroy the sovereignty of the U.S. and all other signatories.

It is called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Wyden is the chairman of the trade committee in the Senate '... the committee which is supposed to have jurisdiction over the TPP.

Wyden is also on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and so he and his staff have high security clearances and are normally able to look at classified documents.

And yet Wyden and his staff have been denied access to the TPP's text.

Indeed, the decision to keep the text of TPP secret was itself classified as secret:

(I have also received a tip from a credible inside source that TPP contains provisions which would severely harm America's national security. Specifically, like some previous, ill-conceived treaties, TPP would allow foreign companies to buy sensitive American assets which could subject us to terror attacks or economic blackmail.)

Yesterday, Congressman Alan Grayson (who knows how to read legislation '... he was a successful lawyer before he was elected to Congress, and has written and co-sponsored numerous bills himself including the bill to audit the Federal Reserve and '' most recently '' the ''Mind Your Own Business Act'' to stop NSA spying) announced that he had been allowed to read the text of TPP '' and that it is an anti-American power grab by big corporations:

Last month, 10,000 of us submitted comments to the United States Trade Representative (USTR), in which we objected to new so-called free trade agreements. We asked that the government not sell out our democracy to corporate interests.

Because of this pressure, the USTR finally let a member of Congress '' little ole me, Alan Grayson [anyone who's seen Grayson in action knows that he is formidable] '' actually see the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is a large, secret trade agreement that is being negotiated with many countries in East Asia and South America.

The TPP is nicknamed ''NAFTA on steroids.'' Now that I've read it, I can see why. I can't tell you what's in the agreement, because the U.S. Trade Representative calls it classified. But I can tell you two things about it.

1) There is no national security purpose in keeping this text secret.

2) This agreement hands the sovereignty of our country over to corporate interests.

3) What they can't afford to tell the American public is that [the rest of this sentence is classified].

***

I will be fighting this agreement with everything I've got. And I know you'll be there every step of the way.

***

Courage,

Congressman Alan Grayson

Grayson also noted:

It is ironic in a way that the government thinks it's alright to have a record of every single call that an American makes, but not alright for an American citizen to know what sovereign powers the government is negotiating away.

***

Having seen what I've seen, I would characterize this as a gross abrogation of American sovereignty. And I would further characterize it as a punch in the face to the middle class of America. I think that's fair to say from what I've seen so far. But I'm not allowed to tell you why!

Remember that one of the best definitions of fascism '' the one used by Mussolini '' is the ''merger of state and corporate power''. Our nation has been moving in that direction for a number of years, where government and giant corporations are becoming more and more intertwined in a malignant, symbiotic relationship. TPP would be the nail in the coffin for free market economics and democracy.

Note to progressives who support public banking: This is a key battle.

Note to those who oppose to what they call ''one world government'' or a ''new world order'': This is the big fight.

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VIDEO-Tens Of Thousands Protest In The Streets Of Brazil! Overwhelming Numbers! This Is How It's Done! - YouTube

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VIDEO-FBI Releases Video Of Bombing In Times Square! ALL Made With "Military Grade Ammunition CANS" - YouTube

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VIDEO-Super soul's Morning speech from Vanishing Point 1971 on Vimeo

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VIDEO-50+ Terrorist Attacks Have Been Stopped! NSA Director Tells Congress - YouTube

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VIDEO-Groundwater Radiation Levels Around Fukushima Increased 100 Times What They Were 12 Months Ago - YouTube

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VIDEO-BREAKING! The Guardian: UK Government Spied On Allies At TWO G20 Summits In London - YouTube

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VIDEO-Out: 'American citizens'. In: 'U.S. persons'

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by John Hayward18 Jun 2013, 7:38 AM PDTShare This:

What I can say unequivocally is that if you are a U.S. person, the NSA cannot listen to your telephone calls, and the NSA cannot target your emails '... and have not. They cannot and have not, by law and by rule, and unless they '-- and usually it wouldn't be ''they,'' it'd be the FBI '-- go to a court, and obtain a warrant, and seek probable cause, the same way it's always been, the same way when we were growing up and we were watching movies, you want to go set up a wiretap, you got to go to a judge, show probable cause'.... So point number one, if you're a U.S. person, then NSA is not listening to your phone calls and it's not targeting your emails unless it's getting an individualized court order. That's the existing rule.

He goes on to use this weird new "U.S. person" formulation a total of five times during the portion of the interview Buzzfeed excerpted.

This grates like fingernails on a blackboard. "U.S. person?" Who the hell says that? The correct term, Mr. Obama, is American citizen. But you can't bring yourself to say that any more, can you? Because you're playing to an audience that includes plenty of persons standing on U.S. soil who aren't American citizens.

Update: I can only think of one previous noteworthy instance where a phrase similar to "U.S. persons" was employed:

Obama: You Can't Fathom 'Complexities' of Syria Policy 'If You Haven't Been in Situation Room'

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Obama: You Can't Fathom 'Complexities' of Syria Policy 'If You Haven't Been in Situation Room'

Obama: I hear folks saying, "Katie, bar the door, let's just go in and knock out Syria."

Charlie Rose last night asked President Obama his new Syria policy. The president first objected to it being called a new policy. "I'm not sure you can characterize this as a new policy. This is consistent with the policy that I've had throughout," he said.

Obama then explained the goal is regional stability, and especially in Syria. "Really, what we're trying to do is take sides against extremists of all sorts and in favor of people who are in favor of moderation, tolerance, representative government, and over the long-term, stability and prosperity for the people of Syria," said Obama.

And after a little back-and-forth, Rose said to Obama, "So you think a no fly zone is not necessary?"

Obama, the transcript suggests, seemed to think Rose wasn't getting it. "What I'm saying is, that if you haven't been in the Situation Room, poring through intelligence and meeting directly with our military folks and asking, what are all our options, and examining what are all the consequences, and understanding that for example, if you set up a no-fly zone, that you may not be actually solving the problem on the zone," he said. "Or if you set up a humanitarian corridor, are you in fact committed not only to stopping aircraft from going that corridor, but also missiles? And if so, does that mean that you then have to take out the armaments in Damascus and are you prepared then to bomb Damascus? And what happens if there's civilian casualties. And have we mapped all of the chemical weapons facilities inside of Syria to make sure that we don't drop a bomb on a chemical weapons facility that ends up then dispersing chemical weapons and killing civilians, which is exactly what we're trying to prevent. Unless you've been involved in those conversations, then it's kind of hard for you to understand that the complexity of the situation and how we have to not rush into one more war in the Middle East. And we've got --"

Rose then interrupted, "So that's why people think you haven't, because you do not want to get involved in another conflict, having extricated the United States from Iraq and also soon from Afghanistan."

"Charlie, I --" Obama tried, before being cut off again.

"And the idea of another conflict and getting involved in a war that had real significant Sunni-Shia implications and could explode into the region, you want no part of that, even though there has been a turn in the tide in Syria with the Assad regime and the Assad army, with the help of Hezbollah, doing better."

Obama explained, "Yeah, Charlie, that shouldn't just be my concern, that should be everybody's concern, you know. We went through that. We know what it's like to rush into a war in the Middle East without having thought it through. And there are elements within the Middle East who see this entirely through the prism of a Shia-Sunni conflict and want the United States to simply take the side of the Sunnis. And that I do not think serves American institutes. As I said before, the distinction I make is between extremists and those who are recognized in a 21st century world that the way the Middle East is going to succeed is when you have governments that meet the aspirations of their people, that are tolerant, that are not sectarian. And working through that is something that we have to do in deliberate fashion. So when I hear debates out there, on the one hand, folks saying, you know, 'Katie, bar the door, let's just go in and knock out Syria' --"

"They're not asking that," Rose contended.

VIDEO-"Those Who Are Concerned About Civil Liberties Imagine Their Reaction If Another 9/11 Happened" - YouTube

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VIDEO-New CNN Host Pushes Stronger Gun Laws, Mental Health Database | MRCTV

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Morgan Spurlock, the host of a new CNN series Inside Man wants to see "universal background checks," a limit on magazines, and a database for the mentally ill so they can't purchase guns.

VIDEO-Belgium to vote on implementation of sharia law | MRCTV

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VIDEO-Eugene Robinson: Obama and Merkel Are the New 'Ronnie and Maggie' | MRCTV

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Washington Post writer and MSNBC contributor Eugene Robinson compared the relationship of Barack Obama and Angela Merkel to Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

Video cross-posted at NewsBusters.

VIDEO-CNN Calls Obama's Brandenburg Speech 'Historic' | MRCTV

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CNN's Suzanne Malveaux called President Obama's Brandenburg Gate speech "historic" on Wednesday afternoon, while a CNN headline later proclaimed that he "speaks to the history books." This despite the President speaking to a crowd of less than 5,000 at the same location where he addressed 200,000 Germans five years before.

NSA hearing: Hot mic catches NSA boss praising FBI chiefs for supportive testimony on surveillance programs

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By Hayley Peterson

PUBLISHED: 15:23 EST, 18 June 2013 | UPDATED: 02:18 EST, 19 June 2013

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The director of the National Security Agency was overheard offering a round of beer to the FBI's second-in-command following Tuesday's congressional hearing on the NSA's controversial surveillance programs.

The three-hour hearing had just wrapped up around 1 p.m. when NSA Director Keith Alexander turned to FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce and praised him for his testimony.

'Thank you, Sean,' Alexander said, according to a clip of the exchange that was first reported by Ben Doernberg.

'Tell your boss I owe him another friggin' beer,' he added.

NSA Director Keith Alexander speaks to FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce during a hearing before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence regarding NSA surveillance

The NSA and FBI are Ready for a Drink after their hearing

'Yeah?' Joyce responded.

'Yeah,' said Alexander.

'Tell him to give it to me,' Joyce said.

Alexander and Joyce sat side-by-side during the hearing and took turns answering questions from lawmakers about the recently disclosed government surveillance programs.

Joyce repeatedly praised the programs as 'essential' tools for fighting terrorism in his remarks to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

He also described four specific cases where the FBI used data obtained by the NSA programs to thwart terror attacks, including a bomb plot against the New York Stock Exchange and another against the city's subway system.

National Security Agency Director General Keith Alexander (left) listens as FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyc testifies

Deputy FBI Director Sean Joyce repeatedly praised the programs as 'essential' tools for fighting terrorism in his remarks to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

'We are revealing in front of you today methods and techniques,' he said. 'I have told you, the examples I gave you how important they have been. The first core al Qaeda plot to attack the United States post 9-11 we used one of these programs. Another plot to bomb the New York Stock Exchange we used these programs.'

The hearing was called after former security contractor Edward Snowden leaked details of the secret programs to the Washington Post and The Guardian.

Joyce testified that the FBI is pursuing criminal charges against Snowden for his leaks.

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Matthews: Berlin Sun 'Ruined' Obama's Speech

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MSNBC host and Obama sycophant Chris Matthews blamed the sun for spoiling the president's speech in Berlin today.

''I think a lot of the problem he had today was the late afternoon sun in Berlin ruined his use of the teleprompter and so his usual dramatic windup was ruined,'' Matthews said immediately after the speech. ''I think he was really struggling with the text there.''

Speaking behind a glass bulletproof shield, Obama appeared to be using the text of the speech rather than reading off of teleprompters.

FBI says drones used to monitor people in US - Americas

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Thu, 20 Jun 2013 12:55

The US uses drones for surveillance in some limited law-enforcement situations, the head of FBI has said, prompting additional debate about the Obama administration's use of domestic surveillance.

Robert Mueller's acknowledgement came in response to questions on Wednesday from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who said they wanted to know more about the federal government's increasing use of unmanned aircraft.

"Does the FBI use drones for surveillance on US soil?" Republican Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa asked during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

"Yes," Mueller said, adding that the use was in "a very, very minimal way and very seldom".

Mueller did not go into detail, but the FBI later released a statement that said unmanned aircraft were used only to watch stationary subjects and to avoid serious risks to law-enforcement agents.

The Federal Aviation Administration approves each use, the statement said.

"I will tell you that our footprint is very small," Mueller said in his testimony.

"We have very few [drones] and of limited use, and we're exploring not only the use but also the necessary guidelines for that use."

Privacy implications

At the hearing, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California said she was concerned about the privacy implications of drone surveillance.

"The greatest threat to the privacy of Americans is the drone and the use of the drone, and the very few regulations that are on it today," she said.

Mueller reiterated that drone use is rare. "It is very narrowly focused on particularised cases and particularised needs," he said.

The FBI used a drone during a hostage-taking in Alabama this year after an armed, Jimmy Lee Dykes, snatched a boy off a school bus and held him in an underground bunker, according to the statement.

The US government has made no secret of its use of drones to monitor the US border with Mexico.

The Obama administration has been defending its surveillance tactics since Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, released secret documents revealing a huge database of daily telephone records, as well as coordination between the NSA and social media companies.

The programmes are designed to target fighters outside the US who are suspected of planning attacks, but they inevitably gather some data on Americans, US officials said.

Drone use defended

In a speech last month, President Barack Obama defended the use of armed drones abroad but said the US should never deploy armed drones over US soil.

The Justice Department had disclosed that two domestic law-enforcement agencies use unmanned aircraft systems, according to a department statement sent to the Judiciary Committee and released on Wednesday by Grassley's office.

The two are the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Inside Story Americas: Are US surveillance measures justified?Grassley sent a letter to Eric Holder, US attorney general, on Wednesday asking why the Justice Department did not earlier mention the FBI's use of drones.

Mueller, who is due to retire when his term expires in September, agreed that there should be public discourse over the future of the unmanned vehicles, saying "it's worthy of debate and perhaps legislation down the road".

Congress has ordered the Federal Aviation Administration to open up airspace to unmanned aircraft by October 2015.

In March Republican Senator Rand Paul blocked legislative action for nearly 13 hours on the Senate floor to protest against the Obama administration's refusal to unequivocally rule out drone strikes on US soil.

Days later Holder wrote to Paul clarifying that a US president does not have the power to order a drone strike against a "non combatant" American inside the US.

Paul expressed concern about the drone surveillance, saying it should not be used without a court-issued search warrant.

Mueller did not say on Wednesday whether warrants were being obtained for the use of the drones.

Surveillance defended

Mueller also urged Congress to move carefully before making any changes that might restrict the NSA programmes for mass collection of people's phone records and information from the internet.

He said there are 10 or 12 cases in which the phone-records programme contributed to breaking up violent plots.

Mueller said communications capabilities of plotters are their weakest link.

"If we are to prevent terrorist attacks, we have to know and be in their communications," he said.

"Having the ability to identify a person in the United States, one telephone number with a telephone that the intelligence community is on in Yemen or Somalia or Pakistan ... may prevent that one attack, that Boston or that 9/11."

He was referring to a bombing at the Boston marathon and the attacks using hijacked airliners against the US on September 11, 2001.

Mueller argued for the continued use of the NSA programmes.

"Are you going to take the dots off the table, make it unavailable to you when you're trying to prevent the next terrorist attack? That's a question for Congress," he said.

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VIDEO-"People Saying We Can't Infringe On 2nd Amendment They're The Ones Saying NSA Should Be..." - YouTube

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