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Hi Adam/John;

Since I'm off my school bus driver job for the summer, I've been taking mma classes three nights a week. Decided to get printed on the ass of my shorts, so I'll be "kicking people in the mouth" both literally and figuratively. Or was it "punching people in the mouth"? No worries. Got both covered. ;)

And Adam, I've donated twice in the last month, so no bitching. Hahaha, just kidding. ;)

Love the show!


Maarten Pieters

Special PR mention

Want to really blow his mind? Tell him "Hi Biscuit!

SnowCrash forever!" For me. :-)

Obama Nation

Mexico Captures Head of 'Zetas' Cartel -

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Archived Version

Tue, 16 Jul 2013 04:01

MEXICO CITY'--The Mexican government Monday said its navy captured the leader of the country's most violent drug-trafficking organization, an important victory for the new administration of Mexican President Enrique Pe±a Nieto.

APAn undated photo of Miguel Angel Trevi±o, the leader of the 'Zetas.'

Miguel Angel Trevi±o, the head of the "Zetas" crime organization, was captured in northern Mexico, Deputy Interior Minister Eduardo Sanchez said in a televised news conference. Mr. Trevi±o had taken over the control of the feared crime group after leader Heriberto Lazcano was killed in a shootout with Mexican marines in October 2012.

A navy helicopter intercepted a pickup truck in which Mr. Trevi±o and two others were riding on a country road at 3:45 a.m. Monday, Mr. Sanchez said. "Not a shot was fired," he added. Marines also seized $2 million and eight automatic rifles. Among other crimes, Mr. Sanchez said Mr. Trevi±o was believed to be responsible for ordering the kidnapping and killing of 265 immigrants in two separate incidents. It wasn't immediately clear whether Mr. Trevi±o had legal representation.

The capture of Mr. Trevi±o is the first arrest of a top cartel leader since Mr. Pe±a Nieto came to power in December. Mr. Trevi±o is on Mexico's most-wanted list with a reward of more than $2 million for his capture. The U.S. has a $5 million reward for his arrest. Mr. Trevi±o is 40 years old, according to Mexican intelligence documents. He was born in Nuevo Laredo, but grew up with his family in Dallas.

Mr. Pe±a Nieto has promised to continue the fight against drug cartels that he inherited from his predecessor Felipe Calder"n. But Mr. Pe±a Nieto has also vowed to reduce violence by focusing on solving crimes such as kidnapping and extortion. In Mr. Pe±a Nieto's first six months in office, around 6,300 people died in killings seen as linked to organized crime, a decline of about 18% from the estimated 7,700 in the previous six months. Close to 70,000 have been killed in Mexico's drug war over the past six years.

"This takedown will boost Pe±a Nieto several points in the polls, even as he has spurned talking about violence and the narco war," George Grayson, a Mexico expert at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., said in an email.

It is also a triumph for the Mexican navy, which works closely with the U.S. Mr. Sanchez lauded the Navy's intelligence work, which he said had begun at the same time the new government took over.

Mr. Trevino wasn't shown to the media in a "perp walk," as was the style in the Calder"n administration when the government captured a major drug trafficker. Officials in the Pe±a Nieto government have said that such displays of captured criminals tended to glorify them.

The Zetas were originally a band of deserters from the Mexican military who became enforcers for the Gulf Cartel, which controlled drug trafficking along Mexico's Gulf Coast and northeastern border with the U.S. But in 2010, the Zetas broke with their employers, and started a bloody turf war with their former colleagues which turned the states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Le"n into killing fields.

The group quickly developed a reputation for brutality. They are blamed by Mexican and U.S. officials for some of the worst atrocities of Mexico's drug violence, including the fire that killed 53 people in a casino in the city of Monterrey in 2011, as well as the massacre of 72 migrants who were kidnapped and killed while trying to reach the U.S. in 2010 in the city of San Fernando in the neighboring state of Tamaulipas.

Their barbaric methods of execution'--such as beheading and dismembering victims'--were adopted by other Mexican cartels as they each strove to outdo the other in brutality to cow rivals as well as the government. Because of their brutality, the Zetas have been a principal target for Mexican authorities.

The Zetas also engaged in extortion of all types of businesses throughout Mexico, officials and experts say, as well as well as in the smuggling of illegal immigrants to the U.S., gasoline theft, kidnapping, and the selling of counterfeit merchandise.

Experts differed about the impact the capture of Mr. Trevi±o would have on the criminal organization. "If this is not the end of the Zetas, it is the beginning of the end of the Zetas as a recognizable group," said Alejandro Hope, a former Mexican intelligence official who now works for the nonprofit Mexican Institute of Competitiveness. "There will still be gangs that use the Zetas name and its modus operandi, but this is one of the last nails in the cartel's coffin."

However, Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, who studies border issues at the University of Texas at Brownsville, said Mr. Trevi±o's capture probably wouldn't have a big impact on the organization because of its horizontal leadership structure. "The organization won't be debilitated greatly because it operates with a cell structure," said Ms. Correa-Cabrera.

Mr. Grayson said Mexico's most powerful drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, would likely be strengthened by the capture of Mr. Trevi±o. The two crime groups have been fighting for control of the important border crossing point of Nuevo Laredo.

One of Mr. Trevi±o's brothers, Jos(C), was arrested last year and charged with operating a money-laundering ring for the Zetas through a multimillion-dollar quarter-horse breeding ranch in Oklahoma. He was found guilty of money laundering earlier this year.

Mr. Grayson wrote that the Zetas, who he says are now led by Mr. Trevi±o's brother, Omar, known as Z42, "have become a franchise operation, not a vertical organization," he said.

'--Laurence Iliffcontributed to this article.A version of this article appeared July 15, 2013, on page A9 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Mexico Captures Zetas Cartel Boss.

TSA searches valet parked car |

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Archived Version

Thu, 18 Jul 2013 13:36

Posted at: 07/17/2013 6:46 PM | Updated at: 07/18/2013 7:25 AMBy: Berkeley Brean |

Rochester, N.Y. -- She says she had no warning that someone was going to search her car after she left to catch her flight. So the woman contacted News10NBC.

We found out it happened to her because she valet parked her car. Those are the only cars that get inspected.

So if security feels it is necessary to search some cars in the name of safety, why not search all of them?

Laurie Iacuzza walked to her waiting car at the Greater Rochester International Airport after returning from a trip and that's when she found it -- a notice saying her car was inspected after she left for her flight. She said, ''I was furious. They never mentioned it to me when I booked the valet or when I picked up the car or when I dropped it off.''

Iacuzza's car was inspected by valet attendants on orders from the TSA. But why only valet parked cars? That's what News10NBC wanted to ask the TSA director about. We reached him by phone.

Berkeley Brean asked, ''Are the cars in the short term lots and long term lots getting searched as well?''

John McCaffery, TSA, said, ''No, those vehicles that are in the garage, short term long term parking, even if they carry pretty large amounts of explosives, they would not cause damage to the front of the airport. But for those who use the valet, the car could be there for a half hour or an hour so there is a vulnerability.''

News10NBC went to the valet parking and one of the attendants showed us the notice they put in the cars.

We asked, ''You're required, they tell you, you have to search the car?'' Valet Parking Attendant Frank Dettorre said, ''I have to do it.''

We also noticed a large sign that alerts customers that their vehicle will be inspected. The sign is on the kiosk window. Iacuzza says it was not there when she dropped off her car. ''I think the public should be aware of the fact that if their car is going to be searched, they should be informed of it.''

Iacuzza said she doesn't mind the security measure. She just wants to be told if her car is getting searched.

News10NBC asked the owner of the company that runs the valet parking when they put up the sign but he wouldn't answer.

TSA says this is part of its overall security plan and that it's a proactive move. The attendants said they've only been doing it for about a month.

Have a story you want our news team to investigate? Call us at 585-232-1010, click here to send us an e-mail or leave us a Facebook post or tweet.

Presidential Memorandum -- Expanding National Service

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Archived Version

Source: White Press Office Feed

Mon, 15 Jul 2013 23:12

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

July 15, 2013


SUBJECT: Expanding National Service Through Partnerships to Advance Government Priorities

Service has always been integral to the American identity. Our country was built on the belief that all of us, working together, can make this country a better place for all. That spirit remains as strong and integral to our identity today as at our country's founding.

Since its creation 20 years ago, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has been the Federal agency charged with leading and expanding national service. The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009 (SAA) expanded CNCS's authority to create opportunities for more Americans to serve. This landmark, bipartisan legislation focuses national service on six areas: emergency and disaster services; economic opportunity; education; environmental stewardship; healthy futures; and veterans and military families. The SAA provides greater opportunities for CNCS to partner with other executive departments and agencies (agencies) and with the private sector to utilize national service to address these critical areas.

National service and volunteering can be effective solutions to national challenges and can have positive and lasting impacts that reach beyond the immediate service experience. Americans engaged in national service make an intensive commitment to tackle unmet national and local needs by working through non-profit, faith-based, and community organizations. Service can help Americans gain valuable skills, pursue higher education, and jumpstart their careers, which can provide immediate and long-term benefits to those individuals, as well as the communities in which they serve.

Americans are ready and willing to serve. Applications from Americans seeking to engage in national service programs far exceed the number of available positions. By creating new partnerships between agencies and CNCS that expand national service opportunities in areas aligned with agency missions, we can utilize the American spirit of service to improve lives and communities, expand economic and educational opportunities, enhance agencies' capacity to achieve their missions, efficiently use tax dollars, help individuals develop skills that will enable them to prepare for long-term careers, and build a pipeline to employment inside and outside the Federal Government.

Therefore, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to expand the positive impact of national service, I hereby direct the following:

Section 1. Establishing a Task Force on Expanding National Service. There is established a Task Force on Expanding National Service, to be co-chaired by the Chief Executive Officer of CNCS and the Director of the Domestic Policy Council, which shall include representatives from agencies and offices that administer programs and develop policies in areas that include the six focus areas set forth in the SAA. The Task Force shall include representatives from:

(a) the Department of Defense;

(b) the Department of Justice;

(c) the Department of the Interior;

(d) the Department of Agriculture;

(e) the Department of Commerce;

(f) the Department of Labor;

(g) the Department of Health and Human Services;

(h) the Department of Housing and Urban Development;

(i) the Department of Transportation;

(j) the Department of Energy;

(k) the Department of Education;

(l) the Department of Veterans Affairs;

(m) the Department of Homeland Security;

(n) the Peace Corps;

(o) the National Science Foundation;

(p) the Office of Personnel Management;

(q) the Environmental Protection Agency;

(r) the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs; and

(s) such other agencies and offices as the co-chairs may designate.

Sec. 2. Mission and Function of the Task Force. (a) The Task Force shall:

(i) identify existing, and, if appropriate, recommend new, policies or practices that support the expansion of national service and volunteer opportunities that align with the SAA and agency priorities;

(ii) make recommendations on the most effective way to coordinate national service and volunteering programs across the Federal Government;

(iii) identify and develop opportunities for interagency agreements between CNCS and other agencies to support the expansion of national service and volunteering;

(iv) identify and develop public-private partnerships to support the expansion of national service and volunteering;

(v) identify and develop strategies to use innovation and technology to facilitate the ability of the public to participate in national service and volunteering activities; and

(vi) develop a mechanism to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of national service and volunteering interventions in achieving agency priorities, and aggregate and disseminate the results of that evaluation.

(b) Within 18 months of the date of this memorandum, the Task Force shall provide the President with a report on the progress made with respect to the functions set forth in subsection (a) of this section.

Sec. 3. Facilitating National Service and Volunteering Partnerships. (a) Each agency on the Task Force shall:

(i) within 180 days of the date of this memorandum, consult with CNCS about how existing authorities and CNCS programs can be used to enter into interagency and public-private partnerships that allow for meaningful national service and volunteering opportunities, including participating in AmeriCorps, and help the agency achieve its mission;

(ii) work with CNCS to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of such partnerships; and

(iii) work with CNCS to identify ways in which the agency's national service participants and volunteers can develop transferable skills, and also how national service can serve as a pipeline to employment inside and outside the Federal Government.

(b) Where practicable, agencies may consider entering into interagency agreements with CNCS to share program development and funding responsibilities, as authorized under 42 U.S.C. 12571(b)(1).

Sec. 4. Recruitment of National Service Participants in the Civilian Career Services. In order to provide national service participants a means to pursue additional opportunities to continue their public service through career civilian service, the Office of Personnel Management shall, within 120 days of the date of this memorandum, issue guidance to agencies on developing and improving Federal recruitment strategies for participants in national service.

Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law or Executive Order to an agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

(d) The Chief Executive Officer of CNCS is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.



Zimmerman Verdict Drew Millions to Cable TV -

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Archived Version

Mon, 15 Jul 2013 17:33

Despite breaking late on a weekend evening, the verdict in the murder trial of George Zimmerman attracted an audience of more than 10 million viewers to cable news networks, a huge total for a Saturday night.

Preliminary ratings showed that for the hour from 10 to 11 p.m. when the verdict came in, Fox News and CNN both attracted well over 3 million viewers, while MSNBC trailed badly with only about 1.3 million.

Fox had the highest number, 3.68 million viewers, just ahead of CNN with 3.4 million. But CNN outpaced Fox News among the viewers that television advertisers pay most to reach, those between the ages of 25 and 54. In that category, CNN had 1.72 million viewers to 1.11 million for Fox News. MSNBC had only 510,000.

MSNBC actually finished in fourth place over all, also coming in behind CNN's sister network HLN, which is known for covering criminal trials. HLN had 2.2 million total viewers for third in that category and 980,000 in the 25-54 group, which also placed it third.

MSNBC's Race Baiting Zimmerman Verdict Coverage A Ratings Disaster, Crushed By Both Fox And CNN'... | Weasel Zippers

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Archived Version

Wed, 17 Jul 2013 21:59

Words can't describe the joy I feel when I see MSNBC's ratings implode.

Via Politico:

MSNBC's ratings woes came into sharp relief on Monday with the release of the preliminary numbers for the Zimmerman verdict.

In the 10-11 p.m. hour on Saturday night, when the verdict in, Fox News had 3,682,000 total viewers; CNN had 3,407,000 total viewers and won the coveted demo with 1,716,000 viewers aged 25-to-54.

In the same hour, MSNBC had 1,298,000 total viewers '-- about one-third of Fox's total '-- and a mere 510,000 viewers in the demo.

Despite branding itself as ''the place for politics,'' MSNBC went wall-to-wall on the Zimmerman trial after watching its ratings tank in recent months. It doesn't seemed to have helped.

Fox Crushed MSNBC In Ratings After Sanford Verdict on Saturday Night | NewsBusters

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Archived Version

Wed, 17 Jul 2013 21:59

Dylan Byers at Politico underlined that all of MSNBC's focus on the Zimmerman trial did not pay off when the verdict came down on Saturday night -- a time when MSNBC is usually running stale "Lockup" shows.

During the 10-11 p.m. hour, when the verdict was released, Fox News had 3,682,000 total viewers while MSNBC with 1,298.000. (CNN and HLN both placed ahead of MSNBC).

MSNBC also trailed dramatically in the 25-54 demographic, with just 510,000 viewers, compared to 1,716,000 on CNN, 1,113,000 on Fox and 980,000 on HLN.

Byers concluded: ''Despite branding itself as "the place for politics," MSNBC went wall-to-wall on the Zimmerman trial after watching its ratings tank in recent months. It doesn't seemed to have helped.''

Feds consider civil rights charges against George Zimmerman | GlobalPost

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Archived Version

Wed, 17 Jul 2013 02:08

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George Zimmerman was acquitted by the state of Florida in the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin but he may face more charges at the federal level.

The US Justice Department said Sunday it would look into the case and consider whether to bring criminal civil rights charges against Zimmerman.

The department opened an investigation into the shooting last year but stepped aside so the state could conduct its own investigation.

"Experienced federal prosecutors will determine whether the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation of any of the limited federal criminal civil rights statutes within our jurisdiction," the statement said, according to The Associated Press.

The department added that it will determine "whether federal prosecution is appropriate in accordance with the department's policy governing successive federal prosecution following a state trial."

A jury found Zimmerman not guilty of second degree murder and manslaughter Saturday night after a highly publicized trial.

Zimmerman admitted to killing Martin that rainy night in February 2012 but claimed it was in self defense.

More from GlobalPost: 'Justice for Trayvon' shouts echo after Zimmerman found not guilty

Civil rights groups including the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union called upon US Attorney General Eric Holder to look into the case.

"Those of us who are fathers, particularly of African-American boys, find it shockingly frightening," Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP's Washington bureau said in a statement.

The message, he said, is, "Not only can we do this, we can get away with it."

If the Justice Department does open a federal civil rights case it will likely be a tough case to prove.

"There are several factual and legal hurdles that federal prosecutors would have to overcome," Alan Vinegrad, the former US Attorney in the Eastern District of New York, told AP.

"They'd have to show not only that the attack was unjustified, but that Mr. Zimmerman attacked Mr. Martin because of his race and because he was using a public facility, the street."

President Barack Obama said on Sunday that "a jury has spoken."

"I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher," Obama said.

But he asked the public to respect the Martin family's appeal for "calm reflection" in the case.

Emmett Till - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Archived Version

Thu, 18 Jul 2013 03:40

Emmett Louis Till (July 25, 1941 '' August 28, 1955) was an African-American boy who was murdered in Mississippi at the age of 14 after reportedly flirting with a white woman. Till was from Chicago, Illinois, visiting his relatives in Money, Mississippi, in the Mississippi Delta region, when he spoke to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, the married proprietor of a small grocery store there. Several nights later, Bryant's husband Roy and his half-brother J. W. Milam arrived at Till's great-uncle's house where they took Till, transported him to a barn, beat him and gouged out one of his eyes, before shooting him through the head and disposing of his body in the Tallahatchie River, weighting it with a 70-pound (32 kg) cotton gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire. His body was discovered and retrieved from the river three days later.

Till was returned to Chicago and his mother, who had raised him mostly by herself, insisted on a public funeral service with an open casket to show the world the brutality of the killing. Tens of thousands attended his funeral or viewed his casket and images of his mutilated body were published in black magazines and newspapers, rallying popular black support and white sympathy across the U.S. Intense scrutiny was brought to bear on the condition of black civil rights in Mississippi, with newspapers around the country critical of the state. Although initially local newspapers and law enforcement officials decried the violence against Till and called for justice, they soon began responding to national criticism by defending Mississippians, which eventually transformed into support for the killers.

The trial attracted a vast amount of press attention. Bryant and Milam were acquitted of Till's kidnapping and murder, but only months later, in a magazine interview, protected against double jeopardy, they admitted to killing him. Till's murder is noted as a pivotal event motivating the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

Problems identifying Till affected the trial, partially leading to Bryant's and Milam's acquittals, and the case was officially reopened by the United States Department of Justice in 2004. As part of the investigation, the body was exhumed and autopsied resulting in a positive identification. He was reburied in a new casket, which is the standard practice in cases of body exhumation. His original casket was donated to the Smithsonian Institution. Events surrounding Emmett Till's life and death, according to historians, continue to resonate, and almost every story about Mississippi returns to Till, or the region in which he died, in "some spiritual, homing way".[2]

Early childhoodEmmett Till was the son of Mamie Carthan (1921''2003) and Louis Till (1922''1945). Emmett's mother was born in the small Delta town of Webb, Mississippi. The Delta region encompasses the area of northwestern Mississippi in the watershed of the Yazoo and Mississippi Rivers. When Mamie Carthan was two years old, her family moved to Argo, Illinois, as part of the general migration of black families to the North to escape lack of opportunity and unequal treatment under the law.[3] Argo received so many Southern migrants it was named "Little Mississippi"; Carthan's mother's home was often used as a way-station for people who had just moved from the South as they were trying to find jobs and homes. Mississippi was the poorest state in the U.S. in the 1950s, and the Delta counties were some of the poorest in Mississippi.[4] In Tallahatchie County, where Mamie Carthan was born, the average income per household in 1949 was $690 ($6,324 in 2010 dollars); for black families it was $462 ($4,234 in 2010 dollars).[5] Economic opportunities for blacks were almost nonexistent. Most of them were sharecroppers who lived on land owned by whites. Blacks were not allowed to vote and they had very few legal rights.

Till was born in Chicago and nicknamed "Bobo" as an infant by a family friend. Emmett's mother largely raised him with her mother; she and Louis Till separated in 1942 after she found out he had been unfaithful, and later choked her to unconsciousness, to which she responded by throwing scalding water at him.[6] For violating court orders to stay away from Mamie, Emmett's father was forced by a judge to choose between jail or enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1943,[7] and died in 1945. When he was six years old Emmett contracted polio, leaving him with a persistent stutter.[8] Mamie and Emmett moved to Detroit where she met and married "Pink" Bradley in 1951. Emmett preferred to live in Chicago, so he relocated to live with his grandmother; his mother rejoined him with his stepfather later that year. The marriage dissolved in 1952, however, and Pink Bradley returned to Detroit.[9]

Mamie Till Bradley and Emmett lived alone together in a busy neighborhood in Chicago's South Side with extended relatives close by. She began working as a civilian clerk for the U.S. Air Force for a better salary, and recalled that Emmett was industrious enough to help with chores at home, although he sometimes got distracted. His mother remembered that he did not know his own limitations at times. Following their separation, Pink Bradley paid her a visit and began threatening her. At eleven years old, Emmett, with a butcher knife in hand, told Pink he would kill him if he did not leave.[10] Usually, however, Emmett was happy. He and his cousins and friends pulled pranks on each other (Emmett once took advantage of an extended car ride when his friend fell asleep and placed the friend's underwear on his head) and spent their free time in pickup baseball games. He was a natty dresser and often the center of attention around his peers.[11]

In 1955, Emmett was stocky and muscular, weighing about 150 pounds (68 kg) and standing 5 feet 4 inches (1.63 m). Despite his age at 14 years old, whites in Mississippi claimed he looked like an adult.[12] Mamie Till Bradley's uncle, 64-year-old Mose Wright, visited them in Chicago during the summer and told Emmett stories about living in the Mississippi Delta. Emmett wanted to see for himself. Bradley was ready for a vacation and planned to take Emmett with her, but after he begged her to visit Wright, she relented. Wright planned to accompany Till with a cousin, Wheeler Parker, and another, Curtis Jones, would join them soon. Wright was a sharecropper and part-time minister who was often called "Preacher".[13] He lived in Money, Mississippi, another small town in the Delta that consisted of three stores, a school, a post office, a cotton gin, and a couple hundred residents, 8 miles (13 km) north of Greenwood. Before his departure for the Delta, Till's mother cautioned him that Chicago and Mississippi were two different worlds and he should know how to behave in front of whites in the South.[14] He assured her he understood.[15]

Since 1882, when statistics on lynchings began to be collected, more than 500 African-Americans had been killed by extrajudicial violence in Mississippi alone.[16] The majority of the incidents took place between 1876 and 1930; though far less common by the mid-1950s, these racially motivated murders still occurred. Throughout the South a severely divided racial caste system was predicated upon avoiding interracial relationships. Although this occurred, particularly among white men and black women, the protection of white women from black men was the hinge upon which the caste system functioned, and although it rarely happened, even the suggestion of sexual contact between black men and white women carried the most severe penalties for black men. A resurgence of the enforcement of these mores was evident following World War II.[17] Racial tensions were furthermore on the rise after the United States Supreme Court's 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education to end segregation in public education. Many segregationists viewed the ruling as an avenue to allow interracial marriage. The reaction among whites in the South was to constrain blacks forcefully from any semblance of social equality.[18] A week before Till arrived, a black man named Lamar Smith was shot in front of the county courthouse in Brookhaven for political organizing. Three men were arrested, but were acquitted.[19]

Encounter between Till and Carolyn BryantTill arrived in Money, Mississippi on August 21, 1955. On August 24, he and cousin Curtis Jones skipped church where Wright was preaching, joining some local boys as they went to Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market to buy candy. The teenagers were children of sharecroppers and had been picking cotton all day. The market was owned by a white couple, 24-year-old Roy Bryant and his wife Carolyn, and mostly catered to the local sharecropper population. Carolyn was alone in the store that day; her sister-in-law was in the rear of the store watching children. Jones left Till with the other boys while Jones played checkers across the street. According to Jones, the other boys reported that Till had a photograph of an integrated class at the school he attended in Chicago,[note 1] and Till bragged to the boys that the white children in the picture were his friends. He pointed to a white girl in the picture, or referred to a picture of a white girl that had come with his new wallet,[20] and stated that she was his girlfriend. One or more of the local boys dared Till to speak to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant.[21]

The facts of what transpired in the store are still disputed but according to several versions Till may have wolf-whistled at Bryant.[22] A newspaper account following his disappearance stated that Till sometimes whistled to alleviate his stuttering.[23] His speech was sometimes unclear; his mother said he had particular difficulty with pronouncing "b" sounds, and may have whistled to overcome problems asking for bubble gum.[24] According to other stories, Till may have grabbed Carolyn Bryant's hand and asked her for a date, or said "Bye, baby" as he left the store,[12] or "You needn't be afraid of me, baby, I've been with white women before."[25] Carolyn Bryant later asserted that Till had grabbed her at the waist and asked her for a date. She said the young man also used "unprintable" words.[26]

In any event, Carolyn Bryant was so alarmed she ran outside to a car to retrieve a pistol from under the seat. Upon seeing her do this, the teenagers left immediately.[25] One of the other boys ran across the street to tell Curtis Jones what happened. When the older man, with whom Jones was playing checkers, heard the story, he urged the boys to leave quickly, fearing violence. Carolyn Bryant told others of the events at the store, and the story spread quickly. Jones and Till declined to tell Mose Wright, fearing they would get in trouble.[27] Till expressed a desire to return home to Chicago. Roy Bryant was on an extended trip hauling shrimp to Texas and did not return home until August 27.[28]

MurderWhen Roy Bryant was told of what had transpired, he aggressively questioned several young black men who entered the store. That evening, Bryant, with a black man named J. W. Washington, approached a young black man walking along a road. Bryant ordered Washington to seize the young man, put him in the back of his pickup truck, and took him to be identified by an as-yet unnamed companion of Carolyn's who had witnessed the episode with Till. Friends or parents vouched for the young men in Bryant's store, and Carolyn's companion denied that the young man Bryant and Washington seized was the one who had accosted her. Somehow, however, Bryant learned that the young man who had done it was from Chicago and was staying with Mose Wright.[note 2] Several witnesses overheard Bryant and his 36-year-old half-brother John William "J. W." Milam discussing taking Till from his house.[29]

In the early morning hours'--between 2:00 am and 3:30 am'--on Sunday, August 28, 1955, Roy Bryant, Milam, and another man (who may have been black) drove to Mose Wright's house. Milam was armed with a pistol and a flashlight. He asked Wright if he had three boys in the house from Chicago. Till shared a bed with another cousin; there were eight people in the small two-bedroom cabin. Milam asked Wright to take them to "the nigger who did the talking". When they asked Till if it was him, he replied, "Yeah", for which they threatened to shoot him and told him to get dressed.[12][30] The men threatened to kill Wright if he reported what he had seen. Till's great-aunt offered the men money, but they did not respond. They put Till in the back of a pickup truck and drove to a barn at the Clint Shurden Plantation in Drew. Till was pistol-whipped and placed in the bed of the pickup truck again and covered with a tarpaulin. Throughout the course of the night, Bryant, Milam, and witnesses recall them being in several locations with Till. According to some witnesses, they took Till to a shed behind Milam's home in the nearby town of Glendora where they beat him again and tried to decide what to do. Witnesses recall between two and four white men and two and four black men who were either in or surrounding the pickup truck where Till was seated. Others passed by Milam's shed to the sounds of someone being beaten. Accounts differ as to when Till was shot; either in Milam's shed or by the Tallahatchie River. He was driven to Bryant's store where several people noticed blood pooling in the truck bed. Bryant explained he killed a deer, and in one instance showed the body to a black man who questioned him, saying "that's what happens to smart niggers".[31]

Well, what else could we do? He was hopeless. I'm no bully; I never hurt a nigger in my life. I like niggers'--in their place'--I know how to work 'em. But I just decided it was time a few people got put on notice. As long as I live and can do anything about it, niggers are gonna stay in their place. Niggers ain't gonna vote where I live. If they did, they'd control the government. They ain't gonna go to school with my kids. And when a nigger gets close to mentioning sex with a white woman, he's tired o' livin'. I'm likely to kill him. Me and my folks fought for this country, and we got some rights. I stood there in that shed and listened to that nigger throw that poison at me, and I just made up my mind. 'Chicago boy,' I said, 'I'm tired of 'em sending your kind down here to stir up trouble. Goddam you, I'm going to make an example of you'--just so everybody can know how me and my folks stand.'

J. W. Milam, Look magazine, 1956[12]In an interview with William Bradford Huie in Look magazine in 1956, Bryant and Milam stated that their intention was to beat Till and throw him off an embankment into the river to frighten him. They told Huie that while they were beating Till, however, he called them bastards, declared he was as good as they, and in the past had sexual encounters with white women. They then put Till in the back of their truck, drove to a cotton gin to take a 70-pound (32 kg) fan'--the only time they admitted to being worried, thinking that by this time in early daylight they would be spotted and accused of stealing'--and drove for several miles along the river looking for a place to dispose of Till. They shot him by the river and weighted his body with the fan.[12][note 3]

Mose Wright stayed on his front porch for twenty minutes waiting for Till to return. He did not go back to bed. He and another man went into Money, got gasoline, and drove around trying to find Till. Unsuccessful, they returned home by 8:00 am.[32] After hearing from Wright that he would not call the police because he feared for his life, Curtis Jones placed a call to the Leflore County sheriff and another to his mother in Chicago, who, hysterical, called Mamie Till Bradley.[33] Wright and his wife also drove to Sumner, where Elizabeth Wright's brother contacted the sheriff.[34]

Bryant and Milam were questioned by Leflore County Sheriff George Smith. They admitted they had taken the boy from his great-uncle's yard but claimed they had released him the same night in front of Bryant's store. Bryant and Milam were arrested for kidnapping.[35] Word got out that Till was missing, and soon Mississippi state field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Medgar Evers, and Amzie Moore, head of the Bolivar County chapter, became involved, disguising themselves as cotton pickers and going into the cotton fields in search of any information that might help find Till.[36]

Three days after his abduction, Till's swollen and disfigured body was found by two boys fishing in the Tallahatchie River. His head was very badly damaged. He had been shot above the right ear, an eye was dislodged from the socket, there was evidence that he had been beaten on the back and the hips, and his body weighted to the fan blade, which was fastened around his neck with barbed wire. He was nude, but wearing a silver ring with the initials "L. T." and "May 25, 1943" carved in it.[37][note 4]

Confusion about Till's whereabouts and a positive identification of the body retrieved from the river compounded issues in the case that eventually influenced the trial. Hodding Carter in the Delta Democrat-Times, a local Mississippi newspaper, reported that Till may have been hidden by his relatives or perhaps returned to Chicago for his safety.[38] The body's face was unrecognizable due to trauma and the result of being submerged in water. Mose Wright was called to the river and identified Till. The silver ring Till wore was removed and returned to Wright, and further passed to the district attorney. Stories from witnesses, both black and white, conflict about whether the ring was on Till's body and who knew he had worn it previously.[39]

Funeral and reactionAlthough racially motivated murders had occurred throughout the South for decades, the circumstances surrounding Emmett Till grew beyond the details of a 14-year-old boy who had unknowingly defied a severe social caste system. Till's murder brought considerations about segregation, law enforcement, relations between the North and South, the social status quo in Mississippi, the NAACP, White Citizens' Councils, and the Cold War, all of which were played out in a drama staged in newspapers all over the U.S. and abroad.[40] When Till went missing, a three-paragraph story was printed in the Greenwood Commonwealth and quickly picked up by other Mississippi newspapers. They reported on his death when the body was found, and the next day, when a picture of him his mother had taken the previous Christmas showing them smiling together appeared in the Jackson Daily News and Vicksburg Evening Post, editorials and letters to the editor were printed expressing shame at the people who had caused Till's death. One read "Now is the time for every citizen who loves the state of Mississippi to 'Stand up and be counted' before hoodlum white trash brings us to destruction." The letter went on to state that Negroes were not the downfall of Mississippi society, but whites like those in White Citizens' Councils that condoned violence.[41]

Till's body was clothed, packed in lime, and put in a pine coffin and prepared for burial. It may have been embalmed while in Mississippi. Mamie Till Bradley demanded that the body be sent to Chicago; she later stated that she endeavored to halt an immediate burial in Mississippi and called several local and state authorities in Illinois and Mississippi to make sure that her son was returned to Chicago.[42] A doctor did not examine Till post-mortem.[43]

Mississippi's governor, Hugh L. White, deplored the murder, asserting that local authorities should pursue a "vigorous prosecution". He sent a telegram to the national offices of the NAACP promising a full investigation and assuring them "Mississippi does not condone such conduct". Delta residents, both black and white, also distanced themselves from Till's murder, finding the circumstances abhorrent. Local newspaper editorials denounced the murderers without question.[25][44] Leflore County Deputy Sheriff John Cothran stated, "The white people around here feel pretty mad about the way that poor little boy was treated, and they won't stand for this."[45]

Soon, however, discourse about Till's murder became more complex. Robert Patterson, executive secretary of the segregationist White Citizens' Council, lamented Till's death by reiterating that racial segregation policies were in force for blacks' safety and that their efforts were being neutralized by the NAACP. In response, NAACP executive secretary Roy Wilkins characterized the incident as a lynching and stated that Mississippi was attempting to maintain white supremacy through murder, and "there is in the entire state no restraining influence of decency, not in the state capital, among the daily newspapers, the clergy, nor any segment of the so-called better citizens".[46] Mamie Till Bradley told a reporter that she would seek legal aid to help law enforcement find her son's killers and that the State of Mississippi should share the financial responsibility. She was misquoted; it came out as "Mississippi is going to pay for this".[47]

The A. A. Rayner Funeral Home in Chicago received Till's body, and upon arrival, Bradley insisted on viewing it to make a positive identification, later stating that the stench from it was noticeable two blocks away.[48] She decided to have an open casket funeral, saying "There was just no way I could describe what was in that box. No way. And I just wanted the world to see."[36] Tens of thousands of people lined the street outside the mortuary to view Till's body, and days later thousands more attended his funeral at Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ. Photographs of his mutilated corpse circulated around the country, notably appearing in Jet magazine and The Chicago Defender, both black publications, and drew intense public reaction. According to The Nation and Newsweek, Chicago's black community was "aroused as it has not been over any similar act in recent history".[49][note 5] Till was buried September 6 in Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois.

News about Emmett Till spread to both coasts. Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley and Illinois Governor William Stratton also became involved, urging Governor White to see that justice be done. The tone in Mississippi newspapers changed dramatically. They falsely reported riots in the funeral home in Chicago. Bryant and Milam appeared in photos of them smiling in military uniforms[50] and Carolyn Bryant's beauty and virtue were extolled. Rumors of an invasion of outraged blacks and northern whites were printed throughout the state so that the Leflore County sheriff took them seriously. Local businessman, surgeon, and civil rights proponent T. R. M. Howard, one of the wealthiest blacks in the state, warned of a "second civil war" if "slaughtering of Negroes" was allowed.[51] Following Wilkins' comments, white opinion began to shift. According to historian Stephen Whitfield, a specific brand of xenophobia in the South was particularly strong in Mississippi, urging whites to reject the influence of Northern opinion and agitation.[52] This independent attitude was profound enough in Tallahatchie County that it earned the nickname "The Freestate of Tallahatchie", according to a former sheriff, "because people here do what they damn well please", making the county often difficult to govern.[53]

Consequently, Tallahatchie County Sheriff Clarence Strider, who initially positively identified Till's body and stated that the case against Milam and Bryant was "pretty good", on September 3 announced his doubts that the body pulled from the Tallahatchie River was Till's, who, he speculated, was probably still alive. The body, according to Strider, was planted by the NAACP: a cadaver stolen by T. R. M. Howard, who colluded to place Till's ring on it.[54] Strider was motivated to change after the comments made in the press about the people of Mississippi, later saying, "The last thing I wanted to do was to defend those peckerwoods. But I just had no choice about it."[25][note 6]

Bryant and Milam were indicted for murder, despite the reservations of the grand jury's prosecuting attorney, Hamilton Caldwell, who was not confident a conviction would ever be returned in a case of white violence against a black male accused of insulting a white woman. A local black paper was surprised at the indictment and praised the decision, as did the New York Times. The high profile comments made in Northern newspapers and by the NAACP concerned the prosecuting attorney, Gerald Chatham, who worried that they would not be able to secure a guilty verdict, even with the evidence they had. Initially, with limited funds, Bryant and Milam had difficulty finding attorneys to represent them, but five attorneys at a Sumner law firm offered their services pro bono.[52] Collection jars were placed in stores and other public places in the Delta, eventually gathering $10,000 for the defense.[55]

TrialThe town of Sumner in Tallahatchie County served as the venue for the trial as the body had been found there. Sumner had only one boarding house and the small town was besieged by reporters from all over the country. David Halberstam called it "the first great media event of the civil rights movement".[56] A reporter who had covered the trials for Bruno Hauptmann and Machine Gun Kelly remarked that this was the most publicity for any trial he had ever seen.[25] No hotels were available for black visitors. Mamie Till Bradley arrived to testify and the trial also attracted black congressman Charles Diggs from Michigan. Bradley, Diggs, and several black reporters stayed at Howard's home in Mound Bayou, which, on a large lot surrounded by Howard's armed guards, resembled a compound. The day before the start of the trial, a young black man named Frank Young arrived to tell Howard he knew of two witnesses to the crime. Levi "Too Tight" Collins and Henry Lee Loggins were black employees of Leslie Milam, J. W.'s brother, in whose shed Till was beaten. Collins and Loggins were spotted with J. W. Milam, Bryant, and Till. The prosecution team was unaware of Collins and Loggins. Sheriff Strider, however, booked them into the Charleston, Mississippi jail to keep them from testifying.[57]

The trial was held in September 1955, lasting for five days; and attendees remember the weather being very hot. The courtroom was filled to its 280-spectator capacity, and as a matter of course racially segregated.[58] Press from major national newspapers attended, including black publications; black reporters were made to sit segregated from the white press, farther from the jury. Sheriff Strider welcomed black spectators coming back from lunch with a cheerful, "Hello, Niggers!"[59] Some visitors from the North found the court to be run with surprising informality. Jury members were allowed to drink beer on duty and many white men in the audience wore handguns holstered to their belts.[60]

The defense's primary strategy was arguing that the body pulled from the river could not be positively identified and they questioned whether Till was dead at all. The defense asserted that Bryant and Milam had taken Till, but had let him go. They furthermore attempted to prove that Mose Wright'--who was addressed as "Uncle Mose" by the prosecution and "Mose" by the defense'--could not identify Bryant and Milam as the men who took Till from his cabin. Only Milam's flashlight was in use, and no other lights in the house were turned on. Milam and Bryant identified themselves to Wright the evening they took Till'--the third man did not speak'--but Wright only saw Milam clearly. Wright's testimony was considered remarkably courageous and a first in the state for a black man implicating the guilt of a white man in court. Journalist James Hicks, who worked for the black news wire service National News Association, was present in the courtroom and was especially impressed that Wright stood to identify Milam, pointing to him and saying "Thar he" (There he is),[note 7] calling it a historic moment and one filled with "electricity".[63] A writer for the New York Post noted that following his identification Wright sat "with a lurch which told better than anything else the cost in strength to him of the thing he had done".[64] A reporter who covered the trial for the New Orleans Times-Picayune stated it was "the most dramatic thing I saw in my career".[65]

Mamie Till Bradley testified that she instructed her son to watch his manners in Mississippi and that should a situation ever come to his being asked to get on his knees to ask forgiveness of a white person, he should do it without a thought. The defense questioned her identification of her son in the casket in Chicago and a $400 life insurance policy she had taken out on him.[66]

While the trial progressed, Leflore County Sheriff George Smith, Howard, and several reporters, both black and white, attempted to locate Collins and Loggins. They could not, but found three witnesses who had seen Collins and Loggins with Milam and Bryant on Leslie Milam's property. Two of them testified that they heard someone being beaten, blows, and cries.[66] One testified so quietly the judge ordered him several times to speak louder, he heard the victim call out, "Mama, Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy."[67] Judge Curtis Swango allowed Carolyn Bryant to testify, but not in front of the jury, after the prosecution objected that her testimony was irrelevant to Till's abduction and murder. It may have been leaked in any case to the jury. Sheriff Strider testified for the defense his theory that Till was alive, the body retrieved from the river was white, and a doctor from Greenwood stated on the stand that the body was too decomposed to identify, and therefore had been in the water too long for it to be Till.[68]

In the concluding statements, one prosecuting attorney admitted that what Till did was wrong, but it warranted a spanking, not murder. Gerald Chatham passionately called for justice and mocked the sheriff and doctor's statements that alluded to a conspiracy. Mamie Bradley indicated she was very impressed with his summation.[69] The defense stated that the prosecution's theory of the events the night Till was murdered were improbable, and said the jury's "forefathers would turn over in their graves" if they convicted Bryant and Milam. Only three outcomes were possible in Mississippi for capital murder: life imprisonment, the death penalty, or acquittal. On September 23 the jury acquitted both defendants after a 67-minute deliberation; one juror said, "If we hadn't stopped to drink pop, it wouldn't have taken that long."[70]

In post-trial analyses, blame for the outcome varied. Mamie Till Bradley was criticized for not crying enough on the stand. The jury was noted to have been picked almost exclusively from the hill country section of Tallahatchie County, which, due to its poorer economic make-up, found whites and blacks competing for land and other agrarian opportunities. Unlike the population living closer to the river (and thus closer to Bryant and Milam in Leflore County) who possessed a noblesse oblige toward blacks according to historian Stephen Whitaker, those in the eastern part of the county were remarkably virulent in their racism. The prosecution was criticized for dismissing any potential juror who knew Milam or Bryant, for the fear that such a juror would vote to acquit. Afterward, Whitaker noted that this was a mistake as anyone who had personally known the defendants usually disliked them.[25][69] One juror voted twice to convict, but on the third discussion, acquiesced and voted with the rest of the jury to acquit.[71] In later interviews, the jurors acknowledged that they knew Bryant and Milam were guilty, but simply did not believe life imprisonment or the death penalty fit punishment for whites who had killed a black man.[72] This is somewhat disputed by later interviews with two jurors who stated as late as 2005 that they believed the defense's case, that the prosecution had not proven that Till had died and that it was his body that was removed from the river.[71]

In November 1955 a grand jury declined to indict Bryant and Milam for kidnapping, despite the testimony given that they had admitted taking Till. Mose Wright and a young man named Willie Reed, who testified to seeing Milam enter the shed where screams and blows came from, both testified in front of the grand jury.[73] T. R. M. Howard paid to relocate Wright, Reed, and another black witness who testified against Milam and Bryant, to Chicago.[69]

Media discourseReactions from newspapers in major international cities and Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and socialist publications were furious about the verdict and very critical of American society. Southern newspapers, particularly in Mississippi, wrote that the court system had done its job.[74] Till's story continued to make news for weeks following the trial, especially sparking debate between Southern, Northern, and black newspapers, the NAACP and various high-profile segregationists about justice for blacks and the propriety of Jim Crow society.

In October 1955, the Jackson Daily News reported facts about Till's father that had been suppressed by the U.S. military. While serving in Italy, Louis Till raped two women and killed a third. He was court-martialed and hanged by the Army near Pisa in July 1945. Mamie Till Bradley and her family knew none of this, having only been told that Louis had been killed for "willful misconduct". Mississippi senators James Eastland and John C. Stennis probed Army records to uncover Louis Till's crimes. Although Emmett Till's murder trial was over, news about his father remained on the front pages of Mississippi newspapers for weeks in October and November 1955, further engaging debate about Emmett Till's actions and Carolyn Bryant's integrity. Stephen Whitfield writes that the lack of attention paid to identifying or finding Till is "strange" compared to the amount of published discourse about his father.[75] Emmett Till's urges, to white Mississippians, were genetic instincts violently apparent in Louis Till. According to historians Davis Houck and Matthew Grindy, "Louis Till became a most important rhetorical pawn in the high-stakes game of north versus south, black versus white, NAACP versus White Citizens' Councils".[76]

Protected against double jeopardy, Bryant and Milam struck a deal with Look magazine in 1956 to tell their story to William Bradford Huie for between $3,600 and $4,000. The interview took place in the law firm of the attorneys who had defended Bryant and Milam. Huie did not ask the questions; Bryant and Milam's own attorneys did. They had never heard the story before either. According to Huie, the older Milam was more articulate and sure of himself than Bryant. Milam admitted to shooting Till and neither of them thought of themselves as guilty or that they had done anything wrong.[77] Following their interview, however, their support base eroded in Mississippi.[78] Blacks refused to shop at their stores, they went bankrupt, and were unable to secure loans from banks to plant crops.[25]

Reaction to Huie's interview with Bryant and Milam was explosive. Their brazen admission that they had slain Till caused prominent civil rights leaders to push the federal government harder to investigate the case. Till's murder was one of several reasons the Civil Rights Act of 1957 was passed; it allowed the U.S. Department of Justice to intervene in local law enforcement issues when civil rights were being compromised.[25] Huie's interview, in which he said that Milam and Bryant had acted alone, overshadowed inconsistencies in earlier versions of the stories. Details about Collins and Loggins and anyone else who had possibly been involved in Till's abduction, murder, or the clean-up of it, were, according to historians David and Linda Beito, forgotten.[79][note 8]

If the facts as stated in the Look magazine account of the Till affair are correct, this remains: two adults, armed, in the dark, kidnap a fourteen-year-old boy and take him away to frighten him. Instead of which, the fourteen-year-old boy not only refuses to be frightened, but, unarmed, alone, in the dark, so frightens the two armed adults that they must destroy him.... What are we Mississippians afraid of?

Emmett Till began to seep into the consciousness of Americans through media and literature. Langston Hughes dedicated an untitled poem (eventually to be known as "Mississippi'--1955") to Till in his October 1, 1955 column in The Chicago Defender. It was reprinted across the country and continued to be republished with various changes from different writers.[81]William Faulkner, a Mississippi native who often focused on racial issues, wrote two essays on Till: one before the trial in which he pleaded for American unity and one after, a piece titled "On Fear" that was published in Harper's in 1956 in which he questioned why the tenets of segregation were based on irrational reasoning.[80] Till's murder was the focus of a 1957 television episode for the U.S. Steel Hour titled "Noon on Doomsday" written by Rod Serling, who was fascinated with how quickly Mississippi whites supported Bryant and Milam. Although the script was rewritten to avoid mention of Till, or even that the murder victim was black, White Citizens' Councils vowed to boycott U.S. Steel. The eventual product bore no resemblance to the Till case.[82]Gwendolyn Brooks wrote a poem titled "A Bronzeville Mother Loiters in Mississippi. Meanwhile, A Mississippi Mother Burns Bacon" in 1960. The same year Harper Lee published To Kill a Mockingbird in which a white attorney is committed to defending a black man named Tom Robinson, accused of raping a white woman. Lee, whose novel had a profound effect on civil rights, has not publicly stated Robinson's origins, but literature professor Patrick Chura notes several compelling similarities between Till's case and that of Robinson.[83]James Baldwin loosely based his 1964 drama Blues for Mister Charlie on the Till case. He later divulged that Till's murder had been bothering him for several years.[84]

Bob Dylan recorded a song titled "The Death of Emmett Till" in 1962. Till was mentioned in the 1968 autobiography of Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi, in which she states she first learned to hate during the fall of 1955.[85]Audre Lorde's poem "Afterimages" (1981) focuses on the perspective of a black woman thinking of Carolyn Bryant 24 years after the murder and trial, and Bebe Moore Campbell's 1992 novel Your Blues Ain't Like Mine centers on the events of Till's death. Toni Morrison's only play as of 2010 is Dreaming Emmett (1986), a feminist look at the roles of men and women in black society, which she was inspired to write while considering "time through the eyes of one person who could come back to life and seek vengeance".[86]Emmylou Harris includes a song called "My Name is Emmett Till" on her 2011 album, Hard Bargain (Emmylou Harris). According to scholar Christopher Mettress, Till is often reconfigured in literature as a specter that haunts the white people of Mississippi, causing them to question their involvement in evil, or silence about injustice.[84]

Later eventsAfter relocating to Texas for several years, Milam and Bryant returned to Mississippi.[note 9] Milam died of cancer in 1980, at the age of 61. Bryant worked as a welder while in Texas, until increasing blindness forced him to give up this employment. At some point he and Carolyn divorced. In 1980 he married for a second time. He operated a store in Ruleville, Mississippi, and was convicted in 1984 and 1988 of food stamp fraud. In a 1985 interview, he denied that he had killed Till, but said, "if Emmett Till hadn't got out of line, it probably wouldn't have happened to him." Fearing economic boycotts and retaliation, Bryant lived a private life, and refused to allow himself to be photographed or the exact location of his store revealed, explaining that "this new generation is different and I don't want to worry about a bullet some dark night."[87] In 1994, at the age of 63, he died of cancer.[88]

Till's mother married Gene Mobley, became a teacher, changed her surname to Till-Mobley, and continued her life as an activist working to educate people about what happened to her son. In 1992, Till-Mobley had the opportunity to listen while Bryant was interviewed about his involvement in Till's murder. With Bryant unaware that Till-Mobley was listening, he asserted that Till had ruined his life, expressed no remorse, and stated "Emmett Till is dead. I don't know why he can't just stay dead."[89]

In 1996, documentary filmmaker Keith Beauchamp, who was greatly moved by Till's open casket photograph,[56] started background research for a feature film he planned to make about Till's murder, and asserted that as many as 14 people may have been involved, including Carolyn Bryant Donham, who had also remarried. Mose Wright heard someone with "a lighter voice" affirm that Till was the one in his front yard immediately before Bryant and Milam drove away with Till. Beauchamp spent the next nine years creating The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till, released in 2003. That same year, PBS aired an installment of American Experience titled "The Murder of Emmett Till". In 2005, CBS journalist Ed Bradley aired a 60 Minutes report investigating the Till murder, part of which showed him tracking down Carolyn Bryant at her home in Greenville, Mississippi.[90]

A 1991 book written by Stephen Whitfield, another by Christopher Mettress in 2002, and Mamie Till-Mobley's own memoirs the next year all posed questions as to who was involved in the murder and cover-up, leading Federal authorities to resolve the questions about the identity of the body pulled from the Tallahatchie River.[91] In 2004, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it was reopening the case to determine whether anyone other than Milam and Bryant was involved.[92]David T. Beito, professor at the University of Alabama, states that Till's murder "has this mythic quality like the Kennedy assassination".[65]

The body was exhumed and an autopsy conducted by the Cook Countycoroner in 2005. Using DNA from Till's relatives, dental comparisons to images taken of Till, and anthropological analysis, the body exhumed was positively identified as Till's. It had extensive cranial damage, a broken left femur, and two broken wrists. Metallic fragments were found in the skull consistent with being shot with a .45 caliber gun.[93]

In February 2007, a Leflore County grand jury, composed primarily of black jurors, and empaneled by Joyce Chiles, a black prosecutor, found no credible basis for Beauchamp's claim that 14 people took part in Till's abduction and murder. Beauchamp was angry with the finding, but David Beito and Juan Williams, who worked on the reading materials for the Eyes on the Prize documentary, were critical of Beauchamp for trying to revise history and taking attention away from other cold cases.[94] The grand jury also failed to find sufficient cause for charges against Carolyn Bryant Donham. Neither the FBI nor the grand jury found any credible evidence that Henry Lee Loggins, identified by Beauchamp as a suspect who could be charged, had any role in the crime. Other than Loggins, Beauchamp refused to name any of the people he alleged were involved.[65]

Influence on civil rightsSomehow [Till's death and trial] struck a spark of indignation that ignited protests around the world... It was the murder of this 14-year-old out-of-state visitor that touched off a world-wide clamor and cast the glare of a world spotlight on Mississippi's racism.

Through the constant attention it received, Till's case became emblematic of the disparity of justice for blacks in the South. The Chicago Defender in 1955 urged their readers to react to the acquittal by voting in large numbers.[96]Myrlie Evers, Medgar Evers' wife'--and eventual widow'--stated that Till's case resonated so strongly because it shook "the foundations of Mississippi, both black and white'--with the white community because it had become nationally publicized, with us blacks, because it said not even a child was safe from racism and bigotry and death."[95] The NAACP asked Mamie Till Bradley to tour the country relating the events of her son's life, death, and the trial of his murderers. It was one of the most successful fundraising campaigns the NAACP had ever known.[97] Journalist Louis Lomax acknowledges Till's death to be the start of what he terms the "Negro revolt" and scholar Clenora Hudson-Weems characterizes Till as a "sacrificial lamb" for civil rights. NAACP operative Amzie Moore considers Till the start of the Civil Rights Movement, at the very least, in Mississippi.[98]

The 1987 14-hour Emmy award-winning documentary Eyes on the Prize, and the accompanying reading materials Eyes on the Prize and Voices of Freedom, that exhaustively encompass the major figures and events of the Civil Rights Movement, begin with the murder of Emmett Till. Furthermore, Stephen Whitaker states, as a result of the attention Till's death and the trial received,

Mississippi became in the eyes of the nation the epitome of racism and the citadel of white supremacy. From this time on, the slightest racial incident anywhere in the state was spotlighted and magnified. To the Negro race throughout the South and to some extent in other parts of the country, this verdict indicated an end to the system of noblesse oblige. The faith in the white power structure waned rapidly. Negro faith in legalism declined, and the revolt officially began on December 1, 1955, with the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott.[25]

In Montgomery, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white bus rider, sparking a year-long well-organized grassroots boycott of the public bus system, designed to force the city to change its segregation policies. Parks later said when she did not get up and move to the rear of the bus, "I thought of Emmett Till and I just couldn't go back."[99] According to author Clayborne Carson, Till's death and the widespread coverage of the students integrating Little Rock Central High School in 1957 were especially profound for younger blacks: "It was out of this festering discontent and an awareness of earlier isolated protests that the sit-ins of the 1960s were born."[100] After seeing pictures of Till's mutilated body, in Louisville, Kentucky, young Cassius Clay (later famed boxer Muhammad Ali) and a friend took out their frustration by vandalizing a local railyard, causing a locomotive engine to derail.[101][102]

In 1963, Sunflower County resident Fannie Lou Hamer, herself a sharecropper, was jailed and beaten for attempting to register to vote. The next year, she led a massive voter registration drive in the Delta region. Before 1954, 265 black people were registered to vote in the Delta although they represented 41% of the population. The summer Emmett Till was killed, no blacks were registered in the Delta.[103] The Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964 registered 63,000 black voters and they were required to form their own political party because they were forbidden from joining the established parties in Mississippi.[104]

The story of Emmett Till is one of the most important of the last half of the 20th century. And an important element was the casket.... It is an object that allows us to tell the story, to feel the pain and understand loss. I want people to feel like I did. I want people to feel the complexity of emotions.

Till continues to be the focus of literature and memorials. A statue was unveiled in Denver in 1976 (and has since been moved to Pueblo, Colorado) featuring Till with Martin Luther King, Jr. Till was included among the forty names of people who had died in the Civil Rights Movement (listed as martyrs[106]) on the granite sculpture of the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama, dedicated in 1989. In 1991, a 7-mile (11 km) stretch of 71st Street in Chicago, was renamed "Emmett Till Road". Mamie Till-Mobley attended many of the dedications for the memorials, including a demonstration in Selma, Alabama on the 35th anniversary of the march over the Edmund Pettis Bridge. She later wrote in her memoirs, "I realized that Emmett had achieved the significant impact in death that he had been denied in life. Even so, I had never wanted Emmett to be a martyr. I only wanted him to be a good son. Although I realized all the great things that had been accomplished largely because of the sacrifices made by so many people, I found myself wishing that somehow we could have done it another way."[107] Till-Mobley died in 2003, the same year her memoirs were published.

James McCosh Elementary School in Chicago, where Till had been a student, was renamed the "Emmett Louis Till Math And Science Academy" in 2005.[108] The "Emmett Till Memorial Highway" was dedicated between Greenwood and Tutwiler, Mississippi, the same route his body took to the train station on its way to Chicago. It intersects with the H. C. "Clarence" Strider Memorial Highway.[109] In 2007, Tallahatchie County issued a formal apology to Till's family, reading "We the citizens of Tallahatchie County recognize that the Emmett Till case was a terrible miscarriage of justice. We state candidly and with deep regret the failure to effectively pursue justice. We wish to say to the family of Emmett Till that we are profoundly sorry for what was done in this community to your loved one."[110] The same year, Georgia congressman John Lewis, whose skull was fractured while being beaten during the 1965 Selma march, sponsored a bill that provides a plan for investigating and prosecuting unsolved Civil Rights era murders. The Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act was signed into law in 2008.[111]

On July 9, 2009, a manager and three laborers at Burr Oak Cemetery were charged with digging up bodies, dumping them in a remote area, and reselling the plots. Till's grave was not disturbed, but investigators found his original glass-topped casket rusting in a dilapidated storage shed.[112] When Till was reburied in a new casket in 2005, there were plans for an Emmett Till memorial museum, where his original casket would be installed. The cemetery manager, who administered the memorial fund, pocketed donations intended for the memorial. It is unclear how much money was collected. Cemetery officials also neglected the casket, which was discolored, the interior fabric torn, and bore evidence that animals had been living in it, although its glass top was still intact. The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. acquired the casket a month later. According to director Lonnie Bunch III, it is an artifact with potential to stop future visitors and make them think.[105]

See alsoNotes^Accounts are unclear; Till had just completed the seventh grade at the all-black McCosh Elementary School in Chicago (Whitfield, p. 17).^Some recollections of this part of the story relate that news of the incident traveled in both black and white societies very quickly. Others state that Carolyn Bryant refused to tell her husband and Till's oldest cousin Maurice Wright, perhaps put off by Till's bragging and clothes, told Roy Bryant at his store about Till's interaction with Bryant's wife. (Whitfield, p. 19.)^Several major inconsistencies between what Bryant and Milam told interviewer William Bradford Huie and what they had told others were noted by the FBI. They told Huie they were sober, yet reported years later they had been drinking. In the interview, they stated they had driven what would have been 164 miles (264 km) looking for a place to dispose of Till's body, to the cotton gin to obtain the fan, and back again, which the FBI noted would be impossible in the time they were witnessed having returned. Several witnesses recalled that they saw Bryant, Milam, and two or more black men with Till's beaten body in the back of the pickup truck in Glendora, yet they did not admit to being in Glendora to Huie. (FBI, [2006], pp. 86''96.)^Many years later, there were allegations that Till had been castrated. (Mitchell, 2007) John Cothran, the deputy sheriff who was at the scene where Till was removed from the river testified, however, that apart from the decomposition typical of a body being submerged in water, his genitals were intact. (FBI [2006]: Appendix Court transcript, p. 176.) Mamie Till-Mobley also confirmed this in her memoirs. (Till-Bradley and Benson, p. 135.)^When Jet publisher John H. Johnson died in 2005, people who remembered his career considered his decision to publish Till's open casket photograph his greatest moment. Michigan congressman Charles Diggs recalled that for the emotion the image stimulated, it was "probably one of the greatest media products in the last 40 or 50 years". (Dewan, 2005)^Strider was apparently unable to be consistent with his own theory. Following the trial he told a television reporter that should anyone who had sent him hate mail arrive in Mississippi "the same thing's gonna happen to them that happened to Emmett Till". (Whitfield, p. 44.)^The trial transcript reads the line as "There he is", although witnesses recall variations of "Dar he", "Thar he", or "Thar's the one". Wright's family protested that Mose Wright was made to sound illiterate and insists he said "There he is." (Mitchell, 2007)^A month after Huie's article appeared in Look, T. R. M. Howard worked with Olive Arnold Adams of The New York Age to put forth a version of the events that agreed more with the testimony at the trial and what Howard had been told by Frank Young. It appeared as a booklet titled Time Bomb: Mississippi Exposed and the Full Story of Emmett Till. Howard also acted as a source for an as-yet unidentified reporter using the pseudonym Amos Dixon in the California Eagle. Dixon wrote a series of articles implicating three black men, and Leslie Milam, who, Dixon asserted, had participated in Till's murder in some way. Time Bomb and Dixon's articles had no lasting impact in the shaping of public opinion. Huie's article in the far more widely circulated Look became the most commonly accepted version of events. (Beito and Beito, pp. 150''151.)^Such was the animosity toward the murderers that in 1961, while in Texas, when Bryant recognized the license plate of a Tallahatchie County resident, he called out a greeting and identified himself. The resident, upon hearing the name, drove away without speaking to Bryant. (Whitaker, 2005)References^Houck and Grindy, p. 20.^Houck and Grindy, pp. 4''5.^Whitfield, p. 15.^Beito and Beito, p. 116.^Whitaker (1963), p. 19.^Till-Mobley and Benson, pp. 14''16.^Till-Mobley and Benson, p. 17.^Till-Mobley and Benson, pp. 36''38.^Till-Mobley and Benson, pp. 56''58.^Till-Mobley and Benson, pp. 59''60.^Till-Mobley and Benson, pp. 70''87.^ abcdeHuie, William Bradford (January 1956). The Shocking Story of Approved Killing in Mississippi, Look Magazine. Retrieved October 2010.^FBI (2006), p. 6.^Hampton, p. 2.^Till-Mobley and Benson, pp. 98''101.^Whitfield, p. 5.^Whitaker (1963), pp. 2''10.^Whitaker (1963), pp. 61''82.^FBI (2006), p. 18.^FBI (2006), p. 44.^Hampton, p. 3.^Wright, pp. 50''51.^Mettress, p. 20.^Whitfield, p. 18.^ abcdefghiWhitaker, Stephen (Summer 2005). A Case Study in Southern Justice: The Murder and Trial of Emmett Till, Rhetoric & Public Affairs8 (2), pp. 189''224.^FBI (2006), p. 40.^Hampton, pp. 3''4.^FBI (2006), p. 46.^FBI (2006), pp. 47''49.^FBI (2006), pp. 51''56.^FBI (2006), pp. 60''66.^FBI (2006), pp. 55''57.^Hampton, p. 4.^Whitfield, p. 21.^FBI (2006), p. 68.^ abHampton, p. 6.^FBI (2006), pp. 69''79.^Metress, pp. 14''15.^FBI (2006), pp. 77''79.^Houck and Grindy, p. 6.^Houck and Grindy, pp. 19''21.^Hampton, p. 5.^FBI (2006), pp. 80''81.^Beito and Beito, p. 118.^Whitfield, pp. 23''26.^Metress, pp. 16''20.^Houck and Grindy, pp. 22''24.^Till-Mobley and Benson, p. 132.^Whitfield, p. 23.^Houck and Grindy, p. 29.^Houck and Grindy, pp. 31''37.^ abWhitfield, pp. 28''30.^Whitaker (1963), pp. 21''22.^Beito and Beito, p. 119.^Whitfield, p. 34.^ abDewan, Shaila (August 28, 2005). "How Photos Became Icon of Civil Rights Movement", The New York Times. Retrieved on October 5, 2010.^Beito and Beito, pp. 121''122.^Whitfield, p. 38.^Beito and Beito, p. 122.^Hampton, pp. 10''11.^Whitfield, image spread p. 6.^Till-Mobley and Benson, image spread p. 12.^Hampton, p. 11.^Whitfield, p. 39.^ abcMitchell, Jerry (February 19, 2007). Re-examining Emmett Till case could help separate fact, fiction, USA Today [originally published in the Jackson Clarion-Ledger]. Retrieved on October 1, 2010.^ abBeito and Beito, pp. 124''126.^Whitfield, p. 40.^Beito and Beito, p. 126.^ abcBeito and Beito, p. 127.^Whitfield, pp. 41''42.^ abRubin, Richard (July 21, 2005). The Ghosts of Emmett Till, New York Times Magazine. Retrieved on October 3, 2010.^Beito and Beito, p. 128.^Whitfield, pp. 48''49.^Whitfield, pp. 46''47.^Whitfield, p. 117.^Houck and Grindy, pp. 134''135.^Whitfield, p. 52.^Hampton, pp. 13''14.^Beito and Beito, pp. 150''151.^ abWhitfield, p. 68.^Mettress, Christopher (Spring 2003). "Langston Hughes's "Mississippi-1955": A Note on Revisions and an Appeal for Reconsideration" African American Review, 37 (1), pp. 139''148.^Whitfield, pp. 83''84.^Chura, Patrick (Spring 2000). "Prolepsis and Anachronism: Emmet Till and the Historicity of To Kill a Mockingbird", Southern Literary Journal, 32 (2), pp. 1''26.^ abMettress, Christopher (Spring 2003). "No Justice, No Peace": The Figure of Emmett Till in African American Literature" MELUS, 28 (1), pp. 87''103.^Carson, et al, pp. 41''43.^Whitfield, pp. 119''120.^Atiks, Joe (August 25, 1985). "Emmett Till: More Than A Murder". The Clarion-Ledger. Reproduced July 2, 2011, at "US Slave" blog. Retrieved July 16, 2013.^FBI (2006), pp. 24''26.^Till-Mobley and Benson, p. 261.^"60 Minutes Story on Emmett Till Targets Carolyn Bryant", George Mason University's History News Network, c. 2005^Segall, Rebecca; Holmberg, David (February 3, 2003). "Who Killed Emmett Till?", The Nation, 276 (4), pp. 37''40.^Justice Department to Investigate 1955 Emmett Till Murder, Press release (May 10, 2004), U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved on October 5, 2010.^FBI (2006), pp. 99''109.^Breed, Allen (March 3, 2007). End of Till case draws mixed response, Associated Press (hosted at The Boston Globe). Retrieved on October 6, 2010.^ abWhitfield, p. 60.^Carson, et al, pp. 39''40.^Till-Mobley and Benson, pp. 191''196.^Beito and Beito, p. 130.^Houck and Grindy, p. x.^Carson, et al, p. 107.^Hampton, p. 321.^Gorn, p. 76''77.^Whitfield, p. 62.^Carson, et al, p. 177''178.^ abTrescott, Jacqueline (August 27, 2009). Emmett Till's Casket Donated to the Smithsonian, The Washington Post. Retrieved on October 6, 2010.^Civil Rights Memorial, Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved on October 12, 2010.^Till-Mobley and Benson, pp. 259''260, 268.^Lynch, La Risa R. (1 Mar. 2006). "South Side School Named for Emmett Till". Chicago Citizen. ^Houck and Grindy, p. 4.^Resolution Presented to Emmett Till's Family, Emmett Till Memorial Committee Tallahatchie County (October 2, 2007). Retrieved on October 6, 2010.^H.R. 923: Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act of 2007, (2007''2008). Retrieved on September 8, 2009.^Authorities discover original casket of Emmett Till[dead link], CNN (July 10, 2009). Retrieved on July 10, 2009.BibliographyBeito, David; Beito, Linda (2009). Black Maverick: T. R. M. Howard's Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power, University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-03420-6Carson, Clayborne; Garrow, David; Gill, Gerald; Harding, Vincent; Hine, Darlene Clark (eds.) (1991). Eyes on the Prize: Civil Rights Reader Documents, Speeches, and Firsthand Accounts from the Black Freedom Struggle 1954''1990, Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-015403-0Federal Bureau of Investigation (February 9, 2006). Prosecutive Report of Investigation Concerning (Emmett Till) (Flash Video or PDF). Retrieved October 2011.Gorn, Elliott (1998). Muhammad Ali: The People's Champ, University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-06721-1Hampton, Henry, Fayer, S. (1990). Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s through the 1980s. Bantam Books. ISBN 978-0-553-05734-8Houck, Davis; Grindy, Matthew (2008). Emmett Till and the Mississippi Press, University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-934110-15-7Mettress, Christopher (2002). The Lynching of Emmett Till: A Documentary Narrative, The American South series University of Virginia Press. ISBN 978-0-8139-2122-8Till-Mobley, Mamie; Benson, Christopher (2003). The Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America, Random House. ISBN 978-1-4000-6117-4Whitaker, Hugh Stephen (1963). A Case Study in Southern Justice: The Emmett Till Case, Florida State University (M.A. thesis). Retrieved October 2010.Whitfield, Stephen (1991). A Death in the Delta: The story of Emmett Till, JHU Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-4326-6Wright, Simeon; Boyd, Herb (2010). Simeon's Story: An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmett Till, Chicago Review Press. ISBN 978-1-55652-783-8Further readingThe Murder of Emmett Till.American Experience Transcript and additional materials for PBS film.Emmett Till at the Open Directory ProjectThe original 1955 Jet magazine with Emmett Till's murder story pp. 6''9, and Emmett Till's Legacy 50 Years Later" in Jet, 2005.1985 documentary, The Murder and the Movement: The Story of the Murder of Emmett TillNPR pieces on the Emmett Till murderEmmett Till Math & Science Academy (Chicago)Keith Beauchamp's The Untold Story of Emmett Louis TillDevery S. Anderson, "A Wallet, a White Woman, and a Whistle: Fact and Fiction in Emmett Till's Encounter in Money, Mississippi," Southern Quarterly Summer 2008Booknotes interview with Christopher Benson on Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America, April 25, 2004.Fictionalized accounts of Till and the ensuing events

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Facebook Reports More Unfriending And Blocking Sunday Than Any Day In Its History | Unreal News Online

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Wed, 17 Jul 2013 02:26


MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA '' Passions ran high Sunday night as CNN and other news outlets reported the not guilty Zimmerman verdict. Tweets and Facebook status updates were filled with posts ranging from cries of vengeance to jubilant shouts of joy. Strong opinions were prevalent and as a result more people hit the unfriend and block buttons in any day in Facebook's history. Said Zuckerberg, ''Everybody had something to say about Sunday's verdict. Charges of racism were thrown around at everyone. Tempers flared and a lot of connections and ties were severed. It was even worse than the day the Casey Anthony verdict was announced. It really makes you wonder what would have happened if Facebook were around in 1995 when the O.J. Simpson trial reached its conclusion.''

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USDA: 101 Million Americans Receive Food Stamps

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Source: Northeast Intelligence Network

Thu, 18 Jul 2013 12:57

Written by Susanne Posel Special Contributor to The Hagmann and Hagmann Report.

17 July 2013: The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)reported that 101,000,000 Americans are on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the domestic US at a cost of $114 billion annually as of 2012.

For perspective, the number of US citizens receiving food stamps surpasses the number of employed workers in the private sector.

The Bureau of Labor (BoL) statistical data shows that in 2012 an estimated 97,180,000 full '' time workers were accounted for.

The USDA said that the surge of Americans accepting SNAP benefits is at a ''historically high figure that has risen with the economic downturn.''

Earlier this month, the USDA Food Nutrition Service (FNS) preformed an audit that revealed American families are combining benefits from multiple federal agencies such as the National School Lunch Program (NSLP); Women, Infants and Children (WIC); the Summer Food Service (SFS); and the Special Milk Program (SMP) to help them meet their nutritional needs.

The audit points out: ''With the growing rate of food insecurity among U.S. households and significant pressures on the Federal budget, it is important to understand how food assistance programs complement one another as a safety net, and how services from these 15 individual programs may be inefficient, due to overlap and duplication.''

Shockingly, ''food-stamp use rose 2.8% in the U.S. in April from a year earlier, with more than 15% of the U.S. population receiving benefits.''

The House of Representatives voted down the $940 billion Farm Bill last month. Contained in the bill was $743.9 billion allocated to SNAP; which was also the biggest and most controversial part of the legislation. This would have led to a $2 billion cut to the SNAP program and made receiving benefits all the more difficult for struggling Americans. The Obama administration threatened to veto the House version of the bill should it pass. It is assumed through statistical data that 200,000 children receive free meals through the NSLP. Recently First Lady Michelle Obama, along with the USDA, announced their plans to severely restrict the caloric intake of students receiving meals through NSLP.

The USDA released ''Smart Snacks in School'' that outlines federal standards for nutrition stands for ''students, parents, school stakeholders and the food and beverage industries to implement the new guidelines, and make the healthy choice the easy choice for America's young people.''

Caloric restrictions mandate that snack items can contain no more than 200 calories and entrees cannot contain more than 350 calories.

While low-calorie diets cause weight loss, they are also extremely dangerous because they decrease metabolic rates which throws the human body into survival mode and could lead to health problems such as heart disease, less muscle development, hypo-glycemic conditions; including the development of diabetes.

Caloric controls for school nutrition programs state that ''kindergarteners to fifth-graders, lunches must contain 550 to 650 calories, and for ninth- to 12th-graders, lunches must have 750 to 850 calories.''

Using ''science-based nutrition guidelines'' with recommendations from the National Institute of Medicine (NIM) children and parents will have choices that are pre-approved by the federal government and Michelle Obama.

Tom Vislack, secretary for the USDA said: ''Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children. Parents and schools work hard to give our youngsters the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong, and providing healthy options throughout school cafeterias, vending machines, and snack bars will support their great efforts.''

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Executive Order -- HIV Care Continuum Initiative

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Source: White Press Office Feed

Mon, 15 Jul 2013 23:09

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

July 15, 2013


- - - - - - -


By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to further strengthen the capacity of the Federal Government to effectively respond to the ongoing domestic HIV epidemic, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. Addressing the domestic HIV epidemic is a priority of my Administration. In 2010, the White House released the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy (Strategy), setting quantitative goals for reducing new HIV infections, improving health outcomes for people living with HIV, and reducing HIV-related health disparities. The Strategy will continue to serve as the blueprint for our national response to the domestic epidemic. It has increased coordination, collaboration, and accountability across executive departments and agencies (agencies) with regard to addressing the epidemic. It has also focused our Nation's collective efforts on increasing the use of evidence-based approaches to prevention and care among populations and in regions where HIV is most concentrated.

Since the release of the Strategy, additional scientific discoveries have greatly enhanced our understanding of how to prevent and treat HIV. Accordingly, further Federal action is appropriate in response to these new developments. For example, a breakthrough research trial supported by the National Institutes of Health showed that initiating HIV treatment when the immune system was relatively healthy reduced HIV transmission by 96 percent. In addition, evidence suggests that early treatment may reduce HIV-related complications. These findings highlight the importance of prompt HIV diagnosis, and because of recent advances in HIV testing technology, HIV can be detected sooner and more rapidly than ever before.

Based on these and other data, recommendations for HIV testing and treatment have changed. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now recommends that clinicians screen all individuals ages 15 to 65 years for HIV, and the Department of Health and Human Services Guidelines for Use of Antiretroviral Agents now recommends offering treatment to all adolescents and adults diagnosed with HIV.

Furthermore, ongoing implementation of the Affordable Care Act provides a historic opportunity for Americans to access affordable, quality health care. The Act is expanding access to recommended preventive services with no out-of-pocket costs, including HIV testing, and, beginning in 2014, insurance

companies will not be able to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions, including HIV. Starting October 1, 2013, Americans can select the coverage that best suits them through the new Health Insurance Marketplace, and coverage will begin January 1, 2014.

Despite progress in combating HIV, important work remains. Since the publication of the Strategy, data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that there are significant gaps along the HIV care continuum -- the sequential stages of care from being diagnosed to receiving optimal treatment. Nearly one-fifth of the estimated 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States are undiagnosed; one-third are not linked to medical care; nearly two-thirds are not engaged in ongoing care; and only one-quarter have the virus effectively controlled, which is necessary to maintain long-term health and reduce risk of transmission to others.

In light of these data, we must further clarify and focus our national efforts to prevent and treat HIV infection. It is the policy of my Administration that agencies implementing the Strategy prioritize addressing the continuum of HIV care, including by accelerating efforts to increase HIV testing, services, and treatment along the continuum. This acceleration will enable us to meet the goals of the Strategy and move closer to an AIDS-free generation.

Sec. 2. Establishment of the HIV Care Continuum Initiative. There is established the HIV Care Continuum Initiative (Initiative), to be overseen by the Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy. The Initiative will mobilize and coordinate Federal efforts in response to recent advances regarding how to prevent and treat HIV infection. The Initiative will support further integration of HIV prevention and care efforts; promote expansion of successful HIV testing and service delivery models; encourage innovative approaches to addressing barriers to accessing testing and treatment; and ensure that Federal resources are appropriately focused on implementing evidence-based interventions that improve outcomes along the HIV care continuum.

Sec. 3. Establishment of the HIV Care Continuum Working Group. There is established the HIV Care Continuum Working Group (Working Group) to support the Initiative. The Working Group shall coordinate Federal efforts to improve outcomes nationally across the HIV care continuum.

(a) Membership. The Working Group shall be co-chaired by the Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy and the Secretary of Health and Human Services or designee (Co-Chairs). In addition to the Co-Chairs, the Working Group shall consist of representatives from:

(i) the Department of Justice;

(ii) the Department of Labor;

(iii) the Department of Health and Human Services;

(iv) the Department of Housing and Urban Development;

(v) the Department of Veterans Affairs;

(vi) the Office of Management and Budget; and

(vii) other agencies and offices, as designated by the Co-Chairs.

(b) Consultation. The Working Group shall consult with the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, as appropriate.

(c) Functions. As part of the Initiative, the Working Group shall:

(i) request and review information from agencies describing efforts to improve testing, care, and treatment outcomes, and determine if there is appropriate emphasis on addressing the HIV care continuum in relation to other work concerning the domestic epidemic;

(ii) review research on improving outcomes along the HIV care continuum;

(iii) obtain input from Federal grantees, affected communities, and other stakeholders to inform strategies to improve outcomes along the HIV care continuum;

(iv) identify potential impediments to improving outcomes along the HIV care continuum, including for populations at greatest risk for HIV infection, based on the efforts undertaken pursuant to paragraphs (i), (ii), and (iii) of this subsection;

(v) identify opportunities to address issues identified pursuant to paragraph (iv) of this subsection, and thereby improve outcomes along the HIV care continuum;

(vi) recommend ways to integrate efforts to improve outcomes along the HIV care continuum with other evidence-based strategies to combat HIV; and

(vii) specify how to better align and coordinate Federal efforts, both within and across agencies, to improve outcomes along the HIV care continuum.

(d) Reporting.

(i) Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Working Group shall provide recommendations to the President on actions that agencies can take to improve outcomes along the HIV care continuum.

(ii) Thereafter, the Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy shall include, as part of the annual report to the President pursuant to section 1(b) of my memorandum of July 13, 2010 (Implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy), a report prepared by the Working Group on

Government-wide progress in implementing this order. This report shall include a quantification of progress made in improving outcomes along the HIV care continuum.

Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.


epidemic - definition of epidemic by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

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Thu, 18 Jul 2013 13:03

ep·i·dem·ic (p-dmk) also ep·i·dem·i·cal(--kl)adj.1. Spreading rapidly and extensively by infection and affecting many individuals in an area or a population at the same time: an epidemic outbreak of influenza.

2. Widely prevalent: epidemic discontent.

n.1. An outbreak of a contagious disease that spreads rapidly and widely.

2. A rapid spread, growth, or development: an unemployment epidemic.

[French (C)pid(C)mique, from (C)pid(C)mie, an epidemic, from Old French espydymie, from Medieval Latin epidmia, from Greek epidmi, prevalence of an epidemic disease, from epidmos, prevalent : epi-, epi- + dmos, people; see d- in Indo-European roots.]epidemic[ˌɛpɪËdÉ›mɪk]adj(Medicine) (esp of a disease) attacking or affecting many persons simultaneously in a community or area

n1. (Medicine) a widespread occurrence of a disease an influenza epidemic

2. a rapid development, spread, or growth of something, esp something unpleasant an epidemic of strikes[from French (C)pid(C)mique, via Late Latin from Greek epidÄ'mia literally: among the people, from epi- + dÄ'mos people]

epidemically adv

ep'i'dem'ic(ˌɛp ɪËdÉ›m ɪk)adj. Also, ep`i'dem'²i'cal.

1. (of a disease) affecting many individuals at the same time, and spreading from person to person in a locality where the disease is not permanently prevalent.

2. extremely prevalent; widespread.

n.3. a temporary prevalence of a disease.

4. a rapid spread or increase in the occurrence of something.

[1595''1605; obsolete epidem(y) (epidÄ'miaepidÄ'm­a stay in one place, prevalence =epi-epi- + dªm(os) people of a district]ep`i'dem'²i'cal'ly,adv.

ep`i'de'mic'²i'ty(-dÉËmɪs ɪ ti)n.

epidemica disease that is widely prevalent in a particular area. '-- epidemical, adj. '-- epidemicity, n.

See also: Disease and IllnessThesaurusLegend: Synonyms Related Words Antonyms

Noun1.epidemic - a widespread outbreak of an infectious disease; many people are infected at the same timeoutbreak, irruption, eruption - a sudden violent spontaneous occurrence (usually of some undesirable condition); "the outbreak of hostilities"pandemic - an epidemic that is geographically widespread; occurring throughout a region or even throughout the worldAdj.1.epidemic - (especially of medicine) of disease or anything resembling a disease; attacking or affecting many individuals in a community or a population simultaneously; "an epidemic outbreak of influenza"ecdemic - of or relating to a disease that originates outside the locality in which it occursendemic, endemical - of or relating to a disease (or anything resembling a disease) constantly present to greater or lesser extent in a particular locality; "diseases endemic to the tropics"; "endemic malaria"; "food shortages and starvation are endemic in certain parts of the world"epidemic Translations

epidemic[ËŒepɪËdemɪk]epidemic[ˌɛpɪËdÉ›mɪk]epidemic[ˌɛpɪËdÉ›mɪk]1.adj '†' epidemico/a

epidemic (epiËdemik) nounan outbreak of a disease that spreads rapidly and attacks very many people. an epidemic of measles/influenza.epidemiesÙَباØеÐидемиченepidemiaepidemiedie EpidemieepidemiεÏιδημίαepidemiaepideemiaهمه گیریepidemia(C)pid(C)mieמָ×'ֵפָ×--महामारà¥epidemijajrvnywabahfars"tt, faraldurepidemia病気の流èŒì' í–‰ë"‘ì' ë°'ìƒ'epidemijaepidÄ'mijawabakepidemieepidemiepidemiaØ"ارى، هغه نارÙغۍ Ú†Ù‡ ÙÙ‡ ÙŠÙÙ‡ څخه ب٠ته Ø"رايت ÙƒÙÙ‰epidemiaepidemieэÐидемияepid(C)miaepidemijaepidemijaepidemiskโรà¸à¸£à¸°à¸šà¸²à¸--salgın流èŒç—…еÐідеміяÙباØ...ÛŒ مرض Ú(C)ا Ú(C)Ø"ÛŒ Øبادی میں Ú(C)Ø"ÛŒ Ùقت Ù¾Ú¾ÙÙ¹ پڑنا اÙر بہت Ø"Û' ÙÙÚ¯ÙÚº Ú(C)Ù Ùپیٹ میں ÙÛ' Ùیناbá>>‡nh dá>>‹ch流èŒç—…

epidemic '†' ÙباØepidemieepidemiEpidemieεÏίδημίαepidemiaepidemia(C)pid(C)mieepidemijaepidemia流èŒç—…ì' í–‰ë"‘epidemieepidemiepidemiaepidemiaэÐидемияepidemiการแพรà¹à¸£à¸°à¸šà¸²à¸--อà¸à¹à¸²à¸‡à¸£à¸§à¸--à¹à¸£à¹‡à¸§salgınbá>>‡nh dá>>‹ch流èŒep·i·dem·icn. epidemia, enfermedad que se manifiesta con alta frecuencia y que afecta a un nºmero considerable de personas en una regi"n o comunidad;

a. epid(C)mico-a; ___ outbreak '†'brote ___; ___ growth factor '†' factor ___ de crecimiento.

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CDC '' HIV in the United States '' Statistics Overview '' Statistics Center '' HIV/AIDS

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Archived Version

Thu, 18 Jul 2013 13:01

Fast FactsMore than 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV infection, and almost 1 in 5 (18.1%) are unaware of their infectionGay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM),1 particularly young black/African American MSM, are most seriously affected by HIV.By race, blacks/African Americans face the most severe burden of HIV.CDC estimates that 1,148,200 persons aged 13 years and older are living with HIV infection, including 207,600 (18.1%) who are unaware of their infection.1 Over the past decade, the number of people living with HIV has increased, while the annual number of new HIV infections has remained relatively stable. Still, the pace of new infections continues at far too high a level'-- particularly among certain groups.

HIV Incidence (new infections): The estimated incidence of HIV has remained stable overall in recent years, at about 50,000 new HIV infections per year.2Within the overall estimates, however, some groups are affected more than others. MSM continue to bear the greatest burden of HIV infection, and among races/ethnicities, African Americans continue to be disproportionately affected.

HIV Diagnoses (new diagnoses, regardless of when infection occurred): In 2011, an estimated 49,273 people were diagnosed with HIV infection in the United States. In that same year, an estimated 32,052 people were diagnosed with AIDS. Since the epidemic began, an estimated 1,155,792 people in the United States have been diagnosed with AIDS.3

Deaths: An estimated 15,529 people with an AIDS diagnosis died in 2010, and approximately 636,000 people in the United States with an AIDS diagnosis have died since the epidemic began.3 The deaths of persons with an AIDS diagnosis can be due to any cause'--that is, the death may or may not be related to AIDS.

By Risk GroupGay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) of all races and ethnicities remain the population most profoundly affected by HIV.

In 2010, the estimated number of new HIV infections among MSM was 29,800, a significant 12% increase from the 26,700 new infections among MSM in 2008.2Although MSM represent about 4% of the male population in the United States,4 in 2010, MSM accounted for 78% of new HIV infections among males and 63% of all new infections.2 MSM accounted for 52% of all people living with HIV infection in 2009, the most recent year these data are available.1In 2010, white MSM continued to account for the largest number of new HIV infections (11,200), by transmission category, followed closely by black MSM (10,600).2The estimated number of new HIV infections was greatest among MSM in the youngest age group. In 2010, the greatest number of new HIV infections (4,800) among MSM occurred in young black/African American MSM aged 13''24. Young black MSM accounted for 45% of new HIV infections among black MSM and 55% of new HIV infections among young MSM overall.2Since the epidemic began, an estimated 302,148 MSM with an AIDS diagnosis have died, including an estimated 5,909 in 2010.3Heterosexuals and Injection Drug Users also continue to be affected by HIV.

Heterosexuals accounted for 25% of estimated new HIV infections in 2010 and 27% of people living with HIV infection in 2009.1, 2Since the epidemic began, almost 85,000 persons with an AIDS diagnosis, infected through heterosexual sex, have died, included an estimated 4,003 in 2010.1New HIV infections among women are primarily attributed to heterosexual contact (84% in 2010) or injection drug use (16% in 2010). Women accounted for 20% of estimated new HIV infections in 2010 and 24% of those living with HIV infection in 2009 [1,2]. The 9,500 new infections among women in 2010 reflect a significant 21% decrease from the 12,000 new infections that occurred among this group in 2008.2Injection drug users represented 8% of new HIV infections in 2010 and 16% of those living with HIV in 2009.1, 2Since the epidemic began, nearly 182,000 injection drug users with an AIDS diagnosis have died, including an estimated 4,218 in 2010.3By Race/EthnicityBlacks/African Americans continue to experience the most severe burden of HIV, compared with other races and ethnicities.

Blacks represent approximately 12% of the U.S. population, but accounted for an estimated 44% of new HIV infections in 2010. They also accounted for 44% of people living with HIV infection in 2009.1, 2Since the epidemic began, more than 260,800 blacks with an AIDS diagnosis have died, including an estimated 7,678 in 2010.3Unless the course of the epidemic changes, at some point in their lifetime, an estimated 1 in 16 black men and 1 in 32 black women will be diagnosed with HIV infection.5Hispanics/Latinos are also disproportionately affected by HIV.

Hispanics/Latinos represented 16% of the population but accounted for 21% of new HIV infections in 2010 [2]. Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 19% of people living with HIV infection in 2009.1Disparities persist in the estimated rate of new HIV infections in Hispanics/Latinos. In 2010, the rate of new HIV infections for Latino males was 2.9 times that for white males, and the rate of new infections for Latinas was 4.2 times that for white females.2Since the epidemic began, more than 96,200 Hispanics/Latinos with an AIDS diagnosis have died, including 2,370 in 2010.3References1CDC. Monitoring selected national HIV prevention and care objectives by using HIV surveillance data'--United States and 6 U.S. dependent areas'--2010. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2012;17(No. 3, part A). Published June 2012.

2CDC. Estimated HIV incidence in the United States, 2007''2010. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2012;17(No. 4). Published December 2012.

3CDC. HIV Surveillance Report, 2010; vol. 22. Published March 2012.

4Purcell D, Johnson CH, Lansky A, et al. Estimating the population size of men who have sex with men in the United States to obtain HIV and syphilis rates. Open AIDS Journal 2012;6(Suppl 1: M6):98-107.

5CDC. Estimated lifetime risk for diagnosis of HIV infection among Hispanics/Latinos'--37 states and Puerto Rico, 2007. MMWR 2010;59(40);1297-1301.

FACT SHEET: Accelerating Improvements in HIV Prevention and Care in the United States through the HIV Care Continuum Initiative

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Archived Version

Source: White Press Office Feed

Mon, 15 Jul 2013 23:15

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

July 15, 2013

"We've got to keep pushing. We've got to make access to health care more available and affordable for folks living with HIV."

'-- President Obama, June 13, 2013

In July 2010, President Obama released the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy. The HIV Care Continuum Initiative calls for coordinated action in response to data that has been released since the Strategy three years ago, showing only a quarter of people living with HIV in the United States have achieved the treatment goal of controlling the HIV virus. In fact, along the entire HIV care continuum '' the sequential stages of care from being diagnosed to suppressing the virus'--there are significant gaps. To address this need, the HIV Care Continuum Initiative will mobilize Federal efforts in line with the recent advances in our understanding of how best to prevent and treat HIV infection. It will support further integration of HIV prevention and care efforts; promote expansion of successful HIV testing and service delivery models; encourage innovative approaches to addressing barriers to accessing testing and treatment; and ensure that Federal resources are appropriately focused on implementing evidence-based interventions along the HIV care continuum in relation to other scientifically proven approaches to combatting HIV.

Scientific advances in the three years since the Strategy's release highlight the importance of accelerating efforts to increase HIV testing, services, and treatment along the continuum:

Federal guidelines now recommend antiretroviral treatment for all adults and adolescents living with HIV in the United States. Instead of waiting for the immune system to show signs of decline, experts now recommend starting treatment right away. Evidence indicates that treating HIV as soon as possible reduces HIV-related complications.

Treatment reduces the risk of HIV transmission. Along with other proven prevention methods, such as condom use, abstinence, and comprehensive drug treatment, effective treatment reduces the risk of HIV transmission. An NIH-sponsored study showed that among heterosexual couples, starting treatment early reduced transmission risk by 96%.

Screening for HIV is now recommended for all persons 15-65 in the United States. About half of Americans have never been tested for HIV, and nearly 200,000 people living with HIV in this country are unaware that they are infected. Screening all persons between 15 and 65 years of age is now a grade "A" recommendation of the independent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Towards an AIDS-Free Generation

The HIV Care Continuum Initiative will be overseen by the Office of National AIDS Policy. A workgroup including key Federal agencies is charged with implementing the Initiative. Today, as part of the Initiative launch, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Kathleen Sebelius, announced that HHS plans to launch "Integrating HIV Prevention and Care Services to Improve HIV Outcomes in Areas of High Unmet Need," a new demonstration project to expand the capacity of community health centers, local health departments, and their grantees to provide integrated HIV prevention and treatment services across the HIV care continuum. Estimated annual funding: $8.5 to $10 million.

Other upcoming projects relevant to the Initiative include:

o In October 2013, HRSA plans to release a new funding opportunity announcement from its Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) initiative, "System-level Workforce Capacity Building for Integrating HIV Primary Care in Community Healthcare Settings." This initiative will identify factors that increase the potential for successful integration of HIV care into primary care and community healthcare settings; enhance the capacity and readiness of funded organizations to adapt and realign their systems to identify and provide care to people living with HIV along the care continuum; and identify models and best practices to increase the HIV workforce's capacity to identify, link, retain and achieve viral load suppression. Estimated annual funding: $4.7 million.

o CDC will release its "National Capacity Building Assistance for High Impact Prevention" funding opportunity announcement to address gaps in each step of the HIV care continuum by providing quality training and technical assistance to optimize workforce performance within health departments, community-based organizations, and healthcare organizations. Estimated annual funding: $26 million.

o The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will invest $300,000 in a year-long technical assistance initiative as part of the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program. This initiative will build grantee capacity to integrate health care planning and care outcome measures into HIV housing programs.

In addition to today's announcements, the Administration is implementing policies and programs the work group will focus on in identifying steps to improve outcomes along the HIV care continuum:

Increasing healthcare coverage:

o The Affordable Care Act will expand health insurance coverage to millions of Americans, including thousands living with HIV. Under the Affordable Care Act, new health insurance plans will be required to cover HIV testing without additional out-of-pocket costs. Starting in 2014, insurance companies will not be able to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions, including HIV.

Maintaining strong support for the Ryan White Program:

o The Ryan White Program is the largest Federal program solely dedicated to providing HIV care and treatment. The Ryan White Program will continue to play a vital role in completing coverage and ensuring people living with HIV continue to receive treatment without service gaps.

Supporting innovation to link and engage persons living with HIV into care:

o Funded through the Secretary's Minority AIDS Initiative Fund, the Care and Prevention of HIV in the United States demonstration project is underway in eight states and is designed to reduce HIV-related morbidity, mortality, and related health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities.

Focusing on prevention interventions that work:

o CDC and its partners are pursuing a High-Impact Prevention approach to reducing new HIV infections. This approach is using combinations of scientifically proven, cost-effective, and scalable interventions targeted to the right populations in the right geographic areas to increase the impact of HIV prevention efforts.

Standardizing HIV data to improve health outcomes along the care continuum:

o In June 2013, the Secretary approved plans submitted by nine HHS operating divisions to adopt and deploy seven HIV common core indicators and streamline data collection for HIV services grantees. HHS offices are working to include these indicators as clinical quality measures in electronic health record (EHR) systems beginning in 2016.

Supporting research to improve outcomes along the HIV care continuum:

o The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has expanded its investment in research to address gaps and opportunities in the HIV care continuum. Highlights include investigations of the effectiveness of methods to identify HIV-infected people earlier and to link them to care; community-level interventions to expand HIV testing and treatment; interventions to improve HIV outcomes among substance users; and evaluation of innovative network approaches for HIV testing and referral for uninfected persons in the correctional system.

Supporting HIV prevention , care and treatment for veterans living with HIV/AIDS:

o The Veterans Administration (VA) is focusing on increasing HIV testing rates and the number of veterans who are aware of their HIV status. The HIV program office will support HIV testing quality improvement efforts in all medical settings, provide educational opportunities, develop best practices, and monitor HIV rates annually. The HIV program office will work to ensure that all Veterans diagnosed with HIV in VA are linked to a provider within 90 days of that diagnosis and have equal access to medication, care, and supportive services.

Addressing HIV-related stigma and discrimination:

o Stigma and discrimination keep people from getting tested, care and treatment. The Department of Justice (DOJ) will continue its aggressive HIV non-discrimination enforcement efforts, specifically targeting enforcement and outreach to the geographic areas with the highest prevalence of HIV, and continue its efforts to address HIV criminalization laws. DOJ will also increase its work under the Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative, which focuses on removing barriers to health care for people with HIV. The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) will continue its efforts to maximize optimal HIV treatment for inmates and improve clinical linkages upon their release.

Increasing employment opportunities and economic advancement for people living with HIV/AIDS:

o Unemployment, low income status, and social marginalization are linked to poor health outcomes. The Department of Labor (DOL), in collaboration with the HUD, will develop an online, multimedia training to increase the capacity of service providers to create employment opportunities and economic advancement for people living with HIV/AIDS and those at risk of HIV/AIDS.

Supporting robust funding for domestic HIV/AIDS programs:

o The President's proposed 2014 domestic HIV budget is over $23.2 billion, and includes increases in discretionary funding for HIV prevention, care, and treatment. For more details on how the President's budget supports the fight against the domestic HIV epidemic go to:


Guardian Journalist to Write Book on Surveillance -

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Thu, 18 Jul 2013 12:16

Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who first reported on a trove of classified documents leaked by Edward J. Snowden, will write a book about National Security Agency surveillance, his publisher announced on Wednesday. Mr. Greenwald's articles on the cache of documents, revealing widespread surveillance by the United States government, appeared in The Guardian newspaper last month. Mr. Snowden, the former intelligence contractor, is currently in diplomatic limbo at the Moscow airport and has applied for asylum in Russia.

The book was acquired by Metropolitan Books, an imprint of Henry Holt, and is expected to be published in March 2014. It will expose ''the extraordinary cooperation of private industry and the far-reaching consequences of the government's program, both domestically and abroad,'' the publisher said in a statement.

Since the articles detailing Mr. Snowden's leaks first appeared in early June, several books about National Security Agency surveillance have been snapped up by publishers: the Penguin Press acquired a book on ''the rise of the surveillance-industrial state'' by Barton Gellman, a reporter who detailed an Internet surveillance program called Prism in The Washington Post. Robert Scheer, a journalist and editor of the blog Truthdig, has agreed to write about the ''escalating conflict between national security and personal privacy'' for Nation Books.

As Legal Battle Continues, N.C.A.A. Ends Tie With Electronic Arts

Glenn Greenwald says his house may have been broken into.

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Source: WT news feed

Wed, 17 Jul 2013 12:42

Edward Snowdon (REUTERS)

Media reports have said Mr Snowden is travelling with four laptop computers but Mr Greenwald said the former contractor is not foolish enough to store information where it could be easily seized.

"There are all sorts of smarter and safer ways for someone who knows what they're doing - and he knows what he's doing - to store and carry large amounts of data," he said.

In an article in the Guardian, which first published the documents, Mr Greenwald said that Mr Snowden told him he never gave any information to the Russian or Chinese governments.

He said he spoke to Mr Snowden over the weekend and on Tuesday and that the leaker "vehemently denied" rumours that his data had been acquired by Moscow or Beijing.

Mr Greenwald quoted him as saying that "I never gave any information to either government, and they never took anything from my laptops."

Critics of Mr Snowden's leaks have often wondered at his relationship with Chinese or Russian authorities.

Currently stranded in Moscow, the 30-year-old has applied for asylum in 27 countries in a bid to evade US justice for disclosing the existence of US electronic surveillance operations on a global scale.

Mr Greenwald confirmed the conventional thinking that Venezuela is Mr Snowden's most likely destination.

''I didn't spend any time talking about his asylum plans, I don't really know what he's planning on doing in terms of that," he told AFP.

"To me, Venezuela seems like the most logical choice because it's bigger and stronger than the other two countries that offered asylum and will be able to protect him."

"He's anxious about the next step... but feels really good about the debate he provoked," he added.

"He's very calm, without any fear and definitely happy about the choices that he made.''

Group of tech giants to demand greater NSA transparency

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Source: CNET News - Politics and Law

Thu, 18 Jul 2013 01:17

Sixty-three companies, trade groups, and civil liberties groups will ask officials for greater latitude in reporting U.S. government requests for user information, according to a letter obtained by AllThingsD.

Many of technology's most prominent companies will reportedly join civil liberties groups on Thursday in calling for dramatically increased transparency regarding U.S. government surveillance activities.

Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are part of an alliance signing a letter to be published Thursday that calls on President Barack Obama and Congress to allow Internet and telecommunications companies to offer more details about U.S. government requests for user information, according to an AllThingsD report. The alliance, which reportedly includes 63 companies, investors, and trade groups, will request greater latitude in regularly reporting information about the number of requests they receive; the number of individuals, accounts, or devices; and the number of requests received for communications content or subscriber information, according to the report.

"Basic information about how the government uses its various law enforcement-related investigative authorities has been published for years without any apparent disruption to criminal investigations," a copy of the letter obtained by AllThingsD reads. "We seek permission for the same information to be made available regarding the government's national security-related authorities."

The letter is the most concerted effort to date by tech companies to address allegations they participated in controversial data collection programs run by the National Security Agency. The NSA and the Obama administration have said the goals of the surveillance programs were to track down foreign terrorists and terrorist threats.

Legally barred from discussing their participation in the program, Google and Microsoft have petitioned the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to lift a gag order prohibiting them from disclosing more information about government requests they receive for customer data. To date, the companies have released only totals that combine legal requests made under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act with others related to criminal investigations involving fraud, homicide, and kidnapping, making it impossible to determine how many FISA requests they have received.

According to AllThingsD, the alliance includes companies and groups such as AOL, Digg, Dropbox, Evoca, Heyzap, LinkedIn, Meetup, Mozilla, Reddit,, Tumblr, Twitter, Yahoo, YouNow, Union Square Ventures, Y Combinator, Public Knowledge, Reporters Without Borders, and the Wikimedia Foundation.

Yahoo wins motion to declassify court documents in PRISM case

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Source: CNET News

Tue, 16 Jul 2013 04:57

Ruling will allow the Internet company to publicly reveal it challenged a U.S. government order to participate in the National Security Agency's controversial data collection program.

Yahoo has won a motion from a secretive court that allows it to publicly reveal its efforts to avoid becoming part of PRISM, the National Security Agency's controversial data collection program.

The U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled Monday that the Justice Department must unseal documents from a classified 2008 case that Yahoo has said will demonstrate the Internet company "objected strenuously" to providing the government with customer data.

"The Government shall conduct a declassification review of this Court's Memorandum Opinion of [Yahoo's case] and the legal briefs submitted by the parties to this Court," the ruling read. "After such review, the Court anticipates publishing that Memorandum Opinion in a form that redacts any properly classified information."

The ruling, first noted by the Daily Dot, gives the Justice Department two weeks to provide estimates on how long it expects the review process to take.

A Yahoo spokesperson said the company was "very pleased" with the court's decision. "Once those documents are made public, we believe they will contribute constructively to the ongoing public discussion around online privacy," the representative said in a statement.

Because the 2008 case was conducted in a court under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), details of the dispute were never made public beyond a heavily redacted court order and Yahoo was not even allowed to reveal that it was involved in the case. Monday's order was made by the same court that Yahoo originally petitioned five years ago to review the government's order over concerns it violated its users' Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.

The court responded at the time that the company's concerns were "overblown" and that "incidentally collected communications of non-targeted United States persons do not violate the Fourth Amendment."

Google, Apple, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, and other Internet companies were left reeling after a pair of articles last month alleged that they provided the NSA with "direct access" to their servers through a so-called PRISM program. Subsequent reporting by CNET revealed that this was not the case, and the Washington Post backtracked from its original story on PRISM.

Yahoo has previously denied the allegations regarding participation in the program, calling them "categorically false."

Legally barred from discussing their participation in the program, Google and Microsoft have petitioned the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to lift a gag order prohibiting them from disclosing more information about government requests they receive for customer data. To date, the companies have released only totals that combine legal requests made under FISA with others related to criminal investigations involving fraud, homicide, and kidnapping, making it impossible to determine how many FISA requests they have received.

(Via TNW)


10 Ways to Protect Against a Snowden Incident on Your Network

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Archived Version

Tue, 16 Jul 2013 20:08

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The Tale of the Re-Routed Bolivian President's Plane Is Falling Apart - Philip Bump - The Atlantic Wire

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Tue, 16 Jul 2013 20:02

As you may have heard by now, Bolivian president Evo Morales supposedly had a tough time flying from home from Moscow last night after France, Portugal, Italy, and Spain refused to allow his plane to enter their airspace and Austria forced his plane to land and searched it. Except: Much of that reporting comes from a single source, the Bolivian government, and some of it has been contradicted.

We took a look at each claim to evaluate its accuracy.

The claim: France and Spain denied the plane use of its airspace.The first reports that the countries had rejected requests from Morales' pilots to fly through their airspace appeared in a story from the Associated Press.

In a midnight press conference, Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia said that not only France and Portugal, but also Italy and Spain were denying the plane permission to fly through their airspace. '...

"The ambassador for Spain in Austria has just informed us that there is no authorization to fly over Spanish territory and that at 9 a.m. Wednesday they would be in contact with us again," said Defense Minister Ruben Saavedra ...

A later Guardian story offers more details from Bolivia's foreign minister, David Choquehuanca.

Choquehuanca earlier told reporters in Bolivia that Portugal and France had abruptly cancelled air permits. "They say it was due to technical issues, but after getting explanations from some authorities we found that there appeared to be some unfounded suspicions that Mr Snowden was on the plane."

Today, France and Spain disputed Choquehuanca's claims, as reported by the AP.

Two officials with the French Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that Morales' plane had authorization to fly over France. They would not comment on why Bolivian officials said otherwise. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be publicly named according to ministry policy.

An official with Spain's foreign ministry said Wednesday that the country on Tuesday authorized Morales' plane to fly within its airspace and to make a refueling stop. The official said Bolivia asked again this morning for permission and got it.

The refueling stop was apparently in the Canary Islands, a stop which occurred Wednesday afternoon. The Guardian offers more clarity.

Spain, where Morales's plane is due to refuel during its current journey, denied Bolivian claims that it only agreed to allow the plane to refuel in the Canaries if Bolivian authorities allowed it to be inspected. The foreign minister said this was not the case. The prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, said authorisation was given for the refuelling stop but that it was important that Snowden was not aboard.

There is a decent amount of wiggle room in both countries' statements, as is the nature of official responses from government agencies. For example, does France's denial extend to Tuesday? It's not clear.

Update, Friday: France has apologized for the "delay" in granting Morales permission to use its airspace, according to an article by the Kuwait News Agency.

French President Francois Hollande said in a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday evening that as soon as he had learned Morales was aboard the blocked plane, he ordered French air space to be opened for him. ...

Also on Wednesday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called his Bolivian counterpart to express "the regrets of France following the difficulty caused for President Morales by the delay in confirming the over-flight rights" in France, a statement in Paris said.

Meanwhile, Spain has admitted that it was informed by unnamed others that Snowden was on the plane, according to the AP.

Update, Saturday: The French newspaper Le Monde appears to have confirmed the apology above.

Update, July 9: Spain plans to apologize for the misunderstanding '-- but insists its airspace was never closed.

The claim: The plane was "re-routed" to Austria.The AP's original article, which suggests that the plane was re-routed to Austria, quotes Choquehuanca as saying that the refusal of France and Portugal to allow Morales to fly overhead "put the president's life at risk." An audio recording between the plane's pilots and air traffic control in Austria might explain why, as the Guardian pointed out.

Control tower: Do you need any assistance?

Pilot: Not at this moment. We need to land because we cannot get a correct indication of the fuel indication so as a precaution we need to land.

Why the plane landed in Austria isn't clear, but it doesn't seem to have been at the insistence of the Austrians.

According to records of the plane's flight path, it travelled from Russia into Belarus, then over Poland and the Czech Republic until it entered Austrian airspace. Midway over Austria, the plane turned west, then doubled back before landing. (You can watch the flight path in an animation here.) If it was rerouted from its original path, that only occurred once the plane was in Austria.

The claim: Portugal and Italy denied use of its airspace.The Guardianhas more on this claim, too.

The Portuguese foreign ministry said that Portugal had granted permission for the plane to fly through its airspace but declined Bolivia's request for a refuelling stop in Lisbon due to unspecified technical reasons.

We reached out to the embassies of Portugal and Italy Wednesday afternoon; neither had representatives immediately available to answer questions. Italian authorities didn't respond to requests from the Associated Press either.

Update, Thursday: According to a statement from Portugal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs excerpted by Negocios Online (and translated by a reporter that contacted us), Portugal and Bolivia went back and forth for two days over how Morales' plane might use Portuguese airspace. On Monday, Portugal told Bolivia it could fly over Portugal but not stop and refuel in Lisbon due to "technical reasons." The Bolivia pilots insisted on including that stop in their flight plan; Portugal again said it wasn't possible. Eventually, the Bolivian plane asked to fly over Portuguese territory to land in Las Palmas, a territory of Spain of the West African coast. That request was granted.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs ends its statement by saying, in essence: Sorry for the inconvenience, but you had 24 hours to develop an alternate route, and didn't.

The claim: The plane was searched.Once the plane was on the ground, members of the airport police force walked through the plane, according to a reporter who spoke with the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald. According to The New York Times, permission to do so was granted by the Bolivians.

The claim: Snowden could have been on the plane.This is perhaps the easiest claim to debunk. Morales' plane, The Times notes, departed from Vnukovo Airport, which is 27 miles away and on the opposite side of Moscow from Sheremetyevo Airport where Snowden is currently living.

Photo: Evo Morales sits with the president of Austria. (AP)

Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments or send an email to the author at pbump at theatlantic dot com. You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.

Spain publicly apologizes to Bolivia over President Morales' plane blockade '-- RT News

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Tue, 16 Jul 2013 20:00

Spain has apologized for closing its airspace to Bolivian President Evo Morales' plane, which had to land at Vienna airport and was subsequently searched following reports that NSA leaker Edward Snowden was on board.

"We regret this fact ... the procedure was not appropriate and bothered the president [Morales], putting him in a difficult situation," Spain's ambassador to Bolivia, Angel Vzquez, told journalists.

The unconventional treatment of the Bolivian president has outraged Latin America.

Bolivia has accused Spain, France, Italy and Portugal of closing their skies to the president's plane, which was thoroughly searched at the airport in Vienna on July 3 after being told it was allegedly carrying the former NSA employee Snowden from Moscow to Bolivia.

"We recognize publicly that perhaps the procedures used in the Vienna airport by our representative were not the most effective," Angel Vzquez said

Last week Spain's Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said that his country was ready to apologize to Bolivia for offending Morales, although he denied closing Spain's airspace to Morales' flight.

The 30-year-old former NSA contractor is wanted in the US on charges of espionage after revealing secret NSA surveillance programs and fears he could face the death penalty in his home country. He fled American soil for Hong Kong in May and then flew to Moscow, where he has been stuck in an airport transit zone for three weeks.

So far, three countries in Latin America '' Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua '' said they could offer Asylum to the American whistleblower.

Washington has aggressively sought to have Snowden returned to US soil, where he is wanted on espionage charges.

Last week, Snowden said he is seeking political asylum in Russia because he can't fly to Latin America.

On Tuesday, the Russian Migration Service confirmed receiving the whistleblower's application for temporary asylum, which may take authorities up to three months to consider.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had earlier stated that Moscow would grant him asylum if Snowden stopped activities aimed at harming ''our American partners.''

Cyber War$

Cybersecurity Exercise: Quantum Dawn 2 | BCP | Services

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Mon, 15 Jul 2013 23:57

Exercise DateJuly 18, 2013

Overview The financial industry takes the issue of cyber security very seriously and is proactively working to mitigate this threat. SIFMA is holding the Quantum Dawn 2 exercise to enable both individual firms and the sector as a whole to test their response plans in order to maintain effective and orderly markets and protect clients.

Broad participation is essential to maximizing the potential of the Quantum Dawn 2 program to inform best practices moving forward. Confirmed participants include financial firms of all sizes, as well as exchanges, the U.S. Treasury and the Department of Homeland Security. The number of participants to date is already more than double that of the Quantum Dawn 1 exercise that was held in 2011.

BackgroundAs many of our members are aware, in November of 2011 the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council (FSSCC) hosted a market-wide cyber disruption exercise called Quantum Dawn. That event exercised risk practices across equities clearing and trading processes in response to infrastructure disruption, allowing firms to exercise their internal incident response plans in conjunction with each other, with the FSSCC, and with the FBIIC. The value of this type of exercise was clear to participants, and has since been reinforced by operational disruptions and incidents involving firms in markets both in the U.S. and overseas.

Building on the success of this exercise and the increasing threat posed to the sector by a coordinated, large scale cyber attack we have decided to organize and coordinate a second generation cyber disruption exercise called Quantum Dawn 2. This exercise will build on the lessons learned from the previous exercise as well as a second generation version of the exercise tool called the Distributed Environment for Critical Infrastructure Decision-making Exercises '' Finance Sector (DECIDE-FS'). We expect this exercise to improve the readiness of sector as a whole to respond to a street-wide cyber attack and allow each participating firm to test their internal coordination mechanisms and processes to maintain business resiliency.

ContactParticipation Inquiries: Karl Schimmeck, 212.313.1183 Media Inquiries: Liz Pierce, 212.313.1173

McAfees Phyllis Schneck leading candidate for DHS cybersecurity post

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Source: WT news feed

Wed, 17 Jul 2013 12:30

Phyllis Schneck, the vice president and chief technology officer for public sector at McAfee, is the likely choice to be the next deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity at DHS. The DHS deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity oversees DHS's cyber operations, including its relationship with private businesses which run utilities and critical infrastructure.

Phyllis Schneck, the vice president and chief technology officer for public sector at McAfee, is the likely choice to be the next deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity at DHS.

The Hillreports that the DHS deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity oversees DHS's cyber operations, including its relationship with private businesses which run utilities and critical infrastructure.

Mark Weatherford previously held the position, but left the department in May to become a principal at the Chertoff group.

Earlier this year Weatherford described the position is the top cybersecurity job in the federal government besides the head of the National Security Agency (NSA).

''I'm biased beyond any shadow of a doubt '... [but] I think there are two important cybersecurity jobs in the nation right now: Gen. [Keith] Alexander's role at the National Security Agency and the deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity at DHS,'' Weatherford told theHill. ''Not just because of the executive order, but when you look at DHS's responsibility of working with the 16 critical infrastructure [sectors across] the nation, there is no single person that has broader influence over those.''

Schneck has been on several witness panels at congressional hearing on cybersecurity, especially those that deal with the partnership between the public and private sectors to protect key U.S. infrastructure.

Schneck would be a critical hire as DHS will soon begin a cybersecurity program that will require critical infrastructure companies to follow a set of security standards as part of President Obama's executive order on cybersecurity.

Among the other candidates considered for the position were Deborah Plunkett, an official at the NSA, Tiffany Jones, head of Symantec's public-sector programs and strategic initiative teams, and Jeff Moss, a hacker that founded the annual Black Hat hacker conference.

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Private sector counters cyber attacks with insurance.

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Source: WT news feed

Tue, 16 Jul 2013 00:16

People have been talking about cyber security since Edward Snowden revealed how far-reaching NSA surveillance has become. A German insurer offering a "Cyber Protect" product is happy about the free advertising.

Talk about perfect timing. "It was pure coincidence," Hartmut Mai said about his company's good fortune. Shortly after whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked top secret US intelligence information to the press, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) released an insurance package that covers cyber attacks. In his leaks, Snowden alleged that the US had been hacking Chinese cellular companies.

For AGCS board member Mai, the public discussion came at just the right time. "We couldn't have planned for it, but it was a good opportunity for us," Mai told to DW.

The Allianz group's package for companies consists of a multi-tier insurance that covers various risks according to need. What happens when a cyber attack leads to a production standstill for days on end? And what happens, when the company's reputation suffers as a result? The insurance promises to take care of such cases and other problems.

A market with lots of potential

The idea isn't entirely new. For companies in the US, it's common to purchase cyber insurance. They pay roughly one billion euros ($1.3 billion) a year for it. But in Europe and Germany, the market is "highly underdeveloped," according to Martin Eling from the Institute for Insurance Economics in St. Gallen, Switzerland. But Eling estimates that there's a billion-euro demand in Europe, since "there are many high-profile examples of cyber risks."

Edward Snowden's revelations aren't the only sign that many computer systems have patchy security. Sony, for example, struggled with a large security leak concerning their Playstation 3 videogame console, which is connected to the Internet. In 2011, hackers got into the online portal and gained access to a huge amount of personal data, including credit card information. The case caused a large stir and significantly damaged Sony's reputation.

It's hard to put a number on such damage, and yet harder to cover it, Hartmut Mai said. Allianz's "Cyber Protect" insurance has a coverage limit of 50 million euros, which can quickly be surpassed. That's why his company doesn't cover reputation damage directly. But the coverage does include PR-specialists assigned to conduct damage control in the media - "communication counter-measures," as Mai calls it.

Wide range of possible damage

IT failure isn't always as spectacular as the Sony case. The new Allianz insurance also covers human error, "when a poorly trained employee causes a system error, for example," Mai told DW. When a company's production is halted for days or weeks as a result, the loss is covered by the insurance.

Another example: A business has saved important data on the Cloud, i.e., on the computers of an outside provider. When this Cloud-provider cannot offer access to the data anymore, possibly because of a hacker attack, the Allianz Group helps to hold the provider accountable.

The insurance also covers cases of accidental breach of copyright or patent law abroad. "The Internet is a global space, and thus you're acting in a global accountability realm as well," Mai explained. Allianz's "Cyber Protect" also covers the high cost that can result from internal reviews, which authorities might request after a data leak.

For big players only

How much companies have to pay for these insurances varies widely. "The insurance premium depends on the field, the size of the business and on how well the systems are protected," insurance expert Martin Eling said.

Despite the experience gathered from the US and some predecessors to Allianz's "Cyber Protect" and others, the field is relatively new. "There's hardly any information on market experience, unfortunately," Eling said. At this point, there are few products and hardly any standards.

The AGCS only targets an exclusive circle of companies. They must have a turnover of at least 500 million euros to even be considered as clients. The Allianz Group plans to offer its insurance in other European countries soon, and expand to Australia, New Zealand and Asia later.

Individuals cannot purchase the "Cyber Protect" service. Such personal insurances are rare, Eling said, but sometimes similar offers are included in household inventory insurances. The expert explained that in such cases, the costs of restoring data on a computer after virus attacks could be covered.

The Aspen Institute Announces 2013 Aspen Security Forum - Yahoo! News

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2013 Aspen Security Forum Moderators | Aspen Security Forum


Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: Jahar's World | Culture News | Rolling Stone

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Wed, 17 Jul 2013 21:59

July 17, 2013 11:00 AM ET

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover of Rolling Stone.

Illustration by Sean McCabe

Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families. The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone's long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day. The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens. ''THE EDITORS

Peter Payack awoke around 4 a.m. on April 19th, 2013, and saw on his TV the grainy surveillance photo of the kid walking out of the minimart. The boy, identified as "Suspect #2" in the Boston bombing, looked familiar, thought Payack, a wrestling coach at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. On the other hand, there were a million skinny kids with vaguely ethnic features and light-gray hoodies in the Boston area, and half the city was probably thinking they recognized the suspect. Payack, who'd been near the marathon finish line on the day of the bombing and had lost half of his hearing from the blast, had hardly slept in four days. But he was too agitated to go back to bed. Later that morning, he received a telephone call from his son. The kid in the photo? "Dad, that's Jahar."

"I felt like a bullet went through my heart," the coach recalls. "To think that a kid we mentored and loved like a son could have been responsible for all this death. It was beyond shocking. It was like an alternative reality."

People in Cambridge thought of 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev '' "Jahar" to his friends '' as a beautiful, tousle-haired boy with a gentle demeanor, soulful brown eyes and the kind of shy, laid-back manner that "made him that dude you could always just vibe with," one friend says. He had been a captain of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin wrestling team for two years and a promising student. He was also "just a normal American kid," as his friends described him, who liked soccer, hip-hop, girls; obsessed over The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones; and smoked a copious amount of weed.

Payack stared at his TV, trying to reconcile Dzhokhar, the bomber accused of unspeakable acts of terrorism, with the teenage boy who had his American nickname "Jahar" inscribed on his wrestling jacket. He'd worn it all the time.

That afternoon, Payack spoke with CNN, where he issued a direct appeal. "Jahar," he said, "this is Coach Payack. There has been enough death, destruction. Please turn yourself in."

At that precise moment, just west of Cambridge, in suburban Watertown, Jahar Tsarnaev lay bleeding on the floor of a 22-foot motorboat dry-docked behind a white clapboard house. He'd been wounded just after midnight in a violent confrontation with police that had killed his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan. For the next 18 hours, he would lie quietly in the boat, as the dawn broke on a gray day and thousands of law-enforcement officials scoured a 20-block area in search of him. He was found just after 6 p.m., though it would take nearly three more hours for FBI negotiators to persuade him to surrender.

The following morning, Payack received a text from one of the agents with the FBI's Crisis Negotiating Unit. He'd heard Payack's televised appeal, told him he'd invoked the coach's name while speaking with Jahar. "I think it helped," the agent said. Payack was relieved. "Maybe by telling Jahar that I was thinking about him, it gave him pause," Payack says. "Maybe he'd seen himself going out as a martyr for the cause. But all of a sudden, here's somebody from his past, a past that he liked, that he fit in with, and it hit a soft spot."

When investigators finally gained access to the boat, they discovered a jihadist screed scrawled on its walls. In it, according­ to a 30-count indictment handed down in late June, Jahar appeared to take responsibility for the bombing, though he admitted he did not like killing innocent people. But "the U.S. government is killing our innocent civilians," he wrote, presumably referring to Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan. "I can't stand to see such evil go unpunished.'‰.'‰.'‰.'‰We Muslims are one body, you hurt one, you hurt us all," he continued, echoing a sentiment that is cited so frequently by Islamic militants that it has become almost clich(C). Then he veered slightly from the standard script, writing a statement that left no doubt as to his loyalties: "Fuck America."

In the 12 years since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, there have been more than 25 plots to strike the United States hatched by Americans, most of which were ill-conceived or helped along by undercover operatives who, in many cases, provided their targets with weapons or other materials. A few '' including the plots to blow up the New York subway system and Times Square '' were legitimate and would have been catastrophic had they come to fruition. Yet none did until that hazy afternoon of April 15th, 2013, when two pressure-cooker­ bombs exploded near the marathon finish line on Boylston Street, killing three people, including an eight-year-old boy. Close to 300 more were injured by flying shrapnel, with many losing a leg, or an arm, or an eye; a scene of unbelievable carnage that conjured up images of Baghdad, Kabul or Tel Aviv.

An uneasy panic settled over Boston when it was revealed that the Tsarnaev brothers were not, as many assumed, connected to a terrorist group, but young men seemingly affiliated with no one but themselves. Russian (C)migr(C)s, they had lived in America for a decade '' and in Cambridge, a city so progressive it had its own "peace commission" to promote social justice and diversity. Tamerlan, known to his American friends as "Tim," was a talented boxer who'd once aspired to represent the United States in the Olympics. His little brother, Jahar, had earned a scholarship to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and was thinking about becoming an engineer, or a nurse, or maybe a dentist '' his focus changed all the time. They were Muslim, yes, but they were also American '' especially Jahar, who became a naturalized U.S. citizen on September 11th, 2012.

Since the bombing, friends and acquaintances of the Tsarnaevs, as well as the FBI and other law-enforcement officials, have tried to piece together a narrative of the brothers, most of which has focused on Tamerlan, whom we now know was on multiple U.S. and Russian watch lists prior to 2013, though neither the FBI nor the CIA could find a reason to investigate him further. Jahar, however, was on no one's watch list. To the contrary, after several months of interviews with friends, teachers and coaches still reeling from the shock, what emerges is a portrait of a boy who glided through life, showing virtually no signs of anger, let alone radical political ideology or any kind of deeply felt religious beliefs.

At his arraignment at a federal courthouse in Boston on July 10th, Jahar smiled, yawned, slouched in his chair and generally seemed not to fully grasp the seriousness of the situation, while pleading innocent to all charges. At times he seemed almost to smirk '' which wasn't a "smirk," those who know him say. "He just seemed like the old Jahar, thinking, 'What the fuck's going on here?'" says Payack, who was at the courthouse that day.

It had been the coach who'd helped Jahar come up with his nickname, replacing the nearly impossible-to-decipher Dzhokhar with a simpler and cooler-sounding rendering. "If he had a hint of radical thoughts, then why would he change the spelling of his name so that more Americans in school could pronounce it?" asks one longtime friend, echoing many others. "I can't feel that my friend, the Jahar I knew, is a terrorist," adds another. "That Jahar isn't, to me."

"Listen," says Payack, "there are kids we don't catch who just fall through the cracks, but this guy was seamless, like a billiard ball. No cracks at all." And yet a deeply fractured boy lay under that facade; a witness to all of his family's attempts at a better life as well as to their deep bitterness when those efforts failed and their dreams proved unattainable. As each small disappointment wore on his family, ultimately ripping them apart, it also furthered Jahar's own disintegration '' a series of quiet yet powerful body punches. No one saw a thing. "I knew this kid, and he was a good kid," Payack says, sadly. "And, apparently, he's also a monster."

Though Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was raised largely in America, his roots are in the restive North Caucasus, a region that has known centuries of political turmoil. Born on July 22nd, 1993, he spent the first seven years of his life in the mountainous Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan, where his father, Anzor, had grown up in exile. Anzor is from Chechnya, the most vilified of the former Soviet republics, whose people have been waging a near-continuous war since the 18th century against Russian rule. Dzhokhar's mother, Zubeidat, is an Avar, the predominantly Muslim ethnic group of Chechnya's eastern neighbor, Dagestan, which has been fighting its own struggle for independence against the Russians since the late 1700s. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Chechen nationalists declared their independence, which resulted in two brutal wars where the Russian army slaughtered tens of thousands of Chechens and leveled its capital city, Grozny. By 1999, the violence had spread throughout the region, including Dagestan.

Though Islam is the dominant religion of the North Caucasus, religion played virtually no role in the life of Anzor Tsarnaev, a tough, wiry man who'd grown up during Soviet times, when religious worship in Kyrgyzstan was mostly underground. In Dagestan, where Islam had somewhat stronger footing, many women wear hijabs; Zubeidat, though, wore her dark hair like Pat Benatar. The couple met while Anzor was studying law and were married on October 20th, 1986. The next day, their first child, Tamerlan, was born. Three more children would follow, all of them born in Kyrgyzstan, where Anzor secured a job as an investigator in the prosecutor's office in the nation's capital, Bishkek.

It was a prestigious position, especially for a Chechen, but Anzor had larger ambitions. He hoped to take his family to America, where his brother, Ruslan, an attorney, was building an upper-middle-class life. After Russia invaded Chechnya in 1999, setting off the second of the decade's bloody wars, Anzor was fired from his job as part of a large-scale purge of Chechens from the ranks of the Kyrgyz government. The Tsarnaevs then fled to Zubeidat's native Dage­stan, but war followed close behind. In the spring of 2002, Anzor, Zubeidat and Jahar, then eight, arrived in America on a tourist visa and quickly applied for political asylum. The three older children, Ailina, Bella and Tamerlan, stayed behind with relatives.

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FBI used Photoshop in Boston bombings evidence

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Mon, 15 Jul 2013 23:45

An investigative reporter has revealed that the image released by the FBI as evidence on one of the suspects of the Boston Marathon bombings was doctored with a computer software such as Photoshop.

The FBI image was put forth as evidence that 19-year old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who the police took into custody on April 19 after a day of intense searching that shut down major parts of Boston, arrived at the scene of the bombing with a backpack but left without it.

Comparing pictures he took of the scene with the photo released by the FBI, reporter Ralph Lopez of The Digital Journal suggests the FBI photo shows clear evidence of being made with Photoshop.

In the April 15 Boston bombings, three people were killed and more than 260 were wounded. Initial investigations into the bombings showed that the explosive devices used in the bombings were pressure cookers filled with nails, pellets and gunpowder left in a backpack.

In a shootout on April 19, police killed Dzhokhar's elder brother, Tamerlan, and later that day arrested Dzhokhar who was hidden on a boat in Watertown. There have been conflicting statements by American officials as to what happened during and after the bombings.

Initially, authorities claimed they had exchanged gunfire with Dzhokhar during his arrest and that he had shot himself in the throat in a bungled suicide attempt. However, later authorities admitted that Dzhokhar was not armed when police took him into custody. In the image below, Lopez has shown where one brickwork ends and the other begins in a close-up of the scene enlarged by the FBI:

Here, Lopez has highlighted some irregular brick patterns:

Using a pattern of two darker bricks spaced two rows apart, Lopez has compared a photo of the scene taken last week with the FBI's initial photo:

Differences between brick texture and irregularities in brick patterns suggest that the whole head and face area may have been pasted in.


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FBI bars Florida from releasing autopsy report in shooting of Todashev, friend of Marathon bombing suspect

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Wed, 17 Jul 2013 12:41

Source: Boston Globe

A Florida medical examiner's office said Tuesday that the FBI has ordered the office not to release its autopsy report of a Chechen man fatally shot by a Boston FBI agent in May because of the federal agency's active internal investigation into his death.

The medical examiner's office said it completed the autopsy report on Ibragim Todashev, a friend of suspected Boston Marathon bomber c, on July 8 and that the report was ''ready for release.'' The agent shot and killed Todashev on May 22 in his Orlando apartment during an interrogation related to the Boston Marathon bombings.

''The FBI has informed this office that the case is still under active investigation and thus not to release the document,'' Tony Miranda, forensic records coordinator for Orange and Osceola counties in Orlando, said in a letter to the media today. Miranda said state law bars his office from releasing the report if an criminal investigation is ongoing.

The FBI and the Justice Department are conducting an internal inquiry into the shooting, but critics have called for an independent inquiry, questioning the blanket of secrecy surrounding the case.

The FBI and the Massachusetts State Police sought out Todashev after the Marathon bombings, but have refused to release details of the shooting. Media reports have provided conflicting accounts: Some said Todashev attacked the agent with a blade during an interrogation, while others said Todashev was unarmed. Another said he lunged at the agent with a metal pole or a broomstick.

The medical examiner's office said it would check with the FBI every month for permission to release the autopsy report, and that such delays most frequently happen with homicide cases.

According to media reports, Todashev was about to sign a confession implicating himself and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who is now dead, in the 2011 slayings of three men in Waltham. Instead, Todashev lunged at the agent, who was injured, according to reports. The agent shot Todashev multiple times, according to family members who released photos of Todashev's dead body as part of their call for an inquiry into his death.

Family members and advocacy groups have questioned the media accounts, pointing out that Todashev had repeatedly cooperated with the FBI and had been weakened by recent knee surgery.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations and the ACLU have called for independent inquiries into the shooting.

The council said in a letter to the Department of Justice, which oversees the FBI and is participating in the internal inquiry, that FBI agents had approached Todashev in an aggressive manner. In one instance, the council said, six law enforcement agents drew their guns and pushed Todashev to the ground.

Todashev, a 27-year-old ethnic Chechen like Tsarnaev, came to America in 2008 to study English and won asylum that year from his native Russia. He lived in Allston and Cambridge before moving south to Florida.

A mixed martial arts fighter, Todashev was arrested in 2010 in Boston for a road-rage incident and again in Florida weeks before he was killed for allegedly beating a man in a fight over a parking space.

According to CAIR in Florida, which is conducting its own investigation into Todashev's slaying, Todashev had spoken to the FBI at least three times at their offices after the Marathon bombings. Family and friends have said he postponed a trip home to Chechnya to speak with the FBI the night of May 21, staying up with them past midnight until he was killed.

Maria Sacchetti can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @mariasacchetti


Because I said so: Obama wins back the right to indefinitely detain under NDAA

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Thu, 18 Jul 2013 01:17

The Obama administration has won the latest battle in their fight to indefinitely detain US citizens and foreigners suspected of being affiliated with terrorists under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.

Congress granted the president the authority to arrest and hold individuals accused of terrorism without due process under the NDAA, but Mr. Obama said in an accompanying signing statement that he will not abuse these privileges to keep American citizens imprisoned indefinitely. These assurances, however, were not enough to keep a group of journalists and human rights activists from filing a federal lawsuit last year, which contested the constitutionality of Section 1021, the particular provision that provides for such broad power.

A federal judge sided with the plaintiffs originally by granting an injunction against Section 1021, prompting the Obama administration to request an appeal last year. On Wednesday this week, an appeals court in New York ruled in favor of the government and once again allowed the White House to legally indefinitely detain persons that fit in the category of enemy combatants or merely provide them with support.

Now with this week's appellate decision, plaintiffs intend on taking their case to the Supreme Court. Should the high court agree to hear their argument, the top justices in the US may finally weigh in on the controversial counterterrorism law.

The so-called ''indefinite detention'' provision of last year's National Defense Authorization Act has been at the center of debate since before President Barack Obama autographed the bill in December 2011, but a federal lawsuit filed by Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Chris Hedges and others only two weeks after it went into effect remains as relevant as ever in light of a decision delivered Wednesday by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

The plaintiffs in case had previously been successful in convincing a federal district judge to keep Section 1021 from being put on the books, but the latest ruling negates an earlier injunction and once again reestablished the government's right to indefinitely detain people under the NDAA.

Tangerine Bolen, a co-plaintiff in the case alongside Hedges, told RT, ''Losing one battle is not losing the war. This war is an assault on truth itself. It flaunts reason, sanity and basic decency. We will not stand down in the face of these egregious assaults on our rights and liberties.''

In a statement published to TruthDig, Hedges called the ruling ''distressing'' and said, ''It means there is no recourse now either within the Executive, Legislative or Judicial branches of government to halt the steady assault on our civil liberties and most basic Constitutional rights.''

Section 1021 of the NDAA reads in part that the president of the US can indefinitely imprison any person who was part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban or associated forces engaged in hostilities against the US or its coalition partners, as well as anyone who commits a "belligerent act" against the US under the law of war, "without trial, until the end of the hostilities.'' The power to do as much was allegedly granted to the commander-in-chief after the Authorization to Use Military Force was signed into law shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but a team of plaintiffs have argued that Section 1021 provides the White House with broad, sweeping powers that put the First Amendment-guaranteed rights to free speech and assembly at risk while also opening the door for the unlawful prosecution of anyone who can be linked to an enemy of the state.

Only two weeks after the 2012 NDAA was signed into law, Hedges filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration challenging the constitutional validity of Section 1021.

''I have had dinner more times than I can count with people whom this country brands as terrorists '... but that does not make me one,'' he said at the time.

Naomi Wolf, an American author, told the Guardian last year that she has skipped meetings with individuals and dropped stories that she believed are newsworthy ''for no other reason than to avoid potential repercussions under the bill.''

Hedges first filed suit on Jan 13, 2012, and was eventually joined by a number of activists, reporters and human rights workers from both the US and abroad, including Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg, journalist Alexa O'Brien, Revolution Truth founder Bolen and Icelandic PM Birgitta J"nsd"ttir. District Court Judge Katherine Forrest granted the plaintiffs a preliminary injunction against Section 1021 that May, only to make that decision permanent four months later. The Obama administration filed a stay against that injunction just days after, though, and the appeals court ruled this week that Judge Forrest's decision must be vacated.

Carl Mayer, an attorney for the plaintiffs, previously told RT that he expected the White House to lose the appeal. ''The Obama administration has now lost three times. They lost the temporary injunction, they lost the motion for reconsideration and they lost the hearing for permanent injunction. I say three strikes and you're out,'' he said.

But with the court's 3-0 ruling this week, a federal panel concluded that the plaintiffs involved in the suit do not have standing to challenge Section 1021. In doing so, however, they offered what is the most official interpretation yet of a law that has continuously attracted criticism for nearly two years now.

After years of debate, the appeals court said once and for all that the NDAA does not apply to American citizens, and rehashed the Obama administration's insistence that it simply reaffirmed rights afforded to the government through the AUMF.

''Section 1021(e) provides that Section 1021 just does not speak '-- one way or the other '-- to the government's authority to detain citizens, lawful resident aliens or any other persons captured or arrested in the United States,'' the court ruled.

''We thus conclude, consistent with the text and buttressed in part by the legislative history, that Section 1021 means this: With respect to individuals who are not citizens, are not lawful resident aliens and are not captured or arrested within the United States, the President's AUMF authority includes the authority to detain those responsible for 9/11 as well as those who were a part of, or substantially supported, al-Qaeda, the Taliban or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners '-- a detention authority that Section 1021 concludes was granted by the original AUMF.''

''But with respect to citizens, lawful resident aliens, or individuals captured or arrested in the United States, Section 1021 simply says nothing at all,'' it concluded.

The AUMF, however, is still open to interpretation. An earlier legal ruling concluded that the AUMF ''clearly and unmistakable'' authorized detaining those who were ''part of or supporting forces hostile to the US.'' Then a memo issued in March 2009 just weeks' into Pres. Obama's first term even added that the government has the authority ''to detain persons who were part of or substantially supported'' anyone engaged in hostilities against US or its partners.

''In any event, the March 2009 Memo took the view that 'the AUMF is not limited to persons captured on the battlefields of Afghanistan' nor to those 'directly participating in hostilities,''' the appeals court noted. When the DC Circuit weighed in further down the road, it determined that the AUMF authorized detention for those who ''purposefully and materially support'' those hostile forces, although this week's ruling makes note that the Circuit Court has failed to ever figure out what ''support'' exactly means.

''The government contends that Section 1021 simply reaffirms authority that the government already had under the AUMF, suggesting at times that the statute does next to nothing at all. Plaintiffs take a different view,'' wrote the court this week.

Definitions aside, however, the appeals court wrote that Hedges and his American co-plaintiffs lack standing to challenge the indefinite detention provisions since a subsection of that rule, 1021(e), frees US citizens from detention under the NDAA.

''We recognize that Section 1021 perhaps could have been drafted in a way that would have made this clearer and that the absence of any reference to American citizens in Section 1021(b) led the district court astray in this case. Perhaps the last-minute inclusion of Section 1021(e) as an amendment introduced on the floor of the Senate explains the somewhat awkward construction,'' wrote the court. ''But that is neither here nor there. It is only our construction, just described, that properly gives effect to the text of all of the parts of Section 1021 and thus reflects congressional intent.''

At the same time, though, the appeals court acknowledged that Iceland's J"nsd"ttir, co-plaintiff Kai Wargalla of Germany and other foreign persons could be detained indefinitely under the NDAA. Although J"nsd"ttir has argued that her well-documented affiliation with the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks '-- particularly with regards to classified material its published much to the chagrin of the US government '-- is enough to land her in hot water, the court said indefinite imprisonment in a military jail cell is an unrealistic fear and she therefore lacks standing.

J"nsd"ttir, 46, has been a member of the Iceland parliament since 2009, the same year that US Army Private first class Bradley Manning began supplying materials to WikiLeaks. J"nsd"ttir and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange worked directly with raw video footage supplied by Manning showing a US helicopter fatally wounding innocent civilians and journalists, which the website later released under the name ''Collateral Murder.'' And although Pfc. Manning is currently on trial for ''aiding the enemy'' by supplying WikiLeaks '-- and indirectly al-Qaeda '-- with that intelligence, the court said J"nsd"ttir herself has nothing to fear.

''The claims of J"nsd"ttir and Wargalla stand differently. Whereas Section 1021 says nothing about the government's authority to detain citizens, it does have real meaning regarding the authority to detain individuals who are not citizens or lawful resident aliens and are apprehended abroad,'' the court ruled.

Elsewhere, the judges wrote that the government insists that WikiLeaks and Manning provided ''some support'' to hostile forces by publishing classified intelligence, and that the 25-year-old Army private is indeed facing prosecution for such that could put him away for life.

''One perhaps might fear that J"nsd"ttir's and Wargalla's efforts on behalf of WikiLeaks could be construed as making them indirect supporters of al-Qaeda and the Taliban as well,'' wrote the court. ''The government rejoins that the term 'substantial support' cannot be construed so in this particular context. Rather, it contends that the term must be understood '-- and limited '-- by reference to who would be detainable in analogous circumstances under the laws of war.''

Because ''plaintiffs have provided no basis for believing that the government will place J"nsd"ttir and Wargalla in military detention for their supposed substantial support,'' the court has rejected their lawsuit.

''In sum, Hedges and O'Brien do not have Article III standing to challenge the statute because Section 1021 simply says nothing about the government's authority to detain citizens,'' concluded the court. ''While Section 1021 does have meaningful effect regarding the authority to detain individuals who are not citizens or lawful resident aliens and are apprehended abroad, J"nsd"ttir and Wargalla have not established standing on this record. We vacate the permanent injunction and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.''

Meanwhile, the court's decision did little to resolve what actually is allowed under the AUMF. In fact, the court said Section 1021 ''does not foreclose the possibility that previous 'existing law' may permit the detention of American citizens,'' making note of American Yaser Esam Hamdi and a three-year ordeal that left him without the right to habeas corpus or an attorney after he was picked up in post-9/11 Afghanistan on suspicion of terroristic ties. Instead, it confirmed that foreign citizens engaged with substantially supporting hostile forces'-- neither of which term is still properly defined '-- can be locked up in military jails.

Hedges previously said that he thought that the US was already using the NDAA to put some people away.

''If the Obama administration simply appealed it, as we expected, it would have raised this red flag,'' Hedges said during an online Q-and-A session on Reddit when the White House last fought back. ''But since they were so aggressive it means that once Judge Forrest declared the law invalid, if they were using it, as we expect, they could be held in contempt of court. This was quite disturbing, for it means, I suspect, that US citizens, probably dual nationals, are being held in military detention facilities almost certainly overseas and maybe at home.''

In a statement published to TruthDig on Wednesday, Hedges said that he plans to appeal. If accepted, the case of Hedges v Obama may go all the way to the Supreme Court. That's a decision that will weigh with the justices, however, and Hedges said they are by no means required to hear their request.

''It is a black day for those who care about liberty,'' wrote Hedges.

In her statement to RT, Bolen rejected the notion that she and others lack standing to challenge a law that plaintiffs believe is being used in secrecy.

''Good people have come forward to challenge the madness of the US government in the wake of 9/11 - people who have every reason to fear this atrocious panoply of laws and policies that are fundamentally eroding guaranteed liberties and basic human rights,'' she said.

''The United States Government itself is behaving as a terror. Through indefinite detention of innocent civilians at Guantanamo, secret rendition, torture, murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq and illegal drone bombings - it is fundamentally eroding the rule of law while harming national security. Courts are contradicting themselves on whether the government has the right to indefinitely detain even its own citizens, Congress has supported dragnet surveillance and other assaults on everything we were founded on, and yet somehow, our fears are only 'speculation,''' she said.

2TTH Messaging

Michael Hastings Cremated, Family Never Requested; Wife Has Hired Private Detective

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Wed, 17 Jul 2013 12:23

There are many new developments in the Michael Hastings story. Hastings is the journalist who was killed in an unusual fiery car crash, a few weeks ago.According to a San Dego 6 news reporter, Kimberly Dvorak, Hastings' body was cremated without the consent of the Hasting's family. Dvorak also reports that she was threatened for investigating the story and that Hastings' wife has hired a private detective.

(ht Warren Tilson)

Kimberly Dvorak - National Homeland Security Examiner - Policy & Issues |

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Tue, 16 Jul 2013 00:41

Details uncovered by this reporter shed new light into the June 18 death of journalist Michael Hastings.Hastings' friend and confidant SSgt. Joe Biggs disclosed a macabre twist in the award-winning journalist's death in a suspicious...

Shielding Truth

Banning Advice Columnists in the Name of Occupational Licensing -

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Tue, 16 Jul 2013 21:32

The state of Kentucky believes that writing a newspaper column is not protected by the First Amendment.

RELATED ARTICLESMORE ARTICLES BY Brian DohertyOn May 7, Kentucky's office of attorney general sent a letter to newspaper advice columnist John Rosemond. The letter ordered him to sign a consent decree that he would stop practicing psychology without a license in their state, and stop calling himself a psychologist in Kentucky as well, since he was not licensed by the state's Board of Examiners of Psychology.

The kicker is that Kentucky claims that writing an advice column that appears in a newspaper in the state'--in the specific case of their complaint, the Lexington Herald-Leader, though it appears in others as well'--is not an act of freedom of the press, but rather practicing psychology without the required license.

Rosemond has written an advice column since 1976, which is currently syndicated by McClatchy-Tribune (and by Rosemond himself to a different set of publications). It appears in around 200 papers. He's also the author of many books of parenting and family advice, including five best-sellers. He generally advocates tough discipline as the best means to raise a happy and successful child.

Rosemond's advice in his column as it appeared on February 12 in the Lexington Herald-Leader struck retired Kentucky psychologist Thomas Kerby Neill the wrong way. Rosemond has advised parents worried about a sullen and underachieving teen to take away privileges until he improved, and not to give in to any counterpressure from the kid. Neill wrote a letter of complaint the very next day to the Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology.

Neill admitted in the letter that while Rosemond's advice ''might work very well,'' he felt that since Rosemond had met neither child nor parents, and couldn't personally follow up on how the advice was working out, his advice was ''both unprofessional and unethical.'' Rosemond, Neill insisted, ''would be on much safer ground to recommend that the family seek direct professional help.''

To Neill's credit, while he explicitly said that ''the Board certainly has no jurisdiction with respect to the advice anyone might give in a syndicated column,'' the Board itself seemed to disagree. (Neill just wanted them to prevent Rosemond or Kentucky newspapers in which his column appeared from calling him a ''psychologist.'') The attorney general's office wouldn't comment this week on why they decided to impose their officious demand on Rosemond. An attorney general's office spokesperson said their office was merely acting as an agent of the state Board of Examiners of Psychology. But the letter came formally not just from the Board, but from the attorney general's office, over the names of both Attorney General Jack Conway and Assistant Attorney General Brian T. Judy, in his capacity as counsel for the Board.

That the letter from the state described the same column as Neill complained about indicates his complaint likely triggered the unconstitutional demand. The letter demanded that Rosemond agree to stop publishing his column in Kentucky papers by May 30. He has not, and two letters Rosemond sent to the state seeking an extension and trying to clarify the matter have received no formal reply.

''I was incredulous'' when the letter from the attorney general's office arrived, Rosemond says. ''I could not possibly imagine such a blatant attempt to restrict my First Amendment rights. I wasn't upset by it, as much as just unbelieving.''

Rosemond was already inclined to be appalled by Kentucky's demand. ''One of my heroes is Milton Friedman,'' Rosemond says. ''I'm completely in line with him about professional licensing [Friedman roughly argued that the practice was an illegitimate extension of ancient guild privilege that generally harmed rather than helped consumers, while propping up income for the protected profession] and I do not believe there's any legitimate justification for regulating the practice of psychology, no good evidence that people with Ph.Ds provide better advice on matters of living than people with high school diplomas.'' (Rosemond has a master's degree and is licensed in his home state of North Carolina as a psychologist.)

Rosemond had a personal attorney who worked in the same firm as lawyers who were fighting against the libertarian public interest law firm the Institute for Justice (IJ) in a case, and they advised Rosemond to approach IJ.

Rosemond did, and on Wednesday IJ will be filing a suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky (Rosemond v. Conway et al.) seeking to enjoin the state from enforcing any restrictions on Rosemond's ability to publish his column and call himself a psychologist.

Each act of publishing the column in the state identifying himself as a psychologist could, if the state's assertions hold up, leave Rosemond open to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The suit points out that the same logic in Kentucky's complaint could lead them to ban Rosemond's books, since they also are sold in Kentucky and call him a psychologist.

The suit claims that Rosemond's column ''is pure speech and does not fall within any historically recognized exception to the First Amendment'' and that ''the application by Defendants of the Psychology Practice Act, as well as the attendant regulations and policies of the Psychology Board, to ban Plaintiff Rosemond's advice column from Kentucky is a content-based restriction on his speech'' and that Kentucky has no ''compelling state interest in banning advice columns from newspapers of general circulation.''

IJ is already fighting two similar legal challenges to governments who think occupational licensing laws trump the First Amendment. In May 2012, IJ sued to challenge the state of South Carolina's belief that Steve Cooksey could not blog about his thoughts and experiences regarding the ''paleo diet'' without being duly licensed by its Board of Dietetics/Nutrition. That suit was initially thrown out in October 2012 by a federal district court on the grounds that Cooksey lacked standing to sue because he had not actually been punished by the state, but merely ordered what to do. In June of this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit reinstated the case and sent it back for consideration by the district court. The Institute is also embroiled in suing the state of Texas over its insistence that it is illegal to give veterinary advice over the Internet.

Smith''Mundt Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Mon, 15 Jul 2013 14:20

The US Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (Public Law 80-402), popularly referred to as the Smith''Mundt Act, specifies the terms in which the United States government can engage global audiences, also known as public diplomacy.

The act was first introduced as the Bloom Bill in December 1945 in the 79th Congress and subsequently passed by the 80th Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman on January 27, 1948.

History[edit]The legislation authorizes the U.S. State Department to communicate to audiences outside of the borders of the United States through broadcasting, face-to-face contacts, exchanges (including educational, cultural, and technical), online activities, the publishing of books, magazines, and other media of communication and engagement. Funding for these activities comes from other legislation passed by the U.S. Congress called appropriations.

The legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs in October 1945 at the request of the State Department. It passed the committee onto the floor of the House of Representatives and became known as the Bloom Bill after the committee's chairman, Rep. Sol Bloom (D-NY). The purpose was to make permanent various information and exchange activities that began as early as a decade before, including the Voice of America radio broadcasts that began in 1942. The bill was to make permanent global engagement. On the cultural side, the so-called "slow" communications, it reintroduced cultural programming Bloom had attempted to pass the year before. On the "fast" side of communications, it would provide legislative approval for a new peacetime instrument of foreign policy.

The shift from wartime to peacetime "propaganda" operations was not taken lightly by Congress, especially with fresh memories of President Woodrow Wilson's Committee for Public Information (CPI), President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Office of War Information (OWI), and the Nazi propaganda machine. But there were other, deeper concerns the Congress focused on.[according to whom?]

Congress harbored significant reservations about empowering the State Department. The key issue was not whether US Government information activities should be known to the American public, but whether the State Department could be trusted to create, manage and disseminate these products. When the Bloom Bill (HR 4982) went to the House of Representatives Rules Committee in February 1946, committee Chairman Eugene Cox (D-GA) informed Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs William J. Benton that ten of the twelve committee members were against anything the State Department favored because of its "Communist infiltration and pro-Russian policy." That the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously reported the bill out was meaningless. Cox told Benton that the Foreign Affairs Committee was "a worthless committee consisting of worthless impotent Congressmen; it was a kind of ghetto of the House of Representatives."[1]

Cox publicly characterized the State Department as "chock full of Reds" and "the lousiest outfit in town". The information component of the Bloom Bill was seen as a revitalization of the Office of War Information, for which many in Congress held contempt as a New Deal "transgression". The cultural component was held in greater disdain, which caused Benton to change the name of his office from the Office of Cultural and Public Affairs a year after it was created to the Office of Public Affairs.[2]

Other comments were similarly tough. The ranking minority member of the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, Rep. John Taber (D-NY), called for a "house-cleaning" of "some folks" in the State Department to "keep only those people whose first loyalty is to the United States."[3] The FBI was also concerned over the ability of State to monitor and control participants in the exchange programs.[4]

In July 1946, the Bloom Bill passed the House, only to be blocked in the Senate by Senator Taft. Taft never gave a reason for his action.

On March 21, 1947, pre-Pearl Harbor isolationist and former teacher Representative Karl Mundt (R-SD) introduced H.R. 3342 at the request of the State Department. The State Department's information and exchange activities were still ongoing, although without authorization from the Congress. The authority was derived from Congressional appropriations legislation. In other words, the activities continued because they received money from Congress, which carried implicit authority but actual authority was still lacking. Co-sponsoring the Mundt bill in the Senate was Senator H. Alexander Smith (R-NJ). The stated purpose of the reintroduced legislation was not to curtail the overall information activities of the United States, but to raise the quality and volume of the government's information programs. As the State Department admitted to lax oversight due to personnel and budget constraints, Congress voiced its frustration and slashed State's information budget. This time, Taber said if the "drones, the loafers, and the incompetents" were weeded out, he would allow a few million dollars for international broadcasting.[5]

Several significant leaders went to the House to testify in support of the bill, including Secretary of State George Marshall, Chief of Staff General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Under Secretary of State Dean Acheson, Secretary of Commerce W. Averell Harriman (formerly the Ambassador to Russia), and Ambassador to Russia Walter Bedell Smith. They agreed that it was "folly" to spend millions for foreign aid and relief without explaining America's aims.[6]

Congress, in recommending passage of the bill, declared that "truth can be a powerful weapon." Congress further declared six principles were required for the legislation to be successful in action: tell the truth; explain the motives of the United States; bolster morale and extend hope; give a true and convincing picture of American life, methods, and ideals; combat misrepresentation and distortion; and aggressively interpret and support American foreign policy. As a Cold War measure, it was intended to counter and inoculate against propaganda from the Soviet Union and Communist organizations primarily in Europe. The principal purpose of the legislation was to engage in a global struggle for minds and wills, a phrase used by Presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

It established the programming mandate that still serves as the foundation for U.S. overseas information and cultural programs at the Department of State.

Since 1972, the act prohibits domestic access to information intended for foreign audiences. Prior to this, the State Department and then the USIA beginning in 1952, were prohibited from disseminating information intended for foreign audiences, with the express intent that Congress, the American media, or academia would be the distributors of such information.[7]

The act expanded the Fulbright Program to include countries other than those Lend-Lease countries originally specified in the original 1946 amendment to the Surplus Property Act of 1944. It also facilitated the establishment of bi-national centers around the world to coordinate international exchanges between the countries.[8]

Amendments to the Act in 1972 and 1985 reflected the Cold War's departure from the ''struggle for minds and wills'' (a phrase used by both President Truman and President Eisenhower) to a balance of power based on ''traditional diplomacy'' and counting missiles, bombers, and tanks. As a result, Senator J. William Fulbright argued America's international broadcasting should take its ''rightful place in the graveyard of Cold War relics''.[9] A decade later, Senator Edward Zorinsky (D-NE) successfully blocked taxpayer access to USIA materials, even through Freedom of Information Act requests, as he compared the USIA to an organ of Soviet propaganda.[10]

Provisions[edit]There are three key restrictions on the U.S. State Department in the Smith''Mundt Act.

The first and most well-known restriction was originally a prohibition on domestic dissemination of materials intended for foreign audiences by the State Department. The original intent was the Congress, the media and academia would be the filter to bring inside what the State Department said overseas. In 1967, the Advisory Commission on Information (later renamed the Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy) recommended the de facto prohibition on domestic distribution be removed noting that there is "nothing in the statues specifically forbidding making USIA materials available to American audiences. Rather, what began as caution has hardened into policy."[5] This changed in 1972 when Senator J. William Fulbright (D-AR) argued that America's international broadcasting should take its "rightful place in the graveyard of Cold War relics" as he successfully amended the Act to read that any program material "shall not be disseminated" within the U.S. and that material shall be available "for examination only" to the media, academia, and Congress (P.L. 95-352 Sec. 204). In 1985, Senator Edward Zorinsky (D-NE) declared USIA would be no different than an organ of Soviet propaganda if its products were to be available domestically.[6] The Act was amended to read: "no program material prepared by the United States Information Agency shall be distributed within the United States" (P.L. 99-93). At least one court interpreted this language to mean USIA products were to be exempt from Freedom of Information Act requests. In response, the Act was amended again in 1990 to permit domestic distribution of program material "12 years after the initial dissemination" abroad (P.L. 101-246 Sec 202).

The second and third provisions were of greater interest to the Congress as they answered critical concerns about a deep-pocket government engaging domestic audiences. Added to the Bloom Bill, the predecessor to the Smith-Mundt Bill in June 1946 by Representative John M. Vorys (R-OH) "to remove the stigma of propaganda" and address the principal objections to the information activities the Congress intended to authorize. These provisions remain unamended and were the real prophylactic to address concerns the U.S. Government would create Nazi-style propaganda or resurrect President Wilson's CPI-style activities. The amendment said the information activities should only be conducted if needed to supplement international information dissemination of private agencies; that the State Department was not to acquire a monopoly of broadcasting or any other information medium; and that private sector leaders should be invited to review and advise the State Department in this work.

Section 1437 of the Act requires the State Department to maximize its use of "private agencies." Section 1462 requires "reducing Government information activities whenever corresponding private information dissemination is found to be adequate" and prohibits the State Department from having monopoly in any "medium of information" (a prescient phrase). Combined, these provide not only protection against government's domination of domestic discourse, but interestingly a "sunset clause" for governmental activities that Rep. Karl Mundt (R-SD) and Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs William Benton stated clearly: as private media stood up, government media would stand down.

Excerpt[edit]Section 501(a) of the Act (care of the Voice of America website) provides that

"information produced by VOA for audiences outside the United States shall not be disseminated within the United States '... but, on request, shall be available in the English language at VOA, at all reasonable times following its release as information abroad, for examination only by representatives of United States press associations, newspapers, magazines, radio systems, and stations, and by research students and scholars, and, on request, shall be made available for examination only to Members of Congress."

"This means that VOA is forbidden to broadcast within the United States." In reality, of course, any American with a shortwave receiver or an Internet connection can listen to VOA. That's incidental, however. VOA cannot direct or intend its programs to be "for" Americans. This distinction is often lost on experts who see the letter of the law but with no real understanding of the media. George W. Bush-era State Department official James K. Glassman has called for directing VOA at American audiences.

Entities Covered by the Act[edit]The following are administered by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, an agency of the US government.

No other department or agency of the US government is covered by the Smith''Mundt Act. The United States Agency for International Development and Millennium Challenge Corporation have said they are not sure whether they are covered.[7].

Recent Interpretations[edit]A 1998 U.S. Court of Appeals ruling indicated that this act exempts Voice of America from releasing transcripts in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

The act does not prohibit the entirety of the Executive Branch from distributing information at home, just the State Department and Broadcasting Board of Governors. The result of the amendments to the Act means that most US taxpayers do not know how the VOA (and its successor agencies) operate or what their programming content was, as was noted in 1967 by the Stanton Commission report noted above. The act both insulates the American public from being targeted by the government-sponsored information and broadcasting which is directed at audiences beyond America's borders. Some "experts" claim that the U.S. is "the only industrialized democracy to do this, and creates mistrust of the same activities in these audiences who increasingly question why Americans cannot read or hear the same material" (previous Wikipedia entry on this topic).

References[edit]Voice of America News's online press kit, retrieved March 22, media update on the Court of Appeals ruling, Feb 23, 1998Kenneth Osgood, Total Cold War: Eisenhower's Secret Propaganda Battle at Home and Abroad, (University Press of Kansas, 2005) p. 37.^Ninkovich, Frank (1981). The diplomacy of ideas : U.S. foreign policy and cultural relations, 1938-1950. Cambridge University Press. p. 122. ISBN 0-521-23241-4. ^Ninkovich, Frank (1981). The diplomacy of ideas : U.S. foreign policy and cultural relations, 1938-1950. Cambridge University Press. p. 122. ISBN 0-521-23241-4. ^Morris, John (April 11, 1946). "Seek to Halt Fund for Federal News: Republicans Say Department of State Lacks Authority to Use $10,000,000 Would Kill $10,000,000 Fund Harriman Testimony Secret". The New York Times. ^Ninkovich, Frank (1981). The diplomacy of ideas : U.S. foreign policy and cultural relations, 1938-1950. Cambridge University Press. p. 147. ISBN 0-521-23241-4. ^"The American Twang". Time MagazineXLIX (21). May 26, 1947. ^"The American Twang". Time MagazineXLIX (21). May 26, 1947. ^[1]^[2]^[3]^[4]External links[edit]

Congressmen Seek To Lift Propaganda Ban

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Mon, 15 Jul 2013 14:18

An amendment that would legalize the use of propaganda on American audiences is being inserted into the latest defense authorization bill, BuzzFeed has learned.

The amendment would ''strike the current ban on domestic dissemination'' of propaganda material produced by the State Department and the independent Broadcasting Board of Governors, according to the summary of the law at the House Rules Committee's official website.

The tweak to the bill would essentially neutralize two previous acts'--the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and Foreign Relations Authorization Act in 1987'--that had been passed to protect U.S. audiences from our own government's misinformation campaigns.

The bi-partisan amendment is sponsored by Rep. Mac Thornberry from Texas and Rep. Adam Smith from Washington State.

In a little noticed press release earlier in the week '-- buried beneath the other high-profile issues in the $642 billion defense bill, including indefinite detention and a prohibition on gay marriage at military installations '-- Thornberry warned that in the Internet age, the current law ''ties the hands of America's diplomatic officials, military, and others by inhibiting our ability to effectively communicate in a credible way.''

The bill's supporters say the informational material used overseas to influence foreign audiences is too good to not use at home, and that new techniques are needed to help fight Al-Qaeda, a borderless enemy whose own propaganda reaches Americans online.

Critics of the bill say there are ways to keep America safe without turning the massive information operations apparatus within the federal government against American citizens.

''Clearly there are ways to modernize for the information age without wiping out the distinction between domestic and foreign audiences,'' says Michael Shank, Vice President at the Institute for Economics and Peace in Washington D.C. ''That Reps Adam Smith and Mac Thornberry want to roll back protections put in place by previously-serving Senators '' who, in their wisdom, ensured limits to taxpayer''funded propaganda promulgated by the US government '' is disconcerting and dangerous.''

''I just don't want to see something this significant '' whatever the pros and cons '' go through without anyone noticing,'''' says one source on the Hill, who is disturbed by the law. According to this source, the law would allow ''U.S. propaganda intended to influence foreign audiences to be used on the domestic population.''

The new law would give sweeping powers to the government to push television, radio, newspaper, and social media onto the U.S. public. ''It removes the protection for Americans,'' says a Pentagon official who is concerned about the law. ''It removes oversight from the people who want to put out this information. There are no checks and balances. No one knows if the information is accurate, partially accurate, or entirely false.''

According to this official, ''senior public affairs'' officers within the Department of Defense want to ''get rid'' of Smith-Mundt and other restrictions because it prevents information activities designed to prop up unpopular policies'--like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Critics of the bill point out that there was rigorous debate when Smith Mundt passed, and the fact that this is so ''under the radar,'' as the Pentagon official puts it, is troubling.

The Pentagon spends some $4 billion a year to sway public opinion already, and it was recently revealed by USA Today the DoD spent $202 million on information operations in Iraq and Afghanistan last year.

In an apparent retaliation to the USA Today investigation, the two reporters working on the story appear to have been targeted by Pentagon contractors, who created fake Facebook pages and Twitter accounts in an attempt to discredit them.

(In fact, a second amendment to the authorization bill '-- in reaction to the USA Today report '-- seeks cuts to the Pentagon's propaganda budget overseas, while this amendment will make it easier for the propaganda to spread at home.)

The evaporation of Smith-Mundt and other provisions to safeguard U.S. citizens against government propaganda campaigns is part of a larger trend within the diplomatic and military establishment.

In December, the Pentagon used software to monitor the Twitter debate over Bradley Manning's pre-trial hearing; another program being developed by the Pentagon would design software to create ''sock puppets'' on social media outlets; and, last year, General William Caldwell, deployed an information operations team under his command that had been trained in psychological operations to influence visiting American politicians to Kabul.

A U.S. Army whistleblower, Lieutenant Col. Daniel Davis, noted recently in his scathing 84-page unclassified report on Afghanistan that there remains a strong desire within the defense establishment ''to enable Public Affairs officers to influence American public opinion when they deem it necessary to ''protect a key friendly center of gravity, to wit US national will,'' he wrote, quoting a well-regarded general.

The defense bill passed the House Friday afternoon.

CORRECTION: The amendment under consideration would not apply to the Department of Defense, though the it is attached to a defense authorization bill.

U.S. Repeals Propaganda Ban, Spreads Government-Made News To Americans | The Cable

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Mon, 15 Jul 2013 14:17

For decades, a so-called anti-propaganda law prevented the U.S.government's mammoth broadcasting arm from delivering programming to Americanaudiences. But on July 2, that came silently to an end with the implementationof a new reform passed in January. The result: an unleashing of thousands of hoursper week of government-funded radio and TV programs for domestic U.S.consumption in a reform initially criticized as a green light for U.S. domesticpropaganda efforts. So what just happened?

Until this month, a vast ocean of U.S. programming produced bythe Broadcasting Board of Governors such as Voice of America, Radio FreeEurope/Radio Liberty and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks could only beviewed or listened to at broadcast quality in foreign countries. Theprogramming varies in tone and quality, but its breadth is vast: It's viewed inmore than 100 countries in 61 languages. The topics covered include human rightsabuses in Iran; self-immolation in Tibet; human trafficking across Asia; andon-the-ground reporting in Egypt and Iraq.

The restriction of these broadcasts was due to the Smith-MundtAct, a long standing piece of legislation that has been amended numerous timesover the years, perhaps most consequentially by Arkansas Senator J. WilliamFulbright. In the 70s, Fulbright was no friend of VOA and Radio Free Europe,and moved to restrict them from domestic distribution, saying they "should be given the opportunityto take their rightful place in the graveyard of Cold War relics." Fulbright'samendment to Smith-Mundt was bolstered in 1985 by Nebraska Senator Edward Zorinskywho argued that such "propaganda" should be kept out of America as to distinguish the U.S. "from the Soviet Unionwhere domestic propaganda is a principal government activity."

Zorinsky and Fulbright sold their amendments on sensiblerhetoric: American taxpayers shouldn't be funding propaganda for Americanaudiences. So did Congress just tear down the American public's last defenseagainst domestic propaganda?

BBG spokeswoman Lynne Weil insists BBG is not a propagandaoutlet, and its flagship services such as VOA "present fair and accurate news."

"They don't shy away from stories that don't shed the bestlight on the United States," she told TheCable. She pointed to the charters of VOA and RFE: "Our journalistsprovide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible,discussion, and open debate."

A former U.S. government source with knowledge of the BBG saysthe organization is no Pravda, but itdoes advance U.S. interests in more subtle ways. In Somalia, for instance, VOAserves as counterprogramming to outlets peddling anti-American or jihadistsentiment. "Somalis have three options for news," the source said, "word ofmouth, Al-Shabaab or VOA Somalia."

This partially explains the push to allow BBG broadcasts onlocal radio stations in the United States. The agency wants to reach diasporacommunities, such as St. Paul Minnesota's significant Somali expat community. "Those people can getAl-Shabaab, they can get Russia Today, but they couldn't get access to theirtaxpayer-funded news sources like VOA Somalia," the source said. "It wassilly."

Lynne added that the reform has a transparency benefit as well."Now Americans will be able to know more about what they are paying for withtheir tax dollars - greater transparency is a win-win for all involved," she said.And so with that we have the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012, whichpassed as part of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, and went intoeffect this month.

But if anyone needed a reminder of the dangers of domesticpropaganda efforts, the past 12 months provided ample reasons. Last year, two USA Today journalists were ensnared in a propaganda campaign afterreporting about millions of dollars in back taxes owed by the Pentagon's toppropaganda contractor in Afghanistan. Eventually, one of the co-owners of thefirm confessed to creating phony websites andTwitter accounts to smear the journalists anonymously. Additionally, just thismonth, The Washington Post exposed a counter propaganda program by the Pentagonthat recommended posting comments on a U.S. website run by a Somali expat withreaders opposing Al-Shabaab. "Today, the military is more focused onmanipulating news and commentary on the Internet, especially social media, byposting material and images without necessarily claiming ownership," reported The Post.

But for BBG officials, the references to Pentagon propagandaefforts are nauseating, particularly because the Smith-Mundt Act never hadanything to do with regulating the Pentagon, a fact that was misunderstood inmedia reports in the run-up to the passage of new Smith-Mundt reforms inJanuary.

One example included a report by the late Buzzfeed reporter MichaelHastings, who suggested that the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act would open thedoor to Pentagon propaganda of U.S. audiences. In fact, as amended in 1987, the act only covers portions of the State Departmentengaged in public diplomacy abroad (i.e. the public diplomacy section of the"R" bureau, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors.)

But the news circulated regardless, much to the displeasure ofRep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), a sponsor of the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of2012. "To me, it's a fascinating case study in how one blogger was prettysloppy, not understanding the issue and then it got picked up by Politico's Playbook, and you had onelevel of sloppiness on top of another," Thornberry toldThe Cable last May. "And once something sensational gets out there,it just spreads like wildfire."

That of course doesn't leave the BBG off the hook if itscontent smacks of agitprop. But now that its materials are allowed to bebroadcast by local radio stations and TV networks, they won't be a completemystery to Americans. "Previously, the legislation had the effect of cloudingand hiding this stuff," the former U.S. official told The Cable. "Now we'll have a better sense: Gee some of this stuffis really good. Or gee some of this stuff is really bad. At least we'll know now."

White House Backs Pirate-Starving Program by Google and Others | Variety

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Mon, 15 Jul 2013 22:38

The Obama Administration came out in support of an anti-piracy plan put forward by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and other Internet companies that's designed to cut off advertising revenue to rogue sites engaged in piracy and counterfeiting.

The White House last month issued a call to Internet companies to develop voluntary agreements with Hollywood and other industries to stem the tide of online piracy.

''The Administration strongly supports voluntary efforts by the private sector to reduce infringement and we welcome the initiative brought forward by the companies to establish industry-wide standards to combat online piracy and counterfeiting by reducing financial incentives associated with infringement,'' Victoria Espinel, the U.S. intellectual property enforcement coordinator in the Office of Management and Budget, said in a statement Monday.

She added, ''We believe that this is a positive step and that such efforts can have a significant impact on reducing online piracy and counterfeiting.''

SEE ALSO: In Piracy War, Google Seen as Unwilling Ally

But some rights owners argued the Internet companies' plan doesn't go far enough. MPAA chairman Chris Dodd said it ''places a disproportionate amount of the burden on rights holders'' and is ''not sufficient.''

Under the ''best practices'' guidelines, online ad networks will respond to complaints from copyright holders about specific sites. After investigating a notice, an ad network may request that a website no longer sell counterfeit goods or engage in copyright infringement or it can refuse to place ads on the site.

Companies adopting the voluntary set of best practices are 24/7 Media, Adtegrity, AOL, Cond(C) Nast, Google, Microsoft, SpotXchange and Yahoo, with the support of the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

SEE ALSO: MPAA Scoffs at New Anti-Piracy Plan

Google in particular has been targeted by allegations that it profits from rogue sites that advertise illegal drugs and engage in piracy. The Internet giant says it already has stringent advertising policies and works to remove those from its advertising network.

White House Pushes New Online Piracy Efforts | Variety

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Mon, 15 Jul 2013 22:38

The White House will encourage search engines, cyberlockers and domain name registrars to come up with voluntary agreements with Hollywood and other industries to curb online piracy of movies, TV shows and music, as the prospects for future significant anti-infringement legislation on Capitol Hill have stalled.

The efforts by the administration to reduce infringement were outlined on Thursday in a strategic plan released by Victoria Espinel, the White House's Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, who has been dubbed the ''copyright czar.''

Espinel's report indicated that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office would study the effectiveness of voluntary agreements that are now in place. This includes a recently launched ''copyright alert'' system that the movie and record industries launched along with major Internet providers earlier this year, in which consumers who repeatedly download pirated content are sent warnings, with the possibility of having their service slowed after the 5th or 6th such notice. The system has been dubbed ''six strikes,'' although users do not face having their service shut down altogether if they continue to access pirated content.

Nevertheless, even as agreements have also been reached with credit card companies and ad firms, as a way of choking off the flow of money to pirate sites, reaching a deal with search engines is a high hurdle. There is still considerable friction between the MPAA and the Recording Industry Assn. of America and search giant Google, and any agreement would probably be a long time coming.

To that end, Espinel's report makes a point of asking content creators, like studios and record labels, to establish their own set of ''best practices,'' or voluntary standards that the industry should follow in pursuing infringement claims. In a conference call with reporters, Espinel said that the administration has been asking the tech sector to establish such guidelines over the past few years, but ''we think it is important for rights holders to enter in to best practices as well.'' She suggested that such a move would help in negotiations. ''We think it is important that everyone be at the table working together,'' she said.

Tech firms have complained that some content creators have engaged in copyright abuse, such as the filing of frivolous claims or of seeking takedowns of content for which they do not own the rights. Others have complained that obtaining the rights to certain types of music and other content is cumbersome given the instant demands of the digital age.

Showbiz trade associations have been pursuing voluntary agreements after the experience with the Stop Online Piracy Act, a major piece of legislation to combat foreign piracy sites that was sidelined in Congress last year after a storm of protest from Internet users.

Cary Sherman, CEO of the RIAA, said in a statement that ''just as we are asking others to redouble their efforts to build a better online marketplace for users and creators alike, we recognize that we have an obligation to be constructive and examine steps we can undertake to help achieve that end.'' He cited an agreement that labels and music publishers reached last week to free up more music for licensing, via a system of ''micro-licensing'' for ancillary uses, like corporate retreats or wedding videos.

But he noted that so-called ''rogue'' websites continue to be displayed in the first page of search results, ''and this new White House report is a reminder that policymakers care about this issue and expect meaningful progress.''

Jean Prewitt, president and CEO of the Independent Film & Television Alliance, said that, when it comes to establishing ''best practices,'' ''it makes sense to begin the conversation among the sector itself.'' For instance, there are divergent ways that studios and production companies identify infringing content.

While much of the strategic plan focused on enforcement, including coordination activities among federal agencies, the plan also notes that the U.S. Copyright Office is studying the feasibility of small claims courts for copyright disputes, given the expense involved for such professionals as photographers and illustrators to pursue claims for infringement of their works. The Copyright Office expects to unveil a plan in the fall of 2013.

Prewitt said that an issue for independent filmmakers is the cost of pursuing claims, as well as enforcing copyright when a project is still in release.

Yet ''you don't want the process to short circuit the legal protections that creators have and the legal protections the public has,'' she said.

Another area cited in the report has to do with ''fair use,'' the term for when copyrighted content can be used legally without an owner's permission. It's been the subject of a great deal of litigation in recent years, along with plenty of misperception. The plan calls for the Copyright Office to summarize current law and provide more guidance to artists ''seeking to apply the law to their own situations.''

The plan also calls for the federal government and the FBI to work with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, to make sure that new ''top-level'' domain names do not become ''new venues'' for infringement.

The plan also calls for increasing transparency as new policy is created to fight infringement. The negotiation of international trade agreements has come under criticism from public interest groups for being too opaque a process.

Espinel also indicated that the administration would seek increased efforts to engage law enforcement agencies in other countries to pursue action on piracy and counterfeiting. The plan also calls for calls for an annual study of the economic impact of ''intellectual property-intensive industries'' on the economy.

Chris Dodd, the chairman and CEO of the MPAA, said in a statement that ''as the administration points out repeatedly throughout the report, all involved parties '-- from ISPs to payment processors to ad networks to search engines '-- share responsibility to ensure protection of creative work.''

The Center for Copyright Information, which oversees the copyright alert system, has yet to release exact figures on how many e-mails have been sent to users warning them that they are accessing infringing content. But according to Prewitt, the ''overall stats are that very. very few users have gone past three notices,'' and there has been no litigation to date.

Update: According to CCI, reports of notices are still unconfirmed.


MERS: New House Bill Wipes Mortgage Fraud Clean For Banksters

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Source: Northeast Intelligence Network

Thu, 18 Jul 2013 01:06

Written by Susanne Posel, Special Contributor To The Hagmann and Hagmann Report

The House Financial Services Committee (HFSC), headed by chair Jeb Hensarling, has approved proposed bill entitled, ''Protecting American Taxpayers and Homeowners Act'' (PATH) that is being sold to the American public as a way ''to create a sustainable housing finance system.''

Hensarling explained : ''Our plan helps taxpayers and homeowners. It gives power and control back to consumers. Under the current broken system, unaccountable Washington elites have more of a say over who gets a mortgage than your local bank. The current system is a government monopoly run by the same types of Washington bureaucrats who run the IRS. America can do better. Americans deserve better.''

Buried in PATH is the creation of the National Mortgage Data Repository (NMDR) which is the brainchild of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The NMDR would be ''the first comprehensive repository of detailed mortgage loan information. The database will primarily be used to support the agencies' policymaking and research efforts and to help regulators better understand emerging mortgage and housing market trends.''

Richard Corday, director of the CFPB asserts that ''in order to understand what is going on in the mortgage marketplace and develop appropriate consumer protections, we must have the best facts and data. This database will be a valuable tool for regulators and researchers and we look forward to partnering with FHFA on this important work.''

The NMDB would be utilized in conjunction with agencies to:

' Monitor the relative health of mortgage markets and consumers.' Provide new insight on consumer decision making.' Monitor new and emerging products in the mortgage market.' View both first and second lien mortgages for a given borrower.' Understand the impact of consumers' debt burden.

The problem that justifies the NMDB is the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) that is a database that was incorporated in 1995 and privately held.

MERS board of directors is filled with vested interest from technocrats such as:

' Freddie Mac' Wells Fargo' Citigroup' JP Morgan & Chase Co' Fannie Mae' Bank of America

Those financially invested in MERS include:

' Bank of America' Citigroup' HSBC' Sun Trust' Wells Fargo' Fannie Mae' Freddie Mac

Hensarling took a ski-trip last April and met with powerful members of the financial Elite who have also made campaign contributions to him through the SuperPAC Jobs, Economy and Budget (JEB) Fund just before PATH was announced by the HFSC.

The ''weekend getaway'' was attended by:

' A representative from the American Securitization Forum (ASF)' Len Wolfson, lobbyist for the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA)' VISA' And other members of the retail industry and finance corporations

Those who have contributed to the JEB Fund around the time of the ski-trip weekend are:

' Capital One' Credit Suisse' PricewaterhouseCoopers' MasterCard' UBS' US Bank' National Association of Federal Credit Unions' Koch Industries' Cash America International' CheckSmart Financial' Regions Financial' JP Morgan & Chase Co

Considering the implications of PATH for the banksters, it may be that those technocrats who contributed to the JEB Fund would be the first to take advantage of the bill should it pass through to become a law.

Supporting PATH, the American Bankers Association (ABA) released a statement saying: ''We commend Chairman Hensarling for this thoughtful measure to begin the essential work of reforming our nation's housing finance system and protecting taxpayers, which includes reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and refocusing the Federal Housing Administration.''

The ABA went on to say: ''We strongly support provisions of the Chairman's bill that would delay implementation of pending mortgage rules, including Qualified Mortgage, and provide some important and needed changes to that rule. More time is needed to ensure that banks can comply with these complex new rules to avoid unintended effects on credit availability. Clarifications to the rules are also necessary, both those still to be proposed by regulators and others included in this legislation.''

The NMDR would wipe the slate clean with regard to the mortgage fraud that has become apparent with cases being filed in courts all across the nation. Homeowners and attorneys have realized that with the use of MERS, the banks have been able to robosign their way into mortgage debt that was foreclosable.

However, MERS has proven to be a bit of a thorn for the banksters when it comes to proving they hold title to the property they are in the process of seizing. In fact, it appears that the financial Elite did not consider the clogging of the courts and losing their right to foreclose on home based on the lack of evidence that they hold title of the property because of MERS.

Instead, the technocrats have devised a way to take the homes from ALL homeowners regardless of whether or not they have previously won during foreclosure litigation, are in the process of litigation and would file a complaint with the courts at a future date.

One of the outcomes of PATH would be the right of the technocrats to stop current legal standing of the homeowners in court with regard to foreclosure litigation.

Without this provision, the homeowner cannot sue to stop the foreclosure, nor can new complaints be filed with the courts.

But one of the biggest advantages of PATH would be for the technocrats to reopen foreclosure litigation that was ruled on in favor of the homeowner.

Just as with criminal law, the right of protection from being retried for a ''crime'' is protected under Jeopardy clause.

The civil version of the Jeopardy clause works much the same of the criminal counterpart. Jeopardy can terminate ''in four instances: after acquittal; after dismissal; after a mistrial; and on appeal after conviction.''

What this means for PATH and the NMDR is that a homeowner who previously won a suit against the bank and kept their home, would now be under threat of having the case reopened under the new evidence argument.

The bank could simply open a new case in light of PATH that would empower them bring this law in as evidence (should the law be passed). This would also allow the banks to circumvent the Ex Post Facto clause .

By using PATH as the reason to bring old litigation to new light, this scheme would serve to give the banks a way to acquire those properties anyway.

It is a three-fold win for the technocrats thanks to Henserling and the HFSC.

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Drone Nation

The Drone That Killed My Grandson -

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Thu, 18 Jul 2013 13:31

SANA, Yemen '-- I LEARNED that my 16-year-old grandson, Abdulrahman '-- a United States citizen '-- had been killed by an American drone strike from news reports the morning after he died.

The missile killed him, his teenage cousin and at least five other civilians on Oct. 14, 2011, while the boys were eating dinner at an open-air restaurant in southern Yemen.

I visited the site later, once I was able to bear the pain of seeing where he sat in his final moments. Local residents told me his body was blown to pieces. They showed me the grave where they buried his remains. I stood over it, asking why my grandchild was dead.

Nearly two years later, I still have no answers. The United States government has refused to explain why Abdulrahman was killed. It was not until May of this year that the Obama administration, in a supposed effort to be more transparent, publicly acknowledged what the world already knew '-- that it was responsible for his death.

The attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., said only that Abdulrahman was not ''specifically targeted,'' raising more questions than he answered.

My grandson was killed by his own government. The Obama administration must answer for its actions and be held accountable. On Friday, I will petition a federal court in Washington to require the government to do just that.

Abdulrahman was born in Denver. He lived in America until he was 7, then came to live with me in Yemen. He was a typical teenager '-- he watched ''The Simpsons,'' listened to Snoop Dogg, read ''Harry Potter'' and had a Facebook page with many friends. He had a mop of curly hair, glasses like me and a wide, goofy smile.

In 2010, the Obama administration put Abdulrahman's father, my son Anwar, on C.I.A. and Pentagon ''kill lists'' of suspected terrorists targeted for death. A drone took his life on Sept. 30, 2011.

The government repeatedly made accusations of terrorism against Anwar '-- who was also an American citizen '-- but never charged him with a crime. No court ever reviewed the government's claims nor was any evidence of criminal wrongdoing ever presented to a court. He did not deserve to be deprived of his constitutional rights as an American citizen and killed.

Early one morning in September 2011, Abdulrahman set out from our home in Sana by himself. He went to look for his father, whom he hadn't seen for years. He left a note for his mother explaining that he missed his father and wanted to find him, and asking her to forgive him for leaving without permission.

A couple of days after Abdulrahman left, we were relieved to receive word that he was safe and with cousins in southern Yemen, where our family is from. Days later, his father was targeted and killed by American drones in a northern province, hundreds of miles away. After Anwar died, Abdulrahman called us and said he was going to return home.

That was the last time I heard his voice. He was killed just two weeks after his father.

A country that believes it does not even need to answer for killing its own is not the America I once knew. From 1966 to 1977, I fulfilled a childhood dream and studied in the United States as a Fulbright scholar, earning my doctorate and then working as a researcher and assistant professor at universities in New Mexico, Nebraska and Minnesota.

I have fond memories of those years. When I first came to the United States as a student, my host family took me camping by the ocean and on road trips to places like Yosemite, Disneyland and New York '-- and it was wonderful.

After returning to Yemen, I used my American education and skills to help my country, serving as Yemen's minister of agriculture and fisheries and establishing one of the country's leading institutions of higher learning, Ibb University. Abdulrahman used to tell me he wanted to follow in my footsteps and go back to America to study. I can't bear to think of those conversations now.

After Anwar was put on the government's list, but before he was killed, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights represented me in a lawsuit challenging the government's claim that it could kill anyone it deemed an enemy of the state.

The court dismissed the case, saying that I did not have standing to sue on my son's behalf and that the government's targeted killing program was outside the court's jurisdiction anyway.

After the deaths of Abdulrahman and Anwar, I filed another lawsuit, seeking answers and accountability. The government has argued once again that its targeted killing program is beyond the reach of the courts. I find it hard to believe that this can be legal in a constitutional democracy based on a system of checks and balances.

The government has killed a 16-year-old American boy. Shouldn't it at least have to explain why?

Nasser al-Awlaki, the founder of Ibb University and former president of Sana University, served as Yemen's minister of agriculture and fisheries from 1988 to 1990.


LA Times - Brain scans of inmates turn up possible link to risks of reoffending

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Press Announcements > FDA permits marketing of first brain wave test to help assess children and teens for ADHD

FDA clears brain scan to diagnose ADHD in children |

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FDA clears brain scan to diagnose ADHD in children

By Associated Press

July 16th, 2013 @ 9:42am

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first medical scan that can help diagnose attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children by measuring brain waves.

The agency said Monday it cleared the NEBA system to help confirm ADHD for people ages 6 to 17. Doctors can use the device to confirm an ADHD diagnosis or to determine if more testing is necessary.

The device, from Augusta, Ga.-based NEBA Health, measures the frequency of two standard brain waves known as theta and beta waves. Children with ADHD tend to have a higher ratio of these waves than children who don't have the disorder.

The FDA approved the 15- to 20-minute test based on a study of 275 patients who had attention or behavioral issues. Clinicians evaluated the patients using the NEBA Health System as well as standard diagnostic tools like behavioral questionnaires, IQ tests and physical exams. An independent group of researchers then reviewed the data and reached a consensus on whether each patient had ADHD or not. The study results showed that use of the NEBA System helped doctors make a more accurate diagnosis than using traditional methods alone.

About ADHD

One of the most common neurobehavioral disorders of childhoodUsually first diagnosed in childhoodOften lasts into adulthoodChildren with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors, or be overly activeSource: CDC"Diagnosing ADHD is a multistep process based on a complete medical and psychiatric exam," said Christy Foreman, director of FDA's Office of Device Evaluation, in a statement. "The NEBA System along with other clinical information may help health care providers more accurately determine if ADHD is the cause of a behavioral problem."

Estimates of ADHD in U.S. children vary, but the American Psychiatric Association states that it affects 3 to 7 percent of school-aged children.

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FluBlok About Us

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About Us

Protein Sciences was founded in 1983 and has 30 years of experience in developing vaccines and biopharmaceuticals for the prevention and treatment of a variety of diseases. We use our proprietary BEVS protein expression technology to produce high quality recombinant proteins quickly, reliably and at low cost. We have developed three main business lines that employ this technology:

1. Proprietary vaccines - we develop and produce the next generation of safer and more effective vaccines

2. GeneXpress product development and manufacturing services - we partner with others to develop and manufacture modern vaccines, therapeutics and gene therapies

3. Research antigens - we offer a variety of high quality purified antigens and antibodies to the scientific community for disease research

Our Mission

To save lives and improve health by effectively responding to the changing world through the creation of innovative vaccines and biopharmaceuticals.

Our Values

Our values are core to our culture and guide our every action.


Leadership Team

Manon M. J. Cox President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Cox joined Protein Sciences in 1998 as Director of Business Development, became Chief Operating Officer in 2000 and became CEO in 2010. Previously, she was with Gist-brocades, a Dutch company specializing in fermentation. She held various management positions at Gist-brocades, including in Research and Development, Manufacturing and Business Development. She serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of Pall BioPharmaceuticals and iCubed, the Board of Directors of United Way, Meriden & Wallingford, and the Education Committtee of the Netherlands-America Foundation. Dr. Cox holds a Doctorate from the University of Wageningen, received her MBA with distinction from the University of Nijenrode and the University of Rochester, NY and holds a Doctorandus degree in Molecular Biology, Genetics and Biochemistry from the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

TopDaniel D. Adams Executive Chairman and Global Head of Business Development Mr. Adams joined Protein Sciences as CEO in 1996. Prior to that time, he founded and managed biopharmaceutical companies that have a combined market value of over $60 billion. Mr. Adams co-founded Biogen (OTC:BGEN) in 1976 and served as its first President and CEO. He also was Founder and CEO of Advanced Genetic Sciences Inc. (OTC:AGSI) in 1980, was Co-founder and Managing Director of Plant Genetic Systems in 1982, and was Founder and CEO of AlleRx in 1989. Mr. Adams is currently a Director of Medivation Inc. and several private companies and medical schools. He received a B.A. from Cornell University (Chemistry and Physics) and earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from New York University School of Law.

TopBarry C. BucklandHead, BioProcess Development Dr. Buckland joined Protein Sciences in 2011 after a 29-year career at Merck Research Laboratories, including 16 years as Vice President of Bioprocess R&D, during which time vaccines were licensed against chicken pox, shingles, HPV, hepatitis A and rotavirus. In 2009, he became CEO of BiologicB, through which he provides consultancy to companies and non-profit institutions worldwide in all areas of biologics, including vaccines and therapeutic proteins. Dr. Buckland currently serves on the Board of Directors of Ancora Pharmaceuticals and Mucosis BV and is Chair of the Board of Engineering Conferences International. He is also a visiting professor at University College London. He has a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Manchester, UK and a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from the University College London, UK.

TopLisa M. Dunkle Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dunkle joined Protein Sciences as Chief Medical Officer in 2011 after a 20+ year career in the pharmaceutical industry. As Executive Director of Clinical Research, she previously headed teams at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Schering-Plough and Merck that developed and brought to market several cutting-edge antiviral agents for HIV and HBV. Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Dunkle was Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology and Chief of Infectious Diseases at St. Louis University School of Medicine. She has a B.A. in Biological Sciences from Wellesley College and an M.D. from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She completed post-doctoral work in Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases at Washington University School of Medicine.

TopTimothy J. Fields Vice President, Quality Mr. Fields joined Protein Sciences in 2010 as Director of Compliance and Training, and subsequently served as Senior Director of Quality Operations before becoming VP of Quality and Validation in 2011. He has more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including more than 13 years at Pfizer and 16 years as a GMP compliance consultant. Mr. Fields has experience in a variety of compliance areas, including quality systems, validation, aseptic processing, computerized system validation, GMP training, 21CFR Part 11, document management and auditing. He is a member of PDA and ISPE and is on the editorial review board for the Journal of Validation and Journal of GXP Compliance. Previously, he was a member of DIA, RAPS and ASQC and was an adjunct instructor at the Community College of Rhode Island. He has a B.A. in Biology from Indiana University and an M.A. in Life Sciences from Indiana State University.

TopMireli W. Fino Vice President, Manufacturing Operations Ms. Fino joined Protein Sciences in 2012 as VP, Manufacturing Operations. She comes from Wyeth (now Pfizer) where she spent the past 20 years in various roles in vaccine development and commercial manufacturing, most recently as Director Manufacturing Sciences and Technology - Drug Substance. She played a key role in the successful development and launch of Prevnar13® pneumococcal 13-valent conjugate vaccine, considered one of the most complex biologics licensed to date. In addition, Ms. Fino led global initiatives implementing process and yield improvements based on the successful applications of risk management and Quality by Design (QbD) and Process Analytical Technology (PAT) concepts. She has a B.S. in Biochemical Engineering from the University of Aguascalientes in Mexico.


Wayne E. Hachey Head, Government and Clinical Affairs Wayne Hachey, DO (Colonel, U.S. Army, ret.) is a physician who has dedicated 28 years of service to the military healthcare system, including six years as a subject matter expert advising senior Department of Defense (DoD) leadership regarding the DoD's vaccine policy. He was also responsible for developing the overarching DoD mitigation response to pandemic influenza and directed the implementation of that policy during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Most recently, Dr. Hachey served as the Chief of Public Health for the 1st Medical Brigade in Afghanistan, where he provided public health leadership to protect more than 98,000 U.S. troops. Dr. Hachey has a B.A. in Biology from Fitchburg State College, a B.S.N. in Nursing from Boston College, an M.S. in Pediatric Nursing from University of Wisconsin-Madison, an M.P.H. from Uniformed University of the Health Sciences, and a D.O. from Southeastern College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is board certified in Public Health, Pediatrics and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine and has won numerous awards, including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, NATO (Afghanistan) and Afghanistan Campaign Medal and Unit Combat Patch.


Steven R. Haggerty Controller Mr. Haggerty joined Protein Sciences in 2012 as Controller. He brings extensive public accounting experience and has a proven track record in various financial roles. Prior to joining Protein Sciences, Mr. Haggerty was the Vice President of Finance at ADNET Technologies. He also co-founded Tactical Marketing Solutions, a 100+ employee organization, in 2003 and served as its first President and CEO for seven years. From 2001 to 2002, Mr. Haggerty enjoyed the roles of CFO and COO at NGC Worldwide, a direct marketing and manufacturing firm, and from 1994 to 2001, gained extensive public accounting experience at Arthur Andersen. Mr. Haggerty holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Connecticut in Storrs and passed the CPA exam in 1998.


Clifton E. McPherson Vice President, Product Development Dr. McPherson joined Protein Sciences in 2005 as Scientist and Project Manager in Process Development, where he was manager of an NIH funded SARS vaccine project. Dr. McPherson became Director of Quality Control in 2007, Senior Director of Quality Control in 2010, and Senior Director of Formulation and Process Analytics in 2011. He has a strong background in molecular biology and analytical development and has been involved in vaccine development, testing and stability, project management, and regulatory filings at Protein Sciences. Prior to joining Protein Sciences, Dr. McPherson was an instructor at the University of Connecticut Health Center following postdoctoral fellowships at Brown University and the University of Connecticut Health Center. He has a B.A. in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic, ME and a PhD in Molecular Biology from Vanderbilt University, TN.


Penny L. Post Vice President, Regulatory Dr. Post joined Protein Sciences Corporation in 2000 and has served in various management roles in Process Development, Quality and Manufacturing, becoming Vice President of Regulatory and Quality in 2007 and Vice President of Regulatory in 2011. She has a strong background in biochemistry and protein purification and has been involved in the development, manufacturing, product release and regulatory filing for recombinant proteins involved in various diseases, such as influenza and AIDS. Prior to joining Protein Sciences Corporation, Dr. Post was a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate Research Scientist at Yale University. She has a B.A. in Biology from Middlebury College, VT and a Ph.D. in Cell Biology and Biochemistry from Carnegie Mellon University.

TopIndresh K. Srivastava Vice President, Product Realization Dr. Srivastava joined Protein Sciences in 2012 as Vice President, Product Realization. He has a strong background in vaccine development, particularly in immunogen design, purification, analytical and formulation development, and has published extensively in these areas. Dr. Srivastava served on the NIH special emphasis study section focused on vaccine development for ten years, and in 2011 he co-edited the book, "Development of Vaccines: From Discovery to Clinical Testing." Previously, Dr. Srivastava spent more than twelve years at Chiron Corporation/Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, Inc. in various capacities, including Head (AI), Protein Biochemistry; Head, Vaccine Manufacturing; and Head, Protein Expression and Analytics. He also spent about two years at the Vaccine Research Center, a division of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, where he led the purification, analytical and formulation development of vaccine candidates for clinical evaluation. Prior to joining the biotechnology industry, Dr. Srivastava was an Assistant Professor of Research in Microbiology and Immunology at the Medical College of Pennsylvania. He holds a Ph.D. from the Kanpur University, India and completed his post-doctoral training with Prof. Luc Perrin at the Hospital Cantonal, University of Geneva, Switzerland.


Bradley J. Thompson Chief Commercial Officer Mr. Thompson joined Protein Sciences in 2013 after 25 years in the pharmaceutical industry with Pfizer, Wyeth, American Cyanamid, and Schering Plough, where he held positions of increasing responsibility in Sales, Sales Management, US Marketing, Global Marketing and New Products Marketing. Mr. Thompson has spent over 16 years in the Vaccines market and played a key role in the global launch of a Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine for pediatric use, and most recently in the US launch of a Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine for adult use. He has also worked on the commercialization of a number of other vaccines, including Rotavirus Vaccine, Influenza Vaccine, DTaP Vaccine and Hib Vaccine. Mr. Thompson has a B.A. in Business Economics from the University of Pittsburgh and a M.B.A. in Pharmaceutical Management from Fairleigh Dickinson University.


Advisory Board

Donna Chandler, PhD Regulatory Advisor

Dr. Chandler is currently an independent consultant for vaccine and biologics development, after more than 28 years of service with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Public Health Service. From 1997 until her retirement in November 2006, she was Deputy Director, Division of Vaccines and Related Products Applications, Office of Vaccines Research and Review, CBER, FDA. Dr. Chandler joined the FDA in 1978, at which time she investigated Mycoplasma pneumoniae pathogenicity and animal models of disease and protection. In 1989, Dr. Chandler moved to the FDA's Division of Biologic INDs, where she was a senior regulatory reviewer of bacterial and viral vaccines, allergenic products and immune globulins.

Cheryl Cohen Senior Strategic Advisor to the Board

Ms. Cohen was appointed Chief Commercial Officer of Medivation Inc. in September 2011. From 2008 to 2011, Ms. Cohen was president of CLC Consulting, a pharmaceutical and biotechnology consulting firm specializing in new product start-up and commercialization, where she was responsible for building strategic and tactical plans to ensure successful launches. From 2001 to 2008 she served as the vice president, strategic commerical group, of Health Care Systems, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company accountable for managed markets, contracting and supply chain, where she was directly responsible for access of Johsnon & Johnson products wihtin one of the largest health plans in the country. Previously, she worked at Centocor, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, in a variety of senior sales roles including vice president, rheumatology franchise, with direct responsibility for the $1+ billion per year Remicade® U.S. rheumatoid arthritis business and its 170-person sales and marketing team.

Thomas Kowalski, Esq. Patent Counselor

Mr. Kowalski is a shareholder in Vedder Price PC, a full service law firm, with offices in Chicago, NYC, Washington DC and London. Vedder Price is a general practice firm with a number of significant boutique practices whose reputations are national and international, including its intellectual property practice which handles all aspects of intellectual property law, including patent, trademark, and copyright prosecution, counseling, and litigation, and related matters, including regulatory matters. Mr. Kowalski's practice includes biotech, chemical and medical apparatus litigation, patent prosecution, licensing and counseling. In fulfilling the requirements for American Chemistry Society certification, Mr. Kowalski has extensively studied graduate biochemistry, graduate inorganic chemistry, genetics, computer science and laboratory research.

Deborah Lu, PhD, Esq. Patent Counselor

Dr. Lu is a shareholder at Vedder Price PC. Dr. Lu received her B.S. in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Biochemistry from Cornell University, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from the University of Michigan. Dr. Lu was a post-doctoral fellow in Microbiology at Harvard Medical School and in Structural Biology at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine at the New York University Medical Center and received her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law.

Peter Patriarca, MD Vaccine Development and Regulatory Consultant

Dr. Patriarca is a senior consultant with the Biologics Consulting Group, Inc. (Alexandria, Virginia, USA), a full-service consulting firm that provides guidance to industry for all phases of vaccine development. Prior to his current position, Dr. Patriarca was Corporate Head and Vice President, Worldwide Regulatory Affairs and Pharmacovigilance at MedImmune, Inc. from 2001 to 2005. He served as Medical Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 1980 to 1992, and at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 1993 to 2001. Among other positions, Dr. Patriarca served at the FDA as Director of the Division of Viral Products in the Office of Vaccines Research and Review (OVRR), CBER. In that capacity, he worked on the quality and consistency of chemistry, manufacturing and controls and clinical aspects of numerous vaccines and adjuvants, and was intimately involved with regulatory decisions and policy affecting vaccine development and licensure. At the CDC, Dr. Patriarca was assigned to the National Immunization Program, where, in addition to holding other positions, he served as the first head of the CDC's program in support of the global poliomyelitis eradication initiative. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications.

Janet Rea, MSPH, RAC Advisor, Quality and Compliance MattersMs. Rea served as Protein Sciences' Chief Compliance Officer from 2011-2012. Previously, she held the position of Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality at Poniard Pharmaceuticals (previously NeoRx) from 2008 to 2010 and AVI BioPharma from 2003 to 2008, and was a corporate officer for both organizations. Trained as a public health microbiologist at the University of Washington (UW), Ms. Rea started her career with American Dade Division, American Hospital Supply Corporation in Miami, Florida in the microbiology quality assurance group, applying microbiological techniques to improve aseptic processing and reducing product failure. Thereafter, she returned to Seattle, working for Genetic Systems, Immunex (now Amgen), where she played a key role in the approval of the company's first product, LEUKINE; MDS Panlabs, and Targeted Genetics. Her diverse experience transcends the product development continuum in a variety of therapeutic areas, especially oncology, infectious and rare genetic diseases. She is a member of two editorial advisory boards, and has lectured extensively as well as published. She received a Bachelors of Science in Microbiology and was conferred a Masters of Science of Public Health (MSPH) from UW, Seattle, Washington. Ms. Rea is and remains a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacy at UW, where she has been a frequent lecturer since 1999.

John Treanor, MD Medical Advisor/ Principal Investigator of Clinical Trials

Dr. Treanor is a Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Rochester Medical Center. He is a current or former member of the Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research Advisory Committee (MIDRAC), Veteran's Administration Merit Review Board for Infectious Disease, and the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP). Dr. Treanor's research interests are related to the clinical evaluation of vaccines and other control measures for human infectious diseases, including studies of novel vaccines for seasonal and pandemic influenza, evaluation of antiviral agents for influenza, and studies of the human immune response to influenza infection and vaccination.


Board of Directors

Daniel D. Adams, JDMr. Adams has been Executive Chairman of Protein Sciences Corporation since April 2010, having earlier served as President since December 1998 and Chief Executive Officer since May 1996. He was previously a founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of BCCORP LLC, a company involved in taking control of and managing failing biotechnology companies. Mr. Adams also founded and was Chairman of AlleRx Inc. from 1989 to 1993, and was Chief Executive Officer of Advanced Genetic Sciences, Inc. (AGSI) from 1979 to 1986, when it merged with DNA Plant Technologies. He co-founded and was Managing Director of Plant Genetic Systems, N.V. from 1982 to 1989, and co-founded and was President and Chief Executive Officer of Biogen, Inc. (BGEN) from 1976 to 1980.

Dr. Manon M.J. Cox, MBADr. Cox has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Protein Sciences Corporation since April 2010. She joined the company in 1998 as Director of Business Development and became Chief Operating Officer in 2003. Since 2006, she has also served on the Scientific Advisory Board of Pall BioPharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Protein Sciences Corporation, she was employed with Gist-brocades, N.V., a large Dutch company specializing in fermentation. She held various management positions at Gist-brocades, including New Business Development, Production, and Research and Development. She previously worked as a molecular biologist on the development of a PCR screening test for cervical cancer at the University of Amsterdam.

Cees de Jong, MD, MBADr. de Jong will become the Chief Executive Officer of Chr. Hansen, a global supplier of bioscience-based ingredients to the food, health and animal feed industries, on April 1, 2013. Dr. de Jong was Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Management Board at Crucell N.V, a publicly traded Netherlands company, from 2007 until its sale in 2011. Crucell's business involved developing and manufacturing vaccines and other products based on PER.C6, a human cell line. Crucell was sold to Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, in 2011 with a value of approximately $3 billion. From 2003 to 2007, Dr. De Jong was Group Vice President and member of the Board at Quest International, ICI, and Business Group Director at Campina and Gist-brocades, N.V. from 2000-2002 and from 1989 to 2000, respectively.

R. Gordon Douglas, MDDr. Douglas retired in April 1999 from Merck & Co., where he had been President of the Merck Vaccine Division since 1991 and a member of the Merck Management Committee. Prior to joining Merck, Dr. Douglas was Chairman of the Department of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. He held earlier teaching, research and administrative posts at the University of Rochester Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Douglas received his medical staff training at The New York Hospital and Johns Hopkins Hospital, and is board certified in Internal Medicine.

Donna R. Galluzzo, PhD, RDSince 2003, Dr. Galluzzo has been President and CEO of HMS Healthcare Management Solutions, Inc., a financial support services and consulting organization to healthcare providers such as hospitals, physicians, home care and hospice. Primary services include outsourced billing and collections, revenue cycle management, operational and strategic services, regulatory compliance, education and secure web-based solutions. She was previously President and COO of Connecticut VNA, Inc., one of the largest not-for-profit home health and hospice organizations in the United States. Since 1990, Dr. Galluzzo has owned or been CEO/COO of several healthcare companies that have received multiple awards for excellence and innovation. In addition, she has received numerous awards for her leadership in civic and community boards and activities.

Robert B. Goergen, MBAMr. Goergen is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Blyth, Inc., a publicly traded firm, and is Managing Partner of The Ropart Group, a private equity firm. Mr. Goergen also is a member and former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Rochester and a Trustee of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He was previously Managing Partner of The Sprout Capital Group at DLJ, Inc.

Howard E. Levine, PhDDr. Levine is President and Principal Consultant for BioProcess Technology Consults. Dr. Levine has more than 30 years of experience in successful product companies and as founder of BioProcess Technology Consultants, Inc. Prior to founding BioProcess Technology Consultants, he was Vice President of Manufacturing Operations at Repligen Corporation, where he was responsible for all process development and manufacturing activities, including production of therapeutic proteins, monoclonal antibodies and recombinant Protein A. Dr. Levine was previously Director, Pilot Plant Operations at Xoma Corporation, where he was responsible for the development and manufacture of monoclonal antibody products for clinical trial. He has also held positions in process development and manufacturing at Genentech and Amgen. During the course of his career, he has assisted in the development of more than 25 different biological products and the successful commercialization of three of these products.

Albertus D.M.E. Osterhaus, DVMDr. Osterhaus, known as Ab Osterhaus, is an advisor to Artemis Foundation for Wildlife Health Research. He has a long standing track record as scientific researcher and is an international authority in the field of "Viroscience." Over the years he has been responsible for the identification of more than 20 novel human and animal viruses, vaccine development and anti-viral drug development against several viruses including influenza viruses. He has served as member and chairman of many international scientific committess, most notably three WHO reference centers, the Dutch Influenza Centre, the Dutch Health Council and the European Scientific Working group on Influenza (ESWI). He is a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). Multiple awards, prizes, guest lecture invitations, organizer of international meetings and editorships of scientific journals highlight his international recognition.

Cheryl Cohen Senior Strategic Advisor to the Board

Ms. Cohen was appointed Chief Commercial Officer of Medivation Inc. in September 2011. From 2008 to 2011, Ms. Cohen was president of CLC Consulting, a pharmaceutical and biotechnology consulting firm specializing in new product start-up and commercialization, where she was responsible for building strategic and tactical plans to ensure successful launches. From 2001 to 2008 she served as the vice president, strategic commerical group, of Health Care Systems, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company accountable for managed markets, contracting and supply chain, where she was directly responsible for access of Johsnon & Johnson products wihtin one of the largest health plans in the country. Previously, she worked at Centocor, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, in a variety of senior sales roles including vice president, rheumatology franchise, with direct responsibility for the $1+ billion per year Remicade® U.S. rheumatoid arthritis business and its 170-person sales and marketing team.


Flublok vaccine podcast - YouTube

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China's 'Combat Troops' in Africa | Killer Apps

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For the second time in a little over a year, China has infantry on the ground in Africa, reflecting the Chinese military's increasingly global presence.

395 peacekeepers from the People's Liberation Army just arrived in the Saharan nation of Mali as part of the U.N. mission to help restore order there. Specifically, Beijing has sent engineering, medical and "guard" teams to the Malian capital of Bamako, according to the Chinese defense ministry. These troops are reportedly part of the PLA's 16th Army, a formation comprised of infantry, armor and artillery divisions.

China traditionally sends thousands of engineering, medical and other support troops on U.N. missions each year. Of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, China is the largest manpower contributor to U.N. peacekeeping missions.

However, until very recently, China did not send infantry on U.N. missions. In fact, Beijing officially insists the soldiers in Mali aren't combat troops, perhaps in order to maintain the idea that China doesn't send official combat troops on peacekeeping missions.

"The Chinese security force is actually a guard team that will mainly be responsible for the security of the [U.N. mission] headquarters and the living areas of peacekeeping forces," a Chinese defense ministry spokesman is quoted by China's state-run Xinhua news agency as saying.

Still, this latest deployment marks the second time in the last two years that China has sent infantry soldiers to Africa with the purpose of guarding peacekeeping missions. In 2011, Beijing sent infantrymen to guard PLA engineers participating in a U.N. mission in South Sudan. Despite Beijing's claims that these troops were there solely for the purpose of guarding the engineers, the U.S. China Economic and Security Review pointed out that these guards were from an "elite" combat unit.

The mission to protect PLA engineers and medics isn't without merit; just last week, seven UN personnel were killed when their convoy was attacked in Sudan. And the operation reflects China's growing interest in Africa. Chinese business leaders have been all over the continent for the last decade, spending billions of dollars on projects and prompting some to worry that Beijing was going to beat the U.S. in the African influence game (an assertion U.S. President Barack Obama dismisses). All of this has prompted Chinese military deployments aimed at protecting Chinese workers abroad.

The Chinese navy has been conducting anti-piracy operations in the Arabian Sea for years. And in early 2011, China sent military transport planes and even a guided missile destroyer to Libya to help evacuate some of the tens of thousands of Chinese citizens there as the revolution against former Libyan dictator Muammar al Qaddafi heated up.

These latest deployments of Chinese infantry are simply a reflection of China's growing role in the world, motivated by the need to protect Chinese investments and to be seen as a more responsible player in global security affairs, say several experts.

"This role is not limited to Africa, and thus I don't see this current shift as an 'Africa' policy, but rather the evolution of their U.N. role coupled, possibly, with a long-standing special relationship with Mali," professor Deborah Brautigam with John Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies. "If they want to play a leadership role in the U.N., they need to step up and expand what they contribute to its various parts."

For now, that means sending in a relative handful of troops. In the future, the numbers may not be quite so small.

"China is slowly setting the scene for eventually sending a combat unit to some future UN peacekeeping operation," said David Chinn, former U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia and Burkina Faso who now teaches at The George Washington University. "In this sense, this is a significant development and is in keeping with China's policy of slowing expanding the size and function of its support to peacekeeping."


Athens in lockdown for German minister visit

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Source: The Local - Germany's news in English

Thu, 18 Jul 2013 13:25

Published: 18 Jul 13 12:22 CET | Print versionOnline:

Visiting German Finance Minister Wolfgang Sch¤uble praised Greece Thursday for its progress on economic reforms, a day after parliament narrowly passed a sweeping austerity bill putting thousands of jobs on the line.

Security was tightened during the minister's visit, as Sch¤uble is a hate figure to many in Greece for championing the painful reforms that the heavily indebted country has had to undertake in exchange for billions in rescue funds.Greece, now in its sixth straight year of recession, has been forced to undertake job, pay and pension cuts, in order to secure '‚¬240 billion in rescue funds put up by the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

"I am very impressed by what Greece has already achieved in rebalancing and modernising the economy," Sch¤uble said, adding that Germany is ready to invest in a fund that provides liquidity to Greek companies.

Sch¤uble's visit came just hours after the Greek parliament approved a new bill of reforms outlining the redeployment of 25,000 civil servants, despite days of street protests.

Under the bill, thousands of civil servants - including teachers and municipal police - have eight months on reduced salaries to find new posts elsewhere, or accept those offered to them. Otherwise, they will lose their jobs.

Greece needed to approve the bill in order to receive its next installment of '‚¬6.8 billion in rescue funds, which was approved by eurozone finance ministers last week.

Shortly before heading off to Athens, Sch¤uble told German public radio his visit "is a sign of encouragement that we support Greece on its difficult path."

"We have confidence in what Greece is doing... we of course have to insist that Greece continue on this difficult path of pushing on with the agreed reforms," he added.

Sch¤uble denied claims that Greece will face a financing gap of '‚¬50 billion by September, or that creditors would be forced to write off part of the debt. Instead, he said more financial help could be agreed next year if Greece stuck to the agreed path of reforms.

But public resentment is high in Greece after four years of austerity, which has sunk the country deep into six straight years of recession and sent unemployment soaring to a record 27 percent.

Many Greeks have blamed the EU's biggest economy for not letting up in its push for reforms.

During Sch¤uble's visit, police banned all public outdoor gatherings and demonstrations in a large swathe of the city centre including parliament, the seat of government and the German embassy.

The restrictions also applied to the entire route leading to Athens airport. Several metro stations were closed while traffic in the city centre was blocked.

Similar measures were taken for the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in October.

On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters gathered outside parliament ahead of the late-night vote on the controversial reform bill, which also covers a partial overhaul of the tax system, including the introduction of new criteria for taxable income and the adjustment of tax thresholds.

The coalition government's majority carried most of the tougher articles by a vote of 153 to 140. Greece is not expected to post growth before 2014.



Billionaire Entrepreneur Promises to Get You From L.A. to San Francisco in 30 Minutes - Truthdig

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Tue, 16 Jul 2013 04:31

Billionaire Entrepreneur Promises to Get You From L.A. to San Francisco in 30 MinutesPosted on Jul 15, 2013Elon Musk, the co-founder of PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors, says he will reveal the ''fifth form'' of transportation (after boats, trains, cars and planes) on Aug. 12.

Musk has been tweeting up a storm without giving too much of an advanced look.

The Verge reports that Musk has already said what he calls the ''Hyperloop'' would ''be a 'a cross between a Concorde, a rail gun, and an air hockey table,' and would be able to deliver people the 380 miles between Los Angeles and San Francisco in just 30 minutes, dramatically outpacing California's bullet train project, which would make the same trip in just under three hours.''

California voters approved a multibillion dollar high speed rail project in 2008, but the state has yet to build out the rail line, which came under fire from multiple parties, including Musk.

The entrepreneur tweeted Monday that his new project will be open source and he's ''happy to work with the right partners. Must truly share philosophical goal of breakthrough tech done fast & w/o wasting money on BS.''

'--Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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UK: Evidence of cocaine use has been found inside toilets at the Houses of Parliament, including some just yards from MPs' offices

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Tue, 16 Jul 2013 00:03

Evidence of cocaine use has been found inside toilets at the Houses of Parliament, including some just yards from MPs' offices.

Traces of the class A drug were found in nine toilets throughout the Palace Of Westminster, the meeting place of the UK's political elite.

The powder was detected in toilets used by guests at Parliament's bars, as well as cubicles a few yards away from MPs' offices '' areas where members of the public are restricted from going.

Not to be sniffed at: Evidence of cocaine use has been uncovered at the Houses of Parliament

Charlie: Possession of cocaine can get you up to seven years in jail. File picture

The drug use was uncovered using cocaine indicator swabs, which come up with blue blotches when rubbed on surfaces where the drug has been laid out in lines, such as toilet seats and hairdryers. The swabs are used by the police and customs officers.

As Parliament's toilets are cleaned regularly, the white powder must have been snorted in the past few hours, according to reporters from The Sun, who did the testing.

Users would have to smuggle the drug past extensive security checks and 500 police officers and guards.

The reporters, acting on a tip-off from a House of Commons insider, claim to have found evidence of the drug in the cubicles of the toilets outside Strangers' Bar and in private areas close to MPs' offices.

High office: The cocaine use was uncovered using test kits, similar to the one pictured

Tory MP Douglas Carswell was scathing about the find.

He said: 'With decadence comes something rotten. It suggests there is something rotten about the institution itself.'

On two occasions cannabis has been confiscated at Westminster's entry checkpoints since the start of 2008, according to a Freedom of Information request.

A Parliamentary spokesman said: 'Parliament is a public place and we welcome over a million visitors a year who have either direct access to these facilities or access when accompanied.

'Clearly, it is inappropriate to monitor what happens in toilet facilities. In addition, we have issued over 14,000 passes, held by contractors and other third parties, as well as staff of both Houses, Members and their staff.

'Consequently, it is impossible to know who may be involved. Our security searches are focussed on preventing harm to others and the building, not the detection of small amounts of drugs.

'Parliament takes the issue of substance misuse very seriously and offers a range of welfare and health support services for those who need them.'

A few days ago a Parliamentary watchdog said MPs should have an 11 per cent pay rise to £74,000 a year.

In 2005 a German television station found traces of cocaine in 41 of 46 lavatories tested at the European Parliament in Brussels.


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Huma Abedin Makes First Appearance on the Campaign Trail | Politicker

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Mon, 15 Jul 2013 13:45

Huma Abedin and her husband, Anthony Weiner, on the campaign trail Sunday. (Photo: Jill Colvin)

Anthony Weiner's usually private wife, Huma Abedin, joined her husband on the campaign trail on Sunday, shaking hands, posing for photos and subjecting herself to reporters' questions for the first time since her husband jumped into the mayors race.

A top aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Ms. Abedin stood by her husband's side through his sexting scandal. She appeared relaxed and happy as she and Mr. Weiner made their way through a street fair on West 111th Street and then greeted diners and shoppers along Frederick Douglass Boulevard this afternoon in Harlem''often hand-in-hand.

''This is my wife, Huma,'' repeated Mr. Weiner, who proudly introduced his wife again and again. The striking Ms. Abedin was dressed glamorously in a red-and-white patterned dress''coincidentally made famous by First Lady Michelle Obama, who donned the same outfit when her own husband was on the campaign trail.

As usual, the response to Mr. Weiner was enthusiastic as the two shook hands and posed for photos in the hot sun. ''You the man! You the man!'' one man shouted as he passed him. ''You've got my vote!'' women repeatedly said.

And Ms. Abedin''no stranger to the campaign trail''appeared to be enjoying her husband's return to public life.

''I am having so much fun,'' she told reporters later in the day. ''It's just wonderful to see the response that people have to Anthony. And he's working hard. And it seems to really be '... people seem to be noticing.''

The couple greeting voters at a Harlem street fair.

''They're just being nice to me because you're around!'' Mr. Weiner chimed in''as he would often through the day.

Later, inside Lido, an Italian spot where the couple ordered a pair of Arnold Palmers at the counter and chatted with brunchers, Ms. Abedin admitted that being in the spotlight wasn't exactly in her comfort zone.

''I prefer to be a private person,'' she said. But, she added, ''I'm happy to support him. I think he'll be a great mayor. And I'm having fun doing it.''

While Ms. Abedin hosted a fund-raiser for her husband and appeared in his campaign launch video, the day marked the first time she has actually appeared at public campaign events. But Mr. Weiner''who was repeatedly mistaken for fellow comeback candidate, Eliot Spitzer, during his stops''insisted that his wife's sudden appearance on the trail was not part of any effort to contrast himself with the disgraced former governor''whose wife has been conspicuously absent from his side.

''It's not intended to be that way,'' said Mr. Weiner, who explained the appearance was driven solely by logistics having to do with their 18-month-old son. ''My mother-in-law's visiting from out-of-town so we have childcare on the weekends. And she seemed eager to do it. And I, of course, was eager to have her,'' he said, adding, ''It's very nice and comforting having her around.''

Asked whether she planned to spend more time on the trail, Ms. Abedin sounded genuinely torn.

Huma Abedin greeting voters in Harlem.

''I'm a mom. I've got my own life and my own profession that I'm very committed to, that I love. And I have my husband who is doing something I want to be supportive of. And I'm very proud of what he's doing. And so yeah, I want to help him,'' she explained. ''But you know, it's like, I'm trying to figure out everything and I think that's a pretty normal thing that a lot of women find that they have to figure out. But I'm having a good time.''

He, too, seemed to recognize the burden.

''It's a lot to ask of someone,'' he conceded. ''Walking down Fifth Avenue and 111th Street in the hot sun is not everyone's idea of a fun afternoon. I mean, I love it. But you've got to ask her,'' he said, gesturing to his wife. Still, he went off on a tangent, marveling at Ms. Abedin's ability to cope with the heat. ''She doesn't seem to notice the heat, though. It's very weird. She shows no outward signs.''

A reporter was quick to point out that Ms. Abedin's boss, Ms. Clinton, is also known for her uncanny ability not to sweat even when it's sweltering.

''I don't know if it's the Huma Abedin diet she's been following of something, I don't know,'' he responded. ''She seems to keep her cool in more ways than one.''

And despite their previous issues, the couple appeared at ease with one another, holding hands constantly and bantering back-and-forth.

Mr. Weiner and Huma Abedin making friends at Harlem Tavern.

During a stop at the Harlem Tavern, Mr. Weiner decided to invite the couple to sit down at a table of young women enjoying a late brunch on the outdoor patio. ''It's just a brunch with the girls!'' he joked, as he made himself comfortable. ''So what are we talking about?''

The conversation quickly turned to scalding Mr. Weiner for failing to take his wife out to dinner the night before.

''This is kind of a date. Campaigning is kind of a date,'' Mr. Weiner offered, drawing condemnation from the young women. ''It's a joke. It's a joke!'' he quickly said in defense.

Later, he decided to grant his wife the job of helping to keep his foot out of his mouth.

''Honey '.... your role is gonna be to say, 'He's joking' after everything I say,'' he said after kiddingly threatening to throw a handful of reporters out of a restaurant. ''You found your niche, honey: 'He's joking!'''

Mr. Weiner later confessed to the women that campaigning with his wife, who worked on Ms. Clinton's 2008 presidential run, was also intimidating. ''It's kind of like taking batting practice when Ted Williams is watching,'' he said. ''She's done all this stuff so many times.''

And her addition seemed to play especially well with voters who were already fans of her husband's candidacy.

''I love Anthony Weiner,'' said Angel Rodriguez, 37, who said he was thrilled to see the pair at the street fair. ''Everyone can make a mistake. If Bill Clinton did it, he can, too.''

Letica Fox, 30, one of the women at the Harlem Tavern table, later raved about Mr. Weiner and his wife.

''He's totally cool,'' she said. ''I'm kind of all about the underdog kind of coming back in.''

She was equally impressed with his wife: ''She's cute and young and vibrant. I think she's great for him.''

Follow Jill Colvin on Twitter or via RSS.

is an arnold palmer a gay drink? - Google Search

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Mon, 15 Jul 2013 13:45

How does Palmer order his drink? | Cached9 Apr 2013 ... Four-time Masters winner Arnold Palmer ordered an Arnold Palmer at theAugusta National Golf Club. But how did he ... An Arnold Palmer is a drink that'smade by mixing iced tea and. ...Gay admits taking banned substance.Prison >> Man Arrested for Drinking an Arnold Cached4 May 2013 ... Man Arrested for Drinking an Arnold Palmer... Verdict (316 comments) · HateCrime: Gays Brutally Beat Christians in America (280 comments) ...Arnold Palmer Finally Cashes in on his Drink | Terez Cached14 May 2010 ... Half lemonade, half iced tea drink combination is called an Arnold Palmer. ...Anywhere in the world, you can order an Arnold Palmer and they'll know that it's a...... Posted in Tim Duncan Gay Rumors Hit the Net by Once.AriZona Beverages & Arnold Palmer DRIVE Farther | PRN20130325- Cached25 Mar 2013 ...Gay marriage opponents ask Supreme Court to reimpose California ban ... Thecan design pictures a younger Arnold Palmer posed flawlessly ...Remix - Food & Drink - Orlando Cached2 Aug 2012 ... A fresh take on a classic American drink: the Arnold Palmer... spend time outside(before noon or after dusk), but even what we eat and drink.PT | Phish | People who drink 99 Arizona Iced Tea Cached31 May 2013 ... The Arnold Palmer, Grape, and Fruit Punch are pretty delicious. ... if i recallcorectly he was gay, or had the gay mannerisms at that young age.Masters champ Arnold Palmer orders eponymous drink as 'Mr Cached11 Apr 2013 ...Arnold Palmer orders a 'Mr. Palmer' at Augusta ... (UPI) -- A waitress at theAugusta National Golf Club in Georgia said Arnold Palmer ordered the drink thatshares his name as a "Mr. Palmer." .... SF's annual gay pride parade.So I go to buy a arnold palmer... - CachedAt 5/11/10 03:06 PM, Hershizzle wrote: its a mans drink. Paint zoom saysotherwise. Supergay. So I go to buy a arnold palmer.Cocktail Hour Drunk Palmer #CocktailRecipe - Cached4 Jan 2012 ... Like its virginal cousin, Arnold Palmer, the Drunken Palmer is a ... Skip thoseheavy brews and jean-busting girly drinks, at least for one night.Searches related to is an arnold palmer a gay drink?


Notice to Congress -- Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to the Former Liberian Regime of Charles Taylor

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Source: White Press Office Feed

Wed, 17 Jul 2013 21:22

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

July 17, 2013


- - - - - - -


On July 22, 2004, by Executive Order 13348, the President declared a national emergency with respect to the former Liberian regime of Charles Taylor pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States constituted by the actions and policies of former Liberian President Charles Taylor and other persons, in particular their unlawful depletion of Liberian resources and their removal from Liberia and secreting of Liberian funds and property, which have undermined Liberia's transition to democracy and the orderly development of its political, administrative, and economic institutions and resources.

Although Liberia has made significant advances to promote democracy, and the Special Court for Sierra Leone convicted Charles Taylor for war crimes and crimes against humanity, the actions and policies of Charles Taylor and others have left a legacy of destruction that could still challenge Liberia's transformation and recovery. The actions and policies of these persons continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States. For this reason, the national emergency declared on July 22, 2004, and the measures adopted on that date to deal with that emergency, must continue in effect beyond July 22, 2013. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13348.

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


Flight 214

Airframe Details for Asiana 777 HL7742

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Tue, 16 Jul 2013 05:32

Airframe Details for Asiana 777 HL7742Posted byBRIAN BOSTICK1:58 PM on Jul 07, 2013According to Aviation Week Intelligence Network's Fleet Database, the Asiana Airlines 777 involved in yesterday's accident was a 777-28EER, Serial No. 29171/Line No. 553, built in February 2006 and delivered to Asiana Airlines in March 2006. The aircraft was equipped with Pratt & Whitney PW4090 engines. As of April 2013, the airframe had accumulated 35,746 hr. and 5,185 cycles.

The aircraft was the seventh out of 12 777s that Asiana received between February 2001 and July 2012. Asiana has not disposed of any 777s it operated. The carrier has one 777-200ER on order.

While this is the third 777 lost in an accident or incident, four more 777s have been permanently withdrawn from service for parts, bringing the total number of 777s permanently out of service to seven. A total of 1,120 777s have been built so far.Incidentally, the accident aircraft's tail number, HL7742, is oddly similar to HL7442, a Korean Air Lines 747-200B that crashed into the Okhotsk Sea in September 1983 after being shot down by a Soviet fighter.


VIDEO-San Francisco Flight 214 Hoax - YouTube

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Tue, 16 Jul 2013 05:22