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Presidential Proclamation -- National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week, 2013

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Archived Version

Source: White House.gov Press Office Feed

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 23:55

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

September 13, 2013

NATIONAL HISPANIC-SERVING INSTITUTIONS WEEK, 2013

- - - - - - -

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

There is no better investment than a great education -- both for young people individually, and for our Nation as a whole. In an increasingly competitive, knowledge-based economy, higher education helps build a skilled workforce and provides clear pathways to success. Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) impart essential knowledge while broadening horizons and giving students the tools to pursue their own measure of happiness. During National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week, we celebrate these institutions, renew our support for their mission, and recommit to helping tomorrow's leaders reach their fullest potential.

Preparing to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow requires our Nation to share in the responsibility of making college more accessible, affordable, and attainable for all Americans. As more than 20 percent of our Nation's elementary and high school students are Hispanic, HSIs play an integral role in helping fulfill this commitment. That is why the Federal Government will invest more than $1 billion in these vital institutions over the course of this decade. At the same time, we are tackling rising college costs, expanding Pell Grants, promoting innovation and value in higher education, and improving student loan repayment options. If we continue to support and challenge our students, I am confident that America can have the world's highest share of college graduates by 2020.

Hispanic-Serving Institutions enable young people and adults to explore their intellectual passions. From the arts and humanities to education to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, HSIs help students hone their talents, launch their careers, and eventually become leaders in their fields. As we honor America's Hispanic-Serving Institutions, let us fight to remain a country that rewards hard work, responsibility, and the pursuit of education. Let us advance a principle at the heart of the American dream -- that no matter who you are or where you come from, in the United States of America, you can make it if you try.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 15 through September 21, 2013, as National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week. I call on public officials, educators, and all the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that acknowledge the many ways these institutions and their graduates contribute to our country.

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

BARACK OBAMA

Presidential Proclamation -- National Hispanic Heritage Month, 2013

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: White House.gov Press Office Feed

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 23:55

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

September 13, 2013

NATIONAL HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH, 2013

- - - - - - -

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

From the earliest days of our Republic, Hispanic Americans have written crucial chapters in our national story. Hispanics have honorably defended our country in war and built prosperity during times of peace. They run successful businesses, teach our next generation of leaders, and pioneer scientific and technological breakthroughs. This month, America acknowledges these vital contributions and celebrates our Hispanic heritage.

Hispanic Americans represent an array of distinct and vibrant cultures, each of which enriches communities in valuable ways. Just as America embraces a rich blend of backgrounds, those who journey to our shores embrace America. Sharing the dream of equality and boundless opportunity, many Hispanics have marched for social justice and helped advance America's journey toward a more perfect Union. Last year, I was proud to establish the C(C)sar E. Chvez National Monument in honor of an American hero, a man who reminded us that every life has value, that together, those who recognize their common humanity have the power to shape a better world.

As C(C)sar Chvez's example teaches us, we must never scale back our dreams. My Administration remains committed to building a rising, thriving middle class, a middle class accessible to the Hispanic community and to all Americans. As we continue to implement the Affordable Care Act, more than 10 million uninsured Latinos will gain access to coverage. To reduce health disparities, my Administration will work to educate, engage, and enroll Hispanic Americans in the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Last year, we lifted the shadow of deportation off young people who are American in every way but on paper. Today, I am as determined as ever to pass commonsense immigration reform -- reform that helps American workers get a fairer deal, adds more than one trillion dollars to our economy, and provides a pathway to earned citizenship. A bipartisan bill consistent with these principles has already passed the Senate, and a growing coalition of Republicans and Democrats is calling for action.

Whether our ancestors crossed the Atlantic in 1790 or the Rio Grande in 1970, Americans are bound by a set of common values -- a love of liberty and justice, the belief that a better life should await anyone willing to work for it. As we celebrate the unique influences of Hispanic cultures during National Hispanic Heritage Month, let us also rededicate ourselves to realizing our shared aspirations.

To honor the achievements of Hispanics in America, the Congress by Public Law 100-402, as amended, has authorized and requested the President to issue annually a proclamation designating September 15 through October 15 as "National Hispanic Heritage Month."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 15 through October 15, 2013, as National Hispanic Heritage Month. I call upon public officials, educators, librarians, and all Americans to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.

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

BARACK OBAMA

Presidential Proclamation -- National Farm Safety and Health Week, 2013

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: White House.gov Press Office Feed

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 23:54

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

September 13, 2013

NATIONAL FARM SAFETY AND HEALTH WEEK, 2013

- - - - - - -

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers form the cornerstones of some of America's most essential economic sectors. Their products feed, clothe, and fuel our Nation. Their way of life -- handed down from generation to generation -- is central to the American story. During National Farm Safety and Health Week, we celebrate our agricultural producers' values, experiences, and contributions, and we recommit to secure work environments on all our country's farms.

For many agricultural workers, the risk of injury and illness is a daily reality. They face multiple challenges, including entering hazardous grain storage bins, handling livestock and chemicals, and transporting large machinery on our Nation's rural roadways. I encourage agricultural producers and their families and communities to participate in comprehensive farm safety and health programs, take precautions, and prepare themselves for emergencies. I urge all Americans to respect farming and ranching families by driving rural roadways with care, and I ask communities to remember agricultural workers' needs in setting up health facilities and emergency response programs.

As the fall harvest season begins, we pay tribute to the generations of Americans who have devoted themselves to supplying the basic materials that make our country work. This week, we resolve to make farms and ranches safer places to live, work, and raise families.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 15 through September 21, 2013, as National Farm Safety and Health Week. I call upon the agencies, organizations, businesses, and extension services that serve America's agricultural workers to strengthen their commitment to promoting farm safety and health programs. I also urge Americans to honor our agricultural heritage and express appreciation to our farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers for their contributions to our Nation.

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

BARACK OBAMA

Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Certain Terrorist Attacks

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: Federal Register: Executive Office of the President

Thu, 12 Sep 2013 14:47

Consistent with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1622(d), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency previously declared on September 14, 2001, in Proclamation 7463, with respect to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States.

Because the terrorist threat continues, the national emergency declared on September 14, 2001, and the powers and authorities adopted to deal with that emergency must continue in effect beyond September 14, 2013. Therefore, I am continuing in effect for an additional year the national emergency that was declared on September 14, 2001, with respect to the terrorist threat.

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

THE WHITE HOUSE,September 10, 2013.

[FR Doc. 2013-22406Filed 9-11-13; 11:15 am]

Billing code 3295-F3

Presidential Determination -- Continuation of the Exercise of Certain Authorities Under the Trading With the Enemy Act

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Archived Version

Source: White House.gov Press Office Feed

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 02:45

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

September 12, 2013

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE

THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY

SUBJECT: Continuation of the Exercise of Certain Authorities Under the Trading With the Enemy Act

Under section 101(b) of Public Law 95-223 (91 Stat. 1625; 50 U.S.C. App. 5(b) note) and a previous determination on September 10, 2012 (77 FR 56753, September 13, 2012), the exercise of certain authorities under the Trading With the Enemy Act is scheduled to terminate on September 14, 2013.

I hereby determine that the continuation for 1 year of the exercise of those authorities with respect to Cuba is in the national interest of the United States.

Therefore, consistent with the authority vested in me by section 101(b) of Public Law 95-223, I continue for 1 year, until September 14, 2014, the exercise of those authorities with respect to Cuba, as implemented by the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 515.

The Secretary of the Treasury is authorized and directed to publish this determination in the Federal Register.

BARACK OBAMA

Waiver of Restriction on Assistance to the Central Government of Libya

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: Federal Register Latest Entries

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 23:44

Pursuant to Section 7031(b)(3) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2012 (Div. I,Pub. L.112-74) (''the Act''), as carried forward by the Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013, (Div. F, Pub. L. 113-6) and Department of State Delegation of Authority Number 245-1, I hereby determine that it is important to the national interest of the United States to waive the requirements of Section 7031(b)(1) of the Act and similar provisions of law in prior year Acts with respect to Libya, and I hereby waive this restriction.

This determination and the accompanying Memorandum of Justification shall be reported to the Congress, and the determination shall be published in the Federal Register.

Dated: June 17, 2013.

William J. Burns,

Deputy Secretary.

[FR Doc. 2013-22344 Filed 9-12-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4710-31-P

Waiver of Restriction on Assistance to the Central Government of Egypt

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: Federal Register Latest Entries

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 12:38

Pursuant to Section 7031(b)(3) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2012 (Div. I, Pub. L.112-74) (''the Act''), as carried forward by the Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (Div. F, Pub. L. 113-6), and Department of State Delegation of Authority Number 245-1, I hereby determine that it is important to the national interest of the United States to waive the requirements of Section 7031(b)(1) of the Act and similar provisions of law in prior year Acts with respect to Egypt and I hereby waive this restriction.

This determination and the accompanying Memorandum of Justification shall be reported to the Congress, and the determination shall be published in the Federal Register.

Dated: June 26, 2013.

William J. Burns,

Deputy Secretary.

[FR Doc. 2013-22335 Filed 9-12-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4710-31-P

Waiver of Restriction on Assistance to the Central Government of Yemen

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: Federal Register Latest Entries

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 23:44

Pursuant to Section 7031(b)(3) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2012 (Div. I, Pub. L.112-74) (''the Act''), as carried forward by the Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (Div. F, Pub. L. 113-6), and Department of State Delegation of Authority Number 245-1, I hereby determine that it is important to the national interest of the United States to waive the requirements of Section 7031(b)(1) of the Act with respect to Yemen, and I hereby waive this restriction.

This determination and the accompanying Memorandum of Justification shall be reported to the Congress, and the determination shall be published in the Federal Register.

Dated: May 15, 2013.

William J. Burns,

Deputy Secretary.

[FR Doc. 2013-22327 Filed 9-12-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4710-31-P

Waiver of Restriction on Assistance to the Central Government of Saudi Arabia

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: Federal Register Latest Entries

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 12:51

Pursuant to Section 7031(b)(3) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2012 (Div. I, Pub. L.112-74) (''the Act''), as carried forward by the Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (Div. F, Pub. L. 113-6), and Department of State Delegation of Authority Number 245-1, I hereby determine that it is important to the national interest of the United States to waive the requirements of Section 7031(b)(1) of the Act and similar provisions of law in prior year Acts with respect to Saudi Arabia, and I hereby waive this restriction.

This determination and the accompanying Memorandum of Justification shall be reported to the Congress, and the determination shall be published in the Federal Register.

Dated: August 15, 2013.

William J. Burns,

Deputy Secretary.

[FR Doc. 2013-22345 Filed 9-12-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4710-31-P

Waiver of Restriction on Assistance to the Central Government of Algeria

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: Federal Register Latest Entries

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 12:37

Pursuant to Section 7031(b)(3) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2012 (Div. I, Pub. L.112-74) (''the Act''), as carried forward by the Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013, (Div. F, Pub. L. 113-6) and Department of State Delegation of Authority Number 245-1, I hereby determine that it is important to the national interest of the United States to waive the requirements of Section 7031(b)(1) of the Act with respect to Algeria and I hereby waive this restriction.

This determination and the accompanying Memorandum of Justification shall be reported to the Congress, and the determination shall be published in the Federal Register.

Dated: May 30, 2013.

William J. Burns,

Deputy Secretary.

[FR Doc. 2013-22331 Filed 9-12-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4710-31-P

Media Shield

Steering Committee | Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Link to Article

Archived Version

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 21:25

ChairmanSaundra TorryUSA TodayVice ChairmanPierre ThomasABC NewsSecretary-TreasurerJohn C. HenryFreelanceJ. Scott ApplewhiteThe Associated PressWolf BlitzerCNNDavid BoardmanTemple University School ofMedia and CommunicationChip BokCreators SyndicateJan CrawfordCBS NewsMichael DuffyTime MagazineRichard S. DunhamTsinghua University, Beijing

Ashlea EbelingForbes MediaSusan GoldbergBloomberg NewsFred GrahamFounding MemberNat HentoffUniversal UclickJeff LeenThe Washington PostDahlia LithwickSlateTony MauroThe National Law JournalJane MayerThe New YorkerJohn D. McKinnonThe Wall Street JournalDoyle McManusThe Los Angeles TimesAndrea MitchellNBC NewsMaggie MulvihillNew England Center for Investigative ReportingBill NicholsPoliticoSandra PeddieNewsdayJeffrey RosenThe New RepublicEric SchmittThe New York TimesAlicia C. ShepardFreelanceMargaret Low SmithNPRPaul SteigerProPublicaJudy WoodruffPBS/The NewsHour

Reporters Committee statement on shield bill | Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Link to Article

Archived Version

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 21:25

Press Release | September 12, 2013

Reporters Committee statement on shield bill

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee today passed the Free Flow of Information Act of 2013. Our statement:

We are pleased to see that the Judiciary Committee passed this bill. It goes a long way toward ensuring that reporters will be protected from subpoenas for their confidential information and sources. It's not a perfect bill, but it tries to cover a broad array of reporters. While it is not as inclusive as we would like, it is not nearly as limited in that area as previous attempts at a federal shield law have been.

It still is important that we work with Congress and the administration to make sure journalists' records are not scooped up in broad surveillance programs, and that Justice Department attorneys respect the rights of reporters, but today's action is a significant step in the right direction.

About the Reporters Committee

Founded in 1970, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press offers free legal support to thousands of working journalists and media lawyers each year. It is a leader in the fight against persistent efforts by government officials to impede the release of public information, whether by withholding documents or threatening reporters with jail. In addition to its 24/7 Legal Defense Hotline, the Reporters Committee conducts cutting-edge legal research, publishes handbooks and guides on media law issues, files frequent friend-of-the-court legal briefs and offers challenging fellowships and internships for young lawyers and journalists. For more information, go to www.rcfp.org, or follow us on Twitter @rcfp.

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Senate Panel OKs Measure Defining a Journalist

Link to Article

Archived Version

Thu, 12 Sep 2013 19:39

from AP12 Sep 2013, 10:01 AM PDTpost a comment(AP) Senate panel Oks measure defining a journalistBy DONNA CASSATAAssociated PressWASHINGTONA Senate panel on Thursday approved a measure defining a journalist, which had been an obstacle to broader media shield legislation designed to protect reporters and the news media from having to reveal their sources.The Judiciary Committee's action cleared the way for approval of legislation prompted by the disclosure earlier this year that the Justice Department had secretly subpoenaed almost two months of telephone records for 21 phone lines used by reporters and editors for The Associated Press and secretly used a warrant to obtain some emails of a Fox News journalist. The subpoenas grew out of investigations into leaks of classified information to the news organizations.

The AP received no advance warning of the subpoena.

The vote was 13-5 for a compromise defining a "covered journalist" as an employee, independent contractor or agent of an entity that disseminates news or information. The individual would have been employed for one year within the last 20 or three months within the last five years.

It would apply to student journalists or someone with a considerable amount of freelance work in the last five years. A federal judge also would have the discretion to declare an individual a "covered journalist," who would be granted the privileges of the law.

The committee later approved the overall bill on a 13-5 vote.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a chief proponent of the medial shield legislation, worked with Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., as well as representatives from news organizations, on the compromise.

The bill would protect reporters and news media organizations from being required to reveal the identities of confidential sources, but it does not grant an absolute privilege for journalists.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., complained that the definition of a journalist was too broad. Pushing back, Feinstein said the intent was to set up a test to determine a bona fide journalist.

"I think journalism has a certain tradecraft. It's a profession. I recognize that everyone can think they're a journalist," Feinstein said.

The overall measure would incorporate many of the changes proposed by Attorney General Eric Holder in July. Criticism of the collection of the material without any notice to the news organizations prompted President Barack Obama to order Holder to review the department's policy.

Holder's revised guidelines called for the government to give advance notice to the news media about subpoena requests for reporters' phone records unless the attorney general determines such notice would pose a clear and substantial threat to the investigation. Search warrants for a reporter's email would only apply when the individual is the focus of a criminal investigation for conduct not connected to ordinary newsgathering.

The bill makes clear that before the government asks a news organization to divulge sources, it first must go to a judge, who would supervise any subpoenas or court orders for information. Such orders would be limited, if possible, "in purpose, subject matter and period of time covered so as to avoid compelling disclosure of peripheral, nonessential or speculative information."

Holder's revised guidelines do not call for a judge to be involved before the government asks a news organization to divulge sources. However, the guidelines call for a new standing News Media Review Committee to advise the attorney general on such requests.

Reporters must be notified within 45 days of a request, a period that could be extended another 45 days but no more.

In the AP story that triggered one of the leak probes, the news organization reported that U.S. intelligence had learned that al-Qaida's Yemen branch hoped to launch a spectacular attack using a new, nearly undetectable bomb aboard a U.S.-bound airliner around the anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death.

In the Fox News story, reporter James Rosen reported that U.S. intelligence officials had warned Obama and senior U.S. officials that North Korea would respond to a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning nuclear tests with another nuclear test.

Terrorists and Julian Assange Aren't Considered Journalists by the Senate - Philip Bump - The Atlantic Wire

Link to Article

Archived Version

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 21:20

Assuming approval by the full Senate and the House (which one should never, ever assume), here is who the federal government will consider a journalist: Someone who works for or is an agent of a news-distributing entity, or has worked for such a place recently, and who is not one of the exceptions listed in the headline above.

That's a very brief summary of the compromise definition passed on Thursday by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The definition is part of the Senate's media shield law, a bill that would provide certain federal protections to journalists in the course of their duty. No such federal law exists; an effort to instantiate one several years ago, led by Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, never became law following the Chelsea Manning leaks. The new push largely stems from the Department of Justice's widely critiqued collection of information from the Associated Press and its threatened prosecution of a reporter from Fox News.

The AP offers a bit more detail of the definition, which was introduced by Schumer and can be read in full here, via the Huffington Post.

[The committee defined] a ''covered journalist'' as an employee, independent contractor or agent of an entity that disseminates news or information. The individual would have been employed for one year within the last 20 or three months within the last five years.

It would apply to student journalists or someone with a considerable amount of freelance work in the last five years. A federal judge also would have the discretion to declare an individual a ''covered journalist,'' who would be granted the privileges of the law.

The definition also covers the editors of such journalists. It also offers a few exceptions. Terrorists are pretty clearly exempt, as are foreign agents. And then there's this. The definition "does not include any person or entity":

whose principal function, as demonstrated by the totality of such person or entity's work, is to publish primary source documents that have been disclosed to such person or entity without authorization.

This shall be hereafter known as the "Assange clause."

The Atlantic Wire spoke by phone with Gregg Leslie, Legal Defense Director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, for his view on the compromise. "Our overall feeling," Leslie told us, "is that it's not perfect, but it's an improvement over previous versions of a shield law, and it's a step in the right direction." He was hesitant to go into much detail on the description, pointing out that doing so tacitly conferred on Congress the right to decide who is and isn't practicing journalism. At that point, he said, "it's almost like they're licensing journalists."

With the compromise language in place (softened from the original language which necessitated employment by a media organization), the bill passed on a 13 to 5 vote. It next goes to the full Senate, and then will sit at the end of a very long line of things waiting to be considered by the House.

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.

Senate Panel Approves Definition Of 'Covered Journalist'

Link to Article

Archived Version

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 21:21

DONNA CASSATA September 12, 2013, 1:00 PMWASHINGTON (AP) '-- A Senate panel on Thursday approved a measure defining a journalist, which had been an obstacle to broader media shield legislation designed to protect reporters and the news media from having to reveal their sources.

The Judiciary Committee's action cleared the way for approval of legislation prompted by the disclosure earlier this year that the Justice Department had secretly subpoenaed almost two months of telephone records for 21 phone lines used by reporters and editors for The Associated Press and secretly used a warrant to obtain some emails of a Fox News journalist. The subpoenas grew out of investigations into leaks of classified information to the news organizations.

The AP received no advance warning of the subpoena.

The vote was 13-5 for a compromise defining a ''covered journalist'' as an employee, independent contractor or agent of an entity that disseminates news or information. The individual would have been employed for one year within the last 20 or three months within the last five years.

It would apply to student journalists or someone with a considerable amount of freelance work in the last five years. A federal judge also would have the discretion to declare an individual a ''covered journalist,'' who would be granted the privileges of the law.

The committee later approved the overall bill on a 13-5 vote.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a chief proponent of the medial shield legislation, worked with Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., as well as representatives from news organizations, on the compromise.

The bill would protect reporters and news media organizations from being required to reveal the identities of confidential sources, but it does not grant an absolute privilege for journalists.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., complained that the definition of a journalist was too broad. Pushing back, Feinstein said the intent was to set up a test to determine a bona fide journalist.

''I think journalism has a certain tradecraft. It's a profession. I recognize that everyone can think they're a journalist,'' Feinstein said.

The overall measure would incorporate many of the changes proposed by Attorney General Eric Holder in July. Criticism of the collection of the material without any notice to the news organizations prompted President Barack Obama to order Holder to review the department's policy.

Holder's revised guidelines called for the government to give advance notice to the news media about subpoena requests for reporters' phone records unless the attorney general determines such notice would pose a clear and substantial threat to the investigation. Search warrants for a reporter's email would only apply when the individual is the focus of a criminal investigation for conduct not connected to ordinary newsgathering.

The bill makes clear that before the government asks a news organization to divulge sources, it first must go to a judge, who would supervise any subpoenas or court orders for information. Such orders would be limited, if possible, ''in purpose, subject matter and period of time covered so as to avoid compelling disclosure of peripheral, nonessential or speculative information.''

Holder's revised guidelines do not call for a judge to be involved before the government asks a news organization to divulge sources. However, the guidelines call for a new standing News Media Review Committee to advise the attorney general on such requests.

Reporters must be notified within 45 days of a request, a period that could be extended another 45 days but no more.

In the AP story that triggered one of the leak probes, the news organization reported that U.S. intelligence had learned that al-Qaida's Yemen branch hoped to launch a spectacular attack using a new, nearly undetectable bomb aboard a U.S.-bound airliner around the anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death.

In the Fox News story, reporter James Rosen reported that U.S. intelligence officials had warned Obama and senior U.S. officials that North Korea would respond to a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning nuclear tests with another nuclear test.

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

INSA

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The Intelligence National Security Alliance - Building a Stronger Intelligence Community

Link to Article

Archived Version

Sun, 15 Sep 2013 02:04

The Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) Cyber Council Insider Threat Task Force has released its white paper, ''A Preliminary Examination of Insider Threat Programs in the U.S. Private Sector,'' which examines insider threat mitigation programs in the U.S. private sector. Since Executive Order 13587, signed in October 2011, the U.S. government has paid significant attention to developing its insider threat mitigation programs. Currently there are no mandates, standards, or benchmarks that exist for insider threat programs in the private sector, making it difficult for companies to gauge where their insider threat mitigation strategies stand as compared to the'...more

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Nonprofit Report for BIPARTISAN POLICY CENTER INC

Link to Article

Archived Version

Sat, 14 Sep 2013 18:26

Basic Organization InformationBIPARTISAN POLICY CENTER INC

Physical Address:Washington, DC 20005 EIN:73-1628382Web URL:www.bipartisanpolicy.org NTEE Category:W Public, Society Benefit W05 (Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis) Ruling Year:2002 Sign in or create an account to see this organization's full address, contact information, and more!

Mission StatementTo drive principled solutions through rigorous analysis, reasoned negotiation, and respectful dialogue To actively promote bipartisanship and work to address the key challenges facing the nation including energy and infrastructure, health, economic policy, national security, and governance

Expert AssessmentThere are no Expert Reviews for this organization. Learn more about TakeAction@GuideStar.Impact Summary from the NonprofitThis organization has not provided an impact summary.

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Founders | Bipartisan Policy Center

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America: Citizenship has its privileges and responsibilities.Citizens for Political Reform are informed, opinionated Americans committed to understanding and fixing the partisan divide. Sign up to receive updates and find out how you can join us and improve our democracy.

Click here to learn more about Citizens for Political Reform and the Common Ground Project.

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Power, Space & Cooling Capacity Emerging as Barriers to Datacenter Innovation | Visual.ly

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This infographic shows the business developments and operations challenges organizations face as they seek to drive innovation and gain more value from their datacenter investments. It also explains how a unified management approach with Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) can help organizations break through these barriers.

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Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 23:22

Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004Long titleAn Act to reform the intelligence community and the intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the United States Government, and for other purposes.Colloquial acronym(s)IRTPAEnacted by the 108th United States CongressEffectiveDecember 17, 2004CitationsPublic Law108-458Stat.118 Stat. 3638CodificationTitle(s) amended50 U.S.C.: War and National DefenseU.S.C. section(s) amendedChapter 15, § 401Legislative historyIntroduced in the Senate asS. 2845bySusan M. Collins (R''ME) on September 23, 2004Committee consideration by:Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Committee on Armed Services, Committee on Financial Services, Committee on Government Reform, Committee on the JudiciaryPassed the Senate on October 6, 2004 (96 - 2)Passed the House on October 16, 2004 (passed/agreed) with amendmentHouse agreed to House amendment on December 7, 2004 (336 - 75) with further amendmentSenate agreed to House amendment on December 8, 2004 (89 - 2)Signed into law by PresidentGeorge W. Bushon December 17, 2004The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA) is a 235-page Act of Congress, signed by President George W. Bush, that broadly affects United States federal terrorism laws. In juxtaposition with the single-subject rule, the act is composed of several separate titles with varying subject issues.

S. 2845 was introduced by U.S. SenatorSusan M. Collins of Maine. The Senate approved the bill 96-2, the House approved the bill 336-75, and PresidentGeorge W. Bush signed the Act on December 17, 2004, making it law. The Electronic Frontier Foundation objected to Act's potential effects on civil liberties.[1]

This act established both the position of Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), and the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

The IRTPA requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take over the conducting of pre-flight comparisons of airline passenger information to Federal Government watch lists for international and domestic flights. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is currently developing the Secure Flight program and issuing this rulemaking to implement this congressional mandate. Airline personnel will have the right to demand government-issued ID be shown if ordered by the TSA to do so, but those orders are to remain confidential so there is no oversight as to when the airline has been ordered to request ID and when they are requesting it on their own imperative.[2]

The act is formally divided into eight titles:

"Reform of the intelligence community", also known as the National Security Intelligence Reform Act of 2004"Federal Bureau of Investigation""Security clearances""Transportation security""Border protection, immigration, and visa matters""Terrorism prevention""Implementation of 9/11 Commission recommendations", also known as the 9/11 Commission Implementation Act of 2004"Other matters"Title I: National Security Intelligence Reform Act of 2004[edit source |edit]The first title, titled "Reform of the intelligence community" and given the short title of the National Security Intelligence Reform Act of 2004, is formally divided into 9 subtitles:

"Establishment of Director of National Intelligence""National Counterterrorism Center, National Counter Proliferation Center, and National Intelligence Centers""Joint Intelligence Community Council""Improvement of Education for the Intelligence Community""Additional Improvements of Intelligence Activities""Privacy and Civil Liberties""Conforming and Other Amendments""Transfer, Termination, Transition, and Other Provisions""Other Matters"Title II: Federal Bureau of Investigation[edit source |edit]The second title, simply titled "Federal Bureau of Investigation", concerns intelligence within the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Title III: Security clearances[edit source |edit]The third title, simply titled "Security clearances", deals with security clearances.

Title IV: Transportation security[edit source |edit]The fourth title, simply titled "Transportation security", is formally divided into 5 subtitles:

"National Strategy for Transportation Security""Aviation Security""Air Cargo Security""Maritime Security""General Provisions"Title V: Border protection, immigration, and visa matters[edit source |edit]The fifth title, simply titled "Border protection, immigration, and visa matters", is formally divided into 5 subtitles:

"Advanced Technology Northern Border Security Pilot Program""Border and Immigration Enforcement""Visa Requirements""Immigration Reform""Treatment of Aliens Who Commit Acts of Torture, Extrajudicial Killings, or Other Atrocities Abroad"Title VI: Terrorism prevention[edit source |edit]The sixth title, simply titled "Terrorism prevention", is formally divided into 11 subtitles:

"Individual Terrorists as Agents of Foreign Powers""Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing""Money Laundering Abatement and Financial Antiterrorism Technical Corrections""Additional Enforcement Tools""Criminal History Background Checks""Grand Jury Information Sharing""Providing Material Support to Terrorism""Stop Terrorist and Military Hoaxes Act of 2004""Weapons of Mass Destruction Prohibition Improvement Act of 2004""Prevention of Terrorist Access to Destructive Weapons Act of 2004""Pretrial Detention of Terrorists"Title VII: 9/11 Commission Implementation Act of 2004[edit source |edit]The seventh title, titled "Implementation of 9/11 Commission recommendations" and given the short title of the 9/11 Commission Implementation Act of 2004, is formally divided into 8 subtitles:

"Diplomacy, Foreign Aid, and the Military in the War on Terrorism""Terrorist Travel and Effective Screening""National Preparedness""Homeland Security""Public Safety Spectrum""Presidential Transition""Improving International Standards and Cooperation to Fight Terrorist Financing""Emergency Financial Preparedness"The Act is notable[according to whom?] for §7213 which directs the Commissioner of Social Security to "restrict the issuance of multiple replacement social security cards to any individual to 3 per year and 10 for the life of the individual, except that the Commissioner may allow for reasonable exceptions from the limits under this paragraph on a case-by-case basis in compelling circumstances" because the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 added the 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(b) requirement for a social security account number card for employment.[3]

Title VIII: Other matters[edit source |edit]The eighth title, simply titled "Other matters", is formally divided into 4 subtitles:

"Intelligence Matters""Department of Homeland Security Matters""Homeland Security Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Protection""Other Matters"

SnowJob

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Applebaum

Andy M¼ller-Maguhn - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Thu, 12 Sep 2013 21:50

Andy M¼ller-MaguhnAndy M¼ller-Maguhn at the "SIGINT" conference, May 22, 2009

Born(1971-10-03) October 3, 1971 (age 41)Known forSpokesman of the Chaos Computer ClubAndy M¼ller-Maguhn (born 3 October 1971) is a member of the Germanhacker association Chaos Computer Club. Having been a member since 1986,[1] he was appointed as a spokesman for the club in 1990, and later served on its board until 2012.

In an election in autumn 2000, he was voted in as an at-large director of ICANN, which made him jointly responsible with 18 other directors for the worldwide development of guidelines and the decision of structural questions for the Internet structure. His term lasted two years, and from June 2002 to June 2004, he operated as an honorary board member of the European Digital Rights Institution (EDRI), an umbrella organization for European NGOs which campaigns for human rights in the digital age.

In 1995, M¼ller-Maguhn founded the "Datenreiseb¼ro" ('Data Travel Agency'), since 2002 based in a Berlin office.[2] Besides organising the Chaos Computer Club and hosting an electronic archive, the Datenreiseb¼ro organises workshops which train system administrators in data protection and data security. Workshops are also held in order to create policies and structures which make data protection easier to achieve. M¼ller-Maguhn has also helped at several of Hackers on Planet Earth conferences.

In 2005 and 2006, M¼ller-Maguhn was involved on the side of the parents of the deceased hacker Boris Floricic, better known as Tron, in the case where they sought to prevent Wikipedia from disclosing his true name, although the name had appeared in many press accounts by that point in time.[3]

In 2011, M¼ller-Maguhn was criticized for his role in the CCC board's controversial decision to expel former Wikileaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg, which was often attributed to M¼ller-Maguhn's close relation to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and an ongoing conflict between Assange and Domscheit-Berg.[4] At an extraordinary general meeting in February 2012, this decision was reverted, while M¼ller-Maguhn was not reelected to the board.[1]

He appeared with Julian Assange on Episode 8 and 9 of The World Tomorrow, "Cypherpunks: 1/2".[5][6]

He is a contributor to Julian Assange's 2012 book Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet along with Jacob Appelbaum and J(C)r(C)mie Zimmermann (OR Books, ISBN 978-1-939293-00-8).[7]

PersondataNameMuller-Maguhn, AndyAlternative namesShort descriptionDate of birth3 October 1971Place of birthDate of deathPlace of death

Wau Holland Foundation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Thu, 12 Sep 2013 21:50

The Wau Holland Foundation (German: Wau Holland Stiftung; WHS) is a nonprofit foundation based in Berlin, Germany.

It was established in 2003 in memory of Wau Holland, co-founder of the Chaos Computer Club. Loosely connected with the Chaos Computer Club, the foundation aims to preserve and further Holland's ideas in fields such as technology assessment, the history of technology and freedom of information. Specifically, it promotes the use of electronic media for educational purposes, as well as events on the social aspects of new technologies.

Foundation projects include the "Archive of Contemporary History of Technology (Hacker archive)", which documents the history of the hacker scene, and a campaign against voting machines (both in collaboration with the Chaos Computer Club). The foundation also processes donations in Europe to support the WikiLeaks organization.

As of December 2010, their endowment was about 62,000 '‚¬. It also owns land (valued at about 1500 '‚¬), currently leased to a public institution.[1]

The foundation has collected over $1.2 million USD for WikiLeaks since it began accepting donations on the organization's behalf in October 2009.[2] On December 4, 2010, PayPal turned off donations in response to the foundation's connection to WikiLeaks, alleging that the account was being used for "activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity."[3] On 8 December 2010 the foundation released a press statement, saying it has filed legal action against PayPal for blocking its account and for libel due to PayPal's allegations of "illegal activity."[4]

As a consequence of this activity of collecting donations for Wikileaks, its charitable status has been challenged and later revoked by the German authorities. Its charitable status has been reinstated on 12 December 2012, applying retroactively for 2011 and 2012. [5]

Wau Holland Stiftung -- Home

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Thu, 12 Sep 2013 21:50

May, 20th, 2013Download as PDF: German | English

This is the third transparency report from the Wau Holland Stiftung for ''Project 04: Enduring freedom of information'' which supports WikiLeaks. The following table gives an overview of the chronological development of donations (incoming funds) and project expenses (outgoing funds) for the years 2010 to 2012:

YearDonationsExpensesReserve Fund20101'331'698.19 '‚¬401'824.62 '‚¬85'302.29 '‚¬*2011139'401.88 '‚¬660'522.84 '‚¬201268'995.05 '‚¬392'434.37 '‚¬Total:1'540'095.12 '‚¬1'454'792.83 '‚¬*) The difference between incoming and outgoing funds is the volume of the reserve fund, which was allocated by the foundation in 2011 to cover potential follow-up costs (for example, taxation resulting from the loss of Wau Holland Stiftung's charitable status) and necesary administrative expenditures for the project. This reserve fund will be continued in 2013.It can easily be seen from this table that the development of donations over the past two years has declined substantially, and is currently no longer able to provide the earlier levels support for the project.

Since January 2013 the foundation has only been able to cover expenditures in essential infrastructure, such as servers. Better support for the project will only be possible with increasing donations for Project 04 in 2013; the foundation is committed to continuing its support for WikiLeaks in such a case.

You donation helps to keep the foundation going and supports our projects.

Bank transferWau Holland StiftungCommerzbank KasselK¶nigsplatz 3234117 KasselGermany

Bank code: 52040021Account: 277281200IBAN DE57520400210277281200BIC COBADEFF520

Bitcoin donationName: Wau Holland StiftungAddress: 15tnLL33CJnEj2WGuK5t96nuo2JJ9gY2fd

PayPalAs Tax exemption (charitable status) is granted again to WHF from 2011 onwards, you, as an European citizen, will be able to donate to the foundation and in addition, write it off your income tax. This is because of a ruling of the European Court in 2009 (Decision C'‘318_07), which mandates that every EU country must honor the tax exemption decision of any other EU country.

About usWe are a foundation related to the Chaos Computer Club, that was launched by the father and close friends of the late "information philosopher" Wau Holland (a.k.a. Herwart Holland-Moritz) to promote and pursue his unique freethinking in relation to freedom of communication and informational self-determination.

Wauland is everywhere!

Wauland on Twitter

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Glen Greenwald Aliases

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Fri, 13 Sep 2013 15:07

Some Jackass Posted Seixon's Personal Info Here | Main | Religion of Peace (TM) Distributes Mask-Wearing, Gun-Toting Child's Eulogy For Zarqawi >>July 25, 2006

The Glenn Greenwald Sock Puppet Story, From Start To (Almost) FinishSticky.

Instapundit has linked my main page on the Greenwald sock-puppet/lying story, but most of the Greenwald stuff isn't here. Here are the key links in this story:

Shawn started the ball rolling by noting that many of Glenn Greenwald's on-line defenders seemed to use very similar language, causing suspicion that these fake internet posters, or "sock-puppets," were actually Glenn Greenwald himself.

A poster calling himself "Ellison," defending Greenwald on this site, is found, conclusively, to have the same IP as Glenn Greenwald himself, posting on Patterico's site. (Note: This article is written humorously, and is very long, because half of it is jokes. A briefer digest is available at Patterico's, if you just want to get to the point. Read Patterico for the digest, read me for the jokes.)

Then more sock-puppets -- "Thomas Ellers," "Ryan," and "Wilson" -- were discovered on other websites, all somehow using Greenwald's IP address (i.e., the specific internet address identifying your computer on the internet network).

Greenwald denies with a vague insinuation his "Magic Boyfriend" is obsessively trolling rightwing sites defending him under assumed names.

Another sock-puppet discovered, again obsessively defending Glenn Greenwald, this time under the name "Rick Ellensburg." Worse yet, "Rick Ellensburg" is shown to use many of the same tics in writing style as Glenn Greenwald. (And of course he shares Greenwald's IP as well.)

Even worse-- the final nail in the coffin. While the previous post demonstrated "Rick Ellensburg" regurgitating Glenn Greenwald's arguments, in his writing style, a closer examination shows he also PREgurgitates Glenn Greenwald's arguments, writing comments very similar to Glenn Greenwald posts the day before Glenn Greenwald actually writes them on his blog.

Additional similarities in the writing style of Glenn Greenwald and his sock-puppets discovered, further undermining the already-preposterous claim that it is his "Magic Boyfriend" writing these posts.

Note: The timestamp of this post has been manually manipulated to keep it at the top of the blog, as the "latest" post, as Instapundit is directing traffic to the front page of this blog.

It's been made "sticky." I don't know how to do that other than to set the timestamp ahead by several hours.

GGreenwald on Magic Boyfriends

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Quote/Thought of the Day | Main | Tick-Tock: The Unmasking Of The Jacklegged Information Super-Highwayman "Ellison" >>July 20, 2006

Glenn Greenwald Denies The Charges I Have Not Made Against HimYet he seems strangely unconcerned about this purloining blackguard "Ellison" burglarizing his home to compose complimentary messages about himself.

A new accusation is that I've been engaging in so-called "sock puppetry" by leaving comments in response to posts that attack me under other names., i.e., that I use multiple names to comment and the same comment was left at several blogs by the same IP address under different names.

Not frequently, I leave comments at blogs which criticize or respond to something I have written. I always, in every single instance, use my own name when doing so. I have never left a single comment at any other blog using any name other than my own, at least not since I began blogging. IP addresses signify the Internet account one uses, not any one individual. Those in the same household have the same IP address. In response to the personal attacks that have been oozing forth these last couple of weeks, others have left comments responding to them and correcting the factual inaccuracies, as have I. In each case when I did, I have used my own name.

Patterico's Pontifications >> Annotated WuzzaDem: The Facts Behind the Greenwald Sock-Puppetry

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This post sets out the evidence suggesting that Glenn Greenwald has engaged in sock-puppetry. With the permission of John from WuzzaDem, I will be relying heavily on the WuzzaDem sock puppets. Consider it an annotated version of John's recent Insta-linked post.

Why this post? Because it ties it all together in a way that I haven't seen before. And it's another chance to see the WuzzaDem puppets again.

Keep in mind that sock-puppetry is, as Instapundit says, a ''venial sin'' (as opposed to a mortal sin). Yes, there is an element of dishonesty to it. But really, it's mostly goofy and laughable '-- which is why the puppets are on hand to help me make the point.

As I noted the other day, Greenwald shared an IP address with sock puppets named ''Ryan'' (posting at Riehl World View), ''Ellison'' (posting at Ace of Spades), and ''Thomas Ellers'' (posting at Q&O).

Greenwald shared a second IP address with a sock puppet named ''Wilson'' (posting at Protein Wisdom).

I've since learned that 3 comments from a ''Rick Ellensburg'' at a February 2006 Right Wing Nuthouse post originate from the same service provider that Greenwald was using at the end of 2005 and in January 2006.

All of the IP addresses are based in Brazil, where Greenwald spends much of the year with his boyfriend. That fact led Ace to publish this excellent poster:

No actual people have come forward claiming to be Ellers, or Ellensburg, or Ellison, or Ryan, or Wilson. And in addition to IP address evidence, other factors point to the sock-puppets being Greenwald. Remember that the reason I checked the IP addresses to begin with is because someone (Ace's commenter Shawn) saw similarities between the style and content of the sock-puppet comments and Greenwald's style and content.

A thorough examination of the sock-puppet comments, which I perform below, shows that the sock-puppeteer is either Greenwald, or a person who is his carbon copy in personality, writing style and verbal tics. His English is every bit as competent as Greenwald's own comment prose. The commenter is fully conversant with idiomatic expressions, including some that are specific to the blog-world.

Also, the commenter is quite Greenwald-like in his obsessive interest in (and encyclopedic knowledge of) Greenwald. He has a truly astounding knowledge of Greenwald's posts, Greenwald's updates, and Greenwald's enemies. He knows all about Greenwald's commenters '-- including which ones like Greenwald and which don't, and which ones used to, but suddenly changed their minds.

Under assumed names, the obsessive Greenwald fan simply helicopters into a comment thread. He defends Greenwald under an assumed name, and then helicopters out. Some of the names used by the commenter never appear on the Internet again.

Although Greenwald often comes on to comment threads to defend himself under his own name, Greenwald and his sock-puppets don't seem to show up in the same threads. Apparently, when a same-IP commenter shows up to defend Greenwald, Greenwald himself doesn't feel the need to defend himself in the same threads. The fact that people support him in those comment threads isn't enough to keep him from commenting; only the excellent defense provided by the sock puppets is sufficient to keep Greenwald from participating. (Indeed, Greenwald and his sock-puppets have almost never appeared on the same blog '-- almost as if they thought that the IP addresses couldn't be cross-checked if they posted on different blogs.)

Furthermore, as Ace has shown, it has happened that a suspected sock-puppet says things in comments one day, and these observations show up in Greenwald's posts the next day.

Finally, the sock-puppet commenter has been quite protective of Greenwald's reputation, following critics from thread to thread to defend the good name of Glenn Greenwald. Yet, if we are to assume that he is a different person from Greenwald, such as Greenwald's boyfriend, he has all of a sudden chosen to let Greenwald twist in the wind. The boyfriend, formerly so concerned with Greenwald's reputation, is now leaving thousands believing Greenwald guilty of some silly sock-puppetry. Where is the sock-puppet's regard for Greenwald's reputation now?

Let's get to the details, starting with the confirmed IP address matches.

IP address 201.37.43.117

The posts from IP address 201.37.43.117 began on July 13. Blogger Ace of Spades wrote a post about Glenn Greenwald, and his commenters were chiming in. WuzzaDem provides the visuals:

At 6:14 a.m. Pacific time (10:14 a.m. Brazil time), someone named Ellison (a name similar to suspected sock-puppets ''Rick Ellensburg'' and ''Thomas Ellers'') left a comment on Ace's site, in this thread. (Ace's timestamps are on Central time; all times are Daylight Savings Time.) The comment read as follows:

Greenwald only has a New York Times Best Selling Book on the Bush Administration and its abuses of power. And he has one of the most-read blogs on the Interent, after 9 months of blogging. And Senators read from his blog at Senate hearings and his posts lead to front-page news stories in major newspapers.

Why would anyone think what he has to say matters? It's not like anyone listens to him. It's not like he's Ace, or Jeff Goldstein, or Patterico, or Sister Toldjah or Glenn Reynolds, or someone who really matters.

Great advice, you super-important bloggers should only to each other and about each other. Don't bother with anyone in the Left because if you ignore them, they'll just go away.

Translation:

The comment left by Ellison hits what I like to call the Four Pillars of Greenwald's Greatness: 1) bestselling book; 2) 9-month rise to Internet mega-success; 3) Senators read from his blog; and 4) newspapers print front-page stories based on his blog. Remember the Four Pillars; you'll see them again. Here is how John from WuzzaDem sums them up:

Well, John got only three of the four. But John isn't Glenn Greenwald. I bet Glenn Greenwald knows all Four Pillars of his own Greatness by heart. It is quite possible that, as he drifts off to sleep every night, he recites each of the Four Pillars in his head.

But it wouldn't do for Greenwald to go around talking about the Four Pillars using his own name. It smacks too much of excessive self-adulation, which turns people off:

Greenwald is a smart guy, and he probably knows this. It's much better to have ''Ellison'' say it:

Yeah, that sounds a lot better.

D'OH! Except for the ''my'' part!

Let's fix that:

Much, much better.

This ''Ellison'' character knew the names of many of Greenwald's blogger critics at that particular point in time: Ace. Jeff Goldstein. Patterico. Sister Toldjah. Glenn Reynolds. He rattled them off with an amazing familiarity. [UPDATE 7-27-06 5:33 p.m.: Ace writes to note that all these people were specifically mentioned at the end of his post, so this point is not particularly compelling.]

All of these bloggers had recently published posts about Greenwald, and ''Ellison'' was familiar with them all. Evidently, Ellison was savvy about the Internet, knew who Greenwald's critics were, knew how to get to their sites, and remembered all of their names as he constructed a blog comment.

Note that, while Greenwald often shows up in blog comments that criticize him, he didn't show up in Ace's comments. It is somewhat uncharacteristic of Greenwald not to show up in the comments of a post by a major blogger that criticizes him.

And Ace's post is brutal. It calls Greenwald ''foaming and insipid,'' and suggests that he is a no-name:

Not even Glenn Greenwald knows who the fuck who Glenn Greenwald is. The other day, he was buying some batteries at Radio Shack, and, per their procedures, they asked him his name. ''I have no idea who I am,'' he's reported to have said.

That must have upset Greenwald, who (as we will soon see) read Ace's post and the comments to it. After all, none of the Four Pillars of Greenwald's Greatness apply to Ace! Greenwald had to have wanted to point this out. Yet, as Ace explains in his classic ironic fashion: ''Like an e-Gandhi, [Greenwald] refused [to] respond to my verbal violence in any manner whatsoever.''

It is Greenwald's great fortune that ''Ellison'' was able to do this for him. Unfortunately, he did it from Greenwald's own IP address.

Remember this, because it's a common theme: when the sock-puppets appear in a thread about Greenwald, Greenwald does not appear.

(One minor point: Ellison uses the term ''super-important.'' Greenwald says ''super important'' here.)

Seventeen minutes after Ellison's comment at Ace's site, Greenwald left this comment on my site under his own name. This comment used the same IP address as the Ellison comment. The comment was left at 6:31 a.m. Pacific time. In the comment, the famously civil Greenwald made a false accusation about my supposedly removing comments from my site (I didn't), called me a ''liar,'' and called my comments obsessive, hypocritical, hysterical, petulant, and shrieking.

Greenwald then spammed the same comment to four other threads involving him, to make sure everyone coming to my blog to read about him would see it. The comments were left at 6:39 a.m., 6:40 a.m., 6:41 a.m., and again at 6:41 a.m.. Later, at 7:19 a.m., he left another comment on the first thread, again calling me a liar.

The spamming of the same comment on five different threads of mine shows something significant about Glenn Greenwald: he is obsessive about defending his reputation, even in blog comments.

That's no big deal. A lot of bloggers are the same way, including me '-- and plenty of other bloggers I could name. I bet a few names are already popping into your head as I say this. You know who we are. If you criticize us on your blog, more likely than not we'll pop up to defend ourselves.

It's a personality trait. And Greenwald himself has that personality trait in spades. Say anything bad about him, and BOOM! there he is.

Back to the timeline:

Later that same day, Greenwald left two comments under his own name at this Villainous Company thread, at 11:13 a.m. Pacific (2:13 a.m. Eastern), and 12:15 p.m. Pacific (3:15 p.m. Eastern). (Villainous Company's timestamps are on Eastern time.). In those comments, Greenwald gave himself a little pat on the back for his extraordinary civility, and criticized Cassandra for suggesting (in the aforementioned Ace of Spades thread) that he was a ''whack job.''

This is how we know that he not only read the Ace of Spades post, which was brutal in its derision of Greenwald, but all the comments to Ace's post as well. He actually talked to Cassandra about it that day. Yet, as noted above, Greenwald did not respond to Ace, leaving those duties to ''Ellison.''

Four days later, on July 17, someone using the same IP address used it to leave three comments under the name ''Ryan'' on Dan Riehl's blog.

The first comment was on July 17, at 1:31 a.m. Pacific (Dan's timestamps are on Eastern time):

What's happening here is obvious. Instapundit is so full of frustration and anger towards Greenwald's criticisms that he links to every loser and sicko who writes a single negative thing about Greenwald, no matter how extreme, deranged, bitter, etc.

So now they're all trained that if they want attention and traffic from their master, they need to be good little attack poodles and write about Greenwald '' the more personal and inane, the better. Insty has linked to 10 posts like this, at least, in the last week.

Dan needs attention and traffic '' he doesn't exactly have a lot of either '' and this is the only way he can get it. Greenwald is his meal ticket.

Ryan, like all of the suspected sock-puppets, speaks colloquial English, like Greenwald. He sets off phrases with hyphens, just like Greenwald. He calls Instapundit ''Insty'' '-- a strange phrase for a Brazilian. He knows how many posts Instapundit has posted about Greenwald in the previous week. He also uses the terms ''sicko'' and ''attack poodles.'' The phrase ''attack poodles'' '-- an invention of James Wolcott '-- is a favorite of the American left in general, and of lefty bloggers in particular. It is far more likely to be used by a devoted blogger and blog reader than by someone who isn't.

Again, these comments are something that Greenwald may well be thinking '-- but it wouldn't do for them to be posted over his name. So they were posted from a different name '-- from Greenwald's IP address.

The second ''Ryan'' comment was left on the same day, at 6:42 a.m. Pacific. It mocked Xrlq's takedown of Greenwald, as well as Xrlq's 200-visitor-a-day traffic. As evidence of the alleged weakness of Xrlq's takedown, the comment cited a leftist satire web site that features a writer named ''Retardo Montalban.'' The ''Retardo'' web site is a Greenwald favorite which he had linked frequently in recent weeks, pointing specifically to a ''Retardo'' post about Jeff Goldstein as evidence of Goldstein's allegedly violent rhetoric.

The next day, July 18, ''Ryan'' left a third comment, at 7:24 a.m. Pacific. This one is my favorite of all the sock-puppet comments. It responded to allegations regarding Greenwald's career '-- something that ''Ryan'' at Greenwald's IP address pretended not to know about. So ''Ryan'' used the device of ''e-mailing'' Greenwald, who ''responded'' in an e-mail that Ryan could then print:

I e-mailed Greenwald yesterday about this, pasted BumperStickerist's accusations, and asked Greenwald if it was true. This is what I just received in response:

''Thanks for sending that.

I worked at Wachtell, Lipton as a Summer Associate after my second year at NYU, as a pre-Bar Associate during my entire third year at NYU and once I graduated, and then as a practicing Litigation Associate once I was admitted to the New York Bar.

Anyone who says that I did not practice law there after I passed the bar is lying '-- and deliberately so, I would think, since nobody who says such a thing could possibly have any basis for knowing that.

In any event, I can't imagine what point anyone thinks they're making. Wachtell is known to be the most selective law firm in the country. What point do they think they're making, exactly?''

You people are morons, seriously. You run around claiming things without having any idea if there true. And then when you get exposed as liars, you slink away and repeat the next lie.

WuzzaDem explains it this way:

Ryan, remember, posted from Greenwald's IP address. To get the information he needed, he didn't need to e-mail Greenwald. All he probably had to do was shout across the room to Greenwald '-- probably to a mirror.

Right about the same time, the same IP address was used numerous times by a Thomas Ellers in comments to this Q&O post.

(Note that the name ''Thomas Ellers'' is similar to ''Ellison'' and ''Rick Ellensburg.'') The Q&O post is from July 17; we don't know exactly when the comments were left, and certain of the Q&O people have conspicuously refused to provide that information. There are no permalinks to the Ellers comments, but here they are:

I love how Franks claims not to know who Greenwald is and never reads his blog '' ''I really have no idea who Glenn Greenwald is'' '-- but somehow also claims to knows that he's just a ''lefty-boy'' who only writes ''pretty much what you could read at the Democratic Party's web site.'' Wouldn't you have to know who he is and read him to know that?

As we will see below, beginning the comment with the phrase ''I love how . . .'' is a ''tell.'' That's how Rick Ellensburg began his comment at Right Wing Nuthouse: ''I love how you criticize the post for being too long and then criticize it for not including enough examples.'' This is a phrase that Greenwald himself uses in a comment at Wizbang on July 4: ''I love how Lorie Byrd thinks she knows more about the security concerns of Rumsfeld and Cheney than the Secret Service and Rumsfeld himself know.''

More Ellers from Q&O:

David S. used to go to Greenwald's blog every day and write paeans to Greenwald that made Mona's praise look mild by comparison. Then one day, Greenwald ignored a bunch of questions David S. was posing and David S. had a very bruised ego (''I know he has 250 comments every day, but I'm different and must not be ignored!''). Then he announced he would never come back and now goes around the Internet bad-mouthing Greenwald. From a fan to a hater, overnight.

Which brings up an interesting point: isn't a lot of this hatred of Greenwald jealousy-based.

''Ellers'' has an encyclopedic knowledge of Greenwald's site, including Greenwald's arguments, his commenters, and the content of his posts and updates. Evidently, ''Ellers'' has read Greenwald's blog so religiously that he knows when ''David S.'' was a Greenwald fan '-- and when he turned against Greenwald, and why.

It's the weirdest thing; Ellers has an amazing familiarity with Greenwald's blog and with David S.'s history as a commenter . . . yet if Ellers ever commented on Greenwald's blog, I can't find any evidence of it. I assume that if any of his defenders can, they'll let me know.

The comment continues:

The Bestselling book, all the media attention, the overnight blog success, etc?

The comment continues:

I'd be the first to say his style can be bombastic and he can be overly aggressive. But nobody denies that he's very smart, and among liberal bloggers at least, very moderate and rational in his view, and unusually willing to engage debate. So it's hard to figure out what there could be about the guy that generates such strong emotions.

Here Franks want to pop up out of the blue and announce that he doesn't care about Greenwald, and does so by creating yet another post with his name in the title and then calls him a series of names. Not exactly the sign of someone who doesn't care about Greenwald. So what's really going on here?

Recall, by the way, that Ellers's theory '-- that any criticism of Greenwald is based on jealousy '-- is a theme we saw in comments from ''Ryan'' using the same IP address. This is not the first time this theory will emerge, and it won't be the last.

Q&O commenters try to take on Ellers:

But Ellers persists:

From Shaughnessy's blog:

I am a great admirer of Glenn Greenwald. I think he is constructively trying to direct the power of the internet into public affairs and politics. Further, having just endured the Sunday talk shows, I am affirmed in my opinion that the quality of debate is significantly higher in this blog than that offered by the TV news outfits. Putting those two things together, I think Glenn has embarked on a worthy undertaking in trying to enlist grass-roots internet support to impact politics and political changes.

And another post:

You can find my comments at Glenn Greenwald's blog, Unclaimed Territory. Mr. Greenwald, in my opinion, runs the most respectful, thoughtful, and intelligent politico-legal blog in the whole dang blogosphere.

I will add this. I believe that blogs like Mr. Greenwald's demonstrate the awesome democratic potential of the internet. Such innovations are how we, as a united people, can proceed.

But today:

I could not care less what Glenn Greenwald thinks or says.

Tell me there isn't something going on here on an emotional level in terms of the response to Greenwald.

and this:

Oh, as for Greenwald's ''best-seller,'' (self-decribed as such on his website, just above the review by the high-school girl in the Mercury News) well here's a free tip for you, Mr. Ellers: Don't believe everything you read.

Can you elaborate on this accusation? I've clicked over to the links I've seen on his site and saw the book, right there, on the Times Best seller list on several different weeks. Are those pages fabricated? Has his book not really been on the Times' Best Seller list like he claims, or at #1 on Amazon? If so, this is a big story, so I'm interested in your support for this accusation.

Let's move on to the next IP address '-- because Greenwald and the sock-puppets share two of them.

IP address 201.17.101.161

Kevin at Wizbang has confirmed for me that Greenwald used IP address 201.17.101.161 to leave a comment at Wizbang on July 4, here, that begins: ''I love how Lorie Byrd thinks she knows more about the security concerns of Rumsfeld and Cheney than the Secret Service and Rumsfeld himself know.'' As we already saw, the ''I love how'' language is characteristic of suspected sock-puppet Thomas Ellers. As we will see, it is also characteristic of suspected sock-puppet Rick Ellensburg.

On July 8, Greenwald posted at Confederate Yankee under his own name, in this thread, using the same IP address. As the civil Mr. Greenwald is wont to do when he wanders onto conservatives' blogs, he called Confederate Yankee a hypocrite: ''It's difficult to put into words what a hypocrite Confederate Yankee is.''

The same IP address was in evidence on July 12, when Greenwald left three comments on my site under that IP address. The first was left at 5:01 a.m. Pacific. This was the comment in which he told the following lie about me: ''You certainly were vigilant in railing against those irrlevancies, even though you're way too busy to notice or condemn any of the far more significant, vile rhetoric pouring forth regularly from the higher echelons on the Right '-- a glaring inconsistency which, incidentally, was the principal point of my post.''

Greenwald left two more comments on my site using this IP address on July 12: this one at 5:10 a.m. Pacific time, and this one at 6:54 a.m.

Enter ''Wilson,'' later that evening. It's a name made famous as the name of a ball that Tom Hanks talked to while stranded on a deserted island.

(h/t Pablo.) It's a good name for someone who's talking to himself. Anyway, on Jeff Goldstein's site, using the same IP address as the above comments by Greenwald, ''Wilson'' said:

What I don't quite understand is, why do so many, almost all on the extreme Left, consider Greenwald some kind of great constitutional authority.

Lets see, a New York Times bestselling book on executive authority. Breaks a story on his blog about wiretapping that leads to front-page stories on most major newspapers in the country. Russ Feingold reads from his blog during the Censure hearings.

Maybe that has something to do with why. Any conservative bloggers with credentials like that? All compiled in 9 months or however long its been since he started blogging?

Jeffy's funny poems are great and everything, and im sure your anonymous lawyer friends are really smart and all, but hard to say they compare to those things.

In other words . . .

No, wait '-- wrong puppet . . .

There are the Four Pillars emphasized by Ellison and (as to three of the four) Ryan above, under another IP address shared with Greenwald: the best-selling book, the front-page articles, Senators reading from the blog, and the meteoric rise of the blog in 9 months.

By the way, ''Jeffy'' seems like odd terminology to use for someone unfamiliar with Goldstein's blog. Of course, Greenwald is very familiar with Goldstein, having engaged in numerous debates with him previously.

The final suspected sock-puppet, Rick Ellensburg, shared an address space with Greenwald on the Brazilian Telemar Norte ISP in late 2005 and early 2006. This is based on Greenwald's having posted comments under that address space on numerous blogs in early 2006, including Protein Wisdom in January 2006. Ellensburg's comments were posted in February 2006.

Meet Mr. Ellensburg:

The name ''Rick Ellensburg'' is, of course, similar to ''Thomas Ellers'' and ''Ellison.'' And the writing style and content is remarkably similar to that of Greenwald. Let's look at one of Ellensburg comments in this post:

I love how you criticize the post for being too long and then criticize it for not including enough examples.

I also love how you criticize it for not having enough examples and then ignore most of the examples Greenwald gives.

Ellensburg's comment continues:

The article about Barr makes clear that the whole room hated Barr for criticizing Bush, not just one imbecile.

And if you're not familiar with the way in which even life-long conservative Senators are no longer conservative when they jump out of line, it's only because you don't read the papers. Should he have included every instance of that in his single post?

And Michelle Malkin already advocates internment camps. It's hardly ''baseless'' to think she would advocate new ones.

And you need to learn to read. Greenwald said that Goldstein and Goldberg would likely support far more extreme measures than the ones already revealed, but that they would likely NOT be without limits at all as to the powers they'd be willing to give Bush (unlike Malkina and Hinderaker). You mock that statement as some sort of contradiction. Do you really not understand the difference between advocating further powers but not advocating absolute powers? Apparently not.

And they just had a conservative event and the whole place erupted in cheers when Ann Coulter urged violence on ragheads and called for the deaths of liberal supreme court justices and bill clinton. Is that conservative to you or a cult?

And he said it's not just the excess spending but the total lack of distrust in the federal government, as shown by the huge powers they want to put in Bush '' FISA, torture, renderings, Guantanomo, etc. Where is the distrust of Government?

And Bush wants gov't in every aspect of our lives '' Schiavo, gay marriage. Everything is federalized, nothing left to the states. This is all in his post; you ignored it.

Ultimately, you're just oversensitive. He didn't say all people who support Bush are slaves and cult members. Many are. You acknowledge that yourself in your own post.

Ellensburg is certainly familiar with Greenwald, his blog, and his positions. Yet I can find no evidence that he ever commented on his blog.

Describing conservatism (and respect for Bush) as a ''cult'' is a major Greenwald theme. For example:

Conservatism in some circles really has morphed into The Cult of George Bush, which is why any criticism of the Leader '-- even when the criticism is based on conservative principles '-- is deemed to be blasphemous to the Cause.

or this:

In many ways, over this time period, the GOP more closely resembled a cult than a political party, and the cohesiveness of the cult was centered around Personality '-- a glorification of, and blind reverence for, George W. Bush.

And my goodness, these arguments are certainly rather U.S.-centric for a guy posting from a Brazilian ISP:

And he said it's not just the excess spending but the total lack of distrust in federal government, as shown by the huge powers they want to put in Bush '' FISA, torture, renderings, Guantanomo, etc. Where is the distrust of Government? And Bush wants gov't in every aspect of our lives '' Schiavo, gay marriage. Everything is federalized, nothing left to the states.

Ellensburg, whose name is (like all the sock puppets) very American-sounding (and not very Brazilian-sounding), seems mightily concerned with things that affect the U.S. He knows all about the issues facing the U.S., including Schiavo, gay marriage, etc. Indeed, his call for distrust in government is a view that is largely idiosyncratic to the U.S.

Ellensburg shares some other verbal tics and subject-matter obsessions with Greenwald. Another Ellensburg comment reads:

And one other thing '' in his update, he provides an example of conservatives who HATED FISA under Clinton and thought that eavesdropping on Americans, even with judicial oversight, was a dangerous threat to freedom.

Now, under Bush, conservatives not only love eavesdropping, but think that it's fine that Bush is eavesdropping with no judicial oversight.

To recap:

Conservatives under Clinton '' ''eavesdropping with judicial oversight = fascism''

Conservatives under Bush '' ''eavesdropping with no judicial oversight = OK''

if you're going to argue Greenwald's point, you should argue the points, instead if pretending he had none.

Ace has shown that Greenwald absolutely adores the ''To recap:'' construction. Ace pulled six examples from just one month on Greenwald's blog before Ace got bored with the exercise. In the same post, Ace showed how Ellensburg and Greenwald both love to set off phrases with hyphens.

Well, so do I (with dashes, not hyphens). Each point by itself is not damning '-- but it becomes so when you look at all these points in their totality.

In Ellensburg's next comment, he manages to predict Greenwald's exact arguments for the next day:

Even funnier '' looks like Andrew Sullivan agrees with Greenwald, since he took the paragraphs you quoted and called it the ''Quote of the Day,'' saying Greenwald ''diagnosed the situation accurately'':

http://time.blogs.com/daily_dish/2006/02/quote_for_the_d_20.html

This is pretty good evidence that more than just Brent Bozell has called Sullivan a ''liberal'' for failing to lick George Bush's ass enough.

As Ace has shown in this post, Greenwald's post the next day cites Sullivan's praise (go here and scroll to February 13):

Ironically, Sullivan, shortly after Moran posted this, took the precise paragraphs quoted above [Greenwald's quotes, the ones Moran had attacked] and made them the ''Quote of the Day'' on his site, concluding that my post ''diagnos[es] the situation accurately.''

Many other Ellensburg points end up in Greenwald's post, including 1) the way that long-time conservatives are no longer considered conservatives if they don't worship Bush; 2) conservatives don't seem to be for limited government any more; and 3) the bloggers who criticized his post didn't respond to his argument that conservatives had changed from ''angry opposition to warrant-based FISA eavesdropping'' under Clinton to ''the stirring defense of warrantless, oversight-less eavesdropping now engaged in proudly by the Bush Administration.''

[UPDATE: Ace calls this "PREgurgitation -- and it's a good expression for what is happening here.]

Greenwald cites numerous commenters in the Right Wing Nuthouse thread '-- but the one commenter who so presciently predicted the content of Greenwald's post, Rick Ellensburg, didn't merit as much as a whisper of thanks for his cogent arguments on Greenwald's behalf.

Because, as Ace says, you tip your hat to other people '-- not to yourself.

Greenwald's post the next day is so Ellensburgian, he even uses the ''So, to recap'' terminology!

Ace has also documented that, despite Ellensburg's extensive knowledge of Greenwald's posts and arguments, Ellensburg has appeared on the Internet only once, to defend Greenwald in this one situation.

And, as I said, Ellensburg's IP address comes from the same address space Greenwald was using just one month before, in numerous comments left in a January Protein Wisdom thread.

SO, TO RECAP:

What does all of this show?

Greenwald has all but admitted that the sock-puppet comments are coming from his IP address. But he has denied that he made the comments, and insinuates (but does not affirmatively claim) that it is someone else in the household '-- presumably his boyfriend.

Somehaveargued that it is more likely that Greenwald's boyfriend posted the sock-puppet comments, and not Greenwald.

More likely?!?!

I have just demonstrated at great length that the sock-puppet commenter shares several factors with Glenn Greenwald. As Ace says:

Yes, yes, yes, I know'... it just so happens that Glenn Greenwald has been blessed to be living with a perfect Spirit Twin who spends all of his day doing what is actually Glenn Greenwald's job (i.e., defending Glenn Greenwald, recruiting for the cult of Glenn Greenwald), and also seems to do this while Glenn Greenwald is known to be active on the Internet, and is fully committed to, and fully conversant with, all of Glenn Greenwald's arguments and beliefs, and furthermore does not merely content himself to briefly tout his lover's accomplishments, but rather argues all of his points in full on his behalf, and furthermore is capable of mimicing his lover's writing style, with its various gramatical and word-choice tics, at will.

For the sake of amusement, let's assume this to be true for one moment. Assume that Greenwald's boyfriend is just as dogged in defending Greenwald as he is. Just as prone to make the same points in idiomatic, blog-centric English. Just as apt to frequent the blogs that criticize Greenwald. Just as familiar with Greenwald's arguments, posts, updates, and commenters '-- including facts about when Greenwald's commenters liked Greenwald, when they stopped, and why. Just as rabid in the utter fanaticism for defending Greenwald that Greenwald feels himself. And just happens to have landed on all the comment threads that Greenwald himself overlooked.

If that's really true, then the boyfriend's fetish about protecting Greenwald's reputation appears to have landed Greenwald in hot water.

Wouldn't you think the boyfriend would step forward to take the heat?

The boyfriend was fanatically loyal before, spitting out the Four Pillars of Glenn's Greatness to anyone who would listen, because Glenn's Reputation Must Be Defended.

Now, Glenn's reputation is taking as big a hit as it's probably ever taken '-- all due to the boyfriend's actions. Yet the boyfriend, previously so rabidly defensive about Greenwald's reputation, is now suddenly silent.

Is this believable?

It's much more reasonable to believe Greenwald was using sock puppets, got caught, and lied about it.

If this boyfriend is so obsessive about protecting his boyfriend Greenwald from personal attacks, why is he letting him twist in the wind now?

Why does this matter? Let me quote from an earlier post of mine, about the sock-puppetry of Michael Hiltzik:

Why does this matter '-- or does it? After all, I'm obviously not objecting to use of pseudonyms by bloggers and blog commenters. How could I be? I mean, you're reading a post by someone who calls himself ''Patterico.'' And, while I made the decision to make my real name public long ago (it's Patrick Frey), many of my commenters use pseudonyms. So what's the big deal?

Here's the thing. I am actually a strong defender of people's right to comment anonymously, or pseudonymously. I myself was semi-pseudonymous for the first several months of this blog. But I don't think that commenters should use pseudonyms to pretend to be something or somebody they aren't.

Speaking of Hiltzik, it's worth saying a word about motive. Some have argued that there is no reason for Greenwald to resort to sock puppets, since he posts under his own name.

Talk to former blogger Michael Hiltzik. He admitted his sock-puppetry (though he initially denied it, until I posted irrefutable evidence of it). And Hiltzik was not shy about expressing strong opinions under his own name '-- even quite rude and confrontational ones.

In Greenwald's case, the motive was even more obvious: there were things he wanted to say that would be unseemly to publish under his own name. So he did it under a different name. Simple as that.

Can you explain it any better, Mr. Greenwald?

To recap:I love how it's super-important for bloggers '' who are part of the cult of Bush and act like good little attack poodles '' to continually ignore these facts, which I learned by e-mailing myself:

Greenwald has a New York Times bestselling book. And he's broken front-page newspaper stories. And senators read from his blog in Senate hearings. And in just 9 months, he has become a super-blogger.

So good DAY, sir!

Greenwald's sock puppets: The worst blog scandal ever? Hot Air

Link to Article

Archived Version

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 15:32

posted at 2:55 am on July 25, 2006 by Allahpundit

I have friends involved in this so let me choose my words carefully. I'm not saying it wasn't worth doing. I'm not saying it's a bad thing; as with pizza, there's no such thing as a ''bad'' blog scandal. Alls I'm saying is, how does it compare?

Let's look back.

1. Trent Lott (2002). Then Senate Majority Leader, Lott tells the crowd at Strom Thurmond's birthday party that ''we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years'' if Thurmond had been elected president in 1948. Minor detail: Thurmond ran on a segregationist platform. Dick factor: For obliquely endorsing separate-but-equal? Stratospheric. Degree of difficulty: Low. He said it, bloggers quoted it. Body count: Lott resigned as Majority Leader two weeks later. Blog triumphalism quotient: Put blogs on the map and scalped one of the most powerful politicians in the country. Convinced Sullivan he could bring down anyone if he just kept at it long enough. Style points: Remains the only bipartisan blogswarm. Overall: 8.5.

2. Rathergate (2004). CBS obtains ludicrous forgeries about Bush's national guard service from a hard-left, possibly deranged former guardsman '-- and airs them on 60 Minutes II ten weeks before the presidential election. Dick factor: Are you kidding? Degree of difficulty: Not that high, really. Great reams of pixels expended on typefaces and fonts and kerning, and almost all of it utterly superfluous. Body count: Several news execs, including producer Mary Mapes, say bye-bye to black rock. Rather is eased out a few years later and promptly takes a job with HDNet, where he's finally free to be the Edward R. Murrow he always knew he was, or something. Blog triumphalism quotient:Awesome:

On Web sites such as Powerline, INDC Journal, Allahpundit, and Spacetownusa, the bravehearts of the blogging world worked anonymously in what appeared to be huge numbers, in unison, to destroy the Bush-Guard story, to uphold one another's wild and hateful claims, to outshout, outargue, and outblog anyone who dared to disagree. And on their Web sites there is no disagreement. They hate in unison, they speak with one angry voice, they each make themselves bigger by staying as close together as possible.

Awesome. And true to form, inaccurate: neither Powerline nor INDC nor Spacetown featured anonymous bloggers. Style points: The day after the scandal broke, dKos diarist ''hunter'' proved with Queegian geometric logic that the memos were probably authentic. Overall: The gold standard. 10.0.

3. Jeff Gannon (2005). Alleged gay hooker Jim Guckert somehow obtains day passes to the White House press briefings, sometimes on behalf of Talon News/GOPUSA and sometimes not, and tosses softballs at Scott McClellan. This scandalously demonstrates that either (a) the Secret Service isn't vetting people real closely, (b) Gannon/Guckert has special access for some unknown but undoubtedly seamy reason, or (c) he's an administration plant whose job is to feed easy questions to the press secretary. Dick factor: Literally '-- lefty bloggers uncover what they claim are photos of Gannon showing off his erect schwanz. Degree of difficulty: I do recall a bit of sleuthing being involved here, and not only of the Google variety. Didn't they track down one of Gannon's web designers to corroborate that he owned an escort site? Am I imagining that? Regardless, it takes no small amount of mental agility to believe that Rove would choose an alleged gay hooker for an operation as sensitive as infiltrating the press corps. Body count: Gannon resigned from Talon News two weeks after the scandal broke. Blog triumphalism quotient: V-J Day for the left, mostly to compensate for being in the dugout during Rathergate. Kind of sad, kind of endearing. Style points: Gannon told an audience in New York recently that he knows of married Democrats ''who play with their boys in D.C.'' when their wives are out of town. Overall: We caught the anchor of the CBS Evening News, they caught an alleged gay hooker. 4.0.

4. Eason Jordan (2005). CNN's chief news executive accuses U.S. troops of murdering 12 journalists in the course of remarks made at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Dick factor: As big as they come: two years earlier, Jordan admitted in an op-ed that CNN had chosen not to report atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein lest their access to Baghdad be jeopardized. Degree of difficulty: Somewhat more than Lott since the tape of Jordan's remarks was never publicly released. Body count: Jordan resigned from CNN two weeks after Rony Abovitz broke the story. Blog triumphalism quotient: Sky high coming only four months after Rathergate. Alas, it would be the right's last great blog scandal. Style points: Began and ended at almost exactly the same time as the Gannon scandal. Overall: We caught the chief news executive of CNN, they caught an alleged gay hooker. 7.0.

5. Ben Domenech (2006). A co-founder of Red State and editor at Regnery, Domenech is tapped by WaPo to write a right-wing blog for the paper's website. Outraged by this absence of balance in the mainstream media, ahem, lefty bloggers set out to dig up whatever dirt they can. They don't have to dig deep: as quickly becomes clear, he's a serial plagiarist of long standing. Dick factor: Not only did Domenech initially deny the charges, he blamed his editors for inserting the plagiarized passages into his writing. Degree of difficulty: Nothing a little Google couldn't handle. Body count: Domenech resigned three days after launching the WaPo blog. Jim Brady, the site's executive editor and foremost object of lefty wrath as betrayer of the cause, survived. Blog triumphalism quotient: V-E day, which I can sort of understand: they disciplined their media puppy and took out a right-winger in one fell swoop. Not a bad day's work. Plus, they're not used to winning. Style points: Red State commenters blindly loyal to Domenech declare that the Malkin thing is so over after Michelle writes a post concluding that, yeah, BD probably did plagiarize. Overall: 5.5.

6. Michael Hiltzik (2006). After months of sparring with Baquet bete noire Patterico, LA Times blogger/Pulitzer-winner Hiltzik calls up comment-section reinforcements in the form of himself posting under other names. Dick factor: Hiltzik was suspended by the paper in 1993 for hacking into his co-workers' e-mails accounts. A work emergency? Nope. He was ''nosy and curious,'' according to a colleague. Degree of difficulty:IPs, screencaps, and timestamps. Difficulty is/was inversely proportional to diligence. Body count: Hiltzik's blog was shut down, he was suspended without pay, and ultimately banished to the sports section '-- thus proving that, coupled with his little snooping problem, there's really no way to get fired from the Times. Blog triumphalism quotient: Surprisingly low. Style points: Hiltzik once compared right-wing criticism of the Times to Stalinist show trials. Overall: He wasn't a politician, he wasn't a news executive, he was just a dick prone to pettiness. It's a close call vis-a-vis Domenech, but sock-puppetry is, or should be, a venial sin. Plagiarism is mortal. 5.0.

7. Students Against War (2006). Morons at UC-Santa Cruz organize a protest of military recruiters on campus and publish a ''press'' release on their website featuring their e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Michelle reproduces the information, and SAW begins receiving harassing messages. Lefties seize the pretext and respond by posting her home address and phone number '-- along with photos of, and directions to, her house. Dick factor: Posting treasure maps for stalkers does tend to peg the dickometer. Degree of difficulty: I've never stalked anyone so I'm not sure. Not nearly as difficult as it should be, I suspect. Body count: None, thankfully. Blog triumphalism quotient: Negative. Several prominent lefty bloggers, including Kos, actually deleted MM's contact information after it was posted in their comments section. Style points: Embattled UC-Santa Cruz Chancellor Denice Denton commits suicide in June, prompting enlightened libertarian Dave Weigel to accuse Michelle of having driven her to it by once posting her office phone number. And that's why they call it ''Reason.'' Overall: 3.0.

8. Glenn Greenwald (2006). A bona fide nutroots hearthrob, Greenwald rises through the nutroots ranks thanks to his magical mix of turgid, dreary rants about creeping fascism and hysterical polemics against right-wing bloggers. His posts draw predictable responses from righties and equally predictable comments from various lefty trolls '-- many of whom, curiously, turn out to be posting from Greenwald's own computer, using syntax similar to his own, within ten minutes or so of comments left by him on other sites. How would a patriot act? Evidently by moving to another hemisphere and operating a different sock puppet with each limb. Dick factor: Wet himself over a righty blogger's reference to lynching Supreme Court justices after having once dismissed neo-Nazi Matt Hale's threats against a federal judge as mere ''heated [political] rhetoric.'' Hale was later convicted of soliciting the judge's murder. Degree of difficulty: IPs, screencaps, and timestamps, although more blogs were involved here than with Hiltzik so points for coordination. Body count: None. Proof of malfeasance won't bother his fans. If anything, the antagonism might help him move a few more copies of the book. Blog triumphalism quotient:Negative. Style points: Russ Feingold once quoted Greenwald on the floor of the Senate, a fact which the various commenters who are definitely, 100% not Glenn Greenwald seem to enjoy mentioning. Overall: Fun and gratifying but without a scalp, a victory dance, or malevolent weirdness a la Michelle's stalkers, there's just not enough meat on the bone. Neck and neck with the SAW scandal but in the end it's just a tad too provincial. Although if Greenwald posts the blueprints to Patterico's house or something, this one could take off like a rocket. 2.5.

Update: Patterico, from the comments:

We're not done, baby. Give it a couple of days for me to tie it all together.

The post is well on its way to being done, and it will be fun. I plan to keep it lighthearted, but I'll set it all out.

Wait until then to pass judgment.

Related Posts:

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FBI Admits It Controlled Tor Servers Behind Mass Malware Attack | Threat Level | Wired.com

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Archived Version

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 21:10

It wasn't ever seriously in doubt, but the FBI yesterday acknowledged that it secretly took control of Freedom Hosting last July, days before the servers of the largest provider of ultra-anonymous hosting were found to be serving custom malware designed to identify visitors.

Freedom Hosting's operator, Eric Eoin Marques, had rented the servers from an unnamed commercial hosting provider in France, and paid for them from a bank account in Las Vegas. It's not clear how the FBI took over the servers in late July, but the bureau was temporarily thwarted when Marques somehow regained access and changed the passwords, briefly locking out the FBI until it gained back control.

The new details emerged in a Thursday bail hearing in Dublin, Ireland, where Marques, 28, is fighting extradition to America on charges that Freedom Hosting facilitated child pornography on a massive scale. He was denied bail today for the second time since his arrest in July.

Freedom Hosting was a provider of turnkey ''Tor hidden service'' sites '-- special sites, with addresses ending in .onion, that hide their geographic location behind layers of routing, and can be reached only over the Tor anonymity network. Tor hidden services are used by sites that need to evade surveillance or protect users' privacy to an extraordinary degree '' including human rights groups and journalists. But they also appeal to serious criminal elements, including child-pornography traders.

On August 4, all the sites hosted by Freedom Hosting '-- including sites with no connection to child porn '-- began serving an error message with hidden code embedded in the page. Security researchers dissected the code and found it exploited a security hole in Firefox to identify users of the Tor Browser Bundle, reporting back to a mysterious server in Northern Virginia. The FBI was the obvious suspect, but declined to comment on the incident. The FBI also didn't respond to inquiries from WIRED today.

But FBI Supervisory Special Agent Brooke Donahue was more forthcoming when he appeared in the Irish court yesterday to bolster the case for keeping Marque behind bars, according to local press reports. Among the many arguments Donahue and an Irish federal police inspector offered was that Marques might reestablish contact with co-conspirators, and further complicate the FBI probe. In addition to the wrestling match over Freedom Hosting's servers, Marques allegedly dove for his laptop when the police raided him, in an effort to shut it down.

Donahue also said Marque had been researching the possibility of moving his hosting, and his residence, to Russia. ''My suspicion is he was trying to look for a place to reside to make it the most difficult to be extradited to the U.S.,'' said Donahue, according to the Irish Independent.

Freedom Hosting has long been notorious for allowing child porn to live on its servers. In 2011, the hactivist collective Anonymous singled out the service for denial-of-service attacks after allegedly finding the firm hosted 95 percent of the child porn hidden services on the Tor network. In the hearing yesterday, Donahue said the service hosted at least 100 child porn sites with thousands of users, and claimed Marques had visited some of the sites himself.

Reached by phone, Marques' lawyer declined to comment on the case. Marques faces federal charges in Maryland, where the FBI's child-exploitation unit is based, in a case that is still under seal.

The apparent FBI-malware attack was first noticed on August 4, when all of the hidden service sites hosted by Freedom Hosting began displaying a ''Down for Maintenance'' message. That included at least some lawful websites, such as the secure email provider TorMail.

Some visitors looking at the source code of the maintenance page realized that it included a hidden iframe tag that loaded a mysterious clump of Javascript code from a Verizon Business internet address. By midday, the code was being circulated and dissected all over the net. Mozilla confirmed the code exploited a critical memory management vulnerability in Firefox that was publicly reported on June 25, and is fixed in the latest version of the browser.

Though many older revisions of Firefox were vulnerable to that bug, the malware only targeted Firefox 17 ESR, the version of Firefox that forms the basis of the Tor Browser Bundle '' the easiest, most user-friendly package for using the Tor anonymity network. That made it clear early on that the attack was focused specifically on de-anonymizing Tor users.

Tor Browser Bundle users who installed or manually updated after June 26 were safe from the exploit, according to the Tor Project's new security advisory on the hack.

The payload for the Tor Browser Bundle malware is hidden in a variable called ''magneto.''

Perhaps the strongest evidence that the attack was a law enforcement or intelligence operation was the limited functionality of the malware.

The heart of the malicious Javascript was a tiny Windows executable hidden in a variable named ''Magneto.'' A traditional virus would use that executable to download and install a full-featured backdoor, so the hacker could come in later and steal passwords, enlist the computer in a DDoS botnet, and generally do all the other nasty things that happen to a hacked Windows box.

But the Magneto code didn't download anything. It looked up the victim's MAC address '-- a unique hardware identifier for the computer's network or Wi-Fi card '-- and the victim's Windows hostname. Then it sent it to a server in Northern Virginia server, bypassing Tor, to expose the user's real IP address, coding the transmission as a standard HTTP web request.

''The attackers spent a reasonable amount of time writing a reliable exploit, and a fairly customized payload, and it doesn't allow them to download a backdoor or conduct any secondary activity,'' said Vlad Tsyrklevich, who reverse-engineered the Magneto code, at the time.

The malware also sent a serial number that likely ties the target to his or her visit to the hacked Freedom Hosting-hosted website.

The official IP allocation records maintained by the American Registry for Internet Numbers show the two Magneto-related IP addresses were part of a ghost block of eight addresses that have no organization listed. Those addresses trace no further than the Verizon Business data center in Ashburn, Virginia, 20 miles northwest of the Capital Beltway.

The code's behavior, and the command-and-control server's Virginia placement, is also consistent with what's known about the FBI's ''computer and internet protocol address verifier,'' or CIPAV, the law enforcement spyware first reported by WIRED in 2007.

Court documents and FBI files released under the FOIA have described the CIPAV as software the FBI can deliver through a browser exploit to gather information from the target's machine and send it to an FBI server in Virginia. The FBI has been using the CIPAV since 2002 against hackers, online sexual predators, extortionists, and others, primarily to identify suspects who are disguising their location using proxy servers or anonymity services, like Tor.

Prior to the Freedom Hosting attack, the code had been used sparingly, which kept it from leaking out and being analyzed.

No date has been set for Marques' extradition hearings, but it's not expected to happen until next year.

"NSA mogelijk betrokken bij DigiNotar-hack"

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Archived Version

Source: WT news feed

Sat, 14 Sep 2013 21:10

vrijdag 13 september 2013, 15:48 door Redactie, 11 reactiesLaatst bijgewerkt: Gisteren, 17:16

De hack van de Beverwijkse SSL-uitgever DigiNotar was het werk van de NSA, of anders heeft de Amerikaanse inlichtingendienst hiervan geprofiteerd, zo stelt de bekende beveiligingsexpert Bruce Schneier aan de hand van nieuw beeldmateriaal.

Schneier wijst naar het Braziliaanse televisieprogramma Fantastico dat liet zien hoe de NSA Man-in-the-middle-aanvallen op het internet uitvoerde. Daarbij werd de internetrouter van doelwitten gehackt en bepaald Google-verkeer via een vals SSL-certificaat omgeleid, zodat de informatie onversleuteld kon worden onderschept.

DigiNotarHet televisieprogramma toonde verschillende beelden van NSA-programmatuur, waaronder een screenshot waarop de naam DigiNotar te zien is. Door de hack van de SSL-uitgever in 2011 was het voor aanvallers mogelijk om valse SSL-certificaten te genereren, zonder dat die voor een waarschuwing in de browser zorgde.

Met deze valse certificaten kon een aanvaller, als die tussen het slachtoffer en de bezochte website zat, versleuteld verkeer van en naar deze website afluisteren en inzien. Alleen in het geval van Google Chrome werd bij bepaalde websites alarm geslagen, waardoor de hack van DigiNotar uiteindelijk aan het licht kwam.

ScreenshotHet screenshot waar Schneier op reageert werd in eerste instantie al opgemerkt door Koen Rouwhorst op Twitter. "Een ander screenshot impliceert dat de DigiNotar hack van 2011 of het werk was van de NSA of door de NSA gebruikt werd", zo laat Schneier nu op zijn eigen blog weten.

Update 17:16Op internet wordt opgemerkt dat de SSL-certificaten die de aanvaller bij DigiNotar genereerde in Iranzijngebruikt. Schneier, die inmiddels verschillende documenten van NSA-klokkenluider Edward Snowden heeft ingezien en de Guardian helpt met het onderzoek hiernaar, geeft geen verdere uitleg waarom de slides impliceren dat de NSA betrokken zou zijn geweest bij de hack van DigiNotar.

In de reacties op het blog van Schneier wordt gesteld dat de domeinen waarvoor de SSL-certificaten bij DigiNotar werden aangemaakt de interesse van de NSA hebben, maar dat kan ook van de Iraanse overheid worden gezegd. Daarnaast wordt er nog een scenario genoemd waarbij de NSA de certificaten van de DigiNotar-hacker zou hebben gestolen.

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NSA disguised itself as Google to spy, say reports

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Archived Version

Source: WTF RLY REPORT

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 08:52

CNET

Here's one of the latest tidbits on the NSA surveillance scandal (which seems to be generating nearly as many blog items as there are phone numbers in the spy agency's data banks).

Earlier this week, Techdirt picked up on a passing mention in a Brazilian news story and a Slate article to point out that the US National Security Agency had apparently impersonated Google on at least one occasion to gather data on people. (Mother Jones subsequently pointed out Techdirt's point-out.)

Brazilian site Fantastico obtained and published a document leaked by Edward Snowden, which diagrams how a ''man in the middle attack'' involving Google was apparently carried out.

A technique commonly used by hackers, a MITM attack involves using a fake security certificate to pose as a legitimate Web service, bypass browser security settings, and then intercept data that an unsuspecting person is sending to that service. Hackers could, for example, pose as a banking Web site and steal passwords.

The technique is particularly sly because the hackers then use the password to log in to the real banking site and then serve as a ''man in the middle,'' receiving requests from the banking customer, passing them on to the bank site, and then returning requested info to the customer '-- all the while collecting data for themselves, with neither the customer nor the bank realizing what's happening. Such attacks can be used against e-mail providers too.

Read more

Google Jet Fleet Loses a Pentagon Fuel Perk

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Archived Version

Source: WTF RLY REPORT

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 08:51

Wall Street Journal

Google Inc. founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin may have to dig deeper to operate their fleet of private jets, after the U.S. Department of Defense ended a little-known arrangement that for years allowed the tech billionaires to travel on sharply discounted jet fuel bought from the Pentagon.

The agreement between the Google founders and the government, which started in 2007, ended Aug. 31 after officials at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration'--which sponsored the arrangement'--opted not to renew it, according to a Pentagon spokeswoman.

The move followed discussions earlier this year between the Pentagon and NASA over whether the Google founders may have exceeded contract terms by using fuel for non-government flights, according to a letter from a Pentagon official released by Sen. Charles Grassley.

Sen. Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said he is seeking an audit of the arrangement by the Pentagon's inspector general. ''Are some executives getting a special deal on fuel that isn't available to other businesses?'' he asked, saying the setup raises concerns about the government's role as a ''fair broker with businesses and responsible steward of tax dollars.''

Read more

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Anonymous target US lawmakers in OpNSA

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Sun, 15 Sep 2013 13:48

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Members of the Anonymous hacker collective, known as Anons, are targeting US lawmakers who have financial ties to intelligence contractors in their latest campaign.

Unlike other Anonymous operations, however, OpNSA does not involve hacking or illegality of any kind.

Instead, the operation aims to bring attention to what Anons have termed collusion between US senators and private contractors, whom Anons allege enabled privacy violations as part of National Security Agency surveillance programs.

The contractors include Northrop Grumman, Booz Allen Hamilton, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and others.

Specifically, Anons hope to highlight suspect campaign contributions to several prominent US lawmakers '-- including Diane Feinstein, Dutch Ruppersberger, Mike Rogers and Saxby Chambliss '-- by US defense and intelligence contractors.

Those involved with OpNSA say that these lawmakers have been given a pass by the American public in spite of playing a large role in enabling the government to violate the privacy of citizens via NSA programs. By raising awareness of those connections among the officials' constituents, Anons hope the senators will begin losing public support.

''There are those who say; 'If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.' However these are the same people who won't tell you any of their own personal information upon your request. Complacent cowards like these have made it easier for this enormous surveillance operation to come to fruition,'' reads a statement released by OpNSA.

More from GlobalPost: Syrian Electronic Army revealed: Anonymous hacks SEA website, dumps data

''Campaign contributions is just a fancy way of spinning 'bribes,''' said one Anon involved in the operation. ''Saxby Chambliss is a money sponge.''

The Anon continued: ''Dutch Ruppersberger and Mike Rogers are huge players, over $800k from defense contractors and NSA-affiliated tech companies since 2007, when the Protect America Act was implemented.''

The information Anons are highlighting has already been made public by NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Online outrage over NSA spying programs revealed by those leaks has centered mostly on relationships between the intelligence community, intelligence contractors and the Obama administration.

''Campaign contributions are public, yes, but hardly anyone ever looks into it themselves which is why we are working to make [OpNSA] as viral as possible for each politician that we did a video on who is up for reelection,'' one Anon told GlobalPost.

More from GlobalPost: Hacks continue as FBI claims to have dismantled Anonymous

In addition to redirecting public outrage and placing more blame on lawmakers for what they see as privacy violations, OpNSA also hopes to the American public thinking of Snowden as an important whistleblower, whose revelations are of great consequence.

''Surveillance is not the same thing as security, no matter how politicians or federal officials want to spin it,'' said another Anon involved with OpNSA. ''What the government is doing may not be as grotesque as George Orwell's Telescreens from "1984" but while it's not as obvious, it's not that far off.''

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-grid/anonymous-target-us-lawmakers-close-ties-intelligence-community

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Shut Up Slave!

Face recognition video test at Kennewick arena - Spokesman.com - Sept. 13, 2013

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Archived Version

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 15:18

KENNEWICK '-- Face recognition technology will be tested at a hockey game next week at an arena in Kennewick.Researchers with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are testing the technology for the Department of Homeland Security at the home opener Sept. 21 for the Tri-Cities Americans at Toyota Center.The Tri-City Herald reports 20 volunteers will be the only people the cameras are trying to identify. Fans attending the game will be told how they can avoid the cameras if they want to opt out.The test will use off-the shelf video cameras to evaluate prototype software.

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KENNEWICK '-- Face recognition technology will be tested at a hockey game next week at an arena in Kennewick.

Researchers with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are testing the technology for the Department of Homeland Security at the home opener Sept. 21 for the Tri-Cities Americans at Toyota Center.

The Tri-City Herald reports 20 volunteers will be the only people the cameras are trying to identify. Fans attending the game will be told how they can avoid the cameras if they want to opt out.

The test will use off-the shelf video cameras to evaluate prototype software.

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

E-ZPasses Get Read All Over New York (Not Just At Toll Booths) - Forbes

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Sun, 15 Sep 2013 02:34

Log in with your social account:Or, you can log in or sign up using Forbes.New PostsMost PopularAmerica's Next DecadeListsTop-Earning Tennis StarsVideoFiring Steve Jobs12 Stocks to Sell NOWHelp|Connect

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Texas restricts civilian drone usage, leaves exclusive rights to authorities

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Archived Version

Source: RT - USA

Sun, 15 Sep 2013 01:06

Published time: September 15, 2013 00:33AFP Photo / Michel Comte

Texas has recently become one of the states that has limited the use drones by citizens in civilian airspace tipping the scales in favor of law enforcement use of unmanned surveillance.

The law that was adopted in May came into force this September, making private use of drones without proper permission from the authorities punishable by a fine up to $500. The legislation, House Bill 912 also imposes civil penalties of up to $10,000 for those who improperly photograph or filmed someone else's private property with the intent to distribute and commit malice.

''A person commits an offense if the person uses or authorizes the use of an unmanned vehicle or aircraft to capture an image without the express consent of the person who owns or lawfully occupies the real property captured in the image,'' the legislature reads.

Starting September 1, it has become a Class C misdemeanour to use a drone for surveillance without prior consent of the individual. Distributing any images captured as a result of such activity will be a class B misdemeanour.

''The privacy and property rights of Texans, it is important that specific safeguards are put into place which govern the purpose and manner in which drones may be used,'' said Lance Gooden, the bill's author.

However, the use of drones by law enforcement fall under more than 40 exemptions of the Texas Privacy Act and can be used by police to pursue felons or conduct criminal investigations. Surveying accidents and natural disasters will also be permitted but using drones to investigate misdemeanours will require a warrant.

Private companies, such as news crews that have permission from authorities can use unmanned vehicles to monitor any major news activity.

Virginia became the first state to pass legislation restricting drone usage, but has issued a two-year moratorium to review the privacy implications. Five other states also passed drone restrictions. They include Idaho, Illinois, Florida, Montana and Tennessee. Another 31 US states are actively considering drone legislation.

The US Congress has asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to grant drones access to domestic airspace by 2015.

The FAA estimates that 10,000 commercial drones will take to the skies by 2020 after, with $94 billion spent over the course of 10 years.

''Once enabled, commercial UAS markets will develop. There are many potential ways for a company to generate revenue from UAS applications, whether from new markets or more efficient applications in established markets. Based upon the expected regulatory environment, FAA predicts roughly 10,000 active commercial UASs in five years,'' states the FAA Aerospace Forecast for Fiscal Years 2012-2032.

Supermarket spies: big retail has you in its sights

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Archived Version

Sun, 15 Sep 2013 03:14

'Customers who drink lots of milk and eat meat are very very good car insurance risks': Woolworths. Photo: AFR

Retailers are targeting individual customers for extra services or products by tracking their shopping habits, such as whether they drink alcohol or when they get petrol, raising serious privacy concerns.

Experts warn that the emergence of so-called "big data" is leading to people being individually identified even though the information was originally anonymous.

Retailers - including Woolworths, Coles and Target - track shoppers' habits through loyalty cards. Woolworths recently said in an industry publication that it had managed to "overlay" its insurance company's car crash data base and its Everyday Rewards statistics to reveal which consumers were best to target for insurance.

Do you know more? Email swhyte@fairfaxmedia.com.au

"Because, you see, customers who drink lots of milk and eat lots of red meat are very, very good car insurance risks versus those who eat lots of pasta and rice, fill up their petrol at night, and drink spirits. What that means is we're able to tailor an insurance offer that targets those really good insurance risk customers," Woolworths Ltd director of group retail services, Penny Winn, told AdNews.

Ms Winn sits on the board of Quantium, a data analytics company, in which Woolworths took a 50 per cent stake in May. Woolworths "shares" its anonymous data with Quantium, which sells it to its clients for direct marketing.

Last week, the managing director of Pulse Marketing, Lauren Fried, said on ABC's Gruen Planet: "Our clients are buying data from supermarkets; we are using that data to target our marketing campaigns. If we are buying Coles and Woolworths data, I can tell you they are doing a lot more with their data than we are."

Big data is the buzzword used to explain combining massive data sets, which tech bloggers claim will change our world.

Privacy lawyer Alec Christie, a partner at DLA Piper, said privacy laws were inadequate when dealing with "re-identification" from big data.

"Coles have over 700,000 of us that have signed up to Flybuys, that collects an incredible amount of information. Woollies is the same. Even if it's anonymous, the issue with big data is you can now pretty much identify people once large data sets are analysed together. You can combine the data in such a way that you can work out who the person is. You can often re-identify the data and you can track individuals," Mr Christie said.

Cameron Boog, director of a specialist intelligence firm, Infoready, said companies such as Myer were sending out targeted promotions to their loyal customers through "sectors". If a female customer only buys high-end fashion, the advertising sent via email, phone messaging or regular post will target her taste.

Last year, news broke of how data analytics by Target in the US enabled it to identify which customers were pregnant '' and even what trimester they were in. It famously sent coupons for baby products to a teenage girl whose father, unaware she was expecting, angrily confronted a Minneapolis store manager.

David Vaile, the vice-chairman of the Australian Privacy Foundation, a collective of academics and legal experts, said consent sought by companies with loyalty cards was a "sham". "Does the customer actually know what is going on? Probably not," Mr Vaile said.

"The whole point of big data for this purpose is not statistics, it's not aggregated, it's [for] tagging to an individual. The name [of the individual] is sort of irrelevant. If they can get other means of identifying you, knowing it is you, they want to get inside your head to know what you are susceptible to, who you would trust."

A spokesman for Choice said: "If you are worried about being personally identified, don't sign up to the supposed 'rewards' program[s]."

Woolworths and Coles maintain there is no way individual customers are identified through loyalty programs. "All data provided to Quantium is de-identified. De-identified data means it cannot be traced back to an individual," a Woolworths spokeswoman said. "In addition to these data security measures, Woolworths and Quantium agreements on data usage specifically prevent any attempt at re-identification."

A Coles spokeswoman said the company did not sell its data at all but "shared" it with suppliers.

"Any anonymous and aggregated data we share outside the Flybuys program is delivered in a way that cannot be matched to individuals."

The director of Quantium, Tony Davis, said: "We follow best practice with the highest regard for privacy. All data shared with us is de-identified. There is no way to re-identify customers from the data we receive.

Putin PR

Vladimir Putin's NYT Op Ed And Ketchum PR - Business Insider

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Archived Version

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 03:24

Getty Images

The New York Times op-ed that has much of the country '-- including Washington '-- abuzz on Thursday was placed there by Ketchum, a public-relations giant with a long history of dealings with the Russian government.

A spokeswoman for Ketchum confirmed a report from BuzzFeed's Rosie Gray that the firm submitted Russian President Vladimir Putin's piece to the Times, and that Putin himself wrote the op-ed.

"The opinion piece was written by President Putin and submitted to The New York Times on his behalf by Ketchum for their consideration," said Jackie Burton, Ketchum's senior vice president of external relations. A spokeswoman for the Times also confirmed Ketchum's involvement.

The op-ed, in which Putin calls out American "exceptionalism" referenced by President Barack Obama in his speech on Syria Tuesday '-- riled the White House. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said it made him "want to vomit."

Ketchum, which since 1996 has been a subsidiary of the global advertising and marketing Omnicom Group, has an extensive history of working with the Russian government to place items in American publications.

Using filings from the Justice Department, the non-profit ProPublica detailed last November how Ketchum helped place op-eds by "seemingly independent professionals" that praised Russia in outlets like CNBC and the Huffington Post, among others, without proper disclosure.

It is not unusual for a PR firm to work with a government. But Ketchum has been the subject of controversy not only in its work with Russia, but also with the U.S. government.

Ketchum was involved in high-profile controversies in 2004 and 2005. In both cases, the Government Accountability Office determined that Ketchum engaged in "covert propaganda" for the U.S. government.

In 2004, Ketchum produced prepackaged news stories featuring actors posing as journalists that touted Medicare changes under Bush's prescription drug benefit program, without disclosing government as the source. And in 2005, Ketchum again produced prepackaged news stories around the No Child Left Behind Act.

Pro Publica also detailed in 2010 how Ketchum was awarded a stimulus contract from the Obama administration to promote its push for electronic medical records.

According to ProPublica, Ketchum has a contract with Russia that, among other things, outlines a plan to promote Russia "as a place favorable for foreign investments."

From 2006 to 2012, Ketchum was paid almost $23 million in fees and expenses on its Russia account, as well as $17 million on an account for Gazprom, the Russian state-controlled energy giant. In the first six months of 2013, it was paid $1.9 million on its Russia account and $3.7 million on the Gazprom account.

Bogative PR

Edelman - Intellectual Property - Sponsored Content Report

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Archived Version

Sat, 14 Sep 2013 02:24

Below is Edelman's report on sponsored content in the U.S. news media from a PR point of view. You can also download the report here or view it on SlideShare. The research is culled from more than 30 briefings the firm conducted in the field with senior U.S. news media executives and ad-tech start-ups. The report, the first in a series, is divided into four sections: (1) an analysis of why the U.S. news media is now embracing sponsored content; (2) an account of the emerging formats; (3) an initial summary of the key trends and questions; (4) an ethical way forward, including a framework of ideals that will guide Edelman in the U.S.

Read more on Richard Edelman's blog or read the press coverage.

Syria

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The Perfect Possession of John Kerry

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Archived Version

Source: Lame Cherry

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 08:34

In another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.......

A few days ago, TL was reading a comment about Lame Cherry's shapeshifter in noting how strange looking John Kerry has become. Frankly, I refrain from looking at John Kerry as he is so repulsively slimy to me, even if the former Mrs. Heinz is rather fetching in her Afrikaaner appearance.

That is why I saw today a photo and wondered who in the hell this character was, and upon Drudge posting, I saw it really was the image of John Kerry in perfect form.

So I decided to do a little inquiry as this was absolutely not the slimey John Kerry of 2004 and looks like a creepy John Shapeshifter of 2013.

You have to bear with me as I have been having a time of it with all the company watching me as it makes dial up go worse than slow in Drudge times out and reloads when it half loads....is a trying and perplexing thing to try and get information as I am on the 4th Drudge load now to attempt a screen grab.

John Kerry in current form looks like Theresia, the wife, got a bit too exuberant in enjoying fellatio in clamping her robust Tanganyika thighs about the war criminals head in orgasm. Kerry's head is absolutely not the head from 2004 and it looks like he got it giving head.

The John Kerry from 2004 is not the same John Kerry in 2013, and this one looks more sinister creepy than the last slimy lizardonian Kerry preying on widows of assassinated Conservative billionaires.

Upon inquiry, this is John Kerry, but John Kerry in perfectly possessed form. Sometime in 2011, Kerry gave himself over for power to a demonic entity, a shapeshifter of yore which came from the 7 hills of Rome, specifically Vaticanus of Oracle Hill.This shapeshifter is the reason that Kerry looks "odd". The reason being the shapeshifter is identifying with a person it possessed previously.It is no secret that John Kerry is a western Asian by bloodlines, in being an Ashkenaz. His swarthy appearance being an indicator of his lineage.

What this possession is doing though is literally contorting John Kerry's face to the form this demonic entity once knew, and that was the Roman known as Caligula to history. One can see the resemblance of this depraved despot manifesting in the contortions of the Kerry facial structure, in what appears to be a most painful moulding.Gone is that smiling predatory dolt preying upon women and manifesting is the sinister sneer of a possessed Emperor who knew no limits on depravity.

Lowlights being fondling his grandmother's breasts, having sex with his sister, impregnating his sister and then cutting the baby out as Caligula could be the only "god" in Rome.

That should answer what the public is witnessing and a troubling stage it is for there is the Fang Jinn taking on the image of the deceased Barry Chin AKA Chicken Entree Birther Obama and now John Kerry perfectly possessed and looking like Caligula by his shapeshifter.

So now you have the full story in only the Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter once again, not only exposing what is taking place, but also exposing the frauds of Coast to Coast AM and all the other fringe media as if this was Bill Clinton and George Bush, I would have been front seat as a guest non stop on all these outlets on stories like this, and yet narry a word is spoken or hinted at from even the other "agents of provocation" as I tend to out them all for what they are in being regime stooges from FOX on down.

No one else in this is going to track things down as the old crew is all gone and silenced. No one else is going to give you the data nor the visual proof of John Kerry now looking exactly like Caligula, and the reason is perfect possession by a shapeshifter.

At least now you know why Kerry is condoning mass murder around the world, as the demon makes him do it......

Oh and I inquired first about which entity and who it was it was possessing originally in Caligula, before the proof of the bust was found. Yes the picture matches the 1000 words.

Would be nice if some richtard would donate or this infamous pool of lurkers in numbering 10 would donate 50,000 each, as Vladamir is making mistakes in this by influence and Putin has not only an Oval O shapeshifter but a perfectly possessed Sec. of State.

Poor Theresia.......no donations from her, and now she has a demon in her panties too.

nuff said

agtG 244, 230, 332Y

Russian FM Lavrov To Kerry: ''Don't Worry'' About What I Just Said'...

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: Weasel Zippers

Sat, 14 Sep 2013 21:06

Via TWS:

A revealing exchange between John Kerry, his Russian counterpart (Sergey Lavrov), and an interpreter:

FOREIGN MINISTER LAVROV: With your permission, just two words.

(Via interpreter) I'm not prepared with the (inaudible) political statement to (inaudible) the Syrian problem, because our approaches are clear and they are stated in the statements of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and in his article in The New York Times. And I'm convinced that all of you read this article and I decided not to lay out here our diplomatic position. The diplomacy likes silence. And we're intent to find compromises, and I am sure that John, in his presentation of the American position, also showed that they would like to find mutual consensus and be '' if we follow this way, I hope that we will achieve all the successes.

SECRETARY KERRY: I lost the last part of the '' can you give me the last part of the translation, please? Hello?

INTERPRETER: Yes, hello.

FOREIGN MINISTER LAVROV: It was okay, John. Don't worry. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY KERRY: You want me to take your word for it? (Laughter.) It's a little early for that.

FOREIGN MINISTER LAVROV: Okay. Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thanks.

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Assad's Conditions: ''US Must Stop Aiding Terrorists'', Israel Disposing Of WMDs; Accuses Saudi, Qatar And Turkey

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: WTF RLY REPORT

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 08:57

Zero Hedge

It was only a matter of time before Syria's Assad, emboldened by Obama's recent backtracking and confident he has all the leverage and momentum, started laying down his own conditions. And here they are, as per RIA and Interfax citing an interview with Assad to air in its entirety later today on Rossia 24 TV:

ASSAD CALLS FOR ISRAEL TO DISPOSE OF WMD(!)ASSAD: 'REBELS MAY USE CHEMICAL WEAPONS AGAINST ISRAEL AS PROVOCATION'ASSAD SAYS CHEMCIAL ARMS DEAL DEPENDS ON US STOPPING AID TO TERRORISTSASSAD SAYS WILL COMPLETE DEAL ONLY IF US STOPS ''POLICY OF THREATS''ASSAD ACCUSES TURKEY, SAUDI ARABIA, QATAR OF SUPPORTING TERRORISTS IN SYRIAASSAD EXPECTS TO START HANDING OVER INFO ON CHEMICAL WEAPONS ONE MONTH AFTER JOINING OPCWASSAD: 'ANY WAR AGAINST SYRIA WILL BECOME A WAR THAT WILL DESTROY THE WHOLE REGION'ASSAD: 'NO COUNTRY IN THE MIDDLE EAST, PRIMARILY ISRAEL, SHOULD HAVE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION'SYRIA TO SEND DOCUMENTS TO UN, CHEMICAL WEAPONS GROUP SOONASSAD SAYS IMPLEMENTATION OF DEAL MAY TAKE A MONTH OR MOREIf at all. And now, his bluff called, we go back to Barack Obama penning his Pravda Op-Ed.

Zero Hedge

Statement by the President on U.S.-Russian Agreement on Framework for Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: White House.gov Press Office Feed

Sat, 14 Sep 2013 21:01

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

September 14, 2013

I welcome the progress made between the United States and Russia through our talks in Geneva, which represents an important, concrete step toward the goal of moving Syria's chemical weapons under international control so that they may ultimately be destroyed. This framework provides the opportunity for the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons in a transparent, expeditious, and verifiable manner, which could end the threat these weapons pose not only to the Syrian people but to the region and the world. The international community expects the Assad regime to live up to its public commitments.

While we have made important progress, much more work remains to be done. The United States will continue working with Russia, the United Kingdom, France, the United Nations and others to ensure that this process is verifiable, and that there are consequences should the Assad regime not comply with the framework agreed today. And, if diplomacy fails, the United States remains prepared to act.

Following the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons to kill more than 1,000 men, women, and children on August 21, I decided that the United States must take action to deter the Syrian regime from using chemical weapons, degrade their ability to use them, and make clear to the world that we will not tolerate their use. In part because of the credible threat of U.S. military force, we now have the opportunity to achieve our objectives through diplomacy. I spoke to Secretary Kerry earlier today and thanked him for his tireless and effective efforts on behalf of our nation. I also spoke to Ambassador Samantha Power who will ably lead our follow-on negotiations at the UN Security Council in New York.

The use of chemical weapons anywhere in the world is an affront to human dignity and a threat to the security of people everywhere. We have a duty to preserve a world free from the fear of chemical weapons for our children. Today marks an important step towards achieving this goal.

Geneva Deal Leaves Many Questions Unanswered '' Russian MP | Politics | RIA Novosti

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Archived Version

Sun, 15 Sep 2013 02:31

MOSCOW, September 15 (RIA Novosti) '' The Russian-US deal on Syria, reached on Saturday in Geneva is a ''major achievement,'' but leaves many questions unanswered, a senior Russian lawmaker said.

After weeks of intense diplomacy and almost three days of talks in Geneva between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his US counterpart John Kerry, the United States and Russia reached a landmark deal Saturday that will see all chemical weapons in war-torn Syria brought under international control and destroyed by mid-2014.

''It's a major achievement, because it gives a chance to thwart US plans of a military strike on Syria,'' said Alexei Pushkov, who heads the international affairs committee of the Russian parliament's lower house.

However, the lawmaker said, the deal stipulates ''only general principles and the general timeline of bringing Syrian [chemical] weapons under international control and their subsequent destruction.''

Pushkov said the deal was only ''a step towards'' a political solution to the conflict, and its implementation might stall if Moscow and Washington disagree on several key issues.

He said there is a chance that the sides disagree in their interpretations of the document's provisions, ''just the way it happened on numerous occasions in the past.''

According to Pushkov, another important issue is ''will the US treat this Syria chemical disarmament deal with Russia as a basis for further cooperation, or will Moscow and Washington once again disagree in their views of the issue, and Washington will pursue its previous goal '' to topple the [Bashar] Assad's government by all means.''

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'RUSSIA SHOT DOWN TWO US MISSILES FIRED FROM SPAIN'

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: aangirfan

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 08:38

Al Manar TV of Lebanon claims Russia shot down two US missiles.

On 2 September 2013, the USA fired two missiles 'in the direction of Damascus'.The missiles were reportedly fired from Spain.Reportedly, Russia shot down the missiles, went on war alert and sent a stiff warning to US intelligence.The UK House of Commons fairly swiftly voted against war.Dublinmick writes:

Truth of US-Russia ConfrontationThe Head of the Russian Intelligence Service contacted US intelligence and informed it that: "Hitting Damascus means hitting Moscow...

"We have removed the term 'downed the two missiles' from our statement to preserve the bilateral relations and to avoid escalation.

"Therefore, you must immediately reconsider your policies, approaches and intentions on the Syrian crisis, as you must be certain that you cannot eliminate our presence in the Mediterranean."...

"One of the first results of the US-Russian military confrontation was the British House of Commons' rejection of participation in a war on Syria."

FULL STORY from Al Manar TV of Lebanon:

Truth of US-Russia ConfrontationA well informed diplomatic source told As-Safir newspaper that "the US war on Syria had started and ended the moment those two ballistic missiles were fired."There was conflicting information, as Israel denied the missile attack and Russia confirmed the missile attack."An Israeli statement was issued indicating the missiles were fired in the context of an Israeli-US joint drill and fell in the sea, and that they were not related to the Syrian crisis."The well informed diplomatic source further told the Lebanese daily that "the US forces fired these two rockets from a NATO base in Spain, and were instantly detected by the Russian radars and confronted by the Russian defense systems, so one of them exploded in the airspace and the second one diverted towards the sea."In this context, the source pointed out that "the statement issued by the Russian Defense Ministry, which stated the detection of two ballistic missiles fired towards the Middle East, deliberately neglected two points: the first was the location from which the two rockets were fired, and the second was their downing.

"Because the moment the full military operation was launched, the Head of the Russian Intelligence Service contacted US intelligence and informed it that 'hitting Damascus means hitting Moscow, and we have removed the term 'downed the two missiles' from the statement to preserve the bilateral relations and to avoid escalation. Therefore, you must immediately reconsider your policies, approaches and intentions on the Syrian crisis, as you must be certain that you cannot eliminate our presence in the Mediterranean.'""This unannounced direct confrontation between Moscow and Washington increased the Obama Administration's ... certainty that the Russian side was determined to support Syria, and that the US did not have a way out of its impasse except through a Russian initiative which would save America's face'..." he added.

The diplomatic source clarified that "Israel denied knowing anything about the rocket firing in its first statement, which is the truth.

"Washington demanded that Tel Aviv take responsibility for the rocket firing to save the USA's face in front of the International Community..."

Finally, the source pointed out that "One of the first results of the US-Russian military confrontation was the British House of Commons' rejection of participation in a war on Syria. This was followed by European statements, most significantly, the German opposition to participation in a war - announced by Chancellor Angela Merkel."

Anonymous writes from down under:

BTW Aang (and off-topic sorry) - Is Miley Cyrus and 'twerking' getting as much coverage in the UK as it is in Oz? It's everywhere here, a cultural reference touchstone: front page in the newspapers; the six o'clock news; entirely unmissable to kids.

What with not watching TV I initially missed it but a photo on the front page of the SMH site made my jaw drop and I hunted up the clip on youtube.

Having been a director (of TVC's but whatever) it occurred to me that had the brief been "Miley, we need you to be the precise embodiment of the whore of Babylon," it couldn't have been more perfectly fulfilled. Tongue out of her head, a utterly demented look on her face, her hair twisted into two horns, and all while copping it up the arse - perfect.

I also realised why everyone was using the otherwise idiotic word 'twerking' so much. It's because it saves the hacks having to write 'behaving like a barking mad slut from hell'.

Where is the end point in all this? I initially thought it would arrive when Miley dispenses with the flesh toned bikini, and the simulation, and treats us all to actual public copulation. But then I realised that that too would only be an intermediate step. The full and final endpoint would have to consist of all of the above albeit done on an altar with Miley's throat being cut at the point of climax.

When we see this on the TV we will know we have arrived.

Anonymous provides this link:

A Bomb Caused Tsunami, Nuclear Bomb Can Create A Tsunami ...

Anonymous writes:

Internationally "Wanted Criminal" and "Child Abuser" "Child Molester" "John Wetterer" of "Mi Casa".

- John Wetterer's brother (still wanted by US authorities - took kids from Vietnam to "Guatemala" children's shelter orphanage abuser's retreat "Mi Casa" like Paul Shaffer Chile torturer for "Augusto Pinochet" and child abuser and "religious" leader Paul Shaffer" did take children from Germany to Chile and after WWII - ("Operation Condor") - Jon Wetterer's brother a Catholic priest (Mnsr. Edward Wetterer) ,now "bishop" Monsignor in Queens, NY Flushing, New York - http://www.thecatholicdirectory.com/directory.cfm?fuseaction=display_site_info&siteid=53035 Edward Wetterer ran a CYO group - Catholic Youth Organization children's group in the mid 1970's at Our Lady of the Angelus Church in Rego Park, NY Flushing Diocese in Queens - NYC.

Russia to expand Mediterranean fleet to 10 warships '' Navy chief

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: End the Lie - Independent News

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 09:03

Pacific Fleet's large anti-submarine ship ''Admiral Panteleyev'' (RIA Novosti/Ildus Gilyazutdinov)

The Russian Navy intends to build its presence in the Mediterranean Sea '' particularly in the area close to Syrian shores '' to up to 10 battleships, announced Admiral of the Fleet Viktor Chirkov.

''The task is crystal clear: to avoid a slightest threat to the security of the state. This is a general practice of all fleets around the world, to be there when a tension level increases. They are all going to act on operational command plan of the offshore maritime zone,'' Chirkov told journalists on Friday. ''Russia will be building up its Mediterranean fleet until it is deemed sufficient to perform the task set.''

Russia began military build-up in the Mediterranean in 2012, and starting from December last year the Navy established a constant presence in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea.

On May 1, 2013 all Russian battleships operating in the area were assigned to a single task force under special offshore maritime zone operation command.

Currently there are seven warships deployed in the area: landing craft carriers Aleksandr Shabalin', 'Admiral Nevelskoy', 'Peresvet', 'Novocherkassk' and 'Minsk' from Russia's Black and Baltic Sea Fleets, as well as the escort vessel 'Neustrashimy', and large anti-submarine ship 'Admiral Panteleyev'.

According to previous reports, the missile-carrying cruiser 'Moskva' passed the Straits of Gibraltar on September 10 and is expected to arrive at its final destination in eastern Mediterranean on September 15 or 16.

Upon the arrival of the 'Moskva', its commander, Sergey Tronev, will assume operative command of the task force.

Commander Admiral Viktor Chirkov also informed that more than 80 Russian battleships and support vessels are currently offshore in various parts of the global ocean.

''In time of peace Navy's duty and main application is military service, constant naval presence in the zones of military-political tension where interests of the Russian Federation are concentrated,'' Chirkov said.

Source: RT

Help Spread Alternative News

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Huge Natural Gas Fields In The Eastern Mediterranean are Set To Transform Cyprus Into European Energy Hub

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: Global Geopolitics

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 08:47

News sources are now picking up on what was mentioned here long ago. This will be used a main provider of energy to Europe, which will be more stable than supplies from Russia, who has turned off the switch in political ploys. Due to this fact, don't count Greece or Cyprus out of the EU membership list as they will both have an important role in the Europe's future.

Cyprus plans to become a regional hub in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea for the export of liquefied natural gas as the small island and its neighbors sit on huge offshore reserves, Cypriot officials say.

The nation's aspirations are driven by recent discoveries in the Levant Basin, a stretch of sea that extends from the coasts of Israel, Lebanon and Syria and is estimated to contain 122 trillion cubic feet of gas. 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas is enough to meet the needs of 5 million households for 15 years, according to the American Gas Association.

Texas-based Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE:NBL) is the most active driller in the area and has already found large fields off Israel and Cyprus. Its Israeli discovery was the largest natural gas find in the last 10 years.

'...

Plans for the project will require it to have the ''flexibility to ship [natural gas] to the most lucrative markets, Asia or Europe,'' a Cypriot government official said.

'...

The EU's southernmost member, Cyprus is seen as an important location to help diversify Europe's energy mix and lessen reliance on producers like Russia and Mideast suppliers. Furthermore, discussions about likely construction of plants to convert the LNG back into gas in countries like Croatia, Bulgaria and Greece have some suggesting those nations are potential customers for Cyprus and Israel.

Like all ambitious plans, the LNG project is not without its challenges. Tensions between Cyprus and Turkey over the northern Turkish half of the island and its Greek southern half has sparked sporadic territorial disputes that could complicate things.

Not wanting to miss an important regional opportunity, Turkey has been trying to assert itself in the Levant Basin following the discoveries off Israel and Cyprus's Greek, southern half.

''Israel cannot do whatever it wants in the Eastern Mediterranean. They will see what our decisions will be on this subject. Our navy attack ships can be there at any moment,'' Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan, the often Israel-denouncing prime minister of Turkey, warned back in 2011.

In the wake of these tensions, Greek-backed Cyprus and Israel have formed an alliance based on mutual interest on the shared energy resource.

In Washington, Lakkotrypis met with the Congressional Hellenic-Israel Alliance discussing the importance of the countries' relationship. ''The energy triangle formed by Israel, Cyprus and Greece represents the first Western, democratically controlled source of energy in the Middle East,'' Endy Zemenides, the executive director of the Hellenic American Leadership Council, told International Business Times.

Zemenides echoed a theme that was discussed in the minister's Washington meetings that given the ongoing civil strife in Syria, Egypt and Libya, the partnership between Cyprus, Greece and Israel is seen as ''an arc of democracies that will serve as a bulwark against such instability.''

------------------------------------------------

The Best Part Of Waking Up...

First lady wants people to drink more plain water | 9news.com

Link to Article

Archived Version

Thu, 12 Sep 2013 17:04

WASHINGTON (AP) - Michelle Obama has pushed Americans to eat healthier and to exercise more. Now she says we should "drink up" too. As in plain water. And as in more of it.

The first lady, an exercise fanatic who loves French fries and whose biceps are envied by women everywhere, is getting behind a campaign being launched Thursday to encourage people to drink more plain old-fashioned water. Whether it comes from a faucet, an underground spring, a rambling river or a plastic bottle, the message is: "Drink up."

She was joining the Partnership for a Healthier America as the nonpartisan, nonprofit group launches the nationwide effort from Watertown, Wis., with backing from a variety of likely and unlikely sources, including the beverage industry, media, government and entertainers such as actress Eva Longoria. Mrs. Obama is the organization's honorary chairwoman.

Mrs. Obama said she has realized since beginning her anti-childhood obesity initiative in 2010 that drinking more water is the best thing people can do for their health.

"It's really that simple," she said in a White House statement. "Drink just one more glass of water a day and you can make a real difference for your health, your energy and the way you feel. So `drink up' and see for yourself."

Every bodily system depends on water, which makes up about 60 percent of a person's body weight, according to the Mayo Clinic. Water is also a calorie-free option for people concerned about weight control, and is largely inexpensive and available practically everywhere.

Yet despite recent trends showing a rise in water consumption and declines in the amount of soda people drink, Larry Soler, the partnership's president and chief executive, says the "drink up" water campaign is still needed. Health advocates have blamed the corn syrups and other sugars in soda for obesity.

"That's exactly the type of impact we're glad to be seeing, and we want to accelerate that because we still have an enormous problem in this country with rates of obesity," Soler said.

Sam Kass, executive director of "Let's Move," the first lady's anti-childhood obesity initiative, cited federal statistics showing that about 40 percent of people drink less than half the typically recommended eight cups of water a day and that about one-fourth of kids below age 19 don't drink any plain water at all on any given day.

Soler emphasized that the campaign is not about pushing a particular type of water, or stressing water over other beverages, although Mrs. Obama in the past has counseled people to switch from sugary soda to water and has talked about seeing improvement in her two daughters' health after making that change in their diets.

The first lady also has been criticized by people who accuse her of being the nation's food police.

"Every participating company has agreed to only encourage people to drink water, not focus on what people shouldn't drink, not even talk about why they may feel their type of water is better than another," Soler said. "It's just `drink more water.'"

The first lady has recorded individual messages that are to air from morning to night Thursday on various TV talk shows, including "Today," "Good Morning America," "Nuevo Dia," "Despierta America," "The View," "Live With Kelly and Michael," "Katie" and the late-night programs with comedians Jay Leno, David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon. The hosts also will drink water on air and encourage viewers to do the same.

The campaign's logo, a blue water drop with the words "drink up" in white, eventually will be plastered on millions of packages of bottled water, individual bottles of water themselves and reusable bottles, Soler said, as well as on more than 10,000 outdoor public drinking fountains.

The American Beverage Association, which represents the makers of soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, juices and juice drinks, and bottled water and water beverages, supports the campaign, as does the International Bottled Water Association, among others, Soler said.

Individual bottled water brands behind the push include Aquafina, Dasani, Deer Park, Evian, Nestle Pure Life, Poland Spring and Zephyrhills, Soler said. The Brita water filter company also is on board.

Watertown, which is located on the banks of the Rock River in southeastern Wisconsin about midway between Milwaukee and Madison, is home to two companies with ties to the soft drink industry. Wis-Pak Inc., which manufactures and distributes Pepsi-Cola products, has its corporate office there with about 200 workers and is among the city's top 10 employers, according to the local Chamber of Commerce. The smaller 7-Up Bottling Co. is a family-owned beverage distributor.

Neither company returned telephone messages left Wednesday seeking comment on the campaign.

During the event at Watertown High School, Mrs. Obama will lead a "drink up" toast and participate in a variety of festival-like water games.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Remarks by the First Lady at the "Drink Up" Campaign Launch

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: White House.gov Press Office Feed

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 08:34

The White House

Office of the First Lady

For Immediate Release

September 12, 2013

Watertown High SchoolWatertown, Wisconsin

2:43 P.M. CDT

MRS. OBAMA: Thank you, everyone. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Oh, what a warm welcome. Thank you. And thank you, guys. Rest yourselves. (Laughter.) We've got a lot of water partying to do here today.

Let me start by of course thanking Mitch for that very kind

Introduction, as well as the entire staff, the principal, the assistant principals, the team here at Watertown High School for letting us interrupt your school day for a visit that you all have been so warm and welcoming. It's just been amazing. Thank you so much.

I also want to thank the mayor of Watertown, Mayor David, who is a very sweet man. And my staff got a big kick out of realizing that he thought this was all a joke. (Laughter.) But it is just a treat for us to be here. We couldn't have picked a better place to make such a huge announcement like this one, because not only is the name of this town on message, but I heard that just a couple years ago, you all won the award for the best tasting water in the state of Wisconsin, which is -- way to go.

So when it comes to water, you all know a little bit about what you're doing, and I just want to again thank you for hosting us here today. It feels really good to be here.

I also want to thank Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, who I got a chance to say hello to, and for joining us today. And of course, I want to recognize Larry from the Partnership for a Healthier America and all of the leaders sitting up here who have been working tirelessly to help PHA bring this groundbreaking water campaign to life.

That group includes Susan Whiting and Karen Watson from Nielsen. (Applause.) Yay! Yay! It's the Nielsen crew. They're a rowdy bunch, but they're good. They're good. (Laughter.) Scott Miller from Core Strategy Group, and everyone from Y&R and Buck Media who put together this sensational creative material. You guys are amazing.

And I also want to recognize Sergio Fernandez de Cordova of the PVBLIC Foundation; Sheldon Gilbert from Proclivity Media; and of course, my dear friend, the beautiful, talented, smart, Eva Longoria. Yeah, hi. (Applause.)

Now, I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who might be asking -- water? Really, water? What's the big deal? It's not new. It doesn't come in different colors or shapes. In fact, it doesn't even have a color or a shape. And to be honest with you, not long ago, I might have been thinking the same thing.

But since we started the Let's Move! initiative, I've been looking for as many ways as possible to help families and kids lead healthier lives. And I've come to realize that if we were going to take just one step to make ourselves and our families healthier, probably the single best thing we could do is to simply drink more water. It's as simple as that. Drink more water.

Drink just one more glass of water a day and you can make a real difference for your health, for your energy, and the way that you feel. And there's plenty of scientific evidence to back this up. For example, when we're properly hydrated, our bodies perform better than when we're even just a little bit dehydrated. Water gives us the focus we need in school and in our work. It gives athletes the fluids they need to excel on the playing field. And it can even help reduce headaches and fatigue, all while cleansing and refreshing our bodies. It's good stuff.

The truth is we all have a choice about what we drink. And when we choose water, we're choosing to be at our very best. And we don't even need science to tell us that that's a good idea. Most of us already know this from our own experience.

In fact, back when my girls were younger, and I decided that I wanted to improve the way my family was eating, one of the very first things I did was to make sure we were getting more water into diets. That was the very first thing I did. And soon enough, I saw how that one little change made all the difference in our lives -- to our girls, to me and Barack. We felt healthier, we felt more alert, and the more water we drank, the better we felt.

So we saw firsthand that water is truly the original energy drink. Plus, water is almost universally available. You can find it anywhere, and it's free. You can find it in schools, in parks, shopping malls, even in your own kitchen sink.

All over this country, you can turn on the faucet and get clean, safe, healthy water that tastes great. But here's the thing -- and something we hadn't thought about -- because water is so basic, because it is so plentiful, sometimes we just forget about it. Amidst all the ads that we watch on television and all the messages that we receive every day about what to eat and drink. The truth is water just gets drowned out. It's supposed to be funny. (Laughter.)

So we figured that we needed to get water back in the game. We needed to make sure that water is boosted by the same kind of passion and creativity, and innovative messaging that so many other products enjoy.

And that's why I am thrilled to be here today for the launch of the Drink Up campaign. As you have heard, it's a nationwide effort to inspire Americans to drink more water. We simply want everyone to know that we are what we drink, and when we drink water, we certainly drink up.

So I want to thank this incredible coalition of leaders who are on this stage with me. They are businesses and researchers, they're non-profit organizations, and so others who have come together to spread the message and do the right thing for kids and families across this country.

And we've got everybody up here. We've got representatives from tap water. We've got water filter companies. We've got the bottled water companies with us. It was like a who's who of water as I was meeting them today. It felt like I knew them personally -- Dasani and Aquafina. Everybody was there. It's like, I know you, I know you! I've drank you. (Laughter.) It's very empowering.

But we also have cutting-edge creative agencies with us, and some of the brightest minds in advertising and research.

We've got big-time media and internet companies working with us. We have talent people from all over, singers, and talk show hosts and movie stars and athletes who are joining this partnership. And we've got leaders from places like Chicago and Houston and Los Angeles County. And, as you heard from the Mayor, right here in Watertown they are signed up to lead the way in their communities.

So I want to thank everyone here today and all across this country. And I want you all to know how proud I am of this effort -- because we are poised, just with this campaign, to make a huge impact on the health of kids and families across this country.

So I want to once again have us all give another round of applause to all of our partners and to everyone on stage. Thank you all so much. (Applause.) And congratulations.

And to give you a sense of what all this work is amounting to, all together, the PSAs and posters and web ads that these folks have created will be seen an estimated one billion times on billboards and websites and city buses. The Drink Up logo right here will go on half a billion water bottles, including hundreds of thousands of packages of reusable water bottles.

And these organizations will be reaching out to a social media network of nearly 140 million followers and fans. So this isn't a drop in the bucket. (Laughter.) We're aiming to make a huge splash. (Laughter.) That was good. (Laughter.) See, a little laughter prompting helps.

And today is just the beginning of this effort. We are going to keep building this coalition. We are going to keep building this coalition. We're going to keep reaching out to new people and to new organizations and making the case for healthy choices like water, but also fruits and vegetables, which is -- you know me best for my fruits and vegetables, but you're going to know me for water as well.

For example, next week we're going to be hosting a discussion at the White House about how we can leverage the power of marketing to promote even more healthy options for kids. So we're going to keep on doing whatever we can to build momentum. But we need all of you to help us as well.

So I'm going to ask you to do two things. First, I want you to help us spread the word about this campaign. Businesses can put Drink Up logos on their menus and on their storefronts. Mayors, you guys can make your town a water town by putting up posters on bus stops and in public places. And everyone, as you've heard, can join this effort by visiting YouAreWhatYouDrink.org, or by using the hashtag #DrinkH20 dot -- no dots on that -- just #DrinkH20 on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. So that's an easy ask, right? So that's number one.

And my other ask is even simpler, and that is to just drink up. That's it. It doesn't matter where you get it from -- the tap, a water bottle, a water fountain -'' just drink one more glass of water a day. And if we all do this -'' if we all drink up -- we'll all feel better and we'll have more energy; we will have more focused students; we will have more productive workplaces; we will have more vibrant neighborhoods and a healthier country. In the end, that's what it's all about.

So to anyone still wondering what the deal is about water, I have two words for you, and that is: Drink up! And see for yourself.

Thank you all, and God bless. (Applause.) We're going to have some fun with some kids. We've got a water festival going on out there. Congratulations to this wonderful team. And, everybody, drink up. (Applause.) Thanks so much.

END2:54 P.M. CDT

PepsiCo to enter premium water market with 'Om' - CBS News

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Archived Version

Sun, 15 Sep 2013 01:20

NEW YORK PepsiCo plans to jump into the premium bottled water market with a drink called Om, following the popularity of Coca-Cola's Smartwater.

The soda and snack-food company, which also makes Aquafina bottled water, plans to launch the line next year, according to the trade publication Beverage Digest. PepsiCo Inc.(PEP) has so far been on the sidelines when it comes to the premium water segment, which includes brands such as Evian and Fiji.

A representative for PepsiCo, based in Purchase, N.Y., declined to comment or provide any details.

Coca-Cola Co. (KO) and PepsiCo have diversified their drink portfolios as Americans cut back on soda. Bottled water in particular has grown in popularity over the years, but the problem for companies is that the bulk cases of bottled water sold in supermarkets typically aren't as profitable as other branded drinks.

Premium bottled waters are different, however, because people are willing to pay more for them. Whether there's any difference in the quality of various bottled waters is up for debate. For example, Coca-Cola's Smartwater and its cheaper Dasani water are both made from municipal sources, or tap water. But the Atlanta-based company says Smartwater, which comes in distinct cylindrical bottles, is purified differently.

Sales volume for Smartwater is up 16 percent for the first half of the year, according to Beverage Digest.

Notably, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo aren't the biggest players in the bottled water category. That distinction goes to Nestle, which owns brands including Deer Park and Poland Spring, and has nearly a third of the market.

Cautious Michelle Obama's new cause: ''Drink Up'' water campaign. In Watertown, Wisc. todayVoices | Voices

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Sun, 15 Sep 2013 01:21

WASHINGTON'--First Lady Michelle Obama travels to Watertown, Wisc. on Thursday to add drinking more water to her healthy living agenda.

''Drink Up'' is the slogan of the splashy campaign Mrs. Obama launches in the aptly named city, where she will be joined by actress Eva Longoria, who was an Obama presidential campaign co-chair.

Mrs. Obama also taped messages about drinking more water for 12 television talk shows, part of a Thursday media blitz.

Watertown, about 140 miles north of Chicago, is between Milwaukee and Madison and the town was picked because of the name, said Sam Kass, the Chicago chef who now is the executive director of ''Let's Move.''

Water is our ''original energy drink,'' Kass told reporters at a Wednesday briefing.

'''...Drinking more water,'' he said, ''is the best and easiest choice we can make everyday.''

Kass was asked about Mrs. Obama's own water drinking habits and revealed she drinks ''from morning 'til night.''

The water campaign is organized through the Partnership for a Healthier America, the non-profit Mrs. Obama helped create to house many of the activities associated with ''Let's Move,'' her signature healthy eating and anti-childhood obesity cause.

Chicago will be among the cities using the Partnership's advertising and marketing materials to encourage more people to ''Drink Up.''

Mrs. Obama remains very cautious in any public cause she embraces and in the matter of water, she will promote the no-calorie drink in all of its free or paid forms'--from the tap, a water fountain, bottled, or filtered.

Kass and Larry Soler, the CEO of the partnership stressed through the briefing that the water campaign will be upbeat. ''We are going to keep it positive from start to finish,'' Kass said.

There is a potential controversy brewing'--one noted in Wisconsin papers this week. Though there are at least 10 places in the U.S. named ''Watertown,'' Mrs. Obama's team picked the one with two soft drink companies, Wis-Pak, which makes Pepsi-Cola drinks and the 7-Up Bottling Co.

Non-profit organizations and the water industry are heavily involved in backing Mrs. Obama's water promotion: The American Beverage Association and International Bottled Water Association and BRITA, Aquafina, BEVERLY HILLS 9OH2O, DASANI, EVIAN Natural Spring Water, Hint, Voss, WAT-AAH!, and Nestl(C) Waters brands (North America's Arrowhead, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, Nestl(C) Pure Life, Ozarka, Poland Spring, resource and Zephyrhills) will be, according to the White House, ''promoting the Drink Up message on products, through public events, via digital, print, social and out of home media efforts and other publicity.''

Young & Rubicam, Buck, Antfood, Nielsen, Proclivity Media, VML, and Core Strategies handled research, marketing, messaging and advertising for the water drive.

Cyber$cams

'Cyber plot' to steal from Santander

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Source: BBC News - Europe

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 08:43

13 September 2013Last updated at03:45 ETTwelve men have been arrested over an alleged "audacious" plot to remotely take control of a bank's computer.

Police found a device fitted to a computer in a branch of Santander which would have enabled the suspects to download data from the desktop machine.

Police arrested 12 men, aged between 23 and 50, in London on suspicion of conspiracy to steal.

The "very significant" plot targeted the bank branch in Surrey Quays in south-east London, police said.

Several addresses in Hounslow, Brent, Hillingdon, Westminster, Richmond and Slough were searched and property was seized.

'Remote takeover'The arrested men, who were detained on Thursday, remain in police custody.

The Metropolitan Police said its "time-critical, dynamic response" had thwarted a "very significant and audacious cyber-enabled offence".

The force said the operation had helped avoid "multimillion-pound losses from Santander at Surrey Quays shopping centre".

"The offence involved deploying a KVM (keyboard video mouse) device, fitted to a computer within the bank branch, allowing the transmission of the complete desktop contents of the bank computer over the network," a Met Police spokesperson said.

This allowed the remote takeover of the bank's computers, he added.

AQ-INC

Al Qaeda calls for attacks inside United States

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Source: The Daily Star >> Live News

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 08:46

DUBAI: Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri urged small-scale attacks inside the United States to "bleed America economically", adding he hoped eventually to see a more significant strike, according to the SITE monitoring service.

In an audio speech released online a day after the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 strikes, Zawahri said attacks "by one brother or a few of the brothers" would weaken the U.S. economy by triggering big spending on security, SITE reported.

Western counter-terrorism chiefs have warned that radicalised "lone wolves" who might have had no direct contact with al Qaeda posed as great a risk as those who carried out complex plots like the 9/11 attacks.

"We should bleed America economically by provoking it to continue in its massive expenditure on its security, for the weak point of America is its economy, which has already begun to stagger due to the military and security expenditure," he said.

Keeping America in such a state of tension and anticipation only required a few disparate attacks "here and there", he said

"As we defeated it in the gang warfare in Somalia, Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan, so we should follow it with ...war on its own land. These disparate strikes can be done by one brother or a few of the brothers."

At the same time, Muslims should seize any opportunity to land "a large strike" on the United States, even if this took years of patience.

The Sept 11, 2011 attacks, in which hijacked airliners were flown into New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon in Washington and a Pennsylvania field, triggered a global fight against al Qaeda extremists and their affiliates. Almost 3,000 people were killed in the attacks.

In his audio speech, Zawahri said Muslims should refuse to buy goods from America and its allies, as such spending only helped to fund U.S. military action in Muslim lands.

Al Qaeda calls for attacks inside United States

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Archived Version

Source: Reuters: World News

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 09:04

EDITOR'S NOTE:

Credit: Reuters IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY CONTENT THE VIDEO FROM WHICH THIS STILL IMAGE WAS TAKEN. Al Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri speaks from an unknown location, in this still image taken from video uploaded on a social media website June 8, 2011. REUTERS/Social Media Website via Reuters TV

DUBAI | Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:24am EDT

DUBAI (Reuters) - Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri urged small-scale attacks inside the United States to "bleed America economically", adding he hoped eventually to see a more significant strike, according to the SITE monitoring service.

In an audio speech released online a day after the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 strikes, Zawahri said attacks "by one brother or a few of the brothers" would weaken the U.S. economy by triggering big spending on security, SITE reported.

Western counter-terrorism chiefs have warned that radicalized "lone wolves" who might have had no direct contact with al Qaeda posed as great a risk as those who carried out complex plots like the 9/11 attacks.

"We should bleed America economically by provoking it to continue in its massive expenditure on its security, for the weak point of America is its economy, which has already begun to stagger due to the military and security expenditure," he said.

Keeping America in such a state of tension and anticipation only required a few disparate attacks "here and there", he said

"As we defeated it in the gang warfare in Somalia, Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan, so we should follow it with ...war on its own land. These disparate strikes can be done by one brother or a few of the brothers."

At the same time, Muslims should seize any opportunity to land "a large strike" on the United States, even if this took years of patience.

The Sept 11, 2011 attacks, in which hijacked airliners were flown into New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon in Washington and a Pennsylvania field, triggered a global fight against al Qaeda extremists and their affiliates. Almost 3,000 people were killed in the attacks.

In his audio speech, Zawahri said Muslims should refuse to buy goods from America and its allies, as such spending only helped to fund U.S. military action in Muslim lands. He added that Muslims should abandon the U.S. dollar and replace it with the currency of nations that did not attack Muslims.

Zawahri spoke approvingly of one of the worst attacks on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001, the bombing of the Boston Marathon in April, which U.S. authorities say was carried out by two ethnic Chechen Muslim brothers. The attack killed three people and injured 264.

Zawahri sought to paint the bombing as part of al Qaeda's violent transnational campaign of jihad or holy war against U.S. interests, even if it was relatively small-scale.

"The Boston incident confirms to the Americans ... that they are not facing individuals, organizations or groups, but they are facing an uprising Ummah (Muslim community), that rose in jihad to defend its soul, dignity and capabilities."

"What the American regime refuses to admit is that al Qaeda is a message before it was an organization," he said.

Zawahri, suspected by many security specialists to be living in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area, added that the al Qaeda message simply was that if Muslims wanted to live in dignity and "be liberated", then they had to defend their dignity.

(Reporting by William Maclean; editing by Mike Collett-White)

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GAS

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TTIP-U.S.-European Trade Talks Inch Ahead Amid Flurry of Corporate Wish Lists - NYTimes.com

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Sun, 15 Sep 2013 04:32

LONDON '-- Yum Brands, the owner of KFC, wants cheaper chicken wings, rumps and other assorted poultry parts.

Ocean Spray wants an easing of pesticide regulations.

DuPont wants greater protection of trade secrets.

Negotiations have barely begun for a potentially sweeping trade pact between the United States and Europe. But the lobbying is already well under way by corporations on both sides of the Atlantic. And the sometimes parochial nature of their demands is sure to further complicate the trade talks, which no one expects to proceed quickly or smoothly, given the geopolitics involved.

Companies from an array of industries have made their wish lists known, according to a review of their public filings, as well as documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act in the United States. The comments from European companies include one from the Italian carmaker Ferrari urging the American government to drop customs duties on cars and parts, while DHL, the German shipping company, wants airlines to be able to bid on public-sector shipping contracts, regardless of their nationality.

The records provide windows onto how companies hope to shape the talks, and how barriers on both sides of the Atlantic have hindered business '-- or protected the public, depending on the perspective. But the filings also show how high the hurdles might be to reaching a deal by the negotiators' self-imposed deadline at the end of next year, at least one of any substance. The next negotiating session is set for early October in Brussels.

''Generally everybody is very excited by the promise of these talks,'' said Robert Mack, a Brussels-based executive who is the head of the public affairs practice at Burson-Marsteller, the public relations and lobbying giant. ''In a context of economic recession or slow growth, these talks represent a good way to create some drivers of growth.''

Then again, he added, ''when you get down into the issues, everything gets a little more complicated.''

The deal, if an agreement is reached, would apply to nearly a billion people who live in the combined markets and make it easier for products to be traded between Europe and the United States, as they would presumably have to pass only one regulatory test instead of two. The negotiations could also become de facto global standards, given the size of the combined trans-Atlantic market. The United States and the European Union are already the world's two largest trading partners, with $2.6 billion in goods and services exchanged daily, according to a European estimate.

''It will be one of the greatest boons to economic development on both sides of the Atlantic,'' said Stuart E. Eizenstat, a former senior trade official at the Commerce Department, who now works as a partner at the law firm Covington & Burling, which has American and European corporate clients that are closely following the trade negotiations. ''What is clear is that it will touch everyone in one way or another '-- their jobs, their health, their safety.''

That said, an overriding fear in Europe is that the talks are a far lower priority for the United States, especially for an Obama administration that is already enmeshed in Asian trade talks.

''Both American and European companies think this is still a negotiation that is considerably more important for the European political interests,'' said Jacob Lund Nielsen, a partner and co-founder of cabinet DN, one of the largest lobbying firms in Brussels, the seat of European Union power. When corporate delegations trudge up to Capitol Hill in Washington, Mr. Nielsen said, it is ''very hard to engage lawmakers on this issue, which makes it more difficult to have controversial or substantial talks.''

L. Daniel Mullaney, the chief American negotiator, was more upbeat. ''I see a lot of enthusiasm on our side for this agreement,'' he said. ''President Obama himself made it part of his State of the Union address announcing that he is interested in this, and he was there in Northern Ireland at the end of our consultation period'' to make a joint announcement with top European officials.

A few general trends emerge from the hundreds of comments sent to regulators in Washington and Brussels over the last year. Many companies are seeking greater harmonization in regulations coming out of Washington and Brussels, as well as lower tariffs on both sides of the Atlantic.

Europe's continuing privacy debate is also encompassed in the negotiations, with issues like the security of cloud computing coming to the fore. Those concerns have been made even thornier by Edward J. Snowden's leaks about spying in Europe by the National Security Agency.

The chemicals giant DuPont cited another issue, one that is a concern to many American companies: bringing to Europe the kind of protection of trade secrets that is enshrined in American law.

''At the present time, there is no E.U. unfair competition legislation providing for protection against trade secret theft, nor is there an E.U. law to prevent infringing products from entering the market,'' Barry M. Granger, a DuPont vice president, wrote in a Washington filing. ''The poor quality, or even absence, of trade secret protection in some E.U. member states is problematic for DuPont,'' he wrote, adding that the company does not sell certain technologies in Europe as a result.

The concerns of individual companies can seem very narrow.

Yum Brands, the Kentucky-based operator of Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell, owns 2,200 restaurants in Europe. The company has presented the American trade representative's office with a list of 20 different regulations of poultry, beef and cheese, as well as restaurant equipment, that Yum says set off problematic European tariffs.

''Eliminating these tariffs would allow Yum to annually import several million dollars of products from U.S. producers for its restaurants in E.U.,'' Ann Grappin, Yum's senior manager of global trade policy, wrote in a letter to the American trade representative this year. Raw frozen chicken, including ''backs with necks attached, rumps and wing tips,'' have a tariff of 18.7 euros per 100 kilograms, or $25 per 220 pounds, the filing said. Rumps are defined in European regulations as the tail of the chicken.

One of the most contentious proposals from some corporations is the adoption of a dispute appeals system known as ''investor-state resolution'' that would allow businesses to file legal challenges if they believed their rights were being violated '-- as when a new European regulation might be adopted governing food safety or how private consumer data is used by Internet-based companies.

The idea is being pushed by the European Union itself, and by American companies like Chevron, which said in its filing that the company's ''ability to do business globally'' depended on ''strong mechanisms for resolving disputes.''

Others are skeptical.

''This leverage, if granted, will be used by companies to prevent legislation they don't want,'' said Joe McNamee, executive director of European Digital Rights. ''Why on earth would they not use this? The E.U. has nothing to gain out of such agreement.''

Some companies see the talks as an opportunity to pick and choose the most favorable regulations among the varying rules on either side of the Atlantic '-- whether in food, pharmaceuticals or farming. They also provide corporations a greater role in the writing of new trans-Atlantic regulations, a notion that makes consumer groups queasy.

Lori Wallach, a director of Public Citizen, an advocacy group that is closely monitoring the talks, said that she was not surprised the companies were turning to the trade negotiations to move their agendas, but that there should be no doubt about what they were trying to deliver.

''What they consider trade irritants, we consider the most important consumer, health, environmental, privacy, financial stability safeguards on either side of the Atlantic,'' she said. ''This is an effort to achieve through trade what that they could not achieve through democratic processes domestically.''

The fruit-growing cooperative Ocean Spray expressed concern in its filing about the difficulty of complying with European regulations on pesticide residue. In Europe, the company explains, maximum pesticide residue levels for cranberries ''are set at levels significantly more restrictive than U.S. levels.''

Companies including Yum also echoed American frustrations over European rules barring the use of chemicals to reduce microbes on poultry, an issue that has already led to a trans-Atlantic trade dispute.

What is clear is that a broad American-European agreement, if it comes to pass, could have ramifications worldwide.

''There is a global competition for regulatory prevalence,'' said Thomas Tindemans, the chief executive of Hill & Knowlton Strategies in Brussels. ''The Europeans and the Americans have been racing against each other to adopt legislation or regulations for their market, which as a result forces or inspires third countries '-- Japan, China, Russia, Brazil and others'' '-- to adapt to those rules.

''If there were to be an E.U.-U.S. agreement,'' he added, ''it would, de facto, set global standards.''

Danny Hakim reported from London, and Eric Lipton from Brussels.

Japan to switch off nuclear power, may be some time before it's on again | Reuters

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Sun, 15 Sep 2013 01:34

Members of a Fukushima prefecture panel, which monitors the safe decommissioning of the nuclear plant, inspect a contaminated water tank (C, in the back) which leaked radioactive water at the H4 area of the contaminated water storage tanks, at Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)'s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima in this September 13, 2013, photo released by Kyodo.

Credit: Reuters/Kyodo

By Osamu Tsukimori

TOKYO | Sat Sep 14, 2013 7:17pm EDT

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan is set to be nuclear power-free, for just the third time in more than four decades, and with no firm date for re-starting an energy source that has provided about 30 percent of electricity to the world's third-largest economy.

Kansai Electric Power Co's 1,180 MW Ohi No.4 reactor is scheduled to be disconnected from the power grid late on Sunday and then shut for planned maintenance. It is the only one of Japan's 50 reactors in operation after the nuclear industry came to a virtual halt following the March 2011 Fukushima disaster.

Japan last went without nuclear power in May-June 2012 - the first shutdown since 1970 - a year after a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered reactor meltdowns and radiation leaks at the Fukushima facility. The country's nuclear reactors provided close to a third of the electricity to keep the $5 trillion economy going before the Fukushima disaster, and utilities have had to spend billions of dollars importing oil, gas and coal to make up for the shortfall.

In 2011, Japan suffered its first trade deficit in more than three decades, and in July of this year it logged its third-biggest trade deficit on record, at 1.02 trillion yen ($10.5 billion), as a weak yen and rising oil prices made energy imports more expensive.

Several nuclear operators applied in July to re-start reactors under new rules drawn up following the Fukushima disaster, but approvals are likely to be tough to get as the industry regulator strives to show a skeptical public it is serious about safety.

Industry projections for a re-start vary from as early as December to mid-2014. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the utilities are keen to get reactors up and running again, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe singling out reducing soaring fuel costs as a key plank of his economic reform plans.

But opinion polls show a majority of Japanese want to end reliance on atomic power, and oppose re-starts.

"The argument that no nuclear power dents the economy would be myopic, considering that if by mistake we had another tragedy like Fukushima, Japan would suffer from further collateral damage and lose global trust," said Tetsunari Iida, head of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, and a renewable energy expert.

"In the new economy, the less you use energy, the more value-added you become. The big chorus for nuclear power is hampering the efforts to move to a new, more open economy."

IMPORT BILL

Japan consumes about a third of the world's liquefied natural gas (LNG) production, and will likely boost LNG demand to record levels over the next couple of years. LNG imports rose 4.4 percent in volume to a record 86.87 million tonnes, and 14.9 percent in value to a record 6.21 trillion yen ($62.1 billion) in the year through March.

Imports are likely to rise to around 88 million tonnes this year and around 90 million tonnes in the year to March 2015, according to projections by the Institute of Energy Economics Japan based on a mid-scenario that 16 reactors will be back on-line by March 2015.

Thirty months on from the Fukushima disaster, such is the level of public concern about nuclear safety that the government is struggling to come up with a long-term energy policy - a delay that is having a profound impact on the economy and underlining just how costly a nuclear-power-free future may be.

People in the industry reckon Shikoku Electric Power's Ikata plant, Kyushu Electric's Sendai plant and Hokkaido Electric's Tomari plant are among those likely to be the first to re-start.

"There's talk the Abe administration is putting heavy pressure on the regulator (to re-start reactors)," said Osamu Fujisawa, a Japan-based independent oil economist.

"It's obviously the economy the administration is after (rather than safety). Otherwise, the business community will look away, dealing an end to the Abe administration."

(Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

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Obama To Travel To Asia In October

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Archived Version

Source: Weasel Zippers

Sun, 15 Sep 2013 04:40

100 million for Africa. Wonder how much this will be.

Via Politico:

President Obama will again pivot toward Asia next month with a week-long trip to Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines, the White House announced Friday.

Obama will be away Oct. 6-12 for a trip that the White House describes as ''part of his ongoing commitment to increase U.S. political, economic and security engagement with the Asia Pacific.''

He'll start the trip in Bali, to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders meeting. He missed last year's summit in Russia, which came weeks before the presidential election. Depending on the status of Syria talks, the summit could include a showdown between Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who's also expected to attend. Obama will also hold a bilateral meeting with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Obama will then travel to Brunei for the U.S.-ASEAN Summit, the East Asia Summit (EAS) and a meeting with the Sultan of Brunei, who he hosted at the White House earlier this year. In Malaysia, Obama plans to meet with Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia and to deliver the keynote address to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, an effort Obama launched in 2009 to help promote job creation through entrepreneurship. In the Phillippines, he'll meet with President Benigno Aquino III ''to reaffirm the strong economic, people-to-people, and security links between our two countries,'' the White House said.

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LNG stock market details from BM chan

Guys,

I'm pretty sure Adam's right about Syria and Natural Gas. When I heard the show, the first thing I wondered was how could I play this in the market. The first thing that came to mind was the ticker UNG, which tracks the price of natural gas through the use of futures contracts.

First, let me explain something about stock option contracts. Options are split into "calls" and "puts". A "call" goes up when the stock goes UP. A "put" goes up when the stock goes DOWN. And vice versa for each. If you purchase a put today and the stock goes up, the put could expire worthless. If the stock is higher than the put contract price upon expiration, the option will certainly expire worthless.

Stock option contracts report volume and Open Interest every day. Open Interest is defined by a new contract being opened for that position. Most people think that means that someone bought the position, but it does not have to mean that. It could also mean that someone SOLD this position. Option contracts can be sold "Naked" which is a very risky bet. Selling naked means that you do NOT own the stock. If you do not own the stock, satisfying a contract is MUCH more expensive.

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After hearing Adam's theory, I went to see if there was anything interesting showing up in the option data for UNG. The first thing I check is something called the Strike Peg. A couple of sites do this, but I use optionistics.com. The Strike Peg is calculated by taking all of the open interest and determining what price the stock would need to be on expiration day in order for the MOST option contracts to expire worthless. The idea is that is likely where the price will land on that expiration. Looking there, I found something very interesting. Here is a screen shot.

https://www.evernote.com/shard/s37/sh/6901929b-2149-4141-88fb-1c48b4b8c0b1/3a5f8d27115525b059b278a15ebe861d

I found the action most interesting in the Jan 2015 option… So I went digging a little deeper.

https://www.evernote.com/shard/s37/sh/47effb0d-0b40-4473-a50a-c927ea09dd8c/5d17d1b0f162babfc4ec36539f9cbd7c

Wow, 166k open interest standing out like a sore thumb. Maybe that option is just crazy popular. Let me look an an hourly chart of the option itself and see how big the player really is.

https://www.evernote.com/shard/s37/sh/7c8179f7-36a5-436a-80de-f8efc3407768/4e7391fb24047996cb5d3fcf17e63a2c

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Sorry for all the lines and wiggles. This is how my charts are set up. If you have any questions about that, let me know.

The blue arrows on this skitch are showing volume spikes of 25,000 contracts, then 50,000 then 40,000 in each bar. This is a major player. Recognize that each contract is 100 shares, so if the contract is 2.87, it represents $287. These guys opened interest in over 150,000 contracts in 40,000 increments. That is over $45 million dollars worth of contracts opened over the course of just a few days around early August. I can get specific down to the hour based on these charts.

All of this action is in the Jan 2015 17 PUT. What we do not know is whether or not the major player was buying or selling. Open Interest only tells you that a contract is open. What we also know is that they did not buy the contracts and then sell them to close them. If that was happening, the open interest would decrease.

From experience, I can tell you that the major players do not BUY time. The major players in the market only SELL time. Which leads me to believe that this was a MASSIVE contract selling event. The ideal scenario for someone selling this much action would be that UNG be well over 17 when the expiration comes in Jan 2015. If that happens, the contracts they sold for $45 million in early August would expire worthless, and they would simply keep that money.

What does this mean for the UNG stock? It is not wise to simply say that UNG is going to go up forever from here. The short term market is the traders domain, so I would not advise everyone to go plow their money into UNG. What it does mean is that UNG is EXTREMELY likely to be more than 17 come Jan 2015. I can say that I will be parking some of my investment capital in UNG just to see what happens, but please don't bet the rent on it.

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As you can see from the current price of the option, it has already decreased significantly in value (meaning that UNG has gone up from when they opened the interest). What may happen is that UNG will experience a massive run up, at which point, whomever sold these contracts may close their contracts at a SIGNIFICANTLY lower price, pocketing the difference.

All this tells me is that insiders know that something big is coming in the world of Natural Gas, and they extracted $45 million out of the option market on that bet. I know that they won't be wrong.

I feel this is more evidence that Adam's theory on Syria is spot on. Mostly due to the timing of the open interest.

--Funkho

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2TTH

American-born rapping jihadi who was on the FBI's most wanted list 'killed in ambush in Somalia' | Mail Online

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Fri, 13 Sep 2013 03:21

Reports: Omar Hammami was killed on Thursday in an ambush which was ordered by the leader of al-Shabab after he fell out with the groupHe had previously said there had been assassination attempts against him, including in April when he suffered gun wounds to his neckHe was on FBI's Most Wanted terrorist list with a $5 million bountyHammami grew up in Daphne, Alabama and joined al-Shabab in 2006He posted his English-spoken raps to YouTube to recruit AmericansBy Dan Bates

PUBLISHED: 06:43 EST, 12 September 2013 | UPDATED: 11:46 EST, 12 September 2013

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The father of the jihadi from Alabama believed killed in Somalia by Al Qaeda fighters who turned against him today said that the family are still desperately hoping he is still alive.

Speaking from his Daphne, Alabama home, Shafik Hammami said that claims by al-Shabab's leaders that they had his son Omar executed in an ambush were 'ominous' - but he and wife Debra are still holding on to hope.

Reports on Thursday said that 29-year-old Omar, who had been on the FBI's Most Wanted terrorist list and was known for rap videos he posted to YouTube, was killed following several months on the run after falling out with the leader of al-Shabab.

But Shafik said that, as of this morning, he had not been notified by the Department of State that Omar had died. And when contacted by MailOnline, he said that he did not have any official confirmation yet.

'Dead': Militants in Somalia have claimed that American jihadist Omar Hammami has been killed. In April, he tweeted this pictured, right, following what he called an assassination attempt as he was in a tea shop

'It looks very ominous this time as opposed to the last one, but we are still hopeful that it is untrue,' Shafik, 61, told MailOnline.

Omar had been active on Twitter but his last post was on September 5 in which he said: 'I'm still a terrorist.'

A more prophetic Tweet came in April in which he said: 'May not find another chance to tweet but just remember what we said and what we stood for. God kept me alive to deliver the mssg 2 the umah'.

Reports of Hammami's death crop up every few months in Somalia, only for him to resurface alive and well a short while later.

But a U.S. terrorism expert who closely follows the inner workings of Somalia's al-Qaida-linked terror group says he thinks that the current reports of the death are accurate.

'I think it's very likely true based on the sources I am seeing,' said J.M. Berger, who runs the website Intelwire.com.

Killed: Hammami, right, joined al-Shabab in 2006. He is pictured with deputy leader of al-Shabab. Sheik Mukhtar Abu Mansur Robow, left, in 2011 but he went on the run after falling out with the group

Rapping American Jihadi sings 'Blow by Blow'

Militants did not immediately present proof of the death of Hammami, who grew up in Daphne, Alabama and was also known as Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki or 'the American'.

A member of al-Shabab who gave his name as Sheik Abu Mohammed told The Associated Press that Hammami was killed in an ambush in Somalia's southern Bay region. Mohammed said some of his associates carried out the killing.

'There was a gun battle between Amriki and his men and other fighters, the reports are that Amriki is among those killed,' Moalim Ali, a resident in Bardhere, in southern Somalia, told AFP.

Two other extremists were also killed in the battle, including one other foreigner.

The U.S. put Hammami on its Most Wanted terrorist list in March and offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.

Hammami, one of the two most notorious Americans in overseas jihadi groups, grew up in Daphne, Alabama, a community of 20,000 outside Mobile.

Family: Hammami was born to a Christian mother, Debra, and a Syrian-born Muslim father, Shafik. His sister Dena is pictured as a baby a few years before he was born

Growing up: Hammami, pictured getting his first birthday cake in 1985, was brought up as a southern Baptist

All-American: Hammami was brought up Christian but became conflicted about his religion in his teen years

He is the son of a Christian mother and a Syrian-born Muslim father. He attended university before quitting and moving to Toronto, where he married and had a daughter.

But wanting to pursue his dream of becoming a jihadi, he moved to Somalia and joined al-Shabab in about 2006. His wife did not agree with his beliefs and they divorced.

He once called himself 'a walking contradiction from massively different backgrounds who is seriously passionate about what he believes in, but feels he has to go about doing it while laughing at almost everything along the way'.

He fought alongside the group for years while gaining fame for posting YouTube videos of jihadi rap songs in the hope of attracting young American Muslims.

He posted the English-spoken songs even though music is forbidden in Al-Qaeda's strict interpretation of Islam.

Talented: Hammami, sitting far right, was extremely bright at school and entered the gifted program

Stand out: Hammami's friends said he seemed like a natural leader from a young age

Popular: He was voted president of his Sophomore class and dated one of the most popular girls in school

Other videos showed him promoting the Shebab's battle to overthrow the internationally-backed government.

But Hammami had a falling out with al-Shabab and engaged in a long public fight with the group over the last year amid signs of increasing tension between Somali and foreign fighters in the group.

He was a thorn in the group's side after accusing its leaders of living extravagant lifestyles with the taxes fighters collect from Somali residents.

He also complained that Somali militant leaders sidelined foreign militants inside al-Shabab and were concerned only about fighting in Somalia, not globally.

Al Shabab criticized Hammami publicly in an Internet statement last December, saying his video releases were the result of personal grievances that stem from a 'narcissistic pursuit of fame'.

In April this year, Hammami shared a photograph showing him with a blood-covered neck and shirt and claimed there had been an assassination attempt against him while he sat in a tea shop.

American Jihadist: My life may be in danger

Wanted: He ascended the ranks of Somalia's al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab high enough to attract a $5 million U.S. government bounty. This FBI listing shows their description of Hammami

'Just been shot in neck by shabab assassin. not critical yet,' Hammami tweeted in April.

He had first expressed fear for his life in a web video in March 2012 that publicized his rift with al-Shabab.

He later wrote on Twitter that the leader of al-Shabab was sending in forces from multiple directions.

'We are few but we might get back up. abu zubayr has gone mad. he's starting a civil war,' Hammami posted.

U.S. officials said that al-Shabaab, which has been in existence since 2006, counts several hundred foreign fighters among its ranks, including scores of Somali-Americans from Minnesota.

In July, UN Monitoring Group reports estimated al-Shebab has around 5,000 members and remain the 'principal threat to peace and security to Somalia'.

FROM GIFTED STUDENT NOTORIOUS JIHADI: THE LIFE OF OMAR HAMMAMIYounger years: Hammami seemed like the all-American teen in his native Daphne, Alabama

Omar Hammami was once a gifted student in Daphne, Alabama and the president of his Sophomore class who was dated the most sought-after girl in school. But within years, he was a key figure in one of the world's most ruthless Islamist insurgencies.

He was brought up as a southern Baptist who went to Bible camp and his mother was a typical Southern Belle who taught at an elementary school.

His father came to America from Syria and became an engineer, though he was said to keep a strict household.

Hammami's upbringing was immersed in American culture yet still remained culturally Muslim: Shoes were left at the door, Koranic inscriptions decorated the walls, pork was forbidden.

As a teenager, his passions fluctuated between Shakespeare and Kurt Cobain, soccer and Nintendo, friends have recalled. He had dreams of being a surgeon. Friends in his class said he was a natural leader and saw him become more overt about Islam after his Syrian-born father returned to the religion.

But after returning from a trip to Damascus the summer before his sophomore year, he said he was torn between Christianity and Islam. In an online memoir he released last year, he explained that a religious awakening in his teenage years led him to don a 'turban in the Bible Belt post-9/11'.

He attended the University of South Alabama, where he became president of the Muslim Students' Association.

In 2002, his father asked him to leave home because of arguments over religion and he quit his university studies and moved to Toronto to read 'blacklisted' Islamic books.

He was welcomed into Toronto's Somali community after marrying a young woman from it, but he decided to pursue his dream of becoming a jihadist and moved to Egypt, where he met a fellow fundamentalist from America who paved the road to Somalia for him.

His wife and the mother of his daughter refused to follow him and asked for a divorce and he eventually married a Somali woman, with whom he had another daughter.

As he trained, he caught the attention of his superiors with his computer knowledge, attention to detail and eloquent language skills. He quickly rose to power, eventually commanding troops, managing money and plotting strategy.

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US-born 'jihadi rapper' executed in Somalia

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Source: ynet - News

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 09:06

Omar Hammami, who threatened in his songs to 'knock America down to her knees' and 'wipe Israel off the globe,' killed by own terror group Ynet

American terrorist Omar Hammami, known as Abu Mansoor al-Amriki, rapped of being killed by the sharp end of a cruise missile, but on Thursday he was executed in Somalia alongside a British extremist by members of his al-Shabaab terrorist group.

Witnesses said they were killed in a raid on a village, southwest of Mogadishu, in what appears to be the latest round of infighting in the al-Qaeda-linked group that once held sway over Mogadishu but has suffered a series of defeats to African Union forces, The Times reported.

Related stories:

Hammami, according to the British newspaper, published an autobiography on the internet, released a series of comically bad rap songs, and had a $5 million bounty on his head.

In one of his last songs, Send Me a Cruise, he begged America to kill him in an airstrike. "Send me four (missiles) and send me more, that's what I implore. An amazing martyrdom I strive for and adore," he sang tunelessly. In other songs he threatened to "knock America down to her knees" and "wipe Israel off the globe."

The Times reported that Hammami, who took his name from his Syrian-born father, grew up in Alabama and was raised as a Baptist by his mother. Friends said that he listened to the rock group Nirvana and dated one of the prettiest girls in his school before converting to Islam in his teens and growing increasingly devout at the University of South Alabama.

He moved to Somalia in 2006, aged 22, spoke fluent Somali and quickly rose up the terrorists' ranks, under the patronage of Sheikh Mukhtar Robow.

Raised as a Baptist. Hammami

He said that he feared his life was in danger early last year, after falling foul of one of Robow's rivals, Ahmed Abdi Godane. "I record this message today because I fear my life may be endangered by (al-Shabaab) because of some differences that occurred regarding matters of the Sharia and of strategy," he said in a video posted online in March 2012.

Comrades loyal to Godane denounced him for a "narcissistic pursuit of fame." In April he used Twitter to claim he had survived an assassination attempt.

Matt Bryden, director of the non-governmental organization Sahan Research, and a former head of the UN monitoring group on Somalia, told The Times that Hammami "took part in decision making and strategizing."

But as a foreigner, he was dependent on the patronage of powerful Somali commanders, which left him "vulnerable and exposed."

Bryden added: "He had great symbolic value and he was highly visible. I don't think he was a very forceful leader but he possessed a degree of charisma and he appealed to other foreign fighters."

A spokesman for the British Embassy in Somalia said that it was aware of reports of the death of a British national in the country and was seeking more information about it.

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Ministry of Truth

Richard Stengel leaving Time for State Department - Joe Pompeo and Dylan Byers - POLITICO.com

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Thu, 12 Sep 2013 21:47

Richard Stengel, the top editor of Time magazine for the past seven years, is planning to step down as managing editor for a new job at the U.S. Department of State, sources familiar with the situation tell POLITICO and Capital New York.

If confirmed, Stengel will serve as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, the role responsible for leading ''America's public diplomacy outreach, which includes communications with international audiences, cultural programming, academic grants, educational exchanges, international visitor programs, and U.S. Government efforts to confront ideological support for terrorism,'' according to the State Department's website.

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Senior U.S. officials confirmed that Stengel is in line for the position.

Nancy Gibbs, Time's deputy managing editor, is expected to succeed him, sources said.

(PHOTOS: Pols respond to Putin's NY Times op-ed)

A spokesperson for Time declined to comment, as did Stengel. The State Department didn't immediately comment.

In a statement, a senior U.S. official close to Stengel said, ''One of the topics Rick focused a great deal on during his seven years as Time's editor was national service and making the case for why it's so important. Now he's taking his own advice and moving on to a senior role at the State Department, where he will have the chance to serve his country. Rick knows the subject matter well, having covered international affairs and interviewed numerous world leaders'--including the man in the news today, Russian President Vladimir Putin.''

The timing of the shuffle is unclear, but Stengel has been on a leave of absence from editing the magazine since July, according to sources familiar with the situation.

(Also on POLITICO: The Big Apple goes small)

Stengel's looming exit is the latest sign of disruption at a venerable publisher that has been grappling with leadership changes and financial hardships.

Parent company Time Inc. looks a lot different today from the time Stengel was named managing editor of its flagship title following a long career as a writer and editor there. And perhaps that's why some people familiar with the magazine were not surprised to hear that he plans to move on.

''I think he's looking for something fresh to do, and the magazine's looking for some fresh leadership because it's such a different place now than when he came in,'' a former Time editor told Capital.

(Also on POLITICO: W.H.: Obama deserves credit for any Syrian deal)

Time Inc. has a new editor-in-chief as of January, and recently welcomed its fourth CEO in three years. The 91-year-old magazine publisher, America's largest, with marquee brands including Time, Fortune, Entertainment Weekly and People, is to be spun off from its parent company, Time Warner, early next year.

As with many media outlets grappling with a difficult advertising environment, Time has faced staff reductions as a result downsizing throughout the company's magazine division. Most recently, six Time employees were offered buyouts in January when Time Inc. sought to reduce its headcount by 500 people. But they're also on a hiring spree with plans to recruit more than two dozen journalists for a web expansion this fall.

With a combined print and digital circulation of roughly 3.3 million, Time was the 11th-largest U.S. consumer magazine as of June, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. But its circulation has declined significantly from the nearly 4.1 million print copies it claimed in June 2006, when Stengel took the helm at age 51. Advertising revenue for the first half of this year clocked in around $159.4 million, down from $295.8 million during the same period in 2006, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.

(WATCH: Reid jokes about Putin op-ed: 'Opportunity to show off his Super Bowl ring')

On the digital side, meanwhile, Newsweek alumnus Edward Felsenthal was hired earlier this year tooversee a relaunch of time.com.

At the State Department, Stengel will find himself in the company of other veteran journalists. Last week, as first reported by The Huffington Post, the White House announced that Douglas Frantz, late of The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post, has been named the State Department's assistant secretary for public affairs. Glen Johnson, formerly The Boston's Globe's political editor, took a position as a senior state department advisor earlier this year.

Tara Sonenshine, who was the previous undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, left the post in July after a little more than a year. Ann Stock has been in the role in an interim capacity.

(PHOTOS: Immigration protests in Washington, D.C.)

Stengel's heir apparent, Gibbs, has been with Time in one role or another since 1985. She was named deputy managing editor in September 2011.

''When it comes to Nancy, you already know the historic stuff: most covers written,'' Stengel wrote back then in a memo announcing her promotion. ''What you don't know is how Nancy has applied some of those same cover-writing skills to her work as a manager: she has brought great creativity to dealing with the business side, she has excelled at planning stories and covers many months in advance, and she has been a perfect mentor to writers and editors.''

Allbritton Communications, which owns POLITICO, recently acquired Capital New York. This was a joint article between the two publications.

9/11 'truther' billboards appear in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver | Daily Brew - Yahoo! News Canada

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Fri, 13 Sep 2013 20:35

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AFRICA-ICC and Chiners

Africa: Stop ICC Cases Against Kenyan Leaders - African Union

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Source: AllAfrica News: Latest

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 08:49

Nairobi '-- The African Union (AU) now wants the International Criminal Court (ICC) cases against President Uhuru Kenyatta, his Deputy William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang stopped until its application to have the cases brought back home is heard and determined.

The AU also wants the two Kenyan leaders allowed to choose which sessions they would like to attend owing to their constitutional responsibilities.

In a letter written to the ICC and copied to the United Nations Security Council on September 10, the AU argued that the court should first determine the referral application before commencing the cases.

"In addition, the prosecution has ignored several procedural requirements having the effect of eroding the principles on natural justice. The court's attention has been drawn to this aspect on two occasions by its own judges," read the letter signed by AU Chairperson Hailemariam Desalegn and by AU Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

"This leaves the African Union with no option but to ask that until the request of the AU is considered and clearly responded to, the cases should not proceed."

The letter further made reference to an appeal that has been filed by ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda against allowing Ruto to attend part sessions arguing that the judges should not have forced the Deputy President to attend all the sessions before the appeal was determined.

"The Trial Chamber in its earlier decision had taken cognisance of the Deputy President's constitutional responsibilities on which basis the court permitted him to attend only some sessions. On these grounds the court should have upheld its decision pending the determination of the Prosecutor's appeal," the letter goes on.

The AU also cited two high level security meetings slated for this month that Kenyatta would be unable to attend as a result of the ICC trial against Ruto.

"These meetings include the United Nations General Assembly High Level Segment scheduled for September 23 to 27 and the European Union facilitated conference scheduled for September 16 in Brussels," read the letter.

"Participation in both conferences at the highest level is critical for Kenya in its trajectory and efforts towards peace and security both at the national and regional levels."

The AU added that the trials would undermine Kenya's role in the international arena insisting that they should not infringe on the responsibilities of the two Kenyan leaders.

"While Kenya has always cooperated and reiterated its commitment to continue cooperating with the court, it must do so in the context of its own constitutional requirements," argued the AU.

Why China is making a big play to control Africa's media - The Globe and Mail

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Fri, 13 Sep 2013 23:16

When one of South Africa's biggest newspaper chains was sold last month, an odd name was buried in the list of new owners: China International Television Corp.

A major stake in a South African newspaper group might seem an unusual acquisition for Chinese state television, but it was no mystery to anyone who has watched the rapid expansion of China's media empire across Africa.

More Related to this StoryFrom newspapers and magazines to satellite television and radio stations, China is investing heavily in African media. It's part of a long-term campaign to bolster Beijing's ''soft power'' '' not just through diplomacy, but also through foreign aid, business links, scholarships, training programs, academic institutes and the media.

Its investments have allowed China to promote its own media agenda in Africa, using a formula of upbeat business and cultural stories and a deferential pro-government tone, while ignoring human-rights issues and the backlash against China's own growing power.

The formula is a familiar one used widely in China's domestic media. It leads to a tightly controlled pro-China message, according to journalists and ex-journalists at the Africa branch of CCTV, the Chinese state television monopoly that owns China International Television and launched a new headquarters in Nairobi last year.

''It was 'our way or the highway,''' recalls a journalist who worked in Ethiopia for CCTV. He said he was ordered to focus primarily on diplomatic negotiations over Sudan, with his bosses citing ''China's interest in the region'' '' a reference to China's state oil companies and their heavy investments in Sudan.

Other CCTV Africa journalists say they were told to provide positive news on China, to omit negative words such as ''regime,'' and to ignore countries such as Swaziland that have diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Chinese demand for ivory could not be mentioned in stories about Africa's poaching crisis, one journalist said. Another recalled how human-rights questions had to be avoided in an interview with an authoritarian African leader. ''I knew it would be cut out of my story, so I self-censored,'' he said.

The journalists asked not to be named for fear of repercussions.

If there is an ''information war'' between China and the United States on an African battleground, as former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested at a Congressional committee hearing in 2011, it appears that China is beginning to win the war.

In South Africa, Chinese investors have teamed up with allies of the ruling African National Congress to purchase Independent News and Media, one of the most powerful media groups in the country, which owns daily newspapers in all of the major cities.

The deal was spearheaded by Iqbal Surve, a businessman with close African National Congress connections who says he wants the media to report more ''positive aspects'' of the country. Financing was provided by state investment groups from China and South Africa, along with Mr. Surve's consortium. Top leaders of the ANC helped put together the Chinese investors with Mr. Surve's group, analysts said.

Under the deal, China International Television and the China-Africa Development Fund, both controlled by Beijing, will end up with 20 per cent of the newspaper chain '' a stake that will allow them to materially influence the company, according to South Africa's Competition Commission.

Even though South Africa's feisty journalists will push back against any attempt to censor them, China is still likely to end up with more power to shape the media in Africa's wealthiest country.

''I do not think the Chinese authorities will crudely impose their views on our media, as they do on much of their own, but I do think that they are likely to try and influence it for a more sympathetic view of themselves and the ANC government,'' said Anton Harber, a journalism professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, who has reported extensively on the Chinese investments.

''It is my view that the ANC is working with their Chinese allies '' ruling party to ruling party, in the way the Chinese government so often works '' to increase their influence in our local media and counter what they view as a hostile media sector.''

Meanwhile, other Chinese media investors are gaining a bigger foothold across Africa. A Chinese company, StarTimes, purchased a controlling stake in South African satellite television provider TopTV this year, adding to its presence in 13 other African countries. The state-run radio broadcaster, China Radio International, has FM stations in three East African cities, while its AM channel covers all of Kenya.

China's leading English-language state newspaper, China Daily, created an Africa edition last December, published in Nairobi and distributed on Kenya Airways flights and other venues. China has also launched a monthly magazine, ChinAfrica, based in Johannesburg.

China's state news agency, Xinhua, has nearly 30 bureaus in Africa, along with its own television channel. It provides news bulletins for 17-million Kenyan cellphones, while CCTV provides a mobile TV service called I Love Africa. African journalists and press officers are often invited on all-expenses-paid ''training'' sessions in Beijing, as part of Chinese aid programs that give short-term training to 30,000 Africans and full university scholarships to another 18,000.

In Zimbabwe, CCTV provided new equipment for the state television monopoly, allowing it to broadcast President Robert Mugabe's campaign rallies for many hours during the July election campaign. China also supplied giant television screens for Zimbabwe's main cities, so that government information could be broadcast on the streets.

The centrepiece of China's media empire is its new CCTV hub in Nairobi and its flagship show, Africa Live. With its staff of about 100 people (about 40 of whom are Chinese), and correspondents in 14 bureaus, the show is intended to compete with BBC and CNN.

Top executives of CCTV in Nairobi declined requests for an interview. But speaking on condition of anonymity, their journalists said the Africa headquarters is extremely well-financed, with state-of-the-art equipment and salaries double the Kenyan norm.

Its content, however, is often simplistic and condescending. It produced a documentary, for example, called Glamorous Kenya that portrayed the country as ''a land of mystery'' and ''kingdom of animals.'' It gives consistently glowing coverage of Chinese trade and aid in Africa, including frequent stories about the two dozen Confucius Institutes that provide Chinese language training across Africa.

News scripts are carefully vetted by Chinese editors, the journalists say, and there are instructions to avoid any negative coverage of Chinese leaders at summits. Some journalists are docked pay if their reports are considered ''poor.''

When a CCTV reporter quoted Zambian mine workers who were angry at their Chinese employer, his story was shelved. And when Muslims protested against the Ethiopian government, the CCTV correspondent wondered whether to cover the street protests. His bosses swiftly vetoed it. ''No religion,'' they said.

Obama Nation

President Obama Signs Colorado Disaster Declaration

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Source: White House.gov Press Office Feed

Sun, 15 Sep 2013 12:56

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

September 15, 2013

The President last night declared a major disaster exists in the State of Colorado and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides beginning on September 11, 2013, and continuing.

The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Boulder County.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding also is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work in Boulder County. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Michael J. Hall as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.

FEMA said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are fully completed.

FEMA said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION MEDIA SHOULD CONTACT: FEMA NEWS DESK AT (202) 646-3272 OR FEMA-NEWS-DESK@DHS.GOV

Scary Story on the Booming Auto Sales No One Is Talking About

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Source: Profit Confidential

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 08:54

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013By Michael Lombardi, MBA for Profit Confidential

Automakers in the U.S. economy are getting a significant amount of attention these days because they are selling more cars. In August, total light vehicle sales by the automakers in the U.S. economy increased 17% from a year ago. They sold more than 1.5 million cars in August compared to 1.28 million cars last August. (Source: Motor Intelligence, last accessed September 10, 2013.)

On the surface, sales reported by the automakers are exuberant. They show consumers are spending. And if this continues, maybe we will see some economic growth in the U.S. economy.

Sadly, this is a one-sided conclusion. When I look into the details, it turns out Americans are indeed buying cars from automakers'--but on borrowed money.

Here's what you really need to know other than just focusing on the sales by automakers:

Since the Federal Reserve introduced its easy monetary policies, there has been a significant increase in auto loans to the subprime borrowers'--those with a low credit score of less than 620'--compared to the prime borrowers'--those with a credit score of 760 and above. (Reminds me of the housing crisis we saw in the U.S. economy not too long ago.)

In the second quarter of 2009, there was $10.8 billion of outstanding auto loans to the subprime borrowers in the U.S. economy. Fast-forwarding to the second quarter of 2013, this number stood at $21.2 billion'--an increase of more than 96% in just a matter of a few years. In the same period, the amount of auto loans to prime borrowers only increased 38%! (Source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York web site, last accessed September 10, 2013.)

Unfortunately, the problem doesn't end there. Auto loans continue to increase in the U.S. economy. In the second quarter of this year, auto loans as a whole increased to $92.0 billion'--the highest level since the third quarter of 2007. (Source: ''Household Debt and Credit Developments in 2013 Q2,'' Federal Reserve Bank of New York, August 2013.)

Now this will really alarm you'...

Auto loans delinquent for 90 days or more in the U.S. economy now sit at 3.6% of all loans. With interest rates already rising, I can only see this number growing.

Are auto loans going to be the next big bubble to burst in the U.S. economy?

I remain cynical of the optimism we are seeing regarding the automakers. If all of the pieces of the puzzle fall into place as I expect, this won't end well. Those automakers enjoying higher stock prices now may quickly see their fortunes turn.

Michael's Personal Notes:

I keep a keen eye on the second-biggest economy in the world simply because China is experiencing an economic slowdown that can and will affect the U.S. economy, and hurt the profitability of our U.S. multinational companies.

Since the beginning of this year, the economic slowdown in the Chinese economy has been gaining strength. In the second quarter, we saw the economic growth rate in the Chinese economy fall: the second-biggest hub in the global economy grew at 7.5% in the second quarter, compared to 7.7% growth in the first quarter.

When it comes to economic analysis, one thing I focus on is the long-term trend in statistics. When I do just that, the Chinese economy is going the wrong way'--and I believe there's trouble ahead for China.

We've seen this in the past with our own economy; when there's too much credit and rapid expansion, an economic slowdown usually follows. Just look at what happened during the housing boom in the U.S. economy'--credit grew, and we saw ruthless lending practices to attract subprime borrowers.

Right now, we are witnessing a significant amount of credit expansion in the Chinese economy. The total credit to the private sector has increased more than 166% between the first quarter of 2008 and the last quarter of 2012. (Source: International Bank of Settlement web site, last accessed September 10, 2013.) In the chart below you can clearly see how much credit has risen in the Chinese economy. This should be taken as a warning sign of just how deep the economic slowdown in the country must be.

My concern? What happens to the profitability of U.S.-based companies operating in the Chinese economy?

Let's use General Motors Company (NYSE/GM) as one example. In 2012, the company sold 2.8 million vehicles in the Chinese economy. This brought in $33.36 billion for the company, a staggering 22% of its total sales. (Source: ''2012 Annual Report,'' General Motors Company web site, last accessed September 10, 2013.)

If we see the economic slowdown in the Chinese economy continue on its path, would companies like General Motors (GM) be able to keep the same levels of sales? And what would happen to GM's stock price?

GM is just one example of a company embedded in the Chinese economy; there are many more, including Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE/WMT), NIKE, Inc. (NYSE/NKE), Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE/CAT), and YUM! Brands, Inc. (NYSE/YUM), and other big American names.

I can't stress this enough: the U.S. economy is highly connected to the Chinese economy. If the economic slowdown in China continues, then you can expect many large-cap companies in key stock indices to see their stock prices fall.

What He Said:

''If the U.S. housing market continues to fall apart, like I predict it will, the stock prices of major American banks that lend money to consumers to buy homes will come under pressure'--these are the bank stocks I wouldn't own.'' Michael Lombardi in Profit Confidential, May 2, 2007. From May 2007 to November 2008 the Dow Jones U.S. Bank Index of the world's largest bank stocks was down 65%.

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Scary Story on the Booming Auto Sales No One Is Talking About, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

What Will Become Automated Now? The California Legislature Approves Raising Minimum Wage to $10

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: EconomicPolicyJournal.com

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 23:57

In the final hours of its 2013 regular session, the California legislature voted to hike the minimum wage from $8 an hour to $9 next July and $10 by January 2016 .Gov. Jerry Brown has already promised to sign the bill.

Here's Orphe Divounguy to explain why minimum wages don't work:

And, for those of you that think minimum wages haven't eliminated jobs, the next time you pump gas for yourself ask yourself what happened to the gas station attendants that used to pump gas and wash your windshields. At some price they could be hired from the pool of out of work youth.. The minimum wage has just priced them out of the market. The same thing when you can't find a department store clerk. The department stores and other retailers can't afford to hire more clerks because the minimum wage is too high to make it affordable.

It's the same thing with those damn automated phone answering services that most firms now use, it's just too expensive to hire human operators. And its the same with grocery store baggers from days of old. Thank you minimum wage.

The damage of minimum wage isn't some theoretical, you have just gotten so use to it that you have forgotten what things were like , or you are too young to know the good old days. I wonder what will become automated next and more inconvenient in California as the minimum wage climbs.

Canadian Headgear

Analysis: Quebec separatists play to core voters with headscarf, turban ban

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: Reuters: World News

Sun, 15 Sep 2013 12:57

Quebec's Minister of Democratic Institutions Bernard Drainville gestures as he speaks during a news conference to present the Quebec Charter of Values at the National Assembly in Quebec City, September 10, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mathieu Belanger

By Randall Palmer

Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:06am EDT

(Reuters) - Quebec's separatist government is betting on broad popular support with a proposal that prohibits public workers from wearing headscarves, skullcaps and other religious symbols, yet it is dividing the movement that advocates independence from Canada.

The proposal, unveiled by the ruling Parti Quebecois on Tuesday, plays with the explosive issue of minority rights in a part of Canada, a country that prides itself as being a tapestry of immigrants rather than a U.S.-style melting pot.

The government's proposed Charter of Quebec Values would ban teachers, doctors and other public workers from wearing highly visible religious symbols, including headscarves and large crosses, in an effort to cement a secular society in the French-speaking province.

The charter needs support from at least one other party to become law, and it will certainly face legal challenges.

"The vast majority of our followers agree with what we're putting forward, although obviously this isn't unanimous," Bernard Drainville, the Quebec minister who introduced the proposals, told Reuters.

The broad idea of a Quebec charter that would mandate religious neutrality for government workers seems to have resonated with a majority of people in Quebec. But it has already caused an unseemly divide among the separatists.

"Has the Quebec nationalist movement sunk for the decades to come into a way of doing politics that will divide Quebeckers?" asked Maria Mourani, a Lebanese Christian elected to the federal Parliament as a member of the separatist Bloc Quebecois.

The Bloc, the federal counterpart to the Quebec's ruling Parti Quebecois, expelled Mourani from its caucus on Thursday after she expressed reservations about the charter, and she quit the party on Friday. She said her family chose Canada over France as a place to immigrate to, because it was free from the tensions over identity that she saw in France.

"We know well the number of French suburbs filled with millions of Africans and people from the Maghreb, who are still not considered French," she said. "You see delinquency, crime, poverty, exclusion. That's not what I want for Quebec."

France banned religious symbols in schools in 2004 and banned the wearing of full-face Islamic veils in public in 2011.

A DIFFERENT WORLD

Quebec separatists have long highlighted their differences with the rest of Canada in terms of language, culture and religion - the Catholic Church long held sway in the province and the new rules won't apply to "traditional" symbols like the crucifix hanging in the National Assembly in Quebec City.

It remains unclear if the gambit will blow up in the face of those who favor independence, or if it will strengthen a separatist movement that twice lost referendums on breaking away from Canada.

Drainville, the minister who unveiled the ban, noted that a Forum Research poll found that while 47 percent of people across Canada disapproved of the proposed Quebec rules, 42 percent of Canadians approved.

"We're not that different from other advanced and democratic societies such as Britain and France and Switzerland and Scandinavia and Germany who have had this debate on how to have a healthy relationship between religion and the state," he said.

The idea of a Quebec charter of values has the support of 66 percent of Quebec residents, according to an online SOM poll conducted between August 30 and September 5, after elements of the plan were first reported.

Yet the new rules have even won the disapproval of the man often viewed as the hardline guardian of separatism, Jacques Parizeau, who was premier in 1995 when his forces came within a percentage point of winning a referendum on separation.

Parizeau's wife, Lisette Lapointe, a member of the Quebec legislature, said the two of them oppose the new plan, which pits multicultural Montreal against the rest of the province.

"Why create this split between the regions and Montreal? There is a kind of unanimity in Montreal, all the parties are together, all the separatists and federalists are saying 'No, in Montreal, we don't want this,'" she told French CBC television. "What is going on here? This has to be looked at again."

WINNING WITHOUT MONTREAL?

The metropolitan area of Montreal has nearly half Quebec's 8 million people and most of its immigrants. Mayors in and around the city have already come out aggressively against the charter.

Mourani, a member of Parliament who opposes the proposal, said the separatists can't achieve independence without support from Montreal.

Antonia Maioni, director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, said the provincial government had to have expected some of the reaction.

"I think they knew they would get some backlash, particularly in the metropolis," she said. "Right away you could see that there would be this kind of resistance."

Outside Quebec, the official response to the charter has been largely negative. Lakeridge Health, a hospital group outside Toronto, ran a recruitment ad in a Montreal student newspaper showing a smiling young woman wearing a pink and orange headscarf.

"We don't care what's on your head," the caption reads. "We care what's in it."

(Reporting by Randall Palmer in Ottawa; Additional reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Janet Guttsman and Lisa Shumaker)

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Quebec Head Gear

In the morning,

I'm still a douche but I hope this makes up for it, for now. Here's some clips from various CBC sources this week. Since this is Canada I'll attempt to translate. I'll continue to send in clips on other topics and I hope they'll eventually be of some use.

Quebec is a province (state) that is predominantly French and has a history of fiercely clinging to their culture and language. Recently their minority government has announced plans to ban provincial employees from wearing large religious objects. This will basically prohibit all practicing Muslim women and Sikh men from working for the province. It's not just bureaucrats but doctors, nurses, teachers, day-care workers, ect.

01 - Short Intro

02/03 - Former premier (governor) of Quebec Bernard Landry. He uses the words nation and country which is incorrect. The French separatists use this terminology because they desire a sovereign Quebec. It's a long story wherein they essentially threaten to leave Canada so they get their way on a bunch of other shit. This is basically what this whole fucking Charter thing is about.

04 - Quebec has a minority government right now which means that the ruling PQ party cannot pass bills without the consent of the other parties. This is their attempt to get the votes of rural Quebec rednecks, in order to win a majority at the next election, so they can do whatever the fuck they want.

05 - Obviously not all Quebec agrees but the fact that this xenophobic sentiment isn't limited to Quebec is why Prime Minister Harper (Republicans) and Trudeau (Democrats) prance around the issue. Also, because of our electoral system, Quebec voters are important to federal political parties too.

06 - To show how even more fucked up this whole thing is - federal politician from the BQ was kicked from her party for saying the Quebec provincial was bullshit. The federal party is the Bloc Quebecois and the provincial is the Parti Quebecois. There was even a federal NDP (other Democrats but more lefty) member of Parliament from Quebec saying she agreed with the new charter. The leftist party next to the Green Party has a member saying, "ya fuck those people" for the votes.

07 - This was the day after the last clip. Thought it was funny to see the spin. Wag the dog...wag the dog.

I don't know if you've gotten any clips from someone in Quebec. If not idk why the fuck a southern Albertan has and not them. The only reason I care is because my anglophone daughter went to a francophone daycare and the woman who became like a second mother to her wears a headscarf. I'm overjoyed knowing that my little girl will always look at the scarf with warmth and affection rather than fear and uncertainty.

Love the show,

Daven Thon

Bullying

Youth more likely to be bullied at schools with anti-bullying programs, researcher finds

Link to Article

Archived Version

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 21:08

Youth more likely to be bullied at schools with anti-bullying programs, researcher findsJavascript is currently disabled in your web browser. For full site functionality, it is necessary to enable Javascript. In order to enable it, please see these instructions.23 hours agoAnti-bullying initiatives have become standard at schools across the country, but a new UT Arlington study finds that students attending those schools may be more likely to be a victim of bullying than children at schools without such programs.

The findings run counter to the common perception that bullyingprevention programs can help protect kids from repeated harassment or physical and emotional attacks.

"One possible reason for this is that the students who are victimizing their peers have learned the language from these anti-bullying campaigns and programs," said Seokjin Jeong, an assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at UT Arlington and lead author of the study, which was published in the Journal of Criminology.

"The schools with interventions say, 'You shouldn't do this,' or 'you shouldn't do that.' But through the programs, the students become highly exposed to what a bully is and they know what to do or say when questioned by parents or teachers," Jeong said.

The study suggested that future direction should focus on more sophisticated strategies rather than just implementation of bullying prevention programs along with school security measures such as guards, bag and locker searches or metal detectors. Furthermore, given that bullying is a relationship problem, researchers need to better identify the bully-victim dynamics in order to develop prevention policies accordingly, Jeong said.

Communities across various race, ethnicity, religion and socio-economic classes can benefit from such important, relevant Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice research, said Beth Wright, dean of the UT Arlington College of Liberal Arts.

"This important discovery will result in improvements in health, in learning, and in relationships, with unlimited positive impact," Wright said.

A growing body of research shows that students who are exposed to physical or emotional bullying experience a significantly increased risk of anxiety, depression, confusion, lowered self-esteem and suicide. In addition to school environmental factors, researchers wanted to know what individual-level factors played a key role in students who are bullied by peers in school.

For their study, Jeong and his co-author, Byung Hyun Lee, a doctoral student in criminology at Michigan State University, analyzed data from the Health Behavior in School-Aged Children 2005-2006 U.S. study. The HBSC study has been conducted every four years since 1985 and is sponsored by the World Health Organization. The sample consisted of 7,001 students, ages 12 to 18, from 195 different schools.

The data preceded the highly publicized, 2010 "It Gets Better" campaign founded by syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage and popularized by YouTube videos featuring anti-bullying testimonials from prominent advocates.

The UT Arlington team found that older students were less likely to be victims of bullying than younger students, with serious problems of bullying occurring among sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders. The most pervasive bullying occurred at the high school level.

Boys were more likely than girls to be victims of physical bullying, but girls were more likely to be victims of emotional bullying. A lack of involvement and support from parents and teachers was likely to increase the risk of bullying victimization. These findings are all consistent with prior studies.

Notably, researchers found that race or ethnicity was not a factor in whether students were bullied.

Explore further:New report gives insight into bullying in New Zealand

More information:www.hindawi.com/journals/jcrim/2013/735397/

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User comments : 3Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

orti1.8 / 5 (5)22 hours ago

Sounds similar to the results for sex education. Amazing how leftist ideology works in practice.

Kiwini1 / 5 (3)18 hours ago

Sounds similar to the results for sex education. Amazing how leftist ideology works in practice.

Yup... the same concept also applies to so-called "gun-free zones".Ferkynot rated yet17 hours ago

I guess now we need an anti-(anti-bullying program-induced bullying) program.

More news storiesNovelty of eco-friendly bamboo garments lures consumers'--if the price is right, study showsConsumers who plan to buy eco-friendly bamboo apparel are attracted if the price is right, but their next consideration is the novelty of the product, according to a new study by Baylor University researchers.

Women who see themselves as warm, supportive tend to compete less in workplace, study findsA new study reveals that women can face an internal identity conflict '' ambitious professional versus nurturing caregiver'--when it comes to competing with co-workers. As a result, those who see themselves as more caring ...

CEOs who misbehave more likely part of unethical corporate cultureChief executive officers who engage in unethical conduct for their own personal benefit tend to be part of firms that participate in other forms of corporate misbehavior, according to a new study from UT.

Church faces 'difficult decision' to engage liberal christian studentsReligious leaders face a fresh challenge in engaging young Christians, after new research revealed many university students are affirming their faith in private but staying away from church on Sundays.

Young people choose education based on parents' backgroundEven though Danish students have equal access to education, their choice of studies is still influenced by social class. Young people from working class backgrounds are motivated by studies with a clear job profile and high ...

Researchers capture speedy chemical reaction in mid-strideIn synthetic chemistry, making the best possible use of the needed ingredients is key to optimizing high-quality production at the lowest possible cost.

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Pinpointing molecular path that makes antidepressants act quicker in mouse modelThe reasons behind why it often takes people several weeks to feel the effect of newly prescribed antidepressants remains somewhat of a mystery '' and likely, a frustration to both patients and physicians.

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(C) Phys.org' 2003-2013

Youth more likely to be bullied at schools with anti-bullying programs, researcher findsJavascript is currently disabled in your web browser. For full site functionality, it is necessary to enable Javascript. In order to enable it, please see these instructions.23 hours agoAnti-bullying initiatives have become standard at schools across the country, but a new UT Arlington study finds that students attending those schools may be more likely to be a victim of bullying than children at schools without such programs.

The findings run counter to the common perception that bullyingprevention programs can help protect kids from repeated harassment or physical and emotional attacks.

"One possible reason for this is that the students who are victimizing their peers have learned the language from these anti-bullying campaigns and programs," said Seokjin Jeong, an assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at UT Arlington and lead author of the study, which was published in the Journal of Criminology.

"The schools with interventions say, 'You shouldn't do this,' or 'you shouldn't do that.' But through the programs, the students become highly exposed to what a bully is and they know what to do or say when questioned by parents or teachers," Jeong said.

The study suggested that future direction should focus on more sophisticated strategies rather than just implementation of bullying prevention programs along with school security measures such as guards, bag and locker searches or metal detectors. Furthermore, given that bullying is a relationship problem, researchers need to better identify the bully-victim dynamics in order to develop prevention policies accordingly, Jeong said.

Communities across various race, ethnicity, religion and socio-economic classes can benefit from such important, relevant Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice research, said Beth Wright, dean of the UT Arlington College of Liberal Arts.

"This important discovery will result in improvements in health, in learning, and in relationships, with unlimited positive impact," Wright said.

A growing body of research shows that students who are exposed to physical or emotional bullying experience a significantly increased risk of anxiety, depression, confusion, lowered self-esteem and suicide. In addition to school environmental factors, researchers wanted to know what individual-level factors played a key role in students who are bullied by peers in school.

For their study, Jeong and his co-author, Byung Hyun Lee, a doctoral student in criminology at Michigan State University, analyzed data from the Health Behavior in School-Aged Children 2005-2006 U.S. study. The HBSC study has been conducted every four years since 1985 and is sponsored by the World Health Organization. The sample consisted of 7,001 students, ages 12 to 18, from 195 different schools.

The data preceded the highly publicized, 2010 "It Gets Better" campaign founded by syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage and popularized by YouTube videos featuring anti-bullying testimonials from prominent advocates.

The UT Arlington team found that older students were less likely to be victims of bullying than younger students, with serious problems of bullying occurring among sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders. The most pervasive bullying occurred at the high school level.

Boys were more likely than girls to be victims of physical bullying, but girls were more likely to be victims of emotional bullying. A lack of involvement and support from parents and teachers was likely to increase the risk of bullying victimization. These findings are all consistent with prior studies.

Notably, researchers found that race or ethnicity was not a factor in whether students were bullied.

Explore further:New report gives insight into bullying in New Zealand

More information:www.hindawi.com/journals/jcrim/2013/735397/

More from Physics Forums - Social Sciences

Related StoriesNew report gives insight into bullying in New Zealand 10 hours ago

In the first New Zealand study of its kind, a Victoria University researcher has found that 94 per cent of the school staff she surveyed have seen bullying in their school.

Research throws new light on why children with autism are often bullied Aug 07, 2013

(Medical Xpress)'--A study of hundreds of teachers and parents of children on the autistic spectrum has revealed factors why they are more or less likely to be bullied.

Far from being harmless, the effects of bullying last long into adulthood Aug 19, 2013

A new study shows that serious illness, struggling to hold down a regular job, and poor social relationships are just some of the adverse outcomes in adulthood faced by those exposed to bullying in childhood.

Poor parenting'--including overprotection'--increases bullying risk Apr 25, 2013

Children who are exposed to negative parenting '' including abuse, neglect but also overprotection '' are more likely to experience childhood bullying by their peers, according to a meta-analysis of 70 studies of more than ...

Study links adolescent bullies to criminal behavior later May 09, 2013

(Medical Xpress)'--Adults who say they bullied others when they were adolescents may have a higher likelihood of engaging in criminal behavior later in life, according to new research from UT Dallas.

Researchers identify risk and protective factors for youth involved in bullying Jun 19, 2013

New research out of the University of Minnesota identifies significant risk factors for suicidal behavior in youth being bullied, but also identifies protective factors for the same group of children.

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Religious leaders face a fresh challenge in engaging young Christians, after new research revealed many university students are affirming their faith in private but staying away from church on Sundays.

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Are women less corrupt? New study suggests it depends on cultural expectations Sep 12, 2013

Women are more likely than men to disapprove of'--and less likely to participate in'--political corruption, but only in countries where corruption is stigmatized, according to new political science research from Rice University.

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The April 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza Factory Building in Bangladesh, in which more than 1,130 people were killed, is only the latest in a long line of events that has made plain the plight of the families whose loved ...

User comments : 3Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

orti1.8 / 5 (5)22 hours ago

Sounds similar to the results for sex education. Amazing how leftist ideology works in practice.

Kiwini1 / 5 (3)18 hours ago

Sounds similar to the results for sex education. Amazing how leftist ideology works in practice.

Yup... the same concept also applies to so-called "gun-free zones".

Ferkynot rated yet17 hours ago

I guess now we need an anti-(anti-bullying program-induced bullying) program.

More news storiesNovelty of eco-friendly bamboo garments lures consumers'--if the price is right, study showsConsumers who plan to buy eco-friendly bamboo apparel are attracted if the price is right, but their next consideration is the novelty of the product, according to a new study by Baylor University researchers.

Women who see themselves as warm, supportive tend to compete less in workplace, study findsA new study reveals that women can face an internal identity conflict '' ambitious professional versus nurturing caregiver'--when it comes to competing with co-workers. As a result, those who see themselves as more caring ...

CEOs who misbehave more likely part of unethical corporate cultureChief executive officers who engage in unethical conduct for their own personal benefit tend to be part of firms that participate in other forms of corporate misbehavior, according to a new study from UT.

Church faces 'difficult decision' to engage liberal christian studentsReligious leaders face a fresh challenge in engaging young Christians, after new research revealed many university students are affirming their faith in private but staying away from church on Sundays.

Young people choose education based on parents' backgroundEven though Danish students have equal access to education, their choice of studies is still influenced by social class. Young people from working class backgrounds are motivated by studies with a clear job profile and high ...

Researchers capture speedy chemical reaction in mid-strideIn synthetic chemistry, making the best possible use of the needed ingredients is key to optimizing high-quality production at the lowest possible cost.

CPAP therapy provides beauty sleep for people with sleep apneaA new study suggests that people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are perceived to appear more alert, more youthful and more attractive after at least two months of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy.

Pinpointing molecular path that makes antidepressants act quicker in mouse modelThe reasons behind why it often takes people several weeks to feel the effect of newly prescribed antidepressants remains somewhat of a mystery '' and likely, a frustration to both patients and physicians.

FDA OKs implant for enlarged prostate symptoms(AP)'--Federal health regulators have approved the first permanent implant to treat men's urinary problems caused by an enlarged prostate.

Defects in 2D semiconductors could lead to multi-colored light-emitting devicesWhen scientists remove individual atoms in a semiconductor material, the resulting vacancies become point defects. Contrary to what their name implies, these defects can have beneficial effects on the semiconductor's ...

(C) Phys.org' 2003-2013

Meanwhile, in MEXICO

Police clash with protestors in Mexico City, 31 people arrested

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: Reuters: World News

Sat, 14 Sep 2013 05:32

TweetShare thisEmailPrint1 of 8. A woman pleads for no more violence to a riot federal police officer after striking members of the teachers' union CNTE were evicted from Zocalo Square in downtown Mexico City September 13, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Tomas Bravo

MEXICO CITY | Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:20am EDT

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse demonstrators in the main square of Mexico City on Friday, arresting 31 people, as the government took control of the historic center after weeks of protests by teachers.

Federal police clashed with some protestors as they cleared the massive square, or Zocalo, for celebrations on Sunday, when President Enrique Pena Nieto is due to lead his first traditional remembrance of the heroes of Mexican independence.

Teachers have been camped out on the square in protest of a new education reform designed to impose tougher teaching standards, and strip educators of some privileges such as the right to pass on their jobs to their children.

The Interior Ministry said none of the people arrested were teachers but did not identify who they were. Mexican media said about a dozen police were slightly injured.

The teachers' protests have presented one of the first major challenges to Pena Nieto's authority, and they have provided a focal point for some militant leftists opposing his government.

Pena Nieto took office in December, pledging to revive the Mexican economy with a series of reforms. The education reform, which had broad political backing, was the first of those major bills to be signed into law earlier this month.

Mexico began its armed uprising for independence from Spain in 1810, and it was granted in 1821.

(Reporting by Mexico City Newsroom)

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Mexican police disperse thousands of teachers protesting education changes '-- RT News

Link to Article

Archived Version

Sun, 15 Sep 2013 02:30

Published time: September 14, 2013 03:09Federal policemen walk after tear gas was fired to evict striking members of the teachers' union CNTE from Zocalo Square in downtown Mexico City September 13, 2013.(Reuters / Tomas Bravo)

Police in riot gear forcibly removed thousands of teachers gathered in Mexico City's Z"calo plaza, where they have been camped out protesting education reform. The small-scale clashes were the culmination of weeks of chaotic demonstration.

The protests started weeks ago, with teachers attempting to convince lawmakers to change legislation that would dismiss educators if they fail evaluations meant to improve Mexico's notorious school system.

But when the bill was approved earlier this month teachers shifted their aim, demanding the law be rescinded and a meeting with Mexico's President Pe±a Nieto. Many of the demonstrators in the capital hail from Mexico's poor southern states and argue that deficient education is a result of social inequality, not what happens inside the classroom.

The government set a 4:00 pm deadline for demonstrators to leave the square so the city could begin preparations for the nation's Independence Day celebration. Hundreds of local and federal police moved in moments later to disperse the approximately 500 protesters who had not left, firing teargas into the crowd and using a water cannon to douse bonfires.

Many of the demonstrators are familiar with such police action in the southern states and spent much of the day preparing for the authorities to arrive. Makeshift barricades were assembled, along with various weapons including metal rods, wooden planks and chunks of pavement. Others waved pipes, clubs, and baseball bats as black military helicopters circling overhead.

''They have hurt Mexico City and many other cities,'' Mauel Mondragon, chief of Mexico's federal police, said before the deadline. ''I think this is reaching its limit and we will act. This is not a game. We will do our job.''

The near-daily rallies have snarled traffic in Mexico City and prevented access to government buildings. Roughly 1.5 million students have missed a month of school since the strike began in August.

The entrance to Mexico City's international airport was blocked at least twice in recent weeks and on Wednesday at least 17 officers and five teachers were hurt in a clash.

Most had already departed by Friday's deadline, though, and not all police were met with resistance. The scene was under control within two hours, according to The Guardian, and more peaceful than both authorities and media outlets had previously forecast.

The government has pledged that it will pay for teacher training and building repairs at schools in southern states in exchange for the protesters exit from Z"calo.

Mexico's left-leaning government has traditionally been slow to crack down on protest movements since demonstrating students were killed in both 1968 and 1971.

NA Tech

Twitter tweets that it intends to go public

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Source: euronews

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 08:58

Twitter has filed paperwork with US regulators, as it sets its sights on a stock market flotation.

The move is the first step towards going public.

The microblogging tool, which allows users to send out streams of 140 character messages, has been valued by private investors at more than 7.5 billion euros. It should break even this year and is said to be on track for 40 percent annual growth.

Launched seven years ago, Twitter has become a big hit around the world '' used by governments, organisations and individuals. It has more than 200 million regular users, contributing more than 400 million posts a day.

The company makes money by inserting paid, targeted adverts which resemble ordinary, user-generated content.

Social networking site Facebook was listed on the stock market in May last year.

It created a big buzz to begin with, but then its share price plunged.

Facebook has since been able to claw its way back and its stock reached a record high this week.

More about:Social network, Stock market activity, TwitterCopyright (C) 2013 euronews

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Twitter's Private Filing Signals New Wave of Secrecy - Bloomberg

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 06:16

By Leslie Picker and Ari LevySeptember 14, 2013 12:01 AM EDTTwitter Inc. sent out a 24-word tweet yesterday announcing that it had confidentially filed to go public with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Twitter Inc., the business that thrives on a culture of excessive sharing, is taking a more discreet route to its initial public offering, adopting a strategy that others will follow.

The microblogging service sent out a 24-word tweet on Sept. 12, announcing that it had confidentially filed to go public with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It provided no financial details or time frame.

Twitter filed under the Jumpstart our Business Startups, or JOBS, Act signed last year. The legislation lets companies with less than $1 billion in annual revenue keep their most sensitive information away from the competition and the public until shortly before they promote the offering. Investors had better get used to the secrecy as a host of emerging technology companies, including Box Inc., Airbnb Inc., Square Inc. and Dropbox Inc., are likely to take the same path.

''There's a lot of stress in preparing for an IPO,'' said Jeff Crowe, a partner at Norwest Venture Partners in Palo Alto, California, and director at RetailMeNot Inc., which went public under the JOBS Act in July. ''One stress you don't want to have is tipping off the competition any sooner than you have to about what your business model is like.''

Under the rules for so-called emerging-growth companies, Twitter's review process with the SEC will be confidential until at least 21 days before the road show, where the company will pitch investors before setting a final price.

Less CostlyThe JOBS Act was created to simplify the IPO process for smaller companies and make it less expensive to go public. Between audited financial statements and legal costs, companies spend on average $3.7 million for their IPOs in addition to underwriter fees, according to a report last year from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Most businesses that can are taking advantage of the rule. Carter Mack, an investment banker who served on the task force that wrote the recommendations for the IPO portion of the act, estimates that more than 80 percent of emerging-growth companies are filing confidentially.

''There's a big backlog,'' said Mack, president and co-founder of JMP Group Inc. in San Francisco. ''Twitter filed because of that and because Internet stocks have done well recently.''

Twitter is just small enough to qualify. The company's advertising revenue is projected to rise 63 percent to $950 million next year from $582.8 million this year, according to EMarketer Inc.

Up NextA group of companies with billion-dollar valuations on the private market will be watching closely. Box Chief Executive Officer Aaron Levie said earlier this year that his business-software company will likely go public in 2014. Airbnb, operator of a home-rental website, was valued at $2.5 billion last year. Square, the payments startup run by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, achieved a valuation of $3.25 billion a year ago after an investment from Starbucks Corp., while document storage provider Dropbox was valued at $4 billion in a 2011 financing.

Kim Rubey, a spokeswoman for Airbnb, Aaron Zamost, a spokesman for Square, and Michael Moeschler, a Box spokesman, all declined to comment. A representatives from Dropbox didn't respond to a request for comment.

Twitter is unusual in even announcing that it's filed. Most JOBS Act candidates, including Workday Inc. (WDAY), Tableau Software Inc., Ruckus Wireless Inc. and RetailMeNot, didn't disclose anything until making their S-1 prospectus public.

Musk's ExceptionSolarCity Corp. was an exception. The provider of rooftop solar systems, whose chairman is Elon Musk, announced its confidential filing in a press release in April 2012. The company filed its public S-1 on Oct. 5, ahead of the December debut.

Some high-profile Internet IPOs that filed under standard disclosure rules paid the consequences of heightened scrutiny.

Facebook Inc. (FB), which held one of the biggest IPOs in U.S. history last year, lost more than half its value in the months following the deal. The prospectus was pored over for three months before the offering by analysts, investors and reporters.

Groupon Inc. (GRPN) fell by more than three-quarters after its 2011 debut and was publicly ridiculed during the SEC review because of its accounting methods and exorbitant losses. Neither of those companies would have been eligible for the JOBS Act provision, because they were too big.

Market RallySixteen months have passed since Facebook's troubled offering and the market has bounced back. The social-networking service is finally trading above its IPO price and other consumer-Web companies like Trulia Inc. and RetailMeNot have soared since their IPOs.

In addition to the JOBS Act, ''we're seeing a recovery from the hangover effect of the Facebook IPO,'' Crowe said.

For its size, hype and growth, Twitter is not the kind of company that the JOBS Act was designed for, said Erik Gordon, a private-equity and law professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, who spoke with legislators when the bill was being drafted.

Twitter is valued at more than $10 billion, based on a public filing last month from an investor. It can afford the IPO process and won't have difficulty attracting underwriters and investors, Gordon said. He said the revenue cap for an emerging-growth company should be lowered to $500 million.

''Twitter is the last IPO in the world that needs the benefits of the JOBS Act,'' Gordon said. It's unfair to investors, who get ''a shorter period in which the S-1 is public for you to tear it apart and do a thorough analysis,'' he said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Leslie Picker in New York at lpicker2@bloomberg.net; Ari Levy in San Francisco at alevy5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey McCracken at jmccracken3@bloomberg.net; Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net

Beware Facebook's New Terms of Service | American Society of Media Photographers

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Fri, 13 Sep 2013 21:40

A short Q&A on Facebook's commercial use of your photographs

Q: What Did Facebook Do Now?A: On September 5th, 2013, Facebook put into effect new Terms of Service and privacy policies that radically increase Facebook's power to exploit your content and identity.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/17BElCm

Q: What Do These Changes Let Facebook Do With My Information And Content?A: Facebook is now able to exploit your name, likeness, content, images, private information, and personal brand by using it in advertising and in commercial and sponsored content '-- without any compensation to you. Facebook is monetizing not just your images, but a sizable portion of your entire online identity.

Q: I Don't Share A Lot Of Private Information Or Images On Facebook. What Does This Mean For Me?A: Facebook is still collecting and exploiting private information about you. It is ASMP's interpretation that the statement '''...when you are using Facebook, or when Facebook is running'' allows Facebook to monitor your web browsing, as well as to gather information from your mobile phone while the Facebook mobile app is running such as your location, recent calls, and other mobile activities.

Q: Can't I Protect Myself By Making My Profile Private?A: Maybe, but probably not.

Facebook has specifically removed the language from their TOS that allows you to limit how your likeness, information, and content are associated with brands, commercial uses, or sponsored posts. The have also removed the clause that makes them subject to the privacy limits set in place by you on your profile.

Check out this excerpt from the TOS Changes; the bold text is new additions to the TOS, the strikethroughs are language that is being removed from the TOS. This is one of the most important pieces of language in the whole document.

You can use your privacy settings to limit how your name and profile picture may be associated with commercial, sponsored, or related content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us. You give us permission to use your name, and profile picture, content, and information in connection with commercial, sponsored, or relatedthat content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us,subject to the limits you place. This means, for example, that you permit a business or other entity to pay us to display your name and/or profile picture with your content or information, without any compensation to you. If you have selected a specific audience for your content or information, we will respect your choice when we use it.

Q: I Don't Use Facebook, So Why Should I Care?A: One of the things ASMP and its allies are most concerned about is that these usage terms and attitudes towards users' content are becoming the norm. Facebook is a leader among online communities and services, and as they go, so do several others. Turning a blind eye to these changes simply because you do not use one service ignores a more important change in the overall culture of the internet and how online companies view and respect users, users' information, and content. Change does not happen in silence, but through the voices of many.

And note that any images your clients upload to Facebook are covered by these terms, so some of your photos may end up as the property of Facebook without your knowledge.

Q: I Read A Statement From Facebook That Said They Would Respect My Privacy And Content. What's Up With That?A: You may be referring to this: http://on.fb.me/15GmMMM

While this friendly statement may seem to break down many of the proposed changes into easy to digest language, the real nature of these changes is apparent when you start to read the documents that lay out the legal language for the actual proposed updates.

No one likes reading Terms of Service and agreements, but it is more important than ever to understand what you are agreeing to when you use these services. These Terms of Service are open-ended, vague, and far reaching. Please take the time to read them, or contact us with questions at tos@asmp.org.

Please read the full document here: http://bit.ly/151NjbK.

Or a more in depth analysis by Peter Krogh here: http://bit.ly/17BElCm.

Q: What Can I Do?A: There are a few things you can do about this and prevent it from becoming the norm for online services.

Become informed '-- Read and analyze these proposed changes and how they effect you. Ask questions.

Spread the word '-- Talk to your friends, students, family, and colleagues about these changes and how may affect you personally and professionally.

Call for action '-- Help others to become informed. Urge other professional organizations and entities you are a member of or work with to partner with organizations like ASMP and others as they work to ensure fair and respectful treatment of users by online services like Facebook and Instagram.

The IPhone Fingerprint Sensor is a Very Bad, Very Insecure Idea

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Source: EconomicPolicyJournal.com

Sat, 14 Sep 2013 21:07

Daily Beast reports:. While fingerprint sensors might seem like a nifty way to shorten the steps to your next brilliant tweet and keep your buddy from punking your Facebook with a fake status update, they're more likely to create a false sense of security, thanks to statements like this, from Apple Senior Vice President Dan Riccio, in the introductory video for the new iPhone 5s:

''Your fingerprint is one of the best passwords in the world. It's always with you, and no two are exactly alike.''

Riccio is half-right. Your fingerprint is always with you, and no two are exactly alike. But that doesn't make it one of the best passwords in the world. That actually makes it a potentially lousy password, says Gene Meltser, technical director for Chicago-based security firm Neohapsis Labs, because there's nothing you can do to change it, to keep the cyberthugs guessing.

''All we have are 10 fingers,'' Meltser told The Daily Beast. ''That means we can only authenticate successfully 10 times. Once that data is compromised, we are for the rest of our lives unable to authenticate.''

We leave fingerprints everywhere, every day, all day long. Any goober can stick a piece of tape on a greasy thumb depression left on a soda can, peel it off, scan it into a computer, and figure out a way to trick a fingerprint sensor into letting him inside.

Passwords, on the other hand, are stored (or should be stored) only inside the brain. You don't walk around all day slapping your PIN code on toilet seats and door handles. And even if you did do that, or you figured out someone had peeped over your shoulder and swiped your password, you could change it, and you're back in Secureville.

If someone grabs your fingerprint, and that's what you use to get into your phone, they'll always have it. And unless you find some sweet 007 technique for burning your fingertips off and creating a whole new set, you will not be able to do anything to set a ''new'' password.

Read more here.

NA Recipes

John C. Dvorak Chicago Hot Dog Recipe, California Style

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 13:34

aNewDomain.net '-- I've always produced recipes for compendiums like The Geek Cookbook and, before that, my old column from Boardwatch magazine. Today, I want to do a deep dive with one of my favorites, the Chicago-style Hot Dog. Here's how to make my classic John C Dvorak Chicago Hot Dog, California-style. With plenty of history, commentary and recipes built right in. Just in time for aNewDomain Weekend.After cooking for decades you learn a few axioms.One is that most dishes '-- dishes that have been around a long time '-- are already about as good as they are ever going to get.

Sure you can fool around with recipes. Maybe you deconstruct or alter a recipe and get something better. But if you take the original recipe, my advice is to use the best ingredients you can find and do the recipe pretty much like it was intended. Then you will have something delicious.

With certain kinds of junk recipes that have been established and popularized, this is probably more true than with something more elaborate where there is more opportunity for leeway.

This brings us to the Chicago-style hotdog where I will violate my own rule for obvious reasons.

I have been making copies of this recipe for years and decided it was time to roll out a Californian equivalent without the sport peppers, which cannot be easily found on the West Coast. Instead, we are going to use the delicious jalapeno pepper. And, instead of the sickly neon green relish we are going to substitute Del Monte pickle relish which is not only better tasting but does not use HFCS. (At least as of this writing.)

The basic Chicago Hot dog recipe is this:

Vienna brand all-beef hot dog, boiledPoppy seed hot dog bunDiced onionCliced half tomatoesYellow mustardneon green pickle relishSport peppers (usually 3)Pinch celery salt

Dill or other pickle spear

Optional cucumber spear

The actual assemblage is shown here in the Vienna Beef slideshow.

This is the basic product. One variation has the dog grilled and that is called a char-dog. Another variation, which appeared in 1946, has the dog also covered in French fries. Emeril Lagasse goes in this direction, while leaving the important pickle spear out, with his recipe cited here

Compare that to the ludicrous variation by Martha Stewart here, as she violated the prime directive to an extreme with a out-of-control and foppish variation that includes celery.

There are a slew of places that sell the classic Chicago style hot dogs They are all over the Chicago area and surrounds. Find the authentic dogs at small hot dog stands and in some of the bars within the Chicago O'Hare airport too. The dogs make a perfect lunch or dinner item on a stopover through the airport.

Almost all the terminals at O'Hare have these dogs somewhere.

The History of the Chicago Hot DogThe origin story for the recipe seems to go back to 1929.

According to the Wikipedia it was called a depression dog. This is obvious nonsense because any sense of a depression did not begin until 1931 to 1933. It does appear as if a number of purveyors, mostly Jewish immigrants, take credit for the invention.

An operation named Fluky's seems like the original. Apparently the 1929 version had lettuce too. All that is left of the original chain is a single stand at the Wal-Mart in Niles, Illinois.

In 1929 a similar dog chain cropped up in California called Kaspar's and, then in 1934, there appeared Caspar's after a family dispute. The two became competitive chains selling what was the exact same product. The origin of the Kaspar's chain exists abandoned in Oakland on a traffic island.

The last operating Kaspar's that I know of is in Fremont, California. The Caspar's spin off has 8 stores left. And the Caspar's operation manufactures it's dogs and sell them as a retail item.

So in 1929 two parallel hot dog operations emerged in different parts of the country serving a similar dog and one far different than the sauerkraut-laden hot dogs found on much of the east coast highlighted by Nathans Famous in 1916.

One must assume that throughout the country small secondary operations cropped up during the depression selling unusual hot dogs.

The Nathans operation came out of Poland, thus the use of kraut. Kaspar's was of Armenian origin. The Vienna beef company dates back to 1893 and came from Austrian-Hungarian Jewish immigrants. Fluky's was also Jewish.

And I should mention here that this discussion is about the Chicago-style hot dog not the origin of the hot dog in general.

And it needs to be noted that there is some evidence that the Chicago-style hot dog history has been fussed with. While many see it as an invention in the late 20's to the early 1930's the Vienna sausage company has propagated the idea that the Chicago-style dog was promoted into the public consciousness during the company debut at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. There is no evidence of this.

And it should be noted that in the New York Times, the first actual mention of the words ''Hot Dog'' was in quotes in a 1922 story about how sausage wagons in Atlantic City were selling drugs. The likelihood that the Chicago Style hotdog beginning in 1893 is highly suspicious.

In the literature it was apparent that the hot dog craze got rolling in the mid 1920's and the style popularized by Chicago and Kaspar's came later. The coincidental similarities to the two styles still needs research.

In short the Kaspars/Caspars dog is a foot long boiled frankfurter dropped into a steamed bun with mustard, pickle relish, tomatoes and onion slices. It's also salted. The only thing missing is the pepper, the poppy seeds, celery salt and the pickle spear.

I've always been surprised that the Kaspar's folks never sold a Chicago-Style dog. Years ago they began to sell cheese dogs and dogs with kraut alongside their ''original.''

So you make all this yourself and there is no reason you cannot make a reasonable copy of a Chicago-style hot dog which will delight the children and please the palate. Same for the Kaspars version.

If you were going to go through the trouble I'd advise the following.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, the best hot dogs come from the small Top Dog chain in and around Berkeley. At least that's the general belief. This is because they have always had outstanding sausages. Supposedly, the ''Top-Dog'' sausage is actually the California Farm Brand Beef Frankfurter, a non-retail manufacturer that sells to the trade. The public can buy these for $4.80 a pound in five-pound packs, as of these writing, just by going to the wholesaler itself. That's The Home Sausage Co., on San Francisco's Mission Street in San Francisco.

These dogs are meant to be slow-grilled but when boiled they are perfect for the foot-long California Style Chicago Hot dog. They are far better than the Vienna sausage and much tastier than the comparatively bland Caspar's packed hot dogs. But in a pinch any foot-long hot dog will do the trick for this recipe.

The John C Dvorak Chicago Hot Dog, California Style Recipe

Here it is, below.

Ingredients:

California Farm Brand Beef Frankfurter or other foot long dog

Long hot dog buns

Yellow mustard

Del Monte relish

Chopped or sliced sweet onion

Three or four heirloom tomato wedges

Pickled jalapeno pepper cut lengthwise

Your Favorite pickle spear

Optional lengthwise slice of cucumber

Celery salt, a shake

Black pepper, a shake

Poppy seeds, a large pinch

Cooking instructions:

Boil the dogs, steam the buns over the boiling water. Place the cooked dog in the bun and cover with the ingredients in the order above. Now you have a delicious and improved clone of the original. If you really want to get a debate going add some shredded lettuce (as in the very original) and see what happens.

Just remember: It is bad form to ever use ketchup on this dog. The tomatoes take care of that.

If you never get to Chicago and always wondered about this hot dog, then do one yourself. It's a great recipe and a fun conversation starter. And look at it, below. For aNewDomain.net, I'm John C. Dvorak.

Credit: John C. Dvorak for aNewDomain.net

VIDEOS

James Clapper on National Security and Surveillance - C-SPAN Video Library

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 13:40

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VIDEO-Terror Threat Assessment - C-SPAN Video Library

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Sat, 14 Sep 2013 18:04

Bipartisan Policy Center

The Bipartisan Policy Center's Homeland Security Project, co-chaired by 9/11 commissioners Kean and Hamilton, holds a panel discussion on the group's newest threat assessment, which examines Al-Qaeda and its affiliates.

The Bipartisan Policy Center's Homeland Security Project, co-chaired by 9/11 commissioners Kean and Hamilton, holds a panel discussion on the group's newest threat assessment, which examines Al-Qaeda and its affiliates.

Cautious Michelle Obama's new cause: ''Drink Up'' water campaign. In Watertown, Wisc. todayVoices | Voices

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Sun, 15 Sep 2013 01:21

WASHINGTON'--First Lady Michelle Obama travels to Watertown, Wisc. on Thursday to add drinking more water to her healthy living agenda.

''Drink Up'' is the slogan of the splashy campaign Mrs. Obama launches in the aptly named city, where she will be joined by actress Eva Longoria, who was an Obama presidential campaign co-chair.

Mrs. Obama also taped messages about drinking more water for 12 television talk shows, part of a Thursday media blitz.

Watertown, about 140 miles north of Chicago, is between Milwaukee and Madison and the town was picked because of the name, said Sam Kass, the Chicago chef who now is the executive director of ''Let's Move.''

Water is our ''original energy drink,'' Kass told reporters at a Wednesday briefing.

'''...Drinking more water,'' he said, ''is the best and easiest choice we can make everyday.''

Kass was asked about Mrs. Obama's own water drinking habits and revealed she drinks ''from morning 'til night.''

The water campaign is organized through the Partnership for a Healthier America, the non-profit Mrs. Obama helped create to house many of the activities associated with ''Let's Move,'' her signature healthy eating and anti-childhood obesity cause.

Chicago will be among the cities using the Partnership's advertising and marketing materials to encourage more people to ''Drink Up.''

Mrs. Obama remains very cautious in any public cause she embraces and in the matter of water, she will promote the no-calorie drink in all of its free or paid forms'--from the tap, a water fountain, bottled, or filtered.

Kass and Larry Soler, the CEO of the partnership stressed through the briefing that the water campaign will be upbeat. ''We are going to keep it positive from start to finish,'' Kass said.

There is a potential controversy brewing'--one noted in Wisconsin papers this week. Though there are at least 10 places in the U.S. named ''Watertown,'' Mrs. Obama's team picked the one with two soft drink companies, Wis-Pak, which makes Pepsi-Cola drinks and the 7-Up Bottling Co.

Non-profit organizations and the water industry are heavily involved in backing Mrs. Obama's water promotion: The American Beverage Association and International Bottled Water Association and BRITA, Aquafina, BEVERLY HILLS 9OH2O, DASANI, EVIAN Natural Spring Water, Hint, Voss, WAT-AAH!, and Nestl(C) Waters brands (North America's Arrowhead, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, Nestl(C) Pure Life, Ozarka, Poland Spring, resource and Zephyrhills) will be, according to the White House, ''promoting the Drink Up message on products, through public events, via digital, print, social and out of home media efforts and other publicity.''

Young & Rubicam, Buck, Antfood, Nielsen, Proclivity Media, VML, and Core Strategies handled research, marketing, messaging and advertising for the water drive.

VIDEO- NEW! Message From Top Al Qaeda Leader Calls For Attacks On United States! DUN! DUN! DUN! - YouTube

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