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No Agenda Episode 451

By Adam Curry. Posted Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 12:31 PM.

Mass of Tax Nuts

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By Adam Curry. Posted Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 12:32 PM.

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Credits

By Adam Curry. Posted Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 12:32 PM.

Mass of Tax Nuts

Executive Producers: Sir Rick Bressler, Sir Greg Filer, Steven Dew

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Joseph Frost

451 Club Member: Steven Dew

Become a member of the 452 Club, support the show here

Knighthoods: Paul Sankowski, Lady Arctic, Rick Bressler, Greg Filer, Darren Phillips, Joseph Frost, Michael Klink

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BREAKING! Head Of Security At US Embassy in Yemen Assassinated

White House Asked Isn't Obama The One Who Shot First, Aimed Later on Libya? - YouTube

Link to Article

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 22:41

The White House Disinformation Campaign on Libya - YouTube

Link to Article

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 23:24

Dana Milbank: Letting us in on a secret - The Washington Post

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Thu, 11 Oct 2012 12:47

When House Republicans called a hearing in the middle of their long recess, you knew it would be something big, and indeed it was: They accidentally blew the CIA's cover.

The purpose of Wednesday's hearing of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee was to examine security lapses that led to the killing in Benghazi last month of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others. But in doing so, the lawmakers reminded us why ''congressional intelligence'' is an oxymoron.

Mother Of "VILE RAT" Killed In Benghazi Attack Speaks Out About Obama & The US State Dept

Libya's prime minister-elect sacked - UPI.com

Link to Article

Mon, 08 Oct 2012 20:56

Published: Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:55 AM

TRIPOLI, Libya, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Before he was dismissed, Libyan Prime Minister-elect Mustafa Abushagur said he wanted a "crisis government" to lead the country given security threats.Abushagur was dismissed after failing twice to win approval from the General National Congress for a new administration.

Abushagur had told the GNC that he wanted a scaled-down Cabinet to lead post-war Libya.

"In face of the dangers threatening the country, I present to you a crisis government restricted to 10 ministers, rejecting all geographical considerations," he was quoted by the BBC as saying.

The vast majority of the 186-member assembly voted against his proposals. His previous effort to form a new Cabinet failed Thursday when lawmakers said it wasn't representative. The BBC reports that leaders from former rebel strongholds like Misurata and Benghazi wanted more representation in the new government.

U.S. agencies are investigating the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Attacks, which the U.S. government described as terrorism, left the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three of his staff members dead.

Aubshagur served as deputy prime minister in the wake of the death of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who died after falling into rebel hands during last year's civil war.

The GNC has less than a month to select a new candidate for prime minister.

Shut Up Slave!

US supreme court finalizes gift of immunity to the telecom giants.

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 11:26

So pervasive and reliable is the rule of elite immunity - even in the face of the most egregious crimes - that one finds extreme examples on a weekly basis. Six weeks ago, the Obama justice department forever precluded the possibility of criminal accountability for Bush torturers by refusing to bring charges in the only two remaining torture cases, ones involving the deaths of the detainee-victims by torture.

The Obama campaign is now running a new campaign ad against Mitt Romney that rails against a litany of Wall Street "criminals" and "gluttons of greed", but as David Dayen astutely notes, those examples were all imprisoned during the Bush era because the Obama administration has prosecuted no significant Wall Street executives for the 2008 financial collapse and thus have none of their own examples to highlight:

"So the Obama campaign could not fill a list of three Wall Street criminals that the Obama Justice Department actually sent to jail. Heck, they couldn't fill a list of one!

"This is despite Eric Holder telling students at Columbia University in February of this year that his Justice Department's record of success on fighting financial fraud crimes 'has been nothing less than historic.' But not historic enough that his boss could point to, well, one Wall Street criminal behind bars as a result of DoJ's actions.

That's painfully telling. Nobody from Bank of America or Wells Fargo or Citigroup or JPMorgan Chase or Goldman Sachs or Bear Stearns or Morgan Stanley or Merrill Lynch or even Countrywide or Ameriquest was available to stand in as a 'glutton of greed' in this advertisement. Literally no major figure responsible for the financial crisis has gone to jail. So the campaign has to use two CEOs from a decade-old accounting scandal, and a garden-variety Ponzi schemer."

And now, the US supreme court just consecrated one of the most corrupt acts of the US government over the past decade: its vesting of retroactive legal immunity in the nation's telecom giants after they had been caught red-handed violating multiple US eavesdropping laws. Just as the Obama DOJ forever precluded any legal accountability for Bush-era torturers, the supreme court on Tuesday forever precluded any legal accountability for AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and other telecoms for their crucial participation in the illegal Bush NSA warrantless eavesdropping program (the Obama DOJ, needless to say, supported the position of the telecoms).

When the New York Times revealed on 16 December 2005 that the Bush administration was spying on the telephone calls and emails of American citizens without the warrants required by the criminal law, it exposed lawbreaking not only by government officials but also by the nation's largest telecoms. Multiple laws were in place at the time imposing both criminal and civil liability on telecoms for enabling government spying on the communications of their customers without warrants or other legal authority, and that is exactly what these telecoms did. One former AT&T employee, Mark Klein, publicly described how AT&T had even built a separate room with no purpose but to permit the National Security Agency unfettered access to all of its customers' communications.

What was most remarkable about those telecom laws is that - in the wake of the mid-1970s Church Committee investigation finding that the government abused its spying powers to punish and monitor dissidents - those laws were expressly written to prevent telecoms from participating in illegal government spying. They were written with the full participation of telecom lawyers to ensure that the companies' obligations were crystal clear. And most amazingly of all, the laws already contained broad immunity clauses to ensure that telecoms could never be punished for "good faith" violations, but rather only for deliberate, knowing violations of the law.

When civil liberties groups sued the telecoms on behalf of their customers whose communications had been illegally accessed by the government, federal courts began ruling against the telecoms, holding that the immunity they already had under the law would be unavailable to them, because the allegations against them amounted to knowing, deliberate violations of the law. As one federal judge put it in refusing to dismiss a lawsuit against AT&T: "AT&T cannot seriously contend that a reasonable entity in its position could have believed that the alleged domestic dragnet was legal."

But in the US, large and powerful actors must not be and are not subject to the rule of law. So telecoms hired former government officials from both parties to lobby for them and poured money into the coffers of key Democratic Senators such as Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (who became the chief advocate of telecom immunity).

In 2008, the industry obtained an extraordinary act of Congress that gave them the gift of retroactive immunity from all criminal and civil liability for their participation in the illegal eavesdropping programs aimed at Americans on US soil. The immunity was enacted by an overwhelming bipartisan vote, with the support of leading Democrats including Barack Obama, who had promised - when seeking his party's nomination - to filibuster any bill that contained retroactive telecom immunity.

Immediately after this immunity was vested, groups which had been suing the telecoms and had their lawsuits terminated by the law, such as Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the ACLU, challenged the constitutionality of this immunity. They argued, among other things, that retroactive telecom immunity "violates the federal government's separation of powers as established in the Constitution" (by having Congress rather than courts resolve cases in favor of telecoms and by allowing executive branch officials full discretion as to which telecoms should be immunized), and "robs innocent telecom customers of their rights without due process of law" (by retroactively barring them from seeking justice in court for the violations of their legal rights).

Federal courts, needless to say, rejected these claims, dismissed the lawsuits against the telecoms, and upheld the validity of telecom immunity. It was these decisions that the supreme court on Tuesday refused to review, thus forever shielding lawbreaking telecoms from any legal accountability. Thus, the same tribunal that regularly consigns ordinary, powerless Americans to prison for decades for even trivial offenses yet again acts to protect the most powerful actors from any consequences for serious crimes: that is the US justice system in a nutshell.

As usual, it is not only the executive branch, Congress and courts which enable this elite immunity, but also the nation's establishment media, which obscures and distorts these issues with flagrantly misleading claims. Yesterday, for instance, CNN purported to report on the supreme court's decision, and told its readers that what "civil libertarians" were objecting to was eavesdropping on "potential terrorists" [my emphasis]:

"The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday left in place a law that allows the Justice Department to stop suits against telecommunications companies for participating in wiretaps of potential terrorists.

"The ruling was a key setback for civil libertarians challenging the broader powers of government since the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States to use electronic surveillance to track potential threats in the name of national security. . . .

"In this case, Verizon Communications, Sprint Nextel, and AT&T were accused of privacy violations by assisting the government with intelligence gathering following the hijack attacks on New York and Washington."

This is all patently misleading. Nobody has ever objected to eavesdropping on "potential terrorists"; nobody objects to the "use [of] electronic surveillance to track potential threats in the name of national security"; and certainly nobody claims there are "privacy violations" from eavesdropping on terrorists.

The issue is and always has been illegality, not eavesdropping. The objection is not to government eavesdropping itself, but to government eavesdropping in violation of the law, by spying without the court warrants required by that law, a law that made it a felony - punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each offense - to eavesdrop on Americans without first obtaining permission from a court. Moreover, the problem is not that government spying took place against "potential terrorists" but that the communications of all Americans were swept up.

George Bush tried to distort objections to his illegal eavesdropping program into objections to "eavesdropping on the terrorists", and here we have CNN in its headline and lede perpetuating that same claim. The CNN article does eventually note that "the law had previously required the government to justify a national security interest before any phone calls and emails originating in another country could be monitored", that "a federal judge had to sign any search warrant" and that "Bush secretly suspended that requirement following the attacks" (Bush did not "secretly suspend that requirement but rather "secretly broke the law": presidents do not have the power to "suspend laws": that's called "breaking the law").

Despite those caveats, the CNN headline and the lede of the article give the clear impression that the objections are to eavesdropping on terrorists, something no sane or rational person could oppose:

So congratulations are once again in order for AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and the other national telecom giants. In a country that imprisons more of its ordinary citizens than any other on the planet by far, and that imposes more unforgiving punishments than any other western nation, our most powerful corporate actors once again find total impunity even for the most serious of lawbreaking.

Relating to all of this, I had what I considered to be a quite revealing Twitter exchange this morning with the New York Times' Matthew Rosenberg, who covers Afghanistan for that paper. Rosenberg intervened in a discussion of US drones in Pakistan by vehementlydenouncing the Pakistani government for "outright, unabashed lies", and then arguing: "it's problematic to base analysis off statements from [a government] that repeatedly misleads in public."

When I asked him whether he would apply those same notes of skepticism to the US government, he repeatedly refused to answer, both in response to my question and those from others. He just kept insisting that the issue was irrelevant. But how could it possibly be that Pakistan's propensity to lie is relevant to the drone debate, but the US government's propensity to do so is irrelevant? That's particularly striking given the clear documentation that top US government officials have lied about US drones. I have posted all the relevant Twitter comments here.

Apparently, like so many US journalists, Rosenberg is quite willing and eager to publicly denounce foreign government leaders as liars and to insist that their statements on drones must be taken with great skepticism, but - as an American reporter working for a US newspaper writing about US policy - he refuses to say the same about his own government (he did eventually say that all government claims should be treated with skepticism). Rosenberg has actually done some good journalism, but that double standard perfectly captures the role many establishment journalism plays in the US.

Federal Protective Service (United States)

Link to Article

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 05:55

As a component of U.S. Department of Homeland Security, National Protection and Programs Directorate within DHS Headquarters, the Federal Protective Service (FPS) is responsible for law enforcement and security of nearly 9,000 federally owned and leased buildings, courthouses, properties, and other federal assets and the personnel associated with those assets. FPS is a federal law enforcement agency, and currently employs approximately 900 federal law enforcement officer/inspectors, and special agents. FPS provides integrated law enforcement and security services to U.S.Federal buildings, courthouses, and other properties administered by the General Services Administration (GSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). To support that mission, FPS contracts with private security firms to provide 15,000 contract security guards providing access control and security response within federal facilities throughout the nation. FPS also protects other properties as authorized and carries out various other activities for the promotion of homeland security as the Secretary of Homeland Security may prescribe, to include providing a uniformed police response to National Security Special Events, and national disasters.

[edit]About the Federal Protective ServiceThe Federal Protective Service is a branch of the National Protection and Programs Directorate and a headquarters component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As the police force of the Secretary of Homeland Security, FPS is responsible for policing, securing and ensuring a safe environment in which federal agencies can conduct their business. FPS does this by investigating threats posed against over 9,000 federal facilities nationwide.

FPS's work focuses directly on the interior security of the nation and the reduction of crimes and potential threats to federal facilities throughout the nation. Uniformed FPS officers/inspectors and special agents respond to calls for assistance, conduct investigations and provide crime prevention tips, as well as assist in occupant emergency planning.

All federal facilities under FPS control receive a thorough building security assessment on a recurring schedule. During this assessment representatives of all agencies in the facility are interviewed to gather information on the specific mission they perform within the facility, and intelligence and crime statistics for the area are reviewed, as are existing security countermeasures. Based on the findings and working with the agencies housed in the facility, security countermeasures are added or adjusted. This allows for tailored security for each individual facility versus a one-size-fits-all approach.

[edit]Services providedFPS services include:

Providing a visible uniformed presence in major Federal buildingsResponding to criminal incidents and other emergenciesInstalling and monitoring security devices and systemsInvestigating criminal incidentsConducting physical security surveysCoordinating a comprehensive program for occupants' emergency plansPresenting formal crime prevention and security awareness programsEnforcing traffic laws on federal propertyProviding police emergency and special security services during National Special Security Events, natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and major civil disturbances-as well as during man-made disasters, such as bombexplosions and riots.[edit]TrainingNewly hired sworn FPS law enforcement personnel undergo initial entry training at the FPS Academy on the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia. Furthermore, following graduation, new FPS law enforcement officers undergo additional post academy training, as well as career-continuous training, and are assigned to an FPS office in one of eleven regions throughout the country. FPS law enforcement officers also undergo additional training, depending on their assignment to special units within the service.

[edit]Mission statementThe FPS mission is to render federal properties safe and secure for federal employees, officials, and visitors in a professional and cost effective manner by deploying a highly trained and multi-disciplined police force.

[edit]RecentOn October 28, 2009, President Barack Obama, signed legislation which effectively transferred the Federal Protective Service from Immigration & Customs Enforcement to the National Protection and Programs Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security.

In 2009, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security issued reports that were highly critical of the Federal Protective Service for relying on low-wage contract personnel to provide security at federal buildings. See GAO-09-0859T and OIG-09-51. Both documented that the contractors lacked the necessary skills or training to handle their duties, which threatened the security of all federal employees and visitors. The GAO report made national headlines in July 2009 as it cited frequent lapses, including failure to prevent investigators from carrying weapons into several key federal installations. It also displayed a photograph of a contract security guard asleep at his guard post.

On 26 December 2007, President George W. Bush signed H.R. 2764 Omnibus spending bill into law which included a provision that FPS maintains, by July 31, 2008, not fewer than 1,200 full-time staff and 900 full-time Police Officers, Inspectors, and Special Agents who, while working, are directly engaged on a daily basis protecting and enforcing laws at Federal buildings. This amendment to H.R. 2674 was introduced by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and was successfully included in the bill and signed into law largely due to the efforts of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 918-FPS and the grassroots efforts of its membership.

Prior to H.R. 2764 a series of incidents on federal property across the country'--including the theft of a trailer of surveillance equipment from an FBI parking deck'--is being blamed on budget cuts at the agency told the chairman Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton on March 14, 2008. The service has seen its budget and staff cut since it became a part of the Department of Homeland Security in March 2003.[1]

[edit]HistoryThe origins of FPS date to 1790, with the enactment of legislation authorizing President George Washington to appoint three commissioners to establish a federal territory for a permanent seat of federal government. Prior to the formal establishment of the seat of government, the commissioners hired six night watchmen to protect the designated buildings the government was intended to occupy. FPS traces its origins to the appointment of these six night watchmen.

FPS has resided in a number of different agencies over the years. The act of June 1, 1948, authorized the Federal Administrator to appoint special policemen for duty in connection with the policing of all buildings owned and occupied by the United States. In 1949, Congress enacted the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, which consolidated real property functions within the newly created General Services Administration. The FPS force, known at the time as the United States Special Police, came under the supervision of the Protection Division of the Public Building Service (PBS). In 1971, the Administrator of GSA signed an order formally establishing the Federal Protective Force, later known as FPS, and the Civil Service Commission authorized the special classification title of Federal Protective Officer (FPO).

Initially, the main function of FPS was protection, as an integral part of building operations. For the most part, the force held fixed posts and performed duties that would be considered safety functions today, such as: eliminating fire and safety hazards, patrolling buildings, detecting fires, and providing the first line of defense in fighting fires; and answering visitor questions, assisting citizens, rendering first aid, and directing traffic when necessary. By 1960, the mission of FPS became the first line of defense against bomb threats, bombings, vandalism, mass demonstrations, and violence against Federal buildings.

In 1980, Fidel Castro instigated a wave of emigration from Cuba to the United States using the harbor town of Mariel for debarkation. The thousands of refugees were eventually distributed to military installations in several states (Fort Chaffee, AR, Fort McCoy, WI, Fort Indiantown Gap, PA) and Puerto Rico to await permanent resettlement. The Immigration and Naturalization Service and Border Patrol were understaffed to provide civilian law enforcement officers needed to maintain order within the installations. The Federal Protective Service, then administratively placed under the General Service Administration's Public Building Service, was among several federal authorities asked to provide additional on-site officers for the duration of the event. Federal Protective Officers from across the country frequently served in the camps, and also during the riot at Fort Chaffee.

More recently, the role of the FPS officer has undergone further changes. The FPS has shifted its emphasis from the fixed guard post concept of security to a mobile police patrol and response. FPS contracts private security companies to guard fixed posts. FPS officers perform all duties attendant to the normal interpretation of a police officer function including maintaining law and order, preventing or deterring disturbances, and investigating both felonies and misdemeanors. The Civil Service Commission developed standards for FPS applicants, which included background investigations, and physical examinations.

Pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002, FPS was transferred to the Department of Homeland Security and retained its responsibilities for protecting the buildings, grounds, and property owned, occupied, or secured by the federal government under GSA's jurisdiction. In addition to GSA facilities, the Act also provides FPS with the authority to protect properties held by DHS components that were not under GSA jurisdiction. FPS was moved from GSA, Public Building Services, to DHS, effective March 1, 2003. Within DHS, FPS became a part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). On October 28, 2009, President Barack Obama signed legislation which transferred FPS from ICE to the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Today, FPS is responsible for policing, securing, and ensuring a safe environment in which federal agencies can conduct business by reducing threats posed against approximately 9,000 Federal government facilities throughout the United States.[1]

[edit]AuthorityFPS law enforcement personnel derive their law enforcement authority from Section 1315 of Title 40 (40 USC 1315) of the United States Code.

40 USC 1315: The Secretary may designate employees of the Department of Homeland Security, including employees transferred to the Department from the Office of the Federal Protective Service of the General Services Administration pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002, as officers and agents for duty in connection with the protection of property owned or occupied by the Federal Government and persons on the property, including duty in areas outside the property to the extent necessary to protect the property and persons on the property.

Powers. - While engaged in the performance of official duties, an officer or agent designated under this subsection may -

(A) enforce Federal laws and regulations for the protection of persons and property;

(B) carry firearms;

(C) make arrests without a warrant or in plain clothes for any offense against the United States committed in the presence of the officer or agent or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if the officer or agent has reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing a felony;

(D) serve warrants and subpoenas issued under the authority of the United States;

(E) conduct investigations, on and off the property in question, of offenses that may have been committed against property owned or occupied by the Federal Government or persons on the property; and

(F) carry out such other activities for the promotion of homeland security as the Secretary may prescribe.

[edit]Labor organizationThe American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 918 is the exclusive representative of all bargaining unit eligible Federal Protective Service employees which includes non-supervisory Police Officers, Inspectors, Special Agents and support personnel.

[edit]Protective Investigations ProgramThe Protective Investigations Program was established in early 2004, to ensure the safety of DHS and FPS protectees and facilities. The objective of the program is to prevent an attack on persons and facilities designated as FPS protectees.

The program integrates the following aspects of the FPS mission: the initial patrol response by FPS uniformed police officers; full investigation by FPS special agents; prosecution by the U.S. Attorney's Office or State Prosecutor's Office; physical security enhancements and countermeasures; security briefings and workplace violence seminars administered by FPS law enforcement personnel; suspicious surveillance detection initiatives designed to detect pre-incident indicators of threats to federal employees, facilities and protectees; a monthly Operations Security Bulletin; and protection details for high-ranking officials within DHS. FPS Headquarters developed a Memorandum of Understanding, in collaboration with the U.S. Capitol Police, enabling the two entities to use each other's resources to effectively, efficiently and professionally respond to and investigate threats and inappropriate communications directed at members of Congress, their families and staff when outside the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

FPS collaborates with other components within ICE and has established liaisons with agencies having a protective and investigative mission such as the U.S. Secret Service'--National Threat Assessment Center, the Social Security Administration (SSA), the U.S. Marshals Service, the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and various state and local police agencies throughout the country.

FPS special agents have made arrests and conducted investigations of subjects charged with making inappropriate communications and threats to members of the U.S. Congress (House and Senate) and/or their staff, the director of Federal Emergency Management Agency, FPS Director, members of the military reserve, SSA, the Department of Veteran Affairs and other federal employees. Many of these investigations resulted in convictions for making threats to do physical harm and threats to bomb federal facilities. FPS special agents investigated threats delivered in person, via telephone, e-mail and U.S. Postal Service mail.

FPS special agents also oversee an outreach program designed to educate the community and tenant agencies and provide them with a point of contact to report suspicious behavior and incidents that threaten FPS protectees, facilities, and/or visitors.

[edit]Explosive Detection Dog TeamsThe mission of the Explosive Detector Dog (EDD) Teams is the protection of life and property and providing a strong visible and psychological deterrence against criminal and terrorist acts. Prior to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the FPS had a minimal program of 10 EDD Teams located in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Since that time, the FPS EDD program has expanded to more than 60 teams nationwide.

The EDD Teams conduct routine explosive searches of office areas, vehicles, materials, packages and persons housed in federally owned or leased facilities. The EDD Teams respond to bomb threats and suspicious packages or items and are used to assist in clearing identified areas.

[edit]DeploymentThe FPS EDD Teams are deployed in their area of assignment as well as frequent deployment to National Special Security Events such as the Olympic games, the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, and the G-8 Summit. The EDD Teams provide their vital capabilities to state and local law enforcement authorities under emergency conditions when local EDD Teams are unavailable.

[edit]TrainingThe FPS Canine Training Academy is located in Fort McClellan, Alabama, and is conducted in partnership with the Auburn University Canine Detection Training Center. Each handler and respective canine attends the mandatory 10-week EDD Handler Training Course. The handlers and their canine partners graduate from the course as a team.

The EDD Teams are on call 24 hours a day and serve a crucial role as part of a greater network of first responders in a growing national network of federal task force officers.

[edit]Hazardous Response ProgramThe FPS Hazardous Response Program (HRP) was created to support the mission of FPS in response to credible chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high yield explosive (CBRNE) threats or incidents.

HRP includes initial investigations of suspicious or threatening CBRNE incidents; completion of CBRNE threat assessments; confirmations of unauthorized presence of CBRNE agents and materials; and the conduction of emergency operations. HRP also provides: evacuation support during CBRNE incidents and some crazy training assistance. The program is compliant with OSHA and NFPA guidance and regulations. The HRP consists of five main elements: Awareness, Prevention, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery.

[edit]MegaCentersIn 2000, FPS transitioned all alarm monitoring and dispatching capabilities from several regional control centers to four MegaCenters. Currently, each MegaCenter monitors multiple types of alarm systems, closed circuit television, and wireless dispatch communications within federal facilities throughout the entire nation. The centers, located in Battle Creek, Michigan, Denver, Colorado, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Suitland, Maryland, are equipped with state-of-the-art communication systems and in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The centers are fully redundant'--if there is a partial or catastrophic failure at one center, all operations can be remotely switched and monitored at a "peer" location without disruption to field service.

[edit]Vital communications linkWhile the MegaCenters are an alarm monitoring entity, they also serve as a unique and vital communications link between FPS law enforcement personnel on the street and contract Protective Security Officers (PSOs) located throughout the various facilities FPS protects. This vital communications link has been created as a result of the investment of millions of dollars to ensure effective communications and safety of FPS operations. The related alarm monitoring function for GSA and other federally owned and leased facilities provides a dedicated and specialized service to ensure prompt dispatch of law enforcement and emergency first responders to situations at those facilities nationwide. FPS MegaCenters are the 911 dispatch center for DHS.

[edit]National networkPresently, FPS MegaCenters have a national wireless communication network that uses a voice-over-internet protocol system that transmits over a wide-area network. This form of communication reduces recurring long line costs, ensures redundancy and is set up to provide fail over capability in the event of a scheduled or unscheduled outage. Considering the success of the FPS national wireless radio communication system, FPS is working with ICE and DHS to see if opportunities exist for FPS to extend this service to other DHS components.

[edit]The futureFPS is currently working on several projects that range from access control/Smart Card management to rapid deployment capabilities in disaster situations. FPS is continually evaluating cutting edge technology that can enhance its capabilities to protect the nation.

[edit]Home and Family SecurityFederal Protective Service (FPS) protects federal buildings and the employees within them through measures such as risk assessment, security and surveillance support, and safety education. In addition, FPS performs several roles that assist the general public. One of these roles is to keep the public safe while in a federal building. This includes training federal building employees on what procedures to follow when a child is reported missing.

On April 30, of the year it was conceived, the Code Adam Act of 2003 became a law. The act is named in the memory of six-year-old Adam Walsh, whose abduction from a Florida shopping mall and murder in 1981 helped to bring child abduction to national attention.

The Code Adam Alert requires that the designated authority for a public building establish procedures for a child missing in a federal facility. On November 1 of 2003, the Department of Homeland Security Federal Protective Service (FPS) implemented a policy nationwide, establishing procedures for locating a missing child in federal facilities. The General Services Administration administers the program in both owned and leased federal facilities. Topics include home and family security, how to avoid rape and sexual assault, theft in the workplace, and travel security.

[edit]See also[edit]References[edit]External linksOfficial:

Others:

TSA Humiliates Woman Dying Of Leukemia

F-Russia

Putin cancels Turkey visit

Link to Article

Source: DEBKAFile

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 11:02

The Russian president had scheduled a visit to Turkey for next Sunday. He cancelled it after Turkish fighters forced a Syrian civilian plane en route from Moscow to land in Ankara Wednesday night. Moscow has demanded clarifications from Ankara, reporting that 17 Russians were aboard the Syrian aircraft bound for Damascus. The Syrian government has accused Turkey of ''air piracy.''

Moscow Furious After Turkish Fighter Jets Force Syrian Air Passenger Plane To Land In Ankara

Russian Press Claims Pussy Riot Offered $700 Million World Tour Deal By US Companies

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 23:56

Following today's release of one member of the jailed Russian art group Pussy Riot on appeal, the Russian press is filled with wild rumors about the possibility of a lucrative worldwide Pussy Riot tour.According to multiple press reports, the band could net around 600 million euros ($700 million) for around 100 shows, and have been offered $10 million contract to record an album.

"Our agency just blew up calls and letters from overseas promotional and production companies with offers to host concert tours for Pussy Riot after a member of the group was to be released from prison," a representative of live music company RU-CONCERT said, according to Life News. "Many of them are trying to use our agency to get the creator of the group."

Life News specifically mentions the US-based concert group Live Nation as being behind the news. We've reached out for comment and will let you know if they get back to us.

Of course, some have already noted that the economics of this rumored offer don't really seem to make any sense. However, if this concert actually goes through, ticket buyers should probably remember that Pussy Riot aren't really a band, and actually exist as more of an art collective. Don't go expecting Green Day.

BBC News - Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich freed

Link to Article

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 23:29

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Putin: Saakashvili to 'Cling to Power'

Link to Article

Source: RIA Novosti

Sun, 07 Oct 2012 14:33

VLADIVOSTOK, October 7 (RIA Novosti) - Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, whose ruling UNM party was soundly defeated in parliamentary elections on October 1, will try to maintain his grip on power, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

''Saakashvili will try to cling to power,'' Putin said in an interview on the Central Television program broadcast on the NTV television network on Sunday.

''I think he will try to offset defeat in the party lists with the single-mandate constituencies,'' Putin said.

Saakashvili's current presidential term '' his last under constitutional term limits '' ends in October 2013.

Saakashvili was prompt in conceding defeat at the hands of the opposition Georgian Dream coalition led by a bitter rival, billionaire tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili, a move that effectively silenced his critics in Moscow.

Georgian Dream won 83 out of 150 seats in the parliament. Saakashvili's UNM will have 67 seats.

The majority of the president's executive powers will be transferred to the new prime minister under constitutional reforms that take effect in January.

Georgia has had no diplomatic relations with Russia since they fought a five-day war in 2008. And while Russia did not back either side at the polls, there is great personal antipathy between Saakashvili and Putin, who said of his Georgian counterpart in the aftermath of the South Ossetia war that he would like to ''hang him by the balls.''

Bullying

Drone Nation

DHS to start testing drones over US for 'public safety'

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 11:25

The Global Hawk, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in flight. (AFP Photo)

Don't be surprised if you catch a federal fleet of sneaky spy drones soaring over your head in the near future, but don't be too terrified '-- it's all in the name of public safety.

The US Department of Homeland Security is asking the makers of small unmanned aerial vehicles to submit their crafts for consideration as the agency ramps up the construction of a full-fledged surveillance state across America. The DHS plans to soon conduct drone tests over the Fort Sill, Oklahoma US Army base, and they're already soliciting spy planes from the private sector so they can select what kind of UAV to use.

According to a request for information published on the Federal Business Opportunities website recently, the DHS is determined to begin drone tests over the military base soon and is seeking submissions from drone makers that don't mind making a few bucks by having their products put into the US airspace to conduct sweeping surveillance.

The Borders and Maritime Security Division of the DHS ''will conduct flight testing and evaluation of airborne sensors and small unmanned aerial systems,'' the request reads, and now invites vendors to submit drones to be tested ''under a wide variety of simulated but realistic and relevant real-world operation scenarios.''

The solicitation says that drones will be evaluated to see how well they perform law enforcement operations and conduct search and rescue missions, but once a craft is handed over to the DHS then the details will be put under lock and key. Specifically, the call for work says, "the information within each test report will be classified as For Official Use Only, and will not be shared with the general public."

Given that the department has already addressed the issue of acquiring drones to give the DHS a better eye of domestic doings, though, those law enforcement operations in question could very well transcend away from legitimate uses and quickly cause civil liberty concerns from coast-to-coast.

Homeland Security Janet Napolitano told a House Committee panel in July that the DHS was ''looking at drones that could be utilized to give us situational awareness in a large public safety [matter] or disaster'' and the next piece of the puzzle is already being put into place. With their latest solicitation, the DHS acknowledges that it is specifically testing a ''Robotic Aircraft For Public Safety,'' but the components necessary to be considered suggest that any drone adopted by the agency will be brought in for sweeping surveillance.

The solicitation request requires that all drones be equipped with Electro-Optical/Infra-Red sensors, as well as the technology to sniff out certain chemicals from thousands of feet from above. The UAV must also have an integrated laser designator, can be hand-launched by a single person and must be able to be remotely managed by a pilot with only one day of training.

The Federal Aviation Administration is working towards putting the finishing touches on rules and regulations for widespread domestic drone use, and the agency expects as many as 30,000 UAVs will be in America's airspace by the decade's end.

Scampaign

Finance Propaganda

Obama.com Owned by Bundler in Shanghai with Business Ties to Chinese Government

Link to Article

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 07:28

Breitbart News obtained an advance copy of the bombshell report which reveals that the Obama.com website is not owned by the president's campaign but rather by Obama bundler Robert Roche, a U.S. citizen living in Shanghai, China. Roche is the chairman of a Chinese infomercial company, Acorn International, with ties to state-controlled banks that allow it to ''gain revenue through credit card transactions with Chinese banks.''

There's more.

The unusual Obama.com website redirects traffic directly to a donation page on the Obama campaign's official website, my.barackobama.com, which does not require donors to enter their credit card security code (known as the CVV code), thereby increasing the likelihood of foreign or fraudulent donations. The website is managed by a small web development firm, Wicked Global, in Maine. One of Wicked Global's employees, Greg Dorr, lists on his LinkedIn page his additional employment with Peace Action Maine and Maine Voices for Palestinian Rights. According to the GAI report, 68 percent of all Internet traffic to Obama.com comes from foreign visitors.

And still more.

In 2011, Mr. Roche obtained one of the most sought-after pieces of real estate in Washington, DC: a seat at the head table for President Obama's State Dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao. How Roche'--a man whose infomercial company hawks fitness equipment, cell phones, and breast enhancement products'--landed a seat alongside Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President Bill Clinton, Sen. John Kerry, former President Jimmy Carter, and Chinese President Hu Jintao remains unclear.

Since 2009, White House Visitor Logs list the name Robert Roche at least 19 times, despite the fact Mr. Roche's primary residence is in China.

Mr. Roche, who is originally from Chicago, is a co-chair of the Technology Initiative for the Obama campaign.

According to Acorn International's prospectus, the success of Mr. Roche's company hinges on maintaining access to state-run media and ''preferential tax treatments and subsidies'' doled out by the People's Republic of China (PRC):

Our business depends on our access to TV media time to market our products and services in China'....PRC law is vague and is subject to discretionary interpretation and enforcement by PRC authorities'...Loss of these preferential tax treatments and subsidies could have material and adverse effects on our results of operations and financial conditions.

In addition to the Obama.com redirect revelation, the Government Accountability Institute report'--America the Vulnerable: Are Foreign And Fraudulent Online Contributions Influencing U.S. Elections?'--exposes myriad gaping online security holes that stand to threaten the integrity of House, Senate, and presidential elections.

Stay tuned to Breitbart News for continuing coverage'...

Headline image: Obama 2012-themed credit card cover product image.

Schweizer, Bannon Expose Vulnerabilities in Online Campaign Fundraising

Home >> Campaign Funding Risks

Link to Article

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 07:29

the truthaboutdigitaldonations.

Federal Election Commission (FEC) laws do not require federal candidates to use the same kinds of industry-standard, anti-fraud credit card security measures commonly used when purchasing things online. This oversight creates a dangerous pathway for illegal foreign and fraudulent online contributions to influence U.S. elections.

To find out if your congressperson or senator is vulnerable to illegal donations, click on the interactive map right now.

How much do you know about yourrepresentative's digital donations?Check now >>

Goverment Accountability Institute Inc. Company Profile - Located in Tallahassee, FL

Link to Article

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 07:32

Education, Health, & Social:22,197(26%)Public administration:13,266(16%)Professional, Scientific, & Mgmt:10,505(12%)Retail trade:10,050(12%)Hospitality & Entertainment:9,780(12%)Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate:5,011(6%)Construction:4,192(5%)Other Services:4,061(5%)Transporation & Warehousing:1,397(2%)Manufacturing:1,329(2%)Wholesale trade:1,070(1%)Agriculture:198(0%)Total population:162,907(100%)White:97,903(60%)Black:58,448(36%)Asian:5,571(3%)Other:2,702(2%)Native American:1,123(1%)Hawaiian & Pacific Islander:128(0%)

stephen k bannon - Google Search

Revealed: VP Debate Moderator Martha Raddatz Hosted President Obama at Wedding, Never Told Public

Link to Article

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 14:17

The liberal media/politician/bureaucrat revolving door spins so rapidly, sometimes it's hard to keep pace. Today we learn via the Daily Caller that the moderator for tomorrow's vice presidential debate, ABC News reporter Martha Raddatz, hosted President Obama as a guest at her 1991 wedding to the man who would later become Obama's FCC commissioner, Julius Genachowski.

That's shocking enough in its own right but things are further compounded by the fact that ABC News, home of veteran Democratic adviser George Stephanopolous, has long known about this conflict of interest and did nothing about it. Even worse, the network has actively tried to prevent the public from learning of it.

The Obama-Raddatz connection is not as clear-cut as one might think, however, since Raddatz and Genachowski divorced in 1997 and have since remarried. Still, ABC News is acting very curious in its behavior as the Daily Caller's Josh Peterson reports:

After TheDC made preliminary inquiries Monday to confirm Obama's attendance at the wedding, ABC leaked a pre-emptive statement to liberal-leaning news outlets including Politico and The Daily Beast Tuesday, revealing what may have been internal network pressure felt just days before Raddatz was scheduled to moderate the one and only vice-presidential debate Thursday night.

Both Politico and The Daily Beast jumped to ABC and Raddatz's defense. The Huffington Post, another liberal news outlet, joined them shortly thereafter, while calling ''unusual'' ABC's attempt to kill the story before it gained wide circulation. [...]

On Monday evening ABC spokesman David Ford grudgingly confirmed Obama's attendance at the wedding, after shielding Raddatz in August by declining to comment when The Daily Caller first reported the story.

''This is absurd,'' Ford said, in the same statement now circulated by ABC's media allies on the left.

Obama, Ford wrote, ''attended their wedding over two decades ago along with nearly the entire Law Review, many of whom went onto successful careers, including some in the Bush administration,'' he said without providing a specific number of Harvard Law Review employees to verify the statement.

When pressed further on Tuesday for a specific number of Harvard Law Review employees in attendance at the wedding, Ford could offer none, despite circulating the same unverified approximation through sympathetic media outlets earlier that day in order to discredit The Daily Caller's reporting.

Of course, if a Fox News employee hosting a presidential debate were to exposed as having such a relationship with a Republican president, the story would be plastered all over the media and left-leaning journalists would be calling for him/her to be immediately replaced. Clearly this would be a good idea in this case as well.

Besides employing Stephanopolous to interview his friends and former colleagues and Raddatz to cover the White House of her former wedding guest, ABC is also the place that current Fox Business Network host John Stossel left after he couldn't take the suffocating liberally biased atmosphere. "I can't stand it anymore," he told Fox News chief Roger Ailes.

Asked later about his time at ABC, Stossel described a climate of intolerance for anything that was non-liberal:

"It sucked there. They were hostile to these ideas that have made us [America] prosperous and I consider so important. I mean, they tolerated me for years. I got good ratings, so they put the stuff on. They sort of held their nose and put it on."

ABC is also the home of one Brian Ross, the investigative reporter who falsely smeared a Tea Party leader as a mass murderer simply because he shared the same name as James Holmes, the lunatic who shot up a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

Even left-wing comedian Jon Stewart thought the error was so bad he should've been fired. Sadly he hasn't been, despite his making a mistake so stupid, even a high school journalist would've known better.

For more of our coverage on the ease with which liberals move between government, politics, and the media, click here.

Or for a succinct summary, please see this excellent post from Red State's Erick Erickson which is more than just a recounting of recent revolving door spins, it is also a discussion of how the "conventional wisdom" in DC inevitably is liberal:

Neil King is a political reporter for the Wall Street Journal. He is married to Shailagh Murray who left a reporting job at the Washington Post to take the job of Joe Biden's communications director. She replaced Jay Carney who moved to the White House and who himself left Time to take the communications director role for Biden.

John Harris of the Politico is married to an abortion rights activist who used to run NARAL Virginia.

The Politico's Chief Washington Correspondent, Jonathan Allen, left the Politico to work for Debbie Wasserman Schultz, then returned to the Politico.

Andy Barr of the Politico left the Politico to work for the Democratic National Committee and now works for Richard Carmona, the Democrats' candidate for Senate in Arizona against Jeff Flake.

George Stephanopolous of ABC News used to be a strategist for Bill Clinton and even after becoming Chief Washington Correspondent still engaged in regular conversations with Rahm Emanuel, James Carville, and Paul Begala from the Clinton days. (Ironic, isn't it, that John Harris wrote that story)

Michael Scherer of Time, where Jay Carney left to go to Joe Biden's office, got his start in left wing publications, as did Ezra Klein of the Washington Post who famously created the left wing Journolist filled with Washington journalists and pundits to bounce around themes in the left wing echo chamber.

Linda Douglass of ABC News left ABC to serve as Chief Propaganda Officer for the Obama White House in charge of getting Obamacare through.

Andrew Rosenthal of the New York Times made up the story about President George H. W. Bush being surprised and taken aback by a common supermarket check out scanner. The story was made up by Rosenthal who was not even present. Andrew Rosenthal is now the Editor of the New York Times Editorial Page.

The BuzzFeed crew are mostly left of center, hang out with left of center reporters and pundits, and the media considers them and their cat GIFs the second coming of a supposedly objective Huffington Post.

Chuck Todd himself is married to a former DNC staffer and he worked as a Democratic staffer to Senator Tom Harkin. He works with Chris Matthews who worked for a Democrat in Congress and Jimmy Carter. They both work with Andrea Mitchell who is married to Alan Greenspan, the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve. And they're all just a degree or two removed from Tawana Brawley thanks to their relationship with MSNBC host Al Sharpton.

Howard Graham Buffett - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Link to Article

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 22:08

Howard Graham Buffett (born December 16, 1954) is an American philanthropist, photographer, and farmer. He is the eldest son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett. He is named after Howard Buffett, his grandfather, and Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett's teacher.

[edit]Personal lifeHoward G. Buffett grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has been active in business, politics, agriculture, conservation, photography, and philanthropy. In August 1977, he married Marcia Sue Duncan.[1] Also in 1977, he began farming in Tekamah, Nebraska.[2] His father purchased the property for $300,000 and charged him rent.[3] He currently farms 400 acres (1.6 km2) of farmland in Nebraska. He later married Devon Morse, and they had a son, Howard Warren Buffett. Buffett currently resides in Decatur, Illinois and operates a 1,240-acre (5.0 km2) family farm in Pana, Illinois.[4] He is an advocate of no-till conservation agriculture.[2]

[edit]Business and politicsBuffett was a County Commissioner of Douglas County, Nebraska from 1989 to 1992, Corporate Vice President, Assistant to the Chairman and a director of Archer Daniels Midland Company from 1992 to 1995, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of The GSI Group from 1996 to 2001. He became a Lindsay Corporation director in 1995, served as Chairman for a year from 2002 to 2003,[5][6] and in 2008, announced he would let his term as a director expire in January 2010.[7]

He is, as of 2006[update], a director of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., and President of Buffett Farms.[5]

Howard G. Buffett has been a Director of The Coca-Cola Company since December 9, 2010. From 1993 to 2004 he was a director of Coca Cola Enterprises, a Coca Cola Bottler.

In December 2011, Warren Buffett told CBS News that he would like his son Howard to succeed him as Berkshire Hathaway's non-executive chairman.[8]

Buffett has written more than half a dozen books on conservation, wildlife, and the human condition, and has written articles and opinion pieces for The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. In 1996, Harvard published his thesis, The Partnership of Biodiversity and High-Yield Agricultural Production.

In 2000, Buffett co-produced a book of photography with Colin Mead, Images of the Wild, an information source for traveling to wildlife areas in North America and Africa.[9]

In 2001, he wrote On The Edge: Balancing Earth's Resources which focused on preserving world biodiversity, species and habitats. Former Senator Paul Simon authored the foreword.[9]

In 2002, Buffett wrote Tapestry of Life, a compilation of portraits taken in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, and other countries with deep poverty and human need.[9]Tom Brokaw authored the foreword. Also in 2002, he published Taking Care of Our World, a book that teaches children about ecology.[9]

In 2003, he co-wrote Spots Before Your Eyes with Ann van Dyk. The foreword was authored by Dr. Jane Goodall. Spots Before Your Eyes presents history and facts about the cheetah species.[9]

In 2005, he published Threatened Kingdom: The Story of the Mountain Gorilla which provides information about the mountain gorilla's habitat and the challenges facing the species.[9]

In 2009, he wrote Fragile: The Human Condition with the support of National Geographic Missions. The foreword was authored by Shakira Mebarak. Fragile: The Human Condition is the documentation of life stories in sixty-five countries.[10]

[edit]PhilanthropyBuffett serves or has served on the National Geographic Council, World Wildlife Fund National Council, Cougar Fund, Platte River Whooping Crane Trust Advisory Committee, Illinois and Nebraska Chapters of the Nature Conservancy, Ecotrust, De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Trust, and the Africa Foundation. Buffett founded the Nature Conservation Trust, a non-profit Trust in South Africa to support cheetah conservation, the International Cheetah Conservation Foundation, and was a Founding Director of The Cougar Fund. In October 2007, Buffett was named an Ambassador Against Hunger by the United Nations World Food Programme.[11] In March 2010, Buffet became a member of the Eastern Congo Initiative founded by Ben Affleck. "I joined Ben in this effort because I believe strongly in investing in sustainable solutions to humanitarian challenges," he said.[12]

[edit]The Howard G. Buffett FoundationAs the president of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Buffett has traveled to over 95 countries to document the challenges of preserving biodiversity and providing adequate resources to support human demands. The Howard G. Buffett Foundation supports projects in the areas of agriculture, nutrition, water, humanitarian, conservation, and conflict/unaccompanied persons. The foundation focuses much of its funding on communities in Africa and Central America.[13] In 2007, the Foundation launched the Global Water Initiative with several organizations to address the declining fresh water supply and clean water to the world's poorest people.[14]

[edit]AwardsBuffett has received the Aztec Eagle Award, the highest honor bestowed on a foreign citizen by the Mexican Government, an honorary PhD from The University of Nebraska-Lincoln[15] and has been recognized by the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation in Agriculture as one of the most distinguished individuals in agriculture.

[edit]References[edit]External links[edit]See alsoPersondataNameBuffett, Howard GrahamAlternative namesShort descriptionDate of birthDecember 16, 1954Place of birthDate of deathPlace of death

CPD: Our Mission

Link to Article

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 22:07

The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) was established in 1987 to ensure that debates, as a permanent part of every general election, provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners. Its primary purpose is to sponsor and produce debates for the United States presidential and vice presidential candidates and to undertake research and educational activities relating to the debates. The organization, which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) corporation, sponsored all the presidential debates in 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008.

To meet its ongoing goal of educating voters, the CPD is engaged in various activities beyond producing and sponsoring the presidential debates. Its staff prepares educational materials and conducts research to improve the quality of debates.‚

Further, the CPD provides technical assistance to emerging democracies and others interested in establishing debate traditions in their countries. In recent years, the staff worked with groups from Bosnia, Burundi, Colombia, Cƒ´te d'Ivoire, Ghana, Haiti, Jamaica,‚ Lebanon, Niger, Nigeria,‚ Peru, Romania, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, and the Ukraine, among others. Finally, the CPD coordinates post-debate symposia and research after many of its presidential forums (1996 Post-Debate Symposium, 1992 Post-Debate Research, 1988 Post-Debate Symposium).

Real World Libertarian: Sponsors drop out of Presidential debates

Link to Article

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 22:02

Image: US News.The Presidential Debates commission has a name above politics, one that represents itself as an independent organisation simply bringing the two nominees together to face tough questions simply because that is in the public interest. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is in fact a cartel of Democrats and Republicans monopolizing the agenda to ensure power remains in the hands of the two major players, with the exclusion of all others.

We recently reported on the anti trust lawsuit launched by LP Nominee Gary Johnson challenging his exclusion from the debates, and accusing it of ''colluding to exclude duly qualified candidates outside the Republican and Democratic Parties, are in violation of the nation's anti-trust laws.'' He went on to call it: ''A rigged system designed entirely to protect and perpetuate the two-party duopoly.'' Meanwhile, there has been another campaign going on, attempting to persuade sponsors of the debates to withdraw, with some success: Philips Electronics has dropped its sponsorship of the 2012 presidential debates, citing a desire not to associate itself with "partisan politics," POLITICO has learned.

Philips is the third and by far the largest of the original ten sponsors to pull its support, following similar decisions by British advertising firm BBH New York and the YWCA over the last week. Their decision to do so is seen as the result of intense lobbying efforts by advocacy organizations -- primarily Libertarian supporters of former Gov. Gary Johnson -- who oppose the exclusion of third-party candidates and who therefore believe the Commission on Presidential Debates is an anti-Democratic institution.

Mark A. Stephenson, the head of corporate communications at Philips North America, told POLITICO that the company doesn't want to provide "even the slightest appearance of supporting partisan politics." '...

'... George Farah, the executive director of Open Debates, one of the groups leading the charge for debate reform, celebrated the news. "This is a triumph for the debate reform movement," Farah told POLITICO. "These former sponsors no longer want to be affiliated with an anti-democratic commission that defies the wishes of the American people."

The Philips decision will be seen as a victory for those organizations -- including Open Debates, Help The Commission, and various Libertarian groups -- that want to end the hold the Commission on Presidential Debates has over the debate process.

Last week, Open Debates and seventeen other organizations called on the Commission to release the contract negotiated between the Barack Obama and Mitt Romney campaigns for the debates, citing the possible existence of "anti-democratic provisions that sanitize debate formats, exclude viable third-party candidates and prohibit additional debates from being held." '...

This may make some impact, mainly by any attendant publicity waking the electorate up to the fact it is being sold a pup. The remaining sponsors are, Anheuser-Busch, The Howard G. Buffet Foundation, Sheldon S. Cohen, Crowell & Moring LLP, International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), The Kovler Fund, and Southwest Airlines, which means that the slack can be taken up easily.

Gary Johnson interview with Ben Swann

"I'm Not Gonna Let Oil Companies Collect Another Four Billion In Corporate Welfare Every Year!"

Exxon Mobile's Response To Obama

Link to Article

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 09:01

This is a few days old, but still noteworthy. The folks at Exxon Mobile weren't too happy about being singled out by President Obama during his miserable debate performance last week. Because there is nothing like showing up on the president's enemies list.

Here is the company's response.

Because we've been pulled into this debate, I feel like asking the moderator to let me respond with several points.

The first is that ExxonMobil receives no special treatment in the U.S. tax code.

What the president often calls subsidies for ''Big Oil'' are legitimate tax provisions that apply to virtually all American manufacturers and producers. In fact, companies like ExxonMobil actually are specifically disadvantaged: The oil and gas industry deduction under section 199 of the tax code, for instance, is lower than the deduction allowed for nearly all other U.S. manufacturers.

The president has said he wants to remove these provisions for the oil and gas industry entirely '' a punitive proposal that would do nothing except raise the cost of producing the energy that America needs to support economic recovery.

Keep in mind, too, that ExxonMobil's U.S. tax expense amounts to more than $1 billion per month. In 2011, our total U.S. taxes of $12.3 billion exceeded our U.S. earnings by almost $3 billion, and our effective income tax rate in the U.S. was 31.4 percent '' far higher than many critics have claimed. We are a large corporation with a disciplined business approach that has generated substantial earnings for our shareholders as well as energy for millions of U.S. consumers. Our earnings may be large '' but so are our taxes.

Finally, there's one more thing we do with the money we earn: We re-invest it. ExxonMobil plans to spend close to $37 billion for each of the next five years on forward-looking projects to develop the energy supplies the world will need in the decades to come. (Read More)

H/T Michael A.

Tags:debate, Exxon Mobile, obama, response

Syria

Army Times Mobile - SecDef: U.S. sends troops to Jordan

Link to Article

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 21:19

By Lolita C. Baldor and Pauline Jelinek - The Associated PressPosted: Wednesday Oct 10, 2012 9:37:35 EDT

BRUSSELS '-- The United States has sent military troops to the Jordan-Syria border to bolster that country's military capabilities in the event that violence escalates along its border with Syria, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday.

Speaking at a NATO conference of defense ministers in Brussels, Panetta said the U.S. has been working with Jordan to monitor chemical and biological weapons sites in Syria and also to help Jordan deal with refugees pouring over the border from Syria. The troops are also building a headquarters for themselves.

But the revelation of U.S. military personnel so close to the 19-month-old Syrian conflict suggests an escalation in the U.S. military involvement in the conflict, even as Washington pushes back on any suggestion of a direct intervention in Syria.

It also follows several days of shelling between Turkey and Syria, an indication that the civil war could spill across Syria's borders and become a regional conflict.

"We have a group of our forces there working to help build a headquarters there and to insure that we make the relationship between the United States and Jordan a strong one so that we can deal with all the possible consequences of what's happening in Syria," Panetta said.

The development comes with the U.S. presidential election less than a month away, and at a time when former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, has been criticizing President Barack Obama's foreign policy, accusing the administration of embracing too passive a stance in the convulsive Mideast region.

The defense secretary and other administration officials have expressed concern about Syrian President Bashar Assad's arsenal of chemical weapons. Panetta said last week that the United States believes that while the weapons are still secure, intelligence suggests the regime might have moved the weapons to protect them. The Obama administration has said that Assad's use of chemical weapons would be a "red line" that would change the U.S. policy of providing only non-lethal aid to the rebels seeking to topple him.

Pentagon press secretary George Little, traveling with Panetta, said the U.S. and Jordan agreed that "increased cooperation and more detailed planning are necessary in order to respond to the severe consequences of the Assad regime's brutality."

He said the U.S. has provided medical kits, water tanks, and other forms of humanitarian aid to help Jordanians assist Syrian refugees fleeing into their country.

Little said the military personnel were there to help Jordan with the flood of Syrian refugees over its borders and the security of Syria's stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons.

"As we've said before, we have been planning for various contingencies, both unilaterally and with our regional partners," Little said in a written statement. "There are various scenarios in which the Assad regime's reprehensible actions could affect our partners in the region. For this reason and many others, we are always working on our contingency planning, for which we consult with our friends."

A U.S. defense official in Washington said the forces are made up of 100 military planners and other personnel who stayed on in Jordan after attending an annual exercise in May, and several dozen more have flown in since, operating from a joint U.S.-Jordanian military center north of Amman that Americans have used for years.

He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about the mission on the record.

In Jordan, the biggest problem for now seems to be the strain put on the country's meager resources by the estimated 200,000 Syrian refugees who have flooded across the border '-- the largest fleeing to any country.

Several dozen refugees in Jordan rioted in their desert border camp of Zaatari early this month, destroying tents and medicine and leaving scores of refugee families out in the night cold.

Jordanian men also are moving the other way across the border '-- joining what intelligence officials have estimated to be around 2,000 foreigners fighting alongside Syrian rebels trying to topple Assad. A Jordanian border guard was wounded after armed men '-- believed trying to go fight '-- exchanged gunfire at the northern frontier.

Turkey has reinforced its border with artillery guns and deployed more fighter jets to an air base close to the border region after an errant Syrian mortar shell killed five people in a Turkish border town last week and Turkey retaliated with artillery strikes.

Turkey's military chief Gen. Necdet Ozel vowed Wednesday to respond with more force to any further shelling from Syria, keeping up the pressure on its southern neighbor a day after NATO said it stood ready to defend Turkey.

EUROLand

LaGarde's List

Greek Men On 'Lagarde List' Found Dead - Business Insider

Link to Article

Tue, 09 Oct 2012 15:13

The so-called "Lagarde List" '' the name given by the Greek press to a list containing 1,991 names of wealthy, Swiss-bank-account-possessing Greeks who are being investigated for corruption and tax evasion '' is causing a major stir in Greece right now.Since Friday, two men suspected to be on the list have turned up dead in apparent suicides.

Here is what has happened in the past few days.

Last Tuesday, October 3, the "Lagarde List" was passed to Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras from PASOK party leader and former finance minister Evangelos Venizelos.

Apparently, it had been "missing," according to a Financial Times article from a few days prior, and current finance minister Yannis Stournaras had vowed to track it down.

From the FT:

Yannis Stournaras, the finance minister, told the FT on Sunday that he would pursue the issue of the missing CD with Greek depositors names ''as a priority''.

''I first learnt of its existence last week from the newspapers'‰.'‰.'‰.'‰but if SDOE can't track it down, then we'll ask our European partners for another copy,'' Mr Stournaras said.

This provided the impetus for Venizelos to hand over the list to Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras last Tuesday, saying he had already made Greece's financial crimes unit, SDOE, aware of it, as reported by Kathimerini.

Venizelos was given the list by his predecessor, former finance minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou, who received it from Christine Lagarde in 2010, when she was serving as France's finance minister.

Immediately after Samaras received the list from Venizelos, Yiannis Sbokos, a former Greek minister involved in defense, was arrested by SDOE over financial corruption.

Leonidas Tzanis, a former Greek minister who had been under investigation, was found hanged in his home last Friday. The Press Association reports that "the official said Mr Tzanis's death is being treated as suicide but no suicide note has been found."

Now, today, Vlassis Kambouroglou, a wealthy Greek businessman in the defense industry, has been found dead in a hotel room in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The Greek Reporter has the details on Kambouroglou:

A Greek businessman who had been accused of being part of the bribery and money laundering network involving former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who is in jail on charges of stealing as much as $1.29 billion from defense contracts, has been found dead in a hotel room in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Vlassis Kambouroglou was the Managing Director of Drumilan International, which was involved in the sale of a Russian-made TOR-M1 missile system to Greece. Authorities in Indonesia did not say how he died. Kambouroglou was called to testify before a Parliamentary inquiry into the arms deal in 2004 but denied that his company made any money from the deal. No charges were brought against him.

Now, Stournaras, Papaconstantinou, Venizelos, and another are going to have to testify before the Greek parliament on the list, according to Kathimerini:

Parliament's ethics and transparency committee on Monday voted in favor of Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and three former ministers -- Evangelos Venizelos, who now leads socialist PASOK, Filippos Sachinidis and Giorgos Papaconstantinou -- being called before the House to reveal what they know about the so-called ''Lagarde list'' -- a list of some 2,000 Greeks with deposits in Swiss banks who are being probed for tax evasion.

According to sources, Venizelos and Papaconstantinou testified over the weekend before financial prosecutor Grigoris Peponis in connection with the list, which Papaconstantinou claims to have received from former French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, who is now head of the International Monetary Fund. No details about the former ministers' testimonies were released but they are believed to have repeated the positions they have expressed publicly to date on the matter.

Venizelos faces some serious questions, as members of parliament want to know if he's been in possession of the list for a long time. The concern is that he may have been shielding fellow PASOK party members from being exposed.

Venizelos was also the most recent finance minister before the current one and served as the deputy prime minister before that, so he has been in a management position in a Greek government that has been failing to meet troika sanctions for a while, now.

The "Lagarde List" has not been made public, so there is no way to say for sure at present whether Tzanis, Sbokos, or Kambouroglou's names actually appear on the list. However, the timeline of events is striking, and all are tied to past deals between the defense industry and the Greek government.

Meanwhile, the "Lagarde List" doesn't just contain names of Greek tax evaders. It's a list of closer to 22,000 names of wealthy people from various EU member states with Swiss bank accounts. The implication is that wealthy elites from other countries could be revealed in a corruption probe as well.

This is all starting to blow up during a crucial moment for Greece as it tries to come to an agreement with the troika over additional spending cuts and German chancellor Angela Merkel visits Samaras tomorrow in Athens.

BUSTED: Mario Draghi And ECB VP Caught On Microphone Joking About Whether Their Words Will Move Markets >

Greek Prosectors Doubt Authenticity of Lagarde List.

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 23:41

PASOK Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos is on the hot seat for failing to check Greek depositors in a Swiss bank for tax evasion when he was finance minister

Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras reportedly is going to ask French officials to deliver the original list of 1,991 Greeks with $1.95 billion in deposits in the Geneva branch of HSBC Bank to check for possible tax evasion after special prosecutors were said to doubt the authenticity of a version given them by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' office.

ProtoThema reported that former finance minister Evangelos Venizelos handed over a memory stick listing the names to Samaras' office and that it was then given to Stylianos Stasinopoulos, who was appointed by Samaras to head the financial crimes squad SDOE.

The original CD, comprised of 24,000 names of the bank's depositors that was stolen and handed over to French authorities, was given to Venizelos' predecessor as finance minister, George Papaconstantinou, in 2010 by then French finance minister Christine Lagarde.

She is now head of the International Monetary Fund, which, along with the European Union and European Central Bank, makes up the Troika bailing out Greece with $325 billion in rescue loans.

After Stournaras said the original CD had gone missing, Venizelos turned up with a memory stick but it was reported he handed it over without making a copy and that special financial prosecutors Grigoris Peponis and Spyros Mouzakitis doubt it is either complete or authentic and want the original along with all verifying documents.

Stasinopoulos, who comes from Samaras' home territory, was suddenly named to replace former SDOE chief Yiannis Diotis, who said he was on the trail of tax evaders when he was yanked out of the job. Tax cheats owe Greece some $70 billion but have largely escaped while Samaras is readying another $17.45 billion in austerity measures on workers, pensioners and the poor. Peponis and Mouzakitis said if they don't get the original CD they will seek legal redress.

The revelation has put Venizelos, now the head of the floundering PASOK Socialist party, in a storm of criticism for failing to act on it at time when, as finance minister, he was doubling income and property taxes and taxing the poor. Venizelos has tried to defend himself by saying he could not use stolen data to investigate for possible crime but Lagarde said other countries have used the names to go after tax cheats.

Venizelos said the names of the depositors were given to yet another former SDOE chief, Yiannis Kapeleris to examine, but Kapeleris said he only had 10 names and never saw the original list. Facing a backlash within his own party, which, with the Democratic Left is one of the partners in the coalition government led by Samaras, the New Democracy Conservative leader, Venizelos will appear before a Parliamentary committee to answer questions on why he failed to act.

A leading PASOK member and former Interior Minister, Yiannis Ragousis, quit the party in disgust and there have been several other high-level defections since Venizelos came to power earlier this year, replacing failed former prime minister George Papandreou, who resigned a year ago in the face of constant protests, strikes and riots against the pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions he imposed on orders of the Troika.

Venizelos replaced Papaconstantinou as finance minister on June 11, 2011 and both reportedly gave depositions to Peponis and Mouzakitis where it was believed they merely repeated their public stances of why they failed to examine the names for possible tax evasion.

Greek deaths sow panic over Swiss 'fraud list'

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 09:24

Two men on a list of almost 2,000 Greek businessmen and politicians suspected of using Swiss bank accounts for fraudulent tax evasion have been found dead in the past week.

They were on a list of wealthy personalities that the Greek government has obtained, reportedly sowing panic among the elite of Athens.

The names were initially passed on to the Greeks two years ago by Christine Lagarde, now head of the International Monetary Fund, when she was French finance minister.

The so-called ''Lagarde list'' includes information about 22,000 wealthy European residents suspected of tax fraud on the basis of data stolen by Herv(C) Falciani from the Geneva branch of HSBC, which he gave to the French government.

The details of 1,991 wealthy Greeks went missing but were recently tracked down by Greece's finance minister, Yannis Stournaras, who declared the issue as a priority, the Financial Times reported earlier this month.

Vlassis Kambouroglou, a Greek businessman in the defence industry, was found dead on Monday in a Jakarta, Indonesia hotel room.

Kambouroglou had been linked to a bribery and money-laundering network involving former Greek defence minister Akis Tsochatzopopoulos, jailed for stealing up to $1.29 billion from defence contracts, according to Greek Reporter, an English-language website.

Kambouroglou's death came after LeonidasTzanis, a former Greek minister under investigation for financial wrongdoing, was found dead in his home on Friday.

Both deaths are being treated as suspected suicides.

A report on the cases by the Business Insider website, which cites various sources, suggests the Greek government is taking action on the Largarde list after previous politicians had failed to do so.

Greece's financial crimes unit, using information from the list, last week arrested Yiannis Sbokos, a former Greek minister, for suspected financial corruption.

Questions are now being raised as to why previous government ministers did not act on the Lagarde list earlier.

Given the connection with Swiss bank accounts and banking data theft, Switzerland's media have been closely following the Greek developments.

Het mysterieuze vervloekte jasje van Merkel - Joop.nl

Link to Article

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 01:32

Myckel Habets, wo 10 oktober 2012 21:53 Reageer op MyckelNiet alleen haar jasjes zijn doelwit, ook haar "houding":https://cheezburger.com/3754508800

Eline W, wo 10 oktober 2012 20:53 Reageer op ElineWaar haalt ze die dingen vandaan, en waar slaat ze ze op? Wie heeft er nou zoveel van die jasjes?

Eric Noorman, wo 10 oktober 2012 19:01 Reageer op EricDie Grieken gooien met stront naar Duitsland als sponsor.Als Duitsland niet mee zou doen, dan hadden die Grieken nu al in de goot gelegen.

Hedwich Bonnema, wo 10 oktober 2012 22:29 in reactie op Eric Noorman Reageer op HedwichHet is geen jasje maar een uniform. Grieken zijn boos logisch ze mogen niet eens demonstreren.

dr. Bob, wo 10 oktober 2012 18:21 Reageer op dr.Dat over die jasjes roep ik al jren. En ze (Merkel) betaald er blijkbaar nog een godsvermogen voor ook.Mijn wijlen vriendin had er wel raad mee geweten. Ik heb heel veel (rijke/machtige), tonnetjes a la Merkel van dichtbij meegemaakt tijdens de eindeloze pas sessies. Uiteindelijk waren ze ook een godsvermogen kwijt maar dan zagen ze er aanMerkeLijk (ha, ha) beter uit dan Angela.

Wim van Delft, wo 10 oktober 2012 16:05 Reageer op WimDe Duitse landsaard is dominant. Op zch niets mis mee, mits men daarmee verantwoord omgaat.

Kortom, Frau Merkel cs. moet op tijd worden teruggefloten, want huidige Duitse beleid verschilt in wezen niet van nationaal-socialisme. Ieder weldenkend mens prikt door het dunne beschaafde en moderne Duitse laagje vernis t.b.v. 1 EUropa. Enkel begrip (nationaal ->internationaal) en doelgroepen verschillen.

Joe Speedboot, wo 10 oktober 2012 18:09 in reactie op Wim van Delft Reageer op Joe'want huidige Duitse beleid verschilt in wezen niet van nationaal-socialisme.'

Je hebt werkelijk geen benul waar je het over hebt.

Wim van Delft, wo 10 oktober 2012 18:58 in reactie op Joe Speedboot Reageer op WimIk denk dat je betekenis van begrip 'in wezen' niet kent.

Ik blijf bij standpunt dat vroegere nationaal-socialisme en huidige internationaal-socialisme in wezen niet verschillen.

Mees ., wo 10 oktober 2012 15:11 Reageer op MeesGriekenland mag blij zijn dat ze uberhaupt geholpen worden.....als dat niet gebeurde was het al een derde wereldland.Als alle geldstromen worden gestopt die ze nodig hebben is het over en uit.Kunnen absoluut het hoofd niet boven water houden.

Michel Reiziger, wo 10 oktober 2012 15:38 in reactie op Mees . Reageer op MichelMees..ik hoop toch wel dat je de werkelijke reden snapt waarom ze Griekenland nog helpen...

Frans Akkermans, wo 10 oktober 2012 14:55 Reageer op FransMaar een keer dezelfde jas dragen is niet genoeg. Een dure vrouw. Wel 30 jassen in vier jaar. Geen goed voorbeeld, zeker niet voor de Grieken.

Michel Reiziger, wo 10 oktober 2012 13:37 Reageer op MichelAch ja kleren maken de man(wijf)

Simon Broerse, wo 10 oktober 2012 12:40 Reageer op SimonHet groene jasje dat ze in Griekenland droeg had toch hopelijk wel drie knopen en geen vier ? Anders krijgt ze ook nog het verwijt de Grieken de ogen uit te willen steken met deze overbodige luxe.

Bas Grootel, wo 10 oktober 2012 12:36 Reageer op BasDat de kleur van een jasje voor de Grieken zo belangrijk is geeft aan dat de haat veel dieper zit dan we beseffen. Ik denk dat het niet meer de vraag is of het fout gaat. Maar wanneer het fout gaat.

Michel Reiziger, wo 10 oktober 2012 13:43 in reactie op Bas Grootel Reageer op MichelIk denk dat je niet de enige bent.... Het probleem is echter dat de meeste politici die weten dat het fout gaat ons voor blijven houden dat het niet fout gaat. Naast een onderschatting van het volk ook een gevaarlijke tendens.

Michel Reiziger, wo 10 oktober 2012 13:50 in reactie op Bas Grootel Reageer op MichelIk doe iets in de media...en als ik hier naast me op de muur kijkt (waar zo'n kleurenpatroon poster hangt van Pantone) vraag ik me af of ze niet gesponsort wordt door Pantone...

Krachtige (felle) kleuren leiden af en beinvloeden denkpatronen, daar zijn al heel veel studies over gedaan. In het geval van Merkel, ze heeft letterlijk kleur nodig.

Anja Lodewijks, wo 10 oktober 2012 12:16 Reageer op AnjaUniform.

Helemaal conform 'One size fits all policy' .

de heer Meijerink, wo 10 oktober 2012 11:59 Reageer op de heerLagguh, volgens mij is het steeds hetzelfde jasje, maar dan telkens na een verfbadje.

robert vd heide, wo 10 oktober 2012 17:41 in reactie op de heer Meijerink Reageer op robertmischien iets fout gegaan bij het wassenpolitici zijn vaak stumpers met dagelijkse normale dingendat zien we in de campagne als ze niet eens een stuk groente of fruit bij de supermarkt kunnen afwegen

Michiel van Reenen, wo 10 oktober 2012 11:58 Reageer op MichielHet is 'Die Mannschaft', niet 'Der'. Tsssk.

Ty Gaspari, wo 10 oktober 2012 15:07 in reactie op Michiel van Reenen Reageer op TyPrecies, het Duits elftal is een meisje ;)

Joop Schouten, wo 10 oktober 2012 11:58 Reageer op JoopMerkel is de boodschapster van de financile markten en haar kortzichtig electoraat. De gewone Griek is pissed off wegens de asociaal inhumane eisen die zij napraat. Daarom wordt alles wat zij doet (en aantrekt) vanzelfsprekend met een vergrootglas bekeken.

hans mandemakers, wo 10 oktober 2012 13:33 in reactie op Joop Schouten Reageer op hansMerkel moet elke keer weer veel moeite doen om de steun aan griekenland door de bondsdag te loodsen. Jouw observatie slaat dus de plank mis. In duitsland neemt de steun voor hulpplannen aan griekenland steeds verder terug. Bovendien zijn er verkiezingen op komst. Merkel spreidt moed tentoon door ,ondanks electorale gevaren ,Griekenland te blijven steunen. Verdiep je eens in de feiten voordat je in je SP reflex schiet.

Joop Schouten, wo 10 oktober 2012 17:10 in reactie op hans mandemakers Reageer op JoopDe 'steun' waar jij het over hebt zit verpakt in keiharde asociale eisen die de internationale financiele markten stellen Hans. Het eigen electoraat, stemvee en banken zijn een verlengde in verhaal.Het raadzaam jezelf eens te verdiepen in de spelletjes achter de spelletjes voordat je mij als SP'er nawijst.

kees kortekaas, wo 10 oktober 2012 20:03 in reactie op Joop Schouten Reageer op kees" keiharde asociale eisen"Zal wel een verschil in opvoeding zijn, maar ik vind je schulden afbetalen als er geen enkele aanwijsbare ongelukkige rede zoals ziekte, pech of ongeluk is niet asociaal, maar normaal.

Doelbewust schulden maken en niet afbetalen is asociaal. Dat de gewone griek op straat daar individueel niet zo veel aan kan doen is natuurlijk waar, maar waarom zou een individuele duitser of nederlander op straat daar voor op moeten draaien zonder dat er wat aan de oorzaken wordt gedaan?

Joop Schouten, wo 10 oktober 2012 20:30 in reactie op kees kortekaas Reageer op JoopDe zogenaamde leiders zijn de leningen aangegaan en hebben het beleid vorm gegeven.Het is de doorsnee Griek die het gelag betaalt.Vind je het fijn als anderen creperen?

Joop Schouten, wo 10 oktober 2012 20:07 in reactie op Joop Schouten Reageer op Joop'... in het verhaal.'

Reinaert de Vos, wo 10 oktober 2012 11:43 Reageer op ReinaertGriekenland is een mijnenveld. Zelfs een jasje is gevoelig. Zondebok gevonden.

Mike Peeters, wo 10 oktober 2012 11:42 Reageer op MikeMisschien heeft Merkel wel gewoon bedacht dat groen een neutrale kleur is i.v.m. de moeilijke verhouding met de Grieken.

Eric Noorman, wo 10 oktober 2012 11:35 Reageer op EricZe had het oranje jasje aan moeten doen, als lopend verkeerslicht.Plus met rood moeten vertrekken.Dat was zeer symbolische geweest richting de Grieken.

Andy de Groot, wo 10 oktober 2012 13:11 in reactie op Eric Noorman Reageer op AndyWanneer ze symbolisch had willen zijn had ze top less moeten gaan.

Greek police clash with anti-Merkel protesters

Link to Article

Source: Set You Free News

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 23:58

PressTV

A protester holds a placard of German Chancellor Angela Merkel featuring a Hitler moustache near the Greek parliament in Athens on October 9, 2012.

Tens of thousands of Greek protesters have streamed onto the streets in the capital Athens to express their anger as German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits the crisis-hit country.

An hour after Merkel's arrival in Athens on Tuesday, Greek police fired tear gas to disperse over 25,000 anti-austerity protesters in front of the parliament. Security forces also arrested a group of demonstrators.

Outraged protesters were carrying banners declaring ''You are not welcome, Imperialisten Raus'' (Imperialists out)'' or ''No to the Fourth Reich'' while others carried signs marked with the Nazi swastika.

Earlier in the day, more than 7,000 police forces were positioned near the German embassy and the Greek Parliament building in the city center ahead of the German Chancellor's six-hour visit to the debt-ridden country.

Merkel visits the country for the first time since the eurozone economic crisis began in 2009. She is blamed by the Greeks for pressuring their government to enforce harsh austerity measures.

''This visit pours oil on the fire. If she wanted to help, she should have done it sooner,'' said Vana Koronaiou, a Greek shop owner among the protesters.

Greece has been at the epicenter of the eurozone debt crisis and is experiencing its fifth year of recession, while harsh austerity measures have left about half a million people without jobs.

''I have a doctorate and I make 900 euros a month, 400 less than before. We have children that go hungry and most of the parents are unemployed,'' said Christina Vassilopoulou, a 37-year-old teacher in an impoverished Athens district, adding that she had turned up to protest ''the decisions taken at European meetings where Merkel manipulates the participants''.

On October 1, the Greek government unveiled its 2013 draft budget, which includes measures that would affect pensions, benefits, and the salaries of civil servants to meet the criteria by the troika of lenders, i.e. the European Union (EU), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB).

The new austerity program includes measures to slash pensions by 3.5 billion euros, health cuts worth 1.47 billion euros as well as a 517-million-euro reduction in defense spending. However, the measures have not convinced the troika.

Massive Protests Greet German Prime Minister Merkel

Suprise tax cut for low-paid Italians. (Euronews video)

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 11:31

It is a rare boost for struggling households in the eurozone's third largest economy that has been in recession for a year.

The unexpected tax cut was balanced with a rise in VAT and a series of spending cuts in a combined package worth 11.6 billion euros in all.

Monti said: ''We wanted to give a clear signal that when there are good signs of stabilisation in the national budget you can afford some moderate relief on income tax.''

Monti added that the tax break shows that his severe austerity measures were beginning to bear fruit.

Parliamentary elections are due in Italy next year.

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EU explores new eurozone budget

Link to Article

Source: BBC News - Home

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 11:08

11 October 2012Last updated at06:46 ETEU leaders meeting in Brussels next week will consider creating a separate budget for the 17-nation eurozone, in a drive to unite fiscal policy.

Such a budget, outside the seven-year framework of the 27-member EU, could centralise tax and spending decisions.

The draft EU summit conclusions say "mechanisms for fiscal solidarity, eg via an appropriate fiscal capacity, should be explored".

UK Prime Minister David Cameron says the eurozone will need its own budget

The draft conclusions say the eurozone's own "fiscal capacity" - that is, a budget - would be "specific to the euro area and therefore not be covered by the Multiannual Financial Framework". That framework is the EU's long-term budget, amounting to about 1% of the EU's GDP.

The EU is beginning negotiations on its next budget for 2014 to 2020. Mr Cameron has warned that he will block any "massive increases" in that budget.

The idea of launching a separate eurozone budget was floated by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy in an issues paper in June.

Last December Mr Cameron vetoed an EU-wide treaty to co-ordinate budget policies and impose penalties on rule-breakers. The fiscal compact, in line with German demands for budgetary rigour, is binding on signatory states but is not an EU-wide treaty because of the UK veto.

In a BBC interview on Sunday Mr Cameron said "there will come a time I believe where you're going to need to have two European budgets - one for the single currency, because they're going to have to support each other much more, and perhaps a wider budget for everybody else."

The EU leaders also plan to discuss "contractual" agreements between eurozone states and EU institutions, to make economic reforms binding.

"The idea for the euro area Member States to enter into individual arrangements of a contractual nature at the European level on the reforms they commit to undertake and on their implementation should be explored," the draft summit conclusions say.

Such contracts could be modelled on the binding austerity measures now in place in Greece, Portugal and the Republic of Ireland - the recipients of massive EU bailouts. The measures are aimed at preventing the accumulation of excessive debt and are a condition for the bailout instalments.

EARock

Daily Press Briefing - October 9, 2012

Link to Article

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 22:38

1:07 p.m. EDT

MS. NULAND: All right, everybody. Hope you all had a good Columbus celebration. We had to make sure this podium was down at the short girl height after the exalted Toner briefing. (Laughter.) It is.

I have nothing at the top. Let's start with what's on your minds.

QUESTION: I just have kind of a broad question, and that is: Why '' for the last several weeks, you've said that you're not going to respond to questions about the Benghazi investigation until it's all over; you can't do things piecemeal. Why the change? Why have you decided that it's now appropriate or good for you to comment on or for the building to offer comments on bits and pieces that are dribbling out of the committee before the hearing?

MS. NULAND: Well, I'm not sure what you have seen, Matt, but as a general matter, we have not been commenting on timeline, et cetera, from this podium beyond what we said at the beginning. What we have been doing is responding to things that are not accurate or things that are endeavoring to understand how we do security, et cetera. We had a little conversation about what airplanes the State Department has.

So as things come up that are factual and not necessarily related to the conduct of the investigation, we do what we can to help. But in general, our posture is that we've got an FBI investigation; we've got an ARB; obviously we're going to work with the Congress, including tomorrow. So we'll go from there. But we're not going to be giving a daily brief from here as we go through things.

QUESTION: Well, maybe not from here, but as of yesterday, there was quite a bit of '' one might call it pushback to the comments that were made in television interviews by Colonel Wood, which would seem to me to be you guys going after bits and pieces piecemeal, which is exactly what you said you weren't going to do. And then on the planes, we had half a conversation about what kind of planes. Maybe after the first part, you can talk '' tell us why you're still flying World War II vintage military cargo planes around.

MS. NULAND: Well, there were some specific questions that came to us that we felt that we could answer over the weekend. Again, we're going to try to deal with what we can which doesn't impact on the integrity of these investigations, and particularly when we're asked factual questions about the way we're postured, we will do what we can. So that's just going to be hit or miss as we see some things come out that we can deal with.

With regard to the aircraft, I'm told that we have aircraft in our little State Department fleet that go from the 1940s all the way up to 2010 vintage. I'm sure that this is largely an issue of money and appropriation, but overall, we've got some 192 aircraft '' 150 are rotary wing, 42 are fixed wing. The vast majority support our International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Counterterrorism '' sorry, Counternarcotics and Law Enforcement assistance programs specifically in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Guatemala, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

So primarily, we use these for those programs. We also use them to move our personnel around safely in Afghanistan and Iraq.

QUESTION: Okay, wait. 150 are helicopters?

MS. NULAND: 150 rotary wing, yep.

QUESTION: Yeah, for those of us --

MS. NULAND: Six different models.

QUESTION: For those of us who don't speak --

MS. NULAND: Sorry, yes.

QUESTION: Those are helicopters?

MS. NULAND: Helicopters.

QUESTION: Correct? Forty-two are --

MS. NULAND: Helicopters, things with rotors.

QUESTION: -- fixed-wing?

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: How many of those date from 1945 or before?

MS. NULAND: I'm going to give you a full rundown here after the briefing. I don't actually understand what I've got here. It's all kinds of models '' DC-3s and C-27s and 26s and all that stuff. But we'll get you --

QUESTION: Fokker?

MS. NULAND: Yeah, no Fokkers. They have to be American made, I would guess.

QUESTION: Okay.

MS. NULAND: All right. Please, Jill.

QUESTION: Toria, speaking of that, tomorrow there will be this hearing up on Capitol Hill. Are you aware that some of the Democrats on that committee are saying that they were excluded from a CODEL trip to Libya, and that also they haven't been given adequate access to witnesses and material? Are you aware of any of these allegations, especially that CODEL?

MS. NULAND: Well, with regard to congressional delegations, as you know, this is the purview of the congressional leadership, so I can't speak to whether they wanted to join CODELs and were told not to join. That would be a question to ask up on the Hill. Frankly, that's not '' we just facilitate CODELs as they come forward. I haven't '' I also haven't heard anything with regard to witnesses. As you know, our posture is to be as cooperative as we possibly can. We consider the Hill a vital partner in our efforts to ensure that our diplomats and our facilities are secure. So we have '' we are doing as much as we can to be responsive to the various requests that we've had.

QUESTION: Is your expectation at tomorrow's briefing that a good deal of what is discussed would have to be done in a classified session because there are two ongoing investigations, as you noted?

MS. NULAND: Well, the request tomorrow was to come up in unclassified sessions, so we will do what we can in an unclassified setting. We've also been responsive to those staff members, et cetera, who have asked for classified briefings. In fact, we've had both Pat Kennedy and Eric Boswell up on the Hill this morning in classified sessions with staff who have requested to see them on both the House and the Senate side.

QUESTION: Is there any reason why Mr. Boswell or Mr. Kennedy are not testifying; it's someone lower in rank who is actually appearing tomorrow?

MS. NULAND: Well, the folks who we are sure are going up from State are the two that were specifically requested by the committee: Charlene Lamb, who is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security '' she is Mr. Boswell's deputy '' and Eric Nordstrom, who was a regional security officer, who had been in Libya earlier in 2012. We're still talking to the Hill about the full complement for the hearings, and we'll just see how that turns out over the course of the day.

QUESTION: I think he's on their list.

QUESTION: He's on the list, yeah.

MS. NULAND: We had hoped to '' we had requested that he be able to participate. I hadn't heard before coming down here whether that had been accepted by the committee.

QUESTION: Well, he's on their website.

MS. NULAND: That's good. That's good.

QUESTION: Actually ''

MS. NULAND: Yeah. Guy.

QUESTION: Toria, could you give us an update on the formation of the Accountability Review Board and who's responsible for setting it up? And does Under Secretary Kennedy actually play a role in that?

MS. NULAND: It's the Secretary's Accountability Review Board. She's required by law to establish it. My understanding '' and I don't have the regs here in front of me, Guy, but that the Administration puts forward four '' that the State Department puts forward four names and that the intelligence community puts forward one name, and that that's how the board was established.

QUESTION: So does Under Secretary Kennedy play a role in the process at all?

MS. NULAND: It's the Secretary's ultimate decision. He may well play a role, or his '' the person in his position may suggest individuals, but it's the Secretary's decision who to nominate on the State side.

Please.

QUESTION: Can we go back to Matt's opener about the information that you're now commenting on? Perhaps you could comment publicly on the special support team and whether it was asked to extend or whether it, in fact, did get an extension to August.

MS. NULAND: I think I'm not going to go into all of these kinds of timeline details as to what we had when and where. Some of those things, I'm guessing, will be covered tomorrow in the open hearing, but again, these are all pieces that we are pulling together now. So I'm not going to get into the back and forth on all of that from this podium now.

Please, in the back.

QUESTION: Change of subject?

QUESTION: No, wait. Just one more.

MS. NULAND: Still on Libya. Yeah.

QUESTION: Well, just as it related to the planes, you said that it was a matter '' the fleet would be a matter of appropriations, a matter of money. Is that the Department's position with regard to embassy security in general? In other words, you can only ''

MS. NULAND: You asked me why we still have aircraft in our fleet from the '40s, and ''

QUESTION: Yeah, and you said basically it's Congress's fault, or it's because of Congress that we're flying 70-year-old airplanes around Iraq and Libya, correct?

MS. NULAND: First of all, let me say that I am confident that there is nothing that we are flying that is in any way dangerous or '' that said, you know that there are aircraft in all kinds of fleets that have been maintained over many, many years. With regard to why we're not buying all new aircraft every year, these are expensive pieces of equipment, and they're not ''

QUESTION: No. I understand that, but you said '' but you made the point that it's a matter of appropriations. Does that point not apply to ''

MS. NULAND: One has to balance the money that one gets for these programs and use it appropriately.

QUESTION: Right. Does that not apply to embassy security or diplomat '' the security of diplomatic missions as well?

MS. NULAND: Well, as you know, we work with ''

QUESTION: You can't do more than what you have the money to do. Is that correct?

MS. NULAND: We obviously work with the Congress on an annual basis to evaluate what our Diplomatic Security needs are both in terms of funding personnel, funding training, funding facilities, funding upgrades. We put forward a budget. It works like any other budgeting process. But yes, it is something that we have to work out with the Congress, obviously.

QUESTION: Is it the Department's position that all American diplomatic facilities overseas have the money to adequately defend themselves or ''

MS. NULAND: I'm not going to get into any kind of a blanket assessment one way or the other.

QUESTION: Well, did you get a ''

MS. NULAND: I will simply say that ''

QUESTION: Did you get what you were looking for, say, last year?

MS. NULAND: I don't have in front of me the figures as to whether we got the full request that we had for Diplomatic Security. I will take that, Matt, and get back to you with regard to 20 '' FY12.

QUESTION: Okay. So just the main question would be: Is the Department or has the Department been satisfied with the level of funding that it's been getting from the Hill for protection of missions over the past several years? That's the question.

MS. NULAND: I would say, as a general matter, since the bombings in Dar and in Kenya, we have increased exponentially the amount of funding that we put into diplomatic security. We've done that in consultation and with the support of the Hill. This is a conversation, as I said, that we have to have every year. And like any other federal government program, we ask for a certain amount of money. We do what '' we prioritize based on the money that we get. So it's always a conversation with the Congress.

Please.

QUESTION: Change of subject?

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: In Pakistan yesterday, one National Peace Award winner, Malala Yousufzai, was attacked by Taliban because she was propagating peace and secular views in Swat Valley. Do you have anything to say? Are you aware about this incident?

MS. NULAND: I do. We strongly condemn the shooting of Malala. Directing violence at children is barbaric, it's cowardly, and our hearts go out to her and the others who were wounded as well as their families.

QUESTION: And secondly, the '' Pakistan's Interior Minister was here on Friday. He met with Secretary of State. Do you have a readout on the meeting? We haven't heard from it.

MS. NULAND: My understanding is that Interior Minister Malik was here to participate in the U.S.-Pakistan Law Enforcement and Counterterrorism Working Group, which is one of the working groups we have under our broader bilateral relationship. In the context of that, he had a chance to have a hello with the Secretary and a couple-minute conversation, but it wasn't an extended bilateral meeting. So I don't have any particular readout for you.

QUESTION: At the meeting, Pakistanis expressed concern over use of drone strikes; they want an end to it. What were the U.S. response to those concerns?

MS. NULAND: I can't confirm that one way or the other, but you know that I don't talk about that particular subject from this podium.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MS. NULAND: Please, Said.

QUESTION: Iraq?

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: Yes. I wonder if you could comment on the military sale deal with '' between Iraq and Russia. Because last week I asked about the '' what kind of sales are in the pipeline and why they are taking so long. I'm talking about the FMF '' the military sales to Iraq program, the American military sale. But it seems that they are taking a step ahead and concluding a deal with Russia.

MS. NULAND: Well, first of all, with regard to U.S.-Iraqi military support, Iraq overall has initiated some 467 foreign military sales cases with the United States. If all of these go forward, it will be worth over $12.3 billion, so obviously our own military support relationship with Iraq is very broad and very deep.

We've seen the press reporting that one of the subjects on Prime Minister Maliki's agenda for his Moscow trip is military sales, but I'll have to send you to the Russians for what it is in particular they're talking about.

QUESTION: But aren't you at least annoyed that Iraq, after so much U.S. investment in blood and treasure, is actually going to conduct a deal or sign a deal with Russia on '' over military sales going back '' a throwback to the Cold War era?

MS. NULAND: Again, Said, we're doing some $12.3 billion worth of military business with Iraq, so I don't think one needs to be concerned about that relationship being anything but the strongest. With regard to what they may be seeking from the Russians, I would send you to the Russians and to the Iraqis.

QUESTION: Could it be that the Iraqis are frustrated with the lack of delivery of these arms sales that are actually signed and supposedly in the pipeline?

MS. NULAND: I can't speak to whether they're actually going to make any deals, whether they're going to come any faster, but we have a very broad and deep relationship going forward.

Michel.

QUESTION: A follow-up on Iraq, too. There are reports that Iraq is supplying Syria with oil as part of a one year deal reached in June, and the value is $14 million. Do you have anything on this?

MS. NULAND: We're not in a position to confirm this report. We're seeking more information from the Iraqis. But in the press reporting that we did see, it appears to be a relatively small sale of fuel oil of the kind that's only useful for power generation, and not something that would be subject to sanctions of any kind. So we're inquiring with the Iraqis, but it appears to be relatively small-bore.

Please.

QUESTION: Thank you.

QUESTION: Hi.

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: I'm not asking you about Psy today.

MS. NULAND: We're not going to dance, no. Okay. Some other day we'll dance.

QUESTION: Okay. Actually, it's about North Korea.

MS. NULAND: Okay.

QUESTION: North Korea said its missiles can strike the U.S. territory, including the mainland. It is apparently responding to a deal between South Korea and the United States on extending Seoul's ballistic missile range. So what do you make of North Korea's statement? Do you think it is just bluffing, or it is alarming or serious?

MS. NULAND: Well, certainly rather than bragging about its missile capability, they ought to be feeding their own people, would be our first comment. The DPRK needs to understand that it will achieve nothing by threats or provocations. That's only going to undermine their efforts to get back into conversation with the international community. I'd just underscore that under UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874, North Korea is required to suspend all activities related to the ballistic missile program.

QUESTION: Couldn't you see, though, that they would see the U.S. and South Korea announcing their extending their range as a provocative act that would be worthy of a response?

MS. NULAND: These changes in missile guidance are defensive in nature. I would note that we haven't changed these ranges or capabilities since 2001, at a time when the North has been very clearly working and boasting about their own capabilities. So these are defensive moves on our part and are responsive in nature.

QUESTION: Do you believe them? Do you think they do have missiles that can hit the continental mainland with these --

MS. NULAND: Well, I'm not going to get into intelligence here, you can imagine. But they know what they need to do if they want to get back into a conversation with us. And again, this is boasting about something rather than taking care of the needs of their own people.

Please.

QUESTION: Syria. Turkish Foreign Minister has suggested the possibility of Syrian Vice President Farouk Sharah serving as interim leader if President Bashar al-Assad steps down. Do you support this suggestion?

MS. NULAND: Well, we're not going to get into the business here of picking the next leaders of Syria. This is something that the Syrian people are going to have to do, and the Syrian opposition is going to have to nominate its own candidates when we get to that transition phase. We are seeing a number of people '' as defections increase, as leaders identify themselves in local communities and in the opposition, we're seeing a number of folks who could conceivably be credible candidates. But again, this is something that the Syrian people are going to have to decide.

QUESTION: Well, you say you're not going to get into the practice of naming who Syria's leaders should be, but you have, in fact. Haven't you? I mean, you've ruled out one person explicitly and said that other people who have blood on their hands wouldn't be allowed. So do you think that Farouk al-Sharah, the loyal Assad aide for decades, both father and son, is someone who has blood on his hands, or someone who should be ruled out, like President '' like you have done with President Assad himself?

MS. NULAND: What we have said is that we support this notion of a transitional governing structure along the lines of what was outlined in Geneva, what was in the opposition's own documents, which is very much congruent. In the Geneva document, it talked about people in a transitional structure being agreed to by mutual consent, and we've made clear that we don't see any way on this Earth that anybody will consent to having Bashar al-Assad be part of that.

With regard to others, I'm not going to get into names one way or the other. This is something the Syrian people are going to have to work through.

QUESTION: Why? One name is okay, but two is not?

MS. NULAND: Again, I'm not going to be evaluating level of culpability one way or the other from this podium, except we all understand that the buck stops with Bashar al-Assad.

Please.

QUESTION: Excuse me, Toria. In light of the artillery exchange in the last five days running, do you think we may be headed towards a no-fly zone or a safe haven or something like this practically on the ground?

MS. NULAND: Our posture on those things has not changed in the last week, Said.

QUESTION: Can I ask you just a quick follow-up? Do you still believe that Mr. Assad's days are numbered? I know you said this from the podium, but reports suggest that the regime is consolidating its power over a large portion of the capital, Aleppo, and other areas.

MS. NULAND: There is a lot of reporting on one side and on the other with regard to what's going on in Damascus and Aleppo. Obviously, the fight is being hard fought in both of those cities, and it's very '' the level of violence is very high in both places. But the fact remains that in large parts of the country, the regime no longer has physical control outside of the major cities, et cetera. So this, again, speaks to the difficulty that we see in Assad holding on. He's had huge numbers of defections, he's having difficulty holding on even in the two big cities where four months ago there was no fighting at all, and now the regime is under a lot of pressure, the currency is in difficult straits, people even in leadership positions are moving their families out of the country. So that speaks to what we're seeing.

Kim, is it still on Syria?

QUESTION: Yeah, Syria.

MS. NULAND: Yeah. Kim, in the back. Kim, in the back. Kim, in the back.

Go ahead.

QUESTION: It sounds to me like you're actually saying that Farouk al-Shara is not an acceptable transition person anymore, because not that long ago the Arab League plan actually called for the Vice President to step in as a transitional figure in the same way as had happened in Yemen. And on this podium you said that you supported that plan. And when we asked specifically about Farouk al-Shara, you said, well, this is the plan. So are you now saying that you don't support him as a transition figure?

MS. NULAND: I'm not saying one way or the other. I'm saying simply that these decisions about future personnel are going to have to be made by Syrians. They're going to have to make these decisions. It's not helpful or appropriate for us to be picking the future leaders of Syria.

QUESTION: But the Arab League plan did call for the Vice President to step in. Is that plan, therefore, no longer acceptable to you?

MS. NULAND: That plan, which I think was dated from last January or last February, predated a lot of what we've seen since. At the time, we considered that if the Assad regime were willing to, first and foremost, stop the violence '' which, as you know, is the first tenet of that plan and every other plan, including the Kofi Annan plan '' that it was worth trying to make it work and being supportive of it.

But we are very, very far from that now, and certainly, given all of the events that have transpired since then, our fundamental position remains that the Syrian people, who have suffered so much, are going to have to be the ones to make the decisions on leadership. It doesn't look like Yemen anymore. Let's put it that way.

Okay. Please. Please.

QUESTION: China?

QUESTION: No. Still on Syria.

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: Two briefly. I just don't understand why if it's not helpful or appropriate for the United States to get into the business of picking who Syria's leaders are. You are '' you have already gotten into the business of telling them who they can't have as president. How is that appropriate and helpful?

MS. NULAND: Bashar al-Assad has presided over more than a year of vicious, barbaric attacks on his own people. At any point, in all of this time, he could have ended this by ceasing the violence and proceeding to a conversation or an empowerment of others to move into a transition phase. He hasn't done any of that, as the President said months and months and months ago, and we've said every day, every week since, he has forfeited his right to represent and lead the Syrian people.

QUESTION: Yeah, except that all of his top aides presumably could have done something as well '' I mean they could have killed him for all '' what you might have been hoping for, and they didn't. So why can't you rule out others?

MS. NULAND: Again, we're not going to get into the business of picking leaders.

QUESTION: All right, and then just unrelated to that, is '' there seems to be growing sentiment, or at least growing opinion among some that the rebels are going '' the military, the Free Syrian Army or whatever it is '' the armed opposition, is going to have to get more and better weaponry if this is not continued to be a bloody stalemate. Does the Administration find any '' does that ring true at all to the Administration? Is there any feeling inside the Administration that the armed opposition is going to have to get better and more weapons if it's going to be able to topple the regime?

MS. NULAND: Well, let's start with what I've already said which is that over the last three to five months we've seen the regime lose control of vast swaths of the country in the north, in the east, even between some of the towns in the west. They have difficulty holding things that they are trying to hold. So that speaks to what's going on on the ground. I'm obviously not going to get into either an intelligence or a military analysis of how the opposition is doing. You know our view on this, that we are not participating in the lethal support to the opposition; others have made the decision to do that. Our support have on the nonlethal side.

QUESTION: Well, I understand that, and I understand that there is no thought that that policy is going to change. However, you've made it -- also made it clear that others are going to do what they're going to do. So is there '' would the Administration be averse to telling those who are willing to do more '' willing and able to do more on the weapons supply front '' to do more?

MS. NULAND: I'm not going to get into our conversations with other countries with regard to the support that they're giving.

Andy.

QUESTION: Quick sort of side issue. In Paris, Ban Ki-moon told President Hollande that Lakhdar Brahimi's planning to make another trip to Syria soon after stops in several other regional countries. I'm wondering if you think this is a good time for that trip. Do you think there's any reason to believe that this might be successful where others have failed? Or do you think this is more just sort of spinning out the clock?

MS. NULAND: Well, it's consistent with what Special Envoy Brahimi told the Secretary when they met at the UN General Assembly that he would not put forward his own ideas until he had done another set of consultations in the region and we understood that that would also include another trip to Syria. So we are going to do let him set the timetable obviously, and we support his efforts to get a full picture before he makes proposals going forward.

QUESTION: And would it then be your expectation that he would come back from this coming trip ready, or close to ready, to outline what his plan might be?

MS. NULAND: That was the impression that we had when the Secretary met with him, but I think we have to see how the trip goes for him. And he's obviously made clear that he is going to do this deliberatively and make his own decisions about when to put something forward.

Please.

QUESTION: NATO ministers meeting in Brussels are running to support Turkey. What is the U.S. stand on that? Will the American boots be on ground if they move in?

MS. NULAND: Well, I think you know that last week the Turks asked for an Article 4 consultation in NATO following the beginning of these cross-border incidents, and NATO issued a very strong statement in support of our Turkish ally. Beyond saying that NATO has a full complement of plans for the defense of Turkey, as we do for every ally, I'm not going to get into the kinds of contingencies that you're proposing here.

QUESTION: Change topic?

QUESTION: No, on this.

MS. NULAND: Still on this? Yeah.

QUESTION: One more. Yeah. What's the American plan for Syria other than providing the nonlethal aids to the rebels?

MS. NULAND: Michel, we've talked about this many times. The Secretary talked about it extensively during the Ad Hoc meeting on Syria that we had at the UN, which was less than two weeks ago. It was about a week and a half ago. We have three major pillars of our Syria strategy. The first, obviously, is to work with and try to strengthen the opposition, particularly strengthen their unity in putting forward a transition plan for Syria going forward, their ability to communicate with each other, their ability to strengthen their leadership. Second, our humanitarian support. And third, our work to prepare for the day when Assad goes and Syria's obviously going to need all kinds of support from the international community.

Said.

QUESTION: Yes. Can we change topics?

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: Yes. On the --

QUESTION: Can I just follow up on that?

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: You eliminated the increased pressure on the regime and the sanctions --

MS. NULAND: Sorry. Thank you, that's our fourth pillar.

QUESTION: Does that indicate that you don't think that that's a viable option --

MS. NULAND: No. Thank you, Elise. Rusty Tuesday. Obviously, the sanctions that we and the rest of the international community have on Syria need to continue and they need to be increased where we can. We need to work together to close loopholes as we try to do during '' with the Sanctions Working Group under the Friends of the Syrian People.

Please, Said.

QUESTION: The Palestinian issue?

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: On Friday, 15 leaders of 15 different Christian denominations, American Christian denominations, submitted a letter to Congress requesting an investigation of how U.S. assistance to Israel is used in facilitating the continued occupation. One, are you aware of that? And second, if they come to you for further assistance on this particular issue, would you provide it?

MS. NULAND: I haven't seen the letter, Said, so I really can't speak to the specifics of it.

Please.

QUESTION: China?

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: Yesterday, House Intelligence Committee released the conclusion of the investigation about Chinese telecommunication equipment makers. They recommended not to use and exclude all materials of these two companies from the U.S. Government computer system. What will the U.S. Government or State Department do about this recommendation?

MS. NULAND: Well, this is a report of the House Intelligence Committee, so I'm going to send you back to them for thoughts about how these ideas might be implemented.

QUESTION: One thing --

QUESTION: And also --

QUESTION: Go ahead.

QUESTION: Yeah. And also that conclusion expressed a concern, some concern about Chinese spy activity through the computer system inside the United States. What do you think about this '' the concern by the Chinese Government or Chinese spying activity?

MS. NULAND: I think you know that under the Strategic & Economic Dialogue we have initiated a cybersecurity conversation with the Chinese Government to exchange views and deal with concerns that we have on either side. The Secretary said at the time of inaugurating this conversation, as two of the world's largest cyber actors, it's vital that the United States and China have a sustained, meaningful dialogue on cyberspace issues and work together to develop a shared understanding of acceptable norms of behavior. So that conversation continues bilaterally, and it's very important to both of us.

QUESTION: One thing that an analyst who was looking at this report yesterday suggested to us was that this isn't just a matter of protecting government secrets; this is a matter of fair trade practices. And the analyst suggested that perhaps the U.S. has been reluctant to raise these sorts of issues, especially now that China is part of the WTO. What's your take on that?

MS. NULAND: I would reject that. As I said, we now have a formalized cybersecurity dialogue with China. It certainly doesn't cover only our government-to-government issues. It also covers issues of competitiveness of industry, protection of intellectual property, protection of industrial information that might be proprietary, et cetera, and the impact of negative behavior on the economies of either country. So we are endeavoring to cover the waterfront in this dialogue that we're having.

QUESTION: Was there anything more in terms of a Chinese reaction to admittedly a committee from a separate branch of government's recommendation? I mean, it was rather striking that the foreign ministry put someone out yesterday to condemn this report. Has there been any direct complaint to this building?

MS. NULAND: I assume that we've heard from them in diplomatic channels in Beijing as well. Generally, when they go out in public, they've usually also gone to us in private.

Please.

QUESTION: How do you see the developments in Maldives '' Maldives, where the former president was arrested and then released yesterday?

MS. NULAND: I have something on that here. So this is with regard to the arrest of former President Nasheed.

QUESTION: Nasheed.

MS. NULAND: Yeah. We've seen the reports by Amnesty International about allegations of police brutality. We would take any kinds of allegations of police abuse very seriously. We are looking into them in the Maldives, but we haven't been able to confirm them.

QUESTION: Have you ever sent any message to the Maldives Government after he was arrested and released and these allegations that came up?

MS. NULAND: Well, first and foremost, we've been trying to get in touch with the former president, with whom we've had a regular dialogue all the way through this, to determine whether there's any truth to this. And we will get back to you if we determine anything one way or the other.

Please.

QUESTION: Yes. It's Egypt.

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: Do you have any update regarding the consultation with the Hill regarding the 450 million (inaudible)?

MS. NULAND: We are continuing our regular consultations. We had a number of folks from this building, including Ambassador Taylor, who is the Secretary's envoy for assistance to North Africa, up talking to Hill staff about the request, about how it fits into our overall strategy of supporting the democratic transition in Egypt, and that '' those conversations, obviously, are continuing.

QUESTION: About that, the ''

QUESTION: Two or three days ago, I mean, there was a letter '' open letter from the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Congress regarding this transition and some questions regarding '' questions to the Secretary. Do you have any comment about this letter?

MS. NULAND: Well, obviously we're going to try to work through all of those questions in our conversations with the Hill. We feel very strongly that now is not the time to pull back from supporting these fragile democracies in North Africa and the Middle East. It's time to support those who are trying to take their countries in a democratic direction.

Andy.

QUESTION: Toria, I just '' I seem to recall that Deputy Secretary Nides was talking to Representative Granger today. Is that also part of this consultation? Is that specifically what their meeting's about? Can you tell us?

MS. NULAND: They are going to have a phone call today, is my understanding. I am sure it'll cover both Egypt, the money for the Palestinian Authority that we're hoping to get released, and a number of other issues. As you know, they talk very frequently.

Please.

QUESTION: Toria, did you issue a statement one way or the other commenting on the victory of Hugo Chavez?

MS. NULAND: We issued some lines to those who were interested. I can repeat those here for you if that's useful.

QUESTION: Sure.

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

So we took note of the fact that the Venezuelan National Committee had announced that President Hugo Chavez had won the election 55.14 percent to 44.24 percent, with 97 percent of precincts reporting, and that Governor Capriles had publicly conceded shortly thereafter, and we congratulated the Venezuelan people for the high turnout and for the generally peaceful manner in which the election was carried out.

QUESTION: So you do it now that the election was fair and free? (Cell phone rings.) I'm sorry.

MS. NULAND: Again, that's a decision that the Venezuelans will have to make. We ourselves didn't have any observers there, but we would note that Governor Capriles did concede.

Michel.

QUESTION: On Mali, do you support a French military intervention there? To what extent? And will you provide them with any help?

MS. NULAND: Again, I'm '' you're asserting that the French are going to intervene militarily in Mali.

QUESTION: There are stories that they will intervene. Do you support them?

MS. NULAND: Well, obviously we are in close consultations with the French on the situation in Mali, as we are with the ECOWAS countries, as we are with the interim authority in Mali. I think Assistant Secretary Phil Gordon's in Paris today, or was in Paris over the weekend, and Mali is one of the subjects that we're talking about.

As you know, we are working with ECOWAS. ECOWAS itself is working to refine its proposal for how it would take its mission in Bamako, expand it, take it into the north, and we look forward to supporting that as part of a larger comprehensive strategy towards Mali that also, in addition to security, includes a humanitarian component, includes strong support for getting to free, fair elections for a permanent government no later than April, and working to support the needs in the north and their inclusion in the political process so they'll be less vulnerable to the overtures of extremists.

QUESTION: And in case of any military intervention, do you support such an intervention?

MS. NULAND: Again, our support has been for a well-developed, well-thought-through, well-resourced ECOWAS effort, and our understanding is that the French are also working with ECOWAS to help them to develop that plan and to bring it forward to the Security Council for support.

QUESTION: Back to Libya for a second?

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: You said that Assistant Secretary Boswell and Under Secretary Kennedy were up on the Hill briefing people this morning. Can you tell us about any contact there may have been between their superiors or a superior and Congressman Issa yesterday?

MS. NULAND: Are you talking about phone calls with '' who do you have in mind? What are you asking exactly?

QUESTION: A former First Lady.

MS. NULAND: (Laughter.) Whether the Secretary spoke to '' are you asking whether the Secretary spoke to Congressman Issa yesterday?

QUESTION: Well, I'm telling you that she did. I'm asking you what '' what was the conversation?

MS. NULAND: I don't have anything to report on even whether we had that conversation. I'll let you know if I have anything to share. But in general, we don't debrief on the Secretary's conversations with individual members of Congress.

QUESTION: Is she answering the letter of the '' the specific letter sent by the committee, or just basically is a pledge to kind of work with the committee? Is she going to formally answer that letter?

MS. NULAND: She answered the letter by saying '' and I think we released this '' her response publicly the day of or the day after the letter came in, saying there are a lot of questions, nobody wants to get to the bottom of them more than I do, more than this Department does, and we will cooperate fully with you. That cooperation is continuing, including tomorrow when we put some folks forward to the '' for the hearing.

QUESTION: I was wondering, just on another subject, if you might have any comment on the sort of spectacular story out of Mexico today where the Mexican navy confirmed that a man they'd killed is the senior leader of the Zetas and then his body was almost immediately thereafter snatched from a mortuary. I realize it's law enforcement but also has something to do with the war on drugs. What's your response to that?

MS. NULAND: We've seen these stories. Frankly, we are not in a position to confirm any of it. We are seeking further clarification from Mexican authorities.

Anything else? Thanks, everybody.

(The briefing was concluded at 1:49 p.m.)

DPB # 173

Cyber War$

NSA Director Pushes Cybersecurity Bill.

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 23:34

Cyberattacks have breached the Pentagon and sent businesses into bankruptcy. Still, it might take a cyberdisaster that causes damage on the scale of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to get lawmakers to pass legislation aimed at shoring up the U.S.'s infrastructure.

The White House has proposed an executive order to address part of the problem, but Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, says that is not enough.

The Pentagon has a pilot program that will help private companies work with the government to help them protect their own information.

But that program ''doesn't give us the ability to work with the Internet service providers and allow that to benefit the rest of the critical infrastructure and the rest of government,'' Alexander said during an Oct. 1 panel discussion at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. ''That's really what we need this legislation for.''

An executive order also would fail to address liability protections to shield companies from lawsuits over information-sharing that are needed to encourage participation, says Susan Collins (Maine), the ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee and a co-sponsor of cybersecurity legislation.

''I think the executive order is a mistake,'' Collins says. ''I fear that it actually could lull people into a false sense of security that we've taken care of cybersecurity.''

This article first appeared in Aerospace Daily & Defense Report.

'' Jen DiMascio

October 10th, 2012 | Cyber | 1861911 Commentshttp%3A%2F%2Fdefensetech.org%2F2012%2F10%2F10%2Fnsa-director-pushes-cybersecurity-bill%2FNSA+Director+Pushes+Cybersecurity+Bill2012-10-10+15%3A30%3A44defensetechhttp%3A%2F%2Fdefensetech.org%2F%3Fp%3D18619

Techno Experts

Twitter says its ads pay off for candidates

Link to Article

Source: Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 23:56

Twitter released a study showing its paid messages pay off for political candidates, not only in garnering attention but in driving campaign contributions.

Twitter released a study Wednesday showing its paid messages pay off for political candidates, not only in garnering attention but in driving campaign contributions.

The study by the marketing firm Compete found the average Twitter user was 68 percent more likely to visit a campaign donation page than the average Internet user.

The likelihood increases when Twitter users are exposed to political tweets either from those they follow or "promoted" or paid messages.

"Twitter users exposed to any of these kinds of political tweets are almost twice as likely (97 percent) as other Twitter users to visit an online political donation page," said Twitter's head of political ad sales, Peter Greenberger.

Greenberger said in a blog post that these Twitter users are more likely to donate and also become more engaged in a campaign.

He said the data didn't allow an analysis of individual campaigns but that increased donation rates by Twitter users were found to be very similar across all candidates and parties.

"We have always known that Twitter users are politically engaged; now we know that exposure to political tweets drives political contributions," he said.

(c) 2012 AFP

Ministry of Truth

Secret CIA Bin Laden Training Facility'...or Stage? Just Wondering '' Alternative News and Opinions

Link to Article

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 11:22

by Zen Gardner

Here's something I just stumbled upon in the news.

Before you read the article below, just think. They've supposedly found a fugitive's hide out and assume they have enough time to reconstruct the whole thing and practice rather than just go in and get him? Nonsense. Whatta scam. He'd been dead for 10 years already anyway.

So while something did apparently transpire at a similar location in Pakistan, this way they can be sure they get certain camera shots for the cover story and it goes down according to plan. And as you'll see below, they erased the evidence of the so-called ''training'' location completely'....as well as the Navy SEALs that supposedly performed the fake operation who were conveniently shot down in a helicopter in Afghanistan.

Erase erase.

The whole operation was full of holes from the get go, but this makes a nice final nail in the coffin if you ask me.

One of the reasons U.S. Navy SEALs were able to so skillfully execute the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound last year was a CIA training facility in North Carolina that mirrored the architecture of bin Laden's actual compound in Pakistan. In 2011, during those crucial months that SEAL Team Six trained there, it was one of the most secretive facilities on U.S. soil. Now, for the first time, the facility has been revealed on Bing's satellite map service during a phase when it was under construction. Peekaboo!

That's an aerial shot of Harvey Point Defense Testing, a CIA training facility in North Carolina. It was taken on February 15, 2011. Look familiar? Here's a shot of Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, shortly after the May 2011 raid.

It's a fascinating discovery and it's all thanks to the eagle-eyed folks over at Cryptome.com, who identified the compound this morning after reading the book No Easy Day by former SEAL Team Six member Matt Bissonnette. In multiple passages in the book, Bissonnette mentions training for the raid in North Carolina. ''This training exercise down in North Carolina sounded like another bad mission. But I wouldn't know until Monday,'' Bissonnette writes in the book. From there, the folks over at Cryptome apparently pored over acres of satellite imagery of CIA facilities in North Carolina. Below is a view of the larger CIA center with the mock-up circled in red:

But here's where this gets really interesting. What happens when you view the same training facility at the same coordinates on Google Maps instead of Bing?

Poof! Vanished! It's gone:

Apparently, just like the real-life compound in Pakistan, the CIA's mock-up compound has also been destroyed. Anybody know why? (It's an open question.) The other thing we can divine from this is that Bing apparently has less up-to-date maps than Google. But in this case, that's quite a valuable feature! Source

aangirfan: 'Osama' Compound Fakery

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 11:17

'Training facility in the USA', identical to the 'bin Laden' compound.The alleged bin Laden shooting, on 1 May 2011, looks entirely fake.

Allegedly, in North Carolina, the CIA had a 'Bin Laden raid' training facility with the exact same layout as the Pakistan compound.

Satellite maps reportedly reveal a structure in the USA identical to bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Cryptome.org on 9 October 2012 published the satellite images.

Warning: this could be an attempt to hide the real truth.'Bin Laden' compound in Pakistan.

The pictures, from Cryptome.org, show 'the site' in North Carolina, near the CIA's Harvey Point Defense Testing Activity facility in Perquimans County.

On Google Maps, there is no trace of the building, which was allegedly demolished.

The bin Laden compound in Pakistan was demolished. The 'Osama bin Laden compound' in the Pakistan town of Abbottabad had a special design.

Reportedly, it is a design used by the US military.

Reportedly, the US military use this design for constructing secret and safe homes for top officers in dangerous zones.

(Did Dawood's construction firm build 'Osama's' Abbottabad home? / Did Dawood's construction firm build 'Osama's' Abbottabad home ...)From Google.

Who built the 'Osama compound' in Pakistan?

"Highly placed sources in Indian intelligence" reveal that the contract to build such homes in Pakistan has been given to Safari Construction."

Safari Construction is reportedly owned by Dawood Ibrahim.

(Did Dawood's construction firm build Osama's Abbottabad home?)

The 'Osama' compound in Pakistan. NOTE: no satellite dish.The copy of the 'Osama' house in Bagram, Afghanistan? Note the satellite dish.In April 2011, the US military reportedly made a full scale replica of the 'Obama compound'. (Full-Scale Replica.)

"They replicated the one-acre compound at Camp Alpha, a segregated section of Bagram Air Base." (the Atlantic)

Report challenges beliefs on sexual attacks in war - News - Boston.com

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Thu, 11 Oct 2012 01:20

UNITED NATIONS (AP) '-- A new report by Canadian researchers challenges the widespread belief that rape is increasingly being used as a ''weapon of war.''

The report released Wednesday by a research team from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver said there is no compelling evidence to support this belief or claims by senior U.N. officials, U.N. reports and others that sexual violence in wartime is increasing.

There is also no compelling evidence that the extreme level of sexual violence in a small number of war-affected countries including Congo, Liberia and Sudan is shared in other conflict zones, the report said.

But Sebastian Merz, associate director of the project that produced the 2012 Human Security Report report, told reporters at a news conference that there is evidence, which is largely overlooked, that the most common perpetrators of sexual violence in wartime are husbands, partners or other family members '-- not combatants.

While the majority of perpetrators in wartime sexual violence are men and the vast majority of victims are women and girls, he said recent studies have shown that both male victims and female perpetrators may be more numerous than is generally believed, which is almost never mentioned.

The report said there is a minimal amount of data on wartime sexual violence despite the huge increase in international attention in the past two decades.

As a result, it said, ''highly misleading assumptions about the scope and intensity of sexual violence in war-affected countries have become widely accepted in the media, in the U.N. and other international agencies, and in the advocacy community.''

The researchers urged the international community to become more serious about collecting and using reliable data on sexual violence in conflicts.

Professor Andrew Mack, the project director, said it's astonishing that 12 years after the U.N. Security Council passed a landmark resolution calling for increased protection of women and girls during war and prosecution of perpetrators responsible for rape and other crimes against women ''the U.N. has no idea of how widespread sexual violence is in today's wars '-- nor whether it is increasing or decreasing.''

Merz stressed that the report does not question the important of the issue or suggest that less attention or resources should be devoted to wartime sexual violence which he said ''constitutes a very severe assault on human security and poses a grave threat to all those living in conflict-affected areas.''

''But we need a better understanding of the nature and extent of wartime sexual violence,'' he said.

Nonetheless, Merz said, even the limited evidence available poses serious challenges to the widely accepted views on the problem.

While there is a huge amount of literature on the intentional use of rape as a weapon of war by governments and rebels to advance military and political goals, the report said, ''no evidence has been produced to support assertions that it has increased.''

On the contrary, it said, ''some evidence suggests that its incidence is less prevalent than claimed, and that it may have declined in recent years.''

The report cited the Serbian rape campaign in Bosnia in the early 1990s as ''perhaps the most notorious recent case'' but said overall ''the evidence suggests that strategic rape is the exception rather than the rule in most conflicts.''

In Congo, for example, the report said there have been frequent assertions by high-ranking U.N. officials and others that rape is being used as a weapon of war. But it cited a 2010 study by Sweden's Nordic Africa Institute where government soldiers and officers made clear that sexual violence wasn't part of any military strategy.

The report said that in Congo ''a major part of the reason for the high levels of sexual violence appears to be that the military command system is too dysfunctional, disorganized, fragmented, and corrupt to prevent undisciplined, and often unpaid, troops from indulging in opportunistic looting and rape on a large scale.''

The disproportionate attention on the small number of countries with high levels of sexual violence perpetrated by combatants has created the impression that these extraordinary high levels of rape are characteristic of all war-affected countries, but the report said they are not.

The majority of war-affected countries, with much lower levels of sexual violence, just aren't discussed, it said.

As for reports that sexual violence is increasing worldwide, the researchers said, ''hardly any evidence has been produced to support the claim.''Continued...

(C) Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Squirrel!

Agenda 21

Shhhh, the media doesn't want us to see this. 100-year-old cold records broken, but nary a word.

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 11:00

100-year-old cold records broken, but nary a word.

''An incredible departure from normal happened with yesterday's lows out there,'' says reader Ralph Fato. ''Some spots were 25-30 below normal, breaking record-cold lows. Some records over 100 years old!''

''Here's all the records from past 2 days for the U.S. Even Texas got in on the record-low action.''

Note: In case this info somehow magically goes bad in the future, here's a list of all the record lows, along with the date and thermometer reading of the previous record low.

AL Demopolis L Sun, 7 Oct 2012 25 40 in 1963

AL Demopolis L Sat, 6 Oct 2012 31 37 in 1971

CO Byers, 5 miles ENE of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 20 20 in 1931

CO Del Norte, 2 miles E of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 18 19 in 1992

CO Ft Morgan Sun, 7 Oct 2012 19 23 in 1935

CO Gateway Sun, 7 Oct 2012 29 29 in 1994

CO Georgetown Sun, 7 Oct 2012 16 21 in 1978

CO Grand Junction Regional Ap Sun, 7 Oct 2012 30 31 in 1990

CO Grand Lake, 6 miles SSW of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 11 14 in 1938

CO Grant Sun, 7 Oct 2012 13 17 in 1953

CO Leroy, 9 miles WSW of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 22 24 in 1898

CO Sedgwick, 5 miles S of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 20 25 in 1983

CO Walden Sun, 7 Oct 2012 -1 7 in 1935

CO Williams Fork Dam Sun, 7 Oct 2012 13 13 in 1978

HI Honolulu Observ. 702.2 Sat, 6 Oct 2012 66 66 in 1967

HI Molokai Ap 524 Sat, 6 Oct 2012 65 65 in 1964

IA Allerton Sat, 6 Oct 2012 27 29 in 1984

IA Ankeny Sun, 7 Oct 2012 23 26 in 1983

IA Atlantic, 1 miles NE of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 15 16 in 1935

IA Audubon Sun, 7 Oct 2012 16 23 in 1983

IA Boone Sun, 7 Oct 2012 19 23 in 1964

IA Britt Sun, 7 Oct 2012 20 21 in 1983

IA Carroll Sun, 7 Oct 2012 19 20 in 1957

IA Castana Exp Farm Sun, 7 Oct 2012 24 24 in 1961

IA Cedar Rapids Ap Sat, 6 Oct 2012 23 28 in 1984

IA Eldora Sat, 6 Oct 2012 25 27 in 1960

IA Eldora Sun, 7 Oct 2012 22 24 in 1983

IA Emmetsburg Sun, 7 Oct 2012 20 23 in 1957

IA Emmetsburg Sat, 6 Oct 2012 26 26 in 1984

IA Estherville, 4 miles E of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 18 19 in 1957

IA Ft Dodge, 5 miles NNW of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 19 25 in 1983

IA Grundy Ctr Sun, 7 Oct 2012 21 24 in 1879

IA Guthrie Ctr Sun, 7 Oct 2012 16 24 in 1974

IA Harlan, 1 miles N of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 20 23 in 1935

IA Indianola, 2 miles W of Sat, 6 Oct 2012 22 22 in 1936

IA Indianola, 2 miles W of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 20 24 in 1983

IA Iowa Falls Sun, 7 Oct 2012 23 24 in 1983

IA Jefferson Sun, 7 Oct 2012 18 26 in 1957

IA Lamoni Sun, 7 Oct 2012 27 33 in 1918

IA Leon, 6 miles ESE of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 22 22 in 1971

IA Logan Sun, 7 Oct 2012 18 26 in 1957

IA Mapleton No.2 Sun, 7 Oct 2012 16 21 in 1957

IA Marshalltown Sun, 7 Oct 2012 24 25 in 1935

IA Mason City Muni Ap Sun, 7 Oct 2012 19 21 in 1983

IA New Hampton Sun, 7 Oct 2012 24 24 in 1983

IA Osceola Sun, 7 Oct 2012 19 23 in 1957

IA Ottumwa Industrial Ap Sun, 7 Oct 2012 25 26 in 1983

IA Rockwell City Sun, 7 Oct 2012 23 24 in 1957

IA Sac City Sun, 7 Oct 2012 17 23 in 1957

IA Sibley, 3 miles NE of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 14 19 in 1957

IA Sioux City Ap Sun, 7 Oct 2012 15 23 in 1983

IA Sioux Ctr, 2 miles SE of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 18 19 in 1957

IA Waterloo Municipal Ap Sun, 7 Oct 2012 24 24 in 1971

IA Webster City Sun, 7 Oct 2012 16 23 in 1935

IA Williamsburg, 3 miles SE of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 21 22 in 1935

IA Winterset, 1 miles N of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 18 23 in 1935

ID Elk City, 1 miles NE of Sat, 6 Oct 2012 10 10 in 1958

ID Idaho Falls, 16 miles SE of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 16 16 in 1975

ID Kellogg Sat, 6 Oct 2012 25 25 in 1984

ID May, 2 miles SSE of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 16 17 in 1992

ID Middle Fork Lodge Sat, 6 Oct 2012 19 19 in 1965

ID Nezperce Sat, 6 Oct 2012 18 19 in 1958

ID Nezperce Sun, 7 Oct 2012 15 23 in 1973

ID Palisades Sun, 7 Oct 2012 21 22 in 1953

ID Pierce Sat, 6 Oct 2012 19 20 in 1965

ID Pocatello Rgnl Ap Sat, 6 Oct 2012 21 21 in 1984

ID Pocatello Rgnl Ap Sun, 7 Oct 2012 18 21 in 1957

ID Stanley Sun, 7 Oct 2012 6 11 in 1951

ID Stanley Sat, 6 Oct 2012 5 12 in 1984

ID Swan Falls P H Sun, 7 Oct 2012 34 34 in 1957

ID Tetonia Exp Stn Sun, 7 Oct 2012 13 14 in 1983

ID Tetonia Exp Stn Sat, 6 Oct 2012 12 12 in 1985

IL Geneseo Sat, 6 Oct 2012 29 31 in 1972

IL Joliet Brandon Rd Dam Sun, 7 Oct 2012 31 32 in 1984

KS Abilene Sun, 7 Oct 2012 28 28 in 1983

KS Belleville Sun, 7 Oct 2012 25 26 in 1983

KS Newton Sun, 7 Oct 2012 29 29 in 1983

KS Toronto Lake Sun, 7 Oct 2012 32 33 in 1961

MI Onaway, 4 miles N of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 27 27 in 1960

MN Grand Meadow Sun, 7 Oct 2012 19 22 in 1984

MN Milaca Sun, 7 Oct 2012 21 22 in 1881

MN Winnebago Sun, 7 Oct 2012 21 23 in 1957

MO Buffalo, 2 miles N of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 28 30 in 1974

MO Chillicothe, 2 miles S of Sat, 6 Oct 2012 31 31 in 1972

MO Hamilton, 2 miles W of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 23 25 in 1974

MO Hamilton, 2 miles W of Sat, 6 Oct 2012 28 29 in 1963

MO Joplin Regional Airport Sat, 6 Oct 2012 33 35 in 1975

MO Kansas City Intl Ap Sun, 7 Oct 2012 26 27 in 1983

MO St Joseph Rosecrans Mem Sat, 6 Oct 2012 27 27 in 1936

MO St Joseph Rosecrans Mem Sun, 7 Oct 2012 22 26 in 1935

MO St Louis Sci Ctr Sun, 7 Oct 2012 37 38 in 1971

MO St Louis Sci Ctr Sat, 6 Oct 2012 37 37 in 1972

MO Warrensburg, 4 miles NW of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 30 30 in 1974

MO Wasola, 5 miles N of Sat, 6 Oct 2012 35 35 in 1994

MT Boulder Sun, 7 Oct 2012 12 12 in 1983

MT Bozeman Gallatin Fld Sat, 6 Oct 2012 14 15 in 1958

MT Del Bonita Sat, 6 Oct 2012 11 16 in 1984

MT Dillion U Of Montana Western Sat, 6 Oct 2012 14 16 in 1984

MT Dillon Airport Sat, 6 Oct 2012 13 14 in 1958

MT Ennis Sun, 7 Oct 2012 14 14 in 1983

MT Ennis Sat, 6 Oct 2012 12 16 in 1958

MT Gardiner Sat, 6 Oct 2012 18 19 in 1958

MT Hamilton Sun, 7 Oct 2012 20 20 in 1957

MT Helena Ap Asos Sat, 6 Oct 2012 19 19 in 1958

MT Joliet Sat, 6 Oct 2012 17 20 in 1984

MT Joliet Sun, 7 Oct 2012 17 17 in 1983

MT Melville, 4 miles W of Sat, 6 Oct 2012 6 13 in 1984

MT Mizpah, 4 miles NNW of Sat, 6 Oct 2012 13 15 in 1989

MT Mystic Lake Sat, 6 Oct 2012 5 15 in 1958

MT Polebridge Sat, 6 Oct 2012 11 16 in 1993

MT Polson Sat, 6 Oct 2012 21 23 in 1958

MT Polson Sun, 7 Oct 2012 21 27 in 1973

MT Summit Sat, 6 Oct 2012 9 16 in 1941

MT Superior Sat, 6 Oct 2012 21 21 in 1958

MT Townsend Sat, 6 Oct 2012 14 16 in 1984

MT White Sulphur Sprngs 2 Sat, 6 Oct 2012 10 14 in 1984

MT Wisdom Sun, 7 Oct 2012 5 6 in 1973

MT Wisdom Sat, 6 Oct 2012 -1 2 in 1958

NE Butte Sat, 6 Oct 2012 20 24 in 1984

NE Columbus, 3 miles NE of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 22 22 in 1935

NE Dalton Sun, 7 Oct 2012 22 23 in 1959

NE David City Sun, 7 Oct 2012 20 22 in 1983

NE Fairbury, 5 miles S of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 24 24 in 1935

NE Fremont Sun, 7 Oct 2012 22 24 in 1935

NE Greeley Sun, 7 Oct 2012 15 17 in 1983

NE Harrisburg, 12 miles WNW of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 20 20 in 1983

NE Harrison Sun, 7 Oct 2012 18 18 in 1935

NE Hershey, 5 miles SSE of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 22 22 in 1983

NE Imperial Sun, 7 Oct 2012 15 16 in 1935

NE Newport Sun, 7 Oct 2012 18 19 in 1983

NE Newport Sat, 6 Oct 2012 17 21 in 1936

NE Norfolk Ap Sun, 7 Oct 2012 18 20 in 1983

NE Oakdale Sun, 7 Oct 2012 15 18 in 1935

NE Oakdale Sat, 6 Oct 2012 20 21 in 1984

NE Omaha Eppley Airfield Sat, 6 Oct 2012 26 27 in 1984

NE Scottsbluff Ap Sun, 7 Oct 2012 21 21 in 1935

NE Seward Sun, 7 Oct 2012 21 22 in 1983

NE Springview Sat, 6 Oct 2012 17 21 in 1936

NE Springview Sun, 7 Oct 2012 19 19 in 1983

NE Tecumseh, 1 miles S of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 18 20 in 1935

NE Tekamah Sun, 7 Oct 2012 22 25 in 1935

NE Wakefield Sun, 7 Oct 2012 17 18 in 1957

NE West Point Sun, 7 Oct 2012 20 22 in 1935

OK Billings Sun, 7 Oct 2012 30 35 in 1984

OK Blackwell Sun, 7 Oct 2012 33 38 in 1984

OK Enid Sun, 7 Oct 2012 34 34 in 1935

OK Helena, 1 miles SSE of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 32 35 in 1984

OK Meeker, 5 miles W of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 33 34 in 1936

OK Miami Sun, 7 Oct 2012 25 27 in 1935

OK Sallisaw, 2 miles NW of Sat, 6 Oct 2012 31 33 in 1916

OK Tulsa Intl Ap Sun, 7 Oct 2012 32 33 in 1935

OK Watonga Sun, 7 Oct 2012 31 35 in 1984

OR Baker City Ap Sat, 6 Oct 2012 15 19 in 1958

OR Grizzly Sun, 7 Oct 2012 18 18 in 1953

OR John Day Sat, 6 Oct 2012 22 23 in 1958

OR Long Creek Sat, 6 Oct 2012 20 24 in 1957

OR Madras Sun, 7 Oct 2012 19 19 in 1973

OR Madras Sat, 6 Oct 2012 18 19 in 1921

OR Ochoco Rs Sun, 7 Oct 2012 20 20 in 1973

OR Ochoco Rs Sat, 6 Oct 2012 20 20 in 1967

OR Owyhee Dam Sat, 6 Oct 2012 25 28 in 1993

OR Owyhee Dam Sun, 7 Oct 2012 27 27 in 1992

OR Pendleton E Or Rgnl Ap Sat, 6 Oct 2012 29 31 in 1958

OR Redmond Ap Sat, 6 Oct 2012 16 18 in 1984

OR Summer Lake, 1 miles S of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 22 24 in 1973

SD Aberdeen Rgnl Ap Sat, 6 Oct 2012 19 20 in 1985

SD Aberdeen Rgnl Ap Sun, 7 Oct 2012 14 14 in 1935

SD Academy, 2 miles NE of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 20 20 in 1935

SD Academy, 2 miles NE of Sat, 6 Oct 2012 22 23 in 1975

SD Faulkton, 1 miles NW of Sat, 6 Oct 2012 19 20 in 1919

SD Huron Ap Sat, 6 Oct 2012 20 21 in 1919

SD Kennebec Sat, 6 Oct 2012 15 17 in 1984

SD Kirley, 6 miles N of Sat, 6 Oct 2012 17 20 in 1975

SD Mission, 14 miles S of Sat, 6 Oct 2012 16 20 in 1937

SD Murdo Sat, 6 Oct 2012 21 23 in 1984

SD Pickstown Sat, 6 Oct 2012 25 28 in 1984

SD Pierre Rgnl Ap Sat, 6 Oct 2012 19 21 in 1984

SD Timber Lake Sat, 6 Oct 2012 17 17 in 1984

SD Vermillion, 2 miles SE of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 18 22 in 1957

SD Wessington Springs Sat, 6 Oct 2012 23 27 in 1984

SD White Lake Sun, 7 Oct 2012 19 20 in 1935

SD White Lake Sat, 6 Oct 2012 20 21 in 1984

TX Bakersfield Sun, 7 Oct 2012 40 44 in 1988

TX Big Lake 2 Sun, 7 Oct 2012 38 42 in 1988

TX Brownfield #2 Sun, 7 Oct 2012 35 36 in 1983

TX Childress Muni Ap Sun, 7 Oct 2012 36 37 in 1983

TX Cope Rch Sun, 7 Oct 2012 39 40 in 1983

TX Dimmitt, 2 miles N of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 30 33 in 1984

TX Eden Sun, 7 Oct 2012 40 42 in 1988

TX Midland, 4 miles ENE of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 34 37 in 1935

TX Olton Sun, 7 Oct 2012 33 35 in 1983

TX Paducah Sun, 7 Oct 2012 41 43 in 1968

TX Rocksprings, 1 miles S of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 42 44 in 1988

TX Sherman Sun, 7 Oct 2012 41 41 in 1983

UT Alpine Sun, 7 Oct 2012 30 30 in 1992

WA Goldendale Sat, 6 Oct 2012 23 23 in 1954

WA Monroe Sat, 6 Oct 2012 31 32 in 1958

WA Olympia Ap Sat, 6 Oct 2012 28 30 in 1993

WA Pomeroy Sat, 6 Oct 2012 28 29 in 1974

WA Raymond, 2 miles S of Sat, 6 Oct 2012 28 32 in 1993

WA Richland Sat, 6 Oct 2012 32 32 in 1958

WA Sunnyside Sat, 6 Oct 2012 28 28 in 1958

WA Upper Baker Dam Sat, 6 Oct 2012 33 33 in 1958

WI Racine Sun, 7 Oct 2012 31 31 in 1984

WI Racine Sat, 6 Oct 2012 23 26 in 1936

WI Solon Springs Sun, 7 Oct 2012 21 23 in 1984

WY Afton Sun, 7 Oct 2012 14 15 in 1959

WY Bedford, 3 miles SE of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 13 14 in 1968

WY Bedford, 3 miles SE of Sat, 6 Oct 2012 13 16 in 1984

WY Billy Creek Sun, 7 Oct 2012 12 15 in 1983

WY Bitter Creek, 4 miles NE of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 13 16 in 1983

WY Boysen Dam Sat, 6 Oct 2012 26 26 in 1993

WY Burgess Junction Sat, 6 Oct 2012 -5 2 in 1963

WY Burris Sun, 7 Oct 2012 16 21 in 1975

WY Clark, 3 miles NE of Sat, 6 Oct 2012 11 17 in 1984

WY Dubois Sun, 7 Oct 2012 11 15 in 1935

WY Glenrock, 5 miles ESE of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 20 20 in 1983

WY Green River Sun, 7 Oct 2012 18 18 in 1957

WY Jeffrey City Sun, 7 Oct 2012 11 13 in 1992

WY Laramie, 2 miles NW of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 8 11 in 1960

WY Laramie Ap Sun, 7 Oct 2012 6 12 in 1953

WY Moose Sun, 7 Oct 2012 9 12 in 1984

WY Moose Sat, 6 Oct 2012 11 13 in 1958

WY Old Faithful Sat, 6 Oct 2012 6 6 in 1993

WY Rawlins Ap Sat, 6 Oct 2012 16 20 in 1985

WY Rock Springs Ap Sun, 7 Oct 2012 20 20 in 1953

WY Shell, 1 miles NE of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 16 16 in 1983

WY Snake River Sat, 6 Oct 2012 7 8 in 1939

WY Sunshine, 3 miles NE of Sun, 7 Oct 2012 8 8 in 1992

Experts: Global warming means more Antarctic ice.

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 23:31

WASHINGTON (AP) '-- The ice goes on seemingly forever in a white pancake-flat landscape, stretching farther than ever before. And yet in this confounding region of the world, that spreading ice may be a cockeyed signal of man-made climate change, scientists say.

This is Antarctica, the polar opposite of the Arctic.

While the North Pole has been losing sea ice over the years, the water nearest the South Pole has been gaining it. Antarctic sea ice hit a record 7.51 million square miles in September. That happened just days after reports of the biggest loss of Arctic sea ice on record.

Climate change skeptics have seized on the Antarctic ice to argue that the globe isn't warming and that scientists are ignoring the southern continent because it's not convenient. But scientists say the skeptics are misinterpreting what's happening and why.

Shifts in wind patterns and the giant ozone hole over the Antarctic this time of year '-- both related to human activity '-- are probably behind the increase in ice, experts say. This subtle growth in winter sea ice since scientists began measuring it in 1979 was initially surprising, they say, but makes sense the more it is studied.

"A warming world can have complex and sometimes surprising consequences," researcher Ted Maksym said this week from an Australian research vessel surrounded by Antarctic sea ice. He is with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.

Many experts agree. Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado adds: "It sounds counterintuitive, but the Antarctic is part of the warming as well."

And on a third continent, David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey says that yes, what's happening in Antarctica bears the fingerprints of man-made climate change.

"Scientifically the change is nowhere near as substantial as what we see in the Arctic," says NASA chief scientist Waleed Abdalati, an ice expert. "But that doesn't mean we shouldn't be paying attention to it and shouldn't be talking about it."

Sea ice is always melting near one pole while growing around the other. But the overall trend year to year is dramatically less ice in the Arctic and slightly more in the Antarctic.

It's most noticeable in September, when northern ice is at its lowest and southern ice at its highest. For over 30 years, the Arctic in September has been losing an average of 5.7 square miles of sea ice for every square mile gained in Antarctica.

Loss of sea ice in the Arctic can affect people in the Northern Hemisphere, causing such things as a higher risk of extreme weather in the U.S. through changes to the jet stream, scientists say. Antarctica's weather peculiarities, on the other hand, don't have much effect on civilization.

At well past midnight in Antarctica, where it's about 3 degrees, Maksym describes in a rare ship-to-shore telephone call from the R.V. Aurora Australis what this extra ice means in terms of climate change. And what it's like to be out studying it for two months, with the nearest city 1,500 miles away.

"It's only you and the penguins," he says. "It's really a strikingly beautiful and stark landscape. Sometimes it's even an eerie kind of landscape."

While the Arctic is open ocean encircled by land, the Antarctic '-- about 1.5 times the size of the U.S. '-- is land circled by ocean, leaving more room for sea ice to spread. That geography makes a dramatic difference in the two polar climates.

The Arctic ice responds more directly to warmth. In the Antarctic, the main driver is wind, Maksym and other scientists say. Changes in the strength and motion of winds are now pushing the ice farther north, extending its reach.

Those changes in wind are tied in a complicated way to climate change from greenhouse gases, Maksym and Scambos say. Climate change has created essentially a wall of wind that keeps cool weather bottled up in Antarctica, NASA's Abdalati says.

And the wind works in combination with the ozone hole, the huge gap in Earth's protective ozone layer that usually appears over the South Pole. It's bigger than North America.

It's caused by man-made pollutants chlorine and bromine, which are different from the fossil fuel emissions that cause global warming. The hole makes Antarctica even cooler this time of year because the ozone layer usually absorbs solar radiation, working like a blanket to keep the Earth warm.

And that cooling effect makes the winds near the ground stronger and steadier, pushing the ice outward, Scambos says.

University of Colorado researcher Katherine Leonard, who is on board the ship with Maksym, says in an email that the Antarctic sea ice is also getting snowier because climate change has allowed the air to carry more moisture.

Winter sea ice has grown by about 1 percent a decade in Antarctica. If that sounds small, it's because it's an average. Because the continent is so large, it's a little like lumping together the temperatures of the Maine and California coasts, Vaughan says.

Mark Serreze, director of the snow and ice data center, says computer models have long predicted that Antarctica would not respond as quickly to global warming as other places. Since 1960, the Arctic has warmed the most of the world's regions, and Antarctica has warmed the least, according to NASA data.

Scientists on the cruise with Maksym are spending eight to 12 hours a day on the ice bundled up against the fierce wind with boots that look like Bugs Bunny's feet. It's dangerous work. Cracks in sea ice can form at any time. Just the other day a sudden fissure stranded a team of scientists until an inflatable bridge rescued them.

"It's a treacherous landscape," Vaughan says.

Bank$ters

With Tapes, Authorities Build Criminal Cases Over JPMorgan Loss

Link to Article

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 11:12

Federal authorities are using taped phone conversations to build criminal cases related to the multibillion-dollar trading loss at JPMorgan Chase, focusing on calls in which employees openly discussed how to value the troubled bets in a favorable way.

Investigators are looking into the actions of four people who previously worked for the team based in London responsible for the $6 billion loss, according to officials briefed on the case. The Federal Bureau of Investigation could make some arrests in the next several months, said one person who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the inquiry was ongoing.

The phone recordings, which were turned over to authorities by JPMorgan, have helped focus the investigation, the officials said. Authorities are poring over thousands of conversations, in English and French. They are also relying on notes that employees took during staff meetings, instant messages circulated among traders and e-mails sent within the group.

Authorities are examining how some traders in the chief investment office influenced market prices as their bets began to sour. Investigators are also looking into whether records were falsified to hide the problems from executives in New York. Based on those records, JPMorgan submitted inaccurate financial statements to regulators, another area of focus for investigators.

The scope of the inquiry suggests that the problems were isolated to a handful of executives and traders in an overseas division, and did not reflect a fundamental weakness with the bank's culture and leadership. The investigation does not appear to touch the upper echelons of the executive suite, notably Ina Drew who oversaw the chief investment office. The findings could insulate JPMorgan and its chief executive, Jamie Dimon, from further fallout.

Five months into the investigation, attention is centered on four people: Javier Martin-Artajo, a manager who oversaw the trading strategy from the bank's London offices; Bruno Iksil, the trader known as the London Whale for placing the outsize bet; Achilles Macris, the executive in charge of the international chief investment office; and a low-level trader, Julien Grout, who worked for Mr. Iksil and was responsible for marking the trading book.

The people briefed on the matter said the investigation was in the early stages, and federal prosecutors in Manhattan had not made a decision about whether to file charges. None of the current or former employees have been accused of wrongdoing.

If they decide to bring charges, prosecutors will face significant challenges. Financial cases are notoriously difficult to prove in court. The intricacies of Wall Street, which are often central to such matters, can be difficult to explain to jurors. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, authorities have brought few cases against individual employees.

Complicating matters, some of the JPMorgan employees are from France, which does not extradite its citizens. Mr. Iksil has already returned home to France after leaving the bank, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Mr. Grout, also a French citizen, has been suspended from the bank but remains in London, said another person briefed on the situation.

Prosecutors would also have to prove that employees intentionally masked losses by mispricing the positions. It is a high bar. In some derivatives markets, traders are allowed to estimate the value of their positions because actual prices may not be readily available.

Some people close to the investigation say the significance of the mismarked positions may be overstated since they represented a tiny fraction of the overall trades. They also cautioned that authorities could easily take an incriminating sentence from a single phone call out of context, and that many conversations took place in person at the London office.

"Mr. Martin-Artajo is confident that when a complete and fair reconstruction of these complex events is completed, he will be cleared of any wrongdoing," his lawyer, Greg Campbell, said in a statement. "There was no direct or indirect attempt by him at any time to conceal losses."

Lawyers for Mr. Macris and Mr. Grout declined to comment. A lawyer for Mr. Iksil did not respond to requests for comment. Spokesmen for the United States attorney's office in New York, the F.B.I. in Manhattan and JPMorgan declined to comment.

The trading loss could get further scrutiny on Friday when JPMorgan is set to report third-quarter earnings. Since the blowup was first disclosed in May, the losses have increased to about $6 billion, from $2 billion.

As the bank continues to unwind the bet, investigators have held multiple meetings with lawyers representing people ensnared by the matter. Authorities plan to interview Mr. Macris this month in his native Greece, according to people briefed on the matter. Such discussions could provide a more detailed account of the employees' actions and alter the course of the investigation. Some of the former employees could also cooperate with authorities.

JPMorgan is also under investigation by civil regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is examining whether the bank misled investors about the severity of the losses. British authorities have also recently opened inquiries into the matter, according to the officials.

The investigations center on the chief investment office in London.

The group was created to invest JPMorgan's own money and offset potential losses across the bank's disparate businesses. For example, Mr. Iksil bought and sold derivative contracts - financial instruments tied to the value of corporate bonds and other investments - in an effort to protect the bank from market fluctuations.

By early 2012, the London team increased its risk. In response to adverse moves in the markets and regulatory changes, the group made a series of aggressive derivatives trades, betting on the strength of companies like American Airlines.

As these bets started to sour, the London team decided to double down instead of getting out, according to the bank. From late 2011 to March 2012, the bank's net exposure to such contracts more than doubled to nearly $150 billion. Authorities are examining whether the large positions improperly influenced market prices.

The phone calls, which are taped as part of JPMorgan's routine practices, suggest that traders tried to limit the losses, according to people briefed on the matter. In some phone recordings, Mr. Martin-Artajo encouraged Mr. Iksil to record the value of certain trades in an optimistic fashion, the people said. Their boss, Mr. Macris, was also involved in valuation discussions, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

The chief investment office was also trying to downplay the potential risk. Some employees told top JPMorgan executives that the situation was "manageable" and that the position might even produce a slight gain in the second quarter of 2012.

But the estimates proved inaccurate. This summer, JPMorgan restated its first-quarter earnings downward by $459 million, conceding errors in the valuations.

At the time, the bank said that the traders in the chief investment office "generally" valued the holdings within a reasonable range. But JPMorgan also pointed to the potential for deeper problems.

"The restatement is really based upon recent facts that we've uncovered regarding the C.I.O. traders' intent as they were marking the book," Douglas L. Braunstein, the bank's chief financial officer, said at the time, according to a transcript. "As a result, we questioned the integrity of those trader marks."

More From NY Times

Reality Check: What is the Petro-dollar and why is China trying to destroy it? (FOX19 video)

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Source: WT news feed

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 11:13

Reality Check: Is your personal property really your property?Reality Check: Is your personal property really your property?Updated:Thursday, October 11 2012 6:20 AM EDT2012-10-11 10:20:46 GMT

If you buy a CD or a book it is now your property to use, throw away and re-sell, right? Maybe not. This fall the U.S. Supreme Court is considering a case that could change that. Meaning you couldn'tFull Story >If you buy a CD or a book it is now your property to use, throw away and re-sell, right?Maybe not.

Full Story >Reality Check: What is the Petro-dollar and why is China trying to destroy it?Reality Check: What is the Petro-dollar and why is China trying to destroy it?Updated:Wednesday, October 10 2012 6:19 AM EDT2012-10-10 10:19:09 GMT

There is a lot of talk from Presidential candidates about how to get America's economy moving again. But something virtually no politician is talking about is something called the petro-dollar. Tonight,Full Story >There is a lot of talk from Presidential candidates about how to get America's economy moving again. But something virtually no politician is talking about is something called the petro-dollar.Full Story >Reality Check: The real number behind Romney and Obama's deficit debate answersReality Check: The real number behind Romney and Obama's deficit debate answersUpdated:Friday, October 5 2012 6:17 AM EDT2012-10-05 10:17:34 GMT

With Presidential debate number one now behind us we are going to look at the candidates answers or lack thereof to one of the most important questions asked during their debate. As President of the UnitedFull Story >With Presidential debate number one now behind us we are going to look at the candidates answers or lack thereof to one of the most important questions asked during their debate.Full Story >Reality Check: Who Is Really Behind The Presidential Debates?Reality Check: Who Is Really Behind The Presidential Debates?Updated:Wednesday, October 3 2012 10:59 PM EDT2012-10-04 02:59:52 GMT

We carried it live as President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney held the first of their three presidential debates. But one local teacher was surprised to find out with her students recently that theseFull Story >We carried it live as President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney held the first of their three presidential debates.Full Story >Reality Check: Do actions speak louder than words with President Obama and the NDAA?Reality Check: Do actions speak louder than words with President Obama and the NDAA?Updated:Friday, September 28 2012 6:40 AM EDT2012-09-28 10:40:31 GMT

Over the past few weeks we have shared with you Ben's one on one interview with President Obama when he visited Ohio. Tonight, we are going to break down the fourth and final question of that interview.Full Story >Over the past few weeks we have shared with you Ben's one on one interview with President Obama when he visited Ohio.Full Story >(FOX19) -There is a lot of talk from Presidential candidates about how to get America's economy moving again. But something virtually no politician is talking about is something called the petro-dollar.

Tonight, we'll tell you what it is and why China is pro-actively working to destroy it.

This is a Reality Check you won't see anywhere else.

View a document that further explains the petro-dollar here.

Copyright 2012 WXIX. All rights reserved.

Dimon Says Bond Turn Against U.S. Virtually Assured: Video - Bloomberg

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Wed, 10 Oct 2012 23:43

Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon says bond markets would spurn U.S. debt if lawmakers fail to reach an agreement to address the nation's deficit. "It's virtually assured" that markets would react that way, Dimon said today in Washington at an event held by the Council on Foreign Relations. He speaks with the council's president, Richard Haass. (This is an excerpt.) (Source: Bloomberg)

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Bloomberg Television in change

Dimon Warns the U.S. Bond Market WILL Crash

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Source: EconomicPolicyJournal.com

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 23:41

He says it is not a possibility but virtually assured. It's just a matter of time.As he goes on in the interview, which occurred at an event held in Washington D.C. by the Council on Foreign Relations, he seems to suggest that there is some possibility that Washington could stop the out of control spending, but that's as likely as Alan Dershowitz getting his house featured in Architectural Digest.

The Jamie Dimon interview video is here.

(ht Alex Mullins)

HFT 4% of daily bandwidth

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Wed, 10 Oct 2012 08:06

US News

Mysterious Algorithm Was 4% of Trading Activity Last Week

CNBC.com | October 08, 2012 | 04:27 PM EDT

A single mysterious computer program that placed orders '-- and then subsequently canceled them '-- made up 4 percent of all quote traffic in the U.S. stock market last week, according to the top tracker of high-frequency trading activity. The motive of the algorithm is still unclear.

The program placed orders in 25-millisecond bursts involving about 500 stocks, according to Nanex, a market data firm. The algorithm never executed a single trade, and it abruptly ended at about 10:30 a.m. ET Friday.

''Just goes to show you how just one person can have such an outsized impact on the market,'' said Eric Hunsader, head of Nanex and the No. 1 detector of trading anomalies watching Wall Street today. ''Exchanges are just not monitoring it.''

Hunsader's sonar picked up that this was a single high-frequency trader after seeing the program's pattern (200 fake quotes, then 400, then 1,000) repeated over and over. Also, it was being routed from the same place, the Nasdaq [ COMP 3065.02 +0.00 (+0.00%) ].

''My guess is that the algo was testing the market, as high-frequency frequently does,'' says Jon Najarian, co-founder of TradeMonster.com. ''As soon as they add bandwidth, the HFT crowd sees how quickly they can top out to create latency.'' (Read More: Unclear What Caused Kraft Spike: Nanex Founder.)

Translation: The ultimate goal of many of these programs is to gum up the system so it slows down the quote feed to others and allows the computer traders (with their co-located servers at the exchanges) to gain a money-making arbitrage opportunity.

The scariest part of this single program was that its millions of quotes accounted for 10 percent of the bandwidth that is allowed for trading on any given day, according to Nanex. (The size of the bandwidth pipe is determined by a group made up of the exchanges called the Consolidated Quote System.) (Read More: Cuban, Cooperman: Curb High-Frequency Trading.)

''This is pretty out there to see this affect this many stocks at the same time,'' said Hunsader, adding that high-frequency traders are doing anything to ''tip the odds in their favor.''

A Senate panel at the end of September sought answers on high-frequency trading, as investigators look into the best way to stop wealth-destroying events such as the Knight Capital Group [ KCG 2.49 -0.06 (-2.35%) ] computer glitch in August and the market ''flash crash'' two years ago. (Read More: Ex-Insider Calls High-Frequency Trading 'Cheating'.)

Regulators are trying to see how they can rein in the practice, which accounts for 70 percent of trading each day, without slowing down progress and profits for Wall Street and the U.S. exchanges.

''I feel a tax on order-stuffing is what the markets need at this point,'' said David Greenberg of Greenberg Capital. ''This will cut down on the number of erroneous bids and offers placed into the market at any given time and should help stabilize the trading environment.''

Hunsader warned that regulators better do something fast, speculating that this single program could have led to something very bad if big news broke, or if a sell-off occurred and one entity was hogging this much of the system.

For the best market insight, catch ''Fast Money'' each night at 5 p.m. ET, and the ''Halftime Report'' each afternoon at 12:00 ET on CNBC. Follow @CNBCMelloy on Twitter.

______________________________________________________Got something to say? Send us an e-mail at fastmoney-web@cnbc.com and your comment might be posted on the Rapid Recap! If you'd prefer to make a comment, but not have it published on our Web site, send your message to fastmoney@cnbc.com.

Chemtrails

Swedish Green Party admits chemtrails contain viruses and poisons

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Source: the tap

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 11:59

Saturday, October 06, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer(NaturalNews) Those long, white streams of persistent, cloudy haze commonly blasted into blue skies by unmarked airplanes are not your typical contrails, says Swedish Green Party leader Pernilla Hagberg. As reported by the Swedish paperKatrineholms Kuriren, Hagberg, the first major political leader to come forward on the issue, has openly admitted that these unusual cloud trails, which fail to dissipate like normal contrails do, are actually a toxic mix of chemicals, viruses, and metals that she has collectively referred to as "chemtrails."According to Hagberg, the sprayings are a joint endeavor by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) and the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), as well as the Swedish government in her own country, to modify atmospheric conditions via deliberate aerosol spraying efforts. And included in this "dangerous" mix of aerosols are various chemical components, viruses and viral fragments, and metals such as aluminum and barium, which have already been shown to be accumulating in water supplies and soils around the world. (http://chemtrails.cc/)

Normal contrails, which are composed of mere water vapor that quickly dissipates after emission from jet engines, are far different from chemtrails, which gradually blanket the entire sky in a sea of white. The following video, put together by the FreeTruth Show, a YouTube-based radio broadcast, contains some imagery of what these chemtrails typically look like in the sky:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AykLfHtM_3M&feature=youtu.be

"It is great to see a politician bringing public attention to this issue and helping add to the credibility of this cause in the mainstream," writes JG Vibes for The Intel Hub about Hagberg's unprecedented public admission. "Unfortunately, this is a political problem that requires many non-political solutions."

Interestingly, the United Nations (UN) and various Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-backed groups have recently been forced to admit that such sprayings are taking place, and that the emitted particles are not normal contrails. But their excuse for why chemtrail sprayings are being done is that they will somehow save the planet from the devastating effects of so-called "global warming," that ever-present, pseudoscientific environmental theory that is often used as justification for all sorts of outlandish policy proposals. (http://www.globalresearch.ca)In the case of chemtrails, everything from blocking the sun in order to lower the earth's average temperatures, to deliberately shifting weather patterns for the purpose of offsetting the allegedly melting polar ice caps, have been used as excuses for trying to legitimize the seeding of our skies with a cornucopia of poisons. And if re-elected to another term, Hagberg says she will continue to fight such chemtrailing efforts in her own country, which she says have been co-opted by the Swedish government.

Be sure to check out the documentary What in the World are They Spraying?(http://www.whatintheworldaretheyspraying.info/), as well as its sequel, Why in the World are They Spraying? (http://www.whyintheworldaretheyspraying.com/), to learn more about the global chemtrail phenomenon. Both full-length films can also be found for free viewing on YouTube.

Sources for this article include:

http://kkuriren.se/nyheter/vingaker/1.1554491

http://theintelhub.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AykLfHtM_3M&feature=youtu.be

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/037451_chemtrails_conspiracy_theory_geoengineering.html#ixzz28zOnnvjl

Pedo Bear

Jimmy Savile linked with Haut de la Garenne children's home scandal | Media

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Wed, 10 Oct 2012 14:25

Haut de la Garenne children's home in Jersey, the scene of a child-abuse scandal, where Jimmy Savile visited in 1970s. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

The former head of the Jersey child abuse investigation has said he now suspects that Sir Jimmy Savile was implicated in the Haut de la Garenne children's home abuse scandal.

Lenny Harper said he now has "no reason to doubt" that Savile was involved in indecent assault at the notorious Jersey children's home, despite there being insufficient evidence to question the Jim'll Fix It star when he was alive.

The observation came on the day that the BBC's director general, George Entwistle, gave his first interview regarding the row, and indicated that the broadcaster would "take a look properly" and hold its own inquiry once the police investigation into alleged sexual abuse by the late DJ and presenter closes.

Harper, the detective who led Jersey's three-year child abuse probe, told the Guardian that Savile's name came up in the initial police inquiry in 2008 '' but there were no specific allegations of abuse against the BBC presenter at the time.

He added: "There definitely wasn't enough even to question him at the time, but in light of all the evidence that has come out then I'm not surprised because it fits perfectly the profile of what was going on."

A solicitor who acted for victims of child abuse in Jersey also told the Guardian that some former Haut de la Garenne residents, both women and men, now claim they were assaulted by Savile in the 1970s.

Alan Collins, a solicitor for several Haut de la Garenne victims, said "a handful" of former residents have now made abuse allegations about Savile. He said Savile's name was mentioned several times during the police investigation of 2008 but that the evidence did not seem to stack up at the time.

The States of Jersey police confirmed last week that Savile was investigated as part of the 2008 inquiry into abuse at the children's home, following claims from a former Haut de la Garenne resident that Savile was involved in an indecent assault in the 1970s. The BBC entertainer, who died last year aged 84, was never charged with any abuse offences.

Elsewhere at the BBC, Sandi Toksvig on Monday reacted angrily to the way her revelation that she had been groped on air by a celebrity was being used as a way to criticise the corporation.

"It's not about the BBC, and I'm distressed it's being portrayed in that way," the presenter told the Guardian, 24 hours after she disclosed that she had been "very unpleasantly groped by a famous individual" during a broadcast in the 1980s.

"It's being used as a stick to beat the BBC, but it was commonplace, it was the culture," she said.

Toksvig refused to name the man involved. "This is isn't about who he is '' I'm going to grant the man who assaulted me the respect he did not grant me, by never naming him. Because otherwise it becomes about that one individual, when in fact it was going on everywhere."

In a statement, Toksvig said that the man who groped her is now dead. She added: "Whilst the recent manifold revelations regarding the abuse and mistreatment of women in broadcasting have focused on the BBC, I would like to clarify that I consider this a culture endemic across the whole of radio and television and is certainly not limited to the BBC."

Entwistle told BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday that he deeply regretted what had happened and apologised to the women involved for what they have had to endure, but he said he did not want to compromise the police inquiry.

"I think this has to be done in two phases," Entwistle said. "First the police are given the chance to do everything they have to do '' that is the only way justice can possibly be done for the women in question. But once the police assure me that they have done everything they have to do, then we can take a look properly."

Last night, the chairman of the BBC Trust, Lord Patten, said it was "no excuse to say 'that was then' in the 1960s, 70s and 80s and attitudes were different then".

He told the Cardiff Business Club: "It's no excuse to say, 'I'm sure the same thing used to happen with pop groups and others at the time'. Those things may be true but they don't provide an excuse.

"So there will be a full police inquiry and we will encourage people to co-operate with it, and when that is completed, we will then look at the issues which still remain to be resolved."

The comedian Freddie Starr has admitted he did appear on Savile's show Clunk Click in the 1970s after earlier denying it.

His lawyers clarified the matter after Channel 4 News broadcast footage of Starr with Karin Ward, the woman who has accused him and Savile of assaulting her.

The lawyers continued: "It would now appear from seeing footage of a Clunk Click show aired in 1974 that in fact Freddie was mistaken and therefore that he had in fact been on a Jimmy Savile show.

"However, this does not detract from the fact that Freddie vigorously denies the awful allegation that has been made by Karin Ward, which despite this footage is still totally unsupported and uncorroborated by any other evidence."

Hospital 'focus of Savile claims'

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Source: BBC News - Home

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 23:59

10 October 2012Last updated at15:42 ETA Leeds hospital where Sir Jimmy Savile worked as a volunteer will be part of investigations into alleged sexual abuse by the DJ, police have confirmed.

Savile volunteered at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) in the 1960s and 1970s, and continued his charity work there until his death in October 2011.

One former patient told the BBC she had seen Savile abuse a fellow female patient who was "incapacitated".

Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust said it would help police if asked to do so.

'Long association'The Metropolitan Police, which is handling the case, said it could not confirm the specific lines of inquiry it would be following up at the LGI.

A Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust spokesman said it was "shocked" at the nature of the serious allegations being made against Savile.

It was concerned about those allegations in view of the star's "long association" with hospitals in the city.

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June Thornton said she saw Jimmy Savile kiss a patient who could not defend herself

"We did not have any complaints about Jimmy Savile's behaviour during the time he was a volunteer and charity supporter at Leeds General Infirmary or at any of our other hospitals," the spokesman said.

"Any evidence about alleged criminal acts should be referred to the police so they can look into them. Leeds Teaching Hospitals will, of course, assist the police in any investigation if we are asked to do so."

June Thornton, a patient at the LGI in the 1970s, told BBC Look North she had witnessed Savile come into her ward and abuse a female patient who was incapacitated.

"Jimmy Savile came in and kissed her. I thought at the time that he was a relative," she said.

"But then he started kissing her neck and running his hands up and down her arms, and then he started to molest her."

Mrs Thornton said she had been unable to intervene as she was too unwell at the time.

'Public opinion'Earlier, a conference centre in Leeds named after Savile announced it was to be rebranded.

Royal Armouries International, which owns Saviles Hall at Clarence Dock, said it would be renamed "out of respect for public opinion".

It said further information about the move would be "issued in due course".

Saviles Hall, which can seat up to 1,000 people, was named after Savile in 2007 and played host to fund-raising auctions after his death.

The decision to rename it came hours after the headstone on Savile's grave was removed.

A footpath sign in Scarborough commemorating Savile has also been taken down by the borough council.

A plaque outside Savile's flat in Scarborough was removed last week after the words "rapist" and "paedophile" were written on it.

And Leeds City Council has taken Savile's name off an inscription on a wall commemorating high-profile citizens at the city's Civic Hall.

Jimmy Savile gravestone removed by family as police launch hunt for BBC child abuse accomplices

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Wed, 10 Oct 2012 17:12

Savile was yesterday accused by police of carrying out four decades of sickening offences on a 'national scale'Scotland Yard receives 'range of names' among 120 potential leads and contacts BBC and ITV for details of victims who are willing to co-operateSavile's Scarborough headstone removed at family's request'Out of respect to public opinion, to those who are buried there, and to those who visit there, we have decided to remove it,' they saidIt will be smashed and dumped in landfill three weeks after it was installedPolice have already identified at least 30 victims of Savile who was at his offending peak at the height of his fame during the 1970s and 1980sCelebrities likely to be questioned include convicted paedophiles Gary Glitter and Jonathan KingGreater Manchester Police also confirm they are now investigating SavileBy Sam Greenhill, Chris Greenwood and Martin Robinson

PUBLISHED: 17:10 EST, 9 October 2012 | UPDATED: 11:28 EST, 10 October 2012

Dramatic: Jimmy Savile now lies in an unmarked grave after undertakers worked through the night to rip out his giant headstone in Sacrborough at his family's request

Jimmy Savile is today lying in an unmarked grave after a dead-of-night operation to remove his £4,000 headstone at the request of his family.

Undertakers worked in the dark to rip out the giant memorial and have said it will 'be broken up, placed in a skip and used as landfill'.

The gates of Woodlands Cemetery in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, were locked at around 11pm last night and police stood guard for the two-hour operation.

His loved-ones did not attend and while they had ordered the removal of the grave they were not aware of the undertakers' decision to do it in the middle of the night.

They were to wait until 7am today before removing the six foot wide by four foot tall headstone with Savile's now inflammatory epitaph: 'It was good while it lasted.'

All its inscriptions will be ground away before the stone is destroyed.

Below it is Savile's body, encased in concrete at a 45 degree angle, so he could 'see' the sea and Scarborough castle - his dying wish.

The Savile family said in a statement: 'Members of the family of Sir Jimmy Savile have decided to remove his headstone from the grave in Scarborough.

'The family members are deeply aware of the impact that the stone remaining there could have on the dignity and sanctity of the cemetery.

'Out of respect to public opinion, to those who are buried there, and to those who tend their graves and visit there, we have decided to remove it.'

The Savile family feared the grave could become the centre of a media circus and could have been attacked, so gave funeral director Robert Morphet a free hand to carry out what he called 'a discreet' operation.

Scroll down for video

Difficult: Robert Morphet said teh stone had taken 8 months to create but only hours to tear down

'We started just after 11 and finished going on 1am. We were concerned about the amount of people who might turn up if we left it until morning,' he said.

'We decided it was going to be done before then and brought our own lights and generators.

'The grave will now be ground down so the inscription is totally wiped and will be destroyed.

'It will be broken up, placed in a skip and used as landfill.

'For the foreseeable future the grave will remain unmarked. The family will decide at some future point about what to do.'

Grave: Bunches of flowers mark the grave of Sir Jimmy Savile after his headstone was removed in the middle of the night

Decision: Savile's family gave permission for its removal out of respect for public opinion - with the scene shown here at dawn

Gone: The headstone was only put in place three weeks ago

New dawn: As the sun rises over Scarborough the stark scene shows where Savile's headstone stood just a few hours earlier

The Bradford-based funeral director, who helped organise Savile's funeral, said his headstone's removal and destruction is 'unprecedented;.

'It has taken about eight months for every aspect of this memorial '' every word - to be considered,' he said.

'It was going to be a memorial to celebrate his life - and up until three weeks ago it was exactly that.

'The unveiling was a proud day for all of us. There were 1,400 letters on it in the end.'

Allegations: Savile, who died last year aged 84, was yesterday accused by police of carrying out four decades of sickening offences on a 'national scale'

However, the allegations that Savile sexually abused young girls led to the targeting of a gold coloured civic society plaque outside his former Scarborough flat.

ANGER OVER SAVILE'S DESERT ISLAND DISCSRECORDINGThe BBC is refusing to remove a recording of Jimmy Savile from its Desert Island Discs archive in which he boasts about becoming a dancehall boss so he could meet girls.

The recording, first aired on March 30 1985, the DJ - accused of abusing up to 30 youngsters - tells how he wrote a list of 'all the things he liked' before decided on a what kind of job he wanted to do.

During the chat with host Roy Plomley on the Radio 4 show, Savile tells how he started running a dancehall in Leeds in the 60s after injuring himself working as a Bevin Boy in the mines.

He told the show: 'I realised I wasn't very good at a tremendous number of things, so wrote down all the things that I liked.

'They seemed idiot things at the time, for instance on the paper was warmth, staying in bed in the morning, coloured lights and....girls.

'When I looked at that list the only thing that contained all of the things on my list was a dancehall. I thought 'goodness gracious me, so I marched down to the local dancehall and said "I am the new assistant manager" and the manager said "not a bad idea" and I started as an assistant manager.

''I worked there nine years and won every conceivable award.

He then discussed how he learned the difference 'between right and wrong' from an early age and how his father died when he was just a young lad.

He also tells how he worked at a Bevin Boy at a coal mine and that the coal miners who worked in the pits were 'his heroes' and that he 'went down a boy and came out a man'.

The circular tribute unveiled the same day as the headstone was scrawled with the words 'rapist' and 'paedophile' and was taken down.

Saviles Hall in Leeds, where an auction of the TV presenter's belongings was held after he died, is also to be renamed 'out of respect for public opinion'.

While a street sign named after him has also been removed because of the outcry in recent weeks.

'With the revelations and vandalism of the memorial plaque in Scarborough the atmosphere changed,' Mr Morphet added.

'The family was very concerned that this memorial would become the focus of an act of vandalism which might offend the families of those buried nearby.

'Once the story got out we were going to do this at 7.30 this morning we were inundated with requests to attend not just from the media but members of the public.'

'I spoke to Scarborough Council about 8pm on Tuesday and said "If we are going to move it let's move it as quickly as we can".

'I decided to go at 11 o'clock. We used hammers, chisels, wedges, long bars and drills to remove the stainless steel dowels.

'Most graves are for two people so it is not unusual to remove a headstone so a husband and wife can join their partner.

'But removing a memorial due to risk and public opinion is unprecedented.

'It was hard work. The mood was serious and sombre and professional. My staff had worked many hours on the memorial and to break up something like that is in some respects soul-destroying.

'We wanted to leave the grave in a dignified condition so we filled it in, levelled it, and re-turfed it.'

The team worked under floodlights, piling the black granite into a truck and replacing the rotting flowers, which have not been refreshed since the allegations broke, onto the patch of bare earth.

Secret operation: Funeral director Robert Morphet stands next to the grave of Sir Jimmy Savile in Woodlands Cemetery, Scarborough, where he assisted the local council in removing the headstone at the request of Savile's family

Respect: Savile's family gave permission for its removal out of respect for public opinion - shown here shortly after it was removed

Message: A card also left there thanks Savile for the times they shared together from a well-wisher called Sha

But it was not yet clear what '' if any '' memorial would replace the six foot wide by four foot tall triple headstone which was only unveiled on September 20 spanning three plots.

'There were no pictures taken at all and no family present '' only police, a team of four undertakers, and the cemetery authorities,' Mr Morphet added.

'There were no family present. They did not know we were going to do it in the night. But we wanted it to be discreet,' Mr Morphet continued.

'The gates were closed and police stood guard outside and on the graveside.'

Graffiti: The Scarborough flat of Sir Jimmy Savile was targeted by vandals

Plaque: The yellow disc is shown clearly on the bottom right wall. Saville's home was on the second floor of this building on the Esplanade, Scarborough

Among the last to visit Savile's grave at dusk was a woman who said she wanted to see the stone for the first and last time because of her friend's ordeal at the hands of Savile more than 40 years ago.

SOPHIE WESSEX 'COULD NOT STAND LECHEROUS SAVILE'A broadcaster said today that Jimmy Savile offended the Duchess of Wessex when she worked in the press department of Capital Radio.

Presenter David Hamilton said Sophie Rhys-Jones, as she was then, met Savile at a photocall outside the London station.

'She greeted Jimmy with a bottle of champagne, even though he was teetotal, and the next thing you know the wind has blown up her dress. The more this happened the more amorous Jimmy became, showering her with kisses.'

Mr Hamilton said the dead DJ grabbed her hand, kissing her all the way up her arm.

'Sophie was horrified and stormed off and said "I refuse to have anything to do with that revolting man".'

The woman, who refused to be named, worked at Leeds General Infirmary where Savile volunteered and always thought him 'a bit odd'. But when a girlfriend got married in 1969 she realised he was much worse.

She said: 'He volunteered to drive her to her wedding in his Rolls Royce but turned up with a chauffeur and sat in the back with her.

'They then had a bit of a tussle. She said he was trying to grope her all the way to the registry office and she had to fight him off.'

Turning back to the grave, she said: 'What a despicable rat.'

It came as celebrities and former BBC staff face arrest for alleged sex offences after Scotland Yard dramatically widened its inquiry into Sir Jimmy Savile yesterday.

As officers revealed the staggering scale of allegations against the late TV entertainer, they made it clear that they will pursue individuals who conspired with Savile or participated in abuse.

Savile, who died last year aged 84, was yesterday accused by police of carrying out four decades of sickening offences on a 'national scale'.

Scotland Yard has already received a 'range of names' among 120 potential leads and will take action if victims provide statements supporting claims of rape or sexual abuse by those close to Savile.

Inquiry: Scotland Yard has contacted the BBC and ITV, which are handing over details of victims who are willing to co-operate. BBC Television Centre is pictured

Memorabilia: New photos have been uncovered of Jimmy Savile, above and below, wrestling

Memorabilia: New photos have been uncovered of Jimmy Savile, above and below, wrestling

It has contacted the BBC and ITV, which are handing over details of victims who are willing to co-operate.

Greater Manchester Police has become the latest force to receive complaints of abuse by Savile.

The force said: 'As part of an investigation being headed by the Metropolitan Police Service into allegations of sexual abuse made against the late James Savile, Greater Manchester Police has, to date, recorded two separate complaints.

'These are historic complaints dating back to the 1960s.

'The complaints will be passed to the Metropolitan Police Service for further assessment and therefore it would not be appropriate to make further comment.'

As the astonishing breadth of the Savile sex scandal became clear, the BBC was facing its biggest crisis in years with renewed questions over why it failed to act on a damning but never broadcast Newsnight film on Savile's crimes nearly a year ago.

It also emerged yesterday that:

Police have already identified at least 30 victims of Savile who was at his offending peak at the height of his fame during the 1970s and 1980sSavile targeted boys as well as girls '' who were mainly aged between 13 and 16The first known complaint dates from 1959 when the star was 33 and at the start of his showbusiness careerPolice have already formally recorded eight criminal allegations '' two rapes and six of indecent assault.

Celebrities likely to be questioned include convicted paedophiles Gary Glitter and Jonathan King as well as other former colleagues at Radio 1 and BBC TV.

Shut out: The gates of the cemetery, pictured, were locked and guarded by police as the operation to removed the headstone went on in secret

Respectful: A man stands and looks at the memorial in recent weeks but it has now been pulled out of the ground and sent to be smashed

Detectives will also probe claims that Savile was free to roam NHS wards attacking young patients, and allowed to prey on teenage pupils at state schools.

Incredibly, five separate police forces investigated Savile while he was still alive yet none of them ever brought charges, it was revealed yesterday.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe pledged that detectives would now be 'asking questions' of living celebrities about allegations of sex attacks.

He added that police were aware of reports in the Press about a number of individuals. He said: 'We have seen enough in these public reports that it would be negligent if we did not act and ask questions about them.'

Glitter, who allegedly raped a girl of 13 in Savile's BBC dressing room, is likely to be questioned.

Savile died in October last year, denying his alleged victims the chance for justice.

Mr Hogan-Howe said: 'Sadly there is little we can do. We cannot arrest the man, interview him, charge him or put him before a court, but we will take statements from victims and we will take these reports very seriously.'

Quizzed: Celebrities likely to be questioned include convicted paedophiles Gary Glitter, left, and Jonathan King, right, as well as other former colleagues at Radio 1 and BBC TV

Giving details yesterday of Operation Yewtree '' the joint police and NSPCC inquiry into Savile '' Commander Peter Spindler said ten officers were investigating the torrent of claims which coincided with the screening of an ITV documentary on the star last week.

Asked if Savile was 'guilty', he said: 'I think the facts speak for themselves, around the number of women who have come forward and spoken of his behaviour and predilection for teenage girls.'Mr Spindler said the abuse was 'on a national scale'.

Although Savile is beyond the reach of police, he said: 'Our job is to deal with living offenders and to safeguard society today.

'For those who have been brave enough to speak out, we are looking to see if we can identify anyone who could be subject to criminal investigation.

'The victims are looking for an acknowledgement and recognition that what happened to them is in fact true, and they will get that from our analysis of information provided.

'We are not going to investigate anyone who is still alive unless we get some evidence and that will come from witness testimony.

'One of our objectives is to see if anyone still alive has committed offences which are capable of investigation.'

Officers are also speaking to staff at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, in Buckinghamshire, and Leeds General Infirmary, where Savile was a regular visitor during his charity work.

The NSPCC said it has referred 24 calls from abuse victims to police, including 17 women who claim they were attacked by Savile himself.

Police said their initial inquiry was expected to be completed by the end of next month. But the crisis for the BBC is likely to linger much longer.

Savile was one of the corporation's biggest stars of TV and radio of the 1970s and 1980s, and knighted in 1990.

His stardom gave him the perfect cover for his paedophile activities, and he even boasted to friends he was 'untouchable' at the corporation.

BBC chiefs have struggled to explain why Savile was never stopped in his tracks, and face mounting claims of a cover-up '' especially after shelving the Newsnight investigation into Savile last year.

Questions remain over why it did not hand police documentary evidence that girls were abused.

The list of victims has grown daily. None of the women stepping forward to claim they were raped or molested as schoolgirls by Savile has asked for anything in return for telling their story.

The picture they paint is of a 'classic' child abuser, targeting vulnerable youngsters at schools, hospitals and children's homes, including Jersey's notorious Haut de la Garenne.

He plied them with treats '' under the noses of teachers, doctors and BBC managers '' and took them for rides in his Rolls-Royce and to the BBC to watch his shows being recorded.

Savile sexually abused them in his car, his BBC dressing room, on hospital wards and in the bedrooms of girls at Duncroft boarding school in Surrey.

The Daily Mail revealed on Saturday how a former beauty queen named Sandra claims she was raped by a BBC employee who was an 'accomplice' of Jimmy Savile.

Sandra, now 65, who does not want her full name published, has since reported the man to police for allegedly forcing himself on her in his BBC office in 1970.

He denied her claims when they were put to him by the Mail last week, saying: 'I haven't got the greatest memory but I don't remember any of this. I can't see why the accusations have been made. I have never raped anyone in my life.'

The BBC is to draft in an 'independent' troubleshooter to handle the toxic fallout from the Savile scandal. Its newly appointed director general George Entwistle is pictured

The BBC is to draft in an 'independent' troubleshooter to handle the toxic fallout from the Savile scandal.

Bosses want an outside figure to lead an internal investigation to avoid fresh claims of a cover-up about who knew what and when.

One MP even likened to BBC's foot-dragging on the affair to the leaden response of News International to the unfolding phone-hacking scandal at the now defunct News of the World.

Another said the corporation had 'procrastinated' about what to do about the allegations because it was worried about the effect on its image.

Yesterday the BBC faced renewed questions over its 'extraordinary' decision to drop a Newsnight investigation into the claims almost a year ago.

In addition, critics point out that irrespective of whether the film was ever broadcast, the corporation's executives had been duty bound to hand over its damning findings to the police.

There is continued unease that some of his crimes were committed on BBC premises amid suggestions some colleagues turned a blind eye to his activities.

On Monday, the BBC's newly appointed director general George Entwistle admitted that in his former role as TV chief he had known about Newsnight's Savile investigation but still went ahead with eulogies which heaped praise on the presenter when he died.

He said he had never asked what Newsnight's investigation was actually discovering.

It also follows claims by his predecessor Mark Thompson, who left the BBC last month, that he knew nothing about Savile's alleged abuse of teenage girls.

LORD PATTEN: BBC MUST REVIEW ITS GUIDELINES ON MINORSLord Patten has asked the BBC director-general George Entwistle to review its guidelines on child protection following what he called the 'cesspit' of sexual abuse allegations against Jimmy Savile.

The chairman of the BBC Trust said he wanted to ensure the corporation's policies were 'fit for purpose' after numerous claims that Savile's alleged abuse had taken place on the broadcaster's premises.

He also pledged that the BBC's independent inquiry should be launched as swiftly as possible following a police investigation into Savile's activities.

And Lord Patten said he believed it would be a good idea for Mr Entwistle to make a prominent TV apology on behalf of the BBC once the claims had been unravelled.

He said today: 'The BBC has in place child protection policies, processes, guidance for us by all staff on and off the premises and independents making programmes for the BBC.

'We've asked the director-general to assure us that those policies are up to date and fit for purpose that they're effective in protecting minors and under-age children.

'We've also said that we want to be satisfied on the arrangements in place for dealing with sexual harassment, bullying and whistleblowing and we want to be sure that those guidelines that do exist are gold standard and up to date and comply with current best practice.'

This contradicted the BBC's press office, which said he had been told about the Newsnight investigation in December.

Clearly stung by suspicions that the Newsnight report was dropped for corporate reasons, something the BBC denies, Mr Entwistle's decision to appoint an outside figure will be interpreted as a clear attempt to emphasise the independence of the review.

An insider last night said the search had only just begun for the person to lead the inquiry.

BBC chairman Lord Patten admitted that when the BBC starts its own inquiry, after the police have finished theirs, it would have to look at the issues which were still unresolved 'in a way which will have to command credibility in the wider community'.

It emerged last night that another of the corporation's flagship current affairs programmes, BBC1's Panorama, is preparing a programme on the Savile scandal, after Newsnight's embarrassing decision to drop its report in December 2011.

The documentary is understood to be led by the man who was working on the Newsnight project, Meirion Jones.

Last night Lib Dem MP Adrian Sanders, who sits on the culture, media and sport select committee, said of the decision to drop the Newsnight report: 'That seems to me to be an extraordinary thing to do and that is something that will have to be revisited if the scale of the crimes has been proven.'

Tory MP Philip Davies, also a member of the committee, compared the BBC's handling of the situation with the way that News International dealt with the phone-hacking scandal.

He added: 'The whole thing is a complete catastrophe for the BBC but more importantly it is a catastrophe for the victims who have suffered in silence.'

A BBC insider said there was no proof that bosses had never lent on anyone to drop the Newsnight report.

'‰A campaign to strip Savile posthumously of his knighthood is likely to fail because it would require a change in the law.

Jimmy Savile sex abuse claims made by former hospital patients

Link to Article

Source: The Guardian World News

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 11:35

Stoke Mandeville hospital and Leeds General Infirmary, where Jimmy Savile worked for charity, are the centre of the latest allegations of child abuse with claims the former TV star molested patients at both hospitals.

An ex-patient at a third hospital, Broadmoor, claimed Savile groped her while she watched TV.

A former nurse at the Leeds hospital where Savile worked as a porter, said he molested a brain-damaged hospital patient. June Thornton was recovering from an operation at Leeds General Infirmary when she says she saw Savile abuse the young girl.

"She had brain damage, and Jimmy Savile came in and kissed her," she told Sky News.

"He started kissing her neck, running his hands up and down her arms, and then started to molest her. Because I was laid flat on my back, there was nothing I could do."

Leeds General Infirmary said it had received two complaints after allegations that Savile sexually assaulted teenage girls became public 10 days ago.

It added it was "shocked" by the claims and would co-operate with police.

The Metropolitan police said its investigation into allegations against Savile would include hospitals where he had volunteered.

Savile, who once worked as a porter at Leeds, had a long-association with the LGI which included him volunteering during the 1960s and 1970s and undertaking charity work until his death in October last year.

Stoke Mandeville, which is still basking in the glory of its association with the Paralympics, was dealt a blow today after claims that Jimmy Savile went on ward rounds to find children to abuse.

The hospital, which pioneered rehabilitation for patients with severe spinal injuries and laid the foundation for the games, is facing a growing number of allegations that the former TV presenter groped young patients where he worked as a volunteer fundraiser.

Nurses at the hospital are reported to have dreaded his visits because of his behaviour, and would tell children to stay in bed and pretend to be asleep when he came round.

Rebecca Owen, a former patient at Stoke Mandeville, told BBC News she overheard nurses talking in a way that suggested he also targeted them.

"It was an air of resignation that you had to put up with. There was some sort of ironic chatter between the nurses about who would be the lucky one to go off to his room.

"And then, as one of the nurses was leaving or passing by my bed, she leant over and said, 'the best you can do is stay in bed until he's gone and pretend to be asleep'," Owen said.

A second former patient Laura from Evesham in Worcestershire told BBC Radio 5 how Savile would do "ward rounds" and take children to a private room he had.

"I just remember people saying 'I wonder which one of us would be the 'chosen one' to go to his 'little room'. I remember the nurses tucking me in saying. 'The best thing you can do is stay in bed, don't ask to be put in your wheelchair today and pretend to be asleep.'"

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said it was shocked to hear the allegations and said it never received any complaints about Savile.

A statement from the trust said: "We are unaware of any record or reports of inappropriate behaviour of this nature during Jimmy's work with the trust.

"We can confirm that the police have contacted us this week as part of their assessment exercise and we are co-operating with them fully."

Alison Pink told the Sun that BBC star thrust his hand up her night gown while she was watching TV with other girls at Broadmoor. "I tried to squirm, but he held my wrist with his hands. I felt absolutely disgusting afterwards '' like I had been used as a piece of meat for his sexual gratification."

The latest allegations come as the investigations into claims of abuse stretching over four decades widened with nine police forces now joining the Operation Yewtree investigation being headed by the Met in London and the NSPCC.

Greater Manchester and Tayside police became the latest forces to receive complaints of abuse by Savile. "As part of an investigation being headed by the Metropolitan police service into allegations of sexual abuse made against the late James Savile, Greater Manchester police has, to date, recorded two separate complaints. These are historic complaints dating back to the 1960s," GMP said in a statement, while the Tayside police said "a disclosure has been made to Tayside police regarding an historical incident that happened in the Liverpool area. Full details will be provided to the Metropolitan police, and support is being offered to the woman concerned."

As the scandal of Savile's alleged abuse of children in his BBC dressing room, at hospitals and schools continues to grow, calls have been made for the BBC to review its guidelines on child protection.

Lord Patten, the chairman of the BBC Trust, called the allegations against Savile a "cesspit", and said he wanted to ensure the corporation's policies were "fit for purpose".

He denied however there was a "corporate cover-up" over the decision to drop the Newsnight investigation into claims Savile had abused young girls while working on Top of the Pops.

The former Conservative cabinet minster confirmed it was to hire an outsider to help the Met, which on Tuesday revealed it was investing four decades of alleged abuse.

Patten said he believed it would be a good idea for BBC director general George Entwistle to make a prominent primetime apology on behalf of the BBC once the claims have been unravelled.

He said on Wednesday: "The BBC has in place child protection policies, processes, guidance for us by all staff on and off the premises and independents making programmes for the BBC.

"We've asked the director general to assure us that those policies are up to date and fit for purpose, that they're effective in protecting minors and underage children.

"We've also said that we want to be satisfied on the arrangements in place for dealing with sexual harassment, bullying and whistleblowing and we want to be sure that those guidelines that do exist are gold standard and up to date and comply with current best practice."

His comments came hours after Savile's headstone was removed from a cemetery in Scarborough and taken away out of "respect to public opinion". The £4,000 granite memorial was smashed up to be used as landfill at the request of Savile's family.

The grave, in which Savile was buried at an angle so he could "see" Scarborough castle and the sea, will remain unmarked for the foreseeable future.

Savile died almost a year ago but his activities have come to light following a number of interviews with alleged victims for a TV documentary.

There had been criticism that the BBC ditched an investigation on its Newsnight programme late last year because it would have run counter to other celebratory shows about the once popular presenter.

But Lord Patten on Wednesday reiterated that the editor of Newsnight was "not leaned on", and no BBC executives intervened.

He also said he was not aware of any allegations against other BBC stars.

Earlier this week Entwistle made an apology to Savile's victims during an interview on Radio 4's Today programme and said there would be an inquiry to follow the police investigation.

Culture secretary Maria Miller said the BBC had "serious allegations" to answer about the way women had been treated in the workplace.

"I think Lord Patten's right to say if, at the end of that criminal investigation, there is a need to do more, then the BBC should be asking those questions," she told BBC2's Newsnight.

"There are some serious allegations, not only about the behaviour of Jimmy Savile, but also some of the institutional problems around the way that women have been treated in the workplace, and I think they are serious issues for any organisation."

Miller said her "heart goes out to all of those that have been affected" by Savile's alleged behaviour and said it was important there was a "thorough and swift investigation".

' To contact the MediaGuardian news desk email editor@mediaguardian.co.uk or phone 020 3353 3857. For all other inquiries please call the main Guardian switchboard on 020 3353 2000. If you are writing a comment for publication, please mark clearly "for publication".

' To get the latest media news to your desktop or mobile, follow MediaGuardian on Twitter and Facebook.

Elite$

Extra - News - Christina Aguilera on Hillary Clinton's Peeking Pic

Link to Article

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 10:15

Christina Aguilera on Hillary Clinton's Peeking Pic

October 9, 2012 | 5:40pm EDT

"Extra's" Terri Seymour caught up with "The Voice" judge Christina Aguilera at the 2012 American Music Award nominations ceremony and asked the singer how she felt about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton taking a peek at her d(C)colletage last week. Christina laughed, "Hilarious, but you know, I was checking her out, too!"Aguilera was honored at the McGovern Awards in Washington D.C. for her work to end world hunger, and she was thrilled to be in Clinton's company.

"She was funny, very casual," said Xtina. "I was like, 'Oh my god, this is a more conservative place for me.' It's D.C. and a serious subject. But Hillary was cute, she said, 'If I had a voice, I'd want to be our your team. But I'm so glad your voice is on our team against world hunger.' It was warm and endearing. She's an amazing woman, I have so much respect for her."

Watch more of our interview, including what Christina has planned for her performance at the AMAs on November 18.

Big Barbz and Rihanna dominated all nominees for this year's AMAs with four nods apiece, followed closely by Justin Bieber, Drake, Maroon 5, Usher and One Direction with three each. For a complete list of AMA nominations, click here!

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Oh God, Bravo's Silicon Valley Show Looks Even Worse Than We Thought Ugh Why Help

Link to Article

Source: Dave Winer's linkblog feed

Tue, 09 Oct 2012 05:01

If you watch the latest promo for Bravo's Silicon Valley reality show and think, hey these entrepreneurs failed actors are just stringing together tech buzzwords, it's because that's exactly what they're doing. The video is below, for those who have been sapped of any hope at a fruitful life.

The following is a collection of quotes from the teaser for the November 5 premiere, presented without comment, because really, what more can you say of people who are already parodies of themselves?

"This is the moment we have to up our game more than ever.""The future of the world is in our hands. And we're not sitting back and letting us pass us by.""Tech is so much more than just engineering. Yeah, it's an ecosystem.""There's the bloggers, the engineers, and then there's the investors. None of it would work if there wasn't each part.""Geeks are definitely the new rock stars.""There's a spirit of FUCK YOU disruption.""People have been intimidated because this package doesn't usually come with a brain.""Silicon Valley is just... balls to the wall."Then there is a toga party. Rock climbing. Shots. Bikinis. A girl named Hermione. A man named Dwight. People writing numbers on dry erase boards. A swimming pool. The word geek is said 14 times. Lots of tears. Algorithm. A sombrero. Twitter. Google. Facebook. Apple. Disruption. This show looks awful, but we'd be lying if we said we weren't going to watch Start-Ups and all its "fuck you disruption" with glee/horror. [Bravo]

Distraction Down Under

Vaccine$

Nearly half of children with autism wander from safety

Link to Article

Tue, 09 Oct 2012 05:04

Findings from the study were used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recently created a medical diagnostic code for wandering as a condition of autism, an important first step in efforts to get preventative supports and services, says Singer.

Ron Chapple, jupiterimages

Children with autism are more likely to wander and the consequences can be dangerous, a study finds.

by Michelle Healy, USA TODAY

Published: 10/08/2012 12:12am

The fear that overtakes a parent when a child wanders away from home or other safe place is easily compounded when that child has an autism-spectrum disorder. A new study shows that such behavior occurs more often than in other kids, and that the hazards can be significant.

In a sample of 1,200 children with autism, 49% had wandered, bolted or "eloped" at least once after age 4; 26% went missing long enough to cause their family concern. By comparison, only 13% of 1,076 siblings without autism had ever wandered off at or after age 4, developmentally the age when such behavior becomes less common, finds the study published today in Pediatrics. Among children with autism who went missing, 65% had close calls with traffic; 24% were in danger of drowning.

"Elopement is one of the very few problems in autism that is life-threatening," says pediatrician Paul Law, senior author of the study and director of the Interactive Autism Network (IAN) Project, a national autism database headquartered at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. "It is probably one of the leading, if not the leading, causes of death in children with autism," he says.

Although the design of the study didn't pick up deaths resulting from elopement, researchers did track media reports, says Law: "It's very predictable every few months that a child dies due to wandering, be it from drowning, a traffic accident, exposure or other events related to getting themselves into some unsafe place without supervision."

Among other study findings:

-- Elopement attempts peaked at age 5 for children with an autism-spectrum disorder.

-- From age 4 to 7, 46% of children with autism wandered away, four times the rate (11%) of siblings without autism. From age 8 to 11, 27% did; from age 12-17, 12% did.

-- Children who wandered had more severe autism symptoms and had lower intellectual and communications scores than those who did not.

-- The most common locations from which children bolted were their own home or another home (74%), stores (40%) and classroom or schools (29%).

The risks associated with her daughter's elopement behavior led Alison Singer of Scarsdale, N.Y., to install alarms on every door in her house. Between ages 5 and 10, Jodie (now 15) would try to leave the house in the middle of the night in search of things, from the Chinese restaurant that served her favorite egg rolls to a book she'd read at a neighbor's house two years ago.

"It just got into her head that she wanted it, and she'd head out to get it," says Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation, one of several advocacy and research groups that funded the elopement study.

"It wouldn't occur to Jodie that the restaurant was closed, that it was the middle of the night, or that it was several miles away or across the highway," says Singer. She "doesn't have the cognitive capacity to think about those things."

Although wandering is a term commonly used for this behavioral condition, it's actually a misnomer, says Law, nothing that by definition wandering means going about aimlessly for no particular reason. People with autism who bolt "are intending to get away or intending to get to something," he says.

And the deficits that define autism '-- social, communication and behavioral '-- "set (children) up to put themselves in unsafe spaces" in spite of the diligent, often exhausting efforts families make to keep them out of harm, he adds.

Many in the autism community have long grappled individually with the challenge of elopement and keeping loved ones safe, says Cathy Pratt, director of the Indiana Resource Center for Autism at Indiana University. She was not involved in the new study.

"Alleviating this stress for families requires that physicians, family members, community members, autism professionals and first responders understand the problem and how to respond," she says. The study documents that elopement "has now become a community problem and a health concern."

Findings from the study were used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recently created a medical diagnostic code for wandering as a condition of autism, an important first step in efforts to get preventative supports and services, says Singer.

Equally important is the movement to create an Autism Alert warning system similar to the Amber Alert used to warn of an abducted child, she says.

"When our children wander away, we can't issue an Amber Alert because technically they have not been abducted. This would help us mobilize resources when a child does wander."

Attention Disorder or Not, Children Prescribed Pills to Help in School - NYTimes.com

CANTON, Ga. -- When Dr. Michael Anderson hears about his low-income patients struggling in elementary school, he usually gives them a taste of some powerful medicine: Adderall.

³I don¹t have a whole lot of choice,² said Dr. Anderson, a pediatrician for many poor families in Cherokee County, north of Atlanta. ³We¹ve decided as a society that it¹s too expensive to modify the kid¹s environment. So we have to modify the kid.²

'Brain-eating' amoeba kills 10 in Pakistan: officials.

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Source: WT news feed

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 11:15

Authorities in Pakistan's largest city have launched an urgent investigation after a rare water-borne "brain-eating" amoeba killed 10 people in four months, officials said Tuesday.

The water company and health officials monitoring water in Karachi, home to 18 million people, have been ordered to trace the source of the Naegleria fowleri outbreak.

Saghir Ahmed, health minister of southern Sindh province of which Karachi is capital, said the drinking supply, swimming places and facilities used for the ritual ablutions Muslims must perform before prayers were all under investigation.

"There is no reason to panic and citizens should stay calm and take precautions," Ahmed said.

"It is a water-borne infection and we are thoroughly inquiring about its arrival and spread here."

Shakeel Malick, a health ministry official, said the amoeba had caused 10 deaths so far this year. He said there have been cases in the past, but so few that detailed numbers were not recorded.

The amoeba causes primary amoebic meningitis, a disease with a fatality rate of over 99 percent, said Faisal Mehmood, an expert in infectious diseases.

Naegleria fowleri is found in warm fresh water and usually infects people when contaminated water enters the body through the nose. The amoeba passes through the nasal membranes and destroys brain tissues.

The ablutions Muslims must perform before praying involve rinsing inside the nose and Ahmed said people should use boiled water for the purpose while the outbreak was going on.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said nine cases had been confirmed and one more was suspected. It is working with Pakistani officials to investigate the cases and work out steps to prevent further infections.

"We are visiting houses of the victims and profiling their history," Musa Khan, WHO's head of disease early warning system in Pakistan, told AFP.

Misbahuddin Farid, who heads the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, said chlorine concentration was being increased in reservoirs and supply stations as a precaution.

A health ministry statement referring to recent lab tests said 22 per cent of 913 samples drawn from water supply sources in the last three months were found to be non-chlorinated.

MEXICO CITY: Mexico orders HPV vaccinations for all 5th-grade girls, saying it will end threat of cervical cancer | World | ADN.com

Link to Article

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 15:23

MEXICO CITY '-- Mexico on Wednesday launched a massive program to vaccinate fifth-grade girls against human papillomavirus, making it one of the few nations in the world with a universal campaign against the sexually transmitted virus.

One million schoolgirls ages 11 or 12 will receive the HPV vaccination this week, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said. Another 200,000 girls who aren't in school also will be given the vaccine.

HPV is the world's most common sexually transmitted infection and causes cervical cancer, a disease that killed an estimated 4,000 Mexican women a year, Calderon said.

''This cancer, unlike others, is preventable,'' Calderon said at a ceremony at the Los Pinos presidential palace. ''It is a great opportunity that human beings have to conquer one of the worst diseases . . . through a simple vaccine.''

Mexico becomes one of the few countries in the world to follow in the footsteps of Greece, which in 2007 made the HPV vaccination mandatory for girls entering seventh grade.

Proponents of mandatory HPV vaccinations in the United States have found widespread resistance, however. Only Virginia and the District of Columbia mandate the vaccination. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas issued an executive order in 2007 requiring 12-year-old girls to be vaccinated, but the state's legislature overturned it, and Perry's order haunted him on his failed bid to win the GOP presidential nomination last year. Efforts to compel the vaccine's use have been defeated in some 20 other states.

U.S. medical and public health groups have been vocal this year in urging politicians to take greater action. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians all deem the vaccine safe and recommend its use for girls ages 11 and 12.

Calderon, who leaves office Dec. 1, was emphatic that the HPV vaccination is safe for girls. A national laboratory will examine all imported vaccine.

''I tell you with certainty and confidence that it is convenient, healthy and very important for every girl to receive this human papillomavirus vaccine,'' he said.

The government has ordered state-owned Biologics and Reagents Laboratories of Mexico (Birmex), which already makes vaccines, to come up with its own HPV vaccine, Calderon said.

Patricia Volkow Fernandez, an infectious disease and cancer specialist at Mexico's National Cancer Institute, said that more than 100,000 women have died of cervical cancers in the past quarter-century, making it the No. 2 most common cancer among women in Mexico.

Administering the vaccine to schoolgirls, she said, is a way to sidestep language, cultural and social barriers that make rural women unlikely to accept pelvic exams to detect cervical cancer in its early stages.

While there are more than 100 subtypes of human papillomavirus, the vaccine administered in Mexico is effective against subtypes 16 and 18, which cause 70 percent of the cervical cancers in the nation, she said.

All fifth-grade girls will be given an initial shot, then a second shot six months later, she said. A third and final dose will be given to girls in ninth grade.

Mexico began an obligatory vaccination program of schoolchildren and pregnant women in 1991, and currently offers 14 types of vaccines, Health Secretary Salomon Chertorivski said, adding that the campaign had helped eradicate polio, diphtheria and German measles, and limited tuberculosis and pneumonia.

During weeklong periods three times a year, thousands of doctors and nurses spread across the country to schools and rural clinics to administer the free vaccinations.

Calderon hailed his nation's public health record but noted that Mexicans retain the dubious distinction as ''world champions of childhood and adult obesity.''

''You have to do a half-hour of exercise every day, no matter what,'' Calderon lectured students at the announcement ceremony. ''You have to do it, you must be obligated to do it and we must teach our children to exercise every day.''

Email: tjohnson@mcclatchydc.com; Twitter: @timjohnson4

VIDEO

Dimon Says Bond Turn Against U.S. Virtually Assured: Video - Bloomberg

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Wed, 10 Oct 2012 23:43

Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon says bond markets would spurn U.S. debt if lawmakers fail to reach an agreement to address the nation's deficit. "It's virtually assured" that markets would react that way, Dimon said today in Washington at an event held by the Council on Foreign Relations. He speaks with the council's president, Richard Haass. (This is an excerpt.) (Source: Bloomberg)

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Bloomberg Television in change

Dimon Warns the U.S. Bond Market WILL Crash

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Source: EconomicPolicyJournal.com

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 23:41

He says it is not a possibility but virtually assured. It's just a matter of time.As he goes on in the interview, which occurred at an event held in Washington D.C. by the Council on Foreign Relations, he seems to suggest that there is some possibility that Washington could stop the out of control spending, but that's as likely as Alan Dershowitz getting his house featured in Architectural Digest.

The Jamie Dimon interview video is here.

(ht Alex Mullins)

VIDEO: Pussy Riot member freed on appeal

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Source: BBC News - Home

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 23:28

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

DVIDS - Video - U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta Press Conference

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Wed, 10 Oct 2012 21:24

Choose quality '–¼Embed code '–¼<iframe width="500" height="300" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="border: none; overflow: hidden; width: 500px; height: 300px;" allowtransparency="true" src="http://www.dvidshub.net/video/embed/157977"></iframe>

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta gives a statement to the media then answers questions while attending the NATO Defense Ministers' Conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Also available in high definition.

White House Asked Isn't Obama The One Who Shot First, Aimed Later on Libya? - YouTube

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Wed, 10 Oct 2012 22:41

The White House Disinformation Campaign on Libya - YouTube

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Wed, 10 Oct 2012 23:24

Gary Johnson interview with Ben Swann

Army Times Mobile - SecDef: U.S. sends troops to Jordan

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Wed, 10 Oct 2012 21:19

By Lolita C. Baldor and Pauline Jelinek - The Associated PressPosted: Wednesday Oct 10, 2012 9:37:35 EDT

BRUSSELS '-- The United States has sent military troops to the Jordan-Syria border to bolster that country's military capabilities in the event that violence escalates along its border with Syria, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday.

Speaking at a NATO conference of defense ministers in Brussels, Panetta said the U.S. has been working with Jordan to monitor chemical and biological weapons sites in Syria and also to help Jordan deal with refugees pouring over the border from Syria. The troops are also building a headquarters for themselves.

But the revelation of U.S. military personnel so close to the 19-month-old Syrian conflict suggests an escalation in the U.S. military involvement in the conflict, even as Washington pushes back on any suggestion of a direct intervention in Syria.

It also follows several days of shelling between Turkey and Syria, an indication that the civil war could spill across Syria's borders and become a regional conflict.

"We have a group of our forces there working to help build a headquarters there and to insure that we make the relationship between the United States and Jordan a strong one so that we can deal with all the possible consequences of what's happening in Syria," Panetta said.

The development comes with the U.S. presidential election less than a month away, and at a time when former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, has been criticizing President Barack Obama's foreign policy, accusing the administration of embracing too passive a stance in the convulsive Mideast region.

The defense secretary and other administration officials have expressed concern about Syrian President Bashar Assad's arsenal of chemical weapons. Panetta said last week that the United States believes that while the weapons are still secure, intelligence suggests the regime might have moved the weapons to protect them. The Obama administration has said that Assad's use of chemical weapons would be a "red line" that would change the U.S. policy of providing only non-lethal aid to the rebels seeking to topple him.

Pentagon press secretary George Little, traveling with Panetta, said the U.S. and Jordan agreed that "increased cooperation and more detailed planning are necessary in order to respond to the severe consequences of the Assad regime's brutality."

He said the U.S. has provided medical kits, water tanks, and other forms of humanitarian aid to help Jordanians assist Syrian refugees fleeing into their country.

Little said the military personnel were there to help Jordan with the flood of Syrian refugees over its borders and the security of Syria's stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons.

"As we've said before, we have been planning for various contingencies, both unilaterally and with our regional partners," Little said in a written statement. "There are various scenarios in which the Assad regime's reprehensible actions could affect our partners in the region. For this reason and many others, we are always working on our contingency planning, for which we consult with our friends."

A U.S. defense official in Washington said the forces are made up of 100 military planners and other personnel who stayed on in Jordan after attending an annual exercise in May, and several dozen more have flown in since, operating from a joint U.S.-Jordanian military center north of Amman that Americans have used for years.

He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about the mission on the record.

In Jordan, the biggest problem for now seems to be the strain put on the country's meager resources by the estimated 200,000 Syrian refugees who have flooded across the border '-- the largest fleeing to any country.

Several dozen refugees in Jordan rioted in their desert border camp of Zaatari early this month, destroying tents and medicine and leaving scores of refugee families out in the night cold.

Jordanian men also are moving the other way across the border '-- joining what intelligence officials have estimated to be around 2,000 foreigners fighting alongside Syrian rebels trying to topple Assad. A Jordanian border guard was wounded after armed men '-- believed trying to go fight '-- exchanged gunfire at the northern frontier.

Turkey has reinforced its border with artillery guns and deployed more fighter jets to an air base close to the border region after an errant Syrian mortar shell killed five people in a Turkish border town last week and Turkey retaliated with artillery strikes.

Turkey's military chief Gen. Necdet Ozel vowed Wednesday to respond with more force to any further shelling from Syria, keeping up the pressure on its southern neighbor a day after NATO said it stood ready to defend Turkey.

Massive Protests Greet German Prime Minister Merkel

Gillard labels Abbott a misogynist

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Wed, 10 Oct 2012 14:15

"I'm Not Gonna Let Oil Companies Collect Another Four Billion In Corporate Welfare Every Year!"

Man Arrested At LAX After Wearing Body Armor & Having Suitcase With Multiple Weapons On Plane - [VIDEO]

Daily Press Briefing - October 9, 2012

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Wed, 10 Oct 2012 22:38

1:07 p.m. EDT

MS. NULAND: All right, everybody. Hope you all had a good Columbus celebration. We had to make sure this podium was down at the short girl height after the exalted Toner briefing. (Laughter.) It is.

I have nothing at the top. Let's start with what's on your minds.

QUESTION: I just have kind of a broad question, and that is: Why '' for the last several weeks, you've said that you're not going to respond to questions about the Benghazi investigation until it's all over; you can't do things piecemeal. Why the change? Why have you decided that it's now appropriate or good for you to comment on or for the building to offer comments on bits and pieces that are dribbling out of the committee before the hearing?

MS. NULAND: Well, I'm not sure what you have seen, Matt, but as a general matter, we have not been commenting on timeline, et cetera, from this podium beyond what we said at the beginning. What we have been doing is responding to things that are not accurate or things that are endeavoring to understand how we do security, et cetera. We had a little conversation about what airplanes the State Department has.

So as things come up that are factual and not necessarily related to the conduct of the investigation, we do what we can to help. But in general, our posture is that we've got an FBI investigation; we've got an ARB; obviously we're going to work with the Congress, including tomorrow. So we'll go from there. But we're not going to be giving a daily brief from here as we go through things.

QUESTION: Well, maybe not from here, but as of yesterday, there was quite a bit of '' one might call it pushback to the comments that were made in television interviews by Colonel Wood, which would seem to me to be you guys going after bits and pieces piecemeal, which is exactly what you said you weren't going to do. And then on the planes, we had half a conversation about what kind of planes. Maybe after the first part, you can talk '' tell us why you're still flying World War II vintage military cargo planes around.

MS. NULAND: Well, there were some specific questions that came to us that we felt that we could answer over the weekend. Again, we're going to try to deal with what we can which doesn't impact on the integrity of these investigations, and particularly when we're asked factual questions about the way we're postured, we will do what we can. So that's just going to be hit or miss as we see some things come out that we can deal with.

With regard to the aircraft, I'm told that we have aircraft in our little State Department fleet that go from the 1940s all the way up to 2010 vintage. I'm sure that this is largely an issue of money and appropriation, but overall, we've got some 192 aircraft '' 150 are rotary wing, 42 are fixed wing. The vast majority support our International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Counterterrorism '' sorry, Counternarcotics and Law Enforcement assistance programs specifically in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Guatemala, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

So primarily, we use these for those programs. We also use them to move our personnel around safely in Afghanistan and Iraq.

QUESTION: Okay, wait. 150 are helicopters?

MS. NULAND: 150 rotary wing, yep.

QUESTION: Yeah, for those of us --

MS. NULAND: Six different models.

QUESTION: For those of us who don't speak --

MS. NULAND: Sorry, yes.

QUESTION: Those are helicopters?

MS. NULAND: Helicopters.

QUESTION: Correct? Forty-two are --

MS. NULAND: Helicopters, things with rotors.

QUESTION: -- fixed-wing?

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: How many of those date from 1945 or before?

MS. NULAND: I'm going to give you a full rundown here after the briefing. I don't actually understand what I've got here. It's all kinds of models '' DC-3s and C-27s and 26s and all that stuff. But we'll get you --

QUESTION: Fokker?

MS. NULAND: Yeah, no Fokkers. They have to be American made, I would guess.

QUESTION: Okay.

MS. NULAND: All right. Please, Jill.

QUESTION: Toria, speaking of that, tomorrow there will be this hearing up on Capitol Hill. Are you aware that some of the Democrats on that committee are saying that they were excluded from a CODEL trip to Libya, and that also they haven't been given adequate access to witnesses and material? Are you aware of any of these allegations, especially that CODEL?

MS. NULAND: Well, with regard to congressional delegations, as you know, this is the purview of the congressional leadership, so I can't speak to whether they wanted to join CODELs and were told not to join. That would be a question to ask up on the Hill. Frankly, that's not '' we just facilitate CODELs as they come forward. I haven't '' I also haven't heard anything with regard to witnesses. As you know, our posture is to be as cooperative as we possibly can. We consider the Hill a vital partner in our efforts to ensure that our diplomats and our facilities are secure. So we have '' we are doing as much as we can to be responsive to the various requests that we've had.

QUESTION: Is your expectation at tomorrow's briefing that a good deal of what is discussed would have to be done in a classified session because there are two ongoing investigations, as you noted?

MS. NULAND: Well, the request tomorrow was to come up in unclassified sessions, so we will do what we can in an unclassified setting. We've also been responsive to those staff members, et cetera, who have asked for classified briefings. In fact, we've had both Pat Kennedy and Eric Boswell up on the Hill this morning in classified sessions with staff who have requested to see them on both the House and the Senate side.

QUESTION: Is there any reason why Mr. Boswell or Mr. Kennedy are not testifying; it's someone lower in rank who is actually appearing tomorrow?

MS. NULAND: Well, the folks who we are sure are going up from State are the two that were specifically requested by the committee: Charlene Lamb, who is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security '' she is Mr. Boswell's deputy '' and Eric Nordstrom, who was a regional security officer, who had been in Libya earlier in 2012. We're still talking to the Hill about the full complement for the hearings, and we'll just see how that turns out over the course of the day.

QUESTION: I think he's on their list.

QUESTION: He's on the list, yeah.

MS. NULAND: We had hoped to '' we had requested that he be able to participate. I hadn't heard before coming down here whether that had been accepted by the committee.

QUESTION: Well, he's on their website.

MS. NULAND: That's good. That's good.

QUESTION: Actually ''

MS. NULAND: Yeah. Guy.

QUESTION: Toria, could you give us an update on the formation of the Accountability Review Board and who's responsible for setting it up? And does Under Secretary Kennedy actually play a role in that?

MS. NULAND: It's the Secretary's Accountability Review Board. She's required by law to establish it. My understanding '' and I don't have the regs here in front of me, Guy, but that the Administration puts forward four '' that the State Department puts forward four names and that the intelligence community puts forward one name, and that that's how the board was established.

QUESTION: So does Under Secretary Kennedy play a role in the process at all?

MS. NULAND: It's the Secretary's ultimate decision. He may well play a role, or his '' the person in his position may suggest individuals, but it's the Secretary's decision who to nominate on the State side.

Please.

QUESTION: Can we go back to Matt's opener about the information that you're now commenting on? Perhaps you could comment publicly on the special support team and whether it was asked to extend or whether it, in fact, did get an extension to August.

MS. NULAND: I think I'm not going to go into all of these kinds of timeline details as to what we had when and where. Some of those things, I'm guessing, will be covered tomorrow in the open hearing, but again, these are all pieces that we are pulling together now. So I'm not going to get into the back and forth on all of that from this podium now.

Please, in the back.

QUESTION: Change of subject?

QUESTION: No, wait. Just one more.

MS. NULAND: Still on Libya. Yeah.

QUESTION: Well, just as it related to the planes, you said that it was a matter '' the fleet would be a matter of appropriations, a matter of money. Is that the Department's position with regard to embassy security in general? In other words, you can only ''

MS. NULAND: You asked me why we still have aircraft in our fleet from the '40s, and ''

QUESTION: Yeah, and you said basically it's Congress's fault, or it's because of Congress that we're flying 70-year-old airplanes around Iraq and Libya, correct?

MS. NULAND: First of all, let me say that I am confident that there is nothing that we are flying that is in any way dangerous or '' that said, you know that there are aircraft in all kinds of fleets that have been maintained over many, many years. With regard to why we're not buying all new aircraft every year, these are expensive pieces of equipment, and they're not ''

QUESTION: No. I understand that, but you said '' but you made the point that it's a matter of appropriations. Does that point not apply to ''

MS. NULAND: One has to balance the money that one gets for these programs and use it appropriately.

QUESTION: Right. Does that not apply to embassy security or diplomat '' the security of diplomatic missions as well?

MS. NULAND: Well, as you know, we work with ''

QUESTION: You can't do more than what you have the money to do. Is that correct?

MS. NULAND: We obviously work with the Congress on an annual basis to evaluate what our Diplomatic Security needs are both in terms of funding personnel, funding training, funding facilities, funding upgrades. We put forward a budget. It works like any other budgeting process. But yes, it is something that we have to work out with the Congress, obviously.

QUESTION: Is it the Department's position that all American diplomatic facilities overseas have the money to adequately defend themselves or ''

MS. NULAND: I'm not going to get into any kind of a blanket assessment one way or the other.

QUESTION: Well, did you get a ''

MS. NULAND: I will simply say that ''

QUESTION: Did you get what you were looking for, say, last year?

MS. NULAND: I don't have in front of me the figures as to whether we got the full request that we had for Diplomatic Security. I will take that, Matt, and get back to you with regard to 20 '' FY12.

QUESTION: Okay. So just the main question would be: Is the Department or has the Department been satisfied with the level of funding that it's been getting from the Hill for protection of missions over the past several years? That's the question.

MS. NULAND: I would say, as a general matter, since the bombings in Dar and in Kenya, we have increased exponentially the amount of funding that we put into diplomatic security. We've done that in consultation and with the support of the Hill. This is a conversation, as I said, that we have to have every year. And like any other federal government program, we ask for a certain amount of money. We do what '' we prioritize based on the money that we get. So it's always a conversation with the Congress.

Please.

QUESTION: Change of subject?

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: In Pakistan yesterday, one National Peace Award winner, Malala Yousufzai, was attacked by Taliban because she was propagating peace and secular views in Swat Valley. Do you have anything to say? Are you aware about this incident?

MS. NULAND: I do. We strongly condemn the shooting of Malala. Directing violence at children is barbaric, it's cowardly, and our hearts go out to her and the others who were wounded as well as their families.

QUESTION: And secondly, the '' Pakistan's Interior Minister was here on Friday. He met with Secretary of State. Do you have a readout on the meeting? We haven't heard from it.

MS. NULAND: My understanding is that Interior Minister Malik was here to participate in the U.S.-Pakistan Law Enforcement and Counterterrorism Working Group, which is one of the working groups we have under our broader bilateral relationship. In the context of that, he had a chance to have a hello with the Secretary and a couple-minute conversation, but it wasn't an extended bilateral meeting. So I don't have any particular readout for you.

QUESTION: At the meeting, Pakistanis expressed concern over use of drone strikes; they want an end to it. What were the U.S. response to those concerns?

MS. NULAND: I can't confirm that one way or the other, but you know that I don't talk about that particular subject from this podium.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MS. NULAND: Please, Said.

QUESTION: Iraq?

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: Yes. I wonder if you could comment on the military sale deal with '' between Iraq and Russia. Because last week I asked about the '' what kind of sales are in the pipeline and why they are taking so long. I'm talking about the FMF '' the military sales to Iraq program, the American military sale. But it seems that they are taking a step ahead and concluding a deal with Russia.

MS. NULAND: Well, first of all, with regard to U.S.-Iraqi military support, Iraq overall has initiated some 467 foreign military sales cases with the United States. If all of these go forward, it will be worth over $12.3 billion, so obviously our own military support relationship with Iraq is very broad and very deep.

We've seen the press reporting that one of the subjects on Prime Minister Maliki's agenda for his Moscow trip is military sales, but I'll have to send you to the Russians for what it is in particular they're talking about.

QUESTION: But aren't you at least annoyed that Iraq, after so much U.S. investment in blood and treasure, is actually going to conduct a deal or sign a deal with Russia on '' over military sales going back '' a throwback to the Cold War era?

MS. NULAND: Again, Said, we're doing some $12.3 billion worth of military business with Iraq, so I don't think one needs to be concerned about that relationship being anything but the strongest. With regard to what they may be seeking from the Russians, I would send you to the Russians and to the Iraqis.

QUESTION: Could it be that the Iraqis are frustrated with the lack of delivery of these arms sales that are actually signed and supposedly in the pipeline?

MS. NULAND: I can't speak to whether they're actually going to make any deals, whether they're going to come any faster, but we have a very broad and deep relationship going forward.

Michel.

QUESTION: A follow-up on Iraq, too. There are reports that Iraq is supplying Syria with oil as part of a one year deal reached in June, and the value is $14 million. Do you have anything on this?

MS. NULAND: We're not in a position to confirm this report. We're seeking more information from the Iraqis. But in the press reporting that we did see, it appears to be a relatively small sale of fuel oil of the kind that's only useful for power generation, and not something that would be subject to sanctions of any kind. So we're inquiring with the Iraqis, but it appears to be relatively small-bore.

Please.

QUESTION: Thank you.

QUESTION: Hi.

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: I'm not asking you about Psy today.

MS. NULAND: We're not going to dance, no. Okay. Some other day we'll dance.

QUESTION: Okay. Actually, it's about North Korea.

MS. NULAND: Okay.

QUESTION: North Korea said its missiles can strike the U.S. territory, including the mainland. It is apparently responding to a deal between South Korea and the United States on extending Seoul's ballistic missile range. So what do you make of North Korea's statement? Do you think it is just bluffing, or it is alarming or serious?

MS. NULAND: Well, certainly rather than bragging about its missile capability, they ought to be feeding their own people, would be our first comment. The DPRK needs to understand that it will achieve nothing by threats or provocations. That's only going to undermine their efforts to get back into conversation with the international community. I'd just underscore that under UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874, North Korea is required to suspend all activities related to the ballistic missile program.

QUESTION: Couldn't you see, though, that they would see the U.S. and South Korea announcing their extending their range as a provocative act that would be worthy of a response?

MS. NULAND: These changes in missile guidance are defensive in nature. I would note that we haven't changed these ranges or capabilities since 2001, at a time when the North has been very clearly working and boasting about their own capabilities. So these are defensive moves on our part and are responsive in nature.

QUESTION: Do you believe them? Do you think they do have missiles that can hit the continental mainland with these --

MS. NULAND: Well, I'm not going to get into intelligence here, you can imagine. But they know what they need to do if they want to get back into a conversation with us. And again, this is boasting about something rather than taking care of the needs of their own people.

Please.

QUESTION: Syria. Turkish Foreign Minister has suggested the possibility of Syrian Vice President Farouk Sharah serving as interim leader if President Bashar al-Assad steps down. Do you support this suggestion?

MS. NULAND: Well, we're not going to get into the business here of picking the next leaders of Syria. This is something that the Syrian people are going to have to do, and the Syrian opposition is going to have to nominate its own candidates when we get to that transition phase. We are seeing a number of people '' as defections increase, as leaders identify themselves in local communities and in the opposition, we're seeing a number of folks who could conceivably be credible candidates. But again, this is something that the Syrian people are going to have to decide.

QUESTION: Well, you say you're not going to get into the practice of naming who Syria's leaders should be, but you have, in fact. Haven't you? I mean, you've ruled out one person explicitly and said that other people who have blood on their hands wouldn't be allowed. So do you think that Farouk al-Sharah, the loyal Assad aide for decades, both father and son, is someone who has blood on his hands, or someone who should be ruled out, like President '' like you have done with President Assad himself?

MS. NULAND: What we have said is that we support this notion of a transitional governing structure along the lines of what was outlined in Geneva, what was in the opposition's own documents, which is very much congruent. In the Geneva document, it talked about people in a transitional structure being agreed to by mutual consent, and we've made clear that we don't see any way on this Earth that anybody will consent to having Bashar al-Assad be part of that.

With regard to others, I'm not going to get into names one way or the other. This is something the Syrian people are going to have to work through.

QUESTION: Why? One name is okay, but two is not?

MS. NULAND: Again, I'm not going to be evaluating level of culpability one way or the other from this podium, except we all understand that the buck stops with Bashar al-Assad.

Please.

QUESTION: Excuse me, Toria. In light of the artillery exchange in the last five days running, do you think we may be headed towards a no-fly zone or a safe haven or something like this practically on the ground?

MS. NULAND: Our posture on those things has not changed in the last week, Said.

QUESTION: Can I ask you just a quick follow-up? Do you still believe that Mr. Assad's days are numbered? I know you said this from the podium, but reports suggest that the regime is consolidating its power over a large portion of the capital, Aleppo, and other areas.

MS. NULAND: There is a lot of reporting on one side and on the other with regard to what's going on in Damascus and Aleppo. Obviously, the fight is being hard fought in both of those cities, and it's very '' the level of violence is very high in both places. But the fact remains that in large parts of the country, the regime no longer has physical control outside of the major cities, et cetera. So this, again, speaks to the difficulty that we see in Assad holding on. He's had huge numbers of defections, he's having difficulty holding on even in the two big cities where four months ago there was no fighting at all, and now the regime is under a lot of pressure, the currency is in difficult straits, people even in leadership positions are moving their families out of the country. So that speaks to what we're seeing.

Kim, is it still on Syria?

QUESTION: Yeah, Syria.

MS. NULAND: Yeah. Kim, in the back. Kim, in the back. Kim, in the back.

Go ahead.

QUESTION: It sounds to me like you're actually saying that Farouk al-Shara is not an acceptable transition person anymore, because not that long ago the Arab League plan actually called for the Vice President to step in as a transitional figure in the same way as had happened in Yemen. And on this podium you said that you supported that plan. And when we asked specifically about Farouk al-Shara, you said, well, this is the plan. So are you now saying that you don't support him as a transition figure?

MS. NULAND: I'm not saying one way or the other. I'm saying simply that these decisions about future personnel are going to have to be made by Syrians. They're going to have to make these decisions. It's not helpful or appropriate for us to be picking the future leaders of Syria.

QUESTION: But the Arab League plan did call for the Vice President to step in. Is that plan, therefore, no longer acceptable to you?

MS. NULAND: That plan, which I think was dated from last January or last February, predated a lot of what we've seen since. At the time, we considered that if the Assad regime were willing to, first and foremost, stop the violence '' which, as you know, is the first tenet of that plan and every other plan, including the Kofi Annan plan '' that it was worth trying to make it work and being supportive of it.

But we are very, very far from that now, and certainly, given all of the events that have transpired since then, our fundamental position remains that the Syrian people, who have suffered so much, are going to have to be the ones to make the decisions on leadership. It doesn't look like Yemen anymore. Let's put it that way.

Okay. Please. Please.

QUESTION: China?

QUESTION: No. Still on Syria.

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: Two briefly. I just don't understand why if it's not helpful or appropriate for the United States to get into the business of picking who Syria's leaders are. You are '' you have already gotten into the business of telling them who they can't have as president. How is that appropriate and helpful?

MS. NULAND: Bashar al-Assad has presided over more than a year of vicious, barbaric attacks on his own people. At any point, in all of this time, he could have ended this by ceasing the violence and proceeding to a conversation or an empowerment of others to move into a transition phase. He hasn't done any of that, as the President said months and months and months ago, and we've said every day, every week since, he has forfeited his right to represent and lead the Syrian people.

QUESTION: Yeah, except that all of his top aides presumably could have done something as well '' I mean they could have killed him for all '' what you might have been hoping for, and they didn't. So why can't you rule out others?

MS. NULAND: Again, we're not going to get into the business of picking leaders.

QUESTION: All right, and then just unrelated to that, is '' there seems to be growing sentiment, or at least growing opinion among some that the rebels are going '' the military, the Free Syrian Army or whatever it is '' the armed opposition, is going to have to get more and better weaponry if this is not continued to be a bloody stalemate. Does the Administration find any '' does that ring true at all to the Administration? Is there any feeling inside the Administration that the armed opposition is going to have to get better and more weapons if it's going to be able to topple the regime?

MS. NULAND: Well, let's start with what I've already said which is that over the last three to five months we've seen the regime lose control of vast swaths of the country in the north, in the east, even between some of the towns in the west. They have difficulty holding things that they are trying to hold. So that speaks to what's going on on the ground. I'm obviously not going to get into either an intelligence or a military analysis of how the opposition is doing. You know our view on this, that we are not participating in the lethal support to the opposition; others have made the decision to do that. Our support have on the nonlethal side.

QUESTION: Well, I understand that, and I understand that there is no thought that that policy is going to change. However, you've made it -- also made it clear that others are going to do what they're going to do. So is there '' would the Administration be averse to telling those who are willing to do more '' willing and able to do more on the weapons supply front '' to do more?

MS. NULAND: I'm not going to get into our conversations with other countries with regard to the support that they're giving.

Andy.

QUESTION: Quick sort of side issue. In Paris, Ban Ki-moon told President Hollande that Lakhdar Brahimi's planning to make another trip to Syria soon after stops in several other regional countries. I'm wondering if you think this is a good time for that trip. Do you think there's any reason to believe that this might be successful where others have failed? Or do you think this is more just sort of spinning out the clock?

MS. NULAND: Well, it's consistent with what Special Envoy Brahimi told the Secretary when they met at the UN General Assembly that he would not put forward his own ideas until he had done another set of consultations in the region and we understood that that would also include another trip to Syria. So we are going to do let him set the timetable obviously, and we support his efforts to get a full picture before he makes proposals going forward.

QUESTION: And would it then be your expectation that he would come back from this coming trip ready, or close to ready, to outline what his plan might be?

MS. NULAND: That was the impression that we had when the Secretary met with him, but I think we have to see how the trip goes for him. And he's obviously made clear that he is going to do this deliberatively and make his own decisions about when to put something forward.

Please.

QUESTION: NATO ministers meeting in Brussels are running to support Turkey. What is the U.S. stand on that? Will the American boots be on ground if they move in?

MS. NULAND: Well, I think you know that last week the Turks asked for an Article 4 consultation in NATO following the beginning of these cross-border incidents, and NATO issued a very strong statement in support of our Turkish ally. Beyond saying that NATO has a full complement of plans for the defense of Turkey, as we do for every ally, I'm not going to get into the kinds of contingencies that you're proposing here.

QUESTION: Change topic?

QUESTION: No, on this.

MS. NULAND: Still on this? Yeah.

QUESTION: One more. Yeah. What's the American plan for Syria other than providing the nonlethal aids to the rebels?

MS. NULAND: Michel, we've talked about this many times. The Secretary talked about it extensively during the Ad Hoc meeting on Syria that we had at the UN, which was less than two weeks ago. It was about a week and a half ago. We have three major pillars of our Syria strategy. The first, obviously, is to work with and try to strengthen the opposition, particularly strengthen their unity in putting forward a transition plan for Syria going forward, their ability to communicate with each other, their ability to strengthen their leadership. Second, our humanitarian support. And third, our work to prepare for the day when Assad goes and Syria's obviously going to need all kinds of support from the international community.

Said.

QUESTION: Yes. Can we change topics?

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: Yes. On the --

QUESTION: Can I just follow up on that?

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: You eliminated the increased pressure on the regime and the sanctions --

MS. NULAND: Sorry. Thank you, that's our fourth pillar.

QUESTION: Does that indicate that you don't think that that's a viable option --

MS. NULAND: No. Thank you, Elise. Rusty Tuesday. Obviously, the sanctions that we and the rest of the international community have on Syria need to continue and they need to be increased where we can. We need to work together to close loopholes as we try to do during '' with the Sanctions Working Group under the Friends of the Syrian People.

Please, Said.

QUESTION: The Palestinian issue?

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: On Friday, 15 leaders of 15 different Christian denominations, American Christian denominations, submitted a letter to Congress requesting an investigation of how U.S. assistance to Israel is used in facilitating the continued occupation. One, are you aware of that? And second, if they come to you for further assistance on this particular issue, would you provide it?

MS. NULAND: I haven't seen the letter, Said, so I really can't speak to the specifics of it.

Please.

QUESTION: China?

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: Yesterday, House Intelligence Committee released the conclusion of the investigation about Chinese telecommunication equipment makers. They recommended not to use and exclude all materials of these two companies from the U.S. Government computer system. What will the U.S. Government or State Department do about this recommendation?

MS. NULAND: Well, this is a report of the House Intelligence Committee, so I'm going to send you back to them for thoughts about how these ideas might be implemented.

QUESTION: One thing --

QUESTION: And also --

QUESTION: Go ahead.

QUESTION: Yeah. And also that conclusion expressed a concern, some concern about Chinese spy activity through the computer system inside the United States. What do you think about this '' the concern by the Chinese Government or Chinese spying activity?

MS. NULAND: I think you know that under the Strategic & Economic Dialogue we have initiated a cybersecurity conversation with the Chinese Government to exchange views and deal with concerns that we have on either side. The Secretary said at the time of inaugurating this conversation, as two of the world's largest cyber actors, it's vital that the United States and China have a sustained, meaningful dialogue on cyberspace issues and work together to develop a shared understanding of acceptable norms of behavior. So that conversation continues bilaterally, and it's very important to both of us.

QUESTION: One thing that an analyst who was looking at this report yesterday suggested to us was that this isn't just a matter of protecting government secrets; this is a matter of fair trade practices. And the analyst suggested that perhaps the U.S. has been reluctant to raise these sorts of issues, especially now that China is part of the WTO. What's your take on that?

MS. NULAND: I would reject that. As I said, we now have a formalized cybersecurity dialogue with China. It certainly doesn't cover only our government-to-government issues. It also covers issues of competitiveness of industry, protection of intellectual property, protection of industrial information that might be proprietary, et cetera, and the impact of negative behavior on the economies of either country. So we are endeavoring to cover the waterfront in this dialogue that we're having.

QUESTION: Was there anything more in terms of a Chinese reaction to admittedly a committee from a separate branch of government's recommendation? I mean, it was rather striking that the foreign ministry put someone out yesterday to condemn this report. Has there been any direct complaint to this building?

MS. NULAND: I assume that we've heard from them in diplomatic channels in Beijing as well. Generally, when they go out in public, they've usually also gone to us in private.

Please.

QUESTION: How do you see the developments in Maldives '' Maldives, where the former president was arrested and then released yesterday?

MS. NULAND: I have something on that here. So this is with regard to the arrest of former President Nasheed.

QUESTION: Nasheed.

MS. NULAND: Yeah. We've seen the reports by Amnesty International about allegations of police brutality. We would take any kinds of allegations of police abuse very seriously. We are looking into them in the Maldives, but we haven't been able to confirm them.

QUESTION: Have you ever sent any message to the Maldives Government after he was arrested and released and these allegations that came up?

MS. NULAND: Well, first and foremost, we've been trying to get in touch with the former president, with whom we've had a regular dialogue all the way through this, to determine whether there's any truth to this. And we will get back to you if we determine anything one way or the other.

Please.

QUESTION: Yes. It's Egypt.

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: Do you have any update regarding the consultation with the Hill regarding the 450 million (inaudible)?

MS. NULAND: We are continuing our regular consultations. We had a number of folks from this building, including Ambassador Taylor, who is the Secretary's envoy for assistance to North Africa, up talking to Hill staff about the request, about how it fits into our overall strategy of supporting the democratic transition in Egypt, and that '' those conversations, obviously, are continuing.

QUESTION: About that, the ''

QUESTION: Two or three days ago, I mean, there was a letter '' open letter from the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Congress regarding this transition and some questions regarding '' questions to the Secretary. Do you have any comment about this letter?

MS. NULAND: Well, obviously we're going to try to work through all of those questions in our conversations with the Hill. We feel very strongly that now is not the time to pull back from supporting these fragile democracies in North Africa and the Middle East. It's time to support those who are trying to take their countries in a democratic direction.

Andy.

QUESTION: Toria, I just '' I seem to recall that Deputy Secretary Nides was talking to Representative Granger today. Is that also part of this consultation? Is that specifically what their meeting's about? Can you tell us?

MS. NULAND: They are going to have a phone call today, is my understanding. I am sure it'll cover both Egypt, the money for the Palestinian Authority that we're hoping to get released, and a number of other issues. As you know, they talk very frequently.

Please.

QUESTION: Toria, did you issue a statement one way or the other commenting on the victory of Hugo Chavez?

MS. NULAND: We issued some lines to those who were interested. I can repeat those here for you if that's useful.

QUESTION: Sure.

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

So we took note of the fact that the Venezuelan National Committee had announced that President Hugo Chavez had won the election 55.14 percent to 44.24 percent, with 97 percent of precincts reporting, and that Governor Capriles had publicly conceded shortly thereafter, and we congratulated the Venezuelan people for the high turnout and for the generally peaceful manner in which the election was carried out.

QUESTION: So you do it now that the election was fair and free? (Cell phone rings.) I'm sorry.

MS. NULAND: Again, that's a decision that the Venezuelans will have to make. We ourselves didn't have any observers there, but we would note that Governor Capriles did concede.

Michel.

QUESTION: On Mali, do you support a French military intervention there? To what extent? And will you provide them with any help?

MS. NULAND: Again, I'm '' you're asserting that the French are going to intervene militarily in Mali.

QUESTION: There are stories that they will intervene. Do you support them?

MS. NULAND: Well, obviously we are in close consultations with the French on the situation in Mali, as we are with the ECOWAS countries, as we are with the interim authority in Mali. I think Assistant Secretary Phil Gordon's in Paris today, or was in Paris over the weekend, and Mali is one of the subjects that we're talking about.

As you know, we are working with ECOWAS. ECOWAS itself is working to refine its proposal for how it would take its mission in Bamako, expand it, take it into the north, and we look forward to supporting that as part of a larger comprehensive strategy towards Mali that also, in addition to security, includes a humanitarian component, includes strong support for getting to free, fair elections for a permanent government no later than April, and working to support the needs in the north and their inclusion in the political process so they'll be less vulnerable to the overtures of extremists.

QUESTION: And in case of any military intervention, do you support such an intervention?

MS. NULAND: Again, our support has been for a well-developed, well-thought-through, well-resourced ECOWAS effort, and our understanding is that the French are also working with ECOWAS to help them to develop that plan and to bring it forward to the Security Council for support.

QUESTION: Back to Libya for a second?

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: You said that Assistant Secretary Boswell and Under Secretary Kennedy were up on the Hill briefing people this morning. Can you tell us about any contact there may have been between their superiors or a superior and Congressman Issa yesterday?

MS. NULAND: Are you talking about phone calls with '' who do you have in mind? What are you asking exactly?

QUESTION: A former First Lady.

MS. NULAND: (Laughter.) Whether the Secretary spoke to '' are you asking whether the Secretary spoke to Congressman Issa yesterday?

QUESTION: Well, I'm telling you that she did. I'm asking you what '' what was the conversation?

MS. NULAND: I don't have anything to report on even whether we had that conversation. I'll let you know if I have anything to share. But in general, we don't debrief on the Secretary's conversations with individual members of Congress.

QUESTION: Is she answering the letter of the '' the specific letter sent by the committee, or just basically is a pledge to kind of work with the committee? Is she going to formally answer that letter?

MS. NULAND: She answered the letter by saying '' and I think we released this '' her response publicly the day of or the day after the letter came in, saying there are a lot of questions, nobody wants to get to the bottom of them more than I do, more than this Department does, and we will cooperate fully with you. That cooperation is continuing, including tomorrow when we put some folks forward to the '' for the hearing.

QUESTION: I was wondering, just on another subject, if you might have any comment on the sort of spectacular story out of Mexico today where the Mexican navy confirmed that a man they'd killed is the senior leader of the Zetas and then his body was almost immediately thereafter snatched from a mortuary. I realize it's law enforcement but also has something to do with the war on drugs. What's your response to that?

MS. NULAND: We've seen these stories. Frankly, we are not in a position to confirm any of it. We are seeking further clarification from Mexican authorities.

Anything else? Thanks, everybody.

(The briefing was concluded at 1:49 p.m.)

DPB # 173

Jimmy Savile gravestone removed by family as police launch hunt for BBC child abuse accomplices

Link to Article

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 17:12

Savile was yesterday accused by police of carrying out four decades of sickening offences on a 'national scale'Scotland Yard receives 'range of names' among 120 potential leads and contacts BBC and ITV for details of victims who are willing to co-operateSavile's Scarborough headstone removed at family's request'Out of respect to public opinion, to those who are buried there, and to those who visit there, we have decided to remove it,' they saidIt will be smashed and dumped in landfill three weeks after it was installedPolice have already identified at least 30 victims of Savile who was at his offending peak at the height of his fame during the 1970s and 1980sCelebrities likely to be questioned include convicted paedophiles Gary Glitter and Jonathan KingGreater Manchester Police also confirm they are now investigating SavileBy Sam Greenhill, Chris Greenwood and Martin Robinson

PUBLISHED: 17:10 EST, 9 October 2012 | UPDATED: 11:28 EST, 10 October 2012

Dramatic: Jimmy Savile now lies in an unmarked grave after undertakers worked through the night to rip out his giant headstone in Sacrborough at his family's request

Jimmy Savile is today lying in an unmarked grave after a dead-of-night operation to remove his £4,000 headstone at the request of his family.

Undertakers worked in the dark to rip out the giant memorial and have said it will 'be broken up, placed in a skip and used as landfill'.

The gates of Woodlands Cemetery in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, were locked at around 11pm last night and police stood guard for the two-hour operation.

His loved-ones did not attend and while they had ordered the removal of the grave they were not aware of the undertakers' decision to do it in the middle of the night.

They were to wait until 7am today before removing the six foot wide by four foot tall headstone with Savile's now inflammatory epitaph: 'It was good while it lasted.'

All its inscriptions will be ground away before the stone is destroyed.

Below it is Savile's body, encased in concrete at a 45 degree angle, so he could 'see' the sea and Scarborough castle - his dying wish.

The Savile family said in a statement: 'Members of the family of Sir Jimmy Savile have decided to remove his headstone from the grave in Scarborough.

'The family members are deeply aware of the impact that the stone remaining there could have on the dignity and sanctity of the cemetery.

'Out of respect to public opinion, to those who are buried there, and to those who tend their graves and visit there, we have decided to remove it.'

The Savile family feared the grave could become the centre of a media circus and could have been attacked, so gave funeral director Robert Morphet a free hand to carry out what he called 'a discreet' operation.

Scroll down for video

Difficult: Robert Morphet said teh stone had taken 8 months to create but only hours to tear down

'We started just after 11 and finished going on 1am. We were concerned about the amount of people who might turn up if we left it until morning,' he said.

'We decided it was going to be done before then and brought our own lights and generators.

'The grave will now be ground down so the inscription is totally wiped and will be destroyed.

'It will be broken up, placed in a skip and used as landfill.

'For the foreseeable future the grave will remain unmarked. The family will decide at some future point about what to do.'

Grave: Bunches of flowers mark the grave of Sir Jimmy Savile after his headstone was removed in the middle of the night

Decision: Savile's family gave permission for its removal out of respect for public opinion - with the scene shown here at dawn

Gone: The headstone was only put in place three weeks ago

New dawn: As the sun rises over Scarborough the stark scene shows where Savile's headstone stood just a few hours earlier

The Bradford-based funeral director, who helped organise Savile's funeral, said his headstone's removal and destruction is 'unprecedented;.

'It has taken about eight months for every aspect of this memorial '' every word - to be considered,' he said.

'It was going to be a memorial to celebrate his life - and up until three weeks ago it was exactly that.

'The unveiling was a proud day for all of us. There were 1,400 letters on it in the end.'

Allegations: Savile, who died last year aged 84, was yesterday accused by police of carrying out four decades of sickening offences on a 'national scale'

However, the allegations that Savile sexually abused young girls led to the targeting of a gold coloured civic society plaque outside his former Scarborough flat.

ANGER OVER SAVILE'S DESERT ISLAND DISCSRECORDINGThe BBC is refusing to remove a recording of Jimmy Savile from its Desert Island Discs archive in which he boasts about becoming a dancehall boss so he could meet girls.

The recording, first aired on March 30 1985, the DJ - accused of abusing up to 30 youngsters - tells how he wrote a list of 'all the things he liked' before decided on a what kind of job he wanted to do.

During the chat with host Roy Plomley on the Radio 4 show, Savile tells how he started running a dancehall in Leeds in the 60s after injuring himself working as a Bevin Boy in the mines.

He told the show: 'I realised I wasn't very good at a tremendous number of things, so wrote down all the things that I liked.

'They seemed idiot things at the time, for instance on the paper was warmth, staying in bed in the morning, coloured lights and....girls.

'When I looked at that list the only thing that contained all of the things on my list was a dancehall. I thought 'goodness gracious me, so I marched down to the local dancehall and said "I am the new assistant manager" and the manager said "not a bad idea" and I started as an assistant manager.

''I worked there nine years and won every conceivable award.

He then discussed how he learned the difference 'between right and wrong' from an early age and how his father died when he was just a young lad.

He also tells how he worked at a Bevin Boy at a coal mine and that the coal miners who worked in the pits were 'his heroes' and that he 'went down a boy and came out a man'.

The circular tribute unveiled the same day as the headstone was scrawled with the words 'rapist' and 'paedophile' and was taken down.

Saviles Hall in Leeds, where an auction of the TV presenter's belongings was held after he died, is also to be renamed 'out of respect for public opinion'.

While a street sign named after him has also been removed because of the outcry in recent weeks.

'With the revelations and vandalism of the memorial plaque in Scarborough the atmosphere changed,' Mr Morphet added.

'The family was very concerned that this memorial would become the focus of an act of vandalism which might offend the families of those buried nearby.

'Once the story got out we were going to do this at 7.30 this morning we were inundated with requests to attend not just from the media but members of the public.'

'I spoke to Scarborough Council about 8pm on Tuesday and said "If we are going to move it let's move it as quickly as we can".

'I decided to go at 11 o'clock. We used hammers, chisels, wedges, long bars and drills to remove the stainless steel dowels.

'Most graves are for two people so it is not unusual to remove a headstone so a husband and wife can join their partner.

'But removing a memorial due to risk and public opinion is unprecedented.

'It was hard work. The mood was serious and sombre and professional. My staff had worked many hours on the memorial and to break up something like that is in some respects soul-destroying.

'We wanted to leave the grave in a dignified condition so we filled it in, levelled it, and re-turfed it.'

The team worked under floodlights, piling the black granite into a truck and replacing the rotting flowers, which have not been refreshed since the allegations broke, onto the patch of bare earth.

Secret operation: Funeral director Robert Morphet stands next to the grave of Sir Jimmy Savile in Woodlands Cemetery, Scarborough, where he assisted the local council in removing the headstone at the request of Savile's family

Respect: Savile's family gave permission for its removal out of respect for public opinion - shown here shortly after it was removed

Message: A card also left there thanks Savile for the times they shared together from a well-wisher called Sha

But it was not yet clear what '' if any '' memorial would replace the six foot wide by four foot tall triple headstone which was only unveiled on September 20 spanning three plots.

'There were no pictures taken at all and no family present '' only police, a team of four undertakers, and the cemetery authorities,' Mr Morphet added.

'There were no family present. They did not know we were going to do it in the night. But we wanted it to be discreet,' Mr Morphet continued.

'The gates were closed and police stood guard outside and on the graveside.'

Graffiti: The Scarborough flat of Sir Jimmy Savile was targeted by vandals

Plaque: The yellow disc is shown clearly on the bottom right wall. Saville's home was on the second floor of this building on the Esplanade, Scarborough

Among the last to visit Savile's grave at dusk was a woman who said she wanted to see the stone for the first and last time because of her friend's ordeal at the hands of Savile more than 40 years ago.

SOPHIE WESSEX 'COULD NOT STAND LECHEROUS SAVILE'A broadcaster said today that Jimmy Savile offended the Duchess of Wessex when she worked in the press department of Capital Radio.

Presenter David Hamilton said Sophie Rhys-Jones, as she was then, met Savile at a photocall outside the London station.

'She greeted Jimmy with a bottle of champagne, even though he was teetotal, and the next thing you know the wind has blown up her dress. The more this happened the more amorous Jimmy became, showering her with kisses.'

Mr Hamilton said the dead DJ grabbed her hand, kissing her all the way up her arm.

'Sophie was horrified and stormed off and said "I refuse to have anything to do with that revolting man".'

The woman, who refused to be named, worked at Leeds General Infirmary where Savile volunteered and always thought him 'a bit odd'. But when a girlfriend got married in 1969 she realised he was much worse.

She said: 'He volunteered to drive her to her wedding in his Rolls Royce but turned up with a chauffeur and sat in the back with her.

'They then had a bit of a tussle. She said he was trying to grope her all the way to the registry office and she had to fight him off.'

Turning back to the grave, she said: 'What a despicable rat.'

It came as celebrities and former BBC staff face arrest for alleged sex offences after Scotland Yard dramatically widened its inquiry into Sir Jimmy Savile yesterday.

As officers revealed the staggering scale of allegations against the late TV entertainer, they made it clear that they will pursue individuals who conspired with Savile or participated in abuse.

Savile, who died last year aged 84, was yesterday accused by police of carrying out four decades of sickening offences on a 'national scale'.

Scotland Yard has already received a 'range of names' among 120 potential leads and will take action if victims provide statements supporting claims of rape or sexual abuse by those close to Savile.

Inquiry: Scotland Yard has contacted the BBC and ITV, which are handing over details of victims who are willing to co-operate. BBC Television Centre is pictured

Memorabilia: New photos have been uncovered of Jimmy Savile, above and below, wrestling

Memorabilia: New photos have been uncovered of Jimmy Savile, above and below, wrestling

It has contacted the BBC and ITV, which are handing over details of victims who are willing to co-operate.

Greater Manchester Police has become the latest force to receive complaints of abuse by Savile.

The force said: 'As part of an investigation being headed by the Metropolitan Police Service into allegations of sexual abuse made against the late James Savile, Greater Manchester Police has, to date, recorded two separate complaints.

'These are historic complaints dating back to the 1960s.

'The complaints will be passed to the Metropolitan Police Service for further assessment and therefore it would not be appropriate to make further comment.'

As the astonishing breadth of the Savile sex scandal became clear, the BBC was facing its biggest crisis in years with renewed questions over why it failed to act on a damning but never broadcast Newsnight film on Savile's crimes nearly a year ago.

It also emerged yesterday that:

Police have already identified at least 30 victims of Savile who was at his offending peak at the height of his fame during the 1970s and 1980sSavile targeted boys as well as girls '' who were mainly aged between 13 and 16The first known complaint dates from 1959 when the star was 33 and at the start of his showbusiness careerPolice have already formally recorded eight criminal allegations '' two rapes and six of indecent assault.

Celebrities likely to be questioned include convicted paedophiles Gary Glitter and Jonathan King as well as other former colleagues at Radio 1 and BBC TV.

Shut out: The gates of the cemetery, pictured, were locked and guarded by police as the operation to removed the headstone went on in secret

Respectful: A man stands and looks at the memorial in recent weeks but it has now been pulled out of the ground and sent to be smashed

Detectives will also probe claims that Savile was free to roam NHS wards attacking young patients, and allowed to prey on teenage pupils at state schools.

Incredibly, five separate police forces investigated Savile while he was still alive yet none of them ever brought charges, it was revealed yesterday.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe pledged that detectives would now be 'asking questions' of living celebrities about allegations of sex attacks.

He added that police were aware of reports in the Press about a number of individuals. He said: 'We have seen enough in these public reports that it would be negligent if we did not act and ask questions about them.'

Glitter, who allegedly raped a girl of 13 in Savile's BBC dressing room, is likely to be questioned.

Savile died in October last year, denying his alleged victims the chance for justice.

Mr Hogan-Howe said: 'Sadly there is little we can do. We cannot arrest the man, interview him, charge him or put him before a court, but we will take statements from victims and we will take these reports very seriously.'

Quizzed: Celebrities likely to be questioned include convicted paedophiles Gary Glitter, left, and Jonathan King, right, as well as other former colleagues at Radio 1 and BBC TV

Giving details yesterday of Operation Yewtree '' the joint police and NSPCC inquiry into Savile '' Commander Peter Spindler said ten officers were investigating the torrent of claims which coincided with the screening of an ITV documentary on the star last week.

Asked if Savile was 'guilty', he said: 'I think the facts speak for themselves, around the number of women who have come forward and spoken of his behaviour and predilection for teenage girls.'Mr Spindler said the abuse was 'on a national scale'.

Although Savile is beyond the reach of police, he said: 'Our job is to deal with living offenders and to safeguard society today.

'For those who have been brave enough to speak out, we are looking to see if we can identify anyone who could be subject to criminal investigation.

'The victims are looking for an acknowledgement and recognition that what happened to them is in fact true, and they will get that from our analysis of information provided.

'We are not going to investigate anyone who is still alive unless we get some evidence and that will come from witness testimony.

'One of our objectives is to see if anyone still alive has committed offences which are capable of investigation.'

Officers are also speaking to staff at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, in Buckinghamshire, and Leeds General Infirmary, where Savile was a regular visitor during his charity work.

The NSPCC said it has referred 24 calls from abuse victims to police, including 17 women who claim they were attacked by Savile himself.

Police said their initial inquiry was expected to be completed by the end of next month. But the crisis for the BBC is likely to linger much longer.

Savile was one of the corporation's biggest stars of TV and radio of the 1970s and 1980s, and knighted in 1990.

His stardom gave him the perfect cover for his paedophile activities, and he even boasted to friends he was 'untouchable' at the corporation.

BBC chiefs have struggled to explain why Savile was never stopped in his tracks, and face mounting claims of a cover-up '' especially after shelving the Newsnight investigation into Savile last year.

Questions remain over why it did not hand police documentary evidence that girls were abused.

The list of victims has grown daily. None of the women stepping forward to claim they were raped or molested as schoolgirls by Savile has asked for anything in return for telling their story.

The picture they paint is of a 'classic' child abuser, targeting vulnerable youngsters at schools, hospitals and children's homes, including Jersey's notorious Haut de la Garenne.

He plied them with treats '' under the noses of teachers, doctors and BBC managers '' and took them for rides in his Rolls-Royce and to the BBC to watch his shows being recorded.

Savile sexually abused them in his car, his BBC dressing room, on hospital wards and in the bedrooms of girls at Duncroft boarding school in Surrey.

The Daily Mail revealed on Saturday how a former beauty queen named Sandra claims she was raped by a BBC employee who was an 'accomplice' of Jimmy Savile.

Sandra, now 65, who does not want her full name published, has since reported the man to police for allegedly forcing himself on her in his BBC office in 1970.

He denied her claims when they were put to him by the Mail last week, saying: 'I haven't got the greatest memory but I don't remember any of this. I can't see why the accusations have been made. I have never raped anyone in my life.'

The BBC is to draft in an 'independent' troubleshooter to handle the toxic fallout from the Savile scandal. Its newly appointed director general George Entwistle is pictured

The BBC is to draft in an 'independent' troubleshooter to handle the toxic fallout from the Savile scandal.

Bosses want an outside figure to lead an internal investigation to avoid fresh claims of a cover-up about who knew what and when.

One MP even likened to BBC's foot-dragging on the affair to the leaden response of News International to the unfolding phone-hacking scandal at the now defunct News of the World.

Another said the corporation had 'procrastinated' about what to do about the allegations because it was worried about the effect on its image.

Yesterday the BBC faced renewed questions over its 'extraordinary' decision to drop a Newsnight investigation into the claims almost a year ago.

In addition, critics point out that irrespective of whether the film was ever broadcast, the corporation's executives had been duty bound to hand over its damning findings to the police.

There is continued unease that some of his crimes were committed on BBC premises amid suggestions some colleagues turned a blind eye to his activities.

On Monday, the BBC's newly appointed director general George Entwistle admitted that in his former role as TV chief he had known about Newsnight's Savile investigation but still went ahead with eulogies which heaped praise on the presenter when he died.

He said he had never asked what Newsnight's investigation was actually discovering.

It also follows claims by his predecessor Mark Thompson, who left the BBC last month, that he knew nothing about Savile's alleged abuse of teenage girls.

LORD PATTEN: BBC MUST REVIEW ITS GUIDELINES ON MINORSLord Patten has asked the BBC director-general George Entwistle to review its guidelines on child protection following what he called the 'cesspit' of sexual abuse allegations against Jimmy Savile.

The chairman of the BBC Trust said he wanted to ensure the corporation's policies were 'fit for purpose' after numerous claims that Savile's alleged abuse had taken place on the broadcaster's premises.

He also pledged that the BBC's independent inquiry should be launched as swiftly as possible following a police investigation into Savile's activities.

And Lord Patten said he believed it would be a good idea for Mr Entwistle to make a prominent TV apology on behalf of the BBC once the claims had been unravelled.

He said today: 'The BBC has in place child protection policies, processes, guidance for us by all staff on and off the premises and independents making programmes for the BBC.

'We've asked the director-general to assure us that those policies are up to date and fit for purpose that they're effective in protecting minors and under-age children.

'We've also said that we want to be satisfied on the arrangements in place for dealing with sexual harassment, bullying and whistleblowing and we want to be sure that those guidelines that do exist are gold standard and up to date and comply with current best practice.'

This contradicted the BBC's press office, which said he had been told about the Newsnight investigation in December.

Clearly stung by suspicions that the Newsnight report was dropped for corporate reasons, something the BBC denies, Mr Entwistle's decision to appoint an outside figure will be interpreted as a clear attempt to emphasise the independence of the review.

An insider last night said the search had only just begun for the person to lead the inquiry.

BBC chairman Lord Patten admitted that when the BBC starts its own inquiry, after the police have finished theirs, it would have to look at the issues which were still unresolved 'in a way which will have to command credibility in the wider community'.

It emerged last night that another of the corporation's flagship current affairs programmes, BBC1's Panorama, is preparing a programme on the Savile scandal, after Newsnight's embarrassing decision to drop its report in December 2011.

The documentary is understood to be led by the man who was working on the Newsnight project, Meirion Jones.

Last night Lib Dem MP Adrian Sanders, who sits on the culture, media and sport select committee, said of the decision to drop the Newsnight report: 'That seems to me to be an extraordinary thing to do and that is something that will have to be revisited if the scale of the crimes has been proven.'

Tory MP Philip Davies, also a member of the committee, compared the BBC's handling of the situation with the way that News International dealt with the phone-hacking scandal.

He added: 'The whole thing is a complete catastrophe for the BBC but more importantly it is a catastrophe for the victims who have suffered in silence.'

A BBC insider said there was no proof that bosses had never lent on anyone to drop the Newsnight report.

'‰A campaign to strip Savile posthumously of his knighthood is likely to fail because it would require a change in the law.

Suprise tax cut for low-paid Italians. (Euronews video)

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Source: WT news feed

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 11:31

It is a rare boost for struggling households in the eurozone's third largest economy that has been in recession for a year.

The unexpected tax cut was balanced with a rise in VAT and a series of spending cuts in a combined package worth 11.6 billion euros in all.

Monti said: ''We wanted to give a clear signal that when there are good signs of stabilisation in the national budget you can afford some moderate relief on income tax.''

Monti added that the tax break shows that his severe austerity measures were beginning to bear fruit.

Parliamentary elections are due in Italy next year.

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Reality Check: What is the Petro-dollar and why is China trying to destroy it? (FOX19 video)

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Source: WT news feed

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 11:13

Reality Check: Is your personal property really your property?Reality Check: Is your personal property really your property?Updated:Thursday, October 11 2012 6:20 AM EDT2012-10-11 10:20:46 GMT

If you buy a CD or a book it is now your property to use, throw away and re-sell, right? Maybe not. This fall the U.S. Supreme Court is considering a case that could change that. Meaning you couldn'tFull Story >If you buy a CD or a book it is now your property to use, throw away and re-sell, right?Maybe not.

Full Story >Reality Check: What is the Petro-dollar and why is China trying to destroy it?Reality Check: What is the Petro-dollar and why is China trying to destroy it?Updated:Wednesday, October 10 2012 6:19 AM EDT2012-10-10 10:19:09 GMT

There is a lot of talk from Presidential candidates about how to get America's economy moving again. But something virtually no politician is talking about is something called the petro-dollar. Tonight,Full Story >There is a lot of talk from Presidential candidates about how to get America's economy moving again. But something virtually no politician is talking about is something called the petro-dollar.Full Story >Reality Check: The real number behind Romney and Obama's deficit debate answersReality Check: The real number behind Romney and Obama's deficit debate answersUpdated:Friday, October 5 2012 6:17 AM EDT2012-10-05 10:17:34 GMT

With Presidential debate number one now behind us we are going to look at the candidates answers or lack thereof to one of the most important questions asked during their debate. As President of the UnitedFull Story >With Presidential debate number one now behind us we are going to look at the candidates answers or lack thereof to one of the most important questions asked during their debate.Full Story >Reality Check: Who Is Really Behind The Presidential Debates?Reality Check: Who Is Really Behind The Presidential Debates?Updated:Wednesday, October 3 2012 10:59 PM EDT2012-10-04 02:59:52 GMT

We carried it live as President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney held the first of their three presidential debates. But one local teacher was surprised to find out with her students recently that theseFull Story >We carried it live as President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney held the first of their three presidential debates.Full Story >Reality Check: Do actions speak louder than words with President Obama and the NDAA?Reality Check: Do actions speak louder than words with President Obama and the NDAA?Updated:Friday, September 28 2012 6:40 AM EDT2012-09-28 10:40:31 GMT

Over the past few weeks we have shared with you Ben's one on one interview with President Obama when he visited Ohio. Tonight, we are going to break down the fourth and final question of that interview.Full Story >Over the past few weeks we have shared with you Ben's one on one interview with President Obama when he visited Ohio.Full Story >(FOX19) -There is a lot of talk from Presidential candidates about how to get America's economy moving again. But something virtually no politician is talking about is something called the petro-dollar.

Tonight, we'll tell you what it is and why China is pro-actively working to destroy it.

This is a Reality Check you won't see anywhere else.

View a document that further explains the petro-dollar here.

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Wed, 10 Oct 2012 23:24

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